THE NEWSLETTER

St. Patrick's Day Madman

Thursday, March 17, 2005

 

 

SPUHC. Isn't it about time this country caught up with the rest of the civilized world?

The closest thing to SPUHC that we have is Medicare. The Lipper and his gang of parasites and ignoramousnesses, have, with the onerous prescription giveaway "plan", positioned it on the chopping block, and the sledge hammer is already poised and waiting.

As in SS, these brave warriors for the rich are ready to try to decimate Medicare, the VA , and ALL of the entitlements.

With John Edwards, the more people see him, the more they like him. With the paragons of Nonecompashionate Reactionarianism, the more people see what they are really all about, the more they dislike them.

All of the entitlements are bread and butter issues. We need to go on the attack in defending them for the American people, and unmasking these sponsors of outsourcing and corporate welfare. Lets be proactive...for a change.

Jack Kashinsky


In response to, "Capital Gains Vs. the Rest of US," Pat Thompson writes:


THIS ONE THING, ALONE, SHOULD BE ENOUGH for Americans to realize that the Republican Party is not for the average person. When labor, sweat, is taxed, but money made on money is not taxed as much, OR AT ALL, it is a crime. People working at hard jobs, making low pay and then paying more taxes than someone who inherited the money; this is akin to slavery. Next they want to abolish the inheritance tax -- watch the words folks -- the "death tax". That way the rich stay rich, pass on their money without it being taxed, and never pay their fair share to the country that made it possible. Meanwhile, the people who worked for them, who fought the wars for them, pay more in taxes.
Pat Thompson


Christian Voices

 

In response to, "I am a serious pacifist in the Christian tradition," and' "If you walk across 31st Street in Manhattan, from the Hudson River to the East River, you will pass a hundred or more homeless people," JPS@comcast.net writes:

Stephen,
I appreciate your problem. But I Think you need to be making some distinctions. 31st street is not even close to Darfur. I work on 31st and those folks have options the ones in Darfur do not. Pacifism does not work. You only have to look at scripture to see that many times throughout History God has used military action to right a wrong or punish evil. Pacifism is a form of arrogance, which states That God would not, could not and should not choose the military option. The Lords prays is “thy will be done” and I think we should let God decide for himself if he chooses the Military option. We can only humbly accept his choice.
I urge you to think more deeply about these issues. You are not the one in control. God puts us in situations and it is our responsibility to act correctly affirming the godly behavior and rejecting evil. The rest is up to Him. We must decrease so he may increase.


In response, Stephen J Spiro writes:
I do not know what you mean by "Pacifism does not work". It is certainly "aequum et salutare". God may use/require military action for His own purposes. As far as I can read, he has not done so since the time of David (or, possibly Macchabees, but that is not clear from the text). I certainly do not believe that George Bush is the recipient of God's marching orders. Pacifism does NOT say that "God would not, could not and should not choose the military option." It says that WE should not do so. The arrogance is in choosing otherwise, because the clear message of Jesus Christ is "Love your enemies, do good to those that harm you." I do believe that Jesus was serious when he laid that on us. I agree that "we should let God decide for himself if he chooses the Military option." He may do exactly that in the end times, which I do not believe are yet upon us. On the other hand, he may not.

Meanwhile, in our own time, the military solution appears to be consistently evil. In Afghanistan, which the United States invaded to find and punish the perpetrators of the 9/11 terrorism, American forces have already killed more non-combatants than were killed by the terrorists. In Iraq, for whatever reason the United States invaded, American forces have killed more than 100,000 non-combatants. There is no righteous moral proportion: George Bush is a war criminal, as is his whole administration. They are not doing God's work, they are obviously serving for Satan. I have studied history most of my life; I have never heard of a "just war".
God's peace to you!


A Great Letter and a Somber Point

Two Years Out
After Two Years, Americans Need to Demonstrate Against an Insane and Destructive War
by Geov Parrish

Two years ago this week, the United States launched an unprovoked invasion of Iraq.

It is pointless, at this juncture, to rehash the reasons why the invasion was launched: except to note that democracy didn't figure into it. For public consumption, of course, there were the nonexistent weapons of mass destruction and the nonexistent links between Saddam and Al-Qaeda and 9-11; privately, of course, there was oil, the chance to enrich friends through privatization, the geopolitics of the Middle East and the "we're the boss" message intended for the world.

None of it can excuse what has happened in the last two years.

The so-called "liberation" of the people of Iraq has resulted, according to the conservative estimates of the British medical journal Lancet, in the deaths of over 100,000 Iraqi civilians in the last two years. The entire population of Peoria. Gone. Most of them women and children. That's out of only 24 million people in Iraq; an equivalent loss in the U.S. would be 1.2 million people, the population of Dallas or San Diego.

Four hundred World Trade Centers.

Everyone in Iraq knows somebody who has died. Most families have been touched. The war, meanwhile, has tormented everyone. From one city alone, the entire population of Fallujah, 400,000 -- minus the deaths -- are now homeless or refugees. The health care system is in crisis; it cannot handle the sick and wounded. Unemployment is endemic, reaching 70 percent. The economy is in tatters. Reconstruction is at a standstill (and the money appropriated for it is disappearing down well-lined pockets of Bush Administration friends.) Electricity is available perhaps a couple of hours a day. Prisoners continue to be randomly arrested and abused. People cannot leave their homes; the security situation in much of the country is a nightmare: not only the war's random shootings, car bombs, and IEDs, but the roving criminal gangs nobody has the power to curtail.

One hundred thousand dead.

Among Iraqis, America gets the blame for this. We should have, in their minds, gotten rid of Saddam, secured the peace, and then left Iraqis to govern themselves. Instead, we tried to set it up as some sort of colonial outpost, trying to ensure that any election would only be among trusted exile puppets who would do Washington's bidding. The vast majority of Iraqis want the U.S. out. Now. They see it as the only practical way to stop the bloodshed, the war, the madness: remove the target of American troops and an American-run government, and the reason for the insurgency will evaporate. Naturally, the Bush Administration will do no such thing.

But that doesn't stop people from hoping, and it is in this context that the Jan. 30 elections must be understood. Iraqis -- Shiites and Kurds, anyway -- voted because they saw the elections as a last nonviolent opportunity to force Dubya into a timetable for withdrawing troops. This has been a firm stance of Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's United Iraqi Alliance, the slate widely expected to get a majority in the elections.

But the UIA didn't get a majority, a result that Scott Ritter, Dahr Jamail and others have charged (and many Iraqis believe) is the result of cooked returns. Six weeks out, there has still not been a new government formed between the UIA and the second-place Kurds. Kurds are negotiating for the presidency, and for the inclusion of the major city of Kirkuk in the Kurdish Autonomous Region. They want, ultimately, an independent Kurdistan -- something Turkey (among others) will never allow. Meanwhile, negotiations between the Kurds and Shiites over a new government threaten to shut out the Sunnis, who already comprise the bulk of the insurgency -- a prescription for civil war.

In other words, it's a mess, and getting worse. The bombings and shootings continue to increase; the suffering continues to increase. Amazingly, many Iraqis now pine for the un-liberated days of Saddam. They are clear on one thing: the United States must go. Even civil war, they say, would be preferable to the current nightmare.

The Iraqi war has its costs in the United States, too: soldiers killed, or maimed physically or mentally. Anecdotal evidence already suggests a new Gulf War syndrome, more pervasive, caused, perhaps, by the heavily-used depleted uranium shells. PTSD, spousal abuse, and even suicides are common among returning soldiers.

But this isn't about Americans. It's about the suffering (aka "liberation") of the people of Iraq, who, after 35 years of a brutal dictator, 20 years of war, and 10 years of crippling economic sanctions, had already suffered quite enough.

People in Iraq need to know that people in the U.S. oppose this war. That, as much as any changing of Bush Administration minds, is why the demonstrations scheduled across the country next weekend [ This WeekEnd] are so important. Go. Make your voice heard. Remember that war is not an abstract game. Remember that democracy cannot be installed at the barrel of a gun. Remember that this country belongs to us -- not to a tiny neocon cabal.

And remember the 100,000 dead. And counting.

-Forwarded by Stephen J Spiro


Election Turnouts

I can assure a 75% turnout in every election and at I can at least double the amount of young people that vote.
When someone comes to pull the lever on election day, give them a shiny new ten dollar bill for their troubles.

Is it buying a vote? Sure. But it isn't buying a vote for a particular candidate.

I can think of worse ways to spend a billion dollars every year. We can just take it out of the Halliburton money we'll be saving.

-Noah Greenberg


Stupid Quote


"And it's (voting for an amendment to President Bush's budget that would eliminate the cuts to Medicaid) being done by Republicans. You know, you just have to ask yourself how they get up in the morning and look in the mirror."
-Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee


The Republican dominated Senate voted 52 to 48 against President Bush's budget that cut Medicaid, the health insurance for poor people. This is in direct opposition to what the President wanted and what the House already approved. Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) was the author of the ammendment and was joined by all senate Democrats and these Republican Senators with a conscience: Mike DeWine of Ohio); Susan Collins and Olympia J. Snowe, both of Maine, Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, Norm Coleman of Minnesota and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.

We all know that there can be a lot of "compromise" when the House and the Senate get together to hash out their differences on the budget. We also know that GW and his band of marauding Corporate Cronies will be applying the pressure on the "Senators-with-a-conscience." Things can go back to status-quo in a moment.

But for now, at least, these Republicans can "look in the mirror," and be proud of themselves. Can you, Mr. Gregg?

 

-Noah Greenberg


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-Noah Greenberg