Saturday, March 26, 2011

Democracy in America

Charlie Sheen has over 1.3 million followers on Twitter.
Every week millions of votes are cast for American Idol singers.
The Department of Defense said it has @$1billion to spend on Libya without asking Congress for more money... (oh, if only the DoD had to hold bake sales to raise monies, and not schools)

People are watching the democratisation of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Syria. . . but are they paying attention to the democracy here at home?

GE the nation's largest corporation ". . . reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States. Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion."

Other states are joining Wisconsin in their anti-labor move...from banning collective bargaining to making their state "business friendly" by removing WPA murals and renaming conference rooms--No more Frances Perkins room--in Maine.

Federal, State and local budgets are cutting off aid to children, cutting education spending, cutting police forces. . . most target working poor and the middle class.

The income gap is getting bigger (SEE

13.7 million people are currently unemployed. According to Bob Herbert's column 3/26 there is currently only 1 job for every 5 job seekers.

Wait, I thought cutting corporate taxes would create jobs. Doesn't seem to be happening.

No, what seems to be happening is that we are losing sight of democracy.

In Wisconsin, Republicans are trying to silence William Cronon who published a study guide that begins with "After watching the sudden and impressively well-organized wave of legislation being introduced into state legislatures that all seem to be pursuing parallel goals only tangentially related to current fiscal challenges–ending collective bargaining rights for public employees, requiring photo IDs at the ballot box, rolling back environmental protections, privileging property rights over civil rights, and so on–I’ve found myself wondering where all of this legislation is coming from." His questions lead him to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)...he follows the conservative rise to power and its affects on politics, the economy and America.

Where is democracy in America? It is in everyone of us, if we are paying attention. But, most of us are distracted by Charlie "Winner" Sheen, by American Idol...

Some of the other resources mentioned, so you may read for yourself.

Obama's Budget proposal:

NYS budget proposal:

Cronin's OP Ed piece 3/22

His 3/24 blog piece

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