August 6, 2020

As usual, Radical Rhymes has found the right words, summarizing the problem succinctly. The poor are penalized in our society, the rich rewarded for nothing more than their avarice and selfish grifting. This disconnect from reality by the privilege is dangerous, indeed. Thank you for this important commentary.

Radical Rhymes

I’ve been thinking a lot about connectedness recently. The wrongheadedness of much right wing thinking is always the driver of these thoughts. It’s easy, seductive – forget society, focus only on yourself and your family.

One of the logical extensions of this perspective leads to questions like: Why pay taxes? Surely we should keep what we earn? Wasn’t it Nozick that said that income tax amounted to theft? Why should wealthy people subsidise those less fortunate? Their tired old answer is to forget taxation and allow the trickle down effect to operate.

As we’ve seen since the late 1970s though, the trickle down is more like a torrent up. Inequality keeps on growing and the share secured by the have nots declines exponentially. And of course, left to their own devices, free of state intervention, the 1% will take as much as they can get away with. They would happily…

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Mission Style

April 15, 2010

John sent this out as a possible mission statement.  Thank you, so much!!  We can discuss this, along with immigration, at our meeting on Friday, April 16th.  Assuming we’ve all finished our taxes.    Our thanks to Lynn M. Welling whose words we’ve reformulated in common cause.

An Affirmation of Human Oneness

There will be a recognition that every person

as part of the Human Family

is a Citizen of the World.

That achievements of men and women thru out the ages

are the heritage of all

and that our destiny is bound to that

of our fellow human beings.

What we create jointly forms our bequest

to all future generations,

and  each of our lives, in serving the good of all

preserves our civilization, and this earth,

for those yet to come.

Last week Republican operative David Frum wrote a piece posted on – It’s Waterloo All Right: Ours – in which he articulated the argument against lunatic hyperbole as a political strategy.  The  conservative think tank American Heritage Institute’s reaction was swift and sure.    Fire David Frum.  Silence common sense.

I phoned in to a  Health Care Forum  hosted by  5th District Congressman Keith Ellison and was, frankly, shocked to hear the same uninformed anger and unreasonable narrow mindedness from a few of the callers coming from a district long considered one of  the most open minded and progressive in the country.

Let’s call our representatives and thank them for their support of health care reform.  If they have done so, let’s thank them for holding fast to the principles upon which they ran and were elected.    In the face of so much ugly and malicious behavior from the far right, we need to send a positive message to those who have walked through screaming Tea Party protesters to make the hard votes.  And, while we’re at it, let’s put some of our own boots on the ground in support of a common sense, respectful approach to the problems we must face as a country.  United rather than divided.


Meet lies with truth

March 14, 2010

In The New Rove-Cheney Assault on Reality Frank Rich reminds us how important it is to challenge lies and the lying liars who tell them.


If not now, then when?

March 9, 2010

We’re seeing the same ugliness we saw last summer in the health care town hall forums.  People are being shouted down with ignorant slogans.  Public officials who are trying to educate their constituencies  are being drowned out by angry mobs.

Maybe we need to show up at these things and offer a more sensible alternative to the reactionary bluster of the ill informed.

For those of us inpatient for action, Take Action Minnesota is a good place to start.  On Thursday, March 11th at 7:00 p.m. there will be a Health Care Reform Panel Discussion at the

Conduit Gallery, Office of Dr. Sam Willis
1300 Quincy Street NE, Suite 100
Minneapolis,  MN

I’m taking the liberty of posting the message Gene forwarded to me from the Take Action folks –

Last October 5th, six Minnesotans were arrested when they sat down at the front doors of the United Health Group headquarters in Minnetonka, MN.

On March 9th, the tables will turn.  Thousands of activists (including 19 Minnesotans) will arrest insurance company executives huddled at the Washington D.C. Ritz-Carlson for their annual industry conference.

The real crime is denying people the health care they need.

Join us for an action this Thursday at the Hennepin County Courthouse.  We’ll hear from UHG arrestees, as well as a few of the 19 Minnesotans currently in D.C., about how we can continue to push back at the insurers who are shortchanging us every day.

WHAT: Health Care Reform Action

WHEN: Thursday, March 11th at 11:30am

WHERE: Hennepin County Government Center, 300 S 6th St, Minneapolis, MN 55487

We’ll take action ourselves to round up those who would stop health care reform.  Why? Because if the insurance companies win, we lose.

We need to act quickly and decisively in the interest of offering an alternative  to the Tea Party hyperbole.   Please feel free to post any upcoming events you feel would be helpful in expanding our base.


John recommended E.J. Dionne: Let’s talk about reconciliation at our last meeting.

Polly’s Recommendation

March 6, 2010

The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life by Richard Florida

The Money Trail

March 6, 2010

As we discussed, it’s important to know who is giving what to whom.   Transparency is one way to counter corporate power in our political process.  But we need to get the word out. offers a fairly comprehensive list of corporate donations.  Let’s spread the word.


“You cannot run away from weakness; you must some time fight it out or perish; and if that be so, why not now, and where you stand?”
Robert Louis Stevenson

It’s time to draft a mission statement.   All suggestions are welcome.

We decided to reach out to other groups in the interest of broadening our audience, in addition to finding common cause.

That said, check out the  Minnesota Alliance for Peace Makers calendar which includes the  March 17th Lake Street Bridge Vigil commemorating 7 years Too Long in Iraq.

Also, check out the  Third Thursday Forum calendar. These presentations are hosted by the Minnesota Chapter of Citizens for Global Solutions.  If we’re interested in networking with like-minded individuals, these are a couple of places to start – expanding our own horizons in the process.


Coffee Party

March 4, 2010

The New York Times has an excellent story on the launch of the Coffee Party.

Their new slogan is  “Wake Up and Stand Up.” The mission statement declares that the federal government is “not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order to address the challenges we face as Americans.”

However, the founders make it clear that they are not a left wing Tea Party equivalent.  They want to promote “getting along” and may invite some Tea Party members to meetings to discuss “common issues of concern”.  I think the launch of a response to the Tea Party by those on the left is needed.  However, my reservation about the Coffee Party is whether they will spend a lot of unproductive time worrying about “bipartisanship” and other mushy concepts that may take steam away from the necessity of holding the fire to the feet of so-called Democrats who do not represent their constituents. 

From my perspective, I think we should watch the Coffee Party closely, but also explore how a Common Sense Party might inject some progressive militancy into the  response to the Tea Party, so Democrats In Name Only (DINOs) fear us as much as the right wing mobs who tried to intimidate them this summer.

Gene Martinez