Trivia 112

Want another example of the stupidity in this Congress? I can give it to you by comparing two disparate figures, both controlled 100% by Congress:
1) Total amount requested by the State Department, but refused by this Congress, for upgrading the anti-terrorist protections at the two American embassies in Africa recently bombed by terrorists which cost nearly 300 human beings their lives - 17 million dollars.
2) Amount wasted by Congress in their politically motivated inquisition of the President's financial and sexual history - over $40 million and growing.

Here's something to warm the hearts of all the Republicans who so hate workers and labor unions. World-wide, according to the Multinational Monitor's story regarding a report from the Brussels based International Confederation of Trade Unions, over 300 union members were killed in 1997 for the act that the Right hates with such passion, standing up for the rights of the worker and attempting to organize them for their protection. Also, 1,681 union members were tortured or ill-treated, 2,329 were detained (a nice word for arrested), there were 3,369 cases of outright intimidation and blatant interference in the affairs of unions in 79 countries (not counting the right's attempt to silence union members through legal restraints in California and other states). While Columbia reported the worst record, with 156 union members murdered, most of them teachers, at least one in ten union organizers in America have been illegally fired for their union activities. I guess what we're seeing here is that, while the Republicans haven't found a way to actually kill union members, they support placing them all on the unemployment rolls, for now.

In the Aug. 24 issue of the Washington Post National Weekly Edition, there is an eight page insert "Prepared by CD Features". In case you didn't know, CD stands for the China Daily newspaper, an edition produced for everyone but the Chinese people, themselves. The front page headline of this propaganda? "Tibet: Sacred, Serene." The story itself should be used as a textbook example of pure, unadulterated lies and misinformation. It describes the "kind and gentle people" who "stand aside to make room for visitors. It isn't completely explained if these individuals stood aside for all people or only the Chinese reporter. I love the explanation about why Buddhist monks stick their tongues out at "visitors" which was "to show their hospitality". Is it too much of a stretch to believe that a reporter from the nation which invaded and murdered so many Tibetans, particularly Tibetan monks, might just be sticking their tongues out as an insult while gleefully describing the practice as a form of "hospitality"? The best part is at the end of the article where a photo of a Tibetan woman holding a Buddhist scripture vessel is cited as "Courtesy of Tibetan Tourism Bureau and China Travel and Tourism Press". Why do I have the distinct impression that very few Tibetans are even allowed to work anywhere near tourists?

A quote from Mary Harris "Mother" Jones, founder of the investigative magazine "Mother Jones", should become the motto of any human being who cares about the world and the future of those living in it, "Pray for the dead, and fight like hell for the living." In fact, that may become the unofficial motto of Another Perspective.

Finally, maybe I should dedicate an entire article to this but I wanted to be sure to see if anyone else sees the irony in this report. The Aug. 25, 1998 issue of the LA Times, on the front page, explains how Asian governments are using taxpayer dollars to buy stocks in order to prop up their local stock markets. Even though the action is widely criticized, although not by any of our American political or Corporate Welfare leaders, we will be facing much the same problem should the idiotic plan of the Republicans to invest Social Security funds in both local and foreign stock markets is enacted. The Asian investment scheme is only creating the appearance that stocks are gaining in value and are still valuable by the simple expedient of buying larger and larger clumps of stock at the highest asking price. Once these governments run out of taxpayer funds to invest, their markets will all come tumbling down and guess who they will drag down with them? That's right, each and every nation in the world has become so financially interdependent due to the ludicrous "Global Economy" that any small piece of the puzzle that no longer fits will destroy the entire global economy, period! That means that your pension funds, if you're lucky enough to have one, will be eradicated and any money that the Republicans can steal from Social Security will be valued at close to nothing. It also means that your tax dollars will be used to bail out the wealthy whenever their gambling habit, which is all investing in the stock market really is, folks, causes them to lose any of their assets. Wonder what the chances are of the wealthy paying me back the hundreds of dollars I've left in Reno and Las Vegas? Pretty slim?

Folks, let's try very hard to remember the lessons that the 1929 stock market crash should have taught us. If you can recall, the nation was run by the Republican party, the federal government was completely at the mercy of the wealthy, nearly all controls on speculative investors had been removed, the value of nearly all stocks were grossly over estimated and all programs which benefited anyone but the wealthy had been abandoned. Doesn't this all sound far too familiar? Who wants to start a pool as to what day the world's markets self-destruct? I don't want to bet on whether or not it falls apart because, ladies and gentlemen, I'm here to assure you that it will!

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