Elizabeth Warren Speaks

As presidential candidates scramble to win Iowa, Senator Elizabeth Warren, in this opinion piece in the New York Times, reminds voters why the choice is so important.

Click “For whom does the government work? Presidents decide.”

Lecherous Old Uncle Sam

Video

There is nothing quite like sexual brutality and fear to scare people to death.

In this TV ad a lecherous, sadistic, evil Uncle Sam substitutes himself for the doctors for a young women’s gynecological exam and a young man’s annual prostate exam. This is the definition of demagoguery. When and where will the Right Wing stop? The actual name for “Obamacare” is The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It was enacted by Congress after many compromises. Demagoguery is leading the populace, in this case the American public, by appealing to prejudices and emotions.

You should be ashamed of yourself!

Ever want to say OUT LOUD how you REALLY FEEL and why … without self-censorship?

Carolyn sent this to every Senator who voted against “gun safety” in the U.S. Senate.

Gun SAFETY

The Second Amendment to the Constitution was written by men whose notion of “gun” was a musket needing reloading after each shot.

With your recent votes on gun safety, you represented the interests of manufacturers of guns and ammunition, and voted against the safety of Americans, as well as against the expressed wish of 84% of us. You also spit on 26 graves in Newtown, CT, and on those of many, many thousands of other victims of gun violence.

You put forth high sounding phrases, and tell lies about the effects of the bills, but we know that your sole motivation was and is to keep collecting legalized but still immoral bribes from the gun manufacturers and to keep the votes of those few Americans who either think serious differences of opinions are best resolved by violence or threats of violence, or the subcategory who think they some day may need to solve differences of opinion with our democratically elected government by armed insurrection — that is, treason.

To be sure, very many (not all) Senators bury their dead consciences before taking the oath of office, and you are clearly one of the many who did. Therefore it behooves me to remind you that you should be heartily ashamed of yourself.

Carolyn and I went to Kindergarten together. Our families were closest of friends. She is now retired from the University of Pennsylvania Music Library, well-versed in the do’s and don’ts of ascribing motives. Carolyn is also VERY polite; her speech is routinely moderate and carefully considered, but she decided on this one to throw caution to the wind.

“I’m certain it changed no minds,” said Carolyn’s email to me, “but it was a relief to me somehow to ‘tell them off.’

“I sometimes quarrel with myself about things in it like ascribing motive — “…we know…”. But it certainly is how I feel. …[T]hen I reassure myself — there are many who make the same assumption. What’s more, I think it is a fair one.”

When you look at the fact that the 45 U.S. Senators who voted against “gun safety” received in excess of $8,000,000 in campaign contributions from the NRA and gun manufacturers, it’s hard not to go where Carolyn went. These Senators know that the Second Amendment would not have been breached by the bill sponsored by their two courageous Senate colleagues who chose to do the right thing despite their A ratings from the NRA.

“Say the word ‘freedom'”

When the political campaigns speak of ‘freedom,’ listen with care

Gordon C. Stewart, published By MPR, aired on “All Things Considered”, August 31, 2011 Click LISTEN┬áto hear the commentary on Minnesota Publc Radio.

My hearing continues to get worse. In the sound-proof booth of the hearing test, the audiologist asks me to repeat the words I hear…

“Say the word ‘good’.”

“Wood.”

“Say the word ‘cold’.”

“Hold.”

“Say the word ‘gold’.”

“Goal.”

It’s not easy inheriting my mother’s hearing loss. Getting the words wrong often separates me from normal conversation.

But it also has its advantages. I listen more carefully, and the world of silence brings me to a deeper reflection about the words we hear every day.

I’ve begun to listen more carefully when the word “freedom” is used.

“Say the word ‘free.'”

“Free,” we say. And something deep within us hears the national anthem: Land of the free, and the home of the brave.

We Americans love freedom.

Future anthropologists will likely observe that freedom was the most treasured word in the American vocabulary. It is the most powerful word in our language.

No one understands this better than the handlers of political candidates. They know that the word evokes an unspoken reverence, and that perceived threats to freedom alarm us and cause us to get back in the ranks of freedom’s faithful. They know the nature of language and of word association.

“Say the word ‘freedom’,” they say.

“Democracy.”

“Say the word ‘regulation’.”

“Socialist.”

“Say the word ‘socialist’.”

“Un-American.”

“Say the word ‘government’.”

“Enemy.”

“Say the word ‘American’.”

“Free.”

Freedom stands alone in the American pantheon.

Ironically, in the hands of the unscrupulous, the word we associate with individual liberty can cause a collective stampede. It calls us from grazing freely in the pasture to joining a mindless herd.

We don’t like heresy; we’re afraid of being heretics.

My hearing will continue to get worse. It will take me into a world of increasing silence. In a way, I wish the same for the rest of my countrymen. We could all use some time away from the word-association games.

When we hear the word “freedom,” we should be free to listen carefully and understand it for ourselves.