Moving On With MoveOn

I first heard of the group MoveOn during the administration of Bill Clinton. In the beginning this group was formed beginning with just a couple of people with the purpose of getting the USA beyond its obsession with Bill Clinton's sexual saga to doing something positive for the people.

MoveOn also got involved somewhat in the anti-Iraq War movement; and as a certified "peacenik," I was impressed with that as well.

Then MoveOn took on lots of other areas of our lives as individuals in the United States as they relate to care for the poor and middle class and health care and fairness and virtually an unending list of areas where all people should be concerned for the plight of those other passengers on this big blue sphere. (We like the term "Big Blue" in Kentucky; but that isn't the blue I'm talking about here.)

I was somewhat politically active during the Obama nomination and general election activities; but it was virtually all as an online helper. I posted and reposted articles I considered to be relevant and stated my opinions about others remarks. I made phone calls for John Yarmuth. I placed "hangable" flyers for Obama on the doors of my large apartment complex.

When we moved to Frankfort I was able to attend a few things here in Woodford County and in Franklin County related to progressive causes thanks to two people whom I have come to appreciate so very much: Max Thomas and Joy Arnold. The two of them are passionate about the cause of "promoting the general welfare for ourselves and our posterity," as I see it. Each of them is very different; but each of them has been a teacher for me in the process of political action rather than just political talk.

In the midst of my somewhat increased interest in actually taking part in progressive action, I was invited by a FB fan who had just become more involved in MoveOn to an event in Louisville that was fun, exciting, and showed me there were others with my same attitudes about what is happening in the USA and has been happening for the last 40 years...just at a higher rate since the year 2000.

I was attending "Organizing for America" meetings with Max, gatherings with Joy, and going to a Tea Party Rally with Rikka all to see myself more involved in the process.

Then the governor of Wisconsin did something that was almost unbelievable. Large rallies outside the Wisconsin statehouse began. People from all over were heading to Wisconsin to take part in the cause of the labor unions there. In particular they/we were concerned that Governor Walker was making a direct attack on public worker unions using budgetary savings as an excuse to gut unions in that state. (Never mind that he also wants to sell off the infrastructure to private firms, and in other way destroy the state's infrastructure and virtually give it to profit making folk for their sole benefit.) As many as 100,000, perhaps even 250,000 people were in Madison, Wisconsin, over that time period before Governor Walker illegally maneuvered to pass the anti-union bill he wanted even though it didn't really save the state any money.

Shortly thereafter the volunteers in MoveOn decided we should have rallies in every state capitol to support the state workers in Wisconsin and unions in general. Since I live in Frankfort, our state capitol, it was an easy call for me to be part of the event here in Kentucky. Another MoveOn person picked me up and took me to the place where we were assembling, in front of the Capitol building. With only four days notice between beginning plans and the action at the capitol nearly 500 people showed up with the purpose of advocating the restoration of the American Dream.

The enthusiasm, attitudes of compassion and caring, speeches about progressive causes including the unions, music, chants, and conversation were big motivators for me and others.

It was time for even more involvement of people to try to prevent the USA from becoming a third world country by "giving away the farm, the country, the communication infrastructure, and the income levels to a small number of folk who are very wealthy and whose incomes are increasing while the less affluent work harder and have their own incomes going down over periods of time. This called for more local action.

One of the MoveOn people in our area suggested I give it a try in Frankfort; and the next thing you know I am the Council Coordinator for the council at Frankfort. We had our first rally, in front of the Paul Sawyier gallery with relatively good attendance of eighteen persons. "Blue in the Bluegrass" posted this about our rally: "Recently, a dozen protesters in downtown Frankfort chanted and held up signs supporting union workers. Some passers-by honked their car horns or gave thumbs-up, but only one showed hostility by yelling:

"You should thank god for what you have!"

We had our first real council meeting last Wednesday night at 6; and our second will be this coming Wednesday, also at 6. We're meeting in downtown Frankfort at the "Kentucky Coffeetree Cafe" on Broadway. It was a wonderful place to meet.

Now we're planning to attend an event in Louisville and our own Tax Day protest locally.

All of this plus doing voter registration with Max, getting to know a whole lot more local people who are outside my wife's nursing home, and perhaps making a difference for those whose need far exceeds my own.


Japan After Destruction Vs. Kentucky MTR

I was just looking at photos of folk in Japan in the aftermath of their series of disasters. It is hard to imagine going through a huge earthquake, a giant tsunami, nuclear reactor leaks, and even volcanic activity all in one short time period.

Some of the folk were crying while looking at the changes that had happened to their homeland. I know others were crying about loved ones lost as well; but one photo was captioned in that way.

I was surprised to find that as soon as I saw the photos and the reactions to the destruction of homeland, I immediately thought of Mountain Top Removal. The destruction is usually slower. The immediate damage is less obvious. It is generally not dangerous in the immediate sense, though sometimes a flying boulder may crush a house or kill someone.

Yet my homeland in eastern Kentucky is being gradually destroyed. Some of its most beautiful spots have already been degraded. Some of its living rivers have been filled with sludge. Many people have been sickened by what these mines have done in just their routine work.

It may sound callous to some of you; but I found myself grieving in union with the people of Japan for a homeland that has been and is being destroyed from its most vibrant state. My thoughts and prayers are with them and with those in Appalachia.