Movement Lies We Tell Ourselves – Post #1

liars1-300x206On October 17, Julie Quiroz posted “Movement Lies We Tell Ourselves – Post #1” on the “Let’s Talk: At the Heart of Movement Building” site, which is a Movement Strategy Center blog.

That essay begins:

My co-workers and I have started a running list of movement lies we tell ourselves.  Or tell each other.  Or allow to be told even when we’re squirming in our seat.  These are myths, delusions, and either/or’s that hold us all back from creating the impact we seek.

I found her essay to be quite compelling and recommend it to your attention.

The essay prompted me to post a comment, which led to a dialog. That interaction in the Comments section may be of interest to you as well. To read the essay, click here.


The Spiritual Activist

SpiritualActivistCoverWEB copy.img_assist_customThe Spiritual Activist: Practices to Transform Your Life, Your Work, and Your World (Penguin Compass, 2002) is a practical guide to individual and social transformation through spirit and faith. Written by stone circles’ Executive Director Claudia Horwitz, the book includes activities to help reconnect with core values and beliefs, questions for reflection, resources, and stories from socially conscious leaders discussing their lives and their spiritual practices.

Excerpt from Part One: REFUGE: Turning Inward, Finding Strength

Animals threatened with extinction and in need of protection often find themselves in a refuge, a place of safety and nourishment. To lead a sane and beautiful life, we, too, need a space of quiet and deep rest where we can turn inward and find strength. In this place, we find compassion, tranquility, love, strength, and a sense of ease. The seed of our renewal lies in our ability to develop practices of mindfulness, a language of spirit and a reconnection with the body. If we don’t find refuge within ourselves, we will always be asking others to be what they are not meant to be.

“Obama: The First Term Did It” (plus more)

Obama: The First Term Did It

By Elizabeth Drew

…Obama’s governing style in his first term lit the fuse for his second term. Politically-driven decisions on the health care law along with a failure to understand some of the rudiments of governing have resulted in his current difficulties. It’s far from over of course, but should his proudest achievement fail to work—its outcome not at all certain at this point—the rest of what he does in his second term may not matter much.


NSA spied on porn habits, HuffPo reports
By Alistair Barr

The National Security Agency collected evidence of online sexual activity and visits to pornographic websites as part of a proposed plan to harm the reputations of six people the agency considered “radicalizers,” the Huffington Post reported, citing documents released by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden….


President Obama’s DreamWorks Economy and the Challenge for Democrats
By Robert Borosage

…the problem is that the president wants to sell this economy. By next year’s elections, he’ll be in his sixth year and he wants Americans to know that “America has largely fought our way back. We’ve made the tough choices not just to help the economy recovery, but to rebuild it on a new foundation.”…

Americans have a clear opinion about Republicans, whose popularity has hit new lows. But they are sensibly skeptical about Democrats and politicians in general.


Here’s why Wall Street has a hard time being ethical
By Chris Arnade

A new report finds 53% of financial services executives say that adhering to ethical standards inhibits career progression at their firm. A former Wall Street trader describes why

Berman, Mill, and Rousseau on Authenticity


Marshall Berman

As an epigram at the beginning of the “A New Morality: The Authentic Man” chapter of his book, The Politics of Authenticity: Radical Individualism and the Emergence of Modern Society, Marshall Berman uses the following quote from John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty:

Human nature is not a machine to be built after a model, and set to exactly the work prescribed for it, but a tree, which requires to grow and develop itself on all sides, according to the tendency of inward forces that make it a living thing.

In the first paragraph, Berman comments:

The Machine is understood to symbolize everything that is rigid, compulsive, externally determined or imposed, deadening or dead; the Tree represents all man’s capacity for life, freedom, spontaneity, expressiveness, growth, self-development — in our terms, authenticity.

…The paradox of modernity was that the machine was an outgrowth of the tree.

Rousseau tried to look this paradox in the face and live with it: to think it through, as we would say today, dialectically. He aimed neither to integrate modern men into the machine, nor to blow it up.

Later in the chapter, Berman quotes Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Emile:

Life is not breath, but action; to live is to make use of our organs, our senses, our faculties, every part of ourselves which gives us the feeling of our own existence. The man who has lived longest is not he who has passed the greatest number of years, but he who has most felt life.

Launching “Wade’s Wire”

DSC00315Today I began publishing Wade’s Wire. This blog will be like Facebook in one respect. I will post “’what’s on my mind.” But unlike Facebook, readers can subscribe and receive posts via email. Or they can go to the site and see posts quickly and easily. In this way, people who don’t do Facebook or who miss my Facebook posts because of how Facebook works can more easily stay in touch.

Initially, posts on Wade’s Wire will be placed in the following categories:
• News/Opinion — Links and information about current events and op-ed columns
• Essays — Written by myself or others
• Photos/Videos
• Quotes
• Resources — Information about resources of potential interest to readers
• Wade’s Journal — Reflections and reports on my personal life

I’ll post to Wade’s Wire no more than three times a day.

You can subscribe now if you click here to visit the home page, enter your email address in the subscribe box, click Subscribe, and reply to the autoreply email you receive to verify that you want to subscribe.

And please consider letting me know what you think by submitting a comment on the site for the whole world to see.

“Left-Right” Alliances

Alliance Party 2008 logo

This article in The New York Times, “Conservative Leads Effort to Raise Minimum Wage in California,” illustrates both the potential and common road blocks for forming “left-right” coalitions of the sort that I advocate in “Building Compassionate Populism.”

On the one hand, the article reports:

Ron Unz, a Silicon Valley millionaire, rose to fame by promoting a ballot initiative that essentially eliminated bilingual education in California. He went on to become publisher of The American Conservative, a libertarian-leaning magazine.

But after decades in the conservative movement, Mr. Unz is pursuing a goal that has stymied liberals: raising the minimum wage.

A promising development, no? But the article concludes:

Steve Smith, a spokesman for the California Labor Federation, was hardly enthusiastic when informed of Mr. Unz’s plans.

“He has not shown a great deal of support for workers’ issues in the past and was nowhere to be seen in the legislative debate here, so it’s not really clear what the motivation is here,” Mr. Smith said. “But he is saying some things that are the same as what we’ve been saying all along.”

As I argued in my “Building Compassionate Populism“:

Knee-jerk reactions lead activists to oppose an idea if the wrong people propose it, and support an idea if the right people propose it, in order to strengthen their own movement.

I’m afraid this incident reflects what I was talking about. Hopefully in this case, the California Labor Federation will reconsider its initial reaction and explore the possibility of a fruitful alliance on this issue.

Pope Challenges Unfettered Capitalism (plus more)

Pope Francis leads a mass at St Peter's basilica

John Francis Callahan shared this on Facebook:

Pope Francis calls unfettered capitalism ‘tyranny’ and urges rich to share wealth

Pontiff’s first major publication calls on global leaders to guarantee work, education and healthcare



Rob Waters posted this to Facebook:

My latest in Forbes: New series profiles healthcare innovators working to transform their communities


 End the N.S.A. Dragnet, Now

By Ron Wyden, Mark Udall and Martin Heinrich

…In spite of our repeated requests, the N.S.A. has not provided evidence of any instance when the agency used this program to review phone records that could not have been obtained using a regular court order or emergency authorization….


 A Little Light in the Dark Corridors of Power
By Jeff Fauz

…Now comes Larry Summers — one of the chief designers of the policies that led to our current economic morass — suggesting in a November 8 speech to the International Monetary Fund that this fundamental assumption does not square with observed reality….

Whether through intention or ignorance, lower wages or another unsustainable bout of speculation are the logical consequence of the bi-partisan commitment to austerity that now rules Washington.

It is difficult to believe that many in Summers’ audience at the IMF do not understand this. But the policy implications — i.e., actually doing something about the trade deficit, the misallocation of capital and the corporate war against workers — are too radical for the financial interests that support their careers….


13 Things Mentally Strong People Avoid (plus more)

Clear, concise, convincing:

Mentally Strong People: The Thirteen Things They Avoid



Concerning this link, Vicki Wolf commented:

Happy Thanksgiving!

42 Flowers You Can Eat


Concerning this link, Sara Colm commented:

Another example of mapping put to good use — SF’s anti-eviction mapping project graphically reveals the politics of displacement in the Bay Area, thereby “visibilizing what gentrification and displacement seek to invisibilize.”

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project