Saturday, October 29, 2011

GOP Treats for Halloween!

It looked for a while like this would be a disappointing Halloween compared to last year. No weird GOP candidate for Senate saying, "I am not a witch."

No New York GOP tough-guy-candidate for Senate offering to beat up a newsman.

No Crazy Lady Nevada GOP Senate candidate just being her crazy self.

I also miss the GOP ad in California with the sheep with glowing red eyes.

But it's going to be okay. Trick or Treat handouts from the GOP are plentiful this season of the silly. And the scary.

Mitt Romney doing so many turn-arounds on the Ohio labor legislation that his legs are wrapped around themselves like an advanced yoga-ist. (He IS an advanced yoga-ist, having turned around and around so many times on abortion, Romneycare, and  -  two days ago  -  climate change. Mitt's the only thing around that's changing faster than the climate!)

Rick Santorum lecturing on why a napkin is not a paper towel.

Herman Caen's main man blowing smoke at the voters in that fabulously funny ad. Got the smoker vote locked up!

Newt waddling in and vainly huffing through a terrific grilling by Bob Schieffer (the last real tv journalist) about how one gets half a million dollars in debt to a jewelry store.

Rick Perry stepping on his own (so-called) tax plan announcement by teaming up with Donald Trump to revive the "birther" thing. (It's not the "birther issue". There's NO issue. It's a thing!) And  -  oh, yes!  - Perry threatening Ben Bernanke with physical harm should he come to Texas. (Yeah, well, Perry ain't never seen Big Bennie's left hook!)

Donald Trump, wearing his hair as a year-round Halloween fright wig. And eating pizza with a fork!

Ron Paul letting people die on gurneys if they are not insured.

Michele Bachman being Michele Bachman.

Sarah Palin haunting the background and riding off at one point "to warn the British". Then handing us the real treat of the season by getting out once and for all from presidential contention.

Jon Huntsman being riotously funny in his daft belief the GOP has room for a candidate who doesn't drool on his tie.

Chris Chrisite reincarnating "Bobby" from "The Sopranos". But not as sweet Bobby but as a bad-ass blustery bully, as big and as belligerent as three NYC cab drivers put together. (My apologies to NYC cabbies. They're really mostly good guys. But this is the GOP season of hyperbole, and who wants to be left out?)

With a cast like this, who needs the usual Halloween tv old-movie menu of Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, Vincent Price, Elsa Lanchester? Who even needs a chainsaw for a fright night massacre when the GOP candidates are massacring each other? Just pop the corn and pull up a chair, skip the old horror movies  and watch the GOPs on the news! It's as horror-fun as "Young Frankenstein".

To a Democrat, the GOP horrible hopefuls are especially a treat.

But should one of them get elected? BOOOOOOOO! We should be really scared!

And about that, I ain't kidding!

P.S. In spite of 2011's delicious treats, I kind of miss my old-time favorite:  Cheney shooting an eighty-year-old in the face. Those were the good ol' bad days for sure. You betcha!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Chris Matthews, Nazis, and November 22,1963

November 22, 1963, and the assassination of JFK. The 1930s and the rise of the Nazi Party. Where are we headed now?

This week a "birther" from the state of Georgia was convicted in Tennessee. The jerk had wanted to use his Colt 45 and AK47 to "arrest" Tennessee courthouse officials for their failing to oust our "illegal" President Obama. This skinhead is just the latest in a growing line of those acting out the hatred being pushed by the GOP right along with its promotion of violence.

Remember the shooter in Tucson? The spitting and cursing mob surrounding the Democratic members of Congress as they tried to enter the Capitol to vote on health insurance reform? The broken windows at Democratic Congressional field offices? The knot-heads with their guns at campaign events? The guy at a recent Obama event, shouting that Obama is "the Anti-Christ"? There's more examples of nut jobs acting out on GOP political rhetoric, but that's enough.

You say these are just loonies and that America always has loonies. But the GOP is feeding these guys an incendiary and inciting diet of hatred-and-violence-as-politics. And as we know too well, loonies can pull triggers. Or act as "patsies". Someone just has to point them in a certain direction.

Chris Matthews, with whom I do not always agree, is not old enough to remember Nazi Germany and the Nazis' tactics in their rise to power, but he is a well-read man. He has also seen enough of sporadic GOP bully-boy tactics over the last forty-plus years to have caught on to what the GOP has been systematically doing since the rise of Obama in 2008.

And Mr. Matthews has been brave enough to almost make explicit the connection between Nazi Joseph Goebbels' tactical innovations (see footnote) and the GOP current modus operandi.

Almost alone among political commentators, Matthews has refused to take his eye off the Nazi-like tactics the GOP has been employing. He spoke up long and loud about the gunsight symbol Sarah Palin and other Republicans used to "target" Democrats in on-line postings and other publishing. He has deplored the violent language of the GOP, such as Perry threatening Texas might leave the Union. And the cry of the GOP that the right to bear arms is their right to "take back" their America with their weapons.

Incitement to violence was a classic Nazi political party tactic.

Matthews has also persistently pointed out that the "birther" issue is an attempt by the GOP to make Obama into "the other." He rightly connects the birth certificate issue with the GOP labeling Obama as a "Socialist". Most Americans in 2008 had no clue as to what a Socialist is. The term had been missing from the American political vocabulary for over seventy years! So the GOP was free to load it with sinister connotations. A Socialist is "the other." He's anti-American. He's  -  well, he's like a European!

Newt Gingrich, the supposed "intellectual" of the GOP took it even further. Per Newt, Obama is an anti-Western Mau Mau terrorist because his biological father was Kenyan!

Demonizing people as "the other" was the Nazi first step to creating the scapegoat. And you know what happens to scapegoats.

The Nazis had centuries of European anti-semitism to hand them the Jews ready-made as "the other." The GOP has centuries of anti-black hatred in America to hand them "the other." And let's not kid ourselves. The HATRED  -    the seething, near-bloodlust HATRED  -  that the GOP has stoked against Obama is rooted in the fact he is partly of African descent.

Racism is alive in America, though no one seemingly dares say so. It's the devil's fiddle the GOP has been playing since Nixon adopted his "Southern Strategy" in 1968. Now the GOP has a whole orchestra playing the hateful tune.

The veneer among the GOP right-wing bigots is as thin as the coat of whitewash Rick Perry's family painted that rock with at their hunting camp. And the GOP is stoking the racism in a clever way. With  Herman Caen popping up as a convenient Uncle Tom for cover, the GOP can again use the birth certificate issue safely, as they are now doing, to make Obama "the other". (If you don't understand that, maybe politics is not really your bag.)

Thus Rick Perry this week told Parade magazine that, after talking to Donald Trumpeteer, Perry just isn't sure about where Obama was born. He also said that the birther issue was a "good" one to keep going.

When you've got a good lie going and a racist political base, why abandon an effective Nazi tactic just because it fell out of fashion for a few months?

Keep your eye on this stuff, Chris Matthews! Keep pointing out the GOP tactics. Because you're on a national cable network, perhaps you're forbidden to use the accurate adjective "Nazi"when describing these tactics.  But as the guy playing "Hardball", at least you notice when the game turns dirty.

And even if you do not personally remember the Nazis, you do deeply and personally remember Dallas in 1963.

Keep telling it like it is, Mr. Matthews!

You may save someone's life.

Maybe -  God help us all  -  Obama's.
Footnote: A list of the Goebels/Nazi tactics is in my Oct.21 & Oct.22 blog postings, along with current GOP examples. For a decade or two after WWII, high school curricula required units on how to spot propaganda, undemocratic tactics, fallacious reasoning, etc. As WWII has become more remote in time, so have its lessons.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Occupy WS, the GOP, and the Stooge With the Smoke-Stained Teeth

Untwist the knickers! The so-called anti-semitic element of Occupy Wall Street apparently consists of no more than the Three Stooges! Count 'em! There's only THREE!

Who are the GOP kidding? The "anti-semitic" demonstrators the GOP  says are part of Occupy Wall Street are not only just three in number but so obviously fake as to make a cat laugh. I doubt they know what OWS stands for! Or GOP?

One of them is shown in a video on a reactionary website, standing on a sidewalk with his offensive sign over his head while a middle-aged guy in a windbreaker yells at him and a cop watches wearily. The sign-holder can be heard saying the same thing over and over: "Freedom of.......... speech."

The dots don't stand for naughty words. They stand for the long pause while the sign-holder obviously tries to remember what comes after "freedom of'". He's apparently been coached but not well.

A second "anti-semite" stooge appears in a still photo on-line on another far-right website. He is wearing a long-sleeved red jersey-sort-of shirt and holding up a sign urging "Google Jews on Wall Street. Google Jewish Billionaires'" etc. Maybe he owns shares of Google?

My favorite is the one I think of as "the Russian". He's on video, talking right into the camera. He's one of those is-he-slovenly-unshaven-or-is-this-his-fashion-statement. Judging by the rest of him, his demeanor, his argument, I vote for simply slovenly.

As for his slovenly rant, it seems as if someone has hastily force-fed him some anti-semitic crap, and he has not digested it well. He is certainly not producing foie gras, that's for sure!

He expresses worry in part about rich Jews taking over, not just the USA, but also Russia. Taking over Russia has not, to my knowledge, been a major issue for the Jews regarding Russia. Mostly the Jews have spent half a century or more trying to get the hell out of Russia!

So this man's concern about what the "bad" Jews will do to Russia indicates that Russia is pretty dear to him and that he likely works it into every conversation. But since someone wants him to go after the Jews, he'll do that too. Provided he can connect it to Russia.

What's really special about him are his teeth. He gets his mouth very close to the camera. You can really see his teeth quite well. A whole lot more than you'd like to. The lower front teeth are disgustingly and darkly stained with tobacco. It is not a pretty sight.

He's actually on the National Republican Congressional Committee website in another clip. He didn't get to talk about Russia on that clip, but you can see his teeth pretty well. If you want to.

"Well, that's all, folks!" -  as Porky Pig used to say. Only Elmer Fudd could imagine this pathetic trio of fake anti-semites have anything to do with Occupy Wall Street.

So who hired these three phony anti-semites?

Based on these Three Stooges, the National Republican Congressional Committee paid someone to do a video ad against Democratic Congressman Steve Israel, charging him with supporting anti-semitism by supporting Occupy Wall Street.  If the GOP spent money using this pathetic trio to attack Steve Israel, no wonder the GOP National Committee is $14 million in debt! Those guys at Republican HQ make Michael Steele look like he was frugal with the campaign money!

One more thing about the "Russian" stooge.

I wonder if Sarah Palin could see him from her front porch?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The GOP Nazi Tool Kit: "If It Walks Like a Goose...."

The Democrats and media are so busy being politically correct  -   heaven bless their misguided good intentions   -   that they refuse to call out the GOP for its use of Nazi political tactics in gaining and using power. This is a bad mistake.

The Nazis tools are effective. They have empowered the GOP to the point where, last summer, it could  push this country to near-economic collapse by engineering the debt ceiling crisis. That's a hell of a lot of power for a minority party! And these same tools could give us a reactionary GOP across-the board win in 2012. I mean the whole thing! The presidency, both houses of Congress and, in due course, five or more solid reactionaries on the Supreme Court.

No, the GOP would not then send us Jews to the gas chambers. At least I sure hope not. But they would hound 12 million undocumented people in this country.

"Vere are your papers?"

Twelve million of our fellow residents would live in fear of "the knock on the door in the middle of the night." Already migrant worker families in Alabama are pulling their kids out of school and hiding or fleeing the state.

Once in control, the GOP would cut taxes even more for the wealthy, unleash massive pollution by ending the EPA in the name of job creation, destroy Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid, probably start a war of convenience somewhere, curtail our freedoms of speech, assembly, and religion.

Go on! You finish the nightmare list!  Think deregulation of food and drug safety, water purity, sewage disposal, Wall Street.  And global warming. Mining and timbering in National Parks. Rights of the accused. Due process. Fair elections.  What am I overlooking?

All this can happen if the GOP continues its successful use of Nazi political tactics and sweeps the board in 2012. For God's sake, the nightmare scenario I describe above is their actual campaign platform! Just listen to what they are saying!

Now let's be clear. Using Nazi political tactics to get power does not make someone a "Nazi" in the historical sense of the word. Please distinguish between the use of the word as a noun (historical German Nazis or today's self-identified Nazis) and its use as an adjective to describe today's GOP tactics.

I'm not confusing Dick Armey with ol' Adolph. (Armey doesn't have a mustache.)

But if a GOP political TACTIC goose-steps like a Nazi and ......  Well, you get it.

My last blog identified eight tactics the Nazis used to get power in 1930s Germany and pointed out how the GOP is using these tactics now:   The Big Lie, Intimidation, Incitement to Violence, Disruption of Public Meetings, Scape-goating, Media Control (Think Rupert!), Destroying the Unions, Guilt By Association.

Sound familiar, don't they?

Here's another:   Exploiting an "Incident".

The classic is the Reichstag fire in 1933. Claiming the Communists had started the fire in the German parliament building, the Nazis  -  then a minority in the government  -  forced a "declaration of emergency"  and within only six months had used the declaration to wipe out all other political parties, the labor unions and Germany's vigorous free press. The courts were emasculated and so were all the rights of the citizens.  Totalitarian control was complete.

It took them ONLY SIX MONTHS!

So what is the GOP doing these days that is similar to the Nazi tactic of exploiting an incident?  How about you tell me between now and my next blog? I'm 75 years old and shouldn't have to do all the work around here.

Meantime I have my eye on the stooge "anti-semite" the National Republican Campaign Committee claims is representative of Occupy Wall Street.

So tune in next time for "Occupied Wall Street and The Anti-Semitic Man with the Smoke-Stained Teeth".

And please share with me "incidents" that smell a bit like the smoke from the Reichstag fire. I thank you.

P.S. Someone has suggested I use the term "fascist" instead of "Nazi". That would be historically incorrect. Mussolini and Franco were fascists but didn't create or use the Nazi-developed propaganda and other political techniques. They just killed people. So we have to give credit where credit is due  -  to the Nazis!  

Friday, October 21, 2011

It Takes An Old Jew to Recognize Today's Nazis

I began blogging to encourage hope in our future. But history cannot be denied, nor can we ignore the facts of today.

My father's family died in the Warsaw ghetto and the Nazi gas chambers.

Throughout my life I have suffered prejudice from my fellow Americans, the ones who despise Jews or Catholics. Seven decades of scorn.

So don't tell me who are today's bigots and nascent Nazis.  I'll tell you!

It's NOT the Occupy Wall Street people. The GOP are now accusing the Occupy movement of anti-semitism. And what does anti-semitism eternally evoke? The Nazis! But the Occupy group has none of the indicia of the Nazis. Nor are they the "mob" that Eric Cantor has labeled them.

The actual Nazi-like movement in America is the recently-kidnapped GOP itself and its succubus Tea Party and their bigoted backers. It's Gary Bauer and Glen Beck and all that crowd. And even the National Republican Congressional Committee, which refuses to take down its ad accusing Occupy Wall Street of anti-semitism.

From the tenuous safety of America, as a youngster I witnessed World War II and the Nazi machinations. Even now in the occasional nightmare, the Nazis are yet coming after me. So, asleep or awake, I know my enemies when I see them. In dreams I recognize the jackboots and the uniforms, the cruel heartlessness and delight in violence. And the ominous "Vere are your papers?"

And awake I recognize the techniques they used to gain power and keep it. Even without the jackboots and uniforms, I recognize them.

They come spewing lies. They systematically propagandize. "Tell a lie. Tell it often enough and people will believe it. The biggest lies work the best." That's Joseph Goebels, the master and minister of Nazi propaganda. And that's Nazi Rule One.

And doesn't that sound exactly like the well-orchestrated GOP lie machine that has been professionally orchestrated in recent years? Lie after lie after lie. Repeated, repeated, repeated. And now yet another Big Lie comes in the GOP video ad attacking Democratic Congressman Steve Israel, accusing him  -  a Jew -  of backing anti-semitism by supporting the Occupy Wall Street folks.

Nazi Rule Two: Another Goebels' principle: "Guilt by association."  In its drive to stifle all dissent, the Nazis executed dissidents for "being Communist". Now the GOP would kill the Occupy movement by accusing it of being anti-semitic. And take down a Democratic Congressman in the process.

You want more about how to recognize Nazis? You better  -  because they're here.

Nazi Rule Three: Disruption of public meetings:   Remember the clearly orchestrated summer of 2009 when no member of Congress could hold a town meeting without a takeover by a shouting, scuffling mob?

Nazi Rule Four: Instigation of violence:   Remember Sarah Palin and her pals "targeting" Democrats as if through a gun-sight while using the Second Amendment as pretext for urging violence against the government? Remember Arizona and the nine-year-old girl who died because a loony got the message? And how about that howling mob on the day the House voted on health insurance reform?  Forcing our own elected Congressional representatives to run a gauntlet of cursing and spittle, while above the disgusting spectacle, from a balcony of the Capitol itself, the GOP members of Congress cheered the horrifying acts.

Nazi Rule Five: Intimidation:   Remember the GOP guys with guns strapped to their legs at those New England political gatherings? Remember the rash of window-breaking attacks on Democratic Congressional field offices?   Broken glass. Kristallnacht. Sound familiar?

Nazi Rule Six: Scape-goating the "other":    For the Nazis it was the Jews, the gypsies, the homosexuals, and the "mentally-deficient". The Nazis even killed their own little German children who were deemed mentally "sub-normal". Now, among the GOP, "the other" is everybody who is a gay (though risking his or her life in a war zone), a Latino, or the sick and uninsured, or the poor soul who is out of a job. The biggest applause lines at the GOP debates come when the candidates flaunt their heartlessness and their despising of "the other".  And how about the persistent claim that Obama wasn't born in America? And how about labeling undocumented residents as "illegal aliens"? As if they weren't even human beings.

Nazi Rule Seven: Destroy the labor unions:   Always a key step among totalitarians of every stripe. Now think Wisconsin and Ohio.

Nazi Rule Eight: Control the media.  Think Rupert Murdoch.

It can't happen here, you say. That was the belief of the "good Germans" and the deluded Jews who stayed in Germany despite Hitler's growing influence. But it can happen anywhere that there is fear, economic trouble, ignorance, and prejudice. All it takes is a power-hungry and clever group of the ruthless, financed by hidden hands, willing to use the proven tools.

Such ruthless ones are now amongst us. They are well-financed. They have the tools. And, God knows, there's economic trouble, fear, prejudice and ignorance aplenty.

This old Jew worries. If you're not worried, I worry even more.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Obama Wins the Dangerous GOP Debate

The GOP debates are getting dangerous! You might die laughing if you're a Democrat. Or even if you just have an ounce of sense.

These loopy candidates are such nutsy fun! Moats full of alligators! Turning numbers upside down to find the devil! And a chant of "9-9-9" like something out of the old "Secret Agent" TV series! Plus a flustered Romney putting a hand on Perry in the apparent hope he can keep the Texan from decking him as they yell at each other. And irrelevant old Newt, grim and sputtering, vainly trying to keep the rough-house from turning to riot.

It's the best comedy show of the new season! And it's a series! There's more to come!

Can SNL or Jon Stewart be any funnier ?

If we Democrats are in danger of laughing ourselves to death, the debates are even more dangerous for the wanna-be-nominees, caught as they are in the crossfire of this GOP circular firing squad. This is history-making! They are killing each other right on TV, right out in front of God and everybody! Cain's 9-9-9 got shredded in Las Vegas, Romney's illegal immigrant gardeners came back from 2007, Perry got told off by Romney for being a bad boy and trying to muss his hair. Perry yelled at Romney for being "a hypocrite".

It was like the second hour of a college freshmen kegger!

And ol' Ronald Reagan was rolling in his grave. (Good!) Because they were breaking the Great Rule of the GOP, to wit  -  NEVER speak ill of another Republican candidate. To joyfully mix metaphors, they were handing each other's heads to the Democrats on golden platters.

Meantime, Obama was winning the real debate question, which is: Who is fit to be president of the United States?

At the Las Vegas GOP debate it was laughingly and appallingly clear that none of  the GOP clowns and nut-jobs now on offer can be taken seriously as a presidential candidate. Even the least insane of them, staid and above-it-all Romney, wriggled off the ramrod that runs up his spine and got right down in the thick of the brouhaha. But not for long! He soon had to run to "Daddy" to save him! Under some illusion that the debate moderator was a Jim Lehrer or even a Brian Williams, Romney pleaded for help in keeping Perry in line. He begged CNN's Anderson Cooper for help. "Annndersonnn!"

Help from Anderson Cooper? Really?

So if  -  God help us all!  -  Romney the Boy Wonder becomes president, will he plead for help from Monaco when the going gets rough? Or maybe Fiji?

"Mommmmyyyy! Daaadddy! Somebody! Save me!"

Not quite Obama, is he? Not quite like the guy who said, "Get Osama Bin Laden." And meant it. Who fired a general for mouthing off against the Commander-In-Chief. Who stayed calm in 2008 when McCain went into a panic over the banks' collapsing. Who saved the Libyan people from a massacre.

Obama is a cool cat. And more than anything else, that's what a president has to be. After all, a president holds the box that starts a nuclear war. And don't any of us forget THAT!

Meantime, enjoy the show!

Monday, October 17, 2011

One Lone Woman Occupies The Tundra

Maybe you missed seeing her on the Net. One lone Alaskan woman who joined in Saturday's Worldwide Occupying by "Occupying the Tundra."

There she was, absolutely alone in a vast expanse of flat, empty and rather frightening land. Bundled against the cold, she smiled as she held up her sign.

Her image doesn't fade from my mind. Merry and determined in her bleak and lonesome landscape, she represents all that is best about the people who want to make things better.

For one thing, we are brave. Whatever we face, we know we can do it. We CAN make things better. Whether we face isolation in an empty stretch of tundra, or policemen's nightsticks and pepper spray in a city,  or  -  as in my case  -  the approaching twilight of being old. No matter what, we can do it!

"Like a tree beside the river, we will not be moved."

That's a song from the old Civil Rights days. Those days of struggle were commemorated this weekend in the dedication of the big statue of Martin Luther King. It was a fitting day for Worldwide Occupying.

Because the struggles are all of one piece. There should be no elite. Not by skin tone and not by wealth, nor by power nor gender. We are all here together as children of the universe. And every man, woman, and child on this earth has a right to social justice.

Yet one American child in four is hungry.

And the young people can't  get jobs and see no future.

So we all stand with the woman on the windswept tundra. She is alone in the picture of her, but she is not really alone. For we all stand together wherever we are. And we will not be moved.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Occupy Wall Street and Millennial Momentum

Right on cue, the young people have stepped up. No sooner did the book "Millennial Momentum" appear than the young generation it describes launched "Occupy Wall Street". The authors of "Millennial Momentum" deserve the Nobel Prize for Timely Prediction!

If you accept the authors' well-researched description of this generation, you will understand Occupy Wall Street and stop asking, "Who's in charge?" Or "What do they want?"  Because the answer will be obvious to you. The Occupiers, each and all of them, are in charge. And they want to make EVERYTHING better.

These are precisely the characteristics attributed to this great new generation by authors Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais. This generation does not look upwards for leadership, works well as a group, and is deeply committed to improving the world.

(And don't sneer at these "dreamers". Three similar generations in American history have also realized "the impossible dream", as I'll discuss in a minute.)

The Millennials' other attributes are splendid too. They are educated and very smart. They are practical and willing to compromise for results, say Winograd and Hais. The Millennials are also highly diverse, without homophobia and racial prejudice, and don't want to run other people's private lives. They are committed to social justice and reform of the political system. And they are committed to the environment.

Oh, boy, are they ever committed to the environment!

And they are powerful in their numbers. There are 95,000,000 of them! Yes, that's right. NINETY-FIVE MILLION of them, born between 1982 and 2003. This is the soon-to-be largest voting block ever in our history. Connected with each other and the world electronically, they can probably achieve anything.

By 2020, one in every three American voters will be in this age group. This is the age group that helped elect Obama, turning out at the polls in greater numbers than the seniors. By next year half of the 95 million will be eligible to vote, including the eldest three of my nine grandchildren. Meantime, the old folks  - including the numerous bigots and reactionaries among them  - are dying out. Literally. And the complacent, self-indulgent, don't-bother-if-it's-not-about-me Boomers are in a state of shock, having just realized that the GOP they empowered has looted their pension money.

For all their social conscience, the Millennials certainly have a personal interest in what's going on. They can't get jobs. Global climate change threatens their physical survival. They see a government run by lobbyists on behalf of the out-of-control banks and monied interests that are destroying the Millennials' present and future.

The authors of "Millennial Momentum" argue that this generation is one of those that come along about every eighty years in America. They are like the generation of the American Revolution, then the one that did the Civil War and ended slavery, and then the one that did the New Deal, won World War  II, and launched the civil rights movement, Women's Liberation, environmental and consumer protection, etc. Three "Greatest Generations" with big dreams and incredible track records. And now comes a fourth!

It's not foolish for them to dream big. It's American!

So what's their next step right now?  Don't ask me. Don't ask them. A tidal wave is coming, and it's them. It doesn't even matter if Occupy Wall Street fizzles. History is about to be made, and these bright young people will figure out what steps to take as they go along.

It has begun.

A new generation has arrived. I have seen the future and can die a happy, hopeful woman.

And old age being what it is, a lot of old bigots and ignorant old fogies are going with me!  What a way to go! I can die smiling!

Thanks, Occupy Wall Street!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hey,Occupy! Taking Over the Democratic Party Will Be Easy!

Take over the Democratic Party.

Everybody is buzzing about what Occupy Wall Street should do. Or what other "mad as hell" folks should do. It's simple: Take over the Democratic Party.

It's waiting there, rotten and crumbling, just waiting for you to take it over and use it to good purpose.

The Tea Pee people just took over the GOP. So why don't the good guys take over the Democratic Party?

And this is so easy to do. I know because in 1968 a handful of us took over the Democratic party in one of the most populous counties in the USA. We were young and progressive and grassroots, while the establishment Dems were lazy and older and all about themselves. It was a piece of cake. We then proceeded to put into office good solid liberals who stayed clean of big money and lobbyists, who fought for families, social justice, equality for all, and the environment. Some of them are still in office, fighting the good fight. One of them is a Congresswoman who is among the few respectable members of Congress today.

In a couple of years we had taken over the entire state. One of the biggest states in the country.

In 2008 one of my five sons and other grassroots folks took over the Democratic party in his county. Again, it was easy. And it sure needed doing.

It needs doing everywhere. All structures ossify and decay. The Democratic party is now all about big donors, lobbyists, and high-priced campaigns. It doesn't have to be.

Beginning with Howard Dean, we all saw what small donors and activists -  connected online -  can do. We saw it again with Obama's campaign. Why do you think Howard Dean got kicked out of the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee? It's because he was all about grassroots politics, while the establishment (read Rahm Emanuel) was about keeping political power in the hands of the few.

Take it back! Take the power away from the fat cats and the "power brokers." Take it back from the highly paid "professional consultants." Take it back from the lobbyists! Take over the Democratic party!

The time is ripe. The "pros" running the Democratic party almost everywhere are miserable failures. Look what Ed Rendell and his crowd have done to Pennsylvania! They let a heavily Democratic state go completely Republican in 2010, partly because of the poor job they had done in office and partly because their Democratic "machine" ran a lousy, limp campaign. This happened virtually everywhere in 2010!

Democratic "party leaders" are not only tied up with moneyed interests, but they can't even do their job of winning elections. Look at the disaster of 2010! Where was the get-out-the-vote? Where were the young people? The Latinos? Who dropped the ball on explaining the situation to the brothers and the sisters? Who froze out the grassroots? Where were the door-to-door precinct workers?

Elections are not won by spending big money on TV ads. Unless that's all that is going on. But if a grassroots precinct worker comes to the door, no fat cat money on TV can beat that. This isn't just Grandma here talking. Studies prove it.

We are the 99%. We are the people. This is OUR country. And the Democratic party should and can be OURS!

I'll be writing about how we can take back the Democratic party and win elections with people who represent US. We don't need no stinkin' lobbyists when we become the ones who choose the candidates, run the campaigns, and put OUR representatives in office.

Can we do this? Oh, baby, you just watch us!

This 75-year-old Grandma is telling you: Now is the time! We are the ones!

Do it for the hungry children in America! Do it for YOUR children! Do it for YOURSELF!

And if you do this, Obama will be able to do all that "hopey changey" stuff that Sarah P sneers at. He'll have a Democratic Congress he can work with. YOUR Congress!

And if you don't, President Mitt Romulus will have just the "suits" in Congress whom he needs to continue the looting of this country. And he'll have the Supreme Court appointments that insure the looting goes on throughout the lives of your children.

And we'll all have to move to Norway.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

$1362 for Face Cream v. Hungry Children and the Wall Street Demonstrators

I'm mad as hell, and I won't take it any more. There are hungry children in America, the richest country in the world. I worked all my life against this sinful injustice, and it is back! I am one ferociously angry grandma, and I'm going to nag the hell out of you until YOU change this. My generation of activists and I did so much for you! Now you've got to help the children!

Thank God that there are some folks now demonstrating against Wall Street. Good for them! But that's not enough.

What are YOU doing about it? Still arguing the finer points of Democratic policy with each other? That's of NO use to anybody. Or have you instead called your Congressional rep to urge support for Obama's American Jobs Act? Did you or did you not make that phone call? Did you send Obama even just $5? Did you push back when family, co-workers or cronies repeated some GOP nonsense?

This is your grandma here speaking! And I want to know!

Or did you just let this stuff slip your mind?

Well, here's something I hope sticks in your mind the way it has in mine.

A couple of weeks ago I read in the NY Times that the rich are spending again. Oh, swell. One of the things they're spending on is face cream at $1362 for a 16 ounce jar. Yes, that's one thousand three hundred sixty-two dollars. Before sales tax. For a lousy jar of face cream!

I can't get that jar of face cream out of my mind. $1362 to stoke some idiot woman's vanity? There's no magic in that face cream. All creams, lotions, lipsticks, etc. are effectively the same. You get the same value for $1 that you do for $100. I worked a stint at a big fashion magazine and know whereof I speak.

But I don't care that the rich get fleeced sometimes. A lot of them have sure done a good job of fleecing the rest of us.

What I care about are the children going hungry. In America. Right here. In the cities. In suburbia. In the rural countryside. The hunger is not as visible as the starvation in Eastern Africa, but we know it's here. A couple of weeks after the $1362 face cream story, the NY Times and other major media  gasped at the large percentage of American children who are now below the poverty line.

"Below the poverty line" means going hungry while rich women cream their faces. Kids going hungry. Maybe not every day. But near the end of the month when the food stamps run out. Or the unemployment insurance is gone. Or the Walmart wages won't cover the electric bill and also buy food. That's when parents give kids candy because just a little of it fools the hunger pains. At least for a while. I know because not only did I do a stint on a fashion mag but my six kids and I once did a stint on food stamps.

So what's the answer about today's hungry kids? Give up on Obama and bring back the GOP, the folks who created this mess? Are Americans really that stupid?

Well, it seems like "the best and the brightest" of the Democratic "intelligentsia" are just that stupid, the ones who have ceaselessly shredded Obama for three years because he didn't do things their way. For example, they still grouse that he should have MADE the GOP House back down and do what he wanted.

Yeah? How do you do that exactly? Lock the Congressional washrooms? Cut off their air?

Obama is fighting for those hungry kids. That's why he compromises with the GOP. Last winter that was the only way to get unemployment benefits extended. And don't anyone forget it!

It is a sin that there are hungry children anywhere. Some good people are trying to do something about those poor starving people in East Africa, even risking their lives to help.

So what are you doing about the hungry kids right here? If you don't do something to help Obama, it's going to get a whole lot worse. If the GOP wins next year, it may be YOUR kids that start going hungry. For almost 60 years I've seen what the GOP does to the economy. The" Nixon recession". The "Reagan recession". The "George H. W recession". Now it's still the "George W. recession." Hell, there was even an "Eisenhower recession." These guys really know how to trash an economy. They've had lots of practice with their "supply side economics" and their "trickle-down" tax cuts for the wealthy. And they're talking the same crap now!

So keep in mind that $1362 face cream. And the hungry little children. And your children! For their sake, do something about it! Make the phone call. Send the $5 (or more). Push back against the idiocy!

We CAN do this thing! We have to!

And keep your hand out of the face cream jar!