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OneGrassRoot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 08:57 AM
Original message
KO + Poverty Awareness + DUers doing something constructive! :)

It's too hard keeping a thread beyond the recommendation period kicked, so I've created this new OP to please ask people to check out this thread and consider the following as an action item.

Within that thread, bobbolink had a GREAT idea to write Keith. If he would focus on bringing awareness of the facts as they concern poverty and homelessness to the forefront, it would be a huge thank you from him to his progressive listeners. Everyone needs more enlightenment about this issue, the general populace, including the progressive community, and those living in poverty. I also suggest that some of those with resources may be educable, too (link to specific post)

There are such excellent discussions within the original thread noted above that I thought perhaps we could, en masse, send his show links to that thread, including SPECIFIC links to the posts that contain vital information to raise awareness about the issue of poverty and homelessness.

They're smart; we don't have to spoon feed them. ;)

I'll repeat my rant:

While I support Keith and the message people were trying to send to MSNBC, the energy put behind the Campaign for Keith was stunning. I just can't accept that we cannot do that for an issue is critical as poverty. That's why I'm like a dog with a bone and annoying people. I know we can DO something as individuals, as a group here at DU, as citizens within our communities...something important. Several somethings, actually, attacking the issue at multiple levels.

We could be DOING so much more, IMHO, instead of screaming and bitching and whining about the hopelessness of it all....

All of the feelings are valid, I'm just suggesting we can take that energy and focus it with positive actions to at least try to change things. Many are tired, brutally tired, and I respect that.

But for those of us who have energy to get behind reinstating a favored media person, we should have the energy to fight for our own rights and freedoms, and we MUST speak up on behalf of those who are increasingly made invisible and without a voice.

:rant:

Please note that next week is National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Here are two great links that were probably mentioned somewhere in the original OP but I'm posting again as there is a lot of great information at this site:

http://www.nationalhomeless.org/projects/awareness/inde...
http://www.nationalhomeless.org/want_to_help/index.html

So, any thoughts regarding the best way to approach an email campaign to Keith and others as ONE action we at DU can take ASAP? Do you think sending a link to that original OP, with a targeted focus on several of the most informative posts is a good idea? I will be in and out of here throughout the day, but if you guys feel this is a viable approach, indicating the posts you feel would be most helpful and effective in forwarding to KO would be much appreciated. :hi:

I'm once again sharing a video based on a poem a friend of mine, who has lived in poverty her entire life, wrote: My Name is Not "Those People" (by Julia Dinsmore. That video/poem says so much.....

Thanks. :)



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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 09:06 AM
Response to Original message
1. Keith's favorite charity seems to be Remote Area Medical.
Edited on Tue Nov-09-10 09:07 AM by Ian David
I suggest we do something with that.



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OneGrassRoot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 09:15 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I've written to KO and Rachel and the people who did the free clinics...

Asking them to PLEASE consider a free clinic tour focused on free dental, eye, and hearing care.

No response. :(

So many DUers, and obviously others throughout the country, are in dire need. (I'm posting in a day or two about another DUer in need of dental care, via Wishadoo, and will start a once or twice weekly Wishadoo thread highlighting DUers' needs, with the permission of Skinner.)

Maybe if we can get Keith and Rachel to focus on poverty awareness, I can help coordinate campaigns via Wishadoo to 1) help DUers in need (which I'm doing anyway) and 2) help raise funds for a dental/vision/hearing free clinic tour if Keith and others will help with connections to get it jump started.

Honestly, I'd rather those with resources fund the free clinics; so many people are barely getting by. It's not fair to keep asking people to give, give, give, when there are those who already have, have, have plenty. They should do it because IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO. THAT is the campaign I'd like KO to get behind, too. Help me get those with resources on board to DO THE RIGHT THING.

http://www.ramusa.org/about/mission.htm


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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. They already do dental. Not sure about eye and hearing. n/t
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. Good. So we're back to charity, rather than awareness. Fine.
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OneGrassRoot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. No. The OP stands, I was responding to Ian David's post.

Again, I believe we can multitask.

Bobbolink, I respectfully ask that you refrain from comments like this. There are many people hesitant to engage in threads about poverty -- well-meaning people...people with good hearts who have a lot of respect for YOU -- but they're afraid you're going to jump down their throats with the most benign comment or question from them.

Please, let's see if people will actually DO this, what was suggested in the OP.



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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. I will continue to speak up against charity.
Edited on Tue Nov-09-10 10:06 AM by bobbolink
YOU wanted me to be involved... YOU wanted me to give my ideas, when I told you that even my very life is threatened (and NO comment on that!), yet when I give my ideas, it is either ignored or turned back into what we already know is NOT changing poverty.

I repeat... I will continue to speak up against charity. If people are so fragile that they can't hear the need to change directions on what is already not working, then they need to recognize that *they* are part of the problem.

Your reply to that appeal for charity WAS supportive of charity, and that is what I reacted to.

You put MY name on this "idea", then it morphs into what I am against. So, since your main focus with Wishadoo is charity, please take my name off of this. I will not give any support to one more focus on charity.


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OneGrassRoot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Okay, this is the final thing I'm going to write to you on here.

I often refrain from responding because 1) we've said pretty much everything there is to say, on DU and off of DU; 2) interacting with you inevitably takes the focus off of the original message people are posting about.

You and I don't communicate well at all, and I take responsibility for that. I have concern about you as another human being. I have truly tried my very best to help, repeatedly.

I appreciate that you have also tried to help within any threads I start.

I can only express my apologies and my concern so much. You either believe it and accept it or not. Your choice.

I will work on this issue to the best of my ability as I am so led, but in order not to veer from the original intent of raising awareness and DOING something, I will no longer respond to you.

I do wish you well and hope others are able to engage much more effectively than I have.



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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. The feeling is mutual. Since you want this public, that is fine.. I will play.
I have given you so much energy and time because you wanted MY ideas. Then it always morphs into YOUR thing, for YOUR purposes.

I went against my best instincts yesterday to devote so much time and energy to your plea, knowing that my ideas will mostly be ignored. If you take my ideas at all, it becomes something that suits YOUR needs.

I don't want MY name associated with more charity, and I have been very clear on that. It is sad that you won't join in explaining to people why charity isn't changing poverty, but since that is your main focus, and my ideas clearly will be changed to fit in with your purpose, it is time to go our separate ways.

Very, very sad.
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OneGrassRoot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. *sighs*

Since you edited your original post to which I replied saying it was my last, I feel I must respond now.

I don't know how the original OP is charity. I simply don't. It's a project to get KO involved to raise awareness.

I responded to the first person who posted, in a way you obviously dislike.

There is no "taking" of your idea and turning it into charity.

If KO and other media people focus on raising awareness of poverty through segments on their show, isn't that a good thing? There is no charity there. It is awareness raising, something I would think you would be fully supportive of.

Now, I truly won't respond beyond this point, even if you edit another post.



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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. **sigh** I edited it right away..... I would really appreciate it if you wouldn't make this an
effort to make me be the bad guy.

Again, your response to the poster reiterated that the medical charity was good and should be followed up, and that you will do so. You still have time to change the wording on that, if you wish.

It is just sad to take the idea of someone who you KNoW has strong feelings against the promotion of more RW-approved charity, and to keep her name on it and move it in that direction. I wouldn't do that to you or anyone else. It is a matter of respect. Common courtesy.
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bigmonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #8
20. Have you written about your anti-charity position?
It's obviously strongly held.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Many, many times. There are DUers who have chosen to listen, and now understand
why some of us have spoken out about this, and why charity is damaging in the long run.

Others choose not to hear. It doesn't seem to matter to them that TEAPARTIERS want charity, and their position is that charity is the ONLY solution. You would think that alone would affect "progressive" thought, but many just don't want to move from their rut.

Here is a very strong quote about charity for you to consider:

U.G. Krishnamurti said:

"Charity is the filthiest invention of the human mind: first you steal what belongs to everyone; then you use the policeman and the atom bomb to protect it. You give charity to prevent the have-nots from rebelling against you. It also makes you feel less guilty. All do-gooders feel 'high' when they do good."

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bigmonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Reminds me of something Jim Wallis says in his book "Faith Works"
He quotes Archbishop Dom Helder Cmara of Brazil:
When I feed the poor, they call me a saint. But when I ask why they are poor, they call me a Communist.

I think there is a real point in what you say, in that charity can serve merely to palliate the consequences of structural harm, and to soothe the consciences of those who otherwise act rapaciously. But why not do both, help and change the way things work.

It's not clear to me that letting the pain grow from chronic to searing will necessarily result in the creation of a better structure. When the pain gets intense, it wakes people up, but it also makes them desparate for a short-term solution.

The unions, during the strikes in the early 20th century, did both - "charitable" help for each other in material support combined with collective action. As I've been repeating recently, it's a response of "yes, and..." to the plea for help, not a response of "no, not unless ..."
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. That is one of my very favorite quotations, and the chapter from that book on
"Listening To Those Closest To The Problem" is one of THE most important chapters for everyone to read! In fact, thank you for mentioning it... I haven't thought of it for a long time, and it needs to be repeated. The last time I saw Jim Wallis in person, I mentioned that chapter to him, and he said, "You are right.. it is a very important piece. We have a very hard time getting people to hear that, but when they do, they find out just how right it is." (I am paraphrasing... I don't remember his exact words, but that is the exact spirit of what he said, and he was quite emphatic about it.)

I am assuming you are sincere in listening to what *I* am saying, too. So I will go forward on that assumption. Yes, there is merit and even need for both.

Here is the problem...

First: This society is so besotted with charity, and that is the desire of the libertarians and TeaPartiers (I hope you digested what I was saying about that!), and by continually reaching for charity, "progressives" are giving them exactly what they want.

Second: As I keep saying, we have relied on charity to solve homelessness now for over 30 years, and it just keeps getting worse. Why keep doing what is not working? Because it then leaves us free to keep blaming homeless people for the failure?

The only time I actually will see the value of charity is when it is coupled with a STRONG (dare I say "robust"?) push for systemic ACTION.

THIRD, and probably Most important... Homeless people don't WANT charity... they WANT to be able to house ourselves decently, to feed ourselves decently, and to use our gifts to the benefit of society, rather than chasing from one charity to another just to survive.

I really don't think that is too much to ask in the richest country in the world.
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bigmonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. I'm not entirely in line with what you are saying, but ...
Edited on Tue Nov-09-10 05:51 PM by bigmonkey
On your:

1) I actually can agree with the "bad guys" on the goal of solving homelessness with charity, but it seems a pipe dream. I can agree with it as an aim, because I think decentralized solutions are more robust, but they are hard to bring into being. I see little likelihood in the near or middle term, and so I'm really basically opposed to reliance on charity on practical grounds for now.

2) I think that the track record of alleviating homelessness by charity is not encouraging. As it's been applied, it doesn't seem up to that task. Charity may have alleviated a lot of suffering, including some death by starvation, but it isn't solving anything. How do you see Habitat for Humanity? Do you categorize it with charity?

3) My feeling is that if you can't solve a problem in a decentralized way, and it's a problem that you need to solve, then you should solve it (if it can be solved) in an efficient centralized way. It's a waste of human life to have people scrabbling just to get through the day.

But, here's where I can't get behind actually opposing charity - I'm not sure, but it seems like something like Wishadoo is an attempt to reduce the overhead on decentralized solutions to poverty and homelessness. That seems like a good thing to do in the long run - that high overhead on interpersonal solutions is one of the major reasons why everyone needs to bow to a corporation or a government just to get by. To use a phrase from the 90s, can charity and local solutions be disintermediated, and more transparently start to reduce the need for centralized corporate/governmental support? As charity has been running for the past decades, it's not getting very far. Is it possible that the Internet reduce the cost and increase the effectiveness of sharing the wealth of the non-wealthy? I don't know the answer to that.

And I remain skeptical of the likelihood of success if we reduce the current palliative solutions just to make the situation more stark. Wouldn't increased effectiveness of local solutions increase solidarity, and isn't that just what's missing?
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REP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #21
31. 
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-10-10 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #31
32. 
by St. Augustine
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OneGrassRoot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #2
14. Please note that bobbolink does not support this post....

and it was her idea to contact Keith Olbermann, as is noted in the OP, regarding raising awareness.

This whole thread is gonna sink like a rock anyway, and people are already unrecommending.

What a sad commentary.

:(

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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. I recc'd...
and unfortunately I had to put that person on ignore due to issues similar to this thread. There are plenty of others who do support poverty-awareness who can do some good, no sense in tearing people down.
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OneGrassRoot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. ...

:hug:

I appreciate it very much.

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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. Could you please understand... this is a DIFFERENT request for those who are ignored.
Keith already pushes his favorite.

It is time to push him for what is nationally IGNORED.

Thank you.
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w8liftinglady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 09:45 AM
Response to Original message
4. One GrassRoot-thanks for pointing out what next week is.I can't do much
but I WILL write an editorial on the poverty situation in Texas,and what people can TANGIBLY do to help.
There are actually a lot of people here who would help,if they just knew how.
Thanks
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laughingliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 10:00 AM
Response to Original message
9. K & R nt
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japple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
15. Thank you, OGR, for your consciousness raising efforts. I think
it would help if everyone would just send an email to KO asking him to address homelessness/poverty, and to focus on it next week.

BTW, the last link (Julia Dinsmore) in your post doesn't work.

Thanks.
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OneGrassRoot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. Thank you, japple. Here's the correct link, too late to edit...

http://juliadinsmore.com /

And, yes, perhaps it's as simple as getting tons of people to ask KO to address poverty and homelessness.

Thank you.

That's what I'm going to do.

:pals:

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OneGrassRoot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
19. kicking to see if we can, miraculously, get back to the focus of the OP. n/t
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 03:34 PM
Response to Original message
23. kr
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japple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 06:29 PM
Response to Original message
26. And another K & R
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ipaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 06:46 PM
Response to Original message
27. Charity is not the solution. It does nothing to address root causes
which is why the wealthy love it. It covers up their crimes which are the root causes.

It does about as much good as giving someone a meal while the banksters foreclose stealing their house from underneath them. Or giving 20 bucks to someone with cancer and no access to health care. It's nice and it feels good temporarily may lighten the load of a subset of individuals but it is NOT a solution. Not to widespread criminal fraud, not to greedy for profit insurance corp and not to poverty.

Charity sees the need, not the cause


The Root Cause of Contemporary Homelessness

While decades of homeless policy responses have focused upon individual rather than
systemic factors to explain and address homelessness, the fact that millions of families, single adults, and youth with different biographical backgrounds came to simultaneously experience homelessness in 1983 and that millions continue to suffer on our streets today requires a reexamination of historical and social structural forces.

From 1976-1982, HUD built over 755,000 new public housing units, but since 1983, HUD built only 256,000 new public housing units.

From 1976-1985, a yearly average of almost 31,000 new Section 515 rural affordable housing units were built, but from 1986-1995, average yearly production was less than half that of the previous decade.

From 1996-2005, Section 515 built an average of only 1700 new units per year.

In recent years, over 200,000 private-sector rental units have been lost annually, and 1.2 million unsubsidized affordable housing units disappeared from 1993-2003.

HUD budget authority in 1978 was 65% more than its 2006 budget of $29 billion.

The de-funding of federal affordable housing programs, coupled with the loss of public housing units as well as private-sector affordable housing, should be central to any discussion of the causes of homelessness, yet they have been all but ignored in the debates about and policy responses to the current ongoing crisis. No matter what other factors may come into play in any individuals experience of homelessness without housing, that person will remain homeless.

http://www.wraphome.org/downloads/without_housing.pdf

We don't have a poverty problem in this country we have a wealth hoarding problem. Poverty is a nasty symptom of that problem. We need to solve our wealth hoarding problem.
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OneGrassRoot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. Unless I've lost my mind (which is very possible at this point)...

There was nothing in the original OP about charity, ipaint.

This OP was about getting a concerted DU effort to write Olbermann to ask him to focus on raising awareness about the issues of poverty -- with precisely the information you provide here in this post.

It got sidetracked when I replied to another and didn't stay on point in that one response, but the OP is about writing KO to encourage him to focus on poverty -- raising awareness, debunking myths, focusing on the systemic causes...and the huge chasm between the haves and have-nots.

I have written repeatedly that I want to focus on the root causes; HOWEVER, I am also in favor of trying to find a way to ease the acute suffering simultaneously.

This OP, however, is simply asking if DUers want to join in for a campaign to write KO asking him to focus on poverty awareness.

I can't tell if the answer is "no" because of lack of interest, or because of the above rather typical interaction that inevitably turns many here off from even reading threads that have the word "poverty" in the OP.

:shrug:

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ipaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. I'm sorry and I understand your OP but charity is the only
response I see in any of these types of threads. Most middle class and up liberals are quite charitable the problem is that is where it ends.

And if poor people can't come on a thread about solutions to poverty and tell people that suggesting more charity doesn't do anything to solve the problem but instead gives too many an easy out then I have to say hedges is spot on in his recent column.

"As long as the charade of democratic participation is played, the liberal class does not have to act. It can maintain its privileged status. It can continue to live in a fictional world where democratic reform and responsible government exist. It can pretend it has a voice and influence in the corridors of power. But the uselessness of the liberal class is not lost on the tens of millions of Americans who suffer the awful indignities of the corporate state."

http://www.truthdig.com/report/page3/the_world_liberal_... /

How can people advocate for a solution to poverty when most here are totally ignorant of the main root cause.
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OneGrassRoot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-09-10 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. The simplest of requests for action regarding this issue get nowhere...

but that's okay, too, for the more who are enlightened about the root causes, the better.

I won't ask for action about this issue again. Not here, at least.

It's very hard for an OP to remain about the OP; that's simply life. :)

I will continue support efforts to educate and raise awareness and will work directly on the same as best I can, as I simultaneously pursue more direct actions to alleviate suffering where I can.

We're all doing the best we can.

:)




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Fire Walk With Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-10-10 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
33. Kick.
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