Tag: Progressive Movement

Quit Drinking the Poison

From a distant vantage point on a blog far, far away, an epic traveler through cyberspace who likes to mock and ridicule “purists” posted a story about a land where cynicism and hypocrisy are completely unknown, a land where for some bizarre reason, idealism is honored and respected . . .  

Every year in Happy Gumdrop Fairy-Tale Land all of the sprites and elves and woodland creatures gather together to pick the Rainbow Sunshine Queen. Everyone is there: the Lollipop Guild, the Star-Twinkle Toddlers, the Sparkly Unicorns, the Cookie Baking Apple-cheeked Grandmothers, the Fluffy Bunny Bund, the Rumbly-Tumbly Pupperoos, the Snowflake Princesses, the Baby Duckies All-In-A-Row, the Laughing Babies, and the Dykes on Bikes. They have a big picnic with cupcakes and gumdrops and pudding pops, stopping only to cast their votes by throwing Magic Wishing Rocks into the Well of Laughter, Comity, and Good Intentions. Afterward they spend the rest of the night dancing and singing and waving glow sticks until dawn when they tumble sleepy-eyed into beds made of the purest and whitest goose down where they dream of angels and clouds of spun sugar.

With immense satisfaction, that blogger informed “purists” that they don’t live in Happy Gumdrop Fairy-Tale Land, he told them they need to grow the fuck up.    

I have news for Tbogg.  We grew up long ago.  We know where we live.  

This is where we live  . . .

In 2009, one out of five U.S. households didn’t have enough money to buy food.  In households with children, this number rose to 24 percent, as the hunger rate among U.S. citizens has now reached an all-time high.  Over 50 million people need to use food stamps to eat, and a stunning 50 percent of U.S. children will use food stamps to eat at some point in their childhoods.  Approximately 20,000 people are added to this total every day.  

1.4 million Americans filed for bankruptcy in 2009, a 32 percent increase from 2008. Americans have lost $5 trillion from their pensions and savings since the economic crisis began and $13 trillion in the value of their homes.  Personal debt has risen from 65 percent of income in 1980 to 125 percent today.  Over five million U.S. families have already lost their homes, in total 13 million U.S. families are expected to lose their home by 2014.

And what are these Americans being told?   Keep drinking that Two-Party-System Kool Aid, that’s what they’re being told.   By the politicians.  By the corporate media.  By the “progressive” leaders of the Netroots.   That’s their solution.  Keep drinking that Two-Party-System Kool Aid.  

From the Center of the Circle

Change we can believe in is on the march in America.

Security Guards Do Nothing as 15-Year-Old Girl Is Beaten . . .

The 15-year-old girl thought the three security guards in the Seattle bus tunnel would protect her from attack.  She was wrong.  The guards watched and did nothing as the girl was punched, thrown to the ground, kicked repeatedly in the face and then robbed.  The Seattle Times published an editorial shortly after a video of the beating was released Wednesday condemning the inaction of the guards and questioning the multibillion-dollar contract the transit authority has with private security firms.  The editorial asked, what are the taxpayers paying for?

Private security guards doing nothing, that’s what they’re paying for.  Congressmen and Senators doing nothing, that’s what they’re paying for.  A President doing nothing, that’s what they’re paying for.  Middle class Americans thought their government would protect them, but for 30 years, they’ve been punched, thrown to the ground, kicked repeatedly in the face and then robbed.

It’s called the Two Party System.

It’s the sacred foundation of modern American “democracy” and demonstrates for all the world to see that except for the systemic failure of every institution in America, we live in the most stable and enlightened society on earth.

In Here There Be Monsters, William Rivers Pitt warns about the systemic failure of public school administrators to protect children from beatings and bullying in America’s public schools.  . . .

A fact underscored by a recent story out of my home state of Massachusetts. A 15-year-old girl named Phoebe Prince was mercilessly bullied and tormented by her classmates, until she finally snapped and took her own life.  Hundreds of angry parents, worried teachers and even terrorized kids are reporting ugly episodes of brutal bullying at schools across Massachusetts as the heart-wrenching case of Phoebe Prince continues to expose a painful nerve.  It’s a toxic cauldron of abuse that parents fear could land their children in the same no-win corner as Phoebe Prince.

And, in a constant refrain, they all say nobody in power cares.  “Nobody listens. It seems like you’re talking to the wall unless you have $1 million,” said a Cohasset dad who said his boy is picked on constantly. “Put that on the front page.”  

NOBODY IN POWER CARES.  That banner headline should be on the front page of every newspaper in America.  It should be the lead story in every newscast, the only story in every newscast.  NOBODY IN POWER CARES.  That says it all, the rest is just gory details.

The Path We Must Take

If Dr. King hadn’t been assassinated for speaking truth to power, if he was here today, if he was at the Lincoln Memorial again, looking out at that corporate capital of deceit and corruption, what would he say, what would he ask us to do?

He’d ask us to overcome our fear, he’d call for mass protests and civil disobedience, he’d explain why it’s necessary, just as he did in 1968 . . .  

If you have never found something so dear and precious to you that you would die for it, then you are not fit to live.  You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be, and one day some great crisis arises and calls upon you to stand for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause, but you refuse to take a stand because you are afraid.

You refuse to do it because you want to live longer.  Or you’re afraid that you will lose your job, or that you will be criticized, or that you will lose your popularity.  So you refuse to take a stand.  Well you may go on and live until you’re 90, but you are just as dead at 38 as you will be at 90.   And when you take your last breath, it will only be the belated announcement of the earlier death of your spirit.

You died when you refused to stand up for right.

You died when you refused to stand up for truth.

You died when you refused to stand up for justice.

Can you understand that, “leaders” of the Netroots?  Can you understand that, Markos Moulitsas?  Can you understand that, Obamacrats?  Tap your TR trigger fingers on the lid of that coffin you call a blog if you do.  Can you understand that, MoveOn.org?  Can you understand that, Josh Marshall?  John Amato? Digby?  Jane Hamsher?  If you do, explain it to TBogg, that Mighty Slayer of “Purists.”  How about you, Madame Proprietor of the Huff and Puff Post?  Can you understand that?  Can any of you understand that???

None of you have called for mass protests or civil disobedience.  In the streets of Washington D.C. or anywhere else.  You refuse to because you’re afraid.  Well go ahead, keep on blogging until you’re 90, it won’t matter, you’re just as dead right now as you will be then.  

You died when you refused to stand up for right.

You died when you refused to stand up for truth.

You died when you refused to stand up for justice.

Welcome to Netroots Nation  . . .

Graves Pictures, Images and Photos

Enjoy your stay.

I have some news for those nonstop typers.  Typing isn’t standing up for right, truth, justice, or anything else.  It’s just typing.  

When Robber Barons meet Muckrakers …

There is a clash of titan forces taking place in the American Economy right now. It’s a tale as old as Greed itself.  

It is the tale of the “Powers that Be” running into the watchful eyes of the “World that Should Be”.

The story involves how corporate Robber Barons avoid the watchful glare of the citizen Muckrakers.  

It is the tale of Deception and Greed vs Honesty and Fairness …

The Faintest First Starlight

Took a look down that Netroots Road,

Right away I made my choice.

Headed out to my big two-wheeler,

I was tired of my own voice.

Took a bead on a brighter future,

And just rolled that power on . . .

Edward Kennedy Should Be Our Senate Majority Leader

With the wonderful news that Senator Kennedy’s cancer is in full remission and with the disgraceful spewing of Republican talking points I think it is time Harry Reid stepped down from Majority Leader (or forced down) and allow our Liberal Lion, my Senator one last roar.

As Majority Leader of the United States Senate.

This is the man who needs to be in the Senate directing the Health Care reform we all need.

This a man not afraid to stand up to Republicans UNLIKE our cowardly lion Senator Reid.

This is a man who was unafraid to stand up to the Clinton “inevitable” machine and endorse what seemed to be a long shot in Barack Obama.

Lets reward that courage and demand Harry Reid step down for his spineless spewing of Republican talking points (over and over again) and it give the man who is a true Champion of the Progressive movement one last moment of glory as we remake America.

Edward M. Kennedy

Obama’s Victory a Loss for Progressives

Virtually everyone, it seems, is cheering the electoral victory of Democrat Barack Obama in the U.S. presidential race. The obvious exception is the Republican Party, which is likely to shift even further to the right in the halls of power due to moderate and semi-moderate GOPers losing out to Democratic challengers, but that’s a given.  You can count on them being the most obstructionist minority party in Congress since the Gingrich revolution in 1994, laying the groundwork for a similar event in 2010.

That’s to be expected.  What seems to be going ignored in the victory celebration is that the increased Democratic majority is prepared to waste the next two years accommodating this obstructionism.  Nancy Pelosi, who fended off a challenge from independent Cindy Sheehan, proudly boasted that Democrats would legislate from the right, not the left (though she called it the “middle”).

This should be the first sign that progressives frittered away their chance to shape the political landscape.  Don’t count on Senate capitulation leader Harry Reid to suddenly grow a pair or the Democratic Caucus to cease coddling Joe LIEberman now that the majority has been expanded; electoral fraud is likely responsible for the failure to win the filibuster-proof number of sixty senators, but even if Democrats had gotten it, Reid has bent over backwards to please GOPers and refused to enforce party discipline within his own ranks.  The result, as it was in 2006, is a Senate paralyzed by Republican obstructionism and Democratic appeasement.

We have a president-elect who is prepared to name Rahm Emanuel, a top-ranking Bush Dog, as his chief of staff.  Robert Rubin, a top architect of Clintonian economics and welfare-gutting, is on Obama’s economic advisory team, as are a number of other corporate marketeers.  Don’t expect sound environmental, health care, economic, or energy policy from the White House.  Nor should you expect an end to the occupation of Iraq, the unconditional support of the Israeli apartheid state, the lifting of the embargo on Cuba, or a shift away from imperialism.  There has been nothing in Obama’s campaign or his legislative record to suggest he’ll suddenly do a 180 now that he is prepared to inherit the presidency.

Nothing is more indicative of this than the popular vote.  Obama received a pitiful 51% to Republican John McCain’s 48%, a mere three percent difference.  The new president is smart; he knows just as much as the Republicans do that this election was not a huge repudiation of Bush policies.  Obama did not win so much as McCain lost, and he knows it.  He’ll govern from the right to appease his corporate backers.

We had what was probably our last, best chance this year to force Democrats back to the left.  We blew it.  Neither Obama or the Democrats have any incentive now to even listen to us, to say nothing of governing from the left.  What, then, is our recourse?

We can still walk away from the Democratic Party, and we must do so if we are to have any hope of salvaging the progressive movement.  We must build locally, work our way up to state-level, and finally, organize at the national level.  At this point it’s all we’ve got left.  Enjoy your celebration, for the hangover we’re about to suffer is going to be a long one.