To the Unions: I am a Union sister, Union daughter and Union granddaughter and don’t you turn your back on me. I was very disappointed that the Connecticut Unions backed Blumenthal over me in 2010. I mean seriously, Blumenthal! He makes $31 million annually in mainly passive income. Do you think he has any idea what the rest of us go through? How could you turn your back on one of your own? Don't ever do it again. I’d fight for collective bargaining and for our middle class jobs. The only thing that stands between you and corporate greed is the Union. I will always back the Union. I think more industries should unionize - then we wouldn't see our middle class be given away to foreigners (see White Collar immigration).
22. BUDGET DEFICIT
As mentioned earlier the deficit problem was caused by unnecessary wars for Israel, over-the- top military spending; tax cuts for the wealthy and tax dodging by corporations; and reduced federal income tax revenue due to high unemployment.
Thank God the wars are done. Hopefully our politicians will not succumb to Israelist, Neoconservative pressure and attack Iran. That would be a very bad mistake. We need to slash military spending, make the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share, and create jobs. The debt is monstrous and causing a current knock-down drag-out in DC. Don't slash funding for family planning clinics, food stamps, college tuition assistance, child care, unemployment, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Cut the funding for Israel and other foreign entities who are not impoverished - especially the regional instigator Israel - we literally pay to be unsafe. Enough of that illogic.
Fund budget packages that create jobs.
23. EMPLOYMENT ABUSE
With the decline of Unions to protect our workers and so many desperate people needing work we should expect, anticipate and prosecute employee abuse. This past summer hundreds of foreign exchange students paid to come to the Hershey plant in Pennsylvania expecting to learn English and experience American culture. Instead, the exchange students found themselves forced to work in back-breaking, round-the-clock production lines packing chocolates. The students complained and Hershey threatened to have them deported.
The same rules that apply to American workers should apply to foreign workers. And, to workers making goods for American companies: Recall a year ago, a tragic and preventable fire at a factory in Bangladesh. Thirty people died - workers who spent their days making clothes for several American companies, including Abercrombie, Gap, and JC Penney. American companies have the power to insist that the workers making their products have decency and safety standards. The International Labor Rights Forum is the organization that's taken the lead on this issue. National Guestworker Alliance
Women in Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi young women have been sexually assaulted by supervisors at Classic Factory in northern Jordan, which makes clothes for American brands like Walmart, Target, and Macy's. That is unacceptable.
24. VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
More than 45,000 people like the Facebook page called "Throwing Bricks at Sluts." Misogyny and abuse of women on the internet is at an all-time high. Bloggers are particularly bad. The anonymous forum can turn the best-behaved guy into a pack-animal boy in 8th grade homeroom.
Ensure that offensive sexual content shouldn’t be allowed on Facebook and the Internet. Violence against women is rampant in society; one in three women on earth will experience it in her lifetime. Such violence is often normalized in media outlets from movies to Facebook. Allowing pages like these to go unchecked only reinforces the idea that violence against women is no big deal. Facebook needs to know that violence against women is a serious problem that should be treated as such and Facebook should take down pages that promote sexual violence and violence against women:
25. CYBER BULLYING
Cyber bullying is heartbreaking as some children have killed themselves because of this. I have actually been the victim of this. It is amazing the amount of damage one person hell-bent on discrediting another can cause. Words written anonymously by one person on five or six different blogs looks like a sea of detractors. An employer sees only one side. We need the law to catch up to cyber bullies and prosecute them. Teach our kids that words matter.
26. GAZA BLOCKADE
Last year a group of 54 Congressmen and women signed a letter to President Obama endorsing changes in the Gaza Blockade that would allow humanitarian assistance in while keeping rockets and weapons out. The letters read in part that, "Easing the blockade on Gaza will not only improve the conditions on the ground for Gaza's civilian population, but will also undermine the tunnel economy which has strengthened Hamas."
Those members of Congress who signed the letter have braved a ferocious reaction from defenders I call the “vocal minority.” The vocal minority are in favor of status quo attitude toward Israel. Regardless of the moral outrage we should all feel about actions of the brutal Israeli government. The vocal minority attacks our members of Congress constantly to brow-beat them into submission. Support your member of Congress who has taken courageous actions. To the vocal minority I say, BACK OFF – you do this country and Israel a great disservice when you stand in the way of the peace process. P.S. - Collective punishment on the civilian population for the actions of a few is barbaric and wrong. The Gaza blockade must end. Which brings me to the next topic:
27. RESPECT DEMOCRACY ALL OVER THE MIDDLE EAST - NO MORE DOUBLE STANDARDS
In 2006 the U.S. pushed for free elections in the Gaza Strip. When the people there elected Hamas, the Israeli government imposed a starvation siege to punish the people (see #26 above). We have supported this to the horror of everyone in the world. No more double standard for Israel. No more.
In 2009 Tzipi Livni contrived an excuse to attack an entire city – Gaza - a city whose people are trapped surrounded by the 20-foot walls that Israel built. Although US News and World Report proved that Israel broke the cease fire, the Christian and Arab underclass in Gaza (also known as Palestinians) were blamed. Do not believe Israel's propaganda. It was an election year. Tzipi Livni contrived the excuse to attack the city of Gaza. Three horrible days. I could not sit still at home. I travelled to D.C. and I was one of the thousands in front of President-Elect Obama's hotel protesting - demanding - a stop to the bombing. White phosphorous! He said nothing. Nothing. Over the course of three days Livni killed 1400 people including 323 children. Why? To show the Israelis that she was tough enough to be prime minister. She used the blood of the Israeli underclass to get herself elected. Violence as an election ploy is nothing new in Israel (see my link The Real Reason for 9-11). It worked so well for Ariel Sharon. George W. Bush at the time said, “Israel has a right to defend itself.” what a joke – against what? Tin-can rockets, with no explosives, that fall in the desert? As if that distinguishes one day from another in that region. Stop settler encroachment and you won't be in the range of rockets. Why didn’t Tzipi Livni just shoot out the five rocket launchers – two minutes maximum? That would have defeated her purpose which was violence as an election ploy. Her ploy didn't work; Netanyahu won the election. So this despicable woman has the blood of 323+ children on her hands – their only crime: they were born not Jewish in a racist country. A city destroyed for holding a democratic election. We support this country blindly - no wonder we are hated and unsafe.
If any other leader took out collective punishment on a civilian population we would be up in arms. But with almost everything Israel-related there is a double standard. We need leaders who will stand firm on our American ideals - not give a selective pass to appease a constituent group. What will happen in the future? Elected governments may emerge in the Middle East that are not to Israel's liking, what then? If they are fairly elected and represent the will of the people, then we NEED TO RESPECT IT. If not, we appear as hypocrites and lose credibility in the world.
28. CARRIER IQ
Get the heck off our phones and stop monitoring us. Carrier IQ is violating my rights and yours. Give us an option to opt-out.
29. THE OCCUPY WALL STREET MOVEMENT
I must admit – I was a little peeved at the protestors. I felt they should have been down with us at the Move Over AIPAC conference protesting AIPAC and Netanyahu and lobbying at the Capital. The Occupy Wall Street Movement protestors are dedicated and you have to admire that, but their goals seem vague to me. If they could just turn that energy toward one issue and focus on it - they would have tremendous power. The one issue that would solve a multitude of problems: Lobby reform.
This would, of course, make me ecstatic as my biggest pet peeve is AIPAC. Like I always say, AIPAC is a cancer in our government. AIPAC’s overreach in our election process must be curtailed. It is the reason for all of the following: the tolerated aggression of 500,000 mainly American settlers in Israel makes us all unsafe; 600,000 dead Iraqi civilians and our country in the toilet due to two unnecessary wars for Israel; and the ridiculous huge annual funding to Israel, the largest recipient of UA foreign aid - a country that is not impoverished.
Most Occupy Wall Streeters are not aware of AIPAC’s power in our government. And, it is incredibly hard to get the truth to the masses because AIPAC‘S leadership has publicly admitted “we stay under the radar.” There is a reason why the country of Canada told AIPAC, "you will not come here," you will not do to Canadians what you did to the American public. Learn about AIPAC.
30. RESTORE OUR GOOD NAME WORLD-WIDE AND OUR ROLE AS MORAL BACKBONE.
As a nation, our most important challenge is to restore our economy and our good name worldwide. First and foremost we should address why we have fallen in esteem world-wide - no more wars for Israel. No more backing a country whose values are contrary to our own. Please see my (Real Reasons fro the Iraq War). No more Neocons' wars.
A handful of Neocons played the United States of America into unnecessary war in Iraq. There were never any weapons of mass destruction and it was not a mistake. The Bush administration was played like a marionette by some very smart people – the Neocons. Most of the Neocons were Israelists who put the well being of Israel first. Our Congress was simultaneously pushed by AIPAC, the powerful Israel lobby. Never again must we allow our great nation to be manipulated into an unnecessary war for a special interest group and the agenda of another country. No matter how much Mr. Netanyahu presses our "shared values" I do not believe that the goals of Israel and United States are one in the same; nor do I feel that the United States must go to battle for a country that will not lift a finger to solve its racist practices (the 60 year Israeli-Palestinian Conflict). I will stand by President Obama in the inevitable showdown with Netanyahu. The next chapter for our great President will be the toughest of his presidency, the challenge for peace in the Middle East.
As the only superpower we need to regain our respect as the moral backbone of the world. The only way to do this is to do the right thing and not allow others to manipulate us into compromising our principles and ideals.