Stand Up, Americans
May 20, 2006 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"It's time for left and right to come front an center to regrow America from the grassroots up." Swami Beyondananda
Stand Up for Government Of, By and For the People
Stand Up for the Heart and Soul of America
Stand Up for a Healthier Future
If necessity is the mother of invention, then we have one "mother"
of an opportunity! Thanks to the Bush Administration, millions of slumbering Americans have awakened to the clear and present danger of unchecked and unbalanced power. Despite the massive impropaganda campaign, despite the President's bully pulpit (which comes complete with a real bully), despite the "play dead" act of the Democratic Party "leadership" and the "play dumb" act of mainstream media, the President's approval rating is now a few degrees below freezing.
Meanwhile at the other end of the thermometer, the mainstream media (Time Magazine, Vanity Fair and even the Wall Street Journal) have awakened on one front, and acknowledged that the scientists were right about global warming, and fiction-writer Michael Crichton -- whose opinion was seized upon by global warming-deniers -- was simply writing more fiction. As this Administration runs out the clock over the next two years, we can only expect to lose more ground and more precious time. In regards to global warming, the President has told the world to go to hell, which seems redundant. All evidence is that hell is coming here.
The Up-Wising Has Begun As part of what Swami Beyondananda calls the "Up-Wising" -- Americans waking up, wising up and standing up -- many people are coming to the sad realization that government of, by and for the people has become government of, by and for the corporations.
Hackable voting technology (owned by Republicans and not subject to public scrutiny <http://blackboxvoting.org/> ) has cast doubts on the validity of our voting process, and egregious and blatant special-interest legislation gets passed despite public protest. Even the very mainstream Thomas Friedman http://micah.sifry.com/2006/05/third_party_tim.html has called into question what the Swami calls "our two-potty system where both the Democrats and the Republicans have outlived their uselessness."
My two most recent Notes From the Trail pieces -- "Wake Up, America
-- We're Not in Kansas Anymore, Toto" and "The Empty Envelopes Campaign" (to let the Democratic Party leadership that we are no longer willing to support their powerlessness habit) -- both got tremendous popular response. People from all across the political spectrum get that the current corporatocracy (or what Jim Hightower calls a "kleptocracy") benefits just a few, and directly contradicts the intentions of the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and Constitution.
Time for Politics as Unusual Outside the Matrix. But what to do? Do we work to effect regime change by electing a Democratic majority to Congress in the fall? Or do we work to help all Americans move past ideological divisions, which have divided and conquered us to find the unthought-of solutions that will help us avoid the unthinkable? The answer is yes and yes. By all means, work for a sea change by shifting the balance of power away from the Republicans, who have shown for all to see that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
But for the real American (and worldwide) evolution to take place, we the people must step "outside the matrix" and call for and stand for a truly just and transparent system. Or as Swami says, "Time for left and right to come front and center to regrow America from the grassroots up."
Now I'm sure all those sound like a bunch of fancy (and maybe funny) words, but let me assure you, real people from both sides are coming together right now both to confront abusive power and find breakthrough solutions. On a recent trip to Oregon, I met with Jeff Golden, author of As If We Were Grownups <http://asifweweregrownups.org/intro.html> and Jefferson Public Radio morning show host. He and a local Rush Limbaugh sound-alike sponsored a showing of the new film, From Freedom to Fascism. This film comes from right wing libertarian Aaron Russo, and it challenges the Federal Reserve, the IRS, the Patriot Act and the Iraq War. An audience of 500 people -- about half progressives, half conservatives -- stood up together and cheered loudly at the end of the movie. http://www.freedomtofascism.com/ http://www.freedomtofascism.com/about_aaron/about_aaron.html
I also met with Tom Atlee, founder of the Co-Intelligence Institute <http://www.co-intelligence.org/> and author of "The Tao of Democracy." For many years, Tom's work has involved bringing diverse populations together in what he calls "dialogue and deliberation."
What he has discovered is that when "ordinary" citizens are brought together to learn about specific policy areas, they display extraordinary wisdom in coming up with solutions that surpass both the ideologies of left and right and the positions of special interest groups. In British Columbia and elsewhere, citizens chosen "randomly" (skewed to represent a cross-section of society, culture and opinions) have met over time to study an issue, and then have made recommendations to legislative and executive bodies. In an era where the average citizen has been "numbed up and dumbed down" by intelligence-insulting media, this is just the kind of thing to restore the self-esteem of the body politic.
More recently, Tom has been involved in another breakthrough venture.
He has assisted Joseph McCormick, a one-time right-wing Congressional candidate who became disgruntled with our special interest-dominated campaign system, in bringing together some very unlikely groups and individuals in dialogue. Imagine the Sierra Club and the Christian Coalition, MoveOn and Grover Norquist (the one who wants to "drown the government in a bathtub") coming together to find common ground.
Well, it happened. In fact, if you remember earlier this year Al Gore touring with former Republican Representative Bob Barr to raise consciousness about the Bush Administration's abrogation of the Constitution -- this was set in motion by just such a dialogue.
So ... are we about to enter an era of political peace where the elephant lies down with the donkey? Probably not. More likely, we are entering a very exciting era where we the people leave both of those lying beasts lying there and move on to a more constructive and effective approach to dealing with the massive crisis / opportunity in front of us. Global warming, for example. Could ordinary citizens actually come up with a better plan than political parties who are beholden to special interests? A better question might be, could they do worse?
Which brings us to the purpose of this email. As a growing number of Americans come to realize that pay-to-play corporate interests and secret cabals have more to say about government policy than any million citizens do, as we come to the scary realization that we now have a self-elected dictator-in-chief, the question comes up: How do we restore government of the people, by the people and for the people where the government does our bidding not the bidding of the highest bidder? How do we "overgrow" the current bad news system and press the press to report both the real bad news and the real good news? And how do we find ways to use the highest intentions of our hearts and the greatest wisdom of our minds to find solutions to the grave problems we face -- at a higher level than the problem?
Stand Up, Americans. Lady Liberty Needs YOU!
Shortly after I published my "Wake Up, America" piece, I got an email from Kosta Makreas, a Bay Area computer programmer. He was particularly intrigued with the suggestion that we "pray for the heart and soul of America." We set up a meeting with him and his wife, Hollis Polk, a coach and radio host. As we discussed what we could do to graphically represent this "upsurgency" of citizen awareness in the light of abusive power, we all remembered the very popular and "viral"
Sorry Everybody website <http://www.sorryeverybody.com/> that popped up after the 2004 election where Americans took photos of themselves holding signs "apologizing" to the world for the "re-election" of George Bush, then posting them online. The result is a new website -- so new it is still under construction -- called Stand Up Americans.
You can click on it to read our mission statement and see a compelling cartoon by my friend and associate Brian Narelle.http://www.standupamericans.com/
In the short-run -- in time for July 4th -- we are calling on Americans to call attention to the need to impeach not just this regime but also our entire impeachable corporatocracy in a fun and unusual way: By baking an Impeach Cobbler, sharing it with friends and family on July 4th, and putting the pits in one of those empty envelopes to mail to the leadership of both political parties to let them know that WE know the current system is "the pits." Then, we're asking people to take photos of the cobbler, take photos of themselves "standing up" in public -- with friends, family, and community -- and holding signs saying what they are standing for. Email us the photos, and we will post them.
In addition, we are calling on the people of the world to "pray for the heart and soul of America" -- the values of freedom, creative imagination and citizen sovereignty that has inspired real "freedom fighters" around the world for two centuries (freedom fighters who all-too-often were thwarted, not supported, by our own government). We want to let the people of the world know that a growing number of Americans are ready for an "evolution" where we lead the world, only this time by example. And we want to post these photos of prayers and support from around the world.
At a time when the people of America and the people of Iran truly have something in common -- both countries are ruled by dictatorial religious fundamentalists willing to bluff their way into nuclear war
-- perhaps a movement like this could lead to a new level of online citizen diplomacy. Perhaps -- unlike Iraq -- a real people's insurgency can happen with the support of American citizens, not its military. Too idealistic? Well, maybe the ideal is a better choice than the raw deal we seem to be facing.
If you want to see a true people's movement to take back America -- and take it forward -- here's how you can participate at this very beginning stage:
1. Go towww.standupamericans.com and read the draft of our "humanifesto." Sign up for updates.
2. Check out the Impeach Cobbler recipe, and share it with friends and family. Bake one, and tell everyone why.
3. Stand up with signs this July 4th, and tell the world what you are standing for (and what you won't stand for any longer).
In order to grow this website and entire movement, we need funding and in-kind services. As you will see from the very rudimentary page we have up, we need artistic web design. We require someone to screen and post in-coming photos, and some ongoing funding to create and support our database and hosting. We also want your input and skills
-- whether as visionaries, networkers, funding-finders, business plan writers, etc. Ultimately, we want to represent tens of millions of Americans who want to apply our human and technical resources to facing and transforming the worldwide problems we face into world-changing opportunities. Help us create an America that leads by inner power instead of outer force, where perhaps for the first time anywhere we do have government of, by and for the people.
Wake Up Laughing Productions | 400 West Third Street | Suite D-144 | Santa Rosa | CA | 95401
Keth Luke, editor,
The Divine Tune-Up Team: Jan Carter, Dr Light, our Angels, Cosmic, ET, and Earthly Crew