Results tagged “Politics” from Six Hours A Week: Adventures in American Exile

mafioso-150l.jpgFinally, it all makes sense. This ethically-challenged, predatory business man must have political aspirations.

A couple of years ago I saw Steve Loken give a speech for a fake environmental organization at the University of Montana in Missoula. Loken is a supposedly "green" building contractor who has been on the Democratic Governor's global warming task force and speaks nationally on energy and building issues. On this particular occasion, he spoke about needing to add a sales tax to tourism-related purchases, stating that like Robin Hood he believes it's necessary to "Rob from the rich to give to the poor."

Since people in his employ had already bilked building materials from my mother, I had to wonder: did he mean over order tile on one client's job so that she would pay for much more than necessary and he could redistribute it to his subcontractor's sprawling Lolo spec home?

To me that seemed more like, "Rob from the unassuming and vulnerable retired lady to give to your real estate developer buddy." Poor people generally don't seem to fare to well in an economy based to a large degree on high-end real estate development -- it hasn't served average Montanans. Even if Loken does subscribe to a political philosophy of wealth redistribution, as reflected in his business practice it seems to be more about redistributing to his pals than to the dispossessed.

Eventually, we had to wonder whether the used building materials nonprofit he started, Home Resource, was in part a front. How many of his clients paid for materials that were then "donated" to Home Resource and bought cheaply for his friends' jobs?

It finally became clear that Loken wasn't concerned about making my mother's project at all green, even though that's why he was hired. The supervisor Loken hired knew nothing about green building materials. For some reason, Loken didn't want to replace an old and wasteful heating system even though the plumbing expert recommended he do so.

Netroots: What Did You Expect from Obama?

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clinton-drawing.jpgI haven't blogged in a while, as I've needed every spare hour to piece my life back together after surviving a 4th Amendment-free year.

This Wired article inspired me, though
. Netroots activists are pissed at Obama's FISA flip-flop. So was I.  I'm glad that MoveOn and the independent activists who have generated support and money for Obama are trying to use their leverage to influence him now. But why did they hop on the "Change" bandwagon so nimbly and readily in the first place?

Though Hillary lost my primary vote once and for all when she didn't bother to show up for the February FISA vote, I wasn't ready to throw myself into the Obama camp. In fact, I'll be so self-congratulatory as to quote my February self:

If you're feeling the warm and fuzzy Obama-as-second-coming vibe, I hope you'll cool down and make sure he knows that you're in his corner because he believes that a renewed America means an unwavering devotion to our founding documents. "Change" must mean the restoration of our democracy.
Later, I hoped that action on the Homegrown Terrorism Bill might prove a decent litmus test. Nope.

I remember feeling bummed when I received the MoveOn endorsement ballot. Shouldn't there have been a set of criteria? Why just give away the endorsement without it meaning anything? And then, why continue to flood our inboxes with the cheer leading Obama "Change" rhetoric?
When we suddenly say we're all about Obama and "Change" don't we put ourselves in a sort of ridiculous predicament? For one, we assume that people can't be motivated to vote with the truth: the man is a politician. No matter how noble his intentions, we can bet that many of his life decisions (like turning down lucrative positions to move to an electorally significant state to create a grassroots support base) have been calculated. He will disappoint us because he can't possibly be all things to all Americans. Just because he may be the best option right now doesn't mean we have to leap into absurd fairy tale rhetoric about his somehow having magical powers to enact sweeping change. Once we give over to the rhetoric, anything he does to deviate from our fantasies of what he stands for invariably disappoints.

We've already been to a place called Hope. Young voters don't know what it's like to have a preternatural politician grab their hearts with rhetoric and then become a whopping, co-opted, double talking disappointment. Are our memories so short? Do we really want to do that again and lead another generation to the kind of apathy that allowed the current administration to enter the White House?

Let's be honest. An Obama administration will mean a world of difference no matter what. But he's a politician. We are the change agents. We can't just walk to a voting booth, dimple a chad, and expect America to be a safer, fairer, more just place. We have to change. We have to get out of our comfort zones, and remain active, engaged citizens.

The moment our 4th Amendment protections truly become more important to Americans than our sofa patterns or TV schedules, we will see what change means.

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Six Hours A Week Is:

A coping strategy, advocacy outlet, and form of protection. My life has been nearly destroyed by the unconstitutional practices of politically/socially-motivated private intelligence contractors and the corruption and cronyism that allow them. Apparently because I speak out in ways that prioritize the little guy and human and environmental health above gargantuan profit margins, and believe that facts are as important as PR spin, I was someone who had to be completely discredited. In 2007, after a few months of a surreal and relentless invasion of privacy and dignity, I started to spend six hours each week researching, communicating about, and advocating legal and ethical responses to assaults on our shared democratic and republican ideals. For most of that time I was writing from the perspective of someone whose life was manipulated into a constant state of terror and emergency. In 2010, many of the array of entrapment attempts seem to have failed and it seems no longer possible to get away with such excessive, obvious harassment and overt interference. As we take more practical steps to address what has been allowed to happen to my family, we do expect to see some more harassment and intimidation. But I should be able to chronicle it from a more measured perspective, rather than that of someone in constant fear. Part of me would like to go back and delete earlier posts, because even I find them hard to relate to in some ways. But this blog has been one of our only forms of protection as everyone in any official capacity ignored the truth and tried to spin and frame us into the troublemakers and perpetrators of one form or another. So I leave it up as a form of protection, a record of what has occurred, and (with luck) the account of our way back to credibility and some form of legitimate justice. All content on this site is property of Kyeann Sayer. All rights reserved.

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