Jackpine Needles - Archives
Right now, diversity in the U.S. House is going the way of the dodo bird.
With Barney Frank retiring and Tammy Baldwin running for Senate, the LGBT caucus in Congress will be cut in half - down to two. The same level of representation we had in 1998.
For those of us who have been working in the equality movement all these years, we know we can't go back nearly 15 years.
In 1998 we had “don't ask don't tell,” there was no Matthew Shepard Act and gay marriage was illegal in every state in the union.
Since then I fought to pass the domestic partnership law in Wisconsin and expand health benefits to the same-sex partners of state and university employees. And I know from those fights that we can't move forward without a seat at the table.
Now the American Prospect, The Blade, Gay Politics and LGBTQ Nation are all pointing to me as one of the few viable gay candidates running to keep our seat at the table. Can you contribute $25, $50 or $100 today to keep this momentum building?
Both the LGBT community and its allies have worked hard for every step toward equality we've taken.
Two out members of Congress is less than half of one percent. This is not representative of the diversity of this Country and it's not enough to defend our values. Please contribute $25, $50 or $100 for me to continue that fight.
P.S. Don't let our progress get rolled back. Please contribute what you can today.
What else was he supposed to do after that giant turkey popped him in the nuts with its drumstick?
He says, "I was wrong. The medium is not the message. The Movement is the message."
The message that cannot be repeated too often in these times--
Nonviolent uprisings are, at their essence, political campaigns. According to the complex analysis of power that Sharp has painstakingly developed over the years, the success or failure of any peaceful revolt largely depends on the campaign’s ability to weaken the allegiance of civil servants, police and soldiers to the regime; to persuade fence-sitters to join the opposition; and to prevent tyrannical and violent responses to civilian protest from being implemented—or, if implemented, from undermining the nonviolent movement's strategic game plan. “As that know-how becomes available,” he explains, “it’s more likely that people will use it skillfully and not just in terms of inspiration and a surprise victory here and there. And that will contribute to profound change—not because of a sense of inevitability but because people have made new possibilities possible.”
“Dictatorships in particular have specific characteristics that render them highly vulnerable to skillfully implemented political defiance,” he informed his readers. They have Achilles’ heels such as dependence on the population’s cooperation and ongoing submissiveness; inflexible command-and-control structures; leaders who are surrounded by yes-men predisposed to tell the leader what he wants to hear rather than what is really going on; the likelihood of rivalries between elites, which can be exploited by savvy on-the-ground opponents; and a predisposition to regionalism, whereby power brokers lay claim to their slice of the ill-gotten pie.
Once enough people and organizations within a society (trade unions, religious groups, sports clubs, civil servants, even the police and military) withhold their cooperation from a regime, Sharp wrote, “The dictators’ power will die, slowly or rapidly, from political starvation.” If protesters hue closely to nonviolence, this process will “lead to de facto freedom, making the collapse of the dictatorship and the formal installation of a democratic system undeniable.”
For Sharp, violence, by contrast, isn’t just morally problematic; it is also a peculiarly ineffective way to take on despots. After all, governments have access to more, and more sophisticated, weapons. Their armies are better trained in using those weapons. And they generally control the infrastructure that allows them to deploy those weapons and armies. To fight dictators with violence, Sharp argues, is to cede to them the choice of weaponry. Nonviolence forces the regime to fight on unfamiliar terrain. It is, in many ways, akin to fabled organizer Marshall Ganz’s idea that David beat Goliath not by outfighting him so much as outfoxing him
The worse the regime gets, the more steadfast ought the opposition to be in its commitment to nonviolence. The result will be a “severing of power,” a process of political jiujitsu in which the ruler’s actions turn against him and he becomes progressively isolated from the people and institutions whose complicity he needs to keep the administration functioning. Take that complicity away, and the ruler will be exposed as naked, a Wizard of Oz character with the curtains pulled back. At the same time, the more the populace resists, the more they will realize their own innate power and, like Dorothy, discover that they had possessed the means of shaping their own destiny all along.
Especially when someone says "Thank you for your service." You see, I was an infantryman in Vietnam, but I did not serve willingly. I was drafted, forced into a deadly form of involuntary servitude, and whatever illusions I might originally have had about the rightness of the war were quickly torn from me when I saw what we were doing to the innocent people, the sacred soils, the beautiful waters and jungles and mountains of that tormented land.
"No, don't thank me," I want to say. "Forgive me. Forgive me for participating in that awful event in your name. If you must thank me for something, then thank me for joining the movement to stop the war when I got home. Maybe thank me for the things I have tried to do for the castoffs of society--the mentally ill, the developmentally disabled, the emotionally damaged products of chaotic and abusive homes who have gone on to fill our jails and prisons. But don't thank me for going off to participate in the destruction of a foreign land whose residents never intended any harm to you or me."
Goddamit, everyone who isn't actually RICH is getting screwed in this country, and the last thing we need is to be fighting among ourselves over meaningless labels. I see manual laborers pissed off because teachers are "making too much." I see white collar office workers pissed off at the poor because they're "getting too much." (The myth of Welfare lives on long after Welfare is dead.) An even larger group is pissed off at both the teachers and the "welfare cheats."
Get your shit together, people. In any approximation to a rational world, we would see that we are all on the same side, but we permit the monsters on top of the system to divide us into hate-and-fear-infected little groups who look everywhere but at the true causes in search of scapegoats upon whom to blame their misery.
Coming to a city near you.
In case you don't know, it's already here. Thousands have been demonstrating on Wall Street all weekend, although there has been a news blackout about it. <with link to NYTstory>
Yes I know they want the govt to barrow more money foe public benefits. We need the tea party to save us.
Amazing how Rush has you programmed with irrelevant or erroneous but nicely rage-feeding responses to every anti-corporate action.
What these people actually want is for the bloodsucking corporations to quit looting the nation.
Oh--and the word is "borrow." See reference to previous Teabagger protest sign
I want my supporters to hear this exciting news first, from me: I will
be a candidate for an open seat on the Wisconsin Court of Appeals
The opening has been created by the retirement of Judge Margaret
Vergeront. Judge Vergeront has been a highly respected member of the
legal community for over 30 years and has served on the Court of Appeals
for 17 years.
Judge Vergeront's retirement creates a vacancy on the Court of Appeals
that will be filled by a non-partisan election this coming April.
The opportunity to serve Wisconsin residents as an appellate Judge would
be a great honor and fits well with my background and qualifications.
Wisconsin residents expect and deserve appellate judges who are fair and
impartial and whose decisions are based on the law and the facts. That
is the kind of judge I have pledged I will be.
My campaign committee will voluntarily limit all contributions to the
campaign to $1000 per individual or political action committee. The
$1000 limit follows the limits set by Wisconsin's previous public
financing laws and falls within guidelines recommended by national
groups. State law allows for contributions of $2500 per individual and
political action committee in the Court of Appeals race.
But justice should not be for sale and judicial elections ought to be
different. People need to have confidence in our courts and our judges.
Voluntarily limiting contributions will help send a clear message that I
will be an impartial decision maker.
We have much work to do before the election and I hope I can count on
your continued support and energy. To learn more about my candidacy,
please visit my website <http://www.kloppenburgforcourtofappeals.co... > .
I am honored to have earned your confidence and trust and I look forward
to having you stand with me during this upcoming campaign.
He sent me the following link, with the his introductory comment (in italics). My reply is below the excerpt.
FBI arrests prominent Democratic campaign treasurer
By BRIAN JOSEPH / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
SACRAMENTO – A prominent Democratic campaign treasurer who works for federal, state and O.C. lawmakers including U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Rep. Loretta Sanchez and state legislators Lou Correa and Jose Solorio has been arrested by the FBI on suspicion of mail fraud, The Orange County Register has learned.
U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Thom Mrozek confirmed Saturday afternoon that Kinde Durkee of Burbank-based Durkee and Associates, was arrested by the FBI on a criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sacramento. Special Agent Steve Dupre of the bureau’s Sacramento office said she was arrested in connection with her position as a campaign treasurer.
State Sen. Lou Correa told the Register on Saturday afternoon that he was called by the FBI late Friday night and told that Durkee had been arrested and that he is a likely victim along with “many, many other victims.” The Santa Ana Democrat said he believes he has lost “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in campaign funds.
“This is clearly a sense of betrayal of someone I have trusted for a number of years,” said Correa, who has used Durkee as his campaign treasurer since 1995. “This is a punch straight to the gut.”
No, she was obviously a Republican plant. He stole millions that would have otherwise gone to elect Democrats.
Two facts prove she was a Republican: First, the size of her thefts (Democrats steal, but generally don't have the chutzpa to do anything this big; and 2) what she did hurt the campaigns of Democrats.
Had she been an actual Democrat, she would have worked his way into the Republican campaign contribution empire & stolen from them.
The usual instrument, the Hare Psychopathy Checklist (Revised), was designed to assess psychopathy in "street criminals," and cannot assess the level of pathology in likes of the evil people on Wall Street and in the corporate boardrooms, who differ from street psychopaths in several ways, the most prominent being their better impulse control and ability to defer gratification, which 1) permit them to make and enact conscienceless, heartless and clever long-term plans and 2) make them thereby all the more destructive to society.
Milton Friedman elevated this kind of psychopathy into the Free Market Doctrine, daring to make the incredible claim that the only legitimate function for a corporate "person" is self-enrichment at the expense of all others.
Somehow, I don't see any of the foundations created by the Überreich families financing any research to develop such a scale.
And all the time I thought that nutso business was just an act…
He sends me an email withthe following story:
I recently asked my neighbors' little girl what she wanted to be when she grows up. She said she wanted to be President some day. Both of her parents, liberal Democrats, were standing there, so I asked her, 'If you were President what would be the first thing you would do? 'She replied, 'I'd give food and houses to all the homeless people. 'Her parents beamed with pride. Wow...what a worthy goal.' I told her, 'But you don't have to wait until you're President to do that! You can come over to my house and mow the lawn, pull weeds, and trim my hedge, and I'll pay you $50. Then I'll take you over to the grocery store where the homeless guy hangs out, and you can give him the $50 to use toward food and a new house.' She thought that over for a few seconds, then she looked me straight in the eye and asked, 'Why doesn't the homeless guy come over and do the work, and you can just pay him the $50? ' I said, 'Welcome to the Republican Party. Her parents still aren't speaking to me.
In reply, I sent him the following story (author not unknown; author =me)
So this little girl is walking down the street with her father and says she wants to grow up to be a Republican President. As they are walking, they pass a raggedly dressed blind man with no legs and only one arm. He has a tin cup in his one hand, and there is a sign around his neck that says "Please help a Vietnam veteran with a few coins. The little girl walks out around the beggar, and her father speeds up, grabs her by the arm. jerks her back toward the cripple, kicks the cripple in the head, and screams at the little girl, "You kick him too, or you won't get that new gold-plated bicycle. If you want to be a Republican, you have to learn how to keep these freeloaders in their place."
Saturday morning a fire broke out in downtown La Crosse. A number of buildings were completely destroyed, and unfortunately our Senate District 32 headquarters was one of them.
The fire started just as our volunteers were arriving for a morning of canvassing. Our organizers in La Crosse got everyone out safely and grabbed the volunteer walk packets as they fled the building.
Then, remarkably, our staff and volunteers went to a nearby parking lot and launched their canvass while the office burned down behind them. Those volunteers were still able to knock on 800 doors that morning. It’s this kind of dedication that makes our campaign something special.
We lost 19 computers, dozens of cell phones, tens of thousands of pieces of canvassing literature, all of our office supplies, and we lost a day of full-strength voter contact. We now have less than a week left until the August 9th election and we could use your help to support our team on the ground.
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