Monday, February 21, 2011

High Stakes Rolling – Or Cheese Heads in Wisconsin, and the Rally at the Ohio Statehouse

Tuesday, February 22, Beginning at 1:00

The GOP in Wisconsin, Ohio, Tennessee and Indiana, with other States to follow, are all proposing legislation to destroy collective bargaining for public employees. Public employees are being falsely identified as one of the scapegoats of the bad economic downturn. In fact, the horrible economic situation that plagues our country today has been brought to you by corporate sponsors: namely, corporate greed, tax breaks for the wealthiest 1% of taxpayers, outsourcing our jobs out of the country so corporations can avoid paying a living wage and pay sweat shop wages instead, and financing an unwinnable war, which profits the military industrial complex and has taken TRILLIONS of dollars out of our country that could have been used for rebuilding our infrastructure, our inner cities, our education system, our Social Security system, universal health care, and job development.

It is old news that the Government Accountability Office found that 72% of foreign corporations and about 57% of U.S. companies doing business in the U.S. paid no federal taxes for at least one year between 1998 and 2005. See, Yet the GOP would have us believe, and some of the more gullible and gentle citizens of the U.S. actually do believe, that public employees are largely at fault for budget deficits facing many States across the U.S. This full frontal assault is a blatant thumbing of GOP noses at the labor movement, the public sector, collective bargaining, and teachers, nurses, police, firefighters, etc. Some scholars think this attack on the public sector goes beyond the GOP. The venerable Noam Chomsky, MIT Professor and political dissident, proposes that it is not simply the GOP that is behind this attack, saying:

And there’s been a wave of propaganda over the last couple of months, which is pretty impressive to watch, trying to deflect attention away from those who actually created the economic crisis, like Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, their associates in the government who—Federal Reserve and others—let all this go on and helped it. There’s a movement—to switch attention away from them to the people "really" responsible for the crisis—teachers, police, firefighters, sanitation workers, their huge pensions, their incredible healthcare benefits, Cadillac healthcare benefits, and their unions, who are the real villains, the ones who are robbing the taxpayer by making sure that policemen may not starve when they retire. And this is pretty amazing, like right in the middle of the Madison affair, which is critical.”

George Lakoff, in his cogent article, “What Conservatives Really Want”, submits that what is at stake here is nothing less than the “moral basis of American democracy” . Lakoff points out that conservatives are currently attacking on numerous fronts: “assaults on unions, public employees, women’s rights, immigrants, the environment, health care, voting rights, food safety, pensions, prenatal care, science, public broadcasting, and on and on.” Id. The goal, clearly, is to spread Progressives thin like butter on toast, to deplete our effectiveness and energy.

Lakoff says that conservatives want more than to fix deficits in State and National budgets:

“Deficits can be addressed by raising revenue, plugging tax loopholes, putting people to work, and developing the economy long-term in all the ways the President has discussed. But deficits are not what really matters to conservatives. Conservatives really want to change the basis of American life, to make America run according to the conservative moral worldview in all areas of life.

. . .

Budget deficits are convenient ruses for destroying American democracy and replacing it with conservative rule in all areas of life.

What is saddest of all is to see Democrats helping them.

Democrats help radical conservatives by accepting the deficit frame and arguing about what to cut. Even arguing against specific “cuts” is working within the conservative frame. What is the alternative? Pointing out what conservatives really want. Point out that there is plenty of money in America, and in Wisconsin. It is at the top. The disparity in financial assets is un-American — the top one percent has more financial assets than the bottom 95 percent. Middle class wages have been flat for 30 years, while the wealth has floated to the top. This fits the conservative way of life, but not the American way of life.
Democrats help conservatives by not shouting out loud over and over that it was conservative values that caused the global economic collapse: lack of regulation and a greed-is-good ethic.” .

Progressive Groups that are getting this precise message out to educate the public include: and US, which points our that “multi-billionaire headliners of the Fortune 500 list, like Bank of America, GE, ExxonMobil, CitiBank, and others PAID NO INCOME TAXES SINCE 2009!!!”

That bears repeating:

“Multi-billionaire headliners of the Fortune 500 list, like Bank of America, GE, ExxonMobil, CitiBank, and others PAID NO INCOME TAXES SINCE 2009!!!”, a project of (read less)

The movement to turn citizen against citizen and to undermine and discredit public employees and their unions is disingenuous, at best.


Educate others.

Support the protests in Wisconsin.

Support the protests in Ohio.


Engage in Civil Discourse.

Rally at the Ohio Statehouse, Broad and High Streets, Downtown Columbus, Ohio, Tuesday, February 22, beginning at 1:00 and continuing until 4:00 or later.

I know I’ll be there.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Peace on Earth

Here we are. The advent of another Holiday Season. The local news is rife with murders. Shootings. Domestic violence. Child abuse. The national news is full of denial of health care for the heroes of 9/11. Denial of an extension of unemployment benefits. Extensions of tax breaks for the richest 1% of Americans. The name calling, blame calling, dysfunction of a sytem that is stalled and unwieldly and unworkable. We can't even be civil across party lines. How can we expect the international community to work things out if the microcosim in our lives - familial, local, city-wide, state-wide, etc., does not work? Talk is good, and cheap. But all the talk in the world is not going to result in peace on earth unless we can discuss issues on all levels in a civil manner. We must care about what "the other side" is saying, because if we cannot speak and listen in a rational way, our local, city, state, national, and international issues will contiue to fester and atrophy. And we will search in vain for Peace on Earth.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

To begin my blogging with the beginning of my blogging - I shall embark on a discourse about civil issues, in a civil way. As Merriam Webster defines "civil": ". . . of or relating to the state or its citizenry . . . adequate in courtesy and politeness . . . of, relating to, or based on civil law . . . relating to private rights and to remedies sought by action or suit distinct from criminal proceedings . . . of, relating to, or involving the general public, their activities, needs, or ways, or civic affairs . . . .