Tuesday, May 09, 2006

As you've probably heard, Jonathan is about to ride his bicycle from NYC to Buffalo on the Ride for Peace. Details are below, and at the website: www.tasinifornewyork.org

To launch the ride, Jonathan will be holding a press conference this Thursday 5/11 at 2:00 at the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in lower Manhattan. The Memorial Park is just east of the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, on the waterfront. Please join us to send him off! We'd love to have a big crowd of friends and supporters at the press conference. Please arrive by 1:45 - directions are below. And try to let me know it you're coming so we know how many to expect. Contact Stephanie at 646-415-8361 (office)

May 8, 2006
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - Democratic U.S. Senate Candidate Jonathan Tasini will launch his statewide Ride For Peace tour at the New York Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Manhattan at 2:00 PM on Thursday, May 11, 2006. The Ride For Peace will cover 600 miles from New York City to Buffalo, and make stops in 16 cities during its three-week journey. In each location Tasini will highlight the human and economic cost of the Iraq war for that community. Tasini will be asking people to sign a petition that mirrors legislation proposed by Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts to end the war in Iraq. The petition urges the State Democratic Party to adopt as part of their platform a resolution that calls on the U.S. Congress to cut off all funding for the purposes of continuing to deploy the U.S. Armed Forces or establishing permanent bases in Iraq.

The tour culminates in Buffalo on May 30-31 where Jonathan will present the delegates at the State Democratic Convention with the signed petitions. "It is time for this immoral war to end and for our troops to come home immediately," Tasini said. "The people of New York, and our entire nation, have paid a heavy price for the war, as have the Iraqi people. Where is the soul of our party if it does not stand in opposition to the war?" For more information on the tour please visit: http://www.bike.tasinifornewyork.org Jonathan is available for phone interviews before or during the ride.

Time: 2:00
Location: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza

The New York Vietnam Veterans Memorial is located in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza at 55 Water Street in New York City. We advise taking public transportation into this busy area of the City. If taking the SUBWAY, the closest stops are:

by William Rivers Pitt, TruthOut
George W. Bush and his pals used September 11th against the American people, used perhaps the most horrific day in our collective history, deliberately and with intent, to foster a war of choice that has killed untold tens of thousands of human beings and basically bankrupted our country. They lied about the threat posed by Iraq. They destroyed the career of a CIA agent who was tasked to keep an eye on Iran's nuclear ambitions, and did so to exact petty political revenge against a critic. They tortured people, and spied on American civilians.

Ray McGovern, TomPaine.com

World Wide Suicide
Lyrics & Music by Vedder

I felt the earth on Monday
It moved beneath my feet
In the form of a morning paper
Laid out for me to see

It's a shame to awake in a world of pain
What does it mean when a war has taken over
It's the same everyday in hell manmade
What can be saved and who will be left to hold her?

The whole world, world over
It's a worldwide suicide

Medals on a wooden mantle
Next to a handsome face
That the president took for granted
Writing checks that others pay

And in all the madness
Thought becomes numb and naive
So much to talk about there's nothing for to say
It's the same everyday and the wave won't break
Tell you to pray, while the devil's on their shoulder

Laying claim to the take our soldiers save
Does not equate
And the truths already out there

The whole world, world over
It's a worldwide suicide

Looking in the eyes of the fallen
You got to know there's another, another, another way
It's a shame to awake in a world of pain
What does it mean when a war has taken over

It's the same everyday and the wave won't break
Tell you to pray
While the devils on their shoulder

The whole world, world over
Yeh, it's a worldwide suicide

By Sherri Wood, Toronto Sun
Veteran Seattle rockers are launching a world tour tonight at the Air Canada Centre because Toronto is their kind of town.

Today, The New York Times columnist Bob Herbert has penned a column about Jonathan's campaign. It is aptly titled "Clarity vs. Celebrity": Jonathan's clarity about his opposition to the war versus his opponent's use of celebrity to avoid accountability for her immoral support for the war. In the column, Jonathan asks, "What makes us different from Republicans? Where is the soul of the Democratic Party if we do not stand against immoral, illegal wars? Pre-emptive wars." Speaking of Jonathan's opponent, Herbert says, "But in terms of overall policy, she seems to be right there with Bush, Cheney, Condi et al. She does not regret her vote to authorize the invasion, and still believes the war can be won." We need a U.S. Senator who will vote against illegal wars. Herbert has nailed the issue (see the rest of his column below).

Now, we need your help. If you want there to be a debate about the war, if you want to have a voice speaking for the 2,400 American men and women who have been killed in this immoral war, if you want pro-war Democrats to be held accountable for the death and destruction in Iraq, consider making a generous contribution to our campaign right now at www.tasinifornewyork.org/donate

And please circulate this message to your entire list and post the column widely in cyberspace!
May 8, 2006
Op-Ed Columnist
Clarity vs. Celebrity

Few people have ever heard of Jonathan Tasini. He's a low-key labor organizer and writer from Upper Manhattan who is trying to piece together a primary challenge to the re-election bid of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, primarily because of her stance on the Iraq war. Mr. Tasini is against the war and wants American troops pulled out of Iraq forthwith. Senator Clinton's position is — well, that's a problem. It's not at all clear what Senator Clinton's position is. And for a Democratic Party that has suffered a succession of brutal defeats with excessively cautious candidates, Mrs. Clinton's indecisiveness on the war may be a hint of yet another disaster in the making. Mr. Tasini is not so deluded that he thinks he can hijack the Democratic Senate nomination from Mrs. Clinton. He said, "People often ask me, 'Don't you think this race is impossible?' My answer is, 'Of course! You're dealing with someone who has enormous name recognition and celebrity.'" But celebrity, he said, is no substitute for an honest and vigorous debate on a matter as fundamentally important as war.

Mr. Tasini favors a withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq as quickly as possible, within several months at most. What is more important than whether his timetable is feasible is his insistence that the Democratic Party needs to come to grips with this war. "What makes us different from Republicans?" he asked. "Where is the soul of the Democratic Party if we do not stand against immoral, illegal wars? Pre-emptive wars."

After more than three years of fighting and more than 2,400 American deaths, you still need a magnifying glass to locate the differences between Mrs. Clinton and the Bush administration on the war. It's true, as the senator argues that she has been a frequent and sometimes harsh critic of the way the war has been conducted. In a letter to constituents last fall she wrote, "I have continually raised doubts about the president's claims, lack of planning and execution of the war, while standing firmly in support of our troops." But in terms of overall policy, she seems to be right there with Bush, Cheney, and Condi et al. She does not regret her vote to authorize the invasion, and still believes the war can be won. Her view of the ultimate goal in Iraq, as her staffers reiterated last week, is the establishment of a viable government capable of handling its own security, thus enabling the U.S. to reduce its military presence and eventually leave.

That sounds pretty much the same as President Bush's mantra: "Our strategy in Iraq is that as the Iraqis stand up, we'll stand down." What that means is that there is no end to the war in sight. Other prominent Democrats have belatedly changed their tune on Iraq. Senator John Kerry has called for a complete withdrawal of American combat troops by the end of the year. His running mate in the 2004 presidential election, former Senator John Edwards, declared last fall that "it was a mistake to vote for this war in 2002." But as yet there is no full-throated public debate, much less anything approaching a consensus, within the party on Iraq. Democrats are still paranoid about being perceived as soft on national security.

With superhawk Republicans like John McCain and Rudy Giuliani making their way toward the starting gate for the 2008 White House run, the terminally timid Democrats continue to obsess about what they ought to be saying, neurotically analyzing every syllable they hesitantly utter, as opposed to simply saying what they really believe. Aides who are close to Mrs. Clinton suggested last week that she might be holding her fire, waiting until a new Iraqi government is established before speaking more openly and candidly about the war. That remains to be seen. Meanwhile, the dying continues. As I was wrapping up the last of the interviews for this column on Friday, word came in that three more American soldiers had been killed in Iraq. As a member of the Armed Services Committee and the early front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, Mrs. Clinton has a special obligation to Democratic voters. They deserve much better leadership than they've been getting from their party on President Bush's mindless trillion-dollar tragedy in Iraq.


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