Posts Tagged ‘socialism’

Why the Democrats are Losing All the Time

So much has happened since my last post that I have decided to make this one a “themed” essay. No day by day telling of my time in The Swamp. More of an overview of what I see happening.

My theme is “Why the Democrats are Losing All the Time.” By Betsy Garrold

Here are some of the reasons that the tone deaf DNC will continue to lose to the dysfunctional, horrible, racist, sexist RNC.

#1: They are tone deaf to issues they even claim to champion like LGBTQ rights. Here is my evidence. I was at a famous DC hotel a couple of weeks ago attending a dinner/training for a legislative fly-in I was participating in. Also in the hotel were the DNC. It was not a huge group and seemed to be mostly young people so I am guessing some sort of youth caucus event. Anyhow I went to use the public restrooms in the corridor we were sharing with this group and this is what I saw:

 Not a great picture but you get the idea.   Yep, it’s okay for the “girls” to share their (Gender Neutral) restrooms but don’t you dare ask the “men” to do it. Tone deaf much?

#2 My next encounter with the DNC was at the big Planned Parenthood rally on the front lawn of the Capitol building. PP had done a great job of building up to this rally against the proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act. There were thousands of people there in their pink buttons and t-shirts. The speakers began……all Democrats. Which was marginally tolerable but then Nancy Pelosi introduced the head of the DNC What’s-his-name Perez and I had to walk away. I scouted the perimeters hoping to run into my own party (the Greens) but instead found this group advocating for a single party payer system:

And then, several days later, I read this interesting article which explained a lot. 

So no surprise that the PP rally turned into a DNC pep rally. Only sadness at the co-opting of an organization I used to respect. It looks like this cartoon may have some truth to it…even considering the source.

And finally #3. This meme from the book of the face.   

How terrifying is that thought? Yes, if Clinton, with her smarts and her savvy and her social graces had been elected we all could have gone back to sleep and let the oligarchs continue to run our lives. She would have been so soothing and PC as she lead us into more wars and more $$$ being funneled to the wealthiest few and more of everything that Wall Street and Big Pharma and Big Argo-business etc etc wants. As I said to many of my friends on 11/9/16 “Well, at least he will be a good organizing tool for progressives.” And he has been (tool, of course, being the operative word) his blatant racism, sexism, elitism is easy to rally against. So, yes, you could have had neo-liberal, con-artist Clinton as your President. But in many, many ways this is better.

So why has the DNC lost all the special elections since 45’s inauguration?  Because they think that being Republican-lite is the way to go. They are so far up the behinds of their moneyed masters that they cannot even see the light of day and they certainly can not see, or figure out why, the masses anger at the status quo. No justice, no peace. Know justice, know peace. Figure it out DNC. Or don’t, all the better for the truly progressive parties out there who will keep growing and fighting the good fight and winning.


Happy Birthday Occupy!!!

Today all over the country people are celebrating the first Anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street Movement.  A decentralized, joyous announcement that the Movement is not dead and hardly in disarray as the Yahoo Headline said this morning when I opened my email.  The Nation has a better article.  Read it here.

 Why was I up early this morning?  Because there was a counter demonstration organized by my friends Heidi and Read in the next town.  Yes, in sleepy little Freedom, Maine the Koch brother funded “Americans for Prosperity Tour” was rolling into town.  And we were there to meet it. Their deluxe bus arrived in front of the Dirigo Grange and the three people riding on it got out.  The local conservative activists met them and everyone stood around eating the complimentary breakfast.  It was a beautiful autumn day in Maine.

Then the Occupy folks started accumulating.  By the time the Grumpy Old Plutocrats (my new take on the GOP acronym) started their speechifying the Occupy counter-protest outnumbered them about two to one. 

The media showed up and interviewed everyone.   The “Prosperity” folks wandered over to chat with us.  We wandered over and spoke with them.   We talked among ourselves and caught up on what was going on in each other’s lives since the last picket line we’d stood on together.  I talked to Carol Weston, an old family friend, about our kids.

At one point a woman in our group looked at me and said, “You’re the Green Party!”  Well, I’m not quite the whole party but I guess I am one of the more public faces of the party in this area.  That, of course, unleashed the usual discussion about how the Green Party should just give up and join the Democrats.  Leading to my now well-worn rant about corporate parties and how can you stand there with a anti-corporate sign and still vote for someone who is essentially a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall Street and the Military Industrial Complex?

Cars went by, people waved and car horns honked.  All in all a festive occasion.  And very civilized as befits small town politics.


So here are a couple of pictures of invasive species. 

Oh, and my farm did not get hit by a frost last night so all in all I’m having a very good day!!!Bub-bye!  Empty bus leaving Freedom.  I know there’s a metaphor there somewhere.


Throw the Bums Out

I truly admire the Occupiers.  I do everything I can to support them.  They are the beginning of a new movement of historical proportion much like the Civil Rights Movement and the Peace and Justice Movement.  They will bring great changes to the way this society works if they hang in there and find the tactics that will work to change they way people think.   Previously I have written about the four things Elizabeth Warren proposes  to change the financial structure of this country.  A structure that has failed 99% of us miserably.  There is one thing I would add.

I have read George Orwell’s “Why I Write” a book recommended to me by Lisa Bunker at WMPG when she stayed with me for the  Grassroots Media Conference in September (thanks Lisa).  Not an easy book to come by in the inter-library loan system but my Sweetheart was persistent and it finally arrived last week.  Mr. Orwell is writing just at the start of WWII about how he felt that the war would (he hoped) become a revolution and lead to the forming of a socialist society in England.  It is a bit dated (obviously) and not everything he envisioned came to pass but England is closer to a socialist society than the US by far.  He did, however, make some good points.  “The difference between Socialism and capitalism  is not primarily the a difference of technique. One cannot simply change from one system to the other as one might install a piece of machinery in a factory, then carry on as before, with the same people in positions of control.  Obviously  there is also needed a complete shift of power.  New blood, new men, new ideas – in the true sense of the word, a revolution.”

I could not agree more.  We need to add a 5th item to our “to do” list.   Campaign finance reform.  Real reform.  A federal version of the Maine Clean Elections Law.  Stop making our lawmakers spend so much of  their time raising re-election funds.  Stop letting the 1% buy our government on Senator or Representative at a time.   Obama has challenged us to “hold his feet to the fire” when it comes to radical reform.  This is the one item that will change the way government works.  Financial reform is important, vital even, to making life better for everyone.   Healthcare reform will help a great deal.   But we will not get either of these things until we throw the bums out and choose people who really have the best interest of the 99% at the core of all of their actions.

Occupy Together

Okay the computer gremlins are back and I am having a hard time up loading photos I want to share of Occupy Augusta and the governor’s “town meeting” last Thursday so posting is at a standstill right now.  I will be back as soon as I figure out what is going on.

In the meantime here is a link to Occupy Augusta.

Rock on Occupiers.  And shame shame shame on the officials in Oakland and Chicago.  Yes I mean you Rahm Emmanuel!!

And by the way Mr./Ms. Policeperson.  These people are out there for you too!  You’re probably a union member.  How’s you like to lose your collective bargaining rights?

Happy Birthday Helen Keller: Socialist, Feminist, Rabblerouser

Helen Keller had never been one of my particular heroes. I grow up like everyone else thinking she was a brave little blind girl who Annie Sullivan “tamed” and made into a good example of how to be a brave little blind girl. As usual the Disney version is not the whole story. Helen was a socialist!

The media cover-up started even in her lifetime. The editor of the Brooklyn Eagle after finding out she supported Eugene Debs for president wrote as article saying essentially that she was “handicapped” and of course this limited her reasoning abilities. Helen fired back referring to a meeting they had earlier: “At that time the compliments he paid me were so generous that I blush to remember them. But now that I have come out for socialism he reminds me and the public that I am blind and deaf and especially liable to error. I must have shrunk in intelligence during the years since I met him…Oh, ridiculous Brooklyn Eagle! Socially blind and deaf, it defends an intolerable system, a system that is the cause of much of the physical blindness and deafness which we are trying to prevent.”

Helen was a feminist! “I was appointed on a commission to investigate the conditions of the blind. For the first time I, who had thought blindness a misfortune beyond human control, found that too much of it was traceable to wrong industrial conditions, often caused by the selfishness and greed of employers. And the social evil contributed its share. I found that poverty drove women to a life of shame that ended in blindness.” She was one of the early advocates for easily available contraception.

Helen had an FBI file!  Her contacts with suspected communists were frequently investigated by the FBI.

Helen had read the constitution and knew what it really said!  In 1920 she was one of the founders of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Helen was a pacifist! “Every modern war has had its root in exploitation” Keller said. “The Civil War was fought to decide whether the slaveholders of the South or the capitalists of the North should exploit the West. The Spanish-American War decided that the United States should exploit Cuba and the Philippines. The South African War decided that the British should exploit the diamond mines. The Russo-Japanese War decided that Japan should exploit Korea. The present war is to decide who shall exploit the Balkans, Turkey, Persia, Egypt, India, China, Africa. And we are whetting our sword to scare the victors into sharing the spoils with us. Now, the workers are not interested in the spoils; they will not get any of them anyway.” and “Strike against war, for without you no battles can be fought,” she declared. “Strike against preparedness that means death and misery to millions of human beings. Be not dumb, obedient slaves in an army of destruction. Be heroes in an army of construction.”

So Happy Birthday  to one of the original pop icons!  Paris Hilton you ain’t!  Ah for the days when cultural icon actually meant you had something to offer the culture.

Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968)

My Little Socialist Workers Collective

Yesterday as I was answering the phones at Fedco I got messages from two folks wanting our catalog based on something they had read on the Daily Kos.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with this liberal political blog it is well established and well-respected.  Tagline:  The STATE of the NATION.  I used to follow it closely when my political life was more active (i.e. when I was helping run gubernatorial and senatorial races).  But I had lost touch with it in more recent times.  I also kind of soured on it because it is a bit of a mouthpiece for the Dems.  But when I heard it mentioned twice on the Fedco catalog request line I was intrigued.

So here is how the little Workers Cooperative that I am a part of came to be mentioned in a big time political blog.  Every year when the catalog comes out each of our division coordinators writes an essay to introduce this year’s products and usually talk a bit about our philosophy.  Last year and again this year there have been mentions of communal ideals in both the seed essay (CR Lawn) and the essay in the Organic Growers Supply section (David Shipman).  Both years we have gotten reactions from right-wing zealots  chastising us for mixing business with politics.  I  want to say to them “So it’s okay for Halliburton,  Monsanto and the Koch brothers to do that but not okay for us???”  I usually restrain myself but not always.  It leads to some interesting conversations.

This year David’s essay really hit the big time though.  It got him noticed by a blogger on the Daily Kos.  I read Lao Hong Han’s very interesting essay and most of the comments.  Hurrah for all the folks who are growing their own and who get that what you grow and what you eat is a political act.  I most appreciate the commenter that noted that even if the right-wing is trying to launch a boycott against Fedco (REALLY???? come on now folks don’t you have anything better to do with your time???)  the company is still experiencing double-digit growth even in (or perhaps because of) the present economic situation.

Check out David’s and CR’s essays in the online catalog at and consider voting with your dollars for the kind of business practices you want to see continue to thrive.