“This is our moment.  To reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth; that out of many, we are one.  That while we breathe, we hope and where we are met with cynicism and doubt and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes We Can.”

President Barack Obama

In order to understand solidarity and how to achieve it, we must first identify the enemy.  The enemy is that hostile unit or force that is harmful to our cohesion – THE CORPORATION.  How did we go from the labor movement, civil rights movement, economic fairness, the endeavor to achieve social justice and opportunity for all, to the supplantation of new breeds of cynical hustlers who trade in fear: color-coded fear of foreign terror; fear of losing your job, home, health insurance, fear for fear itself? What happened to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?  When did it get replaced by torture, repression of dissent and the pursuit of an empire?  We need to know because it happened on our watch.

How did “We the people” become “They the corporations“? How did it happen?  How did the scaremonger-striving to impose both a right-wing and corporate agenda-convince us to listen to their scary worldview story that other people are evil strangers and are to be treated with distrust?    No more Love thy neighbor.” What is also essential to the formula is the notion of every man for himself, and everyone must grab as much as they can, as quickly as they can-while the grabbing [getting] is good.

So the plutocrats, autocrats, theocrats and kleptocrats spin the tales of aggrandized barons of free trade; the rise of dot-com, Enron and derivative billionaires, while their newspapers, radio and television stations – privately owned by only 6 corporations* – extolled the privatization of all things public; while unionists and environmentalists are trivialized and now demonized.  They have now zeroed in and ramped up the attack on Public Unions, by outright lying about their salaries and pensions, calling them greedy and robbers.   Yet they wallow steadfastly in stories of “family values,” while proselytizing against socialistic concerns for the larger human family.  This is to distract the public into believing that its okay to take from the union worker, your neighbor, your brother, your sister, your mother, your father etc., to disguise the tax breaks to the rich while union workers wages have actually been stagnate for the last decade.  So now New York Gov. Cuomo comes in and freezes the pay of the public worker for 1 year.  Yet we still haven’t stood up, so I can assure  you that Private unions  are next.

How did we sit on the side lines and watch while “The Powers That Be” and their political enablers continue to turn out carefully constructed, focus-group-tested reports that maintain fear?  It’s only aspiration is to make us think that what they want is the same as what we want. So where are our voices as the progressive story of America?  Where is the ongoing message that will lead us toward a just and hope filled society?  Barack Obama came along and re-awakened that sense of justice and hope not seen since the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have A dream Speech.  But once he became President Barack Obama, we again became the bewildered herd, listening again to sound bites of engineered news passed off to us as “BREAKING NEWS:” The Pres. fails to…. or  Obama angers…. or No compromise….etc.In the mist of all of this manipulation, the citizenry repeats, what has been sold to them as news, to the next unsuspecting recipient who will then defend it with vim and vigor, while passing it on as fact instead of propaganda.

The sentiment went from hope to “I think I’m going to vote for a republican this time because he didn’t keep his promise.”  While giving this administration less than 2 years to undo the damage started by President Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts and deregulation and system breakdown under the final onslaught of tax cuts and deregulation by Pres. Bush , 29 million of us did not bother to go to the polls to vote in the mid-term elections so that he could continue to work on what he promised.  Neither did we begin to understand that he cannot accomplish this without our involvement.  Government is not a spectator sport.  We must be involved in the process.The people at the top who are the puppeteers of Corporate America and the Republican party continue to manipulate the truth through media, in order to advance their suppressive, covetous, and anti-democratic agenda.  We have to begin to plan to take back our government from these corporations that now control them. In order to do so, I believe that we have to remove the corporate money from our U.S. Congress and Senate.  Since the U.S. Supreme Court has now given personhood to corporations, now allowing unlimited amounts of money to be spent in the corruption of our government, the only way to undo that damage would be to amend the constitution which we are not YET united enough to do.  So in the meantime we must begin to push and insist on campaign finance reform.  With this method equal amounts of our tax dollars are given to each qualified candidate and they must use that money to build a campaign. Since the airwaves belong to the commons, they should receive free air time (to be explained later) so that the public can hear their message. This way the congress and senate can be about the business that we sent them to Washington to do and not spend 5-6 hours out of each working day on the phone raising monies from these corporations as they do now in order to be re-elected.

Simultaneously, we must push for card check [The Employee Free Choice Act]  to be passed.  Our membership is dwindling by the day, and there are millions of workers who want to establish a union.  This bill would allow a union to be certified as the official union to bargain with the employer if they get a majority of signatures from the workers.  This would take away the right of the employer to demand additional, separate ballots from over half the employees who had already signed the petition.  It would also require employers and unions to enter binding arbitration to produce a collective agreement at least 120 days after a union has been recognized.  And lastly, the bill would increase penalties for employers who discriminate against an employee for union involvement.

These two must be at the TOP of OUR agenda because you cannot get anything done when Corporate money controls the people who you send to represent your needs.

On January 5, 2011 the 112th congress will be in session.  New rules will be voted on by the Republican majority.  Among those new rules: each new piece of legislation will now have to include a statement regarding its constitutionality – (it would behoove us to get a copy of the constitution*) – while the Democrats previous rule known as PAYGO requiring all new legislation to be paid for by cuts to other programs – will be dismantled to exclude tax cuts for rich people having to be paid for.  But the most brazen new rule created by the Republican majority is one that gives the new Republicans Chairman of the Budget Committee, Paul Ryan, “stunning and unprecedented” powers, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Under this new rule – if there is a disagreement between the House and Senate Budget Resolutions – which is likely this year in a divided Congress – then Chairman Ryan will have the power to set spending levels completely on his own – without debate. Ryan has already made his intentions clear – he published a memo entitled “Roadmap for America’s Future” in which he calls for the privatization of Medicare and Social Security, handing both over to Wall Street who helped fund his election campaign.  If these new rules pass – Paul Ryan will become one of the most powerful men in congress.  He will be able to carry out his corporate agenda with just the stroke of the pen and without debate.



These are the things we must pay attention to.  These are the need to know things.  We need to know how the corporation -[the enemy] – works in confluence with our government to get legislation written to favor their dominance through deregulation and union destruction.  I will be showing a documentary that explains the inner workings of a corporation and is ironically called  “The Corporation”.  When you see this film you will get an unprecedented inside view of the purpose, functionality and morality of the corporation.  You will then begin to understand what we are up against and then become part of the planning to WIN.  So lets hear your opinion on these issues.  Do you agree or disagree?  Do you have ideas?  We are in this together and we must learn together.  WHAT’S YOUR OPINION?

* http://www.constitution.org/constit_.htm

** Our entire media (newspaper, radio and  television/cable/satellite) is owned by these 6 corporations: Disney Corp., CBS Corp.(old Viacom/CBS), GE(General Electric Corp.), Time Warner Inc., News Corp. (Rupert Murdoch/Fox Broadcasting Co.) and National Amusements (new Viacom).

If we don’t stop this control over our information, we can soon add the internet to the list!


What are you thinking? Lets hear it!


Penny McQuaig

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