Eyes Wide Open --
The Killing of an American Reporter

Tuesday July 1, 2014. By William Rittenberg.

A recent article by W. J. Glennon, entitled "National Security and Double Government", and published in The Harvard National Security Journal shows how the US government actually makes decisions about war and peace and the use of "security assets" (weapons, surveillance, etc.).

Glennon, a lawyer, was involved as staff in the US Senate with US national security policy and decision making. Then he went on to a position as law professor at Tufts University. His article is comprehensive and thoroughly documented.

Glennon argues that the interlocking and massive US national security establishment (Dept. of Defense, CIA, Homeland Security, FBI, NSA) functions as an autonomous independent element of the US government. The security establishment is almost entirely unaccountable to our elected representatives or constitutional traditions. It has had such expertise and power that it decides how US military and surveillance assets are used more or less independently of congressional input and even the president's wishes. In creating and pursuing its policies, the security establishment regularly lies to congress and the public, and ignores our American legal traditions of due process.

In that context I heard today on NPR "The World" a detailed description of how the US intelligence services set up the murder of an American reporter, Charles Howard, in Chile during the coup against Allende. It's a case study of how the security services operate independently of legal and other oversight, ignoring citizens' constitutional protections.

Mr. Howard and his wife, who had been active in the civil rights and peace movement in the US, traveled to Chile after Allende was elected. It was an exciting time in Chile full of hope, perhaps like the euphoria after Obama's first election. However, amidst the ferment and hope at the democratic election of a people's president there were rumors of a military coup against Allende. In this setting a naval officer befriended the Howards, and supported Charles' journalistic investigation of social conditions and political developments in Allende's Chile.

Not known to the Howards, however, their supposed friend was a double agent working for US intelligence and was feeding information about Howard to his contacts in the Chilean navy all the way up the hierarchy. When General Pinochet overthrew Allende with American CIA support, the Chilean generals undertook their bloodletting against Allende supporters, including Howard, who the generals executed. It was a betrayal and extra judicial murder of an American citizen in which the US naval officer and double agent cooperated. It took Howard's widow almost 40 years to find out the truth about how the US security service cooperated in killing her husband.

When Glennon writes about "Double Governance" and the autonomy and impunity of our security institutions who can and do violate the law and the constitutional rights of American citizens at will, I believe that this murder is part of what he is referring to.

We should have eyes wide open about how our ostensibly representative democracy actually functions. We can start with the Howard murder, which everyone should know about. Then ask ourselves, Who's next?

Benefits of Proposal 3 – Why Vote Yes?

The TV attack ads are saying loudly “Vote No” but I’m going to “Yes” on Proposal 3.  Here’s why.

Right now Michigan gets its electricity mainly by burning coal, which it imports from out of state for $1.5 billion a year. Proposal 3 will change this situation. It requires Michigan utilities to reduce their use of coal and invest to get 25% of Michigan electricity from wind, solar, and other renewable sources by 2025.   

Half a billion dollars that we now send out of state to buy coal will become available to invest in Michigan.  Michigan jobs will be created to construct, maintain, and produce parts for the new wind farms and solar facilities. An MSU study estimated 94,000 such jobs would be created. Once the investment in the new renewable facilities is completed, another study estimated the cost of electricity from renewables will be lower than the electricity from coal.

Substituting wind and solar for coal energy will reduce the amount of asthma and lung disease, the frequency of heart attacks, and the buildup of mercury in Michigan fish, which all are by-products of pollution from burning coal.  Fewer poor kids will be walking around Michigan's urban neighborhoods with inhalers for their asthma.

The shift from coal burning to using renewable energy will also decrease the amount of C02 that our state puts into the atmosphere. Coal-generated C02 is one of Michigan’s major contributions to heating up the planet.

The main opposition to Proposal 3 comes from Michigan utilities, which are spending $34 million screaming bloody murder that Prop 3 will be too expensive. What they really mean is “Too expensive for us.”   In fact, the Public Utilities Commission released data showing the project will cost the average consumer an extra $0.50 a month.  Over the 13 years of the project that adds up to a total of ($0.50/mo)(12 mo) (13 yrs) = $78 which is affordable for most Michigan families.  Furthermore, to protect the public from price gouging by the utilities, the proposal language caps how much the utilities can raise customer rates to pay for the investment at 1% a year.    This cap will be in the Michigan constitution where the utilities and special interests can’t tamper with it.

President Clinton’s and Governor Milliken’s endorsements will help the proposal. It's a good deal for the Michigan public --- affordable clean energy, more investment and jobs in the state, and improved public health from less asthma and lung disease. Hopefully enough Michigan voters will see through the barrage of misinformation and pass it.

Bill Rittenberg, E. Lansing

Top Twelve Proposal 3 Questions

Michigan Sierra Club

1. What will Proposal 3 do?

Proposal 3 requires that a minimum 25 percent of Michigan’s electricity come from clean renewable sources including wind, solar, biomass and hydropower by 2025. The proposal explicitly states that utilities cannot raise electricity prices to comply with Proposal 3 by more than 1 percent in any given year. It has been projected that it will cost the average residential ratepayer about 50 cents a month to begin with, but in the long term will save ratepayers money.

2. Why put this in the constitution?

The Michigan Constitution is much different from our federal Constitution. It was designed to be a living document that reflects our values, and is designed to change with the times. That’s why it requires we vote every 16 years on whether to hold a convention to rewrite it.

There have been 69 amendments offered since the latest version was adopted in 1963. The people approved those 32 times and voted against them 37 times. Those amendments have addressed everything from exempting food from sales tax, to the minimum drinking age, to allowing stem cell research. Importantly, the voters always have the final say

A major advantage of putting 25 by 2025 in the Michigan Constitution is that utilities cannot use their political influence to sway the Legislature and bypass the consumer protection measures, such as the 1% cap on rates on any given year.

Right now, Michigan is locked into outdated and expensive energy sources like coal for our electricity. But the Legislature won’t act because they have sold out to the big oil and coal companies, DTE, Consumers Energy and their lobbyists. The Oakland Press said, “To reject the proposal just because it entails a state constitutional amendment just further empowers wealthy lobbyists like those working for the utility companies.”

3. Why are oil companies involved?

We use a small amount of oil to generate electricity. More importantly to oil companies, we spend over $500 million a year for diesel fuel to move the over 35 million tons of coal from Western states to Michigan to burn in our power plants. So transition to cleaner energy not only makes Michigan more energy independent, it makes the United States less reliant on oil from oversees.

4. What kinds of jobs are expected to be created by Proposal 3?

Proposal 3 specifically states that the legislature should enact incentives to encourage the use of Michigan workers and Michigan made goods. A Michigan State University study determined that Proposal 3 will create at least 74,000 Michigan jobs that can’t be outsourced. Construction jobs account for more than 30,000, and operation and maintenance more than 40,000.

There will be another 40,000 jobs related to manufacturing the parts required to build the renewable energy facilities. With Michigan’s manufacturing talent and know-how, Michigan could capture 50 percent of that manufacturing market, increasing the number of jobs to 94,000.

5. The Care for Michigan group claims that the cost of Proposal 3 will be more than $12 billion and cost families “thousands” of dollars. Is that true?

These claims by the utilities are false. Michigan residents spend over $10 billion each year on electricity. Passage of Proposal 3 will result in investments of around $10.3 billion (CARE inflated that number) in Michigan by the utilities or private investors. Those costs are spread among four million customers and over the 25- year expected life of those assets.

The utilities also fail to subtract avoided costs from their total. For example, we spend $1.5 billion each year to buy imported coal. We’ll keep some of that money here, instead, which is a significant savings to Michigan residents and a significant offset to the renewable energy investment.

The language of Proposal 3 also puts a permanent cap on the cost of compliance with Proposal 3 at no more than 1% per year. Because it is in the Constitution it cannot be bypassed by the utilities or the legislature. That cap would limit the amount any family would pay to about $10 a year. A recent report projects that Proposal 3 will cost about half of that, or about 50 cents a month but will save money in the long term.

6. How can we count on power when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun isn’t shining all the time?

That is not a problem for users because homes and businesses are connected to a regional electric grid that gets electricity from many sources. Existing ‘backup’ generating capacity – both within Michigan and elsewhere on the regional grid – is more than capable of filling short-term gaps in supply. Those other sources will be able to meet our needs when an insufficient amount of Michigan renewable energy is available. There are now five different states (Hawaii, Colorado, Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota that are already producing more than 20% renewable energy. Grid operators in those states have had no trouble managing the variable load. As more and more renewable resources are added to the grid, the less variable they become overall.

7. Do we have enough wind and land to meet 25 by 2025?

Yes, and more. Michigan needs to build only 4,600 megawatts of electricity generation capacity from renewable energy. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Michigan needs to harness just 8% of the more than 54,000 MW of high-quality, land-based wind generation potential of the state. Michigan also has more sunny days than Germany, one of the world’s leading producers of solar energy.

8. How much renewable energy does Michigan currently use?

Michigan currently gets just 3.9 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. Meanwhile other states are moving ahead, including Iowa, whose renewable energy use is at 23 percent, and Illinois, whose 25 percent by 2025 goal is saving businesses and families there $176 million, according to the Illinois Power Agency. Michigan currently gets 60 percent of its electricity from coal, all of which is imported from other states. Just to purchase coal, Michigan sends $1.5 billion a year – and the jobs it creates – to other states.

9. How will this improve public health?

Using more wind and solar energy will reduce pollution and give Michigan cleaner and healthier air and water. The dirty coal plants that provide 60 percent of Michigan’s electricity emit dangerous levels of mercury, sulfur dioxide and arsenic, which are linked to heart disease, childhood asthma, lung disease and premature death. That exacts a terrible emotional toll on families, and a financial toll that is reflected in higher health insurance premiums and medical costs. The Michigan Nurses Association endorses Proposal 3 because our children deserve a cleaner Michigan.

10. Are DTE residential customers treated differently?

DTE residential customers are currently paying $3 a month for renewable energy surcharge, but should only be paying $1.60 a month based on how much power they use (36% of the power, and paying 69% of the surcharge). Consumers Energy residential customers only pay 52 cents a month. Proposal 3 would eliminate the current system of per meter surcharges that creates this unfair treatment, immediately lowering the bills of DTE residential customers.

11. Why aren’t the utilities supporting Proposal 3?

For them it comes down to money and control. They make more money burning coal and want to continue to do so even though Michigan families are paying huge rate increases caused in part by the rising prices of coal delivered to Michigan. That cost has increased 71 percent in the last four years, Coal pollution also contributes to asthma attacks, respiratory illnesses and premature heart attacks. They oppose this ballot measure because they cannot control the voters like they are able to control the legislature.

12. Critics claim that Proposal 3 is not flexible enough. Is that true?

If Proposal 3 passes the legislature will pass implementing language to set the timeline for utilities to transition from the 10% currently required to the 25% which will be required by 2025. That timeline will be set with input from all interested parties. They are also required to establish incentives for Michigan workers and Michigan made parts and components to the renewable energy facilities used. If utilities have trouble meeting the interim standards the legislature will be able to change them. Under Proposal 3 if the costs are too high, utilities will be given longer to meet the standard to keep any potential increase in rates below 1%.

The proposal also leaves 75% of Michigan’s electric generation open-ended, giving utilities and regulators a relatively free hand at planning the new generation sources that we will need.

Report copies can be found at:

Jobs: http://www.environmentalcouncil.org/mecReports/MSU_Jobs_Report_25x25.pdf.

Costs: http://www.environmentalcouncil.org/mecReports/25by2025-ImpactonUtilityRates.pdf

America’s Predatory Bank

Join the National Protest in Lansing

at

BANK OF AMERICA

Wednesday, May 9
  • 11:30 a.m. Reutter Park, downtown Lansing
  • 12:00 noon Bank of America downtown branch 201 Townsend Street
Sponsors:
99% Spring
Lansing MoveOn.Org

 

Bank of America
Ugly Facts

  • The BA's reckless speculation and shady business practices fuelled the 2008 economic meltdown.
    • Before the 2008 crash, low interest rates and lax lending standards allowed almost anyone to buy a house. The BA’s subsidiaries made billions worth of bad mortgages at inflated prices to borrowers who lacked the capacity to repay the loans. Committing apparent fraud, the BA hid the borrowers’ financial weakness in order to purchase taxpayer backed FHA insurance on the bad mortgages. When the borrowers defaulted and lost their homes, the BA collected the insurance making a huge dishonest profit courtesy of you the taxpayer.
  • With the 2008 market crash, the BA was effectively insolvent because of its reckless speculation. It received $44 billion in taxpayer TARP bailout funds to avoid going bankrupt.
    • In the bailout agreement the BA promised to reduce the principal on mortgages to borrowers who were underwater. However, after the bailout the BA broke the agreement and avoided reducing the principal of most homeowners who qualified for assistance. Not receiving the promised reduction of principal, many of the borrowers were forced into default and foreclosure.
    • The BA illegally and systematically falsified large numbers of mortgage documents in order to foreclose and evict homeowners. It illegally evicted them and sold their homes to avoid or minimize its losses from the market crash.
    • In the March 2012 mortgage settlement with the 49 state Attorneys General, BA agreed to pay a total of $8.88 billion in partial compensation for these and other predatory and dishonest mortgage practices. In another legal settlement, the BA paid $410 million for its practice of deliberately delaying late payments notices to credit card holders who were in arrears in order to maximize its fee income. Many large, serious lawsuits are pending against this bank.

Move Your Money to a
Credit Union or Local Bank

Your tax dollars kept the BA afloat, but after the bailout it continued its predatory banking practices at the public expense. To add insult to injury, despite huge profits, it regularly pays no tax. From 2001-10 it made $11 million in campaign contributions to influence congress. It will do whatever it can get away with to make money, no matter what the effects on the public treasury, its customers, or homeowners.

Some Sources on Bank of America

Four Whistleblowers Who Sounded the Alarm on Banks' Mortgage Shenanigans” by Cora Currier ProPublica, March 15, 2012

Kyle Lagow Complaint Case 1:09-cv-02040-RJD-JMA Document 1 filed 5/13/2009, U.S. District Court for Eastern New York

Greg Mackler Complaint: Complaint for Violation of False Claims Act Case 1:11-cv-03270-SLT-RLM Document 1 Filed 07/07/11, U.S. District Court for Eastern New York

Rampant Robosigning at Bank of America, 60 Minutes, April 1, 2011

The Lawsuits Plaguing Bank Of America, Forbes 9/13/2011

BofA Wins Approval for $410 Million Overdraft Fee Settlement November 09, 2011, Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Press Release, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of New York. $1 Billion to be Paid by the Bank of America to the United States: Largest False Claims Act Settlement Relating to Mortgage Fraud

Five Biggest Recipients Of Corporate Tax Breaks Spent $8 Million In 2010 Elections, Amanda Terkel, Huffington Post. First Posted: 05/03/11 Updated: 07/03/11

BofA to pay $335 million to settle Countrywide mortgage bias probe, LA Times, December 21, 2011

National Mortgage Settlement. Federal Government and Attorneys General reach landmark settlement with major banks.

Local Activism

The "Day After Tomorrow"
is Sooner than You Think

Did you think the recent film "The Day After Tomorrow" was a fictional account of global warming consequences, or that things like ten or twenty foot rises in sea level and the rapid onset of a new ice age would never happen in your lifetime? Well, think again.

You can now expect rapid, drastic, and even cataclysmic climate change in the next few years, even as early as next year, given the facts revealed in several recent reports. The conditions depicted as a tipping point or trigger in the popular movie "The Day After Tomorrow" are now all but fait accompli.

Here's why. If the North Atlantic off the coast of Greenland gets flooded all at one time with too much fresh water from melting glaciers, it will stall the normal mechanism that drives the Gulf Stream. . . . More.

Mid-Michigan Initiatives on Climate Change

December 19, 2007
As the earth heats up and the polar ice melts, President Bush may be siting on his haunches, but all over the country other citizens -- politicians, states, localities, ordinary people -- are responding. There is civic movement on the issue of climate change.

The Progressive Connection has been investigating what concrete actions on climate change are happening in our community. Here is what we found.

Most of Michigan's electricity currently comes from polluting coal-burning power plants, and the purchase of out-of-state coal drains billions from the Michigan economy.

In January, 2007 Governor Granholm brought out the Michigan 21st Century Energy Plan, which supports Michigan's energy independence and economic development by reducing reliance on fossil fuels, increasing energy efficiency and using more of the state's renewable energy resources.

At the very same time the governor released her plan to promote green energy, Michigan's largest electric power companies have come out with proposals to build seven more coal burning power plants. They are making these proposals even as Michigan's demand for electricity has leveled off and even though other states have rejected construction of new coal-burning power plants (Kansas, Texas). New coal plants in Michigan are vigorously opposed by Clean Energy Now -- a coalition of eight Michigan environmental groups -- under the rallying cry "no coal rush." The coalition argues that wind energy, a leading renewable resource in Michigan, is both clean and cheaper than coal in the present market.

Meanwhile, in the Michigan legislature the House Energy and Technology Committee is about to report out a package of energy bills that will go a long way to determine Michigan's energy future. Environmental groups and utilities are furiously lobbying over these bills. At issue are how much effort Michigan will put into improving energy efficiency, how much renewable energy will be tapped, and what kind of planning will be required before companies can get approval to build new coal-fired generating plants. Citizens who want to help tip the balance in favor of a "greener" package of bills can contact Jan O'Connell at jan.oconnell@sierraclub.org, or 616-956-6646, or Gayle Miller at gayle.miller@sierraclub.org.

More.

Global Warming: Local Action

What are people in the Lansing area doing to address global warming?

Capital Area Local First supports the multiple benefits of locally-owned independent businesses.

Lansing Area Localvores encourages area residents to eat locally grown and raised foods.

New coal plants in Michigan are vigorously opposed by Clean Energy Now -- a coalition of eight Michigan environmental groups -- under the rallying cry "no coal rush."

Climate Change:
Who's Responding?

Climate Change 2007
the IPCC's latest reports

The Global Climate Campaign
is staging demonstrations on December 8, 2007.

Focus the Nation
is planning a national teach-in on January 30, 2008 via web cast.

The Sierra Club's Cool Cities
is mobilizing local communities across the U.S.

Greenpeace's Hotseat
is building fires under state legislators.

Current TV's Ecospots
are ready for prime time.

The Alliance for Climate Protection
is building a global movement through education and action.

The 1Sky Team
is taking up where Step It Up 2007 leaves off, to build a massive nationwide movement.

Step It Up 2007
staged rallies all over the U.S.

Live Earth
staged concerts world-wide and got millions to commit to the Live Earth Pledge

Michiganders for Obama Confront MI Dem Party over Primary

Tues. Oct. 16. Late last week, the MichigandersforObama listserv saw a flurry of emails from Obama supporters. Most were upset over the way Michigan's primary was moved up to Jan. 15, resulting in the withdrawl from the Michigan ballot of four presidential contenders, Obama, Edwards, Richardson, and Biden. (It would have been five, but Kucinich's letter of withdrawl arrived too late. See MichLib blog for more details.)

Many Obama supporters felt they had been disenfranchised by the Michigan Democratic Party's effort to challenge the primacy of Iowa and New Hampshire in the presidential primaries. Moving up the Michigan primary resulted in the National Party declaring that Michigan delegates would not be honored at the national convention if chosen through the early primary.

Now some Michiganders for Obama are planning a write-in campaign and, on Wednesday, a call-in day to confront party chair Mark Brewer and the Michigan leadership.

Feel free to join in if, like this writer, you are more than a little disturbed by the Michigan party's antics. You don't have to be an Obama supporter to be concerned about the seemingly cavalier way the Michigan Democratic leadership is treating our rights to participate in a meaningful selection process for the Democratic presidential nomination.

On the same general theme, please copy and forward this "Caucuses Resolution," which was passed Monday by the Kent Co. Democratic Party (thank you, Phil Skaggs):

FORWARD THIS RESOLUTION-

Please try to have your County or Congressional District Committee adopt this well written and brief resolution. Contact your County Party Chair and / or Chair of the Resolutions Committee, and request that this Resolution be placed on the Agenda of the next meeting.

Resolved: The _______________ County Democratic Party believes that a January 15 primary that chooses no National Convention delegates and gives Michigan voters a very limited choice from the Democratic presidential field is not in the interest of Michigan or of the Michigan Democratic Party.

Therefore the _________________ County Democratic Party strongly encourages the Michigan Democratic Party and its Chair Mark Brewer to opt out of the January 15 primary and return to a DNC-sanctioned caucus date sometime on or after February 5.



Election Reform Legislation

Beginning in May, the first bills supported by a statewide alliance to reform Michigan elections were the subject of hearings in the Michigan House Committee on Ethics and Elections. HB 4447 and 4448 would allow a voters to use an address for their voter registration that differs from the one on their driver's license. Introduced by State Rep. Rebekah Warren (D) Ann Arbor, the bills would repeal a provision of the motor-voter law associated with 8th District Congressman Mike Rogers that passed in 1999.

The Michigan Election Reform Alliance (MERA) supports the bills and hopes to see other parts of its Legislative Plan taken up by the legislature soon.

Testifying for MERA at Tuesday's hearing were Jan Bendor, Nancy Bedell, and Phil Shepard. MERA believes the present requirement
creates an unnecessary burden on citizens who reside for long periods away from home, who move frequently, who depend on family members for driver’s insurance, or who must retain a certain state driver’s license for their employment.
Many college students are affected, among other groups.

Another bill to adopt no-reason absentee voting moved to the floor of the House in July. MERA has been working to marshall testimony and citizen support for legislation that enacts the legislative plan. Citizen volunteers are welcome in all phases of the effort.


Save the Internet

Sept. 30, 2006 Having heard from thousands of concerned citizens, the US Senate adjourned without taking action on a bill that would have destroyed net neutrality. It remains urgent to contact Michigan's Senators and urge them to support net neutrality ("common carriage"). Neither senator has yet declared support for net neutrality, according to Save the Internet's senate map.

Save the Internet: Click here

To defend Internet freedom, you can also sign the Petition for Net Neutrality.

Mike Rogers (R), our 8th District Congressional Representative, has voted to allow AT&T and other large Internet Service Providers to charge for expediting high-speed traffic on the Internet. Such measures would let moneyed commercial users dominate and slow the Internet down for everyone else . . . to the point of futility.


Anti-Affirmative Action Proposal
Loses Support
ACLU calls for letters

July 18. In a recent poll, 48% of likely Michigan voters oppose a constitutional amendment to ban affirmative action in government hiring and contracting and in university admissions. The so-called "Michigan Civil Rights Initiative" (MCRI) would do just that.

To seize the momentum, the Michigan ACLU is mounting a campaign for letters to the editor of Michigan newspapers, complete with a handy e-mail link to editorial departments and talking points.

One United Michigan, a coalition of education, business and labor organizations, chambers of commerce, communities of faith and other organizations has also been working to protect the rights of women and minorities by defeating the MCRI proposal.

Well known Lansing civic leader and progressive acitivist, Lynne Martinez, has warned that the effect of the ballot proposal "language would be the elimination all affirmative action programs in public institutions, even those that are effective in reducing discrimination and disparities." Read the article.


Marcinkowski
Bids for Top Tier

Ambassador Joe Wilson Visits East Lansing

Jim Marcinkowski, challenger to Congressman Mike Rogers, is meeting with Mid-Michigan voters this week at house parties and at a reception for Ambassador Joe Wilson, husband of outed CIA agent Valerie Plame. The Marcinkowski campaign is close to qualifying for "top tier" status and full financial support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, if it receives sufficient campaign contributions before the next FEC reporting deadline on June 30th. For the Winter reporting period, Jim's campaign broke all expectations, raising $138,000 and beating Mike Rogers. Jim is the only Michigan democratic congressional challenger who stands a chance of unseating his republican opponent in November, according to Nathan Gonzales, political editor of the non-partisan Washington-based Rothenberg Political Report.

An Inconvenient Truth

June 29, 6:30 p.m. Lansing premiere and benefit showing of An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore's new film on global warming. Location: Celebration Cinema. Hosted by LP4 - Lansing Post-Petroleum Planning Project. For tickets, call Urban Options (337-0422) or visit Environment Michigan. Ticket price - $7.50, requested donation - $25. Proceeds will go to Environment Michigan and Urban Options.


Granholm Plans for Alternative Energy

Governor Granholm issued an executive directive on April 6 calling for the development of a comprehensive energy plan for the state of Michigan. The plan will outline ways to provide affordable, reliable, safe, and clean electricity for citizens and businesses. Granholm charged Peter Lark, Chairman of the MPSC, with beginning the development of the plan immediately and presenting it to her by year's end. The plan will encourage the state to seek alternative and renewable sources of energy as alternatives to traditional electricity generation. As part of the directive, the Governor has also asked Chairman Lark to establish a renewable energy portfolio standard. The portfolio will encourage alternative energy sources in Michigan by requiring that a certain percentage of the state's energy supply come from renewable sources.
Source: Michigan Energy Office, "Energy Tidbits," May 2006

For more information and to get involved, follow this link.


The 23rd Qualm

Bush is my shepherd;
I dwell in want.

He maketh logs to be
cut down in national forests.

He leadeth trucks
into the still wilderness.

He restoreth my fears.

He leadeth me in the paths
of international disgrace
for his ego's sake.

Yea, though I walk through
the valley of pollution and
war, I will find no exit,
for Bush is in office.

His tax cuts for the rich
and his media control,
they discomfort me.

He preparest an agenda of deception
in the presence of my religion.

He anointest my head with foreign oil.

My health insurance
runneth out.

Surely, megalomania and
false patriotism
shall follow me
all the days of his term,

And my jobless child
shall dwell in my basement
forever.
   --anon.


Spring for Peace - March for Accountability

Sun. March 19 to Fri. March 24 - Call to Action on the 3rd Anniversary of the Attack on Iraq
In response to the 3rd anniversary and the continuing occupation, the Greater Lansing Area Network Against War and Injustice (GLNAWI) is coordinating the actions and events below. All interested individuals or groups may participate. Email: glnawi2006@comcast.net
Updates and more details are posted at www.glnawi.org. All actions will follow GLNAWI nonviolent guidelines.

3rd Anniversary Actions
Sun. March 19 - COMMUNITY PEACE PROTEST
12 - 2 p.m. rain or shine.    At 5 sites on sidewalks near Meridian Mall, Eastwood Towne Center, Lansing Mall, South Lansing on Cedar Street, and East Lansing on Grand River.

More Photos

Sun. March 19 - CONFRONTING THE MYTHS
3.p.m. - 5 p.m.    Presentations by an Iraqi, Christian Peacemaker Team Member and an Iraq War Veteran, and film. MSU Museum (located on Circle Drive across from the MSU Library).

Mon. March 20 - Fri. March 24 - PICKET FOR PEACE
7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.    Rep. Mike Rogers office, 1327 E. Michigan Avenue, Lansing. Extra participation is welcome at these times. Sign-up ahead of time if you can for a one or two-hour block on any day(s) as an individual or group. E-mail your name, phone number and group affiliation to glnawi2006@comcast.net.

ADS FOR PEACE - 3 Week E-mail Drive to obtain sponsor signatures and raise funds for a large ad in the Lansing State Journal, City Pulse or State News. Sponsors should send e-mail to glnawi2004@yahoo.com, send checks to GLNAWI, 855 Grove St., E. Lansing, MI 48823.

Flyer & Action Goals



Resolution on Affirmative Action

Mon. Feb. 20. The Lansing City Council unanimously reaffirmed its support of diversity and affirmative action programs Monday night, by passing a resolution opposing the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI).

“It is imperative Michigan citizens realize exactly what impact Ward Connerly and the misnamed Michigan Civil Rights Initiative could have on our state,” said Mary Pollock, Lansing regional coordinator for Michigan United. "The support of the Lansing City Council takes us one step further in our fight to protect equal rights for everyone in Michigan. The more people understand and recognize the damage the MCRI can do in Michigan, the better."

The City Council's resolution recognizes the MCRI would likely cripple efforts to resolve gender and racial inequalities in key areas such as health care, education and law enforcement, as well as remove the ability of locally elected officials to bring about diversity within the operations of local government.

"The support of the Lansing City Council shows just how committed the residents of Lansing . . . are to protecting vital programs and services enabled by affirmative action," said James Gill, president of the Lansing chapter of the NAACP. "We congratulate the Council members on their forward-thinking actions, aimed at helping all Lansing-area families."

Michigan United is a wide-ranging, bi-partisan coalition of organizations working together to protect equal rights for all Michigan residents. For more information about Michigan United, or how to become involved in the campaign, please visit One United Michigan.

The local committe is Lansing Area United.
Contact Mary Pollock lansingareaunited@yahoo.com .





On Tuesday, Jan. 10, Jim Marcinkowski kicked off his campaign for Mike Rogers 8th District Congressional seat. In Lansing, about 50 people came to the Boji Tower to meet Jim and hear him speak, along with Ambassador Joe Wilson.



Marcinkowski gained national attention by speaking out against the Bush Administration when Valerie Plame Wilson was "outed" in what some now call "traitor-gate". He has been invited to speak before House and Senate Democratic Caucus hearings, was interviewed on CBS's "60 Minutes," and has appeared on CNN and liberal radio shows across the nation.



Jim's efforts gained the attention of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, House Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Michigan Congressmen John Dingell and John Conyers, Jr. They all asked him to run against Mike Rogers.

Marcinkowski's reasons for running are as compelling as his credentials.
For more information on the campaign or to volutneer or make a contribution, go to the campaign web site: Marcinkowski for Congress.

STOP the Reverse Robin Hood Budget

Wed. Nov. 16    Twenty people spoke out today against proposed cuts to the federal budget for Medicaid, food stamps and student loans. With support from MoveOn.org Political Action, constituents met in front of Cong. Rogers office to tell their stories and demand that Rogers vote against any budget reconciliation bill that includes these cuts.

The Republicans' proposal cuts $11.9 billion dollars from Medicaid, restricts food stamp eligibility to save $844 million, and cuts another $14.3 billion for student loans, the largest cut in history. Yet it also includes $70 billion in new tax breaks for the rich. It’s a "Reverse Robin Hood" plan - take from the poor and give to the rich!


Republicans had hoped to slide this budget through before Thanksgiving, but held up the vote twice already in the face of stiff opposition from Democrats, and Republicans worried about reelection.


What wrong with this Thanksgiving picture? Thanksgiving is about sharing blessings with the community, but Republicans plan to heap blessings on their rich cronies, and leave crumbs for the poor. It's Robin Hood in reverse!

You can write your representative from any of these sites:

http://action.ourfuture.org/action/index.asp?step=2&item=28629
http://www.millionphonemarch.com/no_cruelty.htm



Fair Share Health Care Fund

A bill proposed by Sen. Basham in the Michigan Senate, SB 734, will place a fee on corporations in MI proportional to the extent their employees use medicaid, and establish a "fair share health care fund" dedicated to offsetting MI medicaid costs. Contact Kathleen Johnston-Calati, Senate Democratic Policy Staff, 12th floor Romney Building, (517) 373-5663, (517) 373-1373 fax, kcalati@senate.michigan.gov.


"Wal-Mart: the High Cost of Low Prices"
Movie premiere Nov. 13th-19th

Local public screenings:
Mon. 11/14 6 p.m. East Lansing, MSU, Bessey Hall, room 108
Fri. 11/18 7 p.m. Lansing, LCC, Dart Auditorium, 500 N. Capitol Ave.

House Party Screenings
Follow the link to join a screening near you.

Related Events:
Thurs. 11/17 7 p.m. International Wal-Mart Worker Tour. East Lansing, MSU, North Kedzie Room 101
Sat. 11/19 3-5:30 p.m. State-wide Townhall on Healthcare. Capital Area District Library, Lansing


Michigan Needs a Raise

Help put an increase in the minimum wage on the ballot in 2006. If interested in becoming a Local Coordinator, contact your County Chair, or MDP Political Director Jason Ellenburg (517-371-5410) before December 10, 2005.

Help Earthquake Survivors in Pakistan & India

Send Your Gifts to: Vaishnava Center/ISS, 2601 Cochise Lane, Okemos, Michigan 48864-2055


Katrina Progressive Policy and Action Guide

© Copyright 2005 Lansing Area Progressive Network.