Here’s a real good idea from some of our activist pals….

May 8, 2008

I was asked to post this by Janet Flint and am glad to do so. If you look over in the right sidebar you will find a new box
labeled: Activist Central. We are going to be putting up links to folks who determined to change the corrupt, spineless anything for
some  greasy cash ‘Democrat’ Party into a progressive organization you and you children can use to build a better nation to live in.

Period.

No factionalism, just good old-fashioned grassroots work on the infrastructure of the party. I’ll be adding more links as we get going.
Feel free to suggest one to a group which wants to change how and what is done rather than the face on the packaging.

Presented by the Grassroots Leadership Summit

Are you a blue-county Democrat who’s interested in supporting

Democrats running for office in “red” areas?Maybe you’ve considered

volunteering, but weren’t sure how effective you’d be?

Presented by the Grassroots Leadership Summit

Join us on Saturday, May 17, for a few hours and learn what it’s all about.

Hear from Bay Area people who’ve volunteered in rural campaigns

and from rural people who welcome the support.

Katherine Forrest’s widely praised “Talking Politics” workshop

can help you become a better communicator.

You can also sharpen your skills in workshops on voter registration,

phone banking, and canvassing, led by experienced political activists.

Learn how to make your volunteer time count, as you help out fellow Dems

around California and in crucial swing states.

We can elect some great candidates this year!

Location:      SEIU-UHW, 560 Thomas L. Berkley Way, Oakland

                        (20th St., between Telegraph and San Pablo; near 19th St. BART)

Time:            10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

                        Registration and coffee at 9:30 a.m.

Lunch:          On-site; included with registration fee

Fee:                $25; $15 low-income/student

Please PRE-REGISTER ONLINEat

http://www.actblue.com/page/trainingtowin2008

Please sign up early so we know what kind of crowd we are preparing for !  Thanks!

Sponsors:    DemocracyAction (www.democracyaction.org)

                        Project BlueBridge

                        Take Back Red California (www.takebackredcalifornia.org)

Contact:        Mary Renaud, maryre@comcast.net, 415-460-1571

                        Eileen Foster, eileenfoster1@comcast.net, 415-921-0743

                        Martha Gamez, gamezm@comcast.net, 209-836-9030

Advertisements

Hey! Are you feelin’ ‘Buggy’ today?

February 9, 2008

Well folks doan really matter what you think about it……

Guess what? They are gonna do it right here…..To you!

From farleft we have the following:

*STOP AERIAL PESTICIDE SPRAYING!*

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has announced
plans to resume aerial pesticide spraying for the Light Brown Apple Moth

(LBAM) in summer of 2008. The campaign began in 2007 in Santa Cruz and
Monterey counties using a synthetic pheromone along with other chemicals

encased in microscopic plastic capsules. CDFA will expand the program
to the San Francisco Bay Area with plans to continue spraying each month

for up to 5 years or indefinitely until the moth is eradicated.

*Bay Area INFORMATIONAL/ORGANIZING MEETINGS on LBAM spraying:*

Oakland: January 30, 7:30 PM, Oakland Center for Environmental Health, 528 61st Street, Suite A.

Albany: January 31, 8:00 PM, A lbany Community Center, 1249 Marin Ave. (part of Albany Green Party meeting)

San Francisco: February 11, 7:30 PM, Women’s Building, 3543 18th Street, #8, Room A.

Berkeley: February 24, 5:00 PM, Berkeley Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar, between Spruce and Arch *Hosted by* *StopTheSpray.ORG*

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE LBAM SPRAYING?

1) Hundreds of people in Santa Cruz and Monterey County have reported
adverse health reactions. The spray has not been tested for long-term
human toxicity and is being applied in microscopic plastic capsules
that could pose inhalation risks.

2) The spray contains ingredients that are highly toxic to aquatic
species, as well as surfactants, that might have contributed to algae
bloom (red tide) and the drowning of hundreds of waterfowl.

3) Biologists agree that the spraying – an outdated, unsustainable,
expensive pest control method – will not eradicate the moth. The CDFA
should switch to a con trol vs. an eradication program using least-toxic
methods that farmers already apply, e.g. pheromone traps or sticky ties.

4) CDFA itself says the moth has done no crop damage in California to
date. Priority must be given to public and environmental health and
safety over speculative economic loss.

5) The aerial spray program disproportionately impacts vulnerable
segments of the population, including those with the recognized
disability of multiple chemical sensitivity, who are in many cases
forced to relocate, and the homeless, who have no option to protect
themselves from spraying.

* *

Here’s a GOOD RESOURCE for correct information that has been vetted by
scientists and other activists: http://www.panna.org/resources/lbam

If you’re interested in getting involved in LBAM activism in the Bay
Area, a GOOD CONTACT PERSON is Paul Schramski, State Director of
Pestici de Watch in Sacramento (paul@pesticidewatch.org, 916.551.1883
office, 916.216.1082 mobile, www.pesticidewatch.org,
www.RefuseToUseChemLawn.org). Paul has been working with the folks in
Monterey and Santa Cruz counties and is supporting the growing work in
the bay area.

*WHAT CAN YOU DO?*

Sign the petition at www.stopthespray.org, get informed and become active!

** Contact the media: Newspapers, weeklies, radio and television stations – voice your concern.

** Ask Governor Schwarzenegger and CDFA secretary Kawamura to
stop the spray program and shift to sustainable methods of least-toxic
pest control.

** Ask your Assemblymember to support proposed legislation to
stop spraying without consent and safety data and to do whatever they
can to stop the spraying until legislation can be passed.

** Ask your federal Congressional representatives and Senators
to tell USDA to support safe pest control and to lift the USD A
quarantine of California crops from areas where the light brown apple
moth has been found.

CONTACT INFO. IS BELOW. THANK YOU!

Secretary A.G. Kawamura

Calif. Dept. of Food & Agriculture

1220 N Street, Suite 400

Sacramento, CA 95814

akawamura@cdfa.ca.gov

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

State Capitol Building

Sacramento CA 95814

Phone: 916-445-2841

Fax: 916-558-3160

http://www.governor.ca.gov/

Senator Dianne Feinstein

331 Hart Senate Office Bldg.

Washington, D.C. 20510

Phone: 202-224-3841

Fax: 202-228-3954

http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/

Senator Barbara Boxer

112 Hart Senate Office Bldg.

Washington, D.C. 20510

Phone: 202-224-3553

Fax: 202-228-2382

http://www.boxer.senate.gov/

Senator Joe Simitian

State Capitol, Room 2080

Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone*: *916-651-4011

Fax*: *916-323-4529

Senator.Simitian@sen.ca.gov

Assemblymember John Laird

State Capitol P.O. Box 942849

Sacramento, CA 94249-0027

Phone: 916-319-2027

Fax: 916-319-2127

Assemblymember.Laird@assembly.ca.gov

Representative Sam Farr

1221 Longworth House Office Bldg.

Washington, D.C. 20514

Phone: 202-225-2861

Fax: 202-225-6791

samfarr@mail.house.gov

Senator Abel Maldonado

590 Calle Principal

Monterey, CA 93940

Fax: 831-657-6320

Phone: 831-657-6315

senator.maldonado@sen.ca.gov


Grassroots politics….kinda like makin’ sausage but in this case we progressives are setting the agenda!

November 18, 2007

Here’s big talking Art Torres addressing the California State Executive Committee regarding Senator Dianne ‘I luv Bush’ Feinstein’s continuing problems with being a ‘Democrat’:

And here’s my comment in the thread:

Graphic evidence of the rot which has set in… (0.00 / 0)

…in the CA Democratic party. The man’s body language and rhetoric scream authoritarian to the viewer.

But maybe that’s just me. Let’s go to the beginning of his admonition to us mere citizens. He says that Senator Feinstein is listening to us.

Well…she appears to be listening now that we’ve managed to make her voting record public to many.

The idea that she was ‘listening’ to the voters when she voted for Southwick…when she spoke lovingly of Mr. Bush in SoCal…when she voted for wiretapping every American is Mr. Torres laughable if it were not so sickening.

The idea that she would consent to appear at citizen’s meeting is also risible. She is one of the rulers and as such does not do such demeaning things.

As for Mr. Torres appeal to avoid damaging the Democratic ‘brand’ by providing ammo for the Republicans I say this, ‘Mr. Torres take your stupid meme and put it where the sun don’t shine. The way to avoid Republican attacks on Democrats standing up for progressive values is to not vote Republican…to not be corrupt in your votes which affect you husband’s business interests..to frankly stop acting like a Republican and act and vote like a real Democrat.’

Pathetic excuse making which does nothing to advance the progressive agenda. But then that’s not Mr. Torres’s job….
Is it.

Here’s what happened to Eden James and Julia Rosen of the Courage Campaign when they showed up at the committee to support his organization’s motion to censure Senator Feinstein for being ‘out of step with her
constituents:

I entered the California Democratic Party Resolutions Committee meeting room with Eden James, Courage Campaign’s Managing Director, bearing our sign and easel. We found a free space at the front of the room and set up the sign.

Almost immediately, Resolutions Chair John Hanna approached us, demanding that we remove the sign. Eden politely asked if there “was a rule” against signs in the meeting rooms. Hanna replied “yes.”

Kathy Bowler, CDP Executive Director, then calmly approached me, stating that the sign should be removed because the room was getting full and she had staff she needed to get into the room.

John then grabbed ahold of one side of the sign, attempting to remove it from Eden’s hands. Eden, maintaining his hold on to the other side, repeated the question to John about whether a rule existed against signs inside the meeting room. John said “yes”again and Eden asked to see the rule, saying that if there was an actual rule against signs inside the room — he would respect it.

Increasingly angry, John threatened to call security. Eden, surprised, calmly responded that John “should go ahead if that’s what you want to do.”

Suddenly, Hanna then shoved his side of the sign and Eden at the same time, forcibly pushing Eden backwards. Eden held on. John shoved again, then pushed Eden’s shoulder back with the palm of his hand.

Stunned, Eden let go of the sign as John ripped it from his hands and threw it to the floor. An unknown person then picked up the sign and sprinted it out of the room, taking it to the staff room (according to Kathy Bowler).

This is the Last thing that we wanted to happen. And Eden is one of the most peaceful, non-aggressive people that I have ever met. It was shocking to see his calm, determined words met by violence.

The goal of bringing the sign into the room was to provide a visual representation of the large number of people, clubs and groups supporting the resolution to censure the Senator.

Our purpose in continuing to discuss moving the sign was to get a clear reason and clarification of the rules surrounding bringing in signs. If a rule was presented against posting signs, we would have respected it without question. And indeed, we would have entertained a discussion about its removal due to space issues.

We are shocked and shaken by this turn of events and so are many others. It is extremely disappointing that something as simple as trying to bring a sign into a room (that lists organizations supporting a resolution) can escalate into physical violence.

Eden and I want to commend Kathy Bowler for her professionalism throughout this incident. John Hanna’s conduct, on the other hand is shocking, upsetting, and completely inappropriate.

This resolution should be addressed on its merits. No matter what side you are on, this discussion does not deserve to be marred by physical violence.

The entrenched power structure is freaking out because people, people just like you and me, are showing up at their organizational meetings and demanding that they not only be heard but that their concerns be addressed. I know Eden and he’s the sort of citizen activist the Democratic Party should be ecstatic to have in it’s ranks not the object of some party hack’s violence.

Here’s Frank Russo’s post on this event with a comment by me.

I hope you will see that so far only a few people have invested their time and energy to participate in this most basic of political acts: Getting involved and, further, that these folks have had a pretty impressive impact. I hope you will consider joining us.

Come to the next meeting.

Make a comment on the blog.

Get involved now because the opportunity for real change is real but will not last if we fail to push for change….

As hard as we can.


LOCAL ACTION ALERT- Alameda County

October 17, 2007

Following is a some timely information I received from Jerry Berkman, a local voting rights activist friend of mine. Please read below how and where you have the opportunity to “interact” with John Tanner from the Department of Justice on the afternoon of Thursday, October 18th at UC Berkeley. (Jerry’s website is Election-Reform.org, check it out.)

John K. Tanner is the Chief of the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Voting Rights Section.  He has recently made outrageous statements about race and voting. He will be speaking at UC Berkeley, 109 Moses Hall, Thursday, Oct. 18, 3:30-5:00 pm with a reception to follow. Hopefully you will attend and ask him some hard questions, or notify others who could do that.

The event is described at:

http://blogs.lib.berkeley.edu/whats-new.php/2007/10/11/election_administration_and_voting_right

Some background:

TPMMuckraker.com has an article:
"DoJ Vote Chief Argues Voter ID Laws Discriminate against Whites", which says:

Tanner explained that "primarily elderly persons" are the ones affected by [voter ID] laws, but "minorities don't become elderly the way white people do: They die first." So anything that "disproportionately impacts the elderly, has the opposite impact on minorities," he added.

[and]

Tanner told the [Georgia NAACP] that minorities were actually "slightly more likely" than non-minorities to have a photo ID.

Also, BradBlog.com has video of Tanner's recent speech:

http://www.bradblog.com/?p=5145


Some of This and Some of That….

July 13, 2007

Folks the campaign season is here. Make no mistake. Money is starting to flow into our ‘For a Blue Majority Now!’  page. One of our new bloggers doverbeesting will soon be posting from the Charlie Brown campaign to send the Republican Crook, kinda goes without sayin’ don’t it, Doolittle packin’; fer jail that is. She will be reporting directly from the wilds of CA-04 in the past a rock solid ReThuglican stronghold but….no more. That will be exciting and we will be bringing it directly to you and all BRAG.

We also have some one who will be reporting from the Elizabeth Edwards campaign, no screename yet. She is a campaign worker and calls our attention to an EE event tomorrow you might want to check out if you have time.

What: Showing support for Mrs. Edwards as she enters the Auditorium  
          The Human Rights Campaign event.

When: Saturday, July 14th at 5:30 PM Where: The Northeast Corner of Grove Street and Polk near the The Bill Graham Auditorium 99 Grove St San Francisco, CA 94102

We are just getting started on working with her so next time there will be more advance notice. I screwed this up in that regard.

But there is nothing keeping you from voting here to tell the Edwards campaign that they should be coming here to CA. There is a debate inside the campaign as  to whether John can compete here in the Golden State. I say he must. This is the birthplace of the netroots whom he will need to win. Both for our ‘boots on the ground’ and our money. Speaking of money…here is where you get rid of that: ‘For a Blue Majority Now!’

Now the really big news for this month is our Brunch with Wilma Chan where she will talk to us about her plans for health-care legislation here in CA. That will be on Sunday the 29th, Brunch at 11:30 am, a brief speech followed by questions and answers at 1:00 pm. Ms. Chan has been a tireless fighter for universal healthcare for a long while. Don’t miss this chance to meet and talk with her about the #1 issue of the day.

Last but not least in malcontent’s mind is the Fenton’s Ice Creamery ‘Support Iceland’ program happening every day this month as I understand it. Naturally, I can’t find anything about it on the ‘Net and malcontent is ‘too busy’ to blog about it himself so you will have to make that extra effort to help.


What to Say when They Call

June 20, 2007

The Democratic Party has started already with the calling for donations.  I know I’m going to get a whole lot more calls in the coming months as we get closer and closer to E-day.  So are you most likely.

I have decided that I am not going to give to anybody that calls themselves a Democrat.  Why?  Because they are complicit in the criminal/psychotic situation we find ourselves in presently.  Whether it’s our illegal, immoral occupation of a soverign, oil-rich nation half-way around the world that is causing thousands of deaths and dismemberments of our own people (not to mention the innocent Iraqi population) or our own home-grown hijacking of the US Constitution by the insane criminal neocons who call themselves Republicans – the Democrats are not doing everything they could be doing… everything they should be doing to change things.

Okay they didn’t have the votes to override the veto of the troop withdrawl bill… but they could have fillibustered if they really wanted to get the job done.

They may not have all the votes necessary to impeach Bush, Cheney and Gonzales (yeah! all at the same time!  that’s what I’m talking about!) – but they could put the proposal up for consideration and see what kind of response they get… get the dialogue started – a motion of historic proportions.

That’s the kind of stuff that would send a message to me, my fellow Americans and the rest of the world that the Democrats are serious about fixing the problems we face instead of just giving us lip service.

So, when the DSCC or a Democratic campaign calls me for a donation I say something like, “NO.  I will not give you any money until you start impeaching the criminals in the White House that are ruining our country and destroying its reputation.  Get on the ball!” or “NO.  If you are going to continue to roll over for this adminstration on issues like our illegal occupation of Iraq, you will get nothing out of me.  Shape up and start getting this thing done: Bring Home Our Troops NOW!”


Warrantless Wiretap / DOJ Fiasco Timeline

May 17, 2007


James Comey, Fmr Deputy AG
Photo c/o Washington Post

Following is the latest juicy update from Josh Marhall’s TPM Muckraker. Contributor Paul Kiel is reporting that a timeline of the Bush 43 administration’s illegal warrantless wiretapping program is fast developing.

The first date to mark on your calendar, I think, is October 3, 2003. That’s when the Senate confirms Jack L. Goldsmith as the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel. In June, with Goldsmith’s nomination before the senate, John Yoo had left his job as the deputy at OLC to return to his teaching gig at Boalt.Fast forward to December 11, 2003, when Comey is confirmed as Deputy Attorney General. He immediately assumes a more aggressive posture than his predecessor, Larry Thompson. The Times reports this morning that “with Mr. Comey’s backing, Mr. Goldsmith questioned what he considered shaky legal reasoning in several crucial opinions, including some drafted by Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo.”

But that was just the beginning. Thompson had not been authorized access to the details of the NSA program. But, reports the NYTimes, “Comey was eventually authorized to take part in the program and to review intelligence
material that grew out of it” (1/1/06). He set Goldsmith to the task of sorting through the program’s dubious legality. Goldsmith’s “review of legal memoranda on the N.S.A. program and interrogation practices became a source of friction between Mr. Comey and the White House,” the Times reports today. And we know from Comey’s testimony that by “the White House,” we mean, principally, Dick Cheney and David Addington.

There is much more in today’s TPM article, for instance, but my favorite part deals with an exchange between Senators Leahy and Spector, towards the end of the electrifying testimony by James Comey, former Deputy Attorney General, who was a key figure in the DoJ at this time. (Incidentally, Comey is also the person who appointed Patrick Fitzgerald to investigate the Valerie Plame Wilson leak, while AG Ashcroft was in the hospital). See the aforementioned exchange below:

PS: There’s hope we’ll find out what was really going on. I’d highlight this portion of Specter’s remarks from the hearing: “Mr. Comey, it’s my hope that we will have a closed session with you to pursue the substance of this matter further. Because your standing up to them is very important, but it’s also very important what you found on the legal issue on this unnamed subject, which I infer was the terrorist surveillance program. And you’re not going to comment about it. I think you could. I think you could even tell us what the legalisms were. Doesn’t involve a matter of your advice or what the president told you, et cetera. But I’m going to discuss it with Senator Leahy later and see about pursuing that question to try to find out about it.”

And then Leahy, in response: “We will have a closed-door hearing on this. Senator Specter and I are about to have a briefing on aspects of this.” Can’t wait to hear what leaks out of that.

If you check out the (20 min. YouTube) video for James Comey’s remarkable testimony of May 15 2007, you will see for yourself how callous and brazen the current leadership of this nation truly is. Thank you James Comey for your integrity, both then and now.

Leahy and Spector: the spotlight is now on you and your committee. We are all watching you.