Auros (auros) wrote,
Auros
auros

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Political Stuff

I've decided to start keeping copies of the political faxes I send out in my journal, so I have an easy place to point people if they express an interest in such things. I'll try to put "politics" or "political" in the subject all the time, so those of you not interested can screen these out...

That said...

Well, not all faxes; in some cases I can only find an email address for somebody. Every now and then I send an actual letter, but the whole "writing the address with a pen" and "putting on a stamp" thing is a hassle. Also, on occasion, it seems obvious that a decision-maker is already going to do what I want them to, so I just send an email, since the fax would be a waste of paper -- I don't need to "convince them I'm serious" if they already agree.


To:
Alex Penelas, Mayor of Miami-Dade County Why does a county have a mayor? I mean, I know Miami-Dade County is the same thing as the city of Miami, more or less, but most counties I've lived in had County Executives
Ann Veneman, Secretary of Agriculture There's something quixotic about sending notes supporting liberal causes to anyone connected to Dubya's administration, but I do it anyways... Sigh.
Laurie Allen, Acting Director of the Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Jeb Bush, Governor of Florida Die! Die! Die!

Dear (whoever),

On May 11, families around the country will be celebrating the bond between a mother and her child. Orcas share similar bonds. Calves remain with their mothers for life, staying close to their pods for comfort and company. That is, unless they are taken from their families and forced to live in captivity -- as is the case with Lolita, an orca who has resided at the Miami Seaquarium since her capture in 1970.

Recent events strengthen the case for ending Lolita's confinement, and reintroducing her back into her pod in Puget Sound, which in the past was argued against with claims that she might not survive due to her long period in captivity. First, two lone calves (Springer and Luna) have proven that orcas learn at a young age to catch fish and survive on their own, even out of their known range. Second, Keiko, the Free Willy whale, is now swimming free after 22 years of captivity. He crossed the Atlantic Ocean on his own, a journey of nearly 1000 miles, arriving in Norway healthy and with a full stomach. He has met and communicated with other whales, but is still trying to find his pod. That part will be easy for Lolita -- her family spends time in Puget Sound, and has been tracked by researchers for three decades.

Finally, Lolita's family needs her! For conservation reasons, and for the survival of Lolita’s extended family, the Southern Resident Community, Lolita needs to come home. She is still young enough to bear a calf, and L pod is in dire need of reproductive aged females. The population has been damaged by the removal of one third to one half of the population during the 1960s and 1970s to feed the captive industry, and by environmental factors that have been hard on the population in recent years.

I urge you to do whatever is within your power to ensure that Lolita is returned to the wild.

Sincerely,
(etc etc)


To: Senators and Rep

Dear (whoever),

The Senate/House as appropriate Armed Services Committee is taking up the Fiscal Year (FY) 2004 National Defense Authorization Bill this week and next. This bill calls for:

  • the repeal of the Spratt-Furse provision from the FY1994 Defense Authorization Act prohibiting research and development work on nuclear weapons with an explosive yield of less than five kilotons;


  • authorizing $15 million for a bunker-busting nuclear weapons – the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP);


  • authorizing $6 million for the Advanced Concepts Initiative, which will allow research work on nuclear weapons to attack chemical and biological weapons sites;


  • authorizing increased spending to enhance nuclear test readiness.

I am writing to ask you to oppose these measures. It is vital for national security that we emphasize non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament, and not begin a new arms race by producing so-called "useable" nuclear weapons.

Sincerely,
(etc etc)


To: Senators

Dear Senator,

Global warming is one of the most pressing environmental problems of our time. Therefore, I strongly urge you to cosponsor the Climate Stewardship Act, S. 139, and to vote in favor of an amendment to add this language to the energy bill, S. 14.

Carbon dioxide emissions -- caused by the burning of dirty fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas -- build up in the atmosphere, blanket the Earth, and trap in heat, causing global warming. The first impacts of global warming are already evident and projected future impacts pose a serious threat to the safety of human communities and natural ecosystems worldwide.

While energy production is the largest source of heat-trapping emissions, the current energy bill does nothing to address these emissions, nor does it help meet our existing obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to stabilize these gases at safe levels.

The Climate Stewardship Act is one of the best chances we have to curb global warming. It would set mandatory greenhouse gas pollution reductions, thus using free-market incentives to lower costs, boost the economy, and promote innovation. Enacting this bill will also make our economy more energy efficient and break the logjam of U.S. inaction to fight global warming.

Delaying action on climate change will only cost more in the long run -- the later we act the deeper and more drastic the emissions cuts will need to be. I urge you to do all you can to support this important legislation now.

Sincerely,
(etc etc)


To: Senators and Rep

Dear (whoever),

I write to urge you to oppose granting the Department of Defense blanket exemptions from critical environmental laws that protect America's wildlife and wild places, as proposed in the department's Readiness and Range Preservation Initiative. Such exemptions would be unwise and unnecessary. They would also be disliked: Public opinion polls show that an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose exempting the Defense Department from these statutes.

Because of the utmost importance of the military's mission, environmental laws already provide waivers where national security is concerned. These waivers, however, must be invoked on a case-by-case basis, rather than by granting the Pentagon blanket exemptions to ignore our laws. No federal agency -- not even the Department of Defense -- needs such a broad reprieve from laws to which individuals and businesses must adhere.

The proposed exemptions would affect 30 million acres of federal property that serve as habitat for more than 300 endangered or threatened species. How the Pentagon manages these lands has profound implications for wildlife and habitat. Using the flexibility of existing laws, the military has maintained its combat-readiness while also protecting habitat for endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers, desert tortoises, and other wildlife. The proposed exemptions from wildlife protection laws are unnecessary.

Similarly, the proposed exemptions from pollution control laws are unwarranted. In two recent years, the Department of Defense was the number one violator cited in EPA enforcement actions against federal agencies. The proposed legislation would exempt defense lands and activities from key pollution laws, despite the department's poor environmental record.

These exemptions would threaten our most basic environmental protections. Please do all you can to oppose them.

Sincerely,
(etc etc)


To: Senators and Rep

Dear (whoever),

On June 2, the Federal Communications Commission is planning on authorizing sweeping changes to the American news media. The rule changes could allow local TV stations, newspaper, radio stations, and cable providers to all be owned by one company. NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox could have the same corporate parent. The resulting concentration of ownership could be deeply destructive to our democracy.

After the FCC and Congress relaxed radio ownership rules, corporate giant Clear Channel Communications swept in and bought hundreds of stations. Clear Channel has used its might to support pro-war political rallies and conservative talk shows, keep anti-war songs off its stations, coerce musicians into playing free promotional concerts, and bully them into performing at its music venues. In many towns that used to have a diverse array of radio options, Clear Channel is now the only thing on the dial.

Monopoly power is a dangerous thing, and Congress is supposed to guard against it. But the upcoming rule change could change the landscape for all media and usher in an era in which a few corporations control access to news and entertainment.

Democracy is built on the idea that the views and beliefs of an informed citizenry are the best basis for political decision-making. Without access to fair and balanced news, the system simply doesn't work. And media corporations can't be trusted to balance themselves: news corporations have shown again and again that they're willing to sacrifice journalism to improve the bottom line. That's why we need many media entities -- to keep each other honest, and to provide the information and ideas that make democracy happen.

Sincerely,
(etc etc)


To: Senators

Dear Senator,

I write to encourage you protect therapeutic cloning, by voting against S. 245 if the bill comes to a vote. I also hope you will support efforts to ensure that S. 303 is more strictly worded to explicitly protect therapeutic cloning.

The promise of therapeutic cloning for people affected by genetic diseases is now too important to ignore. Your help is vital in resolving the risky legal circumstances in which successful researchers and scientists could find themselves after engaging in this research, and to support research that could help find new therapies and maybe even cures for genetic diseases.

I also ask that you announce your strong opposition to any legislation seeking to criminalize therapeutic cloning. This legislation aims to ban all forms of medical research utilizing therapeutic cloning and would jail Americans seeking a therapeutic cloning procedure overseas upon their return to the United States.

Therapeutic cloning is the next step in the science that brought us the ability to cure millions from many diseases. Please continue to support important scientific inquiry and research for the health and safety of all Americans.

Sincerely,
(etc etc)


To: Senators and Rep

Dear (whoever),

It has recently come to my attention that there are several new bills currently in committee which, if passed, would undermine the separation of church and state.

I refer to H.R. 1202, the "Moment of Quiet Reflection in Schools Act," and its companion, S. 591. I also refer to H.R. 1547, the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act," and to the House Joint Resolution #39, which seeks to enshrine the use of "God" in the Pledge of Allegiance or on the currency as a non-religious act.

Religious liberty is very important to me; indeed, I feel that America's greatness is dependent in part on a profound respect for all kinds of religious and irreligious ideas, without favoring any of them. I feel that the proposed legislation, if passed, would curtail that liberty in ways that our citizens do not need, and that our Founding Fathers would not have wanted.

It would be, in short, un-American.

Furthermore, I am highly disappointed that our elected officials are wasting valuable time and money trying to pass laws that do nothing to strengthen our borders, revitalize our economy, or better educate our children, but only appease the narrow agendas of self-appointed moral guardians.

I implore you to put a stop to this foolishness and to vote these bills down, if and when they come out of committee.

Sincerely,
(etc etc)



I don't usually send this many at once; I've been putting off some of these since last weekend...
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