Green Candidates Propose Suit Against Fort Detrick
Maryland Green Party Candidates Kevin Zeese (Senate) and Bob Kozak (6th District House), proposed a lawsuit to challange the Army’s plans to expand its biological defense laboratory at Fort Detrick in Frederick.
The candidates cited a July 31 Massachusetts state court ruling ordering further environmental review of a proposed Boston University biodefense lab. The Massachusetts decision called the state approval of the lab “arbitrary and capricious,” ignoring worst case scenerious.
Bob commented that the Boston decision “really energizes us and gives us hope.”
The Green Party candidates skipped an Army public hearing on the draft environmental statement, saying the “nothing’s going to really change by giving testimony.” Instead the Greens held their own public meeting to generate support for the lawsuit.
From Ballot Access News:
At least three cities, and one county, are asking the voters this November if they wish to use the system for local elections. Those jurisdictions are Pierce County, Washington; Minneapolis; Oakland, California; and Davis, California. And on July 27, the North Carolina legislature passed HB 1024, to let ten cities and ten counties experiment with IRV during 2007 and 2008.
GP Maryland & Energy & campaigns
28 Aug 2006 02:46 pm
Take Back BGE!
The Maryland Green Party’s largest ever slate of candidates is gaining public support for it’s program to Take Back BGE.
The issue, growing out of the deregulation of electricity by Maryland’s Democratic controlled Assembly in 1999, would have gone into effect this summer, resulting in huge rate increases. The worst hit by these rate increases would have been the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company customers who would have seen a 72% increases in their rates–making a mockery of the claim made by Democratic Senate President Mike Miller after passage of deregulation that “Prices will go down, no ifs, ands or buts.”
In order to avoid an election year fiasco, Democrats called the assembly back into emergency session and voted to limit the increase to 15% this year, with rates rising to market prices next year. BG&E’s lost income plus five percent interest will be made up for by a surcharge on customer’s bills for the next 10 years.
BG&E made more than $200 million in profits in 2005, while it’s parent company, Constellation Energy–which also has contracts to sell BGE 70% of the fuel it uses–recorded $1.97 billion in profits.
Green Party Candidate for Governor, Ed Boyd, is leading the campaign, explaining in this clip, the Green Party alternative: full public ownership of public utilities; use “eminent domain” to take back BGE; creation of a Public Service Commission that looks out for the interests of the taxpayers; and moving Maryland to the forefront of the affordable, renewable energy & conservation movements.
We are the mainstream!
On yet another issue, the American public is solidly behind the Green position. A Zogby poll conducted August 11-16 showed that three quarters of Americans are more convinced today that global warming is a reality than they were two years ago. 87% of Democrats believe that global warming is occurring, 82% of independents, and 56% of Republicans. Two thirds of the public believes that global warming has had an influence on summer heat waves, more intense hurricanes, more frequent droughts, and less snowfall in parts of the country.
Although some limited efforts have been made at the state and local level to curb global warming gasses, the national Republican Party is still in denial on this issue, while the Democrats have not shown the guts to take the issue on. The 2004 Democratic Party Platform didn’t contain a single reference to global warming or greenhouse gasses.
Only the Green Party has advocated an ambitious targets for cutting greenhouse gasses and effective policies to achieve them. The majority of the American public has caught up with us–we are now the mainstream on this issue.
GP Montgomery County
21 Aug 2006 08:52 am
Montgomery County Ag Fair a Success
In spite of being located on the far fringes of the fairgrounds, the Montgomery County Greens tabling was quite a success. We got nearly 500 petition signatures, signed up people interested in the party, and even got a couple of registration changes to Green.
We handed out tons of literature, Zeese campaign literature, Boyd Campaign literature, platform highlights, ICC literature, and plenty of Zeese stickers to the kids; kids love stickers and for a while, they’ll be walking billboards for you.
Next week, it’s on to the state fair!
Slave Trade Into Iraq
If the war weren’t bad enough, some US corporations working in Iraq are engaged in importing involuntary labor into the country. In the June 2006 State Department report on trafficking in persons, the State Department stated that “A recent DOD investigation…identified a number of abuses, some of them considered widespread, committed by DOD contractors or subcontractors of third country national (TCN) workers in Iraq. Some of these abuses are indicative of trafficking in persons….”
Send Donald Rumsfeld a message that trafficking humans should not be tolerated.
The Scariest Thing About Ann Coulter
The scary thing about Ann Coulter is not that she is getting rich writing her right wing bile. It isn’t scary that she’s blond, or a former Deadhead, and not particularly Christian until Christ appealed to her wallet.
What’s scary about Ann Coulter is that she actually lives in a reality distortion field so powerful that everything that enters her array of senses is twisted into a tightly circumscribed world of stark black and white.
What is scary is that a reasonably intelligent woman from an upper middle class Connecticut family who apparently graduated from law school (has anyone checked this?) has managed to submerge herself into a pool devoid of uncertainty. She lives in an American culture that turns inward, looking for–nay insisting on–certain answers to unknowable questions. At the center of the sphere of unknowable questions are a number of voices who claim through various media and modes to have answers concerning the true way. Each voice has followers who find that voice/mode combination is exactly the flavor of certainty being sought. You can name the famous personages peddling certainty as well as I could. Talking mouths: Bill O, Sean, Rush, assorted Reverends, people of some accomplishment who claim to know more than seems likely, like Michael Crighton. What the voices seem to have in common is that they are certain. The owners of such voices are capable of explaining everything to us, and are willing to help us out on the journey to understanding.
Ann Coulter is one of these people and she is very good at explaining everything. You just need to accept every premise she starts from and you will only be able to come to the same conclusion she does. After all if you don’t end up at the same place she is, you must be a liberal.
Ann Coulter believes everything she says. She is sincere. She has lost all questioning. She is at the center of the unquestioning sphere. Her fans find her certainty to be a source of great clarity in an uncertain world. “You wouldn’t understand,” they say to us. They’re right, we wouldn’t. We manage to live with uncertainty, maybe unsure of ourselves, but with some notion that we’ll survive. We sense that somehow Ann doesn’t know it all, and the more she turns in, away from uncertainty, the more we sense that she doesn’t know it all. Each step away from Ann’s certainty and towards greater questioning is towards a universe of possiblities that might be larger than Ann’s world. It IS a little scary.
We can see that Ann is turning in, further and further, because whenever something happens, she has a strong and unwavering opinion about it. In the past, she knew everything there was to know, and was completely right about: Clinton’s excesses, liberals, abortion, and gun control, and how they affected our children, schools, and families.
After 9/11, she seemingly overnight became an expert on terrorism, the Iraq war, persistent vegetative states, and the virtues of stress positions. And she continues to be completely unerring in her judgement and how these things affect our children, schools, and families.
Ann’s astounding infallibility betrays her. If someone else presumed to have never ending fonts of unerring wisdom on an infinitude of subjects, you’d find them boorish. If someone claimed that the 9/11 widows were doing better after losing their husbands, you’d find them mean, in the pinched and stingy sense of the word. If their words gained notoriety and opproprium and the person refused to apologize, you’d find them a lacking in some basic decency that is hard to quantify, but easy to recognize when it’s missing.
If the person was homeless and muttering on the street, you would wonder what sad set of circumstances led to such a sad situation. In our world, that person (and situation) is just as sad, but is capable of explaining herself in an attention getting way and looking good while she does it. She makes lots of money articulately explaining why you should have no question or uncertainty, or just hate or pity the liberals, which is roughly equivalent. She appears to have humor, and to be able to laugh at herself, and take herself lightly. She is attractive.
But the scariest thing about Ann Coulter is that there is something in the world that has caused the metamorphosis of an attractive intelligent lawyer into a person so afraid of uncertainty that she has reshaped her entire being one capable of creating a reality distortion field where she is completely right all the time.
If a baglady creates her reality, we think we understand. But when a woman something like us turns away from the normal question and answer process of healthy adult inner dialog and creates a reality where she is infallible on whatever the topic of news focus is, we are a bit of a loss for an interpretation. She doesn’t look like a baglady, after all, and she has a sense of humor, right?
She says she believes what she says. The scariest thing about Ann Coulter is she believes what she says. Deep in the pool devoid of uncertainty, at the center of the sphere of unknowable questions Ann Coulter is living. Her reality distortion field has fully formed around her, and she does not know that she answers unknowable questions because she is unable to question her answers. She sees a light at the center of the depths of that watery sphere, and it draws her in and subsumes her, and she shares the light with us and believes it. But the light is cold and pallid. Ann Coulter knows everything except that she is the generator of that unhealthy light.
She has tricked herself into believing herself, and without a tremendous act of personal courage may never be able to tear her eyes away from her own deceptive light to see the rest of the world. It would mean facing the fear of being wrong, which I agree, Ms. Coulter, can be a scary thing. Look at me, I am writing this publicly, and I am afraid of being wrong. If I’m wrong, I might be ridiculed, which I’m sure would hurt my feelings, despite how thick skinned I like to appear.
But I think there is hope that Ann knows the cracks in her armor, and will be honest with herself as she confronts the doubt that drives her towards greater certainty. One day, who knows, Ann may confront that scariest thing about herself, her fear of the unknown, the source of her turning towards the inner artificial light of certainty in an uncertain world.
GP Montgomery County
14 Aug 2006 02:15 pm
Meet us at the fair!
Posting will likely be slow this week as we are staffing the Green Party table at the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair which runs through this Sunday.
If you’re there stop by and say hello. We’re waaaaaaaay in the back. The fairgrounds is just off exit 11 on route 270.
Politics & News & Energy
07 Aug 2006 07:44 am
Prudhoe Bay Shuts Down
Last night, BP Exploration Alaska, Inc. announced that it was shutting down Prudhoe Bay due to extensive corrosion of the pipelines and oil leaks. This move will shut in some 400,000 barrels per day of production, roughly half of what Hurrican Katrina took offline last year. It will take several days just to shut down production completely. There is no world on how long it will remain offline. Some are speculating that prices could rise $10 a barrel as a result. In early trading this morning, prices are up nearly $2 a barrel.
Aggravating matters is the fact that the world is starting from a weaker postion than last year. Worldwide oil production is down about half a million barrels a day from last year. Mexico’s production has rolled over into decline since last year, as well as Kuwait’s largest oil field. Nigeria has lost about 300,000 bpd due to unrest in the country, Iran’s production is in decline and most ominously of all, Saudi production has dropped by half a million bpd in the last year. Overall, total OPEC production is down by over a million bpd in a year, despite the fact that Iraq has regained something close to prewar production.
The Saudis have so far denied that their production capacity is in decline, explaining the drop to “declining demand.” The next few months will be a serious test for the Saudis. If they cannot stem the decline in the face of the Prudhoe Bay shut in, then they are almost certainly past peak production–and likely so is the world.
Politics & News
05 Aug 2006 10:57 pm
Bush Didn’t Know the Iraqi Ethnic Groups for Shiite
In his new book, former ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith claims that two months before the invasion of Iraq, president Bush was unaware that there were two main Muslim sects in Iraq.
A year after his “Axis of Evil” speech, Bush met with three Iraqi Americans, one of whom became postwar Iraq’s first representative to the United States. The three described what they thought would be the political situation after the fall of Saddam Hussein. During their conversation with the President, Galbraith claims, it became apparent to them that Bush was unfamiliar with the distinction between Sunnis and Shiites.
Galbraith reports that the three of them spent some time explaining to Bush that there are two different sects in Islam–to which the President allegedly responded, “I thought the Iraqis were Muslims!”
Galbraith explains this lack of knowledge about Iraq as part of “a culture of arrogance that pervaded the whole administration.”
From the president and the vice president down through the neoconservatives at the Pentagon, there was a belief that Iraq was a blank slate on which the United States could impose its vision of a pluralistic democratic society. The arrogance came in the form of a belief that this could be accomplished with minimal effort and planning by the United States and that it was not important to know something about Iraq.
As a result, Galbraith fears the US may have lost the war the very day it took Baghdad, and that the best that we can hope for is to avoid a worstening civil war.
There is no easy way out of Iraq, but when our policies only seem to make matters worse, we certainly must pull out our troops and then do the best we can to make up for the damage we have caused.
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