This is What Democracy Looks Like

Weekend Madman

Friday-Sunday, February 17-19, 2006

"Rumors are that the reason Dick Cheney didn't say anything about the hunting accident for about 24 hours was because he had been drinking. And I'm thinking, well jeez, he was probably drinking when we planned the invasion of Iraq."
-David Letterman, forwarded by David W.

Rising Property Taxes

"I've got a tarp on my roof and plastic on my windows to keep the heat in. I never intended to live like this. But I don't have enough to pay my property tax bill, much less keep the place fixed up."
"The whole question is, why do I have to sell my home because the taxes went crazy? All I've got is a rundown barn in the middle of Idaho."
-Charlotte Snow, BOISE, Idaho

This is happening in Idaho, the cradle of the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party. Ms. Snow has seen her property taxes rise five-fold. But it isn't just in Idaho that property owners are feeling the pinch. It's everywhere!

Let's not forget that in most places property taxes are directly correlated to education funding. So much for No Child left Behind.

So with less funding for education, among other things, states and municipalities have no choice but to re-examine how they will pay to educate their young. Their choices are limited and increasing property taxes are the easiest ways to do it.

Sure, some states are thinking outside-of-the-box. Pennsylvania, for example, offered a plan to legalize slot-machine gambling but three-quarters of the state's school districts said no. Isn't it amazing that a vice has to substitute for legitimate funding? What's next, legalizing prostitution in lieu of Pell Grants?

This creates yet another rift between two classes of voters: The ones with children in public schools and the ones without. So now we have young families who, in many cases, are just scraping by as they watch their already highly-taxed salary-dollar stretched even thinner versus the elderly who are responsible, more and more, for their own life-saving drugs thanks to poorly financed and thought out programs like the Medicare Drug Benefit Plan. (Yeah, I know that was one long run-on sentence, but I was on a roll.) Another divide and conquer moment for the Bush administration.

Back in 1985 when my wife and I purchased our home in Sayreville, NJ, we were paying $1,385 in real estate taxes. At that time the average class size in Sayreville's public schools was 22 students. Today our taxes are $4,314 (in New Jersey that's a bargain, mostly due to Sayreville's working class citizenry and its friendliness to industry. The towns just to the South, Old Bridge, Manalapan, Marlboro, etc. pay taxes double and triple that of Sayreville for similar-type homes.) and our average class size is a growing 34 students.

The one-world globalist economy of the ultra-rich elitists are contributing to higher local real estate taxes as well. With less and less corporations manufacturing their goods here in the US, there are less corporate tax dollars available to help stem the home-tax tide and municipalities, counties and states have to make up for it somewhere. In New York City, Mayor Mike Bloomberg (R) now charges commercial vehicles to load and unload on the streets of mid-town Manhattan. Of course, the added cost of the "loading-zone tax" will be passed along to the consumer in higher prices. Maybe we could start charging a walking-around tax next, say, a penny-a-step.

In a time when our international competitors like China and India realize the benefit of educating their youth, we are abandoning ours. Our education system is failing because we won't educate our children, and that is in direct relation to many of the policies of the Bush administration. Running this country's day-to-day business and financing never-ending wars are going to bankrupt the middle class who already are paying more than their share. Real estate taxes are a result, not a cause. So the next time one of your Republican friends tells you that "teachers are the problem" or that "the elderly don't pay enough" remind them of a better time where industry answered to the people and government did the will of its constituents.

They need the reminder.

-Noah Greenberg

Retiring Republicans

“There is no evidence that we or anyone can guide from afar revolutions we have set in motion,”
Forcing democracy in areas that never had democracy “may, in fact, constitute an uncontrollable experiment with an outcome akin to that faced by the Sorcerer's Apprentice,”
-Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL)

It always seems to take retirement for a right-winger to see the light. Rep. Hyde is eighty-one years old and isn't running for his seat in the House again, so he has nothing to fear from the big, bad Bushies as far as reprisals go. Henry Hyde won't need money again from the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party. Henry Hyde can finally speak the truth.

Why is it that it takes retirement to make Republicans see things in a fair and responsible manner? Why is it that GOP'pers move to the left at the end of their careers? What is it they fear in the latter years of their lives?

You'll never hear a retired Democrat say "we have to have bigger tax breaks for the rich to stimulate the economy" or "it's not a good idea to allow Medicare to negotiate better drug prices for the elderly". The True-Left seems to have the best interests of all Americans at heart from the beginning. However, those on the right never seem to "get it" until "it" is too late.

Lee Atwater, the man who some say created "hate-and-fear politics" is the poster boy for the "end of life Republicans". Atwater, the man who helped elect Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and many others invented GOP tactics like push-polling and was the mentor to Karl "The Traitor" Rove saw the light as his light was dimming.

"My illness helped me to see that what was missing in society is what was missing in me: a little heart, a lot of brotherhood. The '80s were about acquiring -- acquiring wealth, power, prestige. I know. I acquired more wealth, power, and prestige than most. But you can acquire all you want and still feel empty. What power wouldn't I trade for a little more time with my family? What price wouldn't I pay for an evening with friends? It took a deadly illness to put me eye to eye with that truth, but it is a truth that the country, caught up in its ruthless ambitions and moral decay, can learn on my dime. I don't know who will lead us through the '90s, but they must be made to speak to this spiritual vacuum at the heart of American society, this tumor of the soul."
-Lee Atwater (February 26, 1951 – March 29, 1991)

Atwater's words reminds us of the need to get real leaders who actually care about the world in office. They remind us that caring about those less fortunate and the future of our planet are not to be toyed with. If Atwater was a Democrat, Rev. Pat Robertson would have said that he was being punished by

I wonder what Karl Rove's last words will be.

-Noah Greenberg, from a forward by Jenny Hanniver

In response to "There is nothing more important to the survival of American Society than family," Rhian writes:

You are getting my wholehearted applause for this Noah.

Thanks Rhian. -NG

In response to "There are a few basic tenets of Islam: belief in one God, Allah, and that his prophet is Mohammed. Daily prayers several times a day in the direction of Mecca. Giving charitably. Fasting. Making the pilgrimage to Mecca," Rhian writes:

There are two basic tenets of Islam. They recognize two houses, the house of Islam and the house of war. The activities you describe are commanded behavior of believers.

Muslims who claim that they are of peace, either do not understand their own religion, or they are lying.

One of the conditions of war is temporary truce according to Islamic tenets, when members of Islam can rest and renew their armaments to continue active war at a later date. Basically, they believe that everyone must be converted to Islam. If there are those who will not convert to Islam they must be killed. This is the core belief of Islam. It is stated very clearly in the Koran.

Personally I don't understand how that can be classified as a religion in the United States of America where religion means worship of diety and is protected from taxes and from Congressional law.

More Quotes

"We need a winning exit strategy...and begin the withdrawal of troops sometime late next year."
"I'd like to see
the President be honest with the American people about mistakes that were made. I've been to too many funerals, too many wakes and too many funeral homes in my district talking to families who have unanswered questions about this war. The president has never leveled with the American people."
-Rep. Sherrod Brown (R-OH) who is challenging
incumbent Senator Mike DeWine

If this is what Sherrod Brown will offer us as a US senator, then I'm glad he's running. Ohio and America need more leaders who will speak truth over power. Let's hope that this is what a new Democratic senate will have to offer. Let's hope this is the end of the one-party fleecing of America.

-Noah Greenberg, from a forward by Jenny Hanniver

A Gun Safety Quote

"If he'd been in the military, he would have learned gun safety."
-Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), regarding Vice President Dick "Go <F---> Yourself" Cheney's shooting of "freind" Harry Whittington

...and if Cheney had gotten shot in the face, like Whittington, somehow I doubt he'd be apologizing to the shooter for inconveniencing him.

-Victoria Brownworth

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-Noah Greenberg