Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Well, I've pu
t the old Cauldron on simmer for this long holiday weekend and probably won't be posting any comments until Sunday. However, in honor of Independence Day, I've left this post for you to enjoy and send to your friends as you contemplate what this holiday means.


This year, perhaps more than any in my lifetime except immediately f
ollowing World War II, the celebration of our independence - our freedom from oppression and tyranny - is especially meaningful. It's more than a day when we shoot off fireworks - legal and illegal. It's a day when we should contemplate what our founding fathers intended this country to become more than two hundred years ago, and what it has evolved to on this date. With a tip of the hat to Art Pedroza over at the Orange Juice Blog, here's a link that might help you remember what this country is all about.


Today there are many perils facing our country, both at home and abroad. It seems as though we have entire regions of this planet wanting us all dead and are rapidly acquiring the means to accomplish that goal. Until September 11, 2001, and events subsequent to that date, contemplating the possibility of this country being in jeopardy seemed almost laughable. We were, after all, the most powerful country on earth. Today I'm not so sure... Today we seem willing to embrace our enemies and turn our backs on our friends.

It also seems that the new administration, led by our trainee president, is determined to undo more than two hundred years of hard-earned freedoms and turn this country into a socialist society where the government decides every facet of our lives. Based on their actions over the past six months, it seems as though they are trying to drain any thought of hard work, and the rewards available from it, from our lexicon. They seem determined to exercise absolute control over even the most minute segments of our lives. This is not the America I grew up in - the one that encouraged innovation and entrepreneurship, hard work and big rewards. If this trend continues we will soon become a society of drones, bellied-up to the government trough for all our needs. I don't like this change one bit.

I hope you will take a little time to view the following video clips and pause to consider just where this country has been and where it is headed. It's time for us all to stand up, speak up and make our views known - at every level of government. With that said, I wish you all a very happy and safe Independence Day.














Blogger Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

Wonderful post with lots to contemplate as we celebrate this year.

Around this time I often rewatch Gettysburg staring Tom Berenger, Jeff Daniels and Martin Sheen (the battle was fought over July 4th). I am so impressed with the quality of the officers and the ideals and the sacrifices made by some for all of us to live free.

7/02/2009 07:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Veteran's Wife said...

Excellent post, Geoff! I hope you have lots of readers because this needs to go global. Wake up America before it's too late!

7/02/2009 01:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

I think we have the same vision and love for the America we grew up in. But I strongly differ from you in the way I see what is happening now.

Ever since the second Nixon administration, the middle-income working class has been disappearing. The vast bulk of American economic growth has gone to international corporations, oil companies, and a relative handful of extremely wealthy tycoons, while the average head of a household with a good job is no longer able to support a family. By swamping out millions of voters with huge campaign donations, these rich and powerful companies and individuals have distorted our politics, economic policy and tax policy to their benefit and to the detriment of everyone else. These last 35 years have seen the greatest governmental re-distribution of income in the history of the United States – from middle-income workers to the rich and powerful.

I’m not making this up; the facts are the facts. When we were young, an ordinary worker with a high school education, or less, could earn enough to support a spouse and several children, own a house and a car, and send his kids to a community college, or a private college if they could qualify for a scholarship. I know; I was one of those kids. A prudent family could save enough for a reasonably comfortable retirement, supplementing Social Security with maybe a company pension and their own savings.

And now? It takes two adults working full time to support a family in a middle-class standard of living, and it’s always a struggle: twice the work for less real income and no security.

Now the bankers have crashed our economy while 8 years of irresponsible tax policy have put our government so deep in debt we may never get out.

So if we try to reverse some of that ruinous policy and distribute some future income back down to the working people so they and their children can thrive again, I’m all for it. If that’s Socialism, let’s have more of it! (continued)

7/02/2009 05:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

(continuing)As to government intrusion into our lives, I’m not sure what you are referring to. As for me, I feel my privacy is invaded by being searched when I board a plane, and I’ll be happy to see that ended. If I were younger, I’d deeply resent the government’s authorizing pharmacists to decide for me what prescriptions I can have filled and deciding for me whether I would bring a pregnancy to term, or whom I could marry. That’s intrusion! None of this has come about during the current administration.

Private companies and persons, however, intrude in more shadowy ways. They record my internet searches and whom I call on my telephone. My financial information is not my own business; it’s the business of anyone who pays a few bucks to get it. Now the government wants to put my medical information on the Internet! I’ll fight that one, but I know I’ll lose because there’s money to be made by those with access.

So yes, my privacy has vanished along with a goodly chunk of my retirement savings. But “the government” doesn’t steal my privacy for its own purposes. It facilitates invasions of privacy by people who try to profit from it, and it does so because the almighty dollar has replaced liberty as the highest public value. We find ourselves at the mercy of those with their hands on the levers of power, forced to yield our privacy in order earn our living and to purchase necessary goods and services.

If the present administration can somewhat reduce the power of the ruling elite in this country (and I don’t expect to see that happen), I’d have more breathing space, and I’d be happy to empower the government to do that. My point is that it isn’t “government” that has stolen our liberty and privacy. After all, it’s our government, of, by and for the people, if we take the trouble to claim it.

I’m really tired of hearing this b.s. right-wing propaganda trying to persuade the people that it’s the “government” who stole our liberties. The simple truth is that wealthy and powerful persons and companies have exerted far too much influence over the government through campaign contributions (and who knows what else). They managed to fool most of the people most of the time. It’s up to us, the people, to take our government back. I think we have started to do so in the 2008 election.

7/02/2009 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...


Your comments came in just as I was shutting down prior to heading out of town, so I don't have much time to respond. In fact, if you reply to this it likely won't get posted for several hours - maybe tomorrow. I read what you said and understand some of your angst. One quick question while I contemplate a broader response... do you feel your criticism of the "ruling elite" applies to local government, too? Are you concerned about the impact of big bucks being provided to local candidates, and the impact of those contributions?

Thanks for participating here... I'll give your views some quality time over the weekend.

7/02/2009 05:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

I'm looking forward to your response, Geoff.

No, I don't think we have a ruling elite in Costa Mesa. However, I do see a danger to our city in the financing of City Council campaigns by contributors from out of town, and especially by political parties anywhere. City Council is supposed to be non-partisan, and the influx of big money from out of town is anti-democratic and potentially corrupting. If it were up to me, I would not allow campaign contributions to City Council candidates other than from Costa Mesa residents. This would pretty much eliminate the corrupting influence of big bucks campaigns and allow ordinary citizens the opportunity to compete.

7/02/2009 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you Eleanor for clearly spelling out how many of us feel.

I'm not afraid of Obama or the government. I only hope that he/they are half as successful reviving our country as FDR was (at least FDR didn't go into the depression with the huge Federal debt that GWB left behind). I worry that every part of our country, including CM, is going to be much, much poorer over the next 20 years.

Happy Birthday, America...And Good Luck

7/03/2009 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger Humberto said...

Wow, Ms. Egan, I'm gladly surprised. It's quite difficult to find opinions like yours in Orange County. If we go back many decades ago, especially a few years prior to the Great Depression, then we should be able to understand what really goes on when our government fails to control our economy, and leaves everything to big corporations, bankers, Wall Street, and so on. Monopolies are the result of that process. A few years prior to the arrival of Obama in the White House, we/they didn’t call it monopolies; we said that companies were “merging”. Well, we know companies were basically buying other smaller companies –like Costo did with Price Club, etc. etc.—to reduce the level of competition in the market. I have traveled to different countries during the last two decades, and I have seen so many negative changes taking place after many governments decided to follow IMF and World Bank economic recipes. Here, I want to be clear about something. I’m not saying that open market policies are bad. In fact they are good. But we must make sure that abusive economic behavior must be regulated. I think that’s the government’s job. Does it make me a socialist? I don’t think so. I just don’t want to see companies like Microsoft Computers killing small ones like Netscape because they have the ability to do so. I don’t think we should demonize President Obama for an economic policy that basically puts some restraints on monopolistic behavior. He is a Democrat, perhaps a liberal or a lefty, but not a socialist. That’s going a little too much.

7/04/2009 12:41:00 AM  

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