Third Party & Independents

Critique the Message, Not the Messenger
December 2003 Archives

December 29, 2003

Pork by any other name

Several Democratic candidates have come out demanding federal money for the beef industry in the wake of the mad cow case. This is exactly the sort of attitude that prevents me from being a member of the Democractic party (not that the Republicans are any better). The instant anything major happens, the reaction is to throw money at it. Particularly if it will influence voters while not actually being a smart thing to do, or if it involves kickbacks to major contributors.

» Continue reading "Pork by any other name"

Posted by rev_matt_y at 4:03 PM

December 24, 2003

Americans - Fire Your Boss(es)

It is an ironic title for this article. In a democracy, the people are supposed to be the boss. But, of late, this arrangement too has been turned upside down. The President and Congress have become the bosses of the people, telling them whom they can marry, whom they can't, how much they have to pay (taxes) to stay in this country or stay out of jail. They tell us we have to pay to go anywhere in this "free land". We have to pay taxes for the roads, pay for a driver's license to drive, taxes to fly, taxes to taxi, taxes to go by train, hell, they even tell us we have to pay taxes to talk to each other by phone, and coming soon, they will have us paying taxes to email each other. So much for "free" speech and "freedom of travel".

» Continue reading "Americans - Fire Your Boss(es)"

Posted by at 4:53 PM

December 23, 2003

Toward a More Civil Union

Once again the tide is rising on the question of gay marriage (same sex marriage) in America just in time for the 2004 Presidential election. And despite the recent Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling that gay marriage is not illegal and the network/cable television’s infatuation with everything gay, a recent New York Times/CBS News poll shows that Americans are still not ready to give gay and lesbian couples their day at the altar.

I too, am reticent to say yes to same sex marriage, mindful as I am of the overall good of society. True, due to a number of factors, the traditional American nuclear family is in trouble, but I wonder if society is better served by allowing gays and lesbian to marry. In a society in which individual rights seem to supersede all at the expense of common sense and personal responsibility, it is wise to move with caution. In a country where the push is on to allow pets their day in court, if gay marriage were allowed, would other forms of unions outside the norms of society be espoused?

» Continue reading "Toward a More Civil Union"

Nader declines to run on Green Party ticket

Ralph Nader announced today that he will not run for President on the Green Party ticket. He has not ruled out a run on another third party ticket, however. Interesting approach. I suspect his thought is that the Greens now have some degree of national attention and now he'd like to help another third party grow. This isn't a bad strategy. Using his name recognition and leftist bonafides to promote as many third parties as possible is a great idea. The more people are aware of alternatives to the Republicrats and Demicans the more likely they are to join parties that really reflect their ideals.

» Continue reading "Nader declines to run on Green Party ticket"

Posted by rev_matt_y at 2:16 PM

December 22, 2003

Condition Orange – Oh Boy!

As I was reading my newspaper this morning I saw that Tom Ridge had raised the terror alert to condition orange. This means we are at a high state of alert as opposed to condition red which is a severe state of alert. It seems as though the alert was brought on by an increased level of chatter among various terrorist cells that hasn’t been seen since the 9/11 attacks. According to my newspaper, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, al-Qaida is planning “multiple catastrophic terrorist attacks in the United States”. Since we can assume that al-Qaida is always planning catastrophic attacks our increased terror alert must be due to the increased chatter.

Has nothing changed since 9/11? Is the best we can do, after over two years, to increase the terror alert when we see increased chatter? We still have no specifics or details. You’d think our improved intelligence capabilities along with our extensive international coalition could do better than that. Hasn’t someone figured out how to interpret and translate the chatter yet? Just exactly what have we been giving up all our freedoms for anyway? It makes you wonder.

» Continue reading "Condition Orange – Oh Boy!"

Posted by William Flynn at 8:03 PM

December 18, 2003

Two Party System Fails Us Once Again

It must be the week of the corrupt Republican governor. Fresh on the heels of Connecticut Republican Governor John Rowland’s disclosure of yet more ethics violations, comes the federal indictment of the former Republican governor of my state of Illinois, George Ryan, on you guessed it, corruption and ethics violations.

In Connecticut the Democrats, surprise, surprise, seem powerless to remove the scoundrel John Rowland from office. The scoundrel is unwilling to put the public good above his own bloated ego, and therefore refuses to do the honorable thing and step down. Meanwhile, here in Illinois, the acrimony between the former governor and the current Democratic governor is taking on a life of its own. Ryan, of course refuses to admit that he did anything wrong, despite the conviction of some 59 of his former inner circle cronies on a vast array of corruption and ethics violations, the most egregious of which were perpetrated by his former Chief of Staff, Scott Faywell.

» Continue reading "Two Party System Fails Us Once Again"

December 17, 2003

Now that we have finally caught Saddam can the actual war on terrorism begin?

Saddam is definitely a bad guy and I applaud his capture. It is the one positive thing to come out of a pre-emptive war that was launched on a pack of lies. We have successfully dealt with an evil regime that though evil, had been successfully neutralized by the first Bush administration and then by Clinton. Iraq had no longer posed a threat to anyone and the pictures of a ragged Saddam and the rat hole he was found in really underscores this point. This subject has been debated endlessly and as far as the war on terror goes Iraq was never significant. Now that we have Saddam one has to wonder if it is finally time to start a real war on terror.

» Continue reading "Now that we have finally caught Saddam can the actual war on terrorism begin?"

Posted by William Flynn at 3:13 PM

The battle in Miami

The violence at the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas conference in Miami, Florida was greater than at any globalization protest since the Battle in Seattle. However, the violence was restricted completely to one side. The appaling tactics of the police in beating and gassing of peaceful protestors caused sharp criticism even from conservative politicians in Florida. The FTAA organizers conceded that the demonstrators were peaceful and that there were indeed far fewer than they had expected. In light of this, what is the reason for the unprecedented brutality of the police? Is this the next step in the creation of a police state in the United States? Are any public demonstrations that are critical of the actions of the government going to met with such thuggish disregard for our Constitutional rights?

» Continue reading "The battle in Miami"

Posted by rev_matt_y at 10:47 AM

December 11, 2003

Nice Guys Finish Last.

In the great election of 2000, Al Gore ran against George Bush in a bitter and close race for the presidency. At the last moment I decided to root for Al because when you look at the history, Al deserved it more as most of his life had been spent in public service. Then big AL won, but they wouldn’t give it to him. Even the Republican Party is starting to concede to that fact with a bit of a sneer and a wink. We all felt sorry for Al.

» Continue reading "Nice Guys Finish Last."

Posted by Beau Wade at 3:02 AM

December 9, 2003

I have issues

Everyone has issues. For some people they are very broad, for others they are very narrow. There are people who will vote party line every time because their issue is allegiance to the party and they are happy to let the party do the thinking for them. There are "single issue" voters, who have a litmus test for candidates (be it gun control, the drug war, abortion, etc etc). When you go into that booth, what are your criteria? What matters to you? What issue or issues make or break your support for a candidate or ballot measure? OK, now that you've got that in your head, answer this question: Why? Why do you put such importance on that issue? Reconsider yourself. Assess your motivations, and determine if you really want to vote that way or not. For a lot of you, this exercise may simply reinforce your opinions. If that is the case, then great, you've validated the logic behind your choices, and that's always good. If it doesn't reinforce your opinions, however, You owe it to yourself to reconsider how you are voting.

Posted by rev_matt_y at 10:28 AM

December 8, 2003

Common Goals, Common Ground, and the 2004 Elections

Last weekend I was stuck in New York City trying to get home to Florida while the entire northeast was struggling under the first heavy snow storm of the year. It was a frustrating, exhilarating, and beautiful experience all rolled up into one. I couldn’t believe how fantastic New York looked covered in snow and I was equally amazed at how this pretty, white, fluffy, and freezing cold stuff could grind the machinery of mankind to a halt.

Through it all I had the pleasure of experiencing the people of New York who were friendly, funny, and supportive as we all tried to navigate our way through this wintry mess. I stood in a taxi line at La Guardia, outside in 25 degree weather, with the wind blowing and the snow falling, for over two and a half hours waiting for cabs that never seemed to arrive. I was sharing this experience with Americans from all walks of life and we laughed, joked, and generally made the best of an ugly situation. It renewed my faith in people and reminded me just how much we all have in common.

» Continue reading "Common Goals, Common Ground, and the 2004 Elections"

Posted by William Flynn at 9:44 PM

December 5, 2003

A Vote For Revolution Seconded

Author’s Note: This article in response to David R. Remer’s excellent article entitled “A Vote For Revolution.” It started out as a comment, but in my passion it grew too large for that section.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed—The Declaration of Independence: July 4, 1776
» Continue reading "A Vote For Revolution Seconded"

A New Paradigm for Politics

The Greens have a saying, that they are "neither left, nor right, but out in front". This speaks to the fact that our political dialogue is stuck in the 18th century model of "left" and "right", established at the time of the French revolution, and reinforced by the long twentieth century battle between American "capitalism: and Soviet "socialism" and between political parties whose policies were based on socialist and free market economics (or a combination thereof).

George Monbiot recently posted an item (published in the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper on the 18th of November) about a discussion that took place at the European Social Forum entitled "life after capitalism". In it, to paraphrase generously, he came to the conclusion that while capitalism sucks, all the alternatives suck more - primarily because no one can offer a system to replace it that doesn't depend on totalitarianism. As a result, he contends that advocates for social justice need to abandon the "anti-capitalist" moniker for something more accurate and functional (what that is, he wasn't able to say).

» Continue reading "A New Paradigm for Politics"

Posted by at 9:24 AM