SocraticGadfly: 8/7/16 - 8/14/16

August 12, 2016

Are US #Greens extra-squirrelly vs Euro Greens?

That's a claim you'll hear repeatedly from Democrats this year. It runs something like:

"If only U.S. Greens were as sane as their European counterparts." The "sane" usually refers to Greens, sometimes including presidential candidate Jill Stein, pitching woo, specifically the woo of pseudoscience.

The incomplete conditional is a sham, of course. Were American Greens woo-free, Democrats would find other reasons to attack them even while claiming to look for common ground.

That said, is the claim true? Are European Greens a sea of sanity?

In a word, no. At least not British ones.

That said, unlike many Dems, even those of some degree of alleged high standards, pure breeding, etc., I already knew a small bit about Euro-Greens, and thus, beyond knowing the conditional was a red herring, knew it was untrue.

It's about like Gnu Atheists claiming Europe is full of atheists. No.

Rather, replacing much of the void of Christianity is a wider variety of New Agers and a much greater degree of neopagans than in America.

On the flip side, Canadian Greens are such weak tea party leader Elizabeth May opposes and worries about the party supporting BDS against Israel. More here on Canadians Greens' barf-inducing stances.

August 11, 2016

More anti-Russkies, anti-Putin bloviating from the MSM

The New York Times drops a shitload of innuendo on us, claiming the Russkie minions of Vladimir Putin, aka Vlad the Impaler, have tried to go beyond the Democratic National Committee hacks to hacking the Democratic Governors' Association and more ...

Only to caveat a bunch of claims, first, and second ...

To note specifically in paragraph 17 that Hillary Clinton's private email server was NOT hacked, and


To not at all discuss whether or not attempts were made on any Republican systems, though it does claim that there's no indication of any attacks on Trump personal computers.

(As I've blogged before, they surely were attacks on official GOP systems, if this were an official Russian effort. And the DNCLeaks attacks started before it was guaranteed Clinton would be the Dem nominee and long before Trump had the GOP bid nailed.)

Then there's this.

Here's what I like about the story even more. Guccifer 2.0 is allegedly a bumbling idiot, and there's allegedly Cyrillic-alphabet metadata on a bunch of stuff, but FBI Director James Comey claims the Russkies are too skilled to leave tracks.

But, there's an idiot, and a conspiracy theorist, born every minute., as Barnum said.

And Putin's laughing all the way to ... the surprise counteroffensive in Ukraine.

August 10, 2016

I'm not a freeloader, 1 percenters

I had a car accident (not my fault) about two months ago. I try to have some reasonable, non-Pollyanna gratitude, like noting it was the arm itself and not hand/wrist bones, and the left not the right. (It still was a serious accident, and assuming I get full recovery, that will take longer than normal.) Here's one big part of that.

On my arm, one other thing to be grateful for.

The US, of course, does not have a national health care system. (I know that in some Western nations, part of the healthcare is delivered through private insurers, and it's not totally single-payer, but said insurers are generally better regulated than the US and there may be some structural differences.)

My insurance has a pretty high deductible (between Obamacare bronze and silver, I'd guess, fellow Americans).

However, because I was driving to track down a possible news story (an alleged gas leak) ...  this is deemed on the job. And hence, workers' compensation system.

With allowance for deductibles, it's what private health insurance should be like, but sadly is not, in America.

I hadn't even thought about it, but company HQ started the paperwork either that Friday 6 1/2 weeks ago or the Monday after.

If anything, the gas company being extremely cheap on the amount of PR people it employs and the lack of proactiveness when an alleged leak happens, let alone when it becomes public knowledge, is the freeloader — freeloading on the public trust.

That said, workman's comp has its downside too, which includes sometimes being even slower than regular insurance to approve claims and procedures.

This is also yet another way in which the portion of the 99 percent who vote Republican vote against their own interests. The Republican master class thinks workman's compensation, like unemployment benefits, is freeloading. Of course, much of the moneybags that feed the Democratic master class, if not (yet) the master class itself, also feels the same way.

August 09, 2016

TXProgessives discuss the #GreenParty and #GNCinHOU, Trump, ranked choice voting, more

The Texas Progressive Alliance is feeling the Olympic spirit as it brings you this week's roundup.

Off the Kuff is pleased by the changes to voter ID requirements that were agreed to last week.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme, like the US Hispanic Congressional Caucus, is disgusted with the CEO of IBC bank doing business in South Texas while supporting Donald Trump.

Taking into account both real and hypothetical options, SocraticGadfly uses ranked choice voting to explain how he would vote, or like to vote, in this year's presidential election.

The Green Party's presidential nominating convention in Houston kept PDiddie at Brains and Eggs busy most of the week. There's also a CNN town hall scheduled for next week for the Jill Stein-Ajamu Baraka ticket.

Texas Leftist also blogged about the Green convention.

Neil at All People Have Value walked on Houston's fabulous Airline. Drive with a sign regarding the need for respect for all people. APHV is part of

Texas Vox expressed concern about Waste Control Specialists and the Department of Energy jumping into a radioactive bed together again.

Lewisville Texan Journal celebrated one year in print.


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Pamela Coloff's 2006 story on the UT Tower shooting received a lot of attention on the 50th anniversary of that horrible day.

Better Texas Blog explains how Texas can support kinship caregivers.

Eileen Smith keeps trying to make sense of Donald Trump.

Dan Wallach contemplates election security as national security.

The Texas Living Waters Project argues that desalination could harm Texas' bays.

Juanita is seeking support for Glen Maxey's ballot by mail program.

The TSTA Blog sees through the latest school finance "reform" idea.

August 08, 2016

#ImWithJill from the #GNCInHOU to election day, #Hillbots

First, let's get one preliminary out of the way, now that Jill Stein has officially been nominated as Green Party presidential candidate.

It's in that photo, biatches.

Period and end of story.


I know you're speaking out of fear.

And not the fear of what Donald Trump could do nearly as much as the fear that Hillary Clinton, caution, incrementalism and more DNCLeaks timebombs from Wikileaks ticking in the background ...

Could blow this whole damned thing.

You know what?

That's your problem, not mine. You backed that flawed of a Democratic candidate. You supported a Democratic Party that officially and underhandedly greased the skids to get a candidate that flawed nominated.

It's also in this video, biatches, embedded below.

Stein mentions even co-authoring a book where vaccines weren't even close to being considered a cause for autism.

"Vaccines didn't even make it into the list of things we considered reviewing."

She's right; this is Swift-Boating, mainly from the minions of David Brock. It is "concocted."

But, for both pro-Stein and anti-Hillbot angles, I've already got my Tweetdeck loaded for bear from now through election day.

That said, Stein and Greens, if the Socialist Party USA gets write-in status in the presidential race here, I reserve the right to vote Socialist.

August 07, 2016

#JillStein nomination acceptance speech at the #GNCinHOU

Transcript of Dr. Jill Stein's Presidential Nomination Acceptance Speech at Green Party National Convention, Video:

Blogger's note: Endless war combined with a refusal to be honest with Saudi Arabia, the refusal to work to move more beyond oil as part of facing the Saudis, an economy that still ignores the non-college graduate of all races, the socioeconomic class separate but unequal schools, are just a few of Stein’s themes.


Thank you so much. This is what democracy looks like. This is what political revolution looks like.

Thank you so much you for being here today and for leading the charge for an America and a world that works for all of us, a world that puts people, planet and peace over profit.

I am honored beyond words to be your candidate in this election. I’m honored to be running for President of the United States with the Green Party, the one national party that stands up for the people, and that’s been ahead of the curve in so many ways - on climate change and green energy, on marriage equality, free public higher education and health care as human rights, on stopping the Trans Pacific Partnership, on reparations for slavery, opposing Saudi war crimes in Yemen, and Israeli human rights abuses and occupation in Palestine, on recognizing indigenous rights. I want to recognize the heroes who have kept the party going through thick and thin. Please stand if you are a part of a Green Party organization - at the local, state or national level. 

It’s also so exciting to be running in alliance with the Bernie Sanders movement that lives on outside the Democratic Party. We owe you such a debt of gratitude for getting the revolution going. And then for refusing to be shut down. It’s so exciting to run with you and for you. Please stand up if you’re coming here from the Bernie Sanders campaign. 

It’s an honor to be your candidate running alongside Ajamu Baraka, a powerhouse of human rights –who brings a lifetime of dedication to racial and economic justice. And I thank Dr. Cornel West, for bringing his powerful voice into the campaign. And it’s an honor to run along with so many inspirational state and local candidates running for office. If you are running for office would you please stand?  

It’s an honor to be your candidate in this historic moment, of unprecedented crisis and unstoppable momentum for transformational change so we can solve those crises. And we have an historic opportunity, an historic responsibility to be the agents of that change. As Martin Luther King said, "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice." I know that arc is bending in us, and through us. And we are actors in something much bigger than us as we struggle for justice, for peace, for community, for healing. 

That arc of justice is moving through us as we mobilize to make black lives matter, and to end violent policing – as the Frisco Five and the Millions March NYC just did. The arc of justice is moving through us as we sit in and lock down to stop fracking pipelines, fossil fuel bomb trains, coal and LNG export terminals, and all manner of fossil fuel and nuclear infrastructure. 

The arc of justice was moving through us in Philadelphia. The city of brotherly love was overrun by love and revolution, as the Bernie or Bust movement declared independence from the Democratic Party, and merged with our campaign in rally after rally, growing stronger by the hour. The power of this movement was clear during our Power Rally at FDR Park, where nature erupted in thunder and lightning as our rally drew to a close, and the heavens opened up as if to say, "get ready, there’s a big change coming." We sought shelter in a nearby highway underpass and we kept going. This movement is unstoppable.

So here we are, a movement for justice and democracy that’s sweeping the planet. From living wage campaigns, to fossil fuel blockades, to the fight to end mass incarceration, to cancel student debt, to restore the rights of immigrant rights, indigenous rights, LGBTQ and women’s rights and disability rights. Across the globe people are rising up like we haven’t seen for generations.

We face unprecedented crises that call for transformational solutions, a new way forward based on democracy, justice and human rights. And that won’t come from corporate political parties funded by predatory banks, war profiteers and fossil fuel giants. It will come from we the people, mobilized in a broad social movement, with an independent voice of political opposition, because, as Frederick Douglass said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has. It never will.” And we must be that demand.

They say we’re in a recovery but in fact it’s an emergency. We’ve lost good jobs - replaced by part time and temporary jobs. A generation of young people is locked in predatory student debt. Black lives are on the firing line. Immigrants face mass deportation.  Wars for oil are blowing back at us with a vengeance. And the climate meltdown threatens civilization as we know it in our lifetimes.

Meanwhile, the super-rich party on, richer than ever. Twenty-two of these super-rich people have the wealth equivalent to half of the US population. And the political elite that serve the economic elite are making things worse, inflicting austerity on everyday people while they squander trillions on wars, Wall Street bail outs, and tax favors for the wealthy.

No wonder people are in revolt. And the good news is that we actually have the power to turn this around, the minute we stand up with the courage of our convictions. Because we have the vision and values of the American people. And, as a broad coalition for justice, we have the numbers to win the day.

Here’s how. There are 43 million young people – and not so young people – who are locked in predatory student debt, with no prospects for getting out. And there is only one candidate who will cancel that debt – and you’re looking at her. And by the way, we bailed out Wall Street, the guys who crashed the economy with their waste, fraud and abuse. It’s about time we bailed out the young people who are the victims of that abuse. So if young people come out on election day 2016 to vote green to cancel their debt, they can actually take over the election, not only to cancel student debt, but to advance the whole agenda for justice. And the world will be a better place for it! And millennials are the self organizing demographic that can do this.

So we do have the power to end student debt, and to make public higher education free. This is the right thing to do to provide the younger generation with economic security in the 21st century, just like free high school education provided security in the 20th century. And it pays for itself by a 7:1 margin, as the results of the GI bill demonstrated following the 2nd World War.

We also have the power to create emergency jobs program, with 20 million living wage jobs as part of a Green New Deal. It’s like the New Deal that got us out of the Great Depression… but a Green New Deal to fix the climate crisis as well as the economic crisis. It creates a wartime level mobilization to green our energy, food and transportation systems, and restore critical infrastructure, including ecosystems. And we’ll do this in the needed time frame – by achieving 100% renewable energy by 2030, and implementing an immediate moratorium on all new fossil fuel infrastructure and exploration. This will revive our economy, turn the tide on climate change, and make wars for oil obsolete, which enables us to cut the military budget to pay for this. In addition, it saves so much money by preventing the fossil fuel-linked diseases like asthma, heart attacks, strokes, cancer and more, it actually pays for itself in health savings alone.

We can create health care as a human right through an improved Medicare for All system of everybody in, nobody out, and you’re covered head to toe and cradle to grave. You get your choice of doctor and hospital, and you and your doctor are put back in charge of your health decisions, not a profiteering insurance company CEO. 

We must support the disabled members of our community, to ensure they have the needed support, treatment, housing, health care and jobs that enable them to be fully contributing members of society, and respect their human dignity.

We can revive public education by fully funding it and ensuring kids come to school ready to learn – nourished, healthy and free from poverty, the biggest obstacle to learning. And we must end the high stakes testing that is harmful especially to challenged learners, and used to justify closing and privatizing schools, and to disempower teachers and unions. It’s time to provide small classrooms, to pay our teachers well, to honor their unions, and to teach to the whole student for lifetime learning – with enriched with arts, music and recreation, and nurture the independent, creative minds and spirits that Democracy depends on.

We can create a welcoming path to citizenship for undocumented Americans who are critical to the diversity and vitality of our communities, economy and culture. We must end the shameful night raids, detentions and deportations of hard working, law abiding immigrants. In fact, one of the most important things we can do to fix the immigration crisis is to stop causing it in the first place with predatory policies like NAFTA, the war on drugs, military interventions, CIA-supported coups and US trained death squads. 

We say to Donald Trump, "we don’t need no friggin wall." We just need to stop invading other countries.  And by the way, the Republicans are the party of hate and fear mongering. But Democrats are the party of night raids, detentions, and deportations. 

We will put an immediate halt to deportations, detentions and night raids for people whose only crime was to flee the poverty and violence created by predatory US policies across the border.

And we can end racist violence and brutality not only in policing, but in courts and prisons, and in the economy at large. We can start by ensuring every community has a police review board, so communities control their police, and not the other way around. And communities must have dedicated investigators so every death or serious injury at the hands of police is investigated. And we must end the racist war on drugs, treat substance abuse as a health issue not a criminal problem, and discharge from our prisons the hundreds of thousands of nonviolent drug offenders who shouldn’t be locked up in the first place.

We call for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to get to the bottom of the crisis of racism, and to provide reparations to acknowledge the enormous debt owed to the African American community for the unimaginable price they paid in building this country and sustaining our economy for generations while they were denied dignity and freedom.  We must end the assault on our privacy, on freedom of the press, on the free internet, and end the war on whistleblowers, and free the political prisoners - that includes Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abu Jamal, Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Jeffrey Sterling, and Edward Pinkney, whose only crime was to stand up against the theft of public resources from Benton Harbor, one of the poorest communities in the nation, by the Whirlpool Corporation.

And finally we can create a foreign policy based on international law, diplomacy and human rights, not on global military and economic domination, which has been catastrophic. This policy will have cost us $6 trillion dollars including the costs of caring for our wounded veterans, which translates to $75,000 per American household on average. Over a million people have died in Iraq alone, which is not winning us hearts and minds in the Middle East. And tens of thousands of US soldiers have been killed or maimed. And what do we have to show for it? Failed states, worse terrorist threats, and mass refugee migrations that are tearing the EU and the Middle East apart.

More of the same failed war on terror is not the answer. It’s time to stop ISIS in its tracks and end the Wars for Oil with a new kind of offensive in the Middle East, a Peace Offensive – including a weapons embargo to the Middle East, and a freezing of the bank accounts of countries that are funding international jihadism, including the Saudi’s, who comprised 15 of 19 9/11 attackers, and who were identified as still the leading funder of Sunni extremist terrorism worldwide in State Department cables signed by Hillary Clinton in 2009, released by Wikileaks

 It’s important to recognize where this violent extremist threat came from in the first place. A global terrorist movement linked to Saudi wahhabism was an idea cooked up  CIA and Saudi Arabia in Afghanistan to grow the Mujaheddin to stop the Soviet Union. And it has continued with Saudi schools – madrassas – that continue to be a recruiting and training ground for tomorrow’s terrorists.”  

We can’t simultaneously fight terrorism with one hand, while we and our allies fund terrorism, train terrorists and arm terrorists with the other. The only ones benefitting from this catastrophic policy are the war profiteers themselves, who are calling the shots in foreign policy by funding the establishment parties and their politicians. In fact, US foreign policy has become fundamentally a marketing strategy for the weapons industry. We started the terrorist threat. Now it’s time to shut it down. That is what our campaign alone will do.

This is the world we can create outside of the two corporate parties sponsored by predatory banks, fossil fuel giants and war profiteers. So it’s time to vote for our deeply held beliefs, not against what we fear. Because that politics of fear has delivered everything we’re afraid of. All the reasons you were told you had to vote for the lesser evil – so we wouldn’t get the massive Wall Street bail outs, the offshoring of our jobs, the meltdown of the climate, the endless wars, the attack on civil liberties and on immigrant rights – all of that we’ve gotten by the droves, because we allowed ourselves to be silenced, and to let the lesser evil speak for us.

But the lesser evil paves the way for greater evil, because people don’t come out to vote for lesser evil politicians who are throwing them under the bus – even if someone else could be even worse. Democracy needs a moral compass. We must be that moral compass.

The clock is ticking, and this is the Hail Mary moment. In this election we’re not just deciding what kind of world we will have. We’re deciding whether we’ll have a world or not in the future. The day of reckoning is drawing closer – on climate change, on endless war, on nuclear weapons, and the next economic meltdown. We’re accelerating into all of these crises under Republican and Democratic rule. So It’s time to reject the lesser evil and fight for the greater good – like our lives depend on it, because they do.

That means join our campaign – at Help us get into the debates, help us get the word out by social media and break into mainstream press. Help us phone bank, canvass, bring a campus event to your college or a superrally to your region.

The corporate parties are not going to save us. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.    Together we can build an America and a world that works for us all, that puts people, planet and peace over profit. The power to create this world is not just in our hopes. Not just in our dreams. Right here. Right now. It’s in our hands. And together, we are unstoppable.