Dear Anti-Obama vandal in the 1700 block of Delaware in Berkeley: Obama’s Record; Time for Community Sharing; Heart of a Soldier; Sharing the Wealth? Dr. Martin Luther King
Dear Anti-Obama vandal in the 1700 block of Delaware in Berkeley:
I don't know who you are or who you think I should be voting for instead of Obama, and frankly I don't particularly care. All I know is that during the night you came to my house and ripped the "Obama 2012" bumper sticker off my car and discarded it in my flowers.
Putting aside the obvious, which is the astonishing immaturity of this action, I'm writing this letter to inform you of the following:
I had another one and I put it back in the empty space that you created. And I'm going to go online right now and purchase some more stickers so that if you come back and do this again, I will simply replace it again.
So, think of it this way: whenever you commit this act of vandalism against me, you are essentially making a contribution to the Obama 2012 campaign, because every sticker you tear off is just going to be another $3 that I will give them.
So keep it up, if you want! I'm going to get enough stickers to last me for the next 15 months. And just in case you want to do this every day? That will be about $1,350 you'll be "donating" directly to Obama's re-election.
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So what else do they want from the man? Barack Obama took office at the height of a worldwide financial crisis, he has faced the intransigent Republican opposition on every one of his initiatives and has had to put up with the Tea Party faction holding the nation hostage.
Through all this, President Obama has a rather impressive record of accomplishment. In only two short years he headed off a full economic meltdown with his stimulus measures; saved the U.S. banking and automobile industries at minimal cost to taxpayers; imposed tough new regulations on the financial sector; ended the Iraq war; found and got rid of Osama bin Laden; and, overhauled the profoundly dysfunctional health care system.
Compare this to the inane gibberish you hear coming out of the mouths of Republican presidential hopefuls!
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Time for Community Sharing
Now when modern Republicans are determined to bring about change to suit their Tea Party friends, we are left with own community. Our community can become our source of strength.
Networking with home-based small business owners or with people with special skills allows for exchange of goods and services without bringing money into the picture. We have already seen how in times of need members of the community pitch in as moneylenders, babysitters, doctors, contractors, accountants, tax advisers, or tutors
We know that the current Republican party is laying the foundation for a special social class for the super-rich. For the rest of us the time of need is now. Let us cooperate, let us share, let us look out for one another the best we can.
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Heart of a Soldier
After all this time, ten years to be exact, I'm still haunted by the image of those desperate people leaping from the burning windows of the World Trade Center
to their certain death. This unspeakable tragedy has been an obsession with me, almost to the point of neuroticism. I recall walking around in a daze for more than a week, unable to comprehend what I had just witnessed.
Now, in last Sunday's S.F. Chronicle, James R. Stewart, a writer for the New Yorker, describes in detail that heroism of Rick Rescoria, head of security for Morgan Stanley. In the wake of the first attacks on the World Trade Center, he instituted evacuation procedures for the company's employees. On September 11, Rescoria shepherded his charges — more than 3,000 of them — out of the building. Then he turned around and went back into the building to search for stragglers. He was never seen again.
Heart of a Soldier" is now the subject of an opera, directed by Francesco Zambello of the San Francisco Opera, with music by composer, Christopher Theofanidis. It will have its premiere in September. Thomas Hampson will portray Rick Rescoria, with Melody Moore singing the role of Susan Rescoria. (These two lovers found each other all too briefly before Rick's death on September 11, 2001.)
I would not miss this premiere, fully aware that it will bring back all the memories and heartache I felt ten years ago.
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Sharing the Wealth?
In the last several decades the wealth hasn't been spread so much as concentrated — at the top. The share of total income going to the top 1 percent of income earners more than doubled from 9 percent in 1970 to 23.5 percent in 2007. (The Great Recession has since narrowed the gap.) \
And while, as noted above, the rich pay a greater proportion of their income in taxes, the share of total taxes paid by the richest Americans is commensurate with their share of national wealth. Examining the total tax burden — state, federal and local — Citizens for Tax Justice calculated that the top 1 percent of households (average income $1.3 million) earned 20.3 percent of income and paid 21.5 percent of taxes in 2010
The tax code is studded with a costly bevy of deductions and preferences — mortgage interest, employer-sponsored health insurance, retirement savings — that benefit wealthier taxpayers over those with modest incomes. The rich are so smart about making money, but they are so blind about seeing real value in the future and what it's leading to.
Ted Rudow III, MA
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Dr. Martin Luther King
An anagram in honor of the anniversary of his "I Have a Dream" speech:
THE LATE GREAT DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING –
Think tall! A dreamer greeting truth.
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