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Booing the Golden Rule

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. An important rule to live by. So is this corollary: Friends don't let friends watch presidential primary debates.

I think the clip at this link is a safe dose bit.ly/xVAIF6 and I have survived it myself or I would not urge it on others.

I recommend it to you only because I believe it is important for us to stop and ask what it means for a group of people who tend to promote both Christianity and the combination of Christianity with politics to have just booed the golden rule.

Corporate Personhood Cannot Withstand Organized Persons

There are many schemes now for undoing the doctrines under which corporations claim constitutional rights and bribery is deemed constitutionally protected "speech." Every single one of these schemes depends on a massive movement of public pressure all across the homeland formerly known as the United States of America. With such a movement, few of the schemes can fail. Without it, we're just building castles in the air. Nonetheless, the best scheme can best facilitate the organizing of the movement.

Bad Ideas in Campaign Finance Reform

Bad idea #1: listen to Jack Abramoff.

Bad idea #2: this one I heard from Jack Abramoff who was holding forth on ethical and unethical bribery the other day on National Plutocracy Radio: If you give a candidate money because you love your country that's good. If you give a candidate money because you want a particular favor, that's bad (or, one might add, Abramoffian).  The problem of course is that most people can't afford to give money, so your well-intentioned money perverts the government no matter how well-intentioned.  It also opens a loophole for all the people who just want those particular favors.

Bad idea #3: leave a loophole for labor unions.  This one you can hear from labor unions, which is why all the bills to amend the constitution and undo corporate rights introduced in Congress thus far abide by it.  But labor unions are vastly overspent and would still be vastly overspent in a world with a tiny loophole just for unions because the mega corporations would create things that looked like unions to exploit the loophole, on top of which none of the bills will get anywhere unless they remove the loophole.

Bad idea #4: put energy into requiring disclosure of legal bribery rather than prevention of legal bribery.  Most of what has already been disclosed about our government is widely unknown.  Most of what is known is not acted on.  Most of what is acted on is continued just the same.  What's needed is an end to corporate personhood and financial speech.

Corporate Personhood Worse, Ending It Easier, Than You Think

Don't take it from me.  Take it from the book being published today that will mainstream the movement to end corporate personhood: "Corporations Are Not People: Why They Have More Rights Than You Do, And What You Can Do About It," by Jeff Clements with foreword by Bill Moyers.

Infiltrating Congress

I cannot stress sufficiently that we will best move Congress toward peace and justice by keeping it at arm's length and pressuring it without self-censorship, compromise, or entanglement with one or the other of its two branches: the Democratic or Republican. We are engaged in a long-term campaign to undo a plutocratic war state. Moving that campaign forward in the general culture is more important than which criminal enterprise has a majority of seats: the Democratic or Republican.

Try Not to Think of a Newt

The current President and Congress are destroying our Constitutional rights, our planet's climate, and the vestiges of a social safety net, and you are obsessing over a freak show of self-hating homosexuals and anti-intellectual intellectuals jumping through hoops in a corporate media circus with Ringmaster Donald Trump. Is this a good use of your time?

Audio: Joshua Frank and David Swanson on Activism and Elections

SolarTimes editor Sandy LeonVest hosts the first in a series of "progressive conversations" on strategies for the upcoming 2012 presidential elections. Her guests, David Swanson and Joshua Frank, are two of the country's leading progressive thinkers. While they agree that "politics as usual" needs to be challenged in the interest of maintaining (what remains of) democracy, their ideas as to the most effective strategies for pushing a truly progressive agenda differ. Tonight's show, "Can Progressives Organize a Viable Alternative to President Obama in 2012?" features a first-of-a-kind conversation on progressive electoral strategies for 2012. This conversation involves not whether progressives need to challenge the dominant two-party paradigm, but how to do it in the most effective way.


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What You Gave Obama Could Have Been Put to Good Use

The most remarkable thing about the Occupy Movement is that it is happening without funding.  Yes, donations are starting to pour into Occupy Wall Street, but not at the level that could really boost this campaign to replace plutocracy with popular participation.  And most of the other occupations around the country are poor or penniless, with their futures in some doubt because of that status.

What's Missing: Non-Electoral Politics

Lately, the phrase "public servants" has struck me as ironic, not because government officials fail to serve the public, but because much of the public serves them.  The public is the servants.  Activist groups and individuals devote themselves to bettering the fortunes of political parties or politicians, at the expense of pressuring government officials to represent public demands.

Nobody favors eliminating elections, and nobody favors eliminating activism.  But there are those who cannot see how prioritizing money-marinated, gerrymandered, cable-news-controlled, unverifiable elections will reverse the train wreck in progress.  And there are those who cannot see what it would mean to engage in activism that wasn't aimed at promoting electoral victories.