Friday, September 05, 2008

A Better Day - (3rd annual Progressive Fest Illinois) Saturday, September 20th 9a-4:30p


Palatine Conference Fosters Grassroots Efforts Toward Peace, Justice, Sustainability.

Palatine, IL - September 3, 2008 - When it comes to the large problems facing humanity, how can one person make a difference? A Better Day 2008 offers answers by bringing together distinguished speakers, activists, and community organizers for a day. The public is invited to learn and discuss the issues, make connections, and get involved in any of dozens of social benefit groups.

A Better Day 2008 takes place Saturday, September 20, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist, 1025 N. Smith Street, Palatine, Illinois.

This open, non-partisan event offers three tracks of activity: speakers, an exhibit of local organizations, and breakout sessions in the church classrooms. Jim Kenney of Common Ground will give the morning keynote, “Peace is Possible”. Other speakers will address social and economic justice, sustainable living, support for our veterans, and ways of dealing with our differences. Exhibitors in the conference hall will include environmentalists, advocates for economic reform and social justice, and local peace groups.

Programs will emphasize personal involvement. Program Committee member Kat Doyle says, "We want to tell everyone, you can do something! Working with other people for a good cause is a great way to make friends, discover skills you never knew you had, and just have fun."

A Better Day 2008 is sponsored by the Adult Faith Development Council of Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist, Palatine, Illinois.

Hal Snyder, M.D.
A Better Day 2008 Program Committee

What Is A Better Day?

  • A one-day grassroots gathering about peace, justice, and the environment.
  • A chance to network with people who are concerned about the way things are going and are determined to make a difference.
  • A day of learning about the issues from organizers who are at the forefront on matters of global and interfaith fellowship, social justice, and sustainability.
  • But most of all - a day to kick-start your participation in any of twenty or more local action groups - or if you are already involved, a chance to make new connections and reach out to the community.

A Better Day was inspired by Fighting Bob Fest, the annual Wisconsin extravaganza that brings thousands of fired-up progressive speakers, organizers, and rabble-rousers to Baraboo every September.

Morning Session

9:00-9:30 Doors Open, Registration

9:30-10:00 Opening

  • Rev. Hilary Landau-Krivchenia: Welcome
  • Hal Snyder: Getting the Most Out of the Day

10:00-10:45 Keynote by Jim Kenney: Peace is Possible Common Ground

11:00-12:00 Health and Education, Social Justice

  • 11:00-11:20 Melanie Schikore Andina: Social Justice Through the Arts
  • 11:30-11:50 Victoria Weiley: Living Within Your Means; Means Simply......Living

Lunch Break - 12:00-1:30

Afternoon Session

1:30-2:30 Sustainability

2:30-3:30 Supporting Our Veterans

3:30-4:15 Panel: Dealing With Our Differences

4:15 Closing by Rev. Hilary Landau-Krivchenia: Taking A Better Day Forward

Groups Working to Make a Difference

We hope you'll use A Better Day as a chance to network. Joining a social benefit organization is a great way to make new friends and discover your hidden talents. We are opening Atherton Hall to tables for more than 20 organizations.

We expect members or official representatives from the

Getting the Word Out

Peace Justice and Sustainability

Invitation (updated 9/02)

Mindmap (updated 8/29)

Registration form (save $2 by registering in advance at CCUU)

What is A Better Day? (updated 8/29)

Help Us Publicize the Event!

About US:

The team behind A Better Day arose from the joining of two groups.

For two years, 2006 and 2007, some of us helped organize the Illinois Progressive Fest in Big Rock, Illinois to bring together progressive candidates and activists working to put people before profits and restore the social contract in our government. In 2008 we formed the Progressive Fest Illinois (PFI) committee to work on non-partisan annual events going forward.

The Adult Faith Development Council of CCUU (Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist) in Palatine includes persons dedicated to uplifting the human spirit and working with organizations in the community to promote peace, justice, and sustainability.

email: · media contact: Hal Snyder 224-678-6188

Both groups were interested in bringing together speakers, activists, and the public for a day of learning and networking. We decided to pool our efforts to bring you A Better Day.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Robert Parry | The Bushes and Hitler's Appeasement

Robert Parry | The Bushes and Hitler's Appeasement
Robert Parry, of Consortium News: "To this day - as President Bush showed by mocking the long-forgotten Sen. Borah and then wielding the Nazi 'appeasement' club against Barack Obama and other Democrats - the assumption remains that the bubble will continue to protect the Bush family name. However, the evidence from dusty archives suggests that the Bush family went way beyond appeasement of Adolf Hitler to aiding and abetting the Nazis."

Saturday, May 17, 2008

My Trip To The 2008 Chicago Green Festival

For starters, I got off to a late start - one of my oldest friends was in town after a couple of years in Spain, so we were out together visiting and shooting pool until close to 1:00 am, by the time I got to bed the night before, it was close to 03:00.

At any rate, I got up late in the morning and started planning my itinerary in the festival guide.
(You can see more about the Green Festivals all over the country at )

Embedded here is a photo slide show from my trip to the fest. (Uses shockwave flash)

For those of you who may not be able to view the slideshow, there is a web album of the photos here:

A few highlights:

The main fest exhibit area - about four football fields, I'd guess.

Yours truly at the fest:

The Chicago Skyline as seen from Navy Pier:

The Navy Pier Ferris Wheel after dark - this is around 200 feet tall:

I stopped in and watched the first hour of the Patchamama Alliance's
symposium entitled "Awakening The Dreamer" first off in one of the 3rd floor lecture rooms. You can check out an electronic version on their site, I believe. It was an interesting synthesis of the bigger picture formed by sustainable economy, energy, ans society. I'd recommend it.

After wards, I roamed the booths checking things out.

I picked up some organic lime shea butter at the Trillium Organics booth for my wife Saren - she loves the stuff for skin lotion, and says there's nothing better out there.

I also got her a four ounce pump spray aluminum bottle of citrus eucalyptus spray as an organic bug repellent from Blissoma aromatherapy.

For our friend Jim, I got a note pad made out of Mr. Ellie Pooh paper. This paper is a soft, fibery, acid-free paper made from...elephant dung from Sri Lanka. Apparently, the elephants in Sri Lanka trample the farmers' crops, and so they get upset and shoot them. One way the farmers can make up the elephant damage is by making paper products out of their pooh. According to the brochure, each one produces around 500 lbs of the stuff per day, and it's all veggie and almost pre-processed perfectly for paper making.

To note, there were several other types of treeless paper at the fest; one was made from some kind of bush in Nepal that you can take most of the leaves from each year, and it grows back.

For My wife and I both, I got some red African bush tea, otherwise known as Rooibos. It is of course organic, and caffeine-free. It also tastes very nice. I'm drnking a cup as I type this for you. I got it from Eco Teas.

For myself, I picked up a set of authentic Tibetan prayer flags.

According to the label, the tradition is that you hang them outside in the breeze with a specific event in mind, such as the birth of a child, the beginning of a journey, etc. The prayers written on the flags are prayers of prosperity and success. It is believed that the prayers are carried away on the winds. As the flags become weathered and the prayers can no longer be read, the prayers are believed to have been delivered.

I also stopped by Calvert Funds to get some advice on setting up an IRA that does socially responsible investing. They're going to work out an appointment for ,me to come into their office (which is right in my train station) and look over what I can do.

All in all, I really wish I could have stayed longer.

Now as to getting to the fest, since it was on a Saturday and I got out late, I had to drive downtown - I have a night-limited parking pass for one of the ramps downtown, but on the weekends I can be in there around the clock. However, my parking space is at least four miles, possibly five, from Navy Pier. I walked. There and back. On the return journey, it was after dark and raining. Not horribly hard, but a constant medium-light rain. Needless to say, by the time I got back to the truck, I was pretty damp. (Just so you know, my pickup is V6 and 2
two-wheel drive. I'm 6'6" and 330 lbs, so I can't fit in the majority of smaller vehicles. )

Altogether, it was a great and happy day.



Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Republican Albert Howard & Democrat Dennis Kucinich need donations for NH hand count TODAY!!

Donations to the Howard's count can be made here [9]. Donations to Kucinich's count can be made here [10]

- The BRAD BLOG - -

'Send Lawyers, Peace and Money': New Hampshire Election Contests Get Technical, Testy Before They Even Begin

Election Integrity Experts Converge and Join Both Republican and Democratic Candidates in Quest for Transparency

New Hampshire Secretary of State Questioned About Documentation, Poll Records and Diebold Memory Cards...

Posted By Brad Friedman On 15th January 2008 @ 04:27 In Diebold/Premier, Election Irregularities, Election 2008,, New Hampshire, Dennis Kucinich, Harri Hursti, Albert Howard | 13 Comments

By Brad Friedman from Sacramento...

Election Integrity experts from around the country have been converging on the Granite State over the last several days, in preparation for "historic" state-wide hand counts of New Hampshire's Primary Election ballots, The BRAD BLOG [1] has learned. Counts of votes in both the Democratic and Republican side will begin in earnest this Wednesday, as long as the two contesting candidates deliver certified checks by 3pm on Tuesday, in an amount determined on Monday by Secretary of State William M. Gardner.

The battle for transparency and accountability on the ground, where some 80% of the state's ballots were tallied only by error-prone, hackable Diebold optical-scan voting machines, without human audit or spot-check of any kind, in last week's first-in-the-nation Primary, is already growing heated on both sides of the aisle, and even inside the statehouse as of Monday.

While representatives from each of the contestants have reportedly been working together on several aspects of the two separate counts --- each claiming to have requested the hand-counts in order to help answer questions about anomalous reported results --- what has become immediately clear, during our interviews with several members involved in the challgenges, as well as Election Integrity advocates now in New Hampshire and elsewhere, is that these election challenges may not likely mirror the partial recount in 2004, held at the request of then-Presidential candidate Ralph Nader.

As a two-page request for a detailed list of ballot and voting machine-related public documents and records, obtained by The BRAD BLOG [1], as submitted on Monday to Gardner by the previously obscure Republican candidate Albert Howard made clear, the battle for integrity and transparency in post-election challenges, may have finally caught up with the technical sea-changes in voting equipment that have overtaken the American election system over the last several years.

Due to extraordinary complexities in the ever more complicated computer systems, scanners, tabulators, record sets, databases and proprietary programming that have now been employed by election administrators across the country, the once simple task of examining and recounting paper ballots --- where they still exist, as they do in New Hampshire --- has grown exponentially more technical and confusing.

Early word on the ground in New Hampshire's capitol city of Concord, along with concerns from candidates, surrogates and election experts alike, suggests that these "recounts" could be like no other, in the history of the country...