Sunday, May 31, 2015


Tuesday's Mother Jones article on Bernie Sanders younger days gave rise to today's misogynist corporate press rantings over his 1972 piece that gives incredible insight into the state of the women’s movement in that year, publishing a blurry yet readable scan of a Sanders' Freudian essay called "Man and Woman" from the "Vermont Freeman."

Of course the puerile obsessions of the Chuck Todd-crowd that surfaced over the piece on the Sunday blather-fests demonstrates that those who didn't get it them still fail to comprehend the dominant-subservient dynamic of the rape culture that Sanders understood even 42 years ago.

At the time, despite the era's "revolution in the air," movement gatherings were still male-dominated affairs where women were kept in the kitchen and condescendingly told how "cute" their all-female "consciousness raising" sessions were.

Press accounts have "keyed in" the most prurient parts of an essay that was apparently meant to demonstrate the social science behind men's knee-jerk rejection of social equality and women's internalization of basic troglodytic male insecurities. But of course they've left the insightful parts that follow on the cutting room floor because four decades have done nothing to bring these suits and hair-dos into the 21st century.

If "news"- and I use the term loosely- of this smear hasn't reached you yet, it will. It took a while to follow the links to find the original amidst the breathlessly and selectively out-of-context excerpts to find the original article. I doubt you'll be seeing the full text any time soon.

In 1972 few men were able to grasp the concept of a social component and go beyond "equal pay" type issues being raised by the nascent women's movement of the day. Sanders on the other hand, got it then the same way he does today. Sanders continues to be in the progressive forefront of the battle, especially in the military, citing current legislative efforts as woefully inadequate.

And by the way, do read the rest of MJ's profile of his younger days.

I'm not about to revoke my Green Party affiliation to join the Hawai`i Democratic Party to vote in the caucuses but I'll be doing everything I can to see if we can raise Sanders' already incredibly 15% showing in the national polls to 51%- despite the clueless, gotcha, issue-free, industrial press- by grabbing the potential of the so-called "social" media by it's horns and rallying people to utilize it for our own designs. All we have to do is reverse the perverted, self-fulfilling reasoning of the "he can't win so I won't vote for him" loons.

Hey- it could happen.

My "now you see it, now you don't" eyes ain't what they used to be and I'm really bad at keying in text. So scroll down, squint a little and read Sanders' essay in full. And if you don't see what it really says perhaps that's a clue as to why despite the gains in the treatment of women over forty-plus years we, as a still-male-dominated society, still have so far to go.

Saturday, May 23, 2015


The last thing in the world you'd think this peace-pursuin'-pup would watch was last night's White House Musical Tribute to the Military (or some such jingoistic gibberish). But when I saw John Forgerty on the schedule my first though was "will he do it- does he have the chutzpah to speak truth to power?

So I recorded it and today buzzed though Obama and the "rah-rah. let's hear it for war" part. And when John came on he did "Bad Moon Rising."

Well, close enough. After all it has the lyric:

"Hope you got your things together.
Hope you are quite prepared to die.
Looks like we're in for nasty weather.
One eye is taken for an eye."

And seeing Obama's cabinet-o-war and the rest of the military-elite jangling their medals and clapping and singing along was surreal in it's own right.

But I kept zipping and sure enough, my faith was given Credence as the first chords of "Unfortunate Son"* rang out to the mostly clueless gaggle of dress-uniformed baby-killers, some actually singing along... although shots of the murderer-in-chief revealed he knew exactly what was going on, exhibiting one of his infamous sh*t-eatin', anger-just-below-the-surface grins.

I harkened back to the early 90's on the eve of the first Iraqacle-debacle, the night before the the first phoney Bushy invasion began- the one that got the ISIS ball rolling in the first place- to the Grammy Awards where Dylan came out, drunk as a skunk, and screamed a Zimm-a-lacious version of "Masters of War" that was unintelligible to anyone who wasn't intimately conversant in Bob-speak.

But now, amidst today's bipartisan calls by decrepit and feeble-minded politicians, generals and pugnacious pundits for another seemingly inevitable bloodbath of gullible American youth in a return to the sanguine Sumerian sands, it was nice to see at least five minutes of sanity thrown in the faces of the insane.

Speaking truth to power is easy when you post it on Facebook or a blog. But when you get up there and do it right in the faces of those that need to hear it most well, John Fogerty you certainly are a Fortunate Son-of-a-Bitch.

Happy Dead Soldiers Day all.


*Some folks are born, made to wave the flag
Ooo, their red, white and blue
And when the band plays "Hail to the Chief"
Ooo, they point the cannon at you, Lord

It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no senator's son, son
It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no fortunate one, no
Some folks are born, silver spoon in hand
Lord, don't they help themselves, y'all
But when the taxman comes to the door
Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale, yeah

It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no millionaire's son, no, no
It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no fortunate one, no

Yeah, yeah
Some folks inherit star spangled eyes
Ooh, they send you down to war, Lord
And when you ask 'em, "How much should we give?"
Ooh, they only answer "More! More! More!", y'all

It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no military son, son
It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no fortunate one, one
It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no fortunate one, no, no, no
It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no fortunate son, no, no, no

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


"Blood bath" isn't too strong a term for today's Hawai`i State Senate shake-up. And social media has eleven fingers to point in explaining how and why three of the biggest advocates for food safety and sustainability- Senate Health Committee Chairman Josh Green, Water and Land Chairwoman Laura Thielen, and Agriculture Chairman Russell Ruderman- were reportedly ousted from their committee leadership positions.

It would be easy, if not simplistic, to think that it was just an early yet predicable coup for the chemical and Frankenfood cartel. But the demise of conservative Senate President Donna Kim, along with the survival of other allies of those opposed to the indiscriminate use of pesticides and genetically-modified-food experiments, makes that look like a less than compelling argument.

It would be easier still to blame Green's at-many-times abrasive style and intransigence over the medical cannabis dispensary bill for his ouster as conference committee chair precipitating the falling dominoes that led to a 19-6 vote to replace Kim with Kaua`i Sen. Ron Kouchi.

But perhaps because of the neophyte nature of the corporate media reporters covering the legislature, those perplexed at the way majorities shifted have little idea of how the legislature- and moreover the state senate- has operated for decades.

Neither officeholders nor staffers are eager to talk on-the-record about the politically functional dystopia that is the Hawai`i Legislature. But when they do talk they start and end by saying it's a lot like prison where survival means joining a gang that will "cover your ass."

Though usually depicted using such niceties as "coalitions" or "caucuses" with names (used more by reporters than members) like "Opihi," and "Chess Club" or, more traditionally, with the name of the leader, they are more like the La Nuestra Familia and the Texas Syndicate because no one survives alone in the Hawai`i Senate. You can't be everywhere at once and without "family" you WILL be stabbed in the back.

In the legislature's hurry-up-and-wait, four-month rigid schedule you can never be at every committee meeting, hearing or- more importantly in a body that's exempt from the state's Sunshine Law- back room deal-making session to protect your interests.

So you join a gang. You join the one that reflects your interests, whether that means environmental protection, good governance and "doing good" or money, power and "doing well." You'll either find it or, by joining with those disenfranchised or generally disgusted with the current selection of gangs, form a new one.

That of course means that "you can't always get what you want but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need." Because when all is said and done it's a game of "Political Survivor" - Outwit, Outplay, Outlast.

And as every prisoner knows the gang will help you as long as you are useful to them but if you burn them or make them look bad they will turn on you like a pit bull in heat.

So what you don't want to do is make the others look bad. Like in prison, it's a matter of "honor." You may not support the legislative goals of your own gang members. Some put more or less of an emphasis on supporting each others' priorities. But if you make them look bad in front of the other gangs with whom they make have made the necessary side deals required to engender support for their priority legislation, you will be put on a flaming boat and set adrift like a used-up Viking warrior.

And that's what Sen. Green did. And did with such an egotistical zeal that he brought down the whole gang with him... except for those who, out of self-preservation, jumped away from his flaming ship.

It wasn't just the medical marijuana dispensary bill. Green's penchant for "my-way-or-the-highway" has sowed the destruction of a slim sub-faction of his so-called "Chess Club" gang long before last Friday's debacle when he was dumped in a vain attempt by Kim and others to save their own asses.

Perhaps the most telling thing we found in press reports was this (pay-walled) from a Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s coverage of the Saturday morning massacre and Green's removal as head conferee:
Lawmakers had made a dispensary program one of their top priorities in this year's session, and the effort had progressed smoothly until last week's conference talks, which at times grew heated.

Some dispensary advocates were irked by what they saw as a hard-line approach by Green.
During a conference hearing Friday, Green had said he declined to meet with the governor's staff about the dispensary measure. He added he would not change his position on certain provisions even if that might cost Ige's support and signature.

"The governor doesn't know half of what I know or you know or Sen. (Will) Espero knows about this program," Green told (House Conference Committee Chair Della) Au Belatti during conference Friday. "He's a fantastic guy but he's not in the trenches."
Whether Green was always a babe in the woods politically, as many observers have long contended, or whether the presence of a "27th Senator" in the form of the well-connected and popular among his former colleagues in the senate, Governor David Ige changed the equation this year and Green simply never recalculated is subject to more discussion. At best he exhibited a head-shaking political naivety. At worst, the emergency room physician displayed an egotistical "God Complex" on many health-care-related bills.

It hasn't helped that his campaign donor list reads like a who's who of corporate heath care lobbyists and physicians in a time when donor lists are becoming ever more available for scrutinization by the media and public.

No one is shocked- unless they are "shocked, shocked"- that there's politics afoot at the legislature. Unless that someone is Senator Josh Green.