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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

WE ARE FAR TOO TOP-HEAVY!

"Corporations are NOT people! Money is NOT free speech!"
- TomCat, www.politics.plus.org -


"Advertising is legalized lying."
- H.G. Wells -


Big business AND government have grown far too large and inefficient in this country. They have handicapped themselves by turning boards of directors into buddy clubs filled with out-of-touch officers who actually drag their companies down, by manufacturing a bogus air of profitability through the outsourcing of labor and cutting wages down. Huge corporations have managed to buy off large portions of Congress through massive campaign contributions to Republicans and Democrats alike. Corporate lobbyists, rather than Congresspersons, often write bills themselves and offer them up to be enacted! They have managed to corrupt government regulators to the point where these "regulators" are no longer acting in the vpublic's best interest. THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is why we see the government seemingly paralyzed and unable to deliver what we all need from it. It is the reason why only laws beneficial mainly to the privileged and wealthy get passed and why everyone else is left wanting. It is the reason why our activist Supreme Court has now allowed corporations the exact same rights as individuals, and has declared they may contribute all the cash they can muster to spend freely without restriction in our political campaigns!

This perverse corporate influence is rampant and permeates all areas of American life today. It is why TV shows are constantly interrupted by lying commercials which insult our intelligence, and why these obnoxious commercial breaks have steadily grown from 8 minutes per HOUR in the very early 1960s to roughly 22 minutes per HOUR today. It is the reason why American jobs have been exported outside of our borders; why our wages have flattened out or have even been reduced in recent years; why labor union power, influence, and membership have all declined to dangerously anemic levels over the past 40 years; and why the middle class is rapidly disappearing. This entire country is being squeezed so those at the top of the income scale may grow even wealthier than they have ever been.

This is NOT how democracy is supposed to function, and it is a dangerously regressive phenomenon which must be halted and reversed!


A revealing study by Norton & Ariely, 2010, shows that Americans are clueless about how the country's wealth is distributed or is as concentrated as it now is. (Left click on the graphs to make them larger if you need to). When shown three pie charts representing possible wealth distributions, 90% or more of the 5,522 respondents -- whatever their gender, age, income level, or party affiliation -- thought that the American wealth distribution most resembled one in which the top 20% has about 60% of the wealth. Of course, the top 20% actually control about 85% of the wealth!

Even more unbelievable, they did not come close to the amount of wealth held by the bottom 40% of the population: the lowest two groups which compose the lowest 40% hold just 0.3% of the wealth in the United States! Most people in the survey guessed the figure to be between 8% and 10%, and two dozen academic economists got it wrong too, by guessing about 2% -- seven times too high. Those surveyed did have it about right for what the 20% in the middle have; it's at the top and the bottom that they don't have any idea of what's really going on.

Table 3: Share of wealth held by the Bottom 99% and Top 1% in the United States, 1922-2007.
Bottom 99 percent / Top 1 percent
1922 63.3% / 36.7%
1929 55.8% / 44.2%
1933 66.7% / 33.3%
1939 63.6% / 36.4%
1945 70.2% / 29.8%
1949 72.9% / 27.1%
1953 68.8% / 31.2%
1962 68.2% / 31.8%
1965 65.6% / 34.4%
1969 68.9% / 31.1%
1972 70.9% / 29.1%
1976 80.1% / 19.9%
1979 79.5% / 20.5%
1981 75.2% / 24.8%
1983 69.1% / 30.9%
1986 68.1% / 31.9%
1989 64.3% / 35.7%
1992 62.8% / 37.2%
1995 61.5% / 38.5%
1998 61.9% / 38.1%
2001 66.6% / 33.4%
2004 65.7% / 34.3%
2007 65.4% / 34.6%

Sources: 1922-1989 data from Wolff (1996). 1992-2007 data from Wolff (2010).


Table 4: Percentage of wealth held in 2000 by the Top 10% of the adult population in various Western countries:
Switzerland 71.3%
United States 69.8%
Denmark 65.0%
France 61.0%
Sweden 58.6%
UK 56.0%
Canada 53.0%
Norway 50.5%
Germany 44.4%
Finland 42.3%
It is interesting to note that all of these countries EXCEPT THE UNITED STATES have generous universal health care services provided by their governments that are financed by their taxpayers!

Source: 2006 study, World Institute for Development Economics Research

Corporations love to talk about how lower taxes and huge profits are necessary to provide stockholders with generous dividend checks, as if millions of lower income folks will benefit. But as the table below clearly shows, only 8.9% of the bottom 80% of wage earners are even stockholders!

Table 5a: Concentration of stock ownership in the United States, 2001-2007
Percent of all stock owned:
Wealth class / 2001 / 2004 / 2007
Top 1% 33.5% / 36.7% / 38.3%
Next 19% 55.8% / 53.9% / 52.8%
Bottom 80% 10.7% / 9.4% / 8.9%


Table 5b: Amount of stock owned by various wealth classes in the U.S., 2007
Percent of households owning stocks worth:
Wealth class $0 (no stocks) / $1-$10,000 / More than $10,000
Top 1% 7.4% / 4.2% / 88.4%
95-99% 7.8% / 2.7% / 89.5%
90-95% 13.2% / 5.4% / 81.4%
80-90% 17.9% / 10.9% / 71.2%
60-80% 34.6% / 18.3% / 47.1%
40-60% 52.3% / 25.6% / 22.1%
20-40% 69.7% / 21.6% / 8.7%
Bottom 20% 84.7% / 14.3% / 2.0%

Source: Wolff, 2007 and 2010

THE TOP 400 WEALTHIEST AMERICAN WAGE EARNERS HOLD MORE WEALTH TODAY THAN THE BOTTOM 155 MILLION COMBINED!

In 1970, CEOs made $25 for every $1 the average worker made. Due to technological advancements, production and profit levels exploded from 1970 - 2000. With the lion's share of increased profits going to the CEO's, this pay ratio has now dramatically risen to a whopping $90 for CEOs to $1 for the average worker!
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Graph courtesy www.politicsplus.org/

Our economy has become top-heavy, folks. This unhealthy trend toward repeated tax cuts for the very rich combined with ever-accelerating CEO pay and benefits coming at the expense of average workers' pay and benefits is unsustainable and must be REVERSED! Like most top-heavy items, if not corrected soon, the country itself will collapse altogether. The signs of economic collapse are all around us. Our infrastructure is in serious disrepair. Corporations grow greedier every day. Labor has become a scapegoat to be neutralized and exported. Debt is rising at an alarming rate.The very rich are sitting on their money or investing overseas while the country they were born in stagnates and putrifies.

A PEOPLE'S PARTY dedicated solely to reversing these threatening trends is the ONLY answer! It must restore the power of labor and, through government regulation, roll back runaway CEO pay, minimize corporate influence over government, and revamp our grossly unfair tax system which benefits only the very wealthy. It must reduce the power and influence of weak, blue dog Democrats and help push the hopelessly out-of-touch and ultra-conservative Republican Party into its deserved place on the scrap heap of history. Time is running out for the middle class. Proudly hoisting the banner of the People's Party, the middle class and poor must strike back NOW!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

BRING ON THE PEOPLE'S PARTY - NOW!

The following article, which I am reproducing whole here, came from a March 7 posting over at former Labor Secretary Robert Reich's brilliant blog "http://robertreich.org/". I have taken the liberty of bolding where I felt necessary. My own comments will follow this piece at bottom and will appear in bolded italic. Enjoy!
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The Birth of the People’s Party
Monday, March 7, 2011

Look at the outrage in Madison, Wisconsin. Look at the crowds in DesMoines, Iowa. Look at the demonstrations in Indiana and Ohio and elswhere around America.

Hear what they’re saying: Stop attacking unions. Stop making scapegoats out of public employees. Stop protecting the super-rich from paying their fair share of the taxes needed to keep our schools running.

Stop gutting the working middle class.

Are we finally seeing average Americans stand up and demand a fair shake in an economy now grotesquely tilted toward the wealthy and the privileged? Are Americans beginning to awake to the fact that our economy now delivers a larger share of total income to the very top than at any time in living memory? That big corporations are making more money and creating more jobs ABROAD than in the United States?

That this concentration of income and wealth has so corrupted politics that corporations can extort whatever they want from the government — tax breaks, loan guarantees, subsidies — while the super-rich can take most of their income as capital gains (taxed at 15 percent), and the rest at the lowest top rate in 25 years? And that because of this our kids are crowded into classrooms, our streets and highways and bridges are falling apart, and our healthcare bills are out of control?

The Tea Party grew out of indignation over the Wall Street bailout — an indignation shared by the vast majority of Americans. But the Tea Party ended up directing its ire at government rather than at big business and Wall Street. Was this because billionaires Charles and David Koch and their like funneled money to the Tea Party through front organizations like Dick Armey’s Freedom Works, and thereby co-opted it?

Now we may be seeing the birth of a genuine populist movement. Call it the People’s Party. Like the Tea Party, the People’s Party doesn’t have a clear organization or hierarchy or single address. It doesn’t have lobbyists in Washington. It’s not even yet recognized by the mainstream media.

But the People’s Party seems to be growing in numbers and in intensity. And it’s starting to push elected officials — first at the state level — to listen and respond.
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I WHOLEHEARTEDLY support this creation of a new PEOPLE'S PARTY! I say, let it become as powerful and influential a faction within the Democratic Party as the Tea Party has become in the Republican Party! Conservative Republicanism failed this country way back in the 1920s. Foolishly, today's reactionary Republicans stubbornly cling to those thoroughly discredited, unfair, and HARMFUL "supply-side" and "free market" CRAZY economic beliefs and practices! Blue Dog Democrats, too cowardly or too conservative to behave as REAL Democrats used to, (being a strong force for econpmic change and fairness), have dragged the Democratic Party down. They have saddled it with heretical corporatist ideology. They have undercut the President's more progressive planks and weakened him politically, forcing him to make unnecessary and damaging overtures to, and compromises with, the reactionary Repulicans.

People are understandably frustrated. I share that frustration.

NEITHER PARTY REPRESENTS THE MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION ANY LONGER. The Republicans are ALL bought-out, corporate shills and represent only the religious right, big business, and the wealthiest 2% of the country. Scott Walker and his reactionary Republicans' actions in Wisconsin prove that this miserable party is bound determined to attack American workers to aid the rich. The Democrats have become impotent and no longer represent the poor OR The middle class, either. They, too, have become plutocratic puppets who are completely compromised by the oligarchy this country has become. Only a handful of progressives, notably Vermont Senator BERNIE SANDERS, Minnesota Senator AL FRANKEN, Ohio Senator SHERROD BROWN, and Oregon Senator RON WYDEN have shown any gumption at all, by consistently voting in favor of "normal, everyday, working Americans" who make up most of the remaining 98% of the population.

Writing in www.forbes.com, in an article called "Is Wisconsin the Real Republican Waterloo?", E.D. Kain says, "In Wisconsin, Democrats are already promising to step-up recall efforts. But the recalls are only a small part of what is likely going to be a huge anti-Republican backlash across the nation, as working Americans finally realize what that party actually stands for: a playing field heavily tilted toward the rich and powerful, toward corporate power, and against worker rights...And now conservatives have chosen public-sector workers and teachers as their hill to die on. They have followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and elected Scott Walker, Rick Scott, and various other Tea Party candidates. Heavily funded by big campaign donors like the Koch brothers and other corporate interests, the Republican party has made a concerted effort across the country to take on unions, public pensions, and social services for the poor...Republicans have a long history of union-busting and anti-labor rhetoric, but taking on teachers and cops is a big mistake. This blatant effort to weaken the Democratic party will have precisely the opposite effect...Now Scott Walker has given progressives their chance. This is the Democrats' chance to recapture that narrative, to turn the discussion back to the dignity of the middle class, to the importance of policies that do not simply push power and capital ever upward. THIS is the Republican’s Waterloo." PRETTY ASTOUNDING OBSERVATIONS FOR ONE WRITING FOR FORBES.COM!

NOW IS THE TIME! People are fired up and are now starting to recognize the threat the conservative Republicans pose to us all. This country needs President Obama and ALL Progressives to wean Democrats away from the timid Blue Dog and conservative influencees and unite under a new, MUCH more responsive, pro-labor, and progressive PEOPLE'S PARTY. The time is ripe for all progressives to flood Democratic Party caucuses next year and slowly replace the corrupting influences within, eventually filling them with progressive-minded PEOPLE'S PARTY activists instead! This would not only ensure the President's re-election, but it would free him from the confines he's been forced to operate under. When this occurs, I'll bet we see an invigorated President who will actually be able to accomplish just what voters need and really want, and what they expected when they elected him in 2008. Remember, the President started out with a much more progressive agenda. After lukewarm Democratic support and no support at all from Republicans, he grew more timid in his approach. I believe that, with an overwhelming new Democratic majority composed of a strong PEOPLE'S PARTY faction, he will return to the form he showed right after he was first elected.

Like Robert Reich, I, too, believe this to be a growing, GENUINELY populist movement in dire need of an activist launching. Will you join me in this push for a truly progressive alternative to the phony, Koch brothers-financed ultra-conservative Tea Party? Will you attend next year's Democratic caucuses, write repeated letters to the editor of your local paper, TALK TO YOUR FRIENDS AND CO-WORKERS, and post info about what you're doing to attract others on Facebook and Twitter? By doing so, we may just be able to completely reverse this long downhill slide the conservative Republicans have had this country on for the past 30 years!

This is NOT a move to radicalize the Democratic Party. Rather, it is a way to RESTORE it to the party it once was: a party deserving of respect, which will again actually deliver for its constituents (and the entire country), as it should!

JOIN ME, PROGRESSIVES! THIS IS THE MOMENT WE'VE BEEN WAITING FOR!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

ASH WEDNESDAY, AND THE SEASON OF LENT

Today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the start of the season of Lent in the western Christian church. It is a season of inner reflection, doing penance for the wromgs one has done, and fasting, which prepares one for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, by which all Christian believers get the chance for redemption.


Modern Christians will be anointed on the forehead with ashes today. These ashes signify three things: that one should always be humble; that one should emulate the ancient Ninevites, who followed Jacob's advice to repent by doing penance in sackcloth and ashes; and that all will not remain here on earth forever - the human race will someday return to the dust from which it was first created.

As this Lenten season begins today, each and every one of us can engage in sacrifice for a higher purpose. One need not even be a Christian to achieve some good with this. One need not do something monumental, either: each of us, in his or her own way, can engage in this sacrifice for a good cause of our own choosing. Doing so certainly won't break us or kill us. For example, business owners and corporate CEOs could hire one extra employee off of the unemployment rolls, or give existing employees a little unexpected bonus or raise. Employees who are accustomed to engaging in unproductive activities on company time (like internet surfing or shopping) could refrain from doing that for the season so as to quit taking advantage of the boss. Office employees and CEOs alike could agree to donate $1 each per month for the next year or two to support orphans or needy children somewhere. The American Institute of Philanthropy publishes a guide to charities you can trust, and this guide is available for only $3. Just contact them at this address:

American Institute of Philanthropy
P.O. Box 578460
Chicago, IL 60657



Mortgage bankers could give those facing foreclosure 30 to 60 more days grace. In the lunch line, or at the highway toll booth, one could pay the next person's fare as an act of anonymous kindness. Each of us could easily spare some pocket change or even $5 to give to the next homeless person we see on the street. Politicians and pundits alike, such as Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck, could all refrain from telling lies about their opponents for political gain during the next six weeks. Children could step up and do the dishes or other chores out of turn every so often. Oil company executives and Wall Street speculators could refrain from raising gasoline prices every time there's the least little bit of tension reported from the Middle East. Come April 15, just for this year, taxpayers could refrain from taking deductions they aren't really supposed to. Fundamentalist Christians could stop their holier-than-thou attacks on Muslims and gays just long enough to realize Jesus Himself would never approve of their hateful actions.

If all of us take the time and make the effort to find little ways we can each sacrifice, the net result will be something very large and meaningful indeed! I invite readers to suggest other little things which could be done this season to make our world be a better and fairer place for all.


If each of us will only look within ourselves for the next six weeks, we will certainly find our own individual way to improve the world situation and we may help develop some true and lasting peace as a side benefit. There is nothing to lose, and VERY much to gain, by doing these little acts of sacrifice. Let's give it a try, shall we? What are YOUR suggestions, readers?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

BAN ALL MONOPOLISTIC CORPORATIONS INSTEAD!

A corporate CEO, a teabagger, and a unionized public employee are sitting around a table. A plate with a dozen cookies has been placed before the CEO. He takes 11 of the cookies, and then says to the teabagger, "Watch out for that union guy. He wants a piece of your cookie."

This ingeneous fable is a perfect illustration of the American economic system today. Big corporations have experienced gains in worker productivity as a result of, and despite, freezing wages, conducting layoffs, and reducing workers' hours. REAL unemployment (not the "official" government statistic, but those who are still without a job) is still unbearably high. Meanwhile, CEO salaries and benefit packages continue to skyrocket. Outsourcing of American jobs continues. Union membership in the private sector is at an all-time low, as repeated union busting attempts over the past 30 years have been largely successful. The corporation and its kingpin, the CEO, rule the roost. They have devoured the Republican Party whole, and have succeeded in neutralizing and making impotent the once formidable (former) party of the workers and the poor, the Democratic Party. Now they wish to make their victory all but complete by doing away with public sector unions. They know if they are successful in this attempt, the few remaining private sector unions will also disappear. It is a disgraceful and indefensible action being undertaken in this so-called "land of the free," where the only freedom in the marketplace belongs to those who set the wages, not to those who actually produce wealth through their labor.

The corporatists and their willing parrots in the reactionary Republican Party are trying to turn non-union employees against union employees. They circulate wild and crazy rumors about how union employees make vastly more than non-union employees for the same type of work (in most cases they DON'T); how union employees' benefits dwarf those of non-union workers and are paid for by taxpayers (although most union pensions and medical insurance are either fully or partly worker-funded); and how closed-shop companies are costing jobs overall (a baldfaced lie). Their strategy is simple: divide the workers, and then conquer them. Whip up public opinion against unions (especially public-sector ones), and remain safe and untouched and able to further increase revenues and profits while both groups of workers fight among themselves. It is a dishonest and cynical ploy. It is a tactic these plutocrats and their far-right parrots are attempting to institutionalize. It must therefore be resisted to the bitter end by all who aren't members of the upper 2% of the income scale!

Scott Walker and John Kasich, the extreme far-right Republican governers of, respectively, Wisconsin and Ohio, have tried to destroy the effectiveness of public-sector unions by stripping them of their ability to collectively bargain. They have proceeded with this radical agenda even though nationwide polls indicate that, by a landslide margin, most voters disagree completely with their approach. Being ideologues who detest unions, they have nonetheless gone straight ahead with their plan.

Both claim it is the only way to reduce their state's budget deficit. But that is a deliberate lie, and they know it. Keep in mind: Neither the Wisconsin NOR the Ohio public sector unions have a history or pattern of strikes, walkouts, or other disruptions. This is just a conspiracy devised at the last Republican Governors Association meeting to directly attack these workers, done completely without provocation. And these sneaky, dishonest two governors do not mention that prior to their action, both states granted huge tax cuts to corporations (Ohio even completely did away with their corporate income tax)! BOTH MEN MUST THEREFORE BE RECALLED AND THROWN FROM OFFICE AT THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE MOMENT FOR THIS ARROGANT, DEFIANT, AND DISHONEST ACTION!

Corporate taxes have steadily decreased as a percentage of our Gross Domestic Product, as the chart below clearly shows. Yet corporations still send out swarms of lobbyists to get Congress to lower their taxes even further! It defies logic, and such behavior can only be filed under the heading of GREED. For, along with tremendous gains in productivity per worker over the past 20 years, corporations have caused an actual REDUCTION in the number and pay scales of American workers' jobs. That's right: rather than take their tax decreases and apply them to the creation of new, better-paying AMERICAN jobs, corporations have either sat on their savings, or, worse yet, exported American jobs overseas. Even worse, much of the taxes bthey used to pay have been moved steadily from them over to personal income taxes over the years!
The thoroughly bought-out Republican Party in the House of Representatives recently voted unanimously to defeat a Democratic bill which would have ended our $36 BILLION federal subsidy to the nation's top 5 oil companies, who together have netted $1 TRILLION in profit over the past decade! That should give you an idea of the REAL Republican feeling on cutting our nation's deficit!

To further show how greedy corporate America has become, not only has their average rate of taxation declined steadily, but they have also taken to using creative ways to present themselves so as to incur even less taxation! Designation as a sub-S corporation provides for an even larger tax savings, as the steady rise in companies doing so is shown in the chart below.
To put this in proper perspective, I am presenting below two graphs which I obtained from TomCat's post of March 3, which appeared on his marvelous blog www.politicsplus.org. (Left click on each graph to make it larger and more readable). They show exactly how corporate America has robbed YOU over the past decades, and what the current table of income levels reveals. It is DISGUSTING!
It is an unfairly reckless act for Govs. Walker and Kasich to effectively be balancing their state budgets on the backs of middle class and poor workers, and an added insult to bar public unions tfrom bargaining collectively for better pay and working conditions. These are not the actions of men who truly believe in a free market. Rather, these are puppets of the plutocracy this country has become. They aren't public servants; they are servants of an evil, greedy oligarchy which wishes to push all wealth upward into the hands of a select few. For if these clowns really did believe in a free market, rather than ban collective bargaining among public employees, they would heed my call to BAN ALL MONOPOLISTIC CORPORATIONS INSTEAD!


PROGRESSIVES AND INDEPENDENTS: REMEMBER THE WISCONSIN PUBLIC SECTOR WORKERS!!!

In closing, I say to the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives:

OK, you got your extended Bush tax cuts for the rich; NOW WHERE ARE THE JOBS WHICH WERE SUPPOSED TO RESULT? You've regained control of the House of Representatives; NOW WHERE ARE THE JOBS WHICH WERE SUPPOSED TO RESULT? You've been Speaker of the House for over 2 months. You have done nothing to create new jobs and have instead wasted all your time on social issues. NOW, WHERE THE HELL ARE THE JOBS YOU SAID WOULD BE CREATED WHEN THE REPUBLICANS GAINED CONTROL, MR. BOEHNER?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

WDGY'S JIM DANDY (1942-2010)

James Brian Everts (aka "Diamond Jim Dandy") February 24, 1942-October 20, 2010, R. I. P.

To my utter dismay, I found out last week that I had lost my boyhood idol, a radio DJ who used to broadcast from the now-defunct Twin Cities radio station WDGY, AM 1130. I am saddened that I didn't have the chance to speak with him one last time, or to thank him once again for the countless hours of enjoyment his show provided for me from early 1966-spring 1968, and again briefly in the spring of 1969. So I'll just have to do so here in this memorial post I now dedicate to him in his honor.

During the 1960s, WDGY (or "Weegee" as we locals referred to it) was THE most listened to, most popular radio station. It was a powerful 50,000 watt directional station, and it vied for no.1 with WCCO-AM as the most listened-to station in the Minneapolis-St. Paul market. Whereas 'CCO was mostly a talk/sports/easy listening type of format, WDGY played all the current pop-rock top 40 hits of that time, and was an absolute staple among pre-teens to young adults of the day (circa 1964-1973 or so). FM radio was still in its infancy at that time and a suitable FM rock station didn't emerge here until about 1969 or so, so our main choice was always WDGY. It was where we first heard The Beatles, the Stones, the Dave Clark Five, the Supremes, the Temptations, the Four Tops, Johnny Rivers, Petula Clark, Lesley Gore, the Lovin' Spoonful, the Left Banke, Sam and Dave, Simon and Garfunkel, the Byrds, the Four Seasons, and scores upon scores of other classic sixties groups and singers. And the king of Weegee was Jim Dandy.

Diamond Jim Dandy was a true radio personality, not your tired, safe, benign radio DJ of today. He was very lively, fast talking, and slightly irreverent. He didn't have what you would call a deep or resonant radio voice, but he held his listeners quite well with his quick wit and conversational, uplifting personality. His Monday-Saturday 7 PM-12 midnight slot constantly outdrew main rival 'CCO in the Arbitron ratings. Back in those days, it was customary for most stations to play two or at most three selections and then run several commercials or do a short news break. Not Jim Dandy, though: sometime in 1966, he began to call for what he termed "a six pack." He mentioned that if 6 people would call him and DARE him to play six records in a row without a commercial break, not only would he play the records continuously, he would even mention the callers' names and cities on the air! He ended up doing this several times a night, and each time he'd have all of us scrambling to call in and get our names mentioned. I can remember furiously dialing 827-9999 on our old rotary phone over and over, until I finally got through without a busy signal, and most nights I succeeded. As a matter of fact, it got to the point where I would say, "Jim, I'd like to dare ya for a six-pack" and he would say "OK, Jack, you're in. How ya doin' tonight?" I was tickled pink that he recognized my voice, so, naturally, I just kept on listening and calling nearly every night. Homework was ALWAYS done in the kitchen in front of the transistor radio and close to the phone. It got to the point where I swear I was one of three or four callers who most often got his name read on the air. (I remember my fellow "rivals" at the time as being a Bruce Ness of Minneapolis and a Diane Eid of Richfield - funny how, 42+ years later, I can still remember those names)! As time went on, sometimes Jim would ask for dares for a 12-pack, something that was truly unheard of in AM radio of the time. That, of course, was 12 records played in a row without commercials and 12 listeners' names being read on the air. He also asked for people to call in to dedicate songs to their particular girl or boy friend of the moment, and I did that quite a few times too.

Saturday, July 15, 1967, is a date I'll always remember. My uncle had previously provided me with two good box seat tickets for the Minnesota Twins-Kansas City Athletics baseball game. I asked Jim Dandy if he'd like to go with me to the game, and he accepted. He actually pre-recorded his show for that night on tape so he could be at the game! He came by at the appointed time and picked me up in his flashy red 1965 Chevy convertible, and away we went! The Twins didn't play particularly well that day, and K.C. really stunk, so we barely eked out a 3-2 win. Jim asked me if I would like to visit him and get a guided tour at the radio station in a week or so, and I said "YES!" very enthusiastically! So about a week and a half later my mom drove me out to the station (I was only 13 at the time) and in I went, all wide-eyed with wonderment! He took me into the broadcast booth where later that night he'd be broadcating from, mentioning that we must be very quiet so as not to disturb Scott Burton, who preceded him in the rotation. We crept in quietly and I was all eyes! Later he took me into the basement, where they stored past hit records and did production. Their collection of 45 rpm records was incredible.

Jim Dandy left the station the following May and didn't return until a brief stint the following year. Then, all of a sudden, he was gone without an explanation. It took me nearly 40 years, but I finally tracked him down through an email address I saw somewhere. I wrote him about much of what you see here and asked if he remembered me. I didn't hear back for quite some time. But finally, one day, I got a phone call. I didn't recognize the voice on the other end. It was hoarser and gruffer than I remembered. But then the caller idebtified himself as JIM DANDY! I damn near dropped the phone! He mentioned that he was in Minneapolis, and asked if I'd like to join him for a drink. "You're on!" I hurriedly replied. So we met for SEVERAL drinks and had a wonderful time reminiscing about 1960s radio and WDGY in particular.

Jim Dandy in the broadcast booth during his brief return stint at WDGY in 1969.

I asked him what had brought him back to town, and he told me he had always liked Minneapolis and remembered his stay here fondly, and that he wanted to retire here. I was delighted to have him back in my life after so many years, but I was concerned about his health. He didn't look that good, having become very heavy set. He smoked like a chimney, and his voice had gotten noticeably deeper and hoarser. It was also obvious that he was drinking quite a bit, judging from the 4 or 5 vodka tonics he consumed during our visit that afternoon together. We decided to keep in touch, and he did call me from time to time, and I him. One day, though, he called and told me he was now in a nursing home. He had fallen and couldn't get up, and was taken to the hospital by paramedics with a severely bruised arm. I visited him at the nursing home in the spring of 2009. That was the last time I saw him alive. I called him and wished him a happy birthday last year, and we talked one time after that as well. I had been preoccupied with my own mother's poor health most of last spring, and she died at the end of May. 5 months later, my buddy Jim Dandy died too, and I didn't even know until I called for him again last week. I don't know a cause of death, but I would almost bet it was lung cancer or emphysema, or perhaps a heart attack...

Jim Dandy was the type of guy who never held back and said whatever was on his mind. He wasn't as offensive as Rush Limbaugh in that regard, but he sure wasn't shy. For some reason, he never cared that much for British sixties singer Petula Clark. Clark was 32, and already married with two children by the time her no. 1 monster hit "Downtown" entered American charts very late in 1964. Jim objected to the goody-goody, British schoolgirl image which had been created for her by record executives. To give you an idea of his irreverence, he once said of her, "she had more fingerprints on her than the front door of Duff's" (a popular Twin Cities lounge of that era). I laughed like hell at that one. Another time, he quipped, "somebody said that I could get rid of gas by eating pineapples. So I did that, and now I can't stop doing the hula and singin' "Tiny Bubbles." He always used to end his show by saying, "love is love, and fun is fun, but isn't it quiet when the goldfish die---goodbyyyeee..."




It IS quiet now, Jim, and I'm heartsick about it.




Thank you, Jim Dandy, for the thousands of hours of enjoyment you provided a young teenage boy back in those glory days of 1960s radio. I will NEVER forget you!


For an aircheck of what Jim Dandy actually sounded like, go to http://www.radiotapes.com/WDGY.html. Scroll down until you see 5/25/68 Diamond Jim Dandy, and click on it. It's not one of his better airchecks, but it does give you some idea of how he sounded. (Regrettably, this is not hyperlinked, so you'll just have to enter the address yourself).

LONG LIVE JIM DANDY! AND, LONG LIVE WDGY AM 1130!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

GOD, AND JESUS, ARE LIBERALS!


I have never been one to wear religion on my sleeve. I believe that one's religion and spirituality are personal matters, and that only vain and insecure people feel compelled to force their religious beliefs on others. Not to say that discussing religion offends me, or that I myself have not done so. What I take exception to, though, are those who constantly put themselves in one's face about the matter, insisting that THEIR brand of religion is the only true religion and everyone had just better believe exactly as they do. HOGWASH! A lady comes to mind who wouldn't do business with me unless I was "born again." Early Christians NEVER had such a stipulation. They believed that this rebirth occurred at the moment of baptism. The current notion of the term came about with the more conservative sects during the Reformation, and, to this day, neither Lutherans, Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, or those who are Eastern Orthodox follow or believe in it.

For this and many other reasons, I have had ny fill of rigid, fundamentalist, religious right conservatives who sanctimoniously claim God is on their side, or that Jesus hates Muslims and gays, and who then go off spouting their support for, and encouraging others to support, earthly leaders who engage in hatred, war, prejudice, cruelty, or plunder for profit.

God the Father, and His son, Jesus, never expressed a political philosophy, to be sure. Neither endorsed big OR small government. Indeed, the only reference to government was a quote by Jesus from Matthew 22:21, advising us to "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's." That, incidentally, would strongly imply sacred support for the concept of the separation of church and state, which some conservatives are now trying to deny and even blur!

Yeshua ben Joseph (the real name of Jesus, in Hebrew, meaning "Yeshua, of Joseph") was a Nazarene, meaning He rose from what the Romans of that time regarded as a radical sect of Jews. Clearly, His life and teachings were most radical for that era. His originality and creativity shocked and befuddled the elders and leaders of those days. While neither He nor God the Father ever specifically endorsed institutionalized liberalism, it is clear from both their teachings that they did espouse kindness, gentleness, generosity, forgiveness, and selflessness in one's own personal behavior, all of which are liberal traits. Neither ever advised anyone to reward the rich with tax breaks which would make them even richer, for example. Nor did they encourage accumulation of vast wealth, especially at the expense of, or through the exploitation of, others. Quite the contrary! Neither ever advised or said to engage in pre-emptive war or torture - they preached exactly the opposite! Dozens of times, in the Old and New Testaments, both told us to care for the sick and poor, the weak, and the afflicted. Neither ridiculed or advised others to look down on the less fortunate, and both warned us to not be selfish, vain, or greedy. "Thou shalt not kill!", God the Father commanded. He did not say it was ok to kill or persecute to protect or further His name. No, that notion came later, in the conservative application of the institution which became known as the Christian church.

Below are a number of quotes taken directly from the Bible. They bolster my conviction that both Jesus and God are liberals, and are not reactionary conservatives. For, to actually be conservatives, they would have to contradict these very statements below, of which there are far too many in this vein to even suppose they could be conservatives! Take a look at them:


"Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys."
- Luke 12:33 -

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."
- Proverbs 31:8-9 -


"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."
- Matthew 6:24 -


"He who mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished."
- Proverbs 17:5 -

"But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."
- Luke 14: 13-14 -

"He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich-both come to poverty."
- Proverbs 22:16 -


"There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land."
- Deuteronomy 15:11 -


"Resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also."
- Matthew 5:39 -

"I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you."
- Matthew 5:44 -


"People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."
-1 Timothy 6:9-10 -

"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
- Matthew 6: 1-4 -


"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."
- Mark 10:25 -


"If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven."
- Matthew 19:21 -


"In the temple courts [Jesus] found men selling cattle, sheep and doves and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So He made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; He scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables."
- John 2:14 & 15 -

"And He taught, saying unto them, 'Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer?, but ye have made it a den of thieves.'
And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine."
- Mark 11:18 & 19 -


"Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
- Luke 12.15 -



- Matthew 25:
14 "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne,
32
and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
33
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34
Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
35
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,
36
naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.'
37
Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
38
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
39
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?'
40
And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'
41
17 Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
42
For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
43
a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.'
44
18 Then they will answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?'
45
He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.'
46
And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."



"But whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also."
- Matthew 5:39 -

"I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despite-fully use you, and persecute you."
- Matthew 5:44 -

"If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to cast a stone at her."
- John 8:7 -
"Do not judge, lest you too be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to
you."
- Matthew 7:1 & 2 -

"Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy."
- Matthew 5:7 -




"Love your neighbor as yourself."
- Matthew 22:39 -

"So in everything, do to others as you would have them do to you."
- Matthew 7:12 -





The conservative's idea of God is apparently a no-nonsense authoritarian God, who sets specific rules and everyone had damn well better obey them or else. To this end, many conservatives of the religious right have taken it upon themselves to enforce what they see as God's will, and this manifests itself in the way they feel justified in persecuting gays, Muslims, atheists, obstetricians who perform abortions, and anyone else they determine is not following God's law perfectly, or the way they would like. These same people, many of whom vehemently oppose governmental intrusion into their own dealings, think nothing of dictating to others just how they should live. In the past, these beliefs have led to pogroms against Jews, Crusades against Muslims, and the burning at the stake of persons suspected of witchcraft. Their self-righteous beliefs led them to extremism, much like today's political and social conservatives. But my question is this: who appointed THEM policeman, judge, jury, warden, and chief executioner?

Jesus merely asked His followers to spread the word about God, not to browbeat or cajole others. For such an action completely ignores the fact that God Himself has given each one of us a Free Will: a choice as to whether we will or won't believe in Him or follow His teachings.

There are those, myself included, who see God not as some ranting, raving authoritarian One whose main aim is to punish those who disobey His commandments, but as One who is loving, merciful, forgiving, and anxious to have us join Him in Heaven. (To be sure, He WILL punish those who oppose or stand up in defiance against Him; look what happened to Satan and the fallen angels! But, by and large, to join Him in heaven, He only asks for obedience and due respect, and is ever ready to forgive small trangressions). For this reason, we liberals tend to be more tolerant and forgiving than the conservatives. Call us the Religious Left if you will: we oppose any effort by other humans to persecute, punish, or deny people their rights to live their lives as they wish, to accept or not accept the teachings of God, or to even question or deny His existence. A person's choice (or non-choice) of a religion is each individual's right, we believe, just as is stated in our Constitution. For we believe conservatives today are placing the right of a person to pursue his or her own individual wealth far above all else, including even common sense, even at times above the wishes of God. Certainly, the conservative Supreme Court was NOT "speaking up and judging fairly" or "defending the rights of the poor and needy" in last year's Citizens United case, for example, which conservatives hail for allowing unlimited corporate donations into our political process, thereby stacking the deck AGAINST the poor and needy!

Agnostics and atheists, you are perfectly within your rights to believe as you do. I only ask that you show the same tolerance and respect toward the Religious Left as you do other members of the progressive community, such as civil rights leaders, or as we do to you. For, I think as you have read this blog, you have come to the realization that much of the Christian teachings mirror your own beliefs about how one should live his or her own life, and are actually quite harmless to you and are good overall. For, as you have seen, God, and Jesus too, are LIBERALS who spread the good word about how we should live with the help of the Holy Spirit!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

PROOF OF THE GOP's EXTREME FAR-RIGHT DRIFT (PART III)!

This is my concluding segment proving the Republican Party's rightward drift is no illusion. I again present the abridged 1960 Republin Party platform as evidence. As in the previous two segments, my occasional comments will appear in bold italic, like this.

Housing
...Continued effort to clear slums, and promote rebuilding, rehabilitation, and conservation of our cities.
New programs to stimulate development of specialized types of housing, such as those for the elderly and for nursing homes...
Adequate authority for the federal housing agencies to assist the flow of mortgage credit into private housing, with emphasis on homes for middle- and lower-income families and including assistance in urban residential areas... Modern conservative Republicans would call these desires "socialism" and would dismiss them as unneeded government interference in the "free market".

Health
There has been a five-fold increase in government-assisted medical research during the last six years, We pledge:
Continued federal support for a sound research program aimed at both the prevention and cure of diseases, and intensified efforts to secure prompt and effective application of the results of research. This will include emphasis on mental illness.
Support of international health research programs.
We face serious personnel shortages in the health and medical fields. We pledge:
Federal help in new programs to build schools of medicine, dentistry, and public health and nursing, and financial aid to students in those fields. Today's GOP would take a very dim view of either federal help or of financial aid. After extending more tax cuts to billionaires, they would claim any more federal involvement in these areas of health to be a contributor to our deficit, and would shelve them altogether.
We are confronted with major problems in the field of environmental health. We pledge:
Strengthened federal enforcement powers in combatting water pollution and additional resources for research and demonstration projects...
Federal authority to identify, after appropriate hearings, air pollution problems and to recommend proposed solutions... Republicans of today, who hate environmentalists and ridicule them, would never support actions like these.

Protection of Consumers
In safeguarding the health of the nation the Eisenhower-Nixon Administration's initiative has resulted in doubling the resources of the Food and Drug Administration and in giving it new legal weapons. More progress has been made during this period in protecting consumers against harmful food, drugs, and cosmetics than in any other time in our history. We will continue to give strong support to this consumer-protection program. Current conservative Republicans would outright reject the notion of strict federal regulations, or they would appoint friends of each industry to a regulatory board to ensure that industry's wants and needs, and NOT those of consumers, would be taken care of!

Civil Rights
This nation was created to give expression, validity and purpose to our spiritual heritage—the supreme worth of the individual. In such a nation—a nation dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal—racial discrimination has no place. Except, as teabagger Rand Paul insists, in the case of PRIVATE businesses, which he believes ought to be able to set their own standards without government interference. It can hardly be reconciled with a Constitution that guarantees equal protection under law to all persons. In a deeper sense, too, it is immoral and unjust. To today's conservative Republican and teabagger, there is no morality or justice except protecting one's right to acquire as much wealth as possible free from government interference.
As to those matters within reach of political action and leadership, we pledge ourselves unreservedly to its eradication.
Equality under law promises more than the equal right to vote and transcends mere relief from discrimination by government. It becomes a reality only when all persons have equal opportunity, without distinction of race, religion, color or national origin, to acquire the essentials of life—housing, education and employment. The Republican Party—the party of Abraham Lincoln—from its very beginning has striven to make this promise a reality. It is today, as it was then, unequivocally dedicated to making the greatest amount of progress toward the objective. Nearly all persons of color would disagree that this is much of a priority for the modern-day GOP. Nor is discrimination confined to the discrimination against Negroes. Discrimination in many, if not all, areas of the country on the basis of creed or national origin is equally insidious...
The Republican Party is proud of the civil rights record of the Eisenhower Administration. More progress has been made during the past eight years than in the preceding 80 years. We acted promptly to end discrimination in our nation's capital. Vigorous executive action was taken to complete swiftly the desegregation of the armed forces, veterans' hospitals, navy yards, and other federal establishments.
We supported the position of the Negro school children before the Supreme Court. We believe the Supreme Court school decision should be carried out in accordance with the mandate of the Court.
...the Republican Administration's recommendations resulted in significant and effective civil rights legislation in both 1957 and 1960—the first civil rights statutes to be passed in more than 80 years.
Hundreds of Negroes have already been registered to vote as a result of Department of Justice action, some in counties where Negroes did not vote before. The new law will soon make it possible for thousands and thousands of Negroes previously disenfranchised to vote. Persons of color would strongly disagree that the modern Republican shares this view, and would point to Jeb Bush's closing of roads leading to polling booths in Florida in 2000, and the transfer of a large number of inner city polling machines away to suburban locations in Ohio as evidence to the contrary. And, as far as their current stand on civil rights goes, look at the anti-Obama signs we have been seeing at teabagger rallies, with the President having a bone through his nose, and dressed as a black Hitler!
By executive order, a committee for the elimination of discrimination in government employment has been reestablished with broadened authority. Today, nearly one-fourth of all federal employees are Negro.
The President's Committee on Government Contracts, under the chairmanship of Vice President Nixon, has become an impressive force for the elimination of discriminatory employment practices of private companies that do business with the government. The Rand Paul/Libertarian clique would oppose this today and call it social engineering or interference by the government in the affairs of private industry.
Other important achievements include initial steps toward the elimination of segregation in federally-aided housing; the establishment of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, which enforces federal civil rights laws; and the appointment of the bi-partisan Civil Rights Commission, which has prepared a significant report that lays the groundwork for further legislative action and progress.
The Republican record is a record of progress—not merely promises. Nevertheless, we recognize that much remains to be done... They have reduced their focus in this area significantly.

Each of the following pledges is practical and within realistic reach of accomplishment. They are serious—not cynical—pledges made to result in maximum progress.

1. Voting.
We pledge:
Continued vigorous enforcement of the civil rights laws to guarantee the right to vote to all citizens in all areas of the country.

Legislation to provide that the completion of six primary grades in a state accredited school is conclusive evidence of literacy for voting purposes.

2. Public Schools.
We pledge:
The Department of Justice will continue its vigorous support of court orders for school desegregation. Desegregation suits now pending involve at least 39 school districts. Those suits and others already concluded will affect most major cities in which school segregation is being practiced.

It will use the new authority provided by the Civil Rights Act of 1960 to prevent obstruction of court orders.

We will propose legislation to authorize the Attorney General to bring actions for school desegregation in the name of the United States in appropriate cases, as when economic coercion or threat of physical harm is used to deter persons from going to court to establish their rights.

Our continuing support of the President's proposal, to extend federal aid and technical assistance to schools which in good faith attempted to desegregate.

We oppose the pretense of fixing a target date 3 years from now for the mere submission of plans for school desegregation. Slow-moving school districts would construe it as a three-year moratorium during which progress would cease, postponing until 1963 the legal process to enforce compliance. We believe that each of the pending court actions should proceed as the Supreme Court has directed and that in no district should there be any such delay.

3. Employment.
We pledge:
Continued support for legislation to establish a Commission on Equal Job Opportunity to make permanent and to expand with legislative backing the excellent work being performed by the President's Committee on Government Contracts.
Appropriate legislation to end the discriminatory membership practices of some labor union locals, unless such practices are eradicated promptly by the labor unions themselves.
Use of the full-scale review of existing state laws, and of prior proposals for federal legislation, to eliminate discrimination in employment now being conducted by the Civil Rights Commission, for guidance in our objective of developing a Federal-State program in the employment area.
Special consideration of training programs aimed at developing the skills of those now working in marginal agricultural employment so that they can obtain employment in industry, notably in the new industries moving into the South.


4. Housing.
We pledge:
Action to prohibit discrimination in housing constructed with the aid of federal subsidies.


5. Public Facilities and Services.
We pledge:
Removal of any vestige of discrimination in the operation of federal facilities or procedures which may at any time be found.

Opposition to the use of federal funds for the construction of segregated community facilities.

Action to ensure that public transportation and other government authorized services shall be free from segregation. Much of this was cleared up or reduced with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

6. Legislative Procedure.
We pledge:
...We reaffirm the constitutional right to peaceable assembly to protest discrimination in private business establishments. We applaud the action of the businessmen who have abandoned discriminatory practices in retail establishments, and we urge others to follow their example. Such is no longer the case. Starting with Ronald Reagan, union-busting has become a rampage among Republican officeholders. They no longer support or will condone wildcat strikes or demonstrations in private industry.
Finally we recognize that civil rights is a responsibility not only of states and localities; it is a national problem and a national responsibility. The federal government should take the initiative in promoting inter-group conferences among those who, in their communities, are earnestly seeking solutions of the complex problems of desegregation—to the end that closed channels of communication may be opened, tensions eased, and a cooperative solution of local problems may be sought.

In summary, we pledge the full use of the power, resources and leadership of the federal government to eliminate discrimination based on race, color, religion or national origin and to encourage understanding and good will among all races and creeds. This is no longer a priority for the modern conservative Republican, for rather than attempting to be INCLUSIVE, they have adopted a pattern of EXCLUSIVITY, particularly against blacks and immigrants.

Immigration
Immigration has historically been a great factor in the growth of the United States, not only in numbers but in the enrichment of ideas that immigrants have brought with them...
Immigration has been reduced to the point where it does not provide the stimulus to growth that it should, nor are we fulfilling our obligation as a haven for the oppressed. Republican conscience and Republican policy require that:
The annual number of immigrants we accept be at least doubled...
The guidelines of our immigration policy be based upon judgment of the individual merit of each applicant for admission and citizenship. Republicans have see-sawed back and forth on immigration for years. Today, they oppose illegal immigration, not because it represents a threat to lower-wage American workers, but because of the tax burden illegal immigration places on local and state governments. But during the Bush administration, illegals were viewed as a source of cheap labor that could be easily exported. They also used illegals to further weaken labor unions.


Conclusion
We have set forth the program of the Republican Party for the government of the United States. We have written a Party document, as is our duty, but we have tried to refrain from writing a merely partisan document. We have no wish to exaggerate differences between ourselves and the Democratic Party; ...The history and composition of the Republican Party make it the natural instrument for eradicating the injustice and discrimination in this country... That last statement is no longer true. Today's Republicans, under the banner of "free trade" encourage and support all forms of discrimination along economic lines. Starting with their capture of Congress in 1995, they have also begun a bitter partisan and uncooperative struggle with the Democratic Party which lasts to this very day. They have become demanding and uncompromising, and all facade of civility has been tossed out altogether...
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This platform was the mindset of the Republican Party a mere 51 years ago, before Vietnam, Watergate, Ronald Reagan, 9/11, pre-emptive military strikes, the Bush Doctrine. non-bid military contracts to large campaign donors, or wildly out of control deficit spending had infected and perverted the party. In those days, they properly referred to their opponents as the "Democratic Party", not the disrepectful and ignoramtly-phrased "Democrat Party" we hear so many of them use today. They also believed the federal government must play a regulatory role over business and industry; that labor unions had and deserved a spot in the national economy; and that taxes were an accepted way of raising revenue for the expenses of government.

Speaking of taxes, it is curious to note that they did not even devote one single topic heading to the issue of taxation, even though AT THAT TIME THE MARGINAL RATE FOR THE HIGHEST INCOMES STOOD AT A WHOPPING 91%!!! Republicans of that day, most of them anyway, recognized the paying of taxes as a responsible civic duty, and they didn't scream for mercy and flee the paying of taxes as they do now, at a top marginal rate of ONLY 35%, A FULL 56 POINTS LOWER! Nor did they make any policy regarding Religion. For in those days, most Republicans didn't wear their religion on their sleeve and truly recognized and accepted its role as being kept separate from the affairs of state. Yesterday's Republican Party placed a much higher value on education than its counterpart of today, and they truly WERE fiscally responsible without favoring the wealthy to the exclusion of all else. They were also MUCH more tolerant, more honest, and less biting in their remarks against the opposition party than they are today. After the mistake of letting Joe McCarthy lead them down an extremist path of senseless witch hunts, they had regained a sense of reason and pragmatism sorely lacking in the modern-day version.

WE CAN ONLY HOPE THEY WILL SOON RETURN TO THEIR SENSES AND DISCARD THE REACTIONARY COURSE THEY HAVE BEEN INCREASINGLY FOLLOWING!



UP NEXT: GOD, AND JESUS, ARE LIBERALS!