Monday, July 9, 2012

Facebook group on the Koch Brothers

If you are on Facebook, please consider "liking" a group which I just created called The Koch Brothers Hate America. I created this out of frustration with the desire of right wing billionaires like the Kochs, operating under the cloak of secrecy, are pursuing a far right wing (anti-worker, anti-environment, anti-government)agenda, in partnership with fellow right wing 1%ers and allies in the Republican Party. The more we help to expose these democracy haters, the better.

A Woody Concert Centennial Celebration

Please attend this wonderful event to benefit the Beacon Sloop Club's Woody Restoration Some of the artists performing shown below

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Petitition to overturn Citizen United

Let's clean up our electoral process and stand up to the Supreme Court's Citizen United decision. We need to limit and not expand corporate domination of our politics. Here is a petitition link.

An image of hope

This is an image that I wanted to share, which I took in December 2009. It shows Pete Seeger and a group of marchers participating in a candlelight march in Beacon, NY in support of the global talks in Copenhagen to arrive at a solution to the crisis of climate change. Although the talks at that time didn't lead to a comprehensive solution to the climate crisis, the momentum for change has been growing. This image is thus an image of hope.



To get more involved with this cause, here is a link to the Climate Crisis Coalition. Here also is the Sierra Club's petition for Clean Energy, NOT a Tar Sands Pipeline




An addition: here as something extra  is a video I took of Pete Seeger at the Beacon Riverfest from July 2009 singing a song - Doubling Down Through the Years - that is very relevant to a discussion of our place in the environment

No to Fracking

No to Fracking in New York State! On July 28th, 2012, a coalition of environmental organizations led by Catskill Mountainkeepeer is inviting community members and organizations everywhere to join up in Washington, D.C. for a rally at the Capitol to demand no more drilling that harms public health, water, and air. Instead of pushing for the increased use of oil and gas, elected officials and public agencies must insist that the industry stop all drilling that is dirty and dangerous, and put communities and the environment first, starting by removing special exemptions and subsidies for the oil and gas industry.

Here, also, is a Facebook link to the Dutchess County Anti-Fracking Coalition

The right's war on voting

By now, many of you have likely seen maps such as this one.
Source Looking at what is happening, what is clear is that certain segments of the electorate are - on a state by state basis - being targeted for voter suppression. For example
Source We really need to start making a fuss about this and to work toward stopping the GOP's war on voting. Here is one place to go to lend your support to the right of all citizens to vote

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Some analysis from within the Occupy movement

Max Berger, an organizer with the Occupy Wall Street movement, has some very insightful analysis of this movement and where it needs to be going, particularly in terms of its relationship with mainstream politics.
His conclusion:
The Occupy Movement would be derelict if we focused on the electoral at the expense of systemic change. The entirety of civic life cannot be reduced to a get-out-the-vote campaign. The left needs strategies that take aim at all the ways corporate-funded neo-liberalism breaks down our communities.
You can read his full analysis here.

This speaks for itself

We are the 99% and we deserve a better deal! Support the Occupy movement!

On this 4th of July, some quotes from Howard Zinn

After being dormant for a while, the Mid Hudson Progressive Alliance blog is ready to relaunch. So, to do so, I give you some quotes from the late Howard Zinn. These seem very appropriate to reflect on on a day devoted to the American Revolution.
The Founding Fathers were not just ingenious organizers of a new nation (though they certainly were that) but also rich white slaveholders, merchants, bondholders, fearful of lowerclass rebellion, or as James Madison put it, of "an equal division of property." Our military heroes-Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt-were racists, Indian-killers, war-lovers, imperialists. Our most liberal presidents-Jefferson, Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, Kennedy-were more concerned with political power and national aggrandizement than with the rights of nonwhite people.
People are practical. They want change but feel powerless, alone, do not want to be the blade of grass that sticks up above the others and is cut down. They wait for a sign from someone else who will make the first move, or the second. And at certain times in history, there are intrepid people who take the risk that if they make that first move others will follow quickly enough to prevent their being cut down. And if we understand this, we might make that first move.
The power of a bold idea uttered publicly in defiance of dominant opinion cannot be easily measured.
Social movements may have many "defeats" - failing to achieve objectives in the short run - but in the course of the struggle the strength of the old order begins to erode, the minds of people begin to change.
If those in charge of our society - politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television - can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves.
... What normally operates day by day is the quiet dominance of certain ideas, the ideas we are expected to hold by our neighbors, our employers, and our political leaders; the ones we quickly learn are the most acceptable. The result is an obedient, acquiescent, passive citizenry-a situation that is deadly to democracy. If one day we decide to reexamine these beliefs and realize they do not come naturally out of our innermost feelings or our spontaneous desires, are not the result of independent thought on our part, and, indeed, do not match the real world as we experience it, then we have come to an important turning point in life. Then we find ourselves examining, and confronting, American ideology.
In the United States today, the Declaration of Independence hangs on schoolroom walls, but foreign policy follows Machiavelli.
For a prince, a dictator, or a tyrant national power is an end unquestioned. A democratic state ... must present national power as benign, serving the interests of liberty, justice, and humanity.
Happy Fourth of July! Here's to reclaiming a more progressive view of America and its destiny!