“The mind of this country, taught to aim at low objects, eats upon itself.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
ON QUESTION #2: Vote YES for NEP. There’s a strong vibration of anti-reason and anti-science in American politics. Holyoke is certainly no exception. So, I’d like to discuss the needle exchange first, because that is the most utterly confusing thing on this ballot (well, except for maybe Dan Bresnahan and Brenna McGee as candidates). I am not a doctor, though I did have aspirations to be one and was at one point seeking enrollment in a PA program on reenlistment into the US ARMY some years ago – which never happened due to a mountaineering accident. At that time I was a Microbiology and Chemistry student and in that combination of disciplines was focusing on the biochemistry of immunology – I did go on to work in healthcare both in a laboratory and in a NICU but that was a long time ago. Now, I am no expert, and I will be the first to admit that… However, from what I do know; the best way to slow down the spread of a disease is to disrupt the vector of a pathogen. It really is pretty fundamental: Spread by aerosol? Wear a mask. Spread by drinking water? Treat / filter the water. Spread by direct contact? Wash hands / use condoms. etc, etc. Dirty needles spread disease and removing dirty needles from the equation greatly limits the spread of related communicable diseases. I also believe in leaving some things up to the experts and leaving some other things up to the democratic process. The needle exchange is not something that should be “decided upon”. It simply makes sense and should be established so leave it up to health experts and not some democratic process… What does boggle my mind is folks like Linda Vacon, a registered nurse that supposedly knows and cares about healthcare, and others who claim to “be good with numbers” oppose this program or say the ills of the program outweigh any benefits. The benefit is that is saves lives. The possibility to save one life makes the program invaluable. Opposition can only come from absolute ignorance or, more likely, a desire to have “those people” die because they are less than human. It also reminds us of those tin-foil hat wearing Alex Jones fans that think that vaccines are a some sort of government conspiracy eugenics program or, equally so, that climate change is a leftist conspiracy. It is all part of the general dumbing down of America where people are more likely to be motivated by fear than they are by the truth. For those that might want to read more on the realities of NEP please see this document from Drug Policy Alliance or this link from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Also, this well done video staring my girls has a great message (while strongly appeal to emotion it is the truth) that comes from A Clean Holyoke / Tapestry Health:
ON QUESTION #1: Vote NO Casino in Holyoke. I am opposed to the Holyoke casino idea – for a number of reasons – probably #1 was the site plan right along the Metacomet and Manadnock trail and pristine Mt Tom Reservation. I am not not a fan of casinos but I am not opposed to gambling or casinos in general; however I think they are not the right fit for Western Mass and see the over-saturation of gambling in New England making this whole plan a failure. Keep the ones we have and build no more. Let Vegas be the destination that it is. …and vote out of office every legislator that made this bill into law. Then repeal the legislation before groundbreaking happens. This non-binding question seems like a waste of time by everyone involved, mostly because the timeline is moving, Springfield and Palmer are potential sites – Springfield passed the referendum with Palmer deciding on Nov 5th. For Holyoke to be a possibility the entire Gaming Commission timeline would need to be set back to zero if for some reason that Palmer failed the vote and Springfield was denied by the commission. Also, seeing that there is so much already invested I see the plan going full steam ahead in Springfield if Palmer fails because, they want that casino and with a new governor incoming and an actual bill in the works to stop the casino plan they want groundbreaking before any traction is made in repealing the law.
The question, the casino timeline and the politics here in Holyoke makes interesting the publishing of a mailer that lists an anti-casino candidate voting slate with a number of glaring omissions of would-be casino opponents. An anonymous group called Citizens For a Better Holyoke which claims to be a “factually oriented group that works together with community members from all over Holyoke” that is “dedicated to providing the public with information”. Well, I disagree. Repeated attempts to find out who meets and decides on what is communicated was met with silence. A few folks admit to being part of the group but on the literature, nothing… and the Facebook page there is no “About Us” that defines who was behind the mailer. Not responding to queries is NOT working with the community and not providing a complete list of anti-casino candidates fails to educate and only exposes either the political bias of the organization or its failure to be able to live up to its mission statement. HUSH was contacted by a few candidates that felt like the mailer misrepresented them.
Rick Purcell, previous Green Party Candidate for Lt Governor with Jill Stein and Ward 3 Holyoke candidate now running at large has maintained a solid anti-casino stance since well before CFBH formed and before legislation was passed. His omission from the list is indeed strange because his position is very well known. Rick claims he was not contacted for this mailer and that John Epstein, one of CFBH members, was hostile towards him 2 years ago. I don’t know what to say here except that I am not sure why not each and every candidate was contacted about Q1 and inclusion on the mailer. Yes, CFBH did revise a pdf to include Purcell but this is after the mailer was sent. It may actually help Purcell to be excluded because of the scrutiny over the mailer.
Kevin Jourdain cried a river over not being included in a long press release published on his FB page and Masslive / Republican Newspaper. He writes: “I actively opposed the casino at the 1995 and 2002 ballot questions. A casino proposal has only once come before the Council in my tenure and that was during the 2010-2011 term. As Chair of the Redevelopment Committee at the time, I led the charge to oppose the Wyckoff casino and stopped the two proposals on the project both for a land transfer they needed of 5 acres of city property, as well as, for the city to forgo its right of first refusal on other areas inside Wyckoff. Not talk but votes on the issue. When others were looking to rush things through, who did casino opponents turn to? Kevin Jourdain.” He is correct. I saw some of this in City Council meetings. In an email to me Kevin Jourdain said: “I got dumped because I voted on allowing the non binding question on ballot not because I am pro casino. It is not fair. I always allow those questions on fill in the blank topic. That has nothing to do with casinos.” I am somewhatin agreement here. Similarly, I almost always will sign papers for someone running for office. I may not actually vote, but everyone deserves a chance. Well, I do believe that I might take exception at some point. I might not sign papers for a total bat-shit loon Tea Party member like Linda Vacon. Similarly I might see a question like this one as a waste of time and resources. Indeed, Kevin has been anti casino and his support of the ballot question is not indicative of a pro-casino stance.
Yassir Menwer forwarded me his email from John Epstein, which is interesting because it is very elusive. Looks like a private citizen from Ward 7 contacting a Ward 5 candidate with a simple question and not representing an organization:
Hi Yasser,Dozens of people who are strongly opposed to a Holyoke casino have been coming up and asking me “who should I vote for” in the upcoming election? And naturally I want to know, myself.For the record, would you please tell me if you are in favor of, or opposed to, a casino in Holyoke.Thanks,John
Whoa. That’s good stuff.
Yassir provides a detailed response where he states that he believes that the casino is a bad idea, but if it were to happen that he would work to make it the best possible plan for the city.
In a reply:
Hello Yasser,Thanks for your thoughtful reply.Before I finalize what I’m doing, I wanted to make sure I was representing your position properly. So rather than me trying to project my own interpretation upon your response to me, I’ve decided it would be best to provide you with a choice of several categories from which you can describe how you feel.Which of the following would you say most accurately describes your position on a casino in Holyoke:Pro-casinoLeaning pro-casino (appears promising)NeutralLeaning anti-casino (serious reservations)Anti-casinoThanks for your patience!Best,John
Yassir responds “Leaning anti casino”. Granted, I like my candidates to say exactly what they believe, but like Rick claims he experienced similar here two years ago… who / what / why? I think some might have reservations being subject to such a cold calling. Instead, if there was full disclosure “we are Citizens For A Better Holyoke, an anti-casino group and we want to know your position on such and such” you might get full disclosure and less CYA.
Anyhow. CFBH needs a new ringmaster.
Mayors Race: Alex Morse. As many know, I have butted heads with Alex on a number of occasions on some key issues. He’s also landed in the right place each time. I have also had the opportunity to work with Alex on the cable advisory board, where I see a great opportunity unfolding for Holyoke with a new media center in the works and the possibility of utilization of a neglected downtown property funded by Comcast. Before the field of candidates unfolded I actually was not sure if I would have a horse in this race and when Jeff Stanek appeared I thought there might be some serious competition when Stanek started attending the anti-Walmart meetings. But as more was revealed it began to appear that Stanek was not only not my candidate but quite possible the absolute worst case scenario with his history of corruption, bad business dealings and some very interesting campaign financial support. Not to mention failure to attend two debates and absolutely horrible presentation in those where they did face off. As well, some very illuminating discussions that are borderline racial profiling like NYC’s Stop and Frisk policies… Stanek wants police checkpoints? What, is he from North Korea? The choice is very clear. Alex is moving Holyoke forward and Stanek represents quite the opposite.
The rest of the races have some interesting fresh faces and motivated people stepping up to lead the city. Mark Riffenburg, Mimi Panitch, Jim Chevalier (in a write-in sticker campaign), Rosalee Tensley Williams, Jossie Valentin and Christine Alger are new to political scene and offer a lot to our great city.
I’d like to go on at great length about all these choices and may return to edit more. But for now, here is the HUSH endorsements… and remember, anyone BUT Dan Bresnahan if you see the need to fill out more bubbles on the at-large section:
Louise K. Bisson
City Council At Large:
Ward 1 City Council:
Ward 2 City Council:
Ward 3 City Council:
Ward 4 City Council:
Jossie M. Valentin
Ward 5 City Council:
Ward 6 City Council:
Ward 7 City Council:
Gordon P. Alexander
School Committee at large:
Devin M. Sheehan
School Committee Ward 1:
Mildred I. Lefebvre
School Committee Ward 2:
Rosalee Tensley Williams
School Committee Ward 3:
Dennis W. Birks
School Committee Ward 4:
School Committee Ward 5:
Kellie M. Pond
School Committee Ward 6:
School Committee Ward 7:
Erin B. Brunelle
Question 1 “Should the city of Holyoke have a resort style gaming casino?”:
Question 2 “Should the city of Holyoke have a needle exchange program?”:
This video is not mine. Rest assured, if it were it would have had a flaccid penis instead of the down market arrow.
Anyhow, kudos… very nice work and +1 for the music!
Also, Western Massachusetts Politics & Insight has this illuminating piece published today.
Hopefully we will see a lot more of this. Folks need to learn about this crook carpetbagger that wants to be our mayor.
HUSH welcomes this guest op-ed from Holyoke resident Charles Montgomery Burns III.
Nationwide, there is a tremendous untapped market for upper class, prime-rate housing in vibrant, walkable urban areas where one might expect to find such luxuries as artisan chocolate vendors, martini bars, dog grooming salons, fashion milliners and Asian-Mexican fusion restaurants.
So far, Holyoke has been unsuccessful at turning this market to its advantage. Instead, it has watched a valuable asset stagnate into a bleak cityscape of brown-skinned poor people, in effect prioritizing social services over a more white privately-led economy for the benefit of rich white hipsters.
I suggest that we kill and eat the poor. All of them. Rub their skins with oils and savory herbs then roast them on an open fire. And any new poor that arrive – kill them and eat them before they can reproduce. After that their housing will become available for private interests as the poor will instead occupy our collective gullet or fear entering this city else suffer the same fate. Only then can this city thrive and private interests reign over the welfare of those that do not have and do not deserve.
The microphones were on before the City Council meeting began and those of us with cable TV (or DVR) were able to witness a very interesting conversation between Dan Bresnahan and Todd McGee where they made mockery of their post; used profanity; engaged in misogynistic dialog; talked disparagingly of their colleagues; made jokes about their wives and insulted some community members – all of which could be heard in the comfort of your own home via Holyoke’s public access channel 15. Priceless. It really goes to show what little intelligence and integrity it takes to qualify as leadership in Holyoke. So, here it is, posted as audio and transcript:
The audio began mid conversation. They are talking about the agenda. Presumably, at start, they are talking about item 24. ”Petition for a Zone Change for Whiting Farms Rd. from BG to IP” which brought a number of residents into council chambers for public comment and in support of this item.
McGee: …unless it was for Dan, if Dan wanted to change things.
Brezzy: I wanna put a Walmart there… (McGee laughs) and a casino.
McGee: Roll the dice baby.
Breezy: …and a strip club.
McGee: [fumbling with papers] Yay! The Directory!
Breezy: A city-wide bicycle master plan? I like Aaron. (the Breezy makes an aside) If you smell garlic it is me, there is no doubt about it… I am just telling you right now. (back on topic) A city-wide bicycle master fucking plan? Oh my god. What’s going on?
(Rebecca Lisi walks into view, she’s 9-months into pregnancy with a due date of TODAY yet she’s still hard at work)
Breezy: That’s gotta be uncomfortable. The way she’s carrying…
McGee: She’s due today! Today’s her due date.
Breezy: I still don’t see that glow in her face… unlike most of the pregnant women I am attracted to. She’s just not doing it for me. But YOUR wife on the other hand – whoa ho, oh boy… when she was pregnant!
McGee: I’m not gonna lie to you. I was pleasantly surprised. Anyone want a Twizzler?
Brezzy: [unintelligible, presumably speaking to agenda] What’s going on?
McGee: That’s going to committee too.
Breezy: Did I get the wrong agenda? [Is Dan only reading the agenda now, not reviewing it prior to the meeting?]
McGee: Nah, that’s going to committee. Speaking of which, I better get… [unintelligible, gets up from his seat]
(not sure who does a mic check, sounds like Gordon Alexander TAP TAP TAP – blows into mic “hey Ryan” TAP “it is not on yet”)
Breezy: I saw him.
McGee: Look at him. Ah… Man. How did MassMutual hire that? What the fuck were they thinking?
Breezy: Just keep an eye on him when we do the Pledge of Allegiance. He doesn’t fucking… he sits down. (McGee laughs) I am telling you, he’s a fucking communist.
[audio was shut off with video feed continuing]
Good job boys. Well done. Way to make complete fools out of yourselves. …and oh, FYI: Mr Bickford was hired because he is much smarter and more professional than you two, obviously.
In regards to not saying the pledge as qualification of ‘communist’ – Requiring people to say a prayer to an object is more akin to authoritarianism than is the reluctance or protest to the participating in it. What an idiot.
(Jim Santiago Memorial Water Park is pictured in the foreground)
The politicos that plague the City of Holyoke have been very good in the past at creating their own comedy but this Jeff Stanek guy really takes the cake. Much like Danny Boyle and his serial campaigns promising a “business professional” with his sordid leadership past; Stanek promises similar but with a much more impressive résumé of scandal and failures. These are companies that he won’t even name in any of his interviews or post on his campaign website – only providing vague references like “call center”, “direct marketing” and “yacht sales”. Yacht sales? Is that supposed to impress us? It is like when my kids see a limousine and then ooh and ah about how they want to ride in one and all I remember is the time I rode in one on the Vegas strip and found a syringe wrapped up in a dirty pair of underwear stuffed between the upholstery. You gotta be one totally smarmy soulless motherfucker to be a yacht salesman. …and what kind of real-world business experience can you achieve working with the out of touch customer base of the yacht market? Say it three times: Yacht sales, yacht sales, yacht sales… there, if you thought it was to begin with, it’s not interesting anymore.
So, what of the other jobs? Well…
Talk America filed bankruptcy while he was the controller (Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Case No. 99-20765), Vital Basics (aka Talk America) had FTC charges resulting in a $1,000,000.00 fine (FTC Docket C-4107) for activities occurring while he was controller due to the sales of boner pills which were unlabeled prescription drugs claiming to be an herbal and safe alternative but which were actually counterfeit Viagra – very dangerous since they were marketed as “a safe alternative to other ED medications for those who take nitrates for chest pain.” – luckily nobody died as a result – and there were a number of other snake-oil type products (Avacor – an all-natural hair replacement, Vinarol – an herbal formula to increase sexual desire and performance, Thermal Carb – an all-natural fat burner and carbohydrate blocker and Glutotrin – a drug that supposedly cures, mitigates or treats diabetes). And then to top it off a company he was working for, MyFreeMedicine.com, was hit with a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) again by the FTC (FTC DOCKET CV5-1607). The FTC claiming “Since at least September 2003, defendants have deceptively marketed a program purporting to provide free prescription medications to eligible low-income consumers. Defendants target a particularly vulnerable group of people: those with low income and no insurance coverage for prescription medications who spend more than $100 a month for the medications they need for their health and well-being.” It was a case that made national news – ABC and NBC. …and yes, it was a case which was later dismissed in US District Court of Maine (Docket CV-00362). However, MyFreeMedicine.com was ordered to cease its operations. Stanek said in a Masslive / Republican interview that the case was dismissed and: “No, I wouldn’t say it shaped me. It’s just, I think it’s just business. Anyone under the sun can file a lawsuit at anytime.” He’s right, it was dismissed. He’s also right that anyone under the sun can file a lawsuit anytime. This is certainly true for personal injury, but let us just compare apples to apples here: The FTC does not normally pursue unless they believe in a solid case and this case was hot on the heels of ANOTHER FTC suit where his company was fined $1,000,000.00. Have you worked for one legit operation ever? Or, better question… with the exception of “yacht sales” did you only work for one operation that would change its name every time there was a lawsuit or a scandal as it does appear with those mentioned above? Alternatively, were you actually completely naive and oblivious to these wrongdoings? In that case you are a first class idiot.
At first glance I thought that this guy would be real competition for Morse… but illegal boner pills; taking advantage of low income people; bankruptcies; – cough – yacht sales; and FTC lawsuits are his business pedigree? I would not trust this guy to run a laundromat let alone a municipality.
Stop Walmart in Holyoke
The coalition, Stop Walmart in Holyoke, was joined by Mayor Alex Morse today to speak out against the proposed Walmart Supercenter plan for Whiting Farms Road. A capacity crowd was there at Donahue School. The majority being labor union folks and abutters to the site plan… but concerned citizens from all wards, business owners and a number of political leaders were in attendance. See Masslive, WWLP, CBS3 (will update with other sources as they report on this)
The speakers were:
Mayor Alex Morse
Terri Laramee of Holyoke First, the organization of the site’s neighbors
Jason Garand, Business Manager of Carpenters Local 108
James Bickford, Spokesperson for Stop Walmart in Holyoke
Sister Kathleen Popko, President of Sisters of Providence
Here is what I delivered:
I’d like to thank Mayor Alex Morse for joining us here today. (gesture)
I hope you all don’t mind, but I am going to imagine you all naked while I do this. (laughter, hopefully)
I speak for the coalition, Stop Walmart in Holyoke, a group of Holyoke area residents, business owners and organizational leaders with support from Holyoke First; Nueva Esperanza; Fluxmass; Pioneer Valley Central Labor Council; Sisters of St. Joseph; Sprawl-Busters; Holyoke Chapter of the ISO; United Brotherhood of Carpenters; and Western Mass. Jobs with Justice.
Proponents of the Walmart Supercenter will claim that new jobs and tax revenue for Holyoke as the primary selling points for the establishing of a store here. This is ultimately deceiving. While it is true that the municipal will have tax revenue added to the coffers with a Walmart; what they don’t want you to know is that there will be an incredible demand on individual tax payers. Walmart’s success in the marketplace is mostly dependent on keeping the cost of labor lower than other large retailers. They have the least number of employees per square foot of retail, pay low wages and maintain a large number of part time employees to avoid paying benefits. These are jobs that keep people in poverty. We only need to look at a recent congressional report on Walmart to see the impact down stream. Since most Walmart employees are under-employed everyone else foots the bill for their EBT, medical and retirement. It has been shown that the average Walmart employee costs taxpayers $6,000.00 per year… this comes out to $900k to $1.2 million per store per year. Again, Walmart’s success is dependent on social services taking care of their employees. Walmart creates and perpetuates poverty.
Some criticize Walmart opposition as anti-business. No, in fact, Walmart opposition is pro-business and pro-labor. A new Walmart does not create new consumers. Like I said previously, Walmart keeps labor costs extremely low. As a result it has a competition advantage and will certainly draw customers from existing business large and small. Their loss will force them to reduce payroll and possibly end in closure. It will also limit new small business development in the retail sector. Studies have shown that over time each Walmart employee ends up being a net loss of 1.4 employees in area retail labor.
Globally, Walmart is responsible for an incredible amount of sweat shop labor where human beings are considered expendable commodities like we have seen recently with its garment and textile supplier in Bangladesh.
On a national level Walmart’s negative impact is incredible. Walmart’s expansion between 2001 and 2006 accounted for 11% of the growth of the total US trade deficit with China. In 2000, Walmart was sued 4,851 times — about once every 2 hours. Walmart also battled 1.6 million employees in the largest class action sex discrimination law suit ever — the potential cost at the time of $11 billion. The Supreme Court ruling is considered controversial here as it was shot down not on the merits of the case but rather the scale, leading to individual suits instead of the class action. The statistics do not lie… women were grossly underrepresented among managers, holding just 14% of manager roles compared with the more than 80% of lower-ranking hourly supervisor jobs. Walmart retaliates against employees that organized for better working conditions. The egregious business and labor practices of Walmart are alarming especially since it is the largest overall employer in the entire USA, and the biggest employer in 25 states.
One would think that such a large corporation with such amassed wealth and annual profits could do so much better for its employees. We say that we can do better for Holyoke.
Critics of the Walmart opposition will state that lacking an alternative to Walmart is reason for Walmart to proceed. HGE has stated that the sale is in the best interest of the rate payers – will we see a decrease in rates as a result? In pennies? Here’s a potential alternative: With the rising energy costs, the scheduled closure of Mt Tom power plant and the recent alarming reports of Pilgrim nuclear plant – which supplies 15% of the states electricity – shutting down periodically due to rising ocean temperatures. Why not invite local solar experts Stiebel Eltron or Citizens Energy to survey the land for a potential solar farm? This would be something that will benefit ratepayers for decades, much more than the one time sale of the property.
False promises and lack of an immediate alternative are not valid reasons for Holyoke to sell its soul for tax revenue burdened on the shoulders of poverty wage slave jobs. We ask that city government – the Mayor’s Office, City Council, Fire Department, Planning Board, Redevelopment Committee and the Building Commissioner – oppose this plan and that HGE seek alternate uses for this parcel of land they have put up for sale.
’Tis The Season! Merry Fluxmass – Christmas – Hanukkah – Kwanzaa - Solstice – Saturnalia or whatever Gods or Demons that you may celebrate this season. This goes out to all the Anarchists out there working hard to make this world a better place. Thank you.
Yes, the casino… Well, that all changed quickly. I must say that I am pleased with the result. There was not much posted here because I was working on a project with all sorts of material related to this story that I will now not reveal because this is no longer an issue. Really, that part is too bad. I spent some time on this and it was original art by myself and a couple others involved and it all must be scrapped. No big deal I guess. My loss only. Everyone benefits by the fact that common sense won out here. Now let’s hope we can put a wrench in Springfield’s plans.
Black Friday Around the World
In Greece, with the economy collapsing, the people attempt to push through barricades where their political leaders are meeting:
In the US, with the economy collapsing, the people attempt to push through barricades at Victoria’s Secret to buy panties:
In Spain, with the economy collapsing, the people take to the streets in desperation, where clashes with police break out over austerity cuts:
In the US, with the economy collapsing, the people take to Walmart, where clashes with police break out over cut price deals on plastic cell phones:
In Italy, with the economy collapsing, the people line the streets, threatening to rise up against the elite bankers that have usurped their government:
Governor Deval Patrick Supports Gaza Brutality
Herd Mentality via Bernays Style Media and Group Pressure Has Allowed the Most Horrible Policies to Manifest and be Accepted in the Liberal Party due to the Result of Extreme Cognitive Dissonance of the Base.
Action: share, call, write… also, as a link here:
Governor Deval Patrick shall keynote a rally praising and embracing the killing of children, and deliberate targeting of their homes, in Gaza. 19 November 4:30 PM 300 Hammond Pond Parkway, Chestnut Hill “For more information or special accommodations, please contact Char at email@example.com or call 617-457-8558″
Massachusetts State House
Office of the Governor
Office of the Lt. Governor
Boston, MA 02133
888.870.7770 (in state)
Western Massachusetts Office of the Governor
State Office Building
436 Dwight Street
Springfield, MA 01103
Office of the Governor
444 N. Capitol Street, Suite 208
Washington, D.C. 20001
Deval, casinos, anti-union, privatization, three strikes law and now this?
President Obama official statement: “Israel has right to defend itself” warns of perils if violence in Gaza crisis deepens.
(no pun intended)
Time to Get Back to Work, Government…
B.O. is not up for reelection now that he’s in his 2nd term and the campaign cycle for the next presidential election should not start for AT LEAST another nine months so we have some time to really get some shit done here. If the DNC and Sir Obama, the Capitulator, want to conclusively demonstrate that his second term will be REALLY different, what he needs to do TODAY, very first thing, is this (these are all things that the President can do, on his own – as charge of cabinet, our military and the agencies under his control).
Dear Supreme Oligarch of the Corporatocracy of the American States, I beg you, please hear my requests that I humbly submit before you:
1) RELEASE Bradley Manning - post haste - Manning’s imprisonment should be a bellwether that Shamwow’s by which your other 2nd term “accomplishments” should be measured. Nothing ELSE you could do would reveal your willingness to respect individual rights of conscience. Manning has been tortured, humiliated and held for nearly three years without trial. It’s time to face the facts that we as a nation committed war crimes and the airing of dirty laundry that Manning has provided is indeed the best thing for our country and the human species worldwide. US Imperialism and our wars are a cancer on this Earth. Admit it by giving Manning the freedom and clemency that he deserves.
2) FIRE Arne Duncan – and prove he’s not out to bust the teachers’ unions and privatize the schools. Your administration has forever privatized health care, a large part of security in our “kinetic actions” abroad, Homeland Security, FOIA requests, domestic spying, prison industrial and a number of other things handed over to for profit interests. I wish that we could roll all that back… but we cannot do this to our schools. Also, while you are at it, FIRE Treasury’s Geithner AND his alleged replacement, Erskine Bowles who both want to fuck with entitlements.
3) ANNOUNCE a cease-fire in Afghanistan and end all your murder of innocents – provide a steady withdrawal schedule instead of that 2024 that you have in negotiation (not 2014 that Biden said in debates, that is not at all true). We have been there for 11 years. UNESCO announced that Afghanistan is now the worst place in the world to be born. Things were actually better before the bull-in-the-china-shop that are our kill teams and drones arrived there. STOP IT. While we are on the topic, world supply of heroin from Afghanistan went from 0% in 2001 to 90+% today. I paraphrase one CIA operative that spoke about our South and Central American dealings during the Iran-Contra era. ”Certainly the CIA launders money for black-ops… add hard drugs to the equation and it amplifies it. It is money laundering on steroids.” Yes, that heroin production in our presence is indeed suspect (this happened in 2007, not under Obama’s watch, but it does prove that they are still up to the same old dirty tricks – expected as the CIA does not change its spots)
4) PUT solar technology BACK on the WhiteHouse and on ALL Federal buildings nationally. Commit to stop Keystone XL, “clean coal“, fracking, offshore drilling, domestic drilling and eliminate all other absurd non-renewable and Big Oil Profit programs that are part of your plan. End the tariffs on Chinese made solar panels. You announced a tariff due to China’s subsidizing the manufacture being unfair. WE SHOULD BE SUBSIDIZING or outright financing renewable energy technology. Because of the tariffs the prices have gone up enough that in some areas where there a boon in installation it has slowed down completely. This has cost jobs and has not helped reduce consumption. 2011 was the Biggest Year Ever for corporate profit in the petroleum sector due to your policies.
5) ANNOUNCE an end to the war on journalists, whistle-blowers, environmentalists, peace seekers and animal rights activists – in other words, defend the Constitution like you took an oath to do – and put an end to the militarization of police, US Marshals, TSA, Border Patrol and Homeland Security that target these groups. Do not have your DOJ defend the NDAA to the Supreme Court – you know it is unconstitutional – ADMIT IT. Do not kill any more US citizens via the “disposition matrix” and its drone activated targeted kill list. This is another unconstitutional impeachable offense that you and your admin must admit your wrongdoing. Work with Congress to repeal the Patriot Act. End all other nefarious and invasive plans that are in the works like the NSA’s Orwellian “Perfect Citizen” project.
But he WON’T do any of this things, of course, because he no longer needs ANYBODY’s approval except the cult of the Democrats that have come to accept these horrors as good policy. He is all set. Next stop, to be enshrined in the US political pantheon as a great leader right to all the other jackasses that have promoted US Imperialism, War and Crony Capitalism. Maybe he’ll get another Nobel Peace Prize? …or maybe a future president will bestow upon him a Medal of Freedom, like Obama provided our favorite mass-murderer named Madeleine Albright?