Regarding Should We Spend Or Should We Save?, by Jan Baughman:
The article by Jan Baughman is tops. But how do you get the message across to anyone who will react other than greed? Each listener is looking for his part of the invisible pie.
Willard D. Gray
[Willard D. Gray is the author of End of Silence: Full Moon over Fox Prairie; a work of "fiction based on fact; a vivid retelling of some events on the Illinois prairie that would scar settlers of the area for generations." The book is available at 1st Books Library. ed.]
Regarding The Tribulations Of The Toads, by Gilles d'Aymery:
Please add Merck to the growing list of dysfunctional entities. I smell a great depression coming on!
Personally, I feel the issue is far deeper than just politics and economics. Yes, spirituality. Please don't laugh or look the other way. Materialism has blinded Western democracy and now we are paying for it big time. We come into this world with nothing and we leave with nothing. It is what is in between that counts towards our true purpose in life and any existence there after. And that can only be understood by accepting the truth. The truth of how we live, how we treat each other, how we treat nature and how we expect to see the world progress and prosper over future generations. I like to call it the 'human condition' because it represents a purpose to life other than the selfish accumulation of personal wealth which inevitably results in the destruction of lives.
The Arab world hates us because of this materialistic blindness that we 'Westerners' suffer. Most Americans, Canadians and British do not realize how many people in third world countries have died so that we can live in a $500,000 home, and drive that $100,000 car or eat the fruits of 'their' labor. And I mean that literally. Are you aware of what Dole Foods have done in Central America? How many children have to die to satisfy our insatiable appetite for material wealth?
Something else that got me going the other day: The US military is holding joined exercises in India with the Indian army. They called it Operation Iroquois. Give me a break! Does that mean that India is the next race to be wiped out by the 'blessed' white man?
Oh, I'm starting to vent again. I apologize. But keep up the great work and effort to educate the people. I know it may be too late for most but even a 2% increase in awareness is better than nothing at all.
Frank W. Napier
The tedium of liberals: After perusing the variety of commentary ranging from The Emperor's, Free Arab Voice, Law Reports, Live from Palestine Overview, Palestine Media Center, Portland.indymedia, bitterlemon, etc., I have realized that awareness is only that: it is action that is required. Being Non-violent, I am challenged to determine a line of rational contribution to a solution. There's the rub -- the two political parties are supporting the 'mom and apple pie' approach to American Government; is it forcing me out of the box? That's a question!
I guess that the duty we face requires that truth be spread into our society -- a duty which requires we preserve positive regard for and from the individuals yet we move sensitivity about the value of all human beings into consciousness. What a boring sentence.
In summary, I think it is time to contribute money to alternative viewpoints, time to write the editors, write articles on the character of propoganda here and elsewhere, write articles on the nature of republican fascism, and to highlight the frantic shades of middle class 'poverty'...which doesn't exist. On that note perhaps we should re-define poverty as a form of servitude incorporated into the 'great American freedom of capitalism'... Yikes too much for right now! Meanwhile the sociologists seem to be hiding, the left is scared and even the 60's radicals are confused... I don't think it's because of age, but because of the complete absence of a truthful perspective. Thanks for listening.
Regarding Deck Deckert' column [but we do not know which one! ed.]
For some odd reason, many self-described liberals think the little guys without the big money pay the lion's share of federal income taxes. It's one of the great fictions perpetrated by lazy mainstream-media types and vote-hungry demagogues.
Here are a few facts about the income tax:
By the way, here are a few other inconvenient facts that should, but probably won't, cool the gaseous emissions of the global warming Chicken Little crowd. There is no consensus in the scientific community supporting the contention that human beings are responsible for global warming. It's merely the latest alarmist bugaboo invented by assorted environmentalists and ecology 'experts' in search of more research dollars. In the 70s, they foisted the ice-age scare on us (we were also exhausting our reserve of fossil fuels, another fiction); today it's global warming. I do enjoy the global warming nonsense. It's always good for a few laughs.
Altamonte Springs, Florida
Deck Deckert answers:I can't recall writing about the income tax recently. Which column of mine are you referring to?
The income tax is only one of many that we pay. But in almost every case, the poor and middle class pay a larger share of their income than do the wealthy. If a billionaire pays $1 million in taxes, it is insignificant for him. If a man making $16,000 a year pays $4,000 a year in taxes (sales, property, income, 'user fees' in parks, Social Security taxes, etc.) he is hurt rather badly.
Reagan pulled off one of the greatest frauds in history when he pushed through an income tax cut that sharply cut taxes for the very wealthy, cut a few bucks off the taxes of everyone else, and drastically INCREASED the Social Security tax, a tax that hits the poor and middle class the hardest.
There is a relatively low cap on Social Security. After you reach approximately $70,000 in income, you don't pay any more tax. The average person doesn't ever reach that point and pays Social Security tax on everything he makes all year long. Someone like Bill Gates, or Disney's Eisener reach the cap in the first couple of hours on Jan. 1, and never pay another cent the rest of the year.
The wealthy may pay a greater AMOUNT than the rest of us, hardly surprising since they have so much more than us, but they don't pay their fair PERCENTAGE. In fact, the laws are rigged so that they pay a significantly smaller percentage than the rest of us. I recommend that you read the 1992 best seller by James Steele and Donald Bartlett, America, What Went Wrong?. The book illustrates how tax laws help the wealthy eliminate jobs, close factories, raid pension plans, and get richer. Things have not improved since the book was written; things have gotten much worse.
On global warming you say that "There is no consensus in the scientific community supporting the contention that human beings are responsible for global warming." Actually, of course, the opposite is true. There is a consensus that 1) global warming is real and dangerous, and 2) human activities are responsible for a great deal of it.
The U.S. Climate Action Report 2002 made headlines recently because it contradicted so much of what the Administration has said about global warming. The report says that not only is global warming real, but that human activities, especially the burning of oil and other fossil fuels, are the primary cause of climate change. Do a web search on that report. It's an eye opener.
After it was published, Bush finally admitted that it's true, but then made the moronic assertion that there's nothing we can do about it anyhow.
Our descendants will curse us for our destruction of so much of this beautiful planet.
Palm City, FL
- The Tribulations Of The Toads