2007/08/10

Open letter to Rep Schwartz

Honorable Representative Allyson Schwartz,

First of all, let me say that I'm extremely pleased to see your name among the "Nays" on Congress' Roll Call Vote 836 on S.1927, the bill that allows unlimited warrantless surveillance of American citizens with no meaningful oversight whatsoever. We're essentially now in a pre-FISA era, with the government able to spy on us at its leisure.
The WaPo's Dan Froomkin tells us a very sad tale of Democrats trusting in a Bush official to be non-partisan, high-minded and disinterested (i.e., willing to act without regard to the Republican Party's self-interest). I'm aghast and astonished to see that Democrats were expecting any such thing from any Bush loyalist. Regardless of how Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell performed in his job prior to this vote, Democrats should have known that nobody serving under this President could be trusted a single inch. McConnell's spokesperson claims that McConnell's arm was not twisted and that there was no back-room pressure applied to make him cooperate with Bush to bamboozle the Democrats. I believe the spokesperson. I see McConnell as enthusiastically and joyfully participating in a long-arranged plan to put one over on the hapless Democrats.
Why was FISA gutted? The progressive blogger Digby points out that the "existential threat" that stampeded the Democrats into cooperating with Bush & McConnell doesn't come from abroad, but from right here at home:
"It's coming from within, from a governing class of both parties who are creating a national security apparatus that is going to end up squeezing the lifeblood of liberty right out of this country --- all in the name of keeping us safe."
The blog Crooks & Liars relates the extremely depressing tale of where America appears to be headed. A group of "non-stop transit" passengers who never had the slightest intention of setting foot outside the gates of the airport where they were transferring from one flight to another, go through hours and hours of annoying and humiliating "processing." All of the passengers left with the determination never to enter US territory ever again.
I've reproduced the email conversation I had with my fellow PRAWN members because I'd like for you to inform your fellow Democrats in the House how very badly this vote has hurt them. It also shows that no, it's not at all impossible for Democrats to be "outflanked on the left." There is the Green Party to consider. I never saw a single Democratic button or banner or sign at an anti-war demonstration until about six months prior to the 2004 election and I don't remember seeing very many at the last big protest either. Standing up for Constitutional rights shouldn't be a left vs center issue. It should, if anything, be a far-right vs everybody issue.

Herewith, the conversation:

From: Anne Ewing [Add to Address Book] Flag Message | Mark Unread
[This is spam]
To: Anne Ewing
Subject: Don't let Congress off the hook for letting Bush wiretap our phone calls
Date: Aug 7, 2007 8:06 PM

Hi,

The Democratic-controlled Congress did the unthinkable on Saturday night: They gave President Bush and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales more unchecked power to wiretap Americans without a warrant. Yes, that's the same Attorney General who is currently mired in scandal and probably committed perjury on this very issue.

Enough is enough. We have to send a strong message to Congress that there is no trade-off between fundamental liberties and security. Preserving our Constitution is essential to our security--we can't lead on freedom around the world when we're actively undermining the rule of law at home.

I signed onto this petition demanding that Congress reverse this capitulation to Bush and the politics of fear. (I also suggested that I would not want to vote for anyone who voted for this disgraceful legislation.) Can you join me? Just click here:


Thanks!
Anne



Anne Ewing

---
Ignore this email address. For some reason I need to use this mac.com account in RI, but don;t intend to use it otherwise, and I receive verizon.net just fine.

From: "John A. Murphy" [Add to Address Book] Flag Message | Mark Unread
[This is spam]
To: prawn@lists.riseup.net,
Subject: Re: [prawn] MoveOn Petition about Congressional capitulation
Date: Aug 8, 2007 8:54 PM
Attachments: Nader for pres 08.jpg

The trouble is that MoveOn is just a Democrat front organization looking for your name and e-mail address so they can put you on their mailing list of potential activists. They said absolutely nothing when the Democrat controlled Congress voted to continue the war and nothing when Pelosi said "impeachment is off the table".
The Democrats know that they don't have to pay any attention to anything that comes from MoveOn because MoveOn will ultimately support them. If you want to protest what the Democrats have done, call voter services in your county and ask them to send you a voter's registration form and then change your voter's registration from Democrat Party to Green Party. That will send them a message they understand, otherwise they will simply say to you "what are you going to do, vote for a Republican".
Vive La Résistance,
John A. Murphy
"To live as if our choices make any real difference in the long run may be the act of a fool, but to live as if they do not, that is the act of a coward."
— Albert Camus


From: Rich Flag Message | Mark Unread
To: "John A. Murphy", prawn@lists.riseup.net
Subject: Re: [prawn] MoveOn Petition about Congressional capitulation
Date: Aug 8, 2007 9:09 PM
Yeah, I notice that MoveOn pieces aren't often on this list serve, but I figured
this was an especially infuriating move by the Democrats.  I'm not really ready
to sign up for a third party quite yet.  I'd like to see some evidence that
it would accomplish more than trying to reform the Democrats. 
Rich



From: "John A. Murphy" [Add to Address Book] Flag Message | Mark Unread
[This is spam]
To: Rich, prawn@lists.riseup.net
Cc: Camden County Green Party
Subject: Re: [prawn] MoveOn Petition about Congressional capitulation
Date: Aug 8, 2007 10:21 PM
Attachments: Nader 2008.jpg Clear Day Bkgrd.jpg

What kind of evidence do you need Rich? People have been trying to reform the Democratic Party since 1972. Back in 1972 they actually listened to us. They gave us an antiwar candidate in the person of George McGovern. As soon as George McGovern got the nomination, every one of the Democratic Party's corporate donors jumped ship. The Democrats at that point should have said, "look at how much power the corporations have, let's pass legislation doing away with the concept of 'corporate personhood' and make sure that we pass legislation to publicly fund all federal elections". But that's not what the Democratic Party said. What the Democratic Party said is that it would no longer listen to its constituencies but it would do whatever its corporate sponsors wanted it to do. That's why we have no universal single-payer health care, no tuition free education and that's why the Democrats have backed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and to approve the Patriot Act and gave us Bill Clinton the most violent president in the 20th century who killed over one million innocent men, women and children in Iraq with bombs and sanctions.
If the Democratic Party simply had a problem with organization, it could be changed from within. The Democratic Party however is fatally flawed. Look what it has done to the labor movement, the women's movement, the civil rights movement and now the antiwar movement!
I'm sick to death of hearing "why don't the Democrats... if only the Democrats... if the Democrats were smart..." if I hear one more Democrats say "don't the Democrats see they could win by going a different way"; I'm going to puke.
Stop fearing what will happen if you give up on the Democrats. Your fear of what will ensue if they wither away is really all they have left at this point. Stop pretending the system isn't broken. Unless you like sham democracy and one party politics, I mean.
Stop pretending the Democrat Party is interested in fixing itself or being fixed or changed. In other words stop trying to fix the Democrat Party -- because, according to the thinking of the "real" Democrats, the ones who own and operate the party, it isn't broken and it doesn't need to be changed. And please quit all the moaning about the "stupid Democrat leaders" blowing chances. The Democrat leaders are not stupid. But if you are still bedding down with them and expecting something to change, you do have every reason to wonder about yourself.
Vive La Résistance,
John A. Murphy
"To live as if our choices make any real difference in the long run may be the act of a fool, but to live as if they do not, that is the act of a coward."
— Albert Camus


Nader

From: Monique Frugier [Add to Address Book] Flag Message | Mark Unread
[This is spam]
To: prawn@lists.riseup.net,
Subject: Re: [prawn] MoveOn Petition about Congressional capitulation
Date: Aug 8, 2007 10:39 PM
Attachments: unknown-3 KB unknown-25 KB Forwarded-Message

While it is true that MoveOn members are mainly Democrats, it does not mean that all members embrace MoveOn silence re: Impeachment. In fact one of my group: "Main Line Citizens for Impeachment" (most of our members are also MoveOn members) sent them a letter stating our position and that we wanted them to take a stand on this.
We had a conference call yesterday and MoveOn is calling for August to be a month to organize rallies all over the country, reach out in communities, organize rallies at our representatives' offices, and tell them that they will get the heat come next elections if they do not push for the end of the war in September.
Yes, it is true that nothing is being said re: Pelosi and the impeachment "off the table", but the way I see it is that while MoveOn is gathering many new members, I am also making many new personal connections and just got the names of 8 people interested in joining the group I moderate "Rapid Response Pa.", a group of letter-writers. And guess what? Among the 20 people present at our meeting yesterday, only one does not support impeachment.
One can be a MoveOn member and yet make her/his OWN voice heard.
Come the presidential elections, for me I do not see the need to change party in order to support my anti-war candidate and be part of the Résistence At the end, Green and/or Independent party will do what I will do. So what is the difference? That I will be accused of giving a vote to the Republican party?
Monique.

From: larry petkov [Add to Address Book] Flag Message | Mark Unread
[This is spam]
To: prawn@lists.riseup.net,
Subject: Re: [prawn] MoveOn Petition about Congressional capitulation: Monique right again!
Date: Aug 8, 2007 10:49 PM
John;
I think Monique is using the correct strategy here to build the anti-war movement. We should put the pressure on the Democrats to come out for Impeachment and stop funding the war. We can back Dennis Kucinich who has the courage to stand up for these issues.
If the Democrats don't come around and try to ram Hillary down our throats(which I think they will), then we can talk about planning an independent run.
I think the Greens are too diffuse and marginal to really shake the Democratic establishment.
Let's hope another independent candidate will step forward like former Senator Mike Gravel to challenge.
But if noone does I would certainly vote for Nader rather than Hillary the Hawk!
The Greens hurt themselves badly in the 2004 election by not backing Nader 100 percent. Supporting Cobb was a disaster.
Larry


From: "John A. Murphy" [Add to Address Book] Flag Message | Mark Unread
[This is spam]
To: prawn@lists.riseup.net,
Subject: Re: [prawn] MoveOn Petition about Congressional capitulation
Date: Aug 8, 2007 10:59 PM
Attachments: unknown-3 KB

You must disassociate yourself from MoveOn just as you have disassociated yourself from the Democratic Party. MoveOn is just as bad as UFPJ which has surrendered the antiwar movement into the hands of the Democratic Party.
John Murphy



From: David Kalkstein
[Add to Address Book] Flag Message | Mark Unread
[This is spam]
To: prawn@lists.riseup.net,
Subject: Re: [prawn] MoveOn Petition about Congressional capitulation
Date: Aug 8, 2007 11:03 PM
Attachments: unknown-4 KB unknown-3 KB Forwarded-Message

You must disassociate yourself from MoveOn ...
Must we all do that, or are Monique and Rich the only ones who must do that?
Please let me know so i can proceed.
david


From: "John A. Murphy" [Add to Address Book] Flag Message | Mark Unread
[This is spam]
To: prawn@lists.riseup.net,
Subject: Re: [prawn] MoveOn Petition about Congressional capitulation: Monique right again!
Date: Aug 8, 2007 11:16 PM
Attachments: nader living wage lg.jpg Clear Day Bkgrd.jpg

We must not back any Democratic candidate -- especially Dennis Kucinich. Dennis Kucinich is the Judas goat of the Democratic Party. It is people like him and John Conyers who keep the so-called progressive Democrats (which is like saying virgin prostitutes) from leaving the Democratic Party.
In 2004 the so-called antiwar Dennis Kucinich threw his support to John Kerry instead of the antiwar candidate Ralph Nader with whose positions he agreed entirely. He told his supporters than that it was not about the war it was all about party unity. Anything you see done by people like Kucinich is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. You don't fight Nazism by joining the SS. Neither do you fight the neoliberal, imperialist policies of the Democratic Party by being one of its members let alone one of its elected officials.
You don't build a strong antiwar movement by supporting the pro-war Democratic Party which maneuvered us into World War I, World War II, Korea and who gave us Lyndon Johnson -- remember good old Lyndon -- the guy who'd lied to us about the Gulf of Tonkin and then killed 3 million innocent men, women and children in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam? And don't forget our old friend Harry Truman who dropped nuclear weapons on the civilian populations of two Japanese cities just in order to send the old Soviet Union a message (not to end World War II sooner as your high school history textbook might have told you). The last thing you want to do in order to stop a war you support a Democrat. That's like becoming a prostitute in order to promote virginity!
John Murphy
Green Party
Pennsylvania
: Steering Committee
GNC: National Delegate
Candidate: Representative in Congress
District 16: Pennsylvania

Nader
VOTE PEACE: VOTE GREEN: VOTE NADER '08


From: Monique Frugier [Add to Address Book] Flag Message | Mark Unread
[This is spam]
To: prawn@lists.riseup.net,
Subject: Re: [prawn] MoveOn Petition about Congressional capitulation
Date: Aug 8, 2007 11:26 PM
Attachments: unknown-5 KB unknown-3 KB Forwarded-Message

Speaking to a French who is old enough to speak about occupation and Résistence( having been born in North Africa in 1944, and whose father died defending his country), I will tell you that in order to be effective, changes do not happen in disassociation but
rather in speaking out and in actions.
Monique.


From: David Kalkstein [Add to Address Book] Flag Message | Mark Unread
[This is spam]
To: prawn@lists.riseup.net,
Subject: Re: [prawn] MoveOn Petition about Congressional capitulation: Monique right again!
Date: Aug 8, 2007 11:31 PM
Attachments: unknown-7 KB unknown-63 KB Forwarded-Message

We must not back any Democratic candidate --
Who is the "we" that must not back any Democrtic candidate? Is it just Rich, Larry and Monique, or is it required that all of PRAWN must not back any Democratic candidate?
I need to know, so I can behave according to the rules.


From: Rich Flag Message | Mark Unread
To: prawn@lists.riseup.net
Subject: Re: [prawn] MoveOn Petition about Congressional capitulation: Monique right again!
Date: Aug 9, 2007 12:16 AM
1. I'd like to collect this conversation into a single blog post and forward the link to Rep Allyson Schwartz, who thankfully voted against S.1927, the bill that surrenders our Constitutional liberties to warrantless wiretapping. Please let me know if anyone objects. I'll put it all on http://www.prawnblog.blogspot.com/ sometime tomorrow.
2. Markos "Kos" Moulitsas of DailyKos reacted to Bill O'Reilly's charge that Kos intended to overthrow the government. Kos responded "Why would we do that? We have one third of it now and next election, we'll pick up another third." The point being that the "netroots" project has been far more successful than any previous attempt at changing our government. The other two big pushes, the Jesse Jackson and Ross Perot campaigns, were both personality-based campaigns that collapsed as soon as the personalities failed to keep the momentum going. Yeah, it's a long and rocky road ahead, but I just don't see any other way being anywhere near as successful as the "netroots" campaign has been.
Rich

From: Monique Frugier [Add to Address Book] Flag Message | Mark Unread
[This is spam]
To: prawn@lists.riseup.net,
Subject: Re: [prawn] MoveOn Petition about Congressional capitulation: Monique right again!
Date: Aug 9, 2007 12:32 AM
Attachments: unknown-9 KB Forwarded-Message message-footer.txt

No objection from me.
Monique.



From: "John A. Murphy" [Add to Address Book] Flag Message | Mark Unread
[This is spam]
To: prawn@lists.riseup.net,
Subject: Re: [prawn] MoveOn Petition about Congressional capitulation
Date: Aug 9, 2007 1:36 AM
Attachments: unknown-3 KB

Then you are well aware of what happened in occupied France during the 1930s and 40s. The Weimar Republic essentially gave France two choices: they could accept the Vichy government (controlled by French Nazis) or have a government directly imposed upon them from Berlin.
Many French chose to collaborate with the Germans through the Vichy government. Other Frenchmen including Albert Camus, fully aware of the consequences of their actions, joined La Résistance. They realized that a Nazi was a Nazi whether he spoke French or German. There was no difference between French Nazis and German Nazis. Similarly today there is no significant difference between the corporate driven, imperialist war machine of the Republican Party and the corporate driven, imperialist war machine of the Democratic Party. You do not collaborate with the enemy. La Résistance saved the lives of countless Allied forces which ultimately liberated France, not from within but from without.
The real problem in the United States is the two-party system which of course is nothing more than a one party system. Noam Chomsky calls it "the corporate party", Cindy Sheehan calls it "the war party", Ralph Nader calls it "the duopoly". This system cannot be altered or changed from within; it can only be opposed and resisted from without.
You might also ask yourself what did Gandhi do in occupied India? The United States has been occupied by a political elite which is controlled by 1,300 corporations -- 57,000 people decide what happens in this nation. They do not care how many antiwar demonstrations in which you participate because they can be sure if they look in your wallet they'll find a credit card from Chase or Bank of America or some other financial institution which continues to fund the war parties.
The corporate war party must be resisted. Join the resistance; join the Greens not the collaborators.
Vive La Résistance,
John A. Murphy
"To live as if our choices make any real difference in the long run may be the act of a fool, but to live as if they do not, that is the act of a coward."
— Albert Camus


From: "John A. Murphy" [Add to Address Book] Flag Message | Mark Unread
[This is spam]
To: prawn@lists.riseup.net,
Subject: Re: [prawn] MoveOn Petition about Congressional capitulation: Monique right again!
Date: Aug 9, 2007 1:54 AM
Attachments: democrats-scared.jpg Clear Day Bkgrd.jpg
The last thing you want to do is have any communication with the elected officials of an imperialist war party. what are you looking for - a pat on the head and a kick in the ass? That's all you'll get form them!
The Democrat Party is a reactionary, pro-war party. It is now and it has always been so. It has backed every war in the history of the United States since it came into existence. It is the proslavery party which has now destroyed the civil rights movement, the women's movement, the labor movement and most recently the antiwar movement. It is where social movements go to die.
Want to work for peace? Join the Greens! The Democrat Congress is worth less than 3 grams of bottled syphilitic whore spit.
John Murphy
Candidate: Representative in Congress
District 16: Pennsylvania


scaredy-cats



From: Rich Flag Message | Mark Unread
To: "John A. Murphy"
Subject: Re: [prawn] MoveOn Petition about Congressional capitulation: Monique right again!
Date: Aug 9, 2007 6:59 AM
John,
I'll certainly take your message under advisement.  BTW, the main point I intend
to make with my proposed post to Schwartz is going to be "Look at the mess
the Democrats have gotten themselves into!  See how much your fellow Democrats have
damaged themselves!"
The netroots don't just want a seat at the table of the Democratic Party, they
want to change the conversation so that we can turn it into an engine of social
change.  ALL of the new people elected in 2006 are in the anti-globalization camp,
f'rinstance. 
Rich


From: Joseph Gauger [Add to Address Book] Flag Message | Mark Unread
[This is spam]
To: prawn@lists.riseup.net,
Subject: Re: [prawn] MoveOn Petition about Congressional capitulation: Monique right again!
Date: Aug 9, 2007 7:01 AM
Attachments: message-footer.txt
If Kos says that "we have control" of Congress and will soon have the presidency, he is obviously not speaking as a member of the anti-war or progressive movements. As we've established, the Congress belongs to the Democratic wing of the Establishment. Despite all the rhetoric about changing direction and ethics reform, the Democratic leadership is well aware of how things are run in this country and have shown that they are quite comfortable with that arrangement.
The problem with organizing effective resistance to the Establishment is that the latter is skilled at coopting any burgeoning political movement. The essential power structure of American politics has remained intact through every supposed reform movement. Supporters of extensive, top-down reform are forced to continually reorganize as their groups go "mainstream". Groups like the Green Party, which are constructed so that corporate/Establishment influence is minimal, are denied access in other ways. But I agree that our best hope lies with them as opposed to Democratic candidates.

Joseph Gauger

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the
final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are
not clothed." -- Dwight Eisenhower


From: Rich Flag Message | Mark Unread
To: prawn@lists.riseup.net,
Subject: Re: [prawn] MoveOn Petition about Congressional capitulation: Monique right again!
Date: Aug 9, 2007 11:38 AM
Joseph,
You make some very good points, but allow me to present someone who speaks for the netroots (from http://www.horsesass.org/?p=3283 )


What’s the difference between a true netroots Democrat and an establishment Democrat? The willingness to criticize members of one’s own party when it really counts.
In her latest web ad WA-08 netroots “rock star” Darcy Burner not only sticks it to her Republican opponent Dave Reichert for handing warrantless wiretapping powers to President Bush, Dick Cheney and Alberto Gonzales… she also takes on the 41 Democratic House members who voted with him.
“When Republicans like Dave Reichert give George Bush everything he wants, that’s bad enough. But too many people in my own party aren’t listening either. The warrantless wiretapping bill won’t make us safer, but it will strip us of the rights so many of our families have fought to preserve, including mine.”
This race is about bringing new leadership to the House, not just padding the Democratic majority. No doubt Burner would like DCCC support and the money that comes with it, but anybody who thinks she’s taking her cues from the other Washington, just isn’t listening.

------------------------
Just plain battling Republicans isn't the point. We're also into reforming the Democrats. We're not satified with the Democratic Party as it is.
Rich



From: larry petkov [Add to Address Book] Flag Message | Mark Unread
[This is spam]
To: prawn@lists.riseup.net,
Subject: Re: [prawn] MoveOn Petition about Congressional capitulation: Monique right again!
Date: Aug 9, 2007 10:56 AM
Attachments: unknown-64 KB
Monique:
I like the way John conveniently ignores the candidacies of Eugene McCarthy, Bobby Kennedy, George McGovern, and the huge anti-war movement in the Democratic Party in 1968 and 1972. There were plenty of anti-war Senators back then: Bayh, Proxmire, Church, Hughs, Gravel, Moorse, Gruening, etc.
Many people who lived through that period are certainly disgusted with the Democratic response today to the crisis. But to ignore splits in the Democratic Party on the war is foolish.
larry



From: +Steve Bozzone [Add to Address Book] Flag Message | Mark Unread
[This is spam]
To: prawn@lists.riseup.net,
Cc:
Subject: Re: [prawn] MoveOn Petition about Congressional capitulation: Monique right again!
Date: Aug 9, 2007 11:52 AM
Attachments: unknown-63 KB
To throw some thoughts in:
I have always believed that the pathos of "We don't work with them because _______" is contrary to building a popular movement. If there's something you don't like about an organization, work from the inside to change it. If we continue to remain exclusive and seperatist, we won't reach the masses. I really like what John Murphy has to say, but I agree with Monique. If a minority opinion isn't represented in an organization, then it won't have an opportunity to examine other viewpoints.
Beyond a blog post, it sounds like PRAWN could use a message board!
Best,
Steve





From: "John A. Murphy" [Add to Address Book] Flag Message | Mark Unread
[This is spam]
To: prawn@lists.riseup.net,
Subject: Re: [prawn] MoveOn Petition about Congressional capitulation: Monique right again!
Date: Aug 9, 2007 1:08 PM
Attachments: play democrat.jpg unknown-63 KB

I didn't ignore those people -- the Democratic Party ignored the people. I went "clean for Gene" back in 1968. But they didn't give us gene McCarthy they gave us Hubert Humphrey the man who would continue the slaughter in Vietnam and as a result we got Richard Nixon! (In retrospect of course Richard Nixon was to the left of William Clinton.) But as I said in an earlier note which you apparently did not read, back in the Democratic Party still listened to us and indeed they gave us George McGovern in 1972. But as it is McGovern got the nomination every corporate donor left the Democratic Party and McGovern sank like a slug. That's when the Democratic Party made his decision to ignore its constituency and to do only the will of its corporate sponsors. To believe anything other at this point in time is either perverse, insane or rampant ignorance.
John Murphy


sit!



From: Joseph [Add to Address Book] Flag Message | Mark Unread
[This is spam]
To: prawn@lists.riseup.net,
Subject: Re: [prawn] MoveOn Petition about Congressional capitulation
Date: Aug 9, 2007 3:01 PM
Attachments: unknown-3 KB message-footer.txt

Weimar Republic ended before Nazis came to power.
Joe

No comments: