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wildeyed in NC
Posted by wildeyed in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sat May 01st 2010, 07:43 AM
First the economic meltdown and now the oil spill in the gulf. Huge risks taken insanely greedy individuals who left us regular people to take the brunt of the consequences and don't seem to even comprehend what that entails. Or care. I grew up during the Reagan years hearing endlessly about the genius of the free market, about its self-correcting perfection. I never really believed it, but seeing the economic train wreck of the past few years, fueled by greedy individuals running rampant in unregulated markets and now the oil spill in the Gulf, also fueled by greed and a total disregard for potential consequences, I am completely disgusted. It has just been awful people looking for a way to justify their character defects all along. What is crazy is how many people believed them. Drill, baby, drill! Yeah, whatever. I am so tired of paying the price for these people's avarice. They need to be held accountable.
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Posted by wildeyed in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Mon May 25th 2009, 07:39 AM
IRV allows you to vote third party, and have your vote still count. Also, it gives third party candidates serious negotiating power. A third party candidate may not have the votes to WIN and election, but if they promise the mainstream candidate the second place vote of all supporters they can force that candidate to support their top issue, i.e. single payer healthcare.

SDR makes it easier for people who move often to vote. Jesse Ventura was elected to state-wide office in a state that has SDR.

Here is an interesting paper on campaign finance reform that I turned up on Google. Haven't read through it, but it seems to say that campaign finance reform laws also played a large part in Ventura's third party success.

I think are right about IRV. I am a strong supporter of third parties, but we need to change the structure of elections before we can make them a viable choice. And neither party wants to see that. At the end of the day, they are invested in maintaining their own power, not sharing it with others, even if the current system is strangling our democracy.

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Posted by wildeyed in North Carolina
Sat Oct 11th 2008, 09:09 AM


This campaign is different. It isn't just a campaign with opposing sides, like 2004 and 2000 and 1996. Something profound is happening. It's as if a slow-building fire got lit sometime in the past few years and finally is blazing.

But the kindling was glowing as early as April 6, 2006. That day in Charlotte, a gray-haired real estate broker named Harry Taylor, attending a speech by President Bush to an applauding audience, stood and said into a microphone:

“In my lifetime I have never felt more ashamed of, nor more frightened, by my leadership in Washington, including the presidency. And I would hope from time to time that you have the humility and the grace to be ashamed of yourself. I also want to say I really appreciate the courtesy of allowing me to speak.”


Now Harry Taylor is running for Congress. It's a quixotic campaign – a politically inexperienced Democrat challenging a popular Republican incumbent, Sue Myrick, in a district that's been Republican since Ike was a president and not a hurricane and before Sarah Palin was born.


He comes off as smart, passionate – bordering on, though not tipping into, zealotry – but politically naïve in a Jimmy Stewartish way. Asked what he'd do if he won and an issue arose where he thought one thing but knew most in his district disagreed, he said, “I'd follow my heart.”

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Posted by wildeyed in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Sun Sep 07th 2008, 03:47 PM
But at the same time, I do think we have a good chance at winning. Facts is, we have been consistently ahead in the polls since May. The electoral map looks good. We have more money, more volunteers and better organization on the ground than our opponents. This all means more than a single bad one day post-convention tracking poll.

I think it is crazy high expectations to think that we should be 10 points ahead right now. We are winning, but we need to maintain realistic expectations. The pubs are not push overs and they will not let go of power easily. They have a great database network for tracking their voters and have been brilliant at turning them out in the past. I guess this is where Palin comes in, she gets those religious conservative voters fired up. They know how to play a tough voter suppression game. They are good at manipulating the electorate through lies and misinformation.

Obama ran a great primary campaign beating one of the strongest political teams of our lifetime. I know that a general election is different beast, but in the past the Obama campaign consistently made good decisions and seemed to have a Plan B for when things didn't go the way they wished. Chances are they have a plan now, too.

In the meantime, I have a plan; to phone bank, register voters and canvass every week until election day. I do not have control over the campaigns, the media, the Gallup daily tracking poll or the political stupidity of my repub in-laws. What I do have control over my own actions. What I can do to help the campaign the most is to contribute my time and enthusiasm.

I expect the polls to improve in a week or so, but even if that doesn't come to pass, my plan remains the same. I do what I can to help the team. I fight. I don't whimper and run around with my tail between my legs spreading upset and worry at the smallest setback.
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Posted by wildeyed in Gardening Group
Thu May 08th 2008, 09:21 AM

Urban Farmers’ Crops Go From Vacant Lot to Market

IN the shadows of the elevated tracks toward the end of the No. 3 line in East New York, Brooklyn, with an April chill still in the air, Denniston and Marlene Wilks gently pulled clusters of slender green shoots from the earth, revealing a blush of tiny red shallots at the base.

“Dennis used to keep them big, and people didn’t buy them,” Mrs. Wilks said. “They love to buy scallions.”

Growing up in rural Jamaica, the Wilkses helped their families raise crops like sugar cane, coffee and yams, and take them to market. Now, in Brooklyn, they are farmers once again, catering to their neighbors’ tastes: for scallions, for bitter melons like those from the West Indies and East Asia and for cilantro for Latin-American dinner tables.

“We never dreamed of it,” said Mr. Wilks, nor did his relatives in Jamaica. “They are totally astonished when you tell them that you farm and go to the market.”

For years, New Yorkers have grown basil, tomatoes and greens in window boxes, backyard plots and community gardens. But more and more New Yorkers like the Wilkses are raising fruits and vegetables, and not just to feed their families but to sell to people on their block.

This urban agriculture movement has grown even more vigorously elsewhere. Hundreds of farmers are at work in Detroit, Milwaukee, Oakland and other areas that, like East New York, have low-income residents, high rates of obesity and diabetes, limited sources of fresh produce and available, undeveloped land.

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Posted by wildeyed in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Sun May 04th 2008, 08:45 AM
or whatever the insult du jour is. There are a myriad of great reasons to support Obama and they have been discussed in depth on this board and in the media. There are also many reasons to support Clinton and I respect people who choose to do that. People who don't understand the arguments of the other side have chosen not to.

The people who persist in categorizing the supporters of other candidates in a uniform and negative light are incredibly short sighted. Will I come on board with a group that has insulted me personally after the primary? Who have called the candidate I love a bitch or an empty suit? Not bloody likely.

So here's the deal. I have chosen a candidate, Barack Obama. I am a strong supporter and not persuadable to Clinton at this time. If you think Clinton has a shot at the nom, great, but if you insult me personally, I will not be working with you in the general.

I would strongly advise Obama supporters to take the same advice. Engaging strong Clinton supporters in discussion is not productive. They are not persuadable and will not be switching to our side at this time. It is never OK to insult them personally, or make ad hominem attacks on their candidate.

I don't expect anyone to take this post seriously.

For what it is worth, I post pro-Obama threads regularly and have very little disruption from Clinton supporters. The key seems to be to keep it positive.
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Posted by wildeyed in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Fri May 02nd 2008, 08:59 PM

And one more from the rally in Charlotte. It was jammed to the rafters!

I just wanted to share

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Posted by wildeyed in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Sat Mar 29th 2008, 12:11 PM
I took a grassroots activist seminar recently where we talked about the art of persuading a citizen to vote for your candidate. I am notoriously bad at this, so the topic was particularly fascinating to me. Here is a brief overview of what I learned in the seminar.

First, ID who you think *might* be persuadable. Some people aren't, they can't be helped and you need to leave them be. It is a waste of energy to try to convince them, and it will likely backfire and cause them to become more entrenched in their candidate and ideology since they have expended so much energy defending them.

Once you have ID'ed someone you think is persuadable, talk to them about their VALUES. People vote mostly with their heart, AKA their values. If you can figure out what they value and tell them how your candidate supports their values, then you have a good shot at converting them.

Next, identify their SELF-INTEREST, or their gut issues. These are often financial in nature. Appeal to their gut second, after you have made you values pitch.

Finally, and only as a last resort, appeal to FACT or their head.

It always surprises me that making factual arguments is not the most effective way to win over a voter, but it is not. For instance, in 04, I would argue, "Can't you see that Bush lied to get us to war, that he stole the election!" The repose from my right-wing in-laws would be along the lines of, "Whatever, he represents our values because he is a strong American, and manly looking in a flight suit and we want to drink beer with him." Which, predictably, just drove me over the edge and the conversation would devolve from there. And, of course, I was unable to persuade them to vote for Kerry. They are sorry now, but that is another conversation.

So basically, voter persuasion is a four step process:

1. Identify a persuadable person.

2. values = heart. Appeal to their heart first.

3. self-interest = gut. Go for the gut second.

4. facts = head. Use fact only to buttress your other arguments, never as the initial approach.

I am bringing this up now because there seems to be a lot of upset between Hillary and Barack supporters in this forum right now. It seems to me that most of this is a waste of energy, since nearly everyone who posts here is no longer persuadable. They are hardened in their views, and pestering them about your candidate will only antagonize them. Which is probably the point, but not a smart way to win hearts and minds for the General when we will all need to rely on each other again to win.

Let me appeal to our shared values. We all want to see the end of GWB's presidency, to see fairness and honesty restored to the White House. We disagree on how best to do that, but at the end of the day, that is what we all want.
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Posted by wildeyed in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Sat Mar 29th 2008, 09:17 AM
State Sen. Malcolm Graham thought he knew what to expect when he helped open Democrat Barack Obama's Charlotte headquarters Thursday night.

"I went there expecting 50, 60, 70 people," he said.

Seven hundred showed up.

Lines wrapped around the headquarters at 1523 Elizabeth Ave. They were a mixed crowd: white, black, young and old. Few political events of any kind -- let alone a headquarters opening -- draw that many people.

"I've never seen a grassroots movement take hold like that," said Graham, who welcomed the volunteers on behalf of the campaign. "It was just amazing to sit back and watch."

Charlotte is one of 13 Obama campaign offices across the state. Campaign officials say more than 3,000 people attended recent openings in nine communities.

I found this snippet in the Charlotte Observer this morning. That is a mind-boggling turnout for a headquarters opening, especially in a mid-sized semi-conservative Southern city.
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Posted by wildeyed in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Sat Mar 22nd 2008, 07:18 AM
I am buddies with many Hillary supporters. I would never let a primary come between us.

As many have observed, there is ugliness on both sides of this debate. I do not like being referred to as an Obamite or cult member or what ever the insult du jour is for Obama supporters. However, I recognize that most Hillary supporters are not engaging in that low level debate, just as I would never use the term Hillbot or whatever.

I use ignore and hide thread a lot in this forum. I have my options page set to hide all GD: Primaries threads. When I want to discuss primaries, I come in here knowing it is a wild ride. The rest of the time, my DU experience is a primaries-free event
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Posted by wildeyed in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Thu Mar 20th 2008, 05:40 PM
No more obsessing over polls, listening to the cable news show, getting butterflies every time I hear something negative about the candidate I support. 2004 was too devastating, I can't go through that kind of profound disappointment again. Besides, primaries are just the warm up, I wanted to save my big guns for the GE.

But after Obama's speech a few days ago, I am gone, baby, say a prayer for me........ Obama's the one for me.
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Posted by wildeyed in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Wed Mar 19th 2008, 09:23 AM
I love politics and am very active locally, but I choose to work mostly on issues because I don't like politicians or political parties very much. I have always accepted as fact that politicians are a little bit dirty, that they need to do certain things to get elected and that is just the way the game is played. But after Obama's speech yesterday, I am questioning that view.

That speech *was* audacious. It was not the scripted, risk adverse, sound-bite fest that I have come to expect and tune out. It was from a man who cares more about the substance of the debate than about winning, but who is winning regardless, proving that it can be done.

It is making me think that maybe I expect too little of politicians and, as an extension, of myself.
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Posted by wildeyed in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Sep 04th 2007, 05:53 PM

The Charlotte Observer did a story about it just yesterday.

On Sept. 4th, 1957, a 15-year-old girl named Dorothy Counts took a walk that changed Charlotte.

A crowd taunted her all the way to the doors of Harding High School.

But she walked through.

And she became one of four black students who integrated the city schools that year. But what about the other people there that day? And How has that day lingered with them over the years?

Today we tell a story not just about Dorothy Counts, but about the other faces in the crowd. And about the photograph that captured them all.

And from another article they ran....

"One thing that surprised me," Tommy said, "is that even though we've written about Dorothy several times over the years, nobody from that school ever contacted her and apologized. Not the teachers, not the principal, not the police. And you can tell that, deep down, this still bothers her."

More here.
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Posted by wildeyed in Precinct-level Politics Group
Fri Aug 31st 2007, 06:09 PM
This is only a local election year for us, but the grass roots progressive are getting it together. The plan is to dry run new strategies this year, then have them dialed in for the presidential election next year, so when it is all hitting the fan and we have volunteers coming out of the woodwork, we will know how to use them productively.

I am organizing non-partisan voter registration drives, but working with a coalition of groups instead of trying to do it all solo like I have in the past. Takes longer to work as a group short term, but long term we can do so much more. I went to a meeting last night that brought together most of the progressive spectrum in my city. Got to speak, too, although I hadn't realized until after I got there that there were going to be almost 100 people in attendance. Oh well, didn't have time to get nervous.

We are also looking at strategies to take advantage of the new Same Day Registration legislation that just passed the legislature.

I am so excited to see some real time and money being invested in my "red" state and happy to be part of the change that is bound to result
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