Archive for April 23, 2012
I’m fresh back from speaking at the Restoring Freedoms Conference in Wilkes-Barre, organized by the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania. One of the event’s goals was to build a broader consensus for change. I’m not sure that happened. I was the lone voice representing the Occupy movement, and possibly the only person who’d ever been a registered Democrat, or elected to state office.
Of course, there were plenty of folks who had run for state or federal office, some multiple times, usually snagging between one and five percent of the vote.
There was a speaker who assured us that, and I quote, “Government is telling you how to raise your children.”
There was the gal representing “Smart Girl Politics,” who insisted that drilling for oil will lower gas prices. When she derisively asked how many in the audience supported the EPA, I was the only person who raised my hand . . . and I kept it up for a good ten seconds.
There was the guy who wrote a book focused on eliminating Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. Now that’s a real consensus builder!
There was a veritable sea of pro-gun t-shirts. My favorite read “Taxation is Theft,” and it showed a guy dressed like a law enforcement official holding a gun to a kneeling taxpayer’s head. That’s the kind of message we need to unite America!
And there were, frankly, some things said that were quite sensible . . . and by “sensible” I mean, of course, “agreeable to my way of thinking.” Hey, just being honest.
Monday, I’ll talk about the Restoring Freedoms Conference – the good, the bad, and the downright crazy. I’ll share all sorts of interesting mail I’ve received on the subject, and invite your calls on this question: “Is it even possible to build a viable political coalition embracing disgruntled Democrats, third party activists, and disenfranchised independents?” Join the show live online from 12:00 noon-1:00 pm on my website. Call in at 244-0077 or toll free at (855) 244-0077.
Tuesday, on a related theme, I’ll share my joyful experience as a customer of TSA while flying this past weekend. We’ll hear from Jim Babbs, an activist who has helped lead the charge for a more sane approach to airport security. To prime yourself for the conversation, I recommend this hilarious Reason TV video.
Wednesday, former Polk County Attorney Dan Johnston joins me to talk about challenges facing Iowa’s criminal justice system. Dan represented the defendants in the famous Tinker vs Des Moines Public School black armband case, and we’ll get his take on what those historic trials mean for civil liberties today.
Thursday, I couldn’t find a decent guest, so it’s . . . Bradshaw! Ok, just teasing, my friend. We’ll talk about whether it makes more sense to fix or replace the Democratic Party. And once we accomplish that: three easy steps to achieving world peace.
Friday, State Rep. Ralph Watts (R-Adel) joins me. Ralph and I served together, and if we ever voted on the same side of a bill, it didn’t happen often. We’ll discuss the controversy over ALEC, and well, if it’s ok with you Ralph, we can put any and all legislative or political topics on the table.
So, join the conversation online from 12:00 noon-1:00 pm, Monday-Friday. You can hear the show live on my website. I would love to have a veritable truckload of listeners call-in to join the conversation at 244-0077. And of course, there will be podcasts if you miss a show.
Thanks! — Ed
Think Progress reports:
On April 4, Coca-Cola announced it was ending financial support for [ALEC] the American Legislative Exchange Council, the right-wing group behind “Stand Your Ground” laws and voter suppression efforts.
Now, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is advocating a boycott of the company:
“U might think abt not drinking Coca Cola since company sucombed to pressure fr Leftist not to support ALEC”
The Grassley boycott could be quite extensive. Over the last few weeks, at least 11 other companies — including Pepsi, McDonald’s, and Kraft — announced they were severing ties with ALEC.
In response to the criticism, ALEC announced they were ending all “non-economic” activities. Unfortunately for ALEC, that hasn’t stopped the parade of defections, which most recently includes Blue Cross Blue Shield and Yum! Foods
Coke operates bottling plants in Waukee and Atlantic, Iowa