The meeting started with several NC Democratic Party candidates making a pitch to the group and fielding questions. David Young, who is running to be state chair, was questioned about the possibility of Shuler running for US Senate. Mr. Young did not think that was going to happen. Mr. Young said that he supports collective bargaining for state employees as it is part of the NC Democratic Party platform. He also said that he would do a nation-wide search for executive director and that the treasurer would post finances of the party on line.
Kevin Smith is running for 3rd Vice Chair. He wants to focus on transparency in the party operations, especially in financial operations. He proposed putting the budget on line (making it password protected) and asking for input. He wants to see the Party HQs in every rural county, and he supports Delmus Parker’s principles.
Harry Taylor first came to my attention when he stood up to bush in April 2006. Taylor said many things to bush that I agreed with – however, he did it with much more courtesy than I would be able to muster. This is part of what he said:
“In my lifetime, I have never felt more ashamed of my leadership in Washington,” Taylor told the president. “And I would hope from time to time that you have the humility and grace to be ashamed of yourself.” April 6, 2006
Last Saturday was Buncombe County Democratic Party convention. Boy, that was a mixed bag. My resolution on helping the Iraqi refugees passed, although some did speak against it (that resolution came from an Out-of-Iraq phone call with PDA, by the way). Xenophobia is definitely growing.
I am the state coordinator for Progressive Democrats of America here in NC - for the time being at least - I am stepping down next month. This year, we pursued obtaining an endorsement for a US Senate candidate by Progressive Democrats of America (PDA). PDA rules say that all chapters inside a state have to vote to endorse, and then endorse one candidate by majority rule in each chapter, for Senate candidate endorsements. We have five chapters in North Carolina.
Unfortunately, two of those chapters have told me that they have restrictions on their ability to endorse anyone running for a federal office. So, as a friend of mine said, THE RULES RULE.... and there will be no endorsement from Progressive Democrats of America. The remaining three chapters (Beaufort, Buncombe, and Mecklenburg) will consider endorsements on the chapter levels.
NC Democratic Party will hold precinct meetings on March 11, 2008. I have written up a precinct resolution below to address the suffering of the Iraqi refugees. Representative Waters has a bill introduced that will address this huge and still growing problem. Press release for this bill is here.
Jonas Phillips was arrested on August 15, 2007 for holding a sign on a sidewalk in Asheville, NC. The sign said “Impeach Bush & Cheney”. His story is here.
Finally today, his case came to trail at the Buncombe County Courthouse. The District Attorney had offered to dismiss the charges for the court costs ($120) last year, but Jonas Phillips declined. It has been continued at least once since then. I was unable to attend his prior court dates, but today I took a vacation day so I could be an eyewitness to this MOCKERY OF DEMOCRACY.
Salee Allawe, the little girl in yellow in the photo on my blog, was injured in a US bombing in November 2006. She has been brought to Greenville, South Carolina for medical treatment. Salee lost her brother, her best friend, and the bottom part of both of her legs in this bombing. She was playing hopscotch when it happened. Only children were killed or injured.
It is always the children who suffer the most from war.
On Wednesday morning, a Buncombe County deputy decided to enforce a long-unused NC law in Asheville, using some unlawful means to do so. The main story from the local paper said that Deputy Scarborough was writing a citation for flag desecration, since Mark and Deborah Kuhn were flying their flag upside down on their front porch, with signs pinned to the flag. The deputy either kicked in the front door, or had it slammed on his hand, depending on which story you believe. Either way – he had no probable cause of a serious crime being committed, and no search warrant and he clearly was not invited into the home. The deputy just decided to act like a fascist thug. There is a picture of the couple on the link to the local paper above, and there is a sign saying Ron Paul for President in the photo.
The meeting was held at Pisgah High School and basically started with the usual – introductions of legislators (including our freshman congressman Shuler) and election of officers for the upcoming two years. We then moved on to discussing resolutions, of which there were more than fifty. I will review the ones I think are pertinent.
Iraq: Several resolutions against the escalation of troops numbers in Iraq, asking for a timetable of troop withdrawal, and opposition to construction of permanent bases in Iraq. All these resolutions passed by acclimation, which is a big change from two years ago. It seems that everyone has finally woken up to the nightmare we have created in Iraq, and there are only a few people who think we should stay and “fix it”. Most have woken up to the reality that we cannot fix it.
Note: we passed “Out of Iraq” resolution this past January at the State Executive committee meeting. This was also passed last year at the district level. These new resolutions were attempts to further that process along.
This blog post is about extraordinary rendition and AERO Contractors – which is located in North Carolina. If you are unaware of the connection to North Carolina, please read on and follow the links. If you are aware of the issues, please follow the action suggestions below. There are less than 300 people who have signed the petition asking for Aero Contractors to be investigated by Governor Easley’s office. We can do better than that! We need to speak up and stand up and STOP EXTRAORDINARY RENDITION by a North Carolina firm.
2/8/07 - ACLU Forum on Challenging Torture Flights & Other Abuses of Power
First DVD shown was “Stop the Abuse of Power” and this addressed corporate flights, secret prisons, and detention and kidnapping of citizens of other countries. It addressed the illegality of Guantanamo. It talked about the 400+ people kept there, and how the rule of law is totally absent – it is a legal black hole. Then they went on to discuss illegal spying here in the USA, and how the police and FBI and CIA are infiltrating peace groups and interfering in legal first amendment activities. A report was given on the 30,000 national security letters sent to librarians.
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