February 11, 2005

Getting the Purple Finger
by Naomi Klein

"The Iraqi people gave America the biggest 'thank you' in the best way we could have hoped for." Reading this election analysis from Betsy Hart, a columnist for the Scripps Howard News Service, I found myself thinking about my late grandmother. Half blind and a menace behind the wheel of her Chevrolet, she adamantly refused to surrender her car keys. She was convinced that everywhere she drove (flattening the house pets of Philadelphia along the way) people were waving and smiling at her. "They are so friendly!" We had to break the bad news. "They aren't waving with their whole hand, Grandma--just with their middle finger." more....

February 10, 2005

Taking On the American Taliban

---snip---
Many Afghans, frightened by and tired of constant civil war, welcomed the Taliban because, finally, someone would take charge and bring law and order to their ravaged society. (Similar to why so many Germans welcomed Hitler during the inter-war chaos there.) Only later did the Afghans realize what they'd let themselves in for when the mullahs gained control and began their theocratic reign of terror; something similar could happen in post-election Iraq.

Many Americans, frightened by terrorism and manipulated by the Bush Administration's constant fearmongering, have in a sense welcomed Talabani-type thinking into their consciousness and behavior.

No, we don't force women into burkas, we don't stone adulterers, we don't beat non-bearded men on the street. But we do permit our "mullahs" to set the social agenda and restrict our political freedoms. We've even given tacit approval of their torture policy as official state practice, and to the shredding of our Constitutional rights.

---snip---
Somehow, we have to break through to many 2004 Bush voters - those who may have voted for Dubya on wedge issues, or because they were led by the media to distrust Kerry, or whatever - but do not wish to go whole-hog down that theocratic road.

We have to listen and try to understand their fears and confusions, and respond with arguments that make sense on their terms; once they see the full ramifications of some of the extreme right's programs and positions - especially on privacy and other rights, the gargantuan deficits being created, the constant wars being started - they might be more willing to break away from Bush & Co. Many true conservatives already have. more....

February 9, 2005

german parade photo

REOPENING
Opposition leader Angela Merkel is Shown Climbing a Ladder into Bush's butt above which hangs a sign "Re-Opening." A Text Accompanies the Float: "Angela is Glowing in the End / George Bush Remains President / She Feels Like in a Honeymoon / We Wish Her Good After-Noon."

February 8, 2005

NOW Warns Women About Bush's Social Security Scheme

"As he did in the State of the Union speech, George W. Bush misleads the public on Social Security at virtually every turn," said NOW President Kim Gandy. "Women, regardless of age, have the most to lose under Bush's privatization scheme, and they must take the time to understand the fundamental flaws and deceptions in the president's analysis of the system." more....

February 7, 2005

Oh Lord, ain't it hard

The curious thing about George Bush's State of the Union speech is that anybody who's paid attention to Bush over the last four years -- or 40 years -- would find it, or him for that matter, even remotely curious.

Those who expected Bush to be different in his Second Coming, who thought they would at long last hear specifics on the true state of the union rather than the usual soaring generalities, have to be a bit disappointed.

Or not. After all, most Americans seem hesitant to question Bush's grand scheme to fight terror by creating even more terror with his "doctrine" of assassination and collateral damage. Only a few have dared to approach him with even a tentative suggestion that perhaps the public deserves an explanation for the heinous torture, abuse and even murder of those unfortunate enough to be scooped up and detained in prisons such as Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo Bay. And, sadly, nobody seems to notice the growing daily death toll of American citizens in Iraq.

It's possible that Bush doesn't know the actual state of the union. If you stop to think about it, how could he? He has reportedly issued a "good news only" directive to anyone tasked with bringing him information. He refuses to listen to anything that does not indicate he is making "great progress," or that does not support his vision of himself as God's warrior striding across the international landscape smearing freedom like putrid jam over every oil-rich nation inhabited by dark-skinned people. By his own admission, Bush only "glances at the headlines just to get a flavor of what's moving," and gets briefed by people who "probably read the news." more....

February 6, 2005

Your Money or Your Life
by DAN FROSCH

....Their study (several esteemed scholars), published on February 2 by the medical policy journal Health Affairs, found that between 1981 and 2001, medical-related bankruptcies increased by 2,200 percent, an astonishing explosion in a relatively short period of time. This spike far outpaced the 360 percent growth in all personal bankruptcies during roughly the same period.

In addition, the study uncovered surprising information about the affected population. While poor, uninsured Americans have long been the most obvious victims of a defective healthcare system, it's the middle class that suffers most in this case, accounting for about 90 percent of all medical bankruptcies, says Warren.

"The people we found to be profoundly affected are not some distant underclass. They're the very heart of the middle class," Warren says. "These are educated Americans with decent jobs, homes and families. But one stumble, and they end up in complete financial collapse, wiped out by medical bills." more....

February 5, 2005

SOCIAL SECURITY

George Bush is not curing a "crisis" - he's creating one! But we can fight back. Use the talking points and form that the PDA (Progressive Democrats of America) provide to alert your local media to the President's false and misleading claims about Social Security and the impact of his plan.

Just type in your zip code and the rest is easy.

**********

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No War in Iraq march.
San Francisco, Ca., January 18, 2003
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