Author's posts may truly be disruptive technology – please check it out TODAY

I haven’t made the time to directly check 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.



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 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.

Can Tin Ball Bearings Save the Fukushima nuclear reactors from the China Syndrome?

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… . 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.

Mexican Gang Cartels recruiting school age kids in the US; 6/7 cartels have headquarters in Texas

From Texas-Mexico border now combat zone say two retired U.S. generals in new report

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.”

From ‘Expendable, unaccountable’ Texas children now recruited by Mexican drug cartels

“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.

Gravel (D) says he will probably run for President if supporters raise $1 Million

From   Gravel names his price: $1 million to challenge Obama

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.

Progressives are Stupid if they don’t seize their opportunity to educate their Republican neighbors

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

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,, and (Sean) 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:    2 hits 4 hits  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.


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.

Go figure….

Have Scientists discovered the cure for Obama-bot-ism?

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

99. Unemployment

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

PCCC ( does something right – Part 2

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.

How squeegees can help save America, and your sanity – going beyond blogging to the choir

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:

Q: What is PDA-supported Donna Edwards doing to grow the progressive movement? (Probably nothing)

(cross-posted at and

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.)

Leveraging the Ron Paul – Ralph Nader Mutual Admiration Society in 2011-20

( cross posted at

An encouraging video with Ralph Nader and Ron Paul, showing the considerable overlap on MULTIPLE, MAJOR issues, was posted some months ago at youtube, and recently written about here at MyFDL.

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.

Nate Silver on Craigslist Primary Obama ad

14 hours agao, Nate Silver tweeted on the current Craigslist ad (NYC) for primarying Obama with an NPA (New Progressive Alliance) candidate.  —!/fivethirtyeight

“This must be a first: group of anti-Obama Democrats soliciting a presidential primary challenger on craigslist.”

(Here is a direct link to Democratic Candidate for President to replace Obama (USA))

(cross posted at and

New Progressive Alliance (NPA) April Update

(NPA is primarily posted at, by New Progressive Alliance. Link for this update is here.. Please see the MyFDL version for more comments, plus embedded hyperlinks.)

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:

– Spotlight: United Progressives

– Steering Committee Supports Work on a Unified Platform

– Calling All Artists: Design the NPA Logo!


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