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Democracy For The Southern Adirondack/Tricounty Area
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Tricounty DFA: Meetup next week, picnics and more
Hello Everyone;

This is a somewhat abbreviated update after the big one Monday; this week:

1. Meetup Next Wednesday
2. August DFA Action Agenda
3. Sign the DFA Downing Street Memo Petition
4. Washington County Picnic
5. Saratoga County Picnic
6. Estate Tax -- & CAFTA?
7. The Rule of Law; real Americans speak

1. Meetup Next Wednesday

You are all invited to our August DFA meetup next Wednesday, August 6th, at 7pm at the Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe at the corner of Elm and Exchange Streets and Hudson Avenue in downtown Glens Falls, down the street from the Glens Falls Hospital.

There will not be a August Meetup in Saratoga Springs, so all of our DFA supporters in Saratoga and elsewhere are cordially invited to join us in Glens Falls.

2. August DFA Action Agenda

On the Agenda this month is DFA's national action for August. As you know, DFA has been circulating a petition on the Downing Street Memo, which provided the proof the Bush administration lied us into the war in Iraq. We will be receiving copies of these petitions and Burlington is asking us to meet with our Congressional Representatives to present these petitions and demand a full Congressional investigation of the Downing Street Memo, all the lies that got us into Iraq and, clearly now as well, the "Plamegate" scandal, which is ultimately about Bush's fear his lie would be exposed.

3. Sign the DFA Downing Street Memo Petition

If you haven't signed the DSM petition, please do so immediately. It is at:
with more info at: Forward this along to anyone you think might sign. We have 40,000 signatures and counting.

4. Washington County Picnic

Join the Washington County Democratic Committee at its Fifth Annual Picnic on Saturday, July 30th from 10 am until 5 pm at the Lake Lauderdale Pavilion in the town of Jackson. There will be potluck picnic fare and music throughout the day. Guests of honor will begin speaking at noon and include: Tracey Brooks, from Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s office; Stu Brody, Chair of the Democratic
Rural Conference; Caroline Griffin, upstate coordinator of the NYS Democratic Committee; and John Byrne, President of the NYS Young Rural Democrats. Candidates seeking the 2006 nominations scheduled to attend include: Lt. Governor candidates: Tom DiNapoli, Joe Ruggiero, and Dr. Jon Cohen; NYS Attorney General candidates: Denise O’Donnell and Sean Patrick Maloney. Democratic candidates for the local 2005 elections will also attend. We'll supply beer, soda, hot dogs and burgers, you bring side dishes, chairs and blankets.
Cost: $15 per person or $25 per couple, students: $6. For tickets, contact a town chair or Sheila Comar at 642-9566.

5. Saratoga County Picnic

On Sunday, July 31, in conjunction with the Ballston Democrats the Saratoga County and Ballston Democrats will be holding a Chicken BBQ. Guest include; State Chair Herman "Denny" Farrell, Assemblyman Bob Reilly, and featured guest, New York's next Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. Come and meet all of the Democrats running for office in this years local election and let's show strong support to all of our future Leaders! Time is noon to 4pm at the Lake Side Farm Cider Mill in Ballston Lake, NY. Tickets are $30 for adults, $10 for children and $50 for sponsors. Please R.S.V.P. to Ballston Town Chair Patrick Southworth at 518-281-4618. To reach the Cider Mill, take Northway Exit 11 and four miles West. The mill is on the right.

6. Estate Tax -- & more

An important vote is coming up on the Estate Tax that doesn't seem to be getting the attention it deserves. The estate tax makes sure multi, mulit millionaires pay at least some tax on their wealth at some time. It prevents the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few over several generations, preventing the kind of "two counties" that used to exist in old Europe. It is a democratizing tax that encourages merit. Repealing it would lock up the nation's wealth, locking the rest of us out. We should not abolish the "Paris Hilton Tax;" Miss Hilton doesn't need more dough to blow. Further, this tax cut is big, and will aggravate the deficit, which means the rest of us will have to make up the difference. Call our Senators or sign an e-petition:

Also there is an alert from the Save Our Environment Coalition on the Energy Bill, which has been turned into another oil company give away:

Then there is also the bill to protect gun makers from lawsuits:

A vote is also coming up on CAFTA, but it may be too late to call by tomorrow, but a call to Sweeney's office would be ideal: 1-866-340-9281

7. The Rule of Law; real Americans speak

One of the signal contributions of America to world civilization in the 230 years since the first Patriot's Day has been, until now, a profound commitment to the rule of law.

Along with that has been a universal belief by all Americans, until now, that although we recognize as a nation that our service people risk their lives and safety in war, and sometimes sacrifice grievously for their country, that nonetheless they are not expendable, that their well being and safety matters.

The Bush administration, through its decision to use torture, has defiled the first and gravely endangered the second. We once set a high standard. Now we have lowered it, and in so doing, our military people can now expect the same treatment in the future in return.

This article in The TImes makes clear how Bush administration officials, in this case what I guess we have to call the international "mayberry machiavellis" pushed their torture policy over the strenuous objection of military Judge Advocates Generals and military lawyers. They all saw where this would lead and the further are deeply worried about the prosecution of American military members in either civilian or military courts in the future for having been involved in the Bush torture program. This is such disheartening reading.

But this country can still inspire. You probably read in the news of the conviction of Ahmed Ressan for the so-called millenium bombing of LA airport in December 1999. You probably did not read the comments off District Judge John C. Coughenour. This is how a real American talks and acts. Coughenour is, ironically, a Reagan appointee. Guess he isn't on Shrub's list for the Supreme Court.

"The message I would hope to convey in today's sentencing is twofold:

"First, that we have the resolve in this country to deal with the subject of terrorism and people who engage in it should be prepared to sacrifice a major portion of their life in confinement.
Secondly, though, I would like to convey the message that our system works. We did not need to use a secret military tribunal, or detain the defendant indefinitely as an enemy combatant, or deny him the right to counsel, or invoke any proceedings beyond those guaranteed by or contrary to the United States Constitution.
I would suggest that the message to the world from today's sentencing is that our courts have not abandoned our commitment to the ideals that set our nation apart. We can deal with the threats to our national security without denying the accused fundamental constitutional protections.
Despite the fact that Mr. Ressam is not an American citizen and despite the fact that he entered this country intent upon killing American citizens, he received an effective, vigorous defense, and the opportunity to have his guilt or innocence determined by a jury of 12 ordinary citizens.
Most importantly, all of this occurred in the sunlight of a public trial. There were no secret proceedings, no indefinite detention, no denial of counsel.

"The tragedy of September 11th shook our sense of security and made us realize that we, too, are vulnerable to acts of terrorism.

"Unfortunately, some believe that this threat renders our Constitution obsolete. This is a Constitution for which men and women have died and continue to die and which has made us a model among nations. If that view is allowed to prevail, the terrorists will have won.

"It is my sworn duty, and as long as there is breath in my body I'll perform it, to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. We will be in recess."

Thanks everyone, see you next week!


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