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I have been active in politics since i was an adolescent, a period now of more than 5 decades.

I have often been willing to support politicians with whom I had some strong disagreements on the issues, perhaps because I believed they were as good as we were likely to get.

As I get older, the world seems to go by far more quickly.  And while I do not have biological children, I think of the future in terms of the several thousands who passed through my care before i retired from teaching at the end of this school year.

Because I think of them, because I am concerned about the world and nation we will be leaving them, I have come to find myself at the point where I am far less inclined to support in any fashion those unwilling to think honestly about the rights and needs of all of our people.

So below the fold, I will offer what is for now a tentative list of items that are not negotiable for me.  

At a minimum it means I will not offer financial support.  It may well mean that I cannot bring myself to write/advocate on behalf of someone's candidacy, and/or cast a vote for that person.

This is still a work in progress, which I admit.

But there are times where we must make clear our values, and be prepared to take a stand on their behalf.

Full rights for all on an inclusive basis it the underlying principle for all of the following items that should not be negotiable

- no one should ever be discriminated against on the basis of race, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age unless the government can show a truly compelling state interest

- full marriage equality, recognized not merely state by state, but at a national level, recognizing that marriage should be considered a fundamental right of all persons

- a return to the original constitutional understanding that a "person" was a living, breathing human being, and nothing else

- that when Constitutional Amendments say "person" that prohibits the government from making distinctions among humans on the basis of alleged terrorist activities or immigration status

- that because the air we breath and the water we drink are a common inheritance to which not only we but the rest of the natural world are entitled, companies and individuals shall be held to account for the damage done to these, by taxes, fines, criminal punishments

- that since all benefit from public facilities such as schools, roads, the military, all shall pay according to the benefit they have received, which shall be best judged by the income and wealth they have accumulated

- that we shall cease and desist from privatizing the commons, be it schools, the social safety net, or anything else, and shall attempt to reverse such privatization as has occurred - this includes prisons, public schools, public libraries,

- that all are entitled to a life not threatened by lack of access to affordable health care, including reproductive services, mental health, and dental and vision care.  We in the United States are far from a leader in caring for our people, and this needs to be changed immediately

- that the amount of money one has should not give one a bigger voice in governing the nation, which means we must find a way of restricting the damage money currently does to our political processes

- that Dwight Eisenhower was right when he warned us about the military-industrial-congressional complex (that was his original formulation), and that we need to stop the wasteful spending on wars of choice, on interventions that have little to do with either stopping imminent or ongoing slaughters

- that we recognize that unrestricted accumulation of wealth into private hands is contrary to the ideals of a democratic republic as laid out by our founding documents -  it is time to have both a healthy graduated income tax and a healthy inheritance tax, one that does not allow loopholes such as generation-skipping trusts

- that someone believes in their religion does not give them the right to impose their religious values upon the rest of us - if you cannot make an argument other than on the basis of your religious beliefs, you do not have a valid argument

- all workers should have the right to freely organize together and collectively bargain - it may be the only way to provide a counterbalance to the accumulation of wealth and power

- that when productivity goes up, workers are entitled to share in the revenues thereby generated

- all person should be entitled to a secure future after they can no longer work.  That means either expanding Social Security and including all and making it universal (some are now excluded) or moving to restore defined benefit pensions in the private sector

- that it is past time we join most of the rest of the civilized world and ban capital punishment

This list is incomplete.  The items on it remain more than a little inchoate.  My thinking is far from being finished.

I only know this - that if I am not willing to stand myself on matters of principle, I can hardly expect our politicians to act as I might want.

This is my list

This is my thinking.

Do with it what you will.

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Comment Preferences

  •  have been doing a lot of reflecting recently (9+ / 0-)

    which is in part why I have been posting less

    this began to come together in my mind this afternoon, so even though it is not yet complete, I thought I would share it

    do with it what you will

    "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

    by teacherken on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 01:34:19 PM PDT

  •  Your list is my list (5+ / 0-)

    and banning the death penalty! ;>

    "We're not a democracy." -- Gore Vidal

    by figurine on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 01:40:59 PM PDT

  •  Good list, a few suggestions (6+ / 0-)

    all citizens shall not have their voting rights curtailed, be it felons, no ID, etc and voting should be made easier (more early voting, vote by mail) and equal (proportional # voting machines/ballots to population), and enrollment automatic upon eligibility and easier process for changing residency and name changes

    an Apollo plan to get rid of fossil fuels, massively expand mass transit, and a windfall profits tax on past oil leases and future leases % based on price of oil

    "There is no barrier of people's acceptance. The only barrier is the media. Remember what people cannot see or hear, they cannot think about." - liner notes of Soft Cell's 'The Art of Falling Apart'.

    by dugjxn on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 01:54:54 PM PDT

  •  Brilliant...n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Killer of Sacred Cows

    Facts are liberally bias

    by SuzieQ4624 on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 01:55:00 PM PDT

  •  I had a guy that worked for me years ago (7+ / 0-)

    Who was the living opposite to your point:

    that since all benefit from public facilities such as schools...all shall pay according to the benefit they have received...
    He felt that since he didn't have children, he shouldn't be required to pay taxes to support schools.  What really wrapped it up was that his father was a retired AF Colonel, so till this guy got out of school, everything he gotten in life was at tax payer expense.  He never felt that he owed anything in return to his community for them proving for his upbringing

    “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

    by markdd on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 01:55:16 PM PDT

    •  School property taxes can be crushing. Needs to (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      markdd, JeffW, luckylizard

      be a better system so families don't jam into "better" districts at the expense of poorer performing (usually multiracial) districts. We are childless (how about a carbon credit?) and paid exorbitant school taxes on our former home.

      Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

      by the fan man on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 02:08:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not necessarily arguing the about correct (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        the fan man, luckylizard, ER Doc

        amount of taxes.  The situation above occurred just outside of Atlanta, GA, in Gwinnett Co.  Gwinnett Co. was majority white back then, probably still is.  The schools were administered on a countywide basis.  In the mid '90's I was paying about $1,800/ year in property taxes (school, roads, whatever) on an 1800 sqft house, as well as 2-3 cents on the dollar sales taxes for various school bond issues.  Both of my kids are dyslexic, and the public schools were unable to help them.  I ended up paying $10-15,000 per year in tuition for a private school that could help them.

        Before my daughter was out of high school, I moved to Eden Prairie, MN.  The house was bigger, 3700 sqft and the taxes were higher ~6400 per year.  The school district provided the assistance she needed with her disability.  I'm thinking I got a much better deal in MN.

        “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

        by markdd on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 02:34:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We paid over $4000 JUST for school on a (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          1100 sq ft single family on a 40x140 in a lower middle income area of Westchester NY. Our neighbors on either side had two families, both rentals had children attending school. Their property tax was less than ours. (Long time residents, hadn't been reassessed.)

          Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

          by the fan man on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 03:18:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Assessments / Reassessments (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            the fan man

            Now that's a whole 'nother kettle-o-fish.

            I remember Gwinnett Co did a full up reassessment one year.  Wow what a mess, one 10,000 sqft lot got assessed for 3 single story dwellings totaling over 80,000 sqft on the lot.

            Usually the con was that the millage rate had to be voted on, but they could vary the assessment at will.

            “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

            by markdd on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 03:27:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  In Japan (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        the fan man, Sunspots

        school teachers are rotated among schools in economically different districts.

        In say Fairfax County, Virginia, such a teacher rotation system might mean teaching one year in say in middle-class Reston, the second year in upper-class McLean, the next year in lower income Hybla Valley, and the fourth year in an immigrant rich Fall Church suburb.

        The fifth year would mean back to Reston to repeat the four-year cycle.

      •  Property taxes just aren't the right source (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        the fan man, Mostel26

        Schools should be paid for out of progressive income taxes, statewide, not a tax on property.  

        At least there's some income to take school support out of - house value is not an income source.

  •  Common sense seems to inform each of your points (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, luckylizard

    Most certainly you would be labeled un-American by the those who lack this sense.

    Roman Catholic by birth---thoroughly confused by life.

    by alasmoses on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 02:47:08 PM PDT

  •  What is your opinion on George Washington (0+ / 0-)

    and his warning towards interventionism and entangling alliances?  

    IMHO both, including entangling alliances between the USA and others represents the core problem that has led to the decline of America status for most Americans,  while mega wealth for the few.

    Victims of bigotry are the poorest, least influential members of society.......never the wealthiest, most educated, most overrepresented in high levels, and most influential. Bigotry hurts the least influential. To claim or say otherwise is absurd.

    by dailykozzer on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 04:46:10 PM PDT

    •  Isolationism is no longer an option. (0+ / 0-)

      Moreover, your premise must be wrong: prior to WWI, when the US was basically isolationist, we had the same and more frequent boom-bust economic cycles and the same tendency towards social stratification, perhaps even more so.  The problems in American society are really of domestic origin and are attributable to unenlightened human behavior.

  •  How does this list gibe with Dem actions? (0+ / 0-)

    Are you still voting for Dem candidates?

    How many divisions does OWS have?

    by Diebold Hacker on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:52:35 PM PDT

    •  Doubt I'd find a Republican (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc

      in a case where my vote might make a difference between a Democrat who meets most of these and a Republican, I will probably vote for the Dem.  But I will not give money, blog on her/his behalf, volunteer, even if I hold my nose & vote.

      I know that for some people it takes time to work through previous attitudes, as it did the President on gay marriage.

      I know a candidate for office who is opposed to death penalty, but has problems with gay marriage (although supports civil unions) and because Virginia is a right to work state will not come out against that.  That is two issues that are important to me.  I am giving no further money, and will not volunteer for the campaign, nor will you see me writing about it here.

      I will wait until closer to the election to see if my vote might make a difference.  If it does not, one way or the other, I will not vote in that campaign.  And as many of the candidates for whom I am able to vote run in elections that are not competitive, if this happens to be one, I won't be voting.

      "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

      by teacherken on Thu Jun 28, 2012 at 04:31:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  love the list (0+ / 0-)

    TeacherKen is still teaching.

    I'd like to nominate one more item for your list, on the topic of the broken penal system in the U.S.

    The goal of the criminal justice system shall be balanced between rehabilitation and punishment, with the social interest frequently best served with a goal of returning the individual to live productively in society.

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