Archive for the '3rd Parties' Category

Who is Alan Jacquemotte?

Monday, February 7th, 2011

From wikipedia:

The Natural Law Party (NLP) was founded in the USA in 1992 by a group of educators, business leaders, and lawyers in Fairfield, Iowa, many of whom practiced the Transcendental Meditation technique. While Natural Law Party leaders denied formal connection with the Transcendental Meditation movement, Bob Roth, a spokesman at the party’s headquarters in Fairfield reportedly said, “It’s no secret this is the TM party.”

Among other things, the Natural Law Party proposed to:

Establish a team of 1,000 yogic flyers. According to the party, such a group “dissolves collective stress, as indicated by significant reductions in crime, unemployment, sickness, and accidents, and improved economic indicators and quality of life”. They would also would provide an “invincible defence”.

Introduce daily Transcendental Meditation for all school students

Lower taxes, as yogic flyers will supposedly increase prosperity, allowing the government to collect the same amount of money with a lower tax rate

Ban genetic engineering, and encourage organic farming
The NLP proposed that a government subsidized group of 7,000 advanced meditators known as Yogic Flyers would lower nationwide stress, reduce unemployment, raise the gross national product, improve health, reduce crime, and make the country invincible to foreign attack. Hagelin called it a “practical, field-tested, scientifically proven” solution. TM would be taught to the military, to students, in prisons, and to ordinary citizens.
Hagelin predicted that implementation of the program would result in $1 trillion in savings from reduced costs for medical care, criminal prosecutions and prisons, national defense, and other government expenses. It recommended adoption of The Grace Commission reforms.[7] The party supported a flat tax.
Election-related proposals included replacing the Electoral College with popular vote, automatic voter registration, public funding of campaigns, reducing the campaign season, and the elimination of political action committees.

Civil right planks included equal rights for women and gays, replacing bans on abortion with prevention programs, and a national referendum on capital punishment. It opposed the legalization of drugs. In 1992, it suggested the appointment of former Secretary of State George Schultz as drug czar.
It endorsed organic, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, and conservation.

Hagelin proposed that all candidates should have their brain waves recorded by EEG and the resulting “mental profiles” should be publicly disclosed, so that the voters could see which candidates had the best “brain-wave stability”. He said that the test would “allow us to avoid the possibility of a brain-dead candidate”. The proposal was dropped due to a poor reception.Like a lot of third parties, America — and the World — will never know if we would have been in better shape had we followed this platform.  Well, they continue — elected or not — and they write letters to let everyone in every corner of the Earth know what they are up to.

I once posited an idea for a book — finding the final member of the Federalist and Whig Party to win or run anything as a member of the Federalist and Whig Parties.  The truth is the two parties each dissolved into a hybrid of things — into an “Opposition” Party — and the ballot laws of the time also offered an ending to parties themselves.  In the twentieth and twentieth-century, things are not so cut and dry.  The party lines continue to exist — there are still remnants of the “Reform Party” of Ross Perot laying around — snatched up by anyone interested in using them, sometimes maintained by a party hierarchy who endorses other party candidates just to keep the party line there.  (Such that in the last presidential elections, as you see at wikipedia, individual state parties endorsed Ralph Nader or Brian Moore.)  Just as well, individual state parties just up chunked and moved into Green and whatever other parties — if the Transcental Meditators have left the building, why stay with them?

Meantime, I am fascinated that in 2010, there appears to be one candidate in the United States who ran on the “Natural Law Party”.  Alan Jacquemotte ran the very last Natural Law Party candidacy.  Maybe.   His platform does appear to be an off-shoot of the Party line, though there aren’t any yogic workers to the number of one percent of one percent of the population of stress areas — and even if he’s vying for the Ron Paul supporters.

To be honest, I don’t really care about Alan Jacquemotte.  What I want to know is … will the NLP line still be available for his use in the next election, and if not what line will he use?

Big Factors in the Sino-Soviet Split, circa 1968

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

The smallest New Left group is the New England Party of Labor which publishes Hammer and Steel, a memeographed sheet that some people believe expresses “pure Maoist views.”  The man behind the organization is Homer Chase from New Hampshire.  He wants to have a hammer and sickle carved on his father’s headstone and has been fighting the town fathers for years on this issue.  “The headstone seems more important to Homer than anything else,” says critic Communist Gus Hall.  “but he gets written up by the press as a big factor in the Sino-Soviet split.”  For once perhaps Gus Hall is right.

— George Thayer, The Farther Shores of Politics, 1968

Hm.  This is an entirely different interpretation of the group than what we see on wikipedia.  That Gus Hall quote seems relevant to place into the wikipedia article on said organization — see “Ray O Light Group“, which has all the appearances of having been pieced together by members of the organization.

Originally called Hammer & Steel (H&S) or, more infrequently, New England Party of Labor, they split from the CPUSA following Krushchev‘s Secret Speech to the 20th Congress of the CPSU. After several name changes (Youth for Stalin in 1968 and Stalinist Workers Group for African-American Liberation & a New Communist International from 1969-1976) which reflect shifts in both composition and political line, they became the present Ray O. Light Group. Many of its members were Northern Communists who came to the South to organize. Hammer & Steel was a small editorial board which grew out of the struggle against what it saw as revisionism in the CPUSA. It criticized the CPUSA for liquidating the revolutionary line on the African American national question, and for returning to a position of “American Exceptionalism” (by supporting the presidential campaign of John F. Kennedy) which had previously been upheld by Earl Browder. Though it was a small group, H&S was the only group to be attacked by name by Krushchev in his polemics against the Communist Party of China (CPC) for siding with the CPC and Party of Labor of Albania (PLA) in the Sino-Soviet Split. H&S was the only revolutionary group in the US to have a representative at the 5th Congress of the PLA in 1966. Hammer & Steel argued that there was a focal contradiction (see, contradiction) around the oppressed peoples fighting for national liberation. This was reflected in the United States in the African American struggle for self-determination.

Why, they were a big factor in the “Sino-Soviet Split”!  According to their literature, backed up by Kruschev himself.  Take that, Gus Hall, you old Communist you!  Must have been the jack-boot from the Soviet propaganda he was spurring forth, minimalizing their role in the Soviet — Sino split.

I was not an unwitting player in this farce.

Monday, November 10th, 2008

A few months ago, I walked past a house somewhere in North Portland when someone, I believed a black teenager maybe 17 in a good old fashioned Family Unit, waved and I waved back.  He jumped up and shouted “Hey!  Registered to vote?”  I nodded and said, “yes.”  “Check this out!” he said, and ran over to a clip-board he had nearby, “Sign this and you can join a new party — the ‘Peace Party’.”  I declined, and walked on, a little puzzled by the offering.

A few weeks later I learned that it was something of an open secret that the creation of a “Peace Party” was a mechinism to get Ralph Nader ballot access.  But it was either closed off to me or enough of a secret that I did not know.  I do not know how I would have responded if the seventeen year old (I’m guessing there) boy had asked for me to get Nader on the ballot, though I’m guessing I would have balked.  It is interesting to note that he did not fit the stereotype of a Nader supporter — roughly, twenty and now thirty something year old college white kid OR maybe aging hippy.  (Though, 2008 is a long way from 2000, so I don’t know what the stereotype for a Nader supporter today quite is.  Curmudgeonly self-styled iconoclast?)

The election has come and passed, and Nader did worse than he did in 1996.  A few comments have lead some to declare Ralph Nader’s career over, a statement that sounds like a joke right about now — when did Harold Stassen’s career end? — but I suppose his days of announcing his candidacy on Meet the Press are over.  He is free to continue his performance art stylings — the one word answer press conference, frankly, missed the mark in criticism of what was wrong with the 2008 presidential election.  (Better off is he writing an article, as he did in 1999, excoriating the demise of the Glass – Stegall Act as a cause of future Economic Calamity.)  I imagine a left of the Democratic Party third party candidate will emerge as a significant force in 2016, but it will not be Nader.

I note that there was a pretty healthy amount of Nader campaign presence in Portland — a sticker on every every telephone pole.  But that may just have been the work of one person.  I also note that Nader seems as uninterested in growing the “Peace Party” as he was in growing the “Green Party” after 2000.

Ron Paul supports … the Libertarian Communist Green War Peace Smog Party

Friday, September 12th, 2008

From the Wikipedia article on The “American Vegetarian Party” (ahem):

The American Vegetarian Party was a United States political party formed on July 28, 1947. The party held conventions and nominated candidates for President and Vice-President in several national elections, although they never seriously pursued ballot access or official recognition as a political party by election officials. They ate vegetables all the time.

I suppose that last sentence is technically accurate, but it does feel a little off somehow in a way that I can’t quite qualify or quantify.

I thought about the “American Vegetarian Party”(*) in consideration of the Ron Paul press conference, where he brought together Chuck Baldwin, Bob Barr, Cynthia McKinney, Ralph Nader, and who knows who else, and urged Americans to consider voting for one of them.  There is an equivalent of coming out and urging support for both the Vegetarian Party and the Carnivore Party, or of coming out in full fledged support of the “Libertarian National Socialist Green Party”.  Maybe the collection of parties Paul came out swinging for had some issues of civil liberties that bound them together, but beyond that the parties offer drastically different visages for us all.  But there’s a certain personality type, and to a degree I am one of them or close enough that I understand the effect, that will enthusiastically support Ralph Nader at the same time as supporting Ron Paul — never mind the multitudous contradictions — and, well, take part in the “Ron Paul rEVOLution”ary cities being built.  You just don’t want to shove away the two-party system and see beyond it — in all directions — a connection — willing to vote, sure, but vote for anything other than a “D” and an “R”.  But, if you are like me, it leads to the realm of Tucker Carlson partaking in the “Ron Paul” counter-convention, and having to rush out when Jesse Ventura starts in on 9/11.  And, if you are like everyone paying attention, it leads you to scratch your head when a “Ron Paul / Michael Bloomberg” ticket is floated in whatsitstate a week or two ago.

Incidentally, Ron Paul is on the ballot in Montana.  The state Constitution Party kicked the national ticket of Baldwin off the ballot and chose Paul.  He just might be a player if he wins the state and McCain and Obama fall below 270.  Or, you know, hopefully Paul can swing three electoral votes in a marginal swing state Obama’s direction.  Or, the hordes of Bob Kelleher voters can create a new party-line with which to go with here.

(*) Just one of the ways I am different from you:  it is possible for the “American Vegetarian Party” to pop into my head with the right stimulus.  I suppose you could say the “American Vegetarian Party” was the “Natural Law Party” of a previous era — a ready joke whose punchline was that it actually existed, though the Natural Law Party declared its insolvency in 2004.

Calibrating the “Spoiler Effect” is too hard and too unscientific.

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Supposed Libertarian “Spoilers” for Democratic Senate candidates, link provided by this Montana based blogger because, spotted because it linked to me:

— U.S. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who won his seat in 1998 when he beat John Ensign by a mere 428 votes, and with less than 48 percent of the vote. The Libertarian candidate, Michael Cloud, got 8,044 votes, and the Natural Law candidate won 2,749 votes.

— Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., who won her Senate seat in 2000 by beating Republican Slade Gorton by 2,229 votes. Libertarian candidate Jeff Jared won 64,734 votes.

— Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., who beat John Thune in 2002 by 524 votes to win the South Dakota Senate race. Libertarian Kurt Evans earned 3,070 votes in that contest.

— Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., who won his Senate race in 2006 by beating Republican Conrad Burns by 3,562 votes. Stan Jones, the Libertarian candidate, won 10,377 votes.

It is a little tough to figure out the “Spoiler Effects”.  Libertarian voters are not to automatically transferrable to the Republican party, and a small number will actually gravitate toward a Democrat over a Republican over social issues or issues of divided government.  A certain statistical Noise from people simply casting a vote for someone on the ballot has to be taken into account, and a large number will not be voting for a major party.

I find it a bit curious that he saw fit to mention the Natural Law Party candidate in Nevada, who if not on the ballot I assume votes would drift either to the Libertarian or to the Democratic candidate Reid, which makes that one a little too close for comfort in tabulating the “Spoiler Effect”, just as I suggested I am a little uncomfortable in stating that Jones gave the election to Tester because one could certainly make a Libertarian case for Tester over Burns.   There I just like the idea that the Democratic Senate majority swung based on a man who turned his skin blue as a side-effect of preparing for Y3K.  As for Maria Cantwell, I might as well add, she came in off the coattails of one Ralph Nader, who brought in voters that covered her margin of victory — third party spoilers cancel themselves out.  I would have to know the exact percentage of Johnson’s victory over Thune to provide my estimate.

At least he didn’t suggest Webb came in because of a Libertarian spoiler — the Libertarian margin is way too close to Webb’s size of victory over Mr. Macaca Man.  (Besides which, remember those exit numbers?)

Libertarian candidate

Monday, May 26th, 2008

And the Libertarian Party has selected for their presidential candidate… former Republican Congress-critter Bob Barr.

I knew a young college Republican and ultra-conservative whose hero was Bob Barr.  I somehow doubt he is going to vote for Barr.  But, hopefully someone will.  The silly season of the Liberal blogosphere, which has run into the libertarian Reason-oids, have come up with this absurd premonition that Alaska might just go for Obama — which, will happen if, you know, Obama wins 45 states.  (The other two states the silly season is suggesting are Kansas — based on a stray poll — and Mississippi — based on an utter maxing out of the black vote to the tune of 100 percent vote for Obama off of 100 percent of eligible black voters voting — or so it would seem.) Part of the calculus for this absurdity is a chunk of vote for Bob Barr in these odd Libertarian “LEAVE ME ALONE!” out-posts.  We shall see, shan’t we?

I was hoping Stan Jones might barn-storm out as a Favorite son candidate of Montana.  If you scaffow at that, realize that Stan Jones is the most consequential Libertarian of the past decade, or more, for having swung the Senate to the Democrats — more electoral impact than anything Bob Barr has had during his Libertarian Party career.  Jon Tester won his election by a fraction of a percentage point, and Jones won three percent of the vote.  Even if you figure that Tester’s anti-Patriot Act and similar stances makes the margin a little too close for comfort in disrupting the odd calculus which, because I don’t want to think too much, has about half the Libertarian politician vote thrown to the Republican if s/he were absent and the other half just dissipating away as a no-vote, it is still enough to say with fair certaintude that Jones is responsible for Tester’s election.  Stan Jones is a perenial candidate who became known previously because he turned his skin blue because he digested collodial silver in 1999 in preparation for disruptions that the Y2K bug might have in the nation’s supply and transport of various antibiotics.  I suppose you can say that American political history is full of characters such as him.  Take the man who swung gave Alf Landon the position to be the Republican Presidential nominee in 1936 off the basis that he was just about the only Republican to win any election in 1934 — John Romulus Brinkley.  Landon owes his Kansas gubernatorial victories to this man’s votes — which otherwise would have gone to the Democratic candidate.  And for that, Landon could win Maine and Vermont.

In 1918, Dr. Brinkley began to perform operations which he claimed would restore male virility and fertility by implanting the glands of goats in his male patients at a cost of $750 per operation (about $7000 today, adjusted for inflation). He hired a press agent, advertised in newspapers, and used direct mail to promote his procedure to people who wrote asking for information. During his medical career, more than 16,000 people were victims of needless insertion of goat testicles, intended to restore energy and virility levels.

Following one of his crude operations, the body of a patient would typically absorb the goat gonads as foreign matter. The organs were never accepted as part of the body since they were simply placed into the human male testicle sac or the abdomen of women, near the ovaries. Unsurprisingly, in light of his questionable medical training (75% completion at a less-than-reputable medical school), frequency of operating while intoxicated, and less-than sterile operating environments, some patients suffered from infection, and an undetermined number died.

Hm.  Go Bob Barr, regardless.

Mike Gravel versus Bob Barr

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

… Are you ready?  Is America ready?

Every Joe Six-Pack and Johnny Lunch-box.

Monday, November 12th, 2007

Surfing the web regarding the news of the passing away of Earl Dodge, six time presidenital candidate for the Prohibition Party — albeit the sixth time you have to consider him a candidate for the weaker schism for the banner of “Prohibition Party” — and a man ready to lead the fight for a seventh time, and I will ask the simple question:

What is the one-liner that comes up almost automatically in the comments section?

Don’t think too hard.  It will come to you.  I know it came to me before seeing any comment, that obvious a response it is.

Gene Chapman and the perils of third partydom

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

I find this amusing.  This controversy would not have come about if not for "3rd Party Watch" passing it to where the Constitution Party director could see it.  Whatever else it is, it is more interesting than the current media-hyped fight between Hillary and Obama over David Geffen's finanical backing, as well as about as significant to the lives of any person I know.  My advice to the people of the Constution Party -- ignore Gene Chapman.  Understand, I do not think much of the Constitution Party, but I think one can recgonize a practical jokester when one sees him.  Gene Chapman is either knowingly or unknowingly the equivalent of Ali G, Borat, or Phil Hendrie, or a second rate morning radio zoo prank caller.

I guess he has played his antics with the Libertarian Party -- to well enough cheer, and is now, within his domain, attempting a Libertarian -- Constitution Party fusion?  If the Constution Party wants him to carry out his charade before them in their domain at their Idaho Convention, as they apparently are, that is their business.

In 2004, I heard a right wing Christian radio show interview with their 2004 presidentital candidate -- some guy whose name starts with a "P", where the host explained to the listener that if the election is fractured enough, he doesn't even need to get nearly a majority to win -- 30 percent of the vote might suffice and this man might just be your next president.  His election returns being a rounding error, he was only 30 percent off from where he needed to be then.

The perils of third partydom is that they end up taking Gene Chapman seriously… to some degree or other.

The “C” stands for “Communist”…