“Dare to Hope” by Jason West 2005 book review by Sandy Brady, Truth Seeker, Charleston, W.Va.

 

[Since I tend never to fully restrain myself, these very brief notes include a few personal comments in brackets.]

 

The author won mayoral ship of a small NY town.  I enjoyed the book and recommend it as a valuable quick read on political and citizenship basics. 

Some of the discussion includes the following.

Resources:

 

Develop farm ‘shares’ for organic food for local use which is green and also builds community.

With the system of a reed bed municipal sewage system of Lloyd , N.Y.  ’s as a model, New Paltz’s

 

What we have in American politics is a 2 party system with corporate control and most people who are thinking choose, for good reason, not to vote.  It is not a Democracy. 

We need more talk of politics.  Media is slanted against third parties, obstructing their ability to win.

People go with the crowd so there is value in another type of democratic system being used.

 

Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) is one choice which ends the situation of persons voting only to vote against someone they don’t want.  In IRV voting one lists all their choices from the candidates and lists them in descending order.  The lesser votes go to that peoples second choice until the top candidate has a majority of the votes.

With the use of IRV’s and PR’s

 

·              IRV’s are lest costly than a simple run off vote.

·              In an IRV more candidates are viable

·              Voting participation increases.

·              They do not insure accurate election results.

·              These systems do not however, insure accurate election results.

·              San Francisco has majority vote. 

·              Middle class liberals and progressives fear the power of these alternatives.  Power is a natural tool that can be used for the common good.  To not find your power means corporate rule will worsen.

·              When ‘electability’ is determined by who has the most money, democracy fails to exist.

 

Democracy is more than voting; it is being an honest individual in a community.

 

War:

·              Is the worst kind of cruelty. 

·              It is big business for corporations. 

·              Government should not be run as a business but as a cooperative community based institution.

·              If you don’t see anyone you would vote for,  then get busy and “built it yourself”.

 

 

Florida ’s Jeb Bush and company skewed the votes and the supreme court judges got in on it and appointed G.W.  Bush as president but it was the responsibility of the senate to review those judges. 

Gore and Kerry voted pro life; senators are not working for the majority of the people.

The Senate undermined Roe v.  Wade.

The Senate is not working for anyone but corporations. 

 

The rulers of our country have in place a very well oiled game of good-cop bad-cop.:

 

It is districts that determine the vote in this country to the extent that elections are determined before there is a [pretense] of vote.  The gerrymandering brought on by Elbridge Gerry and Salamander lives on today.

 

 

Proportional Representation (PR) voting allows representation in the legislator to be by the same percentage as the party got votes.  This is currently used in Germany , Sweden , Israel , New Zealand , Spain , Italy , and Finland .

These alternatives are more democratic than winner take all.

 

Resources: The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, based in Sweden has several handbooks for electoral systems design on their website.

 

Party List System

Each party lists, in descending order of favor, their choices for each seat to be filled in the legislature.

Each party gets seats according to the percent of votes the party received.

 

Electoral College

Free Universal Health Care for Everyone

It is cheaper than what we have. 

Congress has it. 

Democrats refuse to a pass single payer health care bill, like HR 1200 that never got out of committee. 

 

Bill Clinton started The Democratic Council which has a magazine – “Blueprint”.  These are designed to move the Democratic Party to the right. 

Bill Clinton’s organization, The Democratic Council, and their

 

Separate but equal does not work.

 

The author’s discussion on black and gay rights is very sensitively done.

 

Resources: On Line

Google Gay-Straight Alliance

Matthew Sheppard Foundation for help on education in schools and communities ????

 

Environment

Every action has a reaction; we don’t get to do any and any thing we want to do to the environment of which we are a part.

 

People of money do not live close to the devastation they have wrought.

Resources:

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), established in 1988, admits to global warming and that it is due to carbon emissions from coal and oil.  America leads in these emotions.  [We are now a full decade later and climate change is moving at an even faster pace than predicted.]

 

 

Global warming and the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt

It is vital to our survival

According to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute it could stop quickly over as short a time as a four years period.

Current laws are riddled with loopholes making enforcement difficult or impossible.

Changing the laws is a must.

Training an alternative work force is needed.

The billions of dollars given to oil, coal, and nuclear and the [traitorous] energy traders like Enron, must be redirected.

 

On a local level:

Change your diesel by replacing the rubber hoses and for cold weather toggle switch is added so you can flush the vegetable oil which jells. 

Bio-diesel needs no conversion.

 

What is Direct Action ?

It is just what it sounds like.  Author, West, gives a good overview of its usefulness.

 

Why Unions?

Again, the author offers a useful discussion.

Unions have accomplished:

 

Nuclear is only cheep because of massive grants and subsidies form the government.

 

Book: Look for work by Peter Kelman, labor historian.

People:

Wangari Mata Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize Winner living in Africa ??? ck.  sp. 

Arundhati Roy in India , work for environmental responsibility. 

 

 

 

Resources:

 

Living Wages

 

·              Fifty cities have living wage laws.

·              These are limited to businesses dong business with the municipality. 

·              Santa Monica is the first to mandate to private industry.

 

Corporate Death Penalty

Revoke the charter of businesses that fail to meet safety and environmental laws instead of yanking the charter out from under smaller corporations with smaller capital exchange.

Cause the state legislatures to strengthen corporate charter laws.

Get involved with town council.

Discus and debate government and democracy will [perhaps, happen again in America .

 

 

 Books or works:

 

All solutions not one!