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Democracy For The Southern Adirondack/Tricounty Area
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Tricounty DFA: Meetup Report (Finally!), Fairness Doctrine Resolution, Tim Merrick, Circular Letter and More
Hello Everyone;

Hope everyone has their power back on, too!

In This Update:

1. Meetup Report:
Fariness Doctrine Resolution
Tim Merrick Appearance
Draft Circular Letter
2. Extremely Successful Vigil Thursday
3. Post Star Honors All Of Us
4. Anti War Protest For 27th?
5. Iraq War Bills Info And Links
6. More Evidence of Bush's and the War's Madness
7. Friday Night Progressive Film Fest
8. GF Dems Sponsor "Dance Fever"
9. On The Lighter Side: Garrison Keillor

1. Meetup Report:
Fariness Doctrine Resolution

I wasn't able to get a report on our last meeting into the last update: here is it. There were three major items on our agenda:

First we discussed a resolution proposed in January by Drew Monthie to urge our congressional delegation to restore the Fairness Doctrine. We unanimously passed the following resolution:

"In 1986 a Federal Communications Commission packed by President Ronald Reagan abolished the Fairness Doctrine. Reagan then vetoed an act of Congress to reestablish the Fairness Doctrine."

"Established early in the days of radio, the Fairness Doctrine was an important New Deal reform. Broadcasters had to fairly present alternative points of view and give those attacked an opportunity to respond. It also provided for equal time and emphasized public service in broadcasting."

"Ever since it’s abolition, the United State’s political discourse has rapidly deteriorated. The sense of fairness and public service that once characterized broadcasting in America has largely vanished. Our democracy has suffered as a result."

"Democracy For The Greater Glens Falls Area believes the restoration of the Fairness Doctrine is a vital reform the new Congress must adopt. Therefore, we urge our congressional delegation to support Rep, Slaugher’s resolution to restore the Fairness Doctrine, introduced in the 109th Congress as HR. 501."

Tim Merrick Appearance

We were also very pleased to have our State Senate candidate Tim Merrick come down from Plattsburg to appear at our meeting. Tim thanked everyone in DFA for all their efforts on his behalf, and he was very complimentary and gracious. I think everyone present also expressed their gratitude to Tim for the great effort he made. It was too long a conversation to summarize here, but it wide ranging, covering everything from the way the election played out, issues facing the Northcountry today and the future of DFA and what we can do here locally for real change.

Draft Circular Letter

We also discussed a draft Circular Letter I proposed to the group. We all probably saw today the email from DFA in Burlington polling everyone in DFA on what DFA's roll will be in the next primary election for President.

For the majority of us this organization originally gathered to support the candidacy of Governor Dean. I think he is still the overwhelming sentimental favorite of most of us. But I think it is also very clear he is not running. So what is DFA to do? The issue really is whether or not DFA will be relevant to the process of selecting the next president or not.

Like many of you, I have been spooked by the winter we are having here. It's true it just turned colder, but this winter was the culmination of 25 years of increasingly warming weather.

I would like to propose that Global Warming must be the leading criteria for selecting our next presidential nominee. Global War will be the leading issue for the next 100 years.

The idea is to send the circular letter to other DFA groups, to urge them to consider this as their criteria, too.

I will paste it in at the bottom of this message your everyone's review. Let's all think about it, whether or not we should do this, whether we like the language, and, if all are agreeable, we can discuss and revise it at our next meeting.

2. Extremely Successful Vigil Thursday

Thanks to everyone who came out in the cold last Thursday for the Vigil Against the Escalation and to Bring Our Troops Home. Everyone who read the paper knows it was a huge success. If you haven't see it, the article is online at: doc45a70fc6d6509595118092.txt

3. Post Star Honors All Of Us

The Post Star also honored all of our and our efforts Monday on the Boos and Bravo section of the Op Ed page. They gave the vigil and everyone who came a big Bravo for doing so. That credit goes to everyone who came, came to others in the past, or wanted to but could not. All matter.

4. Anti War Protest For 27th?

One of the questions raised at the Vigil was about the big anti-war demonstration being planned for Washington, DC, for January 27th. It is being organized by United For Peace and Justice. Here are the details:

At the vigil people asked if we could have a parallel event here on the 27th-- specifically, another of the Saturday Morning vigils we were doing until the election heated up. If anyone is interested in something like that, let me know and I will schedule it! Like the Vigil last week, we are the people who can make that happen and make an impact.

5. Iraq War Bills Info And Links

People at the vigil also wanted to know about the bills before Congress mandating the removal of our troops from Iraq, particularly the Kennedy-Markey Act.

Andrew White of our Albany DFA group has assembled that info and sends it along (thanks to Andrew! ).

"Hi Folks,

There are bills proposed in the Senate and House to prohibit funding of
Bush's escalation of the Iraq War. Sen. Kennedy and Rep. Markey are
sponsoring matching bills on this issue. There are also resolutions in the
House that "express the sense" of the House against the escalation.
"Expressing the sense" does nothing. "Expressly prohibiting" is real action.
It is important that we get our Congresspeople on board with "Expressly
Prohibiting" rather than "expressing the sense."

Unfortunately, the Congressional Service for researching these bills is not
providing a permanent link to them. You can go to this web page

Select to search by Bill number and plug in either H.R. 353 or S. 233. Looks
like the exact text of the bills haven't been loaded into Thomas for the
110th yet.

I would like to request that we get as many of us as possible to call our
various Representatives and our Senators and get them to sign on to H.R. 353
and S. 233 rather then the alternatives.

Title and summary information for both bills is included below.

Title: To prohibit the use of funds for an escalation of United States
forces in Iraq above the numbers existing as of January 9, 2007.

Sponsor: Rep Markey, Edward J. [MA-7] (introduced 1/9/2007) Cosponsors

Latest Major Action: 1/9/2007 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred
to the Committee on Armed Services, and in addition to the Committee on
Foreign Affairs, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker,
in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the
jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

And here are the current co-sponsors beyond Markey:


Rep Abercrombie, Neil [HI-1] - 1/9/2007
Rep DeFazio, Peter A. [OR-4] - 1/10/2007
Rep Delahunt, William D. [MA-10] - 1/9/2007
Rep DeLauro, Rosa L. [CT-3] - 1/10/2007
Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [AZ-7] - 1/9/2007
Rep Hinchey, Maurice D. [NY-22] - 1/10/2007
Rep Maloney, Carolyn B. [NY-14] - 1/11/2007
Rep McDermott, Jim [WA-7] - 1/10/2007
Rep McGovern, James P. [MA-3] - 1/9/2007
Rep Meehan, Martin T. [MA-5] - 1/9/2007
Rep Olver, John W. [MA-1] - 1/12/2007
Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. [IL-9] - 1/11/2007
Rep Thompson, Mike [CA-1] - 1/12/2007
Rep Tierney, John F. [MA-6] - 1/11/2007

Title: A bill to prohibit the use of funds for an escalation of United
States military forces in Iraq above the numbers existing as of January 9,

Sponsor: Sen Kennedy, Edward M. [MA] (introduced 1/9/2007) Cosponsors

Latest Major Action: 1/9/2007 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read
twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
And here is the link to the Senate version in the 110th:

Along with Kennedy here are the current co-sponsors:


Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA] - 1/9/2007
Sen Harkin, Tom [IA] - 1/9/2007
Sen Kerry, John F. [MA] - 1/9/2007
Sen Leahy, Patrick J. [VT] - 1/9/2007
Sen Menendez, Robert [NJ] - 1/10/2007
Sen Sanders, Bernard [VT] - 1/9/2007



6. More Evidence of Bush's and the War's Madness

Dick sends along this extraordinary piece in Britain's Guardian. Many of us remember the madness of Vietnam. This article makes it clear that the madness of Iraq is of an order of magnitude greater, this is truly something out of Lord Of The Flies. The violence is so horrendous that the basic nature of the conflict has changed:,,1989397,00.html

Martha sends this along that that may explain the popularity of murderous religious militias to the Bush Administration-- they will sign a deal for oil:

I find this account by Maureen Dowd about Bush's personal madness, which was pretty plain in his 60 Minutes interview, fascinating: Bush has always upped the ante:

7. Friday Night Progressive Film Fest

The Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe Friday Night Progressive Film Fest continues at 7:30pm with:

Jan 19 THE TRIALS OF HENRY KISSINGER (2002) Eugene Jarecki 80 min.
A documentary based on the book by British journalist Christopher Hitchens, argues that Kissinger, the former U.S. Secretary of State and the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was a power-hungry warmonger responsible for massive military cover-ups in Vietnam, Cambodia, and East Timor in the 1960s, as well as the assassination of a Chilean leader in 1970. The film includes interviews with historians, political analysts, and such notable journalists as the New York Times' William Safire--a former speech writer for Richard Nixon. In addition, it uses archival footage from the Nixon era, including coverage of events both in Washington and in Vietnam. With narrator Brian Cox guiding the flow of the film and keeping it tightly focused on its

8. GF Dems Sponsor "Dance Fever"

The Glens Falls Democratic Committee is one of the sponsors of a monthy "Dance Fever" at the Park Theater in downtown Glens Falls on Saturday, January 20th. Bill Loeb sends this along:


Third Sunday every month, 6:30 – 9:00
Park Theater, Park Street, Glens Falls

Sunday – January 21 – 6:30 – 9:00
6:30 – 7:15 Dance Lesson – Rumba, instructor – Jan Holik
7:15 – 9:00 Open Dancing

DJ – Carrine K. Henry Songs by Airplane, Janis Joplin, Anne Murray, Patsy Cline, Blondie, ABBA, Monkeys, Engelbert, Julio, Frank, Michael Jackson., CCR, Michael Buble’, Ritchie Valens, Pink Martini, Jay and the Americans, Roy Orbison,UB40, Randy Travis, Toby Keith, Drifters, Del Shannon, Hollies, Linda Ronstadt, Debbie Boone, Neil Young, Lee Ann Womack, New Riders, Beach Boys, Platters, John Denver, Diana Ross

Dances – Rumba, Cha-Cha, Waltz, Fox Trot, Swing (East and West Coast), Tango, Jitterbug, Country Two Step, Stroll, Merengue, Romantic Slow Dance, and Rock ‘n Roll

Refreshments will be sold by the Park Theater Management Concession. Cost - $10 per dancer Attire – Smart Casual All ages, singles and couples.

Directions – Park Street is in Downtown Glens Falls. It is a short street with the Glens Falls Hospital at one end and the Civic Center at the other end. Plenty of close parking including the Hospital parking lot.

For further information please contact Bill Loeb at 792-1759 or
Sponsored by Glens Falls Downtown Enthusiasts, the GF Democratic Committee and The Park Theater

9. On The Lighter Side: Garrison Keillor

Finally, on the lighter side, Garrison Keillor has our modern Ahab pegged, or is it peg legged?

Thanks again everyone! Sorry this was so long. The Draft Circular Letter is below.

Larry Dudley


Democracy For The Greater Glens Falls Area

A Circular Letter

To our fellow DFA members
January, 2007

During the American Revolution it was a common practice for local committees of correspondence, which were groups very much like ours, to compose circular letters to other groups and areas. These letters would pass on information, make observations, share opinions and propose new actions.

We propose this letter in a similar, revolutionary spirit.

Our community is located at the base of the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York. Anyone who has watched weather maps of New York or New England over many years will know that Glens Falls is always one of the coldest and snowiest spots on the map. Glens Falls is an archetypal snow belt community. Winters here are normally five months long, and occasionally more. To live here is to live in winter.

However, December 2006 was the warmest December on record. Temperatures commonly hovered in the 40s all month long and sometimes broke into the 50s. There was no snow accumulation. At the beginning of January, grass was still green in Glens Falls. Lakes and ponds, which have always frozen hard by now, are free flowing. It is likely they will not freeze at all.

We are all familiar with the lobster in the pot phenomena. If it is put in a cold pot and heated slowly, it will not attempt to escape. In a similar way, people who live in extreme conditions-- like eskimos and polar bears-- or people like us in Glens Falls-- sometimes see changes others who live in less extreme circumstances will miss.

If you live in Richmond, Virginia, or Little Rock, Arkansas, or Las Vegas, Nevada, where it doesn’t snow much, it might be easy to miss the fact that you are experiencing a significant warming in your winter weather. No snow is no snow. But when you live with snow five months of the year, as we do, have grown up with that and expect that, the sudden disappearance of snow comes as a shock.

Few people live in the Arctic or Antarctic or atop a glacier. That means there are few people in those places to bear witness to radical climate change.

We believe we are on the front line of climate change, are seeing directly for ourselves something others may not be picking up on, and must bear witness to the fact something very extreme and very deadly is happening to our planet.

Dangerous climate change is not a hypothetical event in the future. It is here now. We are sounding the alarm.

We also fear it will get much worse. Recent scientific studies have learned that vast quantities of methane gas, trapped for eons in the arctic permafrost of Russia and Canada, will be released as the permafrost melts.

Most of the climate change we have seen so far has been driven by carbon dioxide. However, methane gas in the upper atmosphere traps 23 times more heat than CO2. The release of methane will radically accelerate global warming. And it could be released in a very short period of time.

If that happens, an irreversible tipping point will occur. All the planet’s ice caps will melt, within a lifetime, possibly much less. The average ocean level will rise 30 feet, inundating all the world’s major coastal cities and shores. Whole regions like Florida, Cap Cod, Louisiana will largely vanish beneath the waves.

Concomitant with that rise, will be a likely change in the world’s weather patterns. Specifically, the monsoon rains around the world will cease. The desertification we see now in Africa will spread around the world into South Asia, India, Southeast Asia, Indonesia and southern China.

Renowned environmental scientist James Lovelock, who created the Gaia hypothesis, that the world operations as a single regulating mechanism, believes these events are all but inevitable. Locklock has concluded that humanity will likely driven to the polar regions in search of habitable terrain. There will not be enough arable land to feed the world’s population. He estimates that five to six billion people could possibly perish in a hundred years time.

This is the most dangerous crisis facing the human race since the Black Death killed 40-60% of the world’s population in the 1350s. For instance, the population of England was reduced in about three years from five million to two million. Rapid climate change is not an inconvenience. It will have a similar lethality. Whatever the exact percentage, billions of human beings are going to perish.

This may seem extreme. But one question has to be asked? What if Lovelock is right? What if he is only half right? Billions will still die.

What kind of actions are impelled upon us?

The first action is to seek appropriate leadership. Then we need to entrust them with political power to address what is in fact the gravest crisis since the Black Death, a crisis that may well exceed that event in overall mortality.

We are now at the cusp of a Presidential election season. Many of us are upset about the Iraq War, civil rights, the war on the middle class, and many other issues. But Global Warming needs to be made the dominant issue of this selection process. It is a life or death issue for most of the human race.

We believe as an organization we must insist on leaders who have several qualities:

*A solid commitment to dealing with the Global Warming issue.
*A specific plan of action.
*A solid and verifiable track record on Global Warming dating back over a period of years that can be inspected and adequately vetted.
*A record of integrity and standing up for issues, in other words, the strength to carry through. This means not knuckling under to short term corporate pressure.

We would urge all candidates be required to meet this test first before even being considered for our endorsement and support.

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