Monday, July 18, 2005


All you got to do in this modern world is wish to aim your government to help the poor, and you become a Bush White House enemy. Condoleeza Rice recently called Venezuela’s new, very popular Presidente, Hugo Cha´vez, “a negative force in the region”. (USAToday, 5/23/05, p. 8A) And why would she, representing Bush, say this, why does Bush want to label this Venezualan an enemy to America? Because Cha´vez is using Venezuela’s oil revenues to help the poor of his country. He’s building health clinics, pushing for increased literacy by improving education, funding many social programs and, generally, building the same kind of social safety net which Bush and his people are busy destroying here in America.

Hugo Cha´vez is spending the wealth of Venezuela’s natural resource, oil, which ought to belong to all the people of the country, on his nation’s people. Yep, old Cha´vez is certainly a negative force for doing good. To the Bushites, a country’s natural resources belong only to the wealthy few who hundreds of years ago got hold of them. Goodness forbid that the natural resources of a country should be dedicated to helping a country’s struggling population to succeed.


I’m reading John Martin’s 1977 biography of Adlai Stevenson, ADLAI STEVENSON AND THE WORLD, and am struck frequently by the parallels between the Eisenhower Fifties and our current time under Bush, specially the connection between the rabid hatred of our current religious fundamentalists for progressive Americans and the hatred of the McCarthyites for the progressives of his time, and the consequent affect these negative forces have and had on world opinion.

Note this 1953 response by Adlai to a question about McCarthyism’s negative influence on world opinion. Stevenson was in West Berlin, during a world tour, and he said, “I am distressed by the injury to the American respect and prestige that I have observed all the way from Tokyo to Berlin....” A similar situation to these Bush times, isn’t it? Only this time, it’s our President who is losing us the respect of the world and not just an American senator who was being indulged by a Republican President.

We should remember that soon after these Eisenhower years, within 7 years, we saw the election of John F. Kennedy, and he quickly rekindled the respect of the world. Bush currently may have earned the fear of the world, but Kennedy had the respect of the world. Which would you rather have—respect or fear?


We haven’t even populated the stars yet, and already we are looking forward to, imagining with great enthusiasm, “star wars”! Is there no hope for us there? Will we be forever stuck with the Bible prediction of endless wars?


Dr. Stanley Gitlow, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, in a taped talk at the Betty Ford Clinic, tells of an experiment with goldfish who were conditioned by electrical shocks to avoid an orange wall of their fish tank. Ground up later and fed to other goldfish, these sacrificial goldfish bodies served as transmitters of learned behavior to the new goldfish. These newborns were born avoiding the orange walls of the fish tank w/o benefit of shock. Gitlow claims that memory is laid down in polypeptid strands of DNA by which learned traits can be passed on to later generations. This is nurture over nature.

“Any pitcher who throws at a batter and deliberately tires to hit him is a communist.” —Alvin Dark [Nobody ever said that jocks were intelligent!]

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