I decided instead of responding to Mark's post on the candidate forum of last October, I'd write a blog instead.
Eric Lieberman was the candidate for state rep, who, according to Mark, wasted time by kicking off the questioning of the incumbents' loyalty to Mike Madigan, widely known as the entrenched power broker of the Democratic Party which rules Illinois. Eric ran as a Republican.
Not that he, or I, identify ourselves as followers of any political party, but because, under the circumstances, it seemed like the right thing to do. The State of Illinois is in big trouble financially, and the guys who have been sweeping problems under the rug for the past twenty years, making things much much worse, are still in charge.
However, the local attitude towards the word "republican" proved to be impossible to negotiate, as, in people's minds it equates one with corporate corruption, entitled wealth, and being in bed with "the man." I totally got it. I'd been a hippie, and a musician, no less, all my life, with a brief side-trip into a play-writing adventure about the Chicago Commodities Exhcange, for Northlight Theatre.
Ah, but real life is much more entertaining. The irony of watching this thing play out was never lost on me. Eric was scoffed at by the smug, young and clueless know-it-all North Shore Wunderkind when he would attempt to hand them a flyer. "Are you Republican?"...would be followed by a gesture one might instinctively engage when being pan handled by a leper.
For his campaign, we raised pocket change from a few individuals, had no corporate sponsors, couldn't afford any mass mailings, and went, on foot, door to door, with a couple of Northwestern student volunteers, passing out shopping tips on how to avoid buying genetically modified foods, along with a letter from Eric stating his qualifications and his opposition to Monsanto, and their quest to poison every bit of farmland and run all organic farms out of business through the courts and their "patented" seeds. (We had started an organization a year earlier called egmow, or Evanston GMO Watch, and had our first appearance at the Custer Street Fair.)
In the campaign letter, we also let people know how Robyn Gabel, the incumbent, was funded partly by Monsanto. I'd be willing to bet Jan Schakowsky is too, as she wrote me personally to tell me how Monsanto isn't really bad!
But what really woke me up was learning that Robyn was funded by the same big pharma companies that had spent so much on out-of-court settlements due to their highy questionable ethics. Even more telling were her contributions from the international and extememly powerful law firm that defends these same huge pharmaceutical companies from the whistleblowers, insiders, or people who have been harmed or lost love ones due to their drugs.
Reading their website made my hair stand on end, as they describe, in detail, their "specialty" in beating whistleblowers and drug damaged victims and getting out of court settlements, thus avoiding the public eye and any prosecution. The testing, approval, and marketing of prescription drugs that find their way into our bodies is hugely corrupt and profit driven. Surprise, huh?
Ok, you're not surprised. So, call me naive. But no more. This was the final nail in the coffin of the me who had been a "liberal democrat" most of my life. Not that I was a Republican either, though Eric was running as one. (Running as an independent is purposefully made extremely difficult, so we bit the bullet.) At any rate, when it comes to politics, I'm an ATHEIST. I have zero faith in these ruling parties, and it pains me to see people outsourcing their thinking to these obviously out-moded, corrupt, and stupid entites.
So, this was all a real lesson in how politics and corporations work together. The bottom line here is these corporations are political atheists too. C'mon now people, do you think that Monsanto, big pharma, and big law firms don't fund both sides of the aisle? Get real!
Robyn's whole reputation is as a "health" advocate, slugging it out for women and children, keeping them safe from corporate type Republicans who would render them all homeless and destitute if given the chance. I'm pretty, pretty sure she's done more for the "health" of the balance sheets of huge pharmaceutical companies than she's done for any woman or child.
Thus, we, the sheeple, chase our tails in an ever-devolving rut...going at each other's throats while the corporate elitists laugh all the way to the bank. (Abandon these parties...c'mon in, the water's fine!)
And it's not just Republicans and Democrats at each other's throat. It's union against non-union worker, pensioners against tax-payers who have no pension, on and on. The corrupt elite win the day...at least for now, which brings me to another point.
Eric and I had many conversations during his campaign, as he read books and reports, and got to know more about what was going on in Illinois. Between 1996 and 2006, he had turned a near-bankrupt company around and made it into a software industry success. It was natural that someone with his talent would look at what had happened to Illinois's fiscal situation and consider an important part of any "solution" to be eliminating the entrenched leadership that brought the situation about in the first place. That's exactly what he had to do at First Logic. It was really hard, took all he had, but he had the right stuff.
So, to answer Mark's dismissal of Eric's questioning of encumbents about their loyalty to Mike Madigan...you're wrong. It was actually the most important question. Still is. But, Eric also discovered...you know what, Mark? There really is no solution to Illinois's problems. Not if you consider a solution to be some kind of return to "solvency" or normalcy. Nope. Not going to happen. (People get really defensive, confused, and angry when you tell them this simple fact, but, I'm happy to say the people at the Tribune and Jewish Star found Eric's honesty just what they were looking for.)
Just as people are still buying into the Federal Reserve's assurances that they can bring about a recovery in the US economy, they have bought into the Illinois Democrats line that they can save Illinois. But it's all part of the same lie. The 67% state tax increase is not temporary...it's just the beginning. Illinois, California, the whole country...Europe too...we're in for a paradigm change. The Federal Reserve is now buying $45 Billion worth of US bonds each month. No one else will buy them.
You know why? Because they know this is money printing to infinity...printing money out of nowhere. Remember Rome? Remember the Weimar Republic? Sometimes the word solution doesn't apply.
What cannot last, will not last.
Hold onto your hats. Seek alternative news sources on the web. Those that are not funded, in any way, by international corporations. (Sorry, NPR is not entirely free and independent.) You need to think for yourselves now. The times, they ARE a changin'.
Well, gotta go. We're almost done packing. Our landlord has someone coming to sublet our place. So long, Illinois!