Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Name:
Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Social Security

Below is a portion of the transcript of CNN's Crossfire's Super Tuesday Showdown recorded on March 2, 2004. Participants were Bob Novak, James Carville, Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson. It was transcribed as follows:

Novak: "But I will tell you the truth about Social Security. It's a Ponzi scheme. It's going to go bust eventually after we're all dead. And what we've got to do is put it on a means test and cut benefits."
Carville: "So you would like to get rid of it?"
Novak: "I would." (crosstalk)
Carville: "Republican position" (crosstalk)
Begala: "We have an honest Republican at the table, two of them, in fact, Bob and Tucker."

During the so called (crosstalk), I heard Bob Novak say: " It's a Socialist program and should be abolished", but the comment was not recorded.

This Republican controlled Congress passed massive tax cuts favoring the very wealthy, a prescription drugs program that is a give away to the pharmaceutical industry, an education program that leaves no child untested, and tax breaks to corporations for shipping jobs overseas. The Republican Party has nothing to offer except more of the same deception.

The trend toward privatization is being promoted by Republicans on the county, state and national level in order to reduce accountability. In the long run it is not an effective cost-saver or guarantee of efficiency, but continues to make faceless corporations more powerful than OUR government.

Bush has admitted that privatization will do nothing to save Social Security. However, he continues to push an individual ownership agenda. Social Security can be made solvent by merely raising the FICA cap on employee and employer contributions. It's the employer contribution, which Novak views as a Socialist program. Considering the record of the Bush regime, changes other than raising the FICA cap will not benefit most Americans.

Democrats are not the party that is playing a partisan game, they have said take privatization off the table and get serious about saving Social Security.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Elitist

Our Constitution was established to: "promote the general welfare". The Bush administration has certainly promoted the welfare of the wealthy, but average Americans have actually seen their incomes decline.

At an $800/plate fund raiser Bush quipped: "This is an impressive crowd, the haves and the have- mores. Some people call you, elite; I call you my base". Bush panders to his wealth influential friends and self-serving international conglomerates. Driven by greed, dishonest special interest lobbyist have thwarted members of Congress from considering the common good.

Thomas Frank's "What's the matter with Kansas?" seeks to answer the question: Why do so many Americans vote against their economic and social interest? Republican's have skillfully promoted an agenda which works against the well-being of the average American family. They have kept voters distracted with cultural issues, thereby diverting attention from issues related to their own welfare. Frank a native Kansan and onetime conservative writes: "They may talk Christ, but they walk corporate. Values may matter most to voters, but they always take a back seat"- to Bush's elitist base.

Republicans have not produced a president in the past 34 years that has balanced a budget. Over the past 3 decades, they have practiced theories such as supply side economics, which have proven time and again that they can't be trusted with taxpayers' money. Of the past 12 presidents the top six in terms of job creation were all Democrats. At the bottom of the list is Bush the elder, Bush the younger and Herbert Hoover. Since 1989, only Clinton led the country in the direction of creating more jobs, significantly reduced unemployment and brought about a budget surplus. President Bush has squandered the budget surplus and created a record deficit, while the number of Americans without health insurance has grown by 3.8 million.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Christian Country

Satirist Mark Twain wrote this "War Prayer" in response to Andrew Carnegie's assertion that this is a Christian country.

"O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of guns with the shriek of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire... We ask it in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the source of love."

A 2003, Associated Press poll found that 77% of Evangelicals favored the Iraqi war. At 62%, significantly fewer Catholics and mainline Protestants were in favor of war. Only 44% of nonreligious citizens favored the war, and a mere 36% of black Protestants favored the invasion of Iraq.

An article by Jim O'Leary entitled: "We're not a Christian Country" appeared in National Catholic Reporter. We share the same name, but are not related. He is a Roman Catholic, who demonstrates consistency by writing: "If their is anything that contradicts religion, it is war. Nothing on this earth is more evil, cruel, wicked, irrational, horrible, ungodly, diabolical or injurious than war...When this nation wages war and sings "God Bless America!" it smells like blasphemy...How can this happen in a Christian nation? It may be because the nation isn't Christian and hasn't a clue as to what it means to be a Christian. Only 10% of us said that religious beliefs influence our thinking, even thought the United States has by far the highest rate of church attendance in the world. Lots of good that does!"

"My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side."- Abraham Lincoln