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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Joe May Independent Green Party endorsee/nominee makes ballot

Joe May Independent Green Party endorsee/nominee makes ballot for State Senate Election 

"Joe May is on the ballot!!!"  Joseph P. Oddo State Chairman Independent Green Party.

The Virginia State Board of Elections has confirmed that Joe May has made the ballot.  

Joe May, U.S. Army veteran, veteran state legislator, successful businessman, engineer, husband, father, grandfather, and now Independent Green party endorsee/nominee for Virginia state senate.

The Independent Green Party endorsee left his previous party in early December 2013. 

Long before becoming the Independent Green Party endorsee/nominee Joe May graduated as an engineer from Virginia Tech. The successful Independent Green Party endorsee, businessman Joe May and his wife Bobby May founded Electronic Instrumentation and Technology (EIT) in 1997.  Today EIT empoys 300 people in Sterling, Virginia.

The Independent Green Party salutes delegate Joe May's 20 years of service in the Virginia House of Delegates. Independent Greens know Joe May has the experience, and knowledge of transportation policy, and the budget after serving as Transportation Committee Chairman in the House of Delegates.

"We need More Trains, Less Traffic.  Rail saves lives. Rail grows the economy." Gail for Rail Parker, Independent Green Party Vice Chair.

"Joe May in the State Senate, and an Independent Green Party endorsee/nominee can help us grow Virginia's economy with rail jobs, solar jobs, geothermal jobs, and wind jobs." added Gail for Rail, U.S. Air Force retired officer.  

Joe May is the perfect fit for Virginia and the "More Trains, Less Traffic" Independent Green Party. Joe May engineering success includes many patents. Joe May patented an instrument to measure the curvature of railroad trackes. This is sandard in today's railroad industry.  

Prior to becoming the Independent Green Party endorsee Joe May in 2009 was inducted into Virginia Tech's College of Engineering Academy of Engineering Excellence.  Joe May is one of only 90 engineers so honored. That is out of an engineering alumni of more than 50,000.

Joe May's sterling record matches the Independent Green Party.   Delegate Joe May was named Legislator of the Year by the Virginia Soil, and Water Conservation Districts, the Virginia Cable and Telecommunications Association, the Virginia Biotechnology Association and Virginia Transit! All near and dear to the heart of the Independent Green Party.

The Independent Green Party has frequently embrached, invited them to join, and nominated leading, well known Virginia politicos before.   Independent Greens nominated the youngest elected, and longest serving Speaker of the House of Delegates, Tom Moss of Norfolk as an Independent Green Party candidate - after Speaker Moss left his former party.

Independent Green Party nominated Tom Moss went on to be re-elected as Treasurer in Norfolk. 

After the hard work of petitioning to get More Trains, Less Traffic advocate Joe May on the ballot for state senate, the Independent Green Party celebrates this Joe May success.

Independent Green Party central committee member Janet Murphy, "We look forward to working shoulder to shoulder on the campaign to elect a rail advocate, Joe May to the state Senate on January 21, 2014!"  

Terry Modglin, Independent Green Party Fairfax County leader, "Joe May and the Independent Green Party are a winning combination!" 

See the Independent Green Party video congrats to Joe May for making the ballot here in English. 

 Independent Green Party video congrats to Joe May for making the ballot here in Spanish 


28 dec 13 @ 11:11 am est          Comments

Independent Green Party endorses/nominates Joe May for State Senate
Independent Green Party of Virginia Nominates Del. Joe May for State Senate Election 
by Joseph P. Oddo
With the now complete sweep of one large political party over the other in the 2013 statewide elections in Virginia, the Independent Green Party turn their ever optimistic attention toward the 2014 elections starting with a special election for state senate in Loudoun and Fairfax County on January 21st, 2014. 
The first order of business was the rapid endorsement and nomination by the Independent Green Party(IGVA) of Delegate Joe May. Joe May left is former party in early December.
As Chairman of the Transportation Committee in the House of Delegates, Delegate May oversaw the 2013 transportation bill that allowed Virginia to finally address a vital infrastructure need in the Commonwealth. A U.S. Army veteran, May is a Virginia Tech grad, and member of the University's Engineering Hall of Fame. May also owns and operates a business that employs about 300 people in Sterling, Virginia.


Independent Green Party leaders met with Delegate Joe May's State Senate District 33 campaign team on Thursday December 19th in anticipation of the Governor calling the Special Election. That pronouncement came the next day which left Indy Green Party petitioners exactly five days to gather enough signatures to get Delegate May on the ballot for State Senate. By Saturday (the very next day) the Independent Green Party and Joe May's campaign team were gathering signatures.   The Independent Green Party contined all weekend, enlisting help from their Vice-Chair Gail “for Rail” Parker who declared that they (the IGVA) jointly, with Joe May's campaign team, “collected enough signatures - in a single day - to put Joe May on the ballot."

It was a very long day of petition gathering work. "About 12 to 14 hours of good, diligent, disciplined Independent Green Party petition gathering work, most of it spent by many going door to door," added IGVA executive committee member Carey Campbell.

With over 400 signatures for Delegate Joe T. May, the Independent Greens of Virginia will learn Thursday, December 26th whether Delegate May will accept their nomination. This is an opportunity for the Independent Green Party who are always recruiting candidates willing to challenge the two larger parties. With third parties not free to choose their own nominating procedure, special elections like this one force them to collect the required petition signatures in a short five-day window, this year including Christmas Day.
Independent Green Party candidates professional experience and the background of the hundrends of Indy Green candidates shows an impressive list of retired U.S. military flag officers, and enlisted with impressive records of service. The Indpendent Green Party's high-ranking veterans and honorable citizens are all fully capable of governing as well if not better than their large party rivals. Some would argue that these Indies would more likely act in the people’s interest rather than perpetuating Big Government.  
The Independent Green Party is happy to welcome and support Delegate Joe May.  
28 dec 13 @ 10:28 am est          Comments

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Green Party stronger than ever

Green Party stronger than ever

With the signatures of Volker Bouffier (CDU) and Tarek Al-Wazir (Green Party)  the new black-green contract for a state governing Green Party conservative coalition was formally agreed to this week in Frankfurt, Germany. In January the state legislature will convene and elect the new Green Party leadership.  That means the German federal government will require significant coooperation from the Green Party.  There is no governing past the Green Party now.  Overall, in the German state and federal legislatures the Green Party is the third largest party.  And the 80-prozent-majority of CDU and SPD has significant power.  Just not as much as you might think.

German Federal President Joachim Gauck – has noted that the rights of the minority Green Party will be respected. In  fact the Green Party is stronger than ever.  Any measure that passes the Bundestag, must also pass the Bundesrat.   The Green Party now governs in 7 of the 16 Germany states.  So in point of fact, nothing will get through the Bundesrat (where the state governing coalitions have control) without Green Party cooperation.

Governor Bouffier strengthened the Green Party hand with the new Green coalition.  No leading CDU politician opposed the Green Party enpowerment. .

Now all the big German states, except Bavaria, has the Green Party in power. Baden-Württemberg, Hessen, Niedersachsen und Nordrhein-Westfalen; Bremen, Rheinland-Pfalz und Schleswig-Holstein.  There are 69 votes in the Bundesrat.  The Green Party controls 34 of them. And when you add the 4 votes of Brandenburg the Green Party is in the majority.

In the industrialized world's economy with the lowest unemployment rate, and with renewable sustainable energy Germany's second largest employer, the Green Party is set to further grow green.   The Green Party is stronger than ever.  

26 dec 13 @ 9:53 am est          Comments

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Siemens to Supply Wind Turbines for Cape Wind
December 24, 2013 — Under a recently signed contract with Cape Wind LLC, Siemens will supply the first commercial offshore wind farm in the U.S., with 3.6-megawatt (MW) offshore wind turbines, an offshore Electric Service Platform (ESP) and a service for the first 15 years of commercial operations. 

Cape Wind plans to install 130 wind turbines on the Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound. Cape Wind has sold 77 1/2% of its power output in long term Power Purchase Agreements to National Grid and NSTAR, the two largest electric utilities in Massachusetts. Cape Wind has announced it is purchasing a marina on Falmouth harbor on Cape Cod to serve as its maintenance and operations Headquarters. Cape Wind is the first U.S. offshore wind project to be fully permitted, and to have been issued a commercial lease and received approval for its Construction and Operations Plan by the U.S. Department of Interior. Cape Wind is currently in its financing phase.

Siemens, a leading offshore wind turbine manufacturer, will fabricate, install and commission its 3.6-MW offshore wind turbines for Cape Wind. The Siemens 3.6-MW offshore turbine has the leading turbine used at existing offshore wind farms and it is going to be used in at least eight other offshore wind farms currently under construction or approaching construction.

Cape Wind President Jim Gordon says, "The completion and execution of the contracts between Cape Wind and Siemens brings the experience and financial strength of the leading global offshore wind supplier into America's first offshore wind farm ensuring important energy, environmental and economic benefits for Massachusetts and the region."

Siemens is also providing Cape Wind with a long-term maintenance program for the wind turbines and ESP for a period of 15 years. Siemens will hire locally to fill the majority of its operations and maintenance positions at Cape Wind's future service headquarters on Falmouth Harbor on Cape Cod.

Project management for the Cape Wind project will be managed from Siemens Energy's Boston office, while the ESP scope of work will be managed from Siemens' Transmission operations in Cary, NC, and the long-term maintenance program will be managed from the company's Americas headquarters located in Orlando, FL.

"This is a significant milestone for this project and we're excited about it," says Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. "Massachusetts will be a pioneer in the emerging offshore wind industry, which brings with it both clean energy and good jobs."

Cianbro to fabricate ESP
Siemens has subcontracted the manufacturing of the ESP to Cianbro, which will fabricate the platform at its facility in Brewer, ME. The ESP was designed for Cianbro by Moffatt and Nichol Engineers of Norfolk, VA. The ESP will be located toward the center of the offshore wind farm site and it will transform the voltage of the electricity produced by the wind turbines.

Maine Senator Angus King welcomed this news, "I am very pleased that Cianbro, a Maine-based company and partner in UMaine's floating offshore wind project, will join forces with Siemens and Cape Wind of Massachusetts to produce the offshore substation for an industry-leading offshore wind farm. By helping to generate renewable energy, and by putting New Englanders to work in the process, projects like this will not only benefit our environment, but our economy as well."

24 dec 13 @ 9:59 pm est          Comments

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Independent Green Party Petitioning to get Joe May on ballot for State Senate

Independent Green Party gathering petition signatures to put Joe May on ballot for State Senate special election.

Independent Green Party leaders met with Delegate Joe May's State Senate District 33 campaign team on Thursday December 19th.  On Friday December 20th Virginia's Governor called the election. That means Independent Green Party petitioners have exactly five days to gather enough signatures to get House of Delegates member Joe May on the ballot for State Senate.  Saturday the Independent Green Party, and Joe May's campaign team were gathering signatures to put Delegate May on the ballot. Independent Green Party state vice chair, Gail for Rail Parker, "We (the Independent Green Party) jointly, with Joe May's campaign team, we may have collected enough signatures - in a single day - to put Joe May on the ballot."  


It was a very, very long day of petition gathering work.  "About 12 to 14 hours door to door of good, diligent, disciplined Independent Green Party petition gathering work",  added Independent Green Party executive committee member Carey Campbell.  

With the petition deadline hitting right at Christmas, Independent Green Party central committee member, retired U.S.Navy Captain Ron Fisher said, "There just no time to waste.  No room for error, on such a short deadline." 

Gov. Bob McDonnell has set Jan. 21st, 2014 as the date for the special election to fill the seat of State Sen. Mark Herring, who was elected attorney general and is resigning from the Senate effective January 11th. 

“Mark Herring has served the 33rd District well, and I wish him the very best as he now serves our entire Commonwealth as Virginia’s next attorney general,” said Governor McDonnell. “With Mark’s victory in that race confirmed, and his letter of resignation received by our office, I have now set the date of January 21st for the special election to fill his soon to be vacant seat. We are seeking to move as expeditiously as possible to ensure the voters of the 33rd District have the representation they deserve, while also allowing the candidates a fair amount of time, during a busy holiday season, to communicate with those voters so they have the information necessary to make their decision next month.”

Should the parties or prospective candidates have any questions about the upcoming special election in the 33rd Senate District, they should contact the Virginia State Board of Elections at 1-800-552-9745 and ask for “Special Election Information.”  

The Independent Green Party has endorsed, and offered their nomination to Delegate Joe May. Delegate May is the Chairman of the House of Delegates transportation committee. A U.S. Army veteran, May is a Virginia Tech grad, and member of the university's engineering hall of fame. May also owns and operates a business that employs about 300 people in Sterling, Virginia. 

21 dec 13 @ 10:50 pm est          Comments

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Green Party entering it's 7th state governing coalition in Germany

Berlin (dpa) - The German state of Hesse‘s centre-right Christian Democrats and the Green Party finalized a coalition agreement on Tuesday, just as the country‘s nationwide grand coalition government was being sworn in.

The deal marks the first time in Germany‘s history that the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the centre-left Greens have agreed to govern jointly in a larger state. There has been one such coalition previously at a city-state level.

Germany has 16 states: Greens form governing coalitions in 7 of 16 

The two parties have been in coalition talks since November 22, two months after the regional election in the central German state took place. The vote coincided with Germany‘s nationwide election.

Party leaders Volker Bouffier (CDU) and Tarek Al-Wazir (Green Party) presented the coalition agreement to their members, and media on Wednesday.

Hessen State Green Party will hold state convention on weekend to vote on the coalition agreement. 

The only other CDU-Green coalition to have existed in Germany came into force in the city-state of Hamburg in 2008, with the parties breaking off the alliance two years into the term.


19 dec 13 @ 4:57 pm est          Comments

Independent Green Party leadership meets with Delegate Joe May for State Senate Campaign

Independent Green Party executive committee member Carey Campbell meets with Delegate Joe May campaign for state senate.

The Independent Green Party of Virginia discusss working with delegate Joe May on his campaign for State Senate.   The Independent Green leaders met in Sterling at the campaign office.   Independent Green Party leader Campbell described the meeting as "Productive, and constructive.  Joe May agrees with the Independent Green Party. We need "More Trains, Less Traffic!"

Delegate May is running in the special election for state senate as an Independent.  The Independent Green Party leadership will meet and discuss the results of the Joe May meeting.

"We are optimistic about working together.  We admire Delegate May for taking the same Independent course of the Independent Green Party." said Gail for Rail Parker, Independent Green Party state vice chair.

Independent Green Party state chairman Joseph P. Oddo, "Virginia has a strong Independent Green tradition.  We are delighted to have an ally in delegate Joe May."  

19 dec 13 @ 4:52 pm est          Comments

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Green Party candidate for Governor

 Dec 17, 2013 by Randy LoBasso

Meet potential Green Party gov candidate Paul Glover

From Philly Now

Pennsylvania’s next governor could ban fracking all together. That governor could enact a more progressive income tax and shift funds from prisons to education; expand solar tax credits and attempt to enact local, community currencies. That governor could be a person who once walked from the United States’ east coast to its west coast to write a book.

Meet Paul Glover. He’s a former Temple professor residing in Northwest Philly who’s interested in jumping into the mix on the Green Party ticket. Already an activist in Philadelphia, he tells me Green Party candidacies are still relevant in Pennsylvania, as a means to introduce new ideas.

I spoke with Glover about some of those plans and what he’d try to do as governor of Pennsylvania if he ever got the chance.

You’re not officially running for governor, yet. Are you going to do it?

Pennsylvania Green Party leaders have invited me to consider candidacy.  I’ve said yes, if funds can be raised for a web-based campaign plus related travel.  The final decision would be made by the Party at its March 2014 convention.

Why would someone like you want to be governor of Pennsylvania?

Apparently I’d be the only candidate seeking to ban fracking; to reduce the power of commercial banks; to require that public education be nonprofit; to cancel college student debt; to curb Homeland Security, NDAA, ICE and the NSA; to replace agribusiness with smaller farms; promote regional economies rather than global corporations; enact a progressive income tax.

My budget would shift resources from prisons to education.  Curriculum reform is required at the same time, to teach community management and social enterprise rather than corporate servitude.

We can create a half million new jobs in Pennsylvania without raising taxes, through mutual aid programs such as I describe in my book “Green Jobs Philly.” This is a non-profit, non-governmental WPA.  I’d call it the Green Labor Administration.

A green budget would shift from nuclear and coal to efficiency.  PennFuture’s study claims Pennsylvania has provided $2.9 billion in subsidies to “fossil fuel industries,” mainly as tax exemptions.

I’d seek to expand solar tax credits, create a State bank and regional stock exchanges that are dedicated to green economies.

Would likewise shift from highways to transit and rail.  Fix the bridges and potholes, but make green travel easy.

And would shift from pampering insurance companies to promoting regional health co-ops.

I’ve emphasized that the Republican party is no longer the party of Lincoln, and that the Democratic party is no longer the party of FDR.  They’re both owned by the highest bidder, increasingly by foreign investors.

When conservatives don’t conserve and liberals don’t liberate, Greens become centrists, because we address central needs for affordable housing, medical care, dignified work, healthy food and water.

A Green party candidate has never won statewide here. Do you honestly think you—or any Green—could win?

As I see it, third parties win without winning elections.  Here’s how.

1)  Third parties offer bold solutions.  They’re not cautious and poll-driven.  For example, Social Security, ending of slavery, votes for women, unemployment insurance, etc.were first pushed by third parties.

2)  Third parties pressure major parties to adopt new platforms.  Regardless what we think of the Tea Party, they had the courage to risk Republican defeats to push the Republicans to the right.  There is seldom such courage on the political left.

3)  Third parties often serve constituents who are not yet born.  They are the first to raise unpopular questions about global warming, population increase, consumerism, and war.

4) Third parties become mainstream parties by losing, losing, losing, until they win.

You’re an advocate of community enrichment through local currency. How could that work, and how local are you talking?

Pennsylvania doesn’t have a budget problem, we have an imagination problem.  Money is just an agreement to trust tokens of trade.  Therefore, any network of people can create the money they need.  Pennsylvania and Philadelphia have thousands of trustworthy networks that could exchange local and regional cash.  So, for example, I’ve proposed Philadelphia ArtCash for the creative economy and MediCash for the Patch Adams clinic.  We already have Equal Dollars here.

Local currency stimulates local programs that seek grassroots control of land, law and money.

Wouldn’t local currency actually hurt the value of the dollar?

The strength of national currencies depends ultimately on the vitality of village and neighborhood economies, just as our lungs depend on millions of tiny air sacs.  Currently, dollars are in debt to nature, backed no longer by gold or silver but by trillions of national debt.  I believe that labor is the new gold standard– money backed by real people, real skills, real goods.

You’re working on opening a Patch Adams Free Clinic in Philadelphia. How is that going?

We’ve found hundreds of people eager to build and operate the clinic.  Right now we’re focused on raising funds to purchase 5 acres in North Philadelphia.  We’d then rely on sweat equity and in-kind donations to build, equip and staff.  It’s to be a co-op: we’re moving beyond charity to ownership.

What would you do to change the new health care law in Pennsylvania, if you were governor?

Medicare can be expanded to everyone without raising taxes, by building a genuinely nonprofit member-owned medical infrastructure.  In 1997 I started a member-owned health plan in Ithaca, NY, whose members paid $100 per year to be covered for an ever-expanding range of common emergencies.  The group now has its own free clinic. I’ve drafted legislation to enable this to happen in Pennsylvania.

Such nonprofit plans remove corporate greed from health care, whether HMOs of Obamacare.  So I also support the proposed Pennsylvania single-payer law.

I’d end the revolving door between insurance regulation and insurers.  I’ve written the book “A Crime Not a Crisis” detailing this corruption.

Based on previous elections, the Democratic party will probably try to get you knocked off the ballot—assuming you run. What’s the game plan to fight back, whether it’s you or another member of the Green party?

Our party will defend any package of signatures filed. The manner of that defense is determined by the Green Party of Pennsylvania.

The Green Party endorses the Voters’ Choice Act, which makes it easier for third parties to gain ballot status.

We’ll invite the Republican party to revive our republic, and the Democratic party to embrace democracy.

Lastly, you walked across the United States on foot in 1978. Why did you do that?

Green cities have been my passion for 35 years.  By age 30 I had read many books and written many articles, so the time came for primary research into America’s people and land.  This walk gave me time to think deeply, undisturbed by anything normal.  When I reached Los Angeles, 3,400 miles later, I wrote the book “Los Angeles: A History of the Future” and started the organization Citizen Planners of Los Angeles.

I’d note that 300 miles of my route crossed Pennsylvania, from Delaware Water Gap to the SW corner. Lots of friendly people and bears out there.

Follow @RandyLoBasso on Twitter 

17 dec 13 @ 8:16 pm est          Comments

Independent Green Party's Kimble Reynolds
Independent Green Party candidate for House of Delegates

Independent Green endorsee/nominee files to run in 11th House race 
Former Martinsville mayor and vice mayor and staffer for a congressman filed to run Wednesday in the upcoming special election for the 11th District House of Delegates race.

Kimble Reynolds Jr., 47, an attorney who lives in the Plantation Road area, filed paperwork with the Roanoke Voter Registrar on Wednesday morning, and he was certified as a candidate by the afternoon — just hours before the 5 p.m. deadline to get in the race. No other candidates had filed as of 4:50 p.m.

The election is set for Jan. 7.

Reynolds said he figured his last minute emergence might surprise the party candidates .

It did.

“I certainly love it when people are involved. This particular one seems a little bit puzzling to me,” said Rasoul. “Someone not from the area? I don’t know where that came from.”

Rasoul said he just plans to “stick to the issues, stay positive and run our race.”

Reynolds said the idea to run came up several weeks ago when some friends suggested he’d be a good candidate. 

All of the signatures on his petitions submitted Wednesday were gathered since Sunday, and his Declaration of Candidacy was notarized Sunday. Reynolds said he wasn’t waiting to see the primary results, he just didn’t have time to get the paperwork and petitions done before this week.

“I’m just offering myself with the credentials and experience that I have to bear on the position,” he said. He cited his work with the Virginia Municipal League and Virginia First Cities on top of his elected experience.

The job “is going to require some experience making tough decisions and establishing working relationships, and I have that experience,” he said.

“I think Sam [Rasoul] is a very strong candidate. He’s got good name recognition,” Reynolds said. “If anybody has sort of the uphill battle as far as name recognition goes, it would be me.”

Back in Martinsville, he’s been a major player.

After an unsuccessful run for the 16th District House of Delegates seat in 2003 — he pulled 38 percent of the vote against the incumbent — he was elected to the Martinsville City Council.

Reynolds served eight years on the council, including two years as appointed mayor and six years as vice mayor. He did not seek re-election in 2012, telling the Martinsville Bulletin newspaper he never intended to stay in office forever and that elected bodies always need “fresh blood.”

The Bulletin story noted that some suspected he no longer lived in Martinsville anyway. Reynolds said he still stayed half-time and sometimes more in an apartment attached to his law office, but that his wife worked in Pulaski and they were renting a house in Roanoke for a “convenient meeting point.”

Reynolds said Wednesday he’d rented a home in Roanoke for two years before buying a house about a year ago. Online real estate records show he bought a home just six houses away from the edge of the 11th district in November 2012. He still keeps his law offices, Kimble Reynolds & Associates, in Martinsville.

In 2009, he put his law practice on hold to serve as regional director for the congressional office of Tom Perriello, of Albemarle County Democrat who served one term representing the 5th District.

According to a 2009 Virginia Tech news release about him being recognized as the Pamplin College of Business’s Distinguished Alumnus Award, he earned a degree in marketing management from Tech in 1988 and a master’s degree in health and physical education from the school in 1995. He earned his law degree from Washington and Lee University School of Law in 1993.

17 dec 13 @ 12:06 pm est          Comments

Monday, December 16, 2013

Common Sense Independent Greens - bang for the buck investment

Independent Greens call attention to study showing green investment creates more Jobs!

Robert Pollin is Professor of Economics and founding Co-Director of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His research centers on macroeconomics, conditions for low-wage workers in the U.S. and globally, the analysis of financial markets, and the economics of building a clean-energy economy in the U.S. Most recently, he co-authored the reports Job Opportunities for the Green Economy (June 2008) and Green Recovery(September 2008), exploring the broader economic benefits of large-scale investments in a clean-energy economy in the U.S. He has worked with the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Economic Commission on Africa on policies to promote to promote decent employment expansion and poverty reduction in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. He has also worked with the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress and as a member of the Capital Formation Subcouncil of the U.S. Competiveness Policy Council. 

 POLLIN: More than double the number of jobs are created with investment in Green jobs. . And the reason--there's no abracadabra here. It's very straightforward. If you spend $1 million on something, how you get a differential number of job creation depends on, number one, the amount of money that you spend on people. If you spend more on people and relatively less on equipment, relatively less on land, buildings, energy, then you'll get more jobs. So it's--the term islabor intensive. When you spend more on education, it's more labor intensive--more of what you do is spent on people. The other factor that is crucial is how much do you spend in the domestic economy versus outside the U.S.? So, clearly, with the military a relatively high proportion is spent outside the U.S., so you create fewer jobs within the U.S., whereas in education, in the green economy, in infrastructure, in health care, a relatively higher proportion is spent in the U.S. And so those two factors, labor-intensity and relative domestic content (the amount spent in the U.S.), will generate more jobs for a given amount of spending.

16 dec 13 @ 9:01 pm est          Comments

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Independent Green Party Conservatives

Time to Put Conservation Back in Conservatism


I used to be what you might call a “conservative.” While an economics student at Georgetown, I believed that progress was the removal of government oversight and barriers to trade. I believed in the power of the unfettered market to solve all problems. 

Yet as I began a career at a preeminent polling firm, I began to suspect that my livelihood was hardly conservative. I spent my days recasting palm oil as a “green” product, shilling for a coal company, and greenwashing the image of a Detroit automaker. What, exactly, was I conserving? Shareholder value? Corporate profits? I now realize there was nothing remotely conservative about my views. They were scientifically-uninformed. They were radical.

Let’s take a step back. What were the original conservatives conserving? Many thinkers in the late eighteenth century were troubled by the excesses of revolutionary fervor. In particular, British parliamentarian Edmund Burke was alarmed by the violent reordering of society in France. He said society ought to be a “partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born.” Conservative intellectual Russell Kirk, in his authoritative review of Burke in The Conservative Mind, wrote about the conservative impulse to preserve the “permanent things.”

If that’s the measure of a conservative, then today’s conservatives are failing at the task. “Drill, baby, drill” appears to be the height of their moral vision, a vision dismissive of ecology, biology, and the limits of physics. In the more than 200 years since the first conservatives took to the pen against the Jacobin excesses of the French Revolution, advocates of laissez-faire economic policy have themselves ascended to utopian heights. This takeover of conservative thought by market fundamentalists has ushered in nothing short of a Reign of Terror against the environment. Short-term corporate interests are placed above the interests of humans today and, especially, humans tomorrow. Their fanatical mantra is: “nothing above The Market, nothing against The Market, nothing outside The Market.” The intellectual rigor that once called for prudence has yielded to an ideological fervor that accelerates ecological collapse.

Who, then, are the real heirs of the conservative disposition? Quite simply: environmentalists. And I’m not talking about conservatives who paint themselves green like Rod Dreher, author of Crunchy Cons, who offers a vague “cultural sensibility” instead of any policy ideas. Dreher recently reposted Senator Rand Paul’s claim to be a “crunchy conservative.” I’m unconvinced that Paul’s home composting makes up for his efforts to limit the EPA’s power.

In contrast to the voluntary conservation measures advocated by the crunchy conservatives, a realconservative (an environmentalist) respects Burke’s vision of a society with intergenerational responsibility, which is essential for a habitable planet. This is an effort that will necessarily require top-down regulation, not just optional lifestyle preferences. A real conservative is sparked to action by atmospheric CO2 concentrations that are higher than at any time in our species’ history. A real conservative confronts the Reign of Terror that unfettered capitalism has unleashed upon “permanent things” like aquifers, oceans, and forests.

We environmentalists ought to reclaim the word conservative and use it proudly to describe our movement. Arch conservative William F. Buckley Jr. said a conservative is someone who stands “athwart history, yelling ‘stop.’” Why, then, are environmentalists alone in their skepticism toward unfettered capitalism in a closed system called Earth?

George Will was wrong; environmentalism is hardly “red.” It relies more on conservative caution and less on dreamy predictions about history’s inevitable path toward material progress. In contrast, faux conservatives are today’s revolutionary utopians pursuing a “workers’ paradise” for the One-Percent.

I became an environmentalist because I am inspired by the original conservative impulse against utopian radicalism. I’m a conservative because I am an environmentalist.

Bjorn Philip Beer is a writer in Charlottesville, Virginia. He worked at the polling firm Penn, Schoen & Berland, and at the Center for the Study of the Presidency before leaving the Beltway for good.

15 dec 13 @ 2:55 pm est          Comments

Independent Green Party for tax dollars and troops home now.

 Independent Green Party - Bring'em home now

With 196 nations in the world and U.S. troops already in at least 177 of them, there aren't all that many available to make war against. Yet it looks like both Syria and Iran will be spared any major Western assault for the moment.  Could this become a trend?  Is peace on the horizon?  Are celebrations of Nelson Mandela's nonviolence sincere? 

The glitch in this optimistic little photo-shopped storyline starts with an A and rhymes with Shmafghanistan.

The U.S. public has been telling pollsters we want all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan "as soon as possible" for years now. We're spending $10 million per hour, and $81 billion in the new annual budget, on an operation that many top officials and experts have said generates hostility toward our country.  The chief cause of death for U.S. troops in this operation is suicide. 

And now, at long last, we have an important (and usually quite corrupt) politician on our side, responding to public pressure and ready -- after 12 years -- to shut down Operation Enduring ... and Enduring and Enduring.

Oddly, this politician's name is not President Barack Obama.  When Obama became president, there were 32,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.  He escalated to over 100,000 troops, plus contractors. Now there are 47,000 troops these five years later.  Measured in financial cost, or death and destruction, Afghanistan is more President Obama's war than President Bush's.  Now the White House is trying to keep troops in Afghanistan until "2024 and beyond."

Sadly, the politician who has taken our side is not in Washington at all.  There are a few Congress Members asking for a vote, but most of their colleagues are silent.  When Congress faced the question of missiles into Syria, and the question was front-and-center on our televisions, the public spoke clearly.  Members of both parties, in both houses of Congress, said they heard from more people, more passionately, and more one-sidedly than ever before. 

But on the question of another decade "and beyond" in Afghanistan, the question has not been presented to Congress or the public, and we haven't yet found the strength to raise it ourselves.  Yet someone has managed to place himself on our side, namely Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Like the Iraqi government before him, Karzai is refusing to agree to an ongoing occupation with U.S. forces immune from prosecution under Afghan laws.  Before signing off on an ongoing military presence, Karzai says he would like the U.S. to stop killing civilians and stop kicking in people's doors at night.  He'd like the U.S. to engage in peace negotiations.  He'd like Afghan prisoners freed from Guantanamo.  (Of the 17 still there, 4 have long since been cleared for release but not released; none has been convicted of any crime.) And he'd like the U.S. not to sabotage the April 2014 Afghan elections. 

Whatever we think of Karzai's legacy -- my own appraisal is unprintable -- these are remarkably reasonable demands.  And at least as far as U.S. public opinion goes, here at long last is a post-invasion ruler actually engaged in spreading democracy. 

What about the Afghans? Should we "abandon" them? We told pollsters we wanted to send aid to Syria, not missiles.  Humanitarian aid to Afghanistan -- or to the entire world, for that matter, including our own country -- would cost a fraction of what we spend on wars and war preparations (51.4% of the new federal budget), and could quite easily make us the most beloved nation on earth.  I bet we'd favor that course of action if we were asked -- or if we manage to both raise the question and answer it.

15 dec 13 @ 2:50 pm est          Comments

Green Party for fiscally conservative cuts in Defense spending waste

Green Party for saving tax dollars 

 From Green Shadow cabinet member David Swanson

Peace in the Pentagon

I'm a huge fan of peace studies as an academic discipline that should be spread into every corner of what we call, with sometimes unclear justification, our education system.  But often peace studies, like other disciplines, manages to study only those far from home, and to study them with a certain bias. 

I recently read a book promoting the sophisticated skills of trained negotiators and suggesting that if such people, conversant in the ways of emotional understanding, would take over the Palestine "peace process" from the aging politicians, then ... well, basically, then Palestinians would agree to surrender their land and rights without so much fuss.  Great truths about negotiation skills only go so far if the goal of the negotiation is injustice based on misunderstanding of the facts on the ground.

I recently read another book discussing nonviolent resistance to injustice and brutality. It focused on a handful of stories of how peace was brought to various poor tribes and nations, usually through careful, respectful, and personal approaches, that appeased some tyrant's ego while moving him toward empathy.  These books are valuable, and it is good that they are proliferating.  But they always leave me wondering whether the biggest war-maker on earth is left out because war isn't war when Westerners do it, or is it, rather, because the military industrial complex requires a different approach.  How many decades has it been since a U.S. president sat down and listened to opponents of militarism?  Does the impossibility of such a thing remove it from our professors' consideration?

Here in Virginia's Fifth District, a bunch of us met with our then-Congressman Tom Perriello a few years back and sought respectfully and persuasively to bring him to oppose and stop funding the war on Afghanistan.  Perriello was and is, in some quarters, considered some sort of "progressive" hero. I've never understood why.  He did not listen.  Why?  We had majority opinion with us.  Was it because we lacked the skills?  Was it because of his sincere belief in so-called humanitarian wars?  Or was it something else?  The New York Times on Friday reported on the corruption of the organization where Perriello was hired immediately upon his electoral defeat.  The Center for American Progress takes funding from weapons companies and supports greater public funding of weapons companies.  The Democratic National Committee gave Perriello's reelection campaign a bunch of money just after one of his votes for a bill containing war money and a bank bailout (he seemed to oppose the latter).  White House officials and cabinet secretaries did public events with Perriello in his district just after his vote.

I know another member of Congress who wants to end wars and cut military spending, but when I ask this member's staff to stop talking about social safety net cuts as if they only hurt veterans rather than all people I can't even make my concern -- that of glorifying veterans as more valuable -- understood.  It's like talking to a brick military base.

My friend David Hartsough was one, among others, who spoke with President John Kennedy when he was President, urged him toward peace and believed he listened.  That didn't work out well for President Kennedy, or for peace.  When Gorbachev was ready to move the Soviet Union toward peace, President Ronald Reagan wasn't.  Was that because of sincere, well-meaning, if misguided notions of security?  Or was it senility, stupidity, and stubbornness?  Or was it something else?  Was it a system that wouldn't allow it?  Was something more than personal persuasion on the substance of the matter needed?  Was a new way of funding elections and communicating campaign slogans required first?  Would peace studies have to revise its approach if it noticed the existence of the Pentagon?

Of course, I think the answer is some of each.  I think reducing military spending a little will allow us to be heard a little more clearly, which will allow us to reduce military spending a little further, and so on.  And part of the reason why I think it's both and not purely "structural" is the opposition to war that brews up within the U.S. military -- as it did on missile strikes for Syria this past summer.  Sometimes members of the military oppose, protest, or even resist wars.

Another type of book that has proliferated madly is the account of military veterans' activism in the peace movement during the Bush presidency -- with always a bit on what survived of that movement into the reign of the Nobel Peace Laureate Constitutional Law Professor President.  I've just read a good one of these books called Fighting For Peace: Veterans and Military Families in the Anti-Iraq War Movement by Lisa Leitz.  This book, as well as any of them, provides insights into the difficulties faced by military and veteran peace activists, and military family member peace activists, as well as the contributions they've made.  I've become an associate (non-veteran) member of Veterans For Peace and worked for that group and with other groups like Iraq Veterans Against the War and Military Families Speak Out because of the tremendous job they've done.  The non-military peace movement needs to work ever harder at welcoming and encouraging and supporting military and veteran peace activism.  And vice versa. 

Different risks are involved.  Different emotions are involved.  Would you march against a war if it might ruin your own or a loved one's career?  To stretch the definition of war-maker a little, would you take a job with Lockheed-Martin if you oppose war?  What if you oppose war but your child is in the military -- would you be proud of his or her success and advancement into an elite murder team?  Should you not be proud of your child? 

The contributions of military and former military peace activists have been tremendous: the throwing back of medals, the memorials and cemeteries erected in protest and grief, the reenactment of war scenes on the streets, the testimony confessing to crimes no one wants to prosecute.  New people have been reached and opinions changed.  And yet, I want to say there is a downside.

Most peace activists have never been in the military.  Most books about peace activists are about the military ones.  This distorts and diminishes our understanding of what we're doing.  Most victims in our wars -- and I mean statistically almost all of them -- are on the other side, but most writing done about victims is about the U.S. military ones (assuming aggressors are victims).  The giant cemeteries representing the dead in Iraq are orders of magnitude too small to be accurate.  This severely distorts our understanding of one-sided slaughters, allowing the continuation of the myth of war as a contest between two armies. 

Eliminating war would logically involve eliminating the war-making machine, but veteran and military opponents of war, more often than others, want the military preserved and used for good ends.  Is that because it makes sense or because of personal identification?  Nationalism is driving wars, but military peace activists tend, more than others, to favor "good patriotism" or "true patriotism."  Must a peace movement that ought to celebrate international law and cooperation follow that lead? 

Leitz quotes Maureen Dowd claiming that veterans have "moral authority" to oppose war, unlike -- apparently -- those who have opposed war for a longer period of time or more consistently.  Imagine applying that logic to some other offense, such as child abuse.  We don't suggest that reformed child abusers have the greatest moral authority to oppose child abuse.  What about shoplifting?  Do reformed shoplifters have the greatest authority to oppose shoplifting?  I think that in any such situation, the former participants have a particular type of perspective.  But I think there's another valuable perspective in those who have opposed a crime.  Some veterans, of course, were in the military before I was born and have worked for the abolition of war longer than I've breathed.  I don't think their past diminishes them in any way.  I also don't think it does what Dowd thinks it does.

Dowd's idea may be that some wars are good and some bad, so we should trust those who've taken part in wars to make the distinction.  I'd disagree with the conclusion even if I agreed with the premise.  I don't think it's a premise the peace movement should accept.  Peace is as incompatible with some wars as it is with all wars. 

Accounts like Fighting for Peace bring out the segregation of military from civilian culture in the United States, a product of standing armies and standing foreign bases.  I once spoke on a panel with a Democratic veteran candidate for Congress who thankfully lost but who advocated for everyone joining the military so that everyone would be familiar with what the military was.  I have another proposal: everyone join civilian life, close the bases, dismantle the weapons, disassemble the ships, put solar panels on the runways, and give the Pentagon a new role to play.  I think it would make a fine roller skating rink.

In the meantime, we should try to understand and work with each other to reduce the military, and that requires doing so without promoting it or joining it. 

15 dec 13 @ 12:40 pm est          Comments

Green Party of Canada doubles members in legislature

Green Party growth

OTTAWA — Persistence has paid off for Elizabeth May, who doubled the size of her caucus Friday when independent MP Bruce Hyer formally announced he was going Green.

The former New Democrat broke the news to constituents in Thunder Bay-Superior North, alongside his new leader.

In prepared remarks, Hyer said he had been wooed by both Liberals and the NDP, but concluded they were “too hyper-partisan” and unwilling to allow him to vote on policy according to his conscience and in what he felt were the best interests of his constituents.

“I will never represent any party that ‘whips’ voting by their MPs, especially on issues not clearly laid out in agreed-upon written policy or platforms,” he said. “There is only one party that whips few if any votes, as long as their six basic principles are followed. I believe in those six basic principles and I am not concerned that Elizabeth and I will disagree on some votes. We already have.”


As a member of the Green party, Hyer said he’ll enjoy the best of both worlds: “independent-plus” status. He will be free to vote as he likes on legislation and will maintain the same quota of questions and statements in the House of Commons.

“Plus I will have access to the resources of a well-organized and established party with high-quality researchers and a network of experts in many fields,” he said.

In a recent interview, Hyer noted that’s been one of the biggest challenges in the 21 months since he quit first the NDP caucus and then the party. He said it was becoming far too time-consuming for him to research and read every piece of legislation, whether it has to do with his areas of expertise or not. Running for re-election, he said, is also far more difficult without the support of a well-funded party.

In the end, and after some convincing, he decided the Green party has the “best leader” and the “best platform,” although he said he looks forward to “tweaking it a bit” before the next election.

The Jack Layton loyalist left the NDP caucus to sit as an independent days after he was left out of newly elected leader Tom Mulcair’s shadow cabinet in April 2012. It was the final straw in what had become an increasingly tense relationship. Hyer had been punished the previous fall for voting in favour of a Conservative bill to scrap the long-gun registry, contrary to the wishes of his party, but in the interest, he felt, of his constituents.

“I don’t know how he stood it as long as he did,” May said in an interview, adding that one of her party’s “core values” is “grassroots democracy.”

“The primary responsibility of a member of Parliament is to represent their constituents,” she said.

While they don’t see eye-to-eye on everything — May, for instance, voted to save the long-gun registry — they both support democratic reform and are champions of Conservative Michael Chong’s private member’s bill to limit the power of party leaders.

Their backgrounds are also similar, both having been born in the U.S. and growing up just five miles apart in Connecticut, although they didn’t meet until much later, in Canada, when they became involved in environmental issues. They’ve been friends since then and May was also a big supporter of Hyer’s private member’s bill on climate change before she entered Parliament. The bill famously won the approval of the elected House of Commons, but was killed in the Senate.

“I am, of course, overjoyed to have doubled the size of caucus,” she said. “(But) it’s more than that. Together we’re going to be able to do something to improve the health of Parliament as a whole.”

She hopes they will be able to show other MPs that parties can function and have policies while serving the interests of their constituents and without feeling a “sense of going rogue or maverick.”

Noting that there are “so many unhappy MPs in all the other caucuses who are tired of party discipline” — many of whom she has courted — she said there’s “every possibility” others may join, though wasn’t aware of any imminent moves. 

15 dec 13 @ 12:38 pm est          Comments

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Green Party leaders in Washington DC to call for spending cuts
Join Green Party leaders at the Capitol in DC on Tuesday December 10 - International Human Rights Day. Greens are calling for major cuts (25 to 50%) in runaway military spending in order to meet dire needs at home - in human services, jobs, and the environment.

The Green Shadow Cabinett will hold a news conference at 10 AM at Congressman John Conyers' office, 2426 Rayburn House Office Building. (Allow a half hour to get through security.) Peace, anti-poverty, environmental,and community activists will speak at the press conference, highlighting critical community needs that should be funded instead of dangerous and wasteful military spending.  Please contact Mark Dunlea (dunleamark@aol.com518 860-3725) if your organization is interested in speaking.

There will also be a group photo op for those who'd like to participate, from 9:20 - 9:30 AM at the Capitol's East Front, House Triangle, near Independence Ave. SE and New Jersey Ave.

We encourage people to bring pictures or drawings of something you personally are sacrificing in order to maintain the massive military spending that Congress is planning. Bring it folded in a pocket or back pack. Larger signs are not allowed inside the Capitol complex.

After the news conference the groups will deliver copies of a sign-on letter and petitions to members of the Congressional budget committee, particularly chairpersons Sen. Murray and Rep. Ryan.Please consider setting up appointments to meet with your own Congress members in addition. More than 120 organizations have signed the letter and more than 6,500 people have signed the petition. Please share the petition with colleagues and friends so we  can reach 10,000 signers byTuesday.

Media reports indicate that the budget committee is nearing a two year deal to be voted on Dec. 13.  The deal would boost military spending by reducing the cuts under sequestration by half.  Meanwhile the deep cuts in SNAP will not only continue but will be become larger.

Please urge your members to contact Sen. Murray and other key congressional members to tell them to cut the Pentagon so we can feed the people.

Groups initiating the campaign include the Backbone CampaignCoalition Against NukesCode PinkFellowship of ReconciliationFreepress.orgHunger Action Network of NYS; Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in SpaceGreen Shadow CabinetHip Hop CongressLiberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic RevolutionNo FEAR CoalitionOrganic Consumers AssociationPoor People’s Economic Human Rights CampaignPopularResistance.orgRoots Action; and US Labor Against War.
Mark Dunlea, NY Hunger Action
Cheri Honkala, Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign
Jill Stein, Green Shadow Cabinet
David Swanson, Roots Action
Joseph P. Oddo Indpendent Greens 
10 dec 13 @ 6:37 am est          Comments

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Green Party - Doubling in Size


Green Party about to double in size

Elizabeth May and the Green Party of Canada could soon be getting a much needed boost.

According to the Chronicle Journal, independent MP Bruce Hyer is poised to join a political party, but won't announce which one until Dec. 13.

Sources said Hyer is going to join the Green Party, which only has one member in the House of Commons — British Columbia MP Elizabeth May.

Hyer, a self-described biologist/ecologist/environmentalist, left the NDP caucus in April 2012 saying that he refuses to be told how to vote.

In the summer of 2012, he was a keynote speaker at the Green Party policy convention on Vancouver Island.

Here's some of what he had to say:

I will no longer represent any party that "whips" (mandates) voting by their MPs, especially on issues not clearly laid out in agreed-upon written policies or platforms. Which means that none of the three main political parties is currently an option for me.

I truly believe that a Parliament with more Green MP’s will be a better Parliament. We need more Green MP’s desperately.

I have gone over your platform, your Green VISION, with a fine-toothed comb. I found little to disagree with, and much to admire and support.

You have a fantastic platform. You have the best platform!

You have an amazing leader. She is showing how a political leader can put Canada first. Canadians first. The environment first. I am proud to call her a fellow Parliamentarian.

If you're still not convinced of Hyer's green intentions, remember that he — the MP from Thunder BaySuperior North — publicly endorsed Green candidates in both the Victoria and Calgary Centre federal byelections last year.

[ Related: Is Elizabeth May’s leadership hurting her party’s future prospects? ]

The doubling of the Green caucus — should it happen — is good timing for the party's leader. After a strong 2011 and 2012 in Parliament, May's momentum has stalled in 2013.

In October, the National Post attacked her leadership style.

Ms. May has not held herself to the standard that Canadians should expect from a federal party leader.

Ms. May has, at least twice in the past, tweeted about the purported dangers of Wi-Fi networks — a claim for which there is virtually no credible evidence, and much evidence to the contrary.

Ms. May...spent weeks last year ominously warning Canadians that our government was selling out the country by signing a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement with China. She tweeted out such alarmist statements as “18 days til we lose Canada” and “our survival as a country is at stake.” (Update: We’re still here.)

Abacus Data CEO David Coletto suggested that May and her Greens have some serious issues that they need to address.

"The Green Party leader is having a tough time staying relevant since the main parties have co-opted its agenda. Her actions only make it more difficult for people to take the Green Party seriously," Coletto told Yahoo Canada News in October.

"What does the Green Party stand for? How is it different from the NDP or Liberals? While it's previous leader, Jim Harris, positioned the party as a pro-business environmentally-conscious party, May has taken the Greens to the fringe and pushed strange issues. Her actions only contribute to this perception among Canadians."

[ Related: Peter Stoffer, Elizabeth May honoured at Parliamentarians of the Year gala event ]

Despite all that, May does have a lot of things going for her. She's revered by her party members, was recently named Hardest Working MP by her peers and still punches well above her weight in terms of getting media attention.

And if she does indeed get Hyer on her team, she gives the Greens a fresh start heading into 2014 and beyond.

Hyer could just be the best Christmas gift the Greens get all year.



8 dec 13 @ 6:41 pm est          Comments

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Green Party - Bring American Troops and Tax dollars home now!

Green Party - Save lives and tax dollars

Bring troops and tax dollars home from Afghanistan now!

The zero option should be a zero brainer.

The zero option is a plan to leave zero U.S. troops in Afghanistan after December 2014.

The other option, which has never been named, could be called the “let’s break our promise to the American people and keep 10,000-16,000 troops in Afghanistan until at least 2024 at a cost of $80 billion or so” option.

One would think the Obama administration would favor the zero option.

At a campaign rally at the University of Colorado Boulder on Sept. 2, 2012, President Obama said: “We are bringing our troops home from Afghanistan. And I’ve set a timetable. We will have them all out of there by 2014.”

Obama was running for reelection, and he knew that every word he said would be examined closely. So I thought that when he said “We will have them all out of there by 2014” he meant “We will have them all out of there by 2014.”

Silly me.

Obama now wants to keep thousands of our fighting forces, plus NATO troops, in Afghanistan in four bases, where they can carry out counterterrorism missions and “instruct” (shades of Vietnam) the Afghan army.

Which means that the Afghanistan War, already the longest in U.S. history at just over 12 years in duration, will stretch to an incredible 22 years at a minimum.

That is one long war.

The war in Afghanistan has already cost us about half a trillion dollars. More than 2,000 Americans have been killed in hostile action and more than 19,000 wounded. Thousands of civilians have also been killed.

Our stated mission has been accomplished. Afghanistan is our “good” war. We invaded after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, in order to disrupt, destroy or disperse Al Qaeda terrorists and topple the Taliban government of Afghanistan that was sheltering them.

And we did it. We did it so successfully, in fact, that in 2010, then-CIA chief Leon Panetta said the number of Al Qaeda members in Afghanistan had been reduced to “maybe 50 to 100, maybe less.”

The Taliban is no longer in power in Afghanistan. A United Nations report released last month estimated that between 10,000 and 12,000 members of the Taliban had been killed, captured or wounded in the past year.

The report also said that 2013 had not seen “significant gains for the Taliban, who have neither managed to seize population centers nor gain popular support.” The Taliban has also indicated some willingness to enter into peace talks and end the fighting.

So why don’t we say “mission accomplished” and bring our troops home?

True, there are things our forces can still do in Afghanistan such as counterterrorism, which is not to be confused with counterinsurgency. Counterinsurgency is when you try to win the hearts and minds of the enemy. Counterterrorism is when you kill the enemy and then try to win their hearts and minds.

Our mission that killed Osama bin Laden was counterterrorism. It was highly successful, though highly dangerous. (Bin Laden was sheltering in Pakistan, a country we pay $1 billion per year to conduct its own counterterrorism. But somehow the Pakistanis overlooked bin Laden year after year. Go figure.)

White House press secretary Jay Carney recently promised that if Afghanistan agrees to let us stay for the next decade or so, “You will not see U.S. troops patrolling mountains or cities, in that circumstance, if an agreement is reached.”

But our troops will not be sitting around playing video games. They will all continue to be in harm’s way, and some will continue aggressive and dangerous missions. We will have casualties.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he would be happy to see us go, but I doubt it. The billions we lavish on him each year amount to half his government’s expenditures.

Recently he has been biting the hand that feeds him, but that is only because he wants to get fed more. He knows the Obama administration does not want the zero option, it does not want to leave Afghanistan, so Karzai can talk tough.

“There’s a mistrust between me and the Americans,” Karzai said in a speech a few weeks ago at the Polytechnical University of Kabul. “They don’t trust me, and I don’t trust them.”

What does Karzai want? “We want the Americans to respect our sovereignty and laws and be an honest partner,” he said. And then Karzai delivered his punch line: “And bring a lot of money.” The crowd roared with laughter.

And why shouldn’t they laugh at us? We are begging to stay and prop up one of the most corrupt governments in the world. In July, Transparency International released its annual “sleaze” ratings, and once again Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia tied for the most corrupt country on earth.

Is this the neighborhood we want to stay in? And fight for? And throw more money at?

We have achieved our goals in Afghanistan. We have won. It is time for our troops to come home.

If we stay for another decade, our good war could come to a very bad end.

Roger Simon is POLITICO’s chief political columnist.

Read more:
7 dec 13 @ 8:34 am est          Comments

Laura Wells Green Party candidate

Green Party candidate Laura Wells

“NO CORPORATE MONEY” Movement Poised To Replace Corporate Controlled Candidates.

Green Party candidate Laura Wells of Califormia has been sending these messages on the 3rd of every month since August 3, to remind everyone that in the California primary election on June 3, 2014 we have a very real chance to upset the status quo and create a more equal state for ALL Californians.

The way we will do this is by committing "Electoral Disobedience” to build people power by voting only for a new wave of “No Corporate Money” candidates who answer to the people, not corporations. California's new "top two" primary has lots of problems but one big possibility: any voter can vote for any candidate regardless of political party. Be sure to cast your vote, but not for corporate-funded candidates. If they win, corporations win, not you.

And so the Green Party reated the No Corporate Money Campaign.

Here are 2 easy ways to be a part of the Green Party movement to take back our state:

(1) If you agree that corporations have too much influence in our government, then please make a donation — of whatever you can afford — to the “No Corporate Money” Campaign.

Commit to support only candidates that will represent you, not the 1%. How can you tell which is which? Look for the “No Corporate Money” brand. By organizing a critical mass of candidates and voters, we can change course to a better reality for our state.

In sharp contrast to the corporate candidates, we don't need millions. With several big donations of $500 or more, many small donations of $50 or more, and a whole bunch of encouraging $5 donations, we'll be on our way to building that critical mass. We are grateful for ALL donations! Together we can stand up to those that continue to put profit before humanity and the planet and we will do it using the power and laws we already have!


(2) My campaign for STATE CONTROLLER is growing and joining in solidarity with other no-corporate-money candidates who are also stepping up and running for office, like author/activist Luis Rodriguez for Governor, Ellen Brown for Treasurer, David Curtisfor Secretary of State, and many more. Many others are sharing our vision and giving their time and talent, and supporting us with financial contributions! 

As a State Controller who takes no corporate money, I will stand up to the Wall Street bankers and insist they gamble with their own money from now on. With a State Bank for California, we can create a bank that will partner with local banks and credit unions, providing good loans to homeowners, students, and small businesses. We will keep the interest low, and keep it in the state, to invest in California, not Wall Street.

Your financial contribution helps me spread the word about solutions, and lets people know that their voices and their votes can make a huge difference in the June 3 primary election.

If you would like to donate to my campaign, please click HERE.

Like my Facebook page:

Follow me on Twitter  @WellsController

Thank you for all you do!

Laura Wells for Controller 2014
7 dec 13 @ 8:29 am est          Comments

Green Party calls for common sense spending cuts

Conservative Green Party calls for common sense spending cuts. 

Thank you for signing the petition calling for deep cuts in wasteful, harmful military spending in order to meet dire needs at home.

In follow up, please contact Senator Patty Murray, lead Democrat on the joint budget conference committee. A bad deal is nearing completion. So please call ASAP - today or tomorrow!

Unfortunately, the committee negotiating the Dec. 13th budget resolution is going in the opposite direction from what the American people want and need, focusing on how torestore most of the nominal Pentagon Cuts (scheduled to be $45 billion)!

We’re calling on Congress to change course:

“As part of the Dec. 13th budget resolution, please cut military spending by at least 25 to 50%. We need to create a peace dividend to reinvest in America, providing jobs, dealing with climate change, and protecting our safety net and domestic programs.”

Call Sen. Patty Murray, the lead Democrat on the committee: (202) 224-2621 toll free: (866) 481-9186

Or call your own Congress member, especially if they are on the joint conference committee. Find Congress member.

Please circulate this alert - and the links to the petition and sign on letter (sign here) - to your friends, co-workers, neighbors.

On the Senate side, the conferees are the full Senate Budget Committee:

  • Democrats – Committee Chair Patty Murray (WA), Ron Wyden (OR), Bill Nelson (FL), Debbie Stabenow (MI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Mark Warner (VA), Jeff Merkley (OR), Chris Coons (DE), Tammy Baldwin (WI), Tim Kaine (VA) and Angus King (I-ME)

  • Republicans – Committee Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (AL), Chuck Grassley (IA), Mike Enzi (WY), Mike Crapo (ID), Lindsey Graham (SC), Pat Toomey (PA), Ron Johnson (WI), Kelly Ayotte (NH) and Roger Wicker (MS).

And on the House side, the conferees will be:

  • Republicans – House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (WI), Tom Cole (OK), Tom Price (GA), and Diane Black (TN).

  • Democrats – House Budget Committee ranking member Chris Van Hollen (MD), Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (SC), and Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey (NY).

Thanks for standing up for People, Peace and the Planet!


~ David Swanson, Secretary of Peace, Green Shadow Cabinet

~ Mark Dunlea, NY Hunger Action

~ Jill Stein, President, Green Shadow Cabinet 

7 dec 13 @ 8:26 am est          Comments

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Green Party - Cut wasteful spending

eed the People, not the Pentagon, on Dec. 13

"Do we want to feed people hungry people or feed the weapons industry? It's critical to show that we, as a people, choose food, education and green energy over bombs," said Medea Benjamin of Code Pink. 

That is the choice that Congress has to make on December 13 as part of the budget resolution process agreed to to end the recent shutdown of the federal government. Right now, Congress plans to feed the Pentagon, focusing on how to reduce the $50 billion cut in Pentagon spending mandated under sequestration - out of a budget that runs between $650 billion and a trillion, depending on how and what you count. 

Peace, human service, and community groups have launched a campaign to call upon Congress to enact deep cuts in the military budget (at least 25% to 50%) as part of the December 13 resolution. Groups initiating the campaign include the Backbone Campaign Coalition Against Nukes Code Pink Fellowship of Reconciliation Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space ;Green Shadow Cabinet Hip Hop Congress Hunger Action Network of NYSLiberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution No FEAR Coalition Organic Consumers Association ;Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign ; and Roots Action . (Here is the open letter). 

The group wants Congress to focus on providing jobs for the 25 million plus who need them. Other spending priorities include: 

- Adequately funding critical social needs, including food stamps, Social Security, improved and expanded Medicare for all, and public education including college,  

-- Creating a full employment public jobs program to jump start the green economy (a Green New Deal) - making wars for oil obsolete and rescuing our climate future. We need to ramp up investment in clean renewable energy to $300 billion annually. and,

- Rebuilding vital infrastructure.

Jill Stein, Green Shadow Cabinet president, noted, "After $5 trillion and a decade spent on bloody military excess, with no real gains for democracy, security or stability - it's time to put these resources where we need them, including an emergency full-employment program to jumpstart the Green economy, halt climate change and make wars for oil obsolete." 

On December 7, we will observe the 72 ndanniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor which propelled the United States into WWII. Before WWII, the country demilitarized and sent the troops home after every war. This time, the U.S. decided to create a permanent army, transitioning into the Cold War with the Soviet Union and the threat to capitalism. President Eisenhower, the former chief of the Allied forces, famously warned America to guard against giving allowing the military-industrial complex to gain too much power and money as a threat to our democracy.

It is time for Congress to end America's constant war after WWII and demilitarize, re-investing the hundreds of billions of dollars in savings into rebuilding America. Putting people back to work - like FDR did with the WPA public jobs program during the Great Depression.

As usual, the biggest challenge isn't convincing voters, it is convincing Congress to side with taxpayers rather than campaign contributors. A Feb. 25, 2013 poll by The Hill found that forty-nine percent of respondents would support cutting military spending, while just 23 percent said they would support slashing Social Security and Medicare. The Washington Post/ Bloomberg News Poll ( October 6-9, 2011) found that 51% support reducing military spending in order to reduce the nation's budget deficit. Americans on average want to reduce military spending by18 percent 

Cutting the military budget in half would reduce it to where it was before 9/11 -- when it was way too high.  The amount of money spent on the US military is a crime against humanity. It steals our children's future and it oppresses people across our planet. We spend almost as much on the military as the rest of the world combined -- and most of the other big military spenders are our allies. Our military spending is six times that of China -- though their population is three times as big. 

Ralph Nader has become one of the most vocal critics of the enormous military budget. " The end of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the move of much of our manufacturing to a beckoning China raises the question -- since we no longer have major adversaries, why is the overall military budget larger than ever -- taking over half the discretionary expenditures of the federal government? Our country needs to rollback the Empire, really cut the so-called defense budget and apply those monies to repairing and rebuilding our public works with good paying green jobs everywhere that cannot be exported." 

There are many ways to cut military spending. The campaign has outlined 10 key areas. 

Fraud, waste and abuse is rampant in the military. More savings are possible if we changed the purpose of military spending from world domination to the traditional position of defending our national borders. Even greater savings would be possible if we adopted a cooperative approach based on mutual security and respect and worldwide improvements in quality of life. Nuclear disarmament would save $60 billion plus annually -- and make the world a much safer place. 

Ever wonder why the U.S. spends tens of billions of our tax dollars to continue build tanks and planes that the generals don't want, that end up being mothballed on parking lots in the deserts because there is no need for them? Because military contractors make sure to spend tax dollars in every Congressional district in the country. 

There were numerous examples of war profiteering involving billions of dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan by firms such as Halliburton and Blackwater/XE/KBR. Congress turned a blind eye. 

The military budget is so out of control and government oversight is so lax that the federal government has given up trying to audit it. There was an effort late in the Clinton administration to start reconciling transactions with documentation in the Department of Defense. They audited $7 trillion in transactions and found that they could not justify $2.3 trillion of it. 

We build weapons to fight long ago wars that will never happen again. We continue to build weapons system because contractors make money building them. Various armed services waste tens of billions arming themselves with competing and duplicative copies of the same weapons (e.g., Joint Striker Fighter jets). The Pentagon gets rid of tens of billions of "surplus equipment", often in new condition, for pennies on the dollar, while spending enormous amount to replace the equipment. 

Cutting Pentagon overhead for its back-office bureaucracy to the level of the private industry average of 25% would save roughly $80 billion a year. The largest government domestic programs--Social Security and Medicare--get by with overhead costs in the single-digits 

The traditional American approach to national security was defending our borders. With oceans being two of our borders, and two allies (Canada and Mexico) being the other borders, US is one of the safest countries in the world in terms of external military threats. (And we do not need to waste money or violate human rights by militarizing our borders). The annual cost of our 1,100 overseas bases in over 130 countries  is over $100 billion.  Stop Using our military to protect oil companies and multinational corporations. 

Even some of Ronald Reagan's advisers believe that even the Democrats should be able to protect the country for $350 billion. Cutting to that level would be a good initial target. By the way, we spend almost as much on the military as the rest of the world combined.

When we talk about cutting the military, we are not talking about Veteran's benefits or soldier's pay. Our treatment of veterans is scandalous. 

Rather than debating how to pressure Iran to say they will never possess nuclear weapons, it is time for the U.S. to give up its own. Nuclear weapons should be outlawed just as we have outlawed (most) chemical weapons. There is no sane military strategy that supports the use of nuclear weapons in the 2lst century.  We waste $60 billion plus annually on our nuclear arsenal. Cutting our massive nuclear arsenal in half would save $30 billion. 

December 10 is International Human Rights Day. People have a right to be free from the threat and horrors of war and armed conflict. The groups plan to turn in their letter and petitions to Congress then. They are looking for groups and individuals to join them. ( Sign the petition here .) 

Reverend Kristin Stoneking, Director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation added, "Money in itself is morally neutral, but what we do with money has ultimate moral significance. Our runaway military spending  impairs and diminishes the very soul of our country as we ignore needs for food, jobs and health care among our citizens, and perpetuate a culture of violence abroad. Redirecting millions away from exporting violence and toward creating a culture of peace at home by responding to the basic needs of Americans is not only wise but right."  

4 dec 13 @ 10:31 pm est          Comments

Domestic Surveillance Drones Coming to US Airspace Without Proper Transparency

Lifted directly from major news reports on November 6, 2013, the FAA alerted Americans that within five years as many as 7,000 drones could be flying over our heads in the US. The problem with the 74-page document that issues guidelines for law enforcement, universities, businesses and private flyers is the lack of clarification over the surveillance uses.

The issue of unmanned aerial vehicles or drones is a serious issue that Conservatives disregard at the expense of their own professed quest for liberty. If they really want to check unfettered federal power, they would align with groups that are actively challenging the expanding drone programs.

Last week CodePink, the Nation Magazine and the Georgetown Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild staged the largest drone summit ever. The two-day conference in Washington was preceded by a march on the White House and followed by lobbying on Capitol Hill for passage of a transparency bill that would require disclosure of the kill list and acknowledgement of civilians that have been killed.

Despite the Obama Administration’s refusal to disclose any of the activities of the armed drone program being conducted in non-theaters of war like Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia, we heard first hand testimony from delegations that traveled to, and victims that traveled here to testify. Delegations of Yemenis and Pakistanis gave gripping details of the fear created by drones buzzing above knowing that a strike could occur anywhere at any time and that civilians are often caught in the crosshairs.

It is an outrage that a civilian branch of the US government – the CIA – is conducting this program. When did the American public give this Administration the authority to kill intended targets without regard, tracking, acknowledgement or offer for restitution for the hundreds of innocents that are being killed?

How the CIA acquired this discretionary power is another serious question awaiting an answer. After all, we do not cede the power to kill to other civilian agencies like the USPS or USDA.

More troubling is the lack of attention being paid to the fact that the FAA is preparing rules for use of these drones within US airspace. The default position is that these drones would not be armed over US soil, but there is no way to ensure that rubber bullets or tear gas aren't already overhead. And for those liberty lovers who decry the current surveillance state, drones would render any hope of privacy null and void.

These modern surveillance drones contain a 1.8 billion pixel capacity to simultaneously pinpoint up to 80 different high-definition targets six inches off the ground from miles away. Right now we could all be in the footage of 1 million terabytes of data collected each day that is preserved to be used anytime.

Now is the chance for a rare non-partisan partnership between the Campaign for Liberty and the ACLU to question this authority. Left unchecked the growth of this police state overreach will continue as we witnessed with Culpeper County’s recent brag about obtaining an armored personnel carrier. Do we really want drones added to a locality’s arsenal?

4 dec 13 @ 9:49 pm est          Comments

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Green Party fiscal conservatives for saving lives and tax dollars.

Green Party fiscal conservatives call for saving lives and tax dollars   

Now is the time to pressure Congress for shifting our resources from the military to a balanced federal budget, pay off federal debt and meet human needs. Green Pary leaders, Green Party candidates compelled their attention on Syrian missiles; the administration and congress listened; and they know the Green Party was right. The case for talking with, rather than bombing, Iran grows stronger by the day. Drone strikes have been scaled back.


Still the White House is pushing for another decade in Afghanistan.

Congress is not resisting.  The Green Party must force Congress to act. The lesson of the Syrian Missile Crisis is that we have power when we speak up en masse. Congress members are home now, just as they were when the missiles were being primed. Now is the time for Greens to tell them in person. Now is the time to go to the root of the fiscal madness of militarism: the budget. Greens need to urge common sense cuts to the nearly $1 trillion military squander fo tax dollars


We need deeper spending cuts now! Get out of Afghanistan now. Bring troops and tax dollars home.  Save nearly $90 Billion dollars in fiscaly 2014 alone.  It's our best hope, and momentum is in our favor.

Senator Patty Murray is the lead negotiator for the Senate on the December 13budget resolution. Call her office to tell her that we need deep cuts in military spending - much deeper than required under sequestration. Phone: (202) 224-2621Toll Free: (866) 481-9186

Here are the next steps, with details below:

Educate and Mobilize your Community

Pressure Congress

Details on the next steps:

Educate and Mobilize your Community

1. Widely circulate the links to the petition and sign on letter (sign here) to your friends, co-workers, neighbors.

2. Ask community, faith and labor organizations to sign on to the letter. Or to write their own letter in their own language. Highlight their issues. Many organizations shy away from taking a stance on military spending - but since the military gets 53 cents out of every discretionary dollar in the federal budget, if we don't cut the military, their cause won't get the funds they need. Many group leaders underestimate the public support for cutting the military budget.

The Hill. Feb. 25, 2013, Forty-nine percent of respondents said they would support cutting military spending, while just 23 percent said they would support slashing Social Security and Medicare. The Washington Post/ Bloomberg News Poll, October 6-9, 2011. 51% support reducing military spending in order to reduce the nation’s budget deficit. Americans on average want to reduce military spending by18 percent.

3. Write letters to the Editor. See this sample. Write a longer op ed, Do radio and TV talk shows.

4. Organize local media events. Be creative. On Tues. December 10, International Human Rights Day, the campaign will deliver the letter and petition to Congress. Organize your own local media event drawing on this campaign and what you're doing locally.

5. Work with other peace groups that are working to cut the military budget. Also urge them to pressure Congress to enact deep cuts - many just focus on public education or work on particular issues.

Pressure Congress

Meet with your local Congress members and ask them to both support deep cuts (25 to 50%) and to take leadership. It is not enough to preserve the cuts under sequestration (about a 5 to 8% cut). You can also hold a rally or media event (e.g., in front of their office) or organize call ins or letter writing. Find Congressmember.

Check which committees they are on, The most important is the budget conference committee created by the deal to end the government shutdown. The committee will present a framework for the budget for adoption on December 13; if final action is not taken by Jan. 15, another shutdown occurs. (Members listed at the end). Defense and various budget committees also have more say. But any Congress member can show leadership and push an issue - don't let them claim that they can't act. (Funny they never argue that they don't really have any power when they run for office.)

Steps. individual Congress members can take:

1. Circulate a sign on letter to other members of Congress calling for deep cuts. Cong. Barney Frank and Ron Paul got 50 of their colleagues to sign on to a letter calling for a 25% cut. They're both gone from Congress. Who will replace them? (There was a bipartisan mix of co-signers.)

2. If they are not on the Joint budget conference committee (listed below), ask them to lobby members who are. Ask them to get back to you with the response.

3. Ask them to vote against the National Defense Authorization Act which has passed the House and is now in the Senate. It supports too much funds for the military and many bad military policies.

4. Ask them to publicly speak out locally and nationally in favor of deep military cuts (e.g., write an op ed).



~ Thankyou for being part of the campaign for a People's Budget,


Jill Stein, GSC President & David Swanson, GSC Secretary of Peace


Join the Independent Green Party!  Be an Indy Green candidate for local, state, or federal office in 2014. 

3 dec 13 @ 8:21 pm est          Comments

Monday, December 2, 2013

Green Party candidate Henry Lawrence

Green Party’s Henry Lawrence running

PANAMA CITY — Fittingly, the only Green Party candidate for state House District 6 owns a landscape irrigation business.

But while Henry Lawrence, of Panama City, earns his living making sure thirsty plants get enough to drink, his passion lies with supporting renewable energy and legalizing marijuana, for medical and recreational use.
He’s one of several vying to replace term-limited state Rep. Jimmy Patronis, R-Panama City, whose district covers most of Bay County.

Lawrence, 62, gets worked up when talking about marijuana policy, saying the state should offer a full-scale legalization like Colorado did last year.

“It could be a serious revenue generator for the state of Florida,” he said.

Lawrence said the extra tax revenue could go toward education, similar to Colorado where 15 percent of a new 25 percent marijuana sales tax goes toward public schools.

Meanwhile decriminalizing pot would cut down on the prison population and save taxpayers money, he said.
Lawrence also is concerned about growth — and how to manage it while protecting natural resources and government jobs — in the county. He believes the local military bases — Tyndall Air Force Base and Naval Support Activity Panama City — will be cut in the future, so those jobs will need to be replaced in the area.

“My platform is to protect our precious natural resources while creating talented employees for the green jobs of the 21st Century and beyond,” he said.



2 dec 13 @ 9:13 pm est          Comments

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Green Party state conventions: Rhineland-Pfalz, and Schleswig-Holstein
Green Party in power
The Green Party is in power in the German states of Rhineland-Pfalz and Schleswig-Holstein.  
Both those state Green Parties held weekend conventions.    Here is TV coverage of the Schleswig-Holstein Green Party 
Here is TV reporting on the Rhineland-Pfalz Green Party convention.
A third state Green Party - the Bremen Green Party  - this weekend elected a new Chairman. Ralph Saxe  was elected co-chairman of the Bremen city-state Green Party. Hermann Kuhn did not run for re-election as co-chair.   The other Bremen Green Party co-chair is Henrike Müller.
1 dec 13 @ 12:34 pm est          Comments

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Petra Kelly, Green Party founder.

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