Thursday, September 27, 2012
The posts on this blog are selected by members of the Progressive Alliance Board to reflect the perspectives of the Sacramento Progressive Alliance. No authors of original material receive contributions from campaigns or political committees as defined by the California Fair Political Practices Commission.
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The posts on this blog are expressions of our Freedom of Speech as protected by the U.S. Constitution and our right to participate in political debate.
Rodolfo F. Acuña
Writing books and writing blogs are similar. They should be truth. If they were not the author loses credibility and his/her ability to convince suffers. This is how it should be. But Arizona is testing this rule of thumb.
The assault on the truth in Arizona makes it impossible for those seeking the truth to get traction, and like Sisyphus; they fall into a rut with the boulder rolling back on them, at every turn.
Because of the apparent futility and ability to communicate, people become dispirited. Those who continue to fight have to resort to hyperbole to get their message across. They become so desperate that they want to emotionally shake up people to get their attention.
A hyperbole is defined as an exaggeration of fact, but in my experience this not necessarily true. The speaker just wants to wake up people.
Hyperbole was used in the 1960s before the anti-war demonstrations when students were told that they were exaggerating the truth. When people finally woke up thousands of Americans, and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese were dead.
The truth be told, a motivated student mass stopped the use of nuclear weapons and the bombing of innocent civilians. At home changes were brought about by politicized students, which made possible the enrollment minorities into all white student campuses.
Students were interested in a more just society, and they were attracted to groups that had a social purpose. Consequently, the number of fraternities and sororities fell drastically on college campuses.
American students, for a brief time, became more like European and Latin American students who have historically been politically and socially active.
One of the roles of students was to act as champions of the underdog and confront tyranny. Because of this, Latin American students were targeted by dictators.
The United States does not have a tradition of student activism. And recent in times campus activism has become an endangered species.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
by Matt Taibbi…..
September 25, 2012
The press everywhere is buzzing this week with
premature obituaries of the Romney campaign. New polls
are out suggesting that Mitt Romney's electoral path to
the presidency is all but blocked. Unless someone snags
an iPhone video of Obama taking a leak on Ohio State
mascot Brutus Buckeye, or stealing pain meds from a
Tampa retiree and sharing them with a bunch of Japanese
carmakers, the game looks pretty much up â Obama's
widening leads in three battleground states, Virginia,
Ohio and Florida, seem to have sealed the deal.
For all this, when it came time to nominate a candidate
for the presidency four years after the crash, the
Republicans chose a man who in almost every respect
perfectly represents this class of people. Mitt Romney
is a rich-from-birth Ivy League product who not only
has never done a hard day of work in his life â he
never even saw a bad neighborhood in America until
1996, when he was 49 years old, when he went into some
seedy sections of New York in search of a colleague's
missing daughter ("It was a shocker," Mitt said. "The
number of lost souls was astounding").
He has a $250 million fortune, but he appears to pay
well under half the maximum tax rate, thanks to those
absurd semantic distinctions that even Ronald Reagan
dismissed as meaningless and counterproductive. He has
used offshore tax havens for himself and his wife, and
his company, Bain Capital, has both eliminated jobs in
the name of efficiency (often using these cuts to pay
for payments to his own company) and moved American
The point is, Mitt Romney's natural constituency should
be about 1% of the population. If you restrict that
pool to "likely voters," he might naturally appeal to
2%. Maybe 3%.
If the clichÃ©s are true and the presidential race
always comes down to which candidate the American
people "wants to have a beer with," how many Americans
will choose to sit at the bar with the coiffed Wall
Street multimillionaire who fires your sister,
unapologetically pays half your tax rate, keeps his
money stashed in Cayman Islands partnerships or Swiss
accounts in his wife's name, cheerfully encourages
finance-industry bailouts while bashing "entitlements"
like Medicare, waves a pom-pom while your kids go fight
and die in hell-holes like Afghanistan and Iraq and
generally speaking has never even visited the country
that most of the rest of us call the United States,
except to make sure that it's paying its bills to him
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Friday, September 21, 2012
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
The Sacramento Bee’s prime opinionator makes the argument today that school officials should not be telling the public about the high costs if we do not pass Prop. 30. He says, “Education Code Section 7054 prohibits K-12 and community college officials from spending public funds "for the purpose of urging the support or defeat of any ballot measure or candidate … ."
The state Supreme Court cited that law three years ago in ruling that it was illegal for a teachers union to use school district facilities to distribute political literature.
Throughout California, however, school officials are sullying the intent of the law by using official communications to plug passage of Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown's sales and income tax increase.
Walters has moved down the slippery slope. Following his argument public employees can’t tell parents and students that tuition increases and budget cuts are coming - $ 4.5 billion in cuts to K-12, and $.5 billion to the universities.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
While Mitt Romney criticizes some of the elderly and people on social security,
"Those that are dependent on government and those that think government’s job is to redistribute -- I’m not going to get them,..
Romney allowed that some of the people who don't pay income taxes may be his supporters -- senior citizens or members of the military, for instance -- he argued that his message about "the 47 percent" would resonate.”
Candidate Romney did not criticize the major tax cheats in the U.S. , major corporations continue to use the rigged tax code to avoid paying any federal taxes at all. If you have “one dollar” in your wallet, you’re paying more than the “combined income tax liability of GE, ExxonMobil, Citibank, and the Bank of America“:
- Apple, which has made tax avoidance an art form worthy of an iPad despite its reliance on the U.S. for research, design, marketing, infrastructure, etc.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
The Chicago Teachers Union's House of Delegates met Sunday afternoon, and decided to stay out on strike while delegates talked to rank and file teachers about the tentative deal reached Friday:
Delegates were not receiving written contract language about the deal so some wanted to keep the strike in place until they could see written language and bounce it off their constituents in schools.The distrust leading union delegates to ask for more time and details makes sense, given how Chicago Public Schools management has treated teachers in recent years. Once teachers leave the picket lines, they face a real possibility that management will pull back on any details not yet hammered out in the proposed contract.Lewis said the delegates don’t trust the school board at this point.“Why would you make a decision on something you haven’t had a chance to look at?” she said. “They have language. They see the language. But it’s not finished. We’ve been almost guaranteed that it might be finished by Tuesday.”
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Friday, September 7, 2012
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Saving Obama, Saving Ourselves
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
The threat of a Romney-Ryan regime should be enough to convince a narrow American majority to vote for Barack Obama, including the disappointed rank-and-file of social movements. A widening of economic and racial inequality. Cuts in Medicare and Medical. More global warming and extreme weather. Strangling of reproductive rights. Unaffordable tuition. The Neo-cons back in the saddle. Two or three more right-wing Supreme Court appointments to come. Romney as Trojan horse for Ryan the stalking horse and future presidential candidate.
The consolidation of right-wing power would put progressives on the defensive, shrinking any organizing space for pressuring for greater innovations in an Obama second term. Where, for example, would progressives be without the Voting Rights Act programs such as Planned Parenthood, or officials like Labor Secretary Hilda Solis or EPA administrator Lisa Jackson?
But the positive case for More Obama and Better Obama should be made as well. History will show that the first term was better than most progressives now think. A second-term voter mandate against wasteful wars, Wall Street extravagance, and austerity for the many, led by elected officials including Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Barbara Lee, Raul Grijalva, Jim McGovern and Keith Ellison, would be, in the language of the Pentagon, a target-rich field of opportunities.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Sunday, September 2, 2012
Saturday, September 1, 2012
This Labor Day, our country continues to struggle with a broken economy that is not producing enough decent jobs. Millions of Americans suffer from unemployment, underemployment or are living in poverty as their basic needs too often go unmet. This represents a serious economic and moral failure for our nation. As people of faith, we are called to stand with those left behind, offer our solidarity, and join forces with "the least of these" to help meet their basic needs. We seek national economic renewal that places working people and their families at the center of economic life.
The Broken Economy Leaves Too Many Without Decent WorkOfficially over 12 million workers are looking for work but cannot find a job and millions more have actually given up seeking employment. Millions more are underemployed; they are willing and able to work full time, but there are not enough jobs available. Over ten million families are "working poor"--they work hard, but their jobs do not pay enough to meet their basic needs. The sad fact is that over 46 million people live in poverty and, most disturbingly, over 16 million children grow up poor in our nation. The link between joblessness and poverty is undeniable, as Pope Benedict points out:
In many cases, poverty results from a violation of the dignity of human work, either because work opportunities are limited (through unemployment or underemployment), or "because a low value is put on work and the rights that flow from it, especially the right to a just wage and to the personal security of the worker and his or her family" (Caritas in Veritate, no. 63).Public officials rightfully debate the need to reduce unsustainable federal deficits and debt. In the current political campaigns, we hear much about the economy, but almost nothing about the moral imperative to overcome pervasive poverty in a nation still blessed with substantial economic resources and power.
These harsh economic realities bring terrible human costs for millions of families, who live with anxiety and uncertainty and cope with stagnant or falling wages. Many are forced to work second or third jobs, which places further strain on their children's well-being, and millions of young adults are denied the ability to begin families. These people are not abstractions: they are fellow parishioners and our neighbors; our cousins, aunts, and uncles; our brothers and sisters; our mothers and fathers; possibly our own children.