Posts Tagged ‘organization’

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Green Carnage

JOE GIAMBRONE

Does the Green Party exist in the U.S. today?

After a shockingly ineffectual performance on Election Day 2016, the reality should be sinking in over at Green central. In a different context heads would roll. New blood would move in, new strategies the only issue, the only concern, the wake-up call to end all wake-up calls. The US Green Party faces an existential crisis today. This is the fork in the road. The current organization has failed spectacularly (yet again). Forget 5%, they couldn’t reach one and a half.

We cannot fault Jill Stein, who did the best she could and campaigned tirelessly. She appeared on more television screens than any other US Green in history, and yet votes did not materialize. One-percent stunts are simply not worth the effort, and they are not changing the world.

In 2011 I tried to alert the Party (repeatedly) that they were stuck in a failed cycle that needed drastic changes in order to succeed. The main points of my strategy proposal were as follows.

Objective

The only goal is to recruit tens of millions of Americans into the Green Party, to register them “Green,” and thus to build a credible alternative that Americans may trust to not be a “wasted vote.”

This requires a national effort, not ad-hoc state by state randomness. Nor city by city, nor Facebook group nor Twitter account. This mishmosh of random efforts is completely uncoordinated and redundant. Efforts are limited and wasted, and the advantages of the digital world are not exploited to their fullest potentials.

In any accounting of strengths, weaknesses, and available resources, we must be realistic. Greens are not the party of money, but of people power. Motivated members: their time and labor are the main available resources, not expensive TV commercials.

When I wrote the original document I had been a Green for over a decade, and since I’d moved to Northern California and re-registered the Party had not contacted me at all. I had nothing to do, no interaction, no initiatives to join in: nothing. No mojo. Plus Northern California is where the party supposedly began!

Greens are sitting around with nothing to do. That’s not how you build a party. You build a party by recruiting new members, and getting them to recruit new members, and so on, and so on, and so on. That should be the main concern of the national party structure, the only real concern. They should be providing tools to their own members to empower and assist them to organize and communicate with one another.

Infrastructure

The party must immediately create infrastructure to help its own members organize.

1. A place to communicate, share ideas and to link up, such as a message board forum. Why this doesn’t exist already is beyond belief. Are you a party or a collection of whoevers, whenevers?

2. A media library to store photos, videos, audio, and text. There is no central depository for people to take the raw materials and build new projects. This ignoring of the modern age and its digital offerings is another fumble by a party that doesn’t seem to care if it loses.

3. A landing page to send new people in order to convince them to register Green. Take five minutes and actually put together a professional presentation to attract independents and disgruntled Democrats and talk to them.

Those are the bare minimum requirements for the party to actually exist. It does not exist at this juncture, sorry.

Dependable places for people to use and to build will demonstrate that the party is here and is active all year long, all the time.

Currently, it is mostly random and centered around a star presidential run. In 2011, when I first wrote the proposal, the Green websites were even more crude and off-putting. Some improvements have come around, but not the centers of activity that would provide a place for members to interact and spread important information virally among them: at the local level, the regional, and national levels. Good ideas are not being passed on to those who need them most because of disorganization. This hobbles the people you expect to be building the party and to recruit new members.

GP members are left to flounder in random Facebook or Twitter encounters. No central hub can be identified to check for news, media and initiatives to participate in. Without a centralized library, good content it is quickly forgotten and lost.

Now an anecdote to demonstrate the point. Over the past few months in a ‘Jill Stein Activists’ group on Facebook I began making graphic memes to promote her and the party, as well as to knock the competition. I made at least 47 images (gallery), and they were passed on by hundreds of people, very popular in fact, some of the most active content going around there.

Four days before the election I was suddenly kicked out of the group. No explanation. No rhyme nor reason. Was it related to an argument over the pervasive fake “news” (disinformation) littering the group? Probably.

So that was that. I’m out. The most productive member of the group tossed out without explanation. These groups are random, run by whomever at their own personal whims, and the Green Party has no oversight, investment, nor commitment to fairness or procedures.

That’s not a serious party in my book. Those are junior high school shenanigans masquerading.

The party insists on trying to compete in the national leagues, but continues to play in the Pee Wee league. In 2016 they still haven’t stepped up and invested in their own members and given them… anything that I can see.
Maybe some of its members will simply cease investing time and sweat in them?

Joe Giambrone

http://www.joegiambrone.us

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Don’t like corporations? Form a worker co-op.

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Conflict’s in the genes: The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The Greanville Post

Steven Jonas, MD, MPH

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes can be viewed on a number of different levels, possibly not all of them present in the minds of its makers.  First, it can be viewed as a remarkable achievement in high-tech/special effects movie-making.  It is one thing to see Andrew Serkis motion-captured as the chimpanzee leader Caesar, who becomes totally convincing (no masks here) and conversant in at least three languages: Simian sign language, human sign language (apparently), and English.  (Being in California he may also speak some Spanish, but we do not have the opportunity to find that out).  But it is quite another to see literally a multitude of totally life-like chimpanzees engaged in big-game hunting or swinging through the trees on their way to an engagement with a group of surviving Homo sapiens holed up in downtown San Francisco.

Second, it can be seen as a fairly conventional action-adventure movie, man vs. man-like ape, the latter being originally a lab creation of the former.  (By the way, in terms of the story-line, except for a few names and superficial identities, the current “Planet of the Apes” series has nothing to do with the [original 1968 film] directed by Franklin J. Schaffer, with the screenplay by Michael Wilson and Rod Serling, that was based on the 1963 French novel La Planète des Singes by Pierre Boulle, and starred Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Maurice Evans, and the most appealing Kim Hunter, or its then-successors.)  

Third, it can be seen as a morality play, with a guess-which-group lives to a higher moral standard theme.  Fourth, it can be seen as an essay in paleo-anthropology, which is how I have come to see it.

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A group of Simians and a group of Homo sapiens are survivors of a world-wide, highly fatal infectious disease epidemic which the humans conveniently name the “Simian flu.”  That it has nothing to do with the Simian population but rather was created in a Homo sapiens lab ([the recent CDC anthrax-smallpox episode], anyone?) is of course a product of the Homo sapiens media naming it the “Simian flu,” but what else is new?

The Simian population consists primarily of chimpanzees with few gorillas and one rather intelligent orangutan thrown in (the latter possibly being a throw-back to the Dr. Zaius character of the original).  They lead a hunter-gatherer lifestyle in a communal setting.  While they have one acknowledged political leader, Caesar, no one appears to have either a) any control over the hunting-gathering processes or b) any material advantages over anyone else.  They also appear to not engage in inter-Simian violence, as a routine.  When one episode of that sort occurs, an attack on Caesar, when the latter wins he condemns the perpetrator to death. Before he does so Caesar pronounces the profound words: “You are not an ape.”

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The Homo sapiens population is classically Homo sapiens.  They have guns aplenty and with few exceptions are ready to use them at a moment’s notice.  Violence, against other species and within their own, is commonplace and for the most part fully accepted.  This characteristic doesn’t show up in this particular scenario, because there are so few of them left (having somehow acquired immunity to the disease).  But they are members of one of the very few species of animal on the planet that slaughters each other in numbers that have grown ever larger in the brief period of time that the species has existed in its so-called “civilized” mode of organization.  They are devious, both with each other and with the Simians.  Unlike the Simians, the Homo sapiens cannot exist for very long without converting one or more elements that they find in their environment into one or more goods and services.  It is the struggle of the Homo sapiens to get to an abandoned dam that lies to the north of where the Simians live so that they can have electrical power that forms the basis of the plot-line.  They are about to run out of power as the fuel supply for their generators runs out.

So the fundamental conflict in the movie is between an apparently egalitarian society of hunter-gatherers, which among other things rejects the use of use of intra-species violence, and the classic Homo sapiens society.  There is no historical indication that if the latter would somehow manage to survive, it would not eventually revert to its economically hierarchical organization based on intra-species violence.  Why?  Because [as I have discussed elsewhere], what has happened in Homo sapiens history is that the ownership means of production that converts elements found in the environment into the goods and services that Homo sapiens needs/uses for survival has been in private hands.  And it is that mode of ownership that eventually leads to violence within and between societies on a larger and larger scale.

I said in the introduction to this column that the movie could be seen as a parable of the conflict that took place tens of thousands of years ago, between the Homo species that we call “Neanderthal” and our own.  [By the way, that name comes from the name of the valley in Germany where the original fossils of that species were found, the Valley (“thal” in German) of the German river “Neander.”)]  It will be fascinating to see where the movie series goes with this one.  And oh yes, the next sequel is set up at the end of the film.

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There will eventually be a sequel to this column as well, dealing with three questions. 

A) Apparently Homo sapiens and Neanderthals co-existed for tens of thousands of years.  Is there evidence that the former killed off the latter over time, or did the former succeed them, simply through better adaptation to the shared environment over time? 

B) Is there a gene or genes for intra-species violence in Homo sapiens that exists in few other species?  (If they are to survive, all animal species need to have one or more violence genes directing activities at one or more other species.) 

C) If Homo sapiens does have one or more intra-species survival genes is it selected for by the organization of Homo sapien communities around the private ownership of the means of production?  A consideration of these questions will not be appearing your local theater any time soon.


Greanville Post Senior Contributing Editor Steven Jonas, the polymathic author of this article, has published hundreds of essays on politics, history, culture, health and economics, and penned more than 30 books.  His essays normally appear on many venues on the web, including the leading political sites. Dr. Jonas’ latest book is The 15% Solution: How the Republican Religious Right Took Control of the U.S., 1981-2022: A futuristic Novel, Brewster, NY, Trepper & Katz Impact Books, Punto Press Publishing, 2013, and available on Amazon.

99 Life Hacks 4U

Posted: November 26, 2013 in -
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Hey, they’re actually useful.

Sarcastic Charm

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