By Al Lococo 10/31/2016
The Green party platform supports the policies I believe will take us to a future necessary to the well-being of my children and grand children.
These policies address forgiving student debt, free college tuition, single payer health care, promoting solar, wind, electric private and public transportation and infrastructure maintenance and improvements that will create jobs that strengthen the economy, clean up the environment and mitigate climate change. Promoting the $15.00 minimum wage, a tax on carbon, elimination fossil fuel subsidies, ending for profit prisons and mass incarceration of blacks, demilitarizing police for racial justice, cutting military spending by closing foreign military bases, ending wars in Middle East by ending financial support and cutting of supplies of weapons.
Why I don’t support Hillary Clinton
Many Clinton supporters are motivated by their opposition to Trump who they see as the greater evil. They see Stein as not being able to win and a vote for her as a wasted vote or worse a vote for Trump.
By that logic a vote for all but the winning candidate is wasted. All the votes that went to losing candidates apparently have no value and are wasted. Apparently democracy is a process by which we look at the polls to see who the winner will be and vote for that person if we don’t want to waste our vote.
With regard to the greater or lesser evil, I never for a moment considered voting for Trump. I was early on a Clinton supporter, impressed with rhetoric and happy with the idea of a woman president. As Bernie Sanders emerged I found myself aligned with his polices, principles, honesty and history. When he lost the democratic primary, I found Stein to be a candidate that embraced the same policies and principles as Sanders. This combined with a deeper understanding of the differences between Clinton’s rhetoric and actions and the general political direction and corruption of the democratic party, convinced me that my vote for Stein was sealed.
I find myself in a position similar in one way to that of many Clinton supporters. Part of my reason for having voted for Stein is my opposition to Clinton which parallels Clinton supporters in their opposition to Trump as an important motivator.
I find many Clinton supporters find it easy to dismiss the Democratic party’s or Clinton’s unfavorable policies or insavory practices. I find it particularly difficult to understand how long term progressive and environmentalists can vote for Clinton given her support for fracking for example.
So I have voted for Stein because of her policies and principles and ruled out Clinton for the same reason. I feel the need to elaborate on the reasons for my opposition to the Democratic party and their nominee for president. Not all of the failures in policy are Clinton’s alone, in some cases the DNC, the Clinton Campaign and other party operatives are directly responsible. I hold her culpable wherever the failure may lie for her reluctance to speak out against it or take steps to mitigate the effect or prevent its recurrence.
I find as a progressive environmentalist I can not turn my head and look the other way in the face of policies or corruption. First, let me count the polices supported by Clinton directly or supported by the Democratic party and condoned by her.
1) Clean Energy Policy – Includes limited duration subsidies for Solar, wind and electric cars which is good while at the same time supporting long term subsidies for fossil fuels. Her Energy Policy also includes fracking which includes dumping toxic and radioactive waste water in aquifers and irrigation of crops, off shore drilling in the Gulf, Atlantic and Pacific which includes dumping toxic and radio active waste water in the ocean, drilling, fracking and mining on public lands, pipelines and shipping oil by rail which is responsible for leaks, spills, fires and explosions, LNG Ports, all of which is bad.
2) For profit private prisons – Clinton has taken money from private prison corporations who have as a business model incarceration quotas. Democratic party policies have led to the mass incarceration of blacks.
3) Militarization of police force – Our citizens in cities are looking like subjects of military occupation as local police forces become increasingly militarized.
4) Patriot Act – The current Democratic administration has been instrumental in extending Bush Administration policies and further limiting civil rights by approving the extension of the Patriot Act and approving the detention of citizens accused of terrorism without trial Under NDAA.
5) $15.00 Minimum Wage – An example of Clinton incrementalism and half measures is her support for the $12.00 minimum wage.
6) Single Payer Health Care – Clinton wants to enhance the Affordable Care Act believing a single payer Medicare for all system will never work in the United States. Another example of her incrementalism and half measures.
7) Student Debt – The Democratic party supported the bailout of the Big Banks and auto corporations like GM and Chrysler but not students who have been burdened with a lifetime of debt on the promise of a good job at graduation. These jobs were lost to them due to an economy crashed by the banks. Clinton believes students should pay their debt.
8) Wars in the Middle East – Clinton personally voted for the war in Iraq, as Secretary of State was instrumental in unfolding events in Libya and Syria. There is nothing good about these wars with tens of thousands of Muslims killed resulting in desperate survivors becoming refugees or terrorists.
9) Overthrow of democratically elected foreign governments – As secretary of state Clinton was instrumental in forming US policies after the coup that ignored the Honduran public and in effect legitimized an illegal takeover.
10) Immigration – The current Democratic administration has increased the rate of immigrant deportations while Clinton was Secretary of State. In addition child immigrants from Honduras were detained by the US at the Mexican border and deported back to Honduras while Clinton was Secretary of State.
11) Syria – Clinton now wants to establish a no-fly-zone over Syria putting the U.S. in direct confrontation with Russia who is routinely bombing Syria from the air. The consequences of such a confrontation between the worlds two greatest nuclear powers could be catastrophic.
My discussion would not be complete without discussing Cinton and Democratic party corruption. The Clintons have a long history of unsavory business matters and other affairs. They seem always to come out looking clean with the exception of the Lewinsky matter which after a long period of denial seemed to hang on the definition of ‘is’. Clinton supporters seem to find a great deal of comfort in what they refer to as a 30 year vetting process.
The fact that the couple in general but Hillary in particular always maintains plausible deniability but is always clouded by the fact rhat she is usually the beneficiary of the wrong doing.
Let us count the instances of corruption that make it impossible for me to turn my head and look the other way.
1) DNC collusion with the media during primary – We learn from leaked emails that Debbie Wasserman Schultz collaborated with the media to undermine the Sanders campaign. There is no evidence that Clinton herself had anything to do with matter but her campaign benefited from the matter. Clinton was not outraged by the matter. She did not condemn it but instead gave Schultz a job on the campaign.
2) Rigged Primary election – There were some strange activities happening during the primary all of which benefited Clinton. Bill Clinton appearing at several polling places with his secret service in Massachusetts disrupting the voting process. I can’t imagine what legitimate motive he could have or what he thought the consequences might be.
Then there were the mysterious 100 thousand registered Democrats in Brooklyn who were discovered to be registered Republicans on primary day and thus unable to vote for Sanders.
In Arizona of 200 polling places 140 were closed forcing people to drive long distances to vote causing some to stay home. Those who drove to the polls spent long hours in line late into the night and discouraging others.
In California poll volunteers were instructed to give voters registered as independents an NPP (No Party Preference) ballot which does not allow them to vote for presidential candidate. They were further instructed not to advise such voters the were permitted to ask for a crossover ballot which would allow an Independent to vote for Sanders.
We have the conflation of terms such as Voter Fraud, Election Fraud, Voter Suppression and Rigged Election. I have listed some examples of unsavory practices by perhaps overenthusiastic polling officials. This list is by no means exhaustive. We have the Stanford And Harvard studies which have been debunked and followed by debunked debunking. These studies give examples of polls prior to primary day and exit polls which are inconsistent with election results. In many cases election results are biased to Clinton. They point out that in states where election machines can be tampered with and no paper trail exists for recounting, Clinton is more likely to win. The Stanford study goes so far as to say Sanders would have won by a landslide if this is to be believed.
Sanders himself denies any likelihood of election fraud or rigging, but criticizes Democratic party rules that create super delegates and closed primaries that prevent registered Independents from voting for him.
The role of media practices on the outcome of the Democratic primary is obvious even to the casual observer. This fact is further confirmed by email evidence. The most blatant attempt by the media to influence Democratic Primary outcome is the Associated Press announcement on the eve of the California primary that Clinton is the presumptive nominee. On May 23rd Chris Mathews had predicted a media announcement on the day following the AP announcement, June 7th, the day of the primary at 5:00 pm Pacific time. How is it that Chris Mathews knows on May 23rd what news will be reported on June 7th not only by MSNBC, but other news organizations as well? What we have here is corruption that quite conveniently and coincidentally benefits Clinton while at the same time she maintains plausible deniability.
Clinton supporters say there may have been some misdeeds by local officials but it would not have affected the outcome. Nothing to be concerned about, just politics as usual. And besides that it is most likely all Republican lies anyway.
3) Email server – Quite interestingly Clinton claims the server in her basement was never compromised. She says there were no classified emails on the server that might be vulnerable to hackers. Clinton deleted 33 thousand emails. She says these were personal and none of them were classified.
Some of these statements may be true, but are hard to believe. Are none of the hacked emails, now public, from this server? Is it possible for the Secretary of State in her entire term to never have sent or received a classified email? Is it possible for anyone to have that many personal emails?
In Clinton’s defense her supporters say it is not unprecedented for someone in her office to have a private email. A private server in your basement is very different from a private email account. Her supporters justify her email deletions by referring to the Bush email deletions. An attempt by a previous administration to remove government proceedings from the record does not justify a second transgression.
4) Public and Private Positions – The Podesta emails reveal the need and value of Clinton holding both a public and a private position on issues. In the last debate she admitted her duality and justified it with a reference to Lincoln. She did not challenge the validity of the email although other Democrats like Podesta and Brazile have referred to altered emails without being specific. Clinton in the debate went on to object to Russian interference in our electoral process by hacking and exposing her emails.
The only evidence I have seen is of alteration of leaked email meta data that contains the code name of a former KGB agent recorded in Cyrillic font. This constitutes the Russian fingerprints referred to by Democrats when changing the subject from email content to email origin in Russia. An alteration to unseen meta data is quite different from an alteration to the data that makes up the content of email seen by anyone other than a computer scientist who knows what meta data is and has the tools to read or change it. It is possible and highly likely that the hacker responsible for liberating the email is not Russian and the meta data change was made out of a sense of ironic humor as anyone in computer business might guess of a hacker.
5) Poll Rigging and Oversamples – In another Podesta email we have evidence of poll rigging. This email contains a virtual very lengthy handbook on the technique of oversampling to achieve the desired poll results. This poll manipulation serves to give Clinton apparent momentum where there is none.
6) Clinton Foundation – Charity Navigator gives the Clinton Foundation a score of 94.74% out of 100%. They say 88% of donations go to charity. Of course these figure and rating vary from year to year. Charity Navigator stopped rating the Clinton Foundation entirely in 2014 because it said changes in the foundation’s business structure were incompatible with the way Charity Navigator calculates its ratings.
In the tax return for the year 2013, depending on your analysis of the return, between 10% and 30% went to charity. Other years tax returns do not support charitable donation approaching 90 percent. Judge Jeanine Pirro has called the foundation a money laundering scheme.
There is circumstantial evidence that the Foundation is part of a “pay to play” scheme. What many suspect from circumstances is confirmed by email evidence where the term is actually used in an email, much like the DNC emails showing, not surprisingly, collusion with media.
Let’s for the purpose of example review the most popular case of “pay to play” or quid pro quo. What started out as Canadian deal with a Russian company for uranium and ended up with a 100 percent ownership by ARMZ a subsidiary of the Russian atomic energy agency, Rosatom. holding 20 percent of U.S. uranium reserves.
The story starts with a trip to Russia in September of 2005 by Bill Clinton and Frank Giustra, a Canadian mining financier who then wins a uranium deal in Kazakhstan. Sometime in 2006 Giustra makes a $31.3 million contribution to the Clinton Foundation. Over the years the deal evolves as the original company becomes Uranium One then expands into the U.S. Followed by investments from ROSATOM, the Russian Atomic Energy Agency. Each step along the way requiring U.S. State Department approval and resulting in additional millions in contributions to the Clinton Foundation from benefiting parties involved. One of the highlights of this eight year process is when Bill Clinton is paid $500 thousand for a speech in Moscow by a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin that assigned a buy rating to Uranium One stock.
No, this story is not Republican lies. This is right out of the New York Times. This story would be very hard to grasp at any point along the way as it was unfolding. Where these sometimes seemingly unrelated events were going to end up would be hard to imagine, perhaps even for some of the parties involved. It is like a chess game. Each player has a strategy, but not all strategies will be fully realized. Of course there is always one guaranteed winner, that is the Clinton Foundation.
7) Misc. Mysterious History – In the Clinton’s distant past are unsavory matters easily forgotten over time recalled by headline phrases such as Cattle Futures, Whitewater, Travelgate and Filegate.
Hillary Clinton made $60 thousand in cattle futures while her husband was Govenor of Arkansas. This came into question because she was unable to cover her losses and as her account fell below margin, no margin call was issued and no cash was deposited in her account.
In the matter of Whitewater, it was the Clinton’s friends and partners who ended up in jail. The Clintons were never charged with wrong doing. James McDougal died in jail after writing a book which openly implicated Clinton in Whitewater. In the book he claimed Clinton promised to give a presidential pardon to his wife. The Clinton administration denied the claim. One of Clinton’s final acts in office was to pardon McDougal’s wife.
The ethical matter of Travelgate involves the unjustified dismissal of seven employees at the White House Travel Office. Although the President has the authority to dismiss without cause Travel Office employees, the practice was unprecedented due to the non political nature of the office located in the Old Executive Office Building. For this reason the Clintons felt the need to justify the dismissals with an investgation of the Travel Office. Head of the Travel Office Director Billy Dale was charged with embezelment and aquitted. The reputations of other employees were damaged unjustly. Investigations into the role of the Clintons in this matter found no evidence of wrong doing.
The Filegate matter involves the acquisition of hundreds background reports from the FBI on former and prospective White House officials and employees in violation of privacy. Although several investigations resulted, no evidence of wrong doing was ever proved.
The untimely death of Vince Foster has been one in a series of deaths which has been fodder for what has been characterized as “conspiracy theories”. Personally, I believe the circumstances of his death are quiet clear. He clearly committed suicide. That was Ken Starr’s conclusion. A draft letter of resignation torn into 27 pieces found in Fosters briefcase is said to serve as some sort of suicide note. I have read the content of the note. It didn’t appear to me to be much of a suicide note. More interesting is an actual letter of resignation written by Miguel Rodriguez, investigator for Ken Starr. Unsatisfied with the interference in his pursuit of the facts in his investigation he submits his resignation to Starr mentioning among other things a second wound in the right side of Foster’s neck.
It is obvious to me that neither of the Clintons is guilty of murder in the case of Foster or any other case. Have they ever been implicated as accessories either before or after the fact? In this regard we have only speculation and no charge and no conviction. In the case of Foster, it is not even clear that there was a murder. Most importantly, if Foster was murdered with the Clinton’s being implicated before the fact, what was their motive? To simply say Whitewater without more specifics is not satisfying to me.
The only fishy thing about Foster’s death is that during the 59 minutes before his office was secured three White House employees spent time in his office looking for a suicide note. A uniformed Secret Service Officer said he saw Margaret Williams, Hillary’s Chief of Staff exiting Foster’s office carrying file folders in her arms ans hands which she carried into her office after struggling to open the door. He said she then exited her office empty handed and closed the door.
There is also, on a less serious note, the matter of $190 thousand worth of furniture removed from the White House at the end Bill Clinton’s second term. In the end $48 thousand worth of furniture was returned and $86 thousand was paid to the government for other items retained by the Clintons, but belonging to the government. So of the $190 thousand worth of items removed from the White House, $134 thousand worth of items did not belong to them. Only $56 thousand worth of the $190 worth of things removed actually belonged to them. Apparently the two Clinton lawyers were unable to understand exactly what was theirs and what wasn’t. No harm done. In the end with restitution and returns all was set right.
Because Benghazi has been such a major recent and ongoing matter in the news, I want to mention it. Absent the attention it has gotten, I would ignore it. It is not otherwise worthy of mention in a discussion of Clinton or Democratic party ethical misconduct or corruption. The Benghazi investigations tell us more about the character of the Republicans conducting or calling for the investigations than the character of Clinton. If anything they highlight her strength and endurance. These proceedings constitute nothing more than unjustified abuse of the Secretary of State and played no part in my decision not to vote for her.
If there is blame to be placed for Benghazi, it lies with the Republican decision to limit embassy security spending. From 2008 to 2012 the administrations requests for embassy security funding were underfunded by $772.9 million. Actual funding during the period amounted to over 15 billion.
Ultimately, responsibility for the deaths at the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi lies with the terrorists who perpetrated the act. In the confusion of the immediate hours and days following the attack there may have been some misjudgments about the nature of events in Benghazi, but such mistakes in no way indicate Clinton was in any way responsible for what happened. Clinton’s exoneration in this matter in no way excuses her culpability in other matters. This is not an example of how she or her party have been unjustly investigated without cause.
It has been my intention with this paper to say why I voted fo Jill Stein. That reason is easily stated in simple and straight forward terms about the Green party platform. This is the sole and total justification for my decision.
But for my family and friends who support Clinton the question will be why not vote for Clinton, Stein can’t possibly win? It is for this reason and for the benefit of my grandchildren should they want to understand my position as the consequences of this election unfold over time, since they will bear the burden of those consequences.
I cannot understand how progressives and environmentalists can support the policies of Clinton. She will oppose an end to fossil fuel subsides and a tax on carbon, both of winch are essential to arrest the advancement of global warming and the resulting catastrophic Climate change.
Further she supports fracking and the disposal of toxic and radio active waste water in the Gulf of Mexico, dumping this waste in aquifers, using it to irrigate crops and sequestering it in deep underground storage wells resulting in earthquakes. She supports pipelines and shipping by rail which regularly result in leaks, spills, fires and explosions.
She supports the TPP and other trade agreements that infringe on the sovereignty of nations and their ability to regulate corporations that pollute the air land and water or threaten the general welfare of citizens in any other way.
So many progressive environmentalist Clinton supporters are able to look away from these policies and others listed earlier that I fear after eight years of her policies, our window of opportunity to mitigate all but the very worst effects of climate change will be lost.
One of my most intelligent environmentalist friends said, “When I heard Jill Stein was anti vaccine she lost any possibility of getting my vote.” It amazes me how such an intelligent leader in the environmental movement can take a Clinton talking point which completely mis-characterizes Stein’s position as sufficient reason to dismiss the Green party platform while looking the other way on Clinton’s positions on the environment.
If policy were not enough reason for progressives and environmentalists to shun Clinton, there is this record of corruption and seamy behavior which is so easily dismissed by otherwise inteligent rational people. Although Bill Clinton has his own kind of affairs, Hillary herself is at the center of all these ethical and corruption matters. In the Travel Office matter, there was no legal or ethical issue with dismissing seven employees. But to eliminate the appearance of violating tradition, she had to justify the dismissals by fabricating charges against the dismissed employees ruining their lives.
The Cattle futures episode was hers alone, it was her Chief of Staff seen removing files from Fosters office and she who removed $134 thousand worth of furniture from the White House.
Clinton supporters like to point out that she has never been convicted of a crime. This is a pretty low bar for a president. Bill Clinton was never convicted of a crime, but he lost his license to practice law.
Hillary Clinton compared herself to Abraham Lincoln at the last debate when asked about the Podesta email that revealed her dual public and private policies. Lincoln was working to preserve the Union and end slavery. Her duality might be more acceptable if she were working to establish a tax on carbon and end fossil fuel subsidies. Instead she is working with her duality to preserve fracking and put an end to the sovereignty of nations and their ability to regulate corporations.
To paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen, I am a student of history, I know Lincoln, Lincoln was a great man, you Secretary Clinton are no Lincoln.
I am not sure what most people think this election is about, but for me it is first about mitigation of climate change. I am reminded of the example of the petri dish. It starts out with a small population of bacteria and abundant agar which serves as food. It is the destiny of this population to at first grow and thrive consuming their limited resource and polluting as they grow. Soon the pollution begins to limit growth and eventually their resource is exhausted and they die.
Our environment is much more complex. And we have renewable resources. But if we confine our consumption to limited resources that pollute our environment, the petri dish serves as useful model for our destiny. We cannot continue to consume and pollute indefinitely.
We need leaders that understand the crisis at hand. We have not a problem to solve but a task to complete. The Green party and Jill Stein have a platform that meets our requirements. The Democrats and Republicans offer a program of continued insane consumption of limited resources and the associated pollution.
My wife and I each own and drive an electric car. We have a 5.4 kw solar array at our home. We voted for Jill Stein. I believe the choices we make shape the future.