Monday, September 29, 2008

Third Party Candidates to Debate 'Real Priorities' at Vanderbilt University

9.30.08 Nashville, TN: The Coalition for October Debate Alternatives (CODA) announced today the Presidential Candidate's Alternative Debate to take place October 6th, in Nashville, Tennessee. The debate is open to all third party candidates for President in the United States as well as the major party nominees. The debate, which is scheduled to take place on the campus of Vanderbilt University on Monday, October 6th will feature several Presidential Candidates who have confirmed attendance including Brad Lyttle of the US Pacifist Party, Charles Jay of the Boston Tea Party, Frank McEnulty of the New American Independence Party and Brian Moore of the Socialist Party. The Constitution Party has also confirmed that Presidential Candidate Chuck Baldwin or Vice Presidential Candidate Darrell Castle will attend the event.

The debate, which is being organized by CODA has been in the making for several months and is scheduled to take place on Monday, October 6th at 7:00pm, one day prior to the Presidential Debates which are happening at Belmont University in Nashville on October 7th. CODA says that many of the Presidential candidates have been excluded from attending the Belmont debate.

In a recent release to the press CODA indicated that is was organizing the alternative debate because it believed that voters deserve to hear from all the candidates if they are going to make an informed choice at the ballot box, " While we want to hear what the major party candidates have to say on issues related to the war, health care, the economy, gas prices, the future direction of the military, civil liberties and the environment, we do not believe that most issues of concern to American voters will be touched by the Democrat-Republican debate. That is why we are organizing an alternative debate so that voters in Nashville, Tennessee and beyond may be informed of all their choices as they participate in America's electoral process."

The general public and the media is invited to attend this event, which will begin at 7pm on the campus of Vanderbilt University in Nashville. The moderator for the event will be Bruce Barry, a professor at the Owen School of Management at Vanderbilt.

Chris Lugo, of the Coalition for October Debate Alternatives, said that the Democratic and Republican candidates have also been invited to the event, but have not indicated an interest in attending, "We believe that voters should make a fully informed choice about who they vote for and we do not believe this is possible if they are only hearing from two candidates. We have invited the Barack Obama and John McCain in the interest of fairness, but we are intending to highlight this alternative debate as the most egalitarian possible event by including all the candidates and promoting this as an event to which everyone is invited."

Presidential Candidate's Alternative Debate
Vanderbilt University
4309 Stevenson Center
Nashville, TN 37240

Monday October 6th
Candidate's Debate 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Light Reception to Follow Debate

For more information visit:

Thursday, September 25, 2008

$700Bn for a temporary fix??? NOT!!!

If we do what Bushcrew is proposing, this problem will just come back to haunt us all again in a few months and be even WORSE.

The real problem with the economy is that its primary driver - the middle class - is out of money to squeeze.

Everyone has been sqeezing and squeezing until the middle class has been bled dry - it's just that many haven't figured that out yet. They still have a little room on the credit cards, or they bought their house 15 or 20 years ago - but done the way Bushcrew wants, this will get them in the next round.

Raise property taxes every year - squeeze!

Bank fees for every little microservice the banks can think of - squeeze!

Pay more and more for every form of insurance - squeeze!

Pay for more of the medical expenses and prescriptions insurance won't cover - squeeze!

Higher - deregulated - utility bills - squeeze!

Higher gasoline taxes and income taxes and sales taxes - squeeze!

School registration fees in addition to property taxes - squeeze!

Higher college tuition fees and higher interest rates on them - squeeze!

These are just the biggest things, there are myriad littler things pinching money off the middle class. The list goes on and on and on and on.

The problem is, the middle class probably uses 4/5 or so of all the goods and services purchased every year - until this one. There's nothing left to squeeze - in fact, they've squeezed SO much that the middle class can no longer even meet obligations in addition to extras. Why do you think credit card use and debt is so high? People are buying food and gas or paying bills with them. It isn't luxury vacations or bling, its basic necessities.

4/5 of the economy can no longer afford to participate in the economy. They simply don't have the money left!

But wait! Bushcrew wants to add a little less than $3,000.00 to the bills of every man, woman, and child in the country - squeeze! - squeeze! - squeeze! - squeeze! They are going to press the body until there's not even any red moisture left in it!

Who is going to buy ANYTHING?? RICH GUYS?? Puuuuhlease!

If you have a guy with 20 cars and ten houses, guess what? he can only drive one car at a time! He can only live in one house at a time! Even if he goes to a different house every night, he will still only spend a fraction in the local economies he lives in as what 10 families in 10 houses and 20 cars would spend. The families will spend money for gas and groceries and utilities and etc. every day almost in each of the 10 houses - but the rich guy might buy gas at one house one day, groceries at the next house, toys for the kids at the next, and so on.

If the middle class isn't made middle class again, the economy will continue to tank until it stops. The middle class economic engine is out of gas. If you suck on the tank inlet until there's a huge vacuum, which is what this bailout does, you'll make the problems WORSE!

Kiss my hiney, Bush & Paulson & Wall Street. You have no economy left to bail out because you don't have a real middle class anymore. You squuezed to much, and there's nothing left. If you want to fix the economy, get the middle class truly breathing again. Otherwise that money you're slipping out of the corpse's pockets will be totally worthless in a very short while.

Dan Stafford wrote:, the Aggressive Progressives - 500,000 strong and growing!

TODAY: March Against Paulson's Plunder

On Wednesday, George Bush went on TV to sweet-talk Americans into letting him steal $700 billion of our tax dollars - $2,333 for every man, woman, and child - to bail out his greedy rich friends on Wall Street.

Today (Thursday) Bush will meet with Democratic and Republican leaders to finalize a deal that gives Bush nearly everything he wants, but nothing America needs:

  • The people who caused the problem or profited most should pay for it
  • Re-regulate to prevent this from happening again
  • Include Main Street in the bailout and invest in a new productive economy

Worst of all, it's another massive fraud. Bush lied to our faces when he promised to buy toxic securities "at their current low prices... and we expect that much, if not all, of the tax dollars we invest will be paid back."

Bull. This is the same administration that promised the invasion of Iraq would pay for itself through lower oil prices. The cost of that disaster is now $3 trillion and climbing, not to mention millions dead, maimed, or exiled.

So make no mistake: every penny we give Bush now will be used to greatly overpay for securities that will lose most of their value. We will pay the price for decades, which is why dozens of economists oppose Bush's fraud. members have sent nearly 100,000 emails to our Senators and Representatives opposing Paulson's Plunder. But Congress is moving fast, so we must too.

Today (Thursday) there will be emergency afternoon street protests across the country. Please find the nearest protest and bring a sign and a friend:

And call your Senators and Representative right now to say "No $700 Billion Bailout for Wall Street" - dial the Capitol switchboard at 800-473-6711 or 202-224-3121 or dial direct using the instant phone lookup on the right side of

And if you have not emailed your Senators and Representative, please do it now:

Thanks for all you do!


Be a "Pollworker for Democracy"

This year, you have an amazing opportunity to ensure a fair election, protect the right to vote, and get paid for doing so. How? By becoming a pollworker.

That's why CREDO Action is proud to sponsor the "Pollworkers for Democracy" project - a nonpartisan effort to get more people involved in protecting our elections - in order to support our democracy. We'll provide you with information to supplement your pollworker training, and also a system to report and track any problems on and before Election Day.

Your county still needs pollworkers for the November 4th general election. By signing up as a pollworker, you can support our democratic system...and get paid!

Click here to sign up to become a pollworker.


Are You Registered to Vote? Are You Sure?

Republicans are working quietly to steal another election by disenfranchising Democratic voters, just as they did in 2000 and 2004. So please make sure you are registered to vote!

Login to and click:


Forward this message to everyone you know!

To subscribe, create a free account here:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Who Needs A Bailout? Reviving National Service in a Big Way

William J. Astore | Reviving National Service in a Big Way
William J. Astore, "... Amazingly enough, ordinary Americans generally don't want bail-outs, nor do they want handouts. What they normally want is honorable work, decent wages, and a government willing to wake up and help them contribute to a national restoration."

Monday, September 22, 2008

Just Say No to Corporate Bailouts

The world financial markets were rocked to their foundation this week by the news of the collapse of one of the oldest Wall Street Investment firms in American history, preceded by two of the largest bailouts in American history. If that was not news enough, the market was then knocked around again in round two when American Insurance Group (AIG) was given a 24 hours notice to raise $85 billion dollars to cover debt tied to the sub-prime mortgage crisis. Once again the federal treasury decided to bail out another corporation in the name of the American people and the stability of the marketplace. Then the mother of all bailouts was announced just before the close of business Thursday when Secretary of the Treasury announced a $700 billion dollar bailout of all remaining investment firms, banks and insurance groups. President Bush proudly proclaimed that the American people had been saved by the quick thinking and decisive actions of the US Treasury and anticipated quick passage of the trillion-dollar bailout by the House and Senate this week.

The reality of the situation is that the American taxpayers are being held responsible for the irresponsible investment decisions and speculative actions of private corporations and private investors. When the economy was booming and Wall Street was raking in record profits on fraudulent business dealings taxpayers saw none of the benefits, but when it is time to save those same corporations and their investors from the brink of irrelevance then the taxpayers are expected to foot the bill. The end result is that the investors reap all of the profits when times are good but when times are bad the American taxpayers pay the bills. This time the price tag is too high. In addition to the $650 billion dollars the federal treasury is paying annually for the defense budget plus the costs of the war in Iraq, the general public is now expected to foot a trillion dollar bill based on speculation.

Americans do not understand what the cost of the proposed bailout is in real terms, and many Americans do not realize the amount of debt that the federal government has already accrued, which is a burden to be passed on to our future generations. In real dollars, the proposal by the treasury department will cost the average taxpayer five thousand dollars and ten thousands dollars for a household of four. That is ten thousand dollars of debt that President Bush and his cabinet will leave as a legacy to compete with the shared cost of the war in Iraq, which will cost the average household nearly an additional ten thousand dollars in debt. That is a total of twenty thousand dollars in debt per household multiplied by millions of Americans equals nearly two trillion dollars that we are deeper in debt as a result of the war in Iraq and the recent proposed bailout which will in all likelihood sail through Congress this week.

It is time to say no to more corporate bailouts. The United States is already almost nine trillion dollars in debt as a result of decades of over spending on the US military combined with twenty-five years of Reagan era tax cuts for the wealthy and private corporations. Now is the time to invest in real priorities for the future by fully funding health care and education. By saying no to corporate bailouts for Wall Street we will ensure real economic opportunity for Main Street. As a candidate for federal office I oppose further corporate bailouts and I support strict regulation of Wall Street and a federal investigation into fraud and abuse of the trading system, which led to the current financial crisis. The results of decades deregulation and tax cuts for the wealthy and privileged has led to the decimation of the middle class and brought us to the edge of ruin for future generations.

There is hope for the future, and it involves electing candidates who will look out for the interest of working people and the middle class, rather than selling out every federal office to the highest bidder. By supporting campaign finance reform, progressive taxation, universal health care, a drastically reduced military budget and by placing the highest priority on funding education we can begin to move this country in the right direction. Through strict regulation of markets and a tough but conservative approach to finance and investment we can begin to regain the trust of both investors and the general public. By withdrawing our troops from the Middle East and reducing the military budget we will gain the trust and good faith of people around the world. It is time for us to invest in the people and we must begin by saying to to any further bailouts for private corporations and Wall Street and insure that our tax dollars go to real human needs and domestic priorities that benefit everyone

In Designing Their New Economic Ship Of State, Corporations Forgot What Fuels Economies - The Gas Tank Is Dry

In Designing Their New Economic Ship Of State, Corporations Forgot What Fuels Economies - The Gas Tank Is Dry

Dan Stafford - 09/22/2008

No economy works if the majority of the populace can't afford to buy anything.

This should be simple and basic. If wages are too low, and costs too high, across a broad spectrum of the population , economic activity stops. The rich will only buy so many items, being one % of the population, or so, they are not enough to "fuel" a global economy.

Right now, housing prices, fuel prices, insurance prices, and myriad other prices have risen continuously while wages have stagnated or even fallen precipitously across the USA.

The true numbers are completely unreflected in government statistics which either use outdated or arbitrary numbers designed to minimize the scope of the problem.

The world wonders at the precipitous use of credit cards and large mortgages in the USA and fails to understand why this has happened, because only so-called "fringe" voices haved dared to speak the truth; wages in the USA are worth half what they were in the 1950's and Americans have been buying NECESSITIES on credit because of it.

In the 1950's, one person in the family worked, and one person stayed home to take card of the children and the home, yet credit use was low and the bills were generally paid with a little left over for savings. Now, in many US families, BOTH parents work, often multiple jobs, and there is still not enough money coming in to meet expenses. Or, more properly, that was the case up until the past few years. Now, at this moment, many are unable to find jobs either at all, or jobs that pay anything near what they used to.

Americans are forced to commute great distances for work, as offices and jobs are in the city, and housing that is even close to being affordable is far out in the suburbs. Add to this companies constantly laying people off, while forcing the remaining employees to take on ever greater responsibilities. The vast majority of Americans work long hours, commute at least an hour and more often two, and are stressed at work by the sheer load on their shoulders and at home by the financial burden on their shoulders. They face endemic chronic sleep shortages, most average six hours a day.

Between the stress and the unhealthy lack of sleep, combined with junk additives to almost all food, obesity has become rampant. Stress and sleeplessness messes badly with the human metabolism and increases appetite. In addition, most US workers see the shortest vacation times in the "First World."

The average American is exhausted physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially. This is true of a very large swath of the US population. They come home from work and drop into a chair and watch TV because they are too broke and tired to do much else. They get no time for creativity or play or in-depth relationships. They have no energy left for "bad news" because they are worn out and bombarded with it on TV.

The scale of this is vast - and by the great majority un-admitted. Being a "hard worker" has become so over-valued at the expense of feeding anything that truly recharges the soul, that people have come to see anyone gone from the office for more than two weeks at a time as a "slacker" and eccentric.

Is this any state of mind or soul to be in to make sound financial decisions, to make in-depth discussions of difficult or complex topics, or anything else of value? I don't believe so. We have become a nation of workaholics, and worse, no one could - until now at the card house's collapse - admit that we couldn't afford even all the necessities, let alone the luxuries.

Materialism then becomes the easy way for a brief emotional high. The new TV or car or clothes or whatever. "We can afford it, we have a great credit rating! Let's get out and have a nice dinner, I'm starving [stress-induced hunger pangs] and too tired to cook!"


If you want people to continue purchasing goods and services at a sustainable rate and an economy that hums along fairly smoothly, people need to be fairly well-rested and happy, and have a bit of money left over after basic expenses across the majority of the population.

If you want to make a few hundred million before the crash, or the next crash, or the next, give them lots of credit and not enough money, with plenty of stress and just enough sleep to stay alive but not truly live. They won't be thinking straight and impulse buying is pitifully easy to encourage. They certainly won't tell their friends and family that they can't afford the wedding/anniversary/graduation/birthday/holiday/ insert event that you can't avoid without appearing not to care about someone.

Economically speaking, do you drive a fuel-efficient car across the country, or do you run a dragster with a tiny gas tank and a big engine until you're on the side of the road on empty?

Maybe we should all sleep on it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

It's time for All of us to weigh-in on global economic policy - NOW, before Bush grabs extreme powers over the economy

All - we need to speak loudly and clearly now, in the pivotal moments of this artificially-induced economic melt-down.

I believe that the Fascists have engineered this crisis in order to implement an unprecedented economic power grab.

The calls by Democrats and others for oversight and a plan that serves and saves everyday people needs to be supported. If every voice is not raised, there will be unprecedented human suffering as the rich seize anything and everything they wish.

The powers that Bush and Paulson are asking to be granted to the treasury, unchecked by the Judiciary, are supposed to be held by Congress, NOT the Executive via a crony appointed by Bush. The risks are grave. Some are even calling this a subtle attempted economic coup to make Bush king for corporatist interests.

"Bush administration seeks 'dictatorial power unreviewable by the third branch of government, the courts' 20 Sep 2008 The Bush administration asked Congress for unchecked power to buy $700 billion in bad mortgage investments from U.S. financial companies in what would be an unprecedented government intrusion into the markets. The bill would bar courts from reviewing actions taken under its authority. "It sounds like [Treasury Secretary Henry] Paulson is asking to be a financial dictator, for a limited period of time,'' said historian John Steele Gordon, author... The Bush administration seeks "dictatorial power unreviewable by the third branch of government, the courts, to try to resolve the crisis,'' said Frank Razzano, a former assistant chief trial attorney at the Securities and Exchange Commission now at Pepper Hamilton LLP in Washington. [See: Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1 for deployment during 'civil unrest,' 'horrific scenarios' 08 Sep 2008.]"

William Greider | Paulson Bailout Plan a Historic Swindle
William Greider, The Nation: "Financial-market wise guys, who had been seized with fear, are suddenly drunk with hope. They are rallying explosively because they think they have successfully stampeded Washington into accepting the Wall Street Journal solution to the crisis: dump it all on the taxpayers. That is the meaning of the massive bailout Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has shopped around Congress. It would relieve the major banks and investment firms of their mountainous rotten assets and make the public swallow their losses - many hundreds of billions, maybe much more. What's not to like if you are a financial titan threatened with extinction?"

There are more, I couldn't begin to list them all.

We have all seen what Bush does when granted power. He mis-manages in ways that harm and kill people he and his crowd do not like. He disappears people that speak out against his methods and policies. He threatens anyone and everyone that even hints at getting in his way. He has a family history of supporting fascism going back to his grandfather working with the Nazis. Note that the definition of fascism is corporate control of the government. The U.S. is inches away from this. Do we want the trans-national corporations to have control of the U.S. purse? I think not. Nothing Bush and the people around him have done have been for the common man, they have all been for various corporate interests that stand to gain everything while the rest of us lose everything, even our basic freedoms.

We would be far better off to see an independent commission - truly independent of industry or political party - filled with experts in both economics and social policy and overseen by Congress and the Courts running any economic relief efforts, rather than handing such duties over to a Bush appointee.

I would suggest an immediate call for submissions focussed upon this issue, while there are a few moments left to speak up.

Petitions such as this one pasted below should be immediately distributed to all US Citizens on all of our lists. If the People do not speak now, they may never have another chance.


Dan Stafford

Subject: No blank check for Wall Street.

Dear Friend,

Congress is on the brink of making a one-sided deal to give George W. Bush a blank check to bail out his pals - offering nearly (or perhaps more than) a trillion taxpayer dollars to Wall Street to cover its bad debts. That works out to somewhere between $2000 and $5000 from every American family. So what do the taxpayers get in return?

Nothing. No new regulation or oversight to help avoid this kind of crisis in the future. No public interest givebacks to help people whose homes are in the hands of the banks. Perhaps most shockingly of all, the taxpayers get absolutely no share in the profits if and when these finance giants bounce back, even though we are now assuming a great deal of the risk.

This is worse than a bad deal - this isn't a deal at all. This is a blank check to some of the richest companies in the world.

I just signed a petition calling on key members of Congress to impose a few sensible conditions to this bailout in order to protect the American people -- I hope you will too.

Please have a look and take action.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Re: [CitizensTruth] FW: You were made for this.......

This is the right frame of heart - DS

Robin Migalla wrote:
> Hello everyone,
> This brought me great hope...
> -----Original Message-----
> Sent: Saturday, September 13, 2008 14:10
> Subject: FW: You were made for this.......
> Date: Sat, 13 Sep 2008 14:12:29 -0400From:
> peacemaker.ymani@gmail.comSubject: You were made for this.......
> A wonderful reminder from Clarissa Pinkola Estes:
> You were made for this
> My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have
> heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They
> are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time
> of daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations
> of what matters most to caring, visionary, civilized people. You are right
> in your assessments. The lustre and hubris, the bald faced audacity that
> some are engaged inwhile endorsing acts so heinous against children,
> elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, this mother
> earth, is breathtaking. Yet I urge you, ask you, gentle you . . . to please
> not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do
> not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is, we were made for
> these times. Yes. For years we have been learning, practicing, been in
> training for, and just waiting to meet, on this exact plain of engagement .
> . . I grew up on the great lakes, and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I
> see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels
> in the water than there are right now, across the world. They are fully
> provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history
> of humankind. Look out over the prow; there are millions of righteous souls
> on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave
> in the stormy roil, I assure you, that the long timbers composing your prow
> and rudder, come from a greater forest. That long grained lumber is known
> to withstand even the fiercest storms. To hold together. To hold its own,
> and to advance, regardless. In any dark time there is a tendency to veer
> towards fainting, over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not
> focus on that. There is a tendency too, to fall into being weakened by
> dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus
> there either. That is spending the wind, without raising the sails. We are
> needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we will
> also meet great souls who will hail us, love us, guide us, and we will know
> them when they appear. Didn't you say you were a believer? Didn't you say
> you are pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn't you ask for grace?
> Please remember . . .that to be in grace means to follow a voice greater.
> Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of
> stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any
> small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another, to assist some
> portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given
> to us to know which acts, or by whom,will cause the critical mass to tip
> towards an enduring good and transformative shift. What is needed for
> dramatic change is an accumulation of acts great and small, adding, adding
> to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on
> earth to bring justice and peace, but small determined groups and
> individuals who will not give upduring the first, second, or hundreth gale.
> One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a
> stormy world, is to stand up and show your soul. A soul on deck, shines
> like gold in dark times. The light of such a soul throws sparks, sends up
> flames, builds signal fires, causes the proper matters to catch fire. You,
> as much as anyone else, are this soul. And to display the lantern of the
> soul in shadowy times like these, to be fierce when necessary and yet show
> mercy toward others, both are acts of immense bravery and of greatest
> necessity. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are brightly
> lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the turbulence,this
> is one of the strongest things you can do. There will often be times when
> you feel discouraged. I too have felt this despair many times in my life.
> But I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not
> allowed to eat from my plate. The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I
> know something, as do you. It is that there can be no lasting despair when
> you remember why you came to earth, what you are here for, who you serve,
> and why. The good words we say and the good deeds we do, are not ours. They
> are the words and deeds of the love and life that brought us here. In that
> spirit, I hope you may write this on your wall: When a great ship is in
> harbor and tied to the pier, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that
> is not, what great ships are built for. - Clarissa Pinkola Estes -
> _______________________________________________
> CitizensTruth mailing list
> website:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Freedom of Assembly Shall Not Be Infringed

In support of the right to protest.

There is a long and venerable tradition in our culture which has helped to shape the character of this nation. The right to protest and peacefully address grievances to our elected officials, the media, and the general public is a fundamental aspect of American citizenship. The right to peacefully assemble to express concern about all matters of public policy is older than the formation of this country and is the foundation of our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. When colonists felt the burden of excessive taxation during English rule, their first step as subjects of the rule of law of England was to address their concerns to the magistrates and officials of their day. The very act of expressing dissent is a hallmark of an engaged community.

I have just returned from two weeks of expressing dissent to the leadership of the Democratic and Republican parties. My activities, along with those of thousands of other peaceful protesters was aimed at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado and the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. As a candidate who is committed to peace and ending war, I hold both major parties accountable for the hundreds of billions of our taxpayer dollars which have been wasted on war and the senseless killing which has taken place in the name of my alleged freedom. As a citizen, I am outraged at the continuation of policies which have taken the lives of tens of thousands of Iraqis and I hold the leadership of both major parties responsible for this state of affairs.

What I encountered in Denver and especially in St. Paul has shaken the faith of my belief in government. I have always believed that the role of protest was crucial to the American dialogue, and that dissent was tolerated in this country, although not always supported. I understand the resistance to change and the fear that dissenters create in the general public. We have always been only marginally tolerated, from the times of the American revolution to the abolitionists to the suffragists to the unionists, dissenters have always taken risks, but the rewards of their efforts have been to the benefit of all Americans, whether it be the right to vote, the forty hour work week, the end of slavery or the very creation of this country, dissent has always played a fundamental role in the creation of those rights.

In St. Paul, Minnesota, during the week of September 1st-4th the right to protest and peacefully assemble was greatly impinged upon by local, state and federal officials. It was also greatly diminished in Denver, Colorado but to a lesser extent. At the Republican National Convention protests I personally witnessed peaceful protesters demonstrating against war being beaten by police, nearly trampled by horses, dispersed with tear gas and concussion grenades, and everywhere treated as dangerous criminals and as a threat to the government. I participated in a march led by mothers with children in strollers that was blockaded on several occasions by national guard troops in full paramilitary gear. I witnessed homeless people marching for the right to housing being dispersed by security police in riot gear wearing gas masks and carrying beating sticks that were in excess of two feet long. I witnessed journalists and legal observers rounded up by the police and detained prior to mass arrests of hundreds.

A government that cannot tolerate the dissent of its citizens is a terrible burden upon freedom and democracy. The right to dissent plays a healthy, vital role in the national dialogue. It is only through dissent that we can often see the ugly face of actions which the wealthy and powerful would prefer to remain hidden. The victims of war deserve to be heard and the rights of the people should not be infringed upon by any force to express their dissent from policies which are morally abhorrent. It is my sincere hope that I never again witness state, local and federal police and security officials engaging in violent and intimidating gestures against the citizens they are suppose to be protecting and whose rights it is their responsibility to protect.

As a candidate for federal office I do not and will not support such excessive use of force and the wasteful spending of tens of millions of dollars in order to intimidate and suppress dissent. I will support the active and engaged expression of the concerns of citizens which is the hallmark of the democratic process.

for more information and archival coverage of
the DNC and RNC protests please visit:

Friday, September 05, 2008

A Better Day - (3rd annual Progressive Fest Illinois) Saturday, September 20th 9a-4:30p


Palatine Conference Fosters Grassroots Efforts Toward Peace, Justice, Sustainability.

Palatine, IL - September 3, 2008 - When it comes to the large problems facing humanity, how can one person make a difference? A Better Day 2008 offers answers by bringing together distinguished speakers, activists, and community organizers for a day. The public is invited to learn and discuss the issues, make connections, and get involved in any of dozens of social benefit groups.

A Better Day 2008 takes place Saturday, September 20, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist, 1025 N. Smith Street, Palatine, Illinois.

This open, non-partisan event offers three tracks of activity: speakers, an exhibit of local organizations, and breakout sessions in the church classrooms. Jim Kenney of Common Ground will give the morning keynote, “Peace is Possible”. Other speakers will address social and economic justice, sustainable living, support for our veterans, and ways of dealing with our differences. Exhibitors in the conference hall will include environmentalists, advocates for economic reform and social justice, and local peace groups.

Programs will emphasize personal involvement. Program Committee member Kat Doyle says, "We want to tell everyone, you can do something! Working with other people for a good cause is a great way to make friends, discover skills you never knew you had, and just have fun."

A Better Day 2008 is sponsored by the Adult Faith Development Council of Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist, Palatine, Illinois.

Hal Snyder, M.D.
A Better Day 2008 Program Committee

What Is A Better Day?

  • A one-day grassroots gathering about peace, justice, and the environment.
  • A chance to network with people who are concerned about the way things are going and are determined to make a difference.
  • A day of learning about the issues from organizers who are at the forefront on matters of global and interfaith fellowship, social justice, and sustainability.
  • But most of all - a day to kick-start your participation in any of twenty or more local action groups - or if you are already involved, a chance to make new connections and reach out to the community.

A Better Day was inspired by Fighting Bob Fest, the annual Wisconsin extravaganza that brings thousands of fired-up progressive speakers, organizers, and rabble-rousers to Baraboo every September.

Morning Session

9:00-9:30 Doors Open, Registration

9:30-10:00 Opening

  • Rev. Hilary Landau-Krivchenia: Welcome
  • Hal Snyder: Getting the Most Out of the Day

10:00-10:45 Keynote by Jim Kenney: Peace is Possible Common Ground

11:00-12:00 Health and Education, Social Justice

  • 11:00-11:20 Melanie Schikore Andina: Social Justice Through the Arts
  • 11:30-11:50 Victoria Weiley: Living Within Your Means; Means Simply......Living

Lunch Break - 12:00-1:30

Afternoon Session

1:30-2:30 Sustainability

2:30-3:30 Supporting Our Veterans

3:30-4:15 Panel: Dealing With Our Differences

4:15 Closing by Rev. Hilary Landau-Krivchenia: Taking A Better Day Forward

Groups Working to Make a Difference

We hope you'll use A Better Day as a chance to network. Joining a social benefit organization is a great way to make new friends and discover your hidden talents. We are opening Atherton Hall to tables for more than 20 organizations.

We expect members or official representatives from the

Getting the Word Out

Peace Justice and Sustainability

Invitation (updated 9/02)

Mindmap (updated 8/29)

Registration form (save $2 by registering in advance at CCUU)

What is A Better Day? (updated 8/29)

Help Us Publicize the Event!

About US:

The team behind A Better Day arose from the joining of two groups.

For two years, 2006 and 2007, some of us helped organize the Illinois Progressive Fest in Big Rock, Illinois to bring together progressive candidates and activists working to put people before profits and restore the social contract in our government. In 2008 we formed the Progressive Fest Illinois (PFI) committee to work on non-partisan annual events going forward.

The Adult Faith Development Council of CCUU (Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist) in Palatine includes persons dedicated to uplifting the human spirit and working with organizations in the community to promote peace, justice, and sustainability.

email: · media contact: Hal Snyder 224-678-6188

Both groups were interested in bringing together speakers, activists, and the public for a day of learning and networking. We decided to pool our efforts to bring you A Better Day.