Stein/Baraka August 27th, 2016 UpDates: #ImWithSteinBaraka

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From The Huffington Post.com:

If You’re Worried About Trump’s ‘Alt-Right’ Then Vote Jill Stein, Not Hillary Clinton

Dr. Jill Stein, presumptive Green Party presidential nominee, speaks at a rally in Philadelphia, Tuesday, July 26, 2016, during the second day of the Democratic National Convention. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Dr. Jill Stein, presumptive Green Party presidential nominee, speaks at a rally in Philadelphia, Tuesday, July 26, 2016, during the second day of the Democratic National Convention. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

By H. A. Goodman

Donald Trump has pandered to the extreme right this election, but Republicans have always engaged in this form of politics. My first Salon article (long before Joan Walsh lobbied the publication to stop publishing me) was in 2014, regarding Paul Ryan’s “tailspin of culture”comments. From Romney’s “47% Percent” remark to Reagan’s use of the “welfare queen” stereotype, Republicans have used race as a political weapon. Trump didn’t start the GOP’s use of racism to gain votes, but he’s been more vocal than previous Republican nominees. There’s a reason he won the Republican Primary and Tea Party politics has gained greater influence within the GOP.

However, to assume that Hillary Clinton’s speech on Trump’s “alt-right” political alliance makes the case for voting Democrat ignores recent history. Clinton and Trump are two sides of the same coin, especially considering Trump donated $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation and is friends with Bill and Hillary Clinton. Voting for the lesser evil in 2016 (assuming you view Clinton to be less evil) only bolsters the ability of establishment Democrats to take money from prison lobbyists, without the condemnation of progressive media. Therefore, the only logical choice to truly undermine “alt-right” political ideology is voting for the Green Party’s Jill Stein. I explain in this YouTube segment why progressives shouldn’t worry about Trump and must vote Jill Stein to transform America’s lesser-evil political system.

Jill Stein is the antithesis of Hillary Clinton and Trump on the subject of race. Unlike Clinton, who’d take incremental steps on the drug war and mass incarceration (assuming she keeps her word if elected), as well as other issues pertaining to race, Stein and Ajamu Baraka vigorously address these topics. Jill Stein’s Green Party platform on Criminal Justice reform highlights immediate structural change:

End the failed war on drugs. Replace drug prohibition with harm reduction. Legalize marijuana/hemp. Treat substance abuse as a health problem, not a criminal offense.

Release nonviolent drug offenders from prison,removing such offenses from their records, and provide them with both pre- and post-release support.

End police brutality, mass incarceration and institutional racism within our justice system.Support the Black Lives Matter Movement.

Demilitarize police. End use of SWAT teams and no-knock raids for drugs and serving papers.

Repair our communities rather than dump resources into the prison-industrial complex.

Establish police review boards so that communities control their police, and not the other way around. Appoint dedicated investigators to investigate every death or serious injury at the hands of police.

Eliminate harsh mandatory sentencing requirements which often result in unjustified sentences.

Hillary Clinton won’t push to legalize marijuana or end the death penalty and certainly won’t establish “police review boards so that communities control their police.” As for the prison-industrial complex, Clinton took money from prison lobbyists (more money than Jeb Bush this election) and often says one thing, then alters policy positions according to polls. If crime ever goes up during a Clinton presidency, rest assured Hillary will adopt Bill’s policies.

Before continuing with Jill Stein’s transformative agenda to address the dilemma of racial injustice, let’s compare Trump’s “alt-right” rhetoric to Hillary Clinton’s actual record on racial issues. We know Trump’s comments about immigrants and his Islamophobia, but what about Hillary Clinton?

According to Boston’s Black Lives Matter President Daunasia Yancey, Hillary Clinton’s racial justice record is “abysmal.” In 2008, South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn was concerned enough with Bill Clinton’s political attacks against Obama to say “I can understand him wanting to defend his wife’s honor…But you can’t do that in a way that won’t engender the kind of feelings that seem to be bubbling up as a result of this.” Also in 2008, Hillary Clinton used a 3 a.m. ad that Harvard’s Orlando Patterson believed contained a“racist sub-message” and reminded him somewhat of “Birth of a Nation.”

Then of course there’s Ashley Williams in 2015, who protested Hillary Clinton’s use of the phrase “super-predator” and forced an apology (“I shouldn’t have used those words”) out of the former Secretary of State. During this election, you’ll never get establishment Democrats to condemn Hillary Clinton’s use of racism, or Bill Clinton’s role in mass incarceration. Joan Walsh will write a book titledWhat’s the Matter with White People? but stay silent about Clinton’s racist 3 a.m. ad against Obama. She’ll also label Bernie voters (watch Jordan Chariton win a debate with Walsh on this issue) to be privileged white males, without realizing Nina Turner, Tim Black, and Susan Sarandon aren’t white males.

In 2016, there’s absolutely zero condemnation of Hillary Clinton’s flawed record on race; simply the paranoid viewpoint that any criticism will lead to a Republican presidency.

After all, Trump is crazy, so Hillary Clinton’s vote for a border fence isn’t relevant. As Clinton once statedpertaining to immigration reform, “I voted numerous times when I was a senator to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in. And I do think you have to control your borders.” While not as insulting as Trump, Clinton plays both sides of the issue, depending on whom she’s speak to, and whether or not she needs certain votes.

Today’s “alt-right” social media comments overshadow the fact Democrats have also engaged in similar politics. Professor Orlando Patterson highlighted the essence of Democratic politics when he stated “It is striking, too, that during the same weekend the ad was broadcast, Mrs. Clinton refused to state unambiguously that Mr. Obama is a Christian and has never been a Muslim.”

Why did Hillary Clinton refuse to state categorically that Barack Obama was Christian and not Muslim in 2008?

TPM, Slate, and The Daily Beast don’t care about Hillary Clinton’s racism, only Trump’s use of this political weapon. As long as Trump is worse, anything goes with Clinton. This dynamic exists as well withforeign policy and other key issues.

Progressive media’s amnesia and acceptance of racism, when it’s Bill Clinton flying back to Arkansas towitness the execution of a black man (in order to seem tough on crime) or Hillary Clinton calling black youthsuper-predators, is far more dangerous than Trump’s white supremacist voters. This element of the GOP will always exist—with or without Donald Trump—and racism has always been alive in American politics. The only way it becomes truly mainstream is if progressives voting for Clinton ignore her failures on the issue of race. Focusing on Trump’s obvious missteps, as if this makes Democrats infinitely better, is simply a cowardly way of circumventing a complicated predicament.

From Hillary Clinton’s prison lobbyist donors in 2015 to her campaign spreading a photo of Obama in African attire (David Plouffe called it “the most shameful, offensive fear-mongering we’ve seen from either party in this election”), Democrats ignore racism when winning is at stake. Like Tim Black explains in thefollowing segment, Hillary is scarier than Trump on the biggest issues in 2016, especially when Democrats force people into lesser-evil voting.

Tim Black, Benjamin Dixon, Yvette Carnell and other powerful political voices would never vote for Trump, but they also haven’t forgotten Hillary Clinton’s use of racism. As for Jill Stein being infinitely better than Clinton or Trump on this issue and many others, watchTim Black’s interview with the Green Party’s presidential candidate. Regarding Clinton’s similarity to Trump on the issue of race, I explain in this YouTube segment why Clinton’s “alt-right” speech conveniently ignores her record.

Finally, to seriously address racial justice issues Americans need greater options, not simply lesser evils. For this reason, voters should read the followingletter from Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka regarding the upcoming debates:

Today Green Party Presidential candidate, Jill Stein, along with her Vice Presidential running mate, Ajamu Baraka, published an open letter to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton urging them to participate in open debates that include all four campaigns that have the potential to achieve 270 electoral college votes.

The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), actually a corporation controlled by the Democratic and Republican National Committees and funded by big business donors, stifles real democracy by limiting debates to candidates from their parties.

We can’t have democracy without a free exchange of ideas and an informed public. Debates are the most important way for voters to get information.

Like any other contentious issue, from war to racial justice, nothing will change if Democrats and Republicans control the agenda. It’s time for the Green Party to have its voice heard by American voters.

Simply mocking Trump with snarky headlines and chastising the extreme right won’t solve racial injustice in America. Structural change is needed and only Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka are bold enough to address structural dilemmas. While Clinton might be more polished on the issue of race than Trump, her record speaks for itself, and Stein offers a clear alternative to the status quo. If you fear the “alt-right,” then only Jill Stein can serve as a true alternative to an American political system where both major parties utilize racism to win votes.

Thank you H. A. Goodman & The Huffington Post.com


Open the Debates!

It’s time for the 60% of Americans who say we need a new major party to stand up for our right to open debates.  

Sign the petition to show your support for opening up the debates!

To the Commission on Presidential Debates:

We, the undersigned, demand that the Presidential debates include all Presidential candidates who have qualified for enough state ballots to be a choice for a majority of voters.

Polls show that 50% of Americans do not identify as either Democrat or Republican. This means that the Presidential debates as currently managed are locking out the diverse voices and views of half of all Americans.

The Commission on Presidential Debates may sound like an impartial, public body, but it is actually a private organization run by the Democratic and Republican parties. When these two establishment parties took over the debates in 1989, the League of Women Voters withdrew its sponsorship, rightly observing that the “unprecedented control” demanded by the Democrats and Republicans would make the debates “campaign-trail charades” that would “perpetrate fraud on the American voter”.

The need for “more voices and choices” can be met by including all candidates who are on the ballots for a majority of voters, a number that has typically ranged from 4 to 6 candidates in total.

Voters have a right to hear directly from their possible choices for the highest office in the land. These choices should reflect the diversity of American political opinion, and not be restricted to two candidates nominated by establishment parties awash in corporate donations and billionaire support.


Jill Stein answers science questions

CNN recently sent a series of science-related questions to Jill Stein for a feature story. Here are the questions with Dr. Stein’s full, unedited answers, including links to research she cited.

What is Dr. Stein’s explicit position on vaccines and her concern with the FDA and CDC?

Vaccines are a critical part of our public health system. I have always been pro-vaccine, and in fact as the only candidate who supports universal health care as a right, in effect, I am the most pro-vaccine and pro-health candidate in this race. Vaccines prevent serious epidemics that would cause harm to many people and that is why they are a foundation to a strong public health system. Polio is an important example. So is H Flu – a bacteria that caused serious illness, including meningitis, in 20,000 children a year in the US, before development of the H flu vaccine.

As a doctor, I’m concerned that many Americans don’t trust the FDA. Why not? For starters, the current FDA commissioner appointed by President Obama was a highly paid consultant for big pharmaceutical corporations, as Senator Sanders pointed out in opposing his nomination. In the case of Vioxx, the FDA approved a profitable pain reliever that caused up to 140,000 cases of heart disease, and even tried to silence its own scientists who discovered this deadly side effect.

The CDC actually accepts huge amounts of money from big pharmaceutical corporations, as an investigation by the British Medical Journal revealed. So many scientists, doctors and watchdog groups have flagged these clear conflicts of interest in the FDA, CDC and other federal agencies.

As President I would stop the revolving door and clean up these agencies so that the American people can trust that they’re putting people over profits, and science over lobbying interests.
She told the Washington Post “there were real questions” about vaccines and “I don’t know if all of them have been addressed.” What questions were there and what remain?

There were questions about mercury in vaccines that were given to young infants that were addressed because of pressure from parents and physicians working together. There were also concerns about the vaccination schedule that have been addressed as well.

One real question that remains is how much pressure the pharmaceutical industry exerts on bodies like the FDA and CDC to approve medications, including vaccines, in a shorter time schedule, known as ‘fast track,’ than is warranted to determine their safety. An anonymous survey of medical officers at the FDA performed by Public Citizen found that there were concerns that fast track approval lowered drug safety standards.
Dr. Stein has called the notion that she is anti-vaccine the “swift boat” attack of this election. Can she please explain this?

Like the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” attacks on John Kerry, the birther claims that Barack Obama wasn’t born in the US, and most recently the DNC’s campaign to paint Bernie Sanders as an atheist, the campaign to trick people into thinking I’m against vaccines was never about the truth. Look at the investigative website snopes.com – they researched this claim and rated it false. But just like the birther conspiracy, there are people who keep repeating a discredited claim because their real agenda is to create confusion and doubt and distract people from important issues like creating an economy that works for all of us.
Dr. Stein said in response to a question about wireless internet in schools: “We should not be subjecting kids’ brains especially to that… We don’t follow that issue in this country, but in Europe, where they do, they have good precautions around wireless, maybe not good enough.” What precautions should be taken around wireless internet and why?

What actually happened is that a parent raised concerns about the possible health effects of WiFi radiation on developing children, and I agreed that more research is needed. It may surprise many people that over 200 scientific experts in the field have called for more research into the health effects of radiation from devices like cellphones and WiFi, especially on developing children, and a number of countries have banned or restricted these technologies in schools. These concerns were amplified by a recent National Institutes of Health study that provided “some of the strongest evidence to date that such exposure [to the type of radiation emitted from cell phones and wireless devices] is associated with the formation of rare cancers…”

Scientists don’t know for sure if these technologies are safe for children, and as a doctor, I’d rather take precautions until the research is more conclusive. Protecting children’s health and respecting the scientific process is more important to me than giving simple, politically correct answers.
Does a concern about Wi-Fi affect the party’s call for free broadband internet?

No. We believe that access to information is a human right, and that includes access to broadband internet. As I’ve stated, I think we should listen to what scientific experts are saying and take precautions about how much we expose young children to WiFi and cellphones until we know more about the long-term health effects of this type of low-level radiation.

Dr. Stein has called for a moratorium on GMOs and pesticides. How would this work? Does it apply to all GMOs or just some?

We would enact a moratorium on new genetically modified organisms being introduced into our ecosystems, including our agricultural system and our food supply, until independent research free from industry influence shows decisively that GMOs are not harmful to human health or to the health of our ecosystems. This is called the Precautionary Principle, and it is used in countries in the European Union, but not in the United States. We should also phase out the use of GMO foods currently being grown, unless independent research shows decisively that GMOs are not harmful to human health or ecosystems.
Why should there be a moratorium on GMOs? Can the campaign point me to evidence they are harmful?

Respected public-interest scientific organizations reject the claim that GMOs have been proven safe. An editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine entitled “GMOs, herbicides and public health” stated that new developments “suggest that GM foods and the herbicides applied to them may pose hazards to human health that were not examined in previous assessments.”
The Union of Concerned Scientists has raised concerns about the difficulty finding reliable health and safety research on GMOsdue to the biotech industry’s efforts to suppress research on its products.
Physicians for Social Responsibility has raised similar concerns: “The FDA doesn’t conduct safety testing on GMO crops and doesn’t require independent testing. The only testing done is by the same biotech corporations that develop the crops. Moreover, these corporations severely restrict scientists from conducting independent health or environmental safety research, making it extremely difficult to get unbiased investigation”.

The World Health Organization classifies glyphosate, the herbicide in Roundup, as a probable human carcinogen. Herbicide residues, including glyphosate, are found in treated GMO foods that are sold in grocery stores.

38 countries have banned the cultivation of GMOs, including France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Finland, Wales, Switzerland and many more.
Is there a concern about how this would affect the agriculture industry or food access?

We need to transform the food system in the United States so that it is more localized, more sustainable and less harmful to health and the environment. Research shows that stopping the usage of GMO seeds with their associated pesticides, shifting to organic farming, and employing water-conserving irrigation and regenerative methods of farming would protect ecosystems, water supplies and sequester carbon in the soil, which would also help to mitigate the climate crisis. Studies show that we can meet our food needs with organic agriculture.
Is there a concern that criticisms casting Dr. Stein as at odds with science are impacting the campaign?

Clearly there are attempts by our detractors in the political establishment, amplified by some in the media, to discredit our campaign by distorting statements that I’ve made about complex scientific issues. The political establishment clearly feels threatened by the enthusiastic response to our agenda for a Green New Deal to end unemployment, halt climate meltdown, and make wars for oil obsolete. The Green Party platform is actually the most pro-science, pro-research platform of any party, but the research has to be done by independent institutions that don’t have a financial stake in the outcome.


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