Sunday, February 24, 2008

One dang thing after another

In the last year I've had to put up with Lyme disease, 2 bouts of walking pneumonia and just when getting better - broke my left arm slipping on black ice on Lincoln's birthday. These anti-secessionists will stop at nothing! A bunch of writing projects - including paid ones - on hold. But it's relatively easy even one-handed to bang out musical rhythms and chords on my casio, sing and make music videos. So that may be my main outlet for the next month. See my last couple music videos here.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Huge Turnout to Pick Fuhrer Nominees! About 13% Eligible Voters

Only 13% of eligible voters voted in the primary - and many of them are on the dole. But even if 100% had voted they just voted for a representative who will listen first and foremost to powerful special interests.
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The Associated Press reports: "Voters came out in record numbers in about half the states that have voted in presidential primaries so far, according to an analysis Wednesday...About 14 million people voted in the Democratic primaries this year compared with the slightly more than 10 million who voted in GOP primaries, according to the analysis."

Now that's 24 million who voted out of WHAT percentage of the population actually is old enough, etc. to be eligible to vote? That number didn't pop up on numerous searches but a quick look at the map - and mental calculations from the state populations chart - shows that probably 3/4 of eligible voters have had their chance to vote. Let's say for argument that's 180 million eligible voters. (24 million is 13% of 180.) That's about 13 percent of eligible voters having picked the presidential candidates. That's consistent with Presidential Primary Turnout Rate averages from 2000 and 2004.

13% is less than the almost 16% percent of people who work for local, state and federal governments! And then, as of 2003, there are the 47 million Americans were collecting Social Security and most of them vote! And don't forget the millions more getting paychecks from government contracts. Did anyone vote in the primary who is NOT on the dole?? One thing for sure, a large number of primary voters were voting the way party leaders told them because they know who's going to keep those checks coming.

To me, “democracy” (from the Green “rule by the people”) means giving every member who shares the groups’ overall goals a way to participate equally in group decision making. And I believe representative, majority rule “democracy” does nothing of the sort.

In small organizations, and even more so in large ones, but particularly in government, the current system of majoritarian representation leads inevitably to de facto minority rule. Wealthy and/or well-organized elites and special interests know who to fund, who to elect, who to pressure, who to pay, in order to get their way. And all it takes is a small minority of members or citizens to elect a nominee or will be elected by a somewhat larger number of people to be an executive or a representative. In a legislature, this representative may be among a mere quorum of representatives voting on a bill - and they pass by a bare majority any number of liberty-denying and tax and spend laws. Reformists’ tweaks cannot fix these majoritarian and representative structural flaws.

We need direct democracy that only permits laws to be passed if they are voted on directly by a large percentage of citizens. And then only if a large majority of them approve it. If 80 per cent of 80 per cent of the public is necessary to approve a law, few special interest laws even will be proposed, not to mention passed.

I myself have a long and generally positive experience with direct and consensus-oriented democratic groups starting with anti-nuclear organizing in the 1970s and early 1980s, then Green/bioregional organizing in the 1980s and early 1990s, and finally peace organizing since 1997. I have seen the “tyranny of structurelessness.” But I’ve seen far more tyranny in structured organizations, from anti-globalization “spokes councils” to loosely structured coalitions to Robert Rules of Order run groups with carefully structured constitutions. I have seen all turn into clique dominated autocracies, reinforcing the idea that giving away one’s power leaves one powerless.

However, I remain hopeful that constitutions combining direct, consensus-oriented democracy with simple and effective process rules can minimize the damage done by special interests, cliques and opportunistic apparatchiks. And our “revolutionary” organizations can be models of the political organizations we create in the future. See more about his at my site Secession.Net.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Changing Men... Women, it's our duty...

After four (or more) posts in a row about the extremely low consciousnesses of power hungry males who insult, degrade, threaten and scream at anyone who does kneel before their demands - especially if they are female, I thought a nice long OOOOOOOOOOOOOOM was in order. If I did it long and often enough I might actually focus on and finish my book in progress in one form or another since 1976 CONSCIOUSNESS AND COMMUNITY: TRANSCENDING GOD AND STATE.

Anyway, I felt a nice higher consciousness post was in order - something about RAISING male consciousness. Searching about I found this introduction to Steven Andrew Schapiro's 1985 dissertation - CHANGING MEN: THE RATIONALE, THEORY, AND DESIGN OF A MEN'S CONSCIOUSNESS RAISING PROGRAM. Women, check it out, mix it up with your own conception of feminist consciousness raising, and start roping these surly apes into our workshops - and they'll come, too, if they want dinner and the skid marks washed off their undies.

This study describes the theory and design of a pedagogy that attempts to help men to develop new ways of being male that are less oppressive to women and more fulfilling to men. The goals of this pedagogy are summarized with the terms: autonomy, androgyny, awareness, and activism. These goals are based on an integration of three alternative models of masculinity: the 'liberated man,' the 'androgynous man,' and the 'anti-sexist man.'

The need for the study is established through a description of the current societal transition in male role norms, an exploration of the critique of traditional masculinity, and a review of existing approaches for educating men about sex roles and sexism. The study demonstrates that these approaches are inadequate because they have limited objectives and/or do not take into account both key facets of men's identity in regard to this issue: the limitations imposed on men by traditional sex roles, and men's role in the oppression of women.

A theoretical model for a more adequate pedagogy for 'raising men's consciousness' about sexism is developed through a review, critique, and synthesis of four relevant educational approaches: human relations training groups (T-groups), Paolo Freire's education for critical consciousness, feminist consciousness raising groups, and anti-oppression education. The implications of a developmental perspective on men's identity for how the pedagogy should be implemented are then explored through a review of several theories of sex role identity development and male identity development, leading to the articulation of a more differentiated model that can explain developmental patterns experienced by men.

A college course, 'Men and Masculinity,' which was designed on the basis of the pedagogical model, is described in detail. An informal evaluation of the course's effectiveness in meeting its objectives is reported. Based on an analysis of students' written materials and of pre and post scores on the Personal Attributes Questionnaire, the Women's Liberation Scale, and a questionnaire on 'Men and Sexism,' there were significant increases in androgyny and activism, with smaller but still significant increases in androgyny and activism.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Insane McCain - More Videos

When you've got nut jobs like Ann Coulter and certain acquaintances of mine who have hated Hillary Clinton for years saying they would vote for Hillary over McCain, you know you have a guy who can truly unite left and right! Of course, some left wingers applaud his more fascistic, pro-government views.

These two videos from Ron Paul supporters are pretty amusing. Wish I could find the one where he's screaming "Shut up! Shut up!" at a woman trying to ask a question about immigration. Given his insane temper, it's likely he'll have a stroke or a heart attack on the campaign trail. But these stupid republican poll numbers show far too much support. Do they really think he'll control himself during debates against Hillary or Obama and not go INSANE??

McCain is being voted in by people who are scared shitless of a Mormon. SURPRISE!! Romney may be a little flakey and dodgey, but he's not itching to push the red button.

Meanwhile Ron Paul gets 5-7% of voters - and probably 20% of the half who don't vote. The beginning of a solid critical mass to make a libertarian/secessionist revolution at the height of the next sunspot cycle around 2010-13. You heard it hear first.

And lest we forget, McCain's verision of BOMB BOMB IRAN- More broken internet cables to the middle east anyone?

Friday, February 01, 2008

McCain Saturday Night Live Imprison Americans Sketch

I couldn't find the SNL sketch about John McCain becoming president and going crazy because he was having flashbacks to his prisoner of war days - 5.5 brutal years in a Vietnamese prison camp. I think there have to be serious questions about his mental stability because of those days. I'm sure others will raise the "Manchurian Candidate" issue, though "brain washing" remains a questionable theory.

However, searching YouTube I did find one where he, as guest host, plays the attorney general and says tens of thousands of Americans have to be imprisoned for Americans to feel safe! So where's Rudy Giuliani giving the thumbs up in the background?? (And, of course, both of them exposing their manliness.)