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Protests Against Austerity Budgets In The U.K.—We Can Do The Same In The U.S.

Public workers and many others are protesting austerity measures in the United Kingdom.

From the New York Times-

More than 10,000 schools were affected by the strikes, as were universities, Social Security offices, courtrooms, airport customs desks and other government operations. Union officials warned that the strike could be the first of a series of walkouts here in the next few months, reflecting growing unhappiness over layoffs, salary freezes, tax increases and a persistently sluggish economy.  Much of the workers’ anger, said Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union, has to do with a feeling of helplessness and resentment at having to suffer from the mistakes of bankers and others who caused the economic crisis. The government, Mr. Serwotka…, is “forcing some of the most vulnerable people in our society to pay for a crisis that was not of their making.”

All I can add to this is that we have the same option in the United States to take to the streets, and to protest against budgets and tax codes that reward the people who put us in the mess and that punish hard-working everyday people.

July 1, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 4 Comments

How Do We Have Money To Attack Libya?—We Can Always Ask More Of Ourselves As Citizens

How is it that we have the money to attack Libya?

Each Tomahawk missile we have launched on Libya cost $569,000 in 1999 dollars.

Then there are all the costs of fuel and manpower and whatever else involved.

As of 3:37 PM EST, Sunday, March 20 , the U.S and Britain had launched a total of 124 Tomahawks in Libya.

Britain has a big austerity program going on.—Still, the U.K. also found the resources for war.

How much will this all cost American taxpayers?

I don’t know.

But given that the President has said we must cut even programs that help the poor, whatever the Libya mission costs would seem to be more than we have.

Or at least more than we told we have by both major political parties.

Maybe the alleged budget crisis we are so often told exists is in fact something of a fraud.

Here is the United States Navy website for the Tomahawk Missile.

The full term is Tomahawk Land Attack Missile. The Tomahawk name is trademarked.

(Above–A Tomahawk missile product.)

Just because your tax dollars bought the things, does not mean you can call the missile you build in your garage a Tomahawk.

I support the Libya mission. I think we need to act to prevent a massacre of Libyan dissidents and rebels by Colonel Gaddafi.

Hopefully, I’d see the question the  same way if a Republican President had ordered the attack.

It should be noted though, that President Obama does not see the authority of a President to order combat without the approval of Congress in quite the same way candidate Obama saw the question.

How do Republicans feel about the Libya mission?

It is hard to view Republicans as credible on this question.

In the years since 9/11, Democrats and liberals have often been attacked for being soft of terrorism and for not supporting our troops.

This despite the fact that draft-dodger George W. Bush and draft-dodger Dick Cheney did not provide proper body armour to protect our troops fighting in our wars.

From the New York Times of January 7,2006

“A secret Pentagon study has found that as many as 80 percent of the marines who have been killed in Iraq from wounds to the upper body could have survived if they had had extra body armor. Such armor has been available since 2003, but until recently the Pentagon has largely declined to supply it to troops despite calls from the field for additional protection, according to military officials.”

Here is a useful website to see which Republicans have avoided service and how Republicans and Democrats are rated on issues impacting veterans.

I recall how back in 2002 Democratic Senator Max Cleland of Georgia, a triple amputee from combat in Vietnam, lost his seat after being attacked by his Republican opponent as weak on national security. Television ads were run in that campaign picturing Mr. Cleland with Osama and Saddam.

In regards to Libya, I imagine Republicans believe we should support a sitting President at a time of conflict. I’m sure they feel that to believe otherwise would be to put our troops at risk.

Right? Did I get the standard Republican line correct here? Or does it only apply when we have a Republican President?

I’m concerned the allied troops fighting for a better future in Libya. I’m concerned for people in Libya. I hope rebel forces in Libya have democratic aspirations.

It seems sometimes the best you can hope for on these type issues is that you get at least some measure of truth from people in power.

It does not have to be this way. People do not need to be helpless.

Our leaders from both parties know that often what we appear to want most is to avoid military service, avoid taxes, get cheap gas, and to blame Muslims for our problems.

We always have the ability to expect more of ourselves.

If we asked more from ourselves, we would get more from our leaders.

( Below–Senator Cleland in Crawford, Texas in 2004. Mr. Cleland was attempting to deliver a letter to George W. Bush asking that attack ads on John Kerry’s Vietnam service be stopped.)

March 21, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Values Of Sacrifice, Society & Connection Require Our Efforts—At Least In England People Are Fighting Back

In the United Kingdom, people protest when drastic budget cuts raise college tuition by astronomical rates.

Above you see a picture of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker reacting when even the royal car was attacked and knocked about during protests in London.

In the United States, we do nothing at all when one of the two major political parties has no greater concern than tax cuts for the most wealthy in a time of recession and war.

We allow the hours of our lives we spend working and spend caring for the people in our lives to slip away, while the powerful few preach on and on about austerity and tough choices.

Sacrifice has value. We are all part of a society. We are all connected.

These values of sacrifice, society and connection will carry the day only when we work hard and fight back against what is taking place in this nation.

December 10, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

England-United States World Cup Preview—Both Nations Looking To Recover From Tough Iraq Match

This is the third Texas Liberal World Cup preview post. This post is on the match to be played between England and the United States in Rustenburg on Saturday, June 12 at 2 PM Eastern time.

Here is my preview of the Mexico-South Africa game.

Here is a look ahead at Argentina-Nigeria.

(Above–Bristol, England. Here is information about visiting Bristol.)

As we assess this match, let’s see the basic facts for the two squads. ( It is England playing his match and not the United Kingdom. Scotland and Wales have their own teams. But for the text of this post we’ll look at the U.K. as a whole. The pictures are of England.)

For England-

Nationality: Noun–Briton(s). Adjective–British.
Population (2010 est.): 62.2 million.
Annual population growth rate (2010 est.): 0.7%.
Major ethnic groups: British, Irish, West Indian, South Asian.
Major religions: Church of England (Anglican), Roman Catholic, Church of Scotland (Presbyterian), Muslim.
Major languages: English, Welsh, Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic.
Education: Years compulsory–12. Attendance–nearly 100%. Literacy–99%.
Health: Infant mortality rate (2009 est.)–4.85/1,000. Life expectancy (2009 est.)–males 76.5 yrs.; females 81.6 yrs.; total 79.0 years.
Work force (2009, 31.25 million): Services–80.4%; industry–18.2%; agriculture–1.4%.

(Of the 62 million people in the U.K., about 49 million English.)

(Above–Chicago. Maybe the best American city of them all. Here is information about visiting Chicago.)

For the United States

  • Full name: United States of America
  • Population: 314.7 million (UN, 2009)
  • Capital: Washington DC
  • Largest city: New York City
  • Area: 9.8 million sq km (3.8 million sq miles)
  • Major language: English
  • Major religion: Christianity
  • Life expectancy: 77 years (men), 81 years (women) (UN)
  • Monetary unit: 1 US dollar = 100 cents
  • Main exports: Computers and electrical machinery, vehicles, chemical products, food and live animals, military equipment and aircraft
  • GNI per capita: US $47,580 (World Bank, 2008)

(The U.K. facts are from the U.S. State Department. The U.S. facts are from the BBC. At both locations you can find extensive information about the nations of the world.)

(Above—English countryside in an area called Widecombe in the Moor. This picture was taken by a Dennis Redfield.)

Human Rights are an important aspect of any nation’s game.  Let’s review how Amnesty International sees the U.K.—

“Amnesty International has released a new briefing outlining its call for a full, independent and impartial inquiry into UK involvement in human rights abuses post-11 September 2001. The briefing outlines ten key questions that an inquiry should seek to answer.”

You can read the full article here. The U.K. sure got itself into a mess when it went along with George W. Bush and the invasion of Iraq.

Here is all of the Amnesty content on the U.K.

(Below—Badlands National Park in South Dakota. this picture was taken by Wing-chi Poon. Here is information about visiting this park.)

Here is what Amnesty has on the United States—

“Since June 2001, more than 334 individuals in the United States have died after being struck by police Tasers. AI is concerned that Tasers are being used as tools of routine force, rather than as weapons of last resort. Rigorous, independent, impartial study of their use and effects is urgently needed.”

Anyone who thinks the U.S. does not have a number of human rights issues is mistaken. We’ve made great progress since the days of Jim Crow, the second-class status of women, and the near-complete closeting of gay folks that existed 50 years ago. Yet one consequence of this progress is to illustrate how far we still must go. For example—Economic justice is denied to millions who work hard each day and still don’t earn a living wage and who can not afford health insurance for themselves and their families.

Here is all that Amnesty has to say about the U.S.

The bottom line is that even in countries that some in the world may associate with the advancement of human rights, that there is much more to be done.

(Above–The great warrior Tecumseh. Tecumseh lived 1768-1813. He fought to the last against the taking of his land.  Here is a timeline of American history.)

Match Summary—In this battle of mother country against former colony, let’s all root for each of these global powers to meet the hopes of the world’s people in terms of human rights and global peace. The unlawful invasion of Iraq was an “own goal” of self-inflicted harm for both these nations. Hopefully the lessons learned from Iraq will force both America and the U.K. to choose diplomacy over war in the years ahead. One way the U.S. can learn from the U.K. playbook is to continue the drive towards universal health care.  With some sense of decency and human concern returned to the White House in 2009 after 8 years of George W. Bush, progress has been made on this front. Yet there is still more to be done.

Here is the link to the British government.

Here is the link to the White House where Barack Hussein Obama serves as President of the United States.

(Below–Stonehenge. Who the hell knows why it was built? Here is a history of England.)

June 9, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment