Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Longhouse Coalition's New Covenant Peace Plan - R. Mendelson

The Longhouse Coalition's New Covenant Peace Plan

One continual sticking point in finding peace in this crazy world has been the ongoing crisis between modern-day Israel and the Palestinians. Many Leftist folks perceive Jewish, or 'Zionist' financing of political campaigns to be against the interests of the rest of the American people, and the driving force behind our one-sided policies in favor of Israel. On the other hand, the Jewish people who continue to support Israel no doubt are seeking the survival and betterment of their people, both in Israel and abroad, and there's nothing at all wrong with trying to protect one's people, either. As long as these two groups remain at odds the real Left is divided, and tyranny, economic ruin, and continued slaughter will win out. Happily, a bright alternative exists, a real win/win if ever there was one. It's the 'New Covenant Peace Plan', item #22 on the Longhouse Coalition platform.

See, times change. What worked in the past becomes outdated, and a policy that once protected a people can become their collective suicide, if not checked in time. Just a couple months ago THOUSANDS of missiles landed in Israel. Fortunately, not a single one was nuclear-tipped. The Qur'an, however, permits--nay--ORDERS--that Muslims respond like for like if unjustly attacked. An unprovoked nuclear assault on Iran guarantees the next missiles sent by Hezbollah are nuclear-tipped. The paradigm has changed. Peace must be made or certain death will ensue.
And here's where divine intervention could be invoked. The New Covenant Peace Plan (a One Federal Nation solution with two sub-states sharing Jerusalem as national capital) solves the dilemma according to the codes of the Torah & Prophets, AND the Qur'an, too, in a way virtually impossible for Hamas to reject without losing legitimacy among Palestinians. In other words, it carries a straight-from-the-Qur'an and hadiths (other sayings of Muhammad) guarantee Jews have a right to exist in peace in their share of the land. And for Christians who've mistakenly supported a policy leading to inevitable devastation of the Jewish and Palestinian peoples (and Syrian, Jordanian, and Lebanese, too, if not stopped), this solution is exactly as your scriptures require, so you can righteously change your course, too. Many Americans may argue there must be a separation of Church and State, but that's only meant domestically, not foreign policy. Of course foreign policy that isn’t imperialistic respects other cultures and seeks to find ways to work peacefully with different cultures. That's diplomacy.
And in the end, the only path to a real, comprehensive, and enduring peace for the Jewish people, which is the goal of the Jewish lobby, after all. See Item #22.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Look to the future...

People, we do NOT need to eat up the potential of our future trying to right every wrong for the past five hundred years. Yes, reparations as proposed are fair, Yes, giving the national forest lands as proposed to first nations is fair. Yes, what Bob proposes foe the Latin American immigrants is fair, and these are the big wrongs we need to make a sufficiently large gesture in good faith to help heal.

After that, however, we need to look to the future, not the past.

The USA, as it currently exists and as its population demographics are trending, is the most culturally diverse and inter-mixed population on Earth. There is a vast potential here to harmonize the wonderful aspects of all these heritages into something greater. That potential is unique in all the world, and as best we know, in all of human history.

We have a very unique opportunity to forge a new brotherhood far greater than anything that has ever been. One based on kindness, compassion, inclusiveness.

Do we really want to squander that in the minutiae of past wrongs?

I don't think that is why we have come together, or why we have been brought together by Creator at this time.

We must shift to a new paradigm. We need all of us if we are to pass this crossroads in history without traipsing off down the road to doom.

This will require *forgiveness* in equal measure to sincere apology. It will require a true embracing of the fact that we are all human despite the colors we come in, from ALL sides. Racism is not just a poison drunk by whites, although my race seems to have been particularly susceptible to it.

Racism is an illusion fostered by the wealthy elites to keep poor people divided. Look at Indentured Servants, company towns, and the sex slave trades in recent history and the current day, and you will see the wealthy have made slaves of the "poorer" whites as well as any other class. This should speak volumes to everyone who is able to step outside the every day and see the big picture.

These same elites control the mass media at every level, and the same media continues outpouring programming at overt and subtle levels in order to perpetuate the divisions that separate those of lesser financial means. Look at the way the nightly news pours out its daily dose of fear, the way record companies pick up savage music full of anger or angst and despair. We are all steeped in this constant barrage of lyrics and images every day. "Programming." An apt description indeed. Think deeply on it.

Can't you see where this leads? How easy has it been for any of us to reach out with any success to those "on the other side?" Why?

The real question is, as always, who benefits from racial and cultural divisions? Who? You? Me? I think not.

If you put five children of five colors speaking the same language together at a young age, too young to have heard racist "programming," do they act as if they know it? None of us are born with these divisions, WE ARE TAUGHT OF THEM. We have all been sold a bill of goods, a one-size-fits-all casket of fear. It is a dis-service that we should write off as a loss and move beyond.

Think forward, think interconnected, think interdependent. I guarantee we are interdependent, and it is up to us to set the quality of it. The tide will not be turned by any one group alone, unless we are all a part of one group.

In solidarity,

Dan Stafford

Robert Mendelson wrote:

> Btw, pre-Columbian Indigenous prophets from Canada down into South America were told by Great Spirit that White folks were on the way, so from a strictly Indigenous point-of-view, Creator intended Whites arrive. Hopi prophecies will tell you that. As will Anishinabe. The Cherokee prophecy of Manataka declares Whites and all races are meant to be here together. Indigenous prophets warned their peoples that Whites may be dishonest and greedy regarding the land, and that the First Nations must come together in the forerunner of the United States if the coming-together of the two civilizations were to be peaceful and mutually beneficial.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Democracy Now on Exclusion of Green Party from Candidates Debates

Democracy Now on Exclusion of Green Party from Candidates Debates

Posted by: "Steven L. Robinson" srobin262000

Wed Oct 25, 2006 11:28 pm (PST)

Green Party Excluded From Mid-Term Debates

Democracy Now!
October 25, 2006

AMY GOODMAN: Today, we'll talk about Green Party politics and how third
party candidates are being blocked from taking part in debates. Howie
Hawkins joins us here in Democracy Now!'s studios. And from Albany, we're
joined by Betsey Swan. She's the Legislative Analyst with the League of
Women Voters, New York State. We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Howie
Hawkins, why don't you begin? Tell us how the process works, how the debates
are set up.

HOWIE HAWKINS: Well, you have groups like the League of Women Voters that
try to participate. What I heard from them is that they were negotiating
with their corporate sponsors, which would be the corporate broadcast media,
and, I would assume, the corporate-sponsored candidates, particularly
Hillary Clinton. My hunch is that broadcast media felt she's the show, and
if she won't show, it's not worth doing the show for the broadcast media. So
I don't have direct confirmation that she did the same thing Cuomo did, but
that's my hunch. That's been my experience in running for local races and
trying to get in debates in Syracuse.

AMY GOODMAN: Betsey Swan, why don't you lay out for us what these
negotiations were? How was the League of Women Voters involved?

BETSEY SWAN: Well, the League has a policy that we apply in determining what
candidates we will invite to participate in our debates. The policy was last
modified in 1992. The board of directors invites third-party candidates to
submit materials and information about their candidacies to the state
League. The board reviews these materials and makes a determination about
whether a candidate is a bona fide contestant.

Among the standards that the League employs are the candidate's
constitutional eligibility to run for office, ballot access, compliance with
financial filing requirements, and demonstration of significant voter
interest and support in the candidacy. And the things we look at are
evidence of a formal statewide campaign with the presence of headquarters,
issuance of position papers, campaign appearances, fundraising activities.
And then we look at other factors that provide substantive evidence of voter
interest, and this can include serious media attention or results in polls.

And the board of directors looked at these criteria and determined that the
two Green Party candidates, Howie Hawkins and Rachel Treichler, did meet
these criteria, and therefore had to be invited to participate in any
League-sponsored debates.

AMY GOODMAN: And so, what happened?

BETSEY SWAN: Well, once the decision was made, we were in negotiations for
one debate with WXXI in Rochester. This was a debate for the Attorney
General's office --

AMY GOODMAN: And WXXI is owned by?

BETSEY SWAN: It's a PBS station in Rochester. And then two debates out of
New York City with WABC: one for the U.S. Senate and one for the state
Attorney General's race. Basically we were negotiating, and the bottom line
with XXI was, we were told, that if Rachel Treichler participated, Andrew
Cuomo would not. And they were going with the debate with the two main party

At that point, because the League takes the position that once it has
determined a candidate is a bona fide contestant, the candidate is required
to be invited to debate for League sponsorship, we had no choice but to
withdraw. A similar situation occurred in New York City. We don't know the
reason that the debates were limited to the two main candidates, but we were
unable to negotiate inclusion of the Green Party candidates and also had to
withdraw from those debates.

AMY GOODMAN: What is the League of Women Voters's history when it comes to
debates? How have you been involved? How did it all start?

BETSEY SWAN: Well, it's a long history, and it precedes me by many years. I
can talk in general terms about why the League organizes debates and how we
organize them. The League's a nonpartisan political organization. It was
formed to encourage active and informed citizen participation in government.
And one of our major focuses is voter services activity. To that end, we
publish Voter's Guide and we run candidate debates at all levels -- at the
national level, the state level and local levels.

And we employ pretty much the same procedure at all levels. We adopt
standards that we will use to judge whether candidates will be asked to
debate, and once we have determined that a candidate is eligible, we require
that the candidate be invited in order for the League to sponsor debates. We
feel very strongly that the public has a right to know, to hear from viable
candidates, and we also feel very strongly that the process should not be
dictated by the political strategy of frontrunners, which is why we have
adopted our position.

AMY GOODMAN: So, is the League of Women Voters just being increasingly
sidelined, because you take this nonpartisan view and you insist on viable
candidates being able to participate? You're just getting taken out of all
of these discussions.

BETSEY SWAN: I would say we are not getting taken out. We certainly have
sponsored a number of debates this year, and at the local level we have
ongoing and very frequent sponsorship of debates. I think it's an ongoing
dilemma and not one that is peculiar to the League. There are many
organizations, some traditional news organizations, some organizations such
as the League, that feel it's very important that the public hear from a
range of candidates. I think we all take slightly different tacks in how we
approach this. I think the important thing is that the discussion continues
and that we have as many debates as we can with as many viable candidates
talking as we can.

AMY GOODMAN: Are we now having corporations taking over the decision-making
about who will participate? For example, we had Jonathon Tasini on. Now, he
was a Democratic candidate before the Democratic primary, challenging
Hillary Rodham Clinton. And it was NY1, who's parent is Time Warner, that
said that he had to have something like a minimum 5% polling and $500,000 in
the bank. He had over 13% polling, but he didn't have that money in the
bank. It wasn't either/or, it was both. And it turned out that the parent
company, Time Warner, had given Hillary Rodham Clinton something like
$100,000. Ultimately, they didn't hold the debate. Betsey Swan?

BETSEY SWAN: That happens. Those standards are very different from the
League's standards. We do look at polling. We have disjunctive requirements,
so if the poll figures are not met, there are other ways a candidate can
prove viability of candidacy.

AMY GOODMAN: But in this case, he was more than double the polling. The
polling wasn't the issue at all.


AMY GOODMAN: It was this prohibitive amount of money in the bank that I
think was more than you needed as a presidential candidate. He was running
for --

BETSEY SWAN: Yes, obviously those are standards that the League has not seen
fit to adopt. We don't feel they're appropriate, to use that type of
standard to exclude candidates.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, Betsey Swan, I want to thank you very much for joining
us, Legislative Analyst for the League of Women Voters, New York State.
Thank you, speaking to us from Albany. Howie Hawkins, you're the person that
they pulled out their sponsorship over here in New York. Talk about your
attempts -- I mean, what message it is you're trying to get out, and how you
do get it out when you're not able to participate in the debate?

HOWIE HAWKINS: Well, the debate would have been great, because the two
leading issues I'm running on are bringing the troops home from Iraq, and we
know that a two-to-one majority of New Yorkers are for that position; and
the other position is a national health insurance program that would cover
everybody, and we know three-to-one New Yorkers favor that. So it wasn't
just my personal disappointment. It was the disservice to the majority of
New Yorkers, who did not have a voice in these debates. Clinton and Spencer,
the Democrat and Republican, debated how to fight the war in Iraq, not to
get out of it, and how to patch up private health insurance. So the majority
of New Yorkers were, in a sense, excluded from these debates.

My experience is, the leading candidates basically dictate the terms, and
the broadcast media won't broadcast debates without the leading
personalities, and in this case Clinton is, you know, the best funded,
probably best known candidate in the whole country. So, my sense is she
dictated the terms.

I've personally experienced that when I've negotiated over mayor debates. I
ran for mayor of Syracuse last year, and, you know, the Democrat came in and
said we're doing one debate with this one particular station, not three like
he originally agreed to. And then, a Republican negotiator said, "Well, if
the Democratic mayor doesn't show up, we're not showing up." My position
was, I'll show up and debate anybody anytime. And I believe the producers
sympathized with my position, but in the end they made a business decision.
And so --

AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean, a business decision?

HOWIE HAWKINS: They said they won't get an audience if the mayor isn't
involved, so the mayor was basically able to dictate the terms, a mayor who
had, you know, a million dollars to run for mayor of Syracuse, a city now of
about $125,000.

Full at:

Under New Law, Americans Must Guard Against Abuse of Power

Under New Law, Americans Must Guard Against Abuse of Power

By Phillis D. Engelbert and Lily Jarman-Reisch
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Wednesday 25 October 2006

Late last month, the House and Senate voted to approve Military Commissions Act (MCA) - a bill that undermines several tenets of the US Constitution and international law. On behalf of the board of directors of Michigan Peaceworks, we are writing to express our alarm and dismay at the passage of this legislation - and in particular at the "yes" votes by Senator Debbie Stabenow and area congressmen Joe Schwarz and Mike Rogers. We urge everyone to learn the full scope and impact of this hastily approved bill and to remain vigilant against excesses in its implementation.

The MCA is so radical and sweeping that it could change the way high school civics texts are written. Gone are guarantees that individuals accused of crimes can know the charges against them, challenge their detention and conditions of detention, receive a speedy trial, see the evidence against them, be represented by a lawyer of their choosing, be treated humanely, not have evidence introduced against them obtained through coercion, and be judged by an impartial person or persons.

Gone are the checks and balances that keep one branch of government (the executive) from gaining too much power at the expense of another (the judiciary). The US has long been looked upon as the standard-bearer of human rights and due process around the world. If other countries now follow our lead, American citizens in foreign lands can expect be subjected to indefinite detention, in cruel conditions, without recourse or access to any sort of counsel or protection by international law.

The aspect of the MCA most troubling to legal scholars is its denial of habeas corpus - the right of a prisoner to challenge his or her detention as unlawful - to non-citizens designated "enemy combatants." Habeas corpus is a cornerstone of our Constitution (its suspension is allowed only in cases of invasion or insurrection - of which we have neither) and is an important recourse for those who have been wrongly imprisoned. Habeas allows, for instance, the wrongly imprisoned immigrant to argue that he is not the person the authorities are seeking, but that he happens to have a similar or same name as that person.

A related concern is the legislation's vague definition of "enemy combatant." An "unlawful enemy combatant" (as opposed to a "lawful" one - a member of a foreign army fighting the US) is defined as "a person who has engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States." The law gives the president discretion to determine who fits this description. There is nothing to stop him, for instance, from applying the label "enemy combatant" to a Muslim resident alien who donates money to a charity being investigated by the FBI - then imprisoning that person and keeping him in a legal limbo that may last a lifetime. There is also nothing in the law that explicitly exempts US citizens - for example, those who protest the president's war policy - from being called "enemy combatants."

Another concern with the MCA is that it does an end-run around Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006), in which the Supreme Court ruled against the military tribunals crafted by the Bush administration to try Guantanamo detainees. In Hamdan, the court also determined that all detainees deserve Geneva Convention protections. The MCA attempts to nullify the court's rulings by having Congress, rather than the president, authorize military tribunals and stating that protections guaranteed by international law do not apply to enemy combatants.

Legal experts have called the military tribunals a charade: the tribunals do not allow detainees to challenge the facts of their detention or hear and answer the charges against them. Instead, detainees are typically told to respond to vague charges of "associating" with terrorists. The MCA will have the effect of delaying hearings for Guantanamo detainees and increasing the likelihood that the detainees will spend life in prison or be given death sentences - despite many high-publicized studies concluding that vast majority of those rounded up and taken to Guantanamo are not al-Qaeda fighters.

The legislation gives the president unprecedented power to determine use of coercive techniques short of torture in interrogations and gives all US officials retroactive blanket immunity from charges of torture that may be brought against them. We can expect the continued use of water-boarding (near drowning), stress positions, religious and sexual humiliation, exposure to extreme cold and sleep deprivation among other techniques the administration has repeatedly denied constitute torture.

"It removes as many checks and balances as possible," stated Senator Patrick Leahy about this legislation in a recent television interview, "so that any president can basically set the law, determine what laws they'll follow and what laws they'll break and not have anybody be able to question them on it."

It is widely anticipated that the MCA will eventually be struck down as unconstitutional. That process, however, will take time. In the meantime, it is important that citizens act as a check and balance to the executive branch. It is up to us to protest abuses of due process at Guantanamo and any liberal sprinkling of the label "enemy combatant."

We must take a stand against torture. Amnesty International has launched "America I Believe In" - a campaign "to restore our traditional American values of justice, rule of law and human dignity." Learn about that campaign at and visit for additional suggestions. It's not too late to take our country back.

The traiter in chief

A few days ago I received a post from a friend. She had called to register a complaint about the vote for the Military Commission Act. She was told by the secretary she talked to that her Senetor justified his vote because without it he would see the Contitution burnt before he would allow us to back down from Iraq.

This with the previous Patriot Act gives Mr. Bush the same powers and the same lack of legal restraint as Adolph Hitler, Joe Stalin, Iddy Amen or even King George III. I will continue to fight this abuse of power, but may get charged as a enemy combatent myself.

I believe in the Constitution. I will continue to fight for it, not for me. Not for the role over and play dead politicians. For the Seven Generations that follow me. They deserve a chance to live free and enjoy life too.

Friday, October 20, 2006

More From Robert Mendelson...

Please join us. We're a coalition of Independents, Greens, and Progressive Democrats who've just adopted a historic reparations plank to our platform. Now, we're asking you to help us make this a reality, THIS time. We're a group of 47 candidates who were willing to pass a platform that calls for true justice for Native Americans, returning 45% of the National Forests. Now, we've followed suit with a real reparations plan.
David Ware just joined us. If you and the other Indepent African American candidates join together with the best of the Whites, and Native Americans, we can bring the Black Caucus and the rest of the Progressive Dems to us, free ourselves of corporate control, and really get on with this country. We have two and a half weeks. That's two Sundays in church for many people. What is more Godly than finally honoring the promise given over 100 YEARS AGO? Someone once said "With man, nothing is possible, but with God, all things are possible." Others have said, "We shall overcome!"
Thank you,
Bob Mendelson
ps; It's important to note that while there were 6 abstentions and 6 who did not vote, not one person objected to reparations. 33 vote 'for'. 0 'against'. The abstentions are the result of people being too busy running their campaigns to stop and take time for such a weighty matter. Fortunately, there were enough who were able to do so, and 33-0 is a good indication of the quality of those who didn't participate.

New platform planks from Robert Mendelson

Before announcing the results of the historic vote for inclusion of reparations to African Americans, and a reinvestigation of 9-11, to the Longhouse Coalition platform, there's three things I'd like to mention;
First, Roger Gurk helped put together the section on reparations for land left over after African Americans have received their portion. Thank you, Roger, and I'd like to thank all of you for your wonderful ideas, and the heart and energy you put into your campaigns.
Second, Jesse Johnson, thanks to you as well, for your tenacity in having reinvestigating 9-11 included, when I wanted to keep it simple, and one issue, even though I agreed with you and meant to push for it at a later time. Truly, not demanding a reinvestigation is hypocritical, when we know the deck was rigged the first time, and all those who lost their lives, and their families, and their communities, were all effected by their loss. We have to honor their lives as well. So, thanks for your insistence. This makes our platform all the more honorable.
Third, we have our newest member of the Longhouse, Lydia Lewis, next senator for Missouri. Welcome to the Coalition, Lydia.
And now, the voting on items 23 & 24;
Item 23, Reparations, voting for 33, abstain 5, did not vote 7.
Over 90& of votes cast are "YES", so Reparations is now part of the Longhouse Coalition Platform.
Item 24, Require Reinvestigation of 9-11, 22 for, 23 did not vote.
Over 90% of votes cast are "YES", so item 24 is added to the platform, too.
A workable reparations plan in full accord with our nation's original promise to African Americans following the Civil War. Watch what happens next! Everyone, this is truly historic. Now, we have to make every effort to get the news out to the churches, civic groups, African American owned press, civil rights groups, and last, the regular media.
Below are the two platform additions;
Our platform provides a basis for full healing in this country. After returning portions of the National Forest to the First Nations, addressing the Reparations issue with African Americans naturally follows. We have the historic opportunity to right two of the most basic and grievous wrongs that have blighted our country's soul, encouraging a denial that's grown so large as a nation, we now have Bush. It's time we meet past injustices and heal them fairly. Since our platform wasn't crafted by corporatistas, we can offer the People what's best for Them. In turn, we'll give the People a real reason to jump up out of their chairs and carry us to victory!
For African Americans, that means the equivalent of 40 acres promised every freed slave after the Civil War. Because our farming platform redirects agriculture subsidies from Agri-giants to farmers making less than $1 million/year, the net result will be the giant agricultural corporations will go under, while small farmers thrive. The Agri-giants are built on the snatched-away land of small farmers, many of whom were driven bankrupt. Now, as they go under and declare Chapter 11, the land can be re-allocated to small farmers, and here's where Reparations comes in.
While the promise by the federal government was never fully delivered, there's also a question as to whether this meant 40 acres to each child, or to heads of households. Although common sense says it wasn't meant to make baronial estates, the Homestead Act of 1862, a parellel law, specifies family heads of 21 years or older. The spirit of the promise would have meant heads of households,or perhaps one quarter of the total population, yet there's the years of justice denied to factor in, too.
It turns out that if we take the middle road, half of 3.5 million freed slaves to 1.75 million, and then multiply that by the 40 acres each, we come up with an area of land similar to that returned to the First Nations--about 110,000 sq. mi., which is about 1 and ½ Nebraskas.
From that we subtract the area of farmland in farms 40 acres or larger currently owned by African American farmers, and the difference is the 'New Reparations' land, something closer to the size of 1 Nebraska.
As the Agri-giants die, the recovered land will go first to African American farmers, up to the full New Reparations land area. All recovered farmland after that will be allocated through a lottery of farmers who've had their farms repossessed by the banks.
To provide balance with African Americans in the cities, for the next fifty years, 10% of the annual normal taxes on farms in the New Reparations area will be directed half to providing scholarships for African American children, and the other half to providing funds for urban renewal projects for African American companies.
For recovered land in addition to the New Reparations area, 10% of taxes would be divided, with half going for scholarships for rural children, and half going for development of jobs in areas where factories have been shut down, and unemployment is high, namely, the cities.
Now, there's always the possibility someone could receive a farm and just sell it and take the money and run. That wouldn't work, because that denies others their share, or their continued income from the 10% fund.
This is simplest done on a fifty year scale. The farmer gains 2% equity in the farm for every year the farmer is there. The rest remains with the 'People'. If a farm is sold, the farmer gets his equity portion only (2% times years occupied), while the remainder is split three ways, going back to the People. One third to other farmers, one third to scholarships, and one third to urban development.
#24 Fully re-investigate the 9/11 attacks.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Countdown Special Comment: Death of Habeas Corpus: “Your words are lies, Sir.”

Countdown Special Comment: Death of Habeas Corpus: “Your words are lies, Sir.”


Keith Olbermann has been calling it like it is. His "Special Comments" are indeed special because no other talking head outside of Cafferty is willing to step up to the plate and say what needs to be said on 24/7. "Your words are lies, Sir." They are lies, that imperil us all.' Sounds about right to me.

Video - WMV Video - QT

Olbermann: And lastly, as promised, a Special Comment tonight on the signing of the Military Commissions Act and the loss of Habeas Corpus.

We have lived as if in a trance. We have lived… as people in fear.

And now — our rights and our freedoms in peril — we slowly awake to learn that we have been afraid… of the wrong thing.

Therefore, tonight, have we truly become, the inheritors of our American legacy. For, on this first full day that the Military Commissions Act is in force, we now face what our ancestors faced, at other times of exaggerated crisis and melodramatic fear-mongering:

(Read the rest of this story…)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Quoting Vanity Fair on Yellowcake - "Ruthless Relentlessness"

Quoting Vanity Fair on Yellowcake - "Ruthless Relentlessness"

"In addition, Vanity Fair has found at least 14 instances prior to the 2003 State of the Union in which analysts at the C.I.A., the State Department, or other government agencies who had examined the Niger documents or reports about them raised serious doubts about their legitimacy-only to be rebuffed by Bush-administration officials who wanted to use the material. "They were just relentless," says Wilkerson, who later prepared Colin Powell’s presentation before the United Nations General Assembly. "You would take it out and they would stick it back in. That was their favorite bureaucratic technique-ruthless relentlessness.""

Just another reason to end Catastrophic Conservatism - so we can have Consistent Constitutionality

Friday, October 13, 2006

Open Letter Sent to States Urging Emergency Paper Ballot Plans and Procedures for November Election

BLOGGED BY Brad ON 10/12/2006 1:03PM
Open Letter Sent to States Urging Emergency Paper Ballot Plans and Procedures for November Election
Urgent Plea Mailed to 50 State Governors, Sec's of State and Election Directors Signed by Broad Coalition of Election Integrity Advocacy Orgs, Congressional Members, Elections Officials, Computer Scientists, Civil Rights Attorneys and Journalists
Initial Federal Effort Calling for Back-Up Paper Ballots Now Moves to States, Citizens Asked to Join the Call!

An urgent letter has been sent today to the Governors, Secretaries of State and State Election Directors of all 50 states urging them to immediately create and implement plans and procedures for allowing the use of Emergency Paper Ballots at every local jurisdiction during this November's general election.

The missive, signed by a broad coalition of more than 50 Election Integrity Advocate groups, congressional members, elections officials, computer scientists, attorneys and journalists comes on the heels of Federal legislation recently introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate. Those bills, which were not brought up for a vote before Congress adjourned for the Election Recess, called for funding to states who implement plans to provide Emergency Paper Ballots. The legislation was introduced in the wake of recent primary elections around the country where voters were unable to cast a vote due to failure, malfunction, or other inability of electronic voting systems.

The two-page letter [PDF] (also posted in full at the end of this article) was signed by individuals such as: Sen. Barbara Boxer, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Sen. John Kerry, Rep. Rush Holt, Leon County, FL Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho, OH elections attorney Cliff Arnebeck and University of Iowa computer scientist Doug Jones. Organizations signed on include: Common Cause,,,,, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation,, and many other national, state and local Election Integrity advocate groups.

"No legally registered voter should ever be told to 'come back later,' or be forced to use a provisional ballot simply because a voting system is unavailable to them at the time they are able to vote," the letter reads. "It is imperative that an ample supply of Emergency Paper Ballots be made available to account for any unforeseen circumstance."

The letter continues, "All voters must have the option to vote on an Emergency Paper Ballot if necessary and all such ballots must be counted as regular — not provisional — ballots."

As well, it's pointed out that some states already have certain procedures required by law to ensure that registered voters are allowed to vote, in the event that primary balloting procedures break down. Officials are urged to check those requirements and otherwise "draft, establish and publicize your own state's common-sense plans for Emergency Paper Ballots at every polling place this Nov. 7th, so that every election official, poll worker, and voter may be crystal clear on the procedures for utilizing such measures."

The movement calling on states to create Emergency Paper Ballot plans began just three weeks ago when The BRAD BLOG first called on the U.S. Congress to introduce and pass legislation in order to ensure that legally registered voters would not be turned away from the polls without being allowed to vote, as has been the case for thousands of voters in a number of states this year due to voting machines that failed to start up, were misprogrammed, failed during voting or, in some cases, hadn't been brought to polling places at all until several hours after polls were to have opened.

Many voters were either told to "come back later" or given Provisional Ballots, which are not counted as normal ballots on Election Night and frequently not counted at all.

Legislation for Emergency Ballots was introduced the following week in the U.S. Senate by Senators Boxer, Christopher Dodd, Russ Feingold and Kerry. A matching House version was filed the next day by Rep. Rush Holt and co-sponsored by 28 other House members. As well, Feingold and Kerry introduced a "Sense of the Senate" resolution calling for same, but that effort was also never brought up for a vote on the floor before the recess.

The letter, drafted by this journalist along with a number of other signatories, was sent to all recipients via return-receipt requested certified mailing this morning by [DISCLOSURE: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VR.]

With the failure of Congress to pass such crucial legislation prior to this November's important general election, the effort now moves to the State and Local level. Organizations and individuals are called on to contact their State and Local Elections officals to assure that plans are in place to accommodate any and all unforeseen circumstances.

Alluding to Americans who have fought for and defended the right to vote in the past, and indeed to this day around the globe, the letter concludes: "Our vote is our precious franchise. We believe it is worth defending, and worth the effort to guarantee that that right remains assured and inviolate."

Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), one of the initial signatories, has created an online petition for citizens to urge their Secretaries of State and Governors to ensure such plans and procedures are created and implemented immediately. Take action by clicking here…

The open letter, sent to all State Governors, Secretaries of State and State Election Directors calling for Emergency Paper Ballot plans and procedures and signed by 55 organizations and individuals, can be downloaded here [PDF]. It also follows below in full…

October 11, 2006

Honorable Governor, Secretary of State & State Election Director:

As you likely know, many legally registered American voters across the country were turned away from polling places without being able to cast a ballot this year. In state after state, voters were unable to exercise their franchise simply because electronic voting systems malfunctioned, suffered programming problems, or were otherwise unavailable for use.

We are sure you'll agree that should never happen in this country. No legally registered voter should ever be turned away from the polls without being allowed to vote on Election Day in America. No legally registered voter should ever be told to "come back later," or be forced to use a provisional ballot simply because a voting system is unavailable to them at the time they are able to vote. It is imperative that an ample supply of Emergency Paper Ballots be made available to account for any unforeseen circumstance.

Common-sense legislation for Emergency Paper Ballots at the polling place this November was recently filed in both the U.S. House and Senate. The proposed legislation would have:

  • Mandated that voters be given a paper ballot upon request
  • Required election officials to post information announcing and confirming that right at each polling place, and
  • Mandated that all such paper ballots be counted as regular, not provisional, ballots.

Unfortunately, legislators were unable to pass this important measure before adjourning for the Election Recess. Now the responsibility for this vital democratic process must rest on the States and Counties to ensure that millions of Americans will be able to cast their ballots in the general election on November 7th.

Many of your state's citizens and polling places will be using new electronic voting systems for the first time. Such systems have already caused unforeseen problems this year, resulting in disenfranchised voters from Maryland to California, from Texas to Indiana to many other states and counties around the union.

In Maryland, the Governor recently called for Emergency Paper Ballots statewide after catastrophic problems in their recent primary. In Texas and Arkansas, election officials wisely instructed their counties to have Emergency Paper Ballots on hand during runoff elections after thousands were unable to vote during primaries, or when voting machine companies failed to program balloting systems properly.

In America, in 2006, such occurrences should never have happened, and we write to you hoping that you will take every measure to ensure they do not happen anywhere in your state this November.

Therefore, we, the undersigned groups and individuals, strongly urge you to make contingency plans and procedures to ensure that every legally registered American voter can vote in the upcoming general election. All voters must have the option to vote on an Emergency Paper Ballot if necessary, and all such ballots must be counted as regular — not provisional — ballots.

We hope that your state and every county therein will take careful, yet aggressive measures to institute plans for ample Emergency Paper Ballots, to be made available in every voting jurisdiction.

Several states have laws in place requiring the use of emergency paper ballots for voters if voting equipment is unavailable or has malfunctioned. Many more states and counties, however, do not have such provisions. In addition, many poll workers are unaware of such state laws and elections code.

So many Americans have fought and died in this country and around the world — and indeed, are fighting today – in the defense of our most basic freedoms, to ensure the right to freely cast a vote and thus determine the consent of the governed in this great democracy. Our vote is our precious franchise. We believe it is worth defending, and worth the effort to guarantee that that right remains assured and inviolate.

We urge you to please take this opportunity to draft, establish and publicize your own state's common-sense plans for Emergency Paper Ballots at every polling place this Nov. 7th, so that every election official, poll worker, and voter may be crystal clear on the procedures for utilizing such measures.

With Great Respect,

The Undersigned

Broward Election Reform Coalition
Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota
Citizens for Legitimate Government
Coalition for Peace Action, Princeton NJ
Coloradoans for Voting Integrity
Common Cause
Election Defense Alliance (EDA)
Election Reform Network
Florida Fair Elections Coalition
Georgians for Verified Voting
Iowans for Voting Integrity
Las Vegas, NM Peace and Justice Center Political Action
National Coalition on Black Civic Participation
National Committee for Voting Integrity
National Election Data Archive
New Yorkers for Verified Voting
Ohio Honest Elections Campaign
Palm Beach Coalition for Election Reform
Progressive Democrats of America (PDA)
SAVE Our Votes:
Secure, Accessible, Verifiable Elections for MD

United Voters of New Mexico
Valley Grassroots for Democracy
Voting Matters [New Mexico]
Wake Up and Save Your Country
We Do Not Concede

Clifford O. Arnebeck, Jr, election attorney, OH
John C. Bonifaz, voting rights attorney, Boston
Sen. Barbara Boxer
Bob Fitrakis, Ph.D, J.D.
Brad Friedman, investigative journalist
Bruce Funk, County Clerk, Emery County, UT
Sarah Granger, computer security consultant
Rush Holt, Member of Congress
Douglas W. Jones, computer scientist, U. of Iowa
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Sen. John Kerry
Prof. Mark Crispin Miller, NYU
Freddie Oakley, Yolo County, CA, Clerk/Recorder
Ion Sancho, Supvsr. of Elections, Leon County, FL
Barbara Simons, retired, IBM Research

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Main Longhouse Coalition web site is now up

I've been working with Ayowenta this morning to get the site up and the first few files loaded. The basic site is up and the primary files installed and linked. We still need to tweak the pages a bit, but is now functional.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Cultural integration initiative, a fair one, for after elections...

After the election, I would like to see us pursue the teaching of Native American history, mythology, and language as a second language in all US schools.

Native Americans had to learn European cultures. I think the best bridge between us would be if all children were taught both cultures so that we can become one nation, taking the best of both worlds and surpassing what either has been.

Each school should teach the language that was originally spoken where it is located, and the hand signs that bridged them all.

English and contemporary American culture should also be taught in all Native American schools.

No discrimination. Enough of the "US" and "THEM" thinking. The vast majority of us were born into the world as we found it, here in the USA. while the wrongs of the past need to be fully acknowledged and apologized for, most of us living today had no control over those events.

To me, all Native Americans are my countrymen, as much as any other citizen of the USA.

Just my two cents,


Monday, October 02, 2006

One Nation...

One Nation...

I used to think in different terms,
Seeing red team, blue team,
Green and purple and yellow and orange,
I tell you colorblind is a blessing from Heaven in these days.

The Earth cries and screams,
Babes are savaged in their own mothers arms while mother weeps,
We tear at each other like sharks seeing who can feed most,
With black eyes so dark the soul appears lost.

Now those who drive the divisions would add chains,
Iron grasping neck and ankles thrown into the coliseum,
Batting at each other with lightning and desperation,
Even worse - words of fear and darkness.

No more, no more, no more.

We must walk the light of the rainbow,
Call everyone of good heart brother,
Only together in the largest sense is survival beyond a dream,
Yet together armageddon becomes solely a war of words.

There is the fire of the bomb and the fire of the spirit,
The burning of flesh and the burning of failed ideas,
Children that we are it is up to us to see the difference,
Choose now.

One nation with one heart or an abyss of division's reward.


By: Daniel A. Stafford
© 10/02/2006



1: Impeach Bush/Cheney & lesser officials for treason,
the one charge the president can not grant a pardon for.

2: Pull out of Iraq/Afghanistan
and allow UN Forces to do the job of peace keeping, rebuilding.

3: Rescind the Unconstitutional Patriot Act.

4: Call for sharp reductions in Defense spending
with the savings going to essential social/environmental programs

5: Support the Kyoto Treaty as a necessary first step to control green-house
emissions, with rapid development of solar/wind power in every home.

6: Support the right to choose for every woman in the world, and as a
step toward sustainable populations, make funds available for education
and non-abortion birth control, including 'morning-after' pills.

7: A single payer national health insurance program is badly needed now.

8: Immediate arsenic reductions in our drinking water now.

9: Due to the racial bias, failure to deter crime, widespread errors,
and humanitarian objections, we oppose the death penalty.

10: We demand a livable wage, strong unions, repeal of the Taft-Hartley
restrictions, and increase of minimum wage so people have the honest
means to support themselves.

11: We oppose trade pacts, agreements, and institutions including NAFTA,
FTAA, CAFTA, and WTO as written only for the global corporations
without protection of the small business or local populations.

12: We call for democratic reform to strengthen participation and minority
representation, including proportional representation, instant run-off
voting, monitoring of elections and public financing of elections.

13: We stand for citizen controlled open debate between all legal candidates
for President as well as all public offices. Not just between Republicans
and Democrats, but all legal candidates.

14: We oppose deregulation of telecommunications companies, and support
increased non-profit use of airways and public access to telecommunications.

15: We are opposed to bank deregulation.
We call for creation of community investment banks to give low income
people low cost loans and first time small business a chance to borrow
at low rates.

16: We are for legalizing all natural substances in their unrefined, un-distilled,
natural form. They have a better safety record than do alcohol or
cigarettes. We are spending billions losing the war on drugs and jailing a
lot of people who otherwise would be good hard working citizens. Control
it and tax it like you do alcohol and create new business and tax sources.
All criminal 'strikes' related with such natural substances will be expunged
from criminal records.

17: To help restore the balance with the Native Nations, we are for giving
back to the tribes 30% (equal to 2 Pennsylvanias) of the National Forests
with the creation of a Ecology Council of the major ecology groups to
help them develop a sustainable income and land use program. If Mixed
Bloods with 1/8 Native American heritage are accepted as tribal members,
the amount returned is to be increased to 45% (3 Pennsylvanias).

18: Create a Dept. of Peace with Congressional oversight, and full access
to the daily briefings from the various intelligence agencies including
the DOD (Department of Defense) agencies.

19: Doing away with the Presidential Emergency Powers.
No more writing laws by the Executive Branch.

20: Shift the USDA priorities to all help for farming has to go to those
who make less then one million dollars a year.

21: Put in place a recall mechanism for all Federal Office Holders.

22: We support the New Covenant Peace Plan for Israel/Palestine, which
perfectly conforms to requirements of Hebrew Tribal Law, Jewish Law
from the Torah & Prophets, Muslim Law from the Qur'an & hadiths,
and New Testament Law, too. It leaves what's today called 'Israel',
the West Bank, and Gaza, as One federal state, composed of two
tribal districts, Judah (Israel), & Ephraim (Palestinians--West Bank &
Gaza). Jerusalem is shared as national capital. Right-of-return issues
are addressed, too.

For more details, visit either





Dear People,

The USA has some real troubles. So does the world. Big troubles, and at the same time this country is run by some folks who seem determined to make them even worse. War in Iraq, terrorism, out-sourced jobs and the economy, Global Warming, Katrina, and so on. A litany of woes.

It seems that only if we make immediate and major changes that global disaster can be averted, yet our government doesn't appear to have either the will, or plan, to bring things back into balance. On the contrary, it appears the people who bribe our politicians are actually profiting from the mayhem and economic hardship most of the rest of us are experiencing.

Both major political parties, Republican and Democratic, receive tremendous financial support from corporations, so it's no surprise their voting is to the advantage of corporate interests. With both parties bought out by corporations, how can we fix things?

We're continually confronted with the choice of taking the lesser of two evils, but we've come to the point where we can't take any more 'evil', even if it's 'lesser'. BUT, were a third party with great ideas to happen along, say for example, the Green Party, the first thing we'd hear from the Democrats is, "You can't afford to vote for the Greens because you'll split the 'Left', so the Republicans'll win everything. Problem is, too many Democrats are really as 'conservative' as the Republicans, they just wear a different-looking logo. I call them 'Republicrats', or 'Dee-publicans'.

Still, it appears we're stuck in a rut. Fortunately, there's a solution-- the Longhouse Coalition, a non-partisan coalition, not a third party. That's the key--it's not a third party, so it can't divide the 'Left'. It's a means for people who want basically the same thing to cooperate across party lines, based on a simple and effective platform neither designed nor paid for by corporations, that gives people what they want, not what corporate elites want.

The Longhouse Coalition (whose name is derived from the English equivalent of the Iroquois Six Nations' government, the Haudenosaunee--more on that later) platform offers people a workable, win-able, and near foolproof alternative. A Democrat who's really 'Progressive', or 'moderate', will have little difficulty backing the Platform (which follows shortly). Whoever promises to support the Longhouse Coalition platform will receive our full support. There'll be no division of the 'Left'.

So, we can't hurt the 'Left', or 'Center'. But for those instances where the 'Democrat' is as 'conservative' as today's Republican Party, we'll present the People with a good alternative. Then we'll let the conservative Republicans and conservative Democrat split the conservative vote, guaranteeing a sweeping victory for the good alternative, the Longhouse candidates who had the will, moral caliber, and guts to stand up as an Independent candidate when the country most needed them.

After you've read the platform and said, "Well, this is great, but what chance do we have of having it really happen?", remember this--it's already been done. This isn't the first time, nor is it unique. It's been done recently, too. This isn't from a musty old page of history. It's yesterday's news.

In the 1990's Poland was ruled by an oppressive totalitarian 'Communist' regime, which in many respects is mirrored by the Bush/corporatista regime today. A bunch of shipyard workers went on strike in Gdansk, led by a young man named Lech Walesa. A series of dramatic events followed, and a grassroots movement named Solidarnosc (Solidarity) was birthed. It grew like wildfire because the idea was right, the time was right, and the Polish people were ripe for change. And it
was done, peacefully, democratically, and legally. PEACEFULLY, people.

There are a few charts following that show how simple, logical, and do-able this is. You'll find that the vast majority of seats in Congress up for election have either natural allies such as Progressive Democrats or Greens already on the ballot, or else leave us with the opportunity to run a Peoples' Write-In candidate. Write-In ballots will provide us with a more tamper-proof vote record than electronic voting machines, and because this is a popular movement, word will spread so that everyone will know who the Longhouse candidate is in their own district.

People, in a single election we can retake the House of Representatives and a third of the Senate! Over the course of the next two years moderate incumbent Democrat senators (& even some Republicans) will come over to our side as they see which way the winds of public opinion are blowing, and thus, their careers. So, we can stop the administration dead in its tracks at first, and over the following period complete the steps needed for a peaceful, legal, and democratic, shift to a sustainable and just society.

For those worried about the late start--starting late in the season isn't a disadvantage--it's an advantage. It's deliberate, a tactic. The 'opposition' has loads of money, and controls the media. Had we started earlier, that money would have bought loads of lies and disinformation. Time would have given them the opportunity to do it most effectively, and time for the poison to do its work. Now there isn't enough time for these folks to mount an effective, fully thought out smear campaign. It'll be a knee-jerk reaction at best, and it'll work for us, not against us. In the end, it's the best way to accomplish something like this.

So, this is fully do-able. Americans were at one time known as the "Can-Do" nation, a nation of individuals with gumption, energy, and spirit, a people with the will to accomplish the 'impossible'. We can be that again. Our choice if we don't is very unpleasant. An earth heartlessly, ruthlessly, exploited. People heartlessly, ruthlessly exploited. Wars. Dare I say it--the fundamentalists' Armageddon. I say, give 'em what they want. Let's send the whole gang of Corporatista politicians home,
whether they wear Donkey ears, or Elephant ears. Let's give them a real political Doomsday, let their political stars go down in flames, instead of having them sending more bombs and death to the rest of the world.

In order to successfully pull off another 'Solidarity', it's important we use some basic techniques to accelerate growth of the movement, so the Corporatista regime is always a day late and a dollar short. If we really want change, some effort is needed. Not a whole lot, mind you, but some. Start by copying the platform to your computer's 'desktop'. Print out some paper copies, and perhaps burn it onto a CD or two. Then, immediately after reading this, think of which of your friends will
really like the platform. Send it to them. Then, call them by phone. Explain to them what you've read here, then encourage them with enthusiasm to do likewise. Keep the chain growing. This will greatly accelerate distribution, and gather momentum.

I apologize, but for emphasis, here's part of the earlier paragraph repeated, along with some new stuff. In order to successfully pull off another 'Solidarity', it's important we use some basic techniques. Start by copying the platform to your computer's 'desktop'. Print out some paper copies, and perhaps burn it onto a CD or two. Then, right after reading this, think of which of your friends will really like the platform. Send it to them. Then, call them by phone. This is so very important. Not everyone looks at their computer every day, so e-mail may sit for days or weeks before being read. Further, a phone call is personal, and getting an idea across in person, rather than writing, is often more effective. But put both e-mail & phone call together, and a powerful message comes across of support for the movement. This enthusiasm in turn encourages others. So please, explain to them what you've read here, then encourage them with enthusiasm to do likewise. Keep the chain
growing. This will greatly accelerate distribution, and gather momentum. Then, send it to whoever you can think of who might be willing to help. By the way, this gives people who aren't millionaires an excellent opportunity to have a say in Congress.

Write-In candidates will be elected largely through the popularity and togetherness of the American home-grown version of Solidarity--the Longhouse Coalition.

If you'd like to be a Longhouse Coalition Write-In candidate please send an e-mail to

Our website should be up shortly at , too, but maybe not till later this coming week. So for now, applications have to be by e-mail sent to the first address.

There were three of us who really got this started, and this expanded to a council of seven, but the period of three or seven people deciding things has to be gotten over with very quickly--like now!--if this is to be democratic.

We'll handle this issue right now, so no one need concern themselves about it further. We've decided--unanimously--to accept candidates on a first-come, first-served basis*(with one exception--next paragraph), trusting Creator will send us the people meant to be here at this time.

We expect multiple applicants for many districts, so the tie-breaker will be who applied first. However, we don't want a boatload of Republican infiltrators hopping on board and be forced to keep them, either. So, to emphasize democracy yet still have a safeguard, the council of seven will be increased to include the first twenty four coalition candidates and myself, co-writer of the platform and one of the original three. This council of 25 will then be responsible for approving the later candidates, the sole criteria being whether the person is genuinely for the platform. A simple majority will suffice to approve a candidate. If an applicant scares over half the people, it's probably better we go in a different direction.

The one exception to the first-come first served rule is that in order to prove clearly we're non-partisan, and will work with 'good' Democrats (to walk the walk of our talk), a grace period up to October 7 (1 month before the election) has been granted for members of the Green Party, the Progressive Caucus, Russ Feingold's Progressive Patriots group,'s slate of progressive Democrats, and the Black Caucus.

There. That's it. Short and simple, as uncomplicated and democratic as can be.

Just one last thing--a little bit about where our name comes from. Originally, a 'longhouse' was a long and narrow Native American dwelling in which all the families of a clan lived together, each with their own family area. The Haudenosaunee (Longhouse) was symbolic of all member tribes living together as one family. That's what we want to see happen in America today.

An interesting question arises when we look at the Haudenosaunee's history a little closer. The founders of the Haudenosaunee were the great Huron/Mohawk prophet known as the Peacemaker, and his assistant, Hiawatha. Because the Peacemaker was viewed as a prophet sent from God, the law he gave the Iroquois was considered holy, and thus, the government a sacred place, and governing a sacred function. Service to the people, not self-enrichment, was the goal. Interestingly, the law of the Haudenosaunee, in which equality and democracy were emphasized, served as the primary model for the United States' Constitution, so at least from one perspective, the holy law of the Iroquois present in our Constitution confers holiness on it, too. This may help explain why many folks treat the Constitution as a holy document. Intuitively, they understand that it is! They just didn't know the holiness came through a Native American prophet. It also puts an entirely different spin on George W. Bush calling the Constitution a worthless scrap of paper.

If the Constitution is sacred, then its house--Congress--is also sacred. And since the White House is a part of it all, it's a 'holy place', too. So, Christians who are into prophecy, that means George W. Bush claimed Creator's law worthless in the holy place. May be a good idea to impeach him, don't you think?


Robert Leon Mendelson


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