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Pretty Words, Ugly Actions: Dump Recycled Politicians!

The expanded text of a speech "Ending Two Wars" against the War in Iraq and the War against the Poor in Santa Cruz by Robert Norse, given 2-18-03 at the Del Mar Theater "Town Meeting"
Ending Two Wars
Moving Past Politicians & Beyond Gestures !
Expandsed Speech to Santa Cruz Community and City Council by Robert Norse at the Del Mar Town Hall Meeting 2-18-03

Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom [HUFF] believes that war abroad is bad news for poor people at home. We must stop the War Against Iraq over there & the War Against the Poor here. To do this we’ve got to go beyond symbolic gestures and do real things.
HUFF supports this Town Hall meeting. In late November and early December, HUFF distributed about 5000 small flyers urging people to phone in and demand Mayor Reilly, Representative Farr, and other elected leaders call this gathering. They waited nearly three months to do so. Were not for the action of millions of anti-war protesters and the anxieties of Russia, France, Germany, and China, we’d be in the middle of a homicidal and ultimately suicidal war of aggression right now.
Yes, the power of the people makes a difference. Yet even now, we are meeting in cramped quarters on the schedule of the Del Mar Theater (which was surrendered to private interests by most of
this City Council a year or two ago).

Our speaking time has been cut short; speakers will be cut off; groups promised five minutes have three; individuals only have two minutes; there will be no meaningful dialogue with Rep. Farr or city officials. And the entire time of the meeting has been contracted to two hours, the usual amount of time City Council spends debating a zoning issue.

We should be in the Civic Auditorium where there is enough space and where Community TV could televise it without additional lighting. But, I understand, Mayor
Reilly’s City Council didn’t want to pay the symphony orchestra, to relocate so much of the community
is turned away. These issues weren’t on a Council agenda for public discussion. Why? It was decided--like the Downtown Ordinances, like the killing of the Citizens Police Review Board [CPRB], behind closed doors.

Why is the next meeting on the War to be postponed to March 18th? Are we waiting for moderation from President Bush? Is it to start a blood drive, and maybe offer up free floor space in the Civic for Iraqi civilians and U.S. soldiers as the casualties mount?

Why isn’t this meeting tonight being televised and/or put out over the radio? KSCO offered to do it if a sponsor came forward. We’ve killed the CPRB to save $83,000, but kept the SCPD at full-funding at $15 million. We have a $160,000+ salary of officials like City Manager Dick Wilson but no public broadcast of this national and local emergency. What gives here?

Spin doctors on right-wing radio scramble to make sense of our protest in city after city against the barbarism, waste, bullying, arrogance, secrecy, and elitism of Bush’s War Drive. The 7000 that national media says came out in Santa Cruz on Saturday, the hundreds of thousands in San Francisco on Sunday, and the millions worldwide may be the beginnings of a New Movement for Peace & Justice.

To do that, we must throw out old leaders and old lies. We must expose and dismiss the old hypocrisies here at home which empower and feed the unrepresentative representatives in Washington, in Sacramento, and at City Hall. Indeed, it is here that we have the power to say no to phony Progressives. It is here we can wrest power ourselves from those who have roosted in recycled
power for decades. It is here we can address our own local War on the Poor, even as we see the horror of the War on the Poor thousands of miles away.

To do this, we must understand who is in power. The Green Party allows Councilmember Tim Fitzmaurice to step up the war on the poor with injunctions against activists, continued enforcement of the Sleeping Ban, and a war policy that mirrors what the Republicans nationally are
planning to do to the poor people in Iraq. Councilmember Ed Porter arrests an activist for not turning off a tape recording at a City Council Committee meeting he chairs. To fight Ashcroft’s Patriot Act (and its upcoming expansion), we must oppose its little brother--the closed-door repression here.

Councilmember Scott Kennedy moves to kill the Citizens Police Review Board, and he and Councilmember Mark Primack support “Move Along” laws for political activists at tables -- that criminalize registering voters outside this very theater. On February 13th, it became illegal to
petition, distribute literature, or even sit quietly at a political table for more than one hour along Pacific
Avenue. Who needs Ashcroft when we have Reilly and Rotkin? We must dump the politicians who empower police to engage in the kind of military “arrests first, questions later” operations that mirror the national outrages of the last year and a half.

Bush’s DEA agents seize the medicine of sick and dying patients--in the decades-long War Against Drugs. This buildup of police at a national and state level sets the stage the national (and local) precedent for the
War Against Terrorism, the War Against Arab-Americans, and the War Against the Iraqi people. Our officials
do nothing but hold a press circus which supports one provider (WAMM) which serves only 250 people and denies another 2500. City medical marijuana policy--not the threat of federal force-- continues to exclude 90% of those who need medical marijuana. If we are to fight the Warmongers in Washington, we must protect our local citizenry and restore to them the limited rights they had in mid and late 90s before Councilmembers Rotkin and Mathews colluded to kill the main Cannibis clubs.
If we are to form a movement against the War in Iraq locally, we must reject the shadowy substanceless symbolism of politicians who have come to power on Progressive principles and then jettisoned them in hopes of higher office, out of fear of offending police and merchants. If we are to demand democracy and human rights in Washington, we must demand it here in Santa Cruz.
We watched Representative Farr sit on his hands throughout the fall, after giving the go-ahead to the biggest military budget in history (ironically on the same day that he voted against the use of force in Iraq). Delegations to his office were spun or stonewalled. Has he repudiated his support of bombing in Yugoslavia? His support for the deadly uranium-depleted weapons that mine the soil of Iraq and the Balkans? His funding of Plan Colombia? His vote for national ID cards? His vote
to deny benefits to the American-born children of undocumented aliens? His vote to retain the high
penalties on crack cocaine, funneling people of color into prisons in the Drug War?
What has Farr done in the last three months other than sign on to a few letters and the recent DeFazio Resolution? What about his leading a delegation to Iraq to stop this war? What about a full apology to the community for his enabling vote on the military appropriation that will ultimately cost far more blood and treasure than it brings back to this district? What about regular
meetings with the public instead of with a few wealthy interests?

We need to recall these officials. The Santa Cruz City Council, the Board of Supervisors, our so-called Congressional representative. More important, we need to proceed without them to get to the real issues that this War is stealing from us: Housing, Health Care, Civil Rights for the Poor, Ending Judicial & Police Corruption, Restoring Decent Wages, Stopping Corporate Power & the UC octopus.
We need to declare Santa Cruz and this entire Congressional District a sanctuary for those who resist the war: conscience objectors, deserters, people of color, undocumented aliens, draft resisters. We can do this. The community can do this. We need to stay out on the streets
continuously until some of these issues are addressed: particularly the biggest one that hangs over this country. We cannot trust Rep. Farr, Mayor Reilly, and the other officials who have shown locally that they support the War on the Poor to effectively oppose the War abroad. We ourselves must face and face down the terrible terrible prospect of a war that promises to destroy hundreds of
thousands of Iraqis, kill many American soldiers, bankrupt the American economy, and provide the final pretext for the Garrison state.

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your speech hits the nail on the head. do we live in a democracy or not? if we do live in a democracy than these elected officials are in place to ensure that the Will of The People is carried out, not their own personal agendas. keep the pressure up! the emperor is having a harder and harder time of convincing people that he is wearing any clothes. it is time for some radical changes in the way our governments (local, state and national) work. we need to get back to the principles we were taught to believe this country was about instead of paying lip service while allowing the media and warmongers distract us from the real issues.

"the people united will never be defeated!"

we have never lived in a democracy

Democracies invariably become tyrannies of the majority before they self-destruct. Check your history, as the revolutionaries who founded this country did. The US is a constitutional republic. The people elect their representatives via a democratically inspired process, but our system is not and never has been a democracy. Nor should it be. Instead, the strength of our government is supposed to respect and protect the rights of each individual, as well as our security collectively.

Jefferson likened the constitution to "chains," which would bind our flawed and all-too-human representatives and officials from too much mischief. According to the constitution, there are whole classes of laws that the federal government cannot legally pass, whole classes of taxes it cannot raise, whole areas of activity that it cannot undertake. Yet today, you'll find the government involved in all of those previously verboten things. The Washington escape artists have been slipping out of those constitutional chains like Houdini for decades. One of their most well-practiced escape maneuvers is the "congressional resolution" authorizing the president to use military force. The constitution is clear: only the Congress gets to declare war. The people who wrote the constitution were clear and serious about this. If we move on Iraq now, without a Congressional declaration of war, it will be in violation of that key constitutional requirement. A "congressional resolution on the use of force" is not nearly enough to satisfy the constitution.

Sam Farr, like all other Senators and Representatives, as well as President Bush, swore an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the constitution. They all have an obligation to obey the constitution in this most serious of undertakings. If we can't count on them for at least that much, it is our obligation as citizens to fire them. If you think that treatment is too harsh, think again. The politicians will only be losing their jobs, while hundreds or thousands of combatants on both sides will be losing limbs or lives.

In the House right now, there is a bill to rescind the congressional resolution that grants Bush the unconstitutional authority to wage war in Iraq. Sam Farr can live up to his oath by supporting H.J.RES.20 (DeFazio & Paul, co-authors). He also needs to avoid voting for any future resolutions or money appropriations that would allow the US to prosecute an undeclared war. Finally, he should think long and hard about voting for any formal declaration of war. Don't vote "yes" unless and until a compelling case is made that Iraq is a direct and imminent threat to the US, and his conscience demands that he do so.

We, the voters, must hold Farr and everyone else in the Washington government accountable for their actions in this matter. Ask yourself: "why should anyone be passing laws for ME to obey if they can't follow those same rules themselves?" If Farr won't protect, preserve, and defend the constitution, as he has sworn to do, fire him in 2004. I don't care how much of a nice guy he might be.

Vote for sham war? Out the damned door! 2004!

the Constitution is dead

> If we move on Iraq now, without a Congressional
> declaration of war, it will be in violation of that key
> constitutional requirement. A "congressional resolution
> on the use of force" is not nearly enough to satisfy the
> constitution.

The Constitution is history at this point. It's over. Dead. A nice, but already abandoned, idea.

This is like telling someone "If you do X, you're breaking your promise and proving that you're dishonest" after they've already made a career of lies and broken promises.

The Constitutional Republic is over, people. The popular myth of America as a free country where noble principles are enshrined in law administered by a decentralized union of independent states, is no better than a quaint bedtime story.

Even the oft-quoted "rule of law" has become a joke. I don't know which is worse - the arbitrary, redundant, predatorial, and even conflicting which blanket our lives, or the selective way in which they're enforced. Cops call themselves "law enforcement", yet when was the last time they enforced the restrictions of the 4th amendment on themselves?

Constitution - highest law of the land. And it ceases to exist when it doesn't suit them.

Quit living in the past, it only diverts you time and effort down dead end roads pursuing moot points. Forget the Constitution - your enemies already have. A gentleman's agreement ceases to exist as soon as *either* party abandons it.


don't be so quick to give in

To Van, and others who may agree with him: Are you saying that we don't have free elections? Because unless the elections are completely rigged (always a possibility, but I have no more proof of that than Bush seems to have proof of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction), the voters who understand the constitution have the ability to enforce it unilaterally. We can send Farr and others packing, if they won't hold up their end of the agreement. We can recall or impeach them before their terms expire, if they break their promises or perform badly. We can elect others who pledge to uphold the constitution and send THEM packing if they don't keep their word.

The key to voting with discipline, is to understand that the political system we have is one of the biggest karma amplifiers ever known. If your vote endorses taking from some to give to others, however worthy the cause may seem to you, the karmic amplifier effect guarantees that others will take several times as much from you, and for purposes that you don't think are worthy at all. If your vote criminalizes peaceful behavior (e.g., dope smoking, expressing dissent in public), the karmic amplifier guarantees that several of YOUR favorite behaviors (e.g., tobacco smoking, skateboarding, ice-cream eating, etc.) will eventually become criminal too. What you send around comes back around, twisted, perverted, and blown all out of proportion. Understanding, and working within the bounds of the constitution helps to minimize all those undesirable, practically inevitable consequences. When we see that our public officials aren't driving within the constitution's lines, we have to pull them over, explain the law to them, and watch them as they proceed. If they keep driving recklessly, we have to take their keys away and revoke their licenses. There is nobody else. WE THE PEOPLE must step up.

Not having the will to do the above means we'll get what we deserve. If, on the other hand, you're saying that elections are generally crooked and that our ballots no longer have any effect, then show me some proof. If we shouldn't go after Saddam without convincing, compelling proof that he is an imminent danger to the US, then we also shouldn't give up on (or worse, take up arms against) our own government without similarly rigorous proof that it has become destructive of the ends of securing the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, by consent of the governed, under constitutional rule of law.

First, though, ask yourself another question: Do you really want the constitution to live? I do. I have seen no document in history, and no proposed replacement, which more succinctly, plainly, or effectively lays out the plan for a government that respects individual rights and seeks to secure individual liberty, while providing for the common defense. Show me anything better. If you can't, then step up and let's make what we have work in this new century.

Afterward on the Wednesday Town Hall Meeting

Thanks to all the people who spoke out and supported those of us who spoke out at the Del Mar meeting. As I pointed out in my speech it was a travesty that the meeting was held at the Del Mar at all (horrible lighting). City refused to pay for the lighting that might have brought in Community TV.
Mayor Reilly also cut everyone's time short. She called me twice before the meeting promising that organiations would have five minutes to speak (as is customarily the case at Public Hearings). Then, without apologizing or explaining, the time was shortened--as she has habitually done at Council meetings.
One of the real unrecorded scandals of last year was the Del Mar giveaway--where the City essentially funded the Del Mar's privatization but got a small number of days of "public access" back for it. Last night we were rushed out of the theater, so that many who wanted to speak were not able to. And the theater was showing movies the whole time, and did not change its marquee to reflect the vital public issue being discussed.
A small victory was achieved outside on the sidewalk in that police did not enforce the "Move Along, Political Tablers" law which went into effect on February 13th against the HUFF table in front of the Theater. The Reilly-Mathews-Rotkin law requires anyone with a "display device" to "move along" at least 100' after tabling for an hour and not return for 24 hours on pain of $162 fine (second offense: up to 1 year in jail and $1000 fine).
I was repeatedly threatened by Officer Brandt for "standing in the aisle" "in violation of fire regulations". First I was told that it confused the fire marshal and his ability to count the number of people in the room. Then, as the number of people diminished and it became obvious the room was not overcrowded, the new excuse was that "there's a law" making standing in the aisles illegal. I was finally "allowed" to stand in the "disabled zone".
A footnote: On Saturday, February 15 after the mammoth peace rally at Mission Square Plaza, I was stopped and given a $162 "jaywalking" ticket by SCPD Officer Martin for crossing Mission St. against his orders, even though no cars were there and thousands of others had done so. As far as I know, I was the only person so ticketed. I had on a "Stop Police Abuse" t-shirt, and some have suggested that I was given a "Steve Argue" style ticket and the real crime was "walking while Robert Norse". (Steve A. has gotten 3 or 4 jaywalking tickets--all of them thrown out of court)

More on Two Wars Against the Poor


No War Against Iraq !
No War Against OUR Poor !

Reilly Unleashes Cops Downtown

Guitarist C.J. and his wife were driven out into the rain from under the eaves of the Pacific Trading Company earlier this week by a female Community Service Officer, falsely informing them it was “illegal to stand in front of a store window.” Host informants are stepping up pressure on the poor.

African-American “Reverend Doctor” Jason was targeted last month by shoeshop manager and anti-homeless activist Candi Jackson. Jackson made a Citizen’s Arrest of Jason for “panhandling within 3 feet” after Joshua had given a spiritual reading to a passerby and asked for a donation.

Sgt. Baker and four police officers spent half-an-hour detaining 3 peaceful spare- changers after one had come up to talk to another, violating the Rotkin-Kennedy “no standing together as you panhandle” laws. 1 man was arrested for “insufficient ID”. Visible police surveillance has resumed at the “Merry Mondays” Downtown-For-All event at Cooper and Pacific 4-6 PM.

The “Move Along Activists” law that bars having a political table for more than 1 hour went into effect on February 13th. 1st Offense: $162, 2nd: up to $1000 & 1 year in jail.

Backroom Deals At City Council

The Reilly-Kennedy Council orchestrated the execution of the Citizens Police Review Board [CPRB] after it demanded action on racial profiling, documentation of use & display of force, selective enforcement, lethal police shootings, & other abuses. Call Reilly at 420-5022 with any complaints.

Reilly’s Council rushed through & muzzled debate on the new repressive Downtown Ordinances & CPRB dismemberment, operating out-of-sight through secret ad hoc subcommittees and private conversations with the City Manager. Join HUFF to fight back at 423-4833.

New Hope on the Horizon

Homeless activist and videojournalist Becky Johnson is securing new evidence in her chalkcrime trial, to resume March 14th 10 AM in Dept. 1. Tune in: 96.3 FM Sundays 9:30 AM-1 PM, Thursdays 6-8 PM for updates. Call in: 427-3772.

Free Radio Santa Cruz broadcaster Robert Norse is suing Sgt. “Butchie” Baker, Lt. Patty Sapone, Chief Steve Belcher, Sushi Now’s Matisse Selman, and the City of Santa Cruz in federal court for conspiracy to violate civil rights. They dragged Norse off in January 2002 for petitioning to boycott New Leaf Market, Sushi Now!, & Ali Baba’s Cafe (now Cafe Campesino) for discrimination
& seizure of public space. Check for updates.

Legal activists Richard Quigley & Kate Wells are designing an on-line “good cop, bad cop” website to document police abuse in Santa Cruz County. Updates: KSCO noon Thurs radio at 1080 AM.

Disenfranchised black activist Mark Halfmoon, former chair of the CPRB will hold public meetings of the CPRB-in-exile. Call him at 457-9754 X1788 for more info!

Flyer by HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) 309 Cedar PMB 14B S.C. 95060 831-423-4833 2-15-03 More info: &

thanks for all practical info

Thanks to Robert Norse for the follow-up and information on practical action that people can take.

While we're on the subject of practical action, has anyone seen the website These people have produced radio ads in opposition to the war plans. You can listen to (and read the scripts of) the ads at the website. (There also appears to be a great deal of material refuting the case for war, which activists might find helpful.)

Could we put those or similar annoucements on local radio?

Norse, get your facts straight

I have to say, Norse has sunk to new lows in bringing us some great facts. THis little rant is so full of misinformation and twisted information that it looks about as contrived as the very media you mean to challenge with this type of forum!

First: The Civic was booked that night, so they couldn't hold it there. And unfortunately for you, the world does not revolve around you and your schedule, so get over it. The world is not looking to put you down, and playing the victim or leading the victims' cause isn't very becoming for a rich, white, (presumably) heterosexual male.

Second: "American-born children of undocumented aliens" are US citizens, you moron. Anyone born in the US is automatically granted citizenship, no matter how their parents got here. While I agree that the PATRIOT ACT is denying many rights to citizens, he voted against that, so I'm not sure what you're talking about. Way to fight for the common man you don't even know anything about. I think the immigrant's rights community doesn't need your uninformed help.

Third: we have no "conscience" objectors, nor do we have conscientious objectors, if that's what you meant. No draft has been implemented, so that category doesn't exist.

Oh, I could go on and on, but it would take too long. I guess all the money in the world can't buy you a decent education or some good investigative and research skills, can it Robert?

Response to Jerry's Criticism

1. On February 18th, the Civic was booked with a symphony rehersal, according to research by Geoffrey Gale. Gale worked tirelessly (but unsuccessfully) to get the Council or the Community to arrange and, if necessary, fund live coverage of this event--which Council declined to do. The Symphony,he told me, was willing to move its time, if Council would pay for the time. It chose not to. Just as it chose not to schedule this event until mid-February when the public was demanding it in late November.

2. The ACLU website gives four bad votes by Farr. The particular section I refer to reads "a bill that would have effectively denied public education to American citizen children of undocumented immigrants."

The four bad votes in their entirity are described as follows:

Internet Censorship - As part of a major overhaul of the nation's telecommunications industries, both the House and Senate approved major new censorship schemes for the
Internet. The Senate adopted its version, the so-called Communications Decency Act, by a vote of . A similar censorship scheme was adopted in the House on a vote of 256 to 149 as part of its version of telecommunications reform. The final bill incorporated much of both provisions and passed overwhelmingly with only five senators and 16 representatives registering opposition. Minutes after President Clinton signed the legislation, the ACLU
challenged its constitutionality in court.

Immigration - Seeking to capitalize on a wave of anti-immigration initiatives, both the House and Senate passed bills that represented the most draconian and divisive
immigration proposals in decades. Included were provisions that would strip the courts of jurisdiction over illegal and abusive INS actions and erect enormous and virtually
insurmountable barriers for most people seeking political asylum. The House even approved a bill that would have effectively denied public education to American citizen
children of undocumented immigrants. The Senate voted to accept one version of the legislation; the House approved a harsher version by a vote of 333 to 87. The President
signed the immigration legislation in September.

National ID Card - One of the most pervasive themes of the 104th Congress has been proposals to establish a national identification system as a means of tracking
undocumented workers, so-called deadbeat dads and to monitor health insurance information. Various database schemes have been included in bills as diverse as
immigration, welfare reform and health insurance. Since these proposals have been buried in much larger legislation, it was often difficult to determine the position of members of Congress. In the House, however, an attempt to eliminate a national ID system from the
immigration bill failed by a vote of 159 to 260. A similar attempt in the Senate failed...

Sentencing Guidelines - In a groundbreaking act, the U.S. Sentencing Commission found that there was no justification or sound scientific basis for the disparity in sentencing
between those convicted of selling and using crack cocaine compared to those who sell or use powder cocaine and recommended that Congress end the 100-to-1 disparity in
sentencing. For the first time in the history of the Commission, Congress rejected the Commission's recommendations. In the House, the recommendations were rejected by a vote of 332 to 83. The Senate never voted on the Commission's recommendations.

3. While it is true there is currently no draft, it is being proposed. I was proposing a broad resolution that would welcome peaceful protesters and resisters, including those refusing to serve in Iraq, currently in the military.

I agree that we need to find more effective ways of taking specific local action and demanding government action by local officials to give force to largely empty symbolic gestures that are too little and too late. We have very little time.

Whether this means mass CD in to tie up business-as-usual one way or another (whether on the freeways or in the downtown) or sit-in's in Farr's office or other government buildings or colorful Earth First! style protests or all night vigils, I don't know. But we must do something. And fast.

There is also massive hypocrisy when City Council votes to oppose the Patriot Act, but then strips the bill of any meaningful stuff (like having police refuse to cooperate, or refusing to fund any assistance or refusing to take government grants that involve that kind of assistance).

Sheriff Tracy's continued collusion with the DEA and his busts of local medical marijuana providers and users are a greater menace than the feds will ever be by themselves.

Waiting until another Town Hall meeting on March 18th--when Mayor Reilly suggested that she might (this time) book the Civic Auditorium--is not going to stop Bush. Or do our part to stop Bush.

I don't see it

Robert, I went to the ACLU website, brought up the scorecards for our reps (including the senate) and did not see any of the votes you mention. It lists negative marks for his voting for the Shays-Meehan campaign finance reform bill, which they opposed, his negative vote on a banking regulation issue, a vote dealing with the power of the federal judiciary, and one dealing with the Ten Commandments. Nothing on what you described, my friend. Again, it still makes no sense, and while I am a big fan of the ACLU, sometimes I don't agree with their positions (such as being against campaign finance reform). However, at this point I'm beginning to believe that you're making this stuff up.

And guess what- we're in the middle of a major budget crisis in the state, and so maybe it didn't seem prudent to spend thousands of dollars to move the symphony, reserve the civic, when they had the Del Mar available. Call me crazy, but if I can get rent for free, why would I pay for it, even if it were a bigger place? My point is, sometimes people make judgement calls that aren't purely to keep people like you down. Again, as much as you'd like the world to revolve around you, it doesn't.

And if you think town hall forums are ineffective, then why are you so bent out of shape that you couldn't control and dominate this one to your liking? And if you think a town forum is necessary before March 18th (even though you don't think they do much to stop a way) then why not organize one yourself, instead of talking to everyone else about it?

I'm just trying to make you guys realize that you are, for the most part, unreasonable, misinformed and naive, at best. There is a real world out there, and you should try to live in it sometime. It's nice not being constantly angry and victimized in your head.

Again, get your facts straight

Robert, a quick visit to the ACLU (we are talking about the American Civil Liberties Union, right?) and a scorecard search for the 17th district brings up only a few "bad" votes by Farr-- three deal with the Shays-Meehan campaign finance bill, which the ACLU apparently was opposed to, one was about bank privacy reform, one was about the ten commandments-- NOTHING about the things you mentioned. Either you are completely making this up, or you searched under the wrong district.

Again, it seems that people like you are just as bad as people like Rush Limbaugh and Mike Savage who believe that the truth is something that gets in the way of your agenda.

To Jerry the moron


A little outdated

So, you're basing your arguements on votes made in 1996? All I hear is "What is being done about this" or "have you changed your stance on that", and the deepest research you can do is seven years old? I think that just strengthens my argument, actually. You pick and choose the information and facts you wish to present (or misrepresent) and then run with them to further your agenda. Doesn't matter whether those laws were later overturned, or if votes changed, or if someone is in line with what you believe now, you'd rather be splitting coalitions apart to further your egos than actually doing any real progressive work.

In a time of possible war, this is great strategy, guys. You have to admit that when you start ripping the California Peace Action for being too right-wing, maybe it's time to take a break and figure out what you're doing. This is the time to BUILD coalitions with everyone who is opposed to this war! If Tom Delay came out tomorrow and said he opposed this war, I would embrace him too, even though he otherwise stands for everything I hate about the GOP. For those of you who don't know, and I'm sure there are many in this audience, Tom Delay is the House Majority Leader, and while groups like this bicker over progressive House members like Farr, Delay has almost singlehandedly done more damage to this country than Farr could ever do. But I guess it's easier to pick and prod at the easy targets than the real ones.

Whatever, everytime I read this site and think that there are some actual intelligent people in this peace community, you all seem to work hard to prove me (and others like me) wrong. Have fun stroking your egos: I'll be busy actually working to change things.

Farr War Support Votes are Key.

You might ask Farr if his position on this old votes has changed. I took them from the website mentioned above.

But Farr's pro-war votes are recent. The info came straight from his staff in November and from his statements on Tuesday night at the Del Mar Town meeting.

I've specifically left questions by phone with his staff (as of Wednesday) which have not yet been answered. When he was asked similar questions in November, he failed to respond at all after two meetings to his office.

The questions I asked included:

(a) whether he specifically will act to support a bill ending sanctions and bombing against Iraq and whether this is a new position (and if it is, as it seems to be, when that change happened),

(b) whether he specifically will back legislation to ban uranium-depleted weapons (his position on this continues to be unclear),

(c) whether he will apologize to constituents for voting for the biggest military appropriation in history on the same day he voted against the use of force in Iraq, thus breaking with Barbara Lee, though Farr is from a safe district,

(d) whether Farr is interested in a powerful action like leading a fact-finding mission to Iraq that would directly discourage an immediate invasion

It's important to challenge those in power who are letting others in power get away with murder (particularly obvious under Clinton, but true under Bush as well). Farr's claim that he can't "do anything" about impeachment because the Republicans have the majority wouldn't stop him from trying to introduce and sign onto such a resolution--if he really wanted to do so. His whining about "not getting media attention" doesn't stop people like Senator Byrd and Dennis Kucinich from making strong statements on the floor of Congress. When they make the strong statements, then they do get media attention.

Spending time attacking us for exposing the do-little Democrat in our district who sat on his hands throughout November, December, and January shows misplaced loyalties.

This guy is supposed to be our representative. Peace activists deserve more of an ally and it is only by rousing people to realize who we're saddled with that we're ever going to get any change---either of personnel or policy.

If anyone's interested in a (4th) delegation to Farr's office to seek an answer to these and other questions, please call me at 423-4833. I'd like to be a part of that group. Don't wait too long.

No disloyal, just rooted in reality

It's a shame that people who believe in peace start fighting with each other over who is MORE for peace. However, if those are the shots you want to fire, then I'm sure you'll do as good a job to discredit this movement as Bush has done. And don't forget- Farr not only represents the six people who follow you, but over 600,000 other people, including many military installations. I think that sometimes many people, most especially your little group, believe that only your voice is the one that counts out of all of that, and if your elected representatives (City Council, Board of Sups, you name it) don't believe 100% in everything you want them to do, then they are useless individuals who are no better than the most right-wing member of the GOP.

There are levels of degrees, my friend, and you need to see that. And to start alienating people who are basically for the same things you are only does your message a disservice. I wonder- have you ever successfully changed anything in Santa Cruz? Why do the Democratic party and various Democratic groups want nothing to do with you? Not even the Green Party? Not WILPF? Not the Resource Center for Nonviolence? (well, that one you'll attribute just to Scott Kennedy, so never mind). Why is that? Why did you have to get your own party registered in order to have any sort of say among people who are otherwise liberal, peace-loving left-wing activists? It's about levels of degree, and all you've done is say that if everyone is not in total agreement with you than they are useless.

I even wonder- if everyone was 100% in agreement with you, would you need to find some new things "wrong" with the world that needs fixing so that you can continue your egotistical charade?

Everyone's on board except you guys. And instead of cheering on those people who are working, marching and fighting war in Iraq, you're pulling up seven year old votes that probably aren't accurate in an attempt to "show" that he really isn't against the war, when in fact he is. Read the Good Times today, and see the rationale in going after realistic, achievable goals, because the bull that you have continually been pulling in this city all these years has gotten you nowhere, while the rest of us are actually changing things.

But if that is "disloyalty" to your isolated agenda, then I'm proud of that.

If you're going to pretend to be the spokesman for the activist community, I just wish you'd stop doing us so much damage here in the area. I wonder, how much money do we need to pull together to con you out of this area? It worked once, so I wonder if it will work again.

I know you won't respond to the personal criticism I've laid out against you, but if you can't take it, then stop dishing it out. I can't tell you how distasteful it must be for a homeless person or otherwise poverty-stricken family to have you, a wealthy trust-fund Carmelite who was forced into exile in Santa Cruz in order to get your inheritence pretend to represent them and their needs. You should be ashamed of yourself!

Looking For Vigilers

There may be a vigil starting downtown shortly (and it's a short amount of time we have left).

Jerry--whoever you are--you're invited to join, or start your own vigil. Or perhaps you can just sit tight and hope that Rep. Farr will stop the war for you.

By the way, I sign these posts with my full name. What's yours?

Folks interested in volunteering to vigil should check out the HUFF table near Borders in the next few days or give a call to 423-4833. There's also a meeting of SUP (Standing United for Peace) up on campus Friday at Room D of the 3rd Floor of the Bay Tree Conference Center 7 PM tomorrow.

For those interested in getting Mayor Reilly to restore the proposed Town Hall meeting on the War that she originally scheduled for March 19 at the Civic, but decided to dump because "we didn't fill up the Del Mar", call her at 420-5022.


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