For The Trees
Who is our economy FOR, anyway?
About the Authors:
BEST OF STF:
Articles not at STF:
The ATLA Speech on building a progressive infrastructure
Lowering the Bar
The Attack on Trial Lawyers and Tort Law
Who's Behind the Attack on Liberal Professors
On the Right and their communications infrastructure:
Why Republicans Win
Win or Lose
The "Conventional Wisdom" Machine
Some History of the Conservative Movement
HOW TO FIGHT BACK
An Amplifier Of Our Own
Don't Blame the Democrats
How They Do It 1 2 3 4
You're Gonna Get Drafted
Scalia and Self-Government
Who is Our Economy For?
Voting Machine Story Link Collection
What's Wrong with this Picture? (Voting Machines)
Like Meat in the Supermarket
Thin Line 1 2 3
Fixing Social Security
Seeing the Forest I, II, III
"Incredibly Positive News"
The Breadth of It
The Republican Crony Club
Ralph Nader is a Scab
John's Best Of:
Kerry Smear Page
9/11 Commission Report Damages Bush -- if you read it
Florida Goon Squad Intimidated the Supreme Court
The Use and Abuse of George Orwell
Zizka's Archives (John's previous identity)
Information Clearing House
What REALLY Happened
Links to Other Weblogs:
Dean On A Stick
"This is the center of Dean's argument. Not that Democrats aren't standing up for the working man (versus the Republicans and the corporate chieftains) but that the people we have in the party leadership have sacrificed long term progressive ideals for short term political gain. You don't always have to oppose the Republicans for the hell of it, but Christ on a stick - stand for something once in a while!"Christ on a stick?
Presidential Candidate Bob Graham has started Blog Graham.
ANOTHER Provocative Column!
Arrogance, or something darker?
"Then came that fateful August intelligence briefing noted above, the full report of which was excised from the recently issued Congressional report on the 9/11 tragedy for "national security" reasons.I report, you decide.
Now that Michael Ledeen has been in the news, you might realize how serious this was, coming from him. I know it's old stuff, but I was thinking about it today and though I'd bring it up again.
First this, What if there’s method to the Franco-German madness?:
How could it be done? No military operation could possibly defeat the United States, and no direct economic challenge could hope to succeed. That left politics and culture. And here there was a chance to turn America's vaunted openness at home and toleration abroad against the United States. So the French and the Germans struck a deal with radical Islam and with radical Arabs: You go after the United States, and we'll do everything we can to protect you, and we will do everything we can to weaken the Americans.Then this, The War Against America:
Lately the forces arrayed against America have grown to include mainstream Old European diplomacy, whose sabotage of the United States has spread from constant WTO harassment to full-blown hijacking of NATO and the hostile use of the U.N. Security Council. Year after year, Americans lose their lives by terrorism. American families suffer terrible grief. Old Europe and its surrogates all over the world struggle frantically to fetter Americans' efforts to protect themselves.He ain't just ANY wingnut. If you want to understand just how far out the Right -- and that means the Bush administration -- has gotten, read these pieces.
Newsday.com has a story, Secret Talks With Iranian, that has the SAME CROWD from the first Iran/Contra affair doing it AGAIN!
Bush hired the very people behind the first Iran/Contra affair, and here they are again, working outside of the government, trying to work a secret foreign policy. Bush hired them, some of them convicted criminals, so he can't claim ignorance. But this time we have a Republican congress that refuses to look into any crimes by the White House, no matter how serious, and a media that refuses to investigate anything Republican.
Thanks to Altercation.
OK. This does it. Links are not working again so the BuzzFlash link to the voter registration piece goes to nowhere. I'll be looking for an alternative to Blogger. I apologize for the inconvenience.
Party Leadership and Voter Turnout
To people complaining about the leadership of the Democrats:
This is what we have gotten for staying out of the process ourselves for so long. So many people have had a "hands off" approach to politics. For so many of us, politics has been something for other people to do. Other people set up tables in front of supermarkets and registered people to vote. Other people go door to door in their neighborhoods talking to people about voting and about who they support and why. Other people show up at political party meetings.
Well, that's what politics IS! Politics and democracy are about showing up and voting. What do you think the Democratic Party would be like if the people who voted Green had instead actually bothered to show up and vote for local Democratic Party leadership? That translates into state party leadership, which translates into national party leadership. How many people reading this even KNOW what a Democratic Club is, and how to join the one where they live?
Do you know why so many people don't vote? Because people aren't getting them registered, and then getting them to the polls on election day! That's the old fashioned way -- walking your neighborhood and talking to people and then getting every single one of them to the polls on election day! Voter turnout has dropped because the day-to-day work of getting people registered and getting them to the polls has dropped.
Think about this -- A couple of decades ago the Christian Right started showing up at Republican Party clubs and meetings and events, and look what the Republican Party is now. And THEY are getting people to the polls. It takes some work, and some "foot soldiers." And it brings results. We're living under the results of THEIR organizing efforts, and not liking it too much.
And think about this -- about half the eligible people don't vote, while polls show that more than half of those people see things our way. Well that means there are a lot of people who could be voting our way. If we got off our asses and started going out and talking to people and registering them to vote and then getting them to the polls on election day we could increase the Democratic vote count quite a bit -- at a time when an increase only 2 or 3% would swing the entire congress and Presidency to our side!
Politics takes a bit of work, and if YOU aren't out there DOING that work, then shut up. (Not you, of course, I mean people in general.)
This is one thing that is so great about the Dean campaign! They are reaching out to thousands and thousands of regular people and getting them involved. 75,000 people showed up at Meetups last night and wrote letters to voters in New Hampshire. I was at one of those Meetups, and it was an exhilarating experience seeing so many people doing something like that for the first time in their lives, as well as knowing the effect those letters are going to have! And the Dean people are starting to talk about getting people walking their neighborhoods and all of the things I wrote about above. REGULAR people! If this keeps up it is going to make a huge difference to America because people like US are going to get involved, and get other people to vote, and choose the party leadership and maybe even run for office. Wow!
It is our own non-involvement that is responsible for the kind of leadership we're all complaining about.
This came from something I left as a comment over at Hullabaloo.
Great piece over at P.L.A. on breaking promises.
RuminateThis on voting machines.
Just One More Example
Here's just one more example of the benefits of privatization.
A recruiting firm hired by the Bush administration to hire airport screeners set up "recruiting centers" at posh resorts. For example, "20 recruiters to lived for seven weeks in a Telluride resort in order to hire 50 screeners."
The total bill to the government? Only $700 million.
No wonder the screeners aren't allowed to join a union.
Did They Read It?
Al Gore's speech got me thinking:
"Two years ago yesterday, for example, according to the Wall Street Journal, the President was apparently advised in specific language that Al Qaeda was going to hijack some airplanes to conduct a terrorist strike inside the U.S.This made me think about National Security Advisor Rice's excuse for the Nigerian uranium claim finding its way into the President's State of the Union speech:
National security adviser Condoleezza Rice and other aides pointed repeatedly to the fact that doubts about the intelligence appeared in a footnote, written by the State Department, buried deep in a top-secret National Intelligence Estimate.So here is my question. We now know that the President's briefing prior to September 11, 2001 stated that al-Queda was going to hijack some airplanes. Did they bother to read it?
Remember, President Bush was on his month-long vacation. He is known to avoid doing his homework. Their excuse for the Nigerian uranium claim was that none of them read the intelligence briefing in depth. Did 9/11 happen because Bush and the people around him didn't bother to read their intelligence briefings? Is this why the Republicans are blocking a serious look at what led to 9/11? They are obviously hiding something. Is it this?
Gore's Speech to MoveOn
The text of Al Gore's speech to MoveOn today is here. Excerpt:
"Earlier, I mentioned the feeling many have that something basic has gone wrong. Whatever it is, I think it has a lot to do with the way we seek the truth and try in good faith to use facts as the basis for debates about our future -- allowing for the unavoidable tendency we all have to get swept up in our enthusiasms.And this:
"The administration has developed a highly effective propaganda machine to imbed in the public mind mythologies that grow out of the one central doctrine that all of the special interests agree on, which -- in its purest form -- is that government is very bad and should be done away with as much as possible -- except the parts of it that redirect money through big contracts to industries that have won their way into the inner circle.Sounds JUST like what I wrote yesterday in Think Tanks!
The right has a comprehensive, coordinated network of advocacy organizations, working to change public attitudes, pushing an entire ideological framework that says there are "market solutions" to almost every problem. (Recently, as you know, they even pushed a market solution to terrorism - a "trading room" in the Pentagon where people would place bets on terrorist attacks.)
Global Warming May Be Speeding Up, Fears Scientist.
This certainly isn't going to "thaw" relations between Europe and the Bush administration.
Brief Intelligence says some rather provocative things in "Connecting the Dots - Part One" and "Part II". Rather provocative indeed! Yes, indeedy! Provocative. Rather. Oh, my!
Even more so if you read those after reading this, as I had just done. (Speaking of connecting dots...)
This is a replacement of a Think Tanks piece that was posted yesterday by accident.
A good article on right-wing think tanks, reprinted at, of all places, the Heritage Foundation, The charge of the think-tanks.
A key point, similar to one I made before in Don't Blame the Democrats. From Charge of the think tanks:
"The think-tanks' influence is partly related to the intellectual barrenness of America's two main parties. The Democrats and Republicans are little more than vehicles for raising and distributing campaign contributions. They have no ability to generate ideas of their own, and little control over individual politicians trying to burnish their reputations with new thinking."From Don't Blame the Democrats:
The Republicans have in place a broad "idea development and communication infrastructure" that has successfully moved the public to the right. This involves "think tanks" like the Heritage Foundation supplying position papers, talking points and commentary that goes through a marketing department and are endlessly repeated to the public through so many channels, from Rush Limbaugh to Fox News to the Washington Times. This communications machine has been called "The Mighty Wurlitzer."Politicians and parties respond to the public. To change the direction of the country we need organizations that work to change the underlying attitudes of the public. The right has a comprehensive, coordinated network of advocacy organizations, working to change public attitudes, pushing an entire ideological framework that says there are "market solutions" to almost every problem. (Recently, as you know, they even pushed a market solution to terrorism - a "trading room" in the Pentagon where people would place bets on terrorist attacks.)
The right's advocacy organizations advocate privatization, deregulation, and limiting government. Moderates and progressives need organizations that perform a similar function -- to counter this right-wing ideological marketing effort. Moderates and progressives have lots and lots of narrow-focus, single-issue organizations that speak about their specific issues and only their issues - environmental organizations, peace organizations, family planning organizations, you name it - but do not generally reach out to the general public, and when they do it is with a narrowly focused message concerning their issue.
So what about organizations that reach the general public to defend ideas of community, sharing, taking care of each other, working together to solve our mutual problems, and democracy? Without organizations that work to address underlying public attitudes, the work of all the single-issue organizations is undermined.
Let me give an example of what I mean. Recently People For the American Way came out with an important study of the school voucher movement, concluding that the voucher idea is only a step toward privatizing - yes getting rid of, not improving - public schools. The report is "Voucher Veneer: The Deeper Agenda to Privatize Public Education." (There is a short press release describing this report: "PFAWF Report Exposes Disturbing Agenda Behind Attacks On Public Education.")
Well how do you fight this? Do you put out information opposing vouchers? Put out facts and figures, and refute each pro-voucher point? Do you put out information about how public schools are good and necessary?
Here is the problem with this. The school voucher concept and the school privatization concept rest on a larger ideological framework involving privatization, free markets and Darwinian competition. So when you try to refute each of their voucher arguments point-by-point, it just bounces of a preventative shell of underlying ideological beliefs. When a person has come to believe the underlying ideology that free markets are always good, government is always bad, Darwinian competition is always good, privatization is always good, then your anti-voucher arguments are just going to bounce off of that person. The anti-voucher arguments are surface-level arguments that will not penetrate that underlying ideological shell - that framework of concepts that the right has inserted into that person's head. Until that person is exposed to messaging that counters that underlying right-wing ideological crap, you will not have success with surface single-issue arguments.
Whew, that was a mouthful. I'm saying that you have to work on a person's deeper understanding of a framework that ALL the other concepts fit into. You can't argue environmentalism or libraries or public schools or helping the poor to a person who has bought into the free-market, anti-government, "strict father morality" ideological framework. Instead you have to work to counter that programming first, and then you can address your narrower issues. You have to do what school civics class used to do - explain and repeat the concept of the common good, the commons, sharing and cooperating. And you have to do a lot of work explaining and reinforcing the idea that people are created equal, that every person has equal representation in our society, that each person has an equal vote rather than each dollar.
At the AFL-CIO candidates forum today Sen. Kerry said he supports expensing of stock options. I was at a Silicon Valley Kerry fundraiser at the beginning of the year where he said he opposed it.
National Prayer Day
National Prayer Day.
I report. You decide.
Discussion at Eschaton.
There seems to be a concensus that the nuclear bomb saved lives because otherwise we would have had to invade Japan.
My question - why did we have to invade Japan to win? We could have won without invading Japan.
Voting Machines in Michigan
Michigan moves toward uniform voting system.
"Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land said Monday that Michigan's system of choice will be optical scanners, the method already used by two-thirds of the state's 6.8 million voters."Thanks Atrios.
Action In The Voting Machines World!
Scoop: E-Voting Expert Ousted From Elections Conference.
Things are heating up!
We used Napalm on Iraqi troops.
Not a judgement, just a fact. I report, you decide.
3rd Annual Nigerian EMail Conference
3rd Annual Nigerian EMail Conference
Still Sticking It To The Man.
We have here an actual crime committed by someone in the White House. And this crime may have jeopardized national security. No question about it.
So what is being done about it? What was done about Enron? What was done about Bush's illegal insider trading at Harken? What is being done about Bush's lies, telling the country that Iraq was working with al-Queda?
If someone sends you a warning message like this - it's for real. There is a new virus out there. This message was forwarded to me, as well as another from another company.
Subject: VIRUS ALERT: DO NOT OPEN ZIP ATTACHMENT ENTITLED "MESSAGE.ZIP"I've gotten four of the virus messages already today. Do not open any attachments named "message.zip" no matter who it is from! If you use virus software, update it today!
The Pentagon has some explaining to do
HoustonChronicle.com - The Pentagon has some explaining to do:
"After eight years of Bill Clinton, many military officers breathed a sigh of relief when George W. Bush was named president. I was in that plurality. At one time, I would have believed the administration's accusations of anti-Americanism against anyone who questioned the integrity and good faith of President Bush, Vice President Cheney or Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.Thanks to Whiskey Bar.
Media Transparency led me to this article -- Neocon men:
Is Cursor's Media Transparency on your regular read list? It should be!
Greens Slap Kucinich Down
Recently, Congressman Kucinish wrote an open letter to Greens appealing to them to support his campaign for president.
We all know we will do better if we work together. Perhaps we can find common ground on issues and principles. I would like to open up that possibility. And I would like to ask that you give serious consideration to my candidacy for President. Because a better world is still possible.Well the Greens slapped that boy right down.
Thanks to Thomas Leavitt.
Vorint Machines in eWeek
Another voting machines article - I think the word is getting out there. Trustworthy Voting in eWeek.
Selling the Parks
Democratic Veteran and South Knox Bubba have noticed that the Bush administration is working on privatizing the national parks.
I have been doing some research into this, to justify a statement to potential funders that the Republicans even want to sell the national parks. It seems that people think I'm a wild-eyed radical nutcase to even suggest that anyone would ever consider such a thing!
Here's my raw notes, except I'll turn them into links:
Privatize public parks:
Center for Free-Market Environmentalism
Embrace Proposal to Privatize Public Lands
Privatized Federal Land Would Yield Better Environmental Quality
PARKS, PROPERTY RIGHTS, AND THE POSSIBILITIES OF THE PRIVATE LAW
THE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE INTEREST IN WILDERNESS PROTECTION
THE PRIVATIZATION DEBATE: AN INSIDER'S VIEW
How and Why to Privatize Federal Lands
Land privatization plan sets off alarms
ENVIRO-CAPITALISM VS. ENVIRO-SOCIALISM
The Strategy To Privatize The Public Domain
Privatization of America's Public Lands
Government Proceeds with Privatizing Provincial Parks and Recreation Areas
Yes, it has been a period of light blogging. I'm doing research on two projects, and hope to share some of this with you. In the meantime, posting that I'm not blogging much often seems to trigger periods of heavy blogging... we'll see.
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