Posts Tagged ‘tea party movement’

LIBERTY

March 7, 2010

Powerful and emotional vision of the future that looks uncannily like our present. A masterwork. Reproduction of public domain World War I Liberty Bond advertising poster.

OBAMA SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT:

It occurs to me – in a Homer Simpson “Doh!” moment – after a career in public process, facilitating, negotiating and mediating citizen concerns, that Obama is NOT “wimpy” or a “wuss.”  He’s a FACILITATOR, a COMMUNITY ORGANIZER. He took us completely through a model facilitation process on health care – in the model, the facilitator has no opinion and remains neutral (like a combination referee, coach), but guides the group toward a collective decision. Without describing a full process, it will:

  • Identify all potential stakeholders;
  • Allow time for getting acquainted;
  • “Storm” – settle personalities and emotions, and vent “noise” that impairs effective communication;
  • “Norm”-  get down to business (discuss and invent) – the process becomes “reality” rather than “ideologically” driven; and
  • Facilitate the decision.  Usually a vote – used when consent is not general – to adopt and implement the solution – majority rules. At this juncture, everyone (theoretically) who has taken ownership of the solution will support it.  Of course, there are always naysayers and a minority report, perhaps Republican, religionist, corporatist, and/or people in funny hats.

Obama hasn’t strayed from the model one jot, and if I’m right, he is one of the greatest facilitators I have ever seen in my life.  Hallelujah.

Tsun Tsu’s Art of War is about the strategy of indirection; one appears where the enemy is not, and so on. The best general is the one whose hand is unseen, who triumphs without a physical battle, who wins without destroying the enemy or the country, but wins the war conclusively.

Obama isn’t just sitting in that Whitehouse.

Per Tsun Tsu, Obama resisted the call for blood revenge on the retreating Republican Party of George W. Bush.  Per Tsun Tsu, he withdrew pressure from the troubled area, and got a breathing space to tackle more pressing matters of national survival.

As clever and worldly as that is, George W. Bush took down every single thing he ever touched: oil company, pro-football team; Texas (he cut taxes for the rich and bankrupted the state); and our national treasury.  He even ruined the Republican Party!  He’s not just a takedown artist, he’s a corporate raider and a sociopath akin to Ted Bundy, with a whole lot more blood on his hands.  Yet, he gets by with that little shuck and jive he does before he runs away.

“Georgie Porgie, puddin’ and pie,

kissed the girls and made them cry,

but when the boys came out to play,

Georgie Porgie ran away!”

Alan Greenspan used to run a lot too.  News clips show him, shoulders hunched, eyes furtive, out-running reporters and ducking into doorways. We must beware of stooped men burrowing into our government.  They know they’re up to mischief, they act guilty; they can also hardly believe we’re letting them do what they are doing, right in front of our eyes, right out in public! 

There oughta be a law, but the nation really needs a reckoning.

CONCLUSION LACKING:

While Obama led us through the process, there is yet to be a conclusion.  What are the results of the exercise?  The Pen – a global literary committee protecting free expression – has an  opinion worth considering.  Our facilitator may have led us to a foregone conclusion; one corporatist insurance CEOs wanted all along.  It happens that ardent faith in a cause makes one more easily manipulated by the unscrupulous.  Here’s an inside look.  Action links are included in the article, which is posted here verbatim:

Democratic Party’s Plan To THROW The Next Couple Elections.

Facing reality is a tough job but somebody’s got to do it. And we foretell for you the events of the future NOT because we want them to happen, but to get you to act to keep them from happening. But to do that you need an action page, so here it is.

Put The Public Option Up For A Vote: http://www.peaceteam.net/action/pnum1038.php

And now we will explain why this action page is so critical. To understand the current political dynamic, first you must understand that the Democrats are PLANNING on losing the next couple election cycles. UNTIL you understand that, the events to unfold in the next couple years (unless you act to derail them) will make no sense to you.

You don’t have to believe us. Just listen to the way the Democrats themselves are talking. Nancy Pelosi concedes that they will likely suffer substantial losses in the House come November, though she still will not admit that they will lose their majority in the next round. Barack Obama says doesn’t “know” how his ever more determined push of the universally despised Senate health care scam will play politically. He doesn’t know??? Was the loss of the eternally Democratic senate seat in Massachusetts not enough of a wake up call?

Their original plan, which we told you about no later than last September (and we can point you to our published article at the time to prove it), was to lull the liberal/progressive base into thinking a “public option” was some kind of mumbling substitute for a single payer reform system (that would have represented REAL change), with the INTENTION of throwing even that option over the side before final passage. We saw it all coming, and we tried to warn you how important it was to keep speaking out to demand better.

For the corporate special interests controlling the whole legislative process (but only in the absence of your voices of course) this was a heads they win, tails the people lose, proposition. By getting the Democrats to squander their mandate and political capital for actual change, by getting them to meekly abandon their professed principles in favor of a bill that would benefit as a bottom line the insurance corporations only, the people en masse would justifiably conclude that the Democrats had completely betrayed them. And the Republicans, who by the tactic of enfeeblement of government in fact just empower the same ultimate corporate agenda, even as disliked as they are themselves, would be swept back into office in the next election. Net result … reform and change discredited, hopes dashed, defeatism rules, the corporations win again, one grand circular tag team.

That was the MASTER plan. But then it hit a bump in the road in Massachusetts. For you see, Scott Brown was not SUPPOSED to win. What he was supposed to do was to stir the pot of public anger as a prelude to November, to build a record of opposition, to fire a shot across the public bow of the Democrats, but he was not supposed to actually hit anything. It was strategically premature. Because having lost their shaky super majority, depending even as it was on regressive bad cops like Nelson and Lieberman, the Democrats could then no longer just waltz the fatally compromised health care bill through with a unilateral conference committee.

What to do? What were the corporate fascists to do? Now keep in mind that the EXCUSE the Democrats had been giving all along to their own base, as to why not only single payer, but in the end even a feeble public option, had to be taken off the table, was that they could not muster a full 60 votes for that in the Senate, that they could only manage something like 53-56. But now suddenly, the only way to force this destined to be hated bill through was have the Democrats in the House bend over for the worst case Senate bill as it was, and clench their noses long enough to pull some kind of corrective reconciliation shenanigans that would only require 51 votes. Why, the people would ask themselves, can’t we at least have a public option, since we were trying to get Congress to use reconciliation to make THAT happen all along?

And the inescapable answer is … that was not the plan. Suddenly people like Senator Rockefeller, who had PRETENDED to be for a public option before, dramatically reversed their position. Suddenly people like Senator Harkin, who declared himself to be at heart a “single payer guy” live on TV with Ed Shultz just the other day, would in the next breath not even ADMIT that he would support a public option IF a vote for it came up. Suddenly, people who were all for the public option when their vote did NOT count became equivocal, or against it, when they COULD possibly cast the deciding vote.

No, the plan was for the Democrats to pass a bill that would be so despised that they would be swept out of power again, that would cost them even their simple majorities. That was the PLAN. That was the plan of the corporations all along. There has never been any other plan. And that REMAINS the corporate plan with what can only be described as an obstinate and renewed determination.

Now, it would be one thing if Barack Obama and the Democratic party “leadership” were going to the wall for what the PEOPLE want. But they are not. They are bracing to go to the wall for what the corporations want. As perverse as George Bush was, at least he always had his most dedicated and delusional core base on his side when he thumbed his nose at the rest of us. The exact opposite is the case here. Barack Obama is standing in diametric opposition to his own base, and willfully so, displaying all the leadership qualities of a bull in a bull fight.

We can read from the last 25 messages function of our own action pages, just as you can. It breaks our heart to read people talking about how they worked so hard for Obama and now feel so betrayed. It breaks our heart to read independents write that they were willing to give the Democrats a chance, but will never vote for a Democrat again. It breaks our heart to read people declaring that they will never even turn out to vote again, for anyone. Because this is all nothing but surrender talk. But we fight on undeterred, even with our broken heart.

Put The Public Option Up For A Vote: http://www.peaceteam.net/action/pnum1038.php

And we tell you now, that if this health care bill is rammed through without at least a semblance of a public option in it, the one we were promised at a MINIMUM, there will be massive hemorrhaging at the polls come November. The American people are out there right now asking themselves, “Was Massachusetts not enough … how big a 2×4 will we have to hit these mules in the head with before they finally get it?” The Republicans will not need to talk about any other issue to campaign on. They will get a total pass on a secret agenda that is, if anything, in every respect more hostile to the real public policy interests of the people whose anger they will arouse.

And if the Democrats DON’T lose their majorities in a single election, guess what? Same rallying war cry for 2012, “Got to vote out more Democrats so we can repeal the hated bill, including getting a getting a president who will sign the repeal bill.” Try to tell us you don’t hear it happening already. Even if the Democrats don’t lose their majorities in 2010, they will be so reduced that they will not be able to accomplish anything in the next two years, not that they have been able to accomplish anything with the majorities they had, meaning nothing to run on in 2012 either. Of course the latest promise never meant to be honored is that the Democrats will fight for a public option LATER. But if they can’t muster the votes to do it now, with the majorities they have now, only the most terminally gullible would believe they could do it with fewer votes in the future, even if they actually wanted to, which they do NOT!

And if there is a historic landslide in November and both houses of Congress go Republican, guess what the first bill from the new Congress will be … repeal the health care bill. And guess what happens if Obama tries to veto it, or the Democrats try to filibuster (after passing it on 51 votes in the first place)? In short, Obama becomes an instant lame duck, the people will be hell bent on getting rid of him too, and the entire Democratic party is just a dead man walking. Either way, pushing this bill now avails nothing, since it WILL be repealed before it ever goes into meaningful effect.

And when the repeal bill does become law there will be people celebrating and dancing in the streets, not even realizing that they are just dancing on their own graves. No pack of lemmings have ever hurtled so foolishly to their own demise as this Democratic Congress. No pod of whales have ever beached themselves so senselessly. We are talking about the biggest act of deliberate mass suicide in the history of the animal kingdom.

UNLESS, and we would concede that this is a big unless, we can somehow get enough people to speak out to DEMAND a vote on a public option, and not just the weak public option passed by the House, but instead the proposed Medicare expansion to 55 from December quashed putatively by Lieberman alone, and additionally for an option for ANYONE to buy in to Medicare, for the PURPOSE of calling the Democrats out, to at least demand something better. Democratic members of Congress are under corporate orders (including direct from the White House and being cajoled) to take a dive. The only thing that can countermand that order are your voices speaking out. Your voices … if you will use them while you still can. Please submit the action page now.

Put The Public Option Up For A Vote: http://www.peaceteam.net/action/pnum1038.php .

Or folks can just keep lapping up the diminishingly persuasive happy face emails from the Obama never-ending campaign machine with ever more promises of ponies and rainbows, in which case all will transpire just as we have revealed it.

And here is the Facebook links for the action page further above.

[Facebook] Public Option Vote Action: http://apps.facebook.com/fb_voices/action.php?qnum=pnum1038

Please take action NOW, so we can win all victories that are supposed to be ours, and forward this alert as widely as possible.

Miss Liberty is blinded. Her arms are bound. She can no longer defend herself.  She is a captive of hate and shame.

America's Princess

BANKERS and TEABAGGERS

October 28, 2009

Brotherhood

Thousands March in 3-Day Showdown with Banking Industry By Kari Lydersen, AlterNet.

Tired of bailouts and fat paychecks for those that created the economic catastrophe, marchers made clear demands to tame an out-of-control financial system.

Workers gave pink slips to the country’s top bankers Tuesday morning to culminate three days of protests, billed as the Showdown in Chicago, during the American Bankers’ Association’s annual meeting.

Before a jeering and cheering crowd of 5,000 union members and activists, Armando Robles, president of UE Local 1110 and a leader of the Republic Windows factory occupation last year, attached big, fluorescent pink slips to larger-than-life cutouts of retiring Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf and JP Morgan Chase CEO James Dimon.

The three CEOs were probably among the bank officials meeting in the Sheraton behind the stage that featured speeches by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Change to Win Chairwoman Anna Burger, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and workers and community leaders.

After “firing” the bank CEOs, Adam Kader of the workers group Arise Chicago presented a notice that the banks’ $17.8 trillion “loan” in taxpayer-bailout funds is due since, he said, banks have not complied with the conditions placed on the handout by the people.  READ MORE:

http://www.alternet.org/workplace/143547/thousands_march_in_3-day_showdown_with_banking_industry

Tea Party Movement Returns, This Time with Much More Dangerous and Explicit Rhetoric By Frank Schaeffer, AlterNet.

It’s not too hard to guess where talk of ‘Judgement Day’ can lead to in the context of a right-wing, gun-loving movement.

According to the “Tea Party” website, Tea Party Express II: Countdown To Judgment Day” is underway. Here’s how their website describes it:

All throughout the recent Tea Party Express national bus tour we kept receiving calls from people around the nation who lived far away from the route our buses took across America. We vowed at the time to keep the Tea Party Express effort alive — and that’s exactly what we are doing.Join us from October 25th to November 11th, 2009 as we tell Congress and the White House: “Enough!” Let’s stand up and stop the bailouts, cap and trade, out-of-control spending, government-run health care, and higher taxes! We’re back and determined to take our country back!

What will happen on their predicted “Judgment Day”?

If you buy the biblical spin of the Religious Right folks — that make up the bulk of the Tea Party movement — the implication is clear: Jesus will soon return, send all Democrats, gays, blacks, progressives, liberals, college-educated unbelievers, etc., to Hell, while saving what Sarah Palin calls “us” “Real Americans” — in other words unreconstructed frightened and resentful white lower middle class Americans.

(As a former right wing evangelical anti-abortion leader who built a good career from these folks — until I quit in disgust with myself, the anti-American nature of the movement and the takeover the Republican Party by extremists — I know of what I speak.)

If you put the secular/right’s “tree-of-Liberty-must-be-watered-by-the-blood-of-tyrants-Timothy McVeigh spin on the Judgment Day scenario; then there will soon be a hoped for bloody day of reckoning for the occupant of the White House.

http://www.alternet.org/rights/143554/tea_party_movement_returns%2C_this_time_with_much_more_dangerous_and_explicit_rhetoric

The Case for Marijuana Legalization and Regulation By Paul Armentano, AlterNet.

An exclusive look at the historic testimony prepared for a special hearing on legalizing marijuana to the California Assembly.

The following is the testimony NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano will deliver on Oct. 28 to the California Assembly Public Safety Committee’s special hearing on “the legalization of marijuana: social, fiscal and legal implications for California.” Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, sponsor of AB 390, The Marijuana Control, Regulation and Education Act, is the chairman of the committee.

By any objective standard, marijuana prohibition is an abject failure.

Nationwide, U.S. law enforcement have arrested over 20 million American citizens for marijuana offenses since 1965, yet today marijuana is more prevalent than ever before, adolescents have easier access to marijuana than ever before, the drug is more potent than ever before, and there is more violence associated with the illegal marijuana trade than ever before.

Over 100 million Americans nationally have used marijuana despite prohibition, and 1 in 10 — according to current government survey data — use it regularly.

The criminal prohibition of marijuana has not dissuaded anyone from using marijuana or reduced its availability; however, the strict enforcement of this policy has adversely impacted the lives and careers of millions of people who simply elected to use a substance to relax that is objectively safer than alcohol.

NORML believes that the state of California ought to amend criminal prohibition and replace it with a system of legalization, taxation, regulation and education.

The case for legalization and regulation

Only through state government regulation will we be able to bring necessary controls to the commercial marijuana market. READ MORE:

http://www.alternet.org/drugreporter/143558/the_case_for_marijuana_legalization_and_regulation

30 Reasons Fox News Is Not Legit By Eric Boehlert, Media Matters for America.

Fox News routinely, and blatantly, breaks the code to which ethical journalists are supposed to aspire. READ MORE:

http://www.alternet.org/media/143541/30_reasons_fox_news_is_not_legit

Why Won’t Obama Send Condolence Letters to the Parents of Soldiers Who Have Committed Suicide? By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!.

The bereaved parents of Chancellor Keesling, a US soldier who took his own life in Iraq, wonder why the death of their son is treated differently than other mortalities.  READ MORE:

http://www.alternet.org/world/143557/why_won%27t_obama_send_condolence_letters_to_the_parents_of_soldiers_who_have_committed_suicide

Apocalypse Soon: Halloween Interview on Overpopulation with Kierán Suckling

Scared of ghosts, goblins, and jack-o-lanterns? None of those are on the Santa Fe Reporter‘s list of the top five environmental horrors. But human overpopulation is. “Apocalypse Soon: Today’s Environmental Horrors Could Lead to a Scary Sci-Fi Future” interviews Center for Biological Diversity director Kierán Suckling. Click below to read the whole article. Here are few excerpts:

“Virtually everything that is destroying wildlife habitat and the environment is driven by overpopulation,” Kierán Suckling, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity, says.

“Whether it’s too many people diverting water out of the Rio Grande or too much wood use leading to the logging of old-growth forests, the bottom line is there are too many people using too many resources to be able to have a healthy environment.”

“It’s great to focus on reducing our carbon footprint, but…unless we start reducing the footprints to begin with, we and other species are not going to survive on this planet.”

“The majority of environmental groups avoid addressing overpopulation like the plague. I think that’s largely because they lack the courage of their convictions. They are fearful that in saying that [we are overpopulated] they will be viewed as being anti-human somehow–as if squalor and overpopulation are somehow pro-human.”

Read the Santa Fe Reporter interview and learn what the Center’s doing to confront the overpopulation crisis head-on.

 Wamm2