Sunday, May 13, 2018

Our April 28th (2018) Event with Howie Hawkins & Steve Greenfield - A Photo Essay

(Photos and text by Barbara Kidney)

Green Party Gubernatorial Candidate (and lifelong activist for people, peace, and planet) Howie Hawkins came to the Hudson Valley on Saturday April 28 at the invitation of Hudson Valley Green Party.  Later we were joined by Green Party Congressional Candidate Steve Greenfield as well, for events in Dutchess County. Members Andrew Dalton (Treasurer), Dave Heller (Co-Secretary), Randy Hurst, and Barbara Kidney (Co-Chair) were instrumental in setting up this multi-event day.

We were graced with a mostly sunny spring day, and the day's activities started with Howie calling in to Dutchess County Legislator Joel Tyner's talk radio program on WHVW 950AM.  Joel, a highly progressive member of the Democratic Party, is also a longtime area activist for all things good.

Later in the morning, Howie and several members of HVGP joined in the rally, led every Saturday from 11am to noon by Protect Orange County, against Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) fossil fuel power plant in the Town of Wawayanda near Slate Hill and Middletown, and busy highway Interstate 84.  The Chair of Protect Orange County is Pramilla Malick, and she is currently seeking the State Senate District 42 candidacy on the Democratic Party line.


You can find out more about Protect Orange County here:  www.blog.protectorangecounty.org
They also have a page on Face Book.



At the end of the rally, which drew probably about 75 people, and garnered many honks of approval from passing vehicles, Pramilla and Howie spoke to the picketers.  In the above photo, Pramilla is in the center wearing an orange cardigan (to represent Protect Orange County) and Howie is just to her left, facing the plant.  One can get a sense of the immense size of this plant, which is in a residential area, and also close to major highways, schools, Orange County Community College, an historic site (Native American and colonial era cemeteries) and the City of Middletown.  One can also see that despite NYS DEC (Dept. of Environmental Conservation) having denied CPV pipeline access due to deleterious effects of major greenhouse gas emissions, and water and wetlands destruction, CPV has forged ahead with construction, beholden to no one but its own greed for financial profit.  (Well, heck, it's not like the owners and execs live here, after all).  Unprecendently, FERC (Federal Environmental Raping Commission, known in doublespeak as the Federal Energy Regulatory (ha ha!) Commission) over-ruled DEC and the two agencies are now in court over this issue.


 After the rally a lucky 13 of us went to eat lunch at nearby Saffron Indian Cuisine Restaurant




where Pramilla found some friends
already there.






 Besides enjoying the food and informal conversation, Pramilla and colleagues gave updates and information about the politics behind CPV,       

 and Howie told us about his platform,
which includes calling for cessation of
toxic fuel projects in the state and
complete transition to safe,
community-and -planet-friendly green
renewable energy by 2030, which is in
 keeping with the Paris Climate Accord.  (In contrast,  Democratic gubernatorial primary contender Cynthia Nixon's platform does not call for a transition to renewable energy until 2050).   More info can be found on Howie's website,  at
www.howiehawkins.org      

Howie's campaign slogan is "Demand More!" (things progressive, of course!)



 
Also during our luncheon, HVGP Secretary and FairVote.org member Dave Heller who is especially knowledgeable and passionate about Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), led us in an exercise demonstrating how RCV works.  Go to www.fairvote.org for more information.

In the RCV activity, we were each given a selection of differently colored slips of paper and were directed to stack them in order of our color preference.  Given that no one color received at least 51% of the vote immediately, voters' second and third color preferences were taken into account as well.  Colors receiving only one or two first choice votes were eliminated immediately from consideration.
                                                                                    

The color receiving the most first, second, and third preference votes "won." (For those in suspense, blue won over the rest of the rainbow - Dave had not allowed green to enter the race, presuming that naturally we would all vote for green!  So in the absence of green we voted for a nice shade of blue. Once more, art imitates life!)

Ranked choice voting has been approved for use in the state of Maine. A good article about RCV can be found in inthesetimes.com/archives/covers_ind/42/04/
and in the print copy of In These Times April 2018, "Breaking the Two-Party System" by Theo Anderson.





After lunch Howie and some of us HVGP members headed to Rhinebeck where we met up with HVGP member and Green Party candidate for Congressional District 19, Steve Greenfield, in front of the Rhinebeck Repair Cafe.  From HVGP's extensive interview on March 20 with Steve when we were vetting his candidacy, we know and fully approve of his stand on issues, which include promoting peace and ceasing military misadventures and human tragedy, promoting human rights, ceasing all toxic energy such as fracking and nuclear energy, transitioning entirely to safe green energy asap, setting up universal healthcare and universal guaranteed basic income.

We enjoyed about an hour's worth of conversation on sociopolitical topics including the roots of May Day as a people's holiday, a subject near and dear to the hearts of Howie, Andrew, and Barbara especially. Howie recommended Peter Linebaugh's book on the topic -see https://www.democracynow.org/2016/4/29/historian_peter_linebaugh_on_the_incomplete

Frank H. from Putnam County, who has helped us campaign for Green candidates, came by with a list of recommended readings on the challenges of implementing democracy, ranging from Plato's Republic to Colin Woodard's American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America to Peter Moskowitz's How To Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the NeighborhoodThis sparked philosophical and political discussion, as CD 19 candidate Steve Greenfield is well-versed and interested in economics and political theory and philosophy, and Barbara and Andrew have read about and given thought to such issues as well.  Meanwhile, a local resident Sally K, an individual much interested in and knowledgeable about Nature, organic gardening, and natural healing, stopped and talked with Howie. She joined us as we next headed to Traghaven Irish Whiskey Pub in Tivoli.

There we were also joined by some others eager to meet Howie and Steve, including HVGP member Dave Giannascoli (who is one of HVGP's seven newly-elected State Committee Representatives to GPNY).  Folks were also interested in participating in Dave Heller's RCV activity (which does make for a good, educational pub game!)  Here Sally and Howie look on as Dave H carefully tallies our votes.





(If memory serves, I believe blue again "won").  We all enjoyed more political conversation over high-quality food and drink.   In the photo below, GP Congressional Candidate for Congressional District 19, Steve Greenfield (right), listens as Howie makes a point.



(Be it noted: Howie, who had to drive back to Syracuse that evening, imbibed in no alcoholic beverage, and that I, who was not driving, had the highly pleasant experience of enjoying the best Guinness I have ever tasted outside of UK and the Republic of Ireland- beer fans, Traghaven has it on nitro tap!).

In keeping with ambience of Ireland evoked by the pub, the pleasant sunny late afternoon morphed into a gentle rainy evening.

Special thanks to Howie, Pramilla,  Randy, Dave H, and Steve for making this a memorable day! Cheers, everybody!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

HVGP Formal Spring Meeting - 7 pm Tues May 8

Our annual formal in-person spring meeting will take place Tuesday, May 8, 7 pm until about 8:30 pm.  Please note, contrary to past plans and expectations, this meeting will take place in the Town of Newburgh, Orange County, rather than in New Paltz.  Address is Suite 220, Arborgate Office Building, 275 Rt 17K, Town of Newburgh 12550. More details about location will follow at the end of this post.

Our meeting is open to: all registered (with your Board of Elections) Green Party voters; or, all who have recently filed official forms with their Board of Elections to register in the Green Party (please bring supporting documentation to this meeting); or, those who are 18 or older and who legally are banned from voting and who agree with Green Party values and would be registered Greens if they were allowed to vote (this could include immigrants); and who reside in Dutchess, Orange, or Ulster County.

Main purposes of this meeting are to elect our representatives to the State Committee (SC) of the Green Party of NYS (GPNY), to support campaigns of Green Party candidates in our region (including Howie Hawkins for Governor and Steve Greenfield for Congressional District 19), and to formulate ideas for GPNY's political advocacy regarding state issues for the upcoming year (current priorities have been: banning single use plastic bags (success!), promoting public transportation, stopping climate change, and promoting single payer access to healthcare).  And, of course, we will have the pleasant opportunity to get acquainted with each other.

HVGP is currently entitled to 10 representatives to the SC, based on the number of registered Green voters in our geographic area and on the number of those who pay dues to GPNY. (Dues are extremely affordable and are based on an honor system sliding scale. If you do not currently pay dues, you can take care of that by going to the Green Party of New York State website.  The Green Party does NOT accept ANY corporate donations, so financial resources come only from individual donations- therefore, we all need to contribute).    

So far, eight of our regular HVGP participants have agreed to run to fulfill the office of SC representative.  Duties include making a good faith effort to attend all or most of the three annual GPNY meetings (held 9am to 5pm the 3rd Saturday of January, May, and September) in the Capital District (hospitality and carpooling or train station pickup available); to keep abreast of GPNY issues via regular participation in HVGP meetings (usually via monthly conference call, usually the first Tues eve of the month) and monthly GPNY conference calls (usually the third Tues eve of the month) and by checking in with GPNY's website, and like any other engaged member of HVGP, helping to collect signatures of registered Greens in our area on official state ballot petitions which allow our candidates to appear on Election Day ballots and our SC reps to be recognized by the State Board of Elections.  This year the designated time (by State Board of Elections and GPNY) for doing this is between June 5 and July 12.  Term of office of SC reps is 2 years.  Nominations for SC reps will be taken during this meeting, presumably followed by voting.

Incidentally, next GPNY meeting and annual General State Convention is Saturday, May 19 in the Capital District - see GPNY website for details. It is open to all registered Greens in NYS, and during it, candidates for the November ballot will be formally selected.

Location details: Arborgate Offices is a small private office building that looks like a large residential house on the corner of State Route 17K and a side street called Arbor Drive in the Town of Newburgh.  Most GPS misdirects people a block or so away, so beware! There is a traffic light at that corner.  You will need to turn onto Arbor Drive (which leads into a residential development called Colden Park), immediately pass a row of mailboxes on your right, and then immediately turn right into the parking area, which holds about a dozen vehicles. If there is no room, you can park on Arbor Drive.  Enter the building by way of the solid black door by the stoop in the parking lot area (we will have a sign up saying "HVGP Meeting").  Come up the inside stairs (there's about six of them) and turn left to Suite 220.

General location is on State Route 17K between Exits 5A and 6 of I-84. If you take the Thruway, you would get off on Exit 7, and then briefly take I-84 to Exit 6 and turn right onto 17K. From New Paltz, you could do that or take "the back way" to Newburgh, ending up on Rock Cut Road and turning right off Rock Cut onto 17K and then at the next light, turn left onto Arbor Drive.

Reason for change of location:  As you may know, we originally planned to have this meeting in New Paltz, given the centrality of New Paltz for our HVGP geographic area. But, basically, no room at the inn : ) in New Paltz - we found that Village Hall rooms and library rooms were already regularly booked on Tuesday evenings, no legitimate way for us to get into SUNY NP, no free or affordable adequately sized quiet rooms that we could find. And thank you, Steve Greenfield and Andrew Dalton, for looking, and looking!

So, hope to see you - 7 pm Tues. May 8 - Suite 220, Arborgate Offices, 275 Rt 17K, Town (not City!) of Newburgh, 12550.

If you are planning on coming, it would be handy to know in advance (for purposes of having enough chairs available) - please call or text Andrew at 845 699 3051. Contact him also for any further info, or should you get lost en route - hope not!

Cheers,
Barbara Kidney
CoChair
Hudson Valley Green Party













Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Important Events - Sat. Apr 28 & Tues Eve May 8

Hudson Valley Green Party would like all Greens and Green friends to be aware of our multi-event day this coming Saturday, Apr 28.  Please see the prior post for information on the events of that day, and please spread the word about it.

Additionally, on Tues evening May 8, HVGP is having an in-person gathering and business meeting for: all registered Greens, or voters who have filed with their Board of Elections to affiliate with the Green Party and are awaiting that to take place after the next election (which is how NYS election law works), or those who would be Green but due to law are disenfranchised (e.g, Dreamers, permanent residents, etc.); and who reside in Dutchess, Orange, or Ulster County.

General location for our May 8 meeting will be New Paltz, as that is a rather central location for our large geographic area.  Please stay tuned for exact location, which will be posted here once it is established.

Meeting start time is planned to be at 7 pm.

Main items on agenda will be election of our representatives to the State Committee of the Green Party of New York State, and selection of state political issues we would like us and the rest of GPNY to focus on during the upcoming year.  (Currently, the political issues of focus for the past year have been: banning most plastic bags (recent success!); promoting public transportation; averting climate change; and promoting single payer health coverage).  Regarding our State Committee (SC) representatives, we have had none as we are a newly emerging official multi-county GPNY organization, and we are currently entitled to have up to 10 SC representatives.  The number is based on the number of registered Greens in our geographic jurisdiction and also the number of those who are dues-paying members to GPNY. (If you are not already paying dues, you can take care of that by going to the Green Party of NYS website. Dues are based on a sliding scale, and are extremely affordable. Funding for the Green Party is entirely via small individual donations - NO corporate donations are accepted. So financial backing is entirely up to us).

The Green Party of New York State will be having its annual convention in the Capital District on Saturday May 19.  All registered Greens in the state are welcome and eligible to participate. State GP candidates will be formally selected. More info, including hospitality and car-pooling arrangements, can be found on Green Party of New York State website.

Cheers!
Barbara Kidney
HVGP CoChair

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Sat. Apr 28 - A Multi-Event Day

Green Party Gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins will be making appearances in Orange and Dutchess Counties on Saturday, April 28.  He will be joined in both counties by HVGP Secretary and active Fair Vote member Dave Heller, and in Dutchess by HVGP member and Green Party candidate for Congressional District 19, Steve Greenfield.

Here's the schedule:

11am to Noonish - Howie will be participating in the weekly picket organized by Protect Orange County against Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) Power Plant off County Route 6 in the Town Of Wawayanda near Slate Hill (just look for the humongous polluting smokestacks).

12:30 to 2 pm - Join Howie, Dave Heller, and other members of HVGP for lunch at the Saffron Indian restaurant, 130 Dolson Ave (Playtogs Plaza), Middletown.  [Important: Out of consideration for the restaurant staff, please reserve your space by calling or texting Andrew at 845-699-3051 by noon on Fri Apr 27, if at all possible].  
   Howie will make a brief presentation on his platform, on how Green leads to Green, meaning that environmental sustainability leads to good economic outcomes, as well as ecological and public health benefits, followed by conversation. Additionally, Dave Heller will lead all who would like in an enjoyable activity to demonstrate the process and benefits of Ranked Choice Voting, now to be used in Maine, and being seriously considered in Dutchess County. RCV guarantees that in a election with more than two candidates, the winner needs to gain at least 51% of the vote. (In contrast, when, for example, three candidates run, our current electoral process allows the winner to accrue no more than 33.3% of the vote).
    Basic all-you-can-eat buffet costs about $15, and a la carte menu items are also available.  Beyond the cost of your lunch, a $5 to $20 donation is suggested (but not required) for the RCV activity. Proceeds will be given to the Howie Hawkins campaign.

3:30 to 4:15 pm - Repair NY! - outside the Rhinebeck Repair Cafe - Rhinebeck Town Hall, 80 East Market St., Rhinebeck. Meet and greet with Howie, Steve, and Dave.  Learn about the candidates' ideas and positions on issues and, from Dave especially, about the benefits of Ranked Choice Voting.

5 to 6:30 pm - Presentations by Howie and Steve on their platforms, Q & A.  Dave Heller will lead an enjoyable group activity on the process and benefits of Ranked Choice Voting.  We'll all be at the Traghaven Irish Whiskey Pub, 66 Broadway, Tivoli, and we may be able to sample and rate draft beers as part of the RCV activity (non-alcoholic options for that activity will also be available). Beyond the cost of your tab, a $5 to $20 donation is suggested but not required for the RCV activity. Proceeds to be split between the Howie Hawkins and Steve Greenfield campaigns.  HVGP's Andrew Dalton & Barbara Kidney may burst into some traditional Celtic music - bring your instrument if you'd like, or your voice for a pub sing number or two!

Hope to see you Saturday! Please spread the word!

For further info, contact Andrew at 845-699-3051.

Monday, April 16, 2018

How Green Was/Is/Will Be My Valley?



This was the question posed on March 4, 2018, as lifelong social and environmental justice activist Howie Hawkins (pictured speaking in the photo here) joined a panel of local activists and an engaged audience of about 50 participants at the Unitarian Universalist Church Hall in Middletown, NY, in a forum organized by Hudson Valley Green Party (HVGP).  The valley thus in question is the Hudson Valley, currently under attack from the toxic, fracked and diesel fuel Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) power plant in Wawayanda (Orange County) and its proposed connector Valley Lateral Pipeline (VLP) from Millennial Pipeline; the proposed toxic fracked fuel Cricket Valley power plant near Dover Plains (Dutchess County); Lincoln Park mixed fuel (including fracked fuel) plant near Lake Katrine (Ulster County); and Legoland amusement park proposed for  the Town of Goshen (Orange County).

Howie Hawkins, who is seeking the 2018 gubernatorial nomination from the NYS Green Party, was our keynote speaker on the topic of "From Resistance, to Power." He was introduced by facilitator Barbara Kidney, CoChair of HVGP, who noted that for all his life, wherever Howie went, he left behind a trail of justice, peace, and beauty.  She advised attendees to check out the Wikipedia article on Howie (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howie_Hawkins) to get an overview of his many substantive endeavors to promote the common good, including: standing up against bigotry in the US and apartheid in South Africa; opposing the Vietnam War; establishing an Occupy-like construction workers' cooperative in Dartmouth in 1984; and helping to establish the Clamshell Alliance in 1976 which successfully stopped the proposed establishment of Seabrook nuclear plant in New Hampshire.  She noted that had Howie been elected Governor in 2014, we would not be facing the construction of new toxic fuel plants and pipelines in NYS today.  During his talk, Howie spoke of how advocates for human and Earth rights can influence the political zeitgeist and policies of plutocratic politicians and officeholders, even when such advocates do not attain enough votes to win elections themselves.

Our panel of local experts and activists consisted of the following members:

~ Randy Hurst of Hudson Valley Green Party (HVGP) and Pramilla Malick, both of Protect Orange County (which Randy founded and Pramilla has chaired for the past few years). (Pramilla is seeking the Democratic nomination for State Senate District 42, to challenge incumbent John Bonacic R-C).  They spoke of the resistance to CPV, and the climatological, environmental, and public health threats CPV poses.

~ Jordan of Hudson Valley EarthFirst! who spoke of the direct nonviolent action taken by  HVEarthfirst! including 24/7 tree sitters (throughout the windy, subzero, snowy weather of December and January) who blocked and thus delayed trench work for VLP in the forest known for its populations of bog turtles, Indiana bats, and bald eagles, among many other species whose homes are being destroyed by this toxic endeavor.

~ Dave Heller of HVGP who spoke about the proposed Cricket Valley plant, to be even bigger than CPV. He noted that the power company had made a $500,000 donation to Dover Plains public schools, yet would poison the air the students will breathe.

~ Andrew Dalton of HVGP and New Paltz Climate Action Coalition, who provided information on the Lincoln Park project, and the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline, to run alongside the NYS Thruway, conveying toxic fracked materials from Albany to northern NJ.  That latter project is currently in abeyance.

It was noted that Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is supportive of all these new toxic, greenhouse gas emitting power plants, which, according to experts such as Drs. Tony Ingraffea and and Bob Howarth of Cornell University, are conservatively estimated to add 25% to statewide greenhouse gas emissions if operative.

~ Jessica Gocke of HVGP and Concerned Citizens of the Hudson Valley, who spoke about Legoland, a massive amusement park owned by the large, foreign Merlin corporation and being forced into Goshen by the Town Board and Planning Board against the will of the people and in blatant violation of Goshen's zoning laws and Comprehensive Plan. Unless halted, it will result in close to a million more vehicles annually being driven on the already congested highways in the region, and will be a drain on already stressed water resources, as well as adding to water pollution from run-off. (Jessica also livestreamed our forum onto FB).

Three potential Green Party candidates for Congressional District 19 attended and were introduced by facilitator Barbara Kidney.  These were Victoria Alexander, Steve Greenfield, and Will Pflaum. (Will has since dropped out of the race due to personal considerations; Victoria has won the Libertarian Party endorsement and thus is out of consideration by the Green Party; Steve Greenfield has won the endorsement of the Green Party of NYS).  Barbara noted that Victoria, from Dutchess County, and Will, from Columbia County, are both scholars, holding doctorates in humanities, published authors of books, and alternative farmers.  Barbara pointed out that Steve, from Ulster County, is a professional musician, longterm volunteer firefighter, and a Green Party campaigner who helped elect Green Party Mayor Jason West of New Paltz, who started marrying homosexual couples in the early 2000's, thus initiating the political impulse to legalize the rights of homosexual citizens.

Former Green Party Deputy Mayor of New Paltz Rebecca Rotzler also attended the forum, as did three founding members of The Bronx Green Party, HVGP CoSecretary Joe Calabro, and HVGP Member-at-Large from Orange County, Bennett Weiss, and many active citizens from the greater region.  The forum helped activists to get know about  the work of other activists, and to get an overview of environmental, and thus public health, threats to the Hudson Valley.

Organic and fair trade refreshments were offered by HVGP (and it seems, eagerly accepted by attendees!)  Relevant printed materials including lists of resistance groups and websites were provided to attendees.  The book Independent Politics: The Green Party Strategy Debate, edited by Howie Hawkins, was available for sale or by a $50 donation to Howie's campaign.  Howie collected nearly $200 toward his campaign. Attendees were advised as to how they could make online donations to the Hawkins campaign and to the all the resistance groups represented at the forum.  Andrew Dalton and Barbara Kidney performed Celtic instrumental music as people gathered and during intermission, and they led people in singing "Down by the Riverside" (with second verse of "Gonna shut down that power plant/Down by the riverside/Ain't gonna harm the Earth no more!") and the famous union song "Step by Step (the longest march can be done)." Geography professor Michael Strmiska from Orange County Community College led off the second part of the forum with a rousing chant he has written against CPV.

Judging from the energy of all throughout, and at the end, three flickerings of lights finally followed by Deputy Mayor Rotzler amiably but firmly ushering people out, it seemed that the event was a great success.

If you would like further information about anything you have read here, you can contact Andrew Dalton at 845 699 3051.

HVGP is very pleased to note that Howie Hawkins will be coming to our region again on Saturday,  April 28, and will be involved in events in Middletown (Orange County) and then, along with CD 19 candidate Steve Greenfield, in Rhinebeck and Tivoli (Dutchess County).  HVGP's Dave Heller, also active in the Fair Vote organization, will be involved in some of these events, leading participants in playful activities to learn more about the process and benefits of RCV (ranked-choice voting). Stay tuned!


Monday, September 11, 2017

The Continuing Horror of 9/11

Sixteen years later, and tragically, the horrific legacy of 9/11 lives on.

Manhattan is my home town. My Mom, like her own Mom, had been born in Manhattan.  My Dad (the the Irish-American Brooklynite) worked on Maiden Lane, in lower Manhattan. He had been retired for many years at the time of 9/11, and I had left even more years ago.  At the time of the 9/11 attack, I was living in the Hudson Valley, with friends & neighbors working in Manhattan, including possibly my own husband, working as courier driver.  Eventually I found out that no one close to me had died in the attack, but the brother of an acquaintance (the brother had been a Manhattan chef) was killed, and the young adult son of a lovely, typically cheerful friend of mine, on his way to visit his fiancee across the country, was on board one of the planes that hit the towers.

People caught in the attack, NYC Transit workers, police, firefighters, EMT and other emergency personnel, exerted heroic efforts to prevent further deaths and to otherwise respond to the tragedy. As a native of NYC, I certainly was not at all surprised to hear of the various stories of sudden heroism by ordinary New Yorkers, who typically rise to such occasions with down-to-earth decency, humble and amazing courage, and competence.  Many of these have had their lives impeded and shortened by harm to their health, from the asbestos and toxins they breathed in, from the lack of protective equipment, and from our nation's unique failure to provide adequate healthcare to all but the wealthy and the electeds.

And, I am proud to say, like so many of my fellow New Yorkers, including those who lost loved ones in the attack, the very last thing I wanted to have happen after 9/11 was for more civilians to be violently attacked and killed.  The last thing we wanted to have happen is for normal humans doing normal activities - people caring for their babies, caring for each other, caring for their pets, going to their jobs, taking their kids to school, growing crops (and flowers), creating art, healing the sick, making music, pursuing scientific enquiry, falling in love- the last thing we wanted after that hellish day, was to have some Americans choose to continue the work of the devil, and go around bombing people, who are just trying to live their lives in their own communities. 

However, the very thing we most abhor, the killing of other humans, just trying to live their own human lives, was what those Americans with the most decision-making power chose to do.  After arranging for Bin Laden's family in the U.S to be flown safely out of the US without questioning right after 9/11, W. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Rice, chose to violently kill, maim, torture Afghanis and Iraqis.  Had the governments of Afghanistan or Iraq declared war on us or even attacked us? No, they had not.  Which country, besides possibly our own, was most responsible, for 9/11?  Our dear friend, Saudi Arabia, to whom we give billions of US tax money for their weapons of terrorism - W. Bush, Obama, Trump...one thing these presidents all have in common is that.

Many self-identified liberals and progressives opposed the invasion of Iraq during the W. Bush years, but then supported the US war on the Middle East during the Obama years.  According to well-respected human rights institutions such as Amnesty International, Reprieve, and Human Rights Watch, US military violence in the Middle East has killed hundreds of thousands of civilians, displaced millions, and under Obama, sneak drone murders of civilians in several countries has increased about tenfold compared to W., resulting in thousands of civilians being murdered, and Trump continues the dronings.  I use the word "murders" advisedly - bombing people with drones operated across the world, and then bombing the first-responders who come to render aid to the victims, is officially a crime according to international courts of justice, as well to anyone with the least exacting of moral compasses.

US presidents have much decision-making power, but it takes the many to empower their decisions. So many ways to enable US military terrorism.  Even though US wars and other military actions have been unjust and often illegal according to international standards, join the military or the National Guard, encourage young people to do so, and thank military members for their service (to Commanders-in-Chief with track records of violently sociopathic policy decisions). Repeat the malarkey that the US military defends our freedoms (no, we do not have the freedom to kill people in other countries.  Are they invading us? No, we are invading them.  Are they threatening our Bill of Rights? No, we are doing that to ourselves, with, for example, the "Patriot" Acts, NSA, and Border Patrol allowed to do whatever they want to whomever they want, whenever). Repeat the malarkey that US military are all heroes.  Keep silent when others mouth the malarkey.  Never speak up about the blatant immorality of US declared and undeclared wars and the drone murders. Never join or support a peace group. Call violence "patriotic" and call failure to support mass murder "unpatriotic," call those who try to protect their communities against US military violence "insurgents" like that's a bad thing (hey, remember 1776 - who were the insurgents then?).  And when you hear others speak this way, be sure to remain silent. Never write a letter to the editor against US military decisions, never contact your electeds to protest US military actions.  Because fact is, those who can decide to initiate violent militaristic activities, would be utterly helpless to enact them, if it weren't for all the myriad enablers making all those atrocities possible.  

Special acknowledgement to all who remain silent about all that- the ongoing hellish legacy of 9/11 would be impossible without you.

So, about three thousand people killed on 9/11/01, and since then, via military actions, the US has killed or otherwise adversely impacted well over a million people, who had, incidentally, nothing to do with 9/11.  To those who did have something to do with 9/11, we continue to give heaps of our tax money and weapons.  Can we stop yet?  Can we stop the hellish legacy of 9/11?  

A reminder - in sharp contrast to the Democratic Party, as well as to the Republican Party, the Green Party accepts no corporate (think arms and drone manufacturers) funding, and the official political platform of the Green Party clearly supports peace.  Thou shalt not kill.  Is this really such a hard directive to follow? What will you do?

Barbara Kidney
HVGP Co-Chair 

Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Green table in Beacon


Lots of people stopped to talk. "How do we get out of
the two party, corporate controlled system?