The article on the two-party system shows how we must overcome a system that pretends that we have a choice at the ballot box. The consequences have been dire for us in the wars we have fought and are fighting and on the countries affected by these wars.
Some of the other issues we tackle are depleted uranium, genetic
engineering, the Bradley Manning case and Stan Cox’s article on
air conditioning, which brings consequences of our behavior right to us:
….[W]e appear to be prepared to obliterate as many coal-bearing mountains, kill as many coal miners, poison as many water tables with gas-mining chemicals, blow as many million barrels of crude oil into ocean waters, fight as many bloody wars, and occupy as many countries as necessary to keep the 'comfort'-producing mechanisms in our homes, businesses, and vehicles powered up.
"Get Them in the Hearse on Time" from our ditty writer Paul Kesler gives us all some comic relief.
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The Print Collective
Phil Ardery, Jr
Our Votes—This November and Beyond
(cartoons courtesy of John Jonik)
Elections are close upon us, and Democrats will try to win our votes by
threatening us with a dreadful alternative – Republicans!
Elizabeth Fattah doesn't buy the Democrats' fear tactic. She writes, "Corporations rule this country through the two-party system."
In "A Proposal To Break the Two-Party System," Fattah notes that "The United States has been criticized by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) for its harsh ballot access laws. Republicans and Democrats control the state legislatures where ballot access laws are enacted. They are not going to give up the power to decide who runs for office. The U.S. Congress is also controlled by the Democrats and Republicans, and they are not going to pass any ballot access laws that favor candidates outside those ruling parties."
Fattah's article makes its publication debut here in this edition of
A Proposal To Break the Two-Party System
By Elizabeth Fattah
The recent events in Pennsylvania show once again that the deck is stacked against third party or Independent candidates. The state law in Pennsylvania requires a Republican or Democrat to obtain 2,000 petition signatures for a statewide race. Candidates not affiliated with either major party must obtain a number of signatures equal to 2 percent of the highest vote total from the most recent statewide election. In 2010 that number was more than 19,000 signatures. These signatures must be registered voters in Pennsylvania.
The Green Party US Senate candidate Mel Packer turned in over 20,000 signatures, but this was not enough. Joe Sestak, Democratic Party’s Senate candidate, had his people analyze 700 signatures and found them to be questionable. This can easily happen since people sign who think they are registered but are not, their addresses have changed since they registered, or they signed on the wrong line, etc, etc.
If Packer had decided to challenge their findings and he lost, he
would have had to pay the Democrats' cost of hiring handwriting
experts, lawyers and others who had analyzed the signatures.
According to Packer, this would have been a prohibitive cost that
neither he nor the Green Party could afford. Mel Packer will not
be on the ballot in Pennsylvania as the Green Party candidate for
the US Senate.
(Continue reading Fattah's article here)
Philadelphia Update: Protests Succeed, Deceptive Army Recruiting Station Shuts Down
The U.S. Army has closed its $22 million Army Experience Center, the mall-based recruiting station near Philadelphia that enticed potential enlistees with free video gaming stations. The shutdown came five months before the Army's two-year lease was set to expire at Franklin Mills Mall.
The cumulative impact of multiple on-site protests since the Center's opening succeeded in souring the Army's cynical attempt to sugar-coat war and military service. When the Army announced its pullout, Bill Deckhart, coordinator of the BuxMont Coalition for Peace Action, told local newspaper reporter Diane Prokop, "I'm elated. We really specifically objected to the Army Experience Center … teaching kids that the Army is a game."
War correspondent Chris Hedges with the microphone at a Philadelphia rally September 12, 2009 seeking shutdown of the U.S. "Army Experience Center" in Franklin Mills Mall.
In an article titled "Protestors Demand Shutdown of Philadelphia's Army
Experience Center," the October/November 2009 edition of Green Politics gave two accounts of the protests that led to the shutdown.
Losing Our Cool
By Stan Cox
[Editors' Note: Author Stan Cox is a scientist with The Land Institute]
In recent years, biologists and comfort researchers have provided ample evidence that we acclimatize, physically and mentally, to the temperatures we experience. That provides some basis for the commonly made observation that on average, our population has become less heat-tolerant in the age of air-conditioning.
This blistering July, I encountered plenty of additional, more vivid
evidence that we, as individuals and as a society, are becoming more
heat-sensitive. A "Dept. of What If" piece I wrote for the Washington
Post—imagining the capital in a future without
air-conditioning—had been, I thought, innocent enough. I painted a
picture of a city with more vegetation, more mass transportation, more
neighborliness, no coats and ties, even a reduction in Congressional
mischief-making. But the response was hair-raising: sixty-seven pages of
hostile, often flush-faced comments and more than five hundred
rage-soaked emails (along with a handful of friendly ones).
I attribute the overwrought tone in most of the responses to that deep
fear of any sort of physical discomfort that has come to permeate our
society. We aren't as tough as we used to be. And we appear to be
prepared to obliterate as many coal-bearing mountains, kill as many coal
miners, poison as many water tables with gas-mining chemicals, blow as
many million barrels of crude oil into ocean waters, fight as many
bloody wars, and occupy as many countries as necessary to keep the
"comfort"-producing mechanisms in our homes, businesses, and vehicles
powered up. (continued…)
Read Cox's entire article here.
March on Washington – October 2
"One Nation Working Together" is a coming together of movements for jobs, peace and justice organized by the AFL-CIO, SEIU, NAACP, 1199 NY, the National Council of La Raza, USLAW, Green for All, Center for Community Change and more than 150 other organizations. On October 2, labor, peace and social justice forces will march on Washington, DC. Tens of thousands of civil rights, immigrant rights, faith, women’s, youth, LGBT, environmental and other progressive organizations will join in a unified call for change.
Did you know that keeping one soldier in Afghanistan for one year costs taxpayers $1.2 million? The same amount of money could provide 24 good, green, union jobs at home.
For more information about the October 2 March on Washington, write to
Michael Eisenscher, national coordinator of U.S. Labor Against the War,
at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the One National
Working Together website.
Get Them in the Hearse on Time
By Paul Kesler
(sung to the tune of "Get Me to the Church on Time")
We'll bury Wall Street in the morning,
The funeral begins at nine:
That's when we'll clobber
All of the robbers,
But get them in the hearse on time.
We're gonna be there in the morning,
They'll get comeuppance for their crimes:
We'll throw the liars
Onto the pyre,
But get them in the hearse on time.
If you see Geithner,
Go chop him up;
Then make Bernanke
Drink the poison cup.
Their market rallies are so boring,
Propped up with stolen public cash:
We'll hire destroyers
To crush their lawyers,
But get them to the hearse,
Stuff them in the hearse,
For God's sake get them in the hearse
In Support of Imprisoned Wikileaks Whistleblower Pvt. Bradley Manning
Private First Class Bradley E. Manning is a United States Army soldier who has been arrested and charged with the unauthorized use and disclosure of U.S. classified information. Manning was an intelligence analyst assigned to a support battalion with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division at Contingency Operating Station Hammer, Iraq.
On July 5, 2010, Manning was charged under the Uniform Code of Military Justice with violations of Article 92 and Article 134, for "transferring classified data onto his personal computer and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system," and "communicating, transmitting and delivering national defense information to an unauthorized source." The maximum possible prison sentence for the charges is 52 years. An Army spokesman stated that an Article 32 hearing, similar to a grand jury, would be held to determine whether or not there was enough evidence to proceed to a court-martial.
"International Days of Action in Solidarity with Bradley Manning" are
planned for various cities, September 16-19. To see a current listing,
Raymond McGovern is a retired CIA officer turned political activist. McGovern was a Federal employee under seven U.S. presidents over 27 years, presenting the morning intelligence briefings at the White House for many of them. In 2003, together with other former CIA employees, McGovern founded the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity or VIPS. The organization is dedicated to analyzing and criticizing the use of intelligence, specifically relating to the Iraq war.
August 8, 2010, in Quantico, Virginia, where Manning is currently
imprisoned, McGovern spoke to a rally supporting Manning. McGovern said,
"We are here to say thank you and to tell Bradley Manning, loud and
clear, 'You are not alone. You are not alone.'" Read Alternet's report
of McGovern's remarks here.
Petition To Stop Monsanto's "Roundup-Ready" Genetically Engineered Sugar Beets
The pro-biotech sugar industry is urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to rush through an Environmental Impact Statement so they can plant a new crop of Monsanto's Frankenbeets next year.
Grassrootsnetroots has provided a link that Green Politics readers can
use to make our voices heard at USDA. For a background summary and the
link, click here.
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U.S. Military Documented Dangers of Depleted Uranium
The May 2010 edition of Green Politics
birth defects and cancers in Iraq traced to depleted uranium used in
U.S. and British weapons. Now comes word that at least some leaders in
the U.S. Military sought to investigate the possible harmful effects of
depleted uranium exposure for U.S. soldiers engaged in the first Gulf
Veterans for Common Sense (VCS), a U.S. veterans rights organization,
has uncovered a 1993 Department of Defense memorandum calling for
"Complete medical testing of all personnel exposed to DU in the Persian
Gulf War." VCS says the Veterans Administration (VA) never conducted the
medical tests. Mike Ludwig has written about VCS's case against the VA
for TruthOut, and you can read his report here.
American Cancer Society – Whose Side Are You On?
Two recent broadsides are raising questions about the efficacy and the intentions of the American Cancer Society, described as "the world's largest non-religious 'charity.'"
In one of these, two physicians, Samuel S. Epstein, M.D. and Quentin D.
Young, M.D., charge that ACS deliberately neglects cancer prevention,
"allocating under 0.1 percent of its $700 million annual budget to
environmental and occupational causes of cancer." Read the doctors'
A separate article published by naturalnews.com from sources at
world-wire.com cites Epstein along with Rosalie Bertell of International
Physicians for Humanitarian Medicine in a report on ACS's financial
involvement with the manufacturers of mammography devices. Read that