Progressive Calendar 10.23.06
From: David Shove (
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 2006 05:04:22 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    10.23.06

1. Hire/criminal rec    10.23 10am
2. Togo/human rights    10.23 12noon
3. Stadium actions      10.23 5:30pm/8:40pm
4. US empire 101        10.23 5:30pm
5. GOTV for IRV         10.23 6pm
6. Afghanistan          10.23 6:30pm
7. Progressive religion 10.23 7pm
8. IRV info sessions    10.23 7pm
9. LWV/voting           10.23 7pm
10. Pentel/gov/TV       10.23 11pm
11. Mortenson/64A/SPNN  10.23 11pm

12. Climate change conf 10.24 8am
13. KFAI/Lydia Howell   10.24 11am
14. Stadium action      10.24 12noon
15. Media malculture/TV 10.24 5pm
16. Mortenson/64A       10.24 5:30pm
17. Salon/poetry        10.24 6:30pm
18. Zapatista coffee    10.24 7pm
19. New Minnesotans     10.24 7pm
20. CIW solidarity      10.24 7pm
21. Vote/judges         10.24 7pm
22. US Judaism +/-      10.24 7:30pm

23. Greg Palast   - Recipe for a cooked election
24. Jan Baughman  - Change the course
25. Louis Proyect - Thoughts on the US midterm elections
26. ed            - All the little Dems (poem)

--------1 of 26--------

From: Guy Gambill <gambillgt1 [at]>
Subject: Hire/criminal rec 10.23 10am

Fair Hiring Practices For People With A Criminal Justice Record
Pipeline Report For The Community
At The Minneapolis Urban League North
2100 Plymouth Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55411
Support Council Members Elizabeth Glidden and Don Samuels
OCTOBER 23rd, 10:00 am to 12:00

Currently, there are over 9,000 Minnesotans incarcerated in our state
prison system. According to the Minnesota Department of Corrections, a
further 126,700 people were on probation or parole in 2004. An estimated
250,000 Minnesotans have a felony conviction on their records and an
unknown, but larger number have a misdemeanor conviction.

In accordance with Chapter 364 of the Minnesota Statutes, people with a
conviction record cannot be discriminated against when they apply for
public employment. Applicants must also be accorded the opportunity to
provide evidence of rehabilitation.

In both Minneapolis and St. Paul, an effort is underway to introduce
Resolutions that would significantly improve the hiring practices for
persons with a criminal record. This is part of a national effort with
precedents in San Francisco, Boston, LA, and Chicago.


Sponsored by: Council on Crime and Justice, Minneapolis Urban League,
Al-Furqan Institute, RS Eden, Salvation Army, African- American Family
Services, MN Black Lawyer's Association, Affirmative Options, Barbara
Schneider Foundation, Women Planting Seeds, AMICUS, Twin Cities RISE!

Please RSVP to: Cheryl Morgan-Spencer at cmspencer [at] Guy Gambill at
612-596-7628, gambillg [at]

--------2 of 26--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Togo/human rights 10.23 12noon

Monday, 10/23, noon to 1:30 pm, Togolese human rights activist Paul Amla
speaks on "Human Rights and Its Violation in Togo," 110 Heller Hall, U of M,
Mpls.  zhang429 [at]

--------3 of 26--------

From: Shar in Minneapolis <sharinminneapolis [at]>
From: "theccarl" <theccarl [at]>
Subject: Stadium actions 10.23 5:30pm/8:40pm

MONDAY Evening, October 23
We will be filming another segment for local cable TV.  Come and be in the
audience!!  (Audience members will NOT be shown on camera)
You need to be there by 5:30, and expect to stay for about 2 hours.

Northwest Community TV 6900 Winnetka Ave North Minneapolis, MN 55428, US
http://www.mapquest .com/maps/ map.adp?formtype 
 Community+ Television&address=6900+ Winnetka+ Ave+North&city=Brooklyn+ 
Park&state=MN&zipcode=55428- 1669

And then AFTER the show, join us ........
MONDAY Evening, October 23
FORUM:  Stenglein and Greg Gray.
Monday, October 23 at Plymouth City Hall at 8:40pm and moderated by the
League of Women Voters. Address is 3400 Plymouth Blvd.
MAP:  http://www.mapquest .com/maps/ map.adp?latlongt 
ype=internal&addtohistory=&latitude=rhKrFFfEIr yi5v8GyuGt6A% 
3d%3d&longitude=UiwJ1dbYz zL3tM%2fuyO3lbQ% 3d%3d&name=Plymouth% 
20City%20Adm&country=US&address=3400% 20Plymouth% 
2d5050&spurl=0&&q=Plymouth%20City% 20Hall&qc=City%20Governmen t

--------4 of 26---------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: US empire 101 10.23 5:30pm

Mondays, 9/11 to 11/13, 5:30 to 8 pm, free class "American Empire 101" with
U of M prof Richard Martinez, Jack Pine Center, 2815 E Lake, Mpls.

--------5 of 26--------

From: Eric Pusey [mailto:e_pusey [at]]
Subject: GOTV for IRV 10.23 6pm

Greetings IRV volunteers!

We're in the final stretch now.  A whole lot of folks have lit dropped in
their Ward.  We've made tremendous progress and have a pretty good shot at
getting lit to every house in Minneapolis.  Thanks to all of you who

Now we turn to reminding folks that IRV is on the ballot -- GOTV.

You can call a list from home or or meet at MPIRG to use their phones.
Its up to you.  Here's MPIRG's info.

MPIRG Suite 111 and 112A 1313 5th Street SE Minneapolis 612-627-4035

Please let me know which days you can help on, so we can make sure that
everyone who signed our petition know to vote for IRV on November 7th.
If you want to phone bank, here's the schedule:

Mon 10/23 6-8pm
Tue 10/24 6-8pm
Wed 10/25 6-8pm
Thu 10/26 6-8pm
Sat 10/28 10-12, 12-2, 2-4 & 4-6pm
Sun 10/29 12-2, 2-4, 4-6 & 6-8pm
Mon 10/30 6-8pm
Tue 10/31 6-8pm
Wed 11/01 6-8pm
Thu 11/02 6-8pm
Fri 11/03 6-8pm
Sat 11/04 10-12, 12-2, 2-4 & 4-6pm
Sun 11/05 12-2, 2-4, 4-6 & 6-8pm
Mon 11/06 6-8pm

Let me know if you can call from home and I'll get a list over to you

If you respond quickly enough, I'll make sure you don't recall a follow up
call.  Please call me if you have any questions.  651-503-3062.
Eric Pusey Volunteer Coordinator Instant Runoff Voting e_pusey [at]

--------6 of 26--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Afghanistan 10.23 6:30pm

Monday, 10/23, 6:30 pm, local peace activist Santwana Dasgupta gives a
report-back on her trip to Afghanistan, Holy Trinity Church library, 2730 E
31st St, Mpls.

--------7 of 26--------

From: david unowsky <david.unowsky [at]>
Subject: Progressive religion 10.23 7pm

Magers and Quinn presents Bob Edgar at Lyndale UCC 7pm Monday October 23

The radical religious right has put the wrong issues at the top of the
moral agenda for America, says Bob Edgar, the general secretary of the
National Council of Churches USA and a former six-term congressman. The
moral issues that really matter to America's faithful majority - to
"Middle Church" - says Edgar, are peace, poverty, and planet Earth.
Middle Church is a stirring call to progressive people of faith to take
back the moral high ground from the right-wing extremists and make America
a better - not a more divided - country.

The Bible seldom mentions homosexuality, doesn't mention abortion at all,
but discusses poverty and peace more than two thousand times. But despite
the Bible's emphasis on issues of social justice, the politics of faith
have been captured in this country by a radical minority with its narrow
and highly divisive agenda emphasizing personal piety above all else. This
limited agenda is built around opposition to gay marriage, abortion, and
stem-cell research, rather than the timeless and unifying themes of the
Bible. In a stunning reversal of the historic role of religion in
progressive change, faith has now been co-opted into a force for
preemptive war, indifference to the poor, and reckless environmental

In "Middle Church", Bob Edgar reclaims faith for the American mainstream.
He rebuts the distorted arguments of the far religious right and instead
offers progressive solutions grounded in Scripture behind which most
Americans can unite. He reminds us that Jesus preached mainly about the
poor and that social justice and peace were at the heart of his ministry.
Edgar agrees that all Americans have a right to bring the values of their
faiths to bear on the policies of our government. But faith, as he shows,
should lead to progressive solutions for the defining moral issues of our
time: peace, poverty, and planet Earth. "Middle Church" identifies the
common ground on which people of faith - Christians, Jews, and Muslims -
can unite and shows how this faithful majority can put tolerance, social
justice, and love at the top of the political agenda in this country once

Bob Edgar is the general secretary of the National Council of the Churches
of Christ in the USA, the leading U.S. organization in the movement for
Christian unity. He has headed the 45-million-member NCC since January 1,
2000. An ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, Dr. Edgar came to
the Council from the Claremont School of Theology in Claremont,
California, where he was president from 1990 to 2000. Dr. Edgar is well
known for his service as a six-term member of the U.S. House of
Representatives, where he was the first Democrat in more than 120 years to
be elected from the heavily Republican Seventh District of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Edgar has been a pastor, teacher, college chaplain, community
organizer, and director of a think tank on national security issues. He
serves on the boards of several organizations whose missions involve
social justice. Dr. Edgar and his wife live in New Jersey and have three
adult sons. Where:: Lyndale United Church of Christ, 810 W. 31st St. (at
Aldrich) Minneapolis.

Contact: David Unowsky 612-822-4611 davidu [at]

--------8 of 26--------

From: Jeanne Massey <jkmassey [at]>
Subject: IRV info sessions 10.23 7pm

Instant Runoff Voting Information Sessions

On November 7th, Minneapolis voters will have the opportunity to cast a vote
for Instant Runoff Voting and better democracy in Minneapolis. Election Day
is around the corner and the Better Ballot Campaign wants to make sure
Minneapolis voters know about Instant Runoff Voting before going to the

Have questions about Instant Runoff Voting? Still wondering what it is? You
are invited to learn more at any of the several upcoming information
sessions.  If you already know about Instant Runoff Voting, please tell your
friends, neighbors and family about it and invite them to an information
session to learn more.

[Please SAVE this post if you think you may go to any of the below - ed]

Monday, October 23
IRV House Party
Home of Michelle Dibblee
3154 Ulysses St NE
7:00 - 9:00 pm

Monday, October 23
Joint Neighborhood Presentation and Demonstration
Lyndale Farmstead Park
39th St & Bryant Ave S
6:30 - 8:00 pm

Tuesday, October 24
Minneapolis Urban League Pipeline - Presentation and Demonstration
Minneapolis Urban League, 2100 Plymouth Ave N
6:00 - 8:00 pm

Wednesday, October 25
IRV House Party
Home of David Novak
4733 Garfield Ave S
7:00 -9:00 pm
Details:  <>

Thursday, October 26
IRV Round Table Discussion
Hosted by Council Member Cam Gordon
Mathews Park, 2318 28th Ave S
7:00 - 9:00 pm
Details:  <>

Monday, November 6
Presentation to Audubon Neighborhood
Audubon Park, 2899 Fillmore St NE
7:00 pm

--------9 of 26--------

From: erin [at]
Subject: LWV/voting 10.23 7pm

Monday, October 23: League of Women Voters of Minneapolis and Minneapolis
Adult Community Education Become an Informed Voter by registering for an
Adult Community Education class. Covered topics: Why Vote; What is the
"Voting Rights Act"; What will be on the ballot?; How do I choose a
candidate?; How do I learn more about the issues? South High. 7-8:30 PM.
612/668-4326 ask for Civic Education, class code 2007So.

--------10 of 26--------

From: PRO826 [at]
Subject: Pentel/gov/TV 10.23 11pm

An Interview with Ken Pentel, the Green Party candidate for Governor with
host Mary Hanson. Remaining broadcast times are: Channel 17, Oct. 23 @ 11
Pm and Nov. 2nd @ 6:30 PM.

--------11 of 26--------

From: Andy Hamerlinck <iamandy [at]>
Subject: Mortenson/64A/SPNN 10.23 11pm

See an interview with Jesse on Saint Paul's SPNN channel 15--Saint Paul
Neighborhood Network.

This is a great way for folks to hear Jesse on a bigger screen than their
computer, for a full hour. Here's the link to the SPNN schedule:

Jesse's interview will be broadcast at the following dates and times:

Monday, Oct. 23 at 11pm
Sunday, Oct. 29 at 5:30pm (ah, prime time!)
Saturday, Nov. 4 at 5:00pm
Sunday, Nov. 5 at 7:30pm

SPNN has 5 channels. These broadcasts are all on channel 15.

--------12 of 26--------

From: Darrell Gerber <darrellgerber [at]>
Subject: Climate change conf 10.24 8am


*Moving Toward Sustainable Energy Systems:
Exploring Global Pathways to a Common Destination *

October 24, 2006
8am to 5pm

University of Minnesota, Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey Center, 301 19th
Avenue S., Minneapolis, 55455

Free and open to the public.

This workshop is the second in a three-part series titled Climate Change
and Sustainable Development: Paths to Progress. The objective of this
workshop is to identify and analyze pathways for transformation toward a
sustainable energy future. This workshop will focus on comparing
constraints and opportunities around the globe, particularly in the Upper
Midwest and India, in order to examine how different technologies can be
deployed and policies structured to create economically viable and
environmentally sound energy futures under local and national
circumstances. Keynote speaker is David Jhirad, Vice President for Science
and Research, World Resources Institute, Washington DC, USA

Featured Speakers:
* Ken Keller, Center for Science, Technology & Public Policy, UMN
* J. Brian Atwood, Humphrey Institute of Public Policy, UMN
* Don Shelby, WCCO-TV
* Robert Donkers, Delegation of the European Commission to the United States
* Surya P. Sethi, Planning Commission, Government of India
* Bill Grant, Izaac Walton League
* David Hales, College of the Atlantic
* Elizabeth Wilson, Center for Science, Technology & Public Policy, UMN
* Leena Srivastav, The Energy & Resources Institute
* Lester Lave, Carnegie Mellon Green Design Initiative, Carnegie Mellon
* M. K. Gajendra Babu, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
* Armin Rosencranz, Graduate Schoool of Public Policy, UMD
* S. K. Sarkar, The Energy & Resources Institute
* Bob Elde, Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment, UMN
* Naveen Kumar, Delhi College of Engineering
* Nick Jordan, Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, UMN
* David Morris, Institute for Local Self-Reliance

Seating is limited, so registration at your earliest convenience is highly
recommended. Online registration is available at:

For more information, please contact Sophia Abbott, 612-626-1593;
albot002 [at]

--------13 of 26--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: KFAI/Lydia Howell 10.24 11am

Tue.OCT.24, 11am: KFAI exclusive interview with MICHAEL FRANTI on
"catalyst:poltics & culture" KFAI 90.1fm Mpls 106.7 fm St Paul all shows
archived for 2 weeks after broadcast

VENUE CHANGE! Wed.Oct. 25: Spearhead & Micheal Franti @ Trocadero

For 20 years, Michael Franti has been sythesizing hip hop with soul,
reggae and accoustic music and writing lyrics countering corporatized
"gangsta/ghetto fabulous" rap. His current collaboration Spearhead's new
cd YELL FIRE! ranges from hip hop joined with crunchy hard guitars to
wistful accoustic, all of them drawing on his 2004 trip to the Middle
East. That trip--to Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Territories of
Palestine--was Franti's peacemaking mission with a guitar and a camera
crew culminating in his debut film "I Know I'm Not Alone".State Radio
opens. $20, Wed.Oct. 25, 7pm.door, 8pm/show, (VENUE CHANGE) Trocadero, 107
Third Ave. North, Minneapolis (Lydia Howell)

Advance tickets: $18

--------14 of 26--------

From: "theccarl" <theccarl [at]>
Subject: Stadium action 10.24 12noon

TUESDAY at Noon, October 24
Mary O'Connor debate against incumbent Mike Opat on Tuesday, October 24th,
noon to 1:30 PM.
Hosted by the Robbinsdale Chamber of Commerce
St Petersburg Restaurant 3610 France Ave N Robbinsdale, MN 55422, US

--------15 of 26--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Media malculture/SPNN 10.24 5pm

For St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN) viewers:

"Our World In Depth" airs at 5 pm and midnight each Tuesday and 10 am each
Wednesday on SPNN Channel 15.

10/24 and 10/25  "How Media Creates Culture"  An analysis of media as
a propaganda tool with local media guru Jeff Nygaard.  Hosted by Karen

10/31 and 11/01  "Globalization and the Age of Inequality" An
interview with the widely-read, muckraking, Indian journalist: P. Sainath.
(warning: this show contains economics!)  Hosted by Karen Redleaf.

11/07 and 11/08  "Plan Colombia: A War on the People" Interviews with
Anti-War Committee and Colombia Action Network members Katrina Plotz and
Erika Zurawski. Hosted by Eric Angell.

"Our World In Depth" features analysis of public affairs with
consideration of and participation from Twin Cities area activists.  The
show is (mostly) local and not corporately influenced! For information
about future programming of "Our World In Depth", please send an e-mail to
eric-angell [at]

--------16 of 26--------

From: Jesse Mortenson for 64A <jesse [at]>
Subject: Mortenson/64A 10.24 5:30pm

Houseparty for Jesse Mortenson GP candidate 64A
    Tuesday, Oct 24 at 5:30pm
    1692 Dayton Avenue
    Hosted by Elizabeth Dickinson, Roger Meyer, Krista Menzel,
    Anne Benson, Michelle Gross, and Mike Madden

Green Party Candidate for Minnesota House of Representatives District 64A

--------17 of 26--------

From: Patty Guerrero <pattypax [at]>
Subject: Salon/poetry 10.24 6:30pm

Tuesday, October 24, our guest will be St Paul's Poet Laureate, Carol
Connolly reading her poetry.  I have known Carol for ages, and have always
wanted her to come, but now is the time.  We will have fun.  Thanks, patty

Pax Salons ( )
are held (unless otherwise noted in advance):
Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
Mad Hatter's Tea House,
943 W 7th, St Paul, MN

Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats.
Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information.

--------18 of 26--------

From: marshall law <blackngrin [at]>
Subject: Zapatista coffee 10.24 7pm

Zapatista Coffee Project
Report Back
Café Para La Vida Digna
Tuesday, October 24th
7 pm

Black Dog Café 308 Prince Street Saint Paul, MN (651) 228-9274
Kiddy-corner from the St. Paul Farmers Market in Lowertown (Down Town
Saint Paul)

Local Project Director, Jerry Lopez, just returned from the Zapatista
autonomous community, Ricardo Flores Magon in Chiapas, Mexico.  His power
point presentation will discuss the impact of the Café Para la Vida Digna
Project on the autonomous community in Chiapas as well as the implications
for our local economy here in the Twin Cities.  Come find out more about
this 100% volunteer run project that is a significant evolution of the
Fair Trade Movement.

For more information on the project visit our website at or call (612) 388-0552
Donations Accepted
This event sponsored by the Monarch Butterfly Brigada and the Black Dog Café

--------19 of 26--------

From: humanrts [at] UMN.EDU
Subject: New Minnesotans 10.24 7pm

October 24, 2006 - Crystal Human Rights Commission presents: The New
Minnesotans.  7pm.

How can we go beyond "stories" and really listen to what people have to
say? What policies allow or don't allow people to be part of the

Location:  Winnetka Learning Center, 7940 55th Ave N, New Hope

--------20 of 26--------

From: Brian Payne <brianpayneyvp [at]>
Subject: CIW solidarity 10.24 7pm

Solidarity with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers...

CIW Solidarity meeting:
Jack Pine Collective (2815 E. Lake St., Minneapolis)
Tuesday, Oct. 24, 7pm

Fair food that respects human rights, not fast food that exploits human

--------21 of 26--------

From: erin [at]
Subject: Vote/judges 10.24 7pm

October 24: American Association of University Women - Minneapolis Branch
Evening Meeting featuring Mary Vasaly, President - MN Women Lawyers
addressing "Judicial Elections: What Does the Public Really Need to Know?
What Can We Do?" 7-9 PM. 2115 Stevens Avenue, Minneapolis. FMI:
952/890-2580 Cathy.

--------22 of 26--------

From: Stephen Feinstein <feins001 [at]>
Subject: US Judaism +/- 10.24 7:30pm

"American Judaism's Contemporary Scorecard." Lecture by Jeffrey Gurock
10/24/2006 7:30 PM
Location: Off Campus, Temple Israel 2324 Emerson Avenue S Mpls
Presented by Center for Jewish Studies, Institute for Advanced Study and
Hille Foundation:

Through the metaphor of Judaism's encounter with American sports, Jeffrey
Gurock, Libby M. Klaperman Professor of Jewish History at Yeshiva
University, will explore the dynamics of 20th century immigrant adjustment
to the United States and assess the contemporary state of Jewish life in
this country. Contact: Center for Jewish Studies, 131 Nolte Center,

--------23 of 26--------

Recipe for a Cooked Election
by Greg Palast
Published on Saturday, October 21, 2006 by Yes! Magazine

A nasty little secret of American democracy is that, in every national
election, ballots cast are simply thrown in the garbage. Most are called
"spoiled," supposedly unreadable, damaged, invalid. They just don't get
counted. This "spoilage" has occurred for decades, but it reached
unprecedented heights in the last two presidential elections. In the 2004
election, for example, more than three million ballots were never counted.

Almost as deep a secret is that people are doing something about it. In
New Mexico, citizen activists, disgusted by systematic vote disappearance,
demanded change - and got it.

In Ohio, during the 2004 Presidential election, 153,237 ballots were
simply thrown away - more than the Bush "victory" margin. In New Mexico
the uncounted vote was five times the Bush alleged victory margin of
5,988. In Iowa, Bush's triumph of 13,498 was overwhelmed by 36,811 votes
rejected. The official number is bad enough - 1,855,827 ballots cast not
counted, according to the federal government's Elections Assistance
Commission. But the feds are missing data from several cities and entire
states too embarrassed to report the votes they failed to count.

Correcting for that under-reporting, the number of ballots cast but never
counted goes to 3,600,380. Why doesn't your government tell you this?

Hey, they do. It's right there in black and white in a U.S. Census Bureau
announcement released seven months after the election - in a footnote. The
Census tabulation of voters voting in the 2004 presidential race
"differs," it reads, from ballots tallied by the Clerk of the House of
Representatives by 3.4 million votes.

This is the hidden presidential count, which, with the exception of the
Census's whispered footnote, has not been reported. In the voting biz,
most of these lost votes are called "spoilage." Spoilage, not the voters,
picked our President for us. Unfortunately, that's not all. In addition to
the three million ballots uncounted due to technical "glitches," millions
more were lost because the voters were prevented from casting their
ballots in the first place. This group of un-votes includes voters
illegally denied registration or wrongly purged from the registries.

Joe Stalin, the story goes, said, "It's not the people who vote that
count; it's the people who count the votes." That may have been true in
the old Soviet Union, but in the USA, the game is much, much subtler: He
who makes sure votes don't get counted decides our winners.

In the lead-up to the 2004 race, millions of Americans were, not
unreasonably, panicked about computer voting machines. Images abounded of
an evil hacker-genius in Dick Cheney's bunker rewriting code and zapping
the totals. But that's not how it went down.

The computer scare was the McGuffin, the fake detail used by magicians to
keep your eye off their hands. The principal means of the election heist -
voiding ballots - went unexposed, unreported and most importantly,
uncorrected and ready to roll out on a grander scale next time

Like a forensic crime scene investigation unit, we can perform a post
mortem starting with the exhumation of more than three million uncounted

. Provisional Ballots Rejected. An entirely new species of ballot debuted
nationwide in 2004: the "provisional ballot." These were crucial to the
Bush victory. Not because Republicans won this "provisional" vote. They
won by rejecting provisional ballots that were cast overwhelmingly in
Democratic precincts. The sum of "the uncounted" is astonishing: 675,676
ballots lost in the counties reporting to the federal government. Add in
the missing jurisdictions and the un-vote climbs to over a million:
1,090,729 provisional ballots tossed out.
. Spoiled Ballots. You vote, you assume it's counted. Think again. Your
"x" was too light for a machine to read. You didn't punch the card hard
enough and so you "hung your chad." Therefore, your vote didn't count and,
crucially, you'll never know it. The federal Election Assistance
Commission toted up nearly a million ballots cast but not counted. Add in
states too shy to report to Washington, the total "spoilage" jumps to a
rotten 1,389,231.
. Absentee Ballots Uncounted. The number of absentee ballots has
quintupled in many states, with the number rejected on picayune technical
grounds rising to over half a million (526,420) in 2004. In swing states,
absentee ballot shredding was pandemic.
. Voters Barred from Voting. In this category we find a combination of
incompetence and trickery that stops voters from pulling the lever in the
first place. There's the purge of "felon" voters that continues to
eliminate thousands whose only crime is VWB - Voting While Black. It
includes subtle games like eliminating polling stations in selected
districts, creating impossible lines. No one can pretend to calculate a
hard number for all votes lost this way any more than you can find every
bullet fragment in a mutilated body. But it's a safe bet that the numbers
reach into the hundreds of thousands of voters locked out of the voting
                        The test kitchen

But do these un-votes really turn the election? Voters from both parties
used provisional or absentee ballots, and the machines can't tell if a
hanging chad is Democratic or Republican, right? Not so. To see how it
works, we went to New Mexico.

Dig this: In November 2004 during early voting in Precinct 13, Taos, New
Mexico, John Kerry took 73 votes. George Bush got three. On election day,
216 in that precinct voted Kerry. Bush got 25 votes, and came in third.

Third? Taking second place in the precinct, with 40 votes, was no one at

Or, at least, that's what the machines said.

Precinct 13 is better known as the Taos Pueblo. Every single voter there
is an American Native or married to one.

Precinct 13 wasn't unique. On Navajo lands, indecision struck on an
epidemic scale. They walked in, they didn't vote. In nine precincts in
McKinley County, New Mexico, which is 74.7 percent Navajo, fewer than one
in ten voters picked a president. Those who voted on paper ballots early
or absentee knew who they wanted (Kerry, overwhelmingly), but the
machine-counted vote said Indians simply couldn't make up their minds or
just plain didn't care.

On average, across the state, the machine printouts say that 7.3 percent .
one in twelve voters - in majority Native precincts didn't vote for
president. That's three times the percentage of white voters who appeared
to abstain. In pueblo after pueblo, on reservation after reservation
throughout the United States, the story was the same.

Nationally, one out of every 12 ballots cast by Native Americans did not
contain a vote for President. Indians by the thousands drove to the voting
station, walked into the booth, said, "Who cares?" and walked out without
voting for president.

So we dropped in on Taos, Precinct 13. The "old" pueblo is old indeed.
built 500 to 1,000 years ago. In these adobe dwellings stacked like mud
condos, no electricity is allowed nor running water - nor Republicans as
far as records show. Richard Archuleta, a massive man with long, gray
pigtails and hands as big as flank steaks, is the head of tourism for the
pueblo. Richard wasn't buying the indecision theory of the Native
non-count. Indians were worried about their Bureau of Indian Affairs
grants, their gaming licenses, and working conditions at their other big
employer: the U.S. military.

On the pueblo's mud-brick walls there were several hand painted signs
announcing Democratic Party powwows, none for Republicans. Indecisive?
Indians are Democrats. Case closed.

                       The color that counts

It wasn't just Native Americans who couldn't seem to pick a President.
Throughout New Mexico, indecisiveness was pandemic ... at least, that is,
among people of color. Or so the machines said. Across the state,
high-majority Hispanic precincts recorded a 7.1 percent vote for nobody
for president.

We asked Dr. Philip Klinkner, the expert who ran stats for the U.S. Civil
Rights Commission, to look at the New Mexico data. His solid statistical
analysis discovered that if you're Hispanic, the chance your vote will not
record on the machine was 500% higher than if you are white. For Natives,
it's off the charts. The Hispanic and Native vote is no small potatoes.
Every tenth New Mexican is American Native (9.5 percent) and half the
remaining population (43 percent) is Mexican-American.

Our team drove an hour across the high desert from the Taos Reservation to
Espaola in Rio Arriba County. According to the official tallies, entire
precincts of Mexican-Americans registered few or zero votes for president
in the last two elections. Espaola is where the Los Alamos workers live,
not the Ph.D.s in the white lab coats, but the women who clean the
hallways and the men who bury the toxins. This was not Bush country, and
the people we met with, including the leaders of the get-out-the-vote
operations, knew of no Hispanics who insisted on waiting at the polling
station to cast their vote for "nobody for President." The huge majority
of Mexican- Americans, especially in New Mexico, and a crushing majority
of Natives (over 90 percent), vote Democratic.

What if those voters weren't indecisive; what if they punched in a choice
and it didn't record? Let's do the arithmetic. As minority voters cast 89
percent of the state's 21,084 blank ballots, that's 18,765 missing
minority votes. Given the preferences of other voters in those pueblos and
barrios, those 18,765 voters of color should have swamped Bush's 5,988
vote "majority" with Kerry votes. But that would have required those votes
be counted.

                     The voting-industrial complex

New Mexico's Secretary of State, Rebecca Vigil-Giron, seemed curiously
uncurious about Hispanic and Native precincts where nearly one in ten
voters couldn't be bothered to choose a president.

Vigil-Giron, along with Governor Bill Richardson, not only stopped any
attempt at a recount directly following the election, but demanded that
all the machines be wiped clean. This not only concealed evidence of
potential fraud but destroyed it. In 2006, New Mexico's Supreme Court
ruled the Secretary of State's machine-cleaning job illegal - too late to
change the outcome of the election, of course.

But who are we to second-guess Secretary Vigil-Giron? After all, she is a
big shot, at the time president, no less, of the National Association of
Secretaries of State, the top banana of all our nation's elections

Vigil-Giron, after putting a stop to the recount, rather than schlep out
to investigate the missing vote among the iguanas and Navajos, left the
state to officiate at a dinner meeting in Minneapolis for her national
association. It was held on a dinner boat. The tab for the moonlight ride
was picked up by touch-screen voting machine maker ES&S Corporation.
Breakfast, in case you're curious, was served by touchscreen maker
Diebold Corp.

At the time of this writing, Vigil-Giron is busy planning the next big
confab of vendors and state officials -- this time in Santa Fe, "the city
different." But aside from Wal-Mart signing on as a sponsor, nothing much
is different when it comes to the inner workings of the voting industrial

Except for one thing.

                       Where's the action?

While Vigil-Giron is greeting her fellow Secretaries and casually
introducing them to this year's vendors, it is likely she'll keep quiet
about a few things. Voter Action, a group of motivated citizens, some
jumping into activism for the first time, sued the state of New Mexico in
2005 over the bad machines and the failure to count the vote. The
activists ran a public campaign with their revelations about New Mexico's
broken democracy. Last year, Voter Action invited our investigations team
to lay out our findings to huge citizens' meetings in Albuquerque and
Santa Fe. Soon, the whole horrid vote-losing game was on local community
radio and TV stations. It worked.

Governor Richardson, who ducked the issue for three years, and his
Secretary of State, once openly hostile to reform, had to relent in the
face of the public uprising. In February of 2006, Richardson signed a
model law requiring that all voting in the state take place on new paper
ballot machines, with verifiable tabulating systems. Richardson now claims
the mantle of leader of the voting reform campaign.

Voter Action, successful in New Mexico, is now pursuing lawsuits in seven
states to stop the Secretaries of State from purchasing electronic voting
systems which have records of inaccuracy, security risks, and have been
proven unreliable.

In New Mexico we learned, once again, that the price of liberty is eternal
vigilance. To protect your right to vote, you must know what is happening
in your state - before, during, and after Election Day - and be willing to
hold your leaders accountable.

Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Armed
Madhouse: Who's Afraid of Osama Wolf?, China Floats Bush Sinks, the Scheme
to Steal '08, No Child's Behind Left and other Dispatches from the Front
Lines of the Class War from which this report is adapted. Matt Pascarella,
writer and researcher working with Palast, contributed the update to this
report. See their work at

--------24 of 26--------

Change The Course
by Jan Baughman

(Swans - October 23, 2006)  With the upcoming US midterm elections,
observers are speculating on whether the Democrats can regain control of
Congress and if so, what such change would mean. The Republicans have
framed the election debate in terms of fear and terrorism and the
Democrats have obediently followed suit, not redefining it in an agenda of
peace and diplomacy; rather, they are merely attempting to prove they are
equally tough. They, too, are beneficiaries of the military-industrial
complex, and historically have been as likely (if not more) to wage war.

Just as the US government under both parties' leadership has divided and
conquered entire countries and cultures, imposed sanctions on the
innocent, starved the people, destroyed the infrastructure, stolen the
resources, so too has it weakened and fractionated its own citizens. From
slave wages and the dismantling of labor unions; to voting barriers,
gerrymandering, and election fraud; the marginalization of the freedoms of
speech and organized protest; and the pricing out of all but the wealthy
from elected office, the general public is as powerless to stop the
endless war as it is to change the course at home so long as we continue
to vote for the status quo. A shift from a Republican to a Democrat
majority is not change; the Democrats no longer represent the once
traditional party values that supported the working class. lists the estimated range of net worth for members of
Congress. Of the top 25 wealthiest, 10 are Democrats, with the lowest
ranking of the 10 being Jim Cooper (D-Tenn) at $14,116,811 to $30,725,757.
The number one among all of Congress falls to Herb Kohl (D-Wis) at
$269,098,030 to $284,549,005. In the Senate alone, the top four wealthiest
members are Democrats: Kohl; John Kerry (D-Mass; $164,741,510 to
234,262,099); Jay Rockefeller (D-WVA; $78,150,023 to $101,579,003); and
Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif; $43,343,464 to $98,660,021). When you're worth
double- to triple-digit millions, how can you fathom the struggles of the
working class?

Many assume that female Democrats are a more sympathetic, compassionate
alternative to the male leadership. Don't count on pro-war Hillary Clinton
(D-NY), number 9 in the Senate at $10,080,005 to $50,200,000, to feel your
pain and try to ever touch health care again. We've written about
Feinstein in these pages, reporting on her war profits thanks to Defense
Department contracts awarded to her husband's company, and the $29.9
million worth of houses they own. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) ranks number 9 in
the House with a net worth of $14,746,108 to $55,085,000. Representative
Pelosi left the Congressional Progressive Caucus when she obtained her
leadership position... It's worth noting that the Progressive Caucus is
co-chaired by the anti-Feinstein/Pelosi female California Democrats,
Barbara Lee and Lynn Woolsey. Lee's rank is 294 ($153,014 to $522,000) and
Woolsey's is 332 ($73,017 to $395,000). Which women do you suppose will
more likely represent your values?

Don't get me wrong -- Democrats can make things happen when it's in their
interest. Take Steve Westly -- California's state controller who spent $35
million of his $220,000,000 estate but lost the bid to run against Arnold
Schwarzenegger in the upcoming gubernatorial race. Westly lives in one of
the wealthiest enclaves of the country, Atherton, California, where zoning
laws that prevent houses over 30 feet tall have caused residents to build
down, hauling away tons of dirt to accommodate basements, wine cellars,
and guest houses that are the size of a normal house. The town of Atherton
imposed a dig fee that would offset damage from all the digging and
hauling, and Westly faced a $92,400 dirt bill for his proposed
1,826-square-foot guesthouse. He and others facing such bills demanded
that the fees be rescinded -- and their pressure worked. Money talks.

All the while, the median American income is $46,326, less than half of
Westly's would-be dig fee.

It may be more comfortable and certainly less discouraging to ignore the
events unfolding around us rather than acknowledging the actualities of
life, but the course we're on is quickly leaving the majority in the dirt.
Let's start now to shift the tides and vote for candidates that reflect
progressive values. Some of these candidates might be Democrats; they
probably won't be mega-millionaires; and they will most likely be found in
the Green Party.

--------25 of 26--------

Thoughts On The US Midterm Elections
by Louis Proyect

(Swans - October 23, 2006)   The same liberal pundits who characterized
the 2004 presidential election as a kind of Armageddon showdown against
evil are now revved up in the same fashion for next month's elections.
Voting for a Democrat is tantamount to saving one's soul, or more
accurately, the soul of the nation. Since there is no Ralph Nader factor
this go round, there is not the same kind of hysteria directed against the
Greens or any other left-wing electoral challenge. Given this all too
familiar scenario, it might be useful to restate what is wrong with voting
for the lesser evil and why one should support third-party initiatives, no
matter their flaws and weaknesses.

In the current issue of The Nation Magazine, always a bellwether of
lesser-evil sentiment, William Greider confesses that he is worried about
being robbed of certain victory:

"Okay, I admit it. As the election approaches, I am feeling a creepy sense
of paranoia. My right brain reads the newspapers, studies the polls and
thinks we are looking at a blow-out next month -- Dems conquer at last. My
left brain hoots in derision. Get real, sucker."

One wonders if Greider has been reading the newspapers carefully. If so,
you'd think he'd be a bit more restrained in his enthusiasm for the party
of donkeys given this profile of candidate Jack Davis running against
incumbent Republican Congressman Tom Reynolds from upstate New York:

"Mr. Davis is prone to overstatement. He has warned about "Red China," for
example, and suggested he would take a bat to anyone who sent his sons
sexually explicit e-mail messages like those a congressman sent to young
male pages."

He defies liberal orthodoxies. He has said he wants to "seal" the nation's
borders and has held memberships in conservative groups like the Cato
Institute and the Heritage Foundation.

If the Democratic Party stood for any sort of progressive principles, it
would have given Davis the boot. But in the eyes of Greider and company,
one supposes that it suffices that he is not a Republican. If Richard
Nixon rose from the grave and ran against Davis, however, there would be
no question as to who was the "lesser evil." With his support for
affirmative action and environmentalism, he looks much better than the
Democrats who succeeded him. Even if TV faux conservative Stephen Colbert
had tongue in cheek when he advised his New York Magazine interviewer that
he was a big fan of Nixon, these words are still worth considering:

"Here's something Colbertophiles might not know or might not want to know:
He loves Richard Nixon. He has a 1972 Nixon campaign poster on the wall of
his office. He points at it and says, "He was so liberal! Look at what he
was running on. He started the EPA. He opened China. He gave 18-year-olds
the vote. His issues were education, drugs, women, minorities, youth
involvement, ending the draft, and improving the environment. John Kerry
couldn't have run on this! What would I give for a Nixon?"

In the same issue, labor journalist David Moberg writes about challenge
the AFL-CIO faces in unseating Republicans: "Despite anxieties that unions
are not really gearing up adequately to exploit their opportunities, both
anger at Bush and economic insecurity are spurring grassroots activism in
many areas."

One candidate with star power is Elliot Spitzer, who seems a shoe-in to
become New York State's next governor. As attorney general, Spitzer was
always portrayed in the news as a fearless opponent of Wall Street
criminals and now runs as a friend of working people. Greider referred to
him in a February 2005 Nation Magazine piece as follows:

"Like the earlier Progressives, Spitzer seeks to tame the abuses and
excesses of American capitalism, using inventive approaches and toughness
(who else is taking on his home state's most powerful industry?)."

Actually, most of Spitzer's toughness seems reserved for those trade
unionists that Moberg writes about. When Spitzer represented the
Metropolitan Transit Authority earlier this year in court against the
Transport Workers Union (TWU), the union of striking public transit
workers, he was victorious. The judge fined the local $2.5 million,
eliminated the dues check-off and threw union president Roger Toussaint
into jail for ten days. Apparently the jail term must have endeared
Spitzer to Toussaint, since he has persuaded the TWU to back Spitzer for
governor. In psychiatric circles, they call this sort of thing masochism.

It is understandable why Toussaint would have no use for Spitzer's Green
Party opponent Malachy McCourt. Since he has little chance of being
elected, there is no possibility of a quid pro quo arrangement so often
uppermost in the minds of the trade union bureaucracy. Before the
75-year-old McCourt (an Irish immigrant fleeing poverty) launched a
successful career as an actor, he worked as a longshoreman, truck loader,
and dishwasher. He has been endorsed by Cindy Sheehan and is not afraid to
tell it like it is to the major media.

When MSNBC's Chris Matthews asked him how he stood on capital punishment
(Spitzer favors it), he replied: "Capital punishment? I think that if - I
have got to find that guy in Spain who indicted Pinochet and get him for
war crimes, and I get him to do the same thing for Bush. And in that case,
I would be for capital punishment. Otherwise, I am against it."

A search for "Malachy McCourt" on the Nation Magazine turns up nothing, of

It is not that difficult to understand the psychology of a William
Greider, David Moberg, or Roger Toussaint. They are being "practical."
Since the election will be won by either a Democrat or a Republican, one
might as well vote for the candidate less hostile to your overall goals.
If Spitzer would jail the TWU president 10 days rather than 30 days, this
was grounds for the union to back him. This kind of slave mentality was
ruthlessly exposed by Malcolm X, an opponent of both the jackass and the
elephant. At a January 7, 1965 meeting billed as "Prospects for Freedom in
1965" (which I attended), the martyred black nationalist said:

"In 1964, 97 per cent of the black American voters supported Lyndon B.
Johnson, Hubert Humphrey and the Democratic Party. Ninety-seven per cent!
No one minority group in the history of the world has ever given so much
of its uncompromising support to one candidate and one party. No one
people, no one group, has ever gone all the way to support a party and its
candidate as did the black people in America in 1964 ....

And the first act of the Democratic Party, Lyndon B. included, in 1965,
when the representatives from the state of Mississippi who refused to
support Johnson came to Washington, D.C., and the black people of
Mississippi sent representatives there to challenge the legality of these
people being seated -- what did Johnson say? Nothing! What did Humphrey
say? Nothing! What did Robert Pretty-Boy Kennedy say? Nothing! Nothing!
Not one thing! These are the people that black people have supported. This
is the party that they have supported. Where were they when the black man
needed them a couple days ago in Washington, D.C.? They were where they
always are -- twiddling their thumbs someplace in the poolroom, or in the

His courageous leadership eventually got him killed. The ruling class in
the USA was desperately afraid of any black leader, including Martin
Luther King Jr. as well, who showed a capacity to rouse the masses into
action. Malcolm was especially dangerous because he refused to accept the
"lesser evil" logic. A black political party led by somebody like Malcolm
X would have certainly posed a significant challenge to the hegemony
enjoyed by the Democrats.

With all proportions guarded, the Green Party represents the same kind of
threat today. Any electoral formation that implicitly challenges the
two-party system will soon run into all sorts of challenges no matter how
tepid the leadership. In 1948, Henry Wallace ran as an independent
favoring the continuation of the New Deal domestically and the wartime
alliance with the USSR, while promoting desegregation -- something that
FDR would never do as long as his party included the Dixiecrats. No matter
how mild this program seemed, Wallace was subjected to fierce red-baiting
attacks in the liberal press and outright violence in the South.

No matter the missteps of Green candidates like Ralph Nader or the
presence inside the Greens of elements that refuse to conduct a serious
struggle against Democrats and Republicans alike, the party is the only
organized electoral formation in the USA today that has any sort of

This remains as an irritant to the powers that be and, more importantly, a
breach in the dike that is holding back a mighty torrent of discontent. If
Bush is unpopular, the Congress fares little better in the eyes of the
American voter. Last month the Zogby poll reported that only 19 percent
give it a favorable rating, a number that cuts across geographical and
party lines. The job of progressives would seem to be opening that breach
in the dike rather than sticking one's thumb in it, like the Dutch boys of
American liberalism.

--------26 of 26--------

 All the little Dems
 vote: hold nose, close eyes, stop ears,
 shut mouth, cross fingers.


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