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Who's Killing Uncle Sam?

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The Washington Post reported today, September 7, 2006, that a Democratic candidate for Senator, Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) promises he will do what is right by Maryland families, "by taking on the drug companies, the oil companies, and the insurance companies". Right. His campaign, however, has accepted checks from committees representing six large pharmaceutical companies, 22 oil and energy outfits, 27 insurance firms and industry associations, and eight HMOs, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which compiles such figures on its Web site.* I wrote an article just recently entitles Corporate Politics = Freedom lost. If you read that article, this should be no surprise to you.

How can a politician claim that he will stand up to the very people that finance his campaign for his election? The truth is, he can't. The Washington Post also reports that the money he is receiving, could tip the balance of the election in his favor. The Post also goes on to say that Washington "insiders" know how the donation game is played. Well my friends, we should all know how the donation game is played. I spelled it out just a few days ago, right on this website.

This, in my opinion, is by far, the most important issue facing Americans today. It is not "The War on Terror", or immigration, or this administration consistently breaking the law and defiling the Constitution. We are not going to solve any of these problems until we can, as a nation, stand up to the Washington politicians and demand that "bankrolling" politicians by industries and special interest groups stop. It's very understandable; you don't have to be politically savvy to understand this. As long as these entities are financing your elected representatives, they will not, and cannot, stand up to their own backers and propose that elections be financed by the people of America. It would effectively, put them out of the running, because their campaign coffer will become empty.

Why do I write about this problem that we, as Americans face? Do I write just to cause trouble? Don't I believe that we should all rally around our system of government and help it to become strong so it can protect us from the terrible attacks we suffered during 9/11/2001? Don't I want this government to be strong so that they can get back at the people that caused the terror of 9/11 and the recent terror that the Islamic fundamentalists are causing? That problem has absolutely nothing to do with this campaign finance problem. It seems that every criticism that anyone brings up, goes right back to 9/11. Look, I'm retired career military, I'm also a New Yorker, born and raised there. I volunteered to go to Afghanistan to get a crack at Osama. I'm an American, and that is precisely why I write about this problem we have, it's my duty as a citizen.

Precisely because I'm an American I am charged with protecting my rights as a citizen. With these rights and freedoms comes a responsibility. I have to protect them. They don't come for free. I don't deserve these things just because I happened to be born within America's borders. I am also obliged to vote for the people that I believe are the best people to protect the rights and freedoms given to us by our country's forefathers. I believe that the American people are being denied the right to exercise this responsibility. I believe that we are being forced to vote for the person that can get the backing of the majority of the unions, corporations, and special interest groups. This happens at the very beginning of a political election, all the way back to the primaries.

Let's say that I want a candidate that will propose a bill to establish a system of national healthcare. If the American Medical Association, The Association of American Trial lawyers, The Insurance companies and their Political Action groups donate tens of thousands of dollars to that Representative when he (or she) ran for the House or the Senate, do you think for a moment that he is going to consider proposing something like that? If we wanted to put a tax on windfall profits that the oil companies are making, do you think we could find a lawmaker that hasn't accepted donations from the oil companies or the Petroleum Distribution Association? This, my fellow Americans, is the reality that we face in 2006. It doesn't matter if you are Republican or Democrat, Liberal or Conservative, you are affected, and all the legislators are taking money from the same places. Some industries give more to the Republicans, some less, and vice-versa, but it all ends up being legal bribery.

Some people may read this article and disregard it because it's written by a liberal "complainer". The same thing happened when "liberals" started complaining about industrial sewage in upstate New York. When it finally affected conservative republicans and conservative democrats, it was too late, they all had to give up their homes and move out of the area. That was called "Love Canal". Most people won't complain about industrial waste except the "liberals" until their kids come down with cancer, or the water is undrinkable. They oppose gun control and curse "liberals" until a kid comes into their son or daughter's school, shooting a pistol or rifle he got from his father's unlocked gun cabinet. People won't complain, except for the "liberals" until we find ourselves huddled in bomb shelters waiting for a nuke to fall during World War III. That could happen because our government could launch another "pre-emptive" strike against another country before explaining to the world community what the rationale for that strike was. The people don't care how their representatives vote on trade issues, even though it really only benefits their biggest campaign donors, it's only the "liberals" who complain, until they lose their job to someone overseas. These are just SOME examples of the disinterest in anything outside most American citizen's personal space.

So you ask, what can an individual do about this problem that I claim we have? The answer is plenty. If it's just you, then you are an individual with a vote in his (or her) pocket. If it's you and a co-worker and a few friends, then you are a group. You can do things together, things that will make your group bigger. Write posters. Buy ads. Act up at a political meeting. Just yell "Campaign Reform!" at legislators. If you group gets their relatives on board, strangers that agree with you and you find that some of you are speaking to different media outlets (like the one you are reading), then you are an organization, a movement. You movement will attract attention.

Once you have gained the attention of the press and the politicians, what you do is just speak the truth, loudly and often. The people that work for the power brokers will try to discredit you, and stop you from telling the truth. They will put a "spin" on everything your group does and says. They will try to bring out the "logic" of why things are the way they are. Just remember, whatever they come up with, things are what they are. They can't fight the truth. Don't argue with them. Just bring your message to all who will listen. When they finally realize that Americans know exactly what game is being played in Washington, legislators will refuse to take the power broker's money, because they know that what they are doing is public knowledge. Now that you know the truth, don't just take my word for it, go to the web, go to the library, or ask someone who you know won't lie to you if what I'm telling you about political donors is true.

Why do I write about this, why is this subject so important to me? I ask myself the same question, just about everyday. I believe it is because of the way I was raised. I also believe it is the result of some of the things I have seen in my life.

I joined the Army at 17, Dec 31, 1968, a few days before the Tet offensive in Vietnam. I joined as a supporter of that conflict; until I leaned the truth about it. I learned how the politicians in Washington used American soldiers as political pawns in a global chess game, and over 56,000 men didn't make it home alive. During part of my time in the Army, I worked on a radar system for a surface to air missile system (Nike Hercules). We had vacuum tubes that actually glowed green and they came out of boxed that said "Danger: Radiation" on the sides of those boxes. I asked my superiors if the tubes with 40,000 volts running through them were dangerous. There were rumors that you could get cancer of the testicles or become sterile. They told me that it was just a joke.

Well I got cancer three years ago in the floor of my mouth, and came to find out, that many of the soldiers that worked on that missile system got cancer. I joined the class-action suit brought by German Soldiers that also got soft-cell cancer due to ionizing radiation from those "harmless" tubes that glowed green. Since then, I don't take anybody's word for almost anything. I learned that information is only as good as the people that give it to you.

Now that I know and understand what is happening to the political system in our country, I want everyone to know. Call me Parson or whatever, but I love my country. I'm not rich, I live paycheck to paycheck as many people do, but I have had a wonderful life, and I'm still enjoying it, everyday. I hate to see my government sold to the highest bidder as if it were just another commodity. History has shown us that when governments no longer have the trust of their citizens, then that government will eventually fall. We have a wonderful set of ideals that this country was founded on. I don't want that to fall. Blind faith in bad leaders is not patriotism. It is just blind faith in bad leaders. As the Washington Post confirms,I don't make this stuff up.
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Tim Gatto is Ret. US Army and has been writing against the Duopoly for the last decade. He has two books on Amazon, Kimchee Days or Stoned Colds Warriors and Complicity to Contempt.

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