Mar 11 2012
I haven’t made the time to directly check votizen.com out, myself, too much. I started to join, but their system insisted on one of my twitter, facebook, or linkedin accounts, and I didn’t want to use any pre-existing ones. I’ll definitely join, later, but the potential of votizen to seriously shake things up seems too important not to be examined, by the FDL community, ASAP.
I had one main question, which I couldn’t get a solid clue to, before a little more googling, today. And that question is, DOES THIS TECHNOLOGY RESPECT 3RD PARTIES? People familiar with my writings know that I favor building up 3rd parties, but also reforming the Democratic and Republican parties. (For examples of my writings on voting strategies, see Recommended Short and Long Term Voting Strategies for the Dump Obama Movement and “Dump Corporate Dems” – Going Green at the State Level, to “make Dems do it” at the Federal level)
My biggest fear with votizen is that, while it may help break the stranglehold of corporate cash corrupting the legacy, D and R parties, it would hamstring the citizenry by not facilitating the wishes of citizens who want to vote for a 3rd party – either dumping the legacy parties, completely; or else, as I have recommended, being strategic about things, loyal to principles, but not loyal (or terminally averse to) any party. Yes, even those dastardly Democratic and Republican parties.
From this page, it appears that they do, indeed, facilitate at least some 3rd parties – in particular, the Green Party, the Constitution Party, and the Libertarian party.
THESE PEOPLE HAVE GOT FACEBOOK PRINCIPALS AS INVESTORS, AND WILL HAVE NO CASH PROBLEMS DEVELOPING THEIR OFFERINGS. IF THIS TECHNOLOGY IS AS DISRUPTIVE AS I BELIEVE IT MAY BE, THEN YOU OWE IT TO YOURSELF TO GET INVOLVED. THIS IS PARTLY BECAUSE IT COULD BE USED TO DISRUPT BUSINESS-AS-USUAL FOR THE 2012 ELECTIONS.
OTOH, IF IT TURNS OUT THAT 3RD PARTIES ARE MARGINALIZED, A MORE APPROPRIATE RESPONSE MIGHT BE TO A) BOYCOTT VOTIZEN, UNTIL THIS IS RECTIFIED AND B) USE SOCIAL NETWORKS TO MAKE SURE THAT YOUR 3RD PARTY FAVORING SOCIAL NETWORK ALSO BOYCOTTS VOTIZEN.
Votizen may be well be revolutionary, even though it (apparently) will operate at a primitize level of ‘voting bloc mojo’. I don’t want to get into a big discussion – you can google me re “voting blocs” for my previous comments. But, briefly:
A full voting bloc decides it’s own destiny, from the bottom up, both in terms of policies, candidates, and strategies. That is what reinventingdemocracy.us can offer, if it gets funded. A proto-voting bloc will have it’s (more limited) options laid out in a top down fashion, with some voting to decide on the group will. A proto-proto-voting bloc will only self-organize, in a granular fashion, around candidates, hopefully, eventually, reform candidates. It’s members’ “votes” (aside from their real-world votes, on election and primary day) are basically their membership in the an online group, akin to a fan group. It’s disruptive potential comes from it’s ability to grow cheaply and rapidly, and to be inherently non-preferential wrt incumbents.
In this hierarchy, votizen is at the lowest level, though it also goes beyond this by allowing recruitment of volunteers from the ‘proto-proto-voting bloc’. It allows the formation of voting blocs with party and candidate boundaries. A mature voting bloc technology will make parties essentially almost irrelevant – the relevant boundaries are policy boundaries (and, implicitly, ideological boundaries).
For those of you that moan and groan about how bad everything is: You’re partly right, but you’re shooting yourself in the foot if you allow your negativity to blind you to what bright spots are out there. I haven’t come to a final determination of the potential of votizen, but don’t let that, or your own negativity, prevent you from coming to your own fair and open-minded conclusion.
Dec 07 2011
I have a simple idea that I would like to hear feedback on. Let me admit, right off, that I haven’t studied the nuclear reactor geometry in any detail, and this idea depends on such geometric (or layout) conditions.
As some of you may know, Fukushima is threatening (or has already begun), to go China Syndrome.
The simple idea is this: Build a wall around the Fukushima reactors, and start dumping in tin ball bearings. Very tiny ones, so that they are more space-filling, and can pour through smaller openings. If you need to, drill some holes through floors, tops of containments, etc.
If the nuclear materials are hot enough to melt concrete, then they are hot enough to melt the ball bearings. Concrete becomes “crumbly” at around 1000 C, and it’s constituent stone and sand don’t melt until 2600 C, according to this. The melting point of tin is 231.9 C.
Meanwhile, the thermal conductivity of tin is 67 W/(m.K), vs. .1- 1.8 W/(m.K) for concrete. (Ref).
Consequently, provided that you can get the tin ball bearings close enough to the bottom of the reactor where the nuclear materials are eating through the concrete, they should both melt faster than the concrete, and furthermore conduct the vast majority of heat upwards, through the mass of tin, rather than downwards.
Should the tin that’s enclosed become completely melted, you build a second wall, knock a hole in your first wall, to let the liquid tin pour through, and dump fresh tin ball bearings on the top of the reactor, within the circumference of the first wall. Repeat, as necessary. (I.e., as many additional walls as you need.
If you want to conserve energy, and the tin is not too radioactive, you can create a tin can factory, right there! 🙂 (I don’t think tin cans have tin, anymore. Just kidding, in this last paragraph.)
Tepco says that temperatures (assisted by water cooling) have been under 100C for a while, now. See http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/f… . They also say “according to the gas sampling result in PCV, the gas caused by core concrete reaction is currently not detected. Therefore, it is estimated it is highly unlikely that the core concrete reaction still goes on.” My reference gives a source as the architect of the #3 reactor, but AFAIK, he doesn’t address the claims in the TEPCO report, point by point.
Oct 02 2011
Tired of hearing from Obama White House that the Texas-Mexico border is more secure than ever, the Texas Department of Agriculture, along with the Department of Public Safety, hired two retired U.S. generals to evaluate the true status.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples today released “Texas Border Security: A Strategic Military Assessment,” an independent study, former generals Barry McCaffrey and Major-General Robert Scales, at the Protect Your Texas Border Summit in Austin.
Among their findings is that “criminality spawned in Mexico is spilling over into the United States.”
“Texas Border Security: A Strategic Military Assessment,” an independent study, former generals Barry McCaffrey and Major-General Robert Scales, was released at the Protect Your Texas Border Summit at the state capital.
The much anticipated study reveals that drug cartels are now recruiting our Texas children with significant investments for their criminal gang activities.
In the last 18 months, six of seven cartels have established headquarters in Texas cities, according to testimony form the Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McGraw.
At least 22 murders, 24 assaults, 15 shootings and five kidnappings have been traced to cartel activities on the Texas side of the border during since January 2010.
Combined with a persistent recession/depression, a decaying social safety net, lax border security and continuing lame-brain drug laws, don’t be surprised if there’s a rapid increase in gang-related crime in your neighborhood.
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE
The primary source document, “Texas Border Security: A Strategic Military Assessment”, is linked to here.
Aug 14 2011
Somebody should challenge Obama, there’s no question about it. He is what he is, and it’s not what we want,” former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel said in an interview with The Daily Caller. “I’d be happy to do it, but it takes money. Without enough money to be heard, you come off as somewhat foolish.”
Gravel said he will challenge Obama if there is sufficient financial backing.
“If [supporters] would put up $1 million, I probably would run. And that would at least fund enough activity to get a message out,” Gravel said.
Aug 10 2011
Progressives are Stupid if they don’t seize their opportunity to educate their Republican neighbors about ALEC – here’s why
ALEC is horrendous, and I’m convinced that most all conservatives would be angry (if not furious) if they knew how private corporations – including foreign corporations – secretly plot to screw the public for their own profit. Give a listen to this program on ProgressiveRadioNetwork for more info on ALEC, and/or check out diaries about ALEC on dailykos.com.
Although I frequent progressive blogs, I’ve only noticed stuff about ALEC relatively recently. That’s not too surprising – it looks like there’s been nothing on progressive website, before May 24, 2011. At the previous ALEC-on-dailykos link, above, the earliest diary is dated May 24, 2011, called Updated x 3 – Action Diary – 300,000 Activists Needed to Drive ALEC to the Light – Part 1 says,
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has come into public prominence in recent months primarily since Dr. William Cronon, a distingushed scholar at the University of Wisconsin – Madison published an essay Who’s Really Behind Recent Republican Legislation in Wiscosin and Elsewhere? (Hint: It Didn’t Start Here) on March 15, 2011, followed by an OP-ED in the New York Times titled Wisconsin’s Radical Break on March 21, 2011.
ALEC has operated since 1973 clearly out of the spotlight, and in fact, has always attempted to run under the radar of American politics and American media. Its full membership list is hidden from the public, its “Model Legislation” is hidden from the public, its corporate sponsors are not disclosed, in short, it operates as a shadow government, writing hundreds of bills that are introduced in all 50 state legislatures with a success rate of close to 20 per cent.
Since ALEC hides in the shadows, wants to remain a background player, despite its huge influence, and its primary activity of writing corporate sponsored legislation to be introduced in 50 legislatures, usually to the detriment of the voters that the legislative members were elected to represent, I and many other Americans have decided that this secrecy must end.
This diary is the first of a series that all take the form of Action Diaries, and with some advice from fellow bloggers concerned about the ALEC onslaught of union busting, prison privatization, hostility to public education with legislation around the country intended to weaken teacher unions and the institution of Public Education itself throgh vouchers and charter schools, for profit schools, Voter ID Laws which are really Democratic Voter Suppression laws (passed in some states, introduced in at least 38 states), anti-environmental legislation, anti-regulation of all kinds of businesses, the list goes on, and the goals of this group are radical. …..
Since “ALEC hides in the shadows, wants to remain a background player”, I assumed that knowledge about ALEC would be suppressed on conservative websites. So, to verify (or disprove, as the case may be) this idea, I just did a quick search at MichelleMalkin.com, RushLimbaugh.com, and (Sean) Hannity.com. I used the search string “American Legislative Exchange Council”, not ALEC, since there were lots of Alec Baldwin hits and since I assumed that the ALEC acronym would be spelled out, at least once, in any article that went into it.
Basically, there is no mention of ALEC as a suspicious entity, which betrays the public interest. ALEC is mostly just mentioned as the source of a quote. Moreover, it’s rarely mentioned at all (even in passing). Below are the hit counts:
michellemalkin.com: 2 hits
RushLimaugh.com 4 hits
Hannity.com 4 hits
Only one of the links explained what ALEC is, in any detail, and this was by a member of the Hannity forum, on page 7 of a forum thread, not by Hannity or his staff.
FIGHTING THE INFORMATION WAR, WITH EMPHASIS ON ALEC
ALEC is a big enough scandal, IMO, that progressives should use it as a first strike weapon in the information war. I have posted some diaries in the past few months about how to get progressive memes into public mind in general, and thus go far beyond “blogging to the choir”.
Here are some of them:
Wanted: Republicans who plan to sell off CA and NY, to pay the national debt which is about progressives targetting Republican primaries as progressive candidates, which is particularly important and logical in uber-red districts. Exposing ALEC is a topic that these progressive Republicans would be concerned about – who are expecting to lose, but educate in the process.
Going after Grover Norquist’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge , in which I suggested another progressive pillar for the progressive crashers of Republican primaries, to embrace.
Status Quo Busters: How FDL+DK+DU progressives can ‘cross the beams’ and revolutionize politics The vast majority of progressive blog content, some of it very high quality, never gets much beyond the blog community. Here I suggest leveraging the blog community to print out prepared condensed and edited versions of blog extracts, which can be handed out, left in public places, etc.
Conyers spills the beans on Obama & SS & jobs bill; call for WH protests: The updates discuss using a show business techique (“democracy carolling”) to put a smile on people’s faces before you place a pamphlet in their hand.
How squeegees can help save America, and your sanity – going beyond blogging to the choir: Putting a smile on people’s face before you put a pamphlet in their hand.
How teachers could make Rush Limbaugh’s head explode, but chronically fail to Pamphleting kids after school is sort of a no-brainer in a suburb…
FDL vs. Rush Limbaugh vs. Michelle Malkin vs. Ann Coulter Websites compared wrt spreading their messages beyond their readership DailyKos and FDL diaries cannot be printed out, nicely formatted, without the comments. Which is not a good way for these websites to encourage propagating their content to the ‘unblogged masses’, at no cost to themselves. DailyKos has a ‘Share’ widget, which allows you to easily email a diary to a friend, but FDL does not have this.
Jul 15 2011
The following suggests a cure for Obama-bot-ism, analogous to a broad-spectrum anti-biotic. It also might help cure the mentation of Rush Limbaugh ditto-heads, and such. From a comment by jedimsnbcko19 on a recent diary by Jane Hamsher:
ETA: The source is from somebody named “Hugh” (apparently no last name). From the comment, below, see:
The full table of content for all 260 items is here: http://obamascandalslist.blogs…
* Documentation for items 1 thru 100 is here: http://obamascandalslist.blogs…
* Documentation for items 101 thru 200 is here: http://obamascandalslist.blogs…
* Documentation for items 201-260 is here: http://obamascandalslist.blogs…
Let say Obama done 10 things for Progressives, he done a lot more for his GOP friends. LOL please read below Mike Sax
1. Reneged on pledge to filibuster FISA Amendments Act (July 2008)
2. Lobbied for $700 billion Paulson TARP bank bailout
3. Pushed for no sanctions against Lieberman despite his support for John McCain
4. Nominated healthcare company lobbyist Tom Daschle as Secretary of HHS
5. Had neoliberal Robert Rubin as his chief economics adviser
6. Then had the equally neoliberal Larry Summers assume this role
7. Chose the failing upwards Timothy Geithner to head Treasury
8. AIG bonuses and money to Goldman under Obama
9. Doubling down in Afghanistan
10. Delay and reduction of withdrawal from Iraq
11. Moving Guantanamo activities to Bagram
12. Military commissions for some detainees
13. Support for indefinite detention
14. Refusal to release torture photos under FOIA
15. Refusal to investigate and prosecute Bush era criminality
16. Geithner’s DOA economic rescue programs: the PPIP and TALF
17. Minimal help for homeowners and no cramdowns
18. Treatment of Chrysler and GM with bankrupcy compared to bank no fail “stress tests”
19. Kabuki of TARP repayment by banks while still dependent on government credit lines
20. Extra-Constitutional use of the Fed by the Executive for fiscal policy
21. Credit Card bill without usury caps and with 9 month delay for other reforms
22. Business friendly Mary Schapiro named to head SEC
23. Gary Gensler who helped deregulate derivatives named to head CFTC
24. $787 billion stimulus: too little, too late, poorly structured
25. Use of financial crisis to attack Social Security and Medicare
26. The great healthcare non-debate
27. Continued use of state secrets argument in ongoing Bush era cases
28. Use of signing statements, including one to punish whistleblowers
29. Vetting process problems, especially tax related ones
30. Leaving Dawn Johnsen’s nomination to head OLC twisting in the wind
31. Eric Holder, failure to reform DOJ, not removing worst of Bush USAs
32. Failure to move against new oil bubble
33. Retention of Bush Defense team: Gates, Patraeus, and Odierno
34. Continued missile strikes inside Pakistan
35. Keeping Bush’s domestic spying programs and adding a new one, cybersecurity
36. Choice of Elena Kagan who favors expansive Presidential powers as Sollicitor General, her subsequent nomination to the Supreme Court
37. Leaving EFCA (to help counter anti-union companies) to wither in Congress
38. Welcoming Arlen Specter who brings nothing to the Democrats into the party
39. Weak ineffective proposals for financial reform
40. Obama wanted John Brennan at CIA but settled for making him his counter- terrorism adviser
41. Chas Freeman with broader Mideast perspective done in by AIPAC
42. Dennis Blair made DNI; failed to act to stop atrocities in East Timor
43. Choice of McChrystal involved in torture in Iraq to head Afghanistan command
44. Obama threat to suspend intelligence cooperation with UK over Binyam Mohamed case
45. Efforts to keep Bush and Obama White House logs secret
46. Playing games with “Don’t ask, don’t tell”
47. Filing a brief to overturn Jackson (access to lawyer) in the Montejo case
48. Not withdrawing Bush brief in Osborne DNA case
49. Egregious brief in challenge to Defense of Marriage Act
50. The Supplemental which made Iraq and Afghanistan Democratic wars
51. Choice of Rahm Emanuel as the President’s Chief of Staff
52. Choice of Dennis Ross as Iran envoy and then his move to the White House
53. Politically embarrassing processes to fill Obama and Clinton’s Senate seats
54. Choice of Bill Richardson, then Judd Gregg to head Commerce Department
55. Reneging on pledge to re-negotiate NAFTA
56. Obama’s throwing his pastor Jeremiah Wright to the curb, then reaching out to religious conservative Rick Warren
57. Continued challenges to habeas corpus petitions over indefinite detention, the Janko case
58. The Obama White House website
59. Continuing an ineffective program that Iran can exploit politically
60. Going slow on climate change when there is no time to
61. Not withdrawing a Bush-era amicus brief in the Ricci v. DeStefano reverse discrimination case and supporting a rollback of Title VII
62. Appointment of a CIA General Counsel who doesn’t know if waterboarding is torture
63. Appointment of a DNI General Counsel who doesn’t know if waterboarding is torture
64. CIA delay in a FOIA request concerning torture
65. The influence of Goldman Sachs in the Obama Administration
66. Attempt to keep secret the Cheney interview on the Plame affair
67. Mountaintop removal under Obama
68. Attempt to restrict Congressional notification on intelligence matters
69. Opposition to a second stimulus
70. Another egregious attempt to fight a habeas corpus petition in the Jawad case
71. Continuing charter schools and standardized tests
72. Holder’s decision to support a weak, narrow review of torture
73. Re-appointment of Ben Bernanke as Fed Chairman
74. Continuing renditions
75. Politically dubious company was used to vet reporters in Afghanistan
76. Judge vetoes a too weak SEC plea bargain with Bank of America
77. Justice’s argument for making Bagram a new Guantanamo, the al Maqaleh case
78. Defense to turn over databases to poorly controlled fusion centers
79. Obama changes but keeps Bush’s Star Wars program
80. Failure to win an Israeli freeze on settlements
81. White House refuses to back its own staffer environmentalist Van Jones
82. Politicized US Attorney in the Siegelman case cleared by Office of Special Counsel
83. Criticism of Iranian nuclear program; support of Israeli nuclear weapons
84. Support for a weakened reporter’s shield law
85. Use of the Zazi case to retain broad Patriot Act surveillance provisions
86. Wilner v. NSA, continuing the coverup of warrantless surveillance of communications between attorneys and detainees
87. Attempt to spike the Goldstone report on Israeli-Hamas war crimes in Gaza
88. Slowness in filling federal judgeships
89. Inadequate aid to overwhelmed state budgets
90. Attempting to dodge the Supreme Court deciding whether innocent Guantanamo detainees can be resettled in the US
91. Allowing drilling in the waters off the north coast of Alaska
92. Keeping detainee accounts of CIA torture secret
93. Current FBI manual allows for widespread domestic spying
94. Securitization invalidates most foreclosures
95. Geithner wanting unlimited powers to save large banks
96. Another state secrets defense to conceal domestic spying
97. Circuit Court dismissal of Maher Arar suit
98. Weakening Sarbanes-Oxley and calling it financial reform
100. Inspector General for Fannie and Freddie ousted for investigating fraud
101. Gaming courts to convict Guantanamo detainees
102. White House counsel removed for his principled stands on torture and Guantanamo
103. US seizes mosques claiming Iranian connection
104. Howard Dean removed as head of the DNC
105. Scientist with close ties to Monsanto put in charge of all governmental agricultural research
106. Pesticide lobbyist nominated as Chief Agricultural Negotiator for trade
107. Effort to let some government contractors avoid paying taxes
108. A bad US Attorney nomination for Northern Iowa
109. Hunger in America
110. The breast cancer recommendations fiasco
111. Ongoing confusion and disorganization in the military commissions process
112. Phillip Carter another official in closing Guantanamo resigns
113. Refusal to sign anti-land mine treaty
114. The Ghizzawi case and the legal limbo of “cleared for release”
115. Black prisons at Balad and Bagram
116. Delay in declassifying historic documents
117. Max Baucus’ conflicts of interest in healthcare and with his girlfriend
118. Major security breach at a White House party and a ridiculous assertion of “executive privilege”
119. Dana “Pig Missile” Perino nominated to the Broadcasting Board of Governors
120. Cass Sunstein, an anti-regulator in a regulatory position
121. Warrantless for profit electronic surveillance by telecoms and search engines
122. The government sides with torture lawyer John Yoo and attacks Bevins actions again
123. The TSA publishes its security manual online
124. Toxic legal arguments in al Zahrani v. Rumsfeld, yet another Bevins action
125. The Nobel Peace Prize and a neocon acceptance speech
126. Blackwater’s involvement in military and CIA assassination and drone programs
127. Congressional Research Service censorship in the firing of Morris Davis
128. AIG writes off $25 billion in debt and sticks taxpayers with the bill
129. The Administration plays hardball to kill an amendment that would lower drug costs
130. A poorly considered blank check to Fannie and Freddie
131. Continuing a Bush botch in the Nisoor Square massacre case
132. Jonathan Gruber, a major defender of Obamacare was also a paid consultant for it
133. A Geithner related cover up of the AIG at par payments on swaps
134. Adoption of stealth signing statements
135. al Bihani, more bad legal reasoning in another Guantanamo habeas case
136. Cutting Medicare and Social Security by deficit commission proposed
137. A 3 year non-freeze budget freeze proposed
138. NASA flights privatized
139. OPR report on Yoo and Bybee watered down and its relation to the Padilla case
140. Government targeting of US citizens for assassination
141. Abuse of informants by ICE agents
142. Obama leaves Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board empty
143. Obama backs firing of teachers in Rhode Island
144. Irish human rights advocate Edward Horgan has US visa pulled
145. Threatened veto of 2010 Intelligence Authorization Act over Congressional notifications
146. Obama Administration intimidation of whistleblowing site: wikileaks
147. Fish and Wildlife Service continues to ignore science on endangered species
148. Senate vacation more important than jobless benefits
149. Government seeks to compel turnover of emails without a warrant
150. Obama goes after an NSA whistleblower: the Thomas Drake case
151. Obama goes after a CIA whistleblower: the James Risen case
152. Weakening Miranda rights in national security cases
153. Advocating the privatizing of public housing
154. Another step in making Bagram the new Guantanamo, the al Maqaleh case, the appeals court edition
155. Massey mining disaster, 29 die because of corporate greed and poor regulation
156. Obama proposal for a line item veto
157. A military commander allowed to use military forces for intelligence operations without Presidential approval
158. Political pandering in sending 1200 National Guardsmen to the Southwest border
159. A sad record on resisting Guantanamo habeas petitions
160. Israel attacks an aid convoy for Gaza; Obama punts
161. A further erosion of Miranda: Berghius v. Thompkins
162. Naming James Clapper, a Bush appointee, to be the next DNI
163. DOJ seeks to protect Vatican in sex abuse scandal
164. Yahya Wehelie, an American exiled without charge
165. Failure to replace National Labor Relations Board members means hundreds of decisions must be reviewed
166. SCOTUS opts for overly broad definition of material support to terrorist groups
167. Speaker Pelosi backstabs Social Security
168. Complaints by government scientists of political interference at Bush era levels
169. Flip flop on free trade agreement with Colombia
170. SEC declares major victory but lets Goldman off easy
171. Private contracting of intelligence continues under Obama
172. Two Guantanamo prisoners to be deported back to Algeria against their will
173. The Shirley Sherrod affair: trumped up charges of racism and a bungled response
174. Whitewash report on Bush era US Attorney firings
175. Despite its record, Blackwater still gets big US government contracts
176. Wikileaks releases government files showing Pakistan involvement with Taliban and admission that things are going poorly in Afghanistan
177. Obama seeks to get access to everyone’s web histories without a court order
178. Teacher funding sacrificed to keep Education Secretary Arne Duncan happy
179. State’s top Iran hand resigns over Obama’s Iran policy
180. Citizens United: validation of unlimited corporate political funding
181. Push to expand US arms sales around the world
182. Project Vigilant, Infragard and “volunteer” corporate spying for the government
183. Obama’s approval hits Bush levels in Arab world
184. Effort to pre-empt state environmental lawsuits involving green house gases
185. Justice’s Anti-trust division asleep at the wheel
186. Kagan’s recusals render her even more ineffective on the Supreme Court
187. Poverty level highest since 1994
188. Courts run interference for corporate violators of international law
189. Warren named to set up but not to run Consumer Financial Protection Board
190. Chief economic adviser Larry Summers leaves; Obama looks for someone even more pro-business to replace him
191. DOJ IG report goes soft on Bush era surveillance against peace groups and other activists; meanwhile the Obama Administration conducts raids against similar groups
192. Move to put backdoors in the internet to facilitate spying and more requirements on banks on international money transfers of any size
193. HHS Secretary Sebelius delays for at least two years required insurance coverage for contraception
194. Americans on Medicaid increased to 48.5 million in 2009
195. Big home lenders suspend foreclosures as their documentation gets challenged in court
196. HR 3808, a bill passed by Congress, to facilitate the acceptance of false documentation by banks in foreclosure proceedings
197. ICE raids and deportations increase under Obama
198. Social Security COLA frozen for second straight year; no action taken
199. Waivers for military aid to countries with child soldiers
200. Big and deserved losses in the 2010 elections
Jul 14 2011
In the first exciting installment of this series, I complimented PCCC on showing some real boldness. Their pledge, at near 200,000 signers, has signers such that many if not most were former volunteers or contributors for the Obama 2008 campaign.* Real boldness, worthy of the name, has to have the potential to threaten power. (Dennis Rancourt, an activist who has thought and written what constitutes effective activism, is worth reading, e.g., here, where he says, “Truth will not set us free.”.)
Unfortunately, many of PCCC’s actions could not have been effective, and not only did not threaten power, but probably caused snickering by Obama and/or Congress. These are the “Tell X to do Y” petitions, where X is either Obama or Congress.
Jul 09 2011
I find the continued lack of visible, widespread, persistent, peaceful, effective actions by activists to be dismaying, if not depressing. (Please notice that I didn’t use the adjective “massive”. I have argued for a shotgun approach to reaching the public, where the activists can be in groups as small as 2 people. Or even go it alone.) Apparently, for some of us, when thing get tough, they either throw up their hands, or else call for more of the same (such as the “sternly worded letter/email/fax”), or else call for a complete failure of the system – hoping that a new Dark Age will provide a fertile ground for a subsequent Aquarian Age. (Say, now, there’s a plan!).
One would have hoped that political blogs would be a wellspring of encouragement for wider engagement with, and education of, the “unblogged masses”, but that is not the case. E.g., I was following the unfolding Obamacare fiasco, via FDL, and knew very well about Obama’s backstabbing deal with Tauzin, as well as other related healhcare betrayals. But at job where my coworkers were discussing Obamacare, I asked people what they thought about Obama’s deal with Tauzin, and nobody even knew who Tauzin was.
Not good. FDL had essentially no effect on the level of knowledge of most Americans. It’s effects are limited to a small sliver of the American public.
Well, a recent reply (#174) to ‘mymarkx’ in Call Members of Congress and Tell Them if They Cut Social Security, You’re Done With Them has prompted my to share an additional idea for exploiting public spaces, to both educate and develop political muscle. First, my post #174:
Jul 04 2011
(cross-posted at dailykos.com and my.firedoglake.com)
I’ve long been struck by the ineffectiveness of activists in the US, at least when they oppose plutocratic agendas. And I’ve also been dismayed by the continuing failure to organize voters along progressive lines. For some issues, like healthcare, the “progressive” viewpoint is actually mainstream.
It’s clear to me that, while corporatists and banksters have all the democracy-corrupting infrastructure, already in place (think K-Street) that they could possibly desire, progressives do little to create countervailing democracy-enhancing infrastructure. They do not effectively organize, and thus grow their political muscle, at least with respect to specific progressive issues (like healthcare).
The Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) is an organization (that I belong to, even though I’ve never been a Democrat) that has a progressive agenda, and that I have praised as “sticking to it’s guns”. I don’t believe that PDA could properly called a member of the “Veal Pen”, though in many respects it behaves as timidly as any veal pen group. (See my comments here, here, and here.)
Jun 17 2011
( cross posted at ronpaulforums.com)
Now, while I would expect him to avoid being too upfront about it, I have to believe that Ron Paul knows that he’s extremely unlikely to win the Presidency in 2012. So, why is he running? I believe he’s running because he’s a patriotic American who wants to alter the political climate in America, and he realizes that a run for Presidecy gives his ideas a large forum, from which those ideas can germinate and further grow in the American mind. Such a calculus is not totally unlike the efforts of the New Progressive Alliance (NPA) to run a challenger against Obama in the Democratic Primary. Beating Obama isn’t the point. Fighting back against Obama’s corporatism and banksterism is.
Good on Ron Paul. However, I want to make a couple of suggestions that, I believe, would both help maximize Ron Paul’s efforts to build up a libertarian-ish Republican faction, but that would also help make the sort of coalition that Ron Paul calls for, in Congress, larger and more effective. As an added bonus, these suggestions might help prepare the groundwork for a fusion party.
May 23 2011
“This must be a first: group of anti-Obama Democrats soliciting a presidential primary challenger on craigslist. http://bit.ly/jzkrll”
(Here is a direct link to Democratic Candidate for President to replace Obama (USA))
(cross posted at My.firedoglake.com and dailykos.com)
Apr 24 2011
There’s much progress to report in the New Progressive Alliance’s effort to leverage the 2012 election to create a unified, uncompromising voice for Progressive ideals and reform at the national level. Your recommends, shares, tweets and facebook likes of this diary will help grow the organization and increase the chances of fielding both a primary challenger to Barack Obama and a viable indie or third-party candidate in the general election.
Thanks for your help.
Anthony Noel, NPA Facilitator
The NPA Update, April, 2011
In this issue…
– Finding A Primary Challenger
– Coming Soon: NewProgs.org
– Spotlight: United Progressives
– Steering Committee Supports Work on a Unified Platform
– Calling All Artists: Design the NPA Logo!