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Subject: our country
What has happened to the United States of America? I look around and all I see is greed, hate, obstructionism and ignorance. This is not the country where I grew up and had such high hopes for my children and grandchildren.
I had a letter that was posted in The Mailbag on January 11. I made the comment that I was disgusted with Republicans and Democrats and I believe Ralph Nader was correct when he stated that there is no difference between the two parties. I retract that to a certain degree. The ideals and philosophies of the two parties are different. VERY different. That’s sadly where it ends. The Democrats believe they must play nice and concede their positions to make the conservatives happy. The Republicans are destroying this great country with their lies and greed. As they wave the flag, their ignorant followers have no thoughts of their own and repeat the lies over and over again.
I sit here and watch the tragedy unfolding in Haiti with tears in my eyes and pain in my heart. At the same time the hateful right, from the likes of Pat Robertson, Rush Limbaugh and their ilk, spew hatred and racism through the media. My anger and rage with our leaders, our political system and our media grows every day. I am as active and involved in our system as I can be. I write, I call, I speak out, I volunteer and I attend every town hall meeting my congressman, Brad Sherman sets up. It’s at these town hall meetings where I see, first hand, America’s ignorance. I’m thankful that I am at an age where I do not have to start building my future. I do however, fear for my three children and two grandchildren.
Subject: Memories of Haiti Four Decades Ago
On the ride from the airport into Port-au-Prince, women alongside the road, carrying large jugs full of atop their heads.
In town hordes of obviously malnourished young boys, some with the potbelly that's typical of protein deficiency. Although they held their hands out for money, I didn't have enough coins to go around.
Pictures of President Papa Doc Duvalier in every store window.
Along embassy row on a hill above the town, fifteen foot walls to keep the young "rabble" from getting in, and behind these walls, huge barking dogs in waiting, just in case some desperate young Haitian tries to climb over.
And how very quiet the streets were despite heavy foot traffic and flatbed trucks loaded with passengers passing by every few minutes. It was as if life was so precarious that people had to conserve all of their energy, cause, never know, tomorrow one might need it.
The flight out, sitting next to a Minister who was returning to his home in the Midwest after having served in Haiti for several years. When mention was made of the sorry lot of Haitians, his retort - "That didn't concern me, I was only there to save souls."
The feeling that as much as a revolution was needed there, that Haiti, on account of its people being so physically weak and beaten down, must be the least likely place for a revolution to occur.
But a generation later the seemingly impossible happens as the people of Haiti somehow muster the energy, not only to awaken from their deep slumber, but to rise up en masse and take back their country.
Then six years ago the U.S. occupies Haitia and subsequently kidnaps President Bertrand Jean Aristide and whisks him off to the Central African Republic. Why? Because President Aristide had increased the minimum wage.
And then yesterday's 7.0 earthquake.
Yet despite two centuries of almost nonstop attempts by the U.S. and other Western nations to put Haitians back in chains, not to mention serial natural catastrophes, their struggle continues, for the children of Toussaint L'Ouverture refuse to bow down, never have, never will. Which raises the question, why do we?
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: What a difference a real president makes
What a difference a real president makes. Obama is getting aid into Haiti faster than Bush got aid into New Orleans.
Subject: Google's China threat is a rare show of defiance
Some good news amidst the rot of soul and character to which we've become so accustomed in declining America.
Principle over power ... what a refreshing contrast to the "power over principle" mentality that has so deformed and corrupted American morals and ethics in recent decades: Google's China threat is a rare show of defiance.
It seems that notion that money isn't everything is still alive and well in America, despite rumors and all evidence to the contrary.
Let's hope Google follows through on it's promise to prioritize integrity over profit, that their example sticks, and that (unlikely or impossible as this may seem) the rest of the country's corporations and citizens follow suit.
Although restoring the American Way may be a lost cause, there could yet be hope that, if Google can stand up for democracy and people-centered values over the almighty dollar, maybe American "liberals" in congress can likewise stand up against and perhaps even overcome the conservative Republican corporatism that's overtaken the once populist (and proud of it) Democratic Party.Chris Borland
The Democratic Activist
Subject: brainwashing of entire nations
I strongly recommend you feature the book "Nothing To Envy" by Barbara Demick as a premium offer. This is a shocking look into daily life of North Koreans in the 1990's and the horrific conditions they suffered with at the hands of Kim Song Il. She takes stories from several brave defectors and shows us that regardless of how smart we are, or maybe even more importantly, how smart we think we are, whole nations are still easily susceptible to brainwashing and don't even know it. Even when they were starving to death, many if not most North Koreans, in part due to the complete blackout of the influence of the rest of the world, never suspected that anybody else had it any better. We can go back a few decades to Nazi Germany, Maoist China, World War II era Japan and see for ourselves that mind control isn't new, and can happen any time, anywhere. It's easy to make fun of Limbaugh Lemmings and the fundamentalist right, but in a bad way, could we not say that a significant portion of our own country is being victimized by controlled information and media outlets eager to push their own nefarious agendas?
What's worse is that we don't have to listen to these people like Limbaugh, Pat Robertson, most prominent clergy or corrupt politicians, but we do, and we fall for their lines without question. The left side of the aisle shouldn't laugh and point fingers, either. Because we're all human, we are easily persuaded to rally to a cause, and with the education quality falling like a rock, pure intellectual debate and thoughtful consideration has been replaced by soundbite philosophy and anything bright and flashy. We must remember that Washington is not as divided as they want us to think. After all, have we seen a really drastic change now that W. is out? Yes, we have some good public work projects, and the health care reform may happen, but we're still at war in two countries with no end in sight, Congress still will give billions to undeserving banks and Wall Street if they whine for it again, and Congress has truly lost touch with the common man. When a full 25% of this nation is in the grips of fundamentalists and GOP whores who pander to those votes, we must take that situation seriously.
The removal of public debate and accountability, along with a increasingly stupid public are the ingredients that one day could very well take us down an Orwellian road, which will spell the end for what was once a great nation that was actually governed by the voters, not the other way around. It's sad to think about, but this nation could become a total fascist state akin to North Korea, Iran or any despot nation, and as long as football was still allowed, nobody would even notice.
Subject: If Only Everyone Who's Mad As Hell And Unable To Take It Any More Would Please Stand Up
Why? So that the spectre of the multitudes who answer this call can dispel the notion that exists in the minds of many of us that we alone seek change. And once the realization sets in that "Hey, it's not just me", fears of being too far out, if not subversive, give way to a feeling of joy at knowing that one is part of an emerging force of nature so vast and invincible that, no problem, our attaining a just and peaceful world.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Subject: mailbag 1-11-10
Mike Curtis...I love it. When i first went to the movie, Fahrenheit 9/11....even back then.....the daytime matinee. was jammed....the crowd stood and cheered at the end....and when we left...there was a line around the block...they were all just getting onto the man by then.
SW St. Louis
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