Mark D. Diehl for Senate

Note: The election is long past. I got 11% of the vote, which was quite good considering I had neither corporate money nor the support of a national corporate franchise party. I’m proud to have connected with thousands of people who saw clearly how desperate our situation truly is.

However, I will not run again. While there were parts of the campaign experience that were truly encouraging, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of hopelessness much of the time. The vast majority of Americans have been manipulated into believing that one corporate-funded party is the antidote to the other, when in fact that perception has been cultivated by strategists. The social issues bitterly dividing people these days have been elevated in voters’ minds, hiding the fact that BOTH parties get EQUAL money and are therefore EQUALLY INFLUENCED BY MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS. That is, despite what you’ve been led to believe, neither party will protect you from having your state and your country sold out from under you.

Even giving away my books for free, I was unable to compete with brand-name parties that spend billions on cultivating a public image. The campaign was a good experience and I’m glad I was able to take a stand and fight, but there’s no way I can overcome teams of professional manipulators by knocking on doors.

I believe my books still have a chance of showing people where we’re headed. Just as George Orwell and Ayn Rand showed us that all-powerful governments are dehumanizing, I hope to show that all-powerful corporations are equally so. Below is the material I posted about my candidacy, which I’m leaving up in case you’re interested.

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MARK D. DIEHL FOR SENATE

 

BREAKING NEWS!

My daughter made me a commercial! It’s amazing, but not as amazing as she is. She’s a 13 year-old full-time college freshman and she made this as a gift for me before moving into the dorms.

Click the picture below to watch it on YouTube! (Don’t forget to share the link with your friends.)

Commercial!

Commercial!

 

And now a few words from me:

Mark D. Diehl on Two Parties

If you believe one party is the answer to the other, you are being manipulated.

 

Mark D. Diehl Tar Sands

The fight is not over and South Portland needs help to defend itself and the rest of the state.

 

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If a foreign power were to conquer our government and use it to oppress Americans, would you join me in opposition?The truth is that the United States has fallen to a foreign power, but we don’t see it because it wasn’t a military operation. Instead, we have been infiltrated and overthrown by an army of multinational corporations (MNCs), who are themselves controlled solely by international financial markets. There is no such thing as an American MNC; they exist for no purpose other than to produce short-term profits for their shareholders all over the world.Haze Over Eastern ChinaI spent a few years in Asia, where MNCs have been raiding for decades. The environment and every last person had either been absorbed by the hierarchy or crushed by it. I remember black snow that fell in summer, different nauseating fumes that drifted in every time the wind changed, and tap water so toxic I couldn’t put my face under the shower. I once passed a throng of dead-eyed workers shuffling out of the place where they spent eighty-hour weeks just to survive, and I realized that these were the lucky ones because they went home to sleep. Everything was dead and gray and miserable, but it hadn’t always been that way.

Malaysia

 

I returned home and attended law school, and ended up practicing law with a big multinational firm in Chicago, representing MNCs as they pursued their interests in American courts. I noticed how every decision they made was based exclusively on short-term profit projections. MNCs do not breathe or drink, so they do not value clean air or water, except as commodities to sell. No place is home to MNCs, moving from country to country for more favorable labor rates or looser pollution controls as they do, so they destroy whatever they touch. They have no souls, so they do not respect life. I found myself working to please them in much the same way the Asian workers I’d seen had, often around the clock for days on end, without going home to sleep.

Photo by J. Crocker

Photo by J. Crocker

 

I saw the power the multinationals had over the little guys. The resources at my disposal could make short work of any small firm, and the merits of the case could be damned. Slowly it dawned on me that courtrooms weren’t the only government entities where MNCs flexed their muscles. Through huge contributions to both major political parties, they influenced every new law pertaining to their industries and every executive enforcing it, as well as the judges those executives appointed to the bench. This was why small business was being regulated out of existence: MNCs demanded this so that they would be the only entities left, in market after market.

Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. A corporation has no conscience, which makes it difficult to work for one and preserve your own. I hated my despicable employer and its horrible clients, and most of all I hated myself for being on their side. I realized my salary wasn’t so much an indication of my value as it was a measure of what I was willing to do for money.

 

bald mountain

Photo by peachoftree

When we moved to Maine, I thought I was free of it all. So what if the rest of the world had been plundered, deforested and enslaved? I was here in paradise, writing books that would hopefully awaken people to what was going on out there. The air was clean, the water was drinkable, and small businesses bloomed everywhere I looked. I became co-founder of a Maine nonprofit connecting local businesses with job seekers and local charities called Think LOCAL! Community Networking, and our numbers quickly swelled to over a thousand. Maine was a place where it was still possible to earn a living and have a life, though often just barely in the case of far too many people here. Some began to insist that what the state needed was more influence from MNCs.

I saw also that Mainers don’t often trust people “from away.” Given what I’ve experienced in places that have been conquered by multinationals, I respect that level of caution. However, I’ve also seen how deceptive MNCs are, putting neighbors at each other’s throats as they recruit unwitting servants with false promises and scare tactics. My heart sank when the “Open for Business” signs went up at the state border, because I had seen what it was like to live in places that had been opened that way, their governments sacrificing small dreams and independent livelihoods to the false foreign gods who financed their politicians’ rise to power.

When South Portland became a battleground as people tried to stop toxic, abrasive, disaster-laden tar sands from entering Maine, I wrote online and blogged about the issue, trying to help people understand what was really going on. I knew the corporations were going to attack the proposed ordinance with imagined scary things they claimed would happen if it were passed – an intimidation technique we learned in law school called the “Parade of Horribles.” As a former soldier of the relentless MNC army, I know their tactics, and I have seen them used to intimidate the public in just this way, countless times.

Now my books have gotten me a certain amount of name recognition, and I’ve been asked me to run for Senate in District 29. I almost said no, to let the “real” Mainers deal with their issues, but I realize now that I have to run. I live here, too, after all, and I have intimate knowledge of how evil the invaders can be. People who have lived in paradise their whole lives haven’t seen what I’ve seen in my journeys through the dark side, and they don’t know how skilled their enemies are with lies and manipulation and outright control of government. Maine is still beautiful and amazing because MNCs hadn’t  taken a serious interest in the state before now. Asia once looked like Maine.

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Through massive contributions to both major political parties over decades, MNCs have secured their hold on America’s, and Maine’s, political machinery, and this is why things keep getting worse for non-corporate people no matter who is in office. For now and always, I pledge to refuse all corporate and PAC contributions. Please support me in the fight to keep Maine the way it is, for the old-guard Mainers and us new arrivals, too.

 

 

HOW TO HELP:

1. Wake up. 

2. Tell others.

 

 

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OTHER ISSUES

Don’t be fooled. The corporate agenda taints all kinds of policies that at first glance might not seem related.

 

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MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION

I’m one of the guys who recently got marijuana legalized in Portland. We were a small number of people, those of us who actually went to talk to the public and collect the necessary signatures, but it became immediately obvious that the majority of voters were with us.

It’s not about the plant. It’s about allocation of resources. Most Americans feel that we’re wasting our tax dollars enforcing marijuana laws. Not that they love marijuana, or have any intention of even trying it, but just that they don’t see it causing the kind of social problems that would warrant the expense. It’s a way to cut government spending in a way that most of us can agree upon.

Why have we wasted millions and millions of tax dollars, ruining countless lives in the process, to prohibit something most of us don’t think is that big of a deal? Because mega corporations in industries from alcohol and tobacco, to Big Pharma, to oil and plastics know that hemp and cannabis can outcompete their products. It’s time to stop using American (and Maine!) tax dollars to protect markets for international conglomerates.

 

TAR SANDS

How do I put this?

If you think tar sands are good for your community, you have been bamboozled. If you personally stand to profit from the importation of tar sands into or through your community, well, sorry. You’re one of the bad guys, and you’ll probably be recruited by the oil companies as a minion to stand in the way of people trying to protect themselves, their neighbors, and their families from this stuff. Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 4.02.59 PM

They want to take an aging pipeline that has been pumping crude oil one direction for decades, reverse the flow, and fill it with abrasive material so thick it has to be diluted with toxic solvents, and the friction the stuff creates (think tarry sandpaper and nail polish remover, shoved at very high pressure through a pipe all the way from Canada) makes it red hot. If allowed to proceed with this, they would then burn off the solvents in 70-fo0t smokestacks, or rather, they would burn off solvents from whatever makes it here. Because tar sands are highly pressurized and create so much friction, they tend to tear through the pipelines and pump out crap at high pressure, often for long periods of time.

Google it. Look it up on Facebook. Do whatever you need to do to become familiar with the issue. Here’s where I’d start if I were you:

Protect South Portland 

 

 

LABELING OF GMO FOODS

How is there any debate about this at all? Haven’t we already moved past the days of having sawdust in our sausage? We have the right to know what’s in our food, especially when “food” has now been genetically modified to grow its own insecticide. Look up the Monsanto Protection Act and read until you’re furious. I’ll wait.

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Why are you trusting the two major corporate political parties with your health?

 

 

INSTANT RUNOFF VOTING / PUBLIC FUNDING FOR ELECTIONS / VOTER RECALL

There are easy ways to ensure that government more closely resembles what the voters actually want, but both corporate parties have consistently rejected them because it would undermine their ability to force the corporate agenda down everyone’s throat. Instant runoff voting would let voters rank candidates by first choice, second choice, etc, so that voting for their first choice wouldn’t drain votes away from their second choice. Public funding for elections would even the playing field, at least somewhat, against all that corporate money that is currently driving our political process. Voter recall would mean that we could collectively decide there had been a terrible mistake. None of these are being done, because they all threaten those in power under the current, hopelessly broken, system.

 

MANY, MANY MORE

No candidate can have pre-formed opinions about every issue. What’s important is that the candidate demonstrate an understanding of the big picture and the general direction he/she feels we should be moving. I believe we need to protect Maine from exploitation by multinational corporations. We need to ensure that our government is responsible only to the people of Maine, rather than to the highest bidder. If you agree, please support me in this election.

 

 

 

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

This is where I’ll try to answer the most common questions I’ve gotten since declaring my candidacy. They are ordered only by which questions I remembered first. I’ll just add them whenever I have time, so visit often! (Be warned: I’m trying to connect with as many people as completely as I can, as quickly as possible, so these are all first drafts. They are not indicative of the level of editorial attention my books have received!)

 

QUESTION ONE: 

You used to be cool. When did you turn into this paranoiac envirofag? 
ANSWER:

Actually, I remember the exact moment it happened, during the semester I spent studying with the law faculty at the National University of Singapore. I’d already been a little creeped out by the place. Singapore was both an Orwellian and a fervently capitalist society, with its frighteningly severe punishments for slight transgressions, its taxes on consumer goods like beer and cars that were so high they effectively tripled the world market price of those things (taxes enacted to protect the public, of course), and, yes, the way people looked over a shoulder and lowered their voices whenever I muttered anything vaguely disapproving of anything remotely governmental.

On this day I was with a friend, walking in one of Singapore’s historical districts. Katong, maybe, or Emerald Hill. I don’t remember the place, exactly. He explained that just twenty years before, the place had been run down and slum-like. “Now look,” he said, gesturing around at the perfectly restored buildings, the manicured plants, the cars parked on the street. “Everybody’s got air conditioners, refrigerators, cars, big TVs and computers.”

I thought about it, considering, the fact that Singapore, having developed first, gave a glimpse of what was about to happen in China. What would the world be like when a billion more people started getting cars and appliances? What would that kind of consumption do to the market price of those goods and the materials they were made from? How long could would reserves of coal and oil last, with that many new consumers? What would the air and water pollution be like at that time, when it had been shocking in Hong Kong when I’d been there just a few weeks before?

That was when it hit me. Here was a society that had already criminalized or taxed to death pretty much every activity other than working for a corporation and putting money in the bank. Now it was developing rapidly, increasing world demand for consumer goods and energy, and straining its environment. Extrapolate into the future, and then realize that China’s rapid growth is going to speed up the pace, and you see that Asia, and because of globalization, the whole world, is going to turn into a land of corporate slaves in a ruined environment. There is no freedom when your only chance of survival is obedience to your corporation, and you’re punished for everything but going to work. What is liberty when the only way to have air or water that won’t poison you is to buy it? What good is money when we’re all locked into offices and homes like prisoners, not by the government but by economic necessity, pollution, and fear of our neighbors and our rulers?

I see what’s coming. We have to stop it. We have to try, at least.

 

 

QUESTION 2: Can you really stop the corporations / save the world? 

ANSWER: 

Nope.

Let me be clear: Corporate control and subsequent destruction of the planet is inevitable. There is too much power concentrated in entities that are more powerful than nation-states and not accountable to anyone. They WILL continue to consolidate power, pollute, deplete natural resources, enslave workers, and control/destroy governments. They exist for no other purpose.

However, they don’t appear to have any plans beyond that point. Once the planet is destroyed, democracy has been eliminated, and everything good about the world has been converted into digits in a ledger, their model of permanent expansion driven by senseless forced consumerism must fail. They will fall, and there will then be an opportunity for a new system to arise.

We can’t save the world, but I believe that if we fight hard enough, we can keep them at bay until they collapse. Maine is one place where we have a chance to do that.

Don’t get me wrong: Just because they will conquer most of the world is no reason to just give in. We should — we must! — fight them everywhere, make it as hard as possible for them to take what they want, just as people have always done with invading, marauding armies. Most of us will fail, but it doesn’t matter when the alternative is letting them destroy us without a fight.

Some of us, in the less ruined parts of the world, with populations who are both awake and willing to fight, might hold them off long enough to prevent our own total subjugation.

 

 

QUESTION 3:

Should We Replace Capitalism or Shrink the Government?        

ANSWER:

Socialists tell me how much better our system could be if we would just scrap capitalism and use the government to distribute wealth. Libertarians tell me how much better it would be if we would just starve the government and let the free market work. I tell each of them the same thing: It doesn’t matter.

The world is a capitalist system with huge corporations and enormous governments. That’s the way it is, all over the globe. It takes too much inertia to change anything on that scale, so it doesn’t make any difference whether there’s some theoretically better system. This is the world we have to work with. Debating whether government or capitalism is the greater evil is futile.  What we can do, though, is make sure we act to get the benefits from both of those systems, and minimize our exposure to the risks.

The most important thing to realize about the American capitalist/government arrangement is that , though it’s imperfect and difficult, it was functional before it got raided. People watch their taxes climb and their benefits disappear, and of course they’re angry. People see themselves regulated to death by big government, and small business disappearing, and yes, that looks like Communism.

But we need to look one layer deeper into all this to understand what’s really going on.

Where is the money going? Who proposes these regulations that are strangling small business? Follow the money and it’s clear: Our government is completely controlled by multinational corporations, who pay no taxes, take significantly more dollars in subsidies than social welfare programs, and who use it to regulate smaller entities out of business and bully the rest of the world into compliance with corporate rule, all at taxpayer expense.

This is not a problem inherent to capitalism, and it’s not an inevitable outcome of big government. It’s happening because corporate money has more influence on the American government than voters do. To survive as a functional democracy, we MUST return control of government to the people, and then use that control to regulate corporations and monied interests, ESPECIALLY in their influence over government itself.

 

 

QUESTION 4: 

Won’t voting for  a third party waste my vote? 

ANSWER:

People think that, but it’s not what I’m seeing at all. The vast majority of the people I’ve spoken with who plan to vote for me are those who have already given up on the two-party system. Most such folks aren’t even registered voters, anymore. When I meet them we discuss my belief that it’s not too late for us to take back our government, and more often than not, I convince them to register again.

What’s truly a waste is voting for one of the two parties that has consistently shown over decades that it will act to benefit its corporate benefactors at your expense. People who vote for one party and blame the “other” party when their chosen officials fail to make any changes are simply being duped.

Think of the interrogation technique known as “Good Cop / Bad Cop.” When the prisoner is questioned first by the “Bad Cop,” and then approached by the “Good Cop,” he gets the impression that there’s someone on his side. In reality, both cops are on each other’s side, and the prisoner is screwed. It’s just a facade, made to confuse and lull the prisoner into a false sense of security. The difference in American politics is that the public, as well as the candidates from both parties, actually believe that their party could fix everything if the other got out of the way. Neither side realizes that it’s playing good cop half the time and bad cop the other half. It’s not an accident that Congress is deadlocked all the time. The system is DESIGNED to ensure nothing changes!

In terms of making a better life for yourself, your family, your community, and the world, VOTING FOR EITHER OF THE CORPORATE PARTIES IS THROWING YOUR VOTE AWAY.

 

 

QUESTION 5:                                           Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 7.40.55 PM

Can you win as an independent/third-party candidate? 

ANSWER:

If winning was the most important issue for me, I’d be running on a corporate party ticket.

If I can show voters the sham that the two-party system has become, then yes. I can win.