New Milford Planning wants to hear from YOU

The New Milford's Planning Commission wants your input on the direction of future town planning:
New Milford's Planning Commission wants to hear from the public about where the focus of the Plan of Conservation and Development should be in the next decade.

The town's boards and commissions met Oct. 30 to tell the Planning Commission where they think the focus should go.

A session for public input is set for Saturday Dec. 8 at 10 a.m. in town hall.

Consultant Glenn Chalder from Planimetrics said the POCD is a guide for the town's growth; an advisory document "to point New Milford toward a better future."

Bring your good, bad and ugly list and vent, cheer, screech, or just twiddle your thumbs while you listen to other people heap piles of praise and punches on the Commission. You might want to bring a bag of popcorn too... :)

And as long as you are here reading:
As the holiday season approaches, New Milford Social Services would like to encourage the community to help our clients in the following ways:

If you are interested in helping children or families this holiday, please contact our head elf, Nancy Camp at 354-3286.

Through the Santa Fund, she will give you a specific child to buy a gift and clothing for.

Social Services is in need of gift cards of any kind (gas, grocery, clothing store, restaurant, etc.) until Dec. 14 to provide to families at the holidays, and teen gifts (jewelry, music, gift cards, art supplies, computer accessories, etc.) by Dec. 3 for our Sibling Shopping Spree.

Financial donations to the Good Samaritan Fund are always welcome.


Work With Gingrich on the Environment?

I know, I KNOW! You are saying that I have lost my effin' mind. But I think that Politics in the Zeros hits the nail on the head on this one:

Sure, we need to cut back on energy use as much as possible. Do an energy audit and cut your household emissions. Ditto for businesses. But that doesn’t preclude funding technological research to find better ways of creating and using energy. The fuel cell train is a perfect example of this. It can run on waste hydrogen and has no carbon emissions. Imagine the energy savings if trains were to run on fuel cells. So, technology has much to offer here too.

And so can people from all over the political spectrum. Has Gingrich done noxious things in the past? Sure. But the simple fact that he’s written a book about finding solutions for global warming indicates a sea change on the issue coming from the Right. That means they’re discussing the issue, and thus we should discuss it with them.

If we are going to deal with them on these issues then this is my starting point: "We go back to living in caves with heat from campfires as penance for our sins." That way when we meet them halfway it will accomplish something meaningful.

BUT... Can I at least make fun of Gingrich while we are talking to him? Say things like:

"Look! Gingrich is turning green!"

Call it environmental envy...

Gallante buddy Jeremy Everett sentenced to 15 months

And a fine:
Federal prosecutors say a sales manager for a trash company has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for racketeering conspiracy, the latest sentencing in the investigation into former Danbury trash magnate James Galante's Allied Waste trash hauling company.

Jeremy Everett of Shelton was sentenced in federal court in New Haven and ordered to pay a $4,000 fine.

In February, the 32-year-old pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to violate the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

Just a reminder of the ties that bind all of these republicans from a February AP report:
Their pleas before Judge Ellen Bree Burns in U.S. District Court, bring the number of defendants who've admitted guilt to either racketeering or related charges to 13. A total of 29 people, including Danbury trash magnate James Galante, were indicted by a grand jury last June. Galante, whose Automated Waste Disposal is at the center of the investigation, faces 72 criminal counts, including tax fraud, racketeering, threatening and extortion.

In December, alleged Genovese crime family boss Matthew "Matty the Horse" Ianniello, 86, acknowledged in court that he participated in a so-called property rights scheme in which trash haulers carved out routes for each other and agreed not to poach customers.

Companies owned by James Galante of Danbury allegedly paid a quarterly "mob tax" to Ianniello, prosecutors said. In exchange, Ianniello provided mob muscle to stifle competition. Trash haulers who tried to challenge the system allegedly faced physical and economic threats, prosecutors said.

Just remember these Republican names as you see these mob stories: Louie DeLuca, David Cappiello, Mark Boughton and Joe neoCON Lieberman.

Contributions from associates and friends of now-indicted garbage executive James Galante to the 2004 presidential campaign of U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman have sparked the interest of federal investigators.

Lieberman's bid for the White House took in at least $14,000 from Galante, his associates and their relatives in the fall of 2003, according to a Courant review of campaign records.

The contributions to Lieberman, a longtime Democrat who became an independent in 2006, are similar to allegedly bundled contributions to three Republican officeholders that earlier this month led to state charges against Galante, who is also facing a 2006 federal racketeering indictment.

What's more, people familiar with the campaign matters say, the names of Lieberman, the three Republicans and about a dozen other Connecticut and New York politicians have turned up on what the FBI loosely refers to as a "ledger" that agents seized from Galante's office while investigating mob influence in the trash industry.

The so-called ledger, a subject of interest to a legislative committee investigating state Sen. Louis DeLuca, R-Woodbury, summarizes information provided to Galante by his lobbyists on fundraising goals set by a number of candidates, the people familiar with the documents said.
A little on SOME of the donors:

A small number of 2003 donations to Lieberman, who at the time was running for president in the 2004 election, follow the same pattern.

Federal records show that $10,000 in donations for Lieberman's presidential campaign came in on Nov. 25 and 26, 2003, from donors - or their associates or relatives - who made at least one of the 38 PAC contributions mentioned in the affidavit that state investigators filed to justify Galante's Oct. 13 arrest.

Those 2003 donations to Lieberman included:

$2,000 on Nov. 26 from Mary Walkovich of Danbury.

She is the sister of Galante's local lobbyist, Joseph Walkovich.

Joseph Walkovich had written one of 15 checks for $1,000 that the investigative affidavit says were received Oct. 10, 2002, by Cappiello's PAC, the 24th District Republican Committee.

Joseph Walkovich also made donations of $500 and $1,500 to Lieberman on Sept. 30 and Nov. 14, 2003, records show.

$1,000 each on Nov. 25 from Ciro and Kim Viento of Mahopac, N.Y., each of whom gave $1,000 in 2002 to DeLuca's PAC, called 32 GOP.

Ciro Viento has worked for years as the operations manager for Galante's garbage companies, and was sentenced in August to 2½ years in federal prison after a March guilty plea to a racketeering conspiracy charge.

$2,000 each on Nov. 25 from longtime Galante employee Paul DiNardo of Danbury - who gave $1,000 each in 2002 to DeLuca's and Boughton's PACs - and from Mona Russo of Danbury, one of the 15 people who donated $1,000 to Cappiello's PAC on Oct. 10, 2002.

DiNardo was sentenced Sept. 12 to 21 months in federal prison after pleading guilty last December to a racketeering conspiracy charge.

$1,000 each from Nicholas and Linda Maraglino of Danbury on Nov. 25 and 26, respectively.

Nicholas Maraglino was one of the 15 who gave a $1,000 check to Cappiello's PAC on Oct. 10, 2002, as cited in the Galante arrest affidavit. Maraglino, owner of a tire company who has done business with Galante, acknowledged the contributions in an interview with the Courant, but said he gave the money himself and was not reimbursed by Galante or anyone else.

None of the other 2003 donors to Lieberman could be reached for


Thank You Chris Dodd!

For what? For this news in my Email box:
Today is a great victory for all of us -- and another example of Chris
Dodd's leadership.

If it wasn't for our efforts, together, retroactive immunity would be well on its way to sailing through the Senate ... largely unnoticed.

The fight continues, for sure, but this was a big victory today.

Visit www.ChrisDodd.com for more updates as they happen.

We'll be in touch.

Tim Tagaris
Chris Dodd for President

More via Think Progress:

Greg Sargent reports that the “version of the FISA bill that was just reported out of the Judiciary Committee does not — repeat, does not — contain retroactive immunity for the telecom companies.” Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) had threatened to place a hold on any FISA bill that contained immunity. The Judiciary Committee’s action today renders moot the need for such a hold.

UPDATE: Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) issued the following statement:

“The FISA legislation reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee today is a distinct improvement over the legislation passed by the Intelligence Committee last month. Though it still falls short in many areas, the bill includes several significant provisions that will better protect the privacy of innocent Americans. I applaud Senator Leahy for the package of changes he put together, and I appreciate my colleagues’ support in passing two additional amendments that I offered to further enhance privacy protections. I hope that, when the full Senate considers this issue, the Majority Leader brings up the Senate Judiciary Committee bill instead of the badly flawed Intelligence Committee alternative.

“There is still much to be done to fix this bill. In addition, the issue of retroactive immunity for companies that allegedly participated in the President’s warrantless wiretapping program will be fought out on the floor. I will continue to strongly oppose retroactive immunity when the full Senate considers this legislation.

“As a member of both the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees I have been fighting for months to pass a strong FISA bill that adequately protects the privacy of Americans who are not suspected of having done anything wrong. I will oppose and filibuster any bill on the Senate floor that fails this test or contains retroactive immunity.”

Meanwhile back on the animal crackers ranch... Who are the fucking morons that let this travesty of justice continue?
“In his second day on the job, Attorney General Michael Mukasey leaped into the political fray,” telling Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) that he opposes his electronic surveillance plan and would recommend the president veto it if it is passed.”

Heckuva job Brownie Feinstein and Brownie Schumer... Censure ain't enough for these two incompetent bush enabling Dems. No wonder so many ask about recalling them.

Too bad we don't have a mechanism to recall Joe neoCON Lieberman in Connecticut.

Again... Thanks Senator Dodd for doing something to stop the republican cycle of abuse.

It is not Jon Stewart

But that's ok, 'cause skippy says it's not the daily show:

The Future of Mobile Computing

Will be in the palm of your hands soon:

And there is that 10 million bucks for open source developers to help speed development of these products...
Today, the team is releasing an early look at the Android SDK for developers interested in building applications for Android. To get things rolling, we've also announced the Android Developer Challenge, which provides $10 million in awards for developers who build great applications for Android. Read more on the new Android Developers blog to learn about this exciting mobile platform.

With so many brilliant minds striving to design engaging, innovative applications, mobile users around the world (3 billion and counting!) can expect phones equipped with dynamic and unprecedented applications very soon.

You can find more info on "Android" here.

Wake the Fuck Up to Real Veterans Issues America!

It is long past time for you to pay attention to an issue concerning the troops you say you support:

Via VA Watchdog:
The five-month CBS News probe, based upon a detailed analysis of data obtained from death records from 2004 and 2005, found that veterans were more than twice as likely to commit suicide in 2005 as non-vets.

A recent Veteran Affairs Department estimate says some 5,000 ex-servicemen and women will commit suicide this year, largely as a result of mental health issues, and Keteyian says, "Our numbers are much higher than that, overall."

He says the numbers in the CBS News study shocked everyone from Sen. Patty Murray (D, Wash.) to veterans' rights advocate Paul Sullivan.

Murray told Keteyian, "That's a lot of young men and women who've gone to fight for us, and come home and found themselves that lost."

Said Sullivan, "This is pulling the fire alarm to say our veterans need help now."

Via Veterans For Common Sense, some things you can do if you are concerned about someone, particularly veterans, mental health to the point where you think they may be suicidal:
For information about suicide prevention assistance, please see second article below. Hotline for Veterans: Veterans who need help immediate counseling should call the hotline run by Veterans Affairs professionals at 1-800-273-TALK and press 1 identifying themselves as military veterans. Staff members are specially trained to take calls from military veterans and its staffed 24 hours a day, everyday. While all operators are trained to help veterans, some are also former military. For a wallet-size card titled "What to do you if you think someone is having suicidal thoughts," please click here.(PDF)

"In 2005, for example, in just those 45 states, there were at least 6,256 suicides among those who served in the armed forces. That’s 120 each and every week, in just one year."

How to Spot Warning Signs

The Department of Veterans Affairs provides the following warning signs.

* Talking about wanting to hurt or kill oneself

* Trying to get pills, guns, or other ways to harm oneself

* Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide

* Hopelessness

* Rage, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge

* Acting in a reckless or risky way

* Feeling trapped, like there's no way out

* Saying or feeling there's no reason for living

* For more on mental health services at the Dept of Veterans Affairs, click here or call the VA's suicide hotline at 800.273.TALK (8255).

Suicide Signs Unique to Veterans

Experts on suicide prevention say for veterans there are some particular signs to watch for.

* Calling old friends, particularly military friends, to say goodbye

* Cleaning a weapon that they may have as a souvenir

* Visits to graveyards

* Obsessed with news coverage of the war, the military channel

* Wearing their uniform or part of their uniform, boots, etc

* Talking about how honorable it is to be a soldier

* Sleeping more (sometimes the decision to commit suicide brings a sense of peace of mind, and they sleep more to withdraw)

* Becoming overprotective of children

* Standing guard of the house, perhaps while everyone is asleep staying up to "watch over" the house, obsessively locking doors, windows

* If they are on medication, stopping medication and/or hording medication

* Hording alcohol -- not necessarily hard alcohol, could be wine

* Spending spree, buying gifts for family members and friends "to remember by"

* Defensive speech "you wouldn't understand," etc.

* Stop making eye contact or speaking with others


Give these women a hand!

For tackling a serious issue in a good old fashioned American fun kind of way:

In the genteel world of bridge, disputes are usually handled quietly and rarely involve issues of national policy. But in a fight reminiscent of the brouhaha over an anti-Bush statement by Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks in 2003, a team of women who represented the United States at the world bridge championships in Shanghai last month is facing sanctions, including a yearlong ban from competition, for a spur-of-the-moment protest.

At issue is a crudely lettered sign, scribbled on the back of a menu, that was held up at an awards dinner and read, “We did not vote for Bush.”
Give these Bill of Rights hating, Freedom of Speech dissing dirtbags a shovel to dig their hole even deeper:
By e-mail, angry bridge players have accused the women of “treason” and “sedition.”

“This isn’t a free-speech issue,” said Jan Martel, president of the United States Bridge Federation, the nonprofit group that selects teams for international tournaments. “There isn’t any question that private organizations can control the speech of people who represent them.”
Yep... Freedom of Speech, guaranteed under the 1st Amendment, is "treason and sedition" to the typical warmongering moonbat GOPooper bush supporter. Meanwhile right wing fanatics and the media that enables them by airing these remarks try to portray the left as full of vitriol and hate, try to label the left as enabling enemies of this country?

Good luck with those GOP talking points.
AND the Freedom of Speech that lets you abuse them.

Right Wingnuts Get Nuttier When They Might Lose Welfare

firedoglake has an apt description for people like this:

It turns out that Bozell and Graham have a whole new book out that documents the entire years-long pro-Hillary liberal media conspiracy in all its dastardly glory. And as ConWebBlog notes,the two are basically using this phony quote as one of the centerpieces of the book's entire promotional effort. Check this out from the book's promo page:

In Whitewash, L. Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham of the Media Research Center, America’s largest and most respected media watchdog organization, expose the unprecedented media favoritism that is the real key to Hillary’s political career. Marshalling stunning evidence compiled exclusively by the Media Research Center, the authors show how the media have relentlessly promoted Hillary from the moment in 1992 when Time magazine introduced her to the country as an “amalgam of Betty Crocker, Mother Teresa, and Oliver Wendell Holmes.”
Now Bozell is claiming that this wasn't just Carlson who said this; he says that Time magazine as an institution "introduced her to the country" this way.

Of course, this didn't happen at all. What Carlson actually wrote was this: "Friends of Hillary Clinton would have you believe she is an amalgam of Betty Crocker, Mother Teresa and Oliver Wendell Holmes..." etc, etc.

We've seen no shortage of two-bit confidence men hawking all manner of anti-Hillary paraphernalia over the years, of course, but rarely does anti-Hillary hucksterism descend to quite this level of buffoonery.

They sure follow up with some hysterical behaviour when you try to cut into their wingnut welfare... Jane Hamsher discussing one of the more recent wingnut welfare episodes:

All the mouth breathers went apeshit when I first started writing about wingnut welfare, but even though the names and faces have changed, the story is still the same:

When the wingnuts chant their talking points like a bunch of tambourine-beaters at the airport, they want to be paid for their efforts. And Pajamas Media was set up to do just that. They received by some accounts $7 million dollars to subsidize 70 right wing bloggers, and if you look at their sites there are no ads, many don’t even identify their affiliation with a logo. Look at some full-on loon like the Confederate Yankee who earns his/her 800 hits a day by having seizures over Google’s attempts to mock Christmas with Jesus butt plugs. The General will easily draw twenty times the traffic with his rapier-witted takedown, but the Confederate Yankee probably earns a lot more money than the General. These illiterate zeros are being paid out of principal, not out of any ad revenues. They are all Armstrong Williams.

The Pajamas Media folk ridicule the liberals they have bought for the purpose of rendering them neuter and biting their heads off like chickens in some geek show. Let’s just be clear, they didn’t offer this gig to James Wolcott who could tear them to shreds and blow the pig up from the inside, and they didn’t want anything to do with Crooks and Liars who draw more traffic in a day than all these fools combined simply by putting their cretinous droolings on video clip display. They are not there to make a profit. There is no “business model” involved. And every criticism they all laid at the feet of every East German factory worker after the toppling of the Berlin wall — they have no ability to work in a competitive environment, they know they will never be fired — comes into play. They’re fools, but they’re subsidized fools. They never have to worry about traffic, they never have to be even a little bit clever or creative or think or even spell right.

I mostly called them Communist welfare queens just to piss ‘em off but the irony of Miniter referring to Regnery a “Marxist cartoon” just because he can’t think of anything worse within his limited intellectual horizon is not lost.

On the other hand, Republicans are generally crooks so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Regnery is stealing something from somebody somewhere. What with the writer’s strike and all, the discovery process in this case could start filling a huge entertainment void.

It is bad enough for you to point exactly what they are, but Lord knows they will go even more ape-shit if you try and take the wingnut welfare that puts the food on their tables.


Do YOU support the troops?

Well? Do you even know what kind of support these soldiers need?
And, a CBS News analysis reveals they lose that battle, and take their own lives, at a clip described by various experts as "stunning" and "alarming," according to Chief Investigative Correspondent Armen Keteyian. One called it a "hidden epidemic."

He says no one had ever counted just how many suicides there are nationwide among those who had served in the military -- until now.

The five-month CBS News probe, based upon a detailed analysis of data obtained from death records from 2004 and 2005, found that veterans were more than twice as likely to commit suicide in 2005 as non-vets.

From an August ePluribus Media diary on military suicides:
So now every year they send another team of experts to Iraq, and every year they file another report (MHAT I, II, III, IV and counting), and every year some poor spokesgoat has to stand up and tell a bunch of grownups that it's these kids and their personal problems, not the war, that motivates these young people with their whole lives ahead of them to end it.

Well, every year except for 2004, when the rate dropped a lot, and everyone started crowing about how all the new suicide prevention measures were working, and they looked real good until the numbers for 2005 came in, and someone noticed that in 2004 they had used a different definition of a suicide. Tricky. That year they only counted the deaths involving guns.

Last year's goat was a Col. Joseph Curtin, who assured the gathered journalists, "We're not alarmed." He went on to say that the Army was not aware of any single reason for the rise, but he dismissed the notion that the increase was somehow tied to combat exposure. Instead, he blamed (are you ready?) financial difficulties, failed relationships.

Some stats from March via ePluribus Media:

OEF/OIF Suicides

  • Portion of veterans making up total U.S. suicide population: 25%
  • Army soldier suicides in Iraq and Kuwait, 2005: 22
  • ...above rate compared to national average: nearly 2X
  • Rate of OIF Army combat zone suicide increase,2004 to 2005: 2X
  • MN active-duty/discharged servicemember suicides, Jan. 2003-Oct. 2006: 13
  • ...extrapolation of above rate to 50 states: 650
Do YOU really support the troops? A little clue to some of you... Parades, flag waving and magnets on your car mean squat.

DeLuca Quitting!

Via the Hartford Courant:
A grim-faced Sen. Louis C. DeLuca paid a courtesy call on Gov. M. Jodi Rell this morning, a prelude to an announcement he will resign, rather than submit to an extended legislative inquiry into his dealings with James Galante, a trash hauler accused of having ties to organized crime.

DeLuca declined to comment when asked if he was resigning, but he is expected to make an announcement this afternoon about his plans. DeLuca, 74, arrived at the Capitol, accompanied by his wife, Alice, and at least one of his adult children.

He and his wife were ushered inside to meet with Rell and emerged about 15 minutes later. Waiting outside the office were Republican State Chairman Chris Healy and Rep. Sean Williams, R-Watertown.
Apparently he had to clear it with The Godmother, Governor Jodi Rell, first...

Are you prepared for the 08 elections?

BooMan asks an interesting question:
Only 26 percent of Ohio voters interviewed would support a health insurance system run by the federal government and paid for with taxes.

Nearly two-thirds prefer a system that requires people to buy insurance and that offers tax credits to those who could not afford it.

Why is that?

Consider the source BooMan. Just look at who did the polling for that answer:

""But if the Democrats are banking on another slaughter in Ohio in '08, they are making a bad bet," warns Brad Coker, managing director of Mason-Dixon Polling and Research Inc., the Washington, D.C., firm that conducted the poll. "The presidential race is likely to look closer to the 2004 race.""

Are they a polling outfit, or assassination squad?

Remember Mason Dixon polling?

"President Of Mason-Dixon Polling Firm Brad Corker: "Exit Polls Are Often Wrong". "[B]rad Coker, president of the Mason-Dixon polling firm that called Bush's 2.5-percentage-point win in Ohio practically right on the nose for The Plain Dealer, says ... exit polls are often wrong." (Ted Diadiun, "Rest Assured, We Checked Out Election 2004 Thoroughly," The [Cleveland] Plain Dealer, 6/18/06)"

And, yet, you are still reading today about more and more info being pieced together in Ohio on the stolen election... Polls are really only for those that dabble in soaking up propaganda, IMHO. They can be useful for some things, but most of the political ones, even the ones I quote on this Blog, are really only useful in shaping opinions, not measuring them.

You can get soaked... I ain't. Not anymore.

But despite the media blackout, indications continued to emerge that something deeply troubling had taken place in 2004. Nearly half of the 6 million American voters living abroad never received their ballots -- or received them too late to vote -- after the Pentagon unaccountably shut down a state-of-the-art Web site used to file overseas registrations. A consulting firm called Sproul & Associates, which was hired by the Republican National Committee to register voters in six battleground states, was discovered shredding Democratic registrations. In New Mexico, which was decided by 5,988 votes, malfunctioning machines mysteriously failed to properly register a presidential vote on more than 20,000 ballots. Nationwide, according to the federal commission charged with implementing election reforms, as many as 1 million ballots were spoiled by faulty voting equipment -- roughly one for every 100 cast.

The reports were especially disturbing in Ohio, the critical battleground state that clinched Bush's victory in the electoral college. Officials there purged tens of thousands of eligible voters from the rolls, neglected to process registration cards generated by Democratic voter drives, shortchanged Democratic precincts when they allocated voting machines and illegally derailed a recount that could have given Kerry the presidency. A precinct in an evangelical church in Miami County recorded an impossibly high turnout of ninety-eight percent, while a polling place in inner-city Cleveland recorded an equally impossible turnout of only seven percent. In Warren County, GOP election officials even invented a nonexistent terrorist threat to bar the media from monitoring the official vote count.

Never again.

Are you preconditioned to accept the results of the next stolen election OR primary results?

Probably. At least, probably if you are buying the sad sack polling outfits results. heh

Mason Dixon are supposed to be one of the BIG reputable polling firms. While Mason Dixon has a reputation of being GOP tilted, it is not just the data they come out with but the data of other "reputable" data operations (Zogby is equally equated to the Dems, IMHO) that all have track records of supporting the status quo, regardless of which "side" of the aisle their data supports.

When it comes time for the 08 elections I will be prepared for the results. With BS polls, and proven BS election results in the last two presidential elections it is obvious that we can no longer adhere to the old broken record of "Trust, but verify."

I don't trust. And I will be damned certain to be there to verify the fuck out of the next elections results.
The Connecticut Citizen Audit Coalition is looking for individuals throughout the state to join the inaugural Citizen Audit Observer Corps being formed by a coalition of several organizations in order to support voter confidence in the voting process.

The coalition members are the League of Women Voters of Connecticut, Common Cause Connecticut, the Connecticut Citizen Action Group, and CTVotersCount.

To ensure the integrity of the election and generate voter confidence in the new voting machine, Public Act 07-194, passed by the Connecticut Legislature in June, mandates public audits of randomly selected districts and races in each primary and election. It is expected that forty to fifty towns will have districts selected for audits which must occur between Nov 21st and Nov 26th. Voting districts will be selected by a random drawing currently scheduled for November 14. Volunteers will not be asked to observe in their town of residence.

Each participant will agree to be available for one day and participate in one audit in a town near their residence. A Citizen's Audit Kit, training via phone, and scheduling will be provided by the coalition. Feedback will be summarized and published to provide input to improve the process in future elections.

Non-partisan, independent observation of post-election audits will support voter confidence in the integrity of Connecticut elections by helping to identify any specific problems with the audit process and providing feedback on audit procedures.

Be part of election history by joining the first-ever Citizens Audit Observer Corps! Sign up today.

One day of volunteer work every 2 years and you too can be certain that every vote gets counted. Not too much to ask if you really believe that every vote should count in a Democracy. Remember that Florida and Ohio (and bush as president) never would have happened if people had been there to do this across the country in 2000 and 2004. NEVER AGAIN.

Lt. Watada wins in case against Army

Via CommonDreams:
A federal judge has blocked the Army from conducting a second court-martial of 1st Lt. Ehren Watada of Honolulu, an Iraq war objector based at Fort Lewis, Wash., saying it’s likely the second trial would violate his constitutional rights.

“This is an enormous victory, but it is not yet over,” Kenneth Kagan, one of Watada’s attorneys, said in a written statement.

U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle ruled yesterday that no court-martial will be held for Watada, a 1996 Kalani High School graduate, pending the outcome of his claim that it would violate his Fifth Amendment rights by trying him twice for the same charges.

Watada’s first court-martial ended in a mistrial in February. Settle wrote that the military judge likely abused his discretion in declaring the mistrial.

It ain't over, but it is looking better for the soldier that followed his conscience.
The younger Watada is charged with missing his Stryker brigade’s deployment to Iraq in June 2006 and with conduct unbecoming an officer for denouncing President Bush and the war, saying it was illegal and unjust.

Watada, 29, had said he would be a party to war crimes if he served in Iraq. The Army refused his request to resign or be posted in Afghanistan or elsewhere.

Can't say that I blame him given that we already know that the invasion of Iraq was illegal.


Saving us from BIG media

one Blog post, and millions of petitioners, at a time...

Kevin Martin, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has been keeping a secret from the American people. He wants to push through plans to remove decades-old media ownership protections. And he's trying to do it without public scrutiny.

Senators Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Trent Lott (R-Miss.) have introduced groundbreaking bipartisan legislation that would hold the FCC accountable and put the people ahead of Big Media.

Petitions from the public — millions of them — stopped media consolidation in 2003. Sign the petition and tell everyone you know:
You can also get involved on
Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr
and the Free Press Action Network.

We beat them once and I suspect that, much like saving the Internet, we will have to do this over and over again until Congress finally tells them their monopolistic ideals will never get a pass. The media conglomerates already have too much of a monopoly and deserve to be downsized for the good of the nation.
The media landscape is dominated by massive corporations that, through a history of mergers and acquisitions, have concentrated too much control in too few hands. This leads to a lack of diversity of voices, programming that is out of touch with local concerns and increasingly commercial and homogenized news and entertainment. Further consolidation will produce media in which only the powerful few will be heard.

The chart below maps out the control the six most concentrated giants exert over all forms of news, entertainment and information.

Click on these links to view information on conglomerates that control:

Update: If you are feeling doubly activisty today, here is a really important fight on another communications battle front from Matt Browner Hamelin:

Second, if you're feeling discouraged by the increased chances of amnesty for telecoms making it out of the Judiciary Committee, remember that Senator Dodd has vowed to stop any such legislation from becoming law, either through a hold or by filibuster if necessary. Dodd will stand up for the rule of law. He will defend the Constitution.

Now is the time to take action, though. Chris Dodd won't wait until 2009 to lead and we shouldn't wait until 2009 to stand up for what we believe in.

Call the Senate Judiciary Committee today - we'll do the dialing for you through our Citizen Generated Whip Count calling tool: http://chrisdodd.com/immunity
The Citizen Generated Whip Count calling tool is free to use to make the phone call, but no guarantees it is free from spying unless we all take advantage of it to stop retro-immunity for the political and corporate criminals involved.