September 11: 14 Years And Counting!

It is hard to believe, but it is now 14 years since September 11, a day which will live in the memories of every American old enough to remember.

September 11 transformed America permanently, and it has led to a constant war on terror and terrorists, which will go on endlessly, sad to say, as the terrorists are out there, and ready to take action at any time.

September 11 has made America a security conscious nation which has limited our freedoms, and made us a nation always on the edge.

It will be a part of our lives for eternity, as December 7, 1941 is for those still alive who remember the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

But September 11 was a time of death of civilians, not military personnel, and it was in New York City and Washington, DC on the mainland, not in Hawaii, three thousand miles away from the mainland of America.

Despite all of the divisiveness politically over the past 14 years, for a short time back then, there was unity, and we have been fortunate to avoid another September 11 attack, but must be constantly vigilant.

Today is a day to remember the sacrifices of the police and firefighters who gave their lives that September morning, and who remain in our hearts with a feeling of love and respect!

How America Is “Socialist”, And We Would Not Want It Any Other Way!

Many Americans are under the false assumption that “Socialism'” is a bad thing, and that it is the same thing as the former Soviet Union, or Castro’s Cuba, or Communist China, or Communist North Korea.

This is pure ignorance, and instead, one should look to the many democracies in Europe, who have “socialist” aspects of their political and economic systems.

But even beyond that, think about what it would be like if we did not have “socialism” in our political and economic system.

How would we like to do without the following:

1, Social Security
2. Medicare and Medicaid
3. The Post Office
4. Public Schools and Colleges and Universities
5. Libraries
6. Water Treatment Systems
7. Recreational Centers, including Gyms, Parks, Beaches
8. National Parks
9. Public Transit Systems, Trains, Subways, Buses
10.Police, Firefighters, Sanitation Services, Public Hospitals
11.Military Services and Protection
12.Labor Protections
13.Food and Drug Regulations
14.Environmental Protections
15.Financial Institutions Regulations
16.Transportation Safety Regulations
17.Housing Regulations
18.Energy Regulations
19.Military Veterans Protections
20.Homeland Security Protections

If one believes that all of the above should be privatized, as some conservatives and Republicans advocate, then we have a basic misunderstanding of what the best government is: a mixed socialist and capitalistic system in the public interest, instead of a business atmosphere which puts profits and business techniques above human beings and their welfare! Quality and cost efficiency require a combination of capitalism with socialism!

The Danger Of City And State Budget Cuts: Future Lawsuits!

The city of Camden, New Jersey has just cut its police and firefighter contingents by 45 percent, in a city infamous for the second highest crime rate and a large number of suspicious fires.

At the same time, in New York City, a 75 year old woman had cardiac arrest, and with the failure to clean up the snowstorm that hit the city, it took three hours for help to reach her, and she passed away, and now her daughter is suing the city because of the lack of response.

It is easy to say–cut, cut, cut–rather than to tax to keep services. But these developments mentioned above are happening all over the nation, and it means crime rates will skyrocket, fires will destroy much property and kill large numbers of people, education will become truly a mockery, health care in hospitals will deteriorate, sanitation will not be able to keep up with vermin that will overrun where garbage gathers uncollected, libraries will shut down that offer people a chance for an escape and to do job seeking on their computers, etc, etc, etc.

There are no winners in this situation, including hundreds of thousands or even millions of dedicated public servants who will be unemployed as a result.

Instead of everyone facing up to the reality that we do not get necessary services by praying to God, but must pay the appropriate level of taxes to keep our service, even in a difficult time, the nation will deteriorate to a level that will destroy the body fabric long term.

It also is reality that more lawsuits will ensue, which will use up city and state budgets for attorney fees, and the likelihood of payouts in the millions of dollars for reckless endangerment of all citizens because of the budget cuts!

It is due time for all citizens to face reality: we are all in this together, and must stop seeing taxes as the great evil, as lack of services is a far greater sin! 🙁

If We Can Fund The Wars In Afghanistan And Iraq, We Must Fund Education, Police And Firefighters!

Democratic Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa is promoting a supplemental funding bill for $23 billion to save the jobs of educators all over the country.

Also, $1 billion each is being set aside for police and firefighters, and an additional $1 billion for early childhood education.

The Obama Administration and Education Secretary Arne Duncan are fully backing this move, and Obama has reminded people that if we had listened to the opposition, we would be in a much deeper economic downturn than we have been!

Critics are saying we cannot afford these expenditures to save jobs and provide a decent education, and promote public safety!

Well, if we can afford to spend billions upon billions on wars in Afghanistan and Iraq–nearly $1 trillion combined since the wars began in 2001 and 2003–then we simply MUST find a way to save jobs and promote a quality of life domestically!

This is NOT frivolous spending on unimportant matters! It is the lifeblood of communities all over the country, and will prevent more unemployment, which would help to provoke an economic downturn just as we are emerging from the deep recession we have been in for the past two and a half years!

Further federal stimulus is ESSENTIAL, not optional! And if conservatives and Republicans don’t like it, well, tough it out, gentlemen! 🙁