Thursday, November 29, 2007

Presidential candidates need show of support

This came in an email from Gray Newman of North Carolina. I have moved things around a bit to make it flow better, but won't change words. I will add my comments at the end of the post. Emphasis is mine.

Please forward widely to Greens and Green lists.

Dear Greens,

I am writing to ask for your support for attaining "official" recognition for the candidates listed below.

In order to be acknowledged as a candidate by the National Committee candidates must demonstrate proof of support form 100 greens in at least 5 states. Supporters may sign a letter of support for more than one candidate so we are requesting your support to have all of the following candidates acknowledged as "official" green party candidates.

By signing this letter you are not indicating that you will vote for these candidates.

This list below includes all the candidates who have given me their permission to put their names on this message.

I have included Kat Swift and Jesse Johnson and am waiting to hear back from them, if they do not wish to be included I will remove their names prior to submitting this letter to the PSCS.

Please add your name and contact info to the list of supporters and return to:

I will then compile all the names together and forward this message to the Presidential Campaign Support Committee.

Thank you for you assistance in showing our support for the dedicated people who have stepped forward to represent us as our presidential candidates. This is due by Dec. 1 so please reply promptly.

Cynthia McKinney's request for support is also forwarded at the end of this message.

Thank you!
Anita Rios

To whom it may concern at the Presidential Campaign Support Committee,

We the Greens listed below wish to express our support for the following Green Party Presidential
Jared Ball
Elaine Brown
Kent Mesplay
Kat Swift
Jesse Johnson

Anita Rios
Ohio Green Party
2626 Robinwood Ave.
Toledo, Ohio

2)Jason Nabewaniec
Green Party of New York State
50 Harwick Rd #20
Rochester, NY 14609

3)Gregg Jocoy
South Carolina Green Party
203 Pond View Lane
Fort Mill, SC 29715

Subject: A Request from the Cynthia McKinney Presidential Campaign


As you may already be aware, the National Committee of the Green Party of the United adopted a "Policy for Recognition of Declared Candidates for the Green Party Nomination for President". This Policy now governs which candidates seeking the Party's nomination may access Party resources. It is anticipated that some state Parties may use this recognition as a criteria for access to the state nominating ballots, as well.

We face a December 1st deadline for complying with the standards for such recognition, which include a provision that we receive verifiable support from 100 Green Party members, including members from at least 5 state parties, no later than December 1, 2007;

To facilitate the documentation of our compliance with this provision, last night we posted to Ms. McKinney's campaign website a form designed to accept pledges of such support.

You can find that form at:
this link

I am writing to ask you to do the following:

(1) go online and complete that form, pledging your support for national Party recognition of this campaign;

(2) consider making a financial contribution towards our Federal Matching Funds eligibility campaign while you are on our website;

(3) help this request to go viral by circulating it to Greens you know and Green Party lists you are subscribed to.

At this point we have about sixty hours left to meet this deadline. With your help we can do so.

Thank you,
-- Hugh Esco
Power to the People Committee,
Cynthia McKinney for President

My observations. Unless Kent does some traveling, he may not make the cut it would seem. That would be a pity, but at least he has had the opportunity to build supporters in various places. But for most of us, bringing party members to the polls on primary day or bringing party members to the state conventions to choose our candidates there, is the sort of activity that helps the party grow. If Kent can hook up with an energetic Green in South Carolina, he could well have some votes cast for him at the convention.

If Kent could come to York County and deliver three talks on how air quality is evaluated, what makes air quality bad, and how to improve air quality quickly, I believe that we could well have a ten person chapter in the county.

Similarly with Jared Ball, Jesse Johnson, and Kat Swift. Any of these people, if able to dedicate a full day to speaking at meetings across the county, visiting reporters at the newspaper, hitting the churches, campuses and Latino neighborhoods, could help us establish a ten to twenty person chapter.

I think that Elaine Brown has the potential to do more. With enough time to educate the Black community about her, I think that a day long visit by Ms. Brown would give us a shot at twenty to thirty possible members of the local Green Party.

But, the elephant in the room is...or is it are, Cynthia McKinney and Ralph Nader.

If Cynthia McKinney came to York County and spent the day, speaking to groups of ministers, groups of Black business owners, groups of black educators and black elected officials, as well as using her amazing ability to cut to the essence of the issues at hand, we could well wind up with fifty to sixty people signing up to be Greens. Her 90 minute visit, which suffered from our lack of experience, brought at least three new faces to the table, and we are in touch with them.

This, growing my chapter, is the only thing I care about the Presidential campaign. I understand the strategy of earning 5% and thereby winning federal matching $$, and that is great! I understand the strategy of running to secure or retain ballot access. I understand that a visit by a presidential candidate of some substance helps a local campaign, candidate or chapter do better. This is why I am backing McKinney. She has reasoned goals and is willing to help us get what we want, just as we are willing to get her whet she wants and needs.

So...I guess I would say, do the Cynthia McKinney thing, if there is a similar thing that Ralph Nader can do, be sure Elaine Brown wants to be in on the program, and run all the rest.

So, that's what I'm doing. I'm saying "Let Cynthia McKinney, Kat Swift, Jared Ball, Jessie Johnson and Kent Mesplay on the ballot, and if Nader or Brown want to be on the ballot at arm's length, so be it. I'm tending to think that Nader will seek the Green Party nomination if he does indeed run if only to secure the ballot slots, but, having run with us twice, Nader knows he's a good fit for Greens.

Not too surprisingly, McKinney is a good fit for Greens too.
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Monday, November 26, 2007

Contacting Congressman Spratt

Dear Greens,

Congress is considering HR 6. This bill, called the "Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007", includes $50 *Billion* in government backed loans to the nuclear industry. Even Forbes magazine opposes this subsidy. Don't think that we won't get stuck with the bill because the nuclear industry would never go back on it's obligations, look at their actions. Nuclear power plants are being spun off by utilities, and the capital raised would be used to build more nukes. The nuclear industry has been sucking at the taxpayer wallet for sixty years, and that is plenty long enough.

A few years back a similar law was passed. That law covered loans to the syn-fuel industry. That time the taxpayer got hosed, again to the tune of billions, as the industry failed to pay their loans and the loaner called on the government as guarantor to meet their obligation, which they did, with our grand children's money.

Congressman Spratt must hear from us now. His role on the Budget Committee makes him a national target, but the more local the voices the stronger the impact. The indications are that the congress may vote as soon as Dec. 4th, so there is no time to waste. Please call Congressman Spratt at these numbers to let his staff know that you oppose loan guarantees for the nuclear industry.

Rock Hill : 803-327-1114
Washington DC : 202-225-5501

Send him an email from his website, here:

Send him a fax at these numbers:
Rock Hill : 803-327-4330
Washington DC : 202-225-0464

We must strike a blow for nuclear sanity and for fiscal sanity. I hope that you'll contact him tomorrow. For more detailed info see


From Forbes:

On My Mind
Hooked on Subsidies
Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren 11.26.07, 12:00 AM ET

Why conservatives should join the left's campaign against nuclear power.

When it comes to politics, we don't often find ourselves in agreement with Bonnie Raitt or Graham Nash. But now that they are campaigning against new nuclear plants, they're our friends. Raitt, Nash, the Indigo Girls and other vocal rockers are attacking a provision in pending Senate legislation that would award what they call "massively expensive loan guarantees--potentially a virtual blank check from taxpayers" for nuclear power plant construction.

Even without the new legislation there's plenty of federal money being doled out. In September NRG Energy, an energy wholesaler in Princeton, N.J., applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a license to build and operate a two-reactor nuclear plant near Bay City, Tex. The NRC is expecting 19 similar applications in the next 18 months. If approved, they will be eligible for loan guarantees under the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Pro-nuclear groups herald the coming flood of applications as proof that nuclear energy makes economic sense. Nonsense. The only reason investors are interested: government handouts. Absent those subsidies, investor interest would be zero.

A cold-blooded examination of the industry's numbers bears this out. Tufts economist Gilbert Metcalf concludes that the total cost of juice from a new nuclear plant today is 4.31 cents per kilowatt-hour. That's far more than electricity from a conventional coal-fired plant (3.53 cents) or "clean coal" plant (3.55 cents). When he takes away everyone's tax subsidies, however, Metcalf finds that nuclear power is even less competitive (5.94 cents per kwh versus 3.79 cents and 4.37 cents, respectively).

Nuclear energy investments are riskier than investments in coal- or gas-fired electricity. High upfront costs and long construction times mean investors have to wait years to get their money back. The problem here is not just the cost per watt, several times that of a gas plant, but the fact that nuclear plants are big. Result: The upfront capital investment can be 10 to 15 times as great as for a small gas-fired turbine.

A nuclear plant's costs are not only higher but more uncertain. Investors have to worry that completion will take place late--or never (witness the abandonment of the reactor at Shoreham, N.Y.). Accordingly, nuclear power would have to be substantially cheaper than coal- or gas-fired power to get orders in a free market.

So why does NRG want to build a nuclear plant in Texas? Two factors are in play. First, the license costs a relatively small amount compared with the cost of construction. Second, the federal government would guarantee up to 100% of the $6.5 billion to $8.5 billion NRG might borrow from capital markets (as long as it doesn't exceed 80% of the project cost). Without such guarantees no investor would lend significant amounts of capital to NRG.

How do France (and India, China and Russia) build cost-effective nuclear power plants? They don't. Governmental officials in those countries, not private investors, decide what is built. Nuclear power appeals to state planners, not market actors.

The only nuclear plant built in a liberalized-energy economy in the last decade was one ordered in Finland in 2004. The Finnish plant was built on 60-year purchase contracts signed by electricity buyers, by a firm (the French Areva) that scarcely seems to be making good money on the deal.

What, then, should government do to overcome nuclear's economic problems? Absolutely nothing. There is no more to the right-wing case for nuclear subsidies than there is to the left-wing case for solar subsidies.

If the permitting process is broken, then by all means fix it. If plant safety regulations are excessive, then by all means reform them. If greenhouse gas emissions prove to be a problem, then impose a reasonable carbon tax across the board. But once those tasks are complete, the role for government ends.

We like nuclear power as much as anyone else on the right. But friends don't let friends get hooked on subsidies. We're glad to see Raitt and her rocker compadres agree.
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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Frustrating news about Ingrid Betancourt and Clara Rojas

The Associated Press is reporting that President Uribe of Colombia has decided to suspend Hugo Chavez's role in negotiating the possible release of prisoners, including Ingrid Betancourt, by the FARC. The AP reports that Uribe has done this because Chavez initiated contact with the head of Colombia's military.

I am not Latino. I am about as whitebread as one can get. I lived in Caracas from 10 to 13, and that experience informs my politics to this day. I know that the corruption Betancourt and Rojas were fighting kills a people's belief in a future. As the founder and presidential candidate of the Partido Verde Oxigeno, Colombia's Green Party, she was fighting for Justice, Democracy, Ecology and Non-violence, as Greens everywhere do. For this, for serving her people and her values, these women were abducted and held as prisoners in conditions none of us can know.

President Chavez initiated a military coup in 1992 which failed and landed him in jail for some time. He was then elected to the presidency in 1998. Venezuela, and other nations in Latin America have had coups, often times lead by the nation's military, goaded and aided by the US government.

If Chavez did not know that going directly to the military leadership of Colombia would put Uribe's teeth on edge, it's pretty damn hard to understand why not. If my whitebread ass can see the threat there, surely Chavez can also.

What peeves me the most about this is that Ingrid Betancourt and Clara Rojas, as well as other victims, hang in the balance while Chavez and Uribe play God and the FARC play Satan. The FARC should immediately and unconditionally release Betancourt and Rojas. Uribe should immediately contact Chavez and ask him to return to his role as mediator, and Chavez should apologize for contacting the Colombian military without going through Uribe.

Because these two leaders of two of our planet's most important and influential democracies cannot find a way to play nice together, two women sit rotting in the jungle, captives of violent and anti-democratic forces. Betancourt's children live thousands of miles from their mother, and have had to suffer for want of her loving embrace for far too long. The time is past for these men to act like men and secure their release from capativity. They have suffered too much already.

If you would like to speak out by signing a petition to Presidents Uribe and Chavez, that would be welcome. You can sign it right here.
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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Chavez & Betancourt

Ingrid Betancourt was the Colombian Green Party's Presidential candidate a dew years back, until she and her campaign manager, Clara Rojas, were kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known by the Spanish acronym FARC. Betancourt had been campaigning against both government corruption and narco-traffickers.

Now President Uribe of Colombia is quoted in an article at Yahoo! is quoted saying that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez may be able to broker their release.

Ingrid's children need their mother. I hope the FARC will do the right thing and release her, with or without President Chavez's involvement. She and Ms. Rojas have suffered too much for freedom and justice. Basta!
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Sunday, November 18, 2007

What is "green"?

Can a gasoline guzzling automobile be green? What is it's built out of recycled soda cans and old socks? Is a store paying minimum wages green if they sell fair trade goods?

Perhaps the best example I have seen today of this sort of question is, can a 3200 square foot house on 2.6 acres miles from anywhere be "green"? At 1.1 million and no apparent buyers, the simple answer appears to be "I sure hope not!"

Back a few years ago I heard the term "lemon socialism". The idea was, run a company into the ground, sell it off to the workers, and laugh as they try to sustain life in a company which has been starved to death, and then blame "socialism" for their failure.

This sort of "lemon greenness" cannot be allowed to define what is truly green. Homes built with green materials with poorly paid labor in unsustainable ways on land too remote to live on is not green.

Thanks go to Vigorous North for stimulating this rant, but isn't it true? Aren't you getting sick and tired of all these corporate types "selling" greenness?

Is there a temple somewhere where we can drive the traders from the floor for degrading God's house?
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Montana Green blog

I use sitemeter to keep a bit of an idea of how many folks hit my blog, where they clicked to get here, and other similar info.

I get about a third of my hits from websearches, that is, Google, Yahoo!, Ask etc. The phrase which has gotten the MOST hits by far has been "Stephen Colbert". I suppose I could drive my numbers up by posting about the activities of celebrities, but to be honest, few celebrities interest me.

I also get about a third of my hits from folks who use the live bookmarks thingy. I use it too, a lot, to see what the "headlines" are at my favorite blogs, and read them when a new message is posted.

Finally, I get about a third of my hits from links at various locations across the internet. Whether it's putting up a link at a newspaper blog or a standing link at, the New Jersey blog, Roger Snyder's blog, OpenHeartsAndMinds blog, of any of the other wonderful folks who have chosen to link here.

A most recent link has come from the fine folks at buzztail. Living in Missoula MT and operated by a Green photographer, buzztail is now on my l;ist of blogs to watch. Check 'em out!
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No Nukes Y'all

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Intergovernmental Panel on Global Climate Change

Their most recent report, in PDF format, can be downloaded by clicking here.
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Friday, November 16, 2007

The New Ethic

The 'New Ethic' - 1972
Words of wisdom

One abiding legacy of the United Tasmania Group is its founding charter, The New Ethic.

Green philosophy has been refined and polished since then. But after twenty five years, political scientists still refer to The New Ethic as a global watershed - an eloquent statement giving expression to a new world-wide political philosophy.

We citizens of Tasmania and members of the United Tasmania Group,

United in a global movement for survival;

Concerned for the dignity of humanity and the value of cultural heritage while rejecting any view of humans which gives them the right to exploit all of nature;

Moved by the need for a new ethic which unites humans with nature to prevent the collapse of life support systems of the earth;

Rejecting all exclusive ideological and pragmatic views of society as partial and divisive;

Condemning the misuse of power for individual or group prominence based on aggression against humanity or nature;

Shunning the acquisition and display of individual wealth as an expression of greed for status or power;

While acknowledging that Tasmania is uniquely favoured with natural resources, climate form and beauty;

Undertake to live our private and communal lives in such a way that we maintain Tasmania's form and beauty for our own enjoyment and for the enjoyment of our children through unlimited future generations;

Undertake to create aesthetic harmony between our human structures and the natural landscape Where our individual and communal needs demand modification to the natural environment;

Undertake to regulate our individual and communal needs for resources, both living and non-living, while preventing the wholesale extraction of our non-replenishable resources for the satisfaction of the desire for profit;

Undertake to husband and cherish Tasmania's living resources so that we do minimum damage to the web of life of which we.are part while preventing the extinction or serious depletion of any form of life by our individual, group or communal actions;

And we shall:

Create new institutions so that all who wish may participate in making laws and decisions at all levels concerning the social, cultural, political, and economic life of the community;

Provide institutions for the peaceful and unimpeded evolution of the community and for the maintenance of justice and equal opportunity for all people;

Change our society and our culture to prevent a tyranny of rationality, at the expense of values, by which we may lose the unique adaptability of our species for meeting cultural and environmental change;

Prevent alienation of people in their social and work roles and functions while, making scientific, technical and vocational knowledge and practice free and open to all;

Create a new community in which men and women shall be valued for their Personal skills, for the material and ton-material worth of these skills to groups and the whole community, for their service to the community, and for their noncompetitive achievement in. all aspects of life;

Live as equal members of our society to maintain a community governed by rational non-sectional law;

Preserve specific areas of private and group life where private thought, speech and action is of group importance and does not interfere unreasonably, with others;

And vest our individual and communal rights in a parliament of representatives chosen by all to enforce our law for as long as that power is not used unfairly to advantage or disadvantage any individual or group in the community.

(Wording very slightly altered, in the interests of gender neutrality).
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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Buy nothing day

It's the day after Thanksgiving.
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Monday, November 05, 2007

Learning from mistakes

In a post on Friday I said that "About Roberts" had written that Vic Roberts was a LaRouche supporter. Roberts is running for Congress as a Green, and I expressed concern that IL's ballot line might have been stolen in support of a non-Green candidate.

Then I got a very tolerant phone call from someone I trust implicitly, and he told me that Vic Roberts is a bona fide Green, active in helping Rich Whitney and others in IL to grow the Green Party.

I invite my readers to visit Vic Roberts website and decide for yourself, but for myself, Vic Roberts has my heartfelt apology.

Visit Vic Roberts website here.
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Friday, November 02, 2007

News of a Green nature

First off, I will post about Cynthia McKinney's visit to my tiny town last night in a day or so. I am trying to formulate what I want to say. Suffice it to say that at this moment I am more convinced that she can help us grow the Green Party than ever before, and am also convinced that no one else has the combination of political experience and effective campaign history she does. If she is willing to serve, we simply must nominate her, and I am committed to helping her secure all of South Carolina's votes at the national convention. Of course, as I have written before, I am not universally adored anywhere, so having my backing may not be as much as it would imply.

Now, on to the Green News:

Richard Winger at Ballot Access News writes that the state of New Mexico is refusing to say if the Green Party is ballot qualified or not. Geeze, a bureaucrat avoiding giving a straight answer...imagine that!

The Green Party of Orange County will be meeting this Sunday from 2-4pm in Irvine. This meeting’s speakers will focus on local impeachment efforts.

Has a Lyndon LaRouche clone stolen the Green Party ballot line? That's what About Roberts says in his comment to an article about Vic Roberts of Taylorville, a retired coal miner who has sought Democratic nominations for Congress in the past. This year he is running as a Green Party candidate.

If true, I sure hope the folks in IL catch this one. We do not need to be associated with the LaRouche faction of whatever space they occupy on the political spectrum.

Up in Maine, Dan Skolnik is lauded and attacked all on the same webpage.

Cynthia McKinney says that Washington DC is effected by Greed Gone Wild, and fortunately for us all, she understands that the money party and the war party have merged into one corporate party. She also gives Greens credit for being out in front on pointing out that the Emperor was wearing no clothes.

Greens (and others) spoke with students at Carlsbad High School about what the Green Party believes in.

Has your local chapter asked for access to political science classes and such? Mine has not, but maybe we should!

That's all for now folks. Skol!
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National Party issues list of "races to watch"

Of course, not every one of these races will be won, and many races not on this list will win. The list can be found by clicking here.
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Babylon NY Greens to meet

The Baybylon Beacon covers their plans.
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"Independent Green Party" of VA runs James Ronald Fisher

The "Independent Green Party" of Virginia is not the nationally recognized chapter of the the Green Party of the United States, and there certainly have been times when I wondered about these folks calling themselves Greens, but at least now we have more info.

James Ronald Fisher is their nominee in a State House race.
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