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Archive for the ‘progressivism’ Category

Just have to make sure this is in my own personal echo chamber, from Hunter over at DailyKos:

There’s only so long you can go being scared out of your wits, and then it gets old, and a routine becomes established. It gets a bit harder to be scared. It gets a lot harder to be scared on cue, certainly, in accordance with whatever we’re supposed to be most afraid of for one particular speech, or one particular campaign stop. And, at long last, you want the people who are in charge of scaring you — er, sorry, “protecting” you — to begin treating things at least with the same seriousness as you are.

I think that’s maybe the beginnings of the post-post-9/11 world that Wolcott is pondering, a one in which the same old political ploys are perhaps taken, finally, to be as offensive as they actually are. It’s not a question of complacency, but simple sturdiness: we will not be afraid of every shadow, we will deal with each day as it comes and try to fight against terrorism with something a bit more substantial than mindless arm-waving. The American population knows the score, and wants grownups in charge — not people that are still, after five and a half years, running around telling us that in spite of their five and a half years of effort, if we only give them more support, and violate a few more laws, and invade a few more countries, it will all work out great.

Collectively, we need to start thinking about what the post-post-9/11 world looks like, a world where terrorism will certainly still exist. It can either be a world of arm-waving fear, or a world of informed resolve, and I think I have a strong preference which of those two things I’d rather hoist the American flag over.

My anxiety and terror after 9/11 led me to the blogs to start learning about what the fuck was going on. My subsequent anger over what Bush was saying and doing in response to it, including Iraq of course, led me to supporting Howard Dean in 2004. His and eventually Kerry’s loss envigorated me all the more to set things right, and with 2006 we finally regained some footing. I think this country’s definitely going to be headed towards a progressive upswing after the nightmare we have collectively witnessed. And it’s not even finished yet. No matter what, it’s safe to say that W. has secured himself a legacy alright, and I don’t even have to type it for you to know what I’m talking about.

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I’m gonna be joining in on this event for Step It Up 07, a nationwide protest to raise awareness of the need for action to prevent climate change:

What is SEA OF PEOPLE? – visit www.seaofpeople.org for more info – New York City’s coastal location makes it particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels that will result from unabated warming. A ten-foot change could result from significant melting of the Antarctic and Greenland ice shelves over the course of this century. Such a rise would greatly reconfigure the map of our city, sinking much of lower Manhattan beneath the water. The SEA OF PEOPLE project combines the dynamics of a mass rally with the expressive power of an interactive artistic installation. A noon rally at Castle Clinton in Battery Park will kick off the event. Then, thousands of participants, ideally dressed in blue, will stretch north in two columns along the projected eastern and western 10-foot waterlines that may one day redefine lower Manhattan under the ten-foot sea level rise scenario. Creating, in essence, a Sea of People! We hope for this line to stretch a mile or more, winding up both sides of downtown Manhattan to create a visual and symbolic statement that our elected representatives can’t possibly ignore!

Anyone else in the NYC who wants to participate, you can RSVP here.

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Okay, here’s a simple idea for what I believe could be a very grand protest. Get one million people to descend on Washington D.C., and ask that every single participant bring a digital video camera and at least 5 video tapes.

The cameras will serve both practical and symbolic purposes. Considering both the long historical record and recent revelations about surveillance and deceptive disruption of public protests by undercover government officials, if everyone’s armed with a camera then there’s no reason why anyone should be able to get away with starting anything and not be caught on tape for later investigations. On a more uplifting note, I can’t imagine the effect of having one MILLION people video blogging dozens of clips and posting them up on YouTube. And this would be a massive boon to the realm of amateur documentaries.

The symbolism is obvious: transparency. To remind both the government AND the establishment media that we are watching, recording and remembering. That we are no longer scared or intimidated by either because we now possess the tools necessary to hold all FOUR estates in check when they be come out of balance. And talk about a move that would surely emphasize the success we’ve had in ripping the wheels of the Bush administration since the US Attorney story broke.

Man, I hope someone steals this idea.

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While I do miss the old Al Franken show since he announced his run for the Senate, I couldn’t be more excited about the prospect of someone I fully respect and trust gaining access to that body. And not to diss Al, but I’m totally in love with the guy who replaced him, Tom Hartmann. Here’s Al explaining what progressive politics means to him on a personal level.

I couldn’t agree more with Al’s point that in order to have a society filled with ‘rugged individuals’ who ‘pull themselves up by their own bootstraps’, we need to first give them the boots, so to speak. I find it somewhat disturbing though, that we live in a time where people like Al actually have to defend programs like Social Security, Pell grants and other programs that enable the middle class to even exist. It speaks to the hideous efficacy of the right-wing noise machine that’s succeded in convincing people that government wants to take away your hard earned paycheck and give it to undeserving homeless people, when what it’s actually doing is taking away your hard earned paycheck and giving it to billionaires, arms manufacturers and oil companies. I don’t see how that’s the more appealing option over helping out people who are genuinely struggling to survive and alleviating the difficulties that accompany growing old or the death of a parent/spouse (in case anyone is unaware, that’s what Social Security does).

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Today’s must read from Daily Kos for any of you progressives getting disheartened with the Dems already for not answering every situation exactly how you’d like it or as fast as you demand it. That’s the overall point, people. This shit takes TIME. It’s a democracy, lots of people for us to go out there and TALK to.

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There is nothing more dangerous and difficult or more doubtful of success, than an attempt to introduce a new order of things in any state. For the innovator has for enemies all those who derived advantages from the old order of things, whilst those who expect to be benefited by the new institutions will be but lukewarm defenders.

-Machiavelli.

The man had a point.

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