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Friday, May 12, 2017

PROGRESSIVES: AIM FOR GUTS AND HEARTS BEFORE HEADS!!


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. I've been asking myself how we can best produce a progressive Democratic tsunami next year, and here are some things which, to me anyhow, stick out:
1) Most eligible voters don't. We all know and, being Democrats, pretty much deplore this.
2) I'd guess most of them don't vote because they think 'they're all the same', ad nauseam that way. If I'm off, please tell me so--and the how and why thereof.
3)We Democrats have, with almost nauseating consistency, pitched our message to the Sober And Thoughtful Citizens. Again, let me know if I'm missing something here.
4) Sober, etc., citizens generally vote and appear to be something of a minority. Again and always, please check my observations and let me know what I miss, if anything. In any case, they're the ones who may draw back from Democrats who pull no punches but name treason (in this case, 50 years of it) on the GOP's part out loud. But what about the non-voting majority? Might such frank talk not be as it were the cold water that gets them off their couches?
5) Yes, ask for small amounts of money but ALSO ask for them to share the messages. Such as 'half a century of treason' and 'No jobs on a dead planet' and so on. Get them thinking and bring them into the political process. I cannot say this often enough: ordinary citizen engagement is democracy's lifeblood!
The 'professionals' whose mannerisms too many Democrats have adopted (mostly that of schoolmarms, male and female, it seems to me) will vote for us anyhow; it's the disengaged we need to bring in. But to bring them in, we need to also aim for the gut and the heart as well as the head! We've been aiming almost exclusively at the head, with an occasional word to the heart, for far too long!! And once we do, and engage the former non-voters--there will be our tsunami! Again (ad nauseam yet?) have I missed anything?
There are some who feel that such frankness will damage our civic fabric further. My reply is this: how much further can that fabric be shredded before we realize we can't cover the fissures with it anymore? We need to rebuild that fabric and that can only be done with firmity and strength. without any wet-noodling and in the light of clear and (sometimes) merciless truth!
Let's all think about ways to do this and share them with each other! I know this much: I intend to aim my posts squarely at the guts and hearts of the disengaged, with due attention to their heads, between now and November 2018!!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

LEFTWARD BACK TO THE FOUNDERS!

Well, at long last, another new blogpost. Aren't you all thrilled to bits? OK, never mind.
When I awoke this morning, a strange (?) combo of things were rolling round my head: the current regime of course, an increasing number of people being displaced from paying jobs as the middle class continues to evaporate and, related to it, the rights of property.
The words of John Taylor of Caroline County, VA (a friend of Jefferson's) linger still in my mind--the words about 'the grossest abuses artfully allying themselves with real property'--that is, the financial sector allying itself with  yeoman farmers, artisans, and mom-and-pop merchants--'and when attempts to remedy abuses are attempted, loudly exclaim against the invasion of property and against levelism.'
I'm sure many of you, Gentle Readers, recall Jefferson's own words about his hope to crush the aristocracy of moneyed corporations. I also remember what Paine had to say about property in his Dissertations On First Principles of Government, viz. "The protection of a [human's] person is more sacred than the protection of property; and besides this, the faculty of performing any kind of work or services by which [one] acquires a livelihood, or maintaining [their] family, is of the nature of property! (Italics and exclamation point mine) It is property to [them], [they] have acquired it; and it is as much the object of [their] protection as exterior property"--or, at least, I for one say it should be--all the more now!
This is not to stifle innovation nor to say that working people don't owe it to themselves, their families and the country to keep their skills sharp and up-to-date; they most certainly do! I think we should start discussing 'compensations' for those whose skills have been rendered obsolete such as retraining with a stipend to keep hardship at bay during the re-training period (not to mention that such re-training ought to include something on how to keep one's skills current or a bit ahead of the curve) or other appropriate remedies.
I also favor a ceiling on compensation along the lines proposed by Ben Franklin in a letter he wrote to Robert Morris on Christmas Day 1783, viz.
"All Property, indeed, except the Savage's temporary Cabin, his Bow, his Matchcoat, and other little Acquisitions, absolutely necessary for his Subsistence, seems to me to be the Creature of public Convention. Hence the Public has the Right of Regulating Descents, and all other Conveyances of Property, and even of limiting the Quantity and the Uses of it. All the Property that is necessary to a [person], for the Conservation of the Individual and the Propagation of the Species, is [one's] natural Right, which none can justly deprive [one] of: But all Property superfluous to such purposes is the Property of the Publick, who, by their Laws, have created it, and who may therefore by other Laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society on these Terms, let him retire and live among Savages. He can have no right to the benefits of Society, who will not pay his Club towards the Support of it."
Remember, digest and share these ideas from the Founders' well as widely as we can!!

Monday, December 12, 2016

SCREAMING TIME

To ALL liberals, progressives, and real Democrats:
Now, now, NOW is the time to stand up and SCREAM AT THE TOP OF OUR LUNGS!!!
As the ties between the Trumpery Gang and Russia's Czar Vladimir II become clearer, we need to stand up and name this for what it is: TREASON!!
In pursuit of wealth and power, too many 'Republicans' (I call them 'RePIGlicans') have shown there really is nothing, NOTHING, they will not do to get these things including selling the rest of us for thirty pieces of silver each. They have been showing us this ever since Nixon told Thieu to hold back from the peace table because he, Ol' Milhous, would give him a better deal if elected, THROUGH the Reagan's campaign backstairs deal with the Ayatollah to hold onto our hostages until Carter was out of office AND the illegal aid to the Somocistas in Nicaragua EVEN UNTO THIS PRESENT DAY and Trump's telltale ties with Russia's current emperor as he aspires to make himself another emperor over us even as he humbugs his voters from here till New Year's Day!!
This, fellow citizens, is the culmination of almost half a century of treason!!
While the Repiglicans at least pretend to believe that, why, anyone and everyone does that much for wealth and power, we need to give them a big, fat, LOUD, NO! NOT SO!!
Even LBJ showed he was not that kind when he covered up Nixon's treason for fear of how it would shake the people's faith in the system! Taking one's opportunities is rather different from stopping at nothing and selling one's very soul!
But now is NOT a time for showing such 'faith' when the GOP termites have eaten the system nearly all the way through! If the GOP pols do believe this, then they also project it out upon the rest of us, most of whom want no more than to be of service, earn a reasonably comfortable salary, be able to educate our kids and not have to worry about possible medical bankruptcy. Fellow citizens, the system's safeguards against corruption and tyranny work only to the extent that you and I keep squinting eyes on them and, to tell the bitter truth, lately we have shamefully neglected this instrumental duty that only we can do!
However, we can redeem ourselves IF, right NOW, we stand up and say, "We will not have a TRAITOR for president, nor will we have any of his party who cannot show a record of NOT being a similar type of traitor to the idea of our country!"
No time for anything now but standing up and speaking up and SCREAMING if that's what we need to do! Pressure the electors in our states to elect Hillary or, indeed, ANYONE who took no part in the GOP's Food Fight called a primary!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

STAND UP FOR AUDITS AND RECOUNTS NOW!!

Fellow citizens, our rights are in danger!!
Perhaps not immediately, but it was anticipation of worse that helped start both the English Civil War and indeed our own Revolution!
The counts in five hotly-contested states--Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida AND North Carolina--have too many irregularities about them NOT to be suspicious! NOW IS THE TIME to call and call LOUDLY for all these states to be both audited and recounted! If you let the GOP get away with this evil Trumpery, you will send a message to them that they can get away with this sort of rigging! Together with their gerrymandering and roadblocks to make it harder for people of color, women, seniors, students and the poor generally to vote, this will enable them to rig elections while they:
1)Privatize and ultimately abolish Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, thereby pauperizing many of us
2) Put a hammerlock on the Supreme Court and the rest of the judiciary and thereby reverse Roe and many other rulings such as Gideon and Miranda which expanded ordinary people's rights
3) Repeal Amendments 13 through 19 which protect the rights of people of color and women as independent and voting citizens and democratize income and elections. (Except the 18th, which was already repealed in 1933: Prohibition)
4) Set up a neo-feudal system in which rich white men will hold ALL the power and most of the wealth!
When we all have more freedoms, we all have more freedoms. Including white men. Freedom (including freedom from want) is not a zero-sum game UNLESS you're just afraid that, in a really honest system, no one will be lower than YOU on the totem pole! And you know what? That 'addytood', as some say in my old hometown, REEKS!!! Anyone with that addytood shows just how much lower than a snake's belly they are! However, lower even than that is knowing you HAVE that addytood and doing all you can to hide it, paper it over as opposed to CHANGING it inside yourselves!
Not to mention such an addytood shows you really don't think a whole lot of yourself, and THAT is really too dam' bad! Especially when, with a little bit of good education and job training, you can be, as the old song says, better than you are. It might be a while, though, before you can swing on a star or carry moonbeams home in a jar but we all start somewhere.
Finally, Bernie is only too right about our crying need to go BEYOND identity politics! We need to get out of our identity and/or issue silos and start educating (NO patronizing allowed!) and connecting with each other!
Now shout out with me: "Audits! Recounts! Audits! Recounts!" Then remember, that's only part of the beginning!

Monday, November 21, 2016

OPEN LETTER TO THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE

An open letter to the members of the Electoral College.

Ladies and Gentlemen: By now I needn't remind you of the power given you by the Constitution. That is, to vote for whoever you think best for our country. I know of some states that fine you if you vote for someone else besides the winner of the state's popular vote, but twenty-one states don't compel you that way, or any other way, at all.
Hillary's popular vote margin is now, at latest report, at a million and half and still growing. I've also seen a bit of news that Trump himself expected his campaign to be over by October of last year, after which he planned to endorse Christie. I mention this to suggest he, like myself, might not really want the job. But, still, while I entreat you to elect Hillary Clinton as president, I would ask you to vote for me before Trump, for the following reasons:
1)We have equal experience in politics and government, which is of course to say, we both have none.
2) On the other hand (finger maybe?) I have read history since I was seven, politics and government since I was eleven and have watched politics since 1968 when I turned twelve that August. I hope this counts for something.
3) I listen better. As I am not a habitual liar, my b.s. detector still works pretty well. When I don't know something, I know how to find out who to ask about it and to do just that. Ask.
4) No conflicts of interest. As we are all finding out, Trump seems to be, increasingly, a veritable web of such conflicts. Vote for me in his place, and all those conflicts of interest become academic.
So much for myself in preference to Trump, but I'd really rather you choose Hillary over me for at least the following two reasons: First, she has, as I mentioned previously, a growing popular vote margin nationwide, now at 1.5 million by report. Second, no one knows these 'onions' like she does, except maybe Bernie or Elizabeth (Warren). She knows all the levers to pull and overblown egos to massage (something at which I am positively abysmal!) in order to get necessary things done!
Third, a cloud is over some of those wafer-thin margins for Trump in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida and North Carolina. All of these are states where voting laws which have disproportionate effect on students, seniors, people of color and the poor generally, being able to vote as easily as propertied white men. And Democrats being Democrats, they probably either didn't factor in those laws, or not to enough of an extent. Which lead to the polls being off. I think you ladies and gentlemen understand me.
I shall post and share this on FB and my website at http://nopartyline.blogspot.com. and ask for signatures.
Thank you all for your time and consideration of this most urgent matter. Again, I ask you to elect Hillary Clinton for our country's sake.

Monday, November 14, 2016

KEEPING THINGS STRAIGHT

Let's get a couple of things straight here: the bulk of Trump's support did and does come from open or covert white racists and/or sexists of varying stripe. On the other hand, of the voters who actually put him over the top in Wisconsin, Michigan and (sob!) Pennsylvania at least include many people who voted for Obama in both 2008 and 2012!
Now how cometh this? Thus: Trump's voters are not all racist by any means, but I think it's safe to say almost none of them are anti-racist. That is, Trump's winning votes came from voters who may not be racist (or otherwise prejudiced) themselves, but for whom Trump's voiced racism, sexism, etc., ad nauseam (!), was not a deal-breaker. These are very important distinctions, because we who are anti-racists need 1) to give no quarter to the real racists and 2) show the non-racists why, and how, racism and all its kind MUST henceforth be a political deal-breaker!
Before I go any further, let me also say what I don't mean by racism: I do not mean a preference for one's own people or culture simply because it is one's own. Just be aware of the 'why(s)' of that preference, that's all. Racism's groundwork is laid when we act as if our way is perfect and we got it all. Little secret which ought not be a secret, especially for my fellow Christians: NO ONE has it 'all' or ever will this side of Judgment! Got that?
I don't even mean honest worries about how (un) assimilable the latest arrivals might prove. Such worries are as old as the Scotch-Irish migration to what were then the Colonies. Even then, some of the previous (English) arrivals wondered about that. I hope that can be discussed civilly and without too much rancor.
I think what I do mean is the desire to maintain straight white male patriarchy or the assumption of it as the 'natural' or, worse, the divinely ordained way things ought to be. And Zionism is not racism; it's the Jewish People's Liberation Movement. The Arab world is WAY more racist than Israel will ever be. Just read what brother Eldridge had to say about both!
I'm willing to bet that anywhere from 3/4 to almost all of we palefaces who voted for Hillary are active or passive anti-racists. And this is where I give our collective back a pat. Consider this: at NO TIME in our history have so many whites been actual ANTI-racists! That's right. Not even in 1865; probably no more than ten percent (if that) of the white population was anti-racist then.
I hope that informational tidbit serves us as a bite and a sup, to employ the old phrase, to sustain us on the long journey and job ahead. We have work to do to better organize and coordinate ourselves, educate our 'non-racists' and utterly defeat our open and covert racists, sexists, etc. Let's get to it. NOW.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

WRONG QUESTION, RIGHT QUESTION?


Yesterday, Greg Gutfeld (or 'Badfield' as I prefer to call him) asked, 'When did riots become a legitimate response to real or imagined injustice?' I suggest he's asking the wrong question. He, and others among us, should be asking, when did we delegitimize riots?
We have used riots or the threat of them as a political weapon at least since Parliament passed the Stamp Act if not before then! I invite you, dear readers, to have a look at groups who have done so!
'Whiskey rebels' (hic) 1794
Anti-Catholic rioters in Boston---that's right, BOSTON--burning down an Ursuline nunnery in 1834
Same reason for rioting in Philadelphia in 1844 and the burning of three Catholic churches
Then, of course, it didn't take long at all for the newly arrived Taigs to copy their Ulsterite adversaries (and quite possibly the #1 pros at riots!) and actually seize control of New York City for four horrific days in the sweltering July of 1863 and murdering every person of color they could grab! Memphis in 1866, Chicago and Detroit in 1919, the complete destruction of the 'Black Wall Street' in Tulsa in 1921 and the same crime committed on Rosewood, FL,two years later. Not to mention innumerable lynchings, most between 1890 and about 1940, such as the one photographed at Marion, Indiana! And in NONE of those cases EXCEPT the NYC Draft Riots was there any use of police or military to quell those riots or prevent any lynchings! What was the 'law's' response? "Waal, I guess these yere good ole boys need to kill n***ers now an' ag'in." That's what!
But, lo and behold, the complexion of the rioters started to change about the time of WWII--and THAT'S when rioting started to be something done by Other People as opposed to an appallingly legitimate response to 'n***ers' becoming more prosperous than white trash!!
There was a reversion to the old way in Boston in 1975. Anyone remember that, or even care to remember?
MLK once said, riots are the language of the unheard. I wonder what he'd have to say about the razing of Greenwood and Rosewood and so on? Perhaps I'll find out on the Other Side. No, rioting was delegitimized when, and almost exclusively when (Draft Riots again being the sole exception!) the skin tone of the rioters darkened!
And now, before I skedaddle and hear the large sigh of relief behind me, allow me to turn about 90 degrees as I take Trumpty Dumpty to task about 'EXTREME vetting'. In order to know who to exclude (and, if anyone asks me, who to also exile among many current citizens who call themselves 'Christians') we need ask only one question, because a truthful answer should not be possible to fake. The question is, "What does it mean to have a 'wall of separation' between religion and state, and why is this indispensable for civilized life today?" If anyone knows a credible way to fake an honest answer to that question, please share it with the rest of us. In the meantime, mull over 1) how difficult it is to lie a credible answer to my question and 2) our abiding hypocrisy about riots!
Oh yeah--and if y'all like this post, please share it!