Tag: Eric Byler
The whole meme that we are not a democracy but a republic is based on a distortion and diminution of the concept of democracy into a single, abstract form of it: a direct and pure democracy. Yes, we do not have THAT form of a democracy. We don't go to the polls to make every single governmental decision. We have a representative democracy in which elected leaders are empowered by the voters.Got that? No, it's really not that difficult a concept, except to people who try really hard to make it difficult. As Eric Byler points out, it's analagous to "baseball fans eager to prove their superiorty without putting in the time to study, let alone play the actual game," who claim that the "foul pole is in fair territory," thus should be called the "FAIR pole." Eric's response? "Every time I hear that I think (1) congratulations, you heard someone else say that and remembered how to repeat it exactly, and (2) it doesn't prove you know more about baseball than the other 50,000 fans in the park."
A direct and pure democracy is only one form of a democracy. There are various models...
Ha, so true. But something tells me it won't stop people from saying it, just like the people claiming we're not "really" a "Democracy" (or people claiming that "progressive" is the same as "socialist" or Barack Obama isn't the "real" kind of Christian, or that global warming's a big plot by environmentalists, or whatever other nonsense they're spewing these days).
At this point, after watching the "Party of No" and the "Tea Party" in action since Barack Obama's election (and, really, during the entire Bush presidency), I'm highly skeptical that Coffee Party founder Annabel Park's suggestion of "transpartisan dialogue" will prove to be worthwhile. How can you "dialogue" with people who create their own "facts," who are impervious to empirical evidence (e.g., the overwhelming science of global warming), who hold ignorant and bigoted views (Islamophobic, xenophobic, homophobic, key word "phobic") of their fellow citizens, who hold Democracy itself - and "dialogue," for that matter - in contempt?
I mean, I wish Annabel luck, and if anyone can do it she probably can; seriously, the woman's a force of nature. And maybe, just maybe, a movement of rational, culturally diverse, fact-based, solutions-oriented, and non-partisan (rather than hyper-partisan to the point of blindness) people, opening a "transpartisan" dialogue over "coffee" with the non-crazy elements of the Republican/Tea Party coalition, can win the day in 2010 America. I'm skeptical, but I hope to be proven wrong later this month when the "Coffee Party" holds its convention in Louisville, Kentucky. Go Annabel (and her similarly super-talented partner, Eric Byler, too)!
Annabel Park and Eric Byler seem to be hitting it big with their superb film on the Prince William County battle over immigration, 9500 Liberty. In coming weeks, the film will be opening in El Paso, Houston, Seattle, Minneapolis, Denver, Wilmington, Chicago, Dallas, Salt Lake City, Atlanta, and several other cities. Extremely impressive. Meanwhile, here in Virginia, Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart hopes to take his so-called "rule of law" resolution statewide, prompting at least one person to challenge him for his job. Frighteningly, Stewart has ambitions for statewide office, possibly LG in 2013. Just imagine a ticket of Kook-inelli for Governor, Corey Stewart for LG, and...I'm afraid to ask who the Republicans will come up with for AG. You thought it was bad now? Just give it 3 more years, it's a near certainty the Republicans will work on making it worse.
Nice job by Laurence Lessig and the Coffee Party Movement.
...The financial system has been so mismanaged, because Congress is terrified that if they do the right thing they will be punished by the very people they are trying to regulate. And that's why it is so critical right now, for people across the country, whether from the left or the right, to push extraordinarily hard to achieve two critical reforms. Number one, a reform of the banking system, so that these people don't have the power to blackmail our Congress into giving them the special deals that they want. And number two, a reform of campaign financing, so that people cannot use their extraordinarily powerful wealth and influence to affect and hold hostage our Congress. These are critical reforms and we need them right now...
Great job as always by Eric Byler, who when he's not busy making movies like 9500 Liberty, helps create (with Annabel Park) "Real Virginians for Webb" and co-founds (also with Annabel Park) the Coffee Party Movement. Does this guy ever sleep? Lucky for us, the answer is "apparently not." :)
P.S. For upcoming screenings of 9500 Liberty, click here.
For more complete instructions for Campus Coffee Week, go to www.CoffeePartyUSA.com.
Eric Byler is interviewed by a Charlottesville TV station on Saturday, March 13, in Charlottesville on Coffee Party National Kick-off Day. According to the Coffee Party USA website, there were more than 350 coffee party meetings in 44 states on Saturday. In addition, there are now 159,000 fans on the Coffee Party Facebook page, compared to 111,991 fans for the largest Tea Party Facebook page. Not bad for a 100% grassroots movement that's just a few weeks old!
UPDATE: See the FiveThirtyEight interview with Annabel. Among other things, she talks about how Organizing for America doesn't "inspire" her. I agree, maybe it has something to do with the fact that OFA is 100% establishment, part of the - yaaaaaaawwwwwn - DNC?