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Pushing a People's Agenda

(Photos by Robin Holland)

This week on the JOURNAL, Bill Moyers spoke with several figures who give voice to ordinary Americans and are calling for a new people’s movement to bring progressive change to Washington and the nation.

George Goehl, executive director of National People’s Action, said:

“I think more and more people are making connections around their own economic insecurity to what's happening with the banks and on Wall Street. So, suddenly we've got a growing movement of people who want to get out on the streets, put pressure on the banks, [and] they recognize it's a David and Goliath fight. And it's only through their action that we're gonna make things happen.”

Renowned historian Howard Zinn, author of A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES and co-editor of the new film THE PEOPLE SPEAK, said:

“Don't depend on our leaders to do what needs to be done. Because whenever the government has done anything to bring about change, it's done so only because it's been pushed and prodded by social movements, by ordinary people organizing. You know, Lincoln pushed by the anti-slavery movement. You know, Johnson and Kennedy pushed by the southern black movement. And maybe hopefully Obama today, maybe he will be pushed by people today who have such high hopes in him, and who want to see him fulfill those hopes.”

A central task in forming a people’s agenda in a diverse country like America is determining what it is that the people want. Some recent polling from Gallup suggests that progressives may face a steep challenge in mobilizing a populist grassroots movement.

One poll conducted in September found that 57% of respondents said that the federal government is “trying to do too many things that should be left to businesses and individuals,” while an October poll found that a plurality of 40% described their political views as conservative over 36% who described their views as moderate and 20% who described their views as liberal.

What do you think?

  • What would constitute a people’s agenda for today? Explain.

  • Do you think grassroots movements have the power in today’s world to defeat powerful entrenched interests? Why or why not?

  • What issues in your community do you think need to be addressed? Have you acted to organize your community to achieve those changes?

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    Howard Zinn is remembered

    President Obama needs to break up the banks. He also need new advisors because these people led him astray. I want him to be a great leader because I believe in him. I don't think the american people can help him because they are to overwelmed with just keeping their own lives and heads above water.

    The notion that government works for the people has gone from Washington over the last 15 years or so. I blame the Democrats for so readily rolling over and playing dead for much of that time when the GOP was in power. Dems became the party of "Me, too" as the GOPers became the party of "No", and the American people were left out of the equation. We just don't have the money to compete with the lobbyists for "our" legislator's attention.


    Mr. Moyers: First, banking products are complicated only because bankers like it that way. That's how they are wriggle around regulations. Second, the more government becomes a larger proportion of our economy, the easier it is for a few wealthy sectors, like banking, and their henchmen, the lobbyists, to co-op the system and tailor laws to suit themselves and hurt the rest of us. More and more, what's good for Wall Street is bad for Main Street. We are becoming a bifurcated society: the rich becoming obscenely wealthy and the middle class becoming poor.
    Finally, where have you been not to notice that Senators, more often Democrats than Republicans, have been receiving huge contributions from bankers and the rest of the financial services industry? And, of course, these senators (Kerry, Schumer, Dodd, et al) will fashion legislation that helps the few and hurts the many. This road to perdition, if allowed to continue, will doom the American Democracy as surely as outside terrorism. Please tell us more and help us reverse this threat.

    More info, cut and pasted form the internet about the lack of intelligence in the CIA's assessment of the USA "economy" on their World FactBook site:

    "....Filings from 2008 showed more people with high income and high education levels resorting to bankruptcy petitions, according to an annual survey of consumer-bankruptcy filers' demographics by the Institute for Financial Literacy, a nonprofit that provides bankruptcy-related counseling and education services. Those demographic trends appeared to continue last year...."

    So not only do they lie about an uneducated underclass (who, by the way, get EVERYTHING for "free"), they continue to profess that "we" are stupid and uneducated and being left behind by technology....seriously, what SANE "government" would continue to treat its citizens so disrespectfully...?!

    Answer: It's NOT a sane government nor is it a United States government...

    TV is history in this ol' house - lies and insults, psychobabble and propaganda - why pay for it?

    Here's an explanation of the USA from the CIA internet site called "The World Factbook":

    "The US has the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world, with a per capita GDP of $46,900. In this market-oriented economy, private individuals and business firms make most of the decisions, and the federal and state governments buy needed goods and services predominantly in the private marketplace. US business firms enjoy greater flexibility than their counterparts in Western Europe and Japan in decisions to expand capital plant, to lay off surplus workers, and to develop new products. At the same time, they face higher barriers to enter their rivals' home markets than foreign firms face entering US markets. US firms are at or near the forefront in technological advances, especially in computers and in medical, aerospace, and military equipment; their advantage has narrowed since the end of World War II. The onrush of technology largely explains the gradual development of a "two-tier labor market" in which those at the bottom lack the education and the professional/technical skills of those at the top and, more and more, fail to get comparable pay raises, health insurance coverage, and other benefits. Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households. The war in March-April 2003 between a US-led coalition and Iraq, and the subsequent occupation of Iraq, required major shifts in national resources to the military. Hurricane Katrina caused extensive damage in the Gulf Coast region in August 2005, but had a small impact on overall GDP growth for the year. Soaring oil prices between 2005 and the first half of 2008 threatened inflation and unemployment, as higher gasoline prices ate into consumers' budgets. Imported oil accounts for about two-thirds of US consumption. Long-term problems include inadequate investment in economic infrastructure, rapidly rising medical and pension costs of an aging population, sizable trade and budget deficits, and stagnation of family income in the lower economic groups. The merchandise trade deficit reached a record $819 billion in 2007 and $821 billion in 2008. The global economic downturn, the sub-prime mortgage crisis, investment bank failures, falling home prices, and tight credit pushed the United States into a recession by mid-2008. To help stabilize financial markets, the US Congress established a $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in October 2008. The government used some of these funds to purchase equity in US banks and other industrial corporations. In January 2009 the US Congress passed and President Barack OBAMA signed a bill providing an additional $787 billion fiscal stimulus - two-thirds on additional spending and one-third on tax cuts - to create jobs and to help the economy recover."

    The "intelligence failure" is completely visible for all to read with this particular "analysis" by the CIA:

    "The onrush of technology largely explains the gradual development of a "two-tier labor market" in which those at the bottom lack the education and the professional/technical skills of those at the top and, more and more, fail to get comparable pay raises, health insurance coverage, and other benefits."

    So much for every child left behind PUBLIC education...and no mention of all the JOBS given and taken away during "globalization"...

    Whoever is doing social engineering and analysis in the CIA about the USA for the "World Factbook" must be one of those imported geniuses from a caste-system "civilization"...

    Concerning the question, "Do you think grassroots movements have the power in today’s world to defeat powerful entrenched interests?", a guest on the Rachel Maddow show last night claimed that the grassroots are becoming commercialized:

    "Trickle down" economics undermines the stability of the economy and the viability of the nation...
    It also creates a slave state that has no concern for the welfare of its people. Freedom depends on an equitable and just economy. Greed is a form of social cancer that destroys what ever it touches.

    I believe fervently in Government of the people for the people and by the people.
    So yes, we need this kind of grassroots movement.
    What it is necessary to fight for as a key objective is the right of assembly petition and free speech in the constitution not being usurped by Inanimate entities i.e corporate America. They are controlled and run by a board of Directors who do not have to ask shareholder approval for lobbying. But in my opinion should not be allowed, even with shareholder support to spend lobbying money anyway.
    I believe the founding fathers intent was to Allow State level Bodies of individuals to be formed and then to lobby at state level. I do not believe they had any concept of the Global corporate entities that exist today, some of which are fundamentally owned lock stock and barrel outside US and yet can lobby US politicians. they would have been appalled and invoked the national sovreignty constitutional protection. Outfits like the NRA would not exist, but could coalesce thru multi state representation on certain issues.That's why the founding fathers tried to have a United States but only one federal government, and left many law making rights to fit what they knew were disparate state realities.

    I've been wondering and dreading when the time would come for Moyers to retire.

    David Sirota is an experienced progressive voice we need to have in our corner. His radio program from Colorado pulls no punches and lines up the suspects that need to be put away both literally and electorally.

    In terms of the country's public agenda, I was dismayed to learn this morning on Counterspin show that Bill Moyers Journal and NOW will terminate in April 2010! While I understand Mr Moyers' reasons, I suppose I had hoped that PBS might be in the process of selecting a successor to this vital public interest show. Apparently not. As for NOW, I can discern no legitimate reason that this show should end... in fact, PBS would be doing its viewers a service by expanding NOW to an hour.

    Klark and Anna, thank you for your input. Really I was just putting foward my uneasy feeling that I might be trying to find the queen in a game of Threecard Monty. Some people I respect are on opposite sides on this health care bill. I'm a lifelong Democrat with strong Democratic-Socialist leanings. What we've been getting from the party since Clinton has not made me happy. I love beating the Republicans, but at times that can cloud one's vision regarding what the Demos are actually doing. Bill Maher is right when he says the Democrats are now the center-right party and the Republicans are so far right as to be, well, sort of insane. The center in America is far to the right from where it was when I was growing up. Progressives are not represented much in Congress. So the question becomes a kind of take what you can get vs. crash and burn the whole thing dynamic.

    So what to do? Dig. I dug. Here's what clinched it for me. Over the last few weeks insurance company stocks have gone way up. I've seen moderates in the Democratic party saying that the bill should not be killed because it has many good things in it. Some have said that it will change the focus from insurers to consumers and I think they believe it. But when in doubt, follow the money. When you do that you find insurance stocks heading skyward. Kill the bill.

    To whom it may concern...
    We need to adjust our economic system to support the supply side of our economic system by providing a positive income tax that brings poor people's income up to the cost of living and lowers the income of the excessively rich by added taxes. Then seed additional funds to support qualified citizens to be elected into government offices to avoid corruption.
    It will also be necessary to seed funds for rebuilding our infrastructure.
    We also need to get out of the Middle East and protect our own interests.
    We also need to provide the government with sufficient funds to maintain a quality society and a quality environment.
    We need a dynamic system of economics to provide all of our economic needs.
    If there is anyone that disagrees with this plan, that is too bad for them. We have the means to defend the acquisition of the necessary requirements for a quality social system that meets people's needs not the present static “pie in the sky” economics.
    We need to be an example of the best possible society not a colossal failure.

    Mr. Gill,
    I can’t agree with you more with respect to political campaign financing being the root of our political problems, and with the rest of our struggles or ideas being consequential to it. I understand and appreciate your organization’s efforts in bringing to light the issues related to the fundamental nature of political corruption. Thank you for your efforts.

    Yet, I cannot see how we, as a nation, can rid ourselves of such an entrenched dependant cycle of profitable influence exchange even with a public financing option. The need to influence will either circumvent the public financing option or simply entice candidates to their interests by outspending the public financing option. A more systemic approach is required.

    It is interesting that the Supreme Court has deferred a ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Unless the Court discards stare decisis in terms of the 14th Amendment, Establishment Clause as the foundation for corporate citizenship, then Citizens United will only perpetuate the existing corrupt system. What should be said is that the mess that we are mired in today is not the result of misguided legislation; it is the direct result of the Court’s prior Constitutional constructions. And, I do not see the Court taking any bold, required actions that would fix their misinterpretations.

    What I would like to see is a push toward organizing effectual groups, and the citizen at large in efforts to amend the Constitution so that neither legislative nor judicial creations thwart the Rights of the people to a government of their choosing. This is THE only way to end the political lunacy.

    Mr. Moyers,

    Thank you for giving the opportunity for those promoting grassroots activism, the backbone of the American form of governance. What struck me the most about your show was the variety of grassroots organizations, along with the time and energy that each one represented. A few questions to ponder: can all the various grassroots organizations bring to bear the force necessary to cause the power brokers to bend to the "will of the people?" Each organization focused on their particular agenda, each organization supporting it's own staff and leaders and the dilution of effect resulting from the myriad duplications among all the organizations.

    Power brokers use money to leverage influence and that occurs primarily through the financing of political campaigns. It is expensive to get and remain elected the power brokers supply the money, resulting in a weak link between the electorate and the elected. That is the crux of the problem, all else is peripheral.

    Campaign finance reform is needed to restore our form of representative government. One organization has been championing that cause since 1977, Common Cause. I suggest you take a look at that organization
    and provide some air time for that organization's leaders.

    Keep up the good work!

    David D, wrote, in part, "....but do we let perfect stand in the way of some good?..."

    Hopefully, you are not the one who came up with this metaphysical organization of the issue du jour, because this kind of religious mantra is so IRRELEVANT to the problem, the people grabbing it as the organizer of their "deep thinking" need to be slapped :-)

    Wake up!

    The PROBLEM is a corporate institution protected by squirrely law

    granting an IT, a THING, a cynical greedy concoction,

    human rights

    that is employing an army of spiteful, UNQUALIFIED, judgemental, and miserly and miserably cheep-greedy people

    whose job it is all day every day to say "nyet" to YOUR health care needs.

    It was NEVER about "reform".

    It's about the flow of money being increased so that it can flow over to the establishment (through "war") of some kind of "kingdom" ala the Left Behind FICTION...

    IF people knew the truth behind all the yahoos like Lieberman, they'd be embarrassed at being so "politically correct" that they let a total nut job decide how much SUFFERING someone else can "bear" in the establishment of HIS "kingdom".

    David Durham: C'mon, you know better. Let's examine the analogy of Afghanistan to medical care: To continue the effort you first have to get real backward. The people don't want what's in this impending bill. It goes so far as to kill S-Chip.
    Another analogy: Climate change mitigation to medical care: First the people must underwrite a new generation of nuclear plants at enormous, unheard of expense. (Obama owes Excelon.) And then the dumb bunny says if the insurance, device and pharma industries can't have it their way this government will go bankrupt? (And Robert Wagner wants Mom to take out a reverse mortgage on the old homestead!) He might as well fire up a Marlboro and put back on the leather jacket, cause this lier ain't nothing but a player.

    Remember how I said Empire builds an upstart oligarchy in the poorer states they dominate? While running Obama promised to get rid of Blackwater (Xe), one of the cruelest private branches of our "secret government." Now they lease back planes and equipment they sold Eric Prince, offer him immunity for murder and massacre,smuggling and human trafficking, write new contracts through the State Dept., Defense, and CIA, let him operate a mercenary army at home and abroad with no supervision.
    Yep, Obama is Amway all the way every day. That's when you value "free trade" above human life and the survival of nature. Maybe he's captive to these fascist/apocalyptic extortionists, but Obama asked for the job and he's to blame. Are you gonna vote for him in 12 like true believers voted for Bush in 04? I ain't!

    I must admit I'm torn right now. Kill the bill or take what we've wrenched from the powers that be and use it as a foundation to build on? Last night Kieth O said kill the health care bill if it contained a mandate and no progressive measures. His argument was compelling. Howard D is pissed and with good reason, but do we let perfect stand in the way of some good? Jeez, it's a tough one. I'm leaning toward the some good, incremental change has a rich history in this country, Social Security and Medicare are very different now than when they started. But I keep seeing Diva Joe's snarky little grin and I get really, really mad. He's goin' to win this fight it seems. I'm ready to send money to whoever runs against him. It's been awhile since I've been this conflicted.

    Well, a lot of us don’t seem to be doing much.

    Posted by: Alvin

    How long, Alvin, do you think the "perception" you INSIST we have is going to remain a "safe" zone for internet avatars like you?


    As usual, your program provides excellent food for thought.

    It seems to me that if Howard Zinn is right, and "Democracy is not what governments do, it's what people do.” then the people, that's us I think, must be doing something wrong. Or people just do not know what to do.

    Now some people have asked you to do a program on this. Does it really boil down to who you elect to lead the fight against corruption and injustice, and what ordinary people do to support their elected leadership and their public servants?

    In Mexico, drug lords are beheading police and legal officials. So being a politician, policeman or prosecutor is a very tough job. Such people need public support and resources, yet too many of us walk away from the fight against corruption and crime. We want 'others' to do it. There are no ‘others’ except us, unfortunately.
    There is no one else.

    The problem is really a psychological one. Fear prevents the majority of us from tackling the corrupt minority; be they drug lords or corporate robber barons, who operate under their own rules, not those of normal civilized society.

    So, talk is cheap. Is anyone taking on any meaningful action whatsoever on problems like Global Warming? Maybe only those in Copenhagen. And has the media told us anything about these public protesters? I don't know any of them. Can you hire professional public protesters for a democracy? Do we know who is paying these people to protest, or are they just ordinary people exercising their democratic rights? So, “Democracy is what people do.” Well, a lot of us don’t seem to be doing much.

    I'm hoping you will interview experts who can help us learn how power was wrested from corporations at the turn of beginning of the twentieth century and what we can learn from those struggles to help us today.

    What is the difference between the "handling" of USA population via the crap info NBC, FOX or CNN

    channels out

    and the "handling" of those teenagers, via cell phone, who wrecked mayhem in Mumbai?

    None that I can see...

    "MONEY" among the "elite" is nothing more than a primitive fetish

    Fetish, n. - 1. A material object believed among primitive cultures to have magical power; 2. An object of unreasonably excessive attention or reverence.

    It was noted early this morning on the "channels" hell bent on capturing the "all Dean, all day"

    massaged message

    that the only "leverage" Obama has left is to "shame" the banksters...

    It's psychotic and sadistic to place all this insanity as "fair", POLITICALLY, in order to get "republicans" back in "power".

    Don't GAS

    about "politics".


    designed to specifically DENY HEALTH CARE when a person needs it - out of REVENGE and SPITE!

    What else does anyone need to know about "the executors"...?

    One SIMPLE phrase to shock your NORMAL mind out of the brainlock that is constantly being heaved on us:


    Completely, utterly "mad" (British usage)...

    We DO NOT have any moral responsibility to let them continue to run amok...

    Seriously, enough.

    Keep playing the "fear" card - mano et mano they won't do - keep the powder dry until the "orks" they


    MIGHT be able to still assemble are exposed from the "left" and the "right"...

    The first 250 Billion in tarp money were did it go? Did it do to the top 1% of the wealthy? I do believe it did it went to repay unsecured lines of credit , Chuck Paulson should be made to testify in front of Congress , forced under oath where this money went. We the Taxpayers deserve to know. I believe the names of the super wealthy that were saved be printed, Yes force them to sell a house in the Hamptons, or a condo in NYC. Or a home in Miami. Why Mr. Paulson do you not tell us, I do believe if we found out the public would be so outraged we would send you to prison…..

    It is disaster of great proportion that Obama is having a love affair with the republicans and they are giving him the royal shaft.
    Lieberman is not the only turn coat.
    It looks like we will have to suffer another three years before we can elect the republicans and hope that they will have someone up worth voting into office.
    Considering all of the people in this country you would think there would be someone who would make a good president and not lie their way into office.
    We need qualifications for the president of the United States of America.

    "While I agree with you that the Constitution requires fixing, I believe that
    may be you missed some of its fine points. First, the Constitution specifies
    (Article I, Section 1) that “[a]ll legislative Powers herein granted shall be
    vested in a Congress of the United States.” Second, the Constitution specifies
    (Article IV, Section 4)..."
    While the "Power to legislated is granted in a Congress" the missing ingredient is:
    The people are "denied to participate in the process" to approve " adapt or reject the "laws"
    the Congress, the States or the Local government has legislated."
    You refer to ARTICLE I, but yet, by pass the "Prohibition of Sec. 10, for it impairs the
    In ARTICLE IV, you by pass the part that states, "Property Rights to be secure in their paper..."
    Are these rights not to be protected under the CONSTITUTION?
    Did they not legislate laws to by pass these rights? Rights that should have been protected
    under the Constitution! There have been over 2 trillions of dollars loss, confiscation etc.
    just by LBHI and WAMU not to mention by others Corporation, Banks and Madoff
    ponzi scheme.
    If this is not "provocation to mob rule," than what is it?
    "I am not a lawyer." You do not have to be a lawyer. The Constitution is
    written so every one who knows how to read, can understand it.
    "Would the situation or outcome be any different.. "
    The Patriot Act provides the outcome...! They did not even read it, just sign on the line...!
    The Laws should be in place for ALL Citizens and not just for special interest groups,
    individuals or legislators!
    They have ignore the ARTICLE V that provides rules to modify the Constitution.


    Fascinating that you pick a right-wing poll result that favors busineess and pro-right-wing ideas.

    Me, I prefer some of the poll results that Ms. van Gelder over at Yes magazine has been writing about.

    67% favor public works campaigns to create jobs.

    76% favor tax cuts for lower and middle class taxpayers

    55% favor expanding unemployment benefits

    71% say unions help their members

    53% say unions in general help the economy

    73% say corporations don't pay their fair share of taxes.

    55% Favor one health insurance program covering all Americans, administered by the government, and paid for by taxpayers.

    Believe the government should provide national health insurance coverage for all Americans, even if it would raise taxes.

    Lots more at the URL below.


    I think I'd really like to get to know Joe Lieberman and the Republican Senators currently making up the 41 who stand against health care reform, okay maybe there's 42 or 43, but whatever the number I want to know these folks and what better way than to watch them talk endlessly? So they are threatening to filibuster, ouch, sounds mean. Well, make them do it. Put the public option back in the bill and some of the other things America needs and make Joe and his buddies do it. Let them filibuster their little hearts out. They can tell us their war stories, their old jokes, their anecdotes relating to life, you know, all that entertaining stuff. I'm sure the American people would love to get to know these guys better and this would be a great way for that to happen. If the re-reformed bill is put foward before Christmas, we'd maybe get stories related to this magical season, wouldn't that be great?

    The key is political power.

    Today, 'the left' has zero political power. None, nada, zilch. The left can't even get a chance to testify at a meaningless hearing about single-payer. Obama doesn't even bother to put on a show of consulting peace advocates before escalating the war in Afghanistan.

    This total lack of political power is the direct result of the left just automatically giving its votes to Democrats. The result is an environment where the Democrats take these votes for granted and feel free to 'triangulate' with the Republicans.

    How to get political power? The left needs to be in a position where it has an impact on the winner of elections. Running show campaigns that get 5% of the vote in safe Democrat districts doesn't give you political power. Who cares? Certainly not the winner of the election which was never in doubt.

    But, if the left runs an anti-war, pro-single-payer campaign in a close race where the Dem won last time by 4%, that 5% of the vote can change the winner of the election. That's political power.

    When the left develops the capacity to have an impact on who wins elections, then the left has political power.

    For instance, if the left could develop independent races in the 40 or 50 closest House races, then the left could put the Dem House majority in danger in 2010. That's political power.

    If Obama faces losing his majority, or if in 2012 Obama faces being a one-term President because strong left campaigns in close races are taking 'his' votes, then the left has political power.

    If the left put Obama into a position where he had to choose between staying in power with a second term, or end the wars, what do you think he'd choose?

    My guess is that then Obama would end the wars to stay in power. That's political power.

    At this time, political power for the left means being able to cause the defeat of Democrats. We need to be able to put Democrats into the position where they have to do something like end the wars to stay in power.

    Democrats only really believe in one thing.... that the Democrats must be in power. For a 'people's agenda' to be passed, we only need to put the Democrats into the position where passing it is the only way they can be in power.

    My comment is A PLEA FOR HELP: Mr. Obama, please think of America as a giant farm where the soil and livestock have been mistreated to the point of destruction and the farm has become a toxic economic wasteland. Understand that the soil and livestock of the giant American farm are its citizens/workers/consumers, and that you were hired to save the farm. Understand that the former managers of the giant American farm harvested great wealth by mismanaging the farm and are using their great wealth to influence and control the media and the congress. Understand that if your attempts to save the farm fail, and the former managers of the farm regain control, that the final solution of the farm will be the slow and painful death of the farm.
    Wakeup Mr. Obama, your time as farm manager is running out, and you are failing miserably to save the farm. Please start getting things done by being a strong leader instead of a weak cheerleader. Forget about congress. America is at war both abroad and at home. Use your executive powers to save America. Remove the corruption and fraud from the American financial system. Big banks and big insurance have no competition and no desire to stop exploiting their customers. It’s time to create competition via executive order. Mr. Obama, please stop failing to lead.

    It's so annoying to read a bunch of office workers chants about gradualism and defending the Constitution. You guys have been brainwashed with unquestioning nationalism under the guise of patriotism. I discuss pacifist activism in great detail and you accuse me of advocating violent revolution. The Constitution changes like a calender just by judicial interpretation and elite assertion and you are still defending March in July. The busywork of naming bills in catalog that have no chance of passing is like a babyseat with a dummy steering wheel. It's some academic bullcrap you swallowed along with wine-tasting class. You take babysteps upward to your fleeting ideals while riding a down escalator.

    Someone said the wealthy only surrender power by coercive violence. People like me have to assume that isn't or won't always be so.

    Someone asked if I have a better idea. I do. Act in your life as of the laws and structures you wish for are already in place. After all, if they are majority views, they are, in effect; in effect: If the people say so.

    For instance: If most credit card holders assume as a unionized group (Yep, other affinities than employed workers can organize.)that 11% is the maximal fair interest, calculate it, and pay that amount; then what are the creditors to do, unless they choose the suicide of a hard line.

    But then some of you may be minor stockholders in the creditor institutions, gonna lose a penny to gain a nickle. You knuckleheads have to choose your side. Do you nuzzle your snout in the big guys' crack, or tout it proudly in the air, like Snoopy.

    Sometimes I think people are so mesmerized by an artificial game (like watching pro football) that they let their own beans burn on the stove. Others are sado-mashochists wishing to see a broken neck. If this country doesn't concentrate on regaining its health its gonna die, and take your sick customs and illusions with it. (A patriot-realist pov.)Success ethic and an unreal optimistic positive outlook are the worst epidemics we face.

    Mr. Moyer:

    Wednesday, December 16 2009

    Turned on NPR this morning and I hear that Obama is having trouble with the partisan split in Washington and getting his bills past. Seems to me that there is a simple leverage solution to his options which would allow him to exercise coercion on those republicans who are getting in the way of his health care agenda.

    As George Bush invoked his power as a war time president he left a powerful door open for the next administration. I am suggesting that if the republicans and some democrats refuse to go along on the bills that are presently causing Obama problems on his domestic agenda then he needs to use the power he has been vested with by the war powers of a commander and chief.

    Simple solutions to simple problems. At the same moment that NPR reports that the republicans were pleased with Obama’s foreign policy decisions on Iraq and Afghanistan, he seems to be failing on the domestic front. But I say that if he changes his foreign policy decisions to greatly threaten and displease both democrats and republicans in Washington he could use that power to arm twist the national policy decisions in Washington. In other words it’s about time Obama figures out where his power resides and use it…even if Hillary and others disagree. If he would just realize the power he holds and used it wisely he wouldn’t be so helpless. He needs to direct Hillary to start figuring out how to use foreign policy decisions to put pressure on law makers that won’t put our nation at risk but that would threaten the international and monetary agenda of those in Washington who are not playing ball.

    If I am wrong about this then I apologize for speaking up. But he does seem to be failing at this point and I am only asking that he use his power as George Bush did by imposing it on the opposition by threat and unwanted acts to prove intent.


    Michael M.

    "A central task in forming a people’s agenda in a diverse country like America is determining what it is that the people want. Some recent polling from Gallup suggests that progressives may face a steep challenge in mobilizing a populist grassroots movement.

    One poll conducted in September found that 57% of respondents said that the federal government is “trying to do too many things that should be left to businesses and individuals,” while an October poll found that a plurality of 40% described their political views as conservative over 36% who described their views as moderate and 20% who described their views as liberal.

    What do you think?

    Ans: I think that relying on Gallop polling is a fool's exercise, every bit as much as relying on mainstream pundits to define/interpret public interests.

    What would constitute a people’s agenda for today? Explain.

    Ans: (1)Complete election and campaign finance reform, including the revocation of the electoral college.
    (2)Nationalization of all natural resources and renegociation of all permits and licenses to exploit them.
    (3)Reconfirmation of all federal judges.
    (4)All citizens entitled to $100,000.00 untaxed per anum income; no excise tax on labor.
    [more tomorrow]

    Do you think grassroots movements have the power in today’s world to defeat powerful entrenched interests? Why or why not?

    Ans: Yes!! The so called "powerful entrenched interests" garner their power from the people they depend on controlling, if the control is removed, they loose their power.

    What issues in your community do you think need to be addressed? Have you acted to organize your community to achieve those changes?"

    Ans: All of the above. Yes! We are organized around the idea of every citizen being a part owner of the public commons and having a commensurate civic responsibility to participate in the health and survival of the public good over private advantage. Citizenship is a privilege, not a right; our rights arise from how we practice citizenship.

    Can somebody tell me of any instance where the Ruling Class gave anything to the Lower Class without the threat of violence?

    Why does everyone speak about protesting when it has never worked?

    While it is true that Martin Luther King and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi preached non-violence .... it was not the lack of violence which had their cause succeed.

    Both these men (as an example) had to preach non-violence to prevent arrest for inciting a riot.

    However; in the background, all over the country, violence was in full force.

    The New Deal was not introduced until violence became too difficult for the Ruling Calss to control.

    I think Protest Time is over.



    While I agree with you that the Constitution requires fixing, I believe that may be you missed some of its fine points. First, the Constitution specifies (Article I, Section 1) that “[a]ll legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.” Second, the Constitution specifies (Article IV, Section 4) that “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government…” By “Republican Form of Government” the references is to a government that has a chief of state (president) and not a monarchy, and is a government by which the highest authority is retained by the citizens and through their affirmative votes, elected representatives govern according to the law. In this arrangement you or I elect someone to represent us like it or not. We have the right confer with our elected officials and to vote for or against them.

    Look, is the current application of our government now preferred? No. You say, “To empower the people to "EXPRESS THEIR WILL" on ALL ISSUES”. I can agree with you to the level that only people (should) have the Constitutional right to expression (speech). Repelling the 14th Amendment to the Constitution would be a good start to this end. However, I argue that “empower[ing] the people to "EXPRESS THEIR WILL" on ALL ISSUES” not only fundamentally defeats the purpose and intent with respect to the majority of the Constitution, it would be an provocation to mob rule. Let me ask you this; would the situation or outcome be any different for the individual citizen if Congress takes away my rights or if majority vote does the same? My answer is no, there is no difference. And in reality, I see your scenario as impinging my individual Constitutional rights as easily as the current application of our Government. Both have the capability to ignore abolish our individual Constitutional rights. The only difference in your scenario is that members of Congress would lose out on some tidy campaign contributions. Yes, it would be a mighty bleak Christmas in DC.

    I think the fundamental reality or problem, depending how you wish to look at it, is that we lost the ability to formulate the laws of our land with respect for an essential Constitutional system. As the saying goes “Good fences make good neighbors.” The Constitution was the good fence. It provided not just our Rights but the limitation upon Government so as to not encroach upon them. Of course the question becomes; how fix the problem? Well, to start I’m going to vote out every incumbent regardless of local, State or Federal. Most people I know have the same mind set. I’m willing to see where this goes.


    With all due respect, I would have hoped that you could discern from what I have previously posted that I was dissatisfied with the elected officials of all parties. My contention is that most of them do not represent the people that elected them. Instead they represent corporations that bankroll their campaigns. It is my hope that the enactment of the Fair Elections Now Act, will diminish the corruption that our present electoral process invites. Do I think it will eliminate corporate influence on legislation? Of course not. But it will tend to level the field and perhaps enough legislators, over time, will be elected who represent the voters that elected them.

    I am not a Pollyanna. I have no illusions that real change will take place in 2010 or 2012, It will probably be a very long process. Civil Rights for minorities has taken over 200 years and all we can say about the advancement of equality under the law for all people is that it is work in progress. I don't think there are many who have given up on that process regardless of how slowly it evolves.

    But the beginning of electoral reform is in front of us and if we don't take opportunity when it is present, we might as well resign ourselves to being victims forever. "...simply a waste of time and energy" as CHARLES TAGUE put it. I happen to disagree with him.

    I said to Klark Movinon that the choice for reform was the FENA bill that languishes in congressional committees, or revolution. I don't advocate any kind of violent revolution and would defend the Constitution against it. I don't think the Constitution needs replacement. That said, I wouldn't defend the government per se, only the Constitution as a framework to build our government on. Revolutions are messy affairs and who knows what would happen to our very able framework if one came about.

    Does that clarify my position? Want to discuss it further? Next question.

    Best wishes,

    P. S. I am not a lawyer, philosopher, or even a college graduate. I have tried to educate myself, but I know I don't always get it right. If you find my education lacking, please help me out. :))

    "You sound angry!"

    I ask questions. You choose not to answer.

    "Support the Fair Elections Now Act. (HR 1826 and S 752)"
    They approve laws, and violate the "Constitutional rights that should have been protected!

    The only Law that I like to support is amendment to the "CONSTITUTION!"
    To empower the people to "EXPRESS THEIR WILL" on ALL ISSUES.
    They swear on the bible and urinate on the Constitution.

    I have read all your post as well as others.
    Let me say, it is not about the election laws; It is about the rights to participate
    in the process on ALL ISSUES!

    I have spent almost 6 years reading on the LAWS.
    I do not need to be indoctrinate over. There are over 6100 dockets just for the
    LBHI in court proceedings that I have read not to mention other dockets, cases etc.
    Yes, I am agree, and you should be too.
    The only FAIR ELECTION LAWS, place the ISSUES on the BALLOT!


    You sound angry. I suggest you read all of the posts I have made on this blog in the last few days and see if you can figure out the answers to your questions. Then get back to me.

    Support the Fair Elections Now Act. (HR 1826 and S 752) There is a lot of information on the web. Google it.


    Thank you for the kind words. Constructive dialogue is always respectful. I'm sure we have both broadened our horizons from our conversation.

    I try to watch BMJ every weekend. I watch it on the web. We will probably be in touch again, or until the last show. but that is coming soon. Too soon.

    All the best to you and yours,

    Posted by: G. L. Monahan
    "I must warn you though; if you choose revolution, you'll have to fight me too.
    I will defend the Constitution."

    Millions of appointed and elected officials swear on the "bible to protect
    the Constitution" and turned "BLIND EYE" after they have been elected
    and/or appointed! "Corruption," from the bottom all the way to the top!
    Are you protecting the "Constitution" for status quo" benefits, that have been on rampage?
    Are you protecting the Constitution for "ALL" to be able to express their will
    on ALL issues?
    When and what your reason are to protect the constitution?
    Is it by "too big to fail?"
    Is it when innocent, men, women are sent to WAR by deception?
    Is it when you are unemployed, hungry, homeless, sick or evicted?
    To defend the "Constitution," "fixing the root of the problem..," will be when
    the people are empowered to "EXPRESS THEIR WILL" on ALL ISSUES!"


    If you don't speak out you will never be heard. If you never step forward you will remain here forever. If you never try, you will remain dependent on others; a parasite.

    Support the Fair Elections Now Act. (HR 1826 and S 752) There is a lot of information on the web. Google it.

    The American people and the proponents of social, political and economic liberal agendas simply don't understand the power of the entrenched interests. Congressional legislation or blogs or words, writen, spoken of any type form or format are simply a useless waste of time and energy.

    How many people know the name of their US Representative? Or of any US Representative? Do you feel that you are stakeholder? Do you feel the process is evolving? It's time for a little bit of democracy in the midst of a republic. Make the people's house truly the people's house. In a congressional election year, a registered voter may voluntarily have their name entered into a lottery. If randomly chosen, they will be a new US Representative. The purpose of these new legislators will not be to create new bills or serve constituents. But through the budgetary process, vote 'Yes' or 'No' to the proposed budget put forth by the Presidency. Negotiated & finalized between the Presidency & the US Senate. The President & the US Senate should be able to argue the merits of their proposed budget by winning a simple majority of these new US Representatives. Plus supplemental spending bills.

    Over the course of time all segments of American society could be represented. From a single parent, to a vet, to a teacher, a small business owner, a student, a nurse, homeless, and so on. Society at large would be hopeful that they would be represented after the polls have closed and the votes tallied. A private citizen, would remain primarily a private citizen as a US Representative, and would return to their private life at the end of their term. An individual could serve only one term during their lifetime. Let the individuals who live with the outcomes of Washington have their opinions and voices heard. They will know the importance of their vote directly since they will have to live with the outcome of their vote. During their term and after.

    These new US Representatives would make an appearance in Washington prior to the President presenting the budget. They would take an oath. Meet with members of the Executive Branch and US Senate, who would hear the hopes and needs of these new US Representatives. Hopes for themselves, their family, their community, their region, their state, and their nation. There would be no need for an individual to raise large amounts of money or have large wealth to run for office. These new US Representatives could be part-time representatives. Temps and community could be utilized to support their jobs, or business, and commitments. Confidentiality would be utilized in dealings between the Executive Branch, the Senate, and these new US Representatives. The primary contacts for these new Representatives would be the President, Vice-President, Cabinet Secretaries, and US Senators. Hopefully this will be a humbling and a uniting experience for all.

    It could bring about the end of gerrymandering. New US Representatives would not have to associate themselves with a major party or any party. They would remain a private citizen. One person. One vote.

    Ten day delay and the hopes of a new foundation for democracy. If the President and US Senate approve a budget or supplemental spending bill, and the new US Representatives vote to reject, it will not become law for ten days or until a compromised is reached. The Presidency and the US Senate would poll individuals separately as to why they voted for or against. The nation would know if the budget was approved or rejected by the new US Representatives. But the resources of government would still continue.

    There would be a greater concentration of power in the Presidency and the US Senate. But with this power will be greater visibility. The nation will see which policies or leaders are advancing the needs of the nation. A need for a major party to distinguish itself from the others.

    The media would have to concentrate its resources on the elected and appointed officials. Not the private citizen who volunteered there name for the possibility of selection as a new US Representative, and were so chosen.

    There would be no need for 435 elected officials, who wish to remain in that office, to scurry in raising funds over the next two years and busy themselves with constantly running for office. There would be no need for a Speaker of the House. Nor a majority or minority leader.

    The citizens of this country need to witness the US government at the apex of its elected offices. And this new US Representative process would give them this chance. The citizenry need to have a mechanism that acts as a pressure valve. A new representative process could produce that result. Anyone in this country can grow up to be President. But just think of the more individuals that will have an opportunity to be involved with this new process.

    G.L. Monahan,

    Thank you for the respectful tone and interesting debate. I wish everyone who disagreed with another person could do so with the civility that you have shown.

    From what I understand, it used to be up to each individual state to set interest rates for things like credit cards. Then, at some point (under Reagan?) it became legal for banks in one state to offer credit in another state. Ususry laws went away, and Americans began their long, slow march into debt. I am pulling this information from deep in my memory banks, but I am fairly sure that I am correct. Obviously, this trend was profitable--and perhaps even good for the many people who can and do use credit cards responsibly (and to their benefit). Sadly, for many others, 'easy credit' has been a catastrophe.

    A long way of saying, I am in full agreement with you. I can't help but think that there will be similar problems should we create some sort of national 'health care exchange' where a person in Massachusetts can purchase insurance from Texas or something.

    Have a nice evening, my friend. We both want the same thing: a strong and prosperous (and just) America. Let's hope and pray it's not too late for 'this last, best hope of earth' (Lincoln). America is not inevitable. No empire is.

    Timely show for me in terms of grassroots activism. I had recently decided that instead of constantly decrying the power of moneyed interests vs. the public interest, I would crusade for publicly funded elections (see S.752 and H.R.1826.) I am pleased to note so many other references to this approach. Seems to me that fixing the root problem is the answer. It probably won't happen in my lifetime (I'm 68), but it will never happen if I and others don't even bother.

    Love to see a Journal episode devoted to Publicly Funded Elections.

    Well over 90% of the citizens of this country don't rely on (or listen to) MSNBC or Fox News. Within this group are people that are, as we speak, organizing (legally) all over this country and taking steps to correct the wrongs they see.
    These people ARE NOT from a Tea Party or ACORN or any other media-generated group. They are Americans that only want to fix problems and get back to their real lives.
    If you don't believe me because you've never heard of these groups on MSNBC or Fox News you are in the less than 10% of America that buys the dog and pony show both MSNBC and Fox News are selling. And, the key word is SELLING.
    Neither MSNBC or Fox News are anything more than "news boutiques" at the tv mall.

    Klark, you watch, Lieberman will probably back down, and then all the Progressives will be relieved to have this watered down Medicare bill, which was probably designed to fail just like the banking bills.

    Klark, if Medicare does fail, then it can be blamed on the depression we are now experiencing or the one that we will be experiencing. To me, this whole Obama presidency seems to be a cover up for the 8 years of poor, but calculated, banking decisions under the Bush admin. Globalization marches on. (Maybe I should stop being so optimistic. :)

    Seriously, Klark,

    You can't get there from here except by one step at a time. There is a choice; Fair Elections Now, or revolution. It's your call.

    I must warn you though; if you choose revolution, you'll have to fight me too. I will defend the Constitution.

    Transparent lobbying, and then transparent spending are second an third steps, but that is another battle.

    Support the Fair Elections Now Act. (HR 1826 and S 752) There is a lot of information on the web. Google it.

    Anna D, I agree with you.

    Uh, let's see - what other "Industrialized" country on the planet was genius enough to create an INSITUTION (aka as a "corporate person")
    that exists as a cash flow cow for the MILITARY industrial complex

    Klark, you could very well be right. This could be the first step in dismantling Medicare, and then the Republicans will get their chance to blame the Democrats and proudly say that they had told us so. It does seem like our Congress is following a script.

    Now why would the American consumers need these tools if Congress were to take the insurance companies out of the picture with a public option, or better yet, a single-payer reconciliation? Is this lockstep mumbo-jumbo, or is there more to this?

    Posted by: David F.

    Uh, let's see - what other "Industrialized" country on the planet was genius enough to create an INSITUTION (aka as a "corporate person")

    that exists as a cash flow cow for the MILITARY industrial complex

    because it has an endless supply of an army of medical-enronistas saying "nyet" over the phone and via emails to the REAL health care needs of the people sending in the cash...?

    Predictions abound...caught a surprising one hurled at Mr. "Goldilocks Economy" last night from a SERIOUSLY insulted Roman who "predicted":

    "...It's gonna get ugly about the "value" of the dollar..."

    My NJ rootskies heard the INSULTED Roman and I know that the INSULTED Roman has also heard the adjoining cultural 'hood - they're feeling INSULTED, also.

    It was always a harmonious relationship between those two cultures because what makes one culture go "nuclear" is not what makes the other culture go nuclear so we smooth out each other's social rough spots.

    Indeed, when BOTH are INSULTED by the same "thing", it indeed, "...will get ugly..."...

    There is some truth in what Zinn says, people may write themselves into history books, but LABOR


    IS the book itself....

    So at least I know 2 'hoods that stand together - and even THAT is enough for "change" - but add in all the other 'hoods

    INSULTED by the same thing...?

    You almost are left with no other conclusion other than they are NUTS in D.C./Wall St.

    and that's enough of a reason to IGNORE them...

    at any rate, "it's on"...

    Today on the Morning Joe, Senator Durbin said:

    Reconciliation is a very thin and sparing process with limited opportunities. For example, no insurance reform if we do a reconciliation, we won’t give the American consumers the tools that they need to fight back against the health insurance companies.

    Now why would the American consumers need these tools if Congress were to take the insurance companies out of the picture with a public option, or better yet, a single-payer reconciliation? Is this lockstep mumbo-jumbo, or is there more to this?

    Klark Mouvinon wrote:

    "Now you little ones who want Santa to bring you campaign finance reform: I hope you get it. But until we have guaranteed human serving employment for those who want to work at a fair living wage, freedom of speech in the workplace and critical thinking honestly taught it the schools, campaign finance reform will mean nothing. Under the "success ethic" humanity is reduced to a train of dogs; nose to anus."

    SAY WHAT!!!
    You got a better idea Dude?

    Support the Fair Elections Now Act. (HR 1826 and S 752) There is a lot of information on the web. Google it.


    While I agree with much of what you say, I don't see how anyone can enjoy liberty without equality. A "feel-good fantasy"? :)) I think I read something about equality in the Constitution of the United States. Elusive it is, but I wouldn't characterize it a fantasy. I can understand some ethnic and religious minorities having that view, but from the rest of your rhetoric, I assume that you are not included. The slave holder is enslaved by his own institution.

    I respect your point of view. It is a product of your experience, as mine is.

    Corporations used to be under charter and exist only for the common good. If they didn't live up to the mandate of the charter, which came up for review and renewal every ten years, the charter could be revoked. Sounds like a good idea to me.

    We also need to reestablish usury law. We should limit the interest that lenders of any sort may charge to borrowers, to 3% or 4% above the prime rate. If the risk is too great to lend to any individual because of his "score", so be it. That individual would learn thrift and save for what it is that he wants. That is the way I was brought up by my Depression Era parents. But post WWII was the heyday of the middle class, and the prosperity of the U.S. grew at no faster rate in history.

    I hear it now; "How can our economy grow if we put a cap on profits?" I can't say that I have seen a growth in the economy; only profits in the last ten years. I think the economy will only see real growth when the middle class gets back it's share of the pie. Talk about "command oriented economies"; isn't that what we have? If not yet, we seem to be headed in that direction.

    It seems to me that the Viet Nam era ushered in the beginning of our decline. Watergate in particular, exposed government without any clothes. Our Presidency no longer was looked upon as the bastion of morality. The people became cynical and the government and big business have grown to live up to those lowered expectations.

    I realize that my point of view is a narrow one. I know that history will provide innumerable instances of corruption in the U.S. government dating even back to the first Continental Congress. I don't think perfection is attainable, but I retain the optimism that restoration of power to the governed is possible. That IS the Constitutional mandate.

    Support the Fair Elections Now Act. (HR 1826 and S 752) There is a lot of information on the web. Google it.


    P.S. The detention camps were built by KBR under a $385M Homeland Security contract. I didn't see the number that were actually constructed.

    We need to face facts in regard to achieving progressive change. Since 95% of the money is owned by 5% of the people, and since Congress allows itself to be ruled by money, these facts mean that the wealthy 5% of the population rule the rest of America. No significant progressive action is really feasible until the people demand that Congress reform campaign finance. Healthcare reform was a great idea, and remains a worthy goal, but until Congress refuses to be owned by the wealthy, nothing good for the general welfare can come from Congress. Instead, Congress will substitute what is good for the 5% it is owned by. We need to attack the real problem headon: Campaign finance!
    Either governmnet rules money, or money will rule government.

    It is WORST, David, because the medical care thing may actually be a way of dismantling Medicare/Medicaid; later Social Security. The President insists upon a "revenue neutral" or revenue producing program with compulsory consumption. And they begin plastic surgery on retirement entitlements to harvest some meat. Shouldn't war be revenue producing too? Well, it is, but not for the taxpayers. Now even the pie-in-the-sky-just-before-you-die is shrinking and withering away! Remember Grasshopper that party divisions are Maya, and that both the Republican and Democratic limbs are rotting off from half-truths.

    Drew Carey runs "The Price Is Right" (with off-stage direction and editing) but he does not supply the prizes or determine outcomes. He wears a suit and recites a script. Obama is the same but taller and skinnier. ("The oligarchy tells me that peace and justice are off the table, along with the public option a majority of citizens wanted. Empire, on the other hand remains the centerpiece. I didn't come here to serve fatcat bankers, but if I'm disobedient Michele and the girls could suffer a plane crash.")

    Or maybe all this Lieberman crap is just an old it-could-be-worst government trick.

    A lot of liberals are upset that the healthcare bill has been watered down (primarily, no public option), so now the Senate Democrats are planning to remove the over 55 Medicare section as well. But what if this section does stay in this bill, will the liberals now be happy with a bill without a public option? It could be worst.

    AmericanP: Campaign Finance reform can be granted in a half-assed manor, just like health care reform, military forbearance and financial reform. And that is how it will be granted if other crippling conditions are not taken into account. When Zinn tells us structural change is needed and possible he is not discussing a halfway measures campaign finance accommodation. Dissolving corporate personhood would not work alone either. Even both together may not change anything because the rulemaking oligarchy would remain in place. Law now means what they decide it means and applies or doesn't apply where they say. (Paul Farmer discusses this in "The Uses of Haiti.") Caps upon income and wealth through taxation or some other means are required. You must have now heard many wise persons as well as apologists say that reform of Wall Street will not hold water because there is always loophole finding and legal detour. A child will learn not to touch a hot stove at great expense if the parent is not instructing and watchful. It's far worse when the oligarch puts innocent hands to the burner, then says,"That'll learn ya!"

    Thanks for the funnies, Ditty Durham. The word LIBERTY is a loaded term today implying the permission of the strong to do what they can to the weaker, the unaware or to the natural environment. If that is not so then what is the well-funded liberty lobby lobbying for?

    People keep quoting Tom Jefferson: Tom Jefferson was a dirty manipulative politician about like Bill Clinton (Though his party is now called Republican), maybe a little smarter and intuitive. He liked nothing better than dangling the pinata out of reach of the people's sticks and working covertly. The best thing he ever did was late in life after he de facto conquered the continent and joked about Amerindian genocide, the founding of the University of Virginia.
    Yep, Tom was shamed back to earlier principles and believed yeomen needed and deserved an education to challenge his aristocratic class. His vision of small landholders working the land was the forerunner of our deluded American dream. He and his cousin Jemmy Madison often predicted the present debacle of wage slavery.
    Wage slavery and perverted selective liberty must end for democracy to mature in these United States. Our Empire crimes illustrate how the goal is to build a corresponding oligarchy with the same diseases as our own in occupied countries. Until that changes Al Queida will retain strong talking points.

    David F.- Leibermann alone is mortification enough for this nation. He gives militant Israel a bad name. may the people of Connecticutt put him out of his misery next round. There are plenty of Republicands who know in their hearts a public option is the best thing for our nation. The problem is all the bribes and favors (and real threats) representatives from both parties get from the oligarchy. Carrots and sticks trump statespersonship every time. No poor people ever go to Congress: No poor people ever leave Congress: It is made of lower oligarchs and servants of oligarchy. See the dogs in a train, nose to anus? That is a model of the "success ethic" in our society. No one comes to power but through oligarchy. Now that's totalitarianism with a capital Capitalism.

    Lieberman is not the problem. Lieberman is a Lieberman (a childish healthcare insurance throat), and Lieberman will always be a Lieberman. The problem is Reid relinquishing his leadership decisions to this Lieberman. Or more specifically, Reid is the problem. Ok Reid, you’ve spent three months giving the Lieberman exactly what it’s been asking for, you’ve spent three months watering down this healthcare bill, so are you now going to bend even further? Come on Daschle, I mean Reid, man-up or step aside. And where are the rest of the Democratic puppets (Senators)? I’ve seen Wyden speak up, but where’s Franken? Where are Rockefeller, Boxer, Dodd, Feingold, Feinstein and Schumer? Under the guise of compromise, you folks have been giving-in to the Republicans' big biz agenda for the passed 15 or more years, so now is the time to cut your puppet strings and get out of lockstep. Use those god damn things on your shoulders, eff.

    When capitalism runs amok you do get liberty and freedom, but it's expensive and beyond the means of your ordinary citizen. Liberty and freedom are now commodities and cost a bundle and if you don't have the bucks it's your own fault you lazy jerk. Of course, if you were 'to the manor born' you are entitled, you deserve all the luxury you never had to work for. Ain't unfettered capitalism great? I love it see, because I know I'm goin' to win the lottery see, and when that happens I'll be free! Much of this country is suffering from a twisted form of Stockholm Syndrome and we defend our oppressers and contend that only a tiny Government can save us, with tiny taxes on our tiny wages. And hey, we must only have tiny taxes on huge profits too, because I'm winnin' that lottery money and I'll have capital gains and windfall profits and all that stuff . . . someday. When that day comes watch out baby, 'cause I'll be livin' the life.

    Klark wrote: "Now you little ones who want Santa to bring you campaign finance reform: I hope you get it. But until we have guaranteed human serving employment for those who want to work at a fair living wage, freedom of speech in the workplace and critical thinking honestly taught it the schools, campaign finance reform will mean nothing. Under the "success ethic" humanity is reduced to a train of dogs; nose to anus."

    I would not hint that the American people are empathic or submissive robots in society. We are kept ill-informed by corporation or other special interest funding of news programs-media that filters what they want us to know, which is nothing. Look at any major news network or newspaper, you won't find the "why" in anything or any information against the corporate status quo.

    Yes, I want campaign finance reform, and as an American I pray you do too. In fact, it is the solution to your stated concerns.

    Michael assumes corporations provide "jabs" and "crate wealth." Even President Obedient concedes these points. He asks the banksters to please leave something in the stocking of small business, for this is where any potential hiring will occur, and any innovations serving human needs. An ever more complex casino of high stakes speculation and opaque arcane accounting is typical in our large financial corporations. That is where our labor is squandered away and vanished.

    Michael is also mistaken about detention camps being a left wing illusion. Concentration camp rumours are part of the proto-fascist line where the promotion of gun sales is involved. It's not bloody likely that our porcine deer hunters would have any chance against modern weaponry and surveillance devices, and the ammunition for their peashooters could be cut off at any time. The real fantasy is that they'd be doing home invasions of their neighbors under scarcity, eating dogs and cats, splitting ideological/religious hairs to usurp property. Fascism means that the armed-mindless will be used for oligarchic purpose, as in the Balkans. (Theoretically, if Palin runs low on wolves then it's field dressing of Inuit people.)

    Others have stated that they fear democracy depriving them of rights. By this they mean personal property rights and the freedom to exploit the natural environment at general expense. Insanity is well illustrated when an individual argues as if they were a corporation. They have simply come to identify with the needs of their exploiters. Democracy means that coteries of individuals provide a civil check on one another's bad habits. A Republic is by definition a system of class division (according to Plato). A Republic is for those who revere their "betters" and feel incapable of acting in their own behalf, or by empathy in behalf of the least among us.

    Even the fashion designer Tom Ford remarked to Terry Gross yesterday (Fresh Air)how hardened we are in these times. He says it is reflected in the make up and outfits of high fashion models. In my dreams I had a shadowing of how fashion and faschism were akin. (Both are corporate phenomena.)

    Now you little ones who want Santa to bring you campaign finance reform: I hope you get it. But until we have guaranteed human serving employment for those who want to work at a fair living wage, freedom of speech in the workplace and critical thinking honestly taught it the schools, campaign finance reform will mean nothing. Under the "success ethic" humanity is reduced to a train of dogs; nose to anus.

    G. L. Monahan,

    What you say about corporations is true, but it is not all that's true. Providing jobs and creating wealth are good things, and while I would agree with you 100% about the character of those who run corporations, that same criticism could be leveled at those who run more command-oriented economies. People are corrupted by power, whether that power comes from the extreme wealth of corporations, or the extreme wealth of high taxes and government control. There is no perfect system, but from my point of view, the system that maximizes human liberty is preferable to the one that imposes restrictions in the name of some feel-good fantasy called equality. You should read some of Professor Zinn's books; he is an intellectual force to be reckoned with, and will give you much to think about.

    As for semi-secret detention camps, that sounds like an hallucination from the far-left fever swamp.

    Best regards, Michael

    Vigilance Necessary To Protect Our Freedom From Oppressors

    We must never be complacent by blindly trusting politicians or anyone to protect our Freedom. Freedom in the U.S. is too precious to be left in the hands of politicians who are sponsored by big special interest money. These special interest corporations buy commercials and own media organizations thus controlling the information necessary for concerned citizens to protect their government from tyranny.

    In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent”.

    Our Freedom has a price, a price that corruption will try to buy so they reap exponentially what they invested. We as Americans must protect ourselves, our government, our economy, and our way of life from these criminals and foreign influence.

    I use the www.Congress.Org website to send correspondence to my representatives, and I recommend its use. Please write and support the Fair Elections Now Act (S.752, H.R.1826).

    I support the Fair Elections Now Act (S.752, H.R.1826), the bipartisan bill introduced in both chambers of Congress, that would allow congressional candidates to run for office using small donations and limited public financing, and not take any large contributions. Elections should empower voters and volunteers instead of campaign donors and wealthy special interests.

    The time has come for the Fair Elections Now Act!

    Are you awake...?
    The bankruptcy court order ...already confiscated part of our retirement funds,
    under Corporate bankruptcy proceedings. So much for the "CONSTITUTION"
    and the "RIGHTS of THE PEOPLE" being PROTECTED!"

    "Washington's Plan to
    Nationalize Your Retirement"
    Their Desperate Cash-Grab Will
    Bankrupt Your Retirement Dreams...
    "Washington has crippled our country with debt. Now they're making plans to fill that black hole...
    By nationalizing your retirement savings!

    They need money. And they need it now. So where are they going to get it?
    They can't raise taxes... Political suicide. Even starting to repay the debt would require a 55% tax increase.
    They can't cut spending... Political suicide. From 2004 through 2009 they wasted $129.2 billion tax dollars on earmarks. That's more than the entire GDPs of 169 countries around the world.
    They can't borrow much more from foreign creditors... Too high risk. They've already borrowed record amounts. And a snub by foreign lenders, or even a poor auction result, could be disastrous.
    They can't keep printing to “monetize” their own debt... Political AND economic suicide. A further devaluation of foreign investors dollars could lead to economic retaliation.
    So what can they do? Simple..."
    "They can take it from you! "

    Jack Martin, I agree, Zinn is a national treasure, but what about Goehl? This guy really impressed me. A lot of what he said is what I believe in. Just like Zinn, Goehl is one of those few people who know what can happen if you roll a hand packed snowball down a hill. So, I guess--no wait, I know--that Moyers wants us to help give this ball some momentum so it will stand a chance of making it to the bottom. Wouldn’t it be great if trusting our elected officials was a reality? (We, The Snowballs, of the United States…)

    It won’t hurt to ask some questions:

    fer cryin' out loud, already...we MUST print our own money and KEEP LIVING...

    Once USA's MIC sold nuclear stuff to India and was paid in mangoes (or so the story goes)

    Labor wages became a JOKE...

    Whether you pick mangoes from a tree or spend 100K getting an "education" that puts you in a well paying job in the "Sadistic Fun" department of a weapons facility - it's ALL about "THEM" - the "elite" who will rule the world as "chosen ones"...

    They're NUTS and we will go nuts, too, if we don't adopt this slogan...

    "Don't GAS"


    They certainly DON'T - what part does anyone not understand about how INIQUITOUS ONES do not want to be "healed" and even if they want to be "healed" (which they don't), they CAN'T without accepting JUSTICE. And they got justice pimping herself on Wall Street as a cheap whore needing a drug/booze fix...

    Today, the locals (biggest % are "retired" mercenaries with private planes parked in the MUNICIPLE $$$ built airport that they commandeered for themselves, are all nattering about LEASING solar units for houses - imagine a town full of mercenaries and NONE of them have the knowledge about how to IMPROVE the design of a single unit solar panel - scheesh, what kind of "science" are mercenaries going to be "leaving behind"...?

    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.

    A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference.

    When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.

    The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.

    --Thomas Jefferson

    “Don't depend on our leaders to do what needs to be done."

    Dear Bill,

    I don't want or need a leader, do you?

    Remember American independence?

    It's time for another evolution.

    Freedom anyone?


    I think we are being scammed again.

    Every media outlet is blaming the banks.

    The media is deliberately channeling all our anger towards the banks.

    It was not the banks alone.

    It was every single component of the American Capitalist System.

    It is the "System" which caused this crisis and not just the banks.

    Where were the elected government representatives?

    Where were the regulators?

    Where were the rating agencies? (S&P Moody's - Fitch)

    The ruling class encourage us to Protest against the banks because they are the most secure buildings on the planet. They are easily protected by barriers.

    Nothing will be accomplished by protesting outside of a bank.

    Today we are hearing that the banks have recovered.

    It's a joke.

    The taxpayers are complaining about having bailed the banks with Federal funds.

    Today the banksters are bragging about paying back 60% of the TARP funds already and we are all told to be confident and proud of this fact.

    But the truth is, the taxpayers bailed out the banks twice.

    They first got TARP funding and then were by allowed to implement a country-wide tax on every outstanding credit card. (An increase in interest charges.)

    It is not the banks .... It is the "System" which is punishing us.

    Obama is not attempting to save the economy .... he is trying to save the "System" and to forestall any attack or threat against the system.

    Nothing will change without a change to the system and the ruling class love the system exactly the way it is.


    Way north of Rome, in the 11th century, a thousand years after Rome fell, one large tribe of survivors was preparing to go to war with their neighbors - The Poland Nation v. the Teutonic Knights.

    Being "stupid", as the Knights assess "superior genes", the leader of the Poles wrote down and distributed this information to EVERYONE in the tribe, the "Just War" doctrine (and I have a bit of a disagreement about the translation from Staro Polska language, but as a template for whatever is left of the "nobles" among USA genetics, it still works as a basis for conference among MEN OF FREE WILL and MEN OF GOOD WILL...

    I previously wrote and everyone is ignoring it which means it hit the mark:

    "Seems like the PEOPLE'S reasons (as presented in this episode) for using FORCE meet all 4 of the criteria for a "Just War" as defined on the wiki site, no?

    1. The damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
    2. All other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
    3. There must be serious prospects of success;
    4. The use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition."




    the hard, slogging, numbing LABOR of "security" and "civilization is accomplish by the TRULY ELITE genetics

    voila - in the 13th century, the nattering PARASITE "class" arrived to lay claim to BOTH - the LABOR and the FRUITS.

    What the heck do you think the founding fathers were doing...?! They KNEW what happens when parasites set up shop and CONSUME - they freekin' took their chances falling off the edge of the earth in a sail boat rather than keep living in the same neighborhood with them :-))

    The made it to the "Americas" and they drafted a piece of experiential GENIUS in setting up "GOVERNMENT" via the inalienable rights DOCTRINE.

    Go back and study how instead of EXPLOITING the known "weaknesses" of men


    they put in checks and balances to curtail the amount of damage ONE

    SELFISH, megalomaniacal and PSYCHOTIC "leader" can do to the "children" (and I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT OBAMA!!!).

    Are our children NOT under a dante's inferno-like, wandering-naked-zombies ATTACK

    from perverts and drug pushers...and who ARE the "enronistas"...? WHAT is THEIR psycho-logical PROFILE?

    All I know is that 1000 years ago, the filth that has been unleashed

    gratis "money"

    could never have been IMAGINED by either the founding fathers, the natives or ANYONE else on earth...EXCEPT FOR ONE INCESSANT WANDERING HATE FILLED BAND OF THIEVES.

    "We" are being asked to bend our knees to DRUG PUSHERS and WAR LORDS and their drooling "ork" army of sexual predators, perverts, SADISTS, liars and "enronista" THIEVES.

    It's a WAR, so let's use Mc Krystals winning strategy - "our" tax dollars at work...

    As for the POLITICAL yaddayadda still afoot - no one represents LABOR...

    I was at the grinder the other day, smoothing out a piece of "art", and I was filled with contentment at MAKING SOMETHING REAL.

    Not only do we have a ROGUE "government"

    (and c'mon, really, what qualifies THEM to be referred to as a "government", still?!)

    The POOREST people, the ones MOST TARGETED by the "enronistas" in this podunk AZ town I am observing

    are those who never made it into the IN crowd because they NEVER TOOK THE DRUGS OR SOLD THEM!


    So very much the TRUTH.

    An INSTITUTION invented by enronistas

    to NOT provide health care to the people

    protected by the Supreme Court as a PERSON with inalienable rights...


    LABOR, not "slaves".

    Men (and I use this word as it used to be used - men meaning BOTH sexes when talking about ALL)

    but with so many literalists and OCD nit pickers disarming LANGUAGE itself

    just needed to note that CLASSIC usage of "men"

    so "Men" of FREE WILL and GOOD WILL

    have ALWAYS been the LABOR.

    And "we're" not dead yet :-)

    putting the boots on...

    Mr. Moyers:
    There are now words that I can use to express my admiration for you and your program. Watching and reading the shenanigans of Congress, has made me very angry and cynical but watching you and your program always,always gives me hope that there are people who ARE thoughtful,fair and sensible. I know you probably need to retire but there are few,if anyone, who can replace you. Thank You for everything;
    Paul J. Zappa

    Hi Bill
    I have been rather critical in my comments regarding previous shows, so I want to start with an unconditional compliment. I think this show is a step in the right direction of promoting ideas that are 'part of the solution'. I think the direct and continuing involvement of the people in shaping the direction of the country they live in, is not only a necessity, but an absolute responsibility in a democracy. As a matter of fact, I consider this kind of involvement to have been the primary 'transformation' of the past election. Much more than the election of a president of any particular racial or ethnic persuasion. What is disturbing, is that a few short months later, people who supported the president are making thinly veiled criticisms that the he has gone back on his principles. I consider that the most ungrateful attitude when they have not only been handed someone with the kind of intellect and set of beliefs that he has, but also the willingness to submit to the kind of arduous journey necessary to reach the point where he can govern such a thankless group. It is more to the point that those who think their job was done after making a campaign contribution or placing their vote, have abandonded him. I shudder to think of his task in getting enough elected officials to go in a single direction to get anything done. It reminds me of a super bowl commercial a few years ago which opens with cowboys riding their horses and directing the 'herd' which turns out to be cats (who, as we all know, don't herd well....).
    My second point (which is as yet un-realized) is the opportunity this show and the blog have, to form the nucleus of the kind of organization that is missing and sorely needed. This does not mean simply putting together a head count. It means engaging people directly in the task of forming the detailed requirements that they wish to see implemented by their government. How can anyone criticize the government if we have not done our due diligence in thinking through; what change we want; how it can be implemented; and the ramifications of that change. This is the first time in history when the technology is available for that kind of undertaking. All it takes is for you to put up a wiki for each of the requirements we want to define: health care reform, financial reform etc. If you buld it, we will contribute.

    Kal Gallion,

    The differences between "Republic" and "Democracy" are elusive in describing our political template. I, and most if not all my acquaintances, use the words Republic and Democracy interchangeably with abandon. My bad. However, it seems that, neither is adequate to fully describe our government.

    I have not yet come to grips with what you state, with seeming authority, that my unalienable rights may be voted away in a Democracy. Surely I will be spending some time trying to verify this.

    That said, laws by their very nature restrict the behavior of people, or at least provide consequential inhibitors. However, unalienable rights are those rights that each individual is endowed with "by their creator". (There is a difference between inalienable and unalienable rights. The Declaration of Independence uses the term unalienable.) Hence, to suggest that they may be taken away or confiscated, by any governing body, seems a bit cynical. They may be restricted, suppressed, I may be imprisoned or destroyed, but I still maintain that my rights exist. Rights may be violated, but never taken away.

    I fully understand the mythology of Roosevelt's four freedoms. They are a perfect world to aim for. All men are created equal and/but SHOULD be treated equally under the law. SHOULD enjoy freedom of speech, SHOULD enjoy freedom of religion, SHOULD enjoy freedom from want and fear. Someday that may come to pass, not likely in my lifetime as much as I would have it so.

    Thank you Kal, and all other contributors to this blog. I have enjoyed reading all of your posts.

    Best wishes,

    Support the Fair Elections Now Act. (HR 1826 and S 752) There is a lot of information on the web. Google it.

    We had server problems so I only just posted what Jack Martin wrote Friday night. Sometimes Jack speaks in shorthand. Here he calls campaign finance reform a trinket and emphasizes the importance of dissidents being able to recognize one another (as in Nazi-occupied Denmark).

    Shortcutting seems epidemic in much of the discussion below. I think the nugget, from Civil War causes and implications to cussing Wall Street banking executives, boils down to the basis for and the nature of property in the United States.

    I don't think the founding documents are as important as how the superstructural lens of law and force are applied by those in power. Operating law under capitalist hegemony is exposed in obvious contradiction. Just like the auto worker assembling luxury cars at a substandard wage the soldier is fighting for property rights he can never access. Property rights and human rights are selectively enforced so that the property rights of the biggest real estate speculator in your town vary greatly from those of the struggling mortgage holder dwelling in one meager property.

    Someone observed below how the letter of the law (especially at the Federal level)is rarely applied. The result is a morass of exceptions and intentional oversights. That's the reason America is actually more corrupt than Afghanistan in practice, and why we can't bequeath hollow ideals.

    Whether Republic or Democracy, the implied United States government covenant makes the people sovereign; not the President or King, not the Congress, courts or bureaucrats, and certainly not the hoarders of property who use it to generate influence leading ever to greater property.

    It is correct that the sovereign party (us as collective) is not exercising its power. May I submit the obvious. Property holding and the exercise of power are contingent and conditional upon the moral and ethical perception of the public.

    As we Figgers always say, we exempt necessary personal effects, the things one needs to get through the day, from seizure. But our people sovereign government, in conception and by force of moral law, retains the power to negate the rights of massive property holders and their elite collusive contracts. Without these powers the liquidation of slaveholding in the Civil War (with which Figgers agree) , or even the conscription of citizen soldiers into indentured servitude (with which Figgers disagree) would not have been possible. When Andrew jackson deprived the Cherokees of their American modeled and allied nation in the 1830s he committed just the type of unpunished immune crime we are discussing. The recent bank bailout was another instance. So we see how those who have usurped the sovereignty of the people readily violate the basic principles of private property as enumerated in the Constitution and by long custom.

    Until we all admit that private property as enshrined in this wrongheaded way is the lynchpin restraining the public from exercising overdue and desperately needed influence nothing can substantively change. Until that happens we will have the piecemeal teasing of half-assed legislation Howard Zinn so accurately describes. It's crazy what we could have had; crazy what we should have had. We need this structural change: We need this!

    Hand out those bandanas.

    teresa smith and David F.- I apprecierate your justifiably negative and despondent posts. They seem to exemplify the Shakespeare quote,"The fault is not in our stars, but in ourselves." What your posts ignore is the fact that people, even generations of people, are not self-made, even as they are isolated in their cares and personal economies. We are the product foremost of our oppressors, those with real economic, media and social power, as are younger generations.

    All the talk of campaign finance reform assumes there is a backbone in the jellyfish once the wicked witch is dead. I prefer the idea that organizing is a good in itself and that we must never stop even after lobbying is dead and corporate personhood vanquished. Being satisfied with a few trinkets (approved by Oprah and Donald Trump)is what stunted human potential in the first instance. Maybe the first step is to act as if we deserve a living wage, single payer health care and peace; and not always be asking some authority for these conditions. Some anal retentive misfits will have to accept that the neighbor they belittle is eligible for the same benefits; for that is the only way.

    Indie's strategy of the blue bandanas is the best post on Friday nights's thread, because it harnesses a timeless principle and is something accessible to all. For all I know Indie has a shipping container from China full of blue bandanas but that is not the point. There has to be some way of recognizing other (wage)"slaves" of like mind so that we can collude and conspire. Now I'm sure the FBI and other agencies will pay informants and send provocateurs, but even these can be turned to double agents with coaxing and shame. (I survived COINTELPRO and you can too.) Using mutual recognition as a first step we can proceed to boycotts and civil (meaning peaceful and orderly) disobedience. Before you bandana-up though you must admit that our government is illegitimate as it stands, is failing to work for most people and is run by the collusion, conspiracy and dominance of privileged minority interests. As long as your dependency upon these interests is your primary concern nothing can meaningfully change. There will continue to be crummy false solutions by legislation that get households in greater hock and not the structural adjustments Zinn describes. You can't worship the success of your oppressors and make reform at the same time. Then we'd all be stepping on our own genitals about like President Obedient or Tiger Woods. 290 million slaves and 10 million masters; Scandalous isn't it?

    PS- Bill Moyers- Zinn is a national treasure. Your other two guests reminded me of Pez dispensers.

    Hi! Anna D

    I just wanted you to know that I read your reply to my comments.


    Keep Smilin' and don't let your mouse byte yuh!


    Thank you Bill, for providing light for the grail of searches.
    WE are in the midst of a spiritual is hard to know what action to take, for the intellect is factual but not wise, the heart wants to strike out and make right all that is unjust, the feet want to move, and we all dream of Peace and Love that embraces all with right action. Unless we decide with one-heart and head connected, we will not see far enough, clearly enough to know how best to act. It is not enough just to care, you must intimately know the history and situation you are inserting yourself so kindly into so the implications are conscious. We have a history of being galvanized around one person,or one issue
    someone wronged, threatened or someone died. But now we Have SO Many, everywhere you look in the world, and the doublespeak and mission confuse is so deft and sophisticated.... it engenders me with the fire of tears and rage. We will get there, someday. For now I pray, to prepare, so I can hear and heed the call each day.

    Posted by: Kal Gallion
    "There is a way to “toxify” the money...
    Congress could adopt this legislation, more than likely a tax code arrangement,
    but they could tax the stuffing out... "

    Zinn correctly stated, “Don't depend on our leaders to do what needs to be done..."

    As far as I am concern the "GOVERNMENT is DYSFUNKTIONAL"
    from the bottom ALL the way to the top. RAMPADE corruption,
    FRAUD, WAR, DEBT, confiscation by taxation, bankruptcies, eviction,
    unemployment, corrupt judicial system, department, agencies, school board, etc.
    Tyrants on rampage in violation of the Laws and the Constitution.

    What "they could do" and what they have done are two different things.
    There were criminal violation, Intent, recklessness, knowledge and the
    justice system and departments turn blind eye.
    They have "SWAMP the COUNTRY - the SHIP" into the bottom of the ocean.
    Mr. Moyer's "fountain of knowledge" had provided education not available
    in any University of the World. We should pick up the peaces, create a plan,
    build on it and solve the problems. "The good old days are gone!"
    Do not hope that the Congress will do it for you.
    The latest TV commercial indoctrination is: "Teach your kids how to invest
    in stock market." Convenient entrapment and confiscation of the most
    vulnerable. The "Chapter 11 Bankruptcy proceedings" are for the benefits of the status
    quo elite. We can debate for ever and nothing will change. "Action speak louder."

    Funny how those on the right are so concerned about ACORN. Could it be because ACORN mobilizes the poor and minorities to get out and vote and they usually vote for the democrats? Is this the real reason behind the republican parties attack on ACORN? Seriously, I don't see anyone on the right concerned about Halliburton over charging the government (Tax payers) or KBR selling expired food or providing polluted drinking water to our troops or covering up the rape of a female worker or doing shoddy electrical work that has killed some of our soldiers. Then of course there is Xe (BlackwaterUSA) who kill Iraqi civilians and get away with it. So where is the republican outrage over these things?????

    Thank you Mr. Moyers, for all the years of the best investigative journalism ever. Your educational shows are vital for the American citizen if they are to have any hope of protecting their God-given human rights. Every one of your shows has been a profound eye-opener and motivation for me to dig deeper into the topics you and your wonderful guests reveal to your audience.

    I have been stunned to discover the extent to which the people's government has been corrupted by the big corporations -- led, of course, by the financial institutions -- and the real danger we-the-people now face. We have a ROGUE GOVERNMENT; all three branches violate The Constitution of the United States openly, without shame or fear of reprisal.

    Well, there will be no more apathy for me. I will not cease taking whatever civic action is needed to restore our Republic to the glory that was intended for it by our wise founding fathers. You know, they could easily have set themselves up as a wealthy, elite, ruling class right from the outset. Why did they word our founding documents precisely to prevent such a thing. Because they believed in equality; not a two or a three class system. This is the true American dream we need to believe in. Under the present circumstances, this may seem more like a daydream than a future reality; but, this is a change we can make happen when we get our act together.

    There are millions of citizens just like me who have been empowered to take action because of the knowledge we acquired watching Bill Moyers Journal. While reading these comments, I came across some which mentioned that you are leaving PBS. I sincerely hope this is not true. Your show exemplifies the full purpose of the PBS charter. If there was ever justification for human cloning; you, Mr. Moyers, would be it. We-the-people, our country, and PBS need you.


    How can you consider retiring when America has never needed you more? You may be the only mass broadcast voice the people actually have. Don't go.

    All that is wrong with our country can be summed up in three words "conflict of interest". If we want to reinstall (actually install) democracy and freedom in America, we must eliminate all the crushing conflicts of interest at the root of our problems.

    Banking, Health Care, Oil Wars, Global Warming, Free Energy Suppression, Education, Government; all fouled by conflicts of interest. We must pass laws that end these. We can not wait for Congress to do so, that will never happen. The people must do it themselves. We must draft the legislation and then force it down the throat of Congress.

    Charles Michael Couch

    Dear Mr Moyers,

    You are an inspiration.
    Thank you for your hard work, we the people need you.
    Beatriz Lavagnino


    There is a way to “toxify” the money that interest groups use to influence Congress. In Regan v. Taxation With Representation, the Supreme Court held that it is constitutional for Congress to “refused to pay for the lobbying out of public moneys.” What this means is that Congress could constitutionally limit or prohibit campaign contribution from corporations that receive Federal dollars (TARP for instance). Congress could adopt this legislation, more than likely a tax code arrangement, but they would do so to the detriment of themselves (the incumbents in Congress). Because corporations have a constitutionally protected right of free speech (the use of money is considered a form of speech), Congress cannot outright ban the exchange of money between government and corporations, but they could tax the stuffing out of it when corporations take from the Federal coffers.

    Reply to: D. C. Eddy, December 13, 2009 3:25 AM

    "The PARASITES we have to deal with in this country are the Republicans, the Christian Right, the Greedy CEO's, Lobbyists and corrupt politicians...."

    You are correct, but you fail to include the Democrats, ACORN and tax cheaters in Obama administration. Tell me honestly, where are the "CHANGE"? Are we better off today than Bush administration? I am no lovers of Bush neither!

    Reply to: D. C. Eddy | December 13, 2009 3:25 AM

    "The PARASITES we have to deal with in this country are the Republicans, the Christian Right, the Greedy CEO's, Lobbyists and corrupt politicians...."

    You are correct, but you fail to include the Democrats, ACORN and tax cheaters in Obama administration. Tell me honestly, where are the "CHANGE"? Are we better off today than Bush administration? I am no lovers of Bush neither!

    CALM wrote, in part, "I don't understand what people think they will or might accomplish by peaceful protests.

    I think protest time is over!

    The United States government knows full well that nothing is accomplished without the threat and/or the imposition of violence. That is why there is such a huge military budget and why new weapon systems are being manufactured each day."

    Whoa whoa, hold your jets there, Hot Shot :-))

    Borrow the CURRENT PAGE from McKrystal being "sold" as the "winning strategy" for the latest "surge" in Afghanistan - specifically CNN's Amapour interview with McKrystal - channeling out there today in "media".

    I agree with you, in principle, that this is very much a "civil war"

    because, as noted by Kal Gallion in the post right above yours -

    "Our current economic crisis did not occur because we lacked the proper quantity or quality of laws (regulations), it happened because our government made the choice to not follow the substance and sprit of the laws currently on the books." -

    is the very definition of a declaration of WAR by a predator or aggressor -

    the suspension of LAW.

    War is the suspension of LAW.

    So back to McKrystal - the "sell" to recruit anti-insurgents against the anti-insurgency to 30 years of surgency so that they can "see" that the situation is improving...

    (dizzying isn't it...? - reminds me of the line from a song sung by Sting, "...walking on the mines WE'VE laid...")

    is that "WE" will provide them with "security" - such as protecting the roads so that Afghan farmers can ship their crops "wherever they choose to ship them"...

    BUT, McKrystal admits that there is a special SENSITIVITY that Afghans have to a "cavalier" attitude toward "collateral damage".

    So then, CALM, why re-invent the wheel? "WE the PEOPLE" can easily adopt and adapt the Afghan strategy to OUR "war" with those who declared "war" when they stopped following ANY and ALL "laws" -

    and even today, as we converse with each other,

    are STILL ABUSING the very existence of "law" in a civilization

    with the protection of the INSTITUTION that PREVENTS people from getting "health care" - "health insurance companies" - because the Supreme Court has ruled that the INSTITUTION is a PERSON (so there goes the rest of the discussion about "republic" v. "democracy" as a MOOT POINT).

    McKrystal might discover that Afghans have been raised to be IMMUNE to the kind of psychic manipulation that worked in DE-SENSITIZING the USA "elite" so that OUR "elite" cheerily embrace a "cavalier" attitude towards a HUGE pile of "collateral damage".

    More people homeless and on the street means less people in MY way to get closer to the "top"...

    So I'm with you, CALM, when it comes to the basic need for "force"...we just need to agree on when to fire up the jets :-)

    Seems like the PEOPLE'S reasons (as presented in this episode) for using FORCE meet all 4 of the criteria for a "Just War" as defined on the wiki site, no?

    1. The damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
    2. All other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
    3. There must be serious prospects of success;
    4. The use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.

    12/11/09 - Heather Booth
    Wo gives the W St firms the
    $$$$ so they can pay the
    Golden Boys Million $$$
    What DO THE BOYS DO ?????

    Interview with HEATHER BOOTH 12/11/2009
    No one explained WHAT the Golden Boys of Wall Street
    ACTUALLY DO.....
    to earn Million $$ incomes?

    Somebody in this world must
    hand monies to the firms so they can pay the BOYS ??

    Kal Gallion,

    Thank you for the "clarification". Easy for you to say. :)

    I'll get back to you when I can get my head around it.

    Check back tomorrow.


    Regarding the comment by George Goehl on the need to "toxify" the flood of money from Wall Street and the health insurance industry that is buying Congress, howzabout a low-tech, low-cost adaptation of the U.S. national debt clock? A couple of activists, appearing daily, or even weekly, on a main street in each Congressional district (or as many as feasible), with a banner giving an updated total of how much that district's Representative and the state's two senators have accepted from those two industries would get attention from the passing public, possibly the media, and certainly the recipients themselves.

    To G. L. Monahan:

    I guess the point I’m trying to make, albeit poorly, is that our Country was founded as a Republic. In a Republic, human rights (that is Constitutional Rights) were not fodder of political negotiation and could not be subject to the whim of a popular vote. In a Democracy, someone can vote to confiscate your “inalienable rights.” In a Democracy you may have no rights at all.

    The Constitution, according the Supreme Court, is a political document. The Constitution is subject to amendment, and Supreme Court Justices are appointed through the Congressional action. And,
    I think that we can draw the conclusion that Congress will act on political influence and expedience. Sadly, the idea of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” is a myth.

    I can’t agree with you more that the apathy is to blame. It is this apathy that has created a vacuum in our government that has been filled with corrupted factions.


    We’re quickly approaching the time when sustainability will be the new requisite criteria for all economic enterprise and social status will no longer equate to financial largesse but, to personal integrity and decency.

    Real power lies in words. It’s WORDS that move money around. WORDS are true human currency and we ALL have equal access to words and ideas. In the south central desert of Utah, where we have felt the “recession” for decades now, we have started a movement. It’s legal, it’s peaceful, it’s free and all it requires of you is to put a home made sign in your window and talk about it.

    When you make a home made 250BOYCOTT sign (see design in videos below) and put it in your window you’re saying, you agree that all humans, without exception, need a HOME. You’re saying, “My home is my SANCTUARY and I honor the sanctuary of my home and YOURS!” When you put a 250BOYCOTT sign in your window you are, at that moment, a revolutionary for PEACE, EQUALITY, FREDDOM and LOVE. Whether you are poor, or a shut-in, or an ex-con, or 12 yrs old or otherwise invisible, when you put a 250BOYCOTT sign in your window you are, at that moment, a hero to your self and every other Human on Earth.

    Watch the full “Max Trinitys Trickle UP Global Economics” video series on youtube for full details and join this world wide movement today.

    “Max Trinity Part 2: The 250BOYCOTT”

    Peace to You my Friends
    Rev. Kelly Florez aka Max

    D. C. Eddy:

    “Freedom is a product of a society that is capable of
    supporting the needs and reasonable desires of its people through efficient systems that provide the equitable distribution of supply and supports the demand side of economics.”

    I agree that freedom is a product of a society, but this is an existing condition due in part to our negligent of what Thomas Jefferson properly stated as our “inalienable rights.” A Republic is bound by the concept of these indisputable rights, a Democracy, or as you stated “the right choices consistent with people's best interests” can only call into dispute the basis and function of what Jefferson considered the citizens’ fundamental rights. If you are referring to the idea of “efficient systems that provide the equitable distribution of supply and supports the demand side of economics” being founded in our Constitution, I think that you may be reading far too much into the document.

    Yes, I firmly agree with you with regard to non-inference. Nevertheless, your contention that individual choice is the only valid, or is a “right choice” if it is consistent with the “people’s best interest” suffers from a genetic flaw. If my individual rights are conditioned on the arbitrary concept of the predominance of the best interests of the people, then my rights have been interfered, and more importantly means that I have no individual rights. If one is to believe in the scheme that all rights must subservient to the collective, than one must recognize there can be no individual right.

    Kal Gallion,

    " 'Only where the Law is a function of government that can effectively limit human behavior can the populace be really "free".'

    The fundamental problem with this scenario is that government, because it holds the authority of law, chooses the circumstance and scope for the application of law. Therefore, the populous can never really be free; can it? "

    That is the substance of the oxymoron. Freedom is a word seldom heard in the courtroom. I think "Right" is used instead.

    Yes, sure Kal, I didn't mean to embody the whole of the Constitution and all the supportive arguments in one sentence.

    "Our problem today is that our freedom is now equivalent to prescriptions in law and we have lost the vision that our country was founded on the principal that freedom is the absolute right held by the people."

    I tend to agree. I am not entirely sure where you are coming from, or where you are heading with this statement. I am not a lawyer, philosopher, or even a college graduate. I am only talking from my gut. I am drawn to the words in the constitutional amendments, that refers to all those rights not enumerated and ascribed to one branch of government or another to reside with the people. This seems to have escaped notice, in particular, by the Bush administration but on examination probably every government and government official since it was written.

    Have we not abrogated the responsibility of maintenance of our sovereign rights to elected officials whose allegiance is not to the people, but to the corruptors? It is our fault by our own apathy. Well, now, the tide of indignation at those who have betrayed our trust, (nearly all) is rising and we must reestablish our dominion over our governors. We have rights established and stated clearly in our founding documents; Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Also as F.D. Roosevelt enumerated. Freedom of Speech, Religion, Want, and Fear.

    I have looked up "The Rights of Man" on which rested much of the philosophical justification for the American revolution and the Declaration of Independence.

    "It is a perversion of terms to say that a charter gives rights. It operates by a contrary effect — that of taking rights away. Rights are inherently in all the inhabitants; but charters, by annulling those rights, in the majority, leave the right, by exclusion, in the hands of a few . . . They . . . consequently are instruments of injustice.

    The fact, therefore, must be that the individuals, themselves, each, in his own personal and sovereign right, entered into a compact with each other to produce a government: and this is the only mode in which governments have a right to arise, and the only principle on which they have a right to exist." Thomas Paine 1789

    Though you probably have a much better understanding than I, I think Kal, when all is said and done, you and I will be on the same page. Yes?

    Support the Fair Elections Now Act. (HR 1826 and S 752)

    Kal Gallion,
    Freedom is a product of a society that is capable of
    supporting the needs and reasonable desires of its people through efficient systems that provide the equitable distribution of supply and supports the demand side of economics.
    Freedom is also the non- interference with the choices people make that are the right choices consistent with people's best interests. Justice, equity and compassion is a product of a carrot and stick justice that helps those in need and punishes those guilty of injustice, inequity and persecution.
    Anything short of this is a travesty.

    "Communities that are built on democracy, e.g., horizontalism in Argentia,
    the Zapatista in Mexico, workers cooperatives in the Mondragon region of Spain."
    What are your major Fundamental points?

    Can we build on them?
    It will be a movement from ground up!
    Many others have made some valid points that can be implemented...
    Are you willing to volantir some of your time, efforts and your knowleadge?
    Are you that leader for the better of our society that had laid dorment?

    To G. L. Monahan:

    “Only where the Law is a function of government that can effectively limit human behavior can the populace be really "free".”

    The fundamental problem with this scenario is that government, because it holds the authority of law, chooses the circumstance and scope for the application of law. Therefore, the populous can never really be free; can it?

    It can be argued that laws embody ethical standards and also reflect some lessons learned from history. Yet, the purpose or intent of the law is subject to the purpose and intent of the government that holds the authority of law. Our current economic crisis did not occur because we lacked the proper quantity or quality of laws (regulations), it happened because our government made the choice to not follow the substance and sprit of the laws currently on the books. And, this unwillingness or inability to apply statutory remedies that would have prevented our wide spread economic pain, is shared by Administrations and Congresses controlled by both political parties.

    Those whom are mired in their affinity to a political party or ideology and seek to apply their adaptation of panacea upon a society can never really provide freedom to the society. If the goal is freedom, then the solution can not be political parties vested in particular ideologies that seek to condition those freedoms inconsistent with its held beliefs. If our goal is freedom than the method and the means to provide such must also be assuredly free.

    Our problem today is that our freedom is now equivalent to prescriptions in law and we have lost the vision that our country was founded on the principal that freedom is the absolute right held by the people.

    I don't understand what people think they will or might accomplish by peaceful protests.

    I think protest time is over!

    The United States government knows full well that nothing is accomplished without the threat and/or the imposition of violence. That is why there is such a huge military budget and why new weapon systems are being manufactured each day.

    One huge mistake of the past was that Poor Folks protested and burned down their own neighbourhoods.

    Today .... Poor People need to take to the streets and carrying a sign asking:

    .... "What is the insurance deductible on your front windows?" ....

    Non-Violence has never worked .... It is a pipers dream.

    I remember the immigrant protest of 2006 ..... small groups of immigrants shut down entire cities .... no deliveries of goods and services were allowed to take place.

    Within a week, a new theme emerged from Washington .... "Comprehensive Reform"

    We all should learn from what these immigrants did.



    I'm not very hopeful about, or interested in, influencing those in power. I think our energies can better be used creating systems -- businesses, associations, communities -- that do not require the power elite of the US or any other country. Communities that are built on democracy, e.g., horizontalism in Argentia, the Zapatista in Mexico, workers cooperatives in the Mondragon region of Spain.

    We needed to create a new world order free from the chains of power.

    If the polls you refer to weren't set to lean one way or another, I think that as bad as things are there is not yet enough pain to motivate people. I expect that to change because I don't really see things improving.

    I think republicans and libertarians must be tickled pink that their "survival of the fittest, aka law of the jungle" theory has been adopted so thoroughly and completely. And I think the churches should be ashamed of themselves for going along with the republicans and libertarians.

    Obama and the democrats can go sit in a corner and whistle for all I care. They haven't done anything to improve the plight of the people and I would point out that they've made it very clear that they don't believe in doing to right thing because its the right thing to do; otherwise we'd be looking at some legislation to be proud of. I won't be voting for them next election.


    I am reminded of three phrases in particular
    1) That a great nation isn't destroyed from without until it's destroyed itself from within.
    2) That the capitalist will sell the rope he's hung with.
    3) That the fundamentals of the economy are basically sound.

    What the ignorant parasites don't realize is that when the host dies - SO DO THE PARASITES.
    Posted by; one_American.

    The PARASITES we have to deal with in this country are the Republicans, the Christian Right, the Greedy CEO's, Lobbyists and corrupt politicians.
    It is the government's responsibility to protect us from both internal and external threats. Our government has criminally neglected its responsibilities and it is the citizens that are paying the price. There is presently no accountability for crimes against humunity. Traitors are rewarded with golden Parachutes. What they do not know is that the parachutes open on impact. The PARASITES will go down with everyone else. Fear often turns into rage. The French revolution attests to that fact.
    Civilization depends on social systems that provide the necessary exchange of goods and services and quality lifestyles for its people.

    We will have a successful peoples' movement when citizens left, right and in-between formulate an agenda divorced of politics and prejudice that provides mutual benefit for all. Polarization is a distraction. It is music to the powers that be. Teabaggers and Move UNITE!!!


    Likewise respectfully,

    I admit that my knowledge of Professor Zinn is limited to his appearance on BMJ. What he has written I will concede by default.

    In regard to Capitalism per se, I am satisfied that it can be structured to work for the good of all mankind. The key is to put limitations on the greedy and criminal behavior of a few to protect the greater social good. Perhaps a political label might be Democratic-Socialism. But then, as I said earlier, it all comes down to the character of the people in charge. After a rough start under Chairman Mao, even the Chinese seem to have raised their standard of living. Not that I would want to live there.

    But it also must be repeated that power corrupts. That is the human condition. Only where the Law is a function of government that can effectively limit human behavior can the populace be really "free". I use free in quotes because of the oxymoronic nature of regulated freedom. But that's the way it is isn't it?

    In making a body count to justify one political/economic system over another, you are exposing yourself to having a myopic view of the workings of Corporations. With the complicity of the bought off governments of the United States and countless third world countries, Corporations have enslaved millions, poisoned entire local populations, provoked civil wars and stolen the natural recourses in nations around the world. The Military-Industrial-Congressional complex has exploited the taxpayer in every administration since WWII.

    My take on the arguments that all of Moyers' guests were making, is that we must take back our Democracy ourselves. I have been informed by persons whom I trust, that there are at least six and maybe a dozen compounds around the country that were built during the Bush years, ostensibly to hold illegal immigrants, but, also just in case of a national insurrection. My guess is that that threat is considerably less under Obama. I would not take part in an insurrection. I would be afraid of what and who we would replace what we have with. But I do believe that we, the people, must take control and make our government: responsive to the ballot casters; transparent; restrict corporate access to legislators; and withdraw from military engagement on foreign soil.

    We can begin by telling our representatives to pass the bipartisan Fair Elections Now Act. (HR 1826 and S 752) Google it.

    Best wishes,

    Mike is right. The plain truth about the Civil War was always about money. The Emanicpation Proclaimation didnt come out until after Antietam. It was a manipulation by Lincoln to win support for his very unpopular (North and South)war.
    I am not a supporter of slavery by no means in fact most Southerns would have agreed with you. But the media manipulation of an invasion force from the North spurred the Southerns to fight. Northern soldiers and Southern soldiers were manipulated. The welfare of the American citizen was NEVER in the Congress's agendas. ITS ALL ABOUT THE MONEY!!!! ITS CALLED CORRUPTION!!!

    Hello Mike. Don’t take this as a slap most Union solders went to war to free the slaves southerners were fighting for states’ rights. The south fired first at fort Sumter South Carolina, The south was mostly rural farmers while the north was industrializing. Don’t think in the end the north was not fighting to free the slaves. That’s where the states’ rights and federal rights came to a head over slavery.

    When does 5% of the population dictate the rights of the states??? Democracy in action?

    Civil War was 5% rich of the Southern population fighting against the 5% rich of the North by using our Congress to do it.

    Corporate corruption of our Congress at its finest. PERIOD.. Kinda like today. Misrepresentation of the people. Capitalism manipulation of the law making process and media.

    "I do believe the civil war was mostly about states’ rights verses federal rights the U.S. construction against state constitutions"

    Exactly, southern states did not want federal control of any kind and threatened to break away. Lincoln viewed this as a grave threat to the union. Thus the American Civil War resulted. His primary goal was preservation.

    I do believe the civil war was mostly about states’ rights verses federal rights the U.S. construction against state constitutions

    The Emancipation Proclamation
    January 1, 1863

    By the President of the United States of America:

    A Proclamation.

    Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:

    "That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.

    "That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State, or the people thereof, shall on that day be, in good faith, represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State, and the people thereof, are not then in rebellion against the United States."

    Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days, from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit:

    Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth[)], and which excepted parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.

    And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

    And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.

    And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

    And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.

    In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

    Done at the City of Washington, this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-seventh.

    Notice paragraph five (all the excluded areas) where the proclamtion does not apply.

    Torin, I never said Lincoln liked slavery, I said "he stated he would tolerate it to preserve the union". The Emancipation Proclamation was a calculated decision on the part of his administration to further disrupt the Southern war effort.

    To get started you might want to read Paul Johnson's A History of the American People (ISBN-10: 0060930349 ISBN-13: 978-0060930349) and read Lincoln's own papers on the subject for a more thorough understanding on this topic. Contact the presidential library and museum (800) 610-2094 or (217) 782-5764.

    I've just made a fantastic discovery. Rodney King had the solution when he said "can't we all just get along"? Here it is.
    A CAPPY/COMMY society. Half one and half the other. You Cappys would be happy and we Commys would be too.

    Congress' Seniority System subverts the Constitution and allows a little guy from a little state & a Big Mamma from a Big State determine how our Legislature functions.

    Fix Congress or revisit these problems generation after generation.

    The Greatest Generation may have won the Big War, but they left us hanging out to dry with a Contrived, Conspiricy for a government!


    Billy Bob Florida

    To Michael Havens,
    sorry the civil war was fought over slavery, and I have several historians to back that up, including a PHD in American/African American history who lectures at the Freedom Center Museum in Cincinnati Ohio who is a white guy (to avoid bias) who makes the same claim. I think you forget the south succeeded 1st in defense of slavery.

    The American Civil War is a perfect example of how corporate corruptive influence can affect our government’s democratic process. Our corrupt Congress created that war, and the corrupt politicians would and did not compromise.

    Historians like Selby Foote stated that in order to understand our government today, we must understand the American Civil War. The Civil War showed how the rich’s greedy influence controlled our democracy in a terrible and undemocratic way.

    It was a war of the rich Southern Greed fighting the rich Northern Greed. 95% of the Southern people did not even own a slave, only the rich 5%. So where was our government process in protecting the rights of the common citizen as a whole? The industrial North wanted to control the flow of cheap cotton to Europe and have exclusive rights to it as well as free verses slave states. By the early 1800s, Northern factories were producing many of those same European goods with Southern materials, and Northern politicians were able to pass heavy taxes on imported goods from Europe so that Southerners would have to buy goods from the North. These taxes angered Southerners and laws unfavorable to the South were passed. This fired up the Southern rich by threatening their wild profits gained overseas. The Eli Cotton Gin gave the South new technology to rape millions of profit from slavery.

    Corporate corruption of our Congress caused that war. The rich on either side didn’t fight in that war, only the poor and misled. Our Congress in total disregard for the common citizen caused that war in the interests of the rich North and South industries.

    We had Greed fighting Greed, a truly evil demonic war. The rich’s manipulation of the media was effective in firing up both sides and continues to this day!

    A wonderful interview with historian Howard Zinn. But please--I.W.W. stands for "Industrial Workers of the World" not "International Workers of the World."

    During the 12/12/09 program with Howard Zinn, Mr. Moyers stated that the American Civil War was fought to free African-American Slaves. This is in fact an incorrect statement as many distinguished historians can attest. The American Civil War was fought to preserve the Union. It is well documented that Lincoln stated he would tolerate slavery in some states if it meant preserving the union. A public correction on Mr. Moyers program would correct this error. Thank you for your time.

    Michael Havens

    To Michael:
    In your criticism of G. L. Monahan, you mention Capitalism is far better system than the others are. You compare Capitalism to other government systems like Marxism but Capitalism is an economic system and NOT a government system.

    "Capitalism is far from perfect, but it is the system that allows for the maximum of human liberty. I'll take freedom, with all of its rough edges, over the feel-good monotone of socialism any time."

    As I like to point out, we have a democracy here in the U.S.. The problem we are addressing is that capitalism has polluted our democracy. In our democracy, all men are supposed to be created equal. Capitalism has taken our democracy by siege where the rich are controlling the democratic process thus eliminating that equality. We must protect our democratic society and the world against unchecked capitalism. There must be regulations to protect us against unethical business practices. Otherwise, we will not have a democracy anymore and just Hell on Earth. Greed is evil and causes suffering and misery for all that are enslaved to it.

    Howard Zinn is so right on!!!
    Thank you for being!!
    I am glad to see the organizations finally getting together on some core issues. Together they might be able to put some public service ads on tv too!!
    It is up to all of us to push for a positive change for the betterment of all. We have the power as individuals with our dollars we spend, and what we support. Boycotts do work, since they can affect the bottom line, ie profits of banks and corporations. If enough people refuse to support these businesses then they will start to listen. We all have to take some personal responsibilities for where we spend our money...or where we bank, or where our 401ks if you have one, are invested, or who gets the profits from your credit cards. It's time for the American People to WAKE UP and PAY ATTENTION to where their Dollars are going and just who they are supporting. It is up to listen to our own leader within us. Stop following false leaders, and slick ads. It is time for the UP-WISING.

    The way this show exposes the latest value of awareness has woven a dialog. This network supports a currency of information in such a spectrum of risk that reveals more public option, being a census year... could the new job be following trends and causes... polling could be more supportive thanks to your example. Citizen credit is already extended as derivative responsibility

    It's great the Matt Damon supports Howard Zinn's understanding of history, but Damon's backing of Bloomberg in the recent elections in New York city reveals that he clearly does not understand the machinations of power about which Zinn so clearly writes.

    Bloomberg has orchestrated an encomienda-type system of education in New York City that serves the business class rather than promotes an understanding among the underclass of how power works in U.S. society.

    Zinn is correct that change comes from the bottom up, from the folks that Orwell termed the "proles". However, at least in New York City, Damon has helped set that understanding back years.

    G. L. Monahan,

    With deep respect, I would point out to you that under Marxism in one form or another, more than 100 million human beings lost their lives in the last century. Think about that the next time you see some young hippster parading around in a trendy Che Guevera tee-shirt. In his book "Passionate Declarations," Professor Zinn openly admits that he is a Marxist, and he has written a fawing play called "Marx in Soho." To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, capitalism is the worst economic system ever conceived, except for all of the other ones. Capitalism is far from perfect, but it is the system that allows for the maximum of human liberty. I'll take freedom, with all of its rough edges, over the feel-good monotone of socialism any time. We are citizens in a free republic, not drones in a government sponsored equity hive.

    But I suspect that you disagree. :) Thanks for the conversation, and God bless you.

    Too much attention is given to the banks as the bad guys because of the crisis. Cut-throat competition amongst many major corporations has brought out some nasty ways to treat citizen consumers in various industries. And it just gets worse.

    Credit scams, misleading ads, deceptive store displays, confusing contracts, marketing of unhealthy food, fine print loopholes, disinformation campaigns, bad customer service, switch and bait sales, price gouging.
    And the nastiest of marketing schemes - the branding of children!

    If this is not turned around where will it end?

    We the middle class are becoming like steerage passengers on the titanic, as the first class passengers boarded lifeboats the steerage passengers locked below. Think our country now 80% steerage left to die 20% first class saved. We need to deReaganize our mega banks, Wall street ,Credit card companies, Reagan the great deregulator left a huge debt , Started this two class society

    "There's just their own self interest, their own greed. And they just want to continue
    with the same cycle..."
    The Senate and Congress created Laws to BENEFIT THEMSELVES - the status quo.
    Created a corrupt Departments, Agencies and Judicial System!
    The States and Local government are not much better!

    "We want real reform."
    Do not expect to be delivered on a silver plat!

    "If they won't do it themselves, then the government has to make them do it."
    The Government already did it. The Bankers, Congress and Oligarchy did benefited,
    and will continue!
    "I think it's hard for them to ignore our message at this point!"
    They did not ignore the message. It went into one ear and out the other.

    "That system should work for us, for the American public."
    "We really do have a people power organize around a set of ideas."
    "Renegotiation of loans with a provision in the bankruptcy bill..."

    "BANKRUPTCY BILL" - A legal license to commit fraud!
    A bonanza for the bankruptcy court and the institution in bankruptcy proceedings.
    There are about 150 big institution cases file in bankruptcy court just in New York,
    not to mention in other parts of the Country.
    A Bankruptcy court consistently violate the Article IV of the U.S Constitution
    "Property Rights to be secure in their.. papers..!"
    Where the orders violates the prohibition "of Article I, Sec.10 of the Constitution,
    for it impairs the OBLIGATION of CONTRACTS..." under "Uniform Commercial Code."
    Out right Confiscation of property. The AWARD - benefit for the
    "Debtors in Possessions!"

    ZINN was very correct in stating, "Going to the polls every four years and elect somebody
    who's going to do the trick for you. No, we want people to understand that that's not going
    to happen. People have to do it themselves."

    Do you think grassroots movements have the power in today’s world to defeat powerful entrenched interests? Why or why not?

    Though demonstration may work as it did in the past, a good place to start is, to watch the
    video for "THIS is ARGENTINA" posted by David F. the link is:
    The helpful investing information received from a very knowledgeable
    scholar on various instruments, DEEDS, TRUST etc. states:
    "Where is save to put your money?"
    After reading his valuable information and links, at the end his answers was:
    "I do not know where is save to put your money?" I had been moving the little funds
    I had, from one bank to another and in various short term instrument,
    such as Cd's Bonds etc. NOT in stocks. Thanks to corrupt economic and misleading
    entrapment ranking system by the three rating agency, now the funds are tied in bankruptcy,
    in worthless securities, common stocks, bonds that mature in 10 or 15 years, in the hands of the
    "Debtor in Possession". I will be gone by than. Deprived of funds, property that
    should have been protected under the Constitution.

    What would constitute a people’s agenda for today?
    Someone stated on one of the previous post,
    "Start withdrawing funds from the big banks and move them to a smaller bank."
    It may help generally, not specifically.
    "People have to do it themselves," the agenda should be focus to create:
    1./ "Workers saving account" by valantery contribution, for one
    specific purpose to buy a Production plant, manufacture plant or bank, to be manage by
    the workers themselves. These workers that benefits from this should continue
    to contribute in the account for other workers in the other parts of our Country.
    There is No need for CEO, Presidents, Vice Presidents and so on.

    2./ Amend the Constitution. The issues such as TARP, WAR, ECONOMY,
    HEALTH insurance should be on a ballot, for every one to "express their will,
    heart and soul desire"

    3./ Focuse should be on a Complete employment, Clean Energy independent,
    Transportation and Health care for ALL.

    Karl Marx theory, "Capital is only when it is placed in the production" for the benefit
    of the society.

    What issues in your community do you think need to be addressed?
    Have you acted to organize your community to achieve those changes?

    We have tried to change the form of our local Government to "HOME RULE CHARTER."
    We did not succeed. We succeeded to delay for two years the appointment of second judge.
    After two years, the Commissioners by pass the public; The legislators approve
    the second judge. To day it cost the County a substantial amount of money.
    At one time Commissioners file a petition for an approval of $1.5 mill debt.
    I file a "Motion to Intervene." They WITHDRAW the petition on the day of the hearing.
    I had file a complaint with the DEP against the "District School Board" for violation
    of the statute. The DEP had already approved the School Board petition under
    a special law that "the public must respond in 15 days" and not 20 days,
    as specified in the rules of civil procedures. Later I was told they made their decision
    and that I can appeal to the COMONWEALTH COURT. I had no money nor
    time to continue. I have written letters to our Senators, Congressman with
    not much success.
    Bill, "You lead the HURD to the WATER, but you can not make them DRINK it!"

    One of the problems is that many of the community organizing groups of the sort that Goehl represents (although clearly not, as we see from the National People's Action involvement in financial reform, the NPA itself) fail to link up to engage in policy reform.

    There are hundreds of these community organizing centers across the country. For too many of them, though, their responsibilities seem to begin AND END with issues taking place in their own backyards. Organizing to help families being foreclosed on, or to help workers being abused by a low-road employer in town... these are essential activities, no doubt about that, but if community organizing fails to look beyond the community to the issues being debated in Congress, then it is squandering the enormous potential of its legions of boots on the ground that aren't otherwise marching together in any direction.

    (Of course, the other problem might be those organizing groups that do recognize the need to engage on these larger issues -- but then think that they themselves are the movement, rather than a PART of larger movement that must include the analysts who are expert in policies, the lobbyists who know what's moving or not on the Hill, etc.)

    National groups are a part of the problem as well. Too many of them are still clipping their own wings, trying to give the Obama administration more room instead of applying the pressure that Obama must have if this centrist administration will ever end up advancing progressive policies.

    Until the public is represented in Congress we will be under the collective thumb of banksters and broakers and big money deal makers. We have an opportunity to lighten the weight of this oppression.

    Our system of government and constitution defines equality and opportunity for all people. Nowhere does in mention corporations. It is therefore incumbent, for all who share that dream and aspire to the fulfillment of the promise therein, to support HR 1826 and S 752; The House and Senate versions of the Fair Elections Now Act.

    The bill will mute, to some extent, the voice of corporations in the electoral process and enable viable candidates to rise, even from poverty, to campaign on equal footing with the well healed, corporate funded, aristocrats . These bipartisan bills still reside in committee and won't see the light of day unless we move our representatives to act.

    Will it eliminate corporate influence on legislation? Of course not. Greed and avarice will always find a way to corrupt. But, it will put a speed bump in their path. Transparent lobbying is another battle.

    Support HR 1826 and S 752 the Fair Elections Now Act.

    Cynical thugh I am about the effectiveness of public protest and input on the issues, I was struck by something George Goehl said about the necessity of "toxifying" the money the financial (including insurance) industry is "gifting" to our elected officials. HOW TO DO THIS? Letters and emails to newspapers & Congresspeople can't get the word out. For instance, I was not surprised at Harry Reid's alternative to the public option as he has taken over a million and a half in contributions from the insurance industry. Yet the media portrays him as a friend of the people.
    How can we expose such duplicity?

    Both George Goehl and Howard Zinn make good arguments, but I would offer that both are somewhat naive in believing that, in our current political environment, substantial governmental change is the within the “power of the people.” The desired systemic changes that we as citizen seek in our government are in fact the antithesis of previous systemic changes that were effectively produced by influences of greater power. In the lively discussion of our government’s qualities, partisan political opinions which focus on pigeonholing their opponents by labeling them as Marxist, Communist, or Fascist, miss the point. And the point is: we do not live in a pure Republic or Democracy, nor have we tumbled down the slippery slope of Socialism. Our political system does not function on the affinity to one classical political theory over another. It functions, or is changed, by the relative powers of what influences it. And though it is very troubling to say “We the People” have little to offer that would influence systemic change in our government.

    The larger political sphere comprises a set of political winners. In order to win, players must acquire and maintain a superior quantity and quality of capital relative to competitors. Because political influence, that is of course money, tends to provide benefits for participants, it has the effect of driving out external participants who are not constituents in the relationship. This is why “We the People” are not effectual political player in the game of changing government.

    Dear One American,

    Write your Congressional Representative and Senators to support The Fair Elections Now Act (S. 752 and H.R. 1826)

    Otherwise The Corporate Oligarchy will continue to rape you.

    Either support those bills or learn Chineese.


    I think this was a wonderful show, but I was struck by how so many progressives are unwilling to criticize Obama.

    Howard Zinn was a wonderful antidote to the malaise. We have to be like those striking workers in the 1930's. In order to reach a higher level of political consciousness, we have to be intellectual honest. Obama is failing many of the people who voted for him.

    But as Zinn pointed out, democracy is not a form of government, and the struggle for democracy doesn't mean that we create savior leaders who cannot be criticized.
    Democracy is about making sure those who governs us recognize our interests.

    I would have to second Mr. Robert Alpert's suggestion that you bring Arthur Scargill on the show for an interview. Scargill was powerful union leader in Britain during the 1970's and 1980's. He brought helped bring down the Heath government and very nearly brought down the Thatcher government. I think he could give an even better description of this historical struggle for democracy than even Howard Zinn gave.

    I am making a PBS pledge today, and THANK YOU FOR PASSING THIS
    INFORMATION ON!!! For sure, the corporation sponsored news media has
    not aired this type of information to the people.
    I was wondering if
    people in America were that stupid for not responding to the injustice our
    corporation influenced Congress is doing to us.

    I am so glad that PBS can air and get this information to the people of
    Amreica. We need to stand up and fight this corruption in our government
    if we are going to protect our American way of life. I don't want to be
    controlled by a corrupt government as in Mexico that does not represent it
    citizens and represents only the corrupt mega rich interests.

    God Bless you Bill Moyers. I am going to join a grassroots organization
    against the tyranny spawned by our banking industry and hopefully can
    reflect a change. We have no choice. Things are that bad now in

    History has taught us over and over again that Greed unchecked leads
    to injustice and suffering for everyone except the evil doers.

    Natalie, Natalie, Natalie

    "How much civil disobedience is possible and how much will be tolerated"

    As much as it takes.

    I am 61 and have known Howard Zinn nearly all of my adult life although he has not known me except in present day via email. I was a student at Boston Univ. in the late 60's and had the occasion to be involved in student protests and to have been fortunate to hear lectures of Prof. Zinn at that time protesting the Vietnam War.

    I adored him and still do. I have read much of his People's History and his views of our government surely shed new light on some egregious, nefarious and destructive to human life our government in our name has perpetrated. He opened up a world of thought to me which remained unknown to me certainly within the structure of a public school system which never told the flip side of the story. History nearly always is written by the victors and at that time the US in my mind was victorious (and good) in everything it did. So many told me that fact.

    After hitting the steps of Boston Univ. in the late 60's, hearing Howard Zinn, Murry Levin, Edgar Bottome and others I swiftly did an about cerebral face certainly about US history.

    Still during the many years I have had to think about events age brings a jaded cynicism as to just how much will change and how much can I do to affect it within my lifetime. I begin to question who is correct in their world view the left or the right or is it really somewhere in between.

    I would love to have asked Prof. Zinn if he really thought the basic nature of man is non violent. Does he really think no matter how non violent a society we could be there would not be another nation state somewhere at some time who would want to do us in. Negotiations with such a state would be fruitless and that if we did not strike first another country would.

    Obama said that the United States has underwritten, like an insurance policy, the security of the world. Professor Zinn surely does not believe that. I suspect he believes the opposite. I would have liked Mr. Moyers to have levied some tougher questions for Mr. Zinn the kind of questions we who call ourselves progressives have to fight when confronting the opposition every time we express an opinion.

    Mr. Moyers came close when he talked about Palin as a populist and Prof. Zinn said yes she had elements but she was militaristic. I would have loved Bill to have followed up on that. I would like to know from Professor Zinn how threatening the populist tea bag movement, who loves Sarah Palin, is to the other populists of my ilk who would lock horns with Palin's populism if it came to that extreme.

    How much civil disobedience is possible and how much will be tolerated and what if during it we meet up with various gun loving, god fearing gay loathing populists who do not like our message?

    There is a split in this country as I see it. Both the left AND the right hate what Washington is about and yet the left and the right hate each other possibly even more than they hate the nature of Washington DC itself.

    Terry Thomas wrote, in part, "The real drive for producing quality services and products have been replaced with gambling greedy creative marketing schemes."

    Not much has been written about what happened in the immediate years after Rome "fell" and too much bs was fed by the "handlers" of USA people's psyche to examine how fascism and communism "fell" because "capitalism" was the puppet master of the other two "isms"...

    So we are left with the COMMON SENSE of your statement above.

    1. Doesn't matter whether it's man or nature, what matters is the ABILITY to adapt to whatever "weather" comes our way. The TRAGEDY,

    and it is a drop on your knees and weep level of tragedy,

    is that SCIENCE, real honest-to-goodness SCIENCE, is not available as a tool for maintaining the proper level of adaptation to what "Mother Nature" will ALWAYS be throwing our way.

    The conversation about "reality" in the hands of psychotic and sociopathic "handlers" needs to be cut off - or STFU :-)

    Thieves, Jim Jones wannabes like "Pastor Warren", secret psychotics in "high" places and an ARMY of self-motivated Enronista economic terrorists are NOT QUALIFIED to HONESTLY run ANY civilization. They are CONSUMERS. "Science" (REAL DATA) in their hands is a sick joke - it's not SCIENCE. We really do need to take SCIENCE back as a tool FOR THE PEOPLE to adapt to any and all "environmental" changes.

    Why were World's Fairs STOPPED? Instead of preaching "end times", and "holy wars", think how CRAZY those people are who replaced World's Fairs with that kind of delusional crap?

    We have a MORAL OBLIGATION to stop them from runing the show.

    2. Where do you think that the $$$ sucked up into institutions that were erected to make sure the "people" DO NOT GET HEALTHCARE is going to keep going...? the WAR CHEST...

    3. The TRUTH is that the Federal Reserve, needs to be the owner of ALL PROPERTY in the USA. The methods they set in motion to do such a thing needs to be called out for what it IS - a CONSPIRACY to bring down the infrastructure of the USA - let's file THAT court case and watch the Supreme Court judge's heads figuratively explode open when they squirm their way out of THAT truth through "precedent".

    All that is missing to "alter" the "perception" of THEIR made-up reality is the COURAGE to SEE that Rome fell and ONLY the PEOPLE have the POWER to print new "coins" and go to war to SAVE our infrastructure - ALL of it.

    The self-proclaimed "elite" are completely and utterly INCOMPETANT to build a civilization - that is the TRUTH we all can agree upon, as even you, Mr. Thomas, noted about "quality". Please stop using the POLITICAL language that THEY made up in their crazy minds - it does NOT serve ANY real conversation needed to solve the real problems.

    Repubs are Dems and Dems are Repubs - LIARS are shape shifters...SEE them for the sadistic murderers and insane thieves they ARE.

    POWER to kill and steal is CHEAP.

    The first thing we need to do is remove our money from the big banks (BoA, JPMorgan, Citi, Wells, et al) and place in your LOCAL banks with FDIC coverage.

    This will get the money from the big banks who are not lending to local banks who will IF THEY HAVE THE MONEY.

    Do it first thing Monday morning and tell everyone you know to do the same.

    It won't hurt you and can only help the economy. It's time for the people to take control of this country.

    DO IT NOW!

    It seems a small group of people have run off with all the money. How did they do this? Well, once they got a lot of money, they bought a lot of Legislators, media outlets, preachers and what not to put foward their agenda. This 'putting foward' included words like patriotism, morality, righteousness and so on. They packaged their agenda in a very slick way. As they took all the money it was made to appear that any opposition to this agenda was unpatriotic, immoral, even downright evil. So many of us, we little people, didn't stand up. Don't want to appear evil do we? But fully half the country sees these few people running off with all the money and they are just trying to point it out to the other half. "Hey, while you were over there patriotically waving your flag they took all the money while your back was turned. You were watching the pretty parade and didn't seem to notice."

    I don't hate the 'Tea-Baggers'. I just want them to wake up. It's not Marx you should be mad at. You should be mad at the small group of people who ran off with all the money. The people who invest in war and reap staggering returns, be mad at them. The people who make fortunes off of illness and injury while offering nothing in return, be mad at them. Stop letting slick packaging keep you on board someone else's gravytrain. It is not unpatriotic to look out for your own economic self interest when your demands are simple. A fair shake, good pay for hard work, a better future for your children, a comfortable retirement, no limos, no private jets, just reliable middle-class dignity. This dignity is not threatened by those who speak out, but by those few who took all the money.

    The thing that people seem most concerned about (that they can change) is the lack of credit. Maybe it is time to bring back the loan clubs. This was a way that immigrannts, wwho could not get a loan from the WASP run banks, raised money to start a small business. They were usually in the local social group. The Italian Benifit Society. Knights of Pythias, and many others. If the idea spread after a short time with so many depositers the "Big Banks" would be i need of them and real reforms could be forced o them.

    Thanks for the show. Have "We the People" become so spineless that we sit and whine about what Obama is or isn't doing? WAKEUP! STANDUP! and ACT! What has history told us about leaders who become "too" radical, especially in confronting the moneyed interests? Obama has a beautiful family and he's no fool. Yes, he's taking half measures, yes, it's getting us next to nowhere (unless you count the many fringe benefits of an intelligent, compassionate, articulate man selling them to the world), but what choice does he have? We the People do not have his back. Until we stand up and create a climate in which change that benefits "US" is the only choice for politicians, our comments are ranting on anonymous street corners. Today if politicians want to keep their jobs they must cave to money. We must change that the only way it has been changed throughout history, i.e. by having the courage to standup and collectively take action, not with violence, a moronic approach that compounds problems, but with the wisdom of unrelenting, uncompromising, peaceful disobedience of MLK, Gandhi, Jesus, use the power of the heart and ideas to create our change. Let’s flood the streets hand-in-hand, regardless of political affiliation, and create a system that works for US. If we create such a climate, I believe President Obama will take it to a level that will transform the world. Without US, he is just trying to do the best he can under the circumstances, i.e. with an apathetic US citizenry. Let's join and invigorate these groups in mass, and make America something beautiful that serves to maximize the potential of all, so that we have a prayer of creating a sustainable planet. WAKEUP! STANDUP! and ACT!

    Senator Dodd,Tim Geither,Poloski and Obama sounded tough back in febuary of this year about bonuses but also put a loop hole in law so AIG,GOLDMAN SACS,CITIBANK, ETC,ETC,execs made it happen.Nobile peace prize my ass.Oscar for climate change movie bullsh-t.What is the media hiding now with all the attention on TIGER WOODS.What has the politicians told the media to cover up most likely?

    I do love the counterargument presented above that the polls indicate a subservient populace. Don't be fooled, minders of this forum. We know the veracity and trustworthiness of polls - anyone who has been around since 'the year 2000' knows what has been happening to our most important poll, our vote.

    As to your questions, it all boils down to the silo analogy, and you can't quantify or qualify the ignition of a movement. In the silo, there's a trigger after the necessary conditions have been created, an infinitesmally small trigger.

    Take your polls and...

    It is apparent to me that as long as we have campaign finance laws that allow industries and other special interests to flood legislative offices with money then our Congress will remain bought and paid for and we the people will not be served. Term limits or more stringent campaign finance regulation are needed to insure that the common people's voice be heard.

    Howard Zinn, and the rest of the current-day Marxist radicals are preaching hollow ideas to the masses of ignorant fools who will listen to anyone that promises them something for nothing. They have been actively seeking to create a crisis, like the one we are in now, so they can impose their radical 'solution', which will only create a leftist dictatorship.

    Pseudo-intellectuals like Bill Moyers ARE THE PROBLEM WITH AMERICA, NOT THE SOLUTION - and it may just take a violent civil war to end the leftist movement that is the root of all of America's ills.

    Socialism, Marxism, and Communism are the parasites that feed upon their host, Capitalism. When the parasites overwhealm their host, the host is weakened, and can also die. This is the problem with America - the parasites have been weakening this country for the last four decades with increased bloated government-run entitlement programs, massively higher taxes, and suffocating eco-terrorist regulations, and the result has been that they are killing this country. What the ignorant parasites don't realize, is that when the host dies - SO DO THE PARASITES.

    Howard Zinn and the rest of the false populists will simply be the first casualties in the next civil war - and the patriots who have been subjected to the shackles of oppressive leftist policies will overthrow this corrupt current government, and restore it to the small-government Democracy that the founding fathers had originally envisioned.

    On another note, I'm glad to see that your show, Bill Moyers, is going away from PBS. Apparently leftists lunatics like you are just embarrassing enough to public television, that you are having a serious negative impact to their fund drives.

    "And Senator Chris Dodd is actually leading a fight for real reform, for democratizing the Federal Reserve, for ensuring that derivatives, this casino economy is more regulated. That we can move for an end to the kind of foreclosure crisis we've got."
    My question: What the hell does democratization mean?
    The real issue is why real estate was priced out of site for the average worker to begin with. It was the strategy of these banks from the beginning. Then they made loans to unqualified buyers, the average citizen of the USA, there by creating these toxic securities that caused the real estate bubble. The average union worker along with none union workers was screwed out of his ability to achieve the American dream when Regan busted the unions just after he took office the first time? Since then the wages have been stagnate and the assets in this country have been stolen by Wall Street execs. There was even a computer program discovered which maneuvers the stock market in favor of the user. That user is one of these banks is too big to fail, I can't remember which one.
    In my opinion all money and assets should be equally divided among the people. Wouldn’t that be fair since the average people are supposed to be the engine that creates the GNP? We should start all over because our dreams have been stolen. The thieves should be in jail. I know that isn't going to happen but it isn't fair for the average person who starts out with no assets is expected to compete with a none person called a cooperation which is allowed to monopolize on everything and make all the rules. This idea of greed being good is hog wash. Greed seems to be the goal of our students now days. Doctors don't honestly live by their creed any more but greed instead. Lawyers want to become partners in their wealthy firms. The real drive for producing quality services and products have been replaced with gambling greedy creative marketing schemes.
    The change we need is a lot deeper than just bank regulation although that is a good place to start. We don't have much time left as these banksters are dividing up real estate in the rain forest for the minerals, gases, cobalt and oils below their roots. Global warming is going to be our inevitable end if greed isn't tamed and I mean very quickly.
    Terry Thomas
    PS: There is a new PAC coming alive called the Brownians. The name comes from Ellen Brown who wrote "Web of Debt". I would love to read the transcript of Bill Moyers interviewing Ellen Brown.
    and I love Howard Zinn!

    In 1972 I set out to cash my first paycheck. Arriving at the nearest bank I was informed by the teller that I would need to open an account. In a hurry I walked to the nearby Credit Union and cashed my check. Then I was asked if I wanted to open an account, which I did a few days later.

    In over thirty-six years I have always found credit union staff to be friendly, knowledgeable, and never persuasive! I think if more business could be conducted with Credit Union concepts we would be much better off socially.

    Credit unions exist solely to serve their members, not to pay high dividends to share holders. Credit union income is returned to members, offering higher deposit rates and lower rates on loans.

    The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) defines credit unions as "not-for-profit cooperative institutions." In practice however, legal arrangements vary by jurisdiction. For example in Canada credit unions are regulated as for-profit institutions, and view their mandate as earning a reasonable profit to enhance services to members and ensure stable growth. This difference in viewpoints reflects credit unions' unusual organizational structure, which attempts to solve the principal-agent problem by ensuring that the owners and the users of the institution are the same people. In any case, credit unions generally cannot accept donations and must be able to prosper in a competitive market economy.

    It is no less interesting that you should characterize Howard Zinn as a Marxist. What do you call the lens through which you came to your opinion?

    ...the fruits of Marxism are political oppression, tyranny, and murder.

    There are as many arguments to ascribe the same attributes to Capitalism as to Marxism. It all comes down to the character of those in political power.

    Putting an incendiary title on Professor Zinn in order to diminish him is demagoguery.

    Have we not been tyrannized, robbed and victimized by the Capitalist Corporations enough? Democracy has not been doing its job of putting the necessary limitations on Capitalists. They have gotten out of control . We must change the way we elect our representatives. That is the core problem. Our Legislators represent those who contribute the most to their campaigns, not to those who cast the ballots. The Fair Elections Now Act (S. 752 and H.R. 1826) will allow viable candidates, even coming out of poverty, to campaign on a level with corporate funded candidates. Who do you think will represent you and me?

    These bills languish in committee and won't see the light of day unless we prod our congressional representatives. So. Michael, if you want a true democracy, and not a corporate oligarchy, you and I must act.

    Why was there no mention of the Constitutional mandate that Congress coin money?

    Why was there no mention of the 90 year old Bank of North Dakota? Or the compromises that were made to keep peace in ND by minimizing the influence of that State owned bank?

    Thank you for bringing this information together, but there is more to do! Absent the willingness by congress to do their job, we need to find ways for the localities to facilitate the maintenance of their people. Given enough people local currencies and local community owned banks can be formed.

    We are in a time of predicted resource depletion - "The Limits to Growth" has been shown to be on target. The effects of these limits will reduce the ability of energy machines to dominate everything. There are feasible alternatives that are not funded through the current system by design of those who do not want local self reliance. Add climate change to this and one must ask how long do we have to act appropriately? What will it take for powerful people to realize that power will not mean anything in a world where "life as we know it" (Jim Hansen's phrase) is no longer possible?

    We need to facilitate every citizen of the Earth to make good local decisions now. That means choosing the kind of life style, transportation, energy sources, ag technology, etc that their life depends upon. The current system is built to minimize that possibility. We must change it.
    Alan Page

    I have, for many years now, wrestled with Howard Zinn's work and thinking. I have read nearly all of his books, listened to him speak a dozen times, and tried to pin down just what it is that I find so troubling about his historical thinking. The history Mr. Zinn 'uncovered' (for lack of a better word) was, for a long time, ignorned by mainstream historians. Women, slaves, the poor, the working class, revolutionaries...their story was not being told, and it is to Mr. Zinn's credit that the 'people's history' is now a part of mainstream historical study and teaching.

    What bothers me about Zinn, though, isn't his history, but his analysis of history. He is, quite simply put, a Marxist, and while Marxism may be an interesting lens through which one can view the world, the fruits of Marxism are political oppression, tyranny, and murder. I burst out laughing last night when Professor Zinn put Sarah Palin and fascism in the same sentence! Fascism is a phenomena of the political left, not the poltical right (both Hitler and Mussolini were socialists!)
    Mr. Zinn's history books need to come with a warning label for those who do not understand what Marxism is and where it leads.
    Great show, Mr. Moyers. Thought provoking, as always.

    Dear Bill, Wow as always, a fantastic show. I read every comment and it's inspiring to see there are so many thoughtful people that watch your show. I am feeling such a kinship with you. Your show is very thought provoking, you are the coolest guy ever and I now have a major crush on Howard Zinn.

    It pains me to say this because I was an Obama volunteer and convinced a lot of people to vote for him, but he is sadly, predictably, becoming a disappointment. I always knew he would disappoint the left more than the right at the end of the day, but I never expected him to sell out so soon. His weakness towards holding Wall Street accountable; his choice of advisors; his continuation of feeding the war profiteers, has made me sad. He has always been clear that he would focus on Afghanistan, but I hoped it was campaign talk. This week I had to face the fact and admit he wasn't the hero I hoped for. I notice other people are reluctant to criticize him or even give him a grade publicly. I give him an F to accept the Nobel Peace Prize and make a case about the justification and necessity for war. His speech was embarrassing for a man I know is brilliant. Yes, he had to address his recent troop increase actions, but he is capable of lifting an audience and the speech turned my stomach. Where was the inspiration? War is the lowest form of communication and this continued action in Iraq and Afghanistan will never stop terrorism and will only cause more destruction and heartache. And he knows this. But he will continue it anyway. For what? For Halibuton and Blackwater? For new friends on Capitol Hill? We, (I) had very high hopes and I still believe in his intelligence and ability to unite people, especially youth. I am willing to push Obama and all your guests did inspire me to take action myself. I'm very good at organizing and inspiring others myself. This is what I want to do with the rest of my life anyway. The truth is, if a significant amount of people simply refused to pay their mortgages, taxes or healthcare premiums there would be immediate change, but someone smarter than me needs to figure out the best strategy. People my age seem to be tired and apathetic; or fearful and irrational. I would love to hear your guests lay out a strategy and model Obama's grassroots election vehicle. Yes we can! works for a lot of things. Thanks again for your amazing show.

    Dear Mr. Moyers,

    What a delight to hear some words of hope from Howard Zinn.

    I work in the news business, which, as many of you probably feel, tends to ignore the opinions of the people and to focus on what "important" persons want us to believe.

    I have been trying to lead my life without hurting others, but Zinn's words make me realize that it isn't enough to make this place a better world.

    Every episode of your program provides food for thought, and I hope that your example will inspire many a journalist among the younger generations.

    Dear Mr Moyers
    Great show, thank you

    What a delight to hear Howard Zinn! His "People's History" sits by my bedside, full of sticky tags highlighting things I had never read of before. I am glad he is around to remind us that what will be our history is still up to us. And where will you be, Bill Moyers, as PBS tumbles again?

    Lets start here... The U.S. Chamber of Commerce This organization has become a total far rightwing political action committee. This can change we need to vote with our feet. We can start at the local level your area businesses that are members try to avoid ask, as you walk out if they are a member. If they are leave your carts tell the checkout person you do not donate to political action committees. This organization opposes health care reform, minimum wage, Trade Unions , They are spending million to oppose our President . They oppose reforms on megabanks, Wall Street; we can start on main street to dislodge the leaders. Like the NRA a puppet of the far right. The same is true of the US Chamber…

    One of the very few programs I like is Bill Moyers Journal. The program came timely, In a few more weeks my wife and I will be walking away from the place we once call "home.” We have to walk out as we will NOT continue to pay the interest only mortgage in CA. But I am sad when Bill Moyers asked Heather Booth, twice, "How would you grade Obama "A', "B,” or "C" she refused to answer. She even praised Chris Dodd, which Sen. Dodd was AIG’s largest single recipient of campaign donations during the 2008 election that brought us so much pain and suffering.

    I wish you could have praise Clinton for pulling out of Somalia after "Blackhawk Down" and not intervening in Rwanda; after all, it was the spectre of those two human rights disasters that pushed him to intervene in Bosnia - conflict where the force Clinton assembled still remains.

    To explain the virtue of standing by while Rwanda unfolds would make abandoning Afghanistan once again a lot more acceptable.

    If the suffering of the Afghan common people, especially the women who were relatively free before the US destabilized Afghanistan in that US cold war sponsoring of terrorism, deserves no notice from Americans, than the populist movements that led to the Civil War were of no consequence.

    And let's remember that great populist, Andrew Jackson - the people wanted land, the Indians were on it, so Jackson advocating ignoring the US Supreme Court and call on Congress to allocate a lot of money for the Indian Removal Act.

    That Obama is a realist and an idealist is far better than being a populist, especially when we consider some of the more notable populists, like Ron Reagan and Teddy Roosevelt.

    Nothing says populists are going to be anti-business, pro-union, and pro-minority rights.

    And I would expect Zinn to describe the Civil War as more complex than about slavery - it was populism against populism - the anti-industrialist south seeking to preserve their labor intensive agrarian culture which needed slavery to be wealthy, versus the job creation to a middle class by industrial government policy.

    Both versions of populism required more land for each vision of progress, and the Indians and Mexicans paid the price of the one thing all the populists could agree on - free land at any cost.

    Today we have that same dual populism, with the Anti-tax faction opposed to government and business, and the anti-war populists opposed to government and business.

    The irony is the government interventions many Republicans condemn today originated not with FDR, but with Republicans post Civil War as they attempted to rein in the corporations, and perhaps their most hated manifestation, the railroads.

    We've all seen what Wall Street has done to the country's financial institutions, so why is anyone surprise we have serious problems with our health care system.

    What we have now is: WALL STREET HEALTH CARE...DUH!

    Defense and Public Safety & Health should never be overly controlled by Wall Street! And, yet most Republicans will go out of their way to protect the very group that brought us into this mini-depression!


    Great show, Bill! I bought Mr. Zinn’s book 7 years ago and was moved by it. But, I’ve been on the sideline, enduring my own financial hardship, watching my neighborhood decline, and witnessing other people’s heart wrenching predicaments. I’ve come to the conclusion that I must get involved. What constitutes a people’s agenda is what has always constituted it; fairness (golden rule.) Grassroots DEFINITELY has the power today. WE are the corporations life blood (boycott its existence), WE are the government (it will bend by the will of our numbers.) Although, this is all lip service without commitment, compassion, and sacrifice. I’m not going to be on the sideline anymore - I’m signing up for a people’s movement. (Nod to Indie’s idea: identify us to each other (i.e. blue bandana) and don’t be afraid. Show each other our strength. Don’t be complacent!)

    Mr. Moyers, I watch your program, and this evening as I was listing to your conversation with Mr.Goehl. I became really upset, because not too long ago - was part of the middle class. Was making over 40K per yr, and had over 50K in my bank account. In the last two and a half years- that has all changed. My savings is gone, and within the last eighteen months systimatically My bank - JP Morgan Chase has cut off all of my equity lines and only has increased interest rates on my credit cards. Last year my credit score was 831 points. By the Grace of God, I still haven't been late on any of my bills. However If my situation does not change within the next month or two, I will become another person in this country that will loose their home. One that I've known for fifteen years. I paid taxes last year- eventhough I did not have to. Now I propose that the banks - since we bailed them out of debit. That they forego mortgages payment on people like myself for one year. They still will get payed - but at the end of the note or one year later. Give people one year to find employment, allow them to replenish lost savings and pay down any debit. Then start making payments again in 2011. This would allow people to remain in their homes. Decrease vandelism in neighborhoods along with crime. Here in Phoenix-the cities and our state Gov, have already proposed layoffs for police and fire depts. So what does that translate to? More crime. With more foreclosures - you create more homeless families. Homeless people , usually at some point will become ill or sick - thus causing more of a strain on our already broken health care system. Disease not contained could easily become epidemic . Then where would we be? Or Why doesn't The Government instead of increasing Tarp money to banks and wall street. Give it to all baby-boomers. One million dollars - to people say 55yrs and up for them to take an early retirement. With conditions that they pay off all their debit, Home, and buy a new American made car..You would solve a big part of the housing and auto crisis. These people would spend money in their local towns and cities and states thus creating revenue. And since they have retired - create jobs for those younger people who are unemployed..Just some thoughts . Crazy right?

    Finally! All we needed was a leader. As they say: If you build it they will come." I'll do my part.

    The D's should have taken on Campaign Finance Reform as the first Obama issue...perhaps even before the war. If we could fix that then the other heavy lifts would get lighter. We need to elevate the issue of personhood for corporations and see if we can figure out how to unwind it. We need some good linguists to frame the discussion and Bill M to bring it to the public. Or...I need a bigger boat.

    It would be nice to believe that people power could trump money, but I fear it can't. It seems impossible to get reform legislation through the U. S. Senate. Under Senate rules, it takes 60 senators to pass reform legislation. The 40 Republican senators are commented to blocking any kind of reform, and Joe Lieberman and the four "blue dog" Democrats are allied with the 40 Republicans. So the Senate is an effective roadblock to reform. To win, the moneyed interest need only buy the loyalty of 41 Senators. It has the loyalty of 45. A year ago, we believed we had paved the way to reform and change, when we elected a progressive president and put Democrats in control of both houses of Congress. But the health care fight says it all. Money again trumps the will of the people.

    This party the farmer labor still lives in Minnesota..........Statement of Principles of the Federated Farmer-Labor Party: A document of the National Convention establishing the FFLP held at Chicago, July 3-5, 1923. During the 4th of July holiday in 1923 a conference was held in Chicago, conceived in large measure by the Workers Party of America as the vehicle for its united front efforts, which established the “Federated Farmer-Labor Party.” This document is a statement of political principles of this new organization, which united elements of the old state Farmer-Labor Parties with representatives of sundry workers’, farmers’, and radical political organizations under the de facto direction of the WPA. “Today the government of the United States is a government of, for, and by Wall Street and the financial and industrial system it represents,” the document states. As a result “only one road lies open for the industrial workers and farmers to protect themselves against the exploitation and oppression of the financial and industrial lords who rule this country—to organize a political party representing the interests of the industrial workers and farmers and enter into the political arena to wrest control of the government from the hands of the financial and industrial masters who now rule in this country."
    I believe much of it rings true today I am a DFLer.I watched the show this evening, We need more progressives

    The ebb and flow of power from entrenched interests to the people is only temporary at best due to the necessity to trust leaders.
    Unfortunately, inevitable corruption by entrenched interests seems to always end up shouldering those who would benefit by those gains with the burden, thus negating any benefit.

    By the way, great show Bill! We will miss you when you leave!

    Lots of great comments here! I totally agree with DH Fabian. It's as if the democrats are following a script to water down health care reform, but watch them pat each other on the back because they've made it illegal for insurance companies to deny anyone with a pre-existing condition. I believe organizing is a start but it almost feels with the way that the banks, Wall Street, multi-national corporations, Big Pharma, the Oil industry and the War industry have their tentacles wrapped so tightly around our government nothing short of a revolution will change the way our bought and paid for government operates.

    I have looked forward to this week’s show since last Friday, and I was of course not disappointed. However, two things about this show always sadden me: 1) that many people who need to see it and act upon it do not, and 2) that the theme of every episode is that we still have hope. You see, if we take the scenario presented by George Orwell (Eric Blair), our system of reign by finance is here to stay. In 1984 he points out that the “Party” will never be destroyed because nothing and no one lies outside of it*. All citizens are kept in a state of fear, hunger, and ignorance with Big Brother as the fictitious idol, a recurring figure throughout history relatable to the sun, pharaohs, the Judeo-Christian god, kings, emperors, the Caesar, popes, the United States Presidency, and communist primers. No one dares to challenge them – even if they wanted to, they all lack any ability to do so and not die. Winston Smith, the protagonist of Orwell’s novel is a good example of this. Of course, in the book there is a quote about how the “Proles” are the people who have the power to stop the “Party”, but quite obviously they are far too ignorant, impoverished, and unorganized to do so; but supposing they could, we would almost certainly have a result similar to fascism, Nazism, or Eastern European Communism. This point is similar to the one Mr. Zinn made when asked about Sarah Palin. (Anyway) in our society, the focus of the poor is earning their next paycheck to cover the month’s groceries or to score this week’s crack fix. As a matter of fact, the collapse of every great empire can be compared to the death of a drug addict: internal forces implode the state (malnutrition/the drug) while external forces smash it in (poor living conditions/a street fight). It is only a matter of time before the rest of the world becomes so frightened and fed up with our nation’s practices (financially and militarily) that we will be occupied and quarantined, and soon after, our worn cycle of borrowed money and outsourced jobs will be what ultimately does in our superpower capitalist “democracy”. But, it is important to keep in mind that this is not a negative thing, nor will it be the end of humanity’s flagrant abuse of our poor, enduring planet.

    *[Actually here I disagree with him by saying that nature will end humanity once we use up the earth’s resources.]

    Codi Curtis
    (Age 17)

    Bail out mail street instead of Wall Street.

    Federal program only helps 31,000 borrowers so far
    By ALAN ZIBEL Associated Press
    Dec. 10, 2009, 1:58PM
    WASHINGTON — Just over 31,000 homeowners have received permanent loan modifications under the Obama administration's mortgage relief plan, a big setback for the government's embattled effort to stem the foreclosure crisis.
    Lenders say they are having a hard time getting borrowers through the trial period, which can last up to five months. Many homeowners who were given verbal approval for the program have not returned the necessary documents.
    Bank of America Corp., for example, had only completed 98 modifications at the end of November, far fewer than several smaller rivals. GMAC Mortgage completed 7,100, the most of any lender in the program, which was launched in March.
    Under the program, eligible borrowers who are behind or at risk of default can have their mortgage interest rate reduced to as low as 2 percent for five years. They are given temporary modifications, which are supposed to become permanent after borrowers make three payments on time and complete the required paperwork, including proof of income and a financial hardship letter.
    But a watchdog report this week said the government effort “appears capable of preventing only a fraction of foreclosures” and said that only $2.3 million out of a potential $75 billion government commitment had been spent.

    Not much changes!Marine General Smedley Butler wrote "War Is A Racket. It is conducted for the benefit of a few by the masses."

    For 1,000's of years most people have lived under the "Golden Rule"-He who has the gold, makes the rules. Will this ever change?
    Bill mentions his museum/gallery visit and ancient Egyptian rulers.
    Truth is we are all living in modern day slavery.
    Milan Kundara said it best,
    "Optimism is the opium of the people".
    100 years all new people,
    yet same greed/power.
    I guess we can try and change things. What to we have to lose? Everything.

    We are all subject to the burgeoning limitations imposed on us by government and big business, as long as we allow the loss of independent news organizations and reporters, who will not be fearful of reporting the truth, no matter how much it hurts the plutocracies, oligarchy's, and governments.

    'They' silenced Ralph Nader and more recently, Lou, who will 'they' silence next, Bill Moyers?

    Just a comment re why the people are not taking to the streets to end the wars---it is not the "peoples war" until one involves all the people, that is,the draft. If it was like Viet Nam, the people will decide to be heard and the marches will begin !! Some wisdom from a concerned Canadian.

    Thank you for this program at this time. We have to be reminded that WE are the people who will get the job done. Too many of us are arm chair citizens. I was inspired by the seniors who are not divested from building a future for the next generations. They inspire me to follow in their footsteps as I reach into my 60's. Howard Zinn's People's History is thumb worn on my book shelf. I return to it to reread the stories of true patriots whose names and voices ring from the pages. I was inspired by tonight's program and inspiration is a needed commodity today.


    Bill, Enjoyed your program this evening very much. Mr. Goehl is right, we should have a grass roots system of checking on who is getting what contributions from whom. Make those toxic donations known to the voters. Then, let people know why we can never get anything done in Congress! Too much money floating around there.
    I was born during the "great depression" lived throught WWII, Korean War, Viet Nam War and this is the first time that this country is not "booming" while we "wage War(?)
    As the old movie line went, "Follow the money." Who is profiting from these bases around the world and who making money?
    I am not for sending more troops into Afghanistan! Or Iraq either. Like Viet Nam, this is a never ending occupation, that will bankrupt this country more than it is already.
    Let's find out who is giving money to our congressmen... Money talks.
    Thanks for good programs that tell it like it is.
    Miss Kitty, Michigan


    I am not sure any of this will do any good, because ppl are just too stupid and uninformed to know what they need, and so, even if they succeed in protests, it is likely they will be duped. On the other hand, with better education, reform will succeed without the demonstrations. Too, Wall St did not really cause this crisis. For that we have to look into ourselves. Above all we need sound money, money backed by deposits earned by labor, and not the credit and debt instruments we have now. Secondly, we need to end the separation between workers and owners, and with it the idea of companies as mere financial instruments to be manipulated on stock markets. Third, we need a return to real religion, the kind based on real faith and real virtue (and I am sure Mariology, casuistry, and the like are not it).

    I sm one of those citizens who is furious with the banks and who, like many others, has wondered why we aren't out in the streets being heard. Where are the gatherings in the streets of NY and Philadelphia so that my voice may join the others?

    We must be careful to distinguish between the "too big to fail" mega-banks and the thousands of community banks. Community banks are struggling under tons of increased regulation and a heavy load of defaults and foreclosures. Banks don't make money on foreclosures; they hate foreclosures.

    The solution is complex. Perhaps the British model would be a starting place: break up these largest concentrations of financial power. At the very least they should be required to divest their so-called "financial services" arms that deal in derivatives and other highly complex financial instruments, trading and pure speculation. These largest banks could then function as commercial banks in its purest form: receive deposits and make loans.

    The saying"Those who live in the past are condemned to repeat it." The government has been stripped away from the people. The New Deal was replaced with the Raw Deal. Now we are trying to recreate a contemporary version of the New Deal, but tyhe part we seem to not understand is the sacrifices that came about to give birth to it. If our government will not act for the conscensus of the people what must we do? I am not an advocate foier rebellion but the people have been hoodwinked and left wanting. Alienated and led to believe that all was done in their best interests.

    Democrats and Republicans are responsible for catering to the wealthy. Only massive, peaceful protests can change the tide. Where have all the hippies gone? We need our youth to lead us again.

    Why aren't people mobilizing? Where is the anger in the streets? Maybe it has something to do with having to work a month and a half to make one month of rent and health insurance. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we have to get a permit to exercise our rights to assemble and speak in New York. And maybe it has something to do with the steady diet of misrepresentations (I mean lies) we get from The New York Times, CNN, NPR and on and on. Did they report the truth on Iraq when it mattered? No. The economy? No. Health care? No. Housing? No.

    Mr. Moyers,

    Thank you for having Howard Zinn on your show. I was
    pleasantly surprised to see, also, Amy Goodman on Tavis Smiley's show recently.

    It is a pleasure to see such guests -- people who present real content about real issues, with real thoughtfulness -- on your shows.

    This kind of show stands in contrast to the
    usual parade of Doo Wop stars, Ed Sulivan excerpts
    and tepid BBC mysteries
    offered by PBS during pledge drives.

    Your show allows one to hope WGBH and PBS can redeem themselves and play
    real educational roles.

    Thank You,

    Jeffrey Levy
    Needham, MA

    How to effect change?

    CLOSE YOUR BANK ACCOUNT and move it to a credit union or small local bank OR keep next to no money in it unless you are depositing and then paying out immediately.

    Starve the beast.

    How to organize?

    Two thousand years ago, a Roman Senator suggested that all slaves wear white armbands to better identify them.
    "No," said a wiser Senator.
    "If they see how many of them there are, they may revolt."

    Take a blue bandana and

    tie it on your car, your briefcase or your bag.
    Wear it on your head, your neck or your arm.
    Hang it in your house window, tie it to your mailbox.

    Make it visible daily. Could we then see how many of us there are?

    Join the Liberal Democratic party of the United States of America at DEMOCRATZ DOT ORG where you can sign several boycott petitions for social justice. We can destroy the power of conservatives in America by boycotting their campaign contributors.

    If you use twitter then tweet this @GOPleader I boycott conserv contributors RiteAid TysonFoods JackDaniels AmExp Wendys until U get HR676 enacted RT please #progressive #hcr

    Mr Moyer, Enjoyed your 12/11 program. I didn't get the email addresses for Ms Booth or Mr Goehl. Could you post them or email them. Thanks!

    "And the meek shall inherit the earth" ...
    Thank you for clarifing that for the first time in my life.

    The most serious problem with fighting entrenched interests is twofold. The first is that there has been a systematic dismantling of the institutions that are vehicles for working people to fight power. The weakening of trade unions, big city political structures and independent newspapers.
    The second is that people just do not feel that they can male a difference. It is worse than they are scared, they have just given up. If they were scared they could get brave. If they have given up it is worse.
    There is an old phrase in the labor movement when you are trying to organize. People want to do things when you organize them. They want to win and survive. They need to know that they can do both

    I just saw Bankers Beware, Dec 11th. One way to help David to strike down Goliath is to stip corporations of their personhood. This is the root cause of most of our difficulties of corporations controlling the USA. They are considered both humans and paper documents by the courts, most of the times which ever one is in favor to the corporation. It would be great to trace the evolution of the Supreme Court 1886 decision that implied personhood to corporations which have been used to capture all the rights and privliges of the Constitution for citizens (humans)

    I'm glad Obama has said that we shouldn't "believe in him" because I don't. Fortunately, Obama is doing more than any other to convince We the People that we can count on few if any in Washington and none at all in America's corporate hierarchy.

    Consider the religiosity of the Obama faithful. "Do you believe in Obama?" That's like asking if you believe in Santa Claus. Check out Glenn Greenwald's recent essay in Salon on the religiosity of the Obama faithful.

    Obama is just the president of the United States. At best, he is still just a politician in a declining power in the early 21st Century.

    But in fact, he is less than that. In May 2008, Penn political scientist Adolf Reed Jr. had an essay in The Progressive recalling his personal acquaintance with Obama. At the time, I ground my teeth over that essay -- Reed was deeply critical of The Great And Wonderful Obama.

    In retrospect, Reed was absolutely right. He described Obama as a "vacuous opportunist, a good performer with an ear for how to make white liberals like him." Obama's "community service" - much hyped by Obama and recalled by Mr. Moyers - does not stand up particularly well to scrutiny.

    On Wall Street and modern robber barons, Obama has caved at every turn. The same many who prates about the "necessity" of war (an obscene notion) expressly and categorically rejects anything like a necessity to challenge the power of our American Oligarchs.

    David F. makes the best point that Harry Reid and others will not serve the majority until the money of the big corporations is taken out of the election game. Did he know there are two bills in congress that can do this now: the Fair Elections Act H.R. 1832 in the House, and a similar one in the Senate (S. 752). These are steps on the road to PUBLICLY FUNDED ELECTIONS, which can overturn the tyranny of big money in politics. Call your senators and Represenatives TODAY, and insist that they support and pass these bills.
    Can someone tell my why these bills are not on everyones lips as a solution?
    Nip the snake at the head, and many of our problems with the American election system will be curtailed.

    Yes, we've talked about grass roots organizing for how long now? But who are the organizers? How is it done? So many concerned people use the internet to get their voices heard, and, while it's a valuable outlet, it's almost too easy. All it requires is a mouse and a keyboard and the ability to press "send".
    None of us who profess concerns for state of our nation struggles for a cause anymore.
    We see the Tea Partiers out there, but where are the liberals? The Progressives? We've hidden behind our computers through the Bush years and beyond, and it should be obvious by now that it just isn't enough.
    Our battles have become real wars. Our own countrymen are suffering and we're still not mobilizing. We talk a good game, but nobody will listen until we show them our might. Not in acts of violence or stupidity, but in numbers too vast to ignore.
    We need to come together as one. We need to do it soon, and I say we could start it right here.


    I believe the only hope for our country is a grassroots movement. Unfortunately I don't see that happening in my lifetime. I am 53. It is not that I feel my generation is lazy as some assume but more likely rooted in a solitary mindset. My age group is the"me" generation. We can play together but want what is best for me. I actually despise being of that mindset but it is how we were thrust into adulthood. I never felt a solidarity with anyone or anything of real importance until very recently when I began to reflect on my life. It may be too late to bring about massive change when there seems to be so much indifference and feelings of powerlessness. My generations answer seems to be to retreat and live under the radar with others who wish to remain anonymous. This doesn't bode well for a revolution. I wish we would rise up and take back the law of the land. It certainly won't happen with our present sham of a government.
    As a final note, having a government which feels war is justified and continues to shield past and present war crimes, one doesn't feel very hopeful that a revolution would make a difference. It is sad we have been beaten down to this point.

    The past movements which Zinn speaks of are in no way compared to the threat that America faces today. Today’s corporations, which are now multinational, have a much greater influence on our government than they ever had had in the past. Let’s face it, be it bribes (lobbying), blackmails or threats, we have a perfect example of a puppet government (Obama, Pelosi, Reid, all Republicans…), and I don’t see how a wedge issue movement would do us any good. But I do see one movement which could save America. We need to surgically remove the hand of these multinational puppet masters from the bowels of our politicians. After we remove lobbying (legalized bribes), then, and only then, can we begin to bring America back to what our forefathers had gave us.

    Look at how Reid is handling healthcare. Over 60% of the nation is in favor of a Public Option, but Reid is catering to the healthcare insurance companies. Only 51 votes are required for a reconciliation bill and the Senate would probably have over 55, but still Reid won’t use it. So, how in the hell does a spineless jellyfish like Reid (and Pelosi) stay in charge? (Multinational corporations, that’s how.)

    Also, has anyone else noticed that Senate Democrats appear to be taking turns throwing wrenches into the works: Dodd and others with banking; Baucus and others with healthcare (and Benedict Lieberman always)? These guys seem to be taking turns as being obstructionist (Republicans), and then for the most part, they can still call themselves Democrats (very clever, if I do say so myself).

    When its foundation is crumbling, you can't save the building by nailing some new shingles on the roof. Yet, this describes our economic policies. President Clinton took an ax to the New Deal when he ended the entitlement to humanitarian aid for our poorest, while we keep nailing new layers of shingles (corporate "tax relief") onto the roof. As a result, we're close to collapse.

    So -- what should we do about it?

    As I see things, the only way of counterbalancing corporate control of government is to organize.

    It is heartening that this organizing is non-violent and focused on putting pressure where it is needed to get attention to problems that so deeply affect so many of us. It can easily go the other way, into destructive behavior.

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