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

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Look Around

The following quotation is from the speech that Elizabeth Warren made at the Democratic National Convention.

“Look around.  Americans bust their tails, some working two or three jobs, but wages stay flat.  Meanwhile, the basic costs of making it from month to month keep going up.  Housing, health care, child care costs are out of sight.  Young people are getting crushed by student loans.  Working people are in debt.  Seniors can’t stretch a Social Security check to cover the basics.

“And even families who are OK today worry that it could all fall apart tomorrow.  This. Is. Not. Right!  Here’s the thing: America isn’t going broke.  The stock market is breaking records.  Corporate profits are at all-time highs.  CEOs make tens of millions of dollars.  There’s lots of wealth in America, but it isn’t trickling down to hard-working families like yours.

“Does anyone here have a problem with that?  Well, I do too.  People get it: the system is rigged.

“So-called experts claim America is in trouble because both political parties in Washington refuse to compromise.  Gridlock!  That is just flat wrong.  Washington works great for those at the top.

“When giant companies wanted more tax loopholes, Washington got it done.  When huge energy companies wanted to tear up our environment, Washington got it done.  When enormous Wall Street banks wanted new regulatory loopholes, Washington got it done.  No gridlock there!

“But try to do something, anything, for working people, and you’ll have a fight on your hands.

“Democrats have taken on those fights.  Democrats fought to get health insurance for more Americans. Democrats fought for a strong consumer agency so big banks can’t cheat people.  We fought, we won, and we improved the lives of millions of people — thank you, President Obama!

“Yes, we won, but Republicans and lobbyists battled us every step of the way.  Five years later, that consumer agency has returned $11 billion to families who were cheated.  And Republicans?  They’re still trying to kill it.

“I’m not someone who thinks Republicans are always wrong and Democrats are always right.  There’s enough blame to go around.  But there is a huge difference between the people fighting for a level playing field, and the people keeping the system rigged.

“Look at Congress since the Republicans took over. Democrats proposed refinancing student loans.  And Republicans?  They said no!  Democrats proposed ending tax breaks for corporations that ship jobs overseas.  And Republicans?  They said no!  Democrats proposed raising the minimum wage.  And Republicans?  They said no!

“To every Republican in Congress who said no: this November, the American people are coming for you!”


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