Usually when a state has a diversified economy, it’s a little more democratic (small d) than if it was in the old days with one cotton plantation, one copper mining state, in, Arizona and so forth.
This smacked of a degrading McCain allusion.
Well, you say, well, another criteria is a lot of newspapers and media, diversified, not just one or two big monopoly papers, like Oklahoma has one giant monopoly paper, and it owns radio and TV stations, and it gets pretty hard to break the grip of that editorial board. And you’re in Richmond, you know, you’re not exactly living in a paradise.
(Oklahoma, another Red State. Is he really back? These people don’t want him to run for President again? Like all cities, this is Democrat central, and this is not the best place to
McCain Doomed To 100 Years More In Cardiac Circulation, GOP leaders scatter as Wall Street Journal drops term “GOP” as Ostensibly “Objective;” Big Green Man Spotted Hovering Intermittently In Virginia Capital
FOR RELEASE IN RVA MAGAZINE
By Tyler Bass
It was in the 60’s and 70’s when perception of pollution began to be seen as a form of violence, serious violence, silent violence, human violence, the violence of carbon monoxide. Hydrocarbons, sulfurs, and in particulars coal dust and barillium. Looking at that as a kind of violence raises the profile of the problem, doesn’t it? Mostly violence is used anthropomorphically; it’s caused by muggers in the streets, people who war against on another, etc. Seeing pollution as a form of human violence allows us to analyze it much more readily. For example, what is the purpose of pollution and why have it? Why? Just, ya know, are they selling it?
On February 9, the Byrd Theater had just finished showing one of those long, introspective mash-ups of industrialization’s seemingly inevitable destruction of the intimacy of human interaction. The late-nineties film documented bicycle collective and so-called “organized coincidence” Critical Mass’s successes and failures in cutting against the grain of an American lifestyle where the auto loans are ubiquitous, easy to get, and, ever more often, the highest income avenues of employment require taking up more and more Avenues and Boulevards with Asian-manufactured street tanks. In a victory for excess, the Police of San Francisco and The City That Never Sleeps have not dared spare the rod against the casual crowds of bicycles seeking to tighten intimacy in the urban grid. There is a lot of footage from New York I had seen on the Internet. Times Square bicyclists have had their asses handed to them.
Motor vehicles are now at about 24 miles per gallon. That’s the average. That’s lower than 1980. That’s real progress. That’s General Motors’ idea of progress: going backwards into the future. Now let’s say that they invited their engineers to produce motor vehicles at 60 mpg, or now we plug in hybrids to go over 100. What would happen to Exxon? What would happen to the oil companies? They would sell less gasoline. What would happen to the oil companies? Well, if you have a more efficient engine, you are likely to have fewer moving parts, fewer spare part replacements, fewer trips to the garages and the dealers, and more important is that you breathe cleaner air. Pollution is a function of inefficient combustion.
The logistics of trumpeting infinite growth on a planet with finite resources is one doozy of an assertion, and from the look of things, it looks like the order of the day – peak oil thinkers and global warming worriers notwithstanding.
I made my way to the second floor of the theater, and laid my eyes on – a shadow in the early afternoon light from the windows – a guy who has to be one of the most influential Americans of the past century. The consumer advocate juggernaut that took exception to corporations being granted personhood under the 14th Amendment, the populist Beowulf who slew conscienceless attempts to keep nutritional information off of your food and seatbelts out of your cars, was hunched in front of me munching into an Elwood Thompson sandwich. Ralph’s mom told him not to eat prepackaged food. She died two years ago. Ralph Nader offered me some vitamin water and requested that I not record him while he was eating.
The conversation was pretty sparse initially. I felt satisfied with myself for getting access to a candidate without bribery donations or jumped over zealous groupies eager to merely touch the skin or clothing of Ideological Leader. Mr. Nader’s left eye is slightly smaller, and two tears were collected beneath it, as if it were strained. You could bet your bottom dollar to your illegal labor union’s dues: this man has said things that have made your life a hell of a lot better.
“Are you going to do this again?” I asked.
“Through the grapevine, I heard you were pretty upset that Kucinich dropped out, that you saw it as a room having been made.”
With this, he nodded.
“What do you need to run again?”
“The trilogy,” he would reply. “Volunteers, money, and a staff.”
“If you recall the Edwards-Obama-Clinton debate on CNN, when the candidates were given an opportunity to directly ask each other one question, who would you ask and what question would it be?”
Nader said he would ask any one of the candidates, considering that the Declaration of Independence sought to transfer power from a very few to the many, how could they reconcile that notion with their campaigns’ deferring so much to corporate power?
Photographer Ian Graham was on hand, and asked, “Would voter disenfranchisement be alleviated by a coalition or a parliamentary style of government?”
He replied in the affirmative. “There are many constitutions that are based off of ours that are much better in terms of voters’ ability to affect the actual political process instead of once every four years.” Nader indicated that systems where Prime Ministerial figures by default as their party’s legislators do makes nationalized health care systems possible and effective. For those of you who have been participating in the negligent homicide of your country, our system is different. Our system, wherein Presidents and Congresses have reached historical deadlocks many a time, Nader says, damns universal healthcare.
“What do you think of Mike Gravel?” I asked.
Nader said he liked Mike a great deal, particularly for his circulation of the Pentagon Papers and advocacy of popular sovereignty. He also seemed to indicate that Gravel was his favorite of the Democratic bunch. However, looking at Nader’s online literature, he appeared to have a certain amount of excitement for Edwards’ recent run, which was definitely harder left than Obama, Clinton, and Edwards’ own for the 2004 election.
Nader says he has never considered attempting the Democratic party’s nomination. He seemed as used to that question from outsiders as he did when I asked him about vote fraud in New Hampshire.
“By the voters?” he asked. He couldn’t believe such a thing. He struck me as the sort of person who would never criticize the mob, the masses. He seems to think of the human mass as a delicate and beautiful thing, thus his favor of a collective serious of regulations, of law and order in the same sense as an authoritarian, but with the utmost respect for a theoretically independent psyche. This has led to a very serious disdain for the existing party infrastructures. This guy wants a transform to a very different ideal. Though the attribute seems quixotic to outsiders, a sense of seriousness about his deserving the Presidency is innate to Ralph at this point.
Just before Dennis Kucinich dropped out, the same month that the Ohio Representative’s brother died, he said that there were no sacrifices to be made. No sacrifices in the face of all the regulation and reform, desired Dennis, Dennis shunned from the MSNBC debate in a massive act of fraud and evil, Dennis who demanded Cheney’s impeachment on television, Dennis who demanded not-for-profit healthcare, Dennis who led the anti-war movement in strength and fervor, at least by being in the major party that most stood against it to begin with. This was his call. This was his own.
The people who benefit from inefficient resources! Imagine if you could fill up your tank and you knew your tank would give you 78 miles per gallon, and you could save money that you could spend your money on other things, that produces less contamination; you would have less repair costs. These people are us, and we are completely capable of outnumbering these corporations.
I asked Nader, “If most Americans are opposed to continuing the war in Iraq, why is it that the anti-war candidates Kucinich and Paul failed to get any traction?
Ralph immediately attributes this to a lack of money.
“Well what about Paul?” I asked. “He had plenty of money, more than most of his colleagues, and he was insanely organized with Meetup groups all over the country.”
Nader says that Paul’s party had done everything to marginalize him at the beginning of the campaign.
My memory was jogged into reexamining Kucinich’s exclusion from the final debates.
“Due to corporate influence,” said Nader.
“Yeah,” I said, “due to General Electric.”
Nader writes a lot, dating back to 1971, and he keeps a regular blog. For some questions about Obama and Clinton, but immediately alluded to some article he had read in the Wall Street Journal indicating that the character politics and soap opera amid of the Obama-Clinton race was distracting.
But back to the question of what I was called vote fraud when I was on the second floor of the Byrd, that heartless venue without floor lighting so that latecomers have to shuffle in, their eyes useless and starry in the blackness of the theater. I had heard of differences between hand counts and Diebold counts in New Hampshire, but all the theories would have amounted to voting machine fraud by Hillary supporters, palm pilots and magnets; vote-counter bribery to the advantage of the Obama Hope-Mobile; or outright laziness by New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner.
When money decides who wins or who loses in that cycle of money-media-polls-money-media-polls-polls-media-money, marginalizing candidates who don’t fit that kind of profile, when that happens, we don’t have a democracy.
However, Nader had no interest in those topics, and instead bashed a large group of DNC leaders unwilling to put impeachment of President Bush back on the table for war crimes, warrantless surveillance, indefinite incarceration of “detainees” by the administration without public charges. Predicting imminent electoral meltdown for Paul, Kucinch, and Gravel as early as last summer (a crudely cynical yet twisted gamble), I was distracted by the other parties’ unity in purpose, their desires – through coordinated effort – to reflect the yin and the yang of the American psyche, each only containing its tiny pot-at-the-end-of-a-rainbow of seduction. It has been almost as if all human potential were cut into those black and white, the utterly digital process of 0 or 1, of On or Off, that has begun to define the electrodes of the campaign trail, of left or right. Nader wants solar, wind, biomass, and solor-thermal, and by that token re-localization of the energy capture grid.
Question time: As Nader mentioned his exploratory committee in his speech and dropped a hint at the decision to file he faced within the next month, the crowd was silent, unresponsive. Go fish.
The discerning voter or donator or those in civilization “on the grid” must have knowledge of these little formalities of herd like bandwagonism, especially since, unlike the Swiss, we possess the piss-poor judgment to prefer the secret ballot.
Things are consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorist and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the theft of the reporter’s front bicycle tire immediately outside a Hillary Clinton rally at the Firehouse Theater on February 10, 2008.
Image courtesy of Ian Graham/Roseline Studios