Thinking Magazine #26 08-19-94

Sorry for the Gap

I've been a busy boy lately and I apologize for not coming out with regular issues. I've done seven computer shows so far this year, and I'm still getting ready to build a new house.

We bought 80 acres and I'm becoming somewhat of a farmer. Got a tractor and been pulling Locust trees. Been getting some exercise, and I'm not spending all my time rotting in front of a computer.

Not only that, but you know what they say about what building a house does to you marriage, well it all true. But so far we are holding it together. Although, it does zap ones creativity and with everything I've got going, I had a hard time getting in the mood to do a Thinking Magazine. In fact, I've had to put out some effort to write at all. So I had to put the effort where it's most important, which is to continue to write to Congress and the press. I'm not giving up on Thinking Magazine.

It's Time to Filibuster the Republicans

When I watch the Republican party stand in the way of our future and our security, it pisses me off. By opposing everything for political purposes, they force the Democrats to have to pass everything with an 85% or better margin. And since many Democrats are owned by special interests, real change is seriously limited. I look at the crime bill and I just don't see how real health care reform can pass. It's not going to happen with this Congress.

So, in 1992 we change Presidents, it now time to change Congress. We're not going to get what we want until we demand that Congress give it to us. And it doesn't matter how much money they have, when we vote we can choose whoever we want. But it's time to do more than just vote. I have been having a lot of success writing letters to newspapers that actually get published. I also write Congress. I have 3 fax servers at the office and in the last 2 years I have sent about 60,000 faxes to Congress and my press list.

"But Marc" you say, "I don't have a network with 3 fax servers! What can I do to punish these evil Congressmen?" Well, I'm glad you asked that question because here's your "Get even with Kongress" kit.

Tired of seeing right wing letters in the paper? Ever wanted to write one yourself but don't quite get around to it. Are you wondering what kind of letters get printed? Well, I'm here to make it easy for you.

I'm a writer and I write a lot of letters that get printed. The key is, short and to the point. I fax these letters to hundreds of newspapers and I get quite a few printed. But, I have two obstacles. Most all newspapers give precedence to local writers. Some accept only local writers. The other problem is the one letter a month rule. So, even though they would like to run more letters, they can't.

But, I'm not proud. If you like these letters and you want to copy them or modify them and send them to your local newspaper, you have my full permission. I neither require nor desire any credit. Just sign your name and send it in. Modify it to your liking. Improve it if you wish.

If you're tired of seeing Bob Dole's ugly face and tired of being called bleeding heart liberal secular humanists, and would like to shove your foot down Jerry Falwell's throat, here's your chance to do it. This is your letter to the editor kit and if you use it it will work.

Here are 25 letters that I wrote and faxed to hundreds of newspapers. Some have made it into the San Francisco Cronicle and The Dallas Morning News. It's not very hard and you'll be amazed to see your name in your local newspaper as one of the movers and shakers in your community.

You can send in 2 per week to your local papers. So at 29 cents each for a stamp, it will only cost you $7.25 to reach thousands of people several times. It it worth $7.25? You bet it is! And, you can send the same letter to several newspapers in your area or in your state. A $100 bill will put 25 letters in the hands of 13 newspapers! And, if you want to do it cheaper and get it there faster, fax it.

Whenever you write a letter to the editor, be sure to include your name, address, and phone number. Many papers will call you to verify you wrote the letter and let you know it is going to be published. And remember, the shorter it is, the more likely they will run it.

So, do you want Health Care Reform? Do you want a Crime Bill? Do you think the Republicans are going to give it to you? Hell No! If you want to make a difference, and you don't want to go to a lot of trouble and expense, this is the solution for you. One person can make a difference, and you are that one person. Think about it.

Could Whitewater Backfire?

Could Republicans be counting too much on Whitewater to boost their election year position? Perhaps so. With Congress more partisan than ever, key positions that affect the voter are being divided down party lines. With the single exception of NAFTA, the Republican position seems to be, "If the President wants it, we're against it."

Thus the voter is faced with a choice of sending someone to Washington to either vote with the President or against the President. With the economy turning around, unemployment dropping, health care, crime, deficit reduction, and economic growth all in the Presidents favor, how important is the fact that he lost $70,000 in a bad business deal 16 years ago going to be?

It is my opinion that the Republican party wants to gain seats, that it would be wise to show the voter more than just their ability to obstruct progress.

Religious Right Extremists

Another Religious Right extremist has murdered another abortion doctor. This is not an isolated event. Paul Hill is part of a network of extremists who openly support murdering doctors.

What concerns me is that the Religious Right is supporting Jerry Falwell, Rush Limbaugh, Olie North, Pat Robbertson, the massive Arkansas which hunt, and have in many states taken control of the Republican Party.

Are these events related? Go figure! I'm getting tired of terrorists hiding behind the Cross and the First Amendment doing evil things and pretending to be Christians. This is NOT Christian behavior and freedom of speech does not include the right to encourage others to murder doctors. And we're not going to let the Religious Right take over the country. We're pissed (angry) and we VOTE!

Double Message

I'm uncomfortable with the response I'm hearing from leaders of the Religious Right and from anti-abortion leaders about the murder of the Florida abortion doctor by Paul Hill. What I'm hearing is a double message that when simplified, sounds something like this: "We of course condemn the killing of any human being, but he was an abortion doctor and he deserved to die, and we're glad he did it."

It's this kind of implicit support that causes these murders to occur. The blood of the doctor is on their hands as well.

Free Speech?

It is against the law for a person to encourage others to kill somebody. But Paul Hill went on national television and encouraged people to kill abortion doctors, and they let him get away with it, and look what happened! If I were to go on television and tell people to kill preachers, I would be arrested, and rightly so.

It's time that the Justice Department enforce the law and crack down hard on those who are STILL encouraging the murder of doctors. We can not let these terrorists continue to hide behind the Cross. It's not Christian, and it's not right! Dear Editor, Since this is longer than what I usually write, I'm submitting this to the opinion editor. I'm frustrated that only the voices of the Right are being heard and I think it's time to look at things as they really are. So I'm a little hot, but hot is interesting reading.

I would like to see someone investigate the relationship between a high crime rate and the sale of guns. I would like to see it exposed that the profits of gun manufacturers are directory proportional to the public fear. And that if crime were reduced, that gun profits would suffer!

What is an American (really)?

We are a proud country. Americans are hands down the finest people on the planet, perhaps the finest culture that ever lived. We are the champion of Democracy, and a model of what other countries look forward to becoming. If God came back to Earth, he would want to be an American.

This is the dream we all share as a nation, and this is how we like to view ourselves. But is there a rational basis to believe this is what we really are? How do we know we aren't just fooling ourselves? Is there a gap between what we believe we are and what we do?

What defines us as Americans is what we do as Americans, as a society, and as a nation. That is the yardstick than history will measure us by. And what we do as a society is based on how we treat each other. Do we feed our hungry, or let them starve? Do we protect our women and children from crime? Do we care for our sick and injured and our older people? Are we honest, or do we cheat each other? If we are going to be the type of America we believe we are, do we not have to honestly look at these questions?

At this juncture in history of our people, we are facing the issues of health care and crime. We are making choices about how we treat our sick and injured. Do we care for our people? Or do we deny medical care on the basis of money? Do we protect our citizens from crime? Or do we sell out to those who would profit from a society who lives in fear.

These choices will define us as a people for generations to come. We are now faced with the question "Are we the dream, really, or are we just fooling ourselves?" Will our light shine for eons to come, or will we be considered a dark page in the history of mankind?

The choices we make on health care will show if Americans feel that it is acceptable that we deny some people access to medical treatment because of money. Do Americans have the will to take automatic weapons out of the hands of children? Do Americans have the guts to say to the tobacco and alcohol industry that they will not market their drugs to our teenagers? Will we tell the National Rifle Association that they will not increase their profits by increasing crime? Will we tell the Religious Right that freedom of religion means freedom for all religions, and freedom from religious tyranny? Will there be justice in our justice system? Do we hold our elected officials to a high standard of integrity, or do we allow them to sell our security to the highest bidder? Are we as a people, committed to doing "the right and honorable thing"?

I personally believe in the dream. I believe that Americans really are everything that we think and hope we are. Sometimes we stumble, but we always get back up. And it is imperative that we maintain and preserve the dream. And the preservation of that dream fires my soul. But we Americans have a representative form of government and our elected officials make the decisions that we have to live with. And those elected officials control who we are as a nation, and I don't like what they are making us become!

If we, as a nation, are going to be the dream, then we can not tolerate a Congress that puts party politics ahead of the good of the people. We can not tolerate a Congress who sells our future to the lobbyist with the most money. And they're not even ashamed of what they do! Can you believe it?

It is time for us citizens to get right up in their faces and tell them, "You are here to serve the public, and if you don't, you are GONE! You don't rule us, we rule you!" We citizens can't just believe in the dream, we have to make the dream happen. Never give in! Never give in! Never give in!

In the 1992 election we said No to fear and hate and voted for hope and honesty because we Americans chose to take responsibility for who we are and where we are going. But electing a new president with a pure vision was just the first step. Congress has only this current term to figure out that change doesn't stop with the White House. And those who don't get the message will find themselves replaced by new representatives who won't sell us out. As America gets back up on it's feet, Congress better not be standing in our way.

In the next few months, Congress will be coming home with empty hands and pointing fingers, talking about why we don't have a crime bill or a health care bill, and asking for your vote. Don't give it to them! Tell them to get back to work and do their job. Tell them that change doesn't stop with the President, If they can't do their job, we'll elect a new Congress that will.

Teenagers & Smoking

I was watching some of the testimony on C-Span today about Nicotine. If you want an effective way to significantly reduce the number of kids getting hooked on this addictive drug, here's how you do it:

If you license all stores that sell cigarettes, like you do for liquor licenses, and you have the threat that if they sell tobacco to minors that they face losing their license, they won't sell to minors. Stores will not risk losing their ability to sell tobacco products if selling to minors puts their license in jeopardy.

Along with this needs to be a ban on cigarette machines, except in areas that are already restricted to adults. A cigarette machine can not determine the age of the buyer. We don't sell beer in vending machines.

This is an opportunity to help stop 400,000 unnecessary deaths a year, and appeal to an increasingly nonsmoking electorate. And perhaps save the life of one of your relatives.

Black Caucus not very Smart!

The black caucus helped defeat Clinton's crime bill on the basis that it didn't include a "Racial Justice" provision they wanted that would have allowed black criminals to have more death penalty appeals.

What's stupid about what they did is that without the crime bill they blocked, society is denied the 100,000 more police officers. As a result, many many more innocent blacks will end up being murdered. This is another case where the rights of the guilty take precedent over the rights of innocent law abiding citizens. Black interests were not served well by what the black caucus did.

NRA Money Rules America

It is said that America has the best government that money can buy. And that statement was proved true today and both Democrats and Republicans sacrificed the protection of the public in exchange for National Rifle Association money to get themselves reelected.

At the same time, Republicans who like to think of themselves as "tough on crime" consider it more important to deny Clinton a victory during this election year than to protect the safety of the public.

We citizens are not going to get a crime bill if we elect people who put the interests of big money and party politics over the welfare of the public. It's time to vote them out of office.

What Republican Party?

The Republican Party isn't what it used to be. As a business owner, the Republican party was supposed to look out for me and try to keep taxes down and the government off my back. But is that what they are doing? Not hardly. They spent us 4 trillion dollars in debt and their agenda is now controlled by the radical religious right!

I want to make it clear to the Republican party that I am not a bible thumper and that Pat Robbertson, Jerry Falwell, Rush Limbaugh, and Pat Buchannan do not represent me! I do not like who they are and what they stand for, and I will not be in the same political party with them. I'm sending this by digital fax modem so I can't sign it. If you need confirmation feel free to call my voice number.

Open Letter to Congress

Again the fed hikes interest rates to head off inflation that just isn't there. This is the same Fed who sat quietly by while the S&L industry crumbled and then came to the taxpayer with a 400 billion dollar bill for their mistake.

They are wrong to hike interest rates and it is choking off the economic recovery. It's time Congress and the President stand up to the Fed and tell them No! If it wasn't bad for the economy, the Republicans wouldn't be supporting it. I'm tired of getting shafted by the government, so do something about it.

Greenspan and Interest Rates

Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, a Republican, seems to think that higher interest rates is good for the economy. When George Bush was up for reelection, Greenspan seemed to think that lower interest rates were good for the economy. It makes one ask the question, "If a Republican were president, would Greenspan be raising the interest rates?"

About Interest Rates

I saw on the news that Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, is again thinking about raising interest rates! This Reagan era relic doesn't understand that when you raise interest rates, things cost more. And when things cost more, prices go up. That's what inflation is. Go figure!

But, what really shocks me are Republicans supporting higher interest rates! Can you believe it? As a business owner, I found it amazing to watch, my Senator, Christopher Bond (R-MO), advocating the idea that higher interest rates are good for the economy - arguing against Senator Jim Sasser (D-TN) who very much opposes interest rate increases.

There are Republicans who have the idea that a bad economy is going to help them win elections, because of the blame thing. There are a lot of business owners, like myself, who are just about ready to build a house, that very strongly disagree with this idea. I think our party should rethink this position.

Greenspan's History

Who is Alan Greenspan? The Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board has an interesting history indeed. Before assuming his current post, Greenspan worked for Charles Keating as a consultant to Lincoln Savings and Loan. As federal banking regulators closed in on Keating, it was Greenspan who urged the Federal Home Loan Bank Board Chairman Ed Gray to stop worrying about direct investments which Gray had tried to limit. He said S&L deregulation was working just as planned and told Gray not to get cold feet because of a few problems. Greenspan named 17 thrifts, including Lincoln, that were prospering under deregulation. Four years later, 16 of the 17 had failed.

Now Greenspan believes that economic growth is bad for the economy and is fearful that too much employment will lead to unemployment. So, to combat higher prices, he's going to raise the cost of goods. And a hike in the interest rate is going to make mortgage rates go down. And tries to fix a weak dollar by cutting it's purchasing power. And the Republicans just love it because if people can't afford the American dream anymore, they can blame the Democrats!

Maybe it's time to get rid of this Reagan era relic and get a new Chairman who can at least comprehend basic mathematical concepts. Somebody has to stand up for citizens who have to pay for Greenspan's mistakes and say, "This is insane, and we are not going to take it anymore!"

Assault Rifles - Time for Them to Go

In considering the assault rifle ban that is being added to the crime bill, think about this: During this election year, isn't it more important to show the voter that you are tough on crime rather than showing the voter how much money you can raise from the NRA? You see, with new technology in more homes these days, more people can compare how you vote to where your money comes from. And we don't like the appearance of our representatives being owned by the gun dealers.

Many of us understand that gun manufacturers make more money in a high crime environment than in a low crime environment. And that it is to their interest to invest in the reelection of those who would vote to protect their profits.

Assault rifles don't kill people. People with assault rifles kill people. The second amendment is hardly in danger because in this information age - the weapon of choice is a computer - not an assault rifle. And we nerds have you in our sites. Do we have to prove that the silicon chip is mightier than the bullet?

Doing Health Care Right

Universal Coverage means that everyone is covered. Right now, old people are covered (Medicare), and poor people are covered (Medicaid). And, of course, government employees are covered (taxes). Working people are paying for the medical coverage of those who are not working, and the working people can't get coverage for themselves!

There are those in Congress who think they can get away with "almost" fixing the health care problem. That means that when working people get sick they can "almost" get into the hospital or "almost" be able to pay for it!

If we are going to have what some call "Socialized Medicine", then lets have it for everyone, and not just the old, the poor, and government employees like we have it today. Those of us who are paying for it need medical care too. It's time to face the issue. I want the Presidents plan.

What do the Working People Want?

Congress is trying to figure out what kind of health care coverage we working people want. Well, Mr. Congressman, let me share this thought. We want what you got!

Give us the same coverage that Congress has. The same coverage that federal employees have. The same coverage that people who are on welfare have. The same coverage that people in jail have. Don't you think that people who work should get coverage at least as good as people who don't work? I do, and I vote!

Republicans and Image

There are people out there that are calling the Republican party the party of Obstructionism, the party of the 4 Trillion Dollar Debt, the party of Blame Based Politics, and the party of Fear and Hate. This is of course ridiculous, but I'm having a hard time explaining why.

Interest 101

The Fed has been raising interest rates lately in an attempt to make a "preemptive" strike at an inflation problem that doesn't exist. I'd like to give Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan a lesson on how interest works.

Raising interest rates creates inflation, especially for the working class, because it significantly increases that amount of the cost of borrowing money. It raises loan costs which reduces the amount of money we working folks have to spend on other things. It increases the costs to business and results in higher prices to buy the products the businesses produce.

Mr. Greenspan! When you raise the costs to businesses and consumers through higher interest rates, THAT IS INFLATION. Figure it out! The economy is recovering and you have your foot on the brake. And considering that you have been historically wrong in dealing with the economy, it seems to me that the right answer is to do the opposite of what you think.

Money to fund the Murder of Doctors

As you know, the Religious Right murdered another doctor in Florida this weekend. The killer, Paul Hill, was on national television twice and stated publicly that he and his group supported the murder of doctors and were working towards the goal of making it happen.

We know that to solicit people to commit murder is a crime, and had the Justice Department enforced this law, the doctor would be alive today. But, that is the past. Paul Hill was (and still is) getting money from supporters to encourage others to murder doctors. Aren't the people who paid him to murder doctors guilty of conspiring to commit murder? If I went out and paid someone to kill somebody, would I not go to jail? So why is it that the Right Wing Extremists get to pay Paul Hill to kill doctors and get away with it?

The time has come to put an end to this. I call on the Justice Department to investigate who is contributing money to Paul Hill and other folks who still promote the murder of doctors, and to prosecute them as conspirators to commit murder. The public deserves to know where this blood money is coming from. Is Operation Rescue money funding these murders? What about Jerry Falwell? Pat Robbertson? Rush Limbaugh? Olie North? Are they connected to people in Arkansas who are trying to dig up dirt on the Clintons? Is there any GOP money involved?

We cannot let these terrorists continue to hide behind the Cross and the First Amendment. Murder is not Christian, nor is it a form of free speech. And we are no longer going to tolerate it!

NRA and their Money

The House and Senate both passed a crime bill. It has gone to the conference committee and the final version is ready for the final vote. So why isn't it being voted on? Because it is stuck in the Rules committee, being held up by Congressman loyal to the National Rifle Association.

The NRA is an organization primarily backed by gun manufacturers. When crime goes up and people feel unsafe, these gun companies sell a lot of guns and make a lot of money. Thus, it is in the economic interest of the NRA to keep crime high, so they can sell more guns to people to defend themselves.

The NRA is a powerful force in Washington and has a lot of Congress in it's pocket from both parties. They contribute heavily to elect politicians who will vote to defend their company profits, or they contribute to the opponents of Congressmen who do the right thing and oppose crime.

We in America are not going to get a crime bill passed if we allow the NRA to block it in the rules committee where it can't be voted on. If you feel like I do, then make it known to your representative that you want the crime bill passed, and that you consider NRA money to be tainted, and that you will not vote for anyone of either party who has NRA money in their pockets.

Profits in Clinton Bashing

There are a lot of preachers who are using Clinton bashing as a tool to raise money. They tear down the country with one hand and pick your pocket with the other. So the next time you run into some preacher, like Pat Robbertson or Jerry Falwell, asking for your money to fight Clinton, better be careful where you tithe. Giving money to the wrong side might count against you.

Satanic - Who Me?

Former Republican presidential candidate Pat Robbertson, of the 700 club, told his followers at a Christian Coalition conference that their political opponents are "Satanic Forces" and not "Human Beings," that they were engaged in "Spiritual Warfare." (Washington Spectator, March 15, 1993)

Well Pat, that kind of statement may be fine for Bosnia, but this is America, and we're not going to stand for it! We are NOT "Satanic Forces" and we ARE "Human Beings" - and we VOTE!

Congressional Recess

Congress normally goes home on vacation around the middle of August, and then again the first week in October. Especially on election years when they campaign for reelection after finishing their work for the season.

But this year we have health care reform on the table and it's the job of the Congress to deal with it. I don't think that Congress should come home with empty hands and pointing fingers and ask us to give them another term. Let them win reelection by working for it! I think Congress should stay in Washington until they have a health care bill. Even if they have to stay their till January.

Mr. Congressman! I don't want to hear what you have to say; I want to see what you are going to do. So roll up your sleeves and get to work. Spare the hot air.

Who Looks Worse?

Republicans seem to think that the worse off the country is, the better their chances of getting elected are. So the idea is to block anything that is good for the country and try to make Clinton and the Democrats look bad. So they can blame them for it.

Maybe I'm a little slow, but wouldn't it be better for Republicans if they could do something useful - to make themselves look good rather than focusing only on trying to make the other guy look bad? I don't want to vote for somebody who wants to make things worse. I want to vote for somebody who wants to make things better. I think the Republicans should give up the blame contest and focus on who can accomplish the most.

Sanity vs. Insanity

Throughout the course of history there occurs points in time where we as a society make critical choices that determine who we are and what we are to become. Choices that represent forks in the path of our destiny where we collectively must take the responsibility to make the right choice. A time where we must put aside the forces of illusion in favor of clear and rational thinking.

In this election year it is important that make a choice between our hopes and our fears. Will we go down the path of sanity? Perhaps, but I think only if we decide make sanity happen.

TV and the Presidency

When Reagan was president, the press beat up on him. When Bush served, they beat up on him too. Now Clinton is president and he too is being abused by the press.

But, the press might have less effect on Clinton than they did on Reagan or Bush because more people have jobs and are building their new homes and they just don't have as much time to watch TV as they used to.

Republican Success

The Republicans have done an effective job with Whitewater. They have successfully smeared the Presidents name and reputation. In conjunction with other events, like the Paula Jones lawsuit, Troopergate, and the Haircut hoax, they have successfully slimed the President's public image. They have accomplished what they set out to do. The Republican Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, has even managed to raise interest rates for this years election season.

But is this what Republicans are supposed to be doing? Something they can be proud of? Shouldn't they be trying to show us what they can accomplish rather than just what they can destroy?


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