Looking Left and Right Quote of Note # 64 (B. Obama)

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An observation worth noting … and pondering, from President Obama +:

Inequality also distorts our democracy. It gives an outsized voice to the few who can afford high-priced lobbyists and unlimited campaign contributions, and runs the risk of selling out our democracy to the highest bidder. And it leaves everyone else rightly suspicious that the system in Washington is rigged against them—that our elected representatives aren’t looking out for the interests of most Americans.

I pretend little expertise on our nation’s history or the intricacies of Constitutional interpretation, but I’m fairly confident that our Founding Fathers did not intend this nation to be a plutocracy. I find no evidence that any motto adopted over the years to give voice to our nation’s most basic ideals contains the suggestion that this is and should be nation for and by the wealthy.

Current-day events suggest it is becoming just that. In and of itself this is damaging and dismaying enough. What seems even more troubling is that too many of our fellow citizens are encouraging tactics and policies (or obstruction of same) which will have as an end result the strengthening of a system where money matters most in deciding what’s “best” for all of us.

We might want to consider just what happens when spending cutbacks are insisted upon—cuts which affect none of the few wealthiest but at least a substantial portion of the hundreds of millions of those not in that tiny group. Who wins? Who loses?

Simple questions; profound implication for our future if the answers suggest that we must continue to advocate for the few and not the many.

+ in a speech at Osawatomie, Kansas on December 6, 2011
 
~ My Photo: the “Birdcage” house at Good Harbor Beach, MA – 09.04.05

       ^ Watch for some new features debuting soon at this website:

* THE MIDDLE AGE FOLLIES

This new column began on February 3, 2014. It’s a slightly skewed look at life for those of us on the north side of 50.

* THE TRETIAK AGENDA

A political thriller filled with unexpected plot twists and drawn from real world historical events, this eBook is now available for purchase.

TretiakAgendaEbookCoverFinal copy

You can find it here and here.

Excerpts are available at my website, at the link above.

* LIFE WILL ANSWER

(The inspiration for the other blog at this website). This eBook is scheduled for Publication on March 5, 2014

Excerpts are being posted as of January 15th.

        ^ Looking Left and Right:
          Inspiring Different Ideas, Envisioning Better Tomorrows

Be the change you want in the worldGandhi

This blog is offered to encourage more enlightened public discourse—by sharing observations about the ideologies which motivate our political, economic, and cultural debates. The simple hope: shedding light on current “strategies” will prompt more of us to realize a different approach is at least worth considering … assuming a better future is worth pursuing. (It is!)

The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm, but because
of those who look at it without doing anythingAlbert Einstein

 

Looking Left and Right Quote of Note # 63 (R. Reich)

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An observation worth noting … and pondering, from Robert Reich:

What defines a society is a set of mutual benefits and duties embodied most visibly in public institutions -public schools, public libraries, public transportation, public hospitals, public parks, public museums, public recreation, public universities, and so on.
    Public institutions are supported by all taxpayers, and are available to all. If the tax system is progressive, those who are better off (and who, presumably, have benefited from many of these same public institutions) help pay for everyone else….
    “Privatize” means pay-for-it-yourself. The practical consequence of this in an economy whose wealth and income are now more concentrated than any time in 90 years is to make high-quality public goods available to fewer and fewer.

Why is an appreciation for these observations so contentious? Ideology aside, what reasons can be rationally or honorably offered to suggest that an intelligent and good society does not need or benefit from the public institutions Reich lists above?

In a world where almost unthinkable percentages of income and assets are held by so few, how can anyone reasonably expect that a prosperous future will be available to all but the few? If we are not collectively providing for and supporting these foundational elements which were an intricate and vital part of the nation we’ve built over these past few centuries, what promises does the future hold for the vast majority of citizens?

A question I’ve asked on many occasions here and in other writings, but it’s one whose answer will define and determine much of American life in the decades to come: What kind of nation do we choose to be?

~ My Photo: the great James Taylor – 02.08.07

Next post will be on Wednesday the 26th

 

       ^ Watch for some new features debuting at this website:

* THE MIDDLE AGE FOLLIES

This new column began on February 3, 2014. It’s a slightly skewed look at life for those of us on the north side of 50.

* THE TRETIAK AGENDA

A political thriller filled with unexpected plot twists and drawn from real world historical events, this eBook is now available for purchase

TretiakAgendaEbookCoverFinal copy

You can find it here and here.

Excerpts are available at my website, at the link above.

* LIFE WILL ANSWER

(The inspiration for the other blog at this website). This eBook is scheduled for Publication on March 5, 2014

Excerpts are being posted as of January 15th.

        ^ Looking Left and Right:
          Inspiring Different Ideas, Envisioning Better Tomorrows

Be the change you want in the worldGandhi

This blog is offered to encourage more enlightened public discourse—by sharing observations about the ideologies which motivate our political, economic, and cultural debates. The simple hope: shedding light on current “strategies” will prompt more of us to realize a different approach is at least worth considering … assuming a better future is worth pursuing. (It is!)

The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm, but because
of those who look at it without doing anythingAlbert Einstein

 

Biking

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A Slightly Skewed Look At Life By And For Those Of Us On The North Side Of 50

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In preparation for my 50th birthday, and several days shy of my 49th birthday, I bought a bicycle—specifically, a “mountain” bike. Rumor has it that biking is great exercise, which is absolutely true if you’re in the group of people named Lance Armstrong. Continue reading