Why We Love Phil Cubeta. Just what I need. My picture and everything, like a Wanted Poster. Please, I didn't mean any of it. I was just joking.
The White House has a a 103 page operations manual, The Presidential Advance Manual, on how to silence or quarantine dissent at Presidential speech sites.
The document also recommends drowning out protesters or blocking their signs by using what it calls "rally squads." It states: "These squads should be instructed always to look for demonstrators. The rally squad's task is to use their signs and banners as shields between the demonstrators and the main press platform. If the demonstrators are yelling, rally squads can begin and lead supportive chants to drown out the protestors (USA!, USA!, USA!). As a last resort, security should remove the demonstrators from the event site."
The document offered advice on how to recruit members for such squads: "The rally squads can include, but are not limited to, college/young republican organizations, local athletic teams, and fraternities/sororities."
Hence my concern with "civility" and accepting the "frame" provided to us by the Main Stream Media and the Pundits in the Think Tanks. The "New Normal" is not acceptable. Blogging is one the few venues where our voices can be heard without being blocked, drowned out, quarantined or framed out. Let's not censor ourselves simply to make life easy for "rally squads" and our Patriotic Leaders on the Hustings. It is a Free Country after all. Or, did I fail to read the Presidential Directive suspending the Bill of Rights in Time of War?
Photographer Mathias Braschler spent six months last year travelling across more than 40 states in a bid to find out what American citizens think of their country. From a marine in South Carolina to a Wal-Mart employee in Pennsylvania, from a Mississippi cotton picker to a cowboy in Wyoming, it is a visually stunning social document that provides a rare insight into the many faces of modern-day US. Interviews by Monika Fischer -''What do I expect from the future? To retire rich' - Pat Bertha, Wal-Mart employee, Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Someone who will retire rich as a Wall Mart Greeter, or win the lottery, or marrying a billionaire, won't be told that their delusions are symptoms and that the root causes are laughing at them. The modern Willie Lomans would rather be told that their virtues will get them ahead, that they are not part of the underclass, that the ones trodden under foot deserve it. I don't believe the right wing think tanks and Fox News or Limbaugh and Coulter have "brainwashed" the lower middle classes, where it butts up against the dispossessed. I believe the propagandists have listened carefully to age old ideals and prejudices too and have played their message to evoke visceral emotions. "Down with The Estate Tax," cries our Greeter, for she too will someday be rich.
I am on a libertarian listserv with some very talented thinkers. A few of us are included as token liberals. Misunderstandings are common, and sometimes heated. Yet, underlying it are common commitments. Language seems to keep us apart, even when our underlying instincts are similar. Perhaps the simple schematic below can help show why libertarians and liberals misunderappreciate one another, as President Bush might say.
Libertarian Two Term Paradigm
Freedom is what markets seek. Government checks them. Hence we need stronger and freer markets and less and less government.
The Liberal or Classical Three Term Paradigm
Freedom is good, but so is political liberty. When the market shunts great wealth to few hands, we have not democracy but oligarchy, putting our political liberties at risk. Freedom for the wolves becomes slavery for the sheep. Less government means corporate governance and less democracy.
Beyond these warring frames are points of latent consensus in the work of progressives like Tracy Gary, conservatives like William Schambra, and libertarians like Lenore Ealy, as well as in the internet chatter about many to many conversations, tipping points, and the wisdom of crowds, as well as in the work of, say, Jane Jacobs, Catherine Austin Fitts, James Scott, David Bollier, Yocahi Benkler, and social venture theorists. These diverse thinkers all seem to land on similar bedrock insights:
The worldview that I am describing as an emergent synthesis does not yet have a name. What can we call it that will draw affirmation from many different groups, and allow us to work together towards these local and sustainable communities of love and interest?
"How good bad music sounds when we march against the enemy." - Nietzsche
Who would be the enemy of our community? Evil, of course, the line that, as Solzenitzen said, cuts through every human heart. The enemy is us and those who from above set us upon one another so they can walk off with the spoils. Once we accept our shared responsibilities, and stop blaming liberals or conservatives or whomever, we can get on with making ourselves and our communities better. The malign and powerful few who should be pilloried are so far above us, and so completely in control, that the risk to them of coming to justice is effectively nil. Perhaps we can convert them through our good example - the way of the cross. Don't stand up for the good unless you recognize the risk. But the risk is far less if we all stand up at once. Hold my funeral in absentia. Like Huck, I for one am going to light out for the country.
Beyond the Call, on Karma Tube.
In an Indiana Jones meets Mother Teresa adventure, three middle-aged men - former soldiers and modern-day knights - travel the world delivering life-saving humanitarian aid directly into the hands of civilians and doctors. Ed Artis, James Laws and Walt Ratterman inspire through deeds not words, in some of the most dangerous yet beautiful places on Earth, the front lines of war.
We are the New Radicals is a blog by award winng author, Julia Moulden. She announces several goals:
First, to open a window onto the world of the New Radicals, to show what’s going on, and that it is possible to make a difference. To help emerging New Radicals see that it is a powerful movement: that others are thinking the same thoughts, and heading in similar directions. And to give New Radicals-in-the-making practical advice about how to reinvent their work at midlife. Above all, though, I hope that it will inspire you to reach for something new, something that might just help save the world.
Julia is writing a book, to be published in 2007, THE NEW RADICALS: HOW BOOMERS ARE REINVENTING THEIR WORK TO HELP SAVE THE WORLD (AND HOW YOU CAN, TOO. Wired as I am, I see Dante's Purgatory with the Boomers walking in spiralling paths up a huge, indeed infinitely high, mountain, still crazy after all these years.
New Media Consortium (NMC) Online Conference on Personal Broadcasting (April 26-27, 2006 - via the Internet). From podcasting to video blogging (vlogging), personal broadcasting.
The NetSquared Conference (May 30-31, 2006 - San Jose, CA). Nonprofit, philanthropy, and corporate funders who have laid
the foundation for the innovative use of technology throughout the
nonprofit community will meet at the TechSoup Net2 Conference. How will nonprofits and government agencies use the web to achieve their missions?
Hye-Jung Park now begins as Program Officer for the Media Justice Fund
of the Funding Exchange. She will promote more collaboration between community media and social justice organizations around the issues of media policies and corporate accountability.
Worlds seem to be coming together. Technology, funders, progressive politics: Seems like people, even the older ones with the foundations and philanthropic budgets, are beginning to awaken at last to the power of the net to model and propagate a more just and democratic society, in which the energies of ordinary people are engaged for purposes of creating their own fun and their own politics.
Martin Luther King, the descendent of slaves, in a prior society of ownership wrote,
Power, properly understood, is the ability to achieve purpose. It isthe strength required to bring about social, political, or economic changes. In this sense power is not only desirable but necessary in order to implement the demands of love and justice. One of the greatest problems of history is that the concepts of love and power are usually contrasted as polar opposites. Love is identified with a resignation of power and power with a denial of love. What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive and that love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.
The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. edited byClayborne Carson, pp. 324-325.
I was impressed enough with these words that I asked Smoky Joe, Executive Director of Rooster Foundation: Crowing in the New American Century, what he thought. "Justice," Joe explained, "is whatever the market dishes out. The Hidden Hand provides tough love, separating winners from losers. What could be fairer? Thus, yes, love and power go hand in hand to bank and back, with a sidetrip to Capitol Hill for those with funds sufficient." So, I guess there are some things we can all agree upon. (In the interest of full disclosure, Rooster Foundation funds Gifthub on behalf of Candidia Cruikshanks and the good people at Wealth Bondage.)
Candidia's recent post on democracy in the ownership society has sparked a firestorm of emails. Comments from our friends of philanthropy at Hudson Institute, AEI, and Enterprise have been strongly favorable. William Shambra kicked in an encomium suggesting that the much fabled hidden hand was actually a well polished boot. "Spit polish," he said, or spit and polish. (I couldn't make out if he meant it as an observation, an order, or a demonstration.) On the other hand, a few comments from our moonbat liberal friends have raised some caution flags. Some even suggested that democracy be de-coupled from Wealth Bondage. My view is that there is truth on both sides of any question and that people of good will can always come to an agreement given good manners and mutual respect. While I am not in complete agreement with Candidia on all points, I do think that her opions deserve an open-minded hearing, given her benevolence in the area of funding my work here at Gifthub. She has the respect of her peers, and will be introducing Newt Gingrich at the upcoming Council on Foundations Conference. Wealthy people are pretty wonderful, actually, and Candy is no exception. I too will attend COF, if I can borrow a Waiter's Jacket. We also serve who only stand and wait.
To Whom it May Concern
Gifthub is an immortal work of art in theMenippean Tradition,written in a Padded Cell (he calls it a Dumpster for obvious reasons) in a state of shock by Phil Cubeta, Morals Tutor to America's Wealthiest Families, under an alias, or alter ego, The Happy Tutor, Dungeon Master to the Stars in Wealth Bondage...... More....
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