While I'm not really given to describing for the public what my partner and I do in bed, I am perfectly willing to divulge this:
Last night, through the miracle of smartphone technology, we watched video streaming of Jill Stein addressing a crowd at FDR Park in Philadelphia.
It was an intimate moment that we shared with a couple thousand other Facebook users. A torrent of thumbs-up and heart icons flowed right to left across the screen of the phone. The majority of comments scrolling by were not just supportive, but filled with ALL CAPS love.
You can peruse some of the Philadelphia videos on Jill's Facebook page.
During summers, Houston's TORSO (Thirty and Over Recreational Soccer Organization) runs 8-v-8, short-field soccer games on Sunday evenings. Yesterday I played some midfield for my team, in an attacking role on the left wing (fancy that). I'm normally a defensive player or goalkeeper, but we've just recruited a keeper who knows the craft. As I took the field in the first half, a teammate told me, "Be as offensive as possible—without talking politics."
LOL. I'm proud to say that our team, Houston International FC, wears green jerseys, and I was the first to suggest it. We have almost as much ideological diversity on the team as cultural diversity, but I don't think any of us is a fan of Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
I got through the rest of the game and afterward without even a sideways joke about politics. There are better things to talk about with a crew like this one: football (of any kind) and beer are always winning topics.
My Sunday began, however, with a look at Facebook. The first item that I saw was a posting of Keith Olbermann's tweet about Jill Stein.
Good ol' Keith, a man too passionate and intelligent to hold a job on any network, has tweeted that Jill Stein is a "threat," whose very presence in the presidential race puts us at risk of a Trump presidency, and asked her to "please withdraw." As a Green, I see that as progress.
You know the Gandhi litany: "First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win." We're already at the "fight" stage. This year, the Democratic establishment is actually doing all three at once.
It certainly wouldn't do for Hillary Clinton herself, or even her staff, to acknowledge in words the existence of the Stein campaign. That's the "ignore" tactic. The odds are pretty tall against anyone on camera uttering the words "Jill Stein" or "Green Party" at this week's Democratic National Convention. The speakers will focus their attention on burnishing the Democrats' tarnished image and attacking the Trump-Pence ticket.
The laughing-at (Stephen Colbert & his ilk) and fighting (Olbermann et alii) come from hatcheteers in the liberal wing of the Media-Industrial Complex. (I'm eager to see whether Samantha Bee actually mentions Jill Stein by name in the coming weeks.)
If reputable polls were showing that Stein was making the horse race uncomfortably close in too many swing states, Olbermann might have a point. But it's discouraging how many smart people, those who know how the Electoral College works, conveniently forget their Electoral College education when they smell "spoilers." Even Bernie Sanders has fallen victim to that. Don't EVEN mention Nader-2000-Florida, cuz I've had to Greensplain that myth-conception far too many times in the past 16 years.
Folks, the greater evil isn't Donald J. Trump, as horrendous as he may be. The real evil is this tyrannical corporatist duopoly known as the two-party system. Forcing voters to choose between center-right and fringe-right does not add up to democracy. More choices, and some form of Instant Runoff Voting, would help inject more robust democracy into this republic.
Even with the news of Bernie Sanders endorsing Hillary Clinton's candidacy, and the resulting stampede of Sanders's supporters toward Jill Stein and the Greens, the latest NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll shows Stein still hovering in the vicinity of 5% nationwide.
Any bets as to whether that number increases substantially, and how much, in the next few weeks?
The NBC/SM poll is notable for having a considerably larger sample size, and thus a smaller margin of error, than most of the academic polls like Quinnipiac and Monmouth. That sample does skew affluent and white, since, per conventional wisdom, actual voting does as well. About 8% of the respondents identified as "Black," and about the same as "Hispanic/Latino," whereas both of these ethnicities compose nearly twice that percentage of the total US population.
As we have noted previously:
Mystery & intrigue, y'all. Could Dr. Stein be that "someone else" for, say, 7% of the voters?
I kinda waded into this one.
It bothers me a little that people I consider friends find the sign pictured above controversial. The controversy is not entirely unexpected: Even if you're down with #BlackLivesMatter, it can be hard to accept that you belong to a privileged ethnic group that oppresses other ethnic groups in your nation—i.e., maintains inequality through customs, laws, or violence. The overwhelming majority of us don't want to be called racist, or told that we benefit from racist institutions.
This is not the space to delve into the history and economics behind privilege and oppression. There are plenty of other places to read about that. I'm also not going to dive into a whirlpool of statistics about who's killing whom.
There are also plenty of places to read about why replying "All Lives Matter" offends people who support Black Lives Matter. I would like to add to that particular dogpile here, because some of my friends apparently had never taken the time to research that matter.
Of Course All Lives Matter!
It's just that certain authority figures and law enforcement officers behave as if "all lives" does not include black lives.
Friends, if you insist on saying "All Lives Matter," if you truly believe it, please understand what that word "all" means. Also, don't go adding footnotes to it, like:
* Although all lives do matter, lives of some races, religions, ages, sexual orientations, gender identities matter less than others.
Repeat after me, brothers & sisters.
Black Lives Matter
White Lives Matter
Latin Lives Matter
South Asian Lives Matter
East Asian Lives Matter
Arab Lives Matter
Aboriginal and Native American Lives Matter
Polynesian Lives Matter
Male Lives Matter
Female Lives Matter
Two-Spirit Lives Matter
Cisgender Lives Matter
Transgender Lives Matter
Intersex Lives Matter
Gay and Lesbian Lives Mater
Bisexual Lives Matter
Pansexual Lives Matter
Asexual Lives Matter
Young Lives Matter
Old Lives Matter
Middle-Aged Lives Matter
Muslim Lives Matter
Christian Lives Matter
Jewish Lives Matter
Hindu Lives Matter
Buddhist Lives Matter
Sikh Lives Matter
Druze Lives Matter
Zoroastrian Lives Matter
Falun Gong Lives Matter
Animist Lives Matter
Atheist and Agnostic Lives Matter
Secular Humanist Lives Matter
Pagan Lives Matter
Whatever-Faith-Tradition-I-May-Have-Omitted Lives Matter
All the Various Sects of These Faith Traditions? Their Lives Matter, Too
Poor Lives Matter
Dalat Lives Matter
Rich Lives Matter
Middle-Class Lives Matter
Disabled Lives Matter
Able-Bodied Lives Matter
Mentally Ill Lives Matter
Neurotypical Lives Matter
Addicted Lives Matter
Imprisoned Lives Matter
Now for the one-question quiz.
This is the point at which someone is bound to ask, "What about the unborn?" Or, "What about non-human animals? Don't their lives matter too?"
On the first question: I did all my internal wrestling over this years ago. Life is precious and should not be given cheaply. I would like to see every birth result in children their mothers want and are ready to care for. There aren't enough potential adopters for every "unwanted" child. A birth should not result in lower quality of life for the parent(s) and the child. Better not to let a human life start in that situation. Also, this world still contains farl too many men who treat women and girls as reproductive vessels. So I support reproductive choice for women, including safe and legal abortion. If you choose to add another life to the seven billion humans already on this planet, I still respect your choice.
Regarding non-human animals: Yes, their lives matter. Homo sapiens has bred and expanded its territory so rapidly that our one species is driving dozens of others into extinction every day. For myself and my descendants, I want a world with tigers and polar bears, salmon and sharks, hummingbirds and bald eagles, honey cask ants and dung beetles, octopus and live coral, etc. A world without them would be death.
The population of the world has more than doubled in my lifetime. Technology, international trade, and our various communities of nations have improved the lives of many; however, the number of people in dire misery grows ever faster, Our capacity for compassion should have doubled along with the population. Let's start working on that compassion, including compassion for ourselves when compassion fatigue sets in. Without compassion and loving kindness, no lives matter.
Either Jill Stein's presidential campaign or the Green Party of the United States has raked in more than $80,000 in contributions since Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton yesterday. At least, that's what US Uncut is saying.
Since Tuesday morning, the Green Party has received over $80,000 in contributions, over half of which comes from first-time donors, and half of which comes in the form of contributions under $50. Tellingly, about 615 of those contributions totalled $27, the exact number commonly trumpeted and solicited by the Sanders campaign during his revolutionary grassroots funding movement.
I may faint. Green Party US is not accustomed to such mass largesse. It's almost as if all the work we have done since 1999 is about to bear fruit.
US Uncut doesn't cite any actual sources for this information, and I would like to see some confirmation. But the article does cite Alexa for information about the enormous increase in hits that jill2016.com has received just since yesterday.
My imagination is getting a workout.
Senator Bernie Sanders has a reputation as a person of integrity: When he said months ago that he would support the Democratic nominee, I took him at his word. Today he went and did it.
Imagine if Sanders endorsed former Senator Hillary Clinton today with the ulterior motive of showing the Democratic Party and world how many of his supporters would vote Green rather than stay in the Democratic fold?
I use that word "fold" because, since Sanders entered the race, progressive analysts and cranks have bandied about the term "sheepdogging" to describe Bernie's purpose to the Democratic Party: attract a huge herd of Progressive sheep, then drive those sheep toward the inevitably less-progressive nominee, playing on fears of the Republican wolves. See also Kucinich, Dennis; Dean, Howard; Brown, Jerry; and Jackson, Jesse.
This entry has nothing directly to do with my writing, my questionable taste in literature, or Green Party activities, the usual topics presented here. But I thought I'd post this here rather than limiting it to an ephemeral Facebook status. (I will also make a Facebook note of it.)
There is an indirect Green Party connection, however. When my ladyfriend Kayleen was in Chicago for the Illinois GP's ballot access drive last month, she attended a seminar at the University of Chicago's Place Lab, entitled Ethical Redevelopment: Arts + Culture Build Cities. (She also made her aegyptophile pilgrimage to U. Chicago's Oriental Institute.)
The material that she brought home made my head spin with possibilities when I finally got around to reading it two weeks after she returned. I was going to share this last week, but the horrors in the news pre-empted me.
Hey, it could happen: The Green presidential nominee, or Railroad Commission candidate Martina Salinas, could poll 5% statewide in Texas in the general election. That 5% in a statewide race would guarantee the Greens a ballot line in 2018. In the past, the Greens have benefited from the lack of a Democrat in at least one statewide race; however, the Democrats have all those bases covered in 2016.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Party could find nobody to run against Pete Sessions in northeastern Dallas County's Congressional District 32. (The district also contains a portion of south-central Collin County.) There are, however, candidates from the Libertarian and Green Parties.
Gary Stuard is the first Green to run in TX-32 since Carla Hubbell ran in 2002, the very first race for that seat. The district was one of three created following the 2000 census. Sessions won the new seat with 67.77% of the vote, and he has occupied it ever since.
If you're in the Dallas area Sunday afternoon, 10 July, you can attend a meeting to find out more about Stuard and his campaign strategies. This is from the Facebook event page:
They did it! And we helped.
The Illinois Green Party has received official notification that its candidates will appear on the general election ballot this November. Last Monday, the party submitted petition sheets with more than 50,000 signatures to the Secretary of State's office in Springfield, enough to survive a challenge from either of the two established parties. Assuming that Jill Stein wins the nomination, her name will appear on the ballot in her native state.
By "we," I mean my beloved partner Kayleen and I. She went to Chicago for the final week of the petition drive. I planted the idea in her mind in the first place and bought her a round-trip ticket on Amtrak. It was not a difficult decision: She was not working at the time, and she loves Chicago.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.