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The WMail Newsletter
Volume V   [Year 2004]   Part 3

Issue #45 July: "What is Reason?"
Issue #46 September: "A Living Wage"
Issue #47 October: "Dumping Dubya"

Issues #39-41 • Issues #42-44 • Issues #48-49


Volume I   [Year 2000]
Issues #1-5

Volume II   [Year 2001]
Issues #6-8 • Issues #9-11 • Issues #12-14 • Issues #15-18

Volume III   [Year 2002]
Issues #19-21 • Issues #22-24 • Issues #25-27 • Issues #28-30

Volume IV   [Year 2003]
Issues #31-33 • Issues #34-35 • Issues #36-38

Volume VI   [Year 2005]
Issues #50 & beyond

Issue #45: "What Is Reason?"
[July 2004]


>+<    G.E. Nordell, editor    >+<

=============
Q U O T E S
=============

"You can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones
you want to concentrate on."
— George W. Bush (in 2001)

"At all times and under all circumstances, we have the power to
transform the quality of our lives."
— Werner Erhard

"Do something!"
— Michael Moore {the ending of his documentary film "Fahrenheit 9/11" [2004]}

"A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams."
— John Barrymore [1882-1942]

"The urge to be useful is probably more important to [humans] than survival,
or feeding, or propagating, or anything else."
— Lewis Thomas [1913-93]

"In war you can only be killed once, but in politics many times."
— Sir Winston Churchill [1874-1965]

"Humor is tragically underrated. People tend not to take it seriously."
— Justin Kaplan

"I believe totally in a Capitalist System, I only wish that someonewould try it."
— Frank Lloyd Wright [1867-1959]

"Anyone who votes for George Dubya Bush is dumber than he is."
— G.E. Nordell

"The heart is the first feature of working minds."
— Franηois de La Rochefoucauld [1613-80]

"The greatest and noblest pleasure which men can have in the world is to discover new truths;
and the next is to shake off old prejudices."
— Frederick the Great [1712-86]

"The future cannot be predicted, but futures can be invented."
— Dennis Gabor [1900-79]

"Vision is the art of seeing things invisible."
— Jonathan Swift [1667-1745]

"There is a motive which is stronger than self-preservation:
It is the desire to get the better of the other fellow."
— Bertrand Russell [1872-1970]

"We live in a society where everybody feels guilty."
— Marc Gobι

"It is useless for sheep to pass resolutions in favor of vegetarianism
while wolves remain of a different opinion."
— Wm. Ralph Inge [1860-1954]

"Nothing is worth more than this day."
— Goethe [1749-1832]

"Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood."
— Oscar Wilde [1854-1900]

"Violence never settles anything."
— Genghis Khan [1162-1227]

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
W H A T    I S    R E A S O N ?
----------------------------------------------------------------------------


        Much of the foundation of the Working Minds philosophy matches Ayn Rand's writings & speeches defining Objectivism (along with concepts of existentialism, Transactional Analysis, and other philosophical systems). Ayn Rand states clearly and repeatedly that "Reason, the faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by the senses, is man's basic tool of survival." She also said that "A rational man is guided by his thinking – by a process of Reason – not by his feelings and desires."
        For Ayn Rand, Reason is an absolute, by which she means that one cannot value Reason part of the time – you either hold Reason as a Value or you do not. You cannot be honorable six days a week and a miscreant on the seventh, as you cannot be married or 'in a committed relationship' part time, nor ethical when it suits you. To believe that Reason is subject to anything other than material reality it abject fallacy.

        Webster's simplest definition of Reason is "the intellectual faculty", plus it gives "the process of drawing conclusions or inferences from facts or premises".
        But the operative definition of Reason is not so simple as it might be because of the dis-education spread by the Culture-Structure to replace Reason with anti-Reason.

* *          * *          * *          * *

WHAT REASON IS NOT
        Reason is NOT 'received information', such as the bigot's premise that the dark races are inferior to his own, nor any such dogma. Bigotry is not based on Reason, but on deep psycho- logical fear. Quoting the Official Party Line in any matter is a too-common substitute for Reason.

        Reason is NOT 'reasons', which are instead essentially justifications or excuses. Dubya spoke many 'reasons' for invading the sovereign country of Iraq. As is now well-known & well-documented, those 'reasons' had no basis in material reality.

        Reason is NOT 'faith': the two cannot occupy the same space. Since religionists cannot tolerate the physical evidences of geological history, they must armor themselves with anti-Reason tactics such as the invention of the oxymoron 'creation science', which is not based in Reason because it is disproven by literally tons of evidence – "material provided by the senses".
        Reason is neither religion nor belief. Ayn Rand hammered away on the subject for years; the Working Minds position on the matter was covered in WMail Issue #26. The recent attempts by the 'Baptist Taliban' of the U.S. South to re-install religion in public schools is another case without merit in Reason.

        Reason is NOT 'reasonable', as this idea is the weapon of the Looter – as vilified by Ayn Rand time & again: a bunch of looters talk a bunch of unconscious sheep into believing that the sheep deserve the same benefits as productive workers, and the sheep loudly propose the 'reasonableness' of their demand for survival without effort.
        Such demands are 'reasonable' merely because the leaders of the rabble have established agreement that wanting is equal to deserving, and that this establishes their rights to unearned value. (And the looter-leaders survive from the efforts of the rabble.)
        Thus the failure of the Wobblies, who barely exist today, as well as the failures of the Soviet Union and other socialist regimes – and soon the bursting of the Oligarchy's greed-pumped bubble.

* *          * *          * *          * *

        Reason is never want or desire or deserving. As Ayn Rand says, "Reason is man's basic means of survival." If an action promotes non-survival – the use of force, for example – then Reason is not its source. Mankind – both individually and as a species – must develop nearly-lost skills for survival, and then expand the effort & intention to lift existence from mere survival toward taking on what is necessary for prosperity.
        Survival is a necessity, but it is not guaranteed.
        Prosperity is an option, but neither is it guaranteed.

        R. Buckminster Fuller [1895-1983] said in 1980: "For the first time in history it is now possible to take care of everybody at a higher standard of living than any have ever known. Only ten years ago the 'more with less' technology reached the point where this could be done. All humanity now has the option of becoming enduringly successful."
        And yet here at the cusp of the XXIst Century, one-third of Americans live in poverty, the Third World is starving and-or at war, and not even the U.S.A. can predict its own continued existence.
        It is possible that the game of survival is already lost.

        The U.S. middle class has lost 40% of its equity in the last twenty years – the true legacy of Ronald Reagan. The planet's eco-systems are dying in every hemisphere, at all latitudes, and at all elevations, even under the sea. No nation on Earth is aligned with any other, all is fierce competition (for markets, for resources, for political dominance), and religious and ethnic factionalism moves international relations.
        This crisis of survival – survival of Mankind as a species and survival of our once-lovely home, the planet Terra – is caused by the boundless unconsciousness of the populace of every country, and by their worship of anti-Reason.

* *          * *          * *          * *

REASON IS...
        Reason IS based on awareness; consciousness is a prerequisite. The unconscious individual or community or society cannot 'identify and integrate' the world, and thus is self-condemned to non-survival. The resistance of those who still deny global warming – proven again & again by photographic and statistical evidence – damages the chances for survival of the rest of us. Deniers of the looming economic holocaust hold onto their beliefs at the expense of awareness, and thus deny survival to you and to me. Ignorance is bliss – and deadly in the extreme.

        Reason IS based on volitional attention. Ayn Rand said that "Reason is a faculty that man has to exercise by choice. {italics hers}" The incessant desire for hedonistic 'fun', for recreational oblivion, and for ignorance has an absolute cost: non-awareness eliminates Reason, which cancels all chance of survival.

        Reason IS based on rigorous use of intellectual skills. A cannot be B – ever; A cannot sometimes be A and sometimes B or C; A can only be A, and each such intellectual distinction or definition only has power if that distinction is (a) accurate, and (b) rigorously defended.
        The principle of separation of church and state [in the U.S. at least] means precisely that: separation!; it does not allow for partisan religious tenets carved in stone inside public buildings, nor for 'faith-based' war profiteering.

        That U.S. currency contains the phrase 'In God We Trust' is a weakness that permits all sorts of mischief. While this may seem to be innocuous, this and other breaches of the Consti- tution are akin to a worm-hole or rust-spot on the Ship of State: the leak [loss of integrity] is very real, and left uncorrected will send the Ship of State to the bottom of the sea. Whether Constitu- tional rule expires sooner or later is moot: the terrible results are predictable and preventable and yet unavoidable – unless countered with Reason.

* *          * *          * *          * *

        Reason does not promote ignorance – that is anti-Reason's job. Reason does not create pollution – that is the job of anti-survival looters. Reason does not tolerate dishonesty, theft, violence, or subjugation. Reason does not foment factionalism, the winner-take-all goal of the Priests of War.
        Reason does not honor greed as a value over pride in productivity: greed requires no Reason, while productivity – creation of value – is the defining result of Reason.

        Inside Reason, Mankind exists and therefore has the right to existence. Each individual is born with an intact sense of Self-hood, which is traded for sheephood at great peril. Rights exist because they are required for survival, and only anti-Reason looters offer the false bargain of trading individual rights for the non-reality of 'safety' or 'security' as obedient & mindless sheep.
        How safe do you feel today?
        Reason is necessary for survival, and anti-Reason has led Mankind to the brink of extinction.

— R. Buckminster Fuller [1895-1983]
http://www.genordell.com/stores/maison/Bucky.htm

WMail Issue #26 "The No-God Universe"
http://www.working-minds.com/WM2002c.htm#26

Ayn Rand [1905-1982]
http://www.working-minds.com/AynRand.htm

[copyright 2004 by Gary Edward Nordell, all rights reserved]

Each issue of WMail is posted on the Working Minds website; quotations are posted alphabetically by author.


N E W S    &    L I N K S    o f    I N T E R E S T

==>  AUGUST 30: Non-violent war protest scheduled for dusk to dawn
        see their one-page website for details: http://www.LightUpTheSky.org

==>  SEPTEMBER 2: Objectivist Dennis Lee Wilson has invented the 'Atlas Shrugged
        Celebration Day' to be held in the town used as the model for Galt's Gulch
        http://groups.msn.com/AtlasShruggedCelebrationDayinOurayColorado
 

N E X T   M O N T H: 'A Living Wage'

Issue #46: "A Living Wage"
[September 2004]


>+<    G.E. Nordell, editor    >+<

=============
Q U O T E S
=============

"In pushing other species to extinction, humanity is busy sawing off
the limb on which it is perched."
— Paul R. Ehrlich

"There's only one thing to write about: the human heart in conflict with itself."
Wm. Faulkner [1897-1962]

"The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power
to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence,
is fascism – ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other
controlling private power."
Franklin Delano Roosevelt [1882-1945] {thanks, Don}

"Existence is a tough proposition, and a man has to possess fortitude to endure it."
Johnston McCulley [1883-1958]

"Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one."
— A.J. Liebling 1904-63]

"He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat."
— Napoleon Bonaparte [1769-1821]

"If Dubya wins, America loses."
G.E. Nordell

"He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how."
Friedrich Nietzsche [1844-1900]

"Ultimately, the only power to which man should aspire is that
which he exercises over himself."
— Elie Wiesel

"There is nothing like a dream to create the future."
— Victor Hugo [1802-85]

"Even if you are a minority of one, a truth is a truth."
— Mahatma Gandhi [1869-1948]

"I want either less corruption or more opportunity to participate in it."
Ashleigh Brilliant

"Ninety percent of the time things turn out worse than you thought they would.
The other ten percent of the time you had no right to expect that much."
— Augustine of Hippo [354-430 C.E.]

"We find what we expect to find, and we receive what we ask for."
Elbert Hubbard [1856-1915]

"Both poverty and riches are the offspring of thought"
— Napoleon Hill [1883-1970]

"The only real thing about a writer is what he's written, and not his life."
Wm. S. Burroughs [1914-97]

"Give me the right words and the right actions, and I will move the world."
Joseph Conrad [1857-1924]

"You have to hurry. Death is chasing you and it's closer than you
think. There's a lot to do in a short time."
beat poet Gregory Corso [1930-2001]

"When television is bad, nothing is worse. You will observe a vast wasteland."
— Newton Minow

"Execution is the chariot of genius."
— Wm. Blake [1757–1827]

"The basic problem in the world today is that there is too much
religion and not enough common sense."
— Richard G. Harms of Issaquah, WA

"All stories, if continued far enough, end in death. And he is no
true storyteller who would keep that from you."
Ernest Hemingway [1899-1961]

"A problem well stated is a problem half solved."
— Charles Kettering [1876-1958]

"It is a blight on our democracy that in the richest country in
the world, workers cannot support themselves and their families."
— Beth Shulman, Russell Sage Foundation

--------------------------------------------------
A    LIVING    WAGE
--------------------------------------------------


        When I served in Vietnam, back in 1968, we had an IBM 1401 computer (huge configuration: 16k of iron-ring memory) in an air-conditioned trailer at Bien Hoa airbase. Part of the deal was hiring locals to do certain jobs, such as our two keypunch 'girls'. They taught me some basic Vietnamese; I taught them about marshmallows & peanut butter (from 'care packages' sent from home). When work was quiet, we chatted, mostly so they could practice their English – in hopes of getting higher-paying jobs.
        They commented one time about how much money all the American GIs had, and even then an intuitive economist, I came up with a good explanation for them:
        American keypunch operators were paid $2.50 per hour (then about 50% above the minimum wage) and it cost $2.50 to go to a movie in America. I knew the girls were paid 28 piasters an hour [about 25 cents U.S.], and asked how much it cost to see a movie. Their reply was 25 piasters to see a movie off-base, and of course they understood the principle of the relative economies, and we all went back to our work.

        That was then. So: How come the U.S. minimum wage today in America is $5.15 and it costs $10-$11 to see a movie?
        The obvious, general answer is, of course, that the Oligarchy {see WMail Issue #42} wants it that way.
        The Oligarchy wants it that way because U.S. workers sentenced to poverty and indentured servitude cannot afford to take time off to unionize or to 'vote the bastards out'; because workers having two jobs (or three part-time jobs) are too tired to protest having no benefits; because traveling to work on growling buses prevents family life and increases the difficulty in getting an education; because the lack of family 'quality time' delivers yet another incompetent generation, one without the courage to refuse work that is illegal, dangerous, and-or underpaid.

* *          * *          * *          * *

STATE OF THE WORKPLACE
        The Oligarchy wants things the way they are now, their intention is still to move toward absolute slavery. Here are a few examples of how life really is for the American worker:

••      The continuing increase of shipping business at the Ports of Los Angeles [San Pedro] and Long Beach has finally forced the nepotistic I.L.W.U. longshoreman's union to open up 3000 temporary positions – for which they received a half-million application forms from all over the U.S., a symptom of the failure of Bush administration policies to create jobs (or even to stem the loss of jobs).

••      Note also that the shipping increase at all U.S. ports is mostly IN-bound goods, a symptom of our ever-expanding trade imbalance. The U.S. manufactures far less than before and we continue to import more goods than we export – partially because the jobs transferred offshore pay wages at pennies on the dollar compared to U.S. workers, so that customer service employees in India who replaced U.S. workers cannot afford to buy U.S. products.

••      Per a recent report from an on-going White House study, nearly two-thirds of married mothers with children under six are working. [2002 data]
        "Half the working poor [in America] are working mothers. It is time to be ashamed."
        >        — David K. Shipler [quoted in WMail Issue #43]

••      The U.S. Department of Labor in April published regulatory changes to take effect August 23rd, the result of which is to strip away overtime pay for over 6 million workers. The original proposal would have affected 8 million workers, but widespread public opposition forced a reduction in the final effect.
        The regulation change alters overtime criteria to any work done beyond an 80-hour two-week pay period, effectively eliminating daily overtime pay (beyond 8 hours per workday), except in such states as California that have legislated overriding laws. (One of Gray Davis's first projects upon being elected Governor of California was to restore daily overtime pay – in effect January 2000 – which had been eliminated by his Republican predecessor Pete Wilson.)
        The U.S. House Representatives, however, lodged a rare non-partisan protest by a 223 to 193 vote on September 9th blocking the regulation change. Dubya may still veto that bill (though probably not before the election).

••      In June 2004, candidate John Kerry announced his plan to raise the federal minimum wage from its present $5.15 per hour to $7.00 per hour by 2007.

••      Adjusted for inflation, today's federal minimum wage has shrunk to its lowest level since 1949. Or as Howard Dean said in 2003: "Adjusted for inflation, the minimum wage has decreased 38% since 1968."

••      A year's pay at minimum wage is $10,712 – before taxes.

••      The U.S. Census Bureau definition of poverty for a family of four is income of $18,810 per year or less – which is $9 an hour. All of 36 million Americans – twelve-plus percent of the population – live in poverty today [almost exactly the population of California!] and 13 million of them are children. ['No Child Left Behind' starts when exactly?]
        In California, 4.6 million people were living in poverty in 2003, which is 13.4% of the state. Children living in poverty in California amount to 1.7 million, which is 18.6%, a full percentage point higher than the national average.
        Other useful Census Bureau 'poverty thresholds' are: single, under 65 years of age: $9,573 [just $1,139 under minimum wage]; for two people under 65 with no kids, the figure is $12,321 – so minimum wage is below the poverty line for a couple on one salary!.
        Two full-time jobs at minimum wage [at $21,424 before taxes] barely keeps a family of four above the poverty line – the official term is 'subsistence living'.

••      Twenty percent of the people of Mexico live in 'extreme poverty', which is defined as living on less than one dollar a day. [statistic from 2002 study]

••      "[Americans] work more hours than workers in any other industrialized country except South Korea."
                — Program on WorkLife Law at American University Washington College of Law

••      The California Legislature has challenged Gov. Arnold by passing a pile of laws and putting them on his desk for signature [or not]. Among them is Assembly Bill 2832 which increases the state minimum wage from the present $6.75 per hour by fifty cents on 1 January 2005, and again to $7.75 per hour on 1 January 2006.
        Big problem for Arnold: He must either sign this bill and offend the business interests who assume that he is bought-and-paid-for =OR= veto the bill, which will offend millions of hard-working voters. [Arnold must run for re-election in 2006.]
        News item 18 September: Arnold vetoed the bill.

••      Other retail chains have learned well from Wal-Mart's example: I discovered recently that all new-hires at the Office Depot store chain are part-time, scheduled for either three days per week for 8 hours =OR= 5 days per week for 6 hours, and so have no benefits whatsoever. (California law requires standard benefits for employees who work over 30 hours per week on a regular basis.)

••      The recently announced Forbes 400 Richest Americans list shows a combined net rise in worth of $45 billion, which is a mere $112,500,000 per person. Did you get a raise this year?

* *          * *          * *          * *

        The old rule of thumb, before wages and benefits were reduced and-or eliminated for the majority of U.S. workers, was that 25% of a month's pay went to taxes, 25% went for rent, 25% went for living expenses, and the remaining 25% was to be set aside for the future – savings & investments, retirement, schooling, improvements to the house, an education fund for the kids' tuition, etc.
        But wages of $10,712 per year on minimum wage, minus taxes, leaves $8,034. Such a wage provides only $223 a month for rent, which is impossible. So such a worker rents a hovel wherever he/she can, and then lives on whatever is left. There is NO money for the future on minimum wage, and no time for a life while working two jobs.
        Thus, the 'American Dream' is virtually unattainable for the majority of the population, the Working Poor and below. The 'American Dream' is dead.
        These workers may never own a new car; they will certainly never buy a house. With so many mothers working full-time jobs, with fathers working two jobs, with 2 to 3 jobs per family, their kids are unattended and often left to fend for themselves or penned up in some below-standard child care corral like the herd animals they are expected to become.
        These workers do not share in the revenue that they produce with the the labor of their bodies and minds. They have NO benefits – overtime, health insurance, equity – and they live in abject fear that their next paycheck envelope might contain a pink slip or a cutback, or even a 'take it or leave it' arbitrary reduction in pay.
        The Oligarchy wants it this way.

* *          * *          * *          * *

A LIVING WAGE PROPOSAL
        The Working Minds Manifesto of two WMail issues back includes the statement that anything below $10 per hour [in the U.S.] is not a Living Wage. I have since decided that the figure should be $12 per hour in high-ticket locations such as Los Angeles County and New York City.
        While only a partial solution, the stand for such a Living Wage will be a long- and hard-fought goal. The Oligarchy broke the supermarket strike here in Southern California – the unions ended up with less than the original offer from the owners, and the three major grocery chains all lost money: customers shopped at CostCo and WholeFoods and many have not gone back to the majors. And the Oligarchy refuses to suffer any such loss: grocery prices continue to go up – wages go down, prices go up, here we go 'round the mulberry bush.

        With such an increased minimum wage at McDonald's, prices need not go up: Joan Kroc's recent death revealed the billions of dollars that she gave in charity in her will. Well, duh: pay a Living Wage to employees and fast-food workers would not need handouts from charity. With a Living Wage, full-time workers at Wal-Mart would not qualify for welfare – nor would they need to.
        With such a Living Wage, parents could spend time with their children & families, they could save up for a car, they could move out of the over-priced one-bedroom tenement apartment (owned by the Oligarchy), and even think about sending one or more kids to college, to bootstrap the family out of poverty or 'subsistence living', and up from Working Poor to Working Class and even to the Middle Class.
        With such a Living Wage, the economy would perk up in every nook and cranny, as workers bought the products that they made or managed or sold, as they moved from K-Mart to J.C. Penney to Macy's and beyond, as they allowed themselves time off to vacation across America, spending time out-of-doors on weekends, or taking {ohmigod!) enrichment courses not designed to enhance survival.
        With such a Living Wage, neighbor could meet neighbor, and workers would have time to unify around non-wage matters – workplace safety, ethical business practices, a clean environment, schools that educate, crime prevention. Families could give time to the old and the lonely, maybe reinstitute the nuclear family.
        These are matters that workers who live in abject fear for survival cannot see as their right. The Oligarchy wants it that way.

* *          * *          * *          * *

        The steps necessary to take back control of their/our lives is precisely what will give the Working Poor the realization that they have every right to expect access to the mythical American Dream.
        The Oligarchy's power exists only wherever the masses have surrendered their Locke-ian natural rights, under the pressure of propaganda delivered by the Culture-Structure at the behest of this world's Sauron, the villainous Oligarchy.
        The supermarket unions broke under that pressure. When next will we see the unity and courage that it will take to wrest another stolen right back, see action taken to undermine the Oligarchy's stolen power, see Individuals rising up to force the Oligarchy to topple, like a statue of Stalin or Saddam?

        Survival looks like your harried and fearful life.
        The Working Mind game is to stand up, to stand in the face of the Culture-Structure.
        The Revolution exists when you say "No! No more of this grovelling!"

        And our next chance is in November – thus the topic of next month's WMail is 'Dumping Dubya'.

WMail #42: "The Oligarchy"
http://www.working-minds.com/WM2004b.htm#42

David K. Shipler is author of "The Working Poor" [Knopf 2004]
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0375408908/

[copyright 2004 by Gary Edward Nordell, all rights reserved]

Each issue of WMail is posted on the Working Minds website; quotations are posted alphabetically by author.


N E W S    &    L I N K S    o f    I N T E R E S T

==>  http://groups.msn.com/objectivism [new in July]

==>  [U.S.] National Punctuation Day [est. 22 August 2004]
        http://www.nationalpunctuationday.com

==>  Expanded coverage of the U.S. elections now at
        http://www.working-minds.com/2004election.htm

==>  "The time has come for all Americans to rally around the issues that define the promise that is America – including an economy that works for working people, good jobs with good benefits, affordable quality healthcare for all, a secure retirement at the end of a life of work, a thriving system of public education, energy independence, and real national security. These issues are at the core of every American's quality of life and the time for action is now!
        Please share the encouragement that the forecast for positive change in America is looking very good today! And, invite friends and neighbors to lend themselves to what is becoming, literally, a tidal wave for progressive reform in our country."
        Campaign for America's Future: http://www.ourfuture.org/action_center/
 

N E X T   M O N T H: "Dumping Dubya"

I N   N O V E M B E R: depends on the election results

Issue #47: "Dumping Dubya"
[October 2004]


>+<    G.E. Nordell, editor    >+<

=============
Q U O T E S  [off-topic]
=============

"If you're not indignant, you're not paying attention."
— Laura Chick

"Let [truth] and falsehood grapple. Who ever knew truth put to the
worse in a free and open encounter?"
— John Milton [1608074]

"The response to tyranny ... must always be this: Dismantle it."
— Barry Lopez

"If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom."
— W. Somerset Maugham [1874-1965]

"A free America, democratic in the sense that our forefathers intended it to be, means just this:
individual freedom for all, rich or poor, or else this system of government we call democracy
is only an expedient to enslave man to the machine and make him like it."
Frank Lloyd Wright [1867-1959]

"This will never be a civilized country until we expend more money
for books than we do for chewing gum."
— Elbert Hubbard [1856-1915]

=============
Q U O T E S  [on-topic]
=============

"If Dubya wins, America loses."
G.E. Nordell

"WaterGate was nothing to what we have now."
— movie producer John Calley

"With [George W.] Bush, we're left with the perennial unanswerable
question: dishonest, moronic, or both?"
— Eric Alterman

"No man is justified in doing evil on the ground of expediency."
Theodore Roosevelt [1858-1919]

"Reality has limits, stupidity has not."
— Napoleon Bonaparte [1769-1821]

"Our vice president, Dick Cheney ... is a man without either wisdom or conscience."
— Al Martinez

"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons
of mass destruction."
— VP Dick Cheney (20 August 2002)

"The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth attack on John Kerry is the lowest, filthiest campaign
maneuver I've seen in my adult life. It is deeply offensive and intellectually insulting."
columnist Marc Cooper

"Having been in the belly of the beast of an imperial presidency, I can
tell you [that the Bush administration] is a dangerous presidency."
— John Dean (in 2004)

"Trying to eliminate Saddam would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. There was no viable 'exit strategy' we could see, violating another of our principles.
Ά "Furthermore, we had been consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations' mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land."
— George H.W. Bush  {explaining why he didn't go after Saddam Hussein
at the end of the Gulf War, in his memoirs "A World Transformed" 1999)

"How Bush and his junta succeeded in deflecting America's anger from
bin Laden to Saddam Hussein is one of the great public relations tricks in history."
— John le Carrι

"Whether it's the war in Iraq, the environment, or the economy, the
Bush administration never lets truth get in its way."
— Ron Bauer of Northridge, California (2004)

"It is a horror that taxes have fallen so much for the very wealthy
and risen so much for the working poor and the middle class."
James K. Galbraith

"The Bush administration is the most fiscally irresponsible in history."
— Paul Krugman, New York Times columnist

"If our major parties do not know where the boundaries of decency
and acceptance are, then we are already lost."
James A. Michener [1907-97]

"Despite President Bush's rosy assessments, Iraq remains a disaster
... a foreign policy failure bound to haunt the United States for decades."
Wall Street Journal correspondent Farnaz Fassahi
(in a personal email later made public by a recipient)

"The president is only a liar; the vice president is a lunatic."
— Harold Meyerson (in 2004)

"George W. Bush is the worst environmental president in American history."
— Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

"A slight majority seem to have decided [that] they would like a
new president. Kerry just has to close the deal."
Bill Clinton (in July 2004)

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop
thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
George W. Bush  (at White House bill-signing ceremony 6 August 2004)

"You can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the
ones you want to concentrate on."
George W. Bush (in 2001)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
D U M P I N G    D U B Y A
----------------------------------------------------------------------------


        Saw a bumper sticker the other day: "Regime change begins at home".
        Sounds good to me. The removal of George Dubya Bush from office is only the tip of the iceberg for solving the manifold crises that threaten America's existence. We also need a clean sweep of the neo-con fascists in Congress and in state houses and a return to Constitutional government.

        Dubya's faults and failures are well-documented. I do not care about his pecadillos of the past, although I think he does need to grow up already. It is his actions as President of the United States that terrify any thinking person, while his blind followers cannot tolerate discussion of these critical issues:

        The War in Iraq had nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction, but rather Dubya's "willful mass deceptions" – of himself and of the American people.
        The economy is reeling from Dubya's legislated payouts to the Oligarchy and from continued offshoring of jobs, with TEN-percent unemployment today – this was the figure I intuited, and the other day a K.N.X.-Radio interview with an economist at University of Chicago confirmed it.
        Rights to log the national forests were sold to the highest bidder, at below-market prices. Environmental protections are rolled back, for the profit of special interests.
        Halliburton was given $18 billion in no-bid Iraq War contracts; Bechtel was given $3 billion in Iraq War contracts; Chevron-Texaco's profits increased 90% the first half of 2004, based on deals for Iraqi oil; Lockheed Martin shares tripled in price since 2000, based on lucrative federal contracts – all are major contributors to Republican campaign coffers. They profit, you pay for it.
        Dubya increased Medicare premiums for seniors by 17%, the largest rise in the program's 40-year history, handing billions in immediate profits to the drug industry. In addition, deductibles were increased by 10%. These changes were pushed thru Congress with backing of the A.A.R.P., which happens to be led by a former-White House aide under George Bush Sr. And Dubya deemed purchase of cheaper drugs from Canada a 'security' issue.

        On 21 September 2004, the Congressional Budget Office announced a federal budget deficit of $435 BILLION, the largest EVER in the history of the United States.
        The U.S. National Debt stands at $7,429,511,697,284.39 as-of 20 October, a rise of THIRTY PERCENT since Dubya's inauguration – again, the largest EVER in the history of the United States.
        Gee, thanks, Dubya.

* *          * *          * *          * *

        The right-wing media decry the 'liberal bias' of everybody else as justification for fomenting the Baptist Taliban and neo-con fascist screed.
        Whatever the Rove-Cheney-Dubya Gang says is treated as gospel – which it IS, come to think of it – and actual issues are spun into nothing, while 'Bush doesn't like what Kerry said' receives headline treatment.
        Forget the facts, report the indignation – obscure the issues.

* *          * *          * *          * *

        Then there are the other major players.

        As Lou Dubose reports: "Since 1999, [the House Ethics Committee] has reprimanded [Majority Leader Tom] DeLay three times, a distinction no other member of the House not currently in prison can claim."
        Consider also: The Senate Indian Affairs Committee and a Washington, DC federal grand jury are investigating a $66 million lobbying scandal involving two top DeLay advisors.
        And Texas District Attorney Ronnie Earle has indicted three officials of DeLay's Texans For A Republican Majority and eight corporations for falsifying campaign funding documents. [Breaking News 21 October: Tom DeLay subpoenaed to give sworn testimony to the Texas House of Representatives.]

        Karl Rove is a nasty piece of work, and likely the source of most Administration strategy & policy (along with Cheney).
        It is considered probable that the leak of the identity of a C.I.A. agent in retaliation for a critical op-ed piece by her husband was generated by Rove. A federal offense, but no one has been indicted. Well, maybe soon: On 15 October, a federal grand jury forced Karl Rove to testify on his involvement in the matter.
        Rove is also the likely source of the Dan Rather papers. Cui bono [who benfits?]: leak trash, rant about the unfairness, drub the opposition's credibility, watch the polls shift in the leakers' favor. Oh, and avoid investigation of the incident (since the White House already knows the source).

        And let us not forget Donald H. Rumsfeld, our incompetent Secretary of Defense. [One of the reasons that I find the ezine goes out late in the month rather than early is my expectation of further pertinent news: this item is a case in point.] A news story in the New York Times on 25 October gives details of the Al Qaqaa facility debacle. Even before the invasion of Iraq, the United Nations, the I.A.E.A., the C.I.A,. and the Bush administration knew about the storage facility, which contained nearly 380 tons of deadly HMX & RDX explosives. Despite knowledge of the facility and its contents, the U.S. invasion forces took no action to secure or protect the site. Due to the stunning incompetence of the Bush administration and their usual failure to plan, the entire stockpile of explosives has disappeared.
        Gone, with no explanation or apology forthcoming from Defense. [Maybe they'll come clean after the election?]

        Recent legislation from Congress is basically dismantling the Head Start program across the U.S. And Dubya's Republican-majority Congress short-funded the No Child Left Behind Act by $9.4 billion, which means over 2.2 million children and 50,000 teachers are excluded from the program – Left Behind, nu?
        "For each year of [the Bush] presidency, the number of Americans living in poverty and the number without health insurance increased, while the median household income declined." == U.S. Census Bureau annual 'economic report card' released 8/2004 [ http://www.census.gov/prod/2004pubs/p60-226.pdf ]
        Since President Bush took office, more than 5 million people have lost their health insurance. And Republicans in the U.S. Senate froze the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Act the day after the actor's death.
        Every single member of the Bush Cabinet is a millionaire [a first], plus they each will save $42,000 on average this year due to cuts in capital gains and dividend taxes. [per Harper's Index]

        These people are steering the Ship of State – onto the rocks.

* *          * *          * *          * *

        The just-revealed secret U.S. State Department "Moving the Iraqi Economy from Recovery to Growth" document – http://www.tompaine.com/articles/adventure_capitalism.php – shows specifics of the Bush Administration's pre-invasion timetable for keeping troops in Iraq for the next year and holding off free elections until the country can be looted for the millionaires who fund Grover Norquist and the Americans For Tax Reform lobby, and the Halliburton-Cheney Gang. Iraq will have a flat tax, U.S. corporations will take over Iraq's infrastructure, and the U.S. will institute a military draft to ensure the implementation of that Economy Plan.
        I have been fascinated by the hooferaw about the impossibility of setting up a mandatory draft, while both houses of the U.S. Congress are holding the Rangel-Hollings Bill – http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d108:s.00089: – in committee, probably for fear of its effect on the election. The verbatim title of that law is "To provide for the common defense by requiring that all young persons in the United States, including women, perform a period of military service or a period of civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, and for other purposes." {Previously reported on in WMail Issues #33 & #40.}

* *          * *          * *          * *

        Whoever wins this election will replace several of the decrepit Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. The choice is to allow new members that lean toward the Scalia-Thomas removal of rights, or to elect a new president who can appoint individuals who honor the Constitution.

* *          * *          * *          * *

        What I hope to see on the evening of November 2nd is not only a defeat of Dubya, but a resounding whack at the lies and outright thievery and, yes, subversion of Constitutional rights resulting from the current neo-con fascist administration's anti-American, anti-liberty, anti-Reason policies.
        We are NOT safer than when Dubya took office.
        Dubya is the first president since Hoover to leave office having reduced the number of jobs in America.
        Nations that did not hate us before now do, including former allies.
        Dubya is responsible for the National Debt, the record-setting Budget Deficit, and gasoline prices.
        The U.S. has displayed the metaphorical middle digit to the United Nations over and again, and outright stiffed the Kyoto Protocol and other treaties.
        We started wars in two countries, and now the jingoist sabers are rattling about Iran having nuclear capability. Yet our military resources are so underfunded that even the National Guard is deployed overseas. [Who exactly is guarding the Nation? The N.R.A., perhaps?]

        Some signs, however, are good. Dubya and the neo-con fascists have so polarized America that thousands of non-participating citizens have recently been signing up each day across America and overseas to vote during this critical go-'round. Local activists were even signing up homeless people, who surely have reason to want economic solutions.
        A resounding defeat of the Rove-Cheney-Dubya Gang will send shockwaves of fear thru the halls of Congress, especially among the Oligarchy's special-interest lobbyists and the sellout politicians that they have bought.
        Maybe even 80% for Kerry and 20% for Bush. Could happen.

        The voting public may just be tired of being lied to, of sending their children & family members overseas 'into harm's way' for the profit of others, of being downsized and disrespected and ignored, of towns and industries being taken over by conglomerates, of knowing that America is vehemently hated because the Bush administration cares about neither national nor international respect, and even more so, has no respect for the U.S. Constitution, which they all swore to uphold.
        If George Dubya Bush does squeak by and win – or again steal – the election, there is one hold card, faithful readers. If Dubya is given another four years in office, he will surely do worse and then be impeached: the Bush Administration's expanded subversion of the Constitution and their likely words and actions during further rule will surely qualify for treason against the American people.
        But let's not give them the chance.
        The neo-con fascists of the G.O.P. must be defeated.
        On Wednesday November 3rd, we will know whether to celebrate America's resilience and Americans' stand for freedom from oppression for everyone on the planet – or to prepare for further disaster.
        Choose.

[copyright 2004 by Gary Edward Nordell, all rights reserved]

Each issue of WMail is posted on the Working Minds website; quotations are posted alphabetically by author.


N E W S    &    L I N K S    o f    I N T E R E S T

==>  Somebody else already built a website: http://www.DumpDubya.com

==>  Election Coverage Note: General Electric stands to earn $600 million from Iraq's
        reconstruction; G.E. owns the N.B.C. television network. [from Harper's Index]

==>  "100 Facts and 1 Opinion: The Non-Arguable Case Against the Bush Administration"
        by Judd Legum [ http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20041108&s=facts ]

==>  video/audio of Walter Cronkite's comments on Medicare [requires Windows Media Player 7]
        mms://129.174.1.25/capcon/FamiliesUSA/familiesusa1.wmv [Thanks, Jack]

==>  Excellent web humor: The Weapons of Mass Destruction are found!
        Go to http://www.google.com
        Type in (without quotes): weapons of mass destruction
        Do not press the "Google Search" button; click the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button.
        Read the whole error message carefully!

==>  America Recycles Day [est. 1999] is November 15th
        http://www.americarecyclesday.org/main.html
 

N E X T   M O N T H: topic not yet chosen


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