Posts Tagged ‘national’

DO AMERICANS REALLY BELIEVE IN THE CONSTITUTION?

October 13, 2013

Many politicians and other Americans claim to believe in the Constitution of the United States. But, do they really believe in the Constitution or, are they only hiding behind pseudo-patriotic rhetoric while in reality promoting a selfish anti-American agenda?

The Preamble to the Constitution definitively addresses the intent and purpose of the document. Thus, in order to interpret the Constitution correctly, we must first and foremost consider what the Preamble states:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity. . .”

The first thing we learn from the Preamble is that “we the people” are the government. Not surprisingly, Americans who claim to stand for “smaller” government generally back an agenda that appeases a minority and is harmful to the majority of we the people.

The second thing we learn is the Constitution’s authors didn’t believe they were creating a perfect government. Rather, they wanted it to be “more perfect”, better than previous governments. Far too many Americans oppose wise policies because they aren’t perfect, which policies created by imperfect people never will be.

The next purpose stated in the Preamble is to “establish justice”. Many Americans support unjust policies that are against the human and civil rights of minority, working class, poor and other citizens. Many support policies denying American workers and others the right to freely organize and demonstrate against injustice.

The fourth purpose the Preamble states is to “insure domestic Tranquility”. The word “gun” doesn’t appear anywhere in the Constitution. Is it insuring domestic tranquility to allow every Tom, Dick and Harriet to own as many “Arms” as they wish, which today include machine guns, tanks, biological weapons and nuclear bombs?

Next we find “to provide for the common defense”. Defense is just one of several stated purposes of the Constitution, yet many politicians and other Americans today act as if this is the only purpose of government, ignoring the rest of what the document clearly states.

The Preamble then says to “promote the general Welfare”. Yet many Americans oppose universal health care, affordable housing, job programs, infrastructure rebuilding and many other things clearly needed for the general welfare of ourselves and future generations.

Don’t Americans realize that people without adequate nutrition, shelter and health care more easily become ill and spread contagious diseases? Don’t we realize children without a strong educational and moral foundation become our society’s burdens of tomorrow? Don’t we realize unjust policies indiscriminately harm everyone, including ourselves and our own children?

The Preamble says the purpose of the Constitution is to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”. Why do so many Americans oppose environmental and other legislation desperately needed to secure the blessings of liberty for our ourselves, our children and our children’s children?

Do Americans really believe in the Constitution? You Decide.

Link to footnotes and documentation for this article

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IS MUSIC CITY BECOMING THE MEANEST CITY IN AMERICA?

October 13, 2013

In July and August of 2013, I interviewed thirty-five homeless and formerly homeless individuals in Nashville, Tennessee. Virtually all of them say they have been harassed, cited and arrested multiple times for trespassing, sometimes while waiting for a bus, sometimes when standing near a bench where others were sitting and often when not acting any differently than other non-homeless persons in their immediate vicinity, who were not arrested.

At taxpayer expense, our morally bankrupt city leaders have removed some public benches the homeless used to sit on and otherwise, have installed new benches with bars in the middle so they can’t lie down. The homeless say there are no public restrooms for them to use, virtually no drinking fountains and there is literally no where for them to sit, walk or go to the bathroom without fear of being arrested and carted off to jail for trespassing. Most say they have been jailed two or more days multiple times and fined significant amounts for the ‘crime’ of being poor.

The homeless say some Nashville police officers try to be fair, while others are deliberately mean to them, going out of their way to constantly harass, cite and/or arrest them for trespassing, obstruction of a passageway and doing other things that tourists and the non-poor are not arrested for. A man who had only been homeless for two days told me he had already been harassed twice by the police when asking passers by for directions to the mission.

Many say they have been arrested for public intoxication when they were sober and carrying no alcohol or drugs. Several claim the police routinely search their belongings without probable cause, frequently kick them out of public parks and many say their tents, backpacks and other belongings have been confiscated or destroyed by authorities.

The homeless situation in Nashville is far worse than city leaders pretend. Most of the thirty-five I interviewed said they have been homeless over a year in the Nashville area; several said they have been homeless more than seven years. One day walking only a few short blocks from the downtown bus terminal to Church Street and then back, I interviewed thirteen people who said they were homeless, while many others passed by who appeared to be.

When tourist and other events are scheduled, the homeless say police conduct general sweeps of the downtown area, arresting groups of people for appearing to be poor. A homeless man on crutches said he was arrested for trespassing for walking across a store parking lot diagonally instead of going around the long way on the sidewalk. Several said they have been harassed and sometimes cited when selling a homeless newspaper.

One man told me he was arrested for obstruction while sitting on a downtown step because one of his shoes was touching a public sidewalk. A formerly homeless woman said she has witnessed numerous homeless individuals arrested for trespassing while walking in public alleyways and on other public taxpayer-funded property. She said the police rarely volunteer their name or badge number and some become angry when asked. Several say their shoes and other belongings have been stolen at the mission and some say they have been physically harmed.

Some told me they have been arrested even when not homeless at the time, just because they appeared to be poor. Several homeless veterans told me the police show them no respect for being veterans and harass them just as badly as the rest. We as taxpaying citizens of conscience should stand united and immediately demand that our city leaders cease and desist using our tax dollars to harass, cite and arrest people for the ‘crime’ of being poor.

We expect police officers to protect us from real criminals who murder, rape and steal, rather than to waste their time and our tax dollars harassing, citing and arresting citizens because they are poor. Does the mayor’s office and city council vainly imagine they can get away with such ongoing violations of basic human and civil rights, morality and common decency, without God in heaven and the rest of us noticing?

It is less expensive to house the homeless than for cities to repeatedly arrest and run them through legal and service systems, better for business and, much less of a public safety and health risk and expense when the basic needs of everyone are met. Music City’s lack of affordable housing, lack of basic common health sense and common decency to even provide public restrooms and ongoing harassment of the poor, is an open American shame. It was reported last year alone, over thirty citizens died in the Nashville area because they were homeless, including one who froze to death on a downtown church’s steps. And, that is over thirty American citizens too many.

May all citizens of the United States who fear God unite together and demand that our cities begin immediately constructing enough affordable housing and in the meantime, demand that our immoral leaders provide portable toilets so citizens don’t have to live in fear of being arrested for doing what nature requires of us all. Let’s demand that our cities immediately begin construction of facilities where the homeless can shower, be connected to job opportunities, health, food, shelter and other valuable services and freely congregate, without constant fear of physical harm, harassment, citation and arrest.

Link to footnotes and documentation for this article

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DID THE DEMOCRATS REFORM HEALTH CARE?

November 9, 2010

Congressional Democrats, since the election of President Obama, have passed cosmetic legislation that will likely hurt more than help the majority of Americans, while greatly enhancing the bottom-line of banking, oil and health corporations.  Like their Republican partners in crime, they are allowing citizens to become more and more economically enslaved.   For example, government sources announced not long after so-called health care “reform” passed, that projected costs for health care will nearly double by 2020.

Many Americans fail to understand that when employers pay for health care, we are in reality, paying for it ourselves.  Employer cost for benefits is included in the “price at the pump” reality for all goods and services.  And because the cost is ultimately borne by us, there is in reality no such thing as employer provided benefits.

If a manufacturer, trucking company and retail chain provide benefits for their employees, consumers purchasing the manufactured products delivered by the trucking company and sold by the retail chain, pay for the cost of these benefits. This includes the factory workers, truck drivers and store clerks who receive benefits, when they purchase goods and services themselves.

When an employer doesn’t provide health coverage, as is the case for most working class and poor citizens, then it greatly disproportionately effects them.  Not only are they forced to pay for their own coverage or do without, they also end up paying for the health benefits of employees who do have coverage, in the form of higher consumer prices.  Instead, if health care was paid for through federal taxation, citizens would pay for it based on their tax bracket and ability to pay.

The reality now is, upper-middle class and wealthier Americans typically enjoy premium health coverage paid for by their employers. Meanwhile, all American consumers end up paying for “Cadillac-plan” provided expensive high fashion eye-wear, cosmetic surgery and braces on children’s teeth.  And, poor Americans suffering from cancer and diabetes often have no coverage at all. EVERYBODY pays while only a few receive premium coverage.

When Republicans talk about supporting “small” business, what their agenda is really helping, is very large private businesses and publicly traded corporations that gain significantly from tax reductions. Average wage-earners lose far more in service cutbacks than they ever gain by tax reductions.  And, when Democrats talk about “reform”, it invariably results in the same thing, such as the projected rise in health care costs we all have to pay for.

Legislation backed by both parties severely hurts small business and the average American citizen and, the direction both parties are pursuing will ultimately enslave the masses beyond pre-20th Century industrial reality.  And, it will eliminate any semblance of legitimate business, while driving more and more people into financial ruin.

Did the Democrats really reform health care?  Is the Republican agenda any better?  As long as politicians are allowed to be bought and sold by wealthy interests, does it even really matter which party is in power?  You decide.

Link to footnotes and documentation for this article

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SHOULD EVERY AMERICAN CARE IF EVERYONE HAS HEALTH CARE?

October 17, 2009

Some historians claim disease has wiped out more people than all wars combined.  Yet, in spite of the known historical record, Americans continue to ignore the inevitable consequences of contagious disease; consequences including significant preventable illness even for those with health coverage, large productivity losses and national leading to global plague.

Some plead we should care about the less fortunate while others pretend private care is preferable, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  Today, U.S. citizens pay much more for coverage than citizens of any other nation, yet we are ranked 37th in health care quality and even lower in availability.

Several former Soviet block and Southeast Asian nations offer better coverage; even Cuba has a lower infant mortality rate.  Over 45 million U.S. residents have zero health care; at least 80 million more have highly inadequate coverage.  More and more citizens with expensive plans are being refused coverage for expensive problems.

Every week, more citizens lose employer-paid care and retirement benefits, including long-term coverage for less healthy retirement years.  Depending on provider, 10-30% of every dollar spent on private coverage goes to overhead not related to care, while less than 8% for government-sponsored Medicare does, even though Medicare helps the oldest and sickest among us.  Very plainly, private health care as we currently have, is not the solution.

Politicians on both sides of the political charade continue to pretend they care about America’s security, while continuing to ignore our immediate health care reality.  Whether or not we care about our neighbor is only part of a larger equation, because disease knows no boundaries.  Children of the poor can, have and will, infect children of the wealthy.  Medical facts clearly demonstrate that private coverage is no guarantee against contagious diseases.

In reality, less than 1% of U.S citizens can afford to pay for their own catastrophic needs.  All forms of private health insurance are “shared responsibility” programs,dependent on the majority of those covered to remain healthy, while majority pay-outs go to the sickest minority.

Yet, right-wing media pretends coverage is not a “shared responsibility”, that we should all take care of our own selves.  People who claim this have never faced $250,000 per year cancer treatments on a working class income.  And they clearly don’t understand their own immediate financial jeopardy if they were to lose coverage.  Or, what can and will happen to their own children, if their neighbor’s children remain uncovered.

Scientists claim our planet is overdue for a major disease epidemic, while history clearly dictates that all of our politics, education, science and weapons won’t protect us against the onslaught of disease.  And the media is clearly failing American citizens by not instructing us accordingly.

Is it fair to say that citizens who do not push for immediate affordable and adequate health coverage for all persons residing permanently or temporarily within our borders, are decidedly unpatriotic?  Is it fair to say they don’t even care about their own children?  You decide.

Link to footnotes and documentation for the above article

WHO IS REALLY LYING ABOUT HEALTH CARE?

October 17, 2009

NOTE:  The numbered items below are taken from a Republican Party health care flier handed out at various health care demonstrations.  
 

1.  We need to reform health care.  It costs too much.

Republicans under Bush did nothing to reform the health care industry.  There is no historical track record of Republican health care reform.  Thus, current proposals reek of partisan political charades and complete and total dishonesty.

2. Make health insurance portable so Americans can keep their coverage when they change jobs.

This does nothing to reduce dramatically rising health care costs, eliminate high deductibles and co-payments, help the uninsured or people with pre-existing conditions or, prevent insurers from refusing to cover the sickest among us.  And, this wasn’t proposed by Republicans prior to the 2008 campaign.

3. Provide tax credits to make health care more affordable and accessible. 

In addition to solving none of the things noted previously, this was first proposed by John McCain while running for president.  Prior to that, there is no record of Republican tax credit proposals.  On the contrary, Republicans in Congress under Bush pushed to reduce federal funding, including opposing helping uninsured children.

4. President Obama and the Democrats are conducting a dangerous 1.6 trillion dollar experiment with our health care
 
When cost savings are factored in, the actual cost would be about 100 billion per year.  This is less than 1/30th of the estimated cost for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Apparently, Republicans believe pretending to protect us from harm in foreign lands is more important than protecting Americans against contagious diseases and death from lack of health care here at home.   
Tax cuts for the wealthy under Bush alone would cover this cost and provide a home for every homeless veteran as well.  Annual losses in national productivity, due to the spread of common contagious diseases easily preventable if everyone had access to health care, cost Americans far more than reforms being proposed by Obama.    

5. Democrat proposals will raise taxes by 800 billion, mostly on small business. 

President Obama has proposed raising taxes on personal net income over 250K to help pay for health care reform.  Republican opposition is a continuation of the ongoing “Joe the Plumber” lie never dissected properly by the media; almost no plumbers or owners of small independently-owned companies earn over 250K annually after deductions. Also, businesses employing less than 50 people will not be required to pay for health care under proposed reforms.

6. Democrat proposals will create a national set of one-size-fits-all regulations, making health care more expensive for everyone. 

This is not at all what Obama and the Democrats are proposing but even if it was, it would serve to greatly reduce the cost for everyone, if the health care industry was forced to bid against the entire U.S. population base.

7. New regulations will make your employer drop your plan or cause your current insurance carrier stop offering your plan.   

Proposed regulations would actually have the opposite effect than what is pretended in Republican propaganda.  They include requiring employers to insure employees or else, pay a penalty to offset the costs of a government option.  New regulations would force insurers to accept all people, regardless of pre-existing conditions and, require them to cease dropping patients who are deemed “too expensive” for profit margins. 
 
8. Democrats will create a government run insurance option that would unfairly drive out competitors to become a monopoly.   

Since deregulation began under Ronald Reagan, major insurance corporations have essentially become a monopoly, unfairly driving out smaller competitors and, insurers who attempted to provide honest coverage.  Predominately supported by Republicans, deregulation reduced and eliminated rules that once prevented the industry from refusing to pay for expensive treatments and, protected poor and elderly patients from being literally dumped out the backs of ambulances onto Skid Row, as was famously video taped and revealed on national television.  
 
 
It’s true the Democrats are grossly in error regarding health care, bowing to corporate pressure and pretending that we can expect to survive as a modern nation, while leaving insurance industry profits in the way of achieving quality affordable health care for us all.  History has over and over again proven this to be a complete and total lie.   
 
But. . .  Who is really, really, really lying about health care?  You decide. 
 
Link to footnotes and documentation for this article:
http://www.freedomtracks.com/500/healthcare.html