Organized labor = Economic justice

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Progressive Values e-letter - Labor Day  - September 7, 2015
Organized Labor = Economic Justice
including the weekend, overtime pay, 8-hour workday, minimum wage,
paid vacation, sick days, safety standards, child labor laws, health
benefits, retirement security, unemployment insurance...

America's Immoral Economy
The social contract has become entirely one-sided.  by Robert Reich - http://www.alternet.org/authors/robert-reich-0 ,
RobertReich.org, - http://robertreich.org/  Alternet.org - http://www.alternet.org/media/robert-reich-americas-immoral-economy?akid=13453.125622.XGgWRZ&rd=1&src=newsletter1042001&t=10 , September 6, 2015  An economy depends fundamentally on public
morality; some shared standards about what sorts of activities are
impermissible because they so fundamentally violate trust that they
threaten to undermine the social fabric.

It is ironic that at a time the Republican presidential candidates
and state legislators are furiously focusing on private morality -
what people do in their bedrooms, contraception, abortion, gay
marriage - we are experiencing a far more significant crisis in
public morality.

We've witnessed over the last two decades in the United States a
steady decline in the willingness of people in leading positions in
the private sector - on Wall Street and in large corporations
especially - to maintain minimum standards of public morality. They
seek the highest profits and highest compensation for themselves
regardless of social consequences...read more - http://www.alternet.org/media/robert-reich-americas-immoral-economy?akid=13453.125622.XGgWRZ&rd=1&src=newsletter1042001&t=10

The Work We Value, The Intelligence We Ignore: Is the Work that Made
America Great Valued Any Longer?  - http://www.onbeing.org/blog/work-we-value-intelligence-we-ignore-work-made-america-great-valued-any-longer/2590 By Trent Gilliss, executive editor, On Being

- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-reyes/how-unions-improve-the-li_b_7640440.html How Unions Improve the Lives of Every Worker by Laura Reyes - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-reyes/ ,
Secretary-Treasurer, AFSCME, huffingtonpost.com Labor Day's Violent
Roots: The Hard-Won Fight for Your 3-Day Weekend - http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fww2.kqed.org%2Flowdown%2F2015%2F09%2F04%2Flabor-days-violent-roots-the-hard-won-fight-for-your-three-day-weekend%2F&h=8AQEOfzBt&s=1  By Matthew Green - http://ww2.kqed.org/lowdown/author/matthewgreen/
, ww2.kqed.org - http://ww2.kqed.org/lowdown/2015/09/04/labor-days-violent-roots-the-hard-won-fight-for-your-three-day-weekend/ , September 4, 2015

The Rebellious Spirit of the First Labor Day Is Spreading Anew - http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.truth-out.org%2Fopinion%2Fitem%2F32648-the-rebellious-spirit-of-the-first-labor-day-is-spreading-anew&h=0AQFUp7Yz&s=1  Jim Hightower, truth-out.org - http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/32648-the-rebellious-spirit-of-the-first-labor-day-is-spreading-anew  America's grassroots have come alive with organizing campaigns to
reverse the inequities and abuses being perpetuated by the
plutocratic powers. This Labor Day, let's take heart in this rising
rebelliousness, says Jim Hightower.

- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stanley-Aronowitz/107621719267878 Stanley Aronowitz, an expert on organized labor, talks about the
problems facing many unions and how they might become a powerful
force once again. BillMoyers.com, Sept 5, 2015 "Occupy refused to be
programmatic, and it has virtually disappeared. But Occupy revived
the old tactics of civil disobedience and direct action. And by still
relying on elections and on contracts and grievance procedures rather
than engaging in direct action, unions are on the road to doom," he
says.
"I think the things that unions, and it's not just unions, but
progressives need to think about, is who really has the country in a
mess? And I think we've been very nervous about really, with red-hot
anger, naming who the bad guys are and then talking about it in terms
that resonate with people. Not abstractions about trillions of
dollars. But talking about this teeny group of people at the top that
are pillaging the country. And I think when we start to focus that
and then have ways that people can act that's not just about
rhetoric."  Stephen Lerner - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephen-Lerner/113415462073719 , Labor and Community Organizer, Is Labor A Lost Cause? Moyers &
Company - http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fbillmoyers.com%2Fepisode%2Fis-labor-a-lost-cause%2F&h=0AQE3Tk_D&s=1 , billmoyers.com  For more information about Economic Justice and
labor click here  - http://progressivevalues.org.s150046.gridserver.com/economicgo%20to%20www .

Working for a just distribution of the fruits of the earth and human
labor is not mere philanthropy. It is a moral obligation. For
Christians, the responsibility is even greater: It is a commandment.
Pope Francis
- http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fmobile.nytimes.com%2F2015%2F07%2F12%2Fworld%2Famericas%2Fin-fiery-speeches-francis-excoriates-global-capitalism.html%3Freferrer%26_r%3D0&h=yAQGdklOU&s=1 In Fiery Speeches, Francis Excoriates Global Capitalism

There are folks out there who say, 'it doesn't impact me, I'm not a
Union guy, I'm not a teacher, I'm not a civil servant.' Let me tell
you how it does matter to you. Wages are going down in this country
for everybody. When you destroy unions there will be no standard at
all, nobody left to negotiate decent jobs for the middle class.
Senator Bernie Sanders

- http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thenation.com%2Farticle%2Ftop-ten-labor-day-songs%2F&h=tAQGcE925&s=1 Top Ten Labor Day Songs
By  - http://www.thenation.com/authors/peter-rothberg/
Peter Rothberg - https://twitter.com/@peterrothberg Twitter,  - http://www.thenation.com/article/top-ten-labor-day-songs/ The Nation, September 3, 2015   In honor of Labor Day, here's a stab
at the impossible task of naming the best songs ever written about
working people.

- http://www.upworthy.com/i-will-not-wish-anybody-a-happy-labor-day-until-these-6-things-are-figured-out-there-i-said-it?c=ufb1 The story of how Labor Day began (in cartoons and pictures)
By  - http://www.upworthy.com/brandon-weber Brandon
Weber, Upworthy.com, August 18, 2015

* * * * *

Go to  - http://www.ProgressiveValues.org
www.ProgressiveValues.org
for  articles, excerpts, quotations and more. To receive this
e-letter directly,
go to bottom left of home page and sign up.

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Fair Use Notice: These pages contain copyrighted material the use of
which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.
This website distributes this material without profit for educational
purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such
copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C. § 107. The many
wise and articulate writers who share their knowledge with the public
via the internet are profoundly appreciated. If any writer wishes to
have their content amended or removed, please contact the editor at
- phyllis@progressivevales.org phyllis@progressivevales.org. Thank
you.

Phyllis Stenerson, Paideia LLC
612.331.1929
- phyllis@progressivevalues.org phyllis@progressivevalues.org -  - http://www.ProgressiveValues.org
www.ProgressiveValues.org
Paideia (pu-di'uh) is an ancient Greek philosophy of educating for
citizenship to create an ideal society

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Searching America’s Soul

Progressive Values e-letter October 25, 2013
Ideas we need to talk about        HTML version

Searching America's Soul

All of the various fields of human inquiry -- theology and philosophy and morality and psychology  - meet rather
beautifully in politics. And sometimes I wonder if politics isn't exactly that,it's the taking of all the sort of great ineffable and trying to make them have some meaning in the actually historical
moment on earth in which we live.
Tony Kushner - writer of the movie "Lincoln" - interview with Bill Moyers

To all Americans -
The shutdown debacle pulled back the curtain and revealed some deep
dark issues at the core of our crisis in American democracy. There
has been an outpouring of commentary from diverse voices on a broad
range of topics within this complex scenario raising issues that have
been under the radar until now. It's now indisputable that our
American democracy is in the greatest peril since the Civil War and
change must come effectively and rapidly from the grassroots up.

Especially revealing was coverage, particularly via social media, of
the values and ideas driving the political posturing and maneuvering.
The shutdown had little to do with the actual debt or deficit and
everything to do with a narrow ideology, toxic certitude, delusions
of superiority and lust for power . Widespread consensus that this
conservative extremist worldview is dangerous gives me the moral
energy needed to continue seeking dialogue and understanding among
the citizenry.

It has been common knowledge for some time that the Republican Party
is controlled by its Tea Party faction. An entrenched hatred for
secular government and liberals is a major force in the Tea Party
ideology.

Ever-present racism and the threat of violence have grown
exponentially since the election of Barack Obama as President. The
passion of some in that fringe element is rooted in the conviction
that America is a "Christian nation" and should be ruled by Biblical
principles. This movement is called Dominionism or Reconstructionism
and has been part of the culture for many years. "End times" theology
is often a part of this mindset and came to the public's attention
during the candidacies of Gov. Sarah Palin and Gov. Rick Perry.

The fact that this faction calls themselves "Values Voters" while
they help the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer, is
infuriating. Their false labeling of progressives as being "morally
deficient" and "depraved" makes me furious.

Close observers of the moral dimensions of politics have been
concerned about this right wing movement since its emergence in the
early 1980s. General awareness and alarm have been fairly low until
recently. There are many individuals and organizations within the
progressive movement and mainline Christians that are deeply involved
in confronting the hypocrisy and cruelty of this extremist ideology
but a cohesive strategy has not yet emerged. Liberals, Democrats and
Progressives have long been inept at articulating the moral values
grounding their political philosophy.

Americans treasure their democracy (even when complaining about the
government) and the principles upon which it founded. Freedom of, and
freedom from, religion along with free speech are precious to us.
Tolerance for a wide range of opinions and cultural diversity is an
American characteristic.

However, when a small faction - made up of big money, skilled
operatives, "grassroots" organizing and Members of Congress who are
motivated by this extremist right wing ideology - amasses enough
power to shut down the government, a line has been crossed.  (see
Robert Reich's comments at left).

It's critically important that citizens learn about this insurgency
and organize to fight back so that American democracy stays firmly
rooted in its inherently progressive values. There are many
components of this crisis with faith and values playing a major role.

The study of moral politics has been my priority for the past eight
years. I've collected more information than I ever thought possible
when this project began and have posted selected articles on the
internet for citizen education. All are welcome to use this body of
knowledge and those progressives with a bent for political philosophy
are strongly urged to dig in.
With audacious faith, Phyllis Stenerson

We must move ahead with audacious faith. The moral arc of the universe is long but it bends toward justice. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.   * * *

There is such a thing as a crime against the soul of a nation. A
person or a political party can deliberately incite actions that
diminish the strength, the integrity, and the overall well-being of a
nation's inner core. America's soul is in a fragile state...We see
that in the near hatred between the Republicans and Democrats,
between liberals and conservatives, between free-thinkers and
evangelicals that continues to fester...we now have a public that
cannot discern lies from truth... Crimes Against the Soul of America
by Carolyn Myss, published on Huffington Post,September 5, 2009 

Despite such terminology as "fiscal cliff" and "debt ceiling," the
great debate taking place in Washington now has relatively little to
do with financial issues. It is all about ideology. It is all about
economic winners and losers in American society. It is all about the
power of Big Money. It is all about the soul of America...We are
entering a pivotal moment in the modern history of our country. Do
the elected officials in Washington stand with ordinary Americans --
working families, children, the elderly, the poor -- or will the
extraordinary power of billionaire campaign contributors and Big
Money prevail? The American people, by the millions, must send
Congress the answer to that question. The Soul of America by Senator Bernie Sanders,
published by Common Dreams, January 9, 2013

* * *

We acknowledge our transgressions, our shortcomings, our smugness,
our selfishness and our pride. Deliver us from the hypocrisy of
attempting to sound reasonable while being unreasonable.
Chaplain Barry C. Black in one of his daily opening prayers in United States Senate,
New York Times,October 7, 2013

Go to www.ProgressiveValues.org for articles,
excerpts, quotations and more. To receive this e-letter directly, go
to bottom left of home page and sign up.

We are, or at least we used to be,a nation of moral ideals.
Reclaiming America's Soul by Paul Krugman,New York Times, April 24, 2009

Politics is noble because it involves personal compromise for the
public good.
Why We Love Politics by David Brooks,New York Times, November 22, 2012

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world
revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of
values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society
to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit
motives and property rights, are considered more important than
people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and
militarism are incapable of being conquered.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Do not retreat to the convenience of being overwhelmed.
Ruth W. Messinger

We can choose to use our lives for others to bring about a better
and more just world for our children.
CÉsar ChÁvez

Politics is what we create out of what we do, what we hope for,
what we dare to imagine.
Paul Wellstone

Religion without humanity is poor human stuff.
Sojourner Truth

From Robert Reich, posted on Facebook:
Suppose a relatively small group financed by a handful of
billionaires (1) takes over state governments in order to redistrict,
gerrymander, require voter IDs, purge voter rolls, and otherwise
suppress the votes of the majority; (2) secretly bankrolls candidates
for these safe seats who pledge to shrink and dismember the
government; (3) then, once these candidates are elected, has them
shut down the government in order to repeal or amend laws the
plotters dislike; (4) then forces the nation to default on its debts
and thereby throws the economy into a tailspin in order to get their
way; and (5) runs a vast PR campaign to convince the American public
of big lies about laws the plotters dislike or policies they seek.
Would you call this an attempted coup d'etat? If not, what would you
call it? And what would you do about it?  Robert Reich, Facebook, October 7, 2013

Articles posted by topic include
- Seditious conspiracy
- Shutdown crisis
- Right wing religious extremism
- America's Soul
- Government's moral authority

The Spiritual Crisis Underlying American Politics By John Amodeo, PsychCentral.com, October 14, 2013    -
The shutdown of good governance by Fred Hiatt, Washington Post, October 6 , 2013
A Federal Budget Crisis Months in the Planning by Sheryl Gay Solberg and - Mike McIntire, New York Times, October 5, 2013
Meet the Evangelical Cabal Orchestrating the Shutdown, BillMoyers.com, October 9, 2013   -
Ignore the Spin: This Debt Ceiling Crisis is Not Politics as Usual by John Light, BillMoyers.com, October 9, 2013   The Radicalization of the GOP is the Most Important Political Story Today by Joshua Holland, Bill Moyers.com, October 10, 2013
Many in G.O.P. Offer Theory: Default Wouldn't Be That Bad by Jonathan Weisman, New York Times, October 8, 2013
The American Public's Shocking Lack of Policy Knowledge is a Threat to Progress and Democracy By Justin Doolittle,Truthout, October 12, 2013 
Racism and Cruelty Drive GOP Health Care Agenda By Robert Scheer, Truthdig, October 13, 2013
The Radical Christian Right and the War on Government by Chris Hedges, TruthDig.com, posted on CommonDreams.org, October 7, 2013
How Christian Delusions Are Driving the GOP Insane by Amanda Marcotte, AlterNet, October 9, 2013

Recent e-letters

-  Status quo or change? 9/19/13
-  The battle for America's soul 10/4/13 

Phyllis Stenerson, Paideia LLC
612.331.1929
- phyllis@progressivevalues.org phyllis@progressivevalues.org - ProgressiveValues.org
Paideia (pu-di'uh) is an ancient Greek philosophy of educating for
citizenship to create an ideal society

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Interactive

Phyllis Stenerson - Paideia LLC
3401 Colfax Avenue South
#106
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55408
Fair Use Notice: These pages contain copyrighted material the use of
which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.
This website distributes this material without profit for educational
purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such
copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C. § 107. The many
wise and articulate writers who share their knowledge with the public
via the internet are profoundly appreciated. If any writer wishes to
have their content amended or removed, please contact the editor at
- phyllis@progressivevales.org phyllis@progressivevales.org. Thank
you.

					

Status quo or change?

Ideas we need to talk about – e-letter of September 19, 2013 from ProgressiveValues.org by Phyllis Stenerson

Changes in America and the world over the past decade have been stunning. The magnitude and consequences are almost too much to comprehend causing most people to tune out. America is at a trajectory moment, facing multiple crises and incomparable opportunity.

Change must come from the grassroots up. What each of us does or does not do in the coming months will make a difference in ways we can’t know now, can barely imagine. The choice is stark – do nothing and allow the disastrous status quo to continue or be a part of the grassroots movement for long term, systemic change for the common good.

Our American democracy is dangling by the slimmest of threads. Now when wise leadership is most needed, we’re immersed in a political quagmire. Those elected and sworn to represent we citizens in Congress are, with a few valuable exceptions, failing miserably. Unprecedented power is being wielded by unelected operatives to serve their own agendas. We, the people, the 99%, must seize the power granted to us in the Constitution.

What makes this hinge of history tragically significant is that this time the facts indicate the future of humanity is at stake. Virtually everything and everybody are impacted. Environmental threats, perpetual war, persistent racism and economic injustice are among the crises stealing the future from our children. Major change is overdue and essential.

Another point of difference from other times is that we have access to unlimited information and ways to connect with other people that can quite literally change the world. You won’t hear about it from the main stream media, but all around the globe countless people are immersed in making change for the common good. The excitement is palpable.

My wakeup call came when the Bush administration prepared to invade Iraq. I had to find out how this horrific act could be possible. Although I have been deeply involved in politics for many years, I realized my knowledge was sadly limited so I immersed myself in self-education and the progressive movement. It has been fascinating!

The Big Picture is made up of countless components, each one needing assessment, and most likely change. Underlying and surrounding all facets of public policy and society are the intangibles, the ideas that shape our understanding of the world and our place in it – worldview.

Worldview is the focus of this work. Worldview is our moral truth and intellectual truth – faith and reason – our philosophy of life. Religion and spirituality play an oversized role in politics today. The epidemic of anti-intellectualism must be reversed. Information and ideas that have been pumped into the public consciousness over the years must be peer reviewed by we, the people.

How do we know right or wrong? True or false? Smart or stupid?

The mainstream media rarely has the time, interest or context to communicate these ideas. Opinion is often skewed to favor corporate sponsors. The culture wars and religion wars are real, awesomely complex and key to influencing public opinion and making change.

Selected information and commentary have been posted on my website to help speed up the learning curve for others. No one could possibly understand the depth and scope of cultural factors impacting our politics and culture without purposeful learning. What is needed now is to take a deep, broad look at the Big Picture and how each issue is impacted by worldview. Countless citizens are doing exemplary work on specific issues such as climate change, gun control, health care and many more. Fewer of us are inclined to study the history and philosophy at the core of the American experience.

I want others who like to study civics and the humanities to connect with one another and collaboratively ignite a national conversation. Public dialogue about the big picture and radical (root) ideas is essential to understand and communicate why and how we must change the world.

I think people will be drawn into this conversation if we frame it not as getting involved in politics, but as participating in democracy.

Ideas we need to talk about include the nexus of religion and politics, the moral values of climate change and income inequality, how special interests have shaped worldviews in our country over the past 40 year and much more. To help find focus in this enormous concept, I am trying to connect as directly as possible public thought and opinion with federal government policy, particularly as relates to the future of our grandchildren. Dialogue about ideas embedded within the Big Picture is applicable to any particular area of interest or expertise.

There is already a lot happening in this arena to build upon. There is a critical need for organizations with resources and expertise to provide leadership and coordination. That is something I cannot do and am longing for others to step up and make it work. My work is available for use by all. Please let me know what’s happening – Phyllis@progressivevalues.org. Thank you.

We must move forward in the days ahead with audacious faith. The moral arc of the universe is long but it bends toward justice. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Recent relevant articles

Before You Give up on Democracy, Read This! by Frances Moore Lappé, September 18, 2013, The Huffington Post

The End Game for Democracy  by Bill Moyers, billmoyers.com August 23, 2013

The Rise of the New New Left by Peter Beinart, The Daily Beast, September 12, 2013

American Intellectuals’ Widespread Failure to Stand Up to Billionaires and Authoritarian Power By Robert Jensen, AlterNet, July 5, 2013

Humanity Imperiled — The Path to Disaster by Noam Chomsky, Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com, Huffington Post, June 4, 2013

* * * * * * *

Sometimes people call me an idealist. Well, that is the way I know I am an American… America is the only idealistic nation in the world.
Woodrow Wilson

What the people want is very simple. They want an America as good as its promise. Barbara Jordan

The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

When you place a high value on truth, you have to think for yourself.
Dr. Cornel West

No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.
Isaac Asimov

Time doesn’t change things. People change things.
Andy Warhol

Policy is driven by more than politics, however. It is equally driven by ideas.
Malcolm Gladwell

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