Honor Leaks, Expose Secrets

The WikiLeaks affair is under attack from governments including our own that want to hide their misdeeds and not just legitimate secrets as they claim.

Free speech is in jeopardy and all American journalists, the main people who should be protecting free speech the most should be speaking out about the hypocrisy of official Washington politicians and other anti-WikiLeaks forces that are trying to take WikiLeaks off the Internet.

The crusading value of WikiLeaks is seen when some of the largest newspapers came out with important news stories based on WikiLeaks releases.

One can see the government hypocrisy of the Constitutional protection of a free press when Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, called for the WikiLeaks leader to be vigorously prosecuted for espionage.

The hypocrites who pretend to be patriots use the national security argument to use government power to discredit and destroy anyone who dares let the public in on the depths of official deceit — a deceit that they hide behind in claiming to protect national security. Claims mocked by released cables that show our puppets in government in Iraq and Afghanistan are deeply corrupt and that the enemy called al-Qaeda continues to find its base of support and funds in Saudi Arabia, (where most of the 9/11 bombers were from) and Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates — the very countries the USA arms and protects. And that Iran has become the main beneficiary of the US invasion of Iraq.

The American people have a right to know what our government leaders are doing. And WikiLeaks is serving us the same about Iraq and Afghanistan as the Pentagon Papers exposed the lies during the Vietnam War.

Torrington, Wyo.

Women Need Jobs Too

Among other articles I have seen on the subject, I read Wayne O'Leary's “Austerity vs. Infrastructure” (1/1-15/11 TPP). I do not disagree with the recommendation to put people to work on our nation's dire need for attention to our crumbling bridges, sewers and so on. However, at the time of the NRA in the 1930s, most workers were male. Nowhere have I seen a breakdown of our unemployed by gender, and most of the infrastructure cited is built and repaired by men, even in our time. Where, then, are the jobs for women?

For example, if money were put toward quality day care centers, those who could run them as well as those whose children were cared for would be available as workers. Our country needs, I think, to acknowledge that caring for children is not something anyone (read any woman) can do, and workers who are sure their children are well cared for are better workers, both men and women.

Dartmouth, Mass.

Make Debt Work for Us

Somebody has done one heck of a snow job on us all about the DEFICIT. They also say “Government doesn't create jobs — businesses do.” I am old enough to remember the Depression, though most folks aren't. But they can read history. It was not business that did TVA or that built school houses all over the USA under the PWA. The government, not business, set up the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). This program gave jobs to the youth of the ’30s when no jobs were to be had. The young men were set up in work camps doing conservation work. They were paid like army recruits and given army dungarees to wear.

Most of their pay was sent to their parents, who were mostly destitute. These and other programs to put America back to work were not pay-as-we-go. They were paid for just like we pay for a war — out of the treasury. Roosevelt was called socialist and lots of other names but he led this country through some very trying times and put the country back on its feet. Did all that deficit doom our children under immense debt? Hardly, we were soon forced to go into a massive mobilization to prepare for and execute World War ll. Look at all the planes and tanks and ships we produced. Is this country great or what?

Then, after the war, during the Eisenhower administration, we built the Interstate Highway system. I forgot to mention the GI Bill. That was a big government giveaway that did not pay for itself, just made us more competitive.

But now, if government pays for additional unemployment insurance it must also give a tax break to millionaires. Something is very wrong here. If deficit spending will create jobs and start the wheels of industry (in this country) moving the deficit is well worth it.

Douglassville, Texas

Financial Amnesty

As our nation moves into its fourth year of the Great Recession, our nation shows no strong signs of recovery. Which is easily confirmed with the current grim statistics: 15 million Americans unemployed; 50 million Americans either have lost their homes or are currently in foreclosure; with as many as 50 million Americans without proper healthcare; with a real unemployment rate of about 30% when you factor in the underemployed, those who have exhausted their benefits and Americans who do not qualify for unemployment benefits. As a nation, what we are guilty of is not recognizing the faces of these victims of financial terrorism.

The faces behind these numbers of the unemployed are the result of decades of poor economic planning and leadership by both our government and Wall Street. What we are experiencing in economic terms is a simultaneous market and government failure. Our economic failure should not be a surprise when you look at it in terms of our nation’s loss of competitiveness. Since the year 2000 we have lost 42,000 factories — resulting in a 32% loss in manufacturing jobs, one in four construction jobs have been lost,

China now outpaces the US in patent filings, academically we are 26th in the world, in average wealth per adult we have slipped from No. 1 to No. 7 by 2010, by 2008 we were No. 7 in prosperity among all industrial nations. Not included in these numbers is the millions of jobs lost via outsourcing.

What will soon contribute to preventing a recovery is the abandonment of the 16 million unemployed who will wind up financially crippled. With unemployment comes home foreclosures, repossession, loss of credit cards, excessive healthcare costs, which with destroy their credit for life. In essence, we have eliminated 30% of our nation’s purchasing power which is required to fuel a recovery. Many today are faced with excessive school loans they are unable to service as a result of our nation’s inability to create jobs. Currently more then 7 million college graduates are working in jobs that do not require a college degree — many working in jobs that pay $8-9 an hour. Adding to this economic debacle is the millions of baby boomers who have had their life savings and 401k wiped out at retirement age. This will force more “retired” back into a shrinking job market.

To help resolve this problem, we should actively urge our elected politicians to lobby for financial amnesty for all Americans who have become victims of financial terrorism — amnesty in the form of having bad credit removed from their credit report, once they are gainfully employed and restructure their debt load. Washington was quick to bail out Wall Street via American taxpayer dollars. If they are truly committed to improving the quality of life for their constituents, they should enact laws to bail out Main Street. For if not, this would be a testament that the bottom 98% of Americans are paying for the sins and greed of the top 2%. Now ask yourself, “how is Laissez Faire Capitalism working for you?”

White Plains, N.Y.

Republican Coup

The Republicans’ vote against the healthcare reform is a great propaganda coup. It is empty rhetoric that at once makes them look like they’re doing something. At the same time the very market-based insurance and pharmaceutical companies supported by same party are jumping for joy with the exclusive control of our healthcare needs. With the first draft of this outlandish health reform bill, both the health insurance and pharmaceuticals stock skyrocketed. Well, guess who helped write the “reform.”

San Francisco, Calif.

Keep the Safety Net

You have had numerous articles about Social Security, most alluding to proposals to reduce or even eliminate the program. Some detailed information was given in your “Dispatches” section. I have been amazed, and angered, at some of the callous and insensitive approaches to “cutting the budget.” Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Food Stamps seem to be the main targets to reducing the deficit.

A number of years ago, I had a benign brain tumor removed, and it was necessary to sever some nerves to get the growth out, leaving me without speech, unable to walk, and partially paralyzed. It is a definite, irrefutable fact that without SS and Medicare, I would have been dead years ago. I wonder what these yahoos suggest to replace these programs — not luxuries, but necessities for mere survival. 

Auburn, Ala.

Death by Budget Cuts

Arizona has had its share recently of tragic deaths, but there is another imminent danger, not by bullets from a deranged killer, but for ideological motives: Severe state budget cuts have made life-saving services costing $1.4 million unavailable for Medicare patients needing vital organ transplants. On Oct. 1, Gov. Brewer (R) and the GOP-led legislature, faced with a deficit of $1 billion by July 2011, abruptly stopped covering them. One person has already died; 98 are still waiting. Instead of urgent concern, Gov. Brewer has referred to the transplants as a “Cadillac” treatment and “optional” and hasn't actively pursued alternate funding. To her credit, Rep Giffords (D-Ariz.) had warned about cutting services “on the backs” of this special group. Gov Brewer has instead chosen to support funding for “bridges for endangered squirrels” and a “coliseum roof renovation.” Some Democratic lawmakers have accused the GOP of using “death panels” under “Brewercare.” When she was asked about her decision, she said "... ask the Federal government in Washington to send us more money." However, she was opposed to government intervention — she didn't want the funds from the Affordable Care Act that provides states with 100% of funding to cover the Medicaid expansion. Cost cutting may be fatal.

Elkins Park, Pa.

NEED is Great

HR 6550, the National Emergency Employment Defense Act (NEED) introduced by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), should be supported by everyone, whether progressive, moderate or conservative fed up with the predatory actions of our modern banking system. It goes much further than Ron Paul’s auditing the Federal Reserve by setting in motion the eventual dissolution of the Federal Reserve System and restoring to the federal government the issuing of debt free currency as authorized by the Constitution (Article I, Section 8). ...

NEED also implicates the Federal Reserve system in the creation and worsening of inflation, increased wealth gap, unemployment and other economic ills. It should be noted that President Wilson himself lamented his signing of the 1913 Federal Reserve Act into law, saying in effect that America now has the worst governance of any nation and is controlled by a small and very powerful group of men.

At its core, the Federal Reserve Bank is owned and operated by largely unknown private banking groups concerned only for profits for the few at the expense of everyone and everything else. It is no wonder that the Fed is known as “The Monster of Jekyll Island,” where it was hatched.

Eureka, Utah

Vanishing Frontier

P.J. Hill and Shawn Regan (“The Great Plains is the Latest Frontier,” 1/1-15/11 TPP) offer an appealing and romantic claim about the present and future of the Great Plains. Cattle drives with 60 paying customers in Montana, however, aren't going to do much for bringing people back to the small cities and towns that once prospered everywhere in this vast region. What has changed is simple: one man on a John Deere 9000 (to choose one common mode of making a living in this area) can do the work of thousands walking behind plows.

And this one man can now shop at a Wal-Mart 50 miles away more easily than he once could take the wagon even a mile to town. Little wonder that the small towns and villages are disappearing and their inhabitants with them. That land values have held steady means that the economic value of an area doesn't rely on the number of people who live there. Yes, many have lost their connection to the agricultural past, but this process began thousands of years ago and probably won't stop whatever the enthusiasm or the determination.

Fort Collins, Colo.

Not Real Socialists

The Nate Pedersen article in your 1/1-15/11 TPP, “When Socialists Cleaned Up Milwaukee,” has zero to do with socialism. It is therefore misleading. The Milwaukee socialist regimes were socialist in name only. They did not legislate to control investment in new enterprises. They did not enforce the Smithian rules of a free market nor any alternative. The article, itself, brags about socialists being good to Democrats and Republicans.

Some day you might want to “discover” socialism. A tiny book on the topic [On the Economic Theory of Socialism] was written decades ago by Oskar Lange, a national hero economist in Poland. There are a couple of dozen books by Lange in English in the Library of Congress, according to the Polish Embassy.

Chicago, Ill.

Crying Shame

It is quite odd and surprising to witness the fact that tough-talking Republican spokesmen in both Houses, Rep. John Boehner and Sen. Mitch McConnell, seem to be suffering the embarrassment of highly overactive tear glands, which is frequently in evidence during their televised appearances.

Not to be overlooked is the fact that it also sends an implicit, albeit unintended message: The entire puppet show and kabuki theater in Washington is absolutely lamentable and an unmitigated crying shame.

Red Bluff, Calif.


An article by Paul Cienfuegos, “Yes, We Can Challenge Corporate Rule,” in the 2/1/11 TPP was truncated. For a more complete version, see populist.com/11.2.cienfuegos.html/.

From The Progressive Populist, February 15, 2011


News | Current Issue | Back Issues | Essays | Links

About the Progressive Populist | How to Subscribe | How to Contact Us

Copyright © 2011 The Progressive Populist
PO Box 819, Manchaca TX 78652