|Progressive Calendar 07.05.06||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|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] tc.umn.edu> 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 5-6pm 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] hotmail.com> 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] netscape.net or 612-729-1699 --------3 of 16-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> 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 dwellers. 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] mtn.org> 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] Macalester.edu> 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. http://www.gpsp.org/goodbusiness --------6 of 16-------- From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com 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] aol.com. --------7 of 16-------- From: tom [at] organicconsumers.org 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] aldomoroni.com> FIRST THURSDAY 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] comcast.net> Cc: Linton Suzanne <bahiabaubo [at] hotmail.com> 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] hotmail.com 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 61. 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] earthlink.net> 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] visi.com> 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] paulbunyan.net> Subject: MW social forum 7.06-09 MIDWEST SOCIAL FORUM 2006 July 6-9, 2006 :: Milwaukee, WI www.mwsocialforum.org 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 http://www.wsws.org/articles/2006/jun2006/illi-j28.shtml 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 operatives. 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] elections.state.il.us. Please send copies of all messages to the WSWS. https://www.wsws.org/phpform/use/comments/form1.html --------13 of 16-------- Illinois Democrats file bogus objection in bid to bar SEP from ballot By Jerome White 4 July 2006 http://www.wsws.org/articles/2006/jul2006/illli-j04.shtml 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 ballot. 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 challenge. 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] elections.state.il.us. Please send copies of all messages to the WSWS https://www.wsws.org/phpform/use/comments/form1.html ---------14 of 16-------- Why American Liberalism is Impossible by John Chuckman www.dissidentvoice.org/July06/Chuckman01.html 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 years. 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 office. 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 today. 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 http://www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/2006-07/03parenti.cfm 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 ballots. ---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 convenient. ---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 outcome. 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 visit:www.michaelparenti.org. --------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: Developoopers 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] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments
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