Thursday, December 13, 2007

North East Ohio Progressive Liberal Calendar 12/14 - 12/20

Friday Dec.14- 6-9pm:

Bring The Movement Home: Gather To Close the S.O.A. Film Showing "On The Line" A bold look at U.S. foreign policy in Latin America and the movement to shut down the S.O.A.St.Augustine's Church, 2486, W. 14th Street, Tremont. Share poetry Movement music, support prisoners of conscience.for more info contact I.R.T.F.216 961-0003

Sunday, December 16, 2007 : 1 - 5 P.M.

Please join NOAC on December 16, 2007 to create the name/civilian banner that will serve as the backdrop for the light display at the Commemoration of the 4,000th US Military Death of the Iraq war. We have written the names by hand on individual sheets of white, 8 1/2" X 11" paper that are bordered with the silhouettes of 250 peace doves to represent the Iraqi Civilian deaths. At this workshop, we will place each sheet in a plastic protector and string them together to make a continuous line of names. The workshop will be held at C-Space, 4323 Clark Avenue, Cleveland 44109, on Sunday, December 16, 2007 - 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. All supplies to create this project will be provided by NOAC. Donations are welcome, and we need as many hands as possible to create this 4,000-foot banner. PLEASE JOIN US!
For more information email NOAC at or call 216-736-4716.
For more information on C-Space, see their website at or call 216-631-2233.

***Cleveland Peace Action is collecting strands of small, white/clear lights to be used at the commemoration. Please see the Cleveland Peace Action website for information on donating light strands.

Monday December 17th 9:00-10:30am:

An event sponsored by Senator Voinovich on Medicare and Social Security. This will be a rare opportunity to speak to him about his votes on Medicare. We urge you to bring a carload of seniors from your building or center. We want help build a good audience. Senator Voinovich is hosting a low-income subsidy event on Monday, December 17th and would like you to attend. At MetroHealth Senior Health and Wellness Center (Formerly Deaconess Hospital), 4229 Pearl Road (near Memphis and Broadview).

Contact: Bob Erzen, Speakers' Bureau Coordinator216.269.2668 -- Bob Erzen, Speakers' Bureau Coordinator216.269.2668

December, 18-Tuesday 5pm:

Please join us for a demonstration on International Migrant Workers Day at the Burger King at 2828 Carnegie Road. Burger King has refused to accommodate the major breakthrough won by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers when McDonald's and Taco Bell agreed to increase the rate of pay for migrant tomato pickers by one penny per pound. This pay rate increased the amount of money a picker received from 45 cents per 32 lbs. to 77 cents. Quite frankly, small change to an enterprise the size of Burger King, but a substantial amount of money to a migrant worker. Because of the Burger King stance, the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange is now refusing to honor the agreement as well. For further information please check out these links:

Thursday December 20th, 7:00 to 9:30pm:

Watch "A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash" - Bela Dubby Cafe 13321 Madison Avenue Lakewood -7:00-9:30pWHEN: Thurs., Dec. 20, 7:00-9:30pm at the Lakewood Dem Club movie night. RSVP: (216) 221-4479 or

About the movie: Oil Crash, produced and directed by award-winning European journalists and filmmakers Basil Gelpke and Ray McCormack, tells the story of how our civilization's addiction to oil puts it on a collision course with geology. Compelling, intelligent, and highly entertaining, the film visits with the world's top experts and comes to a startling, but logical conclusion our industrial society, built on cheap and readily available oil, must be completely re-imagined and overhauled.

NOAC Progressive Film Series
at Talkies Coffee and Film Bar
2521 Market Avenue, Cleveland
January 5, 12, 19, & 26, 2008
1:00 p.m.

Come in from the cold and join NOAC for 4 newly-released, progressive films. NOAC will facilitate a discussion after each film. Keep checking back here for a complete schedule and more information on the specific films that will be shown.
Showing Saturday, January 5, 2007: NO END IN SIGHT

A chronological look at the fiasco in Iraq, especially decisions made in the spring of 2003 - and the backgrounds of those making decisions - immediately following the overthrow of Saddam: no occupation plan, an inadequate team to run the country, insufficient troops to keep order, and three edicts from the White House announced by Bremmer when he took over: no provisional Iraqi government, de-Ba'athification, and disbanding the Iraqi armed services. The film has chapters (from History to Consequences), and the talking heads are reporters, academics, soldiers, military brass, and former Bush-administration officials, including several who were in Baghdad in 2003.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

I See Un-American People

Last week the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill, almost unanimously, called "HR-1955 The Violent Radicalization and Home Grown Terrorism Protection Act". This bill that made it through the House of Crazy Nutbags, of course has language in it that flies in the face of civil liberties. The bill's language begins with the words "An Act to prevent homegrown terrorism, and for other purposes" without of course, ever defining those 'other purposes'. What other purposes besides 'homegrown terrorism' might it mean?

Why might I ask all of my Liberal Drinking buddies to be worried about this bill? I imagine it might be that the definition of who they seek to study has not exactly been set in stone. I've read many analyses of this bill but the one I found here is probably the most comprehensive and intelligent.

Since Dick Cheney has gotten his sweaty mitts on our government, the FBI has found the Quakers, PETA, and Green Peace worthy of monitoring. What other groups might our government view as a threat to it's power? The ACLU, Move On, The AFL-CIO, Veterans For Peace, Drinking Liberally? This bill creates a (cough...1984..cough) 'Commission of Excellence' to study all of the pissed-off Americans in the land. Then after 18 months, when the 'C to the O to the E' is done examining us all, the bill says it will rely on the Private Sector to do something about it! Yea! Maybe that macho mammoth murderous mercenary 'corporation' Blackwater will get that No Bid Contract!

Being a concerned citizen who is head over heels with The Constitution; I wrote my Democratic Senator, Sherrod Brown, who assured me he'd 'take my concerns into consideration' when the bill hits the Senate. Of course, his letter did not inform me which way he would vote. Even more disturbing, I believe he said the same thing when I wrote him about the Military Commissions Act bill that ended Habeas Corpus. For those of you who don't remember; before he won his Senate seat, as a House Rep. he voted for that bill. And you know what else was missing from his reply to my concerns about the Senate version of HR-1955? His guarantee that my civil liberties would not be degraded. Makes you think doesn't it?

Now many of you may wonder who on the Democratic side sponsored the bill that will finally counter-sink the screw in the coffin that contains our civil liberties? Why that would be Blue-Dog Democrat Jane Harman. Just so happens that her district is rife with lots of defense industry companies looking for work outside of the nasty Middle-East. Those poor, poor Defense Industry companies are sooooo worried what will happen if they have to leave the arid lands of the Middle-East. So Jane says 'No to worry my Sugar Daddies! I'll find a way for you to work and keep the sand out of your cracks! We'll let ya do what you did over there...over here!'

Soooo... the Democrats, led by Jane 'Blackwater' Harman, voted in concert to create a millenial version of the mid-twentieth century McCarthy era House Un-American Activities Committee. Are you getting the picture here kids? That maybe Democrats aren't any more in love with free speech, the right to assemble, the right to question the government than Republicans?

One of my favorite movies, which I 'm sure I'll be harangued about, is Francis Ford Coppola's The Untouchables. My favorite character in the movie of course is the ethically conflicted Irish old salt mentor to Eliot Ness played by Sean Connery. He asked Eliot both before and during his death, 'What are you prepared to do?' And, whenever I'm faced with something really difficult I ask myself that question. And now I ask it of you.

What are you prepared to do to keep your right to peacefully protest, to join groups you agree with, to express your thoughts publicly without legal retribution? What are you prepared to do to ensure this right, codified in our Constitution, for future generations? What are you prepared to prevent thought from becoming a crime?

I hope, at the very least, you are willing to write your Senators, demanding that they as your elected representatives vote against the Senate version of this bill...if not? Just imagine Drinking Liberally becoming "Drinking What The Government Tells Us To Say or We'll Be Thrown In Gitmo-ingly". That would really suck.