Sunday, August 9, 2015

Identity Politics

Divide and conquer is the best way to keep the great masses of people from rising up and overthrowing the tiny minority who rule them. Keep us fighting among ourselves, tell us that differences of sex, race, sexual orientation, etc. are more important than the difference of who owns and controls the means of production, and the 1% can laugh all the way to the bank (that they own).

The left in America was smashed by the Palmer Raids, imprisonment and deportations during and after WW1, but rose again during the Depression.

Smashed by the American Inquisition, 1945-1960, when leftists were purged from unions, the media, education and government, it rose again in the 60s.

Smashed by COINTELPRO, murders and imprisonments, what was left of the left turned to identity politics.

If we fight among ourselves, lining up in our various oppressed groups, arguing over who is the most oppressed and angrily denouncing any potential allies from other groups as unable to understand our pain, since they have more privilege, the ruling class doesn't have to bother dividing and conquering.

But then came the Occupy Movement. We Are The 99% was succinct way of putting the class issue back on the forefront. The response of the ruling class should be instructive.

The talking heads on corporate media shrilly denounced the protesters, and their impudent emphasis on Wall Street, instead of Washington, DC. They ordered the protesters to go get their parade permits, and march around an empty White House on a Saturday, the way they have been taught to do. But the Occupy Movement ignored the marching orders. It spread to almost every big city and many small towns across America. It was smashed.

The Black Lives Matter movement arose in protest of the wanton police murders of Black citizens all over the country. The response of the police was to increase the numbers killed. Why? Shouldn't police departments all over the country have warned their officers to back off, at least for a while? Instead, they seem to have declared open season. This fans the flames of outrage.

So now we are well into the quadrennial election "cycle", and two of the corporate candidates openly discuss class.

Bernie Sanders has been attacked for his discussion of wealth inequality in the USA by being called "racist". Yesterday, August 8th, he was actually stopped from speaking at a rally by self-proclaimed BLM activists.

Donald Trump, in the first Republican debate, pointed out that he,as a rich man, has bought and sold politicians, who do what their donors tell them to do. He was openly discussing the fact that the capitalist class owns our government.

So what happened? Trump was immediately attacked....for being sexist. It was announced that he was disinvited to the next showing of candidates.

It doesn't get any clearer than this. You can argue about identity politics all you want, but you must not discuss That Which Shall Not Be Named....the fact that our country is owned and controlled by a small group of people, who are busily stripping it for parts.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Resistance Is Necessary

Greetings and salutations. I am running for Congress because I am part of the resistance to corporate-occupied Washington, DC.

The 1 % have used the wealth they have gained in the last 34 years to buy themselves media, think tanks, lobbyists, congressmen and the Supreme Court, as well as the Presidency. They are using their ill-gotten gains to further increase their wealth.

Our country is under attack. Mountains are being blown up, waters are poisoned, topsoil is stripped for export and the earth beneath the soil is being fractured.

Our people are under attack. Millions are in prison, the police kick down doors and shoot dogs with impunity, millions have been thrown from their homes, and wages, pensions and the safety net are being reduced.

Our governing institutions are under attack. Equal justice is gone. The rule of law is ignored for the wealthy, while the poor are imprisoned for trivial offenses. The NSA spies on all of our communications, while Homeland Security gropes and radiates us, and we need ID to go just about anywhere. The Bill of Rights has been gutted. Even the Magna Carta has been overturned. The Executive Branch, which has abrogated the right to declare war from Congress decades ago, now gives itself the right to conduct world wide assassinations, including Americans. I am not one who believes that Americans have more rights than other nationalities, but the fact that they openly proclaim their intentions to kill American citizens without evidence, arrest or fair trial should give us all pause.

We are under attack, yet our trillion dollar military is not used to defend us. The president uses it as sort of a private hit squad, ordering assassinations and destabilizations using drones, bombs and death squads, to target people in other countries.

This is not going well.

There are many amazing people working on documenting the destruction of our institutions and our planet. Scientists measure the loss of ice, the rise of the oceans, and carefully document the loss of each species. Princeton researchers have just released a study which proves that the US is an oligarchy, not a democracy. Others have come up with innovative ways to preserve our environment, to protect our ecosystem and to order our affairs in a more just and sustainable way.

Yet our public policy bears no resemblance to the wisdom prescribed by those who study, observe and prescribe. There is no public discussion of the way we wish to order our affairs. We are ruled by greedy oligarchs, who are stripping the country for parts, and jailing or killing anyone who gets in their way.

One of the values of the Green Party is Future Focus. This means that we consider the effect of our choices on future generations. When the frackers tell us that we have a few years of natural gas left, as long as we poison our water, air and topsoil and cause earthquakes to get to it, is this a wise decision? Is it worth destroying the basis of life in order to get a few more years of fossil fuels? Who would vote for such a thing, if such a thing were put to a referendrum, instead of decided by bought out politicians?

Americans insist that we love our children. Let's pretend that that is true, and ignore the fact that the US is one of only 3 countries in the world to not give paid maternity leave to new mothers, or the fact that we have the highest rate of child poverty of developed nations.

Our schools, while also under attack by the rich, now teach our children to share and care, and frown upon bullying and violence. These lessons are the opposite of what our children learn in the outer world.

Imagine a kindergarten in which one child buys the teacher and uses her to enforce his will. Only the children that he picks can play on the swingset. The others must sit and watch them. Snack time also, is only for the favored. The other children go hungry. The child bulldozes the ballfields so that he can see if there is a prize underneath them. He scatters garbage all around the school room and playground. The child organizes an attack on the third grade, because their teacher is “evil”.

This sounds absurd to us, because our public schools would never allow such behavior. Why then, should we allow such behavior in our grown up world?

Greens sound radical because we believe that the 1% should not be allowed to destroy our ecosystem for profit, because we believe that each person deserves the basics of life, and because we believe that we must preserve our ecosystem, not just for future generations, but for other species on this planet. We believe that the values we teach our children in school, and that adults learn in church, are values that we should live by. We believe in solving differences peacefully, which now is considered downright anti American. Ask yourself why? Why would the country which hosts the United Nations have gone so far down the military path that it seems too radical to consider diplomacy as an option?

It is time to fight back. It is time to stop the corporate occupation of Washington, DC. The only way we can save the country is to organize. Join the Green Party and help the resistance.

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Letter to Mother Earth News

Mother Earth News, to which I have subscribed for years, published an article about the CEO of Whole Foods, and his book on the wonderfulness of capitalism, and the many goods it provides. I wrote this letter in response.

To Mr. Welch,

I was disappointed that you could be swayed by John Mackey's paean to capitalism, as evidenced by his self-identified wonderfulness.

The "free market" that we have all been raised to believe is the only way to provide for human needs, is actually that which leads to environmental devastation and the eradication of indigenous cultures, as you mentioned in the beginning.

The eradication of indigenous cultures is not something that stopped when the last Native American was killed or put onto reservations. It is going on today. John Mackay celebrates the fact that most people today make more than $1 a day. What does this mean?

It means that the last hunter gatherers, subsistence farmers and tribal herders are being driven from their lands and forced into gigantic slums, all over the planet, in order that capitalists can expand into their traditional lands. The Amazon people, people of the Congo, Indonesian hunter gatherers, people living in the jungles of India - all under attack, whether from dams flooding their homelands, to armies hunting them down, to deforestation, to climate change. I read the account of a man forced from his home in the jungle to live in Calcutta, who said that he used to have 40 kinds of fruit to choose from, but his children have never tasted fruit. Even though he probably makes more than a dollar a day, and therefore John Mackay counts him as a success. Billions of people who never needed money to live, now are forced to, and this is a good thing?

That is a bizarre thing to hold up as a triumph of capitalism to Mother Earth News readers, most of whom are trying to live on less money, with more happiness, as I understand them.

The "free market", which means producing for profit instead of needs, has led to the horrendous environmental destruction that we see today. Capitalism must grow or die, boom or bust, expand or shrink. This is why we send our military into other countries to "open their markets". Why we keep making consumer goods long after our needs are sated. Why we are bombarded with advertisements telling us that we must buy more to make us happy. That is why there are floating islands of plastic in the oceans, along with mountains of trash on our lands.

And why, when we have enough washing machines, or TVs, or boats, the factories shut down, and people are thrown out of work.

We have 10,000,000 empty houses, and millions of homeless people. How is this rational? And the talking heads on TV and in the White House tell us "Housing starts are up!! The economy is recovering!" And we're supposed to cheer? That more McMansions are being built on former farmland or in the deserts? That forests are being razed to build houses that no one can afford? That community tax money is being spent on expanding infrastructure to the farm fields, or deserts, instead of meeting the needs of the citizens? We know damn well that those houses are not being built to house the homeless, as they would be in a rational society. No, this is freedom, right here in the USA. We don't build houses for the homeless. We don't grow food for the hungry. That would be a planned economy, and therefore anathema.

Most of the advances attributed to capitalism over the last 200 years are actually human beings finding new ways to use fossil fuels to do the work that human labor used to do. Of course, the dependence on fossil fuels is now leading to mountains being blown up, and pushed into valleys, vast oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico, Nigeria, and other places, tar sand devastation of the beautiful province of Alberta, national parks being destroyed, mass extinctions of the beings with which we share the planet, and the very climate in which human beings evolved being permanently altered.

John Mackay doesn't like regulations. Which ones? The ones that protect workers? He wants to go back to the 19th century, when millions of workers were killed in the mines, foundries, factories, and railroads? Or maybe he doesn't like consumer regulations, which make sure that our milk isn't really chalk, our toys don't contain lead, and our dog food doesn't kill our dogs. Or is it environmental protections he frowns upon? Let the rivers burn! Along with our tap water.

It is unbelievable that Mackay would hold up mass education as a capitalist achievement! Are you kidding? It is governments which provide universal education, as profit-driven education leaves out the majority of the people. And revolutionaries usually put health and education at the top of the list of improvements for the people, when they manage to overthrow capitalist governments. And the US, when it attacks revolutionary governments, usually attacks schools and clinics, teachers and health workers, in order to destroy such governments. Check out Witness for Peace for documentation.

To blame consumers for the state of this planet is outrageous. Who would choose to destroy the environment? Who would choose to have a billion people starving to death, while a billion are obese? Who would choose to have endless wars to take other people's resources?

Picture yourself trying to explain our present state to a visitor from outer space. How do we organize our societies? How do we take care of our needs? Why do we spend so much of our resources on war?

Go ahead. Explain to a visitor who hasn't been brainwashed from birth about how wonderful our system is, how it "works".

I have been brainwashed from birth, being born and raised in the USA, and even I can see that this is not working. We are very near destroying our entire beautiful planet, or at least the outer rim on which we live, and it is intolerable to see my favorite magazine laud the achievement.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Trying Again for Congress

Like a good Green, I am reusing my program from 2012. Unfortunately, it is still relevant.

We still have tens of millions of unemployed citizens, so my call to put Americans to work rebuilding and repairing America stands.

We still have repression, persecution and spying going on, so my call to repeal the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act and the NDAA still stands. We now know that the government is monitoring every American's every communication, which is blatantly unconstitutional and must stop.

We still have ocean acidification, air pollution and devastating climate change, so my call to rebuild our energy and transportation infrastructure still stands.

I called for the repeal of NAFTA and CAFTA, in order to rebuild our productive capacity in the U.S., and stop the emmiseration of the peoples of Mexico and Central America. We now know that Obama is working on a plan to extend the power of multinational corporations, and give up far more national sovereignty to those corporations through the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is being negotiated in secret, not only from the American people but from Congress, which Congress has permitted without asserting its authority.

There is something very, very wrong with a Congress that gives up its Constitutional powers so readily to an Imperial Presidency. Only the Congress has the authority to declare war, yet it has permitted this president to commit numerous acts of war against a number of nations. The Congress is to make the budget, and it is also to give an account of its expenditures to the American people. Yet we spend billions of dollars each year on “black budget” expenditures that are kept secret from the American people. Without an open and accountable government, Americans have no reason to call our political system a democracy or a republic.

Who would vote for this? Who would vote for homeless veterans to sleep in the woods, while private jets fly into Southern Illinois Airport to refuel with taxpayer subsidized jet fuel? Who would vote to take food from hungry children while the Federal Reserve gives $85 billion a month to Wall Street bankers? Who would vote to allow fossil fuel companies to contaminate their fresh water with toxic chemicals in order to fracture the very bedrock on which they live?

Anyone who votes for the corporate candidate they think is less evil is voting to continue business as usual: The business of lobbyists openly buying votes from the representatives of the people. The Constitution names bribery as a reason for impeachment, yet the numbers of lobbyists in Washington, D.C. and expenditures for lobbying have skyrocketed since 1970, and it is now accepted practice for lobbyists to actually write bills for Congress. This is corruption at its most blatant.

Anyone who votes for the corporate candidate they think is less evil is voting to continue endless war and homeland repression, since both corporate parties support these policies.

Anyone who votes for the less evil corporate candidate is voting to attack Social Security and Medicare, since both corporate parties claim that deficit reduction needs to come from these programs. This is based on a blatant lie, since anyone can look at their paycheck and see that Social Security and Medicare are separately funded programs.

I am running for Congress in 2014 as the Green Party candidate because the people of Southern Illinois need and deserve a representative who will raise a voice for genuine representative democracy, for standing up to an executive branch that has become too powerful and unaccountable, for putting an end to senseless wars with their enormous waste of money and resources, for protection of the land, water, air, and climate on which our lives depend, rather than allow them to be ravaged and devastated for the profit of a few. We need and deserve a representative who believes that every American deserves a decent life, and that responsive government, serving the needs of all the people, not government in the service of the 1 percent, is the way to attain that goal.

It’s a tough job to run against the candidates of the two corporate parties that will spend millions of dollars flooding the airwaves trying to persuade voters that more of the same is the way to go, or that, “the other guy is more evil, so you better vote for me.” But somebody has to do it, or things will never change for the better. I am ready, willing and able to run in 2014 to ensure that voters will have the ability to make this choice for a better future
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Friday, November 1, 2013

Second debate closing

I'm sure most of you have played the game of Monopoly, which first became popular during the Great Depression.

We know that at some point in the game, one person inevitably controls all the property and money, cackling as they collect more and more money from those who land on their spaces.

Unfortunately for us, our country today strongly resembles a game of Monopoly -- except it's a rigged game in which the “banker” get to play the game with all of the money. This new player – call it Wall Street – not only owns Boardwalk and Park Place but Pennsylvania Avenue, and a nearby property called Capitol Hill. And they’ve rewritten the rules to benefit them.

They have taken the power to put common people directly in jail for trivial offenses while they get an unlimited supply of Get Out of Jail Free cards. They’re taking the houses of people on Baltic Avenue through fraud and perjury. They are trying to make it so no ordinary player can collect $200 when we pass Go. They have robbed millions of the opportunity to earn any money and jack up the price whenever we land on the Electric Company by keeping us addicted to ever more costly fossil fuels. They are trying to privatize the Water Company. They've replaced most of the railroads with expensive gas guzzling cars. They lend us money but charge predatory interest rates as part of the bargain.

They even threaten the people who prefer to play Parcheesi.

It's time to reset the game.

We need people in Congress who will make sure that fair rules are made and followed, who will protect public property, who will make sure that the top 1 percent are taxed fairly, that money is distributed fairly, that everyone has an opportunity to continue playing and earn a decent living, and who respect the rights of people in other countries to go their own way.

Our economy should not be an institution in which a privileged few are allowed to “game the system.” In fact it shouldn't be a game at all. The economy affects how we live, and our quality of life. We need to rein in those who are manipulating the system and institute new rules that give every child born in America an equal and fair chance to thrive. That is what I will do my best to create if elected as your next Representative in Congress.

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Obamacare and its Adherents and Opponents

Last year, when I ran for Congress, I was included in the debates.

At one debate, the entire audience, except for 6 Greens, were Democrats and Republicans, divided by an aisle, as if at a wedding.

The Democrat was defending Obamacare, while his people cheered, and the Republican was criticizing it, while his people cheered.

I was standing there, looking at these people, treating the election as some sort of sporting event, where they cheer on their team. I thought, I would really like to tell these people the truth, but that would be insulting both sides and I might lose potential votes. Nothing like telling hundreds of people that they are all behaving idiotically.

But I did it anyway.

I pointed out that so-called Obamacare was originally a Heritage Foundation-written, Republican-sponsored bill, but only Romney managed to push it through, so the insurance companies bought themselves Democrats instead, and now Democrats were cheering a Republican bill and Republicans were booing a Republican bill.

For a minute, everyone just looked at me. Then they went back to cheering for their team.
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Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Glory of War

The annual glorification of D Day, and the Saving of Europe by America has just passed. It's been almost 70 years, but Americans are still taught that fighting the Nazis justifies all that has come since then.
As a child, I was taught the party line about D Day. It was a big surprise, the Nazis were winning until the US invaded, we were giant heroes and deserved everlasting worship.

Imagaine my surprise when I read Anne Frank's Diary and she expressed impatience for the US to come to Europe's defense.

What? How could a teenager locked in an attic know about the Top Secret D Day plans?

I asked my Dad. He told me that FDR had promised Stalin in 194l, when the US declared war on Germany, that the US would open a second front to fight the Germans. But, we didn't. Not until 2 1/2 years later, when the USSR had managed to push the Germans back out of their country, and were pursuing them through the other occupied terrorities. (In the meantime, losing 20,000,000 people and undergoing destruction, starvation, rape and torture). Harry Truman, on the floor on the Senate, openly stated the US position - let the Germans and Russians kill as many of each other as possible, and then the US would move in.

Too late for Anne Frank, and millions of others.

My mom's friend participated in the invasion. He told her that he jumped in the water, made it to shore, and then hid until it was over. He didn't fight or kill anyone. In the book, "On Killing" by Lt. Col Dave Grossman, he points out that studies showed that only 15% to 20% of rifleman in the US military ever used their weapons in WW2.

This, of course, is a problem for the ruling class, which needs willing killers to perform their conquests.

The book was about how the US has managed to up the rate of killers in the military, with psychological manipulation and training, as well as the glorification of murder and the military throughout the US.

One of my friends was released from the military last week and announced it on Facebook. Everyone who commented ritually thanked him for his service. This genuflection has been drilled into the US public since Vietnam, and is as automatic as blessing someone when they sneeze. You are not allowed to talk to a soldier without repeating the mantra.

While I was running for Congress, I was on a talk show, and some irate soldier called to complain about my peace views and also to complain about how the military was being downsized and soldiers were having their pay cut.

I pointed out that the ruling class is turning to mechanized warfare, including robots and drones, and that they don't need actual unreliable human beings as much as they used to. I said that the rest of American workers had already been downsized and replaced by robots, so now it was his turn. "Welcome to the rest of America", I said, with not much sympathy.

The radio host said "Thank you for your service" before he disconnected the line.

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