November 16, 2005

Barbara and I will be out of town for a few days. I will have a new photo up and running Saturday, November 24. Please check it out. If you send me an email I'll be glad to keep you informed about Fletcher's Folly.

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The Bernie Bashers Gear Up
by Ruth Conniff  

Perhaps the most exciting Senate candidate in the nation is the independent, Socialist Congressman from Vermont, Bernie Sanders.  

Sanders is the real thing. A champion of his low-income, rural constituents--the dairy farmers and working poor of Vermont--and a star among Burlington progressives, Sanders has a compellingly straightforward way of talking about politics. more...

November 15, 2005

Target Wal-Mart
Robert L. Borosage and Troy Peters

Wal-Mart must feel like a piĖata these daysųeveryone‚s lining up to take a shot at it. This week, 7,000 house parties  are being held to screen Robert Greenwald‚s blockbuster documentary, „Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price.š The inspector general of the Labor Department censured its sweetheart deal that promised to give Wal-Mart notice before any future investigation of illegal child labor practices. Legislators from the L.A. City Council to the U.S. Senate are introducing legislation to curb the giant‚s public subsidies. Communities are rejecting Wal-Mart‚s demands for subsidies and zoning exemptions.  Right-wing groups are furious Wal-Mart is taking the Christ out of the Christmas holidays.  It‚s gotten so bad that Wal-Mart has created a war room staffed by veterans of political campaigns to wage the PR battle.

---snip---

If Wal-Mart‚s size is a problem, its policies are a threat.  Wal-Mart is the model „low-roadš corporation in the global economy. Its efficiency is celebrated, but its exploitation is caustic. The average pay of a Wal-Mart employee is $8.23 per hour, or an average yearly income of $14,000ųnot enough to lift a family out of poverty. Wal-Mart is infamous for requiring workers to work overtime off the books. It‚s been cited for locking workers in plants overnight.  The company has been hauled into court for discriminating against female employees. And it is viciously, rabidly anti-union, crushing any attempt by its workers to organize to gain a fair share of the profits they help generate. more...

November 14, 2005

This Time, Alito, It's Personal  
by Kate Michelman  

Looking back more than three decades to one of the most difficult times in my life, it's hard to say what seems more insulting: being forced to obtain my husband's permission to have an abortion after he had just abandoned my family or ų many years later ų Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s ruling that a similar requirement was not, in constitutional parlance, an "undue burden."

In 1969 ų in those distant but suddenly closer days before Roe vs. Wade ų my husband deserted me and our three small daughters. After learning I was pregnant, and making the wrenchingly personal decision to have an abortion, I was forced to submit to an invasive and humiliating interrogation before a hospital review board in Pennsylvania. It ultimately gave its permission. I was in the hospital preparing for the procedure when a nurse informed me I would need my husband's permission too. I found him a few days later and he gave it. more...

November 13, 2005

Has American Democracy Died an Electronic Death in Ohio 2005's Referenda Defeats?
by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman  

While debate still rages over Ohio's stolen presidential election of 2004, the impossible outcomes of key 2005 referendum issues may have put an electronic nail through American democracy.  

Once again, the Buckeye state has hosted an astonishing display of electronic manipulation that calls into question the sanctity of America's right to vote, and to have those votes counted in this crucial swing state.  

The controversy has been vastly enhanced due to the simultaneous installation of new electronic voting machines in nearly half the state's 88 counties, machines the General Accounting Office has now confirmed could be easily hacked by a very small number of people.  

Last year, the US presidency was decided here. This year, a bond issue and four hard-fought election reform propositions are in question. more...

November 12, 2005

Published on Friday, November 11, 2005 by The Nation
Cornbread and Roses
by Bob Moser
---snip---

After his cometlike ascent from first-term senator to the national Democratic ticket, Edwards crashed to earth when he failed to persuade running mate John Kerry to contest George W. Bush's questionable victory in Ohio. Suddenly, Edwards's giddy three-year campaign to lift himself into the political stratosphere--and knit together the "two Americas" he dearly loved to preach about--was over. His wife, Elizabeth, had been diagnosed with breast cancer. His Senate seat, which Edwards had abandoned to focus on the national race, would return to Republican hands in January, leaving him without a built-in mechanism for staying in the national spotlight. For the first time in his adult life, this blue-skies optimist was staring straight into a blank horizon. Friends and admirers offered advice and speculated: Would he return to his law practice? Start a foreign-policy think tank to shore up his presidential résumé? Run for governor? Cash in on his connections with some Dan Quayle-style consultancies?

In February Edwards surprised them all, announcing a campaign to "eradicate poverty in America." With a $40,000 annual salary paid by private funds, Edwards became the first director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at UNC, Chapel Hill's law school, largely a think tank designed to bring antipoverty scholars, activists, journalists and politicians together to cook up innovative ways to tackle economic and racial inequities.Edwards is also putting some of his ideas into action, including the College for Everyone program he promised in 2004. In low-income Greene County Edwards this summer announced a pilot program to pay for the first year of college for local high school graduates willing to work at least ten hours a week. more...

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October 22, 2005 - October 28, 2005
October 29, 2005 - November 4, 2005
November 5, 2005 - November 11, 2005

No War in Iraq march.

San Francisco, Ca., January 18, 2003
San Francisco, Ca., February 16, 2003

Klezmatics

Klezmatics concert photos. (These are uncorrected straight out out of the camera)

On April 3, 2005, Barbara and I went to see the Klezmatics, with guest Joshua Nelson, Jewish gospel singer. To quote the concert program, "Their soul-stirring Jewish roots music recreates klezmer in arrangements and compostions that combine Jewish identity and mysticism with a contemporary zeitgeist and a postmodern aesthetic. Since their founding in New York City's East Village in 1986, the Klezmatics have celebrated the ecstatic nature of Yiddish music with works by turn wild, spiritual, provocative, reflective and danceable." The concert was phenomenal.

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