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« What Questions Would You Ask of the Presidential Candidates? | Main | Michael Winship: Andrew Bacevich, America and the World »

Andrew Bacevich on the American Dream



We're asking our guests and our viewers what is their vision for the future of the American Dream — and how we can achieve those visions. Andrew Bacevich, Professor of International Relations and retired Army Colonel, appeared on the JOURNAL to talk about the military, the war in Iraq and his new book THE LIMITS OF POWER. More on Andrew Bacevich.
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The future of the American Dream is irrelevant or even worse, an illusion, diversion, or unrealistic fantasy UNLESS we make that dream a Global Dream. No matter how perfect we make our union of 300-plus million individuals, if our goal to dream great things, great times, wonderful lifestyles for ALL inhabitants of this Republic if, in fact, that is ALL that we can dream, then we will have failed ALL of humanity. Yes, we who are Americans, or less insulting to our brothers and sisters in the rest of North and South America, we of the United States, will always be proud of the many wonderful positives of our history and culture, our jazz music, baseball, the Constitution, the first humans to land on another heavenly body, BUT on a fragile, pale blue dot in the immensity of an ever-expanding universe (or multiverse?), our duty increasingly becomes to speak not of our “national” obligations, duties or American Dreams but to speak for Earth itself—for every single ONE of the seven billion inhabitants of this globe. We innately know that nationalism, like all the other isms of the last millennium, despite its positives, is, in the end, counterproductive to the great needs, wants, and necessities of the entire human race. If there IS an American Dream for the New Millennium it MUST be to make our dreams fulfilled for all the inhabitants of this world. No nation lives in a vacuum and with increasingly critical world-impacting problems like Global Warming, the spread of nuclear weapons and WMD, shortages of vital resources like water and food, conflict, disease, environmental degradation, we must embrace common human political, economic, social, and demographic points of agreement and expand those zones incrementally to finally realize the Global Dream as envisioned by American, Western, Eastern, South and North viewpoints—expanded faster and farther than anything envisioned in United Nations forums. Impossible you say. If it is then we better prepare for a Global Nightmare instead—more and deadlier wars and nuclear terrorism as groups, subgroups, and nations fight to the end for every shrinking resource ultimately falling back on the worst weapons available and in effect, destroying what they intended to protect.. We, peoples of the world, have had some successes working together and now those limited experiments and cross-cultural interactions can serve as a springboard to much greater progress. Our Global Dream must start with more safeguarding of our fragile planet and even with this great effort, we must have an insurance policy of a long-term plan to explore and utilize the resources of our entire solar system (and one day other star systems) for the fossil record illustrates that species survival (thanks to such Cosmic threats running the gamut from unpredictable asteroid/comet strikes, nearby supernovae, Gamma Ray Bursts, solar flares, and to other still unknown Cosmic and terrestrial threats (super volcano outbreaks, etc)) is NOT a given. So the American Dream is a quaint anachronism of a time gone by. If that recognition does not come quickly to our Republic as well as to the European Union, Russia, China, the Arab and Persian World, and rest of our outmoded “nation-states,” our species’ survival is problematical at best. John Lennon’s “Imagine” is not mere idealistic fantasy—it is a hint of what is required for long-term human survival and prosperity.

I partially agree with Maria Echaveste because, like her, I believe Americans need to fight to protect the American dream. As a wealthy country, Americans often times expect things to simply be handed to them. I believe that this sense of entitlement has begun to carry over to the expectation of the American dream. I think it is important for Americans to see the American dream as what it originally created for: an aspiration. Americans should see the dream as an inspiration to achieve rather than an award for living in this country. However, I do disagree with her comment that the optimism of the American public has gone down. In fact, recent CVS polls prove that more Americans have hope for our country and the American dream now than did 5 years ago. I believe that Americans need to regain sight of the American dream as a dream rather than an entitlement.

The Real American Dream has always been that "everyone wins, or everyone losts," and we are proving that big time.

The amounts are mostly irrelevant where national inclusion is the economic protection the nation is founded upon. Anything else is intentional discrimination and intentional disparity that Americans cannot tolerate.

My twenty years in the desert of my life 10/18/08
isolated me from the present day.

I have been on a soap box trying to show the working people in this country there was a way to prosper… silly me! Boy, do I feel stupid.

McLaughlin Group – Pat Buchanan states 84% of Americans are against transferring wealth………..

Well the top 14% aren’t and that is why you’re poor. They got theirs and yours and you still think it is possible for you to get yours. The only thing you are going to get is more loans and higher debt that will enslave you to the Top 10% of this country. I think you deserve each other.

It was also pointed out that the rich hate the poor and the poor worship the rich and tell me what sense that makes. Yet my own life proves it is true. All my friends and co-workers always talked about the rich as if they were special and the poor like they were trash.

I am sitting here having to emit that just about everyone in America hates someone for some personal reasons. So, I am the one with egg on his face. The more I look for the good and for a positive change to come out of Capitalism failing the middle and working class, the more I see the upcoming election, Every Representative is up for reelection and the people have the opportunity to vote every last one out and start a new way of life where the working people would have protection…..

I don’t believe the American working people have the courage or self-esteem to change. As long as they have food, sex, drugs, alcohol, entertainment, and a job that is repetitive-meaningless work and oh yes, a source of credit so they can get deeper in debt. That is it, leave us along. Let someone else worry about running things………. So be it.

Any body who thinks they can get rich working an hourly or salary job is as naïve as I was thinking I might help someone find a better life.

Now you can criticize me for failing to understand America or for failing to find a solution and if you want for saying harsh things or giving up on the people.

I am reminded of reading about Buddhism in the late 70’s and it was said that “everything is as it should be” “if the people wanted change they would change” so I have to assume that people are happy with their Government, their Employers, and their Lives.

Forgive me for saying I don’t believe that for a minute. Too much hate, anger, criticism, and self medication with drugs and alcohol consumption.
I may not understand America any more but I still recognize pain.

Bill Moyers, why do you put 5 pages of questions on your web log and not address the answers that the public gives you?

That’s all folks.

I would like to extend my sincere gratitude at the clarity of thought and expression I have found in listening to Andrew Bacevich (as well as Bill Moyers and most of the guests on Journal!).

These issues have resonated very deeply with me esp. since 9/11, because I kept thinking that the terrorists who carried out the attacks "didn't get" what America was founded upon... but I also thought that America, in its pursuit of feeding capitalism, had forgotten the core values within its founding documents.

Growing up in NJ, just across the river from Philadelphia, our school spent an enormous amount of time studying the founding of our country - especially during the bicentennial preparations in 1975-76. Those lessons remain ingrained in me, even when I wade through the mass of today's "media" looking for nuggets of thought.

I comment here, in particular, because I find that Mr. Bacevich calls us back to remember the roots upon which this country was founded.... perhaps, more importantly, he provides a lens through which all can see that sacrifices are necessary to protect those very core ideals our ancestors fought so hard to create and which we have taken for granted.

Thank you for taking the time to think and for your courage in making your voice heard so that we all might rise to our civic duty.

I would like to comment on your August 15th interview with Andrew Bacevich. I pretty much knew he was a conservative before he stated it. But, I agreed with almost everything he said and I am not a conservative. Most conservatives to me sound like dreamers with a loose grip on reality. They also sound selfish. Mr. Bacevich's statements seemed well thought out and nonpolitical. He blamed both sides. It shows to me that gridlock does not have to be the norm in Washington and political differences do not have to stop people from working together.

Over the past few weeks on this page a number of writers have despaired that "both candidates are the same" or "it makes no difference who we vote for."

If one candidate is as good as the other, then the opposite is also true--one is as bad as the other. It follows that Bush is no worse than Kerry. Or Gore. The results are in. First the credit card lenders stole our paychecks with usurious interest rates. Then Wall Street disappeared our life savings by gambling for huge windfalls. BushSpeak is as bad as it gets. Voting for McCain is giving these bad actors a pat on the butt and sending them back out to the field. Please vote against McCain/Palin.

I am a teacher at a small college in Richmond Virginia, teaching, among other things, critical thinking skills. Andrew Basevich epitomizes the essence of critical thinking by separating fact from fiction, truth from fantasy, logic and reasonable from illogic and unreasonable. The fact that he is able to connect the seemingly disparate relationship between foreign policy imperatives to our gluttony at home is a perspective we should all take to heart.

I've shown this interview to several classes and have noticed an epiphany of sorts among the students. Currently I'm reading his book "The Limits of Power" and find his insights have a kind of clarity not seen very often. He's an extraordinary communicator in this medium. He's definitely someone I plan to read more.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

Where Do We Go From Here

I am truly concerned about the future of our country for the first time in my 65 years. The "Limits of Power" program served to crystallize my thoughts. I listen to the candidates of the two major parties and wonder if things will be meaningfully different regardless of who is elected. There are so many things for us to correct that it seems almost useless to try.

But I will say a few words about something that should be a fundamental right -- Health Care. How can people argue so fervently for Right to Life and only see this only as anti-abortion. I believe that we are obliged to give fundamental health care to all or our citizens. This shouldn't be seen to include cosmetic surgery and many other things that are caviar rather than "beans and taters". But we need to develop a system of some sort to care for our neighbors (whether we know them or not). I think this would have to be taxpayer financed and would likely be limited and not cover all needs every year, but we need to try something.

I hear Obama declare that he will provide affordable health insurance at least as good as that available to members of Congress. That sounds great and I think that it's something that we as civilized people have to try.

McCain proposes to give an allowance of up to $5000 per person to pay for privately provided insurance. Whichever of these plans tried, I believe that our next leader should accept no better care than would be offered to any common man covered by whatever health care system is finaly adopted.

A system such as this would not meet all needs and we might need to get a different mindset about treating late life diseases. No one will live forever anyway and in many cases I'm sure that death would be preferable to the life that some are forced to live. We have to see ourselves more as one family and develop a system which will work for the common good.

Prof Bacevich really dumped on the Senate and House leadership for not making the changes hoped for when they "regained control of congress" in 2006. He got away with a cheap shot without having been confronted and forced to admit that with the slim majorities and the hostile climate accross the aisle, Democrats are not able to impose their will, no matter how ferverently they might wish to. Few senators, especially, are safe from infuriated voters. The two Washington senators, for instance, although they ferverently hold to progressive positions, must still consider all Washington voter in order to get reelected to be able to participate when the Democrats regain something like a veto-proof majority so they can really control the debate and produce real change. I thought it was lax of Mr Moyers not to challenge Bacevich on this point. To state, without challenge, that Speaker Pelosi has done nothing to move forward the mandate of the 2006 elections is just plain wrong.

On another subject, manufacturing, as the basis for the economy, was mentioned by Mr Moyers almost as an aside. Let me propose that if domestic manufacturers had anything like the backing that is being showered on the Wall Street traders, we would make the world forget about China and other cheap-labor, off-shore manufacturers.

MANUFACTURING CREATES WEALTH! Everything else is just trading. We need to change the system so that investment in regularly updated manufacturing technology becomes a way of life. Companies need to invest in upgrading the efficiency of their plants, equipment and processes instead of being hamstrung by the insistance of "the markets" that they return a uniform and endlessly increasing profit each quarter. That sort of short horizon thinking is killing us. It has succeeded in driving manufacturing offshore. Example: There was an old, inefficient and monumentally polluting steel mill in Seattle. Faced with an EPA requirement to clean it up, they couldn't compete, closed and liquidated the plant. The Chinese bought the place and moved all the equipment to China to be run by cheap labor. Along with it went the business. So what did we gain. An old, inefficient, polluting steel mill in China killing the Chinese workers who work for nothing and are not protected by reasonable safey and environmental regulations-just so we can get cheaper steel of dubious quality. Had national tax policy fostered upgrading or our industrial base, the same steel could have been produced domestically in an efficient new plant. This situation and others like it were repeated thousands of times in the past 25 years while our manufacturing base has dissolved before our eyes. This is morally indefensible from an American policy perspective. Yet it is swollowed whole by policy makers cow towing to "market forces". We have just seen where that leads. If perceptive, sensitive journalists such as Bill Moyers don't take up the cause of returning our economy to some sort of rational basis, I fear we are really doomed.

The proposition that all the handle on Wall Street is to be considered wealth and that we can consume our way to a real expanded economy is preposterous. Let's create national wealth through manufacturing and get out of this death spiral of consumerism and short-sightedness of the "Bean Counters".

Greg Ripley
Tacoma, WA

DREAM IT SEEMS ,BUT GRAB A RAKE ,

AND START TO CLEAN , THE OLD MACHINE ,

THIS IS NO DREAM , JUST WORDS IT SEEMS ,

TO CHANGE THE WORLD , YOU NEED MORE ICE CREAM .

Wow. This is the first time I've heard someone on television (and I watch a lot of news-type programs) say what I believe to be the truth about our political reality. I'd say Mr. Bacevich did indeed nail that. Not as much on the financial changes. I agree about living beyond our means and find it baffling that the lessons learned during the Great Depression were forgotten so quickly, so willingly by supposed independent minded people. But the great export of economic power to the rest of the world was probably inevitable. As information technology has spread the developing world was bound to compete with us for pieces of the pie. I attribute current global economics and the end of the cold war in part to the spread of images of our consumption - it is enticing, just like drugs, and just as destructive.

Andrew Bacevich did indeed nail it. We need to stop living beyond our means; we need to stop our dependency on oil, not merely foreign oil; we need to stop looking to blame so called "terrorists" (they are, more simply, murderers) for the problems lie within--recall Bush's response to 9/11; extraordinarily, he told us to go out and spend! Consumerism is a false god and deflects people from having to think. The so-called terrorists are the new "reds under the beds." Yes, they are a threat but we must devote appropriate intelligence to them not invade sovereign nations. We need to look for real change, fundamentally, to our system of government and representation. I suggest the only likelihood of success will come with the growth of a genuine third party, willing to achieve a different way of looking at the world. Let's ask both McCain and Obama to read Bacevich's book and then seek their reactions. I'd like the opportunity to vote for real change. Both promise it; neither will (or can) deliver it. And by the way, there is life after one's empire dies (look at Britain); not as powerful in the world but still playing a role (sadly, too often as America's poodle) so this is a good time for the US to begin thinking of their post-empire role.

We heard Andrew Bacevich on the Moyers show last evening. We were very impressed and plan to buy his book. He is a sharp observer of what has happened to this country.
He deserves to have a wider voice.

I found last night's interview with Mr.Bacevich interesting. I agreed with him to a great extent about the imperial presidency, but I don't agree with the profligacyof the America public. I am 59 years old and my lifestyle has been very similar to the lifestyle of my parents. The only difference is that in order to maintain that lifestyle (small house, camping vacations, used cars) I worked while my mother was able to stay home. My parents also didn't have to worry that they would be unable to keep health insurance even though they had a chronically ill child, and they were able to send me to college without taking out loans. I don't think profligacy is the cause of our problems. I would like to see Elizabeth Warren and Mr. Bacevich on the program at the same time. I believe that there differences in opinion as to how we got where we are would make for an interesting debate.

This interview with Andrew Bacevich really put in perspective the dog and pony show known as the Presidential "debate." I'm certainly going to vote third party as a result.
Why do people insist that the financial crisis is a result of the free market? It is precisely because the free market has been distorted by government agencies, which are invariably taken over by the entities that the agencies are attempting to regulate, that has caused this mess. The biggest culprit is the Federal Reserve.

After having stumbled on your wonderful show with Mr. Bacevich, I could not help but note that he is noticing everything that I have noticed about governance.

To put things bluntly, governments have usurped, unlawfully, the authority of God because they imply that, although they produce the laws, its resulting order is that of God - ruling by Divine Right.

In Truth, I have discovered that, with natural order and the discoveries of science, that often repudiate the authority of governments, courts and academics, there comes The Mandate of Heaven which explains why theories now are illegitimate “evidence” rather than empirical and objective evidence and its connectedness to the reality that lies beyond the words of mankind especially those in to which we have imbued excessive authority.

Natural Order determines the righteousness of the law, because either the end result is correct and just or it is wrong and there are not other possible outcomes.

I discovered this gem concerning Right and everything else being wrong,because I am in a legal battle with the Canadian system over its current running of the Workers' Compensation Boards.

Everyone knows that work injures, maims and kills the workers which is what the WCB in 1913 was set up to abolish by pro-actively enforcing ergonomic standards and “resolving entirely” all job injuries when benefits are to cease.

Well, WWI happened and then power over the writing/amending of the Workers' Compensation Act was unlawfully transferred to the provinces and their rulers.

Now, it is illegitimately being contended and defended in court that work really does not injure, maim and kill those undertaking it unless the worker pays for the medical investigation themselves if the diagnostic is even permitted in Canada - Gadolinium enhanced MRI's and their findings can only be performed when a specialist requisitions this diagnostic and not a General Practitioner.

To make a long story short, it recently dawned on me that we got it wrong decades ago as "law and order" is wrong.

In the Supreme Court of Canada's October 3, 2003 decision, it dealt with the resulting “discrimination” from the amending of the Workers' Compensation Act in Nova Scotia and the resulting injustice for all workers. After realizing that the matter before the court was incorrect and that the lawyers should have requested that the current laws and their order be struck down and replaced with the original 1913 Workers' Compensation Act which acknowledged that the WCB was fully responsible to pay to cure the job injuries regardless of all other considerations like time, it dawned on me that order is a reflection of the laws and therefore the laws must be based on natural order to have any legitimacy and be enforceable in Canada and around the world.

Therefore, law and its whimsical order of today is wrong because the laws must be based on natural order and dispense Fundamental Justice which to me was radical because I was raised to abide by the laws not realizing that, when the justice being dispensed is clearly false, we, the people, through summary judgments at the lowest court levels have the power to throw out not just the laws and their order but also our governments, the judiciary and lawyers because anything that stinks of injustice means that the law is not Right and therefore is unacceptable and invalid. Therefore, we, everyone, must equally pursue "the corollary of laws that extend from The Charter of Rights and Freedoms or the US Constitution" (excerpted from the SCC's October 3, 2003 decision).

Right now, we are living in an unlawfully constructed order because we did not realize that the laws are not truly owned by governments, the lawyers and the judiciary but by Natural Order and its Mandate of Heaven that transcends man's concept of time and our pathetic knowledge bases.

Galileo confronted this same rulership just as did Sir Isaac Newton, Mohammed, Buddha, Lao-Tzu, Sir Thomas More, Einstein, Jesus Christ, etc. but, in the end, the Truth of these person's words won out except for those of Sir Thomas More in his wonderful publication Utopia or those of Jesus Christ especially Luke 16:13 and 16:17 - well, not yet anyway.

It was wonderful to see others discovering the fraud in governance today but, beware, although the laws are corrupt, our rulers have invoked Divine Right to make the illegitimate order appear legitimate meaning that those with the Truth and objective evidence will run in to a stonewall where the establishment lies its way through until the Truth makes the discoverer basically a prophet because to overthrow injustice once the current laws and the subsequent order are imbued with Divine Right by the establishment means that the discovered natural order that repudiates it makes the messenger and his message peremptory and imbued with Absolute Truth.

I never wished to be a prophet nor did Andrew Bacevich or those previously mentioned. The reality though is that the title was put in play by false gods claiming that their order and their laws are imbued with holiness of Heaven and God meaning that only that which is Truly Godly can win.

Thank you for presenting Andrew John Bacevich and his Truthful views because I needed to see that others are picking up what I have proven and will present to the court before Christmas.

(http://cid-76d01868d933a2ac.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Public/MANDAMUS%20Evidence%20Package%20part%201/MANDAMUS%20Evidence%20package%20pgs%201-45.PDF is the SCC’s October 3, 2003 Decision but s. 15(1) was the incorrect legal point of issue because s. 7 of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms stipulates that everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person (i.e. the right to be cured) and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with Fundamental Justice or as affirmed by Fundamental Justice.)

I really thought this paper needed to be posted under the American Dream.

The Taxpaying Poor, good workers they are don't get asked if they want to or not to... they are told they will pay for the mistakes of the rich while they receive nothing in return and the rich continue to do as they please.


Wall Street Bailout 09/19/08 4:39pm

Hey Bill,

So what do you think about the American Dream now? And the Bailout, now there is a piece of work.

Since the 80's and Reagan, first the Savings and Loan and now the Home Mortgage mess and our Billionaires went from 40 to 400... Wow this is the land of opportunity.

They are right about one thing Wall Street gets a free market to cheat the world and Main Street gets the bill.

Main Street being the taxpayers and not being consulted about the decision to let us pay the RICH SOB's twice... once to take our money in the market and now to take our money to save them from losing their shirts.

The news is correct about one thing, that is Main Street is concerned, that is us, the citizen, the tax payer, the working blue collar people who have to pay the bills and fight the wars. We are concerned because Our Congress both Senators and Representatives give not one whit for us. They have no truck with us. We are nothing to them; we get speeches while the rich get richer.

Is it true? Bill, is it really true that this supposedly great country believes the poor should be responsible for the rich?

The top 10% have to be laughing in their Champaign while we poor cry in our beer. How did it happen? How did the United States of America One Nation Under God manage to Kill God and put 90% of us in the poor house.

They took our jobs and sent them over seas, they dissenagrated our Culture by allowing unlimited immigration (All we got were people who were too lazy to fix their own problems and came here running away from those problems, not to raise a family but to get rich quick.) What do you think Bill; if we taxpayers refused to pay the rich charlatan’s bills we could get rid of immigration by default. That is a very good reason not to bail out Wall Street. And while we are at it… we could vote out every incumbent and pass a law limiting all elected officials to serve one 5 year term. Any mess that takes longer then that needs new people to get it done. Minnesota just finished their W 35 bridge ahead of schedule, now how is that for American Workers?

You can forget Global Warming because hubris that is pride to a poor man and avarice which is greed to a poor man will destroy this country just as sure as I will die.

All the mucky mucks think they can save the rich but it won't work... it will just prolong the failure of the corrupt system. A bad system run by bad people will fail no matter how much money the Federal Government prints.

The Sectary of the Treasury is a Wall Street Man and wants to save his own at the cost of our toil. But then look who he works for... # 43! The worst president in the history of the US.

Come on Bill, you need to start answering some of us poor folks concerns. I have been your friend for 40 years, read your books, listened to you on PBS.

For God's sake and ours tell us what Eric Hoffer would have said, or at least find a wise man somewhere who people could believe and get the truth said once in 200 years.

Are the poor to be trodden on through out eternity while the rich play music as our Country burns? Does no one see the fire? Can't you help use?

Anonymous9

Dear Eileen,
It's not that nobody's listening, or that nobody cares, or--most of all--that you're a nobody. Granted, it's hard to juggle so many catastrophes at once. I heard Terri Gross' interview with Tom Friedman, and it was powerful. And those of us who care basically knew all of this already.

Here's a possible solution for waking up the powers that be, which many in our community are using to reduce global poverty: There are websites, such as ONE.org, which send messages to law makers. You enroll, and they send you information on a piece of legislation, or an issue that their petitioning for, and you give them your zip code, and they tell you who your congressman and senators are. They give you a link. You click. And your voice is instantaneously added to 40-50,000 others who feel as you do. There may be such a website expressly for climate change. If not, go to ONE.org, which focuses on United Nations Millennium Development Goals, one of which is Global Sustainability. I also recommend Dr. Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University's Earth Institute to read of some cutting edge efforts to reverse climate trends. I've been following Tom Friedman for years, and I know he's up on all of this.

Does it work--all these email messages? I think it may be like prayers--they seem to go into some Burmuda Triangle. Then one day something happens. Would George Bush have championed PEPFAR for AIDS in Africa? Would Joe Biden have initiated a bill to end abuse of women? (not only domestic, but global sex trafficking, child marriage and rape as a tool of war) Would BOTH Michelle Obama AND Cindy McCain be wearing ONE.org tees and getting ONE.org supporters' questions taken at their husbands' town hall meetings? (Obama didn't really need much prompting. He's been promising environmental protection since the beginning of his campaign.)

This is the power you have. And the internet makes it SO EASY. You are not a nobody, Eileen.

Your #12 is beautiful, Jack Martin. Thanks.

Why will no one listen to the facts? 09/16/08

Hot, Flat, and Crowded
Why We Need a Green Revolution
And How it Can Renew America
Thomas L. Friedman

Bill, I placed my comments and ideas on Population Growth in this web log earlier. I see no reason to repeat them here but I did want to let you know I a “nobody” am joined by Mr. Thomas L. Friedman in my concern for this Earth.

He has more facts and speaks with authority so maybe you could read his book and decide if I was correct in my claim that Population Growth is the one factor that makes all other factors exceed their limits of survival.

If we do not limit immigration to the USA we will have nothing to offer the heart and soul of our people. And soon we will have nothing to offer the stomachs of those who are here.

If we do not reduce population we will not be able to get ahead of the curve of global warming and at some point nothing we do will change the disaster that will end mankind.

I believe that time is past and I understand Mr. Friedman to state the same by saying "we are already on the Titanic".

I hope you will have more discussion on your journal with people who can convince those with wealth and power to immediately change our direction from hubris and greed to sacrifice and a willingness to do what ever is necessary to save our home.

You speak of the American Dream... There is none and if we destroy our home there will be no one to dream at all about anything.

The one justice in this tradgity: If the Wealthy 1 % and their mucky mucks whom support them, i.e. the top 9% are unwilling to spend their money and do all that is possible. They will not have a life or future to spend it as they are accustom to doing.

Anonymous9

Fran, Thanks for your knowledge and input.

12. Medical care would be completely underwritten for all citizens through a universal, single-payer (government sponsored) healthcare insurance system. This nationalized but publicly reviewed and managed system would be able to buy in bulk and negotiate price for goods and services including prescriptions. Hospitals or other providers not performing up to review board specifications would be subject to reprimand, penalty, intervention and takeover, just as schools are under NCLB at present. The definition of medical care and wellness would be studied and expanded to include preventive care and activity, healthy diet and living environment, and to accomodate the advantages of proven non-traditional methods and practitioners. Allopathic (dominant medicine) would be reviewed and refined in its practice and training to eliminate vested interest and to instill a humanitarian, rather than a financial, incentive into training and practice. The public would be encouraged to honor and reward practitioners in a whole new trusting way.


Note:See What Must Be Done (an earlier post). Rebuttal and critique are appreciated.

Back on Sept. 5 on this blog, Jack Martin wrote "What Must Be Done", a 12-point manifesto for returning power to the people. He challenged us to come up with a system for fair health care. I've been giving a lot of thought to this, because it's systemic for the obvious--people are losing their homes to medical bills--but also because the issue is skewing everything else, especially the job market.

When I was a kid my parents were both insurance agents, and the conversation used to send me screaming from the dinner table. Consequently I'm insurance-deaf and wont be able to come up with details. My husband is the insurance exec of the family (well, he's an ex-exec. The small mutual insurance co, where he earned a comfortable middle class income, no longer exists.)

Anyway, JG says we need a single payer plan. And there are enough universal health systems around--CA, UK, Germany, Scandinavian countries, Costa Rica, Cuba, former Yugoslavia, etc.--that somebody ought to be able to come up with a study to determine what might work best for us. It should be a commission of people from the industry, Congress, employers, and regular people who are healthy, and some who are ill.

It seems to me that we might pay higher taxes to ensure everyone, but we'd come out ahead at the end of the day in a number of important ways:
--we wouldn't be paying for uncovered expenses
--we would have security knowing that we wouldn't lose our homes and go bankrupt for medical bills
--we wouldn't be ruled out of the job market if we're older or unhealthy.

First off, John McCain's idea of taking insurance off the employer's plate and taxing employer benefits as income is the cruelest joke I've heard in a long time. This is not something Obama made up. It's on McCain's website. When I read it I couldn't figure out how it would help ME get health insurance. He wants to give us a $5000 tax credit toward our $12,000 insurance cost. He's going to let the market take care of it. But I wasn't going to vote for him anyway.

I think the market has had it's fair chance, and corporations don't care about us. In recent years, if schools don't reach their NCLB goals, the government takes them over. Doesn't it make sense that government should get involved in health insurance? I mean, how is building roads and bridges more important than our health?

There is another way in which I hope universal health care would further the American Dream: I want it to reduce paperwork. Our institutions are choking on documentation, most of which is for the purpose of insulating them against lawsuits. It is killing our spirit. Nurses want to care for patients; teachers want to teach kids; social workers want to help folks to become self-sufficient. They don't want to be filling out forms all day. It's tedious and grueling. We may as well be in the coal mines.

These are the criteria I would want in the health sector.

Something we've only touched on here that would be an essential component of the American Dream is Community. Since moving to Lancaster about 15 years ago (returning to my roots and remarrying) I've really been exploring the concept of community and find it very enriching. Social scientists were talking a lot back then about how we may live on a city street and see folks go in and out day after day without ever making contact. Here are some of the things my husband and I have done to help overcome this in our neighborhood, and, looking back, I believe it's made a difference. It doesn't cost a taxpayer's dime to say hello to a neighbor.
--Say hello to the kids. They'll grow up some day, and you'd sooner have them with ya than agin'ya.
--Get active with a your block association, even if you don't feel like it.
--The city's approach to block associations had been mainly Crime Watch. (as in, "have you spied on your neighbor today?) Crime watch is actually important. We let each other know if we'll be away a few days and keep an eye open for suspicious activity.
--But I got the idea we should have "Positive Neighboring". When we ran out of city officials to call in as speakers, we started having board game nights and a Christmas supper. We went Christmas caroling.
--Have a block party. This August when we were giving out the hot dogs and krispie treats, I was wondering how many of those families were glad to have that simple supper that night. I began to wonder how we might reach out to one another as times are harder now. --Perhaps our churches could open up for more frequent meals to give our neighbors a bit of a break. We would all pitch in to cook and clean up, and everyone would be invited, poor or better off, because the focus would be on community, not on one group feeding the other.
When we started attending our neighborhood association, it was a handful of seniors who'd been coming for years. But more recently we've had a wonderful influx of young 30-somethings come in. They're the ones who suggested the Christmas caroling. They let me sing alto. I was their token old person. Anyway, the surprise and delight expressed by the mentally delayed folks in the group home, and all the folks we visited, was priceless.

While I realize that the election is tenuous, I find that I'm beginning to think already of Barack as our president (because I can't even bear the thought of another four years of Bush). Barack's begun to hint that you and I might actually have a part in this rebuilding of the American Dream. He gets this, as no other candidate I've seen, does. It's Community Building. Not a bad thing.

“Chris, it's important to discern who has control over the issues you have a problem with, and to address your beef to the level of government that has jurisdiction there”.
Mr, Fran G, For your information, I have address many issues over those who has “discern control” over my “beef”. It went into one ear and out the other. The one that has the “biggest discern control” is in Washington which on “false pretense plunge the country into a war”! Spent ”trillions of dollars! for the war”! Over $10.6 trillions dollars in debt, Over 4500 killed, thousands wounded, plunged the country into a despair with foreclosure, eviction and printing of worthless currency as you can add or take zeros off, etc!
They have been providing “lipstick on a pig” - lip service for years. They have approved bills – laws “without even reading the content” what is all about! The question I have for you, did you ask what was and is their duties, responsibilities and accountabilities? Did someone paid you to tell me “where to go to discern...”! It is of no surprise as others have said “where to go...”. It is more like telling me to kiss a “pit bull with a lipstick on”. Once elected or appointed, as an official in official capacity some “ believe that god has died and that they were appointed to take the place of god”! They have “driven into the sins of Adam and Eve in the name of the political religion either that be Capitalism, Communism or Fascism. They did not realize “ the person they see on the other side of the mirror is them self”!
Chris, are you suggesting that we take away the states' rights by dictating how they carry out their codes?
The Country is large community, it has 300,000,000 million people. Every one eligible person of age should have a right and privilege to:
“EXPRESS their will on ALL ISSUE”!
When the “CODE is an ISSUE” than the “CODE ISSUE” should be paced on a BALLOT! It can be repeal or ammended and approved by the “WIIL of THE PEOPLE”.
We can take it, leave it or ignore it. It should be a right and privilege. It does not matter whether that ISSUE is FEDERAL, STATE or LOCAL. An example: We have an army of voluntaries.
No one tells him or her to joint or not! Everybody has that privilege. ARMY is an ISSUE!
WAR is an ISSUE! None of us has that a privilege to express ours, his or her WILL if we want to go to WAR or NOT!
Only the CONGRESS, SENAT and the PRESIDEN. They did not comply with their duty, responsibility accountability under the “CODE”, the LAWS and the CONSTITUTION!
$90 million dollars approved for the levy WAS an ISSUE in New Orleans. The funds have been diverted that resulted in 1500 hundred dead! No one has been charged! Under what “pork barrel clause - code” the funds were diverted?
If we have that right and privilege, it will be a conscious decision as a community in what direction we would like to go and live! There will be no reason to blame anybody for the wronge or right decisions, as is right now!
With ISSUES on the ballot, there will be no“SHORT CIRCUITING” which direction the train will travel and at what speed! DEMOCRACY is “PARTICIPATING in POWER”!

Dear People of the World,

Humanity is facing many challenging problems. No nation alone can solve these problems. But the greatest danger that we are facing is personal, local, and global disunity. Therefore, the vision of World Unity is the only remedy for saving all inhabitants of this beautiful planet and the planet.

This is not about race or religion. That this is not about power or politics.
This is not about who is right and who is wrong.
This is about a vision of unity that transcends all those.
This is about a worldwide movement to start an era of world unity.
The name of this movement is VR1.
We will be like rays of One SUN.
And our mission is to bring unity to every heart, and the heart of every town.

I would like to share my vision of a World Unity Day with people of the world. Alone I can do so little but together we can accomplish impossible. Please be my voice and share my vision of World Unity Day with people of the world. Let’s start an era of peace and prosperity for all.

This vision of a World Unity Day came to me after September 11, 2001, I wrote to President Bush, Senator Clinton, American House of Representative and Senate, and so many others about my vision. I wrote, “Please let’s checkmate the terrorists but not humanity. The terrorist’s survival depends on disunity and division. But humanity’s survival depends on unity and oneness. War brings a vicious cycle of more and more disunity, and division. I wanted to stop these useless and wasteful wars from happening. I was inspired by this vision of World Unity Day. My inspiration enabled me to write a book: The Light of Unity.”

The human family members have harbored so many heart-wrenching tragedies toward their brothers and sisters throughout the ages. Countless lives of innocent human beings of every race, religion, nationality and creed have been lost during these tragedies. The power of our diversity has been sapped by misunderstandings, prejudices, and suspicions. The adolescent era of humanity has been very painful and costly. For thousands of years, we have been killing each other and justifying our selfish conduct in the name of God, race, religion, nationality…even in the name of freedom. Our ego has blocked our light. We have been conditioned to live in darkness. This darkness has led to an endless cycle of personal, local, and global disunity.

The time has come for us to recognize that valuing our uniqueness, unity, interdependencies and common humanity leads to creativity, productivity, cooperation and a congenial local and global community/workplace. The time has come for people of goodwill everywhere, regardless of race, religion, gender and nationality to work together like fingers of one hand to cure the blight on our unity.

Now more than ever, we, the people of the world, need a collective, unifying vision to bind us together to end this era of darkness. After September 11, 2001, I envisioned a United Nations proclamation for declaring a World Unity Day, to honor all innocent people around the world who have died for the cause of freedom and peace and kindle the Light of Unity in the heart of all humanity. On World Unity Day, people of world will acknowledge the past with forgiveness and celebrate a new beginning with universal acceptance, association and appreciation toward an era of oneness in diversity. The foundation upon which we build world unity must be based on the principle of oneness that we are all children of one God, expressions of one spirit, members of one race and citizens of one country, and the roots of our oneness are celebrated in the beauty and power of our diversity.


Sincerely,


Hooshmand Kalayeh


About the Author of The Light of Unity
Hooshmand Mahmood Kalayeh's country of origin is Iran but he considers himself to be a world citizen. He has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University. He is an Imaging Scientist. Hooshmand is the founder of The Light of Unity Foundation. He is the organizer of 1998 Unity Day in Wilmington, DE and his 2002 dedication for the cause of unity has led to an official public declaration of September 11 as World Unity Day in Rochester, Buffalo and the District of Columbia. Hooshmand is also the author of the World Unity Proclamation, Petition (http://www.thepetition.com/takeaction/608075279 and www.thelightofunity.org).
http://www.publishamerica.com/greetingcardpro/createcard1.asp?PostCardID=7133

The American Dream..How about the Damn Promises. Like the Right to Vote!Repugs are trying to suppress voter Rights by claiming that if you Are in Foreclosure- You Are not Legally able to Vote!!!!
Not only do they highjack the American Dream of Home Ownership, they apparently think that if your lose that then you are not worthy to Vote in this Democratic Nation!
This is a High crime- undermining the very foundation of our Democratic Self Governance System- scarring and intimidating Voters. Every Top RNC'er should be Behind Bars as WE speak!

Posted by: Philip Marshall Educate America! The high price of entertainment is enduring commercials and outrageous advertising. The FCC should limit the amount of commercials on television, especially the ailment du jour from erectile dysfunctions to restless leg syndrome to sleep aid ads that subliminally create new patients. America has the opportunity to educate through our greatest communication tool in the television. Imagine 12 dedicated channels for a national educational agenda that follows the curriculum from each grade level and taught by award winning educators in conjunction with public schools. Instead, we are bombarded with laugh tracks and advertising for junk and snake oil.


*********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

Sure PM, advertising is helping to kill America. But, freedom of speech is part of our country so we have to take the good with the bad.

Unfortunately, most of Americana is too stupid to separate the good from the bad or better termed healthy from the unhealthy and they get lost in fantasy and wishful thinking.

I believe that many ads should contain disclaimers like cigs do. But, without 70% of the economy fueled by the consumer all our retirement funds would tank and there would be a riot. So the politicians do the best they can and hope the roof does not come crashing down during their watch. And to keep the rook from falling requires much adverting for us to keep consuming.

You see PM, we have built a defective model for long term population support. We can only keep on keeping on as long as the crude is free flowing and affordable by the masses.

It would be one thing if we all reverted back to rural living, burning trees for fuel and housing and living within our comfortable means allotted to us by nature, as our ancestors did back in the day. But seven billion people can't burn the trees!

We must accept that we have built our world on unsustainable means - a means built artificially on fossil fuel.

And when we live out of balance with natures intended means there is a price to pay to come back in balance with nature. And the price usually extracts pain from us in the adjustment process.

It has been estimated that for the earth to sustainably support its population without fossil fuels a 90% dieoff must occur. I don't know if that is the right figure, but I do know humans could not live as they do unless it was funded by artificial means via fossil fuels.

http://dieoff.org/

The other day Discover card was promoting endless consumption 'as a good' and they wished to do us a favor by helping us spend money better as we create more debt we can't afford to pay.

The ads for pills seldom offer help for the underlying cause of the disease, just quick fixes that cost lots of money. I especially like the ad that is targeted to women that are 'too busy' to take one pill every week. They just have to take their bone builder pill once a month.

Wake up ladies...if you are too busy to take a pill once a week how are you going to live a healthy life?

Healthy living requires much more work, such as exercising and preparing and eating healthy foods, than just taking a pill once a week?

We live in a sick, greed driven world that poisons for profit. Just look at all the unhealthy food sold to us all for the sake of making a buck.

I just say NO to the bastards that try to injure me with their demands to run me into debt and the endless phone calls and offers to fleece me of my money and clutter up my life with useless things.

http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/fookisan/po2.jpg

Irate Phil the Marshall and Fran Ten Thousand Gs: People who have little or nothing are entitled by common sense to wish for anything good they can envision. Fran G.- Do you mean to say you hold the right of corporate free speech sacred? (Would regulating it depress your investments?) I tend to think the rights of corporate personhood awkwardly inflicted by the Supreme Court (especially Justice Fielding) under the 14th Amendment are a formidable impediment to individual and states rights and to accountability in any tort.
While I believe in drastic reform, enforcing and perfecting the current statutes may be the first non-violent step. As for education, we would do about as well to abolish compulsory attendance for those over age 12 as to keep young adults confined in an archaic prison or factory setting with authoritarian discipline. (Why not individual grants for internships instead? As a child actor I learned on the job along with cousins Ronnie and Clint.)

When we surmise no demand for educational programming we are saying our population lacks idle and constructive curiousity. While the Internet once offered hope of free self-education I think this possibility is quickly being negated by the doctrine of corporate free speech, and by the decision that big money is preferred political speech.
Let's send fascist Thomas and Scalia, as well as the federalist corporate shills on a one way permanent paid vacation to the Marianas. Rights-Smights, when are we gonna hold our tormentors accountable?

Wow. Mysterious. I like it.

Thanks, Coley

Fran G. et al:
Figgers Institute is a think tank working on problems of creative expression among the less privileged residents of Gaston County. We use grassroots methods and recruit beneficiaries directly. Beret Co-op was a folk school modeled on the early Highlander School. It was in the same county. When our benefactor was threatened and ridiculed he lost heart and canceled our lease. Figgers is a surviving sub-grant from a foundation headquartered in Switzerland.
While we own domain names similar to our shingle we have no need at present for a web site, since we work face to face and sell nothing. Jack Martin, a retired construction manager and vocational instructor, was the originator of the school who bamboozled the benefactor and regulators by the manufacture of hats (especially berets).
Gladdie Victrola (a NJ transplant, married Grady Howard this July) and I are co-directors of a not for profit under the Figgers grant (our signature manufacture is puppets). Jack and Grady are advisors but hold no office or authority within the current set up. Jack works mostly as a very slow volunteer construction tradesman and ferries people for medical appointments. He will not accept anything but reciprocal (in kind) payment. He has not accepted any monetary income since 2004 as a tax protest, but lives off the good will of his neighbors and associates. We support his proposal of a march to Washington for the Inauguration, but offer him no financial backing. His posts may not reflect our mission, nor do Grady's. Gladdie and/or I as individuals, or as Figgers also post on Moyers' blog. If you will email beretco.op@gmail.com with a request (you need say no more) we will reply with a mailing address. We never solicit contributions or sell contacts. Some people are afraid of being monitored or that we are intelligence agency provocateurs, which has been a problem. Our history and simple lifestyle contradict such notions.

Dear Phillip Marshall,
Are you suggesting that we persuade our lawmakers to amend the Constitution to limit the free speech of pharmaceutical companies; or to limit the tv networks' ability to achieve their American Dream by earning all the money they possibly can by airing ads of pharmaceutical companies? And Chris, are you suggesting that we take away the states' rights by dictating how they carry out their codes?
I think I'm pretty progressive, but I'm with the conservatives on this. I don't like erectile dysfunction ads, either. But if free speech is restricted for some, then it's restricted for ME.

As for channels for education, that would be great. It could either be done with private funding or public funding. In the words of a wise minister in our church, "I invite you to take leadership for that." You might appeal to Bill Gates, who has funded numerous education projects. Otherwise, we would need to appeal to senators and congressmen to support legislation creating such a network with taxpayer support. There again, if there are not large numbers of people interested in viewing the education channels, they will not support it. Unless you can get a pork barrel clause buried in some totally unrelated House Appropriations bill in the dead of night. It could happen. Just goes to show, not all pork is bad. Get your petition forms onto your clipboards and start walking neighborhoods.

And, Chris, it's important to discern who has control over the isues you have a problem with, and to address your beef to the level of government that has jurisdiction there.

“I'll look for your amendment tomorrow”.
Mr. Martin, from your posts I see that you are highly intelligent person. I do not know how you could have missed it! It is very explicit!
To EMPOWER the PEOPLE to “FREEDOM to PARTICIPATE in POWER” IS to EMPOWER the PEOPLE TO:
“EXPRESS THEIR WILL” on ALL ISUES”!
The LEGISLATORS in LOCAL, STATE and FEDERAL government have been “short circuiting the SYSTEM”. There is a special rule used trough out the engineering industries as well as others industries known as: “arrangement of signals”, “Sequence” etc. and in some industries it is known as “INTERLOCKING RULES”.
The INTERLOCKING RULE states, “INTERLOCKING SYSTEM is a system of signals so arrange which movement must succeed in proper sequence”.
An example of : “Short Circuiting the System”, ARTICLE IX, Sec. 9 of Pennsylvania Constitution states, “The General Assembly may provide STANDARDS...”
The STANDARD the legislators provided are in: §7-701.1. Referendum or public hearing required prior to construction or lease.
“The board of school directors of any school district.... shall not construct, enter into a contract to construct... without the consent of electors obtained by REFERENDUM or without holding a public hearing as hereinafter provided”.
In here The Legislators “short circuit the system – STANDARDS” by denying the public to express their WILL”on referendum. They “short circuit the system” and used the words: “ or without holding a public meeting...” Simply the Board decided to hold just meeting, not answer any question and send it to the Board of Education and the PA Dept. Of Community and Economic Development for “RUBER STAMP” approval. “One cuts, the other butchers and the third lynches” take your pick...! The laws for Legislators are liberally construed. The LAWS SHOULD BE “STRICTLY” construed and approved by the “will of the people” with no exception. The LAWS should contain specific words such as SHALL, MUST and not may, or etc .
The current CONSTITUTION does not empower the people to vote on a referendum on ALL ISSUES. The people are empower to empower someone else. It is like empowering the fox to watch the chickens in...! The public is side track from the real ISSUES by the words “Lipstick on a Pig” etc! I see the “WILL of the people on ALL ISSUES” as the most important part missing in the Constitution.
It should be the first step of “One step at the time” in solving the problem!
“I just replaced the foil in my oven, Chris. ”Someone said “do not take the old building down unless you can replace it with a new one”!
It reminds me of “Do not place the pan on the fire while the fish is still in the sea”! As you “Gotta go to sleep...” it will burn the pan!


Educate America! The high price of entertainment is enduring commercials and outrageous advertising. The FCC should limit the amount of commercials on television, especially the ailment du jour from erectile dysfunctions to restless leg syndrome to sleep aid ads that subliminally create new patients. America has the opportunity to educate through our greatest communication tool in the television. Imagine 12 dedicated channels for a national educational agenda that follows the curriculum from each grade level and taught by award winning educators in conjunction with public schools. Instead, we are bombarded with laugh tracks and advertising for junk and snake oil.

Jack, I not only crochet hats, I sing ok, too. Not sure I have the real fire needed to be a revolutionary, though. Funny thing, I'm trying to google this Beret Co, but I just got something about crocheting a Rasta beret. Thought that would be nice. Then the link didn't follow through. Are you guys related?

I just replaced the foil in my oven, Chris. I did not amend it. Please be more specific about your Constitutional Amendments:Write them out. If you are the same Chris as on other pages you rival me in age and experience. You have seen many administrations and several wars, worked in many capacities. Put old XXVIII on the parchment, and XXIX, and XXX. But don't just repeat AMEND the CONSTITUTION. Come on, man. I'm cheering for ya. You can do it!
Gotta go to sleep now, but I'll look for your amendment tomorrow.

“Realize Chris that every word concept should have a real referent that people can share”.

Yes indeed, a “real referent for All the people to (can) share” IS, SET UP A
“CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION”
to

“AMEND THE CONSTITUTION”!
EMPOWER the PEOPLE TO “EXPRES THEIR WILL” on ALL ISUES! EMPOWER the PEOPLE to “FREEDOM to PARTICIPATE in POWER”!
The concept that I have been stating is very specific. You can share it any way your heart desires. Take it , leave it, ignore it!
As for the political systems either that be “Capitalism – free market economy, Communism – seized of property, and fascism – concentration camp for extermination...”, it is not hard to determine which system is being implemented.
I have no problem with Mr. Moyer and his guest. He (they) can “lead you to the water but can not make you drink”!
“Minds must be freed before new governmental machinery can be chosen and installed”.
Let us know when your “mind is free”. This government operates on one cylinder- Bush.“A new governmental machinery can be chosen and installed” by “AMENDING the CONSTITUTION” so that “ALL people can shared it”!

Fran G. : I have also said this (below). I was gratified that you said you agreed with most of it . It is the product of my discussions at Beret Co-op, Figgers Institute and especially exchages with posters on Moyers' blog. So it is not entirely my work: I only recorded and attempted to organize it. Fran G, , I wonder how ideas like this could ever come to fruition under our Constitution. I also wonder why others have not taken the opportunity to amend or extend these proposals for reform. That would be the sort of activity making for a healthy democracy. I especially wanted to see health care ideas. Why not give it a try or submit an alternate document, Fran? People who have very little can wish for anything? I hear the Angels whispering now, as in a Wem Wenders film. Can you make out what they say, Fran G.?

What Must Be Done

It is difficult or impossible to become or remain extremely wealthy (Moyers adds "extremely poor") in a fair and just society.

If PEOPLE POWER were to materialize I suggest no halfway measures.
1. We must demand limits on wealth disparity and the prerogatives of the wealthy class in order to restore democracy and preserve the environment. Grassroots capitalism works to a degree with small entrepreneurship but is a failure otherwise. But do not be afraid if you are involved in a local enterprise or service for you will not be adversely affected.
2.Corporate personhood must be abolished for accountability and transparency. Legislation to promote and mandate worker ownership and collective enterprise (nationalization of some vital industries and enterprises) is clearly necessary. Energy companies and utilities will be nationalized. The wealthy will be compensated with true security and respect of an egalitarian nature, but must be contented to retain capped amounts of property as per legislation. Those attempting to flee with our assets will be pursued and prosecuted, assets seized or frozen.
3.Government will be made more glasnostic by the immediate abolition of lobbying and the ability of all individual taxpayers to designate the use(s) of their contributions. Some offices may be filled by lottery until public financed campaigning can be agreed upon. Some previous illegitimate wealthy and powerful persons may be excluded from holding office.
4.Embezzlers, chislers and war criminals must face legal trials or at least hearings of reconciliation. Longstanding conspiracies and assassinations will be investigated publicly. The truth will out and we will face our national shames.
5. Education is no longer compulsory, but is free and will be reformed to societal needs by public consensus. Community instruction will be funded.
6.An environmental and energy emergency will be declared with lower speed limits, restricted traffic and ad hoc mass transit beginning ASAP.
7, A national security strategy of protected domestic production of vital commodities such as food, clothing, housing, small-scale energy and medicine will be instituted and reinforced by tariffs and incentives. In many cases shipping for import/export wastes energy by impracticability and duplication and must be closely examined. Immigrants not wanting to return to the states of origin will be treated as citizens but all borders will be closed to immigration indefinitely, or until our economic adjustments can be stabilized.
8.Legislative incentives will reward small property owners, worker and community owned enterprises for energy conservation and sustainable production.
9. People will meet to plan and appropriate local greenways so that anyone can walk or bike safely to needed destinations, local or far.
9.Predatory employments will cease and the resultant unemployed be reemployed in useful tasks. A living wage based upon costs will be enforced. The work week may be shortened to accommodate more employees.A minimum vacation and leave will be universal.
10.All overseas military deployments not sanctioned by the United Nations will cease immediately and service personnel return home. Military expenditures will be minimized and reevaluated considering our new isolationist policies. No more empire: No more adventurism. We shall serve the world by example with caring generosity as we are able, and not by force, coercion or interference.
11. We will criticize the violation of human rights wherever it may occur. Individuals may elect to volunteer as aide workers or peacekeepers, but only under the auspices and protection of the UN. Citizen committees will decide the role of any intelligence assets or agencies, such as spy satellites or electronic monitoring.
12.(Could someone please provide input on public health , diet and right to treatment?)

Originally Posted by: Jack Martin | August 9, 2008 4:36 PM

I would appreciate more feedback for refinement of this call for reform. Write here or to: beretco.op@gmail.com

Posted by: Jack Martin | September 5, 2008 11:34 AM

Note to TooLate: Debt and money are conditioned upon social contract. As we are in a fiat money stage, it is only fictive and the people have the authority to negate or refute aspects of said social contract. Labor is real but money is only a convention. I'm sorry if you were caught up in the success trap: Game over.

Andrew is a very good man. But America is still going down the drain, and here is why.

http://www.webofdebt.com/

The worst of it is the world is going too.

Unless we eliminate the real culprits, and you know exactly who they are...

On the east coast it is now The Anniversary of the false flag attack most call 9/11. While many questions and puzzles remain, no news agency, no member of Congress and few citizens demand to know what rreally happened. It parallels the chichanery in our economy, crushes dissent with new laws and enables crimes of empire costing millions of lives. It made every little twerp in a marshall uniform a hero by definition (Kiss a boy scout) and turned our lions' hearts to jelly.
Rewatch the Pentagon where no plane comes, see Silverstein pull obsolete number seven, listen on Radiorbit as Laffoley describes the Bin Laden Group incorporating explosive elements at construction, find Marvin Bush and account for a Keystone Cops air defense system. Read "My Pet Goat" upside down again and again while swearing the air is clear and sweet in Manhattan as the thermite-cut steel is recycled in Indonesia. Now you can visit the memorials and smoke a joint for our dead rights.
Dennis Kucinich bites his nose; Amy Goodman runs like a tazered cat when you mention IT. (THEY ARE LISTENING and RECORDING US!) That is why we say Moyers (and untold others) has been a hostage 227 days (since his call for Presidential reading). Seven years is too long for this wound to fester untreated. Gangrene has set in. More extremities will be amputated by our sawbones leadership. happy anniversary????????????????

All I've said in my posts is that we should take up where Martin King and Gandhi left off. Further, I have promised to walk 500 miles to Washington from North Carolina (remember I'm old and pretty crippled) if people will ask, and anyone can tag along to talk and sing on the way. Like FDR, Bashful Barry needs a push (he's hinted as much several times). If 10 million varied peace-lovers showed up for the Inaugural he would probably welcome them. (If not, he ain't our man.)
I differ with you mainly in that my evidence suggests ruthlessly competitive capitalism demeans the human heart while degenerating to faschism. (Cruel bosses know this. Documentation suggests they profited by supporting Nazism in the late 20s and 30s.) I have yet to earn $300,000 total according to my Social Security income report, but I have made as much as 40K in a year doing things I knew were wrong (but legal and defined as "success")> Maybe we're related since we share so many genes. Do you like to make and wear hats? I do.

I know it would warm Moyers heart to read this. Sumatra Persimmon (name changed to protect her privacy) has to read it when she gives you a captcha phrase.

Hey, Jack,
I think we choose evil or good, and if we're leaning toward evil, sometimes an angel comes along and intervenes and sets us back on the right track, but not if we're not listening. And it can go the other way if we surround ourselves with dark influences.

I want to believe that if Obama wins everything will just be perfect, like Jon Stewart's very funny spoof of the Lion King. But that would be naive. Still, I have to have faith that the situation will be mostly better. He advocates for what's right, even if he can't get all those ideas through. I know our life was a lot better under Clinton than it has been under Bush. So there's hope.
And I can see how many Americans are working for unethical bosses or companies. I've never been very good at making money, mainly because I was born without some kinda suck-up gene. I've been wondering lately what in the world CEO's do to warrant such outlandish salaries. I've come to the conclusion that it's blood money--paid to those who are ruthless enough to do whatever it takes.

Fran: You're absolutely correct except for the solution part. Tell me, how do you think those evil-acting people got that way? Hannah Ahrendt suggested banal evil. What must you do to get money, Fran? Do your employers expect you to screw anyone over? Mine often did. I like most of what you have espoused on this blog but believe both fear and genuine love for humanity limit your analysis.
Good Night wherever you are.

I don't think we have a Constitution problem; I think we have a people problem. A bunch of greedy, arrogant people have perverted it. I've noticed this also happens with religion. People can take a perfectly good scripture that preaches love, humility and forgiveness, and they can twist it to give themselves an excuse for hate and war. They might accompany it with the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, which would keep them from falling into the extremist pit (most of the time). We have people in our current administration who may profess to be church-goers, yet seem to have no soul. You look into their eyes, and there seems to be nobody home. And they think war is the answer. And thousands cheer their empty slogans. They make you wonder, Is it me? What am I missing here? (this is a funny coincidence--the security words this program is asking me to type are: pride war)

Johnny Mack: Could you drop me a cite on that Morgan quote? Thanks.

OJ: Liberal? You mean like liberal arts education? You mean the liberal (free market) economics of David Ricardo. Or do you mean to use "liberal" as Chris used "communist" ? As a careless epithet. I see Bill Moyers as more compassionate than many other commentators; that is the most obvious contrast. He tries his best to care about victims.
(Oh, I hope your robbery and kidnapping case is soon resolved so you can take your trophies and get back to playing golf.)

Douglas Field: Are you a lawyer for poor Americans? I guess. Good for you, Babe. Well, I'm voting for Bashful Barry and Delaware Joe on November 4th only because they are ever so minutely more focused on our real problems than Napalm John and the Church Lady. I think of the election like a baby's toy steering wheel which isn't connected to anything much. The problems of racism, classism, selective enforcement, selective prosecution, tampering, malfeasance, non-representation, differential penalties, prison-industrial complex and the failed economy which initiates material conflict through poverty, discrimination and collusion will not be rectified by the system of trial law which is a self-interested industry in itself. Only drastic institutional change can have any effect on the problems and suffering you decry. It is like the unwanted kitten problem without recourse to spay and neuter. Sure Doug, the horrors you present are real and pervasive but I've already adopted two kittens in my tiny house and have no more money for charity.(Reposting dilutes appeal, especially when you are way off topic.)

Why is a wrongfully jailed convict any better than drowned people in hyper-capitalist Haiti or our military's counter-revolutionary bombing victims in Opiumstan? These problems are all of a piece and will only be solved when empire and elitist faschism are pulled down. Luckily for your cause Doug, they usually bust down the Bastille gates the first day. Let's hope it will all go peacefully.

I don't think the election will bring meaningful change under these rules. We may go backward as Karl Rove suggested, from the 50s to the 30s. Then we poor people will pray for both kinds of change.

Billy Bob: Why Florida? You'd be much happier in Alaska. They count all the votes there. It's easy, only 600,000 people total, fewer voters than Gainesville. They can have as many hand recounts as they want using oil money to pay poll workers, and you could help. And most people there are white, white as plaster, can't see 'em in the snow. The polar bears and the natives are soon to drown in the melt and petroleum sludge. Just speculatin', you'd be trading an AC bill for a heating bill though. What think ye, Matey? (We privateers should form an "understandin.")

Where's Fran G. Where's David Eddy's books? Guess I'll go to bed early, nothing on TV until Friday night. I try to do useful labor everyday but have remained unemployed 41/2 years now, have CP tremors, arthritis, chemical sensitivity reactions, post polio syndrome, one nearly useless hand and two bad hips. I'm pitiful looking with a wardrobe to match. I have negative net worth, no more assets to sell and no cash on hand. Any ideas out there for a paying job in this economy? I'm just a bundle of empathetic aspirations. beretco.op@gmail.com

I believe this following quote by(J.P Morgan in 1934 to a group of US Bankers)is the most relevant question with respect to the American Dream: It's past, present and future!

"Capital must protect itself in every way... Debts must be collected and loans and mortgages foreclosed as soon as possible. When through a process of law the common people have lost their homes, they will be more tractable and more easily governed by the strong arm of the law applied by the central power of leading financiers. People without homes will not quarrel with their leaders. This is well known among our principle men now engaged in forming an imperialism of capitalism to govern the world. By dividing the people we can get them to expend their energies in fighting over questions of no importance to us except as teachers of the common herd."

When you account for scarcity of resources, demographic changes around the globe and no real political or ideological resistance in G-8 countries, you have what we are witnessing: the erosion of a perceived empire.

I believe this following quote is most relevant to the question of the American Dream: It's past, present and future!

"Capital must protect itself in every way... Debts must be collected and loans and mortgages foreclosed as soon as possible. When through a process of law the common people have lost their homes, they will be more tractable and more easily governed by the strong arm of the law applied by the central power of leading financiers. People without homes will not quarrel with their leaders. This is well known among our principle men now engaged in forming an imperialism of capitalism to govern the world. By dividing the people we can get them to expend their energies in fighting over questions of no importance to us except as teachers of the common herd."

When you account for scarcity of resources, demographic changes around the globe and no real political or ideological resistance in G-8 countries, you have what we are witnessing: the erosion of a perceived empire.

The American Dream?
Wake up!

While Americans have been dreaming/sleeping the military/corporate cartel has taken over your lives, and taken all of your money.

Stop spending 56% of your national budget on wars and weapons of death.

Nationalize the oil companies.

Spend hundred$ of billion$ bailing out the people who lost their homes and properties, instead of bailing out the billionaire banks and bankers who deceived and robbed them.

Institute universal health-care as a defense and security of American people instead of this mindless war on terror. You'll be a lot happier and save a lot more lives.

Elect compassionate socialists instead of brigand capitalists.

The American Dream never was and never will be. Get real.

The American Dream was taken over by financiers,the way forward is to stop the SPP, which is a nefarious agreement that amends the Canadian and American Constitutions through back door channels that would never happen in a full Parliament/Congress debate.

OJ: You may have your O'Reilly's and Limbaugh's. Bill Moyer's is here for those of us who really want to understand both sides.

In a word, Superb!' Required viewing for all those who wish to serve this country in any capacity.

Bill Moyers is so liberally biased that he's become a media joke.

Billy Bob: All people dream, no matter what their language. I don't think it matters what color skin most Americans have in the future. I only hope they have happier, more productive and more meaningful lives than we.
David Eddy: Show us your books. I'm truly curious...
Chris: Our government might presently resemble the former state oligarchy in greater Russia or the present state oligarchy of China (where party status leads to wealth and power) but ours is really an increasingly perfect model of faschism. The domination of government by large business interests is the key trait.
Take for instance drill-here-and-now propaganda which can benefit only large energy concerns in a global market. Meanwhile decentralized green energy is delayed or prevented, which hurts the populace. Take the occupations of Oilraq and Opiumstan which enrich the underworld and arms traders at the expense of mass killing. Take the bailout of Wall Street investment houses with tax money so that the wealthy holders of preferred stock don't panic.
Communism is an ideal of people living and sharing without government in complete equality. It originates in a diversity of philosophies. The Shakers probably came closer to achieving communism than any other group. It required admirable discipline and sacrifice as they focused upon Jesus Christ's messages. Many words have been slurred and distorted in our violent and sadistic greedy culture. Faschists don't want you to possess the proper words to express your outrage at their actions. That is why intellectual property law is increasingly perverted. Realize Chris that every word concept should have a real referent that people can share. (Sharing is communistic like a park or highway.)
All: I was trying to decry the culture war in politics and say that getting beyond labels and insults would enrich the American Dream. Moyers has emphasized the importance of this in the archive section where he reviews Thomas Franks' discussion of "What's the Matter With Kansas?" It is their shared contention that the framing of issues is distorted by purposeful emotional distractions and that vital economic choices relating to our prosperity during increasing disparity of wealth and income are swept off the kitchen table, so to speak.

In other words Moyers and Frank get beyond the mechanics of faschism and into its manipulative psychology. They suggest Americans are not stupid, just overwrought by fear, misinformed and brainwashed. Minds must be freed before new governmental machinery can be chosen and installed. Note:(Superstitions, racial machismo, and ideological babble will be nasty obstacles. (As illustrated by some posters here.) 75% of American households own almost nothing and have few prospects under the present system. This majority should be free to wish for whatever they want, disregarding past traditions of injustice. Fran, let me share my grip by gently clasping your hand.

You guys gotta get a grip.

“Chris: Don't dirty your hands with a soiled Constitution.”
Mr. Martin, Let me say to you that my hands are clean even though I had shovel dirt, stones, coal etc”! I have great respect and admiration for people that use their hands that clean the dirt..., that others do not dare to get close to it, let alone clean the mess. Please let me say, that it is better to “shovel.... “ than to clean the “mess” and the “soiled Constitution” that we have been subjected to! Have no doubt, my hands, my soul and my mine are CLEAN! Yes, it is time the clean the “SOILED CONSTITUTION” NOW, TODAY, do not live it up for the children to do it, to become indoctrinated in becoming modern SLAVES subject to rules, executive orders, laws design for the benefit of the “elite” and “special interest group” of the “MONEY PARTY”! Yes, I am “sickened” of it!
“CIVIL DEMOCRACY” is when people have “POWER” to “PARTICIPATE in POWER”! “POWER to EXPRESS their WILL”! “POWER to DECIDE THEIR DESTINY, THEIR LIFE THEIR FUTURE”!
“Every citizen should be involved in pertinent discussion”! I agree. At a public meeting, petitions filed on matters important by the public, end up in the wast basket! Politicians swear on the “BIBLE” and “soiled - (urinate) on the CONSTITUTION “! HOW BIG PERVERSION DO YOU NEED? THESE ARE FACTS: $10.6 trillions in DEBT, over 4150 killed, thousands of wounded, over 4 millions refugees, over 47 millions with no health insurance, eviction, homeless, foreclosures etc.
“A constitutional convention is of no use ...” ! I never stated a “CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION” to be “DOMINATE by MONEY and PRIVILEGE”!
I am aware of the “Harm done by professionals, who once elected, appointed and entrusted with power intent to impose their WILL and VIEWS on others “! It was best stated, “Find out to what people will submit and you will find the exact measure of INJUSTICE that will be impose upon them” F. Douglass!
“If we choose to honor any debt thrust upon us by illegitimate administrations...”! Before we choose to submit to any proposal to “HONOR any DEBT” by any illegitimate or legitimate administration, “WE NEED TO DECICE” or better yet “WE WILL DECIDE” by EMPOWRING THE PEOPLE to“PARTICIPATE in POWER”! It should be the peoples POWER - to decide the destiny: HONOR or DEBT; FREEDOM, LIBERT Y or OPRESSION; WAR or PEACE; LIFE or DEATH; LOVE or HATE etc. and NOT by the dysfunctional CONGRESS, SENAT, EXECUTIVE ORDERS or corrupt JUSTICE SYSTEM that had breached their duty!
“Physician shares an interest in our health” So does the dish washer, the coal miners, the truck drivers, the construction workers, the farmers etc.
During the McCarthyism Era, the questions were: “Are you a member of a Communist party? Did you participate in any Communist activity? Etc. To day it is in revers, the government practice Communism. It is in revers, same as is in revers the “AMERICAN DREAM”!

Jack Martin,
I share your dispair and appreciate your fine poetry.
Life IS a learning process and unfortunately many people have a flat learning curve. We can make the choice to wallow in despair or make the most of this imperfect world with its not necessarily sane people.
Personally, I prefer to listen to the wind and share my knowledge with others who are willing to make the most of this strange and unusual experience we call "life".
Thankfully, I have not had to die to influence the people of this world. We should praise our benefactors and denounce our detractors. Every day is the rebirth of reality and an opportunity to experience new events. Change is inevitable in a dynamic system of exchange.
I believe there is purpose to reality and we are the recipients. We create our book and share it with others. Our book becomes a part of the annals of time.
Dave Eddy

OPPORTUNITY
Seems that is a major component in The American Dream.
Asians, Mexicans, & others come to the USA with little, if any, language skills and exercise opportunity that allows them to achieve a level of freedom that the comfort zoned, hand-wringers sitting under the shadetree playing blogging seem to be unaware of.

The cure to the USA's problems that some suggest sounds worse than the problem.

Much of what is complained of is germain, but GEEEE! With all ya'll's obvious brain power, can't you come up with better ideas than throwing the baby out with the bath water?

Gimee-a-break!

Billy Bob, Florida where the DNP now wants our vote!

Chris: Don't dirty your hands with a soiled Constitution. (They wiped with it, and you could become sickened or contaminated.)) You cannot amend away the basic principles of sacred great wealth and procedural contract between unequals. Please, let's aspire to something better. The original Constitution was written and ratified by a minority of vested interests (land speculators, slaveholders, bond traders, import-exporters, colluders and conspirators against human rights). It is historically informative as a catalog of mistakes and injustices but still harbors some unsound principles. There is no need for a representative republic in these times of instantaneous communication, little need for remote deliberative or administrative appropriation of funds. If people are not yet competent to designate the use of their tax contributions or to express their will by plebescite, they would soon gain proficiency under a more direct democracy. Chris, a constitutional convention is of no use if dominated by money and privilege. Every citizen should be involved in pertinent discussion, even children, right away; and the process should originate in every family and voluntary organization. If there is perversion by religion, or nationalism or other prejudices at first we must have faith in collective judgment that experience will resolve mistakes, that the errant and greedy will be rebuked. It is a matter of good faith among us. We have been artificially divided by cruel masters for too long. Now is the time to resume a disrupted process.
What follows is an example of a constitutional proposal:
If we choose to honor any debt thrust upon us by illegitimate administrations and interests it shall be paid over time in comfortable increments without interest as to a family doctor who has rendered us service in a time of need. We shall repay as we are able, possibly in kind, for a physician shares an interest in our health and will be patient with us as we are patient with her/him. Business speculation is to be regarded as gambling so that in those instances all bets are off.

David Eddy: How can we see your books? The government won't let us see their (our) books. All of us do research each day just by living. Those who deny the conclusions of experience, or who have the bad faith to misrepresent them are of no good use to others. I have opened many a book to learn that the writer had labored for many years to produce nothing. 75% of Americans have labored their entire worklife away only to provide a few fleeting comforts and thrills to a violent and selfish bad faith elite. Plebian amusements, empty and meaningless, are all that remain of the treachery. The American Dream was always a lie, and now it is a cruel joke. You and I, tempered in miseries, David Eddy, are not fit to be philosopher kings. When every citizen is a philosopher king government will be an afterthought. Let's make "philosopher-king/queen-ship" a virulent benign plague. Even as an atheist, that is my feeble conception of Heaven. (James Madison and Jesus, and Plato were all con-men, don't you be.)
I think the key to becoming a philosopher king is in what one foregos, not what one attains.

One more point, inspired by Mr. Pan on the videos:
I hope, too, that America will welcome newcomers from the world. We have so much to learn from them. Yet, if we partnered with other rich nations to help developing countries improve their conditions, there might not be so many that want to come here.

Thanks again, Mr. MoyerS

-Fair elections
-Peace through fair treatment of other nations; Millennium Development Goals would be fulfilled: end hunger, universal primary education
maternal and child health programs, reverse spread of HIV/AIDS and other untreated diseases, gender equality, environmental sustainability for all countries
-Urban youth would have hope for a good future
-Our mature economy would start acting like a grownup; fairer distribution of wealth
-Universal health care
-Schools would be havens of creative thinking, not testing factories
-Human resource departments would learn that an office cubicle is an unhealthy, inhuman place to spend a day; all jobs would respect the dignity of workers.
-People and businesses would cooperate to save the planet, and if they didn't they'd be fined.
-For every law Congress passes, they would have to repeal two that no longer serve the American people. (Did anyone else notice that the week gas prices started to decline was the week Congress left for summer recess? And John McCain wanted to call them back?!!)
Thanks for all you do, Mr. Moyer.

As we slept the foxes set up a “RESTORATION PLAN” to make sure the “Chicken coop” is clean!

I read yesterday 2008 9 7
"WASHINGTON - The Bush administration seized control Sunday of troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, aiming to stabilize the housing market turmoil that is threatening financial markets and the overall economy.
Is this not a Communism? Is this not what Castro did in Cuba? Is this not what the Eastern block Countries did after the World Wat II? Why not seized the Oil industry?
So much for a “free market economy”!
“The Treasury Department said it will immediately inject $1 billion in each of the companies... and could boost its investment to as much as $100 billion each over time if the funds are needed to keep the companies afloat as losses... mount. In exchange, the government will receive WARRANTS – (WORTHLESS PAPER) entitling it to purchase ownership stakes of 79.9 percent in each”.
“Officials defended this approach... the importance of (waste paper) of the trillions in mortgage debt that each company... guarantees... the need to make sure that investors in this country and overseas keep buying this debt - (worthless papers)”!
“The Federal Reserve and other federal banking regulators said in a joint statement Sunday that "a limited number of smaller institutions" have significant holdings of common or preferred stock shares in Fannie and Freddie, and that regulators were "prepared to work with these institutions to develop capital-restoration plans."
Four more years of either “Democrats” or “The McCain-Palin administration will make (sure more of the same) they are smaller and smarter and more effective for homeowners who need help."
“YOU WANT CHANGE”!THIS IS FOR YOU”! DEPRESSION, CONFISCATION, EVICTION by a “PRINTING PRESS INSURANCE” and ECONOMY! I think a real “CHANGE” is when people SET UP A “CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION” and
“AMEND THE CONSTITUTION”! EMPOWER the PEOPLE TO “EXPRES THEIR WILL” on ALL ISUES! This may never happen in my life time, but I would love to see it happen!

Chris

This is my favorite subject. My first exposure to philosophy was a humanities class doing a study of Plato's "Republic".
If Plato was alive today; he would be totally repulsed by what we call "Republicans" today.
What we have today according to the book Plato's "Republic" is a "Dictatorial Oligarchy" disguised as a representative government. It is rule by the elite few for the benefit of the rich and powerful. If it were a true Republic; we would have a philosopher king that has been trained from youth to run the nation. Our "King" is a dictatorial president who makes all the decisions and ignores the needs and will of the people. He has no training or aptitude for leadership.
The politicians of congress represent the vested interests of those who pay for their election not the people who vote for them. Their promises are a contradiction to what they acomplish.
If we want to have a government of the people, by the people and for the people. It would have to be a true Democracy which would probably be unmanageable with our large population and high tech society.
Our best possible government would be a "Technocracy" based on the efficient function of government to provide the economics and organization to provide quality life styles for all of our people. The government would also have to provide freedom, justice and equity for all of its people. Education would be responsible for providing quality people prepared to support our nation with the practical and social skills to support a quality society and environment.
What we sow is what we reap. This earth provides all the necessary resources. We have to provide the creative skills and aptitude to lead productive lives.
I have written four books called Earthland; Meaningful Reality based on thirty years of research.

"Thinking is the desire to gain reality by means of ideas."
José Ortega y Gasset

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