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.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Superpatriotism

Michael Parenti's "Superpatriotism" makes a convincing argument that rabidly militaristic superpatriots "are not admirable at all."

Superpatriots are always ready to follow our national leader without questions, especially when it involves the use of military force. Their faith like devotion becomes fanatical and their battle cry- " America love it or leave it"- makes America the issue. By making our nation the issue, attention and blame is shifted away from what is being perpetuated by the current leadership. Superpatriots claim a monopoly on patriotism and seek to defame dissenters for not loving their country. Parenti concludes: " If the test of patriotism comes only by reflexively falling in lockstep behind the leader, whenever the flag is waved, then what we have is a formula for dictatorship not democracy."

Superpatriots heap praise upon those who serve our country and among them are the chickenhawks, a label which applies to our privileged leaders who are hawkish on war, but avoided military service in Vietnam. Topping the list of chickenhawks are: Bush, Cheney, Karl Rove, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, John Ashcroft, Douglas Feith, Trent Lott, and Tom DeLay. These chickenhawks speak of democracy, freedom, and liberty to justify the invasion of Iraq at a time when all other justifications have been discredited. Chickenhawks are responsible for diabolically promoting the invasion of Iraq using bogus intelligence.

According to Parenti the lack of employment opportunities in civilian life is frequently the compelling reason for enlisting in the military and is called "economic conscription". Every time another young American is killed in Iraq, remember we have been fortunate to have experienced the life they should have had. By using "economic conscription" our privileged leaders are taking advantage of young underprivileged American men and women. Chickenhawks view them as expendable and economic cannon fodder for the military industrial complex.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Class Warfare

On May 4th. Lou Dobbs interviewed Warren Buffett the second wealthiest man in the world. In " You have the Power", Howard Dean describes Buffett as a billionaire with a conscience.

Dobbs asked Buffett about his comment that our country is becoming a sharecropper society and economy. "What does that mean?" Buffett response was that if we keep doing what we're doing, the world will own a greater percentage of this country. The cost of servicing the debt will mean that we will send abroad a percent of our GDP every year just to service debt, which arose from the over - consumption that is currently taking place. "Our sons will pay for the sins their fathers."

Dobbs asked about Social Security. Buffett's answered: "I personally would increase the taxable base above the present $ 90,000. I pay very little in the way of SS taxes." Dobbs commented: "What a progressive idea, the rich people pay more." Buffett pointed out: "The rich people are doing so well in this county, I mean we never had it so good... It's class warfare, my class is winning, but they shouldn't be."

Dobbs responded: "Your class as you put it, in point of fact is winning on estate taxes. I know you opposed it. The same week the House passed legislation which they call bankruptcy reform. Half the bankruptcies in this country take place, because people fall seriously ill, which results in bankruptcy. What is going on in this country?"

Buffett: "The rich are winning. Just take the estate tax, less than 2% of all the estates pay any estate tax. We raise $ 30 billion from estate taxes. I would like to hear a Congressman say who they are going to get the $ 30 billion from if they don't get it from estate taxes. It's nice to say... wipe out this tax, but we're running a huge deficit, so who does the $ 30 billion come from?"

"Right now corporate profits as a percentage of GDP in this country are right at the high. Corporate taxes as a percentage of total taxes raised are very close to the historical low."