The Morals Of A Gnat

     As I watched the rant of CNBC analyst Rick Santelli concerning the proposed housing bailout of the Obama administration I couldn't help but think is this where we have evolved to as a country? Where our chief concern is what's in it for me. Have we gotten to the place where we are taking our moral cues from the same greedy, profit at all cost mentality that got us into this mess? According to this crowd it is now immoral to help those who have become unemployed, sick, or homeless because they have had the misfortune of working for a company that had lay-offs and didn't have golden parachutes. Because these people are still fortunate enough to be employed and have homes then the rest of the world be damned?

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It's Not Right or Left. It's About What's Right and Wrong

Woody Guthrie once sang "This Land is Your Land, This Land is my land", and you know what folks, it still is. This isn't Monsanto's land, this isn't The Federal Government's land, and it's OUR land. The Federal Government works for us, the citizens of this country. That's you and I. We say what's done in our name. We are America. You might have forgotten about that in the last few decades, but I'd like to gently remind you that as in the first document of this nation it says "We the People". Not we the agribusiness, not we the defense contractors, not we the Homeland Security apparatus. Bush is not our King. He is our servant. The Congress is supposedly the house of the people, not of professional politicians that make a living out of dealing out this nation's wealth to corporations. We never envisioned "professional politicians" that stayed decades reaping fortunes on the business of the people.

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Obama Supporters: Our Standards, and a Call to Unite. Update w/ Statement

To my fellow supporters of Barack Obama, I don't mean to sound so dramatic.  I really don't.  However, we are in the minority here.  That's fine.  None of us are here because we prefer to hear only what we want to hear.  None of us are here for the sake of nay-saying or arguing.

We're here because we want to represent our the candidate that we prefer.  The campaign that we prefer.  The movement that we may consider ourselves apart of. It's a movement that has been built from the ground up with the understanding that alone any one of us are all but entirely insignificant. Together, we are far from insignificant.

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What Are You Doing To Solve The Climate Crisis?

The petition I have up at Tree Nation is asking people to pledge to become climate messengers in response to Al Gore's movie and book An Inconvenient Truth, and has drawn signatures from around the world of those pledging to do just that. And for every 100 signatures, Tree Nation (which is also sponsored by the UNEP) has planted a tree in Niger in their goal to plant 8 million trees in the shape of a heart.

I want to show some of the responses (names withheld) to give you an understanding of what people globally are thinking and pledging to do because this damn well is important news. And these are just the signatures with comments. There are hundreds more from countries all over the world pledging to become climate messengers in response to Mr. Gore's environmental work, because this work is crucial to the sustainability of our planet. Therefore, I would also like to ask: What are you doing to solve this crisis? What are you doing to help him?

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myDD Not Just A Neoconservative Echo Chamber

OK, now that I have your attention, please forgive me for the tagline.  I would like to have some help here.  It seems that there has been a fair bit of discussion on the positions of various candidates for the nomination for president of the Democratic party vis a vis the war in Iraq and now, perhaps more importantly, the impending, hypothetical, war on Iran.

This brings up a matter of policy, or perhaps ethics and values, of the progressive Left, if there still is such a thing, on the subject of the position the US in the world and the relationship which we choose to epitomise in our affairs with other nations in our global community.  Where do we stand?  What is and is not acceptable or desirable for the future of this country, and the world, as our leaders conceive it?  What is the ethos of the progressive Left?  Have we, unsuspectingly, sipped from the forbidden chalice of hubristic neoconservative Kool-Aid?

I do not want to frame this discussion as a champion of some Cloud-Cuckoo-Land utopian ideological wishful thinking.  This is a practical problem of politics, domestic US politics, and the ability to reach out to the constituency, as it stands today, and forge the genuine electoral power to win an election with a mandate that is aligned with the core beliefs and future direction of the electorate and the party.

So here it is, FWIW.  What are the strengths and weaknesses of the following propositions as policy for progressive Democratic candidates in the 2008 election:

1. Unequivocally reject unilateral military attack by the US against soverign powers in the absence of a casus belli and a formal declaration of war by the Congress of the United States.

2. Unequivocally reject the option of a nuclear first strike by the US and re-establish the nuclear alert status of launch-on-warning as the nuclear war policy of the US armed forces.

3. Reassert the existing US committment to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, the writ of habeus corpus and conventions of international law ratified by the United States in respect of the rights of foreign nationals detained by the United States and held under our jurisdiction.

There has always been, in our body politic, and in the hearts of our true allies and beneficiaries, an unwavering faith that the principles which this country was founded on, and which have served us so well through the challenges and obstacles of our history, as abstract and visionary as they once seemed, are the bedrock of this country's greatness.  

Perhaps we need to review those intangible but essential ethical and moral values that have led us to believe that the United States is destined to be great among nations and lead the world by example, something we have perhaps come to take too much for granted, and see if we need to rededicate ourselves to these values once more, however we now conceive them.  This seems to be a process that is renewed in each generation and it may be more than past due.

Your comments and criticisms are are welcomed.

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