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Democracy For The Southern Adirondack/Tricounty Area
Monday, September 11, 2006
Tricounty DFA Update: Primary Day, Pictures, Press Conferences, Signs and more
Hello Everyone!

1. Primary Day
2. TIm Merrick For State Senate Press Conference For Wednesday
3. David Carter On DFA-Link
4. Tim Merrick Signs
5. Washington County HQ Pictures
6. Tabling and Canvassing
7. Dean: Who Financed Path To 9/11?
8. Friday Film Fest
9. Kids For Peace
10. 9/11 and Terror

1. Primary Day

I know you all know Tuesday is Primary Day and that the polls open at Noon. However, it's always good to be reminded to vote in the Democratic Primary!

Last week Glens Falls DFA voted to endorse Eliot Spitzer for Governor (actually Spitzer/Patterson) and Mark Green For Attorney General. This week Democracy For New York officially endorsed Spitzer/Patterson.

As we discussed at last week's meeting, DFNY withheld its endorsement until Spitzer embraced one of DFA's key issues, paper ballots/optically scanned. The battle over making sure our votes are honestly counted isn't over, but the endorsement of the "Sheriff of Wall Street" has given PB/OS a huge boost.

2. TIm Merrick For State Senate Press Conference For Wednesday

Last summer we also endorsed Tim Merrick for State Senate. On Wednesday, September 13 at 11:15am, Tim will be holding the first of a series of weekly press conferences at Democratic offices in the Rogers Building on the corner of Bay and Maple Streets in downtown Glens Falls, right across the street from the Crandall Library and the Methodist and Episcopal Churches.

We're asking everyone to please come and show our support for Tim! If you have an hour in the morning to come, it would be a great help to Tim. Again, that's Wednesday, September 13 at 11:15am.

3. David Carter On DFA-Link

Hudson Fall's Democratic Mayor David Carter is running for the 112th Assembly District seat. (The 112th is Washington County along with parts of Rensselaer and Saratoga Counties, particularly the towns of Wilton and Moreau. )

I was talking with Dave at the opening of the Washington County Democratic HQ Saturday. Dave has been making real strides in cleaning up Hudson Falls and dealing with blight driven by absentee landlords. Incidentally, Hudson Falls is the biggest village in Washington County, and in fact there are cities in NYS that are smaller than Hudson Falls, so being Mayor of Hudson Falls is a handful.

I asked Dave if he would like to appear at our October meeting on the 4th, and he happily agreed; one of our basic functions as a DFA group is to host candidate forums. We'll be inviting everyone from the 112th to attend this forum.

Dave has also created a candidate's page on DFA-Link. We can discuss a possible group endorsement at our next meeting, but if we want, we can all individually show our support for Dave's race right now by going to his DFA-Link candidate page: I felt confident in doing so myself, and I am sure you will, too.

If you haven't joined DFA-Link, you will need to do so first. Click and register, it's easy! Then go to if you want to show support for Dave Carter.

4. Tim Merrick Signs

Tim Merrick was also at the Washington County HQ opening Saturday, and he has provided us Merrick For Senate lawn signs. We really want to get these signs out, especially on busy streets to show support for Tim! Please shoot me an email at or call at 518-792-5444 (you may have to leave a message) if you can take a sign. Obviously, the more Democratic signs we can get, the stronger all Democrats look.

5. Washington County HQ Pictures

Dick Dudley also took some great pictures of the opening of the Washington County Democratic Headquarters Saturday.
Go to:

Pictured are: State Senate Candidate Tim Merrick, State Assembly Candidate David Carter, Granville Assessor Candidate Ed Burkhart, and Kingsbury Town Board Candidate April O'Hearn. Also pictured are Ken Talkington, Budget Officer for Washington County Board of Supervisors, Washington County Chairwoman Sheila Comar and volunteer Patrick Layden. Again:

6. Tabling and Canvassing

We will again be tabling at the Farmer's Market on South Street in downtown Glens Falls this Saturday, September 16th from at least 9am (and possibly 8am) until about 11am. This is a great way to inform everyone about our candidates: there's nothing better than personally connecting with voters.

Bring a friend and join us! For more info and to RSVP go to:

6. Tabling and Canvassing

Last week after the tabling a group of us went to the Washington County HQ opening. After that, we came back and at 1:30 the assembled group then went canvassing door to door in Glens Falls' Fifth Ward. It's an interesting system and we will be doing so again right after the Farmer's Market: basically from 11am until 1pm.

Visiting voters at their door is the best thing we can do to build our party and advance our candidates. Two hours at least once a week is not too much to ask for a Democratic victory in November! Come and join us at 11am at the Farmer's Market as we organize the canvass; we need all your help!

7. Dean: Who Financed Path To 9/11?

As we might expect, it's Governor Dean who is asking the tough questions about the despicable two part, fraudulent, quasi-documentary Path to 9/11. Radical religious conservatives were apparently involved in creating Path To 9/11.
For more on the secretive right wing organizations behind this piece of right wing propaganda:

I would note that WTEN management has been telling people they are required to carry the program. This is NOT true. FCC regulations prohibit that and the Supreme Court in US vs. NBC (1943) upheld that restriction.

In the future we may want to investigate getting together with our other DFA groups and challenging WTEN's license renewal, which seems to be due in 2007. They don't have the right to use airwaves we all own to spread propaganda and slander.

8. Friday Film Fest

The Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe, on Elm and Exchange Streets in downtown Glens Falls, continues its progressive film festival this week with:

Sept 15 GAZA STRIP (2004) James Longley 74 min.
In January of 2001, American director, James Longley traveled to the Gaza strip, planning to stay for two weeks and film preliminary material for a documentary on the Palestinian Intifada. As the situation on the ground rapidly worsened, he threw away his return ticket and filmed for the next three months, acquiring 75 hours of footage. Gaza Strip is an extraordinary and painful journey into the lives of ordinary Palestinians struggling with the day-to-day trials of the Israeli occupation and giving voice to a population largely ignored by mainstream media.

9. Kids For Peace

Take your kids to Kids for Peace -- "Around the World, Kids Chalking for Peace" will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. Sept. 16 at 280 Warren St., at the corner of Peck and Warren streets by the traffic light in downtown Glens Falls. This non-political event will bring together kids of all ages to create chalk drawings with the theme "world peace."

This event is only one of many Chalk4Peace events taking place worldwide on Sept. 16. The kids can also participate in a "Circle of Words," when they will be able to give voice to their feelings and ideas about peace. Music will be provided by guitarist Jamie Mandolare. Bring your own chalk or use the chalk provided. For more information, call event coordinator Jean Santoro at 747-9568.

10. 9/11 and Terror

Finally, in honor and memory of those who died on 9/11, I am posting below a great book review from Powell' (I highly recommend signing up for their reviews). As scholar Louise Richardson notes, the popular picture of terrorists as insane radicals isn't true,
"Terrorists are human beings who think like we do. They have goals they are trying to achieve, and in a different set of circumstances they, and perhaps we, would lead very different lives," she writes.

But they do have distinguishing, abnormal characteristics. "Terrorists see the world in Manichean, black-and-white terms; they identify with others; and they desire revenge," according to Richardson."

"Ossama been forgotten" would have no greater victory than if we were to fall into this trap, including adopting his manichean, black and white world view, as Bush has.

To this end, Britain's Guardian quotes Michael Scheuer, the CIA analyst who set up the Osama bin Laden group inside the CIA in 1996 and resigned two years ago, who
"blames President Bush for employing the shoot-'em-up tactics that have alienated Muslim opinion in places where the US needed help the most. "It should have been presented as a search for justice using intelligence and law enforcement. If we kept it in that ideological space, simply asking Muslims for help in tracking down a criminal, we would have made headway," he says. "Instead, we regarded it as a war we could fight through the military with heavy and blunt instruments that were telegraphed for hundreds of miles.",,1869516,00.html

George Lakoff also wrote today on how mistaken it is to say we are fighting a "war on terror."

Let us remember that the burden of memory includes many things, especially, and perhaps above all, the obligations to learn from the sacrifices paid so dearly by others.

Thanks everyone! Remember, see you Wednesday Morning at 11:15am at the Rogers Building, the tabling and canvassing and please go to DFA-Link and take a look at Dave Carter:

Larry Dudley

Today's Review From
Christian Science Monitor

What Terrorists Want: Understanding the Enemy, Containing the Threat
by Louise Richardson

Read today's review in HTML at:

Tell us what you think! Give us your two (or ten) cents about today's
review by posting a comment on the blog:


To Fight Terrorism, You Must Know Your Enemy
A review by Peter Grier

The United States can't win a war on terrorism, any more than
it could win a war against armed robbery or tornadoes. What it
can do is contain the threat to the nation caused by a specific
group of terrorists: Islamist radicals.

To do so, it must strive to understand Al Qaeda and its ilk, and
try to isolate them from communities which now give them tacit
support. And it needs to have patience: Terrorist groups, even
damaged ones, don't wither away quickly.

In brief, these are among the main conclusions of Louise Richardson's
concise and illuminating new book What Terrorists Want: Understanding
the Enemy, Containing the Threat. If you think the application
of academic terrorism research to today's policy problems sounds
interesting, this volume could be for you.

Not that Richardson is dispassionate. The Bush administration
might even call her partisan. She considers both the overt declaration
of war on terrorism and the invasion of Iraq to be disasters in
the context of fighting Osama bin Laden.

"Governments are invariably placed under enormous pressure to
react forcibly and fast in the wake of a terrorist attack," she
writes. "This response is not likely to be most conducive to long-term
success against terrorists."

Richardson is one of the relative handful of experts who have
been studying the history and practice of terrorism since the
cold war.

Born in Ireland to Catholic parents, she experienced the seductive
nature of terrorist groups at an early age. From the society she
grew up in, she learned a remembered history of Ireland's long
struggle with England that was full of heroes and villains, and
was oversimplified to motivate the next generation. The facts
didn't seem to matter so much.

After the Bloody Sunday massacre of 1972, in which 26 Irish protesters
were shot by British troops in Derry, Northern Ireland, Richardson
would have joined the IRA "in a heartbeat," she writes.

But she was only 14, and as she attended university and learned
the real story behind some of her childhood myths, she became
more interested in understanding terrorism than in joining it.

Eventually she received advanced degrees in government from Harvard
University and began teaching international security classes.
Today she is executive dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced
Study, among other academic posts.

She has interviewed all the terrorists she can contact, as well
as pored over transcripts of captured terrorists and other source
material. From this, she's determined, she believes, this important
point: They're not nuts.

The popular picture of terrorists as insane radicals isn't true,
she insists. "Terrorists are human beings who think like we do.
They have goals they are trying to achieve, and in a different
set of circumstances they, and perhaps we, would lead very different
lives," she writes.

But they do have distinguishing, abnormal characteristics.

"Terrorists see the world in Manichean, black-and-white terms;
they identify with others; and they desire revenge," according
to Richardson.

Lots of people are called "terrorists" by their enemies, of course.
That doesn't mean they all are. Terrorism's true definition, Richardson
writes, is "deliberately and violently targeting civilians for
political purposes."

Terrorists want change, but lack the strength to prevail in other
political or military ways. Individual terrorists are generally
disaffected people, from any level of society. They encounter
an enabling group (such as radical Islamists at a local mosque)
who spout an ideology that purports to justify violent actions.

Their motivations can be summed up in a three-word phrase, according
to Richardson: "Revenge, Renown, Reaction."

Historically, terrorist groups have begun as small local organizations,
and then expanded. Al Qaeda seems to have been able to turn this
on its head: It's a global ideology that has inspired some disaffected
youth to take violent action where they live.

That's the pattern of the 2005 London transport bombings, for
instance. "This is not an auspicious development," warns Richardson.

So, what is to be done? The part of this book that will probably
get the most attention is the policy prescriptions that Richardson
says she has derived from her academic findings.

September 11 did not change the world, she argued. It simply --
and brutally -- made the US aware of a world that was already

The rhetoric of declaring war on terrorism, she argues, is a mistake.
Terrorism is a tactic, and thus cannot be defeated; what can be
defeated, or at least contained, are individual groups of terrorists.

Thus her "Six Rules":

Have a defensible and achievable goal, such as stopping the spread
of Islamist militancy.

Live by your principles. No more Abu Ghraibs.

Know your enemy.

Separate the terrorists from their communities.

Engage others in countering terrorists with you.

Have patience and keep your perspective.

This book can seem cold, even bloodless. There are many people
for whom the world did irrevocably change on 9/11, after all.
And given the criticisms of the Bush administration it contains,
both overt and implicit, it seems unlikely that Richardson will
be working for the National Security Council anytime soon.

But if you've ever stared slack-jawed at the television screen,
while some terrorism "expert" belabored the obvious like it was
a stubborn pony, this book is a welcome source of information.
It's written by a true expert, giving her measured thoughts.

Read the review online at:

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