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Government by the Rich: Is This the American Dream? PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by John W. Whitehead   
Tuesday, 05 April 2011 14:40
“It’s called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.” – George Carlin

“There’s a reason education sucks, and it’s the same reason it will never, ever, ever be fixed,” said comedian/social commentator George Carlin in 2005. That’s because, according to Carlin, “the owners of this country don’t want that.” And by owners, he’s referring to the wealthy who “own everything.” Warming to his rant on the American Dream, Carlin continued:

“They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the statehouses, the city halls. They’ve got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying – lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else.”

If things keep progressing as they have been, however, there won’t be much left for the rest of us in terms of wealth, power, or resources. As it now stands, the upper 1 percent of Americans already control 40 percent of the nation’s wealth and take in nearly a quarter of the nation’s income. Included among these very rich and powerful are mega-corporations such as General Electric that manage to rake in obscene profits while paying little to nothing in taxes. For instance, despite pulling in more than $14 billion in 2010, GE not only paid no taxes, but it also managed to claim more than $3 billion in government tax credits. All the while, more and more Americans are struggling to find jobs, keep jobs, and stop the banks from foreclosing on their homes.

 
Mississippi River Flooding: Holding Back the Water PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by Lillian Voss   
Wednesday, 23 March 2011 12:27

I am Lillian Voss, and I am 94 years old. I have lived at 4336 South Concord Street in Davenport for nearly 60 years. My house was built above the 100-year flood plain. We experienced all the major flooding along the Mississippi River these past years. My late husband, who died in 1994, fought very hard against the tactics of the Corps of Engineers regarding the water levels of the Mississippi River. With this new threat of major flooding and after reading the article in the Quad-City Times titled “River’s High Level Is a Natural One”, I feel I must come forward and again try to expose the tactics of the Corps of Engineers.

Do you realize the Corps of Engineers holds back the water on the Mississippi to artificially raise the river level to nine feet so that the barge traffic can operate efficiently? In holding back this water and not allowing it to escape, the river level is not far from the flood stage when the spring thawing begins in the upper Mississippi valley. This high level of water on the Mississippi makes the flooding in the spring considerably worse. Each spring when a flood is predicted along the Mississippi, I have a friend call the Corps of Engineers to ask them to fully open the dams to allow the water to flow freely and naturally. Each time I would ask, they would claim it would not make any difference if they did open the dams. Anyone could see that if you open the dams and allow the water to escape down the river, the water level would drastically drop. This would allow a cushion for drainage for the water coming down the river as the snow melts and the rains fall.

[Just Added: The Army Corps of Engineers' Jim Steinman with WOC's Dan Kennedy - March 25, 2011. Listen to 7 minute interview at the end of Lillian Voss' commentary, below.]

 
Is QE3 Ahead? PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.   
Monday, 21 March 2011 13:43

Austrian School economists have often explained the business cycle using the metaphor of liquor or drugs. The expansion of paper money and credit gives a sense of exuberance, an economic high that leads to excessive risk-taking and ballooning production. But it can’t be sustained. There is a morning after.

Then what? There is a choice: more drugs and liquor or sobriety. Sadly, the economy – meaning the choices made by you, me, and billions of others – is not permitted to make the choice. It is made for us by our lords and masters in Washington. Here are the meth dealers. Guess what choice they make.

 
The Debt-Ceiling Dance and the Annual Budget Ritual PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by Mark W. Hendrickson   
Monday, 07 March 2011 09:28

Once again it’s time to talk about raising the statutory limit on the U.S. government’s debt – the so-called “debt ceiling.” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has estimated that Uncle Sam will reach the debt ceiling before Tax Day, possibly even before the end of March.

Even earlier, on March 18 to be precise, the current two-week appropriations resolution that is funding government spending will expire.

Are these two stories giving you a sense of déjà vu? They should. These two closely related issues are perennial events. Congress has raised the debt ceiling 74 times in the past 70 years, and, of course, passing an annual budget is necessarily an annual event.

 
Alford V. Greene: Are We Really Mere Creatures of the State? PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by John W. Whitehead   
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 10:30
The child is not the mere creature of the state.” – United States Supreme Court, Pierce V. Society of Sisters

Not only is Alford V. Greene the first major case involving child protective services to go before the U.S. Supreme Court in 21 years, but it is also one of the most important parents’ rights cases ever to reach the court. If it goes the right way – i.e., to bolster parents’ rights – it will mean that state agents will have to obtain a court order to question a child at school. If it goes the wrong way, however – which the Obama administration is advocating, along with 40 state attorneys general, law-enforcement agencies, social workers, prosecutors, and defense attorneys – it will be a serious blow to parental rights as well as the rights of children in the public schools.

The particulars of the case are egregious enough, but they pale in comparison to the government’s effrontery in insisting that parents essentially forfeit their rights when they send their children to a public school.

 
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