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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Green Party candidate Eliot Barron

Eliot Barron, Green Party candidate for Congress in Louisiana special election 

Eliot Barron, Green Party, green businessman, U.S. Army veteran is running for the U.S. House representing the 5th Congressional District of Louisiana[1] The election is being held to replace the incumbent, who announced his resignation in order to take a position as the next Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs at the end of September 2013. 

Eliot Barron, Green Party congressional candidate facebook page link below.  

https://www.facebook.com/barronforcongress?ref=nf

Green Party candidate Eliot Barron qualified for the ballot just this week.  

Eliot Barron (G) is a successful green businessman, and realtor. Green Party candidate Eliot Barron is a "More Trains, Less Traffic" advocate. 

http://www.transportfornola.org/introducing-eliot-barron-streetcar-builder

By:  Eliot Barron, Green Party candidate for congress,  Guest Contributor

Congratulations!

You win for caring, in this little life of ours, for this short time on earth, about what we do for each other and those who come after. Sometimes the best way to do that is to honor and learn from the people who came before us. This has been a guiding principle for me personally, as I have journeyed, literally and figuratively, living (since 1975) and working (since 1991 – for taxable income) all across the country and halfway around the world. My name is Eli and I am currently a part of the Streetcar Maintenance Training Program and this is my weblog. We be blogginʼ.

Growing up within earshot of the old New Orleans-Carrolton Rail Road, also known as St. Charles Avenue, the rumble and hum of the street cars and the lines overhead are as vital in memory as the smell of my mother’s kitchen. Everyday, from age ten on, the streetcar ride home after school – from the hill on Jackson to the lower line of the old town of Carrollton – was an eye and ear opener. I heard recently that there used to be a canal down that uptown street. There was probably a streetcar line too; they used to be everywhere. These days, with all the construction and work on the trails and switches, the cars that stand between Broadway and Carrollton give everyone who goes that way a new awareness of their presence in our lives. Part of the infinite charm of the New Orleans streetcars are the associations each of us has with the singular, historic and time-honored machine. Be it sight, sound, smell, or memories of other times, every one knows about the trolley. Or do we?

As the third century of continuous operation of the St. Charles line goes on (the overhead wires for the system we have today were installed in 1892), the reality of budgets and priorities has led to the endangerment of the species. 

http://www.transportfornola.org/introducing-eliot-barron-streetcar-builder 

 Eliot Barron, Green Party candidate for congress Youtube video.

 

28 aug 13 @ 8:43 pm edt          Comments

Green Party opposes war. Green Party opposes attack on Syria

The warmongers, and war profiteers are back. 

U.S. Green Party: No to war in Syria!

Green Party Shadow Cabinet member and Virginian David Swanson 

http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2013/08/david-swanson-10-problems-with-the-latest-excuse-for-war/ 

1. War is not made legal by such an excuse.  It can’t be found in the Kellogg-Briand Pact, the United Nations Charter, or the U.S. Constitution.  It can, however, be found in U.S. war propaganda of the 2002 vintage.  (Who says the federal government doesn’t promote recycling?)

2. The United States itself possesses and uses internationally condemned weapons, including white phosphorus, napalm, cluster bombs, and depleted uranium.  Whether you praise these actions, avoid thinking about them, or join me in condemning them, they are not a legal or moral justification for any foreign nation to bomb us, or to bomb some other nation where the U.S. military is operating.  Killing people to prevent their being killed with the wrong kind of weapons is a policy that must come out of some sort of sickness.  Call it Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

3. An expanded war in Syria could become regional or global with uncontrollable consequences.  Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Russia, China, the United States, the Gulf states, together with the NATO states; does this sound like the sort of conflict we want?  Does it sound like a conflict anyone will survive?  Why in the world risk such a thing?

4. Just creating a “no fly zone” would involve bombing urban areas and unavoidably killing large numbers of people.  This happened in Libya and we looked away.  But it would happen on a much larger scale in Syria, given the locations of the sites to be bombed.  Creating a “no fly zone” is not a matter of making an announcement, but of dropping bombs.

5. Both sides in Syria have used horrible weapons and committed horrible atrocities.  Surely even those who imagine people should be killed to prevent their being killed with different weapons can see the insanity of arming both sides to protect each other side.  Why is it not, then, just as insane to arm one side in a conflict that involves similar abuses by both?

6. With the United States on the side of the opposition in Syria, the United States will be blamed for the opposition’s crimes.  Most people in Western Asia hate al Qaeda and other terrorists.  They are also coming to hate the United States and its drones, missiles, bases, night raids, lies, and hypocrisy.  Imagine the levels of hatred that will be reached when al Qaeda and the United States team up to overthrow the government of Syria and create an Iraq-like hell in its place.

7. An unpopular rebellion put into power by outside force does not usually result in a stable government.  In fact there is not yet on record a case of U.S. humanitarian war benefitting humanity or of nation-building actually building a nation.  Why would Syria, which looks even less auspicious than most potential targets, be the exception to the rule?

8. This opposition is not interested in creating a democracy, or — for that matter — in taking instructions from the U.S. government.  On the contrary, blowback from these allies is likely.  Just as we should have learned the lesson of lies about weapons by now, our government should have learned the lesson of arming the enemy of the enemy long before this moment.

9. The precedent of another lawless act by the United States, whether arming proxies or engaging directly, sets a dangerous example to the world and to those in Washington for whom Iran is next on the list.

10. A strong majority of Americans, despite all the media’s efforts thus far, opposes arming the rebels or engaging directly.  Instead, a plurality supports providing humanitarian aid.

We might better spread democracy by example than by bomb.

There are nonviolent pro-democracy movements in Bahrain and Turkey and elsewhere, and this administration  doesn’t lift a finger in support. 

 

 Transparent Hoax Could Lead to War

Phony "poison gas" attack spurs calls for intervention

by Justin Raimondo, August 26, 2013

I could go on for quite a while about the various Syrian hoaxes we’ve been subjectedto, but let’s get down to the latest one – a claim Syrian government forces used nerve gas at the Syrian village known as Ghouta. Videos posted by the rebels show rows of people killed or incapacitated without any dramatic indications of physical trauma: instead, the victims display convulsions and other signs of exposure to asphyxiating gases. Yet, as Ha’aretz reports:

"Western experts on chemical warfare who have examined at least part of the footage are skeptical that weapons-grade chemical substances were used, although they all emphasize that serious conclusions cannot be reached without thorough on-site examination.

"Dan Kaszeta, a former officer of the U.S. Army’s Chemical Corps and a leading private consultant, pointed out a number of details absent from the footage so far: ‘None of the people treating the casualties or photographing them are wearing any sort of chemical-warfare protective gear,’ he says, ‘and despite that, none of them seem to be harmed.’"

Perhaps Allah is protecting these caregivers and others attending to the sick: or maybe the aid we’re shipping the rebels includes some really neat stuff from Marvel Comics. On the other hand, maybe the whole thing is yet another put up job. You tell me.

If the "massacre" at Ghouta involved military-grade nerve gas, all those doctors and others milling around the fallen victims would be dead or in serious trouble. That’s because the poison would stick around for days, penetrating the skin and being inhaled by anyone who came close to them or even entered the vicinity. Another problem is that, as Kaszeta says, "One issue is that you can’t really test for sarin gas, you test for chemicals that are released as it decomposes."

The UN inspection team was in Damascus anyway, investigating previous claims of poison gas use: of course it’s just a coincidence that this latest claim is made about a site a few miles from where they’re staying. They are on their way to Ghouta even as I write: but how will they determine who used whatever chemical agents were unleashed, if indeed that is what happened? The answer is: they won’t. They have only to come up with "evidence" that some sort of "WMD" was used: in spite of rebel claimsthat they would "retaliate" in kind in response to previous alleged chemical attacks, it will simply be assumed by Western governments and media (or do I repeat myself) that the Syrian government is responsible.

more at ANTIWAR.COM

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2013/08/25/transparent-hoax-could-lead-to-war/ 

28 aug 13 @ 8:03 pm edt          Comments

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Green Party calls for cutting waste of taxpayer dollars at DOD

Green Party says Sequestration Debate Misses the REAL Issue

 

Green Party points to Defense spending Waste, Fraud, Abuse and Improper Payments Are the Real Causes of the Deficit

 

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/02/the-sequestration-debate-misses-the-real-issues.html

 Sequestration means across-the-board cuts in government spending, split 50%-50% between the military and domestic spending.

As this post will show, the hypocrisy surrounding the sequestration debate is stunning.

For example, president Obama says that sequestration is the GOP’s fault. But Bob Woodward andYouTube reveal that Obama supported sequestration from day one.

And Dems obviously want to slash military spending and protect domestic programs, while the GOP wants to slash entitlements and leave military spending as is.

But the whole sequestration debate misses the bigger picture: Tremendous savings can be wrung out of both military and domestic spending without reducing services to either.

Military Wasting Bucketloads of Money on Non-Defense Costs

BusinessWeek and Bloomberg point out that we could slash military spending without harming our national security. Specifically, we could slash boondoggles that even the generals don’t want:

A devastating series by our colleagues at Bloomberg News shows that “the defense budget contains hundreds of billions of dollars for new generations of aircraft carriers and stealth fighters, tanks that even the Army says it doesn’t need and combat vehicles too heavy to maneuver in desert sands or cross most bridges in Asia, Africa, or the Middle East.”

BusinessWeek also notes that redundancy wastes a lot of money:

“One need only spend 10 minutes walking around the Pentagon or any major military headquarters to see excess and redundancy,” former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in September at an event organized by the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington. He should know. As defense chief in 2009, he culled 20 weapons systems he thought unnecessary or too expensive, including the F-22 fighter. One place to start thinning the bureaucracy: the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. That office has more than tripled in manpower, to 4,244 in 2012 from 1,313 in 2010, according to the Pentagon’s annual manpower report. (Fewer bureaucrats means fewer memos and fewer meetings. Win-win-win.)

BusinessWeek provides a list of cost-cutting measures which will not undermine national security. American Conservative does the same.

So why doesn’t Congress trim the fat? Because politicians want to bring home the pork. As BusinessWeek notes:

Why is sensible military budgeting so difficult? Because lawmakers, including small-government Republicans, protect defense business in their home states with the ferocity of Spartans. Even if the Pentagon offered up the cuts we’ve outlined here, Congress would almost certainly reject them. The senators and representatives don’t have the political courage to face voters and tell them that the republic simply does not need the weapon under construction in their hometown.

American Conservative reports:

The cuts to the Pentagon budget will be only 7% or some $40+ billion, not the $500 billion they bandy about! Anyone who confuses the (unlikely) ten year cut with next year’s cut is just promoting lies. A good example is the Wall Street Journal editorial, “The Coming Defense Crackup,” warning that the cuts would create the smallest navy since 1914. It intentionally confuses next year’s cut with the consequences of 10 year cuts. [In reality, the size of the proposed sequestration cuts aren't really that big.]

Ok, but when every smart bomb and missile hits its target, why does one need as many shells as the old battleships where most shots missed? During the Korean war the Air Force tried futilely for months to bomb a bridge over the Yalu River. Today destroying a bridge takes one cruise missile from a hundred miles away. In Washington we find all the big media opposed to cutting defense spending, waste and all, even the Washington PostPolitico, usually a leftist paper, publishes articles also intentionally confusing 10 years of cuts with a one year cut. Today’s congressmen can’t oblige future congresses on what they will spend; defense apologists use the 10-year number to try to stop the sequestration for one year, 2013. All the big Washington newspapers are full of costly ads from defense contractors.

Of course, this just scratches the surface.

In reality, the military wastes and “loses” (cough) trillions of dollars.  See thisthisthisthisthisthis,thisthisthisthis and this.

The Secretary of Defense acknowledged in May 2012 that the DOD “is the only major federal agency that cannot pass an audit today.”  The Pentagon will not be ready for an audit for another five years, according to Panetta.

Republican Senator Tom Coburn also notes that the Department of Defense can reduce $67.9 billion over 10 years by eliminating the non-defense programs that have found their way into the budget for the Department of Defense.

And Coburn documents abusive wastes of taxpayer dollars, including:

  • A $100,000 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency strategy planning workshop including a session entitled “Did Jesus die for Klingons too?” that entailed a panel debating the implications for Christian philosophy should life be found on other planets
  • A DOD and Department of Agriculture co-produced reality cooking show called “Grill It Safe
  • DOD-run microbreweries

In addition, the defense department spends huge sums securing our access to oil.  In 1991, the Government Accountability Office estimated that – between 1980 and 1990 – the US spent $366 billion to defend oil supplies in the Middle East.   America was not fighting any major wars – in the Middle East or elsewhere – at the time.

George W. Bush, John McCainSarah Palin, a high-level National Security Council officerAlan Greenspanand others all say that the Iraq war was really about oil.  Nobel prize winning economist Joe Stiglitz says that we’ll end up spending $3-5 trillion spent on the Iraq war alone. See thisthis and this.

Indeed, most of our wars are fought for petroleum resources.

Security experts – including both hawks and doves – agree that waging war against Iraq and in other Middle Eastern countries weakens national security and increases terrorism. See thisthisthisthisthis,thisthis and this.

So why is our defense spending so high?  Because war and defense spending – as President Eisenhowerwarned so long ago – is a feature, not a bug … which makes the rich even richer.

American Conservative reports:

[The war-monger's] big government program is unending wars, imperialist foreign policy, and ever expanding Homeland Security.

***

The money is not all for defense. At least half is for attacking other nations, as Ron Paul called it the defense/militarism budget. Roughly half goes for defense, the rest is for military adventures abroad, most of them quite unnecessary, indeed counterproductive as they just create more enemies for America. Look at Turkey where 90% of the population used to support America; now 85% oppose us. Obviously if we attacked fewer foreigners we could do with much less spending. Firing 250,000 bullets for each dead guerilla can get expensive. As also paying  $400 per gallon to get fuel to the front lines.

Any lingering doubts about whether we can cut defense costs without undermining our national security can be dispatched with a few facts:

The American government has directly been supporting Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups for the last decade.  See thisthisthisthis and this.

(Remember, if there aren’t scary enough enemies in real life, we’ve got to create them.  Oops … did I say that out loud?)

And the American government lies – and even kills its own – to justify new wars.

Top American economists say that endless war has ruined our economy.  It benefits a handful of elites, while levying a tax on the vast majority of Americans.

Congress members – part of the super-elite which has made money hand over fist during this economic downturn – are heavily invested in the war industry, and routinely trade on inside information … perhaps even including planned military actions.

No wonder the American government is making the state of war permanent, and planning to unleash new, widespread  wars in the near future.

Government Squandering Taxpayer Money on Unnecessary Domestic Expenses

All of the top independent economists and financial experts (and many bankers) say that we’ve got tobreak up the big banks to save the economy.

Instead, the government has thrown trillions at the big banks to artificially make them appear profitable.

The bailouts are continuing non-stop … to this very day (and see this).

Indeed, the government chose the big banks over Main Street, the average American … or the economy as a whole.  And see this and this.

As such, the government has sucked trillions out of the real economy by pushing policies which destroy jobs (sorry … Obama doesn’t care), redistributed wealth upwards from the broad economy to a handful of the very richest (which trashes the economy .. and Obama is even worse than Bush), and destroyed savers and Main Street.

In other words, we have thrown many trillions of dollars at the banks, and then sucked trillions more out of the real economy.

As we noted recently:

The central banks’ central bank – the Bank for International Settlements- warned in 2008 that bailouts of the big banks would create sovereign debt crises … which could bankrupt nations.

That is exactly what has happened.

The big banks went bust, and so did the debtors. But the government chose to save the big banks instead of the little guy, thus allowing the banks to continue to try to wring every penny of debt out of debtors.

Treasury Secretary Paulson shoved bailouts down Congress’ throat by threatening martial law if the bailouts weren’t passed. And the bailouts are now perpetual.

Moreover:

The bailout money is just going to line the pockets of the wealthy, instead of helping to stabilize the economy or even the companies receiving the bailouts:

  • A lot of the bailout money is going to the failing companies’ shareholders
  • Indeed, a leading progressive economist says that the true purpose of the bank rescue plans is “a massive redistribution of wealth to the bank shareholders and their top executives”
  • The Treasury Department encouraged banks to use the bailout money to buy their competitors, and pushed through an amendment to the tax laws which rewards mergers in the banking industry (this has caused a lot of companies to bite off more than they can chew, destabilizing the acquiring companies)

And as the New York Times notes, “Tens of billions of [bailout] dollars have merely passed through A.I.G. to its derivatives trading partners”.

***

In other words, through a little game-playing by the Fed, taxpayer money is going straight into the pockets of investors in AIG’s credit default swaps and is not even really stabilizing AIG.

Moreover, a large percentage of the bailouts went to foreign banks (and see this). And so did a huge portion of the money from quantitative easing. Indeed, the Fed bailed out Gaddafi’s Bank of Libya, hedge fund billionaires, and big companies, but turned its back on the little guy.

A study of 124 banking crises by the International Monetary Fund found that propping up banks which are only pretending to be solvent often leads to austerity:

Existing empirical research has shown that providing assistance to banks and their borrowers can be counterproductive, resulting in increased losses to banks, which often abuse forbearance to take unproductive risks at government expense. The typical result of forbearance is a deeper hole in the net worth of banks, crippling tax burdens to finance bank bailouts, and even more severe credit supply contraction and economic decline than would have occurred in the absence of forbearance.

Cross-country analysis to date also shows that accommodative policy measures (such as substantial liquidity support, explicit government guarantee on financial institutions’ liabilities and forbearance from prudential regulations) tend to be fiscally costly and that these particular policies do not necessarily accelerate the speed of economic recovery.

***

All too often, central banks privilege stability over cost in the heat of the containment phase: if so, they may too liberally extend loans to an illiquid bank which is almost certain to prove insolvent anyway. Also, closure of a nonviable bank is often delayed for too long, even when there are clear signs of insolvency (Lindgren, 2003). Since bank closures face many obstacles, there is a tendency to rely instead on blanket government guarantees which, if the government’s fiscal and political position makes them credible, can work albeit at the cost of placing the burden on the budget, typically squeezing future provision of needed public services.

In other words, the “stimulus” to the banks blows up the budget, “squeezing” public services through austerity.

Numerous top economists say that the bank bailouts are the largest robbery and redistribution of wealth in history.

Why was this illegal? Well, the top white collar fraud expert in the country says that the Bush and Obama administrations broke the law by failing to break up insolvent banks … instead of propping them up by bailing them out.

And the Special Inspector General of the Tarp bailout program said that the Treasury Secretary lied to Congress regarding some fundamental aspects of Tarp – like pretending that the banks were healthy, when they were totally insolvent. The Secretary also falsely told Congress that the bailouts would be used to dispose of toxic assets … but then used the money for something else entirely. Making false statements to a federal official is illegal, pursuant to 18 United States Code Section 1001.

Given the above – and the fact that we no longer prosecute the big white collar criminals – we no longer have a free market economy … we have fascism, communist style socialismkleptocracyoligarchy orbanana republic style corruption.    As such, the machinery of capitalism – which could generate enough prosperity to dig us out of this budget deficit – has been broken.

Indeed, fraud caused the Great Depression and the current financial crisis.  The government could easily close the budget deficit by clawing back bonuses and ill-gotten gains from every Wall Streeter who committed fraud.

Moreover, the government has encouraged American companies to move their facilities, resources and paychecks abroad. And some of the biggest companies in America have a negative tax rate… that is, not only do they pay no taxes, but they actually get tax refunds. If we want to stop the budget deficit from spiraling out of control, we should stop the “giant sucking sound” which is shipping prosperity abroad.     (And a large percentage of the bailouts went to foreign banks (and see this). And so did a huge portion of the money from quantitative easing. More here and here.)

Finally, the current banking system is set up so that the government has to pay trillions of dollars inunnecessary interest costs to the big banks to “create money” and expand the money supply.   To understand this crazy system, read this.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that the entire “sequestration” debate misses the real issues and the true sources of our budget deficit:

  • Unnecessary military projects
  • Redundancy in arms and personnel
  • Costs which have nothing to do with defense
  • Waste and fraud in military spending
  • Wars for oil
  • War profiteering
  • Endless bailouts for the big banks
  • Economic policies which are destroying the real economy
  • Crony capitalism
  • Failure to enforce the rule of law, including clawing back ill-gotten gains
  • Shipping jobs and prosperity abroad
  • Paying trillions in unnecessary interest costs due to a faulty banking system

Note: Time Magazine noted last December in an article entitled “The Best Way to Cut Government Spending: Get Really Tough on Fraud”:

Fortunately, there is a way to begin reining in spending that would be painless: Get really tough on fraud.

The challenge on the spending side becomes clear if you consider the consternation caused by the so-called sequester….

27 aug 13 @ 10:37 am edt          Comments

Green Party attacks military spending wastes.

A whole battalion of generals? The titles “general” or “admiral” sound like they belong to pretty exclusive posts, fit only for the best of the best. This flashy title makes it pretty easy to say, “so what if a few of our military geniuses get the royal treatment — particularly if they are the sole commanders of the most powerful military in human history.” The reality, however, is that there are  nearly 1,000 generals and admirals in the U.S. armed forces, and each has an entourage that would make a Hollywood star jealous.

According to 2010 Pentagon reports, there are 963 generals and admirals in the U.S. armed forces. This number has ballooned by about 100 officers since 9/11 when fighting terror — and polishing the boots of senior military personnel — became Washington’s No. 1 priority. (In roughly that same time frame, starting in 1998, the Pentagon’s budget also ballooned by more than 50 percent.)

Jack Jacobs, a retired U.S. army colonel and now a military analyst for MSNBC, says the military needs only a third of that number. Many of these generals are “spending time writing plans and defending plans with Congress, and trying to get the money,” he explained. In other words, a large number of these generals are essentially lobbyists for the Pentagon, but they still receive large personal staffs and private jet rides for official paper-pushing military matters.

Dina Rasor, founder of Project on Government Oversight, a watchdog group, explains that this “brass creep” is “fueled by the desire to increase bureaucratic clout or prestige of a particular service, function or region, rather than reflecting the scope and duties of the job itself.”

As Rasor writes, “the three- and four-star ranks have increased twice as fast as one- and two-star general and flag officers, three times as fast as the increase in all officers and almost ten times as fast as the increase in enlisted personnel. If you imagine it visually, the shape of U.S. military personnel has shifted from looking like a pyramid to beginning to look more like a skyscraper.”

But the skyscraper model doesn’t mean that the armed forces are democratizing. In fact, just the opposite; they’re gaming the system to allow more and more officers to deploy the full power of the U.S. military to aid their personal lives — whether their actual work justifies it or not.

2. The generals’ flotillas. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates appointed Arnold Punaro, a retired major general in the Marines, to head an independent review of the Pentagon’s budget. Here’s the caution he came up with: “We don’t want the Department of Defense to become a benefits agency that occasionally kills a terrorist.”

So, just how good are these benefits? For the top brass, not bad at all. According to a Washington Post investigation, each top commander has his own C-40 jet, complete with beds on board. Many have chefs who deserve their own four-star restaurants. The generals’ personal staff include drivers, security guards, secretaries and people to shine their shoes and iron their uniforms. When traveling, they can be accompanied by police motorcades that stretch for blocks. When entertaining, string quartets are available at a snap of the fingers.

A New York Times analysis showed that simply the staff provided to top generals and admirals can top $1 million — per general. That’s not even including their own salaries — which are relatively modest due to congressional legislation — and the free housing, which has been described as “palatial.” On Capitol Hill, these cadres of assistants are called the generals’ “flotillas.”

In Petraeus’ case, he didn’t want to give up the perks of being a four-star general in the Army, even after he left the armed forces to be director of the CIA. He apparently trained his assistants to pass him water bottles at timed intervals on his now-infamous 6-minute mile runs. He also liked “fresh, sliced pineapple” before going to bed.

3. Scandals. Despite the seemingly limitless perks of being a general, there is a limit to the military’s (taxpayer-funded) generosity. That’s led some senior officers to engage in a little creative accounting. This summer the (formerly) four-star general William “Kip” Ward was caught using military money to pay for a Bermuda vacation and using military cars and drivers to take his wife on shopping and spa excursions. He traveled with up to 13 staff members, even on non-work trips, billing the State Department for their hotel and travel costs, as well as his family’s stays at luxury hotels.

In November, in the midst of the Petraeus scandal, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta demoted Ward to a three-star lieutenant general and ordered him to pay back $82,000 of the taxpayers’ misused money. The debt shouldn’t be hard to repay; Ward will receive an annual retirement salary of $208,802.

Panetta may have been tough — sort of — on now three-star general Ward, but he’s displayed a complete refusal to reevaluate the bloated ranks of the military generals. Unlike his predecessor Robert Gates, who has come out publicly against the increasing number of top-ranking officers and tried to reduce their ranks, Panetta has so far refused to review their numbers and has yet to fire a single general or admiral for misconduct. He did, however, order an “ethics training” after the Petraeus scandal.

4. Warped sense of reality. After the Petraeus scandal, the million-dollar question was: Did the general who essentially built the world’s most invasive surveillance apparatus really think he could get away with carrying on a secret affair without anyone knowing? Former Secretary of State Gates has floated at least one theory at a press conference in Chicago: “There is something about a sense of entitlement and having great power that skews people’s judgment.”

A handful of retired diplomats and service members have come out in support of Gates’ thesis. Robert J. Callahan, a retired diplomat who served as U.S. ambassador to Nicaragua, wrote an Op-Ed in the Chicago Tribune explaining how the generals’ perks allow them to exist on a plain removed from ordinary people:

“Those with a star are military nobility, no doubt, and those with four are royalty. Flying in luxurious private jets, surrounded by a phalanx of fawning aides who do everything from preparing their meals to pressing their uniform trousers, they are among America’s most pampered professionals. Their orders are executed without challenge, their word is fiat. They live in a reality different from the rest of us.”

Frank Wuco, a retired U.S. Naval intelligence chief, agrees.

“With the senior guys and the flag officers, this is like the new royalty,” he said on his weekly radio show. “We treat them like kings and princes. These general officers in the military, at a certain point, become untouchable… In many cases, they get their own airplanes, their own helicopters. When they walk into a room, everybody comes to attention. In the case of some of them, people are very afraid to speak up or to disagree. Being separated from real life all the time in that way probably leaves them vulnerable (to lapses in moral judgement).”

Sounds like a phenomenon that’s happening with another pampered sector of society (hint: Wall Street). Given the epic 2008 financial collapse, do we really want to set our security forces on a similar path of power, deception and deep, crisis-creating delusion?

5. Military golf. Of course, generals and admirals aren’t the only ones who get to enjoy some of perks of being in the U.S. armed forces. Although lower-ranking service members don’t get private jets and personal chefs, U.S. taxpayers still spend billions of dollars a year to pay for luxuries that are out of reach for the ordinary American.

The Pentagon, for example, runs a staggering 234 golf courses around the world, at a cost that is undisclosed.

According to one retired lieutenant colonel in the Air Force, who also just happens to be the senior writer at Travel Golf, the very best military golf course in the U.S. is the Air Force Academy’s Eisenhower Blue Course in Colorado Springs, Colo.

He writes, “This stunning 7,000-plus yard layout shares the same foothills terrain as does the legendary Broadmoor, just 20 minutes to the south in Colorado Springs. Ponderosa pines, pinon and juniper line the fairways with rolling mounds, ponds and almost tame deer and wild turkey.” (The Department of Defense did come under fire a number of decades ago when it was discovered that the toilet seats at this course cost $400 a pop.)

And the number of golf courses is often undercounted, with controversial courses in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and Mosul, Iraq, often left off the lists, which makes assessing the total costs difficult.

Yet some courses rack up staggering expenses as they become far more than mere stretches of grass.

According to journalist Nick Turse, “The U.S. Army paid $71,614 [in 2004] to the Arizona Golf Resort — located in sunny Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,… The resort actually boasts an entire entertainment complex, complete with a water-slide-enhanced megapool, gym, bowling alley, horse stables, roller hockey rink, arcade, amphitheater, restaurant, and even a cappuccino bar — not to mention the golf course and a driving range.”

DoD’s Sungnam golf course in the Republic of Korea, meanwhile, is reportedly valued at $26 million.

For non-golfers, the military also maintains a ski lodge and resort in the Bavarian Alps, which opened in 2004 and cost $80 million.

6. “The Army goes rolling along!” Vacation resorts aren’t the only explicitly non-defense-related expenditures of the Department of Defense. According to a Washington Post investigation, the DoD also spends $500 million annually on marching bands.

The Navy, the Army, the Air Force and the Marine Corps all maintain their own military bands, which also produce their own magazines and CDs.

The bands are [pun intended] “an instrument of military PR,” according to Al McCree, a retired Air Force service member who owns Altissimo Recordings, a Nashville record label featuring music of the service bands.

The CDs are — by law — distributed for free, but that doesn’t mean the private sector can’t profit off these marching bands. According to the Washington Post article, “The service CDs have also created a private, profitable industry made up of companies that obtain the band recordings under the Freedom of Information Act. They then repress and package them for public sale.”

As if subsidizing the industry of multibillion-dollar arms dealers weren’t enough, the record industry is apparently also leeching off the taxpayer-funded military spending.

7. The Pentagon-to-Lockheed pipeline. While the exorbitant costs of private planes and hundreds of golf courses may seem bad enough, the most costly problem with the entitlement culture of the military happens after generals retire. Since they’re so used to the luxurious lifestyle, the vast majority of pension-reaping high-ranking officers head into the private defense industry.

According to William Hartung, a defense analyst at the Center for International Policy in Washington, D.C., about 70 percent of recently retired three- and four-star generals went straight to work for industry giants like Lockheed Martin.

“If you don’t go into industry at this point you are the exception,” Hartung said.

This type of government-to-industry pipeline, which he said was comparable to the odious Wall Street-to-Washington revolving door, drives up the prices of weapons and prevents effective oversight of weapon manufacturing companies — all of which ends up costing taxpayers more and more each year.

“I think the overspending on the generals and all their perks is bad enough, but the revolving door and the ability of these people to cut industry a break in exchange for high salaries costs more in the long run,” said Hartung. “This can affect the price of weapons and the whole structure of how we oversee companies. It’s harder to calculate, but certainly in the billions, compared to millions spent on staff per general.”

27 aug 13 @ 8:33 am edt          Comments

Green Party candidate for New York City Mayor Dr. Tony Gronowicz

Biography

New York City native, Anthony Gronowicz, graduated from Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania where he received a Ph.D. in New York City political history.  He is the author of “Race and Class Politics in New York City Before the Civil War” [1998]. Roger G. Kennedy, former Director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, and Vice President, Finance, of the Ford Foundation, concluded that he had “produced a classic to be set next to Dixon Ryan Fox’s work of two generations earlier on the shelves of every serious scholar of the relationship between race politics, class politics, and ethnic politics in the United States.” He edited “Oswald Garrison Villard: The Dilemmas of the Absolute Pacifist in Two World Wars” [1983]. He has produced a 348,000 word U.S. history, as well as book chapters, articles and reviews.

Tony is the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) Delegate Assembly representative for the 835 adjuncts at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), and one of the two elected faculty advisors to the BMCC Student Government Association. He also teaches U.S. Social and Economic Policy at the CUNY School of Professional Studies. He is a founding member of the International Committee of the PSC, and an editor of its Globalization, Privatization, War: In Defense of Public Education in the Americas (2003).  He serves on the PSC’s Academic Freedom Committee. From 1999 to 2001 he chaired the University Seminar on the City at Columbia University. From 2000 to 2002, Tony served on the Speakers’ Bureau of the New York Council for the Humanities, lecturing on “The History of Race Relations in New York City.” In 2003, he was one of two adjunct professors out of 345 at Bronx Community College to be nominated by the college chapter of Phi Theta Kappa for “quality commitment to teaching and service to the students.” 

Since 2001, he has led a dozen seminars at the New York Society Library on the ethnic history of New York City, New York’s intellectual history, U.S. third parties, and the U.S. Constitution.  At Passaic County Community College in Paterson, New Jersey, he was founder and director of the Hamilton Institute that ran conferences including one that celebrated the bicentennial of the U.S. constitution. 
 
  • Tony Gronowicz, Green Party candidate for Mayor : Bay Terrace Candidates ForumAugust 27, 2013 at 7:00 pm – 9:00 pmBay Terrace Jewish Center, 13-00 209th Street, Bay Terrace, NYMEET THE CANDIDATES FORUM: MAYOR, COMPTROLLER, PUBLIC ADVOCA TE, CITY COUNCIL (19TH DISTRICT) Where: BAY TERRACE JEWISH CENTER 13-00 2 09TH STREET, BAY TERRACE, NY When: TUESDAY, AUGUST 27, 2013 @ 7:00 PM n*********************************** ALL DECLARED CANDIDATES HAVE BEEN INV ITED *********************************** THIS EVENT IS FREE, ACCESSIBLE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
  • Tom Siracuse, Green Party candidae : District 6 Candidates DebateAugust 29, 2013 at 6:00 pm – 8:00 pmGoddard Riverside Center on the NE corner of Columbus Ave and West 88th StreetI will be debating with 6 Democratic candidates running for the Council District 6 seat (covering W. 54-W. 98 St) at the Goddard Riverside Center on the NE corner of Columbus Ave and West 88th Street, Thursday, August 29 from 6 -8 PM.
  • Carl Lundgren, Green Party Candidate : An Evening With the BusSeptember 5, 2013 at 7:00 pm – 10:00 pmBrook Park Community Garden, Brook Ave, at E. 141st St.Help support the continued development of the BLK Projek. Join the staff of the BLK ProjeK, Thursday, September 5th in the Bronx’s Brook Park Community Garden for a quaint evening fundraiser including local & su stainable food fare, performances, beverages, engaging speakers and our new mobile market. Learn how the market is going to work,…
  • Carl Lundgren, Green Party Candidate : Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary CleanupSeptember 22, 2013 at 9:00 am – 3:00 pmMeet up at City Island Rd & Shore Rd by the bus stopAnnual cleanup of the banks of the Hutchinson River within the Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary of Pelham Bay Park organized by the Hutchins on River Restoration Project. Be sure to wear old clothes and waterproof sh oes or boots. Call 718-885-9653 for more information.
  • Tony Gronowicz, Green Party candidate for Mayor : Atlantic AnticSeptember 29, 2013 at 12:00 pm – 6:00 pmAtlantic Avenue, BrooklynTHE ANNUAL ATLANTIC ANTIC, presented by the Atlantic Avenue Lo cal Development Corporation (AALDC), is the street festival to end all str eet festivals! On this beautiful autumn day in Brooklyn, the Atlantic Anti c will bring together thousands of people to Atlantic Avenue to celebrate t he longstanding tradition of food, art, music, shopping,…
27 aug 13 @ 7:59 am edt          Comments

Monday, August 26, 2013

Green Party climbs in polls in Germany - Federal elections September

Green Party climbs in Germany Federal Elections in September. Green Party Lead candidate Juergen Trittin here in DW TV interview.  

What do the Greens want?  Trittin, "We are fighting for jobs! Solar Jobs! Wind Jobs! Geothermal Jobs!" 

Watch the Green Party TV interview here.

http://www.dw.de/popups/mediaplayer/contentId_17045051_mediaId_17043586 

26 aug 13 @ 9:58 pm edt          Comments

Green Party sues over voter ID law

Green Party sues over voter ID law

 http://www.tennessean.com/article/20130826/NEWS/308260076/Green-Party-sues-over-voter-ID-law

Written by
Michael Cass
The Tennessean

 

The Green Party of Tennessee has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to throw out Tennessee’s voter ID law, calling it unconstitutional and unfair to minority voters.

Alan Woodruff, an attorney in Gray, Tenn., who has represented the Green Party in previous lawsuits, said he filed the complaint Monday morning in the Eastern District of Tennessee. It names Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett and Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins as defendants.

“There is no justification for having the photo ID requirement, as there is no such thing as voter fraud,” said Woodruff, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress last year as Green Party candidate and might run again in 2014. “It’s overly burdensome. It affects minorities and the progressive-leaning voter.”

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20130826/NEWS/308260076/Green-Party-sues-over-voter-ID-law 

26 aug 13 @ 8:08 pm edt          Comments

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Green Party of British Columbia, Canada has new leader

Adam Olsen appointed interim leader of B.C. Green Party

Thanks to CBS News for the story

Adam Olsen, a former Central Saanich councillor and B.C. Green Party candidate in Saanich North, has been appointed interim leader of the B.C. Green Party.

"I'm excited to fit into this role and to get comfortable in it." Olsen told CBC News on Sunday.

"With any of these jobs that have high importance, the learning curve is big. I look forward to learning the job and doing the best I can to meet with people and to promote and introduce people to the Green Party."

Jane Sterk, who led the party for six years, announced earlier this month she would resign at the party's annual AGM this weekend.

Olsen, 37, is a member of the Tsartlip First Nation. He was born in Victoria and raised in Brentwood Bay. He is a partner in his family business, Salish Fusion Knitwear. 

25 aug 13 @ 9:58 pm edt          Comments

Green Party's G. Lee Aikin to run for city council, mayor, or other office in Washington D.C. in 2014

Statehood-Green Party's G. Lee Aikin ready for 2014 Green campaign. 

The Washington D.C. Green Party is second largest party when you count who receives the most votes citywide.  

Independent Green Party News interviewed Lee Aikin today.  Aikin plans to be on the ballot for the Green Party in 2014.   Lee hopes there will be a full slate of Green Party candidates on the ballot. She has not decided which office to seek.  Read more about Lee Aikin at her Blog...linked below.  

Lee Aikin Green Party bio

EDUCATION

    BA, general science, minor education, Univ. of Iowa; course work, GW Univ.; Dept. of Agr. Grad. Sch.

OFFICES AND POSITIONS HELD

Former chair, regulations committee, Mayor's Task Force on street vending; past member, Mayor's Commission on Food, Nutrition and Health; past shop steward, past grievance comm. member, OPEIU, Local 2; founder, Books for Lorton Project; past member, 13th Precinct Adv. Comm. (now 3rd District); past volunteer English tutor for multilingual class, Adams Elem. Sch.; past pres., past treas., Swann St. NW Neighborhood Assoc. 
 
The Statehood-Green Party is recruiting candidates for these 2014 races.  If you live in DC join them and run.  Provide positive Green Party solutions on the ballot as a candidate.  
 
1) Delegate to the US House of Representatives
2) Mayor of the District of Columbia
3) Chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia
4) At-Large Member of the Council of the District of Columbia
5) Ward 1, 
6) Ward 3, 
7) Ward 5 
8) Ward 6 Members of the Council of the District of Columbia
9) United States (“Shadow”) Representative

10) United States (“Shadow”) Senator 

25 aug 13 @ 12:54 pm edt          Comments

Green on board with business

Green Party = solar profits

Green Party = wind energy profits

Green Party = Geothermal energy profits 

 Green Party of Australia federal senator Peter Whish-Wilson believes his party can double its vote by courting small business and has backed a "bigger national discussion" about weekend penalty rates, suggesting they are outdated.

Read article here 

The winery owner, who is fighting to retain in his own right the Senate spot vacated by former Greens leader Bob Brown, said penalty rates were part of a "white Anglo-Saxon cultural" inheritance no longer relevant for many workers.

"No one seems to want to take on the issues of industrial relations -- Tony Abbott, I was quite surprised in the national debate, put on record that they are not going to go near penalty rates if they are elected," Senator Whish-Wilson said.

"Labor has said they are not going to. I think picking apart workers' rights is a real slippery slope, and there's been a lot of work that has gone into giving them these rights.

"But I think we need a bigger discussion nationally about weekends versus weekdays. I think it's just a white Anglo-Saxon cultural thing that we've inherited. Society is different now.

The Greens' small business spokesman, a former senior vice-president with Deutsche Bank who voted for John Howard until 2004, stressed that his party would not support unilateral action to axe weekend penalty rates.

"It's a cultural thing -- a discussion we have to have," he said.

He had told small business groups they need to prepare hard data to prove the case that penalty rates are a barrier to weekend trading and increased employment. "If they could go to unions with evidence . . . then that's probably grounds for discussion with unions. But confronting them head on is just not going to work."

He said he believed addressing the concerns of small business was a key to expanding the support base for the party he joined after being disgusted at the major parties' fast-tracking of the Gunns pulp mill in his Tamar Valley home.

"I think the Greens have the potential to double their vote nationally by targeting small business; they really are an overlooked sector," said Senator Whish-Wilson.

"My wife and I have run two small businesses.

"They are good people, most of them are owner-operators -- and they are nearly half the voting public in this country.

"I think I have convinced the Greens that it is a sector that we need to be targeting. Getting a tax cut through as policy was a big thing for us." 

25 aug 13 @ 12:39 pm edt          Comments

Green Party call for negotiations

Green Party issues urgent call for Gov. Jerry Brown to negotiate with prison hunger strikers and support human rights

San Francisco – Green Party members are issuing an urgent call for Gov. Jerry Brown to negotiate with California prisoners. More than 30,000 prisoners began a hunger strike on July 8, but the number still refusing food is not known. Greens are demanding that Gov. Brown and prison officials lift the wall of secrecy and let reporters in to speak to the prisoners, photograph them and record their voices.

As activists prepare to rally on Aug. 24 in Oakland, the denial of the basic human rights of prisoners in California has caught the attention of Green Party members from around the globe.

Birgit Czerny, a physician and Green Party member who serves in the parliament of Frankfurt, Germany, recently noted the abhorrent treatment of prisoners in California.

“The failure of Gov. Brown and the government of California to respond to this hunger strike is a scandal by international standards,” said Czerny.

Czerny is the wife of Anthony Ross, who is on death row at San Quentin. She noted that the force feeding of prisoners, which is being proposed for the strikers, is a violation of international human rights.

The hunger strikers and their supporters are mobilizing around five core demands, according to the web siteprisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com. A key issue is the use of solitary confinement.

Greens will be showing solidarity at an upcoming rally on Saturday, Aug. 24, at 5 p.m. in Oakland at Oscar Grant Plaza, located at 14th & Broadway.

For more information, contact Barry Hermanson, SF Green Party County Council, at barry@hermansons.com, or Birgit Czerny at birgitczerny@aol.com, and visit sfgreenparty.org and facebook.com/groups/SFGreenParty.

http://sfbayview.com/2013/green-party-issues-urgent-call-for-gov-jerry-brown-to-negotiate-with-prison-hunger-strikers-and-support-human-rights/ 

25 aug 13 @ 12:32 pm edt          Comments

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Ron Fisher, Independent Green Party leader A Strategic Plan to Realize Dr. Martin Luther King’s Dream

Contact: Ron Fisher retired U.S. Navy Captain, and  Independent Green Party 8th Congressional District Chairman 

August 23, 2013                                                                                                                                  703-725-7849

http://www.wethepeoplenow.org                                                                                                       fisher@peoplenow.org

A Strategic Plan to Realize Dr. Martin Luther King’s Dream

An updated Universal, Common Strategic Plan for a Peaceful, Prosperous and Just World is being launched in coordination with the National Action Network’s Commemoration of the 50th anniversary of MLK’s “I Have A Dream” Speech at the 1963 March on Washington. This Plan, outlined on WethePeopleNow.org, proves that such a world is possible and shows how to achieve it.

The August 24th launch is timed to correspond with thousands descending upon Washington DC to march against unemployment, assaults on voting rights, ‘stop & frisk’ practices, ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws, and attacks on women, LGBT and immigrants’ rights described by Al Sharpton in his article “National Action to Realize the Dream”.

The “Organizing Manual” for the 1963 March on Washington reads:

‘For more than a century we have written to Congressmen and visited Presidents. For more than a century our leaders have walked in the legislative halls bearing petitions and appeals. For more than a century our experts have drafted and proposed far-sighted remedies for the diseases that beset our society. Progress, if any, has been slow’.

Progress is still very slow. Although we should be optimistic about the future, we must realize that many in our country and the world are desperate for jobs so they can feed their families, and have affordable housing, healthy food, education, healthcare, justice and a government willing to work with them honestly and effectively. There is no "economic recovery" in sight. There is an urgent need for reform.

Despite all our past efforts, corporations:

  • Are gaining more and more control over all three branches of our governments and international organizations.

·         Have accumulated a massive amount of assets. The world's 2,000 leading corporations/companies had total assets of $159 trillion in 2013 according to Forbes.com.

This is why we must work together and coordinate our efforts using this Strategic Plan whichincludes:

We the People demand that our Representatives, Senators and President quit working forcorporate executives and lobbyists and work with the people to:

·         Help refine and implement the other 23 or so Common Agenda items.

Section VII of the Plan What We the People Must Do includes:

B. Implement a Factual Information and Education Program and Advanced Communications System

C. Develop and Implement a Nationwide, Critical Mass Network - United Front Based on Zip Codes

D. Establish an Office to Coordinate Implementation of the Strategic Plan

E. Develop and Implement a Fund Raising Program (See Donation tab on website)

By working from a comprehensive strategic plan, actions can be prioritized, work can be divided up, duplicated efforts avoided and all the required work accomplished. Also networking with others with similar interests and finding cooperative efforts will be easier.

Please go to WethePeoplenow.org, read the parts of the Strategic Plan that you are interested in and Subscribe to Join a Working Group for Common Agenda Item(s) and/or be a Zip Code Coordinator.

Corporate executives, lobbyists and crony control of the government has failed which is why we need to refine and implement the Strategic Plan and turn the reins of government over to the people.

24 aug 13 @ 1:22 pm edt          Comments

Green Party of Kentucky - Geoff Young to run for US House in KY-6 in 2014
  • Green Party's Geoff Young to run for US House in KY-6 in 2014

    Lexington, Kentucky

    Geoff Young nominated by Kentucky Green Party. Geoff Young is Green Party candidate to run for U. S. House of Representatives.

    Geoff. Young is an energy efficiency expert who retired from 13 years at the Kentucky Division of Energy to work in politics full time.  Geoff Young ran in 2012 for Kentucky state legislature.  Geoff Young's Green Party campaign helped bring important issues that would otherwise have been avoided.

    Geoff Young of the Kentucky Green Party promises an aggressive campaign. “The incumbent voted to allow the NSA to keep spying on law-abiding Americans who use the phone or internet,” he said. “While I will propose to cut $300 billion of waste in the military and intelligence budgets, the incumbents budget plan leaves a gap of $5.7 Trillion over ten years that will have to be covered in some unspecified way.”

    Kris Smoot(G), a member of the Kentucky Green Party Executive Committee, added, “In his short tenure in Washington, the incumbent has shown little regard for our civil liberties and for the basic needs of the women and children of Kentucky. He is unwilling to shrink the bloated federal defense budget, money which could be used to fund schools and invest in cleaner technologies.”

    Green Party (G) candidate Geoff Young worked for 13 years as an assistant director in what is now called the Kentucky Department for Energy Development and Independence. He has a bachelors degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Massachusetts.

    Geoff Young(G), 56, later received a master's degree in agriculture economics from the University of Kentucky.

     Read more here

    For more information contact:
    Geoff Young
    859-278-4966
    email: energetic@windstream.net

    Thanks to Independent Political Report for the story.

    Kentucky Green Party 

    Geoff Young - Green Party on Twitter

24 aug 13 @ 10:30 am edt          Comments

Harvard Business Review on Green Party business and Green Party voters

From Green Users to Green Voters

by Diego Comin and Johannes Rode

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY — Green Party voters.  Green Party the most techno friendly.  Does the diffusion of technology affect voting patterns for the Green Party?  Green Party emphasis on decentralization a big pro eco tech plus.

Technology is usually not aligned with a specific ideology or political party. For the growing Green Party data shows an exception. Indeed, to the extent that technology raises living standards, all parties tend to favor technology diffusion. However, in some cases, voters may associate a political party the Green Party with a specific technology. Solar energy, Wind energy, Geothermal Energy, Weatherization have been great job creators and advocated by the Green Party for decades.  Green parties, for example, advocate for the diffusion of green energy technologies and pursue policies that foster the diffusion of green energies. This paper finds a significant effect of photovoltaic (PV) - solar energy - adoption on the increase in the share of votes for Germany's Green Party. In particular, the increase in the diffusion rate of PV systems between 1998 and 2009 led to an increase in the fraction of green votes of 1 percent, which represents 25 percent of the actual increase in the voting rate experienced by the Green Party between 1998 and 2009. Key concepts include:

  • This study uncovered the impact that the diffusion of PV systems has on the votes obtained by Germany's Green Party.
  • Individuals that use green technologies are more likely to become Green Party voters.
  • Approximately a quarter of the increase in the share of votes experienced by the Green Party between 1998 and 2009 is driven by the diffusion of PV systems.
  • In contrast, there were no such effects from the diffusion of industrial PV systems and eolic systems. This contrast confirms the importance of voters' direct involvement with the adoption and/or operation of the technology for this to affect their voting patterns.

 

 

AUTHOR ABSTRACT

We estimate the effect of the diffusion of photovoltaic (PV) systems on the fraction of votes obtained by the German Green Party. The logistic diffusion of PV systems offers a new identification strategy. We take first differences and instrument adoption rates (i.e., the first difference in the diffusion level) by lagged diffusion levels. The existing rationales for non-linearities in diffusion and the ubiquity of logistic curves ensure that our instrument is orthogonal to variables that directly affect voting patterns. We find that the diffusion of domestic PV systems caused 25% of the increment in green votes between 1998 and 2009.

PAPER INFORMATION

 

 

DIEGO A. COMIN

Diego A. Comin is an associate professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. 

24 aug 13 @ 8:32 am edt          Comments

Green Party conservatives attack wasteful spending

Green Party Conservatives

Wasteful military spending = deficit and debt

Conservative Independent Green Party supports sequester cuts to wasteful military spending. 

A conservative Independent Green Party review  Monthly Treaury Statement

 http://www.fms.treas.gov/mts/index.html

July completed ten months of fiscal year 2013.  U.S. federal spending so far this year totals almost $2,894,592,000,000. Federal tax receipts are $2,287,172,000,000. The 2013 federal spending deficit is $607,420,000,000.  

Conservative Green Party leaders point out, if it weren't for wasteful military spending, the federal budget would be balanced in 2013.  The Green Party review notes the waste of tax dollars with two months to go in the 2013 fiscal year.

The U.S. military has already wasted $528,630,000,000 tax payer dollars on it's base budget.  Add the wasteful military spending on the U.S. military boondoogle in Afghanistan of about $80,000,000,000 billion dollars more.  The entire U.S. 2013 federal spending deficit is caused by military spending waste. It is over $600,000,000,000 billion taxpayer dollars.

Green Party leaders, and Green Party candidates have long called for conservative common sense cuts in wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars.  The Green Party and Green Party candidates have been most conservative in calling for reasonable cuts in federal spending on military boondoogles.  Greens opposed the costly, and unnecessary borrowing and spending on the two most recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.   Greens call for saving U.S. tax dollars by bringing U.S. tax dollars and troops home from Afghanistan now.   Independent Green Party leaders have called for balancing the federal budget, and paying off the federal debt by making pragmatic, reasonable, and real reductions to U.S. military spending wastes.   It is that wasteful military spending that has caused both the current year federal spending deficit, and the entire federal debt. 

The Outstanding Public Debt as of 24 Aug 2013 at 09:20:25 AM GMT is:
$ 1 6 , 7 4 1 , 4 9 7 , 1 1 8 , 0 9 7 . 9 0

 

 The entire $16 trillion dollar federal debit has been caused by wasteful military spending since World War II.  Deadly boondoogles in Iraq and Afghanistan have added $7 trillion in federal debt over the last decade.  The United States wastes more on the military than all the other nations on the planet.  A 90 per cent cut to wasteful U.S. military squander of tax dollars would still leave the U.S. spending more on the military than any nation on the planet. This level of military spending is a threat to the American way of life.  

Green Party leaders point to a clear record.  Wasteful U.S.military spending threatens national, and fiscal security.  Such extremely high levels of military spending threaten the economic and social stability of the republic, and the United States democratic institutions. 

Independent Green Party leaders call for bringing tax dollars and troops home from Afghanistan now.   Save $100 billion dollars in fiscal year 2014 that would be wasted/stohlen by warmongers and war profiteers in Afghanistan.

Independent Green Party leaders and candidates support the small reductions in military spending the sequester has brought. Conservative Green Party leaders and candidates call for much larger cuts in wasteful federal spending on military boondoogles to eliminate the deficit, and pay off the federal debt. 

Green Party leaders note Social Security is running a surplus. Social Security takes in more money than spends. In 2013 Social Security has taken in 736,986 billion dollars. With a Social Security surplus, spent only $676 billion.  Social Security is a model of federal spending efficiency and effectiveness. Social Security is self-funding and running a huge surplus.

 

24 aug 13 @ 5:41 am edt          Comments

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Green Party's Drew Langdon: When Greens take power

When Green Party Takes Power

by Rochester Green Party candidate for city council

Drew Langdon 

In the United States, the Green Party has 134 elected officials at last count and continues to grow.  And in every place that has an elected Green, you can see clearly that there is a different way of doing politics. The list of Green-initiated policy goes on and on, but in this post I wanted to review an innovative program that one of these elected Greens has recently been at the forefront of, and has even made national media headlines for. And that would be the use of eminent domain by the City of Richmond, California to rescue homeowners from bank foreclosure.  Richmond is the largest city in the country led by a Green Party mayor, Gayle McLaughlin, and if Rochester votes Green this November we could see this program come to our own community.

The use of eminent domain, or the seizure of private property for public use, by the various levels of government is authorized by a phrase in the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution stating "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."  While this text originally had a very narrow interpretation, over the years the court system has broadened eminent domain from public use to public good.  And more and more, government has been using the power of eminent domain for the purposes of corporate welfare, transferring land owned by private citizens to corporations that required by law to seek profit over the public good.

Mayor McLaughlin, however, has flipped this trend on its head.  Recognizing that it is not in the public's interest to throw families out of their homes, creating large numbers of vacant houses and increasing the homeless population, the City of Richmond is using its powers of eminent domain to seize the underwater mortgages of these families from abusive banks such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America. The City is then able to work with the families to refinance with community-oriented financial partners and return their homes to them. Wall Street has obviously not taken too kindly to this plan, recently suing the City of Richmond to shut down this uppity Green Party mayor.  But regardless of the outcome of this lawsuit, it is time for the People's Government to act on behalf of the People, bailing out it's communities not it's corporations.

Since is this is obviously a complex program, make sure to read through these FAQs provided by Mayor McLaughlin to get a better idea of how this program would work:

Q: Is this a legal use of the eminent domain law?

A. Yes, we believe it is. While this will definitely be raised by the Wall Street interests, numerous legal experts are confident of its legality and there is precedent for using eminent domain for similar purposes and in a similar manner in the past.

Q: Will this program take people’s homes?

A. No. The entire goal of this program is to keep people in their homes. Mortgage loans are often bought and sold many times. In this case, the City will become the owner of the loan for a short period of time, during which they will help the homeowner refinance into a new loan with reduced principal, saving the homeowner thousands of dollars every year.

Q: Is this just another scheme that could in fact leave homeowners worse off?

A. No. We have developed a series of ten core principles that any program must meet to get our support. One of those principles is that no homeowner must be left worse off as a result of the program, and another is that it is a voluntary program. We believe that if the program is designed correctly, only those homeowners who benefit will opt into the program.

Q: Will homeowners be forced or pressured into this program against their will?

A. No. Again, homeowners will have a choice as to whether or not to enter into the program, and will be encouraged to consult a HUD-certified housing counselor before making that decision.

Q: How will the City pay for this program?

A. The City can pay for the program by partnering with private investors who have the capital to acquire the loans and cover the costs of the program, both operational and legal. The City would be in charge, making all programmatic decisions and designing the program, but the money would come from these investors.

Q: Are there private investors ready to do this, and how do we know they can be trusted?

A. There is at least one group we know of that is ready to arrange private funding: Mortgage Resolution Partners (www.mortgageresolutionpartners.com). They are already partnering with various cities to explore options to address the underwater crisis. There may be other groups as well. The credentials and history of any potential partners should be explored. In order to get our support, any private partner must agree to our core principles that include essential homeowner, tenant, community, and taxpayer protections.

Q: Will the private investors make money off of this?

A. Yes. These investors will be able to make money off the difference between the market value of the old mortgage loans and the proceeds of refinancing them (reduced by program costs). This will not cost homeowners or the City anything, and at the end of the day, homeowners will have substantially lower mortgage payments.

Q: What’s the risk for the City?

A. Public entities can create an authority to provide a degree of protection. There is a real chance Wall Street banks may sue. Our core principles state that the implementation of the program should not cause taxpayers to incur significant expenses, such as the legal costs of defending the program, and that the program must indemnify taxpayers from legal and financial liabilities. We will not support any program that does not meet these criteria. We believe that some potential partners, like MRP, will commit to this. This is a critical question we should ask any private investor group that the City considers partnering with.

Q: Won’t this create a huge administrative expense for the City?

A. One of our core principles is that the implementation of the program should not cause taxpayers to incur significant expenses. We will not support any program that is not able to abide by this principle. We believe that some potential partners, like MRP, will commit to this.

Q: How will tenants in rental units be affected?

A. Tenants often face eviction after their landlords go into foreclosure. We believe that any program must be designed to maximize the benefit to tenants and minimize tenant displacement. By reducing principal on underwater properties and stabilizing property values, we believe this program will help tenants by making their landlords less likely to default. Furthermore, the foreclosure crisis has driven up the cost of rentals because millions of families who used to own a home have been forced into the rental market. By ebbing the coming tide of foreclosures, this program will also ease pressures on rent prices.

Q: Who is against this?

A. The leading group opposing this is the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), which is the trade association for the banks, securities firms, and asset managers. SIFMA’s Chair-Elect is a the Chief Operating Officer of Morgan Stanley, and its membership includes the securities units of Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and AIG. These are the same firms that caused the foreclosure crisis and lobbied to prevent federal relief for homeowners. Now they are trying to stop our communities from taking action at the local level to fix what they broke.

Q: Some realtors are worried that this will reduce neighboring home values. Is this true?

A. No. The concern stems from the misunderstanding that through this program properties are being sold at below market value and so will factor into the “comps” – what comparable homes are selling for in the area - when the price of other homes is determined. This is not the case. These homes are not in fact being sold. The loan is being sold, or taken through eminent domain. The house itself will not be going through the sale process. This program will in fact bolster home values since it will reduce the number of foreclosures, thereby preventing further negative impact on area home values.

Q: Will the future cost of credit in our community go up, as the opposition is saying?

A. SIFMA and other Wall Street groups are threatening that future mortgage lending in communities that adopt this program will be more expensive. They claim that having loans taken from investors using eminent domain creates uncertainty in the market and therefore SIFMA’s member are threatening to not buy loans from these communities. There are several reasons why we believe this is a threat intended to frighten localities out of taking action, rather than a realistic prediction of what would happen:

1) Industry observers point out that there is enough competition in the mortgage market that where there is money to be made there will be lenders ready to make loans, and investors willing to finance them. Trade associations may make threats, but they do not actually control the profit seeking behavior of their members, the institutions that actually make and trade loans.

2) As proposed, this program will only be used with loans owned by Private Label Securities (PLS) – pooled loans owned by groups of private investors. This program is not being proposed for any loans owned by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the FHA or the VA. These (quasi) government agencies are buying or insuring 90% of new loans being made (different from the many lenders originating loans). We trust that our government will not redline our community and refuse to buy or insure future loans.

3) This program is being proposed in response to the current crisis. This use of eminent domain only makes sense, and meets the legal bar of a “public purpose”, because of the large numbers of homeowners who are deeply underwater. Also, if cities so choose, in an abundance of caution, they can impose a sunset on the program, to reassure the financial industry that they do not intend to implement such a program as a normal or even periodic, course of business.

Q: Has SIFMA really threatened to redline communities that dare adopt such a program?

A. Yes. SIFMA has threatened to try to prevent loans made in our communities from being traded on the secondary market, making lending in our community more difficult. Our cities are taking action locally to fix the mess that Wall Street created, and now SIFMA, the trade association that represents these Wall Street institutions, is threatening to refuse loans from our community. They peddled predatory loans to our communities and now they are trying to bully us out of helping our homeowners survive this crisis. The finance industry has a long history of drawing on this threat when they are opposing a new program or regulation. When our local governments considered policies to curb predatory lending, we heard these threats. Some states proceeded to pass laws prohibiting certain predatory lending practices, and the cost of credit in those states did not go up. Too often, Wall Street’s threats succeeded in scaring elected officials, predatory lending went uncurbed, and we ended up with a devastating foreclosure crisis.

 

For Further Research:

California City Threatens to Use Eminent Domain to Stop Bank Foreclosures, Democracy Now! August 6, 2013.

California Mayor Appeals To Bank CEO's 'Conscience' To Help Struggling Homeowners, Huffington Post.

Wall Street Lobbyists Nervous As Cities Use Eminent Domain to Protect Homeowners, Huffington Post. 

A City Invokes Seizure Laws to Save Homes, New York Times. 

http://www.greenrochester.org/

 

22 aug 13 @ 9:31 pm edt          Comments

Green Party congressional candidate escorted out of Obama speech for Bradley Manning protest

Green Party congressional candidate escorted out of Obama speech for Bradley Manning protest

Syracuse, N.Y. - A recent congressional Green Party candidate and a fellow protester were removed from President Barack Obama's speech at Henninger High School this evening for protesting the treatment of Army Private Bradley Manning.

"I was a little nervous -- We are taking an unpopular message to possibly the most powerful person in the world," said Ursula Rozum, who lost in 2012 in the race for the 24th N.Y. Congressional District.

At the event, Rozum and Amelia Ramsey-Lefevre held a banner calling for the release of Manning. Manning was sentenced Wednesday to 35 years in a military prison for leaking classified military documents to the website WikiLeaks.

Ramsey-Lefevre shouted "Free Bradley Manning!" at the president, leading other audience members to turn and yell at her.

As people shouted, Obama said, "Hold on, hold on, everybody," trying to calm the crowd,according to Syracuse.com reporter Marnie Eisenstadt. "Can I just say that as hecklers go, that young lady was very polite."

Rozum said that Obama faces widespread opposition to his treatment of Manning.

"I think anywhere [Obama] goes across the country he will be faced with people who are committed to supporting people who tell the truth," Rozum said. "If it wasn't us in Syracuse it probably would've been someone else in some other city."

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/08/fmr_syracuse_green_party_congressional_candidate_escorted_out_of_obama_speech_fo.html

 You can see the video at the link below.

http://www.cnycentral.com/news/story.aspx?id=937560#.Uhav3JIp9Cs 

22 aug 13 @ 8:39 pm edt          Comments

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Gail “for Rail” Parker Urges Immediate Expansion of Yellow/Blue Metro Lines in Northern Virginia

Gail “for Rail” Parker 43rd District House of Delegates Candidate Urges Extending Yellow/Blue Metro Lines As Priority/Set-up for Statewide High-Speed Rail

 

This is Gail’s 9th straight year on the ballot to advocate for rail as a solution to our fossil fuel dependency and as a national security concern. The Independent Green, Gail “for Rail” Parker, is the sole challenge to the incumbent in the 43rd District which runs from Huntington to Lorton.

 

http://pitch.pe/19wwVAl 

21 aug 13 @ 12:00 am edt          Comments

Monday, August 19, 2013

Elon Musk Green Party candidate?

http://www.greentribune.com/2013/05/22/elon-musk-raises-1-3billion-for-green-technology/

 

Elon Musk Raises $1.3 Billion for Green Technology

By Jenna Cyprus

Elon Musk would make great Green Party candidate for state legislature, or even U.S. House of Representatives

 Read Elon Musk Green Hyperloop High Speed Maglev rail proposal at this link

http://www.teslamotors.com/sites/default/files/blog_images/hyperloop-alpha.pdf

 

Elon Musk, one of the most prominent environmental entrepreneurs in the USA, certainly caught the light in financial markets for “green” environmentally protective technologies. Elon Musk's High Speed Magleve Hyperloop rail proposal had many fans in the Green Party.  The Independet Green Party has advocated for High Speed Maglev trains across two decades in Virginia.  Elon Musk as a Green Party candidate for state legislature or even for U.S. House of Representatives is a winning idea for the U.S., for high spped rail, and the eco economy. Elon Musk businesses like SolarCity, raised over $1.3 Billion during the 3rd week of May, 2013. Musk Green companies prove what the Green Party has said for thirty years.  Green business means Green profits.  Musk's Green enterprises are gearing up for monumental growth surges and the billions raised this week in the market will certainly boost their likelihood of total success.

Elon Musk's Tesla is named after the Slavic scientist, Nikoli Tesla, who rivals Edison for being the father of all things electrical. Scientist Tesla had perfected combustible engines and then improved them to alternate fueled motors in the early 1900s. Elon Musk was impressed while studying about Tesla’s brilliance and inventions and named his company for Nikoli Tesla.The electric car company is rocketing with sales of its new Model S which has been internationally acclaimed, reviewed and accepted.

SolarCity announced a $500 Million Goldman Sachs rooftop solar system deal which will make it the largest such facility in the world. SolarCity will use most of its new capital to back continuing leases with its larger corporate customers.

After succeeding with these first investments, Musk turned his attention to clean energy and space conquest. He was thoroughly involved and personally funded the creation and successful deployment of Falcon 9, which carries a Dragon payload of supplies for the space station. It is scheduled to dock within the next few days.

Elon Musk, billionaire extraordinaire, was born in South Africa to a Canadian mother and Dutch-South African father. Elon and his brother were encouraged to travel and study the world, and by the time they were grown the young men had lived for periods in most major countries of the world and had impressive educational backgrounds. Elon Musk especially was moved and inspired by physics and natural sciences. It was a prescient awakening of the mark Elon Musk would make on the world.

For all his outrageous success with companies, inventions, new ideas and financial prowess, and known to be a hands on entrepreneur who wants to be in the middle of the action,  .

 Elon Musk, Green Party canddiate, could be elected to U.S. House of Representatives in 2014.  The Independent Green Party urges Elon Musk to run as a Green Party candidate. 

. 

 http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hiltzik-20130818,0,2474072.column

19 aug 13 @ 6:29 pm edt          Comments

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Indy Green Party's Gail for Rail Parker running for Virginia House of Delegates
For Immediate Release:                                            Contact:  Gail “for Rail” Parker
 August 17, 2013                                                                             571-282-8381*
 
  
Gail for Rail Parker Candidate for Virginia District 43 Delegate
 
The Independent Green Party's, Gail “for Rail” Parker, on the ballot for District 43 (the Virginia House seat held for 22 years by Gladys Keating). 
 
 
 
Gail ‘for Rail”:   “We need renewable and sustainable energy for us and for the generations following us.  By becoming more energy efficient we can improve our global competitiveness in the future.  Rail can help make us free of dependence on consumable fossil fuels. We also need to transition buildings and housing to renewable energy.  Buildings and housing account for 40% of energy consumption in US.
 
This is the 9th straight year for my being on the ballot. Our message more urgent than ever.    Our Nation’s reliance on fossil fuels is increasingly a National security concern.  We can cut our dependency on oil with renewable energy both in our housing and by building rail; light rail in our population centers that feed into high-speed rail nationwide –Trains as fast as planes.  Every year we import about $300B in foreign oil products. For one third of that amount we could build a state-of-the-art nationwide high-speed rail system that would cut our consumption of foreign oil in half.
 
Residents of District 43 understand and support the need for building feeder rail systems in our communities that will feed into high-speed rail nationwide. 
 
Rail transit is the mass transit method of choice for the typical Fairfax County resident.  Folks who prefer not to sit in traffic and choose to ride trains.  Clean, fast, quiet, safe trains. 
 
We also need dedicated passenger rail track for Virginia Railway express.  In the National Capital Region, emergency evacuation is a real concern.  Hurricane Katrina demonstrated the type of mass transit that does NOT work.  Hurricane Sandy demonstrated how rail can move large numbers of people in a very short time. We need new track, with more trains, that run more often to more places! 
 
Rail benefits communities in so many ways:  home values located near rail increase in value.  In contrast, homes near interstate hi-ways decrease in value. 
Currently federal policies say to local authorities:  If you build roads the federal taxpayers will pay 80%; if you build rail federal taxpayers will pay 20%.  That is why it is important to elect rail advocates to both federal and state-level offices. 
 
We need More Trains, Less Traffic.  We need to build Rail NOW! And move rapidly to energy sources that are renewable and sustainable, sources that are not used up in consumption.  The Independent Green Party advocates for smarther growth.  Bringing Bike Share to our communities.  Bring Bike Share to Huntington Station. Build rail to Ft. Belvoir. Grow revenue, save energy by installing geothermal heating and cooling systems in all our buildings, with solar panels on the roofs.  
 
 
 
(According to a 2007 Gallup poll 38% of Americans are Independents ...larger than either of the other two political groups now in office.)
 
Glenda “Gail for Rail” Parker
Independent Green Party State Vice Chair 
Candidate for Delegate, VA District 43
703-960-5602 (home)
703-282-8381* (mobile)
18 aug 13 @ 12:16 pm edt          Comments

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Green Party Idea - Solar Farming making profits!

Green Party Idea - Solar Farming making profits! in Virginia & North Carolina

Farmers grow profits with a new crop: solar panels

By Sammy Fretwell
sfretwell@thestate.com

ROWLAND, N.C. Just off a country road is a sight few people ever imagined in this corner of southeastern North Carolina.

Solar panels cover a 35-acre field that once produced corn, tobacco and other crops. When the sun shines, the panels generate enough electricity for hundreds of homes.

“I initially thought this was a pipe dream,” said farmer Billy Dean Hunt, recalling discussions with a solar company about using his cornfield for a sun farm. “But I started talking to them. They convinced me they would honor what they said. So I did it.”

The scene near Rowland – about 115 miles southeast of Charlotte – is found increasingly across North Carolina. Solar farms dot the landscape from the Blue Ridge mountains to the sandy coastal plain – the result of an emerging renewable energy industry.

In many cases, solar farms are replacing cropland that doesn’t generate enough income from traditional farming. Other times, solar farms are being placed on vacant industrial sites or land that hasn’t grown crops in years.

Unlike many other Southern states, North Carolina has encouraged the development of solar power through generous tax incentives and a state law requiring electric utilities to use some renewable energy. These policies are a key reason North Carolina often rates high in national rankings of solar-friendly states – and why solar farms are growing steadily.

“This shows we are progressive,” said Thomas Parker, mayor of Laurinburg, whose community has a solar farm similar to the ones in nearby Rowland. “Any time we can add a dollar to the tax base, we are interested. I believe in it. I think this will be more prevalent in the future.”

Since 2007, when North Carolina began requiring power companies to use renewable energy, about 100 solar farms have registered to open, according to the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association, a group that tracks the solar energy business.

Some of those may not have cranked up yet, but the association says the number of companies registering with the state gives an indication of the interest. Before the law passed five years ago, North Carolina didn’t have any solar farms, the association reports.

The increase in solar farms reflects a larger trend in North Carolina, where investor-owned utilities must provide up to 12.5 percent of their power from renewable sources.

North Carolina’s renewable and energy-efficiency industry employs more than 15,000 people and has generated some $3.7 billion in gross revenue this year, the association says. Companies providing solar energy services have increased 76 percent since the renewable energy requirement passed the General Assembly five years ago, according to surveys by the Sustainable Energy Association.

The idea behind North Carolina’s solar effort is to diversify energy sources and stimulate the economy with a relatively new type of industry.

Solar power will never replace traditional power sources because the sun doesn’t shine all the time. But solar boosters say efforts like North Carolina’s can reduce dependence on coal and nuclear power and stabilize electric bills for customers. Coal and nuclear power plants, both of which create toxic waste, buy fuel from out of state to make energy, and fuel supplies such as coal are subject to price variability.

Solar farms are large-scale projects intended to provide power for the electrical grid, which historically has relied almost entirely on coal, nuclear, hydro and natural gas. Solar farms provide far more energy than solar panels on homes, which also feed power to the grid.

Solar farms periodically spark questions about whether they are appropriate in some communities. Some people say they are unsightly and take up too much space, while others ask whether it’s a good idea to replace productive farmland with solar farms.

Conservative lawmakers also question the wisdom of adopting government policies to encourage an industry they say would have trouble surviving on its own. Efforts are under way in North Carolina and, possibly at the federal level, to scale back incentives and requirements for renewable energy.

Sub

To siblings Helen and Tom Livingston, solar farms are a great idea.

They decided last spring not to replant a 47-acre cotton field their family has owned for generations. For much of the next three decades, their family will be paid to rent the land to solar energy-power developer Strata Solar.

Details of the arrangement were not available, but Strata typically pays $500 to $600 per acre annually. That would be more than $20,000 each year for the 47-acre plot in Robeson County, N.C.

“It is almost too good to pass up,” said Helen Livingston, 71. “For us, it wasn’t just the money. It was the excitement of having a solar farm. But I think people would see that it does pay more than farming.”

Solar farms typically develop in the way Strata Solar Inc. built those for the Livingstons and for Hunt. A renewable energy company will strike a deal to rent or buy property, build the solar energy farm, then resell the power to an electric utility. The solar company makes money, and the utility meets state requirements that it use renewable energy.

Most solar farms contain dozens of rows of large glassy panels, facing south to absorb the best sunlight. Wires send energy to nearby electrical substations. Charlotte-based Duke Energy buys some of the power.

Like Livingston, Hunt hasn’t abandoned farming other land he owns. His solar farm is surrounded by cornfields that are a short jaunt from the South-of-the-Border tourist stop and the South Carolina state line.

Hunt said his reasons for leasing to a renewable energy company were almost purely financial.

“It is guaranteed money,” said Hunt, 63, a Marine Corps veteran. “Farming is a risky business. If you can take some of the risk out and the liability, you are ahead of the ball game. If I die, my wife will have income because she couldn’t farm the land anymore.”

Sub

Willie Locklear, who helped build the Livingston family’s solar farm, said solar energy projects have created badly needed construction jobs. Many of the people who landed solar jobs in Robeson County are Native Americans, like himself, who were skilled at general construction work, he said.

But Locklear said those jobs have dwindled and solar farm construction “gave us a chance to show we could do something besides hang a piece of sheetrock.”

Robeson County has an unemployment rate that hovers near 13 percent – one of the highest in North Carolina.

“When I think of solar, I think of Texas, Arizona – places out West,” said Locklear, 42, now a supervisor with Strata. “But the opportunity has proven itself here. All it takes is an open land mass and somebody willing to take a chance. Sunlight is going nowhere. I think it’s 100 percent more of the future than a lot of people imagined.”


Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/11/08/3652804/farmers-grow-profits-with-a-new.html#storylink=cpy

 

 

 http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/11/08/3652804/farmers-grow-profits-with-a-new.html

 

17 aug 13 @ 1:29 pm edt          Comments

Independent Green Party candidates for Solar Success!


Countiss1Overview

Project:  Countiss Dairy
Location:  Abingdon, VA
Installer:  Ecological Energy Systems
Date Commissioned:  March 2013
System Size:  208 modules
Module Manufacturer:  MAGE SOLAR
Array Capacity:  49.7 kW DC

The dairy farms of southwest Virginia’s Washington County were struggling, and some had already lost the fight. Countiss Dairy, a 750-head farm, and third largest dairy of the county’s remaining seven, wasn’t going to be next. Still, owner Mike Countiss knew he needed to cut his farm’s overhead in order to remain viable in the increasingly competitive industry.

Countiss consulted with Pete Morenings of solar installer Ecological Energy Systems (EES), in nearby Bristol, Tennessee, and soon resolved to slash his farm’s substantial electrical costs by installing a massive solar array on his farm’s 28,500 square foot barn. EES installed the modules on the roof of the barn because the open roof structure made the barn easy to work on and provided a great space for the system. “With the way the barn’s roof is set up, it’s a natural place for solar panels and the system doesn’t take up any additional space. It just seemed like a good idea,” Countiss noted.

Exploring the alternatives, Countiss zeroed in on the advantages of a microinverter system, after hearing from several sources that it would provide steadier power than a string inverter design. Morenings himself prefers microinverter systems, which he believes make more sense in the tree-filled region: “With string inverters, if there’s any shading you lose power from the whole string.”

MAGE SOLAR has been EES’s module manufacturer of choice for over two years. “We use MAGE because they’re privately held and financially stable, and because they emphasize quality, not just price,” said Morenings. When Morenings learned that the company had partnered with SolarBridge Technologies to offer MAGE’s German-engineered, American-made Powertec Plus module with an integrated SolarBridge Pantheon II microinverter – along with a 30-year warranty on both panel and microinverter – he had no trouble convincing Countiss that it was the way to go.

The integrated microinverters, which efficiently and reliably convert the DC power produced by each module into grid-compatible AC power, made the sizeable installation a breeze, according to Morenings. “A crew of six installed all 208 panels on the barn in one day. It was a very quick and easy install.” In addition to the 208 modules, the system also includes two Power Managers mounted conveniently inside the barn. The solar array was designed with possible expansion in mind, so extra space was left on the end of the rows to accommodate the need for more modules.

Morenings said that the MAGE AC modules have been consistently producing over their nameplate capacity of 238W. “Not surprisingly, all of our customers have been pleased.”

Countiss Dairy’s new solar array offsets 100% of the barn’s electrical needs. Excess production is fed back to the Tennessee Valley Authority, which gives the dairy retail credit for the excess production, and sweetens the deal with a 9 cents per kWh bonus. All in all, it’s a great return on investment in an extremely competitive environment.

Countiss expects other farms in his area to take notice – and in fact EES has already begun installing a similar size system as a revenue-generator for a nearby farm. Countiss Dairy is leading the way for Washington County to stake its claim as the land of milk and … sweet, sweet solar power.

http://solarbridgetech.com/learning-lab/case-studies/mage-ac-modules-bring-solar-power-to-dairy-farm/ 

17 aug 13 @ 1:12 pm edt          Comments

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Green Party fighting for Social Security

Green Party fights for

Social Security

Independent Green Party salutes Social Security.  

Social Security celebrates 78 years of never missing a single payment and helping millions of Americans live with dignity and honor.

Green Party candidates across the United States are advocates for keeping Social Security strong and secure.  The accountant for the Independent Green Party notes, In the July Monthly Federal Treasury Statement for Social Security once again shows positive numbers.   In federal fiscal year 2013 Social Security shows another profitable year, taking in over $736 billion dollars, and paying out less, only $676 billion.     Green Party candidates are dedicated to improving and protecting Social Security. 

15 aug 13 @ 7:46 am edt          Comments

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Independent Green Party success Extension of Amtrak Service to Roanoke

Independent Green Party of Virginia victory
Due to 2013 Transportation Bill, Train Service Will Return to Star City for First Time in 34 Years
 
ROANOKE- Standing on the Railside Amphitheater, Virginia's Governor today announced that the Commonwealth of Virginia, Norfolk Southern, Amtrak and the City of Roanoke have joined together to start work to extend Amtrak Virginia regional intercity passenger rail service from Lynchburg to Roanoke. It has been 34 years since intercity passenger rail has served the City of Roanoke. The return of passenger rail to Roanoke is a result of decades of work by Independent Green Party candidates on the ballot for local, state, and federal office advocating for More Trains, Less Traffic across Virginia.  
 
Independent Green Party work lead to the passage this past session of the General Assembly of Virginia's first major transportation funding plan in nearly three decades. Independent Green Party leaders joined the governor to celebrate today's announcement.  Local elected officials including Roanoke Mayor David Bowers, state leaders including the Director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, and rail officials including Charles W. Moorman, CEO of Norfolk Southern and Joe McHugh from Amtrak. 
Amtrak_blt_Move.gif

"For many years, the citizens of Roanoke and the Valley have asked when intercity passenger rail will return," said the Governor . "I am pleased to announce today that the Department of Rail and Public Transportation, through its partnership with Norfolk Southern, Amtrak and the City of Roanoke, will begin work on bringing service back to this historic railroad city."
 
Virginia's third largest political party, the Independent Green Party of Virginia is pushing for more rail . Indy Greens say Virginia has gone far too long without investing the necessary resources in our railways. Rail infrastructure is crucial to future job creation and economic growth in Virginia and the U.S. With the passage of pro rail measures we can build for the future. The Independent Green Party is for building new railways all around the Commonwealth. All of this will lead to new jobs for our citizens, and a more prosperous Virginia. And right here in Roanoke, it means the return of intercity passenger rail service to the Star City. 

The signing into law of the transportation bill provided a dedicated funding source for intercity passenger rail, which can be used for capital and the expansion of service. The Independent Green Party of Virginia placed a high priority on extending Amtrak Virginia to Roanoke as a viable transportation option for travel to cities along the Northeast Corridor.

Work to bring Amtrak Virginia service to the city, as an extension of the highly-successful Lynchburg line, is anticipated to take between three and four years.


# # #
13 aug 13 @ 5:23 pm edt          Comments

Monday, August 12, 2013

Indy Green Party applauds profit making rail to Lynchberg, Virginia

Indy Green Party Lynchberg Rail pays dividends 

Virginia's Independent Green Party advocated for rail to Lynchberg for decades.  Now that the rail is in place it is making money, and saving lives.  

 

When the Lynchburg service started in October 2009, Amtrak expected just 51,000 riders per year, and budgeted state support that it hasn’t needed to tap into.   

Indy Green Party's Gail for Rail says we need Roanoke Rail Now! 

Green Party says Lynchburg rail success shows Roanoke Rail a winner today. 

 

Actual passenger rail service into Roanoke isn’t expected to start for at least three years, but it is fully funded in Virginia’s six-year transportation plan, said Kevin Page, chief operating officer of Virginia’s Department of Rail and Public Transportation. 

 

12 aug 13 @ 8:59 pm edt          Comments

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Acronym TV interviews Green Party Doctor Jill Stein

Green Party leaders for Presidential Pardon for Bradley Manning | Jill Stein, Green Party - Green Shadow Cabinet President - Interview with Dennis Trainor Jr | Acronym TV

The Green Shadow Cabinet calls on President Obama to pardon Bradley Manning for his courageous work exposing U.S. war crimes and State Department deception. Thanks to Manning's revelations of Iraqi deaths and human rights abuses by the American military, Iraq refused to renew immunity for U.S. soldiers, forcing President Obama to pull out at the end of 2011. Thus, Manning deserves much of the credit for ending the immoral, devastating, multi-trillion dollar U.S. occupation of Iraq. 

See the interview at Independent Political Report

http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2013/08/acronym-tv-interviews-jill-stein-on-presidential-pardon-for-bradley-manning/ 

Manning's leaks also revealed corruption and betrayal in repressive Arab governments -- including Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Sale's secret deal with the U.S. allowing drone strikes within his country, and the financial excesses of Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidin Ben Ali. These disclosures helped trigger democracy movements of the Arab Spring that continue to this day.
Though Manning has been accused of endangering national security and the safety of intelligence sources, no actual harm was established in court hearings. And in secret testimony previously revealed by Reuters, state department officials acknowledged that the leaks were embarrassing low level secrets but they did not actually damage U.S. interests. 

Bradley Manning has already spent three years in jail and months enduring solitary confinement and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, according to the UN special rapporteur on torture. He should not have to spend another day being punished for revealing critical truths that the American people had a right to know. Now Mr. Manning is facing up to 136 years in prison for doing the work that the U.S. press should have been doing, had they not been missing in action on investigative reporting for the past decade. 
In fact, Bradley Manning is a hero for telling the truth to the American people -- that our government was committing war crimes in Iraq and betraying basic American values of honesty and respect for international law in routine state department operations. 

We therefore call on President Obama to urgently pardon this courageous whistleblower. American democracy will be more secure, and the American people will be safer for it.
~ Dr. Jill Stein serves as President of the Green Shadow Cabinet of the United States

More on the Green Shadow Cabinet here:http://greenshadowcabinet.us

 

10 aug 13 @ 9:09 pm edt          Comments

Green Party candidate for New York City Mayor Anthony Gronowicz
These are parts of Michael Benjamin's report on Professor Anthony Gronowicz, Green Party mayoral candidate, at the mayoral candidates education forum at Murray Bergtraum High School.
  
The Green Party mayoral candidate Anthony Gronowicz was the first to arrive and be seated at the NYC Parents Mayoral Forum on Education.
Anthony Gronowicz was the most provocative speaker at Friday night’s education forum for parents and labor union activists.
Anthony Gronowicz, Green Party mayoral candidate,  attacked classroom overcrowding. The Green Party candidate for New York City mayor offered positive solutions "The Green New Deal" to economic inequality.   Professor Anthony Gronowicz, along with other Green Party leaders, are concerned about police presence in city schools.
 
 
 
 

Biography

New York City native, Anthony Gronowicz, graduated from Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania where he received a Ph.D. in New York City political history.  He is the author of “Race and Class Politics in New York City Before the Civil War” [1998]. Roger G. Kennedy, former Director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, and Vice President, Finance, of the Ford Foundation, concluded that he had “produced a classic to be set next to Dixon Ryan Fox’s work of two generations earlier on the shelves of every serious scholar of the relationship between race politics, class politics, and ethnic politics in the United States.” He edited “Oswald Garrison Villard: The Dilemmas of the Absolute Pacifist in Two World Wars” [1983]. He has produced a 348,000 word U.S. history, as well as book chapters, articles and reviews.

Tony is the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) Delegate Assembly representative for the 835 adjuncts at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), and one of the two elected faculty advisors to the BMCC Student Government Association. He also teaches U.S. Social and Economic Policy at the CUNY School of Professional Studies. He is a founding member of the International Committee of the PSC, and an editor of its Globalization, Privatization, War: In Defense of Public Education in the Americas (2003).  He serves on the PSC’s Academic Freedom Committee. From 1999 to 2001 he chaired the University Seminar on the City at Columbia University. From 2000 to 2002, Tony served on the Speakers’ Bureau of the New York Council for the Humanities, lecturing on “The History of Race Relations in New York City.” In 2003, he was one of two adjunct professors out of 345 at Bronx Community College to be nominated by the college chapter of Phi Theta Kappa for “quality commitment to teaching and service to the students.” 

Since 2001, he has led a dozen seminars at the New York Society Library on the ethnic history of New York City, New York’s intellectual history, U.S. third parties, and the U.S. Constitution.  At Passaic County Community College in Paterson, New Jersey, he was founder and director of the Hamilton Institute that ran conferences including one that celebrated the bicentennial of the U.S. constitution.

Tony has run on the Green Party ballot line for:

  • State Assembly 73rd AD (1996);
  • New York City mayor (2005) placing fourth out of eight;
  • 7th CD (now 14th CD) (2010, 2012) against Democratic Representative Joseph Crowley who voted for the Iraq war. 
This year Tony is the Green Party candidate for mayor of New York City. 
10 aug 13 @ 8:42 am edt          Comments

Friday, August 9, 2013

Steve Welzer, Green Party candidate for Governor in New Jersey

Steve Welzer, Green Party candidate for Governor in New Jersey 

Patricia Alessandrini Green Party candidate for Lt. Gov. 

Steve Welzer, is the Green Party of New Jersey's candidate for Governor this year. Steve has been a Green movement activist for over twenty years. Prior to this campaign for Governor he ran for State Assembly and US House of Representatives. Please LIKE his facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WelzerForGovernor 
For more information, his webpage is:http://www.welzerforgovernor.org/

http://www.welzerforgovernor.org/ 

You can send a check to:

Welzer for Governor
PO Box 2029
Princeton, NJ 08543

Or you can contribute online at:

http://www.WelzerForGovernor.org/donations 

 

9 aug 13 @ 10:11 pm edt          Comments

Lynne Serpe Green Party strong campaign for New York City council
 
Lynne Serpe Green Party strong in race for NY City council

Lynne is running for City Council in District 22 (LIC/Astoria/East Elmhurst, Queens) to offer voters a vision and a plan for a just, healthy and vibrant New York City.

Lynne is the consultant for the Greening Libraries Initiative at Queens Library, which was inspired by her previous City Council candidacy where she campaigned for expanded library service, improved green spaces and energy-efficient affordable housing. She also works as an election administrator, helping dozens of unions and housing cooperatives hold fair and accountable elections. Lynne is active in many local organizations, including Two Coves Community Garden near Astoria Houses.

Lynne is running for City Council in District 22 (LIC/Astoria/East Elmhurst, Queens) to offer voters a vision and a plan for a just, healthy and vibrant New York City.

 
 

Contact:
Daniel Lee
Campaign Manager
vote@serpeforcouncil.org
Ph: (646) 699-3956
www.SerpeForCouncil.org
@VoteLynneSerpe

 
9 aug 13 @ 10:03 pm edt          Comments

Green Party Mayor in Richmond, California keeping people in their homes

Green Party Mayor in Richmond, California

Green Party City leaders in Richmond, a working-class suburb of around 100,000 on the San Francisco Bay, began sending letters last week to mortgage companies seeking to purchase loans on 624 properties and threatening to force sales via eminent domain if investors resisted. The Mayor is Green Party.  Leaders on the city council are Green Party.  The city is teaming up with Mortgage Resolution Partners, a private investment firm based in San Francisco, which was also named a defendant in the lawsuit.

Eminent domain allows a government to acquire property by force that is then reused in a way considered good for the public—new housing or roads. Property owners are entitled to compensation, often determined by a court. Instead of acquiring houses, Richmond would buy the mortgages.

Legal advocates of the eminent-domain plan have said that constitutional challenges aren't likely to hold up in court. The loan strategy wouldn't burden interstate commerce "because it doesn't prevent credit from flowing in any particular way," said Robert Hockett, a Cornell University law professor who advocates for using eminent domain to seize underwater mortgages. 

Supporters say their plan would help not only specific homeowners but also the broader community by reducing foreclosures that are hurting property values and eroding the tax base. "It's the responsibility of banks to fix this, and they haven't, so we're taking it into our hands," Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin (Green Party) said in a call with reporters last week.

 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324522504578654690187664354.html

9 aug 13 @ 9:59 pm edt          Comments

Green Party's Doctor Jill Stein interviewed on R-TV

Growing Independent Green Party  

Doctor Jill Stein interviewed by R-TV

 

Greens are for More Trains, Less Traffic, Solar Jobs! Wind Jobs! Geothermal Jobs! Weatherization jobs! Rail Jobs!

Doctor Jill Stein quotes Green Party founder Petra Kelly, "Greens are not left, not right, but out in front!" 

 The Green Party's 2012 Presidential Candidate, Dr. Jill Stein, sits down with RT Political Commentator Sam Sacks to talk about what she and the Party learned from last year's election, The Green Party calls for fiscally conservative movest to stop wasting Tax payer dollars....and how new political coalitions building in the wake of the NSA revelations could be a boon for Green Party membership.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T61t1Ma6Rjg 

9 aug 13 @ 9:51 pm edt          Comments

Monday, August 5, 2013

Laura Wells, Green Party candidate for California Comptroller

Green Party's Laura Wells running agressive, positive campaign for California Comptroller

 On June 3, 2014 – in exactly 10 months – we will have a chance in the California primary to vote for No Corporate Money candidates. It’s a new primary system andany voter can vote for any candidate for state and local office regardless of political party.


How many times have you heard candidates say one thing and then get into office and do something else altogether? Then they run again – and expect our votes – on the basis that at least they’re better than the candidate from the other corporate-funded Titanic Party! Why don’t they walk their talk when they get elected? It’s corporate money, simple as that. Taking corporate campaign money is the first line a candidate crosses, and after that, they have to toe the line.

The freedom candidates have when they do not take corporate money!

 


I attended a march and rally today in Richmond, California, an East Bay city of about 100,000 that has Chevron refineries. Richmond has run slates of candidates who pledge to take no corporate money. My favorite election in Richmond was in 2010 when Chevron, the biggest corporation in California, put a million dollars into three races, and lost, lost, and lost.

After being in Richmond today, I’m inspired all over again!

I am running for State Controller. We need to follow the money if we want to know what’s gone wrong with our schools, jobs, justice, health, and homes! Joining me will be other candidates pledging to take no corporate money.

I’m urging everyone to use all the power you have to stop corporate control of our government. Ironically the 1% knows better than anyone how powerful the 99% is. Use all the power you have, and vote for real people, who do not take corporate money!



That’s it for now. I’m trying to keep it as short as possible, and trying a new email system. I hope to send you a monthly update – maybe on the 3rd of every month – counting down to our chance to elect people into office who will champion the great solutions people are coming up with!

My best website currently is my blog at laurawellssolutions.com (there’s a little “follow” to click in the lower right corner). My Green Governor website www.laurawells.org will get updated one of these months! My contact information is below. If you are able to help financially, please mail your check to my P.O. Box for now, and I expect to make it possible to donate online soon.

Thank you for all you do! And good luck to all of us.
 

Laura Wells for Controller 2014
P.O. Box 10181
Oakland, CA 94610
510-225-4005

laurawellssolutions.com
laurawells2014@gmail.com
Twitter @wells4gov

http://www.laurawells.org/ 

5 aug 13 @ 9:24 pm edt          Comments

New Green Party in Jordan

Jordan Green Party recognized by Jordan federal government

Jordan's first green party takes form

 

 

Jordanian interior ministry gives go-ahead for formation of new Green Party to fight for Solar, Wind, Geothermal energy jobs, and Rail jobs

Roi Kais 

For the first time in Jordan's political history, the establishment of the Green Party has been formally announced last week.

 

The Jordanian state newspaper a-Dustour reported the new party will be called The Jordanian Green Party and its slogan is "Be green for Jordan and join the world's nature friendly parties."

Party founder and social activist Gandhi abu-Sharar voiced his appreciation to the Interior Ministry for authorizing the formation of the party, which allows it to start organizing conventions and activities

"The work and construction process has formally begun," abu-Sharar declared in a statement, and added that "the party will act according to the worldwide green parties' mission statement, signed in 2001, which calls for smart environmental policy, social justice, participatory democracy and non-violence.

 

"In addition, it calls for respect for pluralism while focusing on developing society by creating lasting awareness to the environment and ecology.".

  http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4413659,00.html

 

5 aug 13 @ 8:46 pm edt          Comments

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Michael Zytkow Green Party running for city council

Michael Zytkow, Green Party,  running for Charlotte City Council District 4.

Michael Zytkow is Charlotte Area Green Party (Co-chair).  The Green Party leader, Zytkow, is a well-respected community activist who has been involved in a wide variety of social justice issues. He has worked to hold corporations like Bank of America and Duke Energy accountable for their business and environmental practices. The Green Party's Zytkow is an actively engaged member of our community who has advocated tirelessly on issues that often go neglected.

Zytkow has lived in Northeast Charlotte most of his life. He graduated from Independence High School, and went on to graduate from Wake Forest University, where he majored in Political Science and Religion.

Zytkow taught African-American History and World History at Garinger High School through the Teach For America program. Zytkow’s volunteer efforts include working at Mother Teresa’s charities in Calcutta, India, and leading a team to build housing during Hurricane Katrina disaster relief. He spent time in Nicaragua, researching labor conditions in the apparel industry. He served with the Interfaith Alliance in Washington, D.C.

The Green Party's Zytkow is the founder and president of the Campaign for Political Reform, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization promoting the principles of democracy by advocating for reforms to increase voter participation, address the influence of money in politics, and ensure election outcomes accurately reflect the will of the people.

Michael Zytkow is married to Desiree Zytkow. They are the proud parents of 4-year-old son Jan.  

Membership / Affiliation:

Charlotte Area Green Party (Co-chair) 

Campaign for Political Reform (Founder and President)
ACLU – Charlotte (Board of Directors)
Charlotte Area Green Party (Co-chair)
Farmwood North Homeowners Association
Charlotte Area Bicycle Alliance
NAACP Charlotte-Mecklenburg
League of Women Voters of Charlotte-Mecklenburg
NC Central Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club
Greenpeace Charlotte
Charlotte Environmental Action
CRB Reform Now
Action NC
Democracy NC
NC WARN

Carolina Thread Trail 

http://michaelzytkow.com/platform/ 

4 aug 13 @ 9:14 am edt          Comments

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Conservative Independent Green Party cancel $381 Billion dollars in wasteful spending!!!

Conservative Independent Green Party calls for saving almost $400 billion tax dollars now!  Easy to slash almost $400 billion in wasteful military boondoogle!

 

Green Party supports! Pentagon considers cancelling F-35 program, leaked documents suggest

Leaked documents from a Pentagon budget review suggest that the agency is tired of its costly F-35 fighter jets, and has thoughts about cancelling the $391.2 billion program that has already expanded into 10 foreign countries.

Pentagon officials held a briefing on Wednesday in which they mapped out ways to manage the $500 billion in automated budget cuts required over the next decade. A slideshow laid out a number of suggestions and exposed the Pentagon’s frustration with its F-35 jets, which are designed and manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corp. based out of Bethesda, Md.  The agency also suggested scrapping plans for a new stealthy, long-range bomber, attendees of the briefing told Reuters.  

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke to reporters on Wednesday and indicated that the Pentagon might have to decide between a "much smaller force" and a decade-long "holiday" from modernizing weapons systems and technology.  

Conservative Green Party leaders have long proposed common sense cuts to the wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars at DOD.

Pentagon briefing slides indicated that a decision to maintain a larger military "could result in the cancellation of the $392 billion Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 program and a new stealthy, long-range bomber," Reuters reports.  

Green Party leader, retired Navy Captain Ron Fisher, and former Independent Green Party candidate for congress, notes that the U.S. wastes more tax dollars on military spending the rest of the world's nations combined.

When officials familiar with the budget review leaked the news about the F-35s, the agency tried to downplay its alleged intentions.

The F-35 program is the Pentagon’s most expensive weapon system. A fleet of 2,443 aircraft has an estimated price tag of $391.2 billion, which is up 68 percent from the projected costs measured in 2001. Earlier this year, Air Force Lieutenant General Christopher Bogdan, the F-35 program manager,condemned the manufacturer for “trying to squeeze every nickel” out of the Department of Defense.

Independent Green Party state Vice Chair, Gail for Rail Parker, a retired U.S. Air Force officer, and budget expert notes that nearly the entire federal debt of $17.6 trillion dollars has been created by wasteful, and unauditable military spending.

Although the warplane is the most expensive combat aircraft in history, its quality is lacking. In February, the US military grounded an entire fleet of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters because of a crack found on a turbine blade on one of the jets, marking the fourth time that a fleet was grounded because of manufacturing problems. In April, Bogdan told a Senate committee that he doubted the planes could withstand a sophisticated cyberattack. 

The Independent Green Party calls for a balanced federal budget, and paying off the federal debt.  Cutting U.S. military spending by 90 per cent would still leave the United States spending more tax dollars on the military than any other nation on earth.  The Greens are optimistic.

But before the sequestration took effect this year, the Pentagon secured several contracts with Lockheed Martin to ensure the continued production and maintenance of the costly F-35s. This week, the Defense Department struck another deal with the company to produce 71 more jet fighters, claiming the costs per aircraft have been reduced by about 4 percent – an insignificant reduction when compared to the 68 percent price increase that has occurred since 2001. 

After news broke of the Pentagon’s prospect to cancel the program, officials tried to control the damage of such an alarming statement that runs counter to the claims they publicly make. 

"We have gone to great lengths to stress that this review identified, through a rigorous process of strategic modeling, possible decisions we might face, under scenarios we may or may not face in the future,"Pentagon Spokesman George Little told Reuters in an email when asked about the slides. "Any suggestion that we're now moving away from key modernization programs as a result of yesterday's discussion of the outcomes of the review would be incorrect.” 

An unnamed defense official familiar with the briefing told Reuters that the leaked budget document indicated possibilities for a worst-case scenario. He admitted that the Pentagon considered scrapping the program, but said it was unlikely, since “cancelling the program would be detrimental to our national defense.” 

Regardless of the Pentagon’s intent, Congress is responsible for authorizing Department of Defense spending, and has often forced the agency to make costly and unnecessary weapons purchases.

Last year, US Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said that the US has no need for new tanks. But even though senior Army officials have repeatedly stated that there is no need to spend half a billion dollars in taxpayer funds on new 70-ton Abrams tanks, lawmakers from both parties have pushed the Pentagon to accept the useless purchases.

Earlier this year, an investigation revealed that lobbying efforts by Northrop Grumman have kept a costly Global Hawk drone flying, despite the Pentagon’s attempt to end the project. A defense authorization bill passed by Congress requires the Air Force to keep flying its Block 30 Global Hawks through at least 2014, which costs taxpayers $260 million per year.  

The US spends more money on defense than any other nation, but lawmakers from both parties often insist that the agency continue to buy tanks and keep ships and planes it no longer needs. Although the Pentagon has expressed its frustration with the costly F-35 fighter jets, there is little the agency can do without congressional support.  The Independent Green Party calls for an immediate stop to this waste of taxpayer dollars!

http://rt.com/usa/pentagon-f35-stealth-bomber-963/ 

 

The Independent Green Party calls for an immediate stop to this waste of taxpayer dollars!   Join the fiscally conservative Independent Green Party and be a candidate to bring positive change!  

 

3 aug 13 @ 11:40 am edt          Comments

New Green Party in Zambia

Green Party in Zambia - Uphill battle for new Green Party in Zambia

On the Zambia political landscape, two brand new parties have been formed recently. PP (Peoples Party) led by Mike Mulongoti – a former Minister in MMD government and the Green Party of Zambia (GPZ) whose President is Peter Sinkamba. The latter is of more interest to Zambians, because it appears more focused.

On their website   http://sambiagreens.org/ the Green Party is for " rescuing vulnerable grassroots communites - youths and other vulnerable groups, in particular from the jaws of pverty and unemployment by taming and harnessing nature.." 

 

http://www.ukzambians.co.uk/home/2013/07/19/uphill-battle-for-the-new-green-party-of-zambia/#sthash.BInyJlbk.dpuf 

 

http://www.ukzambians.co.uk/home/2013/07/19/uphill-battle-for-the-new-green-party-of-zambia/ 

3 aug 13 @ 10:01 am edt          Comments

Green Party's Georges Laraque

Georges Laraque Green Party goes from hockey tough guy to politician

 

Will run in Montreal’s Bourassa riding for a seat in the House of Commons as part of Green Party

http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/Georges+Laraque+goes+from+hockey+tough+politician/8635405/story.html 

 

MONTREAL — He was an NHL pugilist. He became an animal-rights-defending vegan environmentalist. Now, in the latest twist in his improbable career path, Georges Laraque is a politician.

The former NHL tough guy confirmed Tuesday that he will vie for a seat soon in the House of Commons.

He announced his plans to campaign for a Montreal seat in a byelection.

At a news conference with Green Party Leader Elizabeth May in Montreal, he said he will begin campaigning immediately for the eventual byelection in Bourassa riding.

That Montreal riding faces a byelection at some point over the coming months because its longtime MP, Liberal Denis Coderre, is leaving to run for mayor.

“While we do not know the election date yet, I want to start campaigning now,” Laraque said in a statement.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us and I want to take advantage of the summer to meet you and listen to your concerns. I’ll be in Bourassa all summer, and you can already get in touch with me now.”

A former Edmonton Oiler, Pittsburgh Penguin and Montreal Canadien, Laraque racked up 1,126 penalty minutes in an NHL career where he was better known for his left jab than for his wrist shot.

But in recent years he’s also become known for his political activism as a vegan, animal-rights crusader and environmentalist.

He became deputy leader of the Green Party in 2010.

Laraque was quoted in a recent news report saying he planned to eventually seek a seat in the House of Commons with the Greens.

It’s not yet known when Prime Minister Stephen Harper will call a byelection for the riding, which is in a diverse north-end area with different economic classes and ethnic groups and which has a large Haitian population.

Laraque, whose parents were born in Haiti, has been involved in humanitarian work there since the Caribbean country was devastated by an earthquake in 2010. 

3 aug 13 @ 9:40 am edt          Comments

Green Party's Caroline Lucas - member of Parliament in U.K.

Caroline Lucas, Green Party: 'Politics is about everything we do'

Britain's only Green MP on bin strikes, media sexism and why politics is about more than men in grey suits

Caroline Lucas: 'I have been more true to what people think Labour stood for than Labour themselves.'  

Parliament is now in recess. What are you doing for your summer holidays?

I think the word recess isn't helpful because it immediately gives the impression that we're all off to the Bahamas and we're not going to do any work. Speaking for myself, that's very far from the case.

 

So no Bahamas then?

I will have a couple of weeks with my family, but we don't tend to fly, where possible.

 

As the only Green party MP, does it get lonely?

Umm, well, the good thing about being at Westminster is that I can put things on to the political agenda that otherwise wouldn't be there. I'm thinking about the private members' bill coming up that would bring the railways back into public ownership.

I was also part of the only UK-wide political party that was standing up strongly and saying no to replacing Trident at the cost of £100bn over the next 30 years.

 

You stood down as leader of the Green party last year to "give other people the opportunity to get well known". What's changed for you and for the party?

We've managed to increase quite significantly the amount of media coverage we get. It's never enough but in one week we had Natalie Bennett, our new leader, on Question Time while I was on Any Questions? on the radio. We would never have had the capacity to do that before.

 

How big a problem is it that most people, I suspect, would still think you are the party leader?

People are getting to know Natalie. I was lucky in the sense that I had already been a speaker for the party before I was the leader and I had some profile as an MEP. She's coming from not having that, but I think she's done immensely well in a short time.

When you stood down, you said that the party was "the most influential it's ever been". How would you justify that?

Well, we'd just got our first MP after 30 years of trying; we'd just won our first council, albeit minority control of Brighton and Hove city council, we had our highest number of local councillors – so on those measurements the party is on an up. We did really well in the European elections of 2009: we got more than a million people voting Green, which is quite something. A million people voting Green.

 

At the same time, when the UK took over the presidency of the G8, there was no mention of climate change.

If you are saying, as you rightly do, how does that translate into influence on the political agenda, that's more complicated. It's certainly the case that at a time of austerity it has been harder to promote a green agenda. The tragedy of that is that the green economy is the one element of the economy that is actually doing pretty well. My argument is that it is very much a way through austerity. It is one of the fastest areas for creating jobs and that makes it even more criminal that the government is ignoring it to the extent that it clearly is.

 

You have a majority of only 1,252 in Brighton Pavilion and it's one of Labour's 106 target seats – what makes you think you can hold them off?

I think the people in Brighton Pavilion will judge me on my record. If people who would otherwise be tempted to vote Labour look at my voting record I have actually been more true to perhaps what they thought Labour stood for than many Labour MPs themselves. I won't simply be lobby fodder, someone who will vote whatever way the whip tells me. Having an independent thinker at Westminster is what the people of Brighton Pavilion would want.

 

The worst-case scenario is that there are no Green MPs in 2015. How big a disaster would that be for the party?

It would be a major setback. Until one knows the circumstances of that election are, it's difficult to speculate what conclusions you would draw from it, but no one could pretend that it would be good for the party.

 

How damaging has the recent refuse collectors' strike in Brighton been? You personally disagreed with the Green-run city council. It didn't present the party at its most cohesive…

No, I think that is the case. Strikes are always deeply unpleasant and we are not the first administration to have a bin strike on our watch and I don't suppose we'll be the last. It was very disruptive for the community.

However, and I've been on the record on this, I supported the men in taking that action. But in terms of communicating to people why that happened, we didn't do it as well as we should have done early on.

 

You were recently censured for wearing a "No More Page Three" T-shirt in parliament. Would the Commons benefit from relaxing its dress code?

The conclusion to draw from that whole episode was not that the Commons should relax its dress code but that it should get rid of Page 3 in the Sun from its premises and it should take a much stronger role in the whole debate on media sexism. David Cameron should speak to his friend Rupert Murdoch and say: "Frankly, in the 21st century this is not necessary."

 

Do you feel it is right that John Inverdale's comment about the tennis player Marion Bartoli has come up again?

Absolutely. I think that was deeply shocking and it's the kind of comment that reveals a whole mindset. It's deeply inappropriate to hear that expressed on the BBC.

 

You talk about politicians sometimes as if you were not one of them. In your head, is there a distinction between you and them?

There are some politicians who are able to be activists at the same time and I would aspire to put myself in that category. In the public mind, when they think of politicians, sadly they probably tend to think of men in grey suits doing work behind closed doors at Westminster. I want to get away from the idea.

Politics is about everything we do from the moment we get up in the morning to the minute we go to bed at night. It's something everybody and anybody can be involved in.  

http://www.theguardian.com/theobserver/2013/jul/28/caroline-lucas-green-party-sun-sexism .  

We need you.

Join the Independent Green Party of Virginia Today.  Be an Independent Green Party candidate for local, state, or federal office! 

3 aug 13 @ 9:29 am edt          Comments

Independent Green Party honors and remembers Virginia's Independent U.S. Senator

Independent Green Party following Independent Virginia tradition of

Harry F. Byrd Jr. 

Independent Green Party remembers and honors Virginia's Independent U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd Jr.  

Harry F. Byrd Jr. died Tuesday at home in his beloved Winchester. He was 98.

 

Harry F. Byrd Jr. was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1970 as an Independent from Virginia.   In 1976 Byrd was re-elected as an Independent to the U.S. Senate. Prior to joining the U.S. Senate Harry F. Byrd Jr. served in the Virginia state legislature, the State Senate for 17 years.

Three way U.S. Senate race in Virginia in 1970, Independent Harry F. Byrd Jr. received 54 per cent of the vote.  Running again as an Independent in 1976 Byrd raised his vote total to 56 per cent.  The retired U.S. Navy Admiral Elmo Zumwalt was the (d) candidate in that race.    

The Virginia Independent U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd Jr. in 1998 published "Defying the Odds" the story of his 1970 campaign.  

U.S. Senator Byrd's description of his politics, well describes Virginia's Independent Green Party.

"If one believes that Thomas Jefferson's philosophy was a liberal one, and historically it has been so construed, then I should be considered a liberal.  Like Jefferson, I fear centralization of power. I feel that the least governed are the best governed."

"Conservatism comes from the same root as conservation.  I believe in conservation of fundamental principles, of natural resources, of human dignity, and the conservation of taxpayer's hard earned dollar."    

In addition to defining his own politics with those words, the independent Virginia Senator wrote one of the best descriptions of Independent Green Party of Virginia. 

3 aug 13 @ 9:14 am edt          Comments

Kristina Gronquist Green Party candidate for City Council

Green Party candidate vies for Ward 3

By

 

Fifty-seven-year-old Kristina Gronquist, the Green Party-endorsed candidate, is running a quiet but steady campaign, focusing on issues like Dinkytown development and police profiling.

The 2002 University of Minnesota graduate and lifelong Minneapolis resident lives in the Northeast area with her 22-year-old daughter and 94-year-old father, where she balances running a campaign and working full time at the Eastside Food Cooperative.

In some ways, Gronquist’s Green Party affiliation makes campaigning more difficult.

The party wants to “take the money out of politics,” Gronquist said, so candidates can’t accept funds from any political action committee.  In addition, city law only allows Council candidates to accept donations of up to $300 from individuals, placing further limits on Gronquist’s campaign finances.

No University groups have officially endorsed her, but Gronquist said she’ll reach out to some this fall as the election nears.

Ward 3 traditionally favors Democrats, but Gronquist believes her involvement and commitment give her a shot at winning.

“It’s a track record of activism, and that counts for something,” she said.

University political science professor Larry Jacobs  said Minneapolis and Duluth are both “hot spots” for third-party candidates.

“Minneapolis is ground zero for third-party politics, and if the Green Party can win anywhere in Minnesota, it’s in Minneapolis or Duluth,” he said. “I wouldn’t rule her out.”

Gronquist says the Green Party is a “natural fit” for students because it’s progressive and environmentally conscious.

“It’s a party that’s about the future,” she said. “I don’t know why any student wouldn’t vote Green.”

Forrest Fritz-Storhaug, a campaign volunteer and recent Minneapolis Community and Technical College  graduate, agreed with Gronquist and said he’s even converted some of his friends to support the campaign.

“[Green Party candidates] actually will take action,” he said. “They will go out on a limb.” 
3 aug 13 @ 8:42 am edt          Comments

Thursday, August 1, 2013

On Green Party campaign trail

On the campaign trail with Green Party candidate Taylor Howarth

OTTAWA — Although it seems unlikely she will be Ottawa South’s next MPP, Green party candidate Taylor Howarth says she is planting the seeds of change for future ballot box success.

The Greens have run candidates in provincial elections in this riding since 1990, peaking in 2007 with 3,900 votes or eight per cent of the total ballots cast.

The Liberals have had a lock on Ottawa South since the 1980s, but Howarth says that might not always be the case. Many voters are expressing frustration with the status quo approach of Ontario’s three main political parties, but it remains to be seen what affect, if any, such a sentiment will have on Aug. 1, when voters here head to the polls to replace former premier and longtime MPP Dalton McGuinty.

“Anybody but the Liberals,” says one man, outside a large home near The Ottawa Hospital’s General campus on Smyth Road.

“I’ve been hearing a lot of that,” Howarth responds with a smile.

Later, after leaving a home on Fairbanks Avenue where she spent several minutes chatting with a prospective voter, Howarth is upbeat.

“My goal is to have conversations like that because it’s planting seeds,” she says. “The best part is to get people thinking of an alternative.”

She is certainly that.

At 26, Howarth is the youngest mainstream candidate in the race (Independent candidate Tivadar Banfalvi graduated from high school in June). She says that’s both her greatest strength and her greatest weakness.

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/campaign+trail+with+Green+candidate+Taylor+Howarth/8667502/story.html 

1 aug 13 @ 8:26 pm edt          Comments

Green Party candidate for state legislature

Green Party’s Allah plans to seek Legislature seat

NIAGARA FALLS – Saladin Q. Allah, a member of the Green Party, announced this week that he is running for Niagara County legislator in the 4th District, a central Niagara Falls seat.

Allah, 38, said he is running to promote his plans to expand youth outreach, increase community alliances, promote neighborhood safety and crime prevention, and develop a “local living economy.”   

Allah said he is running on the Green Party line but also wants to force a Democratic primary through a process known as an opportunity to ballot.  

"We need solar, wind, geothermal, weatherization, rail jobs!"

“I will still embrace the principles and platform of the Green Party,” he said.

The Niagara Falls native attended Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, as a therapeutic recreation major. He said he has been working in community youth mentoring programs for more than 15 years.

“We need leadership that understands that a seat and a voice at the table is still not enough. We need leadership with an activist spirit, someone with an actual agenda and work ethic to help transform our collective quality of life,” Allah said.

http://www.buffalonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130705/CITYANDREGION/130709513/1010 

  

1 aug 13 @ 8:20 pm edt          Comments

Green Party convention recap by Daily Iowian

Green Party National Convention victories in Iowa 2013

BY ROBERT CROZIER | JULY 26, 2013 5:00 AM

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Green Party victories advocating for Solar Jobs, Wind Jobs, Geothermal Jobs, Rail Jobs, "More Trains, Less Traffic" Jobs, Weatherization Jobs.  

Green Party faithful from across the country have converged in Iowa City for their annual national meeting this weekend after local Greens submitted the most compelling bid to the political party.

It was also the only bid.

Last year in Baltimore, the party nominated Jill Stein in its failed 2012 bid for the White House.

This year, a political off-season as far as the presidency is concerned, the roughly 100 delegates to the convention plan to conduct some party business, but they will also attend workshops with such titles as “The Racial Equality Lens: An Anti-Oppression Training for White People” and “How to Put On an Event.”

Pending party business includes electing members of the steering committee and discussing the strategic plan.

Media coordinator Scott McLarty said the Greens chose Iowa City because the plan submitted by the Iowa Green Party was the most compelling.

“I think we’re also mindful of the fact that, in this general area, people tend to be kind of progressive …” he said. “As we grow as a national party, we want to become more familiar with Iowa, and we want Iowa to become more familiar with us.”

1 aug 13 @ 8:16 pm edt          Comments

Green Party's Jenny Jones elected to House of Lords in United Kingdom

Jenny Jones 'elected' to House of Lords as Green Party peer

The Green Party is today celebrating securing its latest representative in Parliament, after Jenny Jones was nominated to join the House of Lords.

The London Assembly member and former Deputy Mayor became the first member of the House of Lords to be elected to her role, after the Green Party carried out an open ballot of members to select the person to be nominated for a peerage.

ones said she would now use her new role to push for wider reform of the House of Lords and support Green MP Caroline Lucas in raising the profile of green policies and environmental issues.

"I am looking forward to a new battlefield for green ideas and policies and I shall do my best to fulfill the trust and expectation that my party has shown in me," she said in a statement.

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett said she was delighted the party had "provided the second chamber of the British parliament with its first elected representative".

"We can only hope this can act as a spur towards wider reform of this house, for which reform has been promised for more than a century," she said. "Reform was included in the manifestos of the three largest political parties in Britain in 2010, and it isn't too late for action within the term of this parliament."

The Green Party has long campaigned for a fully elected chamber based on proportional representation, an approach that would lead to a significant increase in the party's representation in parliament.

http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2286274/jenny-jones-elected-to-house-of-lords-as-green-party-peer 

1 aug 13 @ 8:13 pm edt          Comments

Green Party Victory in What Does a “Green Party” Win Mean for Trinidad & Tobago

Green Party Win Means change for Trinidad & Tobago Politics?   Green Party's Jack Warner with victory

 

 Trinidad and Tobago‘s hotly contested Chaguanas West by-election ended with a resounding victory on Monday night for Jack Warner, who reclaimed his seat with a convincing win over his nearest competitor.

http://globalvoicesonline.org/2013/07/31/what-does-a-green-party-win-mean-for-trinidad-tobago-politics/ 

1 aug 13 @ 8:07 pm edt          Comments


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