Monday, July 24, 2006


In an era of job exportation, growing economic and social inequality, and political disillusion and disenfranchisement, Professor Cass R. Sunstein of the University of Chicago Law School has suggested in his book “The Second Bill of Rights” (2004), that it is time to resurrect an idea of FDR for a second bill of rights to promote educational opportunity, health and medical care for all, decent shelter, the right to work, and economic security. FDR presented the following economic bill of rights to Congress in March 1943:

1. The right to work, usefully and creatively through the productive years;

2. The right to fair play, adequate to command the necessities and amenities of life in exchange for work, ideas, thrift and other socially valuable service;

3. The right to adequate food, clothing, shelter, and medical care;

4. The right to security, with freedom from fear of old age, want, dependency, sickness, unemployment, and accident;

5. The right to live in a system of free enterprise, free from compulsory labor, irresponsible state power, arbitrary [and corrupt] public authority, and unregulated monopolies;

6. The right to come and go, to speak or to be silent, free from the spyings of secret political [or moral] police.

In this regard, the words of George Kennan, the architect of the policy of containment vis-à-vis communism, toll a dire warning:

The fact of the matter is that there is a little bit of totalitarian buried somewhere, way deep down, in each and everyone of us. It is only the cheerful light of confidence and security which keeps this evil genius down… If confidence and security were to disappear, don’t think that he would not be waiting to take their place.

7. The right to equality before the law, with equal access to justice in fact [regardless of your economic or political status];

8. The right to education, for work, for citizenship, and for personal growth and happiness; and

9. The right to rest, recreation, and adventure, the opportunity to enjoy life and take part in advancing civilization.

What an idea! All have equal rights to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Seems that I've read this somewhere...

As Sunstein suggests, freedom does not require only national defense but “a court system, an ample body of law to govern and enforce contracts and prevent civil wrongs, and to police. To provide for all these things, freedom requires taxation.” The issue is that we cannot continue to allow powerful corporate interests, their lobbyists, and their kangaroo politicians to escape their responsibilities to the nation.

As long as there are unemployed or underemployed citizens in the United States, jobs should not and must not be exported overseas. Our products will be competitive in any market because they are better and we wrote the book on competition. Further, as long as people do not have health care, corporations should not evade taxes through loop holes and other legal sieves. It is a fundamental economic right for people to have health care and any legal system that allows the richest individuals [as our legal system considers corporations to be “persons”] to violate our fundamental rights must be changed immediately.

This economic and social Second Bill of Rights is a natural follow on to our first Bill of Rights which provides for our political rights. We must provide for all Americans and not just the rich and the powerful who can afford to pay their way. It is not too much to ask that equality for all really mean equality for all.

We must not allow our confidence and security disappear, because as Kennan suggests, the result may be too horrible to bear. Consequently, it is our duty and responsibility to our country to increase the public weal and not diminish it; we must legislate the Second Bill of Rights. This will ensure our continuing confidence and security now and in the future, thereby staying the sceptre of totalitarianism.

This is an idea whose time has come and we can do it. SO DO IT!

The first step:



‘‘The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.’’
Edmund Burke 1729-1797


Blogger DemOpinion said...

Lots is being said of this man Charlie Brown, but who is he really? He came on the scene about a year and a half ago promoting himself as an ex Republican, now a Democrat who wants to change the way things are done in Washington. His target: John Doolittle. Sounds admirable, and very appealing to most Democrats and some Republicans. Obviously John Doolittle is a crooked man. His ties to Jack Abramoff and "Duke" Cunningham are undisputable. According to Charlie Brown, the actions of these men are part of the reason he left the Republican Party 2 or 3 years ago.

Now let’s look at where Charlie Brown stands today, a year after he has courted the local Democratic activists and the State Democratic Party. In that first year, Charlie Brown was able to garner the endorsement of many local Democratic Party officials in his district and through their hard work, the endorsement of the State Democratic Party. He won his primary contest over two other unknown Democrats, but only by a slim margin. In fact, he only obtained 14% of all the votes cast in the primary election on June 6th. This statistic did not go unnoticed. It in fact almost assured the campaign that no support would come from Washington in the way of endorsements or money. What message did this send to his campaign and where is he headed now?

First and most notable is the fact that he let go most of his Democratic activist volunteers for one reason or another. His campaign is now fully managed by a professional consulting company located in the San Francisco Bay area. His once major grassroots campaign has been sold out to corporate America, and the big money is flowing in. Sure, you need money to beat John Doolittle, BUT AT WHAT PRICE?

Charlie Brown's website is a good place to look to see where he stands, or at least where he and his handlers want you to think he stands and what they want to project to the voters. Democrats should read his site and issues thoroughly. One thing of particular note is that the word Democrat does not appear anywhere on the major pages of his site. No "Democrat for Congress", no reference to supporting the "Democratic Platform" and no links or references to any Democratic causes. In fact, inside information cites the campaign as saying “the word Democrat needs to be avoided in this campaign”. Sure, you need more than the Democratic vote in this race to win, BUT AT WHAT PRICE?

Charlie Brown declares the war in Iraq mismanaged and unwise. He uses the fact that his son served three tours there to infer he is against the war. In fact, one should ask, did his son get sent to Iraq against his will, or did he volunteer to collect his combat pay? Charlie Brown says we need to withdraw from Iraq, but offers no plan. How is he different from John Doolittle there? Will he stand with Democrats and demand immediate withdrawal or will he join the Republicans and continue on with the massacring of the innocent and our troops? AT WHAT PRICE VICTORY?

One should wonder why Charlie Brown has decided to not promote the fact that he is the Democratic candidate for congress. Is it to try to gather support in the Republican circles by pandering to their ideals at the expense of his supporters who would do anything to get rid of John Doolittle? Has he moved back toward Republican values now that he has convinced the Democratic base that he is the only alternative to John Doolittle? Sure we all want John Doolittle to go, BUT AT WHAT PRICE?

DemOpinion says this: Charlie Brown has betrayed his grassroots supporters. He used them to gain a footing in the beginning and now he is doing whatever it takes to get elected, knowing, hoping, and thinking that no one in our Party would vote for anyone else. Charlie Brown has done a snow-job on the Democratic Party. Again, AT WHAT PRICE DOES VICTORY COME?

Charlie Brown says he is a Democrat, why doesn't he run as one? He has not shown us his Democratic values. He uses OUR democratic values to run on the Democratic ticket, but he refuses to define his values in terms of the Democratic Platform. Here is an example from Project Vote Smart at :



John McCain, Republican Senator
Geraldine Ferraro, Former Democratic Congresswoman
Michael Dukakis, Former Democratic Governor
Bill Frenzel, Former Republican Congressman
Richard Kimball, Project Vote Smart President


The National Political Awareness Test asks specific questions on where a candidate stands; abortion, health care, the war in Iraq, guns, immigration, taxes, social security and legislative priorities are all covered in simple yes or no questions. These are issues the voter needs to know. Does Charlie Brown really share your Democratic values?

The last thing that comes to mind is this, and one should really ponder this question then ask Mr. Brown for an answer. In the 4th Congressional District, Republicans outnumber Democrats almost 2 to one. Should Charlie Brown manage to eek out a win over the limping John Doolittle, how does he intend to keep his office when it comes up for reelection in two years? Surely the Republicans will offer a candidate, but who will it be? Maybe Charlie Brown? AT WHAT PRICE VICTORY?

10:21 AM  
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