Great Pacific Garbage Patch

“The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also described as the Eastern Garbage Patch or the Pacific Trash Vortex, is a gyre of marine debris in the central North Pacific Ocean located roughly between 135° to 155°W and 35° to 42°N. The patch is characterized by exceptionally high concentrations of suspended plastic and other debris that have been trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre.” – Wikipedia

Ever since hearing about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch I’ve been fascinated by it & have longed to see actual footage of it which is strangely lacking from most articles concerning the garbage patch.

Then I found these videos where some snarky goofballs take a boat out to it. It’s an interesting watch, which could certainly be edited down for a more informative & less dramatic piece, but the message still comes across.

I suggest watching the first few episodes for an introduction, then skip to episode 9 where they actually reach the heavily polluted waters. It’s truly overwhelming & frightening. If you can sit through all of it, more power to you.

[Videos are from VBS.TV]

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Another article about Garbage Patch worth reading.

If you love films about plastic, check out Blue Vinyl as well, another great piece about our love affair with the material.


Mr. Peter Wong – Non Executive

On February 24th, I received a financial opportunity from Mr. Peter Wong, Non Executive Director of Hang Seng Bank Ltd, Hong Kong.
What follows is the unedited text of our negotiations with one another:


Dear Friend,

I am Mr. Peter Wong,from Hong Kong I have a business transaction to share with you.

If you are interested get back to me for  more details
Mr. Peter


I am interested. Thank you greatly.


Dear Friend,

I dont get it, is it that you want to partner with me or not? if you are thinking that I am trying to pull a scam on you men that’s not my purpose for contacting you because I am not an evil man. Give me two weeks and I will show to you that there are still honest men in this world no matter what.

In other words what I am saying is that within two weeks of communication and transactions the monies would have been transferred to you and all legal documentations backing you up as well sent to you.

Once again give me two weeks to prove you wrong. I am anticipating to reading from you if we got any chance.

Mr. Peter


Mr Peter –

What part of “I’m interested” did you not understand??

Why the immediate defensiveness? You make me suspicious, and I was willing to engage in a potential partnership with you.
Please calm my nerves, send me some information about yourself, along with your business credentials.

Appreciate it.


Dear Friend,
Sorry about that I needed to clear the air so that you be rest assure that you are into something legictimate. However I am Mr.Peter Wong, Non Executive Director of Hang Seng Bank Ltd, Hong Kong.
An Iraqi named Haider Hanoon,a business man made a numbered fixed deposit of Forty Four million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars only in my branch. Upon maturity several notice was sent to him, even during the war, Five years ago (2003). Again after the war another notification was sent and still no response came from him. We later found out that Haider Hanoon and his family had been killed during the war in Gunfire that hit their home at Mukaradeeb where his personal oil well was.
After further investigation it was also discovered that Haider Hanoon did not declare any next of kin in his official papers including the paper work of his bank deposit. And he also confided in me the last time he was at my office that no one except me knew of his deposit in my bank. So, Forty Four million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars is still lying in my bank and no one will ever come forward to claim it. What bothers me is that according to the laws of my country at the expiration seven years six months the funds will revert to the ownership of the Hong Kong Government if nobody applies to claim the funds.
Be informed that the fact that you are a foreigner give you the priviledge to stand in as my deceased client beneficiary as my deceased had no relation all his family died with him during the war and i can not use my relation because its noaccepted here in Hong Kong. Also I am very confident that we will be able to establish the trust that is needed to complete this deal and all that I need for the time been is your willingness and commitment so that we can end this in the next one weeks.
What you need to understand about this transaction is that I will make sure that it passes through all international banking laws regards to this I will take care of all the espensive and the cost of retaining the service of my Attorney to give the transaction the proper documentation that is required to perfect the finishing.Your only obligation in thistransaction is to accept to stand in as the only existing relative of my deceased client and you will have to set up offshore account that can accomodate these funds with my principal bank which I will give you information later once we finalize this deal.
Further more I sending you my personal information below;
Name:Mr.Peter Wong
Address:39A Morrison Hill Road,Hong Kong.
I hope that the above is well clear to you,if so kindly send me the following;
1. Your Full Name
2. Your Current Home Address
3. Your Personal Phone Number
4. Nature Of Job
Mind your names and address will be use by my Attorney to prepare the needed documents that will back you up as the sole beneficiary of my deceased client funds while I shall contact you with your phone number for further discussions.Once again thanks for your interest and willingness to partner with me in pulling out my late client funds from my bank,I am anticipating to reading from you very soon.

Mr.Peter Wong

Mr Wong -Thank you for the details of this business opportunity. It is strange how stars align sometimes, no?
It is very unfortunate that this war has so many casualties & seems to have no end in sight, do you agree?
I wonder what led Mr. Hanoon to move his money into a Hong Kong account. It must speak volumes of the instability of the Middle East overall, no?

Before we proceed much further, I’d like to make sure we’re on the same page, ideologically speaking.
Can you share some of your thoughts on the questions above?

Also, can you send me an image of your business credentials? One can never be too safe in this day and age.
Once I receive an image of proof, plus your thoughts on the questions and statements above, we shall proceed as you’ve asked.

Thank you in advance.

Dear Friend,The war in Irag is some thing one can not really speak of because you dont know what the Americans are up to.

2. I can not really explain why my late client invested in my country, hw wish he is still around he would have been able to explain to us.

3. I can not send you such credentail but I believe that my working id will be enough for you.

I have share my thoughts, please get back to me soonest.


Mr. Peter -I am awaiting your response. Please attach an image of your working ID so we can proceed to our matter.
Also, it wasn’t entirely clear what my percentage for assisting with this matter would be, what are you thinking?

Thank you

Dear Friend,I have attached my working id for your perusal and trust and here is

Our Benefit’s

Twenty Six Million and Seven Hundred Dollars is for me
Seventeen Million and Eight Hundren Dollars is for you

Please get back to me soonest.


Mr Wong -I haven’t heard from you and the window of this opportunity is closing.
Are you interested or not?
I get no information on you, so what do you want me to do and how do I get to work on the legal papers? I have even sent to you my working Id. If you are really serious of working with me you should send me the following details so that we can continue.
1. Your Full Names
2. Current Address
3. Phone NUmber
4. Nature Of Job
5. International Passport or Drivers license.
I’m curious as to your title of “Non Executive”. Please explain.
I understand you for been so curious but to ease that up for you I want you to check out this link ourself and get back to me.

I am sure that the link will answer your a lot of question for you.


Mr. Peter -Whilst perusing the link you provided me, I was given this information from the website:
There have recently been fraudulent e-mails in circulation which claim to be issued by directors/senior executives/employees of Hang Seng Bank. Typically, recipients of these e-mails are invited to claim a large sum of money held in the name of an account-holder since deceased, by posing as his next-of-kin. The recipients are asked to provide the issuer with their personal details. Please note that these e-mails were not issued by Hang Seng or its employees. Hang Seng has already reported the cases to the Hong Kong Police for investigation…….. If you receive e-mails of this kind you may wish to contact the Hong Kong Police.

How does one explain such a coincidence??

– Thank you!

The notice is to let you know that the funds is in the bank, so a lot of people are taking advantage on it but believe me that I am not lyinh to you as I have all proof.
Let do this and you will see to it that what I am telling you is the fact.
Mr. Peter
Mr. Peter -Why do you write me from a yahoo email account, as opposed to your professional account through the bank?
This would be an act which would relieve much skepticism about this, after reading the fraudulent email notice on the bank’s website.

Thank you!

Dear FRiend,
This do not change the fact that I am still working in the bank, if I get to mail you with my personal mail and after the transaction we are been followed up by the Police for investigation will you like that? it is better to be on the safe part for me.
Mr. Peter -Let me take the risk, if I’m also going to be taking a risk with this transaction to begin with.
Just send me an email from your bank email address. It can be an email completely unrelated to the issues at hand.
Once you can prove proper employment by sending this email.
We will certainly proceed and my consumer confidence will be restored.
Thank you in advance.
Thats not going to happen my dear Friend, I dont understand why you find this difficult to understand me, if you can not believe me the word I say to you now I dont think you will b e able to truth me in this transaction…..

The ball is in your court.
I think you understand my distrust..
The information on the Hang Seng website warns people about suspicious emails such as this. That is why I am suspect.
Until I read that, I was ready to continue with this transaction.
Now all I need is true proof that you’re an employee of the bank. One simple email from within the bank would suffice.
It should be totally unrelated to our business, even a blank email would be sufficient!!What does this mean? “The ball is in your court.”? Who are you speaking about? That confuses me.
Dear Friend,
Any mail that is sent from my account is been monitor so I can not do any thinh about that,and when I say that the ball is in your court I meant that the decision is in your hands. I can not force you to do what you dont plan to do.
Mr. Peter -If you cannot send me an email from your workplace, please at least send another form of ID.
A photograph other than your work ID will suffice.

Also, I am now in need of a much greater amount than originally agreed upon. I will require 70% of the money.
The “ball is in your court” as you’ve said.


Ok, I will send you my passport but that will take a day or two because I dont have it now and I dont really agree that you should take 70%,see we should rather meet in persons so you can believe me and we can work things out.
Please think bout this very well and if you agree you can come with your Attorney so that the paper works can be drawn out as well.
I think the 70% is appropriate, given our financial climate at this point. This is your decision to make.
Will you be in the US soon? We can meet at that time. I live in Pittsburgh, PA, but I’m willing to travel to Orlando, FL in order to discuss these matters.I await your passport photo.
I will surely get my passport across to you but I am not in any way coming to the US soon. What is your thoughts?
I await your passport photo and your personal bank account information. Please send soon.
There is no way I can leave the country, due to a previous restriction placed upon me by the powers that be.
Pittsburgh or Orlando, if we do meet, will have to be the setting.
70% for me 30% for you.Great!
Dear Friend,
Why do you want to be a greedy man or woman? if brought to you this offer so I tell you what and how this should be done, why do you want to make it look like I dont know what I am doing instead of you to stick to what I have told you and the sharing ratio?
Also I want to inform you for the last time that I dont really have enough time to waste wanting to get the sharing ratio right with you so if you dont agree in your nest email I am sorry that I have to look for another partner so that I dont miss the opportunity to pull the funds out of the bank.
Again let me know your final word in your nest email so that I know the position of things. I am anticipating to reading from you soonest.
Hello Friend -Our “sharing ratio” has increased due to the increase of suspicion of your offer.
For example:

I still have not seen any additional photo identification.
You are incapable of sending me an email from the bank you claim to work at.
You are unwilling to travel to either Pittsburgh or Orlando to relieve my suspicion.

Meanwhile, the economy in my country is collapsing and I now need to increase the amount in order to continue with several business propositions I am beginning with other associates who’ve contacted me through email, like you have. They’ve warned me to be suspicious of such emails as yours, so I have to be safe.

If you are not compassionate to my needs at this time, then please let me know you’re ending our correspondence and I will accept that.
What I DO NOT accept is you calling me a “greedy man or woman” – how dare you sir?!

I am currently working with a businessman in another Hong Kong bank who has agreed to 70% and has been MUCH more professional than you are being currently.


Dear Friend,The only person saying the fact here is me, when you have finished dealing with people that will send you to your grave you will surely run back to me so that I can restore you back.

If they are serious about what they are offering you why would they allow you to take 70%, dose that makes sense to you at all? think about it, they are deceiving you by saying that you should take 70% by in the end you end up getting nothing.

Finally let me know when you are willing to deal with me and I will be glad to partner with you if there is still chance to pull this money out of my bank or if I have not gotten another partner to assist me out.

Peter Wong

Peter -I have decided to go with another offer.
A gentleman from another bank has offered me more money and as a sign of good faith has already wired $100,000 to my bank. His professionalism and integrity has outshined your lack of trust and willingness to cooperate with my simple needs.

Good luck with the pillaged money of Mr. Hanoon.

Dear Friend,Since you have made up your mind regards to that there is no problem, but i know that you will regret this and shame will not allow you to get back to me.

Mr. Peter

Shame on you for threatening me.
The fact that I am already $100,000 richer speaks volumes, and your scam has no possession.
I am conquer fact and furious, have had ladies swoon me all my life.
There is gold deeper in these rivers, and I have access.
It is you who lost the chance, and will come screaming back, clawing for regret.
Hunted, the family will survive one more night. Lettuce be true to ourselves and our selfs and ye will be judged.

Search Terms

So WordPress saves the search terms which are used to reach this page.

The following are the top terms searched for which directed folks here:

48 hours
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remote views

I´ve dramatically reduced my internet use while in Mexico, sometimes out of will, sometimes out of the location´s lackthereof.

It´s interesting to read headlines each day and know that this is the city/country I´m returning to.

Yesterday the Oregonian had BREAKING NEWS about major papers calling for the resignation of Sam Adams.
Today the BREAKING NEWS is about a recall of peanut butter snacks.

Oscar buzz or Obama´s first steps?
New Lost episode or massive job layoffs?
So many clicks, so little time.

I like the pace of Mexico, especially the beach. I feel it´s casualness is addictive. The space of time and air and movement is slow motion at best, and it´s a nice change of pace from the uptospeedmomentum i was racing alongside just a month ago.

There are parts I will be bringing back to home, and there are parts I won´t be able to recreate once in Portland.
So for now, I embrace all of it and take in all I can while I can and realize the madness is a state of mind and not just the normal mind for the States.

Breaking up with Zuma

On December 1st, I began a brief relationship with one Mr Zuma Pule from Johannesburg, South Africa. Mr Pule wrote to inform me of a financial opportunity he was inviting me to partake in. The following is the correspondences between the two of us over the last few days:



TEL: 27-739666420


I know that this message will come to you as a surprise since we don’t know each other before, but for purpose of introduction, I am ZUMA PULE the Bank Manager of AMALGAMATED BANK OF SOUTH AFRICA (ABSA).

First and foremost, I apologize using this medium to reach you for a transaction / business of this magnitude, but this is due to Confidentiality and prompt access reposed on this medium. Be informed that a member of the South Africa Export Promotion Council (SEPC) who was at the Government delegation to your country during a trade exhibition gave your enviable credentials / particulars to me. I plea to seek a confidential co-operation with you in the execution of the deal described hereunder for the benefit of all parties and hope you will keep it as a top secret because of the nature of this transaction.

There is an account opened in this bank in 1990 and since 1998 nobody has operated on this account again. After going through some old files in the records, I discovered that if I do not remit this money out urgently it would be forfeited for nothing. The owner of this account is MR. SAMUEL CARTER , a foreigner, and a miner at Kruger gold co., a geologist by profession and he died since 1998.

No other person knows about this account or any thing concerning it, the account has no other beneficiary and my investigation proved to me as well that his company does not know anything about this account and the amount involved is (USD$35,000,000M) thirty five million
United States Dollars.

I am only contacting you as a foreigner because this money cannot be approved to a local bank here, but can only be approved to any foreign account because the money is in US dollars and the former owner of the account is MR. SAMUEL CARTER a foreigner too.
I know that this message will come to you as a surprise as we don’t know ourselves before. We will sign an agreement, but be sure that it is real and a genuine business.

Please reply urgently so that I will inform you the next step to take immediately. Send also your private telephone and fax number including the full details of the account to
be used for the deposit.

I want us to meet face to face or sign a binding agreement to bind us together so that you can receive this money into a foreign account or any account of your choice where the fund will be safe. And I will fly to your country for withdrawal and sharing and other investments. I am
contacting you because of the need to involve a foreigner with foreign account and foreign beneficiary.

I need your full co-operation to make this work fine because the management is ready to approve this payment to any foreigner, who has correct information of this account, which I will give to you later immediately, if you are capable and willing to handle such amount in strict confidence and trust according to my instructions and advice for our mutual benefit because this opportunity will
never come again in my life.

I need truthful person in this business because I don’t want to make mistake I need your strong assurance and trust. With my position now in the office I can transfer this money to any foreigner’s reliable account, which you can provide with assurance that this money will be intact pending my physical arrival in your country for sharing. I will destroy all documents of transaction immediately we receive this money leaving no trace to any place.

You can also come to discuss with me face to face after which I will make this remittance in your presence and two of us will fly to your country at least two days ahead of The money going into the account. I will apply for annual leave to get visa immediately I hear from you that you are ready to act and receive this fund in your account.

I will use my position and influence to effect legal approvals and onward transfer of this money to your account with appropriate clearance forms of the ministries and foreign exchange departments.
At the conclusion of this business, you will be given 30% of the total amount, 70% will be for me.

I look forward to your earliest reply

Yours truly,



Thank you for contacting me. I am interested in this opportunity, and do have an American Bank account to deposit the funds into.

I would like to negotiate the percentages though, as I will be incurring much of the risk. How does 55% for me, and 45% for you seem?

Please let me know as soon as possible, time is running out.

Thank you.


Dear Craig Hennecke ,

Thank you so much for your mail and your interest to help transfer this fund to your account in your country.

Please i can not speak Chinese but i hope this would not be a problem to this transaction.

Now listing to me very well, we need to be very fast in this transfer of the fund because the bank auditors mighty be comeing in any time from today, therefore do what ever that it takes to be here this week so that i take you to the bank to open a non-resident dollar account in your name where the fund will be deposited first before finally transfer to your nominated local in your country and finally to sign the release order of the fund and other legal transfer documents which will be changed into your name as the beneficiary of the fund.

Please this needs to be done immediately, so try all you can to buy your air ticket and send to me your flight scheldue so that i will make a hotel reservations for you where you will stay just for onlt 2/3 days for the fund to be transferred into your nominated account, and with your flight scheldue i will know the date of your arrival so that i will come to pick you up from OR TAMBO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT JOHANNESBURG.

To prove to you that what you are comeing for is legal and genuie i attached a copy of my international passport, a copy of our late customer Mr. Samuel Carter death certificate and his account balance in the bank as at today.

Remember that Mr. Samuel Carter is the late owner of the fund we want to transfer to your account in your country for our investments since there no body to come for it.

all the legal transfer documents will be issued to you on your arrival and immediately the fund is transferred to your account i will go with you for withdrwal and sharing.

Please we need also a copy of your international passport or ID, your fax/house and company address so that we can use them to change all the legal transfer documents into your name before your arrival here.



NB: Please we need to move this fund out into your nominated account immediately to avoid delay, therefore i urge you to make fast to be here if possible this week.

To the percentage you should know that i am not the only one involved in the transaction therefore with my own power as the manager and as theperson in four front of the transaction i would sugest you take 40% while i and others take the rest and you should also understand that we map out 5% of the total amount for our expenses.

I need to hear from you as soon as possible.




I speak English, not Chinese, so this won’t be a problem.

As an American, this is a risk I will be taking, so I would like at least 55% of the profits. I understand there are several parties involved, but that is something I would have to have in agreement before proceeding any further.
Once we agree on that, i can work with you.

I’m trying to find the best airfare deal right now to fly directly into JOHANNESBURG. Additionally, my doctor is out of town right now, and he supplies me with the medication which helps during these long flights to Africa.

My bank account is ready for the transaction, once we clear up the percentages then we can continue with this and finish our business in a timely manner.
As a surgeon, my time is precious, as I’m sure yours in as well… so the quicker the better for all those involved.

Enclosed in a picture of my accountant, who will work on my side to clear the funds in my bank account.



Dear Craig Hennecke,

You are free to fly down immediately since we have agreed to give you the 55%.

When you are ready send me your flight scheldue so that i make your hotel reservations and pick you from the airport.




Zuma –

This is excellent news! Thank you for alerting me of such great conclusions.

I am having trouble getting a window seat for my flight down to your airport, so it may take a day or two still.
My doctor, thankfully, has called in a prescription for my flight anxiety. Once I arrive I hope to get some great food.
What do you recommend which is close to the airport?



Dear Craig Hennecke,

What type of joke are you trying to crack with me instead of telling me something important in the matter at hand.

Please tell me something.




Zuma –

I assure you I am not trying to joke with you.
I have medical food issues and will not be satisfied by the airplane food. It is important that I eat as soon as I get off the plane.
I am curious as to the options of food for when I arrive.
This is QUITE serious to me, I have health issues.

Please keep me informed.


Dear Craig Hennecke

PLease we would like your own lawyer to prepare the agreement and send to us for signing while you send us a copy of your international passport, you home/company full address, your private phone/fax numbers so that we start chaneing the legal transfer documents in your name before your arrival.

Remember that a nonresident dollar account must be opened and upgrade in your name here in South Africa where the total fund will be deposited first before onward transfer to your nominated local account in USA.

This transfer of the fund to your account will only take 2/3 days, so you have to stay with us for those days and after that i have to go with you for the withdrwal and shareing.




Zuma –

I do not have a lawyer, what should I do about this?
I also do not have a fax machine – the closest one I can access is 2 hours from home. Is it important to have a fax machine?
Also, my current address will be changing as I am being evicted due to having too many cats in my home.
My landlord is not very accepting of this 12th cat, and has issued a summons for me to leave on Dec 15th.

What is your phone/fax #?
Where will I stay when I arrive? How will the lodging be?
Will I have a private bathroom?
I am allergic to birds, will that be a problem? I have never been to Africa before

I need to have these details cleared before I finalize my traveling arrangements.

Thank you for working close with me during this process. I hope it is worth the hassle in the end.
I am excited to have money finally, it will help me get a larger home and possibly more cats.


Zuma –

I have not heard from you lately and many of my questions remain unanswered.

A ticket to fly down there has been purchased, (I did get a window seat!) and I will be arriving on Thursday the 11th at 7:15am.
Is this going to be a problem?

Please let me know either way. Thanks


Dear Craig Hennecke,

Thank for your mail.

Just like you have said if you have bought your airticket, then i need to have your full flight scheldue so that i will make a hotel reservation for you, but most importantly you have to send a copy of your international passport, your full home address and your phone numbers for our easy cumunications.

Your coming on the 11th is not a problem but we must have all the requested itrems from you before any other thing.





I was mistaken, my arrival time on the 11th will be 3:50pm
I’ll be leaving from Washington DC arriving:

Johannesburg (JNB)
Arrive 3:50 pm
South African Airways
Flight: 208

Attached is a copy of my passport.
What is the hotel I will be staying at?
Will you be meeting me at the airport?
How will I know it’s you?
I typically wear a bright red hat when flying, you should know me that way.
What are the rates of the hotel?
I am unfamiliar with African hotels, if there are cultural norms I should know before arriving, please alert me.

Thank you


Dear Craig Hennecke,

You can still see that you are joking, how dear you sent me a cover of your passport, no phone number as i requested.

Please send a real passport amnd your phone number or you forget about the transaction because i am not a fool as you may think.





I meant no disrespect. I apologize, I thought you wanted to see that I had a passport.
I am not comfortable sending a copy of my passport through email. I do not trust the security of emails.

Do you have a phazar machine? This would be the best way to send the passport information without the security troubles which emails invite.

Also, you never answered my previous questions.
I am beginning to doubt your sincerity in this matter, I am not a fool either Zuma.


Dear Craig Hennecke,

You do not have to worry yourself much about the answers to your questions, i will do that immediately i receive the copy of your international passport and your telephone number because i would like to talk to you.

You can fax through this number 0027-866178662.




Zuma –

I wanted to let you know that I have decided to take up another offer I was emailed about today.
There is someone else in Africa who happens to be in a very similar situation.
They don’t have as much as $35million, but they have agreed to giving me a much higher percentage than you were willing to.
They also have answered many of my questions with no hesitation.
They also do not need my passport to be emailed to them.
They also have access to a phazar machine.

I will use my airline ticket to meet them instead, as they have informed me of the local great eating places nearby the airport as well.

As a businessman, I’m sure you understand this decision.

Best of luck.

Nader on NBC

Addressing the surrender to Wall Street, Obama’s military plan, the force of a 3rd party political movement, ego, the unfair treatment of Sarah Palin, and a competitive democracy.

NBC reporter calls Nader “not that relevant” and asks why they “should spend the time devoting scarce resources” towards his campaign. A 24-hour news cycle which takes the fluff of the election and stretches it out til the next bit of gossip doesn’t have enough resources to cover other parties? Other voices? Most questions are focused on him and not the issues he’s taking on. What a waste of resources…

An Undecided Voter

After watching the last debate, I reached the conclusion that I am, in fact, an undecided voter. The same type of voter which the media seems to be counting on to create the notion that it’s going to be a close race….

I have made a few decisions though. I will not be voting for John McCain, and I will not be voting for Barack Obama. With both candidates agreeing to keep the war machine rolling along [read this article by Noam Chomsky – Can a Democrat change US Middle East policy?], with both agreeing that same-sex marriage should not be legal (what are they afraid of exactly?), with both agreeing on “clean coal” and nuclear energy as viable long-term energy options, with both voting for FISA illegal wiretapping and Telecom immunity, with neither calling for impeachment and war crimes against the current administration, and with a quiet, if not passive approach to any truly progressive and necessary ideas, it’s clear that neither candidate is representing what I believe in.

The debates are nothing but stump speeches broken up into soundbite-sized segments, nothing new or revealing is being said, as each candidate won’t take a risk to alienate voters. When looking at 3rd party candidates, you won’t see that restrictive tone being used, you don’t see a careful PR marketing commercial when addressing/ignoring issues, you hear actual thoughts even if deemed controversial or unconventional.

The recent financial bailout reveals another attempt to deny reality – [Listen/read Naomi Klein’s speech replayed on Democracy Now! – Naomi Klein: Wall St. Crisis Should Be for Neoliberalism What Fall of Berlin Wall Was for Communism]. It’s totally unknown what will come of this trillion dollar payment to the exact companies which contributed top dollars to both Obama & McCain.

To admit that the economic situation of the U.S. is flawed is an understatement. But to not include the entire system within that admission of guilt only reveals the larger, much more destructive elements which make up the problem. Besides being a bloated illusion of power and might through the use of the military industrial complex, we’re also corrupt to the core in many ways. Our electoral process itself is flawed to the point of absurdity, yet the mainstream, consolidated media will not bring these crucial issues to the forefront. The corporate influence of this government is clear, and neither candidate is making it the priority which it should be.

So, where to go with my one lone vote then?

I voted for Dennis Kucinich during this year’s primary, and have always held him in highest regard since helping his campaign in 2004. Obviously he’s not running, but he has offered some of best ideas to genuinely transform this country. His speech at this year’s DNC was the most energized and moving by far (with the obvious exception for his endorsement of his party’s ticket). He’s one of the most outspoken, truly progressive, and honest politicians involved in this year’s election. Above all potential candidates, I would support a Kucinich presidency first and foremost.

Ralph Nader is running again. Regardless of the dismissive tone of many folks, he’s been a citizen-activist longer than anyone running for president. I volunteered for his campaign as well in 2004, which, even in Portland, was met with hostility from most people I spoke with. He’s still taking on the electoral process overall, revealing how difficult both Democrats and Republicans have made it for a 3rd party candidates to get involved with the race. His platform is as it’s been for the last few elections, with a few new added issues. He’s talking about things which either Obama and McCain agree upon so they don’t discuss, or he’s talking about things which neither even consider – such as decreasing the military budget. His energy policies are much more appropriate for our current crisis than the 2 leading candidates. This note on his website shows the sad fact that nothing much has changed since his last run for office –

[Matt Gonzalez’s piece about Obama, mentioned in the video above, is available here.]

The Green Party this year is offering the first all-women-of-color ticket for President. Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente are an energized team which would bring an amazingly fresh perspective to the government. I first learned about Rosa Clemente while attending the 2008 National Conference on Media Reform. Her powerful speech can be seen here. The Green Party platform is what I believe in and how I think we should approach the world in these times. The “10 Key Values of the Green Party” addresses the crucial needs which are not being discussed in the current political forums in the mainstream media. Issues like ecological wisdom, non-violence, true social justice, community-based economics, feminism and gender equality, and sustainability are crucial and need to be part of the foundation of a presidential candidate. McKinney is also the ONLY candidates (which I know of) who is an active member of the 9/11 truth movement:

So the McKinney/Clemente ticket is a great option for people who want to vote their values.

There are other 3rd party candidates running this year which although I don’t agree entirely with their platforms, I think their voices are needed to create a truly open political dialogue this year:

The concept of “vote for a Democrat this year and THEN force the change you want” does not work. For example, fair elections & open debates, in reference to 3rd party candidates, in no way benefits the Democratic Party. They will never bring up these issues as important ones, and thus will continue the two-party duopoly. Each election cycle brings forth the same “urgency” which keeps 3rd parties out of the picture, instead they’re painted as spoilers which can’t be taken seriously. I can’t buy that argument, weak as it is, when it’s the 3rd party candidates who are raising the actual pressing issues, issues which the two main candidates are not addressing due to the potential risk of losing an election.

I do think there is a difference between McCain and Obama, and I believe Obama will win the election this year. I also hope that he does surprise his critics and cynics (like me) and becomes a progressive which he had initially potentially presented himself to be, but I won’t be holding my breath, and I won’t give my vote to someone I cannot fully get behind. For me, one of the most pressing issues (besides the wars and U.S. hegemony overall) is media consolidation and corporate ownership of the public airwaves. I believe the only way towards a truly open and democratic dialogue within this country is through a media which contains the voices of actual citizens instead of capital-fueled companies. All other political issues can be discussed much more thoroughly if a media which voices opinions and facts and investigative journalism existed rather than what we have today, sensationalized fluff to fill a 24-hour newscast. (In all fairness, John McCain did vote against the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which was a Clinton backed bill which led to massive deregulation of the media, he has since become less of ‘maverick’ on such issues.)

If Obama is elected, he needs to adjust the FCC so that minds like commissioners Copps and Adelstein, who understand the importance of a fair media, are in charge. He might also listen to the voices of the actual people, not the power surrounding him, but the people which get him elected. He needs to come to terms with the fact that America as a global empire is dead, and that a humble approach to foreign affairs is more crucial now than ever. Time will tell.

Ron Paul on Obama’s message of “Change” –