Monday, December 31, 2012

School of the Americas (school for torture) alumni charged with murder of beloved Victor Jara

SOA Watch News & Updates
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Four Chilean SOA Graduates Charged with 1973 Murder of Victor Jara

On Friday, December 27, Chilean Judge Miguel Vásquez charged two Chilean officials, Pedro Barrientos and Hugo Sanchez, in the 1973, murder of Chilean folk singer Victor Jara; six others were charged as accomplices. Four of the eight took courses at the School of the Americas. Pedro Barrientos, the second-in-command of the National Stadium which was turned into a open-air prison following the September 11th US-sponsored coup, and Raúl Jofré took the same Officers' Orientation course in 1968; Edwin Dimter Bianchi took a Combat Arms Orientation course in 1970; and Jorge Smith Gumucio took a Combat Arms Orientation course in 1972. SOA graduate Pedro Barrientos currently lives in Deltona, a city southwest of Daytona Beach in Florida.

Victor Jara was one of the Pinochet regime's first victims.
SOA graduates filled the ranks of the Chilean dictatorship's military and the feared intelligence unit, the DINA.

Read more here.

Victor Jara was a symbol of justice and progress in the Americas, and his voice encouraged millions to continue moving towards a just and fair society. Though his life was cut short by the brutal US-sponsored dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, his legacy lives on through the changes happening throughout Latin America.

We receive this news with great joy as we enter the new year. It is past time for those in the U.S. who armed and trained the killers and the torturers to be held accountable, as well. Support the struggle to close the SOA and to change oppressive U.S. foreign policy with a financial contribution.

From SOA Watch, we wish you a justice-filled and happy New Year and we look forward to continuing the struggle together!

In solidarity,
SOA Watch

Friday, December 21, 2012

Bold Progressives: Tea Party just helped us

Social Security is under attack. But last night, the Tea Party undermined House Speaker John Boehner by rejecting his fiscal showdown plan -- showing that Democratic votes will be needed to pass any deal in the House.
This means progressives have new leverage in negotiations. We just need to act.
Can you call your Congressperson and ask him or her to publicly say that he he or she will oppose any deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits?
The main proposal to cut Social Security benefits is called "Chained CPI." Check out this chart that shows just how bad this would be:
Enable images to see something with a really boring name made much more exciting as an infographic
Please help educate others by forwarding this email to others. Or click to share the graphic on Facebook.
Thanks for being a bold progressive.
-- Stephanie Taylor, PCCC co-founder
P.S. Want to see which members of Congress have been boldest this week? Click here to see the list, and chip in $1 to each of their campaigns to say thanks. It makes a big difference. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dear President @BarackObama: this was not part of the deal

Please send an email to President Obama urging him to take Social Security cuts off the table in fiscal showdown negotiations.

In his most recent attempt to strike a deal with Republicans, President Obama has proposed new cuts to Social Security by switching to the chained consumer price index, which would reduce benefits for current and future recipients of the program, with benefits shrinking further over time.

This proposed benefit cut goes against previous statements from the White House which indicated that Social Security cuts would not be part of negotiations because Social Security is not the cause of or solution to our budget woes. On November 26, 2012, White House spokesperson Jay Carney stated, “Social Security is not currently a driver of the deficit. That's an economic fact.”

Cutting Social Security benefits for millions of vulnerable Americans is not an acceptable compromise and does not address economic problems.

Please, send an email to President Obama asking him to drop his proposed cuts to Social Security.

Keep fighting,
Joan McCarter, Daily Kos

Friday, December 7, 2012

Macy's on Trump: it's up to our customers

Before Thanksgiving, dozens of Macy’s cardholders joined me at Macy’s Herald Square store in New York City to deliver our petition signed by more than 660,000 people.  The event culminated with Macy's cardholders cutting up their Macy’s cards. They were sending the message that if Macy's was going to stand by Donald Trump, then consumers would start dumping Macy’s. I'm grateful to everyone who joined me for the petition delivery and was encouraged by all the passersby who joined the event after learning what it was about.

You can read about and see pictures from the delivery here:

A week after we delivered the petition, Macy's Chief Marketing Officer told an audience at a business conference that Macy's is sticking with Donald Trump because that's what Macy's customers want.
The Macy's executive dismissed the Dump Trump Effort, saying: "We try to separate from that and we try to let the customer vote on that…As long as that customer is still voting by wanting to buy that product, then that’s what it’s all about."

A few days later, new data was released, which revealed that Macy's popularity is plummeting due to their relationship with Donald Trump. Prior to the Dump Trump Effort, Macy's recommend score among US women was a 31. A recommend score reflects how likely customers are to recommend the store; it's a very important indicator in the retail industry. And, a score of 31 is quite good. However, Macy's recommend score has since fallen to 17 - that's a 14 point drop in just a few weeks and it now puts Macy's 2 points below average for the retail industry. You can read about Macy's plummeting popularity over at AdWeek:

This is not a good sign for Macy's and it's an indication that their customers are deeply disappointed and defecting. Although, it's not surprising given that Macy's refuses to take seriously the concerns expressed by so many of their customers. I guess we should listen to what Macy's Chief Marketing Officer said about customers voting with what they buy. So, now's the time to let Macy's know that you're going to do just that - that you plan on dumping Macy's because they refuse to dump Trump. 

Here are just a few ways you can help ramp up the pressure on Macy's:
  • Keep on spreading the word! Discourage your friends and family from shopping at Macy's due to their support of Donald Trump's bigoted bullying. (If they're unpersuadable, at least make sure they don't purchase any of Trump's products.)
  • Cancel your Macy's credit card. Be sure to let them know that you're canceling because of Macy's support of Donald Trump.
Next week, I'll share the next big steps in the Dump Trump Effort along with a website that you'll be able to go to for timely and regular updates (and so that I won't have to keep sending you these emails).
Thanks so much for your participation. Your efforts are having an effect. Now, we just need some persistence.


Follow me on Twitter: @GoAngelo