Thursday, February 14, 2008

Martin Holsinger's Deep Green Perspective


Tennessee is going to be able to dump its touchscreen voting machines, hopefully by next fall’s election, if the feds co-operate. (Downside: more toxic high-tech junk!) In spite of tremendous, almost inexplicable resistance by Tennessee Election Commissioner Riley Darnell, who acts like his salary gets paid by Diebold rather than Tennessee taxpayers–and hey, maybe it is, how would we know? In spite of resistance from the state’s election officials, and the same goes for them, a small group of committed citizens talked to enough legislators and got enough other citizens to talk to their legislators to get a bipartisan bill to the floor of the Tennessee House that calls for Tennessee to switch over to optical scan voting machines by 2010.

For more information visit http://brothermartin.wordpress.com/


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SCORE
ONE FOR THE EARTH!


As I mentioned in a recent

story, there is growing concern in Nashville about the city’s long
supply lines, and there is going to be a conference
next weekend (Feb. 16) about local food security. It’s free, but
attendance is limited; you may still be able to register
for it. The organizers of this conference have their eyes on Bell’s
Bend. It’s big, it’s flat, it’s fertile, there’s plenty of
water, it’s close to Nashville, and farming is a form of
“development” that will preserve the precious rural character of
the area. Just as Burlington Vermont has its Intervale,
a stretch of bottomland that provides about 10% of the city’s food
and also serves as a training institute for beginning farmers,
Nashville may soon have a Bell’s Bend agricultural district that
does the same thing. Stay tuned!


music: Rumors
of the Big Wave, “(We Could Be) Dancing in the Only Green World”


DOING
THE AFTERMATH



can we have a little good news? Even if it’s just a little?


OK, how’s this…as I said earlier, it looks like Tennessee is
going to be able to dump its touchscreen voting machines, hopefully
by next fall’s election, if the feds co-operate. (Downside: more
toxic high-tech junk!) In spite of tremendous, almost inexplicable
resistance by Tennessee Election Commissioner Riley Darnell, who acts
like his salary gets paid by Diebold rather than Tennessee
taxpayers–and hey, maybe it is, how would we know? In spite of
resistance from the state’s election officials, and the same goes
for them, a small group
of committed citizens talked to enough legislators and got enough
other citizens to talk to their legislators to get a bipartisan bill
to the floor of the Tennessee House that calls for Tennessee to
switch over to optical scan voting machines by 2010 at the latest,
and this year if the feds come up with the funds. New Jersey
Representative Rush Holt is pushing
a bill through that will make funds available to states to switch
back from the touchscreen machines mandated by Bush’s Helping
America Vote Republican Act of a few years past. It’s not perfect,
but it’s an improvement that, hopefully, can be improved upon.


Speaking of improving on the improvements, the next step after
verifiable voting in Tennessee is getting somebody on the ballot
who’s worth voting for. Current ballot laws in the state map out a
tortuous and unlikely pathway for third parties to get a named ballot
line–that is, for candidates to be identified on the ballot as
being members of the Green Party, just for example, rather than as
“independent.” A recent court case in Ohio ended with the Federal
Sixth Circuit Court declaring that Ohio’s law, which is quite
similar to Tennessee’s, is in violation of the First Amendment to
the Constitution. The Green Party
of Tennessee has joined with the Libertarian Party and the
Constitution Party to initiate a lawsuit to overturn Tennessee’s
ballot roadblock, and we have every reason to believe that the
decision will be handed down in time for the November election.


HATCHET JOBS



Like a nasty divorce, the end of the Cheney-Bush regime just keeps
getting weirder, as the junta strives to leave the next
administration with every possible roadblock and as few options as
possible. Ain’t democracy wonderful? They can create total havoc
and just walk away from it! New administration! Home free!An example
of that here in Nashville is Bush’s nomination of Gus Puryear, the
38-year old general counsel of Corrections Corporation of America, as
Federal District Judge.
***
It’s who he knows. It’s about
Corrections Corporation of America, which just happens to be a major
Republican
party supporter. Other corporate ghouls split their bets, but not
CCA. And CCA is headquartered here in Nashville, which means that
this is the Federal Courtroom in which CCA most often gets called to
trial, and believe me, it happens. It has happened about 400 times in
the company’s history, just here in Nashville. let alone elsewhere.
It is likely to happen again, and again, and again. And if Puryear is
the judge, he will have to either recuse himself, which will be a
costly and time-consuming bump in the road for the litigants, or he
will, like other recent Repuglican bench appointees, declare that he
has no conflict of interest (just millions
of dollars in stock options), and hear the case. If he finds for CCA,
the plaintiffs will likely appeal, if he can afford to.
If.
***
...the group
Tennesseans Against Gus Puryear, which, on its
website, goes on to point out that... plaintiffs have won many awards
against CCA for serious abuses,
***
Puryear’s hearing is
coming right up on Tuesday, February 12, so there’s no time to
lose–please call Senator Diane Feinstein at (202)
224-7703
and let your objections be known.

She will be chairing the hearing. Senator Patrick Leahy would also be
a good person to call, as he is less likely to roll over for the
administration than Senator Feinstein. Sen. Leahy’s office number
is (202) 224-4242. Call them Monday. It’s the last chance to stop
Bush from doing some local, lasting damage.


But it’s part of a pattern, isn’t it?


TRUTH
IN STRANGE PLACES AWARD


Our Truth In Strange Places Award goes this month to the new US
Attorney for Northern California, Joseph Russoniello, who said,
in regard to cracking down on medical marijuana,


We could spend a lifetime closing dispensaries and
doing other kinds of drugs, enforcement actions, bringing cases and
prosecuting people, shoveling sand against the tide. It would be
terribly unproductive and probably not an efficient use of precious
federal resources,”







YOU
MIGHT BE LIVING IN A FAILING TOTALITARIAN STATE IF…


You might be living in a failing totalitarian state if…..


Your country is swarming with wealthy tourists attracted by how
cheap everything is, since your currency has become so devalued, and
shopkeepers are accepting
foreign currency in payment for their goods.


Customs officials seize travelers’ cell phones and laptop
computers and copy all the phone contacts and files “for further
study.” Most of the time, they return them.


El Presidente has created a plainclothes volunteer force of
“leading businessmen” and deputized them to use deadly force.
Their job is to keep their eyes and ears out for threats to the
regime (and their businesses) and report them to the proper
authorities.



The country’s main law enforcement agency is pushing for funds
to keep biometric tabs on everyone.


And if you live where all that is going on, you are living in
these United States, friends, not Guatemala or China or Franco’s
Spain or Orwell’s Oceania. Of course there are plenty of other
examples we could place on this list, but I’m just including the
latest additions. The stores in New York (and probably other places,
by now) that are happy to take Euros do add a new twist to things,
though, don’t you think?


listen to it online at 7 pm sunday 
here
http://brothermartin.wordpress.com/
now
updated throughout the month with news, links, and short
commentaries







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