How the Democrats/Greens lost this Election and What Can Be Done to Fix It

The results of the mid-term elections were dismal for America. They were dismal for the Democrats and Greens. Let’s face it, they simply sucked harder than an F-5 tornado in Oklahoma. So, what went wrong? How in the heck did the extreme right-winger whip our collective rears and take control of both houses of Congress as well as the governorships of states? They used their usual tactics of fear, voter intimidation, and their mouthpiece, the Faux News Network. (No, I’m not saying their proper name. It might even be best if we simply give it a term used by J.K. Rowling and call it “the network that shall not be named). As Democrats and Greens, we know their tactics by now and should have been able to stop them. So, why didn’t we and, even more importantly, what can we do to fix this mess that our country is now faced with having to deal with?

First, and this is something I’ve said for years, we talk a great game, but cannot run one. If you go to most cities whether they are large or small, you find a storefront that says Republican Headquarters. It’s a year-round business for the GOP/Tea Party to stay in the public eye and force feed their rhetoric to the masses. When it comes to the Democratic Party or the Green Party, or any other party for that matter, their presence is only just prior to an election, then they disappear until just before the next election. That’s not going to cut it nor is it going to win votes. If we want to stay relevant or even become more relevant, we need to be out there all the time. 365 days a year. If we do not go away, then people cannot ignore us. We have to actively campaign at all times and in all places. We cannot rely on our old support system in the unions as they are being squeezed out by the policies of the far right. They are becoming irrelevant to today’s younger voter.

Along those same lines, we have to muster the vote. It’s not enough to have voter registration campaigns, we have to get those who registered to vote out to vote. Although I have not checked the recent numbers, I believe I heard that voter turnout was somewhere around 35-40 percent. That sucks. People do not feel it matters if they vote nor who they vote for as they feel that decisions are made by a shadow government or by corporations anyhow. We have to show them that it matters. We have to bring up what the opposition is doing and has done to undermine real American values. We don’t do that enough. Perhaps we have to physically take people to their polling location to get them out to vote. Why in the heck aren’t we doing that across the United States? We have to make certain that those who we helped to register to vote, but cannot make it to the polls, get absentee ballots and get them mailed in to cast their votes. What we fail to realize, and why we do I have no idea, is that the conservative seniors vote. They have nothing else to do, but watch the network-that-shall-not-be-named and vote, at least when their not driving around on their golf carts or taking tole painting classes. If we don’t get out the vote for every election, then we face horrible things like this last election brought upon our country.

Next, and this part might be somewhat crude, we have to become better at attacking our opposition than we have been in the past. The far right pummels the airwaves through television, radio talk shows, and the internet with their vile rhetoric. They make up stories to scare the American public into voting for them. They do this by using words such as communism, socialism, and liberal, which many people have no freaking idea what they really mean in the first place because they are not included on a standardized test. They play to the ammosexuals by saying that we will take their guns away. They play to the fundamentalists by saying that prayer and God will be taken out of our schools. (Yeah, right. If that’s the case, then two problems exist. First, is that assumes that students will not silently pray on their own. Next, is assumes that God is not omnipotent if a polticial party can cause God to not exist). Ironically, they play to the poor by fooling them into believing that trickle down economics actually works. It doesn’t. The wealthy could care less about the poor or the middle class, just so long as they do their bidding and accept their meager paycheck while paying for crap that the company now makes overseas using sweatshops and slave labor. Where is this so-called liberal media? Why isn’t there a network that is always on the attack against ultraconservative ideas and rhetoric?

Third, the Democrats (and Greens) need to define themselves more clearly against their opposition. I would hazard to guess that if you asked most voters to tell you what either of these parties stand for, then you would get a plethora of sometimes conflicting answers. The time for namby-pamby centrism is over folks. Screw the idea of compromise! The GOP sure as hell did that once they got control of the House and they sure as hell are planning to do this since they have all of Congress now in their greedy, corporate-funded hands. We need to bring out voices like Elizabeth Warren and Warren Sanders. We need to cultivate people to run for office who are able to speak well, back up their speech, and fight harder to win rather than just to make a good showing. We need candidates who will sometimes stop being so damned polite and call a liar a liar and back it up with facts and the other person’s record. Corner their asses and make them defend themselves. We need to stop kowtowing and backing down from a fight as we so often do. Yes, we want to all love in harmony with our neighbor, but sometimes dammit, we need to be more warrior like and less like doormat.

Fourth, as we have learned in this last election as well as most elections held since the 80s, we need the funds to win. As much as we might like to say that anyone can run for office and win, it’s a money game. Many good people who want to run for office simply do not have the money to afford to run for office. This includes the time they need to take off from work to campaign, the airtime they need to run advertisements, the money to pay staff, create flyers, etc. It costs a great deal to combat those who gain their funds through backroom deals with corporate executives and the ultraconservative wealthy. Rather than simply throwing our hands up and saying that the corporations and wealthy will always win, we need to build our campaign financial warchests through taking small, non-corporate donations. Heck, even having bake sales would help. Doughnuts for Democrats or Granitas for Greens, whatever it takes to get the money to compete against these corporate funded conservatives. Look at the Occupy movements as an example of how to raise awareness, get funding, and get out the vote.

Finally, we need to show that our candidates will listen to the people rather than corporations when it comes to running our country. We have people out of work. We have people homeless. We have people who are hurting in so many ways. We need to listen and act to help them in real, concrete ways rather than just talk about it or form a committee to look into it. America needs action rather than inaction. America needs real compassion for one another on so many levels. We see this occur in small ways already, such as soup kitchens and food pantries run by churches and civic organizations. We see it in neighbors reaching out to each other in times of crisis. We need politicians who do this daily rather than just during campaign seasons. We need people who are not career politicians nor lawyers running our country. We need teachers, bricklayers, cab drivers, garbage collectors, anyone who feels it is their civic duty to represent everyone that the office they wish to full will represent to be able to run for an win office. We need to then hold them accountable to do just that and not be afraid to call them out if they do not and demand why they did not. We need to ask our questions and get real answers rather than settling for political rhetoric and feel good statements.

We can take America back, I hope. We can still salavage what may be left of our country after this past election. We cannot trust those recently elected to the majority to do this as they will continue to be beholden to their corporate string holders.

Wake the freak up Democrats and Greens! Take a day to lick your wounds, then fight like hell to save our country!

Genetically Modified Foods aka Frankenfoods are Dangerous

I recently took a vacation to my hometown in Ohio. While driving down the interstate, I noticed a couple of billboards taking a stand in support of genetically modified food crops. (At least one of these was sponsored by the largest manufacturer of GMOs, Monsanto). At the time, I had a vague sense of an idea as to what these crops were. The information given to the public states the purpose of these crops is to grow more food easier as genetically modified crops are more disease, drought, and insect resistant. Sounds like a great idea on the surface. Face it, if farmers can grow crops faster and lose less to environmental problems, then they will make a better profit and consumers will have an abundance of food making prices lower and products more available. It is a win-win situation, right? I decided to check up on these genetically modified crops, hereafter referred to as GMOs or GEs for genetically engineered.

What I found was some scary stuff. Most of this comes from a group called GM Know. They are a group of concerned citizens who have been studying this for years on their own. Their website is and that is from where a great deal of this background information comes. I thank them for posting this information and for helping to inform consumers about GMOs and GEs.

First off, genetically engineered foods are created in a lab rather than naturally occurring. What happens is that food scientists insert a gene, virus, or bacteria from one type of plant or similar species of the same plant into another to change how the plant reacts to insects, diseases, or environmental conditions. Another way to put this is to imagine that you spray an insecticide on a plant, but rather than being able to wash it off prior to eating it, that you cannot and it becomes part of the plant. Guess what happens when you eat the plant. You ingest that insecticide. Sounds tasty, right? The advantage is that there are primarily usually only six foods sold in the US that are genetically engineered: Corn, Soybeans, Canola, Sugar beets, Cotton, and Papaya.

Wait a minute! Corn, Soybeans, Sugar beets, and Canola? Aren’t those found in a great number of foods that we eat either completely or in part? Sure they are. We use corn in many ways. We eat it whole, in cereals, in its oil form, in most pre-packaged foods as corn syrup or hydrogenated oil. We feed it to livestock to fatten them up faster. We use soybeans in much the same way. Sugar beets are used to make, what else, sugar. Canola is considered healthy oil. So this means that every day, people are possibly eating products made using GMOs/GEs. The scarier part is that you do not know if you are eating them or not since the FDA does not currently call for mandatory labeling of products containing GMOs or GEs. However, other countries have done a great deal of research about them and the facts are startling. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I will refer to a list of four studies done on animals in other countries as posted on the GM Know website.

They state that Scotland studied “GE potatoes” that were “fed to rats.” The study “showed lowered nutritional content and suffered damaged immune systems, smaller brains, livers and testicles and enlarged intestines” (GM Know). In addition, the Austrians studied “that mice fed GE corn had fewer litters and fewer total offspring” (GM Know). The French “found that GE corn previously thought harmless revealed hormone-dependent diseases and early signs of toxicity in rats” (GM Know). Finally, the Australians found that “a harmless gene in a bean engineered into a pea produced immune reactions in mice, indicating allergic reactions and/or toxins” (GM Know). Here in the United States, the FDA has relied on the data given to them by the companies who create the GMOs and GEs and “they’re not required to give all their data to the FDA” (GM Know). Like too many things in the US, the reliance on the companies to self-monitor is much like putting the criminals in charge of the jail. Rarely do they tell the whole truth, especially if profits will suffer.

In an article that I gathered from the Cornucopia website, Maria Rodale, CEO and Chair of Rodale, Inc., cites a number of independent studies that point to the dangers of GMOs/GEs. One study she cites, taken from a journal entitled Nature Biotechnology, states “after we eat GMO soy, some of the GMO genes are transferred to the microflora of our intestines and those GMO genes are still active” (Rodale). She goes on to state that a study found in the journal Reproductive Toxicology, “found Bt-toxin (used in genetically modified Bt corn) in the blood of 93 percent of the pregnant women studied and their babies. The study authors suggest that aside from eating products made from GMO crops, eating meat from animals fed GMO crops make lead to a ‘high risk of exposure’”(Rodale). She finally lists a study performed Italian researchers that was published in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that discovered “that in young and older mice fed Bt corn, there were changes to their immune systems that corresponded with allergic and inflammatory responses. In humans these same inflammatory changes are associated with arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, allergies, and autoimmune diseases” (Rodale).

Now, wait another minute! Do you notice something here? There have been a great number of reports claiming that Americans, especially American children, are suffering from more allergies and autoimmune diseases than ever before. Could there be a link to this and the use of GMOs/GEs? I am not a scientist and will not pretend to be one; however, if these independent studies are showing the possibility of GMOs/GEs causing changes in animal tests, then what is to say they cannot also changes to humans? Someone needs to look into this further. There are more and more children becoming victims of cancer at younger and younger ages. We owe it to our children to demand independent studies on these GMOs/GEs, rather than allow the corporations to police themselves and tell us all is well based on their tests. More about their testing follows.

What this boils down to is that while the companies creating these GMOs/GEs state that these products are safe for human consumption saying that the cooking process will destroy the traces of GMOs, those companies have been proven wrong by independent studies and these products are indeed not safe for human consumption. If they are truly safe, then the companies must release all of their data to prove it. They will not and the politicians who receive donations from these big companies will not force them to release all of their data either. The studies they have were also performed using money from the companies, which would affect, in turn, the results as it is difficult to find a researcher who is hungry for funding that will also go against those who are giving them money for the research in the first place.

In order to be fair, I thought I would check out Monsanto’s website and see where they stand. After all, they are one of the largest producers of GMOs/GEs. They refer to “a large body of documented scientific testing showing currently authorized GM crops safe” ( through a body called the Center for Environmental Risk Assessment (CERA). They were even kind enough to give a link to CERA’s website. There I found a list of people who make up the Advisory Council for CERA, which their website says “is to act in an advisory and consultative capacity for CERA’s Director and staff” ( One of the members of this advisory council is Dr. Jerry Hjelle, Ph.D. Take a guess as to whom he works for. He is the Vice-President for Science Policy for Monsanto and the Vice-Chair of the International Life Sciences Institute Research Foundation Board of Trustees. So, one of the advisors for the place researching the safety of GMOs/GEs also works for one of the largest companies that manufactures GMOs/GEs. Somehow, that does not sound like an unbiased affiliation to me, or am I missing something here?

As Americans, we need to demand to know what is in our food, especially when it comes to these ‘Frankenfoods’ that are not as nature intended them to be. We need to be allowed to decide to purchase those products that have been or contain genetically modified organisms or not, but that cannot happen if the labels are not there in the first place to let us know or not. An alternative is to go entirely organic and attempt to increase the demand for organic foods, which will then lower the price on them to make them more affordable than their non-organic counterparts.

The fear that is evident from the money these companies are spending to keep us from knowing should be our warning that something is amiss with our food supply. It is also evident in their having people working for them who are also part of the same researchers that say their products are safe. This is not right. We need to demand independent research be performed to prove the safety of GMOs/GEs. While they say it is not practical to hold long-term studies on humans in order to determine that GMOs/GEs are safe, that practicality comes from a profit-driven motivation rather than a human well-being motivation. Our health as well as the health of our children is at stake. That should be the motivation, not how much money can be made regardless of safety and having to clean up the potential mess down the road.

Sources: (Rodale)