Tag Archives: democracy

Welcome to the 21st Century

What a day in America today has been. The fact that we can have a change of power every 4 or 8 years without violence, without a military coup. This one was especially amazing to watch. The past 8 years have been so hard. I watched until Bush’s helicopter finally disappeared from view and then I exhaled. I held my breath again when the new first couple got out of the limo on the parade route. I felt afraid for them. I know both good and bad exist in this world. I want him to just be in a big protective bubble and help turn things around from there. Really?…I just want him to get to work.

I wanted to remind you to check out the updated http://www.whitehouse.gov

I went there tonight and it’s brand new. Here’s a link to the before and after website:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/fimoculous/3213257378/sizes/o/There’s a blog and everything. Stay up to date on what’s happening and what is on the agenda in this new era of change. It took 9 years to really get us into the 21st century… for us to actually BE in the 21st century but “AT LAST” we are here. (That one’s for you Etta) So…Dance the night away and then get ready because whatever ride we are on? It has begun.
Peace & Love,
Val

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Tomorrow can’t come soon enough

Waiting for the Bush regime to go is like watching paint dry. I worry with so much attention focused on the election happenings we will be distracted enough that Bush and/or Cheney can pull off some more crap that the next president will be saddled with the undoing. Iran? Permanent bases in Iraq? Right wing appointments? More economic disaster strategies and shocks?

We must hold them accountable but it may be after they leave office. Meanwhile we must also remember to keep our eyes and ears on them throughout this next year. There is still much damage they can do and they still hold the power to do it. As the mainstream media saturates the airwaves in the coming months with nonstop “horse race” coverage (instead of real discussion of the candidates issues and plans) don’t forget to look to other news sources for what else is happening in the world. There are many many great blogs out there. Go check them out. Do a search for “blogs & progressive” for a starting place if you don’t know where to begin.

An informed public will ensure we are doing all we can to protect this democracy. Voting is great but it’s not enough. If we come out in huge numbers in the fall the election can’t be stolen. From the numbers I’m seeing in the primaries democrats are voting in huge numbers over republicans. I MEAN HUGE! Aint it great? -Peace and Love, Val

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Reclaiming our story

As we move forward into ’08 I feel big changes ahead both personally and as a country. In many ways it feels like things are coming to a head politically not just because it’s an election year, but certainly propelled by it. People, our democracy and the planet are under pressure from many different angles.

Economically the middle class is fading away. We are moving toward extreme capitalism where government no longer protects “us” but serves big business. Reagan’s lie that “Government is the problem” has taken hold and hoodwinked conservatives into believing it’s their job to dismantle it. Bush continues the plan by hollowing out each department to uselessness, replacing each agency head with incompetent cronies. He then turns to his corporate controlled big media to spread his propaganda…”see? Government doesn’t work.” Meanwhile, Katrina’s victims wait for their lives to be rebuilt while they watch Casinos, hotels and starbucks reclaim and replace the homes where they once lived. Across the world Tsunami devastated fishing villages and war devasted Iraqis watch the same. The poor, the “brown people” are pushed aside as the Corporations move in.

The upper class is hiding away. We’ve traded peace for security. Instead of finding bridges between people we’ve turned to walls. Security companies and private mercenary armies see business as booming. (no pun intended) Around our boarders and our subdivisions our world is becoming gated communities inside “green zones” with occupants protected while those on the outside are left to fend for themselves. Wars, natural disasters, global warming…whatever disaster strikes the occupants of these fortresses intend to pay private companies for protection and safety. With the top 1% owning more than the bottom 90% combined I can see where they believe they will be able to. Have you seen the underground bunker the heirs to the Walmart fortune have built for themselves?

Bill Moyer’s said “Democracy works best when we reclaim it for ourselves.” Go check out his article in the Nation magazine: For America’s Sake.

To turn it all around is not impossible but it’s going to take all of us doing something. What is passed on to the next generation is in our hands right now. Whatever we decide is what they will have to live in. (or try to)
If you don’t know what you can do start by reading a book. (I have a really good list on my blog in the library section) Join an organization and offer to help answer phones or help mailing their out literature. Donate some money to a cause or a candidate fighting for change. Talk to people about the issues. Support free speech and progressive media outlets. Get on the internet and connect with others working to save the planet and this country.

When you make out that new year’s list of resolutions this year, don’t think just about how you are going to improve yourself. What are you going to do to make this world and this country better? What are you going to do to inform yourself or your friends and family about the truth? Are you going to stop allowing torture, out of control capitalism, wars for oil and natural resources, destruction of the environment and neglect of workers and citizens across the globe? Are you going to ignore it all and allow it to continue being done in your name?

JFK said “ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” You can get involved. America really needs you to be engaged right now. We can change this course we’re on together. Make ’08 your wake up year. America needs your help. The polar bears need your help. The Iraq people need your help. The people of New Orleans need your help. The homeless veteran on the sidewalk needs your help. The gay person without a support network needs your help. The sick need your help. The hungry people need your help. The ocean needs your help. The young people need your help. Turn off the TV. Go do something about it. Anything.

Happy New Year!

Peace & Love,
Val

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Fascism…are we there yet?

To paraphrase Paul Krugman in his book Conscience of a Liberal, I too grew up taking the America I knew then for granted. I also protested the bombing in Cambodia. I attended my first “sit-in” at the JFK center in Boston. I was sixteen at the time and skipped school to do it. Through the years, I protested injustices directed toward women, gays & lesbians, blacks & immigrants. I refused to eat lettuce because of Caesar Chavis. I believed that we were going to wrestle “it” away from the corrupted politicians and put America back on the road to Peace, Justice and the pursuit of happiness for ALL.

Now, I’m 51 years old and after living the last seven years under the neo-con’s wet dream called the Bush Administration, I am concerned for the health of this democracy. These days I ask things like “is fascism just around the corner? Or are we already in it?” Everybody throws around Hitler and the nazi link when they talk about fascism but really Mussolini was a much better example.

Fascism is when the government and corporations merge. It’s when everything is privatized. Like schools (New Orleans) and and there’s private armies (Blackwater) and secret prisons or “gulags” (Guantanamo & Abbu Garab) and the government spies on it’s own people (The Patriot Act) and the media is controlled. (5 US corporations now own all US media)

It’s when the government scares the hell out of it’s own people by telling them of threats inside and outside of the country. (The “War on Terror”) It’s like when Government officials start acting like thugs or the mob (Blackwater roamed the streets of New Orleans with guns after Katrina and they are building facilities now all around the country) It when a country harasses it’s citizens that speak out against it’s policies (200-300 people were on the “terrorist watch list before 9/11 today 850,000+ are on the list now including Sen. Ted Kennedy, anti-war activists, liberals and others)

It’s also when the government singles out individuals who speak out (purging of 8 U.S. Attorneys, CIA worker denied secret clearence after saying waterboarding is torture on her blog) and Dissent is unpatriotic (The Dixie Chicks) or treason (Editor of the NY Times attacked by Republicans in Congress for publishing what Bush called secret documents) Fascism is also when the rule of law is suspended. (The Posse Comitatus Act – Bush is violating it by saying he can now use the army for domestic law enforcement)

Well, I guess I better try to get some sleep. It’s late. I had a few things on my mind. Better go hit the sack because soon it will be time to WAKE UP!

Peace and love,
Val

Naomi Wolf’s 10 steps to Fascism
http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,,329789179-110878,00.html

The Conscience of a Liberal
Paul Krugman

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