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QUOTATION: People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing. - Walter H. Judd

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2005-01-19 - 8:37 a.m.

Fool Me Once, Shame on You…
Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me

We all remember back when “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq were an imminent threat. Saddam Hussein had ‘em and he undoubtedly was sharing them with Osama bin Laden and the terrorists. There was no time to wait for the United Nations to continue their search. We had to get in there and shock and awe them before they did it to us. Bush and his yes-men convinced Congress and much of the American public that a crisis must be averted by prompt action. They used trumped up facts to make their case. They diverted attention from their inability to find Osama bin Ladin and squelch the worldwide terrorist network by going after a weakened Iraq.

Well, this week the “imminent threat” is to Social Security. And the fear tactics are the same – convince the public that a crisis must be averted by prompt action. Divert attention from real issues: such as, the growing deficit, devaluation of the dollar, the flag draped caskets that are coming home on a daily basis, and the failure of the on-going war. The difference, however, is that the “facts” are more transparent – if we only look at them.

Last week in his article
A Question of Numbers in the New York Times Magazine, Roger Lowenstein argues that after a thorough study of the facts by “actuaries and economists, inside and outside the agency, experts in the peculiar science of long term Social Security forecasting,” there is no crisis to be found. Yes, Wall Street is salivating at the thought of all those young people entering the stock market with the idea of making a killing. But as Lowenstein points out there have been nine different 20-year periods in which the stock market has done worse than the 3 per cent per annum.

Lowenstein’s article is long and a bit of a slog to get through. I wonder how many people actually read it from beginning to end. We’re an impatient, feed it to me fast public. Happily, Paul Krugman gives it to us in a digest form in his article The Iceberg Cometh

Well worth a read. Write your representatives to Congress. Let them know what you think. There is no immediate need to add additional trillions to our national debt to save something not in any particular danger. Not nearly the danger we are facing because of our national debt.

Global poll shows majority of those questioned feel world more dangerous place with Bush reelected:BBC article Negativity applies to Americans as well as to Bush administration.

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