Saturday, October 29, 2011

A link a day: Annabel Park of Coffee Party USA in Huffington Post

I'll be out of town all next week, so I'm scheduling all my posts after this one in advance. I'm also making them short--just a link and some brief commentary.

Today's post features a story by Coffee Party USA founder Annabel Park, who posted in yesterday's Huffington Post about today's Enough is Enough Citizens' Intervention, which was organized by the Coffee Party.

Occupied America: Bridging the Divide
Americans find themselves in a struggle for the soul of our nation yet again. Some see it as an economic struggle that pits the wealthiest one percent against the 99 percent rest of us. Some see it as a social struggle about whether it is the responsibility of government to provide the resources to help the neediest among us -- resources that encompass everything from healthcare to education to employment. And some see it as a political struggle, between the right and left, between a vision of bigger or smaller government and which path will right our struggling economy.

But really it comes down once again to a moral struggle -- how do we define ourselves as a nation and how do we fix what isn't working in America today? This is what has motivated so many Americans to occupy Wall Street and Main Street from coast to coast. It is a belief among people from all parties and all backgrounds that we need to join together to fight for a common cause -- and that cause is the American people.
While Americans argue and divide over entitlements, rights, race, type and size of government, multi-national corporations are busy buying our government. They are indeed occupying Washington.

With billions spent on lobbying and the rise of shadowy tax-exempt issue advocacy groups that can spend unlimited cash with no accountability, our government leaders are held hostage to the will of the few. And those few have poured money into the political machine to promote deregulation, corporate loopholes, and other policies that favor the wealthy and the powerful. And the divide in our country grows wider.

It's time for the American people to wake up, stand up, and speak out. We need to reform our laws to close these loopholes to power and concentrated wealth. These are not partisan issues -- these are common sense issues, American issues. We must do our part to be informed and engaged citizens, break out of the constructed partisan gridlock that stymies our thinking, and move forward on solutions, united as a country.

America is at another turning point. The American people are ready to stand up against a political system that allows powerful special interests and party ideologues to have more influence with our elected Representatives than average people. That is why Americans across the nation are joining together across party lines and saying enough is enough. We are not going away. The challenges we face as a country are many.
I left three comments on this article:Thanks for writing this, Annabel. Here's to an epic rally tomorrow, despite the prediction­s of cold and snow.In response to someone claiming that the Occupiers were "spoiled children who have either has everything given to them either by a enabling parent or government welfare agency" and that the divide was between the producers and the parasites, I posted.
The people behind this rally have no problem with people becoming wealthy and with the existence of corporatio­ns. They do have a problem with those same entities buying the government­.
That garnered another response to effect that "the people that are "buying the government­" are the ones that do not provide jobs, that hug the trees and kiss the ground, that feel we should not use anything the earth provides for our living or prosperity­." As an environmentalist, I couldn't let that one go, but as a part of Coffee Party leadership who has signed the organization's Civility Pledge, I couldn't flame him. So I eventually replied with the following.
Show me the dollar amounts. I rather doubt that all the environmen­tal organizati­ons in the country combined have as much money to spend on lobbying and campaign contributi­ons as the Koch Brothers and Koch Industries and the organizati­ons they support all by themselves­. And if you're not talking about the environmen­tal organizati­ons, then who are you talking about?
If I get a response before bedtime tonight, I'll be very surprised. I also won't be able to read it for a week.

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