- Immigrants Against Immigration
- Catch of the Day
- I Want You to Know One Thing
- Search Phrase of the Day
- Two Progressive Candidates
- A Big Easy Fourth
I WAS VISITING a friend the other afternoon when the early national news came on. The lead story featured visuals of florid-faced screamers alternately yelling, “Go Home,” and chanting “USA!” Until a second visual appeared on-screen I didn't know what these hysterics were upset about, but whenever I hear mobs in USA-mode anywhere outside sports stadiums I know something bad is on. This chorus, I thought, bordered on evil.
THE VENUE was a place called Murrieta, whose chamber of commerce's motto, “The Future of Southern California,” had me renewing my vows to never, ever venture south of SF International.
THE MOB was screaming at a couple of bus loads of immigrant women and children. One well-nourished slug held a homemade sign that said, “Bus Illegal Children to the White House.” Another one said, “Dump 'em in Tijuana!” Lots of them denounced Obama. The Fox News brigades are really going to miss this guy, aren't they?
WHATEVER one's views are of immigration, you're going to terrorize women and children to emphasize them? There are migrations of people on the move everywhere in the world, most of them fleeing impossible circumstances. The question is how to address these movements in a humane way, the American way. Or what used to be the American way.
IT WAS GRATIFYING that counter-demonstrators, out-numbering the fascisti, were soon on-scene. American rightwingers are typically pathetic. They get a mob-action going, they back right off at even a hint of righteous counter-force. That will probably change soon enough, and we shall see what we shall see, but those bellowing faces in Murrieta are probably the tip of a very large iceberg.
CATCH OF THE DAY, SATURDAY, JULY 5TH
BEAU CHRISTIAN, Willits. Drunk in public.
SAGE CHRISTOPH, Ukiah. DUI, child endangerment.
STACY DALSON, Covelo. DUI, driving on a suspended license.
PEDRO FONSECA, Fort Bragg, revocation of probation.
SCOTT HEIDINGER, Hopland, DUI.
JUSTIN McGUIRE, Willits. Drunk in public. One of the younger frequent fliers but looking better this week than when he was busted last week.
SUNEE MITCHELL, Talmage. Driving on a suspended license.
DOMINIC NAPOLI, Willits. Drunk in public.
KEVIN OLSEN, San Rafael. Arrested in Fort Bragg for drunk in public.
TREVOR PARTIDA, Hopland. Battery with Serious Injury, Felony probation revoked.
DANIEL RAYMEN, Mendocino. Defacing public property.
EFRAIN RUELAS-GARCIA, Driving under the influence.
JONATHAN SCARAMELLA, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, revocation of probation.
JERON SISNEROS, Albion. Drunk in public.
CARSON WELTY, Little River. Drunk in public.
I WANT YOU TO KNOW ONE THING
I want you to know one thing.
You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.
If suddenly you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.
If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
remember that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.
if each day,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.
SEARCH PHRASE OF THE DAY
why do tweakers like to carry flashlights
Two November Chances for Progressives
by Ralph Nader
With the Tea Partiers giving the establishment Republican incumbents much ferment in the primaries (or retirement, as in the case of David Brat defeating powerhouse Congressman Eric Cantor in Virginia), what are progressives doing to their corporate-indentured incumbent Democrats? Not much. There are few electoral challengers or pressures directly pushing progressive redirections for our declining political economy, beset with rising poverty and plutocracy.
Progressive Democrats are almost as addicted to the “least worst” slumber theory of voter abdication as the forlorn liberals dreaming of Hillary and eight more years of corporate Clintonism and its overseas militaristic forays.
The political energy levels between the smaller number of Tea Partiers and the larger number of politically active progressives is stunning. Progressives wallow in a plethora of excuses for not taking on the Democratic Party establishment, pronounced moribund as long as 2001 in a crisp Washington Post opinion article by former Labor Secretary Robert Reich.
This is not to say that progressives are quiet on the issues. On a daily basis, progressive writers, activists and professors pour out powerful exposés, critiques and suggested reforms of corporate crimes and abuses.
They challenge politicians who prostrate themselves before corporate chieftains for campaign cash.
The trouble is that these same vocal citizens do not carry their deep concerns from free speech into the electoral arenas. By not doing so, they consign most of their reforms to a wailing futility. The “wail” is that the Republicans are even worse. The “futility” is that talking on incumbent Democrats who champion crony capitalism and Empire is tilting at windmills.
Well, two authentic progressive candidates are rejecting such destructive despondency, one in the 2nd Congressional District of West Virginia and the other in the 21st Congressional District of New York – both open seats.
Native West Virginian, Ed Rabel, the long-time, award winning war correspondent for CBS television, is running as an Independent for the House of Representatives. Rabel, for thirty-three years, covered raging wars in over 100 countries, including Vietnam, Laos, and South American and African countries. He has come back home to serve his people by challenging abusive corporations and by taking on the politicians who serve their corporate paymasters.
Before he even finished getting the necessary signatures to qualify for the ballot, Rabel registered at ten percent in the first poll. Articulate as ever, Rabel chastises both the Republican candidate, Alex Mooney and the Democrat Nick Casey, as being “in the pockets of coal, chemical and natural gas corporations,” that have polluted, ravaged and exploited West Virginians and turned their natural resource-endowed state into what is called “a rich state with poor people.”
He emphasizes that coal companies “provide less than 6% of incomes and less than 3% of jobs” in West Virginia.
Rabel has diagnosed the state’s economic, political and environmental ills through vivid descriptions rooted in irrefutable facts wrapped with irresistible rhetoric.
He shatters the myths that have kept the state in corporate servitude, saying: “In fact, the policies that would create sustained economic growth in West Virginia would also help families and improve healthcare and the environment. But, driven by the falsehoods, Republicans and Democrats want to slash spending where it hurts West Virginia most and change tax laws in ways that help West Virginia least.”
He means that taxes should be used for the necessities of the citizenry – education, health, safety and public works. Restoring the federal minimum wage to over $10 per hour (catching up with inflation since 1968) would also reduce the burdens on taxpayer-funded social services, he adds.
In upending the state’s political censorship, Ed Rabel is calling for “a moratorium on mountaintop removal and hydraulic fracturing because of the threats they pose to the people of the state.” (For more specifics about Rabel’s practical and humane agenda see his website at rabelforcongress.com.)
Up in the North Country of New York State is “democracy’s baker,” Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello, whose progressive civic activism and generosity are legion. Having known him for years, I gave him that description.
There are four reasons why Funiciello has shined in his early debates with Republican Elise Stefanik (a veteran staffer for George W. Bush and Congressman Paul Ryan) and Democratic Aaron Woolf, who until now has lived most of the time in Brooklyn.
Reason one is that he is well-read.
Reason two is that he is an independent thinker.
Reason three is that he listens to people and understands their needs for a just society.
Reason four is that he understands that, while baking millions of loaves of varied breads, “man does not live by bread alone.” He has a sparkling, congenial personality, grounded in serious determination to do something in Washington, DC about the downward drift of our country and neglect of its people – who do the daily work and have to pay all the bills.
The 21st Congressional District, which includes the entire giant Adirondack Park, historically has sent both Democratic and Republican candidates to Congress. It is not a one-party-dominated District.
It has a tradition of agreeing to public candidate debates, unlike the 2nd District in West Virginia which shuts out third party participation.
So voters, who take notice, will hear Matt Funiciello press for more efficient single-payer universal health care, restored wages, revival of local agricultural production and family farms. He opposes corporate welfare and hydrofracking and has unfurled the banner of progressive taxation, providing more income tax relief for workers by ending tax escapes for the big corporations and the wealthy.
Being a small businessman himself – Funiciello also owns a popular restaurant – he speaks the language of community-owned economies and self-reliance. He also walks the talk, by buying New York State wheat for most of his breads.
“Democracy’s baker” argues for electoral reforms that will give voters more voices and choices on the ballot beyond the dreary clichés and forked tongue bloviating of the two-party tyranny (see mattfunicielloforcongress.org and follow @MFuniciello2014 on Twitter.)
Now, here is the rub. Will active progressives and their media rally behind and work with Ed Rabel and Matt Funiciello and their grassroots campaigns for these open seats in Congress?
Or will they continue their electoral servitude and not start making a difference? (Ralph Nader’s latest book is: Unstoppable: the Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State.)
Good morning from a relatively quiet New Orleans, Spent last night over on the River Walk enjoying hours of fireworks… Friday night plus the 4th of July plus all of the tourists in the French Quarter (as well as the constantly partying locals) made last night unbelievable...the ferry boat offered late service...returned to the west bank at 11PM... and then enjoyed more of the same from the other side of the Mississippi River...fireworks being set off from three different directions at the river's bend. Please be aware that I am ready to leave The Big Easy, and there is no certainty what is next. That's just the way things are. Eternally witnessing, knowing "mind is maya," chanting mahamantram, awaiting the day when we are all in solidarity together, planet earth in balance, peace and justice in the cities, bliss divine in everyone's heart, Craig Louis Stehr July 5, 2014 Telephone messages: (504) 302-9951, Permanent email address: CraigStehr@pamho.net, Snail mail: 333 Socrates Street, New Orleans, LA 70114, Blog: http://craiglstehr.blogspot.com