In the Humble Opinion of LittleBill, Socialist, Atheist, and Humanist
Let's Talk Taxes Again

Starting with Ronald Reagan, and growing like a weed on up the Republican strangling vine, is the tactic of hating taxes.

The purpose of taxes in a democracy is that all citizens share in supporting the taxes that pay for the things which we cannot do separately. These include things like health care, education, maintenance of the infrastructure (roads, education, water, utilities, etc.)

The rich, it should go without saying, should carry most of the load, with the middle class following fairly closely behind. Even the poor should feel the obligation, both as an acceptance of their share of responsibility and as a recognition of their dignity as members of a democracy.

But members of Congress continue to complain of taxes upon our citizens as THAT IS YOUR MONEY! What a really lousy level of government leadership! But it appeals to many citizens who do not think beyond themselves and don’t care where the service comes from, so long as they get it if they need it, but don’t like to feel that they have contributed to anyone else if they don’t need it.

In point of fact, it is the person who does good for someone else where and when the need and opportunity arise that is truly paying his taxes, both monetarily and morally. As I have asked before, do they teach you any of this stuff in church?

Questions I Have Asked Before

Questions I have Asked Before – Still Not Answered

Our leaders, past, present, and possibly future, always approach countries with whom we disagree with the interests of the United States as the only existing or acceptable interests to be considered in any rapprochement. The interests and international problems seen by other countries – Iran, North Korea, and Palestine, for example – are never discussed, just our demands that they accept our ultimatums.

This approach seems to be true of Sen. Obama almost to the extent that it is true of Bush and Sen. McCain. There is an arrogance about it that bothers me. And either I am watching the wrong programs or reading the wrong literature, but I have not yet been able to find answers as to why we should be considering only United States interests without also considering the interests and needs of other countries as well. What our “enemies” feel, think, and require do not appear clearly in our media.

Tiny as Isreal seems to be, I can hardly even find Palestine on the map. If that is so, and the Israelis have usurped Palestinian land on the West Bank in order to build Israeli settlements among them, I would be inclined to be disturbed, especially as the Jews from Europe were settled there in the mid-twentieth century after they were rescued from the horrors of Nazi Germany. This does not denigrate the Jews, it only recognizes that the modern Palestinians appear to be the victims of victims in an eternal historical biblical story.

I still have never heard our country mention the nuclear weapons which we and our friends possess, except to acknowledge them, but never to suggest destroying them as a reciprocal gesture toward our enemies. Odd.


A White Addendum to Black in America

A White Addendum to Black in America

Can’t remember if I have put this on the computer before, but it’s worth another go.

As a daughter of a rich family in Wyoming, I was sent to a rich girls’ boarding school in Virginia from 1939 to 1942. My next door roommate was Edsel Ford’s daughter, Dodie. You get the picture.

In the evenings, the students would sit in our windows listening to the black employees singing old Negro hymns as they finished their long hours of work. Several times a week the staff would take the students on horseback rides through the countryside.

On one such ride, with 20 or so horses in a long row, we passed a decrepit old house that had never seen paint, and an old black woman came out on her porch to watch us go by. She swung her trunk out using her arms, because her legs had been amputated at her body.

I do not know what she was thinking, but I know what I was thinking. Here were the rich white girls from the boarding school, riding their steeds English-style, parading their privilege past HER HOME and CONDITION, chatting with one another and enjoying the day.

Nor do I know what the other girls were thinking. But I DO know that almost 70 years later I remember that day with shame.

The World Is an Overcrowded Elevator

The World Is an Overcrowded Elevator Going Down

It didn’t start with Bush, but he has certainly pushed the express button for the basement floor.

What we as individuals must do is ACTUALLY DO what we think is right, not just talk about it. Eating meat, for example, bothers me terribly because of the cruelty used in killing the animal. What I and like-minded others MUST do is learn to eat vegetarian meals only. Even that may not solve the problem for all of us.

There was a recent film on fishermen cutting the fins off of sharks because the fins are a popular delicacy, leaving the sharks to die. And now the world’s oceans are losing their shark populations.

Even worse, is the “sport” of hunting or fishing just for the fun and companionship of it, killing those animals in order to eat them for fun, or to put on a wall or a floor as a testament to the virility of the hunter with the high-powered gun or the hook intended to fool them into thinking they are finding their food as nature intended. God, doesn’t that make such men appealing and sexy!

But eating differently and living differently, despite good intentions, have unfortunate effects upon others as well. If humans stop eating meat, the ranchers who raise the animals will no longer be able to make a living by raising the animals. If people no longer eat fish, the result is the same. If people stop “going to the mall” to spend money for fun, the malls will go out of business. If we stop driving recreationally, or going to and from work by public transportation, the gas stations will not be able to survive in convenient profusion. And so on and on and on.

I was a birdwatcher when I lived in the Bay Area, and I had two friends who were 15 to 20 years older than I. Both of them remarked to me that when they were younger, the skies used to be BLACK with birds, and now, 10 years later, I can look further decline in the eye. How sad!

All of this means that we must think of an entirely new way to live our lives, and it will especially have to include our responsibilities to each other, as well as to other creatures. I do not know what the answers are. I only know that the way we live now is not it. And I also know that the farther the elevator falls, the faster it will be going, and the harder it will hit the basement floor when it gets there.


How the War Could Have Been Won

Since it was Bin Laden who orchestrated the attack on this country, it was Afghanistan that should have been the primary target of our response. But it was Bush who decided early on that the way to retaliate was to cook up a make-believe need for revenge by invading the country without blame, but with the most oil.

In order to accomplish this war, which was both immoral and costly in terms of troops and funds, Bush chose to seek extra troops from those fighting in Afghanistan, troops who should have been augmented rather than “borrowed.” And he chose to let our fighting forces continue to consist mostly of those who enlisted out of loyalty and those with little education and/or chance for making a living in civilian life. The result is that our armed forces are running out of recruits and have recently been reduced to those with unsavory, even criminal backgrounds.

Rather than subject the upper classes and the rich (who for some reason have not felt called upon to enlist) to a draft, our noble president still chooses to subject those who are currently serving to long and repeated periods of active combat. Thank God, though, that those who don’t have the moral courage, or are just too busy to enlist are still wearing flag pins and flying flags from their cars. In the meantime, neither war is going well. Various members of the government and the armed forces are calling upon the president to send them additional men and supplies, but recruiting is getting harder to be successful as a means of acquiring the first, and as for the second, it’s the money, the money.

There have been wars where even old men flocked to the recruiting office and women knitted and cooked and sewed. Those were the days when our president inspired us to give of ourselves and to think of others. But in this time of tremendous technological achievement, not now, not now.

Give the Candidates a Chance

Once again, I seem to be back on the subject of Lou Dobbs, and he is a man with only hatred and belittlement to offer. He and his minions were on his program today talking with equal emphasis about how little McCain and Obama have to offer and that they are both doing badly as far as the voting goes. When the program was over, you had nothing left to think about that had any depth to it, only disparagement.

I definitely feel drawn to Obabma’s style and philosophy and intend to vote for him—but for God’s sake, give them both a chance. We haven’t even had the final election yet, so we have no idea how whoever becomes president will deal with what is on the plate for him. Bush is nowhere near through with the mayhem he has wrought, and he is working feverishly to coopt as much of their inaugural plans as possible. Until one of them is elected, remember what Bush has “accomplished” in his eight years, and give some thought as to how difficult what he has done and is doing will make it for them.

(You might also consider the current Congress and the rules about how many votes it takes and how many vetoes it has the strength to override to pass any legislation. And listen especially to Bush’s most devoted followers and see how closely they repeat the values he has espoused.)

Lou Dobbs and Salmonella

More on the Salmonella Outbreak and Lou Dobbs

It was last week, I believe that Lou Dobbs strongly intimated that Mexican tomatoes were the undoubted cause of the spreading salmonella coutbreak in the United States. That certainly gave a great boost to the impoverished farmers of Mexico who raise tomatoes for a living.

Now, in the past day or so, the American inspectors have taken tomatoes off the list of suspected causes. At the present time, no one knows where the outbreak is coming from.

Once again, Dobbs has managed to destroy the livelihood and reputation of thousands of people on both sides of the border ahead of time in order to show the American people how stupid the people who are trying to solve this serious problem are and that he is courageously riding like Paul Revere over the ether, keeping us well informed on the subject. In the meantime, as usual, he has no information of his own to solve the problem and no platform on which to seek political office.

Presidential Leadership

I feel so much better about things after watching our president at his press conference yesterday. He started out by listing all of the things that are going well, such as the news that unemployment is staying about the same, in spite of the hundreds of employees that are being laid off by major industries almost daily. I’ll bet his reassurance really pumped them up.

He is so compassionate about the fact that (as he said) we are going through “tough times” right now. You can just tell that he knows what “tough times” feel like, and it was wonderful to hear his strong voice promise that he and his cabinet have the situation in control and on the way to recovery.

I was particularly impressed with his answer to the rising cost of gasoline. As he has been telling us ever since he took office, we have oceans of oil available right here at home. All we have to do is drill for it in Anwar and down the western border of our country, from Canada to Mexico. Unfortunately, there are quite a few Americans who put animals and pristine country before the needs of those Americans who have grown up all their lives understanding that their needs and comforts should all come first and that the world was created by God for just that purpose. One wonders how all those environmentalists got into this country. I hope they’re being investingated.

But the thing I love most about our president is that, whatever the subject of his press conferences, he always brings a feeling of humor into his question time. As he calls upon his audience for questions, he always interrupts to make a joke at the expense of each questioner, and the questioners, in joyful response, smile at whatever the president says. Not only does the president enjoy these times, but the audience both in the room and on TV, leave knowing just who is in control.

Lou Dobbs 4 President?

Little Bill is always calling me up to watch Lou Dobbs. She knows I can't stand TV or a'holes on TV. So I know she's just trying to annoy me. So this is pay back. I'm putting this info up here because it's high time Little Bill told us all about what she thinks of Lou Dobbs.

And so that readers also can weigh in, here are some links to Nativist-Central. If you want to see Loopy's Campaign page, you can click here. And, if you want Loopy to actually run for POTUS, you can sign a petition here! But don't any body call me! I'd rather talk to a(nother) yellow dog, before I'd talk about a guy named 'Lou'!

Carol Kreck!!!

You go, Girl!

The Man With the Goofy Grin

Every time Sen. McCain makes an appearance before the press, I find myself hunting for his face on the screen. He is a rather ordinary looking man who speaks softly and has to rely on saying mean things with a wistful smile about his opponent in the run for the Presidency.

The Man with the Goofy Grin, however, is everywhere at once. He must run from one camera to another in order to let his presence be known to the American public.

Why is he there? He will remain nameless on this page, but he must be there for a purpose which he believes is of major importance in this campaign. Do you think he might be REALLY hoping he will become the vice presidential nominee again? (OOPS, I don’t want to give anything away, but I’ll be looking for his face on the screen if he doesn’t make the grade again. Wouldn’t you know, I just goofed again!)

A Story of Cowards and Carenots

Today, CNN has repeatedly shown the death of an old woman in an inner-city hospital waiting room as recorded by a security camera. This is the other side of the record made by this administration of the enormous love and generosity which Americans offer to others in need.

The woman had apparently been left there alone and had been there for several hours. Finally, she fell to her left, landing on the floor on her face between two corner chairs at right angles to each other, with the woman entangled between them. She struggled several times to get up, but wasn’t able to.

While this was going on, a number of people came into the small waiting room, some sitting down to wait, and others leaving after glancing at her. On two occasions, what looked like security or office workers came to the room, probably summoned by someone at the desk, but both looked at the woman, and neither entered the room to help her.

This took me back to the murder of Kitty Genovese in Queens, New York City on March l3, 1964. Anyone who was adult and read of that murder, and had any human feelings, has never forgotten that case. She drove home late from work and got out of her car, to be accosted by a man with a knife who stabbed her repeatedly, coming back time after time to stab her again, because she still wasn’t dead.

While that was going on, many people in the buildings around her could hear her screams and see her struggles, but not one went to her aid or called the police until it was all over. Some were too afraid, and others just could not be bothered.

I couldn’t remember her name for a while, so I tried looking her up as a woman who had been murdered while others watched and couldn’t find her. To my amazement, there were many, many cases that were similar on the internet. It was only after I remembered her name that I found her. You can look it up under her name.

Just thought I’d add a touch of realism to the American story.