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Democracy For The Southern Adirondack/Tricounty Area
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Tricounty DFA Update: House Party For Keehn, DFA Night School, A Must Read
Hello Everyone!

In this update:

1. Val Keehn House Party Thursday
2. DFA NIght School Tuesday
3. From Bo Lipari -- Grassroots Pressure Saved Voting Reforms
4. Online Action: Close Guantanamo
5. Must Read: The Reality Based Community Strikes Back
6. Friday Night Progressive FIlm Fest

1. Val Keehn House Party Thursday

Amejo Amyot will be hosting a special welcome to summer house party for Mayor Valerie Keehn on the verandahs of her home at 219 Woodlawn Avenue, in Saratoga Springs, on Thursday, June 28 at 5:30pm. (Woodlawn is one block west of North Broadway).

Mayor Keehn, who was recently endorsed by Democracy For Saratoga Springs, will be continuing her conversation with the people of Saratoga Springs. Friends and supporters are urged to attend. Light refreshments will be served.

Incidentally, the mayoral campaign in Saratoga is heating up with some interesting blog postings on the race:

2. DFA NIght School Tuesday

Tomorrow night, DFA's Night School will focus on online fundraising as part of its 2007 Summer Semester on campaign fundraising. DFA Training Director Arshad Hasan will be joined by experts in online fundraising: Zack Exley and ActBlue! Zack Exley was the Director for Online Organizing and Communications for the Kerry-Edwards campaign in 2004. He has also worked with and the Dean for America campaign.
The time is Tuesday, June 26th -- 8:30pm Eastern To RSVP:

These are great trainings and well worth listening to, especially considering the price!

3. From Bo Lipari -- Grassroots Pressure Saved Voting Reforms
As the Legislative session wound to a close, there was an alarming effort to gut a voting machine reform bill passed by the legislature two years ago. NYS law requires a software escrow, so that if questions about the new electronic voting machines appear, the software can be inspected. Bo Lipari of New Yorkers For Verified Voting blew the whistle and the effort was defeated, in part with help from many DFA members who called:

"We won for a change," he said on Friday. He estimated that about 3,000 constituent calls had been placed with the legislature about the issue. "There was a huge outpouring of support and the legislature noticed this. It was a forceful way to remind them to re-affirm their commitment to these strong laws."\

For more go to:

4. Online Action: Close Guantanamo
Retired Army Generals Robert Gard and John Johns are calling on Congress to ban the use of torture, restore the right to trial and shut down the disastrous prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. Moveon has an online petition and you can show your support at:

5. Must Read: The Reality Based Community Strikes Back
The must read of the week is a report from the Campaign For America's Future on what Americans actually believe and stand for. It shatters the myth of a basically conservative nation. This report is a major development and we should be hearing a lot more about it.


On Health Care: 69 percent of Americans think it is the responsibility of the federal government to make sure all Americans have access to health coverage; 76 percent find access to health care more important than maintaining the Bush tax cuts; three in five would be willing to have their own taxes increased to achieve universal coverage.

On Energy Policy: 52 percent of Americans believe "the best way for the U.S. to reduce its reliance on foreign oil" is to "have the government invest in alternative energy sources"; 64 percent are willing to pay a higher energy tax to pay for renewable energy research; 68 percent of the public thinks U.S. energy policy is better solved by conservation than production.

On the Economy: 77 percent of Americans believe Congress should increase the minimum wage; 66 percent believe "upper-income people" pay too little in taxes; 53 percent feel the Bush administration's tax cuts have failed because they have increased the deficit and caused cuts in government programs.

On Government's Role: 69 percent of Americans believe the government "should care for those who can't care for themselves." Twice as many people (43 percent to 20 percent) want "government to provide many more services even if it means an increase in spending" as want government to provide fewer services "in order to reduce spending."

On Immigration: 62 percent of Americans believe undocumented immigrants should be given a chance to "keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status." 49 percent believe the best way to reduce illegal immigration from Mexico is to penalize employers, not more border control."

The full report is at:

Don't miss the accompanying article in The Nation:

It's all a rebuke to anyone who says Democrats have to run to the right to win. The reverse is actually true.

More From The Reality Based Community: Portrait of the Terrorist as an Idiot.

FDR said, the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself. It seems that was never truer than this portrait from Wired Magazine of what the record actually shows the terrorists who are supposedly waging a "war of civilizations" that represent an "existential threat" (sic) are actually like. It's title is "Portrait of the terrorist as an Idiot."\\

Impeachment: A Growing Reality?

This growing awareness of how we were lied to may be why there is a growing interest in Impeachment. Drew sends this piece along:

6. Friday Night Progressive FIlm Fest

The Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe's Friday Night Film Fest continues at 7:30 with:

June 29 THE WOBBLIES (1979) Stewart Bird & Deborah Shaffer 90 min.
Despite their silly-sounding name, the Wobblies were a powerful unit that helped unionize the beaten-down workforce in America, setting up some of the most powerful unions the country has ever seen. This documentary from 1979 takes a look at the Wobblies' activities, which often involved brutal physical fights and imprisonment as they fought for justice. Amazingly, their revolutionary ways were highly successful and the lasting effects of the changes they battled for are still felt in the workplace today.

Thanks Everyone! Hope to see many of you at Amejo's House Party!

Larry Dudley

Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Correction: Saratoga Women's Lunch Canceled
Hello Everyone;

Unfortunately, the Saratoga Women's Luncheon scheduled for Saturday the 23rd has been canceled. My regrets for any inconvenience!


Tricounty DFA Update: Alerts, Trainings, Impeachment and More
Hello Everyone!

In this update:

1. DFA Night School Tomorrow
2. Bo Lipari Action Alert On Verified Voting
3. Citizens Action Calls On Clean Money/Clean Elections
4. Saratoga Democratic Women's Committee Luncheon
5. Delaware Co. Dems Call For Bush/Cheney Impeachment
6. DFA Training In Albany
7. War For Oil
8. Friday Night Film Fest

1. DFA Night School Tomorrow

If you want to learn more about fundraising in politics, or indeed any kind of organization, there will be another DFA Nightschool on fundraising tomorrow night at 8:30pm. These are excellent sessions, especially to start with and, best of all, free!

For more info:

2. Bo Lipari Action Alert On Verified Voting

There's an alert in tonight from Bo Lipari of New York Verified Voting.

Two years ago the state legislature passed a law requiring the computer code of electronic voting machines be placed in escrow, to be inspected in case of fraud. The companies are now trying to gut that key protection.

"Early in the week of June 18, the last week of the Legislative session, a bill will be introduced to correct "technical problems" with an earlier law changing New York's Presidential primary date. But this bill will contain a poisonous provision that effectively removes the possibility of meaningful review of electronic voting system software. In the last 2 months, Microsoft and the voting machine vendors have conducted a full court press in Albany, trying to make OUR Election Law suit THEIR interests. We can't let that happen.

Take Action Now! - It's urgent that you call your State Senator and Assembly representative this Monday and Tuesday, June 18 and 19, at their Albany offices, and tell them they must not weaken New York State's voting machine escrow and review requirements.
Find your Assembly member's contact information here:
(Not sure who your Assembly member is? Click here to search by Zip Code)

Find your State Senator's contact information here:
(Not sure who your State Senator is? Click here to search by Zip Code)

Bo Lipari
Executive Director, New Yorkers for Verified Voting

3. Citizens Action Calls On Clean Money/Clean Elections

Citizen's Action is also asking for calls before the end of the legislative session to support Clean Money/Clean Elections, the most important reform Gov. Spitzer is calling for to transform NY's corrupt politics. Clean Money/Clean Elections will get big money out of our elections and go very far to restore our Democracy. Speaker Sheldon Silver is believed to be holding up Clean Money/Clean Elections in favor of a watered down proposal that will do little.

"Please Call Speaker Silver, the leader in the New York State Assembly and let him know: "Support Clean Elections reform, New York needs FULL public financing for New York - NOT 'partial' public financing." Call him at 518-455-3791 this week!"

4. Saratoga Democratic Women's Committee Luncheon

The Saratoga County Democratic Women's Committee will be holding its luncheon on June 23 at 11am at the Gideon Putnam Hotel. The Buffet and program is $25. Special Guest Speaker is Denise King of the Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Board.

Make sure to RSVP to Pat Friesen at 542-9175 or ! I hear there is a possibility of cancelation.
Please mail to checks to Pat at 36 Thoroughbred Drive, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. Make them out to the Saratoga County Democratic Committee.

5. Delaware Co. Dems Vote For Bush/Cheney Impeachment

More and more people, some in surprising places, have this on their mind: From the Delaware County Democrats (thanks DIck and Kate!)

"June 15, 2007


"Delhi, New York -- On Tuesday, June 12, 2007, the Democratic Committee of Delaware County voted in favor of a resolution calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to begin impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

"The resolution, introduced by committee member John Ryan of the Town of Meredith, passed by a two-to-one margin. In passing the measure, the committee emphasized that Bush and Cheney's actions have broken U.S. law and gone against the U.S. Constitution. Bush and Cheney, the resolution notes, have deliberately misled the nation about the threat from Iraq, have condoned the use of torture, have approved illegal electronic surveillance, and have ordered indefinite detention without legal counsel. "All of these actions undermine the very principles this nation was built on," observed Ryan. "They threaten America's way of life and make us a weaker country."

"The committee has submitted the resolution, in the form of a petition, to House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi for further action. "Fortunately, the founders of the Constitution foresaw the possibility of executive misbehavior and built in a way for this country's representatives to make sure that the president be held accountable," said committee member Dick Stinson of the Town of Kortright. "This is essential for democracy to work for the people of our country."

Trudy notes that we can all sign an online petition for impeachment of Dick Cheney:

The full resolution is at the bottom of this post.

6. DFA Training In Albany

If you are interested in improving your political skills, don't forget that there is a two day DFA Training Academy Session at the SEIU Hall in Albany sponsored by Democracy For The Hudson Mohawk Region. The cost is $70 and includes a manual worth the price alone along with two lunches and coffee and fixin's. For more info go to:

7. War For Oil

Drew sends along this piece on on how oil is now driving US Military policy. Rumsfeld's "reforms" of our military actually increased on dependency on oil-- in this Iraq War we are using four times the amount of oil used in the first Iraq War. The US military uses more oil than major countries. Given that the final peak of oil production is approaching, the Pentagon itself has concluded the Bush doctrine is unsustainable. A chilling read.

8. Friday Night Film Fest

The Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe's Friday Night Progressive Film Festival continues at 7:30pm with:

June 22 I AM A PROMISE: The Children of Stanton Elementary School (1993) Alan & Susan Raymond 90 min.
The life of students who attend Stanton Elementary School in North Philadelphia forms the backbone of this fascinating documentary. The film offers a harrowing portrayal of life below the poverty line. Ninety percent of the students at Stanton are living well below the national average, presenting a struggle for both the students and teachers of the school. Principal Deanna Burney faces a daily struggle with budgets, staff morale, dangerous incidents, and the seemingly unsolvable--not to mention neverending--problems that rain down on her. A Best Documentary winner, "Promise" offers a brutal snapshot of the failings of the American school system.

Thanks everyone! Make sure to check out the Delaware County Dems' resolution on impeaching Bush and Cheney-- we're seeing more and more of this all the time!

Larry Dudley


Resolution to Impeach George W. Bush & Richard B. Cheney

Whereas George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney have:

Deliberately misled the nation about the threat from Iraq in order to justify a war;
Condoned the torture of prisoners in violation of the Geneva Convention & US law;
Approved illegal electronic surveillance of American citizens without a warrant;
Ordered the indefinite detention without legal counsel, without charges and without the opportunity to appear before a civil judicial officer to challenge the detention, all in violation of U.S. law and the Bill of Rights; and
Whereas these actions have undermined our constitutional system of government, damaged the reputation of America, and threatened our national security;

Whereas petitions from the country at large may be presented by the Speaker of the House according to Clause 3 of House Rule XII;

Be it resolved that George W. Bush and Richard Cheney, by such conduct, warrant impeachment and trial, and removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States;

Be it resolved further by the Democratic Committee of Delaware County, New York, that our representatives in the United States Congress are hereby requested to cause to be instituted in the Congress of the United States proper proceedings for the investigation of the activities of the President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney, to the end that they may be impeached and removed from such offices;

Be it resolved further, that the Democratic Committee of Delaware County, New York, will send to the Speaker of the House of Representatives a copy of this resolution and its adoption by the Democratic Committee of Delaware County, New York, as a petition, and request that this petition be delivered to the Office of the Clerk to be delivered to the appropriate committee.

Passed June 12, 2007.

Sunday, June 10, 2007
Tricounty DFA Update: Meeting Report, Petitions, Gov. Dean, Green Sky
Hello Everybody;

In This Update:

1. Meetup Report: Lisa Manzi
2. Warren Dems Schedule Petition Meeting
3. Governor Dean On Iraq
4. DFA Night School: Fundraising!
5. Campaign Finance Reform: Clean Money/Clean Elections
6. How The World Ends: A Very Scary Review Of A Very Important Book
7. Friday Night Film Fest

1. Meetup Report: Lisa Manzi

We had another fine DFA Meeting last Wednesday at the Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe on Exchange Street in downtown Glens Falls. The evening was dominated by a brief presentation and Q&A with Rep. Gillibrand's regional representative Liza Manzi, who works out of the Glens Falls office. Liza gave a very impressive presentation, and then listened and took notes on the group's views on a wide variety of issues, particularly the war in Iraq. Towards the end, Rep. Gillibrand's District Manager Mike Russo also dropped in. Mike answered a few questions, too. Thanks to both of them for coming!

I also reminded everyone of the DFA Training weekend in Albany on the 23rd and 24th at the SEIU Hall, and we discussed possible candidate forums.

We also discussed the use of electronic voting machines by some area school boards during the recent school board district votes. Since Lt. Governor David Patterson recently came out in favor of standardizing on PB/OS-- Paper Ballots Optically scanned-- we decided to take a wait and see position and see if the Executive Branch takes action on this issue. Governor Spitzer, at DFNY urging, came out in favor of PB/OS prior to the last election.

Because of the Fourth Of July Holiday, which is on the first wednesday of the month, our usual meeting day, we agreed to meet on the following Wednesday, July 11th.

2. Warren Dems Schedule Petition Meeting

The regular meeting of the Warren County Democratic Committee will be on Wednesday June 13 at the K of C Hall, Route 9 in Queensbury. Petitions need to be distributed at this meeting and if one wants to help circulate petitions, one must come to this meeting to pick up the petitions. Committee vacancies will also be filled at this time along with endorsement of local candidates.

3. Governor Dean On Iraq

Governor Dean has not really been heard from lately, but he spoke out with a roar this weekend when he gave the Democrat's response to Bush's weekly address. Dean addressed the war in Iraq, and it demonstrates how dearly his clarion voice on the war is missed. Says, Dean,

"Last week, President Bush compared the Iraq War to our ongoing commitment in South Korea, suggesting a plan for a 50-year presence in Iraq. By saying this, President Bush and the Republicans showed once again that they simply do not get it.

"It's time to end the war, not escalate it. A 50-year plan for Iraq is a continuation of an ineffective strategy and it is not acceptable.
Our brave men and women in uniform deserve better. They have served with honor and distinction, but its time for the mission to change. It's time for the mission in Iraq to focus on a political solution, not a military one. It's time for a responsible end to this war.


"The American people hired Democrats last November to ensure that we end this war. So let me be clear, we know that if we don't keep our promise, we may find ourselves the minority again." and "one way to truly ensure we end this war... elect a Democrat as president in 2008."

For the full text

4. DFA Night School: Fundraising!

Those who have logged in know DFA's online Night School sessions are excellent. They start against this Tuesday with "one of the most challenging parts of running for any office: Fundraising.

"Difficulty raising money is a primary reason many great candidates never get their campaigns off the ground. Despite the understandable cynicism about how campaigns are funded today, the ability to fundraise effectively for progressive candidates and causes is essential to taking back our country.

"Developing a Finance Plan
Tuesday June 12th -- 8:30pm Eastern

"Night School is DFA's free online training program. Last semester, thousands of DFA members from across the country participated in the web presentation and conference call. It's easy, it's fun and it doesn't cost a thing!

"Throughout June, DFA trainers with decades of experience will show you the secrets of effective fundraising for your cause or candidate. Take a look at what is coming up later this month:

"Fundraising: Events and Call Time
Tuesday June 19th -- 8:30pm Eastern

"Fundraising: Online and Email
Tuesday June 26th -- 8:30pm Eastern

Don't forget the Training Day in Albany on June 23 and 24:

5. Campaign Finance Reform: Clean Money/Clean Elections

Fundraising as an isssue points out there is probably no more important reform than Clean Money, Clean Elections, which get big cash out of our elections. That would return American democracy to the people.

Spitzer wants Clean Money/Clean Elections. Now Citizen Action is organizing an email blitz to committee chairs before the end of the legislative session. From our DFHM group:

"The end of session is coming and the statewide campaign finance
coalition needs all our help. One easy way is to particpate in Give a
Hoot part II-e mails sent to the election chairs. Read below:

Common Cause-NY generated over 1500 emails to Senate Majority Leader
Joe Bruno from constitituents who "give a hoot" about campaign finance
OF THE ELECTION REFORM COMITTEES! Please take a moment to once again
tell Albany you give a hoot, and forward the link to your members and

6. How The World Ends: A Very Scary Review Of A Very Important Book

A review of Under A Green Sky, a new book on Global Warming/Global Climate Change contains some of the most troubling information on climate change I have seen so for. The author uses fossil data of past extinctions to understand what might happen in the future, particularly if the ocean conveyor belts stop flowing. That happened during the Permian Layer extinction, which killed 90% of all the species on earth, and did it within a fairly short period of time.

If ocean currents cease because of too much heat, anerobic bacteria flourish, filling the atmosphere with hydrogen sulfide. The sky literally turned green and temperatures soared. Could this happen again? Possibly yes. Sorry to disturb everyone's sleep! I will paste this must read at the bottom of this posting.

7. Friday Night Progressive Film Fest

The Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe's Friday Night Film fest continues at 7:30 with:

June 15 DOING TIME: Life In The Big House (1991) Alan & Susan Raymond &
Lewisberg is one of the most feared jails in the entire American penitentiary system. The facility has garnered its reputation due to its incredibly high security and a bunch of inmates who have been incarcerated with no hope of reaching the outside world ever again. This documentary takes a look at Lewisberg, talking to both the highly dangerous criminals who lurk behind its bars and the officers who work there. Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary.

Thanks everyone! Make sure you read the review below!

Larry Dudley

Today's Review From

Under a Green Sky: Global Warming, the Mass Extinctions of the Past, and What They Can Tell Us about Our Future
by Peter D. Ward

Read today's review in HTML at:

Voice your opinion by posting a comment on the blog:


This Is How the World Ends
A review by Doug Brown

Many books on global warming are based upon crude computer models
(crude compared to our planet's actual climate) and hypothetical
what-ifs. Thus they are easily dismissed by skeptics as alarmist
litanies of, "Here are some really bad things that could maybe
possibly happen if the worst-case outcomes of this model which
is built on untested assumptions turn out to be right." Peter
Ward, a paleontology professor at the University of Washington
(and astrobiologist for NASA), takes a different and much scarier
approach. Rather than hypothetical speculations into the future,
he starts with actual data from the past. Can we examine the fossil
and climate record to identify past instances of greenhouse global
warming, and see what happened then? The answer, very disturbingly,
is yes.

The first section of Under a Green Sky covers how scientists have
examined mass extinctions over time, and how causes are determined.
After the Cretaceous-Tertiary event (a.k.a. the extinction of
the non-avian dinosaurs) was shown to have been largely caused
by a meteor slamming into the earth, extraterrestrial impacts
became the assumed cause of all mass extinctions. Everyone ran
around looking for craters of the approximate correct age to have
caused other events. Ward espoused a more systematic approach,
where the fossil record itself was first examined in detail to
see if extinctions happened slowly, in phases, or all at once
(only the latter favoring an impact). The granddaddy of all mass
extinctions, the Permian extinction, was a study target for both
Ward and the impact crowd. In the Permian event, almost 90% of
species died. To find the cause of this event would garner much
fame. Thus, when the impact folks thought they found their crater,
they promptly reported to the press the extinction had been solved.
The fossil data said otherwise. Ward's wonderfully written book
Gorgon discusses this particular debate in more depth, but the
short story is the crater turned out to be the wrong age by several
million years, and the fossil record indicated waves of extinctions
over a short period of time.

If not an impact, what could have made so many things die so quickly?
Here's where global warming enters the picture. When carbon dioxide
and other greenhouse gas levels were indirectly measured (via
isotope ratios in rocks and counting stomata in fossil leaves),
it was found a greenhouse event did take place at the end of the
Permian, and also at the end of the Triassic (the first part of
the "age of the dinosaurs"). Okay, so it got warm and stuffy,
but so what? Don't reptiles like the heat? Heat, yes, noxious
gases like hydrogen sulfide, no. It was the examination of ocean
floor extinctions that finally completed the picture. In impacts
like the Cretaceous-Tertiary event, things in the upper half of
the ocean die, but not so much in the lower half. In the Permian
and Triassic events, the opposite trend was seen; the extinctions
started on the ocean floor. Also, dark bands in the rocks signaled
the presence of anoxic bacteria in deep water.

Ordinarily, there is a conveyor belt running through all the oceans,
both at the surface and at deep levels. The Gulf Stream is a famous
part of this conveyor. Warm water moves toward the poles, then
sinks down to the ocean floor and heads back towards the equator.
This deep water, having come from the surface in polar regions,
is well oxygenated. In previous global warming events such as
the Permian and Triassic, changes in atmospheric gases were enough
to stop the conveyor. With no oxygenated water on the ocean floor,
everything there died and anoxic bacteria took over. Ward posits
these bacteria produced large amounts of hydrogen sulfide (the
gas made by rotten eggs), which then burped up to the surface
in large bubbles. Ward and his colleagues calculated there was
plenty enough of this nasty gas to account for the extinctions.
The scary thing is how fast the conveyor stops. In a matter of
decades, the climate can significantly alter, and within a hundred
years extinction is the order of the day.

Which brings us to the present. Thanks to us tool-pushing primates,
carbon dioxide levels are rising precipitously, setting up circumstances
very similar to those seen before. And when those circumstances
arose, really bad things happened. Ward closes Under a Green Sky
with three hypothetical scenarios for the future, based in part
on past occurrences. In the first, we get our act together and
cut emissions drastically. If we can keep atmospheric CO2 below
450 ppm (parts per million) come the year 2100, things will get
a bit warmer and some ice will melt, but otherwise we should largely
be okay. However, this is unlikely, as the current level is 360
ppm (and rising at 2 ppm per year), and much of the world is industrializing
as fast as it can, which may push the rate of increase to 4 ppm
per year. In scenario two, Ward assumes we hit CO2 levels of 700
ppm by the year 2100. Sea level will have risen several feet,
the ocean conveyor will have recently shut down triggering climatic
changes, resulting in massive numbers of refugees. In scenario
three, Ward assumes year 2100 CO2 levels of 1,100 ppm. Earth would
be 10 degrees Celsius warmer. All of the world's ice would be
melting, and much of the world's population displaced by rising
waters. The conveyor would have shut down decades earlier, and
signs of deep ocean anoxic bacteria beginning to show. Due to
changes in the atmosphere, the sky would be turning a sickly shade
of green. The sixth great mass extinction would be underway.

What makes this such a terrifying book is it isn't based on theoretical
mathematics. Rapid increases in greenhouse gases have shut down
the ocean conveyor several times before, resulting in severe climate
change and mass extinction. If Ward's analysis is correct, we
know what caused it and we know how to make it not happen again.
The question is: can we save us from ourselves? Perhaps if people
read Under a Green Sky and tell their friends about it, we might
have a chance. Many people are apathetic about global warming
because the press concentrates on superficial metrics like mean
temperature and sea levels rising a few feet. So we grow oranges
in Alaska, who cares? Peter Ward offers a reason why we should
all care, and right now.

Read the review online at:

Monday, June 04, 2007
Tricounty DFA Update: Wednesday Meeting Reminder, More
Hello Everyone!

In this update:

1. DFA Meetup or Link-up Reminder
2. Special Guest: Lisa Manzi
3. Michael Moore and "Sicko" on Oprah Tuesday
4. Gov. Spitzer Looking For Calls On Clean Money/Clean Elections
5. Must Reads Of the Week: A Warning On Empire, Terrorism
6. Gas Gouging
7. Helping Afghans
8. Friday Night Progressive Film Fest

1. DFA Meetup or Link-up Reminder

Wednesday, June 6th we'll be holding our monthly DFA meetup or linkup at our usual time, 7pm, at the Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe on Elm and Exchange Streets and Hudson Avenue in downtown Glens Falls. The downtown reconstruction is mostly over, so it's now easy to again get to the Cafe.

2. Special Guest: Lisa Manzi

On the agenda this month is a visit by Lisa Manzi, Rep. Gillibrand's Regional Representative in the Glens Falls office. Lisa will talk a bit and answer questions. We'll be starting on time with Lisa first so she can get home to Greenwich at a reasonable hour. We'll also be discussing local races and what we can do and more.

3. Michael Moore and "Sicko" on Oprah Tuesday

I received this from several people today as well as Michael, so there is real interest:

"Michael Moore will appear on Oprah tomorrow, Tuesday, June 5, and will present, for the first time on television, scenes from his new film, "Sicko." Oprah will interview Michael about the movie and the attention it's receiving before its release (opening day everywhere is June 29). The theme of Oprah's show is the one film you must see this summer -- "Sicko" -- and the one book you must read (Cormac McCarthy's "The Road"). Oprah loved Michael's film and wants to make health care for all one of her main missions this year."

Viewing times vary so check your schedule.

4. Gov. Spitzer Looking For Calls On Clean Money/Clean Elections

I received this reminder from regional DFA coordinator Margaret Yonco Haynes-- Governor Spitzer is willing to push for Clean Money Clean Elections reform, which will get big money out of our elections. Nothing probably will do more to reform our government. But he needs to be able to show public support from all areas of the state:

"Governor Spitzer has made full public funding with Clean Money Clean Elections the cornerstone of his reform New York program. But he is getting resistance from Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno, who is against public funding of campaigns, and from Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who favors partial public funding. With partial funding using our tax dollars, candidates would still have to raise the bulk of their money from private wealthy donors, who would continue to have the upper hand in legislative matters.

"When I called Governor Spitzer's office to learn when he would introduce his Clean Elections bill, I was told that before he does, he is counting the calls to his office for it from each of the state's zip codes.

"It's a quick call to 518 474-8390. All callers have to say is "I'm for full public funding with Clean Money Clean Elections" and give their zip code.

"With strong public support, Governor Spitzer will prevail. But he must have that support to stand up to legislators who would rather keep the status quo with partial public funding, as Speaker Silver wants, or no public funding, as Senator Bruno wants. "

5. Must Reads Of the Week: A Warning From The New Yorker, Empire, Terrorism

There are two remarkable articles that I would classify as "must reads" this week.

The New York Review of Books details how Bush and the neocon's drive for an American empire has damaged America. What I found most troubling is a description of Chalmers Johnson's new book, Nemesis, the Last Days Of The American Republic. Johnson writes,

"Over any fairly lengthy period of time, successful imperialism requires that a domestic republic or a domestic democracy change into a domestic tyranny.... The United States today, like the Roman Republic in the first century BC, is threatened by an out-of-control military-industrial complex and a huge secret government controlled exclusively by the president. After the attacks of September 11, 2001, cynical and short-sighted political leaders of the United States began to enlarge the powers of the president at the expense of the elected representatives of the people and the courts."

Johnson notes that Britain and Rome, before their decline, both had about 37 major base complexes around their empires to control them, which is about what the US has today.

That ties into a translated article on from Montreal's Le Devior, regarded by many as the best small paper in the world. (Unfortunately it's only in French.) Sorbonne Professor Xavier Raufer describes how,

"Had the Iraq folly not been committed, everything that looks like bin Ladin and his ilk would have faded away very quickly," deems Mr. Raufer, who is in charge of courses at the Criminology Institute of Paris II University." and, "When the Great Powers stop investing in their military arsenals - in the obsolete logic of the Cold War - they could concentrate on the eradication of terrorist phenomena as soon as their first symptoms appear. "It's an intellectual problem."

As Johnson writes, becoming Rome is not the answer, nor is the "obsolete logic of the Cold War." Marvelous.

6. Gas Gouging

Moveon has a petition call to urge the Senate to do something about gas gouging by major oil companies, who have never, ever been more profitable:

7. Helping Afghans

Mike Parwana is distributing products on a not-for-profit basis to help poor Afghans, and sends this along:

"In 2005 former NPR reporter Sarah Chayes helped form a cooperative, Arghand, which makes hand-made soaps using traditional crops of southern Afghanistan. The idea is to provide a living wage to workers and to create a market for legitimate and licit crops for Afghan farmers. The group’s website is . These are high quality and very attractive hand-soaps and every purchase helps to create stability in a war-torn and desperate place.

"Now Arghand products are available locally at Sterling & Co. on Glen Street in Glens Falls. Please visit the Arghand website and then try the products out for yourself."

8. Friday Night Progressive Film Fest

Finally, the Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe's Friday Night Progressive Film Fest continues at 7:30 with:

June 8 SMOTHERED: The Censorship Of the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (2002) Maureen Muldaur 92 min.
Focusing on an important time in American television history, Smothered is a documentary about the Emmy award-winning CBS television show The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, originally broadcast between 1967 and 1969. With their affable demeanor, traditional folk-tune routines, and and semi-Vaudevillian comedy, Tom and Dick Smothers delighted and challenged their faithful audience. Interviews with celebrity writers, performers, and news makers such as Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte, and Rob Reiner peppered the show with dynamic conversation. In addition, the show's open forum for Vietnam War protest and commentary on the popular drug culture of the time stirred up quite a bit of controversy.

Thanks everyone! See you all on Wednesday,

Larry Dudley

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