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NaderBeware * KerryEnergy * Peltier60 * Nagasaki

10 August 2004

"What a stupendous, what an incomprehensible machine is man!
Who can endure toil, famine, stripes, imprisonment & death itself
in vindication of his own liberty, and the next moment ... inflict
on his fellow men a bondage, one hour of which is fraught with more
misery than ages of that which he rose in rebellion to oppose."

Thomas Jefferson

1) Ralph Nader: Let The Voter Beware
2) Springsteen Editorial: Vote for Change Concert Tour

- - Kerry stands by vote authorizing force in Iraq
- - Why Progressives Need to Back the Kerry/Edwards Ticket
- - Kerry Promotes Energy Independence Plan
3) Share Birthday Wishes for Leonard Peltier
4) The Bombing of Nagasaki, The Untold Story

Editor's Notes:

It is with great gratitude that I post the article by Thom Hartmann in item 1. Thom is a Project Censored Award-winning best-selling author and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People: A Call To Take Back America," and "What Would Jefferson Do?: A Return To Democracy." This man is a prominent expert on democracy. In the editor's notes of February 24, 2004, on Nader's announcement for his campaign for President in 2004, FN, too, was aware of Nader's neglecting to mention about Instant Runoff Voting (IRV), and the need for such a system to enable a multi-party democracy. Hartmann in his article wrote: "The simple solution is to institute IRV in the United States, a step that many communities across the country have already taken. But to do this at the national level will require the agreement and participation of at least one of the two major parties - which is why many Progressives are supporting the Greens and, at the same time, infiltrating and becoming active in the Democratic Party." Is this too obvious for Ralph Nader to realize, prioritizing, or is there deceit behind his push for power? But others see the need to come to the rescue to help remove Bush from the Office of US President. Item 2 has information from a NY Times editorial by Bruce Springsteen, and this item contains some hopeful ideas of Kerry to promote peace in Iraq by bringing in the world community, and committing to be energy independence with renewable resources that is good for the environment, good for peace, and for new job opportunities.

Item 3 is a link to send and/or to read birthday greetings for Leonard Peltier. Leonard is turning sixty years old this September 12th. He represents the road towards healing or the incarceration for justice to die on this land; so bitterly conquered at a time when manifest destiny was the lure of delusional thinking that remains to this day. Item 4 is an article on the US bombing of Nagasaki. When Leonard was one year old, the US American planes, in 3 days apart, dropped 2 atomic bombs on Japan that gave birth to a war crime beyond most people's comprehension. Such a killing of innocent civilians without seeking all other ways for peace is unacceptable, and yet it is still going on today. When will all this madness end? It is time for progressives, third parties, Republicans and Democrats to unite, to vote for change, to end the terror of weapons of mass destruction, and policies of imperialism and greed, and justification by claiming God is on our side when we make mockery of those commandments inherent in all religions.

Please help Flyby News resources reach into your community. We can snail mail or email an attachment of the latest Flyby News flyer to post. You can write to Jonathan Mark via email:

"The history of John Adams' failed presidency gives hope
and encouragement to those committed to real democracy
and genuine freedom. History shows that when enough people
become politically active, they can rescue the soul of America
from sliding into a corrupt, abusive police state."

Thom Hartmann

1) Ralph Nader: Let The Voter Beware
by Thom Hartmann

The frauds and deceptions of the Bush administration are legion and, sadly, to be expected, based on the Bush family's past (from sweetheart business deals going back to WWII, to smearing John McCain in South Carolina in 2000, to lying to the American people just before the election of 2002 about the threats Iraq posed).

But few people expected Ralph Nader - one of America's finest defenders of the public interest and the commons - to employ deception in an election.

Specifically, Nader has gone to great lengths to exploit the lack of knowledge most Americans have about how other democracies around the world work, and thus deceive people about both the history and present reality of our electoral system and the role of third parties in it.

When the Founders and the Framers of the Constitution put together American democracy in 1787, it had never been tried before in the way they visualized. In ancient Athens, it took 6001 citizens to turn out and agree to pass a law; Rome was a republic, but not of, by, or for "the people"; and the Iroquois Confederacy had no "executive branch" to elect, a remnant from the days of kings that the Framers were unwilling to give up. Thus, the Framers of the Constitution had no "truly democratic" model to work from.

So they created a flawed constitution.

The major flaw was that national elections are held on a first-past-the-post, winner-takes-all basis. Which means that if three or more candidates compete in a race, it's virtually guaranteed that somebody with less than a majority of the vote will end up winning political power. The result of this flaw is non-democratic minority rule, instead of the democratic ideal of majority rule.

A good example of this happened in the 2002 election in my state of Vermont, where the Republican candidates became Governor and Lieutenant Governor with 45 percent and 41 percent of the vote respectively because each had more votes than his Democratic or Progressive opponents alone. (Example: Republican Brian Dubie - 41%; Democrat Peter Shumlin - 32%; Progressive Anthony Pollina - 25%. The Republican "won.") The majority of Vermont voters selected liberal or progressive candidates, but conservatives are in charge of the state - the exact anti-democratic result that gave some of the Framers nightmares.

James Madison was the most outspokenly worried about this. In the 1787 Federalist #10, he goes into a lengthy discussion of the danger of "factions" - one aspect of what we today call political parties - emerging. First he puts a good face on the problem, suggesting that the new Constitution will solve the "violence" done to democracy by factions. But in the next sentence, he admits his fear that he and the other Framers had not truly solved the problem of what would happen if "factions" were to emerge.

"Among the numerous advantages promised by a well constructed Union [based on the Constitution], none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction," wrote Madison. "The friend of popular governments never finds himself so much alarmed for their character and fate, as when he contemplates their propensity to this dangerous vice. ... The instability, injustice, and confusion introduced into the public councils, have, in truth, been the mortal diseases under which popular governments have everywhere perished..."

The problem was that if factions were to emerge as political parties, it would mean there could only be two of them, for if more than two parties emerged then the majority of people would almost always remain unrepresented, while the most well-organized minority would end up ruling.

Madison concluded by saying he felt the Constitution he and Hamilton were promoting with the Federalist Papers was the best solution they could come up with to solve the problem of factions.

But, as he noted, the constitution wasn't perfect"The valuable improvements made by the American constitutions on the popular models, both ancient and modern, cannot certainly be too much admired; but it would be an unwarrantable partiality, to contend that they have as effectually obviated the danger [of factions] on this side, as was wished and expected." His only solution was to beg Americans not to form factions.

Although George Washington was soon thereafter elected unanimously and by acclimation, America's second presidential election (won by John Adams) almost immediately led to the creation of Madison's feared "factions" in the form of Vice-President Thomas Jefferson's "Democratic-Republican" party (today called the "Democratic Party"). Ever since then, we've largely been a two-party nation - because our Constitution is written in a way that causes anything else to result in the least democratic outcome to an election.

Most of the rest of the world, however, has learned from our mistake and taken a different path.

Of the 86 other "fully democratic" nations in the world (according to the UN), only a few like Greece and Australia had repeated our mistake, although Australia solved the problem with a national variation on what in America is called Instant Runoff Voting (IRV), where you select your first, second, third, etc., preference among candidates, and if there's no majority winner, the "instant runoff" is instantly recalculated.

Had this been in place in the US in 2000, for example, and had most of Nader's voters chosen Gore as their second choice (as most polls indicate was the case), then when neither Gore nor Bush received more than 50 percent of the vote, Nader's first-choice votes (he being the lowest of the vote-drawers) would have reverted to their second-choice and Gore would have been elected by the majority of the people (as he was anyway, but that's a different rant).

Few other democracies are locked into a two-party system like ours because most emerged in their current forms after 1861, when John Stuart Mill proposed the idea of proportional representation in his book "Considerations on Representational Government." It solved, once and for all, the problem of Madison's factions making a nation less democratic.

Under proportional representation - in use in virtually all the other democracies of the world - the percent of the vote a party gets determines the percent of seats they have in Congress or Parliament. It's far more democratic than our system, and if Madison were alive today he'd be wishing he'd thought of it in 1787 when he helped write and sell the Constitution.

While many local governments in America are becoming more democratic by instituting IRV (mostly at the urging of the Green Party), we still have a federal system that is purely winner-take-all, and thus "most democratic" when only two parties compete. (And even then only partially as "democratic" as IRV or proportional representation nations.)

Which brings us back to Ralph Nader.

In a February 2004 appearance on Meet The Press, Nader said to Tim Russert, "You'd never find that type of thing [resistance to a third party] in Canada or Western democracies in Europe. It is an offense to deny millions of people who might want to vote for our candidacy an opportunity to vote for our candidacy. Instead, they [the Republicans and Democrats] want to say, 'No, we're not going to let you have an opportunity to vote,' for our candidacy."

Nader added, "There's a tremendous bias in state laws against third parties and independent candidates bred by the two major parties, who passed these laws. They don't like competition."

Amazingly, many people are taken in by this argument, as they don't understand the difference between our system and those of most European nations, and don't realize that our election system was developed before there were any political parties whatsoever. Tragically, Nader's argument is most readily believed on college campuses, where study of American history and political science in both high school and college is at an all-time low.

Why would Ralph Nader try so hard to mislead his audiences? He is no fool, and as an attorney he certainly knows the history and content of the US Constitution. Many progressives are baffled as to why he would work so hard to perpetuate ignorance - particularly among young voters - about the crucial issue of how democracies work and how our republic can be made more democratic.

Unfortunately, at the moment, third parties mean less, not more democracy when it comes to voting in most elections in the US (because they cause minority-supported candidates to be elected and majorities of voters are thus unrepresented). Yet third (and fourth and fifth, etc.) parties are also critical to bringing out issues that the two big parties don't or won't address.

The simple solution is to institute IRV in the United States, a step that many communities across the country have already taken. But to do this at the national level will require the agreement and participation of at least one of the two major parties - which is why many Progressives are supporting the Greens and, at the same time, infiltrating and becoming active in the Democratic Party.

It's similar to the strategy conservatives successfully used in the 1970s after the 1964 defeat of Barry Goldwater, when they proceeded to infiltrate and ultimately take control of the Republican Party and then bring Reagan to power. As progressives do the same with the Democratic Party - while still helping keep the Green Party and other progressive movements strong - we can then use the Democratic Party to push for IRV, re-enforcement of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, an end to "corporate personhood," and other progressive and truly democratic reforms.

As Franklin D. Roosevelt proved, only by influencing (both from without and from within) the power of one of the two national parties can progressives truly make the United States of America a more democratic and egalitarian nation. As more and more progressives join the Democratic Party, participate in meetings and caucuses, and present themselves as delegates, we will gain enough power to bring about changes (such as IRV) that will result in a renewal and reinvigoration of this great democracy, and pave the way for third, fourth, and fifth parties to participate in a truly democratic fashion in America.

But first we must correct the misperception Nader is pushing that the problem third parties face is purely the fault of the existing two parties. While it's true they resist third parties as a challenge to their power, the real problem is a flawed electoral system left over from 1787.

And, as Australia demonstrated, a two-party system can be changed to a multiparty system - but only when the nation's citizens realize the true source of the problem.

For Thom Hartmann's web site, see:

2) Springsteen Editorial: Vote for Change Concert Tour

- - Kerry stands by vote authorizing force in Iraq
- - Why Progressives Need to Back the Kerry/Edwards Ticket
- - Kerry Promotes Energy Independence Plan

- - Chords for Change
Published in the NY Times - August 5, 2004

A nation's artists and musicians have a particular place in its social and political life. Over the years I've tried to think long and hard about what it means to be American: about the distinctive identity and position we have in the world, and how that position is best carried. I've tried to write songs that speak to our pride and criticize our failures.

These questions are at the heart of this election: who we are, what we stand for, why we fight. Personally, for the last 25 years I have always stayed one step away from partisan politics. Instead, I have been partisan about a set of ideals: economic justice, civil rights, a humane foreign policy, freedom and a decent life for all of our citizens. This year, however, for many of us the stakes have risen too high to sit this election out.

Through my work, I've always tried to ask hard questions. Why is it that the wealthiest nation in the world finds it so hard to keep its promise and faith with its weakest citizens? Why do we continue to find it so difficult to see beyond the veil of race? How do we conduct ourselves during difficult times without killing the things we hold dear? Why does the fulfillment of our promise as a people always seem to be just within grasp yet forever out of reach?

I don't think John Kerry and John Edwards have all the answers. I do believe they are sincerely interested in asking the right questions and working their way toward honest solutions. They understand that we need an administration that places a priority on fairness, curiosity, openness, humility, concern for all America's citizens, courage and faith.

People have different notions of these values, and they live them out in different ways. I've tried to sing about some of them in my songs. But I have my own ideas about what they mean, too. That is why I plan to join with many fellow artists, including the Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., the Dixie Chicks, Jurassic 5, James Taylor and Jackson Browne, in touring the country this October. We will be performing under the umbrella of a new group called Vote for Change. Our goal is to change the direction of the government and change the current administration come November.

Like many others, in the aftermath of 9/11, I felt the country's unity. I don't remember anything quite like it. I supported the decision to enter Afghanistan and I hoped that the seriousness of the times would bring forth strength, humility and wisdom in our leaders. Instead, we dived headlong into an unnecessary war in Iraq, offering up the lives of our young men and women under circumstances that are now discredited. We ran record deficits, while simultaneously cutting and squeezing services like after-school programs. We granted tax cuts to the richest 1 percent (corporate bigwigs, well-to-do guitar players), increasing the division of wealth that threatens to destroy our social contract with one another and render mute the promise of "one nation indivisible."

It is through the truthful exercising of the best of human qualities - respect for others, honesty about ourselves, faith in our ideals - that we come to life in God's eyes. It is how our soul, as a nation and as individuals, is revealed. Our American government has strayed too far from American values. It is time to move forward. The country we carry in our hearts is waiting.

Bruce Springsteen is a writer and performer.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

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- - Kerry stands by vote authorizing force in Iraq

August 9, 2004



Responding to President Bush's question with several of his own, Sen. John Kerry said Monday he would have voted to authorize the war in Iraq knowing what he does now, but said he would have used the power more effectively than the current commander in chief.

The Democratic presidential nominee said he hoped to begin reducing the number of U.S. forces in Iraq within six months of talking office if he is elected. "It is an appropriate goal to have," he said, but added that achieving it would depend on broader international assistance, better stability within Iraq and other related factors..

..Last Friday, Bush challenged Kerry to answer yes-or-know to the question of whether he would have supported the invasion of Iraq "knowing what we know now" about the failure to find weapons of mass destruction.

"I have given my answer. We did the right thing and the world is better off for it," the president said.

In response, Kerry said, "Yes, I would have voted for the authority. I believe it was the right authority for a president to have."

Then he had a few barbed questions for Bush.

"Why did we rush to war without a plan to win the peace? Why did you rush to war on faulty intelligence and not do the hard work necessary to give America the truth?

"Why did he mislead America about how he would go to war. Why has he not brought other countries to the table in order to support American troops in the way they deserve it and relieve the pressure on the American people?"

Kerry said in an interview last week his goal was to begin reducing the number of troops in Iraq within the next year. Asked about his plans, he said he would use diplomacy to help build stronger international alliances.

The feasibility of that goal, he said, would hinge on "the stability of Iraq, the ability to have the elections, and the training and transformation of the Iraqi security force itself."

For the complete article, see:

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- - Why Progressives Need to Back the Kerry/Edwards Ticket

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- - Kerry Promotes Energy Independence Plan
By J.R. Pegg


WASHINGTON, DC, August 9, 2004 (ENS) - Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry outlined a 10 year, $30 billion energy plan on Friday and said the proposal will "put America on the path to energy independence and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs at the same time."

Kerry's plan centers on increased support for renewable energy and for alternative motor fuels made from corn and soybeans, as well as incentives for clean coal technology and for more fuel efficient cars and trucks.

"We can control our own destiny, we can create the jobs of tomorrow and we can make sure that no young American in uniform will ever be held hostage to our dependence on oil from the Middle East," Kerry told supporters in Kansas City, Missouri.

Kerry's remarks came at the end of a week that saw oil prices soar to a near record high of almost $45 a barrel.

The Democratic presidential nominee blamed the Bush administration for making the nation more dependent on foreign oil and for not taking action to aid consumers and business feeling the pinch from rising oil prices.

The nation's reliance on foreign oil has risen from 58.2 percent in 2000 to 61.7 percent today, according to the Kerry campaign, with roughly a quarter of America's oil supply coming from the Middle East.

The proposal calls for the creation of a $20 billion Energy Security and Conservation Trust fund, capitalized with existing federal offshore oil and gas revenues, in order to provide a guaranteed funding stream for energy.

The trust fund would be used to meet dual goals, to be met by 2020, of ensuring 20 percent of the nation's motor fuel and electricity come from renewable energy sources.

The proposal earmarks $5 billion for a clean fuels partnership to research fuels from agricultural waste and includes support for increased production of ethanol, a fuel made from corn, that is 85 percent ethanol. 1999. It provides $10 billion to help U.S. automakers develop and manufacture more fuel efficient vehicles, as well as $5 billion in consumer tax credits, including $5,000 tax credits to buy cars and trucks that guzzle less gas.

"We will put in place the tax incentives and joint venture efforts that help us build an independent fuel base for America," Kerry said.

For the complete article, see:

3) Share Birthday Wishes for Leonard Peltier

On September 12th, 2004, Leonard Peltier will celebrate his 60th birthday.

Please let him know that you support him, and add your birthday wishes to this URL web site listed below.

They will print it out and send it to Leonard.

Deadline is August 31st, because we want him to receive this birthday card in time!

or send a card or letter directly to:

Leonard Peltier
PO Box 1000
Leavenworth, KS 66048

The Leonard Peltier Defense Committee's web site is:

4) The Bombing of Nagasaki, The Untold Story
August 9 1945

56 years ago this week, on August 9th, 1945, the second of the only 2 atomic bombs ever used as instruments of aggressive war (and against essentially defenseless civilian populations, at that) was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan by an all-Christian bomb crew. The well-trained American soldiers were only "doing their job"and they did it well.

It had been 3 days since the first bomb, a uranium bomb, had decimated Hiroshima, with chaos and confusion in Tokyo, where the fascist military government and the Emperor had been searching for months for a way to honorably end the war. (The only obstacle to surrender had been the United States' insistence on unconditional surrender, which meant that the Emperor Hirohito, whom the Japanese regarded as a deity, would be removed from his figurehead position in Japan, an intolerable demand for the Japanese.)

The Russian army was advancing across Manchuria with the stated aim of entering the war against Japan on August 8, so there were extra incentives to end the war quickly. The US did not want to divide any spoils or share power after Japan was defeated.

The US bomber command had for months spared Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Kokura from the conventional bombing that had leveled and burned 60+ other major Japanese cities during the first half of 1945. One of the reasons for targeting relatively undamaged cities was scientific: to see what would happen to intact buildings--and their living creatures--when atomic weapons were exploded over them.

Early in the morning of August 9, 1945, a B-29 Superfortress called Bock's Car, took off from Tinian Island, with the prayers and blessings of its Lutheran and Catholic chaplains, and headed for Kokura, the primary target (its plutonium bomb was code-named "Fat Man", after Winston Churchill). The only field test of a nuclear weapon, blasphemously named "Trinity", had occurred just three weeks earlier, on July 16, 1945 at Alamogordo, New Mexico. The molten lavarock that resulted, still found at the site today, is called trinitite.

With instructions to only drop the bomb on visual sighting, Bock's Car arrived at Kokura, which was clouded-over. So, after circling three times, looking for a break in the clouds, and using up a tremendous amount of valuable fuel in the process, it headed for its secondary target, Nagasaki.

For the complete article, see:

August 9, 2001, Gary G. Kohls, MD, 1306 E.8th St., Duluth, MN 55805, for
Every Church A Peace Church

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