Thursday, August 19, 2010

All of the Above

Running for governor has me getting lots of questionnaires from various organizations, I've gotten them from the NRA, The Abigail Adams Project, Americans for Tax Reform, Project Vote Smart, another organization concerned with mental health, another with intellectual and developmental disabilities and more. I've also gotten some invitations to come speak or debate, like the one in Nashville I told you a little about There is another debate to be in Chattanooga on October 14th. I'll be visiting with three high school classes in Maryville, TN, the next day and there will be a campaign event in Knoxville that night. I also just got a call from a friend in Memphis who said there had been a mention of my campaign in a local paper (thank you Bernie) and he wants to throw a campaign party for me. He did that for me in 2006 as well and we met some great folks over there.

I prefer events where I can speak to filling out questionnaires, which I admit I seldom do because of the time involved and I can never comfortably answer their carefully crafted questions designed to pin you down on their favorite issue or issues which they are very keen and up-to-date on. The problem I have is they often assume only two positions and usually leave no room to explain a third way. Some of them come from right-wing groups concerned with guns, abortions and taxes and wonder how much those issues really affect most people's lives. I agree we pay too much in taxes for what we get from it as most of it is wasted on the military industrial complex. Yeah, they provide jobs, but so does a pimp or a drug king-pin. The A.T.R. questionnaire included a Pledge I was to sign saying I would oppose any new taxes but insisting that there be "No new taxes" seems to be a thin cover for protecting the wealthy corporations rather than reforming our tax system to make it more fair. I'm not convinced they care what fair is.

Katey saw a spot showing some kids campaigning for class president, she said, and each held up a sign stating their respective positions, going down the row of candidates the last kids sign read "All of the above." It was a reversal of David "None of the above" Gatchel's campaign. What I liked about the kids sign was that "All of the Above" could be construed as "Let's all work together." Looking at the enormous issues facing us, that our leaders have not yet begun to face, we really do all need to work together. Obviously in a culture where what is said on TV seems to carry more weight than even one's own experience, it may be difficult getting that started. We may have to wait until oil production gets so expensive it can no longer keep the tractors and trucks rolling, until climate change is fries us to a crisp or washes us a way in one of the increasingly common freak storms.

I want to briefly mention my platform, or stool. I've identified 5 legs for my stool in this campaign. They are Security, Economy, Ecology, Health, Education. While it is just 5 catagories I can see how most concerns will fit within one or more of them. I should say too that I support the platform of the Green Party of the US too, most of it anyway. It is a living document so its always being discussed, revised and expanded which is how it should be as more facets of our circumstances are revealed over time.

Security: I don't know about you but my community is pretty heavily armed, I expect yours is too as U.S. citizens own a lot of weaponry. In the gun's department we are covered but I'm not sure how much real security that gives us. If we are ever invaded I expect we'll be ready for them. And too, we have a heavily armed police force ready to take care of all the criminals, despite the fact that crime rates have been going down for 30 years. I guess that is why they keep making more laws, got to keep the customers flowing into the prison industry to assure more prison profits. But when the trucks stop rolling how much security will you have? You could hunt food with it but having lost much natural habitat the local ecology may not have enough to feed everyone. But as the old saying goes, 'there is safety in numbers.' Biologists have been discovering that nature's success depends more on cooperation than it does on competition and we, my friends, despite what you've been told, are a part of nature. Without an evolutionary effort at cooperation with one another and our planetary environment, our security could be fatally compromised. Why?

Economy: Because the growth economy has hit the wall, that's why, and we hippies have known it would all along. Our economy is critically linked to our security as we can see. In a pyramid scheme the base has to keep getting wider or it can't continue, and the base of this pyramid has gone round the world and there is now no room to expand further. So, now what? We've got to build a new economy, one that is state of the art and steady state. It is not hard to imagine and it is not that hard to build but it does require broad based cooperation because each community member must be involved in their economy. We have the resources and the talent to do it in this state, we can access the necessary technologies, we have everything we need except the cooperation. The cooperation of government, business, communities and individuals will be required to build a decentralized and localized food, fuel and fiber, growing and processing network better than the one America grew up on. It is clear the basics come from the soil and require water and sunlight as we all do. We have a critical relationship with these things as the human beings and the other 30 million species on this planet are interdependent. We all should now know what that relationship is called, right?

Ecology: Each of us is a whole being and each of us is a part of a greater being, and by us I mean all us beings, trees, toads, shrooms and monkeys, water and air, the soil, we all live together and have important relationships with other species. All the basics for our life come from this larger community of beings. Apocalypse I'm told literally means, translated from the Greek, 'the lifting of the veil' so as to now see what has been obscured. Apocalypse is what I see happening nearly everywhere as people are realizing their connection to one another, our history, the earth and all its systems, all its beings. More and more people are beginning realize that we have to change direction to at least lessen if not avoid catastrophe. Many know we need change but only a few know what changes are required, so ask a hippy, not a suit. Our ecology is critical to our...

Health: This is because, as we all know, our food, our water, our air is all critical to our health. If is is not clean and healthy we will not be clean and healthy. Any health care system truly interested health will be heavily invested toward preventative measures as much as fix-it measures. It is easier to maintain health than it is to rebuild it when it has been destroyed. So first order for health is to do no harm, then clean and protect our ecology, but then we might want to have primary health clinics in every community to handle the day to day exams, maintenance and emergency patch up jobs, etc. all perhaps connected to a state wide data base so as to track any disease that might spread and to keep track of what works and what doesn't. The profit motive has to be removed from health care as it only encourages dishonesty and isn't very caring along with many grave and expensive inefficiencies. Time to grow up and take care of ourselves better. Its a shame that people aren't really given the tools needed to grow up in our schooling system and instead are dumped into the economy ill prepared to swim in a system designed cheat them out of most, if not all, of their life. Instead of schools we need...

Education: A well educated people cannot be easily controlled, a well schooled people are easily controlled. We all need to understand the difference. We need real life education for our children instead of locking them up in windowless jail-like buildings all day with well meaning babysitters. Young children should be with their parents learning what parents have to do to take care of their child, to take care of their family, to take care of their responsibilities to their community etc.. Our way to doing things needs to change so as to accommodate children in many areas of the economy. The root word for education means "to draw one out." How many of us ever experienced that with a teacher in school? When it is connected to those who love us in real life circumstances things like math, science, reading, etc. all become tools we want for life, tools for enhancing our experience, tools for doing a job better or easier, creating a way to live in harmony.

All of you who know what I'm talking about, agree and want to make a little noise can help me by spreading the word on the web. If any of you have experience with the tools for running a strong internet campaign, and have nothing else to do, drop me a line. Money would be okay too as it can buy talent but if you are like me, and I expect you are, that stuff is hard to come by these days and you have to be careful what you do with it.
Pelimayahe (thank you Lakota)

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