But first . . .

THE REST OF THE STORY

Hope you had a great weekend and reflected on what makes America unique and – let’s hope one day again soon – beloved around the world.

In case you’ve not seen it, here is radio commentator Paul Harvey’s view of what made America great (including distributing smallpox-infected blankets to the Indians):

We didn’t come this far because we’re made of sugar candy. Once upon a time, we elbowed our way onto and across this continent by giving smallpox-infected blankets to Native Americans. That was biological warfare. And we used every other weapon we could get our hands on to grab this land from whomever.

And we grew prosperous. And yes, we greased the skids with the sweat of slaves. So it goes with most great nation-states, which – feeling guilty about their savage pasts – eventually civilize themselves out of business and wind up invaded and ultimately dominated by the lean, hungry up-and-coming who are not made of sugar candy.

For more (we should be using our nukes), click here.

AFRICA

Excerpted from RESULTS.org:

At first glance, it is heartening to see the Bush Administration commit to fight a child-killer like malaria. However the truth is that the President’s budget for 2006 actually cuts funding for infectious diseases, the account that includes malaria, by $61 million. Although the President’s new malaria initiative would add $30 million for 2006, this is less than the total cut already made. Not insignificantly, nearly half of the money pledged for malaria will not come until 2010, when the president is no longer in office, and therefore unable to ensure that this money is allocated.

. . . According to UNICEF, malaria kills a child in sub-Saharan Africa every 30 seconds. Globally, more than 1 million people die due to malaria every year, the vast majority of them young children under the age of five.

Two interesting points about this are, first – as noted by Professor Jeff Sachs last month – saving children’s lives actually REDUCES population growth (so we could save a million people a year and slow Africa’s tragic population explosion). And, second, the money it would cost us to eradicate malaria is a tiny fraction of the tax cuts planned for the heirs of those leaving estates of $50 million or more.

FAUX NEWS

Media Matters reports that the Fox News ‘Supreme Court analyst,’ C. Boyden Gray, heads a political committee formed to ensure the confirmation of Bush judicial nominees. Fox did not disclose this to its viewers.

LETTER FROM GEORGIA

A friend writes: ‘I am spending the holiday in my hometown in rural Northwest Georgia. I made the mistake of attending METHODIST (not Pentacostal or Baptist, but METHODIST) church with my mother this morning. I listened in shock when the pastor led a sermon about how our forefathers wanted to create a CHRISTIAN, and only a CHRISTIAN, nation and that the congregation had to stand up and force the government to follow Christian beliefs. That our president should start each major speech by praying to God. That the Ten Commandments should be on display in every public building. Amens coming left and right from the congregation. I stormed out in mid-sermon when he came to the topic of gays and lesbians. My view: It is going to be almost impossible to win against the pulpit when pitching to this group. Peer pressure is so strong. Even my mother, a relatively loving and progressive woman, has been sitting there and listening to this BS because it is where all of her friends go to church. After the last election she was informed on the church steps that she wasn’t a good Christian unless she had voted for Bush.’

And now . . .

BUT I STILL THINK IT’S A BUBBLE . . .

. . . in the frothier housing markets, anyway. The kicker here is when this poem was written:

I hesitate to make a list
Of all the countless deals I’ve missed.

Bonanzas that were in my grip –
I watched through my fingers slip:
The windfalls which I should have bought
Were lost because I over thought:
I thought of this, I thought of that,
I could have sworn I smelled a rat.
And while I thought things over twice
Another grabbed them at the price.It seems I always hesitate,
Then make up my mind much too late.
A very cautious man am I
And that is why I never buy.How Nassau and how Suffolk grew!
North Jersey! Staten Island too!

When others culled those sprawling farms
and welcomed deals with open arms -A corner here, ten acres there,
Compounding values year by year,
I chose to think and as I thought,
They bought the deals I should have bought.The golden chances I had then
Are lost and will not come again.
Today I cannot be enticed
For everything’s so overpriced.

The deals of yesteryear are dead:
The market’s soft-and so’s my head.

Last night I had a fearful dream
I know I wakened with a scream:
Some men approached my bed –
For trinkets on the barrelhead
(In dollar bills worth twenty-four
And nothing less and nothing more)
They’d sell Manhattan Isle to me,
The most I’d go was twenty-three
Those men scowled: “Not on a bet!”
And sold to Peter Minuit.

At times a tear drop drowns my eye
For deals I had but did not buy:
And now life’s saddest words I pen
“If only I’d invested then!”

Farm and Land Realtor Magazine
October 1917

(As spotted by Bob Fyfe on the Loon Lake Realty web site.)

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