Listening to the timbre of the conversations at the Dane County Farmers Market, one of the largest in the country, you’d think the topic was vaccination or Gaza. “What exactly is in this scone?” “Are your emus happy? How much space do they have to roam free?” “When you say ‘flour’ on the label, what kind of flour is that?”

Yet food pantries remain full of the same canned pumpkin and expired boxed meals they always have. Obese people are shamed and told what to eat, while people deemed skinny enough to have an eating disorder are also shamed for not taking care of their “health.” There is a serious disconnect here that should tell anyone who’s paying attention that this is not about justice or health in any form––it is about vanity.

When asking the server how the animal being served was prepared, no one seems to wonder whether that server has basic health insurance or whether that server is affected by the fact that the restaurant industry has one of the highest rates of sexual harassment and lowest rates of pay. When waxing poetic about the “salt of the Earth” farmers from which they buy their unpasteurized milk, no one seems to worry that an estimated 10 percent of American farm workers are children. When pearl-clutching over the things we “don’t know” about GMOs, as Kavin pointed out, no one seems to be concerned about their presence in groceries found at Price Rite––only products sold at Whole Foods.

If you are not as concerned about the people handing you your food in the restaurant as you are about the pigs on the farm where it was grown, your approach is classist….If you start telling someone all about your new trendy diet or asking them about theirs without knowing if they have an eating disorder that may be triggered by your prattle, your approach is ableist. If you tsk-tsk at people who are overweight for what they are eating and claim you’re concerned about their health, yet you’re not actively campaigning to make healthy food more accessible and affordable, your approach is sickening and I don’t want you in my activism.
In America, though, life seems to move faster than anywhere else on the globe and each generation is promised more than it will get: which creates, in each generation, a furious, bewildered rage, the rage of people who cannot find solid ground beneath their feet.
—  James Baldwin, ”The Harlem Ghetto” 
We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.
—  C.S. Lewis
6

October 27, 1858: Theodore Roosevelt is born.

Theodore Roosevelt took office as president of the United States upon the assassination of William McKinley in 1901; interestingly enough, although he is often regarded as one of the country’s greatest presidents, he was forced onto the Republican ticket by political bosses against the will of McKinley’s campaign manager. 

Roosevelt was president, but he was also an avid reader, an athlete, a respected historian, a sheriff, New York City Police Commissioner, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, commander of the “Rough Riders” cavalry regiment, and governor of New York.  He was often hesitant and passive on the subject of racial equality, but he was also the first president to invite an African-American to the White House for dinner. He was a big game hunter and also an outspoken conservationist who placed over 200 million acres of land under public protection. He was repelled by corruption, and he was the first major trust-busting president, as well as the first president to use federal power to intervene and arbitrate a strike rather than to crush it. He issued a corollary to the Monroe Doctrine that was used to advance American imperialism, and he encouraged the strengthening of the country’s then relatively weak military, but he also won the Nobel Peace Prize for his successful mediation between Russia and Japan at a 1905 peace conference. He was born into a wealthy, privileged family, but his political philosophy of “New Nationalism" was a mostly pro-labor program designed to protect workers from exploitation (among other points). 

Roosevelt promoted the idea of a strong American identity (he once called the country the mightiest nation upon which the sun shines”), and in some ways his presidency can be seen as the starting point of the modern United States.

Elizabeth Warren's 11 Commandments of Progressivism
  1. "We believe that Wall Street needs stronger rules and tougher enforcement, and we’re willing to fight for it."
  2. "We believe in science, and that means that we have a responsibility to protect this Earth."
  3. "We believe that the Internet shouldn’t be rigged to benefit big corporations, and that means real net neutrality."
  4. "We believe that no one should work full-time and still live in poverty, and that means raising the minimum wage."
  5. "We believe that fast-food workers deserve a livable wage, and that means that when they take to the picket line, we are proud to fight alongside them."
  6. "We believe that students are entitled to get an education without being crushed by debt."
  7. "We believe that after a lifetime of work, people are entitled to retire with dignity, and that means protecting Social Security, Medicare, and pensions."
  8. "We believe—I can’t believe I have to say this in 2014—we believe in equal pay for equal work."
  9. "We believe that equal means equal, and that’s true in marriage, it’s true in the workplace, it’s true in all of America."
  10. "We believe that immigration has made this country strong and vibrant, and that means reform."
  11. "And we believe that corporations are not people, that women have a right to their bodies. We will overturnHobby Lobby and we will fight for it. We will fight for it!”

Story here

Groundbreaking Report: Federal agents 'directly involved' in most high-profile US terror plots

image

This is huge, people. According to a report by Human Rights Watch, the federal government has participated in what amounts to entrapment in several (perhaps most) terrorism cases since 9/11, in some cases creating terrorists “out of law-abiding individuals.”

From the Guardian:

Nearly all of the highest-profile domestic terrorism plots in the United States since 9/11 featured the “direct involvement” of government agents or informants, a new report says.

Some of the controversial “sting” operations “were proposed or led by informants”, bordering on entrapment by law enforcement. Yet the courtroom obstacles to proving entrapment are significant, one of the reasons the stings persist.

The lengthy report, released on Monday by Human Rights Watch, raises questions about the US criminal justice system’s ability to respect civil rights and due process in post-9/11 terrorism cases. It portrays a system that features not just the sting operations but secret evidence, anonymous juries, extensive pretrial detentions and convictions significantly removed from actual plots.

"In some cases the FBI may have created terrorists out of law-abiding individuals by suggesting the idea of taking terrorist action or encouraging the target to act," the report alleges.

Out of the 494 cases related to terrorism the US has tried since 9/11, the plurality of convictions – 18% overall – are not for thwarted plots but for “material support” charges, a broad category expanded further by the 2001 Patriot Act that permits prosecutors to pursue charges with tenuous connections to a terrorist act or group.

In one such incident, the initial basis for a material-support case alleging a man provided “military gear” to al-Qaida turned out to be waterproof socks in his luggage.

Read the Rest

This kind of abuse of power is exactly what our founders warned us against. The various arms of the federal government (FBI, NSA, CIA, EPA, ATF, IRS, DHS, etc) are nothing but an unconstitutional fourth branch with virtually unlimited power and no accountability. If the allegations in this report are true, it should be enough to make anyone, progressive or otherwise, question the proper role of government.

Black Culture and Progressivism

Some pieces of news precipitate a kind of journalistic pile-on. This can be unfortunate, a reason to rue the deluge of opinion (see: drawn-out analysis of James Franco’s antics, again and again). Or, because there are many smart and shrewd voices out there, the same density of opinion can enrich our understanding of complicated issues (see: drawn-out analysis of Edward Snowden). The pile-on—of either variety—is good for convening dissonant points of view. But the hubbub tends to obscure the subtler strands of opinion: The people who mostly agree with one another are flattened into the same perspective, and the interesting gradations that separate, say, one kind of liberal or conservative from another are lost.

There is special pleasure, then, in reading writers narrower conversation. Bill Keller and Glenn Greenwald sparred over the future of news in the New York Times last year, with provocative results. Roundtables like Slate’s Supreme Court Breakfast Table illuminate the less visible corners of controversy by forcing like-minded commentators to make agreement interesting and disagreement intelligent.

Over the past two weeks, Ta-Nehisi Coates and Jonathan Chait of New York have engaged in a comparatively spontaneous back and forth that has accomplished this to great effect, shedding light on the places were progressives thoughtfully but profoundly disagree. The conversation began with no particular rules in place or end in sight—and their debate has proceeded with the intensity and unpredictability that such an approach entails.

Read more. [Image: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]

10

One in two adult American women is a former Girl Scout—a statistic I had thought very unreal when I first came across it, despite falling on the positive side of it myself. Say what you will about the vests, but those goody-goody girls I had worried would tarnish my cool? They have become one of the world’s most powerful and progressive women’s organizations.

more.

mitch1845 said:

May I ask why you believe so feverishly that a conservative America is the better America ; where the rich hoard there wealth and the poor have none. You only seem to be a critic and have no solutions for this country

Conservative America is the original America.  It was the way this place originally ran perfectly well before progressivism and Marxism from Europe started to dig its way into this country.  Conservatism isn’t an ideology, it’s a common sense approach based on observations, core stable beliefs, and proven methods.  Conservatives and libertarians believe in private property rights as the forefathers believed… that a person should have the freedom to enjoy the fruits of his/her labor.  The right to pursue the life they wanted to pursue despite where they started out in life, or economic mobility. We believe in individualism.

Progressivism and socialism are relatively new in historical context.  They are a true ideology.  It is a system of beliefs in which you are a cog in a bigger social experience and not so much an individual free to make your own choices.  They believe in collectivism and public ownership rather than private property.  The funny thing is that it never really is public ownership, is it?  It’s government ownership.  The problem with socialism is that the government is really in charge of the property and they make the rules, not the people.  History has proven that time and time again.  It applies today as well in bills like Obamacare which contain horrible regulations that dictate how an entire market is supposed to behave.

Conservatives believe you should keep the money you make when you work. We also believe you are responsible for yourself and your family, despite what skills you may or may not possess.  We believe not every man is equal but every man deserves an equal chance.  If you choose to obtain wealth (using ‘hoard’ is redundant because wealth is money or valued objects obtained and kept) that is up to you; if you choose to spread your wealth through the purchase of goods, services or commodities in the free market, that’s up to you; if you rather donate your money to charity, that’s up to you; if you want to bury your money in your back yard, that is up to you.  It is the fruit of your labor and you traded your time, effort, ideas, or skills to obtain it.  At the same time, we don’t believe in crony capitalism where big business wheels and deals with politicians and agencies within the free market to gain advance or an upper edge.

This is of course just philosophy.  You can read Edmund Burke to learn more about these core aspects of conservatism.  You’ll start to realize all the fallacies built into socialism and the like.  For instance, the notion that conservatives hate the poor or want the poor to say downtrodden and at the same time want the rich to amass all the money from them is completely fabricated.  Conservatives want everyone to attempt to be wealthy and believe anyone that works hard to try to earn that wealth deserves to try; however, we also understand some people do not want work hard or are just comfortable with their status in society.  Progressivism is a never-ending attempt to regulate business, redistribute wealth, and control social behavior in order to obtain an unattainable utopia.

But now I’m just ranting.  To answer your question, conservatives are loaded with solutions.  Not sure why you think we don’t?  There’s one for every political and social issue out there. You have Google.  Type in “conservative solution to ______.”  You’ll most likely find the answer to your specific question.  If you can’t, then come back and maybe I’ll throw in my two cents on the specific question you have.

PSA TO FEMINISTS

You CANNOT say that you are for women’s free agency and 

-force them to buy health insurance

-disallow them to purchase a firearm

-force them to use certain light bulbs, cars, other green shit

-disallow them to eat trans fat, large sodas, GMOs, whatever else trendy thing you people bitch about

-force their business to hire people whose lifestyle they object to for whatever reason

-disallow them to homeschool their children 

Are you getting a general idea yet? Do these words seem compatible with being a free agent to you?

Let’s get this straight

You are NOT pro choice if you support the progressive agenda

You are NOT for women’s liberation if you advocate for the state intervening in their personal choices

You are not for anyone’s liberation. You are fascist. 

The details of the agenda may be different, but you’re operating by the same principles. 

It’s incredibly demoralizing for progressive activists who live in states with conservative governments (which, as a reminder, often are governing in direct contravention of the will of the people) to be told constantly that we should leave or homes, or that our home states are terrible places.

Not everyone has the privilege of being able to move, which is to say nothing of not everyone having the desire to move—and those of us who could move, who choose to stay and fight on behalf of our values and in solidarity with those who can’t pick up and leave, have a rough enough time of it without being written off by ostensible allies.

Knock it off.
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