October 22, 2010 archive

The Chapel at Abu Ghraib

Chapel Abu Ghraib
Abu Ghraib, 2005

“Whatever you have done to the least of these, you have done to me.”

Howie Hawkins Money Bloom Today: Support a Green New Deal for NY!

Grassroots supporters of Howie Hawkins' Green Party campaign for Governor of New York are holding an online “money bloom” today, Friday 22 October, with the goal of raising $10,000 for outreach and advertising.


We are trying to find 1000 people who will give $10 to help Howie Hawkins reach as many voters as possible with his message of a Green New Deal for New York. 


Check out the Howie Hawkins Money Bloom and spread the word!




As anyone who watched Monday night's gubernatorial debate knows, Howie Hawkins is the true progressive candidate in the race, with detailed plans to enact progressive taxation, single-payer health care, green public works jobs with living wages, free SUNY/CUNY tuition, a ban on hydrofracking, marriage equality, legalizing marijuana, and electoral reforms such as proportional representation, instant runoff voting, and public campaign financing. 


In contrast, Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic-Independence-Working Families candidate who leads Republican Carl Paladino by 23 points in the latest Marist poll, presented himself as a socially liberal corporate Democrat who will slash public services and fight unions more effectively than Paladino.


As Hawkins explained in his closing statement at the debate, his goal is to build a movement and establish the Green Party as New York's 3rd major party. If Hawkins gets at least 50,000 votes for Governor, the Green Party will win a ballot line in New York for the next 4 years, making it much easier to run Green candidates on the local level where Greens have had their greatest success in New York. 200,000 votes would firmly establish the Green Party as New York's 3rd major party.


On board yet? Head on over to the Howie Hawkins money bloom:




While Cuomo and Paladino presented harsh budget cuts and union-busting as the only solution to New York's $9 billion deficit, Hawkins pointed out an inconvenient truth: last year NYS collected $16 billion in stock transfer tax revenues from Wall Street – then rebated it in full. Hawkins proposed to keep the stock transfer tax, impose a 50% windfall profits tax on $20 billion in taxpayer-subsidized bankers' bonuses, and restore NY's income tax to the more progressive structure it had in the 1970s (which would increase revenue while lowering taxes for 95% of New Yorkers). 


Hawkins' plan would allow NYS to close the budget gap and leave $25 billion left over for a state-owned Bank of New York and a green economic stimulus. Hawkins proposed “employment offices” where the unemployed could find jobs in fields such as renewable energy, weatherization, and mass transit. The Bank of New York would spur economic recovery by extending credit to small businesses, worker cooperatives, and New Yorkers who are unable to get loans from Wall Street.


On the issue of hydrofracking, the Green candidate also offered a clear alternative. Hawkins pointed out that the reliance of Cuomo's energy plan on natural gas belied the Democrat's “wait and see” rhetoric, while the Green Party supports a ban on hydrofracking, a natural gas mining procedure in which a toxic cocktail of chemicals are injected into groundwater.


Cuomo is virtually guaranteed to win this election. So the choice for progressives has become: do you want to give away your vote to a corporate Democrat who wants to balance the budget on the backs of working people? Are you so scared by a ranting Republican with no chance that you'll surrender your vote to an entrenched insider who will shaft students, labor, the working poor and the middle class to protect his Wall Street funders… the ones who broke the economy in the first place? 


Or do you want to use your vote to build a party that shares your values, to show both parties that you're fed up with their corrupt shenanigans in Albany, to win a ballot line for the Green Party so Greens can build independent progressive power from the grassroots up?


Head to the Howie Hawkins Money Bloom and pitch in $10 or whatever you can afford to give progressive independents in New York a voice. Then spread the word – post it to your facebook wall, invite your friends, retweet (Howie Hawkins is on twitter as @HowieHawkins), blog, send emails, make calls, and shout it from the rooftops:


Howie Hawkins for Governor of New York! It's time for a Green New Deal!



Open Sniffles


The Virtues of Ranting in the Former USA

As long as we don’t take it too seriously ranting may be all we have left as a productive political activity. Sure, organizing and all that is a good thing–but on what basis? On the left, where most of us here live, there is no solid intellectual framework for us to rest. In America Marxism never took hold though it provides us with an excellent frame of analysis of our current system but it isn’t the only one. I prefer our native pragmatism which can step outside of systems and allow the “data” to guide us to see patterns. Marxism is useful to orient us but I don’t think it offers, as a general intellectual framework, a system that works for the current environment. Still, I consider Marxists the most valuable contributors to the project of the left. Certainly the time for liberalism is over because reform, in all foreseeable political arrangements is now impossible.

On this the day of the full-moon I urge that we howl at the Moon and rant. Ranting is a way to find out what we really think un-censored from the super-ego which in this country is fraying anyway and won’t last too much longer. We need to touch the truth and to touch it we need to find an authentic place in each of us. We need a new dispensation and that will only be made clear by a process of de-programming ourselves from the current discourse.

Let me be provocative here. I think the time to say “it isn’t fair” is over. It’s time to stop with careful analysis of the political situation when we lack a strong framework. The criticism from the American left always comes down to some moral complaint–that the rulers are, in some way, immoral. Really? I think that’s a pointless and bootless complaint. The problem is in the system that has emerged, not in the people that run it. The system has been constructed to meet a need on the part of the oligarchs to bring stability to their power-positions (not only them personally but their families as well) on the one hand–and on the other hand the need of the vast majority of the American people to take away their responsibilities as citizens because to try and understand the world around them without a solid framework of certainties is simply too painful–thus they want to be assured that they are indeed brave and virtuous when really they are, increasingly (by historical standards) quite the opposite because their focus in life is to have their job and their cable-TV where they can live in fantasies. Most people want to live in fantasies because reality is, to most of us (myself included), almost incomprehensible. This is enforced by a system of laws, cultural practices, structures like “security” (which reflect a profound collective cowardice) which gradually are eliminating any semblance of freedom as envisaged by the Founders. In short, to put it bluntly, we have to face the fact that the majority of the American people (in my view) consciously or unconsciously want to be in chains–it is the only conclusion that I can reached based on the data in front of me.

The only answer I have is to rant.  

Turn off the hate. Turn out the vote.

From One Wisconsin Now.

Unmasking the Climate Change Hoax

I’ve done the research.

I’ve connected the dots.

Through painstaking investigation, surveillance, correspondence and even — I confess — a little ethics-bending chicanery, I’ve discovered the root of the Climate Change Hoax.  It is, indeed, a conspiracy.  The conspirators are an amoral, but dedicated, lot, indeed.  Here’s how they do it:

Every third Tuesday of the month representatives (along with various subordinates, mid-level managers, staffers and hangers-on) from  NASA, the University of Maine Climate Change Institute, the American Geophysical Union, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, NOAA, the Japanese Cabinet, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, Lloyds of London, the European Union, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the European Science Foundation, the American Meteorological Society, the EPA, the Vatican, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Company, the G8+5, the Asia Development Bank, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the American Society for Microbiology, the Royal Society of New Zealand, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, the Department of Energy, the United Nations (of course), the American Chemical Society, the World Health Organization, Munich Re (reinsurance corporation), United Methodist Women (the organization by that name), the University of New Hampshire Climate Change Research Center, the American Institute of Physics, the Association of British Insurers, International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences, the Australian Coral Reef Society, and the vast majority of the world’s climatologists all get together at Bob and Sherry’s house in Bethesda, Maryland, for veg/vegan potluck and debrief regarding their previous month’s progress and map-out the coming month’s plans for promoting their “climate change” myth.  Of course the ultimate goal is to sucker Congress into giving more money to their nefarious cabal.

Note:  the foregoing list of conspirators is incomplete.  


Semi cross-posted at Huffington Post.  

Scoring Congress on Veterans Issues

Oct. 21: Rachel Maddow shares the results of a report by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America grading members of Congress on their voting record with regard to veterans affairs.

Docudharma Times Friday October 22

Friday’s Headlines:

Silence of the dissenters: How south-east Asia keeps web users in line


US Tea Party Should Keep Its Hands Off Hitler

Top companies donate big to Chamber in policy fights


Why Sarkozy could win this fight without really getting his hands dirty

Vatican Bank funds retained in court money-laundering inquiry

Middle East

Bulldozer driver insists he did not see Rachel Corrie

Iran’s secret strategy for Islamic bank network


China unveils its own version of Google Earth

 For the Kims, the weakest link is family


British aid failing to get through to those most in need

Nigeria: Feared Muslim sect issues new threats  

Latin America

More than 100 dead in suspected cholera outbreak in Haiti

U.S. halts aid to some Pakistan military units

AP source: White House worried about human rights abuses


The Obama administration is withholding assistance to some Pakistani military units over concerns they may have been involved in human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings and torture, a senior U.S. official said Thursday.

The official said aid to a handful of Pakistani units believed to have committed, encouraged or tolerated abuses had been suspended under 1997 legislation championed by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. The so-called Leahy Amendment bars U.S. military assistance from going to foreign armed forces suspected of committing atrocities.

“In accordance with the Leahy Amendment, we have withheld assistance from a small number of units linked to gross human rights violations,”the official said.

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

Time for a break from poetry…in order to create some art.

You laugh at me because I am different; I laugh because you are all the same.

–Daniel Knode

Tribute to Benoit

Obama is The Beatles

Somebody take a Milwaukee drill to my skull (1/2″ bit), cut off my limbs with a reciprocating saw, stick high-voltage electrodes into my pain-detecting sensory thalamus, then brutally macerate the remains with a back-hoe, because I cant take this.

Dailykos should be reprimanded.  Better yet, censured by Congress.  What the fucking fuck are people smoking in Washington?  I’ve never had an acid trip without the acid.  That shit is flying saucer.

Along related and similar lines, driftglass kicks ass, but let me finish his thought:

Obama is a fucking Reaganite asshole, too!

Without the quips.

Late Night Karaoke

On Asking Experts, Part One, Or, Do Democrats Really Understand Their LBGT Problem?

Stories begat other stories, or at least they do for me; this two-part conversation came from a comment that was made after I posted a story suggesting that voting matters this time, especially if you don’t want environmental disasters like the recent Hungarian “toxic lake” that burst from its containment and polluted the Danube River happening in your neighborhood.  

Long story short, we are going to be moving on to ask what, for some, is a more fundamental question: if you’re an LBGT voter, and the Democratic Party hasn’t, to put it charitably, “been all they could be” when it comes to issues like repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” or the Federal Defense of Marriage Act…what should you do?

Now normally I would be the one trying to develop an answer to the question, but instead, we’re going to be posing the question to a group of experts, and we’ll be letting them give the answers.

And just because you, The Valued Reader, deserve the extra effort, for Part Two we’ve trying to get you a “Special Bonus Expert” to add some input to the conversation: a Democratic Member of Congress who represents a large LBGT community.    

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