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See you tonight - Greg Palast

See you tonight on the 'net to answer your questions about you name it: Dan Rather, The Bush Family Fortunes DVD out this week, The Bush Saudi connection and all the other stuff your Foxified US media won't let you see.

Greg Palast
Reporting for
BBC and 'Bush Family Fortunes'
Author,
The Best Democracy Money Can Buy

Posted by Jessica Falker on September 29, 2004 at 05:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (23)

Return

Last night I wrote a beautiful message about youthful hope, Islamic discipline, and our future task in the world. It got lost, and I can't recreate it's message - but remember being really ticked-off that it got lost. I suppose the real message was a return to past ideals about our lives, the future, and where this can lead. I think that universally we want the same things for ourselves, for our children, and what we can possibily give each other to make our earthly road easier. Suffering can't be avoided - and perhaps it can even bring about strength, but what message can we give to voters that'll encouraged them to vote for a more hopeful life - devoid of suffering brought on by others who's view is narrow and self-serving?

- Bob Winkler

Posted by Jessica Falker on September 26, 2004 at 08:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

Pressure Points

We're beginning to feel the pressure of political reality. Soon we'll have to deal with the results, good or bad, of the elections - one can only hope that's true and not a sham. After the last national election it appears anything goes - what's with this having the 1st presidential debate in Florida? Who decided that venue?
If I can calm myself down, it still appears that whatever the results, we as Progressives need to develop our own agenda - and move on with that. If we think that we're part of the "plan" - that's not reality. Please, for all of you running for election - eager I am to hope for your victory, so that we have at least a garden to grow in.
I've mentioned before that we need to look beyond the elections and how, or whether, each party wins - we need to know "now" what our next move is. Get with the program people! There is a sense here that we can bring about that difference - blog and all. As we move into the last weeks before the election, how might we push that margin of victory to make the road easier?

- Bob Winkler

Posted by Jessica Falker on September 22, 2004 at 08:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fair Shake

Being of at least two cultures, and then being a philosopher, I had so many “’ifs,’ ‘ands,’ and ‘buts’” that I could write whole essays and never use a period. And though I pretty much drew the line at violence, a lot of values became more culturally relative so that the same set of “circumstances” could yield several “situations.” One “rule” that helped when having to decide between two very different choices that were otherwise “equal,” I would ask, “Which route closes the fewest doors?” Now in discussing the candidates with people who don’t already agree with me, it doesn’t usually help to let loose with the whole list of reasons why Bush should not be re-elected. On the other hand, there is so much that needs to be done and undone that prioritizing is not easy. Applying my rule about closing doors (and non-violence), I think that one of our most urgent reasons to elect Kerry is to prevent another one or two or three Clarence Thomases to given a Supreme Court lifetime appointment. I continue to believe that those crucial swing voters value impartiality in the judiciary, i.e. the proverbial "fair shake" is more important to them than any particular case/stance. However, judging from the little that is said/reported, this doesn’t seem to be as important to others. What do you think? Meanwhile, when our electricity went out this weekend after the northern version of Ivan, we made small talk with the very over-worked repair folks and made it a point to connect the recent “overtime pay” legislation to Bush. So I’m thinking that a good place to campaign is at strike/picket lines.

- Cathy Bao Bean

Posted by Jessica Falker on September 21, 2004 at 04:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

Alliances

Otero Mesa, New Mexico offers a lesson in environmental and regional alliances. Originally "tapped" by federal initiative to seek more oil and natural gas reserves - a combination of federal, state and environmental groups and individuals are seeking to work together to preserve a unique ecosystem. The balance between the need to explore for new energy resources, and the desire to save a balanced desert ecology has brought about a determined effort to form "unlikely" alliances to secure the natural heritage of this southwestern state. The point taken is that one, or the other, doesn't have to give up their moral prinicples to agree upon common goals within the community. Alliances are a tool towards change. What alliances have you formed lately to further your own message, and the community in which you live?

- Bob Winkler

Posted by Jessica Falker on September 17, 2004 at 08:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

Origins of Totalitarianism

German political philosopher Hannah Arendt wrote a book in the 1950s, a sobering critique of Nazi Germany called The Origins of Totalitarianism. Fascism, Nazism, whatever the sort of totalitarian government, her book looked deeply into the way whole peoples fell into systems of government that could deprive them of their liberties for the sake of something greater.

I am a state legislator and, for this reason, care deeply about democratic social change. I have always believed in our form of government precisely because it can accommodate a public with raised consciousness to act on behalf of the greater good. But what happens when the greater assents not to good but to totalitarianism?

This past weekend I sat visiting with a couple of friends, married to one another. One is a professor of African history, the other a political scientist focusing on post-Soviet politics. The latter said to me -- with a straight face -- "I've been depressed but have come to accept our totalitarian form of governance under president Bush."

What do you mean, I asked.

Jarrett, she said, all of us who study the former Soviet Union have seen this coming under the current administration--and I don't just mean the Patriot Act. A colleague of mine just changed his voter registration from Democrat to independent because he believed he would not receive federal grant money for his research --and had a list of several other professors who had been denied as proof. When people of good start to act this way, those in power have won complete victory.

She went on to talk to me about how exactly the Soviets repressed the people in their state. Call anyone who disagrees with you a liar, or call them unpatriotic, she said. Sound familiar? While relatively few are actually imprisoned, she said, the fear of losing what little you have remains as a powerful incentive for the large majority to accept the status quo.

I've wondered a lot about whether my reaction -- a strong desire to reject her views -- is simply because I really just want to believe otherwise. I want to believe that we would be preposterous to call this place we've come to totalitarian -- to call those in the administration the New Bolsheviks.

I have little faith in this administration, and wonder what another four years would leave our great country looking like.

Jarrett Barrios, Massachusetts State Senator

Posted by Jessica Falker on September 16, 2004 at 06:57 PM | Permalink | Comments (15)

What We Are

We are led to believe that the current adminstration will save us from continued global terror. And yet it's they that have placed us into this "garden of evil." The question should be "how do we rid ourselves of these very deceptive people?"

- Bob Winkler

Posted by Jessica Falker on September 12, 2004 at 07:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

Environmental Justice

While attending an environmental council meeting the other day, there was a young lady from the local Peace and Justice group. She spoke in a very quiet but steady voice - outlining various ways that their agenda could be integrated into the enivronmental activities we were discussing. I think the awareness process is finally beginning in earnest. That upon reflection, all environmental issues are and have been political in nature. We are beginning to except that idea as our new reality. In so many ways the children are teaching the adults. I think it would be essential for Democrats and Progressives alike to broaden and deepen that particular base, as suggested in the previous blog, and seek active ways to accomplish such a goal. Outside of registering young first time voters - are there other means we can use to ensure that this potential group of voting citizens will help us, now and in the future, in bringing about the necessary changes we're struggling for?

- Bob Winkler

Posted by Jessica Falker on September 10, 2004 at 12:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

How is our message heard?

While fast-forwarding through commericials on my TiVo today, I found myself paying attention to how much information is thrown at us and how much we filter out during the day. I didn't want to know about Pizza Hut's new crust, and I didn't care about what new show was premiering this week.

It did get me thinking about how we treat the messages of our candidates. Those of us who have been involved in campaigns find our messages can be repetitive and are someties delivered with a lack of enthusiasm. This translates to the voter when you are trying to persuade them to vote for our candidate. As the campaigns representative, we should consistantly try to be enthusiastic and be aware of how we set the tone of who we are representing.

I'd like to hear what ideas are out there about the messages we give as Democratic candidates, and maybe discuss ways to keep people involved and excited about our campaigns in these long dog days ahead...

- Sandra Ramos

Posted by Jessica Falker on September 9, 2004 at 07:04 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)

Time

So it has been suggested to me that words won't change things, that waiting doesn't work - that's there's more immediate needs that have to be recognized, that people really don't want to know the truth, that perhaps there is no better future. At some point in my life I argued with others about whether we were optimistic-pessimists, or pessimistic-optimists. Believe me, if I have to be jailed for whatever offense - that in itself would keep me alive. I saw the best killed in an unforgiving war, like today; I saw drugs destroy the mind and body of others; I saw the politics of lies engulf us; I saw the fears of past generations frame our very thoughts. Still, and I would have to agree with the Ralph and Sandra, that I gained insight into survival, values and hard love from several family members. How I walk today - speaks volumes for their concern, frustrations, and hard work to keep me on the path. This is a strong message and one we need to pass on as best we can. How do we fashion that into real, long term security of thought and freedom globally?

- Bob Winkler

Posted by Jessica Falker on September 8, 2004 at 08:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)