If you could change three things in the world, what would they be and why?
We all complain about things that we would like to change, be they small or large, so this should be pretty easy. Here's my list:
- Make veteran issues a national priority. We have far too many veterans who are living in poverty in this country, and unfortunately, the words “homeless” and “veterans” are often linked together. “One in three homeless are honorably discharged veterans,” said Kathleen Scott, domiciliary case manager for the Charlie Norwood Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center in Augusta, GA. These people have served our country well in times of need, and are often forgotten or even scorned by some. November 11th is Veterans Day, the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I in 1918. Do something locally to honor these folks, and write your senators and representatives, letting them know how you feel about this issue.
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy
- Discrimination in this country has to end...period. Gender, racial and ethnic discrimination have no place in this great land, a nation of immigrant minorities and Native Americans. If you have children, educate them and teach them from pre-school age that discrimination and racism are just wrong.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Get Congress to get their butts in gear regarding our ongoing global financial crisis. Recently Donald Kohn, the vice-chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, noted that global financial regulators have more work to do together to address problems discovered during the banking crisis. There are new regulations on banks deemed too-big-to-fail that will only work if the higher standards are coordinated internationally. There has to be better information sharing across borders,according to Kohn, or countries might become wary of allowing international banks access to their consumers. This isn't just an issue of bailing out General Motors and other manufacturers with more bureaucratic boondoggles, it's a situation that effects every woman, and and child internationally.
Social Security is effected here in the US. The administration wants to give Social Security recipients a one-time payout of $250 apiece to offset the anticipated lack of a cost-of-living increase in Social Security benefits next year. It might be good politics, as older Americans vote in larger numbers than any other demographic, and it pays to keep them happy. But the payoff would cost between $13 billion and $14 billion, adding to our ever-growing deficit. The deficit is effecting all of us, and it's our children that will have to pay the bill if it continues, a horrible legacy to leave for them.
Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
~ Mark Twain
- Tax churches just like a business. I know that I'm going to catch heat on this one, but hear me out. Some so-called churches are merely fronts for their own business interests, and without naming them here, some of those so-called "religious institutions" are nothing but tax-free fronts for highly profitable business systems. If they were taxed under this concept, they would also have the option of doing acts of public good (feeding the homeless, providing shelters, building homes for the indigent, etc) which would be accountable just as is any regular business.
Scientology, how about that? You hold on to the tin cans and then this guy asks you a bunch of questions, and if you pay enough money you get to join the master race. How's that for a religion?
~ Frank Zappa, to a concert audience at the Rockpile, Toronto, May 1969
- The above was also published on Facebook in a slightly different form on Thursday, October 29, 2009