[NYTr] James Joyce says "Vote Green"

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Oct 11, 2006, 8:06:26 PM10/11/06
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sent by Bill Koehnlein - Oct 11, 2006

If you've ever seen Fidel Castro on the Roundtables broadcast on Cuban
television, or read transcripts of them, you might get the sense that
this is a learned university professor speaking at a post-graduate
seminar, and not a head of state speaking to the people of a nation. He
is intelligent and thoughtful, he speaks without condescension, he
assumes that his audience has brains and is capable of analytical
thought. In a sense, Fidel *is* a learned professor. Compare him to the
babbling idiot Bush, who can barely complete a coherent sentence (even
with the use of a teleprompter), and who assumes that everybody else is
just as stupid as he.

And so it is in New York State. During this pathetic waste of time
called the election campaign we have the Republicratic candidates
insulting our intelligence with their demagoguery, blandness, lack of
integrity, lack of vision, lack of honesty.

Fortunately, we do have the Green Party candidates: Malachy McCourt for
Governor and Alison Duncan for Lieutenant Governor, Howie Hawkins for US
Senate, Rachel Treichler for Attorney General and Julia Willebrand for
Comptroller. (There are also several Greens running for various local
offices around the state.)

If you've ever had the pleasure of hearing Malachy McCourt speak in
person, you know what the article below is saying. McCourt is erudite,
witty, charming, blunt and pulls no punches. Could any of the other
candidates talk knowledgably about James Joyce? Would they? Have any of
the others ever read Joyce, or even heard of him?

Similarly, compare the campaign discourse of Senate candidate Howie
Hawkins with the self-serving drivel spewed by Clinton. Hawkins talks
about real issues with keenness, insight and depth. All Clinton does is
drone on about "me, me, me and more me." As an ardent supporter of the
war against Iraq, as the primary henchman in New York for the Bush
regime, she has blood on her hands and shit on her tongue. She has
supported the war from day one--and continues to do so. She supported
the repressive Patriot Act--and continues to do so. She poses as the
modern feminist, but her's is an empty feminism. It is the faux feminism
of capitalism, where the compassionate, humanist impulse which is
absolutely essential to feminist thought and action has been bled from
it, leaving nothing more than an empty word and a concept that mirrors
and embraces the dominant ideology of greed, competition and domination
of a working class oppressed by capital--an ideology that is
antithetical to what feminism truly is.

The Green Party--and not the Republicratic Party--is the anti-war party.
It is the party of social justice. The Republicrats stand for
inequality. The Greens stand for the environment, and would foster a
true ecological sensibility. The Republicrats would give the earth away
to the highest corporate bidder.

If you live in New York and vote I urge you to vote for the Green Party
candidates. At this time, the Greens do not have automatic ballot status.
The Party had to undertake a massive petitoning effort to get its candidates
on the ballot. If McCourt, as gubernatorial candidate, can garner 50,000
votes the Greens will have automatic ballot status and will no longer be
forced to expend energy in gathering signatures for nominating petitions.

And a vote for Hawkins is a message to Clinton: we do not support you or
your warmongering. The more votes Hawkins gets, the stronger the message
that New Yorkers support peace, social justice and a habitable
environment will be.

Vote Green! As Malachy McCourt says, "Don't waste your vote. Give it to
us."

See:
http://www.gpnys.org/
http://www.malachymccourt.com/
http://www.votemalachymccourt.org
http://www.HawkinsForSenate.net
http://www.alisonduncan.org
http://www.voterachel.org/
http://juliaforcomptroller.org/

-Bill Koehnlein

***

Hawkins for Senate

The New York Times - Oct 10, 2006

Stand and Deliver, But no Gum

by Clyde Haberman

We are going out on a limb to bet, without the handicap of deep
research, that only one person running for New York governor has been
asked to write the foreward to a new edition of James Joyce's
"Dubliners". That would be Malachy McCourt, candidate of the Green
Party, the color having to do with the environment and not Mr. McCourt's
roots in Ireland.

His 3000 word esay for Penguin Books is due in a few days, a deadline
more imminent and arguably more deserving of his attention than Election
Day. Any fool can run for high office, and often does.

But how many grade school dropouts are asked to explicate the work of a
literary titan?

Not that he is ignoring the governor's race. "I am standing for office,"
he says, using a construction more suited to Irish or English ears. Why
politicians on the other side of the Atlantic stand for office while
those here choose to run is a mystery. Maybe our guys need a head start.

In any event, when Mr. McCourt first talked months ago about standing
for governor, a perceptive Irish journalist wrote that "he faces stiff
opposition from New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer."

How right he was. Mr. Spitzer, the Democratic candidate, is giving Mr.
McCourt one heck of a run, or stand, for his money.

Indeed--here we are out on a limb again--Mr. McCourt is in absolutely no
danger of winning. Neither, if polls are to be believed, is the
Republican, John Faso.

Mr. Faso, however, will at least get to debate Mr. Spitzer on Thursday
night. On that stage, you will not find Mr. McCourt or other candidates
whose names may mystify you as much as some of Joyce's prose: John
Clifton of the Libertarian Party, Maurice DeLuca of the Socialist
Workers Party and Jimmy McMillan of the bluntly named Rent Is Too Damn
High Party.

Also, high are the odds that Mr. Faso and Mr. Spitzer will use the
debate to promise this or that and to rough each other up. But if either
of them says something memorable, or even witty, we might well think
about declaring a state holiday.

Why does our politics seem so irredeemably grim? "The inculcation of
fear is the essence of American politics," Mr. McCourt said. "Fear and
the evil of your opponents--what awful, dreadful, less-than-human beings
they are, until elected. Then they say, 'We have to get behind them.'"

He recalled a quotation from Thomas Corwin, a 19th century senator from
Ohio: "Never make people laugh. If you would succeed in life, you must
be solemn, solemn as an ass. All great monuments are built over solemn
asses."

You may know Mr. McCourt as a radio personality, actor and best-selling
author. He has also been a longshoreman and a saloonkeeper. He was born
poor, to an Irish family whose ranks include a brother with a couple of
books of his own to his credit. At 75, Malachy McCourt has decided that
"every day above ground is a good one," and the goal is to "stay on the
right side of the grass."

We could dutifully list his campaign themes, which include opposition to
capital punishment, the war in Iraq and tuition charges at public
colleges.

But it is unlikely that New York will soon drop "Empire State" as its
nickname, turn the National Guard into a civilian environmental corps,
declare sugar a controlled substance or tax tobacco so much that a
cigarette costs the same as a gallon of gas.

"Chewing gum is my latest one," Mr. McCourt said. "I'm going to triple
the tax on it. Chewing gum makes people look stupid, and they spit it
out. It does terrible things to the sidewalk and the subway."

That it does. But since he will no more be elected governor than named
the next Yankee manager, the conversation in his Upper West Side
apartment turned less on platforms than on the nature of politics.

He is not running as a joke, he said. War, poor health care, marginal
literacy among many young people--"Is it a joke?" he asked of each of
these troubles. But there is a difference, he said, between taking what
one does seriously and taking oneself seriously. That is a distinction
lost on many politicians. He had another line to reinforce the point,
from the English writer G.K. Chesterton: "Angels can fly because they
take themselves lightly."

Besides, Mr. McCourt said, his qualifications in this race are the same
as anyone else's. "None of us," he said, "have ever been governor."

And only one is writing a foreward to James Joyce. He is getting 50
cents a word from the publisher, he said. It isn't much. On the other
hand, many people would not put down even 50 cents for the word of a
politician.

Bill Koehnlein
bi...@toplab.org

"My fellow Americans, major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the
battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed."
--George W. Bush, May 1, 2003

"...I told the American people that the road ahead would be difficult, and
that we would prevail. Well, it has been difficult--and we are
prevailing."
--George W. Bush, June 28, 2005

U.S. military fatalities through May 1, 2003: 140
U.S. military fatalities through June 28, 2005: 1743
U.S. military fatalities as of October 11, 2006: 2753

Iraqi civilian fatalities through May 1, 2003: 1982
Iraqi civilian fatalities through June 28, 2005: 22,563 25,560
(estimated by IraqBodyCount.net)*
Iraqi civilian fatalities as of October 11, 2006: 43,850 48,693
(estimated by IraqBodyCount.net)*
Iraqi civilian fatalities as of July 2006 (estimated by The Lancet): 654,965

*These figures are based on the number of fatalities cited in various news
reports and have been criticized, with much justification, for not giving
an accurate assessment of the real civilian death count. A much more
rigorous and statistically-reliable study, conducted by teams from Johns
Hopkins University, Columbia University and Al-Mustansiriya University,
and published in The Lancet (the British medical journal) in the Fall of
2004, put the figure at around 100,000 civilians dead. However, that data
had been based on "conservative assumptions", according to research team
leader Les Roberts, and the actual count at that time was credibly assumed
to be significantly higher. For example, the Lancet study's data greatly
underestimated fatalities in Fallujah due to the surveying problems
encountered there at that time. Most recently, a second Lancet study,
released on October 10, 2006, now indicates that 654,965 "excess" deaths
of Iraqi civilians have occurred since the outbreak of the aggression and
genocide committed by the United States against the people of Iraq.

Sources: http://www.iraqbodycount.net/
http://icasualties.org/oif/
http://www.zmag.org/lancet.pdf
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1338749,00.html
http://www.agoracosmopolitan.com/Iraq_war.html
http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/article.php4?article_id=6271
http://olm.blythe-systems.com/pipermail/nytr/Week-of-Mon-20041025/008279.html
http://www.thelancet.com/webfiles/images/journals/lancet/s0140673606694919.pdf

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