Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pittsburgh Photos: A Colorful Building in Wilkinsburg

A colorful building in Wilkinsburg. Full pic here.

Pittsburgh photos: Skyline crossing the ninth street bridge

Taken as I was walking, I think, across the ninth street bridge. Full photo here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Some progressive election guides...

Here are two voting guides that I trust. The first is from Keystone Progressives.
Both guides punt on the Wagner vs. Valerie McDonald Roberts race. I'm punting too. Whoever won I voted for you! That's my story...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Theory behind Green Party Membership Small Donations

Someone asked me to explain what I meant by how small membership donations by the Green Party could result in more effective third party runs. So here it is:

This all began when I outlined something called the 5/25 plan which I thought the Green Party, or any other ambitious third party, should adopt. Your goal shouldn't be too ambitious or based on something approaching the Rapture. ("People will just realize that the Green Party is right and the voters will be swept up into the sky and onward resulting in Green Party victory!") I do think that the Rapture strategy is the operational strategy for the Green Party which is probably why they weren't able to mount a very effective challenge against Alvin Greene, of all people. 

But to not get too far off track, the 5/25 plan simply means walking before running. Let's see if you can raise 35 million dollars to contest 5 senate seats and 25 house seats. From online sources I estimated that there were at least 300000 Americans who identified themselves as Green Party members. If all those Green Party members gave 10 dollars a month, then that would amount to 3 million dollars a month or 36 million dollars a year. You need at least 2 million to contest a senate seat in the average state, about 200000 to contest a US house seat. Those are minimums. If you can find someone who spent less money and won a house and senate seat please point that out to me. Keep in mind that Meg Whitman spent over a 100 million and lost the Governor's race.

Well what does this mean for California Greens? I've been told that there are an estimated 50000 Greens in California. Ask them to commit to 10 dollars a month. This would mean 500000 a month or 6 million a year. This means you can run real races in California. If you can't give that amount, which I can give even when I'm poor as dirt, then you're not committed to change. Or at least committed to 10 dollar a month change. I should also point out that once it became clear that you were running real campaigns--with ads and dirt cheap field canvasses--then you would probably get more traction from small donors outside the Green Party. With that kind of money you could seriously contest several house seats and I would take a look at other seats if they're available. A green Attorney General would be nice for those of us who would long for the day when corporations and fat cats might actually have to abide by the Rule of Law.

California could lead the way. I guarantee that after two years of actually contesting elections you will be much more successful than the national Green Party and their apparent wishful thinking strategy where Green Party candidates win without money and just because they're right. Who knows. They might even make the Californian strategy a national strategy.

Related: These are other essays and media that outlines and fleshes out this plan.

What the Greater Good Coalition Can Do

Act Green for Cheri Honkala and  Ian Murphy

The 5/25 Plan

The Let's Create Viable Third Party Runs Campaign

Four ways you can get to viable third party runs.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Arguing with Knowledgeable Pro Life Lefty Gabe: On The Pro Life Issue and Sanger

Here's what Gabe wrote on the pro life issue. Its really a bit much to sort through. But here it is unedited.

Gabriel Kierran Mccloskey-Ross
Philip, My position on abortion is irrelevant to whom. Less than a third of the people in U.S.believe in abortion on demand. A fifth believe in no abortion at all, even to save the mother's life. See: More women oppose abortion on demand than do men. More registered Democrats oppose abortion on demand than registered Republicans. You and I are saddled with Pat Toomey as a U.S. Senator because Joe Sestak insisted on pushing abortion on demand. Toomey did not win on Republican votes; there simply aren't enough in PA. Toomey cannot assemble an English sentence, but he will be in the Senate for six years. Philip you are a member of the Bar. Harry, Justice Blackman found in the 14th Amendment a right of privacy for a woman to speak to hr doctor in privacy about abortion. Where else does that exist at federal law? Would you agree with me that both federal rules of criminal and civil procedure specifically ban any claim of doctor client privilege? I will sight the exact rule if you like. You say you support Castro. So you support Cuba limiting elective abortion to the first trimester. Do you also support the Sandinistas eliminating elective abortion altogether? Did you support the Cuban government jailing Gays. As to violence only the Commissar brought up the conduct of the Cuban Army during the Revolution. Guevara presided over 15,000 summary courts martial that sentenced 10.000 people to death. Guevara carried out at least one execution personally. One does not need to be a pacifist to decry this. The smallest spark of civil liberartism should tell someone that is evil. Finally two points I would think would be obvious to you. First, if the Abolitionist and Civil Rights movements had not broken the law you personally would likely be a much lower life station. Second, As Black women have three times the abortions than White ones, America would be a majority non-White country except for Rowe v.Wade.

Well I think we're saddled with Pat Toomey because Pro Life dems betrayed Joe Sestak, although I think the prime reason that Joe Sestak lost is because of the economy. I also think that he should have run a more inclusive campaign and ran to the left of the president onthings like job creation. But the economy usually dooms everyone. Why didn't they stay home for abortion enforcer Barack Obama? But nice try.

I think the right to privacy is now an established legal hack that I can live with, but I'm not a crazy Catholic who believes in bronze age mythology. And if I did have to live under a mythology it would most certainly be the Dune trilogy or the Matrix films, which, frankly, offer more plausible views of reality and afterlives than does the Bible. As far as Latin Americans and their restrictive reproductive rights strategy well you should thank the Catholic Church for that. You can want liberation movements and policies that keep the bitches in their place at the same time, apparently.

I still think that Che and Castro were forces for good in Latin America. I would much rather live in Cuba than the client states of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, where we just murdered directly or by proxy everyone who was a threat to our interests. I don't think the people that Che and Castro were fighting could have been won over with nonviolence. I just don't. I mean, I have some nonviolent ideas but I don't think they're going to work...Both national parties are moving us toward Mexico. Not good.

As far as the abolitionist/civil rights argument, are you making the insane and crazy argument that murdering doctors somehow helps kids? Or the women who have to take care of those kids? I just don't think, and I've said this before I think, that the pro life movement gives a fuck about women or children. People that cared would do what any standard western european country--where they show they give a fuck about you by their actions--would do by offering comprehensive child care, liberal and well funded parental leave, full funding for head start. I mean, that's what France does. Its called the carrot.

I also think that this link beats the Wikipedia link because it shows how much conservative pro lifers care about poor black women and their kids: they don't give a fuck. But that should be clear by all their other actions quite frankly...

And just as an aside I don't think forcing poor women to carry their unwanted pregnancies to term is good for women or for kids, their hated and eventually unwanted kids.

Arguing with Knowledgeable Pro Life Lefty Gabe: On Black Nationalism, Craig Livingstone, and the late Manning Marable

Gabe writes so much stuff over at Facebook I might as well get some posting in here at Mirror Universe. Here's what he wrote:

Gabriel Kierran Mccloskey-Ross
‎@Philip The conversation occurred at the Frontlash / Young Social Democrats retreat in Front Royal, VA. The occasion was Tom Kahn's discussion of SNCC. Stokley Carmichael despite being on the Socialist Party's payroll had voted to ban his comrades Kahn, Rachelle Horowitz, Casey and Tom Hayden, Steve Max and many others from membership in SNCC. This was a daft idea. Carmichael later split with Dr. King and Norman Thomas over the use of violence in the Civil Rights struggle. This was at the point that Carmichael join the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. The Panthers were no match for cops militarily and Carmichael lived the rest of his life aboard. The only conversation I remember having with Manning about Black Nationalism was when we were drinking beer at the Phone Booth Bar and someone announced that Gerry Conney had stopped Kenny Norton in the second round. I celebrated and Manning wailed. I pointed out I had the same right to Irish nationalism as he had to Black nationalism. Manning made comrade Dougherty and myself "honorary niggers" at DSOC youth section convention as no one would speak with us either. So the three of us talked to each other the entire evening along with agent Livingstone of the FBI. You remember Craig, from IUP undergrad to chief of White House Security in 5 years. My concern was not with Marable's ideology, but that the New American Movement felt that his presence would bring in many black members. As the Democratic Socialist Alliance of West Central, PA had more Black members than the entire New American Movement, I saw this as rather silly. When I read Manning had passed I began re-reading "From The Grassroots" If Manning and I were in opposition you would never know it from his warm message to me written on the front page. Obviously I disagree with Marable's attack on Phil Randolph as a "class collaborationist." He was as much a class collaborationist as he was an "Uncle Tom." The other Big Phil heard plenty of that when he asked John Lewis to re-write his 1963 speech. Actually Tom and Rachelle rewrote it as they had written the original. I only saw Manning twice since you and I last met. The meetings were down right warm with hugs instead of handshkakes As with you the ongoing correspondence on Movement for New Society and the Commitees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism and life in general was warm no matter how much we disagreed. We lost a valuable comrade much too young when Manning died

I didn't say the conversation didn't exist but that I don't remember when or where we had it. Hey, if you say so...although I'm pretty certain we had that "Manning Marable was a black nationalist" exchange somewhere at IUP or was it on the streets of Philly...I can't recall. I do want to say that I understand why black leaders would always want a "room of their own" so to speak. Carmicheal also spoke at IUP, surprisingly enough, but by then he had changed his name to, I believe, Kwame Ture.  The main thing I remember from it, other than a slashing attack against the priesthood, was that African Americans should support some organization, whether it be the Black Panthers or Urban League or the NAACP. That always made sense to me. I noticed that you gloss over that history just a bit. I can't help but notice that The Man seemed to slaughter all of my leaders whether they were dedicated to non violence or not. I actually thought that the lesson of the 60s civil rights movement was that you needed both violent and non violent factions competing against each other in order for the whole thing to work...

Haven't heard Craig Livingstone's name in awhile. I always thought Craig legitimately believed in The Left. He didn't strike me as being an FBI plant. Why do you think that? In fact, I think his fall from grace felt, to me, like a bit of a setup, probably due to the fact that he hung around all sorts of undesirables like, uh, well, you. And me too probably. Just a theory. I wish Stone would get back into the game as it were. He was a charismatic and intelligent who I think would have represented our concerns very well or even as a friend to Hillary. I must confess the scenario where you are the informant--and the gradual evolution of social dems into hard right republican fascists--would seem more plausible, especially considering your almost rabid hatred of commies, articulated in this informative video:

So please don't have me killed or whatever...just joking. I hope....

I'm a little cloudy on the A. Philip Randolph stuff. If I recall I believe that Manning was the first time I had read of the legacy of A. Philip Randolph and I think what he wrote was mostly positive although I honestly have no idea where my copy of "From the Grassroots" happens to be. I do think his death is unfortunate because if someone primaries Obama from the left it would be nice to have one or two prominent black intellectuals say that "Hey, we'll probably get a better deal from Howard Dean or Russ Feingold". They did try to save him with that double lung transplant and all...tragic loss.