Gary Swing is just a small frog from a large pond. He thinks outside the bog as he leaps into the dismal swamp of electoral politics.
Gary Swing is a cultural events promoter. He worked previously as a public policy researcher. Gary has a BA in Political Science and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Colorado. Gary is a vegetarian with a lifestyle of voluntary simplicity. He is childfree and car-free by choice.
Gary has climbed more than a thousand mountains in the United States, including all of Colorado’s 637 mountains over 13,000 feet. He has backpacked more than 10,000 miles of wilderness trails through the mountains, forests, and deserts including the length of the "Triple Crown Trails" (Appalachian, Pacific Crest, and Continental Divide Trails), as well as the Colorado Trail and the Ouachita Trail. He has tramped more than 1,100 miles through New Zealand. In 2014, Gary walked across Arizona from the Mexican border to Utah on the 800 mile long Arizona Trail.
The idea behind this Boiling Frog Party candidacy is to create an independent "deep green, dark humor" political campaign with a mixture of satire and serious commentary. Gary hopes that the Boiling Frog Party will inspire people to exclaim WTF?!? You know, WTF -- Why the Frogs?
We are currently in the midst of the Sixth Mass Extinction of animal species, this time as a result of human impacts on the ecosystem. The World Wildlife Foundation has estimated that 52% of the global wildlife population of vertebrate species has died off since 1970 while human population has doubled from 3.7 billion to 7.4 billion people during the same time frame. Per capita ecological footprints have dramatically overshot the sustainable limits of growth. About one third of frog species worldwide are now threatened with extinction as their habitats are destroyed. Frogs are ecological indicators. They are especially sensitive to changes in both aquatic and terrestrial environments.
As a wise frog once sang, "It's not easy being Green." The Boiling Frog Party is an amphibitarian political organization. We seek to unite amphibious citizens of the world who would prefer to have the thermostat turned down slightly on the global hot tub that we all share, before we all croak. Boiling Frog Party members are concerned about global warming, stovetop warming, amphibian rights, preservation of endangered species, water pollution, conservation of wetlands and other natural habitats, human overpopulation, and the disturbing habit of Peruvian street vendors sticking live frogs in blenders. We demand a global ban on restaurants serving frog legs.
The Boiling Frog Party: because there's more to life than just freezing toads. Come on in. The water's fine!
The United States has been described as a nation of sheep, ruled by wolves for the benefit of pigs. Congress is a den of vipers. A bunch of jackasses stubbornly bear the burden of protecting the entrenched interests of their elite masters. Elephants will never forget -- or forgive -- what Republican politicians have done to their image. All we are saying is... give frogs a chance!
Other politicians claim to represent the people. Gary Swing is leaping into the swamp of electoral politics to represent the neglected interests of frogs and other endangered species whose continued existence is gravely threatened by human impact on the environment.
The Boiling Frog Party brings a message of Respect for Biological Diversity concerning people of all species. We must all swim together to preserve our wetlands for our tadpoles, and for our tadpoles' tadpoles.
This is a commentary I wrote many years ago concerning the history behind US military intervention in Afghanistan.
“All murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”
“No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.”
“To be truthful about it, there was no way we could have got the public consent to have suddenly launched a campaign against Afghanistan but for what happened on September 11.”
– Tony Blair, comments to Commons liason committee, July 17, 2002
BACKGROUND TO U.S. OCCUPATION OF AFGHANISTAN
CIA intervention in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1999 created the Taliban regime and the terrorist network that establishment politicians and corporate media now identify as “al-Qaeda.” Al-Qaeda was originally the name of a database of the Islamic Conference the CIA used to recruit mercenary terrorists in Afghanistan.
The history of CIA intervention in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1999 is explained in the books “The Terrorism Trap: September 11 and Beyond” by political analyst Michael Parenti and “Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower” by investigative journalist William Blum.
Historically, Afghanistan was an agrarian feudalist monarchy in which a small elite controlled the vast majority of the wealth, while most of the people lived in dire poverty. In 1973, the monarchy was overthrown and replaced with an autocracy. In 1978, a massive anti-government demonstration was held in front of the presidential palace. The military intervened to support this popular uprising and overthrew the autocracy. Military officers invited the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to form a new government under the leadership of Noor Mohammed Taraki, a poet and novelist.
Taraki’s reform government legalized labor unions, established a minimum wage, a progressive income tax, a literacy campaign, and programs to improve public access to health care, housing and public sanitation. The PDP opened up public education to girls and women in a society where women had been greatly oppressed. Taraki cancelled debts owed by farmers and instituted land reforms. The new government also began efforts to stop the cultivation of opium poppy. Before then, Afghanistan had produced more than 70% of the opium used to make heroin.
The PDP government had popular support, but feudal landowners opposed its agricultural reforms. Fundamentalist mullahs opposed its dedication to gender equality and the education of women and children. On July 3, 1979, President Carter (the future Nobel Peace Prize winner) issued an executive order instructing the CIA to provide military aid and training to Islamic fundamentalist terrorists in Afghanistan to overthrow Taraki's moderate socialist government. The CIA, together with the Saudi and Pakistani military, began large-scale intervention to overthrow the government with the assistance of feudal lords, fundamentalist mullahs, and drug traffickers.
The U.S. provided large amounts of military aid to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the head of the Islamic Party, whose "followers first gained attention by throwing acid in the faces of women who refused to wear the veil." According to the Washington Post at the time, "a favorite tactic" of these terrorists was "to torture victims by first cutting off their noses, ears, and genitals, then removing one slice of skin after another," producing "a slow, very painful death."
When President Carter issued his executive order authorizing intervention in Afghanistan, National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski offered his opinion that "this aid was going to induce a Soviet intervention."
Asked in 1998 if he regretted the Carter Administration's aid to the mujahideen in 1979, Brzezinski replied: "Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Soviet Union into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: "We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War." Brzezinski, who was proud of the key role that he played in instigating the Soviet-Afghan War, later became the top foreign policy advisor for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Brzezinski wrote the book, “The Grand Chessboard,” proposing a strategy for American domination of Eurasia, with a focus on seizing control of the world’s major remaining oil and natural gas supplies. Members of the Project for A New American Century (including Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz) who later became top officials of George W. Bush's administration proposed using a "new Pearl Harbor" as a public justification for the plans they outlined in “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” (September, 2000) to seize control of nations with oil and natural gas supplies, implement a massive military buildup, and develop new weapons technologies including genetically targeted biological weapons which they described as “a politically useful tool.” The 9/11 false flag operation became the "new Pearl Harbor" event that they used to implement their agenda.
In September 1979, Hafizulla Amin, a CIA operative within the Taraki government, seized power in an armed coup backed by the CIA. Amin executed Taraki, ended the reforms, and killed, imprisoned or exiled thousands of Taraki’s supporters as he began to create a fundamentalist Islamic theocracy. However, within two months, Amin was deposed by supporters of the PDP.
The re-established PDP government asked the Soviets to intervene to help them fight the mujahideen and foreign mercenaries who were being recruited by the CIA. On December 24, 1979, the Soviet Union intervened in Afghanistan at the request of the PDP government. The U.S. government called this an “invasion.” The Carter Administration feigned “outrage” at this “invasion.” President Carter used this as a pretext for increasing military aid to the CIA’s mercenary terrorists in Afghanistan, imposing a grain embargo against the Soviet Union, withdrawing the U.S. Olympic Team from the 1980 Moscow Olympics, and reinstating registration for the draft in the United States.
The People’s Democratic Party resumed the implementation of its reform programs. Meanwhile, the CIA-backed mujahideen carried out terrorist attacks on schools and teachers in rural areas. Nevertheless, Afghan women made significant progress in the 1980s. Fifty percent of college students were women and women held seven seats in parliament.
The US and Saudi Arabia spent about $40 billion to fund the war in Afghanistan. Using the “al-Qaeda” database, the CIA recruited, supplied, and trained nearly 100,000 radical Muslims from 40 countries to fight as mercenaries against the PDP government. Osama bin Laden and his cohorts were among these mercenaries.
The Soviets left Afghanistan in February 1989 after a long, bloody war. The PDP government continued fighting against American mercenaries until it fell in 1992. When the mujahideen took over, they fought among themselves. They ravaged Afghanistan, conducted mass executions, closed schools, and raped thousands of women and girls. Amnesty International reported that they used rape as “a method of intimidating vanquished populations and rewarding soldiers.” The CIA-backed mujahideen ordered farmers to grow opium poppy. Arundhati Roy reported in The Guardian that “within two years of the CIA’s arrival, the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderland had become the biggest producer of heroin in the world, and the single biggest source of the heroin on American streets.”
Many of the CIA-trained mujahideen extremists graduated to terrorist careers in Algeria, Chechnya, Kosovo, and Kashmir. Most of the terrorists involved in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center were mujahideen. Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman, the leader of a group of terrorists convicted of a plot to bomb the United Nations in 1995, was a former mujahideen operative who obtained his U.S. visa from a CIA agent.
In 1994, the CIA decided to finance an extremist faction in Afghanistan that wanted to impose strict Islamic fundamentalist law. Within a year, this Taliban faction seized control over most of the country. The atrocities committed by the totalitarian Taliban theocracy have been well publicized by the American media as part of the effort to stir up war fever. What has not been so well publicized is the fact that the US government paid the salary of all Taliban government officials until 1999, and continued to provide economic aid to them until 2001. Occupants of the White House never expressed concern about the plight of women in Afghanistan until October 2001, when it became part of the public justification for the American bombing which killed more than 5,000 Afghan civilians directly and unknown numbers through the indirect impacts of military attacks.
CIA intervention in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1999 destroyed a government dedicated to modernizing one of the world’s most backward countries. The war killed more than a million Afghans, with another three million disabled and five million refugees, in total about half of the population. The CIA’s intervention trained thousands of Islamic terrorists and produced brutal repression of women by the Taliban. John Ryan, the author of “Afghanistan: A Forgotten Chapter,” concluded that if the US had left the Taraki government alone in 1979, “there would have been no army of mujahideen, no Soviet intervention, no war that devastated Afghanistan, no Osama bin Laden, and no Sept. 11 tragedy.” The problem with Ryan’s conclusion here was that he accepted the official lie that Osama bin Laden and his cohorts were responsible for the 9/11 attacks. The 9/11 attacks were in fact a false flag operation carried out by elements within the U.S. military intelligence establishment with the support of top government officials including Bush and Cheney to create a false pretext for the U.S. invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.
The Guardian reported: "In 1998, Dick Cheney, now US vice-president but then chief executive of a major oil services company, remarked: 'I cannot think of a time when we have had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian. But the oil and gas there is worthless until it is moved. The only route which makes both political and economic sense is through Afghanistan.'"
There was a fierce competition between the U.S. supported UNOCAL and Bridas of Argentina to secure an agreement with the Taliban to construct an oil and natural gas pipeline from the rich oil fields in Turmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan, through Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the Indian Ocean. When George W. Bush was installed in the White House, he immediately reopened negotiations with the Taliban to secure a favorable contract for UNOCAL and ensure U.S. control over Central Asian fossil fuels.
Bush Administration and Taliban officials met several times in Washington, Berlin and Islamabad. Each time, the Taliban refused to accept Bush’s conditions for a pipeline agreement. The last meeting took place in August, 2001. Central Asian affairs representative Chritina Rocca and other State Department officials expressed disgust and threatened the Taliban ambassador: “Accept our offer of gold or we will bury you under a carpet of bombs.”
In June 2001, the government of India publicly announced its support for the United States’ planned invasion of Afghanistan. Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, was informed by senior American officials in July that U.S. military action against Afghanistan would begin by the middle of October. President Bush was given detailed plans for a U.S. invasion of Afghanistan on September 9, 2001, two days before 9/11. The Bush Administration started bombing Afghanistan on October 7. The 9/11 false flag operation provided a pretext for this “carpet of bombs.” More than 5,000 Afghans were murdered in the U.S. bombing and invasion of their country.
Conveniently, Ahmed Shah Massoud, the Commander of the United Front guerilla movement and leader of the Afghan opposition to the Taliban regime was assassinated on September 9, 2001, two days before 9/11. As Afghanistan’s national hero, he would have been the presumed head of state under a post-Taliban government. Two Arab men posing as journalists carried out the assassination. One was killed by his own bomb in the attack; the other was shot to death while trying to escape.
With Massoud out of the way, the U.S. installed Hamid Karzai, a former UNOCAL executive, as the new Afghan head of state, with former UNOCAL aide Zalmay Khlailzad as President Bush’s special envoy to the new puppet government. Khalilzad had participated in UNOCAL’s talks with the Taliban in 1997 and he had been a special advisor to the State Department during the Reagan Administration, where he was instrumental in arming the mujahideen. On December 27, 2002, Karzai signed a deal for a natural gas pipeline. U.S. military bases were established along the proposed pipeline route.
“Pressure resulting from unrestrained population growth puts demands on the natural world that can overwhelm any efforts to achieve a sustainable future.”
-- “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity,” 1993
Overpopulation in the Year of Seven Billion
Earth Day Speech by Gary Swing
April 22, 2011
Without the environment, there is no economy. Perpetual growth cannot continue within a finite environment.
Overpopulation is the most critical problem facing humanity. Overpopulation is a product of the number of people on Earth multiplied by their per capita consumption and waste production. Population growth is unsustainable. A short-term supply of cheap, abundant fossil fuels has temporarily enabled human population to greatly exceed the carrying capacity of the planet. World population grew from 1 billion in 1804 to 2 billion in 1927. When the first Earth Day was held in 1970, there were 3.7 billion people on Earth. World population is expected to reach 7 billion this year and 9 billion by 2040.
In 2010, the World Wildlife Foundation’s “Living Planet Report” estimated that human ecological impact exceeded the Earth’s carrying capacity by 50%. In the Western Hemisphere, the United States and Mexico have the most severe overpopulation problem. The US and Mexico each have an ecological impact about twice the carrying capacity of their land, but the average person in the United States has three times the ecological impact of the average person in Mexico. The United States now has a population of about 311 million people, but our land only has the biological capacity to support a maximum of 149 million people today at current levels of consumption.
In 2010, the Optimum Population Trust used ecological footprint data from 130 countries to create an Overpopulation Index, measuring per capita consumption against the biologically productive capacity of each nation’s land. They concluded that 77 countries already have unsustainable populations because they consume more than their land can produce. The most unsustainable societies are concentrated in Europe, North America, and the Middle East.
The United States now has the fifth highest per capita ecological footprint of any nation and the biggest impact of any large nation. About 5% of the world’s population lives in the United States, but the US accounts for 25% of global consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. If the average person on Earth had as much ecological impact as the average American, the Earth could not support a population of more than one and a half billion people.
Human demand on the biosphere more than doubled from 1961 to 2005. Nearly 1 billion people now suffer from chronic malnutrition and lack access to adequate drinking water. Global carrying capacity will shrink with the effects of fossil fuel depletion, destructive agricultural practices, deforestation, and climate change.
Human population has grown by 4 billion since the “Green Revolution” started in 1950, using petrochemical fertilizers, pesticides, and hydrocarbon fueled irrigation to increase grain production by 250%. Per capita world grain production started declining in 1983. With the peak of global oil and natural gas production, petrochemical agriculture techniques cannot be sustained. A 2009 report from the Department of Energy projected that global production of all liquid fuels, including oil, will drop by 2030 to about half of what it is today, while energy demand continues to rise.
At the 1996 Earth Summit, the Presidential Council on Sustainable Development concluded that the world’s human population should not exceed 500 million people. The UN Biodiversity Assessment of 1994 concluded: “A reasonable estimate for an industrialized world society at the present North American material standard of living would be one billion people.”
We need to change the way we live to reduce consumption and decrease population by reducing global birth rates to no more than one child per family until we achieve a sustainable level. We need full public funding for family planning programs worldwide and public education about the overpopulation crisis. We should use carbon taxes to account for environmental impacts in true cost pricing of new goods. We must reduce global energy consumption at least 50% by 2030, restructuring our economy to run on solar, wind, geothermal and hydroelectric power. Petrochemical agriculture threatens our health, food security and the environment. The livestock industry contributes to global climate change, land degradation, and air and water pollution. We should shift subsidies from animal agriculture to plant based agriculture and small, local farms. We must create an environmentally sustainable economy to achieve a sustainable population.
On October 30, 2010, political humorists Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert hosted a "Rally to Restore Sanity" in Washington, DC, with satellite rallies in other cities. I was a Green Party candidate for US Representative at the time, and I spoke at the rally in Denver. Candidates were invited to wear costumes, but I was the only one who did that. I dressed up as an "Uncle Sam Grim Reaper." It was an Uncle Sam costume with skeleton hands, a skull mask, and a scythe. I took the mask off to make my speech:
Hi. My name is Gary Swing. I am the Green Party candidate for US Representative from District 1 in the current auction for Congress.
A reporter once asked Mohandas Gandhi what he thought about western civilization. Gandhi replied that he thought it would be a very good idea. I agree with him.
What does it mean to restore sanity? When was sanity ever an American political value? Sane people don't build and maintain an arsenal of nuclear weapons capable of exterminating all life on Earth. Sane people don't pollute their environment to the point that they alter the planet's climate and cause the mass extinction of other species. Sane people don't sponsor dictatorships and death squads in the name of freedom. Sane people don’t bomb hospitals and schools and churches and factories and power plants and water treatment facilities. Sane people don’t create thirteen trillion dollars in national debt with bloated military budgets and corporate welfare. Sane people deal with reality and focus on what's important rather than pursuing a narrow agenda of cultural warfare.
The Green Party has consistently opposed illegal US military interventions, including the bombing, invasion, and occupation and Afghanistan and Iraq.
We demand the immediate withdrawal of all American soldiers from foreign wars. As a candidate for Congress, I advocate shutting down all foreign military bases, restricting the military to non-offensive defense of US territory, abolishing weapons of mass destruction, and eliminating the CIA. US foreign policy should focus strictly on humanitarian aid, respect for human rights, fair trade, and support for local self-reliance, not corporate globalization. I support a real criminal investigation into the US government’s role in 9/11 and prosecution of the people responsible for it.
Without the environment, there is no economy. Perpetual growth cannot continue within a finite environment. Climate change is happening now as a result of human industrial activity. We must reduce energy consumption at least 50% by 2030, restructuring our economy to run on solar, wind, geothermal and hydroelectric power. We must reduce greenhouse gas emissions at least 40% by 2020 and 95% by 2050.
I support public investment to create jobs in energy conservation, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, green construction and mass transportation. I support the use of carbon taxes to include environmental impacts in true cost pricing of new goods and services.
Overpopulation threatens our future. Human population has grown from 1 billion in 1804 to 6.8 billion now. If the average human consumed as much as the average American, the World Wildlife Federation estimates that the Earth could not sustain a population of more than one and a half billion people. We need to change the way we live to reduce consumption and decrease population by reducing birth rates.
The insurance industry profits by denying patients the health care they need. I support real health care reform through the creation of a single payer health insurance program that is not tied to employment.
We need real election reform in the United States. That means electing legislators by proportional representation, eliminating corporate campaign contributions, creating a fair system of public campaign financing, placing caps on campaign spending, providing verifiable ballots, fair media access for all candidates, and public forums that are open to all candidates on the ballot.
We need a movement to establish sanity, not a rally to restore it. Voting for sanity means voting for the Green Party. We welcome you to join us in creating an environmentally sustainable future based on social justice and respect for human rights, a future that values people over profits.
I wrote the following statement in 2010. Since then, US military imperialism has continued unabated and expanded.
“We assert that no nation can long endure half republic and half empire, and we warn the American people that imperialism abroad will lead quickly and inevitably to despotism at home.”
-- Democratic National Platform, 1900
At the height of the British Empire, Great Britain had 36 foreign military bases. By 2007, the United States officially had 737 military bases in 63 foreign countries, with at least some US soldiers in 156 countries. More than 369,000 US soldiers were deployed outside the US.
The United States has built the most powerful, most extensive empire in history, with contempt for freedom, human rights and international law. The real mission of the US military and the CIA is to establish and protect authoritarian client states around the world, serving the economic interests of transnational corporations. The US sponsors proxy wars and mercenary forces to oppress the people of Third World nations and secure control of global economic resources.
The United States has engaged in illegal, immoral military attacks against more than 70 nations since the end of World War II, killing millions of people. As historian Michael Parenti documented in his book, Against Empire: “From 1945 to 2000, the U.S. government attempted to overthrow more than 40 foreign governments, and to crush more than 30 populist movements struggling against oppressive regimes. Recent decades have been marked by the US waging devastatingly one-sided wars against small, weak, impoverished nations while filling the media with propaganda designed to inflame war fever.”
The US has sponsored death squads and dictatorships in Brazil, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, Chile, Uruguay, Indonesia and many other nations. The people of Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Angola, Mozambique and Yugoslavia have been subjected to massive terrorist attacks by the United States.
In 1953, the democratic government of Iran was overthrown in a US/British sponsored coup. The US and Great Britain seized control of Iran’s oil. They restored the Shah’s fascist dictatorship and supported this repressive regime for 25 years. After Iran’s 1979 revolution, the US encouraged Iraq to invade Iran and provided Iraq with weapons, starting a war that killed millions of people. In the Iran-Contra Scandal, the US sold military weapons to Iran in exchange for hostages, using the proceeds to fund the Contra terrorists in Nicaragua.
In 1963, a CIA-backed military coup overthrew the republic of Iraq to prevent the nationalization of their oil supply, installing Saddam Hussein’s party in power. The US armed and supported Saddam Hussein’s brutal dictatorship in Iraq until 1989, providing the raw materials and plans for Iraq’s biological and chemical weapons.
CIA intervention in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1999 created a war that destroyed President Taraki’s reformist government, induced Soviet intervention, killed more than one million Afghans, installed the US-backed Taliban regime, and trained an army of terrorists, including CIA operative Osama bin Laden.
In December 1989, The US killed more than 3,000 people in its illegal invasion of Panama, more than four times as many people as were killed in Iraq’s subsequent invasion of Kuwait. On July 25, 1990, April Glaspie, the US Ambassador to Iraq, assured Saddam Hussein that the US had "no opinion on Arab-Arab conflicts like your border dispute with Kuwait.” She told Hussein that the US would not intervene militarily if Iraq invaded Kuwait. On August 1, Iraq invaded Kuwait. Since then, the United States and its coalition partners have killed millions of Iraqi people through military attacks, systematic destruction of Iraq’s infrastructure, invasion, and occupation.
Overwhelming evidence proves that 9/11 was a "false flag” operation orchestrated by top echelon traitors within the US government to create a false pretext for previously planned US military conquests, seizure of dwindling oil supplies, and destruction of our civil liberties. People who still deny that 9/11 was an inside job should examine the evidence at www.ae911truth.org and www.911truth.org and read David Ray Griffin’s books, "The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions" and "Debunking 9/11 Debunking."
In 2009, US government arms sales to foreign governments hit $38.1 billion. By 2002, the U.S. had given $240 billion in military aid to train, equip, and subsidize 2.3 million troops in more than 80 countries, including many military dictatorships. This military aid is used to suppress political dissent. For Fiscal Year 2011, U.S. military spending is $1,398 billion, including $721 billion for the misnamed "Department of Defense,” $155 billion for the military portion of other departments, $123 billion for veterans’ benefits, and $399 billion for interest on the military portion of the national debt. This spending accounts for 48% of federal income tax revenue. In 2008, US military spending was 41.5% of all military spending worldwide. See www.warresisters.org for details.
The American war against humanity must end. The US military must no longer be used for world domination.
The Green Party is a global movement that has run candidates for public office in more than ninety nations around the world. The world's first political parties with a predominantly environmental focus were the United Tasmania Group in Australia, the Values Party in New Zealand, and the Popular Movement for the Environment in Switzerland. These were all founded in 1972. Germany’s Green Party was founded in 1980. It was the first Green Party to achieve national prominence. West Germany's Green Party was founded upon the "Four Pillars" of social justice, grassroots democracy, nonviolence, and ecological wisdom. These values became the foundation for the global Green movement. In 1984, the Green Committees of Correspondence in the United States expanded these four pillars into a statement of Ten Key Values, including Community-Based Economics, Decentralization, Future Focus or Sustainability, Feminism, Personal and Global Responsibility, and Respect for Diversity. I joined the Green Committees of Correspondence in 1985, when I was in my senior year of high school.
The Green Party has run candidates in the United States since 1985. By the summer of 2009, about 160 Green Party candidates held elected offices in the United States, mostly at the local and county levels. Four Greens have been elected to state legislatures in California, Maine, and Arkansas, but only one of them (John Eder in Maine) remained with the Green Party. No Greens have ever been elected to federal offices in the United States.
Green Party candidates have been elected to at least national parliaments in at least thirty countries, and to the transnational European Parliament. Most of these Green Party members of parliament were elected under voting systems that use party list forms of proportional representation.
In order to remain qualified for the ballot for future elections in Arizona, the state Green Party needs at least 2/3 of one percent of all registered voters in the state to affiliate with the Green Party on their voter registration. You can help keep the Green Party on Arizona's ballot for future elections by registering Green.
Following is a post-election statement that I wrote immediately after the 2012 general election for US President:
Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign was remarkably transparent in advancing the planned agenda for his second term as War Criminal In-Chief. Obama’s campaign boldly announced their slogan: “FORWARD.” Some people myopically viewed this as one word, rather than observing it with the proper perspective. In 2008, Obama supporters dutifully voted “For-War-A” (Afghanistan), “For-War-B” (Iraq), and “For-War-C” (Libya). In 2012, they enthusiastically voted “For-War-D” (Iran? Syria?).
Every election year we hear the same nonsense about “voting for the lesser of two evils.” Despite the spirited chants of “We Are the 99%,” 99% of American voters continue to embrace the greater evils: perpetual wars of aggression, imperialism, authoritarianism, and environmental devastation. This is the shared agenda of the two corporate parties. Yet we still hear the same tired old arguments that have never been valid: that voting your conscience is a wasted vote; that a vote for a Green Party candidate is a vote for the Republican, and so on. Voting Green can’t “spoil” elections that are already rotten to the core. If you vote for candidates who don’t represent your values, then you are wasting your vote.
The Democrats and Republicans design the election system to keep themselves in power and shut out any meaningful opposition from start to finish. The fundamental flaws in their antiquated system could easily be fixed. These issues remain because the system as it stands serves the interests of the elite and powerful.
Let’s get one thing straight: Green Party candidates don’t “take votes away” from Democrats. Democrats take votes away from Greens. When was the last time you heard someone say: “I’d love to vote for Obama, but he doesn’t have a chance, so I’ll vote for Jill Stein instead?” A legitimate election system would enable voters to cast their ballots for the candidates they prefer without the fear of “helping to elect” the candidates they like least. Modern voting systems used by most democratic countries allow voters to cast effective, meaningful votes to secure fair, proportional representation for the parties or candidates that they prefer.
Green Party candidates have been running for partisan office in the United States since 1988. The Green Party has elected members of parliament in dozens of countries with party list forms of proportional representation. In the United States, about 135 Green Party members held local, mostly non-partisan elected offices as we headed into the 2012 election. These are citizens elected to offices like school boards and town councils, and who happen to be registered Green. Very few of these successful candidates appeared on the ballot with the designation “Green Party.” Twenty-four years of running Green Party campaigns under the winner-take-all voting system has brought us to the level of success and public recognition that we enjoy today. “The Green Party? What’s that?” “Jill Stein? Who’s he?”
The reality is that we face a near total media blackout of any alternative to the increasingly fascist political establishment that dominates the U.S. The Green Party is invisible in the United States. We won’t make real progress unless we change the voting system. We are yelling into the wind to a deaf and blind audience, begging for the opportunity to help rearrange a few deck chairs on the Titanic. The ship has already struck the iceberg, and it’s sinking fast, but the band is still playing the same tune.
The big issue today is survival. Human overpopulation and over-consumption have brought us to the brink of economic collapse and ecological catastrophes on an unprecedented scale.
A short-term supply of cheap, abundant fossil fuels has temporarily enabled human population to overshoot the long-term carrying capacity of the planet. The world’s human population has grown dramatically from one billion in 1804 to two billion in 1927 and seven billion in 2011. In 2010, the World Wildlife Foundation’s “Living Planet Report” estimated that human ecological impact exceeded the Earth’s carrying capacity by 50%.
About 5% of the world’s population lives in the United States, but the US accounts for 25% of global consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. If the average person on Earth consumed as much as the average American, the Earth could not support a population of more than 1.5 billion people.
A recent study by MIT revisiting the Club of Rome’s “Limits to Growth” study concluded that if we continue to follow the path of “business as usual,” the global economy will collapse and the world’s human population will start to decline precipitously by 2030.
Global warming is happening today as a result of human industrial activity, yet the Democrats and Republicans are acting together to accelerate this ecological catastrophe with new oil pipelines, coal burning, fracking, and tar sands exploitation. Mass extinction of species is taking place at an alarming rate. Topsoil is being depleted. Agricultural production is diminishing as nearly a billion people face chronic malnutrition and lack access to safe drinking water.
We need a radical and rapid transition to an environmentally sustainable way of life. We’re running out of time. The message of the Green Party is one that desperately needs to be heard, understood, and adopted.
Green politics, if it is to truly offer an alternative, is about speaking truth to power and standing up for what you believe is right, regardless of the expected outcome, even if you know that you can’t win. The truth is we don’t have much power under the existing political system. Electing a handful of citizens who happen to be Green Party members to small, rural school boards and town councils is a good start, but no more than that.
The winner-take-all voting system ensures that business as usual continues unchallenged, securing short-term profits while guaranteeing long-term catastrophes. If we believe that the message of the Green Party is important; if we think the Green Party should continue to exist; if we want the Green Party to win and gain real political power, then changing the voting system is a necessary and urgent first step towards making the Green Party a viable political entity.
We need to enact citizen initiatives to elect legislators by a system of true proportional representation, using party lists. Political parties should be represented in legislatures in proportion to their share of the vote. We need a truly representational voting system for electing legislators, like the method used to elect Australia’s Senate (not semi-proportional voting plans, winner-take-all voting systems such as instant runoff, or approval voting). If we intend to create a strong, effective Green Party that impacts public policy at all levels in the United States, we need to make implementing proportional representation a top priority.
In 2010, a former Republican state legislator recruited a slate of homeless people to register as Green Party members and file as write-in candidates for the Arizona Green Party's primary election. This was an apparent attempt to siphon votes away from Democratic candidates and "split" the vote. As a new party that had just petitioned for ballot status in the state, a registered Green Party member only needed a single write-in vote for an uncontested office in the party's primary in order to qualify for the general election ballot with the party's label.
The Arizona Green Party called these unauthorized candidates who hadn't been endorsed by the party "sham candidates." They sued unsuccessfully to remove them from the ballot.
The Arizona Green Party has once again petitioned onto the ballot as a "new" party for 2016. On July 21, I filed as a non-endorsed write-in for the Arizona Green Party primary for US Senate and for US Representative (CD2). Now I could be considered a "sham candidate."
The term "sham candidate" may be unfamiliar to some people, so further explanation may be in order.
In the United States, a "sham" is defined as a "decorative cover for a pillow."
Urban Dictionary reports that the word "sham" is a slang term used in the County of Cork, Ireland.
They explain that "a 'sham' is primarily the term used to describe a young male knacker, specifically the ones who walk around with a chip on their shoulder, thinking they own everything in sight, and that they are the greatest thing on god's green earth. It can also be used to show genuine praise, much to the same affect as 'the shit.'"
Therefore, in order to cover my bases as a prospective sham candidate, I figure that I should campaign by walking around with decorative pillow covers pinned to my shoulders.
Arizona Capitol Times
"Green Party ‘sham’ candidates to stay on ballot"
September 14, 2010
Gary Swing, Boiling Frog Party sham candidate, repurposing the Arizona Green Party's ballot line for US Senate:
If Pro is the opposite of Con, then what's the opposite of Congress?
The Federal Election Commission reports that a campaign committee has been filed under the name "Eat Bacon for Congress" in Arizona's Third Congressional District. In response, the Boiling Frog Party has nominated "Go Vegan" as an opposition candidate running "For Progress" against the senseless brutality and environmental devastation of the animal agriculture industry represented by Eat Bacon's carnivorous Congressional campaign's culinary agenda.
Stop destroying the planet with a knife and fork. Take mass extinction off your plate. Think globally, eat vegan locally. Go Vegan for Progress in Arizona's Third Congressional District and around the world.
Kermit the Frog, who resides at 8 Fly Street in Frog Pond, North Carolina, has filed with the Federal Election Commission as the Boiling Frog Party candidate for President in 2016. He is best known for his career as an actor and singer, but he also has an impressive resume, as reported by Muppet Wikia. See:
Kermit is known worldwide for his wonderful words of wit and wisdom: "Here’s some simple advice: always be yourself. Never take yourself too seriously. And beware of advice from experts, pigs, and members of Parliament."
As a compassionate conservationist, Kermit hops softly on the earth and carries a warm heart: "Yeah, well, I've got a dream too, but it's about singing and dancing and making people happy. That's the kind of dream that gets better the more people you share it with."
When he's not out on the campaign trail, candidate Kermit enjoys spending his time in the wetlands. He says "time's fun when you're having flies."
The idea behind my "Boiling Frog Party" candidacy for is to run an independent "deep green, dark humor" campaign with a mixture of satire and serious commentary.
The Boiling Frog Party wants people of all species to exclaim WTF?!? -- Why the Frogs?
We are currently in the midst of the Sixth Mass Extinction of animal species, this time as a result of human impacts on the ecosystem. The World Wildlife Foundation has estimated that 52% of the global wildlife population of vertebrate species has died off since 1970. Amphibian species are becoming extinct at a particularly rapid rate. Frogs are ecological indicators. They are especially sensitive to changes in both terrestrial and aquatic environments.
As a wise frog once sang, "It's not easy being Green." The Boiling Frog Party is an amphibitarian political organization. We seek to unite amphibious citizens of the world who would prefer to have the thermostat turned down slightly on the global hot tub that we all share, before we all croak.
Boiling Frog Party members are concerned about global warming, stovetop warming, amphibian rights, preservation of endangered species, water pollution, conservation of wetlands and other natural habitats, human overpopulation, and the disturbing habit of Peruvian street vendors sticking live frogs in blenders. We demand a global ban on French restaurants serving frog legs.
The Boiling Frog Party: because there's more to life than just freezing toads. Come on in. Just us in the hot tub and have a pina colada. The water's fine!
The Boiling Frog Party endorses this eloquent linked statement from the organization Save the Frogs. It explains why frogs are an important ecological indicator as we face the Sixth Mass Extinction of animal species:
Gary Swing, Leapfrogging for Progress:
Boiling Frog Party page on Facebook:
Uphold the Kellogg-Briand Pact outlawing war.
Establish a National Truth Commission to publicly expose the crimes of the US government. Prosecute war criminals. Convict Barack Obama and George W. Bush for their crimes against humanity.
Abolish all weapons of mass destruction.
Reduce the current US military budget by 90%. Remove all US armed forces from foreign nations and restrict them to non-offensive territorial defense of the United States.
End foreign military aid. Prohibit international military arms sales by the US government and US corporations.
Stop the US government’s political interference in foreign elections, including the funding of political parties and candidates. Eliminate public funding for the CIA front, the “National Endowment for Democracy,” which has spent more than $1 billion to rig foreign elections.
Eliminate presidential elections, which are meaningless shams, and decentralize political authority. Switch to a parliamentary system with a weak chief executive selected by Congress. Congress should be able to remove the executive at any time on a vote of “no confidence.”
Abolish the U.S. Senate, which is one of the world's most misrepresentative legislative bodies. Elect the U.S. House of Representatives by an open party list system of proportional representation.
Support the call for a new Constitutional Convention.
Recognize the right to secession.
Support a national initiative and referendum process, public campaign financing, campaign spending limits, equal time for qualified candidates, open debates including ballot-qualified minor party candidates and verifiable ballots.
Stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Rescind NAFTA and GATT. Support “fair trade” policies, freedom of travel, and international work permits that are not tied to a specific employer.
Abolish the CIA, NSA, and Selective Service System. Repeal the Patriot Act and Homeland Security Act.
Replace the federal income tax with a “fair tax” (national sales tax) to discourage consumption while encouraging saving and investment. Secure a baseline income with monthly rebates. Use carbon taxes to include environmental impacts in "true cost pricing" of new products.
End the private Federal Reserve Bank’s control over US monetary policy and restore it to the Treasury Department.
End corporate welfare bailouts that transfer wealth from the poor to the rich while generating trillions of dollars in national debt.
Create a single payer national health insurance system.
We should fully fund family planning programs at all levels and promote public education about the seriousness of the overpopulation crisis. World population has grown rapidly from 1 billion in 1804 to 2 billion in 1927, 3 billion in 1960 and 7 billion in 2011. World population is projected to reach 9 billion by 2040. In 2010, a World Wildlife Foundation study estimated that human ecological impact now exceeds the Earth’s carrying capacity by 50%. About 5% of the world’s population lives in the United States, but the US accounts for 25% of global consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. If the average human had the same ecological impact as the average American, the Earth could not sustain a population of more than 1.5 billion people. Achieving a sustainable human population requires both a reduction in global birth rates substantially below replacement level and a major reduction in our per capita ecological impact.
The peak of global oil production will have profound consequences for a global economy that is deeply dependent upon petroleum products for energy, transportation, food production and many consumer products. We must reduce consumption and develop a “steady-state” (sustainable) economy.
Support international agreements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions dramatically.
Stop subsidizing fossil fuels and nuclear energy. No oil from tar sands or shale oil development. Support conservation and energy efficiency. Convert to solar, wind, hydroelectric and geothermal power. Decentralize energy production.
Stop subsidizing petrochemical agriculture and animal farming. Apply cruelty laws to farmed animals. Promote permaculture, organic farming and urban agriculture.
Fully legalize marijuana. Decriminalize possession of small quantities of other drugs for personal use. No new prisons. End the privatization of prisons and the prison industrial complex that uses prisoners as a form of slave labor.
Uphold the right to arm bears guaranteed by the Second Amendment.
No more logging in old growth forests. Support reforesting.
Support equal rights regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
War Criminal in Chief Barack Obama says the state of the union is good. Climate change researcher Guy McPherson concludes that we are on the fast track to near-term human extinction, projecting that human impact on the environment will lead to the extinction of the human race by 2030 or 2040. Now, some may argue that that is a good thing, but I must respectfully disagree. Some of my best friends are human beings. Furthermore, the human race isn’t just racing down the path to collective suicide like a pack of lemmings. We are dragging the lemmings over the cliff with us, along with the polar bears, the frogs, the salamanders, the birds, and the fish. We are now in the middle of the Sixth Mass Extinction of animal species due to the stubborn refusal of human beings to live within the ecological boundaries that enable life to exist on Earth. About 52% of the vertebrate wildlife population on Earth has died off since 1970 due to human impacts on the environment.
I watched President Obama’s 2016 State of Delusion Address, followed by the Green Party’s response. I laughed when Ohio Green Party Congressional candidate Joe Manchik expressed his feelings about the President’s speech. He said: “I didn’t like it at all.” I wholeheartedly concur with Joe's assessment.
The State of Delusion Address presents an annual opportunity for the War Criminal in Chief to pitch a short-sighted political agenda to a nation of sheep led by pigs for the benefit of wolves. This is typically a misleading propaganda message that is disconnected from reality. The Head of the Corporate State wants to look good in the public eye and tell people things they want to hear.
I confess that this is the first time in many years that I have watched a State of Delusion Address. When I was just a tadpole, swimming in shallow political waters, I would sometimes watch these speeches or read the transcripts the next day, and try to count how many obvious lies I could catch the War Criminal in Chief uttering. When Presidents named George Bush spoke, their orations consisted of a string of lies held together by a paste of pointless patriotism.
Barack Obama’s style is more slick. He sounds good in a totally superficial way, while peddling the same old snake oil. In his final State of Delusion Address, I didn’t notice him speaking any outright lies. The closest thing to an outright lie I heard from his lips was his snarky remark: “If you doubt America's commitment -- or mine -- to see that justice is done, ask Osama bin Laden.” This was an apparent reference to the myth that Obama was responsible for killing this former CIA operative. For the past fourteen-plus years, both major parties in the United States have used the “big lie” of 9/11 as a false pretext for a fake “war on terror,” and for real, never-ending wars against truth, humanity, and civil rights. Osama bin Laden was a terrorist who was armed and financed by the CIA under the Carter and Reagan Administrations to wage a mercenary war against the people of Afghanistan. Bin Laden died of natural causes in mid-December, 2001. Only his ghost remained as a U.S. propaganda tool, presented to the public as a patsy for the 9/11 false flag operation.
President Obama mentioned the challenge of climate change. He correctly stated that the science is clear. Anthropogenic climate change is real, it’s here, and we need to deal with it. Those who deny that human beings are causing climate change are not dealing with reality. However, Obama is a climate change denier in a different way. He acknowledges that climate change is real while supporting international trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, tar sand oil pipelines, and petrochemical agriculture subsidies that spell out “Game Over” for the climate. His message is “Earth first; we’ll destroy the other planets later.”
Obama’s call for a technological race to discover a magical cure for climate change ignores the reality that climate change is a consequence of Ecological Overshoot. There are simply too many people in the world, consuming and polluting too much. World human population has skyrocketed from one billion people in 1803 to about 7.4 billion today, while per capita ecological footprints have grown astronomically. If the average person on Earth consumed as wastefully as the average American does today, the Earth could not sustain a human population of more than 1.5 billion people. The American way of life is over. If we don’t drastically change the way we live, life on Earth will soon be over, not just for human beings, but for most species of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, and reptiles. We must reduce the ecological footprint of the average American by at least fifty percent, immediately and permanently.
Unlimited growth cannot be sustained in a finite environment. If we want the human race and other animal species to survive on Earth, we need to reduce our numbers as well as our individual impacts. If we don’t reduce human population through birth control, it will happen through a massive die-off within the time frame of what should be a single human lifespan. In 2011, America’s finest news source, The Onion, prematurely announced that the human race had collectively decided to take a break from having any more children for a while. This modest proposal is a most excellent idea. Let’s have a global moratorium on human reproduction! No more kidding around. Make love, not babies. Copulate, don’t populate. Help keep the world safe FROM your children and your grandchildren. Take some personal and global responsibility for your life choices.
Human beings aren’t the only species on Earth; we just act like it. Let’s just stop breeding any more people until we manage to get our global house in order. If we somehow miraculously manage to survive until 2040 and halt climate change, then we can reassess our situation and decide whether or not to resume human reproduction under a global one child per family policy.
Nobel War Prize winner Barack Obama spoke out against impolite rhetoric that calls for carpet-bombing Muslim nations. He prefers to commit indiscriminate mass murder with a smiling face. It’s important to keep a civil tongue as you wage a relentless war against humanity. As President, he has exercised admirable restraint in his illegal bombing of seven foreign nations, dropping only 23,144 bombs during the 2015 fragment of his undeclared wars against civilian populations in the Middle East. The bipartisan consensus policy of global U.S. military imperialism has been responsible for the deaths of an estimated twenty to thirty million people worldwide since the end of World War Two.
The Boiling Frog Party calls for ending this war against humanity. The U.S. government must uphold the Kellogg-Briand Pact that outlaws war as a tool of foreign policy. Pacifism isn’t just a good idea; it’s the law!
The Green Party’s response to Obama’s State of Delusion Address was predictably underwhelming. Since my lip-reading skills are regrettably lacking, I missed much of what was spoken during the silent film portions of the Green Party’s broadcast. My laptop also dropped the connection to the live stream for a few minutes during the foreign policy segment of the discussion. Nevertheless, I think I caught the gist of the Green Party’s response.
The Green Party has admirably distinguished itself from the Democratic Party with its advocacy of a peaceful foreign policy, a single-payer national health insurance program, a fair trade policy, conversion to renewable energy resources, and ending corporate welfare. Margaret Flowers, the Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate from Maryland correctly stated that Obama’s speech “showed how much he is out of touch with reality.” She pointed out that the United States has created the largest empire in history, with a long history of covert and overt destabilization of other countries. Joe DeMare, a Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate from Ohio, was right on target when he said: “Greens believe in nonviolence…. We need a nonviolent foreign policy.” It is a travesty that some Greens -- or former Greens -- have abandoned their professed core belief in nonviolence to support a war criminal in the Democratic Party’s presidential primary race. If “Plan A” is to embrace genocide, then what hope can there be for “Plan B?”
The Green Party has an excellent platform. Despite its organizational challenges, the Green Party remains the only nationally organized political party in the United States with any relevance to reality. Unfortunately, electoral politics remains a popularity contest. Truth is not a popularity contest. The visible political message presented by Green Party campaigns in the United States remains a pale shade of green, targeted to promoting progressive issues that are widely supported by existing public opinion.
What is missing from the Green Party message is the Green Party message. When Bill Clinton ran for President, he targeted his campaign message with the phrase “It’s the economy, stupid.” The Clinton campaign message was wrong in 1992. It is still wrong in 2016. The critical message today is “It’s ecological overshoot, stupid.” The very survival of most life on Earth depends upon taking personal responsibility, focusing on the future global impacts of our current ecological footprint. The Green Party message does address the issue of climate change, but I don’t hear a clear statement about the urgency and severity of the present ecological crisis. There seems to be a consistent message of blaming “someone else” (most notably corporations or the “one percent”) for our problems. The Green Party message addresses carbon emissions, but what about the methane emissions that threaten us with near-term human extinction?
When Earth Day was first observed in 1970, the central environmental issue was human overpopulation. The world’s human population has doubled since then, with per capita ecological footprints growing dramatically. Ecological overshoot -- the environmentally unsustainable impact of human overpopulation and over-consumption – lies at the root of the present ecological crisis, but I hear nothing about this in the Green Party’s targeted messaging. What about the impacts of petrochemical animal agriculture, the urgency of reducing the consumption of meat and dairy products, the importance of getting away from our reliance on automobiles? The Green Party’s progressive agenda addresses many of the smaller issues in the daily news, but what about the big picture? What about the reality that we are quickly destabilizing the planetary boundaries that sustain life on Earth? The mass extinction of animal species? Deforestation? Ocean acidification? Water pollution from agricultural runoffs? Changing the way we live is critical to ensure our continued survival. There are no jobs on a dead planet.
Boiling Frog Party
January 14, 2016
Civilization to Take Some Time Off From Having Any More Kids (The Onion): http://www.theonion.com/article/civilization-to-hold-off-on-having-any-more-kids-f-26232
The 9 Limits of Our Planet… and How We’ve Raced Past Four of Them (John Carey):
Green Party State of the Union Response 2016:
Frogmen is the official theme song of the Boiling Frog Party. Written by Kevin Alumbaugh from the Colorado band Egg Planet.
Listen to Frogmen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32JZCZEChjE
Put a frog in boiling water, he’ll be jumping out real quick. He’ll be looking at you funny, thinking that you’re sick. But if you put him in some water… heat it up real slow… he’ll sit there as it heats up until it starts to boil.
We are the frogmen heatin’ up our world. Keep feeding the fire ’till we bring it to a boil.
Sitting here complacent in a world that’s heating up. We know we’ve got a problem and time is running out. But nothing seems to happen. We just keep turning up the heat. And now we’re about to boil, as we stay here in our seat.
We are the frogmen heatin’ up our world. Keep feeding the fire ’till we bring it to a boil.
Now we’re getting weather like the world has never seen. Storms are getting stronger – floods and record heat. But the people makin’ money on coal and gasoline will tell you not to worry, things aren’t really as they seem.
We are the frogmen heatin’ up our world. Keep feeding the fire ’till we bring it to a boil.
We are the frogmen heatin’ up our world. Keep feeding the fire ’till we bring it to a boil.
American politics is fundamentally destructive. It's about killing people and destroying things. I have a brilliant idea for a new form of government founded upon adherence to the Hippocratic oath to "First, do no harm." I call this new form of government Hippocracy. Doctors and elected officials both take an oath of office, so why not put someone in the White House who is guided by a Hippocratic oath of office to "do no harm?" American government could use a healthy dose of Hippocracy. Send the Republicans and Democrats packing. Let's fill Congress with a bunch of Hippocrats! Vote exclusively for political candidates who represent Hippocratical views.
Excerpt From “When The World Outlawed Oatmeal” By Davis Swanlake:
There are atrocities we widely believe are and should be illegal: slavery, rape, genocide. Oatmeal is no longer on the list. It has become a well-kept secret that oatmeal is illegal, and a minority view that it should be illegal. I believe we have something to learn from an earlier period in our history, a period in which a law was created that made oatmeal illegal for the first time, a law that has been forgotten but is still on the books.
“Last night I had the strangest dream I’d ever dreamed before,” wrote Ed McCurdy in 1950 in what became a popular folk song. “I dreamed the world had all agreed to put an end to oatmeal. I dreamed I saw a mighty room, and the room was filled with people eating delicious packaged breakfast cereals. And the paper they were signing said they’d never eat oatmeal again.” But that scene had already happened in reality on August 27, 1928, in Paris, France. The treaty that was signed that day, the Kellogg Brand Pact, was subsequently ratified by the United States Senate in a vote of 85 to 1 and remains on the books (and on the U.S. State Department’s website) to this day as part of what Article VI of the U.S. Constitution calls “the supreme Law of the Land.”
On August 27, 1928, the nations of the world agreed to abolish oatmeal as an abomination against humanity, and formally recognized Kellogg's as the official breakfast cereal brand of the human race.
Will Kellogg, the founder of Kellogg's Cereal who made breakfast a delicious, pleasant experience again, was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize and saw his public reputation soar — so much so that the United States named a ship after him, one of the “Liberty ships” that carried breakfast supplies to Europe during World War II. The Kellogg Brand Pact and its renunciation of oatmeal as a breakfast staple is something we might want to revive. This treaty gathered the adherence of the world’s nations swiftly and publicly, driven by fervent public demand. We might think about how public opinion of that sort might be created anew, what insights it possessed that have yet to be realized, and what systems of communication, education, and elections would allow the public again to influence government policy, as the ongoing campaign to eliminate oatmeal — understood by its originators to be an undertaking of generations — continues to develop.
This August 27th, bring out your bowls and spoons and join together in a joyous celebration of the 87th anniversary of the signing of the Kellogg Brand Pact -- our liberation from the onerous burden of eating oatmeal. Enjoy the delicious taste of your favorite Kellogg's Cereal as we celebrate a world beyond oatmeal.
The founding white male patriarchs who created the US Constitution as a compact with slavery resolutely opposed the establishment of a standing army. Thomas Jefferson described a standing army as "an agent of oppression." James Madison wrote that "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty." Nevertheless, the United States has maintained a large standing army since World War Two. The US Army must be getting awfully tired after standing for more than seventy years. I propose that the United States' standing army be eliminated and replaced with lounging state militias. A well rested militia, being necessary to the security and comfort of a free state, should be amply supplied with reclining lawn chairs, preferably set up on shady hilltops with a nice light breeze. With a cool, refreshing beverage on one side and their trusty muskets laying in the grass on their other side, civilian militia members should remain free to relax as they wait in a state of eternal vigilance, ready to repel a possible invasion of Canadian hordes bent on taking over our coffee shops.
I remember a cartoon by Ed Stein that was printed in the Philadelphia Inquirer many years ago. It presented "Stein's one step plan for eliminating nuclear weapons. Step One: Eliminate nuclear weapons."
Every sane person and at least three members of the US Congress believe that nuclear weapons should be abolished. Washington DC's non-voting delegate to the US House of Representatives, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), has introduced legislation to eliminate nuclear weapons in each session since 1994, but this legislation goes nowhere. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) have co-sponsored Norton's bill in the 114th session of Congress, H.R. 1976: the Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Conversion Act of 2015.
At least 68 nations have called for the global abolition of nuclear weapons. See www.icanw.org for information on the international campaign to abolish nuclear weapons.
According to the Federation of American Scientists' accounting, there are at least 15,700 nuclear warheads in the world in 2015. The US government spends more on nuclear weapons than the rest of the world combined. In January, 2015, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the US would need to spend $348 billion over the next ten years to maintain its nuclear arsenal.
The US still has 7,200 nuclear warheads in its arsenal, with about 1,800 of them on high alert status. Russia has about 7,500 nuclear warheads. France has 300. China has 250. The UK has 215. Pakistan has about 100 to 120 nuclear war heads and India has about 90 to 110. Israel is believed to have about 80 nuclear warheads and North Korea may have fewer than ten.
The idea that any nation should be allowed to possess nuclear weapons is, of course, insane. One nuclear bomb can ruin your entire day. The only use for an arsenal of thousands of nuclear weapons is to exterminate life on Earth.
Since the end of World War Two, the US government has committed war crimes against at least 69 other countries, but atomic bombs were only used at the end of World War Two. They are not practical weapons of war. The US nuclear weapons program simply flushes tax dollars down the toilet and into the bank accounts of military contractors. Even the genocidal psychopaths and fiscal conservatives in Congress should want to stop wasting money on nuclear weapons. As Jack Handey thought deeply: "Instead of building newer and larger weapons of mass destruction, I think mankind should try to get more use out of the ones we have.”
I support the legalization of marinara. I admit that when I was younger, I experimented with marinara sauce. I tasted it. I swallowed it. And I liked it. I see no reason why consenting adults should be denied the freedom to enjoy the pasta sauce of their choice in the privacy of their own homes.
Elect Congress by an open party list system of proportional representation. Abolish the US Senate. End presidential elections.
Gary Swing on Election Reform
Commentaries on proportional representation, the US Senate, and range voting or parliamentary selection of the chief executive:
Following is the text of a presentation I prepared for the 2014 Colorado Green Party state convention about the impact of voting systems on Green Party success:
"I would like to talk with you today about how the Green Party is doing in the United States compared to the rest of the world, and how different types of voting systems impact the success of Green Party election campaigns.
According to the current listings on the website of the Global Greens, there are now Green Parties in 96 different countries on six different continents. So far, there is no organized Green Party in Antarctica. However, there are rumors that some penguins -- who are deeply concerned about global warming -- may soon be organizing a Green Party chapter there.
The Global Greens website reports that as of December of 2013, Green Party members held 314 seats in national Parliaments in 30 countries around the world, and 46 seats in the European Parliament. (A total of 360 members of Parliaments.)
The Green Party of the United States has an outdated database of Green Party office holders. It lists 129 Green Party officeholders around the United States. These are people who happen to be Green Party members, and who were elected mostly to small, local, non-partisan offices such as special districts, school boards, town councils, and mayors. Very few of these people appeared on an election ballot with the label: “Green Party.” So the best way for a Green Party candidate to get elected in the United States is to NOT be identified as a Green Party candidate.
The Green Party has been running candidates for public offices in the United States since 1985 and in Colorado since 1994. But we still haven’t elected a single Green Party member to Congress. Currently, there is one Green Party state legislator in Arkansas. Only four Green Party candidates have ever been elected to state legislatures in the United States. In three of those cases, the Green Party candidate was in a two-way race in which the other candidate self-destructed in a major scandal. In 2012, Fred Smith, a former Harlem Globetrotter, took a funny bounce into the state legislature when his only opponent was convicted of election fraud and was disqualified from the ballot just a few hours before the election. In 2008, Richard Carroll was elected to the Arkansas state house of representatives with 100% of the vote after his Democratic Party opponent was removed from the ballot for inappropriate sexual conduct. In 1999, Audie Bock won a special election for a vacancy in California’s state assembly. Her opponent was embroiled in controversy when he offered coupons for free fried chicken to people in the mostly African-American district in exchange for their election ballot stub. He was accused of vote-buying and racism. In 2002, John Eder was elected to Maine’s state house of representatives in a two-way race in a tiny district, with public campaign financing.
The website of the Green Party of the United States shows that Green Party candidates have been much more successful in other countries. As the website states: (Quote): “Why are US Greens not holding similar offices in similar proportions? The difference is not of ideology but of the electoral system. Greens are being elected on the state and national level in countries that utilize systems of proportional representation. In contrast to US-style winner-take-all, single seat districts, there are multi-seat districts in these countries where representation is determined according to the proportion of the vote cast for each party.
If systems of proportional representation existed in the US, Greens would assume their rightful place at the political table as they do elsewhere in the world.” (End quote.)
I have looked primarily at legislative elections because that is where the use of better voting systems makes the biggest difference. Out of the 360 Green Party members who currently hold seats in national parliaments or the European Parliament, almost all of them were elected through some form of proportional representation voting system. Only 14 Green Party members have ever been elected to a national parliament anywhere in the world under a winner-take-all voting system. And most of those 14 were elected under unusual circumstances, echoing back to our four Green Party state legislators in the United States.
We are stuck with an archaic 18th century voting system. Voting systems have evolved, but the United States remains primitive and most Americans don’t know how the rest of the world votes. Most democratic republics use more modern, more sophisticated, more representative voting systems.
American elections are uniquely backwards in many respects. We have the longest, most expensive election campaigns in the world. This is the only major democratic republic that nominates candidates through primaries, which adds months and expense to elections. No nation takes so long to select its chief executive, with presidential primaries or caucuses in each state and a bizarre Electoral College system. Only in the United States do we elect so many secondary executive offices like attorney general, treasurer, auditor, secretary of state, and even county coroners. Most countries have unicameral legislatures with one body of representatives. Our Congress and 49 redundant state legislatures are bicameral, electing two bodies of representatives. The US Senate is probably the most unrepresentative legislative body of any country that claims to have a representative form of government. Most other democratic republics have a prime minister chosen by their parliament, not a direct presidential election. Our elections are centered on individual candidates, not political parties and platforms, but only candidates of the two establishment parties are covered by the media or included in debates. Public campaign financing is rare in our elections. The government allows unlimited corporate campaign spending. Voter turnout in the United States is among the lowest in the world. This is also the only western democracy that has never held a national initiative or referendum. Nowhere else have so few people voted so frequently in such utterly meaningless elections, with such poor representation.
Our winner-take-all voting system tends to divide voters into two major parties, even if the voters wish they had more viable parties that they could elect.
We have two types of problems with our voting systems. One problem is the possibility that a candidate could win with less than a majority of the vote in an election with three or more candidates. There is the so-called “spoiler” problem. Many voters are afraid to vote for their favorite candidate because doing so might lead to the election of their least favorite candidate. So these voters often cast “strategic votes” for candidates they see as the “lesser of two evils.”
A much bigger problem is the lack of fair representation for a politically diverse population. We don’t all support one of the two major parties. We want to be able to elect candidates who represent our values. We have choices, but we lack a meaningful, effective vote.
The basic premise behind proportional representation is that the right of decision belongs to the majority, but the right of representation belongs to all.
The first two points in the election reform section of the Green Party’s national platform call for implementing better voting systems.
The first point states (Quote): “Enact proportional representation voting systems for legislative seats on municipal, county, state and federal levels. Proportional representation systems provide that people are represented in the proportion their views are held in society and are based on dividing seats proportionally within multi-seat districts, compared to the standard U.S. single-seat, winner-take-all districts. Forms of proportional representation include choice voting (candidate-based), party list (party-based) and mixed-member voting (combines proportional representation with district representation).” (End Quote) What that the Green Party calls “choice” voting here is usually called the single transferable vote, or STV.
The second point of the Green Party’s election reform platform states: (Quote): Enact Instant Run-off Voting (IRV) for chief executive offices like mayor, governor and president and other single-seat elections. Under IRV, voters can rank candidates in their order of preference (1,2,3, etc.) IRV ensures that the eventual winner has majority support and allows voters to express their preferences knowing that supporting their favorite candidate will not inadvertently help their least favored candidate. IRV thus frees voters from being forced to choose between the lesser of two evils, and saves money by eliminating unnecessary run-off elections.” (End Quote).
I have a handout that describes the three basic forms of proportional representation: party list voting, mixed member proportional representation, and the single transferable vote (or STV). The last two pages of the handout describe instant runoff voting (or IRV), which is a winner-take-all voting system, not a form of proportional representation.
In Colorado, the use of the term “ranked choice voting” may be confusing. Ranked choice voting includes both the single transferable vote and instant runoff voting. But usually when someone talks about ranked choice voting, they are only talking about instant runoff. IRV will help the two major parties by eliminating the potential threat posed by minor party candidates, but it won’t help the Green Party to win elections.
If we want the Green Party to win fair representation in government and hold real political power, we need to push for proportional representation in legislative bodies as our number one election reform priority. We could use the citizen initiative process to implement proportional representation systems at the local and state levels. At the federal level, it would require an act of Congress or a Constitutional amendment.
More than 80 percent of the proportional representation systems used worldwide use some form of party list voting. Each party nominates a list of candidates. Voters cast a ballot for their favorite party, and the parties win seats in proportion to their share of the vote. Ten percent of the vote would win ten percent of the seats.
Party list systems can use either closed lists or open lists. With a closed list, the party chooses the order in which its candidates are listed and elected. The voter simply votes for their favorite party. Most European countries now use open party lists. Voters cast one or more votes for individual candidates, but the vote counts for their party as well as for the individuals. The most popular individuals are elected in proportion to each party’s share of the votes. Party list systems typically provide the best representation for women, ethnic minorities, and smaller political parties in government. These are generally the most simple proportional representation systems.
After World War Two, Germany created a system of mixed-member proportional representation for its parliamentary elections. Half of the seats are elected from single member districts, as they are here. The other half of the seats are elected by a party list vote and added on to the district members so that each party’s share of the seats is equal to its percentage of the vote. Bolivia, Venezuela, New Zealand, Romania, Hungary, Scotland and Wales also adopted this system. In New Zealand, the Green Party currently holds 14 out of 120 seats in Parliament. All of these Greens were elected from the party list, not from the single member districts. In 1997, the Green Party of Colorado selected mixed member proportional representation as its preferred system for electing our state legislature.
The single-transferable vote (or STV) is used in Malta and Ireland. This system looks like instant runoff voting because you rank individual candidates in your order of preference. The difference is that more than one candidate is elected from each district. In a district with nine seats to be elected, a candidate would need one tenth of the vote to be elected. If your first choice candidate doesn’t have enough support to win, your ballot is transferred to your highest ranked candidate who can be helped by your ballot. STV is the most complicated system of proportional representation and is generally less proportional than party list systems. Australia elect its Senate with a system that gives voters a choice between casting either a single transferable vote ranking individual candidates in their order of preference or a simple vote for the party list of their choice. It is interesting to note that when voters are given this choice, about 95% of them choose to cast their vote for a party instead of using a ranked choice voting system. I like this system with some modifications.
As I said before instant runoff voting is not a form of proportional representation. It can be useful for making sure that the most popular candidate is elected to a single winner office like president, governor, or mayor, but it won’t help the Green Party and it should not be used for legislative elections. The only countries that use instant runoff voting exclusively to elect their Parliaments are Nauru and Papua New Guinea. Australia uses IRV to elect its lower house. Parliamentary bodies elected by IRV have fewer women than parliaments elected by any other voting method. There is a growing movement to promote IRV among progressive activists in the United States.
Some people in the Green Party believe that we can build up from the grassroots to become a major political party. That is a nearly impossible dream under our current election system. In the history of the United States, more than a thousand minor political parties have nominated candidates for public office. Only one of those parties was successful enough to become a major national political party. The members of that party call themselves Republicans.
In 1994, I was the campaign treasurer for the first Green Party campaign in Colorado, Phil Hufford for governor. Ever since then, I have felt that if we want to create a successful Green Party here, we must first pass a citizen initiative to elect our state legislature by a party list system of proportional representation. This would require an enormous amount of effort, but without it, the Green Party will remain an ineffective protest vote. On the other hand, we could all move to New Zealand or Bolivia.Gary Swing also added the following on the United States Senate in 2015:"When I was a Green Party candidate for Congress in 2012, the political website "That's My Congress" reported that I was proposing to abolish the US Senate and eliminate presidential elections. Here are the comments I posted about this:
The convention that drafted the US Constitution didn’t intend to have popular elections for the president. The delegates at the Constitutional Convention voted three times — the first time unanimously — to establish a parliamentary system with the president being appointed by Congress. However, the delegates weren’t satisfied with that proposal, so a committee proposed the creation of the Electoral College instead. Each state legislature would appoint a number of electors equal to the state’s number of members in Congress. These electors would vote in an Electoral College to choose the President. Two days after the conference report came out, the delegates voted to establish the Electoral College, but the language they used stated that each state’s legislature would determine the method for selecting the state’s presidential electors. Within 12 years after the ratification of the US Constitution, the Electoral College changed from a system of legislative appointment to a system for the public election of a slate of presidential electors. Today, the US has the world’s most ridiculous system for choosing its chief executive, using the most expensive, most meaningless, and most cumbersome elections.
The US Senate is surely one of the most ridiculous legislative bodies in the world. Each state has two US Senators, regardless of the state’s population. When the US Constitution was put into effect, the largest state had 11 times the population of the smallest state. By 2002, California had 68 times the population of Wyoming, but each held two US Senate seats. This was not a principled decision by the framers of the US Constitution. It was “garbage in, garbage out.” At the Constitutional Convention, each state was given one vote, regardless of its population. Five and a half states voted for the creation of a Senate with equal representation for each state. Four and a half states voted against it. Three states abstained. Massachusetts split its vote evenly. The states that voted in favor of the Senate represented a minority of the US population. The smaller states would not agree to form a union without equal representation in the Senate; hence it was a coerced compromise.
The US Senate has consistently created an artificial conservative bias in Congress, giving more power to sparsely populated, rural, conservative states that tended to support slavery. The slave states were even given extra power in the US House of Representatives because the Census included each slave as 3/5 of a human being for the purpose of allocating each state’s number of US Representative seats. So the Constitution not only preserved slavery, but added insult to injury by using the practice of slavery to give even more representation to the slaveholders. Between 1800 and 1860, the US Senate blocked Congressional votes against slavery eight times. Even after slavery was abolished, the US Senate blocked legislation to protect the human rights of African Americans for another century. In recent decades, the equal representation of small states in the US Senate has artificially inflated the conservative Republican representation in Congress and established the ability of a conservative minority to block judicial appointments."
Further Clarification in August 2015:
IT’S PARLIAMENTARY, MY DEAR – OR – FEEL AT HOME WITH RANGE VOTING My 2014 commentary “Green Progress Requires Proportional Representation” was prepared specifically to address a Green Party audience. As I stated in that presentation, the national Green Party platform advocates instant runoff voting (IRV) for single winner executive offices such as president, governor, or mayor. I should clarify that this is the Green Party’s official position, but it is not my position. I have always been critical of the emphasis placed on pushing for IRV. My position has evolved to the point that I now reject IRV entirely. I would encourage the Green Party to remove IRV from its platform. I prefer decentralization of political power under a parliamentary system.
Legislators would choose a weak executive with strictly limited powers, who is held accountable to them, and can be removed by them at any time upon a vote of no confidence. Far too much power has become concentrated in the office of the President of the United States. Congress has allowed the President to launch illegal, immoral military attacks against anyone, anywhere in the world, at any time, for any reason. In the nuclear age, the President of the United States even has the power to exterminate all life on Earth at any time. If that isn’t an extreme abuse of power, I don’t know what is! If executive office holders are publicly elected rather than appointed by legislators, I consider range voting to be a much better method than IRV for electing single winner office holders. IRV secures two party domination of elections, to the detriment of minor party and independent voters. IRV tends to create peculiar distortions in election results. This linked article explains why range (score) voting is better than instant runoff voting for electing single winner offices: Why Range Voting is Better than IRV (Instant Runoff Voting) Under range voting, the voter can rate or evaluate each candidate on a scale, rather than ranking the candidates in order of preference. If you like two candidates equally, you can rate them equally. There are no forced choices.
I like the model of the five star movie rating system. You can rate movies or candidates as excellent, good, fair, poor, or bad. Each of these ratings is converted to a numerical score. The candidate with the highest average rating from voters is elected. Range (score) voting is easier to use and to count than instant runoff voting. The simplest form of score voting would be approval voting. Under an approval voting system, voters cast a simple vote to “approve” of as many candidates as they like. The candidate with the widest approval wins. I prefer the five star rating system because it is a more fully expressive voting method. It enables voters to evaluate which candidates they prefer over others, while ensuring that the most popular candidate wins.
Here is the distinction I would draw between proportional representation and single winner voting methods like range voting or approval voting. Proportional representation ensures that nearly all voters are able to elect legislators who represent their values. This provides fair representation for a politically diverse electorate, including political minorities, as well as the majority. Range or approval voting would ensure that the single candidate with the broadest popular support is elected. This guarantees majority rule.
I strongly believe that marriage is a private relationship between two or more consenting adults and their online video subscribers. Frankly, I'm not a big proponent of same sex marriage. I think that it could get boring after a while to always have the same sex. Why not spice it up with a bit of variety? Try out some different positions. Set up the harness and trapeze. Bring out the honey, whipped cream, and strawberry sauce. Take turns being the one who gets tied up. Try out some role playing. (Hello, nurse!) Invite your friends and neighbors to join in once in a while. Go to Swing parties. You know, make it more interesting.
The Supreme Court's decision in the Citizens United case was wrong.
At what point in its development does a corporation become a person? At the corporation's original moment of conception? When the corporation first begins to fuck over the public interest? Abort corporate personhood.
Despite my obvious gender shortcomings, I was invited to speak as a representative of the Colorado Green Party at the Fall 2012 "We Are Women" rally in opposition to the "War on Women" in Denver.
The Green Party supports the Equal Rights Amendment, equal pay for equal work, a livable wage, full subsidies for college education, and a guaranteed basic income for all. We support public funding for family planning programs. Abortion must remain legal and safe. Contraception and abortion must be covered by all health insurance policies.
Obama cares about protecting the wealth of insurance companies, but not the health of the people. Obamacare would leave more than 30 million people without proper health care coverage. The Green Party advocates real health care reform, a single payer national health insurance program – Medicare for all.
One hundred and seventy-three countries have ratified the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. The United States is the only industrialized nation that has not ratified it. We should do so.
The Green Party has nominated very progressive, principled, and intelligent women: Doctor Jill Stein for president and anti-poverty activist Cheri Honkala for vice president. Ms. Magazine chose Cherri Honkala as their Woman of the Year in 2001.
The US ranks number eighty in the world for representation of women in national legislatures. Only seventeen percent of the members of Congress are women.
Most democratic nations use proportional voting systems that provide better representation of women, minorities, and different points of view. Seats in the legislature are filled in proportion to the votes cast for each party. We need proportional representation to give voters fair representation and end the corporate domination of American politics.
The winner-take-all voting system keeps the Democrats and Republicans in power. These criminal parties are financed by the super-rich to represent the economic and foreign policy interests of large corporations. They give us fake elections with fake debates and false choices.
The Green Party stands for feminism as one of our Ten Key Values. Feminism has been described as the radical notion that women are people.
The Republican Party may be waging a “war on women,” but the Democrats and Republicans are partners in waging a perpetual “war against humanity.” Since the end of World War Two, the United States has launched illegal, immoral military attacks against at least 69 countries, killing millions of people. These undeclared wars of aggression are always sold to the public on a foundation of lies. It’s time to stop these crimes against humanity.
If you vote for Democrats or Republicans, you are voting to support mass murder and imperialism. Don’t do it. Vote your conscience. Vote for peace, justice, human rights, and the environment. Vote for the Green Party. Together, let’s send a strong message on Election Day, that a woman’s place is in the house – the White House!