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CenturyLink
NEXT & LAST RAISE FOR THE CONTRACT
WILL BE JUNE 16TH 2019 2.5 %
FATHER’S DAY

CONTRACT EXPIRES MARCH 28,2020

Rep. Axne Town Hall

Public · Hosted by U.S. Representative Cindy Axne

Town Hall with Congresswoman Cindy Axne
Saturday, March 23, 2019 from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

(Doors open at 9:45 a.m.)

Valley High School Staplin Performing Arts Center
3650 Woodland Ave., West Des Moines, IA 50266

Come join Cindy for her first town hall this

Saturday at 10 am CT at Valley High School in

West Des Moines! You'll hear an update from

Cindy on her work so far in Washington and

have the opportunity to ask her questions. 

Cindy will provide an overview of her efforts to

cut waste,  fraud, and abuse, expand access

to quality, affordable health care, and support

hardworking Iowa families.

 

March 22 – 28 Forums for 2019

Ankeny – Office Hours – Matson

·       Listening Post

·       March 22, 2019 9:00AM - 10:30AM

·       Main Street Cafe, 2510 SW White Birch Drive, Ankeny, IA 50023  (Click here for directions)

Clive Office Hours

March 23, 2019 10:00AM - 11:00AM

Clive Library, 1900 SW 114th Street, Clive, IA 50325  (Click here for directions)

Colfax Legislative Forum

·       March 23, 2019 8:00AM - 9:00AM

·       Poppy's Cafe, 124 N. Walnut, Colfax, IA 50054  (Click here for directions)

Council Bluffs

·       March 23, 2019 9:00AM - 10:00AM

·       Wilson Middle School, 715 N. 21st Street, Council Bluffs, IA 51503  (Click here for directions)

Davenport – Legislative Forum

·       March 23, 2019 10:00AM - 12:00PM

·       Central High School, Kahler Auditorium, 1120 Main Street, Davenport, IA 52803  (Click here for directions)

Des Moines – Coffee with Marti

·       March 25, 2019 8:00AM - 10:00AM

·       Grounds for Celebration, 2645 Beaver, Des Moines, IA 50310  (Click here for directions)

·      March 29, 2019 4:00PM - 5:30PM

Iowa City School District, 1725 N. Dodge Street, Iowa City, IA 52245  (Click here for directions)

North Liberty Legislative Forum

March 23, 2019 9:30AM - 10:30AM

North Liberty City Hall, 3 Quail Creek Circle, North Liberty, IA 52317  (Click here for directions)

Oskaloosa – Eggs and Issues

·March 23, 2019 8:30AM - 9:30AM

·Smokey Row, 109 S. Market, Oskaloosa, IA 52577  (Click here for directions)

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Urbandale – Talk With Officials

March 29, 2019 9:00AM - 10:00AM

Urbandale Chamber, 2830 100th St., Ste. 110, Urbandale, IA 50322  (Click here for directions)

Waterloo - League of Women Voters Forum

March 29, 4:30 – 6:30 PM

Central Middle School, 1350 Katoski Dr. Waterloo

West Des Moines Town Hall

March 23, 2019 10:00AM - 11:00AM

Valley HIgh School, 3650 Woodland Ave., West Des Moines, IA 50266  (Click here for directions)

Winthrop Legislative Forum

March 23, 2019 11:30AM - 12:30PM

Community Center, 354 Madison, Winthrop, IA 50682  (Click here for directions)

Iowa City Education Forum




What Republicans and Billionaires Really Mean When They Talk About ‘Freedom’


America is having a heated debate about the meaning of the word socialism. We’d be better served if, instead, we were debating the meaning of freedom.

The Oregonian reported last week that fully 156,000 families are on the edge of homelessness in our small-population state. Every one of those households is now paying more than 50 percent of its monthly income on rent, and none of them has any savings; one medical bill, major car repair or job loss, and they’re on the streets.

While socialism may or may not solve their problem, the more pressing issue we have is an entire political party and a huge sector of the billionaire class who see homelessness not as a problem, but as a symptom of a “free” society.

The words freedom and liberty are iconic in American culture—probably more so than with any other nation because they’re so intrinsic to the literature, declarations and slogans of our nation’s founding.

The irony—of the nation founded on the world’s greatest known genocide (the systematic state murder of tens of millions of Native Americans) and over three centuries of legalized slavery and a century and a half of oppression and exploitation of the descendants of those slaves—is extraordinary. It presses us all to bring truefreedom and liberty to all Americans.

But what do those words mean?

If you ask the Koch brothers and their buddies—who slap those words on pretty much everything they do—you’d get a definition that largely has to do with being “free” from taxation and regulation. And, truth be told, if you’re morbidly rich, that makes a certain amount of sense, particularly if your main goal is to get richer and richer, regardless of your behavior’s impact on working-class people, the environment, or the ability of government to function.

On the other hand, the definition of freedom and liberty that’s been embraced by so-called “democratic socialist” countries—from Canada to almost all of Europe to Japan and Australia—you’d hear a definition that’s closer to that articulated by Franklin D. Roosevelt when he proposed, in January 1944, a “second Bill of Rights” to be added to our Constitution.

FDR’s proposed amendments included the right to a job, and the right to be paid enough to live comfortably; the right to “adequate food and clothing and recreation”; the right to start a business and run it without worrying about “unfair competition and domination by monopolies”; the right “of every family to a decent home”; the right to “adequate medical care… to achieve and enjoy good health”; the right to government-based “protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment”; and the right “to a good education.”

Roosevelt pointed out that, “All of these rights spell security.”

He added, “America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens. For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world.”

The other nations mentioned earlier took President Roosevelt’s advice to heart. Progressive “social democracy” has kept Europe, Canada, and the developed nations of the East and South Pacific free of war for almost a century—a mind-boggling feat when considering the history of the developed world since the 1500s.


ust prior to FDR winning the White House in the election of 1932, the nation had been treated to 12 years of a bizarre Republican administration that was the model for today’s GOP. In 1920, Warren Harding won the presidency on a campaign of “more industry in government, less government in industry”—privatize and deregulate—and a promise to drop the top tax rate of 91 percent down to 25 percent.

He kept both promises, putting the nation into a sugar-high spin called the Roaring ’20s, where the rich got fabulously rich and working-class people were being beaten and murdered by industrialists when they tried to unionize. Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover (the three Republican presidents from 1920 to 1932) all cheered on the assaults, using phrases like “the right to work” to describe a union-free nation.

In the end, the result of the “horses and sparrows” economics advocated by Harding (“feed more oats to the horses and there’ll be more oats in the horse poop to fatten the sparrows”—that generation’s version of trickle-down economics) was the Republican Great Depression (yes, they called it that until after World War II).

Even though Roosevelt was fabulously popular—the only president to be elected four times—the right-wingers of his day were loud and outspoken in their protests of what they called “socialist” programs like Social Security, the right to unionize, and government-guaranteed job programs including the WPA, REA, CCC, and others.

The Klan and American Nazis were assembling by the hundreds of thousands nationwide—nearly 30,000 in Madison Square Garden alone—encouraged by wealthy and powerful “economic royalists” preaching “freedom” and “liberty.” Like the Kochs’ Freedomworks, that generation’s huge and well-funded (principally by the DuPonts’ chemical fortune) organization was the Liberty League.

Roosevelt’s generation had seen the results of this kind of hard-right “freedom” rhetoric in Italy, Spain, Japan and Germany, the very nations with which we were then at war.

Speaking of “the grave dangers of ‘rightist reaction’ in this Nation,” Roosevelt told America in that same speech that: “[I]f history were to repeat itself and we were to return to the so-called ‘normalcy’ of the 1920s—then it is certain that even though we shall have conquered our enemies on the battlefields abroad, we shall have yielded to the spirit of Fascism here at home.”

Although right-wingers are still working hard to disassemble FDR’s New Deal—the GOP budget for 2019 contains massive cuts to Social Security, as well as to Medicare and Medicaid—we got halfway toward his notion of freedom and liberty here in the United States:

  • You’re not free if you’re old and deep in poverty, so we have Social Security (although the GOP wants to gut it).
  • You’re not free if you’re hungry, so we have food stamps/SNAP (although the GOP wants to gut them).
  • You’re not free if you’re homeless, so we have housing assistance and homeless shelters (although the GOP fights every effort to help homeless people).
  • You’re not free if you’re sick and can’t get medical care, so we have Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare (although the GOP wants to gut them all).
  • You’re not free if you’re working more than 40 hours a week and still can’t meet basic expenses, so we have minimum wage laws and the right to unionize (although the GOP wants to gut both).
  • You’re not free if you can’t read, so we have free public schools (although the GOP is actively working to gut them).
  • You’re not free if you can’t vote, so we’ve passed numerous laws to guarantee the right to vote (although the GOP is doing everything it can to keep tens of millions of Americans from voting).

The billionaire class and their wholly owned Republican politicians keep trying to tell us that “freedom” means the government doesn’t provide any of the things listed above.

Instead, they tell us (as Ron Paul famously did in a GOP primary debate years ago) that, if we’re broke and sick, we’re “free” to die like a feral dog in the gutter.

Freedom is homelessness, in the minds of the billionaires who own the GOP.

Poverty, lack of education, no access to health care, poor-paying jobs, and barriers to voting are all proof of a free society, they tell us, which is why America’s lowest life expectancy, highest maternal and childhood death rates, lowest levels of education, and lowest pay are almost all in GOP-controlled states.

America—particularly the Democratic Party—is engaged in a debate right now about the meaning of socialism. It would be a big help for all of us if we were, instead, to have an honest debate about the meaning of the words freedom and liberty.

https://independentmediainstitute.org/

CWA Local 7102 Holiday Party. Fun was had by all!










































 
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