YDATL Blog
NOTE: The opinions expressed by our individual bloggers are their own, and not necessarily those of Young Democrats of Atlanta.

Friday, October 12, 2007

That About Sums it Up
It seems no matter how gross the excesses and misdeeds of the Bush administration get, people still like to harp on Clinton's transgressions. Thanks to Huffington Post's Hail to the Punchline, a collection of pundits listing their picks for the most comical president, and specifically the piece by Joe and Jerry Long, a perfect encapsulation of the difference is now available to us:
When Bill Clinton left the White House, the damage his sleazy, self-centered administration inflicted could be wiped away by a mop and bucket guy from the late, lamented Times Square peep show booths. When our current Rodent In Chief sashays off, the building will have to be disinfected as if for hantavirus, lest anyone inhale the terminal putrefaction of cronyism, incompetence and psychotic absoluteness staining everything our nation claims to be.
That about sums it up.
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posted by Aaron Karp at 10/12/2007 01:20:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Live blogging from Hillary's event in downtown Atlanta
11:59 A.M. In case you've missed it, Hillary Clinton is holding an event at the historic Paschal's Restaurant in Atlanta today, where she is reportedly going to get the endorsement of our own beloved Congressman John Lewis. This is going to be a big deal, you can be sure...





Special shout out to Bernita for providing me with my very first media badge!



In addition to the usual national media, the local media have also begun arriving...



We're all standing in line at the moment, as I imagine things will run on Democrat time as usual...

12:15 P.M. I've been told that 400 people can fit up here at Paschal's, but it sure looked a little tight in the main room for that! There's a good number of people waiting downstairs still - hopefully they'll get in! (Just learned which room is *not* the media room despite the signs, ooops...)



Good luck, Angela and RuthE! Certain people got here real early and are now waiting expectantly...





This is where the action will be once we get underway, which of course has yet to occur.



Unless my eyes deceive me, my own Congressman David Scott is in attendance today...



Where do I send the check, Bernita?? :-)

12:32 P.M. They're going through the sound checks now. There are a LOT of people in line downstairs who I'm afraid are going to be stuck there. Hopefully they'll at least get to see SOMETHING... In the meantime, the Hillary supporters are being put in position to cheer the candidate when she arrives. The connection's a little slow back in the media cave (ok, it's just the back of the room, but it's dark... fortunately the glow of the LCD comforts me), so the pictures might be easier to take than upload.

12:41 P.M.



*wow* I had to go downstairs just to get this uploaded. I may have to forego the pictoral portion of this for awhile :-* There is a lot of really professional equipment back here... I'm sure I'm getting a lot of "who the f*** is HE?" looks...

12:55 P.M. We're STILL waiting for something interesting to happen... there's quite a crowd outside here...





At this rate I'll be here until happy hour! :-!

1:06 P.M. Even Congressman Lewis looks like he's ready to get this show on the road...



As usual, the wireless card trumped Verizon's broadband. Everyone has been moved out of the hallway into the restaurant proper, and it seems like some folks have probably just given up home of seeing anything. Don't know what's happening upstairs, but it can't be all that much...

1:13 P.M. Senator Clinton has arrived to cheers!



She took some time to greet her supporters crowded outside, and the media scrum has followed her upstairs. I'm waiting for the crowd to die down a bit. Shannon Marietta just came and told me she had a chance to shake the Senator's hand - lucky! Upstairs I go...

1:19 P.M. Well, by "upstairs" I meant "inside" - Hillary has just now made her way upstairs, but it's a mess down here still. She's gotten several rounds of cheers and wild applause, and Shelby has gotten here just in time for the action to start.





I hope I'm still allowed upstairs!

1:31 P.M. Whew, it's *nuts* here. A lot of people got stuck irretrievably downstairs - me and Grayson had to sneak up in the elevator to grab our gear! John Lewis is now giving Hillary his endorsement in his usual strong speaking style - makes ME want to get up and cheer! Hillary is now speaking and has accepted the Congressman's endorsement - she's giving God his props, and has just recognized Congressman Scott and Jane Kidd (who I haven't seen yet though), as well as Valerie Jackson and several other assorted dignitaries. I'm having some internet problems so probably won't have photos for awhile.

(Well, scratch that, just taking awhile...)



1:39 P.M. Hillary is really playing the civil rights card - and rightly so, given where we are. I think this is a really good endorsement for her.

1:44 P.M. Nice, Hillary is definitely prepared. She's actually just told John's own story about standing on the corner of his grandmother's house to keep it from blowing away. You can tell I'm behind a bunch of cameras, but here's what I've got...



We've got some strong supporters in here who have punctuated Senator Clinton's remarks with shouts of "Say it!". And she's just now finished up... I think we're done here, but I figure I'm going to be trapped here for awhile. I might get squished ;-P

2:00 P.M. Well, now we're done, and here's the last of the photos - it was still crazy for awhile after the speeches were over...









Chairwoman Kidd took some time at the end to say hi to the local media, and I got to show her this fine piece of journalism :-)



2:10 P.M. Well, turns out there are no short photojournalists - didn't get any photos of the press conference worth posting ;-P (I'll keep trying though!) Signing off so I can get back to my day job...
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posted by Ataru Atlanta at 10/12/2007 11:59:00 AM 6 comments links to this post

Sunday, October 07, 2007

My Children's Health Care Rant
This healthcare debate has me all riled up. All riled up. And you know how I get when I am all riled up – verbose. So let me just tell you, I have spent all day gathering everything you need to take action on this issue. Confused about SCHIP? I got your facts. Unsure how to counter the right-wing spin? I got your answers. Don’t know what to do to help? I got your action plan. Read on, folks, we have work to do.

FRAMING IT UP

In an age where many voters think there are no real differences between the parties we couldn’t make up an example to more starkly demonstrate the substantive differences in our values. For the love of God, the issue is literally whether or not we’re going to protect our most vulnerable – our children – by providing them basic healthcare.

(Side note: For a more amusing and less overwrought frame on this issue, check out Jon Stewart’s clip from Friday. He spends 7 minutes filleting Bush and his deluded congressional lackeys for their inexplicable position on this bill. Jon frames it as “taking money from cigarettes and giving it to poor sick children.” Which Bush vetoes. Jon says, “you know, I thought something like that could only be done by cartoon villains. Mr. President, you’re slowly going from Nixon to Mr. Burns. That’s not good.” Classic Daily Show – check it out.)

But, back to your melodramatic president: I for one am not going to let this override vote go by without a fight. I don’t care whether or not we can use this vote against vulnerable Republicans next year – how many kids have to face illness and even death for us to decide this is enough. This is where the line is. We do not accept it. It ends here.

Are you with me? ARE YOU WITH ME?

WHAT TO DO

There are two calls to make in Georgia. Rep. Jim Marshall (DINO, 8th District) voted against the House bill. That’s right. Democrat. From Georgia. Voted against health care for kids. Make the call.

He may not represent you directly, but he is standing in the way of funding to help all of Georgia’s children. And, chances are, you helped campaign for him last year. Chances are, you wrote a check for him last year. Chances are, you celebrated his victory last year. Chances are, if his vote stands, he will get NOTHING from metro area Dems next year.

Second, I suggest that you also call Senator Saxby Chambliss. There is next to no chance he’ll change his vote, but by God he *does* represent you and he is up for re-election in 15 months. Let him know you’re watching.

In addition to the Georgia politicians, there are a handful of Republicans currently being targeted by the House leadership as possible switchers – mostly due to being vulnerable next year rather than possbile ideological kinship. A call from you to their Washington office couldn’t hurt. Just tell them they are standing in the way of healthcare for kids in the US and that you hold them accountable. Maybe you can’t vote for or against them, but you can exercise your First Amendment right to send money to their opponent, and a vote against health care for sick kids will force your hand.

Here’s the list of targeted Republicans linked to their contact information:
Steve Chabot (R, Ohio 1st)
Thelma Drake (R, Virginia 2nd)
Tom Feeney (R, Florida 24th)
Sam Graves (R, Missouri, 6th)
Randy Kuhl, (R, New York, 29th)
Jim Saxton (R, New Jersey, 3rd)
Tim Walberg (R, Michigan 7th)


Same message to the Democrats who voted against the issue (can anyone explain why Dennis Kucinich is on here? Anyone? Asking for real…)
Dan Boren (D, Oklahoma 2nd)
Kathy Castor (D, Florida, 11th)
Bob Etheridge (D, North Carolina, 2nd)
Baron Hill (D, Indiana 9th) (scroll to bottom of page)
Dennis Kucinich (D, Ohio 10th)
Mike McIntyre (D, North Carolina 7th)
Gene Taylor (D, Mississippi 4th)

WHAT TO SAY

I’ve been reading all afternoon, and what you think is basically true. SCHIP good. President bad.
To read an excellent summary of SCHIP policy, including summaries of the original House and Senate reauthorization bills, and the Administration ‘guidance’ on the issue, read the Kaiser Family Foundation briefing.

To read a summary of the impact of the SCHIP legislation on PeachCare and Georgia’s children, check out the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute briefing and don’t forget to make a donation to the gbpi while you’re there.

HOW TO COUNTER THE SPIN

But no one's dealing in facts, so how do you handle the myths?

First, let’s handle this immigration one. Cause I think this is probably big in Georgia.

MYTH: SCHIP will let illegal immigrants get free health care.
FACT: SCHIP is not available to illegal immigrants. SCHIP is not even available to LEGAL immigrants. During the conference committee discussions, Republicans successfully re-instated the current five year waiting period for *legal* immigrants.

So why are they claiming that it will be open to illegal immigrants? The claim is, apparently, based on a change in the way that applicants will prove their citizenship because the existing method doesn’t work. But bottom line, it’s race-baiting. Illegal immigrants are NOT eligible.

What about this claim that “upper middle class” families will be covered?

MYTH: Families making up to $83,000 will be covered by SCHIP.
FACT: Bullshit, bunkum, nonsense. This number is based on a single cherry-picked instance of a waiver request from a single state in the entire ten years of the program. And the request was turned down.

And I will tell you what else is bullshit. The Administration has come out with “Poor kids first” as their tri-syllabic talking point on this. The Administration proposal says that if a state wanted to go above 250% of poverty, they would have to first prove that 95% of the kids in the 100-200% range were covered first. Now, this MAY sound reasonable on the face of it – of course you want to make sure your resources go the most needy kids, but it’s actually not reasonable, and they know it. Achieving a 95% participation rate – they might as well say the kids have to fly to the moon, or perform their own bone marrow transplants. SCHIP is a voluntary program. Even Medicare Part B only achieves 93% participation, and that is an “opt-out” plan, meaning you have got it by default unless you specifically say you don’t want it. 95% is a bullshit number. He just wants to make it impossible to go above 250%. Asshole.

So, we’ve been race-baited and lied to….why not throw in red-baiting too…

MYTH: This is a step towards “Socialized” medicine. (Oh! My! God!)
FACT: Wait, first of all, what does that even MEAN? What is the fear? There are a couple of responses here.

1) Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley may have answered this best. Here is what he had to say (read it yourself here) "The bill is not a government takeover of health care. The bill is not socialized medicine. Screaming `socialized medicine' during a health care debate is like shouting `fire' in a crowded theater. It is intended to cause hysteria that diverts people from looking at the facts. To those of you who make such outlandish accusations, I say, go shout `fire' somewhere else. Serious people are trying to get real work done. Now's the time to get this done." Well said, well said. Are you paying attention, Ms. Pelosi? That’s how you tell the President to jump in a lake.
2) But here’s another response… “No it’s not:” if what you mean is a program administered by the government. The VA – now that’s socialized medicine. But SCHIP is the government contracting with private insurance plans, just like a private employer. Insurance companies run the plan and private providers give the care. This is not a government-run plan. But I might add…
3) A third response: “It might be:” if what you fear is the government paying for some of it. But what’s wrong with that? Think the kids’ parents are freeloading? Well, almost no one pays for their own health insurance by themselves. The American model has been that employers pay the bulk of it – and you pay a little. Emphasis on a little. In SCHIP, many families pay into the program just like I do at work, and they have copays, too. So they are paying about what they would IF they had a job with decent benefits – they are not freeloading any more than any of us who depend on our employers to pay. So, the collective “we” pays to defray insurance costs for the community either through taxes or through higher prices on goods and services that those companies pass on to us. Who cares? ALSO note: the President, the Vice President, the entire cabinet, and the entire congress have government-sponsored health insurance. And so do our senior citizens through Medicare. Why do we begrudge the kids?
4) But you know what? Maybe we should just say “bring it on.” If what this means to you is that expanding SCHIP is a step towards universal healthcare, I say, You’re damn right it is, and about time. Our current system doesn’t work – kids, seniors, adults – too many are uninsured, many more are underinsured, and nearly all of us are struggling with an out-of-control system that doesn’t meet our needs. Our system is arbitrary, unfair, and immoral. And the collective “we” pays more for uninsured and underinsured than we would if we just covered everyone with a single payer system. So there is some sort of Phyrric victory if what you want is to make sure no lazy welfare recipient gets a free ride – congratu-fucking-lations. So we’re cutting off our nose to spite our face and meanwhile, our American companies are at a competitive disadvantage, groaning under the pressure of providing care, cutting benefits to the bone and limiting coverage to fewer and fewer employees. Foreign companies are opting to locate plants and branches in places where the government provides health care, like the Toyota plant in Canada. And insurance companies are laughing all the way to the bank while they squeeze us all – declining benefits we thought we had, forcing us through bureaucratic hoops to trump up reasons to deny coverage. It’s a broken embarrassment of a mess and yes, people are literally dying because of it. If this is the best we can manage – covering 2-4 million kids when there are millions and millions more that need help. If this is the best we can manage, I’ll take it as a feeble start. God bless America.

So, there it is. If you want more, here are two great sources I found to help you debunk the myths.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities “Myths” Brief

Post from Wide Open – Political Blog in Ohio

I apologize for the crazy-long post. But clearly if you had time to get through all of this, you have time to place a few calls. Let’s get this done. Let’s get mad, let’s stand up to the crazy man. We can override this veto – we need this bill.

Go get ‘em.
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posted by Emily Schunior at 10/07/2007 07:05:00 PM 6 comments links to this post

Friday, October 05, 2007

Bill Richardson in Atlanta
7:00 P.M. Welcome all! It's not every day that the Young Democrats of Georgia are generously treated to free admission to an appearance by a major presidential candidate, but here we are waiting for Bill Richardson at the IBEW auditorium in Atlanta...









7:16 P.M. We are starting to see some of Georgia's VIP (and candidates) trickle in - word is that Governor Richardson will be here in ten minutes.

Senate candidate Dale Cardwell took some time to talk to GADCC chair and honorary Young Democrat Mike Berlon...



Former Secretary of State candidate Gail Buckner has made an appearance (some of us will be seeing her again tomorrow at the GFDW meeting)...



And super YD power friend Melanie Goux got some face-to-face time with the chairwoman of the whole enchilada, Jane Kidd, heading the Democratic Party of Georgia!



We're starting to hit the food...

7:30 P.M. Governor Richardson has arrived and is needless to say the most popular person in the room! He talked with our own Melissa Thompson for a good while - maybe he won himself a new convert? Ed Hula had a chance to meet the governor as well...



Governor Richardson has made his first rounds around the room and Richard Ray is gathering us together.



7:38 P.M. Mike has just finished introducing the evening and Chairwoman Kidd is introducing the governor. Just look at this assemblage of Democrats on the stage!



Our own Shelby is fortunately handling the video, allowing this blogger to continue snapping and typing...



We're getting ready for the main event!

7:47 P.M. The governor is speaking and I am very happy to report that he is finally showing some of his charisma - this is a speech I wish he could give more, it would really help his candidacy. He's into it...



He even took time to recognize the candidates in the room - here he is pointing out Senate candidate Rand Knight, who I haven't managed to get a good picture of yet...



We're in the campaign speech now, and he's speaking to labor issues firstly - glad to say he knows where he is, and he's already got a reputation as a strong union guy.

7:55 P.M. Nice. Governor Richardson just called our fuel efficiency standards "pathetic". You can say that again! He's finishing up (rather than starting) with Iraq, which I think is interesting. "How many troops are we leaving behind? Zero." I think that's the right answer for everyone in this crowd except Shelby and Ed...

Incidentally, check out the diversity of the crowd here, including DPG rock star and Constituency Groups Vice Chair Virgilio Perez Pascoe...



And look who's joined us, State Representative Nan Orrock, a rock star in her own right!



The governor is wrapping up his speech, and it's a lot better than what I remember from the YDA Omaha meeting. Look for Shelby's video, it's worth seeing.

8:04 P.M. Well, he SAID he was wrapping up, but I'm not complaining - this is good! He's been counting off what he's going to be doing as President, and he got a big round of applause by putting the Equal Right Amendment back on the table. YAY!



We're a.l.m.o.s.t. done (but you're ALWAYS almost done at these things, lol...) And NOW he's done. The seated folks have gotten to their feet and it's worth it! Representative Pedro Marin from Gwinnett is giving the gift on behalf of the party - we're making Bill an honorary citizen of Georgia, peanuts not included. I'll snap a few more pictures of the scene here as the governor prepares to head out to (where else) Iowa.

8:18 P.M. We're wrapping up here, but not without some more great photos!







We've got intrepid reporter Shelby doing postgame punditry with Tasso Knight, another good pal of ours...



From the GADCC and the Young Democrats of Georgia, thanks for coming, Governor Richardson!



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posted by Ataru Atlanta at 10/05/2007 07:00:00 PM 2 comments links to this post

Govenor Bill Richardson This Friday

New Mexico Governor and Democratic Presidential Primary Candidate Bill Richardson will be addressing a reception of the Georgia Association of Democratic County Chairs this Friday at the IBEW Auditorium in Atlanta from 6:30pm unti 8:00pm. This event is free to members of Young Democrats (otherwise $25 suggested contribution).

What: GADCC Reception featuring Gov. Richardson
Where: IBEW Auditorium, 501 Pulliam St SW, Atlanta, GA 30312
Who: Open to the public with $25 suggested contribution, free to Young Democrats
When: Friday, October 5th, 6:30-8pm


After Party

The night wouldn't be complete without it. Join us afterwards for more fun at the Graveyard Tavern in East Atlanta
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posted by Allison Layton at 10/05/2007 01:58:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Tilting at Bird Feeders
I'm sure most readers of this blog have dealt (on more than one occasion) with forwarded emails that express views quite antithetical to their own. You may have also run across pointed comments on blog posts, or some other form of unsolicited ideological counterpoint. Etiquette (or perhaps pragmatism) typically dictates avoidance of the issue - the email gets deleted, often unread but for the opening inflammatory lines. The blog comment gets dismissed (perhaps rightly) as trolling and is given a cursory, dismissive and disengaged response, if any at all. In-person instances may play out a bit differently, depending on the situation in which they occur. In ideologically mixed company, many of us would probably prefer to leave the challenge unanswered for fear of igniting a brouhaha. All of these responses are polite and possibly even reasonable, but our environment is becoming increasingly, resolutely unreasonable and impolite. So, upon out-of-the-blue receipt of an anti-immigrant email from a friend of a friend, I opted to take the other, likely less reasonable path and respond. And it went a little something like this...



Responding to this sort of thing is probably a waste of time, but I feel compelled and have time on my hands.

Our government gives out free food, subsidized
housing, free medical care, free education and
allows anyone born here to be an automatic citizen.
With regard to automatic citizenship, this has been the case for quite some time, and indeed many (if not most or all) of the recipients of this email (both in this sending and all others) are likely benefits of the practice. Admittedly, I can't cite numbers, but I've wondered for some time if the current perceived "invasion" differs all that much proportionally from the earlier waves of arrivals by Irish, German, Chinese, and other immigrants. In their times, these waves were met with similar "purist" scorn, complete with accusations of a lessening of quality of life and the impending peril for the "American" (read: "white") way of life. Now members of the same ethnic groups who were once viewed as dangerous outsiders hewing too closely to their own languages and customs carry the banners of the same nationalist impulse that called for the removal of their own ancestors.

Then the illegal's came by the tens of thousands.
Suddenly . . . . Our taxes went up to pay for free services,
Small apartments are housing 5 families:
I'm not sure I understand the argument about small apartments housing 5 families. Is this a humanitarian issue? Is the writer arguing that living standards should be better for immigrants? As to the cost of services, the rise is likely counterbalanced (again, I don't have specific numbers) by the lower cost of many goods and services, the labor for which is provided largely by immigrant and illegal workers, especially in the produce and construction sectors. I'm not arguing that this is a good thing - I would prefer to see good wages and benefits for all workers in the United States - but those clamoring about increased taxes have to acknowledge the decreased costs of many other areas of their lives brought about by immigrant labor.

. You have to wait 6 hours to be seen by an
emergency room doctor:
I have not personally experienced this, though I do remember tales of such waits from long before the current uproar over immigration. It's also worth asking - is this a consequence of illegal immigration or problems with our health care system? It may well be a combination of factors, including illegal immigrants, but I've yet to see compelling evidence that they are the sole or even primary cause of these issues.
. Your child's 2nd grade class is behind
other schools because over half the class doesn't
speak English.
I don't have a child. I do, however, date a public school teacher (albeit one who teaches at the high school level), and the problems she describes to me are less the result of students who don't speak English than of deep and severe emotional and behavioral problems in students born to and raised (or not raised) by native English speakers in the good ol' USofA. This also hearkens back to the aforementioned anti-Irish, anti-German, anti-Chinese, anti-Whoever tirades of yesteryear. They aren't learning our language! They aren't integrating with our culture! Typically, such concerns lasted until the next ethnic wave, when the former targets gained the right to participate in the American pastime of ugly nationalism. Furthermore, it's worth noting that our public schools are ankled by underfunding and "teach to the test" mandates created by misguided education policies.
. Corn Flakes now come in a bilingual box;
I haven't seen this anywhere, but even if it's true, where's the harm? Take the chance to learn a phrase or two over your morning bowl. To my understanding, most industrialized nations the world over place a much greater emphasis on multilingualism than we do, teaching other languages much more aggressively in early childhood. Tourists often report that throughout Europe, they had little difficulty locating fluent English speakers, while you'd be hard-pressed to find fluent speakers of the languages of our near neighbors (French and Spanish) in many US locales. To be flip, is the author also offended by the gibberish of the word jumbles on the back of the Froot Loops box?

. I have to press "one" to hear my bank talk to me in English, and people waving flags other than "Old Glory" are squawking and screaming in the streets, demanding more rights and free liberties.
Again, I have a hard time mustering sympathy for a complaint that centers around an action that takes a fraction of a second to process. I'm much more bothered by banking policies that are intentionally predatory and favor the needs of fantastically, absurdly profitable businesses over hard-working individuals. Still, if the author is truly that disgusted, he or she has the ability to vote with his or her dollars by finding a monolingual banking institution. I'm certain there are some out there. I'd recommend trying a smaller, more locally-operated bank (unfortunately, those are a lot harder to find, since they tend to get gobbled up by the big multinationals pretty quickly). As for the people waving flags other than that of the United States, "squawking and screaming in the streets," first among the rights guaranteed to all citizens of the United States is freedom of speech. To assume all persons taking part in protests in favor of immigrant rights to be here illegally is foolish and quite close to racism. Certainly there are US citizens, both native-born and naturalized, in those crowds, finding common cause with those who have come here illegally, perhaps seeing in them the desire to partake of the freedoms that made and continue to make our country great. As to "more rights and free liberties," what do they demand? In many cases, they demand a path to legality and citizenship, along with the opportunities and responsibilities that entails. They demand access to healthcare and education, especially for their children - are these not fundamental human rights? Without access to such services, aren't they doomed to a perpetual outcast status? How will they or their children learn our language and our cultures if we don't let them seek and utilize our education system? If they cannot access any other form of healthcare, won't they turn to the emergency rooms as their only option? The inevitable response is that they shouldn't be here in the first place, that these problems shouldn't exist. Well, they are here, and the problems do exist. It is not realistic to speak of deporting every illegal immigrant for simple logistical reasons, but even if it were, the economic impact to the United States would be staggering. The countries to which they would be deported would suddenly be hosts to huge groups of angry, impoverished, unemployed people with a major grudge against the United States, much closer at hand than similar groups in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the rest of the world.
Maybe it's time for our government to take down the bird feeder .
Perhaps - it's certainly the author's right to believe that and to say as much. Clearly, I disagree. That disagreement is borne of many ideas and experiences, but it's existed in me for quite some time. What has not, what has only recently risen from my gut and demanded expression, is a heartsickness over the profound and unabashed selfishness of so many Americans. Gone are the concepts of the Commonwealth and our God-given position as a beacon of truth and decency to the rest of the world. In their place, we've become a collection of scattered camps of self-centered louts, eager to partake of all of God's gifts without acknowledging in any way the grander scope and vision of the Founding Fathers who helped secure them. America is not just a country, a plot of land to support your grandiose home and countless Wal*Mart Supercenters. America is an idea, a promise of unalienable equality and liberty and the fundamental worth of all human beings. It began as a bold statement of a new idea, and it drives me wild to see it perverted into an excuse for a never-ending chorus of complaints over the minor inconveniences and manufactured victimizations of those who have lived here long enough to feel like they're the only ones deserving of favor. That's not America. That's a nation of overfed children who refuse to share their toys on the playground, who refuse to accept the existence of a social contract that requires sacrifice and contribution from all the undersigned. Again, wishing for such an America is the right of the author, as is acting to bring it about through this kind of e-pamphleteering and, presumably, voting for candidates and measures that echo his or her own sentiments. Conversely, I have the same rights to wish and to act for my own ideas, and I will continue to do so. Whatever your views may be, I encourage you to do the same.

If you agree, pass this on

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posted by Aaron Karp at 10/02/2007 02:35:00 PM 0 comments links to this post

 

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