Friday, May 27, 2011

Requiem for a Hero

Paul J. Wiedorfer, WWII Medal of Honor recipient

His wish is worth remembering.
As he aged, Mr. Wiedorfer said he prayed for the day there would be no living recipients of the Medal of Honor.

“Because,” he once said, “it will mean that we have learned to live in peace.”


Ultimate CSI

Americans will be going over Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan with a very fine tooth comb.

More intriguing to me, though, is the concept of a "run-of-the-mill high-value target" articulated by a former senior CIA official involved in the pursuit of bin Laden. Logically, one cannot be both high-value and run-of-the-mill.

That might explain why the US has felt required to pursue a counterproductive war for the past decade.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Why Aren't These People My Allies?

As a socialist-liberal-progressive, I could not agree more with this Tea Party Congressional candidate.

Davis, a Republican-turned-Democrat-turned-tea partier who lambastes both parties as tools of multinational corporations and other monied interests. Spokesman Curt Ellis said the factory owner “has been hit from both sides” in the ad wars.

“Jack Davis has said that both the Democratic and Republican parties have been bought by the special interests,” Ellis said. “That’s who’s funding these ads, and that’s why we see both of them attacking Jack.”

Tea Party members definitely hold some narrow, ill-informed opinions. This is not one of them.

Answer to my question: The the Tea Party is not my ally because the organization and its members advocate social and economic policies that limit social justice and economic opportunity. Their unfailing faith in free markets actually enables the corporate domination they vociferously decry.

But Tea Party adherents share at least one strong belief with me as a Leftist: strong distrust of corporations. On top of that, I am pretty sure that Tea Partiers have some concept of what they believe is in the nation's best interest. That means we share a second common goal because I have a concept of what serves America and Americans well. These are two openings for dialogue.

The liberal progressive community in Olympia is organizing to create a dialogue on corporate control and militarism. Move to Amend is training community organizers and Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation is sponsoring the "Bring Our Billions Home" campaign. As part of that effort, I and other citizens of Washington's 3rd Congressional District will be writing and meeting with our Tea Party Republican representative.

All this is Organizing 101. It's not high-tech or something you can buy with money (which is good since the corporations and wealthy have all the money). Its currency is knowledge, understanding and commitment, something money cannot buy. Organizing is person-to-person. Think of it as a form of asymmetric warfare against the corporate behemoths.

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