I'm only speaking for myself here. For the purposes of this post I'm referring to The 99% as the broader movement, as it has been around at least since the Wisconsin protests, and Occupy Wall Street (OWS) as a major event and component of that movement.
First off, credit to the protesters. Just as we saw earlier this year in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Michigan, boots on the ground activists are renewing hope. Their activism serves as a reminder that progressive movements have triumphed despite seemingly insurmountable opposition from powerful interests before and can do so again. The vibrant array of protesters in New York have set in motion something truly remarkable, as cities across the country are joining in. Needless to say, Occupy Wall Street is doing a lot of things right.
Last night, Demos' Bob Herbert wrapped up his conversation with Rachel Maddow by stating that "We're in for hard times for a long time."
As Herbert noted, this is a result of the refusal of policymakers, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that bold and sustained action was required, to put our jobs crisis first. The consequences of this for the unemployed, many of them long-term unemployed, are severe and long-lasting. The economic devastation is pervasive and seemingly interminable, causing untold suffering as it turns aspirations for a better future into a cruel joke. This is a disaster: economically, politically, and morally.
Driven by his deeply held beliefs in liberty and God, Simpson said he set out in his first legislative session to restrict government. "One hundred eighty-one people don't have the wisdom, don't have the knowledge, to tell 25 million people how to live their lives," he said. "We're not wise enough to do it. We're not a house of God."
A lot of progressives are, by nature, very hesitant to appeal to people's fears or give voice to anger. Though this can be a positive trait in some respects, our reluctance to speak to real and pressing problems in emotionally compelling ways gets in our own way far more than we should let it. This can and should end.
You know what? There are many gray area's of truth in this complicated yet beautiful world we live in. Some more gray than others, some just slightly off white. Yet within each of these truths, the information you received IS true. Sure, you may not have received enough information to make an educated decision based on that truth, and if more information were supplied while still being based on that truth, you might change your mind anyway.
That isn't what I want to talk about today. Today I want to discuss facts vs. known non-truths. (Yeah, others call them lies, but being a good Progressive, I've gone totally super Politically Correct).
A Letter to the Editor of the San Jose Mercury News
Today at 11:41pm | Edit Note | Delete
Outrage is not the same as civil discourse. And outrage by pistol packers is even less civil. So let us proceed with civil discourse. We can agree that the United States is a country that we all love.
So, in the spirit of public debate and civil discourse, let me rebut some of the points that were made in today's Mercury News story on the Tea Party.
This post is a discussion - starter on the Tea Party Republicans. It's made up of a few relatively short takes. Feel free to weigh - in and add your thoughts to or take issue with any of the points I make.
Last night I had a bad dream....., and it went like this: I dreamt the Health Care Reform Bill failed. In the dream, I was lamenting to a friend, a doctor, how a handful of right wing, well-funded, Tea Partiers are determined to tear our Country's progress down, almost in self-destruct mode. (The trigger for the dream must have been something I read in an article by Dave Sirota on the unimaginable nerve of Glenn Beck declaring his hatred for the word, "community" at the infamous Tea Party Convention. Now, how awful is that? A community can be good or bad, but we, of the community, should make it good for all its members. Now, that's how I read the Gospel, according to Matthew.
For a wonderful example of advocacy for the community as good, visit the site of The Social Contract Project:
Neighborhood Social Contracts:Principles "A community," St. Augustine observed, "is a group of people united by the common objects of their love." The principles underlying the Social Contract Project grow out of this basic definition of community.
We can summarize these principles as follows:
1. Building community is the process of defining the values that we share and that we are willing to work together to achieve.
2. The basic values that we share as citizens are the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
3. The framework for community embodied in the Preamble to the Constitution, in turn, asks that "we the people," "insure domestic tranqillity," "establish justice," "secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity," and "promote the general welfare." These principles shape our expectations of community in America, as surely as "equality," "inalienable rights," and "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" define what we expect as individuals.
4. Whereever we live, we all want our communities to be clean, safe, economically viable, and decent places to raise our children. This is what "to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity" means to us.
5. In accordance with these principles, we expect public officials to perform what the Constitution requires--however we understand these requirements. This is the fundamental social contract between government and the people.
Then waking this morning, I saw an editorial cartoon in the San Jose Mercury News about a citizen immersed in shark infested water, sinking fast, and being devoured by sharks, refusing, terrified, to reach out to a rope with the label, "Socialist Rope" printed on it. Amazing, isn't it? How long a group will continue to tap that old socialist shibboleth, and be so successful as to prevent people from even reaching out in self defense to exmine the true nature of the rope, and, if it's been mislabeled?
Downright demoralizing for this Passionate Progressive Patriot!
So, what's a real populist to do?
Well, fortunately we have a group (maybe several, Campaign for America's Future, around to come to the aid of true, real populists,, their revenue stream being only the constant inspiration of the true Social Contract imbedded in the Preamble to our Constituttion.
"All governments set forth a social contract between public leaders and the people. The American social contract grows out of the Preamble to the Constitution, which demands that "we the people" work in partnership with government to "establish justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.""
This crazy "socialist" talk has a direct line in the regressive politics of Conservative ideology in America. I remember, all too well, Spiro Agnews, fomenting negativism through his calls to the so-called "Silent Majority". Almost like yesterday, I remember when H.R. Haldeman tried to degrade my whole profession of Social Work, saying Social Workers never earned an honest day's wage in their lives. Yes, the socialist shibboleth has been around a long time. It was used to fight Medicare, and now it is being used to fight health care reform, and every manner of reform for the common good.
Let's heed George Lakoff's advice, call a spade a spade, and use the language of our convictions. Let us take charge of the debate. Let's put the Socialist Shibboleth in its place, no place in the American social Contract.
Let's join groups like Campaign for America's Future and broadcast our beliefs, with the full weight of the Constitution behind us. Don't let "them" shred our Social Contract and mis-define it for poisonous consumption.
(the wealthy pay more taxes sometimes... - promoted by poligirl)
No one LIKES paying Taxes, still we do it, year after year, because most of us still have a sense of Patriotic Duty. This instinctive "love of Country" seems to have evaded some however, who often "love their Wealth" more than their Country ...
Experts estimate that Americans now have more than $1 trillion in assets offshore and illegally evade between $40 and $70 billion in U.S. taxes each year through the use of offshore tax schemes. U.S. corporations are estimated to illegally evade another $30 billion in taxes each year through offshore tax dodges. America's working people bear the burden of this $100 billion tax gap.