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
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.
(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.