Posts Tagged ‘America’

Ongoing Opposition and Alternative Voices

May 6, 2013

Announcing the Green Shadow Cabinet … intended to provide an ongoing opposition and alternative voice to the dysfunctional government in Washington D.C. It includes nearly 100 prominent scientists, community and labor leaders, physicians, cultural workers, veterans, and others. As with shadow cabinets in other countries, the Green Shadow Cabinet of the United States plans to respond to statements and actions of the existing U.S. government, and hopes to demonstrate that another government of these United States is possible, practical, and beneficial. The Cabinet is currently led by the 2012 Green Party presidential nominees: Dr. Jill Stein, and Ms. Cheri Honkala. It is explicitly not a project of any political party, however, and invites participation by all who support sensible government politics and policies.

This may not be the first instance of such an idea, but it’s the first one I’ve ever heard of, and it’s a great one.

Now there stands a real possibility that some or all of the bought-and-paid for, short-sighted, small-minded, self-serving, and wrong-headed statements and decisions by the “official” U.S. government can be seen in the light of smarter, better ideas and policies put forth by experts and specialists who have a larger view and a predilection for helping the vast majority of Americans rather than the wealthy and privileged few.

Here’s a link to a list of current Shadow Cabinet members:

Here’s a link to some early statements by Shadow Cabinet members:

Here’s a link to where you can sign up for the Shadow Cabinet’s electronic newsletter:

Here’s a link to where you can donate to support the Shadow Cabinet:

Fortunately, contributions are not tax-deductible. If they were, and if the Shadow Cabinet were to obey the tax laws, it would be barred from trying to influence government policies or elections. Plenty of right wing organizations and religious organizations claim their tax deductibility, but go right ahead and lobby, advertise, and otherwise try to peddle their influence. At least the Green Shadow Government is starting from a position of honesty.

With thanks to Winston Churchill: This Shadow Cabinet may not be the be-all and end-all of efforts to reform and revitalize our broken U.S. government. It may not even be the beginning of finding the be-all and end-all of such an effort. But it may be the end of the beginning!


How The Rich Are Winning The Class War

August 1, 2011

The rich won the class war by depriving the middle and lower classes of education: history, civics, political education, and training in how to think critically. As a result, their mouthpieces can spout nonsense and the relatively uneducated voters now swallow it clean.

The antidote, until we get a real education system back again, is for those of use whose eyes are open to educate those around us who cannot see what is going on.

We need to develop simple, factually accurate materials we can hand out to people (or point them to on the web); simple, factually accurate arguments that show the folly of voting tax breaks for the rich etc etc rather than services and benefits for the average family; and so forth.

All that’s required for the rich to win the class war is for the middle and lower classes to do nothing.

The Vast Sweep of History Favors Progress

October 25, 2010

In seemingly every conversation about how bad things have become, or are becoming, in this great land of ours, eventually at least one voice pipes up with the notion that we have passed the point of no return. It’s too late to save America. Democracy is over. The good life is behind us. We’re toast.

That’s hooey! It’s pure propaganda. It’s the Big Lie put into the minds and mouths of honest Americans who have grown frustrated with the struggle for national progress and personal improvement. It’s the voice of the weary, the disheartened, those who are understandably sick and tired of fighting the same battles, the most basic battles, over and over again.

But it’s wrong. As wrong as it’s possible for an idea to be.

No, my friend, the country is not doomed. We have weathered storms like this before. One third of Colonists did not want to secede from England. One third of Americans did not want to give up owning slaves. One third of Americans worried about Communists in the entertainment business and the State Department.

It doesn’t matter. The vast sweep of history shows that people will gain more rights, more opportunity, and more support for realizing their full potential. Yes, there are people who’d like history to move backwards, but that doesn’t mean they will prevail. All they have ever been able to do is hold back the tide of progress.That is all they will ever be able to do.

Just keep thinking, talking, marching, voting, and working for a better future. Surrender is not an option. Victory is assured.

Photo credit:   Thorne Enterprises

Obama vs. The Right = Road Runner vs. Wile E. Coyote

February 22, 2009

Millions of people are concerned about The Right and it’s monomaniacal focus on eating Obama’s lunch and — in honor of my analogy in this blog — perhaps eating Obama himself. There’s no doubt they have a lot of weapons at their disposal: a captive media establishment, tons of money for think tanks and for rewarding those who spout the right talking points, a well-trained and loyal strata of American society willing to swallow whatever swill is on offer at the moment, and a simplistic worldview that boils down to a single goal: get The Road Runner Obama.

But Obama is not without his own resources. First of all, he’s smart. He’s very smart. He has a quick mind, a strong memory, a penetrating analysis, and — if past successes are any guide — a gift for politics. That might be enough for him to prevail in this epic struggle for the heart and mind (and future) of America. But he’s got something perhaps even more useful and important: He’s calm and rational. He doesn’t come to his goals from a place of fevered, highly emotional, neurotic or psychotic personal need. His values — fairness, the long view, Liberalism, perhaps even a touch of Progressivism — are woven deeply throughout his character. When he faces an obstacle or experiences a setback, he simply reassesses his new situation, takes a deep breath, and continues to work toward what he wants.

That’s why the analogy strikes me as so apt. The fanatical Coyote could stop anytime, but doesn’t. He is compelled to go after the Road Runner. Smug and overconfident, he is quick to trot out an endless array of powerful devices — spring loaded launchers, earthquake pills, rocket sleds, catapults, missiles, dehydrated boulders, jet-powered roller skates, and of course painted images of tunnels and caves on rock walls — that invariably foster exciting expectations of his overwhelming and inevitable victory by force over the naive and frail-looking Road Runner. But we all know how these things always turn out.

Look how the Right has immolated itself so far:

  • Refused to bargain in good faith on the stimulus package, withheld all support for it, and so guaranteed they’ll get no credit for any good it does
  • Stepped up to the openly treasonous and poisonous admission that they’re hoping Obama fails
  • Positioned themselves as publicly disbelieving facts that are easily and demonstrably true:
  1. Obama was born an American and has a valid birth certificate to prove it,
  2. Obama is not a Muslim or a Socialist and is not actively destroying capitalism,
  3. Obama has not raised taxes on 95% of Americans and in fact already enacted the largest tax cut ever for working Americans,
  4. Obama has not inserted the federal government between you and your doctor,

… can you offer other examples? …

If my analogy proves true, over the next few years we’re going to witness a series of humiliating and catastrophic failures for The Right as it flings itself into battle against a cagey and cunningly superior foe, time after time after time.

  • They’ll paint a train tunnel on the face of a rock wall, and later be run over by a fast train streaming out from it.
  • They’ll rig a pitfall or a spring-loaded trap for the Road Runner that will freeze inexplicably for the moment he passes through the danger zone, then function perfectly against themselves when they step in to try and figure out why it didn’t work.

My favorite, though, will be when they unwittingly ingest the very same earthquake pills they had hoped to get Obama to swallow, and later dejectedly walk off into the sunset, jarred to the bone by an unending series of devasting inner explosions their single-minded hard-heartedness has inadvertently brought upon themselves.