Tuesday, July 03, 2007

4th of July Commemorations: Pentagon Papers, America's Record of Chairty Giving, and the Mess in Iraq

A local paper here in Kuwait gave me a call this morning about what I thought of when I think of American Independence Day.

First, I told them that the number 1776 comes to mind.

1776 is, of course, the year the Declaration of Independence was signed. Connected to that is another number--13.

It would be about 13 years later before the New Constitution in America would be signed by many of the same individuals who declared and fought for America's Independence in 1776. 13 was also the number of colonies that had become states by that time. They formed an important beacon of hope in world history.

Moreover, many people in that land, now known as the USA,and folks around the world came to tie those same images of (1) Declaration of Independence, the (2) America's founding fathers, and (3) the US Bill of Rights of the Constitution together, both in the past and in current memory.

Sadly, many--such as myself--are saddened by the way the Bill of Rights of the USA Constitution have been weighlayed in recent years.
Now, habeas corpus and other laws have been thrown out by the Bush administration. E-mails and Americans are being spied on like never before. People are rotting in jail without charges and CONRESS is failing to IMPEACH THE PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT!

In short, we should be saddened this July 4, 2007.

However, not only do I believe we--as Americans--can do better: I KNOW WE CAN AND WILL ONCE AGAIN DO BETTER!

The basis for this belief is represented by the way we,, as Americans, give so much charity to others around the world--even as our government policies and pro-business/pro-slavery screwball-FREE MARKETEERS promote exploitation of workers around the globe, including in Kuwait where I spend this INDEPENDENCE DAY 2007!

In short, Americans do give more of a damn about other peoples than their own tribes and family members than almost any other culture on the planet. That is something to be proud of. Here is a quote from the Wall Street Journal--which the fascist Rupert Murdoch is trying to buy out this very week!

"Americans are the most generous people in the world, measured by charitable giving as a percent of GDP. Americans give twice as much (1.67% of GDP) as the next most charitable country, the U.K. at 0.73%, according to this study by the Charities Aid Foundation (chart above is taken from the study). Americans give almost 12 times as much as the French and almost 8 times as much as the Germans. In fact, Americans give more as a percent of GDP than France, Germany, Turkey, New Zealand, Singapore and the Netherlands COMBINED!"


"And charitable giving in the U.S. set another record in 2006 at almost $300 billion, about the same amount as the GDP of Denmark, Greece, Austria or Norway."


This reflects an outward looking and compassionate America that realizes it has a heritage that offers a big tent. The Americans can offer charity and hope to peoples around the globe--not just peoples in their own country and planet--i.e. not depending only on family relations, tribal interests or bad governments to feel called to carry out their benevolent jobs!

This doesn't mean that we can't ask our AMERICAN GOVERNMENT TO DO MORE TO SERVE THE POOR AND DISADVANTAGED THIS 2007. Indeed, it should inspire Americans to get our governments spending more in line with the peace making forefathers we love.

Further, it should remind ALL PEOPLES that the red, white and blue being shot down or sacrificed in Iraq IS not the stupid and fascist acting US government (or big military DEPENDENT businesses) that demand their sacrifices. Let's not get the soldiers mixed up with the senseless crimes of our government that got them there! BRING THEM HOME!

We need to simply get them home and out of harms way UNTIL AMERICAN LEADERS RETURN US TO OUR 1776 AND 1789 IDEALS ONCE AGAIN!

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