Thursday, July 05, 2012

Upstate NY Progressive Nate Shinagawa Remembers Special Days... And The Importance Of Education To America's Future


Rep. Tom Reed Has His... Don't Even Try To Touch It!

Last month, dedicated progressive county legislator Nate Shinagawa won a tough primary-- and won it very convincingly-- to take on portly freshman teabagger Tom Reed in New York's newly configured 23rd CD-- most of what was Eric Massa's old district-- except the new district is slightly less Republican and slightly more independent... perfect for Nate.

Like every politician I've ever exchanged an e-mail with, yesterday Nate sent me Independence Day greetings... and they're below but they're not the real point of this post:
Two hundred and thirty-six years ago today, our nation boldly proclaimed its independence. For the first time, our founding fathers pioneered the idea that government should be responsible to its people, that all people are endowed with the same rights, and that everyone who works hard and plays by the rules should have an opportunity to succeed.
These are not partisan values-- they belong to no politician, no party, and no special interest. These are values we ALL cherish and defend. They are the ideals that forged the middle class and made the American Dream a reality for millions of working families across the country. And these are the principles I will campaign on throughout the Southern Tier. 

Especially on this Independence Day, with all the fighting and gridlock in Washington, let’s come together and remember what really matters: our friends and family, community, and our country.
And of course, let’s be thankful for all the brave men and women who have fought to defend and preserve this great nation. It is because of their dedication and sacrifice that we can enjoy this day.

Happy Independence Day, and I hope you are able to celebrate it with those who mean the most to you.

Just a couple days before Nate had sent a more unique e-mail making a less celebrated occasion, the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln signing the Morrill Act. This will tell you more about Nate and more about why Blue America has just endorsed him.
Today marks the 150th anniversary of a transformative moment in American education. President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act into law on July 2nd 1862, granting federally owned lands to the states to fund and develop universities like the world had never before seen. The Morrill Act showed that Congress had the foresight to move American universities firmly towards agricultural and engineering sciences. 

The land-grant colleges that followed blossomed into some our nation’s leading institutions, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the University of California at Berkeley, and right here in our own district, Cornell University. Land-grant universities such as these have developed extensive outreach programs, emphasized regionally important research, and engaged agriculture and manufacturing industries. We owe so much of the technology that we take for granted-- from the computers we use to the cars we drive — to these incredible universities. 

The Morrill Act was a bold idea that transformed our higher education system. What bold ideas do you have to transform our country?

This ambitious legislation passed by a forward-looking Congress made advanced education accessible to more young Americans than ever before. By creating a vast network of universities focused on practical education as well as industry outreach, our nation’s leaders spurred the United States to become the world’s agricultural and manufacturing leader.

Congress needs to once again act boldly to jumpstart our economy and keep America's world class universities accessible to all Americans. By supporting our universities so they can be leading centers of research, development, and innovation, we will ensure that the next 150 years are even more productive than the last.

Instead, Congress has been captured by a destructive band of greed-obsessed reactionaries with zero interest in the future of this country-- parasites whose only motivation is holding onto their material wealth and their privileges and positions. They are hellbent on destroying public education. Tom Reed, the extremist Nate is contesting the 23rd with, has scored ZERO on every measurement of support for education since getting into Congress. Look at this insane record of anti-education votes. Reed's stance on education has been clear-- if you're rich enough for private schools, your child deserves an education. Otherwise-- too bad. He seems animated by a reactionary, dystopian point of view that rich people shouldn't be asked to pay for poor people's children to be educated. That leads one place-- direct to the Dark Ages... like almost every aspect of right-wing Republican dogma. What Republican today would have backed Abraham Lincoln's Morrill Act? Not Tom Reed... and not Mitt Romney.

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