How Many Lies

Someone had blundered,

Theirs not to reply,

Theirs not to reason why,

Theirs but to do or die ...

An excerpt from a poem penned many years ago by Alfred Lord Tennyson ("Charge of the Light Brigade"), holds true, even today, for our military people.

An update on this verse would be: "Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do or die -- for those who lie!"

A column by Pat Buchanan titled "Why they are killing us" (Greensburg, Pa., Tribune-Review, 7/13/05) stated that before the US invaded Iraq, they never had a suicide attack in its history. Thanks to Bush, over 2,300 of our military people have been killed, over 17,000 wounded and countless thousands of innocent Iraqis have become victims of his lies. It seems the WMD mentioned for this war were to be found in the Bush administration -- WMD stands for "words of massive deceit."

Strange, isn't it, Clinton was impeached because he lied, but nobody died. Bush lied and many people died, and mothers and fathers said, "How many lies is Bush allocated" -- or is lying one of the prerequisites to be a conservative Republican? Lying seems to be one of Bush's better qualities.

But "W" has accomplished what he was selected for -- the price of oil has escalated 119% since 2001. Perhaps this is what he meant when he said, "Mission Accomplished." It seems the policy of the Reagan administration of "Greed is Good" is also the policy of this administration.

Although Dubya makes like macho man (ain't nothing more pathetic than a wimp trying to act like a man), he would do well to remember these words, "No nation ever had an army large enough to guarantee it against attack in time of peace or ensure it victory in time of war." (Calvin Coolidge, 1872-1933) Adolph Hitler thought he could take on the world. He was proven wrong.

A good general never underestimates his enemy, or more simply: "When you think you're the biggest and the baddest, look around, there's always someone bigger and badder!

Loye Eberhart
Mount Pleasant, Pa.


Iraq War is Illegal

There is no question of doubt: This war in Iraq is illegal and unjustified. It is costing us billions of treasure and precious lives with no end in sight. Everyone with common sense can see that. Investigating the intelligence failures surrounding the war should be an urgent agenda to get to the misinformation concerning the decision to go to war in Iraq. And also other misconduct associated with the war.

The ones who were getting us into this horrible mess should be made accountable for it and prosecuted.

Lisa Zencoe
Lake Worth, Fla.


Deadly April

Forty-eight American soldiers have already died in Iraq during the first half of April -- and the beating goes on! No matter how often, and for how long, the administration continues to mislead Americans about progress in Iraq, the facts are that 2,370 US soldiers have died, 17,470 more have been wounded and our retired generals are lining up to protest against the mismanagement of this war. The command and control misjudgments and strategic failures are painfully evident for all -- except President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld -- to see. The initial failure, and continuing refusal, to control the battlefield and contain the enemy has fueled the insurgency and prolonged the battle. Even being spared the sight of so many flag-draped coffins, Americans are too often grimly reminded of the horrific human costs of these command failures, by the many thousands of our brave soldiers returning home, who have been forever scarred by battle or permanently maimed by [improvised explosive devices].

Regardless of whether we went into Iraq based on bogus intelligence, deception, misjudgment, reckless abandon, pure stupidity, or some combination thereof, the administration must cut the post-invasion embellishments, deceptions, pure crap, or any combination of those. Let's face it: Donald Rumsfeld has NOT done a heckuva good job! The underestimation of the strength and determination of the enemy, the judgmental stupidity of failing to control Iraq's borders, thereby inviting a free flow of "guest jihadists," and the failure to secure, hold and protect captured territories and facilities, seems more than sufficient grounds for dismissal.

America loses Americans when America's leaders continue to mislead and deceive. It's time for a post-Rumsfeld assessment of reality in Iraq.

Tom Austin
Cleveland, Ohio


Devil's in the Details

Being from Massachusetts, where a new [health care] plan has just been passed, I am busily trying to catch up. First let me point out the worst feature of our new plan. It requires everyone to purchase insurance, whether they want to, or can afford to, or not. If we do not pay, we are punished by fines through the tax system. We are told there will be subsidies for some, though my state senator's office can't tell me how that works. (Note: they passed a law, AGAIN, without understanding the details. Have we learned nothing from Iraq, the Medicare debacle, etc. ?)

The 4/15/06 TPP has proved very helpful, especially the survey by Nathan Newman ["Demanding Health Care Fair Share from Employers"]. But could we back up a bit and clear up some assumptions? Last I heard, single-payer universal health care was the goal. It is not only simpler and easier, but it costs about 30% less because of avoiding the costs of the middlemen. It has always puzzled me why health care should be a benefit from my employer when, after all, it is none of his business.

Now I read about a "fundamental victory (?) establishing the principle (?) that businesses have a legal (?) obligation to provide for health coverage for employees ..." I am confused because the Declaration of Independence affirms that to secure our rights "governments are instituted among men." It does not say that business are instituted to provide for our health care; that is the government's responsibility. Business's responsibility is to stop playing games and pay their fair share of taxes.

Here is a further confusion: We are continually told that American business must lower its costs so as to be more competitive. Why, then, should we, led by a Republican governor, deliberately set up a plan that makes businesses less competitive?

People, let us not be snookered yet again. There is too much about plans like this, now being promoted across the country, that is just too unaccounted for. Not to mention the chillingly totalitarian feature of demanding that citizens buy or be punished, because that is suddenly our "responsibility".

I say it's privatization, a step in the wrong direction, away from the kind of plan we should be holding out for. Medicare snows old folks like me under the guise of offering us "choices." There are more choices than anyone can make sense of, so in the end we throw up our hands and follow the herd in the direction the GOP originally planned. If you like that way of being managed, you will love this version.

This is the Marie-Antoinette style of government. Can't afford bread? Then we will require you to buy cake. Or under NCLB, is your school failing? We will close it down, and reward the affluent school that succeeds. The punishment will continue until morale improves.

Nancy Rader
Acton, Mass.


Gamble on Trains

Amen to Marliss Rogers' "Support Amtrak" letter [3/15/06 TPP]. The US Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, reads in part: "The Congress shall have power ... to establish post offices and post roads." Amtrak stations should have US Postal Service mailing kiosks to ensure that they always be federally funded.

From a Homeland Security standpoint, a single rail line will provide logistics support to 125,000 troops should a national mobilization be needed.

More and more of Amtrak is being electrified, reducing the need for fossil fuel. It is the most fuel-efficient mode of modern transportation.

Adam Smith said, "The state has a duty to erect and maintain certain public works and certain public institutions, that, although they may be unprofitable entrepreneurs, may frequently do more than repay [their cost] to a great society."

In 1995, Missouri state Rep. Bob May, R-Rolla, authored a bill to put gambling cars on Amtrak trains in Missouri. They would increase riders and help fund public education in Missouri. Unlike progressive states like California, Louisiana and Texas, Missouri does not tax energy sources for this purpose, but property and casinos.

Joseph J. Kuciejczyk
St. Louis, Mo.


Reefer Madness

President Bush's administration deserves our praise for once more rejecting the insidious "findings" of left-wing scientists.

The Food and Drug Administration has just announced that, "Smoked marihuana has no currently accepted or proven medical use," so no matter how sick someone is, smoking marijuana is going to mean prison ... period.

That's it folks.

We should have known that when the National Academy of Science claimed marijuana could relieve symptoms such as "chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and AIDS wasting," those white-coated, terrorist-supporting characters were simply trying to turn America into a drug-crazed nation.

John A. Broussard
Kamuela Hawaii


Where's the Outrage?

The clay feet of the US have been exposed -- Katrina woke many up to the racial and financial inequality that still exists here. Now the immigration fiasco is exposing all the poor who do our work at wages no American will accept. The immigration "system" has been allowed to fail under the Bush and previous administrations because of business interests and pressures. All major departments and agencies in the government that were designed to serve the common good of this country, have been usurped by the corporate interests that these agencies were to monitor and control.

Taxes that could help meet our needs in infrastructure, health, education, environment, energy, security, emergency assistance, et al. have been either diverted to conducting unnecessary wars having no real end or solution, or eliminated for those most able to "give back" to our country. The media and Congress are both afraid to speak out and stand up for what is right because they have been bought and paid for by the same corporate interests that put Bush in power.

If anyone thinks there will be a real, fair and legitimate election in 2008, after all that has happened since 2000, is dreaming! The reality is that we have already lost our democracy, and are bankrupt morally and financially in the world and at home. So what is next?

Do we continue to spend ourselves into a blind stupor at Walmart while working 60 plus hours per week for less than a living wage? Do we allow our air, water, soil, food security and jobs to decline while OUR government spends OUR money to do despicable things at home and throughout the world? The US is no longer who and what we are being told it is. We are a declining superpower, supported by corporations and people consumed with greed and corruption. Is it a wonder that 80-100 million of us cannot sleep at night?

Patsy Kelley
McCall, Idaho


Whole Truth

Although I live far from the "action", I feel compelled to wade in, to what promises to be an eventual real showdown in New Orleans. As best I understand, the 9th Ward was home to mostly poor and low paid (black) folks, and the housing consisted of older -- long paid for -- dwellings and apartments.

In order for the residents to be able to return and live in their own neighborhood again, the federal, state and local governments will have to fund the rebuilding of affordable housing for the displaced.

Since this system of ours is not driven by the milk of human kindness, it should be interesting to observe how, as usual, reasons will be found to circumvent that responsibility.

My fervent hope is, because the disaster has become a matter of focus by the rest of the world, the customary "wiggle room" cannot be accessed, but in light of the brazen show of indifference to the opinion of the rest of our globe's inhabitants, it just might.

How is it that a small country like Holland has managed to devise a state-of-the-art dike, lock and dam system, which makes us look like rank amateurs?

Well, of course, we do have the most advanced military hardware, second to none, which we seem to be so proud of and willing to put to use at the drop of a hat.

Democracy in reverse?

Joe Bahlke
Red Bluff, Calif.


Small Detail

I agree with Wayne O'Leary in his article "C'mon, Al, Run" [4/15/06 TPP] that we need more politically courageous candidates than Hillary Clinton and John McCain, who are tripping over themselves to claim the center. There's nothing in the middle of the road other than yellow stripes and dead skunks. Sen. Joe Biden represents Delaware, not Rhode Island as stated in this article. All of those little states look alike.

Jeff Gitlin
Nonesuch, Ky.

Editor Regrets: The state was mistakenly added during the editing process.


Bibles in Schools

I see where Ayatollah Robertson and Ayatollah Falwell talked people in Baptist State of Georgia to violate the USA Constitution by passing legislation to put courses using the Bible as textbook in the public school curriculum. How un-Christian!

Everett L Williams
Ingram, Texas

From The Progressive Populist, May 15, 2006

Home Page

Copyright © 2006 The Progressive Populist