18491839_10211175347331026_7198973368837060910_oI did not want to write this, I have been busy getting over chemo, as well as a cardiac procedure that came later. And the simple business of being there for my family has gotten complex since my daughters accident . But both at the supermarket yesterday as well as just now at the Sunoco station several people want to know how I feel about this District attorney’s race. First just in case you don’t know is I have NEVER jumped on a “bandwagon” in my life. I have NEVER chose a candidate to vote for because it was trendy or “cool” to do so. Or because I wanted to party with the “hip” people….and oh yeah ….the hardest part of this choice is remembering that there are NEVER any “perfect” candidates.Now with all that being said….nobody is going to like this who is with the “in” crowd..I’ve been out of circulation …but I have not been dead…There are three candidates that stick out for me …with good reason to vote for them …but they ALL still have many negatives… My three choices are Joe Khan…a scary former federal prosecutor with all that ” mandatory minimum sentences” baggage.as well as having gone along with other questionable policies ..but he has risen to seem like the most competent of the candidates running.and he is an “outsider”.but running the D.As office is something I would trust him with..this would be my choice if I just wanted to “play it safe”…then there is Rich Negrin..he knows all the right people…a lot of people feel they owe him favors for shadowy things we don’t know about.worst of all this man is the choice of both the local police unions…he is indeed scary ….stinky ..but many, MANY people I trust and have worked with over the years have “stepped in line” to endorse him…he certainly knows city hall ….knows everybody in city council …and knows where ALL the bodies are buried…but again even with that smell..I would consider him another safe choice…third candidate is Lawrence Krasner ..just like Negrin he has a HUGE bandwagon following..both trusted old comrades as well as the clueless elite liberal hordes have jumped into this following…what gives me cause to again have to hold my nose is even though I have seen Krasner be there for Black Lives Matter..and step in for what he calls civil rights cases….I have to admit that in all five case where I have encountered the man in person….that old arrogant patronizing “white liberal thing” where he talks to white people in one tone of voice …and talks to black people like they are children.was ALWAYS there..But after the last election I have taken to talking about this particular “malady ” more…because it’s time for it to stop…this is a struggle white people have to look inside themselves and have the courage…or even the balls to admit and deal with…and I have to say that Krasner shares this problem with about half the “white liberal males” I know……and a lot of the women too..so he is not alone …Hey after 52 years as an activist and organizer maybe this is something I’m tired of running from…So these three are who I think would be the best choices…and to say what about 30 people on the street asked me just today. With EXTREME caution I am voting for Lawrence Krasner….not for ANY of the reasons you hear in his adds…but simply because with the District Attorney’s department we have had for the last few decades I WANT SOMETHING BETTER….I can’t stand Krasher but like I said ..the “perfect” candidate does not exist….so I’m taking a chance…a leap of faith…or hey it could be something else..I’m also voting for Mark B. Cohen the son of my “Philly politics” mentor David Cohen..for judge of the court of common pleas…..there I said it all ….you may not like it ..the thing is you get to make your own choice when you vote tuesday ….but PLEASE VOTE

Why do I never talk about religion ??

I really like riding the buses in my community of Germantown Philadelphia..I love this part of the city. I was out and about a lot these last couple of days,,catching up with old friends ..since I have not been out much lately ..recovering from surgery and stuff…People on the bus as well as the supermarket are much more interested in current events than a lot of you may realize. They don’t always know my name but many people come up to me with a story about my driving their Mom or Grandmother to the polls or how I registered them to vote or in some cases who do you think the next President should be…But the existance of facebook seems to have given people a whole new window into what you care about…”How come you never post anything about Jesus?” ..”You got a lot of wisdom Mr. Hayes but you are not very spiritual are you”…So I told these two people on the bus that I saw a facebook post once that explained how I feel about religion..it said “religion is like a penis….it’s a nice thing to have but you shouldn’t go waving it around in peoples face all the time”….this was not my original line…like I said I read it on fb…but this simply was not enough …and they were not going to let me get off the bus with no insight into what my religious beliefs were…Finally as we got to my bus stop I did something I have never done …as I consider it a very private matter ..I told them that I get great comfort from reading and listening to the thoughts of Jiddu Krishnamurti…I got off the bus and started walking down Schoolhouse Lane to my home…suddenly I noticed these two seniors like myself had gotten off the bus and were rapidly walking towards me…”We heard you talking to those people ..could you tell us about Krishnamurti.?..I was horrified ..religious proselytizing is something I really can’t stand…and would hope to NEVER be accused of it myself..but there they were coming and they just wanted to know …So I walked along with them for the two blocks or so to my house..and we sat on my steps for a while…and I did what I have NEVER …EVER done ..sat down and talked about this..and what I find in Jiddu Krishnamurti’s teaching that actually fits in with my old school Marxist view of the world….AND I WILL NEVER DO THAT AGAIN.

Jiddu Krishnamurti

Jiddu Krishnamurti

Winter in Philadelphia for a homeless veteran

I found this picture on google. But this week I spent all of Tues.and Wednesday, and part of Thursday getting some medical tests done. Tuesday I was waiting for a bus in Center City Philadelphia, and directly in front of me was a man sleeping with his stomach against the metal of the steam vent on the sidewalk. I know from working with a lot of homeless people over the years that this can be very bad…..but it was about 25 degrees out …with a killer wind blowing..hey what are you gonna do. … I left the guy alone until he was kicked by a pedestrian and woke up…he asked me if I had a dollar…well I’m not in the best financial shape these days …,I had two dollars and a few cents….I needed that for the bus..after thinking about it I looked across the street and seeing a fast food place I said .”How bout I get us something to eat ? With my $2.48 I managed to get us a double cheeseburger and a tiny “side salad” ..he took the burger and I ate the salad..I found out he was 42, my sons age a veteran and had fought in the first “Gulf war”..he did not seem “crazy” or anything ..his family had put him out because he had really horrible nightmares and could not sleep at night …waking up screaming all the time..since I no longer had money for my bus we talked for a while. He said he was well aware of the dangers of sleeping on the steam grate and told me a story of someone being “cooked” on one during the last winter….this guy was white, the son of two school teachers and grew up in Montgomery County Pennsylvania.. But this is America..land of opportunity …so this can happen to anyone ..should it…please feel free to comment…I wanna know.homeless

First day for Voter registration in Philly gets off to a really Bizarre Bang.

Okay what a horrible way to kick off this years voter registration drive. Yesterday a Black woman I knew vaguely from my days working at Weaver’s Way co-op. comes up to me at the little table I had set up on Ridge Ave. with a young Black man she introduced as her grandson. She said she had heard that I use to lecture on the civil rights movement and would I please explain to her grandson that the Holocaust was a hoax. Now I must admit I had heard the woman say that to someone about 10 years ago. But I was completely horrified that she somehow got the idea that I would back her up… I took a deep breath and I took my best shot..I said ” Well first of all the Holocaust being a hoax is an urban legend started by white supremacist in the 1970s. I could see her face getting distorted …she was not getting the response she expected.. “In fact” I continued “the Holocaust very well may be the most well documented event of the 20th century” At this point she had had enough, she began screaming at me. “Where do you get your information?” . I mentioned my Uncle Lucius Bridges who was one of the American soldiers who liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp. I was going to continue by explaining how I spent half my childhood living and work around survivors from the Polish death camp Treblinka. which is true.. they had a small community in S.W. Atlanta in the 1950s and 60s..but by then she stormed off. claiming I was “brain washed”.. This morning I am still horrified that this woman a Black woman, supposedly some type of Christian minister would believe something that stupid …but why the hell did she come to me to help her prove it to her grandchild. I wonder how many other Black people have heard this crap?…how many Black people believe it? Is this something some fringe group of Black Christians are preaching in the pulpit? Scratching my head ….but I will continue to be out there health permitting about three days a week registering voters … if you know anyone who just turned 18 send them my way..

The More things change the more they stay the same/ Does Philadelphia’s Left have it’s fair share of arrogant White Males scambling to be the Leader ?

This past weekend in Philadelphia we had a huge demonstration,I did not attend the March Against Monsanto Philadelphia that happened this week end. I simply was not feeling well and these days I have to really pay attention to that. Many of my friends were there. One old friend from my days in the Co-op business is David Woo, a long time activist who many people may recognize from his days at WHYY. Apparently there is an Asian person who works for Monsanto and sometimes shows up at these things ..sort a spy or a Shill if you will. My friend David is Asian ..apparently there were not many Asian persons in this crowd because one “full of himself..arrogant” White guy ..sort of the self appointed savior among recent Philly activist picks out David ..calls him the Shill and fanned the flames of what could have become a mob attack….David was shouted down and not really allowed to defend him self…The Arrogant “prick” responsible for all this is called David Mauriello..at least that what he calls himself now..Days later on the FB page for “March Against Monsanto” this guy posted a supposed apology ..his excuse ..The other guy looked just like David..now let me add that David Woo is a particularly gracious person and with some reluctance accepted the “apology” ..I don’t… it’s racist and almost says that it was Mr. Woos fault for looking Asian…cause as we all know “they all look just alike.” Here is the apology ..judge for yourself but to me it’s BULLSHIT ..call it the “they all look alike defense”……………………………”March Against Monsanto Philadelphia would like to clarify that there was a case of mistaken identity during the march on Saturday. David Woo, an apparent supporter of non-GMO proliferation, was mistakenly identified as a shill, pointed out unfairly, booed, and made to feel unsafe. We deeply regret this unfortunate incident, and sincerely apologize to David Woo.

Firstly, let us clarify, that we did not confuse you, Mr. Woo, with a 70-80 year old man in the GMO OMG documentary. You were mistakenly identified as a 40-50 year old man at a viewing of the GMO OMG movie whom Diamond and Leah interacted with for at least 20 minutes. Leah (the in-reality-not-so-young “blond woman”) spent some time trying to eliminate you as this man from ten feet away, but the evidence mounted against you. This man looked, acted, dressed, and spoke uncannily similarly to you, and absolutely was a biotech shill who spouted false information about GMO science and obfuscated conversation with the audience and individuals incessantly. This set of circumstances made it impossible to decipher you from this man. So for the mistaken identity, the assumption, despite that it was based on good educated information, and for publicly embarrassing you and for the hurt and anger this caused you to feel, we fully apologize. This was absolutely NOT a stunt – it was an honest mistake. We don’t do stunts. We believe in honesty, transparency, and the truth. We wish you had approached one or both of us at the MAM table at the market and clarified who you were; either one of us would have made the time to listen and discuss this. We also wish we had taken the same initiative.

The very sad reality is that there are shills out there who attempt to confuse and obfuscate the public about the issues in GMO science. Independent research is stifled, blocked, and discredited. Scientists in academia are paid off. Shills are everywhere – they show up to public events, they infiltrate social media, they attempt to block communication, they are present everywhere in the mainstream and even some alternative media. There are groups in social media who are there only to paint non-GMO activists as stupid and “against science” (check out the GMO Soapbox group or GMO LOL community on facebook as examples, and prepare to be attacked if you do join). They are everywhere precisely because of how much is at stake, i.e., the power, money, and greed inherent in potentially controlling the world’s food supply and the fate of public health. We are on high alert all the time because of this. This is an information war of the highest degree. It is absolutely the case that “an informed public is Monsanto’s worst enemy.”

The sheer volume of money that is spent to misinform the public is the proof of the significance of the stakes. An informed public is the worst enemy for the political machine as well, as it has been completely corrupted by corporate money. This applies at every level, Democratic, Republican, whatever. Multinational corporations have taken full control of the reins. As examples: one of the most important issues the non-GMO movement faces is the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), which would undo all efforts in the United States and the globe to ban and/or label GMOs. After three years of study and wiretapping, it was proven in 2012 by Food and Water Watch through Wikileaks information that the federal government is strong-arming foreign countries and demanding GMO proliferation while simultaneously promoting global trade deals that would do the same. Unless corporate money is removed from the political system, these issues will only get worse.

To be clear, March Against Monsanto Philadelphia does not have a left/right political “slant” in the sense that is it not associated with, nor ever will be beholden to, any political party. However, the fight against GMOs absolutely IS a political issue, precisely because all politics is manipulated by financial motivations. Paul Glover and the Green Party of PA showed up to March Against Monsanto because of alignment with our beliefs – that corporate money must be removed from politics completely, that there should be no tolerance for political parties who do take corporate money, and that GMO proliferation must be stopped in its tracks. This is case of a party using the system to change the system, by not taking corporate money, and by supporting a platform that is about the people, not corporate interests. March Against Monsanto Philadelphia refuses to support a system that revolves around corporate interests. Because the Democratic and Republican parties are beholden to corporate multinationals, the entire political machine is corrupted and therefore invalid. We passionately oppose any candidate who is a part of this system, or anyone who supports such a system candidate. We believe the solution is to leave the system or find an alternate political solution that is not controlled by corporate multinational interests.”……..Well , that’s the apology they posted ..days after David almost got his ass kicked…what do you think..as always I welcome your comments

Thoughts on viewing the Documentary about the MOVE tragedy

Move 2I saw this documentary last night , and all these years later it was still painful to watch. Maybe not for the reasons you may think. Unlike many people who simply don’t know any better I have no sense
of the Move people being positive ,progressive, revolutionary, or as many people who weren’t there say a “Black Power” group. I got a chance to see Move grow from a tiny “cult” centered around the “handyman” for an apartment building I lived in for a few months named Vince, (who I knew and used to talk to often until he stared calling himself “John Africa”) ..to a insanely aggressive group of lost people..on the other hand the Philadelphia Police Dept . was literally at that time equally out of control ..I posted this response on a link for an out of town friend…and it’s all true………..”At that time Philadelphia had what may have been the most out of control Police department in the Nation and what most people outside Philly don’t get is the Move Cult was an insane, volatile, prone to spontaneous violence group of people. I lived two doors away from them from 1972-78…though they were a mostly Black group they were not a progressive or positive group in any way.. living next to them or within a block of them was a living hell. They would broadcast obscenities over a bullhorn twenty four hours a day. Just walking past their house was risky thing to do..you could be vocally or physically attacked for no logical reason. And the stench from the rotting raw meat they would throw away on the front lawn was horrible. Finally people from the community went to the city for help. What happened in 1978 when they lived next to me and in ’84 was have an insane police dept. set loose on them …two insane forces meeting and a whole neighborhood held hostage and in 84 destroyed ..I have no stupid romantic notions of Move “standing strong” against the police that’s not what happened ..and I am a veteran of SCLC. SNCC. and was an organizer for the Black Panther Party..I know the difference between standing strong and just plain crazy….insanity met insanity and the mad dog racism of the Philadelphia police turned it into a tragedy.”