Thursday, March 24, 2011

I Have An Idea How To Bring Our Message Home : There Needs To Be A “Separation of Corporation and State”…

I Have An Idea How To Bring Our Message Home : There Needs To Be A “Separation of Corporation and State”…

I am going to suggest a new direction for our thinking and advocacy of/for a renewed American Democratic system. The word Fascism has pretty much become a buzz word, which while we all take it seriously, has become identified as political wingnut jargon by the less intellectually inclined majority.

Like linguists who delight in dealing with the nuances of language dialects, mostly to their own self amusement; their studies mean little to the vast majority of the citizens of this world. So there are, as it would be, dialects and shadings of Fascism; the problem is how we communicate in simple laymen’s terms the American Fascist dialect.

I have an idea. All Americans with any level of intelligence have an idea of what “Theocracy” is, even its just the notion that churches and religion have their noses stuck into too much of the government’s business…and that’s enough for those folks to know that a theocracy is a bad idea as they were taught in Middle and High School History classes. Say the word the red flag goes up.

So let’s label America’s brand of Fascism as Corpocracy and define it as an undesirable, evil synonymous hierarchy of Corporations and Government, as dangerous as any theocracy.

Then demonize the word again and again until even the lesser IQs of our species begin to adopt the notion that a Corpocracy is a condition where corporations have their noses too far up the ass of our government and that the condition must be brought to a screaming halt by a “Separation of Corporation and State”…much the same as “The Wall Of Separation Of Church And State”.

There is a manageable framing of the issue in an easily communicated sound bite selling package.

Then everyone can list all of it’s evils characteristics without even whispering: It’s Fascism by another name”.

The efforts by anti-public education politicians to silence your voice in how our schools operate and cutting over $3 billion from education funding in the next two years are proving to be unpopular.

According to an article in today’s Columbus Dispatch:

“Ohio voters disapprove of Gov. John Kasich's performance.

They don't like his push to gut collective bargaining for public employees.
The budget he rolled out last week is regarded as unfair.

His plan to sell several Ohio prisons gets thumbs down, too.

A new poll today -- the first since Kasich unveiled his $55.5 billion two-year budget  -- by Quinnipiac University contains almost no good news for Kasich, a Republican who took office a little more than two months ago.”

Now, we have to ensure that we’re continuing the fight for our students, our colleagues and our communities.  A national anti-worker front group is planning to spend $5.6 million, starting in Ohio, attacking educators, fire-fighters, police officers and the working people of Ohio and pushing for a Wisconsin-style gutting of collective bargaining rights.

We need to fight back and ensure that politicians in Columbus know that the next time they are up for election, we’ll be ready to make the difference. Donate to the Fund for Children and Public Education now to send the message that you won’t back down.

We know this is a long-term struggle for the direction of Ohio’s schools and economy. A key part is ensuring that we stand up for our allies, and we replace anti-public education legislators with those who respect and value the work you do every day. Your contribution today sends a powerful message that you care about protecting collective bargaining rights and education funding.

The teachers and education support professionals of the OEA have sent over 53,000 emails and tens of thousands have attended rallies in Columbus and in over 20 other locations around the state. Thousands more have called their elected officials on our Educator Connector line (888-907-7309) and efforts to pressure State House members in their home districts are continuing daily around the state.

As we all fight the battles to stop these destructive pieces of legislation, we need to remember that the way to win on these issues in the future is to elect legislators who care about students and educators. If the current State Senators and Representatives see that you are already contributing to the next election fight, it will give them additional pause when they consider whether to stand with you. Contribute now to be a part of this fight.

With no indication that Moammar Gadhafi has halted attacks against civilians, many questions remain unanswered about the allied no-fly zone. Will Gadhafi remain in power? What is the exit strategy? And what if the rebels become more dangerous than Gadhafi to civilians?

Operation Odyssey Dawn, the U.N. mandated international mission to weaken Gadhafi's control, has crippled the Libyan air force along Libya's heavily populated coastline. 

By Zaid Jilani | ThinkProgress
By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd | AlterNet
By Laura Clawson | Daily Kos
By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd | AlterNet
By Steve Benen | Washington Monthly
By Adele M. Stan | AlterNet
By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd | AlterNet
By Melissa McEwan | Shakesville
By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd | AlterNet
By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd | AlterNet

WASHINGTON -- Governor Paul LePage (R-Maine) has sparked a fresh battle with the state's union community, ordering a mural at the Department of Labor (DOL) taken down on the grounds that the image is biased against business owners.

On Tuesday, Maine DOL Acting Commissioner Laura Boyett sent out an e-mail saying that after some complaints from businesses, the mural would be removed. Additionally, the state would be renaming eight conference rooms, many of which commemorate former labor leaders and one honoring the first female U.S. Cabinet secretary.

"We have received feedback that the administration building is not perceived as equally receptive to both businesses and workers -- primarily because of the nature of the mural in the lobby and the names of our conference rooms," wrote Boyett in the e-mail, posted by Maine blog Dirigo Blue. "Whether or not the perception is valid is not really at issue and therefore, not open to debate. If either of our two constituencies perceives that they are not welcome in our administration building and this translates to a belief that their needs will not be heard or met by this department, then it presents a barrier to achieving our mission."

Maine AFL-CIO President Don Berry issued a statement condemning the announcement, saying, "No matter what you name a room, no matter how many pictures you take down, the truth is that this state was built by and for working people and this move dishonors the generations of hard-working Mainers who came before us. Paul LePage cannot erase our history, and he will not silence the voice of the working class in Maine."

The mural, pictured below (from The Portland Press-Herald, Judy Taylor Fine Art Studio), depicts various scenes from Maine's labor history, including strikes in Lewiston and Jay:

LePage Press Secretary Adrienne Bennett told The Huffington Post the governor's office is exploring alternative places to keep the mural, perhaps in the state museum, and believes they can move it without damaging the artwork. "We're not going to put an 'Open for Business' sign in the lobby either," she said when asked what would replace the painting. "It's going to be neutral."

"When you walk into our Department of Labor lobby, you see this mural, which is on several walls," added Bennett. "There's no getting around it. You see it, and it's there. The administration feels it's inappropriate for a taxpayer-funded agency to appear to be on one side or another. Clearly, the mural depicts one side. ... [W]e've got to make sure, as a Department and as a state government, we're representing all Maine people."

Judy Taylor, the artist behind the piece, took issue with Bennett's statement and stressed that there was no political agenda in her work.

"My response is that it's history, so it's not a present-day depiction of taxpayers," she said. "It's episodes pulled from history. So that, to me, is a very odd argument. Anybody that would be in a Labor Department, if they went 100 years back into their history, they would find episodes that aren't of reality today."

The mural was erected in 2008, as The Lewiston Sun-Journal notes, after the Maine Arts Commission chose Taylor through a jury selection.

Taylor also told The Huffington Post that the reactions she has received to her art have always been "very very positive" -- from both business leaders and workers alike. She noted at one point, a businessman told her he was particularly moved by the painting because it reminded him of his grandmother's stories about working at a textile mill.
LePage has been the target of labor protests in recent weeks, after he proposed raising the retirement age for some state workers and eventually capping cost-of-living adjustments for retirees in an effort to address the state's fiscal situation.

Maine state Rep. Diane Russell (D) traveled to Wisconsin last month to show solidarity with the labor demonstrators protesting Governor Scott Walker's controversial budget bill, which strips union workers of their collective bargaining rights. She explaining that "if the levees break in Madison, everyone gets flooded."

"It is on the backs of hard working people that companies make their profits," Russell told The Huffington Post in response the the DOL proposal. "That position deserves respect. It is not enough for conservatives to undermine the rights of workers across this country; now they are literally erasing them from the halls of history."

List of the rooms that are up for a name change:
Able ME Room (DOL program)
César Chávez Room (labor leader)
William Looney Room (politician)
Marianne Martin Room (labor commissioner)
Frances Perkins Room (first U.S. Labor Secretary and first female Cabinet member)
Rose Schneiderman Room (labor leader)
Charles Scontras Room (labor historian)
Sarah Wilson Room

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