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Memo to OEN Members June 27

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Where were you in 1966? If you think of the King Years, as being what Taylor Branch writes in his trilogy, you are probably thinking of Lyndon Johnson before his exit from the stage in 1968.

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Where were you in 1966? If you think of the King Years, as being what Taylor Branch writes in his trilogy, you are probably thinking of Lyndon Johnson before his exit from the stage in 1968.
 
If you are thinking of what movies came out, "Sand Pebbles" may have caught your attention.  I remember that famous line by the Chinese helper to Steve McQueen as they tried to get the engine of the San Pablo (Sand Pebbles) started.  McQueen  is responsible for keeping the old bucket running and he confronts his helper about why the work on it is so slovenly.  (A kind of preventive maintenance lecture as I recall.)  The helper replies "rice bowl."  The Film Society of Lincoln Center  hosted a major tribute to Steve McQueen in May 2009.
 
In Nam days, we had a saying, "Millions of Americans are going to bed hungry and many of them on Metrocal." At present time, fighting hunger is translated into reality.  How many are hungry around the world?  In the United States? In your hometown?  How to balance hunger and obesity in one sentence is tricky.  Perhaps if I could see the current film Food, inc. I would get it straight.
 
In the meantime, my mind taunts me with wars--namely in VietNam and Iraq et al.  I'm almost embarrassed to harp on that old "quagmire" bugaboo.  But how can I stop?  Members on OEN all want to define, defend, and dissect  "Progressive" in the year 2009.  And all I can think is, "Where did they go wrong?"

There was such a general uprising nearly half a century ago--cultural revolution, civil rights revolution, anti-war revolution.  Why did it fizzle?  Sure, for those who stood up, there were also those who stood pat.  In one sense, it was generational.  (Does anyone see the irony of my peers, most of whom were turned off by the drug climate of that time, wanting their pills to be paid for by the government?)  In another sense, it was just plain survivalism.  Once the draft was canceled the furor over immoral wars quieted.
 
Back then, the rhetoric against liberal living was forwarded by politicians-in-the-making  like Young Americans for Freedom (where Karl Rove got his start) and the holier-than-thou camp, most venomously upheld by the John Birch Society.  (Our Ecumenical group in Berwyn, IL managed to be admitted to one of their film viewings for the faithful, and we learned that keeping our minds in the gutter for a whole hour was enough of that.)  Yesterday, the New York Times wrote an article titled, "Holding Firm Against Plots by Evildoers." One sentence stands out:  "Maybe you displayed a Birch bumper sticker on your car; maybe you enjoyed the Chad Mitchell Trio song mocking the Birch obsession with communism."

So little has changed in forty years. I see it in articles and definitely in the halls of Congress.  There are the preachers, the money legislators, the dancers--a whole lot of so-called leaders dancing around the subject of war and peace.  Those who see a slow withdrawal, a few new generals, trimming unnecessary expenditures as the answer dance around War.  Peace dancers want to eliminate the force of OPEC, spend money on good health, subscribe to production of nourishing food, and--expect to see light at the end of the tunnel by spending more money than the Department of Defense does. 

Meanwhile, governors are already hurting for education funds. This just to keep the schools open with a respectable number of teachers and staff.  Where is the great design to train teachers to learn more about recent advancements in science toward how students learn--or don't?  Sadly, I hear how teachers are at fault for having unions.

OMG! I should start over.  Without unions there will be no progressive movement.  Isn't that what happened to us in the last forty years? 



 

Margaret Bassett passed away August 21, 2011. She was a treasured member of the Opednews.com editorial team for four years.

Margaret Bassett--OEN editor--is an 89-year old, currently living in senior housing, (more...)
 
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has a disabling effect on the modern progressive m... by John Sanchez Jr. on Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 9:18:45 AM
At the time of FDR's inauguration there was activi... by Margaret Bassett on Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 9:44:15 AM
OMG full circle... How like life!"So little has ch... by sometimes blinded on Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 4:22:04 PM
I have a hard time keeping track of the decades, s... by Margaret Bassett on Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 5:40:01 PM
Signers of the Declaration of Independence ... by Nemo on Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 1:03:28 AM
Unions have been decimated since the fascists took... by Bryan Emmel on Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 3:29:31 AM
I was just through my sophomore year at U of Flori... by B. Ross Ashley on Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 10:36:51 AM
I became a computer programmer trainee that year. ... by Margaret Bassett on Monday, Jun 29, 2009 at 11:14:57 AM
My long memory of the New Deal comes in here. FDR ... by Margaret Bassett on Wednesday, Jul 1, 2009 at 6:32:15 AM