Reference Letter from Jeff Cohen

From Jeff Cohen, founder of FAIR, columnist/TV commentator, former ACLU attorney

Feb. 3, 2004

To whom it may concern:

I have been an executive in the progressive/public interest/nonprofit sector for more than two decades, and I have never come across a public interest co-worker whose skills and work ethic surpassed those of David Swanson. He is a quick study, talented writer, great motivator of colleagues and consummate multi-tasker. I first met him when he was the communications director of ACORN. read more

A Vision for 2050

Drafted in 2002

Completely publicly funded political campaigns.

No private contributions to political candidates, office holders, or parties.

Reasonable access to funding and debates for more than two political parties.

Decreased corporate welfare.

A moratorium on corporate monopolies or mergers that do not benefit competition.

Increased taxation of corporations and the super wealthy.

Decreased military spending.

Decreased spy spending.

Creation of a peace department.

A ban on discrimination due to sex, read more

Lieberman

Back when the press was smart enough to take the governing of a nation more seriously than the sexual adventures of an elected representative, the public would have really cared had it been informed of some of those adventures. Now the public is smarter and the press dumber, only the public can’t seem to grab the microphone away.

So we diverted millions of dollars and all kinds of political energy to the analysis of a few blowjobs. The blowjobee was condemned for lying about the blowjobs read more

Left, Meet Right

I see the gap between the Right and Left in American politics as in many ways unbridgeable, requiring a leap from religion to secularism or vice versa. But I also see it as in many ways bridgeable, requiring only a willingness to recognize common goals.

The Right talks a lot about Family Values, and the Left talks a lot about a Living Wage. With some modifications in vocabulary, this could be a single successful discussion. Parents could spend time with kids if a single salary could support read more

Beloved Doctor Closes Up Shop — Victim of HMOification

Doctor Clara Eden, 41, has closed the medical practice
that she operated for seven years on Piedmont Street, and
many of her approximately 2,000 patients believe they will
be unable to find anyone to take her place.
As often as not they have to speak through tears when
asked about this loss. Eden herself can’t refrain from
crying when discussing her decision.

read more

What does Nader say now?

Apparently a significant number of people are under the impression that events have now occurred that will show Ralph Nader the error of his ways. Without speaking for Nader, I’d like to point out why, as an unrepentant Nader voter, I have not yet been shown the error of mine.

I never had any delusions about George Bush Junior being a satisfactory president. I believed and continue to believe he’ll be the worst we’ve ever had. However, I believe that Albert Gore Junior would read more

Remember

One good reason to read history is to discover that many of the worst aspects of our lives today are very recent inventions. It’s extremely fast today: the time that it takes an innovation of the worst sort to become thought of as the way things have always been.
After WWII incomes over $400,000 were taxed at 91 percent. By stages, this has been reduced to 28 percent. As a result, between 1978 and 1990 the net worth of the Forbes 400 tripled and $70 billion per year was lost in read more

Town Planning Commission Approves Sprawl

On Tuesday the Town Planning Commission
approved a 30-lot subdivision on property called
Redwood Lakes, the first phase of what is
expected to be a 250-house subdivision on the
south side of Route 522 on the western edge of
town.

This potential density of 250 houses had been
limited to about 140 houses prior to May when
read more

Sisyphus's Blues

Good Morning, Blues.

How do you do?

I’m doing all right.

Good Morning. How are you?

The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

These words, both sets, are about an edge. They are about neither misery nor an easy comfort. Camus’ essay has a lot wrong with it. Camusian absurdity is too much a disappointed attempt to fulfill a desire we do not all share and are gradually putting behind us. It is too much a history. And the read more

Low Taxes or Big Egos?

(published in the Culpeper News, 29 June 2000)

What motivates every single county supervisor and town council member in Culpeper to advocate “growth” or “development”? Many people in Culpeper with whom I’ve spoken don’t favor this. They don’t vote or organize or write letters to the editor, but when you ask them they say they don’t favor this.

To our north are populations brimming over with regret and desperation and candidates running on anti-growth read more