Left-Over Hubris

I consider myself a progressive because I consult reason, especially cause and effect, before I decide to act. Therefore, your report in “Dispatches” (“Alternate Parties Lining Up, 9/1/12 TPP) made me want to throw something against a wall. Both Bush elections were close enough that the difference came down to thousands, so the election was thrown into the gleeful laps of our current right-winged Supreme Court the first time, and the second time it came down to Bush’s brother’s corrupt Florida administration. And yet, here we are again with left-wingers running against one another with another close race which could well finish this country off if we suffer another term of Republican misgovernance.

The hubris and sociopathic lack of concern of the third-partiers and uber-liberals brought this country to its knees in 2008 and embedded vicious right-winged ideologues in Congress in 2010; the consequences of these grand gestures is that they have blocked every effort the rest of the left-wing has done to rescue our country from the vicious termites of the right. Consequences: families are still being evicted out of their homes, our once rebounding educational system is being unpacked and sent to the scrap heap, the middle-class continues to erode, our aging population is scared to death, Medicaid is being unfunded, and the poor are on their own. What part of these consequences lead them to believe they are doing something for this country? And, no, we don’t get to shift the blame for this on Obama nor his administration.

Adults accept responsibility for their own bad judgment. The fact is that after two short years of trying to pull this country out of the muck by passing a first stimulus package (hard-fought-for from others on the left), and second secret stimulus sneaked past the right-wingers in the lame-duck tax battle (see Showdown: The Inside Story of How Obama Fought Back Against Boehner, Cantor, and the Tea Party by David Corn), and bills to make life better for millions through health care reform (also while having to fight the left). This country is not in a depression the way it would have been had McCain won the election. The left-wing dissidents gave him two short years before they turned on him.

The facts about third-partyism are grim: 1) Their focus is too narrow to carry a national agenda. 2) They are too partisan for general elections; 3) if they can’t win a primary, how can they win a general election? 4) They only act as spoilers for their own side. 5) This country is a democracy, and taking your marbles and going home after an election does not go your way is neither reasonable nor patriotic. ...

Jill Stein’s statement that “{w}e are in it to win it” is the most stupid statement I have seen since the Ralph Nader insisted on the same tired rhetoric. They were never going to win anything but kudos from their fellow idiots.

The role of a third party is to take over the mainstream of its side, or at least get a good seat at the table; if these third-partiers are decent human beings, they will throw their votes to the Democrats at the Convention in exchange for a Lazy-Boy in the Obama Administration. I am not holding my breath!

P. Ann White
Meridian, Texas

Cartoon Revolution

Am I mistaken or is Ted Rall agitating for armed revolt? Ask to see Rall’s badge. The only citizens of this lapsed democracy gearing up to match small arms and fertilizer bombs against the drones and surveillance and sleepless organization of Big Brother have been incited by agents-provocateur from the FBI or NSA or Secret Service (or God knows what clandestine Gestapo we’ve Patriot Act-ivated).

Revolution is overdue. The Obama debacle is clear proof there’s no electing change. The real power lies with the shadow government that emerged to manage World War II, and survives each peacetime irrelevance through ginned up threats and immovable/unstoppable inertia. So how to assail this beast impervious both to ballots and bullets?

Collapse the economy and our evil empire will crumble as did the Soviets’. The way to attack total bastard capitalism is to hand it free rein. Frankensteins and Blankfeins expect they control their monsters. But we’re about to wave fire in its face.

The people’s ultimate weapon against capitalism is debt strike. The basic premise of finance is that the debt you owe me is sacred; the return I promised you is negotiable. The middle class has mortgaged its future to live in the here and now. We owe our soul to the company store. We owe our children to Rumpelstiltskin. But guess what? That makes us too big to fail.

Watch the mortgage crisis play out in slow motion. The banks want to squeeze whatever they can out of underwater occupants, then evict sporadically as Malthusian pressure maintains housing value at bubble prices. The populist solution is very different. Every underwater homeowner should default on cue, and move one house to the right (left?; this is collective action) at cratered prices. Mortgage debt strike is a weapon as powerful as its coordination.

Here is a trial balloon. Next May (think Mayday, communist labor day), don’t pay your cable bill. Simply resume paying in June acknowledging no back payment nor penalty. This action is painless. (Like they’re going to cut off your cable!) And harmless. (So what if they do?) But the exercise calibrates the strength of a debtors’ collective and refines the social media mobilization for the grand push.

The year 2015 is our designated Year of Jubilee. All debt (home, car, credit card, student loan ...) is forgiven/defaulted. And the pressure on the National Debt — whether actually reneged or crashed by market confidence — spells the end of imaginary financial riches and restores wealth to the physical world of possessions which are owned much more equally among the classes.

Sincerely, Comrade(!)

M. Warner
Minneapolis Minn.


Broccoli Brains

If Nino Scalia could argue “equal protection under the law” and curse us with the Cheney-Bush-Dumbsfeld Era — the tragic dissection of most of what was good about American life, then why would this “equal protection” not stop the “unequal” conditions constantly being used to make it more and more difficult for US citizens who have traditionally supported Democratic candidates to vote, and in many cases almost impossible. “Broccoli Boy”, look out, you could be the next hero of the Progressive Movement!

Let’s all wake up! The 15% capital gains tax is like playing with Monopoly money. You roll the dice and if you’re lucky you make some $, and get to put a lot more of it in your pocket than the average wage earner or business man. Moreover, if you’re not so lucky you can probably write it off and pay Uncle Sam less than 15%. With a set up like this why would these greedy bastards want to start up a business?

I’m Christian, and I think I can say that without sounding too hypercritical. Jesus told us to be wary of greed, to share our good fortune with those less fortunate. But to continually amass obscene wealth, especially at another’s expense, and even strive to deny people in need a helping hand, is about as basically unChristian as you can be. And I’m sure this holds true for all religions and atheists as well.

Richard Di Franco
Delham, Mass.


Mitt Legally Unfit

Like his father before him, Mitt Romney is unqualified to run for President. His father, George Romney, ran for president in 1967-68 despite having been born in Mexico, a constitutional disqualification. Perhaps because he never made it very far in his bid, this did not become an issue. Or maybe it was because he was white and rich.

Mitt recently forfeited his eligibility to run for President, not by birth location but by choice! Mitt’s recent trips abroad were in part fund-raising expeditions and were openly reported as such in mainstream media with none mentioning the illegality of these actions. Events in Israel and the UK garnered much financial support from wealthy citizens and corporate donors in both countries. This is a violation of US law and if I am correct, also very unconstitutional. The US Supreme Court, not a bunch to deny a candidate unlimited funds, recently ruled specifically that such contributions from foreign entities, whether private citizens or organizations of any kind are strictly forbidden and the 2010 Citizens United ruling did not alter this in anyway.

In this matter, his policies are irrelevant. He has broken constitutional law knowingly and willingly and should immediately step down. Legally this is the only correct choice; The alternative is arrest and jail time.

Where is the “Liberal Media” that gave “birthers” nearly nonstop air time? Why are Democratic campaign strategists silent; are they just lazy or wish similar activities of their own to remain secret? Where are the law-and-order constitutional patriots? Why is this not an issue? I have contacted local media, even the Democratic National Committee in Washington, D.C., and no own seems to give a damn! What gives? Will any one make a big deal out of this? But this is America, so why should I expect the pampered and wealthy to abide by the same legal standards as the 99% are compelled to do?

Clee P. Ames
Eureka, Utah


Wealth Care Instead of Health Care

Romney & Ryan have a plan. They promise to reduce the cost of health care by repealing Obama Care and cutting costs by denying care to those who are ill and those who are old or those who are poor. They believe they can reduce costs by only caring for the wealthy and the healthy and they are probably correct in that assumption. They want to bring back the economy by retrying the tested and true ideas of Reagan and the Bushes, cut taxes on millionaires and billionaires, the job creators, who export those jobs and by cutting the regulations on industry and the banking sector because those are the strategies that have destroyed the economy and ballooned the debt for the great majority of us but they have been a boom to those at the tip top of the food chain. The wealthy the healthy and the oh so wise.

Their plan is identical when it comes to health care and the economy, growing and healing through death and destruction. The other leg of their stool of doom is increasing our massive military spending, as if wasting more than the 60% of everything we have on unjustified wars is security. That is spending more on our military than the next 20 or so countries combined, because we only have the destructive power to destroy the whole planet 10 times over and that is not quite enough. We must be able to destroy the planet 20 times over to feel safe.

This country and this whole planet is in desperate shape but it didn’t just happen ignorance and stupidity mixed with greed and corruption voted us here. .

Hal J. Ridley Jr.
Bridge City, Texas


Catholic Vote: Who Cares?

Surely we can all be thankful to Father Donnell Kirchner for showing us how to be a good Roman Catholic (TPP 8/1/12.)

As one who received a bellyful of Roman Catholic indoctrination as a child, and turned my back on the institution 50 years ago, I must say that I read Fr. Kirchner’s article with a jaundiced eye. I could care less about how a good Catholic should vote.

To give credit where credit is due, Kirchner’s comments on health care, the environment, the economy, and unnecessary wars are exemplary. But, not surprisingly, they are offset by the well-known Roman Catholic homophobia and misogyny.

The Progressive Populist, coming out twice a month, publishes a tremendous amount of worthwhile material. And it is understandable, indeed, commendable, that your editors would want to give someone like Fr. Kirchner a forum to speak his mind. But, speaking as a subscriber for approximately eight years, may I politely point out that I don’t subscribe to TPP to read Roman Catholic dogma.

And to Fr. Kirchner, may I say what I would say to any member of the clergy who has a problem with women making their own reproductive decisions: If you don’t like abortions, don’t have one.

J.F. Dacey
Lowell, Mass.

Editor Notes: The Catholic vote comprises about 25% of the electorate, so we think it is worth noting, as Fr. Kirchner does, that practicing Catholics are not bound to vote for a candidate or party because of a single, polarizing issue. You might clip the article and send it to a family member who still goes to Mass.


GOP’s Monumental Achievement

The Republican Congress is being unfairly criticized for not acting on their “Plan for America,” which they proclaimed would drastically improve the economy and therefore significantly reduce unemployment. Prior to their “Plan” announcement, the leaders of the Republican majority went on record that their main objective was to defeat President Obama in 2012. Common sense dictates that the surest method to achieve that goal is to further weaken the economy. Even though they have earned the label as the “party of no!,” major progress has been made. They have introduced legislation to lift any ban on incandescent light bulbs. Soon persons who can no longer afford electricity can take comfort in that they can keep their incandescent bulbs. Above all, their greatest achievement has to be installation of a ladies restroom next to the House Chamber. That may sound insignificant but it was deemed so important that the Speaker of the House made that announcement at a news conference. Since the installation of that ladies restroom, Joseph Wurzelbacher, a.k.a “Joe the Plumber,” has announced a run for a Congressional seat [in Ohio]. I am confident the Republican National Committee is poised to pour millions into Joe’s quest and, if successful, they can boast a full service restroom. Should there be a stoppage, the call will go out for “Joe the Plunger.” How’s that for a “Plan for America!”

Patrick Killeen
Eastpointe, Mich.


Poem to Mitt

I’m a Vet and I collect Social Security benefits which I paid for and I deserve. There are many of us. Most folks will get hit if they vote for Mitt. If you want outsourcing to fit, vote Mitt. If you want to get bit where you sit, vote Mitt. And my favorite, a T-shirt that says “Nit Wits For Mitt.”

Truly Against Mitt and his VP Zit.

Gary Roy Baumdraher
Maple City, Mich.

From The Progressive Populist, October 1, 2012



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