For most of the past fifty years, the political Right has sought to undermine the role of government in restraining the worst excesses of American and global capitalism. Today, for a variety of reasons, they are winning. Former Sec. of Labor Robert Reich explains one of the dimensions of what is happening and why. This Saturday there will be demonstrations in the capitol cities of every state in the union supporting the right of workers to collective bargaining. Don't think this is someone else's struggle--if the public employee unions are smashed, you too will directly feel the effect both in lowered income and lowered public services.  We fully support those demonstrations and urge you to attend. To find the nearest one to you: http://pol.moveon.org/event/events/index.html?action_id=238

This is as much a spiritual and religious concern as prayer or meditation! You cannot fulfill the Biblical injunction to "love your neighbor" while simultaneously ignoring their economic plight. And this is not only about your neighbor--you too will soon be feeling the impact of the dismembering of government by the political Right, not only in your pocketbook but also in your soul as the cycle of diminished caring leads people around you to new levels of fear, despair and cynicism. --Rabbi Michael Lerner 


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Josh Stanton tell us: It is a nightmare for an entire religious tradition to be put on the stand as a collective for the actions of an extreme few. It is worse still when the extreme few are such a miniscule fraction of the population.

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Embracing the deregulation strategy of the Clinton Administration that led to the economic disaster of 2007-2010, Obama is doing everything he can to convince big business that his Administration is on their side.
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Not all those who point the way to God for us may themselves be perfect. There are figures gleaming in their holy causes who are awkward in their personal lives. They are sometimes in confusion, as we are. They are virtuous beyond telling in one dimension and weak to the point of sin in others.

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Filibusters are a good idea if used to prevent the majority from imposing its will on a strong minority. But in practice it has only been used by the racists and reactionaries--the liberals are "too nice" to use it for protecting human rights, stopping war funding, stopping give-aways to the rich, or in any other way fighting for liberal or progressive values. So this de facto has ended up being a tool of the most destructive elements in our national discourse (not always, but mostly). For that reason, it's time to elminate it. --Rabbi Michael Lerner
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Byron DeLear praises the potential of new technologies to be used to assist in peer-to-peer democracy.
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Eli Zaretsky, a regular commentator on Tikkun Daily, helps us understand why Obama cannot rally his previous supporters for the 2010 election. Telling this truth doesn't create the reality--it helps us understand it.
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By Ed Rampell
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The attack by the Obama Administration through its official spokesperson Robert Gibbs, on “the professional Left,” has deep significance for those who have up until now maintained that Obama really was a progressive who would eventually reveal his true progressive colors. That perspective seems less plausible now after Gibbs denounced as crazy and needing to be “drug tested” those who have compared the Obama Administration’s war policies (particularly the escalation in Afghanistan and Pakistan), his capitulation to the corporate powers and the banks, and his attempt to prosecute those who revealed on WikiLeaks war crimes while refusing to prosecute those engaged in those war crimes and torture, to the Bush Administration.  Congressman Keith Ellison called on Gibbs to resign in light of his attack on progressives. But as Lawrence Lessig points out, it is Obama, not Gibbs, to whom criticism is due. Lessig focuses on why progressives are right to be critical of Obama, not for failing to be a progressive, but for failing to take seriously the specific statements he made during his campaign which Lessig lists. We might also add that it is simply impossible to give credence to the notion that Gibbs, whose sole function is to be the official White House spokesperson, and who repeated his points later in the week, would be doing so without a full discussion of the points with Obama himself and his other key advisors.

We at Tikkun thought it would be useful to chronicle some of the discussion that began in mid-August 2010.
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ESRA: Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment to the US Constitution Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 

This is the current draft as of May 15, 2010   (as proposed by Rabbi Michael Lerner and Peter Gabel and advanced through the work of The Network of Spiritual Progressives).

 

 (ESRA): The Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

 

The intent of the framers of this Amendment is to:

a. Protect the planet and its inhabitants from environmentally destructive behavior and economic arrangements, and to increase environmental responsibility on the part of all corporations and government bodies.
b. Increase U.S. citizens’ democratic control over American economic and political institutions and ensure that all people, regardless of income, have the same electoral clout and power to shape policies and programs.
c. Promote the well-being of citizens of the United States by recognizing that our well-being depends on the well-being of the planet and all its inhabitants, which in turn requires an end to poverty, wars, and violence, and the rise of a new
global ethic of genuine caring and interdependence.



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