Sunday, May 08, 2011
"What are you thankful for?"
In November 2010, I received an email from Bill Miller of the Friends of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, asking that question. On November 25, I posted the reply below. Unsurprisingly, they did not publish it. To see the posts they did see fit to include, visit Friends of the Chamber and type THANKSGIVING into the search box.
I'm thankful that I can still feel outrage at how our politicians have betrayed our trust, our principles and our future. Our incessant preemptive wars are a disease, and non-stop destruction of lives and resources is fatal to the economic health of our country and the world. We need commerce--free trade--among nations, not coercion, control and connivance. We need individual freedom to work and to choose how we spend our earnings, not to be forced to subsidize causes we don't approve of.
I'm thankful that I can see these truths and continue to protest against government incursions into our freedoms, and against government expropriation of our property. The bureaucracy has become a vampire on the lives and energies of the people. And the collusion between government and certain businesses is a recipe for continuing disaster, a continuing draining of the people and a distortion of their values. Where does the Chamber of Commerce stand on this issue?
I am grateful for my clear and free thinking, and for my ability to pity all those religious folk whose minds and emotions are held captive by myths, superstitions and fanaticisms of all stripes. Their religious infighting leads to horrible deaths, ceaseless enmity, and abandonment of the principle of love they claim as their prime directive. Their abandonment of Reason makes them create all the harm in the world.
I am thankful for the intelligence of the human race that has developed science, technology, tools, and a growing understanding of the laws of physics that help us find true answers to the problems of survival and attaining a healthy, peaceful, productive society.
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
The $5 panhandler
I just received a "personal" email from President Obama. Here's what it said:
If it were easy to do the big, meaningful things we believe will make our country better -- if it were quick -- someone would have done those things long before any of us showed up.
We've chosen to do something hard.
You know that our victories so far have been hard won: taking the difficult steps necessary to put our economy back on track, reforming Wall Street excess despite an army of lobbyists against us, and making health care more affordable and accessible despite well-organized opposition by those who profit from the status quo.
You also know we have not yet done everything we set out to do -- not nearly.
But that's a reason to work harder, not to let up. That's why we're building this campaign now. And you have to take ownership of it.
So I will be direct: Can you step up and make a donation of $5 to get us started?
As I've spoken with supporters who are helping get this campaign started, I've met folks who are frustrated by the pace of change.
I understand that. But we knew this wouldn't be easy. The kind of change we're working for never comes easily.
Now is the time to begin again, and build the campaign that will shape our country's future.
Such a masterful piece of motivational tripe I could not swallow. This was my response:
Barack (and "campaign helpers"),
To make the country better, a handbook of easy ways to do it was given to us by the Founders--the Constitution--well before "we" showed up to ruin it.
You and your predecessors have, like a slippery slope, drifted from that wisdom and brought our nation to disgrace and disaster. It will get harder and harder to restore it. And you have chosen to do, not something hard, but something evil.
You have been led astray from the decent values you professed to believe in during your first campaign. You have gone farther to the dark side even than George W. Bush, whose crimes against humanity will one day be punished.
You lack the courage to admit how wrong we have become, and to take the first brave step towards making restitution to the world. America cannot be the bully to the world, to sow hatred, anger and resistance in one nation after another, and expect to survive. Our moral principles have become terminally diseased if we pursue a course of force and fraud under phony sanctimonious slogans of "humanitarian" goals.
You cannot help other countries by destroying them. If you want America to rule the world, that is a formula for global genocide. The only way to eliminate opposition is for you to kill off all those who resist. And since others want to live, too, they will continue to resist. And they have every right to do so.
Labeling people who oppose your tyrannical predations as "terrorists" only seeks to cover the fact that America has become the biggest terrorist of them all. And I won't take ownership of that.
Even if you change and repent right now, it will take generations for America to gain forgiveness and to win back the esteem and admiration we once had as the land of freedom, honor, decency, and respect for individual human rights.
You want $5 to help your new campaign? Your administration has wasted trillions of dollars of Americans' substance and future. There is no $5 available to throw into your pot to allow you to continue on this devastating course. No matter how clever the emotional manipulation and marketing of your slogans, we're not buying it anymore.
If, with one nod of your head, you can send off a killer team to execute bin Laden, you could change course with one command. It is not a big and difficult task to say, "Enough, this is not the way to go, this is not what America is about." No more violence, no more preemptive wars, no more taking sides in foreign civil wars, no matter what lobbyists scream and wave money, no matter what special interests get cut off from the trough. You cannot recover a nation's economy with only the arms manufacturers thriving. You cannot recover a nation's morale and self-respect by pumping them up emotionally with kill statistics. Enough!
Make a real change. You can do it with one nod of your head, one short declaration. Let me see actual results: apologize for our war crimes, get our troops out of every foreign country, close Guantanamo, pull back the growing police state on U.S. soil, restoring our civil liberties, and then I'll consider sending you some money.
-- Kate Jones