What's Wrong With Louisiana?
While most of us are focused on Ohio and Florida, there has been some action in Louisiana that should be attracting our attention.
Recent electoral gains in Louisiana have been making Republicans merry, and Democrats chary. The mood there among progressives is somber, and there are plans afoot to stage a unique protest to the re-(s)election and coronation of his imperial design-ness, King George Wugmump Bu$h the Lesser:
March, rally and inaugural ball featuring local New Orleans musicians. Street theater encouraged.
It's got my mojo working!
Plans are to proceed through the commercial district down Canal Street during office workers' lunch hour before entering the Quarter where a rally will be held on the Moonwalk beside the Mississippi River. The march will then continue down Decatur Street, on to Frenchman via Esplanade before settling down at Washington Square Park at which time our "Inaugural Ball" will commence.
WHEN: Thursday, January 20, 2005 @ 11:00 AM (CST).
WHO: A coalition of groups and individuals distressed about issues including, but not limited to, the occupation of Iraq and other instances of US military aggression, the mistreatment of "detainees", corporate control of America, the rollback of individual liberties, state sponsored homophobia, election fraud, the poisoning of the environment, and the class warfare instituted by the Bush Administration.
Groups include military veterans, civil rights organizations, theater groups, regional peace coalitions, and gay rights activists. Individuals come from all walks of life.
WHY: Because we still can.
Organizations and individuals wishing to participate can contact: BUDDY SPELL firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep posted on the jazz funeral by joining the conversation @ Common Ground-Common Sense. It's easy to register. Go to: http://www.commongroundcommonsense.org/index.php?
Then go to "Online Action" then "Protests and Rallies" then "Jazz Funeral Thread"
[Or to read the comment thread you can just go here.]
Here's an example of why Louisiana is better considered dead than Red:
When the new Congress is seated in January, Louisiana's congressional delegation will have shifted from five Democrats and four Republicans to six Republicans and three Democrats. Republicans won all but one targeted congressional race in Louisiana this fall and were only 570 3rd Congressional
District votes away from a clean sweep in this year's contested races. Party leaders and others say this could be the beginning of a sea change in Louisiana politics, even though 1.6 million of the state's 2.9 million registered voters are Democrats.
This is bad. Either there are a lot of Louisianans voting against their self-interests, or else they have given up on the Democratic party altogether.
Here's an example of the next generation, which seems to have no clue - or care - as to what's in store for it:
There may be no "plans" for a national military draft, but that hasn't kept Louisiana from registering teenagers too young to serve in case conditions change.
During the recently concluded presidential campaigns, the major candidates repeatedly said they had no plans to resume compulsory military service. Their
promises were not reassuring, however, to Larry Chevalier of Glenmora who was alarmed when his 16-year-old son Nathan had to register with the Selective
Service System in order to get a driver's license. "I just can't believe it. That amazes me," Chevalier said.
What "amazed" Chevalier was that his son would not be eligible to serve in the military for another two years, and neither he nor his son knew before going to the Office of Motor Vehicles that Natan would be required to pre-register for the draft in order to get his first driver's license, he said. After questioning the early registration, Chevalier researched the issue and learned the Legislature passed Act 373 in the 2003 session dictating that all males aged 15 up to 18 seeking a first-time driver's license or an OMV identification card must register with Selective Service.
Chevalier's concerns were not wholly shared by young men attending a YMCA-sponsored driver's education course. After being informed of the new condition for getting a first-time license, some of the teenagers only shrugged.
"I don't care," Mark Fontenot, a 16-year-old student at Apostolic Christian Academy, said. Pineville High School student Josh Stokes, 15, said, "I think it's good.'
But neither student would elaborate on his view.
Stephen White, 16 and a student at Alexandria Senior High School, may have summed up the feelings of others when he said, "I think it's all right. I can't do anything about it anyway."
Chevalier suggested there should be something youngsters can 'do about it'. "I don't know what rights as far as civil liberties that minors have, but I think their rights are being violated," he said. "I would venture to say the federal government has all sorts of information about us through various sources. If
someone thinks it's 'Big Brother,' he'll have to deal with that."
Rudy Sanchez, general counsel for the federal Selective Service System, said, "I don't know the rationale for that. Louisiana shouldn't be registering 15-year-olds. We don't even register 16-year-olds." Sanchez pointed out federal law only provides for "early submission" of information by a young man who is at least 17 years and three months old. That information is held until the person becomes 18 when it is forwarded to the proper database, he said. Otherwise, young men are required by law to register as early as 30 days prior to reaching age 18 and no later than 30 days after their birthday.
Other states have passed laws requiring young men to register with Selective Service when they get a driver's license, he said. But he said no other state requires males as young as 15 to register, and the information is not supposed to be forwarded to the federal agency until the young men reach 18 years old. He said there is no mechanism for collecting data on males younger than 17 years and three months.
That claim was disputed by Everett Bonner, state director of Selective Service. "They do accept it. I can promise you. They do not process it until the young man turns 18," Bonner said, adding information collected by OMV is forwarded to a federal data management center in Chicago. He said registering young men when they get their drivers' licenses is a convenience for the registrant and a way to help them later in life.
Many young men do not know they are required to register with SSS, particularly in the inner cities, he said. Anyone failing to register is "considered a felon without conviction," he said, adding it can lead to future loss of opportunities and benefits. Someone who does not register for the draft cannot get a federal government job, he said.
Chevalier questioned how the state can force a minor child to "sign on the dotted line" without his parents' consent. "As far as a minor child, the parents are responsible for that minor child," he said. Bonner said, however, the parents have to sign for a minor to get a driver's license and that should suffice for the draft registration as well.
"What I don't like is somebody having all this information about kids and somebody sitting up there in some private meeting discussing how many young people they have available for the draft in two years," Chevalier said. While the U.S. may be involved in military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq now, "we have Syria, Iran and North Korea sitting out there," he said.
While the parents are sending their sons off to fight George Bu$h's Oil War, they are willing to allow bad information to be given to their daughters:
Officials with the American Civil Liberties Union are threatening another lawsuit against the governor's abstinence program. The ACLU is complaining about the state-funded Web site abstinence-edu.com, saying it offers quotations from the Bible and cites God's approval as reasons to wait until marriage before having sex.
A letter to Gov. Kathleen Blanco [Remember - she's a 'conservative' Democrat] cites more than a dozen instances in which the ACLU claims the Web site violates a federal judge's order to stop using taxpayer dollars to convey religious messages or otherwise advance religion in any way. The order came after a lawsuit in 2002, in which the ACLU successfully sued the state and the administration of former Gov. Mike Foster, which created the abstinence program. In the settlement the state agreed to stop giving money to organizations that convey religious messages.
In response to the latest round of accusations, Blanco denied there is anything improper about the Web site and argues that it complies with the agreements in the settlement. "If that what keeps them together with themselves and prevents them from having sexual relations at too young an age, and saves us from all the social grief that follows it, then I think they should be allowed to do that," Blanco said.
A spokesman for the ACLU disagrees and says if the state continues to violate the order the organization will likely pursue the matter in court once again.
Democrats who act like Republicans, 15-year-old boys registered for the draft, girls being told that they must have approval from God - delivered by a self-appointed representative - before engaging in marital relations.
Looks like it's better to send democracy off to its final rest than to worry anymore. Democracy's trouble's are over now that King George the Lesser rules as God's representative on Earth.
Oh! Didn't He Ramble!
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