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Democracy For The Southern Adirondack/Tricounty Area
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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