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Democracy For The Southern Adirondack/Tricounty Area
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Tricounty DFA Update: Multiple Appeals On FISA Emergency, more
Hello Everyone;

In this update for June 24, 2008:

1. Emergency Appeals On FISA Vote/Filibuster
2. What Is At Stake In FISA?
3. Last Week's Votes
4. Vigil Request-- Feedback
5. Bruno Retires
6. Friday Night Progressive Film Festival

1. Emergency Appeals On FISA Vote/Filibuster

The Senate is now in a filibuster to prevent the FISA Act from being voted out of the Senate. Senators Dodd, Feingold and others have taken to the floor calling for the Senate to refuse cloture and kill the FISA ACT.

There has been an amazing outpouring from practically every liberal and progressive group asking us to call our Senators and appeal to them to join the filibuster, or at least refuse to vote for cloture: DFA, PDA, True Majority, People For The American Way and more have all issued appeals.

Sen. Clinton has said she will vote against it and my counter part at DFNYC, Heather Woodfield, says Schumer is leaning no. Take nothing for granted, please call both offices if you can: These are the Albany numbers, and are easiest to get to: (518) 431-0120 & (518) 431-4070

If you can't get a line (the DC ones are jammed) you can email, but calling is far better. Please click here to report your call:

Again, it's (518) 431-0120 & (518) 431-4070

2. What Is At Stake In FISA?

First, if FISA is passed, the many crimes of the Bush administration in spying on Americans will not only never be prosecuted, they will never even be exposed. We will never know what happened. It is basically a coverup.

A disastrous precedent will also be established: what's called the Nuremberg defense, from the Nuremberg war crimes trials at the end of WWII. That is, if someone in authority orders you to do something, it's okay, you were just following orders. We can see where that got Germany.

The FISA Act unravels 247 years of American history going all the way back to the famous Writs Of Assistance case in 1761, when James Otis argued the writs, basically blank search warrants, were a violation of rights. The protection against unreasonable search and seizure was one of the basic issues of the American Revolution. John Adams thought the Revolution really began with the Writs case.

Under FISA the government will be free to suck up and filter vast amounts of electronic information, among others, without a warrant. What will it do with this information?

Why this unseemly hurry to pass the FISA Act now? Why, exactly, will this not wait until the Obama Administration? Bush is crowing at his victory, as is the right wing. And it is a great victory, won against all odds. Does that not trouble anyone? Will we ever get our protections against unwarranted search and seizure back? Again, please call our Senators at (518) 431-0120 & (518) 431-4070

3. Last Week's Votes

In case you have not heard, last week the House passed not only the FISA bill, but also to give Bush $165 billion in funding to keep the Iraq War going into the Spring of 2009.

We will, then, be having a sixth anniversary vigil of the US invasion of Iraq.

Rep. Gillibrand voted for both. She was the only Democrat in New York State to vote with Bush on the war. It is a matter of simple reporting that there are large numbers of people who are very, very upset about this, and people are already talking about a primary challenge against her, along with the other so-called Blue Dogs.

4. Vigil Request-- Feedback

Since the war has now been funded well into next year, the question was raised at last Saturday's vigil as to whether or not we should keep them going. There was one group who felt it is now futile. Others wanted to continue, and turn it into a protest.

We agreed to poll everyone to see what we all wanted to do: If you want to keep the vigils going, and are also committed to coming, please let me know in a return email. We have to have a decent number of people to do it, otherwise it actually goes more harm than good. I understand how deeply discouraging and dispiriting all aspects of this are.

5. Bruno Retires

In other news, Senator Joe Bruno announced his retirement from the State Senate yesterday, which greatly improves the Democrat's chance of taking the State Senate for the first time in over 40 years. This means there will be a serious senate race in the 43rd SD, which will benefit Democratic Candidate Brian Premo. There's an interesting interview with Premo at:

6. Friday Night Progressive Film Festival

The Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe's Friday Night Progressive Film Festival continues with:

Fri Jun 27 7:30 pm Progressive Film Forum
I LIKE KILLING FLIES (2005) Matt Mahurin 79 min. RT Rating = 95 %
In his feature debut, noted artist illustrator and video-director Mahurin celebrates one of his favorite restaurants -- and ours -- Shopins, a Greenwich Village institution, much beloved by its loyal clientele for decades. With over 900 items on his menu, all conjured up in his Rube Goldberg-style kitchen the size of a walk-in closet, Kenny Shopsin is chef de cuisine and proprietor. When there is a lull in the cooking, he steps out from behind his Frankenstein stove and holds court, serving up morsels of wisdom and wit on life, death, sex, politics and even food. But, after 32 years in the same sheltered workshop, Kenny loses his lease and the family must now find a new location – a move vigorously supported both financially and logistically by customers who can’t bear the thought of life without Shopsins. Mahurin, himself one of the faithful, was asked to record the move for posterity, and what emerges is a hilarious and heartfelt hymn to individuality, independence, and idiosyncrasy – not just in the kitchen, but in life.

Thanks Everyone!


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