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January/February 2010
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The Original Green Party
Publishing Green Politics Since 1992


Dear Reader,

“The Mask Is Off” by Kadir Cannon and “Will the Last Progressive…Please Turn Out the Lights” by Glen Ford portray how progressives view Obama and represent just two of our fine articles in this issue of Green Politics. We have a personal piece by a Missouri farmer and a study on pesticide use on genetic engineered crops. United Steel Workers are moving toward the Mondragon model, Argentine workers take over a factory and Bob McCubbin has an article on the recent labor conference in Tijuana. Our print collective editor has a piece on a Unity meeting he attended and Paul Kesler writes another fine ditty.

There is one subject we haven’t covered, Gaza, but here are two web sites that deliver up-to-the-minute coverage along with a history of the past year's events. It is unfortunate, but not surprising, that the mainstream media has chosen not to cover humanitarian aid groups trying to deliver food and medicine to Gaza and battling for access against soldiers from the Egyptian puppet regime of Mubarak funded by the United States.
Here are the web sites:
US Campaign To End the Israeli Occupation
Al Jazeera English – GAZA: ONE YEAR ON

We welcome comments, articles and news about your communities. In this issue, we have Green Politics subscriber Bob Smith’s idea of a Peoples Union.

We look forward to hearing from you. You can reach us at http://www.greenparty.org/newsletter/contact_us.php.

In solidarity
The Print Collective

Phil Ardery, Jr
Barbara Chicheiro
Devin Ceartas
Elizabeth Fattah
Wes Wagar

The Mask Is Off

By Kadir Cannon

The die is cast, the jib is up. The mask is off. The smell of sulfur was clearly audible, and one could hear the stomp of a hoof and the swish of a tail, and the little demons are now jumping in delight. Palin, The Newt, William Kristol, Carl the Rove, dancing a dosey doe.

Some thought he was the great savior, some thought he had a secret agenda for good, politically hidden now to be revealed at a later time. Some thought he was weak. Others thought his heart was in their right place, but evil men surrounded him. Some thought he was an empty shirt, and others thought he was a puppet. But it turned out that none of these things are true. He’s the real McCoy.

The tall man stood strong on the stage of peace, and declared to the world that the vision of Martin Luther King, Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, were nice but not realistic. And he established that War (without end) is the answer for peace.

Art by J. Kadir Canno J. Kadir Cannon: "Collateral Damage," from the Human Cost of War series, http://www.jkadircannon.com.

Ray Gun was the great communicator, Bush, the great dimwit. But this man is the great divider. And divide us he will. Liberals against progressives, against whites against blacks against Hispanics against Jews against Jews against Christians against Christians against Moslems against non-believers against the professional class against labor class against gays. People will be pointing fingers at each other. That’s not going to help. Hey, he was a calculated risk that didn’t work out.

Continue reading The Mask Is Off here.

Will the Last "Progressive for Obama" Please Turn Out the Lights?

By Glen Ford

In the strong prose we have come to expect from Black Agenda Report, executive editor Glen Ford writes that "…it should now be clear to even the most dense among self-styled "progressives" that Obama was never worth a damn."

Read the entire Ford article here

Pesticide Use in Growing Genetically Engineered Crops Increases Dramatically

By Dr. Charles Benbrook

A November 2009 report from the Organic Center, Impacts of Genetically Engineered Crops on Pesticide Use in the United States: The First Thirteen Years, shows a dramatic rise in the use of glyphosate weed killers (herbicides) on genetically engineered (GE) crops. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and five other NGOs funded this work.

Using a model developed to assess the overall impact of GE crops on pesticide use, report author and Organic Center chief scientist Dr. Charles Benbrook determined that 383 million additional pounds of herbicides have been used on GE crops since 1996, compared to what likely would have been used if GE crops had been replaced by conventional, non-GE varieties. Forty-six percent of the total increase occurred in the last two years studied (2007 and 2008).

Drawing upon U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data, Dr. Benbrook shows that this huge increase in glyphosate herbicide use swamps the decrease in insecticide use attributable to GE corn and cotton, making the overall chemical footprint of today’s GE crops decidedly negative.

Read UCS's report summary here and find a link in the summary to download the complete report.

Freedom To Farm?

By Darvin Bentlage

Freedom to Farm is a phrase from the 1996 farm bill that has recently been used as a way to protect farmers from nuisance lawsuits the urban sprawl of housing complexes and shopping malls have created. It has helped in some ways, but it also has opened up rural communities to the invasion of corporate agriculture; turning the countryside into industrial parks with heavy traffic on roads not built for the abuse of constant semi trailers speeding down one-lane roads.

Environmental destruction from tainting our waterways with the manure from the hog Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) lagoon leaking into the creeks or the misuse of poultry manure from turkey or chicken CAFOs replacing commercial fertilizer is just being realized. Much of the manure is unregulated once it leaves the animal factory where it was produced. No smog from these factories, but the smell is perhaps the worst problem of all. We in the country are told this is the natural smell of the country. My family has been in farming for 90 years. I myself, 53 years young, have never smelled anything like this in our rural community. It is not like the normal manure smell from cow herds or small feedlots that may have an odor when close to them.

When you store millions of gallons or several hundred tons of chemical, antibiotic, and hormone-laden manure in a small area, it becomes a putrid smell that covers a large area and turns the most hardened farmers' noses. It actually makes you gag from the shock of the smell.When sold, given or bartered to the farmer for the nutrients, all regulations set up to make the use of the commodity safe for the environment do not follow the manure. The applicators are not required to abide by any of the Best Management Practices. A huge loophole that still exists.

Continue reading Freedom To Farm? here.

Peoples Union

By Bob Smith

This is something I am working on outside the Green Party but may interest everyone. It will be a Union that has people as its members and peoples' problems everywhere as its focus. If you're homeless and can't find help we will help you find it. If you have problems at work or with a business we will picket it with and for you until the problem is resolved. Something like the Union that preceded or grew along side the trade unions leading up to the adoption of the New Deal. It struck everywhere, not just for higher wages and more pay but in response to the social problems of the day. I want to bring the idea back.

You can use this. I am proposing something like what brought the New Deal into being. A union not of workers but of everyone. A union that can call on its members to take action against anything anywhere or any institution which is causing problems for people, including Wall Street and the Fed. Picket them or whatever. A place where people can turn to each other and say we need help. Not just on the big issues but the homeless when so many houses sit empty. A way to combine resources across the board and say "No more!"

Why isn't the left winning on any of its issues? Every week there's a different issue being protested in DC, right? Recently it was the LBGT march for equality, but they didn't even mention the AIDS issue or healthcare for all of them, and why not? I mean, both these other issues affect everyone who was marching. Where was the leadership on this? Promoting equality and nothing else from what I see. The anti war people and the LBGT community don't talk, nor do the health care people, the blacks, and the conservationists. Why the hell not? Every one of these issues and a whole passel of others affect all of us, so why is the leadership of all these other issues not talking to and working with each other?

Continue reading Peoples Union here .

Labor Activists of Many Countries Meet To Discuss Economic Crisis

By Bob McCubbin

The Sixth Cuba/Venezuela/Mexico/North America Labor Conference met in Tijuana, Mexico in December 2009, opening with an evening of solidarity with the Cuban Five, defenders of Cuba who are serving long sentences in U.S. jails.

Panel on Freedom for the Cuban Five: Ignacio Meneses, Ramiro Hernandez, Alicia Jrapko, Silvia Garcia, Carmen Godinez, Judge Claudia Morcom. Workers World photo: Bob McCubbin.

The weekend conference, which brought together union militants and social justice activists from Latin America, the Philippines, Canada and the U.S., focused on how the international capitalist crisis is affecting workers, including those forced to migrate to imperialist countries for survival after their local economies are destroyed.

Read the entire report published in WorkersWorld here.

(Note: San Diego resident Bob McCubbin has been active in the struggle against war and racism since his college years and a member of Workers World Party since 1967. McCubbin was an early and proud member of San Francisco Gay Liberation, 1970-71.)

A Working Class Intellectual Is Lost

[The following is based on comments Don Fitz made at memorial services for Mary Jo Maroney at the Central Reform Congregation, St. Louis, on October 18, 2009.]

Mary Jo Maroney was a core participant in virtually every activity of the Gateway Green Alliance since 1990. When we first started keeping a data base in old DOS software, Mary Jo entered it. When we began the Compost-Dispatch, Mary Jo was there saying what is should look like and what sort of publication it should be. Whether the Greens were protesting against plans to build a medical waste incinerator in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood of St. Louis City or holding signs over I-44 to oppose a dioxin incinerator in St. Louis County, Mary Jo was there. In 1995, when the Greens began thinking about how to do a cable TV show, Mary Jo helped choose the name “Green Time.” She appeared on the show as host and as guest; but, more often, she worked behind the scenes on a camera.

Mary Jo Maroney, 1963-2009

If we needed a timekeeper or photographer at a Greens meeting, Mary Jo volunteered. The photo of myself I have on my Forest Park Community College course website is one that Mary Jo took at a Black and Green Wednesday program. When there were fundraisers, Mary Jo offered to collect the money.

When Ralph Nader ran for President in 2000 and the Missouri Green Party needed candidates, Mary Jo ran for US Congress. She was always willing to sit on the Central Committee of the Green Party of St. Louis and participate in its campaigns, either as a supporter or a candidate.

Continue reading A Working Class Intellectual Is Lost here.

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Report from Louisville

By Phil Ardery Jr.

November 21, 2009, 300 of us gathered for the 12th annual Unity Dinner, sponsored by the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. Keynote speaker was Cynthia McKinney, 2008 Green Party nominee for U.S. President.

The mission of the Kentucky Alliance is "To bring the need and the people who want change together – and ultimately to build an anti-racist majority." As stated by the Alliance, "Racism destroys everyone. It stunts the lives of people of color, especially the young. And it destroys whites, too, because it makes it impossible for us to build unity to solve pressing social problems that face us all."

Continue reading Report from Louisville here.

Wall Street's Perverted

By Paul Kesler

(Sung to the tune of "Hava Nagila")

Wall Street's perverted,
Jobs have deserted,
We're not diverted
From their designs.

They're moving faster
Toward a disaster,
That's why their masters
Are doomed to die.

They've got a bag of tricks
To spoil your politics,
They've got a Ponzi scheme
To crush your dream.

They're up in La-La Land
With all their contraband,
They'll move fast to kick your ass,
Then make you scream.

They're - So - Fucked - Up

Their stock market is so phony,
Their statistics are baloney,
While the media are cheering,
The real workers are all sneering,

Dump the clowns!
The chips are down!
Down, down, down, down –

Continue singing Wall Street's Perverted here.

Argentine Workers Win Ownership of Ceramics Factory

By Marie Trigona

Argentine ceramics workers now own as well as operate a factory whose ceramic products export to 25 countries. A provincial legislature voted in favor of expropriating the ceramics factory and handing it over to the workers cooperative to manage legally and indefinitely. The legal action rewarded nine years of struggle by the workers.

Marie Trigona , writing for UpsideDownWorld, tells the story of FASINPAT (Fábrica Sin Patrones – Factory Without Bosses). Read her article here.

Steelworkers Form Collaboration with Mondragon

By Dollars and Sense

Dollars and Sense: Real World Economics reports on a new and ground-breaking "framework agreement" reached in late October 2009 between the United Steel Workers and Mondragon Internacional S.A.. The USW and Mondragon will work to establish manufacturing cooperatives that adapt collective bargaining principles to the Mondragon worker ownership model of "one worker, one vote."

About Mondragon: The Mondragon Corporation mission is to produce and sell goods and provide services and distribution using democratic methods in its organizational structure and distributing the assets generated for the benefit of its members and the community, as a measure of solidarity. Mondragon began its activities in 1956 in the Basque town of Mondragon by a rural village priest with a transformative vision who believed in the values of worker collaboration and working hard to reach for and realize the common good.

Read the entire report here.

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