Mass Hypnotism

The recent Republican/Tea Party success makes you wonder how much magic was in the wand that they used to hypnotize the voters. It made millions leave reality behind and succumb to their magic spell — and under the spell one half of the women voters favored the party who advocate that abortion, under any circumstances, should be prohibited. Under the spell, many Americans voted for a party that advocates the position that “big government, with all that Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid programs, is BAD and is akin to socialism, whereas big business is GOOD for its trickle-down effect.” Under the spell, the sick and the disabled, who cannot afford adequate health care, thought that with Obama’s health plan, conditions will get worse and they will “die at the hospital door.” Under the spell they supported a party that resists attempts to have an egalitarian society and favors instead abolishment of inheritance tax and capital gains tax. This same magic wand will be reused for the 2012 elections at which time they will win the Senate and the White House. Scared yet?

Flushing, N.Y.

Put Up or Shut Up

OK, Republicans, you won the Congress majority, you have John Boehner (R-Ohio) as the new Speaker of the House! John McCain (R), US senator from my state of Arizona, was elected to a fifth term.

Now let’s see you Republicans create all those jobs and secure our border to Mexico. Get our economy going. And I want to see you do it in just two years, the amount of time you gave President Obama. Oh, and I don’t want to hear excuses as to why you can’t do that in two years, or three, or four or even ten!

Now, fulfill and accomplish the lies you promised in your campaign speeches! I’ll be watching and waiting.

Tucson, Ariz.

Sorry to See Feingold Go

I was deeply saddened to learn of Sen. [Russ] Feingold (D-Wis.)’s defeat in the mid-term elections.

The entire country lost a true congressional hero “of the people.” He was more a victim of current circumstances than of his years of honorable service. I hope Sen. Feingold stays engaged in public policy, for he is very influential. I sincerely wish the senator, his family and staff all the best in life. Mr. Feingold, we all thank you and value your lifetime of service, and look forward to many progressive initiatives to come.

Lastly, people, elections require turnout. This one we lost. In two years, let’s step it up!

Bethlehem, Pa.

Mental Health Problem

This past election has proven that we, as a country, are having a nervous breakdown. In Florida, the name of my proof is two words: Rick Scott. This man should be in jail! He ran a company that paid $1.6 billion in fines for swindling the American taxpayer with Medicare fraud. To get a job as governor, paying $132,932, he took $75 million of his own money, (money that is perceived by many, especially those who are now losing their jobs, homes and minds, to have a “tinge” of something reprehensible to it); to buy himself the election (as apparently all elections are now “up for sale”). ... He invoked the Fifth amendment 75 times in a deposition several years ago, to avoid incriminating himself. Such behavior alone makes him unfit to serve as Florida governor. (Are we crazy?) What is it exactly that made anyone vote for Rick Scott? It’s shocking!

How little of our basic American values are left in the majority of Americans. We’ve lost our identity. We have lost our soul. It’s not the “tea party,” it’s not the “liberals,” it’s not the “right-wingers.” The issue is: What does this country really stand for anymore? What kind of country do we want? (Are we happy being a corporate/militaristic culture?) What are the basic things we want for every American?

Frankly, if we don’t have the type of country we want, then we have the type of country we deserve. Sad.

Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Pimps Taking Over

The Progressive Populist is the most interesting publication that I receive, and has provided me the last few years with much information that I use to agitate my State’s Congressional Delegation. So much that they no longer answer my letters. When I hear someone say, “Contact your Congressman, he works for you,” I don’t know whether to laugh, or cry. Once elected, or re-elected, most of them care very little what a working peon thinks.

But if this January 2010 [Citizens United] ruling by the high court is allowed to stand, we no longer have a Democratic Republic, but a government completely owned by the wealthy elite and their corporate lobbyists. No more “One man, one vote.”

The following quotation was not found in Poor Richard’s Almanack, nor in one of the Dead Sea Scrolls:

“A pimp is the contact between a joy-girl and her customer of the evening; a lobbyist is the pimp between the corporate board-room, and a Member of Congress. The joy-girl’s pimp fee provides a moment of pleasure; the corporate board-room’s pimp fee destroys a democratic republic.”

Remember, “He who owns the gold makes the rules.” Thank you.

Eupora, Miss.

Consumers Should Revolt

Re: Barry Ritholtz’s article, “The Left/Right Paradigm Is Over” (11/1/10 TPP): Mr. Ritholtz is so right. Our true enemies are the corporations. We should take back our lives by declaring a consumer revolt. The only way that we have a fighting chance against them is to strike them at their bottom line. Stop buying as much as you can.

Some suggestions: no reasonable healthy adult needs to eat three meals a day, cut back to two meals per day with brownie points for those who either quit or cut back on all alcoholic beverages and cigarettes. Do not buy any new clothing for a year. No Christmas gifts nor birthday gifts. In short, cut all “optional” spending to the bone and postpone, for as long as possible, all durable goods.

This program would not help the economy or create any new jobs but it would not hurt the already unemployed and it might, if adopted by 10 to 20 million people at least in part, grab the attention of the corporations if it cut into their profits. They might even rethink some of their opposition to unemployment insurance, increasing the minimum wage and the advisability of government health insurance which benefits business far more than it does consumers.

Oh yes, I forgot, no more buying candy and an end to Trick or Treating.

State College, Pa.

Workers Should Be Heard

I am writing in regard to Hank Kalet’s article, “Fight the Power,” in the 11/15/10 TPP. Mr. Kalet pointed out that the American workers have lost their voice and their ability to be heard and have the government respond to their grievances, and to work with the unions and activist groups to repair that which has been done not only to the workers but to their will to participate in elections of any kind due to government’s inaction and the anti-worker and anti-union action that they have engaged in with the support of corporate groups that use their fake grassroots organizations and their PR firms that grind out these anti-worker and anti-union ads that enflame the weak-kneed and those who believe that the government is the villain in this whole scenario and are willing to support whatever these fake grassroots organizations and their corporate-funded PR ads are spewing out to the public for their masters. The workers of the United States and those thrown out of their homes should unite in some legal fashion to raise their voices so that they will not be relegated to second-class citizens in a third-world country. We must be heard. And we will be heard. Today and every day.

Tampa, Fla.

Are We Or Aren’t We?

I saw a cartoon of two people talking. One said “I hate Obama cuz he’s a socialist.” The other replied “I hate him cuz he isn’t.”

Did it demonstrate that the hating was more important than the reasoning?

Could it even indicate that both of them were nothing but racists?

Or did neither understand what a socialist is?

I think true socialism only exists in democracies, because socialism has to be voted in by the people; it is non-existent in any other form of government.

In communist countries it is imposed by the party’s leadership, but has a totally different meaning. In those countries the means of production are mostly in the hands of the state and private enterprises are few and far between.

I know of no socialist democracy that is not 100% pro-private enterprise. Private home-ownership often meets or exceeds the percentage in America.

Socialism such as Social Security and Medicare or any other form of public support was approved by the people and can also be abolished by the people.

If it did not work here or abroad there would be serious movements to abolish it, but to my knowledge there is none, so most people must like it.

What about those hated liberals and that demonized liberal press? Liberal as an adjective means generous, ample, abundant, not literal or strict, tolerant, broadminded or favoring reform or progress. Which are you not?

Acton, Calif.

Soldiering On

Regular writer David Quintero [“Draft Rich Kids,” Letters, 12/1/10 TPP] has a point, but when it comes to “defending freedom,” it is quite established that the college/career class (not necessarily “rich,” e.g., student Dick Cheney) has a dispensation and the working class has a duty. Construction workers and various blue-collars, you may remember (or read), attacked anti-Vietnam protesters. Draft evaders were criminals, but — you remember this — a flock of (duty-free, pro Nam) chicken hawks were appointed leaders-of-the-land in 2000. No, the draft is not coming back, but one way or another, and this is not unique to the U S, when it comes to defending “our” way of life, the “lower” class will contribute much more than its share. Of course what they are really defending is less a patriotic abstraction and more the interests of, say, United Fruit (cf., Bernard J. Berg’s caustic letter, “Stop Making Vets”), Coca Cola in Colombia, and a multitude of supra-national companies — especially energy — whose interests are not especially of interest to or in the interest of our working class.

San Francisco

Discount the Bible

Cheryl Lively [“Read Whole Bible, Constitution,” Letters, 11/15/10 TTP] suggests the Right Wing use more Bible knowledge, and that too many people think they know what the Bible says, and don’t. The writer seems to accept Biblical validity, regardless of the fact that it is not exactly pervaded with peace and love. Consider all the mass killings in it ordered, committed or approved by God himself. Or its belittling of women (accused of introducing sin into the world), and its condoning of slavery. Certainly it influenced the burning of countless so-called heretics at the stake, and in all likelihood motivated dropping atom bombs upon innocents in Japan.

Reading the Bible does not in any way establish its credibility, and instead reveals a tome interspersed with inhumane wrongdoings, enmeshed in an obfuscating mishmash of contradictions and discrepancies unworthy of “the word of God,” whose very existence, in the light of human evolution, is undoubtedly waning.

Embarrass, Minn.

Dems Won’t Fight

Reading Gene Lyons’ “Dems Should Slam GOP Hypocrites” [11/15/10 TPP] makes a lot of us wonder why they and President Obama have not scored a knockout.

As Lyons point out, the Democrats have enough iron in their gloves to annihilate their opposition if only they had the heart to do it. Why doesn’t Obama pummel his opponents in the political ring? Why, oh, why does he pull his punches? When will he come out fighting? Maybe a last-minute rope-a-dope? We have free elections but our choice is meaningless if only one side is willing to strike a blow.

I don’t have the feeling that Obama and the Democrats were beaten at the polls. It’s more like they threw the fight. As for Obama, facing an election in 2012, it is too bad. He could have been a contender. He could have had class.

St. Louis, Mo.

Social Security Doesn’t Contribute to Deficit

After the deficit commission produced its outrageous proposals, I hunted online for commentary and found a remarkable statement by economist Dean Baker, noting a fact the mainstream media all ignored:

“Finally, it is striking that the Co-Chairs felt the need to address Social Security, even though it was not part of their mandate. The commission’s mandate was to deal with the country’s fiscal problems. Since Social Security is legally prohibited from ever spending more than it has collected in taxes, it cannot under the law contribute to the deficit.”

It is mind-boggling. Social Security by its nature contributes nothing to the deficit, and this dubiously constituted commission to study the deficit proposed ways to gut Social Security, which are now discussed with an appearance of seriousness by politicians and pundits who ought to know better. This is a brazen attempt at grand larceny. Your future and your children’s and grandchildren’s are being threatened by the people who are supposed to serve you. It is time to fight back.

Baltimore, Md.

Dems Do GOP Dirty Work

Those anti-labor programs the Republican Party cannot pass, the New Democrats shall. President Obama shall reprise the Democratic assault on the New Deal and Great Society programs by again adopting the Republican proposals for eviscerating Social Security and Medicare.

Already President Obama is once again making compromise overtures that signify the eventual enactment of this forthcoming surrender and you Progressives remain impotent and bewildered. You too shall go down with the ship — as shall we all. The only possible means to correct this inevitability is to create an independent Labor Party that can represent ordinary people. Good luck to that!

Orlando, Fla.

Tax Breaks Inaction

Almost every day I see the Bush tax breaks in action (or at anchor)! Most of us can! Just look out at any small-boat harbor. You’ll see all those tax breaks tied up at docks or moored out in the bay. Those are the tax breaks that should have been plowed back into businesses to create jobs and to enhance the economy!

San Clemente, Calif.

From The Progressive Populist, December 15, 2010


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