Posts Tagged ‘progress’

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!


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

Cosmic Jokes

June 15, 2010

I’m stunned at the number and eye-popping nature of the Cosmic Jokes that abound on this planet. I can’t possibly go over all of them in this little post, but I hope to alert you to some of them, and possibly trigger an avalanche of connections which will eventually reach someone who can tell me what these Cosmic Jokes mean, or at least why they exist:

Blackwater and others — Those who do good are often hard pressed for resources. Those who do bad are often rolling in wealth. Why is it that the more you smuggle arms to terrorists, hire out to do contract murders, and practice wanton and rapacious violence on innocent people, the more money you seem to earn?

Pollution and environmental degradation — we live on a beautiful planet, which as soon as we could we immediately began to trash with waste materials, exhaust gases, toxic dumping, over-fishing, clearcutting of old-growth forests, wildlife habitat destruction, widespread defoliation and poisonings, genetic modification, and more. Why doesn’t the dominant species on this planet — which evolved here and is dependent on this planet for air, water, and food — recognize, respect, and preserve the natural mechanisms and processes that keep us alive?

Short-term vs. long-term perspective — there’s a myth or a story about Native Americans, and others, whose leaders would supposedly consider the impact of their decisions all the way out to seven future generations. Why is that kind of decision-making perspective so rare, while decision-making perspectives based on immediate gratification and short-term benefits regardless of long-terms costs are so much more widespread?

I know the long trajectory of history is upwards, toward more equal rights and equal opportunities, toward more protection for those who need it, toward more enlightened policies, greater health, and improved quality of life for larger numbers of people. But why are these struggles so difficult? And why are so many people working against progress rather than for it?