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November 28, 2008

BILL MOYERS: We enjoy receiving your feedback here at the Journal. Here are a few of your comments that have helped us to pause and reflect. Last month, we turned to economist James K. Galbraith to make sense of the bailout on Wall Street.

JAMES GALBRAITH: We have a government which is capable of acting as the lender of last resort, which can borrow and spend as needed to deal with this crisis. So here in the United States the capacity to handle the crisis exists. What we need is a government that's willing to use that capacity that believes in it.

BILL MOYERS: Here's what you had to say.

MARY J. BEDARD: I believe that we need to set and enforce regulations which will protect "the people" from those whose whole purpose seems to be to get rich at the expense of others. We need to have all loopholes closed. The "rascals" responsible for this economic fiasco belong in jail.

GREG: It is amazing to hear Galbraith argue against freedom and the free market. Rather he should argue for more freedom in the market ... Fix that problem . and our economic woes will be solved.

JOHN GRAVES: No economist seems to understand . that the foundation of economic growth is not good credit but good jobs and good wages. Our excessive military power is what keeps the dollar too high, which has sucked good jobs out of the US for decades....a slow and deadly attrition.

BILL MOYERS: And our discussion with writer Roberto Lovato and political analyst Linda Chavez sparked a heated response to the topic of immigration.

LINDA CHAVEZ: I think the whole debate on illegal immigration was largely manufactured. I mean, I wrote columns about this. I think talk radio had a lot to do with it; cable news had a lot to do with it.

ROBERTO LOVATO: I would agree. I think that it is manufactured. But I think it's manufactured in a way to disguise the real problems in our life right now. Who better to blame than a border crossing, illegal alien?

S.H.: Immigration is a complicated issue but many of the reasons people cite in opposition to immigration are based on misinformation.. Too often we only get one side of the issue.

LUCIUS: What jobs will go to illegal immigrants in a Depression when we bona fide citizens will be out of work? .When it gets to the point that we Americans will take ANY job that pays a real wage, then the "problem" of illegal immigration will take care of itself. because this will no longer be "the land of opportunity."

BILL MOYERS: And finally, we talked with filmmaker Mark Johnson who co-directed and produced, "Playing for Change", a documentary about the simple but transformative power of music:

MARK JOHNSON: Well I think music is the one thing that opens the door to bringing people to a place where they are all connected. It is easy to connect to the world through music, you know. Religion, politics, a lot of those things they seem to divide everybody.

MIDGE BIHR: I have been deeply troubled by the bleak state of our economy and the effect it's having on my family. I haven't felt much joy lately. Tonight, . for the first time in a very long time, my heart felt something other than pain and fear. I am uplifted.

ERAN FRAENKEL: I agree wholeheartedly that music inspires positive emotions. But unless those positive emotions then are transformed into positive action, lives unfortunately remain unchanged.. I wish that music could change the world. So far, it hasn't.

CRAIG SPAULDING: We can only begin to solve our collective problems when we make a soul connection which transcends and appreciates difference. Music and art are the seeds for this connection and transformation.

BILL MOYERS: Keep telling us what you think of our broadcast-by mail, email, or on the blog at and we'll keep reading.

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