THE NEWSLETTER

Today's Note From a Madman

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

 

FDR's Second Bill of Rights

On April 12th, 1944, sixty years ago, Franklin Delano Roosevelt passed away. This morning FDR's "second Bill of Rights" was printed by Bob Herbert in the NY Times. While Republican's openly war against these principles, Democrats must continue to use them as a blueprint for the future. After all, social justice is ageless:

"The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation.

"The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation.

"The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living.

"The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad.

"The right of every family to a decent home.

"The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health.

"The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident and unemployment.

"The right to a good education."


-Robert Scardapane


In response to Madman's view on the New York Times' David Brooks and his view on "global governance," Robert Scardapane writes:
    David Brooks is a hypocrite. Of course, the WTO is "world governance". This organization dictates economic policy in nations based on their notion of "free trade". Trade is free only when government manipulation is removed from the economic transactions. Isn't it amazing that people such as Brooks use the doctrine of sovereignty only when it suits their purposes. The WTO is a country club for international industrialists. Right now, the members are getting filthy rich at the expense of labor and the environment throughout the world.


In response to Pat Thompson's view on corporate responsibility, Dorothy Schwartz writes:

    I liked Pat Thompson's comments re who can we execute for these deaths? Hmm. Who can we execute for the untimely deaths of peoples' kids in Iraq? (No, it's not a threat, if Homeland Security is monitoring this.)
    Regarding John Bolton, the committee vote is put off til next week. It is imperative to call Rhode Island's Sen. Chaffee, the possible swing GOP member, and if you know anyone in Rhode Island, urge them to call Sen. Chaffee and tell him to vote against confirmation of Bolton. The committee vote would then be 9-9, and it's dead in the water. Chaffee's number: 202-224-2921.


In response to Roland James and the rest, Dennis Revell writes:

You're not kidding.

Throughout the 60's, 70's and 80's the Catholic Church, latterly under John Paul, of course, was up to its neck supporting CIA backed subversion of one Latin American country after another - under the completely fake pretext of combating "communism".

The US State Department's view since 1948 of just what comprised Communism was clearly explained by George Kennan, the Head of US State Department Planning Staff until 1950:

"…we have about fifty per cent of the world's wealth, but only six point three per cent of its population……In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without detriment to our national security….our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford the luxury of altruism and world benefaction….We should cease to talk about vague and - for the Far East - unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of living standards and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better."
-George Kennan, Policy Planning Study 23, February 1948.

"A major concern of American foreign policy must be "the protection of our (sic) raw materials." To protect "our" resources we must combat a dangerous heresy which, as US intelligence noted, had been spreading through Latin America: "the wide acceptance of the idea that the government has direct responsibility for the welfare of the people" - which is called "Communism."
-Observation at a Briefing for US Latin American Ambassadors from the State Department (headed by George Kennan): 1950.

The involvement of the Catholic Church with CIA operations, a.k.a destabilization operations, in Latin America in the earlier part of the period 60's - 80's is described in some detail in Phillip Agee's book: Inside the Company: CIA Diary.

In addition to Oscar Romero, there was the later murder of the 6 Jesuit priests and their housekeeper and her teenage daughter, by Reagan's proxies in El Salvador in the 1980s - barely a burp from John Paul about this. Interestingly a man called William Walker, formerly US Ambassador to El Salvador, testified before Congress that it would be "unhelpful" to pursue the El Salvadoran Government too vigorously over this and other atrocities - even stating, in defense of the El Salvadoran military, that: "Anyone can get uniforms" - implying that some evil commie Joe Soaps had just walked straight out of the jungle wearing stolen uniforms just to put the El Salvadoren military in a bad light.

That same William Walker later became head of OSCE - the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which ostensibly oversaw and monitored cease-fires between the Yugoslav authorities and the KLA; in reality OSCE operated largely as an espionage arm of the KLA. On the ALLEGED massacre at Racak, which was the pretext for the beginning of the bombing of Yugoslavia, instantly on arriving at the scene - though one day late, and with zero forensics done, he immediately declared it a massacre, and that he had "never seen anything like it", or similar words - pointing to the absence of uniforms on the (strangely arranged) bodies. He had obviously forgotten the fairly obvious corollaries to his much earlier statement: Anyone can take uniforms off (or just not bother to wear them, etc).

He did not point to the absence of blood or shell casings around most of the bodies.

And the insistence on proscription of birth control for poor Catholics in the World (think Latin America again); whilst in effect, a nod and a wink is given to American Catholics in this regard. I guess one of those groups must just be more powerful, influential and richer than the the other, and contribute more per capita to Vatican coffers. You think?


In response to Madman's idea for educating doctors, Jack Kashinsky writes:
    Your idea about a better selection method for many of the providers of primary health care sounds like a good idea. The underlining problem is that this system is not too effective without the employment of an efficient delivery system, i.e.. SPUHC (Single Payer Universal Health Care).
I jumped for the bait didn't I?

Yes you did, Jack. but it's bait we should all be jumping at. -NG

In response to Madman's idea for educating doctors, the Doctor writes:
    Actually Noah (that's me, the Madman), any hospital that accepts Medicare payment (which is essentially all of them) cannot turn away any patient, irrespective of their ability to pay. The hospital must maintain a "city call" system for the docs. On a rotating basis, all docs with active privileges must accept any and all patients needing admission when they on on "city call".
 

That may very well be true, but it doesn't address the issue of providing health care to all, and that is the bottom line. I think a system that pays for young people to attend medical school has merits (yes, I know it's MY idea) and then give back to the community is a good idea, and I'm sticking with it. Does it need help? Probably. I'm open for suggestions. -NG


In response to Madman's "Last Word" on Terri Schiavo, Dr. M. A. Whelan writes:
    I hate the rhetorical exaggeration of your referring to a mother having had her child's life wiped out at the whim of doctors and because she couldn't afford to keep it alive. I think that is deeply dishonest of you. How well informed are you about the facts and medical certainties of the case? I am a pediatric neurologist. I am deeply certain that what had happened was that a mother was unrealistically insisting on preserving the living corpse of a brain-dead child. The fact is that there are criteria for Persistent Vegetative State, and Ms. Schiavo met those. The dissenting voices did not belong to people who had examined her or who, apparently, were familiar with the criteria. Children who are anencephalic will smile: it is a brain-stem function without psychological import when executed at that level. Tell us: would you want to live as Ms. Schiavo did, for a week, let alone 15 years?

Personally, I would not have wanted to live for a minute as Mrs. Schiavo lived her final 15 years. That being said, from the view of the mother of the 6 month old child, had she had the means to keep her child alive, she would have. It is unfair that a rich person could keep a loved one alive indefinitely while a poor person isn't afforded that opportunity.
By the way, you are the first person to ever accuse me of being too far to the "right." -NG


(There was more to my response, but I thought it unnecessary to print. Dr. Whelan has unsubscribed -NG)


Jack Speaks

Re: the $2,000,000,000.00 day:
    Don't be too sure, the third world countries are quickly creeping up on them. Japan is feeling their breath right now, as are most of the developed countries in Europe.

Re. the waste and corruption:
    This is only the tip of the iceberg. Halliburton has their "subsidiaries", which they use to evade even more taxes, and send arms to Iran despite the US's promoted UN ban on doing this. I believe that Mr. Go fu*k yourself (Cheney) has disclosed about 1.5 million in "taxable" income to the IRS.

Re. Madman's views on the death penalty.

    I personally wish to congratulate you for being so honest. I have been swinging in the wind on this one for some time. What really is the greatest good for the greatest number?
    Who really knows?
    At least you have been more forthright than some of your "liberal" and "progressive" protagonists.

RE. the "morally bankruptcy" bill:
    Dems like Biden who sold the consumer out should have the attention of the Deaniacs and others who want to support good, honest Dem politicos.
The Party itself should start excising some discipline. Especially in the case of traitors like Biden who proudly proclaim themselves as liberals, but are really in the pockets of the special interest, anti liberal groups.
    Although I personally disagree with them, I have no quarrel with conservative Dems who honestly label themselves as so, but I never had much use for those who "speak with forked tongues".

-Jack Kashinsky


Stupid Quotes

 

"It is a source of liquidity if we need it."
-John M. Devine, G.M.'s chief financial officer, referring to the possibility that G.M. might start withdrawing money from a $20 billion special fund set aside for retiree health-care expenses

I know a lot of you have seen Michael Moore's, "Roger and Me," which lambasted GM, and appropriately so. I know GM is a major American corporation that is out for itself first and
place their employees way down on the list. I know that it's "just plain wrong" to take medical coverage away from retirees when they need it the most. But in order to understand this, we have to look at the fact that GM lost, and is losing billions of dollars. We have to take into consideration that they they supply more health care to their employees than any other
company in America, even though Wal-Mart has many more employees. We have to take into account that they have made some terrible business and design decisions and are attempting to find their way back to the market.

All this being said, please Rick Wagoner (CEO of General Motors), don't do this. Help change the system. Don't discard those you promised to help.

Don't make me sorry that I just bought a Chevy Cobalt
.
 

-Noah Greenberg


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-Noah Greenberg