Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mind Your Own Business

Democratic Rep. Allan Grayson is introducing the "Mind Your Own Business Act," which "prohibits our government from spying on us, or collecting data on us, unless there's probable cause that you have committed or you will commit an act of terrorism or similar criminal offense," according to an email update I received from Grayson this morning.

Allan Grayson - Wikipedia
The "NSA scandal" as the headline atop my Google news page calls it, has been the top story on Google news every time I've checked there since the story broke. Google orders it news page according to the number of hits a story is getting nationally. I stopped using it regularly awhile back in favor of a Yahoo news aggregator but I still have it bookmarked because it's the best way I know to monitor the "pulse" of the nation, or rather, probably, the pulse of people who get their news from the internet.

When I dropped my truck off at the Cummins diesel repair shop on Broadway near I-40 yesterday morning and took a couple of busses back to where my pickup was parked at the warehouse off south Yale, the bus passengers weren't talking about NSA spying. I heard tattooed women who aren't afraid to cuss talking about their exes, and I heard men who stare ahead blankly and say nothing, and I heard the woman dressed for work in an office, who sat rigidly upright and stared straight ahead the entire ride, but I didn't hear anything about the NSA.

Getting back to Allan Grayson, I don't know how I got on his email list -- people trade email lists and sell them to each other -- but I've been letting Grayson's continue because he's an interesting figure to me. He's in his second term. His district is in the Orlando area. He served one term, was defeated by a huge margin and sat out a term, then won again in 2012 by a huge margin. He's a successful lawyer originally from Brooklyn.

He's a fairly frequent guest on Progressive talk radio programs and on the Pacifica radio/TV program Democracy Now, in other words he's on the left wing of Democratic Party. He fills the position recently vacated by Dennis Kosinich as the furtherst Left white male in the US House. There are other people in the House as far to the Left as he, but because they happen to be female or Black or Latino or Asian or anything but white male don't get as much air time as Grayson, which isn't Grayson's fault entirely. 

He bills himself, right across the top of his web sites, as "A congressman with guts" and for the past few weeks his email updates have been relentlessly self promoting and it sounds to me like he's trying to set himself up for a presidential run, or at least is seizing Kusinich's mantle in an aggressive way. He courageously promotes causes most dear to Leftists but at the same time is piggybacking on them.

Leftist are drawn to such figures because there are so few people in elected politics who articulate their concerns, as opposed to, for example, New Mexico's Democratic representatives and senators, who, if they even believed in something like a single payer health care system would never, ever say so, out loud, in public, because they know they can take the Left vote for granted. No need to try to promote such causes. It won't help them any. They have good health care. They have a fine job. They get welcomed with smiles everywhere they go. They don't ride the bus.


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