This is a BFD

For years, my baseline rant has been how the American Left has to get more imaginative and start to build a true Progressive Infrastructure that can bring new social action tools that can assist us in taking back America from this radical conservatism and plutocracy run amok that has shredded so many social gains we had made in the 20th century. (The actual URL of my StopRush.net project is stoprush.socialactiontools.com)

And now comes this vital and exciting project (and tool)  from the workersvoice.org (in concert with partners like the AFLCIO).  It is just the sort of project I've been talking about. And a really splendid one that needs everyone's participation and support. And it's easy for anyone to play :)

It's only one small step for progess, but it's one giant step for progressivism at the local level. And I think it's going to inspire many others to come.  (More below the video)

Listen… It's Not Rocket Science

Repurpose is an important precedent for where we can go. If the Left can finally start working together and sharing resources in novel and well-resourced ways, a massive information and networking platform can come together that changes everything. (Full disclosure: That premise has been the essense of a technology project and software I have been working on for many years.)

We've always had the votes, the creativity, and the imagination. It's time the Left also had the organization, the social media platform, and the money. Change doesn't just happen. It took the right 40 years to seize the local playing field of our politics. These kinds of efforts can help to seize it right back.

Please be sure you make everyone you know watch this video and visit the http://repurpose.workersvoice.org/ website.

For more updates on this exciting project, follow my friend @nekaro on Twitter

Related

 

It’s time to restore corporate power to the people by blasting through the myths about how corporations should be run, and for whom.

This article, by an economist who specializes in corporate wealth, with two talented journalists sitting-in, absolutely destroys one of the most enduring and rapacious myths to be found anywhere: that public corporations are market-driven examples of "free enterprise" at work.

I was planning on doing a kind of explainer site on just this topic this year, so this article landed at just the right time, and in just the right place: my laptop. It's absolutely required reading for anyone who has never fully understood just why "public" corporations behave like private ones, and are so beholden to their shareholders, board members and senior management, many of whom live way up there atop that cherished 1%, and mostly at the expense of all of the rest of us.

Unfortunately, while chock full of important facts and historical sound bites,like so many other articles of its type, it is fatally flawed in the remedy department. Such works do a reasonably good job of diagnosing a problem, but any attempt at even guessing about remedies is relegated to afterthought; something left to those mysterious "other voices" we never seem to hear much from.  The authors toss in a smattering of events or movements like May Day and Occupy Wall Street as things we can do to fight back against this contemptible state of corporate hegemony run amok. All of them romantic, perhaps, but ridiculously timid when not already proven to be woefully ineffectual. Perhaps the authors are writing a book and saving the juice for later.

Since authors of their caliber can't afford to spend too much time truthtelling, we really need to find a way to crowd-source intelligent discourse about our problems.The cost of producing human knowledge is high, and the cost of distributing that knowledge is even higher. All the free Internet in the world won't provide the promotion and awareness of the important words and ideas that need widespread exposure.

And so long as nothing is doing that, the people who profit from our collective ignorance and inaction will thrive. At least until the entire system breaks down completely. And that, I fear, is a day not too long in coming if we don't find ways to channel our anger into effective social action that can do even the simplest of complicated things. Things like regulating about 900 massive Public corporations to reduce their self-serving ways as they are so well described in this article. It would be a nice start. And we need a nice start. No, I mean we really need a nice start.

Please retweet this post. It's a story we all need to be telling and talking about. Thanks

Flashback #1

   Well,well, well.. here's a "Dutch" treat.

After all the moronic and self-serving blather that conservatives have spewed about Ronald Reagan and unions in the past month, look at what turns up.  Now just imagine how they will twist themselves into balloon animals trying to spin this little historical artifact.  Wait for it.

In the meantime, please retweet the living crap outta this gem, willya?  Hit that tweet button below. 

Thanks to @wajobu for find and passing this bit of magic on to me.

Partial Transcript

But restoring the American dream requires more than restoring a sound, productive economy, vitally important as that is.  It requires a return to spiritual and moral values, values so deeply held by those who came here to build a new life.  We need to restore those values in our daily life, in our neighborhoods and in our government’s dealings with the other nations of the world.

These are the values inspiring those brave workers in Poland. The values that have inspired other dissidents under Communist domination.  They remind us that where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost.  They remind us that freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.  You and I must protect and preserve freedom here or it will not be passed on to our children.  Today the workers in Poland are showing a new generation not how high is the price of freedom but how much it is worth that price.

Labor Day Speech at Liberty State Park, Jersey City, New Jersey,  September 1, 1980
Full Transcript

Flashback #2

Labor Movement History

The labor movement in the United States grew out of the need to protect the common interest of workers. For those in the industrial sector, organized labor unions fought for better wages, reasonable hours and safer working conditions. The labor movement led efforts to stop child labor, give health benefits and provide aid to workers who were injured or retired.

Related

 
 

"Where trade unions are most firmly organized, there are the rights of the people most respected." Samuel Gompers

About

The Wisconsin budget showdown might be the Stonewall moment of this generation. A time when the middle class finally wakes up and decides to take action, trying to save their jobs, their lives, and their nation.  This primer will try to provide key resources that I discover as the story unfolds. If you have things to contribute, please tweet them to @shoq (using hashtag #wiPrimer). As always, using the Tweet button below will help get this where it needs to go: to the people.

Be SURE to show solidarity. Wear red. Sport a red tributar. Details at: http://bit.ly/tributarWI

Latest News

 Thursday, March 3rd

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Continuing Coverage

Local & National Event Info

Key Issues

Debunkers

Importance and Impact

Photos From Demonstration Sites

  Recent

   America, February 26th

  Madison, Week of February 21st

History and Background

  Labor Movement History

The labor movement in the United States grew out of the need to protect the common interest of workers. For those in the industrial sector, organized labor unions fought for better wages, reasonable hours and safer working conditions. The labor movement led efforts to stop child labor, give health benefits and provide aid to workers who were injured or retired.

  Right Wing Strategy and Tactics

Related


"If you break the public unions in Wisconsin you can break them everywhere." — Rachel Maddow

Ok, maybe Julian Assange didn't exactly parachute into Wisconsin. But he might have! And the pathetic fact is, that link-baiting baloney is what got you here. And that was my mission.

Why? Because with Gov. Scott Walker's outrageous effort to crush collective bargaining for state workers, the right wing has effectively declared war against unions, progressivism, and the American middle class, while most of the left is still sitting on the side of the road, like a brooding Rent-A-Wreck, with its ass stuck in neutral.

My good friend @karoli can bring you quickly up to speed.

With her usual knack for cutting through all the clutter, via Crooks and Liars:

Conservatives Declare War on Unions While National Media Snores

But my mission here….

Is to point out that while this issue has been building for well over a week, the American left has been mostly asleep until yesterday.  Naturally, the mainstream media did its best to help it snooze for as long as possible.  Only yesterday did CNN even show up in Wisconsin. And until last night, Twitter and Facebook were mostly abuzz with the usual updates about Wikileaks, Bradley Manning, Glenn Beck, a dwindling bit of Egypt, the Chris Christie Minstrels, and the usual celebrity cacophony of moronic blither-blather.

No one was expecting this Battle of the Bulge for the Democratic party and our fading unions to come up in this way, or this suddenly. But here it is. And now, the big question is, will progressives finally fight hard, or just die quickly?  If you can't see what the GOP is doing with this issue, you simply don't get anything that's happened to  this nation over the past 30 years in general, and certainly in the past five years since Fox News became the steering gear for the Republican Party's ship to nowhere. So just shut the fuck up and get out of the way.

But if you do get it, then you realize that this can and should be a magic moment in our history. A moment where we can rise up and show this fetid teaparty army and their plutocratic puppet masters like David Koch and Sheldon Adelson that there is still a strong majority of sensible people in this country who know that a fair society is the only one that will ever survive long term.  And this generation of wrecking crew Republicans won't just delay that fair and just society. They will crush out any possibility of there ever being one. At least in this country.

And that would be a sad fail of unparalleled dimension. An easy win will have passed us right by due to our own apathetic lethargy and a mass delusion that all the horrible things happening to us were never quite as bad as they seemed. Our collective will to resist an obvious insurrection of selfishness will have failed to come alive at the very moment that it must, and the American experiment will probably die right here in the lab.

So maybe we needed a Julian Assange to land in Wisconsin. We shouldn't have needed anything that dramatic to smack us out of our cynical slumber. But now something even better is on the ground our there in cheesehead country. Something very big and very beautiful. We only have to get behind this moment and push it with all our might… and we can win.

We really can win.

Yes we can.

Vital View

Rachel Maddow: Wisconsin Is About The Survival of The Democratic Party

Vital Read

Labor's Last Stand, By John Nichols (The Nation)

Related Reading

Angry Wisconsin workers occupy Capitol (Peoplesworld.org)

DNC Expands Role In Labor Protests To Ohio, Indiana, by Amanda Terkel (Huffington Post)

George Carlin on the American Dream (with transcript)

Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle