Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Recovery from Thanksgiving

Alright foax, back from Thanksgiving in Charleston SC, where we agreed that this is too much fun for just once a year. We have tentatively scheduled a semiannual meeting for May 2005, at Peter and Paulas' place in Virginia. Shorter event, less hoohah. More anon, as Greg Shkuda ustasay.
The food was great this time, but the fireworks (fuegos artificiales) were spectacular, thanks to Bob Huxley.
Returning to real blogging soon, just need to get the outrage level up a little.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Cooperate to Survive

One of the signature elements of the present regime is the destruction of cooperative activities -- by 'defunding' the working class, making survival more difficult and setting the Social Darwinism mark of 'all against all,' the right wing is drving wedges between people who should have the same goals. As part of the struggle, we need to find new areas for cooperation.

One area ripe for cooperative action is health insurance. Just imagine a Democratic Party offering group health insurance for all us orphans from the corporate health club. The Rethugs are presently helping this agenda by eliminating the tax deduction for corporate health insurance payments. Their goal in this is to make more Americans buy individual health insurance instead of less expensive group insurance. While this will please their masters in the insurance business, it also creates an opening for a Democratic health insurance cooperative. A person would have to show voter registration as a Democrat, and agree to work with either a local Democratic Party group or work with a national group, in order to participate. A start might be made by incorporating some union health insurance programs as starters.

Benefits would include a large base for bargaining, the ability to reward honest health providers, and the ability to deliver a tangible 'good' in the absence of elective power. I have no expertise in any health care insurance area, but at least let's get the discussion of this or any other cooperative ideas in progress.

Monday, November 15, 2004

A Guide to Companies Supporting Dems

My earlier post about buying progressive needed more information. Here's a site with the data.


Visit, go forth and shop.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

An Open Letter to Jim Davis

Here's the text of a letter I sent to our Congressman

Dear Mr. Davis:

Porter Goss and his henchmen are purging the CIA, but they're not purging the incompetent, they're purging the Democrats. Why, because they don't support the President. I wasn't aware that the Civil Service Act allowed expelling the losing party.

The current administration has politicized the war to an unprecedented degree, and if they purge the secret agencies, there is no limit to the mischief they can cause. Call me a conspiracy monger, but if they can read your mail, put a Fed on your tail and throw you in jail, it'll be pretty hard to get people to vote against them.

What to do? I don't know, but I'd ask Bob Graham. He's still a Senator, knows the people and can help figure this out.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

A Call to Sacrifice

One thing that struck me regarding the Christian Right is the willingness to sacrifice material wellbeing for ideology. To the Religious Right, if a "godly" man is elected, that's sufficient reward to make up for the loss of jobs, health insurance, a son in Iraq, or any other earthly treasure. The reasons for this willingness to sacrifice are manifold, but the most striking is that if you can still give up something, you're not really poor. Paradoxically, giving makes you richer, so if the argument is properly (cynically) framed, the sacrifice both furthers the goal of the manipulator and binds you more firmly to the cause.

We need to capture that spirit for progressive causes. My earlier post about buying progressive is one possible context. If a progressive company is not the cheapest, the difference can be seen as a sacrifice, to allow the progressive company to have progressive policies for compensation, health insurance and other positive goals. The small difference between the progressive an regressive companies (if there's really any material difference) can be seen as a sacrifice worth the making.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Be progressive, buy progressive

One lesson we learned from the Sinclair Broadcasting item was the potential power of focused boycott threats. One way to increase our power and reward our friends is to identify and patronize progressive companies in any area we can identify. If that harms a known regressive firm, all the better.
My criteria for progressive firms is somewaht loose, and depends on circumstances. Work place policies, contributions to progressive causes, environmental policy, LBGT policy, all are worthy of consideration.
I haven't searched for a web site, but I believe we should list and support companies with a positive social agenda. My initial recommendation would be:
Automobile insurance - Progressive (naturally) vs. State Farm
Telephone Company - Working Assets vs. Verizon
Big Box Store - Costco vs. Walmart or Sam's Club
Automobile Club - A Better World vs. AAA
Foreign Car Repair - Can-Am Motors vs. Any factory shop
Please add any you can think of.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Response to Jeeni at CPR4Democracy


It was a failure of intelligence and planning. The people we trusted to know the struggle completely missed the evangelicals. It wasn't just missing the people, it was missing the zeitgeist, and not having a successful plan to counter the arguments. We let moral values be defined by gay bashing and abortion, not by charity and faith and true devotion to life (stem cell research, death penalties and illegal war).In the coming weeks, we will hear calls to cut loose part of our group. We'll hear that the gays cost us the election -- gay Americans didn't cost us the election, gay hating Americans cost us the election. Take that same analysis to any discussion, and you'll see that it's not us, it's them. And we need to change them, not lose ourselves.

What's next? We need to select a Democratic leader with a vision without being concerned about 'electability' -- that's the least of our concerns for the next two years. Neither Gandhi or Mandela were 'electable' but they profoundly changed the world. Let's look at Howard Dean, Dennis Kuchinich, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and whomever else you can think of.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Welcome to the New Theocracy

Looks like "A Handmaid's Tale" was more prophetic than we realized. Anecdotal evidence - a friend of mine who's very Republican was energized by the fear of gays going after his kids. This one person was multiplied by millions, with the fundamentalist churches seeming to go all out with their members to vote 'values.' It'll be interesting to see what the 'cheap labor right' gave to the fundamentalist churches - money or just promises.

As better writers have said today, we really have a fight on our hands. We just have to suck it up and ignore the right wing triumphalism we'll be hearing for the next few days. The lesson is that we have to be less optimistic, expect the worst and use the legal system to protect ourselves. Will the party become more liberal? We have to, because we've got to offer a better vision. Save your strength and money for 2006 and 2008. Mars, bitches!

Monday, November 01, 2004

Just another Tampa evening

With me and around 10,000 of my closest friends -- and John Kerry. Finally got to see Big John (see previous posts about being outside looking in). Great performance, great crowd, just took too long -- friends were leaving before the speech. Oh well, the level of interest is too high to ignore. More later, I'm pollwatching on Tuesday.