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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA

The United States of America was founded by men who were unknown in most of the world.  To be sure, they were all white, male landowners.  The new nation announced lofty ideals committed to democracy, as long as these goals were for white men who owned land.  Nevertheless this new nation experienced a leap forward in establishing democracy drawn up by an amazingly talented and brilliant group of men.

What percentage of this effort was an altruistic desire to found a republic of the people, and what percentage was to get these landowners and businessmen free of the yoke of British taxes will always be a topic of debate.  What eventually evolved through amendments and dramatic demands by women and people of color is a building-block in the march of democracy.  We are proud to celebrate this march that began in the 18th century and followed a bumpy road of reluctant democratic inclusion, greed-capitalism, bigotry, militarism, selfish lobbying, insensitivity for the underserved, imperialistic-like foreign policies, ad infinitum. 

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WASSILA WANDER WOMAN

OK, she just doesn't want to cheat the people of Alaska as a lame duck governor.  So resigning her governorship is kinda natural, I guess.  Sarah Palin is just trying to help the people of her state.

No matter how legitimate the questions and confusion are, Mrs. Palin will be certain to say that she is held to a different standard.  Wow, is that not true.  If she were held to a different standard, her naive comments on world affairs would have been lambasted.  Instead the press kind of gave her a pass, with only some little mention when she made the gaffs.  And those gaffs were astronomical.   "I can see Russia from Alaska."  Wow, is that insight, or what?  That definitely means she is suited for the top office in the most powerful nation in the world.

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McNAMARA & RUMSFELD? YUCK!

With the passing of former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, we are again reminded of the horrible mistake the Vietnam War was.  Democratic Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson had him serve as a front man in Vietnam.  Because of his sterling leadership as head of Ford Motor Co., it was thought he would make a great leader in the Pentagon.  He served longer than any Secty. of Defense.  Decisions made in Vietnam were absolutely atrocious.  Johnson may have played a key role in keeping that war going, but McNamara must certainly at least share in the historical debacle.  We should have learned that corporate leadership does not necessarily translate into public service.  And most of all, we should have learned that the U.S. should not engage in imperialistic-like wars.

Did we learn our lesson?  Absolutely not!  Donald Rumsfeld and George W. Bush are Exhibit A in showing how international militarism and colonialism to force our ideas on sovereign nations are not only destined for failure, but are morally and ethically wrong.  America should be better, consider its international calling to be purer than that.  We have often and long been misled by military adventures and corporate military pay-offs.  The quagmire we are now bogged down with in Iraq and Afghanistan is corporate-military adventurism at its worst.  And it has left our economy in ruins.

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NATIONAL CONSCIENCE SHOULD FORCE UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE

Endlessly we go on about this and that related to health care in the U.S.  Much of the argument has been clandestinely posed for us by insurance and pharmaceutical companies who know their greedy profits may be called into question.  Health care should be a right guaranteed to all Americans ...all Americans.

It is repugnant to think that there are Americans opposing universal health care or some similar one payer system that gives every citizen a right to equal and good care.  It is shameful that we have allowed these medically-related behemoths to manipulate us into acting selfishly.  We should not be in competition with each other to receive care.  When it comes to our health, it should never be a question of whether we have access to preserving and treating it with the best this nation has to offer.  Nothing less should be acceptable.  Only in the U.S. among ALL industrial nations is bankruptcy common and caused by medical costs.  The inhumanity of it!

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BUSH DEBT: $3 TRILLION + CLINTON'S SURPLUS

As the right-wing continues to move the goal posts everytime Obama does something correctly, let's be honest  in how we got here...

George W. Bush lied and deceived and illegally invaded a sovereign nation, Iraq.  There is no excuse for this, and certainly not just because we don't like the leader or we want their oil.  Look around the globe and realize it is not difficult to find a horrible national leader.  And there is oil in many nations whose leaders are reprehensible.

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IS CHENEY A WAR CRIMINAL?

When the OSS morphed into the CIA in 1947 it was difficult to set up guidelines for a secret service functioning in a representative democracy.  Secrecy is what struck fear in the minds of Americans.  Lots has changed since then.  We have had ebbs and flows of secrecy and illegal actions by the CIA.  While Republican administrations seem to lean in the direction of using secrecy and manipulating the CIA to use this secrecy to advance Republican agendas, it has not been limited to GOP presidents.

A Democratic president, Lyndon B. Johnson, enlarged American involvement in Vietnam, even using lies about the Gulf of Tomkin to justify our expanded role in military operations there.  In truth, this lie was inside action to prevent the Vietnamese from holding their promised elections because Ho Chi Minh would have won handily.  And a so-called democratic nation, the USA, acted to prevent democratic elections.  And what followed in Vietnam were a long series of lies and secret operations by both Johnson and Republican President Richard M. Nixon.  Henry Kissinger, serving with Nixon, seemed to relish secret actions.

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CELEBRATING ALL AMERICANS!

Let's stop and take the time to celebrate the wide diversity in America.  Our democratic Republic was founded on principles that freed us from the tyranny of royalty, specific religion, bigotry, etc.  A nation that declared through its Constitution that it would protect the rights of the minority, even the minority of one.

I salute, welcome, warmly greet my many American citizen-friends...  Euro-Americans, Native-Americans, Semites, Arabs, Hispanics, Chinese, Indians, Asians,  whites, blacks, reds, yellows, browns,  Eskimos, Moslems, Jews, Christians, pagans, witches, Deists, atheists, B'hais, animists, gays, straights, cross-gendered, developmentally-challenged, the poor, common people, the rich, capitalists, Marxists,  Buddhists, Shintoists, Sikhs, tall, short, thin, fat, blondes, brunettes, redheads, baldies, and the wonderful blend of all these groups and groupings.  I'm glad you're here.

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JOURNALISM DIED AFTER CRONKITE

With the passing of Walter Cronkite, I am reminded how much worse and less professional news reporting has become.  "Uncle Walter" was trusted because he was objective and honest.  He also had some historical understanding and knowledge of the back-story in the news he reported.  This is gone forever.  And he acknowledged in his later life that news reporting and journalism no longer served the public as it once had.

I doubt that most people reporting the news today even know what professional journalism is.  Imagine, for example, FoxNews billing itself as fair and balanced.  And aside from token and promotional tours, where have the current news anchors ever served?  Former ABC anchor  Peter Jennings at least spent some time in the Middle East as an on-the-spot reporter.  Where have Brian Williams or Katie Couric served?  More importantly, how "trained" has the American public become to spin-journalism, bias-journalism, shallow-journalism, etc.?  Those couplets are contradictory.  Journalism is something far different.

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MYTHS & BELIEFS IN AMERICA

In a recent article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, it was pointed out that nationally about 6% of Americans do not believe the U.S. landed a man on the moon.  They see it as a hoax.  No matter how many facts are obvious, many still cannot believe the truth.  Surprised?  I'm not.  Consider some of the things Americans believe that are NOT true, and in most cases, far more that 6%, and in many instances it is a large majority.

Iraq was involved in the terrorism of 9-11. 

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MESS IN IRAQ

From Day One of the invasion of Iraq, I predicted that it cannot end with an organized democracy and/or stable government.  Most people with any background knowledge of the area knew this.  Iraq was never a true nation; it had been cobbled together by European colonialists, primarily Great Britain.

However the problem was greatly enhanced by the fact that the invasion was of a sovereign nation.  And the war that we started was never officially declared by the U.S. Congress as is required by law.  We were lied to by the Bush administration henchmen.  The old excuse that we thought they had Weapons of Mass Destruction is beside the point.  We had them boxed in in Iraq, and the embargo was working.  But I repeat again: the U.S. Congress did not declare war, and that makes it illegal.  Besides, Iraq had nothing to do with the terrorism of 9-11.

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DEMS ALSO SELL VOTES

While the Republican Party has traditionally been in the hip-pocket of big business, money plays such an important role in getting elected in the U.S., that Democrats are also acting like corporate puppets these days.  Whatever happened to voting one's conscience?

"Conscience is the still, small voice which tells a candidate that what he is doing likely will lose votes [and/or financial support]." -Laurence J. Peter

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RIGHT-WING DOUBLE STANDARD

We have listened to the neocons and right-wingers continue to call our attention to the scuzzy and immoral actions of Teddy Kennedy and Bill Clinton.  They hold onto this like a lifeline, but fail to tell the rest of the story. 

It seems the neocons have quickly tried to forget the plethora of immoral acts by Republican elected officials from coast to coast, both heterosexual and homosexual out-of-wedlock "secret" trysts.  It seems that the right-wing makes some extremely selective times and places to shake their fingers at Democrats.  Who led the impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton?  Newt Gingrich and Henry Hyde.  Hyde reluctantly admitted that he had committed adultery in his forties, and had the gall to call it a "youthful dalliance."  I wonder how his wife felt about this "dalliance."   And even while chastising Clinton for his secret "episodes" with a Washington intern, Newt Gingrich was doing the same thing with a young woman working for the government in D.C.  But Newt's immorality goes way back, and includes cheating on at least one of his wives, probably more, and asking for a divorce from his wife as she lay in a hospital bed having just found out she has cancer.  How absolutely revolting can one get?  Newt is now a GOP presidential hopeful along with the intellectual wizard, Sarah Palin.  How's that for a pair of.........well, you finish the sentence.

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