Howard County Greens Weblog

The Green Party Local in Howard County, Maryland.

24 June 2006

Peace Takes Courage

Today's link is an amazing web site, put up by a 15 year old peace activist. It has a collection of links to coverage of the War, it has a forum, but the heart of the site are original animations with titles like "Ashamed", "This is the Truth" and "WWJD".

Warning - this is not for the faint of heart.

19 June 2006

Minutes from 18 June Local Meeting

The meeting notes are up on the web page (linked from the blog title). They focus on meeting with Rionn Dennis from CASE MD, and include the voting records of our representatives in Annapolis.

Next meeting will be July 23rd at the Blue Cow Cafe. This one won't be competing with Father's day celebrations, so let's get some turn out. Let me know if there are any topics you would like to see added to the agenda for that one.

18 June 2006

From 'The Future is Green'

Greenlight Financial Services has launched a "Green Living" essay contest, with a prize of $2,500. According to their website:

"Driving awareness to environmental issues is an extension of Greenlight's ongoing commitment to take a leadership role in corporate citizenship. We hope you join us in exploring ways in which we can create a Greenliving lifestyle for generations to come."

The also reserve the right to use the essays as part of future promotional campaigns. I encourage you to enter the contest, and I intend to do so myself.

16 June 2006

Columbia Condo Challenge dismissed

According to a story in the Howard County Times (linked above), construction on a 22 story high-income condominum in Wincopin Circle will still begin this summer. It sounds, from the story, as though the level of oughtright corruption has reached unsupportable levels.

I must admit, I had not been following the story. I am hoping that some of my readers can enlighten me on the situation. Is there, in fact, room for another challenge?

15 June 2006

Green Imagination: Green Party Candidates Coming to a Polling Station Near Year

Green Imagination: Green Party Candidates Coming to a Polling Station Near Year

Daniel Waldman has put together a list of Green candidates running in Maryland. You might want to check it out, see if he's missed anyone, and see if there's a campaign you'd like to volunteer to work on.

14 June 2006

Meeting This Sunday, Agenda Items online

Please check out the suggested agenda items (linked from the title, above).

This week, we'll be meeting with Rion Dennis from Citizens Against State Executions. Please join us there!

12 June 2006

About the CDC 'Preconception Recommendations'

Back in April of this year, the CDC came out with a series of recommendations for 'preconception care' in Women. Last month these hit the blogosphere with a vengeance. As of the Assembly, last week, there still had not been a lot of discussion about them within the Green Party.

First of all, I suggest that you read them for yourself (linked from title of this article, above).

When looked at through the lens of the Green Party, the first thing which strikes me is the emphasis on low cost health care (which is a good thing), and they give a fair amount of mention to the fact that men are expected to participate in the planning of family size, and to take an active part in their children from conception onward. It emphasizes that pregnancies should be intended and planned. To me, these seem to be Green Friendly factors.

From a scientific point of view, it seems to under emphasize recent findings about paternal health and birth outcomes, but that would not be a major problem in and of itself.

As I mentioned above, last month this hit the blogs with explosive force, triggered by a Washington Post article which mentioned none of the Green friendly elements (above), but focused on the fact that the report suggested doctors think in terms of pre-pregnancy for all women between menopause and menarche.

Extreme? Perhaps it is, but it's not completely off the mark, because women are already feeling negative effects. One woman has already reported being unable to get the seizure medication she needs because of her neurologist's reaction to the recommendations. There is a similar story about antibiotics (a link I have lost). There was a huge outcry (from people who had not read the what the CDC actually published), followed by a rapid spate of retractions and apologies, which was itself triggered by a post at AIDS Combat Zone.

It's been a pretty complex situation. In the end, I am far from convinced that the CDC as a whole had political motivations in publishing the report, but I am not surprised to find that it has had some negative consequences, due, in part, to the political climate. In the end, does it matter if the doctor refused to give the patient the medication she needed because the CDC report changed the way (I gather) he saw her, or instilled in him the fear that the administration would penalize him if he allowed her to take teratagenic drugs during her child bearing years?

The Washington Post article had the positive effect of bringing the CDC's recommendations to the attention of many, but did so in a highly charged, negative, way. In reaction, readers took such a strong, negative point of view that they embarassed themselves. This may have promoted dialogue, but it started from such an extreme, polarized, position that real discussion is difficult.

As a third party, it is important that Greens realize that two sides are never enough for any serious question, and that dividing the world up into 'us' vs 'them' won't lead to solutions. Respect for diversity means being able to find and acknowledge places where we agree with our opponents, and disagree with our allies, both within the party and outside of it.

11 June 2006

Unfortunate but true

Unfortunately, as of this morning, I have gotten more anonymous 'comment spam' comments than actual feedback on the blog. (For those of you who don't have blogs, these are very generic comments put in there to create links to a given person's blog.) Therefore, I have changed the settings to 'screen' comments.

This means that comments won't show up immediately. I will gladly revisit this policy if and when the volume of comments which are related to the blog climbs a bit. So, if you're concerned about being censored here, by all means speak up.

EDIT: Per suggestion, I've turned on the word verification option instead.

09 June 2006

Interview: Brent McMillan

This was the third of three interviews by the kids I watch during the 2006 Green Party Assembly. Shortly after this interview we switched to board games, then to Simon Says, then (finally) to running around out doors.

Apologies to Brent - my transcription was less than complete on this one.

Interviewers: Dorothy Kramer and Dylan Giordano
Interviewee: Brent McMillan

DK: What do you do inside the party?

BM: I'm the National Political Director for the Green Party, and I work out of Washington, DC.

DK: What do you think of 'our leader', Bush?

BM: Arguably, he is the worst president we've ever had.

DG: Who do you think would be better?

BM: We need someone who is going to serve the American people, not just the elites.

DK: Lot's of people think Nader's a 'spoiler'...

BM: You can't spoil something that's already rotten. We're already on our way to being a failed state.

DG: If no one did anything about the system, in about 10 years our (country would fall apart?)

BM:... If we don't take action, the country will fall into chaos. More and more people are dropping into poverty, losing healthcare, housing... What's important is for Greens to address what's important for most Americans. Health care, housing and public education.

I think the opportunity for greens is to restore services to people who have been dropped. To meet people's local needs.

DK: What about negative campaigning against Greens? Do you see lots of that?

BM: From Democrats in urban areas, and Republicans in rural areas, they'll go to extremes. I see a combination of 'Gerrymandering' and dirty tricks.

DK: Thank you.


Free State Comment: From the Comments: On Maryland Democrats

Free State Comment: From the Comments: On Maryland Democrats

Chesapeake Blue has started a discussion about apathy within the Democratic party in Maryland. My own comments there bring up IRV, and the discussion is becoming interesting (in a good way). You might want to check it out.

08 June 2006

Maryland Citizens Against State Executions

I did not transcribe the third (final) interview yesterday, because blogger was down. Expect it later on today or tomorrow.

I wanted to pass along a message I got from Caroline Barrett, who is interning at Maryland Citizens Against State Executions. CASE is looking for a contact in Howard County. If you are interested, please call her at 301.779.5230 or e-mail her. I've asked if she can join us at our next meeting, so please come if you're curious.

06 June 2006

Interview: Rob Tufts

This is number 2 of 3 interviews done by junior reporters at the 2006 Maryland Greens Assembly

Interviewer: Dorothy Kramer
Interviewee: Robb Tufts
Rob Tufts
DK: What do you think of George Bush?

RT: I think he's been a very ineffective leader, which is the least one can say (or I'm being nice).

DK: What are you doing within the party?

RT: I'm a candidate in Anne Arundel County.

DK: Do you think Greens are active?

RT: I think we have very active Greens, and I think we are making a difference.

DK: Do you think your opponents negatively campaign against you because you're green?

RT: My opponent hasn't yet, however, I think he will.

DK: Thank you.

Dorothy Kramer

05 June 2006

Interview: John Behle

Interview 1 of 3, by the junior reporters at the 2006 Maryland Green Party Assembly

Interviewer: Dorothy Kramer (D.K.)
Interviewee: John Behle (J.B.)

John Behle

DK: What are some of the issues the Green Party is dealing with?

JB: Well, first is the war, stopping the war. So first we work for peace, stop killing one another.

DK: How are you stopping the war?

JB: We are stopping the war by assembling, making our voice heard by the opposition. Stop the killing. We also focus on the environment. So, stop the killing of people, stop the killing of the world.

DK: What do you think about George W. Bush?

JB: Well, he's president of Corporate America and he works for the oil interests, and with his approval rating it's obvious he's not president of the people and he told us he's been spying on us.

DK: Thank you.

Dorothy Kramer

04 June 2006

2006 Maryland Green Assembly

The assembly is over. Of particular interest to Howard County, Mike Cornell has hit 'term limits', and is no longer State Co-Chair, so we'll be seeing more of him. Beth Hufnagel is, once again, State Treasurer, and Steve Kramer is still one of our delegates to the National Committee. The rest of the election results will be available on the Maryland Greens Website sometime soon.

I missed out on all the wonderful forums and workshops, because I had volunteered to provide childcare. It was wonderful. I was thrilled that the children agreed to interview attendees for this blog. We got three interviews in before the beautiful weather lured us outside for some less political activity. I'll be posting the transcripts over the next few days.

It was very nice to see everyone (as it is each year). I hope that Mr. McNaughton will be able to make it to our local meetings.

02 June 2006

Assembly is tomorrow

As I've mentioned elsewhere, I'm planning to write an essay about CDC 'prepregnancy' guidelines, but while I was researching that one, the Assembly crept up on me.

I've volunteered to bring a home baked cheesecake for the 'pot luck', so, if you need a last minute destination for tomorrow, I can promise a decent dessert.

I've also volunteered to provide 'daycare', such as it is. More on that later.

Hope to see you all there!