Here is a letter i sent to my Senators and Congressman (w/ slight variations) - please feel free to use it as you might wish.
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Over the years I have been happy to vote for you as you are the politician who actually votes most closely to what I would choose if I were in office. Thank you so very much for your continued work on behalf of the state of Washington.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama called for (among many things) the end of subsidies for the oil companies. I urge you quite strongly to do all that you can to see that this goal comes to pass.

Subsidies provide a valuable asset to our society, helping to assure that staples (such as foodstuffs) and new technologies (such as alternative/renewable energy) have the financial resources to provide their necessary and beneficial services even in times when they are not independently financially sustainable. Perhaps that was necessary in the past for oil companies, but it certainly is not necessary now. These companies are not only financially viable on their own, they are making profits at levels that are higher than at any other time in history. This means that the subsidies in the past did their job, they got the companies over the lean times as things were beginning and into a position of financial profitability. Which means, in any sane person's mind, it is time to quit the subsidies and let these companies stand on their own.

Halting these subsidies will have many beneficial effects. First, it will allow these companies to become leaner and more efficient - which will be a benefit to the companies (even if it will annoy certain managerial types - but if cutting the fat is good for the US government, I am certain it will be good for our oil companies, too). Second, it will free up money to be used for other energy supply sources - giving new alternative/renewable energy companies the same support that oil got when it was getting started (and for too many years after). And last, it will help the US budget by reducing expenditures that show little reward (since the tax cuts for the wealthiest people/businesses have been continued yet again).

I thank you for your time and attention and look forward to hearing how your support is demonstrated - whether by introducing legislation yourself or by co-sponsoring or supporting legislation introduced by others.
Republicans (and 10 dems) voted to raise taxes on those making under $250k/year... fortunately Democrats (and 3 repubs) voted to lower taxes for roughly 95% of the US working population.

Seems Republicans don't really want to cut taxes after all. Voting no on tax cuts really shows them for what they are - liars.
Dear Rep. McDermott,

I am writing to implore you to vote AGAINST any Wall Street bail-out plan that includes the plethora of earmarks added by the Senate. While I do understand your 'yes' vote on the original bill (with which I personally disagreed, but I do understand your choice), this ploy by the Senate is totally unacceptable.

Strip the earmarks for totally unrelated areas and return this to the Senate. Or re-write the bill entirely. Demand full accountability of each and every dollar that is requested and given (the fact that the treasury spokesperson said that they didn't know they needed $700 billion, they just chose a 'really big number' is astounding AND unacceptable). Require that the US taxpayer get an active interest in all these businesses until the money is paid back with interest. Do not give away my children's future as well as my own.

Thank you for your time and your attention.
Tomorrow (Sunday, 31 August 2008) i will be doing some phone banking work for the Obama campaign. We'll be calling Obama/Democratic leaning people who have not yet committed to supporting Obama. It'll be 5-8pm downtown Seattle and will include training. If you'd be interested in joining me, please let me know - they are happy for more people and i'd love to go with someone else :)

Politics

Aug. 30th, 2008 11:48 am
Tomorrow i go to phone bank for Barack Obama.

Today i snigger about Sarah Palin as McCain's choice. All people with vaginas are not the same. Palin is not Clinton for the GOP.

Thank you, Sen. McCain, for doing your best to have Sen. Obama elected as the next US President. Awfully kind of you.
Dear Senator Obama,

My family has enthusiastically supported your candidacy for quite some time. My 10 year old son even stood up in front of hundreds of adults at the Washington Democratic Caucuses to tell the people present that he thought YOU would be the person he would choose to be President, if he could choose - and this after writing reports on all the (then) active major party candidates. He heard both you and Senator Clinton speak here in Seattle, and it was your passion, your dedication, but most of all your humanity, that inspired my young son to stand up in front of a room full of grown ups to share his point of view and his support of you.

From this foundation, it saddens me to have to write to you to ask you, "What in the WORLD were you thinking?" How could you vote AGAINST the US Constitution, AGAINST the Fourth Amendment, AGAINST US citizens when you voted FOR the FISA bill granting Telcomms immunity, expanding wiretapping abilities, and giving President Bush and his administration a free ride in their (possibly) illegal and unconstitutional actions.

I am so disappointed in your decision to offer your vote up on the altar of political expediency instead of taking the high and honorable road and holding our (yours and my) government to the high standards that the US Constitution has set for us. Is this the Hope for Change that we can expect from you in the future? Will you give us more of the same, or will you give us REAL change that we can believe in?

While I would appreciate a response, I somehow doubt that will happen. Still, I hope that you can somehow reassure us that your decision yesterday to forsake the US Constitution and the citizens of the US was NOT indicative of your future plans should you become President.

Please, Senator Obama, stand up for me, my children, your children, and for all the citizens of the US. Support us as we have supported you. Show us that you understand and believe that the US Constitution is there not just for the easy times, but is our foundation for when times are hardest. Do NOT offer up the US Constitution and all that it represents ever again on the altar of political expediency.
i am tired of seeing legislation pass our House or Senate, but to die because of a combination of a promised presidential veto and the lack of a 2/3 majority. i want to see our Congress force President Bush to show the world how obstructionist and self-centered he is... by forcing him to veto. So, i am, for the first time, contacting Congress outside of the normal channels of my state representatives... i have written letters to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. If you so desire, you may use these letters (please change the names to your state/representatives if you are outside of Seattle) as is or as a launching point for your own comments.

Letter to Senator Harry Reid. )

Letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi )

Politics

Jul. 31st, 2007 09:55 am
Because i do understand not all of you care...

Politics - Letter to the President )
The letter i sent to Gov. Gregoire i also sent to Major General Timothy J. Lowenberg of the Washington Army National Guard.

To my complete surprise, this morning i received a telephone call from Lt. Keith Kosik of the Washington Army National Guard. He was calling to address the issues in my email and to answer any questions i might have about the state of readiness of our citizen soldiers. (Apparently he had just gotten off the phone with KOMO TV answering many of the same questions.)

Lt. Kosik spent over 20 minutes on the phone answering my questions. The fact that i received any response rather surprised me. The fact that i received a call at home within 18 hours of sending an email astounded me.

In addition to asking questions i made two points, which he seemed to appreciate. The first was that while i can read online from blogs and other sources, each blog will generally have their own slant - and i wanted to ask the people who lived every day considering the state of preparedness of our citizen soldiers - because who would know better than they what they need. The other point i made is that, as a private citizen, it is my duty to lobby on behalf of those who dedicate their lives to our protection - so if they didn't have the troops or equipment they need to do their jobs i wanted to know so that i could contact my state and federal representatives and demand that they step up and help those who help us.

What i learned was that, unlike some other states, Washington is adequately covered - both in terms of manpower and equipment. We have at least 5500 troops in Washington who can be called up to active duty as needed from the Army National Guard (and additional troops from the Air National Guard, but he did not have those exact figures to give me) in addition to the troops currently In Theater in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have plenty of both air and land vehicles to support our citizen soldiers. We also have mutual aid compacts with our border states and other states, should we encounter a situation beyond our ability to respond effectively ourselves.

i would highly recommend anyone else interested in the ability of their state's militia to respond to disasters write directly to their National Guard headquarters. Feel free to utilize any/all of my letter if you so choose. i would also suggest that you include your telephone number - you might get lucky like i did.


http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/5/9/125256/3832
... should be guarding OUR nation. There is an article

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Governor Gregoire,

After reading about the disaster in Kansas that took many lives and virtually distroyed a town, i was dismayed to discover that Kansas' National Guardsmen were not able to appropriately respond to the event. This brought back the memories of the problems associated with Hurricaine Katrina that took so many lives in several states - again with inadequate National Guard response.

Upon reading further, it has come to my attention that the governors and the military commanders of many states' National Guards have stated that they are short troops, supplies, and vehicles in order to provide the level of response they are expected to provide should an emergency (either natural disaster or man-made) come to their states. This concerns me greatly.

What i would like to know, Governor Gregoire, is where does Washington's National Guard readiness stand? Do we have all the troops, equipment, and vehicles that should be allocated to and stationed in Washington State? If we have an earthquake, tsunami, volcanic eruption, or (heavens forbid) some sort of terrorist attack will we have enough personel AND equipment to provide maximum assistance in all the areas the Washington State National Guard is entrusted protect?

If we are short on any of these levels (and if we are, it doesn't look like we are alone - Kansas, North Carolina, Lousiana, Virginia, Florida, Oklahoma, Michigan, New Mexico, Arkansas, and our neighbor Oregon have all stated that they are not staffed to required levels), what are you doing to correct that situation?

It seems that President Bush will 'blame the victim' - stating that if a state is short on equipment or personel that they should have asked for help before an emergency arose. So, if the Occupation in Iraq and the troops in Afghanistan are pulling Washington National Guardsmen away from Washington State and leaving us unprotected, i certainly hope you are doing something about it. If not, i urge you to do something NOW... not after the worst happens here and we are left with dead citizens, destroyed cities, and President Bush shaking his finger at you for not doing your part by asking for assistance in advance.

Thank you very much for your attention and your response on this issue.
inanna: (evil thoughts)
Ok... that may sound odd... but let me explain.

1) i am still very active in working towards ending the Iraq Occupation. i am writing my members of Congress, calling their offices, and doing all the other private citizen things i can do to express my desires to those who vote in my name.

2) Unless a Republican wins the Presidency (and that is not looking likely - although it is really too early to tell - but let me have my hope), and possibly even if one does depending upon which one, the Occupation of Iraq will end shortly after Inaguration Day 2009, if not before. So, picking a Democrat who will end the war isn't an issue... they all will. And if a Republican wins, well... Gods help our country on a lot of levels.

3) Since Iraq is, assuming the above is true, a done deal - one must then choose a candidate based upon OTHER issues. And, from what i have been reading and learning, that issue (for me at least) is Global Warming and the Environment. Smarter people than i have been working on this for over a decade and a half... but it has finally moved from the green-wing-nuts-overreacting to the OMG-this-is-happening stage for more and more of the population. i've always been relatively green, but now we are really working on it in our family in concrete ways in addition to political and generic ways.

....

What i want to see is a candidate that addresses the following issues:

*Global warming is a real and serious danger to the world and to the US

* We can no longer nay-say the science, taking care of our environment is not only a scientific need, it is a moral and a financial imperative.

* Acting NOW to curb the factors that contribute to global warming will NOT create a crisis for our economy. While certain businesses may suffer in certain ways (for example the coal and oil companies will lose money/jobs) the NEW jobs and NEW industries will more than make up for the losses.

*When the Industrial Revolution happened people said the machines would take away jobs. They didn't. When robots joined the assmebly lines they said it would destroy all the manufacturing jobs. It didn't. When computers came into common use they said it would eliminate the workers. It didn't. All these changes did create change and even some temporary losses in certain areas... but all new jobs in others. And we can do this again now!

* Before/During WWII it was determined we needed a new weapon... focus was shifted and the atomic bomb was created in a very short time. When it looked like the US would lose the "space race" to Russia focus was shifted... and we made dramatic leaps in (once again) a very short time. If the Powers That Be in the US government decide that creating alternative energy sources and technologies/consumer-business products to utilize these energy sources that do not add to the destruction of our Environment and to Global Warming, we can see the same dramatic leaps again. But it has to be a priority for the US Government as a whole, from the President down. We need to see not only R&D incentives, but also incentives to bring these new products to market (unlimited tax breaks for R&D with no concrete products is not acceptable, if you take the breaks for R&D but don't produce you lose out on the option to do so in the future) - and to make them affordable for average consumer use.

* The US has the opportunity to once again take the lead in the International Community. We are currently behind many countries... we lost a lot of ground when we chose not to ratify the Kyoto Accord. But we have the scientific minds, the business experts, and the skilled manufacturing labor force to take the initiative and create new technologies that will shock and awe the world... if only we put our energy into these endeavors.

* By creating these new industries we will also be doing wonderful things for our economy. Whether you call it a recession, a slow down, or being broke (depending upon who you are and how much money you are able to make), our economy needs help. These new industries will create jobs in the US - both in R&D and in the manufacture of these new technologies. We have the opportunity to see an economic expansion not rivaled in history. If only we take the leap and commit to these new changes.
....

And so, Democratic Presidential Candidates... if you want my vote you had better address more than the Iraq war. Loss of civil liberties needs to be not only halted but reversed. Current criminals must be held accountable for the laws they have broken. But, more than that, you had better look to our Environment if you want my vote.

[Edited: Thanks to encouragement from [livejournal.com profile] wingedelf, this is now posted over at DailyKos]
...doesn't everyone have their Senators' and Representative's phone number on speed dial?

More political letters - behind a cut for those who don't care )
Dear Senator Obama,

I am writing in regards to your comments published today (Sunday 1 April 2007) about your intention, should President Bush veto the current Iraq spending bill, to immediately give him the money with no restrictions or limitations. I do not even know how to express my deep distress and dismay at your comments.

To begin, you do NOT speak for the entire US Congress. Perhaps you hope to speak for the US as a whole as President come 2009, but right now you are one vote among many. I will be urging my Senators and Representative to deny President Bush his temper tantrum at not getting exacly what he wants when he wants it. His party is no longer in power BECAUSE we, the citizens of the United States, are unhappy with the way things are going... not because we supported him. We do not want to see "business as usual" and a continuation of the destructive course upon which we are currently embarked.

Now, if you want to earn my vote in the 2008 election cycle, you had better consider strongly your decisions. If you cave at the first sign of conflict, how can we trust you to run our country? How can we trust you to negotiate with countries that may not have our best interests in mind, fearing that any time they state a position in opposition to ours you will immediately capitulate?

Please, Senator Obama, consider what you are doing. Consider the men and women of our country who are currently in Iraq - being put in harm's way for vanity's sake on the part of President Bush. The GAO stated that there is enough money to fun our troops until mid-to-late July... so the Mid-April timeline is a lie. We have time to insist that our troops are adequately rested, adequately prepared, and adequately supplied. We have time in to insist that our troops be returned to their own homes, that the Iraqi people be allowed to control their own destiny, that our military (and even our government) be allowed to return to a state of honor and respect around the world.

Thank you for your time, attention, and most hopefully action on this most vital subject.

Politics

Mar. 28th, 2007 04:28 pm
Dear Mr. President,

I recognize that you have a lot of your personal energy, political value, and even self worth wrapped up in the current war in Iraq. But, I have to ask you... is it so important to you to be "right" - no matter what the facts have shown in direct contrast to the words you say - that you are willing to spend the lives of the young men and women of our country in order to make yourself feel better?

Mr. President, the US people HAVE spoken. We have spoken in the voting booths. We have spoken in public opinion polls. If you are incapable of seeing that, then perhaps you need to replace the Yes Men in your cabinet and look to people who will tell you the truth about what is happening in the country...in OUR country. It sounds like you are surrounding yourself with people who will tell you what you want to or hope to hear... rather than what you NEED to hear. And what you NEED to hear, Mr. President, is that the world that the rest of us live in is not the same world that you do.

Mr. President... the US citizens want our troops home. We can recognize that as long as we are in Iraq there will be no chance of peace there. Just as if the US was invaded and our government was overthrown (no matter how corrupt it may have been... no matter if it tortured prisoners... no matter if it held people without trial for years - all things the US government is doing now, by the way, in case you somehow missed that fact) the citizens of the US would never stop fighting until the invaders were gone from our shores. And the Iraqis feel the same passion and love for their native soil as we do.

Please, Mr. President, sign the funding bill that the Senate and House will be giving to you shortly... the bill that will not only give money to supply our troops, but will also set a timetable to bring them home - a timetable to allow the Iraqis to care for themselves, for our families to be reunited, and for our military (and even our government) to become once again a force that is respected and honored throughout the world.
And so it goes. The eye for an eye in the Middle East takes yet more lives. Israel. Jordan. IraqIranSyriaAfghanistan... on and on it goes. You kill one of ours, we kill 10 of yours, you kill 100 of ours, we kill 10,000 of yours... and on and on it goes. Then "us" and "them" have no meaning and the killing just happens - soldiers, bystanders, insurrectionists, school children, mothers, babes-in-arms. And those in power, the ones who order the deaths... some few die... but mostly they sit in their houses and caves and jets and offices and order others to die in their places. And another child loses a mother or a father or a brother or a best friend... and then they learn hate at a level that those in the pristine offices cannot understand. And so another martyr is born - rising from the grave of their loved ones.

Some say that this is the beginning of WW III... Gingrich for one, the fat bastard. But he isn't alone.

And yet, so many of us go on with our daily lives - the TV, the internet, the trips to the grocery stores, the malls for clothes, the auto dealers, the gas stations - almost unaware (or even actually unaware) of the things that are happening around the world... much of it in our names. Is it surprising we are hated as a group? Even most of the poor of us have so much more than the 'average' person in most of the world. And we take our WalMart clothes and our cheap gas for granted and continue exploiting our world and turning a blind eye to the trials of much of the world as long as we don't lose our Jerry Springer and Hummers.

And so it goes.

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inanna

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