Monthly Archives: March 2017

Perched high, surveying the landscape, making occasional chatter. Credit: me, Sep 2016

Not Dead Yet!

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I missed an entire week and feel bad about it… a lot is going on. If you think progressives don’t do anything other than protest you are seriously mistaken!

This week I will publish another post on Bubbles and specific, fixable ways that some social media sites are making the problem worse. Name and shame, yes, and then propose ways to fix the problems.

I am also working on a state-level tax campaign. Hopefully that will start with a post that helps us renters understand how much they are paying in property tax. This will reveal how levies in initiatives as well as changes in assessed value contribute to rent increases. Spoiler: it’s not (just) your landlord fleecing you.

Next, for tax day, will be a demonstration of just how unfair Washington’s taxes are and what can be done about it. If this state wants to counter the negative impacts of Trump’s agenda, it must be able to raise revenue to pay for new or expanded programs in a way that does not burden the working class and exacerbate the very problems those programs are trying to fix. No one wants hard-working, middle-class Americans’ taxes to go up, yet that’s what keeps happening in this state because there are so few options on who to tax. This is the perfect time to fix that.

In the mean time, if you want some thought-provoking content check out Van Jones’ new show on CNN: The Messy Truth. In comparison, there is nothing else on TV worth watching.

Messaging strategy on the AHCA

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Something bugging me is the lack of strategic messaging in opposition to the American Health Care Act (AHCA). There is of course plenty of room for opinion on this one, but I want to make a case for how labeling the AHCA can advance progressive goals.

This is not a policy discussion, just a branding and messaging analysis. Here, what the people think and believe is truly more important than facts.

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Hey Progressives: “I Sense Much Fear In You.”

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In retrospect, this should have been my second or third post! I’ll get back to my Bubbles series later, but first us liberals need to talk about fear.

The title of this post is a quote from Star Wars Episode I. Yoda is meeting with young Anakin Skywalker and he, along with others on the Jedi Council, pick up on Anakin’s fear of losing his mother. Their concerns are largely ignored as Anakin becomes a Jedi, and the true extent of the problem is recognized only after it is too late. I hope this time the warning is better understood.

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Bubbles, Part… 1.5? The Role of the Individual, More Broadly

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I’m going to interrupt my Bubbles series to discuss an excellent column in the Washington Post that I somehow missed last week:

Americans have lost faith in institutions. That’s not because of Trump or ‘fake news.’

This column ties back to where my series is going, relating to how certain institutions can respond to the polarization in the country. It’s worth writing, first, about the relationship between institutions and the actions of individuals, since I focused so much on the latter in Part 1 but Parts 2 and (maybe) 3 will focus on the former. I don’t want to convey a sense of equivalence, and this is a great opportunity to address the difference.

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The biodome from the movie The Truman Show

Bubbles, Part 1: 5 Steps To Burst Yours

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Sorry about the hiatus. I have been busier lately, suffering from writer’s block and getting over a fever. I’m going to take things in a slightly different direction from what I alluded to last time, maybe we’ll come back around later. It’s hard to keep focus on who the enemy is!

A related concern of mine for a while has been our polarizing social environment, of which I suspect the polarized political climate is just a reflection. If approval ratings of one’s own members of Congress are high despite general approval ratings of Congress being low [1], that suggests that at least legislators are still representing the wishes of their constituents. The problem is our country as a whole needs to come to terms with what its wishes are, and that starts with us. This post covers how to break out of our isolated bubbles by learning to engage in discourse with your fellow Americans, hopefully avoiding shouting matches that just drain willpower and don’t inform or advance debate.

Our platforms for discourse are also at fault here for enabling our ideologically reclusive behavior, but I will focus on that part of it in Part 2. First, let’s discuss our role in the solution as individuals and what we can do without just blaming the media or social networks. Even if we fixed these tools tomorrow, we would still have to be willing to use them effectively to achieve this end.

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