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Greg Russak‘s insight:

April 11, 2014

If you believe America desperately needs a great surge of democracy in the face of fierce opposition from reactionary and corporate forces, then remembering and reviving the spirit of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who died 69 years ago this week, is in order.

 

In January 1941, FDR’s State of the Union address made it clear that a fight was inevitable, a fight to preserve, protect and defend four essential freedoms: freedom from fear and want and freedom of speech and religion.

 

This week, Bill speaks with historian Harvey J. Kaye, author of the new book, The Fight for the Four Freedoms: What Made FDR and the Greatest Generation Truly Great, about how FDR’s speech was a rallying cry to build the kind of progressive society that Roosevelt hoped for but did not live to see at war’s end.

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Who Are the Koch Brothers and What Do They Want?

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The truth is that the agenda of the Koch brothers is to move this country from a democratic society with a strong middle class to an oligarchic form of society in which the economic and political life of the nation are controlled by a handful of bill…

Greg Russak‘s insight:

Bernie’s right.

 

The Kochs are Libertarians in the most vile and despicable ideological sense of the word, and Libertarianism IS, in point of fact from it’s earliest days until now, the epitome of crony capitalism at its worst.

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Restoring Louisiana’s Coast Will Require Restoring Its Democracy—Governor Jindal Is Trying to Undermine Both

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Genuflecting to Big Oil’s pressure, Governor Bobby Jindal is

Greg Russak‘s insight:

You can file this one under, "No Surprise!"

 

A Louisiana elected official once said “the flag of Texaco flies over the Louisiana State Capitol.” Right now that flag is flapping in the face of every citizen. Tax-hating governor Jindall now wants to spend tens of millions of dollars of tax payer money to plug oil canals which companies are required by law to plug themselves. That money pales beside to the $50 billion cost of the state’s master plan to protect the coast. Jindal’s funding proposal caper will protect his oil industry patrons and stick the public with the bill: taxpayers will cover the costs of damage caused by oil companies.

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Another Orwellian Op-Ed From Charles Koch

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Charles Koch, the misunderstood billionaire pollutocrat, explains his warmhearted benevolence in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. We beg to differ.

Greg Russak‘s insight:

….to which I respectfully add the following about libertarians and crony capitalism from my own research….

 

After all, not all libertarian ideas are bad ideas, just like not all Green, Republican, Democratic, or any other political party’s ideas are all bad.

 

While we might all find some amount of common ground everywhere, we should not mistake that for support.  Yes, I share some ideas with libertarians, but make no mistake about it. I consider hardcore libertarianism as not only bad for America, it’s bad for humanity and for civil society.

 

In fact, the only ones who actually benefit from libertarianism are the wealthy corporatists.

 

Milton Friedman would either have to agree or lie to our faces about that fact.

 

Why do I say that? Well, I wonder how many self-proclaimed libertarians and so-called “libertarian populists” actually know about their movement’s history?

 

Let me share some here.

“Libertarianism” was a project of the corporate lobby world, launched as a big business “ideology” in 1946 by The US Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. The FEE’s board included the future founder of the John Birch Society, Robert Welch; the most powerful figure in the Mormon church at that time, J Reuben Clark, a frothing racist and anti-Semite after whom BYU named its law school; and United Fruit president Herb Cornuelle.

The purpose of the FEE — and libertarianism, as it was originally created — was to supplement big business lobbying with a pseudo-intellectual, pseudo-economics rationale to back up its policy and legislative attacks on labor and government regulations.

This background is important in the Milton Friedman story because Friedman is a founding father of libertarianism, and because the corrupt lobbying deal he was busted playing a part in was arranged through the Foundation for Economic Education.

- The True History of Libertarianism in America: A Phony Ideology to Promote a Corporate Agenda, Sept. 6, 2013, Mark Ames

 

Seems that lobbying and corrupt lobbyists aren’t new ideas, and that even movements who profess to want smaller government aren’t above lobbying that very same government under the table.

 

—-

 

(Excerpt from " Young (and Old) People: Do Not Be Fooled by Rand Paul",  http://didyoucheckfirst.wordpress.com/2014/03/23/young-and-old-people-do-not-be-fooled-by-rand-paul/)

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Young Conservatives Group Pressures GOP on Gay Marriage – Washington Wire – WSJ

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A new effort is being launched to try to persuade the Republican Party to drop its opposition to same-sex marriage from the party’s platform, a steep climb that would require overcoming social conservatives who have dominated the GOP’s position on the issue.

Greg Russak‘s insight:

Signs of hope that the GOP may yet avoid political oblivion. There is, after all, no future in appealing only to old, white, straight men. We’ll be a minority in America before long…..thankfully.

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The History of Corporate Personhood | Brennan Center for Justice

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The Brennan Center for Justice is a non-partisan public policy and law institute that focuses on the fundamental issues of democracy and justice.

Greg Russak‘s insight:

A worthwhile read for anyone curious about how it is that corporations have been given rights intended for actual people.

See on www.brennancenter.org

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Where have all the moderates gone? Politics as ‘gladiatorial combat’ – Los Angeles Times

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Where have all the moderates gone? Politics as ‘gladiatorial combat’ Los Angeles Times Barry Glassner first detailed how politicians use fear-mongering in his 1999 book “The Culture of Fear.” He wrote of politicians claiming America was on the…

Greg Russak‘s insight:

Good question:

 

"Geoffrey Kabaservice said he set out to answer one question before writing his latest work: Whatever happened to the moderate Republican?"

http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-politics-media-panel-20140413,0,4396741.story#ixzz2z4LNqGPV

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“You’re leaving? Are you effing kidding?” An anti-gay bigot gets humiliated

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Peter LaBarbera came to my college to “expose” the “gay agenda.” He wasn’t expecting what would happen instead

Greg Russak‘s insight:

In America, and with rare (and legitimate) exceptions, everyone has the right to speak freely even when what they have to say is vile, disgusting, and hateful. We have that right.

 

Here’s the qualifier I add to that right. While everyone has a voice, not every voice is worth hearing. This is the 21st century, and if there are still gay haters in America pretending that somehow LGBTQ equality is an infringement on them, their "freedoms", or their religious beliefs then they have nothing to say worth hearing in a civil society.

 

Ignoring them – and voting against them and the politicians who won’t support equality in all its forms and measures – is the best course of action to ensure they wield precisely zero power over the rest of us.

See on www.salon.com

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How racial resentment fuels libertarianism

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Excerpt from article by Ian Haney López, Bill Moyers.com
 

Paul presents overweening government power — especially at the federal level — as the paramount threat to ordinary Americans. If he is to popularize this message, though, Paul has to face an ugly fact: libertarianism has attracted substantial popular support not despite its occasional association with racists, but because of its ugly racial undertones.
 

Where white supremacists once commandeered government to enforce their appalling vision, the civil rights movement recruited government to promote integration. Government efforts to outlaw discrimination and to promote inclusion in schools, workplaces and neighborhoods became key to the effort to move the country toward racial equality.

But in response, libertarian ideas flourished, for anti-government rhetoric provided a seemingly neutral basis for opposing “race mixing.”

Pioneering this new use of libertarian rhetoric in his 1964 campaign, the Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater endorsed “states’ rights,” ostensibly a position on federal-state relations, though at the time all understood the target was federal efforts to push school integration. Goldwater also championed “freedom of association,” which purported to preserve the rights of property owners to exclude whom they wished, though in practice this meant the right of white establishments to bar minorities.
 

Today’s libertarian politics descends directly from this tradition. Illustrating the continuity, as recently as 2010, Paul himself endorsed the “freedom of association” argument, criticizing the 1964 Civil Rights Act for unjustly limiting the rights of private property owners. Paul put his position most succinctly in anearlier criticism of the Fair Housing Act: “A free society will abide unofficial, private discrimination — even when that means allowing hate-filled groups to exclude people based on the color of their skin.”

To his credit, Paul has since renounced those positions and frequently proclaims his opposition to racial discrimination. But as his responses to the controversies surrounding his staffers suggest, he still has a long way to go. Paul must grapple with why his small-government message resonates with so many whites — and if, for a sizeable number, the motive is a continued opposition to integration, then Paul must face this squarely if he is to craft a more inclusive party.

Coffee Party USA‘s insight:

If more Americans learn about our history, will it be possible to take the best intentions from libertarianism and push aside its roots in racial resentment? —Eric Byler

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No Taxation Without Representation

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Money in politics means taxation without representation. We already have a tax day — It’s time for a representation day.

Greg Russak‘s insight:

On Tuesday, April 15th, people across America will hold a sign, recruit supporters, and do creative actions to demand “No Taxation Without Representation.”  It’s time for politicians to represent us, not big money special interests. Join us.

You can also join the hundreds of thousands of other concerned Americans who have signed up to be a Citizen Co-Sponsor of the American Anti-Corruption Act at http://unitedrepublic.actionkit.com/event/cosponsor/9815/

See on represent.us

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