Thursday, December 29, 2005

Get your Kentucky friends to register Green

The state of Kentucky recently released the first statistics on Green registration in the state. According to the Ballot Access News, the state has reported twenty registered Greens.

The figure is so low because it represents those who registered between November 15th and December 21st. If you are registered as anything but Green in Kentucky, and if you are a Green, contact The voter registration office and change your registration to Green. Heck KY Greens, maybe you should give the Maine Greens a run for the title of "Most registered state party".

If you have friends, family, or business associates in Kentucky, why not at least drop them a note to let them know that they can register Green if they care to.
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Just a quick note

As those who have visited over the last few days have no doubt noticed, I have been inactive as far as blogging over the past week. I'll do a little bit of blogging between today and next Tuesday, but not a lot I don't imagine.

Between valve cover gaskets I replaced myself and a $200 starter, the mini-van has been less than cooperative. I am also trying to do end-of-the-year stuff for my micro-business, and other things that one does at this time of the year. I am also assembling, in my mind, some features that I expect visitors will like.

So, in short, I've not abandoned my blog, nor am I unhappy about anything. Far from it, I have been amazed and pleased at the success of the blog. In 2006 I expect the blog to evolve into the premiere site on the Internet for Green News and Opinion. Thanks for coming with me so far, and as Al Jolsen said, "You ain't seen nothing yet!"


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Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

This is my Holiday Edition of my monthly column in YC Magazine, a local free monthly.

Happy Holidays everyone. See you next week.

Why care?

Smart, successful people don’t discuss politics or religion in public. I guess discussing politics and religion is even more foolish. That’s what I am going to try to do.

These observations are mine, not the York County Greens. The publishers of YC Magazine were kind enough to allow this essay to be a personal one. I am grateful to them for the opportunity.

Faith is belief in the unseen. Jesus, once you get past about fifth grade, is no longer a young white man with a beard. He is the Prince of Peace. He is Love. As Marianne Williamson wrote, “Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn.”

I see the world through Christian eyes. I was born a Christian. I spent many years as an agnostic. I casually studied and learned respect for a number of religions. I believe that most of the world’s religions teach many of the same ideas. Peace seems a universal value. Protecting the poor and weak from the rich and powerful appears frequently. Respecting the future and leaving a legacy of improvement runs thorough many faiths. We are often admonished that the planet is God’s, not man’s.

With all this evidence of what God wants from us, we continue to turn from His plan and to working for our own purposes. A politician more concerned about an unneeded highway that will carry her name than a training program that will bring economic salvation to a family. A corporate lawyer lobbying for special tax breaks. A community leader willing to sell out a neighboring state to steal away their jobs. An educator willing to set aside the student’s needs to curry favor with federal authorities and the dollars that flow from Washington. All these, and many more, are the sort of human failings all religions and ethical systems warn us against.

Instead of addressing these sorts of fundamental issues, many people of faith get caught up in seeing the rules and regulations in their faiths as the central theme. Albert Einstein said “Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.” The message of Love embodied in every faith is not “Love so you can go to heaven” or “Love so you don’t go to hell” but “Love, for God loves you.”

So, with all we have been given by faith that compels us to Peace, Understanding, and Love, why is there so much War, Intolerance and Hate? It’s been suggested that there is no anger, hatred, suspicion and jealousy, only fear. Everything else is just fear in a different set of clothes.

If this is true, what is it that we are afraid of, and how can we overcome this fear? To replace something as fundamental as fear we must have something as fundamental, but more powerful. There is only one thing I can point to that has the potential power to overcome fear, and that is love.

So, how does government implement Love? It can’t, which is part of why government should play no role in religion.

The holiday season brings hope for peace and justice. Greens of all faiths, and no faith, believe in the power of love. For many of us, this belief moves us to political action. Not to make us love one another, but to make love more possible. The call to love our enemies is radical. How much more radical is the lesson of the Good Samaritan, to let our enemies love us!

I guess I’d like to close with this observation. Every spiritual text that has a significant faith community behind it calls for love, fairness, human dignity, peace and charity. No one can seriously believe that our government is doing enough to improve the lot of the world’s poor and hurting. Are we really doing what we are called to do, or are we doing what we want to do? As Henry Thoreau said, “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.”

Are we hacking at branches, or are we striking at the root?
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Friday, December 23, 2005

The question is, did the president and others violate the Constitution?

This is the wording of the Fourth Amendment.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Thought for the Day

A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business." --The True Believer. by Eric Hoffer
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CT Greens: Fair, or unfair? Dollars and no sense.

I am contacting you on behalf of the Green Party of CT. I am the co-chair of
the CT party and I have been asked by our membership to find resources to
defend us from what we consider to be unfair and unconstitutional provisions
of the recently passed CT Campaign Finance Law. We support as a party the
concept of Campaign Finance Reform and the idea of a Clean Election Fund but we believe that we are being unfairly discriminated against by this Law.

To qualify for the public financing under this law, major party candidates
would have to earn a place on the ballot and further show their viability by
raising seed money. Third Parties and independent candidates would not only
have to petition to get on the ballot (CT has no way to get permanent ballot
access except by getting 1% of vote on a district by district basis),and
raise the money required to qualify for matching funds, but would also have
to collect 20% of signatures in a district from registered voters in order
to qualify for funding under the clean election fund. Collecting 10% of the
registered voters would give third parties and independent candidates
"partial" funding. House and Senate candidates (including third party
candidates) would need to raise $5,000 and $15,000, respectively, in
contributions of no more than $100, with 90 percent of the money raised
within the state. In addition, House candidates would need to raise 150
contributions of $5 or more and Senate candidates would need to raise 300
contributions from within their district. In 2010, a gubernatorial candidate
who raised $250,000 in small contributions would be eligible to receive
$1.25 million for a primary race and $3 million for the general election.

What's wrong with this picture? We feel quite a bit. Third Parties, like
the Green Party of CT are being legislated out of fair and full
participation in the political process unconstitutionally with this
provision. Now the state of CT, in our opinion, is being required to
create two kinds of parties: The Two Major Parties and everybody else. We
believe this is a direct violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the US
Constitution (14th amendment). To put it another way: All political parties
in CT are equal but some political parties are more equal than others. The
provision of the bill that creates a 10% to 20% petitioning requirement is
probably also a violation of Jenness vs Fortson (403 US 432-1971). The
Jenness vs Forson case has hurt legal challenges of third parties against
discrimination in the US since 1971, but even this flawed case does not
support petitioning requirements above 5% for entry on to the ballot
anywhere in the US and may be used to question the high petitioning rate
required under this legislation.

Also their is no provision in the present CFR bill for third parties to gain
money through primaries. Any candidate that runs for governor from a major
party, who raises $250,000 in small donations is given $1.25 Million for a
primary. Third parties get nothing for primaries under this law.

There are other aspects of this law that are violations of the Equal
Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution and are harsh and onerous on
their surface. No other state that has passed a Clean Election Fund has
required additional petitioning for third parties.

Lastly, The Helsinki Accords, which the U.S. signed, pledge all nations to
“respect the right of citizens to seek political or public office without
discrimination” and to “provide political parties and organizations with the
necessary legal guarantees to enable them to compete with each other on a
basis of equal treatment before the law.”

I am writing to you in hope of stirring up some interest in a selective
challenge of this law. While I understand that your resources are limited,
we are interested in finding help on a pro-se or pro-bono basis to fight
what we think is a unconstitutional and discriminatory law.

Please contact me if you can direct us toward some legal assistance in these

Mike DeRosa
Green Party of CT
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News from Connecticut

If you're noticing a trend, it's my "fault" if you will. I wrote to someone in the furthest northeastern corner of the nation, ten states in all, inviting them to be in touch with me once a month and more often if they had news to spread. I will send the same invite to someone in another ten states per day until I have covered all fifty one, and then start over with the states that didn't respond, until I have a contact, at least one, in every state.

Mike DeRosa, co-chair of the Connecticut Greens, wrote back to tell me that not only would he be willing to be a contact person, but that he has news to share with you folks already. It's in the next post.
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News from Maine

Heather Garrold, co-chair of the Maine Green Independent Party has taken on the task of serving as manager of Pat LaMarche's campaign for Governor, mentioned in an earlier post here. Heather has agreed to stay in touch with me, and I plan to communicate with her regularly. I'm hoping that she'll be able to help me arrange email interviews with Pat and John Eder, the only Green state legislator, as well as members of the Portland School Committee. I'm certain that she'll help keep us up to date on Pat's campaign, as well as all other things Green in Maine.
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Was it Norman Vincent Peale

who said "You can get anything you want as long as you are willing to help other people get what they want along the way." or something close to that? Either way, I believe that sentiment is right, and I've been thinking about that a bit.

William P. Kreml posted a message about the Chomsky quote from a couple of days ago, and mentioned his recent book The Twenty-First Century Left.

Known as Bill to me and other Greens, Dr. Kreml is an author of note, and a serious thinker on a variety of topics. He was also, like me, smart enough to marry someone named Nancy.

Here's my point. Bill has a book to sell, and I may have one or two folks here already who would be interested in buying a copy. How can we connect potential buyer and seller, and make a profit for the site, that is, for me, and then use that profit to grow the Green Party? And, of course, Bill's book is but one example.

Perhaps you are an artist, and have pieces you would like to sell. I would not object to posting photos and descriptions etc, and if you sell something, toss a few dollars my way. I don't want it to get all technical and stuff unless there is reason to do so.

Maybe you have some stuff for sale at eBay. Maybe there is a way for you to put a description up here of what you're selling, and if your buyer comes from here, you both could kick in a dollar or so to the site (me) for hooking you together, understanding again that I would use the money to build the party, all two dollars of it. >Grin<

A first edition book? Cheesecake recepies? Maybe your local chapter has made a cook book or a recording of pond sounds across the city. The point is, if it's decentralized and cooperative, who is harmed if willing buyer meets willing seller here and both essentially contribute a few dollars or dimes for the service of hooking the two up? I think it could work, and will be willing to get something going if anyone else thinks such an idea makes sense.

It would sort of be like a world-wide form of community based economics, excepting that the community is a cyber community.

~Scratches his chin~ Hmmm....whadda ya think?
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Quotes anyone?

As I would guess most visitors have already figured out that I am a fan of the quotable quote. I believe, for example, if the Green Party had a recognized expert on a topic as a spokesperson, she could easily wind up in the papers regularly.

"Judy Jetson, recent Green Party candidate for Governor and party speaker on nuclear issues said 'Until the federal government gets their facts on the ground to line up with the promises they have made, the Hopi have every reason to question the waste disposal plan."

Nothing is guaranteed, but if we don't offer the media a person to quote, we can't complain when the media ignores us. We have to create our own sense of validity by virtue of how often we say something different that makes sense to average people.

Here's the way I figure it. Pretty much everyone can see the same information. It's not like we risk going to jail for reading a particular book...well, not yet. We see rising cancer and asthma rates and make the connection to smoking and pollution. Some others who see the same facts come to the conclusion that it's not as bad as all that, and nothing can be done about it anyway, so why not ignore it. It is these people who are subject to being swayed by the ranting of a Rush Limbaugh. His way of talking, keeping everything simple and in small chunks, is perfect for swaying someone who either only wants to engage half his brain, or who can only afford to pay that much attention. I'd venture to say that many of his listeners are paying closer attention to the road than on what Rush is really saying. Reminds me of the Paul Simon lyric, Still, a man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest.

So, talk about the idea internally. Does your state have a speaker on any topic? Are you an expert on any topic? If so, perhaps you should let your state chapter know. Then ask them to appoint you to the Green Communications Committee. While it might feel like self-promotion to say that you should be considered to speak for the party, if you're a tax consultant, why shouldn't you speak about tax preparation policy for the Greens? If you're a teacher with credentials in a specific area, say services for the physically disabled, why should you not speak for the party on the impact of No Child Left Behind on those students? If you own a grocery store, why shouldn't you be the party's speaker on the topic of handling food stamps and other government and private money equivalents, like coupons and gift certificates? I'll admit those are very narrow examples, but that's the point, we are all expert in our own lives, and all of us are impacted in our lives by government and corporate decisions we would change if we could.

So, if you want to read about the Green Party in the media, why not give of yourself and wind up reading what you said yourself in the morning paper.
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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Comments on polls

I got two thoughtful emails about polls, and I want to share some thoughts with you on the topic.

First of all, eleven people have taken the first poll. Here's the poll's wording:

I would give to the Greens if they would spend the money on:
(Rank the candidates you support!)
5 candidates will be elected.

This is followed by 16 choices to rank, and you can rank as few or as many as you choose.

One of the emailers suggested that national polls at websites like this only tend to generate a sense of disunity. In other words, everyone can agree to be for running local candidates, but who should run national campaigns, even state wide campaigns, gets a less universally positive response.

Another points out that the question pre-supposes two things, that the voter does not already give to the national party, and that if not, the things that are keeping people from giving are on that list.

I am certain that both emailers are right. I know that sociologists design these surveys up to get really accurate info, but I was just taking a shot in the dark. I'm going to do a lot of that. Get used to it. ~Grin~

This survey will stay up until Jan 1st, then I'm thinking of a two week long survey for the future.

I also want to really complement the maturity of the folks who come here. With 11 votes I would guess about 1/4 of the regular visitors have voted. And since the cookie the voting system puts on your computer to keep you from double voting goes away after 12 hours, no one is double voting. I think that's a great sign for the future.

Again, we'll get better as time marches forward. More in the AM.
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*Slapping my forehead like the dope I am*

Leave it to me to figure the goons at Yahoo! were gathering in a closet conspiring to "Keep that Jocoy guy quiet." ~Chuckling~ Turns out, the goons just didn't like the fact that the link I submitted was broken. Those bastards!

Sorry folks. Must be the coffee. Esteban, got any of that Fair Trade stuff handy? Might calm my jangled nerves.

Anyway, here's the Google ad:
The Green Rush Limbaugh?
Blogger Gregg Jocoy takes on all
sell-out Democrats and Republicans

It's the only ad on Google when you search for "Rush Limbaugh".

The ad on Yahoo! may not show up for a day or two.

Anyway, apparently now it's appropriate to say, Greetings Rush Fans. I'm not as well stocked with staff as Mr. Limbaugh, but I'll do my best. Play nice everyone.

Lunch is over. Back to work!

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Amazed and confused

Just got this from Yahoo! Guess my money wasn't green enough?

Dear Gregg,

Thank you for submitting your Sponsored Search listing request. We have
processed your request and have listed the results below.

For detailed information regarding your submission, please visit the
Editorial Status within your account

If you have Receipt IDs with pending listings, you will receive further
notification when those listings have been processed.

Account ID: 1805907500
Account Name: York County (SC) Greens

Approved Search Listings: 0
Declined Search Listings: 1
Pending Search Listings: 0

Please do not respond directly to this e-mail because we are unable to
receive e-mail responses to this address. If you would like to contact
us remember to use the Support Request Form, a link to which is found
at the bottom of nearly all pages within your account

* To assist you with getting your search listings online, we may revise
the title(s) and/or description(s) of some listings to help you to
comply with our Listing Guidelines.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Customer
Solutions using our Support Request form as noted above.

Thank you for choosing Yahoo! Search Marketing as your partner!


Your Partners at Yahoo! Search Marketing
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Thought for the Day

Love your enemies is probably the most radical thing Jesus ever said. Unless, of course, one considers the parable of the Samaritan. There the admonition is to let your enemies love you."

-Robert Funk, The Once and Future Jesus
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Close to 400 & dittoheads

Well, with about ten days under my belt, the blog is about to hit 400 visits. I have two counters at the bottom of the page, and one's almost at 400, the other just at 320, so of course I trust the one with higher numbers.

Today's the day the Yahoo! adverts are to start, so if you wound up here because you clicked thru from a search about Rush Limbaugh, welcome! I'm the "Green Rush Limbaugh", self-described I must admit, and I welcome you to my home on the Internet. Feel free to express yourself.

And now, once again, off to work I must go. Thanks for playing my friends, and more tomorrow, of course.

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David and Elton make it official

The 58 year old Elton John married 43 year old David Furnish in a civil ceremony. The couple was joined by close to 350 other gay and lesbian couples married at the same time.

Actor Sir Antony Sher also married his long-term partner, theatre director Greg Doran, in a separate ceremony.
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Elaine Brown gives up the ghost

I lived for several years on St. Simons Island, off the Georgia coast. I went to high school at Glynn Academy, in Brunswisk. Elaine Brown, a Green Party member who came to Brunswick to join in the anti-globilization protests on Sea Island had run for Mayor of Brunswick.

Things got legal, and Ms. Brown was excluded from the ballot. She has given up on the courts according to the Brunswick News. I hope to do an interview with Ms. Brown some day for this blog.
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Cheney to Constitution: Go to hell.

It would seem that not only oil courses through the veins of the vice president, but a desire to reshape the United States into a totalitarian system with a permanent ruling class and a permanent underclass. To accomplish these lofty goals, Cheney and friends will need to control the average person, and what better way than by creating an atmosphere of fear and intimidation?

Cheney, not a lawyer, or at least not a constitutional lawyer, has said that George Bush is authorized by the Consitution to spy on American citizens right here in the good old USA.

Here's a direct quote from the Associated Press report.

"I believe in a strong, robust executive authority and I think that the world we live in demands it," Cheney said.

Read it this way folks.

"We're in charge here, and we will do whatever we think is best, period. It's a tough world."

But the way things are likely to turn out in the long run, I think it's possible to turn out more like this.

Our friends in the business community have cooperated with your government to develop a world class protection system. Not only will this system keep us from terrorist attack, but will protect us from criminals as well. The calming system will help us all be happier and more relaxed. Fortunately, our friends have prepared this special screening to explain to you. Here, take this pill and slip on this headset. The Bush will explain. He's so kind and understanding. Now, just relax..."

GRRR.....Why aren't people angry? Why is no one standing outside the New York Times office demanding to know from every editor as they walk through the front door, "Hey, what gives you jerks the unmitigated gall to sit on this story of the shredding of the Constitution for an entire year? Just where do you get off deciding what is important for us to know. Get the damn news and REPORT IT! Protecting the President is the job of the Secret Service, Not the New York Times.

I make this prediction here and now. No one will be impeached. No one will be prosecuted. No one will go to jail. Democrats will be fine with that outcome, and everyone will say "Now aren't we glad that's been handled?"

And Greens will all know that nothing has changed, and we will begin to wonder which of our members in the FBI/CIA/NSA/local police force/Military intelligence...Hell, once the dam is broken, how to you shut the dam back again? Especially when the ones who broke the dam are still in charge?
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Bush to Constitution: Go to hell.

Bush and Cheney have either got the biggest set of brass balls even forged on the earth, or they know that the American people are so cowed that we are willing to accept anything they do, so long as they are promising to protect us from terrorism.

A knock at the door in the middle of the night. A wife goes missing, taken from the street by sunglass wearing well dressed men in a sedan. A soldier reports for duty, and winds up a prisoner instead of a guard, and is never told why. These nightmares, born of my own imagination, may not be far from the mark.

In USA Today, Bush has made it clear that he intends to continue to spy. Based on behavior by Nixon, Reagan and Bush, one would be hard pressed to believe that this latest domentic spying problem is new. The people of the United States have always been seen as disposable serfs by the rulling class. Bush and Cheney, as well as Gore and Clinton, would gladly set aside whatever protections we have from the government, so long as they are the ones ignoring the Constitution.

It's like The Clash wrote in their song "Know your rights"

"You have a right not to be killed. Murder is a crime. Unless it's done by a police man. Or an aristocrat. Know your rights! These are your rights!"

In this case, the lyrics might say "You have a right not to be spied on. Illegal search and seziure is a crime. Unless it's done by the NSA. Or an oil magnate. Know your rights! These are your rights!"

Damn these people piss me off.

*Taking his bloodd pressure meds*

OK. I should be OK soon.
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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Off to the Salt Mines

The site rolled over 300 hits, and close to 60 articles written I think, and slowly I seem to be hitting a rhythm. I know that as we all get through the holiday season, there will be times when my blogging will be less than optimal. I just got the Christmas tree up last night, and there is lots of house cleaning and present buying to be done, but as I find time, I will find news and express opinions about the Green Party, and the world at large.

There is a lot to be accomplished. I am glad that you're here with me on this journey.

Hey, just in case you didn't know, if you see a piece you think your Uncle Lou might get a kick out of, email it to him. The little envelopes at the bottom of every post will allow you to send that message to others.

Peace out all.

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Thought of the Day

The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.

-Noam Chomsky
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EcoAction Committee voting now

The National Committee is in the process of voting to authorize the party's first "Action" committee, the "EcoAction" committee. Kristen Olsen is the contact for the issue, and it's being voted on now.

I can't figure out how to see what the votes are looking like at the moment, but I'm sure that's just me. Later I hope to be able to find out how many have voted for the committee's creation, and how many against.

If you have Green news, send it to me. Want your state covered here? Let me know what I'm missing. I want to do a good job, and you can help.

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National Committee considering new platform rules

I feel sure that none will be surprised to find out that many of us became Greens because of the Ten Key Values, and what they mean to us. The platform the party creates and our candidates run on is built over time by the platform committee with loads of outside input. To me, the party's platform is the policy manifestation of the Ten Key Values.

The National Committee is considering Proposal 196, which will change the rules and procedures for writing the party's platform.
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End Patriot Act, stop domestic spying

In a Press Release the Green Party of the United States has called for letting the USA PATRIOT Act expire, and for President Bush to be made to answer for violating the Constitution by authorizing domestic spying without a court order.

Does your state have a person responsible for calling local news outlets to tell them to pick up a GP Press Release? If you can do such a thing, even if only for the media in your town, let the Media Committee know. They will tell you how to plug in and help promote the Green Party via your local press.
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China economy 17% bigger than thought

According to the BBC, China 's economy is 16.8% bigger than earlier thought. That means that all the predictions of the impact of the Chinese economy's on global oil supplies, air and water pollution, and the world supply of other critical resources will hit earlier than thought.

We greens, and here I am using the small g to indicate the whole green movement, even those in other parties, need to think long and hard about our energy future. I have written about it in the past, and Dean Myerson indicates that there are Greens working on the topic, but we must all begin to think strategically about the issue or the other side will swamp us just by virtue of having a head start.
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Around the Green Blogosphere

Over at Babelmur, the talk is all about Oskosh, and their vote to end the war.

City Hippy wants you to know what's in your Holiday Turkey. Yum!

Daniel from Ithaca wants you to know about Republicrat plans to drill in ANWR, up in Alaska.

Dee is hosting this week's Carnival of the Green. Check it out, as well as this long-time Green Bloggers other offerings.

Echo from Florida reminds us that California Greens are going after pro-war Democrat Diane Feinstein.

A friend in the Great Country to the North, Craig Cantin writes about politicians agreeing to stop using yard signs on public property, including the Green Party.
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"Constitution? I don't need no stinkin' Constitution."

President Bush seems to be saying that his decision to allow spying on US citizens on US soil without going through the Constitutionally mandated process of getting a search warrant is legal because he is Commander in Chief, as mandated in the Constitution. He further seems to be saying that the Congress gave it's permission to Bush to go to war, and in doing so gave him authority to do whatever is necessary to successfully execute the war.

Now folks, I am no Constitutional scholar, but to me the Constitution is not that confusing a document. It's pretty much understandable in plain English by and large. There is no doubt in my mind that the Bush decision, taken more than thirty times, to authorize spying on US citizens without a warrant is an impeachable offence.

Even if you believe that Bush did not know about 9-11 in advance, and even if you believe he was not part of a post 9-11 cover-up, and even if you believe that Bush was not aware of the lies he was telling to sell the war on Iraq, these most recent revelations of domestic spying without warrants is enough to impeach Bush, and convict him in the Senate.

We'll know if the Bush House of Cards is about to collapse if Cheney gets kicked from the Whitehouse, perhaps on medical grounds. Remember that Agnew was taken out of the picture before Nixon resigned, and I imagine the same would have to be done with Cheney. I'd expect Bush to go with Rice, giving the US our first Black and first female president. So long as Rice doesn't mess things up totally, and especially if she lays some of Bush's failings on his doorstep by prosecuting him, I think she could be in office for a full two terms, as well as whatever might be left of Bush's term when she takes over.

Then again, they may go with the Jack-in-the-Box Styrofoam Head Man. With these Republicans, who knows?

I'd encourage those of you who have not already done so, to take a look at and sign the petition calling for Bush's Impeachment. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace, the petition is a start.

Now, perhaps we have our own little Bush right near home? Does your police department use wiretaps? Is there anyone watchdogging to make sure they do so legally? Do they use informants in the schools to entrap drug users? Does the local police cooperate in any of the various "Homeland Security" schemes that seem designed to generate a proto-military atmosphere everywhere? If so, is there a way to make your local community aware of such things?
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Monday, December 19, 2005

Thought for the Day

All truth passes through three stages: first it is ridiculed, secondly, it is violently opposed, and thirdly, it is accepted as self-evident."
-Arthur Schopenhauer
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Being the "Green Rush Limbaugh"

How are we similar:

Neither of us graduated from university, although we both attended college.

We both had pilonidal cysts. Fun, fun!

We were born in the 1950s. '51 for him, '58 for me.

He's lived in Pittsburgh, I've visited Pittsburgh.

We both like a good Cuban, although we may define "Good Cuban" differently.

We both are addicts. His: Oxycodone. Mine:Video Poker

We both have an ego as big as all outdoors.

We both believe passionately that our philosophy and political party are what the world needs.

Now, don't for a moment believe that Limbaugh and I are alike in our political philosophy. We are not. My political and social philosophy are based on the Ten Key Values of the Green Party. I believe these Ten Key Values are central to planetary survival in the long term. I believe the Ten Key Values are going through the "Three Stages of Truth" that Schopenhauer speaks of in today's "Thought of the Day". And I believe that my party, my ugly, sick-as-a-puppy, down on it's luck, hardscrabble Green Party is a baby growing into beautiful youth. We need to adopt not a word or thought represented by the rantings of a Rush Limbaugh, but we must reach out to the millions of people who are amongst his fans.

I believe that a substantial base of the Rush audience is his because he doesn't quibble. Neither will I. I am 100% certain that, over enough time, I will piss off almost all of you. I am not one to stand on niceties. I stand on principals. And if that means making a reader angry, oh well. Not that I'm trying to anger folks, but I believe what I believe, and give everyone access to respond, even those who want to remain anonymous.

I am also, like Limbaugh, a passionate and partisan member of my party. Listen, I'm going to try hard to be as honest and above ground as I can here. I want this to be an "open source" political blog experience. I'll say it here and now. I think I have some good ideas for the Green Party, and I know my readers are going to have great ideas, and I intend to push the Green Party to adopt the policies and programs I believe will grow the Green Party. I expect my readers to do the same, and to challenge me when they think I am off track.

I'll also make no bones about the role I think a "Green Rush Limbaugh" could play for and in the Green Party. I hope that CNN and Fax News contact me to do a piece on why my blog is skyrocketting, and why do I call myself the "Green Rush Limbaugh". Not only would that mean eyeballs for the site, but for all the readers who comment, and all the pages linked to here.

I'd love to write, or co-write, an unabashed book with a title like "Bush Stole the Election, 911 Was a Set-up, and the Economy is a House of Cards: How the Democrats and Republicans sold their birthright and parties for filthy cash and raw power". I'd love it to be on the NYT Bestsellers list. I'd love to be at a party and hit up JK Rowling for a HUGE donation to the Green Party internationally. I'd love to sit next to Michael Moore on the Daily Show and say, "Hey dude, where are your balls?", and ask him point blank why he supported a war criminal and never even gave the Cobb or Nader campaigns a serious look in 2004.

Of course, I'll be OK if I can just be interesting enough to get you to come back again some day.

I'm trying to figure out how to do some stuff with this system, and I'm sure I'm going to break the entire Internet some day by messing around here. I can see the headlines now. So-Called "Green Rush Limbaugh" Breaks Internet:Hundreds of Thousands Die Worldwide

The point is, hang in there with me as I get better at this, and I hope that you'll be happy you did. For now, sadly, I must make this adieu. I need to get to work, and will try to post again later tonight.

There is Green News today of course, but I just can't get to it right now. Later, I promise.

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"Free as in Free Speech, not Free as in Free Beer"

The above quote, and it's a memory, so it may not be precise, refers to "Free Software", but it could just as easliy apply to any number of free things. Perhaps most importantly, the Green Party is free. Free for you to use to change your life, and the lives of those you love, for the better.

Similarly, this blog is semi-free. By that I mean that I am the only person who can post messages here, and the rest of you are free to post a reply. It costs you no extra money to read and reply, but it's still only semi-free.

Steve, in a comment, suggested that I am no Rush Limbaugh, even if I am trying to promote myself as "The Green Rush Limbaugh", indicating that I may be giving myself less credit than I am due, or perhaps, giving Limbaugh more than is his due. In my next opinion piece I will try to explain my thinking. But for now, enjoy the semi-free Green News and Opinion, and keep taking those polls and signing those petitions. And send the National Party a small donation. Buy fair trade and organic. Recruit new members and candidates. File your paperwork on time. And clean your room. It looks like a hurricane hit it! Don't make me come up there and clean it for you. I'll throw all that crap out, you know I'll do it.

*Returning from a fog* Um....nevermind. More in a few minutes.

~Brushes off the cheesecake crumbs, and heads to the kitchen for another cup~

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Sunday, December 18, 2005

Oops...forgot - "Perma" Links

"Permanent" links at the top...Mountain Top Removal Petition...please read and sign if you agree, my email address...drop me a line, and of course, the "I would give to the Green Party if they would spend my money on:" poll...take it and see how things turn out. It's just for fun. No one here is exercising decision making authority. I'm gone. Sheesh...I'm like Colombo. Is that too old a reference? It was the 1980s, right? Man, anyone have an updated reference I can borrow?

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Dog Training, Cheesecakes and Sunday

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Nancy and I went out to train Cyra, one of her German Shepard Search and Rescue dogs. She was wonderful, as usual, and found me in a matter of minutes. I think there are a lot of Greens doing this sort of direct-action community service, and I wish we were more vocal while in service, but I keep my mouth shut.

Tomorrow will be a good day to see how my "mouth shutting" abilities have improved. The team is having a Christmas dinner, and I have baked my world-famous Cheesecake. The team members are really nice folks, so that's not a problem, but some people either refuse to eat cheesecake, like a little lactose intolerance is not worth a slice of my cheesecake, or they will...hold on...say that they don't "care for any". Come on folks! This is creamcheese heaven! Oh well, maybe not, but it is pretty good. If someone doesn't say "This is the best cheesecake I've ever had." Nancy will have to sooth my bruised ego.

At any rate, I am up late baking the buggers, and the party is tomorrow in Columbus, NC, so we'll likely leave shortly after I wake up. I'll do all I can tomorrow, but don't expect much. :-)

'Nite all.

Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn.

-Marianne Williamson
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Killed the Adverts

It's interesting. I have been thinking of using any money generated by this blog to spread the Green message, and to build locals wherever there are a few people who are still nice enough to each other to work together. Part of my imagined revenue stream was money from the Google ads that were at the top of the page. I'm not sure I have deleted them entirely properly, and I may have cyber given away my rights to an ad free space, or I may decide that they can be counted on to get the ads right all the time, and want to turn them back on, but for now I want them off.

Here's part of why. The ads rotate, and some are wonderful products I am honored to be associated with, such as Knoppix, Linux and other open-source software stuff. But I have also seen links that said "liberal" or "Democrat" or "Republican", and frankly, I am not any of those things, and don't want folks visiting by invitation or referal to wind up wandering off in search of "Democrats and Greens Together Dating Service", not that I'm opposed to dating services, but I want to control any ad content, so for now, the place is ad free. Party like it's 1999 ya'll!

As to raising money, for my own selfish purposes or to grow the Green Party, I will likely have to sell something(s) via the site, or sell advertising space online to others who sell stuff. Another template is the "donate" button, but one must constantly remind folks that the button needs pushing. That gets tiresome.

Since the site is costing me only time, my most precious commodity of course, I don't actually have a need for the site to make money. I just figured that if Howard Stern is worth 50 million a year, I ought to be able to generate some money for the Green Party here. I promise to make it as painless as possible once I figure out what to do.
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Saturday, December 17, 2005

Making Friends and Influencing People

As readers know, I am not the Green Party's most able diplomat. In fact, "Bull in a political china closet" might fit pretty good. I blame it on my impulse control disorder, but that's probably a crock. I'm likely just immature.

At any rate, one of my personality traits is impatience. I want a bumper sticker that says "Immediate Gratification Takes Too Long".

I have always believed that the Ten Key Values are not only spiritually and politically right, but strategically right too. Nonviolence is the only strategy that makes sense to me. Likewise decentralization and grassroots democracy and feminism. Perhaps it's a stretch to think of these things as strategies, but I do.

So, how does this tie together? I have made a poll. Points to the POLL-VOTE HERE link above. The poll will give us the top five preferences of voters for Green Party spending. There are sixteen ways listed to spend Green Party money. How would you spend the money?

My hope is that, over time, the various Green Party decision makers will use this sort of polling/sampling to make some strategic decisions. I trust the judgment of a hundred voters over a dozen "experts" pretty much every time, so long as basic and accurate information is supplied.

Anyhoo, it's fun, shown how IRV works, and it's free. Take the test, K? Thanks!

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Too Darn Much Going On

It's Saturday, and the blog is officially a week old. In that week 42 articles have been published, but in truth I am still trying to figure out what to do and how to do it. I feel pretty good about the response, and I know a lot of folks stopped by for an initial visit, and they may not be back for some time. hopefully when they do come back they will find stuff that gives them a reason to return again and again.

I assume recent visitors have seen the "Welcome Yahoo!" etc. What I did was invest a few dollars in Yahoo! ads. If I have this figured out right, every person who clicks through via a Yahoo! ad will cost me a dime at most. Of course, if this works well, I won't be able to afford it, but if it doesn't work well, what's the point, right? Anyway, as I wrote, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

The interesting thing I have done though is essentially invite folks who do a search via Yahoo for the phrase "Rush Limbaugh". Right there next to the ads for his books at Amazon and his ties at Target (No idea really, I didn't look at the actual ads) will sit my ad declaring something along the lines of "The Green Rush Limbaugh" and some details about my view of politics and the Green's role therein.

The ad should begin to run on Wednesday. Of course, the ads may get the visitor no further than the "welcome" page, but the way I figure it, if we convert a Rush fan who believes what we do, but doesn't know it, then we have both won a Green, and likely taken a vote out of the Republican or Democratic Party's bag-o-tricks.

Any way, as I say, there's too much going on. I get to go to Columbia today to spend some time with my daughter and her family. The president has been caught spying on US citizens (Didn't we warn folks!?) and the USA PATRIOT Act has been rejected, temporarily I'd imagine, at least in part as a result of these revelations.

In Colombia the ELN has entered into expected peace talks with the Uribe government. Ingrid Betancourt, the Green Party's nominee for Prez of Colombia who was kidnaped by the FARC along with her campaign manager Carla Rojas, may have a slightly better prospect now that things are moving forward. This step follows the disarmament of a right-wing paramilitary. Unfortunately, so far the FARC has not engaged the Colombian government in a dialog, accusing the government of deceit.

Nancy wants me to help her train her Search and Rescue dog today too, so some of the changes I had hoped to make today will hafta wait until tomorrow.

I also wanted to note that after a week the site has been hit over 250 times. While I get the impression that a lot of those hits are coming from forty or so folks, the site is getting hits from seemingly new folks all the time. I am enthused, and thank all of you for hanging out here. Let me know what I can do to make the site more useful to you please.
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Friday, December 16, 2005

Welcome Google Visitors


I don't actually know if this will work, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I placed an advertisment at Google, in the hopes that I would be able to lure you here. Once here, I believe that you might find interesting perspectives on issues important to you.

I am a green. That means that I have a certain world view. People who are not willing to take the time to learn often assume that greens are liberals. Even some greens believe this, but I do not. A liberal world view is too often based on government doing for people what they could do for themselves. But, unlike traditional "conservatives", I believe that business can also hurt average people. Many businesses would create dependency as quickly as government if they could. Self-determination. Interdependence. Individual and global responsibility. These are some green watchwords. Oh, and greens absolutely detest waste, or any sort.

I am also a Green. By that I mean that I am a member of the Green Party. The difference is that there are green Republicans, and green Democrats. There are quite a few green Libertarians. But I am a green Green, meaning that I believe not only in the values of the green movement, but believe that the Green Party is the best tool currently available to bring about green changes and green values.

Please visit my blog's "Front Page" now by CLICKING HERE!
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One last thing...again

A good number of folks have been visiting from the New Jersey Green Party and from the National Green Party, and I am grateful to them both. I still have no idea what I'm doing, and I hope to get this streamlined so it's not all one huge page etc, but for now, I am just glad to have learned enough to do this. *chuckle* It's true.

Anyway, one thing that occured to me is that there may be some folks going to a link page to get here. I like that idea because that means you're looking at what's at the New Jersey site first. But I also know that a lot of sites have a "Bookmark this page" button. I don't have one and don't know how to make one, but I am going to try to figure that out this weekend. For now, if anyone should want to bookmark this page, just hit the "Control" and the "D" keys at the same time. That will bookmark the page for you. On my computer, and I use Fifefox, the bookmark for the front page says "Green News and Opinion". Also, I use a Dell computer...sorry, I gave in to The Beast, and the "Control" key says "Ctrl". I know I'm being overly simple, but hey, I didn't know until someone showed me!

Off to the salt mines. Play nice folks, and we'll be back again tomorrow.


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Thought for the Day

Great laws protect me from my government. Good laws protect me from my neighbor. Bad laws protect me from myself.
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Today's News

The News Report

Warm Enough For Ya?

The BBC has reported ”Ocean temperatures recorded in the Northern Hemisphere Atlantic Ocean have also been the hottest on record.

British scientists also report that this was the second warmest year globally since such records were first reliably made, starting in the 1860s. The report clearly links this truth to global climate change caused by human activity.

A graph of world temperatures from 1960 to 2005.

The Bush administration has put the demands of science into a cost-benefit analysis system, and guess what? Turns out, the environment costs more than it’s worth. The future, free of all this clean air and excess solar radiation, will be a much warmer place, and who’s against warmth? Kittens are warm. Are you anti-kitten? Well, are you punk?

You stole my land, at least give me a chance to win it back!

The Catawba Indians of South Carolina had reached an agreement with the US government near the end of the Clinton administration. That agreement gave the Catawba $50 million dollars and the right to run both video poker and high stakes bingo at two locations in the state.

Video Poker was outlawed state wide a year or so after the agreement, and since then the Catawba bingo hall has seen a 50% drop in profits after the state established a state run lottery. Now the Catawba want to bring video poker back. A Master-in-equity court, pretty much the lowest court possible, has ruled that the Catawba have a right to video poker on their reservation, because the state changed the agreement with the Catawba by bringing in a state run lottery, cutting the Catawba profits by half.

On a personal aside, as a compulsive gambler who lost a business, house, myself and almost my family and life to my compulsion to gamble, video poker being my “drug of choice”, I am hopeful that video poker will not come back to the area. If it does, I look to see the entire state opened up to all forms of gambling, including casino and sports betting, in every city and berg, and soon.

As an advocate for justice, I am torn. I know that the Catawba, like all “New World Natives”, were decimated at the hands of Europeans..and the Catawba were one of the “Good Tribes” the white folks got along with by and large. I know their land was stolen from them. I don’t know if letting them win it back, mainly from the paychecks of the poor and working class like me, is the best way to see justice done.

Bring The Troops Home

In a Press Release, the Wisconsin Green Party has announced that they continue to push city-by-city votes on ending the US participation in the war on Iraq. Madison, Milwaukee, and at least a dozen other communities in Wisconsin will be able to vote on this issue, and the Wisconsin Green Party is a big part of that reality. Congratulations to them, and perhaps we can persuade someone to generate a report on where else Greens might be able to use this strategy. Any takers?

From Green Commons

Lou Novak points out the shenanigans that are leaving the Great Lakes at risk. Large scale diversions of water are curtailed, but smaller diversions can have an acute impact, as Lou calls it, a “death of a thousand cuts”. Links to the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News are included, so ya doesn’t haft ta trust jes us.

Labor Website of the Year

Labour Start, the British Labour website (not Labour Party, independent, like us. :->) has announced their 2005 “Labor Site of the Year” competition. Websites maintained by labor unions across the globe are self-nominated, and after review and analysis, the “Best of” award is issued. The top few sites are honored at the Labour Start website, and are always worth a look. It is amazing what our friends in organized labor are doing with the Internet.

Are you a member of a union? If so, and they have a kickin’ website, why not nominate it? Like the lottery folks say, you can’t win if you aren’t in.

Note from National

Over at Chlorophyll, Dean Myerson has posted a note from Brent McMillian, the national party’s Political Director. It seems that the Green Party is alive and kicking up some fact, two extra month’s worth of dust! We’ve already got as many candidates now as we had on Feb. 11th in 2004. And I personally know of two congressional races in SC that are not included in that list, and a possible third. Could be a banner year gang!

Energy Policy-Greens need one

As I mentioned in an “opinion” rant, we can look to world wide Greens for ideas, instead of only being able to look to the US experience. Well, our friends in Ireland’s Green Party are beginning the process of building a Green Energy Policy. I know we have the knowledge here, and the desire. We need a US Green Party energy plan people can see as viable, and they will want to have it. Perhaps the Irish are showing us the way.

Lord, what has become of my America?

I know the US didn’t turn evil over night. Perhaps the US still isn’t evil, but a lot of evil seems to emanate from here. The fact that the United States has an international reputation for torturing that Sec. Of State Rice has had to deny should be a source of great shame to us, in my opinion.

Now the Bush administration has finally gotten on board with John McCain to end torture as a possible tool for US troops, employees, or contractors.

Of course, we all know they wouldn’t lie to us and commit torture behind our backs...

OK gang, that’s about all for now. I am so happy at the participation here, and think that soon I will have a rhythm in place, and this site will be one folks will think worth their time. Y’all come back now, y’hear?
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On the Home Front

I have believed for some time that national campaigns are to have one purpose at this time, and that is to serve the needs of local and state parties. In that regard the Cobb/LaMarche campaign did as good a job as any of us could have asked for, given the resources available to the cause. Here in South Carolina for example, Cobb came to the state before our convention seeking our nod, and while here he did appearances for the Greens where he and we all knew no voters minds were going to be turned. The people attending these events were ineligible, under SC GP rules, to vote at the coming convention.

I also want to point out that the precincts and county where we had the best vote totals for the Cobb/LaMarche campaign, outside of Columbia, were at Parris Island, home of the Marine Corps Boot Camp. How in the world did that happen you may ask? Pat came to Parris Island days before the vote, at the request of Marines based there who had listened to her on the radio in Maine, where Pat helped them with their Toys for Tots campaign. Pat checked with us here in South Carolina before accepting the invite, which was an exceptional piece of connecting with the state party, and very "classy" if you'll excuse the expression.

While I am sure Pat didn't do a bunch of campaigning, her being there with those Marines, and the local coverage of her entirely positive visit, made the vote a reality. I only wish our state party had sent someone to work Parris Island with her, and that today we had an actual honest-to-god chapter there. We could have done much more than we did with the opportunities we had, myself included.

Cobb returned to South Carolina after the state and national convention, and again spoke for us wherever we asked him to. There was, as far as I know, never any attempt to fit the visit into the mold he may have preferred, but rather he seemed willing to do whatever we wanted him to do.

Perhaps however, the bigger question is, which national campaigns, if any, benefit the local chapters and state parties? As I have mentioned elsewhere, I don't think anyone would claim that the 2003 to 2004 period was one we would want to repeat without making a few changes. But, life must be lived in forward, not reverse.

It seems to me that the Green Party is strongest at the local level, and that the local level is where cohesion is the strongest. Greens from Smalltown South Carolina are more likely to get along with someone from Bigcity South Carolina than they are with the Big Old National Party. Frankly, I understand that. I think a lot of Greens distrust centralized anything, including centralized Greens.

So, how do we create a sense of Green connectedness? Perhaps there is a way to create a national campaign that can win local support almost everywhere. Is that possible? How would you structure such a campaign? Would it involve a membership drive? Lobbying? A national day of protest? A series of civil dis-obedience across the nation on a given day?

I know I'm just thinking out loud. Drives Nancy crazy.

The point is, we don't have to wait on some national committee to begin thinking of ways to grow the Green Party and spread the Green message. Any official Green Party action would, of course, have to be approved by the National Committee. But, if Greens here and elsewhere post messages about their plans to do XYZ on January 21st, then other Greens could decide independently if they want to join in the effort. (just pulled that out of thin air. Don't even know what day of the week that is.)

I'm going on a walk. Shouldn't take too long, down to the corner and back. It's cold outside, but the pounds around my waist don't seem willing to go bye-bye without some effort. When I get back, enough opinion for is next!
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Brother, can you spare a dime?

Many Greens would accept at face value the proposition that giving food to starving people is a good thing. I certainly do. But that can not be the end of the story. Believe it or not, the evidence is that giving food to starving people can lead to systemic problems that can ultimately lead to dependence, loss of self rule, the establishment of a permanent refugee class, and military conflict.

Of course we all know this, but how many of us feel the pull of the comfort zone of giving a few dollars every month to a direct aid effort? Of course those funds are needed more than we can imagine. But the old adage about feeding a hungry person versus teaching a hungry person how to feed herself has a basis in fact.

But a starving child cannot learn how to read, much less learn how to feed herself. A weakened man, unable to feed or properly shelter his family, cannot be expected to, alone and unaided, establish a means of providing for them. So, what do we Greens do in the face of such confusing and contradictory challenges? Wish I knew.

One strength, however, of the Green Party is our International nature. Between European Greens, where developmental foreign aid is not as controversial, and Greens in the effected countries, we should be able to put together a comprehensive plan to end global starvation by a date certain. We in the United States will have a role to play, and a vital one, but we are so distant from the problem by-and-large that it may make sense to count on the International Green Movement to develop a plan to address these issues.

A personal favorite for foreign aid and development issues is Bread for the World. Please let us know which groups you think are doing a good job of helping address these issues.
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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Quote of ther Day

"Whenever you are in doubt or whenever the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test. Recall the face of the poorest or weakest woman you have seen and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to her. Will she gain anything by it? Will it restore her to a control over her own life and destiny? In other words, will, it lead to swaraj for the hungry and spiritually starving millions? Then you will find your own doubts and your self melting away."

Mahatma Gandhi
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A call for help from our neighborhood

As you may have noticed, I am trying to make this a bit of an "action" blog. I intend to include brief things anyone can do, in the hopes that some of the visitors will do them. Of course, everyone wants your time and energy, and you can't do everything others want you to do or you'll never have time for yourself or the things you consider important.

With that in mind, and realizing that everyone has limited patience, I will post no more than two "action agenda" items per day. Hopefully some of us will be able to take action on them.

Here's today's issue. Mountain top removal. Yes, it's exactly like it sounds. It's a hideous system designed to maximise profits for coal mining compaines and the people who own them, and is destroying much of the Appalachian Mountain's beauty and economic future. Here are the words from the mouths of the activists fighting this battle. I proudly put their information here, and ask all my readers to take a look and sign their petition, which is right here.

Here's the letter Chad, the treasurer of the West Virginia Green Party sent me. I thank him for it, and all Greens working on this issue. It is my mountains you are trying to save, regardless of where I live. And I appreciate it.


I don't know if you take requests, but would you consider posting the following letter on your blog? I'm hoping that other state Green parties and the national party will take a close look at the MTR issue and support the efforts of groups like Coal River Mountain Watch. Taking a collective stand here would really help our efforts in Kentucky, eastern Tennessee, and West Virginia gain a foothold and some legitimacy in the central Appalachian region. They specifically asked the GPWV for our help.
The link to sign their petition is: here.


Chad Edwards
GPWV Treasurer
and blogger at Appalachian Greens

Dear Conscientious Citizens and Organizations,

Recent media reports promoting integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) coal power plants and coal fuel liquefaction as clean energy sources seriously undermine the movement in Appalachia to save our homes, communities, and environment from the ravages of mountaintop removal (MTR) coal mining. Even IGCC plants add pollutants and greenhouse gases rather than replacing older plants. Research funding for unproven, risky ideas such as carbon sequestration would be better spent on solar and wind solutions. But regardless of new coal plants’ methods, the nightmares created by MTR will haunt our homeland forever. There is no such thing as clean coal technology as long as coal is produced by raping the land and oppressing the people.

The MTR process begins with clear-cutting thousands of acres of some of the world’s most biologically diverse temperate hardwood forests. Much of the timber is either burned or buried. Then, tons of explosives, the same mix used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, are detonated to loosen the rock. Three million pounds per day are currently detonated in West Virginia alone. In a week’s time, this is nearly the same net explosive force used on Hiroshima. And this goes on week after week.

Then, the topsoil and rubble are dumped into nearby valleys. These valley fills have buried or negatively impacted over 1,200 miles of Appalachian streams so far. Valley fills often fail, causing damage to nearby homes and streams. The coal is extracted layer by layer, and then coal companies “reclaim” the land by coating it with a thin layer of topsoil substitute and nonnative grass seed. Over 600 square miles of West Virginia’s mountains have been leveled this way.

The barren land, devoid of trees, undergrowth, topsoil, and natural drainage, sheds rainwater to create catastrophic floods. A dozen people have been killed in recent years, and hundreds of homes destroyed or damaged. West Virginia recently led the nation in FEMA relief, relief that rarely covers damages to homes and land. People whose families have lived in the same area for hundreds of years have been displaced, adding cultural devastation to the physical devastation.

The coal is prepared for market in processing plants that use a mysterious mix of chemicals to remove impurities. The washed-out heavy metals and cleaning compounds are stored in multibillion-gallon toxic waste ponds—sludge dams—placed precariously above homes, communities, and schools. One of these dams failed at Buffalo Creek, WV, in 1972, killing 125 people. Another failed in Kentucky in 2000, polluting over 100 miles of streams, killing 1.6 million fish, and destroying water supplies for 27,000 people. Over 150 of these dams threaten the residents of southern West Virginia, including the 230 students at Marsh Fork Elementary School attending class 400 yards from a seeping, 2.8 billion-gallon dam. These students also breathe coal dust from the coal silo loading trains 220 feet from their school. The list of problems goes on and on.

As friends and allies in the defense of Earth and all Humanity, we ask you to heed our call. All of us who care about the health of our children and our planet must identify, challenge, and eliminate the oxymoron "clean coal" when we see or hear it. We invite you to join our fight against those who plunder our planet and poison our children. Join us in fighting mountaintop removal, fighting dirty coal power plants, and supporting renewable energy. We look forward to your reply.


Janice Nease
Executive Director
Coal River Mountain Watch

We the undersigned are opposed to the use of the term "Clean Coal" and opposed to destructive mining practices. We support truly renewable energy technologies because coal is so destructive in its mining, processing, and combustion.
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The Political Compass

This site has been promoted on Green blogs before, but with very good reason. Here's the message I posted at our local newspaper blog/forum

Some folks do not understand the terms they use when it comes to politics. Am I a liberal? Absolutely not. A conservative, moderate? None of those terms gets it quite right.

Are the current leaders of Russia conservatives? Are the Communist Chinese of today closer to Mathatma Ghandi, or Alan Greenspan? How different is George Bush from Bill Clinton in reality?

Perhaps most importantly, where do you fit on this spectrum? Are you sitting next to Ralph Nader and don't know it? Maybe you think of yourself as being politically like Ross Perot, but are in reality politically closer to Fidel Castro.

How to know. Wouldn't it be great if there were some sort of simple, quick, and trustworthy way to find out where you fit in the political world?

Visit The Political Compass, take their brief test, and you will find out not only where you fit compared to Stalin and Reagan, but the various political parties and candidates from 2004 (yes, including the Green Party) in the US, and historical figures recent and ancient. Political parties in Germany, England, New Zealand and the US, and perhaps others, can't remember, are included. It's free, easy, and totally anonymous. Take the test, enjoy, and perhaps, just maybe, leave a message here or at my Green News and Opinion blog.
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Runnin' late this AM

If you are one of the fine folks who is kind enough to visit this blog, I think I am beginning to see some trends, and I hope to take advantage of them.

First of all, I realize that anyone who has decided to sit down with a cup of Fair Trade coffee and read, they might well be disappointed, and not return. That would be a loss for both of us, and I'd hate that to happen.

So, looking at the statistics for the blog, it would seem that there is pretty much no one on the blog between 2 and 5 I think I am going to try getting up early like that so you'll have fresh Green News and Opinion to go with that coffee...or if you're like me, several cups of Green Tea. They say it's good for my aches and pains. Hope they are right!

Also, it's iced here in Fort Mill, which means that this lazy boy spent a little bit of extra time in the sack this AM. The rain has taken over from the ice, so in short order I should have roads clear enough to drive on. Since this has been my first week of maintaining my own regular blog, I haven't given enough time to my business. I am sure it will all work out soon, but of course I can't let non-paying work keep me from earning a living. As I say, this will all settle out quickly so that you, the visitor, get enough worthwhile to return regularly.

For this morning I fear I will have little to offer. I apologize, but I am rushed and will do more tonight, then beginning tomorrow AM, that cup of coffee...or tea, will have new Green News and Opinion as regular accompanyment.
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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Well, it's late already

And as much as I enjoy this, and I do, I am not making any cash while at my keyboard, so I am off into the "real world" again. For the next dozen or so hours, you're on your own gang. Have fun, play nice, and clean up your own messes. I don't want a sticky floor when I get home, you hear me? :-)


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CA Greens to go after Feinstein

Todd Chretien will announce tomorrow, Matt Gonzalez, Peter Camejo, and Aimee Allison at his side, that he will seek the Green nomination to take on the pro-war Democrat.

Chretien, who ran the Nader-Camejo campaign in Northern CA according to a lengthy article at The Socialist Worker Online, has called Feinstein's support of the USA PATRIOT Act and her support for ever growing military budgets a focus of his campaign.

The article says that Chretien is a member of the International Socialist Organization. I have made my personal opinion pretty clear before. Socialism is not, in and of itself, security against ecological or nuclear global suicide. Socialist governments can be very authoritarian, and unpleasant places to live. They can also offer humanity real dignity and prosperity. As in everything humans are involved in, an awful lot depends on the people in charge.

I don't know CA politics, as I think I have amply demonstrated, but it seems likely to me that this may not be the last Green to announce for Senator Feinstein's seat.

Keep your eyes...and wallets open folks. We can't let these pro-war elected officials of any party run without Green opposition.

Go out and recruit a candidate today! Shoot, I'll even buy a campaign button.
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Do you get eggroll with eight?

Eight...count 'em folks...eight candidates have already announced that they want to be the next governor of Maine. One of the most recent is the Green Party's own Pat LaMarche As I reported earlier, the Democratic Party Bosses jumped right out there and called her a spoiler before the first poll has been taken! Pat wasn't concerned about getting the Dem's permission to run, and the Kennebec Journal editorial seemed to tell the Dems to get used to it. The editorial praises LaMarche for her leadership in the Green Party and her past performance in races for Governor and Vice President.
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European Greens at WTO in Hong Kong

Genetically Modified Organisms. Should global corporations be allowed to sell them wherever they please in this new, globally interconnected world? Should local governments by allowed to tell corporate interests that they can not peddle these wares in their communities?

Caroline Lucas, Green Member of European Parlament, is in Hong Kong carrying a petition to the World Trade Organization, and argues that

"The right of individual countries to decide whether or not to allow GMOs in their food chains or their environment is a key element of the democratic principles which are supposed to underpin the EU itself. Neither the WTO nor the EU have any right to overrule the clear majority of EU citizens who do not want GMOs in their communities."

Sounds a good deal like decentralization and community based economics to me.
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Austrian Greens:Strip Arnold of Citizenship

Greens across the globe noted the killing of Stanley Tookie Williams, co-founder of the Crips. Killed by drugs sent through his bloodstream after what some might call a botched murder attempt, his supporters cried in unison after his death "The state of California just killed an innocent man!"

Greens in Austria called on the government to strip Schwarzenegger (thank God for "cut and paste") of his citizenship. He holds Austrian and US citizenship. The Austrian government rejected the idea.

It took the executioner twelve minutes to get the needle in...twelve minutes of cruel and unusual punishment in this Green's eyes.

"Vengence is mine" sayeth the Lord.

Guess Arnold, and all executioner Dems and Repubs, feel pretty Lordly when the time comes to stick the needle in.
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Reporting Hopeful News

I won't take the time to re-do all the links, but the British Broadcasing Corporation (BBC) has reported that President Uribe of Colombia has agreed to demilitarize a good sized chunk of his nation so that government officials and representatives of the FARC, the largest armed anti-government faction in that country, can meet and discuss possible prisoner exchange.

That means hope for Ingrid Betancourt and Carla Rojas, two Greens kidnapped during a presidential bid by Betancourt. Rojas was her campaign manager.

I'd sincerely ask each of you to take a few moments to write, even if you wrote yesterday, to the Colombian Embassy. This time I would like us to send the message :Bravo Mr. Uribe. We appreciate your outreach for peace with the FARC, and hope that Ms. Rojas and Ms. Betancourt will be home with their famalies soon. Please continue to do all you can to secure these brave women's release from captivity.

But, you know what to say. Here are the places to say it:

FAX - 202-232-8643

Email -
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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

One last thing

In an earlier post I refered to Dean Myerson as a member of the staff of the Green Institute. That is far from adequate, and I apologize to Dean for using that phrase. I didn't realize until I went to the site myself for some reasearch that Dean is not just "staff", but is in fact the Executive Director.

Dean and I have not always agreed, but he's a Green through and through, and being Executive Director of what can fairly be called the most influential Green Party associated think tank in the nation is a substantial accomplishment. I am glad to note that accomplishment here and now.
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I messed up

I went to check my email and saw that I had apparently changed the settings so that I had to approve messages before they posted. I don't want to do that. I don't have time, and don't want to inhibit the free flow of information and opinions. It is possioble that at some point I might have to ask someone to get their own sandbox to play in, but for now I'm just going to do my best to keep everyone civil.

I will admit to being less than diplomatic. I have told officers of the GPUS to go fuck themselves...literally. I don't play well with others. Part of the reason I am not on the national committee representing South Carolina is because there are folks on our state's Steering Committee who would rather leave a seat unused than give it to me.

I ran for the state steering committee at our last convention. There were six candidates for six seats...and I *still* lost! ~Chuckling~ How's that for a kick in the pants?

But I know why I am a Green, and I know what the society I want my granddaughters to grow up in to look like. I can tollerate a lot of crap in this world if it helps us get to a safe, sane and loving future.

So, play hard, but play fair...and the comments are unregulated! Get 'em while the're hot!
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So I lied...sue me

I forgot. The site has a counter at the bottom, and I see that we have had over 100 hits since I set this up, which for me is pretty amazing, but what do I know? *Laugh* The truth is, I don't know what I'm doing, but I'll be damned if I'm going to do nothing!

Thanks goes to The Maryland Greens for their link to this blog. A bunch of folks have slipped over that cyber-border, and I appreciate it a lot.

I think I'm done now. Thanks again folks. Peace out.
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That's all for now folks

I'll post more tomorrow early AM so I can get to work. The people I owe money to like it better when I work at something that pays money. ~Grin~

For now, I still haven't figured out how to post my email address permanently to the site, so I'll leave it here just in case. It's Leave me your comments here, or drop me a line, and we'll "talk". For now, thanks, and play nice. We have real monsters to slay. Thanks for reading, and for caring.
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Takin' it to the People!

Don't tell the folks of La Crosse, WI that there is nothing they can do to stop the war on Iraq. They have demanded their City Council adopt a resolution opposing the war. If they fail to pass it, the La Crosse Tribune reports that the question would be put before the voters in a referendum.

We know a few things about who we Greens are, and what drew us to the Green Party. We know that the Ten Key Values, and the corporate party's corruption and lack of vision brought many of us to the Green Party. We know that mouth to mouth is the best way to spread the Green message, and that running candidates or issue campaigns is the next best way to grow.

Take a look at your state laws. Can your Green Party put such an issue on your ballot? If so, let us know. Maybe there's a Green "Party Builder" right here, a template for new or inactive chapters to try.
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CT Greens and Libertarians about to take it on the nose?

Sen. Andrew W. Roraback, R-Goshen, submitted an oped to The Hartford Courant about public financing of campaigns in that state, and back room deals designed to protect the dollar bill lined pockets of CT's lawmakers.

Most interestingly, the Senator, a Republican mind you, said this: "Finally, it is ironic that a campaign finance reform bill will make it substantially more difficult for Green Party, Libertarian and other third-party candidates to access public funds readily available to major party candidates. Republicans and Democrats have, with this bill, protected their positions of power.

Folks, when an elected Republican says we're about to get screwed, I tend to believe 'em. I hope someone in CT will let us know what, if anything, we out-of-staters can do.
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Human Rights Day and Kidnapped Green

In Colombia, on the 10th, International Human Rights Day, (note brief article below) a new book was released detailing a number of peace initiatives by local groups and international groups to bring some sort of peace to that war torn area.

The article points out that, even though they face arrest, torture, kidnapping or murder, progressive and peace loving activists like Ingrid Betancourt continue to stand up and demand what's right.

If these sixty or so examples from Colombia don't inspire us to action, well, what would? If these people, union organizers, peasant's representatives, small business leaders, priests, if they can stand up when faced with kidnapping and death, surely we can get off our hip pocket long enough to send $10 to the Green Party.

Rosa, Ingrid, and untold thousands across the planet have already done the heavy lifting for us. What we need to do now is think. We want the United States to be sufficient in energy, right? We don't want others to be able to control us by controlling our energy, right?

Then how in the world can we not donate to the Green Party? Do we want independence from corporate money? Well, guess who's money we need to replace that corporate money? That's right...yours!

So give. Toss a few dollars into the collective hat, and let's get busy making change instead of internal enemies!

My Green opponents are not the problem. It's a few thousand very rich people and the corporate, governmental and political structure they have put in place over generations to protect their control that are the problem.

Dems and Pubs pretend to disagree at the highest levels, and it is there that I believe there is no difference between the two. The rank and file of the two larger parties are not on the same wavelength, but the people at the top basically are. They are all, D and R equally, pro-military, pro-corporate, pro-government, pro-centralization and pro-status-quo. There is no such thing as a revolutionary Democrat or Republican at the top of these parties. Neither Reagan nor Clinton were revolutionary in any real sense, and all government is a stage/business/sandbox for too many people who are supposed to be representing us.

Guess you could say I'm opinionated. Who knew?
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Every parent's nightmare...and every child's

As a child I remember thinking how horrible it would be if a member of my family were kidnapped. May sound wierd, and maybe it is, but I thought about such things, and they terrified me.

As an adult, and parent, now grandparent, of two girls, I have known real fear wneh I couldn;t find one of my children. Even though she was with her now husband, at the time I had her kidnapped in my mind. I can't remember ever feeling more hopeless and helpless

Ingrid Betancourt, Partido Verde Oxygena candidate for President of Colombia, continues to suffer illegal inprisonment by the FARC, an armed faction in Colombia's confusing (to me) political and economic world. She campaigned by focusing on the crimes of both the drug lords and the government lords, including their para-militaries, on all sides.

Ingrid and Clara Rojas, an campaign manager, were kidnapped by the FARC. As we approach four years of captivity for these amazing and powerful women, the BBC is reporting that the AUC, one of these para-militaries, has disarmed. Even the leader and commander surrendered their weapons.

This opportunity, this opening, can be a crack in the door that is needed to move forward on securing Ingrid and Rosa's freedom. Please consider sending an email to the Colombian Embassy, or a fax, encouranging the Colombian government to avoid armed conflict with the FARC in any attempt to rescue Rosa and Ingrid, and asking them to use the utmost effort to peacefully secure their release. If you can write in Spanish, even poorly, write in Spanish. Everyone appreciates the effort to communicate. But if you can't write in Spanish, write anyway. They have translators if needed. :-) The Columbian Embassy in Washington DC can be reached at 202-232-8643-fax, or at

Don't be nasty. The government deserves that I am sure, but we're trying to help Ingrid and Roas, not ourselves. Thanks. ~Gets down off his little cyber soapbox and sits down~
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A view from Green Commons

jlundell wrote about the question of Peter Camejo as substitute for Ralph Nader in the 2004 California primary. To find out what s/he had to say, just click here.
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Ohio Greens SNAP into line

The Ohio Greens issued a press release supporting SNAP, Solidarity Network of those Abused by Priests in their efforts to pass Senate Bill 17, which , according to the press release,

"1) Lengthen(s) Ohio's statute of limitations to bring civil action on most sexual crimes from the current limit of 2 years to 20 years. This is of utmost importance, considering many abuse survivors are not are not emotionally capable of seeking justice in the small time frame that the current law allows them to do so.

2) Reopens all cases where that statute has expired for an additional year, making this ordinance retroactive. This will help protect others, namely children, by exposing past rapists and abusers in the courts, thereby making them subject to the Ohio sex offender registry requirements.

3) Add(s) religious clergy of all faiths to the list of mandated child abuse reporters under Ohio law. This means that the Catholic cover up of their abusive priests will never be tolerated again.

The Home School Legal Defense Association has apparently already had their input into the process, saying that their concerns have been dealt with, and they stand "neutral" on this bill. Hmmm....if you are a home schooler, perhaps the Home School Legal Defense Association should hear that neutral is not a position home schooling parents would want to take when it comes to protecting children.

They could follow the Green Party's lead and endorse and actively support this valuable legislation. If you think so, they have a fax number. It's 540) 338-2733 If you prefer to share your thoughts via email, their email address is

Lots of Greens home school, and all Greens support protecting children from predators, in or out of a collar.
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Next CA Plenary report

California Plenary report

As of now we have an unconfirmed report that Cat Woods and "Marybeth someone" were elected to the Green National Committee as representatives from California. I have written Cres, the CA Greens Press Secretary, and asked for more details.

I think the essence of what happened at the California Green Party plenary session is reflected in these pages, although I am sure it's a less complete picture than we would all like.

Several folks were willing to talk with me on the phone, and since they don't know me from Adam's house cat, that was very generous of them. In addition, a few folks have made comments at the site, and I think they have been helpful too. Finally, Dean Meyerson, formally staff for the USGP, pointed out that the affiliation agreements between the various states and the national body may not be uniform. It would seem that it might make sense to ask every state to agree to the same affiliation agreement.

That was, of course, the opinion side of this article. Now let me see if I can scrape together some news, and hopefully news we haven't read before. :-)

From the California Greens press release, which was mailed to me by Cres Vellucci, Press Secretary for the California Greens. I couldn't find a link to the piece, so until it's posted, you'll just have to trust me. ;-P

The Green Party of California – in the first day of its two-day State Convention here Saturday – said it will spearhead a statewide initiative in 2006 that would dramatically increase the hourly minimum wage in California by $2 to $8.75 an hour – the first increase for the state's lowest paid workers since 2002.

Meeting here at the University of California, Davis, about 100 Green Party delegates from Los Angeles to Eureka said they will organize locally with labor, immigrant and other social justice groups – and even other political parties – to put the measure on the ballot in November of 2006.
The Greens are also pledging to financially support the initiative – on Saturday, one Green Party county delegation wrote and presented a $1,000 check to Californians for Fair Wages, the statewide political action committee overseeing the initiative.

The campaign will try to become the first successful all-volunteer signature-gathering effort in more than a decade. Signature-gathering for the initiative is expected to begin by the end of December.

Now, that's the official press release, but I know you want more than that, so I'll try to paste together some info that might give us all a sense of how stuff went. But remember folks, I was not there. I am an exceptionally poor source on this topic. If you're interested, I'd suggest writing any friends you may have in the California Greens and ask them what their impressions were.

For the moment, there are some notes I have gotten, with permission to pass them along, and I hope you'll find them helpful.

First of all, Cat Woods wrote a very nice and detailed piece about the plenary, and I am in her debt for doing so. The first point Cat made, and perhaps the most important point Cat made is "I'd just emphasize that most of us are thinking forward, not backward." I believe this is true, on all sides of the divide...and remember folks, there are not two points of view on the issues, but several.

She wrote independently of what Dean Meyerson wrote, and they reflected the same basic information on CA's original affiliation. I think the most important phrase Cat used in discussing the basic question of how affiliation was done was, "Basically, it was the typical problem of Green follow through." In other words, like the co-chair vacancy that has been there since the Tulsa meeting, the affiliation agreement and who signed it were allowed to go unanswered for so long that feelings got damaged and trust was lessened. I can say from personal experience that problems do not go away just by ignoring them, but this is what it seems happens too often.

I was amazed to read "There was one proposal and six possible amendments which were all over the map, so it was equivalent to seven
separate proposals. We had 45 minutes.

45 minutes? Wow...that's moving on if you ask me! To be able to deal with such a major issue in such a brief time frame deserves comment, and I am sure everyone had to bend some to comply with that schedule.
Of course, it was not all milk and honey. As Cat reported, and again, I have limited information, but trust that Cat is being honest and complete, the gathering had to take 20 minutes to decide how to set up a straw poll of the delegates. That much time spent on what would seem, from here, where I can't see anything, seems like time that could perhaps have been better spent. Of course, I have myself been a part of that chorus of complaints and insecurity that can stretch things out longer than necessary, so I understand the feeling.
These are the results of this straw poll as reported to me by Cat:

original proposal: approve affiliation agreement, affirming our bylaw that "no GPUS decision is binding on the GPCA without its consent" and interpreting that to mean that any GPUS decision or nomination that affects CA must be approved by a General Assembly if contested by the GPCA membership. 26 votes
Amendment 1: change interpretation of bylaw to mandate a state nominating convention to approve presidential nominee through an IRV election. 29 votes
Amendment 2: In addition to amendment 1, change the affiliation agreement itself to take out the implication regarding presidential nominees. 2 votes

Amendment 3: delete second paragraph that interprets bylaw (just approve affiliation agreement and affirm our autonomy bylaw) 16 votes

Amendment 4: reject the affiliation agreement and form a reaffiliation committee 6 votes

Amendment 5: also give counties autonomy in all statewide races. (I called this one the "sarcastic" amendment, since it came from people who believe we *are* bound to the national ballot line and considered this a way to point out the absurdity of our bylaw. The bylaw is our bylaw, like it or not, so if they want to change it, they need more than
sarcasm -- they need to propose a bylaw change and get 80% approval for it. I pointed out that the legal and democratic situations are very different between the cases, but since I'd said we'd consider any amendment, I left it in.) 4 votes

Amendment 6: replace second paragraph with forming a committee to bring the issue back. 16 votes

Now please note that this is a personal conversation between two Greens. Please do not go off on a "Cat said this but she's a pain" sort of thing. If Cat or I made a reporting error, please point it out. But if you just want to say "So and so is a jerk"...well, blogs are free for the taking. *smile*

I am not saying that Cat's 100% accurate in every detail, but to me she seems credible and, while clear about where she wants the Green Party to go, she doesn't strike me as being anti-democratic, and certainly not anti-Green.

Cat said that some folks were critical of the process, with one proposal and six amendments etc, but she feels that the needed 80% vote was not going to happen this weekend. Placing a few of the proposals that got substantial support before a committee with a decision to be made at a future plenary seems to be the compromise that has been reached.

I end with this quote from Cat's email, which sort of wraps everything up in a package.

What I take from all this:
* There was virtually no support for messing with the text of the affiliation agreement itself. (I think, in addition to seeming complicated and problematic, it also seemed unnecessary, since we interpret our bylaws and legally control our ballot line, not the GPUS.)

* There was very little support for sarcasm toward our autonomy from national. (I dug up quote after quote since 1998 of assurances that we were not giving up authority and would retain our autonomy.)

* There was little support for disaffiliating.

* The GPCA by and large takes this issue seriously and wants to consider it carefully. It neither wishes to recklessly disaffiliate nor allow the threat of disaffiliation (from the crowd behind 191) to control us, in violation of our bylaws and without the consent of our decision-making body (the GA).

This story was the reason I started doing this blog with any real determination. I hope the readers have gotten some benefit from my first attempt at long distance reporting.

A reader posted a message and asked for my email address so s/he could write me privately with observations. That is, of course, fine. I will gladly quote anonymous sources, and even go to jail for you if need be. (Not really, but hell, it sounds good. Don't worry, "real" journalists don't protect anonymous sources either.) But I will keep your name out of it unless forced to reveal my sources to a court. Again, not that I'm a journalist, I am not, but I can keep my mouth shut.

OK, for those who want it, and I'll figure out a way to set up a link at the site that will stay in place, here is my email address:
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