A citizen sighted high-speed Drones flying over Denver, Colorado, and videotaped them. The local Fox TV station taped them too, and asked what they can be. NORAD (the North American Aerospace Defense Command), 70 miles to the South, said it didn’t notice them. Colorado just Legalized Marijuana.
600 miles to the East, at Ft. Leavenworth Federal Prison in Kansas, Political Prisoner Bradley Manning is held indefinitely for whistleblowing: That is, he’s being held – and according to the UN he was Tortured by Obama’s forces – for allegedly protecting his nation from criminal acts committed by President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and others in high Government posts.
On Halloween Amy Goodman reported on Democracy Now! that a US Border Patrol sharpshooter in a helicopter Murdered two Guatemalans on the US-Mexico border because he suspected they were possessing drugs. The report begins at 3:53 of the following clip.
This reminds one of the US DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) massacre Murders of Honduran pregnant women, some men, and at least one child in May, as reported by Goodman and Juan Gonzalez on Democracy Now! These Murder victims were also accused of drug possession by the US. In this case, a US State Department helicopter accompanied the US DEA helicopter from which the US-paid killers shot the poor people. I would like to know if President Obama personally authorized the slaughter of these pregnant women and children, or if he authorized Covering Up their Murders. I would further like to know if Secretary of State Clinton was in the State Department helicopter that participated in the massacre.
I don’t know if President Obama personally gave the order to kill the pregnant women, or if he just generally empowered employees of the DEA and the Border Patrol to Murder anyone suspected of Marijuana possession. One hopes that he didn’t empower US forces to Murder anyone suspected of being Hispanic or Latino, as he appears to have ordered against Muslims and Arabs. Obama’s reign of terror has also brought on the Murders of hundreds of journalists, in both Mexico and Honduras; but that’s a story for a different article.
Most drug enforcement efforts in this country and Mexico are aimed at Marijuana. In the Honduras massacre, the suspicion may have been Marijuana, Hashish, or Cocaine. Murdering people on suspicion of anything is an Atrocity, and in the two cases cited above, these were War Crimes, committed by our Government, apparently shielded from prosecution by our President and by Attorney General Eric Holder. The Murderers had no right to kill these people. Even if President Obama gave the DEA and Border Patrol permission to kill any suspected drug possessors or Latinos, even if Obama did that, these barbaric killers of the DEA and Border Patrol still need to be arrested for Murder. All of them.
Why does President Obama push to have people who may be possessing Marijuana killed? Why does he block Skin Cancer patients from access to the malady’s anecdotal cure, Rick Simpson Oil? What does President Obama have to gain by subjecting Skin Cancer to painful and unnecessary deaths? Is it because Marijuana can be grown in such a way and in such quantities that it can replace all our Petroleum, Coal, and Nuclear Power usage with Clean Energy that does not emit any Greenhouse Gases? Yes it is: Why? Money.
President Obama claims that he wants the United States to be Energy Independent, but that’s obviously a lie: As cited below, Lund University in Sweden proved Jack Herer’s hypothesis that, by growing Cannabis Hemp (Marijuana) on just 6% of our arable land, we can be Energy Independent on Hempen Clean Fuels in just two months, and we, the United States, would then no longer be contributing to Global Warming. What’s more, by no longer importing Petroleum or Petroleum products, we can instantly flip our disastrous Trade Deficit into a Trade Surplus – because our Petroleum-related imports are larger than our Trade Deficit.
President Obama yesterday said that his Administration has not done enough to address Climate Change. As far as I know, that is the only true statement he has ever made relating to Climate Science: Remember the Debate, when he Superstitiously bragged that he had laid enough Pipe to wrap the world with Oil and Gas Pipelines too many times? Remember the Debate, when he Superstitiously ridiculed his opponent Mitt Romney for once blocking a filthy Coal-burning plant from killing more children?
Remember the last two years’ ANOHOs (Annual Northeast Obama Hurricanes in October)? Obama learned by December 2010 (at the latest) at the Copenhagen Climate Conference that Earth’s climate had reached its tipping point. But instead of doing something about it, he pumped enough Oil and laid enough Pipe and Mined enough Coal to cause the biggest hurricane of all time, Superstorm Sandy.
But with President Obama’s program of selling out US citizens on Global Warming to make more money for BP and his other Oily cronies, next year’s ANOHO will very likely be an even bigger Superstorm than Sandy!
With President Obama’s insane, stupid, and expensive Bribery idea of pumping Petroleum through a giant Pipeline to Texas(!) [which already has plenty of Oil], he remains in complete denial of Global Warming: The most anti-science President we’ve ever had, and just at the time that we need a President who can tell the truth about Climate Change without having to consider how big a Bribe BP is going to give him and his Interior Secretary, Ken “Horse Burgers” Salazar.
Speaking of BP, looks like they just made a ridiculous deal. As reported here at FDL at the time, BP was ‘paying people off’ by paying them only the estimate of what they would have earned in two years without the BP Oil Spew in the Gulf of Mexico. But many of these people lost something worth many times that much, for their families had fished the Gulf for generations. They lost the family business, and BP, with Obama’s help, paid them a disgraceful pittance. Also, the Coast Guard was supposed to protect our coast, and should have prevented that Chemical Company from spraying that toxic Dispersant, which may have permanently ruined Gulf waters, including the seafood.
David Letterman last night, when introducing Steely Dan’s Donald Fagan to perform his new song Fix the Weather in the World, said “I was into Steely Dan. I’d smoke a lot of weed.” His band director Paul Schaefer seemed to agree: “That was you!” Letterman confirmed: “That was me!” One must hope, for his own safety, that President Obama and the DEA don’t suspect that Letterman is now in possession of pot. But even if he is, Leave him alone, Mr. President!
Tomorrow, the Green-Rainbow Party will hold its Convention in Worcester, Massachusetts, beginning at 9 am. 2012 Presidential candidate Jill Stein will speak there, and 2012 Green Vice Presidential nominee Cheri Honkala will be the Keynote Speaker. You should attend if you can. And if you’re passing through Western Massachusetts on the way to Worcester, and you’d like to carpool, please let me know, because, otherwise, I’ll be on my way walking. But I’ll be there at the Convention for sure, I wouldn’t miss it. Giant Green Women From Earth!
(UPDATE: This part is over: It was a smashing success!)
UPDATE: Troubling Irregularities and Some Uplifting Moments: About Voting Today in Massachusetts — by NormanB (“Deviations form the Norm”)
Lots of people voted early, via absentee ballot. That makes their vote twice as likely to get tampered with, according to C-Span last week.
In case you didn’t hear, Vegas has been paying off on the Presidential race for two days already. In case you didn’t know, they don’t pay when they lose. In case you’re not aware, I won’t tell you who won – I don’t want to spoil your surprise.
Here in Western Massachusetts – the most “Liberal” or Leftmost part of the state – Republicans often don’t contest political races. Sometimes Socialists do. And Independents. And Greens and Libertarians. Democrats always win.
We had good things and bad things happening at the polls today. My partner and I were planning how we would negotiate the buses to go to vote, and what else we would do during the hours we would need to be out in the world: It looked like it would take hours, to fit in with the bus schedule. Then a friend called. He had just moved to the neighborhood. He had given himself a mission today to carpool-shuttle automobileless voters to their respective polling places. We were in luck. We took the ride. We voted. I heard him offer rides to others.
Then our friend went to vote himself. Nothin’ doin’. He was disallowed from voting, he thought at first it was perhaps because he’d moved within the town in the past year. It was actually because he had been purged from the voter rolls. Amherst removes voters from the rolls who don’t fill out the town census, obviously hoping to skew the voter pool into a much more Conservative body: Twenty thousand or more students can be purged like that. That’ll teach’em democracy!
When I was similarly purged before, and my partner too, we both merely had to say “No” and were then allowed to go ahead and vote. I found it very troubling that that procedure was no longer being followed.
UPDATE: My friend, the Good Samaritan, told another friend about what happened to him, being disallowed. She went to vote at the same polling place. She complained about the way our friend had been cheated [Election-rigged]. The Election official there said that he could vote via Provisional Ballot. She called him. He came in and voted. Happy ending!
I’ve been wondering about these crowded polling places I’ve heard about, and how that restricts voting in Florida. It was never a problem to vote in Florida when I lived there up to 1995. And it has never been a problem for me voting here in Mass. We walked in, and only two or three were in line in front of us. Right away, though, twenty more people queued up behind us. Why doesn’t everybody across the country have enough poll workers to get it done? Is it because in Florida there isn’t enough money appropriated to pay poll workers?
There was a policeman in the polling place. That’s never happened before. There’s usually a friendly, smiling retired cop greeting people out in the hall. This guy was young, maybe his first time at it. If he sticks with it, maybe he’ll be the smiling friendly guy one day.
One thing that troubled me quite a bit was: What happened to the Greens? (The ones I just voted for in the 2012 Massachusetts Green Rainbow Party Primary this fall!) Here’s the problem: I voted in the Primary. I voted for every office. I voted for a Green for each office. Independents may have voted in the Green Primary. That would allow people who are actually not Greens to choose our nominee, which would not be fair, and might be considered Election-rigging. A local attorney who’s a Green was quoted in the paper saying this threatened our ability to name our own nominee.
Be that as it may, we voted a month or two ago, and none of those Green Rainbow nominees appeared on the ballot. This was clearly Election-rigging. Even if the local lawyer filed suit to remove the non-Greens from the Green Rainbow slots on the ballot, that should have still left Greens in all the races on the ballot. Instead, the only Greens appearing on the ballot were the Presidential ticket, Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala (for whom I voted).
Ellen Story, Stan Rosenberg, and Jim McGovern ran unopposed for State Rep, State Senate, and the US House of Representatives, respectively. In the Primary I voted for a qualified Green to oppose each of them today, but, as I said, they [apparently illegally] ran unopposed. They’re all on the side of Marijuana, but we local activists had to pressure Ellen and Stan into their current positions.
We had one of the Leftmost Congressmen in the country, John Olver. If you’re out there reading this, Representative Olver, thank you for your many years of dedicated selfless service in the US House, and thank you for your charitable gift to the local soup kitchen. (I know you were trying to be anonymous and modest; but I saw you!) John Olver has been a supporter of Marijuana, Civil Rights, economic reform, peace, the environment, equal marriage, and many other things good. Thank You God for giving us John Olver. They don’t make ‘em him like that any more.
The Democrat-controlled Massachusetts legislature gerrymandered John Olver the hell out of here. Yes, in the state legislature, they’re Democrats, but not necessarily “democrats,” if you get the difference. John Olver and Barney Frank had served the Commonwealth for decades, good Liberals, good Democrats and good democrats, longtime Marijuana Legalization supporters: Olver and Frank had already announced their intentions to run in today’s Election, but then came the closed-door meeting in the smoke-filled room: The state “Democrats” redrew the districts of Olver and Frank. Both Olver and Frank then announced their retirements. Here they gave us McGovern, who’s from nowhere near here: We’ve had a local Rep forever, but no more.
James McGovern is pretty good. He’s damn good: He’s spoken out on the US-sponsored War Crimes in Bahrain, perhaps the only elected official in the entire nation with the guts to do that. War Crimes are not cool. I’ll support McGovern in trying to stop them.
I don’t approve of McGovern and Olver going along with the other Democrats on the Congressional investigation into Attorney General Eric Holder’s apparent Felonies and War Crimes in the Fast and Furious case, calling the procedure against Holder a “Witch Hunt.” It looks like there’s sufficient evidence that he is actually a witch, and that a special prosecutor needs to be brought in immediately to prepare the case against Holder.
Besides offices big and small, we also got to vote on five questions or initiatives. Question 1 would Legalize assisted suicide. Question 2 would allow auto repair shops not associated with auto dealers equal access to repair parts and information. Question 3 Legalizes Medical Marijuana. In the state’s published voter guide, the opponents of Question 3 claimed that if it passes, practically anyone in the state can Legally grow Marijuana in the back yard. (And that’s supposed to get us to vote against it?!) I don’t think that back-yard scenario is exactly correct, but I voted for the new law anyway.
We’ve seen a horribly disturbing case of attempted Election-rigging here at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst: For decades, the UMass Cannabis Reform Coalition (CRC) [to which I belong] has had an office on the ground floor of the Student Union building, the most traveled area in the center of the University. A particular student with an apparent Nazi bent got control just weeks ago the University’s Student Government Association. New though he was, somehow the University embued him with extraordinary power: He evicted the CRC from its office of decades of tradition:
This greatly restricted the availability of information and the electorate’s ability to organize on behalf the ballot issue there, the office where more organizing had happened on this issue than anywhere else in the state. But then came the Nazi tactic: The Election-rigging student claimed that someone unknown had painted a Marijuana leaf on the door of the CRC office (where one had years earlier been painted). Then came the Nazi tactic: Collective Punishment: No one knows who did the ‘defacing,’ but everyone in the CRC [and everyone depending on us to keep up the struggle for their Rights] is now being punished through the University’s allowing the use of this Nazi tactic:
The club may lose its official accreditation, through these Election-rigging efforts. It seems lawsuits could be in order, perhaps from voters interested in the issue, and from the general student body, and from the CRC members, and from the town citizens, whose longstanding annual Marijuana celebration, Extravaganja, is sponsored and carried out by the CRC. Saturday night, somebody knocked over my “Vote YES On Question 3″ sign and the garbage bin too, which probably weighs over 100 pounds: It took some work to knock it over.
Question 4 on our ballot today was a non-binding but very important instruction to our incoming US Senator: Introduce legislation and/or an Amendment to the US Constitution ruling that (1) Corporations are not People; and (2) Money is not Speech: That is, that spending on Election can be limited Legally.
Question 5 is another important non-binding question, instructing our incoming Senator and all of our elected officials to immediately institute the Green New Deal, which is part of Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein’s platform. The text of Question 5 does not use the words “Green New Deal,” but it does call for hiring millions for environment and health and safety and manufacturing, and to divert money from the Military, etc.
I was born in Virgina, and lived in Florida most of my life. I lived in Ohio too. I’ve lived in the “battleground states,” where they get Presidential ads, and where their votes really count a lot more toward electing the President than ours do here in Massachusetts. But you know what? In Massachusetts, I can wear my beard as long and scraggly as I want – not that it’s anybody’s business, but sometimes I get acting gigs when my beard impresses people. In New England, I can walk around dressed any way I want. I feel more relaxed being around like-minded people who aren’t likely to discriminate against me.
The state always goes Democratic in the Presidential race. Sometimes it goes Republican in the statewide races, Governor and Senator. Though Scott Brown was the first Republican Senator elected in a long time, we’ve had three Republican Governors since I moved here in 1995. I think Scott Brown got in, not on his own merits, but largely in reaction against President Obama’s improper imposition of an interim Election to replace Ted Kennedy. Voters reacted against this manipulation as they did in Wisconsin during the attempt to recall of Governor Scott Walker: People don’t want their local Election cycles disrupted for the purposes of the national Parties.
The Special Election was staged for his [Obama's] convenience and prestige, in clear violation of both the Massachusetts Commonwealth Constitution and the United States Constitution: Our law and state Constitution had a clearly defined procedure for replacing any Senator who might die in office. But President Obama demanded that we change for him, which the state did, in clear violation of the US Constitution’s ban on ex post factolaws in Article I (written more than a decade before the Bill of Rights). It is unconstitutional to change the rules relating to an Election after the fact, i.e., after the Senator to be replaced upon death hasalready died.
We’ve held Elections wherein the electorate overwhelmingly voted to instruct our elected officials to Legalize Marijuana. Democratic US Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, Scott Brown’s opponent, has said that if elected she will defy the will of the voters on this important issue, and instead will not seek to Legalize. She did say that she would probably vote For the Medical Marijuana Legalization measure on today’s ballot, but that’s a largely empty gesture on her part, when coupled with her pledge not to try to Legalize it.
No Green was listed on the ballot today for US Senator. I voted for a Green anyway.
URGENT Immediate Action Needed! Help Prevent Obama’s Goons from Further Torturing US Rights Observers in Bahrain — by NormanB (“Deviations from the Norm”)
URGENT: Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Party member and longtime peace activist Paki Wieland of Northampton was just arrested and detained in Bahrain for peacekeeping, along with other American activists. If you want to help, please call the State Department and demand action: (202) 647-6178 – They keep track of how many calls they receive. I’ll suggest a script later in this post.
I know Paki, and have long admired her career as an activist. She works at it tirelessly. She was on the recent aborted flotilla from Greece to Gaza. She does not deserve to be Tortured or imprisoned for standing up for freedom. Indeed, the President and the US Military shouldn’t be so cowardly: They too should stand against this heinous brutal repression! http://answerpot.com/showthread.php?2716647-Paki+Wieland+left+today+to+join+Gaza+Flotilla
The US Fifth Fleet is docked in Bahrain, to our disgrace. You see, with Slavery prevalent in Bahrain, if the US servicemen weren’t cowards, they would immediately free the Slaves. They would immediately free the US observers. They would not tolerate the suppression of democracy.
If they’re just going to sit there cowering, disgracing our country, trembling on their ships in Bahrain’s harbor as people are Tortured and Assassinated for trying to have a democracy, then those cowards are not worthy of being called “US servicemen.” Every one of them should get a Court Marshall and a Dishonorable Discharge. They’re making us famous as a nation of cowards!
President Obama’s puppet forces (called ODS – for Obama Death Squad) have killed scores of people in Bahrain, just for seeking freedom. They have Tortured and imprisoned hundreds. The “security” forces have attacked their own people. After those attacks, doctors and nurses who helped the wounded were tried and imprisoned as Political Prisoners. (See 6:33 of the following clip). http://www.democracynow.org/2011/11/28/wife_of_bahraini_political_prisoner_condemns
Please call the US State Department and demand action. The State Department keeps track of how many people call, and someone listens to the responses. The State Dept. number is (202) 647-6178. And as for what to say, just look above in this article, and complain about what you don’t like.
Please share this post as much as you can as fast as you can! Hurry! Lives WILL be lost, but the sooner we draw attention to it, the sooner the madness may be contained. Email this article to your Congressperson and your news sources. Spread the news.
Jim McGovern deserves credit for his brilliant leadership on this issue. Call him to thank him, and to get action: Here are his office numbers: (508) 831-7356, (508) 460-9292, (508) 431-8025, (508) 677-0140, (202) 225-6101 (please call more than one of them).
McGovern is already working about on stopping the Pogroms and the Torture of Political Dissidents and Health Care Workers in Bahrain, but he may not know that one of his constituents is now held there, has been Tortured, and is in grave danger.
Email the International Criminal Court at the Hague and ask it to empower Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzón to indict US President Barack Obama and Sheikh Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa (the Bahraini King) under Article 15 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court for Crimes Against Humanity: Their Atrocities in Bahrain against the Bahraini people, and against more than one million Slaves held there, and against the foreign Observers. email@example.com
Washington Post-Bloomberg Presidential Economy Poll Shows Jill Stein Winning in a Landslide (the way I read it) — by NormanB (“Deviations from the Norm”)
A new poll (October 6-9, 2011) from the Washington Post and Bloomberg News officially reports for the first time what we have all heard many times: Democrats and Republicans are the same, and they’re all crooks – they’re hopeless. The current economic crisis needs a tireless worker who’s not afraid to push for what’s right.
This poll, to my mind, actually reveals the electorate’s shocking Presidential preference. You’ll note that a clear majority of respondents (45% + 7% = 52%) cited no difference between the corporate Republicrat Parties. Here’s the raw data, followed my my interpolation:
Washington Post/Bloomberg News Poll. 10/6-9/11. N=1,000 adults nationwide. Margin of error ± 3.5.
“If a Republican were president right now, do you think the economy would be better, worse, or about the same as it is now?”
It would be:
Massachusetts Green Rainbow Party 2010 Gubernatorial nominee Jill Stein announced her “Green New Deal” the same day President Obama announced his bogus “Jobs” Bill. Of course, Obama simultaneously pushed three “free trade” deals, his real agenda: No jobs here, but low-paying jobs in Colombia, Panama, and Korea, to put downward pressure on wages both here and there.
At Long Last! A true Progressive with a strong voice for a sound economy, peace, justice, equality, workers’ rights, and environmental integrity is running for President of the United States. Jill Stein will end the wars, end the Drug War, end the Obama Death Squads, end the environmental destruction. She is a dedicated courageous valiant crusader, just when we need one!
For the first time, the Green Party of the US will be fronted by an aggressive Marijuana/hemp/medical Cannabis activist, Jill Stein, MD (assuming she wins the nomination). Marijuana is an issue that ties all of the others together: Wars, economy, environment, Human Rights, Political Prisoners; I could go on. Marijuana also represents the key demographic group of non-aligned voters.
Donate now and help get Jill Stein matching funds before she officially declares her candidacy Monday October 24, 2011, at the Massachusetts State House. It would be ideal if she receives $5,000 in donations from each of 20 states by that time. Tell your friends and political allies. Our time is at hand.
Six weeks ago we ten awaited our candidate for Governor in an Amherst living room. At a Northampton community hall meeting a month earlier, all persons present had donated up to their respective limits, so none of us had money to give to the campaign this time. I didn’t give either time. No money. I may look old with my long gray beard, but most others in the campaign are older yet. I’ve been a fan of Jill Stein since she spoke in Northampton on her 2002 Massachusetts Gubernatorial run. And now she’s the Green-Rainbow Party nominee again.
“How can we get Jill Stein to speak at UMass?” someone asked. “I wrote a Rock Opera;” I said, “I think I could get it presented at the University of Massachusetts, and she can speak at the event.” People were surprised. Those most familiar with my political activities stared suspiciously at me. “Does this have anything to do with Marijuana?” one asked. “Yes. I work with the UMass Cannabis Reform Coalition (CRC). They would sponsor it.”
“I don’t know if she’d want to associate herself with the Marijuana movement,” my suspicious friend said. “But it’s one of the Te–” “I know it’s one of the Ten Core Values [of the Greens], but I still don’t think she’d want to.” At the same time, someone asked a brilliant lawyer (an avowed Socialist elected to the Governor’s Council as a Democrat) about the sitch. He said “Well, she could, if she gets an official invitation from a campus student organization, like the Cannabis Reform Coalition…” I waited for him to say “…but…” but he just trailed off…
When Dr. Stein got to the meeting, she walked across the room to shake my hand and say “I want to associate myself with the Marijuana movement.” She’d begun associating with our movement in April when I invited her to speak at Extravaganja, Amherst’s annual Marijuana-legalization hemp rally, on 4/20 weekend. I asked “Do you want to speak at next week’s event in Boston?” referring to the upcoming [September 18] Boston Freedom Rally. “I’m going to speak at the Boston rally,” she said, both of us remembering that I’d introduced her to its organizers at 4/20. I told her about my Rock Opera idea. She said she’d do it, and that I should talk to her Campaign Manager about scheduling it. Both her Campaign Manager and Field Director are veterans of large Democratic campaigns, but this third-party run is a different animal altogether.
Two days later I floated the idea at the CRC meeting: “I wrote a Rock Opera. It’s called ‘Protest PG.’ I’d like to present it at UMass. Jill Stein said she’d speak at the event.” The words were out a scant second from my lips when the roomful of students erupted in a spontaneous roar of consensus assent. The club president immediately shouted “We’ll do it!” then quietly added “It’s already written, right?” Soon UMass rejected our proposed date for the event, and told us that the room we’d requested, the Cape Cod Lounge, could never be used for political events. They offered two alternative dates, in the Student Union Ballroom, only one of which was workable for Dr. Stein. So, two-and-a-half of weeks after the idea was hatched, we had our date, our auditorium, and not much time left to plan and promote it. Now, to be fair, we invited all four Gubernatorial candidates to open for my Rock Opera sponsored by the CRC. Casino-backed Democrat-turned-Independent State Treasurer Tim Cahill, casino-backed Republican Charlie Baker, and casino-backed conservative incumbent Democratic Governor Deval Patrick all politely declined to take part.
We issued press releases. I printed 700 fliers and personally posted or handed out 500 of them, getting help with the rest. The CRC also printed fliers and distributed them. I emailed hundreds of similar (yet individually personalized) letters to professors, arts professionals, environmental organizations, and student groups who might be interested. Everywhere I went I enthusiastically told everyone who’d listen about Jill Stein and the Rock Opera. I gave many of them fliers.
It seemed that God and/or the Goddess and/or the synchronicity of the Universe and satellite TV wanted me to pull this off: Suddenly, they’re showing Hair and Pink Floyd’s The Wall, neither of which is called a “Rock Opera ” in the encyclopedia, but they kind of are. Then came a special about the Kinks (including Rock Opera composer Ray Davies). Next the brilliant Zeb Buffman production of Webber’s Joseph. Finally, the special about the Who and its leader Pete Townsend, whose Rock Operas are important to me. I am still vibrating from the time I saw the Who live, decades ago. At the University, for a dress rehearsal before the event, I walked into a nearly empty cafeteria, and student radio played Cannonball Adderley’s Mercy, Mercy, Mercy. His brother Nat Adderley was the first Ybor City artist to write a Rock Opera. I may be the third one. Ybor City is the artists’ ghetto of Tampa, also its Latin quarter and entertainment district. God(dess)/Universe Does want this to work! I couldn’t help it, I began to dance, with glee and enthusiasm. Cannonball wasn’t even to his first lyric and I was already gliding across the floor. Within seconds the food workers were dancing too.
How I love Rock Operas! People who’ve seen only television and movies (but no live theatre) can’t even imagine the thrill and spectacle of actors, musicians, singers, and dancers, all treating me like I’m royalty, bringing the poet’s message directly to me, the audience member, filled with the composer’s music. We the audience transcend our superficial differences and become one. People leave awestruck, and remain so for days. By the end of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, my face was bright red with excitement. I was sweating and crying and laughing and smiling so hard that the corners of my mouth pushed my red cheeks up into my teary eyes. That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout!
Then the day before the opera, Governor Patrick decided to come to UMass, and speak two-and-a-half hours before our event. And where did the University put him? In the Cape Cod Lounge. I guess he’s not all that political. Actually, he’d requested the Student Union Ballroom, but the CRC had already rented it for $200. As I reached campus I saw what looked like a gaggle of Mormons walking down the University sidewalk. Probably the Governor’s entourage, seven guys in black suits. I’m not stereotyping here: Mormons really do dress in black suits, and people dressed like that on campus usually are Mormons.
It seemed like the Governor was trying to upstage us. But his appearance actually drew attention to his opponent being at UMass the same day. So their photos shared the front page of both the student newspaper and the town paper. The student paper shows the survey at UMass wherein the morning of the twin events, Governor Patrick led Dr. Stein 43% to 16%, with Stein polling much higher at the University than she does in other parts of the state. Now that their appearances have sunken in and taken effect, she’s gained 5 points on him, and now it’s 40%-18% in the four-way race. A UMass employee who attended both events said ours had 30% more attendees. And there was a huge enthusiasm gap. As you can see by watching video of the Patrick event, the students look bored. The suits try to get applause going, but it doesn’t work and they give up.
But at our event, Jill Stein was interrupted for applause several times, and so was I. She spoke about single-payer healthcare, about Marijuana legalization, about industrial hemp, about banks and insurance and drug companies. She told us of how, when Exxon deforested a patch of Brazilian Amazon rainforest the size of Rhode Island, causing extinction of one tribe and permanent displacement of four others, that Exxon then hired “civil rights lawyer” Deval Patrick to get them off in court. (I hope to get video of Jill Stein and my Rock Opera uploaded to YouTube and FDL.)
With our audience, we bridged the generation gap, from elderly lefty ladies to the freshest freshmen. Friends came from afar to watch the show and meet the candidate. A friend of mine, a visual artist and bicycle athlete older than me, told me on the way in that he was going to vote for Governor Patrick. The candidate took questions from the audience after her 50-minute speech. One woman said she’d never heard of Stein before seeing the fliers, but now intended to vote for her. Neighbors I’d met on the bus showed up, and left carrying large Jill Stein signs for the neighborhood. When my artist friend left, he said he’d be voting for Jill.
My Rock Opera “Protest PG” laments the fact that people aren’t protesting the Pashtun Genocide. The Pashtuns are the people American warriors are killing in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They call themselves the “Children of Israel.” Their national hero is Moses. Their national symbol is the Star of David. They are pleading with the US to end its Genocide against them. Most Americans don’t know who the Pashtuns are. The PG I’m protesting also stands for the Pariah Gases, Prison Guantanamo, Prohibition of Ganja, and Pinocchio Government. A reporter becomes an actor, then uses the actor’s characters to draw attention to the newsman’s reports.
The Rock Opera begins with a scene I’ve been performing for 26 years, the anonymous English-Scottish border region poem The Laily Worm and the Mackerel of the Sea. And I’ve performed two of the songs from the show and told one of the jokes at each of the last two years at Extravaganja, so Tommy Devine’s review notes that he’s heard some of the material before. Tommy Devine shot the photo of me above, in my work clothes. The student techmaster who was to set up the screen for the video part of the one-man multi-media performance didn’t set it up. So I had to do major revision at the last minute, cutting a scene, cutting out characters. With the video playing, I’d have had time and cover (behind the screen) to change costumes. Now, the monk, Osama bin Laden, and Uncle Sam could stay in, but Crazy Al and the newsman were suppressed, ironically.
The room burst into uproarious applause late in the show when I sang “The honored US Military is dressed in baby blood and khaki,” and again seconds later, when addressing the President, I sang “You’d not’ve got a goddam vote if you hadn’t lied, if you’d told us you wanted private armies and Pashtun Genocide.” Democracy Now! had revealed the fact that Blackwater/XE is Monsanto’s private army the day before. The Pashtun Genocide news bite hasn’t made the US media yet.
In most major media, Jill Stein has been ignored: She’s experiencing a “brown out” (named after the good press coverage Jerry Brown gets, nearly none). Here’s a UMass Daily Collegian editorial endorsing Stein. Independent Amherst/Granby State House candidate Dan Melick introduced Jill Stein. He’s a member of the CRC, a recent graduate from UMass, and a longtime cannabis activist. CRC organizer Terry Franklin introduced me. In the days approaching the performance, he advised me that students would relate better if “George Bush” were mentioned rather than my original lyric, “Oliver North.” He was right. He also told me that a former CRC officer had given me unbeliveably glowing praise during my absence from a meeting, and that she had called my work “life-changing.”
After the performance, one student tried to buy a CD from me, but I had only been joking about selling them. Another ran up to me and shook my hand, saying “Your Rock Opera was fantastic! Life-changing!” If you added the ages of the two women who used that term, I’d still have a few years on them. I knew the second one must have heard it from the first one, but she was sincere: Her face was red, she was sweating and laughing and crying and smiling so hard her red cheeks were pressed up into her teary eyes.
I called Jill’s Field Director to tell him about her rise in the UMass poll, and he shocked me by telling me that this Rock Opera was her most-attended campaign function. What?! Why didn’t I do ten times as much? Why didn’t ten people do ten times as much? One person with no money writes some poems, and that’s the biggest event? I don’t get it.
massgreennews: GRP Endorses Indy dem Socialist Engel for Congress; Jill Stein Will Rock (Opera) UMass — by NormanB ("Deviations from the Norm")
Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Party (GRP) Gubernatorial candidate Jill Stein will speak at the University of Massachusetts … before a Rock Opera. The event is sponsored by the UMass Cannabis Reform Coalition (CRC).
Around 4pm Thursday, October 28, 2010, Independent Amherst-Granby Massachusetts State House candidate Dan Melick will introduce Jill Stein. Melick is a CRC member and a recent graduate of the University. Dr. Stein will address students and others in the Student Union Ballroom on the UMassAmherst campus. Following her speech, CRC organizer Terry Franklin will introduce the one-man multi-media Rock Opera "Protest PG" by Norman B ("Deviations from the Norm"). Oh, that’s me.
In the show: Recommending protest and lamenting the lack, a reporter becomes an actor, then uses the actor’s characters to draw attention to the reporter’s stories. The "PG" being protested can stand for Pashtun Genocide, or Pariah Gases, or Prison Guantanamo, or Prohibition of Ganja, or Pinocchio Government. The diverse costuming in the production may remind theatre goers that the Oct. 28 performance is just days before the scariest night of the year: Election Night!
Stein’s 3 opponents in the Massachusetts race are incumbent Democratic Governor Deval Patrick, Republican Charlie Baker, and Democrat-turned-Independent Massachusetts State Treasurer Tim Cahill. The three of them are pushing for legalizing casinos in Massachusetts. All three Democratic-Republican nominees stink of corporate money. And they’ve kept Jill Stein out of some debates based on her campaign’s lack of cash. As Stein pointed out, that dirty corporate and casino money should disqualify those who exploited it, not her, the only candidate to refuse it.
The most active polling on the race is by Rasmussen, who clearly shows [dishonest] prejudice in the race by referring to Dr. Stein as "some other candidate" on its official poll-reporting page. Obviously asking the question like that skews results against Stein.
All 3 of Stein’s opponents were invited to speak at the Rock Opera. None has accepted yet. The potentially controversial nature of the event could keep them away. Certainly the 3 corporate salesmen come off sounding like buffoons when they share a stage with well-spoken straight-talking Dr. Jill Stein, a competent scientist. And the college and college-educated audience interested in protest is very likely to be a Stein crowd.
The show is hosted by the Cannabis Reform Coalition, which took an interest in Jill Stein after this reporter arranged for her to speak at the CRC’s annual pro-Marijuana rally, Extravaganja, around the date 4/20, this past spring. Stein’s opponents might stay away because of the cannabis connection. Amherst and 72 other towns in Massachusetts will vote on November 2 to instruct their representatives to work to Legalize Marijuana. All measures are expected to pass in landslides. Stein is the only Gubernatorial candidate to support these Public Policy Questions
Two of the "PGs" protested refer to the wars, and one to Greenhouse Gases (GHGs). No one who’s corporate controlled wants to come out against the War Machine. Jill Stein will try to hasten an end to the wars by recalling the Massachusetts National Guard to its home base.
And as for the Pariah Gases: Gov. Patrick is pushing hard for Cape Wind, an offshore windfarm that has already acquired switchgear equipment from Siemens corporation that uses the world’s strongest Greenhouse Gas, Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6). One of SF6′s byproducts, Sulfuryl Fluoride (SO2F2) is the second-fastest-increasing GHG in our atmosphere, and the Global Warming Potential of SF6 is 34,500. That means that each pound of Sulfur Hexafluoride warms our air more than 17 tons of Carbon Dioxide. And the state is buying a bunch of it to pretend that we are "going green." And Stein’s other two opponents are even worse than Patrick on climate.
The Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Party has cross-endorsed Independent democratic Socialist Congressional candidate Michael Engel in his bid to replace 10-term incumbent ultra-progressive Democratic Representative John Olver, of the 1st Congressional District.
Okay, okay, I’ll let you see his video; but just remember, most Democrats are not nearly as cool as John Olver:
In a more serious YouTube video than above, Ralph Nader explains why he thinks Olver didn’t initiate Impeachment procedings against Bush.
We need good old-fashioned Lefties like John Olver in Congress. I have even seen him giving to charity when he didn’t know anyone was watching. He’s the most Left-winged person in the House of Representatives, and I’m a Left-Leftitiy-Left Lefty, so of course I want John Olver to stay in Congress. I want him in there forever, and I want the others in Congress to be a lot more like John Olver. I am proud that John Olver represents me in Washington.
But John Olver is 74-years-old. He won’t be in there forever. I certainly oppose age limits, but more than a year ago, a Democrat filed papers to run for Olver’s seat in 2012. And so I worked hard to get Independent democratic Socialist Michael Engel’s name on the ballot. William Gunn, a Republican whom some characterize as "Tea Party," is also running this time. This is a big change for Olver, who usually runs unopposed. He was first elected in 1990.
I do believe we need immediate economic reform. That being the case, please watch Michael Engel’s video and examine his website.
Here is one great idea from Michael Engel for Government reorganization. Here, Engel reveals he’s a Socialist.
Progressive Leftists have typically affected American politics not by getting elected, but by campaigning to the Left of both political parties on true social problems. Though not usually elected, Leftists got us banking regulation, anti-discrimination legislation and the 40-hour work week. When in rare cases they are elected, they bring real breakthrough boons to the people … Jerry Brown … Bernie Sanders … Feingold … Wellstone … Al Franken …
So, John Olver usually runs with odds 100,000 to 1 in his favor. This time, with opponents, it’s more like 100 to one in favor.
MyFDL is Firedoglake's community site. Anyone can participate by commenting on posts or joining groups to find other people in your area. Content posted to MyFDL is the opinion of the author alone, and should not be attributed to Firedoglake.