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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pledge of Allegiance and the No Labels Balanced Approach

Among the frustrating metaphors already in the e-media, this blog will add little to the commentary of the justifiably angry electorate among those appalled by obstructionist "debt" behaviors in Washington DC this summer.

Yes, the heat in Washington DC has melted brain neurons among T-Party RWE-RWEs (right wing extremists).  Political leaders who swear an oath to uphold the US Constitution seem to drag this founding document out when it suits them to do so. Otherwise, when they aren't showcasing the Constitution, they act like children on a political playground.

It's the duty of elected political leaders to solve problems.  Our Constitution was founded on the principle of compromise and so it goes (Thanks Kurt Vonneguart!)

Among thousands of twitter blogs, the one I re-tweet most often comes from No Labels.  This non-partisan non-profit claims the motto:  Not Left, Not Right, But Forward.

A No Labels 140 character message carries some semblance of hope, while most of the others usually re-state frustration.  Many No Labels "tweets" announce call in conferences with individual polarized on both sides of this debate, the very people who should be talking compromise.

Most notably, a recent No Labels call included an invitation to the No Tax Pledge self appointed aficionado Grover Norquist. This man has nothing but money and time on his hands.  He's the guy who gets right wing extremists worked up about NOT paying for the national debt while he lives off of millions of dollars (no worries about his government check in the mail) and the Congress people he recruits earn big government salaries.

Thank You No Labels.  This man must be held accountable for insisting on giving political leaders a "no tax" pledge. In other words, if they vote for any kind of revenue increase, he gives their names and faces a big black X, meaning they loose their jobs.

A No Labels organized message, instead, insists on supporting a balanced approach to supporting our nation's debt healing debate. It's certainly reassuring to read from at least one source of "tweets" where No Labels solutions are offered, instead of reframing heated rhetoric.

Check out their the website at www.nolabels.org says it all "No Pledge But the Pledge of Allegiance"! 

My metaphor of the day is this. A Norquist No Tax Pledge is like asking a drunk to go to confession while he has a hangover.  When the headache is gone, what was the point?

Taking a No Tax Pledge just to win an election, because Norquist says you must, is plain manipulation and brain washing. Even RWE-RWEs must know they cannot gain political traction on a pledge taken outside of the one where they raise their right hand on a Bible.

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Rabbi Shmuley Apologetics

My sincere condolences to the peaceful citizens of Norway are extended today, as the country unravels from the impact of a right wing extremist who executed an evil act against innocent people in defense of ideological and delusional thinking.

This heartfelt message to the Norwegian people is not intentionally meant as a passageway for a message to America's Rabbbi Shmuley; but, it's nonetheless a timely method to, perhaps, have him understand why my blog is directed his way.

I could not believe it when Rabbi Shmuley recently published an apologetic column defending right wing extremist politician Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, because, in the Rabbi's opinion, the right wing extremist was a kind man.  After all, wrote the Rabbi, Rep. Cantor is known for being polite and answering all of his mail. (The Demonization of Eric Cantor July 19, 2011 in Jewish Journal.com)

This is like a bad joke. Surely, the Rabbi is using apologetics to help readers conclude that his point of view must be challenged.  So, I'm challenging him right here.

How many dozens of times do we read about nice young people who are quiet and generally friendly AFTER their names are headlines for executing horrid behaviors?  Rabbi Shmuley needs only to look at his own Brooklyn people and the heinous death of a young man to realize we do not apologize for people who harbor extremist points of view or harbor harmful thoughts, either on the right or on the left of our spectrum.

When I think about RWE-RWEs (right wing extremists), they do not conjure up images of nice people who write letters to constituents just because they can.  Rather, they are more like the character Screwtape created by C.S. Lewis, using cunning as a way of gaining confidence for nefarious purposes. 

Representative Cantor uses an extreme point of view on taxes to hold the entire American economy hostage while, at the same time, we get the impression from Rabbi Shmuley, he is jotting off notes to say hello and wish people well.  None of us will be well if Cantor's ideological policies are supported. It's usually the case that one right wing extremist act just leads to another and another, copy cat fashion. Supporting a no tax pledge ahead of the Congressman's oath to uphold the US Constitution is just a trough to plow through more extremist policies. Regardless of how many sweet notes the Congressman writes to cover the wake created by his actions, this no tax pledge, if it prevails, will spin off uncontrollable right wing behaviors that, I predict, will lead us backwards into uninspired public policy.

I believe Rabbi Shmuley should write an apology for his apologetic opinion piece because people like me believe he should be a leader who teaches us about the dangers of RWE-RWEs rather than creating ambiguity about their intentions.

As for the Norwegian people, they deserve an outpouring of love and support while they grieve the inconsolable tragedy perpetrated by what appears to be one of their own right wing zealots.

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Saturday, July 09, 2011

"Read My Lips" - Unemployment in Health Care Will Go Up

Although unemployment numbers are stubbornly stuck at 9 % plus, this disappointing figure will increase if Democrats cave by supporting cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.  Cutting these programs for the sake of a debt deal is a right wing extremist trick to see unemployment rise in advance of the 2012 elections. 

RWE-RWE's (right wing extremists) are not interested in doing what's right so long as they win in the next election cycle. 

Cutting programs for senior citizens, the poor and those who rely on their social security checks are no way to solve a money crisis when alternatives are quickly available.  Yes, increasing taxes on the rich seems like a solution where no pain is inflicted on anybody, even on those who absorb the tax increase.  After all, isn't the theory of capitalism based upon the concept of sharing wealth?

Moreover, for millions of people who work in health care and in human services sectors of our nation's economy - PALEEZE wake up! Cuts to Medicare and Medicaid will cause layoffs in the only sector of the economy where jobs are somewhat available!  In other words, unemployment will increase if a debt deal is made on the back of health care benefits.

Tax increases on the rich and super rich are the right thing to do.  Our US Congress needs to do what is right rather than stall about solutions that will hurt average people.  RWE-RWEs need to learn compassion rather than greed, leadership rather than obstructionism and compromise rather than regressive political posturing. 

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Monday, July 04, 2011

Tribute to Jefferson's Monticello - Immigrants Welcome

Americans celebrate 235 years of our Democracy this July 4th,  while we also take time to praise the vision, leadership and inspirational writings of Thomas Jefferson, our third US President and author of the Declaration of Independence.

Therefore, it's fitting for this innovative leader's beautiful home at Monticello Virginia to be the serene place where thousands of new Americans are sworn in as new US Citizens.

Monticello's brilliant designer's spirit are evident in the home's eloquent architecture and the beauty of the plantation's grounds. This special place Jefferson created for his home is aptly shared today by Americans on Independence Celebration Day, when, for the past 48 years, his home has welcomed new citizens into our nation, populated by immigrant ancestors.  After all,  the tribute is consistent with Thomas Jefferson's family roots, because he was the descendant of immigrants, having written briefly about them:
  
"'The tradition in my father's family,' he wrote in old age, 'was that their ancestor came to this country from Wales, and from near the mountain of Snowdon, the highest in Great Britain. I noted once a case from Wales, in the law reports,' he continued, 'where a person of our name was either plaintiff or defendant; and one of the same name was secretary to the Virginia Company . . . but the first particular information I have of any ancestor was of my grandfather, who lived at the place in Chesterfield called Ozborne's . . .'  Of his mother's illustrious family, the Randolphs, he was even more brief, noting only that his mother was the daughter of Isham Randolph, that she had married his father at the age of 19, and that her family could trace their pedigree 'far back in England and Scotland, to which," he wrote, "let every one ascribe the faith and merit he chooses'." 
http://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/jeffersons-ancestry

And to my own family, the Anselmi's, and Dini's of Italy; and to the Jubinsky's, and Halladay's of the Ukraine, many thanks for taking huge personal and financial risks to brave your way into New York's Harbor at Ellis Island, to contribute your energies to help build our immigrant nation.  


My family is equally grateful to Rose Anna Morin L'Heureux and her husband William L'Heureux, whose ancestors left the security of their French speaking homes in Quebec Canada to find economic security in New England.  My father-in-law William was a World War I Veteran.  My husband's uncle Napoleon Morin was a tragic victim of the Second Battle of the Marne, in France, during World War I.

All of our immigrant ancestors are American heroes, no less brave or visionary than Thomas Jefferson, whose home pays tribute to every one of them, this Independence Day, July 4th , 2011.  

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