It has taken two powerful hurricanes to wake up the American people to the extremes in wealth and poverty that have existed for generations in the states of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
These three states have the worst records in America on spending for their schools, assistance for the poor and the lowest incomes for everyone but the most wealthy.
A former Texas governor is now US president and he brought his wealthy, spoiled, incompetent, corrupt cronies with him and also the corrupt Texas politics and ideas and anyone who is aware of the antics, skulduggery and criminally irresponsible activities going on in our legislative and executive branches of the federal government and those swindle bills and contracts DeLay's Texas Mafia have managed to pass and the president signed should not be a bit surprised that these Bible-thumping, value-spouting hypocrites have turned our democracy into a government of the corrupt corporations, by the corrupt corporations and very profitably for the corrupt corporations. Meanwhile, most of the American people get poorer while a few gain tremendous wealth, so Bush has succeeded in turning America into Texas on a grand scale and if that doesn't make the American people hopping mad then they deserve to be victimized by those soulless, war-profiteering, blood-sucking, greedy, corrupt haters of democracy and her people.
"You don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows," Dylan reminded us in the 1960s. The people are finally feeling the wind's direction regarding the war and its impact on our country, and they (Cindy Sheehan and many others now) have questions to ask the corrupt in power, questions that may be better put by a verse from another Bob Dylan song, "Masters of War":
Let me ask you one question,
Is your money that good?
Will it buy you forgiveness?
Do you think that it could?
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll,
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul.
Let us ask the stockholders and executives of the New York Times, the Washington Post, ABC News, CBS News, Fox News, NBC News, CNN and corporate radio who have been pandering to the ambitions of the corrupt in places of power: Is your money that good? Let us ask the stockholders and executives of the Halliburtons and Bechtels who prey on US invasion aftermaths that are now tragedies for the people of Afghanistan and Iraq: Is YOUR money that good? Let us ask the stockholders and executives of the Lockheed Martins and General Dynamics who build the killing machines and feed the military beast: Is YOUR money that good? Let us ask the stockholders and executives of the Unocals and ExxonMobils whose dipsticks are always looking for higher levels: Is YOUR money that good? Let us ask the politicians of the US government, from top to bottom, with their hands out to most of the above: Is THAT money that good? And what to speak of their souls?
They better have some answers for the people, for, truly, the house is cracking and with that wind, "it's a hard rain that's gonna fall."
Finally Scooter Libby is indicted for his role in the coverup of misleading the American people into war with Iraq. Valerie Plame was outed as punishment for her husband's revelations about the administration's Iraq lies to get the public incited for war. We know the WHIG [White House Iraq Group] team secretly met in Cheney's office to cook up the lies to "sell" the war to you and me. It then morphed into a hit squad against any critic of the lies. Bush himself has lied because Joe Wilson found in 2002 that Iraq had not tried to buy nuclear material; this Bush knew but still claimed it in his 2003 State of the Union address. This was done because of polling data showing the people would only support invasion in the clear case of a nuclear threat. So they created one! Congress should take action and clean house, impeaching both Cheney and Bush.
Abe Lincoln's troops showed their protests in song on their march to battle. The chorus of a Civil War song was: "In eighteen hundred and sixty-three / I've seen all I want to see / of Lincoln's liberty / And the ... killin'
I would like to update this Civil war song:
"In two thousand and. three / I've seen all I want to see / Of Bush's liberty / And the ... killin'.
"In two thousand and four / I've seen much, much more / Of Bush's liberty / And. the .... killin'.
"In two thousand and five / If I'm still alive / I've seen all I want to see / Of Bush's Liberty / and the .....killin'!
WW2 Pacific veteran
How do we get a progressive agenda done today? The answer appears in your wallet.
I imagine each of you have studied the union movement. The union movement has brought us the 40-hour work week and the minimum wage. The union movement had focused on the individual employers to get these benefits.
Today corporations have taken over the Republican Party and even write the legislation that hurts ordinary people.
We need to form our own ad-hoc union and instead of going on a work strike we need to go on a purchasing strike. We need to target some of the major contributors of money to the Republican Party as they pull the levers of power. They have the most to lose and they can get the pressure every day instead of the officeholders that only run every two, four and six years.
We need to go on strike against Wal-Mart, Wendy's, Outback Steak House, Dominos Pizza, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Eckerd, CVS and Walgreens, GE and Exxon/Mobil.
We need to call these companies and tell them we have gone on strike against them until they get the Republican National Committee to hold a press conference announcing that they will accede to our demands of a $10-an-hour minimum wage, an unemployment insurance benefit that will last one year instead of six months, a real prescription drug benefit under Medicare of 80% coverage, no privatization of Social Security and increasing the Social Security payroll tax, removing the $88,000-a-year FICA taxable income limit. Also vote by mail throughout the US with paper ballots and an independent civil service that registers people to vote and counts votes. We need this and more. You make the demands, you go on strike. You have the money and the Republican contributors either do as we want or they go broke under our purchasing strike.
Call your senator and tell him or her that unless he or she votes against Samuel Alito, you will boycott Domino's Pizza and they will lose a lot of money and that you're boycotting them because they give money to the Republican Party and the CEO David Brandon supports the antiabortion movement with money.
Call to action. Stop the Republican Party.
Over and over again, the leadership in the Republican Party have shown their callous disregard for the people of America. These Republicans serve an extremely small constituency, but have managed to convince the religious right to support policies that are regressive at-best -&endash; a type of extreme social Darwinism. In fact, they are pushing a social structure that most cloth-coat Republicans can't survive.
With President Bush's nomination of Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the Supreme Court, it is obvious the majority views of the people of this country no longer matter to the Republican Party. Senate Republicans are already planning to implement the nuclear option, including at least one Republican senator who helped avert the last "nuclear threat." I believe that if the Republicans follow through with the nuclear option, then the coastal states must prepare to secede from the United States -- at least Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington, Oregon and California.
These states should then take the US Constitution and add a provisions to protect personal privacy, stop corporations from being artificial people and extend personal protections to include race, creed, color of skin and sexual orientation. I'm sure that when the coastal states are no longer providing the financial support to pay for this corrupt government, other states will vote to join this new union like rats deserting a sinking ship.
And those states that can't give all their people equal protection under the law, can keep going under the government they deserve.
White Sulphur Springs, Mont.
A recent Pew Research poll asked Americans "do you feel it was the right or wrong decision to go to war in Iraq?" 44% said "right" and 50% said "wrong." A recent CBS poll found that 64% disapprove of George W. Bush's handling of the Iraq war. Yet Bush insists he will "stay the course" and keep troops in Iraq indefinitely.
Also important is how the Iraqi people, for whose sake we supposedly maintain the occupation, feel about the continued presence of US troops. Polls done in Iraq by US or US-friendly organizations -- yet mostly ignored by the media -- show that the majority of Iraqis favor near-term or immediate withdrawal of American forces.
Most Americans think the occupation should end. Most Iraqis think the occupation should end. The Bush inner circle, some other politicians and pundits think it should continue. So it continues. Is this democracy?
If the US truly wants a democratic Iraq sensitive to the will of its people, the recent Iraq Constitutional election, orchestrated and overseen by Americans, could have included a referendum question on US presence. Thus a golden opportunity was missed by not letting Iraqis vote on the crucial question of continued American military occupation.
Nine dollars an hour has become the minimum-wage norm in modern Europe -- for now! England's and Ireland's minimums are scheduled to rise above that in 2006. ... Spain is catching up.
The USA of 1968 featured a minimum wage equivalent to $9 an hour (at half of today's labor productivity!). It dropped to $8 an hour by 1974, $7 an hour by 1981, $6 an hour by 1991 and $5.15 and hour today. ...
The interesting thing here is that, if LBJ's minimum could pay $9 an hour at half of today's labor productivity (the USA's and Europe's), does that mean economies on both sides of the Atlantic could practicably support an $18-an-hour minimum wage today? Just to pose an abstract question.
A $12-an-hour minimum wage in the USA would raise the cost of GDP output by only a manageable 4% -- not counting other wages being pushed up -- and might just manage to eliminate most poverty and crime over here; a couple of other gaps with our economic playmates that we are long overdue to close.
Molly Ivins has written a truthful characterization of Tom DeLay in her article ["DeLay Always Goes Too Far," 11/1/05 TPP]. Not unlike Bush, DeLay believes that he is being divinely guided and he would go to any extent to dismantle the cherished wall of separation between the Church and State. His "biblical worldview" makes him support Israel not because it is a democratic country and an important ally to us but because "A Jerusalem populated only by people of Judaic faith will bring upon the second coming." Question remains if there is ever a settlement bringing peace and prosperity in the region and if part of the settlement involves allotting some area of Jerusalem to the Palestinian Arabs would Mr. DeLay object? -- you bet he would, because his convoluted belief system, would not allow anything to delay the "second coming." That such a man is the leader of the US House of Representatives is both embarrassing and frightening. The voters in his district must bring about DeLay's "end times."
Oct. 25 marked the death of the 2000th soldier in Iraq, about 1,800 since Bush declared the war was over! I am gravely concerned that Bush is moving rapidly towards a war with Syria as part of a long-range plan that his hawkish neocons, Cheney and Rumsfeld, have long sought, to also topple Iran as well and thus become the central power and oil broker in the Middle East.
The question is: Can he do it without consulting Congress and requesting their authorization? It would seem doubly difficult now to get approval because of his lies and deception to the country and our representatives around the false evidence of weapons of mass destruction and the supposed link of Iraq to al Qaeda. However Condoleezza Rice has an answer that indicates Bush does not need Congressional approval to wage war against Syria. ...
Elkins Park, Pa.