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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Truth

Freedom of speech should support truth telling.   This Constitutional privilege is  abused by liars.

For example, Americans have the right to say President Barack Obama is a Muslim.  Freedom of speech allows us to say these kinds of unproven statements. Whether he is Muslim or not must be proven by the truth tellers. Liars are using Freedom of Speech to simply put out a lie without having to explain themselves. Liars just say what they want because they have the right to do so.

This logic creates havoc in our present communications age because a lie boomerangs into a false "truth" a full 24 hours before the facts can catch up. 

So, when a television interviewer puts a microphone in front of a lady from New York who is attending a rally led by right wing extremists Glen Beck in Washington DC, and flippantly tells the world that President Obama is not supporting the US Constitution, this lie reverberates around the world before anybody else can say, "Hey, whaaaaaa?".   Indeed, the lady can tell an untruth like that, because she can.  Her freedom to lie is evidence that the US Constitution is supported. Moreover, the television interviewer did not use the microphone to ask the lady why she believed such a lie.

Of course, it is true, President Obama is supporting our Freedoms under the Constitution. I submit the lady from New York does not know what the US Constitution says.  Rather, she was reciting rhetoric heard from leaders of liars like Sarah Palin, Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh.  These people and others like them are focused on what brings glory on themselves.  Truth or untruth is secondary to their egos.

In other words, the lady who lied about Freedom of Speech has the right to do so because our US Constitution allows her this privilege.

But, where are the truth tellers?  Those who believe truth will ultimately prevail don't appear to be getting the right message out.  We must energize our truth telling efforts. Accountability must be demanded from those who get their lies out before the truth cycle catches up.  Furthermore, we must pound home the truth to drown out the lies.

Untruths and proving truths are consuming precious time. Rather than discussing issues in a calm and factual manner, media people are trying to disprove lies, which only perpetrates the problem.

Pretty soon, everybody gets confused, which is precisely what the liars want to see. Confused people tend not to vote. Rather than vote on a confusing issue or for a person they don't understand, voters tend to stay at home and keep quiet.  It's a reverse political strategy.  Energize your base and keep your opponents  confused, quiet and at home.

It's called "Freedom of Speech" - you have the right not to vote.  Use it to your advantage, say the liars.

Truth tellers must shout louder than the liars.  Freedom of Speech requires us to do so if we are to protect this right in the face of those who are abusive of the privilege.  Most important - truth tellers and the believers of truth must use our Freedom of Speech rights to vote for truth.

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Friday, August 13, 2010

Taxes and Yellow Ribbons

Like overt profanity, the word "taxes" seems to generate as much angst as using four letter obscenities.  

Yet,  reputable news sources report economic growth and stability from three important countries where people pay a lot of taxes.  Great Britain and Germany are both experiencing economic growth.  Japan's currency, the Yen, is stronger than ever against the US dollar. 

Today's Wall Street Journal (August 13th) reports the euro-zone economy grew at the fastest pace in four years. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703960004575426572933053474.html?mod=djemalertEuropenews.


Americans, on the other hand, are experiencing weaker than expected economic growth.  Of course, waging wars in Iraq and Afghanistan not to mention other world hot spots like Korea, don't help to reduce expenses. Raising taxes on the rich appears to upset Congress. These are the men and women who are likely living in the tax bracket of incomes where higher taxes take money from their personal checkbooks.  

Americans have lost sight of the greater good with regard to taxes.  We want young men and women to defend our nation but we pay them with yellow ribbons and thank you parades.  Public servants like police, fire, and rescue personnel are required to train non-stop in life protecting exercises; but people who depend on these services balk at paying higher taxes to compensate the providers who maintain law, order and safety in our communities.  

Americans are upset about the use of federal stimulus money to help bail out banks and Wall Street. Rightfully so, because these companies are among the very wealthy that often find ways of not paying their fair share of taxes, i.e., the source of the money that went into the billion dollar bailouts, in the first place.  

If everyone really paid their fair share of taxes, then a bail out of rich companies could have been seen as a rescue effort rather than a reward for incompetent leadership and inventing investment schemes like credit default swaps (what ever that term means!).


But, Americans are becoming more greedy and myopic.  Other nations, which were once our enemies, are now economic engines. Several wars were once waged against Great Britain.  Germany and Japan were destroyed by American military might.  These countries are now experiencing stable economies while America's is stumbling along.  Taxes are high in all of these countries,  yet the people have a very high standard of living and good health care. 

It's time to stop making political headlines with the word "taxes".  Instead, the word should be a euphemism for future investment.  Like running a household or a small business, we squirrel money away today so it can grow with interest to be used at a later time.  Taxes should be viewed the same way.

Paying taxes should be a patriotic an exercise. Along with flying an American flag or pinning a yellow ribbon on our front door step, we need to pay for being a strong and free nation.  A formula for our future should read thus:  Patriotism + Taxes = Economic Security.


















 

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Sunday, August 08, 2010

Moslem Mosque Politicized

Building a Muslim Mosque and community center near to the Ground Zero site of the September 11, 2001 attacks  on New York City is not so much about American freedom to practice religion, as Mayor Bloomberg says, but about America's inability to create a national memorial for this earth shattering assault on our nation.

It is entirely possible that the controversial Mosque currently creating a bru-ha-ha, because it could send the wrong political message about the attack to the Muslim world, is simply a transference of our nation's inability to honor this sacred site with our own memorial. 

Even the Russian government dedicated a September 11th Memorial in New Jersey (check http://rgeorgedunn.blogspot.com/2009/03/awesome-russias-9-11-tribute-and-gift.htmlwebsite).

On the other hand, the last time I visited ground zero, a hole in the ground was decorated with home made memorial posters pasted on the chain link fence surrounding the site, creating the aura of a prison appearance in the area.

I suspect the growing opposition to the proposed Mosque would be much less evident if Americans could just come up with our own memorial to honor this sacred site.  Maybe France can donate another Statue of Liberty?  Americans should be embarrassed rather than upset....

We have a Pearl Harbor Memorial in Hawaii.  Americans need and expect a Ground Zero Memorial in New York City.  A Mosque connected to a Ground Zero Memorial is fine with me, but first things first. 

Let's get our own Ground Zero Memorial in place first, please. 

Moreover, let's pray we never need to build any more memorials.

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Monday, August 02, 2010

Maine's Mayor Paul LePage in a Lame Stream Media Feeding Frenzy

When Tea Party activist Sarah Palin speaks about the lame stream media, she certainly isn't reading the flood of commentary currently in Maine print about the conservative Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Mayor Paul LePage, of Waterville.

In fact, plenty of sharks are lurking in the gush of opinion pieces appearing in several newspapers throughout Maine - all asking the same question. Where is the evidence that Democratic Party Chairman Arden Manning said, wrote or documented in any way a statement about the Mayor's Franco-American ethnicity?   Apparently there is no evidence or somebody would have produced it by now. But, evidence is mounting that Mayor LePage made up the story.

While I was attending a dinner party in Kennebunkport, ME, on Saturday evening, the LePage conversation kept going and going like the energizer battery bunny.  People are fearful of Mr. LePage because he is using smokescreens and incendiary comments to dress down the media while not explaining his views on the issues people want to hear about.

The Maine Sunday Telegram reported that Mr. LePage did not complete a survey requested of all candidates about their views on education policy.  Mr. LePage is also quoted as wanting to receive all media questions in writing so he can respond in kind - (what is that about?).

Disturbing to me is the response I received from the LePage campaign when they told me (quote):
"We will be seeking to conduct interviews with those that will provide a fair analysis of Mr. LePage’s actual policy statements and proven record, not hyperbole and false statements from opponents..."  

Perhaps Mr. LePage is the only person who is allowed to make false statement?  

Alarmingly, recent Maine public opinion polls show Mayor LePage was still leading Democrat Libby Mitchell and Independent Eliot Cutler about two weeks ago, but the lame media drip-drip-drip of commentary, all calling for accountability, will surely erode this margin.  

Nonetheless, Maine elects a governor with a plurality of votes.  In other words, Mayor LePage could become governor with 37-38 percent of the total votes cast in November. This unthinkably conservative possibility exists, given there are three candidates running who could easily split the votes.

Mr. LePage's unscripted comments are causing a media frenzy. Damaging as his comments are, they divert important attention from the larger salient questions about what he will do and say as Governor.  

Is Mr. LePage supporting the Republican conservative party platform calling for closing Maine's borders with Canada?  How will this policy help Maine's economic growth when 8 million people living in Quebec Province are potential tourists and trade customers?

Our state's lame stream media needs to turn up the water pressure on Mr. LePage by asking the really tough questions while, at the same time, seeking out that invisible document he falsely attributes to Arden Manning.  


Personally, I am calling for Mayor Paul LePage to withdraw from the Maine Gubernatorial race in November because, frankly, he demands accountability from those who seek media interviews but provides unsubstantiated statements to the press when he sees fit to do so.  

So, Mayor LePage, I have put my request in writing.





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