Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Progressive Update--9/20/2005

It has been several months since my last Progressive Update. I have been in a fog like perhaps many of you, more like an Alice in Wonderland haze, disbelieving that the world is continuing in this track, and not certain of what I or we can do. Well, I hit another breaking point, so here is an upate.

Katrina—Gosh, where to start? What is greater—the number of times Bush & his press secretary have said that they don’t want to play the Blame Game, or the number of times that Bush’s sycophants have been blaming state and local officials? I accept that local and state officials may have made big mistakes (in the worst natural disaster in over 200 years). What I don’t accept is that this relieves the federal government of any responsibility, of superior (not just competent), proactive and reactive help. Indeed, this is classic Lakoff Strict Father versus Nurturing Parent. If the child stumbles, screw ‘em. If (not since, but if) the state and local officials make mistakes, and tens if not hundreds of thousands of people are stranded, why can’t we count on our federal government to be competent?

I have been beside myself with fury in the past month. We have seen so clearly that Georgie puts incompetents in charge of critical agencies, FEMA the FDA, the ambassador to the UN, people who do not believe in the function of the agency. If the Republicans do not wish to help Americans with their healthcare, in the cases of emergencies, or in relations with other nations, will they please just stand the heck aside and let Progressives lead?

Judge Roberts—What can I say? (Likely more than he!) Putting Roberts in as Chief Justice at his young age, with limited access to his legal opinions when a public servant in Republican administrations, with his history of disregard for privacy and necessary government oversight to safeguard our citizens from corporations, it is very hard to see this as anything but a tragic mistake. However, until the country wakes up to the clear and present danger of conservatives controlling all three arms of the federal government, we’re stuck in the soup!

More Ranting—I just heard that conservatives are looking to rape the earth some more, to use the excuse of Katrina to push forward drilling in the Arctic (ANWR). This is the most irresponsible administration ever with its very simple energy policy—help energy companies and screw consumers and the earth. The fiscal crisis of George Bush reminds me of college students stuck in a credit card pit. He may no longer be addicted to (fill in the blank), but he certainly is addicted to debt. Unfortunately for us, while he leaves the White House in three years, the debt he has saddled the country with, to pay for his War on Terrorism, War in Afghanistan, War in Iraq, and the Rebuilding after Katrina, and most importantly and expensively, his Payday for the Rich, this debt will be with us for decades.

What Next—What we can do, and what we must do, is to be visible, active, and effective in the next election cycle, in 2006. Every US Representative is up for election, and many Senators. If I were an incumbent Republican, I would certainly be trying to distance myself from Bush and his awful track record. The scale of Georgie’s incompetency and failures is so great, that there is a wide window of opportunity to begin to correct the political balance in the US in 2006. However, this requires each of us to speak up, and act up.

48% Club—Their Yahoo Group’s calendar lists the monthly Common Cause of Delaware meetings. The next one is 10/10/2005 from 7-9pm

Framing—I continue to monitor Jeff Feldman’s site www.frameshopisopen.com . The articles continue to be quite interesting, however the frequency has decreased.

Citizen Training—My church, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark (UUFN), is hosting a monthly ‘citizen training’, at which we will jointly explore how to better learn about current events, and how to share our views with the media, and with elected and appointed officials. If you are interested, the next two sessions are at UUFN (420 Willa Road, Newark, Delaware) from 9-11am on Thursday 9/29 and Thursday 10/27.

Leave My Children Alone—A little-known feature of the Leave No Children Behind act is a requirement that public high schools release personal information about our children to the US military recruiters without your permission or any notice, unless you object! There is an annual window to require that the district not release information on your children. Go to www.leavemychildalone.org to find out more. Requests made to the Christina School Board have led to their posting very useful information for parents at http://www.christina.k12.de.us/news_special/2005/0824_StudentInfo.htm . If you have a child in Christina school district, go there and learn more, and see if you’d like to act by 10/17/05. If you are in another school district, see what you can do to spread the word!

Paul Baumbach