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Democracy For The Southern Adirondack/Tricounty Area
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Tricounty DFA Update: Vigil Thursday To Say NO escalation, More
Hello Everyone!

Before I get into the rest of this update, DFA National in Burlington has called on us to join with True Majority Action and to hold vigils Thursday at 6pm to protest any escalation in the war in Iraq. More below.

In this update:

1. Bush To Escalate War
2. Vigil Thursday
3. Crootofs Make NY Times
4. Meetup Report
5. Global Warming News-- GM Unveils Revolutionary 100mpg Car. Really!
6. Gillibrand Gets Ag Committee
7. Martin Luther King Day March and Service
8. Friday Film Fest

1. Bush To Escalate War

The headlines will be dominated this week by George Bush's latest neocon madness-- tomorrow he will propose an escalation of the war in Iraq. Part of this is that he can't admit he's lost the war. But the Republicans clearly want to drown out the new Democratic Congress.

The Republicans like to claim they listen to the real military pros, and support the military, but Bush appears to be purging military leaders who won't go along with what he wants:

Sen. Kennedy says escalation is not Bush's decision to make, but the new Congress', and that it won't work:
He has a petition:

A major call-up of Guard and Reserve units may be the only way to staff such a large new force:

2. Vigil Thursday

Accordingly, we will join with other DFA groups, True Major and other groups across the nation to hold a candle light vigil Thursday at and around the bandstand in City Park near the Crandall Library in downtown Glens Falls. This will be a quiet one hour vigil for peace and to bear witness against any escalation of the War In Iraq, without speeches. Please bring a candle, if you wish (with a cup to catch the wax) and a sign, if you wish.
Date: January 11, 2007
From: 06:00 PM until 07:00 PM
The Bandstand City Park Downtown Glens Falls, NY between Bay and Ridge Streets and Maple Ave.
From The Northway (Rt 87) take Exit 18 east into Glens Falls. Go past the Hannaford supermarket. At the Stewart's shop, bear right past the Post Office and the Glens Falls Hospital. Continue on through the five corners intersection in downtown Glens Falls. Take the center road, Ridge Street. Go past Glens Falls City Hall. City park and the band stand is on the left.

3. Crootofs Make NY Times

We are not the only people protesting the war. The efforts of the Crootof family in Middle Grove, just outside Saratoga, put most of us to shame, with a field with over 3011 yellow flags, one for every American service member killed. The New York Times just did an article quoting Caren Crootof:

“Just imagine if instead of flags, there were soldiers standing here,” Caren Crootof said.

4. Meetup Report

We had a busy meetup last week, but because of the press of today's call I want to get this out ASAP, and I haven't written it yet! (Unlike the rest) So I will include that in the next posting.

5. Global Warming News-- GM Unveils Revolutionary 100mpg Car. Really!

This is probably the biggest news story this week outside the war. At the Detroit Auto Show this week GM unveiled a new auto. Now hype surrounds new auto rollouts. But this is revolutionary because it is actually a car that can get over a hundred miles per gallon: The Chevy Volt. It's actually an electric car. It carries an internal combustion engine, but only to drive a generator to recharge the batteries. Only the electric motor is connected to the wheels. But you mainly will recharge it by plugging it in. It will go 40 miles on a charge before the motor starts. Since 78% of all car trips are less than 40 miles it's quite possible to go long periods of time without ever buying gasoline. I know in my own case, unless I drove down to Manhattan or up to Burlington or somewhere, I would never need to buy gas. I could go on two or three tanks of gas a year. In theory, if you drove less than 40 miles per trip, you would never need to buy gasoline at all.

Having the gas engine only run a generator increases efficiency because the internal combustion engine runs at an optimal speed 100% of the time. (Running without the batteries, it can still get 50 miles per gallon.) Normally with a car, the engine runs too fast or two slow to run with real efficiency-- that's why we need a transmission. The Volt has no transmission, which saves weight and cuts costs.

This technology leapfrogs the present generation of hybrid vehicles (Sorry Drew, Linda, George and Tim!) with their complicated drive trains.

The car will be placed on the market as soon as batteries are ready, probably in about two years. But again, this is a real car, not a showroom show piece. GM is committed to building it. GM has done a 180 on electric cars, after killing the EV-1. They now say the very survival of GM as a company depends on the success of the Volt.

Two or three observations: General Motors in introducing this car is basically cutting its ties to the petroleum industry. They are looking way down the road to a whole new era. The economic and political implications of that are enormous.
*The Volt can also run on pure ethanol like in Brazil, E85 (85% ethanol and 15% gasoline) and potentially biodiesel or even in theory, hydrogen. That means we could produce our fuel, here.
*Also, it can be charged at night. When you turn on a light after about 8pm, you are mainly burning nuclear generated electricity (nuke plants run at full power all the time). So plugging in the Volt at night will not simply shift from one pollutant to another. There is ample spare capacity at night to do this charging: the existing system can handle the extra load for years to come.
*I also notice in looking at some of the pictures that there are GE logos on some of the components. Since GE is still a New York company, however diminished, that has interesting implications, too. Could Chevy Volt parts production come to NYS?
*Finally-- what's ultimately driving the conflict in the Middle East? Petroleum. We have to break our dependence on Middle Eastern oil or we will be right back in another war over oil eventually.

For More and some pictures this is the best coverage I've seen:

Also, you can vote for volt-- ask GM to build this car!

And to further clarify why this matters so much, 2007 is likely to be the warmest year in recorded history. We are frying our planet with greenhouse gas emissions. Clean cars like the Volt, along with the recent development of green energy from algae I posted a couple of weeks ago show there's real reason for hope. For more on 2007:

6. Gillibrand Gets Ag Committee

Late news comes tonight in an official press release that Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand has landed the coveted seat on the House Agriculture Committee she desired. This will come as good news to upstate farmers, particularly dairymen. New York has not had a major presence on this committee in the recent past.

7. Martin Luther King Day March and Service

There will be a commemorative march and celebration of Martin Luther King Day on Sunday, January 14 in downtown Glens Falls. There will be a march reenacting the early Civil Rights marches led by Dr. King beginning at 3pm at City Hall in downtown Glens Falls. Mayor Roy Akins will speak first. At 3:30 the march will proceed from City Hall to the United Methodist Church on Bay Street. There will be a celebration inside beginning at 4pm. For more information call Carol Kirkwood at the Y at 793-3878. Sponsors include the Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe, the GE Elfun Society and the YMCA.

8. Friday Film Fest

Finally, the Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe resumes its Friday Night Film Fest at 8pm with:
Jan 12 ** PREMIERE ** THE GROUND TRUTH (2006) Patricia Foulkrod 78 min.
Hailed as "powerful" and "quietly unflinching," Patricia Foulkrod's searing documentary feature includes exclusive footage that will stir audiences. The filmmaker's subjects are patriotic young Americans - ordinary men and women who heeded the call for military service in Iraq - as they experience recruitment and training, combat, homecoming, and the struggle to reintegrate with families and communities. The terrible conflict in Iraq, depicted with ferocious honesty in the film, is a prelude for the even more challenging battles fought by the soldiers returning home – with personal demons, an uncomprehending public, and an indifferent government. As these battles take shape, each soldier becomes a new kind of hero, bearing witness and giving support to other veterans, and learning to fearlessly wield the most powerful weapon of all - the truth.

Thanks Everyone! See you Thursday downtown.

My best,

Larry Dudley

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