Wikinews interviews Kent Mesplay, Green Party presidential candidate

Sunday, June 29, 2008

While nearly all coverage of the 2008 Presidential election has focused on the Democratic and Republican candidates, the race for the White House also includes independents and third-party candidates. These prospects represent a variety of views that may not be acknowledged by the major party platforms.

Wikinews has reached out to these candidates throughout the campaign. We now interview Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Kent Mesplay.

Why do you want to be President?

I run for president to help improve society, pointing out that we are more secure when we live in a sustainable manner. As of this writing our culture is based on the consumption of limited materials such as petroleum, coal and uranium with great emphasis placed on the consumption of “goods” that are produced and purchased with little regard for the well-being of future generations. Government, ideally, provides an independent, objective forum through which solutions to the needs and wants of our time can be raised, discussed and implemented in a thoughtful, respectful manner. In contrast to this ideal, our current central, national government exists largely to protect and preserve the status quo of relatively few stake-holders, having undue political influence and acting in a manner not in the best interest of the majority of people. We cannot blindly consume our way to peace and stability.
A Green presidential administration would put the needs of current and future generations above the rude demands and expectations of the well-heeled political donor class. It is not important that we have a new president bearing the face of change. We need vital, core change to our political institutions to decentralize control, empower rational science-based decision-making and cut the damaging influence of corporate money on public policy. This change is unlikely to arise from within the current two political parties that are intrinsically corrupted by the ubiquitous “greased-palm” bribing handshake with corporate entities. We need to only ask how many corporate media conglomerates regularly advertize the question, “Should a corporation have the legal status of a super-person?” to realize the extent of the current dilemma. A corporation should never have been considered to have the legal rights of an individual. The Green Party is independent from business interests. This political arm of the environmental, peace and justice movements represents meaningful change to public policy and to our fragile, centralized, short-sighted way of life.
Green solutions are largely local solutions: more community gardens and small farms, reasonable use of fresh water, grey-water and waste-water, including more water storage and community responsibility for the entire water stream, energy-efficient housing and transportation, health care for all, protecting besieged ecosystems. Practically, what this means is a higher base-line of essential services with the costs shared and supported broadly. To be clear, our basic physical security deserves support, not gaming at the hands of profiteers. A common wealth for all citizens is possible, with local regional flavors in commerce and culture atop this “baseline” of security. To be danced out of the way, one finds the current heavy-handed players of agribusiness, pharmaceuticals, energy, insurance and the congressional-military-industrial complex all dependent upon “corporate socialism” for subsidies and protection from real, meaningful, positive change and shielded from probing questions as to why, for example, we so frequently go to war.
Mottos include “sustainability is security” and “freedom to debate.” I run to help define, popularize and grow the Green Party, to be an advocate for: single-payer health-care, renewable energy, increased energy efficiency, rail transport, organic local agriculture, indigenous rights, wise water use, banning lobbying/bribery, over-turning the legal fiction that a corporation is a person, and equal media exposure for all political candidates, having open debates between all political parties and beating those “swords into plowshares” by focusing on improving diplomacy, communication and basic physical security in water, food and energy in particular to mitigate the negative effects of global climate change and to provide emergency readiness. Also, I get bored easily and this keeps me busy.

Have you ever run for political office before? (President, senate, congress, city councillor, school trustee… etc.) Have you ever been a member of a political party, other than the one you’re currently in?

I ran for president in 2004 and 2008, being one of the four “finalists” at the nominating conventions. Also, I ran for U.S. Senate in California as part of a contested race in the Green Party Primary Election in 2006. I plan to run for U.S. Congress in 2010 and I am now taking the steps to begin running for the 2012 presidential race. I have been a member of both main U.S. parties and I cannot adequately express my disgust for them both. I encourage people everywhere to register Green, vote Green and support Green Party efforts at achieving and maintaining ballot access within the current hostile political environment. Ideally, we can together displace one of the two major parties; such is the near-majority level of disapproval of the antiquated mainstream parties and the desire for a true alternative.

Have you ever campaigned for another political candidate?

In 1996 I helped organize a press conference for then-presidential candidate Ralph Nader, after having helped support efforts to draft him as a candidate.

What skills or ideas do you bring from this position, or previous positions, that will benefit the Oval Office?

I believe in the separation of power within government, including economic power. Due to the influence of money in politics and within government we do not have a political system that works well to advance the needs and concerns of “we the people.” There are few, muted voices within our government supporting the dispossessed, the disenfranchised, the “left out,” the lower echelon within our socio-economic strata. Especially now, with high energy costs, questionable food supplies, shredded social safety nets, job loss due to outsourcing and other losses, loss of civil liberties and rights, the consolidation and concealment of governmental power, the “fascist” confluence of military-industrial business with governmental power, threats of unstable weather, retaliation by terrorists and opportunistic foreign governments following our model it is a good time to not be silent. I have lived with and among many different cultures, religions and peoples, I have a multi-cultural background and a mixed ancestry, I value art, music and science, I am both intuitive and analytical and I enjoy solving problems. Our nation would benefit greatly from my services. Plus, I am not “on the take.”

Campaigning for the American presidency is one of the most expensive exercises in the world. How do you deal with the cost and fundraising?

Small contributions from many people not expecting a return of favors approximates public funding of campaigns. In order to “get the word out” about my existence as a candidate it is necessary to adapt and adopt alternative, low-cost strategies. With my campaign team steadily growing I anticipate utilizing modern low-cost communication methods to help “spread the word.” Fund-raising is among the least palatable activities that I have to endure as a candidate and I will be the first to admit that I have done very little fundraising. The reader who is a U.S. Citizen of voting age is encouraged to support my candidacy by visiting my web site, www.mesplay.org, and making a small donation in accordance with Federal Election Commission guidelines. Also, simply e-mailing friends helps tremendously with these small campaigns.

What are you/were you looking for in a running mate?

My running mate would likely represent a demographic that I do not, such as being female and non-white, since I am a white male. As to character and experience, I would want to be supported by someone with great practical public experience who has remained in integrity with the original idealistic hopes and dreams that once drew them into the public eye or political arena.

Can you win the 2008 Presidential election?

I can win the 2008 presidential election by becoming the Green nominee, by inspiring otherwise non-voters to register Green and to grow Green Parties in those states where they are not yet granted ballot access and to subsequently vote in some creative, time-urgent manner circumventing the severe limitations put on candidates and parties by the secretaries of state through the country. I would have to win many of the states where the Green Party is on the ballot and I would have to find a manner allowing erstwhile green voters to legally vote in those states where we are not on the ballot.

If you can’t make it into the Oval Office, who would you prefer seeing taking the presidency?

I cannot support candidates who foolishly support nuclear power and weapons, who do not recognize the need for peace and who do not offer real, meaningful, substantive systemic change.

What should the American people keep in mind, when heading to the polls this November?

When heading for the polls this November U.S. citizens should support Green Party candidates, policies and values. Thank you.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Wikinews_interviews_Kent_Mesplay,_Green_Party_presidential_candidate&oldid=4635253”

Norwegian politicians face voter suppression allegations

Monday, September 14, 2009

A viral election joke has landed several politicians in hot water as Norway goes to the polls to elect its parliament today. A hoax message turning voters away from polling stations is circulating in digital media. The message was also passed on by politicians, who have used social media like Twitter and YouTube to interact with the voters during the campaign. The targeted party is not laughing, and is warning that the activity could be seen as voter suppression.

“Due to full polling stations, Progress Party voters should send their vote by SMS [Standard Modular System] with shortcode FRP to 2009″ That message, and variations of it, was the joke circulating in social media such as Facebook and Twitter or by mobile phone messages.

Norway has taken significant steps towards e-government, such as a trial letting pre-calculated tax returns be filed by SMS. In this context, the General Secretary of the Progress Party, Geir Mo, said that the message was “sabotaging democracy”, because the damage would be done even if just one person believed the message. Kjell Ingolf Ropstad, one of the politicians who passed the message on, refused to apologize for doing it.

The main issue in the election has been whether voters should let the Labour Party dominated majority coalition government stay in power, or vote them out by voting for opposition parties.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Norwegian_politicians_face_voter_suppression_allegations&oldid=888005”

Wikinews’ overview of the year 2007

Monday, December 31, 2007

What would you tell your grandchildren about 2007 if they asked you about it in, let’s say, 20 year’s time? If the answer to a quiz question was 2007, what would the question be? The year that you first signed on to Facebook? The year Britney Spears and Amy Winehouse fell apart? The year author Kurt Vonnegut or mime Marcel Marceau died, both at 84?

Let’s take a look at some of the international stories of 2007. Links to the original Wikinews articles are in bold.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Wikinews%27_overview_of_the_year_2007&oldid=4678722”

Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal gets final approval by city Planning Board

Buffalo, N.Y. Hotel Proposal Controversy
Recent Developments
  • “Old deeds threaten Buffalo, NY hotel development” — Wikinews, November 21, 2006
  • “Proposal for Buffalo, N.Y. hotel reportedly dead: parcels for sale “by owner”” — Wikinews, November 16, 2006
  • “Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended” — Wikinews, October 2, 2006
  • “Court date “as needed” for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal” — Wikinews, August 14, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled” — Wikinews, July 26, 2006
  • “Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn” — Wikinews, July 13, 2006
  • “Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed” — Wikinews, June 2, 2006
Original Story
  • “Hotel development proposal could displace Buffalo, NY business owners” — Wikinews, February 17, 2006

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Buffalo, New York —The proposed Elmwood Village Hotel got the final approval it needed from the city of Buffalo’s Planning Board this morning.

In a unanimous vote, the Board approved most of the design and site plan of the hotel.

The Elmwood Village Hotel is a proposed hotel by Savarino Construction Services Corporation and is designed by architect Karl Frizlen of the Frizlen Group. It is to be placed on the corner of Elmwood and Forest Avenues in Buffalo and will require the demolition of at least five properties (1109-1121 Elmwood).

Despite the fact that today’s meeting was not a “public hearing”, several citizens lashed out at the Board after the approval.

“Thanks for destroying Buffalo,” said one man.

“[I am] disgusted. Because they did not allow the community to speak, it is the bastardization of the concepts of justice and democracy, and that’s what happened [today],” said Clarence Carnahan, a local business owner and concerned citizen, to Wikinews. He also referred to some board members as “immoral pigs.”

“[I feel] frustration because no one could speak. I was going to address the displacement of all the shops that are there and that they should be grand-fathered into the new space. We did not get to say that. [I am disappointed] that they are endorsing this enormous monstrosity.” said Nancy Pollina, co-owner of Don Apparel with Patty Morris at 1119 Elmwood.

Although the Board approved the hotel proposal, Savarino Construction must still go before the board to approve things such as signage and lighting. The Planning Board meets again on April 11, 2006 at 8:00a.m., but it is unknown if the hotel proposal will be on the agenda.

Pano Georgiadis, owner of Pano’s Restaurant at 1081 Elmwood and owner of 605 Forest Avenue in Buffalo, threatened to sue Savarino Construction at a public meeting on March 15, 2006 saying, “if you try to get a variance to change the code, I will sue you. This is my home, number one. If you go against city code, and you try to do the most rooms with a minimal amount of parking, again, I will sue you.”

Today, Georgiadis confirmed to Wikinews that he is “definitely” suing, but that his “situation is different” as compared to others looking into legal action. “This is my property. They did it [changed the code] without my approval.”

Last week, the Common Council voted and approved the rezoning of all five properties including 605 Forest.

Some are also considering taking the case to the New York State Supreme Court to “seek an injunction”and would go “pro se, meaning I am going to present the case myself,” said Carnahan.

Despite the approvals by the Common Council and Planning Board, organizers schedulaed another protest for Saturday April 1, 2006 at 2:00p.m. on the proposed site at Forest and Elmwood.

“We are not going to go down without a fight. We are going to go kicking and screaming,” said Pollina.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Buffalo,_N.Y._hotel_proposal_gets_final_approval_by_city_Planning_Board&oldid=1981791”

Markets dragged down by credit crisis

Friday, August 10, 2007

Global stock markets fell today, in a mass sell-off stemming from the sub-prime mortgage crisis in the United States. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rebounded late in the day after falling more than 250 points, ending the day down about 31 points. The UK’s FTSE-100 index fell 232.90 points to 6038.30, and Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 406.51 points to 16764.09.

Central banks across the world are injecting funds into their banking systems to add liquidity, fearing that many financial firms with subprime ties will be insolvent. Yesterday, the U.S. Federal Reserve transferred US$24 billion to temporary reserves, following the European Central Bank, which authorized a record €83.6 billion addition to its banks, its biggest cash infusion ever. On Friday, the Fed entered into a $38 billion repurchase agreement of mortgage-backed securities, easing stockholder worries. Also on Friday, the Bank of Japan injected ¥1 trillion into Japan’s financial system.

The Federal Reserve met this week, but decided to maintain its target rate of 5.25%, although on Friday the federal funds rate was hovering around 6%, indicating a drop in liquidity.

The volatile week began last Friday with Bear Stearns tumbling as a result from its complete loss of two major hedge funds worth more than $1.5 billion. The hedge funds had been dangerously exposed to the massive sub-prime mortgage failure, and the company announced it was unable to return any money to investors.

Washington Mutual, and Countrywide Financial, both very large U.S. home loan lenders, saw shares fall. Countrywide Financial made a statement this week, saying they will be forced to retain a greater proportion of mortgage. American Home Mortgage Investment Corp, another large lender, recently filed for bankruptcy. The U.S. housing market has been declining for more than two years after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates 17 times. Now, lenders are in a quagmire from millions of people who are unable to repay loans after taking adjustable rate mortgages, teaser rates, interest-only mortgages, or piggyback rates.

Jim Cramer, of CNBC’s Mad Money, remarked that as many as seven million people will lose their homes from bad mortgages. Last Friday, Cramer went on a tirade on CNBC’s Street Signs, saying that the “Fed was asleep” and called for them to lower rates immediately.

Asian and European markets have become increasingly entangled in the subprime mortgage crisis in the U.S. Deutsche Bank of Germany lost almost $3.5 billion in share value, forcing the government to organize a bail-out. France’s largest bank, BNP Paribas SA, halted withdrawals from three large investment funds which were crippled by sub-prime exposure.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Markets_dragged_down_by_credit_crisis&oldid=2295789”

Existing US home sales fall 9.6% in February

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sales of existing homes in the U.S. fell 9.6% in February, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said today, in a sign that the U.S. housing market is still depressed. The figure was worse than the 3.9% decline anticipated by the economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires and questions whether the U.S. housing market is beginning to recover or will continue to fall.

We have an uneven, choppy recovery. Hopefully it is a recovery …

A combination of foreclosures and short sales, where the mortgage holder sells the house for less than owed on the mortgage, accounted for almost 40% of the sales.

Millions of foreclosures have forced down home prices and the number of foreclosures are predicted to rise this year. The inventory of existing homes listed for sale rose 3.5% at the end of February, a 8.6-month supply at the current sales rate. As more homes are listed in the spring, the inventory of houses for sale will probably increase. A five or six month inventory is usually considered a healthy balance between supply and demand.

According to Moody’s Analytics, another 3.6 million bank-owned homes and possible foreclosures will be added to the inventory by 2013, adding to the 6.7 million home foreclosures since 2006. Thus housing inventories will probably continue to remain high, delaying the point when prices stabilize. The median sales price in February fell 5.2%, down to a price level not seen since April 2002.

“We have an uneven, choppy recovery,” said NAR’s chief economist Lawrence Yun. “Hopefully it is a recovery that is taking place.”

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Existing_US_home_sales_fall_9.6%25_in_February&oldid=1203626”

American pitchman Billy Mays dies at age 50

Sunday, June 28, 2009

American pitchman and advertiser Billy Mays has died at the age of 50. Mays was probably most known for his pitching of the multipurpose cleaning product OxiClean.

According to reports, Mays’ wife, Deborah, found him unresponsive Sunday morning in their home located in Tampa, Florida. Fire-rescue crews pronounced him dead at 7:45am EDT. The cause of death was heart disease.

According to reports, he was a passenger on U.S. Airways Flight 1241, a flight to Tampa from Philadelphia, that suffered a tire blowout upon landing on Saturday night. He was quoted as saying objects from the overhead compartments hit him in the head, but he did not seek medical treatment. Nobody was reported injured in the incident. Deborah said he did not feel well when he went to bed at around 10:00pm EDT the previous night.

An autopsy is expected to be completed by Monday afternoon.

“Although Billy lived a public life, we don’t anticipate making any public statements over the next couple of days. Our family asks that you respect our privacy during these difficult times,” said Deborah Mays in a statement to the press.

Mays recently began co-starring in a television show on the Discovery Channel called Pitchmen. Mays, along with English advertiser Anthony Sullivan starred in the show where they would ‘pitch’ several products. By the end of the show, two inventors would be selected and be given a chance at selling their product “en masse”.

Mays also pitched sales for several other products including furniture polish Orange Glo, Mighty Putty, the Gopher, Zorbeez, and the cleaning product Kaboom!.

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Queues form outside struggling UK bank; calm urged

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Nervous savers have re-formed queues this morning outside many branches of Northern Rock, after the £2.68 billion bank took an emergency loan from the Bank of England, the UK central bank.

Shares in the bank had dropped 25% by lunchtime yesterday in London – and stood nearly 60% lower from their high of February – after the Bank of England acted in its capacity as “lender of last resort” to provide Northern Rock with short-term financing to enable it to continue operations.

The Bank of England hasn’t acted as lender of last resort since 1973, when the collapse of Cedar Holdings – a pioneer of second mortgages to UK home-owners – threatened a crisis in the country’s banking industry.

Northern Rock has been hit hard since June this year by the turmoil in world credit markets. Although only 0.24% of its assets are exposed to subprime US housing debt, the bank’s business model saw it grow its loan book by 43% in the first six months of this year. Rather than lending money deposited with it by savers, Northern has borrowed aggressively in the short-term capital markets.

“Northern Rock is not a reckless lender,” said Angela Knight, head of the British Bankers Association on national radio this morning. Urging the bank’s savers not to withdraw their money in panic, “the mortgage lending it does well and it does in a high quality, high calibre way,” she added.

But savers queuing to withdraw their money from Northern Rock today said they were “horrified” by the Bank of England needing to step in.

“I am going to take out the lot, every penny,” said one Northern Rock saver to Bloomberg as he queued outside the bank’s West End branch in London.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Queues_form_outside_struggling_UK_bank;_calm_urged&oldid=2628159”

Shimon Peres discusses the future of Israel

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

This year Israel turns sixty and it has embarked upon a campaign to celebrate its birthday. Along with technology writers for Slate, PC Magazine, USA Today, BusinessWeek, Aviation Weekly, Wikinews was invited by the America-Israel Friendship League and the Israeli Foreign Ministry to review Israel’s technology sector. It’s part of an effort to ‘re-brand the country’ to show America that there is more to Israel than the Palestinian conflict. On this trip we saw the people who gave us the Pentium processor and Instant Messaging. The schedule was hectic: 12-14 hours a day were spent doing everything from trips to the Weizmann Institute to dinner with Yossi Vardi.

On Thursday, the fifth day of the junket, David Saranga of the foreign ministry was able to arrange an exclusive interview for David Shankbone with the President of Israel, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Shimon Peres. For over an hour they spoke about Iranian politics, whether Israel is in danger of being side-lined in Middle Eastern importance because of Arab oil wealth, and his thoughts against those who say Israeli culture is in a state of decay.

The only crime I committed was to be a little bit ahead of time. And if this is the reason for being controversial, maybe the reason is better than the result.

Shimon Peres spent his early days on kibbutz, a bygone socialist era of Israel. In 1953, at the age of 29, Peres became the youngest ever Director General of the Ministry of Defense. Forty years later it was Peres who secretly gave the green light for dialogue with Yassir Arafat, of the verboten Palestine Liberation Organization. It was still official Israeli policy to not speak with the PLO. Peres shares a Nobel Peace Prize with Yitzak Rabin and Arafat for orchestrating what eventually became the Oslo Accords. The “roadmap” that came out of Oslo remains the official Israeli (and American) policy for peace in the Palestinian conflict. Although the majority of Israeli people supported the plans, land for peace was met with a small but fiery resistance in Israel. For negotiating with Arafat, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shouted at Peres, “You are worse than Chamberlain!” a reference to Hitler’s British appeaser. It was during this time of heated exchanges in the 1990s that Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by Yigal Amir, a Jew who thought it against Halakhic law to give up land given by God (Hashem).

Peres is the elder statesman of Israeli politics, but he remembers that he has not always been as popular as he is today. “Popularity is like perfume: nice to smell, dangerous to drink,” said Peres. “You don’t drink it.” The search for popularity, he goes on to say, will kill a person who has an idea against the status quo.

Below is David Shankbone’s interview with Shimon Peres, the President of Israel.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Shimon_Peres_discusses_the_future_of_Israel&oldid=1976275”

Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green Party candidate Lloyd Helferty, Thornhill

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Lloyd Helferty is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the Thornhill riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

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