March 20, 2007
Curing loneliness
By Jim Babka
Quote of the day:

The Law of Succession: Each president contributes to the upgrading of his predecessors.
-- political scientist Theodore Lowi

Curing loneliness

It's easy to feel alone when it comes to politics. Tell another person what your labels are (Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative, or whatever), and you may see the lights turn off in that person's eyes if their labels are different from your own. 

Either that, or your seemingly innocent label-exposure could work like a challenge to a verbal duel, and what you may see in the other person's eyes could be something more akin to anger. "How dare you take sides with THEM! Here, let me fix you by explaining the error of your ways!"

In any case, love or friendship is the least likely response when two people begin to discuss their differing labels.

"Labelism" Labeling others may be an important, unrecognized contributor to feelings of loneliness and isolation in the world. But . . .

We don't have that problem here at Downsize DC. We make new friends everyday. And our new friends carry many different labels.

426 new people have joined the Downsize DC Army so far this month, and we're pretty sure that, if the past is any guide, they represent a broad variety of the many choices available in the dictionary of labels.

The same applies to the other organizations we work with. Many groups, wearing many different labels, call on us for help on a regular basis. We make new friends all the time and our friends are your friends. Can you feel the love?

Working with Downsize DC is a good cure for the loneliness caused by labelism and partisan division.

In this regard we want to commend to you the work of our latest friend, the National Whistleblowers Center.

Whistleblowers are the people who keep government honest by "blowing the whistle" on government malfeasance. And the National Whistleblowers Center is a group that gives these people aid and comfort when they are kicked to the curb by the powers that be. 

We owe our latest victory in Congress to the long and patient work of the National Whistleblowers Center. They have labored for years to create legislation that Congress would pass to protect whistleblowers from government retaliation.

We were proud to add our assistance to passing this legislation by a veto-proof majority in the House last week. But the work is far from done. We must now help the Whistleblower Center achieve a similar result in the Senate.

The proposals likely to be considered in the Senate are more timid, constrained, and ineffectual. The House bill wasn't perfect, but it went much further.

Send your Senators a message telling them that you want them to go at least as far as the House did in providing whistleblower protections. They need to hear from you.

The "Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2007" provides the following benefits:

* Most federal employees will have the right to have their claims heard in federal court
* Federal employees who expose corruption through their chain of command will be protected
* Federal contractors will also enjoy protection

Government whistleblowers come in all shapes and sizes and, like DC Downsizers, sport many different labels. There is, however, a danger that this legislation could become a partisan issue, given that President Bush has threatened to veto it. Therefore . . .

Republicans in particular should support this legislation as a counterbalance to the opposition of, and potential veto by a Republican President.

Unfortunately, the behavior of the current administration has made this legislation especially necessary. Many examples can be found on the website of the National Whistleblowers Center. This may explain why President Bush wants to veto it. But . . .

We should also remember Theodore Lowi's "Law of Succession." "Each president contributes to the upgrading of his predecessors." The bad things a Republican administration can do, can also be done by a Democratic administration in the future. That's why . . .

We all need to work to pass the "Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2007," regardless of our labels. Please send your Senators a message right now.

Finally, on the loneliness front, we received no contributions to further our work yesterday. The balance needed remains at $6,191.

And if you're wondering what we do with that money, well, here are three things:
1) We keep track of 535 miscreants and make sure you can communicate with them.
2) We research issues and digest the information into the shortest, most important material because you're busy with more important things like work and family.
3) As we've pointed out in this message, we network with other groups with varying and competing labels. These groups appreciate our help and express gratitude for you, the DC Downsizer.

Please, pledge or donate now.
Thank you for being a DC Downsizer.

Jim Babka
President, Inc.
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