Labor Rights: It’s Personal

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Bob Letcher: I have long thought that, if labor rights had been recognized back then, there might have been an OSHA to enforce safety standards, and Pop might have been able to hold me with either hand.

Developing Civil Discourse

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Bob Letcher: If we as Earthlings, occupants of various bio-regions of Earth, are ever to hope to return some sort of sanity to our living on Earth, we’re going to have to add that item to our already long and still growing list of efforts that we must talk about.

A Question for Governor Kasich

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Bob Letcher: Do you have an approach for getting people past the bitterness that divides them, so that they can reinvent capitalism together; or, do you think that capitalism doesn’t need reinventing,?”

Report from an Unclear Front

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Bob Letcher: In the face of last year’s healthcare reform efforts, opponents screamed the inherently violent and hardly constructive “Kill the bill”; now, it’s opponents of reducing collective bargaining rights for public employees who are screaming the still inherently violent and hardly constructive “Kill the bill”.

An Old Hippie Ponders a Haircut

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Bob Letcher: I just never forgot that my maternal grandfather was an immigrant bricklayer. I didn’t want to “dress-up” because going “up” might distract me from my commitment to working for justice for “little guys”.

So, Did Anything Unusual Happen Over Last Weekend?

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Robert Letcher: With all the violence and contempt that seemed “in the air”, it was starting to feel like some “Tucson” was bound to happen, but there wasn’t enough actionable information: no “when”, no “where”. Nor were resources available to “look into the situation”, as they had been to President Bush.

An Early Post-Mortem: A National Day of Pouring?

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Bob Letcher: Regardless of who “wins” and who “loses” next Tuesday’s election, can there be any doubt that the results will end the country’s slow downward slide… and send it plunging headlong toward disaster of the sort and scale that the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, must have foreseen when he admonished the citizenry, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

Education is THE Economic Issue of Our Time

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Bob Letcher: In the few weeks since President Obama so emphatically linked his education program to his effort to revive the US political economy, the President has not been pressed to detail either the substance of his education program or his procedure for winning support from a public that is increasingly cynical, skeptical, frightened, and angry.

Further “Finds” in the Video of T-People Acting Badly Toward an Old Guy Afflicted with Parkinson’s

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Bob Letcher: With all that snapping and unsnapping and re-snapping going on, how could a person who was never quoted as saying either “I apologize,” or “I am sorry.”—and never said either directly to me, or to the millions of Americans whom his pure ugliness offended, or to the millions of people around the world who count on America as a symbol of relative decency in a sea of that same ugliness he exhibited—how could he even begin to claim to have been sincere in his apology? And wouldn’t an insincere apology be oxymoron?

10 Questions for T People from the Parkie They Heckled

Robert Letcher: Eighth, how can you act so angry and unaware on the world’s stage (it’s not yours or ours anymore—so you can’t just take it home), yet hope not to be dismissed as ugly Americans who can no longer think well and creatively enough to compete in anything except war games made with real wars?

Campaigning For and Being President As Two-Way Learning: A Benchmark

Robert Letcher: It’s not that I expected Obama to communicate with me about his policy positions, although I certainly hoped he would – even though I don’t wait around for him to call. Instead, it just seemed to me that his campaign – our campaign – would likely improve his prospects for winning if he were somehow to really communicate with this me and all the other me’s whose support he needs in order to be elected and govern successfully.

Visioning Exercises: Popular, and Often Misleading

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Bob Letcher: am reluctant to go in for visioning exercises, because in my own experience such exercises almost always proceed on the basis of (to borrow my favorite of George W Bush’s malapropisms) “misunderestimating” the capacity of the opposition, and particularly those elements of the opposition who always already possess systematically asymmetric advantages in access to power and resources.

Capitalism’s Golden Rule

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Bob Letcher: doubt that any portion of the collapse of GM was included as a cost of NOT having national healthcare. But all those Golden Handcuff’s that GM’s employees understandably put on their own wrists as the only way they could see for keeping their loved ones healthy and covered just might have contributed to the recent very expensive collapse of the company, the company towns, all the nameplates and jobs.

Man with Parkinson’s Sign Responds to Teabag Hecklers

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Robert Letcher: Medicare paid for brain surgery that significantly mitigated my suffering. When I got my brain implants turned on, life became almost ordinary for awhile–and we all cried tears of happiness. That’s why I can honestly say that I am not driven by “EGO”; rather, I am driven by “I-OWE”.

More than Merely Counting Carbon Dioxide Emissions

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Bob Letcher: If we agree simply to total up CO2 emissions, China ends up being the world’s biggest emitter. But, if we agree to account for China’s much larger population, by ranking per capita emission, the US can go back to its familiar cheer: “We’re #1! We’re #1! Whhoooa!!”

More than Merely Counting Medals

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Bob Letcher: Simply to “count medals” egregiously ignores the importance players on both sides of the “GOLD MEDAL” game ascribed to winning that game. And not without reason: the Government of Canada—Team Canada’s Government—had undertaken as a matter of national pride, if not national policy, its own “own the podium” program.

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