The Republic is Dead, Long Live the Republic
– Juan Cole
Empire of Ignorance
[site gone, link dead, go here: http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2007/Jan-06-1.html, look for 002840.html...]
The danger to political dissent is acute where the Government attempts to act under so vague a concept as the power to protect 'domestic security.' Given the difficulty of defining the domestic security interest, the danger of abuse in acting to protect that interest becomes apparent.
- U.S. Supreme Court, [redacted]
This is crazy, this is crazy, this is crazy!
- Clark Griswold
[above line now used in a commercial, consider it removed - ed.]
Thank you for giving me a moment of your time. My name is Jonathan Farnick, a local area computer consultant, husband to an intelligent and beautiful wife, Melissa, father to a wonderful son, Dylan, and now, an Independent Write-In Candidate for Congress in the already crowded Illinois 8th Congressional District for the upcoming election, this November 7th, 2006.
I’m thirty-eight years old, was born in upstate New York, lived in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, and moved to Illinois in 1991. My wife and I became first-time homeowners in 2002 when we purchased our home in Woodstock, Illinois. I’ve been previously employed in the service and transportation industries and since 2001 have been a consultant with Spherion Corporation working in the IT departments of local area companies, most of that time at Kraft Foods and now, Honeywell/UOP. My wife works at the Great Lakes Naval Station in Great Lakes, IL; my son just started public high school.
What I have witnessed in the November election in 2000 and the subsequent events has awakened me and compelled me to this action today, and I ask you to wake up.
My political activity has been to vote in every mid-term since 1986 and presidential election since 1988. I’ve been to Washington, DC one cold day in 2005 to protest President Bush’s second inauguration, the last two of Chicago’s Anti-War marches, and October’s World Can’t Wait march; I’ve participated in various democratic and independent meet-ups and support groups in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs; I’ve been critical of Democrats, extremely critical of the GOP, and unfairly critical of others in various online discussions. I have never before run for any public office.
We are on the wrong course for this country and I cannot sit by and watch a once proud nation deteriorate into the type of renegade state we as Americans once fought against. I have seen people get into high elected office under questionable means and subsequently abuse that office to consolidate more and more power. I feel that this present administration needs to be stopped. Now. The world can’t wait for two more years. I feel this country needs new leadership and that the present Congressperson from Illinois’ 8th district is not doing anything but abet the illegal and immoral acts our President and Vice President have done, are doing, and have stated that they will continue to do. The only thing Bush and his administration have been successful at is selling fear; they should be scared of us, not the other way around. This government has tried to rid itself of oversight and accountability while at the same time strip rights and freedoms of its citizens.
At present, the residents of this district have the option to stay the course with a Republican rubber-stamp in the form of Democrat Melissa Bean, the far right GOP disciple David McSweeney, or the anti-choice moderate Bill Scheurer. I'm not satisfied with any of those options. The present Republican controlled Congress now has a 27% approval rating and our Democratic representative has been more than happy to break with her party to support this Administration and Republican controlled Congress. The President has an approval rating in the thirties and the Vice President at twenty, yet the Republican nominee has stated that he supports this President, Vice President, and Administration, their policies of illegal wars and immoral occupations, and I feel he would not break ranks with his party to do the necessary oversight and investigations that need to be done. There is a majority of Americans who feel that a woman's sovereignty over her body is paramount and do not want to see Congress or the Courts overturn a constitutionally protected right; education, contraception, and adoption should join abstinence to lower the need for abortion, making criminals out of doctors, nurses, and women is going about it the wrong way.
I’ve been told to hold my nose and vote for Ms. Bean because we need to keep a Democrat in office. If we had one I would, but we don’t.
The majority of people in Illinois did not vote for Mr. Bush for President in the last election, but a Republican won anyway. The majority of people in this district did vote for a Democrat for Congress, but a Republican won anyway.
I’m glad to see Ms. Bean tout her 83% Democratic voting percentage. Voting to recommit legislation for reconsideration like the REAL ID Act; the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act; the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act; the USA PATRIOT and Terrorism Prevention Reauthorization Act; the Pension Protection Act, Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act; the National Uniformity for Food Act; the Legislative Line Item Veto Act; Better Health Information System Act; the Pension Protection Act; the Estate Tax and Extension of Tax Relief Act; the Federal Election Integrity Act; the Immigration Law Enforcement Act; the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act; and the Military Commissions Act as she did with her Democratic colleagues is commendable.
What is NOT OK is that she then immediately flip-flopped by voting with the Republican majority to help pass all legislation I just mentioned. (109th Congress - 1st Session, 2005 and 109th Congress -2nd Session, 2006)
If elected, I will vote to undo the anti-democratic and unconstitutional bills Representative Bean and the Republican-controlled Congress passed and President Bush signed into law. Specifically:
* The Military Commissions Act - the Constitution prohibits writs of attainders and the Geneva Conventions prohibits absolving people who commit war crimes. (Convention IV, Part IV, Section 1, Subsection III, Art. 148. “No High Contracting Party shall be allowed to absolve itself or any other High Contracting Party of any liability incurred by itself or by another High Contracting Party in respect of breaches referred to in the preceding Article”. The Geneva Conventions are there for our protection and this act makes our country less safe, “Ret. General John Vessey, Ret. General Colin Powell, and twenty-seven retired military leaders, later joined by Colin Powell, [who] wrote to Senator John Warner (VA) and Senator Carl Levin (MI)” said the same thing, yet our representative voted for it. This bill allows and retroactively pardons the President and his subordinates in regards to the illegal and unconstitutional violations of protections against torture. Having the “investigator, prosecutor, judge, jury, and jailer or executioner” under the command of one person is too frightening to even consider. Anyone in Congress who voted for this bill does not deserve reelection.
* The Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act - our constitution calls for warrants to be made on all domestic wiretaps, period. End of story.
* The Patriot Act – We need to give this and future administrations all the help and tools they need in protecting the country, but eviscerating the Bill of Rights is not the way to do it. (warning, nudity)
* The Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement - putting the well-being of multi-national corporations before our citizens and consumers is wrong, especially when the present representative from our district ran against it in the first place. You don’t need a 2,400 page document to say “Free Trade”, you need that many to limit trade and hide giveaways.
* The Help America Vote Act – In a democracy, the most important thing we as citizens have is our right to vote, if it is compromised in any way, the people who are sent to Washington may not be representative of the true feelings of the American voters. “The [IL-08] primary race has been one of the most expensive in the country.” No one should pay or be paid to run in an election, votes aren’t bought or sold, they’re given, by voters, in a way that should be easily verifiable and auditable that doesn’t include proprietary source code running on uncertified machines with hazy chain-of-control data migration from the local polling place to where they are ultimately counted. (Ms. Bean did not vote for HAVA, as it was passed before she got into office, but she has not signed onto HR.6200.IH that would address some of these and other related issues)
I will vote for a Congressional investigation into the events of September 11th - before, during, and after - unlike the presidentially commissioned and compromised one we’ve already had. I will vote for Congressional investigations into the lead-up to the Iraq War, subsequent occupation, detainee abuse, use of illegal munitions , and private contractor fraud. I will vote for independent investigations into allegations of paid government propaganda, the stifling of officials and their reports critical of the administration and its policies, and the conduct against dissent, critics, and whistleblowers.
I am for the government to use its purchasing power to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare and against the privatization of Social Security. I am for net neutrality and against the media consolidation that has reduced the plurality voices and ideas by the Telecommunications Act of 1996. I am for the rights of Americans to own firearms and against the need for Congress to make more and more laws to fill more and more prisons. I am for enforcing our existing laws regarding illegal immigration and the prosecution of companies that hire undocumented workers. The National Guard needs to be available for domestic emergencies, not being targets of retribution in foreign lands. We need to look into the rising costs for college and health care - an uneducated, unskilled, and an ever increasing number of uninsured Americans are the last thing this country needs. Energy independence will be found with the funding of mass transit, encouraging conservation, and with renewable and alternative energy sources, not with tax breaks to the world’s most profitable corporations. Although I am for government support of stem cell research and opening up the number of lines presently available for government funded research, I am against more funding. I will vote to reduce spending in every single department of the government except the Veterans Administration.
The war in Iraq needs to end now. The military should be commended for a successful invasion, but the administration is criminally responsible for the invasion in the first place, the lie of the “Mission Accomplished” speech, forward, through today. The time-frame I envision is six days, six weeks, but not more than six months. The cost to Americans is too high, in terms of lives, dollars, and world-standing. The only people benefiting are defense contractors and the terrorists we are fighting.
I will not accept any money from lobbyists, corporations, or individuals. I do not have a PAC or a charity to donate to and will not be soliciting or accepting money from anyone. I will not be putting out issue or attack ads on TV, over the radio, or in newspapers.
I ask that people turn off the TV, to get their news and information from alternative sources (if you must watch TV, catch C-Span and PBS, the Daily Show and the Colbert Report); for those in the Eight District, I ask that you listen to Wisconsin Public Radio (90.7fm/970am), Air America Radio (850am) or the local affiliate WCPT 850; and independent voices like on the radio and internet like DemocracyNow, Bill Press, Ed Shultz, Stephanie Miller, the Lionel Show, Thom Hartman, and Mike Malloy. If you don’t have internet, go to the library and read what international newspapers are reporting. You need to make an informed choice this November, and if you are only watching the main-stream TV or listening to commercial radio, I feel that you are not getting the depth and context that you need to do so.
I do not use the present Republican accountability cover-up as a chance to jump into the anti-Incumbent, anti-Republican sentiment sweeping the country. I had submitted my declaration of intent to be a Write-In candidate to the Cook, Lake, and McHenry County Clerk’s offices before this scandal ever surfaced. The votes by Representative Bean for allowing warrantless wiretaps and retroactively attempting to make President Bush’s conduct for Geneva Convention violations legal, made my decision for me. President Bush signing the bill into law cemented it. That is why I’m jumping into the race at this late date.
I will not be campaigning in the normal sense; I live paycheck to paycheck as many in this district and county do, and will continue to work my 9-to-5 job. My present employer should not suffer while I campaign for this new endeavor, and if I win, will not be spending the next two years fund-raising and running for a reelection. I would be voting for what’s in this district’s and this country’s best interests, not placating my biggest financial supporters with beneficial legislation and earmarks. I will be relying only on word-of-mouth advertising, so please let your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers know about me. I will be a true alternative the present status quo in Congress. I would not be a rubber stamp like the republicans and will be a constructive critic to the hopeful Democratic majority in Congress this country needs right now. We do not need more politicians being sent to Washington; we need people representative of the actual make-up of this country. We need to stop the direction this country is headed and sending back Ms. Bean won't do that. Voting for the lesser of two evils should not be asked of citizens who have serious issues with both of the national political parties. If we can stop the Bush regime, we might save this country, if we don't, this Republic will truly be dead.
Post a comment here for any questions or comments. The two mainstream party candidates will be spending million dollars to lose, I will spend zero to win. In keeping with that frugality, a copy of this letter can be found on a freely hosted site, http://tofubo.blogspot.com/.
Again, my name is Jonathan Farnick, Write-In candidate for the 8th Congressional District of Illinois for the election coming up this November 7th, 2006. Thank you for your time.
Voting information for Cook, Lake, and McHenry Counties
War and Piece
by Laura Rozen
Keith Olbermann Commentary on Rumsfeld
Olbermann's Special Comment on Bush
Olbermann's Special Comment on 9/11
Olbermann's Special Comment on Bush's need for an apology
Olbermann's Special Comment on What a True American Is
Olbermann's Special Comment on Fear and the Enemy
Olbermann's Special Comment on Habeas Corpus
Olbermann's Special Comment on GOP Fear mongering
Olbermann's Special Comment on Keeping One Political Party In Power
Major General John R.S. Batiste, who retired last year "on principle," delivers a bruising, point-by-point indictment of Sect. of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld