Muslims For Nader/Camejo

A blog on the Nader/Camejo 2004 Presidential campaigen - exposing the racket of the two corporate parties - with a special focus on issues of concerns for Muslims. This blog is UNOFFICIAL and is NOT endorsed by the official Nader for 2004 presidential campaigen. Blog update daily and several times a day - come back often! Contact: muslimfornader@yahoo.com

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Where is the democracy in the Democratic Party?!

Crying Liberty

The Democratic Party, like their counterparts in the Republican Party (remember Florida?) have engaged in major widespread disruption of American democracy. Perhaps, this is part of their strategy to run as Bush-lite, "moving to the center" or runing as the "new Democrats" - or maybe this is their strategy to gain the respect of the Republican Party?!

But most probably it is just about wanting to win so bad - that they'll do away with democracy if that is what it takes.

For more information on how American democracy is being subverted, see my previsous blogs on California news, more (not moore) on democracy, no more democracy Also see anti-war party victory in England (for some hope)!

Ralph Nader has written an important article confronting these anti-democratic tactics:

Though the Democrats have the right to robustly oppose my independent presidential campaign, they don’t have the right to engage in dirty tricks designed to deny millions of voters the opportunity to choose who should be the next president.

But that’s what is happening. Across the country, the Democratic Party, state Democratic partisans, corporate lobbyists and law firms are making an unprecedented effort to keep the Nader-Camejo ticket off the ballot. It’s a sordid, undemocratic tactic, an affront to voters and a threat to electoral choice.

The so-called pro-choice Democrats do not want voters to have a political choice; they want them stuck with only two candidates. Democrats and corporate lobbyists conducted training sessions during the Democratic convention to plan a national campaign to keep Nader-Camejo off the ballot in as many states as possible

Not only are these efforts an attempt to deprive voters of choices in 2004 but, unless repulsed, they will set a precedent for undermining future third-party and independent candidates. Read more here!

Running As a Radical

In the current issue of the Journal of Progressive Human Services there is a very relevant article for folks interested in progressive politics.

Titled: Running as a Radical: The Challenge of Mainstream Politics by Flower Noble, and David Wagner.

The article gives a superb analyses, and assessment of Flower Noble's run in the Maine State Elections of 2002, as a Maine Green Party canidate. The entire article is very interesting, and chock full of information that anyone considering a progressive run for political office would find useful. For this blog entry I'll select just a few paragraphs. Folks interested in reading the entire article might find the journal in their local university library, or order the single article from the above link.

Democratic Party Interest Groups

Although liberal and radical journals and papers often contain outraged critique about the role of groups like fundamentalist churches, the national Rifle Association, and tobacco companies in the Republican Party, few explore in any depth the organization of the Democratic Party...

Few people who have supported or campaigened for a third party canidate have escaped the absolute contempt and venom (a la Nader 2000, and also 2004) heaped on third party canidates by Democratic Party activists. (Interestingly, we found liberals the most vehement, while Republicans, leftists, cetrists, and mass of non-committed voters expressed none of this.) ...

The social movement literature, usually ignores organizational forms to simply describe "movements" of workers, poor people, people of color, students, seniors, but such movements as such do not exist as independent entities in the late twentieth century, and early twenty first century. Instead what "labor" usually means is the AFL-CIO; what the "women's movement" tends to be translated into is NOW's leadership, and so on.

Yet it is well known how few people are represented. In Maine, the AFL-CIO is down to representing only 10% of the workers... NOW hardly represents most women, nor a majority of feminists... the NAACP hardly represents more than a fraction of the people of color... their endorsement determinations are made by small executive boards. Still, liberals, and some radicals equate these organizational cells of the Democratic Party with "social movements," which are conceptually quite distinct.

We suggest that usually the AFL-CIO, NAACP, NOW, NASW, NEA and others will endorse any Democrat, no matter their background or specific range of belief.
....

A lesson for social work activists is to have thick skin and firm resolve if you embrace a radical strategy. Certainly one cannot expect much aid from formal Social Work organizations or leaders.... Many young social workers, particularly students were excited... Others who were in higher level jobs (administrators, faculty, clinicians) were willing to help, sometimes also asking that we keep their names quiet...

some opposition emerged from surprising quarters, such as workers who worked with the very poor, who apparently felt that low income people demonstrationg or protesting somehow reflected on them... Administrators and others tied to the dominant party apparatus were fearful.. .and, of-course, similarly upset with a contender on the Left of the Democrats....

Friday, August 06, 2004

Words of Wisdom!

“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we, they never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”
- George W. Bush , President of the United States of America

Not in the least. I think we have to be in Iraq. What have I flipped on? I just think we ought to do it right!
-Senator John Kerry, Presidential hopeful ...

You really don't want either of these two, do you, seriously now, do you?

This November, for your family, for your peace of mind, for America, for the planet - votenader.com


Thursday, August 05, 2004

California News

Here is a very good description of what we were faced with in California - as we attempted to place Ralph Nader/Peter Camejo on the ballot. On the one hand we had all these "liberal" "progressives" yelling and screaming at us, on the other hand we generally had working class people of color being much more polite, and who had a much more nuanced and mature understanding of the issues.

This working class , and people of color represent hope for our democracy.

Todd Chretien writes:

Having spent the last month helping organize the petition drive to get Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo on the ballot in California, I'd like to make two observations and some comments.

1. There are an appalling number of "liberals" or "progressives" who are willing to scream and spit in your face (literally) when you ask them if they'd like to sign a petition so that people who want to vote for a candidate who opposes the occupation of Iraq and the Patriot Act will have that right.

2. In neighborhoods that were poorer, more working class and more multi-racial, petitioners got a much better reception. Same goes for younger voters. And in the working class areas, even those who did not want to sign the petitions tended to be more respectful and support our right to speak our minds..

The Democrats will no doubt keep Nader/Camejo off the ballot in some states, using the Florida tactics pioneered by Jeb Bush in 2000. Before those progressives who oppose Nader's campaign get too giddy about their new found friends in the VIP boxes of the Democratic Convention, they ought to consider who they are really muzzling.

Nader is famous enough so that his voice will be heard in the media. The thousands of young and Black and Latino and working class voters who signed Nader's petitions in California are not so fortunate. Their voices will be silenced if Nader is not on the ballot.

They will not have the opportunity to vote for a candidate who represents the issues that matter most to them: bringing the troops home, national health care, drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants, gay marriage, equal pay for women, raising taxes on the wealthy, and on and on. They will not have the right to vote for the first presidential candidate of Arab descent, nor the first Latino vice presidential canidate. Their civil rights are being trampled on by the Democrats in Oregon, Illinois, and California, just as their rights were assaulted by the Republicans in Florida.

Read more here!

More (not Moore) on the dying American democracy

The Democrats continue to hammer away at whatever little is left of democracy in the United Sates - the latest news is from Pennsylvania, where the state house leader, DeWeese, is preparing to "do everything in his power to knock Ralph Nader off the ballot in Pennsylvania."

The progressive deafening silence, on the whithering away of democracy, is explained away as the "anybody but Bush" (ABB) strategy - that would postpone direct challanges to the Democratic Party until after November 2nd.

But many of us have either lived under military rule, studied history, or done solidarity work with people who have lived in anti/non-democratic regimes. One lesson we have learned is that once we let our guard down, and allow a postponement of democracy (not only elections) it is a very difficult, and long battle to win it back. All kinds of imaginative excuses can be made up from ballot cards not ready, to the current ABB mentality of "this is an emergency, democracy is in danger - therefore, for the next three months, just ignore the idea of democracy - we'll look the other way, for now (they say)."

At the same time, it is interesting to note, that while many progressives have fallen asleep under the ABB spell - journalists writing for mainstream newspapers seem to be picking up the slack. This is one strange election year - but also one that is so very important - as we begin to seriously confront these issues.

John Grogan writes in the Phillidelphia Inquirer (excerpts)

Should we hijack Nader supporters on the way to the voting precinct and hold them hostage at a Waffle House until the polls close at 8 p.m.?

I'm not nearly so worried about the "Nader Effect" as I am about the "DeWeese Effect" - that cynical, partisan approach to democracy that believes it is perfectly fine to disenfranchise thousands of voters simply because they do not blindly accept the two-party oligarchy.

Remember democracy? That quaint notion of popular elections and representative government and one person, one vote? Perhaps DeWeese & Co. could use a refresher course

Elections are about choice, not about stifling choice.

Run, Ralph, run. And may the best man win. Read more here



Muslims organizations to endorse Bush? Again?!

This article on wealthy Muslims' endorsement of Bush is worth a mention - if only to reveal corrupting influences:

MWU!: What kind of reaction are you getting from Muslims so far? Isn’t it an uphill battle?

Muhammad Ali Hasan: Muslims don’t know the full story and it takes a website like ours that shows all the points to make people rethink their positions. Not every Muslim has the best information at hand right now. [Former CIA Director] George Tenet has been providing us with our information.

And MWU! does a quick search of their own to find that the family behind this endorsement has given over a $100,000 to the Republican campaigen!
a quick search of just the direct contributions to Bush and the Republican National Committee in the 2004 campaign cycle by Hasan family members in Colorado yields over $100,000—this doesn’t count other soft money and funds solicited from others...

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

A convention of the rich, for the rich, and financed by the rich

Do we really like what America has become? Do we really want either of the two corporate rich men's party? Throw both these con men out - this November 2nd vote for real change - votenader.com!

Ralph Nader on the Democratic Convention:

The people, voters, taxpayers, workers were detained in a "free speech zone' (catch the irony) that looked like an ad hoc concentration camp. The intimidating zone was distant enough not to be convenient to the electronic media placements. In a phrase, the Democratic Party did what it does so regularly in Washington it shut out the people who resigned themselves to social justice gatherings elsewhere in Boston.

But the "people' should have been smarter. They should have had contrasting parties held by dispossessed workers, defrauded consumers, medical malpractice victims, fleeced taxpayers, small farmers, and polluted communities with open invitations for the politicians to attend. The media like contrasts, especially when very few of these congressional delegates would have left their lavish business bashes to greet the Americans they court and flatter only at election time from distant stages and 30-second television ads. Read more here

Democratic Party: No More Democracy

After 9/11/01, progressives agreed on one thing: destroying our civil rights would mean a victory for the terrorists. And, based on this understanding, we opposed any act that would undermine the US constitution - and so we stood against the Patriot Act. (John Kerry, and John Edwards, did not join us in this opposition).

The same fearmongering that gave us the Patriot Act, the war on Afghanistan, the war on Iraq - is now threathening the very basis of our democracy: choice. But this time we cannot blame the Republicans - this time it is the Democrats who are indulging in this very dangerous act of fearmongering.

Yes, the Republicans stole the elections in 2000, denying tens of thousands of African Americans the right to vote in Florida, denying a re-count, and a Supreme Court that ruled in a partisan manner - and not for justice. But now the Democrats are playing a similar game: denying Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo the right to be on the ballot.

The Democrats are busy creating new rules, filing lawsuits, spreading rumors and lies - all in the name of fear Bush. This too must be opposed - one wonders where is Michael Moore's righteous voice this time? Are we to only hold Republicans accountable? But when the Democrats destroy democracy, we remain silent? This is not only a sad state of affairs - it is very dangerous for our country, for our democracy. To give up our democracy for some imagined short term gains - means a victory for not only Bush and the neo-cons, but also for those who perpetuated the crimes on 9/11/01.

Greg Bates, says it well in his article on "Who Fears Nader?"

Senator John Kerry wants the presidency so badly that he is closing down democracy to get it.Policy positions merit serious scrutiny, but when the party of the working person, the party that claims to have a vision to heal the divide between what Sen. John Edwards calls the "two Americas," turns its back on voters' right to choose whom they elect, no American should let that stand

Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe has admitted approving efforts to block Ralph Nader from appearing on the ballot in 19 battleground states. From using state employees in Illinois to question petition signatures, to hiring corporate law firms to mount frivolous challenges to Nader's ballot efforts, the Democratic Party and John Kerry, who does nothing to stop these tactics, have made it very clear: no more democracy. Read more here


Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Nader/Camejo full steam ahead!

While the nay sayers continue to indulge in all kinds of delusions of glory under the two war parties - the Nader/Camejo campaigen continues to gather signatures and secure a place on the ballot. Democracy Now! and more democracy now!


The Independent Presidential Campaign of Ralph Nader submitted signatures today in Massachusetts. The Nader/Camejo Campaign submitted well over the 10,000 valid signatures required by Massachusetts. The signatures were submitted to more than 200 townships across the state. Nader has met the deadlines of Arkansas, Maryland, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and West Virginia in the last week. The Nader/Camejo Campaign has filed signatures in fourteen states. In addition, the Reform Party includes the potential for seven state ballot lines.

“Now that the ballot access phase of this independent campaign will soon be behind us, I am looking forward to debating issues of concern to the American people with President Bush and Senator Kerry,” said Nader.

Anti-War Party scores victory in England!

After a string of strong showings, 23 year old Oliur Rehman, won the first victory for the anti-war party Respect - The Unity Coalition, in The London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

Tower Hamlets is a multi-ethnic borough, with some 48% from "minority" backgrounds, and 34% from Bangladeshi background.

Mr Rahman, a civil servant, said: "People don't see Labour any more as a working-class party that represents them." He said anger with the war was just one of several issues in the by-election. Read more here
Mr Rahman's win will be widely seen as a post-Iraq backlash against Labour in a large Bangladeshi Muslim community Read more here

Voting your hopes and dreams, and not your fears brings results! This November for yourself, for your working family, for America, for the planet votenader.com


Monday, August 02, 2004

Who is John Kerry?! Part IV

"I got to say this and I’ve said this to everybody here who's been asking me about the war. One thing I do know about Kerry, he will not invade a country like George W. Bush did. (applause) "- Michael Moore, July 27th, 2004.

John Kerry, July 22nd, 2004:

Not in the least. I think we have to be in
Iraq. What have I flipped on? I just think we ought
to do it right!
John Kerry, interviewed on ABC's This week 2/22/98

Kerry: I think that there is a disconnect between the depth of the threat that Saddam Hussen represents to the world and what we are at the moment talking about doing...

we have to be prepared to go the full distance to do everythng possible to disrupt his regime and to encourage the forces of democracy

Q: does that mean ground troops in iraq?

Kerry: I’m personally prepared, if that what it meant ... and we will not eliminate the problem for ourselves or for the rest of the world with a bombing attack

Senator Kerry, you are way ahead of the commander in chief (Clinton) in this regard

K: I am way ahead of the commander in chief (Clinton), and am probably way ahead of my collegues, and certainly much of the country but I believe this.
When Kerry voted for the war on Iraq he did what he believed in - no, it was not a "mistake" - he finally found a cause he believed in!

Michael, it's about time you stopped treating Kerry with kids gloves - Republicans or Democrats, Bush or Kerry - they deserve the same intense focus - This is about our future, not about protecting one wing of the duopoly from the other.

While Michael is out and about campaigening for war president canidate Kerry - and much of the progressive anti-war movement have become quiet, or are attacking their friends in the Nader/Camejo campaigen - the Republicans have come up with a very interesting video that is worth watching (look for the Kerry Iraq Documentary).

The video details Kerry's record on the Iraq war, in his own words.

Thank you hyphenatedrepublic for the tip!

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Sincere Politician: Barbara Lee

On September 14th, 2001, congress passed a joint resolution giving Bush a blank check to attack whomsoever he thought was responsible for the 9-11 attacks.

... the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001...

This resolution, giving Bush a blank check, would have passed unanimously - were it not for one honorable exception: Barbara Lee - she gives her reasons for opposing this resolution here:

... I could not ignore that it provided explicit authority, under the War Powers Resolution and the Constitution, to go to war. It was a blank check to the president to attack anyone involved in the Sept. 11 events -- anywhere, in any country, without regard to our nation's long- term foreign policy, economic and national security interests, and without time limit.

In granting these overly broad powers, the Congress failed its responsibility to understand the dimensions of its declaration. I could not support such a grant of war-making authority to the president; I believe it would put more innocent lives at risk.

Barbara Lee's spoke for not only herself, but also for millions of Americans who opposed more killings, and wars - who undersstood the Gandhian idea of "an eye for an eye makes the whole world go blind!"

Barbara Lee Speaks for Me
became an important rallying cry around which the anti-war movement gained momentum.

Now let's turn our attention to campaigen financing, who gave to Barbara Lee? Perhaps there are some clues here to her progressive politics?

A quick search of the web reveals her donors for the 2004 campaigen. As can be seen, her largest donors are labor unions ($102,500) - major union donors, by name, can be seen here.

All of the unions listed are community based organizations, and they do important work not only for their members, but also for all working families.

Example: The International Longshore Workers Union ($7000) has a long history of being involved in peace movements, and Service Employees International Union has been active in advocating for health care for all.

(It is, of-course, very unfortunate that even though most labor unions have been loyal to the Democratic Party, the corporate financing of most canidates far outweigh any influence labor unions might have. Barbara Lee is an exception.)

Barabara Lee's second important source of financing comes from Finance/Insurance/Real Estate - ($69,885). But let's take a closer to look at her major contributers in this sector: Credit Unions are at the top of the list with $10,750 - But Credit Unions are not the same as a bank, and although some have gone in that direction - their philosophy is worth a look:

"credit unions were "not for profit, not for charity, but for service," and that philosophy holds true today."
Then there is Access Strategies Fund

The Access Strategies Fund helps disenfranchised communities in Massachusetts harness their collective power to access and use the democratic process to improve their lives.

The law firm of Kazan, Mclain

We built our reputation on asbestos litigation, representing people diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and other asbestos-related diseases.

and another major donor is the National Association of Social Workers

The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty.

Contrast Barbara Lee's donors with those of the new corporate star Barak Obama, and the Republican financed highest ranking Democrat Tom Daschle. These very basic analyses helps us view, in stark terms, just how far the Corporate Democrats have drifted from working families.

A Sincere Politician, Barbara Lee, is an honorable exception to this trend! Viva Barbara Lee!