1.12.2005

Information is Everything

        I've been trying to come up with a great topic for my first post, but nothing happened. I did find one central idea though, that I think is the whole point of this project: Information is everything. We are moving from an industrial society to an information society. At the same time, we are seeing the rapid corruption of our information systems: the Bush Administration has infiltrated the media through intimidation(CBS), payola (Armstrong Williams is just the tip of the iceberg), and propaganda (Fox, Sinclair). The only source of news remaining is right here. Blogs. We may not be perfect, we may not be "professionals", but we don't answer to anyone but ourselves and our readers. For all intents and purposes, we are the Free Press in this country right now.

We need to make sure we retain our ability to say what we want. We must oppose any and all attempts by the government to limit or monitor activity on the web. And we have to generate new ideas and get them out there. I watched a debate between the candidates for DNC Chair this weekend, and we're in trouble. Howard Dean has half a clue, which is more than I can say for the other candidates, but that's not enough. There's no one emerging within the current political system who can lead the Progressive Movement. Michael Moore recently said we need to find our "Arnold". Are you kidding me? Arnold got elected because too many people can't distinguish between news and entertainment any more. He's a side effect of our Soma. We don't need another side-effect, we need re-hab.

I had a rather bizarre dream the other night that started out in a theme park for a Science Fiction movie with Adrian Paul and ended with me harassing John Edwards and Howard Dean. I was trying to get them to start a class-action suit on the part of the voters. I've been thinking a lot about the law and the courts these days. Don't we have anti-trust laws any more? Can they be applied to political parties? Let's face it - it isn't even a duopoly. It's two corporate shills dividing the spoils at the expense of the people. How about the RICO statutes? Isn't taking donations from people you have no intention of serving conspiracy to defraud? Surely conspiring to steal federal taxes is a crime. Taxing the poor to benefit the wealthy... wait, that that sounds familiar. How did I wake up in Sherwood Forest? How do you tell the villains without a Scorecard? When are we going to wake up? Are there ways to use the court system to work for us? Has anyone tried?

The rallying cry for the first American Revolution was "no taxation without representation". OK, people, how many of you feel represented? Women are 53% of the population. Are we half of Congress? Do we have 53% of the House of Representatives? Wouldn't that majority seem to give us an edge in a Presidential election? Why have we never had a female President? Why are we unlikely to any time soon? Even if Hillary were to run and win, would she count? I wouldn't exactly say Sandra Day O'Connor adds a feminist flair to the Supreme Court, would you? Does Clarence Thomas represent the average black person's interests? How about our soon-to-be Attorney General? Is he representative of hispanic-Americans? The Right has gotten awfully good at using "Token Torturers" to confuse the issues. Familiar faces make it easy to forget who the real enemy is. WIthout exception, the people in power right now are wealthy. Our system has evolved into one that can't elect a person who is poor. The people making the decisions about our money have, for the most part, never been without money. Social Security means something very different to the wealthy than it does to those who rely on it for their survival. The billions that will be siphoned off to pay brokerage fees under Bush's plan will come directly out of the pockets of people who can barely afford to live as it is. They aren't going to help us change things, because the system works in their favor. They don't want us to have power.

The point I'm dancing around is that this isn't about gender, color, ethnicity or religion. It's about money. They have it. We don't. What we do have is numbers. There are more of us than there are the very wealthy. We can't play their game, so we have to play our own and play it well. That means communication. Coordinated action. A little structure, a lot of energy and as many new ideas as we can generate. I'm beginning to think we need parliamentary representation to assure that everyone has a voice in government. I know that the system of "government by location" is a thing of the past. Communications and transportation have made the concept of local government largely obsolete. Why should I be shut out of the political process because my state is a little more red than blue? Why should my Eastern Kentucky vote mean so much less than an Iowa vote? What's democratic about letting the primary in one state choose my candidate for President?
Why was the only candidate who was for ending the war, cutting the defense budget, universal health care and equal rights for everybody declared to be "unelectable" and given little press coverage even before the primaries?

Any ideas? Talk to me!