Episode #4: Tax Day-2012

Today’s episode was a weekly roundup of the political events and issues which were circulating in the maelstrom that was U S Politics since Easter Sunday. Highlights include:

Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman
Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr.
Tax Day, 2012
A personal challenge to all Southern Progressives for the remainder of 2012.

I will be adding some of the reference links used in the preparation and presentation of today’s show. In the meantime, you can listen in to today’s episode in our archive library.

I’ll be updating this post during the week. Stay tuned, things are moving quickly this week.


TNProgressive, Host

Super Tuesday, A Citizen’s View

Seal of Maury County, Tennessee
Image via Wikipedia

Tennessee will be a focal point in the Republican candidacy race. As a Progressive Democrat, that is not the primary concern for me.Tomorrow. 

For me, the privilege of voting outranks all others as a citizen of the United States of America. Every opportunity to vote is a near-sacred obligation upon her citizens to “exercising the franchise“. The individual voice of the people of our State will gather at the voting booth to, regardless of party affiliation (Tennessee has an open Primary) state their personal views on many things. I have heard that there are many citizens who honestly feel their best alternative is to stay home. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Where I live, there is a major issue on the ballot that every registered citizen should speak on. It involves an initiative to merge the local government of Columbia, Tennessee with the government of Maury County, Tennessee. In my personal view, this is a very, very bad idea. I would encourage every Maury County voter to show up at the polls, and vote against this initiative. It is a power, money and land grab in my view, and will do nothing to help the citizens of Columbia as we move forward. It is a negative usurpation of the independence of our community that the citizens must not allow. The most important thing to realize, from a voter’s perspective, is that only 50% of those who cast a vote will determine the outcome. This means that if only ten citizens vote, and six vote in favor of this initiative, those six votes will determine the future of more than 35,000 people in  Maury County, Tennessee.

I will also be considering to cast my vote in this Primary for Rick Santorum. I encourage all Tennesseans of my political persuasion to do the same, to send a message to our elected;. As there is no Democratic Presidential Primary (The President is running unopposed), it is in my party’s interest to extend, for however long possible, the Republican Primary race among the four remaining candidates. In my personal view, nothing could help my candidate of choice more. That is the opportunity, and the cost of having an “open” Primary.

I hope every registered Democrat in Maury County, and across our State will do the same. It has no negative outcome that I have been able to determine, at least for my preferred winner in November. I may choose another candidate who has met the threshold requirements. When I am in the voting booth, these are decisions which I, without regard to my party affiliation, platform, or position, am entitled to make as a citizen. This is but one of many choices and decisions which I, as a citizen, am not only entitled, but required to make on behalf of my citizenship. Staying home does nothing for me, those candidates I support, those issues which are important to me, my party or my State.

Up and down the ticket, I will cast my vote. It is imperative in this election that I do so at every possible opportunity, because in my mind democracy is under attack in Tennessee, and in America. I know there are those who believe this to be  like screaming that “The sky is falling!“, but it is a simple truth. When the citizens of a nation, or a State, or a community are called upon to participate in that democracy, yet they do not, democracy suffers immensely. When our nation is so divisively divided, with such terrible rancor and outright hatred being spewed openly, without apology or concerns for restraint, democracy itself is at risk. There has not been in my lifetime a more important election.

It is not my option to not participate; not if I do consider myself to be a citizen. That’s just not what citizenship is.  You may believe your vote doesn’t count. That is simply not true. Every vote counts, and never more so than in the Primary and election this year. You may believe that you have no “good” choice. Again, that is a lie. There ARE choices in tomorrow’s Primary election. You are called by democracy and your citizenship in your community, your State, and your country not just to participate, but to BE democracy where you live.

George Carlin once said that those who do not vote are the ones who have the right to complain. Sorry: not true. Only those who rightfully voice their democracy have the right to complain about what their elected do, or do not do, in the furtherance of democracy in this land. It is also important, especially considering tomorrow, that some 375,000 Tennesseans, and a purposeful attempt to keep some 5,000,000 American citizens away from their constitutional right to vote is currently being enforced not only here in Tennessee, but across our nation.

They will will not be allowed to cast their vote, a privilege their citizenship inalienably affords them, yet one of several disenfranchisement plans from that citizenship the elected of this State have purposely instigated for nothing other than that very specific purpose. Those who not only permitted this with their votes, but who defend such an absolutely nefarious purpose must be held accountable in November. Voter ID laws, poll taxes, limited access to registration…and so much more. You must realize that, even among your neighbors, those who have fought, bled and died for nothing more than this one constitutional right for every citizen will be kept away from the very polls they have defended. Cast your vote for them. Voter suppression may well see African-Americans who are being purposely kept away from the polls, along with other minorities, the elderly, the poor, students, and so many more. Early voting restricted, or possibly even discontinued soon. Absentee voting which counts less, if at all. So many other possibilities which would be foisted upon us by those who believe that a corporatist, plutocratic theocracy is a preferred form of government without a Constitution. Or perhaps many voters believe that anarchy is the preferred outcome of the November elections. There are many of them, you know Many of them are Volunteers. Would you prefer their votes count, while you remain silent?

Is this democracy? No, it is not democracy. It is tyranny. Yes, tyranny. Stand up–if not for yourself, for them. Do not allow the paranoid and evil intents of others to further harm, or perhaps even destroy democracy in our time, in our land. Not here. Not now. And, by the grace of the Almighty, not by me!

This is not a question a citizen should be asking. Yet, we have been forced to it. How you, and I answer tomorrow will say much. It has never mattered more than it matters now. l have given you only a few examples of why. There is but one question remaining. It is a question every citizen of Tennessee must answer, tomorrow.

What are YOU going to do about it?

I Hear A Lot About Values

"LIES" (Photo credit: Toban Black)

I was born in the beloved Hills of Eastern Kentucky. I was raised by a family, and a community that instilled values in me that I have had to fight out, figure out, and sort out over the course of my life. To me, your values travel with you. I have tried, sometimes even successfully to live them out in my world with my families, my colleagues, my friends–my “universes” if you will.

I have never subscribed to the notion that my values were the right ones for all people, or even all the people with whom I closely associated. I have written about them. I have spoken to others about them, and shared them when I felt it was appropriate, but not always when I thought or believed it to be necessary. Prudence is a value, too. Tact is a value. Honor is a value. Living honorably, especially among those you consider important to your world is also a value. Kindness, gentleness, forthrightness…these are values. Courage, faithfulness, integrity, respect…these, too are values.

So, why is it that it seems so very apparent to me that these values are just simply not the values of the citizens of Tennessee? And, before you begin flaming (and being deleted from) this blog, I want you to hear what it is that I am saying, as I mean to say it. I do not want my words to be so clear they are understood–by anyone. I want my words to be so clear that they cannot possibly be misunderstood–by anyone.

Why is it these are values to be disregarded, denied, or simply discarded by citizens of Tennessee? I know there are those who believe that every person should have the opportunity to create their own success, their own fortunes by their own sweat and tears. I, quite frankly, agree with that. But it is NOT a value! Hard work IS a value, and you should be honored if you have it as one. I don’t know anyone in this entire State who does not hold this as a value, despite what I read daily. In fact, one of the most prominent places I hear about it is from our elected, and especially our State Legislators.

So…is it a commonly held value here, or not? It cannot be both. If you find my statement offensive, then please understand how offended I am when I hear from our elected that it is a value which simply does not exist here, or does not exist by some definable segment of our population:

The Elderly

The Poor
The LGBT Community
The Unemployed
The Underemployed
Democrats in general

Any person, elected (or who would be) that tells you this is a value not held by someone else is, quite frankly, telling you a lie to your face. Now, is honesty a value here? And, isn’t it our solemn obligation as citizens to confront dishonesty in word, as well as deed, by those elected to represent US?

You simply cannot have it both ways. No matter how daintily you compose the argument in our well-known “Southron Gentility“, a lie is not the truth. This State has a legendary history of standing up FOR truth, not hiding FROM truth.

It’s about time we started living up to our forebears, and immediately commit ourselves to confront those who believe that distorting or even discarding the truth is an acceptable

The Family Values 2001 Tour
Image via Wikipedia

It’s what we should do. If we cannot, or will not, then it is incumbent upon us to hold our tongues, period. The only other possible determination available to us is that we do NOT hold these values, and to pretend we do simply has run its course. If you cannot confront lies with truth, and you will not speak truth to power, then you have necessarily allied yourself to dishonor, untruth, and lies.  truth in this State, no matter where they are found. Because that is what citizens in a democracy do. It’s what honorable people do.

So, as my Father used to say:

Put up, or shut up!

September 11, 2001: What’s The Big Deal, Anyway?

In the past year, I have been becoming more and more involved, again, in the American political landscape. Now, we prepare to remember a day that has forever changed our very definition of America. If you are an American, older than ten years of age, you have a story. I have several, but after watching both the Republican debate and the President’s speech to the nation last night, a few ideas are in my mind that I wish to remove by writing about them here.

On September 11th, 2001, the United States of America was purposely attacked by foreigners who wanted us to know that we are hated. Their purpose was not to notify us. Their purpose was to hurt us, to shake our nation’s people. It was. They did. My question today, however, is a real one in my mind. More than 3,000 citizens died. 343 New York City firefighters, first responders, and police died that day. The Pentagon bled, and a fourth plane headed for our nation’s capital was purposely driven into the ground by heroes who found that idea worth dying for.


My “issue”, or “pillar” or “foundational purpose” in my renewed activity in the political circus is really simple: Democracy. So, was Democracy attacked on September 11th, 2001? Yes. “We are Americans!” rang out, from every corner of our land.  Where did that go? What happened?

Corporations are persons. The purpose of the Tea Party is to undo our Constitution, and re-make an America that is a corporatist plutocratic theocracy, not a Representative Democracy. The absolute disrespect of the American people toward the sitting President, our legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government has become not only common, but acceptable in some circles. Is this why we remember September 11th, 2001? Pundits, political hacks, wonks, and radio personalities openly deride, state absolutely treasonous statements against our government, our governance, and our elected leaders with unfettered abandon. Corporations rob our Treasury, while our legislators purposely set about either removing those who would support, even with their votes, our President, from the voting process. The erosion of personal liberties and constitutionally guaranteed rights of our citizens continues without boundary, or expectation of outrage from an American citizenry who proclaim “Liberty”! Is this why we remember that clear, bright day?

When elected leaders decide their access to those to whom they are accountable decide to charge for the right to be heard by those who would possibly disagree with their views, or the views of those who tell them what to do, what to say, and/or what to believe, Democracy is in grave peril. When elected members of our legislative bodies open announce their intentions to remove themselves from the chamber when the President speaks, Democracy is in peril. Since when was attendance to a Joint Session of Congress optional? When every second of his office is singly dedicated to the ineffectiveness of the duly elected President of the United States, the Senate Minority Leader, a true Kentucky embarrassment by the name of Mitch McConnell must answer for his treasonous activities by the American people. Tea Party terrorists who believe that the will of the American people, when directly in opposition to the concept of Representative Democracy, is of no consequence, are openly, and without apology working as hard as they can to completely undo not only our government, but our very form of government. If this were to happen from outside the Chamber, our Military would be charged with protecting our nation from terrorists much more insidious than those few who took it upon themselves to create the havoc of September 11th, 2001 and beyond. Yet, they crow publicly about their intentions, their plans, and their unwillingness to even consider their actions as perilously dangerous to the America I know and love.

Candidates for the office of President cause me to know not where to begin. Their intent, freely and clearly stated to remove the social contract, eliminate the social safety net, and FINALLY undo the protections given to those most unable to defend themselves in our society sicken me. But what makes me more is is the fact that they not only believe they can get away with this, but that they openly dare anyone to call them to account for their treasonous statements against our President, our governance, our government, and our Democracy itself. It is not a matter of political disagreement; that is the life-blood of Democracy itself. These folks, however, go so far beyond the pale that simple disagreement is not even visible in a rear view mirror. Remove the protections Americans have hard-won and the agencies which “stand in the way of the job creators”, bring profit back to the corporate state, and do away with the middle class. Remove unions, protections granted citizens, voting rights, collective bargaining, and such a host of attacks on our Democracy as to dizzy the average American mind. That is not the plan. That is the reality. It is happening now. Democracy itself is under direct attack, from within our own borders. I am here to say that it must stop. Right now.

It is of no import that I disagree with these folks. It is, however of the greatest import to understand their intent, and to address it in the strongest possible terms. Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) is planning to present a speech to a Tennessee Reagan Day Dinner soon. There is a very visible intent to do all within my personal power to make that a very bad choice. Yet, what I read is that the Tennessee Tea Party is urging it’s members to not attend the dinner, but the protest accompanying it with loaded weapons! Urging them, mind you. To these blathering idiots, that is a call to arms. Are you kidding me? In America? Isn’t it just a tad soon to so openly act on their intents? Yet, have no doubt. There ARE their intents. And, I have no doubt that there will be plenty of “hog legs” facing the dissent that will be posted, including my own. I had absolutely no intent to attend these protests–until today. I had no intent of standing on a miner’s strike line in Southeeastern Kentucky, either…until threats were made, violence realized, and corporate coal operators brought in thugs to simply do away with those who would require them to protect their workers, provide disability and what would (originally from my family kitchen table) be written as the Worker’s Compensation Act. I stood. I will stand again. Who do these people think they are? By what right do they presume to commandeer Democracy, and undo 236 years of history simply because they want to?

Disrespecting the sitting President of the United States is a felony. Refusing to attend a Joint Session of Congress is the act which enables the House and/or Senate Sergeant-at-Arms to request the Assistance of Federal Marshals. So, when you so proudly flaunt your intent against the President, the Presidency, and your very own constituents, know that there are those of us who believe your irresponsible “representation” should have significant consequence.

We felt compelled to create consequence against those who had absolutely NOTHING to do with the attack on America on September 11th, 2001. Why then would we feel it unnecessary to require consequences for those within our own nation who are working every moment to undo it? We come together to remember the ultimate sacrifice of so many, yet do nothing when our own do such greater damage to our country, our Democracy. How hypocritical can we possibly be? Is this what September 11th, 2001 has come to mean? Really?

25 million of our fellow citizens cannot participate in America today because corporations have destroyed the social contract we made with them so long ago. They tell us that it is the responsibility of the corporation to improve the bottom line for their share-holders. That is a lie. Corporations and businesses, regardless of size or profit, have a responsibility of citizenship to their communities, their workers and their nation. If they fail in this responsibility, their “citizenship” should be immediately voided, revoked. They should have their assets seized, their accounts frozen, and their officials jailed. Wall Street ripped off America for trillions of dollars without so much as a slap on the wrist. Yet, one New York Attorney General trying to call one of the criminals to account is hounded by everyone, including Washington, D. C. to just go away. NO! Jail them all! They are crooks, criminals, and treasonous traitors against the people of the United States of America! They purposely set out to drain our Treasury for their own profit at the cost of hundreds of millions of Americans, mortgages, college funds, retirement accounts, and the American Dream itself! They are traitors to America, as are those who support them. The Federal Reserve has privately given more than $30 billion of our dollars to these criminals, without accountability We make trade deals with criminals, and criminal nations, flowing our jobs to the cheapest labor in the world, for the sake of profit that these traitors have no intention of sharing with the country who makes their business possible in the first place. Is this what September 11th, 2001 was about? Really?

The complete and total elimination of the American middle class is all but complete. I, for one, refuse to allow it to happen quietly. Michael Moore, and others like him have spent their time, talent and treasure holding, as possible, these anti-democracy thugs accountable. Yet, they are vilified. Really? Since when does dissent qualify for open attempts to harm, injure or (in many cases) kill those who dissent? Is this America? Really? Is this what September 11th, 2001 was about?

Perry, Bachmann, Romney, Paul, Cain, Gingrich (again!), and others of the Tea Party ilk would have us believe that it is corporate America’s responsibility to rule over us, yet not hire us. They would tell you that the EPA needs to be removed as quickly as the funds for Planned Parenthood, NPR, and the Nuclear Regulatory Agency, NASA, the Academy of Sciences, and the World Health Organization. They would REMOVE 18 of our Constitution’s Amendments as being unnecessary, troublesome, or just plain unnecessary. They would, as their puppet masters the Koch Brothers so recently (and very nearly successfully) showed to the students of Wake County, North Carolina, re-segregate those public schools they would then remove from our landscape, in favor of “Charter” (read this to mean ultra-conservative Christian Programming camps) Schools across the American landscape.  In their philosophy, individual citizenship is equally inconvenient, as is any discussion of the health of our planet, our people, our military…and pretty much any other identifiable symbol of American Democracy. The current Republican front-runner is a man who has been “selected” and “ordained” as a “Prophet” and given the responsibility of commanding the control of, and elimination of one of the seven “mountains” identified by his religious mentor: government. His role is to not reform it, or even reduce it. According to their own words, Governor Perry’s mission is to become the President of the United States to END government. This is but one of their seven “mountains” which their faith (?) compels them to command in the America of tomorrow. Education is another one. Culture is another one. Religion (really?) is another one. Society is another one.

Removal of Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare is not some kind of philosophical debate amongst Tea Party members. It is a short term operational imperative. Removal of all taxation on business is another one. Increasing taxation of the bottom 90% of American workers is another one. The removal of any form of health care that is not privately purchased is another one. This is what September 11, 2001 was about? Really? Is this the purpose of September 11th, 2001? Is that what so upset and angered America? To tell me that the “enemy” is government, that the role of those running for the highest elected office in our land is to remove government permanently, and re-form our Constitution is, at least for me, a statement of war against my country. I believe them. I take their words at face value. Because, you see, I don’t believe that disaster aid must not be given until, and unless an equal reduction in “Entitlement” programs is realized.  I do not accept that corporations have personhood. I do not accept open rebellion by terrorists within our own legislative bodies. I do not believe that single, non-elected citizens control the actions of my elected legislators. Nor do unaffiliated organizations whose purposes are to undo at the state level those same democratic values of our nation. ALEC is doing a very good job at what they do. A $200 million “kick-start” by the TWO brothers from … Canada? Minnesota? gave them a great beginning. The two sons of a man who once worked WITH Stalin to undermine the United States of America, who was a co-founder of the John Birch Society, two Libertarians (NOT!) who believe that the American model should never have existed in the first place? They are enemies of the State, and should be dealt with as such. Why? Because if September 11th, 2001 meant anything of substance, it meant that American Democracy is the correct form of government for the American people. That’s why? Otherwise, what IS the big deal, anyway?

I have held my tongue wrongly. So have you. If you do not know what Democracy is, or why we have it…you are a failed citizen of this nation, pure and simple. If you believe that it is in our best interest to remove the middle class from America, you are a failed citizen of America. If you believe that it is the role of the corporation to rule America, you are a failed citizen. If you believe that it is reasonable to remove those agencies, amendments, and organizations tasked with protecting the American people from the excesses of corporate greed, you are very definitely a failed citizen of the United States of America. If you believe that a specific State has more standing than the fifty United States of America, you are a failed citizen of the United States of America. If you believe that the Constitution of the United States of America is a meaningless piece of paper who has very well long outlasted its usefulness, you are a failed citizen of the United States of America. If you remember September 11th, 2001 as the day America was attacked, you are a failed citizen of the United States of America. If you believe that open and radical disrespect of the sitting President of the United States is an acceptable practice, either as a citizen or an elected official, you are a failed citizen of the United States of America. You do not understand the significance of September 11th, 2001, and your claims otherwise are nothing but arrogant posturing, indicative of your failed citizenship. You are a fraud, a mountebank, a coward. You are a traitor of this Democracy, and should be dealt with as a traitor to our nation. You are more a terrorist than those who plowed four planes into our nation’s soul, and should be dealt with as such. Your words, your actions, and your intentions declare your true nature, and your most closely held beliefs. You are a shame to your nation. It is not your disagreement which condemns you. It is your intentions. It is your disrespect of our nation, our government, our governance, and Democracy itself which condemn you. You are a traitor to your nation. September 11th, 2001 is YOUR holiday.

I will no longer keep my silence. That is what the terrorists would want. I urge you not to keep your silence one moment longer. Stand up, and fight back against those who would undo our Democracy. Do not let any word against our governance go unchallenged. Democracy itself is not only under attack. It is on the ropes. We stand to lose it in November, 2012. I refuse to accept that this is the “next” day of remembrance for America. I will not remain silent and allow those who disrespect my President, my country, or MY Democracy to have their will unabated, unchallenged, or uncalled for what it is. I simply will not. That is my choice.

That’s what I think.

A “Dialogue” with Senator Lamar Alexander

For reasons I cannot yet fathom, I received in my inbox today (Please note the date of this post), an August 5th, 2011 epistle from Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander:


August 5, 2011
Dr. M. B. “bud” Fields, Jr. Dma
2007 Morris Avenue
Columbia, TN 33401
Dear Dr. Fields, Jr. Dma:
Thanks very much for getting in touch with me and for letting me know what’s on your mind regarding the budget and the debt limit.
On August 2, 2011, I supported the debt reduction agreement, formally known as the Budget Control Act, because at a time when the federal government is borrowing 40 cents of every dollar it spends, this is a welcome change in behavior that I am glad to support. Make no mistake, this is a change in behavior-from spend, spend, spend to cut, cut, cut.
For the first time, for every dollar we are raising the debt ceiling, we are reducing spending by a dollar-not adding to it. This reduction in spending is about $2.4 trillion over ten years. If Congress did this kind of dollar-for-dollar reduction in spending every time a president asked Congress to raise the debt ceiling, we’d balance the budget in ten years. And balancing the budget is exactly what our goal should be. That’s what I did every year as governor of Tennessee. Families in America do it every day.
It is time to balance the government’s books and live within our means. These spending reductions are an important step-but they are just one step-and no one should underestimate how difficult the next steps will be. These spending cuts do almost nothing to restructure Medicare and Social Security so that seniors and future generations can count on them and taxpayers can afford them. This problem wasn’t created overnight, and it won’t be solved overnight. This was an opportunity to take an important step in the right direction-toward stopping Washington from spending money it doesn’t have.
I’m grateful you took the time to let me know where you stand. I’ll be sure to keep your comments in mind as the debt limit and spending issues are discussed and debated in Washington and in Tennessee.
I did feel the need, or was compelled to respond to what so apparently was a personal, and heartfelt message from my United States Senator:
Good Sir:
I must respectfully disagree with you.
If my family budget was required to find several unheld trillions of dollars for the unauthorized prosecution of three wars, my family budget would not, I assure you, be in balance.
If my family budget was required to insure the survival of 25 million unemployed neighbors, my balance would not be in balance.
If my family budget was somehow required to make sure that my driveway, yard, and fountain were rebuilt because of thirty years of complete disregard, lying in disrepair, I can assure you that my budget would not be in balance.
If 12 million of my neighbors came, one by one to my door, begging for scraps from my table, I in my good and Christian heart would do all within my power, regardless of my budget, to feed, clothe and house them. I promise you, my budget would not be in balance. Any belief otherwise would be of the purest folly.
We, the people…” Senator. “...provide the general welfare…’ Senator.
These may be terribly uncomfortable or even inconvenient portions of our founding documents for some, perhaps even yourself. But in my family, you represent a veteran, disabled terminally ill-diagnosed member, sole bread-winner, and family Patriarch. If TennCare did not help me, I would literally die. If my severely-priced medications were not paid for, to control a condition which I did not cause, and would never voluntarily foist upon my good neighbors in Tennessee, I will die. I am 55 years old, Senator. I am the son of a Senator, a life-long participant in democracy at every level.
The sad fact is, Sir, that according to my family budget, I was supposed to be dead in 2007. I know. Go figure. But, for reasons I do not yet understand, the best information of my 24 (unpaid) Doctors was incorrect. I still cannot walk, or work, or leave my home unassisted. I cannot create income, for fear of losing the pittance my more than 30 years of work now provide me in an $1,100.00 per month Social Security Disability, while the Social Security Administration STILL, after winning an Appeal, no less, will not pay my back pay. That would do a lot for my family budget, Senator. But it would do nothing for the more than 12 million Americans who live in…cars.
So, Senator, please use some reality in your determinations. We need JOBS! We need, deserve, and expect the respect of a government who is, at every possible turn, determined to expunge us from the debate, the discussion, and even if possible the reality of freedom. There is so very much I want to do, Senator. I cannot. But, what I can do, I must do. I can write.
Don’t you DARE try to compare the needs of my nation to the needs of my family.  It’s completely disingenuous, and beneath you. Come eat at my table. Sit where I sit, and tell me that America needs to cut more from my budget, while those who single-handedly reap more than 80% of this nations wealth pay nothing into the coffers of the country that made their wealth possible. Convince me that their existence is more important to the nation than mine is to my family. What truly unmitigated gaul, Sir.
Tell the Social Security Administration to pay what it’s own Appeals Board said it must, Senator. And, please. Do it before you attempt to remove them from the fabric that IS America.
You state your beliefs. Mine differ. I hope we can communicate with a bit more revealed honesty, and have a dialogue about what really matters to the people YOU have been elected to represent, Senator. Consider this a note from your boss. I am not pleased.
The greatest victim in these days could well be our nation itself. But, for me, the greatest loss of her people is the ability to discuss with one another the important themes of our current existence. We just don’t talk to one another any more. We must (and, I think, are doing so) change this reality. We can disagree without being disagreeable, I believe. Democracy rules through the words of her people. Hear mine, I implore you.
M. B. “Bud” Fields, Jr. DMA
2007 Morris Avenue
Columbia, Tennessee 38401

A Silly, Salacious, Sagacious, Saturday

I am a political activist. I am a political junkie. Are you?

If you are like me, these days in our national environment are fraught with those who “know”, and those who do not. Today, for instance (not the Sunday news shows, which today will ALL be gifted by the presence of Michelle Bachmann (R-MN). Oh, Lord. I just have to remember that if it’s not writing, it’s research.

Today, however, I was witness to the continuing drama of Iowa, and the Straw Poll/Debate Grand Slam. I also got a look at Texas Governor Rick Perry.

I was pleased that Ron Paul got a very close second to Michelle Bachmann (R-MN). Had only a few hundred of the write-in voters had chosen him, he would have won. The second largest vote count was interesting, especially since the suddenly “presumptive” front-runner (either Perry or Mitt Romney, depending on your personal taste) wasn’t even there. I then treated myself to a well-deserved nap. When I awoke, I did some research on Governor Perry.

What I cane away with was very troubling to me, for several reasons.

When Candidate George W. Bush announced his intent to run, nobody was happier than the average voter…of Texas. Same here, with Perry. Despite his PR to the otherwise, he is largely vilified in his own state. His caterwauling about jobs coming to the state lie primarily in Military assignments, immigrant labor, and minimum wage jobs. All three categories are, in one way, “seasonal” jobs. Basic/AIT training troops bound for Afghanistan lead to a not only temporary, but very transitional job base. Think tourist season at Fort Sam Houston of Fort Hood, for instance. Lackland AFB is a major basic training facility for the U S Air Force, so some “Zoomies” stop by for a while. Nothing permanent in these jobs, yet there is a lot permanent about the legislative acts this pariah has saddled the people of the Lone Star State with during his many years in the Governorship. Then, there is his absolute involvement in “The Response”, which has a much more nefarious implication than the mere attachment of this office, his State Treasury, and Security personnel for the event, attended by some 30,000 conservative evangelical Christians.

It seems that the Governor is only filling a temporary J.O.B., but is actually an elected “Prophet” of a very scary sect, with world theocratic designs. Rachel Maddow had a great intro to this information on her show this week, and I encourage you to watch this. The Staff Writer for the Texas Observer, whose story “The Army of God”, broke the story here.

Sara Posner, in an informative writing, works to help readers understand The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and Governor Perry in a timely article.

If you believe you are a Prophet of God, called to usher in the government of God, on Earth, in the United States, you might be Governor Rick Perry.

As to his governorship, the rebukes are legion.

It seems Mr. Perry has a problem with Service Veterans voting.

It seems Mr. Perry feels no sense of obligation to follow the Fair Voting Act when it comes to redistricting in Texas, either.

It seems Mr. Perry is not so bullish on education in Texas, either. So far, in the past year, $4 Billion cut in State-wide education funds.

One should recall that this is the man who truly believes the Departments of Education, The EPA, and the Department of Commerce must/will be forcibly removed, entirely from the federal government.

And then, of course, there is the money. Governor Perry, and his former staff assistant have created a Super PAC, which has no limits on the amounts of contributions given. A leaked email tells us how that one is going to work, if you are a supporter.

So, is this politics as usual? Or is it Politics as usual–Texas Style? I know what I think. Tell me, what do YOU think?

What I think about the Debt Crisis, and the Downgrade!

In a statement today concerning the downgrading of the United States’ credit worthiness by Standard and Poor’s, Tennessee District 4 Representative, Republican Scott E. Desjarlais weighed in.

“Rep. Scott Desjarlais, who voted against last week’s debt deal, said he’s been part of the ongoing effort by House Republicans to put the country on a “fiscally sustainable path.” Desjarlais says Senate Democrats and the President have blocked those efforts to enact what he calls ‘common sense spending reductions.'” (WPBS.org, August 8th, 2011)

Well, Representative Desjarlais, the people YOU represent are displeased with you, and your party, and those you more represent than we. You participated willingly in a manufactured crisis which has now, along with the same credit agency who routinely awarded “AAA+” rating to Credit Default Swaps to curry favor (and amazing profit) with the corporatist bosses, the Tea Party Terrorists, and the party who has, since his inauguration, sworn to all who would listen that the ONLY purpose they (and thereby, via extension, you) hold is the elimination of this Presidency, “no matter what”.

You have participated in the elimination of the credit worthiness of the United States, and her people. You have been an active player in the political terrorism  now upon us. You state you continue to intend to keep this disgrace to democracy going, cutting as much more as you possibly can, refusing to raise taxes, and to help where you are able, to cause as much discord and democracy-killing activity as you possibly can.

Thanks for letting us know, Mr. Desjarlais. Democracy now knows who at least one of her enemies is. The people of the 4th Congressional District, the State of Tennessee, and this nation take note of your stated intentions. We will not ignore you, be casual or apathetic toward your efforts, and we absolutely will do all we can to hold you accountable for the continued refusal to put the needs of the United States above your own.

What will happen in Wisconsin tomorrow is but the beginning of a firestorm of refutation by the people of this country. We want Jobs, NOT Cuts! You can continue to ignore those you were elected to represent–ALL the citizens of your district. I truly hope you will not. But, either way, your willingness to sell our democracy down the river for your own aggrandizement and profit have been noticed. Thanks for that.

That’s what I think. What do YOU think?

The “After” Party!

It would benefit every American citizen to look at the Debt Limit Ceiling Increase Bill, and read it carefully. What you find there may well surprise, or even shock you. I leave it to your better intelligence to determine how, or if this is going to help you.

From a practical standpoint, I can tell you that if you are a Graduate or Professional Student, or if you currently are a Pell Grant holder, this bill will simply stun you. Why the Pell Grant, and it’s most successful recipients were targeted in this Bill confuses me. But then, many of the things happening around the halls of Congress are confusing me.

For instance, the Senate refused to relieve the pressure on the Tea Party/Republican-created (as in manufactured, artificial, not REAL) crisis with the FAA. 8,000 employees, and more than 74,000 contractors are now unemployed until at Least October, 2011. The likelihood is that, given recent shenanigans by these political terrorists (There, Mr. Vice President. Blame it on ME!), they may never work again. Fact. At least, that is their intention. Why?

Well, now that’s a very interesting story that might just be more about you than you think. It has to do with, of all things, unions. Without going into the details so much, or giving the general dynamics obviously in play here, the one sticking point has to do with whether or not a union member not voting is equal to a “No!” vote. The terrorists want it so. The unions do not. Something about “every member is entitled to their vote, as they wish.” But the holdout is about…that.

Meanwhile, the employees of the FAA, and the more than 74,000 construction workers do not work, and do not get paid. Okay, no big deal, in view of the crinny gillions of jobs being worked every day by honest, hardworking Americans, right? These bums deserve what they get, with their ridiculous wages, impossible to maintain pensions, healthcare that God couldn’t buy, and that insane “collective bargaining” thing that is destroying the moral fabric of America as we know it.

What you may not understand, or be willing to accept, is that this is merely the opening salvo from a small group of disenfranchised nut jobs. (If you disagree, tell me. I said it. I stand by it.) The larger, over-reaching reality for this “group” (not party; they deserve no such recognition in this country) is not to change the dynamic of the political discussion. Nor is it to become a significant member of the political scene in America. Their desire is to change the America we live in. Nothing is causing more froth in their mouths than the idea of a Constitutional Amendment. They want to change America itself, and intend to do so. Their corporatist, big business, “Corporate Aristocracy” plan includes, as a first issue, the elimination of the middle class in this country.  They are succeeding, and where they are not, they are purposely creating every available means to nullify us. Telling hundreds of thousands, via the Koch Brothers, of democratic, or at least demographically identified democratic populations in Wisconsin to be sure to submit their Absentee Ballots no later than TWO DAYS AFTER the recall elections is but one scheme we will see replayed, state by state, over the course of the coming elections. Closing, again in Wisconsin, DMV branches in Democratically majority districts, while extending hours in those within Republican majority districts, is another ploy the Koch Brothers’ puppet, Governor Walker is using to further marginalize his opposition. There is a legitimate question in Wisconsin as to whether or not the Governor actually CAN do this, but that is not the question we must ask ourselves here, and now.

Why is he doing it? What benefit does he get from such actions? It is very apparent that Governor Walker is anti-democrat. Agreed? He is anti-union, as well. Agreed? He is anti-worker, anti-middle class, and anti-anything which sustains the presence of those whom his handlers, and the Tea Party think should NOT be a part of the dialogue which, for more than 20o years, has shaped our nation. Agreed? Yet, he is but one example of a multi-dimensional, multi-tiered attack on the America which has stood the test of time.

It is that very dialogue which is at risk. Opening a conversation with “It is going to be the way I want it, period.” is really NOT a conversation starter, folks. Yet, that very strategy has gotten the goons of the right a current score of 3 wins, no losses nationally. I am willing to accept the current political rhetoric that says Americans are in shock at what they are seeing. Okay, be shocked. Quickly.

This debate is about doing away, entirely with Government itself. Do not think otherwise. It is about eliminating entitlements–period. Do not believe otherwise. It is about CHANGING the FORM of America, turning it into a corporatist theocracy. Period. And, the Tea Party is a very public, unashamed, and unabashedly vicious tool of that goal. Period. Lookit.

84,000 jobs, one day.

Yeah, so what? It’s not my job. Hell, I haven’t had a job in two years. So what if we don’t have teachers to teach our future generation? So what if we don’t have the right to demand a decent wage for ourselves, or others? So what if we don’t have healthcare? Or retirement? Or a future?  What do you want ME to do about it? I’m just one man (or woman), trying to exist, raise my kids, and survive, because brother, that’s where I’m at. Survival.

Yes, you are. My question to you is “Who put you there?” Was it you? Is this the life you think makes up the American Dream? Have you somehow abdicated your right to achieve the American Dream for yourself, your family?  It is not a simple question, but it does lead to a better question that you really MUST answer:

“What are YOU going to do about it?”

The Tea Party is designing its members’ uniforms as we speak. They believe they are unstoppable. Silence is consent. Whether those uniforms be red, blue or brown makes no difference. Whether they wear Crocs or jack-boots is insignificant. But, that they are aiming for your street really should matter to you. Whatever you have, they want. Not because it’s of value. Because YOU have it. They just don’t WANT you here if you are intelligent, thinking, involved, active, voting other than their way, gay, immigrant, elderly, black, unemployed, or trying to advance your position in any way other than their corporatist, draconian agenda. It’s you they are coming for.  95 of them halted more than 80,000 jobs, “for as long as it takes. We will NOT accept any way other than ours.” Make no mistake about it. “Their way” is to completely dismantle every union in America today. It is the first, and only purpose behind the recalcitrant temper tantrum of the extreme Right, the Republicans, the Tea Party. They hate you. They intend for you to disappear from the American landscape. Along, I might add, with many other “targets” they openly espouse for insignificance, nullification, or extinction. If you believe otherwise, I hate to tell you this, but you are a fool. It’s not true because I say it. It’s true because THEY say it. As loudly and as passionately as they tell their base, and the American people this is a spending issue, it is not. It is a union issue. Again.

I have some news for you. There really IS something you can do about it. You owe it to yourself to find out what that is. Because you are reading this, you can. There is a voice of more than 6,000,000 other Americans who find themselves just where you are. The only difference is that these Americans are being empowered to change their reality, find jobs, feed their families, have affordable healthcare, clean water, clean air, and elder security. Go to http://www.moveon.org, and find out just how many of your neighbors who, just like you, cannot accept non-representative rule in America. Then, join them. Learn how to respond to these anti-patriots. Understand that there is a growing population in America who are actively working, every day, to train people just like yourself to do for yourself what you simply cannot do BY yourself.

Then, try to remember why America is a place that people risk their lives, sometimes multiple times, to call their home. If you dare to look at her, Lady Liberty is still there, her torch raised high. But, she is no longer the hope merely of those outside her shores. Lady Liberty’s lamp is burning brightly to the farthest reaches, nooks and crannies of America itself. She is compelling us to answer the same questions. Do we not, have we forgotten what the American Dream has always been? Are we unwilling to rise up against the tyranny before us, and just simply let that dream die, without so much as a whimper?

There are millions, millions of Americans who, this very day, are coming together to re-declare their right to the American Dream. They are joining together to re-claim it. You can, too. Just go to http://www.rebuildthedream.org. Find out where it’s happening. Because your family, your community, and most importantly your nation expect it of you. Join the movement to reclaim the American Dream, and share your voice with millions of Americans who will, in these coming months, proudly answer the most important question with but one unified answer:

This is MY America. This is OUR Dream. You may not legislate it away, sell it to the highest or most influential bidder, nor kidnap it from my grasp! It is MY dream, and you can’t have it!

That, you can do. Will you?

Why Does What I Think Matter?

Generally, because I’m right. Specifically, because I represent many folks who think I’m right.


At the time this Blog begins, the House of Representatives is trying to vote on a bill that has no future. Speaker Boehner has finally introduced a Republican Bill concerning the raising of the debt ceiling for the United States of America‘s government operating and financing. The Republicans, and the Democrats are currently being held hostage by some 83 members of Congress who have taken it upon themselves to determine the future of our country. That population is roughly equivalent to a decent college classroom attendance.


That this blog begins during such times as these is significant because this is merely the opening salvo of what, should they get their way, will become a nation-changing time for all Americans. If you are an American, you must care.

The possible topics are so many, and are coming to us with such rapidity as to make it nearly impossible to choose which one(s) should be addressed first. Else, I would have begun this Blog a few weeks ago. So, I will start where I am, and we will go from there.

Today, I was scheduled to speak to a gathering in Nashville, Tennessee. As it turned out, I could not attend the meeting because of a professional emergency which came up. I had to council a grieving Grandmother on the loss of her grandson, who decided life was no longer worth living, because he saw no good future for himself, or his family.

She is a retired, disabled American living on an extremely fixed income who, with her husband, find themselves in their “Golden Years”. After working more than 30 years, and paying into Social Security, they each now live entirely off the retirement they have invested for themselves. Yet, in these perilous times, they find it nearly impossible to “get by”. All families have challenges, yet some families have more challenges than others. Looked at across the spectrum of life, every member of every family has “issues” which represent challenges. Challenges create opportunities to learn, grow and share in the vast joys that our existence can bring. It is natural for all who have a belly button to experience challenges of learning, and growth, and those special moments which define a life.

However, some families have additional challenges which, not the physical living of life bring, but rather those challenges which others create for us. For some, the easiest challenge to handle in life come from challenges of economy, or or economics. “If the toughest problem we have is about money, we have no problems.” That is a reality for many Americans, but not all.

In fact, more Americans live their lives with challenge that money could easily solve, if only they had the money to apply to their challenge.They don’t have the cash or credit resources necessary to answer those daunting challenges which families find from time to time.  The larger problem is that the challenges have been piling up, coming one on the heels, or even side-by-side of another, and another. And another.

These are “the least among us”, and party affiliation does not matter. Challenges do not discriminate. 15 million of us are unemployed. That does not include those who are either “marginally” employed, or underemployed. This number does not include those who have dropped from the unemployment rolls. Veterans, Seniors, the disabled, children…times are tough for us. Our nation stands on the brink of collapse. Be not distracted. The collapse of our nation, our system and form of government is at stake. That is by careful, yet purposeful intent. That IS politically motivated. Corporatism, and ultra-conservative theocracy is the intended goal. You believe my words to be extreme? Overly dramatic? You may well believe so now, but I do have the ability, the experience, and the basic common sense to understand tea leaves, and wall writing, and the physical responses of those who are perpetrating this treason. Yes. Treason. According to their own staffs, the Republicans have sent emails to their members stating that they must “extend the distraction beyond August 2nd, 2011. Then, we will win.”

Win? Win what, exactly? At what cost, and to whom? For what purposes?

Spending? No. They don’t care about spending, other than their distaste for any government spending anything. Well, I’ve got some news for those who believe this action has anything to do with spending.


When American defaults, 70 million checks will not go out. 70 million. When my disability does not come to my bank, my home is immediately at risk. I cannot pay my rent. When my disability check does not arrive at my bank, my medications cannot be paid for, and I’m almost out. When my disability check does not arrive on August 3rd, 2011, I cannot pay for the gasoline (that Chevron, Exxon, and BP get their profit from) to fuel the vehicle that takes me to my doctor’s office.

I am one of 70 million. The damage to me is already done. I’m dying. The damage to our nation is done. With every breath of my remaining life, I will encourage each of the 70 million Americans to remember what you’ve done to us, and who did it. It wasn’t the Democrats who did it. It was the Republicans, and the fringe group among them that they have fueled, encouraged, and supported in the perpetration of this direct attack against myself, and my country. You see, your short-sightedness has consequences. The homeless, those families living in cars, and shelters, and in their parents’ basements vote. I pray to God we have a nation strong enough to survive this latest terrorism, until the next election cycle. 70 million people is one hell of a constituency, y’all. First, we will replace you. Then, we will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law. And, as so many among us can readily explain to you, building sufficient prisons to hold you is one hell of a jobs plan!

That’s what I think. What do YOU think?