Friday, July 11, 2008
Mayor Daley Welcomes You to Chicago
Mayor Richard M. Daley Welcomes You to Chicago
--Sign in Chicago Midway Airport
Thursday, July 10th
Between the plane and the Orange Line subway train into the city, on my way to the Green Party National Convention, I had to read "Mayor Richard M. Daley" a dozen times. Daley is Chicago. Chicago is "Duh Mayah" -- perfect symbol for the primitive "Old Politics" we are here to organize against.
Thursday night there was a reception for international Greens. A brother from Brazil explained to us the difficulty of fighting for Greens issues there, reminding us that having a strong Green Party in the U.S. is absolutely essential since the U.S. is the 800-pound gorilla in the world, especially in the Western Hemisphere.
One of the things I like about the Green Party is that, unlike the one warmaking imperial party with two names, the Greens are international. At the reception there was a tribute to Ingrid Betancourt, the Columbian Green activist.
The Brazilians say they like President Lula's social program, but environmentally. At a discussion afterwards, a few of our folks said they could not understand this. I replied that "This is why we need Greens. We need political leadership around the world that thinks Green." Even the best of the "Old Politics" leaders are going to be interested in "development" in their countries in the conventional way. Brazil is a big, poor country with a lot of "undeveloped" resources. Lula, like evey conventional politician, Left, Right, or Center, is wants to raise the standard of living in his country by the industrial exploitation of the nation's natural resources. That's just the way these guys think -- even the best of them.
There is going to be a workshop on NAFTA and the so-called North American Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) facillitated by Janet Eaton of the Green Party of Canada. Ms. Eaton is a foremost expert on water issues.
There was a California State Caucus Thursday night. We had heard rumors of credentials challenges. The good news is, for once, internal procedural issues have nothing to do with California. Thanks to our "Super Tuesday" primary, California has ben meticulous about certifying the elected delegates. We are going to cast 60% of our votes for Ralph Nader on the first ballot because that was the way the Californians voted in the primary. I have no problem with that at all. There is this thing called "democracy" that ought to be respected. Some states, apparently, only came up with lists of delegates this week. One cheer for the Golden State.
This morning I plan to attend a meeting of the Black Caucus. I already met some interesting folks. At the reception an African-American journalist from Chicago and I had a good time swapping stories about crooked politicians in Chicago and L.A. He told me he has a higher of our Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger than the Democratic pols in Illinois. "At least Arnold will listen and sometimes change his mind. The politicians here will listen, thank you for your input... and then say 'F**k You!' That's Chicago poltiics."
Oh yeah... the "City that works."