The most disturbing part of Glen Beck's rally wasn't the rally itself, it was the media's coverage of it. To make the media's shortcomings work for us, visit my Listen Here! page.
There are some main stream Democrats who seem all too eager to write off unions as being a thing of the past. They say that Union membership is "down to 10%". They think that unions are cash cows that the Democrats can tap for campaign funds, but "have very little influence on Democratic policy". That kind of talk betrays the values that the mainstream Democrats profess, but rarely deliver. In short it, provides aid and comfort to those who would benefit if unions were to become as extinct as the dinosaur.
Unions were an integral part of the civil rights movement because they allowed and still allow working people to be taken seriously when negotiating with giant corporations. In short, unions are forces for social justice. Martin Luther King recognized that and partnered with organized labor. Organized labor made civil rights a top priority and partnered with Martin Luther King.
On August 28, 1963, I was almost 13 years old, my Dad and I went to The March On Washington with a contingent from The United Auto Workers Union.
I hope that the following three videos give everyone a clear picture of that march and Honor Martin Luther King and all that he represented. Let's not let the Becks and Palins of the world dishonor his memory.
Part 1 - The Preparations
Part 2 - The March
Part 3 - The MLK Speech
We all know that it is our civic duty to vote. Even though the guy or gal that we elect has a moral duty to keep his or her campaign promises, that usually doesn't happen. This poll is about a way to make our politicians do the right thing.
Most of our elected politicians seem to be turning a deaf ear to needs of their voting constituency but listen attentively to their corporate benefactors. I have taken the liberty of going over their heads by writing an open letter to America's back seat drivers - corporate CEOs. You can listen to me typing the letter by visiting my Listen Here! page.
First there was Ronald Reagan's war on unions and support of "free" trade, then there was Bill Clinton's support of globalization and "free" trade agreements like NAFTA. Now, coming in the guise of a solution to our unemployment problem is the next big thing in the systematic destruction of the American dream - E X P O R T I N G !
Some politicians are finally waking up to the fact that, in order to survive as a first world nation, we need to begin to rebuild our manufacturing capabilities. We have a lopsided balance of payments with China and other nations because we rely on them to do our manufacturing for us. American corporations offshore their products because they can get low cost labor in other countries but usually charge almost the same amount of money they would have charged for their products if they were made here by employees who are paid a living wage. Translation, they are profiteering and doing so on the backs of people who, in some cases only make a few dollars a month.
The solution to the problem is obvious to anyone but the politicians of both parties:
1- Eliminate ALL tax breaks for corporations who offshore their manufacturing.
2- Reinstate tariffs on most imported products.
3- Inform U.S. corporations that any product that they manufacture overseas is considered an imported product, even if they own the foreign factories and is subject to the above tariffs.
4- Unionize everything!
That's the right way to do it, here's the wrong way:
The buzz from some politicians, even our President is about bringing back manufacturing by exporting products. On the surface, that sounds like a great way to fix our trade defecit and create "jobs", it isn't. When a corporation exports a product, it is going into direct competition with foreign corporations that pay their employees much lower wages than even our minimum wage. Guess what our corporations will demand from their employees? Goodbye - middle class, hello - underclass!
Yes, there's a right way to do things and a wrong way. We can restore prosperity to our country by being our own best customers or we can continue on a self destructive road of greed that will only lead to more despair and poverty, the choice is ours. We have to let our politicians know that this is a "we'll remember in November" issue. We must do that before "the land of opportunity" is removed from the American lexicon forever!
As November approaches, certain Democrats are getting antsy over possible losses in the upcoming midterm elections. Some vociferous party line Democrats have already formed a circular firing squad and have stated that any Democratic losses in November will be caused by the Progressive Democrats and their dissent. When things go wrong, it's always easier to find a convenient scapegoat than to look for the real cause of a problem. This article should shake those people out of their blissful state of Democratic denial!
Let's tell it like it is:
If we were to have major reform, the kind that would have erased the massive damage done to the American way of life by the Bush administration, it had to be done in the first three months following the President's inauguration. The party had a clear majority and the President was at his maximum popularity after the win. When the Republicans are in charge, they let you know that they are in charge, they take no prisoners, everything must be done their way. When a Republican is in the White House, the Republican Party acts like America is a conquered nation and they are an occupying army. When a Democrat is in the White House, the Democratic Party acts as if it lost the election and talks about bipartisanship a.k.a. compromise. This has been the case since the Reagan days.
We needed Democratic shock and awe in those first few months of the Obama presidency, instead we got:
- Day one calls for bipartisanship that were not reciprocated by the Republicans.
- Bailouts of Wall Street, banks and insurance interests that were "too big to fail" with little perceived help for the unemployed and people who were losing their homes to foreclosure.
- White House appointees that were closely tied to the financial interests they were attempting to regulate.
- Almost every promised bit of pro-consumer/pro-middle class legislation was watered down by internal blue dog bickering and compromise. The resulting laws had the names of the problems they were trying solve, but were only partial fixes.
Campaign promises are like I.O.U's, the public remembers and becomes disillusioned when they are not redeemed. If the promised legislative initiatives were undiluted by compromise, the voting public would have been reaping the benefits of true change and would have become guaranteed Democratic votes in the upcoming mid-term elections. The public perception is that true "New Deal" programs should have dealt with the needs of the real victims of the reces.... er, I mean depression, John and Jane Q. Public, BEFORE any help was given to the banks, Wall St and corporate interests. My perception is that coprorations were given preferential access to our elected officials and basically got what they wanted. Mere mortal ordinary voters were placated by watered down legislation and political rhetoric. They got the bread, we got the crumbs.
For America's sake, I hope that the Democrats can keep their legislative seats and fend off the Republican corporatists, but if that doesn't happen, just remember what I said about shock and awe.
Monday was a special day for me, I was hosting The Union Edge , interviewing Wolf Revels of IATSE, Local 17 and got a surprise on air telephone visit from Congressman Alan Grayson, a Progressive Democrat from Florida's 8th Congressional District. Mr. Grayson is the rare politician that actually stands for something, he is driven by his ideals, not political considerations. As the interview progressed, it became clear to me that I was talking to someone who will be a future occupant of the White House.