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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

  • Help end world hunger
  • Saturday, March 12, 2011

    KANSAS FOCUS: Blogs, Biodiesel, NAACP, Food Co-ops, Groups and Events

    From the Kansas AFL-CIO:

    The Battle for Unions in Wisconsin—How You Can Help

    Folks from outside Wisconsin are contacting me and asking how to help with the battle to save collective bargaining for public employees in Wisconsin. (Additional information on the current status of things here is at the end of this letter.)

    People of generally modest means, including many college students, are continuing the occupation of the state Capitol and the daily picketing in resistance to Gov. Scott Walker’s plans. Most teachers have had to/have chosen to return to their classrooms, but many other union members remain, people from private-sector unions and public unions, including police and firefighters.

    There are many private citizens, often seniors. Those remaining in the Capitol and on the picket lines need food, water, transportation, housing. The Wisconsin State AFL-CIO is coordinating much of that support. No matter how small, financial support is welcome (contributions are not tax deductible):

    ONLINE: The AFL-CIO is accepting donations online through PayPal or any major credit card. Please go to http://wisaflcio.org for the link.

    CHECKS can be made payable to the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Defense Fund, 6333 W. Blue Mound Rd., Milwaukee, WI 53213 (Please indicate the purpose, e.g. “Capitol protests” or “Madison rally”, on your check.)

    * * * *

    These two close-by shops will supply food and water to those in the Capitol or on the picket line:

    Ian’s Pizza, 608-442-3535, minimum order $20.00. These folks are now taking orders only for delivery to the resistance, they’ve stopped all delivery to the general public. They tell me they deliver to wherever the people are—if they’re inside the Capitol, they go in. If people are marching and picketing, they take the food to the picket line.

    Subway on the Square, 608-255-1636. NOTE: minimum order $100.00. They have set up a fund there for your orders, and they are giving free food from that fund to any union member or pro-union demonstrator who requests food. Thank Pat for arranging that, I’m sure this is the first time they’ve done anything like this...

    In a remarkable act of civil disobedience and courage, the 14 Democratic senators have left the state to deny the Senate a quorum. Without at least one of them, the Senate cannot pass this particular legislation. Their leaving had to be done quickly and some left, literally, with just the clothes on their backs.

    Contact information for the “Wisconsin 14″ is listed below.

    I suggest:

    ** Send them messages of solidarity and support, and urge them on.

    ** Most of these folks are not wealthy. Consider writing a check to their campaign committee to help with these extraordinary expenses. Send it to their home addresses and be sure to write it to “The Campaign Committee of Senator xxxx” — home addresses are on their Senate web pages (“voting address”), which you reach via http://legis.wisconsin.gov/senate.

    (The Government Accountability Board here has ruled that campaign contribution funds can be used for these expenses. No personal gifts are allowed, and they will be returned.)

    Tim Carpenter, District 3
    [log in to unmask]

    Spencer Coggs, District 6
    [log in to unmask]

    Tim Cullen, District 15
    [log in to unmask]

    Jon Erpenbach, District 27
    [log in to unmask]

    Dave Hansen, District 30
    [log in to unmask]

    Jim Holperin, District 12
    [log in to unmask]

    Bob Jauch, District 25
    [log in to unmask]

    Chris Larson, District 7
    [log in to unmask]

    Julie Lassa, District 24
    [log in to unmask]

    Mark Miller, District 16
    [log in to unmask]

    Fred Risser, District 26
    [log in to unmask]

    Lena Taylor, District 4
    [log in to unmask]

    Kathleen Vinehout, District 31
    [log in to unmask]

    Bob Wirch, District 22
    [log in to unmask]

    Thank you.


    The battle lines here have been definitively clarified: ...the public employee unions all agreed to the Governor’s economic demands contained in this contested “Budget” Bill. But the Governor continues to insist that the abolition of collective bargaining, as included in the Bill, is non-negotiable. So as we’ve known all along, this Bill is not really about budget issues….

    Also, FYI, the Legislature’s reach with this Bill is far beyond collective bargaining. Other major components of the Bill are an assault on any decent notion of the civil society to which we aspire.

    For example, access to health care assistance for the poor and elderly will be curtailed. And supervision of the privatized workers who care for the most vulnerable among us would be effectively abandoned. Important civil service positions, now filled by merit selection, are converted to political appointment—including such civil arbiters as agency lawyers.

    Legislators are meeting today (remember, the Republicans have majorities in both houses of the legislature) to continue this juggernaut as best they can without a quorum in the Senate. They are limited to non-fiscal actions in the Senate without the quorum denied them by the Democrats. The situation in the Capitol is tense. Police are now everywhere, and reporters tell me that the call has gone out for more police to be sent to the Capitol. Access to the Capitol is limited, with one door open and slow security searches of all entering.

    People are concerned that they are attempting to slowly strangle the occupation—hallways of the Capitol have been emptied and then closed off. Last night, those sleeping on the 3rd floor of the rotunda were told to move “to clean that area”, and they’ve secured that area. Internet access has been cut off. It appears the tactic is to limit access to the building and confine protesters to smaller and smaller spaces. This process, which may elude high-profile and organized resistance from the protesters, can lead to minimum media interest—as we are all slowly just pushed out the door and out of any semblance of a democratic process.

    The entire nation has to be involved in this one. These are the unions that protect our firefighters, police, nurses and teachers. These are the unions that brought us the 40 hour work week, the weekend, child labor laws. If we let the right wing extremists kill these unions, the only people who will benefit are the Billionaires who have funded these anti-union efforts. The rest of us will lose.

    UPCOMING EVENT: Annual Douglas County, KS Democrats Chocolate Extravaganza

    What could be better than chocolate and progressive politics???

    Please join the Douglas County Democrats for our annual Chocolate Extravaganza!
    Thursday, April 14, 2011 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
    Pachamama's Alton Ballroom
    800 New Hampshire Street, Lawrence, KS

    RSVP by ordering your tickets at ACT BLUE.

    Questions? Please email abbiehodgson@hotmail.com or call (202) 246-8514.


    LeftyBlogs Kansas is the place to find out what's happening in the progressive blogosphere across Kansas.

    Kansas Families for Education: Demanding Excellent Public Schools for All

    Kansas Prairie Net: Back road adventures, community commentary and essays. No deep philosophy, a little pandering to partisan views and plain talk. Blogging since June 2002 and old as dirt.

    Evolving in Kansas: Thoughts on science, evolution, education, religion, politics and more.

    Kansas Public Radio strives to provide the highest quality arts and information programming that inspires, enlightens and entertains an increasing number of listeners.

    Lawrence, KS Public Radio: 91.5 FM
    Manhattan, KS Public Radio: 99.5 FM
    Emporia, KS Public Radio: 89.7 FM
    Junction City, Ks Public Radio: 91.3 FM

    Check out their program schedule here.

    SOME MYTHS ABOUT KANSAS STATE GOVERNMENT: (from Kansas Families for Education)

    MYTH: A “Taxpayer Bill of Rights,” or TABOR, would benefit Kansas taxpayers by forcing government to be more efficient.

    FACT: TABOR is an ideological scam that has been floated for years, but so far only one state out of 50 – Colorado – has fallen for its too-good-to-be-true promises. The results there have been a disaster. In the 10 years since TABOR passed in Colorado, its ranking among the 50 states fell from 25th to 37th in high school graduation rates, according to the American Legislative Issue Campaign Exchange. Colorado highways deteriorated to the point that the American Society of Civil Engineers gave its roads a “barely passing” grade. Dollars and Sense Magazine reports: “According to David Bradley and Nicholas Johnson at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, between 1991 and 2003—a period in which the percentage of children who are uninsured declined nationally—the proportion of low-income children who lack health insurance in Colorado rose from 15% to 27%. Colorado now ranks 48th in its level of taxpayer support of colleges and universities, down from 35th in 1992.”

    Now, Colorado Gov. Bill Owens, a Republican Conservative and one-time TABOR supporter, is leading a statewide campaign to suspend the law’s taxation and spending limits for five years to give the state’s economy an opportunity to recover from the damage TABOR has wrought.

    MYTH: A “Taxpayer Empowerment Act,” or TEA, would help enforce the will of a majority of Kansas taxpayers and voters.

    FACT:The TEA proposal floated by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation and State Rep. Brenda Landwehr would in fact allow a mere 40 percent of the electorate, or of the legislature, to block the will of the majority of voters or their representatives in the legislature. Under the TEA proposal Landwehr described to the Wichita Eagle, either 44 percent of legislators, or 41 percent of voters in a referendum, could veto a budget approved by the majority of voters and legislators. The small group obsessed with reducing any and all government spending could block the construction of prisons, the hiring of state troopers or emergency response measures for coping with tornadoes or floods.

    Why are they pushing this dubious legislation? Because they know that a majority of responsible Kansans does not support their extreme anti-tax, anti-government philosophy, and they need the “minority veto” provision to exert their will over the majority.

    For more myths, click here to go to the Kansas Families for Education website.


    Kansas Equality Coalition:
    The Kansas Equality Coalition is a unified statewide group of fair-minded people who are determined to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We seek to ensure the dignity, safety and legal equality of all Kansans.

    Kansas Equality Coalition: Volunteer Here!

    Find local Equality events here.

    For those who like combining social and political activities, there is Drinking Liberally:
    Drinking Liberally Lawrence, KS:
    # Every Tuesday of each month, 8:00 pm
    # Free State Brewing Company, 630 Massachusetts (Ask for our table at the front desk)

    Kansas Democratic Party:

    Electing Democrats at all levels of government. Here is what the Kansas Democratic Party stands for:

    Kansas Democrats are committed to putting the people of Kansas first by promoting values and policies that advance the common good and expand opportunities for every resident of our state. Our core values call on us to make our state the best in the nation in which to live, work and raise a family, not just for ourselves, but for all Kansans.

    Kansas Democrats strongly believe in and seek to protect the freedom of the individual, while at the same time believing we truly are all in this together, and, as such, we all have a duty to be active contributors to the life of our communities. As individuals, we fulfill that duty in different ways, be that through involvement in charities, religious institutions, schools, community organizations, or the political process.

    Kansas Democrats believe that, as the expression of the democratic will of the people of Kansas, our government should serve all people and encourage their active participation in the political process regardless of their race, color, age, physical abilities, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

    Kansas Democrats also believe that government is at its best when it operates in the spirit of cooperation and compromise, rather than partisanship and enmity. We believe what brings us together is far stronger than what might push us apart, and therefore the opportunity to come together to advance the common good is always present.

    The Kansas Democratic Party asks the people of Kansas to examine our tradition of leadership, of upholding core Kansas values, and of promoting expanded opportunities for every Kansan, and to then join is in moving our state forward to an even brighter tomorrow.

    Find local Democratic events by clicking here.

    Local county organizations are the grassroots foundation of the Kansas Democratic Party. Find and join a Democratic organization in your community today. Click HERE to find information about your County Party.

    Sign up to Volunteer

    ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri: The mission of the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri is to protect and defend the Constitutional rights and civil liberties of every individual in Kansas and Western Missouri regardless of creed, race, religion or other labeling through education, advocacy, and litigation. Learn more.

    # Join or start a local ACLU Community Taskforce.

    # Join one of our many active committees or issue taskforces.

    Contact the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri by calling: 816-756-3113.

    Sierra Club, Kansas Chapter:
    We are about protecting and enjoying our Kansas environment. We educate. We hike. We organize. We canoe. We litigate. We meet. We lobby.

    Check out what we've done to keep new coal out of Kansas:

    In Kansas, we have a brand new opportunity... Wind Energy

    To search for Kansas Sierra Club outings, hikes, general meetings or committee meetings, CLICK HERE

    For Kansas Legislative News Updates, CLICK HERE

    KANSAS NAACP Branches: Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. From the ballot box to the classroom, the thousands of dedicated workers, organizers, leaders and members who make up the NAACP continue to fight for social justice for all Americans.

    Wichita, KS NAACP

    NAACP Lawrence-Douglas County NAACP: Meetings for the NAACP Lawrence-Douglas County branch are held the 2nd Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the Gallery Room of the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont. The executive board will meet at 5:30 p.m. prior to the branch meeting.

    Topeka, Kansas NAACP: The Topeka Unit NAACP, has played an important role in the history of our City, State, and Nation. The greatest victory for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People took place in part right here in Topeka, Kansas, the Brown v. Board of Education.

    Meetings are the 4th Saturday of each month at 1:00 pm, Brown v. Board National Historic Site, 1515 SE Monroe. Find these and other Topeka events here.

    Biodiesel is clean, AMERICAN fuel that could be fueling many of our trains, trucks and diesel cars, as well as being used for heating fuel. All that while supporting American farmers, not Saudi oil shieks. Any diesel engine can use up to B20 fuel (20% biodiesel) and newer diesel engines can use up to B100 (100% biodiesel). Here are some fuel stations in Kansas:

    Robson Oil: 101 S Cedar St. Abilene KS 67410, 785-263-2470, Offers B10 and B20 (good in any diesel engine), CREDIT CARDS 24 HRS

    Sublette Coop: 500 W La Lande Ave Sublette KS 67877, 620-675-2252, Offers B10 (good for any diesel engine), CREDIT CARDS 24 HRS

    Bird Oil Company, Inc: 3824 Railroad Ave Great Bend KS 67530, 620-793-5932, Offers B10 (good for any diesel engine),CREDIT CARDS 24 HRS

    Bird Express #203: 1000 Main Street Great Bend KS 67530, 620-792-7579, Offers B10 (good for any diesel engine), CREDIT CARDS 24 HRS

    J.J. Oil: 1190 S Range Ave Colby KS 67701, 785-460-7362, Offers B5 (good for any diesel engine). CREDIT CARDS OK; 7AM-8PM MON-SAT

    Frontier Equity Exchange: 428 Kansas Ave. Brewster KS 67732, 785-694-2281, Offers B5 (good for any diesel engine), CREDIT CARDS; 24X7

    Wallace County Coop: 525 S Main St. Sharon Springs KS 67758, 785-852-4279, Offers B2 (good for any diesel engine), CREDIT CARDS 24 HRS

    Frontier Equity: Hwy 36 W Bird City KS 67731, 785-734-2331, Offers B5 (good for any diesel engine), CARDTROL AND CREDIT 7AM-5PM

    Robinson Oil: 710 N. VFW Rd Garden City KS 67846, 620-275-4237, Offers B5 (good for any diesel engine), SEASONAL

    Arc Valley Oil, LLC: 204 Avenue A W Syracuse KS 67878, 620-384-5313, Offers B10 (good for any diesel engine), CREDIT CARDS 24 HRS

    Cenex: 201 E 8th St Hays KS 67601, 785-628-3061, Offers B2 (good for any diesel engine), CREDIT CARD OK 7:30AM-5PM

    Midland Marketing: 105 N Washington St Plainville KS 67663, 785-434-4842, Offers B2 (good for any diesel engine), CREDIT CARDS OK 24 HOURS

    Golden Valley Inc: 302 Locust St Burdett KS 67523, 620-525-6226 Offers B2 (good for any diesel engine), CASH ONLY; 8AM-5PM M-F

    ADM Collingwood: 28605 12 Rd Montezuma KS 67867, 620-846-2218, Offers B2 (good for any diesel engine), CASH ONLY 7:30AM-5:00PM M-F

    Golden Valley Inc: 104 S Main St Rozel KS 67574, 620-527-4216, Offers B2 (good for any diesel engine), CASH ONLY; 8AM-5PM M-F

    Midtown, Inc.: 919 Morgan Ave Downs KS 67437, 785-454-6219, Offers B20 (good for any diesel engine), CREDIT CARD; 24 HOURS

    Midtown, Inc.: 268 W US Highway 24 Downs KS 67437, 785-454-3562, Offers B20 (good for any diesel engine), CREDIT CARD AT PUMP; 24 HOURS

    R3 Energy LLC: 1722 210 Rd. Cottonwood Falls KS 66845, 620-273-1107, Offers B99 (good in newer biodiesel engines), CASH/CHECK

    Coop Grain/Supply: 303 South 3rd St. Marion KS 66861, 620-382-3981, Offers B2 (good for any diesel engine), CASH ONLY OR CREDIT 8AM-5PM M-F

    Agri-Producers, Inc: 290th St and Main St Lincolnville KS 66858, 620-732-3315, Offers B2 (good for any diesel engine), CREDIT CARDS 24 HRS

    Coop Grain and Supply: 121 Santa Fe St Hillsboro KS 67063, 620-947-3799, Offers B2 (good for any diesel engine), CREDIT CARDS OK

    Coop Grain and Supply: 512 E. D Street Hillsboro KS 67063, 620-947-3917, Offers B2 (good for any diesel engine), CREDIT CARDS 24 HRS

    LeRoy Coop Association: 505 6th St Le Roy KS 66857, 620-964-2288, Offers B2 (good for any diesel engine), 24 HOURS CREDIT CARD OK

    Woodson County Coop: 700 W Rutledge St Yates Center KS 66783, 620-625-2123, Offers B2 (good for any diesel engine), CREDIT CARDS OK; 8AM-5PM; SAT 8AM-12PM

    Coop Grain: 113 W Main St Lehigh KS 67073, 620-947-3917, Offers B2 (good for any diesel engine), CASH CREDIT 8-5 M-F

    Agri Producer, Inc.: 525 Santa Fe Durham KS 67438, 620-732-3315, Offers B2 (good for any diesel engine), CREDIT CARDS 24 HRS

    Cenex: 301 W Walnut St Herrington KS 67449, 785-258-3202, Offers B2 (good for any diesel engine), CREDIT CARDS 24 HRS

    Healy Biodiesel: 205 W 1st St Sedgwick KS 67135, 316-992-3169, Offers B99 (good in newer biodiesel engines), CASH 7-5 M-F 8-1 SAT; CALL AHEAD

    Jones Service: 213 N Main St Melvern KS 66510, 785-549-3413, Offers B5 (good for any diesel engine), CREDIT CARDS OK; M-F 5AM-7PM; SAT 5AM-5PM

    FOOD COOPS IN KANSAS: My wife and I joined our local food co-op a few years ago and have been happy with both the prices and quality. I highly recommend.

    SE KS Buying Club:
    11th & Walnut
    Independence, Kansas 67301-
    Phone: 620-205-7095

    The purpose of the SEKS Buying Club is to provide members with high quality natural foods, at a reasonable cost while creating a supportive network.

    Our club consists of a great variety of different folks: those interested in bulk buying; vegetarians/vegans; special dietary needs such as wheat free or dairy free; and overall, people who want a better quality of healthy foods to choose from.

    Amazing Grains
    901 Mississippi
    Lawrence, Kansas 66044-
    Phone: (785) 841-5510

    Community Mercantile
    901 Iowa Street
    Lawrence, Kansas 66044-
    Phone: (785) 843-8544
    FAX: (785) 843-7572

    Our Mission is to promote community ownership of this grocery store that encourages personal, community and environmental health.

    Prairieland Market
    138 S. 4th
    Salinas, Kansas 67401-
    Phone: (785) 827-5877
    http://www.wannabhealthy.com/PFC (website not working?)

    Topeka Natural Food Coop
    503 SW Washburn Ave
    Topeka, Kansas 66606-
    Phone: (785) 235-2309
    FAX: (785) 234-2309
    http://www.geocities.com/topekafoodcoop (website not working?)



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