Turns out the site is all but defunct. The software is old and administering a blog is difficult.
But hey ... at least there isn't a SQL error anymore. So there's that going for it.
New user signup is disabled. If for some reason old users want to log it, they should still be able to.
I'm figuring out what to do with the content and stuff ... but I'm feeling no real hurry or anything.
I am in the process of writing a book. It will be called "Censorship- A Liberal Value. Tales Of A Progressive Activist." It will be a say all, tell all. I will name names and organizations. I will explain and expose just how corrupted thinngs are here in Minnesota. Just so that you all get a taste, here is a partial list of the "progressive" organizations I will discuss in the book. Detailing my own experiences as an activist and a candidate.
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minnesota Public Radio
Minnesota League Of Women Voters
Minnesota Nurses Association
Women Against Military Madness
Minnesota Move To Amend
Take Action Minnesota
Minnesota Green Party
Minnesota Clean And Secure Elections
Minnesota United Health Care Coalition
Op Ed News (Tough-Liberal-Progressive)
Drinking Liberally Minnesota ("progressive" blogging group)
This is just a partial list
Of course Jane Hamsher and Firedoglake will be included. With the prominence she and FDL deserve.
In all seriousness though, this is a conversation that we progressives need to have. Not just that there are "progressive" leaders who say terms like Veal Pen
but then promote the Veal Pen.
No, this question goes much deeper.. It goes to the heart and soul of what I have heard termed the "Golden Microphone." As in, if you speak for those with the gold- you get the golden microphone. The experiences I have had has shown me that this is not just the corporate media. This corruption goes much deeper into the 501 C3 Industrial Complex and how these groups corrupt any real progressive movements. With the aid and assistance of their Democratic Party buddies. Along with a call to action to organize around them.
Running for office has been one of the most horrifying experiences of my life.
I will never run for office again. This means that I need not kiss any of the asses of the above organizations or individuals. I will hold nothing back.
The book will be written in a very thoughtful and well documented manner. After we go around Minnesota, I intend to hit other places in the country.
This liberal censorship that I and others have exposed is a conversation we need to have and find a way to organize around.
Oh and for the record- there will be a chapter dedicated to "my" Congressman Keith Ellison. You see- I know why he flat out refused to engage in a debate with him, when I ran against him in 2008. Keith is the Co-Chair of the "Progressive Caucus."
That will be in the book as well. This book will NOT be a gripe list. It will be a call to action and organize. With the same goals as our US Senate race. Just a different format.
By now I'm sure you've heard the big news that Hostess Brands, Inc, maker of Twinkies, has shuttered it's doors. As my name would imply, I can assure you I did my best to avoid such a tragedy. I've been floating from depression at the news to a comic wondering of what that cop in the first two Die Hard movies would be thinking/saying/doing today. That alone would be worth it for me to give a view to Die Hard 5, or 6, or 8 or whatever the number is today.
Hostess blames the current strike for it's decision to liquidate, effective today, but they had been in bankruptcy twice over the last three years (see link above), so the strike, which did blast a hole in their cash flow, was really just the final straw.
My father, may he rest in peace, was a union organizer, who worked his way up through the ranks by getting a job as a meat cutter's apprentice at a Safeway, moving up to head of the meat department and becoming a shop steward and eventually, hired directly by the union as at first a representative (the guy that goes around all the unionized facilities handling complaints, issues, etc.) and then as an organizer.
So I've been around unions my whole life, was in one when I worked, and support them to this day by shopping at unionized facilities for everything I can (I only buy my groceries at Giant, a regional grocery chain here for example) and do whatever I can in other ways to support the overall goal of unions, which is to see workers get a fair shake. That goal, above ALL else, and the fact that without unions or government interfering workers would NEVER get a fair shake, is to me, the most important goal in an economy like ours.
But, there is, and IMO, always has been, a dirty little secret regarding unions in the supposed free market economy that has made up most of the western world today. And that little secret is this.. unionized businesses really can't compete with non-unionized ones. They can for awhile, some are capable of doing so for an entire generation or two, but over the long term, they just can't. I say it's a dirty little secret because hardly anyone involved with unions will ever admit it.
Probably one of the most well known unions is the UAW, that represents auto workers. Yes, GM, Ford, and Chrysler were able to compete for a lot of years while being unionized, but the way they did it was the same way we seem to do everything in this country, by putting everything you can on the credit card. By the time of "Obama's" famous bailout of GM (still not sure why it's considered Obama's bailout when I could've sworn the first checks were issued before he even took office, but my memory may be failing again and I don't feel like looking it up) GM had legacy costs of nearly $2,000 per vehicle built in. Chrysler and Ford had and to some degree, still have such issues.
If you read the link above, you will see that Hostess Brands, Inc. was suffering from very similar problems. And when GM or Hostess Brands opens their doors to sell their products, they do so in an environment where there are many, many alternatives, and the companies providing those many alternatives often times do so with non-unionized, much lower paid, employees. The result is, and always has been, a competitive disadvantage for the unionized companies.
Oh sure they can compete by quality, by brand, or other means. But only for awhile. It seems that in every industry, a time comes when the unionized company just can't cut it against the non-unionized one. The competitive disadvantage at some point just becomes too large to overcome. And the bigger the difference in salary and benefit between the unionized and non-unionized workers, the quicker that day of judgement arrives. It is, again in my opinion, inevitable.
It's an unfair fight that they can't win over the long term, and that's why labor would be better off in my opinion, forming one big "union" as a political movement rather than hundreds or thousands of individual "bargaining units". Because the only way workers are going to get a long term fair shake is if government intervenes. Laws will have to change, and right now, there is no political party out there (in the US) that will pursue that strategy.
It is along these lines that I wish labor would dump the Democratic Party, start from the bottom up and build a Labor Party and run them in town councils, county and state elections, and move on to the national stage. And their window of opportunity is closing, because after today there are 18,500 fewer unionized workers to gather resources from to help in that effort.
They need to move right now, as in TODAY, and take every resource they've ever used for the Democratic Party and use them instead to start a new third party that will be more of a movement than a party. Because if they keep waiting and those inevitable losses of union jobs keeps occurring, they're going to be too weak to be much of a player in the new movement. Because, make no mistake, that new movement is coming. It has too.
This is as good as it gets, when it comes to having the Bowles-Simpson “recommendations” for cutting Social Security articulated in a public forum.
[Conrad says that "he is speaking for himself."]
Here’s the transcript:
00:00:00 THE SOLVENCY OF SOCIAL SECURITY ITSELF.
00:00:05 >> THAT IS DONE, HOW?
00:00:07 >> IT WILL BE DONE IN SEVERAL DIFFERENT WAYS TO EARN ONE OF THE WAYS IT IS WE WILL EXTEND THE CAP IN TERMS OF WHAT INCOME IS EXPOSED FOR FUNDING SOCIAL SECURITY.
00:00:22 THE AGE WILL BE EXTENDED OVER AN EXTENDED A PERIOD OF TIME.
00:00:28 AND A TECHNICAL WAY OF DETERMINING WHAT SOCIAL SECURITY PAYOUTS ARE. [My Words: The Big Kahuna: “Means Testing.”]
00:00:33 AND THERE WILL BE AN INFLATION ADJUSTMENT.
00:00:38 CURRENTLY, THE INFLATION ADJUSTMENT IS DONE AND WITH THAT MOST ECONOMISTS SAY IS NOT FULLY ACCURATE.
00:00:45 >> ADJUSTMENT TO THE ANNUAL ADJUSTMENT?
00:00:48 >> CORRECT.
00:00:49 I THINK ALL OF THOSE WOULD BE FACTORS.
So Americans went to the polls and voted overwhelmingly for two men that claim they have the right to assassinate and/or arrest and detain forever any one of them. Overwhelmingly. Third Party candidates got combined less than 5% of the national vote. Therefore, the people have spoken, and they agree with ending our basic human rights without so much as a whimper despite thousands and thousands of people dying trying to get those rights in the first place. It's pretty fucking amazing to me, and pathetic.
But I want to focus here on just a portion of those Americans that said they agreed with ending our rights yesterday, because it is telling. We have known for quite some time that the right wing does not believe in accountability for their kind, as they've proven this time and time again. Even right wing voters don't hold their elected officials accountable as shown by Republicans "caught" in, shall we say "compromising situations" and yet continue to serve while Democrats caught in eerily similar "compromising situations" usually resign or lose their next election.
However, this election has proved that those on the "left" (I use that term loosely here. VERY loosely) don't believe in holding their kind accountable either. That Barrack Obama is a war criminal is barely even arguable at this point. Sending drones into countries we're not at war with without their permission is, always has been, and hopefully always will be, against international law. Yet nearly 60 million Americans voted for a war criminal. A war criminal who is also clearly quite impeachable, as he has violated so many of the tenets of the constitution that I'm not going to bother counting them here. Two examples were pointed out in my first paragraph, as killing anyone without due process is unconstitutional as is ending habeas corpus.
But the ironic thing is, or, if you prefer, the overtly hypocritical thing is, that a good portion of, in fact probably a majority of, those 60 million Americans that refused to hold Obama accountable for his crimes lamented the fact that none of the banksters were held accountable for their trashing of the world economy through fraud. And they whined about torturers under the Bush regime not being held accountable for their crimes. Other examples include not holding BP accountable enough for their destruction of the Gulf of Mexico and not holding George W. Bush himself accountable for his crimes when Nancy Pelosi took impeachment off the table.
Yet these same folks that screamed loudly and often about accountability for others, knowingly and willfully refused to hold "their guy" accountable for his crimes. And in the highest form of hypocrisy, many of them also spoke often about how Republican voters never seemed to hold Republican politicians accountable for their actions. HA!
I've got a dirty little secret I want to share with you. No government, anywhere, will ever hold it's friends and/or contributors accountable for their misdeeds if the people don't hold those doing the governing accountable for theirs. It just will not happen.
So, enjoy your "victory" and the fact that you kept Romney out of office, no matter that it cost you all the integrity you ever had and all the rights any following generations of Americans will have. America has spoken, and proven the old saying "It's better to remain silent and have people think you're a fool rather than speak and remove all doubt."
If you were one of the less than 5% of Americans that do get it, I'm afraid your options are limited. Both sides are so entrenched on keeping teh other out that accountability is no longer an option and overt hypocrisy is now the norm. We must live with that, or leave the country. Because I don't see any way of things changing when those realizing change is needed is less than 5%.
Again, good luck to all of you. You're going to need it. And to any future generation of Americans, I want to apologize for the worst generation. We have taken your future rights away from you, nearly destroyed the planet you would live on, and have proven that holding people accountable for those things is not going to happen, ensuring that those things will continue unabated. I sincerely apologize.
Well, the election is over. That was fun.
Now, for those in non-hurricane ravaged regions ... get your butts out there and fill up those vehicles at election-day gas prices!
My bet is that they won't stick around for too long.
Back when Scott Walker and his crew in Wisconsin pushed through their controversial overhaul of the state's school system it caused quite a media stir. Causing far less of a national bru-ha-ha was the fact that very similar laws were rammed through in several other states at the same time. My home state of Idaho was one such state. Despite widespread protests and vigils held from the top north to bottom south, legislature went ahead and passed what are known here as "The Luna Laws."
The response to Walker's actions in Wisconsin was an epic recall attempt aimed at replacing Walker and company with fine, upstanding Democrats. In retrospect, even with 100% success, this solution would result in all the undesirable laws staying if full force .. only now under the watchful eye of Democrats who, naturally, would repeal them ... eventually ... maybe ... if it's not too hard. As it turns out, the solution was far from 100% successful. In the end, Democrats simply consumed the entire budget available to fight against the laws held in coffers of Wisconsin unions and achieved an extra seat or two for themselves in legislature. And today Walker's laws are totally in force. Lame if you happen to be student or teacher in Wisconsin.
Where the teachers of Wisconsin put their faith in the Democrats, the teachers of Idaho put their faith in the people. Here, they decided to invest all the resources into fighting the bad laws instead of fighting to elevate a specific political party. The "Vote no on Prop 1, 2 and 3" campaign has been nothing short of awesome. By not weighting the campaign down with the ideology of a specific party, the floor became open to lines of argument that spoke to the concerns of those in each party. From the government overreach to unfunded mandates and deficits to eliminating negotiations on class size and student safety issues. People from all walks of Idaho political life came together and threw the kitchen sink at it ... with a full garbage disposal.
And the campaign to halt these terrible laws has achieved an overwhelming success. The final tally isn't in yet ... but it isn't even close. With Prop 1 & 2 both lagging by double digits and Prop 3 getting creamed by more than 30, it's over. Excuse me ... but ... hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
That is not to say the Democrats of Idaho did not play a pivotal role in this success - they have worked it every step of the way. But this success was achieved because all of those involved have allowed the campaign to be about something bigger than a conflict between "good" and "bad" parties .... they presented a conflict between good and bad policy. Amazingly, the public isn't too stupid to understand a campaign asking them to decide on policy specifics after all - at least not the public of Idaho. And so it is that the Democrats, Republicans, independents and third-party voters of Idaho all have a part in this win. Pulling that off took the kind of real leadership America could use a whole lot more of ... the kind that doesn't demand a brand-name be attached.
And just think, once-credibly-liberal Democrats currently trying to wash the dry taste from your mouths of voting for more of the same of more of the same thing you supposedly voted against Republicans in 2008 to change; we're the spittle-spewing, knuckle-dragging, home-schooled, racist, anti-union, teabagger militia red-state fuckers poised to overrun America were Romney to win the election that obviated you having no choice but voting the way you did.
For those keeping score at home ... as far as the kiddies in school go, Idaho knuckle-draggers:1 Wisconsin Dems: zilch.
George W. Bush, former president. War criminal it has even been asserted at times. While individual tellings may differ in detail and specific focus, the point of these assertions usually revolve around a global network of secret prisons set up by Bush's national security apparatus - and the unfortunate actions that took place in them.
As we all remember, in a post-9/11 frenzy, American security forces were grabbing detainees in droves on the vaguest of suspicions from all over the globe and moving them through Bush's hidden prisoner processing plants. By all accounts now exposed to the public, it is clear that many actions taken by US interrogators while sorting an onslaught of the newly incarcerated appear identical to those that have been called both war crimes and torture when used against American personnel in past conflicts. In the absence of any rational negation of apparent facts, at best the question becomes a case of splitting hairs - certainly not a place our nation which prides itself on being a beacon of democracy and honor should feel particularly comfortable.
Take the case of Omar Khadr for example. Removed from the battlefield at 15 years old and placed in Bush's labyrinth of black prisons. No matter if one takes the view that young Omar was tortured ... or the view he was not ... the simple fact is he was 15 years old. I can only imagine what would go through the mind of a 15 year old in the middle of a battle - watching as everyone he knows fell dead one by one. Of all the reactions and decisions to make upon the capture of such a young person, I can not fathom the mindset that selected the course we took.
Recently Omar Khadr left the military prison complex at Guantánamo Bay. He is now in the Canadian justice system and an environment with potential to provide resources that may steer him in a positive direction. Beyond this, it is now known he will be released in a finite period of time.
Likewise in the case of David Hicks. Despite the flimsiest of evidence, he finally accepted a "conviction" in exchange for release - seemingly to allow the US government to save face (or perhaps more cynically, to avoid lawsuits). He is now free in Australia. It is difficult to imagine he doesn't still live with what happened in our prisons every day, but he is free, alive ... and moving forward. As are many other individuals who were graced with a visit to one or many of Bush's blacksite hotels.
Throughout Obama's administration, the president has paid a price in the form of media histrionics at almost every turn in the (at times grudging) process these cases have followed in the post-Bush era. Regardless how one feels about Obama's focus on making results happen quickly, or perhaps even fairly, the wheels of what passes for justice in this modern world have been grinding and slowly tossing out bits of humanity held in a limbo of the Bush administration's purported crimes. And Obama has indeed absorbed media criticism for every transfer - apparently a terrible burden for the modern politician to bear.
Therein lies the seed of a major difference between Bush and Obama. Bush never faced the political fallout associated with having sold a group of (at times randomly selected) detainees to the nation as admitted terrorists based on coerced confessions. He never had to ponder bringing them to trials that would, based on simple justice, see some prisoners acquitted. He left Obama with the question of how an individual can be set free after better than half the nation holds a gospel belief they are confirmed as terrorists ... at least without taking on an amazing downside political risk? Even worse, in today's environment this risk may hold true for any individual pulled from the global "battlefield" on which we play out our War on Terror, were they to go through American court proceedings.
So, the system adapts. In the new era America doesn't typically arrest terrorists in the War On Terror; certainly not under any publicly disclosed American law. The risk is too great. The political cost too high. There is now a cleaner approach.
And so it is today we are able to watch as many targets of Bush-era policies begin to collect the broken pieces of their lives and move forward, clearly damaged but alive. As with the Bush era, our current one too will eventually fade and America will move on to whatever comes next. Then perhaps the difference between Bush and Obama in this regard will become even more stark. While the policy is perhaps less prone to cause near-term political damage, the nature of mistakes now being made ensure an opportunity to move forward - as is slowly appearing for many caught in Bush-era blunders - will never exist for the victims of Obama's drone war excess. Humanity rendered to blood, dust and bone can never heal.
Happy voting day.
Election day 2012 is now upon us, and it is an election unlike any other in the history of the United States. On the ballot will be so called Americans running for the House and Senate that voted for and helped pass a bill that ends habeas corpus. This is the most basic human right we have, as it makes any and all other rights possible. And without it, we have none.
How can anyone claim the right to free speech if they can be detained, forever, without charge and without access to an attorney or a judge based on what they say? If you say the wrong thing, you can be imprisoned forever. That is not freedom of speech. How can anyone claim that they have the right to peaceably assemble if anyone that does can be arrested, detained and possibly even tortured, for doing so? And for all of you right wing gun nuts out there, how can you claim the right to possess a gun if you can be arrested and detained forever without trial or proof because someone in the government claims you intend to use such a gun for terrorism?
There are NO rights without the right to habeas corpus. And at the top of the ticket tomorrow will be the man who signed that bill into law, and who, unbelievably, also claims the grandest right of all, the right to decide who can live and who can die, again with no proof required or any checks and balances. It is the ultimate power, and this President claims that he and he alone (and any President that follows him including say Paul Ryan) can order anyone, anywhere killed without due process.
No, NEVER has there been an election with people running for office who had offended basic human rights to that extent. President Abraham Lincoln suspended habeas corpus rights during the Civil War but he did so strictly by the letter of the US Constitution which says habeas corpus can be suspended if the country is invaded by an enemy. When the Confederate forces crossed into Maryland and Pennsylvania, they did in fact invade the country of the United States. President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the detention of all Japanese Americans living on the West Coast without due process in another major swipe at human rights. However, like or it or not, the fact is his order only affected a small minority of US citizens, those of Japanese origin. Not so with the NDAA and claimed right to assassinate by President Obama. He claims he can arrest or kill ANYONE, anywhere.
Anyone and everyone that is aware of these facts knows they're wrong. They were wrong when King George claimed them, they were wrong when the totalitarian states around the world claimed them. And they are even more offensive when a so called American claims the right to arrest forever or kill anyone anywhere because it is exactly opposite of what America, freedom, and the United States Constitution stands for.
So many Americans know it's wrong for one man to claim such rights. They know it absolutely goes against our principles and Constitution, and yet they will vote for such a man tomorrow. Because they know it's wrong, and because they know who is responsible for such offenses, when they do cast that vote for the President they then become accomplices to the violations and in a perfect world would be held responsible for such.
And why are so many willing to become accomplices to murder and kidnapping? Because they are scared. They are scared that the other would potentially be even worse (even though there is no greater act against human rights than murdering anyone, anywhere without any due process). If you're reading this and planning on doing this very thing tomorrow, do you even realize how bad that makes you look?
Here's a news flash for you. I'm scared too. Do you think I would look forward to a Romney/Ryan executive in the Federal government? The thought of a President Ryan scares me so badly it sends chills down my back and through the chair I'm sitting in. But that doesn't excuse what must be done, what HAS to be done. Doing the right thing can often times be scary. Do you think the signers of the Declaration of Independence weren't scared when they did what had to be done against tyranny??? I can't imagine any of them not being scared.
It's horribly and completely unfair for the two parties to put it's citizens in such a dilemma, but here we are, and crying and whining about it doesn't change a Goddamned thing. It is time for everyone to grow the fuck up, take responsibility for their role in a democracy and DO THE RIGHT THING. And every damn person reading this knows that what Obama has done is the WRONG THING. If it had been a Republican claiming such power I would imagine most of you would've been out in the streets demanding justice. Well, guess what, one day a Republican will be President again, and when that day comes he/she will claim those same rights thanks to Obama starting it and the voters approving it by re-electing him.
It's not fair, it's not right, and it is scary. But each of us has a responsibility as citizens in a democracy to stand up for human rights for the next generation of Americans. So stop crying about how scary Mitt Romney is, and do the right thing and accept your responsibility as a voting citizen in a democracy and vote tomorrow for anyone EXCEPT Obama and any House/Senate incumbent that voted for the NDAA. It's not just the right thing to do, it's your duty to do it because otherwise you/we will enable the complete end of any and all basic human rights in this country for all the following generations. Imagine if our founders had let their fear drive them and as a result we still lived under a King of England today, without any rights at all. Is that the legacy you want to leave to the generations that follow us?
It's time for all of us to face our fears, grow the fuck up and act like adults, and do the right thing. And the right thing is NOT giving support to any man or woman that claims they can arrest and/or kill anyone anywhere without any checks and balances in the United States of America. It's time for all true patriots to stand up. Right. Now.
Good luck to every one of you.
Don't know anymore if anyone knows or cares. It is really hard to tell sometimes.
In the past few days I was re-reminded of the song "Don't Give Up" by Peter Gabriel. This song carried me through one of the toughest times of my life. Nursing school. It was a perfect description of how I felt then. It does so again today.
I rediscovered the song and its message a few days ago, when I was feeling at my lowest. Local corporate media refuse to mention our campaign, even "liberal" MPR do not have me (and so by extension our campaign) in their choices for US Senate. Most "progressive" groups look away when I walk in a room. As for the bannings at FDL and other "progressive" blogs with their usual flimsy excuses, what can I say?
There are now 16 days left. All I know is that I tried, I really tried to bring something real and meaningful to the people of Minnesota. Then I saw the Peter Gabriel song at FDL. Who knows what the hell that means, if anything.
I am glad I did this. I will never regret it. Thank you Peter Gabriel. Thank you Creator for giving me my mother- who taught me to stand tall, tell the truth and know who you are.
To George McGovern and to "Ma" RIP.
Help us break past the corporate media blockade- pass on to your facebook- e mail groups- friends
any any other way you can think.
Breaking News Folks
In the latest polls- both Amy Klobuchar and Republican Kurt Bills support is going down. Very quickly.
We are just about to change everything. So NOW IS THE TIME!!!!!!!!
Since PayPal has been directly complicit in aiding the government to attack both Juliane Assange and Bradley Manning- we the the Cavlan For US Senate 2012 campaign refuse
to use PayPal. We recommend that others standing up for these two heroes do likewise and do it publicly.
So instead- we ask you to mail a check to
Committee To Elect Michael Cavlan
1570 Concordia Ave
St Paul, MN 55104
Michael James Cavlan RN
Candidate US Senate 2012
Minnesota Open Progressives
There hasn't been much point in weighing in on the current race for president between Obama and Romney. Partly because there really hasn't been any need to update the conclusions drawn back before the Iowa primaries and partly because it's really difficult to build up the energy to give two poops.
But for the record, Obama is peaking early.
On the one hand, of course he'd rather be ahead than behind at this point. On the other, with a volatile electorate such as the one he's currently facing, I'll bet team Obama would really have preferred to see this surge come in the weeks building up to November rather than the ones that bring October. Odds are very good that the tide is going to shift the other direction. The big question is to what degree.
I still think Obama is most likely to win. But sadly, it appears we will be in for a serious MSM narrative shift and the "it's a horse race" coverage will become all but insufferable. Modern politics. Yay.