Progressive Calendar 07.05.06
From: David Shove (
Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2006 03:57:48 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R     07.05.06

1. End Israel aid      7.05 5pm
2. NV communication    7.05 7pm
3. Bike night          7.05 7pm

4. Eagan peace vigil   7.06 4:30pm
5. Small is beautiful  7.06 5pm
6. Northtown vigil     7.06 5pm
7. 1st Thurs art/eat   7.06 5pm
8. Marketfest/GP       7.06 6pm
9. Cavlan/NE Mpls bash 7.06 7pm
10. Whitman/Lorca      7.06 8pm
11. MW social forum    7.06-09

12. Jerome White    - Illinois Dems challenge 3rd party petitions
13. Jerome White    - Illinois Dems file bogus objection to bar 3rd party
14. John Chuckman   - Why American liberalism is impossible
15. Michael Parenti - The stolen election of 2004
16. ed              - Developoopers (haiku, slogan, maxims)

--------1 of 16--------

From: braun044 <braun044 [at]>
Subject: End Israel aid 7.05 5pm

In response to the events in Gaza, the Peace Vigil on the Lake
Street/Marshall Avenue Bridge will have an emergency theme this week:

Stop the Siege of Gaza!
End U.S. Aid to Israel!

Wednesday, July 5
Lake Street/Marshall Ave. bridge between Minneapolis & St. Paul over
the Mississippi River

The weekly peace vigil is sponsored by Twin Cities Peace Campaign-Focus on
Iraq and Women Against Military Madness.

--------2 of 16--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: NV communication 7.05 7pm

7/5 to 8/30, Wednesdays 7 to 9:15 pm, basic training in Nonviolent
Communication, sliding scale up to $180, 3248 - 15th Ave S, Mpls.
margaritaemac [at] or 612-729-1699

--------3 of 16--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Bike night 7.05 7pm

Stevens Square Community Organization (SSCO) and Stevens Square Center for
the Arts (SSCA) team up with organizations such as Gardenworks, the Bell
Museum, the National Bike Film Festival, Interact and other nonprofit
organizations to engage specific communities in the Twin Cities. They
bring socially engaging films (A Day Without A Mexican, The Real Dirt on
Farmer John, Crumb etc.) that focus on communities of color, non-auto
commuters, urban gardeners and immigrant, artist and GLBT communities.
Expect to find diverse performances and activities, films, food, blankets
and bug spray, as well as a chance to meet and engage with fellow urban

Wednesdays, June 14-August 2, 2006
7-11pm, Films At Dusk
Stevens Square Park 1801 Stevens Ave, Minneapolis, MN

July 5, 2006
Leave Your Car at Home Night
Bicycle Film Festival, HourCar, the Bell Museum, local bike organizations
and a bike fashion show provide biking basics: how to navigate the city
sans auto, quick fix your bike, share cars so you don't have to own one,
look hot while riding safe and support bike-centric businesses.

Film: TINY EXPLOSIONS by local director Collier White
Set in a lushly realized Minneapolis, Tiny Explosions begins with the
spirit of resistance in this middle-sized city, and explores the conflict
between those who keep the beat of a hopeful future and those who insist
on the arrhythmia of the status quo. With live footage from Minneapolis'
Critical Mass bike rides!

--------4 of 16--------

From: Greg and Sue Skog <skograce [at]>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 7.06 4:30pm

CANDLELIGHT PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest
corner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs
and candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends
south of the river speaking out against war.

--------5 of 16--------

From: Jesse Mortenson <jmortenson [at]>
Subject: Small is beautiful 7.06 5pm

First and third Tuesdays of the month
7.06 5pm
Cahoots coffeehouse
Selby 1/2 block east of Snelling in StPaul

Limit bigboxes, chain stores, TIF, corporate welfare, billboards; promote
small business and co-ops, local production & self-sufficiency.

--------6 of 16--------

From: EKalamboki [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 7.06 5pm

NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5 to 6 pm, at the intersection of Co.
Hwy 10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine.

Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View,
New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park, Fridley,
and Coon Rapids.  We'll have extra signs.

For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or
email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at]

--------7 of 16--------

From: tom [at]
0S0ubject: 1st Thurs art/eat 7.06 5pm

First Thursdays in NE MPLS are shaping up to be a kinda monthly
Art-A-Whirl, carnival and a hoo-haa filled evening with Warholian
indulgences and transcendental rhyme.

This Thursday, July 6th, The California Street Gallery is throwing down
with a gathering of the most notable artists in the building for a show
and time.

Come get your cards read a la Mary P., your picture taken with Andy, an
ear full with Brothers Quetico, an eyeful in the gallery and check out the
new and improved Mill City Cafe and Cocktails with 2 buck beers, 3 dollar
martinis and scrumptious food.

Starting at 5:PM and going late.

A sure cure for any post Independence Day blahs by supporting local,
independent artists and businesses and having fun while you are at it!

From: "Aldo Moroni" <aldo [at]>

California Building Gallery
Thursday July 6th 5:00pm-late
Babylon Project & the works of:
Aldo Moroni, Douglas Padilla, Kendal Bohn,
Juan Jose Palcios, Terrance Meyer, Paul Taylor, Christina Perez,
Andrew Braumberger, Susan Opitz, Tammie Linse-Worman
Brita Hallin, Will Niskanen, Dave Olson, Julian Davis.
And others

Mary P Tarot Card Readings
Get your picture taken with Andy Warhol
Don't Miss The "Musee Du Refuses"
Live Music Featuring "Brothers Quetico"
All New Mill City Café And Cocktails
Tap Beer $2.00 Martinis $3.00 1st Thursday Drink Specials
Brats Bbq And Belly Dancers

22nd and California NE

--------8 of 16--------

From: Diane J. Peterson <birch7 [at]>
Cc: Linton Suzanne <bahiabaubo [at]>
Subject: Marketfest/GP 7.06 6pm

Suzanne Linton, from the White Bear Lake area, has secured a booth space
for Greens starting this Thursday night at the MARKETFEST street festival
in downtown White Bear Lake.  The event is from 6 to 9pm each Thursday,
now through July 27.

She has an immediate need for volunteers to set up, staff, and take down
the booth.  Please contact her at 651-429-3529 or bahiabaubo [at]
to assist with these tasks.

Here is how Suzanne describes the spot:

We have a G R E A T location.  Just perfect!!
It is very close to the entrance intersection of Fourth St. and Highway

It is near the Gazebo where the live musical entertainment is, and people
mingle around there for that.  We will be able to hear the music, and
people can visit our booth and listen too. We are in a location that was
vacated last Thursday because the previous people did not like that they
sell spices in the booth next door, but I guaranteed the woman that it
couldn't be too spicy for the Green Party and the spices next to us would
not bother us a bit.  If anyone has been to the Farmer's Market in White
Bear Lake, it is in that location ... on the OLD MAIN STREET (Washington)
across from the historical buildings.  Our booth is number 11.  It is a
Prime location. Just what we deserve.  Actually it is very possible that
we are more in the forefront than either the Democratic or Republican
boothes.  They do not put the political booths together .... but scatter
them around.

We will have a table THIS Thursday.
The Marketfest Festival goes from 6:00 to 9:00.

--------9 of 16---------

From: greenpartymike <ollamhfaery [at]>
Subject: Cavlan/NE Mpls bash 7.06 7pm

Greens and Fellow Progressives,

Our campaign has been invited to speak at a local gathering of political
types in north Minneapolis called "Drinking Liberally". You are all being
cordially invited to attend and in fact some Green support would be
greatly appreciated.  Drinking Liberally is important because many of the
"blogosphere" attend these gatherings each Thursday to interview
candidates. They can help create the "buzz" needed to give campaigns extra
steam and traction. They have recently become increasingly open to talking
to and supporting Third Party candidates.

Michael Cavlan RN Candidate US Senate

331 Club 331 Northeast 13th Ave Minneapolis
Thurdsay July 6th 7pm

--------10 of 16-------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Whitman/Lorca 7.06 8pm

Ode to Walt Whitman
July 6, 7, 8 at 8:00 PM
July 13, 14, 15 at 7:00 & 9:00 PM
Tickets: $15
Limited seating available. Call (612) 377-3698 for reservations.

A puppetry performance that uncovers an unspoken dialogue between
Whitman's Leaves of Grass and Federico Garcia Lorca's poem, "Ode to Walt
Whitman." Created by Bart Buch.

Poetic dialogue is transmitted through the ethereal net into an online
chat room, contrasting Whitman's America, a nation of lovers and
comrades, with what Lorca sees: "And America is inundated with machines
and tears." Whitman and Lorca are chased through a tender, surreal and
tragic landscape employing silent hand puppets, a butterfly marionette,
masks, grass bunraku puppets, toy theatre, shadows, video projections and
live organic electronica by Martin Dosh. Puppeteers: Bart Buch, Ramon
Cordes, Adam Collignon and Kevin Long

--------11 of 16--------

From: audreythayer <athayer [at]>
Subject: MW social forum 7.06-09

July 6-9, 2006 :: Milwaukee, WI
Another World is Possible!

Previously also known as RadFest, the Midwest Social Forum (MWSF) is an
annual gathering of grassroots organizations, community activists,
educators, students, and others committed to making a better, more just
world possible. The MWSF provides an open meeting place for exchanging
experiences and information, engaging in democratic debate and dialogue,
strengthening alliances and networks, and developing effective strategies
for progressive social, economic, and political change.

You may call your local contact person:  Audrey Thayer, MWSF Committee
Member at (218) 444-8191

--------12 of 16--------

[Illinois Dems challenge 3rd party petitions]
Illinois Democrats prepare challenge against petitions to place SEP
candidate on ballot
By Jerome White
28 June 2006

Less than 24 hours after the Socialist Equality Party submitted nominating
petitions to place its candidate for Illinois state Senate, Joe
Parnarauskis, on the ballot, a functionary for the Illinois Democratic
Party purchased copies of the petitions and began reviewing them.

The action is clear evidence that the Democratic Party is preparing to
conduct another fraudulent challenge to SEP petitions, just as it did in
2004 when party officials unsuccessfully attempted to disqualify the
signatures of hundreds of legally registered voters and bar the SEP from
the ballot.

On Monday, Parnarauskis delivered petitions bearing the names of 4,991
registered voters to the State Board of Elections office in Springfield,
Illinois. Because the party anticipated another challenge from the
Democrats, the number of signatures was well above the 2,985 required to
place Parnarauskis on the ballot for state Senate from the 52nd
Legislative District, which includes the home of the University of
Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.

The Democratic Party is reviewing the SEP petitions for one and only one
reason - to keep a socialist candidate opposed to the war in Iraq and the
right-wing policies of both major parties off the ballot and preserve the
two-party monopoly of the American corporate elite. While the Democrats
prostrate themselves before the Bush administration and the Republicans,
they act with utter ruthlessness against their opponents on the left.

The Democratic machine proceeds from transparently anti-democratic
motives. It has no concern for the wishes of duly registered voters who
signed the SEP petitions because they want to see an alternative to the
two major parties on the ballot. The Democrats' past record of
unscrupulous attempts to bar third party and independent candidates -
including the Green Party and Ralph Nader as well as the SEP in 2004 -
serves as a warning that it will employ all means, fair and foul, to keep
Parnarauskis off the ballot in the November midterm election.

According to the election board's web site, on Tuesday, June 27 at 8:45
a.m., Jim Rogal of Springfield, Illinois copied the 521 petition sheets
submitted by the SEP. Rogal also copied the petitions of the Green Party's
candidate in the 1st District in Chicago, Dorian Breuer, one of several
Green Party candidates whose petitions were copied by Democratic Party

Rogal is an employee of the Illinois Senate Democratic Fund, a political
action committee that raises money for state Democratic candidates. When
contacted by the World Socialist Web Site, Rogal said he copied the
petitions to make sure the SEP had "complied with the law."

He said it was his job to "review all petitions filed for state Senate"
and claimed that he checked not only the petitions of the SEP and the
Greens, but also those of the Democrats and Republicans.

Although he is listed in the Illinois directory of state employees as an
assistant chief of staff for the state Senate, and is cited on other web
sites as a member of the staff of Emil Jones, the Democratic president of
the Illinois Senate, Rogal said he no longer works for Jones and is now
employed by the Democratic fundraising committee.

It is illegal for paid employees of the state to carry out partisan
activity during work hours under the state's Election Code and the State
Employees Ethics in Government Act.

In 2004, the Illinois Democrats challenged the nominating petitions of SEP
candidate Tom Mackaman, who was running for state legislator in the 103rd
District, which includes Champaign and Urbana. The challenge began with
the Democrats using paid legislative staffers, including one directly
employed by House Speaker Michael Madigan, to review the SEP's petitions.
Paid staffers were also used to challenge the petitions of the Greens, the
Libertarians and independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader.

Geraldine Parr, a vice-chair of the Champaign County Democratic Party,
then filed an objection that challenged more than half of the over 2,000
signatures filed by the SEP. It quickly emerged that the challenge was
lodged in bad faith, replete with arbitrary objections to perfectly valid
signatures. The objections had clearly been made without any serious
examination of the registration records of voters in the county.

When Democratic petition checkers were presented with the voter
registration rolls during a preliminary examination of the signatures by
the County Clerk 's office, they refused to withdraw the objections, even
when shown proof that the signers were legally registered. As this was
occurring, a spokesman for Madigan, one of the top Democratic officials in
Illinois, slandered the SEP with the false accusation that it had
submitted "phony petitions."

After a month-long legal fight that included a line-by-line check by
county officials that proved the validity of the vast majority of the
signatures that had been challenged, the Democrats withdrew their
objections, acknowledging that the SEP had more than enough signatures to
qualify for the ballot.

When asked by Andrew Spiegel, the SEP's attorney in Illinois, if the
Democrats were preparing another such challenge to the SEP and the Greens,
a lawyer for the Illinois Democrats said it was "too early to tell." The
deadline for challenges is 5 p.m. on July 3.

The Socialist Equality Party and the WSWS call on all those who signed
petitions to place Joe Parnarauskis on the ballot, and all those who value
and defend democratic rights, to contact the Illinois State Board of
Elections immediately and demand that the legal rights of both the SEP and
voters in the 52nd Legislative District be upheld, and that any attempt to
disqualify the signatures of registered voters be halted.

Send email messages to the Illinois State Board of Elections at
webmaster [at]

Please send copies of all messages to the WSWS.

--------13 of 16--------

Illinois Democrats file bogus objection in bid to bar SEP from ballot
By Jerome White
4 July 2006

The Illinois Democratic Party filed a last-minute objection to the
nominating petitions of Socialist Equality Party state senatorial
candidate Joe Parnarauskis Monday afternoon, less than two hours before
the deadline for such challenges.

The objection, filed at the State Board of Elections offices in Chicago by
Michael J. Kasper, the general counsel of the Illinois Democratic Party,
lays out the most trivial and unjustified criticisms of the nominating
petitions in an effort to invalidate the signatures of hundreds or even
thousands of legally registered voters and bar Parnarauskis from the

On June 26, the SEP submitted 4,991 signatures to the board of elections,
well above the 2,985 signatures required to place a candidate on the
ballot for the state senate in the 52nd Legislative District, which
includes Champaign-Urbana in east central Illinois. Within 24 hours of the
submission of the petitions, Democratic operatives with close connections
to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President Emil Jones
began copying and reviewing the signatures in preparation for the

The Illinois Democrats have also objected to the petitions submitted for
the entire statewide slate of the Illinois Green Party, including their
gubernatorial candidate, as well as Green Party candidates running in
several local races.

Even if the Democrats fail to keep Parnarauskis and others off the ballot,
their aim is to impose as large a financial and logistical burden as
possible on third party candidates, whose campaigns have a fraction of the
resources of the two big business parties. To fight the Democrats'
frivolous claims inevitably involves the outlay of legal fees and other
expenses, and the waste of many hours that could be devoted to the
campaign itself.

While the Democrats crawl before the Bush administration and the
Republicans, they will spare no effort to fight their opponents on the
left, particularly the Socialist Equality Party, which presents the
working class with a socialist alternative to the two parties of war and
big business.

The objection to the SEP petitions will be reviewed by the State Board of
Elections - composed of four Democrats and four Republicans, appointed by
the governor. The first hearing of the Board will take place
simultaneously and by teleconference in Chicago and Springfield on July 11
at 9 a.m. At that preliminary hearing rules for the review will be
adopted, attorneys will file to represent their clients, deadlines will be
established and oral arguments scheduled. Andrew Spiegel, an expert on
ballot access law in Illinois who successfully defeated the Democrats'
2004 objection to SEP state legislative candidate Tom Mackaman's
petitions, will represent Parnarauskis.

The objection against the SEP was filed in the name of two Democratic
Party precinct committeemen in Danville, Illinois-attorney Gregory Lietz
and former city councilman and Community Development Manager for the city
of Danville, John Dreher. The document begins with the hypocritical claim
that the two objectors are solely "desirous that the laws" of filing
nominating petitions are "properly complied with, and that only qualified
candidates appear on the ballot."

The details of the objection, however, demonstrate contempt for democratic
principles and laws designed to protect voting rights.

The first claim is that petitions include "names of persons who are not
registered voters, or who are not registered voters at the addresses shown
next to their names." It is a fact that SEP petitioners asked each signer
if he or she was registered to vote before accepting his or her signature.
If, however, certain signatures do not match the addresses on registration
rolls, this only underscores the undemocratic character of the state's
"registered at address" rule. This requirement has been struck down in
several other states because it disproportionately discriminates against
lower-income families and students, who tend to move more often.

The objectors then contend that the petitions include "names of persons
who did not sign the papers in their own proper persons, and such
signatures are not genuine and are forgeries." This slanderous claim,
which is presented without proof, is another effort to arbitrarily exclude
legally registered voters whose signatures, the Democrats assert,
differ - even in the slightest manner - from the way their names appear on
registration cards made out, in some cases, years earlier.

The petitions sheets, the objectors continue, also contain names of
persons "for whom the addresses are given are either missing entirely or
are incomplete." This objection can be leveled against a signer who
omitted an apartment number or something as inconsequential as the word
"Street" or "Road."

Underscoring the farcical character of the objection, the Democrats also
complain that several signatures were printed instead of signed.

Finally, the Democrats attempt to throw out 44 petition sheets (with as
many as 440 signatures) based on the claim that these sheets list under
the heading "office" the words "State Senator," while the remaining 477
sheets circulated by SEP petitioners list the office as "State
Senator-52nd District." By failing to identify the legislative district,
the objectors claim, petitioners "mislead [sic] those persons who actually
signed said sheets."

It is true that some sheets do only list "State Senator" under "office."
But it is absurd to claim that voters did not know what district
Parnarauskis was running in. Each of the petition sheets - including the
44 allegedly "suspect" sheets - begins with the preamble: "We, the
undersigned, qualified voters of the 52nd State Senate Legislative
District of the State of Illinois ... do hereby petition that the
following named persons shall be candidates for the offices hereinafter
specified." It is therefore self-evident that "State Senator" refers to
"State Senator-52nd Legislative District."

Based on these supposed "irregularities," the objectors claim, the SEP did
not meet the requirement of 2,985 valid signatures. They conclude by
requesting that the Board of Elections rule that the nominating petitions
"are insufficient in law and fact" and that the "name Joe Parnarauskis
shall not appear and not be printed on the ballot for election to the
office of State Senator for the 52nd District of the State of Illinois, to
be voted for at the General Election to be held on November 7, 2006."

The objection by the Democrats has nothing to do with the search for the
truth, let alone an interest in discerning the intent of the voters who
signed the SEP petitions to place a political alternative on the ballot.
In a manner similar to the dirty tricks operation the Republicans used to
stop the recount in Florida in the 2000 presidential election and suppress
the vote in Ohio in 2004, the Democrats are deliberately attempting to
frustrate the will of thousands of voters in Champaign and Vermilion
counties, who placed their names on the Parnarauskis petitions.

Illinois has some of the most burdensome ballot access laws in the
country, with onerous signature requirements and one of the earliest
filing deadlines. After imposing these requirements on third party
candidates, the two big business parties do everything in their power to
obstruct independent candidates from surmounting the legal hurdles.
Petitioners are regularly barred from privately owned malls and other
locations where large number of voters congregate, and are even harassed
in "public" places. During the SEP campaign, for example, library
officials in both Champaign and Urbana barred petitioning outside the
public libraries and a Champaign police officer threatened an SEP
petitioner on a public street near the University of Illinois.

To invalidate the nominating petitions the Democrats would have to
disqualify more than 40 percent of the signatures gathered by the SEP.
Like the 2004 objection filed by the Illinois Democrats against SEP state
legislative candidate Tom Mackaman, the current challenge is largely a
fishing expedition that uses minor technicalities to disqualify the
signatures of hundreds of legally registered voters. Even after a
preliminary examination showed the 2004 challenge was essentially
groundless, the Democrats continued to object to signatures that matched
voter registration records. They only dropped their bad-faith challenge
after a month-long legal battle and after readers of the World Socialist
Web Site from around the country and the world emailed letters of protest
to election officials.

Responding to the Democrats' objection Joe Parnarauskis told the WSWS,
"This is calculated effort to disenfranchise voters in my district and
block any independent voice dedicated to the aspirations of the working
class. Directed by the machine politicians in Springfield and Chicago, the
Democrats are carrying out another bad faith effort to keep the Socialist
Equality Party off of the 2006 ballot, just as they tried in 2004. The SEP
intends to wage a legal and political fight not only to defend our rights
but the rights of thousands of voters who signed petitions to place a
socialist candidate on the ballot and oppose the political monopoly of the
two capitalist parties. I urge readers of the World Socialist Web Site and
all those who defend democratic rights to oppose this travesty of justice
and email the Illinois State Board of Elections to demand that my name be
placed on the ballot in the November elections."

Email letters of protest to the Illinois State Board of Elections at
webmaster [at]

Please send copies of all messages to the WSWS

---------14 of 16--------

Why American Liberalism is Impossible
by John Chuckman
July 1, 2006

I heard an interview the other day with Peter Beinart who has a new book
called The Good Fight: Why Liberals -- and Only Liberals -- Can Win the
War on Terror and Make America Great Again. Apart from a slight nausea
induced by a toothy Richard Beymer smile offering reassuring platitudes,
there was a sense of both déjà vu and ennui, and the interview only
succeeded in reinforcing my gloomy conviction that there are virtually no
liberals left in America.

You cannot be a liberal in any meaningful sense of the word and talk about
winning a war on terror. It is a ridiculous inconsistency and a revealing
one. When someone representing himself as a liberal feels he must appeal
to Americans in these terms, it tells us a lot about the state of that
nation's values, just as it did when Michael Moore announced he supported
that arrogant, perfumed generalissimo, Wesley Clark, for president.

How can you have a war against a technique? Terror is not an army, not an
idea, not a philosophy. It is what people with serious grievances of many
kinds resort to when they have no other means of redress. The rational
approach would be sorting out the grievances, but the rational approach
doesn't achieve the true objectives of a War on Terror.

If you define the noun liberal carefully, I think you come up with
something along the lines of one who supports the little guy or the
underdog while embracing the values of democracy, human rights, and a
relatively free economy. A true liberal also has an open mind to new ways
of doing things.

Liberalism is impossible in America because most of the elements of this
definition are missing.

First, there's the elephant in the living room nobody wants to discuss:
the simple fact is that the current President of the United States was not
elected to either of his two terms. He was court-appointed to his first
term with a minority of the popular vote, and the evidence is now striking
that vote fraud in several major states purchased his second term.

Of course, that is only part of the story. George Bush entered the arena
for his party's nomination in 2000, his pockets stuffed with $77 million.
He had no national stature, he had no business or professional success
behind him, and the record of his tenure as Governor of Texas was
undistinguished. He went through the first bundles of cash quickly, but
they were replaced again and again. The donations would prove astute
investments since Bush's literally society-distorting tax cuts plus
malignant war profits would pay record returns to investors within a few

The implications of these circumstances go far beyond American blog-stuff
about "when Bush goes, we'll have our democracy back." The fraud and legal
manipulation involved in both the 2000 and 2004 elections do not magically
disappear when the current office-holder retires. Neither will the
horribly corrupting role of private money in American elections. American
democracy is a sick old man, and the country is simply missing the sine
qua non condition for liberalism.

Lyndon Johnson's civil rights legislation, morally right as it was after
centuries of repression, itself contributed to a fundamental realignment
in American politics during the 1970s. An entire chunk of the Democratic
Party, the Southern Democrats, simply left the party as southerners moved
to suburbs and started new private schools to avoid integration.  While
Southern Democrats never were truly liberal, they nevertheless created the
critical mass required for political compromises which sometimes made real
progress, the Civil Rights Acts itself being perhaps the greatest example.

Another fundamental change affecting American national politics has been
the shift for decades of American population away from old centers like
New York or Illinois -- places where unionism and political machines gave
the Democratic Party its spine -- to sun-belt, high-growth places like
Arizona or Texas -- places were the prevailing values might be described
as super-suburban.

Suburban values are in many respects inherently anti-liberal. It's as
though American society were being run through a centrifuge with the cream
of income and potential floating to the top and the rest sinking to the
bottom. With the de-centralized nature of much of American government,
interaction between various groups becomes almost non-existent. An acre of
land, five bedrooms, two SUVs, no sidewalks, no meaningful town center
beyond a private mall, and schools supported by per capita grants
unimaginable in most cities assure the permanence of the arrangement. More
than a few such places are gated just to make sure.

The Democrats have responded to this changing environment with their own
strong shift to the Right, so much so that many Democrats even in the
North are sometimes indistinguishable from Republicans. Al Gore started
his 2000 campaign with a pathetic speech on family values. John Kerry
started his campaign at a time of illegal war posed in front of an
aircraft carrier. Joe Lieberman cannot be distinguished -- either by
attitudes or effective intelligence -- from George Bush. Poor Bill Clinton
achieved almost nothing of significance to liberals during eight years in

There are other developments reinforcing American conservatism. First is
militarism. Eisenhower was right when he warned of the military-industrial
complex, but the subject of his warning is no longer a fear or a
possibility, it is reality.

America has actually spent the last half century fighting liberalism
through war. War sets up a powerful divide in any society: you are, in
Bush's remarkably articulate words, either "with or against us," you
support "the boyz" or you don't, and you either give "the enemy" comfort
or you don't. War reduces things to absolutes, erasing all the
complexities of reality. The real enemy through the Cold War was
liberalism inside America. The War on Terror is more of the same.

War and militarism create many mechanisms to reinforce conservatism.
First, there's the training of millions of young men (and now women)
receive. The values of this training are opposed to liberalism: they are
about authority, obedience, flags and drums, and heavily colored with
contempt for those with differing points of view. Dissidence and democracy
are impossible by definition within the military, and the greater the
number of young people immersed in this culture, the weaker the liberal
values of any society. Because of the secular religious overtones of
military service and extreme patriotism, the values imbued in the young
are highly charged and quite powerful.

War and militarism richly reward those who make them possible, and this is
true for all the talented individuals making careers as it is for the
great corporations who hire them. In America, such companies are
associated with much above-average incomes but also advantages such as
good health insurance and suitably suburban locations. There is no
prospect for a decline in military spending and all the loyalties
engendered by it.

Another important conservative influence on America is the country's
uncritical support for Israel. Uncritical support by a great power of any
state can be dangerous because it extends a form of absolute power
inviting a form of absolute corruption. Israel in the early twenty-first
century has become a center of pure power representing no ethical,
statesmanship, or human rights principle.

Yes, Israel is nominally a democracy, but it is one with no written
rights, it is one which defines itself in narrow theocratic terms, and it
is one with many parallels to the apartheid government of South Africa.
More importantly, it is a country like 1984's Oceania engaged in a
perpetual state of war. No matter what the original motives for this were,
the ultimate effect after many decades is morally debilitating.  The great
values of historic Judaism are nowhere apparent in Israel's behavior

Israel's influence strongly reinforces conservative values in many parts
of American society, from its cozy relationship with America's Religious
Right to its ceaseless advocacy of new wars to its own benefit. Dreams of
Greater Israel linger still, and war and the threat of war serve the same
purpose in Israel they do in the United States, even more intensely so
because Israel's armed forces are its greatest national industry and the
country is virtually a garrison state.

America has become a very conservative country since the era of the New
Deal, but that is only what was to be expected. Except for a brief time
during the New Deal, liberalism has almost no place in America's history.
That history is one of ruthless expansion and conquest. America is an
inherently conservative country, and I don't mean the kind of reflective
conservative we sometimes get in Canada or the British produce in a man
like Edward Heath, the kind of people that are sometimes called Red Tories
because of their generous social views.

Just consider that America uses as its constitution a document from the
18th century, a document that is strongly anti-democratic in a number of
its provisions and many of whose assumptions are simply out-dated. You
can't demonstrate the fundamental embrace of conservatism more clearly
than that.

Mr. Beinart refers to Harry Truman and John Kennedy as liberal figures,
but that is simply a misinterpretation of history. Truman was a hack local
politician elevated to high office through America's bizarre office of
Vice-president, a narrow man who used the word "nigger" to his dying day.
He decided to use the atomic bomb on two cities full of civilians, the
most savage decision in American history, claiming he never lost a night's
sleep for making it. John Kennedy had grace and style, but he was a jingo,
secretly trying to murder Castro, sending more advisors to Vietnam, and
creating the night-crawler Green Berets who distinguished themselves not
long after their creation by cutting thousands of villagers' throats.
Kennedy took money from the Mafia for his election, and he was only
elected through vote fraud in Illinois and Texas.

I don't believe Beinart's words have any more validity than some of the
blowhard speeches of Bill Clinton. Or perhaps I should say Zell Miller who
not many years ago gave one of the most moving speeches ever given at a
Democratic convention but went on to support George Bush and become a
contributor to Fox News.

John Chuckman lives in Canada and is former chief economist for a large
Canadian oil company. Copyright © 2006 by John Chuckman

---------15 of 16--------

The Stolen Election of 2004
By Michael Parenti
ZNet Commentary
July 03, 2006

The 2004 presidential contest between Democratic challenger Senator
JohnKerry and the Republican incumbent, President Bush Jr., amounted
toanother stolen election. This has been well documented by such
investigators as Rep. John Conyers, Mark Crispin Miller, Bob
Fitrakis,Harvey Wasserman, Bev Harris, and others. Here is an overview of
what they have reported, along with observations of my own.

Some 105 million citizens voted in 2000, but in 2004 the turnout climbed
to at least 122 million. Pre-election surveys indicated that among the
record 16.8 million new voters Kerry was a heavy favorite, a fact that
went largely unreported by the press. In addition, there were about two
million progressives who had voted for Ralph Nader in 2000 who switched to
Kerry in 2004.

Yet the official 2004 tallies showed Bush with 62 million votes, about
11.6 million more than he got in 2000. Meanwhile Kerry showed only eight
million more votes than Gore received in 2000. To have achieved his
remarkable 2004 tally, Bush would needed to have kept all his 50.4million
from 2000, plus a majority of the new voters, plus a large share of the
very liberal Nader defectors.

Nothing in the campaign and in the opinion polls suggest such a mass
crossover. The numbers simply do not add up.

In key states like Ohio, the Democrats achieved immense success at
registering new voters, outdoing the Republicans by as much as five to
one. Moreover the Democratic party was unusually united around its
candidate - or certainly against the incumbent president. In contrast,
prominent elements within the GOP displayed open disaffection, publicly
voicing serious misgivings about the Bush administration's huge budget
deficits, reckless foreign policy, theocratic tendencies, and threats to
individual liberties.

Sixty newspapers that had endorsed Bush in 2000 refused to do so in 2004;
forty of them endorsed Kerry.

All through election day 2004, exit polls showed Kerry ahead by 53 to 47
percent, giving him a nationwide edge of about 1.5 million votes, and a
solid victory in the electoral college. Yet strangely enough, the official
tally gave Bush the election. Here are some examples of how the GOP
"victory" was secured.

---In some places large numbers of Democratic registration forms
disappeared, along with absentee ballots and provisional ballots.
Sometimes absentee ballots were mailed out to voters just before election
day, too late to be returned on time, or they were never mailed at all.

---Overseas ballots normally reliably distributed by the State Department
were for some reason distributed by the Pentagon in 2004. Nearly half of
the six million American voters living abroad---a noticeable number of
whom formed anti-Bush organizations---never received their ballots or got
them too late to vote. Military personnel, usually more inclined toward
supporting the president, encountered no such problems with their overseas

---Voter Outreach of America, a company funded by the Republican National
Committee, collected thousands of voter registration forms in Nevada,
promising to turn them in to public officials, but then systematically
destroyed the ones belonging to Democrats.

--- Tens of thousands of Democratic voters were stricken from the rolls in
several states because of "felonies" never committed, or committed by
someone else, or for no given reason. Registration books in Democratic
precincts were frequently out-of-date or incomplete.

---Democratic precincts---enjoying record turnouts---were deprived of
sufficient numbers of polling stations and voting machines, and many of
the machines they had kept breaking down. After waiting long hours many
people went home without voting. Pro-Bush precincts almost always had
enough voting machines, all working well to make voting quick and

---A similar pattern was observed with student populations in several
states: students at conservative Christian colleges had little or no wait
at the polls, while students from liberal arts colleges were forced to
line up for as long as ten hours, causing many to give up.

---In Lucas County, Ohio, one polling place never opened; the voting
machines were locked in an office and no one could find the key. In
Hamilton County many absentee voters could not cast a Democratic vote for
president because John Kerry's name had been "accidentally" removed when
Ralph Nader was taken off the ballot.

---A polling station in a conservative evangelical church in Miami County,
Ohio, recorded an impossibly high turnout of 98 percent, while a polling
place in Democratic inner-city Cleveland recorded an impossibly low
turnout of 7 percent.

---Latino, Native American, and African American voters in New Mexico who
favored Kerry by two to one were five times more likely to have their
ballots spoiled and discarded in districts supervised by Republican
election officials. Many were given provisional ballots that subsequently
were never counted. In these same Democratic areas Bush "won" an
astonishing 68 to 31 percent upset victory. One Republican judge in New
Mexico discarded hundreds of provisional ballots cast for Kerry, accepting
only those that were for Bush.

---Cadres of rightwing activists, many of them religious fundamentalists,
were financed by the Republican Party. Deployed to key Democratic
precincts, they handed out flyers warning that voters who had unpaid
parking tickets, an arrest record, or owed child support would be arrested
at the polls---all untrue. They went door to door offering to "deliver"
absentee ballots to the proper office, and announcing that Republicans
were to vote on Tuesday (election day) and Democrats on Wednesday.

---Democratic poll watchers in Ohio, Arizona, and other states, who tried
to monitor election night vote counting, were menaced and shut out by
squads of GOP toughs. In Warren County, Ohio, immediately after the polls
closed Republican officials announced a "terrorist attack" alert, and
ordered the press to leave. They then moved all ballots to a warehouse
where the counting was conducted in secret, producing an amazingly high
tally for Bush, some 14,000 more votes than he hadreceived in 2000. It
wasn't the terrorists who attacked Warren County.

---Bush did remarkably well with phantom populations. The number of his
votes in Perry and Cuyahoga counties in Ohio, exceeded the number of
registered voters, creating turnout rates as high as 124 percent. In Miami
County nearly 19,000 additional votes eerily appeared in Bush's column
after all precincts had reported. In a small conservative suburban
precinct of Columbus, where only 638 people were registered, the
touchscreen machines tallied 4,258 votes for Bush.

---In almost half of New Mexico's counties, more votes were reported than
were recorded as being cast, and the tallies were consistently in Bush's
favor. These ghostly results were dismissed by New Mexico's Republican
Secretary of State as an "administrative lapse."

Exit polls showed Kerry solidly ahead of Bush in both the popular vote and
the electoral college. Exit polls are an exceptionally accurate measure of
elections. In the last three elections in Germany, for example, exit polls
were never off by more than three-tenths of one percent.

Unlike ordinary opinion polls, the exit sample is drawn from people who
have actually just voted. It rules out those who say they will vote but
never make it to the polls, those who cannot be sampled because they have
no telephone or otherwise cannot be reached at home, those who are
undecided or who change their minds about whom to support, and those who
are turned away at the polls for one reason or another.

Exit polls have come to be considered so reliable that international
organizations use them to validate election results in countries around
the world.

Republicans argued that in 2004 the exit polls were inaccurate because
they were taken only in the morning when Kerry voters came out in greater
numbers. (Apparently Bush voters sleep late.) In fact, the polling was
done at random intervals all through the day, and the evening results were
as much favoring Kerry as the early results.

It was also argued that pollsters focused more on women (who favored
Kerry) than men, or maybe large numbers of grumpy Republicans were less
inclined than cheery Democrats to talk to pollsters. No evidence was put
forth to substantiate these fanciful speculations.

Most revealing, the discrepancies between exit polls and official tallies
were never random but worked to Bush's advantage in ten of eleven swing
states that were too close to call, sometimes by as much as 9.5 percent as
in New Hampshire, an unheard of margin of error for an exit poll. In
Nevada, Ohio, New Mexico, and Iowa exit polls registered solid victories
for Kerry, yet the official tally in each case went to Bush, a mystifying

In states that were not hotly contested the exit polls proved quite
accurate. Thus exit polls in Utah predicted a Bush victory of 70.8 to 26.4
percent; the actual result was 71.1 to 26.4 percent. In Missouri, where
the exit polls predicted a Bush victory of 54 to 46 percent, the final
result was 53 to 46 percent.

One explanation for the strange anomalies in vote tallies was found in the
widespread use of touchscreen electronic voting machines. These machines
produced results that consistently favored Bush over Kerry, often in
chillingly consistent contradiction to exit polls.

In 2003 more than 900 computer professionals had signed a petition urging
that all touchscreen systems include a verifiable audit trail. Touchscreen
voting machines can be easily programmed to go dead on election day or
throw votes to the wrong candidate or make votes disappear while leaving
the impression that everything is working fine.

A tiny number of operatives can easily access the entire computer network
through one machine and thereby change votes at will. The touchscreen
machines use trade secret code, and are tested, reviewed,and certified in
complete secrecy. Verified counts are impossible because the machines
leave no reliable paper trail.

Since the introduction of touchscreen voting, mysterious congressional
election results have been increasing. In 2000 and 2002, Senate and House
contests and state legislative races in North Carolina, Nebraska, Alabama,
Minnesota, Colorado, and elsewhere produced dramatic and puzzling upsets,
always at the expense of Democrats who were ahead in the polls.

In some counties in Texas, Virginia, and Ohio, voters who pressed the
Democrat's name found that the Republican candidate was chosen. In Cormal
County, Texas, three GOP candidates won by exactly 18,181 votes apiece, a
near statistical impossibility.

All of Georgia's voters used Diebold touchscreen machines in 2002, and
Georgia's incumbent Democratic governor and incumbent Democratic senator,
who were both well ahead in the polls just before the election, lost in
amazing double-digit voting shifts.

This may be the most telling datum of all: In New Mexico in 2004 Kerry
lost all precincts equipped with touchscreen machines, irrespective
ofincome levels, ethnicity, and past voting patterns. The only thing that
consistently correlated with his defeat in those precincts was the
presence of the touchscreen machine itself.

In Florida Bush registered inexplicably sharp jumps in his vote (compared
to 2000) in counties that used touchscreen machines.

Companies like Diebold, Sequoia, and ES&S that market the touchscreen
machines are owned by militant supporters of the Republican party. These
companies have consistently refused to implement a paper-trail to dispel
suspicions and give instant validation to the results of electronic
voting. They prefer to keep things secret, claiming proprietary rights, a
claim that has been backed in court.

Election officials are not allowed to evaluate the secret software.
Apparently corporate trade secrets are more important than voting rights.
In effect, corporations have privatized the electoral system, leaving it
easily susceptible to fixed outcomes. Given this situation, it is not
likely that the GOP will lose control of Congress come November 2006. The
two-party monopoly threatens to become an even worse one-party tyranny.

Michael Parenti's recent books include The Assassination of Julius Caesar
(New Press), Superpatriotism (City Lights), and The Culture Struggle
(Seven Stories Press). For more information

--------16 of 16--------

Where there are big piles of easy money to be outrageously misspent (eg
TIF), there you will find our friendly scavengers and vultures in
three-piece suits. A haiku to them:

 lobby so the city may
 be developooped.

And a bumper sticker:

 Developoopers happen.

And two maxims:

 Developooper onto others as you would have others developooper onto you.

 Nothing is so bad a developooper can't make it worse.


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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