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    Modern-Day Fabians

    June 6, 2007 by Brandy Vencel

    I am spending the afternoon editing some photos, so rather than writing, I will connect some dots originally written (or spoken) by other folks. Before I begin, though, let me just say that it is June, and I remember distinctly that on this day {or was it yesterday on that day?} in 1996 I graduated from high school and it was one hundred and five degrees and I thought that I might perish from the heat while wearing a dress and nylons and heels and cap and gown all at the same time. Today, however, it is not quite eighty and feels more like the middle of March. What a wonderful, breezy afternoon!

    Continuing on:

    From The Creature from Jekyll Island by Griffin:

    The Fabians were an elite group of intellectuals who formed a semi-secret society for the purpose of bringing socialism to the world. Whereas Communists wanted to establish socialism quickly through violence and revolution, the Fabians preferred to do it slowly through propaganda and legislation. The word socialism was not to be used. Instead, they would speak of benefits for the people such as welfare, medical care, higher wages, and better working conditions. In this way, they planned to accomplish their objective without bloodshed and even without serious opposition. They scorned the Communists, not because they disliked their goals, but because they disagreed with their methods. To emphasize the importance of gradualism, they adopted the turtles as the symbol of their movement.

    Hillary Clinton on strengthening the middle class:

    As president, Hillary will:

  • Make health care affordable and accessible to every American.
  • Reduce the cost of energy and make us energy independent.
  • Expand access to affordable, high-quality child care.
  • Make college more affordable.
  • Protect families from predatory lenders and help them avoid foreclosures.
  • Increase the minimum wage.
  • Create good jobs with good wages to expand the middle class.
  • Balance the federal budget so we don’t pass today’s massive debts to the next generation.
  • Reward savings, protect pensions, and provide greater retirement security.
  • John Edwards on eliminating poverty at the Sojourners Forum:

    I think it’s a completely achievable agenda. There are lots of components to that agenda. Making work pay, having a living wage, making sure that workers can organize themselves into unions, having decent housing for families that don’t have it, having true universal health care, helping kids be able to go to college, which is why I started a college for everyone program for kids in a very poor section of eastern North Carolina. And I believe this is an agenda that should be the agenda — one of the agendas — part of the agenda of the president of the United States, so there’s not much doubt about where I am on this issue.

    Barak Hussein Obama on healthcare:

    Obama expects his presidency to be judged on whether he provides high-quality affordable health care coverage for all by the end of his first term.

    Barak Hussein Obama on poverty and education:

    So one of my major commitments would be to make sure that we’re expanding early childhood education to everybody who needs it. And by the way, that starts before pre-k, zero to 3.

    [snip]

    There’s wonderful programs that I’m going to be putting forward as models for what we can do nationally, where nurses are matched up with at-risk parents, particularly teenage parents, just so that they can be shown, you know, how to provide proper nutrition to their child, how to read to them, how to play with them, how to engage with them so that they are equipped when they get to school. So that would be an example of government action.

    [snip]

    And that will require a government investment in transitional jobs because, in some cases, the private sector won’t hire people.

    [snip]

    We may need to provide them the kinds of job training support they are not currently getting.

    [snip]

    And so we’ve got to make work pay. That means that we’ve got to increase the minimum wage.

    Ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country can do for you? Sometimes watching a presidential campaign reminds me of watching an ASB President race in high school. Some 17-year-old kid promises everyone a free soda and voters flock to him like flies to fly paper. Of course, once a fly is stuck to flypaper, it has lost all of its freedom.

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    2 Comments

  • Reply Brandy June 8, 2007 at 3:22 am

    Boiling the frog, indeed! I think that our generation has more than forgotten the horrors of Communism–I think they are mystified as to why previous generations thought it was so horrible. I am sure part of this is due to public schooling. I don’t know about you, but those who taught me civics, history, and “economics” would feel quite at home in the Bay Area.

  • Reply Rahime June 6, 2007 at 11:44 pm

    Maybe its like boiling the frog…if we implement these ideas gradually no one will notice. It’s amazing to me after all the fear and horror of Communism during the Cold War how far we can come in a few generations. Communism, here we come!

    To listen to Bay Area people talk though, you’d think the Democratic candidates were demi-gods.

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