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 21, 2004

Shame! Democrats, Shame!


Stop Asking










Over the past few months, perhaps even over the past year - some progressives, and especially Democrats have been campaigening to keep Ralph Nader off the ballot.

Along with the obvious anti-choice, and anti-democracy implications of such calls and moves, there is another important ramification: attempting to keep Nader/Camejo off the ballots is, in effect, a way of keeping the war on Iraq a non-issue this election year.


Is this what the progressives allied with the Democratic Party really want? If not, it is about time they broke their terribly harmful silence - and joined with the Nader/Camejo campaign in stridently opposing such efforts that are undermining the very basis of American democracy.

Forrest Hill writes in a new article on Greens For Nader:

Ralph Nader's efforts to get his name on state ballots are being hindered by Democrats who have mounted an extensive campaign to keep him from becoming a factor in this year's election.

Relying on an atmosphere of fear, Democratic operatives, aided by a group of lawyers calling themselves the Ballot Project Inc., have initiated mini intimidation campaigns to stop Nader.

The question is why are so many people who claim to favor the bill of rights and free elections openly participating in this totalitarian effort to deny fellow citizens the right to vote their conscience?

...The spoiler accusation has especially had a profound effect on progressives, many of whom have simply abandoned their political values and become willing participants in the struggle to limit voter choice.

Such capitulation by "former" progressives has emboldened the Democrats to carry out a host of unscrupulous tactics, including:

Spoiling ballot access conventions in Oregon by packing the convention center with Democrats who then refused to sign the petitions.

Hiring corporate law firms to scrutinize ballot access efforts and discard signatures on frivolous and technical grounds in states such as Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and New Hampshire.

Hiring a contractor to check the validity of Nader signatures who outsourced the work to India.

Sending threatening letters to volunteer petition gatherers, telling them they could be jailed and fined if they submitted fraudulent signatures.

Using state employees, contractors and interns in Illinois to review and challenge signatures on Nader-Camejo ballot access petitions.

This is the current state of American democracy, do we really want it to keep going in this direction?

I hope the answer is No, and that people of conscience are are not going to remain silent!




Monkeywrench Hope

Excellent Q&A between Frank and St. Clair...

Clair on the Greens:

JSC: Yes, it goes much deeper than just hypocrisy. It involves big money, an obscene craving for political access, ego enlargement and a kind of political paternalism that I (and many others) find revolting. I don't think the environment will play that much of a factor in the election. Nobody listens to environmentalists anymore, except their own captive members. That's my point. The Big Greens have marginalized the environmental movement through their blatant partisanship. The environment isn't an election issue any more, because there's no viable green candidate -- a fact that is apparent to the average teenager in Lincoln, Nebraska. Essentially, Fahn and the others play the role of cattle drivers, keeping their own herd in line, lest it stampede over into Nader's greener pastures. Yes, the Club has 700,000 members. But these aren't activists. The Club doesn't want activists, indeed they run them out of the organization. Activists have an unwelcome tendency to think and act for themselves. They aren't great at following marching orders, especially when it means marching over a cliff.

JF: Speaking of "no viable green candidate," David Cobb, the Green Party Presidential candidate, is currently polling at 0%. If that is even possible. His support apparently isn't even a blip on the electoral radar screen. What do you think the ramifications will be for the Greens who, like the Sierra Club, were founded on radical environmental ideals, but have apparently sidelined any radical tendencies, and opted to run a "smart-state" campaign which basically endorses John Kerry for president?

JSC: I think the Greens are kaput, a kind of group political suicide on the order of Jonestown or that strange cult in Rancho Santa Fe who neutered themselves, donned their black sweat suits and Nikes, & poisoned themselves while waiting for the Hale-Bopp Comet. David Cobb is either Jim Jones or Hale-Bopp. Take your pick. A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, the founding purpose of the Green party was to be a party of resistance. It was never about party building, or getting school board candidates elected, or anything but being a monkeywrench against a corrupt political system. Once the Greens decided to play nice, they ceased to exist as a force of opposition. Why be a Green when you can be a Dem? Why be a Dem when you can be a Republican? The only choice now is not to vote. Staying home on Election Day under these circumstances isn't apathy or laziness or political mopery (as much as I admire all of those things) but an act of supreme resistance, particularly against those hysterical Dems who yelp that this is the most important election of our lifetime. Bunk.

JF: Would you say that Ralph Nader is playing nice this election season? Is there reason to stay home with him in the race? Or is he just playing by the rules, much like the Greens, unwilling to monkeywrench against the political system?

JSC: I think Ralph played coy for too long. Then he was baited into running by the very smear artists who spent three years mugging him. They really underestimated what Ralph is made of -- which just shows that they are as stupid as they are politically corrupt. He wasn't going to stand by and allow a bunch of political thugs and liars to besmirch his character. Then he was betrayed by his own political progenies, including the Green Party, which he almost single-handedly built into a national force. Ralph is a lawyer and a good one. He lives by rules and plays by them. He's not a monkeywrencher or revolutionary or even a radical. He believes in ethical government, despite all the odds. If Nader makes the Oregon ballot -- a long shot given the slimy tactics used against him by Democrats and some Greens -- I will happily vote for him. I take Foucault seriously. Politics is really about power. The only power the Left (loosely speaking) enjoys these days is the power of negation. We can't elect Nader or Camejo or Jackson. But we can defeat bad Democrats, like Gore and Kerry. Until the Democrats bend in our direction or a new political party rises to challenge them. And it doesn't take much, other then courage, to make this happen -- an all out anti-war & anti-free trade campaign waged in Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Oregon, New Hampshire, Maine and New Mexico. Those are the states that matter. Those are the states that will force the power elite to deal with the Left. Until that happens, the Democratic Party will continue to move to the right, outpacing the Repubs on several issues...

Read Full Interview

Democracy? Yeah, right

Democracy? Yeah, right
Scott Frank - August 21, 2004

An alarming series of legal and extra legal moves, and contemptible character and personal slurs have been made to deny Nader, and the minority of voters he represents, a place on the November ballot. Usually reasonable folk, under the control of Democratic party mind management, are convinced that Nader could mean defeat for the wealthy candidate their controllers have selected, to replace the wealthy incumbent of the other controllers of our anti-democratic political system.

Questions about Nader’s ego, sanity, motivations, bankroll, wardrobe and dining habits have been flung into the political marketplace in order to denigrate his character and deny his potential to take votes which, ostensibly, belong to the benevolent protectors of our rights. They are so lacking in any purpose other than not being the other candidate that he is seen as causing them to lose by the very fact of being allowed into the presidential race.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent in the dirtiest campaign to thwart the democratic rights of the people, at least the dirtiest since Nader’s last run in 2000. Then, he was denied a place in the debates, for fear that he would take votes from the corporate candidates. His pro-democracy, anti-corporate, pro-peace argument, and his intellectual superiority over the Republican intellectual wafer and the Democratic moral marshmallow who represented wealth that time, could have spelled disaster for the status quo.

This abomination of democracy was hardly noticed, while the later, and completely legal, victory of the minority vote wafer, was treated as some historic denial of the people’s rights. This double standard is consistent with our dualistic code of judeo-christian morality, which is at the root of our problems as a society. This code has a scriptural basis for indoctrinating schizophrenic acceptance of contradictions. It teaches us to welcome the stranger, unless we need to kill the stranger, and to love our neighbor, unless we need to hate our neighbor. Is it any wonder that we operate with the same tortured logic and morals in our politics?

2004 will only offer voters a choice between the same wafer, and a new marshmallow, both designed to keep a majority from even thinking about voting. While a passionate minority sees the need to get rid of Bush, an equally passionate minority sees the need to keep him. Polls taken about every fifteen minutes forecast everything from a landslide for one or the other, to a close race that may again be decided by a court. But one thing is certain. As long as anti-democratic forces rule, a majority of the American people will again be denied a real choice. More important, a minority of citizens who want to vote for Nader will be told, in no uncertain terms; you don't count and you don’t matter, unless you vote as we want you to, because we know better than you.

This behavior, exercised by the right wing and towards a more politically correct minority, would be treated with shock and indignation. Perhaps the growing number of critics and nonvoters who want real change will learn an important lesson about the need for a new, radical political party, and no longer tolerate these cosmetic beauty contests between two disfigured parties of the rich, with one ugly, imperial agenda .

Those who support the Democrat's exclusion of Nader from the ballot, and the disenfranchising of his voters , are no better than those who support the disenfranchisement of ex-prisoners, poor people or any other minority . Voting “rights” are meaningless if only those who vote “right”, according to the dictates of their elitist masters, have the “right” to vote. Being told who we may vote for is democracy, the way being told who we may have sex with is love. It is a form of political rape, in theory and practice.

Read Full Article

Friday, August 20, 2004

Bad News for Democrats

The Democrats have used every trick in the Nixon play-book to harass Ralph Nader, Peter Camejo and his staff & volunteers.

Here is the latest:
From cpr.org and votenader.org

Washington, DC : The Independent Presidential Campaign of Ralph Nader and Peter Miguel Camejo notes that a report by the Center for Responsive Politics provides reliable data that, among the Nader donors surveyed, Republican donors who are funding George W. Bush are giving more money to the Democrats than to the Nader/Camejo Campaign.

The Center for Responsive Politics found only 4% of Nader's funding came from donors who had also given to Republicans. This compares to 25% of Nader's votes in 2000 coming from registered Republicans. These same Republican donors gave more money to Democrats ($66,000), than to Nader ($54,000). See www.crp.org

The Nader/Camejo Campaign makes the following additional points:
In addition to one-quarter of Nader's voters in 2000 being registered Republicans, Nader has worked with individual Republicans throughout the course of his career. One donor mentioned by the Center, Jeno Paulucci, the Florida frozen pizza roll magnate, worked with Nader on public interest issues regarding the Mesabi Iron Range, in Minnesota. Other Republicans in this category include Robert Monks (corporate governance) and Ben Stein (investors' rights).
Not only is the 4% of donations a tiny portion of Nader's support, it comes from people who agree with him on the issues and want him to get his message out to the public.
Kevin Zeese, Nader's campaign spokesman, went further to say:
Zeese said some Republicans who have contributed to Nader are the candidate's former classmates and colleagues. Others are Muslim Americans who agree with Nader's views about ending the American occupation in Iraq but agree with Bush’s conservative family values, he said. (full article)

A brief list of the Democrats recent misdeeds: (we need a blog on this topic alone)
Compiled by the Socialist Worker...

--In Oregon, Nader tried to qualify for the ballot under a state law allowing candidates to hold a meeting of 1,000 or more voters, who would sign petitions for Nader. Groups of Democrats infiltrated the convention--in order to prevent real Nader supporters from getting in to sign petitions. The convention fell 50 signatures short of the 1,000 needed to get Nader on the Oregon ballot--meaning that the Nader campaign will have to gather 15,000 signatures statewide.

-- Democratic Lawyers Send Letters to Nader Oregon Petitioners Threatening Incarceration and $100,000 Fines.

--In Arizona, the Nader campaign was forced to withdraw its bid to get on the ballot after Democrats filed a lawsuit in June to invalidate Nader’s petitions. The substance of the Democrats’ complaint? Some of the more than 22,000 signatures submitted to state authorities had been gathered by convicted felons, a violation of the state’s undemocratic ballot laws. Here, too, Nader was left just short of the number of signatures needed to qualify. But his campaign lacked the money to challenge the lawsuit in court. "They litigated us out of the race," Nader spokesman Kevin Zeese told CNN.

--In Michigan, the Democratic Party allegedly hired a contractor to check the validity of Nader signatures--and the contractor outsourced the work to India. (I think Flint, Michigan could have used these jobs paid for by Kerry donors...)

--In South Carolina--a state where Kerry has little chance of winning, Democrats appealed for volunteers to challenge Nader’s ballot petitions--and groups of Democrats have begun trying to strike enough signatures to get him booted from the ballot.

-- Illinois is the dirtiest thus far: Ralph Nader has to submit 25,000 valid signatures of registered voters--five times the requirement for the Democrats and Republicans. In June, the campaign submitted 33,000 signatures--usually more than enough to qualify. But then the state’s Democratic Party machine got to work.

The Nader campaign recently discovered that many of the "volunteers" sitting in for the Democrats to challenge signatures in June and July include full-time state employees, part-time state contractors and interns. The Illinois Leader , which examined the sign-in sheets for the Cook County Clerk’s Office and the Chicago Board of Elections during the weeks of the Nader petition challenge, found the names of 20 employees of Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan’s office.

Nader fired back: "It is illegal for them to use state employees, on the taxpayers’ dime, to try to keep a candidate off the ballot."

---

Meanwhile... the Democrats have been draping the Republicans in fine silk:

This all-out effort against Nader stands in stark contrast to the way that state Democrats made sure that George W. Bush was on the ballot. The late date of this year's Republican Party convention meant that Bush would not be able to meet a state deadline requiring that the official nominee be named by August 30.
So Democrats, led by Gov. Rod Blagojevich, helped pass an amendment allowing an exception for Bush. It’s enough to make you wonder who the Democrats are really running harder against: Bush or Nader?
And it's the Democrats that are proposing conscription in 2005. See the Draft Squad.

If Democrats are in bed with the GOP. It's not worth scrutinizing the 2 with a microscope...

I'm voting Nader/Camejo...and if dirty tricks keep them off my ballot... I'll write them in...



Exclusive: Israeli Nuclear Whistleblower - PART 2 / Plus - Iraqi-American Doctor Faces Life in Prison for Violating Iraq Sanctions.

- Click here for Part 1 -

Hear the conclusion of our conversation with Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu who defied Israeli government restrictions to speak to us. He discusses his views on Ariel Sharon, the Israeli-Palestinian situation, and his feelings on suicide bombings.. - Part 2 -

New at Democracy Now!

Doctor Faces Life Imprisonment for Violating Iraq Sanctions
An Iraqi-American doctor faces life in prison for violating economic sanctions against Iraq. He has spent the last year and a half in prison awaiting trial and has been denied bail six times. He is believed to the only U.S. citizen ever to be held in prison for violating the sanctions. We speak with his friend and a community activist as well as Voices in the Wilderness founder Kathy Kelly.

- Watch 256k stream or audio -




My Turn: Things beyond explanation

My Turn: Things beyond explanation
By JAMISON PAUL

The older I get, the less I seem to know. This being an election year, that small amount seems to be under siege from all sides.

Now, I'm distinguishing what I "know" from those things taken on faith: I believe in the divine, that we're here for a reason, and that this reason is all-inclusive. I don't believe you're going to go to hell if you're a Democrat, or a Muslim, or an atheist. I wouldn't presume to know the exact nature of the divine, so I guess you might call me an agnostic, but I'd like to think it transcends the morass of lies and corruption we know of as politics.

The list of what I don't understand is large, however, and it includes the following:

1. "Environmentalists" who pollute. I guess it's a good thing that the Greenpeace people can ride around in their big diesel boats, like the one that got caught dumping oily bilge water several years ago, and yes, I occasionally get their nice, laminated calendars. They didn't do those seal hunters any favors, though. Don't get me wrong, I think there needs to be an environmentalist movement, because industry has proven itself unwilling to self-regulate. I disagree with the Bush administration's dismantling of a generation of environmental safeguards, but I think if organizations like Greenpeace want to be effective, they need to propose alternatives that work for the people on the ground, as it were, rather than to bash people's livelihoods, exposing them to a moment of unfavorable press, and move on.

2. Pro-life Christians who support President Bush and his wars. What happened to Thou Shalt Not Kill? I believe the Christian church has sullied itself in its association with the right-wing and should be stripped of its tax-exempt status if it's going to be an advocate in party politics. Bush isn't doing you guys any favors, nor is your Old Testament eye-for-an-eye rhetoric; it makes me think more of the Inquisition than of the prince of peace telling you to love your enemies and turn the other cheek.

It's the evil of two lessers: John Kerry is no better than George Bush, though he may seem a little smarter. Both understand one thing very well, however: It's all about the money. Our civilization has reached the point where it has no higher goal to offer than the acquisition of wealth, which is where the above two institutions fail so miserably.

Here's what I know: Most people I've met in my life are a lot smarter than the stereotypes painted with broad brush strokes by a corporate-owned media and political system, and we still have the vote. Why not pack our bags and move to Washington with Ralph Nader?

Thursday, August 19, 2004

A rallying cry to retreat is not a strategy!

cloud

At a packed theater in Berkeley, California, Arundhati Roy - said that the election situation in the United States is different than in India: here, in the US - there is not even a pretense of a difference - and Kerry and Bush are like two brands of detergents , both owned by Proctor and Gamble. Roy was careful about saying "i don't want to tell you what to do" - but that our (people who make up social movements) focus, our actions, must be that of an opposition. I will write more about this talk a bit more in detail later this evening, but it was very heartening to hear about a strategy for social change that did not call for a retreat.


M. Junaid Alam, a 21, year old co-editor of radical youth journal Left Hook has written an important article regarding the continuing Anybody But Bush (ABB) situation. The article is addressed to "radicals" but, I think it applies to everyone of us - and I would replace the word "radical" here with all peoples of conscience. Below are some excerpts, the complete article is available here:

To pretend that Kerry operates outside this ruling-class consensus is patently absurd. He helped lead the nation into war with Iraq in his capacity as senator by voting to authorize Bush with war powers and has declared ex-post facto support for the war even absent its original pretexts. The liberal-led stampede to elect Kerry is undoubtedly one of the greatest self-deceptions of all time; so obsessed with the superficial quirks of the Bush persona, it will gladly vote the Bush war agenda into power so long as it is administered by some other—any other—individual.
Given this state of affairs, it is unconscionable for radicals to provide cover fire for the massive liberal deception campaign that is Anybody But Bushism. More than half of all Americans oppose the war in Iraq. Almost the entire world—and especially the Arab world—stands against the occupation. Young American men and women are being forced into virtual military slavery with endless extensions on their tours of duty, fighting in the hundreds of thousands, killing in the tens of thousands, becoming maimed in the thousands, and dying in the hundreds. And we are to support this madness by backing a more “efficient,” more “eloquent” proponent of war?
...replacing one warmonger-in-chief with another does not constitute a “defeat” for a “warmonger government.” Since Kerry has explicitly made clear that he would not have changed his vote to authorize the war against Iraq even in retrospect, and will merely work to recruit more U.S. allies to assist in “stabilizing” Iraq, there is absolutely no basis whatsoever for any thinking person to magically conclude that Iraqi civilians will receive any respite from a Kerry administration.

There have been suggestions that Kerry was trapped into making the statement about not changing his vote for the war. But this is not the first time he has made such a statement, in a previous blog, i pointed out that he wanted to invade Iraq as far back as 1998!

We have one vote - just one vote - are we to waste it on either of the two pro-warrior candidate? Thankfully there is an alternative - this November, for your family, for your community, for America, for the planet - vote for peace: votenader.com

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Exclusive: Israeli Nuclear Whistleblower



Exclusive: Israeli Nuclear Whistleblower
Speaks to Democracy Now!
in First Nat'l U.S. Interview

Watch 256k Stream

Risking prison again, nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu defies Israeli government restrictions and speaks for the first time to a national audience in this country.

Mordechai Vanunu worked as a nuclear technician at Dimona, Israel's secret nuclear installation from 1976 to 1985. He worked there at a time when Israel was insisting it would not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons to the Middle East. What Vanunu discovered is that Israel had secretly developed an extensive nuclear program, hiding its existence from the Israeli people and parliament, and the world.

Vanunu leaked information and photos of Israel's nuclear weapons program to the Sunday Times in London. He was subsequently kidnapped by Israeli spy agency Mossad in Italy and then jailed. He would go on to spend 18 years behind bars including 11 in solitary confinement.

He was released on April 21 under strict government restrictions.

Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman reached Vanunu on his cell phone in East Jerusalem where he has been staying since his release in April. He defied the Israeli government's restriction on speaking with foreigners to talk with us.

Watch Interview

Policy paper: Agribusiness in your food

The Nader - Camejo campaigen has released a major new policy paper on agribusiness, and its impact on the food that Americans eat. The issue of large corporations attempting to exert control of the food supply is not new - and has been addressed by activists such as Vandana Shiva, and groups such as Reclaim the commons.

Vandana Shiva discloses:


in a patent (EP 518577) filed in 1998 Unilever and Monsanto have claimed "invention" of an exclusive claims to the use of flour to make traditional kinds of Indian bread such as "chapattis".

Through these global patents based on biopiracy, Monsanto is literally seeking to control our daily bread. The wheat variety which has been pirated from India, has been recorded as NapHal in the gene banks from which Monsanto got the wheat and in Monsanto's patent claims.

The company is able to restrict not only the farming and processing of crops, but also trade in them, in the countries for which the patent has been granted. At the same time it can block the free exchange of the seed, thus preventing other growers and farmers from working with the patented seeds.

And in a May 22nd article the Star Tribune (Minneapolis, USA) points out that:


a new report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization makes clear, GM crops have thus far delivered negligible benefits to the world's poor, while enriching the creators and their agribusiness clients in rich nations. There is little ndication that these trends will change

The Nader/Camejo campaigen highlights the findings of the Agribusiness Accountalbity Initiative's report: USDA Inc.: How Agribusiness has hijacked regulatory policy at the US Department of Agriculture

It is a prime example of how Washington, DC has become corporate-controlled territory. The Department of Agriculture epitomizes this big-business takeover of government.

For example:

Current USDA Secretary Ann Veneman previously served on the board of biotech company Calgene (later taken over by Monsanto)

USDA Deputy Secretary James Moseley was a co-owner of a large factory farm in Indiana, Infinity Pork LLC

Deputy Under Secretary Floyd Gaibler, was the executive director of the dairy industry-funded National Cheese Institute

Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations Mary Waters was a senior director and legislative counsel for ConAgra Foods, one of the country’s largest food processors.


The issues considered are far more comprehensive than simply identifying the corporate corruptions - there is a very important recognition of small , and independent farmers - that have, very unfortunately, become a dying breed in America.

"The voices of consumers, environmentalists, and family farmers are shut out," said Nader. "As a result of this agribusiness takeover, the short-term profits of a few economically powerful companies come before protection of the environment and the family farm, production of healthy food, and the interests of consumers."

These are concerns that have not even registered on the Kerry/Bush radar screen - and deserve to be considered together with all of the other important issues that we've identified here at Muslims for Nader/Camejo!

Kill the Circular Firing Squad

Kerry, Nader and the Greens Need to Kill the Circular Firing Squad
by Harvey Wasserman & Bob Fitrakis - August 16, 2004 by CommonDreams.org -

Ralph has every right to run for president. Fighting to keep him off the ballot presumes the way to save democracy is to suppress it. It also presumes those who ultimately choose to vote for him are some sort of inanimate stolen property, wrongfully taken from the Democrats if only Ralph hadn't somehow brainwashed them into voting for him.

Please!!!

You can regret voting for Nader in 2000. But he was not responsible for the Democrats' miserable campaign. Among other things, Nader should have been included in the presidential debates. Instead he was physically ejected from the first Gore-Bush debate, which Gore proceeded to lose.

The Democrats won the popular vote by 500,000 votes, but sat on their hands and kept their mouths wide shut while the Republicans stole the presidency. Gore's catastrophic mis-handling of the Florida debacle and his silence after it were catastrophic, and ran directly counter to the kinds of campaigns Nader has run--- successfully---since 1963.
Read the entire article

Monday, August 16, 2004

California News

redwood sea

After a valiant four week effort, California collected a little over a 100,000 signatures. Considering the odds, and a major effort by the Democratic Party against the Nader/Camejo campaigen, this is an accomplishment that everyone involved should be proud of! An earlier blog on the challenges we faced in California is here

A few days ago, the San Francisco Bay Area volunteers met with Peter Camejo, and discussed the next stage of our campaigen. While many might prefer we "just go away" - the movement for democracy, more democracy, is here to stay - in California, and all over the United States. We will be working on an enthusiastic write-in campaigen - with hundreds of volunteers keeping the issues alive.

Peter pointed out the inconsistencies of many of the "anybuddy but bush" folks, who do not at all agree with Kerry, yet will vote for him. Indeed, Kerry's statement that he would still vote for the war (even after all the revelations about the Bush lies) - suggests that he is not even a Bush lite!

So, then why exactly are many of these fine progressives and liberals clamoring for a vote for Kerry?! I don't think Peter, or anyone quite has the answers - but perhaps fear is one important motivating factor. But no social movement can possibly hope to succeed if the "leaders" themselves are so full of fear.

Many of the volunteers talked about their experiences, and we were in general agreement that there was a great deal more receptivity to the Nader/Camejo campaigen in more working class neighbourhoods, and amongst people of color - than in the usual liberal spots. But the question comes up, why is the Democratic Party, supposedly a party that represents this constituency, not taking advantage of this disaffection?

The answer lies in the corporate domination of the party structure that does not allow it to raise issues important to working families anymore. Both parties have similar interests, and, it is for this reason Kerry is after the same voters that Bush is.... neither will go after the 50%+ of the population who don't even bother voting anymore (this is why the Democratic Party candidate has to be very similar to the Republican ).

Peter also discussed issues with the Green Party, and the necessity for the party to be a real independent progressive party that will not be afraid to take on the duopoly. Unfortunately, the leadership appears to have bowed to pressures from the Democratic Party - and is, this year, running a campaigen that is not even on the radar screen of most people outside of the usual Green circles. Hardly a recepie for growth, more like one for stunting the party at a very crucile period.

Gayle Mclaughlin, a Green candidate running for the Richmond city council - also attended the meeting, and expressed her support for the Nader/Camejo campaigen.

There is already a great deal of discussion and debate taking place on the future course of the Green Party, and it is expected that this will continue throughout the next few months, and beyond.

The volunteers who came to the meeting were enthusiastic, interested, and energitic - ready to get into the next phase of this challenging, and very important campaigen. And, we expect to continue our work beyond this election year - regardless of who gets into the white house.

GNN Video Archive:

Ralph Nader: Countdown Video -
Cynthia McKinney: Live in Brooklyn Video -
Closer: The Fall of Baghdad -
Crack the CIA


Pepsi or Coke?

To read the entire article click here:

Pepsi or Coke? - Nader is a healthier choice
by Ahmed Amr

(Monday 16 August 2004)

The “war president” now wants to be a “peace president”. In the other corner of the ring, Kerry is pumping himself up to be the “war monger president”. He will opt for a war of choice whenever he feels the urge – regardless of whether the designated enemy poses any kind of threat to the United States.
Once again we are left with a Coke or Pepsi decision. Choose your poison and get the battle stations ready for four more years of ‘shock and awe’.
The only real problem American voters seem to have with Ralph Nader is that he thinks Coke and Pepsi are bad for the nation’s health. He would rather we drink from a river of peace. But Americans – always a free-spirited people – insist on the right to imbibe their beverage of choice. They are accustomed to voting for brand name political parties because their taste buds are programmed to crave that old familiar taste.
Amr goes on highlight Kerry's staunch neo-con support, groveling at the feet of Ariel Sharon, approval of Iraqi war with or without WMD's, as Kerry shows every promise of being 'Bush Heavy’ – not ‘Bush Lite’.

entire article


Victory In Venezuela



While the United States muddels along with a half hearted democracy, with barely half of the population showing up to vote - not too far south of the border - Venezula is celebrating a victory for Hugo Chavez. A record number of voters turned out with polls staying open till past midnight.


... everybody won: Finally, after years of struggle, Venezuela has emerged as an authentic participatory democracy without coups d'etat, violence, or the false democracy of a two-elites, two-party system ruling its body politic through simulation. The repercussions will travel far and wide, even to the United States presidential elections this coming November. Read more here

Tariq Ali quotes Hugo Chavez:

if I'm told that because of that reality you can't do anything to help the poor, the people who have made this country rich through their labour and never forget that some of it was slave labour, then I say 'We part company'. I will never accept that there can be no redistribution of wealth in society.

Try and make your revolution, go into combat, advance a little, even if it's only a millimetre, in the right direction, instead of dreaming about utopias.' more here

Chavez is, of-course, correct about moving in the right direction - but we must move in that direction... unfortunately, too often, there is a step backwards out of fear. The Venezulan victory was not only one of advancing little by little - it is also, much more importantly, about moving forward with hopes and dreams, and not retreating out of fear.

Action Alert Palestine/Israel

Ralph Nader's letter to the president of the ADL - outlining his position was met with hostility, particularly this Washington Post editorial

Please respond to this editorial by sending letters to

letters@washpost.com

Here is a letter sent by the Nader/Camejo campaigen
manager:

Mr. Wittes:
c: Fred Hiatt
Michael Getler

As you know, you misled readers by not fully quoting Ralph Nader in your editorial today in order to make your faulty comparison with a racist group possible. Below is the email I sent you with the full quotation, indeed the full speech. In your editorial you left out the punch line in order to make your faulty analogy work.

Your editorial said:

"The days when the chief Israeli puppeteer comes to the United States and meets with the puppet in the White House and then proceeds to Capitol Hill, where he meets with hundreds of other puppets, should be replaced. The Washington Puppet Show should be replaced."

However, as you are well aware, the quotation did not end with "replaced" and even though you failed to indicate that you cut out part of the paragraph you left out the punchline which said:

"The Washington Puppet Show should be replaced by the Washington Peace Show. And then we'll get more peace in the world, and we will reward all those taxpayer dollars and all those high energy prices that have been sacrificed because of the lack of steadfastness of our federal government under both parties to address that very resolvable conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians."

It would have at least been honest and more in context to end by including "The Washington Puppet Show should be replaced by the Washington Peace Show. . . ." But, indeed, the next sentence more fully explained Nader's position.

Therefore I am requesting an editorial correction AS SOON AS POSSIBLE so that this false description of Mr. Nader's position does not spread any more than it already has. The editorial correction should state that Mr. Nader's quotation was cut in mid-paragraph without indication of it being cut.

The correct, full quotation is:

"The days when the chief Israeli puppeteer comes to the United States and meets with the puppet in the White House and then proceeds to Capitol Hill, where he meets with hundreds of other puppets, should be replaced. The Washington Puppet Show should be replaced by the Washington Peace Show. And then we'll get more peace in the world, and we will reward all
those taxpayer dollars and all those high energy prices that have been sacrificed because of the lack of steadfastness of our federal government under both parties to address that very resolvable conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians."

Further, your editorial was unfair, to take a phrase out of context in order to compare Mr. Nader to a despised group. No doubt, I could take a phrase out of a pro-war editorial of the Post and compare it to a statement of Hitler -- but that would not be fair or ethical, neither was your editorial.

Finally, I found the adjective "breezy" to be a strange and inaccurate description of a three page single-spaced letter with ten pages of attachments (among them the Israeli Military
Refuseniks and a statement of over 400 Rabbiis) that Mr. Nader sent to Mr. Foxman -thorough,
all-encompassing, serious, inquisitive -- are all more accurate -- breezy?

Kevin Zeese