Thursday, September 15, 2011

'The Hell I'm Not!'

    Those words were spoken by a young Marine when told he could not go out and get his wounded comrades who were under fire in Afghanistan.  He was recently awarded the Medal of Honor by President Obama. 

     Bravery and courage are highly admired traits.  People die because of their bravery and courage.  People live because somebody shows bravery and courage.  Too often, in these difficult times, we say "It can't be done."  We stand by and watch a car burn... we stand by and watch someone drown... we stand by and watch our country, our state or our community drift into an intolerable situation.  We don't speak up when people are treated like it's their fault for not having a job.  Their fault because they are uninsured.  Their fault when their children have to go to school hungry or cold, or both.  Their fault when the job they had is shipped overseas... they just didn't work hard enough. 

     Our leaders tell us that programs like Social Security and Medicare are getting too costly, we can no longer afford them.  Our returning Veterans can't receive the medical care they earned... it's too costly, we can't afford it.  Our government can't provide the economic boost that the country needs... it's too costly, we can't afford it.

     I say, BullShit!  We can afford to give tax subsidies to the most profitable corporations in America.  We can afford to allow corporations to mine, drill and pump the natural resources of this country and not pay reasonable fees for the privelege.  We can afford to give tax subsidies to corporations who routinely close plants with American jobs and ship those jobs overseas for cheaper labor to perform. 

These folks didn't stand by and watch... they did something!


Public opinion polls report that most Americans think the country is headed in the wrong direction.  It seems to me that the direction the country needs to be headed in is: 

In the direction of Justice!   
  • Justice for people who are willing to work but have no job or even the prospect for a job. 
  • Justice for people who are too old or too sick to work anymore. 
  • Justice for children who want and need a good education so that they can make their own way in this world. 

    There needs to be a change in the direction of the wind! 


   So, the next time someone tells me that I won't be making a difference by getting informed and involved, my answer will be: 

"The Hell I'm Not!"

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Stairway of Tears

Recently, a school mate passed away.  Her passing was sudden, totally without warning.  A friend of ours posted a poem on our friend's Facebook rememberance page.  It's a simple poem, but so touching and so heartfelt, I had to post it here. 

Stairway of Tears

If tears could build a stairway
and memories a lane.
I would walk right up to Heaven
and bring you back again.

No farewell words were spoken,
No time to say "Goodbye".
You were gone before I knew it,
and only God knows why.

My heart still aches with sadness,
and secret tears still flow.
What it meant to love you -
No one can ever know.

But now I know you want me
to mourn for you no more.
To remember all the happy times
life still has much in store.

Since you'll never be forgotten
I pledge to you today –
A hallowed place within my heart
is where you'll always stay.


Judy Kaye Lamb    Judy Benton Lamb 1950-2011

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Liberty will reign!

Those who seek to gain power... should realize that with power comes responsibility. Not to the few, but to the many.

I would submit that in this speech attributed to John Adams, he is not speaking of 'freedom to make wealth.'  He is speaking of the fundamental right to basic needs.  Food, clothing and shelter. The fundamental right of human beings to live as human beings with dignity and respect.

In all the uproar over deficit spending and the debt ceiling, not one word was uttered about just what 'Freedom' really is. FDR established the 'Four Freedoms'in a speech before World War II. Without those 'Four Freedoms,' a people cannot be truly 'free.' 

After ten years of war... the Nation finds itself in dire straits financially, spiritually and politically.  We cannot depend on our leaders to find solutions to our problems in a way that would benefit all Americans.  We are told we must 'tighten our belts,' expect less from our government.  Working people who want to work at good paying jobs to provide for their families are told that tax cuts for the wealthy will provide those jobs they so desperately need.  The question must be asked:  'Where are those jobs?' 

Recently, a facility advertised for applicants for 40 job openings... 400 people showed up the first day.  This in a community where unemployment is not nearly as high as the national average.  Similar scenes are being repeated throughout the country.

The people of America deserve 'economic justice.'  A good job at a fair wage.  The ability to organize, if they choose to do so, to bargain with employers for better wages and working conditions; to expect that when government makes a promise, it should keep that promise.  Especially, when that promise is funded with the contributions of those people.  Anything less is corruption most foul. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What Kind of House?

Dog Trot House

     The 'Dog Trot' house.  A common residence in the late 19th Century throughout the South.  In the hot summers, it was a cool place for the family to congregate.  It was quite common for folks to sleep on quilt pallets in the breezeway in the days before air conditioning or even electric fans. 
      Houses have been used as metaphors for families, communities and nations for thousands of years.  "A house divided against itself cannot stand."   'Build your house on a rock foundation, not on sand.'  These two come to mind immediately.  I'm sure there are others. 

       In today's political climate in our country, it would seem that our 'house' is divided as it has not been since the Civil War.  Friends and family members are sometimes literally 'at each other's throats' because of differing political views.  Our two main parties are attacking each other with the 'steely knives' of inflammatory rhetoric.  Some even going so far as to refer to the other side as 'traitors' and 'treasonous' because they are convinced beyond reason that the viewpoint that differs from their own is either 'stupid' or just plain wrong.  I'm reminded of the old saw, "A stopped clock is right twice a day."

        Conservatives insist that 'out of control spending' is the reason we're in the mess we're in today.  Progressives cite 'tax cuts for the rich' and unfunded wars as the main reasons.  As with most arguments, the truth is somewhere in the middle.  Actually, both sides are right; because it's an 'all of the above' choice as to why things are so bad.  The difference comes in as to the solution to the problem.

       Generally, when two of our children get into an argument, the only fair thing to do is to recognize that both have to 'win.'  In the current argument in Washington, curing the deficit and debt problem cannot be achieved in any reasonable way without a 'balanced approach.'  The 'Vast Middle' must be found.  Most economists agree that allowing the 'Bush Tax Cuts' to expire, thereby raising tax rates by just less than 4 %, would eliminate the bulk of the deficit within the 10 year time frame.  Ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would cut the current massive spending in the Defense budget.  Eliminating wasteful and unneeded military projects would add to the savings.

       So, just as the 'Dog Trot House' provided a cool and inviting place to escape the summer heat... maybe our elected leaders could 'cool off' and meet in the middle.