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Look at California! or dare we whisper "revolution"?

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I just learned this last week that in 1999 a U.S. court decision affirmed what I'd always suspected: that Martin Luther King was assassinated by his own government. How disturbing! - It took more than 30 years for that court decision to be pronounced and yet many Americans like myself never heard or read about it. Some of us wondered if our suspicions about the assassinations of the '60s weren't just a little paranoid, and so we were able to maintain a relative innocence or confusion. Today there's no confusion - thanks to whistleblowers Snowden and Manning - we know our government is guilty of great crime. Thanks to the MLK court judgment we also know that the criminal proclivities of our government is nothing new - that the secret suspicions many of us had about MLK's death were not baseless. If our government was capable of such a crime in the '60s, today with the Patriot Act in place and with a president who claims the "right" to assassinate American citizens without benefit of a trial, it should be evident to everyone that we have little choice but to work to achieve revolutionary change.

Today a national dystopia has settled in like a dense fog. It's become impossible to cherish the national myths of "the land of the free" and "land of opportunity" as the corruption of our political and economic systems has become so rank that some of us have decided that voting is an utter waste of time. - Some of us will not vote at any level, and some refuse only the farce of the federal level. It's certainly evident that it's at the federal level that the most reactionary legislation (think Patriot Act or free trade agreements) is enacted by our "representatives" - or more accurately representatives owned by the military-industrial complex, by bankers - or by other corporate interests. Because I agree with Howard Zinn that reform always begins at the grassroots level, I still vote at the local level with what hope I still have that a functioning democracy is possible if we work at it.

I nearly want to scream "PEOPLE! Stop looking to WA DC for leadership - that's the last place we're going to find it! Since NO politician can get to WA DC without selling their soul to the company store, DC politicians are too busy groveling before their corporate johns to pay us any mind. To win an election at the federal level requires a campaign chest full of corporate bribes (aka campaign donations) and piles of corporate media endorsements, so it's delusional to expect them to represent us."

Look west young man look west! - or rather look west or to the north or to the south depending on where you happen to live. IMO, we must never forget that sewage runs downhill from centers of power - and that reform as Howard Zinn reminds us ALWAYS begins in this country as a grassroots movement - so I'm convinced that we focus on organizing at the local level to exercise direct democracy. For inspiration today, I don't look to WA, I'm actually looking to Cali-f'g-fornia - the accursed state of all places which gave us Ronald Reagan (more about that a little later).

Martin Luther King was a man who worked at the grassroots level, which eventually resulted in federal civil-rights legislation. I'm afraid, for that reason, too many people still look to the federal level to bring about progressive change - I certainly did for a long time. It took me years before I began to sense that it is the federal government that extinguishes progressive change, and that the federal government works most effectively to maintain the status quo or class privilege. I finally read "A People's History of the United States" and Zinn confirmed my suspicions by explaining that whenever a grassroots movement threatens real and permanent change, the political system is adept at co-opting that movement with temporary legislative measures that are invariably "weakly worded, almost immediately ignored and eventually rescinded." That Zinn was correct about the way grassroots fires are doused by federal legislation is obvious once you recognize the pattern. There are many examples to illustrate Zinn's point that federal legislation is the kiss of death for real, long-lasting reform: Anti-Trust legislation, labor law, Glass-Steagall, and now even Social Security is threatened.

Once I recognized how effective a centralized political system is in drowning any real democratic movement, I began to hope for a more localized system or a system of direct democracy. I thought my ideas were pipe dreams - but lo! This last November I saw some hopeful developments in Cali-f'ing-fornia - the state that cursed us with Ronald Reagan. California is where I think there's evidence that a successful and peaceful revolution and real grassroots reform has begun. The success there is in focusing on the local level and abandoning the so called 2-faced UNI-Party of, for, and by corporate hos.

In this last November's election Mendocino County passed an ordinance that established local control, established the rights of nature and made pollution of the commons a CRIME to stop fracking activity.

In Richmond, California, that township elected an entire slate of Green Party candidates to upset R. and D. corporate shills who, because they had the support of Chevron oil, had millions of dollars in their campaign chests.

California may not be there yet - but it's on its way. I think it's time for the rest of us around the country to begin that journey.
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Kathleen Bushman Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I am a progressive,& an Oregon Progressive Party member who has become convinced we Americans have only ONE 2 faced War Party which typically offers us the choice of two mediocre candidates from which to choose. We Americans who supposedly (more...)

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