Activism

Do we get a turn? (A bit of a rant)

A few days ago one of the Daily Kos membership wrote a diary proclaiming the need for "a new gay rights platform," presumably because the fight for marriage equality was over and done.

I have to say that the diary disappointed me at first...and the comments made by the author in response to comments made by myself and MargaretPOA proceeded to really piss me off.

First off I was sure that those LGBT people who live in states where marriage equality is still not a legal fact would be very concerned about am attitude that suggests ceasing to work for their rights, too...an attitude that suggests that if they want to get married, all they have to do is move to somewhere it is legal. We all know that the wounded evil monster that is the denial of our rights will not die if we just walk away and tun our attention elsewhere. When you have the monster on the ropes, it is time to make a concerted effort to drive a stake through its crusty hide into its black heart.

And even after that it will be necessary to hang around for a bit to make sure it doesn't rise from the dead.

But secondly what really frustrated me was the exclusion from the discussion of any concern for the rights of transgender people...the T in LGBT was treated as if it was silent.

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Turnout for Teachout and Wu

Unlike some I still have a thin shred of hope in the power of the ballot because I don't think people are stupid as a whole, just slow to learn and easily influenced.

We've had 40 years at least to prove that neo-liberal, trickle-down, perfect market economics do not work. They have demonstrated failure in tangible ways that show up at your dinner table every day as you CCPI substitute pet food for people food and wear out your cheap off shored rags in weeks and not years. Your quality of life is declining and it's harder to disguise.

This is not the inevitable increase of entropy, it's the result of management decisions made by our government to enrich our elites at the expense of everyone else.

Fortunately conditions like this do not persist. Whenever there are too many of us and not enough of them there is a revolution. The propaganda becomes repetitive and unbelievable, the cognitive dissonance too much to overcome.

You are not alone. Millions of people see the same things you do, think the same things you think. Including the elites, that's why they are worried and are investing so heavily in more propaganda and more coercive tools for the suppression of mass sentiment. Submit to the charms of illusion or the iron boot of oppression, it matters not as long as you submit.

But ultimately they are dependent on your voluntary submission. They make the calculation that they can distract you with bright and shiny objects or so disillusion you that apathy seems rebellion.

My cynicism is dark and deep, but not that deep. Nope, I'm actually an optimistic sort of guy- not that it does any good.

I think that politicians, who remain at least nominally subject to a process of public approval, and pundits/media news people, who are more directly and immediately dependent on their audience, are open to influence from the populace and ignore it at their peril.

Ways to show that are by showing up at the polls and voting Third Party, changing your registration to a Third Party, or by voting for Third Party candidates like Teachout and Wu in major party primaries. If nothing else you can make Chuck Todd's head explode which is always fun.

I approach this incrementally and pragmatically. If we continue to vote for the lesser of two evils, it is still evil. If the current conditions persist more radical solutions than mine will gain urgency.

If I seem like a centrist, I AM! My beliefs are rooted in the core of New Deal Democracy and Keynesian Economics. It is Andrew Cuomo and his corrupt crony capitalism and double dealing 'bi-partisanship' that prop up the corpse of the New York Republican Party as a Boogieman too scary to dare deserting a Democratic Party that has abandoned every principle and promise.

I am not afraid.

I'd prefer that it not come to pitchforks and torches because I'm more comfortable not being poked and fire has a disturbing tendency to spread beyond your magical circle of intent, but you use the tools you have and if you doubt their efficacy in a modern environment I invite a closer study of recent developments where overwhelming power has not produced the desired results. Humans are a recalcitrant and obstinate lot.

Should you live and vote in New York as a registered Democrat I invite you today to take positive action and indicate your disapproval of Andrew Cuomo and Kathy Hochul.

Vote for Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu.

It is really the very least you can do.

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VotSquare paper.li for Sunday, 7 September 2014

NB: No Sunday Train this week, due to the author packing to go to China. Be back next week

The Lead Story: Democracy in the Twenty-First Century, By Joseph A. Stiglitz at Project Syndicate.

Or click on the headline to go to the embedded paper here at the Voices on the Square site. Note that the embed is not compatible with all devices.

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Reclaiming Our History

 

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Forty-five years ago tomorrow, just after midnight, when the NYPD raided the Stonewall Inn, the police handcuffed transgender women, sex workers, and homeless youth, who were herded out of the bar and loaded into paddy wagons.

That was all routine. What was not routine was that the people being rounded up fought back.

TransJustice, sponsored by the Audre Lorde Project celebrated today as the 10th Annual Trans Day of Action for Social and Economic Justice, gathering at Christopher Street Pier from 2pm to 5pm. Representing Trans and Gender Non-Conforming (TGNC) People of Color, TransJustice insists, among other items, that it is time for TGNC people to take back Stonewall from its whitewashed history.

We live in a time when oppressed peoples including people of color, immigrants, youth and elders, people with disabilities, women and TGNC people, and poor people are underserved, face higher levels of discrimination, heightened surveillance and experience increased violence at the hands of the state. We must unite and work together towards dismantling the transphobia, racism, classism, sexism, ageism, ableism, homophobia and xenophobia that permeates our movements for social justice, while also celebrating the victories and strides for the rights of TGNC POC. Let’s come together to let the world know that TGNC rights will not be undermined and together we will not be silenced!

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Wikileaks Strikes Again

Crossposted @ DocuDharma & My Left Wing. Cut & paste. Specially cranked for you.

Transcript

Julian Assange to file fresh challenge in effort to escape two-year legal limbo
Ed Pilkington, The Guardian
Wednesday 18 June 2014 12.36 EDT

Jennifer Robinson, Assange’s UK-based lawyer, told reporters that the legal challenge, which is due to be lodged with Swedish courts next Tuesday, was based on “new information gathered in Sweden”. She declined to give any further details until the filing had been made.
...
Assange and his legal advisers have always protested that were he to cooperate with the British and Swedish authorities, he would expose himself to an ongoing criminal investigation by the US Department of Justice. The DoJ is known to have opened a grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks’ publication of a vast tranche of secret official documents leaked by the US army private Chelsea Manning (Bradley Manning at the time).

In a telephone press conference on the eve of the second anniversary of his asylum in the embassy, Assange called on the US attorney general, Eric Holder, to put a stop to the investigation. “It is against the stated principles of the US and I believe the values supported by its people to have a four-year criminal investigation against a publisher. The on-going existence of that investigation produces a chilling effect not just to internet-based publishers but to all publishers,” he said.

WikiLeaks Reveals Global Trade Deal Kept More Secret Than the Trans-Pacific Partnership
By Mike Ludwig, Truthout
Thursday, 19 June 2014 14:29

Embattled WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange announced Wednesday from London the publication of a secret draft text of the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), a controversial global trade agreement said to make it easier for corporations to make profits and operate with impunity across borders.
...
Demonstrations erupted in Geneva in April as diplomats met in secret for the sixth round of negotiations over TISA, which would cover international trade in a wide range of service industries ranging from finance and telecommunications to transportation and even local utilities such as water. Protesters demanded that the draft text be released, but it has remained secret until now.

Public Services International (PSI), a global trade union federating public service workers in 150 countries, has reported that TISA (.pdf) threatens to allow multinational corporations to permanently privatize vital public services such as healthcare and transportation in countries across the world.

"This agreement is all about making it easier for corporations to make profits and operate with impunity across borders," said PSI General Secretary Rosa Pavanelli in response to the leak. "The aim of public services should not be to make profits for large multinational corporations. Ensuring that failed privatizations can never be reversed is free-market ideology gone mad."

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FCC Moves To End Net Neutrality

In a vote this afternoon the Federal Communications Commission voted
open debate on a proposal that would essentially end net neutrality. In a
3 - 2 vote, Chairman Thomas Wheeler and the two other Democratic
members voted to allow Internet service providers charge content companies for faster and more reliable delivery of their traffic to users.

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The Breakfast Club: 4-3-2014 (The Supreme Court, It's The Stupid Edition)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We're a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we're not too hungover  we've been bailed out we're not too exhausted from last night's (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it's PhilJD's fault.

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"I moved left just by standing still."

In a recent interview with Peter Dreier at The Progressive, Bill Moyers, host of PBS's popular Moyers and Company, was asked:

You seem to have moved steadily to the left in
the past decade-not only in your public comments and articles but also
in your public ties to progressive groups. Is this an accurate
assessment? If so, what inspired this leftward shift?

His answer:

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Politics is Uninspiring in the Age of Hopeful Delirium Affecting the Deranged Changed Masses

They forgot what they said about getting involved to help out the lower and even middle classes. Instead, they make asses out of anyone who believed, thinking they achieved, something through the pretense of taking a stand for a brand.

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