I recently joined a group called "Spokane Progressives"--mainly to discover what it means to be a "progressive" in the small city of Spokane, Washington where I live. I'm generally dubious about the term "progressive" just as I am dubious about other labeling like "left" and "right", "liberal" and "conservative" and "yer mom." Labels like these don't tend to be very informative, though they do tend to be very inflammatory. They don't seem to help much in the disussion of issues, and they usually aren't very accurate.
For example, before the election there was a group called "Progressives FOR Obama" and another one called "Progressives AGAINST Obama." Find the links for those on the Internet if you can. While you're at it, were there any progressives either for or against McCain? Probably not until he made Sarah Palin his running mate (hubba hubba). But even so, these labels do not clearly distinguish the cats from the dogs, the men from the boys, or the perverts from the molesters.
Incidentally, did every adult male (12-yrs and older) in this country think they were gonna get a chance to crawl into bed with Sarah Palin if she was elected Vice President? Was that the great interest in her political presence? The woman obviously doesn't have a brain. So what was the attraction? Were American rednecks hoping the White House would eventually publish a centerfold spread on the stupid wench? Playboy? Penthouse? Hustler? Heck, I can do one for ya in Photoshop for a small fee. And it would be very "believable" too--just like the "girl next door" that ya'll keep panting about. But that wouldn't make Sarah Palin any more politically appealing, except in maybe Alaska. Ron White presents a very "redneck" discussion of "Alaska" for those who don't know what I mean.
Meanwhile I suppose both "progressive" Obama groups still exist, though I strongly doubt that either will have much influence in Obama's decision-making process. A Republic (representative democracy) deliberately prohibits any sort of direct interaction in the political and legislative process, and our particular "republic" was privatized (hijacked) by big business a long time ago. Hence my skepticism about "progressives" and our political decision-making process overall.
However, I was pleasantly surprised by an email from someone near my very own hometown recently--another member of Spokane Progressives who seems concerned about many of the same issues I am. Truth be known, if I am dubious about "progressives", then I am even more dubious about progressives from "Spokane," as most people in this community don't seem to be very educated about anything beyond their own genitals, if they manage to get that far. As a taxicab driver and a graphic designer and a call center agent and a general citizen, I have interacted with hundreds (maybe thousands) of people from Spokane and the surrounding area. But I have been generally underwhelmed and unimpressed until I received the following email from a new friend recently:
"The view from Twisp (21 below here this morning, and only 5" of snow!):
"It's curious to me that Krugman supports the so-called auto bailout. The view from Twisp is, the big 3 auto companies are dead, unless somebody can get them making trains and public transit in the next 3 months. Otherwise they don't have a prayer; automobile sales are down 50%, and those companies have financial obligations that run into the billions each month--whether even one car sells.- Advertisement -
"This is really a new age, and I don't know of one mainstream commentator who is aware of it. Personally I think we are all complicit in the enormous collapse that is occurring. The American and the global financial systems turned into little more than gambling casinos, and almost no one cared, as long as their 401Ks or pension plans or whatever they had invested in continued to grow. But continual growth is not possible on a finite planet. This is why Hazel Henderson called modern economics 'a form of brain disease.' Modern economics is unaware that it lives on a physical planet.
"We have also, for reasons that are unclear to me, been willing to support a Department of Destruction budget that is thought to total about $1 trillion dollars a year, when all the chips are counted. The liberal contingent knew we should not be killing people in Iraq and Afghanistan and Vietnam and Laos and Cambodia and Guatemala and Nicaragua and El Salvador and that we should not be building and maintaining an arsenal of 8000 hydrogen bombs, but we paid up annually anyway. So now the US has no productive capacity except for weapons -- when they are built and when they are used the GDP goes up, but the carrying capacity of the physical earth goes down. So $1 trillion a year for many years, really just thrown away, making the rich richer and the earth poorer.
"Basically we earned what we are getting; we have done this to ourselves. It looks to me like from here we are not just starting a new chapter, but we will be starting a new book. But the rules will be the same; the planet will still be finite and it will apparently continue to matter how we conduct our lives.
"It's a bit of a burden when one realizes that it's the 'liberals' who have paid for all for all of these massacres over the past 100 years, and that they don't care very much. In all honesty I see it as an evolutionary phenomenon; something rather unique seems to be trying to emerge from our species, but so far it's not really happening. The 'something' has to do with honesty and integrity and love, and I have no idea why such qualities should emerge from the evolutionary caldron."
For those who don't live in Spokane, "Twisp, Washington" is a small town 150-miles west of Spokane in the Methow Valley in the foothills of the Cascades on Highway 20. Moreover, the 5-inches of snow suggested a few days ago has expanded to more like four or five feet. For the first time in the 20-years that I've lived in Spokane, the city seems paralyzed--not by snow or cold--but by greed. The local transit system has shut down, the roads aren't getting plowed, and people are getting fired all over the place so that bankers, employers and landlords can make a haul while everybody else dies. "Progress", indeed.
Good job, "America". Ya fell for it again.