OUTLAW LOBBYISTS - Tea Party Sign idea?

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My idea is to show up at Tea Party rallies with a simple sign, in as large of a font as possible ( bumper sticker style )

OUTLAW LOBBYISTS

This speaks to the heart of the issues, in my humble opinion, money in politics

http://maplight.org/

If not this sign, focus on simple bumper sticker style signage.

My discussions with tea party sympathizers tell me that this is a common theme we can leverage.

Any thoughts/input/comments, etc is most welcome!

Thanks

RT37

RT37
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Comments

RT37,

I totally agree with you. A couple of months ago, there was an item about the Tea Party "movement" above the fold on the front page of the New York Times accompanied by a photo with a caption containing the usual knee-jerk "conservative backlash" spin. It occurred to me that such spin can only be effective when there is a vacuum of anti-corporatist slogans like the one you are suggesting, and we should be filling that vacuum with all our might. If I recall correctly, Thom once said that the only bumper sticker he ever had (or ever would have) on his car was one that read "END CORPORATE PERSONHOOD". A few months ago, I would have said that might be too wonky for the average Tea Partier. Now, I'm not so sure. But, as another option, I would propose "END CORPORATE WELFARE AS WE KNOW IT" or just "END CORPORATE WELFARE" (which, after all, is in the real spirit of the original Boston Tea Party).

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kodowdus
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FREEDOM FOR PEOPLE!

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LeMoyne
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I agree that lobbyists should be greatly limited but there are a few good lobbyists.

If I were to go to Washington and talk to my congressman or senator about my advocacy for single payer health care I would be a lobbyist.

The other reason limiting them is not likely to happen are the jobs that would be lost. Lobbying is an industry with lots of money being thrown around to more than congress critters.

There are dinners and breakfasts every day that pump $$$$$ into DC.

This is one of the few places where there is some real trickle down economics.

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spankycrissy
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I may be splitting hairs but I don't consider a citizen who goes to Washington to speak to his/her congressman or senator as a lobbyist. I just see this as a citizen utilizing their right to address government with their ideas and/or concerns.

bonnie
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I don't think you are splitting hairs, bonnie. "Advocacy" is the root category, That's what a citizen would do for their own interests. On the other hand, "lobbying" is regulated. Lobbying is looked upon by the government, specifically the IRS, as advocacy for a group. Even the dictionary definition refers to lobbying as a group activity. To Lobby for something can be used as to advocate. But lobbyists technically must register as such, whereas a citizen advocating a personal postition does not. To avoid confusion, advocacy might be a better all around term then lobbying because of the way the government now looks upon it.

Check out Federal lobbyist disclosure requirement in a search and all sorts of stuff will come up. Such as: Federal Lobbying Disclosure Act: Key Components

Who is a Lobbyist?

Any person who:

  • Receives compensation of $5,000 or more per six-month period, or makes expenditures of $20,000 or more per six-month period, for lobbying.
  • Makes more than one lobbying contact.
  • Spends 20 percent or more of his or her time over a six-month period on lobbying activities for an organization or a particular client.

Unless each of these criteria is met, there is no registration requirement for that individual.

I don't think it's a big deal in discussion situations. But it's worth knowing about the distinctions.

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I've said this before. Discussions about corporate welfare are difficult. Generally, I oppose them but I can't make a blanket statement saying all corporate welfare, or lobbying for that matter are wrong.

Is it wrong for government to offer tax incentives to companies to locate in areas of historically high unemployment? That could probably be considered to be corporate welfare and it happened in some areas of Appalachia when the textile industry closed down.

Is it wrong for people or groups to ask their government for assistance? I would say that it's appropriate for the government to listen. As long as the request serves the general welfare it may be appropriate for the government to act.

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How (and why) would you equate tax incentives with corporate "welfare" (e.g., bailouts)???

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kodowdus
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Corporate welfare comes in all shapes and sizes. Subsidies, price supports, special tax breaks, access to technology and bail outs are all ways the government lines the pockets of industry. I'm not saying that everything is a bad idea in the relationship between industry and government. All I'm saying is that it's complicated and anyone who says that corporate welfare is either good or bad doesn't grasp the magnitude, complexity or purpose. Basically I'm saying they are clueless.

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The issue at hand is addressing "Tea Party" types succinctly in a language they can understand, and I would submit to you that a concept of "welfare" that incorporates incentives for the benefit of the larger society (as in legitimate price supports) is quite different from the common understanding (not to mention the typical dictionary definition),

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That may be your issue, it's not mine and corporate welfare has seldom been construed to be beneficial to the larger society although there are times where it is.

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Thanks for the outstanding input.

My goal is visibility and to seek common ground between the Progressive movement and the Tea party movement.

They get press coverage. So, leverage that fact to bring light to common causes.

Maybe the word 'LIMIT' rather than 'OUTLAW'

LIMIT LOBBYING

LIMIT CORPORATE WELFARE

LIMIT FARM BAILOUTS

LIMIT OFF-SHORING JOBS

LIMIT PRIVATIZATION

LIMIT OFF-SHORE TAX HAVENS

LIMIT { enter issues here }

Get these signs on the nightly network and cable news, newspapers, magazines, the internets, etc.

RT37
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Liberals and the Tea Party movement have little common ground. The heart of liberal governance is big government. The Tea Party movement wants limited government.

Everything else follows that.

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The heart of liberal governance is adherence to the law.

And equal treatment under the law.

A good sign for the TEA PARTY?

There are none.

The tea party movement is on it's way out. The cons have used them up and are now trying to distance themselves from them and marginalize them as dangerous radicals.

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spankycrissy
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Subsidies, price supports, special tax breaks, access to technology and bail outs are all ways the government lines the pockets of industry.

I'm not sure how these relate to lobbyists.

Anyway, I'm not as concerned with how government lines the pocket of industry. I'm far more concerned with how industry lines the pockets of government.

bonnie
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Quote bonnie:
Subsidies, price supports, special tax breaks, access to technology and bail outs are all ways the government lines the pockets of industry.

I'm not sure how these relate to lobbyists.

Anyway, I'm not as concerned with how government lines the pocket of industry. I'm far more concerned with how industry lines the pockets of government.

It's a symbiotic relationship and the taxpayer is supplying the nutrients. Lobbyiest are the facilitators. government lines the pockets of Industry and industry lines the pickets of government, the wealth is transfered from the taxpayers to nurture this relationship. companies and politicians are at various degress of this symbiotic relationship. Induastry gives free air time to the tea party to keep the public off their backs and has a fallguy to give the tea party a taste of victory.

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shalwechat
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Look, I'm just going to be up front and honest. I know tea partiers are currently the target de jour. Heck, in some ways they kind of set them selves up as "easy" targets.

But, the truth is I do not see things in terms of what party to target/blame, or even what party is "right" or "wrong".

If there is one thing I fully agree with Sawdust on is - the grand scope of the state of our current socio-political issues are far more complex than what most are willing to admit, much less see.

What I do disagree with Sawdust is:

Basically I'm saying they are clueless.
bonnie
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Quote bonnie:
Subsidies, price supports, special tax breaks, access to technology and bail outs are all ways the government lines the pockets of industry.

I'm not sure how these relate to lobbyists.

Anyway, I'm not as concerned with how government lines the pocket of industry. I'm far more concerned with how industry lines the pockets of government.

It's a closed loop Bonnie. Lobbyists buy influence with the help of industry. That influence in turn gets favorable treatment for industry in the form of subsidies, price supports and favorable regulatory measures. It bares watching.

McCain Feingold was a veiled attempt at regulating the flow of cash from industry to government. It was a poorly written law and a bad concept which gave incumbents an advantage in fund raising and didn't decrease the amount of money in the election process. At the time of it's passage I favored a simple system which allowed no cap on donations from voters but a published record of who gave and how much. I'd have eliminated all deductibility for political activity and also any contribution from business. I think people should be free to do what they want but should be accountable for what they do.

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Quote Sawdust:
Quote bonnie:
Subsidies, price supports, special tax breaks, access to technology and bail outs are all ways the government lines the pockets of industry.

I'm not sure how these relate to lobbyists.

Anyway, I'm not as concerned with how government lines the pocket of industry. I'm far more concerned with how industry lines the pockets of government.

It's a closed loop Bonnie. Lobbyists buy influence with the help of industry. That influence in turn gets favorable treatment for industry in the form of subsidies, price supports and favorable regulatory measures. It bares watching.

McCain Feingold was a veiled attempt at regulating the flow of cash from industry to government. It was a poorly written law and a bad concept which gave incumbents an advantage in fund raising and didn't decrease the amount of money in the election process. At the time of it's passage I favored a simple system which allowed no cap on donations from voters but a published record of who gave and how much. I'd have eliminated all deductibility for political activity and also any contribution from business. I think people should be free to do what they want but should be accountable for what they do.

Saw makes a good point here. The only problem I would have with the idea isn't the idea itself, but what the average American would do with the availability of such information. We see the result of Americans living in their cocoons daily. I just don't think that most of us would take the time to evaluate where the money is coming from or where it is going,

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In the first place, I am all for getting the frame and the slogans in line. Try not to get too much "idea" into a poster and just get the hook. You have to get someone to look twice to read anything other than that.

I like the end corporate welfare meme because it takes their story and puts the corporate into the bad guy role. I wish we had a more dignified respect for the welfare people need and were less enamored of the idea that businesses need to be bribed to locate in one place or another. It leads to a race to the bottom as localities compete. It would be better to have standards and solidarity based in sharing to level the playing field.

On the issue of citizen advocacy, I think we need to draw the line at the revenue streams of commerce. Individuals and groups of individuals may use their personal resources to "lobby," but not the agents of any business seeking to contract with the government or to influence legislation regarding their businesses. Getting commercial money out of politics at the local level would be great too.

Citizens engaged in commerce have ample power to be influential without bringing their commercial power into the public square. In that sense, "lobbying" would be conducted by those employed by advocacy organizations because of knowledge and not because of the money they can lay on the politicians.

Sawdust, the idea that "liberals" want big government command and control solutions to public policy issues is in your head. It is not in what we are proposing or supporting. It is corporate that cuts the guts out of local and drives everything from the top.

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Thanks Ren, the Powell stuff is really disgusting.

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Quote DRC:Sawdust, the idea that "liberals" want big government command and control solutions to public policy issues is in your head. It is not in what we are proposing or supporting. It is corporate that cuts the guts out of local and drives everything from the top.

This anti liberal propaganda spiel has been going on since Lewis Powell wrote his memorandum: Attack on American Free Enterpirse System in 1971. Sawdust's indoctrination into that line of propaganda apparently began when Reagan came to office, judging from everything he's said about his post military educational era in the 70's and his rise to self employment beginning with his tool belt and a claw hammer.

These are the opening paragraphs to the epic memorandum:

Quote Lewis F Powell Jr:

No thoughtful person can question that the American economic system is under broad attack.1 This varies in scope, intensity, in the techniques employed, and in the level of visibility.

There always have been some who opposed the American system, and preferred socialism or some form of statism (communism or fascism). Also, there always have been critics of the system, whose criticism has been wholesome and constructive so long as the objective was to improve rather than to subvert or destroy.

But what now concerns us is quite new in the history of America. We are not dealing with sporadic or isolated attacks from a relatively few extremists or even from the minority socialist cadre. Rather, the assault on the enterprise system is broadly based and consistently pursued. It is gaining momentum and converts.

Sources of the Attack

The sources are varied and diffused. They include, not unexpectedly, the Communists, New Leftists and other revolutionaries who would destroy the entire system, both political and economic. These extremists of the left are far more numerous, better financed, and increasingly are more welcomed and encouraged by other elements of society, than ever before in our history. But they remain a small minority, and are not yet the principal cause for concern.

The most disquieting voices joining the chorus of criticism come from perfectly respectable elements of society: from the college campus, the pulpit, the media, the intellectual and literary journals, the arts and sciences, and from politicians. In most of these groups the movement against the system is participated in only by minorities. Yet, these often are the most articulate, the most vocal, the most prolific in their writing and speaking.

In that memorandum, Powel laid out the framework for the attack on something labeled "liberalism." An attack which I would say, looking back, is more directly about destroying popular democracy for a participatory based general good, which was seen as a threat to a capitalistic based economics that puts the economic forces over people -- and it's seen as totally logical, which is how Reagan sold it to the narrow minded, reductionist thinking dimwits who think they are self made persons (men, mostly) and perpetuate this mythology. That attack continues unrelenting to this day. We have plenty of evidence of it on this site.

Nixon was the last conservative President to fear and therefore respond to the people's voice. And as a result of all that's been taking place, we have had nothing but increasingly further right, anti people Presidencies since, President's who speak a language that must have Orwell laughing hysterically in his grave.

Drew is probably right:

Quote drew013:Saw makes a good point here. The only problem I would have with the idea isn't the idea itself, but what the average American would do with the availability of such information.

The average American has been systematically commodified into silence. If anyone makes a "good point" about now systematically lousy legislation our corrupt legislators come up with to change the system, who is coming out of this anti liberal propaganda system, rest assured that they are seldom making a point that actually refers to the people doing something about this corrupt system for the good of common people. The tea partiers are clueless. They threaten no one, so these anti populists, pro capitalists are happy to support that particular version of a "populist" movement. It will not take apart the governing system that enriches them at the masses' expense. After all, they feel they belong on top, and most of the tea party rhetoric supports the continuance of authoritarian hierarchies.

I strongly recommend reading the Powell memo. Powell, by the way, was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, in case anyone doesn't remember. He has a reputation as a moderate. Moderate. As opposed to these five right wing crack pot extremists that dominate the court now. In his memo, this conservative moderate lays out the blueprint for how the wealthy elite can take back control of the government after it had been destroyed by FDR and all that took place as a result of the "liberal" caused Great Depression (just read all the revisionist historical literature that's come out on it if you don't believe me. Sawdust can direct you to it. The CATO Institute is another source.). Part of that blueprint included recommendations to develop a network of conservative think tanks to "balance" the heavily skewed ideology coming out of the "liberal" universities and propagated by a "liberal" press.

From the Wiki article on Powell:

In an extraordinary prefiguring of the social goals of business that would be felt over the next three decades, Powell set his main goal: Changing how individuals and society think about the corporation, the government, the law, the culture, and the individual. Shaping public opinion on these topics became, and would remain, a major goal of business.

An example from Powell's memorandum:

What Can Be Done About the Public?

Reaching the campus and the secondary schools is vital for the long-term. Reaching the public generally may be more important for the shorter term. The first essential is to establish the staffs of eminent scholars, writers and speakers, who will do the thinking, the analysis, the writing and the speaking. It will also be essential to have staff personnel who are thoroughly familiar with the media, and how most effectively to communicate with the public. Among the more obvious means are the following:

Television

The national television networks should be monitored in the same way that textbooks should be kept under constant surveillance. This applies not merely to so-called educational programs (such as "Selling of the Pentagon"), but to the daily "news analysis" which so often includes the most insidious type of criticism of the enterprise system.12 Whether this criticism results from hostility or economic ignorance, the result is the gradual erosion of confidence in "business" and free enterprise.

This monitoring, to be effective, would require constant examination of the texts of adequate samples of programs. Complaints -- to the media and to the Federal Communications Commission -- should be made promptly and strongly when programs are unfair or inaccurate.

Equal time should be demanded when appropriate. Effort should be made to see that the forum-type programs (the Today Show, Meet the Press, etc.) afford at least as much opportunity for supporters of the American system to participate as these programs do for those who attack it.

Anybody who used to listen to NPR in the seventies in hopes of some original, un-tainted by corporate influence news knows what happend to NPR in the eighties. Anybody who listened in the eighties, thinking they were getting uncontaminated news, remembers what happened in the nineties. Anybody who thinks they are getting uncontaminated news in 2010 has no idea how completely they have been propagandized, because they have no memory and no experience to fall back on for comparison.

And so on. Read the memo. It's an eye opener for those who want the shock. You can learn to read the code in the matrix direct as it flows by you. It ain't pretty.

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.ren
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DRC, it seems when I edited, or while I edited, your post got put before mine. This board's software is indeed an interesting adventure so far!

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.ren
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The wonders of the space-time continuum.

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Quote DRC:

The wonders of the space-time continuum.

Speaking of which, if anyone is trying to put together their own narrative for what has taken place since the so-called Reagan Revolution, the Powell Memo is an important piece of history.

The Reagan "Revolution" did not begin with Reagan. Anymore than hate radio began with Rush Limbaugh. And if you want to understand why Reagan was a marketing pawn, not a generator of new ideas for a better world putting the individuals back in charge of their lives, you have to look at the Powell Memo and the steps that were taken from there, like the creation of think tanks, for instance. It all creates quite a story.

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Ren wrote:" Anybody who thinks they are getting uncontaminated news in 2010 has no idea how completely they have been propagandized, because they have no memory and no experience to fall back on for comparison."

----

And then, there are old foggies like me...who do remember...and who have watched the deterioration of the middle class ever since. Who have watched the ranks of the working poor swell.

Minimum wage didn't used to mean "working poor". I bought my first home and a new sports car (MG Midget) while working at minimum wage in my early years. Those earning even double the minimum were pretty well off.

Americans have been sold a bad bill of goods by flim flam men...who laugh at them all the way to the bank..

The predatory form of capitalism (our current model) hasn't been good for the majority in this country. The FDR model is what gave rise to the U.S. middle class.

Retired Monk

"Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Ahem... I wrote that! Don't blame DRC for my follies!

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.ren
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Quote .ren:

Ahem... I wrote that! Don't blame DRC for my follies!

I stand corrected...as does my post

Retired Monk

"Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Thank you!

Quote polycarp2: The predatory form of capitalism (our current model) hasn't been good for the majority in this country. The FDR model is what gave rise to the U.S. middle class.

And it was the form of capitalism before FDR.

I'd argue that FDR policies gave rise to a different form of middle class, much more related to the industrialization process that had been taking place under the early version of "predatory" capitalism, which was probably not predatory in an agrarian, solar powered society when the middle class were shop keepers and relatively well-to-do farmers. Middle class shifts to become the professional class, through expanded education opportunities, technically skilled workers, and middle management in expanding corporate entities. I could even be argued that laborers on assembly lines in the upper echelon of corporations where labor could use strategies to eke out higher wages moved into the middle class ranks.

In the end, though, I personally have to question exactly what this process produces. If I look at works like Jacques Ellul's Technological Society, the picture I get is of a very grim, deterministic vision of a population very much programmed by institutions taking the form of human machines, with people not so much self actualized but technology actualized to act out a role with very little room for their own personalities in the machinery of these institiutions. I don't exactly feel like exalting that form of middle class. I don't know whether losing it is a bad thing or not. It's not the way I want to live, and so I haven't.

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Again the Korten Agenda for a New Economy talks about the "post-industrial Middle Class" because he is operating in a different economic model than the capital-intensive industrial Wall St. mess we have now.

While I agree that FDR's New Deal Middle Class had to bring labor into the picture with new status, and without any prejudice to the current utility of unions needing to stand up to Supply Side bankster driven Capitalism to have democratic capitalism, I think the model of the future will be post-industrial.

That does not mean post-technological, but it does mean sustainable and driven by the retention of value in resources rather than their transformation into disposable "products." Utility and value will be refigured with better book-keeping. Externalities will not be allowed to be sluffed onto the public treasury.

We need a Green Global Deal, and that means taking care of our own part of the earth and not doing damage to others. Our economic ideologues will have to deal with exploding heads as this phony religion yields to reality.

Don't expect it tomorrow or next year, however. Reality will need to do more to them than tap them on the shoulder to get their attention. Then it is going to have to knee them in the groin and deliver a few gut shots, and maybe they will begin to think about what they have done.

But we don't have to believe that they know anything real until we see them get that lesson.

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As I said on the old board, protecting the middle class is nonsense. What needs protection is class mobility. As long as there is class mobility there will be a vibrant middle class. When class mobility ends, statism takes over and all there will be is shared misery.

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And what promotes "class mobility?" I would think that free public education through college, free healthcare and really good public health and social services would give the bottom a much fairer chance to succeed.

Let's go for "class mobility" and a real equal opportunity society, but lets also remember that the point is not to reward the winners and leave the losers to fend for themselves. It is to have the best competition possible in a fair game. That requires people who can fail and get back up again, and that requires having a game where what is lost is marginal rather than necessary.

When you can stop resenting those who "fail" for getting anything for the effort and want to see them succeed even if they get some help you did not get or need, perspective can be regained. Class mobility is about a relatively equal society, not about a big gap between rich and poor. I am all for it.

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Economic freedom promotes class mobility.

We have so many students who fail in high school because you statists resist innovation in the administration of our educational system. You've insured that the teachers unions have more power than parents. You've taken a voucher system away from the District of Colombia which was wildly successful and popular with parents and replaced it with the worn out system of unionized tenured teachers in failing schools which poorly serve their community because of the power of the teachers unions.

Don't tell me about free education until you support innovation that will invigorate the system we have. You are pushing students out of schools instead of inspiring them to excel in them. If you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7FS5B-CynM

http://kevincolby.com/2008/07/11/dcs-successful-school-voucher-system-ma...

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Quote Sawdust:

As I said on the old board, protecting the middle class is nonsense. What needs protection is class mobility. As long as there is class mobility there will be a vibrant middle class. When class mobility ends, statism takes over and all there will be is shared misery.

Please define class mobility for us ignerent boobs.

How does a single mother with two jobs get "class mobility"?

Would the trophy wife of a senator (lets say someone like McCain), trade in her personal shopper for a drive through job at a burger joint?

Is that the "class mobility you are talking about?

Class mobility really sounds nice. I want some! How do I get it?

Do I have to buy it?

Is there some special test you can take in those corporate schools that take those vouchers you like so much?

Is it like the lottery? Where do I go to buy a ticket?

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Thanks for posting this Ren.

Back in the 70's when I decided I could not work as a CHP officer, I switched to Poly Sci where my first interest was in the Powell Memo, Coors, Weyrich, Burke, etc. The feelings it brings up now are much the same as I felt back then. Disgusting.

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Quote spankycrissy:

The heart of liberal governance is adherence to the law.

And equal treatment under the law.

A good sign for the TEA PARTY?

There are none.

The tea party movement is on it's way out. The cons have used them up and are now trying to distance themselves from them and marginalize them as dangerous radicals.

Versus those insane COFFEE Parties which were composed of Obamanoids and illegal aliens.

The TEA Parties are here to stay for a while.

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Volitzer
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Economic freedom promotes class mobility.

Really? I tend to disagree. Economic freedom is a concept. It is a thing. And I do not think any thing "promotes" class mobility or anything else for that matter.

Things may entice or tempt - but things do not promote. People promote.

Look, I know I am an exception and not the rule... ...but, I can tell you my class "career" mobility never had anything to do with economic freedom.

It was my drive/passion for learning and a handful of people who encouraged me to look beyond the glass ceiling. Kind of like in the movie The Matrix when the kid says, "There is no spoon."

"Economic freedom" never had anything to do with it.

bonnie
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Oh, I wanted to add one more thing, Sawdust.

I am in complete agreement with you regarding the education issues you brought into the discussion.

bonnie
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

It appears, from what I read on another thread, that Sawdust has been banned from the board. I'm sure he will be back before too long.

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Art
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STOP OFFSHORING JOBS

RT37
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LIMIT CORPORATE WELFARE

RT37
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LIMIT FARM BAILOUTS

RT37
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LIMIT OFF-SHORE TAX HAVENS

RT37
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Yeah, and Bonnie, when we talk about the reform of education, it goes back to being learner-centered instead of "get a job driven." I have had a number of discussions with educators and they respond very well to the basic points:

l. The way to tell if a school is good is to see if the children feel cared for.

2. For the children to feel cared for, the teacher has to be feeling positive about teaching and "cared for" by the school leaders.

3. The Administration has to be service oriented rather than bossy. It has to support teaching instead of trying to control all the controversial things that can happen in class. It is not trying to manage by testing and "results" that can be fed into computers.

We don't learn curriculum that gives us suitcases of knowledge to pull out at later dates and plug in. We develop our narratives and feed our curiosity. We want to gain the skills to open the secret doors of reading and math. We want to know what matters to us, and if we are connected to the whole world, it all matters. But the teaching has to connect with the personal learning agenda of the student because the latter is where the meaning of the material comes alive. It is also where the teacher gets to learn as well as impart knowledge. And that is a real turn on for learning. It is a life-long activity, not a body of knowledge to be learned.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

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