PC for Life - Not pro-life, just anti-abortion.

Our own Adam Roach sheds light on some of what we have to deal with at our conservative college. If you like his column, then let the Cowl know how you feel!

PC for Life Has Heart, but Lacks Sound Logic
by Adam D. Roach
The Cowl - 1/27/2005

On my way back from my daily run to Brown University, I always find that the toughest and most taxing portion of the route is the incline right in front of the State Capitol Building. It made it only tougher last week when I had to maneuver my way through a gaggle of right-to-lifers lobbying at the State House, carrying stop signs which said "Stop Abortion Now" on one side and "Thank You President Bush" on the other.

On Jan. 22 of each year, on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, made in 1973, these folks become more visible and vocal. With the anniversary also comes PC for Life's annual trip to the March for Life in Washington D.C.

PC for Life does a number of commendable things. It is an activist organization, and I strongly support any group that has an opinion and is willing to act on it. It raises awareness concerning its issues and brings people into the process of political activism. PC for Life also includes in its membership a number of wonderful people whom I am fortunate enough to call my friends. After discussing PC for Life with Kathryn Cooper '07, the co-chair of the organization, I learned a lot more about the organization and gained a greater appreciation and respect for what it does.

I feel compelled to criticize PC for Life, however, not merely because I disagree with its opinion regarding abortion but because I feel they focus nearly universally on the abortion issue and fail to provide a strong voice on a number of other issues which are quite important and relevant.

For example, PC for Life has been nearly silent regarding the death penalty. In our neighbor state of Connecticut, serial killer Michael Ross was nearly executed by lethal injection while Republican Governor M. Jodi Rell remained silent on the matter. In Massachusetts, Republican Governor Mitt Romney has taken the initial steps to bring the death penalty back to the Commonwealth. PC for Life, a group largely composed of conservatives, has ignored these two issues and has conveniently ignored the 152 executions that Bush failed to halt while governor of Texas. It is quite hypocritical to call oneself pro-life and support a president with such a record.

PC for Life has also remained silent on the issue of warfare. When President Bush launched his unjustified and unnecessary assault on Iraq on March 20, 2003, an attack which was condemned by the Pope, PC for Life did not voice its opposition. As the death count of U.S. soldiers has risen to 1416 and the wounded count to 10,502, and as somewhere between 15,000 to 18,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the U.S. invasion, PC for Life continues its approval of the policies of the Bush administration.

Being "pro-life" means that one must support programs that raise the quality of life throughout the country and the world. In this aspect, conservatives have failed miserably. Bush has spent $80 to $100 million on the war in Iraq while at the same time cutting taxes for the richest of the rich. No Child Left Behind has been drastically under funded and social programs have been cut left and right. More than 90,000 college students in the U.S. have lost part of their state and federal student aid while nationwide aid given to students through the Pell grant has been largely reduced. The quality of life in this country is steadily dropping and PC for Life continues to one-dimensionally support the President because of the abortion issue.

Abortions are horrible and it is unacceptable when an anti-choicer calls someone who is pro-choice "pro-abortion". It would be ideal if abortions never took place, all can agree on that. Nonetheless, history has shown that, legally or illegally, women will continue to have abortions. The right way to prevent abortions is to make women's decisions regarding abortions easier. This is done by cultivating a social support system for young people and by helping people make the right decisions from the beginning by promoting a healthy and well-funded public education system.

By promoting abstinence and by making contraceptives available, as well as by promoting adoption as a desirable option, the number of those deciding to have an abortion will decrease. The U.S. cannot allow itself to return to the days of backroom abortions, performed with coat-hangers and glass bottles.

It is not easy being pro-choice in a school like PC but I must resolutely support a woman's right to choose. Being "pro-life" means more than just being anti-abortion. It en-compasses the question of what is the best way to prevent abortions and what the quality of life will be at birth. By ignoring these facets of the issue PC for Life has ultimately been counter-productive. If anti-choicers could only realize this, perhaps next Jan. 22 on my run past the Capitol the stop signs of the activists will read "Thank you, President Bush. Thanks for nothing."



Condoleeza Rice was confirmed the other day (thanks to the wonderful PC network I wasn't able to make a comment until now). I just wanted to thank the 13 Senators who had the courage to vote against the person who is going to make Colin Powell look like a god of foreign policy.

Daniel Akaka (D-HI)
Evan Bayh (D-IN)
Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Harry Byrd (D-WV)
Mark Dayton (D-MN)
Dick Durbin (D-IL)
Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Jim Jeffords (I-VT)
Ted Kennedy (D-MA)
John Kerry (D-MA)
Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Carl Levin (D-MI)
Jack Reed (D-RI)

It's good to see Jack Reed's vote.

I think that both Kerry's and Bayh's votes confirm that they are, in fact, running for President in '08. Both of their votes are uncharacteristic of them, especially Bayh, but there is an outside chance Rice will run for President in '08. In the snowball's chance she gets the nomination, it would be hard for Bayh or Kerry to run against her after voting for her.

Some interesting/local YEA votes:
Lincoln Chafee (R-RI)
Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
Jon Corzine (D-NJ)
Chris Dodd (D-CT)
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Pat Leahy (D-VT)
Joe Lieberman (D-CT)
Barack Obama (D-IL)
Harry Reid (D-NV)
Charles Schumer (D-NY)

(for the love of God, someone please challenge Lieberman in a primary!)

The Alberto Gonzales vote is coming up soon. That should be closer (but he'll still be confirmed).

Gonzales passed the Judiciary Committee by a 10-8 margin. All Democrats on the comittee opposed, including some who affirmed Rice. A good sign.


Protest Pictures

Wondering how the protests went? Click here for 102 pictures of protests from across the world (with 2 random protests of the election in Ukraine), courtesy of Yahoo.

Nine of my favorites:

Federal Courthouse, Providence

Washington, DC

Washington, DC, January 19th

Louisville, KY

Atlanta, GA (I had to give props to
my old stomping grounds)

State House, Little Rock, AK (you gotta love
all these red state protests)

U.S. Embassy, London

U.S. Embassy, Manila

The best picture of them all...


34 Scandals

When everything is in one place, it sure does put things into perspective. Here are 34 scandals from Bush's first term, and the article places a high standard on what constitutes a scandal. The article is here (free, but you have to watch a commercial). Thanks to Nate Limbach for the link.


Semi-local Inaugural Protests

There are two inauguration protests in Massachusetts, if you can get up there...

1) Bridgewater Common & Bridgewater State College campus, Bridgewater, MA Thursday, January 20th, 5:00 PM

Citizens for an Informed Community
Bridgewater, MA
Mourning the Inauguration of George W. Bush

Schedule of Events:

Vigil and Silent Witness
Bridgewater Common,
Junction of Rte. 104, Rte. 28 and Rte. 18,
5:00 to 6:00 pm

Statement of Opposition
Boyden Hall steps,
Bridgewater State College campus, 6:15 pm

Public Forum
featuring Loretta Filipov, member, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
Library Lecture Hall, Bridgewater State College campus, 6:30 to 7:30 pm

Loretta represents the September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
She will speak on her opposition to Bush’s Policies, and on Turning Grief Into Actions for Peace in honor of her late husband Alexander, who died on American Airlines Flight 11, September 11, 2001
E-mail bhaff@horizonhouse.com

2) Amherst College War Memorial, Amherst MA
Thursday, January 20th, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Counter-Inaugural Rally for Peace and Justice

Songs, speeches, solidarity


Update: George Allen is a Tool

Sen. George Allen responded to my letter (see below) in his usual fashion. As usual, he spouts off the party line while not actually addressing any of my charges against Alberto Gonzales. But he also tips off the Republican reaction in case Gonzales' nomination is upheld: Democrats are racists.

Senator Allen is a guy who has built his entire political career on the fact that his father was head coach of the Washington Redskins... and who plans to parlay that career into a run for the White House in 2008.

Dear Mr. Kachur:

Thank you for contacting me regarding President Bush’s nomination of Alberto Gonzales to become the next Attorney General of the United States. I appreciate your concerns and value to opportunity to respond.

I applaud President Bush’s nomination of Alberto Gonzalez. He is the embodiment of the American dream, a man whose hard work, legal sense and intellect have already lifted him to some of the highest positions of trust in our nation. I look forward to his confirmation hearings and a fair vote before the U.S. Senate. I am confident that he will make an outstanding U.S. Attorney General.

Once again, I appreciate you contacting me regarding this matter and hope you will not hesitate to contact me again about issues important to you. If you would like to receive an e-mail newsletter about my initiatives to improve America, please sign up on my website (http://allen.senate.gov/). It is an honor to serve you in the United States Senate, and I look forward to working with you to make Virginia and America a better place to live, learn, work and raise a

With warm regards, I remain


Senator George Allen

They pulled the same stunt before when Democrats filibustered a hispanic judge. If Gonzales is blocked, the GOP will play the race card. But of course we only oppose Gonzales because of his support for torture and his sacrificing sound legal principles in order to advance his political agenda. It is really the GOP that is being racist, trying to use Gonzales' (and others) ancestry to shield conservative idealogues from scrutiny.


Important Info for Inauguration Protestors

If you want to protest the inauguration in DC, contact Karen at karen@turnyourbackonbush.org as soon as possible. She wants to know the following information.

1. What is your cell phone #?
2. Do you know how you are getting to D.C.?
3. Do you need a ride?
4. Who is your driver and how many are in your car?
5. Do you have space in your car?
6. Do you need a place to stay?
7. Do you have any other needs or questions we could help you with?

This is looking like it is a carpool type trip, which should drive down costs considerably.

Also, please get in touch with me, if you haven't already (just hit the email link to the right of the page. I will get you the most detailed and up to date information from the organizers.

There is a training meeting at Beneficent Church at 300 Weybosset Street tomorrow (Wed) from 6-9PM. Directions are here.


Action - Protest the AG Nomination

From Daily Kos, here is a good selection from Alberto Gonzales' confirmation hearings. It was already clear that this man endorsed the administration's use of torture, and that as counsel for then-Governor Bush, he willfully withheld information from clemency petitions that in one case led to the execution of a man who was almost certainly innocent. But as this selection makes clear, Gonzales doesn't even have a firm understanding of the law.

Bush will ram conservatives into his cabinet, the courts and the bureaucracy, and as Democrats, we need to be selective as to who we oppose. Gonzales is someone we need to oppose, especially as he is expected to meet little opposition. If this nomination goes through, the US is once again affirming our support of torture and our disdain for due process. How are we to build any good will in the world if we insist on holding and torturing foreign nationals? Once US soldiers are captured, on what basis do we have the right to object to the very same tactics we endorse? I try not to make such blanket statements on morality, but torture is morally wrong. And whether or not you agree with capital punishment, ignoring due process is wrong. Executing an innocent man is wrong. These things are wrong and they are un-American. We must oppose this nomination. Please send a short message to your Senators (contact forms can be found at http://www.senate.gov/) and tell them about your opposition to this nomination. Email your Rhode Island Senators as well.

Text of my letter to Senators Allen and Warner:

Dear Senator Allen,

I respectfully ask that you oppose the nomination of Alberto Gonzales for Attorney General.

As I know the President will nominate a conservative, I would not waste my time contacting you if I did not think Gonzalez was particularly dangerous. Also, I would not waste my time trying to convince you to take an action I know you will openly scorn, but I cannot let Gonzales be nominated without speaking out.

We know that Gonzales, as counsel for then Governor Bush, withheld information from death row inmates' clemency requests. If this betrayal of due process were not enough, in at least one case it has led to the execution of at least one person (Henry Lee Lucas) for a crime he did not commit. Even if you support capital punishment, as I know you do, this not only undermines the system you support, but it is also tantamount to murder.

While White House counsel, Gonzales endorsed the opinion that the administration could participate in torture and ignore the Geneva conventions. I ask you, Senator Allen, when our own troops are captured, what right do we have to condemn their captors if they are tortured, if we participate in the same tactics? The answer, of course, is none. Not only is this endorsement of torture immoral, but it endangers our troops.

Opposing this nomination is not a partisan action, as Senator Frist, Congressman Delay and others would have us believe. In fact, Congressional Democrats have so far blocked fewer of Bush's nominees than Congressional Republicans blocked President Clinton's nominees. No, opposing the nomination of Alberto Gonzales is a moral imperative. For the good of Virginians, Americans, and our country, rise above party-line rhetoric and oppose the nomination of Alberto Gonzales.

Dan Kachur


Opportunity to Protest the Inauguration

UPDATE: If you want to go to Washington with the group below, contact karen@turnyourbackonbush.org before you do anything. Just let her know that you're interested, and she will get you details.


I have tried to find transportation for all of us to go to DC to protest the inauguration, but that is looking less and less likely to happen, as the cost would be at least $2800 per bus, or about $59 per person.

There is an opportunity to go being organized by a protest organization staging a nationwide effort. A bus will be leaving from Providence at 1:30 AM (yes, AM) on the 20th, the day of the protest. It will leave immediately following the inauguration/parade

This is part of a coordinated protest, so if you want to protest your own way, or if you think you might get rowdy, I suggest you do not go on this trip. The organization is called Turn Your Back on Bush. Participants will no identify themsevles as protestors or Kerry supporters, and will enter the crowd. As Bush comes by, they will silently turn their backs to him as he passes. Obviously, one person doing this will make an impact in the immediate area, but the hope is to get many people in the crowd doing this.

More information can be found at http://www.turnyourbackonbush.org/. I understand some may want to take part in a more vocal protest, but rest assured that the most vocal protests will be marginalized as much as possible.

The cost for the bus is $54 per person. There is a possibility that some people can be subsidized, but don't count on it. If you have questions, contact Karen at karen@turnyourbackonbush.org.
If you would like to go, contact the bus company directly. Payment can be made by credit card or money order. The contact is John Balara at Easton Limo Company. His phone number is (508)230-5749. E-mail is john@eastonlimo.com. Be sure to include/have ready your name, address, telephone, credit card number and expiration date. DEADLINE FOR PAYMENT IS JANUARY 13TH.

If you intend to go, there is training on Wednesday, January 12th, at Beneficent Church on Weybosset Street. For directions, check www.afsc.org/sene/. Also, RSVP to Karen at the address above.

I don't know of any other groups who are planning on going down to DC.

"all you can see is a sea of people,
some white and some black.
no matter what color,

all that matters we're gathered together
to celebrate for the same cause,
no matter the weather.
if it rains, let it rain,

yeah, the wetter the better.
they ain’t gon’ stop us - they can't,
we're stronger now, more then ever"

Senate Majority Leader to Visit PC

I would like to draw your attention to the donation link at the right of the page. Forward this page to everyone you know, and ask them to donate. Donate yourself. Remember, the more money we raise, the more we can do.

At our first meeting of the semester, January 20th, we will be joined by the Rhode Island Senate Majority Leader and PC graduate Teresa Paiva-Weed!

From the Senator's website:
"M. Teresa Paiva Weed (D – District 13, Jamestown, Newport) was first elected to the Rhode Island Senate in 1992. In January 2004, Senator Paiva Weed was unanimously elected by her Democratic colleagues to serve as Senate Majority Leader. Leader Paiva Weed is the first woman in Rhode Island’s history to serve in this capacity. She served as Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Finance Committee from 2002 through 2004, when she was elected Majority Leader. From 2000 to 2002, she served as Deputy Chair of the Finance Subcommittee on Public Safety and the Environment. From 1996 through 2000, she served as the Senate’s first woman Chair of the Judiciary Committee. During her tenure in the Senate she has won passage of many landmark bills, such as the Family Independence Act, and legislation restructuring the Victim’s Compensation Fund. In addition, she has been recognized by the Governor’s Council on Disabilities, the National Association of Social Workers, the Center for Hispanic Policy and Advocacy and the Newport County NAACP for her legislative efforts. As Majority Leader, Senator Paiva Weed is an ex officio member of all Senate Committees. She is responsible for running the Senate floor and leading her Democratic colleagues. Majority Leader Paiva Weed, 44, has also served on the Labor Committee (1993 – 2004.)"



The death toll is now 155,000, and rising.

CNN also has a web page where you can help with your donation.
Click here.

This page was linked from the DNC website. It is interesting to note that while the DNC link was at the top right of the page, the RNC has no disaster relief mention on their page, though they do have a huge link to donate to themselves.They do have a story about Bush inappropriately titled "The Rising Tide."

In other news, we lost two heroes on Saturday...

Congressman Robert Matsui of California's 5th district died of a rare stem cell disorder. Having spent the first three years of his life in a Japanese internment camp, he was instrumental in the US apology to internment victims. (Just 18 years after the apology, are we about to intern Arab-Americans?) More recently, he was a leading opponent of Bush's effort to privatize social security. He was the third ranking Democratic member of the House Ways & Means Committee, and he was the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He was 63. From a speech he once gave,

I'd like, if I may, to take a moment to read something that I was able to get through the Freedom of Information Act in 1992. Individual number, 25261C. File number 405986. Your birth, '41, relocation center Tule (?) Lake, assembly center Pinedale. Home address, Sacramento, California.

Country of birth of father U.S. mainland, country of birth of mother, U.S. mainland. Birthplace, California. Year or arrival, American born, never in Japan. Marital status, single. Languages, not applicable.

Race, Japanese and no spouse. Highest grade, no schooling or kindergarten.
Military service, no military nor naval service and no physical defects, and no
public assistance or pension program.

Alien registration and Social Security number, none. Did not attend Japanese language school. Has neither alien registration number, nor the Social Security number.Length of time in Japan, none. Age in Japan, never in Japan. Schooling in Japan, and number of years, none.

That happened to be my file that is still in the defense Department of the United States government. I was six months old at the time that I was taken, with my mother and father, from Sacramento, California, and placed in internment camps in the United States.

I was never given a trial. I never went before any magistrate, nor did my parents. To this day, I do not know what the charges that were lodged against me or my deceased parents at this time.

I spent approximately three and a half years of my life there, although I have no personal memory of it. I do know that many of my friends of Japanese ancestry suffered a great deal.


And the U.S. general, John L. DeWitt, who was in charge of the internment and incarceration of the Japanese Americans, stated a few months later "The Japanese race is an enemy race, and while many second and third Japanese born in the United States soil possessed of U.S. citizenship have become Americanized, the racial strains are undiluted. It therefore follows that along the virtual Pacific Coast over 112,000 potential enemies of Japanese extraction are at large today."

And the reason I call your attention to this, and what happened in the comments and before December 7, is because there was an anti-Asian sentiment. There was a strain throughout the West Coast, and particularly the state of California. Pearl Harbor merely triggered the sentiment to become a sign of action. It is my believe that the internment was for that reason. It was the triggering event of deep seated feelings that existed in the state of California, and Washington, and the entire west coast of the United States.


My dad finally began to speak about it. It was an event that kind of opened up for us the opportunity to begin to discuss what had actually happened. Instead of saying that it was our fault, we were then able to finally say that it wasn't our fault. It was the government, a failure of leadership in the United States that caused the internment.


President Reagan signed the legislation, and I have to say that I brought the letter from the president, by that time President Bush, Sr. had signed the letter and given it to my father, who was 21 years old at the time of the internment, and he broke down and cried, and he indicated what a great country we had.

I have to say that it's very few countries that are willing to look back at its past and apologize for its act, or make amends for its act, as the United States had one. Hopefully as a country, that we learn from our mistakes of the past.

Former Representative Shirley Chisolm also died Saturday at the age of 80. She was the first black woman elected to Congress, in 1968, and later founded the Congressional Black Caucus. In 1972, she ran for the Democratic Presidential nomination. She retired in 1983.

"She was a mouthpiece for the underdog, the poor underprivileged people, the
people who did not have much of a chance." -Ex-husband Conrad Chisolm

"I'd like them to say Shirley Chisolm had guts. That's how I'd like to be remembered." -Shirley Chisolm
The first day of the year, two people died who were downtrodden early in their lives and rose above it. Two people who dedicated their lives to others who were like they once were. I hope their deaths will motivate us in the upcoming year. I hope their deaths, when the year was brand new, is a good omen. Maybe this will be the year that the country finally rejects the selfishness of the Bush administration, and maybe that will translate into some correct choices in 2006 (and 2005 for those of you in Virginia, New Jersey and anywhere else that has local or statewide elections). We already know what the right choices are, but let the memory of Matsui and Chisolm be our motivation to spread that message to everyone in the coming year.

Sorry for the long post.


Support the Tsunami Victims

Hey PC Democrats

We will be collecting donations for the tsunami victims as soon as we get back. To make a donation, drop me an email or IM, and I will get you details.

Also, look for us to have a table in Ray/Slavin very soon.

The Bush administration has put up a measly $350 million dollars, and only after international and internal pressure. Pretty pathetic for the richest country in the World. Let's do our best to show the world that the PC Democrats care.

This might be the worst natural disaster in modern history. As I write this, the death toll is 140,000, and it is certain to rise much higher than that, as thousands are still missing and disease is only beginning to take its toll amongst the survivors. Every bottle of fresh water will help keep one person from succumbing to disease. Every plank of wood will help rebuild somebody's home. These nations, these people, can certainly use every dollar they can get.

If you don't want to wait until you get back to PC, Google has put together a page of reputable organizations that are taking donations for disaster relief.

See you soon, and may God/Allah bless the victims.

PC Dems Are Alive!

We finally have a website, of sorts. Yay!

Without further adieu, here are your 2004-2005 officers:

Dan Kachur '05
Charlottesville, VA

Vice President
MB Allen '06
Cortland Manor, NY
Political Science/German

Ashley Laferriere '06
Foster, RI
English/Political Science

Alyson Laferriere '05
Foster, RI

Outreach Director
Adam Roach '06
Amherst, MA
History/Political Science

CDRI Liaison
Matt Welch '05
Political Science