HOW TO TALK BACK TO RIGHT-WING EXTREMISTS
The time for silence is past. They don't
keep quiet, so why should we. Talk back. Copy these responses and post them on
your favorite blogs. Send them as emails.
Here's a fascinating article that we found on
Political Advice: What You Say To Republican And Tea Party
by Simple Simon
Whenever I hear a canard, I think of a duck's quacking. This is
because the word canard literally means "duck" in French. (
Check it out on the menu of any good French restaurant.)
Simple Simon believes the next time you hear a canard, quit listening
to the quacks, kill the duck, and roast it thoroughly.
Here are some canards Simple Simon has heard a lot during the past few
Canard Number One. “We shouldn’t think about any kind of a tax
increase in this fragile economy.”
What makes this canard so tasty to some gullible folk is that it is
sprinkled with a small amount of truth. It is true that the United States
is in the throes of a fragile economy, and a lot of people are hurting.
But the very rich are not in “fragile” condition. Quite the contrary.
This is the best time to be rich in America since the Gilded Age of the
1880s and the 1890s. The gap between the rich and most Americans now is
wider than in some Latin American nations.
Canard Number Two. “We shouldn’t raise taxes on the rich
because they are America’s 'job creators.'”
This is another tasty canard because it is sprinkled with a tiny amount
of truth. A good number of the very rich do own businesses and do create
jobs in the United States. True. True. True.
But do all the rich use their wealth to create American jobs? Oh,
dear me, No, No. No.
The scarcely taxed wealth of the rich can be used to purchase a Picasso
at a London auction house, a villa on the Riviera or on Spain’s Costa del
Sol, or it might be invested in gold or in companies in China or India.
To ask the rich to pay taxes is not class hatred. Most Americans would
like to be rich. It simply means that to whom much is given, much shall
Canard Number Three. America’s most pressing problem is
reducing the deficit.
Ah me, here’s another choice canard sprinkled with truth. We do have a
long-term deficit problem that needs to be addressed.
But the most pressing American economic problem is unemployment. It
hurts the economy to cut programs that hire people and train people.
Simple Simon believes that a massive infrastructure program would put
hundreds of thousands back to work, who would then start paying taxes.
No prudent businessman tries to pay down his mortgage when business is
bad. He uses what resources he has to increase business.
Canard Number Four. We need small government
This canard comes raw--without even a sprinkling of truth.
Simple Simon has noticed that the people who yell the loudest about the
need for small government are the very same people who boast loudest that
America is the greatest, most powerful nation on earth,
You can’t have this canard both ways. If the United States is a true
superpower, it can’t be a small government. Sounds like a contradiction
to Simple Simon.
Canard Number Five. It’s a moral flaw if a politician who has
signed the Norquist Pledge not to raise taxes ever votes to raise taxes.
Here’s what Abraham Lincoln said about this kind of question: “Bad
promises are better broken than kept.”
Canard Number Six. Social Security is an entitlement, and
entitlements are the biggest part of the Federal deficit.
Oh, dear! Another canard with a very very tiny bit of truth.
It is true that Social Security is an entitlement program, so called
because the participants in Social Security have contributed into a fund
and therefore are “entitled” to benefits from that fund. It is not a
How much has Social Security contributed to the deficit? ZERO ZERO ZERO
There are long-term funding issues, but Social Security payments will
not cost the government a penny for many, many years if ever. Worst case
is that about two decades out, payments may be reduced.
Simple Simon gets upset when he hears Republican politicians and
interviewers who ought to know better repeat this big lie.
My sincerest apologies for not giving a more complete response to these
Republican and Tea Party talking points. But I promise to return to them
at a later time and cook the canards more thoroughly, unless through some
miracle, these fools quit using them.
These days you will hear lots of people compare the Federal
budget to family budgets and the budgets of small businesses.. Some
of these people don’t know any better. They simply don't know about
or understand macro-economics.
example, a freshman U.S. Senator told an interviewer the other day
that he owned a small business back home, and the reason he ran for
Congress was to make sure the Federal Government conducted its
business the way he ran his business--by not spending more than he
become a folksy commonplace for politicians and commentators to say
that Congress needs to do what families do--sit down around the
table and figure out how to cut spending so as to live within their
income. Even President Obama has started saying this. It does sound
like common sense.
it’s not. It’s wrong-headed; it’s a phony analogy.
Here’s why. The Federal Government has so many more resources than
does a family or a small business that any comparison is ludicrous.
The budget of the US Federal Government is the largest budget in the
world, larger than that of any corporation or any other nation by
Neither a small business nor a family can print money, control the
amount of money in circulation, levy taxes and duties, stimulate the
economy, control trade policy, or build and maintain the nation's
Because the analogy is wrong-headed, any policies based on the
analogy can be just as wrong-headed.
the Federal government's revenues are down, and they are right now,
then one strategy can be to cut expenditures. That is essentially
all a family can do. But there are other options open to the
Federal government. The Federal Government can raise revenues. It
can increase taxes on individuals and companies that are doing just
fine, it can change the rules of trade with other countries, it can
regulate the amount of money in the system, it can catch tax-cheats,
it can close tax loopholes, it can stimulate the economy by funding
projects (such as building bridges, tunnels, and high-speed rails)
that employ lots of people, have a multiplier effect on the economy,
and save money in the future.
of these options are available to a family budget or the budget of a
the next time you hear someone use this analogy, say something like:
"I wonder if that's a valid analogy." Then ask, "Does your business
(or family) have the ability to print money, levy taxes and import
duties, control the amount of money in the system, or build and
support the infrastructure?"
of these options are available to a family budget or the budget of a
that person is bright and intellectually honest, you won’t need to
say much more. If they’re not, what you say won’t matter very much
Micro-economic principles are appropriate for family budgets and
small (even large) businesses. Macro-economic principles alone
should be used to explain an economic phenomenon as enormous as the
budget of the United States of America.
Here's a great book to help you avoid logical fallacies and phony
What this really means is lust for government that's not big enough
to deal with polluters and Wall Street cheats, or enforce safety measures
in coal mines or on off-shore oil rigs. One would think that after
the Gulf oil spill and the mining disasters, that it would have lost it's
power. But one should never underestimate the gullibility of the
This really means shipping millions of jobs overseas with no
government regulation of imports or protection of jobs here. It also
means a laissez faire policy toward Wall Street and its robber
barons. Not accidentally, "Let Freedom Ring" is the theme song of
the Hannity radio show.
takeover" What this really means is opposition to government
programs like Medicare, Social Security, VA, unemployment insurance,
health insurance reform, etc.
"socialistic/communistic' This is an old fear-mongering
tactic. It dates back to the John Birch society, the McCarthy era
,and the Cold War. It still works with a lot of people.
"shift power back
to the states" This was the rallying call of the Confederate
States of America. It has been revived by neo-Confederates who seem not to
know what happened to the folks who believed this in the 1860s. If
the states had been left in control of civil rights, blacks would still be
sitting at the back of the bus, banned from eating with whites in
restaurants and theaters, or attending white schools in many parts of the
"Washington is out
of touch/Washington is bad for America." Big money loves to
criticize Washington because it is easier to bribe and cover-up and
get unfair legislation passed at the state level where there is little
scrutiny from the media.
If the candidate tries to scare you into thinking Social Security
won't be there for you, vote for his/her opponent.
There's no bigger issue in America. Republicans are poised to launch
another attack on Social Security. They will call it personal
accounts and choice, but the real goal is privatization-- the elimination
of something wonderful in America.
WE HAVE FOUND A SUPERB RESOURCE FOR OUR
The name of the site is
whatyousay.com This new communication portal is
non-partisan--it's not Democratic or Republican or Libertarian. It
helps you spot illogical statements, win arguments, and change opinions.
Also, you can contribute to it. Take our word for it,
whatyousay.com is terrific.
[A must-read for Teabaggers - answer truthfully...]
After The 8 Years Of The Bush/Cheney
Disaster, Now You Get Mad?
You didn't get mad when the Supreme Court
stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.
You didn't get mad when Cheney allowed
Energy company officials to dictate Energy policy and push us
to invade Iraq .
You didn't get mad when a covert CIA
operative got outed.
You didn't get mad when the Patriot Act got
You didn't get mad when we illegally invaded
a country that posed no threat to us. You didn't get mad when we
spent over 800 billion (and counting) on said illegal war.
You didn't get mad when Bush borrowed more
money from foreign sources than the previous 42
You didn't get mad when over 10 billion
dollars in cash just disappeared in Iraq .
You didn't get mad when you found out we
were torturing people.
You didn't get mad when Bush embraced trade
and outsourcing policies that shipped 6 million American jobs out
of the country.
You didn't get mad when the government was
illegally wiretapping Americans.
You didn't get mad when we didn't catch Bin
You didn't get mad when Bush rang up 10
trillion dollars in combined budget and current account
You didn't get mad when you saw the horrible
conditions at Walter Reed.
You didn't get mad when we let a major US
city, New Orleans drown.
You didn't get mad when we gave people who
had more money than they could spend, the filthy rich, over
a trillion dollars in taxbreaks. You didn't get mad with the worst 8
years of job creations in decades.
You didn't get mad when over 200,000 US
Citizens lost their lives because they had no health
You didn't get mad when lack of oversight
and regulations from the Bush Administration caused US Citizens
to lose 12 trillion dollars in investments, retirement, and home
No.....You finally got mad
When a black man was elected President and
decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor
if they are sick.
Yes, illegal wars, lies,
corruption, torture, job losses by the millions, stealing your tax
dollars to make the rich richer, and the worst economic disaster
since 1929 are all okay with you, but helping fellow Americans who
are sick...Oh, Hell No!!
WHY BIG BUSINESS AND WALL STREET LOVE
It's no secret that big oil, big business generally, and Wall
Street are pouring billions into advertising for Republican candidates.
It is very, very easy to figure out why.
The small government/Libertarian/Republican
candidates do not believe in government regulation. Even after
the massive Gulf oil spill, and the mining disasters, and the Wall Street
cliff-hanger, these fools do not want government regulation.
Now, I ask you, if you are in the oil business or
own coal mines or if you're a high-flyer on Wall Street, which candidates
would you prefer? Wouldn't it be in your best interest to pour cash
into the campaigns of those who hate government?
They've figured it out. They
just hope the public won't.
They may be greedy and selfish, but they
aren't stupid. As my mother used to say, they know which side their
bread is buttered on.
If a candidate talks about small government, or
limited government, or bringing power back the states (where regulation is
generally anemic), and they have lots of money--vote for his/her opponent.
Tea Party/Republican extremists are fanning the fears of the
ignorant--again. We need to save America from socialism, they scream.
Truth be told. Americans love socialism.
They just don't call it socialism. By overwhelming numbers,
Americans love Social Security and Medicare and they send their children
by the millions to state colleges and universities.
After all, socialism is by definition state
support and control of some function of society. Duh!
TAXES: A HARD QUESTION TO ASK REPUBLICANS,
LIBERTARIANS, AND THE TEA PARTY
Ask these people: Where are the jobs? Then quickly add:
Taxes are lower today than they have ever been. If tax cuts produce
jobs, where are they?
They are fond of claiming that the stimulus did
not produce jobs, so turn the argument on them. The Bush tax cuts
have been in place for years, and we lost hundreds of thousands of jobs.
The Bush tax cuts that are scheduled to expire shortly will return to the
tax rates of the Clinton years--when there were lots of jobs, and the U.S.
had a huge surplus.
You probably need to inform these people that the
"huge" tax hikes that Democrats are proposing during this great recession
are not a tax hike at all. Tax rates simply return to
Very important. Alan Greenspan, former Fed
chairman under Bush and a Libertarian, and no flaming liberal, has
strongly recommended that ALL the Bush tax cuts should be allowed to
There's a simple reason. Tax cuts
don't work during a deep recession.
The government needs to spend money to jump-start the economy.
I know that sounds crazy, counter-intuitive. But it is true.
You can spend your way out of a depression with investments in
The main reason the stimulus didn't work better is
because the government did not spend enough money quickly enough, as Nobel
Laureate economist Paul Krugman warned at the time.
--Will C. Justice
YOU MUST WATCH
The prime-time lineup at MSNBC is incredibly good, and often the
best and sometimes only source of information of interest to progressives
The stars are Chris Matthews, Lawrence O’Donnell, Ed Schultz, and Rachel
Sometimes it's difficult to find MSNBC, or your
cable system may charge a premium. But it's worth the effort and the
money. And if it's a problem, let your cable system know.
The thousands of visitors who come to this site can make a difference, if
you make a noise.
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SOCIAL SECURITY IS
AT RISK AGAIN
Scary! Scary! And it's not a secret anymore. Just
listen to them.
Three Republican Senate candidates have openly stated that they will try
to privatize or phase out Social Security: Joe Miller (Alaska), Rand
Paul (Kentucky), and Sharron Angle (Nevada), plus several candidates for
They use euphemisms like "protecting" Social
Security, but their aim is to kill it.
Don't be deceived. Remember that George W.
Bush spent years trying--unsuccessfully--to privatize Social Security.
If you vote for a Republican, you are voting for a
party that wants to end this vital program. When you vote for a
person, you vote for a party, even if he/she claims to be an independent.
The vote on this issue will be along party lines.
Here are some of
the lies that Republicans/Libertarians tell:
Social Security will run out of money by the time you reach retirement
Answer: Social Security will never completely run out of money
because it will continue to collect payroll taxes.
baby boomers will completely bankrupt the program.
Answer: From 1947 to 1964, there was an explosion of births.
But now, there's a new baby boom underway. These youngsters will
replace the baby boomers as new contributors.
way to save the program is to give young people the option of contributing
to their own private investment accounts.
Answer: This will kill the program, and Republicans know it.
The Social Security concept is based on younger worker contributions that
provide funds for retirees. Eliminate the contributions, and you eliminate
Trust Fund is empty.
Answer: Do banks or insurance companies keep all their assets in
vaults? Of course not. Virtually all of their assets are
invested. Congress does borrow from the Fund for investments in
other programs, but the assets of the Fund are guaranteed by the U.S.
Government, which, importantly, has never defaulted on a debt.
Security contributes to the deficit.
Answer: Social Security pays its own way through member
Stock Market Is A Better Investment Than Social Security.
Answer: Given the meltdowns on Wall Street, how can anyone
make such a claim? No answer is necessary.
GLENN BECK AND THE TEA PARTY IS
"RADICAL," NOT "CONSERVATIVE."
CALL THEM BY THEIR RIGHT NAME: EXTREMISTS
These people are not conservatives.
A conservative by definition is intent on preserving, not destroying.
A conservative doesn't do rash things or praise those who do, like
displaying an automatic weapon at a rally.
These "patriots" are like the barbarians that
sacked Rome. This mob will destroy what it does not understand, including
some of the most vital parts of the American experience. This
mob will overturn long-standing legal precedents. This mob will
privatize Social Security. This mob will demand judges who
will turn back the clock.
The media misnames this mindless mob. Conservatives they are not.
Call them right-wing extremists. Call them radicals. Call them
John Birchers. Call them anarchists. Call them Birthers. But
don't dignify them with with a good name. They don't deserve a good
Next time somebody tells you some right-wing garbage, and adds,
"I'm a conservative," say: "You may be a conservative, but what you
just said is right-wing extremism."
THE DANGEROUS BIGOTRY OF RUSH, SAVAGE, HANNITY, GLENN BECK, AND MUCH OF FOX
AND WHY IT IS DANGEROUS
By Will C. Justice
The real danger is not that these wealthy low-lifes are dishonest,
which they are.
The real danger is not that these noisemakers can panic the President,
which they have been able to do.
The real danger is not that these pied pipers can lead tens of thousands
of childish partisans to go to rallies, which they can.
The real danger is that they just might light the
fuse of a dangerous explosive.
And what is that explosive?
It is race.
Race precipitated an awful Civil War. Do not
let anyone tell you that the Civil War was fought over states rights.
It is true that the Southern states seceded in the
name of states rights. But the states that seceded did so in order
to keep slavery.
States rights was the excuse, not the reason.
The memory of the awful cost of that war--the
bloated bodies, the burned homes, the tens of thousands of homeless,
orphans, and widows, the countless dead--has become sanitized over time.
But it was a deadly national quarrel about race that brought it on.
That was long ago, you say. We are better
When Martin Luther King was assassinated, and for
summers afterward--race lit America's cities in flames
Today, these selfish, clever ranters who stir up
strife in the name of ratings just might do the unthinkable again.
Rush operates beneath the radar generally, but he
is a constant malicious force in the tradition of Senator Gene McCarthy.
McCarthy used fear to keep his influence. So does Rush.
Fox News has been able to get away with
distortions and skillfully mis-edited videos as simply bad journalism.
But it is worse than that. It is scary extremism.
One example will suffice. Fox News has run a
sensational story about the New Black Panther story at least 50 times.
And what is the story? In November of 2008, two black men dressed in
military garb stood at a polling booth in a project, where virtually every
registered voter is an African American.
The episode occurred during the Bush
administration. If the people at the Justice Department had
felt that these two guys posed a serious threat to America's freedom, they
would have done something decisive. They had all of November 2008,
all of December, and January to act. In fact, Eric Holder was not
installed as attorney general until March 27, 2009.
The people at the Justice Department under the
Bush administration could have instigated criminal charges. But they
did not. The people at Justice rightly concluded that two kooky guys
behaving menacingly did not pose a grave threat.
So why is Fox News all adither about the New Black
Panther, which may number a few dozen people in a nation of many
Why now? Why any time?
You've probably figured it out, It helps
But it's dangerous. Extremely dangerous.
Let them yell socialism, but tell them not to yell
Really bad things could happen. It has
The election of Barack Obama marked a high-water
mark in America's race relations. Many--white and black--never
thought we would see it in our lifetimes.
We must not allow such a bright promise to end in
Call these people what they are. Dangerous
GET FOR LOW TAXES OR NO TAXES
By Will C. Justice
If you're deciding where to live or where to re-locate your
business, it's a really bad idea to put low taxes or no taxes at the
top of your list. Put quality of life at the top of your list.
In society, as in business, it's stupid to think you can get
something for nothing.
If you make your choice based on low taxes,
don't be surprised if this is what you find: Poor government
services, Third-rate schools, A poorly trained, low-caliber work
force. Incompetent government employees. Corruption.
If teachers, police officers, firefighters,
support staff for government offices, clerks, judges, inspectors,
and all the other people who provide essential services are
underpaid and disrespected, should it be a big surprise if you find
a lot of incompetence and corruption?
A mature society is always willing to tax
NATIONAL DEFICIT NOW: A REALLY BAD IDEA
By Will C. Justice
The absolute last thing that
Congress should be thinking about right now is paying down the
deficit. The urgent need is jobs, millions of jobs.
There will be
plenty of time to pay down the deficit when America's economic
engine is running at full tilt again.
Clinton. We paid down the deficit during his administration;
he actually left Bush with a big surplus that he promptly squandered
on two unfunded wars, tax write-offs for big oil companies, and
massive tax cuts for the very rich.
What the U.S.
needs now is a massive, federally-funded program to rebuild the
nation's infrastructure. And I mean massive.
piddly. Let's reinvigorate our tunnels and bridges and
highways and railroads, and build new ones--great ones.
Who else can
hire the millions of unemployed--except the government?
Once upon a
time, there actually
were jobs in factories, but most of our factories are gone.
We don't make that
So, what will
happen if we spend this kind of money this way?
on federally funded
construction projects will spend their paychecks in the private
sector, purchasing cars and refrigerators and homes. That's why
government spending is called a "stimulus."
FDR knew what
a stimulus was, and so did Eisenhower; so did Kennedy and Johnson.
FDR launched all sorts of government programs from WPA to CCC.
Eisenhower launched the Interstate highway program. Kennedy
and Johnson stimulated the economy big-time with zillions poured
into the space program.
waste your time listening to fools who say, "You can't spend your
way to prosperity." Millions of entrepreneurs disprove
that dumb-ass statement every day. Restaurants spend money on
steaks and fish and fresh vegetables to serve their patrons.
Software companies spend money to hire programmers and marketers for
that next big app. The essence of capitalism is spending money
to make money.
And if the
government spends money, lots of money now, a lot of people will be
able to pay their bills. And, importantly, it will be a
down-payment for a prosperous future. We will be able to
transport goods and services faster, easier, more cheaply.
Today's money will make money now, and tomorrow.
tells you that you can't spend your way to prosperity, say something
like, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained" or "Your can't make money
if you don't spend money." Answer a fool's cliché with a
TAKES BACK THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT. RIGHT!
By Will C. Justice
You say "we"
produced the civil rights movement and "we" will take it back.
Who do you mean by "we?" Surely not the angry mob of
government haters that you lead like a latter-day pied piper.
King was at the other end of the ideological spectrum from you.
King wanted government--yes, the big federal government--to come to
the aid of Americans who were oppressed in the name of personal
know that all over the South, in King's time, freedom-loving
proprietors posted signs in restaurants with words like these:
"We reserve the right to deny service to anyone." They called
that a right, and it was a right, their personal, individual
eloquently declared that there is a higher right than the
right of the restaurateur, and that is the right of the common good.
The federal government came down on the side of the common good.
The federal government said that every American citizen has a right
to use a public facility.
And if you
know anything about American history, Mr. Beck, you know that it was
bad ol' Washington--the feds, whom you despise--that changed America
for the good. Not states rights, and not individual
proprietors expressing their freedom. It was the
government--Washington--that did it.
QUESTIONS TO ASK LIBERTARIANS: A PRIMER ON LIBERTARIANS,
ANARCHISTS, AND THE TEA PARTY
(Hint. They all have the same core beliefs.)
By Will C. Justice
What they believe
believe that the highest good is unregulated freedom.
They believe that the
ultimate sin is coercion--that it is really, really wrong to make
anybody do anything against his/her will.
They are opposed to socialism, communism, Nazism, fascism, and the
How they act
They profess to adore freedom and hate
Washington—until a disaster like a poorly regulated off-shore
drilling operation becomes a disaster. You then will be able to
spot them readily as the ones who yell loudest, “Where is
Washington?” “Where is the President?”
They march under
slogans such as “small government,” “business-friendly,” “Don’t
tread on me,” and “states rights”—until they need a big federal
government to save their hypocritical asses.
ASK THESE GOVERNMENT-HATERS THE
you want the government to inspect the bridges you drive over and
the elevators that you ride in?
How about tunnels, railroads, subways?
What about drinking water? Meat? Produce?
you like it that the government regulates air traffic?
Or would you prefer to leave these decisions to the discretion of
individual pilots? Then, whenever pilots see an open runway, they
can just go for it. First one there gets to use it.
According to libertarian ideology, after enough crashes, the best
pilots—the strong ones--will survive, and the incompetent, weaker
ones will be gone.
you think it’s a good idea for the government to prohibit racial
discrimination at restaurants, hotels? After all, they are private
Shouldn’t they be allowed to exclude Jews, Mormons, Jehovah’s
Witnesses-- or anyone whose skin color is of the wrong hue—if they
want to? According to libertarian theory, people do feel more
comfortable with their own kind.
about racial exclusion clauses in deeds and covenants? Shouldn’t
that be left up to the buyer and the seller?
it make you unhappy that the government inspects gas pumps and taxi
meters to see if they cheat? Or would you prefer to leave this up
to individual station managers, drivers, etcetera?
you believe the government has the right to require a driver’s
license? Automobile insurance?
you think it’s OK for students to take guns into classrooms?
Doesn’t that violate the Second Amendment rights of nice young
people who are fully capable of deciding such things themselves
without government interference?
you be OK if your neighbor decided to build a nuclear warhead in
his/her basement? Or the backyard? Doesn’t your neighbor have the
Constitutional right to bear arms?
it bother you that cities and towns require garbage pickups?
you approve of FDIC insured banks, or would you prefer to keep your
money in a bank that is free to do whatever it wants with
depositor’s money? After all, there are banks like that out there,
and you surely know that FDIC banks are subject to government
regulation and audits, don’t you?
●Are you happy that companies can be fined
or closed down by the government for fraud, deceptive advertising,
stock manipulation, an insider trading? Shouldn’t that be left up
to an unfettered, all-wise, self-regulating, self-correcting market?
and how do you feel about preventing businesses from dumping toxic
wastes into sewers, streams, and rivers? This government
requirement drives up the cost of goods and services, which is not
very business friendly.
questions could go on and on. What is clear is that this fervently
held ideology does not do well when it comes face to face with
These true believers live in an imagined world. They dream of a
future that never will be. They inhabit a past that never existed—when
everyone was honest and good, when nobody had locks on their doors,
when America was a God-fearing nation, and everybody was a
If all of us were
good, perhaps this dreamy belief might have a chance of working.
But everyone is not good.
The world is full of people who will cheat if they can, bully if
they can get away with it, and destroy those who stand in their way.
Many of them are shrewd and powerful, and need watching.
Isaiah Berlin put his finger on the problem of an imagined society
of absolute freedom, one without government, without coercion,
without Washington: “Total liberty for wolves is death to the
FATAL IF YOUR ENEMIES SMELL BLOOD. By Will C. Justice
Dear Mr. President.
I love you, but your continued attempt at bipartisanship makes you
look weak, betrays your friends who've taken licks for you,
and emboldens your enemies.
You mean well, but your opponents are radicalized. They cannot
support you even if they want to because they will catch hell from
Rush and Fox News and the Teaparty.
Americans care more about results than a wishy-washy reputation for
Get the bill done, get it done now, and fine tune it later--let
Americans begin to see benefits, and the votes will follow.
The other side will eventually come around, just like they did with
Medicare and Social Security.
But weakness won't get the job done.
RESPONSIBILITY: AFGHANISTAN/IRAQ AND THE WAR TAX" by Will C.
I just heard a CNN correspondent
recommending that the President "do something big,"--like cutting
entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare in the
name of fiscal responsibility.
That correspondent must not remember the feckless campaign by Bush
to privatize Social Security. He must not have thought about
what would have happened recently if Social Security had been tied
to the stock market
He needs to read up on 1937. If he did, he would realize that
you can't do deficit reduction in the midst of a great
He also should understand that there is no way to reduce the
national deficit while waging two wars WITHOUT RAISING TAXES. It
can't be done.
Those who want to continue the wars should vote for a war tax.
That's "fiscal responsibility!"
If a war tax were passed, two big
events would occur. The deficit would decline, and two wars would be
over within six months.
LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA ABOUT HIS "BIPARTISAN" AGENDA by Will C.
Dear Mr. President:
You appear to have forgotten who
brought you to the party. But we haven’t.
I once was your
enthusiastic supporter, a believer, a defender.
But I, like millions
of your supporters, have begun to give up hope.
Your decision to surge
in Afghanistan made me heartsick.
Trying to turn that
land-locked, tribal, desperately poor society with a 10% literacy
rate, no natural resources, no industrial base, and a century’s-old
drug culture into a democracy is a fantastic dream, but an
impossible one. Perhaps a few centuries from now it might be
feasible, but not in our lifetime.
Your initial mistake,
and a huge one, was your choice of top advisors. You let
Governor Howard Dean go. His Democratic strategy was one of the big
reasons you are in the White House.
You have kept the Bush
military team in place—Gates, Patraeus, Jones & Co, who actively
opposed you. Why didn't you use General Wesley Clark?
He knows how to lead a successful military campaign. (NATO,,
A prediction. If
you follow the Bush team’s military strategy, you will get what Bush
got. Before long, an approval rating in the high 20s.
It may not be too late
to get better military advice, but time is running out.
Your decision about
Afghanistan has already cost you millions of supporters
who remain fervently against the war.
Presently you are
copying Bush’s DOMESTIC policy. Tax cuts for this, tax credits for
Straight out of the
Republican play book. But has it gotten you a single ounce of
Republican support? If it has, it's not visible.
More importantly, what
have your friendly bi-partisan efforts gotten you?
because tax cuts and miniscule tax
rebates do not work in this environment. And they add to the
You can't leverage tax
cuts the way you can leverage expenditures for rebuilding
And what good are tax
credits to people who are unemployed or about to lose their homes?
As for businesses, few businesses will hire on the basis of tax
credits alone. Certainly not businesses that are about to go
And now your latest
horror. You propose a freeze on domestic spending for everything
but THE MILITARY, veterans affairs, etc. For THREE YEARS!!!!
What are you thinking
about, Mr. President?
Why would you put handcuffs on yourself? For the rest of your term in office?
Are you trying to
appease Republicans and Tea Party zealots? They hate you. Are you
over-reacting to the Massachusetts
Only hubris could lead
you to believe that you can turn today's Republicans and tea party
zealots people into
your supporters. They have been radicalized. You
cannot reason with them, because they are ruled by passion and
paranoia and misinformation.
If you doubt this, listen to Fox News. Listen to
Rush. These bullies regard your friendly gestures as weakness,
and these people eat weak leaders for lunch.
He who tries to please everybody ends up
If you continue down your
“bipartisan” path, and you will end up pleasing nobody.
who would have fought for you, will be gone. Soon you will be
dealing with just enemies. Your friends will no longer trust
You need to be more
than a college professor enjoying the vigorous exchange of ideas.
You may get points for winning a few debates, but that is no
substitute for leading. We gave you the mandate to lead.
Do not lose your
nerve because of the Massachusetts setback.
If you do lose your
nerve, we won’t hate you.
And we won't become Republicans.
We will just leave you
alone. And the ones whom you are courting will destroy you
by Will C.
Glenn Beck made the cover of Time
Magazine, but let us not fall into the trap of thinking that Beck is
bigger than he actually is. On Beck’s best night, his audience is
some 3 million viewers, or about 1% of the population. (The
U.S. population in 2010 stands at about 305 million.)
To keep the numbers in
perspective, David Brenner's TV show failed in syndication, and it
had numbers of about 2.5 million--at midnight.
Most Americans do not pay any attention at all to people like
Beck. If they ever heard of Beck before Time put him on its cover,
they do not listen to him, and they would not listen to him again if
they ever heard him once.
of Congress continue to be intimidated by the noise that people like
Beck can make. His “base” is an angry, lunatic,
true-believing, bigoted, fear-mongering fringe movement.
Nothing more. The nation decided that in the past election.
Stephen King got it
right when he once called Glenn Beck "Satan's mentally challenged
One further comment
about Glenn Beck. A prediction. Glenn Beck will
self-destruct. These people always do.
Unfortunately they also always do a great deal of damage before that
HEALTH CARE, AND THE DEFICIT
by Will C. Justice
They profess to feel alarm at the deficit, agonizing over the
debt that is being passed along to their children and grandchildren.
But we did not hear a
murmur from these same folk when the nation bankrupted itself under
Bush, sending zillions to Iraq. Then it was un-patriotic and
un-American to raise questions about spending untold billions in
Now these same folks
say it is reckless and irresponsible and socialistic to spend money
It just doesn't
JUMPING SHIP: THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN By Will C. Justice
Republicans are openly muttering about
loss of life and declining morale, and asking what we are doing in
Afghanistan--the same kind of talk that they denounced as
un-American and defeatist when uttered by Democrats during the Bush
They now call this war
Obama's Viet Nam.
George W. Bush started the war.
They knowingly forget that Obama is just trying to put an end to
what Bush started.
Frankly, I was worried
when Obama kept the same old gang of top military advisors who were
a part of the Bush machine. If Obama did it to keep the
support of the right, he is now seeing how much the right loves him.
The right never will accept Obama or give him credit for any
In the meantime,
please don't think that there ever will be a modern functioning
Western-style democracy in Afghanistan, even if we stay a hundred
One big price
Americans will pay for this war--besides the lives of Americans and
Afghans--will be the Americans who will come home addicted to
So I say look for the
first opportunity to get out, and concentrate on containing evil.
Convince everybody in
Afghanistan's neighborhood--Russia, Iran, Pakistan, India, and
China--to make sure these mountain bandits and war lords and drug
lords are not re-supplied with modern weapons and ammunition,
It is not in their interest, or ours, to have radicals armed with
modern weapons on their borders.
This is nothing new. It's Rudyard Kipling's Great Game written
for the 21st Century. Get a copy of Kipling's "Kim" and read
it for pleasure, for confirmation, and perhaps guidance.
CARE IN THE U.S. CONSTITUTION?
by Will C. Justice
The writers of the Constitution knew
that they could not possibly foresee all the needs of the country
for all time. So they chose words that would give future
members of Congress the latitude to enact laws that were needed for
One of those phrases
is the "general Welfare of the United States."
generations of lawmakers have used this provision to fund Social
Security under during the administration of FDR and the interstate
highway system during the Eisenhower administration. Here are
the words of the relevant section: "The Congress shall have
Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay
the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare
of the United States...."Section 8, U.S. Constitution
ELDERLY AMERICANS OPPOSE HEALTH CARE REFORM By Will C. Justice
I know from personal
experience that my generation--senior Americans--is much more likely
to resist a black president than those younger than ourselves. My
experience is borne out by the polls. All the polls that
examine racial views of Americans, when broken out by age, show this
Elderly Americans were raised on fear of communism and socialism.
The threat of socialized medicine strikes fear in the hearts of the
elderly, not very much among our youth. They are smart enough to
realize that they are products of "socialized" education--they
attended state universities--and they know that tens of thousands of
America's physicians have been trained in state medical schools.
Moreover, Fox News,
with its distortions and misinformation about anything that has to
do with the Obama administration, has an aging audience. Look
at the polls. Its most devoted viewers are the elderly.
In addition, every sociologist knows that the elderly are almost
always resistant to major changes--unless the pain of not changing
is very great. There’s little pain among the elderly because
they/we have health insurance—socialized medicine—Medicare. We are
not among the 46 million that have no coverage. Why should we worry
about their problem, unless there’s a chance that our own benefits
might be cut?
This is not a communications failure of Barack Obama.. It’s a moral
failure of my generation of Americans. We are ignorant of our
history, and selfish.
WHERE WAS OBAMA BORN?
By Will C. Justice
The "birthers" claim
that President Obama was born in Kenya, and is not qualified to be
the President of the United States. Truth be told, Obama's
mother was an American-born citizen at the time of her son's birth,
and it does not matter where Barack Obama was born. The
definition of “natural born citizen” makes the whole debate
about the birth certificate moot.
Here's what the U.S.
Constitution states: “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a
Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this
Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President”
Who is a “natural born
citizen”? A natural born citizen is someone who is born in the
United States or someone whose parent/s is/are a citizen of the
United States, no matter where they happen to be born. For example,
a boy who is born in Germany whose mother is a native-born American
is an American. This happens all the time to children whose
parents serve in the military. It really does not matter where
Obama was born. What matters is, Was his mother an American
“This concept of
citizenship by blood as opposed to citizenship by geography is a
concept with a long history in British common law.”
WHAT SHALL WE
DO WITH THE TERRORISTS AT GUANTANAMO? By Will C. Justice
A lot of Republicans want to keep the
"enemy combatants" in prison forever, and a few want to execute
them. Without a trial.
I have two words to
say to these people. NELSON MANDELA
Nelson Mandela spent
years and years in prison as a convicted terrorist. When
released, he became the father of a new South Africa.
Surely his is a story
of redemption that should tell anyone who will listen that the
terrorist of today has the capacity to be good and kind and wise.
And maybe even a great leader of a nation.
It all depends on the
terrorists, and their keepers.
DO WE WANT AN
"ACTIVIST" JUDGE ON THE U.S. SUPREME COURT? By Will C. Justice
Republicans warn that it is
unconstitutional for a judge to make policy. That is the
business of Congress, they say, not judges.
I have five words to
say to them: BROWN VS. BOARD OF EDUCATION.
That decision by the
U.S. Supreme Court in 1954, which declared racial segregation in
schools illegal, quickly became policy that changed the nation--for
the better. It is one of the most important court decisions in
the nation's history.
That decision was
rendered by "activist" judges.
ECONOMIC DEPRESSION: WHEN AND HOW WE GOT IN THIS MESS by Will C.
"Republicans are like an arsonist who
sets a building on fire, and then blames the fire department for
Up until the presidential election last
November, the economy was just humming along--hitting on all
cylinders. Then, as soon as Obama was elected, banks began to
fail, the stock market plunged, real estate values plummeted,
foreclosures cascaded, and American automakers discovered that they
have some really big problems.
what Limbaugh and Hannity and their
right-wing disciples would like you to believe. In fact, some
of these buffoons allege that the depression began a few weeks
earlier--in anticipation of Obama's victory.
order to counter these attempts to blame it all on Obama, you
need to know why things have gone to hell. Here are three big
taxes while prosecuting two costly wars. Other American
Presidents have known that taxes must be raised to successfully
prosecute a war. But not Bush, Chaney & Company. They
burned through the largest surplus in American history, leaving
behind the largest deficit in American history. Simply put, they
bankrupted the country.
belief in "free markets." Hannity still uses "Let freedom
ring" as a theme-song for his radio show. Free markets
in practice means exporting millions of jobs overseas.
Just think what has
disappeared during the past few decades: textile manufacturing, TV
and radio manufacturing; steel production; ship building--to name
just a few. Free-market pleaders say this is because
American workers can't compete with overseas workers. The
truth is American workers will never be able to compete with
$2-an-hour workers who work in unsafe, polluting sweatshops.
It's not a question of
survival of the fittest workers, it's survival of the most exploited
Deregulation. Complete freedom with no rules or regulations
sounds very American. Advocates argue that rules and
regulations destroy the efficiency of bright managers and
hard-working laborers. It's not business-friendly.
The truth is, even
dumb crooks like environments that have no rules, regulations, or
enforcement. And smart crooks absolutely adore them.
One fact to remember. The one segment of the banking industry
that has not missed a beat is the regulated part of the
industry--FDIC-regulated banks. The unregulated segments are
on life support.
It was not sub-prime
mortgages that created the problem. It was leveraging these
mortgages into fancy unregulated derivatives and credit swaps that
almost wiped out the banking system.
AMERICA SEARCHES FOR ITS SOUL
Throughout history, torture has been
the rule, not the exception. That is why it was such an
important step in history when the inventors of the United States
banned torture. The Eighth Amendment--the Bill of
Rights, no less--states: "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor
excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments
Today many nations
still torture--they inflict cruel and unusual punishments--but it is
illegal and unconstitutional for Americans to do so. This is
not to say that torture has not occurred under American auspices.
Sadly, it has, but it is a crime, whenever or wherever it has
torture. It is cruel and it is unusual. American
leaders--Republican and Democrat--who knew and said nothing were
cowards and complicit in the
crimes. But their guilt does not
compare to those who authorized and carried out torture.
Today we know that
Muslims have been tortured--often in the name of the deeply flawed
"ticking bomb" argument. And we know that some prisoners have
died, some murdered. (More on this is certain to come out.)
The great tragedy is that most of the individuals who have been
tortured were not given the benefit of a fair trial.
They were found guilty by their captors, often on hearsay evidence.
Ask yourself what
you would do if you were unjustly accused, and the torture began,
If Christian or Jewish
Americans look the other way when Muslims are tortured, will they
look the other way when Buddhists are tortured? Will they look
the other way when journalists who expose wrongdoing and do not
reveal their sources are tortured? Will they look the other way when
ordinary American citizens speak out against the next war that a
President recklessly begins?
"First they came for
the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they
came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a
Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not
speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me." --attributed to
Pastor Martin Niemőller (1892-1984)
about the inactivity of German people of good will following the
Nazi rise to power --Will C. Justice
REPUBLICAN LAWMAKERS HAVE SUCH A HARD TIME MAKING ANY MEANINGFUL
CONTRIBUTION TO GETTING AMERICA BACK ON TRACK
The culprit is "The
Pledge." For years, Grover Norquist, president of
Americans for Tax Reform, has been able to enforce a demand that
Republican lawmakers take a solemn pledge not to raise taxes.
What this means is
that all these lawmakers can do is propose tax cuts--to solve
any and every problem--even when the past 8 years shows that
trickle-down economics and tax cuts for the rich lead to economic
support, even if the want to-- needed projects such as high-speed
rails or rebuilding American's crumbling bridges and tunnels and
highways or health care reform if it means raising taxes.
What is the nation's
main barrier to bi-partisan legislation? It's not Obama.
It's The Pledge.
Pledge-takers need to
know the words of Abraham Lincoln, the greatest Republican ever, who
said: "Bad promises are better broken than kept."
HISTORICAL RECORD STRAIGHT
Republicans are making a concentrated
effort to rewrite history by alleging that F.D.R.'s stimulus
spending harmed instead of aided efforts to end the Great
Depression. Gingrich is one of the Republican's most
articulate and persistent spokesperson for this ideological
Below is a response to
Gingrich that Time Magazine published: "FORMER HISTORY
PROFESSOR GINGRICH misstates some facts about the 20th century.
The Great Depression did not give rise to Nazism or Japanese
militarism. It was World War I and its aftermath that set the
stage for both Mussolini's march on Rome and Hitler's attempted
putsch in Munich. By the time of the Depression, in
1929, the fascists had been in power for years, and the Nazis had
been growing in strength for most of the decade. Furthermore,
Gingrich's description of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff seems to imply it
was part of F.D.R's New Deal. Smoot and Hawley were
Republicans, and the act that bears their names was passed in 1930,
during the Hoover Administration. If Gingrich can't get his
facts straight about the last century, why should we listen to his
suggestions for this one?" --Lee Poole, PHOENIX
LETTER TO RUSH LIMBAUGH FROM WILL C. JUSTICE
DEAR ALL-WISE RUSH LIMBAUGH:
I have been critical of you in the past,
believing you to be a financially successful, cunning, deceitful
But now I realize that
I need to examine your ideas more carefully.
I once heard you say
that you hoped Americans would do away with all the programs that
That confuses me.
Didn’t FDR create the FDIC?
I admit that the FDIC
can coerce banks and require that they submit all their records to
government agents for inspection. These agents sometimes swoop in
without warning, demanding to see everything.
You are a libertarian,
I’m told, and I understand that libertarians regard coercion as a
very bad thing. Does this mean that banks should be allowed to
withhold any documents they don’t want to show?
If that’s the case,
isn’t it possible that there just might be some clever, dishonest
people working for banks? It’s untrusting of me to think such a
thing, but experience has taught me that some people need to be
watched, especially people who handle a lot of money. An old
farmer once told me, “Son, you get what you inspect, not what you
So, even though FDIC
does sound coercive, it gives me some comfort to know that the
records of my bank get inspected.
Rush, please forgive
me, but I have a problem with another of your ideas.
believe that greed and selfishness are virtues? My mother taught
me not to be greedy and selfish. But I want to give your ideas a
fair chance, so I will try to get what she taught me out of my head.
Finally, my money is
currently in an FDIC bank. Do I need to take my money out of this
bank? It’s been good all these years knowing that my money was
safe. In fact, I don’t know anyone who has ever lost their money in
an FDIC bank. But discomfort may be the price I have to pay to be
Thank you for teaching
me that government is bad, and coercion is bad, and FDR’s programs
are bad, and socialism is bad, but greed and selfishness are good.
Now I have a new
outlook on life. Thank you. Thank you.
One final question.
If I withdraw my money from an FDIC bank, can you tell me where to
put it? Maybe, somewhere the sun doesn’t shine? --Will C. Justice
RESCUE PLAN AND THE CONSERVATIVE UNDERGROUND
By Will C. Justice
"Do these people not
know that when a ship sinks, the good and the bad do down with it?"
They’re at it again.
You can hear them on hate radio and hate TV, venting about socialism, and
Marxism, and bailouts for the irresponsible.
They work their
followers into frenzy, urging them to bombard politicians with
millions of messages, thereby creating an illusion that they are a
massive populist majority--thus getting what they were unable to
gain at the ballot box.
In reality they are
the right-wing fringe comprised of a few million obedient souls with
lots of hate in their hearts and time on their hands.
These are the people
who murmured ne'er a word about the billions and billions sent off
to Iraq. Nothing was heard from them then about passing along
staggering debt to our children and our children’s children.
These are the
government haters who were content to let New Orleans drown until it
was too much of a world embarrassment to ignore. These are the ones who
wanted government-friendly regulations, which worked beautifully for
Enron, Madoff, and assorted mining companies.
These are the
laissez-faire people who believe that an omniscient market knows how
to correct itself. Left to itself, that may actually happen, but God knows
For the most part,
these people call themselves Republicans, although some say they are
libertarians, apparently not knowing that they really sound like
Oh, they can be pious! They make their mortgage
payments, and are outraged that deadbeats get special breaks
at the government's expense.
Deadbeats. That’s what
personality recently called the people who are losing their
homes. This particular demagogue admitted that there might be a few exceptions, “but I don’t
want to hear about the exceptions,” he huffed.
Deadbeats? Is that
what one should call the unlucky millions who lost their jobs during
recent dreadful months? Over 680,000 “deadbeats” last month
alone. Could losing their jobs be the real reason they are
losing their homes? But that would be an exception, wouldn't
Do these people not
know that when a ship sinks, the good and the bad do down with it?
Have these people
contemplated what a calamity it will be if the housing market
Do they not know that
those who drown will be those who faithfully made their mortgage
payments, as well as those who couldn’t or didn’t?
Do they not know that
if there is a foreclosure sign in front of one's neighbor's house,
that it adversely affects the value of their own house?
Do these people not
know that this nation has a long and successful experience
Like the G.I. loan.
Oh, these people would
probably call the G.I. loan socialism, too, because the government
intervened on behalf of its citizens. They would have
to know that these loans was costly, that billions in subsidies
were poured into them before the program ran its course.
But the subsidized
mortgages for G.I.s created an American middle class of home owners.
Besides, those mortgages helped untold thousands who weren’t
affording non-veterans the opportunity to assume a G.I. loan.
Now there’s an idea.
Why not a big, new G.I. loan program, with low-interest mortgages
and no down-payment and low closing costs for military people who
served in Viet Nam and Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, and
firefighters, and police, and teachers?
why not make those mortgages truly assumable again, the way G.I loans and
many other mortgages used to be. A
homebuyer with good credit could assume somebody else’s loan for a
modest assumption fee, and did not have to pay thousands of dollars
in funny money to attorneys and title companies to do duplicate
Do the people who
sow hate, discord, and doubt not know that they are making the problem
Do they not know that the economy will not
correct itself until Americans believe that it is safe for banks to
make loans again, and safe for consumers to spend and borrow again?
Fortunately, fewer and
fewer take the hatemongers seriously. The election of
2008 proved it.
The hatemongers did everything in their power to smear and deceive and
discredit. And they failed.
One would think that they learned their lesson. Perhaps they did. They
discovered that you can fool some of the people all of the time.
And they discovered that some of the people can make a lot of ugly
noise. --Will C. Justice
I just watched a man on CNN who works
at three jobs to pay his mortgage say that he wonders how he will
benefit from handouts to people who aren't making their payments.
Answer: If this man's next-door neighbor is in foreclosure, and if
others in his neighborhood are too, their problems bring down the
price of his residence. By stabilizing the market, this man benefits
when home prices stop falling and begin to appreciate again.
Whenever it rains, it falls on the good and the bad. If this works,
everyone will benefit.
John Donne answered
his question long ago: "Any man's death diminishes me, because
I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. "
HOW TO ANSWER
PEOPLE WHO SAY THAT OBAMA IS A SOCIALIST
Ask if they believe in socialized education.
Chances are they will say No. Ask them if they believe in
public education or state universities, such as the University of
North Carolina, UCLA, the University of Illinois, or any major state
These schools are all
examples of "socialism"--state supported education.
Chances are, even the most devout right-wing Republican or
Libertarian will have to admit that there are some good
American have long believed in policies that are "socialistic" in
the broadest sense of the word: Social Security, Medicaid,
public schools, public highways, and a graduated income tax that was
begun under that great socialist Teddy Roosevelt.
LIBERALS, PROGRESSIVES, AND MODERATES GO FOR IN-DEPTH TELEVISION
We strongly recommend MSNBNC.
Unlike Fox News, MSNBC is really fair and balanced, with articulate
critics--conservative as well as liberal.
Unfortunately, MSNBC is not available on Comcast in some markets
except as expensive add-on packages.
We urge you to contact your local cable company and let them know
that you want MSNBC.
You'll be glad you make the effort. There is no
comparison between their coverage of the debates and the other guys.
REPUBLICANS AND THE NEXT GREAT DEPRESSION
I am not a young man, but never in my lifetime have
I seen anything as reminiscent of Hoover's Great Depression as America
today--banks failing and hundreds of thousands of Americans losing their
homes. For the first time in my lifetime, people are worried about
whether the money they have in the bank is safe.
This nation cannot afford
four more years of Republican rule. And there's one big reason.
inexperience. racism, sexism, and war hero talk. It's the
ideas that the candidates and the parties cherish that really matter.
The same ideas that produced
the Hoover Depression are alive and well in today's Republican party--no
taxes for the rich, subsidies for big corporations, no government
regulation by the federal government, and the supremacy of states rights.
Change the name from Hoover
to McCain to Palin on the economy, and the answers they give
I personally heard Rush
Limbaugh say that it was his goal to undo everything that FDR did.
no secret that nobody has more influence over
Republican thought than Rush. And it's no secret what Rush believes:
government is bad and federal regulation is a plague.
But I wonder if Rush
realizes that the FDIC--a program of the federal government put in place
by FDR--is the main thing right now that's keeping America from an
One of my friends asked me
why I wasn't voting Republican. "Don't you want to keep more of your
My answer? If
the nation follows Republican ideology and the banks fail, neither
she nor I will have any money to keep.
What we need is a President
who sounds like FDR, not a Hoover sound-alike.
--Will C. Justice
OBAMA AND LINCOLN COMPARED
"The next time somebody says Obama hasn't had enough experience to be
President, ask them if they ever heard of Abraham Lincoln. Ask if
they think Lincoln was a good President.
There are important parallels. Lincoln had no executive experience.
Neither has Obama. Lincoln was an Illinois lawyer. Obama is an
Illinois lawyer. Lincoln served 8 years in the Illinois legislature.
Obama served 8 years in the Illinois legislature. Lincoln served 2
years in Washington, in the U.S. House of Representatives. Obama has
served in the U.S. Senate since 2005."--Will C. Justice
OBAMA AND 'SOCIALIZED MEDICINE"
Last evening, when I told a woman some 65-70 years old, and a
staunch Republican, that I planned to vote for Obama, she said:
"Don't you know that a vote for Obama is a vote for socialized medicine."
When I asked her what was wrong with "socialized medicine," she replied:
"It's not the American way," and then went on to explain that the American
way involved individuals helping one another without government
I pointed out that we already have "socialized medicine," if by
"socialized" she meant government-financed health care. (She
admitted that she is a participant in Medicare. ) And I pointed out
that Americans are justly proud of our "socialized" universities,
like UCLA and the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech and the
University of Michigan, and Illinois and hundreds of other fine state
As for "the American way," there was a time many decades ago when most
Americans lived on farms and in small towns; when doctors made house
calls, and a trip to the hospital might cost $100; when most people knew
their neighbors. Then state-financed health care might have been
superfluous. Maybe not even then.
But today, when 45 million Americans in a nation of 302 million lack
health insurance; when a trip to the doctors office plus filling the
prescription for the flu might come to $200 or more; when an emergency
trip to the hospital can cost $1000 or much more for the first few
minutes, please don't tell me that something drastic is not needed, even
if it's "socialized." --Will C. Justice
THE SURGE AND THE IRAQ WAR
"Last week I heard Neil Boortz, a mean-spirited, right-wing
talk-radio host, tell us that the Iraq war has been "won." A few days
later, The New York Times carried a front-page article about Bush's
courageous decision to support the surge--sending an additional 21,500
troops to Iraq.
If those two stories are to be believed, never in the history of the
nation have so few done so much. It seems almost unbelievable
that a mere 21,500 troops could rescue a war that seemingly had been lost.
And all the time, many Americans believed George W. Bush to be a reckless,
pig-headed fool. Shame on us!
Now that the war has been "won, " pardon me if I ask a few questions.
One. If the war has been won, why is it that because of security
concerns Condi Rice's recent visit to Iraq was kept secret until the very
last moment? If the enemy has been vanquished, why would this be
My second question. If the war has been won, why hasn't the Iraqi
government been brave enough to show itself in public? It still
hunkers down in the Green Zone.
My third question. How were a mere 20,000 troops able to do so
much? Is it because the real reason for the drop in violence
is the hundreds of millions of dollars the U.S. is paying militants not to
According to a report in USA Today, the U.S. hired 36,000 former
militants at $8 per day to help us--and that's just what the U.S. pays the
grunts. Who would know how much we are paying the leaders and the
Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr to be nice?
Using the figures in the USA Today article, 365-day coverage with all
36,000 comes to roughly $2,016,000 per week or about $105,000,000 per
year. And again, that's just for the low-level people.
In a subsequent article on the subject by The New York Times, it is
reported that these Sunni insurgents on the U.S. payroll are now being
hunted down by the Shia government. Understandably, the turn-coats
feel betrayed by the U.S.
Yet The New York Times article on the surge and Bush's courage did not
tell us about the huge protection racket the U.S. has been engaged in, and
the real reason behind the drop in American casualties.
One final thought. If 20,000 troops can do so much, too bad we
didn't know that in Korea or Viet Nam. Those wars could have been
won with a surge, too." --Will C. Justice
REPUBLICANS AND BAD GOVERNMENT.
It's a cherished article of Republican faith that government is
bad. Their mantra is "Limited Government." With no touch of irony, Republicans take government
office to make sure this belief comes true.
Bear in mind
that the executive branch of government--George Bush & Co at the federal
level and governors at the state level--is responsible for running
the government. Not Congress. George Bush is the CEO of the federal
government. The buck stops in the Oval Office or at Crawford, Texas
or whatever stage prop is convenient, even though George Bush always
blames Congress, or his predecessor.
So what do these Republican latter-day anarchists do? They
under-fund and under-staff government agencies. They appoint total
incompetents to the highest executive positions in the agencies.
They issue restrictive executive orders to handcuff the agencies--and make
sure that the public loses faith in the ability of the government to
The evidence is everywhere. Just connect the dots.
The VA and Walter Reed General Hospital became a national disgrace
until Congress intervened and there was a firestorm over conditions and
lack of service. Air Controllers--under-funded. Mine
safety--under-funded and regulations un-enforced. FAA--under-funded
Republicans really hate Social Security and want to see the whole
system privatized. What better way to achieve that goal that
to sow seeds of doubt about the viability of the fund and, importantly, to
make sure Social Security underperforms.
Case in point. In Georgia, according to a report just published
in the Atlanta Journal Constitution (August 27, 2008) "on average
claimants wait 793 days for a decision from the agency's North Atlanta
office and 769 days from its downtown Atlanta office." Over two
years for a decision!
--Will C. Justice
FIGURES DON'T LIE, BUT LIARS CAN FIGURE
The headlines tell you that the number of Americans with no health
care coverage dropped from 47 million in 2006 to 45.7 last year.
What you may not have read: the number of uninsured Americans is
7.2 percent higher than in 2000--the year this dreadful regime began.
The headlines told you that the income for the typical American
household rose for the third year in a row.
What you may not have read is that median family income last year was
still 0.6 percent less than it was in 2000.
Republicans have to take full and complete responsibility for the
recession. From 2000 to 2006, Republicans controlled the White
House and both houses of Congress. In 2006 Democrats achieved a
majority in Congress, but the margin is so slim that George Bush can still
veto at will. It's a Republican mess.
--Will C. Justice
"YOU SHOULD BE A REPUBLICAN IF ANY ONE OF THE FOLLOWING DESCRIBES YOU.
OF COURSE, IF SEVERAL ITEMS DESCRIBE YOU, YOU COULD BECOME A LEADER OF THE
...you are very rich and want to avoid paying any taxes;
...you are a polluter or run a fraudulent business and want to avoid
...you are a bigot and harbor deep suspicions and resentments against
...you believe the Bush administration has done a good job;
...it doesn't matter to you that today's Republican Party has been
hijacked by Southern racists, radical religious fundamentalists, and the
top leaders of what Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex.
Background: The Republican Party of
today is far different from the Republican party that chose Lincoln.
The Republican party was originally formed to prevent the spread of
slavery into the western territories and new states. Republicans
were the liberals and the radical left of their day.
But a few decades ago, Richard Nixon created a Southern strategy designed
to lure white Southerners away from the Democratic party and into the
The plan was successful. Those who responded were from the Ku Klux
Klan and the White Citizens Councils and racist sympathizers.
Gradually these "conservatives" rooted out the liberals and the moderates
in the Republican Party, and took over.
Core beliefs of today's Republican Party
One. Low taxes or no taxes for the very rich and big corporations
Two. "Limited government" This is a Republican code
word for cutting, eliminating, or privatizing all government programs,
including Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, Head Start, veterans
programs, children's health care programs, public schools, the post office, etc., etc. It also is
code for weak regulatory agencies for the environment, mine safety, airline
Three. "Free markets" This is a Republican code word for
a doctrine that encourages American capital to flee to foreign countries
to purchase products and services, while closing American manufacturing
facilities that produce textiles, steel, automobiles, etc. by well-paid
Four. "Wedge issues" such as gay marriage, immigration,
and patriotism. Republican strategists employ wedge issues to divert attention from the big-three
issues. Like a carnival magician, Republican strategists
and demagogues play upon the fears and prejudices of Americans to distract
them from what is really at stake.
VOTE REPUBLICAN IF...
...you are middle-class or upper-middle class. The Republican
Party will throw you sops, like $600 tax rebates to make you believe that
they are fighting high taxes. But their core belief is If you were
any good at all, you would be rich.
...you are employed by a public school system. The Republican
Party would like to privatize the public school system;
...you are employed by a state university or college. Remember the
core belief of today's Republican party. They believe that anything
done by the government could be done better privately:
...you are a student at a state-supported university; (See above.)
...you own or run a small business. The Republican Party scorns
anti-trust, anti-monopoly laws and regulations. Their leaders
believe it is part of the divine order for small businesses to be crushed
by big ones.
...you are a government employee of the federal government.
The Republican Party hates the federal government. That's the reason
Republican demagogues constantly tell you that Washington shouldn't tell
you what to do. They know they can manipulate state
governments easier than then can the federal government;
...you believe in extending federally funded health care to 47 million
Americans who lack health-care coverage;
...you are a recipient of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, VA, or
children's health insurance benefits. Rich Republicans believe
you should have saved enough on your own so that you don't need these
...you think of yourself as a liberal or a moderate. Don't be
stupid. There are no Republican liberals or moderates left in the
leadership of the Republican Party.
...you are not a racist or a nativist. However, if you really
don't like people who look, think, or talk different, you will feel right
at home in today's Republican party." --Will C. Justice
THE TRUTH ABOUT OFF-SHORE DRILLING
The Illusion. If the environmentalists will just shut up, and
oil companies can start drilling in Alaska and off-shore, gas prices will
come down and the United States will no longer have to purchase oil from
nations that do not like us.
Over seventy percent of Americans believe this illusion is true.
The truth. If all the oil untapped in Alaska and under the waters of
the outer continental shelf were drilled, according to U.S. Department of
Energy data, the yield would be 18 billion barrels.
(The U.S. Department of Energy is neither Republican nor Democratic.
If there were any tilt politically, it would be Republican because the top
administrative positions are Republican appointees.)
18 billion barrels of oil sounds like a lot. But at the current rate of
global consumption, 18 billion barrels would be completely consumed in 7
Oil is purchased in an international market, so it is conceivable that all
18 billion barrels might be purchased by China or Japan or India or some
other oil-poor nation,
certainly some of it.
But If by some stretch the United States managed
to keep all the 18 billion barrels for itself, 18 billion barrels would
last about 28 months.
If drilling began today, it would be 2013 before
any significant amount of new oil would hit the market. (Main
source, Fortune Magazine , August 18, 2009, p. 23, The New Yorker,
August 11 and 18, p. 28, 29)
Help get the truth out. You can cite
the material above with confidence.
BUSH'S REVERSE-MIDAS TOUCH
Everything King Midas touched turned to gold.
Unlike Midas, everything this man Bush touches turns to shit.
The budget surplus, gone; the Katrina rescue, a catastrophe; the hunt for
Osama Bin Laden, a joke; Iraq and Afghanistan, quagmires; the banking
system, shaky; mine safety a tragic disgrace, the airlines in bankruptcy. Yet this man Bush wanders the corridors of the White House
pondering his place in history. And Americans, the foolish ones, are
concerned that Obama lacks experience."
--Will C. Justice
CHICKENS COME HOME TO ROOST
"The only good economic news during the past
seven years has been housing. The housing boom kept many Americans
from noticing that hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs were
disappearing under the banner of open markets.
And now the housing boom has evaporated!
The good jobs are gone, the plants are shuttered or turned into lofts that
people have stopped buying, and highly skilled workers are driving taxis
or flipping hamburgers.
Hoover Days are here again. " --Will C. Justice
THE COST OF AN ISRAELI OR AMERICAN STRIKE ON IRAN; ENORMOUS
The following is an excerpt from an AP story by Steven Gutkin,
released August 6, 2008
"The cost of an attack — by the U.S., Israel
or both — is likely to be enormous.
Iran could halt oil production and shut down
tanker traffic in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, which could send
the price of crude skyrocketing and wreck Western economies.
It could stir up trouble for the U.S. in
Iraq by revving up Shiite militias there just as Washington is
showing some important gains in reining in Iraqi chaos.
It could activate its militant proxies in
both Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, from where Israel could come under
heavy rocket attack. And it could strike Israel with its arsenal of
Shahab-3 long-range missiles — something Israel is hoping to guard
against through its Arrow missile defense system.
Perhaps most importantly, any strike on Iran
— especially if it's done without having exhausted all diplomatic
channels — could have the opposite of the desired effect, "actually
increasing the nationalist fervor to build a nuclear weapon," said
Meir Javedanfar, an Iranian-born Israeli and expert on Iranian
Howtotalkback believes the costs far outweigh
SELF-REGULATION, DEREGULATION, AND
“The lesson we have
learned is that self-regulation means no regulation.”
Roubini, an economics professor at the
Stern School of Business at New York University,
quoted in The New York Times, Sunday July 27, 2008, business section, p. 7
HOOVER DAYS ARE
i once heard Rush Limbaugh state that he was committed to overturning
everything that Franklin Delano Roosevelt put in place.
Well, it's a good thing Rush and his good buddy George Bush and the
Republican enablers didn't get their wish. Because, if they
had completely succeeded, we would now be in another Hoover depression.
In fact, just one of FDR's innovations--the
FDIC--has kept our shaky banking system from complete collapse. If
it weren't for the FDIC, banks would be failing right and left. The
IndyMac Bank failure would be just one of thousands.
It's the UNREGULATED part of the banking industry
that's the problem, stupid. Yet Rush, Bush, and the Republican enablers foam
at the mouth about "government regulation."
These fools have even created a sacred shrine for the economic ideas of
Herbert Hoover--The Hoover Institution--at Stanford University.
It is something to behold when these true
believers try to explain away the Great Depression, blaming it on
everything but the real reason--the economic ideas that Hoover believed
A Herbert Hoover Institution for Economic Policy
makes about as much sense and a Benedict Arnold Institution for
--Will C. Justice
Just about the time the United States has begun to show wisdom by sending
a high-ranking representative to talk to Iran instead of threaten it,
Israel is making dangerous noises about launching an attack against Iran.
Americans believe Israel has the right to defend itself, but Americans do
not believe Israel has the right to initiate attacks on every unfriendly
nation around Israel.
Israel's leaders should have learned a lesson from the recent disgraceful
misadventure in Lebanon when it virtually destroyed that little
nation--and Bush acquiesced. The attack made heroes out of the
Israel is close to a tipping point,
If it continues to bully and bluster, to treat Palestinians with contempt,
to steal their land for settlements, to thumb its nose at the UN and the
World Court, it might just stir up a revolt among Arabs on the inside of
its wall, it might just send oil prices into the stratosphere, and it just
might lose America's unqualified support.
The latter possibility has already begun. President Jimmy
Carter, a fair-minded and honest man, and a friend of Israel, was attacked
mercilessly when he used the word "apartheid" to describe what he
witnessed in the occupied territories. Most American Jews do not
know that he told the truth. If they find out, by checking for
themselves, there will be a great soul-searching in the United States.
The day of blank checks will be over.
If Israel wants Iran to cease and desist its nuclear program, it might
begin by offering to destroy its own arsenal of nuclear weapons.
--Will C. Justice
QUOTES WORTH KEEPING
"Someday, the country will recognize the true cost of its war on
illegal immigration. We don't mean dollars, though those are
being squandered by the billions. The true cost is to the
national identity: the sense of who we are and what we value...
"A nation of immigrants is holding another nation of immigrants in
bondage, exploiting its labor while ignoring its suffering, condemning its
lawlessness while sealing off a path to living lawfully.
"An escalating campaign of raids in homes and workplaces has spread
indiscriminate terror among millions of people who pose no threat.
"Immigrants in detention languish without lawyers and decent medical care
even when they are mortally ill..."
--Editorial, The New York Times, June 3, 2008
Howtotalkback agrees with this eloquent lament
and can't help noticing that the meanest, harshest enemies of
illegal immigrants almost always are Republicans.
"The Bush Administration has done everything in its power to ensure
that the American people do not fully understand the running daily cost of
the war in Iraq, in terms of American lives. They sneak the body
bags back under cover of darkness. They pressure the press not
to photograph the flag-draped coffins, reportedly out of deference to the
families, but effectively reducing all our war dead to unknown, unseen
soldiers. When this madness ends, we will have lost much more
than the human toll will suggest. We will have lost a
connection to our better selves...." --Richard Kenyada, (of Smyrna,
GA, is a Vietnam veteran)
"Personally, as an American Jew, I don't vote for
president on the basis of who will be the strongest supporter of Israel.
I vote for who will make America strongest. It's not only because
this is my country, first and always, but because the single greatest
source of support and protection for Israel is an America that is
financially and militarily strong, and globally respected." --Thomas
The new treaty proposed by
the U.S. is startlingly similar to the disastrous treaty between Iraq and
Britain in 1930. That treaty was ratified by a docile Iraqi
Parliament but was bitterly resented by nationalists. Riots,
uprisings and coups became regular events for the next quarter century.
Two major military bases were leased to the British, who were empowered to
station their forces throughout Iraq. British personnel were granted
immunity from local prosecution.
Howtotalkback: "The Bush administration
cannot learn from history because it does not know much history, and the
little history it knows it treats with disdain." Will C. Justice
THE TRUTH ABOUT BARACK OBAMA
There are many things people do not know about BARACK OBAMA.
It is ever American's duty to read this message and pass it along to all
of their friends and loved ones.
Barack Obama wears a FLAG PIN at all times. Even in the
Barack Obama says the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE every
time he sees an American flag. He also ends every sentence by saying
"WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL"
Every weekend, Barack and Michelle take their
Barack Obama is a PATRIOTIC AMERICAN.
He has one HAND over his HEART at all times. He occasionally
switches when one arm gets tired, which is almost never because he is
Barack Obama has the DECLARATION OF
INDEPENDENCE tattooed on his stomach. It's upside-down, so he can
read it while doing sit-ups.
There's only one artist on Barack Obama's
iPod: FRANCIS SCOTT KEY.
Barack Obama is a DEVOUT CHRISTIAN. His
favorite book is the BIBLE, which he has memorized. His name means
HE WHO LOVES JESUS in the ancient language of Aramaic. He is PROUD
that Jesus was an American.
Barack Obama goes to church every morning.
He goes to church every afternoon. He goes to church every evening.
He is IN CHURCH RIGHT NOW.
Barack Obama's new airplane includes a
conference room, a kitchen, and a MEGACHURCH.
Barack Obama's skin is the color of AMERICAN
Barack Obama buys AMERICAN STUFF. He owns a
FORD, a BASEBALL TEAM, and a COMPUTER HE BUILT HIMSELF FROM AMERICAN
PARTS. He travels mostly by FORKLIFT.
Barack Obama says that Americans cling to
GUNS and RELIGION because they are AWESOME.
THE WAR ON TERROR:
AN UPDATE ON AFGHANISTAN THAT YOU WON'T HEAR RUSH TALK ABOUT
The Taliban controls 10-11 percent of the country,
Karzai's government controls and 30-31 percent. According to an AP
account, Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell recently told
the Senate Armed Services Committee that "more than
six years after the U.S. invasion to oust the Taliban and establish a
stable central government, the majority of Afghanistan's population
remains under local tribal control."
ARE BOLSTERING THE SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM
In its annual report issued last week, the
trustees of the Social Security program noted that illegal workers "are
expected to bolster the program over the coming decades."
How much? According the report, the taxes
paid by illegal immigrants will close fifteen percent of the system's
projected long-term deficit. Fifteen percent!
How can this be?
Because a great many undocumented workers pay Social Security taxes,
but never collect benefits. Moreover, these immigrants
generally are much younger and have more children than the general
population. The result is an increase in working-age people
who pay taxes, but a relatively smaller number of people who collect the
Talkback: Those who are hysterical about deporting illegal
immigrants hope that you won't learn that illegal immigrants are actually
helping the Social Security system.
The only sensible solution is to make it very easy for Mexicans to
become citizens--through a massive increase in the quota for immigrants
from Mexico and drastic reduction in the cost of applications and fees.
THE REIGN OF
SEVEN CANNOTS THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION HAS IGNORED
by Will C. Justice
succeed if you wage wars you cannot win.
Bush seems to believe he can wage preemptive war against any ruler
he happens to dislike, regardless of the cost or loss of human life.
win wars without reliable intelligence.
American intelligence in the Middle East is limited and flawed,
compounded by occupying forces that understand neither the languages
nor the cultures. You must not kick down doors unless you know who
is behind them.
You cannot wage wars without raising
The cost of the Iraq war is astronomical and has been passed along
to succeeding generations in the form of an enormous national debt.
No American President before Bush has dreamed of waging a war
without increasing taxes.
expect puppet governments to be strong.
Bush’s puppet government is so weak that it dares not appear in
public outside the Green Zone. Even the Vichy government, Hitler’s
French collaborators, functioned in public.
create democracy at the point of a gun.
Individual freedoms contract rather than expand during armed
conflict, and extremists drown out voices of reason.
expect good government if you mock government.
Bush scorns the federal government while drawing a federal
paycheck. To create a good society, you must attract good people to
serve in it.
always to depend on market forces.
The Bush administration has made a god of market forces, but market
forces do not have a brain or a heart. Sometimes market forces
help you, sometimes they do not. Sometimes you must intervene.
THE COST OF BUSH WARS
To date, more than 1.6 million American troops have been deployed
in Iraq and Afghanistan operations. More than 4000 have been
killed. More than 65,000 have been wounded or injured, or have
contracted a disease. Of the 750,000 troops who have been discharged
so far, some 260,000 have been treated at veterans' medical facilities.
Nearly 100,000 have been diagnosed as having mental-health conditions."
Talkback: Wars cost, and wise rulers count the cost before the war begins.
"What king, going to make war against another king, sits not down first,
and consults whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that comes
against him with twenty thousand." Luke 14:31
Talkback: " I find it interesting that you
identify 158,000 U.S. troops still stationed in Iraq but make no mention
of the mercenaries we support there. Their number are significant,
but one never seems to get an accurate count. I've seen stimates of
150,000 to 180,000. Also, since they are paid three to four times as
much as the average soldier, their cost is significant. --Betsey
Miklethun, letter to the editor Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Bush Archives 2008
Kristol on the Virtues of Conservatism
William Kristol, a staunch proponent of the invasion of Iraq, recently
wrote that conservatives alone resist "big government" and stand for
self-reliance, duty, honor, and traditional virtues.
Talkback: A reader replied:
"But aren't the conservatives the ones who support eavesdropping on fellow
citizens without a warrant? Holding suspects in secret prisons?
Condoning torture? Handing out billion-dollar not-bid contracts to
WHY THE AMERICAN OCCUPATION OF
AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ IS IN DEEP TROUBLE
After years of warfare and billions and billions of dollars spent,
American forces and the puppet governments they have put in place still
hunker down in bunkers, fearful of showing themselves in public.
Talkback: A recent article about an American
outpost in the Korengal River valley in Afghanistan contains two sentences
that go to the heart of why the American occupation will ultimately
fail--woefully poor intelligence. Because Americans do not know the
language or the culture, they must depend upon unreliable informants, and
get sucked into tribal blood feuds:
"The reality is that bombs are only as accurate as the intelligence on the
ground....By now, seven years of air strikes and civilian casualties,
humiliating house searches and arbitrary detentions have pushed many
families and tribes to revenge." (Elizabeth Rubin,
"Battle Company is Out There," The NY Times Magazine, 2-24-2008, pp.
Bush Archives 2008
You Won't Hear
About This On Fox News
Mine Safety: (AP) "The federal agency that regulates the
nation's mining industry says that it has failed to issue penalties for
hundreds of citations issued since 2000. This is a perfect example of the way what Republicans mean when
they talk about a "business-friendly" administration.
Republican Archives 2008
GEORGE W. BUSH AND THE RECESSION
seven years Bush bragged about how his economic program brought
America back after the dot-com bubble fiasco under Bill Clinton.
Talk about karma, or chickens coming home to roost, or boomerangs!
Talkback: Free markets. Isn't it interesting that
the worshippers of the Free Market God seem not to find it
inconsistent for them to ask for big infusions of government
assistance when the free market sputters? Why aren't
they willing to let the economy just correct itself?
Talkback: Prediction from Talkback. This stimulus
won't work. After Democrats turn these people out to pasture,
they'll have a chance to do something that will work.
INHERITANCE TAXES, THE ESTATE TAX, THE
Republicans would dearly love to repeal all taxes on inheritance.
Talkback: Repealing inheritance taxes
would do irreparable damage to the American way of life, which is
based on democratizing opportunity.
A relentless process would begin in the United
States that would put the nation's wealth, especially its land, under the
control of a few super-rich families.
Huge estates have long dominated the landscape
(and the politics) of England, Ireland, Italy, Spain, all of Latin
America, and much of Europe. One reason immigrants came to America
in the first place was because they could not acquire land in the Old Country.
A nation that allows its land to lie untaxed and undeveloped is in
In addition, there would be a huge drop-off in bequests to museums, national parks and other philanthropies--which
often are often motivated by tax issues.
The estate tax is
not a death tax. Calling the inheritance tax a "death tax" is a
clever ploy to help the super-rich avoid paying any taxes whatsoever. The tax is paid by people who are
very much alive--people who
reap huge benefits from the deaths of relatives. In many cases, those gains
of the deceased were never ever taxed.
They were avoided or deferred.
Why shouldn't society be paid for making the
wealth possible? The government provided police and fire protection, courts that
made contracts possible, and an infrastructure that made communication and
financial transactions safe and efficient. Those who enjoy great
wealth should pay for the resources that make it possible.
Republican Archives 2008
GEORGE W. BUSH
Bush Archives 2008
Click here to see a comparison of Abraham Lincoln
and George W. Bush written by a Lincoln expert.
here to read "The Sad and Dangerous Legacy of George W. Bush"
the Iraq War
The U.S. is considering arming Pakistani tribes
against Al Qaeda--
following the model that has been used in the Anbar Province in Iraq,
which has been hailed as a great success.
Do these geniuses not know
what happened the last time the U.S. trained and equipped the Pakistani
tribes for modern warfare against the Russians? Those warriors
morphed into the Taliban.
Dick Chaney On Iraq
In a private meeting in September
2002, Chaney tried to convince Dick Armey, the Republican House majority
leader, who was skeptical about a war in Iraq. Here is Chaney's
"We have great information. They're going to welcome us. It'll be like
the American Army going through the streets of Paris. They're sitting
there ready to form a new government. The people will be so happy with
their freedoms that we'll probably back ourselves out of there within a
month or two."
Source: Robert Draper: Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush,
Free Press, 2007)
Nothing needs to be said. Just quote the fool. November 5, 2007
We are at war.
Talkback: America has
been at war with somebody for over 60 years, Yet the nation got
through a Cold War with a nuclear-armed, long-range-missile-equipped
super-power without power-grabs by Presidents. Just because the
nation is fighting a war does not mean that its people should give
up long-cherished freedoms or allow the President the powers of a
Talkback: There’s a qualitative and
quantitative difference between being at war and being in a war. A
If we pull out now, we will give the radical
Islamists a safe haven.
Talkback: If Americans pull out now, the radicals will
lose their most effective recruiting tool--an occupying army.
should have thought about the consequences of failure before trying
to occupy and destroy the social infrastructure of an existing
Talkback: Radical Islamists already have safe havens all over
the world— in Sudan, Lebanon, the Northwest Frontier of Pakistan,
If you break it, you own it.
Talkback: This is
sometimes true in very little shops, but even in a little shop, if
you keep breaking things, you will be asked to leave...and never
If we pull out, the extremists will take
Talkback: They already
have. The longer Americans stay as occupiers, the more likely the
radicals will gain strength. Moderates are fleeing Iraq by the tens
Talkback: The American
occupation has become a rallying cry, a stimulus to radicalize
ordinary citizens. Every poll shows that Americans today are
absolutely hated in that part of the world--a dangerous sea change
Talkback: The American
occupation has created an Iraqi mafia. The parallels are striking.
The mafia was formed in Sicily as a secret resistance movement to
protect native people from successive waves of invaders.
Talkback: "There will be no Saigon
moment in Iraq. Iraq's Shiite-led government is in no danger of
losing the civil war to al-Qaeda....Iraq's Shiites are three times
as numerous as Iraq's Sunni Arabs...Iraq after
an American defeat will look very much like Iraq today--a
land divided along ethnic lines into Arab and Kurdish states with a
civil war being fought within its Arab part." Peter Galbraith, The
New York Review, August 16, 2007. p. 4
We need to finish the job.
Talkback: The definition
of 'the job' keeps changing.
against terrorism has now morphed into a war against radical Islam.
important "job" that seems to have faded is to establish democracy
throughout the Middle East. It was trumpeted that Iraq would become a model of
democracy for that part of the world. Some model, huh!
'job de jur' now seems to be to enable the puppet government of Iraq
knows how the "job" will be defined tomorrow.
Frighteningly, the insurgents seem to be the ones who are finishing
the job, not Americans—draining the treasury dry at the rate of
about $11 billion a month, destroying the army and marines, and
driving out an occupier.
Americans have never cut and run.
Howtotalkback: We left Viet Nam in a
hurry? We left Lebanon. After 244 American
military personnel had been killed in Beirut in the bombing of Marine
barracks in 1983, President Reagan vowed to remain in Lebanon.
In 1984 Reagan ordered the withdrawal of American forces.
More on Immigration
Many religious people, Christians and Jews, believe in using tough
measures against illegal immigrants.
Howtotalkback: Anyone who oppresses
illegal immigrants is not following the clear teaching of the Bible: "But
the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among
you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land
of Egypt: I am the LORD your God." Leviticus 19:34)
"Thou shalt not vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in
the land of Egypt." Exodus 22:21,)
All Illegal immigrants should be deported.
Howtotalkback: According to an October 2007 CNN
poll, only one in three Americans believes in deporting illegal
Illegal immigration is not a partisan issue; Democrats and
Republican alike support tough measures.
Howtotalkback: Polls consistently show that the
issue is significantly more important to Republicans than to Democrats.
If you read about a really harsh measure that's proposed or executed, you
can almost always be sure that a Republican is behind it.
Howtotalkback: Republicans turn harshly on anyone
who says a kind word for illegal immigrants, even their own. Senator
McCain, a war hero, was roundly booed at the South Carolina Republican
debates shortly after he supported a Senate measure for a path to
citizenship for illegal immigrant workers.
Howtotalkback: The reason illegal immigration
ignites such passions among Republicans is not difficult to understand.
Control of the Republican party has shifted to the South, where racist
views have prevailed for decades. Thanks to Nixon's strategy to capture
the South for Republicans, most white racist Southerners have gravitated
to the Republican party. Nationally, thanks to Goldwater and later to
Gingrich and company, liberals and moderates within the Republican Party
have been purged. There is virtually no Republican left to say a kind or
a generous word.
Illegal immigrants do not pay taxes.
Howtotalkback: Of course they pay taxes.
Whenever they purchase gasoline or a Big Mac or clothes at a department
store, they pay taxes. If they buy a house, they pay taxes.
It's costly to have illegal immigrants in this country:
schools, medical care, etc.
Howtotalkback: Of course it is, but the money a
society spends on children is an investment in its future. In just a few
short years--if the investment is generous and wise--those same children
will become the society's nurses, doctors, carpenters, mayors, police, and
serve in our armed forces.
Howtotalkback: Social Security. Because most illegal immigrants are
young workers, they pay Social Security taxes, which makes the system
more viable. At the present time, too many Americans have begun to
collect Social Security benefits, and not enough young workers are
contributing. Illegal immigrants would help solve the problem because
most of them are younger workers.
Illegal immigrants should not be allowed to obtain driver's
Howtotalkback: Preventing them from purchasing
driver's licenses is a classic example of cutting off one's nose in order
to spite one's face.
Millions of illegal immigrants are going to drive cars, one way or
another. If they can't get a license, then they can't get insurance, and
if they become involved in an accident, guess who pays? Law enforcement
officers know that licenses make it easier to enforce laws.
There is no viable solution for the illegal immigrant
Howtotalkback: Of course there's a solution.
Raise the quota for Mexicans who want to enter the U.S. and
drastically lower the cost of obtaining citizenship. Presently just a
trickle of immigrants can enter legally. Small wonder that many
thousands come illegally. Make it easier for people to obey the law, and
they will. Most American immigrants in the past came when there was
virtually no distinction between "legal" and "illegal." They just came.
Iran is a threat to the United States.
Talkback: Isn't one war disaster enough?
The same identical people and organizations that told us Iraq would be a
cakewalk now propose that we take out Iran. Even if a military response
were justified, how can the United States even think about beginning
another war and hope to win? The military is stretched to the breaking
point now. September 10, 2007
We need to promote regime change in Iran.
Howtotalkback: The Iranian people are clever
enough to see how much it cost their next-door-neighbor Iraq in blood and
treasure to be "liberated."
"Fox New is a fair, balanced,
and patriotic source of news."
News is anything but fair and balanced. Fox News generally picks
spokespersons who are friendly to the Bush administration. Whenever
Fox does pick someone unfriendly, that person is interrupted and harassed.
If you believe
being patriotic means that you consider all Americans traitors who
who don't agree with you, then Fox News is just right for you.