Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tell the Attorney General: Immediately suspend & investigate Governor Rick Scott's voter purging in Florida

Here we go again. They did it for George W. Bush in 2000, and now the Republicans are working to steal the 2012 Presidential election for Mitt Romney in Florida.

Florida has been mailing "ominous and legalistic" letters to thousands of potentially eligible voters as "non-U.S. citizens." Unless Florida Governor Rick Scott immediately orders the suspension of these purging efforts targeting "Hispanic, Democratic and independent-minded voters" by June 9, thousands of eligible voters in Florida could be disenfranchised before this year's Presidential elections.

I just told Attorney General Eric Holder to immediately suspend and investigate Governor Scott's efforts to purge thousands of eligible citizens from the voter rolls in Florida. I hope you will join the cause by signing this petition as well. 

"If history is violence and sex, I'd rather not pay my respects. If I've caused offense, I'm just trying to talk sense. Forgive me if I'm too direct or politically incorrect." Jon Foreman


Zogby has agreed to include Governor Johnson in their polling!  A few others have yet to respond.

Please call the following companies and ask them to include Gov. Gary Johnson:

GALLUP: 202-715-3030, 404-525-9930, 949-474-7900, or 312-357-0199
RASMUSSEN: 732-776-9777 
MASON-DIXON: 202-548-2680
MARQUETTE: 414-288-7445 or 608-263-2022
QUINNIPIAC: 203-582-5201
SURVEY USA: 800-786-8000

Your calls will make the difference! 

Call for Gary Johnson (Libertarian), Virgil Goode (Constitution), Jill Stein (Green) or all three!

"If history is violence and sex, I'd rather not pay my respects. If I've caused offense, I'm just trying to talk sense. Forgive me if I'm too direct or politically incorrect." Jon Foreman


Did you think it could get any worse? Now they want to legalize the use of propaganda on American citizens -- and the vote could happen next week.
An amendment legalizing the use of mass propaganda campaigns on American audiences has been inserted into the latest defense authorization bill — and that bill just passed the House.
Please click here to demand that the Senate oppose ending the propaganda ban:
The NDAA amendment lifts bans on propaganda that have been around since the 1940s, neutralizing laws put in place to protect the American people from its government’s own “misinformation” campaigns.
“It removes the protection for Americans,” a Pentagon official told Buzzfeed, who broke the story. "There are no checks and balances. No one knows if the information is accurate, partially accurate, or entirely false.”
The amendment would remove all distinction between a hostile foreign audience and American one, turning the massive information operation apparatus within the federal government against its own people.
This amendment cannot become law. Will you join us in demanding that the Senate oppose this amendment to the NDAA? Just click here:

"If history is violence and sex, I'd rather not pay my respects. If I've caused offense, I'm just trying to talk sense. Forgive me if I'm too direct or politically incorrect." Jon Foreman

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Help Save Children in Syria!

Dear friends, 

The pictures from Al Houla, Syria, last Friday are almost too brutal to look at. I have a 5 year old daughter and I know it's only luck of birth that separates her from this horror. But my shock led me to write this today as I know there is something we can all do together to stop this. 

Dozens of children lie covered with blood, their faces show the fear they felt before death, and their innocent lifeless bodies reveal an unspeakable massacre. These children were slaughtered by men under strict orders to sow terror. Yet all the diplomats have come up with so far is a few UN monitors 'observing' the violence. Now, governments across the world are expelling Syrian ambassadors, but unless we demand strong action on the ground, they will settle for these diplomatic half-measures.

The UN is discussing what to do right now. If there were a large international presence across Syria with a mandate to protect civilians, we could prevent the worst massacres while leaders engage in political efforts to resolve the conflict. I cannot see more images like these without shouting from the rooftops. But to stop the violence, it is going to take all of us, with one voice, demanding protection for these kids and their families. Click to call for UN action now and send this to everyone:

A child's death is tragic in any circumstance. The UN says 108 people were killed in the onslaught, 49 of them children under the age of 10, and the youngest was a 2 year old girl. 90% of the population of Al Houla has now fled their homes. As I put my daughter to bed last night, I tried to consider what the mothers and fathers and grandparents of these children feel. The sheer pain and desperation is unimaginable, but there will also be deep anger and hate for those that did this. Until all of us stop these attacks on the people of Syria, the cycle of violence will not end. 

Let's not forget -- this bloodbath began over a year ago with thousands of people peacefully protesting on the streets -- calling, like their brothers and sisters across the region, for freedom and democracy. But the regime responded with brutality and violence -- murdering, torturing, abducting and laying siege to entire cities. The international community did not intervene, letting geopolitical concerns obstruct our responsibility to protect. Then, in desperation to protect their families and fight back against the repression, some took up arms. Now it is an armed conflict -- and if the world continues to do nothing it will become a full blown sectarian war that may last for generations and breed the kind of terrorist attacks we have yet to imagine in our worst nightmares.

When dozens of children are murdered in cold blood by the army and their militias -- it is time for serious action. Assad, his henchmen and his murderous army must be held to account and the people of Syria protected. Nothing the international community has done yet has pried Assad from his murderous grip on power. The few UN monitors on the ground were powerless to stop the Al Houla killings -- they only served to count the tiny bodies. But if we sent in hundreds of monitors to each of the fourteen regions of Syria, Assad's assassins would think twice. 

The world looked away with Srebrenica, and with Rwanda. If all of us respond today -- we can make sure that these children's tragic deaths act as the tipping point for all of us everywhere to say NO MORE! But if we turn away, so will our leaders. Let's join voices from every corner of the earth and make it impossible for our leaders to ignore our cry. In respect for these dear children and their families, click to join the global call to demand a massive UN presence on the ground now!

The Avaaz community has stood with the people of Syria for fifteen months, denouncing the Syrian regime, calling for sanctions, supporting communities across the country with aid, and giving equipment to citizen journalists to get the word out about the violence. Let's today make the Al Houla massacre the watershed moment for change and insist that our governments no longer stand by shaking their heads and turning their backs. 

With deep sadness and determination,

Alice and the whole Avaaz team


Annan: 'Bold steps' needed for Syria peace (Al Jazeera)

UN envoy 'horrified' by Syria massacre, 108 dead (AP)

Fresh violence in Syria despite Annan warning (BBC)

Exclusive dispatch: Assad blamed for massacre of the innocents (The Independent)

Syrian Ambassadors expelled (The Guardian)

"If history is violence and sex, I'd rather not pay my respects. If I've caused offense, I'm just trying to talk sense. Forgive me if I'm too direct or politically incorrect." Jon Foreman

Gary Johnson: Americans become more Libertarian

"If history is violence and sex, I'd rather not pay my respects. If I've caused offense, I'm just trying to talk sense. Forgive me if I'm too direct or politically incorrect."Jon Foreman

Libertarian Party releases first ad featuring Gary Johnson |

Libertarian Party releases first ad featuring Gary Johnson | "If history is violence and sex, I'd rather not pay my respects. If I've caused offense, I'm just trying to talk sense. Forgive me if I'm too direct or politically incorrect."Jon Foreman

A Statement from the Occupy Student Debt Campaign

(With the birthday of my blog being a week away, this is a good one to reblog, especially if you recall my first post, "Why Don't You Cut Your Hair?!")

Everybody is now talking about the student debt crisis, but nothing is being done about it. 

Thanks in large part to the great public amplifier of the Occupy movement, this year’s presidential contenders have been forced to embrace student loan reform as a talking point in their respective campaigns. But the debt relief being pushed by the Obama administration is a token gesture, aimed at getting some traction on the youth vote -- especially the more disillusioned or alienated student constituencies. Recent bills introduced in Congress -- Student Loan Forgiveness Act (H.R. 4170) and the Private Student Bankruptcy Fairness Act (H.R. 2028) -- have zero chance of passing in anything like their current form. Practically speaking, no reform program of any substance is on the legislative horizon, least of all one that would regulate the predatory lending practices of Wall Street banks.

The truth is that student debt relief is too important to be left to elected officials. They are chronically dependent on the financial backing of the lending industry, and are structurally incapable of addressing this crisis, let alone resolving it. As a result, reform initiatives such as Student Loan Justice and Forgive Student Debt (to Stimulate the Economy) that have been aimed at petitioning lawmakers have very little to show for all their hard effort. 

The recent federal modifications in payment schedules are micro-cosmetic compared to the sea-change that is required to free debtors of their intolerable burdens and rescue higher education from its increasing use as a profit engine for financiers, asset speculators, and real estate developers. The pathway to this outcome does not lie in futile pleas for economic reform, but through a political movement, driven by self-empowerment and direct action on the part of debtors.  

The Occupy Student Debt Campaign was launched at Zuccotti Park in November 2011 with the goal of building a student debt abolition movement. Our campaign is based on principles for which we believe there is widespread support

1) Free public education, through federal coverage of tuition fees. 
2) Zero-interest student loans, so that no one can profit from them
3) Fiscal transparency at all universities, public as well as private
4) The elimination of current student debt, through a single act of relief.

These are interlocking principles, and should not stand on their own. Imagine a world in which lawmakers were to respond positively to the current calls for debt “forgiveness” (an unfortunate term that implies the debtor has sinned). Such a measure would offer much-needed relief, but it would still disadvantage future debtors if it were not complemented by remedies that brought to an end the practice of compelling students to privately fund higher education by going into debt bondage. So, too, a singular focus on reducing interest rates (even to zero) is more likely to encourage colleges to increase their fees than to open up equitable access to education. 

In light of Wall Street’s stranglehold on Congress, the Occupy Student Debt Campaign holds that alternative strategies are necessary to promote and publicize our principles. That is why it endorses the practice of debt refusal as a legitimate response to the predicament of individuals and communities targeted by predatory lenders, or by state officials seeking to pass on the costs of the financial crisis in the guise of austerity measures. Greece, Chile, England, Italy, Spain, and Quebec have all seen popular revolts against government efforts to preserve, and extend, the power of financial elites to discipline selected populations. With each new outbreak of people’s voices, the imposition of debt is publicly exposed, not simply as a means of redistributing wealth upwards, but also as an instrument of social control.
Under current U.S. laws, defaulting on a student debt carries serious penalties. These laws are unjust, but they are a sharp deterrent to individuals who might otherwise consider refusing their debts. In response, our campaign advocates collective action. Even in its absence, the default rates are accelerating, with alarming consequences. Our Pledge of Refusal is framed as a debt strike threat (debtors pledge to withhold payments once a million others have signed). We welcome, and will support, other forms of debt refusal/strike that are consistent with the aim of building a broad political movement.            

The culture of honoring all debts, even those unjustly incurred, is not universally respected, least of all on Wall Street. Loans are new forms of money and credit. They are created from nothing for the ultimate benefit of the lender; they are little more than numbers on a computer screen. Bankers know this, and so they treat their own debts accordingly, as matters to be renegotiated, restructured, or written off. Only the little people are supposed to pay in full. As this double standard becomes more and more apparent, debt refusal will emerge as the most rational response to an immoral predicament. 
The struggle over wages was a defining feature of the industrial era. We believe that the struggle over debt will play a similar role in our own times. Not because wage-conflict is over (it never will be), but because debts, for most people, are the wages of the future.

Join Us! 

The Occupy Student Debt Campaign
Twitter: @StdntDebtPledge
Facebook: OccupyStudentDebtCampaign

(N.B. Our campaign tactics differ from those who own the Occupy Student Debt domain name, and who have no relationship to Occupy Wall Street)

"If history is violence and sex, I'd rather not pay my respects. If I've caused offense, I'm just trying to talk sense. Forgive me if I'm too direct or politically incorrect." Jon Foreman

Green Party FAQ: What the media should know about Green pres. candidates & the nomination


For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-904-7614,
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805,

Green Party FAQ: What the media should know about the race for the Green presidential nomination, Green ballot lines, and the 2012 Green National Convention

• 2012 Green Presidential Nominating Convention, July 12-15 in Baltimore, Md.
Media Credentialing page

• Green Party Livestream Channel, featuring videos of Green presidential candidates addressing the Iowa Green Party on May 26

WASHINGTON, DC -- The Green Party has compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions from journalists about the Green presidential candidates, 2012 Green National Convention, and the party itself. Greens invite journalists to use this FAQ guide as a resource for information throughout this election year and to contact us for more information.

• Who are the candidates competing for the Green Party's presidential nomination?

Roseanne Barr
Kent Mesplay
Jill Stein

Jill Stein is the frontrunner, having won 138 of the 184 delegates assigned so far. Roseanne Barr, in second place, has been endorsed by the Green Party Black Caucus and the Green Party of Philadelphia.

Greens have welcomed Kent Mesplay, now recognized by the Green Party as a presidential candidate, to the race.

See also:
Green presidential campaign news
Candidates' bios
Results of state Green Party primaries, conventions, and caucuses

• How will the Green nominee be chosen?

State Green Parties have been participating in primary elections and hold statewide conventions and caucuses to apportion delegates for the nomination, which will take place on Saturday, July 14 at the Green Party's 2012 National Convention in Baltimore, Md. ( The convention runs from July 12 to July 15 will be held on the campus of the University of Baltimore. 

During the one or more rounds of voting by delegates, the first presidential candidate to gain more than half of the votes will win the nomination.

The 50 states, District of Columbia, and US territories have widely varying rules for party status and ballot access, so the various state Green Parties have their own rules for choosing delegates. The Green Party is tracking the results of the state primaries, conventions, and caucuses (

• Can the media attend the Green Party's 2012 National Convention? What will be the highlights?

The Green Party invites and encourages journalists from all media to cover the convention. Bloggers are invited too. We urge journalists to let us know they will attend and cover the convention by registering on our Media Credentialing page (, so that we can prepare for their participation and better accommodate them. Journalists can also register on site.

The Green Party will hold an introductory press conference on Thursday, July 12, at 4 p.m. More press conferences will take place on Friday and will feature Green candidates for state and local office and current Green officeholders.

On Saturday (nomination day), a press conference at 9 a.m. will introduce the presidential candidates. There will be a reserved media section for journalists in the auditorium where the nomination takes place. After the nomination, the Green Party will hold a press conference for the presidential and vice presidential nominees, probably beginning between 4 and 5 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.

The University of Baltimore venues for the press conferences and the nomination will be announced as the convention approaches, as will the names of Green state and local candidates and officeholders participating in press conferences and other convention details. We invite journalists at the convention to meet Green Party members, explore other events on the schedule, and get to know us.

• How many ballot lines will the Green Party have on Election Day?

The Green Party of the United States is aiming for at least 46 state ballot lines. The party is currently on the ballot in 20 states. More information:

• Why does the Green Party run presidential candidates, when it's so unlikely they will win on Election Day?

The most important reason is that Americans deserve a real choice on Election Day. Voters deserve the right to vote for whichever candidates best represent their interests, ideals, and values -- without being told that their choice is restricted to two candidates. The Democratic and Republican parties together represent a narrow range of ideas and policies. Both established parties and their candidates accept millions of dollars in contributions from powerful corporate lobbies. The Green Party and Green candidates accept no corporate money.

The Green presidential ticket leads the party's slate of candidates for all offices. The nominees express the party's platform, principles, and positions and generate national attention for the Green Party. They also help raise publicity and contributions for state and local candidates during their campaign tours.

Some states use numbers of votes cast for a presidential candidate among their qualifications for party recognition.

• What challenges do Green candidates face in their campaigns?

The greatest challenges are the grossly unfair and antidemocratic election rules in many states. Democratic and Republican politicians in such states have together enacted ballot access rules that privilege themselves and obstruct independent and alternative party candidates.

Pennsylvania in recent years has required Democratic and Republican candidates in statewide elections (for Governor, US Senator, President) to hand in ballot petitions with at least 2,000 valid signatures, while requiring a minimum number "equal to 2 per cent of the total vote of the highest vote cast in the state in the previous election" (ranging between 20,000 and 67,000 in recent elections) from alternative party and independent candidates, along with the threat of excessive, financially ruinous fees for trying to qualify for the ballot.

In Alabama, a party on the ballot by petition or by a previous statewide vote can retain ballot access through the next election by polling 20% for president. In Oklahoma and Virginia, the same process requires 10%. (See Greens, often in coalition with other parties, have worked to overturn unfair rules by petitioning state legislatures and filing lawsuits. There are current or pending lawsuits with the Green Party as a plaintiff in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Greens in Georgia, where 2008 Green presidential nominee Cynthia McKinney has announced her run for the US House, have filed a lawsuit along with the Constitution Party against their state's ballot access laws, which have been called the most obstructive in the US (

Green presidential candidates are routinely excluded from debates sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), which is owned and operated by the Democratic and Republican parties. The CPD took over the debates from the League of Women Voters in 1988 for the purpose of barring other parties' candidates, as internal memos from the CPD have shown.

Finally, Green candidates must sometimes deal with the mistaken belief among some voters that only Democrats and Republicans are the only "legitimate" candidates or that a two-party limit is enshrined in the US Constitution.

• Are Greens concerned that a Green presidential candidate might affect the election outcome in 2012, after accusations that Ralph Nader gave us eight years of George W. Bush in 2000?

Al Gore very likely won Florida and therefore won the 2000 election. ("[A consortium of news organizations], looking at a broader group of rejected ballots than those covered in the court decisions, 175,010 in all, found that Mr. Gore might have won if the courts had ordered a full statewide recount of all the rejected ballots." New York Times, November 12, 2001,

The 2000 accusation is based on the idea that obstruction of voters, manipulation of vote counts, and a possible election theft by a major party (the GOP) are less dangerous to our democracy than the right of an alternative party to participate fair and square. The accusation suggests that some parties are entitled to votes and others are not.

Greens are less concerned about the Obama-Romney contest than with the fact that neither has an adequate jobs program, climate-change action program, or plan to halt home foreclosures; both have embraced military attacks without provocation on other countries; both join their parties in favor of the $600 billion "fiscal cliff" for the post-election lame duck Congress; both favor profits for the health insurance industry over the right of all Americans to quality health care (Medicare For All); both support indefinite detention without due process and other violations of constitutional and international law. Neither corporate-sponsored party protects our rights or addresses the crises we face.

Greens encourage Americans who want fair and open elections to help us replace at-large and winner-take-all voting with important democratic reforms like Instant Runoff Voting (also called Ranked-Choice Voting) and Proportional Representation. Ireland has used IRV since 1937. Runoffs were held in this year's elections in France and Egypt.

• What is the Green Party's relation to the Occupy Movement?

The Occupy Movement is nonpartisan and does not support any party or candidate. Greens respect this principle and encourage Occupiers to do what they do best -- build a popular movement against policies that have enriched and empowered Wall Street (the "one percent") while hurting working Americans.

All three Green presidential candidates, as well as many other Greens, have participated in Occupy protests and on some occasions were asked to speak at Occupy rallies. The Green Party's platform and positions are consistent with the Occupy Movement's grievances about the growth of corporate power and US government's descent into oligarchy, military aggression, and ecological irresponsibility. We encourage all voters who share these concerns to register and vote Green.


Green Party of the United States
• 2012 Green Party Presidential Nominating Convention, July 12-15 in Baltimore, Md.
• Green candidate database and campaign information:
• News Center
• Speakers Bureau
• Ballot Access Page
• Video Page
• Green Papers
• Google+
• Twitter
• Livestream Channel
• GP-TV Twitter page
• Facebook page

Green Pages: The official publication of record of the Green Party of the United States

"If history is violence and sex, I'd rather not pay my respects. If I've caused offense, I'm just trying to talk sense. Forgive me if I'm too direct or politically incorrect." Jon Foreman

A Brief Introduction to the Libertarian Party

     The Libertarian Party was founded in December of 1971 in the house of David Nolan, who is often credited with founding the party. The party was founded because of many frustrations, including the Vietnam War, Conscription and the end of the Gold Standard. The Libertarian Party is the third largest and fastest growing political party in the United States. In the thirty states where voters can register by party, there are over 225,000 voters registered with the Libertarian Party.
In 1996, the Libertarian Party became the first third party to earn ballot status in all 50 states two presidential elections in a row and currently the Libertarian Party is organized in all 50 states.
The Libertarian Party's platform, when stated simply, is that they are socially liberal and believe in laissez-faire markets. Still, they are not that simple minded. They believe in overturning the 16th amendment, believing that the free market and the private sector are the greatest at not only creating jobs, but at caring for the poor. The Libertarian party believes that the entire social welfare system should be eliminated, saying that those that cannot support themselves must once again learn to rely on supportive family, church, community, or private charity to bridge the gap.
Concerning Immigration, they don't believe in Amnesty, a wall, a fence on the border, heavier security on the border or a national ID. What they do believe in is making the law "more closely conform to how millions of normal people actually live." Basically making the process of applying for citizenship much simpler then the way it currently is with all the red tape and bureaucracy. The plan that the party has laid down concerning immigration is that newly legalized workers can be assessed fines and back taxes and serve probation befitting the misdemeanor they've committed. They can be required to take their place at the back of the line should they eventually apply for permanent residency."
They believe that the drug war is part of our conflict and that our border issues come from our 'War on Drugs' which, like all wars we are in, are something that Libertarians as a party oppose. They point to the prohibition of alcohol when speaking about the 'War on Drugs.' Making alcohol illegal, Libertarians contest, caused the formation of the mafia and organized crime, which caused a lot of violence in the name of making and selling illegal alcohol. It is argued that the gangs of today and the violence on the border is caused by the prohibition of drugs. If drugs are made legal, then organized crime won't have business in transporting and selling them. They believe that this will cause a decrease in illegal immigration and violence on the border.
An important thing to mention also is that the Libertarian Party favors the repeal of all crimes without victims.
The party also believes that, "sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the government's treatment of individuals." They believe in equal rights for marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration and military service. They believe that consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships.
They would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid. They have two pillars of what they consider 'sane foreign policy', which are: Building positive relationships, with an emphasis on free trade and avoiding negative relationships, with an emphasis on military non-intervention.
All of that to say that the Libertarian Party is THE small government party. The party of the free-market and of individual liberties, regardless of whether or not they agree with what you do with those individual liberties. The biggest concern of the Libertarian Party, as I can see it (notice I'm writing my own opinion now) is that no one infringes on another person's rights. And finding that line will always be the ongoing debate, but it seems, at least, that the Libertarian Party knows where it is and where it wants to go. They do have enough ballot access to win enough electoral votes to win the White House in November. Their candidate, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson also is about half way to being eligible to debate in the three presidential elections against the Democrat and the Republican nominees.

Libertarian Party Website

Find Your State

Libertarian Party Facebook


Other Libertarian Party Social Networks

And remember that following them on Facebook or Twitter, or even receiving email updates doesn't mean you've cast your vote for their candidate, it just exposes you to a new side of the debate, opens you up to new information, should you be interested in it. I'd like to think that if you're here, that you are.

Lastly, if you're interested in the Libertarian Party and like what you've read, look for my post on Gov. Gary Johnson and the Vice Presidential Nominee Jim Gray, in the next few weeks.

Thanks for coming,

- J.A. Fisher

"If history is violence and sex, I'd rather not pay my respects. If I've caused offense, I'm just trying to talk sense. Forgive me if I'm too direct or politically incorrect." Jon Foreman