My T-shirt Resistance: Chapters 4–6

Chap­ter 4

A pall had descended upon the entire Basin. Overnight, res­i­dents had become pod peo­ple, part­ners in mur­der, and I became their com­mon enemy, the one “who knew too much.” It was sick, socio­pathic, and reminded me of accounts that tell of vil­lages in old Europe that went mad, mur­der­ous and insane from ergot fun­gus that grew on their wheat. Except this time, the insane ingre­di­ents were mur­der, cor­rup­tion, race and religion.

The next day, I went back to the store where I knew Mr. Orange worked. I was ignored by every­one, even the employ­ees who, in the past, had been talk­a­tive and friendly. I asked what the man’s name was and I was given the same answer by every­one, “I don’t know what you’re talk­ing about.” In other mar­kets, I would get the same cold shoul­der. I would not get change, or get the wrong change. My dis­counts were not applied. I would be dou­ble charged for the same items. I became a face­less object, some­thing to be stepped around, ignored and got­ten rid of, as if I was the killer.

Con­tinue read­ing “My T-shirt Resis­tance: Chap­ters 4–6” »

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My T-shirt Resistance: Chapters 1–3

First posted: Sep­tem­ber 23, 2013

Pref­ace

My name is Tom Loret. I live in 29 Palms, Cal­i­for­nia. I am 66 years old. I have a BA in anthro­pol­ogy which has made me a life-long social observer and an MFA in stu­dio arts. I have lived my life as an artist and writer. The fol­low­ing story is just one more instance.

I moved to this area of south­ern Cal­i­for­nia in 1995. A canyon fire north of Los Ange­les had dev­as­tated my home and neigh­bor­hood. So I put my belong­ings in the back of my pickup truck and took a cabin out in the Joshua Tree mesa. It was on the prop­erty of a med­i­ta­tion teacher I had met and vis­ited in the recent past. Once here, I estab­lished an imme­di­ate rap­port with the envi­ron­ment and decided to rent a place of my own.

Con­tinue read­ing “My T-shirt Resis­tance: Chap­ters 1–3” »

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Green Party of California Endorses Luis Rodriguez for Governor

Green Party of Cal­i­for­nia Endorses Luis Rodriguez for Governor

Posted By Luis J. Rodriguez on Novem­ber 25, 2013

On Novem­ber 25, 2013, the Green Party of Cal­i­for­nia after a week of online vot­ing endorsed author and com­mu­nity leader Luis J. Rodriguez for gov­er­nor of Cal­i­for­nia. Luis has embarked on a grass­roots cam­paign, break­ing new ground by call­ing for the end of poverty. The cam­paign cham­pi­ons align­ing resources to meet needs by pro­vid­ing liv­able and mean­ing­ful work or income, healthy and clean com­mu­ni­ties, free qual­ity health care for all, the over­haul of the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem, and ensur­ing arts, cul­ture and expres­sion out­lets in every neigh­bor­hood. Below is the speech Luis made at the Green Party of Cal­i­for­nia Ple­nary on Novem­ber 16.

I’m hon­ored to be among you all today in what I con­sider an impor­tant mile­stone in pro­gres­sive, Green and social jus­tice pol­i­tics in this state. As we gather, the Green Party of Cal­i­for­nia is poised to become the most encom­pass­ing and diversely rep­re­sented it has ever been—and in the process make his­tory for a healthy, clean and sus­tain­able future for all.

Or – and let’s be clear – this oppor­tu­nity may pass the party by. That may sound sim­plis­tic so let’s get to the heart of the matter.

We are at a cross­roads. The cap­i­tal­ist sys­tem is in deep cri­sis. As a result every major insti­tu­tion in our soci­ety is in cri­sis. This is true for faith-based, cul­tural, social and polit­i­cal orga­ni­za­tions. This is true for the Greens. And yet, as we all know, every cri­sis has oppor­tu­nity. The gen­eral cri­sis in our soci­ety is our oppor­tu­nity to inspire, teach, and orga­nize for a new world—which more than ever is pos­si­ble and imminent.

The key aspect is whether any asso­ci­a­tion, party or insti­tu­tion can renew itself in align­ment to an inte­gral, coop­er­a­tive, peace­ful and equi­table vision. The Democ­rats and Repub­li­cans can’t. As one party with two faces, they rep­re­sent the fail­ure of the cap­i­tal­ist rul­ing class in meet­ing the basic needs of work­ing peo­ple, includ­ing the poor and mar­gin­al­ized. More­over they rep­re­sent the fail­ure of ensur­ing the health and well­be­ing of everyone.

This rul­ing class on local, national and global scales is being exposed for what it is—the great­est sin­gle dan­ger to human­ity. Peo­ple around the world may have dif­fer­ent bor­ders, lan­guages, cus­toms, belief sys­tems, and pol­i­tics. What binds us is our grow­ing misery.

Can we imag­ine a real­ity where no one has to sac­ri­fice their health, chil­dren, or future to par­take in an econ­omy or in pol­i­tics? Where any­one can become the owner of their life, their dreams, and can be pro­vided the tools, teach­ings and choices to live fully and expressively?

Can the Green Party be the party of this imagination—of this future?

That’s our chal­lenge. That’s what I hope my cam­paign for Cal­i­for­nia gov­er­nor rep­re­sents to the Green Party, to any­one who wants to live mean­ing­fully, artfully—as dynamic exam­ples of trans­for­ma­tive ideas, pro­grams and actions.

The world has to change. And the Green Party has to change to assist in the process. That’s why I’m here with you today. I’m will­ing to do my part. I’ve not gone this far in my own rev­o­lu­tion­ary growth to squan­der time or energy on any­thing that doesn’t push this process forward.

Yet this endeavor will take pro­found patience, painstak­ing atten­tive­ness, and a deep-seated per­sis­tence from all of us to match the grav­ity and power of this immense chal­lenge. Walk­ing this path takes courage, deep-seated char­ac­ter and the abil­ity to be strong and vital in the com­plex­ity and ten­sion of actu­ally impact­ing our com­mu­ni­ties, our state, our world.

I have made the elim­i­na­tion of poverty the cen­ter­piece of my pro­gram. So let’s delve deeper into the extent of this impoverishment—exemplified by 8.7 mil­lion Cal­i­for­ni­ans who are poor, includ­ing 2.7 mil­lion more since Jerry Brown became gov­er­nor. What about the poverty of not hav­ing a clean envi­ron­ment? The poverty of being denied free and qual­ity health care, or liv­able and mean­ing­ful jobs, or a lib­er­at­ing and com­pre­hen­sive edu­ca­tional sys­tem? In the growth of actual mate­r­ial poverty, we are also see­ing the rise in the poverty of ideas, of imag­i­na­tions, of car­ing. And, as my wife Trini says, the poverty of access.

Here’s a state­ment from Jef­fery Mar­tin, an African Amer­i­can poet and leader who has never voted, dis­il­lu­sioned about the con­tin­u­ing lack of solu­tions and results in pol­i­tics. He’s now the Los Ange­les area coor­di­na­tor for the Luis J. Rodriguez for Gov­er­nor cam­paign. On the poverty of access, Jef­fery writes:

Not hav­ing the essen­tials of life stag­nates poten­tial and under­mines cre­ativ­ity. There is noth­ing engag­ing about see­ing pros­per­ity in other com­mu­ni­ties but know­ing it is lim­ited within your own. The Amer­i­can Dream has become one-dimensional. It works to the advan­tage of a select few while com­mu­nity after com­mu­nity are mere observers as it side­steps the poor, leav­ing them frus­trated and mar­gin­al­ized. The poverty of access leads to ill equipped neigh­bor­hoods, mis­man­aged lifestyles, less than suc­cess­ful edu­ca­tional facil­i­ties, dead-end job oppor­tu­ni­ties, bro­ken com­mu­ni­ties and a myr­iad of other vices that attach them­selves to despair and despondency.

Jef­fery is now encour­aged and engaged to take a lead­ing role in this cam­paign. There are mil­lions of peo­ple like him through­out the state. I tell this story to demon­strate how the power of a sin­gu­lar voice for change must be part and par­cel of my campaign.

The Green Party of Cal­i­for­nia plat­form has val­ues I’m com­mit­ted to – val­ues linked to my indige­nous roots. The plat­form says we are part of nature, not above it. That we are all inter­con­nected. Implicit in this is that abun­dance is the nature of things, not scarcity. That in proper rela­tion to each other and nature, we can cre­ate sus­tain­able and clean tech­nolo­gies, cities, homes and workspaces.

My invi­ta­tion is for us to do this together, to join with me as I join with you. To take this mes­sage, these ideas, these poten­tials to the very peo­ple who can make them real. As lead­ers we have to trust the intel­li­gence, coop­er­a­tive natures, cre­ativ­ity, and immense capac­i­ties that peo­ple pos­sess to bring the nec­es­sary changes to fruition.

Trust in them and trust in your­selves. There should be no gulf between rev­o­lu­tion­ary thinkers and rev­o­lu­tion­ary activists, between our visions and the needs of the peo­ple, between what we strive for and what can be achieved.

I will make another point—I’m not here to be the “Latino” sav­ior of the party or this state. Yes, I’m Chi­cano. I have native ties through my mother, a Rara­muri woman from the Mex­i­can state of Chi­huahua, and father from the Nahuatl-speaking pop­u­la­tions of Guer­rero. Chi­canos, Mex­i­canos, Cen­tral Amer­i­cans, and Native Amer­i­cans are a large and vibrant pop­u­la­tion that will get involved in this cam­paign if they are engaged the way any­one should be—with truths, with hon­esty, with respect. I’m here to rep­re­sent all gen­ders, eth­nic­i­ties, faiths, sex­ual ori­en­ta­tions, and dis­abil­i­ties in this bat­tle for a new Cal­i­for­nia. I will not com­pro­mise my hard-earned cred­i­bil­ity with orig­i­nal peo­ples from Cal­i­for­nia as well as those from Mex­ico and Cen­tral Amer­ica by par­tic­i­pat­ing in polit­i­cal machi­na­tions, manip­u­la­tions, and inau­then­tic approaches.

If the Green Party is true to itself, main­tains strong integrity, and avoids any inter­nal splits and bick­er­ing, the Green Party will be the party of the con­scious and strate­gic rev­o­lu­tion­ary thinkers and lead­ers as well as the pushed out, the pissed off, and the dis­en­gaged. This is key to our many challenges.

One big truth is that most of what we are deal­ing with today, includ­ing in the so-called two-party sys­tem, is illu­sion. Mort­gages, the wage sys­tem, bor­ders, money, even “race”—all of these are man-made designs to ben­e­fit a few, yet made to appear as if they are God-derived and in our inter­ests. The Green Party should be against all illu­sions. All lies. All mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tions linked to wealth and power.

Join with me. This cam­paign has to be big­ger, broader and make inroads beyond the Green Party. Yet for the Green Party and oth­ers this cam­paign is an open­ing to be rel­e­vant and viable for mil­lions of peo­ple in Cal­i­for­nia. I wel­come the Green Party’s sup­port and endorse­ment. I am a Green. I will also move to get the sup­port of gen­uine grass­roots orga­ni­za­tions and lead­ers wher­ever I can.

This cam­paign must be part of a move­ment and not just a campaign.

 

To donate, endorse and get involved go to www.rodriguezforgovernor.org.

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Agenda for a Democratized Economy

Below is a 20 point agenda that not only sta­bi­lizes the econ­omy in the short term but puts in place the build­ing blocks for a democ­ra­tized and sus­tain­able econ­omy.  The out­line below com­bines poli­cies that have proven to be effec­tive along with inno­v­a­tive solu­tions.  There is no doubt that this agenda will evolve as we get feed­back from sup­port­ers and col­leagues and so it is offered as a start­ing point for dis­cus­sion, not a final blue­print. Evo­lu­tion based on people’s par­tic­i­pa­tion is an essen­tial ingre­di­ent of polit­i­cal democ­racy – as it is for eco­nomic democracy…”

Issues cov­ered:

New, Effi­cient, Clean Energy Econ­omy
Infra­struc­ture
Cre­at­ing Jobs, Pro­vid­ing Hous­ing, Health Care and Build­ing Local Economies
End the Wars and Reduce the Mil­i­tary Bud­get
Re-making Finance, Shared Pros­per­ity
Financ­ing the Gov­ern­ment: Taxes and Deficits
Work­ers Rights
Inter­na­tional Trade and Finance

Read full arti­cle here: http://itsoureconomy.us/issues/

 

 

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Colorado Expects to Reap Tax Bonanza From Legal Marijuana Sales

By JACK HEALY, New York Times, FEB. 20, 2014

DENVER — For Colorado’s new flock of recre­ational mar­i­juana grow­ers and sell­ers, Thurs­day was Tax Day — their first dead­line to hand over the taxes they had col­lected dur­ing their inau­gural month of sales. And as store own­ers stuffed cash into lock­boxes and made the ner­vous trek to gov­ern­ment offices, new bud­get num­bers pre­dicted that those mar­i­juana taxes could add more than $100 mil­lion a year to state cof­fers, far more than ear­lier estimates.

The fig­ures offered one of the first glimpses into how the bustling mar­ket for recre­ational mar­i­juana was begin­ning to reshape gov­ern­ment bot­tom lines — an impor­tant ques­tion as mar­i­juana advo­cates push to expand legal­iza­tion beyond Col­orado and Wash­ing­ton State into states includ­ing Ari­zona, Alaska and Oregon.

In Col­orado, where recre­ational sales began on Jan. 1 with hour­long waits, a bud­get pro­posal from Gov. John W. Hick­en­looper esti­mated that the state’s mar­i­juana indus­try could reach $1 bil­lion in sales in the next fis­cal year, with recre­ational sales mak­ing up about $610 mil­lion of that busi­ness. Con­tinue read­ing “Col­orado Expects to Reap Tax Bonanza From Legal Mar­i­juana Sales” »

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The City that Ended Hunger

By Fran­cis Moore Lappe’, www.yesmagazine.org
June 13th, 2013

A city in Brazil recruited local farm­ers to help do some­thing U.S. cities have yet to do: end hunger.

Excerpts…Read full arti­cle here: http://www.popularresistance.org/the-city-that-ended-hunger/

…To begin to con­ceive of the pos­si­bil­ity of a cul­ture of empow­ered cit­i­zens mak­ing democ­racy work for them, real-life sto­ries help—not mod­els to adopt whole­sale, but exam­ples that cap­ture key lessons. For me, the story of Brazil’s fourth largest city, Belo Hor­i­zonte, is a rich trove of such lessons. Belo, a city of 2.5 mil­lion peo­ple, once had 11 per­cent of its pop­u­la­tion liv­ing in absolute poverty, and almost 20 per­cent of its chil­dren going hun­gry. Then in 1993, a newly elected admin­is­tra­tion declared food a right of cit­i­zen­ship. The offi­cials said, in effect: If you are too poor to buy food in the market—you are no less a cit­i­zen. I am still account­able to you.

Another prod­uct of food-as-a-right think­ing is three large, airy “People’s Restau­rants” (Restau­rante Pop­u­lar), plus a few smaller venues, that daily serve 12,000 or more peo­ple using mostly locally grown food for the equiv­a­lent of less than 50 cents a meal. When Anna and I ate in one, we saw hun­dreds of diners—grandparents and new­borns, young cou­ples, clus­ters of men, moth­ers with tod­dlers. Some were in well-worn street clothes, oth­ers in uni­form, still oth­ers in busi­ness suits.

Behind this dra­matic, life-saving change is what Adri­ana calls a “new social mentality”—the real­iza­tion that “every­one in our city ben­e­fits if all of us have access to good food, so—like health care or education—quality food for all is a pub­lic good.”

The Belo expe­ri­ence shows that a right to food does not nec­es­sar­ily mean more pub­lic hand­outs (although in emer­gen­cies, of course, it does.) It can mean redefin­ing the “free” in “free mar­ket” as the free­dom of all to par­tic­i­pate. It can mean, as in Belo, build­ing citizen-government part­ner­ships dri­ven by val­ues of inclu­sion and mutual respect…”

Con­tinue read­ing “The City that Ended Hunger” »

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