Friday, December 31, 2004

More Details on "Humboldt Day" (1/22/05)

Last week I mentioned an event being planned called "Humboldt Day." This will be January 22, 2005, starting at noon at the Gazebo in the old town district of Eureka, CA.

"Humboldt Day" is intended to be a repudiation of the legitimacy of the US government; it will be a new Declaration of Independence; it will be a teach-in on war tax resistance; it will be a community building event, fostering synergy among various community groups all with a vested interest in restoring democracy (grok on environmental sustainability as a universal human right); it will be a day to educate and build support for the No Confidence Resolution; it will include games offered as socially responsible new year's resolutions; and it will further the developing paradigm of peaceful revolution.

Aside from myself, the list of speakers and musicians is still being confirmed. All Humboldt organizations are encouraged to contact me regarding tabling at the event. We have an early version of a leaflet prepared and available for free download. This will be updated with more specifics by next week.

A quick note on the timing. Many people around the US already protesting the recent "election" are gearing up for a big day on Jan. 6 when the electoral votes will be counted, and likely contested by members of the Congress and (hopefully the) Senate. There is now discussion of having a local press conference on that day to address the unfolding events and to announce "Humboldt Day" in a context demonstrating its necessity. Similarly, while I wouldn't be surprised to see demonstrations here on Inauguration Day, 1/20, the actual date of "Humboldt Day" (1/22) was chosen so as not to compete for attention. Also, the nature of declaring our independence begs for the distinction of our own day rather than constructing a response dictated by the terms of the establishment.

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Thursday, December 30, 2004

Logan Dake Update - Eureka Served With Discrimination Complaint

A couple of weeks ago GuvWurld broke the story of Logan Dake, a Eureka, CA resident wrongfully terminated from his park maintenance job with the City. At that time, the Labor Commission had already assigned Logan a case number. The case, still pending, will result in an investigation once it has been assigned to a specific Commission investigator. In the most recent development, the City of Eureka has also now been served with a discrimination complaint filed jointly by the CA Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

According to Logan, he has met once with Councilmember Chris Kerrigan. "I'm a little frustrated," said Logan. "I was glad that Chris had some time to meet with me, but I'm still waiting to hear about his chat with [City Manager David] Tyson. When we met, I made it clear to Chris that the City was choosing unnecessary, costly litigation. He told me--and I think these were his exact words--'I'm not sure how much weight I carry with the Council, but I'll help you in any way I can'."

Logan talked about next steps, mentioning his intention to call the other Councilmembers. He's also resolved to start actively seeking support in the community. Click here for the City Councilmember phone list. The message is simple: give Logan his job back and don't waste our money on lawsuits you can't win.

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Sunday, December 26, 2004

Contradictions and Sabotage

New in the Sabotage section of the GuvWurld News Archive, Andrea Batista Schlesinger's latest piece for AlterNet, Steps Forward, Steps Backwards.

Schlesinger explores a few of the contradictions history should reflect from 2004, including: lapses in human and civil rights, even as we mark 40 and 50 year milestones from major advances; lapse of the assault weapon ban even as the threat of danger is supposedly at its greatest; limits on overtime pay despite declining standards of living. This list could be inexhaustible; the contradictions are themselves indicators of a much broader pattern of sabotage.

Sabotage is human nature, it happens unwittingly. At times each of us has been "our own worst enemy." Overcoming this tendency on a personal level is doable once it is recognized, yet sabotage still haunts us on a macro level as our species decimates the environment. The sabotage paradigm can put many things in perspective, and do it without attributing motive. For this reason it is a valuable frame in the effort to awaken Americans in denial of the fascism of these Orwellian times. Peruse the 100+ articles in the Sabotage section of the GuvWurld News Archive and you will become more deeply attuned with many more examples (talking points) at your command.

Also consider an amulet I have bearing the Chinese character for Progress. I bought it with a small card saying: "Progress is the result that occurs when we stop making trouble for ourselves." Sabotage and Progress are thus related circularly, as yin is to yang.

I don't mean to get new age on you. Consider the influence such guidance has had on recent GuvWurld commentary. Rather than pursuing inaccessible and unaccountable Congressmembers, the No Confidence Resolution is targeted at City Councils, more available to the average citizen and more susceptible to pressures applied by constituents.

Likewise, rather than advocating recounts which reinforce the unwarranted legitimacy bestowed upon the first vote "count," No Confidence frames election reform as a matter of conditions necessary for elections to be beyond question. The connection is choosing not to continue futile efforts, to abandon rigged games and simulated competition, to stop making trouble for ourselves. This applies on all scales from pulling out of Iraq and operating cooperatively in international affairs, to turning off the TV and talking with your neighbors about the contradictions of propaganda.

And so we come full circle. Schlesinger's AlterNet piece concludes:
"So, as we close the book on 2004, faced with such stark inequalities between Americans' social and economic realities, the goal is to prevent the United States from itself becoming a contradiction in terms."
With at least the past four years as evidence, this cliche ending is a contradictory copout. The 50 States are hardly united; pretending they are continues to make trouble; and it is sabotage to make a goal of maintaining this denial. As other recent GuvWurld entries have discussed, ruthless honesty specifically requires helping others see where they are not being truthful with themselves.

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Saturday, December 25, 2004

Rumsfeld Reveals Flight 93 Shot Down Over PA

BuzzFlash links to a Friday CNN transcript of US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld speaking live from Iraq. The relevant passage is about 95% of the way down the page and can easily be found using CTRL-F and then the search phrase "Penns" (without the quotes):
"And I think all of us have a sense if we imagine the kind of world we would face if the people who bombed the mess hall in Mosul, or the people who did the bombing in Spain, or the people who attacked the United States in New York, shot down the plane over Pennsylvania and attacked the Pentagon, the people who cut off peoples' heads on television to intimidate, to frighten -- indeed the word "terrorized" is just that. Its purpose is to terrorize, to alter behavior, to make people be something other than that which they want to be."
This is at least the second Rumsfeld gaffe exposing the phony 9/11 myth. This Department of Defense transcript from Oct. 12, 2001 includes Rumsfeld's admission that a missile hit the Pentagon.
"Here we're talking about plastic knives and using an American Airlines flight filed [sic] with our citizens, and the missile to damage this building and similar (inaudible) that damaged the World Trade Center. The only way to deal with this problem is by taking the battle to the terrorists, wherever they are, and dealing with them."
Above, [sic] indicates where I believe the word "filed" was actually supposed to be "filled." Ironically, if using the above mentioned CTRL-F function, searching for "filed" (without the quotes) will take you right to the relevant passage.

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Friday, December 24, 2004

Resolutions Passed By Electors in VT, MA

As GuvWurld reported on Sunday, duly recognized members of the Electoral College have joined the discussion of election fraud in a meaningful way.

In Massachusetts, electors unanimously passed the following resolution:
We believe that as electors we have a unique opportunity and obligation to insure that justice does not again become so delayed as to be denied. We call on the Congress of the United States and most especially our own honorable representatives, the members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation to:
1. Act to commit Congress to investigate all voting complaints that might have any validity that they receive.
2. Act to commit Congress to remedy any voting rights violations or electoral fraud verified by its own agents or through the courts.
3. File in Congress and commit their resources to passage of systematic remedies.
And in Vermont, electors passed the following (formatting by GuvWurld):
WHEREAS our democracy depends on fair elections; and

WHEREAS troubling questions have been raised about the integrity of Ohio's 2004 presidential election by many members of Congress; and

WHEREAS the Ohio vote was marred by significant irregularities, discrepancies, anomalies and other problems as disclosed by US Representative John Conyers, and a number of members of the House Judiciary Committee and elsewhere in the Congress, and

WHEREAS the Government Accounting Office is undertaking a systematic and comprehensive review of election irregularities in Ohio, Florida, New Mexico and certain other states, the Congress having received about 57,000 complaints about voting machine breakdowns, inaccuracies, intimidation, suppression and other and similar violations of voter rights, and

WHEREAS unequal and discriminatory voter access and treatment, as may have occurred in Ohio and elsewhere, violate the Equal Protection guarantee of the Constitution's Fourteenth Amendment and would call into question the validity of Elector certification from Ohio and certain other states under the Electoral Count Act (3 USC S5) and the teachings of Bush v. Gore, and as a result the Congress could decide that Elector votes from Ohio and certain other states were not "regularly given" by properly certified Electors under the Act (3 USC S15), and

WHEREAS the Congress could determine the validity of Electoral college votes from Ohio and certain other states following receipt by the Senate President of Objections from at least one member of the house and one member of the Senate, and

WHEREAS as citizens and Electors, we are committed to fair elections and equal voting rights for all,

THEREFORE IT IS RESOLVED that that [sic] Senators Jeffords and Leahy and Representative Sanders
(1) give due and sufficient consideration to the results of the ongoing investigation of voting irregularities in Ohio's 2004 presidential election;

(2) support the GAO's inquiry into and review of thousands of reports of systemic and other 2004 voting and election deficiencies;

(3) sponsor or otherwise support legislation
(a) mandating paper records, trails, or backups for all absentee ballots under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA),

(b) uniform rules for the issuance and tabulation of provisional and absentee ballots under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), and

(c) sufficient funding for full and fair implementation of HAVA; and
(4) if warranted by evidence of widespread violations of voter constitutional rights in the 2004 election in Ohio and certain other states, as now appears, under 3 U.S.C S15 on the ground that such Electoral certifications are invalid and that, as a result, these Electoral votes were not regularly given by qualified, legal elections."

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Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Momentarily Stepping Back

The No Confidence Resolution has been updated slightly to version 5.1. The main change turned the first RESOLVE clause into an additional WHEREAS, softening the statement from a direct rejection of fraud to a more disarming frame about conditions not permitting elections to be beyond question. Earlier tonight I again addressed the Eureka City Council. I presented them with the revised resolution and asked that they consider it on 1/18.

There is some strategy involved with that request as the Council will hold their next meeting on 1/4. Part of what I can share now is that an event called "Humboldt Day" is being planned for 1/22, just two days after the inauguration is scheduled. This will be an outdoor counter-inaugural event and I will be one of several speakers. With the likelihood that the Council will delay final action on the resolution from 1/18 to their next meeting on 2/1, this should help our crowd swell at the most important time.

The revision was borne of evolving talking points and the timing and other strategy elements have been influenced by the constructive criticisms encountered in our community outreach. All this may be a momentary step back, but not a step backwards.

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Sunday, December 19, 2004

Electors Protest Election Violations

Electors across US break traditional pro forma ritual to use electoral college to protest election violations

Truth in Elections*
49 Francesca Ave.,
Somerville, MA 02144
econhmnrts (at)
*In conjunction with United Progressives for Democracy
and Massachusetts Coalition Against Election Fraud

For immediate release Contact: Grace C Ross 617-642-0312

Across the US electors in at least five states, for the first time in history, turned the heavily scripted and ritualized electoral college proceedings into a forum for political action. Frustrated by the relative inattention to wide spread real voting violations now numbering in the tens of thousands, Electors called for congressional investigation and legislative action.
The five states are CA, MA, ME, NC, and VT. Click here for the full press release.

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Friday, December 17, 2004

All Charges Dropped Against Dennis Kyne

First Jury Trial Arising from the RNC Protests Ends in Dismissal As D.A.
Drops All Charges Against Gulf War I Veteran and Anti-Depleted Uranium
Activist Dennis Kyne Mid-Trial


Dennis Kyne was among those arrested on the evening of August 31st on the steps of the New York City public library. On December 16, 2004, halfway through the jury trial against Mr. Kyne, New York County District Attorney Robert Morgenthau’s Office made a motion to dismiss all of the charges. New York City Criminal Court Judge Gerald Harris granted the motion and commended the District Attorney’s office for its fairness and professionalism. That decision came after Lewis and Gideon Oliver, Kyne’s attorneys, produced video and photographic evidence which they believe raise serious concerns that NYPD Officer Matthew Wohl may have lied numerous times under oath.

On the 31st, according to Officer Wohl’s testimony, he was part of a mobile
response team present at the library over an hour before any arrests were
made. According to eyewitnesses at the library that day, including Mr. Kyne,
and videotape of the event, members of the NYPD began searching and
arresting people shortly before 6:00 PM. According to eyewitnesses, the
searches and arrests were forceful, apparently indiscriminate, and
frightening. Among those arrested prior to Mr. Kyne were a fifty-five year
old art history professor from the University of Victoria in Victoria,
British Columbia, Canada, who was at the library with his eighteen year old
son en route to a Yankees game, along with two women who had been seated at
a table in the plaza in front of the library singing and playing guitar, one
of whom was sixteen and the other of whom was seventeen.
Officer Wohl testified that he personally observed Mr. Kyne yelling in a
“boisterous” manner just before he was placed under arrest, although he
could not specifically remember what Mr. Kyne was yelling. According to the
sworn Accusatory Instrument Officer Wohl signed on September 1, 2004, Mr.
Kyne was yelling, “Look what they are doing. The government is taking away
our rights. They lied to you; they lied to me” in a “violent and tumultuous

Officer Wohl testified that he personally effected Mr. Kyne’s arrest along
with two other unidentified officers. According to him, Mr. Kyne was
“screaming, yelling, and moving around” throughout the process. When asked
how Mr. Kyne had resisted arrest, Officer Wohl testified that his “mouth,
heart, and eyes” were moving, and that he lunged in a number of different
directions, “almost like what a little kid would do.” Officer Wohl also
testified that Mr. Kyne “went down to the ground himself” and that Officer
Wohl and three others had to pick him up and carry him across the street
“while he squirmed and screamed” all the way to the back of the NYPD
transport vehicle.

Mr. Kyne’s attorneys believe that the videotape and pictures raise serious
questions about key elements of Officer Wohl’s sworn testimony. Officer Wohl
does not appear on the videotape or pictures produced by Mr. Kyne’s
attorneys. Nor does the videotape ever show Mr. Kyne yelling what Officer
Wohl’s Accusatory Instrument claims he was yelling. The videotape shows that
Mr. Kyne reacted to several apparently baseless detentions and sometimes
violent arrests by shouting that the police were “fucking Nazis” as he was
walking away from the library. Officer Wohl testified that he did not recall
Mr. Kyne ever yelling those words, despite that, according to his testimony,
he was within feet of Mr. Kyne moments before his arrest.

According to Mr. Kyne, as he was on the sidewalk walking away from the library, a police officer in a white shirt suddenly yelled, “That’s a collar!” Videotape and pictures of the event show that two officers – neither of whom was Officer Wohl – then forced Mr. Kyne to his knees and placed him in plastic flexi-cuffs. As they were doing so, another police officer, who was wearing khaki pants and a short-sleeved, white t-shirt bearing no name or badge number, recognized Mr. Kyne and ordered that he be charged with “Dis Con and resisting.” Mr. Kyne was, at that time, complying with the officers who were arresting him and repeating, “I’m not resisting.” Another videotape shows that the officer in khaki pants – whom one person referred to as a “Commissioner” – later approached a Lieutenant from the NYPD’s Legal Bureau and said, “We got one of the troublemakers from Pataki’s last night.” According to news reports, Governor Pataki was at McSorley’s Alehouse the night of the 30th.

Mr. Kyne was charged with seven violations and misdemeanors, including three Class A misdemeanors – Riot in the Second Degree, Resisting Arrest, and Obstructing Governmental Administration – each of which carries a potential sentence of up to a year in jail. The DA’s Office dropped the Riot charge before the trial started. It also offered to dismiss the five other charges in exchange for a single Disorderly Conduct guilty plea, but Mr. Kyne believed that it was his duty to fight the charges.

During the trial, Officer Wohl also testified that he arrested four others along with Mr. Kyne, including two French Canadian men who were arrested for merely holding a banner in their hands in front of one of the library’s famous lions after another police officer told them they could do so. Several of the people Officer Wohl claims he arrested were prepared to testify that Officer Wohl had not, in fact, done so. “Especially these past few months in New York City, the scope of constitutionally protected conduct the Police Department has been criminalizing is shocking,” said Kyne’s lawyers. “We are worried that Officer Wohl did not tell the truth about what the NYPD did to Dennis. Maybe he was just following orders. If that is the case – if someone ordered him to lie on the stand – we believe that the District Attorney’s office has an obligation to investigate this matter immediately, and lodge charges against those responsible, where appropriate. Police officers cannot lie in a court of law and get away with it. The District Attorney’s office acted admirably in dismissing the charges against Mr. Kyne, but we believe that justice requires more of them in this case.”

Mr. Kyne comes from a long line of military men, and is himself a Gulf War I
veteran. Mr. Kyne served as a medic for the United States Army and enjoys an
honorable discharge from military service. He served in the United States
Army from 1989 through 1995, achieved the rank of Drill Sergeant, and was
with the 24th Infantry Division, the most forward unit in the conflict,
during Operation Desert Storm. Mr. Kyne now receives a monthly check from
the United States Government for “undiagnosed illnesses” in connection with
his military service. For more than fifteen years, during the Gulf War, and
even today the United States military has been using “depleted” uranium in
artillery shells and armor plating. Mr. Kyne believes that what the
government refers to as “Gulf War Syndrome” is, in fact, the result of the
Army’s use of “depleted” uranium on the battlefield. He has written a book
on the topic, “Support the Truth,” twelve copies of which were in his
possession when he was arrested on August 31st.

Mr. Kyne was in New York City during the Republican National Convention in
order to speak about “depleted” uranium. He was particularly concerned to
speak with New York City Police, Corrections, and Fire Department Officers
in connection with reports that four New Yorkers from a unit made up mostly
of those officers had recently shown signs of manmade, “depleted” uranium in
their urine. Mr. Kyne is concerned that he was targeted by the NYPD and
forced to face criminal charges because they disagreed with his fervent
activism against the military’s use of “depleted” uranium, which Mr. Kyne
believes is still killing soldiers.

Mr. Kyne was represented by Lewis B. Oliver, Jr. and Gideon Orion Oliver, a
father-and-son team of civil rights attorneys. Lewis B. Oliver, Jr.
conducted the trial. The Olivers are among the attorneys affiliated with the
National Lawyers Guild who have initiated a federal civil rights class
action against the New York City Police Department in connection with its
conduct during the Republican National Convention. For more information
about that lawsuit, please contact the National Lawyers Guild at (212)
679-6018, extension 16.

Mr. Kyne’s attorneys are calling on District Attorney Morgenthau to dismiss
the charges against the others Officer Wohl claims to have arrested, and
hope that it will launch a full investigation into this matter. They are
concerned that, during the Republican National Convention, police officers
appear to have made “dragnet” arrests, sweeping up groups of people instead
of individuals, and then forced them to face criminal penalties based on the
testimony of officers like Wohl, who may not have seen what they claim to
have seen. “No matter when he said it, or how loud, Dennis was right,” said
Mr. Kyne’s attorneys. “They lied to you, they lied to me, and they are

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The Lies We Tell Ourselves

Have you noticed an increase in references to Orwell and 1984? Last month the National Council of Teachers of English's Doublespeak Award was given to George W. Bush, for the second consecutive year. The Hoosier Times reported that this year's honor was conferred at the 94th annual convention of the teachers' association in Indianapolis:
The group calls the Doublespeak Award an ironic tribute "to American public figures who have perpetuated language that is grossly deceptive, evasive, euphemistic, confusing, or self-contradictory."

The Doublespeak Award has been given by the teachers' group annually since 1974. The word itself is a combination of the concepts of "newspeak" and "doublethink" that were made famous in George Orwell's novel, "1984."
Orwell said: “ a vast system of mental cheating”. We're so used to being lied to that we now lie to ourselves all the time. We routinely accept "lesser evil" scenarios as if they were actual choices. They are not. Instead, we must recognize and acknowledge false alternatives.

We need to hold ourselves to a higher standard of ruthless honesty. This is done primarily by identifying where we say we see something a certain way, but then act as if we see it a different way. For example, the person screaming about election fraud but wanting a recount. There is dishonesty in this position, despite the person's best intention to fight the system. The honest position here recognizes that fraud made the first "count" a sham, thus leaving nothing to actually re-"count". The power of framing, of the media's ability to manipulate public acceptance of what constitutes reality, makes this much more than a semantic issue.

The conditions do not currently exist for the US to conduct elections that are beyond question. Conditions in America today correlate with the definition of fascism, not democracy. We must start telling ourselves the truth, and then acting on the truth as we know it. We must also focus on changing what we do, not what we think enough phone calls might finally prompt a Senator to do.

Read the No Confidence Resolution to see what it might take to create conditions that make elections legitimate beyond question.

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Monday, December 13, 2004

Advocacy Journalism Again

I have previously written about advocacy journalism, a term often used as a slur against commentators with a perceived liberal bias. I showed how this is often a black kettle, a charge that would be more true if applied to the person making it. Failing to investigate vote fraud in 2000 and 2004, leaving unanswered 9/11 questions unasked, and fueling war fever over a fake threat - this corporate media approach, clearly manipulating the public into believing an unreal reality - this is advocacy journalism.

My intention is not just to redefine advocacy journalism, but also to reclaim the phrase and set an example for embodying it. The GuvWurld blog has been largely, though not exclusively, devoted to promoting peaceful revolution via the No Confidence Movement. With the blog increasingly recognized as a legitimate form of journalism, its potential value is realized by bloggers using their medium explicitly for the education and social organizing involved in the pursuit of broad-based political change. Publicly stated goals separate advocacy journalists from those with a mere bias; an advocacy journalist is successful to the extent that such goals are achieved.

When I presented the No Confidence Resolution to the Eureka City Council last Tuesday, a man named Logan Dake also addressed the Council. I was stunned by Logan's situation and approached him to learn more. Based just on his brief testimony, I told Logan I wanted to help him, and to do so specifically by telling his story as an advocacy journalist. The goal is to get his job back and stop the City of Eureka from throwing away a lot of money on lawsuits they will likely lose.

Logan's story starts back in 1986, working part-time for the City of Eureka doing seasonal maintenance work. He tended to the grounds and facilities at public parks, ball fields and cemeteries. "I wanted to mow the ball fields," Logan told me last Thursday as we met at the Eureka library. There was a lead maintenance position Logan coveted and it looked like it would be a while before the position would open up.

By 1996 Logan was frustrated waiting for advancement. He left the employ of the City and drove a truck for four years. In 2000, he was hired back by the City, an act Logan called "very rare." He attributes his welcome back to his positive prior track record, and that he had been somewhat groomed as the replacement for the retiring Sylvester Barnes. Logan showed me a signed offer letter detailing terms of his new position. There was no mention of drug testing.

Logan is a properly accredited medical marijuana patient by virtue of local Humboldt County and the State of California law. In 1989 Logan injured his rotator cuff while working for the City. For a time, he received disability and he ultimately had surgery. Years later and suffering from arthritis, Logan's doctor approved his marijuana use as a counterbalance to percodan - by alternating weeks he keeps from becoming dependent on either.

Logan presented me with performance evaluations rating him "highly competent." There were no disciplinary actions on his record. It would seem his private life and medical condition were not impacting his job, nor was anyone making an issue about it. Then Logan was abruptly terminated on August 10, 2004. This is where the story smacks of injustice and calls for the journalist as advocate.

A new City requirement, not made known to Logan when he signed up for his job, called for obtaining a class B DOT license. Part of getting this license is passing a drug test. Upon learning of this, Logan informed his superiors about his pot use. He was instructed to take his drug test anyway. Upon failing, Logan was let go from his job with the City.

There are two really big kicks in the gut still to come. First, as I saw in a publicly available City "memorandum of understanding," Sylvester Barnes had been granted a waiver from obtaining his class B DOT license on the medical grounds that his high blood pressure would prevent him from passing the physical. Logan was treated differently.

Also consider this procedural irony. In obtaining a class B DOT license, the drug test is supposed to be given at the end, not the beginning of the licensing sequence. The failed drug test that cost Logan his job was incorrectly administered at the start. He has met the rest of the requirements and obtained the license, without a job at which to use it.

The Labor Commission has assigned Logan case #99-09970. Apparently they only press cases when the grounds for a suit are really strong. Logan met with a deputy commissioner who gave him a standard off-the-counter form saying:
Laws enforced by the Labor Commissioner that specifically prohibit discrimination and retaliation against employees and job applicants are:
    (1) Labor Code Section 96(k)
For loss of wages as the result of a failure to hire, or demotion, suspension, or discharge from employment because of engaging in lawful conduct occurring during nonworking hours away from the employer's premises
Likewise, the CA Department of Fair Employment and Housing has taken an interest in Logan's case, scheduling him for an interview on 12/14. On both fronts it would seem the City of Eureka will be defending untenable positions. Destined to waste taxpayer money, the better option is for the City to restore Logan's job, with back pay, and to craft a policy that acknowledges an exception for medical marijuana users otherwise required to take drug tests.

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Thursday, December 09, 2004

The Latest On Dennis Kyne

I have written about Dennis Kyne several times before. He is a Gulf War I vet who suffers from exposure to depleted uranium and now devotes his time to traveling the country educating people about how the US military uses nuclear weapons in the field. Dennis is a good speaker as well as an author and musician. He was arrested protesting the Republican convention in NYC and has requested any and all assistance in publicizing his plight. At the end there are some very specific suggestions for how to help, even if you can't afford to donate anything.
Dear Friends and Patriots,

As many of you know, on September 2, during the Republican National Convention in NYC, Dennis Kyne, Gulf War Veteran, was arrested and charged with eight different counts, including inciting a riot. At his first hearing on October 25th the motions for dismissal of the charges against him were denied by the Judge.

Gideon Oliver, attorney working with the National Lawyer Guild who was an observer during the RNC counter-protests, is now representing Dennis. He is also working on the class action suit representing all individuals falsely arrested and held in horrendous conditions beyond the 24 hours allowed by law.

Dennis reappeared before the judge for the evidentiary hearing, on November 17th, where the DA dropped the inciting a riot charge,a trial date was set for December 13th, 2004 at 9:30 AM in Part C at the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse, 100 Centre Street, Manhattan, NY.

There are three critical things we can do to help Dennis. This judge and the DA/Prosecuting Attorney, need to know that WE, THE PEOPLE, ARE WATCHING these proceedings. The current American judiciary will only act responsibly if they know we are holding them accountable. Just two months ago the People supported John Buchanan, who was being charged with 12 unfounded felony counts and, due to the overwhelming response of the people, the Judge THREW OUT THE CASE!! Don't underestimate the power we hold as the ultimate employers of our court system representatives!

1) It is important that we have a strong physical presence at that trial--if anyone can make it, or talk someone else into making it, thank you.

2) Since the case was not dropped during this preliminary evidentiary hearing we will follow-up with calls to NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg 212-NEW-YORK (212.639.9675) FAX (212) 788-2460; E-MAIL:; the judge and prosecutor to encourage them to drop the charges and let them know that we are aware of Dennis' situation and we are watching! Please watch for update emails as soon as we have further information.

3) For more details on this case, listen to archive of Dennis and his attorney on the Power Hour with Joyce Riley, which aired (Tuesday, November 16th) The discussion includes info on what is happening with the case now and what was happening in New York during the Republican National Convention that 50,000 people attended and a million protested.

4) DONATE!! As he has done for many years, Dennis is still traveling the country broadcasting the need for transparency and truth on Veterans' issues and the state of America, and will be speaking at the School Of America protest this year as well. As most of you know, all speakers for that event pay their own way. Dennis has always paid his own way, with help from all of you. The private legal advice he is getting is 100% funded from donations. If you can help, or talk others into helping, Dennis can receive donations at: PO Box 720254; San Jose, CA 95172.

5) Buy Dennis' excellent book, Support the Truth, and check out his CD by the same name. Details at, and available at

Thank you all for reading and responding, and for forwarding this to every email address you can find! It's only through standing together that we can fight the ensuing police state and restore our Constitution and Civil Liberties!!

Toward peace through truth,
Janice Matthews
Just another American for Truth and Integrity
Kansas City, MO 64114

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Alive in Ukraine

An old friend of GuvWurld has resurfaced with the first in a series of reports from Ukraine:
(12/3/04) I have made it alive to Ukraine. I have arrived at one of the most volatile and crazy times to be in this country. The Russian backed criminal 'mafia' government has declared itself the winner of the country's elections and as a result over 500,000+ people have gone on strike and are on protest in the downtown core. It is insane the passion and conviction of this mob. It is cold and windy and damp and snowy - but nothing stops these people from fighting for their country... they won't let it fall into the hands of criminals anymore. They have taken over Kiev and setup a tent city on all the major streets downtown. Day and Night - no difference.

Mariya and I have been down to the Independence Square (the center of the action) on a number of occasions now - the crowd sings revolution songs and chants the name of the opposition leader constantly "Yushchenko, Yushchenko, Yushchenko!". I can't close my eyes to sleep without hearing the chanting in my head. There is talk that the Supreme Court will declare that there will be a third election to take place in the next couple weeks... I pray there will be a good outcome and there will be no violence or bloodshed. The Supreme Court is to rule today on what it will do next for the future of the country.

There are some major adjustments to get used to here. First there seems to be no rules to the roads other than to do whatever you need to do, to get where you are going... people drive into oncoming traffic on a regular basis, and make their own lanes wherever they see fit... be that the sidewalk - in front of a subway car - or on the shoulder. No one wears their seatbelt. It should either be one or the other. Not both.

Every single business has half its retail space devoted to booze - at least half. Everyone drinks and smokes... and does it everywhere. Drinking on the subway, in the malls, on the streets.

There are 4 or 5 different branches to the military police here, and there are armed guards everywhere. I can't get used to the snipers on the roof tops. It just seems a little too easy to get killed by accident. Oh... and I have been warned on many occasions not to speak English if I am by myself. I have taken this advice seriously.

I will never take for granted how lucky it is to live in a free society - nor will I ever take for granted how lucky I was to be born in Canada.

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Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Spotlighting the team

The last entry contained a great little speech made by Anayansi Rickets encouraging the Eureka City Council to adopt the No Confidence Resolution. Here reprinted with permission is an excellent letter from Eureka resident Scott Menzies to Eureka Mayor Peter La Vallee:
Good Evening Mayor La Vallee,

I spoke at the City Council Meeting this evening in regards to the No Confidence resolution. I wanted to follow it up with a little bit more information about my final statement, in reference to Eureka being "ripe and ready" for Instant Runoff Voting (IRV).

During discussions on election reform issues I've had with various voting organizations over the last few weeks, I received the following e-mail from Dave Robinson of Californians for Election Reform (CfER):

"Eureka is one of the few cities in California that face no major practical obstacles to the implementation of ranked choice voting methods that would provide satisfactory representation to many more voters. It has a city charter, so it has control over its election rules, and it uses voting equipment that has been proven to work with ranked ballots. I only know a little about Eureka politics, but I imagine that there are many reasons why more inclusive, efficient and fair election methods may be viewed favorably there. There are a lot of advantages to getting rid of a ward system and using Cambridge, MA-style ranked choice voting.

Depending on what happens in San Francisco - which is using demonstrably poor voting equipment, but which may still provide a valuable and encouraging example - the post-election period may be an excellent time to make a pitch to improve election methods."
Well, it turned out that San Francisco's first election with IRV went fabulously. And, considering what Mr. Robinson said about San Francisco's poor equipment, that is a great sign for us, as, according to him, our equipment is perfect for IRV.

With that in mind, I would like to encourage you to look seriously at the No Confidence Resolution, as it does a very good job of setting the stage for our city and others to make strides forward in real election reform by saying that we're not confident in the way our federal elections are held. Again, how many people do you know who aren't, to at least some extent or in some way, jaded about voting?

IRV, to me, is one of the most attainable and easy ways of helping make our voting voices, all of them, no matter what your party affiliation, clearer. Who can argue that being able to rank your choices of candidate, ensuring that your vote is counted for something, if not your preferred candidate, is a bad thing? Eureka could make a huge statement for Northern California by beginning the process of exploring IRV for local elections.

And it seems all that much easier because we are in such a perfect position to implement IRV already.

As I stated this evening, I do realize that "no confidence" has a pretty negative ring to it, but is it not already very negative that so many of our fellow citizens have so little faith in the voting process that they won't even vote? A strong statement needs to be made to set the stage for real reform. It's not our intention to dissolve the government as the Ukrainian "no confidence" vote did, but it is our intention to bring to light in the most clear, direct, and honest manner our feelings about the federal election system.

So, with that, I ask you to please add the No Confidence Resolution to the next City Council agenda and seriously consider looking at beginning the process of implementation of IRV here locally.

I really appreciate the time you've taken to read this.

Thanks a bunch,
Scott Menzies

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Update on Eureka City Council

Earlier this evening the No Confidence Movement was well represented at the Eureka, CA City Council. I was joined by Realizing Community essayist Scott Menzies as well as Anayansi Ricketts, a woman I recently met at the second meeting of Arcata's Election Response Committee. Though I had previously submitted the No Confidence Resolution via e-mail along with this letter, tonight I presented the Council with the resolution in hard copy. My two and a half minutes were eclipsed by Anayansi, reading the following which is reprinted with permission:
Check the history books and you will see America has never lived up to its potential as a democracy. There is something gravely wrong when the same men who argued "all men are created equal," worked to keep the poor women and various ethnic groups disenfranchised.

The hypocrisy is astounding. Here we stand in 2004 in the midst of a voting controversy that no one wants to talk about. It is as if laws which assure each citizen the right to vote have never been passed. No, today it is not Jim Crow that haunts us but instead, inaccurate machinery, fearful attitudes and a deluded nation which believes itself to be righteous, open and free.

The fact that many are disenfranchised cheapens us all. When a person can not trust in election results or be certain that their vote is being counted, we all go uncounted. When parties other than the republican and democrats are excluded from national debates, democracy is stifled and invariably suffocated.

I ask that you the members of the city council back this No Confidence Resolution, the goal of which is to bring about election reform. The time has come to open the channels of communication. I ask you to be the visionaries we need, the leaders we want, the champions of the people. By embracing election reform you embrace true democracy.

This nation continues to ask people to fight for democracy abroad when it still does not really exist at home. Help us bring an end to this hypocrisy.

I am here tonight because I continue to believe that America has the ability to become a great nation. However, we must work towards achieving democracy in both words and deeds.
Scott spoke well too, though without prepared remarks. Nary two hours later I received from Scott a CC'd message that was primarily sent to Eureka Mayor Peter La Vallee. Pending Scott's approval, I hope to post that here tomorrow.

Also tomorrow, that is Wed 12/8 on planet GuvWurld, Anayansi and the rest of the Election Response Committee will be holding their regular weekly meeting (7pm). Plugful thanks to the Redwood Peace and Justice Center for existing and letting us gather.

At the last meeting we spent way more time on No Confidence than I expected. I don't know about tomorrow though I imagine with the update from tonight we should really start looking at generating calls and e-mails (Council contacts below) and media and perhaps a petition. It's also time to make a striking flier. We need an iconic image and a meme. Suggestions welcome.

Courtesy of Eureka City website:

Peter La Vallee Mayor

Mary Beth Wolford Councilmember Ward 1

Virginia Bass-Jackson Councilmember Ward 2

Jeff Leonard Councilmember Ward 3

Chris Kerrigan Councilmember Ward 4

Mike Jones Councilmember Ward 5

See the No Confidence Movement Primer for suggested talking points and general strategy.

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Thursday, December 02, 2004

No Confidence Topples Ukraine Government

Just one week ago, on 11/24/04, the NYTimes quoted Colin Powell saying:
"We cannot accept this result as legitimate because it does not meet international standards," Mr. Powell said, "and because there has not been an investigation of the numerous and credible reports of fraud and abuse."
He was talking about Ukraine, where Tuesday the government was dissolved by a No Confidence vote in Parliament. Among other things, I'm going to call it proof of concept.

It is hardly reassuring, however, given what the Guardian reported on Friday: US campaign behind the turmoil in Kiev. This article describes Republican and Democrat affiliated groups who have been involved with orchestrating seemingly grassroots uprisings in Serbia, Georgia and Belarus. Thom Hartmann quotes heavily from the Guardian piece but also discusses the connection with the ready-made Republican election protest of 2000.

The ruthless honesty concept has been getting fleshed out more as I continue dialog with the We Do No Concede people. I can now describe ruthless honesty as a BS detector for lesser evils. It is a higher standard we must hold ourselves to in order to identify and avoid false alternatives. It is also a check against the cognitive dissonance created by doublespeak because it creates a frame around the gap between how we say we see something and how we actually treat it. For example, some people respond to the No Confidence concept with great mental solidarity - they get it. Then they talk about recounts or 2006, exposing the gap between the perception of "election" and the response to election. Such people are failing to be ruthlessly honest with themselves.

This is decidedly untrue for Carolyn Baker. In my last entry I quoted from her great piece How "Progressives" Gave The Election To Bush. Baker also wrote the must read American Born, addicted to Happiness. This is ruthless honesty.

And finally, it is a busy week for the No Confidence Resolution as I am presenting it to community groups again. I'll have more of an update by Saturday.

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