Movement


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I’m putting these two reads together because one is the effect of the mindless machine that is eating away at our better instincts and the other is an encouraging counter to that heavy intent. I’m also putting the cart before the horse, the positive article first.

That first article is from Texan Jim Hightower, who — along with Paul Begala — gives the state a good name now that Molly Ivans is gone. He writes about the community movement called Moral Monday that has grown legs. This is how we do it, now. Not riots in the streets but linked arms and sure purpose.

In the last piece, we have a report on the House legislation that attacks our continuing legacy of national parks. This makes me see red, you betcha! Nature should be our schoolroom, where we learn all we need to know about life process, but it is valued only as property and opportunity for development by those who have lost themselves. The House is, currently, lost and has no respect for the commons, the property dedicated for the use of the people.

We must not allow that to happen. We must not lose ourselves as we reclaim our good, and, in fact, may indeed ‘find ourselves’ as we align with one another to achieve it.

As Teddy Kennedy would say, “… the work begins anew.”

Jude

I Think They Can
Some of the states where the Moral Monday movement is rising are mighty steep political hills for progressives to climb.
Jim Hightower, OtherWords by CommonDreams
Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Like that little choo-choo in the classic children’s book “The Little Engine that Could,” Moral Monday is the little movement that says, “I think I can” and keeps chugging up the hill.

This new progressive coalition became a full-throttle citizen uprising in North Carolina early last year.

Fueled by rising public outrage at the rampant right-wing extremism of the Republican-run state government, a few advocates for workers, civil rights, and other people’s issues went inside North Carolina’s state capitol on a Monday in April.

Led by Rev. William Barber, head of the North Carolina NAACP, they literally put their bodies on the line in protest of the GOP’s reckless crusade to turn the state into a privatized utopia for unfettered corporate greed and tea party wackiness.

Several members of the small group were arrested that day, and Republican leaders berated their protest as “Moron Monday.”

To build a movement, you’ve gotta start moving.Those politicos aren’t laughing now.

The protesters kept coming and their numbers kept growing, for Moral Monday had struck a chord. The protest spread across the state. A rally in February drew more than 80,000 people, and public approval ratings for the governor and state assembly have tanked.

The legislature is now out of session, but Moral Monday still has weekly meetings and is launching a 50-county organizing and voter education campaign this summer.

It’s now a burgeoning multi-issue, grassroots movement for progressive change. And it’s literally on the move, branching out to other states — Moral Monday Georgia is going full steam this year, South Carolina has a Truthful Tuesday movement gaining steam, and the movement is getting started in Alabama, Florida, New York, and Wisconsin.

Some of these states are mighty steep political hills for progressives to climb, but success begins with someone saying, “I think I can.” To build a movement, you’ve gotta start moving. ++

House Republicans prove hatred of America with ‘No More Parks’ bill
Joan McCarter, Daily Kos
Wed Mar 26, 2014

“There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of the giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon of the colorado, the Canyon o f the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our people shoudl see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children’s children forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred.”
~ President Theodore Roosevent

The House voted today to undo what they can of President Teddy Roosevelt’s legacy. They voted to pass the “Ensuring Public Involvement in the Creation of National Monuments Act,” their effort to make sure that no more land worth saving from mining, drilling, logging or fracking is indeed saved through executive action. It passed, of course, 222-201, but is unlikely to advance in the Senate, which is reason number infinity why we need the Senate.

Back in 1906, Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act, which gives the president the power to designate significant cultural, historical or ecological sites—which are already public land—as monuments. Since then, 16 presidents (evenly divided by part) have protected sites like the Grand Canyon, Acadia, Muir Woods and Olympic national parks through the monument designation. These places eventually became national parks through congressional action, but were preserved thanks to the Antiquities Act.

They didn’t do this just because they hate protected public land. They also did it because they hate the fact that President Obama has the power—which every president before him since Teddy Roosevelt has had—to designate protected land without giving them the opportunity to derail his efforts. Of course, why they say they’re doing it is because the president can act unilaterally, without public input, and because of the terrible economic impact these protected lands have.

Both of which are bullshit. The public loves national parks and monuments and thinks it’s government’s job to protect public land, to the tune of almost 90 percent of likely voters (as of this 2012 poll).

    Nearly 90 percent of voters think that candidates who prioritize national parks are seen as caring about the environment, protecting our heritage for the future, patriotic, and a good steward of our nation’s resources. And as the National Park Service approaches its centennial in 2016, a majority of likely voters (77 percent) say it is important for the next president to ensure that parks are fully restored and ready to serve and be relevant to future generations in their second century.

The economic impact of national parks was felt as recently as last fall, when the Republican House shut them down. The communities around the parks lost $414 million in just 16 days. Every dollar invested in a national park, the National Park Service has found, comes back to the community 10-fold. A study released earlier this month by the NPS found that visits to parks in 2012 generated $14.7 billion in spending in “gateway” communities, those within 60 miles of a park. All that money spent by park visitors supported 243,000 jobs and contributed $26.8 billion to the national economy.

Once again, the Republican House wasted time on a bill that is diametrically opposed to the will of the public. Once again, they wasted time on a bill that will not even get a hearing in the Senate. And once again they proved that they really do hate America. ++

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”
~ The Reverend Martin Luther King

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