Stop Arms Sales to the Mid-East

CitizenLobby your Representatives:
Petition: Oppose Bush's Weapons Deal
Write Congress: Don't Start War with Iran
Write the UN Security Council: Don't Let Washington Start War with Iran

The Bush Administration is selling $65 billion worth of weapons to nations in the middle east. The deals include $20 billion to the Arabian peninsula including Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. Israel will receive $30 billion and Egypt an additional $13 billion over ten years.

Flooding the middle east with American made guns and missiles does not make Americans safer, does not make American troops safer, and certainly does not help to relieve the tensions in the region. It does not help pacify Iraq considering Saudis citizens have been helping to fund the insurgency for years, not to mention fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. Two others were from Egypt and United Arab Emirates.

What it does is add fuel the fire in the worlds most volatile region and arm more nations for the next world war which begins when the US attacks Iran.

Here's what Jon Stewart of the Daily Show had to say:

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Priorities in the "Land of the Free"

CitizenLobby your representatives!
Petition: Stop prison expansion in CA
Write congress: Support Mental Health in America
Write congress: Reduce numbers of non-violent offenders in prison

Our inept state legislature in California this week finally passed the state budget, two months overdue. Lawmakers were squabbling over things like public transportation and health care. It basically came down to republicans wanting to cut programs and democrats saying 'no' so nothing was accomplished until democrats eventually caved to the minority -- which has Governor Schwarzenegger's veto power -- and made the cuts.

In the end it was mental health ($55 million), state parks ($30 million), and funds for senior citizens ($17 million) that got the ax. Ultimately it's prisons which get the boost. California spent more than $500 million on overtime alone to correctional officers in 2006. Since the state will spend less money taking care of mental health patients it will instead spend more incarcerating many of those patients in the states overcrowded jails.

People with mental illness are not expendable. Winston Churchill lead the British through WWII with bipolar disorder.

California currently houses more inmates than any other state, including Texas. Since California has more inmates than any other state in a nation that leads the world with it's prison population that would make my home state "The Prison Capital of the World."

So why is California spending an additional $7.9 billion on construction of 53,000 new beds? One of Sacramento's most vocal and powerful lobbies is the prison guards union. The California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA) has big money and they use it. According to the SF Chronicle, they cut a check to former-governor Pete Wilson's campaign for $425,000 in 1994. Recalled former-governor Gray Davis received $2 million from the union and used his first veto to kill a bill that could have saved the state $600 million by creating an alternate punishment program for some non-violent offenders.

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If you think logging is bad, check out Mountaintop Removal

CitizenLobby your representatives:

Write Congress: Stop Govt. Subsidties for Coal

The Bush Administration seems eagerto destroy our environment in as many ways as possible. In this case, they handed a victory to the coal industry by expanding mountaintop removal. This a controversial form of coal mining in which mountains are blasted apart for bulldozers to retrieve the coal underneath.

Coal is a fossil fuel and is extremely harmful to the environment. By exploding the tops of mountains the coal industry is 1) destroying the natural landscape including wildlife habitat, 2) contaminating the watershed by dumping excess waste into flowing rivers and streams, 3) contributing to global warming by increasing use of fossil fuels.

Those are only a few environmental effects but the economic effects on local communities has also been disastrous forcing many families to move.

It's not surprising that the administration is expanding mountaintop removal considering these facts published yesterday in the New York Times:
"The Bush administration has been much friendlier to mining interests, which have been reliable contributors to the Republican Party, and has worked on the new rule change since 2001.

The early stages of the revision process were supported by J. Stephen Griles, a former industry lobbyist who was the deputy interior secretary from 2001 to 2004. Mr. Griles had been deputy director of the Office of Surface Mining in the Reagan administration and is knowledgeable about the issues and generally supports the industry.

In June, Mr. Griles was sentenced to 10 months in prison and three years’ probation for lying to a Senate committee about his ties to Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist at the heart of a corruption scandal who is now in prison."
The coal industry has their guys in Washington do we? Click the links at the top and write congress!

Learn more about mountaintop removal through a tour on GoogleEarth. All you have to is select the fallowing from the 'Layers' menu in GoogleEarth and then fly to Kentucky.

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Welcome to CitizenLobby

Hello and welcome to CitizenLobby. This is a blog where you can expect to see news and opinion coupled with "Take Action" links which encourage readers to be active and vocal about the issues facing our world and the United States. With this blog, I am seeking to make reading the news an activity which is less passive. I want to make it easier for progressives take action and lobby their represenatives on the state and federal level.

So often, these days, I read the news and I'm so shocked with what is happening that I feel I must take a stand. On some issues, like loss of habeas corpus in America, the stakes are too great not to say something. The same thing goes for environmental policy especially relating to global warming and to the current state of health care in America.

The issues covered on CitizenLobby will be wide ranging and will challenge it's readers to not only have an opinion on the matter but to speak out and let their representatives know their position.