Trumansburg Impeachment

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Village Board Meeting 6/16/08

I read this to the Village Board yesterday during the public comment period.

The Senate Intelligence Committee finally released a long awaited report on the use of intelligence by the Bush Administration. They basically said that Bush and Cheney lied us into war. This is the highest of all high crimes and misdeameanors. This should have been in all caps and 3” tall letters above the fold of our newspapers, and the lead story on the evening news. It wasn’t, because it is not in the interest of the corporate controlled media to keep you well informed. Your jobs as trustees, however, require that you inform yourselves of the facts about the world around you that influence your decisions on this board. Part of the blame for your ignorance of some of these facts can be put on the media, but we have the greatest access to information now, than at any time in history, if we just make the effort.

Dennis Kucinich appears to be very aware of what’s going on. Shortly after the Senate Intelligence Report was made public, Kucinich introduced 35 articles of impeachment against George W. Bush. This was the most important motion made in Congress in the Twenty First Century. - A call for the restoration of our Republic. The coverage in the main stream media was pitiful.As trustees, it is your responsibility to read these articles of impeachment and consider them carefully. Remember, a large percentage of your constituents have ask you to pass a resolution to incourage Congress to take action on this.

You can find the 35 Articles of Impeachment here - http://chun.afterdowningstreet.org/amomentoftruth.pdf

Monday, May 12, 2008

Still Eagerly Awaiting Responses

We would still like to hear from Trustees,

Rordan Hart, and Debbie Nottke

Response from John Hrubos

(my comments are in blue)

Alan,

in my opinion you have not made your case for having the support of the majority of the village voters. not even close. as your special meeting showed quite clearly, this is an important and emotional issue for all sides. since that meeting you have not added significantly to the number of signatures on your petition. you did not muster enough support at election time to get elected to the village board- which to me says that you do not have the support you claim or need to move this thing forward. you seem to be of the "squeaky wheel"method of persuasion. and this whole thing about answering you on your time frame and with what you consider the right answer so that you can post it to your blog smacks of bully tactics. as I stated for the record at the last board meeting- do the work, make your case for support with signatures on the petition.

I've already addressed the points that you make here. You are not responding to to this,

John Hrubos responded to my question about what it would take to get you to change your minds. He said, basically, that I would have to present a petition with the signatures of over half of the registered voters in the Village. This is progress - two way communication presents an opportunity to clear up misunderstandings.

The Tompkins County Legislature passed our resolution with a much smaller percentage of residents having signed their petition, than the percentage that we have collected in Trumansburg. Requiring over 50% on a petition, ignores the reality of collecting signatures. It is essentially impossible to find an opportunity to speak with every potential signatory. It is a clever way of avoiding one's responsibilities as an elected representative. Not since ancient Greece, have we required direct participation of this kind.
We elect representatives, and hope that they will make the right decisions on our behalf. This is the essence of our form of government. I proposed that a reasonable course of action if he feels that those who oppose passage of the resolution haven't been given enough of an opportunity to make their case to the board, would be to allow them a period of time, to collect signatures on a counter petition. John said "this is your argument to make" I think I have made the argument.

And you are not responding to this,

There are many reasons why I was defeated. It is ridiculous to conclude from my defeat, that support for the resolution is not a majority position.

Can't we discuss this rationally instead of throwing cliches like "bully tactics" about. It seems to me that you are in a better position to bully than me. The reason that I hesitate to try to get enough additional signatures, is not that I doubt that my position is the majority. It is the difficulty of finding people at home, willing to talk, and unafraid. Also, I have no guarantee, that if I were to find 400 more signatures (a miracle) that you and Chris would not find some new reason to vote against the resolution. I'm not sure I've ever heard the real reason for his vote, and your lack of voting.

You would be justified in calling me a "squeaky wheel" if I was constantly pestering you about some relatively trivial issue, like the fire whistle. Instead, I am trying to make you realize that our Constitution is being undermined, our soldiers are dying in a unnecessary, illegal war, our tax dollars are being spent to kill hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis, and our economy is being damaged so severely, that we may not see it recover in our lifetimes, and that there is something you could do about it.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Response from Mayor Petrovic

Hi Allen, I did support and would again support the resolution. I am looking for a trustee to make the motion and I would second it if necessary. At this point in time it appears none of the trustees are willing to make a motion but you can still keep asking, Marty

Long live the Mayor! On behalf of the 171 signatories,

Thanks.

Response from Trustee Christopher Thomas

(my comments are in blue)

Allen,

As promised, here is my response.

1. You have never been ignored. I have listened to you at each and every meeting during the public comment period. And it is a public comment period, not a public debate period, which is why I have not engaged your concerns each and every month.

I don't want to take up all of your time, but I think this issue deserves as much attention as other issues that effect us all, such as the fire whistle, which was given quite a bit of time during the public comment period at the May 14th meeting, after my issue was given none.

>>>The fire whistle is something over which the board has actual control.

Granted, you have more direct control, but this does not excuse doing everything possible to stop the massive injustice.


2. I have never said that this decision was not within our purview. So on that you are incorrect. What I have said is that the resolution is an idealistic and futile effort at change. I made that same point at the Back to Democracy forum when I was running for Village Trustee. Your response was that "it would make you feel better." That is not a good enough reason to adopt such a resolution.

There was no resolution when you were running for Trustee, and at the 9/24/07 meeting at the Fire Hall you did say that you didn't consider it within the purview of the board. This is from an email from you on 12/20/07 " it is not the responsibility of village government to continue to entertain motions for which it has no ability to adjudicate." This is the same flawed argument as the "not in our purview" argument. The dictionary defines "adjudicate" as a process whereby you would review the evidence, argumentation, and legal reasoning, and make a decision. Passing the resolution would be one possible way to make this decision, which we all realize would not have the force of law, but would be valuable in many other ways.

>>>Your evidence does not support your argument.. I said we should not "continue" because we have already had a public hearing and voted. That in no way suggests I do not believe that it is not within our purview, but that within our purview, we have considered the resolution as a board. It did not pass.

Again, you state the obvious. Thomas Jefferson tried to end slavery. It didn't work, we tried again later.

Are you are fundamentally in agreement with us, and you would like to see the criminals impeached, as evidenced by the fact that you signed the petition? Are you voting against passage, because you think it is an "idealistic and futile effort at change"? It is not futile. It is impossible to know how much effect passage might have, but to thwart our effort is worse than doing nothing, and doing nothing in the face of massive injustice would make you complicit in it.

>>>In July there were, by my recollection 87 municipalities that had adopted similar resolutions. How many are there now? Has the number changed significantly? Is there a tangible movement afoot? Also, COMPLICIT is defined as "choosing to be involved in an illegal or questionable act." I have done no such thing and to describe the board's difference with your opinion as complicit is an attempt at emotional excitement.

Yes, we are all "choosing to be involved in an illegal act" when as citizens and taxpayers we continue to fund the insanity, and do little to stop it. Sorry if that invokes emotion.


Thank you for pointing out, that you now consider it within your purview. We are making progress. Also, you are correct that passing the resolution to make me feel better is not a valid reason for passage. I have given perhaps 100 reasons on this blog, so you've only got 99 left to debunk. Further progress!

>>>It is not the responsibility of the board to debunk your position, rather it is your responsibility to demonstrate the need for this board to affirm your resolution, which would include the tangible results of such a decision (i.e. the pursuant impeachment stemming from our decision.)

Sometimes we have to do the right thing without concrete evidence of immediate results.


3. I believe that many of the voters who have and have not signed your petition came to the polls when you ran for Village Trustee. I also believe that the reason you were defeated was because there were not enough people who supported your position. If there were as many as you suggest, I think you would now be sitting on the Board raising these issues as a Trustee.

There are many reasons why I was defeated. It is ridiculous to conclude from my defeat, that support for the resolution is not a majority position.

>>>Certainly there may have been other reasons. But you have been for more than a year or two pursuing this objective, and so your name is somewhat synonymous with the subject of impeachment. Had there been an up-welling of support for this resolution to pass I believe you would have won the election, or at the very least, made a tighter race of it.

An undeniable fact in politics is that candidates have better chances when they are close to the political center. My positions put me way to the left of center. I knew, and told everyone on the candidate selection committee, that a candidate closer to the center would have a better chance of winning, but I was chosen as the candidate. Perhaps that was not wise, but it is not proof of a lack of support for the resolution.


4. The Village took the time, had a public meeting and voted. The resolution didn't pass. And there has yet to be anyone on the Board, to include the Mayor or Former Trustee Filiberto, who has offered this resolution up for consideration in front of the Board. This is why there has been no discussion of it. It is not a topic that is on the table. And until someone makes another resolution, and it is seconded, it will not appear on the agenda and it will not be voted on.

Yes, and water is wet. One reason that I continue to raise the issue, is that I consider you and John to be intelligent and reasonable people, so I haven't given up hope that you will do the right thing. Mayor Petrovic has stated that he is still in support of passage, so all we need is your vote and John's.

>>>Yes, water is wet... and the village is as likely to change the course of impeachment as water is likely to be all of the sudden dry...

(fallacious argument debunked above)

Sincerely,
Christopher Thomas

Thank you Chris, for the prompt response.
Allen Carstensen

>>>Thank you for your passion...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Letter to the Village Trustees

I've attended every Village Board meeting since last September and continued to press for the passage of the resolution (posted below on 7/4/07). I never get any response, so, at the last meeting 4/29/08, I tried something new. I met with the Village Clerk, and found that 20 names had been missed, and we added them to the list of signatories to our petition, urging them to pass the resolution. I printed out a copy for each Trustee, of the 171 names, and handed them out. Then I told them that I was going to email each of them and post this email and their responses on this blog. You can listen to the audio of this meeting, and read a little more about it at my Ulysses Democrats Blog. I am respectfully requesting a response from each of them, which I will post here. 171 of us, would like to know, why they are not passing the resolution.

Mayor Petrovic and Trumansburg Village Trustees,

I'm writing you on behalf of the 171 residents that asked you to pass the resolution. It's been seven months since we had our meeting at the Fire Hall, and I have come to every Village Board meeting, and asked you to consider passing the resolution to encourage Congress to open an inquiry into impeachment of Bush and Cheney. I have been ignored at every meeting except the most recent one, when John Hrubos responded to my question about what it would take to get you to change your minds. He said, basically, that I would have to present a petition with the signatures of over half of the registered voters in the Village. This is progress - two way communication presents an opportunity to clear up misunderstandings.

The Tompkins County Legislature passed our resolution with a much smaller percentage of residents having signed their petition, than the percentage that we have collected in Trumansburg. Requiring over 50% on a petition, ignores the reality of collecting signatures. It is essentially impossible to find an opportunity to speak with every potential signatory. It is a clever way of avoiding one's responsibilities as an elected representative. Not since ancient Greece, have we required direct participation of this kind.
We elect representatives, and hope that they will make the right decisions on our behalf. This is the essence of our form of government. I proposed that a reasonable course of action if he feels that those who oppose passage of the resolution haven't been given enough of an opportunity to make their case to the board, would be to allow them a period of time, to collect signatures on a counter petition. John said "this is your argument to make" I think I have made the argument. Please go to http://trumansburgimpeachment.blogspot.com/ I have been making the argument since 7/26/07.

The latest outrage was reported by ABC news in early April. They reported that there was a meeting of the National Security Council in the White House shortly after 9/11/01. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Gonzales, Tenet, Ashcroft, and others were present, and they approved the use of "enhanced interogation techniques" That's torture. Torture! We are paying for torture. Bush signed the memo. If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.

If you are not totally convinced of the insanity of the war that Bush and Cheney lied us into, then you owe it to yourself to read this piece from the New York Times - HERE
which explains how the pentagon (probably at the direction of Bush and Cheney) disiminated propaganda to US citizens. If you watch television, then you have probably been exposed to this brainwashing. It is illegal to propagandize US citizens.

I've tried to bring it right home to Trumansburg for you,
(highlights from earlier posts follow)

Nobel prize winning economist and professor at Columbia, Joseph Stiglitz , has estimated that the cost of the war in Iraq, even if we start withdrawing troops tomorrow, will be at least 3 trillion dollars. That's 10,000 for every person in this country. My family of five in Trumansburg (and/or my descendants) will pay $50,000 for this, the biggest foreign policy blunder in US history. $50,000, That's my Village of Trumansburg taxes for 80 years. But it is the collective wisdom of this board, that it would be innapropriate to ask Congress to investigate what laws were broken in the process of incurring these huge debts on behalf of every resident of the Village.

Chris Thorpe graduated from Trumansburg High School in 2006, the same year as my daughter. He told my son that he was going to join the Army because he "wanted to kill ragheads" He is now in Iraq. If he survives, statistically, his chances of being wounded physically or mentally, to a degree that he will be given disability pay, are more than 4 in 10. But the Board continues to do nothing about it.

You say impeachment isn't the business of a village board. It seems to me that when we see our country in crisis because our young people are dying in foreign wars, because our fundamental constitutional rights are being revoked, because our economy is on the brink of disaster, because we are borrowing against future generations, when we witness all this, it is the business of all of us to do all that we can to return our country to the principles that it was founded upon. This is especially true of our leaders at every level of government.

We failed to pass the resolution on September 24th, but the meeting was not a failure, and not at all a waste of time for the board, and all who participated. No village board meeting has every been attended by so many members of the community. We talked about the most important issues of our time. Our village boards, and town councils, and county legislatures should be discussing the big picture, as well as the more narrowly focused issues that they deal with on a day to day basis. Our leaders ought to be helping to wake us up.

Chris Thomas signed the petition, but voted against the resolution, supposedly because he thinks it's not in the purview of the Village Board,


Impeachment is not within the purview of the village board? If the Chief of the Trumansburg Fire Department was driving through Ithaca, and saw a house on fire, would he just drive on by and say " It's not in my purview'' ? Of course not. He would call for help.

We are allowing our government to wage illegal wars of choice, to torture detainees, to shred our Constituion, to turn the world against us, and allow our infrastructure to crumble. We are way past the point of arguing about whose purview it is to consider impeachment. Impeachment is the tool we must use to return us to a place where we can once again be proud to be Americans.



About this excuse, that impeachment is not an issue for a village board. We are all complicit in the crimes of this administration, by our lack of action to stop it. You as Village Board members could speak more loudly to our state and federal representatives, because you represent the 1500 residents of Trumansburg. I think Arcuri is capable of doing the right thing, he just needs to be pushed. It was pressure from progressives that got him to change his position on the Military Commissions Act.

When we all witnessed the crimes of this administration for the first few years, we all blamed, with some degree of legitimacy, the executive branch. But it' been seven years now. As we continue to remain silent, and as you on this board, continue to say "it's not my job", we become more and more guilty. If we are not condoning their behavior, we are certainly acquiescing to it.

You consulted with our village attorney, and he told you to go ahead and vote your conscience. The city of Santa Rosa CA, and the county of Ulster NY, passed resolutions last week. It's the right thing to do. Please pass the resolution tonight.



Another member of this board, that voted against the resolution, is a former Marine. When we pointed out that every member of the board has taken an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, he said that he took a similar oath as a Marine, but that then as now, he felt that he was only obligated to honor the oath within the traditional limitations of the job. I'm sure he was a good Marine, and that he protected and defended the Constitution with the skills and tools of a Marine. Being a Village Board member, is a very different job. Different skills, different tools, different limitations. Two of your fellow board members, and hundreds of people in similar posts in a growing number of cities, towns, villages, and counties, feel that it is an appropriate action to take.


A US nuclear submarine just entered the Persian Gulf. Our commander in cheif has given "prepare to deploy orders" for the Eisenhower Strike Group to arrive in the Persian Gulf this October. Admiral Fallon who was the highest ranking military man to refuse to attack Iran recently resigned under pressure. General Patreaus just blamed the last attack on the Green Zone in Iraq . . . on the Iranians. Of course he has no proof, just a hunch. We would have to be deaf dumb and blind to fail to understand that the administration is preparing to attack Iran. The stage is being set for the election of John McSame, while Obama and Clinton continue to squabble. Impeachment proceedings, wether successful or not, would damage the chances of those who wish to ensure another 4 years of this insanity.

I collected over a hundred signatures on the petition. I represent a large portion of this village. In the 6 months that I have been speaking at these meetings, I haven't heard a word of response from the Board. Could you please give us an update on your thinking on these matters? We have a new board member tonight who didn't give her opinion on this at the September meeting. We would like to know where she stands on these issues.

I read this at the 4/14/08 Village Board Meeting. There was no response at all. They moved on to more important issues like "why can't we have the fire whistle back?"



It's so hard to keep you guys up to date on the new impeachable offenses, because they keep coming so fast. We just learned last week that the CIA destroyed tapes of the "enhanced interrogations" of detainees. That's obstruction of justice. Why did they destroy those tapes? They claim it's to protect the identity of their agents. That's absurd. You've all seen video where the faces are obscured by one means or another. The real reason, of course, is that if the tapes had been released, they would be evidence of torture. Torture is prohibited by the Geneva Accords. They figured it'd be better to be prosecuted for obstruction of justice than war crimes.

One member of this board abstained from voting on our resolution, explaining that he thought it was a waste of time. Apparently, many of the Democrats in the House of Representatives agree with him. 20 years ago, most of the Democrats in the House felt that it would be a waste of time when Congressman Henry B. Gonzales introduced articles of impeachment on the floor of the House, against Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, for the Iran Contra Scandal. There was plenty of evidence, but nobody joined Gonzales. His fellow Democrats felt that it would be imprudent and that Dukakis was going to win, and we would be rid of H.W. Bush. Gonzales said " If we don't impeach these men, then 20 years from now we will see another president behaving even more lawlessly, because of our failure."

Passing the resolution would not be a waste of time. We are witnessing crimes against humanity. As responsible citizens in a Democracy it is our duty to make every effort to correct the injustice.




A National Intelligence Estimate was made public last monday after being kept secret for over a year. This NIE was available before last year's general elections, to everyone in the Bush administration with sufficient security clearances. Apparently they didn't think it would be politically advantageous to allow voters to see it. It states that Iran had stopped trying to build nuclear weapons in 2003.

Last Tuesday, at the White House Press Conference, the president was asked a question by David Gregory of NBC News. "When you talked about Iraq, you and others from the administration talked about a mushroom cloud. Then there were no WMD in Iraq. When it came to Iran, you said on October 17th, you warned about the prospect of WWIII, when months before you made that statement, this intelligence about them suspending their weapons program back in '03 had already come to light to this administration. So, can't you be accused of hyping this threat, and don't you worry that this undermines US credibility?"

That's a pretty good question. In less polite terms, you could say - You lied us into a war with Iraq, and now you're trying to lie us into a war with Iran. Why the hell should we believe anything you say?

Bush answered, "Well David, I wouldn't want to contradict an august reporter such as yourself, but I was made aware of the NIE last week."

That's another lie. He's been hyping the threat from his axis of evil for years now. He's the president, the commander in chief, the head of the executive branch, the head of all of the intelligence agencies. He's got a pretty high security clearance, and so does his damn vice president. The report contradicts assertions that he's been making for years, and he wants us to believe that nobody told him that he might want to check the facts? How stupid does he think we are?

I realize that some of you think this is not a matter for a village board. You think the resolution would have no real effect so why risk alienating part of the community? I understand this point of view. If we were having this conversation a year and a half ago, when we had a Republican Congress, I might agree. But we now have Democratic majorities in both houses. The Democratic leadership has said that impeachment is off the table, for Machiavellian reasons, but they are facing great pressure from a growing impeachment movement. There is a very real chance that more pressure, including our resolution, will inspire Speaker Pelosi to put impeachment back on the table. Opening an impeachment inquiry now, might rein in an out of control executive, even if it doesn't remove him from office. Opening an impeachment inquiry now, might make an attack on Iran less likely. Our village, passing this resolution, at this critical time, could have more effect than any action it could take on anything. To quote David Filiberto, " This might be the most important vote I ever cast, as a member of this board."

Please pass the resolution tonight.



I don't have time in my 3 minutes to detail all of the ongoing high crimes and misdemeanors, but it is essential that you be made aware of one. The President vetoed a bill to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program last month. We are the only industrialized nation on the planet that doesn't provide universal health care to all of it's citizens, children and adults. I wouldn't expect in my wildest dreams that Bush would allow us to be brought into the 21st century in terms of health care for all of us, but even I was surprised that he was so cold that he would veto a baby step in that direction and just cover some more kids. Funding the expansion of this program to provide health coverage to millions of uninsured american children would have cost a small fraction of what we are spending to fund Bush's illegal war in Iraq.

Rordan Hart accused me, at the meeting on September 24th, of accusing his soldier friend of being a baby killer. Everyone realized how absurd that accusation was, but Bush's veto of the SCHIP program provides further context. Bush and Cheney, who 3 members of this board are protecting from the resolution demanding accountability, have blocked funds to care for American children, while spending vastly more to destroy the lives, health, and families, of Iraqi children.

One last item for Trustees Thomas and Hrubos. You are Democrats. Here's an important memo if you want your party to succeed. Nine attempts have been made to impeach a president in US history. None of these attempts actually resulted in removal of a president from office. They were very important none the less. In all nine instances the party that attempted to impeach, either held or increased it's majority in Congress, and every time that an opposition party attempted to impeach, they took the presidency at the next election. If you don't believe that impeachment can possibly succeed in the time we have left, that is not a reason to ignore your oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution. Stand up for justice. The rewards are great for you and your party and the country.

At the second public comment period I read this;

When I ask myself why the impeachment resolution did not pass, I try to imagine the reasons for the no votes and the abstaining vote. One of the main reasons to vote against the resolution was the notion that impeachment can't possibly succeed in the 14 months remaining in Bush's term. There are several flaws with this reasoning. The main flaw is the assumption that we would need extensive investigations before impeachment proceedings could begin. There is ample evidence of impeachable offenses right now. No investigations are necessary.

This week, Representative Dennis Kucinich introduce a bill to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney. As expected, the Democratic leadership motioned to table this bill. The vote to table the bill failed, and it has been sent to the House Judiciary Committee. Pressure from the grassroots at this juncture, might encourage the chairman to consider acting on this bill and sending it to the floor for a vote. I called our representative, Mike Arcuri, today, but I am just one voice. The majority of Trumansburg, would approve, if you passed our resolution, thereby honoring your oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution.

Wether it succeeds or not, demanding impeachment is the right thing to do when we have witnessed the destruction of our constitutional form of government and wars of aggression.

Enormous damage to our country has been done by Bush and Cheney. Even more damage will be done in the next 14 months. Please act now on our behalf and pass the resolution.



Geoffrey Hart showed me last year, how effective it was to be a major pain in the neck at these village board meetings. He didn't want the board to locate a skate park near his house. He succeeded in blocking that and causing the departure of Mayor Levine and Trustee Mary Bouchard. I'm inspired by his tenacity, but I question his motives. I don't mind if you want to put a skateboard park near my house, but I do mind when some of the members of the board refuse to honor the wishes of the clear majority of the community. I do mind when some members refuse to uphold their oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. I do mind when John Hrubos tells the majority of this village that they are wasting their time when they demand justice. I do mind when Chris Thomas tells the majority of the community to do more than scribble their signatures on a petition, when we have done much more than that. We have done nearly everything we can do to hold the criminals in the White House accountable. Now we must hold Chris Thomas, John Hrubos, and Rordan Hart accountable. We will not go away. When the history of this period is written, it most likely will not mention the skateboard park fiasco, but we will work to ensure that history records that the people of Trumansburg were opposed to the gross violations of the Constitution, and International Law perpetrated by Bush and Cheney. This is not over. You have held a public meeting, and the wishes of the majority were made very clear. Another meeting is not necessary. You have our resolution, and any member of the board that values the Constitution, can make a motion to pass it at any meeting of the board. I urge you to do so.


Well, that's only highlights from the most recent third of my blog. Please read the rest. The resolution itself is there. Please respond.

I will post this email at http://www.trumansburgimpeachment.blogspot.com/

and I will post your replies there also.

Please respond by email to whwoods@lightlink.com

Saturday, April 19, 2008

4/14/08 Village Board Meeting

Nobel prize winning economist and professor at Columbia, Joseph Stiglitz , has estimated that the cost of the war in Iraq, even if we start withdrawing troops tomorrow, will be at least 3 trillion dollars. That's 10,000 for every person in this country. My family of five in Trumansburg (and/or my descendants) will pay 50,000 for this, the biggest foreign policy blunder in US history. $50000, That's my Village of Trumansburg taxes for 80 years. But it is the collective wisdom of this board, that it would be innapropriate to ask Congress to investigate what laws were broken in the process of incurring these huge debts on behalf of every resident of the Village.

Chris Thorpe graduated from Trumansburg High School in 2006, the same year as my daughter. He told my son that he was going to join the Army because he "wanted to kill ragheads" He is now in Iraq. If he survives, statistically, his chances of being wounded physically or mentally, to a degree that he will be given disability pay, are more than 4 in 10. But the Board continues to do nothing about it.

A US nuclear submarine just entered the Persian Gulf. Our commander in cheif has given "prepare to deploy orders" for the Eisenhower Strike Group to arrive in the Persian Gulf this October. Admiral Fallon who was the highest ranking military man to refuse to attack Iran recently resigned under pressure. General Patreaus just blamed the last attack on the Green Zone in Iraq . . . on the Iranians. Of course he has no proof, just a hunch. We would have to be deaf dumb and blind to fail to understand that the administration is preparing to attack Iran. The stage is being set for the election of John McSame, while Obama and Clinton continue to squabble. Impeachment proceedings, wether successful or not, would damage the chances of those who wish to ensure another 4 years of this insanity.

I collected over a hundred signatures on the petition. I represent a large portion of this village. In the 6 months that I have been speaking at these meetings, I haven't heard a word of response from the Board. Could you please give us an update on your thinking on these matters? We have a new board member tonight who didn't give her opinion on this at the September meeting. We would like to know where she stands on these issues.

I read this at the 4/14/08 Village Board Meeting. There was no response at all. They moved on to more important issues like "why can't we have the fire whistle back?"

Friday, February 1, 2008

Impeachment isn't the business of a village board?

I read this to the board at the January 14th meeting:

You say impeachment isn't the business of a village board. It seems to me that when we see our country in crisis because our young people are dying in foreign wars, because our fundamental constitutional rights are being revoked, because our economy is on the brink of disaster, because we are borrowing against future generations, when we witness all this, it is the business of all of us to do all that we can to return our country to the principles that it was founded upon. This is especially true of our leaders at every level of government.

We failed to pass the resolution on September 24th, but the meeting was not a failure, and not at all a waste of time for the board, and all who participated. No village board meeting has every been attended by so many members of the community. We talked about the most important issues of our time. Our village boards, and town councils, and county legislatures should be discussing the big picture, as well as the more narrowly focused issues that they deal with on a day to day basis. Our leaders ought to be helping to wake us up.

We are on the verge of a recession or depression, as evidenced by the falling value of real estate, the huge national debt, and the collapse of the dollar. This will have a real effect on Trumansburg. I'd like to see the board consider wether there is anything they can do, to put Trumansburg in a better position to weather the storm.

Our health care system is the most expensive in the world, but we rank 37th according to the World Health Organization. This is because, unlike all the other industrialized countries in the world, our system is run for profit. Our village board is considering entering into a relationship with a private, for profit billing company, and private for profit insurance companies to fund our ambulance/ems service which is currently tax payer funded. Why is there no discussion about the big picture? Why do they remain focused only on the potential to generate income?

Impeachment is not within the purview of the village board? If the Chief of the Trumansburg Fire Department was driving through Ithaca, and saw a house on fire, would he just drive on by and say " It's not in my purview'' ? Of course not. He would call for help.

We are allowing our government to wage illegal wars of choice, to torture detainees, to shred our Constituion, to turn the world against us, and allow our infrastructure to crumble. If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention. We are way past the point of arguing about whose purview it is to consider impeachment. Impeachment is the tool we must use to return us to a place where we can once again be proud to be Americans.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Village Board Meeting December 10th

It's so hard to keep you guys up to date on the new impeachable offenses, because they keep coming so fast. We just learned last week that the CIA destroyed tapes of the "enhanced interrogations" of detainees. That's obstruction of justice. Why did they destroy those tapes? They claim it's to protect the identity of their agents. That's absurd. You've all seen video where the faces are obscured by one means or another. The real reason, of course, is that if the tapes had been released, they would be evidence of torture. Torture is prohibited by the Geneva Accords. They figured it'd be better to be prosecuted for obstruction of justice than war crimes.

About this excuse, that impeachment is not an issue for a village board. We are all complicit in the crimes of this administration, by our lack of action to stop it. You as Village Board members could speak more loudly to our state and federal representatives, because you represent the 1500 residents of Trumansburg. I think Arcuri is capable of doing the right thing, he just needs to be pushed. It was pressure from progressives that got him to change his position on the Military Commissions Act.

When we all witnessed the crimes of this administration for the first few years, we all blamed, with some degree of legitimacy, the executive branch. But it' been seven years now. As we continue to remain silent, and as you on this board, continue to say "it's not my job", we become more and more guilty. If we are not condoning their behavior, we are certainly acquiescing to it.

You consulted with our village attorney, and he told you to go ahead and vote your conscience. The city of Santa Rosa CA, and the county of Ulster NY, passed resolutions last week. It's the right thing to do. Please pass the resolution tonight.



Second public comment period;

One member of this board abstained from voting on our resolution, explaining that he thought it was a waste of time. Apparently, many of the Democrats in the House of Representatives agree with him. 20 years ago, most of the Democrats in the House felt that it would be a waste of time when Congressman Henry B. Gonzales introduced articles of impeachment on the floor of the House, against Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, for the Iran Contra Scandal. There was plenty of evidence, but nobody joined Gonzales. His fellow Democrats felt that it would be imprudent and that Dukakis was going to win, and we would be rid of H.W. Bush. Gonzales said " If we don't impeach these men, then 20 years from now we will see another president behaving even more lawlessly, because of our failure."

Passing the resolution would not be a waste of time. We are witnessing crimes against humanity. As responsible citizens in a Democracy it is our duty to make every effort to correct the injustice.

I didn't read this next part because it was aimed at Chris Thomas, and he wasn't there.

Another member of this board, that voted against the resolution, is a former Marine. When we pointed out that every member of the board has taken an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, he said that he took a similar oath as a Marine, but that then as now, he felt that he was only obligated to honor the oath within the traditional limitations of the job. I'm sure he was a good Marine, and that he protected and defended the Constitution with the skills and tools of a Marine. Being a Village Board member, is a very different job. Different skills, different tools, different limitations. Two of your fellow board members, and hundreds of people in similar posts in a growing number of cities, towns, villages, and counties, feel that it is an appropriate action to take.

The Ulster County Legislature, in New York, and the City of Santa Rosa CA, both passed impeachment resolutions last week.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The National Intelligence Estimate Contradicts Bush

I'll be reading this at the Village Board meeting Monday 12/10/07


A National Intelligence Estimate was made public last monday after being kept secret for over a year. This NIE was available before last year's general elections, to everyone in the Bush administration with sufficient security clearances. Apparently they didn't think it would be politically advantageous to allow voters to see it. It states that Iran had stopped trying to build nuclear weapons in 2003.

Last Tuesday, at the White House Press Conference, the president was asked a question by David Gregory of NBC News. "When you talked about Iraq, you and others from the administration talked about a mushroom cloud. Then there were no WMD in Iraq. When it came to Iran, you said on October 17th, you warned about the prospect of WWIII, when months before you made that statement, this intelligence about them suspending their weapons program back in '03 had already come to light to this administration. So, can't you be accused of hyping this threat, and don't you worry that this undermines US credibility?"

That's a pretty good question. In less polite terms, you could say - You lied us into a war with Iraq, and now you're trying to lie us into a war with Iran. Why the hell should we believe anything you say?

Bush answered, "Well David, I wouldn't want to contradict an august reporter such as yourself, but I was made aware of the NIE last week."

That's another lie. He's been hyping the threat from his axis of evil for years now. He's the president, the commander in chief, the head of the executive branch, the head of all of the intelligence agencies. He's got a pretty high security clearance, and so does his damn vice president. The report contradicts assertions that he's been making for years, and he wants us to believe that nobody told him that he might want to check the facts? How stupid does he think we are?

I realize that some of you think this is not a matter for a village board. You think the resolution would have no real effect so why risk alienating part of the community? I understand this point of view. If we were having this conversation a year and a half ago, when we had a Republican Congress, I might agree. But we now have Democratic majorities in both houses. The Democratic leadership has said that impeachment is off the table, for Machiavellian reasons, but they are facing great pressure from a growing impeachment movement. There is a very real chance that more pressure, including our resolution, will inspire Speaker Pelosi to put impeachment back on the table. Opening an impeachment inquiry now, might rein in an out of control executive, even if it doesn't remove him from office. Opening an impeachment inquiry now, might make an attack on Iran less likely. Our village, passing this resolution, at this critical time, could have more effect than any action it could take on anything. To quote David Filiberto, " This might be the most important vote I ever cast, as a member of this board."

Please pass the resolution tonight.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Village Board Meeting November 13th

I read this at the Village Board meeting November 13th:

The two trustees who voted against the resolution to impeach Bush and Cheney, and the one who abstained, can't possibly be following national events, or surely they wouldn't have voted as they did. Therefore, I've decided to take it upon myself to bring you the news that you must be missing that will surely inform you as to the error in your vote, or lack thereof in Mr. Hrubos's case.

I don't have time in my 3 minutes to detail all of the ongoing high crimes and misdemeanors, but it is essential that you be made aware of one. The President vetoed a bill to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program last month. We are the only industrialized nation on the planet that doesn't provide universal health care to all of it's citizens, children and adults. I wouldn't expect in my wildest dreams that Bush would allow us to be brought into the 21st century in terms of health care for all of us, but even I was surprised that he was so cold that he would veto a baby step in that direction and just cover some more kids. Funding the expansion of this program to provide health coverage to millions of uninsured american children would have cost a small fraction of what we are spending to fund Bush's illegal war in Iraq.

Rordan Hart accused me, at the meeting on September 24th, of accusing his soldier friend of being a baby killer. Everyone realized how absurd that accusation was, but Bush's veto of the SCHIP program provides further context. Bush and Cheney, who 3 members of this board are protecting from the resolution demanding accountability, have blocked funds to care for American children, while spending vastly more to destroy the lives, health, and families, of Iraqi children.

One last item for Trustees Thomas and Hrubos. You are Democrats. Here's an important memo if you want your party to succeed. Nine attempts have been made to impeach a president in US history. None of these attempts actually resulted in removal of a president from office. They were very important none the less. In all nine instances the party that attempted to impeach, either held or increased it's majority in Congress, and every time that an opposition party attempted to impeach, they took the presidency at the next election. If you don't believe that impeachment can possibly succeed in the time we have left, that is not a reason to ignore your oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution. Stand up for justice. The rewards are great for you and your party and the country.

At the second public comment period I read this;

When I ask myself why the impeachment resolution did not pass, I try to imagine the reasons for the no votes and the abstaining vote. One of the main reasons to vote against the resolution was the notion that impeachment can't possibly succeed in the 14 months remaining in Bush's term. There are several flaws with this reasoning. The main flaw is the assumption that we would need extensive investigations before impeachment proceedings could begin. There is ample evidence of impeachable offenses right now. No investigations are necessary.

This week, Representative Dennis Kucinich introduce a bill to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney. As expected, the Democratic leadership motioned to table this bill. The vote to table the bill failed, and it has been sent to the House Judiciary Committee. Pressure from the grassroots at this juncture, might encourage the chairman to consider acting on this bill and sending it to the floor for a vote. I called our representative, Mike Arcuri, today, but I am just one voice. The majority of Trumansburg, would approve, if you passed our resolution, thereby honoring your oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution.

Wether it succeeds or not, demanding impeachment is the right thing to do when we have witnessed the destruction of our constitutional form of government and wars of aggression.

Enormous damage to our country has been done by Bush and Cheney. Even more damage will be done in the next 14 months. Please act now on our behalf and pass the resolution.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Village Board Meeting October 9th

I read this at the public comment period at last night's board meeting;

Geoffrey Hart showed me last year, how effective it was to be a major pain in the neck at these village board meetings. He didn't want the board to locate a skate park near his house. He succeeded in blocking that and causing the departure of Mayor Levine and Trustee Mary Bouchard. I'm inspired by his tenacity, but I question his motives. I don't mind if you want to put a skateboard park near my house, but I do mind when some of the members of the board refuse to honor the wishes of the clear majority of the community. I do mind when some members refuse to uphold their oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. I do mind when John Hrubos tells the majority of this village that they are wasting their time when they demand justice. I do mind when Chris Thomas tells the majority of the community to do more than scribble their signatures on a petition, when we have done much more than that. We have done nearly everything we can do to hold the criminals in the White House accountable. Now we must hold Chris Thomas, John Hrubos, and Rordan Hart accountable. We will not go away. When the history of this period is written, it most likely will not mention the skateboard park fiasco, but we will work to ensure that history records that the people of Trumansburg were opposed to the gross violations of the Constitution, and International Law perpetrated by Bush and Cheney. This is not over. You have held a public meeting, and the wishes of the majority were made very clear. Another meeting is not necessary. You have our resolution, and any member of the board that values the Constitution, can make a motion to pass it at any meeting of the board. I urge you to do so.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Bomb, Bomb Iran

Seymour Hersh is a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter for the New Yorker magazine. He has been reporting the inconvenient truth ever since uncovering the My Lai Massacre in 1969. He also wrote extensively about the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. He is now reporting that Bush and Cheney have ordered the Joint Chiefs of Staff to redraw plans for an attack on Iran and that the drum beating is intensifying. Bush has called Hersh's latest reporting "wild speculation" Why is it that when Bush tries to discredit a reporter, it lends that reporter more credibility? Decide for yourself - read Hersh's latest piece here.

Apparently, the Bush administration has decided that they can more easily sell lies about Iran's involvement in attacks on our forces in Iraq, than they would be able to sell the tired old lies about weapons of mass destruction. In other words they are going to concentrate on anti-terrorism propaganda, instead of counter proliferation propaganda.

Bush and Cheney have taken us into a strategically catastrophic position in Iraq. They now want to multiply this horrible mistake by a factor of ten. Their current thinking is that the American people and the international community won't freak out too much if they limit the strike to cruise missiles launched from our strike groups in the Persian Gulf, and limited Special Forces operations on the ground. But if we do this we will pay dearly.

Iran has a large faction of young, educated, secular, pro-western citizens, that can be turned into enemies by an action such as this. Bush's slogan "we have to fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here" would be more accurate if he said "if we fight them over there we will soon have to fight them over here" If we strike Iran, they will certainly hit our forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and perhaps they will fund terrorist attacks within the US. I can't imagine a better way to encourage terrorism. Our wars will expand throughout the middle east, over-stressing our already broken military, and making nuclear weapons look more like an option to the madman in the White House.

But the bright side to the nuclear option is that it will hasten the end of days and the second coming of the Lord. The righteous will be raptured up into heaven to sit by the side of their vengeful God. I'm afraid it doesn't look too good for the rest of us.

Impeachment looks like our best hope to me. Even if we don't succeed in removing Bush and Cheney from office, the effort seems like the best way to get the attention of the movers and shakers in both parties. We have to object in the strongest language possible to the violence being perpetrated in our name, and this is it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Begining of the End of our Constitutional Republic

What kind of leader orders troops into a country that has been brought to it’s knees by 13 years of sanctions, where hundreds of thousands were killed by lack of medical supplies and food, then executes their leader and takes control of their oil. What is that? Is that what Geoffrey Hart was telling us we must do?

This is what we have. This is the begining of the end of our Constitutional Republic. We don’t live there anymore. After almost seven years with this corrupt, megalomaniac psychopath in the White House, this is where we are.

In 1945 Herman Goring and Rudolph Hess and the leadership of the SS, and the Gestapo were given fair trials in Nuremberg for their war crimes. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, General Peter Pace, and General Petraeus deserve exactly the same treatment given to the German High Command.

But no, the Harts will tell us it is our duty, as forthright Christian Soldiers to support George Bush and his puppet master and the glorious all powerful American military machine as they annihilate the evil Islamic Jihadists. General Peter Pace recently said when asked about Iraq “George Bush is doing God’s work” This is how our foreign policy works. First God talks to Bush. Then Bush speaks with Peter Pace. (chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) Peter Pace nods his head in agreement and passes his orders down to General Petreaus, who implements God’s will on the ground in Iraq. With all this divine guidance, how can we be doing so poorly in Iraq? Was something lost in translation, or has God just lost his knack for conquering Arabs?

What the hell is the difference between Osama Bin Laden ordering his troops to kill the infidels in the name of Allah, and George Bush ordering his troops to kill the Jihadists in the name of the Lord. They are both insane. Religion has no place in government. Thomas Jefferson knew this. James Madison knew this.

I want a return to sanity. This is going to take a lot of work. It starts right here at the grassroots. It starts with individual citizens of Trumansburg talking to their neighbors and their village board members. It starts with somebody convincing John Hrubos that this is not a waste of time. It starts with somebody convincing Chris Thomas that the benefits of listening to the majority of the people and doing what he knows is right, outweigh the potential detriments.

I know it’s late in Bush’s last term. I don’t care. I want him impeached because it’s the right thing to do. I will continue to call for his impeachment until January 20th 2009. If he isn’t impeached by then, then I will call for him to be tried for war crimes. We can not let this stand. We must send a clear signal to America, our children, and the rest of the world that the people of Trumansburg asked for justice.

I want to thank Mayor Petrovic and David Filiberto for allowing us to have the meeting on the 24th, and for their support for the resolution. I am very disappointed in the result of the vote. We wanted more than to be heard. We want to be part of the solution. Now we have to return to being part of the problem. Now we must go about our business, and pay our taxes to fund further death and destruction. I have some hope that Chris Thomas and John Hrubos will come to their senses. David Filiberto might make another motion to pass the resolution sometime before he leaves next March. Perhaps he will wait until evidence of the next impeachable offense comes to light, so pay attention, and think real hard, because you might get a chance to redeem yourselves.

Finally, my dear Mr. Hart, I do not hold out any hope for you. I doubt you will ever be able to see the truth. You implied that I called your soldier friend a baby killer. I did not. What I will say is that the responsibility for the death of innocent Iraqi children goes far beyond your brave, honest, forthright christian soldier. It is your responsibility. My responsibility. All of us are are responsible for the horrifying events ongoing in Iraq, and to deny that responsibility is abhorrent. Clearly the two criminals named in our resolution bear the most responsibility, because they led the country to war on a pack of lies.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Village Board Deadlocked

We, at Back To Democracy, are very disappointed that the Village Board failed to pass our resolution last Monday 9/24/07. About 150 people came and filled the room at the Fire Hall. At least two thirds of those present, were in favor of passing the resolution. Mayor Marty Petrovic and Trustee David Filiberto, voted in favor and were eloquent in their comments in support of passage. Trustee Rordan Hart, the only republican on the board, was vehemently opposed as expected. Trustee John Hrubos said that he would like to see Bush and Cheney impeached, but that we didn't stand a chance, and he considered the effort to be a waste of time. It wouldn't have been a waste of time if he had had the courage to vote his conscience, and represent the will of the majority. Instead, he decided to abstain from voting. I assume he thinks that this was the safest position, being closest to the middle of the road. This reminds me of the Jim Hightower quote - The only thing in the middle of the road is a yellow line and dead armadillos. Trustee Chris Thomas also cast a no vote. Of the three trustees that blocked passage, Chris is the most puzzling to me. Of these three, Chris seems like the smartest, and the most open minded. He was open minded enough, for example, to sign the petition after initially refusing. There is some excellent writing about this at

http://findingulysses.com/2007/09/24/trumansburg-resolution-deadlocked/

I posted a question to Chris at Finding Ulysses:

Chris Thomas,

Please respond to the posts above here.

My question is how many more signatures would you need to see in-order to change your vote?

Keep in mind that not all registered voters vote, and that a significant percentage of people that would like to see the resolution passed are not comfortable signing. (This is not private, and Bush surely keeps an enemies list)

I will email this to you in case you are not reading this thread.

Here is his email response to me along with my comments:

Allen,
As an elected official, I don't post on private blogs.

What's so private about it? Several village residents (past supporters of yours in all probability) would like some answers. What are you afraid of?

My vote has been cast. There is no changing it.

Not very open minded of you.

A time was set aside for the village to have a meeting and my decision was based on a careful balance of potential benefits vs. likely detriments.

We would like you to be more specific. It was your idea for us to collect signatures on a petition. Hundreds of hours have been invested in this effort. We deserve several thousand words of explanation.

Because I believe in the content of what you are doing, my suggestion regarding the petition would be to make sure that each and every person who has signed it, has done more than just scribble their signature.

Very condescending. These people were brave to put their names on that petition, and they feel betrayed by you.

I would make sure that each and every one of those people has sent individual letters to each of their state reps, national reps, the Democratic National Party, the Speaker of the House, the new Attorney General, etc...

The acting Attorney General is Peter Keisler, a big defender of the Military Commissions Act and the presidents right to punish "enemy combatants" without that bothersome due process crap. You really think he'll be a big help here?
Nancy Pelosi's office and John Conyer's office are overwhelmed by calls for impeachment. You really think a few more will do the trick?
I've called Barbara Lifton.
I've told the DNC they can forget about contributions until impeachment is back on the table.
What is left is a grassroots movement which you are blocking.

I would wager very few on the petition have done so...

Quite a few Trumansburgers did more than scribble their signatures. They came to the meeting to tell you how important this was to them. It's obvious to most of us that we are the majority. We want an honest open dialogue. We want to know the real reason for your no vote.

230 people cared enough about politics to turn out and vote for you last March. If we could get 230 village residents to ask you to pass this resolution would that be enough? Would you care?

I'm tempted to post this on Finding Ulysses. You wouldn't object would you?




It's been three days, and Chris has not asked me not to post this so I guess it's OK. I'm still puzzled about his vote "based on a careful balance of potential benefits vs. likely detriments" We are left to guess. Let's see, the potential benefits if we were part of a successful effort to impeach, would be enormous and too numerous to list here, but would clearly change the world for the better, and would best represent the will of the community. The likely detriments would be that he would anger a certain portion of his base, but a clear minority. Could it be that this minority is so vindictive that angering them is more detrimental than angering the majority? Maybe we are being to polite.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

THIS MONDAY 9/24 7PM AT THE FIRE HALL!

It has been said that Back To Democracy is creating a divisive atmosphere in the village by bringing the impeachment resolution to a vote by the Village Board. I think there is some truth to this, and I apologize for that. Perhaps Democracy is not the most perfect system of government possible. There will always be a certain amount of discord in a functioning Democracy. Perhaps some Athenians complained of this, and would have preferred a return to autocratic rule. Winston Churchill said "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried." It could be argued that life would be easier under the rule of a benevolent dictator. George Bush would like to be our dictator as evidenced by his "unitary executive theory" and Dick Cheney would like to be the brains behind him, but the trouble is that the majority of the people don't believe in his benevolence, and are not ready to give up on democracy. So we would like to use the tool of impeachment, that the founders left for us, to try to restore Democracy, and our Constitutionally Limited Democratic Republic. Participate in Democracy - Monday 9/24 7PM at the Fire Hall.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

More Proof That Bush Lied

Naji Sabri, Saddam's foreign minister (top left) told the CIA prior to the invasion, that Saddam had no WMD. George Tenet (bottom left) reported this fact to George Bush, who said the information was irrelevant. Colin Powell (bottom right) and his boss lied to us. When Congress voted to authorize the use of force, they had no inkling about this critical information.

I reported on this blog on August 15th, about my meeting with Rordan Hart. Here is an excerpt from that post;

"When I complained that Bush and Cheney lied us into the war, Rordan tried the old dodge about how all of the Democratic Senators and Congressional Representatives had access to the same intelligence as Bush and Cheney, so how can I blame Bush and Cheney? Trouble is, a report done by the Congressional Research Service at the request of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), 12/15/05, said just the opposite. Feinstein, who is on the Senate intelligence committee, said "The report demonstrates that Congress routinely is denied access to intelligence sources, intelligence collection and analysis," http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/15/AR2005121501813.html"

Of all the impeachable offenses of Bush and Cheney, this is obviously the worst. How can there be any greater crime, than lying to Congress and the American people to get us into an illegal war that has resulted in the death of a million Iraqis, and 3760 of our own troops?

We now have further evidence that Bush lied us into the war, and that Senators and Congressional Representatives did not have access to critical intelligence. Sydney Blumenthal has written an important piece at Salon that should be on the front page of every mainstream paper in the country. I'll post the link here in hope that a couple of people might read it, as opposed to the millions who should. http://www.salon.com/opinion/blumenthal/2007/09/06/bush_wmd/

Don't forget Monday the 24th - Special Village Board Meeting about Impeachment at the Fire Hall!

Stolen Lawn Sign

Sometime between 7 p.m. Aug. 27 and early the next morning, someone stole the handcrafted sign from my property on Mecklenburg Road in Enfield. I made the sign in order to spread the word that we need to uphold the law by impeaching Bush and Cheney, who have repeatedly violated the highest law of the land, our Constitution.

Apparently, the sign was stolen by a supporter of Bush and Cheney, and obviously, that person has no respect for the law or our Constitution. By stealing the sign, this person is guilty of larceny and has violated my First Amendment right of free speech. It's not surprising really that a person who would condone Bush's lying our country into war, would find nothing wrong with petty larceny. It's not terribly surprising that a person who sees nothing wrong with Bush's warrant-less surveillance program would not hesitate to trample on their neighbors' free speech rights.

If anyone knows anything about this crime, please call the Tompkins County Sheriffs' office at 272-2444.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

U.S. Prepares Massive Air Attack on Iran


US Navy aircraft carrier strike forces are deployed off Iran. US Air Force jets and missile systems are deployed in bases near Iran. US B-2 stealth bombers have been refitted to carry 30,000 pound "bunker buster" bombs. The US government is financing separatist groups within Iran. US Special Forces teams are conducting operations inside Iran. US war doctrine has been altered to permit first strike nuclear attack on Iran and other non-nuclear countries.

Lacking US troops with which to invade Iran, the Bush administration has decided to bomb Iran back into the stone age. Punishing air and missile attacks have been designed not merely to destroy Iran's nuclear energy projects, but also to destroy the public infrastructure, the economy, and the ability of the government to function.

The Bush administration has made its war plans for attacking Iraq and positioned its forces without any prior approval from Congress. The "unitary executive" obviously doesn't believe that an attack on Iran requires the approval of Congress. By its absence and quietude, Congress seems to agree that it has no role in the decision.

Bush - 8/21/07 :

"Iran's leaders cannot escape responsibility for aiding attacks against coalition forces and the murder of innocent Iraqis."

"Iran's actions threaten the security of nations everywhere. ... We will confront this danger before it is too late."

"I have authorized our military commanders in Iraq to confront Tehran's murderous activities."

Bush, and his puppet master, Dick Cheney, are dead set on phase 3 of their "War on Terror". Afghanistan, then Iraq, now Iran. This phase may well be the beginning of WWIII. Congress has been useless in stopping him.

Impeachment is the only hope. Since Congress seems unwilling to put impeachment on the table, we have to push for it at the grassroots level.

Come to our special Village Board Meeting at the Fire Hall on September 24th.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Meeting with Trustee Rordan Hart

Margo Alexander and I met with Rordan Hart on Tuesday 8/14 to convince him to support our resolution which would encourage our State Legislators, and Congressional Representatives to inquire into the impeachment of President Bush, and Vice President Cheney. Rordan is our new Village Trustee, and the only Republican on the Board. I was hoping that he would be more reasonable than I found him to be. I did get one Republican to sign our petition, as I went door to door. We discussed, with Rordan, many reasons that we feel it is our responsibility as citizens of this country, and parents, and believers in the Constitution, to urge Congress to investigate the crimes of Bush and Cheney. I won't list all of our reasons here (just read the posts below) Rordan's arguments in defense of Bush were very weak. When I complained of the huge cost of the war, Rordan said that we had the lowest budget deficit in several years, implying that the war was not hurting us financially. For the record, the largest budget deficit ever recorded was in 2004, the year after invading Iraq. Since then it has come down, but to get the big picture you have to look at the national debt, not just the budget deficit. The national debt is now almost 9 trillion dollars, far higher than it has ever been, and the rate of growth is higher than it has been since WWII. Clinton actually had a budget surplus during the last years of his presidency.

As you can see, except for a rise at the end of World War II, the Debt remained remarkably constant for nearly forty years when inflationary forces are taken into account. The steep climb began with Reagan, continued with Bush I, then Clinton brought it under control, and then under the leadership of Bush II we see the steepest climb recorded post WWII.

Personally, I'm not sure that I would want to preemptively invade a country, kill hundreds of thousands of civilians, and increase the incidences of terrorism worldwide, even if I felt that we could afford it, which we clearly can not.

When I complained that Bush and Cheney lied us into the war, Rordan tried the old dodge about how all of the Democratic Senators and Congressional Representatives had access to the same intelligence as Bush and Cheney, so how can I blame Bush and Cheney? Trouble is, a report done by the Congressional Research Service at the request of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), 12/15/05, said just the opposite. Feinstein, who is on the Senate intelligence committee, said "The report demonstrates that Congress routinely is denied access to intelligence sources, intelligence collection and analysis," http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/15/AR2005121501813.html

Rordan had to struggle to defend his position, because it is, well, indefensible. He kept returning to his fallback position - Impeachment is not within the purview of Village government. After hearing this over and over I asked, "why not?" Rordan said that he doesn't want to set a precedent that would encourage others to bring similar resolutions in front of the board for a myriad of federal issues that are also not within the purview of village government. He's missing the point. These are extraordinary circumstances and they require extraordinary measures. When I first spoke to a trustee about bringing this resolution to the board, he suggested that he would want to see a substantial number of signatures on a petition before agreeing to consider it. We have collected 150 signatures so far, and believe me, this takes a lot of time. It is absurd to think that the board will ever be overwhelmed with so many resolutions dealing with federal issues, that they will not have time for local governance. Does Rordan really think that it is so wrong for our village government to weigh in on this issue which is of monumental importance, or is this just a handy dodge which allows him to avoid his responsibility to represent the will of the majority of the residents of the village?

Rordan said that it is not his responsibility to consider impeachment. He said it is our representatives in the House, that must shoulder that responsibility. Millions of Americans have contacted their representatives and asked them to do just that, but they are failing in their Constitutional duty to impeach the President and his Vice President. We implore our Mayor and Trustees to pass this Resolution in-order to increase pressure on Congress to act.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

TEN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSES



TEN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSES COMMITTED BY BUSH & CHENEY

1. Violating the United Nations Charter by launching an illegal war of aggression against Iraq without cause, using fraud to sell the war to Congress and the public, and misusing government funds to begin bombing without Congressional authorization.
2. Violating U.S. and international law by authorizing the torture of thousands of captives, resulting in dozens of deaths, and keeping prisoners hidden from the International Committee of the Red Cross.
3. Violating the Constitution by arbitrarily detaining Americans, legal residents, and non-Americans, without due process, without charge, and without access to counsel.
4. Violating the Geneva Conventions by targeting civilians, journalists, hospitals, and ambulances, and using illegal weapons, including white phosphorous, depleted uranium, and a new type of napalm.
5. Violating U.S. law and the Constitution through widespread wiretapping of the phone calls and emails of Americans without a warrant.
6. Violating the Constitution by using signing statements to defy hundreds of laws passed by Congress.
7. Violating U.S. and state law by obstructing honest elections in 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006.
8. Violating U.S. law by using paid propaganda and disinformation, selectively and misleadingly leaking classified information, and exposing the identity of a covert CIA operative working on sensitive WMD proliferation for political retribution.
9. Subverting the Constitution and abusing Presidential power by asserting a "Unitary Executive Theory" giving unlimited powers to the President, by obstructing efforts by Congress and the Courts to review and restrict Presidential actions, and by promoting and signing legislation negating the Bill of Rights and the Writ of Habeas Corpus.
10.Gross negligence in failing to assist New Orleans residents after Hurricane Katrina, in ignoring urgent warnings of an Al Qaeda attack prior to Sept. 11, 2001, and in increasing air pollution causing global warming.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Feingold's Censure Resolution


Senator Russ Feingold has introduce a resolution to censure Bush, Cheney, and Gonzales. A censure resolution might have been an appropriate measure against Clinton for his hanky panky, but not appropriate for these war criminals.

Don't hold back Senator Feingold. Go ahead and wag your finger at them and say "tisk, tisk"

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Dangerous Precedents


There will be a special meeting of the Village of Trumansburg Board of Trustees at the Trumansburg Fire Hall on Monday September 24th at 7pm, to consider passing a resolution which would encourage our State Legislators, and Congressional Representatives to inquire into the impeachment of President Bush, and Vice President Cheney.

If we fail to impeach these criminals, we will be setting some very dangerous precedents. Future occupants of the White House will know that they can lie to Congress and the people in order to take us into future wars. Future occupants of the White House will know that they can ignore Congressional subpoenas, and obstruct justice. Future occupants of the White House (of either party) will be able to spy on us and their political opponents without warrants. Future occupants of the White House will not be constrained by the Constitution, because Bush and Cheney have virtually destroyed it for them.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Problem with Pelosi



Pelosi - "If I were not the speaker and I were not in Congress, I would probably be advocating for impeachment." 7/31/07

http://www.talkradionews.com/newsandcommentary/article.php?articleID=827

Her problem is she is so invested in her work as the Speaker, that she doesn't get the big picture. She feels that the Democrats, under her leadership are doing good work, and she is right. Relative to the rubber stamp congresses during Bush's first six years, the democrats are doing more oversight, and passing more legislation. They have delivered subpoenas, but Bush claims executive privilege provides immunity. They passed legislation which allowed stem cell research, but Bush vetoed it. Their good work is largely wasted.

Pelosi said "The question of impeachment is something that would divide the country," . Does that mean we should always avoid divisive issues? The House prepared Articles of Impeachment in 1974 for Richard Nixon. This too was divisive. Nixon resigned, and the Vietnam War ended shortly thereafter. We are better off for it.

Pelosi said that ending the war in Iraq, and expanding health care are higher priorities than impeachment. I wish she could see the obvious fact, that Bush will not allow the war to end while he is in office, and he will veto any expansion of health care such as the federal SCHIP legislation which will reach his desk soon. There is value in passing progressive legislation, even in the face of Bush's veto, but that value pales in comparison to the disastrous effects of 18 more months of the Bush administration.

Pelosi says that they don't have the votes to impeach. We won't know that until the process starts. When testimony begins and the crimes are outlined in front of the news cameras, support will grow among the people, and their representatives. A recent American Research Poll found that 45% of Americans favor impeachment already.

Pelosi said that the American people turned against Congressional Republicans in the 90's for impeaching Clinton, so she worries that they would judge her Democratic Party harshly if she were to allow impeachment to proceed now. She underestimates us. We realized that the impeachment of Clinton was purely political. The Republicans saw the opportunity to capitalize on a sex scandal to promote their political agenda. The impeachment of Bush and Cheney is necessary to protect against serious abuse of power and the subversion of constitutional government.

Pelosi, at this event on Tuesday 7/31, said that the House would likely pass, by the end of the week, legislation that would rein in the Bush Administration's warrant-less wiretapping program. Sadly, they yielded in the face of Bush's veto threats and the impending August recess. They passed a bill which actually expands their powers to spy on us, and further erodes our Fourth Amendment rights.

If we can pass the impeachment resolution here in Trumansburg on September 24th, we can be a part of a movement to pressure Pelosi and others in Congress to wake up, and pay attention to the will of the people.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Village Board Meets to Consider Impeachment

On September 24, 2007 at 7 pm in the Fire Hall there will be a meeting of the Trumansburg Village Board. The public is encouraged to come. The Board will be considering our resolution (see below)

To:The Mayor and the Board of Trustees of the Village of Trumansburg, New York
As citizens ultimately accountable for our constitutional democracy and its actions, we submit a resolution calling on you to urge a full and comprehensive review of charges that may warrant impeachment of the President and Vice President of the United States. Under the Rules of the House of Representatives impeachment may be set in motion by a State legislature as well as a member of Congress. The resolution below urges you to request action by both.

Impeachment is not a remedy for policy differences or bad government or even ordinary breaches of the criminal law involving no abuse of public trust. Impeachment is a remedy to protect against serious abuse of power and subversion of constitutional government. By making dramatically clear that a public official's misconduct has compromised his or her function in the constitutional scheme, impeachment is a means to secure our democracy against present and also future harm.

While the impeachment remedy can only be used in the face of grave misconduct, the accumulation of evidence suggesting the Bush Administration's gross assault on government appears to be overwhelming. It has systematically violated the treaties, laws, and Constitution of the United States, deceived Congress and the public, and abused the public trust and our constitutional traditions. This misconduct has involved grave abuse on matters of national security, war, and domestic wellbeing, as well as abuse of the rights of citizens to bodily integrity, security in their homes, communication, travel, participation in the political process, and included even the use and justification of torture against U.S. citizens and others.

In the face of such evidence, the House of Representatives has a duty placed upon it by the Constitution to conduct an inquiry into whether grounds for impeachment exist to the end that abuse of office not become a precedent capable of destroying our constitutional form of government.

Where the assault on government is grave, impeachment may be used even in the event an official has already retired or otherwise left office in order to ensure his or her disqualification to ever again hold any office of trust under the United States and also to serve as a warning and precedent to those who might entertain similar ambitions.


We therefore submit the following resolution:
VILLAGE OF TRUMANSBURG IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY RESOLUTION PETITION

WHEREAS, substantial evidence has been gathered that indicates that President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney have committed high crimes and misdemeanors , and

WHEREAS, said high crimes and misdemeanors may include, but are not limited to the President and Vice President • Misleading Congress and the American people regarding Iraq's weapons of mass destruction • Misleading Congress and the nation about ties between Iraq and al Quaeda • Using these falsehoods to lead our nation into a war in contravention of U.S. and international law • Authorizing the unlawful use of torture and extraordinary rendition • Engaging in unlawful spying on American citizens and otherwise violating citizens' right to privacy • Declaring their intention to disregard their constitutional duty to faithfully execute the laws of the United States, and

WHEREAS, Congress has begun the process of holding hearings to examine several of these charges, and

WHEREAS
, the Rules of the House of Representatives call for the referral of possible articles of impeachment to the Judiciary Committee for investigation, and

WHEREAS
, the people of Trumansburg, New York, desire a full and comprehensive review of these charges in an orderly fashion, NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE TRUMANSBURG VILLAGE BOARD That New York State Senator George H. Winner Jr. (53rd Senate District) and Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (125th Assembly District), be strongly urged to ensure that the Legislature of the State of New York submit charges to the House of Representatives in accordance with the House Rules, and that U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Michael Arcuri (24th Congressional District), be strongly urged to support the formation of an appropriate sub-committee to investigate and review said charges and that such support be evidenced by a written request to that effect addressed to the Speaker of the House, and

BE IT FURTER RESOLVED, that copies of this resolution be delivered to Congressperson Michael Arcuri, Senators Charles E. Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton, State Senator George H. Winner, Jr., Assemblyperson Barbara Lifton, and the media.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The impeachment of Bill Clinton



The House impeached Bill Clinton and the Senate came within one vote of removing him from office. This for having consensual sex with an aid, and lying about it.

We now have a president who's list of offenses is infinitely more serious and consequential and yet the Democratic leadership refuses to honor their responsibility to defend the constitution.

WTF?

The House had prepared 3 Articles of Impeachment for Nixon in July of 1974.
1.) Obstruction of Justice
2.) Abuse of Power
3.) Contempt of Congress

All three would be completely appropriate today for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney

Monday, July 30, 2007

United States Constitution



The founders mention impeachment six times in the Constitution. They weren't kidding. They really meant it. They wanted us to use it.

Article. 2, Section. 4. " The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States,shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

Notice they didn't say "might be removed", or "could be removed". They said "shall be removed."

Treason - ordering the outing of an undercover CIA officer, and then commuting the sentence of the scapegoat that got caught. (See Joe Wilson, Valerie Plame, Scotter Libby)

Bribery - over 2 billion in grants dispensed by the "White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives"
(they violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment with this one as well as the bribery)

Other High Crimes and Misdemeanors - The NSA warrant-less wiretapping program was clearly in violation of FISA law as has been ruled by Judge Anna Diggs Taylor. This one is so obvious. Bush bragged on TV, that he authorized and reauthorized this program 30 times. How can we allow him to remain in office?

Sunday, July 29, 2007

King George the IV is worse than King George the III


King George the III was a tyrannical despot. Thomas Jefferson outlined many of his offenses against the colonists in the Declaration of Independence. But George the III never had the audacity to claim the legal right to go anywhere in the world, and kidnap people, and send them to countries where they would be tortured. That is exactly what our King George is doing. He is now defending his "extraordinary rendition" program in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that is meeting (7/26/07) to investigate the abuse.

Extraordinary rendition is the practice of kidnapping or capturing people and sending them, without any legal process, to countries that use torture or abuse. The government has sent detainees to countries infamous for their mistreatment of prisoners, including Syria, Jordan, Morocco and Egypt.

Christopher Anders, legislative counsel for the ACLU said "There could not be anything less American, or more illegal, than the federal government running secret prisons in Europe, or outsourcing torture by shipping people off to torture countries such as Syria and Egypt."

In December 2005, an Italian court issued an European arrest warrant against 22 CIA agents suspected of kidnapping Abu Omar in Milan Italy, and renditioning him off to Egypt where he was allegedly tortured.

This is clearly an impeachable offense according not only to me, but to Bruce Fein who was the assistant attorney general in the Reagan administration. Even conservative Republicans want these criminals impeached (when you can find one with a conscience.)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

James Madison wouldn't like our new King George


During the Constitutional Convention in 1787, George Mason expressed a concern that they were building a system which might someday allow a president to use his pardoning power to pardon someone that he had ordered to engage in wrongdoing on his behalf, thereby preventing detection of the presidents own wrongdoing.

James Madison tried to alleviate George Mason's fears by pointing out that if Congress ever suspected that a president was engaged in that sort of behavior, the House would impeach and the Senate would remove him from office if found guilty.

Mason's fears were not quelled, and he didn't sign the Constitution, but we have in the records of the convention, clear evidence of the wishes of the founders.

The impeachment of a president tends to be a partisan issue, but it shouldn't be. Good people of all political persuasions should be able to find common ground in that we all value our constitution. Impeachment is the remedy that the founders wanted us to use if we were ever to find ourselves in exactly the circumstances that we now find ourselves in.

The White House is claiming executive privilege allows them to ignore subpoenas from Congress, which is investigating the numerous crimes of the administration. This is just the latest in a serious of actions which undermines our constitution and the system of checks and balances that the founders established.

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Trumansburg, NY, United States