Hands Off Social Security!

Mass media reporting on the all-important Social Security debate is turning out to be mere stenography. The media, as usual, are reporting what Bush says about Social Security as though that were the truth. The media are not doing enough independent research to either substantiate or disprove Bush's claims. When Bush says that Social Security will be flat broke by 2042, this lie is presented as fact in news stories. As we all learned during the build-up to the Iraq war, if a lie is repeated often enough in the media, it becomes accepted as the truth.

Social Security is a well-run federal program. Millions of retirees, survivors and people with disabilities rely on Social Security. The Bush plan will result in benefit cuts for recipients who rely on it, yet brokerage firms will reap big, new profits from management fees and commissions. Besides, we already have individual retirement accounts in which people can invest: They are called IRAs.

We, as a society, have to think about the greater good. We cannot allow people to withdraw their portion out of the Social Security system and gamble with it in the stock market. If any changes are needed in Social Security, then the rich and super-rich should have to pay more into the system so it will be there for the working men and women whose lifetime of labor made them rich in the first place. They owe us that much.


The overthrow of the United States of America

The United States of America has been successfully overthrown and the vast majority of citizens do not even realize it. This ignorance is a testament to the enormous influential mix of television news punditry and public relations. The formula is simple: Just repeat your message over and over in the mass media, denounce your critics as deranged and unpatriotic...and the meek will follow.

The new United States of America has nothing to do with the principles of freedom and democracy that the nation was founded upon. Rather, the new United States is all about unbridled imperialism, privatization and militarization. Public monies are being shifted from the public sector -- which funds education, food programs, jobs programs, health programs and Social Security -- to the private sector, which includes big business, military contractors and the stock market. In other words, the people's money is being withdrawn from social programs and deposited into the bank accounts of the rich and the super-rich. The people's money is thus being gambled away in the largest casino in the world -- Wall Street.

The United States is no longer a genuine republic, although it continues to identify itself as a republic. In reality, the new United States is a corporate monarchy governed by the principles of state socialism. George W. Bush, like his father and grandfather before him, is a state socialist who believes in Hitler's imperialist dream of a powerful corporate state where a limited government functions primarily as a servant of the rich and powerful corporations that own the means of production, fund the nation's elections and dictate its political decisions. (State socialism is not to be confused with democratic, or scientific, socialism, which holds that the people must own and control the means of production and that government must function first and always as a servant of the people.) Another word for state socialism is fascism.

With the overthrow of the United States, the horrific future world foretold in the works of George Orwell is now at our doorstep. The government has spy satellites that can focus on a license plate. It has facial recognition software. It has a computer system that can pick out key words in private telephone conversations and emails.

Under the Patriot Act, we allow the government to break into our houses and download our computer files under the guise of finding supposed "terrorists." We allow the government access to our library records so it knows who is reading what.

We routinely accept government explanations for world events without even asking questions to determine if the explanations are based on valid assertions. We allow our government to assert its right to imprison and torture foreign detainees as "enemy combatants" even though they have not been charged with any specific crime or act.

We allow our elections to be purchased by the rich and powerful while denying the poor and working class proper access to voting machines. We allow computerized voting that does not even print out a paper record in case a hand re-count is needed.

We allow our government to grant oil, chemical and mining companies access to public lands, where they extract the natural resources with little regard for the long-term environmental impact, water and air pollution, and global warming.

We allow our young soldiers to become occupiers and nation-builders in foreign lands, even though history has shown that such occupations inevitably fail as one oppressor is replaced by another.

So, the United States of America has been slowly and methodically overthrown by a small group of economic zealots who believe in unrestricted corporatism. Now what? What can citizens do to take our nation back from these bastards when our state and national legislators do not even realize that our republic has been replaced by a monarchy? Well, the first step to taking back is fighting back. To do that, we must defend our labor unions and progressive organizations as they become targeted for extinction by the Bush monarchy. We represent the majority of citizens and if we stick together and fight together, we will win together.

Our responsibility is immense. Our responsibility extends to all citizens of the world who look to us as a beacon of hope for human rights, freedom, democracy, equality and justice. It we fail, the world fails with us.


Open Letter to the Ford Motor Company

William Clay Ford, Jr.
Board of Directors
Ford Motor Co.
P.O. Box 685
Dearborn MI 48126-0685

Dear Mr. Ford:

After reading disturbing reports that the Ford Motor Co. was planning to destroy the all-electric Rangers it produced for fleet and lease customers, I am pleased to hear that the company reversed its position. Although I drive a gasoline Ranger, I have heard nothing but good things from owners of the electric Rangers and I would certainly be interested in an all-electric Ranger myself.

With world oil reserves dwindling rapidly -- and some estimates predicting a supply of just 20 to 40 years at the present rate of consumption -- it makes sense from a business perspective to begin phasing-in both all-electric and fuel cell vehicles now. Unfortunately, the corporate mindset of today is to secure the world's remaining oil reserves, especially ANWR and the Caspian Sea area, for the U.S. market, even if this means the deaths of many thousands of people in Iraq, Iran, and other Middle Eastern and Southwestern Asia nations under one pretext or another. Oil profits will be very high in a seller's market as supply dwindles and demand increases, but we, as a society, need to get beyond the quest for profit and focus on the post-oil world. Now is the time to begin planning to ensure that the remaining oil is available for agriculture and other critical areas. Rather than consume all of the oil until the last drop, now is the time to bring all-electric and fuel cell vehicles to the mass market.

The Ford Motor Co. is in a position to either go along with the flow or to be bold and innovative. While hybrid vehicles like the Ford Escape are helpful, they do not break away from fossil fuels and represent a last-grasp effort to hold on to a bygone world. Hybrids may help to buy a little time, but the result will be the same: The world is running out of oil! The sooner that auto makers understand and accept this, the better for all of us.

The United States of America is on the wrong road and our national leaders are taking us right over a cliff. This is a tragic consequence of the drive for profit above all else, including common sense. It seems to me that the Ford Motor Co, would relish the idea of marketing a line of clean, quiet, efficient vehicles such as the all-electric Ranger. But I would implore you to not stop there.

Think. Create. Inspire. Maybe others will follow and the world will be a better place.