The election season is in full hysterical mode. The dems are beating on progressives who are fleeing to Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson, the repubs are beating on the dems with all the corporate money and psycho-linguistic technology they can muster and behind the scenes somewhere we have a bunch of faceless (poor things, they don’t have faces) IT folks who are gearing up to do whatever they are supposed to do with the vote-counting technology to tabulate votes on November 6th.
Michael Connell will not be available to help with the information technology tasks in this election cycle. His private plane crashed and he was killed before he was available to testify about the 2004 Ohio vote-counting, “man in the middle” controversy.
There is lots to worry about in this election cycle even with the tragedy of Michael Connell’s death in 2008. But let’s get real, this election is in the can. Yes, we should all work on getting out the votes for progressive candidates, for local initiatives that might produce change, but the change is not coming by defeating Romney, the change is not coming in this election cycle.
Our best progressive shot happens with the mid term election of 2014. I believe we have three primary branches of govt here in the US of A. The judicial is captured by 4 solidly corporate, reactionary justices, with a conservative swing vote held by Anthony Kennedy. The remaining justices are solidly liberal, but are aging and out-numbered 5 to 4. This is the 5 to 4 court, not the Roberts Court. And it will be the 5 to 4 Court for a very long time. Right wingers do not have to control the Senate to keep a Dem president from appointing a William O. Douglas or Thurgood Marshall type justice to the Court, they only have to obstruct appointments in a manner that the Dems will never do to a Republican potus. Need evidence of that? Samual Alito? Clarence Thomas? John Roberts? Do these names ring a bell? Yes, the dems borked poor Robert Bork, but that was a long time ago and poor Robert Bork had served Richard Nixon too well. Robert Bork borked himself in the Saturday night massacre, he was just a late victim of that miserable public affair.
The pick at the top of the ticket in this election is a hobbesian choice. Both of the candidates are firmly in the control of the big money folks, the have-mores as George W called them. Romney might claim to be the candidate of the 53%, but that’s not true, he is the Emperor of Bain Capital. Read’m and weep.
Obama? Sad sack. I voted for him once upon a time. I didn’t believe in him at that time, but I was willing to give it a shot. The Dems are always saying, please, just give us one more chance. I thought why not? in 2008 and voted Obama. I wanted Dean or Kucinich, but the Bainsters who control our political system are not going to allow that kind of option, so I voted Obama. I used to say that the only republican I ever voted for as President was Bill Clinton, but now I have done it twice. Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice… I won’t get fooled again or something like that, Bushisms are so complex in their inanity that they approach genius.
Here is an interesting video that makes the point that the electorate really is trying to choose between pepsi or coke for potus. Tastes better, less filling, tastes better…
Leaves a bad taste. Thanks to Slate, David Weigel, and Luke Rudowski at We Are Change for this work.
I will be back in a day or two to talk about Climate Congress 2014 – The Contract with Climate.
Top of the list? Carbon Tax, baby! A twofer. We jam the environmental destroyers, the petro-bainsters and we fix the deficit in one fell swoop. I love a fell swoop.
Verdict in Rachel Corrie Lawsuit to be Announced August 28th Family to Hold Press Conference in Haifa
This is a big deal in Olympia because so many of us are connected to the Corrie family. Rachel was a well-known Oly activist. She was loved, she is missed. Rachel’s death in the occupied territories of Palestine welded the communities of Olympia and Rafah together
The verdict will be announced on the 28th in Haifa. On Wednesday, Aug 29th, we will have a video conference call with Craig and Cindy Corrie at Traditions Cafe at 6:30 pm. I hope that many of you will be able to join us at Traditions next Wednesday to support Craig and Cindy and to pay your respects to Rachel.
Here is a link the Rachel Corrie Foundation website if you want to know more. Here is an update and some background from the Corrie family:
(Haifa, Israel August 21, 2012) The verdict in the civil lawsuit against the State of Israel for the killing of peace activist Rachel Corrie over nine years ago will be announced August 28, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. at the Haifa District Court.
Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American from Olympia, Washington, was crushed to death March 16, 2003, by an Israeli military Caterpillar D9-R bulldozer while nonviolently protesting demolition of Palestinian civilian homes in Rafah, Gaza.
The lawsuit, filed in 2005 on behalf of the Corrie family by attorney Hussein abu Hussein, charges the State of Israel with responsibility for Rachels killing and failure to conduct a full and credible investigation in the case.
The lawsuit is just a small step in our familys nearly decade-long search for truth and justice, said Craig Corrie, Rachels father. The mounting evidence presented before the court underscores a broken system of accountability tolerated by the United States in spite of its conclusions that Israels military investigation was not thorough, credible, or transparent.
I know that a lot of people will think that the low tax rates are a good thing, and they may be in a few ways, but these low tax rates translate into austerity political decisions, cuts in services, cuts to environmental protection, cuts to education, cuts in regulatory functions. The same folks who will cheer these low tax rates (even at the same moment that they complain about high taxes and advocate for more tax cuts) will also cheer the cuts in non-military governmental functions.
This is fine, I support free speech. I respect the right to espouse ideas, no matter how crazy they may be, but it is weird when working class and working poor, middle class folks start drinking this 1% koolaid. This is our task. Somehow we have to reach these folks and help them understand that our wildly expensive military adventures, drone murder program, kidnap and torture foreign policy is very destructive to our future as well as being morally indefensible. We have to help these folks understand that the 1% oligarchy are cooking the books as well as the globe with their planet for profit approach to the natural world.
We have to understand that taxes are necessary. Here is what George Washington had to say about taxes:
It is essential to bear in mind that toward the payment of debts there must be revenue; that to have revenue, there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant.
George Washington, 1796
Here is a bit of the WAPO piece. I think the facts are important. If you have questions about tax revenue and trends, read this piece.
In 2009, Americans paid lowest tax rates in 30 years to federal government
Americans paid the lowest tax rates in 30 years to the federal government in 2009, in part because of tax cuts President Obama sought to combat the Great Recession, congressional budget analysts said Tuesday.
A sharp decline in income especially among the wealthiest Americans, who pay the highest tax rates also played a role, according to the report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Household income fell 12 percent on average from 2007 to 2009, with income among the top 1 percent of earners decreasing by more than a third
The economy is a financial shadow of the state of the physical world. Economics is simply one way of measuring certain activity here on a small planet on a spiral arm of a somewhat non-descript galaxy in the known universe. There are lots of planets, rocks, planetoids, stars, dust motes in the universe that appear to have little or no activity that could be measured in economic terms (other than zero) because the local climate and weather have reached steady states that are too hot or too cold for economic measurement.
We float around the galaxy in the goldilocks zone, neither too hot nor too cold for lively economic activity, yet when our economic house of cards starts to shake, we can’t figure out that the climate in the goldilocks zone is the ultimate free lunch and that economics are a shadow of the physical world. We appear to be willing to destroy the climate rather than upset the economic schemes of the dominant species on the planet.
Homo industrialis is a dominant and successful species, but maybe not too smart. We need to evolve to become homo sustainabilis or we kiss it goodbye. We better wise up soon.
Lots of weather news out there. The Rio climate talks were disappointing. No political will to re-order our priorities and realize that the economy relies on the climate, not the other way around.
Here are some news items about the weather, some things to think about as we enter the lazy days of summer:
East Coast sees sea level rise – not a good thing. Is it related to global warming and the burning of fossil fuels? Yes. I will say it again. Yes. Burning fossil fuels is causing sea level rise. Time to stop equivocating.
We have options. We have to look at ways to prevent capitalism, the church of the profit, from burning the house down while we try to live in the house.
Here is an interesting piece about democratic capitalism in Spain. I don’t know if this kind of thing is the answer, but it’s encouraging to see a less top-down model of corporate structure. Mondragon Corporation. Read all about it. Thanks to Alternet for running this piece.
Chris Hedges has a piece on Alternet today about Crazy Horse. It’s a good piece, but Chris is someday going to need to reconcile his “black bloc is a cancer” screed with pieces like this one where he glorifies warrior lifestyles. I don’t say that I know which approach is right. I agree with Chris on this article that includes a quote from the lesser-known Marx Brother:
Karl Marx was correct when he called unregulated capitalism a machine for demolishing limits. This failure to impose limits cannibalizes natural resources and human communities. This time, the difference is that when we go the whole planet will go with us. Catastrophic climate change is inevitable. Arctic ice is in terminal decline. There will soon be so much heat trapped in the atmosphere that any attempt to scale back carbon emissions will make no difference. Droughts. Floods. Heat waves. Killer hurricanes and tornados. Power outages. Freak weather. Rising sea levels. Crop destruction. Food shortages. Plagues.
Yep, it’s Monday morning. Time to throw on the office clothes and get the work week underway. Be careful out there. Stay cool. Keep cool.
For folks who have not been present at non-violent demonstrations it may be helpful to understand that the original black block is the riot police who come out and assault non-violent demonstrators in a wholesale fashion.
Some pretty peaceful and peace-loving folks have been assaulted by the police.
Some of you may know Dorli Rainey from Seattle who was pepper sprayed during Occupy events.
Dorli was 82 years old when she got pepper sprayed. She is spry and spunky, but I think it’s a hard sell to convince a reasonable person that Dorli could look dangerous to a heavily armored police officer.
So this is the backdrop for the tactic known as the black bloc. There are a lot of reasonable critiques of the black bloc. The most persuasive to me is the potential for police infiltration, for agent provocateurs to join the black bloc and to then commit an act of property destruction that will trigger a violent peace riot. There is also the opportunity for a genuine black bloc participant to choose unnecessary violence and/or property destruction that will trigger a violent street riot.
I will be facilitating a round table discussion regarding the Occupy movement and the domestic armies at the Olympia Occupy Social Forum this coming weekend. Maybe I will see you there?
Hope and Glory – The Politics of Survival on a Small Blue Planet