READ THE TRANSCRIPT

BILL MOYERS: Time, now, for a word about a good American being demonized, despite being long dead. Saul Alinsky is not around to defend himself, but that hasn’t kept Newt Gingrich from using his name to whip up the froth and frenzy of followers whose ignorance of the man is no deterrence to their eagerness, at Gingrich’s behest, to tar and feather him posthumously.

Here’s how you slander someone who can’t answer from the grave:

NEWT GINGRICH: If you believe as we do in the Declaration of Independence and you think that’s a better source than Saul Alinsky, welcome to the team […] The president believes in a kind of Saul Alinsky radicalism which would lead to a secular European socialist model […] If you have a Reagan conservative versus a Saul Alinsky radical, it’s a pretty easy debate.

BILL MOYERS: So clever, so insidious. The same tactic Newt Gingrich invoked with those radioactive words he used in the GOPAC memos to demonize his opponents. The crowd knows nothing about the target except that they are supposed to hate him.

And why not? There’s the strange foreign name. Obviously an alien. One of them. And a socialist at that. What’s a socialist? Don’t know. But Obama’s one, isn't he? Barack-Hussein-Obama-slash-Saul-Alinsky. Bingo! Two peas in a pod -- a sinister, subversive pod at that.

Just who was Alinsky? Born in the ghetto of Chicago’s South Side, he saw the worst of poverty and felt the ethnic prejudices that fester, then blast into violence when people are crowded into tenements and have too little to eat. He came to believe that working people, poor people, people put down and stepped upon, had to organize if they were going to clean up the slums, fight the corruption that exploited them, and get a hand-hold on the first rung of the ladder.

He became a protégé of the labor leader John L. Lewis and took the principles of organizing onto the streets, first in his home town, then across the country. He was one gutsy guy.

SAUL ALINSKY: The first rule of change is controversy. You can’t get away from it for the simple reason: all issues are controversial. Change means movement, movement means friction, friction means heat, and heat means controversy.

BILL MOYERS: Alinsky, one journalist said, looked like an accountant and talked like a stevedore. He had a flair for the dramatic, once sending a neighborhood to dump its trash on the front step of a local alderman who was allowing the garbage to go uncollected. Or immobilizing City Hall, a department store or a stockholders meeting with a flood of demonstrators demanding justice. Saul Alinsky was a self-professed radical -- just look at the titles of two of his books. But he wasn’t a socialist or communist. He worked with them on behalf of social justice, just as he worked alongside the Catholic Archdiocese in Chicago. It was conscience they had in common, not ideology.

Barack Obama was just a kid in Hawaii when Alinsky died - something you would expect a good historian to know. The two never met, although when Obama arrived on the South Side of Chicago as a community organizer, some of his grassroots work with the poor was with an Alinsky-affiliated organization. But that’s how it goes in the fight for basic human rights, and Alinsky’s influence crops up all across the spectrum, even in the Tea Party. Get this: the one-time Republican Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, Dick Armey, whose FreedomWorks organization helps bankroll the Tea Party, gives copies of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals to Tea Party leaders. Watch out, brother, you could be next on Newt’s list. Although curiously, in his fight against wealthy Mitt Romney, Gingrich himself has stolen a page from Alinsky's populist playbook.

SAUL ALINSKY: Now power’s always gone into two areas: those who have money and those who have people. We have nothing but people.

NEWT GINGRICH: Now we’re going to have people power defeat money power in the next six months.

BILL MOYERS: Alinsky died suddenly in 1972. At the time he was planning to mount a campaign to organize white middle-class Americans into a national movement for progressive change. Maybe that’s why Newt Gingrich has been slandering Alinsky’s name. Maybe he’s afraid. Afraid the very white folks he’s been rousing to a frenzy will discover who Saul Alinsky really was. A patriot, in a long line of patriots, who scorned the malignant narcisism of duplicitous politicians and taught every day Americans to think for themselves and to fight together for a better life. That's the American way, and any good historian would know it.

Bill Moyers Essay: Newt Gingrich and the Real Saul Alinsky

February 3, 2012

Bill Moyers explains what we need to know about community activist Saul Alinsky, and why New Gingrich might be so afraid of him.

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  • Frank Lucatelli

    Bravo Bill! Thank you again, for speaking for those who are unable, for whatever reason, to speak for themselves.
     

  • leftofcenter

    The next question should be, would the MSM have the guts to publically ask this question?

  • Clari

    I worked for one of the organizations in Chicago founded by Mr. Alinsky for a number of years.  It was an amazing experience and one of the most educational of my life.  I had the privilege of meeting him twice, briefly, and am proud to say that.  Gingrich knows nothing about Alinsky, and it’s the things we know little about that frighten us.  Gingrich has reason to be frightened of Alinsky’s philosophy because rather than Socialism, it preaches humanism–protecting and empowering individuals.  

  • RFFisher

    Newt Gingrich is a GREAT ‘Politician’!  Just listen to how he responds during those awful debates.  He commands the stage with his witty and quick thinking responses that the other Republican Candidates are left with their mouths hanging open and stumbling for words.  They can’t begin to come close too his performance on the stage.  The man is a true ‘Carrier Politician’ and he’s good at it!

    And there lies the problem!!!
    We don’t need a ‘Politician’ that makes us feel all gooey inside when he speaks.  We need a politician that will go to Washington and ACTUALLY CHANG  the system that has evolved into a one sided battle of the Rich (the 1%) against the rest of us.  
    Nothing will change in Washington until we CHANGE the Players and insist on them changing the system from within.
    Can it be done?  Maybe not in my lifetime as it’s taken 30 years to tilt the scales this far to the Right, that allows this madness to go on right in front of our noses and not be able to do anything about it! 

    Yes, the 1% knows the system is so one-sided now that hey don’t care if we see their agenda in total daylight because in their minds, they have won the battle for total control of our Government and the outcome in America The worst is, they believe  it’s become irreversible!
    Do we have the fortitude,,, or maybe the better question would be,  CAN WE, reverse this???

  • david

    The country I live in now there was a real struggle between the radical red communist–over throw the government…vs the socialist movement who just wanted what was right for the majority.  This was about one hundred years ago.  The latter won out but it was a struggle.

  • Anonymous

    What country do you live in? Not knowing makes your message unclear and your history unconfirmed.

  • Anonymous

    (irreversible but unsustainable)
    Unsustainable both monetarily and ecologically, and I include the human mind and the human community as the most fragile part of that vulnerability. (Only when you seek normalcy does it seem irreversible.)

  • Anonymous

    Is it Russia?

  • Anonymous

    No, they even forgot about Bill Ayers.

  • Anonymous

    You mean all the millions of caged chickens who’ll be handed out Bojangles window tomorrow, or do you mean the cattle of delicate feelings being butchered on the hamburger line? Or do you mean the cats and dogs down at the pound awaiting execution? Even mute persons can type on this blog. I’d say 99% of humanity can speak for themselves and don’t need a ventriloquist. What Bill does is get them curious and give them information. Even human silence can be a form of speech. I’m sorry to pick at you Frank, but I think I’ve read much better posts from you that were   not the kind of thing you say to a visiting preacher in the handshake line. 

  • Schindlingeric

    Gingrich believes in the power of the soundbite.He is relying on the laziness of  the listeners . Newt would be in real trouble if those same people started to do just a little research into the things  he rants and snorts about !

  • Anonymous

    It was Hillary Rodham (Clinton) who knew Saul Alinsky and declined a career with him.  Barack Obama met a younger Weather Underground (Vietnam War) radical named Bill Ayers (now a respected educator) who was often slandered by Republicans during the 2008 election cycle. I’m surprised if Newt forgot that name. Maybe Romney’s corporate alter ego copyrighted it.

  • Anonymous

    In his short editorial Bill Moyers stipulates in no uncertain terms that Alinsky was never a socialist or communist. (The name sounds Russian or Slavic doesn’t it, kind of like Trotsky.) He recounts how Saul worked with mainstream middleclass successful people more than communists or socialists in behalf of racial equality and social justice. But who’s being defended here? Saul Alinsky died in 1972 and is remembered and admired mostly by radicals. It is Bill Moyers disqus moderators who delete radical slanders about him (Moyers). It is feared the mere mention of anything threatening property rights in connection with Moyers could ruin or discredit him. This sort of paranoia should have been buried with Senator McCarthy.

    How do we intimidate Oligarchs? I think the main way is to threaten to take away their property. How can there be any leverage without such a threat by the People to exercise this power? A good way to remember this is by a like blue riddle told by Nuckie Thompson (portrayed impeccably by Steve Buscemi) in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire:

    Q-”How do you stop an elephant for stampeding?”
    A- “Cut off his stampeder.” (damn peter)

    And that’s the way I’d stop “the elephant in the room.”

    Remember this Bill Moyers (so you can be strong):
    The People are behind you.
    The People have the Power.
    (title of a song by Patti Smith and Sonic Smith, OK tune)

    If one wants to equate every seizure of property in pursuit of justice communism or socialism that is his right. Just do not let that convention curb your pursuit of justice and fairness.
    Defending repute is akin to defending material advantage.

  • Anonymous

    Imagine this: Newt Gingrich starts putting Obama down because he consorts with Bill Moyers. What a laugh!

  • Frank Lucatelli

    Thanks for speaking up for all those that Bill hasn’t the time to do!

  • David

    as in all the homeless & unemployed who have no access to the internet?

  • One_American

    The Leftists have certainly gained a lot of false bravado under Obama.

    Bill Moyers will always align himself to everything radical, Leftist and wrong for America.

    You have dug your own grave, Bill Moyers.

    Now step into it, and real Americans will bury you.

  • http://www.yankeemedicrecords.com/ Lem G.

    As always, Bill Moyer’s investigation into the genuine legacy of Saul Alinsky proves once again that: “… the malignant narcissism of duplicitous politicians” like Newt Gingrich are revisionists of the worst kind.
        History, to people like Gingrich can be manipulated to invoke fear and loathing in white middle class conservatives who refuse to do ANY research into his poisoned
    rhetoric.

  • One_American

    Americans need to run Communists like Bill Moyers out of this country – they don’t belong here, and they are destroying the very social fabric that has held this country together.

    You are a despicable Leftist and Communist, Bill Moyers.

    America despises YOU!

  • One_American

     Warm-and-fuzzy Communism and radicalism.

    Anything wrong with Conservatives wanting Americans to empower themselves – instead of having organized Leftist mobs to force change (and taxpayer expense) on everyone, including those who disagree?

  • One_American

    Leftist have to employ suppression of free speech to advance their agenda.

    This website proves my point.

  • One_American

    Bill Moyers, like all Leftists, seek  to rewrite history and redefine words in order to bend the population to their will.

    As a matter of fact, Bill Moyers is using “Rules for Radicals” tactics in his pretzel-logic screed of Newt Gingrich.

    You are merely one of Bill Moyer’s unfortunate subjects.

  • One_American

     Bill Moyers, like all Leftists, seek  to rewrite history and redefine words in order to bend the population to their will.

    As a matter of fact, Bill Moyers is using “Rules for Radicals” tactics in his pretzel-logic screed of Newt Gingrich.

    If you subscribe to Bill Moyers political views, you are merely one of Bill Moyer’s unfortunate subjects.

  • Anonymous

    One-American doesn’t seem to be a proponent of critical thinking

  • Anonymous

    It would make much more sense, be more convenient, and more inexpensive if the tiny cadre of nihilist Nazis could find a new home. Maybe Reichsfuhrer Newt will make a Moon nest. Only the Oligarchs would cry, and you could still send them a Valentine.

  • Anonymous

    Words are defined by majority usage and consensus among the populace. Definitions in this case favor Moyers, and are at odds with the peculiar notions of Newt and One.

  • Anonymous

    He likes to hurl his own waste. Only a smidgen got on Bill’s pajamas, and it came out with soda water, so no harm done.

  • Anonymous

    As an “unfortunate subject” I am willing to assist Bill Moyers in bending the American population to the perversions of open-mindedness, tolerance and polite discourse (“their will”, as you put it, may “their will” triumph). One American must have copied his pitch off a package of Wheaties with Il Duce on the box. Next time bring it to Antiques Roadshow and you’ll be exclaiming,”Never realized what it was worth!”

  • Anonymous

    Better get out your crackpot chemistry set and decide forensically if Saul Alinsky had communist tendencies. It doesn’t matter to me really, just as long as the spoiled sports keep busy with their pseudo-science until next week’s show.

  • Anonymous

    We didn’t censor you, did we, to your shame and embarrassment. Nothing you write on the Internet ever goes away. “This is in your permanent record,” lamented Principal Friendly.

  • Anonymous

    P.S. You forgot to mention the magic words: class warfare. Is there an elephant in your room?

  • Anonymous

    Another instance of comment removal without good reason.

  • Anonymous

    Bill Moyers.:
    Communism is good.
    As long as I make a big fat paycheck and can look down on those below me. 

    You sound like one of those intellectuals in Cuba.
    Except, the intellectuals were the first to be murdered, Bill.

    Learn from history.

    And Saul Alinsky is not to be revered.  He’s to be reviled.
    Just like you should be, Bill.

  • leftofcenter

    While it’s still a free country (just barely), to everyone here who’s having a go at Moyers keep this in mind. In the U.K., there is no First Amendment. Thus, under their libel/slander/defamation laws, the accuser (many of you in this case) have to prove that everything you post is 100% true.

    Moyers is a Communist. Really? Can you prove that? If yes, please post the links, because I’ve never seen them.

    If he really is a Communist, does he also hang out with Van Jones (“allegedly” another Communist) at meetings?

    The last time I checked, being a Communist (if you are one) isn’t illegal.

    Just a suggestion. Maybe I’m wrong on this. But maybe Moyers has the same “why bother suing?” attitude as Noam Chomsky when faced with this kind of stuff. I guess you’ll have to find out for yourselves.

  • Artemis Eneldo

    American conservatives invent their heroes and invent their foes.  The Alinsky foe of Republican myth is no more real than the Reagan hero of Republican myth. 

  • Anonymous

    you believe that. come on beav talk to wally he’ll explain it.

  • Anonymous

    i guess twitter really pisses you off. so you disagree with the expressed views here. for me at least it be better if we just had “dislike” button.  and by the way, i liked frank’s post, it was short and to the point.

  • Anonymous

    I correspond every week with unemployed and “homeless” persons. 
    Public computer banks at libraries are an important resource and those who experience financial disaster are intelligent enough to hold onto their means of communication until the last. I provide a wireless card access to my favorite correspondent who is disabled. People don’t become mute, or unworthy of being heard, because they are poor. Two questions arise:
    1. Why would Bill Moyers have a special role in voicing the needs or views of the dispossessed. He’s a journalist. He doesn’t make up a script. He reports others speech.
    2. What is this perverted situation where comfortable middle income persons, of whatever political persuasion, claim to speak for the disadvantaged? I don’t think Bill Moyers claims to speak for the poor.

  • Anonymous

    A dislike button would provide too easy disapproval for those too lazy to give a reason. Actually, I dislike the like button because it is an unnecessary complication providing an easy ditto.

    I’m glad Michael liked Frank’s post.
    I’m glad he could obliquely express his affinity for twitter. But I’m sad that Michael (and maybe Frank) took my comment as a personal insult and not a heart-felt observation. 

    Bill Moyers is not a 2 year old being potty trained. He is not a God we must propitiate with ritual praise. I’m trying to express something that might be awkward for him: “You are a person with unique thoughts and ideas. Please share them with me.” When you shower empty praise you abdicate your responsibilities as a citizen and try to shift that weight to Moyers&Company.

    Grady Lee Howard does not write here to be popular or admired. He devotes his time trying to motivate people to think, think harder.

  • Anonymous

    Frank, you and I could travel Creation serving human needs just as easily as Bill Moyers could. We are, after all, what we do. And speech without action rings hollow. Every citizen should aspire to be like Saul Alinsky in his activism. That is the only way to get democracy.

  • Anonymous

    Artemis describes a real phenomenon but unfortunately lumps all conservatives under it. We eager viewers have all experienced agitation over this rare media outlet and its spokesperson being rudely and unreasonably attacked. We knew these threats would come as soon as Bill hit a nerve by discussing real facts. This “Redbaiting” is way out of date. It is a traditional holdover from the Cold War and  dualistic party politics. It seemed to have been replaced by the insults of being a terrorist, a terrorist sympathizer or a friend of Arabs or Islam. Now that we jail and punish the accomplices of accompliced affiliated accomplices, and use our political police (FBI) to frame up dupes who are provided disabled weapons and dummy bombs by the authorities these categories have been hopelessly confused. So the simpleminded partisans of hierarchy and wealth power must fall back upon ancient spells and dead words. Maybe “Communist” will take on a new admirable meaning when the majority understand that property rights preventing necessary taxation and regulation are not workable anymore.
    What is the point of possessing bazzillions of electronic dollars you can never begin to spend or count? Enormous sums that crush the life out of community and co-operation and bring the vital and necessary exchange to a halt are an imprisonment and not a freedom. The wealthy become like self-made victims trapped in golden masks. And those who defend such a dilemma lack the clothing of reason. They are not the naked painted-up marauding savages they make themselves out to be. They are human beings who can be reasoned with and redeemed. They just haven’t realized that yet.

  • Frank Lucatelli

     Well said! We are embarking upon a new age that established institutions are resisting and one that emerging sensibilities have yet to accurately name.

  • Anonymous

    There are better ways of proving something than linking. Actually, counting up links is kind of silly when you understand that the Internet is as full of disinformation and spin as it is full of true accounts, facts and accurate figures. In the case of Bill Moyers we can look at his history and the goals he works toward each day. We can compare his experience to ours and understand that his efforts are a self-sacrifice in behalf of improved knowledge and a better general quality of life. Many times he has chosen truth over career advancement. He cannot retire because he is a patriot and his nation is threatened by decline, corruption and rampant greed. He is such a great humanitarian person that to draft him to run for office or to praise his shows as entertaining demeans him. He is mortal and fallible but admits his failings. Those who attack him appear mercenary, ignorant and callous because he is non-partisan, fact-seeking and caring. Let’s be thankful for what we have and move on with the redemption.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think you are capable of defining either communism or history, and you wouldn’t know an intellectual if you saw one on TV. Your rhetoric is so out of date that I suspect your rest home does not subscribe to a newspaper.

  • Anonymous

    So you’re saying Speaker Gingrich is kind of a tweet machine?

  • Anonymous

    Does the phrase “self-deport” come to mind?

  • MILFEXCUBA

    Your speech was not surpressed, you have proved nothing.

  • Anonymous

    I am undeserving of your praise, Frank.
    I wrote here because I felt a void.As 
    MichaelPalmisano  once observed, there are some people who possess a special intuition enabling them to encapsulate complex ideas in a concise accessible statement. Frank Lucatelli has done it again. When we have made that new thing we will have gained the obligation to name it well.

  • MIKLFEXCUBA

    YOU ARE NOT AMERICA AND YOU DO NOT SPEAK FOR ME.

  • Anonymous

    You mean corporations right? I mean, Corporations are the people of  the conservative movement , at least that’s what the high court ruled.

  • Anonymous

    Your version of warm and fuzzy creates the need for antibiotics.

  • Djrryan

    I attended a national IAF training session two years ago.  I learned more about democracy, citizen involvement, and the importance of institutions than in all my prior 50 years of education and working in big corporations.  From everything I’ve seen and heard those who are bashing Alinsky are not doing it from a position of knowledge or wisdom.

  • Ellenclark13

    Leftists are not trying to suppress the vote of americans.

  • Ellenclark13

    I’ll bet you are just like Newt.  Full of hate.

  • Ellenclark13

    Lem G., I wish I’d said that!

  • Amsashworth

    When you are just trying to survive it is hard to empower oneself.  Besides there is power in numbers.  I’d prefer to join a group, thank you very much.

  • Anonymous

    You seem to have confused this website with Redstate or Sarah’s facebook.  That is where you find the opposition’s opinions immediately erased, not in any progressive web page.  But maybe you’re just projecting what you do in your home world.  

    Something that I find quite common among the wingnuts is that they attribute their own attitudes, behavior and values on the progressive wing.  They don’t understand that progressives value such things as integrity, caring about others, fairness, compassion, responsibility, equality, etc.  In short, the qualities that are listed in the Declaration and the Constitution.  

    The wingnuts, on the other hand, believe in anything that gets them economic and political power no matter who gets run over or who suffers.  I can make that statement with absolute assurance because I’ve seen them at work and was once married to one.  There is no other hypothesis that fits the data.

  • Anonymous

    It isn’t that they REFUSE to do any research.  It’s that the thought never crosses their minds.  And if you suggested it, they wouldn’t know what you were talking about.

    The right wing are mainly authoritarians (see the research into authoritarians at U of Manitoba and U of VA) which means that for them, if some “authority” makes a statement, that counts as irrefutable research.  It would never occur to them to question the veracity of their leader, and they consider anyone who does to be some sort of terrorist.  If you check out the U of VA website linked by Mr. Moyer, you will find that loyalty to the group takes absolute precedence over anything else no matter what the group does.

  • Anonymous

    Damn, censoring the guy who wanted to deport Bill Moyers made my responses look idiotic. And people need to know that the”love it or leave it” fringe still exists. Their vitriol toward Bill and us demonstrates their fear that we will restore democracy.

  • Anonymous

    IAF= Industrial Areas Fund has 21 offices around the world organizing in behalf of human rights. After the Chicago Catholic Diocese withdrew funding in 1979 the headquarters was moved to New York. The primary focus of this organization is people power. It was started by Alinsky before WWII.

  • Jay_casey

    Thank you Newt for bringing Alinsky to my attention so I could learn about his contributions to American culture.  And thanks Bill for the history lesson behind the headlines.

  • Anonymous

    The proper phrase is “Chock full o’ hate.”
    It comes in a can like whupass.
    Newt’s PAC can get it wholesale.

  • the old viking

    I read wonderful comments about these and other problems we have in our country and the world…but I read few suggestion about what to do and fewer from those who would do something…we all pretend to be so hopeless..a thousand mile journey starts with the first step…If you are looking for a leader I will lead..but your foot prints better go up the middle of my back when I go down in the first volley

  • Anonymous

    Here we go.  The far left communists in America are putting up Saul Alinsky as America’s new idol.  Communists have been manipulating the American media since before the Whittaker Chambers trial, and they haven’t changed their m.o. at all.  

    Every American needs to understand that the progressives want to destroy their liberty and govern every American’s personal life from a centralized government.  Soviet America. 

    You want a revolution?  Bring it on.  Real Americans are ready for it.  But the military is on OUR side, because they respect their oath to protect and defend the US Constitution.  Unlike the radical-in-chief in DC.

  • Abby Gilmore

    Who says you can’t teach an old reactionary some radical organizational tricks?  Dick’s Armey shut down public meetings on healthcare like real radicals.  Too bad his plan is to dump them at the alter of Romney. 

  • Judy Foley

    Thanks for that piece.

    It warms my 1960s heart to hear Alinsky being quoted again. I guess I should thank the lizard for that. The funny thing about Alinsky, whom I interviewed and met several times, was that he really had no specific ideology except empowerment. It used to be one of my frustrations with him. His organizing rules could be used by anyone. In fact, the South of the Yards section of Chicago where Alinsky had organized, was one of the most vociferous in its opposition to the protesters against the Vietnam War at the 1968 Democratic Convention.

    He was first and foremost a pragmatist. You didn’t do a demonstration, for instance, without having a list of your demands in your back pocket so you could pull them out when you got called before The Man. His dictum that the best organizing tool was an outside enemy was – and is still – one of his best tactics. And one, unfortunately, that Gingrich and others use to its full advantage by creating bogeymen for the brainless.

  • Kirk Kandle

    “Empower yourself” is like “heal thyself” or “be your own teacher.” This narcissistic view that we’re all to be free agents of capitalism or else “leftist mobs” misses all the rich possibilities that come from working together to solve social problems and human needs. What ever happened to “We the people … ?”

  • Walter

    Fantastic ! In 1971 as a newly minted VISTA volunteer, I was called to Atlanta to be trained by General Electric’s training group. The textbook was Alinsky’s Rules. The tactics were as effective then as they are today as ever (Dick Armey??!). But it was never about the tactics; it’s where your heart is. Thanks for your heart Bill.

  • Grady Lee Howard

    This is the board where corporations fight back by sending their “mad bees” to call us Communists. I have been unfairly called a communist so many times now it makes me giggle. It is an indicator I may be winning the argument.

    Two things create unfounded fear causing opponents to threaten you with scary names:
    1. The prospect that we should dissolve American Empire and build up an improved national configuration.
    2. The prospect that we might cap income and wealth at a reasonable level so that the concentration of money power will not negate meritocracy and useful innovation.

    *Caps can be achieved by steep progressive income taxation, a strong capital gains levy-especially on land, a higher rate on investment  income taxation, steep progressive property taxation, inheritance taxes, and by specific regulation. Yes, we can do specific regulation. In the aftermath of the Meltdown caps on executive bonuses at bailed  out firms we imposed but  not  rigidly enforced (which shows corruption). 
    And if we can set a minimum wage, then why not a maximum wage?

    How can traditionalists say this might dampen ambition.
    I think it  would healthily channel ambition away from financialism. And if it did throw water on megalomaniac dreams this could only relieve the thirst for widespread opportunity. And when I say caps, remember, I mean caps on corporations too.

    So laugh when people slander you for exercising your sociological imagination. Morality is a good thing.

  • Bentley

    Alinsky Myth?    There’s no myth about Alinksy’s training.  hE GOT HIS TRAINING RUNNUNG SCAMS FROM aL cAPONE’S GANG IN THE THIRTIES.

    Funny how Moyers doesn’t mention this fact about the scumbag.  Alinsky perfected the concept of “Legal Plunder”   using CAPONE’S TACTICS.

    mOYERS ALSO MAKES A BIG DEAL ABOUT tea party reading alinsky’s books.  Isn’t it better to know your enemy?  Didn’y Patton read bRommel’s books?

    It is necessary to know your enemy to defeat him.

    The left is the enemy of freedom.  So is Moyers.

    One person’s social justice is anothers social slavery. 

  • JudsonVaughn

    Bentley, u must have missed the first segment, about how we’re ruining our collegial society through demonizing our enemies.

  • Arakiba

     To a conservative, “warm and fuzzy” = compassion = empathy = pure evil.  Conservatives are obsessed that somebody somewhere might get something that the conservatives think they don’t deserve…things like health care, a living wage, and not being forced to starve in the street if they lose their job.  There is no compassion, no concept of ‘love thy neighbor’ in conservatives, Republicans, or the Tea Party.  And they’re just fine with that.

  • Arakiba

     Wow, more hatred and demonization spewing forth from a kkkonservative!  Hey Tamminator, you may want to go back to the Sith Empire, Emperor Palpatine’s looking for you! 

  • Bentley

    I do not believe in glorifying crooks.  That’s all Alinsky was….  a mobster mainstreaming mob tactics trained by Capone’s gang.  Did Moyers mention that?  

      Google Capone and Alinsky and see what you get.

  • Anonymous

    newty the demonizer. you buying another CONtract of his my friend. let’s just start being truthful about these dudes in or running for office.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Frank-Luke/100002464576512 Frank Luke

    Being so lpreoccupied and co-opted by survivaling keeps the  status quo problems continuing. There are too many who don’t care or don’t see the chains that bind them to that predicament. But there comes a time when it becomes too apparent and unsupportable any longer. The Occupy Movement is trying to shake and wake up those who will stand up to the corrupt situation of money running our democratic ways into the ground. Time to wake up and not just grouse but find ways to restore democracy so just folks can also share in the American way, that hard work will give all a shot at achieving the American Dream once more.

    Warren Buffet’s “How to Fix Congress” online is a recipe for how we might do that. Check it out.

  • Schindlingeric

    Access to the internet and the newspapers and self education is as close as your nearest library…Tell everyone you know to fight to keep these places open!!

  • Gort220

    Bill,

    Slam dunk on the Saul Alinsky piece. Ending with “something any good historian would know” was a eloquent stab at the historian Newt professes to be.

    As usual, your voice Bill, as well as the rest who work on your show is beyond necessary.

  • OM

    I can’t wait to learn what you think about those crooks, the original Boston Tea Party group, and how unpatriotic they were. Painting faces, destroying other people’s product and livelyhood! Our founding fathers must have been a great disappointment to you.
    Google history of the founding of the USA and see what you get.

  • Grady Lee Howard

    Well babe, the main way people born in the ghetto get any cheese is by gaming the system from which they (‘re) shut out. Try startin’ out nonwhitey in a bombed out ‘hood, then get back to me.

    Saul turnt out superfluous if he started out in a gang. We outta applaud. Did you want him  layin’ at the curb on smack?

  • Grady Lee Howard

    You put the “bent” in Bentley.
    Alinsky was a courageous grad student studying criminology, and he used the anthropological method of participant observation to study what was, during Prohibition, the defacto government of Chicago: the Capone Syndicate. Watch “Boardwalk Empire” to see the Atlantic City version which is romaticized but basically accurate. Al Capone is a character in that show as are some other underworld biggies.

    Next you’ll be saying Woodie Guthrie was a bankrobber because he wrote a song about Pretty Boy Floyd.

  • Drjy2k

    Typical righty, “if you can’t beat em on facts, just beat em up!!”

  • Drjy2k

    I am new to the board and agree with the idea of a ‘dislike’ choice.
    But, then again, I like choice in general.

  • Raymond See

      I read two Alinsky books when I was in my twenties as my brother and I tried to unionize a truck stop.  “Rules for Radicals,” and “Reveille for Radicals” are must reading for anyone who wishes to organize for any cause. 
       Alinsky worked for those who got trickled on by the onsees.   That was his only ideology. 
        My favorite Alinsky story is how he desegregated a movie theater by having people in the neighborhood eat beans before they attended the movie.  Radical gas. 
        Gingrich ought to wear an Alinsky T-shirt.  He’s certainly stolen enough of his tactics

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mitch-Cartwright/100000873605941 Mitch Cartwright

    I did what you said, Bently… http://www.progress.org/2003/alinsky5.htm

  • Praksys_consulting

    Thanks, Bill, for setting the record straight on Alinsky and for undermining that old technique where it is assumed that if you just keep lying long enough people will think itis the truth.

  • Big Mike

    We the people, that sounds socialist I hope no one notices that, next they will wnat roads, post offices, the right to make rules , impose tariffs, armies all that socialist hooey.
    But seriously…..

    Bill Moyers is a shining becon of ration reasonable discuss unllike any of the ranting(yelling) dimissive, divisive so call right wing groups. America needs a big push back against this to create a better second half.

  • thinker

    You must be from the south where the education system is very poor in order to keep you ignorant and easily manipulated. Learn how to type and spell, get your GED and then get back to us.

  • thinker

    This is all you need to know about Fox, the right and thier “alternate” world……..

  • Erin

    The states whining about taxes aren’t the ones paying them.  http://reason.com/archives/2011/04/29/the-truth-about-taxes-and-the/singlepage

  • Erin

    Bently, Dick Armey bragged on his website that he was using Saul Alinsky tactics to lure in Tea Party protestors.  “What’s good for the goose is good for the sauce,” Armey said…  It has since been taken off the website. 
     
    You know what is wrong with people like you?  You have been potty trained by people like Dick Armey to automatically hate Bill Moyers because he worked with Carter.  It’s a real shame that the Tea partiers didn’t watch Moyers coverage of the HC debates.  You could have actually made a difference…

  • Erin

    Frank, those Occupiers look as ridiculous as the Tea Partiers did – and like the HC industry for the TP’s – the banks are laughing all the way to the bank with the Occupiers. 

    If I hear “Warren Buffets secretary” one more time I will vomit.  If I go to Las Vegas and win 25K – I will be taxed 33% and if I lose – then I lose.   Even if I was a “high roller,”  I may get a comped hotel and steak buffet – but if I lose – I LOSE.  And if I win – I get taxed like everyone else like an income.  THAT is the argument – but don’t expect the GOP with the side of abortion Democratic Party to make it for you. http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/03/10/the-greatest-rip-off/

  • Nathanmoses75

    …and to refer to himself in the third person.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=739179306 Lee Michael Diamond

    Too bad most of the comments I skimmed over don’t bother trying to respond to the always thoughtful Bill Moyers.

  • heydad

    Think! Please God, I’ll do anything. Just don’t make me THINK. Here we are now, entertain us…

  • Clawn14

    Hi Bill
    love the show. you presents the best to highlight the double standard and lies in this great country….

  • Joanl Leininger

    I find it interesting that while Saul Alinsky stood for the principles that Jesus Chrisst  preached, the “Christian” right demeans him.  Congratulations, Mr.Moyers on a moving tribute.  I hope for the best from Pres.Obama on behalf of middle class, working peopl,e who have been trampled.

    Stay well!
    Joan Leininger

  • Lisa

    Actually, THIS website proves how much progressives support free speech even when from the mouths of idiots and ignoramuses.  I’ve never experienced this much tolerance from the radical right, on or off-line.

  • Mzwojo

    Advise from the left-Spell check and fact check before you post.

  • Calhoun Paul

    It is not all wrong to empower yourself, but it would seem to me the 1st step in that process might be to rely on accurate information as opposed to half-truths and self serving campaign slogans as well as the delusional notion that you are in this alone.

  • Mike Robinson

    Taking sides (on Alinsky or Moyers or Obama or Progressive principles is the easy stance.   What I applaud most of all in Alinsky (and Moyers) is lifting the veil on the tactic of dehumanizing anyone who differs with us.   It would be useful (Bill) to take the principles of Alinsky one step further, not to a political precedent, but an ethical one.  What ethics drove him to act (fair play?) and if that, then where does that ideal originate in our history…on whse ideas are we drawing.
    Wouldn’t it  be ironic, Bill, if both sides of the American political scene were appropriating some common source for their own use?  How about Tom Paine, for one?

  • Mike Broderick

    A MILLION THANX!! I grew up there, and on a rainy, hot day,  in clear smelling distance of the Darling Meat rendering plant, the one and only Back of the Yards. We’ll need to take Saul along with us in our journey forward if we are ever to get to Damascus.

  • John Galt

    Moyers is disgusting

  • Sicsempertyrannis

    Sounds like you have pulled rulled 13 out of your quiver bill…and are using it against Gingrich.  Your a prog fraud and you are exposing yourself.

  • Anonymous

    You obsequious stain.   Why not get out of America?   Go to Europe, Russia, whatever, but get your pea picking hide out of this fine country that you enjoy through NO action of your own.   All the Patriots that died to give you the freedom you don’t deserve will be short lived anyway.  Your puke president has successfully killed the finest country in history.   Get ready to rumble.

  • Anonymous

    So what happened to you to make you such a hateful person.    The brainless reference is so typical of you and your other godless traitors.

  • Kenegbert3rd

    One of the more insidious things about former Speaker Gingrich is, he is intelligent enough to, if one doesn’t listen to him too closely, almost make sense.   Almost.  Further proof that we can’t let the ship of state drift.  We all have to pay attention, especially when the former Speaker verbally slaps Alinsky around as he has done. 
         Now that Gingrich has gone off the road, unfortunately the memory of Saul Alinsky is fading again.  Best that we remember what he stood for, and forget all about spurious foolishness of the sort with which the ex-Speaker would replace Alinsky’s big-hearted and inclusive concepts.     

  • http://www.facebook.com/nadine.vaughn1 Nadine Vaughn

    If all of his work and words were meant for good and not evil doing I could almost agree with you. Nadine