Friday, September 18, 2009


Seems as though we on the left will have to deal with yet another well-excecuted hatchet job on a well-intentioned if imperfect non-profit advocate of the poor and middle class. As ACORN slips into the background having been supposedly exposed as a stealth advocate of child prostitution, a couple of things come to mind.

The hatchet job was accomplished by a fellow, James O'Keefe, who has a history of souped up attacks on Liberal institutions, his last target was Planned Parenthood. The idea of child prostitution, dressing outlandishly as a pimp, and bringing along a pretend prostitute was Mr. O'Keefe's idea and was so abhorrent to the folks in the Philly office that they called the police and filed a report. Gives new meaning to how "low can you go" and is yet another example of no holds barred political bomb throwing... an equally detestable manifestation of the human spirit. GOPERS next time you complain about "entrapment" remember that you aren't against it, you just against it when it's someone on YOUR side.

Mr. O'Keefe and companion had spent months poking around ACORN offices trying to get the answers they were looking for and finally found, alas, a couple of willing dupes. We're finding now that in at least one of the incidents, the ACORN staffer thought the two con artists were so silly looking and were asking questions so off the wall that she played right along with them, giving answers just as outlandish and silly... not a great use of good judgement.

ACORN has fired or suspended all the suspected staffers and has required all employees to attend in-service training emphasizing their primary mission as well as the tell-tale signs involved with getting snookered.

Mr. O'Keefe's comments after the fact included a response to the question, "Are you really a pimp?" His response, "No, I'm the whitest guy around here!" Racist or not?

It is reprehensible and horrible that any ACORN employee would ever advocate the dark deeds initiated by the actors engaged in this political stunt and there is and will be Hell to pay for ACORN. Meanwhile:

The vast majority of ACORN employees roll up their sleeves day-in and day-out, working long hours on behalf of the low- and moderate- income people in this country. They do good work -- most of it work that the government can't, or simply won't, do.

And that's why we need you to contact your members of Congress and ask that they stand with ACORN now. Join with us.

  • ACORN has helped nearly 50,000 homeowners access foreclosure prevention services since the start of our nation's foreclosure crisis;
  • ACORN played an integral role in the passage of 6 statewide minimum wage increases in Florida, Ohio, Missouri, Colorado, Arizona, and California and the City of San Francisco -- increases that set the stage for the national increase in 2007; all told over $2 billion put directly in the pocket of low-wage workers.
  • ACORN fought hard against predatory lending for a decade, winning legislation in Massachusetts, New Mexico, California, New York and New Jersey, and changes in the behavior of some corporations that led to over $6 billion of equity staying in the hands of working families.

You and I know this isn't work that Big Business, Big Media, or Big Politics are particularly fond of. But that's not why ACORN exists. ACORN exists to make a difference in the lives of millions of Americans -- often poor, often black or brown, often immigrants -- and to make sure that all of us have a seat at the table and a voice in the voting booth.

And you can bet that's what this is REALLY about.

Bertha Lewis
ACORN CEO and Chief Organizer


Crossposted at CobaltVA

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Who's a Fascist?

Crossposted at CobaltVA

On September 8, Mr. Eugene C. Buie contributed an opinion piece to the DNR. It was a recitation of the the Glen Beck talking points with a bit of Hannity and a pinch of wingnuttery. When the noise in the echo chamber leaks out into the real world, it scatters and becomes nonsensical. The arguments are circular, the slurs are meaningless and without context and the writer will no doubt curse and sputter and return to WingNut World from whence he came. Come out, come out wherever you are!

IT IS UNFORTUNATE for our nation, that is, for all of us, that some Americans are not interested in how the nation is governed as long as they can selfishly enjoy the benefits and conveniences of a communal society without assuming any of the responsibilities.

It is also unfortunate that almost half of the American population lives, by choice or necessity, at the expense of the other half. Many mistakenly consider this an entitlement due them by government, when in reality it is their neighbors who pay the taxes that fund unemployment, welfare, etc.

On a football team, the most talented runner is nowhere without good blocking. In a symphony orchestra, the conductor is nowhere without the concertmaster AND a strong, able supporting cast of fine musicians. In any team sport, the "go it alone" player can never be successful. The individual sports, however, are the place for strong individuals to shine.

There's room for both. We'll need the strong independent players. We'll need the team players. It's the team that's being denied the chance for success in the model outlined by the writer. It's the whole idea that Mr. Obama is trying to set up his team for success that our loyal opposition is shouting so vociferously against.

Mr. Buie says that half of the nation lives "at the expense" of the other half? Would it also be true that the other half also lives "at the expense" of the other half? Does the running back "live at the expense" of the linemen? How exactly does Mr. Buie propose to lift the "other half" out of their supposed dependency? What should be done with the homeless, those who live in poverty, those who depend on each other in their communities for their livelihood and quality of life? Is governance a team sport or an individual sport?

Historically, self-centered attitudes such as these represent a form of social regression that eventually results in the loss of individual freedom and the demise of a way of life Americans have shared in a representative democracy. Today, the American way of life established by our nation’s founders is being changed, as promised, by President Obama. As the Democrats in Congress amuse themselves with unrestrained deficit spending, the White House is quietly reforming the administrative structures of government and preparing to change American society.

Deliberately attempting to create conditions for the citizens of the United States to fail is the saddest, most tragic aspect to the current political climate. Denying health care, rationing services, bankrupting families, making life and death decisions for patients regardless of their needs.... it's all happening NOW, led by the insurance companies. Redistributing wealth from the poor to the rich is immoral and completely contrary to the idea of a successful civilization. It's never worked anywhere it's been tried. It's already happened. The loyal opposition is scrapping for more.

Denying students the opportunities to succeed by "starving the beast," allowing infrastructure to crumble, requiring the health and well-being of our citizens to be bought and sold as a commodity decreases the quality of life in America. The wanton destruction and obstruction of civil debate achieves nothing, helps no one, and does nothing to improve lives.

With the president’s appointment of dozens of “czars,” his program of social change will be centered in the White House, outside of congressional oversight. It will include, but not be limited to: government control of the economy, energy and health care; a government monopoly on information and education; mobilization of a “civilian national security force” and the condemnation of all opposition.

These programs promise the unlimited demands of an ideology that claims to be an agent of history some believe will transform the world. It is what Benito Mussolini called “stato totalitario,” a state that has total control. This totalitarian state is the polar opposite of American representative democracy.

Mr. Buie makes no reasoned or helpful arguments. He speaks of totalitarianism... He compares the current administrative program to fascism. Maybe he's right. Mr. Obama is the leader of a nation, Mr. Mussolini was the leader of a nation... therefore, Mr. Obama is a fascist? Would that mean Mr. Bush, Mr. Clinton, et al.. were all fascists? Does Mr. Buie even know what fascism is? or for that matter socialism? Does he know that they exist at the OPPOSITE ends of the political spectrum?

If Mr. Buie feels that those in the "wrong half" should simply "be able to see what is at stake," and improve their lot accordingly? Does he share any insight into how that might happen? More tax cuts? Less government? Take away the social safety net? Build more prisons for the poor and the debtors? Maybe start another war?

Enabled by a Congress controlled by Democrats pledged to establish what begins to look like a totalitarian state, the Obama administration is manipulating momentary setbacks in the economy (we have experienced these before) into inflated crises and using these crises to justify catastrophic government responses. Watch as the H1N1 flu virus becomes the next crisis. Allowed to continue, these totalitarian-like responses will result in the effective economic oppression of us all (not just the rich) through taxation, rising costs of living from energy to commodities to health care, and unprecedented government takeovers throughout the private sector.

What kind of magical powers has Mr. Buie endowed Mr. Obama with? Can he really manipulate a pandemic? Can he really manipulate the economy to suit his nefarious political agenda? Do you mean that Mr. Bush's non-response to the Katrina disaster was a proper "cleansing" of that great American city?

It is pathetic indeed that even Congress does not seem to realize the potential consequences of the legislation they are putting in motion. Neither do they seem to recognize the transfer of power that is taking place as White House czars seize control of governance from the hands of our elected representatives, who incidentally eagerly fund this transfer of power.

Additionally, it is hard to believe that the American people, even those who elected this president and Congress, are willing to submit themselves to the changes now being planned in this Obama program of social transformation. Some Democrats have said that the American people don’t care. But I want to hope that people do care.

Whether Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal, people should be able to see what is at stake right now for their future. There are changes we need to make, but being transformed into a quasi-totalitarian state is not one of them. People need to speak up and take responsibility for the future of our nation.

Wait, you mean Mr. Obama is actually pursuing an aggressive political agenda? Change We Can Believe In? You mean that he's actually governing, using the power of the executive to create programs that actually have a positive effect on the nation's citizens? Czars? Would you rather refer to them as committee chairmen or CEO's? Administrators maybe?

Mr. Buie, do not be afraid of what well-structured and organized governance looks like. This is government that WORKS. Remember that the government is "for the people and by the people," and works for US. The Government of the United States of America IS "We the People." For better or worse, we elect 'em and we tell them what to do. We told Mr. Obama to take charge. He is.