Saturday, February 18, 2006 

Hackett in the PD

Via the Plain Dealer:

For all the storm whipped up by his fiery parting words, however, the full story of Hackett's decision to withdraw may be more complex than his initial comments indicated.

Interviews with people familiar with his campaign suggest that Hackett's team was struggling not only with outside pressures from Democrats eager to avoid a primary, but also from internal tensions stemming partly from Hackett's personality and his newness to the grueling pressures of running a hotly contested, high-profile Senate race.

Former aides say that some of the very strengths that made many Democrats see star potential in the tall, handsome, blunt-talking Marine major - his independence, his irreverence, his disdain for politics as usual - also made it particularly hard for Hackett to adjust to the demands of running for Senate...

"It's a very hard thing to make the jump to running for U.S. Senate," said Mark Blumenthal, a pollster who worked for Hackett's campaign. "There's a reason why people who have done it a lot of times are better at it - because you learn the hard way how hard is it to raise that money and how important it is to have experienced people around and to trust them."...

Former Hackett aides say the biggest problem facing his campaign at the end was insufficient money. Hackett cited the problem himself in an interview with The Plain Dealer earlier this week. Despite his initial rant on party leaders, he said, the overriding reason for his exit was a realization that he couldn't raise the $3 million he thought he needed to win the primary.

In the last several months of 2005, Hackett had raised almost as much as Brown - but he had spent much of it on a campaign staff that some thought was too large for a candidate struggling to raise money....

One of their biggest obstacles to banking that money, they said, was that Hackett hated fund raising...

While most candidates share that feeling, people familiar with Hackett's campaign say he was especially resistant to efforts by aides to get him to use one of the most efficient but unpleasant fund raising techniques: sitting at the phone for hours, calling friends, relatives, and strangers to ask for money. Tension over the problem led in January to the departure of his finance director.

On the weekend before he bowed out, aides say, he stunned his staff by refusing at the last minute to attend certain events - including appearances at several black churches - that had apparently been put on his schedule over his objections.

His wife, Suzi, alluded in an interview before his withdrawal to Hackett's difficulty adjusting to the life of a candidate.

"He's a very autonomous person," she said. "It's been very hard for him to do the political thing, where you let everyone schedule your life."

Fund raising in particular, she said, had been "a real struggle for him" because "Paul doesn't like to ask for help."

..."The political process destroys individuality, creativity and leadership. When you have to spend all your time begging for money, begging for approval, and perhaps most importantly, fighting your fellow Democrats tooth and nail, it takes a lot out of you."

He downplays the "rumors" due to assurances by Reid and Schumer but points people to Clermont County Democratic chairman David Lane. Who then turns it into a "he said she said" and then assures us he has "seen no proof that a Democrat" was behind the rumors.

I hope Hackett finds a good place for himself inside the political arena. It would be heartbreaking to see someone like him give up completely. (Although, I bet - he has a pretty nice life outside of the publics view and who doesn't want to spend more time with thier kids?)



Morning Round Up

Well, this is probably more like an evening round up since I am up a little early today. Here goes:

DailyKos: Bush Adminstration spying on disloyal Republicans, facing lawsuits and CIA leak case updates
AmericaBlog:Bush outsourcing control of 6 major US ports to Arab nations with ties to terrorism. Yikes.
Huffington Post: Cheney shooting story filled with discrepencies...

Ethics Chairman Voinovich refusing to probe collegues ties to corrupt lobbiest
Abramoff.GrandpaBoy: Practical advice for the Grassroots. (Common sense advice if you really want to accomplish something and not just bitch, not that there is anything wrong with bitching! ) :-)
Pho: Blah blah transparency....The Communications director for the Democrats legislative caucus was using Blackwells typology! (Wow, that is an eye opener - thanks Pho.)
Stubborn Liberal: Walmart employees can not express opinions
Meet the Bloggers: The Redfern Podcasts are up. (I thought they were very interesting - great questions from the group and enlightening answers from Redfern.)
Swing State Ohio: Oh06 candidate in Jeopardy
Ohio13: Trust come from sites that acknowledge their biases and one extremely Pro-Craig Foltin doesn't do that. Then, which candidate will overperform our estimate by the biggest margin? Also mentions an email from Pho about Sutton. (Lots going on here!)
People Have the Power: Petro panders (Weasel words from our senator)
Ohio2006: Columbus area races updates

A great bunch of diaries today. I really enjoyed reading them. Thanks.

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Friday, February 17, 2006 

Red State, Meet Police State - Harrassed by police for antiwar stickers

This happened in Boise but I thought it was relevant:
A federal employee gets hassled by Homeland Security for antiwar stickers on his car. Is it a mistake, a new rule, or the part of a trend of the First Amendment being bullied out of existence? Read the transcript, read the rules and decide for yourself
Via the BoiseWeekly.

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Morning Round Up

DailyKos:Science Friday and Global Warming: A new worst case scenario
AmericaBlog:Specter now denying any special links to $50M to lobbyist
HuffPost: Walmart CEO scolds employees for questioning company policies.

Brewed Fresh Daily: Tim ridding the internet of anonymous commenters, well at least they have to do it from home or the library. :-) Chris Redfern and the ODP at MTB.
Psychobilly Democrat: Brown needs to release a statement about Hackett withdrawal. (I think a joint appearance would be even better!)
Word Of Mouth: Scott has a political hangover from the 13th.
Writes Like She Talks: Action without Borders info
Callahan's Cleveland Diary: No Democracy Reduction in 2006, Council reduction plan not on May ballot
Stubborn Liberal: Chertoff and Rumsfeld luddites!
Buckeye Senate: Hackett Swiftboated and we could lose Stricklands seat.
Pho: Meet Betty Sutton

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Thursday, February 16, 2006 - Brown unveils new website

Nice site
...I'm proud to have served my constituents in Congress for the past 12 years and before that as Ohio Secretary of State for two terms. I have fought against policies in Congress – supported by Mike DeWine – that hurt Ohio families. I have fought to strengthen worker protections, support investment in Ohio businesses and promote job creation, make education affordable, protect Ohio’s lakes and park lands, reduce the cost of gas and home heating, and make prescription drugs affordable for Ohio seniors.

And now, I want to take the fight for Ohio families to U.S. Senate. We've got to put a stop to the pay-to-play system that runs unchecked by Republicans like our current senator Mike DeWine.

You have demanded change in Ohio, and I have heard your call. Join me to make this change a reality. Together we will expand access to health care, build a better education system for our children, secure our ports, protect the environment, free seniors from high medical bills, and bring jobs back to Ohio.

We are in this together.
Emphasis mine.

Well done - but pretty standard campaign site (I suppose GrowOhio is the more "cutting edge" version of a campaign/political site). He needed one of these anyways, it is easy to get around and covers all the bases: background, experience, on the issues, "On the Road" travel blog, contact, news, press releases, volunteer, ect.

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A name worth remembering - Jennifer Martinez

Voting for Judge can involve a lot of guesswork. Jennifer Martinez (running for Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court) comes highly recommended and I thought I'd give you the heads up. If you vote in Cuyahoga County she'll be on the ballot.
From her website:
As your Juvenile Court Judge, I will:
  • Respect the rights of victims, families, and children alike, and I will strive to keep active caseloads low by disposing of cases fairly and efficiently.
  • Follow the law. Juvenile law is a highly specialized area of law, and I am knowledgeable in all aspects of it including newer laws regarding Serious Youthful Offenders and Sexual Predators. Prior to my role as an attorney in Juvenile Court, I worked with the head of the Court’s Guardian Ad Litem Program and with the Chief Magistrate for the Juvenile Court.
  • Create and utilize innovative approaches to Juvenile Justice with an emphasis on accountability and enduring results. I will seek to implement cost-effective community services for lower level offenders and efficient due process of law for serious offenders.
  • Foster an atmosphere of collaboration and cooperation among community leaders in an effort to cut through bureaucracy and provide safe, cost-efficient, and appropriate facilities and services for juveniles and their families.
  • Be aware of the cultural diversity that exists in our community, and be cognizant of how those differences may act as barriers to justice in our courtrooms.
And experienced too!

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Arrested for Hanging a Poster? (Updated numerous times)

Well, Cleveland Heights police don't have the best reputation but - there is a big difference between excessive traffic ticketing and arresting & assaulting a 57 year old cancer survivor because she was hanging a poster. Don't they get any training on how to handle situations without violence? There are posters on many poles in Cleve Hts, how come they decided to crack down on the Anti-Bush lady? I suspect they feel more strongly about our president and those whom choose to protest the administration than they do about the bands that play at the Grog Shop or the family that found the dog. Just a guess.

Anyways, This story won't help me when I try to convince people to move to the Heights. Most of my friends love the community but say they can't stand the police force. (sometimes prefering to have group events outside of the Hts due to it's history of speed traps and parking violations.) So, I hope this story is resolved soon and if any police officer acted with force unnecessarily - they should be fired.

Update 4-30 - Carolyn Fisher is found guilty on all counts. The PD has the story here. I object to them calling her a "peace" activist because that does not seem to accurately describe her. It looks like she is going to get a psychiatric evaluation. (Which implies to me, that perhaps it was obvious that she needed one - which is sad) The PD does note that " The prosecution and defense stories diverge at the point Fisher was told to stop putting up the posters." I heard her speak on the Joe Finan show and she told a convincing story but it did not seem to jive completely with the original story she gave when I first wrote this diary. Still, I'd like to know if the police did make ProBush/ Anti-free speech statements while arresting her - If that part of her story is true, the police acted inappropriately. That is one of those details though, that noone except those involved will ever know for sure. Overall, it still seems that the police could have done a better job handling this situation. I hope they were just caught off guard and not poorly trained. I'd also like to note that her "supporters" did her a disservice. They came off immature and disrespectful in reports and that detracted from Fishers believabilty. Anyways, I am glad it is over and I hope Carolyn Fisher gets some help.

Updates 3-3 - Since I first read this story more info has come out . Here is a witness account of the events:

Witness in Carolyn Fisher case speaks up

Update 2-27: As the facts come out, it seems to me that Carol Fisher is "looking for a controversy", Please read my update "Looking Bad for Carol Fisher"

Update 2-16: I thought I'd add links to additional news sources for this "he said, she said" case:
"Differing Accounts" Via NewsNet5
"Heights Crowd steps up for Fisher" Via SunPress
"Step Away from the Poster" Via FreeTimes
Accounts from Fisher and her protest group members via ClevelandIndyMedia

That's all I could find right now. I did get her age wrong, she's 53. If this is a case where the woman is exaggerating the claims for attention then the Cleveland Heights police force should be smarter, her claims paint the police department in a pretty poor light.

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More on Cheney (Covering up an affair ?)

Is there anything to the rumor that he is having an affair? That is something a married man might want to hide.

Pamela Willeford ambassador to Switzerland, was part of the hunting excursion with Cheney and Whittington. And according to Willeford's account, Cheney and the ambassador were side-by-side when the shooting of Whittington took place.
"The vice president's Secret Service detail had to decide what to do with Willeford by way of perhaps covering up her relationship with Cheney, and thus the delay in reporting the news.

The rumor goes that Lynn Cheney isn't happy with Cheney's close relationship with Willeford." - a comment at HuffPost
And... Who has just one beer?
I thought there wasn't much to this story except a few jokes - but it seems to be growing.

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Dateline Australia Abu Ghraib Torture Documentary

Much, much worse than I expected - many deaths, abuse of mentally ill, many innocents are abused including Iraqi women whom were bought to the prison on "alleged" prostitution charges and much sexual humilation/abuse (So much that it seems mundane to the abusers.)

Here is the link to the video:
(caution, very graphic)

Also includes updates on legal aspects, the judges remarks and the ACLUs work.

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Morning Round Up

DailyKos:5 of the 8 recommended dairy on Cheney, including: Cheney Lied to Prosecutors; Fitz Suspects Emails Destroyed; Gonzales Withholds Emails and speculation he might be replaced.
AmericaBlog:Death squads operating in Iraq
HuffPost: Cheney shoots three presidents in Oval office mishap by Steve Martin and on a more serious note Rice is asking for 75 million to promote democracy in Iran.

GrandpaBoy:Information on a silent auction to establish a scholarship fund for miners, who have been killed or injured in West Virginia mines, and their dependants.
Pho: A solid analysis of the Hackett pull out written without hostility
Psychobilly Dem: The goal is to take back Congress
Stubborn Liberal: Updates us on the progress of "the Wicked Witch of the South" Katherine Harris and the lack of progress in Iraq
Ohio2006: Brinkman not challenging Schmidt
BuckeyeSenate: Cheney irresponsible
Plunderbound: Still having a hard time with the Hackett withdrawal, undergoing self examination and expressing himself through graphic design via some updated Hackett graphics :-)

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Frigolette to stay in State Senate Race

From the Press Release:
With Republican corruption dragging down Ohio's economy and limiting its growth and ability to serve its citizens effectively, Democrats in our state, and especially in Cuyahoga County, need new leaders and fresh ideas to win back control of the legislature. Instead, we continue to recycle the same people and ideas, and those already in power reward loyal friends and supporters by appointing them to public positions.

My name is Jennifer Frigolette, one that many of you may not yet recognize. I am Twenty-Four years old, and I have never run for public office before. I am one of two Democrats running in the May 2nd primary for the Ohio Senate Seat in District 23. I am running a low-budget, grassroots campaign, fueled by dedicated volunteers and a passion for change.

I didn't expect it would be easy to run in the Democratic primary May 2nd, but I was hoping that I would be given a fair chance. I was disappointed to learn that current District 23 State Senator Dan Brady is resigning to take a newly created job with Mayor Frank Jackson's administration and that he has appointed my opponent, Dale Miller, to fill his seat. The appointment will be official March 1, only two months before the May 2nd primary.

Although Mr. Miller will still have to run for the seat, he will have the advantage of being the incumbent. In addition, when Mr. Miller abandons his current position as 14th District State Representative, he will need to appoint someone to fill his empty seat, most likely one of the candidates currently running for that spot. In one move, these gentlemen have ensured that the Democrats currently in power can hand-select their friends and supporters for two General Assembly positions, giving them a head start on their primary opponents.

Fortunately, it is not up to Dan Brady to choose our next State Senator on May 2nd, 2006; it is up to the voters. This recent development will not scare me into abandoning my campaign to become the next District 23 State Senator. But it makes it even clearer to me how much the Democratic Party and the State Legislature need new blood.

For more information, contact Jennifer Frigolette at (216) 355-OHIO or
Another timely post calling out the status quo. I hope Jennifer does well.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006 

Taft has 14% approval rating

New SUSA poll has Republican Gov. Taft at 14% approval rating 82% disapproval. Yikes.

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Another Illegal Spying Program

A former NSA employee said Tuesday there is another ongoing top-secret surveillance program that might have violated millions of Americans' Constitutional rights.

Russell D. Tice told the House Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations he has concerns about a "special access" electronic surveillance program that he characterized as far more wide-ranging than the warrentless wiretapping recently exposed by the New York Times but he is forbidden from discussing the program with Congress.

Tice said he believes it violates the Constitution's protection against unlawful search and seizures but has no way of sharing the information without breaking classification laws. He is not even allowed to tell the congressional intelligence committees - members or their staff - because they lack high enough clearance. (Via UPI)
So basically, They are violating our constitutional rights but have structured it in a way that if anyone talks about it - they are violating another law and will most likely be locked up before any of the info is actually released. Clever. Too bad they can't use thier special powers for good.

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Amputation rate for US troops twice that of past wars

Over 16,000 injured

Via Boston.Com
"The death rate isn't great compared to Vietnam, Korea, and World War II. But these soldiers are coming back to their communities and people are seeing just how high the price is that these young people are paying," said Dr. G. Richard Holt, a head and neck surgeon at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and a retired US Army surgeon who served as a civilian adviser in Iraq earlier this year...

In addition to amputations, many soldiers making this journey have head and neck injuries, frequently injured by improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, essentially remote-controlled bombs planted in the ground.

"The angle of the force of these IEDs is right for the neck and face. That's been devastating to folks over there," said Holt, explaining that Kevlar helmets do not protect the underside of heads and necks, where crucial nerves and blood vessels lie.

Lieutenant Colonel Michael S. Xydakis, a military surgeon, released a little-noticed study in September at a medical conference of head and neck surgeons. He found that over a 14-month period, about 1 in 5 US soldiers treated at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, which handles most Iraq casualties, had head or neck injuries.

These injuries, surgeons said, have long-term implications, with many involving irreversible brain damage, breathing and eating impairments, blindness, or severe disfiguration. The study prompted the military to add a full-time head and neck surgeon to a Baghdad field hospital.

"These folks are just starting to come back, and they may require care for a long, long time," said Holt

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Our tax dollars at work - 1.6 billion on fake news

Maybe if they planned things out, hired compentent employees instead of cronies and just stopped lying - they wouldn't need to spend so much of our money on public relations. I wonder how many Armstrong Williams and Jeff Gannons are in the mix??

From the WP:

How much is good press worth? To the Bush administration, about $1.6 billion.

That's how much seven federal departments spent from 2003 through the second quarter of 2005 on 343 contracts with public relations firms, advertising agencies, media organizations and individuals, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.

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Morning Round Up

Every morning, my husband always asks "whats going on in your world?" So, I think I'll try to post my morning blog round up daily - for him and other who don't have the time to surf progressive blogs. (We'll see if I can find the time to do it consistently!)

DailyKos: New Abu Graib photos and Dems can't live with'em can't live without'em
AmericaBlog: Alot about Cheneys gunshot victim and the White Houses efforts to stop domestic spying investigation
HuffPost: GOP Katrina Report -A Failure of Initiative cost lives and prolonged suffering

HaveCoffeeWillWrite: Great story on how Republicans won in Cleveland Heights (very timely)
Psychobilly Dem: Going after High and Broad for "Is there a rabbi in the house" Fingerhut comment. (Suggesting possible fraud)
BuckeyeSenate: Links to Hackett on Big Ed show, I heard some of this interview and he doesn't sound as mad as the bloggers :-)
Callahan Clevelands Diary: Marc Dann and "Did Hackett Jump or was he Pushed?"
WritesLikeSheTalks: Ohio BOE eliminates intellgent design language
Pho: Was having some technical difficulties but seems to be up now
Plunderbound: Needs a break after the emothional Hackett ride, pointing out the unique advantage Hackett had in a Red State like ours.
Ohio2006: Grendall dropping out of AG race? Petro investigated by FBI, Assailed by Balckwell.
DeMagnoOpera: Cheneys shooting incident, the media and the holes in the official story

I think I might change format a little tomorrow but today - I'm off to give that baby a bath. Thanks Everyone.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006 

Joe Finan on 1350AM Radio Free Ohio

Boy, was I shocked when I heard Joe Finan on 1350am today. I was expecting Al Frankin and instead I was listening to this guy who sounded like someones grandpa! Well, I gave him a chance and although his style was a little different than what I am used to, his message was right on. I didn't have a chance to listen to the whole show (only about 15min) but I did hear him say that "Judas Iscariot was a Republican"! Ha - that made me chuckle. Apparently, he has a long history in Cleveland radio. So, I think he'll work nicely in the line up. Frankin was moved to the 1-3 slot.

1350 am new weekday schedule:
6-9am Bill Press
9-11am Stephanie Miller
11am-1pm Joe Finan
12pm-3pm Al Franken
3pm- 6pm Ed Shultz
6pm-10pm Randi Rhodes
10pm-1am Lionel
1am - 5am Best of Al Franken
5am-6am Wall Street Journal this morning.

I am not sure what they cut for Joe (maybe they shortened Frankin?) but my favorites are still there. I do question putting Finan on after Miller since thier styles seemed opposite each other but what do I know about radio programming? :-)

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Its a long race and it is worth fighting

Many Hackett supporters (or in Tims case Brown-haters) are crying they are leaving the party. Boo hoo.

If you want change, work from within. You belittle Paul and his accomplishments when you make such rash statements. I liked Paul because he stood up for the party and worked to mold it into the party he wanted it to be. He (believe it or not) accomplished alot of that change - even if he didn't go as far as many, including myself, would have liked.

From Pauls letter:
It is with my deepest respect and humility that I thank each and every one of you for the support you extended to our campaign to take back America, and personally to me and my family. Together we made a difference. We changed the debate on the Iraq War, we inspired countless veterans to continue their service by running for office as Democrats and we made people believe again. We must continue to believe.

Remember, we must retool our party. We must do more than simply aspire to deliver greatness; we must have the commitment and will to fight for what is great about our party and our country; Peace, prosperity and the freedoms that define our democracy.

It doesn't sound like Hackett is leaving the Democratic party.

I can understand how people can be disappointed, but you can't change the world overnight - Slow and steady always wins the race and this is going to be a long one. I don't think this is the last we will hear of Paul Hackett. I am sure he will rejoin politics someday. In what role? - We'll have to wait and see.

As far as Tim is concerned - he is a contrarian and a slave to controversy. I am sure he is a nice guy but - I doubt he has helped the ODP since he received his last paycheck in 96 either. He writes more like a disgruntled employee than an informed political blogger. It's as if he can't wait "till the GOP is laughing all the way to the halls of power" just so he can be proved right. I guess that is called an inferiority complex but like I said - I've never met him and I am sure he is a nice guy - since so many of you worship him but - he's is just not my style. In fact, I think BrewedFreshDaily has declined in worth since he started writing more frequently. (maybe they get more page views from those wanting to watch the car crash but it is nothing more than rubbernecking) No, it is not his positions - I think many of the other blogs have similiar opinions but they don't bother me (in fact BSB is one of my favorites and I hope he continues even after todays disappointing news). I guess it is just his need to make himself the focus of the blogosphere, time and time again he seeks out controversy for the sake of controversy.

I just don't give two cents what Tim Russo is doing. I've been blogging for 1 month and the focus of the Ohio blogs has 2 or 3 times been - "whats up with Russo" or "did you hear about Russo?". Come on. How boring and unimportant is that? If you want your group and influence to grow, you are going to have to stop being one big clique with Russo as your "Heather". If it is frustrating for me, can you imagine a less committed casual reader trying to take you seriously?

I am not trying to upset people, I understand many of us are very emotional today but - I feel it had to be said and being the outsider it might be easier coming from me. Anyways, I will sink back into my mundane life, do my errands, finish my day and wait to be ostracized later. :-)

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Monday, February 13, 2006 

U.S. concludes 'Cyber Storm' mock attacks against bloggers

Via Seattle PI:
The government concluded its "Cyber Storm" wargame Friday, its biggest-ever exercise to test how it would respond to devastating attacks over the Internet from anti-globalization activists, underground hackers and bloggers.


Participants confirmed parts of the worldwide simulation challenged government officials and industry executives to respond to deliberate misinformation campaigns and activist calls by Internet bloggers, online diarists whose "Web logs" include political rantings and musings about current events.

Read the whole article here.

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Why the Left is Right - Liberal Quotes

The pharmacists who want "freedom of conscience" to refuse to fill legal prescriptions for women seeking contraceptive devices are no different from the diner owners who wanted "freedom of conscience" not to serve blacks.
-- Jon Carrol

Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power.
-- Benjamin Franklin

Surely the right to die in a manner and at a time one's own choosing is the ultimate civil liberty.
-- Derek Humphry

From the book The Best Liberal Quotes Ever - Why the Left is Right.

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