Monday, June 11, 2012

Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson, and Jim Gray on Progressive Radio Network

As you can see, the event is happening as I am posting. If you see this in time, listen live on Progressive Radio Network.


Saving Our Democracy from Duopoly

THIS MONDAY, JUNE 11, 2012, at 7pm (ET) / 4pm (PT):
A Blockbuster Radio Event on Saving Our Democracy from Duopoly
Featuring all three of the most popular third-party 2012 candidates, in a roundtable discussion about the deficiencies of our two-party system.

Presidential Candidates (Green Party) and (), plus Libertarian Party Vice-Presidential Candidate will join us LIVE in a conversation facilitated and moderated by Gary Null on The Progressive Commentary Hour — exclusively on The Progressive Radio Network.

Never before have these three been brought together in such a forum. Never before have third-party candidates had so much to agree on. We will ask them to join forces, to acknowledge their differences, but also to recognize how crucial it is in this time in American history to put up a united front against the partisan bickering and corporatocracy that rules Washington and erodes the people’s power.

Join us Monday, June 11, for this incredible event, spread the word to friends, send us your questions for the candidates, and let’s take back our democracy with the help of these remarkable minds.

I'll post some thoughts on the conversations at the conclusion.

Update: Still digesting all that I heard. If you'd like to listen for yourself, below is the embedded, archived recording of last night's program.

Rocky Anderson:

"American voters deserve to hear from more than two people and two parties. Over the past four years, for good reason, 2.5 million voters have left both the Republican and Democratic parties. They are fed up with the current system controlled by the .01%. Third party candidates have a great deal to say and they will not be muzzled by the corporate billions spent to buy the election."

"Fifty-four percent of voters say they want a new political party. We’re here."

Jill Stein:

One hundred and forty-six million people – that’s nearly one in every two Americans – are now living below or near the poverty level. The stress falls hardest on our most vulnerable and disadvantaged, with the majority of children, half of our elders, three quarters of Latinos, and two thirds of African Americans living in or near poverty.

Last year, one million Americans lost their health insurance, raising the numbers of the uninsured to almost 50 million of our people. Over 6 million Americans have lost their homes to foreclosure.

Overall, nearly 25 million Americans are unemployed or unable to find full time work. And even those who have jobs are struggling, because wages have been declining for American workers, and are now lower on average than in 1996. Household income has fallen faster since the official end of the recession than during the recession itself, because the so-called “recovery” is made up of mostly low-paying jobs.

While the economy is not working for the vast majority, it does work for a privileged few.

America’s creed is “With Liberty and Justice for All.” That is a creed of equality. But right now we are experiencing the worst economic inequality in our nation’s history. The gap between the very rich and the many poor has never been so great. The wealthiest 1% in America now own as much wealth as 90% of all Americans. Such inequality is unacceptable, unconscionable, and un-American.

Jim Gray:

I do not want to "legalize" anything. When you think of the legalization of drugs, think of aspirin. There are no restrictions on advertising, quantity, age of purchaser, or location of sale, and the price is set by the free market. What I wish to install is a system of the strictly regulated distribution of some of these drugs -- starting with marijuana. This would be similar to what we do now with tobacco and alcohol. And in order to keep the marijuana from being advertised, the government would have to own the product. Would there be problems? Of course, because as I said, no program is perfect.

But this system would be far, far, far better than what we are doing now. In fact, anything would be better than what we are doing now.

(Some contend that) people will no longer need to commit crimes in order to pay for their drug use. That is silly. But that crime would be greatly reduced. Look at the results in Portugal, where they decriminalized the use of all drugs back in 2001. In 2009 Glenn Greenwald of the CATO Institute published a report about the results and he observed that overall drug usage became slightly lower, but problem drug usage was reduced by about half.

Now that the government was no longer spending such large amounts of money on the investigation, prosecution, and incarceration of drug-addicted people, they had much more money to use for drug treatment. So those treatment programs were funded. This is seen as a truly effective program, and is one we should not only study, we should emulate. [...]

And if we followed the experience of Holland, where all drugs were decriminalized several decades ago, after 6 to 12 to maybe 18 months, probably usage would decrease as well. The Minister of Health of Holland held a news conference numbers of years ago and said that their country, where anyone 16 years of age or older can go to a coffee house and get marijuana, they only have half the marijuana usage per capita as we do in the United States -- even for teenagers!! And then he went on to explain why by saying that "We have succeeded in making pot boring." Of course, we glamorize it in our country by having it illegal, and by having an incredible profit margin to sell it to us, our neighbors and our children. We must learn from Holland's experience.

No comments: