Thursday, August 17, 2006


Exxon raked in $10 billion in profits in the 3rd quarter of 2005.

The entire state of Michigan has an annual budget of $9 billion.

Think about that for a second. Now a few more...

Isn't that odd, that a company makes more profit in 3 months than a large, populous state like Michigan has in its entire yearly budget?

One has to wonder if the people who have voted for the failed conservative policies that created this mess have ever contemplated those numbers.

A society that allows a company to amass the kind of economic and political power that dwarfs the power millions of citizens is a society with distorted priorities.

How can we talk about cutting state spending if it is already less than the quarterly profits of an energy company?

How can we talk about cutting business taxes when a single company makes more money in 3 months than the people of Michigan can afford to invest in their communities for the year?

Failed conservative policies are destroying our country. It's time we get our priorities straight and start to put people before profit.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Osama Who?

War v Defending America: Democrats Want to Defend America & All Republicans Want is War

Here is a repost of a January 2005 >k9disc Invisible Man Special:
Truman's National Security Act of 1947 gave us a new cabinet level official: The Secretary of Defense.

Given the fact that the Administration keeps comparing our situation in this new milennium to WWII, and that we have a cabinet level Homeland Security Department, I propose that we bring back the War Department, and the title of Secretary of War, and let the Department of Homeland Security take over the necessary job of National Defense.

After all, can anyone doubt that Rumsfeld is a Secretary of War?

Calling the War Department the Defense Department allows for our leaders, on both the right and left, to conduct military operations without talking about war. The label of Defense Department acts as an antiseptic to the American people's understanding of military operations, and it also places our leaders in a rhetorically superior position when it comes to asking our people to flex our military muscles for National Defense, or for defense of our National Interests

Outside of those who have served our country in wartime, the American people have little understanding of the realities of war. Just look at the numbers of dead in the 2 World Wars (WWI and WWII).

Here is a graphical representation of WWII deaths. This is what World War looks like.

I believe that the unbelievable numbers of dead in those wars are the main reason for the difference between the 'stomach' for war in the US and the lack of 'stomach' for war in Europe. I also believe that the Orwellian use of National Defense and the Defense Department contribute to our proclivity for war.

I would like to see a movement, led by the blogosphere, to recapture the lost vocabulary of reality when it comes to the War Department. I believe it is of the utmost importance as our President stands in front of us and asks us to support him and his war against ter...umm, I mean, tyranny. [2006 rhetoric correction - it's terror again]

We cannot let him impose 'freedom' by force within the context of 'defense'. When our military is engaged to impose freedom, as in Iraq, it is war, and to call it 'defense' is dishonest and dangerous.

New Stuff for 2006
Rabid Republicans, LIEberman (table for 1?) and the corporate freedom posse want us to believe that the necessary, realistic and responsible end of the occupation of Iraq is a disaster in terms of our national security.

This argument is a lie that we cannot allow to stand.

There is plenty of evidence that the invasion and occupation of Iraq have made us quite a bit more insecure (I'll depend on comments to flesh out that bit of the puzzle.), and have little to do with defending Americans.

The invasion and occupation of Iraq, and diplomatic and material support to Israel have little to do with policies of national Defense. They are policies of War.
A country at war is inherently insecure.
The war frame has been the only frame that we have been allowed to think in terms of foreign, domestic, and constitutional policy for the last 5 years, and Democrats are still stuck within that frame, refusing to get out of it for fear of being soft on defense or weak on national security.

* Democrats believe that Defending America entails more than war.
* Democrats believe that Perpetual War will not make America safe.
* Democrats believe that we should stop making war and start protecting America.

The war frame also negates discussion on any and all of the byproducts of war:
* Reduced education spending
* reduced infrastructure spending
* catastrophic debt
* Crushing costs
* losing civil liberties
* lost respect internationally
* wasted resources

The Republicans running the show have been selling the war in the Defending America frame and defending the catastrophic results in the War frame. We must not let them have it both ways.

When we start talking about defending America, and stop talking about the war on terror, we can reach people.

We need to call out the War Department, the War President and the War Party, possibly adding Perpetual as a modifier: Perpetual War Department, Perpetual War President, Perpetual War Party.

Republicans want war.
Democrats want to Defend America.

Who are you going to vote for?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Dick DeVos: Cheap Labor Conservative

Gubernatorial hopeful Dick DeVos.

Not content with fleecing millions of Amway 'employees', he is setting his sights on the state of Michigan.

Cheap Labor for all!

Pass your bucks to the top of the Pyramid!

Dick DeVos says he wants to put Michigan to work but he never talks about how much he wants to pay them.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Gagging on Conservative Big Lies

One of our major problems as Progressives is that the language and rhetorical constructs for communicating Progressive policy and philosophy do not exist.

The only cogent arguments out thee for the roots of our problems are a biased media, big government, oppressive taxes and lack of personal responsibility.

There is no counter narrative where these vital institutions are a benefit to society, largely because Democrats have been working so hard to not lose any votes by chasing the Conservative Big Lies: Freetrade Cheap Labor, Small Government Gutting Social Investment, Tax Relief (for the rich) and Personal Responsibility Every Man For Himself.

Keep in mind that those institutions that stand opposed to the Conservative Big Lie, are what Democrats are asking  people to vote for. They are the enemy; the cause of our problems.

If Republicans and Democrats are in agreement that regulation, government, and community and shared responsibility are bad things that should be at least limited, then why bother pushing or using them at all?

Most Democrats have bought into the Conservative Big Lies to a large degree, and that purchase has been priceless.

This is the reason some of us Kossacks are Green. We have not been able to sacrifice my conscience and participate in a party that continues to exacerbate the problem. Some Progressives have preferred to stay within the party to try and shape policy.

This upsets many Democrats, as they believe that former Democrats who are now Greens should be working from within the party to foster change; that leaving the party has made it weaker and that those fighting for change from within should stop making the party weaker and just shut up so we can 'win'.

Until we realize that many Democrats have swallowed the Conservative Big Lies and those lies have become lodged somewhere between our gut (values) and our Mouth (rhetoric) and have grown, like a cancer, so that mouth and gut cannot be in the same room together, we are doomed.

These Conservative Big lies that have created the cognitive dissonance that is the Democratic Party Message, or lack there of, are being challenged, and have been challenged for some time. It's just that the party leadership and much of the active rank and file have been killing those challenges for thirty years.MICHAEL MOORE!, LIBERAL! SOCIALIST! ELECTABILITY! WIN! These are the arguments and words used to emasculate our party.

These are the arguments and words used to push me and people like us Greens out of the party. These are the arguments used by the media elite and power brokers to make the American people take their distorted vision to reality. These are the arguments that prop up the Conservative Big Lies and kill the Democratic Party.

Please, fellow Progressives and Liberals, challenge these Conservative Big Lies! They are naked, and are the first challenges we must overcome in order to restore America to something that resembles what we remember her to be.

Don't be afraid that we won't be taken seriously.

The only people we won't be taken seriously by are our political opponents.
These Big Lies are history.

It's all over the news, but more importantly it is on the mind's of Americans. It is the cognitive dissonance between Failed Conservative Policies and those shiny Big Lies that is really on display today. That is what's on the mind and on the lips at kitchen tables all across America.

Unfortunately, there are few people of consequence challenging the Conservative Big Lies; there are some now, but, still, none that speak to many. None that are 'respectable'.

Thankfully the ranks of Greens and Progressive Democrats who have spat up the Kool-Aid are growing, our ability to speak and to convince are growing stronger but we are still too small and far to 'un-electable' to push a serious message that taps into that latent gagging on the Conservative Big Lies and Failed Conservative Policies and gives people an alternative to voting to make it worse.

Please join us and help us to deliver not only a Democratic win in the near future, but a win for humanity. We really don't have much time.
Look long and hard at the places where Conservative ideology and Democratic rhetoric and vision overlap. Once you see it, it's naked.
If you can see it, you can start to point it out to others.
Once that happens, it'll be like magic.
We will have a message again.
Our new responses to the unpalatable big lies:

Freetrade Cheap Labor:
* America is a Fair Wage Society.
* Rules and Regulations are natural and necessary.
* Bigger, more powerful and larger impacts mean more regulation.

Tax Relief (for the rich):
* Taxes are Dues.
* Taxes are an investment in America.
* Tax those with the most: highest
* Tax those with the least: lowest
Small Government Gutting Social Investment
* We are strongest when we pool our resources.
* America is more than profit.
* A good government protects and serves its people, not its profit.
Personal Responsibility Every Man For Himself:
* There is strength in numbers.
* Responsiblity and accountability for all.
* United we stand, divided we fall.
* In America, nobody stands alone.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Conservatives: Protecting the Right to Exploit

Conservatives have long stood for the well known constutional Right to Exploit.

Conservative Democrats held out on Civil Rights because equal rights would infringe upon their right to exploit negroes.

Modern day Conservatives hold out on Civil Rights because equal rights would infringe upon their right to exploit gay people and immigrants.

Conservatives that stood against Child Labor because an end to child labor would would mean an end to their right to exploit children.

Conservatives that stood against Universal Suffrage did so because they would lose their right to exploit the poor, women and minorities.

Social Conservatives fight for command and control of our knowledge because people are easy to exploit if they don't have good information.

Fiscal Conservatives are having fits about immigration because they have to protect their right to exploit people so Cheap Labor is available.

Conservatives want to privatize the commons because it will lead to more efficient exploitation of our natural resources.

Over and over again, Conservatives can be found fighting for and protecting the right to exploit, that God given right, that is most suredly guaranteed by our constitution.

To Conservatives exploitation is a natural fact of humanity. There are certain people who are meant to be exploited and then there are people who are meant to do the exploiting. and Conservatives are just protecting the freedom to exploit people.

This is a weak spot in the conservative message, one that is taken for granted as people supporting.

We need to get those guys talking about the winners and the losers as often as possible. They don't care about exploiting people, in fact their doctrine demands that people be exploited. The idea that people should not be exploited is never even entertained.

We need to have them entertain that notion. Let them stammer on about how exploiting people is good. Exploiting people is necessary. Get them to say that people should be exploited; choose their words; think real hard about the subject. It isn't hard. They do anything to protect their right to exploit people.

We need to lay out the case against failed conservative policies as the basis for the exploitation of the American people and tie the conservatives to fighting for the preservation of that right to exploit.

Making Heads Nod With Progressive Language

The real goal of political language is to get heads to nod, and head noddin' language is rarely used by Democrats.

Head noddin' language is all the Republicans use. Tax relief...heads nod. Strong National defense... heads nod. Efficiency of the market... heads nod.

Democrats have no head nodding language. Oh, some of them do, but the ones that do are not allowed to speak, as the language that makes heads nod from Democrats is seen as too radical, not appealing to 'swing voters' (professional head-nodders), election suicide, or god forbid: SOCIALISM!

Instead of head-noddin' language, Democrats are always trapped in platitudes. Why are they trapped in platitudes? Because they have bought into Head Noddin' Republican Rhetoric.

The Republican says
* Tax Relief.
* Taxes are bad.
* No new taxes.
Keep your hands off of my money.

Heads nod.

Democrats say:
Progressive Taxation is extremely important to the united states as a society.
* Taxes are best when they are low, but...
* New taxes on some things are OK, but...
* Our country needs taxes so that we can take care of people.

Are heads nodding? Ours are, but that is because we all eat and breathe this stuff.

What about your parents? Or family?

The language of Democrats right now does not make anyone's heads nod except ours.

This is what we should be saying:
* Taxes are dues.
* Taxes built America.
* Tax those who can afford it: highest.
* Tax those who can't afford it: least.
* Taxes are an investment in America.

By the end of that your heads are nodding. I would bet that with lots of repetition, that the Professional Headnodders, the swing voter's heads would be nodding.

That totally opposes Republican Head-nodding language, and is much more in tune with American values, as expressed by our personal experience, and polling data (support for Democratic ideals.).

Let's look at some other head nodding language:

* Strong on National Defense
* Everything changed after 9/11.
* We need more military spending.
* Forward deploy to 'fight them there instead of here
War is necessary for our national interests.

Heads nod.


I really don't know what Democrats stand for on National Defense.

But I'll tell you what the head noddin' language is:
* Defend America.
* There is strength in numbers.
* Shift from Global Cop to Global Problem Solver.
* Bring troops home
* War is a last resort.
* We need to spend less on war.

Heads will not nod until the last one. Why?

Because Democrats have bought into the head-noddin' language of the Republicans: we are in mortal danger; ALWAYS!

We have to start using head-nodding language, because when heads start nodding, your final position seems logical.

We really have to work at making simple statements of fact so that people can nod their heads. We want them agreeing with us.

The main point of this diary is to point out, simply, that we are doing a horrible job of persauding people, and most of the time that happens because we are afraid to make bold, simple statements of fact about any issue.

We cannot please everybody all the time, and that is what's going on today. Democrats are trying to not lose any votes by attempting to appeal to everybody.

We wouldn't want to alienate anybody, right?

We are not going to alienate the swing voter with broad statements like:

"I believe that people are more important than profit."

"I believe that the Constitution is more important than markets."

"I believe that free markets are just code for Cheap Labor."

"I believe America should make laws to protect it's people."

In fact their heads will nod.

What do you think?

When Democrats Spit Up the Kool-Aid

originally posted at dKos :
Lifted from Bonddad's Recent Diary
The most fascinating thing about the discussion was that Democrats - the party of "big spenders" - spent most of the time talking about shrinking and/or reorganizing the government.  I think this tact is great for two reasons.  First, it is completely counter-intuitive to the way the Republicans portray the Democratic Party.  Secondly, it allows the Dems to argue about Republican's making government bigger.

I find this to be a horrible idea. HORRIBLE!

It is Republican Dogma, period.

That legitimizes and supports everything Republicans have force fed the American people for the last 40 years. It places Democrats squarely in the camp of government is bad.

Not only that, but it neglects the very essence of what is going on: The people of the United States, and their government are being fed to the economy so corporations can grow or die.

Republicans don't grow the government, they give it away and let Bank of America, Aetna, Phizer, Exxon, Lockheed Martin, Monsanto, Blah, Blah, Blah and their cartels structure it for their profit. They sell us out.

That's what they do.

What do Democrats do?

I'll tell you what we used to do... and what we must do again:

Democrats make decisions to benefit people, Democrats make the government work for people. That's what we do.

* We build roads, for everyone.

* We protect the poor and disenfranchised from exploitation, all of them.

* We promote and protect and push vital services to All of America.

* We build and protect the middle class. Everyone should be in the Middle Class.

That's what we do.

You go and start trying to further eviscerate people's ability to stand together and protect themselves and this country in the face of unprecedented consolidation of economic power, and you're crazy.

Chasing that cheap labor conservative red herring of shrinking government is just about the stupidist thing we could do right now. We shoot ourselves in the foot in terms philosophy and march off to battle in our opponents stronghold. That's a HORRIBLE idea.

We need to expose the fucking graft that is our government, and place the fucking onus on those who are responsible. We have to challenge crony capitalism and get this shit fixed. That is what will not only be an election win, but it will be a Progressive win; a win for the betterment of America.

The ability of government to work for the American people must be restored.

* Our privacy must be restored.

* Our confidence in the vote must be restored.

* Our economic security must be restored.

* Our environment must be restored.

* Our national security must be restored.

* The middle class must be restored.

The essence of our country is Standing together for the Common Good:

* in order to form a more perfect union

* establish justice,

* insure domestic tranquility

* provide for the common defense

* promote the general welfare

* and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity

is and has been under attack by people who say that the way to accomplish those goals is to give away the very power that ensures those tenets of our society, and hand it off to large monied interests. Their greed will guarantee those American ideals.

Look at where we are!

We need to fix stuff, Exxon has a bigger GDP than Austria, and you want to shrink government?

What entity, outside of a viable government will ensure that we are not exploited?

Who fills that vacuum of power?

There are giant monied interests heavily involved in the major tragedies of human existence: AIDS, Global Warming, Pollution, War, Cheap Labor Exploitation. GDPs larger than European countries, often several at a time aligned to protect their profit.

How do we, as people, address these issues if not through our government?

We need to expose and yank the fucking rug out on this corporate sponsored government and restore it to the people.

That should be our footing. That should be our stronghold. It's not yet, but it has to be. Because if that is our stronghold, and the fight takes place there, we will mop the floor with these cruel bastards.


Hello Cruel World!!!

Just my opening salvo.