Editorials

Howie Hawkins: Reflections on 30 years of Green Party organizing

Posted in Editorials on August 28th, 2014 by Dave Schwab – 1 Comment

p howie hawkinsThe Summer 2014 issue of Green Pages features an interview with Howie Hawkins (now running for Governor of New York) on his unique perspective on the Green Party as a founding member. From the article:

What got you into being part of the start of the Green Party?

I have been committed to a third party of the people vs. the corporate rulers since 1964 when as a youth in California I witnessed the Republicans, led by spokes­per­son Ronald Reagan, conduct a successful referendum to repeal a fair housing law, and the Democrats seat the segregationist Dixiecrat delegation instead of the integrated civil rights Freedom Democrats delegation from Mississippi at the Demo­cratic National Convention. The Democrats won in 1964 and escalated the war in Viet­nam. So I campaigned for the Peace and Freedom Party in 1968, the People’s Party in 1972 and 1976, and the Citizens Party in 1980. In 1984, I was invited to participate in the first national Green Party organizing meeting in St. Paul, Minn. as a representative of the anti-nuclear Clam­shell Alliance and I think Patch Adams, now Assistant Secretary of Health for Holistic Health in the Green Shadow Cab­inet, and I are the only two left attending that meeting who are still alive and active in the Green Party. read more »

Chris Hedges: Why I’m Voting Green

Posted in Editorials, Presidential Campaign on October 30th, 2012 by Ronald Hardy – 2 Comments

This article by Chris Hedges at Truthdig is one of the best cases for voting for Jill Stein that I have read this year.

I post here two excerpts, first on the case for an alternative political party:

It was the Liberty Party that first fought slavery. It was the Prohibition and Socialist parties, along with the Suffragists, that began the fight for the vote for women and made possible the 19th Amendment. It was the Socialist Party, along with radical labor unions, that first battled against child labor and made possible the 40-hour workweek. It was the organizing of the Populist Party that gave us the Immigration Act of 1924 along with a “progressive” tax system. And it was the Socialists who battled for unemployment benefits, leading the way to the Social Security Act of 1935. No one in the ruling elite, including Franklin Roosevelt, would have passed this legislation without pressure from the outside.

“It is the combination of a social movement on the ground with an independent political party that has always made history together, whether during abolition, women’s suffrage or the labor movement,” Stein said when I reached her by phone as she campaigned in Chicago. “We need courage in our politics that matches the courage of the social movements—of Occupy, eviction blockades, Keystone pipeline civil disobedience, student strikes, the Chicago teachers union and more. If public opinion really mattered in this race, we [her presidential ticket] would win. We have majority support in poll after poll on nearly all of the key issues, from downsizing the military budget and bringing the troops home, to taxing the rich, to stopping the Wall Street bailouts, to breaking up the banks, to ending the off-shoring of jobs, to supporting workers’ rights, to increasing the minimum wage, to health care as a human right, through Medicare for all. These are the solutions a majority of Americans are clamoring for.”

And on Obama’s policies and on Climate Change:

Obama, who has claimed the power of assassinating U.S. citizens without charge or trial, increased the drone war and has vastly expanded the wars in the Middle East. He is waging proxy wars in Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia. His assault on civil liberties—from his use of the Espionage Act to silence whistle-blowers to Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act to the FISA Amendment Act—is worse than Bush’s. His attack on immigrant rights has also outpaced that of Bush. Obama has deported more undocumented workers in four years than his Republican predecessor did in eight years. There is negligible difference between Obama and Romney on the issue of student debt, which has turned a generation of college students into indentured servants. But the most important convergence between the Republicans and the Democrats is their utter failure to address the perilous assault by the fossil fuel industry on the ecosystem. It was Obama who undercut the international climate accord reached last year at Durban, South Africa, saying the world could wait until 2020 for an agreement.

“Obama is promoting oil drilling in the Arctic, where the ice cap has already collapsed to one-quarter of its size from a couple decades ago, and he’s opened up our national parks for drilling,” Stein said. “He has given the green light to fracking. He has permitted the exhaust from shale oil [extraction] to go into the atmosphere. He is building the southern pass of the Keystone pipeline. He brags that he has built more miles of pipeline than any other president.

“There is a protracted drought in 60 percent of the continental U.S.,” Stein said. “There are record forest fires and rising food prices. We have just now seen the 12 hottest months on record. Storms are growing in destructiveness. All this is happening with less than 1-degree Celsius temperature rise. Yet we are now on track for a 6-degree Celsius warming in this century alone. This is not survivable. The most pessimistic science on climate change has underpredicted the rate at which climate change is advancing.”

“Voting Green in a Swing State” – Sid Smith

Posted in Editorials, Grassroots Democracy on October 26th, 2012 by Ronald Hardy – 19 Comments

Like the author of this article, I am voting Green Party in a swing state, in my case Wisconsin. I also work on a college campus, and I had a professor this week ask me if I had an escape plan. “For what?” I replied. “In case Obama loses Wisconsin,” he said with a smirk.

I intend to send him a link to this article, which also appears at OpEdNews and CounterPunch:

VOTING GREEN IN A SWING STATE
by B. Sidney Smith

(Preface: This article isn’t really meant for everyone, so I might be able to save you some time. If you think climate change isn’t a serious electoral issue, this probably wasn’t written for you. If you think American presidents should conduct wars on their own authority and that it’s okay if they secretly assassinate whomever they (secretly) decide are bad people who might hurt us then you needn’t concern yourself with what follows. If you think the Bill of Rights of the Constitution doesn’t necessarily apply when terrorism is involved, or that letting gays have civil rights should be decided on a state-by-state basis like slavery before the civil war, or that the health of the environment isn’t more important than economic growth, or that whistle-blowers who expose governmental and corporate crimes should go to prison but that privileged lawbreakers shouldn’t, or that whether a candidate is electable should depend on how much she pleases wealthy donors—if any of these approximates your own take on the issues, please read no further. You’ll be bored. Honestly.)

I live in a purple part of the country (Virginia) and move in academic circles, so of course I know many, many people who will be voting for Obama. If that doesn’t strike you as funny, then you are the person I have written this for.

Of course it is impossible to know, but if I sodomized the Easter Bunny in front of their children the look on my Obama-voter friends’ faces could scarcely be much different than the look they get when I say I am voting for Jill Stein.

“But this is a swing state…you have to vote for Obama…what if Romney wins?!?

The pain in their voices tugs at my sympathies; their fear is very real. I want to reassure them, but I was cured a few presidential elections ago. I won’t be drinking from that cup again.

At first they assume I don’t understand what’s at stake. They tell me about the Romney/Ryan agenda. They tell me about Obamacare. They tell me about DOMA and the Fair Pay Act. But the conversation wanes when I am not only unsurprised by the information but able to supply amplifications and corrections. I’ve read the (detailed summary of) the Affordable Care Act. I know about Romney’s probable agenda. I even know the age and bodily afflictions of key members of the Supreme Court. In short, I know what’s at stake.

This is awkward and for some there is no plan B, but experienced partisans know where to take it next: there is something wrong with me. I’m a purist, a liberal elitist who won’t be satisfied, arrogantly “engaging in a form of rhetorical narcissism and ideological self-preoccupation.”1 I indulge in a “pernicious idealism that wants the world to be perfect and is disgruntled that it isn’t.”2 I trade the common good for private conceit.

Fortunately my friends are mature people with trained minds, so for most it is enough to mention the ad hominem fallacy, to remind them that my personal faults—which I stipulate are legion—aren’t relevant to the validity or otherwise of my position in this debate. Usually we can agree to leave that brand of “discourse” to the professional bloviators.

So at last we come down to it. What are the arguments? There seem to be only two reasons for a progressive (you’re still reading, so I suppose that includes you) to vote for Obama. Either (1) you think Obama is not so bad, really, and has done a lot of good and could do more, or (2) Obama’s record makes you green about the gills, but the thought of Romney winning is intolerable.

read more »

Isabel Espinal: Jill Stein candidata Verde de Estados Unidos

Posted in Editorials on July 17th, 2012 by Gregg Jocoy – Comments Off

In a message posted to YouTube, Isabel Espinal explains her support for Jill Stein and the Green Party. The video is in Spanish, and represents ongoing outreach to the Latino community.

Reply to Columnist’s Article — Shut Up and Vote: LA Times Columnist Repeats Tired Attacks on Green Party, Alternative Politics

Posted in Editorials on June 11th, 2012 by Segneri – Comments Off

By Matt J. Stannard
Political Context, June 10, 2012
http://politicalcontext.org/blog/2012/06/shut-up-and-vote-la-times-columnist-repeats-tired-attacks-on-green-party-alternative-politics/

Los Angeles Times columnist Dan Turner published his anti-Green Party screed (http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-green-party-20120606,0,7045785.story) the same week that the Democratic National Committee and President Obama dropped the ball in Wisconsin, setting the stage for a re-boot of 2011′s anti-union assault and, quite likely, a GOP presidential victory in November. The GOP is not ahead of the game merely because of its advantage in spending; the Democrats could have massively mobilized their presumptive base, but to do so would have required acknowledgment that this base has a growing anti-corporate agenda. It would have required the institutional Democratic Party to follow the lead of, rather than attempt to co-opt the message of, the Occupy movement. It would have required the Obama administration to stop playing J. Edgar Hoover with the movement. And even if the Democrats could have done all this, it would have been
difficult to square with the Obama administration’s growing embrace of right-wing foreign policy strategies, uncritical acceptance of “free trade” and the hypercapitalist model, and a love of heavy-handed police tactics wherever popular revolt occurs.

All of this is lost on Turner, whose anti-Green rant is a clumsy and nasty rehash of half-arguments that are, by now, simply rote: the Democrats deserve the votes of progressives because they are the only thing standing between you and people that are slightly worse than us; the independent left is composed of naive hippies and stoners; and (in a stunning inability of Turner and other critics to actually analyze policy) the Greens have no concrete ideas to implement. Because of this, Democrats are entitled to our votes. Presumption is against us. And whatever scorn Democrats heap on Republicans, it pales in comparison to the abuse Democrats keep in reserve for Greens, socialists, and anyone who dares criticize the party or their President. Turner perpetuates this theme by arguing that, if the Greens are successful, such success could only mean getting Mitt Romney elected, which would be a disaster.

But if third parties left of the Democrats manage to damage Obama enough to get Romney elected, that will be because Obama refused to entertain or implement a sufficient number of progressive policies to satisfy that part of “his” base. It’s difficult to understand why that failure should be hung around the necks of those of us who are opposed to the colonization of politics by capital, the endless futile compromises with the right, or the cynical militarism and police state tactics of successive Democratic administrations. It seems like, in cycle after cycle, progressives are expected to demand and desire less and less, as the Democratic Party moves further and further to the right.

It’s time for independent progressives to reject the longstanding metaphysical presupposition that accompanies the argument that one party “siphons votes from” another party. The assumption is that there’s a purposive, ordained arrow of siphoning, as well as a Platonic place where the votes “belong” and where they don’t. These question-begging arguments are represented as “pragmatism” and “realism.” But the pragmatic reality is that the current system of electioneering is fundamentally anti-democratic, and capitulation to twin-party politics guarantees the continued colonization of the public sphere by big money. Another pragmatic reality is that the interests served by that big money are interests who are killing the planet, dooming the periphery of the human and nonhuman populations to either slow or calamitous death, and purposely blocking any solutions to any of those systemic problems. Concern for those systemic causes, those
structural problems, is always met with scorn by institutional Democrats, who adopt Rahm Emmanuel’s “progressives are f—ing retarded” rule when dealing with brave and principled Democrats who dare to stand up to their party’s overlords.

Turner would rather hurl insults at Jill Stein than address any of these unpleasant realities. Having been nothing but a corporate newswriter all his adult life, editorializing with liberal use of personal attacks and other argumentative fallacies might well give Mr. Turner a secret schoolboy thrill.  So his piece is laced with right-wing enthymemes and stereotypes, like how the left needs to “buckle its Birkenstocks,” deal with the “crunchy-granola set,” and my favorite turn of phrase in the piece, “an economic program that sounds a bit socialistic.” Given that one facet of the debate about third party politics concerns the lack of originality in the ideas of the two parties, it’s curious that Turner’s piece is rhetorically as well as philosophically unoriginal.

It’s equally curious, given that Turner’s post purports specific concern for California politics, that he cites Obama’s commitment to draw down troops in Afghanistan as an example of something that should satisfy us impatient and unreasonable progressives. Turner, of course, misses the point here. The invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, as with Iraq, was facilitated by the two-party  duopoly to begin with. The cost of the war there and here has been astronomical, and a “draw down” is a pathetically insufficient answer to that. Nor, apparently, does Turner understand the dime-thin difference between the two parties on Afghanistan. The very phrase ”draw down” is contained within the vocabulary of both Republican and Democratic administrations, whose shared paradigm embraces an endless cycle of invasions withdrawals in a never-ending war on those who would question U.S. hegemony.

What Turner doesn’t discuss is even more important than what he does. He doesn’t discuss Obama’s illegal drone attacks. He doesn’t mention the Democratic Party’s miserable strategic and tactical failures in Wisconsin, its beholdance to corporations, or its refusal to stand up for a public health care plan that had over 70% support among the electorate. Turner doesn’t have much to laud about California Democrats either. That state’s allegedly powerful Democratic juggernaut hasn’t defended unions any better than Dems in Wisconsin did: This week, voters in San Jose and San Diego imitated Wisconsin and curtailed pension programs for public employees. There was no counter-campaign, no corrective education, by California Democrats in that struggle.

The most curious omission from Turner’s sloppy post is the role of the Green Party in local politics–you know, where things get done. It’s apparent that Turner hasn’t visited Richmond, Fairfax, or Arcata. He hasn’t talked with Mayors Gayle McLaughlin or Pam Hartwell-Herrero, pragmatic and realistic Green leaders, about Richmond’s $115 million settlement with Chevron, Fairfax’s local currency and plastic bag ban (Los Angeles recently followed Fairfax’s lead on this, something you’d think would be, well, noteworthy), Richmond’s anti-foreclosure ordinance, Fairfax’s and Marin County’s GMO ban, Fairfax’s rejection of chain stores and embrace of a host of progressive policies, and the list goes on. Turner can have his ideology, but it’s just sad that the Times so readily excuses his lack of homework.

Poor people and those affected by the recession apparently aren’t sexy topics for Turner either, but as Marcy Winograd recently wrote, the fight against foreclosures, and vanguard leadership in the Occupy movement, are also attributes of Greens locally and nationally.

Throughout the US, Greens and allies are at the fulcrum of the occupy movement, defending homeowners facing foreclosure, practicing participatory democracy in the street, and successfully altering the national discourse from deficits and taxes to wealth inequality and privilege. In Oakland, Green Samsarah Morgan helped start the Children’s Village at Occupy Oakland, where children can play and protest peacefully. Former LA County Council Co-Chair of the Green Party Rachel Brunkhe mobilizes marches on Bank of America in San Pedro, home to the largest port in the country; former Green assembly candidate Peter Thottam organizes thousands at Occupy the Rose Parade, where Wells Fargo, one of the most notorious banks for robo-siging illegal foreclosures, was one of the parade’s chief sponsors; Al Shantz, Green Vice President of Napa Valley College’s Student Senate, launches Occupy rallies downtown and on the Napa Valley College campus; Harrison
Wills, a Green President of the Santa Monica College Associated Student Body tells an Occupy crowd at his campus, “There’s socialism for corporations and capitalism for the rest of us.”

In the end, Turner’s attacks are inadvertently very good arguments in favor of the search for alternatives to the twin parties of corporatism and war.  Turner is telling us to accept more of the same. Increasing scores of voters and activists around the nation have already rejected his arguments. Black Agenda Report‘s Bruce Dixon put it best:

The only worthwhile political campaigns are ones that utilize public receptivity to discussions around issues to present and make popular accurate analyses of the world the way it is, and compelling visions of the world the way we want it to be. Not the candidate that sucks least. Win or lose, these are the only campaigns that empower people, the only ones worth pouring your energy into, the only ones that build, rather than strangle and discourage mass movements.

Ralph Nader, Rocky Anderson, & Jill Stein

Posted in Editorials, Presidential Campaign on April 24th, 2012 by Ronald Hardy – 62 Comments

William Kaufman has an insightful article posted at Dissident Voice called “Ralph Nader, Rocky Anderson, and the Green Party: A Political Un-Love Story.”

The context of the article is Ralph Nader’s recent voice of support for Rocky Anderson’s Independent Presidential Campaign given Anderson’s centrist platform and Jill Stein’s solid progressive campaign. Some excerpts:

Although Nader claims that his backing falls short of a formal endorsement, the Anderson campaign isn’t echoing that semantic hair splitting. After the joint appearance, Rocky Anderson’s Facebook page was updated as follows: “At a press conference in Portland, Oregon today, Ralph Nader officially endorsed Rocky Anderson! It’s been a great day so far, now with everyone’s help let’s raise 10k in just 1 day! We can do it!”

Comparing Anderson to Stein: read more »

No Holds Barr: The Co-opting of the Green Party?

Posted in Editorials, Presidential Campaign on April 18th, 2012 by Ronald Hardy – 95 Comments

The following article was sent to us by Lauren Windsor, a self described civil libertarian and registered member of the California Green Party, and author of the website Lady Libertine. We are publishing it in its entirety, without editing. Green Party Watch does not necessarily share the views expressed by authors of articles we share here.

No Holds Barr:  The Co-opting of the Green Party?

Firebrand comedian and aspiring politico Roseanne Barr is running for the Green Party’s nomination for president of the United States in a move characterized by many as a publicity stunt à la Donald Trump. But with Barr the situation is not entirely as it seems. Yes, she sought to be recognized as an official candidate just as NBC picked up her comedy pilot “Downwardly Mobile,” but Barr has been talking about running for POTUS — and also for prime minister of Israel — since at least 2010. Her progressive persona is no act: Her 1988-’97 “Roseanne” sitcom examined working-class socioeconomic issues, as will her new show, and she has been a vocal supporter of Occupy, having addressed the Zuccotti Park assembly on the day of the movement’s inception. No one questions her progressive bona fides, but many question her motives.

At contention is whether rules were innocently skirted — or intentionally broken — to allow Barr to be officially recognized by the Green Party of the United States (GPUS) in time for an important California ballot deadline. With 65 delegates out of a convention of 400 and a majority of state parties with fewer than ten delegates, the California primary is an important win for Green candidates. Also at issue are apparent conflicts of interest for voting members of the national party’s Steering Committee, whose duties include the oversight and coordination of other GPUS groups like the Presidential Campaign Support Committee. Note that the national and state parties are different entities under the same Green umbrella.

On Barr’s presidential campaign and personal websites, she advocates the “Green Tea Party” and enjoins viewers to “Occupy the Green Party.” This language irks many party members, who feel that they are complicit in a ploy for comeback publicity, rather than part of a serious campaign; they are wary of being co-opted. Nationally, Greens are divided. On one hand, a celebrity like Barr gets people talking again about the Green Party, which suffered when Ralph Nader’s campaign was widely blamed for Al Gore’s loss in 2000. On the other hand, many feel that front-runner Jill Stein is doing the bulk of the heavy lifting in rebuilding the party, and that Barr’s charged rhetoric may ultimately damage the party’s credibility with independents and progressives.
read more »

Segneri: No Third Party?

Posted in Editorials on April 17th, 2012 by Ronald Hardy – 2 Comments

Illinois Green AJ Segneri has this piece up at Dissident Voice: “No Third Party?”

Towards the end of 2010, I listened to radio shows and TV shows where hosts have asked where is the next third party? When are we going to see another party go against the Republicans and Democrats? I do not understand these questions because there are many “third” parties in our nation. From the Green Party to the Constitution Party and from the Socialist Party to the Libertarian Party, plus everything in between. These organizations have been in existence; however, the major media outlets have failed to expose them. None of the media sources have brought the rank-and-file of these organizations into their respective studios to talk about the issues. Day in and day out, nothing but the same two major party voices are shown speaking in monopoly media about how to solve the issues at hand. Why not bring in someone on TV like Rich Whitney of the Green Party, who in 2006 received 10.7% of the general election vote in the Illinois Gubernatorial race? That was the first time a third party has done so well in Illinois for over 40 years.
read more »

Spector: “Why We Need Roseanne”

Posted in Editorials, Presidential Campaign on March 20th, 2012 by Ronald Hardy – 20 Comments

Michael Spector is a former co-chair of the Green Party of New Jersey. Green Party Watch welcomes Editorials, which we will publish (if we feel like it). The views expressed are those of the author, not Green Party Watch.

WHY THE GREEN PARTY NEEDS ROSEANNE BARR

Jill Stein’s Green Party credentials are well known. She is among many progressive, intelligent people who have devoted their lives to building a true political alternative…most often without success.

Since the year 2000 the Green Party has found itself consistently in the shadow of American politics. Opportunities are lost talking to ourselves about tactics and strategy in an almost empty room, our base limited to aging, educated whites – the latest in 2008 when Cynthia McKinney garnered only 161,797 or .12% of the total vote, while the person we left behind…Ralph Nader… obtained 739,034 or .56% …third place in the Presidential popular vote

Green Party values and politics attract many Jill Steins, but there are far too few Roseanne Barrs. We need a candidate who can easily relate to young people, feminists, independents, and first time voters…someone who appeals to a broader spectrum of the disaffected then we have in the past.

We need someone who will provide a leg up in the fight against an overwhelmingly corrupt political system in a country obsessed with personality rather then ideas. On a very practical level we need an ideal combination of the two in order to overcome our lack of media access.

And that is where Roseanne comes in. Armed with boundless political savvy, plain talk and wit, she can relate to the American public. She is larger than the Green Party, and we should be happy that she is conveying our message to the American public.

The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet.
- Mark Twain in Eruption

-Michael Spector
New Jersey

Damon Eris: A Plea for Political Independence from the Parties of the 1%

Posted in Editorials, National Greens, Presidential Campaign, Social & Economic Justice on October 11th, 2011 by paulie – 2 Comments

Damon Eris writes at Poli-Tea Party (emphasis added):

There is an inspiring amount of third party and independent political activity happening at the occupation protests in New York and Washington DC.  Consider, for example, the case of the Greens.  In New York, Green party activists have been involved at Occupy Wall Street from the very first days of the protest.  A number of weeks ago a liaison from the party made an announcement at a general assembly pledging the full support of Green party activists all over the country and asking how Greens could help the movement.  A number of high profile Greens were present at the Freedom Plaza protests in Washington DC over the weekend, including Cheri Honkala, Howie Hawkins and Ralph Nader.  Now, it appears that Jill Stein, a former Green party candidate for governor of Massachusetts who is seeking the party’s nomination for president in 2012, has been visiting Occupy Boston in recent days and campaigning in support of the 99%. 

It is not difficult to understand why third party and independent activists would be attracted to the Occupy Everything protests spreading across the country.  A simple explanation is embedded in the movement’s most prominent slogan: We are the 99%.  The Democratic and Republican parties do not represent the interests of 99% of the American people.  They are the parties of the ruling financial oligarchy and political class.  They are the parties of the 1%. 

Democrats, obviously, are attempting to hijack this movement the same way the Republicans hijacked the Tea Party movement in 2009-2010 and the same way the Democrats hijacked the anti-war movement in 2005-2006.  At present, many participants in these protests appear to be vehemently intent upon maintaining their political independence.  Yet the same was true of Tea Party activists in the spring of 2009, and we know how that turned out.  The question is whether this movement will suffer the same fate.  The more important question is: what can be done to avert that outcome?

As someone who was active in the Tea Party movement until it was infiltrated and destroyed by the Republican party, I urge all Tea Party activists who have maintained at least a semblance of political independence to become involved in the occupation protests.  As an Independent, I urge all Independents to become active in this movement.  As an advocate of third party alternatives to the Democrat-Republican duopoly, I urge all third party activists to become involved in this movement.

Perhaps some may say they do not agree with the direction this movement is heading and refuse to become involved.  The funny thing is, if you become involved you can change its direction.  It is really that simple.   

Why I Joined the Green Party by Scot Hansen

Posted in Editorials on August 28th, 2011 by Gregg Jocoy – 6 Comments

Scot Hansen of the DuPage County Illinois Green Party published an article at the local party’s website titled Why I joined the Green Party

In the article, Hansen explains

There is a way to get our democracy back from the big money donors that run our legislature. It’s called people-powered politics, and it starts on a local level. That movement is called the Green Party.

Why did you join the Green Party?

US Green Party media coordinator Scott McLarty review of Derek Wall book published at Z Magazine

Posted in Editorials on May 4th, 2011 by Gregg Jocoy – 1 Comment

Scott McLarty – Scott McLarty

The review can only be read at Z Magazine if you have a subscription, but McLarty also published the review here and here.
Derek Wall book
The book, A No Nonsense Guide to Green Politics, is recommended by both Carolina Lucas, recently elected Member of Parliament for the Green Party of England and Wales, and by famed historian Howard Zinn. Here’s a short excerpt from the review.

If a Green ideology exists, it’s based on humane and ecological principles rather than single-model prescriptions for economics, government, and other spheres of human behavior. The classic ideologies of the 19th and 20th century — laissez-faire capitalism, bureaucratic collectivism, fascism, and various theocratic fundamentalisms — all value abstractions, systems, and doctrines over human life. Stalin made communism work by allowing millions of Ukrainian peasants to starve to death; fascists liquidated ‘useless eaters’ and scapegoat minorities; business owners resisted the right of workers to livable wages, reasonable hours, and safe workplaces; corporate polluters dumped lethal substances regardless of the effect on nearby residents; religious zealots condemned queers and unsubmissive women in the name of a savior, prophet, or edity. Derek Wall recognizes that deep ecology, taken to an extreme as a single-model ideology, reduces humans to ecological cogs. He mentions deep ecologist Dave Foreman’s claim that AIDS and famines in Africa should be welcomed because they reduce human populations and thus mitigate the environmental harm that people cause.

Cynthia McKinney:President Obama Gets His Groove Back By Attacking Africans

Posted in Editorials, Social & Economic Justice on April 6th, 2011 by Edy – 13 Comments

Atlanta, Georgia

5 April 2011

President Obama promised “change” to the people who voted for him.  He told them to hope again and that change would come.  But President Obama’s change is really more of the same.  Therefore, his elixir that was sold to the world was nothing more than snake oil.  The most damage, of course, is being done to those whose dreams were intricately woven into his words, not realizing that words are not policy.  In a most deadly treachery, those who believed in our President the most are the ones who are now suffering and dying the most.

Some people, to this day, remain tricked by the salve of words for the wounds inflicted by our President.  Others have begun to sink into despair while some search for answers.  But our President is adept at giving us, in the words of the late, great Fred Hampton, Chicago’s other son, “answers that don’t answer, explanations that don’t explain, and conclusions that don’t conclude.”  It is to those searching for answers that I refer to my previous writings compiled on the websites below and to the writings of Bruce Dixon and Glen Ford and the entire BlackAgendaReport.com team and of Wayne Madsen whose writings can be found at WayneMadsenReport.com.

In Rosa Clemente’s and my 2008 Green Party “Power to the People” Presidential campaign, I tried to warn the attentive public of what was to come under an Obama Administration:  even I could not imagine that it would get this bad.

I knew that dissent would be intolerable under an Obama Administration, enforced both from the Black political consensus and from the Democratic Party wingnuts–quashing dissent even with all of the attendant special interest burdens that come with any aspect of the Democratic Party.

I knew that the Muslim world was going to be in for a shockingly rude awakening, but even I could not conceive of the carnage this President could bring to that part of the world–either by a policy that encourages Muslims to kill other Muslims, or by the dropping of bombs and the use of depleted uranium on Muslim communities.  But not only that, we are seeing the murder of whole countries and the communities and cultures that gave rise to them. The President’s policies are dismantling and dismembering Pakistan and Afghanistan as we watch.  The U.S. Embassy in Iraq announced plans to employ a total of 16,000 people, doubling its staff, within the next two years.  The only antidote to these policies is unity and I hope that the residents of these countries are able to unite and resist in a much more effective way than have “antiwar”  “liberal” communities inside the United States. Of course, some individuals stand out and are leading the resistance now and I can only hope that their voices are heard and multiplied among the masses, both here and around the world.

I do believe that Henry Kissinger was onto something when he marveled at the tremendous good will that this President has around the world and I do believe that Henry Kissinger, among others, sought to use that good will for their own purposes.  After all, when you buy a President, like a slave, he becomes yours. It is clear now, that the people of the United States did not buy this President and so they do not own him.  There are clear winners from the policies currently being pursued, but they are not the people.

Speaking of Henry Kissinger, let me just say this about him and his minions:  When I was in the Congress, I received a phone call from Alassane Ouattara from aboard Henry Kissinger’s yacht. I had received many such calls from people wanting to benefit from my good reputation within the human rights and peace community in the United States and they wanted me to sell their particular potion of iniquity to people inside the United States and to the world. Usually, these people were the kind of people accustomed to buying the consciences of public persons, so my “no” resounded rather sharply to them, and I earned yet another set of crosshairs on my forehead, I guess.

Alassane Ouattara and his Zionist wife, Dominique, were seeking my assistance–or maybe my silence–in his effort to become President of Ivory Coast.  I applaud Laurent Gbagbo in his efforts to stave off imperialism in Ivory Coast, one of the few African countries that has not one iota of a relationship with the U.S. military. However, Democracy Now, FOX, CNN, AP, Reuters, and all the rest didn’t tell you that when they ran their many stories about Ivory Coast. While the world will celebrate “democracy” arriving in Ivory Coast once Gbagbo is gone, the exact opposite will actually be the case.  Handing Ivory Coast over to Henry Kissinger and his ilk is the policy of the Obama Administration. I guess, President Obama is proving his worth:  perhaps no one could have done it better.

But it doesn’t stop there.  Look at what President Obama’s policies are in Haiti!  When the devastating earthquake struck there, only the fifth in the entire history of that country, President Obama sent in the drones when the people needed food, shelter, and medical relief!  How is that any different from George W. Bush and Michael Chertoff who sent men with guns into New Orleans, military and mercenaries, after Hurricane Katrina when the people really needed food?  Now, because of President Obama’s policies and his complete prostration before the Vicars of the Imperium–that is, the Clinton Family–who call the shots on the future of the Haitian people, Haiti can only see more struggle against domination in its future. Hillary Clinton went to Haiti to snatch self-determination from the Haitian people in the victory of Jude Celestin and to instead select a musician buffoon who once mooned his audience in a concert for Haiti’s Presidency, all with the smack of legitimacy granted when one can successfully threaten the Election Commission with revocation of visas to the U.S. and control the Organization of American States and the United Nations that has troops of occupation there.

Had George H.W. or W. Bush or John McCain or any Republican done any of this there would be enough hot air to float the Hindenburg!  The streets all across the United States would be aflitter!  There would be animation in the Congress enough to make John Boehner cry!  Instead, however, the very people who wield official power and who could stop this madness because they supposedly represent the interests of the people, silence themselves and let this happen.  Unity, again is the antidote–the sand that can be thrown by a few into the gears of the machine.

But, there is also pernicious collateral damage from our President’s policies right here in the United States in the African-American community that brought itself up from slavery and U.S.-styled apartheid.  President Obama has hastened the collapse of Black wealth in this country even as he feeds the beast of the bankers.  And, although our President can be counted on to roundly condemn Black men on Father’s Day, it seems that is the only treatment for which our President actively searches out Black people–for criticism and condemnation.  The so-called Black Farmer “settlement” provides money for everyone but the initial Black Farmers who stood up and filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but who now stand to lose 1.5 million acres under President Obama’s watch.  Under this President, Black people can be condemned, but not repaired.

As a result, sadly, Blacks are slipping back more and more into economic and cultural servitude and political irrelevancy.  And Michelle Alexander’s clarion call in her book entitled “The New Jim Crow,” reveals the true state of Black America. Just one tidbit from Ms. Alexander:  “More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began.”  According to a recent Economic Policy Institute report, Black family wealth has fallen to just $2,000 while that of White families rests at $94,600.

But, I have spouted these statistics for the past 20 years as they got worse and worse.  I have done everything that I know to do to try and warn the next victims of what these policies all mean for them.  And at a time when Japan is spewing radioactive material across the planet, our President goes to India and Chile hawking more nuclear potions while limiting the companies’ liability when there is a disaster!  The winners in all of our President’s policies take their rewards to the bank.  Woe is unto the rest of us.

Finally, I have said too many times to recall the number, that politics is not a beauty contest, nor is it a popularity contest.  Politics is about power and policy.  And unless we cast our votes for the candidates who represent our best policy options, then we are practicing the politics of self-abnegation.  Nowhere is that more clear than in the case of the Black community where even thoughtful critique of our President is unwelcome.  I want so much to change the world, but feel like Harriet Tubman must have felt when she approached slaves who did not want to be free because they didn’t even know that they were enslaved!

Link: http://www.facebook.com/notes/cynthia-mckinney/president-obama-gets-his-groove-back-by-attacking-africans-by-cynthia-mckinney/10150141611341139

Green Party is Right Wing’s New “Boogeyman”

Posted in Editorials, Local Elections on March 31st, 2011 by Ronald Hardy – 10 Comments

Typically Democrats and Republicans (and the media) ignore the Green Party whenever possible, but lately there has been a shift in attention as conservative groups are starting to use the Green Party to scare and influence voters to vote for or against other candidates.

Case in point – the Wisconsin Supreme Court election on April 5. The conservative incumbent, David Prosser, has suddenly found himself in trouble in a race against Madison attorney JoAnne Kloppenburg, an Assistant Attorney General. The race has grown to major significance because the collective bargaining rights bill that the GOP passed will likely be addressed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court to determine whether it is legal. If Prosser retains his seat on the Supreme Court than a Conservative bloc will make that decision, while if Kloppenburg wins the race, a “Liberal” bloc will likely overturn the law. Consequently labor unions and others are throwing everything they have to get Kloppenburg elected.

Prosser and the the conservative groups that support him must be feeling the heat, and two weeks ago they began to go on the offensive against Kloppenburg. Among the many charges they have laid against her include her association with Ben Manski, the Green Party candidate for State Assembly who won 31% of the vote last November.

Here is what the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (a pro-business lobbying group) sent out in a fund raising letter last week:

WMC Issues Mobilization Council, Inc. is launching a television ad campaign to counter the distortions from government unions and their allies about Justice Prosser. Justice Prosser has been a solid, rule-of-law jurist who has taken on the activist wing of the court. Kloppenburg, who has never been a judge, has strong ties to Wisconsin’s extreme left, including endorsement by the former national co-chairman of the radical Green Party, Ben Manski.

Prosser himself has added the “Green Party Boogieman” to his talking points, using it on public radio interviews and at forums. Here is a quote from Prosser’s piece in the Madison Capital Times:

My largely unknown opponent hides her extreme ideological views behind a Mary Poppins persona. A candidate who supports Green Party candidates and principles should be willing to admit that publicly. A candidate who won’t forthrightly acknowledge her views disrespects the voters’ right to make an informed choice.

And now, days before the the April 5 election, the Green Party has been invoked in Letters to the Editor across the state. See for example the Oshkosh Northwestern, Steven’s Point Journal, Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter, Appleton Post Crescent, WiscNews, etc.

Will this tactic work against Kloppenburg, (who is NOT a Green Party member, by the way), or is this the last desperate attempt to save Prosser’s seat?

Next case: Oklahoma City, where a run-off election for a City Council seat between Charles Swinton, a banker, and Ed Shadid, a spinal surgeon, who apparently ran as an Independent candidate for State Assembly last year with the backing of the Green Party. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are being spent on the City Council races in Oklahoma City, and with this district the last one to be resolved, Shadid has become a target. The mailers being sent out speak louder than words (click for full size image):



The Green Party – the Right Wing’s new “Boogeyman”

Green Party activist Edy: The Green Party taking money from Republicans (or Democrats) a bad thing?

Posted in Congressional Campaigns, Editorials, General, Local Elections on March 24th, 2011 by paulie – 4 Comments

Email from Green Party activist Edy:


Forward this around the country!! Thanks!!

So I had a conversation online and the question came up if it would be un-Green like to take money from Republicans in order to help fund a campaign. Ralph Nader didn’t do it in his 2000, 2004 runs to give you some perspective, but what about the rest of the Greens?

I would suppose I would personally be ok with the idea, as long as the money wasn’t directly donated by some corporation.(Figuring out if it was directly donated from a corporation could be tricky).

What if the money was given to us by Democrats? Would that be more acceptable? What if the race involved only a Green up against a Republican and a Democrat donated money to our campaign? Again, as long as it’s not corporation money.

I know how much big money is tied up with both parties, so taking money which isn’t necessarily corporate-donated could be tricky.

The point that I want to make is that we are a political party. We are playing hardball against both corporate parties. No more time for saying “Next time” or “I’m busy.” (Insert not so important issue/excuse that you couldn’t give two hours a week to help the Green Party). We need money. That’s the reality. This is not the time to be timid or over-sensitive to the Green Party stance. Remember, what is the goal? To elect Green Party representatives and to improve the lives of our fellow citizens.

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