Tag Archives: George Bush

Gotcha: The Story About The Nobel Prize Was A Hoax

11401131_429377003917209_8758011264985820194_nIn the interest of integrity I was compelled to speak to this issue that was misleading and untrue. A few days ago, I posted an article originally reported by the National Report titled Obama to get a second Nobel Peace Prize.

What I did was take a page out of the Muhammad Ali story where he said, “love him or hate him” all eyes are on him. I assume it would spark controversy. However, to my surprise it provoked outrage and racial animist of biblical proportions. Now, let me say for the record, I did go to the Nobel Prize website and knew it was NOT TRUE, but it did produce the kind of outrage from white folk that I did not expect. One woman compared me to Reverend Wright.

There were remarks like “Damn shame”, “coon did not deserve the first one”, “I have no respect for the peace prize organization anymore” but my favorite was “he is the worst president ever”!  It was at this point that I had a flashback, going back to about ten years ago, when George Bush was president and wondered WTF! How soon they forget, this man is listed in the bottom five of all presidents, and there are some countries that have arrests warrants out for him for war crimes. What I discovered from posting this piece, even though, I correctly sited the source and knew the site is known for being a satirical site, white America is as racist as the day they stole the country.

Maybe I was caught up in wishful thinking because if anybody deserves the prize is Obama. I got over a hundred thousand (100,000) hits on that piece and if nothing else got a lot of traffic to my site. Let me say, the bigoted and hateful comments did not bother me at all; I’ll just say thank you for visiting! But I would be remised if I did not thank you because this piece put Thought Provoking Perspectives over the one million views for the year!

Now to the bigot who said President Obama is the worst president ever I’ll simply ask her to think about this? I will tell you about history that I know to be true and not that history you folks have agreed to tell.

Let me start with Johnson, he was about to be charged criminally prior to assuming the office and he took America into the second worst war (Vietnam) in the history of the country. Then came Nixon the crook, he resigned over corruption charges, and so did his vice president. Ford was only a place hold and did absolutely nothing during his term. Carter tried, but the racists and the big money people did not let him. What can I say about Reagan, 138 members of his administration were indicted, investigated, charged criminally or served prison time. Also, his administration was caught bring cocaine into America – Iran/Contra – remember that? Papa Bush had not appreciable accomplishments except, he took America to war for the benefit of Saudi Arabia.

Democrat Clinton, who some called the first black president, laughable, was responsible for the largest mass incarceration of black men in the country’s history. Finally, there was the one before Obama, George W, the one they forget. He took the country to the brink of financial ruin, started the worst two wars in our history, tortured people, and violated all most every international law on the books. Oh, can’t forget Katrina! One could pick any of these guys as the worst. Obama has not had anyone indicted or suspected of a crime to date – a real crime but they tried!

Now, for all the vial treatment this president gets he should get a Nobel Prize. The problem is this: since the Dred Scott Decision was codified into law by the Supreme Court back in the 1850’s that said, “No black man shall have no rights that a white man is bound to respect”. Today, some one-hundred fifty plus years late, president or not, the same rings true. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

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IMAGINE

QU601ImagineJohnLennonI can recall a song written by John Lennon, who in my opinion had a depth that few men dared to explore. He caused me to “Imagine”. When you do open your mind you can realize possibilities. A wise man once told me that faith is believing what is unseen to be true. I have always imagined that people could live in peace and the world could live as one. No pain, no sorry, no racism, and above all “study war no more”.

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace

You, you may say
I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world

You, you may say
I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

And that’s my message and Thought Provoking Perspective…

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Our Continued Existence

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I have written thousands of articles and a few books with the intent to empower minds with the hope of enlightening the consciousness of mankind. For those who follow my words you know I firmly believe education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize those forces that breed poverty and despair. It is the opposition to the system of survival that has been intent on making sure education is limited and poverty in considerable.

 It was the Englishman Francis Beacon, who is credited with being the first to record the phase “knowledge is power”. I am probably not as intelligent as he but I say “knowing what to do with that knowledge is where the power of your strength rest”.

I recently had what you might call an epiphany. I was being interviewed on a radio show for a segment called “For Women Only”. As the conversation progressed, we talked about Big Mamma, the community, the children, and African American issues. For clarity, most refer to their community as a “Hood”. What is a hood? A hood is something you “hide”. So, if “it takes a village”, we must empower the community, that have become non-existent or at least hidden, to rise from its designed despair.

After making that remark the host asked, “what happened to us and John, what can we do to make it right”. If I recall I responded with an answer, something like, it was televisions fault. While in my mind I was feeling the power of the question, which really gave me a chill thinking about the question. “What Happened?”

I will start with the first question, which is sure to be a Cosby moment for many. What happened was us? After the scam called integration, we began to believe we were accepted as equal citizens of these United States. For many African Americans, we forgot about one another partaking in the false reality of assimilation and followed white flight running from our communities. We allowed anyone to come into our community, setup shops, we stopped supporting our own businesses, and let our dollars, some say is nearly a trillion annually, go elsewhere. But the biggest problem was we STOPPED PARENTING!

The institutional aspects are systemic. The unemployment rate is double for blacks than for whites, we’ve lost more homes to foreclosure than whites and we’ve lost more wealth than whites”. To any reasonable person this is not equal! If we had listen to the great minds like Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Dubois told us how to build our community. Marcus Garvey told us how to be self-sufficient and to take care of our own needs. Elijah Muhammad taught us how to carry ourselves with dignity and respect. Dr. King gave us faith and Brother Malcolm told us to do it by “Any Means Necessary!

With that said, I have been troubled, as I am sure many of you as well and struggled with the second question, which was what do we do. We are the most religious people on earth; we marched, prayed, and wait for Jesus to come to our rescue.  I hope you feel my passion here, as tears flow, and it hurts to say this but the problem rests with the person you look at each day in the mirror.

People we are still in slavery, mentally, slaves to our debt, and in slaved within the jails and prisons systems. Now, Ray Charles can see – through death and imprisonment we are becoming extinct! Add to that black women have forgotten and in many cases have no desire for black men as the image of her man has been destroyed. The reality is this: if there are no black men to procreate – we all die!

Maybe the answer to the second question is to be the people we were created to be and when you look in the mirror each day; ask yourself what have you done to benefit someone or the world. You have a choice to live or die, yet more important to continue the species. If not now “when”? If not “YOU”, then who! Well I’ll tell you – “us”! Why, because we are the keepers of the faith.

Therefore, we can change the world but first we must change ourselves! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

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The One And Only

lenaLena Horne, the electrifying beauty and uncompromising performer, shattered racial boundaries by changing the way Hollywood presented black women for six-decades through a singing career on stage, television and in films.

She is best described in her own words saying “my identity was clear because I no longer have to be a ‘credit,’ I don’t have to be a ‘symbol’ to anybody. I don’t have to be a ‘first’ to anybody. I don’t have to be an imitation of a white woman that Hollywood sort of hoped I’d become. I’m me, and I’m like nobody else.”

Lena Mary Calhoun Horne was born June 30, 1917, in Brooklyn, N.Y. Her father was a civil servant and gambler who largely abandoned the family. Her mother, an actress, was largely absent from Ms. Horne’s early life because of work on the black theater circuit. Shifted at first among friends and relatives, Ms. Horne was raised mostly by her maternal grandmother, a stern social worker and suffragette in Bedford-Stuyvesant; then a middle-class Brooklyn neighborhood. Ms. Horne said she was influenced by her grandmother’s “polite ferocity.”

She was the first black woman to sign a meaningful long-term contract with a major studio, a contract that said she would never have to play a maid. This single act transformed the image of the African American woman in Hollywood. As film historian Donald Bogle said, “Movies are a powerful medium and always depicted African American women before Lena Horne as hefty, mammy-like maids who were ditzy and giggling… Lena Horne becomes the first one the studios begin to look at differently… Really just by being there, being composed and onscreen with her dignity intact paved the way for a new day” for black actresses.

Her reputation in Hollywood rested on a handful of classic musical films. Among the best were two all-black musicals from 1943: “Cabin in the Sky,” as a small-town temptress who pursues Eddie “Rochester” Anderson; and “Stormy Weather,” in which she played a career-obsessed singer opposite Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. She shared billing with hugely famous white entertainers such as Gene Kelly, Lucille Ball, Mickey Rooney and Red Skelton but was segregated onscreen so producers could clip out her singing when the movies ran in the South.

Metro Goldwyn Mayer studios featured Ms. Horne in movies and advertisements as glamorously as white beauties including Hedy Lamarr, Rita Hayworth and Betty Grable. James Gavin, who has written a biography of Ms. Horne, said: “Given the horrible restrictions of the time, MGM bent over backward to do everything they could. After MGM, she was an international star, and that made her later career possible, made her a superstar.”

Ms. Horne appeared on television and at major concerts halls in New York, London and Paris. She starred on Broadway twice, and her 1981 revue, “Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music,” set the standard for the one-person musical show, reviewers said. The performance also netted her a special Tony Award and two Grammy Awards. She was formidable and the first black cabaret star for white society.

As a songstress her repertoire consisted of sophisticated ballads of Cole Porter, George and Ira Gershwin, Frank Loesser and Billy Strayhorn. She loved the music but also said she liked surprising the white audience who expected black entertainers to sing hot jazz or blues and dance wildly. In her singing, Ms. Horne showed great range and could convincingly shift between jazz, blues and cabaret ballads. New Yorker jazz writer Whitney Balliett praised her “sense of dynamics that allowed her to whisper and wheedle and shout.”

In 1963, Ms. Horne appeared at the civil rights March on Washington with Harry Belafonte and Dick Gregory and was part of a group, which included authors James Baldwin and Lorraine Hansberry that met with Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy to urge a more active approach to desegregation.

Ms. Horne also used her celebrity to rally front-line civil rights activists in the South and was a fundraiser for civil right groups including the NAACP and the National Council of Negro Women. After the triumph of her 1981 Broadway show, she led an increasingly isolated life in her Manhattan apartment.

Over my lifetime I have seen and known giants who have illuminated the world. No star has shined brighter than “The Horne”. Ms. Horne as you take your rest among the ghost of the greats now belong to the ages. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

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Racism Is Alive

racimHave you asked yourself “What is Racism?” Webster says it is a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities, and racial differences that produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. This does not adequately explain or represent the reality of what we’re witnessing in today’s political and social environments. I believe racism is a misunderstood psychology, and yes there is a psychology to racism, which causes the confusion in the minds of many.

Today we see that racial prejudice or discrimination, which is a prejudicial outlook, action, or treatment is somehow believed to be directed toward people of the dominate race that they’re calling reverse discrimination. Yet, those same people enjoy the wealth built on the backs of those who were truly discriminated against as a result of racism. Case in point, every so many years the Voting Rights Act must be reauthorized so African Americans can have the right to vote. Shouldn’t it be permanent as the founding documents claim that “All men are created equal”!

The legacy of dependency, apathy, and entrenchment of the American social order from the beginning provides clear evidence of its diabolical intent to bankrupt the souls of African Americans based on an ideology of supremacy. We are the descendents of stolen souls who bear the burden of a system that perpetrated, in the name of God, the greatest crime known to man. Hence, from the beginning, people of African descent were intended to be a nation of people living within a nation without a nationality.

~ “Law and Order” music plays ~

I read an article, “When Racists Speak Their Unspoken Truths” by Anthony Asadullah Samad, Ph.D., who made a statement that speaks loudly to this issue. “It’s what racists claimed for 235 years that American society is about rights (mainly theirs, everybody else’s can be stepped on) and not about race. It’s why racists wore hoods and sheets in public, and why their powerful societies that controlled political and economic affairs were always secret. The less you know about what they think, the less you can respond to how they think, even though the social, political and economic outcomes will tell you what they think.” It seems that those who claim racism, or not, are active participants in the continuance of this ideology and (in their minds) think they are now subjected to it.

I think we should understand the sub-text of what we are seeing today, at least from a power and political perspective. Let look at, for example, the strategic effort to marginalize a black President, which is consistent with the Republican Party’s objective of marginalizing the Democratic Party because of its large minority support. Now just like back in the days of segregation, its staunchest supporters were Southerners, Mid-Westerners and poor whites, and those people of that mindset didn’t vote for President Obama anyway. They are probably in a state of shock because much of the country overcame their racial insensibilities to elect a black President in the first place. We see how far and deep racism is within certain elements of society as a result.

African American’s, and other minorities, must understand that many blacks still bear the scars of a despicable history and the untreated wounds of our forefather’s bondage. As you have traveled with me though my chronicles, my purpose is to simply offer explanations causing people to look at and understand the root cause of the asymptomatic behaviors, and that this is the result of conditioning by a system that never viewed us as equal.

This intolerance or behavior was never unlearned and have been passed down from generation to generation. Over my relatively short lifetime, I have been referred to as Colored, Negro, Afro-American, Black, African American, and worst. All were polite terms assigned to make known that people who of color were not American citizens. Remember the statement in the country’s blueprint that says clearly “3/5 a man” and did not mention women at all.

The concept of African Americans being slaves, physically or mentally, is as old as the nation itself, designed to deprive a people of its culture and knowledge through sustained policies of control. To include the age old practice, that has been very effective, “divide and conquer” because this form of thinking has one purpose; the system is designed to protect the system. Therefore, when you look at the facts of what we have experienced and what they imply relating to this new phenomenon is as far apart as the vastness of the universe.

As tenacious beings, we must understand that there is no such thing as an inferior mind unless you listen to the untruth. To overcome these indignities we must realize that education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize the forces that breed poverty and despair. So I say it’s time for an awakening, if for no other reason than to honor those who sacrificed so much in order that we could live life in abundance. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

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Christians with Pervasive Issues

book coverAbout The Book

Even as a faithful Christian, there may be times when you feel that there is no hope of escaping issues and themes in your life that ensnare and trip you up time and time again. When a certain pattern of behavior or type of suffering has been following you all your life, it’s hard to believe that you can ever escape from it. Christians with Pervasive Issues shows us that every child of God can be delivered from issues that cause them to be a victim, rather than walking in victory. In compassionate, no-nonsense language, Annie Brown demonstrates that with genuine repentance, using God’s principles, and the right counseling/support, you can overcome anything. Christians with Pervasive Issues gives you the ray of hope you need in order to heal your life, and get closer to God.

About The Author

photoAnnie Brown is the mother of four adult children, five grandchildren, and one great grandchild. She is a licensed minister and social worker. As a social worker, Annie works the terminally ill, providing emotional support at the most critical time in an individual’s life. It is Annie’s desire that Christians work through their pervasive issues before the end of life, so that the transition between death and eternity can be smooth, and not cluttered with unresolved conflicts.

The Meaning of Pervasive Issues

I WAS GETTING ready for work and suddenly the words “Pervasive Issues” were dropped into my spirit. Can you imagine someone who is not normally a morning person having something so important to deal with? I could not even think of the meaning of “pervasive,” so I could not comprehend what was being said to me. I went on to work, but it did not leave me. I shared what had been dropped into my spirit with my co-worker who is an encourager. He gave me a push to pursue the message the Spirit was conveying, and to understand what God wanted me to write. I could not begin until I did some preliminary homework. I had to figure out what part of speech that “pervasive” was. “Pervasive” is an adjective, which served as a modifier to the noun (issue). Merriam-Webster Dictionary defined it as “spreading through every part.” If an issue is pervasive, it permeates the whole of something. Pervasive issues need to be dealt with within the Body of Christ.

Book Excerpt

A Remedy to Get to the Root of the Problem

WHAT IS NEEDED is that the people of God “must” clean out their secret compartments and confess that they need the Lord to deliver them. Confession is made unto salvation (deliverance). If we confess our faults, the Lord is faithful in forgiving us. You may ask, “Why do I have to confess if I was not responsible for what happened to me?”

The issue then becomes whether you have forgiven the person that caused me this harm. If there is no forgiveness, then you become a victim twice: a victim of circumstance, and a victim of bondage. This can be in some ways more dangerous than cancer. This will always be eating away at you. With cancer, at least you know what is going on in your body. Being a victim of circumstance and having an unforgiving heart bring torment. This torment becomes a part of you in such a way that it eats through your mind, destroys your inner peace, and puts your soul in jeopardy because it becomes a heart matter of sin.

Recognizing There Is a Need

EVERY INDIVIDUAL IN the Body of Christ has strengths and needs. Most times the two words strength and weakness are used to describe parts of your abilities to cope. I like the word needs instead of weakness, because weakness denotes that I just cannot help it.

However, the word need helps me to understand that I am insufficient within myself to furnish the supply. In other words, I don’t have what it takes to get this matter taken care of and I “need” help. Help, Lord! The Word of God has declared that God will supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory. Denying our helplessness and unwillingness to take the need to God only prolongs getting deliverance and healing. The Lord revealed that the Body of Christ was compared to harvest time when it is gone and the people are left in dire need.

Let us look at Jeremiah 8:20, which stated, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved [delivered].”

Connect with the Author

Email Address: aclara2002@yahoo.com
Website www.outskirtspress.com/christianswithpervasiveissues
Facebook link

Order a copy

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Christians-with-Pervasive-Issues-ebook/dp/B005IAAPMK/ref=dp_kinw_strp_1

Outskirts Press: http://outskirtspress.com/webpage.php?ISBN=9781432775766

Tour Schedule: Write Now Literary Virtual Book Tour http://wnlbooktours.com/annie-brown/

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The Snake

sMy Granddaddy would tell me fascinating stories designed to develop and guide me into manhood. In fact, he would specifically use the phrase: “I raised you to be a man and as a man, you don’t know what you may have to do but when the time comes, you do it.” I heard this that even today it brings a warm smile – “when I have to do it”. He said it so often throughout my youth that to me it was more like a commandment.

I loved Granddaddy more than life itself. I knew, even then, his teachings were an inspired declaration of his celestial will or more simply put – his vision that shaped my destiny defining my purpose. Pop’s would teach me lessons, often times, like an Aesop Fables to make me think and it was my job to figure out the moral of the story.

This is my favorite:

The way the story was told to me, Granddaddy’s friend, Mr. Bob whose job was to offer a prayer every Sunday morning at church during the service prior to the preacher’s sermon, a job he had held for years. Sunday was a special day for the community, and for him to have a position where he would have the attention of everyone was a big deal. More accurately stated it was a platform for him to perform. He would have been a great entertainer.

Mr. Bob would walk to church every Sunday morning, rain or shine, from his home. The trip was several miles up and down hills and around curves, and he would be dressed in his best suit for the morning service. During the walk he would practice his part for the service, the prayer, with the intention of making it a show complete with screams and tears. This show would sometimes last thirty minutes. There were many Sundays one would wonder how one man could have so much to ask of the Lord and maybe say, please, let somebody else get a blessing.

On his way to church this particular Sunday, Mr. Bob came across an injured snake. In what he perceived as divine intervention, God said to him, help this poor creature. He realized he did not have a prayer for that day’s service, so he thought, wow, if I help the snake I can pray for us to have the strength to help all of God’s creatures. Since the snake is the lowliest of all creatures, this would really inspire the congregation and hopefully give them the encouragement to do the same at least until next Sunday’s message. So he picked up the badly injured snake and placed him in a safe place until he could return from church.

With great energy, and now inspired, Mr. Bob went on his way. He planned and practiced his prayer as he marched on to church. After he arrived and exchanged a few greetings, the service began with a joyful noise, as they say, meaning full of song. Then it was his turn to pray. He began to pray with a powerful tone, full of emotion. He asked God to give each person within the sound of his voice the strength to reach out and help all God’s creatures, from the loving dove to the lowly snake. His message had many in the tiny church standing with shouts of Amen. He felt he had done his job as he closed, asking God to bless the church and said Amen. In his usual style this took about a half hour.

To his surprise, the pastor also chose a sermon nearly identical to his message which took about another hour and a half, talking about helping all of God’s creatures. What a great day it was, Mr. Bob thought. Normally after the service ended everyone hung around and fellowshipped as it was one of the few chances they had to socialize. Mr. Bob would not hang around on this day – he had a mission and left church in a hurry. He rushed back to the spot where his injured snake was placed hoping it would still be there. He was very excited when he arrived to find it was where he left it. He put his snake in a burlap bag he had gotten from the church and took the snake home.

Over the next several weeks Mr. Bob cared for this creature, desperately trying to save the snake and nursing it back to health. About three weeks later he thought it was time to take his snake back to where he found it, thinking it was well enough to be set free. The following Sunday, he put on his best suit and started his journey to church with snake in hand. As he arrived at the spot where he had found it, he thought, what a wonderful thing he had done. He was sure to receive God’s blessing for this act of kindness.

He rubbed the snake gently and said goodbye. However, when he reached into the bag to grab it, suddenly the snake raised his head and bit him. Then bit him again and again. Mr. Bob cried out, “Why would you bite me after all I’ve done for you? My God why?” I guess he was expecting an answer from God, but none came. He repeated his cry once more. Then the snake stuck his head out of the bag and said, “I am a snake and that’s what we do.”After hearing this story over and over again, I finally figured out what it meant. It was a lesson that would prove to be invaluable.

Be careful in your dealings with people because people, just like the snake, will hurt you – that’s what they do. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

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His-Story: The Bush Library

amd-bush-pet-goat-jpgHistory has repeatedly shown that, as it is written, it is generally a pack of lies. Well “W” is in the spotlight as he gets to reinvent a narrative to reflect his presidency. This is always a good thing, if there was something positive or meaningful to say. I seriously doubt there will be anything that reflects what most of us view as a disaster. The first clue was choosing “Shooter” as Vice President!

In my view there were several issues or failures of his two terms as president. One was the lasting image of his continuing to read a picture book to grade-schoolers after his top aides told him that the World Trade Center’s had been attacked on 9/11. The second thing that stands out is his response to hurricane Katrina. Can’t you still see him smiling as he looked out of the window of Air Force One during his “fly-bye” or over of New Orleans and when he finally showed-up all the heaping praise he gave Brownie for doing a “heck of a job”?

I understand that history is written by the victors and long after those who witnessed the events are dead – the story will change and a very different rendition will be installed. We should have known his presidency would be a disaster from the very start when he stole the election. He came into office with a sizeable surplus and left America with the worst financial crisis since the 1930s. Of course we should remember “No Child Left Behind” where every child was left behind.

On his watch the worst attack ever on American soil occurred which caused him to take us into two unfunded wars where we are still fighting ten years later. Not to mention all of the deaths and carnage from them during his reign. Surely we cannot forget the “tax cuts” for the rich. He is in most circles known as the biggest spender of any president. Ok, just hold on I am going to get to something good!

Here is the good part: it is much easier to honor, respect and even like the man — now that he’s no longer in the White House. The other good thing is that his presidency will fall behind Nixon and Andrew Johnson who distinctively said, “”This is a country for white men, and by God, as long as I am President, it shall be a government for white men.” — Andrew Johnson, 1866

Many will remember Bush as a contender for the “worst president ever”. More might argue that he more aptly deserves a multi-million-dollar prison cell for a litany of war crimes and not a structure filled with misgivings, he calls a presidential library. With this he can now say “Mission Accomplished”. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

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A Day that Will Live in Infamy

It has been ten years since the attacks upon America’s homeland and a day that will live in infamy, which has become known as 9/11. I can remember that day as if it was yesterday. To be honest, I can only come up with two words to describe my feelings – “Shocking and Horrifying”. I would like to take this moment to send my heartfelt sympathy to all who have suffered, still suffer, and died.

A few days ago I watched a documentary that cause me to think about what those terror attacks by Al Qaeda were meant to do, and did to the soul of America. Then I began to wondered if Osama bin Laden realized what those attacks that morning would do to the nation. It brought about George Bush’s immediate response to the attacks that in many ways compromised America’s basic principles, undermined its economy, and weakened its security.

The attack on Afghanistan that followed the 9/11 attacks was understandable, but the subsequent invasion of Iraq was entirely unconnected to Al Qaeda, which has been proven as there has been no evidence that bin Laden ever entered the country. Although the last administration tried to establish such a link. In my opinion it was a war of choice that quickly became very expensive to the order of more than $60 billion, which was claimed at the beginning and a war of incompetence coupled with dishonest misrepresentation.

Some have calculated a conservative tally at more than $3-5 trillion, which I believe to be a low ball figure and another lie. When you consider that it’s been ten years and 50% of returning troops eligible to receive some level of disability payment and more than 600,000 treated so far in veterans’ medical facilities. Adding that some estimate that future disability payments and health-care costs will total $600-900 billion. This is not to forget the human cost of our brave soldiers who die or commit suicides that have topped topped 18 per day in recent years, not to mention family breakups that no one can calculate.

I cannot forgive Bush or anyone in his administration for taking America to war and I’m sure not many sane people can either for this war created on false pretenses and for misrepresenting the cost of the venture. If you really think about it there was no excuse for how those crooks chose to finance it. This was the first war in history paid for entirely on credit while deficits soared as a result of his 2001 tax cut. But they did it anyway and passed yet another round of tax “relief” for the wealthy.

Today as the Republicans who joined him are focused on unemployment and the deficit. The deficit they created as a result of the wars. Both of which are threats to America’s future and has worsened America’s reputation around the world. Let’s be clear, the increased defense spending and the tax cuts is a key reason why America went from a fiscal surplus of 2% of GDP under Clinton to its parlous deficit and debt position today. Direct government spending on those wars so far amounts to roughly $2 trillion – $17,000 for every US household – with bills yet to be received increasing this amount by more than 50%.

Let us also remember that then, as now, disruption in the Middle East led to higher oil prices, forcing Americans to spend money on oil imports that they otherwise could have spent buying goods produced in the US. But then the US Federal Reserve hid these weaknesses by engineering a housing bubble that led to a consumption boom. It will take years to overcome the excessive indebtedness and real-estate overhang that resulted.

Ironically, the wars have undermined America’s security, again in ways that bin Laden could not have imagined. An unpopular war would have made military recruitment difficult in any circumstances. But, as Bush tried to deceive America about the wars’ costs, he underfunded the troops, refusing even basic expenditures. Like, for example, armored and mine-resistant vehicles needed to protect American lives, or for adequate health care for returning veterans. A US court recently ruled that veterans’ rights have been violated. Maybe this is what is meant by “Support the Troops”.

Military overreach has predictably led to nervousness about using military power, and others’ knowledge of this threatens to weaken America’s security as well. But America’s real strength, more than its military and economic power, is its “soft power”. It is moral authority, which has be weakened as the US violated basic human rights like habeas corpus and the right not to be tortured, its longstanding commitment to international law was called into question.

In Afghanistan and Iraq, the US and its allies knew that long-term victory required winning hearts and minds. But just as in the last war America lost mistakes in the early years complicated that already difficult battle. The wars’ collateral damage has been massive and no hearts or minds have been won. There are some who say more than a million Iraqis have died, directly or indirectly, because of this war. According to some studies, at least 137,000 civilians have died violently in Afghanistan and Iraq in the last ten years; among Iraqis alone, there are 1.8 million refugees and 1.7 million internally displaced people.

Not all of the consequences were disastrous. The deficits to which America’s debt-funded wars contributed so mightily are now forcing the US to face the reality of budget constraints. America’s military spending still nearly equals that of the rest of the world combined, two decades after the end of the Cold War. So the idea of a broader Global War on Terrorism was created for only the rich to benefit from and frankly against enemies that don’t exist.

They tell us Al Qaeda is on the run – not conquered. bin Laden is dead and they say many of his cohorts. Are we safer? The argument is that there has not been another attack – very good – but there was no attack before 9/11. The question then that must be asked is; why are we still there? Bring the troops home! That is how you support the troops. The price paid has been enormous and mostly avoidable. The legacy will be with us forever. It is my opinion that if we bring the troops home they can protect us, which is their mission. The best thing all of us can do is say it loud – stop the wars!!!

And that is my THOUGHT PROVOKING PRESECTIVE.

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Tales from the Decider – Pt 2


This story just gets better and better with every detail that emerges. I am talking about the fallacies of “Decision Points”. As I learn more, and read newspaper chippings, about this book which will rank among the greatest stories ever told; I can’t help but wonder if this veiled attempt to soften the affect his reign and its devastations will have on future thinking or at $35 dollars, just a way to get a little pocket change.

America was built on a strong economy that has made the United States the world’s leading power going back to its beginning. This is like one of the founding principles of what the founding father had in mind when they took it and formed, what some call, the Hypocrisy of Democracy. The Decider, in the book, appears not to realize that he was responsible for the Federal debt that will soar in the coming years endangering the country’s prosperity and leadership.

The national debt will overtake the economy itself, increasing our dependence on China and other foreign lenders, draining our resources and reducing the living standards more than we see today. These risks are the result of the last eight years that threaten to turn America into not only a second rate power, but possibly a third world nation. African Americans have understood this as a result of being a nation of people living within a nation searching for a nationality. In short, “second class citizens”. What the Decider did was to impose this dubious distinction upon all Americans, but the rich.

Ok, I will digress.

I read an article today by Ruth Marcus called “Bush’s deficit spinning” in the Washington Post. I was so impressed with it that I want to share pieces of it in this “Thought Provoking Perspective”.

She starts with:

The imaginary but completely delusional: My inner Bush would not regret pushing for the tax cuts. But he would acknowledge – how hard could this be? … Alan Greenspan was right when he suggested a trigger mechanism to cancel the cuts if the promised surplus failed to materialize. If only . . . Like the surplus, my quasi-apologetic chapter evaporated in the face of reality. I read “Decision Points,” and it turns out that Bush is the Edith Piaf of fiscal policy: He regrets nothing.” But he writes, “I took my responsibility to be a good fiscal steward seriously.”

How’s that? Bush chose to go to war, but, unlike any other wartime president, opted to pay the cost entirely with borrowed funds while pressing for additional tax cuts. He laments that he left behind “a serious long-term fiscal problem” of runaway entitlement spending but blames resistance from both parties in Congress – without acknowledging that he added an expensive and unpaid-for new entitlement, the Medicare prescription drug plan.

And those tax cuts. “It was true that tax cuts increase the deficit in the short term,” Bush acknowledges. “But I believed the tax cuts, especially those on capital gains and dividends would stimulate economic growth. The tax revenues from that growth, combined with spending restraint, would help lower the deficit.”

This is cleverer than the usual supply-side formulation but still suffers from the tax-cuts-pay-for-themselves fallacy. Bush’s own chief economic adviser, Gregory Mankiw, has estimated that over the long run, cuts on investment taxes generate enough economic growth to make up only half of lost revenue.

Except Bush’s averages are misleading. For one thing, he cherry-picks his fiscal years. He gives himself credit for the 2001 surplus, 1.3 percent of gross domestic product, even though that course was largely set when he took office. At the other end, Bush takes no responsibility for his piece of the ghastly 2009 deficit, 9.9 percent. Subtracting bailouts and stimulus spending, on the theory that much of the former will be repaid and the latter happened on President Obama’s watch, the 2009 deficit would have totaled 6.8 percent of GDP, the largest since World War II.

More important, the trajectory tells a story that is less kind to Bush. He took office after three years in which Clinton had overseen surpluses. After 2001, Bush presided over seven straight years of deficits.

In short, Bush inherited a budget in healthy shape. He left it in tatters. The faltering economy played a supporting role, but the chief factors were of Bush’s making: his tax cuts, his wars, and his prescription drug bill. Without these, the country would have been running surpluses during his tenure.

I found this article to be filled with reality, thank you Ruth Marcus; I wanted to share this assessment of a reality that I know and understand to be true. This commentary is certainly worthy of my “Thought Provoking Perspective” and how refreshing to know that someone else share my views.

God Bless America…


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