Sunday, January 30, 2011

Denounce This Crap: Glenn Beck and Faux News Using ‘Big lie’ to Incite Violence vs. Left Professor

The Smearing of Frances Fox Piven

Progressive America Rising via

January 24, 2011 - Frances Fox Piven is a professor of sociology at City University of New York, longstanding advocate for the rights of working and poor people and an author of numerous books studied in universities across the country.

In recent months, Fox News' Glenn Beck has repeatedly described Piven as an advocate of violence and "enemy of the Constitution." As a consequence, a torrent of death threats against Piven has appeared on Beck's Web site The Blaze--threats that went unopposed on Beck's site for weeks.

In response, Vincent Warren and William Quigley of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) wrote a letter to Fox News President Roger Ailes calling on him to rein in Beck and stop the campaign of misinformation against Piven. Fox News responded, but left no doubt that it didn't share the CCR's concerns, claiming that Warren and Quigley didn't make "a sincere stop hostile public speech, but rather an attempt to create ill will for our company."

Here, we reprint the Center's letter to Ailes and Fox News.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Dear Mr. Ailes:

We are supporters of Prof. Frances Fox Piven. We request your immediate help in stopping false accusations by Glenn Beck that are putting Prof. Piven in danger.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

We Need a Green Industrial Complex, Not Military

Solar Peace, or Blood for Oil:

The Need to Broaden the Peace Movement

An Opening in Obama's SOTU Speech

By Tom Hayden
Beaver County Peace Links via

Jan.27, 2011 - In his State of the Union address, President Obama opened a door through which the peace, labor and environmental movements should march, towards an energy future not dependent on resource wars.

This is our generation’s “Sputnik moment,” adding, “our Apollo project.”

Obama called for one million electric cars on the road in four years, eighty percent of our energy needs met by clean energy in two decades, high-speed rail by 2035 and, starting immediately, 100,000 math and science teachers.

“To help pay for it,” the president added, “I’m asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies.”

There’s a fight that should be fought, a fight in which progressives can only gain ground.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Obama Campaign & the ‘Politics of Ubuntu’

Book Review: Horace Campbell’s  Barack

Obama and Twenty-First Century Politics:

A Revolutionary Moment in the USA
New York: Pluto Press, 2010
319 pps. $29 paperback, $95 hardback.

Reviewed by Bill Fletcher, Jr.
Progressive America Rising via

Horace Campbell has produced a rigorous, thought-provoking look at the political moment in which we find ourselves. Barack Obama and Twenty-first Century Politics: A Revolutionary Moment in the USA presents challenges to a reviewer because it is three books in one. This is not to be taken literally. But content-wise, there are three very distinct components to this book such that each could have been a book in its own right. One ‘book’ deals with how Campbell understands the moment; the second ‘book’ concerns the nature of the Obama campaign; and the third ‘book’ is a post-election analysis.

The first ‘book’ is a provocative examination of the uniqueness of the moment. It opens, interestingly, with a discussion of revolution. Campbell challenges what he sees as outmoded and/or problematic 20th century notions of revolution which often had at their cores the assertion of the necessity for a vanguard political party and, in most cases armed struggle. In fact, Campbell, though grounded in Marxism, offers something called Ubuntu as a philosophical construct that he suggests is necessary for a 21st century revolutionary project. He defines Ubuntu as a Southern African-originated philosophy of communalism that represents a means for cooperation, forgiveness, healing and a willingness to share. The definition is a bit vague but seems more than anything else to reflect the need to get away from both political militarism and patriarchal politics which have often arisen in the context of revolutionary projects. Additionally, Campbell is very concerned with the question of democracy in a post-revolutionary society, a point about which he has had great courage in espousing, particularly in controversial contexts (such as his criticisms of the authoritarian regime of Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe).


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Violent Threats: The Right ‘Doth Protest Too Much’

The Hidden Menace of Arizona

By Tom Hayden
Progressive America Rising

Jan 11, 2011 - An NBC reporter came to my home Monday night asking my opinion on the Arizona shootings crisis. Actually he wanted my response to conservative commentator Larry Elder who was blaming people on the Left, including myself, for the tragedy. Rush Limbaugh has added his considered view that the assassin, Jared Lee Loughner, has the full-support of the Democratic Party in his legal defense.

How unfortunate it is that right-wing media pundits are on the same page in deflecting all blame from themselves or their icons like Sarah Palin.

Meanwhile, the mainstream media tends to emphasize the theme that the shooter is a profoundly-disturbed individual with no connections to the Far Right. This perspective leads to an emphasis on proposed remedies such as toning down political speech and securing the Congress until gun control and better mental health services can kick in.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Crosshairs on target, then ‘Lock and Load’…What Do You Expect? A Pillow Fight?

The Right and the Shooting in Tucson


By Tom Hayden - January 10, 2011, 6:23PM

It appears that Arizona is ground zero in a right-wing war against the democratic process.

Rep. Giffords was on Sarah Palin's "target list" of twenty 2010 incumbents, a list which featured a graphic showing the crosshairs of a gun. Giffords' office was was one of those vandalized by the right-wing in March 2009 in a protest against national health care bill. [Judge John Roll, killed in the incident, also was subject to significant threats due to his positions on immigration.]

As recently as June 12, 2010, leaflets appeared in Giffords' district proclaiming: "Get on Target" and help remove Gabrielle Giffords, "Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly."

Jesse Kelly is a Marine veteran, and right-wing Republican who lost to Gifford November 4, by 48.8%-47%. Kelly was strongly supported by the Tea Party. named Kelly the Number 1 "most terrifying candidate" in the 2010 Congressional elections. He was criticized for taking funds and support from Americans for Legal Immigration [ALIPAC], an anti-immigrant group once denounced by Sen. John McCain's office as "white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and anti-semites." [The Hill, campaign blog, Oct. 26, 2010]. The Anti-Defamation League shared McCain's office view of ALIPAC.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Hard Times in Graphs and Numbers

Summing up the Economic Crisis

(Click here to make larger)


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Jobs Are Created by Demand, Not Tax Cuts

The GOP Is Spreading a Big Fat Lie

About the Economy -- We Need

Obama to Put an End to It

By Robert Reich
Progressive America Rising via

Jan. 6, 2011 - Republicans are telling Americans a Big Lie, and Obama and the Democrats are letting them. The Big Lie is our economic problems are due to a government that’s too large, and therefore the solution is to shrink it.

The truth is our economic problems stem from the biggest concentration of income and wealth at the top since 1928, combined with stagnant incomes for most of the rest of us. The result: Americans no longer have the purchasing power to keep the economy going at full capacity. Since the debt bubble burst, most Americans have had to reduce their spending; they need to repay their debts, can’t borrow as before, and must save for retirement.

The short-term solution is for government to counteract this shortfall by spending more, not less. The long-term solution is to spread the benefits of economic growth more widely (for example, through a more progressive income tax, a larger EITC, an exemption on the first $20K of income from payroll taxes and application of payroll taxes to incomes over $250K, stronger unions, and more and better investments in education and infrastructure.)


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