Friday, March 31, 2006

How can you mend a broken heart?

If you are of a "certain age" you may remember those words as part of the BeeGees "bubble gum" period, but the words do fit in this context.

Imagine that you were raised by a peace loving mother, and that she instilled in you a respect for people and hope for peace in the world. Then imagine that you, in turn, taught these things to your child. Finally, imagine your child going to a war torn nation, struggling to bring common sense and peace to a people occupied and not yet recovered from decades of abuse at the hands of the Baath party. Imagine being here, in the US, while your peace loving child is in danger's way in a far off land.

Michael Berg didn't have to imagine. He is that man.

His son Nick is the one who went to that war torn nation, Iraq. He was detained by the FBI and American military illegally for thirteen days. Just as the horror stories of abuse at Abu Ghraib was making news, Nick was kidnapped, and on May 7th, he was killed by his captors. His beheading was splashed all over the world, as it was taped by the murderers, and posted to the Internet.

Now Michael is turning the horror, the anger and mistrust to another, holier purpose. Instead of turning inward to hurt, or outward in rage, Michael is giving peace another chance by running for Congress in Delaware. It would seem that Michael has decided that only love can drive out hate, and only understanding and cooperation can lead to a world at peace.

Folks, I know that I ask a lot of you. I post links and ask you to give to the Green Party, or think about donating to a candidate, or sign a petition...some folks just write about their daily lives at their blogs, and that is fine.

But today I ask each of you to take the time to click Michael's campaign website, and please consider the value of his voice in the Congressional forum. Imagine a man, filled with compassion and love, running for Congress to represent you, regardless of where you live.

Nothing more today, and nothing behind the "Read more!" link, so check out Michael's site, and perhaps you could start by tossing a few $$ to his campaign. I can't imagine a better use for my loose change.
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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Oops...I forgot

What if you went to vote for yourself, and found out that you couldn't get a ballot with your name on it? The Oak Park Pioneer Press reports on just such a situation...effecting Greens no less! Hit the link for the full story, or peak behind the curtain and see more behind the "Read more!" link...

Green Party ballots spotty, new machines hit bumps


Tim Curtin was the only Green Party candidate on the primary ballot in Oak Park last week, but still he faced an uphill battle to win the township committeeman race.

Curtin, like many Oak Parkers, were unable to receive a Green Party ballot to vote in the primary election, March 21.

"They didn't have any," he said of the ballots when he went to his polling place at St. Giles Church early on election day. "It's fascinating to me there. The county's been called and I've been getting a dance all day," he said that afternoon.

Scott Burnham, spokesman at the Cook County Clerk's Office, acknowleged that Green Party ballots weren't available at every precinct.

"I think they were only eligible to appear in a certain number of precincts," Burnham said. "In order for a third party candidate to appear on the ballot, the party has to reach a certain threshold of votes in the previous election. It's my understanding they were not eligible to appear on the ballot in every precinct."

8th District only

Green Party candidate Julie Samuels ran unsuccessfully in 2004 against Calvin Giles for state representative of the 8th District. Burnham said Samuels did reach the threshold, receiving at least 5 percent of the total vote in that race, so Green Party ballots were available to voters in the 8th District.

"It's not like people don't know we're here," Curtin said of the Green Party.

The Green Party also ran committeeman candidates in Berwyn and Proviso townships. Curtin said those townships didn't have ballots for the Green Party either. He called for the county to impound the vote and have another primary election.

"It seems the only proper thing to do," Curtin said. "People have been denied the right to vote. . . . I don't think there's any other way to treat the candidates fairly.

This wasn't the first time this election season Curtin has run into problems. The county misspelled his name as "Tim Curtain" on initial early-voting ballots. After contacting the county, new ballots were distributed for early voters.

Missing Green Party ballots weren't the only problem voters encountered in Oak Park. Others cited delays related to the two new voting machines rolled out in suburban Cook County for the first time last week.


"It was absolute incompetency," said Les Golden, who votes at Field Center.

Golden said he went to vote at 3 p.m., when the polls aren't generally busy. But on March 21, he said, there was a line of waiting voters.

"People literally were walking away," Golden said. "They didn't want to wait. There was mass confusion."

Golden said voters and election judges alike appeared confused by the new optical-scan paper ballots and the touch-screen voting.

"We sent out a mailing to every suburban household that detailed the changes. There was extensive media coverage," Burnham said. "We had some problems on election day. Most of them were isolated and scattered in terms of the equipment. Some machines weren't working. We need to look at that and determine if that was a malfunction or election judges didn't set them up right.

"The voters told us they did like the paper ballots and the touch screen when compared to the punch cards," Burnham added.

Golden said County Clerk David Orr, who oversees elections in suburban Cook, should resign.

"A man of integrity would resign. Let's see what David Orr does," Golden said.

Cheri Bentrup can be reached at
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Time to get busy

Enjoy your day folks.

I'm off to make a dollar or two. See ya soon.

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A discussion

One of the things I wonder about from time to time is, where do I spend my time to it's most effective? Does time spent here add up, or am I only preaching to the converted? Do pieces at OpEdNews hit already receptive eyes, or am I better off writing in a local newspaper blog?

So, I try to do it all. Behind the "Read more!" link you'll find an exchange between me and "Enlighten". Take a peek...I hope you have ideas I can use to make a more persuasive argument...

Don't like what the County is doing? Run against them!

The deadline to fill out paperwork to seek the Green Party nomination for any seat is fast approaching. Anyone interested in running for office as a Green must file paperwork required by the State of South Carolina by NOON, March 30th. These forms can be had by calling 984-5414 locally, or 1-877-282-2236 toll free. They are also available at PostNet, across from the public library in Baxter Village near the intersection of Hwy 160 and I-77.

Gang, even if you think the Green Party is a bunch you don't want to be associated with, South Carolina has seven ballot qualified political parties. It's difficult to imagine that there is no party amongst those seven that comes close to reflecting your beliefs. Why moan and grumble about the County Council and then sit on the sidelines as they walk up and take another term, without even having to lift a finger to defend their actions.

Need I remind readers about the bond issue? The hospital issue? The growth issue, land fills, natural gas prices, "Pennies for Progress", bar closure times, tree clear-cutting, sweetheart deals with corrupt multi-national corporate criminals...surely there is someone out there reading this who is tired of letting local politicos run without competition.

Even if you don't want to run Green, but do want to run, and are not sure how to proceed, give me a call. I'll do what I can. And that may not be much. ~smile~

Enlighten responds
tired of it all, but...

you can be sure that there are many people fed up with the whole mess and are as qualified as the next person but they are really "un-electable" because of the way they live their life. If you do not attend church, are not heterosexual, or semi-comfortable in this county, you will not be elected. Right or wrong, that's how it is.

Why would I waste my time trying to get elected knowing that even if I tried? I certainly vote "green/independent" when I can. However, when our very nation is threatened, then I have, in the past, been forced to vote for the Dems. Sad but true.

What happens locally is exactly what happens nationally. Honesty in politics is long gone...I believe that greed has replaced common sense and we may never be the home of the free again.

My reply
Ah, but victories happen every day!

Listen Enlighten, I understand folks who don't want to spend their time building a better future for their children and grandchildren by engaging in politics. I understand why people don't vote. Considering that only nine people's votes counted in 2000, it's hard to persuade average voters to try.

That said, my wife ran for Fort Mill Town Council running against Wadell Gibson. Gibson is the Mayor's brother-in-law, was a high-school volunteer coach for many years, served as director of the town's utility and public works department for longer than twenty years, and served 13 years on the school board.

She lost by 37 votes.

Literally yesterday the Palm Beach Post reported that a member of the Florida Green Party was elected to the Lake Worth Commission. Not too shabby considering that she is a part-time teacher, raised less than 1/3 of the money the incumbent did, and won her seat despite the entire "establishment" gunning for her.

So, if the people of Lake Worth FL, or San Miguel County CO, or Cornwell CT or Windsor Heights IA or any of the other scores of cities, towns and counties have elected Greens, why do you think it impossible here?

Heck, Gray Newman was elected to the Soil and Water Conservation Board in Mecklenburg County. From that position, Gray can help push against, or for, the inter-basin transfers we have discussed elsewhere.

So, if you would prefer taking time to enjoy The Simpsons reruns every day, I have no problem with that.

Just don't tell me that I am wasting my time, and I won't make the same accusation about you.


I sense a sadness, a sort of giving-up. I understand this. I do struggle against it myself, but what options do we have? Those who believe in a better way must, it seems to me, push for that better way. George Bush may have The Ring today, but history has shown us that evil always loses to good. Hate always eventually loses to love. The only question is:

Which side are you on?

"Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil."- David Cobb, Green Presidential nominee, 2004

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Did we miss the boat?

Recently the Charlotte Area Green Party attended an anti-war rally in town. With a turn-out of about 80 or so folks, including almost a dozen Greens, I felt pretty good about what we were able to do. I still feel good about it.

The following weekend, 3000 to 5000 demonstrators were in another city park, demanding that new laws designed to drive undocumented workers back to their nation of origin be defeated. Any Greens in attendance were their on their own.

Did we miss the boat? Damn straight we missed the boat.

Perhaps our Green friends in California can offer some guidance. To see the press release they sent out calling for amnesty and equality in immigration policy, just click on the "Read more!" link...

Green Senate Hopefuls Call for Amnesty and Equality in Immigration Legislation


Monday, March 27, 2006

Sara Amir, 310.270-7106
Pat Driscoll 916.320-6430
Susan King 415.823-5524

Green Party US Senate hopefuls charge Senate changes in immigrant legislation don't go far enough, call for 'amnesty, equality'

SACRAMENTO (March 27, 2006) - In the wake of massive statewide rallies this past weekend attended by close to a million people, Green Party candidates for U.S. Senate Monday heavily criticized proposals which would still criminalize immigrants, demanding "amnesty" and "equality" for all undocumented workers.

They said a measure approved late Monday by the Senate Judiciary Committee still doesn't go far enough, and must still pass the full Senate and a compromise with the House bill (HR4437), which calls for criminalizing undocumented immigrants.

Three Greens - Tian Harter, Todd Chretien, Kent Mesplay - are running in the June Primary for the right to meet incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein in November. They called on her to do more than guarantee workers for the agricultural industry - as she did Monday - and stand up for the estimated 11 million hardworking undocumented immigrants now in the U.S.

"Nothing short of equality is acceptable," said Chretien, with Harter adding "We need amnesty for those who are here."

"We are witnessing the birth of a new civil rights movement, which is demanding amnesty for undocumented workers, the demilitarization of the Mexican-American border and general equality for immigrant workers," Chretien said. "These protests announce the arrival of the immigrant community as a powerful political force. I oppose proposals for a new bracero program, the so-called guest worker programs, because they do not grant amnesty and equality to all undocumented workers."

"HR 4437 would impose great hardship on many hardworking and decent people. The first step is to stop that legislation," said Tian Harter, who marched in Watsonville this weekend with 1,000 others, including Fernando Suarez del Solar, whose son Jesus was one of the first people that died in Iraq.

"As an engineer, I am painfully aware that the immigration system has been manipulated to bring down wages in the high tech sector. I want to ensure everyone gets jobs, and is treated equally," added Harter.

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A Green Governor who's also "Rich"?

Yes, the IL Greens have found the right concept I feel sure. Run someone "Rich" for Governor. In this case, "Rich" is his first name. Rich Whitney is running hard for Governor, and has an agenda any Green would love to vote for. More details behind the "Read more!" link...

This information is direct from Rich's website:
For a People’s Budget: Fiscal Responsibility, the Public Good and Fair Taxation
A Green View of the 2007 State Budget - February 15, 2006
By Rich Whitney, Illinois Green Party Candidate for Governor
Last week, I was discussing Illinois politics with a couple of voters in Carbondale, when one of them, out of the blue, said, “I’m not going to vote for any candidate who does not promise to raise taxes.” Her friend agreed, saying, “I feel the same way.”

I turned to them and said, “Well, you’ve got at least one person you can vote for.”

These sentiments are no longer unusual in Illinois. Illinois voters are waking up to the need to save government for the public good.

For years, the conventional wisdom, shared by both Democratic and Republican politicians, is that you cannot get elected unless you promise to cut taxes, or at least not raise them. During the Ryan administration, they did cut taxes – in the form of tax breaks and doling out other special favors for giant corporations and the wealthy. This paved the way for the structural deficits our State has suffered under since 2001. But Rod Blagojevich has been a prisoner of the same conventional wisdom. This “conventional wisdom” wrongly presumes that all the voters care about is themselves; that they are selfish, and that all they want to hear from a candidate is whether he or she is going to lower their taxes, or at least not raise them. It presumes that voters can’t comprehend that if you cut taxes too far, you can end up cutting your own throat, because you have made it impossible for government to serve the most basic public functions.

Please note the entire text of his "People's Budget" can be found by clicking here. It'll open up as a WORD document, or should.
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National Committee voting

The Green Party National Committee is voting on two issues, and in discussion of another. Full details are behind the links here on the "front page." No point in hitting the "Read more!" link because there's nothing there.

The topic under discussion is the Steering Committee open meeting rules. These rules, if adopted, will allow any member of the National Committee to attend the Steering Committee meetings, including conference calls so long as they abide by certain minimum standards of appropriate behavior. Eric Makela and Kristen Olsen are listed as "contacts", so I guess that means that they are in charge of moving this through. The issue is sponsored by the Minnesota Greens.

The first issue being voted on today is the Presidential Campaign Support Committee (PCSC) "mission and Objectives" This proposal was put forward by the PCSC itself and lists Kristen Olsen again as a contact person, along with Phil Huckleberry.

The Greens who believe we should run no one for Prez and Veep had better get darn busy right away if they have any hope of stopping the Greens from nominating someone for those offices. There has always been a faction which would prefer that we not run in those races, and if they don't speak up now, I don't see how they can say that they were not afforded a chance to be heard.

The second issue under a vote is the proposed new rules for Steering Committee impeachment, or more accurately, "Steering Committee recall"

For those who think the last run at Steering Committee removal was haphazard at the least, this procedure seems to lay out rules to follow, and new guidelines that demand some level of support for such a move. Sponsored by IL, RI and WI, the contact listed is Phil Huckleberry...busy man he is. All the juicy details are right here.

To date, the vote on changing the Presidential Campaign Support Committee "Missions and objectives" seems to be doing well, with 36 votes in support and only 4 abstentions.

The vote on Steering Committee recall is closer, but not close so far, with 37 votes in favor, 10 votes against, and 1 abstaining.
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Just short of the mark

The Jerusalem Post reports that the Israeli Green Party just missed getting into the Knesset, the Israeli parliment.

Had their votes been combined with the "Green Leaf Party", a pro-legalization party, the Greens would be in the Knesset. Even so, I am sure that the Israeli Greens will put their collective shoulders to the wheel, and make progress on Green issues there.

Full story is either at the link above, or you can slip behind the "Read more!" link to read the full piece...
Mar. 29, 2006 5:34 | Updated Mar. 29, 2006 5:42
12 parties to enter new Knesset

Only 12 parties entered the Knesset following Tuesday's elections, a reduction from previous years attributed to the new minimum entrance restrictions. The new legislation limited participation in the Knesset to parties that held two or more mandates.

Leading up the list of just-under-the-minimum parties was the Green Party, which would have been borderline under the old system with around 1.3% of the vote. Behind them, came the pro-drug legalization Green Leaf Party with 0.8%. Ultra-right wing settler leader Baruch Marzel's Jewish National Front, former security chief Uzi Dayan's Tafnit Party and the two secular parties, Shinui and Hetz, all earned fewer than one percent, with Shinui earning one-tenth of one percent.

The party that came in dead last was the Leader Party, which garnered a total of 528, which one commentator described as a situation in which the candidates and their closest friends and family were the only votes earned by the tiny faction.

Right-wing activist Michael Kleiner's Herut Party earned under 3,000 votes, and the Lehem Paarty, featuring poverty activist Vicki Knafo earned 1,233 votes.
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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

200 and counting

It's hard to imagine that I have posted 200 pieces here, but according to the "innards" of the website, that's what I am in the process of doing.

I sliced my thumb open last night, and while I don't type with my thumbs, I am still at a disadvantage versus "normal". With that in mind, I fear all I have to offer today will be meager pickings. I also have got to get to work to bring in some $$, something all Greens must do, or so it would seem. We apparently don't have a lot of "trust fund babies" amongst our numbers, but for the few folks who do give in the thousands every year to the Greens, my heartfelt Thank You!

It would seem, based on this series of letters that the Greens in Minnesota are enjoying a vigorous discussion of campaign strategies and ideologies.

Just in case your blood pressure is too low I have included the link to a piece by a real piece himself, Al Diamon. What a tool! He rips the Maine Greens for...get this..."only" 24,000 registered Greens in Maine.

Someone should give this guy a life...I'd give him mine, but I don't think my wife would much care for that.

A Green Party in Utah has announced their nominee for House of Representatives. In case you're following such things, this is the Green Party not affiliated with the Green Party of the United States.

The Wisconsin Greens have endorsed Senator Feingold's call for censure of King George, and invited him to join the Green Party. Now that's what I call hutzpah!

That's all for today gang. Keep up the good work, thanks for visiting, and make any comments you care to. It's free afterall, and you don't even have to register to tell me you think I'm a jerk. *grin* How cool is that?

Nothing behind the "Read more!" link today, so you need not bother.

Peace, Love and Understanding,


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Monday, March 27, 2006

Last post today

Imagine that your last name is Keating, and you want to run for Governor of Oregon. Where do you go for support with a name like that? Isn't Keating the name of some corrupt corporate thief?

Yes, but this is not that Keating. This Keating opposes the War on Iraq, has a long history of environmental activism, and with a background in business that will surprise many a non-Green, Keating joins a potentially full field, but with a message that just won't quit. Learn more by clicking here.

Nothing behind the "Read more!" link folks, so save yourself the effort. :-)

Peace all. I'm off to try to learn a living.

Anyone want to hire a Green editorial writer? *Grin*
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Stop the presses!

OK, so there are no presses per-se, but the point is, I have news you might not have heard from Fox and Friends.

Teasers here, and the full report is behind the "Read more!" link.

First off, Owen Broadhurst is running for State Rep. from MA, and he has a housing plan for you to look at.

Meanwhile, down in Florida, an anarchist is making hay in the Mayoral race with local Green Party assistance in Lake Worth, FL.

Aaron Dixon, of WA is running for Maria Cantwell's US Senate seat, and is covered by the Spokesman Review.

Finally, a bit of voice to rest your eyes. An interview with Ben Manski, former co-chair of the USGP.

All the details are behind the "Read more!" link...

Owen Broadhurst is an active and engaged Green. With strong opinions and a willingness to be the "outsider", even inside the Greens, Owen is giving this race his all, as you can see when you read the article here

Aaron Dixon also has a long history of advocacy, sometimes for unpopular causes. The run he is conducting as a Green is at least partly focused on stopping the War on Iraq, something that Cantwell doesn't support. The piece on Dixon can be found right here (It didn't open up for me. Hopefully it works now.)

Ben Manski is a former member of the national Steering Committee and a former co-chair of the party. He is interviewed along with a fellow from Common Cause. The link is right here.

And finally, Green Party member and anarchist Cara Jennings shows her stuff as she takes on the "powers that be" with the same passion we saw carry Matt Gonzalez almost all the way to victory.

Demopublicans be damned! The Green Party ain't stopping until we reach real victory...a safe, sane and sustainable world! Nothing short of that can be called a victory.
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Piece at OpEdNews

I sent a piece, entitled "Strange Bedfellows: Molly Ivins and Cal Thomas" to the OpEdNews. They published it today. As per my agreement with OpEDNews, I will not re-post the article until Thursday. IF you just can't wait until then, the piece can be found by Clicking here!

Oh yeah, there is nothing behind the "Read more!" link here, so don't bother.
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Thursday, March 23, 2006

I lied

I should have turned the computer off when I had a chance! ~chuckle~

I got an email from Africa Action inviting me to help end the genocide in Darfur, Sudan.

This is such a real issue gang, and in many ways Africa may wind up being the best testing ground for Green ideas...but not if it continues to be a killing field.

Please do consider sending a letter to your local paper, especially a small one. I continue to believe that a letter in the "San Pedro Advertiser" gets more attention, when sent to the elected officials so they see it, than a letter in the New York Times.

Besides, even I can get published in the Fort Mill Times or the Clover Herald, but getting into the Washington Post is out of reach anyway.

It's like this in some ways. We can complain that we don't get coverage, or we can create our own, like this, or reach out to those who don't reject us out-of-hand, and those are mainly smaller local publications.

Nothing behind the "Read more!" link, so don't bother. :-)
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Not much time this morning

so I am putting a brief note and links to a dozen or so Green related online articles. All of the articles were found at the Greens News Center They cover everything from anti-war demonstrations to the "Utah Situation" to candidates announcing for office. Enjoy! Oh yeah, you have to look behind the "Read more!" link to find it...

Well, it would seem that the people of Pasadena, CA were involved in anti-war activities. The piece mentions Green Party candidates Bill Paparian, Philip Koebel and Ricardo Costa.

In an editorial, the Pasadena Weekly said Believe it or not, there is actually a bright side to all of this business-as-usual politicking. And that is the emergence of the Green Party in the coming state and national elections as something of a populist force to be reckoned with.

The San Jose Mercury News article covers, among others, the California Green seeking office as Mayor of that city.

Tim Fitzgerald, the Green Party candidate for Mayor of San Jose, announced that he had campaign manager for his run.

Third Planet Video has put up Green Party videos at their website. Check 'em out!

Joe Calhoun is running for Congress from Colorado, and plans to stop the war on Iraq as his first piece of business. Wouldn't that be great!

The San Jose Mercury News, now a part of the McClatchy Group I think, published another piece about the San Jose mayoral race They did give coverage to the Green candidate.

Right over here you will find a piece by Tim Fitzgerald explaining why he's the best choice for Mayor.

The Los Angles Greens put up a series of photos from an anti-war demo in that center of celebrity. Look that Christina Ricci hugging Peter Camejo? Is that Donna Warren high fiving Jody Foster? Look carefully, right?

Six years after the stealing of the Presidency in Florida, the Palm Beach election authorities still can't get it right!

Finally, our good friends in Utah are fighting it out over the use of the name "Green".

Enjoy your day folks. I gotta get going. The pay around this place sucks. *Grin*

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Tom Turnipseed

Many of us have had a chance to meet folks who impressed us with their intelect, wit and committment to justice. I have met two in particular who fit the bill to me: Ralph Nader and Tom Turnipseed.

Tom, an attorney in Columbia SC, has a record that has taken him from organizing George Wallace's campaigns to becomming a life-time member of the NAACP.

Tom wrote an article for Common Dreams which is hiding just behind the "Read more!" link...

Published on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 by

Families and Politics

by Tom Turnipseed

We are all part of the same family, if you go far enough back.

Though exemplified by the biblical Adam and Eve, it is sometimes difficult for our immediate, nuclear families to cope with such eco- kinship. We have trouble acknowledging our greater responsibility to those who share our DNA and are affected by our failure to exercise our responsibility. I believe we all have a political responsibility to our global human family who die daily in Iraq and suffer from a diminished quality of life here in the 2nd Congressional District of South Carolina.

For the past few weeks I have considered running for Congress in our District. A perfect storm of issues cloud the path of an incumbent who has been thought of as a Congressman in a safe district.

Our shrinking middle-class are becoming the working poor, as more and more American jobs are sent overseas to exploit cheap labor and lax environmental standards in places like China and India. Despite the happy market talk of "Morning in America," "a City on the Hill," and "a flat world," we can't all be rich. We must save and expand the middle class rather than give more tax breaks to the rich. Our district has far too many folks without accessible and affordable health care, housing, education, and meaningful job opportunities, while the oil, war, and health-care industry profiteers make out like bandits. Perhaps the biggest elephant in the room is the all-time highest public and private debt in U.S. history.

If someone with credibility and name recognition runs a campaign based on respecting the rights of everyone in the district regardless of their race, religion, gender, or economic status, and restoring respect for the United States in the global community, they might win. The present administration has a credibility problem of lying to and spying on its own citizens and torturing suspected enemies.

Current polls reveal the President has a national approval rating in the mid-thirties and the Vice-President's performance is approved by only 18% of the people. South Carolina polls also reflect increasing dissatisfaction with the Bush/Cheney leadership. Our present Congressman toes-their-line on every issue and his support for their failing policies has had a very detrimental effect on the citizens of our district.

We need more independent thinking members of Congress who will really investigate the lying, spying, and torturing and take action to restore respect for our government, rather than engage in the same 'ol narrow, top-down partisanship. My wife Judy's wholehearted support for my candidacy is essential to its success, but she has a lingering sense of foreboding about my full-time involvement in politics.

Almost forty years ago, I was Executive Director of Alabama Governor George C. Wallace’s National Campaign for President. While Judy remained in Montgomery, my principal job in the 1968 Presidential campaign was to organize activities to gain ballot position for Wallace’s third party presidential electors and I was all over the country and spent several months in California. Volunteers from Alabama came out to California to help and stories of some of their escapades drifted back to Montgomery.

One involved a beautiful blonde from Santa Monica who worked for a rent-a-car company at our hotel headquarters. She carried on about how much she loved Southern drawls and proceeded to fall in love with a succession of good ol' boys from Alabama. The bellmen at our hotel alerted the Alabama boys to certain Venezuela Airline stewardess crews who doubled as hookers on their overnight stays in L.A.. In the oldest of Southern traditions, they seemed to enjoy slipping around and crossing the forbidden color line their leader had stood in the schoolhouse door to maintain.

Since coming back to South Carolina in 1971 I have waged several political battles against much of the South Carolina political establishment as a reformer who became a South Carolina State Senator and ran close, issue-driven campaigns for several other state-wide political offices and the U.S. Congress. Lee Atwater was incumbent Congressman Floyd Spences’s campaign consultant in our 1980 campaign. Wikipedia says Atwater's "tactics included push polling in the form of fake surveys by ‘independent pollsters’ to "inform" white suburbanites that Turnipseed was a member of the NAACP. He also sent out last-minute letters from Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) telling voters that Turnipseed would disarm America and turn it over to liberals and Communists. At a press briefing, Atwater planted a ‘reporter’ who rose and said, ‘We understand Turnipseed has had psychotic treatment’ Atwater later told the reporters off the record that Turnipseed ‘got hooked up to jumper cables’ - a reference to electroconvulsive therapy that Turnipseed underwent as a teenager."

Running against heavily funded candidates on controversial issues like racial and economic justice, utility regulatory reform, oil and war profits, and environmental sustainability was quite stressful to our family. Politics can be very vicious and debilitating. I went to jail with the farmers during the 1977 farmer’s strike, and the Klan has picketed my law office and called me a "liberal turncoat." Judy and I have been married for 42 years and our family relationship is most important to us.

Winning the 2nd Congressional District and taking on the Bush/Cheney administration and the petty partisanship in Washington would be exercising my responsibility to our greater human family, but even more important is my loyalty and love for my immediate family.

Tom Turnipseed is an attorney, writer and political activist in Columbia, S.C.
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Time to hit the road

And hope it doesn't hit back! Thanks for reading folks, and pass the good word along, OK?


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Read more!'s time to come home

In a piece at Common Dreams, Molly Ivins decries the lack of character in the national Democratic Party.

I hate to say so, but it's not just in Washington Molly, but all across this great land of ours. From sea to shining sea the Democrats are lined up to line their pockets with government goodies at taxpayer expense.

Look, a successful and powerful Democrat is going to get the special zoning rules so she can open up a doughnut shop where it's not supposed to go. A local Democratic elected official is at least as likely to take bribes (campaign contributions) from corporate donors, but isn't offered the bribes as often.

My Congressional District has been represented by the same two people on the state Department of Transportation, and both are Democrats. The rules say no one can stay but so long, so they swing it back and forth between themselves.

And guess who, a lawyer, is now a land developer? Yep, one and the same. Do you think that a person who gets to decide where the roads go should also be allowed to be a land developer Molly?

Molly, forgive me, but a Dead Horse can't be revived. The Democratic Party is as dead a horse as Biscuit is.

Why not use your power and influence to create a powerful force for permanent change...the Green Party needs you, and would, I imagine, welcome you with enthusiasm. I know I would.

Someone who reads this knows Molly..or knows someone who might know Molly, or knows someone who might know someone who knows Molly...kinda a "Seven Degrees of Molly Ivins".

If you are that reader, please pass this invite along. We need people like Molly, and I know she needs us too...even if she doesn't know it yet.

The column can be read by clicking the link above, or looking behind the "Read more!" link...

Published in the March 2006 issue of The Progressive
Enough of the D.C. Dems
by Molly Ivins

Mah fellow progressives, now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of the party. I don’t know about you, but I have had it with the D.C. Democrats, had it with the DLC Democrats, had it with every calculating, equivocating, triangulating, straddling, hair-splitting son of a bitch up there, and that includes Hillary Rodham Clinton.

I will not be supporting Senator Clinton because: a) she has no clear stand on the war and b) Terri Schiavo and flag-burning are not issues where you reach out to the other side and try to split the difference. You want to talk about lowering abortion rates through cooperation on sex education and contraception, fine, but don’t jack with stuff that is pure rightwing firewater.

I can’t see a damn soul in D.C. except Russ Feingold who is even worth considering for President. The rest of them seem to me so poisonously in hock to this system of legalized bribery they can’t even see straight.

Look at their reaction to this Abramoff scandal. They’re talking about “a lobby reform package.” We don’t need a lobby reform package, you dimwits, we need full public financing of campaigns, and every single one of you who spends half your time whoring after special interest contributions knows it. The Abramoff scandal is a once in a lifetime gift—a perfect lesson on what’s wrong with the system being laid out for people to see. Run with it, don’t mess around with little patches, and fix the system.

As usual, the Democrats have forty good issues on their side and want to run on thirty-nine of them. Here are three they should stick to:

1. Iraq is making terrorism worse; it’s a breeding ground. We need to extricate ourselves as soon as possible. We are not helping the Iraqis by staying.
2. Full public financing of campaigns so as to drive the moneylenders from the halls of Washington.
3. Single-payer health insurance.

Every Democrat I talk to is appalled at the sheer gutlessness and spinelessness of the Democratic performance. The party is still cringing at the thought of being called, ooh-ooh, “unpatriotic” by a bunch of rightwingers.

Take “unpatriotic” and shove it. How dare they do this to our country? “Unpatriotic”? These people have ruined the American military! Not to mention the economy, the middle class, and our reputation in the world. Everything they touch turns to dirt, including Medicare prescription drugs and hurricane relief.

This is not a time for a candidate who will offend no one; it is time for a candidate who takes clear stands and kicks ass.

Who are these idiots talking about Warner of Virginia? Being anodyne is not sufficient qualification for being President. And if there’s nobody in Washington and we can’t find a Democratic governor, let’s run Bill Moyers, or Oprah, or some university president with ethics and charisma.

What happens now is not up to the has-beens in Washington who run this party. It is up to us. So let’s get off our butts and start building a progressive movement that can block the nomination of Hillary Clinton or any other candidate who supposedly has “all the money sewed up.”

I am tired of having the party nomination decided before the first primary vote is cast, tired of having the party beholden to the same old Establishment money.

We can raise our own money on the Internet, and we know it. Howard Dean raised $42 million, largely on the web, with a late start when he was running for President, and that ain’t chicken feed. If we double it, it gives us the lock on the nomination. So let’s go find a good candidate early and organize the shit out of our side.

Molly Ivins latest book is “Who Let the Dogs In?”
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Ya can't keep a good party down!

The fine folks of San Benito County, California have decided they have had enough, and the time to do something about it is now!

What have these intrepid folks done? They have formed a Green Party chapter. Now how's that for a positive attitude!

The entire story can be had by clicking the link above, or peeking behind the "Read more! link...

From the

Hollister Free Lance

Green Party Coming to San Benito County

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

By Brett Rowland

Hollister - A Hollister woman and several like-minded San Benito County residents are gathering together to start the first ever chapter of the Green Party in San Benito County and hope to eventually get a candidate for city council on the ballot.

Lucia Navarro, who is leading the group, said she decided to form the chapter last year after former Green party Vice Presidential candidate Peter Camejo came to speak in Hollister.

"So many of us have become disenchanted with the Democratic party and its lack of leadership and courage," Navarro said. "The Green party offers a platform that we can really follow and appreciate."

Although the local chapter only has seven members so far, Navarro said more than 150 San Benito County residents are registered Green.

"Up to now, we've just been planning, doing the boring stuff," she said. "But once we start taking on the issues more people will join us."

Navarro said she thinks the Green Party will resonate well in San Benito because many locals are tired of the Democratic Party. She also expects that the new Green Party Chapter will attract independents.

Navarro said the Green Party is "worlds apart" from the Democratic Party on issues such as the war in Iraq and the death penalty. The Green Party, she said, advocates the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and the immediate end to the death penalty in all cases. The Green Party is dedicated to protecting the environment, fighting discrimination, fostering peace and nonviolence and electoral reform.

California has 156,000 registered Greens, but no more than 4 percent of voters in any of California's 56 counties are registered Green. In Nevada County, eight of the 14 elected positions are held by Green Party candidates.

Jeanie Wallace, chair of the Democratic Central Committee in San Benito County, isn't so sure the two parties are that far apart but she welcomed the Greens to the county.

"I think in many ways we are working toward the same ends," Wallace said. "I'm even hoping we can work together on some things - we overlap on a lot of common issues."

Wallace said both parties are interested in protecting the environment and social justice issues.

However, Wallace said she was slightly surprised the Greens would take up in San Benito County because the party usually has more support in urban areas.

California Green Party Spokeswomen Susan King disagreed.

"Rural counties like San Benito are really good for us," she said. "They are usually smaller and represent a real opportunity for us to grow a strong base."

It would much easier and less expensive to run a successful Green Party candidate for city council in a Hollister than Los Angeles, King said.

King also said she believes the newly-formed Green Party chapter in San Benito County is further evidence that the party's appeal is expanding.

"We really are growing," she said. "And the reason is the Democrats and their failure to remember their progressive roots."

The Democratic Central Committee could lose "one or two" members to the Greens, but Wallace said most would stick with a major party.

"I would probably be a member of the Green Party myself if I didn't think the Democrats were more effective," she said.

Sarah Stanley, chairman of the San Benito County Republican Committee, also welcomed the Greens to the county and said the entrance of a new political party was a credit to democracy.

"I wish them the best of luck," she said. "This represents the kind of freedom our democracy allows its citizens."

The Green Party's first meeting will be held Saturday at 1pm at Mariposa Tax Services at 411 San Benito Street. Those interested can contact Navarro at 831-634-0263.
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An opportunity to serve your party

Of course, any of us can drop a few dollars into the pot, and that is very important. That said, maybe you are the right person to really help the party with a time commitment.

What I am talking about is a little used, but very powerful tool that you may be able to pick up and put to good purposes. It's called Greensweek and it's supposed to be published...well, weekly.

The latest version, available by Clicking Here was published last year just after the elections.

There's nothing behind the "Read more!" link, so don't bother, but do think about serving as editor of Greensweek. If you have time to give, and many unemployed, underemployed, retired or disabled Greens may fit that bill, then I can't think of a better way to give than as editor of Greensweek. I hope you'll contact Scott McClarty or drop an email to Starlene Rankin and volunteer to run the show. We all would benefit if you did this.
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Yet another YC Column...

YC Magazine, published only in York County, SC, kindly publishes an opinion piece every month by the Libertarians, Dems, Repubs and Greens. Hidden behind the "Read more!" link you'll find the latest installment, entitled:

Run for Your Life

"We sure liberated the hell out of this place" The words under the cartoon showed an American soldier surrounded by the rubble of war torn Europe. America was clear in our mission. We had killed and hurt millions. We had spent billions. We had beaten racism, nationalism and corporate-government collusion. Fascists across the globe knew that they had been beaten.

The war on Iraq is a different matter.

One of the Green’s Ten Key Values is Grassroots Democracy. Our President, Congressman and Senators all tell us that this war in Iraq is important. They tell us that the war is justified because we are bringing democracy to the people of Iraq. Greens believe in Grassroots Democracy. We support elected governments. We support civic clubs as part of a democratic system. We support people power; the power of people over government. Government is meant to serve people, not hurt them.

Greens don’t support this war, even if the reasons given sound good. Truth telling doesn’t seem to be on the White House agenda. Bringing democracy to the middle east may be what they say they are after, but most Greens don’t buy that excuse. Democracy is not just dipping a finger and voting. Democracy includes encouraging labor unions. It means supporting neighborhood associations. Democracy means giving power to the people.

In York County, democracy means all those things.

Right now, as you read this, the York County Greens are looking for a few good people. We are looking for people who believe in Green Party principals. We are looking for people who care enough to run for office. People who care about the society we are raising our children in. People who are concerned about the planet we live on. People who want justice. People who believe that, as Mahatma Ghandi said, “... all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it – always.”

I’m not suggesting that our elected officials are dictators. I am suggesting that you can be the change you want to see. You can run for offices from Governor to Congress to Adjutant General. You can run for town council in Hickory Grove, Smyrna and McConnells. You can run for School Board, County Council, Soil and Water Conservation District Commission and Probate Judge, and many more.

Do you believe in Grassroots Democracy? Non-violence? Social Justice and Ecological Wisdom? If so, you are needed, and wanted. The Green Party and the people of York County need you. We need people to run for offices not to serve their own interests, but the people’s interests. Are you that person?

If you are that person, the process is pretty straight forward. Between March 15th and March 30th at noon, the Green Party will accept paperwork from folks who want to serve the people. Visit our website, www.YorkGreens. Com, and hit the link titled “Run for your life!”, and all the information you need will be there. As the bumper sticker says, “Quit yer bitchin’. Start a revolution.” What better way to start a revolution than to run for an office you are qualified for? Join the revolution. Run for your a Green!
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I know it's not Green news per-se, but good Lord what is going on! The BBC reports that General Motors plans to increase it's output of....hold onto your hats gang...more Sports Utility Vehicles, or SUVs.

The article points out that gas prices are rising, and demand for SUVs is dropping, and then points to GM's plans to jump up production.

Are we watching GM self-destruct here? Is a mad man at the helm, or am I just too stupid to see the advantages of building vehicles that loose money for the manufacturer?
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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Steering Committee recall redux

I am committed to the Green Party, and as such try, perhaps poorly, to focus on the positive. I don't avoid unpleasantness entirely, but I do try to use this blog and my other activities to promote the party. Frankly, I think we represent the best hope for the globe today, not just in the US, but world-wide.

I noted in an earlier post the names of those who cast votes to remove members of the Steering Committee. One of the names was that of Rebecca Rotzler, a co-chair and member of the Steering Committee herself.

Ms. Rotzler is very busy I am certain, and as such may have precious little time to respond to inquiries like mine, but she was kind enough to reply.

I asked Ms. Rotzler why she voted in favor of impeachment for most of the Steering Committee members in question, but did not vote to remove Jody Haug. I also asked her what impact she felt her vote might have on her working relationship with the other SC members.

She wrote back and I followed that with a suggestion of what I might say based on our email conversation. Here's what I came up with, and I think it fairly represents Ms. Rotzler's position.

Ms. Rotzler wrote in response to an email inquiry that she fills an
at-large seat on the National Committee representing Greens all across
New York, and as such she cast her votes as she did because they
represented the majority position in her state as indicated by votes cast by regional National Committee representatives.

As I said, I know Ms. Rotzler is busy, and she didn't respond to my question about how the folks on the Steering Committee might react to her after her vote. I hope she'll stop by and offer her point of view, but I know that first things must come first, and this blog ain't nobody's first thing...except maybe mine. :-)
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York County Greens County Convention

Who?-Anyone interested in the Green Party or York County's future.
What?-The York County Greens County Convention.
Why?-To meet candidates and learn about the Greens.
Where?-Fort Mill Public Library in Baxter Village.
When?-April 15th, from 10 AM to Noon.

Arnold Karr, seeking the Green Party nomination for Superintendent of Education, will be the keynote speaker. Mr. Karr is an educator in the state's prison system and serves as the president of their association.

Notice of Intent to Seek Office are available at PostNet, located at 1646 Highway 160 W, # E Fort Mill, SC 29708. These state mandated forms must be filled out and returned to the County Chair by March 30 at noon. Full details are at the York Greens website, including a map, by clicking right here

If anyone should fill out the forms, they will also speak to the County Convention. Filling out the forms does not guarantee a nomination, but one can't be nominated without first filling out the paperwork.

More complete details, as they become available, will be posted to the county party website.
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A question from Roger S.

Roger S. wrote a comment, and the question was important enough that I decided to make a post about it. The question he posed was

RogerS said...

"I don't know folks, but if we don't get some help, things don't look as good as they might. Imagine a national political party without a chapter in NY, CA, PA, VT, NY and FL.

"At a minimum we have lots of work to do in those states it seems to me."

Gregg, could you explain the last line above?



My answer is behind the "Read more!" link...

Thank you Roger.

What I mean is that there is a gulf between Greens in those states and Greens elsewhere, at least at some level. I believe we must, as an entire party, try to find a way to bridge that gulf, and then close it for good.

Party unity in other words.

For example, in Charlotte the local newspaper disrespected some local union organizers who had reached out to establish some sort of communication system between local media and local labor.

When the labor leader asked for support, it was given almost uniformly, even though some of the labor leaders thought their guy was out of line.

This doesn't mean that they don't have disagreements, but when a decision is made, the decision should be supported by all, so long as principals are not at stake.

Of course, in the debate between those who voted to oust the SC members and those who did not want them removed, both sides believe that principal was at stake.

I feel like Rodney King...wishing we could all just get along. There is no doubt in my mind that the most abrasive and obnoxious Green has it all over the average Democrat or Republican, but we have so much to do and so few resources to get them done that internal disputes seem to be of little value.

But we are people and as such are going to behave like people. People can be amazing, but more often than not, pettiness and other human failings come to the fore, leaving us struggling to find a way to get from point a to point b.

For example, I ran for Steering Committee in South Carolina. There were six people running for six seats. (Correct me here Steve, if you're reading.)

The party had established a rule, which I was unaware of, that a candidate for party leadership must win a majority of the votes cast to win a seat.

In addition, the three top vote getters would win a 2 year seat, and the bottom three would win a one year term.

I was more concerned that the SC have a substantial black presence than that I serve, so I cast my votes for the three black nominees and for Bill Bobo, a sitting member of the Steering Committee here in South Carolina.

The party treasurer, David Whiteman, was fortunate enough to bring a few members of his family and their friends to the state convention. After the vote was cast they left, and I didn't get a seat on the Steering Committee.

Now, I could have raised all sorts of fuss, but why? In the end, the people who got elected have accomplished relatively little as far as I can tell, but I am not on the SC, so maybe they have done a lot, and I just don't know about it.

Instead of getting all riled up, I decided to pay closer attention to my local branch, and try to get something real going here. I began to write for YC magazine, began blogging here and elsewhere, and am offering my services to Jim Dunn and Faye Walters, two congressional candidates who want to run again, and to Arnold Karr who is running for Superintendent of Education.

I guess what I am trying to get at Roger is that I feel that I was done wrong, but instead of letting my anger take up my energy, I decided to organize. The party is not going away, and the opportunity to run for the SC will come again.

Directly to this situation I would say this.

The "winners" in this situation should reach out to the "losers" and try to find common ground that we can use to get back on track. Both sides made mistakes, and both should admit that. Both sides have made exceptionally valid points, but again, both sides must admit that the other side does have some valid points.

Final word? The "winners" need to be very gracious, and try to find ways to fix the problems the other members of the family have, and the "losers" need to be understanding that they are not in authority right now, and support the party as best they can so that they can too expect this from the other side when tables are turned.

But shit, I'm just a guy with an opinion. Ya gotsta remember, I barely made it out of high school. :-)
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That's all folks

Got to get out there and bring in some cash.

Spoke with Dr. Jim Dunn just a few minutes ago. He ran for Congress from the coastal region of South Carolina, and plans to run again. His paperwork is in the mail as I write. Last time through he won 12% of the vote I think...not bad at all.

Anyway, thanks for reading, and I'm off to the salt mines.

Peace and Love,
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IL Green:I'll keep 'em home

In a Press Release, Rich Whitney, candidate for Governor of Illinois announced that he will use his position as Commander in Chief of the IL National Guard to keep them from going to Iraq. The full story is hiding behind the "Read more!" link...

Whitney Pledges to Keep Illinois Guard Home

Green Party of Illinois

Whitney for Governor 2006
P.O. Box 3803, Carbondale, IL 62902
Jennifer Rose, Campaign Manager: (618) 528-VOTE

March 20, 2006
Original version released March 18, 2006

[Rich Whitney, the Green Party candidate for Illinois Governor, spoke on March 18th in Carbondale at a rally marking the third anniversary of the war in Iraq. Whitney pledged to fight to keep the Illinois National Guard out of Iraq.]

"The National Guard, as the name implies, is supposed to be guarding the nation -- not serving a deadly and illegal fools errand in Iraq on behalf of the gang of corporate robber barons that is now dominating our government," said Whitney.

Under the state constitution, the Governor is Commander in Chief of the Illinois National Guard, stated Whitney. "While the federal government today had usurped broad authority to mobilize any state's National Guard for overseas duty, it has left governors with authority to veto any particular request to mobilize the Guard in their state, under limited circumstances. I intend to use that authority if elected."

"The current war and occupation in Iraq is plainly illegal and immoral," said Whitney. "It is illegal under established international law, the UN Charter, and the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal" Whitney pointed out that after the horrors of World War II, the US government was in the forefront of condemning wars of aggression, no matter what the excuse. "Robert L. Jackson, the Chief Prosecutor at Nuremberg, wrote that, 'We must not allow ourselves to be drawn into a trial of the causes of the war, for our position is that no grievances or policies justify resort to an aggressive war.'"

Whitney said that while current state law requires the governor to furnish troops whenever they are called to active military service, he also believes that the Nuremberg principles state that complicity in the commission of a crime against the peace is itself a crime. "Unlike our present governor, I will not be even a complicit or passive participant in a crime under international law."

* * * * *

Whitney for Governor 2006
P.O. Box 3803, Carbondale, IL 62902
Jennifer Rose, Campaign Manager: (618) 528-VOTE

Rich Whitney Promises: "If elected, I will fight to keep the Illinois National Guard at home - out of Iraq!"

[The following is Rich Whitney's position paper on his pledge, if elected Governor, to veto any further mobilization of the Illinois National Guard for purposes of serving in Iraq.]

The current war and occupation in Iraq is plainly illegal and immoral. It is illegal under established international law, under the U.N. Charter and under the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal. And it is immoral under a certain moral code that tells me that we shall not kill, we shall not steal, we shall not bear false witness against our neighbors and we shall not covet our neighbor's goods - even if those goods happen to include massive amounts of oil.

The illegality of the invasion of Iraq under international law has been well demonstrated by a number of analyses. One particularly good example is the report, Tearing Up the Rules: The Illegality of Invading Iraq, published in March 2003 by the Center for Economic and Social Rights. (See for a copy.) As that report explains:

Under Article 1(1) of the Charter, the world organization's central purpose is "to bring about by peaceful means and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace."

Similarly, Article 2(3) obligates member states to "settle their international disputes by peaceful means," while Article 2(4) provides that: "All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

It is beyond dispute that these provisions, and the Charter as a whole, impose a general prohibition on the use of force to resolve conflicts in international relations. The Security Council and General Assembly have consistently reaffirmed this legal principle. . .

Only two exceptions, specified in the Charter and supplemented by customary international law, permit the lawful use of force. First is the right of individual or collective self-defense in response to an armed attack, under Article 51. Second is the specific authorization of force by the Security Council as a last resort to maintain international peace and security, under Chapter VII.

Since the U.S.-led coalition invasion of Iraq did not meet either of these exceptions (it was never attacked or even threatened by Iraq), it was plainly an unlawful act of aggression.

After the horrors of World War II, the Allied forces convened an International War Crimes Tribunal at Nuremberg, Germany, at which it tried and convicted many of the Nazi war criminals who had caused and carried out the Third Reich's atrocities. At that time, the U.S. government was in the forefront of condemning wars of aggression - no matter what the "excuse":

Preventive war is unequivocally illegal. In 1946, the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg rejected Germany's argument that it had been compelled to attack Norway and Denmark in self-defense to prevent a future Allied invasion. The Tribunal concluded that these attacks violated customary law limits on self-defense and instead constituted wars of aggression whose prohibition was demanded by the conscience of the world. As the Tribunal stated: "To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."

No excuse offered by the Bush administration for invading Iraq - not the claimed "weapons of mass destruction" (even if they had existed), not the repressive and brutal nature of the Hussein regime (which our government had supported for many years prior to 1991), not its false suggestion that the regime had some "ties" to Al Quaeda, and not its after-the-fact phony "justification" that it was motivated to promote democracy (even as the U.S. government today provides military support or aid to over 30 dictatorships around the world) - can alter the fact that the invasion was a "supreme international crime."

We must make it clear to the Germans that the wrong for which their fallen leaders are on trial is not that they lost the war, but that they started it. And we must not allow ourselves to be drawn into a trial of the causes of the war, for our position is that no grievances or policies will justify resort to an aggressive war. It is utterly renounced and condemned as an instrument of policy.

Robert L. Jackson, Chief Prosecutor at Nuremberg and U.S. Supreme Court Justice, August 12, 1945.

It is a morally sickening development that our government - which once championed the cause of international law and order, as shown here - has sunk so low as to commit the very kind of crime that was universally condemned at Nuremberg. Every good and patriotic American should be offended by what the Bush administration - and its Republican and Democratic "yes men" in Congress - has done to sully our country's good name.

It follows from this that good and patriotic Americans have a solemn civic duty to try to right the wrongs that have been committed. And let no one confuse that duty by claiming that there is an overriding duty to "support the President," "not divide the nation" or "support our troops." That is total rubbish! Our duty is to stop our government's criminal conduct! Of course we support our service men and women and want them to be safe. That's not the point. We do not oppose them; we oppose our government using them for an illegal war and occupation.

The executive branch, including the President and the armed forces, is supposed to be the servant of 'We The People.' We fought a revolution to establish the right of the people to have that control over government. It is not only our American right and privilege, it is our duty to raise our voices and criticize our government when it is in error. As Thomas Jefferson once warned, "Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories."

Another renowned President, Teddy Roosevelt, who was not exactly a pacifist, agreed. He once proclaimed, "To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."

It is precisely because we have a civic duty to right the wrongs being committed by the present administration, and halt the misuse and abuse of our young men and women who have been sent to fight and die for an illegal war that I have promised, if elected, to do everything humanly possible to keep the Illinois National Guard at home - out of Iraq.

Under our State Constitution and statutes, the Governor is the Commander in Chief of the Illinois State Militia or National Guard. The history behind the "State Militia" simultaneously constituting the "National Guard" is itself revealing. Without going into great detail here, we should remind ourselves that, in the early days of the Republic, many of the Founding Fathers did not even support a standing army, and preferred to entrust the nation's security to the armed "Militia" - that is, the armed people. This reflected the Founders' understanding that the real purpose of having an armed force at all was for defense of the nation - not engaging in wars throughout the globe.

Unfortunately, over the years, as ambitious corporate interests gained power and influence over our government, and our government, in turn, began intruding into the affairs of other nations with armed force, the State Militias gradually became more federalized as the "National Guard." By 1933, all persons enlisted in a State Militia were simultaneously enlisted in the National Guard of the United States. And just as the U.S. military generally began being used to intervene in other nation's affairs, the purpose of the National Guard itself became perverted from a purely defensive purpose to becoming a tool of the same corporate-driven quest to dominate other nations.

Up until 1952, the federal government could only order National Guard units to active duty in periods of national emergency. In that year, Congress lifted that requirement, placing the National Guard under broad federal authority - but it left in place the requirement that the governor had to consent to the mobilization. In other words, the governor of any state could veto \ any particular request to mobilize the Guard in that state.

In the 1980s, the Reagan administration began mobilizing the National Guard for various "training missions" in Central America. Some governors refused to consent. Congress responded by passing a new law - called the Montgomery Amendment - which eliminated the power of governors to veto any mobilization of their State Militia by the federal government "because of any objection to the location, purpose, type, or schedule of such active duty."

I believe that this leaves governors with the power to veto any federal mobilization of the National Guard because of the illegality and immorality of the mission or assignment. And it is on that ground that I will, if elected, assert the Governor's right to veto any mobilization of the Illinois National Guard for service in Iraq.

The National Guard, as the name implies, is supposed to be guarding the nation - not serving a deadly and illegal fool's errand in Iraq on behalf of the gang of corporate robber barons that is now dominating our government. Unlike Rod Blagojevich, I will not consent to sending our young men and women - many of them kids who just thought they were going to earn their way to a college degree - to fight and die in the service of corporate greed, in an ill-conceived war that is making us less safe, more hated around the world and that is starving our state and local governments of funds to meet human needs at home.

I realize that under Illinois state law, whenever a part of the Illinois National Guard "is called or ordered into the active military service of the United States by the President" or the Congress, "it shall be the duty of the Governor as Commander-in-Chief to furnish such troops . . ." [20 ILCS 1805/3.] However, as I interpret this provision, it was not intended to supercede the authority provided under federal law for a governor to withhold consent when doing so is necessary to serve the interests of the State; rather, it is intended to set forth a basic "duty" that may, in some circumstances be superceded by a greater duty.

Second, under another, even higher law - the principles of the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal - as a government official, I would have a responsibility not to commit or further "an act which constitutes a crime under international law." Indeed, the Nuremberg principles state that, "The fact that a person who committed an act which constitutes a crime under international law acted as [a] responsible Government official does not relieve him of responsibility under international law." They also state that, "Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity . . is a crime under international law."

Unlike our present governor, I will not be even a complicit or passive participant in a crime under international law. I will do everything possible to prevent the sacrifice of any more human life in the service of such a crime.

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Ted Glick Column

Ted Glick of NJ publishes a regular column he calls "Future Hope The most recent version is behind the "Read more!" link...Future Hope column, March 20, 2006

A Spring/Summer/Fall Counter-Offensive

By Ted Glick

I couldn’t believe it. Late last week, in big headlines across the editorial page in the Bloomfield Life, were these words: “Saturday’s rally must call on Bush to resign.”

The Bloomfield Life is one of two mainstream weekly newspapers in my hometown. Neither the town nor the paper are known for their progressivism. And so it was a big deal for the editors of the paper to say: “It is hoped that this rally [on Saturday in Bloomfield] and many others to follow will not only call for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces, but also the immediate resignation of George W. Bush and his entire administration.”

Then on Sunday I was pleased to see Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury cartoon compare Clinton’s “lies about hooking up with an intern” to Bush’s “initiat(ing) a bloody, costly, unending war on false premises and approve(ing) covert policies of illegal detentions, kangaroo courts, extraordinary renditions, torture, and warrantless wiretappings of thousands of Americans.” The punch line, of course: “Which one should be impeached?”

These developments followed many others:

-a massive, sprawling, grassroots Impeach Bush and Cheney campaign that has been developing for years; there are literally 3,350,000 entries under “Impeach Bush” on Google;

-Senator Russ Feingold’s introduction last week of a motion to censure Bush for his admitted, illegal warrantless wiretapping, since co-sponsored by Tom Harkin and Barbara Boxer;

-Major articles calling for impeachment by Garrison Keillor at and Lewis Lapham in the March Harper’s Magazine;

-The co-sponsorship by, so far, 32 Congresspeople of John Conyer’s H.R. 635 to create a special panel to investigate possible impeachable crimes.

All of this, and more, is happening even though there is no chance that, under the current Republican-dominated Congress, impeachment proceedings will be initiated.

But it sure looks like this “Bush Must Go!” sentiment is a major motivator of huge numbers of people as we move toward elections for a new Congress in seven and a half months. The anger toward the Bushites is deep, wide and growing, and it may be that this sentiment will result in a very different next Congress as of November 8th.

Many of the powers-that-be in Congress and the media are doing their best to de-fang this authentic grassroots movement, among them: Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, the N.Y. Times, the Wall Street Journal and influential conservatives Paul Weyrich and Rush Limbaugh. The Democratic leadership and corporate liberals are afraid that they’ll be successfully attacked by the Republicans as “soft on national security” or “not supportive of the President.” The hard rightists are attempting to use these calls for Bush’s ouster as motivation for their hard-right base, as if some of that base was not itself increasingly disillusioned and open to the message we progressives need to be bringing to them.

Both, of course, are playing politics with fundamental issues of right and wrong, underlining for the umpteenth time the need for a strong and broadly-based, ‘80s Rainbow-like, *independent* political movement/coalition/party that operates on the basis of principles and adherence to a popular, progressive program.

Hopefully, this Bush Must Go! movement will help to advance toward that critically-needed strategic objective.

The massive April 29th March for Peace, Justice and Democracy ( can be a “next stop” for this movement. Although “Bush Must Go!” is not one of the demands, there is no question but that the vast majority of the individual members of the groups who are organizing it are 100% behind that objective. The march down Broadway on this day should have thousands of appropriate handmade or mass-produced signs and banners.

Then through the spring, summer and fall, as candidates campaign, they should be asked everywhere they go what their position is on this issue, as well as other key issues. They should feel the anger and determination of our growing people’s movement. The best of those candidates will welcome and embrace us. Those who don’t should be actively opposed.

We should also take a cue from the Bloomfield Life. They referred not just to Saturday’s rally, one of many, many hundreds around the country and world, when it came to the message of ending the war and Bush resigning. They said: “this rally and many others to follow” should advance that agenda.

“Many others to follow.” Many demonstrative actions. Many expressions of our outrage, our love for this country and the best of its traditions, our willingness to put ourselves out for peace, justice, equality, democracy and the earth.

We are entering, we are in an historic moment. There are major openings to advance the pro-justice movement. The actions of the past weekend must be only the opening salvo of our spring/summer/fall counter-offensive.

The late Anne Braden had these very relevant words to guide us in an article, “Finding the Other America,” published in the Fellowship of Reconciliation’s “Fellowship” magazine just a couple of months before she died on March 8:

“Our nation and the planet are teetering on the brink of destruction. Some people think there is nothing that can be done because those who want to turn time backward are so firmly in control of the government.

But we must stop acting as if history started two years ago. Things have not always been as they are now. In the South, for instance, our greatest change happened when we lived under a literal police state. . .

”Today there are huge new possibilities of real communication because Hurricane Katrina opened the eyes of masses of people to the reality of racism and poverty in this country. Our job is to talk with them. And we must do it NOW.”

Ted Glick is active with the Climate Crisis Coalition (, the Independent Progressive Politics Network ( and the April 29th March for Peace, Justice and Democracy ( He can be reached at or P.O. Box 1132, Bloomfield, N.J. 07003.
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Steering Committee Impeachment

Proposals 210 to 214 addressed the question of removing five members of the seven member Steering Committee. Each of them failed. The Steering Committee retains the same personnel. The details are behind the "Read more!" link...Proposal 214 would have removed Jake Schneider as our Treasurer if passed.

Proposal 213 would have removed Holly Hart as our Secretary if passed.

Proposal 212 would have removed Gwen Wages as Steering Committee co-chair.

Proposal 211 would have removed Marc Sanson as Steering Committee co-chair.

Proposal 210 would have removed Jody Haug as Steering Committee co-chair.

Here are the basic results:

Remove:24 Keep:70 Abstain:4 Total votes cast:98

Remove:24 Keep:67 Abstain:7 Total votes cast:98

Remove:16 Keep:74 Abstain:8 Total votes cast:98

Remove:22 Keep:68 Abstain:8 Total votes cast:98

Remove:20 Keep:70 Abstain:6 Total votes cast:96

So, basically, three quarters of the NC did not vote in favor of the impeachments and about a quarter did vote for impeachment.

This is a list of those who voted to impeach:


Jan Arnold-CA
Peter Camejo-CA
Michael Rubin-CA
Donna Warren-CA
Cat Woods-CA
Marybeth Wuerthner-CA
*Note* CA voted 6 to remove, 2 abstain, and 1 voted to retain.

Cara L. Campbell-FL
Gary Hecker-FL
Sarah (echo) Steiner-FL
*Note* FL Voted 3 to remove and 1 abstain.

Virginia Rodino-MD
*Note* MD split their vote, 1 to remove, 1 to retain.

Owen Broadhurst-MA

Karen Shelley-MI
*Note* MI voted 1 to remove, 2 to retain.

Kristen Olson-MN
*Note* MN split their vote, 1 to remove, 1 to retain.

Victor Fleitas-MS
*Note* MS split their vote, 1 to remove, 1 to retain.

Elizabeth Arnone-NJ
Mike Spector-NJ
*Note* NJ was unanimous in voting to remove.

Howie Hawkins-NY
Margaret Human-NY
Rebecca Rotzler-NY
Roger Snyder-NY
*Note* NY voted 4 to remove, 2 to retain.

Traci Confer-PA
Diane White-PA
*Note* PA voted 2 to remove, 1 to retain, 1 abstention.

James Leas-VT
George Plumb-VT
*Note* VT was unanimous in voting to remove.


Jan Arnold-CA
Peter Camejo-CA
Nanette Pratini-CA
*Note* Pratini didn't record a vote on Schneider.
Michael Rubin-CA
Cat Woods-CA
Marybeth Wuerthner-CA
*Note* Donna Warren abstained.
*Note* CA voted 6 to remove, 1 to retain, and 2 abstentions

Cara L. Campbell-FL
Gary Hecker-FL
Sarah (echo) Steiner-FL
*Note* Cathy Gilbert, who didn't vote on Schneider, abstained on Hart.

Virginia Rodino-MD
*Note* MD split their vote, 1 to remove, 1 to retain.

Owen Broadhurst-MA

Karen Shelley-MI
*Note* MI split their vote, 1 to remove, 1 to retain, and 1 abstention.

Kristen Olson-MN
*Note* MN split their vote, 1 to remove, 1 to retain.

Victor Fleitas-MS
*Note* MS split their vote, 1 to remove, 1 to retain.

Elizabeth Arnone-NJ
Mike Spector-NJ
*Note* NJ was unanimous in voting to remove.

Howie Hawkins-NY
Margaret Human-NY
Rebecca Rotzler-NY
Roger Snyder-NY
*Note* NY voted 4 to remove, 2 to retain.

Traci Confer-PA
Diane White-PA
*Note* PA voted 2 to remove, 1 to retain, 1 abstention.

James Leas-VT
George Plumb-VT
*Note* VT was unanimous in voting to remove.

If you're starting to notice a pattern here, so am I, and it concerns me

The Green Party must fix this schism at the next national convention if at all possible. Is there anyone with the skill set to actually fix this, to come to some sort of accommodation?

I know it's going off the "deep end" to suggest it, but maybe we need "family therapy", and frankly I think I know just the women to do it...if they would.

Imagine a committee of these outstanding women seeking to reestablish cohesiveness across the nation.

Rebecca Rotzler
Pat LaMarche
Ina Mae Gaskin
Winnona LaDuke
Medea Benjamin
Fran Gallegos
Nancy Allen
Donna Warren
Starlene Rankin

Most of these women are active Greens. All are small g greens at a minimum.

I don't know folks, but if we don't get some help, things don't look as good as they might. Imagine a national political party without a chapter in NY, CA, PA, VT, NY and FL.

At a minimum we have lots of work to do in those states it seems to me.
Heck, 5 states didn't even bother to vote on some of the removal proposals...what does that mean...

Anybody have an aspirin?
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National Committee votes

The Green Party National Committee has three proposals before it which deal with two themes, the Steering Committee and the Presidential race. There is more behind the "Read more!" link below...

The first proposal, GPUS Presidential Campaign Support Committee PCSC Mission and Objectives has been reported on here before.

The second proposal, Bylaw Amendment - Steering Committee Recall would seem to be in response to the impeachment attempt which recently went down in flames.

The third proposal, GPUS Steering Committee Open Meeting Policy reiterates what I had thought was already official party policy. Guess I was wrong, eh?

The proposal includes provision for public notice of conference call meetings, posting of minutes, and does provide for ending the "public" telephone conference call and going to another call if the first is interrupted by hecklers etc.

Now, to my mind, isn't there some way to set this conference call system so that party members can be issued a "password" to access the conference call, or even better, what if the conference call had two phone numbers, one to participate, one that only allows you to listen. It's hard for me to believe that there is not already such a system available, although we may not be able to afford it.

The results of the impeachment are in the next post.
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Monday, March 20, 2006

Only one today

and there is nothing behind the "Read more!" link, so don't bother.

First of all, yes Steve, I'll send all my regs an Earth Day card. *Grinz* I think that's a great idea.

In truth though, there may be more than 10 regular readers. I know I keep seeing the same cities regularly, and I want all those folks to know how grateful I am, even if they don't comment, and even if they don't agree with me.

I have folks from Blenheim, Darlington, Rock Hill, and Columbia who hit the site regularly (Thank you!) and that does make me especially happy because I hope we can grow a meaningful Green Party in South Carolina.

In addition there are some wonderful folks who visit the site often. From Berkley CA to Brooklyn NY to Minneapolis MN to Parkersburg WV to Capitol Heights MD to Kaysville Utah, this blog is reaching folks. This is just a short list, and I am grateful even for the visitor who stops by only once.

Now...what did you do to stop the War Grandad?

Not enough, I know that. 2300 US service personnel killed, tens of thousands of Iraqi killed, hundreds of billions spent, and all for nothing, as far as I can tell. Tyrants come and go. While we must do all we can within our principals to resist people like Hussein, but we must also remember that the next tyrant is just around the corner.

Instead of seeing Iraq as a war to end war, we are seeing this war being used to create the conditions for permanent war. This can't be good. But getting rid of Bush may have no more impact on the people of the year 2106 than getting rid of Teddy Roosevelt at the end of his second term has effected the people of today. Of course there are lingering effects, but in truth, history seems to wipe out the impact of individuals over the long haul.

So, what to do?

As Gandhi said, we must become the change we want to see in others.

Gene Roddenberry, creator of the Star Trek series, believed that the world of 2400 will be a world without war, money, greed, oppression, chronic disease or hatred. Looking at human progress over the last couple of centuries, I can see why he would be so optimistic. But we hairless apes do seem very slow on the uptake, and have not demanded peace and prosperity for all from our leaders.

But humanity is a young species, with much to learn. I just hope we learn it before we self-destruct.

At the anti-war demonstration in Charlotte yesterday there were about 80 people turned out to hear speakers and march. The Charlotte Area Green Party was well organized thanks to hard work from a number of local Greens. Our coordinators, Alan Burns and Nick Tripplett, did a great job as did all the rest of the crew. Susan Tripplett, Kathryn Kuppers, Harry Phillips, Judy Aulette, Albert Aulette, Kathryn's mom...all in all there were fifteen people at the demonstration because they are Greens or were brought to the event by Greens. Out of 80 folks, that ain't bad.

And our two speakers, Brian Stanton and Ken Davies delivered a passionate and correct presentation about the numerous crimes of the Bush administration and called on Charlotteans to join the Green Party in planning for demonstrations on September 30th intended to increase pressure on Bush & Co. Ken Davies ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in a city council race last time through, and has decided to put his efforts behind the Greens. Based on his speech yesterday, he's a great addition to the Greens.

Judy, an artist and educator, has agreed to donate some art to the York County Greens as a fundraiser, and we will be auctioning off her donation at the York County Greens County Convention. The convention will be held at the York County Library near the corner of Interstate 77 and Highway 160 in Fort Mill, SC. Running from 10 to noon, the keynote speaker will be Arnold Karr, seeking our nomination to run for Superintendent of Education, will be our keynote speaker, and I have invited a speaker to address the convention about Tenent Healthcare, owner and operator of our county's only hospital and leading candidate to build the next one. Tenent has a long and questionable history, as do many corporations. Hopefully Ravencroft (not a Green) will be willing to share info with the rest of us.

Two folks came to the Charlotte Area Green Party tent to sign up, and as it turns out, both of these folks live in York County, so we exchanged contact info and will be getting together soon. Things may finally be breaking our way. Kathryn says that part of our job is to simply hang in there until the rank-and-file American sees the light...Perhaps when they are choking on oxygen depleted air, but better late than never, eh?

The good folks at PostNet in Fort Mill are handing out copies of the forms needed to file to run for office in South Carolina, and will have them until the 30th at noon, when the deadline to file hits. So far no one has asked them for a copy, but who knows? At least the opportunity is there.

I'm sure there is more to report, and more to say, but time is slipping away, and I must get to work. Bills to pay and all that.

Be kind to one another, and thank whatever gods you may believe in that we have another day to try to get it right.


Gregg daughters, granddaughters, daughter's boyfriend and son-in-law were all here on Sunday. What a gift! Plus, my younger daughter has been playing a bit of "catch-up" during her spring break, so my computer access has been limited this week. In other words, I hope to be able to do more news related blogging soon, perhaps even tonight.
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Friday, March 17, 2006

Pat LaMarche kicks off her campaign

In a Press Release, the former Green Party nominee for Vice President, Pat LaMarche announced that she is seeking the Maine Green Independent Party nod to run for Governor.

Personally I like Pat's focus on social and fiscal responsibility. With both Democrats and Republicans spending our great grandchildren's money like it's worth less than donkey or elephant dung, it's right and bright for Pat to focus on fiscal irresponsibility.

The entire press release is behind the "Read more!" link, and of course, at the link above.

LaMarche Launches Gubernatorial Campaign

Maine Green Independent Party

Pat LaMarche for Governor

March 16, 2006

Required Signatures Verified , Pledges Return to Maine Values

(Augusta) Pat LaMarche is a business manager, journalist, educator, broadcaster, and at present one of the co-chairs of the Green Party of the United States, who has spent her adult life working to improve the lives of her fellow Mainers. Today she became an official candidate for Governor of Maine under the Maine Green Independent Party banner.

Over 2400 signatures of registered Maine Green Independent Party members, many more than the required 2000, were verified by the Maine Secretary of State on Wednesday March 15 and that office has confirmed that Ms. LaMarche will be on the November ballot.

"This challenge was met thanks to the efforts of hundreds of LaMarche supporters. They worked tirelessly over the last seven weeks to ensure that the people of Maine have a candidate on the ballot who has a proven commitment to improving the lives of our people, communities and small businesses," said Bob Walters, a campaign volunteer from Harpswell.

While collecting the required signatures, LaMarche talked with thousands of Mainers from all across the state. "The days we spent collecting signatures were long, but not because of the task at hand," said LaMarche. "After listening to so many of my fellow citizens, and hearing about how the current administration's policies have negatively impacted their lives, I realized just how deeply the people of Maine are ready for a change. You could tell that many of the folks were thrilled to be heard, especially those who excitedly changed party affiliation just to sign my papers to run on the Maine Green Independent ballot line."

Over the coming three weeks, Pat LaMarche and the nearly five hundred Green Party volunteers who carried the qualifying petitions will focus on collecting the 2,500 signatures and $5 checks necessary to qualify for funding as a Clean Elections candidate. Those interested in contributing to this effort can go to LaMarche's website at or call 207-318-4961 for more information.

"Mainers need a responsive governor. Mainers deserve a governor who knows what it's like to live in Maine, to operate a business in Maine, to get sick or old in Maine, and to educate their kids in Maine. And with this first step of ballot qualification out of the way, we are on our way to delivering that new kind of leadership to the Blaine house," said Theresa Savage, LaMarche Campaign Treasurer. "Working hard on this campaign is my way of ensuring that Mainers get the governor we deserve: Pat LaMarche."

"I am thrilled to be a Green candidate for Governor," said Pat LaMarche. "I represent more than party politics as usual. I represent the Maine values of social and fiscal responsibility that are the bedrock of our great state.

"During the next four years," she continued, "I hope to show the people of Maine that there are better ways to solve problems' Maine needs a fresh start, and I hope that the people of Maine will allow me to provide it. As governor, I pledge to work as hard as they do every day. I pledge to find solutions that work for all of us, not just for those who finance campaigns or have the ear of leadership in the back rooms of the state house. I pledge to return this state we love to the social and fiscal responsibility that are the hallmarks of a government that is run by and for the people."

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