Wednesday, December 21, 2005

More Fun with Dick and George – Me and my Wiretap – A Christmas Parable

OK, I admit it, I’m a little paranoid, but it has just occurred to me that I am a prime suspect for a warrentless George Bush NSA wiretap. Right this minute, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to learn that he’s lurking on my computer, ready to pounce on and record my emails.

These wiretaps against US citizens are ok, says the President, because they only involve correspondence between Americans and foreigners. At first I breathed a sigh of relief, thinking this is no Cointelpro operation. I may rail a little bit against the current administration’s activities in Iraq and elsewhere, but I do it all on American soil, with fellow Countrymen. But then I realized I might be on the list after all.

Why? For one thing I get regular correspondence from an organization called Lawyers Against the War. This makes wiretapping ok, even necessary in our fearless leader’s opinion, to protect Americans from terrorists and evildoers.

You see Lawyers Against the War is a Canadian based outfit currently suing the Bushies over allegations of torture in Iraq. Unfortunately, the Canadian Court hearing the case has claimed “diplomatic immunity” for Bush because of his chumminess with the Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin.

Lawyers Against the War is undaunted, however, and plans to continue to press their suit, even if they have to wait until King George is impeached … er … out of office, however that occurs.

This brings me to another conjecture about potential surveillance candidates: elderly Americans who regularly buy their prescription drugs in Canada. These subversive seniors are undercutting American drug companies’ profits by making midnight runs across the border, or sending their orders over the internet or through the US mails.

Prime targets for wiretapping. How more un-American can you be than taking your business out of the country?

And wait. What about all those techies in India I chat with when Earthlink goes on the blink? Clearly cause for surveillance. How close to the Pakistan border are these facilities? And now that I think of it, why is Earthlink going down so often these days? Are they being targeted too? Or is it just my computer, infected as it is with foreign communications?

And that buzzing sound on my home phone I attributed to the weather … the clicks and whistles on my cell … George, Dick, are you listening?

Here's the Christmas part? I do wish you both a merry one … If you can take time out from reading all those letters sent from American children to Santa, that foreign born elf from the North Pole.

Ho Ho Ho!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


George Bush and Dick Cheney spent the weekend watching old Japanese horror flicks in the presidential screening room. Notably, they viewed a series featuring the creatures Mothra and Godzilla. Mothra, as film buffs and former teenagers will recall, is a giant moth like creature who fights to protect her eggs, then takes on the giant Godzilla lizard in a series of battles of the beasts. She is often killed to be reborn of the pupa she leaves behind.

Cheney and Bush were arguing over who in current affairs was Mothra and who was Godzilla. "Well, Dick," said Bush, between bites of hot buttered popcorn, "I don't see how you can even ask that question. There's a guy named Mothra trying to undo all our hard work in the Iraq right now. A Democratic traitor who wants us to cut and run. Mothra the guy's name is. Risen from the dead, just like those nasty caterpillars do, popping out of his cocoon to drip slime all over the good American name. Let’s waste 'im!"

After rolling his eyes, and casting a sideways glance at the Secret Service detail hunkered down in the back of the screening room, Cheney whispered to Bush, "But that makes us Godzilla; do you want to be known as the giant lizard that ate Iraq? And besides, the guy’s name is Murtha, not Mothra."

"Murtha, Mothra, what’s the difference? You're always so hung up hung up on appearances," complained Bush. "Oh, wait, here’s the good part, where the Giant lizard makes omelettes out of the Moth's eggs." He starts thumbing the remote to increase the volume of the roars and screeches coming from the screen."

With that, Cheney whacked Bush upside the head, "You idiot," he growled, grabbing at the remote. "Mothra’s protected by little angel fairies, and she's gonna whale on the lizard. He’s the bad guy you moron. Now watch him stamp out Tokyo with a single webbed foot! Is that how you want this Administration to be remembered?"

"Hey, all those broken down buildings kinda remind me of Fallujah. Do you think he has any of those cool flame throwing things?" As Cheny tosses the remote behind the couch, Bush turns to him, annoyed, "Dick, are you telling me this Murtha Mothra guy is gonna whup our asses?"

"It's those damn little angel fairies. They're everywhere, spreading lies and deceit and insubordination in the ranks. And George, it doesn’t help if you go around telling people we’re Godzilla."

"Little angel fairies? Damn gays in the military! That's the whole problem. Once we establish democracy and Christianity over there, we’ll be back on track. Now, give me back the remote! There is no way Godzilla gets whupped by a moth and little angel fairies. Not on my watch."

With that, George Bush sank lower into his cushions and dug into the popcorn with both hands.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Congresswoman Woolsey's Progressive Leadership

This Oped first appeared in the Marin Independent Journal on Nov. 28, 2005. Lynn Woolsey represents the California 6th Congressional District, and I'm proud to have her as my representative in Congress.

Dotty E. LeMieux

ONCE AGAIN, I must take exception to something my good friend Dick Spotswood says in his column.

In his Nov. 19 piece, he states that "Lynn Woolsey symbolizes why the Democratic party is in deep trouble." I have to disagree.

The reality might be precisely the opposite. The Democratic Party has been in deep trouble for so long because it has not had more Congresswoman Lynn Woolseys in positions of power.

What Lynn and the handful of progressive Democrats in Congress symbolize is the growing realization that the administration is using every trick in the book to support an illegal, immoral war in Iraq and an increasingly hostile war on dissent at home.

Spotswood criticizes Woolsey for voting against House Resolution 427, which sympathized with the victims of
the 9/11 attacks. If that was all the resolution did, it would indeed be strange for her not to approve it. But this resolution went much further. Specifically it called for Congress to renew a "commitment to the Global War on Terrorism and to providing the United States Armed Forces with the resources and support to wage it effectively and safely" and to "continue to take whatever actions necessary to identify, intercept, and disrupt terrorists and their activities."

Lynn Woolsey said she could not vote for this language because it left the door open for an expansion of preemptive wars and the erosion of civil rights through the Patriot Act.

She was right. And she was not the only one to voice those concerns.

In the words of another dissenter (there were six altogether), East Bay Congressman Pete Stark:

"I cannot vote for a resolution supporting a "global war on terrorism" because there is no such thing. The only war the United States is engaged in is the misguided Iraq War. To support a resolution simply so President Bush can continue to carry out actions in the name of this false global war of terrorism only encourages this administration to lead this country into additional unnecessary military actions."

The Republicans have hijacked and continue to misuse and misrepresent the terrible events of 9/11 and its aftermath. They have squandered the world's goodwill and created chaos, destruction and instability in Iraq.

Stark is absolutely correct in saying there is no such thing as a global war on terrorism. If there were, they'd still be looking for Osama bin Laden.

They'd be busy attacking the root causes of terrorism, not glibly tossing off platitudes and using fear tactics to push their agenda. And that agenda is not spreading democracy around the world.

Rather than continuing to run to the middle, as Sen. John Kerry so ingloriously did in 2004, the Democrats need to listen to the words of progressives like Pete Stark and Lynn Woolsey.

Progressive isn't just another word for liberal. It's a philosophy based on going forward and making progress, not going backward or running on fear and hatred.

The Democratic Party is the party of hope. At least it used to be. And it can be again, by standing firm on issues that truly do advance democratic ideals, which means not imposing puppet governments and justice at the end of a gun barrel or bomb. Not lying to the American people and the world.

The words "any actions necessary" used by George Bush and company along with other such catch phrases as "fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here" and "if you're not with us, you're with the terrorists," are not about fighting terror; they are about giving this administration a blank check to do whatever it pleases. They are all about the Patriot Act and the war in Iraq and cowing the American public into going along with their actions.

These are the actions this administration has deemed necessary to carry out its policies, including torture, denial of due process for prisoners and no-bid contracts to crony capitalists.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Progressives Dems v. Greens continued

After my guest editorial in the Beyond Chron publication, a Green saw fit to respond. So I got another crack at the discussion and then another Green weighed in. Below is the exchange, which follows the first editorial, posted below all of these.

Your comments, my fellow Green Dogs?


Guest Editorial: Progressives Should be Green

Kim Knox 21.NOV.05
Recently, Beyond Chron ran a guest editorial beseeching progressives to not leave the Democratic party. I can't speak for the San Francisco Greens. But as a Green party member, I disagree with the author's premise that Democratic Party is now the home for true progressives.

In light of Friday's Congressional vote of 403-3 against a nonbinding resolution calling for the immediate withdrawal of troops in Iraq, I wonder why progressives would stay in a party that refuses to vote its conscience. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco "sent word to the rank-and-file Democrats to vote with the Republicans against immediate withdrawl of U.S. troops."

At last year's election, I didn't vote for Pelosi. I wrote in the name of Terry Baum, SF Green Party's endorsed Congressional candidate and peace activist. I also gave a check to Green Party activist Marla Ruzicka's CIVIC Organization. Marla gave her life this spring helping Iraqi civilians in Iraq.

I belong to the party who lead the campaign for the City's Minimum Wage Initiative onto the ballot and into the City Charter. I belong to the party who lead the drive to institute Instant Runoff Voting and worked with other progressives to create and pass the City's Sunshine Ordinance.

I am angry that the majority of Democratic Congressional members voted for the Patriot Act. I am dismayed at the Democrats' support of Bush's "No Child Left Behind" programs. I am also shocked at the speed that the Democratic leadership have separated themselves from the issue of gay marriage.

But I've been amazed at the depth of knowledge and talent that the Greens have brought to our City. As an author of several books on science-related education as well as mentor of 82 students over seven years, I was honored to work on the School Board campaigns of outstanding education activists (and Greens) Mark Sanchez, Sarah Lipson and Whitney Leigh, an attorney who formerly worked in the Juvenile Section for the Public Defender's Office.

School Board Members Sarah Lipson and Mark Sanchez are examples of why the Green Party is successful. Sarah is a successful advocate of univeral pre-K and quality early childhood education. Her leadership at the last BOE meeting prior to the scheduled strike by Local 790 against SFUSD helped to create time that resulted in the 11th hour agreement and an averted strike.

Mark is a key advocate on the School Board for the students in the county schools (those who drop out or are expelled), open government within the District and the Small Schools Initiative. As the only gay BOE member who has been vocal in his opposition to the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, Mark has been active in creating legislation against miltary recruitment efforts in San Francisco's schools.

Over the last several years, other progressives have worked on the campaigns of other Green outstanding candidates such as Ross Mirkarimi, Renee Saucedo, Terry Baum, Lisa Feldstein, Susan King, Barry Hermanson and Jane Kim.

In the past, progressives may have had a voice within the Democrat party. But those days appear to be gone. That's why I am a member of the Green Party.

Kim Knox, is an education and environmental activist and a Green Party member.

And me again:

Guest Editorial: Green Dog Democrat Responds

Dotty LeMieux
Dotty LeMieux 22.NOV.05
In response to your recent guest editorial responding to my recent Guest editorial on progressive Democrats, it appears the writer got hung up on the headline (Which was not my own, by the way). The point of my article was not that progressives need to be Democrats or even that the Democratic iParty s necessarily progressive. But that we need to work together, Greens and progressive Democrats alike (not to mention progressive independents sick of all political labels) to ensure that progressives are elected.

I applaud the Green Party for doing just that in electing local school board members, city council members (I live in a town with two Greens on the Council), Supervisors and the like.

Also I applaud those Greens who are supporting the candidacy of Ron Dellums for Oakland mayor. Look to the politics, the principles and the person, not the Party.

Yes, as a life long Democrat, I'd love to pull my own Party in a more progressive direction. That's why we formed the California Democratic Progressive Caucus. We are still living in an essentially two party system. If we want to take back the Congress, we have to look to the Democratic Party to do it. For now, anyway.

I believe in pluralism, and will support a Green when she is the most progressive (and viable) candidate for local office. If Greens can get elected to Congress, so much the better for our Democratic system I say. But that time is not yet.

As for Republican Trojan Horse "pull out now" resolution introduced Friday, its sole purpose was to unleash a backlash and fury on the right. My first reaction was like yours, call their bluff! (only three Dems did vote against it, notably neither Barbara Lee nor Lynn Woolsey, who saw it for what it was, a way to squelch debate and make Democratic lawmakers look unpatriotic.)

Unfortunately, in a Congress with arcane procedures like allowing unrelated matters to be added to bills, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Repubs tack on drilling in downtown San Francisco to any realistic out of Iraq bill the Dems come up with at this time. No reason they shouldn't try however. I hope the Dems are using this Thanksgiving break to craft a message on the War that supports the troops, calls for UN intervention and sets a short timetable, for withdrawal just as John Murtha called for. What they should not do, and I think the author of the Guest Editorial can agree, is cede the moral high ground.

Our best hope is the upcoming 2006 elections. Greens and progressive Democrats together can make the difference. Running to the middle doesn't work. We must stand FOR something.

Help us change the course of these disastrous times.

And the last Green. Any Progressive Dems want to join this deiscussion: send to

Guest Editorial: Progressives Should be Green

Matt Magaña 23.NOV.05
I've been a registered democrat for nearly 28 years. Never have I been so disgusted with the party as I have been these past eight years. Perhaps, had I been more politically involved, I would have seen it sooner who's to say. Since Al Gore bent over the barrel in 2000, I have been voting my conscience. Which basically means that I have voted Green in all elections since then. I will continue to do so.

My choice as a figure head for the democratic party would not have been Howard Dean. Instead, how about Congressman Conyers? Barbara Lee? She would have surely shaken things up. Dennis Kucinich? Nevermind. I suppose, with the prolific racism that resides just below the surface in this country, it's probably too much to expect that anyone from the Democratic Black Caucus will be voted into the executive office. Congressman Kucinich supports worker rights. That alone puts him out of the running.

Wait a minute! How about Barbara Boxer. Isn't she one of those "democrats" who from 2000-2004, not only voted for this war, but was pretty much quiet about all the lies and deceit for the entire time. Let's give her an instant pass to go to the front of the line because she spoke up about the irregularities of the 2004 election. I'm sorry, the calls for her within the democratic party to have her run for president were, quite frankly, embarrassing. Anyone of the above I mentioned who have been consistently fighting to tell the truth should be seriously considered for an executive position, if not the presidency, in the next election. Only then, will the party get back it's spine.

I don't hold much faith in the two party system anymore. Not so much because I previously did, but because I'm simply more aware.

For example, this past presidential election. John Kerry, as expected, didn't put forth much of a fight to contest the election. Instead, basically, pretended the election wasn't stolen, and told everyone that we should ignore the lies spewing forth from the war criminals in the White House. That we should all pretend nothing is wrong and we should hold hands and play well together. at the same time, pocketing the + $50 million dollars collected for his campaign. What a bunch of HOOEY! I'd us much harsher language, but it probably wouldn't be printed.

Several friends told me that we all have to band together and vote for John Kerry. In spite of voting my conscience, the democratic ticket wins yet, another term in office. I now have very small hopes that they will change things, and I'm not surprised or disappointed when they don't. At least they're consistent.

To those of you who believe that simply continuing to vote these same democrats into office is going to solve the problems, just look at one of the most visible, Senator Feinsten. She consistently votes along the conservative line. Didn't she also vote in favor of Condi Rice as Secretary of State? She should be kicked out of the party, in my opinion. Pelosi is another one. Immediately after Congressman Murtha was quoted as calling for a pull-out of U.S. forces in Iraq, there was Congresswoman Pelosi, saying "Well, Congressman Murtha doesn't really speak for the democratic party" (paraphrased).

Need I say more. And don't kid yourself. Iraq is in Civil War right now. The question is, if we pull out, no more of our soldiers have to die, and less Iraquis will die. If we stay, there will continue to be more casualties*on both sides. Follow the trail. Bush's push for war was premeditated. They want control of the oil, and are even willing to sacrifice U.S. lives on our soil to do it * to gain support for their agenda * let alone countless lives abroad. Everything else is a smokescreen.

Basically, there is a saying in 12 step programs. "The definition of insanity is repeating the same behavior and expecting different results." People who vote from a place of fear (voting for the "lesser of 2 evils" mentality), are going to be constantly disappointed.

When my friends complain about the state of things, I have to remind them that they were the ones who encouraged me to vote democrat. It's becoming more clear to them. I'm encouraging them to vote their conscience.

This comes back to a recent article you had about Instant Runoff Voting. This is a democracy*at least on paper. When we go to electronic voting, it will cease to be. IRV is the only way that we can have a choice. Period.

Matt Magaña is an artist, photographer, Green Party Activist, and a member of D5 Dog, and the Alamo Square Neighborhood Assocoation.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Democratic Party Best Place for Progressives

First published as a Guest Editorial in today's Beyond Chron

Dotty LeMieux 02.NOV.05

At the October 2005 Executive Board meeting of the California Democratic Party, a quiet but important event occurred. The Progressive Caucus received official recognition of its bylaws and newly elected Executive Committee. This Caucus had been a long time coming and proved to be a hard sell for the half dozen Democratic activists who started it last year. As one of those activists, I am especially gratified to have been a part of this momentous achievement. Why was it so difficult to persuade Democrats that a Progressive Caucus was not only viable but necessary to Party growth?

Some viewed us as divisive, at a time when Democrats were courting moderates in an attempt to capitalize on the many scandals and foibles of the Bush and Schwarzenegger Administrations. When the Kerry campaign faltered, many of us were left saying, “I told you so,” having begged the campaign to appeal to the progressives in swing states, not move toward the middle in order to appease phantom moderate voters.

As we saw, people would rather vote for someone they perceive as standing for something than someone whose principles are difficult to detect. Even in the face of the upset Dean election as Chair of the DNC, our road to official recognition was a rocky one.

We persevered and ultimately won through force of numbers. We were the Caucus with more than 400 people in attendance at the State Convention in April. We are growing by leaps and bounds, as we take on issues like single payer health care and clean money election reform. We were instrumental in passing a resolution to end the Iraq War, which received only token opposition on the Convention floor. Without progressives bringing big ideas forward, it’s questionable when or whether our Party would get around to it.

So progressives have shown we are a catalyst for growth within the Party. I hope we can also be a catalyst for coalition building with other like-minded individuals and groups. As a campaign consultant and activist trainer in the Bay Area, I urge those I work with to reach out beyond their base for allies in their cause.

It’s just as important to recognize who your base is. Sometimes, it’s not just those of the same Party affiliation, but those who care deeply about the same values and issues. So it was especially exciting to read about Green Party activists joining with Ron Dellums. The Democratic platform, especially in California, is filled with lofty ambitions and high-sounding principles. We share many if not most of them with those of the Green Party.

Isn’t it only natural for us to join forces when a progressive candidate of either Party (or oh horrors, an independent like Vermont’s Bernie Sanders) steps forward with a real chance of moving our shared values forward? We need to do more than denounce the Bush Administration, which we can never do enough in my opinion. We need to offer a clear, well-defined alternative. Not just “don’t dismantle Social Security.” And not just our own version of “fixing it” either. But a clear unapologetic vision for where we want this Country, this State, and our localities to go.

Randy Shaw in his Oct. 12 comments in Beyond Chron poses the question: “Does the backing of Democrat Dellums signal a strategic shift by Greens?” And answers it this way: “That depends on whether progressives join the Greens because they believe Democrats are the greatest evil (the Camejo view) or as a signal to Democrats that they risk losing votes unless they promote a progressive agenda.” I like to think it’s the latter, and that people join the Democratic progressive Caucus for the same reason.

We can transform our Party into the Party of its potential, not the Party of its mistakes. I believe a part of this potential is the very real and necessary task of building coalitions with other progressives, whether Greens or like-minded Independents, those ‘decline-to-state’ voters, who trust no political Party to represent them. Progressive politics is popping up all over; I must get two invitations to join new groups every couple of days. Progressive weblogs are sprouting like mushrooms. Clearly we’re on to something.

Progressives need to avoid burnout just like any other activists. Working together, rather than splintering into a thousand different directions will be key to making this a movement for real lasting change in our State and our Country.

Dotty E. LeMieux Dotty E. LeMieux runs political campaigns for progressive candidates and causes in Northern California and is an officer-at-large in the California Democratic Progressive Caucus. Her Blog is

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Or "George Bush Learns a Tough Lesson"

George Bush announced today that he was dispensing with that pesky institution, the Supreme Court, altogether.

"I have so damned much trouble getting my nominees through, even though they're all good God fearing strict constructionist judges," he complained to a rapt audience of worshippers at this morning's Texas Businessmen's Greed and Gospel Society prayer breakfast, that I am turning this whole thing over to a higher power. See I learned something in AA."

He continued, "from now on, we're going to be getting our Constitutional interpretation from the Supreme Being, not the Supreme Court."

Gasps could be heard throughout the crowd, as well as murmers, ranging from "he's really lost his marbles this time" to "should I sell that strip mining company before this happens do you think?"

Some in the crowd urged caution. In the words of one pork belly trader, "George, do you really want to go that far? I mean, the Supreme Court justices have to answer to you after all, and their stock portfolios of course, but God doesn't have those sort of allegiences."

The President looked miffed, saying, "Isn't this what we've always wanted, no more separation of Church and State? Everything according to the Gospels?"

"Well, yeah, but we're in the Gospel and Greed business, George," protested an oil man sporting a ten gallon hat with flashing neon oil wells in the band. "It's just good for business, and what's good for business is good for America. Putting the big guy actually in charge could wreak havoc with our corporate culture."

"Pish tush" barked George, "I talk to God all the time. He likes me. He likes business. He likes war and famine and flood and all that good stuff. Who do you think directed me to Iraq in the first place and then chose Halliburton to clean up that mess? Now you boys just sit back and let me take care of everything."

While the few reporters who had snuck into the breakfast disguised in gray suits and power ties scrambled for their cell phones, a mighty wind was heard blowing outside the Convention Center. It grew louder and louder until the windows were shaking and the building itself was rocking on its foundations.

The surprised business tycoons were busy ducking soaring glasses of juice and dodging flying vats of scrambled eggs, as they sought shelter from the storm in rapidly cracking doorways and under collapsing tables.

"Hey!" shouted Bush, tumbling across the tilted stage grabbing the velvet curtains to slow his slide. "What is going on here? Is that a hurricane? Someone call FEMA. I thought this place was rated to withstand a category 5."

"Sorry, Sir," said a Halliburton executive who was trying to stop the President from disappearing into a hole that had opened up in the floor of the stage. "We had to keep up the profits, so this little old project got a discount on materials. It's a government building after all. That's just standard operating procedure."

"What is this hole I'm falling into, for Chris' sake. Get me outa here!" wailed the rapidly disappearing President.

As he slipped out of the grip of the Halliburton exec, his voice wafted through the now silent hall, "Who the hell authorized a no-bid contract for a place I was speaking in?!"

"Don't worry, George, we'll sue," shouted Dick Cheney, peering into the hole. "Someone will pay.... Urk!" Cheney was soon sucked into the vortex himself. Meanwhile, Donald Rumsfeld, Condi Rice, and Karl Rove were fighting over a limo out in front of the building as the storm waters rose around them.

As George Bush slid down below the sub-basement, he mused, "Fat lotta good that'll do without the Supreme Court to rule in my favor. I shoulda stuck with Texas baseball and cocaine. Hey, which Supreme Being have I been talking to all these years anyway.....?"

Dick Cheney, flopping end over end like a fortune telling fish, yelped, "Watch out for the brimstone, George. It's hot!"

Friday, September 23, 2005

Moon Really Made of Blue Cheese

Channeling the spirit of my friend Stan "The Man" Sinberg, who writes clever bits for the tabloids, I was inspired to pen the following tabloidesque piece of my own:

Flash! Scientists discover the moon is really made of blue, not green, cheese. This revelation is heralded by Corporate America, always on the lookout for new avenues of outsourcing to exploit.

"This amazing discovery," said one industry spokesperson, "will put to shame the famous blue cheese caves of Wisconsin. Think of the possibilities for profit! Endless blue cheese ripening on the moon, just waiting to be mined."

Another industry wag put it this way, "The race is on. Whoever gets to the moon first is going to make bundles, that's for sure. I'm glad that space exploration is finally going private and I know the Bush Administration concurs."

Bush spokesman Scott McClellan offered, "We have always encouraged entrepreneurship and this one is a doozy. Our Administration wholeheartedly endorses these fine Americans doing what Americans do best, cutting the throats of their competition."

Some scientists are saying that the effect of mining blue cheese from the moon could have a devastating effect on the tidal levels here on earth leading to even greater catastrophes than those caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, but their claims have been dismissed as alarmist liberal balderdash by the Bush Administration.

Small blue cheese manufacturers have issued their own protest. One went so far as to brand the idea "lunatic."

Big cheeses in the cheese world ignore such criticism as "sour grapes," noting this metaphor may not be as mixed as it seems, since "wine and cheese go together so well, don't be surprised to learn of vineyard opportunities on Mars in the near future."

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

From John Conyers

When I saw the news that Jimmy Carter was part of the group proposing a national voter ID card, I was surprised. Now I'm shocked, after reading the same concern from John Conyers, and it's worse than I thought!

Those of you who are faithful readers of the "Green Dog" know I hardly ever publish stuff from other people, especially national figures and politicians. I figure we all get it several times in our Inbox. However, this one got to me, and I want it to get out far and wide. So read on:

"A privately funded, unaccountable Commission organized by former Bush-Cheney campaign lawyer James Baker, III, and former President Jimmy Carter issued a report today that includes policy proposals that will disenfranchise over ten percent of eligible voters –– a national ID requirement to vote. This national voter ID proposal is essentially a poll tax that will disenfranchise Americans of all backgrounds, but the poor, the disabled, the elderly, students, and people of color would bear the greatest burden. The Katrina victims – those without the means to escape the storm – typify the population that the Commission's ID proposal will most likely leave out of our democracy."

John Conyers is on the ball and doing something about it. What I cannot understand is how Jimmy Carter got hoodwinked into signing on with these guys? Any thoughts? We should all write to him and sing this petition asap.


Read more:

From Rep. John Conyers ( The Petitiocn is at

Join With Me in Fighting Against This New Poll Tax Proposal

The simple fact is that many minority and poor voters do not have the time, money or need to purchase a drivers license. In fact, over ten percent of eligible voters in the last election did not have a photo ID. They vote by presenting other means of identification (a voter registration card, utility bill, or affidavit). This Commission is now asking Congress to deny the franchise to those voters unless they obtain a national ID card.

The implausible claim is made that Congress will pay for ID cards for those who cannot afford to buy them. Yet, given the shortfalls in funding and implementation of the Help America Vote Act, combined with the multibillion-dollar costs for restoration of the Gulf Coast and the ongoing war in Iraq, we know this is not going to happen.

Join With Me in Fighting Against This New Poll Tax Proposal

Even those who would not be directly affected by this provision have expressed concern about its potential threat to personal privacy. The institution of a National ID card has throughout world history been a tool of repression. This recommendation, coupled with the Commission's recommendation of interoperable databases of voters, would mark the first step toward the creation of national registries of American citizens.

Make no mistake about it, this national ID voting card will result in the disenfranchisement of poor and minority voters and make us susceptible to the same old Ken Blackwell-style Republican electoral dirty tricks that cost Senator Kerry the election in Ohio. Remember the lack of voting machines in Ohio for Democratic voters? Remember the machines that broke down or registered strange numbers of votes for George Bush or unknown third party candidates? Remember Ken Blackwell's paper weight requirements for voter registration cards?

Imagine if the Republican party can, in one fell swoop, apply new legal obstacles to more than ten percent of voters, most of them poor, minority and elderly voters, most of them Democratic voters, from being able to vote.

I am challenging you to get involved and fight this poll tax. Visit my website,, to sign my petition to House Leadership and write a letter to the editor demanding that this proposal not be enacted. I have converted this website into a voting rights action center to address this issue. It will be constantly updated with up-to-the-minute news on this issue and actions you can take to help.

Thank you for your help and your continued stand for a better democracy.


John Conyers, Jr.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The View From a Black New Orleanian

This just in from a New Orleans native. I'm publishing it as is. Other publications may reprint with credit to Fatima. If you want to reach her, comment at this Blog and I'll see she gets it.:

The View From a Black New Orleanian

I am a Catholic, black, native of New Orleans 7th ward. I am an integrated American with a very diverse background ethnically, hence the name..
I am a former reporter for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, and local and national newspapers and magazines. I worked 10 years for McGraw-Hill. I have written four books about New Orleans, three for children. I teach at a Jesuit college. Following is an editorial I would like to place in your newspaper: The View from a Black New Orleanian

I advised my 85-year-old Dad on Saturday night not to leave when Katrina was coming. The trip out of town might kill him. His house is in the center of New Orleans and is two stories high. It was built at sea level with 12 inch square posts in the 1860s. It has withstood storm and flood many times.

In fact, during Hurricane Betsy the water leveled off about three blocks from his house. Later we heard that the 9th ward was flooded. People were taken off their roofs by others in boats. A high school girl I knew had to swim to higher ground while pulling her grandmother. Snakes were found in peoples’ living rooms.

But since then, the city built levees, and the whole town would be under if he had to go. Sit tight, and we’ll see, I said. But at 5 a.m., while I slept, his tenant, a cousin and friend packed him into the car. My cousin and tenant drove out of New Orleans as fast as they could. My friend stayed behind with his parents in their 80s, too many people to carry too far.

All of us are black and natives of the city, so there was not question about whether he’d go to the Superdome. The shelter of last resort translates to the shelter of no resort. We know how poor, black people are treated in New Orleans and the rest of America.

In the neighborhood where my dad still lives and I grew up, there are 31% of the people who earn less than $10,000. More than 57% earn less than $25,000. Our church parish, our schools, our leaders ask for money to help sickness and depression, joblessness, drug addiction – for families of the people who clean up the hotels, cook in the restaurants and entertain the gold plated tourists. You know the answer we get. I don’t have to say.

That too went into the decision of whether my father should go or stay. No don’t go to the Superdome, or anywhere else there was an army of poverty. Everybody in New Orleans knows that poverty translates to black translates to helpless, in its most literal sense. Now, finally, so do the white people in our nation.

I will tell you one more truth. I’ve been studying the history of my community for the past 200 years through archival research and primary documents. There is little changed in New Orleans since slavery. Many families live in their same neighborhoods. The social conditions are similar – whites on top, blacks on the bottom, mixed people somewhere in between. People had to escape. Escape, is the accurate term for leaving these conditions to go somewhere better. My dad got a Ph.D., intellectual escape. My church calls its members to go the spiritual high road. I got out of town before my anger at unfairness and an unchanged life would kill me. Or like some people at home, Id kill somebody else.

So why did I tell him to stay? Because he knew his own mind, and I have always deferred to him on matters of his own survival. No to the Superdome. Yes. to his house, his neighborhood, his community. If they would go down, so would he.

But Category 5 was too much for a moral stance, even for him. Still, it was not enough for the parents of my friend.

When I was 12, after Hurricane Betsy, the water began to rise. But the next day, the water stopped about three blocks from my house and I went on that hot day for a swim. I waded out into the muddy water on St. Bernard Ave., feeling a bit heady that I was experiencing something that no one ever had, or ever would. Then it got so deep that the ground slipped from under my feet and I drifted, not far, but I was being taken away by something I could not control.

I learned that day that one mistake could be deadly. My dad knew that a risky stand could be his last one. We all knew where we stood with regard to this situation. Too bad so many people trusted that their government thought about them.

Fatima, writing from a Jesuit College

New American Reality Show

Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath in New Orleans have given us a prime time glimpse into the heart of what's rotten in America. And I don't mean the bloated corpses or fetid water. This could be a new kind of reality TV: "What's Rotten in America?"

Contestants will vote for the government official (or their immediate family members) who make the most callous, self-serving, conscienceless, greedy, racist, or just plain ignorant comments on real life tragedies. Our so-called leaders could start things off with their comments on Hurricane Katrina and their lack of meaningful response.

Examples of the types of comments highlighted in the new show include:

President Bush struts his ignorance and arrogance against a backdrop of elderly, black, poor people; babies without milk and sick people without homes as he excuses his inaction by saying: "No one could have anticipated the break in the levees."

And his esteemed mother, the former first lady Barbara Bush, notes with pride that the Astrodome is now home to thousands of displaced poor people: "And so many people in the Arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them."

For those of a religious persuasion, you may take comfort from these words of Secretary of State Condaleezza Rice: "The Lord Jesus Christ is going to come on time."

The above are all real quotes. You can choose from these and so many more as you compete for valuable prizes. Contestants should all be felons or unindicted co-conspirators from past administrations. Your prizes will be high paying government jobs and the opportunity to appear in your very own Reality Show. As a bonus question this week, a prize will go to the contestant who correctly identifies the first high government official to utter these words:

"Let them eat Beneigts!"

Thursday, September 01, 2005


President Bush, in his return to a Washington prayer breakfast and halleluja chorus, gave thanks to the "good pe'ple of New Orle'ns" for their sacrifice to "get the job done in Iraq."

"Good Pe'ple of New Orle'ns," said the President, wiping pop tart juice off his face, "I thank you for giving up that Federal funding to fix your levees so we could win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi pe'ple. You are generous, giving up your National Guard troops to help us in the war against terr'ism over there so we don't have to fight it over here.

"I know y'all have had a little flood down there, and some of ya'll lost a few things, but what are things in comparison to Democracy in the Middle East? OK, so I know some of the things ya'll lost are your family; but heck, they coulda been fightin' in Iraq....Jest a little joke, friends...

"But seriously, we are winnin' the fight against terr'ism; make no mistake. It might be hard for ya'll down there in the flood waters and what not, but you are Amer'cuns! Y'er true Patriots. That's what you are. And I think I'll give y'all a medal. In the meantime, keep a stiff upper lip and.. What the?"

Here he was interrupted by an unseen hand tugging at his right shoulder. Then he slipped from sight as the camera panned the room of confused looking worshippers.

The words "Goddamit Guv'ner! Who invited you...?" could be heard before the screen went black.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Grieving Parents

I would never deny the right of anyone to grieve the loss of their child; but I have to question the thought processes behind those who honor their fallen soldier children by NOT speaking out against a war they themselves find wrong.

Such are the cases of several parents in the San Francisco Chronicle this morning.

The Chronicle interviewed parents and other family members who'd lost children to the war in Iraq. Many had gone to protest in Crawford with Cindy Sheehan. Some were pro war. And then there were the ones who said they themselves were opposed to the war but could not protest it out of respect for their fallen soldier children. Loretta Bridges is one such mom:

"My son believed in what he was doing," Bridges said. "I would never go protest against what he believed in and died for."

Another parent, Mark Crowley, also did not support the war:

"His belief was, this was about our freedom," he said. "He did it for country, family and friends."

As for protesting the war, Crowley said, "it's not about what I want, it's about what he wanted."

I'm sorry, I know it's hard to think your children died in vain; but how is this different from grieving parents of Jonestown Massacre victims, saying, "It was what my son wanted. He drank the Kool Aid because he believed in it," and thereby sanctioning the lunatic cult of Jim Jones?

Or the parents of the Heaven's Gate cult, who believed the Hale Bopp comet was accompanied by a space ship and that by "shedding their containers" (read bodies) on earth, they'd be beamed up the Mother Ship? Would they support space alien worship, because it's what their kids wanted?

I think not.

If the war was wrong before your child was killed, isn't it all the more wrong now that he's given the "ultimate sacrifice" for the cult of George Bush? Wouldn't you honor their deaths more by denouncing the war machine that sent them into a meaningless battle without proper equipment, without adequate rationale, without any plan to get them out of there?

What we are doing in Iraq isn't any different from asking people to drink the Kool Aid. Only worse, because thousands of innocent non-believers (we call them Iraqi citizens) are forced to drink right along with the believers.

Honor your fallen soldiers by grieving their death, respecting their memory and mourning their gullibility. Your anger could help other parents not have to go through what you have.

Friday, August 12, 2005


I hear there's something called "Intelligent Design" to explain all the strange and unknowable things about our world.

Like how come there are black widow spiders? And why do penguins go marching?

I'd like to know how come there are so many people doing so many really dumb things like those bank robbers you read about writing their demand note on their deposit slip.

And how about the lady who ate 24 pizzas and then exploded? Is that intelligent I ask you?

No, and that's just the tip of the unseen iceberg. Which brings up another thing. Why are the icebergs melting? OK, you can talk about global warming, but I think it's Stupid Design.

Stupid Design to have so many different types of life forms that have to go around eating each other. And that's not counting stupid people, or shall we say intelligence challenged?

If the designer of this planet was so intelligent, that intelligence ought to have considered things like global warming in the first place. If you were writing your company's business plan you'd have something in there for contingencies, wouldn't you?

I'd say global warming is a honking big contingency.

I'm inclined toward believing the designer of our earth was some big dumb alien. I know people like to think a Supreme Being did all this, but what kind of Supreme Being puts George Bush in charge? Unless this planet is just a dumping ground for nature's mistakes. But if you believe in Intelligent Design by a Supreme Being, there wouldn't be any mistakes right? What good is a Supreme Being who makes mistakes?

So that brings us back to Stupid Design and a dumb alien doing the designing. Maybe we're a Junior High School experiment. I could see that. Junior High School students I've known are totally capable of coming up with the concept of creatures that devour their mate just for the grossness factor.

Maybe not Stupid Design then, but just thoughtless, adolescent design. Maybe someday, the alien mom and dad will step in and clean up the kid's mess. But somehow I doubt it. I think we're on our own, along with the marching penguins and melting ice. If the mother ship does return someday, I may ask to go along on the ride home.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


All you would be politicians and s*** disturbers, listen up! (Yes, this is a family Blog - so we keep it civilized)

Any of you in the San Francisco Bay Area can sign up for my Practical Politics seminar at the College of Marin on September 17th.

Details below.

If you're not in the Bay Area, or can't make it, I do activist trainings throughout Northern California and am happy to travel to you. The classes are fun and I learn just as much from you as you (hopefully) do from me.

There's lots of work to do and we can do it better together!

Read on.


Practical Politics

The Nuts and Bolts of Grassroots Activism

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever does" -Margaret Mead

Learn effective political techniques whether you are running for office, lobbying elected officials or creating a "buzz" for your cause. Topics include:

Developing a grassroots strategy
Frame that issue! (or what we can learn from Karl Rove)
Recruiting and training volunteers
Getting the Press you deserve
Creating effective campaign materials
Identifying natural and unlikely allies
Know your opposition
Dialing for dollars
New Section: Running for Office: How to decide what's right for you!

Handouts and a bibliography will be available.

Read George Lakoff's Don't Think of An Elephant before class if possible. Widely available in paperback. Handouts and bibliography will be provided. Please bring a bag lunch.

Dotty E. LeMieux has more than 20 years of grassroots activism under her belt, and currently runs progressive political campaigns and trains grassroots activists throughout Northern California. She served as California Political Director for Dennis Kucinich's Presidential Campaign.

Saturday, 10am-4pm
Sept. 17
Kentfield Campus, Harlan Center 171
Fee $37 (Includes $7 materials fee)
Course #8431 EC

Call (415) 485-9305 to register or register online at:

Dotty E. LeMieux
Green Dog Campaigns
(415) 383-3715

Monday, August 01, 2005


Wow! After all this time, the CDP has officially recognized our Progressive Caucus at this weekend's E-Board meeting in Sacramento. It's been a long haul and we are grateful that the Rules Committee saw fit to realize that we represent a large and growing group of Democrats who want to see our Party flourish while moving in a more progressive direction.

Go to this site for more info:


Friday, July 29, 2005


On Jim Lehrer last night Condaleezza Rice got a chance to weave her spell. Got to hand it to the lady. She looks him right in the eye and doesn't twitch or blink excessively when she accuses people of "making excuses" for terrorism.

Here's an exact transcript of the segment followed by how I wish the rest of the interview had gone:


JIM LEHRER: What about the additional element here that, increasingly, terrorism experts and Muslim experts are saying that the combination of Iraq and other foreign policy decisions by the United States are actually creating more terrorists every day than they are eliminating them.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE: When we are going to stop making excuses for the terrorists? The terrorists on Sept. 11 attacked the United States. We weren't in Iraq. We weren't even in Afghanistan on Sept. 11.

They have attacked in places that had no forces in either place. They've attacked all over the world. They've attacked in Morocco and in Bali and in Egypt and in London and in Madrid.

When are we going to stop making excuses for the terrorists and saying that somebody is making them do it? No, these are simply evil people who want to kill. And they want to kill in the name of a perverted ideology that really is not Islam, but they somehow want to claim that mantle to say that this is about some kind of grievance. This isn't about some kind of grievance. This is an effort to destroy, rather than to build.

And until everybody in the world calls it by name -- the evil that it is -- stops making excuses for them, then I think we're going to have a problem. And I hope that after the bombings of innocent people in London, innocent people at Sharm el-Sheikh, innocent children in Iraq, that people will call this by name and stop making excuses for these people.

No one is making them do it. They're doing it because they want to create chaos and to undermine our way to life.


Lehrer: Wow, you said it four times in one monologue. People are making excuses for the terrorists. Care to elaborate?

Condi: I said what I said. People make excuses. It's the liberal media, wanting to give them therapy and understanding. They don't need therapy; they need exorcism.

Lehrer: That's a tall order. Exorcism. Does that mean you think they have the Devil inside?

Condi: They're terrorists. Nobody made them do it. They're evil.

Lehrer: Wait a minute, if they're evil and need exorcism, didn't the Devil make them do it; isn't that what you're saying?

Condi: Stop twisting my words. They're evil and they like to kill. Stop making excuses.

Lehrer: Who's making excuses. Did the Devil make them do it or not?

Condi: That's not for me to say.

Lehrer: But how do they get to be evil? Are they born that way, or is it a lifestyle choice?

Condi: It's a choice, it's the way they are; it's not for me to say. Stop putting words in my mouth!

Lehrer: Is it like being gay?

Condi: That's a lifestyle choice and I'm here to talk about evil, and people who want to kill Americans and undermine our way of life.

Lehrer: Because they're evil?

Condi: And they want to create chaos. It's just how they are. They hate Americans and our way of life, and I wish people would stop trying to make excuses.

Lehrer: But why do they hate our way of life?

Condi: I keep telling you, they're evil; they're perverted and evil and they hate us and they like to kill. Got it? Hate us. Like to kill.

Lehrer: And we hate them and looks like we like to kill them too. Or torture them; what about Abu Graib?

Condi: What about it? Those people are evil.

Lehere: The detainees or the ones torturing them?

Condi: We don't torture people. And anyway, I told you, they're evil. Kill the evil. Kill the Devil. Anyway, it's exorcism. Cleansing. You liberals ought to like that.

Lehrer: So is this a Christian thing? A Catholic thing?

Condi: Let me be perfectly clear. We are not advocating one religion over the other. Most Muslims are good people. It’s the perverted ones, the evil ones, don’t you get it?

Lehrer: I guess not. So do you think our killing them is helping? I mean, are we getting rid of the Devil if we kill them?

Condi: Exorcising them. Exorcising the Devil. Stop making excuses.

Lehrer: OK, let’s move on. About John Bolton

Condi: Man of peace. Whip that evil UN into line. I mean exorcise it. Look at all the evil countries on the Security Council. There's a lot of work to do there, let me tell you.

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Another Activist Training Class in PRACTICAL POLITICS is coming up September 17, at the College of Marin.

Here's an example of some of the things we will be discussing this time.

Save the date. More to come.

Any questions, email me at

Our last class filled up, so register early!


Friday, July 22, 2005

Pay for NO Services

I see in today's San Francisco Chronicle that Wells Fargo Bank is willing to let you not have your identify stolen if you pay them $12.99 a month.

In the same edition, an outfit called Direct Marketing Association will put your name on the Do Not Call list for a mere $1. There's only one catch. You have to be dead.

Otherwise, your family will be bombarded with telemarketers trying to sell their deceased loved ones goods and services, cemetery plots and wreaths I presume.

We already learned that magazines are the gift that keeps on giving unless you take affirmative steps to cancel instead of using that old fashioned method of letting the subscription lapse.

What's next? Will the IRS stop sending you tax bills after you lose your job for a mere $5.00 per month?

Will magazine and newspapers subscriptions returned marked "deceased" on them, be discontinued only if accompanied by a $20 bill?

Will your credit card company promise not to broadcast your secret pin number on the internet if you cough up $5.99 with each purchase.

It's enough to make you want to join the economic underground. In my youth, cash was king and most of my friends kept their "savings" in a jewelry box or cookie jar, but that was only because as starving students, our savings amounted to a few dollars, and lasted only a few days.

We didn't need banks or credit cards, and we didn't have the internet to purchase items on, so identity theft was kept to a minimum: younger siblings "borrowing" our driver's license for a night on the town; pizzas being ordered by rival fraternity houses.

Property theft was kept in check too. Not too many burglars coveted the ancient black and white TV inherited from parents, or the 8 track tape player. Mortgages were unheard of.

This new fervor for charging you NOT to be ripped off is really nothing new. Anyone familiar with gangster movies, most of them starring Robert Di Niro, knows the ploy. Pay up or get your kneecaps whacked.

Who'd a thunk the Mob would take over all the financial institutions of this country? But then, who'd a thunk Alfred E. Newman would be in the White House?

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Kudos for Lynn Woolsey

Here are some comments by that erudite scholar, Thomas Gangale, author of the innovative approach to Presidential primary campaigns originally known as the "California Plan."

Tom will comment more on this after this post, so go to the comment section and check in.

Let the Green Dog know what you think.


Here's Tom's post on our very own Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey:

Woolsey's Sound Bites for Peace

Copyright 2005 by Thomas Gangale

In reading Chris Coursey's "Opposing War in Five-Minute Increments," which
appeared in the "Santa Rosa Press Democrat" on March 28, 2005, I gained an
increased admiration for Rep. Lynn Woolsey. Her lonely evening vigil in the
nearly-deserted House chamber, where she bears witness to the folly and
evil of war, may seem quixotic on the surface. On the contrary, her
campaign against the Iraq War is exactly the sort that one should wage
against an opponent of superior force: small, incremental victories that
wear down that opponent over time. It is the strategy of Fabius over
Hannibal, Washington over Cornwallis, Giap over Abrams.

Nearly 2200 years ago, Marcus Porcius Cato the Censor invented the sound
bite by ending every speech in the Roman Senate, regardless of its subject,
with the words "Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam" -- "In
conclusion, I believe that Carthage must be destroyed." One can imagine
that Cato's colleagues thought him quixotic, and some may have laughed at
him in secret when he brandished a branch of figs, allegedly of
Carthaginian origin, as "proof" of Carthage's resurgence as a Mediterranean
power and a mortal threat to Rome. Yet armed with this flimsy evidence,
much as Colin Powell played tape recordings to the UN Security Council two
years ago, Cato eventually won the day. Carthage was destroyed.

But Cato could not have foreseen the consequences of victory. Whereas many
of his contemporaries were only too glad to believe that Rome's pre-emptive
war against Carthage was an act of self-defense, history has judged
otherwise. Rome paid dearly for its hubris; in the course of the next
century its republic was battered down by its own imperialism. Rome was

Quo vadis, America?

It is a historical fact that the persistent drumbeat of oratory can drive a
great nation down the road to war. Perhaps our generation can answer this
question: can the patient vigil of one person of conscience move a great
nation down the road to peace?

In conclusion, I believe that Lynn Woolsey must be reelected.


Thomas Gangale is an aerospace engineer and a former Air Force officer. He
is currently the executive director at OPS-Alaska, a think tank based in
Petaluma, California, and an international relations scholar at San
Francisco State University. He is the author of the California Plan to
reform the presidential nomination process.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


We must be official! We now have a website and newsletter for the California Democratic Progressive Caucus. This is YOUR home if you are a progressive Democrat and want to meet like minded individuals and help advance progressive values.

The website is Go there and sign up for the newsletter or to work on a committee or support progressive legislation.

Here are some excerpts from the first newsletter:


Submitted to the Resolutions Committee of the CDP this past week, the impeachment resolution is the talk of the town!

special thanks to Joye Swan for the crafting of this critical resolution!

"WHEREAS, the Downing Street Meeting Minutes show that President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld began planning and executing the illegal war against and occupation of Iraq before seeking Congressional and UN approval;

WHEREAS, UN weapons inspectors showed prior to the invasion that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; and

WHEREAS, there is further mounting evidence that the Administration lied to or misled the American people and the world about IraqÂ’s weapons capacity and plotted to commence war proceedings prior to seeking UN or Congressional approval as revealed by the following statements contained in the 2002 Downing Street Meeting Minutes, "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action! , justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Progressive Caucus asks Congress to immediately begin impeachment proceedings against President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld.

You are encouraged to take these resolutions and get them passed, or endorsed by any other clubs or groups you are additionally affiliated with, and contact the Progressive Caucus about sponsorship;

Now is the time.

This is the place.

Progressives unite.

Green Dog Democrats Bite the Right!

Monday, June 20, 2005


The first few nominations are coming in for Fifty Over Fifty. We Boomers and older folk need to celebrate our acheivements. I can think of several. But I want to hear from you. Who has done something wonderful, artistic, innovative, amazing, etc. after the age of fity?

Here are two to get the ball rolling!

I nominate Lynne Twist..

A global activist, author, and fundraiser who has raised more than $150 million in individual contributions for charitable causes, has dedicated years of her life to the eradication of hunger on the planet and plays an active role in The Pachamama Alliance support indigenous people She demonstrates the human qualities of deep compassion for humanity, vision for a workable future, understanding of complex global problems and a desire to make a difference one person at a time! Thanks Judy

Wendi Kallins

In 1999, Wendi Kallins, then 47, began research into a program that would
encourage children to explore transportation alternatives, while using the
"Walkability Audit", a citizen's process for creating more walkable
communities, specifically for schools. She found the Safe Routes to Schools
program in England and Canada, which was exactly this combination.

Working with friend, Deb Hubsmith, they put together a number of grants, including being designated a "national model" program by the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration. With cash in hand she launched the Marin County Safe
Routes to Schools program. In two years they had succeeded in increasing
the number of kids walking and biking in their pilot schools from 21% to
38%. The County of Marin Congestion Management Agency adopted the program
and it soon grew to over 40 schools.

Last year they were able to reduce traffic congestion by 13% in participating schools. the program promotes a healthy lifestyle, reduced congestion and pollution and helps to create more livable communities. Now, at age 53, Wendi is recognized as one of the national leaders in the Safe Routes to Schools movement and travels the country speaking at conferences, conducting trainings and consulting with
other SR2S programs. Marin County passed a 1/2 cent sales tax which includes 11% funding for Safe Routes to Schools including money for the program, crossing guards and infrastructure.

Wendi Kallins
Program Director
Safe Routes to Schools

More to come. Send in your own now. Don't be shy. Nominate yourself!

And more have come in

Interesting to note, so far they are all women!

Cool. Here they are:

Hi Dotty,

I'd like to nominate Barbara George from Women's Energy Matters who
works away defending us from Utility corruption and 'impostors' like
CPUC commissioner Susan Kennedy, with humor and flare at the CPUC -
all basically under the radar. Her website is She has been living in Fairfax for the
last 6 months.

Thanks ,
Rebekah Collins

I would like to nominate Joyce Seigel. Joyce has been a tireless worker for Gun Control in Marin County. She is responsible for an ordinance which banned in-home gun dealers in San Rafael, she worked to rid the county of Saturday Night specials, and she was instumental in getting the ordinance passed that banned firarms and ammunition on County property. (Because of this ordinance, Marin no longer hosts a gun show on Thanksgivig weekend.) She volunteers weekly for Legal Community Against Violence, LCAV. Joyce is a housewife and is little bit over 50, but is dedicated to making the county safer.

Barbara Matas

Dotty, Katherine Graham popped in my mind first thing. Here is what is said about her on the web site (which I found by googling). It was obviously written before her death. She became president of the Washington Post Company at 46 and publisher at 52. Does that qualify? From


From attending movies with Henry Kissinger to helping expose the Watergate scandal, Katherine Graham has been always been in the spotlight.

Her remarkable ability to assume the publishership of a major national newspaper, The Washington Post, and control of a Fortune 500 company, the Washington Post Co., was an incredible accomplishment for anyone, particularly a woman in the 1960s.

In her Pulitzer Prize-winning memoirs, "Personal History," Graham shared the story of her rise to success. Hers is a tale filled with characters such as Warren Buffet, Robert McNamara and George Schultz.

Graham's father was a multimillionaire who in 1933 decided to leave private business and restore the down-and-out Washington Post.

After much success, he died in 1946. He left the newspaper to Graham's husband.

"My father said to me, and I certainly went along with it, that 'No man should work for his wife,'" she recounted in her memoir.

Her husband, who suffered from manic depression, committed suicide in 1963. Graham became president of the company following his death.

"I had very little idea of what I was supposed to be doing, so I set out to learn," she said. "What I essentially did was to put one foot in front of the other, shut my eyes, and step off the edge."

In 1969, Graham was named publisher of The Washington Post, a title she held for a decade. In addition, she's served as the Washington Post Co.'s chief executive officer and chairman of the board.


Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Democrats Behaving Stupidly

I know I'll get flack for this because we are supposed to be pulling together for the good of the Party. But I'm here to tell you, from all outward appearances, there's no one minding the store.

Feeling in a feisty mood, I turned my TV to Hardball last night. Who would be skewered tonight? Oh goodie, I thought, he's got a Democratic and Republican strategist squaring off against each other on the Bolton and upcoming Court nominations. I settled in for a good debate.

The Republican was a chipmunk faced fellow with pasted on plastic hair. The Democratic side was represented by a perky 30 something. Her hair was tastefully frosted. She looked spirited.

What happened next was pathetic. Ok, I know Chris Matthews' job is to lob zingers across the plate so fast you can't catch your breath, but don't they prepare people for this show?

Mr. Plastic Hair was cool calm and collected. The Reps, besides providing a pre-program intensive with Carl Rove or the like, probably have the foresight to slip their guy some valium.

Besides snorting in derision and making faces at Mr. Plastic Hair's comments, "our" girl (and I say that in all deliberateness) took spirited to new heights, twitching and bouncing in her seat as she managed to completely blow questions on the line of "when did you stop beating your wife?"

Here's a virtual transcript of the exchange. Chris Matthews: "Are the Democrats opposed to John Bolton?"

Dem. Strategist: "Well, Yah!" Snort, twitch.

CM: "Oh, so this request for more information really IS a stalling tactic!"

Ms. DS: "Is not!"

Mr. PH: "Well, Chris, as the Republicans have pointed out time and again, if it wasn't a stalling tactic, the Dems would go for the up or down vote."

Ms. DS: "Well, of course, they don't listen to MY advice!"

CM: "Oh, you would advise them to go for the up or down vote?"

Ms. DS: "No."

Mr. PH: "I rest my case."

Ms. DS: Sputter, twitch, snort.

CM: "OK, how about the Supreme Court nominations. What if Bush nominated Antonin Scalia for Chief Justice. Would the Dems filibuster that?"

Ms. DS: "They can if they want to, so there!"

OK, I exaggerate a little. But not much. (Go to for the actual transcript.) A 14 year old debate team member could have done a better job. A middle school teacher wouldn't let her charges loose without some advance knowledge of the format.

Or is this the best the Dems can do?

I KNOW we have progressive minds who can keep their heads even in these trying situations. Or is it a Republican plot? Was this kid a ringer masquerading as a Democratic strategist?

Who's in charge here anyway? First the Dems go all Republican lite; then they send in the Valley Girls. If we want to be taken seriously, we have to act serious, even when faced with the ludicrous. Not to say we should go all dull and pedantic. But if this girl was a Democratic Strategist, I'm James Carville.

Speaking of which, where IS the Ragin' Cajun these days? Ragin' is one thing. Twitching and blathering quite something else.

I hope someone is noticing the difference. Dr. Dean, are you paying attention?

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Activist Training successes

Green Dogs and Friends,

I have been pleased to have participated in some activist trainings lately, most recently my class at the College of Marin, with 36 active and eager students, ready to jump into the political fray.

Last weekend I went to beautiful Mendocino for a training of local Democrats on the art of running for office.

The photo below shows Rachel Binah, Democratic activist and member of the DNC, giving her "Rachel's Rules" for fundraising.

We had past and present members of the Board of Supervisors, City Council members, potential candidates for judge, Council and Supervisor. All in all, a successful day!

I look forward to many more, as we go forward toward 2006. Will YOU be a candidate?

Dotty the Green Dog Democrat

Mendocino Democratic Training Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Everyone in the Administration is all atwitter over Newsweek Magazine's printing of an uncorroborated story of a Quoran being flushed down the toilet at Guantanamo Bay Detention Center.

It really isn't the content of the story that has them concerned; these stories have existed for awhile; But now says White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, "The image of the United States abroad has been damaged" by such an action that has the righteous Righties up in arms.

The damage done to the "image" of the United States? The image they are trying to portray as spreading democracy and freedom around the world by invading countries and occupying them and killing thousands of civilians into the process?

The good image of America rooting out terrorism by detaining uncharged Muslims and holding them for months or sending them to countries where they can be tortured or worse? Or maybe it's our unblemished image as a caretaker of prisoners at Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq?

Which image of America has been so tarnished? Oh, it must be the one of America as installers of puppet regimes in Afghanistan or maybe stealers of oil or desecration of Mosques or shooting of Italian journalists, or....

America specializes in symbolic desecration of the Quoran every day. That's probably one reason it was not surprising to hear about an actual physical desecration.

Who should be apologizing to the Muslim world, to the whole world, for conduct unbecoming a Democratic Superpower?

Thursday, May 12, 2005



The Culture of Death does not belong to Islamic fundamentalists. Who worships a dead guy on a cross? Who sends its young into warfare ill equipped and unprepared? Who rains down bombs on people who have done them no harm?

While Islamic fundamentalists with nothing to lose may look forward to an afterlife with plentiful nooky, Christian fundamentalists are trying to bring about Armageddon, that time when death and destruction will overwhelm the earth and the "saved" will ascend to Heaven to sit on the right hand of God. Sounds boring compared to 72 virgins, but it's a Culture of Death nonetheless.

When I heard Air America's Randi Rhodes talking about the "culture of Death" as being practiced by the Muslim terrorists (in a somewhat twisted explanation on how we can’t hope to win in Iraq, because those who are resisting us practice a culture of death, meaning they never give up, same as the Japanese in WWII, that's why we had to bomb them into smithereens), I figured the term had originated with some right wing-nut to describe Moslem extremism.

Thomas Friedman says it’s taught in Saudi Schools. Right wingers says Muslims hate life and revere death; so what do you expect? They hate us because we want to be alive, and they just want to hurry up and die already. Couldn't it be that they want to live their lives too, and if we let them do so without US troops and bases, and sanctions and bombs, they’d do it.

So I Googled Culture of Death. And I found that this is a catch phrase used to describe all manner of people-who-don't-think-like-we-do. Abortion is a Culture of Death, Assisted Suicide in Oregon is a Culture of Death, Marxism is a Culture of Death, of course, the Holocaust may have been the best known example of the Culture of Death, then there's Columbine, and the War in Iraq represents the Bush Administration’s Culture of Death.

Look it up yourself, Google Culture of Death, you'll be amazed.

So I got to thinking it over, and whoa Nelly, the Muslims have nothing on the Christians in the Culture of Death Department. What do the Christians worship? A dead guy on a cross and bunch of martyred saints.

Also, the fundamentalists have this thing about "rapture" which seems to involve the death of the whole world. Armageddon will destroy the earth, and let the "saved" ascend into Heaven, where they get to sit at the right hand of the Lord. I envision quite bit of jockeying for position, unless God multiplies his right hand so there’s one for everyone. Or maybe one or two will actually get the go.

The rest of us will damned to eternal hellfire, or worse, aeons of pestilence, plague, boils, locust and all manner of environmental destruction. These guys are so serious about this that they are actively trying to hurry it up through promoting turmoil in the Middle East.

James Watt, remember him? former Secretary of the Interior, said "When the last tree falls, the rapture will come" or words to that effect.

Death of the earth, death of the soldiers, the Iraqis, the poor people and ascension to the right hand of God for the "good" people.

Who has a Culture of Death?

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


We've all seen them, those cute stories entitled "Forty under Forty" or even "Thirty under Thirty" about young people accomplishing big things.

Well, it's time for us oldsters to have our day, us late blooming boomers. I want to write a story called "Fifty over Fifty" about fifty remarkable men and women who have come into prominence later in life.

Maybe they were homemakers, schoolteacher or insurance salespeople who launched a new career. Maybe they struggled their whole life at writing or painting or philosophizing and are finally getting the recognition they deserve.

Maybe they just came up with some brilliant idea or program that has made a difference in their community.

Whatever, as the kids say, if you know someone who could fit this description, send in their story to and I'll post the fifty winners here on the Blog. (Heck, I'll post them all, and YOU vote on the winners!)

Go ahead and nominate yourself.

Tell your friends and colleagues. This could be fun.

Dotty the Green Dog "over fifty" Democrat

Monday, April 18, 2005

California's Progressive Caucus

Convention news. Our new California Progressive Caucus is off and running! We exceeded our expectations on Friday, April 15th with a standing room only and not enough of that at our first meeting of the California Progressive Caucus, still called Progressive Issues coalition by the powers-that-be. More than 350 people showed up, signed in and joined the Caucus. We elected officers and passed a set of by-laws.

The officers, interim until the next meeting, when we hopefully will be ratified by the State Party, will be listed here when I get all the correct names and spellings.

It was a lively and energetic crowd, ready for an opportunity to put our progressive values to work. It was a gratifying experience for those of us who have worked these many months to bring this vision to fruition. We were visited by a host of elected officials and candidates, all amazed at our numbers, all realizing that the "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" is alive and well! Our own State Treasurer and gubernatorial Candidate Phil Angelides joined our Caucus on the spot! Go Phil! Watch out Ahnold!

Yay for us!

And we know we are needed when a resolution supporting single payer universal health care failed to pass on the Convention floor on Sunday morning. Despite widespread support.

We are proud that several other resolutions authored by some of our members did pass, one opposing the war in Iraq and another commending our great Senator Barbara Boxer for her courageous stands on voting rights, against Condaleezza Rice's appointment as Secretary of State and many other progressive stands. Go Barbara!

Now we send our materials on to the Rules Committee, where decisions are made. We have the numbers; we have the determination; we will work to see our Caucus recognized.

Photos from our great caucus are posted in the Blog.

Dotty the Green Dog Democrat

State Treasurer Phil Angelides joins the new Progressive Caucus! Posted by Hello

Congresswoman Barbara Lee mets with Members of the new Prorogressive Caucus Posted by Hello

Look How Crowded our Caucus is! Posted by Hello

Thursday, April 14, 2005


Well, the time has come. The California State Democratic Convention starts tomorrow.

Our Progressive Caucus is on the agenda. Well, they're calling it the Progressive Issues coalition, but hey, that's a start! We will meet at 5 PM and elect interim officers and approve Bylaws.

We will be visited by the usual candidates and elected officials. We will be semi-official.

I will update this post with breaking news, if accessing my Blog from the convention is possible.

Question: Why don't hotels come equipped with computers for their guests? Shlepping a laptop is a pain. And I can never get mine to work from another location.

Call me techno dummy, but wouldn't that make good financial and pr sense?


Friday, April 01, 2005

April No Fooling Day


March 30th The Air

I want to punch a hole through the sky in China so the people can breath. The air is thick with muck. We visit the safety supervisor of one of the many new power plants. He says it’s cheaper to pay fines for excessive sulfur release than invest in technology to reduce it.

China cannot keep up with the demands for power as industry surges and the west rushes to expand manufacturing there. But the people are living in darkness and without heat. Drive through residential areas at night, you’ll see. In the cities too, the apartments are black, save for the cool flicker of the occasional TV.

Singapore, by contrast, has a sizable middle class housed in neat, well-appointed candy-colored apartments. Designed to promote a clean, wholesome society, strict prohibitions enforced by significant fines govern all aspects of life. But Singapore cannot evade the fires raging around it. The smoky air burns the lungs and scalds the eyes. “There’s an air quality alert,” warns my taxi driver as we drive along the tiny city-state’s beautifully landscaped roads. Westerners walk and jog, chests high, arms pumping. Locals know better. The pit fires burn in neighboring Malaysia, snaking underground, uncontrollable, unpredictable, and impervious to fines.

Friday, March 25, 2005


Serious True Story -

Amid all this talk of Terri Schiavo and “culture of life” I remember the time, in 1979, my friend Diana and I blundered into the midst of a young woman’s decision whether to “pull the plug” on her dying father. We were all trying to be writers in a small town on the coast of California and we had agreed on this afternoon of wine and literature weeks earlier.

Her father, a well known artist, had been ill for some time. Of course, we had no idea of the seriousness of the situation before we knocked on her modest cabin door.

While we were trying to decide whether it was ruder to stay or abruptly leave her alone with her decision, being discussed over the long distance telephone to the hospital in another state, she motioned us to sit down, while keeping the phone glued to her ear, punctuated by “uh huhs” and “oks” to the person at the other end.

It was her younger brother, the one who would actually say yay or nay to the doctors in charge on the other end of the phone.

We stayed the afternoon; we had come to talk poetry; we talked about end of life decisions, the cruelty of fatal diseases, the kindness of hospice, the frustrations of long distance.

We drank cheap white wine and ate stale chips. We hugged, and laughed and by the time we left, the sun was setting, the decision had been made, we were all exhausted, and we hoped we had helped a little bit.

When my own mother died twenty years later, she had the graciousness to do it all at once, sparing my sister and me such hard decisions.

Small Bit of Satire –

Headlines we’d like to see: “Bush to Clone Terry Schiavo.” “’Done with Death on My Watch,’ Says Bush.” “Bush Considers Unearthing Christian Corpses for Cloning.”

Explaining his new stance in favor of cloning certain individuals, Bush explained, “I know I used to be against it, but now I think we need to use all measures in our culture of life. If we let sick people die; if we let dead people stay dead, we have failed.”

“Except for murderers and adulterers, of course,” he quickly amended. “And Democrats” one reporter thought he heard him mumble under his breath as he left the podium.


This just in from my old friend, known as Mystery Business Woman. She travels to the far East quite often and shares her experiences seen through the lens of global geopolitcs:


March 20, 2005

This morning as I pack my bags to leave Shanghai, CNN reports that “stars” including Paul McCartney’s wife and the lead singer of Yes, are protesting the Chinese slaughter of dogs to make fur coats. CNN shows scenes from a film made surreptitiously. I glance up from my packing to see a grainy shot of the strained hind legs of a black dog. “The images are too gruesome to show on television,” the announcer says. Voiceover discussion ensues with the filmmaker: “The dogs are skinned alive. The sound of their cries is unimaginable.” Here dogs are a delicacy.

On my flight, I read the Shanghai Times. Over objections from the U.S., the EU has agreed to ship weapons to China. Germany and France are spearheading the initiative, stating that the reasons for the arms embargo, dating back to Tiananmen (SP.) Square are no longer valid. Sale of “high tech” weapons will be avoided, they claim. The article explains that the Europeans hope their newfound flexibility will lead to the sale of European cars and other goods to the People’s Republic. Bend over.

At the airport in Hong Kong, the idea for this blog takes shape as I read Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran. Explaining The Great Gatsby to her students, she writes, “We in ancient countries have our past – we obsess over the past. They, the Americans, have a dream: they feel nostalgia about the promise of the future.” I suddenly realize that I am witnessing the demise of that promise. China is the future. For Americans, though they may not realize it, the dream is dead.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Spreading Democracy and War

I used to scoff when I heard George W. say he was spreading Democracy around the world. But now I know he's sincere.

He wants to bring American style democracy, as practiced by the Bush administration, to struggling third world countries everywhere.

What does this look like?

Well, a place where voting rights don't matter, and judges determine the outcome of elections.

Where the wealthiest 1% get a tax break that the rest of the country pays for.

Where children can't get basic needs like pencils and school books at school, and old people can't pay for their prescriptions.

Where crony capitalism flourishes.

Where clean air and clean water are code words for pollution.

Where government spies can find out what library books you're reading and put you on watch lists if they don't like the titles.

Where the media is in a few corporate hands.

Yeah, baby, spread the word. Democracy is coming to the world.

All hail George W.



Pass it on --

Published on Thursday, March 10, 2005 by Making Peace With the War in Iraq
by Norman Solomon

Sadly, it has come to this. Two years after the invasion of Iraq, the online powerhouse -- which built most of its member base with a strong antiwar message -- is not pushing for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

With a network of more than 3 million "online activists," the MoveOn leadership has decided against opposing the American occupation of Iraq. During the recent bloody months, none of MoveOn's action alerts have addressed what Americans can do to help get the U.S. military out of that country. Likewise, the website has continued to bypass the issue -- even after Rep. Lynn Woolsey and two dozen cosponsors in the House of Representatives introduced a resolution in late January calling for swift removal of all U.S. troops from Iraq. That resolution would seem to be a natural peg for the kind of kinetic activism that established MoveOn's reputation.

A movement serious about ending U.S. military activities in Iraq could use the resolution as a way to cut through political tap dances and pressure members of Congress to take a stand. Down the road, generating grassroots support for a get-out-of-Iraq resolution has potential to clear a congressional pathway for measures cutting off funds for the war. But, tragically, MoveOn's leadership is having none of it. Over a period of recent weeks, the word "Iraq" appeared on the home page only in a plug for a documentary released last year. Inches away, a blurb has been telling the website's visitors: "Support Our Troops: Contribute your frequent-flyer miles so that American troops can get home." (But not stay home.)

Many soldiers are returning to the killing grounds of Iraq, while a growing number are vocally opposed to this war. Why won't MoveOn "support our troops" by supporting a pullout of our troops from Iraq? "We believe that there are no good options in Iraq,"'s executive director, Eli Pariser, told me. "We're seeing a broad difference of opinion among our members on how quickly the U.S. should get out of Iraq. As a grassroots-directed organization, we won't be taking any position which a large portion of our members disagree with."

In sharp contrast, early in the 2004 primary campaign, MoveOn committed itself to endorsing any Democratic presidential candidate receiving more than 50 percent of the Internet ballots cast by its activists. (Howard Dean fell shy of a majority, so there was no MoveOn endorsement.) But now, evidently, a majority of MoveOn members in favor of swift withdrawal from Iraq would be insufficient if a "large portion" disagreed. When I asked Eli for clarification, he replied: "We've been talking with our members continuously on this issue. We've surveyed slices of our membership in January and in December, and surveyed our whole membership last spring. That's how we know there's a breadth of opinion out there."

But last spring was a year ago. And any surveying of "slices of our membership in January and in December" came before the Woolsey resolution offered an opportunity to find out how the MoveOn base views the measure. In any event, there will always be "a breadth of opinion" about this war -- a fact that does not trump the crucial need for clarity of purpose.

If MoveOn leaders were willing to submit the House get-out-of-Iraq resolution to MoveOn's rank-and-file in an up-or-down vote, the chances of a substantial majority would be excellent. Too bad the leadership of is currently unwilling to find out. The 29 members of the House now sponsoring the resolution are hardly radicals. They recognize the kind of grisly consequences of equivocation that occurred during the Vietnam War: Refusal to speak forthrightly about the urgent need to end military involvement only fuels the war's deadly momentum.

It's all well and good for to do superb work in the current battle over the future of Social Security. And it's very helpful to excoriate President Bush for his many big lies in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq. But such activities don't make up for going along with the basics of the present-day Iraq war.

When a large progressive organization takes the easy way and makes peace with war, the abdication of responsibility creates a vacuum. Ironically, a group that became an Internet phenom by recognizing and filling a void is now creating one. And other groups are bound to emerge to fill it. Among the emerging organizations is Progressive Democrats of America ( ), a fledgling national group with an activist focus on the Iraq war that is laudably straightforward. "We're organizing a new campaign in every Congressional District we can to call for the end of funding for war and occupation, and for the transfer of reconstruction assistance to Iraqis themselves," says Tim Carpenter of PDA.

He contends that "public pressure can awaken Congress to an opposition role." War in Iraq requires continual funding, of course, so President Bush's new supplemental boost of $80 billion in war appropriations has been moving through Congress in recent days. Tacitly accepting the war's continuation, MoveOn declined to take a stand against the essence of congressional backing for the war -- the money that keeps paying for it. Meanwhile, PDA launched an effort against the $80 billion; the organizing included a National Call-In Day aimed at members of Congress on March 10. pioneered the use of email and web technologies as creative tools to further its political agenda. Now that the MoveOn agenda on the Iraq war has tumbled into the shallow depths of the Potomac, some similar online activism will be needed if MoveOn's dive is going to be merely temporary.

So, to help get the cyber-ball rolling, please forward this article around the Internet and post it where appropriate. Friends don't let friends drive drunk, and peace advocates do a lot more than shrug when a previously great antiwar organization starts to get lost. If MoveOn continues to abandon its antiwar base, that base will get the picture -- and move on.

Norman Solomon's latest book, "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death ," will be published in early summer. His columns and other writings can be found at: ###