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Where is America's Breaking Point?

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March against Iraq War by Lila York

"Unemployment is high. Average income is low and declining, making it impossible for a man to marry and support a family. Anger with rampant corruption in government is palpable and longstanding. One percent of the population lives in the lap of luxury that ordinary people can only dream of. The richest one percent is totally ignorant of the real problems of ordinary citizens. GDP is roughly 5% but the majority of the people have seen no benefit from that.   When the president travels in his limousine the roads are cleared in front of him, so he has no notion of how bad the traffic problems are. Elections here are fixed and essentially a joke, as opposition parties cannot run in any effective sense.    The people have been accused of lethargy and apathy, and a willingness to tolerate a loss of civil liberties.   But everybody has a breaking point. The people are fed up. They have had enough."  

That was Ben Wedeman, CNN's longtime Mid-East reporter speaking from Egypt last night. But that could have been Amy Goodman reporting from a march on Washington. As Hillary Clinton urged tolerance for protesters from the Egyptian government I wondered what she would say to the world if 200 million Americans took to the streets to protest government corruption, rigged elections, an absurd wealth distribution, and declining wages in America.  

Where is America's breaking point?   In a country where both parties in a two-party system are equally beholden to corporate money, where are the opposition leaders?   When do Americans demand real elections - elections where there is no money involved and all potential candidates are funded by taxpayer dollars?     

Americans are now placed in the absurd position of needing to organize a constitutional convention in order to overturn a politicized ruling by a corrupt supreme court; of needing to prove in every state that a corporation is not a human being. The apathy of Americans is equally palpable - as Congress and the courts behave as though they are enslaved by corporations and ignore the will of the American people most of the time. As Hank Paulsen was in the process of blackmailing Congress into a trillion dollar bailout for his banker cronies, every American adult with a pulse called his representative and screamed "NO". Congressmen reported on the floor of the House that calls and emails were 99% against a bailout. Congressional Democrats buckled to their banker masters and ignored us. And how did Americans protest being ignored? They turned control of the House of Representatives over to the Republicans - whose initial volley was to outlaw public funding for presidential elections. Next on their agenda: outlawing abortion and ending Social Security and Medicare.     

Our progressive opposition groups are fragmented and issue-based, as could be expected in a nation so huge and diverse. What is needed is a mechanism for binding progressive groups together to fight - literally - for a new regime: For publicly-funded elections and an end to gerrymandering that would give us some hope of a representative government. What is needed is genuine progressive leadership.  

 

Lila York is a choreographer and activist. She has traded the markets since 1990.
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Check out the link to MoveToAmend.org and contact ... by lila york on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 8:37:43 AM
I was listening to ABC news last night and I felt ... by Philip Pease on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 9:35:11 AM
I'm not trying to be snarky or contentious, becaus... by Jeff Poster on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 9:27:26 PM
... by Jeff Poster on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 9:28:16 PM
Americans are the most brainwashed, ignorant peopl... by 911TRUTH on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 12:11:12 PM
have the courage to seek it. The people of Tunisi... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 12:41:21 PM
are starting to demand justice.30,000,000 American... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 12:45:40 PM
Egypt has been a dictatorship for thirty years; th... by Dana Pico on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 1:22:16 PM
between the actions of the two parties anyway? Bot... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 2:08:11 PM
WHAT CHANGE?Wow....tell me about it...I must have ... by zonie on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 2:08:49 PM
There are several books on the subject and how it ... by lila york on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 2:12:45 PM
Why Does the Government Ignore Our Wishes? he woul... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 3:30:47 PM
Looking further, I believe you will also find this... by Richard Lee on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 7:03:12 PM
the corporate media's refusal to publish the resul... by John Sanchez Jr. on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 7:55:34 AM
Just what do you think the US is if not dictatorsh... by W Lorraine Watkins on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 3:50:19 PM
When we finally have instant-runoff voting then I'... by Jeff Poster on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 9:31:07 PM
When we finally have instant-runoff voting then I'... by Jeff Poster on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 9:37:52 PM
When we finally have instant-runoff voting then I'... by Jeff Poster on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 9:44:26 PM
If you think bush won in 2000 and 2004, I have a b... by 911TRUTH on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 12:37:46 PM
You must watch this!"We will not be silenced, whet... by zonie on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 2:20:43 PM
Once push comes to shove we get passed all the lab... by Bob Gormley on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 3:55:51 PM
Awesome!... by 911TRUTH on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 12:30:59 PM
Those who own the media have proved dead indiffere... by DH Fabian on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 3:24:46 PM
You haven't seen the "benefits" of welfare reform ... by Miriam Callaghan on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 10:49:29 AM
Just let the riots go into Saudi Arabia. If the U... by Odyseus_97 on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 4:46:58 PM
are already using Egypt's unrest as an excuse to d... by John Sanchez Jr. on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 8:08:51 AM
At least it would be difficult for the authoritari... by j dial on Monday, Jan 31, 2011 at 3:10:56 PM
"The Americans will always do the righ... by patricia win on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 5:45:59 PM
there are tens of thousands if not hundreds of tho... by Rob Kall on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 6:14:31 PM
The 50 million Americans living in poverty are tir... by Allen Oliver on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 7:33:45 AM
fight back.hit them where it hurts the most-the po... by tim mcghie on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 12:47:50 PM
What we must have is our own MSM network for Pr... by Richard Lee on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 6:35:15 PM
"- but nobody covered them on MSM!"... by Richard Lee on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 7:06:08 PM
for the corporate media to cover such protest once... by John Sanchez Jr. on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 8:14:43 AM
it will come when Americans can no longer: * buy a... by J. Edward Tremlett on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 6:40:31 PM
* hold religious services in private without the g... by J. Edward Tremlett on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 6:41:32 PM
and who is it that creates the business in the mos... by Archie on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 6:59:57 PM
It seems like a no-brainer. Support the status quo... by Gary Kutcher on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 7:00:14 PM
a local organization here is planning a Capitol (d... by Alicia Araya on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 8:35:10 PM
What is necessary is to create the "appropriate ne... by Jeff Poster on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 9:15:19 PM
I have been asking myself that same question since... by Janet Loughrey on Saturday, Jan 29, 2011 at 11:54:18 PM
of the inequities in our political system along wi... by John Sanchez Jr. on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 8:49:56 AM
Of all the acts of cynicism perpetrated by this ad... by Miriam Callaghan on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 10:42:26 AM
but I do have contempt for the right-wing justices... by lila york on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 11:08:13 AM
What would happen if America descended into chaos?... by Peter Duveen on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 10:51:20 AM
"Will these people come to their senses before the... by Michael Rose on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 12:21:29 PM
I like funny stuff. But Y'LL got here FOX News!And... by John Smith on Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 7:22:59 PM
I agree we are at a tipping point. A way forward ... by Paul Roden on Monday, Jan 31, 2011 at 6:10:24 AM
Lila, I agree with nearly everyting you said. But ... by E. J. N. on Monday, Jan 31, 2011 at 12:00:16 PM
It is absurd that what is required to nullify citi... by lila york on Monday, Jan 31, 2011 at 1:28:03 PM
Article 5 of the U.S. Constitution stipulates that... by E. J. N. on Monday, Jan 31, 2011 at 7:02:54 PM