|Progressive Calendar 08.09.06||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2006 03:03:58 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 08.09.06 1. Eat for wamm 8.09 7am 2. S Africa justice 8.09 8pm 3. Walk for Justice 8.09 11:30am 4. OWL/care/insurance 8.09 4:30pm 5. Vigil/Norm 8.09 4:30pm 6. City forum 8.09 4:30pm 7. Full Moon Tour 8.09 7pm 8. Stadiums suck 8.09 7pm 9. War/peace/Q&A 8.09 7:30pm 10. N4P demo 8.10 4pm 11. Eagan peace vigil 8.10 4:30pm 12. Northtown vigil 8.10 5pm 13. NewBrightonParade 8.10 6pm 14. New garden coop 8.10 7pm 15. Truthout - Lamont defeats Lieberman in CT primary 16. D Provencher - House party invite, Danene Provencher for Lt Gov 17. Mizna - Call for submissions: Lebanon is burning 18. David Walsh - Ballot access specialist speaks out vs Dems in ILL 19. John Murphy - Dem party running scared - from its own members 20. David Swanson - The shame of not being Mexican 21. ed - Bananananananas (poemememememem) --------1 of 21-------- From: wamm <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Eat for wamm 8.09 7am Jump Out of the Big Box and Shop Unchained: Trotters Café and Bakery Wednesday, August 9, 7am to 7pm 232 North Cleveland Avenue (at Marshall Avenue), St. Paul. Are you concerned that our economy has our backs up against the Wal-Mart? You are invited to exercise your dollar power by supporting local, independent stores and services and WAMM. Creative, tasty hot and cold breakfast served until 1pm. Salads, soups, sandwiches, light entrees and desserts served all day. From stocks for soup to organic grain breads and delicious baked goods, everything in made from scratch on the premises. Grains and honey are from Minnesota. No additives or preservatives used. Trotters supports sustainable practices, encourages less packaging, more recycling, and will fill your own containers. 15% of profits will be donated to WAMM. FFI: Call WAMM at 612-827-5364. --------2 of 21-------- From: humanrts [at] umn.edu Subject: S Africa justice 8.09 8pm August 9 - Laurie Beckie Yetzer on "Partnership for Justice". 8-9:30am Laurie Beckman Yetzer speaks on "Partnership for Justice," a coalition of South African churches and community organizations. FFI: www.justview.org or 763-784-5177 Location: St Martin's Table, 2001 Riverside, Minneapolis, MN --------3 of 21-------- From: Sarah Caflisch <scaflisch [at] loft.org> Subject: Walk for Justice 8.09 11:30am Put Your Best Foot Forward (literally): A Walk for Justice! There are many ways to rise up against injustice. Writers fight injustice by giving voice to the voiceless, help us imagine a better world, and move us to action. Join the Loft on September 17th for the 11th Annual Walk for Justice sponsored by Headwaters Foundation. You and thousands of friends and members of community-based nonprofit organizations will raise awareness and financial support for organizations that work for social justice in Minnesota. Our goal is to raise $7,500 in pledges to support a very important Loft program, Equilibrium (EQ). EQ's Spoken Word events draw young adults from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds to participate in the literary arts, both as artists and audience members. Not only does the program inspire cross-cultural understanding, but also opens dialogue to a wider variety of voices. Please Join Us! We Need Your Help to Raise $7,500 to Support the Loft EQ Program!! The 11th Annual Walk for Justice (sponsored by Headwaters Foundation) Distance: 3.5 miles Sunday, September 17, 2006 11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Boom Island Park, Minneapolis To support Loft Equilibrium program By securing pledges to support your walk For more information on how to participate in the Loft's Walk for Justice, attend a brown-bag-lunch informational session with Kayva Yang and Cynthia Moothart from the Headwaters Foundation either Wednesday, August 9 or Friday, August 11, 11:30am-12:30pm at the Loft, Suite 200. You'll learn to create your personalized walk webpage that can be shared with friends, family and your community to help raise funds and support your walk. Any questions? Or can't make it to an information session? Please feel free to contact Kayva at (612) 215-2597 or by e-mail at kyang [at] loft.org or visit the Loft's Web site: www.loft.org <http://www.loft.org/> --------4 of 21-------- From: biego001 [at] umn.edu Subject: OWL/care/insurance 8.09 4:30pm Wednesday, August 9: Older Women's League of Minnesota (OWL) invites the community to an early evening social, featuring OWL board member Kathleen Boyer, Financial Planner, and a representative from the Vital Aging Network discussing "Long Term Care Resources and Insurance in Minnesota." Come learn about the community resources available for elders. Como Lake Pavilion in StPaul. 4:30pm Meet for supper together (purchase at the cafe) at Black Bear Crossing in the lakeside pavilion. 5:45pm Long Term Care panel and discussion (no charge). 7pm Minnesota State Band (no charge). Info or call for a ride if you like 651/228-9990. www.owl-mn.org. --------5 of 21-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: vigil/Norm 8.09 4:30pm Wednesday, 8/9 (and every Wednesday), 4:30 to 5:30 pm, Military Families Speak Out sponsors vigil in front of Sen. Norm Coleman's office, University Ave just west of Hwy 280, St. Paul. annie [at] fireman.net --------6 of 21-------- From: Dave Bicking <dave [at] colorstudy.com> Subject: City forum 8.09 4:30pm Wednesday, August 9, from 4:30-6pm. Community Forum, Our Cities' Children, with Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board, the National League of Cities, and the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at 301 19th Ave S in Minneapolis. --------7 of 21-------- From: wamm <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Full Moon Tour 8.09 7pm Full Moon Tour Wednesday, August 9, 7pm. Minnehaha Park, 54th Street South, Minneapolis (South End of the Pay Parking Lot). Join in a full moon tour around the Historic Coldwater Spring Area, featuring Bruce White, PhD., historical anthropologist and expert on the Coldwater/Ft. Snelling area, who will talk about the history of Coldwater and will discuss the best ways to respond to the Final Environmental Impact Statement. All are welcome. FFI: <www.FriendsofColdwater.org>. --------8 of 21-------- From: Ron Holch <rrholch [at] attg.net> Subject: Stadiums suck 8.09 7pm [ed head] Taxpayers for an Anoka County Stadium Referendum Wednesday August 9, at 7pm Centennial Branch Anoka County Libraries 100 Civic Heights Circle, Circle Pines 763-171-3294 There is a lot of speculation about a Vikings Stadium location and the Vikings still consider Anoka County and our tax dollars as their prime objective. No matter where you live in Minnesota, if you haven't already done so please write your representatives and tell them we do not need to waste more money on stadium giveaways to Billionaires. Please continue to tell them we want a vote as required by state law for any tax increase to pay for a stadium anywhere. Write letters to your local paper too. If you have done these things once already do it again. The time is now. Remind them that the election is only three months away. AGENDA ITEMS INCLUDE: What can we do about the September Primaries? What can we do about November Elections? Website update Lawn Signs Any Questions, comments contact me at: Ron Holch rrholch [at] attg.net <mailto:rrholch [at] attg.net> --------9 of 21-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: War/peace/Q&A 8.09 7:30pm Wednesday, 8/9, 7:30 pm, U.S. House candidate Keith Ellison gets together with peace activists to discuss war and peace issues and the final 33 days of his campaign, CWA Hall, Lake St and 35th Ave, Mpls. (An extended Q & A is planned.) --------10 of 21-------- From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net> Subject: N4P demo 8.10 4pm Thursday August 10, 4PM -6PM From: NW Neighbors for Peace, Carole Rydberg, carydberg [at] comcast.net There will be a demonstration at the corner of Winnetka and 42nd Avenue (County Rd. 9) in New Hope. Signs are available; feel free to join us at any time between 4 and 6. --------11 of 21-------- From: Greg and Sue Skog <skograce [at] mtn.org> Subject: Eagan peace vigil 8.10 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. --------12 of 21-------- From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 8.10 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. --------13 of 21-------- From: Ashley James <Ajames [at] aem.umn.edu> Subject: NewBrighton parade 8.10 6pm Come out and march with the Green Party, and support our candidates, this Thursday evening at the New Brighton Stockyard Days Parade. New Brighton Stockyard Days Parade Thursday, August 10th parade begins at 6pm The New Brighton Rotary Club will be providing hot dogs and pop for each parade participant at the end of the parade. --------14 of 21------- From: Stephen Eisenmenger <stephen [at] mngreens.org> Subject: New garden coop 8.10 7pm I am a Founding Member of a new Garden Store Cooperative to be opened October 1st in the Greenstone Floral and Nursery retail/greenhouse space at 36th and Bryant Av. S. I invite you to join with us to establish this business. A flyer that describes what we are planning, and information about two public meetings upcoming to gather input and plan how we will organize, staff and stock a new coop garden store can be found at http://www.gardenstorecoop.org/core/GSCBackofFlyer.doc as well as on our website at www.GardenStoreCoop.org. This effort is being met with a lot of enthusiasm and support, so we are going forward, and are looking for advice, input, volunteer help -- and money! You can download a Founding Member form here: http://www.gardenstorecoop.org/core/GSCfoundingmemberform.doc Please contact me if you would like more information. We have established a non-profit organization to get the planning underway, and we are looking for volunteers who can offer help with marketing, fund raising, event planning, business organization, construction, membership development, and store operations. Please forward this message to anyone you think may be interested in being a member of a local garden store co-op. You and all the public are invited to a public visioning session either Thursday, Aug 10 at Bryant Square Park in Minneapolis from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. or Saturday August 12 at the First Universalist Church at 3400 Dupont Ave S in Minneapolis. Anyone with questions can contact me. Thanks for spreading the word! Regards, Stephen Eisenmenger CARAG, Mpls --------15 of 21-------- From: t r u t h o u t <messenger [at] truthout.org> Subject: Lamont Defeats Lieberman in CT Primary BREAKING | Lamont Defeats Lieberman in CT Primary http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/080806Y.shtml Just after 11:00pm on Tuesday night, Senator Joeseph Lieberman stepped to the podium to congratulate his primary challenger, Ned Lamont, on his victory. A bit of history has been made in this Connecticut race; more than 95% of incumbents are re-elected to Congress, and a long-time incumbent losing a primary race is almost unheard of. --------16 of 21-------- From Danene Provencher PRO826 [at] aol.com Subject: House Party invite, Danene Provencher for Lt Gov YOU ARE INVITED Campaign house party/fundraiser for Danene Provencher, Green Party of MN endorsed Lt. Governor candidate Saturday, August 19th from 3-5pm Danene's back porch 2591 Commerce Blvd. Mound, MN 55364 952-994-3085 Parking available across the street in the VFW overflow parking lot If the Ken Pentel/Danene Provencher campaign raises $35,000 in $50 increments by late August to be eligible to receive $42,000 in public funds. If you are able to donate $50 to the campaign, you will be eligible for the Political Contribution Refund (PCR) Program through the state of MN. You will receive a receipt and a PCR form to complete, mail it into the state and receive a FULL refund in 6-8 weeks. If you are unable to attend the house party, donations can be sent to: Ken Pentel for Governor PO Box 583091 Minneapolis, MN 55458 Ken Pentel and Danene Provencher are Green Party of MN endorsed candidates for the positions of Governor and Lt. Governor. As stated in the enclosed literature, our campaign is concerned about MN being the 4th leading state in the country to take lobbyist money, the lag in progress to institute renewable energy and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and providing health care for all. In addition, Danene will work towards implementing conflict resolution courses in school programs, addressing violence against women and children, demanding a referendum for the Twins stadium tax instead of providing corporate welfare to billionaires and mercury levels in our MN lakes. Danene Provencher Green Party of MN Lt. Governor candidate 952-994-3085 --------17 of 21-------- From: Mizna <mizna-announce [at] mizna.org> Subject: Call for Submissions: Lebanon is Burning Call for Submissions: Lebanon is Burning Mizna, a journal of Arab-American literature, is seeking original writing for our upcoming publication, with a focus on the current situation in Lebanon. We welcome journal entries from the ground, poetry, short stories, personal essays, theatrical pieces, creative non-fiction, and reflections from abroad and at home on Lebanon. We are particularly interested in writing that addresses the current destruction of Lebanon, the struggle of Lebanon, the refugees of Lebanon, and the resistance of Lebanon. Contributors do not have to be of Arab descent provided their work is of relevance to the Arab-American community. If you would like your work to be considered for publication, please send four hard copies (double-spaced, maximum 2500 words) and a brief biography (maximum 50 words) to the address below. Alternatively, send your submission and bio via e-mail as an attachment (not in the body of the message) to mizna [at] mizna.org. Please include your name, mailing address, e-mail address, and phone number. Kindly limit poetry submissions to four poems per submission. Verses exceeding our page width will be treated with a runover indent. Proofs can be made available for author approval before publication. Mizna encourages writers who have recently translated their work into English to submit. We are available to assist writers through the editing process if necessary. Writers whose work is published in Mizna will receive a stipend and complimentary copies of the journal. Due to the volume of submissions received, those not conforming to the above guidelines, as well as previously published material, will not be considered. Mizna, Inc. 2205 California Street NE Suite 109A Minneapolis, MN 55418 Mizna is a forum for Arab American art. Visit our website at http://www.mizna.org --------18 of 21-------- Ballot access specialist, Green Party members speak out against Democrats in Illinois By David Walsh 4 August 2006 http://www.wsws.org/articles/2006/aug2006/illi-a04.shtml In Springfield, Illinois, on Wednesday the Socialist Equality Party completed the records examination of its petitions to place Joe Parnarauskis on the ballot in November as SEP candidate in the 52nd Legislative District in Illinois. This time-consuming process involved going through each of the 2,500 or more objections leveled by the Illinois Democratic Party against signatures on the Parnarauskis petitions. Although the SEP has established that it has considerably more than the 2,985 valid signatures necessary, various bureaucratic entanglements still remain, including more likely challenges by the Democrats and further efforts by the SEP to "rehabilitate" rejected or unresolved signatures. The process of gaining access to the ballot in Illinois, and in most US states, is a tortuous one. It is by no means a "level playing field," but one tilted sharply toward the Democrats and Republicans, with countless arbitrary, picayune and even arcane aspects. The State of Illinois Candidate's Guide 2006 reveals the structurally undemocratic character of the election process. Established party candidates (i.e., those of the Democrats and Republicans) for the Illinois state senate (the position for which Parnarauskis is seeking to run) are only obliged to submit the names of 1 percent, or 1,000, whichever is greater, of the qualified primary electors of the candidate's party in the district in order to be eligible for the ballot. New party candidates have to submit signatures totaling not less than 5 percent of the number of persons who voted at the last general election in the appropriate district-a task five times more difficult-and independent candidates are required to submit not less than 10 percent of the number of voters in the last election-an undertaking ten times as burdensome. And this is demanded of organizations with a fraction of the money and resources of the "established parties." All this, however, is only the immediately undemocratic character of the process. Once a new party or independent candidate ventures into the process, a variety of pitfalls (deadlines, petty restrictions, endless forms) lie in wait. The process is constructed not to facilitate the intervention of new parties, but to make life as difficult as possible for them. A single misstep may result in disqualification. Election officials and legal counsel in most cases, and all the members of the State Elections Board itself, are affiliated or beholden to either the Democratic or Republican Party, with a vested interest in preserving their dominance. Not only do individuals with such affiliations hold the levers of political power at every level-local, state and national-they possess perhaps the most precious commodity of all, an intimate knowledge of the intricacies of the process. This is what a third party is up against. One of those who guides third parties and independent candidates through the process in Illinois is Christine Tobin, a 25-year-old resident of Chicago. Ms. Tobin was helpful to the SEP in surmounting many of the bureaucratic hurdles in Illinois. The WSWS spoke to her about some of the issues involved. "The purpose of the present ballot access laws in Illinois, and elsewhere," she explained, "is to benefit the two-party monopoly. I've never seen the Democrats and Republicans so friendly except when it comes to avoiding choice. Ballot access laws are about eliminating choice. There are no free and equal elections in Illinois. "The claim is that ballot access laws are meant to reduce 'voter confusion.' People would be 'confused' by more than two choices? It's ridiculous. Do most Americans know about these restrictions? Absolutely not, they don't know. "The electoral process is very complicated, there are many technicalities. If you came unprepared, these people would eat you alive. I'm telling you, they would eat you alive. It's a nasty thing to be involved in. You can't trust anyone, you have to be discreet. "My role is to assist third parties defeat the ballot access laws. We have to work together on this. Otherwise you end up banging on a closed door. "This process doesn't only drain the resources of third parties, it wastes taxpayers' money. What is the cost of weeks and weeks of state election board employees working on these objections? "It infuriates me that law firms with powerful political connections send interns to do the dirty work of attempting to exclude third parties from the elections. It happened to a friend of mine from high school. They told him that it was the Republicans trying to get on the ballot, when it was the Greens. They were all interns from a big, well-connected law firm, and they were told they had to go do this. "One intern was in a wheelchair. He was told that he should come and object to signatures because the Republicans don't support stem cell research. It wasn't the Republicans he was objecting to. He didn't want to do it, he was very upset. "We have to raise the awareness that there's no difference between the Democrats and Republicans. From my perspective, they're equally bad. "I've been out of the country for a year and a half. There's a lot of anger against America. I hate to say it, but I'm embarrassed to be an American. I don't go out of my way to tell people I'm American. The Bush government is hated worldwide. In the US too, 60-70 percent oppose him. I'm happy that Americans are becoming more aware, more open-minded. "I have a cousin in Iraq, in the military. He's very angry to be part of this. In my generation, there's a lot of anger. People signed up for the military, never expecting to be part of this in Iraq, something they feel hatred for. These feelings are growing by the minute. "I don't make a living out of this ballot access activity. I'm helping a cause I believe in. Look, on the other hand, the Democrats have to force people to do this, interns from law firms, and also union members, I've been told. That's who they are, state employees, interns and union members, brought in by the Democrats. But for me, this is my passion, creating fair and equal elections. I look forward to the future." We also spoke to Green Party members, who were engaged in an effort to place their statewide slate of candidates in Illinois-for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, comptroller and treasurer-on the November ballot. The minimum number of signatures required to validate such a slate is 25,000 signatures. The Greens, in fact, gathered some 39,000 names, of which the Democrats challenged 23,000. The Socialist Equality Party has fundamental political differences with the Green Party, which seeks to reform the capitalist system. However, the SEP defends the Greens' right to be on the ballot and has opposed the systematic efforts by the Democrats to exclude them, in Illinois and elsewhere. Eric Much was one of the leaders of the Green Party campaign to defeat the Democrats in Illinois. We spoke to him in Springfield. "It's been an enormously time-consuming process," Much explained. "The Democrats objected to 23,000 of our signatures. We've spent every day for three weeks on this, first in Chicago, and now in Springfield. "It's totally frivolous. This is how I imagine it was organized. They got these law firm interns and told them, 'Come up with objections.' They must have told them, 'Look at the petitions and, first of all, object to anything that looks messy.' And after that, it seems to have been completely random. They just randomly assigned objections, 'out of district,' for example, when there is no 'out of district.' It's a statewide slate. "This costs the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. Perhaps $700-$800,000. For what? In order to disenfranchise citizens. The right to petition is subverted by a lawyer somewhere filing a motion. We've been in Springfield alone for two solid weeks, and we're not quite finished. We expect to go over the 25,000 threshold today, which is the minimum number we need. The Democrats could withdraw at that point, but they won't. "Their purpose is to exclude parties. This is a closed two-party system; they're like two kids in a sandbox, who won't let anyone else in. It's completely undemocratic. "We've got to get across to the public how difficult this process is. Some of the media have covered this, in southern Illinois, in Carbondale, Peoria. In Chicago, next to nothing. They're intimidated by the Democratic machine. "We know that interns for big law firms associated with the Republicans have helped in the campaign to object to our petitions. They're helping the Democrats. Are there two parties, or one?" At a press conference August 2 to announce the Greens' success in achieving the goal of 25,000 valid signatures, Green Party candidate for governor Rich Whitney called the Democratic objections "frivolous and ill-conceived." He noted that the Democrats had challenged his own signature on a petition sheet, and that the objection was sustained. Whitney called on the Democrats and Republicans to permit him to take part in all the gubernatorial debates. He noted that the two parties are insisting that a candidate must have a certain standing in the polls before he or she would be admitted. In response to a question, Whitney called this a "Catch 22." It's difficult for a party to win support from the public without receiving media attention, he commented, and the Democrats and Republicans want to make media coverage dependent on public support. Whitney also noted that "new parties have to collect five times the signatures of the two major parties, which is one of the most undemocratic aspects of the process." Enormous amounts of time and money were consumed by the objection process, and, for the most part, major media outlets refuse to cover the issue, he said. At the end of the press conference, Whitney introduced SEP candidate Joe Parnarauskis, who spoke briefly about the SEP's effort. Most of the media got up and left, on the grounds that the Parnarauskis's campaign issues were for the "Champaign media" [Champaign, Illinois, is in the 52nd Legislative District] and wasn't a "Springfield story." In this reaction, it was difficult to tell whether political hostility, provincialism or indifference predominated. --------19 of 21-------- A Party on the Run ... from Its Own Members! Democrats Running Scared, Again By JOHN A. MURPHY The Democratic Party in Pennsylvania is once again trembling in fear. The last time it suffered such a political panic attack was when it faced the prospect of having to run against Ralph Nader in 2004. Since it could not possibly deal with Mr. Nader on an issue by issue basis given a candidate like John Kerry, the leaders of the party decided to destroy democracy in Pennsylvania. That sounds like strong language but there are two ways to destroy democracy. One is by preventing people from voting, the other is by preventing worthy candidates from ever appearing on the ballot. In 2004 the Democratic Party removed 63% of the signatures of Pennsylvania citizens from Ralph Nader's petitions using the minutia embedded in the anti-democratic ballot access laws it helped create and effectively destroyed democracy in Pennsylvania. The Democrats and Republicans in Pennsylvania worked together, in true bipartisan spirit, to create a set of ballot access laws which would virtually prevent third party or independent candidates from running for statewide offices like Governor, Senator or President. These the same laws even make it four times more difficult for local candidates to run against duopoly candidates. Next to Alabama, Pennsylvania's are the worst ballot access laws in the nation. In fact, if Pennsylvania's ballot access laws were to be applied to Utah, the Democratic Party would be disqualified as a major party. If Pennsylvania's ballot access laws were applied to Massachusetts the Republican Party would be disqualified as a major party. This year the Green Party candidates, like the Libertarian Party and Constitutional Party candidates, needed to gather 67,000 signatures just to get on the ballot and needed 100,000 signatures to cover any possibility of errors. Yet the duopoly candidates only need 2,000 signatures. Independent and third-party candidates in essence are required to obtain 50 times the amount of signatures needed by the Republicans and Democrats. This was an impossible number for any party third party in Pennsylvania to reach let alone an independent candidate. Impossible, that is, unless it had professional help. But the tiny Green Party could not afford such help. Help came nevertheless. Help came in the form of contributions from registered Republicans. The Republican contributors however did not support the Green Party's petitioning efforts simply because they believed in fair ballot access laws. Like the Democratic Party, they too are responsible for creating the unconstitutional ballot access laws, the modern-day versions of Jim Crow laws, in Pennsylvania which effectively prevent all but Democrats and Republicans from running for statewide office. The Republicans funded the petitioning efforts of the Green Party simply because they knew that if Carl Romanelli appears on the ballot, progressive Democrats will vote for him. The way Democrats and Republicans phrase it however goes something like this "Carl Romanelli will take votes away from Bob Casey guaranteeing that Rick Santorum will win". That is the way they talk. The very phrase itself "take votes away from" says it all. No one can take votes away from anyone unless there is presupposed ownership in the first place. That's the problem. The Democrats and Republicans both believe they actually own our votes. They do not believe that our votes must be earned. While this is not the most noble of reasons for the Republicans to fund the petitioning efforts of the Green Party it does, nevertheless ensure that justice is done in the final analysis and it is hard to think of a better way for Republicans to spend their money. While it is never ethically acceptable to do something wrong in order to achieve something good, the ends never justify the means; it is quite acceptable to do something right for the wrong reasons. For whatever reasons the Republicans had in contributing to the Green Party, they nevertheless did the right thing. They made sure that the Green Party would not be denied access to the ballot simply because of the unconstitutional ballot access laws in Pennsylvania. Now the Democrats are even more in a snit than they were in 2004. This year the Democratic Party is running Bob Casey. Like his Republican opponent, Casey is both anti-choice and pro war. With the Green Party's Carl Romanelli on the ballot, Casey will now have to face a challenge from the left as well as the right and deservedly should go down in flames. This thought makes many rank-and-file Democrats crazy. "What's wrong with those Greens; do they want six more years of a psychopath like Rick Santorum?" That's how Democrats have been taught to think. Instead of saying "now we actually have a candidate who represents our political hopes and desires", they have been conditioned to settle for the crumbs from the corporate owned table of the Democratic Party. It should be remembered that the corporate owned Democratic Party could have prevented all of this by creating fair ballot access laws in Pennsylvania and by introducing Instant Runoff Voting (IRV). But they did not. They called Ralph Nader a "spoiler" in 2000 and blamed him for the loss of Gore to Bush. If they truly believed that Nader was a spoiler then they would have enacted legislation to install IRV thereby ending the "spoiler effect". They took no such steps. They want to continue their little party with the Republicans; once again however they see that someone wants to spoil their little party. Now, when a candidate who offers a real choice comes along like Carl Romanelli, instead of changing the position of their candidate, or dumping him altogether and supporting the Green Party candidate, they have decided to remove Romanelli from the ballot in the same fashion as they removed Ralph Nader. In a recent press release, "RAMPANT DISCREPANCIES IN GREEN PARTY SIGNATURE GATHERING", the Democratic Party of Pennsylvania leader T. J. Rooney even compared the Green Party's petitions to Ralph Nader's petitions of 2004 signaling that just as the Democratic Party aborted the democratic process in 2004; they were prepared to do the same thing here in 2006. They even quoted from a judge who never even looked at Nader's petitions. The Democratic Party removed 63% of Mr. Nader's signatures yet only 1.4% of Nader's signatures were rejected as forgeries. The other signatures were all rejected as being from people who were either not registered to vote or not registered to vote at the time of signing the petition. The egregious Pennsylvania ballot access laws were used in a way that can only be described as "political profiling". In the case of Mr. Nader's petitions; 6,411 signatures were removed simply because the signers had moved from one home to another between the time they had signed the petition and the time when the petitions were challenged. 1,869 were removed because the signer forgot to write down the date or neglected to put in their middle initial. 7,851 signatures were removed because they were "in the hand of another". In other words if a husband filled out all the information like name and address for both he and his wife and then passed it to his wife for her signature, the wife's signature would not be accepted because part of the entry was "in the hand of another". This also happened in many cases because one signer might notice a missing date next to another signer's name and then fill in the blank. 3,513 were removed for "other" reasons. This means that instead of writing the name of their borough they wrote the name of their township or city. Without going into all the other bogus reasons for thwarting the will of Pennsylvania citizens we can see that the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania removed 19,704 signatures for purely frivolous reasons in order to destroy the Nader campaign and at the same time the democratic process in Pennsylvania. Now the Democratic Party leaders are planning to do the same thing to the Green Party candidate Carl Romanelli. They will probably get away with it. Many rank-and-file members of the Democratic Party literally believe it does not matter how Romanelli is eliminated as long as he is removed. These Democrats have essentially left the mainstream of American political thought and have become virtually totalitarian. Just as the ABB (Anybody But Bush) mania gripped the rank-and-file Democrats in 2004, a similar fear grips them now in Pennsylvania with respect to incumbent Republican Senator Rick Santorum. Make no mistake about it; Rick Santorum is a monstrosity. Given his record as a pro war, anti-choice Senator it might be supposed that if the Democratic Party wished to defeat him they would have given the people of Pennsylvania a candidate that was significantly different. Instead, their pro war, anti-choice candidate is now faced with a real alternative to Rick Santorum; a pro-choice, antiwar Green who would be supported by an overwhelming number of Democrats. The Democratic Party simply doesn't care about getting rid of Rick Santorum. The contest between the Democrats and Republicans is no more significant than an intramural softball game. Everybody's really on the same side after all when the game is over. This is why the Democrats did nothing about voter fraud in Florida in 2000 and nothing about Ohio in 2004. The Pennsylvania Democratic Party doesn't really mind if it is beaten by a Republican. But if the Republican wins because a real progressive received a significant number of votes, that is a real defeat. The Democratic Party in Pennsylvania is cornered again just as it was cornered by Ralph Nader in 2004. The Democratic Party demonstrated quite dastardly in 2004 just how it behaves when it is cornered. It is long past time to give up on the Democratic Party. The creation of the DLC (Democratic Leadership Council) as the representative of corporate America within the Democratic Party coupled with the addictive influx of corporate funds has caused the Democratic Party to replace the voter as its constituency with the lobbyists of the corporations that have financed its election campaigns. The plaintive, futile pleadings to "change the system from within," to make the party "wake up and smell the electorate" have become both boring and maddening. This pitiful wailing on the part of progressive Democrats is not a strategy. It is nothing more than a tragic, senseless wish. The Democrats must give up their search for Rumblestiltskin. Their desperate desire to "take back the Congress" ignores the question "take back the Congress for whom". The rank-and-file members of the Democratic Party are constantly encouraged to sacrifice the long run on the altar of the short and vote for the lesser of two evils; yet voting for the lesser of two evils has never given us better Republicans only worse Democrats. It is also time to get rid of the myth of the "spineless Democratic leadership". The leaders of the Democratic Party are not spineless. They are doing just what they are told to do by their corporate paymasters. It is time to stop fearing what will happen when we have finally given up on the Democratic Party. That fear is really all the Democratic Party has left. The Democratic Party is broken beyond repair; denying that reality supports a sham democracy and one-party politics. The Democratic leaders are not stupid. But those rank-and-file Democrats, who are still expecting something to change, have every reason to wonder about themselves. John Murphy is independent candidate for House of Representatives in the 16th Congressional District of Pennsylvania. He has been endorsed by Michael Berg, Peter Camejo, Noam Chomsky, Ralph Nader and Howard Zinn. He has been endorsed by two county level Green Parties, two county level Libertarian Parties, the Pennsylvania Reform Party, the New American Independent Party of Pennsylvania and the GDI among others. He is also one of the founding members of the Pennsylvanian Ballot Access Coalition, working to change ballot access laws in Pennsylvania. He can be reached at: johnamurphy [at] comcast.net. http://www.counterpunch.org/murphy08082006.html --------20 of 21-------- The Shame of Not Being Mexican By David Swanson t r u t h o u t | Perspective http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/0800206E.shtml Wednesday 02 August 2006 I'll grant you that in the United States our two big political parties never nominate a candidate of, by, or for poor people. Nonetheless, we have now established a pattern of stolen elections, and we have NOT taken over our nation's capital to demand justice. This fact alone would make me ashamed right now not to be a Mexican. The Mexicans are doing the only sensible thing they can, the only thing that can prevent a slide into far more serious dangers. Here in the United States, however, we don't just have stolen elections. Our nation's capital is home to a White House that has eliminated the Congress and the Supreme Court from any serious role in our government, not to mention a Congress that has rolled over and refused to resist. Our unelected president has reversed 800 acts of Congress, torn up half the Bill of Rights, launched an illegal war based on lies, facilitated another one, locked people up without charge or trial and tortured them, and launched massive spying operations outside the rule of law. And yet, we do not fill the streets. This Sunday, the truly dedicated will take up residence anew at Camp Casey in Crawford, Texas. On September 5, Camp Casey will move to the National Mall in Washington, DC, and expand into Camp Democracy - an attempt to force fundamental change. One of the groups that will play a lead role in Camp Democracy is immigrants and activists for immigrants' rights. Some immigrants' rights groups will also hold a rally and march in DC on September 7. In recent months, the ability of immigrants to turn out and march in the United States has shamed all native-born agitators for justice. Not only do we all need to learn from the immigrants' rights movement. We all need to get behind it and support it. The anti-war movement, in particular, should be backing the cause of immigrants' rights with everything we've got. And when non-immigrants lobby their elected representatives on any other issue, they should always raise the cause of immigrants' rights as well. Because their cause is our cause. Americans' willingness to abuse Iraqis is not separate from our willingness to discriminate against Muslim Americans and Americans of Arab or Mexican descent. This time it's not "first they came for the communists, then they came for the Jews." This time, it's "first they came for the immigrants." And that is the point at which to stop it. Halliburton is building detention camps for "immigration emergencies." But what are those? An expansion of NAFTA? A surge in global warming? Or are they the sort of emergencies in which segments of our population become guilty until proven innocent? My Congressman, Republican Bush-follower Virgil Goode, recently put out a statement arguing for allowing the minimum wage to continue to decrease because restoring any of its value would attract immigrants to this country. Goode can't seriously imagine that anyone doesn't realize that non-immigrants, too, are affected by the minimum wage. It's just that we've reached the point at which fear of immigrants is expected to persuade us to abuse ourselves, to pick up the chains and voluntarily slip them on. Bush's new proposal for detaining people without charge or probable cause or access to an attorney targets citizens, not just immigrants. We are all in this together, including the Iraqis and the Lebanese and the Palestinians. Only a people that has been trained to fear and abuse others could tolerate what our government is doing to those peoples. Recent immigrants know this better than the rest of us, and we should be recruiting them into the peace movement. (And, by the way, has anyone nationally noticed that progressive pro-peace Democratic candidate Al Weed is rapidly closing in on Goode in the polls?) Last week an angry Muslim attacked a Jewish institution in Seattle. The Council on American Islamic Relations released a statement urging us not to bring the war home. But the war is, from the start, home. The war is in the heart of every American not camped out in our nation's capital demanding an end to the insanity and a restoration of the rule of law. Did you know that many immigrants join the US military as a step toward citizenship (or death)? Did you know that when people become citizens, they must answer whether they've ever been a communist or a homosexual? Did you know that they still can never become president? Because then we would have needed to ask whether they'd ever slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Arabs or lied to Congress or tortured innocent prisoners. Did you know that this nation is almost entirely one of immigrants and the descendants of slaves; that recent immigrants do not drain our economy - the war does; that the criminals are in DC, not on the border; and that the "Immigration Problem" is a problem of discrimination and fear mongering, not criminality. If we didn't want Mexicans to come north, why did we NAFTA them? Even Ross Perot has to have understood that giant sucking sounds are heard on both sides of a border erased by corporate greed, even if rebuilt by the corporate military. As my friend Travis Morales points out, the current debate in Congress and the media is over how to make things worse. The polls focus on how sad we should be if no immigration bill is passed during this Congress. But, as long as all the bills take us back to a formal system of apartheid, to a legalized second-class status, should we be sorry not to see them pass? If we are going to change the debate, we are going to have to join forces and recognize that this is all one movement. Immigrants should not be afraid of opposing the war - opposing the war is majority opinion, and the stronger it grows, the more minds are moved away from xenophobia and racism. Peace activists should not be afraid of immigrants' rights, and should never expect to win respect for distant unseen Iraqis if we cannot win it for present refugees from NAFTA. Nor should any of us back away from "raising" the minimum wage, which CBS says has 85% support. That's the same percentage of Americans who back single-payer health care, the solution still feared by the man who had his election stolen in 2004. Halting global warming, reforming elections and the media, restoring the right to organize a union, beginning impeachment investigations - these are all majority positions led by campaigns that sometimes fail to take on each other's causes for fear of alienating supporters. This fear is self-defeating. It is all one movement and will succeed as one movement at http://www.campdemocracy.org . David Swanson is creator of MeetWithCindy.org, co-founder of the AfterDowningStreet.org coalition, a writer and activist, and the Washington Director of Democrats.com. He is a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, and serves on the Executive Council of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, TNG-CWA. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including Press Secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign, Media Coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association, and three years as Communications Coordinator for ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Swanson obtained a Master's degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia in 1997. His website is www.davidswanson.org. --------21 of 21-------- To fit its new role our republic plants miles of banana trees Yes we're going bananananananas right out of our tree ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ - 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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