Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Ballot. and NO on 29

This is a guest post by Maureen Cruise RN, former nurse and current activist (I don't vote, and this is why).

Americans have freedom of the press but they do not exhibit freedom of the mind.
Alexis de Tocqueville ' "On Democracy in America" 1835
At the 9/2009 Blue Cross Sit-in - LA - where she gave me a 28 minute interview used as narration in my film, got healthcare?
Non partisan Ballot and candidate choices are the same across all party identification.
My Primary Ballot is a GREEN PARTY Ballot. After serving on the California State Democratic Party Executive Board and as a delegate to the state party for 2 terms, my conscience would no longer allow me to continue working within that fraudulent and corrupt political arena.

As Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in 1831 comparing the two major US political parties ....There may be persons of principle within American political parties but there is no party of principle.  Nothing has changed there. Corruption and the deception and manipulation of the public ...most specifically one's own party "flock" the main game in town.

So I vote my conscience rather than vote against my conscience. A vote for candidates who are responsible for increasing human suffering is an endorsement of that human suffering. I do not buy the lesser of two evils argument. Then we always have evil...which we have freely supported and endorsed. A wasted vote is a vote for what you don't want.

Once in office, who knows the deals made. We do our best to cut thru the nonsense by relying on what we do know now....but realize we cannot know the future with any certainty.

I am voting for Dr. Jill Stein for Green Party Presidential candidate.
Central Committee: voting for 2 so far..Mike Feinstein (former mayor of SM...a great guy) , Linda Piera-Avila.

Nonpartisan Offices
*US Senate..Marsha Feinland (because she is not Feinstein)
*Congress 33rd..David Steinman ( because he is not Waxman)
 Assembly... Torie Osborn a single payer universal healthccare advocate and Sheila Kuehl's pick.
Richard Bloom...Not a fan. Kind of an arrogant sarcastic guy...a conservative democrat Mayor of SM
Betsy Butler...heard her speak two years ago defending corporations. YIKES!

* Diane Feinstein  and Henry Waxman are NOT progressives. They both voted for war and surveillance and diminishment of our rights. Waxman in particular is an egregious fraud. He admitted publicly to not reading bills on which he votes.  After voting for the healthcare bill he joked that now we might find out what is actually in it. His committee's energy bill was very corporate and fossil fuel friendly. His healthcare bill written by corporate insurance lobbyists. See my article below published in the LA Progressive.

JUDICIAL I used a few sites. More can always be done but I am done!

Good site for looking at the candidate's endorsers, answers to some questions, listing of candidate priorities.

A conservative site I use to decide who not to vote for. I combine info from this with the LACo Bar and LWV info to make the distentions.

LA Co Bar ASSOCIATION does an exhaustive research/interview/ data laden comparison for these qualities...non partisan.
 Integrity and character
 Judgment and intellectual capacity
 Fairness
 Experience
 Industry and diligence
 Judicial temperament, including whether the candidate would be courteous and considerate of counsel, parties, witnesses and jurors, and whether the candidate is even-tempered
 Professional ability and knowledge of the law
 Absence of health problems that affect the ability to serve as a judge
 Positive professional reputation in the community.
Having completed its investigations and deliberations, the Judicial Elections Evaluation Committee reports its final evaluations for the candidates for the following Superior Court offices:
Sean D. Coen __ Qualified
Joe Escalante __ Not Qualified
Laurence N. Kaldor __ Not Qualified
Craig Gold __ Qualified
Hon. Sanjay T. Kumar — Exceptionally Well Qualified
Kim Smith — Not Qualified
Hon. Lynn Diane Olson — Not Qualified
Douglas Weitzman — Not Qualified
Shannon Knight — Qualified
Andrea C. Thompson — Well Qualified
Matt Schonbrun — Qualified
Hon. James Otto — Exceptionally Well Qualified
Kenneth Hughey — Not Qualified
Ben M. Brees __ Qualified
Eric Harmon __ Well Qualified
Berj Parseghian __ Well Qualified

The committee rated the following 6 candidates as “Not Qualified:”
Joe Escalante, Kenneth Hughey, Laurence N. Kaldor, Hon. Lynn Diane Olson, Kim Smith, and Douglas W. Weitzman. That evaluation reflects the Committee’s opinion that these candidates do not adequately possess one or more of the attributes necessary to perform the judicial function satisfactorily.

MY VOTE.....
> Office 3: Craig Gold
> Office 10: nobody
> Office 38: nobody
> Office 65: Shannon Knight
> Office 78: James D. Otto
> Office 114: Eric Harmon

For DA: There are three non conservatives. See LA Times article below.
MY CHOICE: Danette E. Meyers opposes death penalty and would like 3 strikes revisited among other positions I like ...especially juvenile court treatment.
Bobby Grace is also good on many things. Probably OK as well.
Jackie Lacey supports the death penalty. That's a NO for me.

The cigarette tax state proposition 29 NO for me.
Michael Hiltzik writes a very cogent and thoughtful piece about this position. I have printed it below. My belief on this vote preceded his article because of the past 10 years I spent diligently researching propositions like this one. Beneath the surface is the important part....which never reaches the light of day for most voters. When props involve millions of dollars... examine them carefully! This prop involves billions. Corporations have dozens of staff members whose job it is to figure out how to write props and get the public to indirectly and unknowingly add public money to their private profit coffers.

REMEMBER Prop 3 in 2008?...Jamie Lee Curtis on TV pleading "for the children " !  Prop 3 did NOT give one more kid access to healthcare. Actually did damage. Took money from public treasury used for actual healthcare to fund the medical device industry, huge construction corporations for remodeling of already the BEST funded hospitals in the country. Did not give anyone healthcare. This was a public giveaway to profiteering corporate industries allied with the university hospitals...whose management staff members get lucrative corporate board positions, millions in speakers fees, targeted research money....and the ever present revolving door. Fancied up the facilities with big screen TV's this years model of last years machines with NO ADDED VALUE to healthcare needs. No one got care from this prop and it's misleading advertisements. Costs us plenty. Everyone was on the bandwagon "for the children & children's hospitals".  It hurt children and their families. A fraud.

29 is NO....contrary to all the TV ads assailing the villainous tobacco industry...which is truly villainous. There is always more to the story with initiatives when they involve money, setting up commissions and assignment of specific recipients.  Sight unseen, most if not ALL initiatives should be opposed when 1.) they involve the dispersal of millions of dollars to 2.) specifically named entities. Those seemingly benign entities have financial relationships with not so benign entities.

Some good may occur...some people may stop smoking. But a near billion dollars to start will be funneled to a "selected committee" to decide how it is spent. Once the money diminishes...this committee will be established as a precedent within the matrix of our universities and in need of funding

After researching initiative & props very carefully over the past 10 years, I have come to realize that most are sophisticated corporate scams which funnel large amounts of tax dollars to a very specific few entities at the expense of solving the primary problems facing our population. The initiatives ALWAYS sound wonderful and righteous (of course) ...straight from heaven and the angels.....but have often hidden results that may actually damage the public at large. When recipients of that monetary largesse are specified they always benefit some special (usually corporate) interests that make a lot of money from initiative "ballot box voting".   Added benefit saves them from paying bribes and using pricey lobbyists to convince legislators (who are very expensive).   And the voters choose the situation...what could be better!

Over the past 30 years a very strong triangulation between political institutions, the universities and corporations with revolving doors between them and money flowing freely has developed. Universities are seen as "the good guys" and people trust that money flowing there will benefit society. More and more universities & government employees are paid millions by corporate interests to implement their plans and funnel research money to specific uses. The pharmaceutecal and medical device industry is Notoriously expert at this using university hospitals, research staff, academics and grad students. More on this ANY of Dr. John Geyman's books about the Medical Industrial Complex and how it works through public groups like major universities . Also Predator Nation: Corporate Criminals, Political Corruption, and the Hijacking of America by Charles H. Ferguson . He is the producer of academy award winning documentary "Inside Job".

The key questions for me involve context as well as the proposition itself.
What..Who.. How.. Does this solve our problems, meet our public needs, efficiently, is it NON PROFIT public?

We need prevention...used to be a public health project. Public health system has been eviscerated due to lack of budget despite being efficient, accessible and non profit.  Why isn't the money going to revive that?  It is much less costly than interfacing with For Profit institutions.

1. Does this prop guarantee that money is spent for prevention or cure? NO
Funds research for "treatment " ...very open ended. Will that "research" money be funneled to the pharmaceutical industry...not for cures but for more drugs and treatment devices?
2. Who decides ...The board members selected will decide. Any room for payoffs here?
3. Funding is an individual product tax...good ... but still the money should be funded to an efficient existing non profit public entity

I am a nurse...was a public health clinic nurse...I am both opposed to smoking, the tobacco industry and opposed to this measure.

Prop 28. I am leaving 28 blank...I do not believe in term limits at all.

County measures H and L: No idea yet. still researching

Be Well,

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Choose Life

You don't have to chose the lesser of evils. You can choose life. Have you ever heard the expression, 'life is too short' or maybe someone might say they can't deal with this person or that because they spend too much negative energy? When you deal with negative energy you drain your positive energy. Energy and life are resources that you own, along with your time and labor. The most valuable thing you can give someone is your labor. These things are priceless.

Did you ever have a 'friend' who drains your energy and time? You get into arguments about maybe even the most trivial things. Then one day you wake up and ask yourself, why am I doing this? Why am I spending my time and energy in this self-destructive downward spiral?  If something drains your time, your labor, or your energy, it is self-destructive. You have better things to do.You squander your valuable time for what, some useless arguments?

This is the fallacy of both money and politics. We do things for money that we would never otherwise do. Is money really all that important that you have to drain your most valuable assets, your time and labor? Money is a contrivance. It's only a medium, not a goal. It's not tangible. You can only use it to trade for other things that are tangible. Those who exploit you for a paycheck rob you of your passion and your life. You deny yourself of who you are, just for money, just to gain some tokens of exchange. How absurd is that?

I know it's maybe impossible to live without money, and yet you have to ask yourself at some point, am I living or dying? Get busy living or get busy dying. Perhaps you can reach some kind of compromise. Work for the man by day and do your passions by night. Then strive to do your passions by day as well. But you do have control over at least some of your own time, don't you? Are you going to spend it exploited in futile arguments over useless politics that serve only the rich and empower them over you. They are nothing without you and yet you let them rob you of your own life.

So why vote when you know politics is all a sham, a drain of your time and energy? You know it's always the same story. Choose the lesser of evils. But what you are actually doing is choosing to ignore your own passions, ignore your life, and spend your valuable life energy to vote and validate the status quo of the political black hole that sucks in all our life and energy like a debt that continually grows and can never be paid off. When you choose the lesser of evils, you choose evil, and not life. You can choose to ignore evil.

Decade after decade it's the same story and yet people fall right back into the trap like sheep lead to slaughter. Politicians lie and make false promises to get elected, to get you to give to them your most valuable assets, your time, energy, and labor. Your life. They have all the resources to push your buttons. They tell you what you want to hear. "I support gay marriage." "I'll end war." "I'll close GITMO." "I'll give everyone healthcare." Then they get elected and don't come through and you rationalize that at least they tried their best and they did make some kind of tiny dent, temporary though it may be. Are you really that stupid? Can I interest you in some Mississippi delta real estate?

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