Starla Immak has an Excellent Diary Posted Today
I posted a diary a week ago on the North Dakota miracle. The state is solvent! In 1919 they recognized the traditional plight of farmers everywhere. Their finances were in the hands of rapacious bankers. Each year the farmers had to borrow to finance the year's crop. They were at the mercy of the weather and the markets. A few bad years could wipe them out force them to sell the farm at depressed prices. The North Dakota bank offered them a kinder atmosphere that helped them bridge the bad years. It never indulged in the risky practices typical of the post Glass-Steagall big banks that brought ruin to many of us and all other states. Starla urges all states to open banks that emulate the North Dakota standard. It provides loans to qualified consumers, small businessmen and students. In short, it offers the advantages of Obama's stimulus without having to run the Republican gauntlet.
My prime example is India. The country is so poor it isn't worth the time for the big bankers to steal from it. Consequently, India is enjoying a 6.5% growth rate this year.
Forty-three years ago I worked in the Massachusetts life insurance industry. When I purchased a policy from the State of Massachusetts, my premiums were 40% less than the rates I would have paid my own company. I was avoiding the overhead costs [advertising, sales commissions etc] associated with a private enterprise.
For $10 per month I enjoy full coverage from Israel's National Health Plan. Israel really cares about my health because she must pay for my well-being. In America I would be blind and crippled probably found dead on the street.
Please Forgive My Longish Response
Where were those who opposed torture four or five years ago? Characteristically, I am usually the last to know anything. Even I knew about the torture of whole families. After I wrote about it, the Republican crazies pounced on me in frenzy. On a different site two or three bloggers joined me in opposing torture. Others hid in the closet. The site owner sold out to the crazies and suddenly we were receiving directives from Langley, Virginia. [We had our techies too.] It got so bad nearing the 2006 election the decent bloggers started a new site. The crazies followed us to the new site making it unpleasant as well. After they destroyed my computer, I bought a new one and shifted to OEN.
After the President refused to punish the perpetrators concerning torture, it suddenly became Okay to criticize them on the Internet and msnbc. Concerned bloggers may want to ponder this.
Freedom of speech is basic, but even more important is the ability for the readers to respond without fear of troll bashing, vilification and abuse. We are into three generations of fear mongering leaders who have bullied us into one disaster after another. More and more I see my articles and others challenged on the quality of our argument. These new members lack a long history, but they treat the issues with respect unafraid. Rob, I think we owe you thanks for this positive change.