more than just the election

By now we have all seen multiple absurd, fantastic and incomprehensible explanations for the recent Presidential election results. There’s been an astounding amount of unsupportable excuses from the losing side and an equally astounding amount of bloviating smugness from the “winners.” One thing that’s clear is that both the Donald and the Hillary were extremely disliked, extremely detached from ordinary Americans and extremely unlikely to change the society or the economy for the better.

I’ve come across a few articles that offer substantial insight into the election. This is one of them: http://cassandralegacy.blogspot.com/2016/12/the-peak-oil-election.html

I roughly agree with this line of analysis. I especially agree with the idea that most people trying to analyze the election are not even familiar with peak oil and therefore do not understand, for instance, why it means the political policies of the New Deal will not restore prosperity to the American economy. Neither will “free trade” as exemplified by a series of trade treaties. Neither will restoration of punitive tariffs as proposed by Trump. Whether you think America was great during Roosevelt’s administration or Reagan’s or Bill Clinton’s, the prosperity that was possible with ample resources for all human needs is simply no longer possible because essential resources are no longer ample. Continue reading

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What Is To Be Done?

Voting, while still an essential part of participating in politics instead of just passively letting politics happen, is also the minimum and almost trivial level of participation. Take this presidential election – please.

According to the polls just three weeks ahead of Election Day, it looks like we’ll have President Hillary Clinton in 2017. A lot of things could happen between now and then, but none of the things that would change this outcome are particularly likely to happen. This means that no matter whether you are planning to vote for her or for another candidate, we need to be prepared for the consequences, and we should already be getting organized.

Even in this circumstance, votes for Jill Stein still matter. If Jill can get 5% or better of the popular vote in this election, then the Green Party across the nation will go into the next election with much better ballot access and better funding for the next election. It will be another step on the progression from being ignored to being taken lightly to being opposed. The point is, there will be a lot to do beyond voting.

Those of us opposed to war with Syria, Iran, Turkey, Russia and any other war for oil and gas wells, shipping lanes and pipelines should be prepared to oppose President Hillary Clinton. She’s given us ample warning she supports this sort of war. many who reluctantly gave her their vote will also want to oppose her.

Those of us in favor of creating a new economy based on renewable energy while winding down the fossil and nuclear economy should be prepared to oppose President Hillary Clinton. Her record and her donor list indicates she values “growing the economy” with only marginal gestures in the direction of limiting greenhouse emissions. Again, many who voted for her will find themselves in opposition.

Those of us who understand the need for universal single-payer health care instead of a plan that subsidizes insurance and pharmaceutical companies while excluding tens of millions of people from coverage should be prepared to oppose President Hillary Clinton. She has flatly said that universal single-payer will “never happen,” and her extensive record clearly indicates she means exactly that. Anyone who supported Bernie should be working against her on this question.

Are you opposed to trade deals that allow multinational corporations to override protections for workers and the environment? Prepare to oppose Hillary. Do you think bankers that have committed fraud with mortgages and bank accounts shold be prosecuted and jailed if convicted? Prepare to oppose Hillary. Do you believe our foriegn policy should be supporting democracies but never dictatorships? Prepare to oppose Hillary, on these an many other issues.

And if, for some reason, we do end up with President Trump? Well then, we’ll be equally prepared to oppose Trump on any and all of these issues.

In short, while it is possible to vote for all of the above issues in this presidential election by voting for Jill Stein, all the polls say Jill isn’t going to win in November. We are still going to work for a peaceful and sustainable economy with universal health care no matter who is the next president of the United States and no matter who represents our state or district in Congress.

Yes, we’re looking at the election for the next few weeks. We also need to look beyond the election, to envision the government we want and see the path to creating it.

Bernie didn’t do it for us, and maybe Jill won’t win in November, but this election has certainly activated a lot of people looking for ecological wisdom, social justice, democracy and non-violence. The election on November 8, 2016 is neither the end nor the beginning for those goals.

STEIN WORK PARTIES Mondays, 10/17, 10/24, 10/31 and 11/07, 7–10 p.m. at the new Green House, 10440 W. 9 Mile, E. of Coolidge, Oak Park. Phonebanking, fun videos and lively political discussion and debate. For more info: steffie@ferndalefriends.net

METRO DETROIT GREENS—7 p.m. Thur. 10/20, 10440 W. 9 Mile: Agenda: Local Campaigns and Candidates — final push. For more info.: sherwells@tm.net

We are pleased that the Green Party of Michigan is able to host four more visits to Michigan by our candidates for President and Vice President. Further information about these visits is available on our GPMI website (http://www.migreenparty.org/), and on the Facebook events notices linked below.

Ajamu Baraka
Green Party Candidate for Vice President
“Human Rights at Home and Abroad”
Tuesday, October 18 – 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Bernath Auditorium
Wayne State Undergraduate Library
Free and open to the public
https://www.facebook.com/events/1140533536039199/
For more info: luannekozma@gmail.com

Ajamu Baraka
Green Party Candidate for Vice President
“Building the Green Movement”
Wednesday, October 19 – 7:00 p.m.
Grand Rapids Community College
Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center ATC – Room 120
151 Fountain St. NE – Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Free and open to the public
https://www.facebook.com/events/1689094524663123/
For more info: luannekozma@gmail.com

Jill Stein
Green Party Candidate for President
Friday, October 28 – 2:00 p.m.
Redford Theatre
17360 Lahser, Detroit, MI 48219
Free and open to the public
https://www.facebook.com/events/553063294818543/
For more info: luannekozma@gmail.com

and 6-8 p.m.
Bowen Field House
Eastern Michigan University
100 W Circle Dr, Ypsilanti, Michigan
Free and open to the public
https://www.facebook.com/events/179164205862975/
For more info: luannekozma@gmail.com

VICTORY PARTY Tues. Nov. 8, 7-10 p.m. 10440 W. 9 Mile.
For more info: steffie@ferndalefriends.net

ELECTION DEBRIEFING; plan for 2017 & 2018; Nov.12-11:00 China Jade, 1070 W Huron, Waterford.
For more info.: sherwells@tm.net

Why Jill Stein Has My Vote

Jill Event 1

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the event mentioned in the image above. Two highlights for the day – accidentally got to met Green Party VP Candidate Ajamu Braka back stage when I went out to get some stuff out of the car and we got to hear Jill Stein’s stump speech live and direct.

Some people will vote for Jill because of her New Green Deal plan which involves a massive national effort a la FDR’s New Deal in which we will not only make a massive shift toward renewable energy in the US, but also employ lots of people doing so. Sure, I like that.

Some people will vote for Jill because she believe WATER IS A HUMAN right and she will do everything in her power to protect and preserve what we have as well as make fresh, safe drinking water available to everyone. Yup, I gotta agree with this.

Others find her plan to slash military spending in half and use that money to help forgive student debt and pay for college tuition for those who want to attend college. That is certainly an admirable position.

Those people who have been crushed by medical debt will not doubt support her promise to provide single payer health care – health insurance for ALL – to the only developed nation on the planet that does not year have it. I can get behind this since I am still paying for cancer treatment I received in 2012.

Jill n Ajamu

Jill Stein & Ajamu Baraka in Detroit.

Her promise to end our failed War on Drugs will no doubt resonate with thousands of people from all walks of life and all political persuasions. Works for me.

Her rejection of Political Action Committee bucks and her refusal to take Corporate Money in her campaign speaks volumes to Bernie Sanders supporters and to anyone smart enough to decry the ridiculous influence of money in politics. Amen, sister!

PAc Free

All Green Party Candidates are PAC Free!

All of those reasons are great. Jill’s vision that ALL of us are interconnected and of equal importance is music to my ears. Speaking of music – now we are getting to the one thing Jill did in Detroit that sealed my vote – She jammed on the congas with a stage full of Detroit’s most talented musicians.

Way to go Jill – you got me!

Click Here to See Jill Play the Congas!

Conga Jill 1

What? Leave Fossil Fuels in the Ground?

There are three powerful reasons to support the policy “Leave Fossil Fuels in the Ground.” They all converge on the conclusion that, not only is it a good idea to leave fossil fuels in the ground, it’s a necessity. The only question is whether this will happen with minimal bad effects on our lives or with terrible ones.

In other words, while it might be a serious inconvenience for all of us who have gotten used to cars, air conditioning and vacation resorts, the alternative is economic collapse and disaster if we don’t move away from fossil fuels in a deliberate fashion. Continue reading

About Bernie’s Political Revolution

In The Detroit News, Friday, March 6, 2016, Daniel Howes writes, “Not since whenever did the presumptive Republican nominee run to the left of the Democratic nominee [He assumes Hillary is the presumptive Democratic Nominee.] on trade, Wall Street and most foreign policy, even as the Democrat runs right of the Republican on the military and upholding traditional governmental institutions.” It’s an awkward construction. it would be simpler to say that Trump’s positions are to the left of Hillary’s on all these issues: trade, Wall Street, most foreign policy, the military and upholding traditional governmental institutions. There, fixed it. Continue reading

COP 21 is Over – Now What?

With landmark climate accord, world marks turn from fossil fuels” reads the headline. The article from December 12, 2015 continues:

“By Alister Doyle and Barbara Lewis

PARIS (Reuters) – The global climate summit in Paris agreed a landmark accord on Saturday, setting the course for a historic transformation of the world’s fossil fuel-driven economy within decades in a bid to arrest global warming.”

Cautious hopes as UN adopts draft climate change deal” is the headline from AFP, a French news outlet. Their story continues:

“By Karl Malakunas, Mariëtte Le Roux
December 5, 2015 4:55 PM

Le Bourget (France) (AFP) – Negotiators from 195 nations agreed on a draft Saturday for a pact to save mankind from disastrous global warming, raising hopes that decades of arguments will finally end with a historic deal in Paris.”

Continue reading

Who Should Control Our Guns?

This article was written as a response to a call to join the “Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence.” The thrust of the call was to support new “gun control” legislation in response to the most recent mass shooting. I don’t expect everyone to agree with this view. The discussion should be interesting.

USA Today has an article on “mass killings.” (http://www.gannett-cdn.com/GDContent/mass-killings/index.html#frequency) Their criteria include deaths by arson, by strangulation and by stabbing as well as by firearms. I did not check every incident on which they reported, so there could be mass deaths resulting from dynamite, or from someone running their truck at a crowd, so long as several people were killed in the same event. Such an article can get one emotionally worked up about gun control, but not as a striclly logical conclusion from the material presented.

As of October 2, 375 are dead in mass shootings in the United States, according to http://shootingtracker.com/wiki/Mass_Shootings_in_2015, which uses a much broader definition of “mass shooting” than the FBI does for “mass killings.” They count shootings in which several people were wounded, even if nobody was killed in the event. The FBI counts only events in which at least 3 people were killed. if one or two people died and more were wounded, the deaths show up in shootingtracker, but not in the FBI statistics. If the rate continues to the end of the year, it will result in roughly 500 people dead in mass shootings.

Also as of October 2, 878 people have been killed by police in the United States, according to http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2015/jun/01/the-counted-police-killings-us-database#. If this rate continues to the end of the year, we’ll have 1,165 dead as a result of police shootings. As we know from the recent news, a significant number of these will be unarmed people shot while fleeing from the police, or sitting in their cars, or perhaps a 12-year old with a toy gun sitting on a park bench.

Some of the people shot by the police will of course be active gun-toting felons shot while robbing a 7-11 store; that is, legitimate shootings. Some clearly are not in the least legitimate, although the police departments involved almost always try to claim that they are. Consequently, it’s not possible to get any generally-agreed number for illegitimate police shootings resulting in homicide. It’s reasonable to believe that the number of illegitimate or highly questionable deaths by police shooting is about the same as the number of “mass shooting” deaths. It’s certainly within the same order of magnitude, no matter how impossible it is to get an exact number.

Of course, these are ‘only’ killings done by US citizens in the United States. Far more serious are killings done by US citizens acting as agents of the US government (both military and secret agents) outside the boundaries of the United States. There, we can’t get any solid number, and there would be no reason to distinguish killings by firearm from those resulting from missiles and bombs. We can’t get a solid number, but it is not difficult to estimate that number as at least a couple orders of magnitude higher than the number killed in mass shootings. In other words, something like 50,000 annually as compared to the 500 victims of civilian mass shootings; or at least 100,000 +, compared to the 1000 + killed by police. And we’ve all heard even higher estimates that are plausible.

As far as I can tell, it’s the endless wars that are the basic problem, and the killings that happen within the boundaries of this country are mostly consequences. In part they are consequences of a culture that glorifies using guns to solve problems by intimidating or eliminating your enemies. Mostly they are consequences of recruiting over 150,000 young people for the military every year and rejecting even more applicants. The ones recruited are specifically trained to kill, and the ones rejected are left frustrated that they didn’t qualify for the training.

The main focus of the peace movement, as I understand it, should be direct opposition to our endless wars. Advocating “gun control” in the hands of the exact same politicians who are the supporters and instigators of both endless wars and the police state that goes along with it is exactly the wrong emphasis. Yes, it’s harder to oppose the wars that are the root of the problem. But it is necessary.

If the energies of the peace movement are directed at ending war, then I’m part of the movement. If they are to be mis-directed so that the movement is no longer a problem for the war-makers but instead supports their police state, then I’m not interested. Count me as part of the opposition.

I think if we can end the Empire’s endless wars for oil and other resources and create instead a sustainable society, then both the police state and the rate of mass killings will dimish. If we cannot end those wars, then both the police state killings under the color of law and the obviously lawless sort of mass killings will continue and get worse. The police, who are supposed to serve and protect the rest of us, will increasingly look on us as enemies to be suppressed, and they will use even more military weapons and tactics to do it.

That’s the problem with supporting gun control in a police state.