Sunday, January 30, 2005



LIKE IT IS, an ABC network show about "African American" affairs, broadcast a half hour Bill Moyers' rant from the pulpit of a church. Moyers took the occasion to bash the Bush administration, and conservatives in general. Among the things he condemned them for was cutting taxes on "the rich", and not helping the poor enough. He further accused the Bush administration with collaborating with the "Religious Right" to further his agenda. He almost came to tears as he bemoaned this as some unholy link between capitalism and religious fascism. As I watched this, it looked to me like nothing more than a hypocritical blowhard setting himself up like a rack of bowling pins. This guy Moyers has made millions off of the public largesse, through deals that sometimes have a bad smell themselves. As if that's not hypocritical enough, I take issue with his equating paying taxes with helping the poor as the bible means it. If one person can show me where the Bible says that paying taxes is the same as helping the poor, I'll eat my words. Moyers is using religion for his own political ends, just as he accuses Bush of doing. His is the typical position of Northeast liberals, who give less to charity than any other area of the country. They equate paying taxes with charity, without regard to the services they actually use themselves. I wonder how much of the money Moyers has made privately from the sale of his PBS documentaries was donated to charity? It seems that "he doth protest too much", and from the clearest of glass houses.



Chris said...

Some posts from 7online's LIKE IT IS message boards:

"Raised up on eagles'wings" is how I feel about this speech! Bill Moyer's passion and cogent insights are a call to begin again to make America what it is suppose to be. Who defines what we are suppose to be? A government of the people,for the people and by the people should not have "to buy the people". Slick slogans tell us to shrink government and take the money saved and give it to financial types who will invest our Social Security! That is trying "to buy" the people. Where to begin about Iraq? Sadly the President and the Pentagon fail to explain the gross mistakes that led to invading a country that we did not have to invade. Nobody has all the answers but why is so little said about our mistakes? Would you still support the war if your loved one was killed in Iraq? How about all the people of Iraq who have been killed? Only love is the answer! We must love our country enough to admit our mistakes. We must love our country enough to remain strong to deter any country from attacking us. We must address the economic disparities that Bill Moyers outlined in his great speech. Mr.Moyers'reminds us of the danger of government by money being just as dangerous as government by mob. Danger also emanates from government by military might! It is never wrong to point out America's errors. In fact,it is a duty to go against the tide that tells us that only less government and private Social Security accounts will solve all our problems. I want America to remain the land of opportunity that it once was for my immigrant parents! Jim Smith

MY REPLY: You make a passionate endorsement of Mr. Moyers' arguments. Is there no room in your America for people like me, who believe that the American, Italian, British, Polish, and Iraqi lives were not given in vain? As a supporter of our President, I say that I would still support the war if I lost a son or daughter in it. Looking at the election today in Iraq, I would be proud of them. I am middle class, struggling without health insurance, and one of the highest tax burdens in the nation in New York. I believe in private retirement and medical accounts, because I would rather invest in the private sector than the same government bureaucrats that have been running Social Security for all these years. I respect your opinion, but think that Bush is actually the more progressive thinker on this issue.

Comments by someone named Telda:
It is amazing th eperspectives of others in light of what has been going on in this counrty since our liberties and rights were forfeited when the Supreme Court ruled in 2001 that no more votes would be counted and that Bush was declared the winner.
Have you forgotten that
Have you forgotten that the Supreme Court ruled that there would be no more counting of the ballots in Florida and that Bush was declared the winner?
Did you forget that there was no plane wreckage with the plane that was supposed to have hit the Pentagon?
What happened to the weapons of mass destruction?
Truth crushed to the earth will rise again as no lie shall live forever.
Don't be afraid to face the truth.
Jim Crow was made up for poor white people so they would think they were better than the ex-slaves.
Remember that.

Chris said...


I greatly enjoyed Bill Moyers' speech.

It captured I think the current political atmosphere in the U.S. even though it was delivered before the election. Clearly, his words were ubiquitous because the condition remains the same today.

For richer or poorer, Americans have been unwittingly pitted against one another far outside the scope of fair capitalist competition. Today, it's warfare that has spilled into the dimensions of politics, religion, resource and even pedigree. An American brand of the England we left, is at our shore. The "red coat" ethic is not only coming, it's here. And it's winning. It's general sits in the Oval Office each day, oblivious himself I think to the real war he's actually waging. It's main front has nothing to do with Iraq. The war's true epicenter has 50 parts, called the United States. The bitter pill of his leadership is coated in a Gerry-rigged Christian ethic established on the shame of many, and esteem that a few are more worthy than those many. And that by fiercely protecting the temple of the wealth of the few, the souls of the many shameful who wander in the desert might be saved. It is the height of arrogance. And a terrible low in American politics that harkens to world troubles of the first century.

Ironically, our old father England meekly begs us to consider alternatives to war, but goes along instead. He asks us to consider polluting the environment less by making meaningful cuts in C02 emissions, but settles for half-hearted initiatives to consider (and likely reject) new technology to cut pollution. Meanwhile, the Earth inches closer and closer to political and environmental consequences whose inception will have been largely calibrated by American dollars, dogma and denial.

George Bush's unhealed alcoholism is in play on a world stage, and in the context of our human future. And like all those afflicted with dry-drunkenness, our President is fully and completely convinced of his innocence, worthiness and even superiority. He sits on a perch of perceived infallibility and this calibrates a perilous posture I can only pray he'll awaken to in our time. He is like a man who is drunk, and walks away from a car crash without a scratch, told hours later that the sober are dead. He is infused with a belief that it was all God's will. That, somehow, those Americans with sobriety must have deserved to suffer at his hand. That God saved him, and him alone, for a special mission above all else. And he will save us all from ourselves.

Would Moyers be surprised that since his speech the drumbeat of war with Iran has begun, out of the mouth of **** Cheney? I highly doubt it. By "sewing" the seeds of freedom around the world, we pervert the notion of self-determination, and become exactly what we fought against for 50 years in the cold war, the only difference being that citizens are asked to support their newly forced subversion with a ballot that says it's all ok. And while puppet capitalism is almost certainly preferable to a Saddam Hussein regime, it is also a far cry from the kind of grass-roots spirit that has given America the legs to withstand countless crises. Can the New Iraq create it's own identity and survive after our forces invade Iran? Did we learn nothing from Poland in WWII? Did we not hear the anguish of the Soviet states who today are finally free to revive the spirit of what they truly once were? For Poland and the other Soviet states, the drumbeat of freedom came from within, not without. The new culture of today came from treasured remnants of the past, not military actions waged in our time.

What will tomorrow bring? Will we act as brothers, or bandits? Will we practice faith, or corporate religion? Will we love, or fear? Will we show compassion, or pity? Will we give, or steal? Will we be patriotic for America, or ethnocentric for its dominion? Will we learn, or keep pretending that we know it all? I cannot say. I can only work to have faith that God understands far above the scope of any question I could ever ask. That His love, is bigger than my fear, and that my job is to just try to not to be motivated by my fear. That His forgiveness, is greater than any hate we could ever cloak in His name.

The real enemy isn’t George Bush. The real enemy isn’t Saddam Hussein. The real enemy isn’t even Osama Bin Laden. The real enemy is these men, and all of us, acting out our natural human fear to protect wealth and power that ironically further weaken us to fear anyway. Let us beat this slippery slope. Let us act bravely, despite our fears. Let us act in the way Bill Moyers’ speech challenges us to. Let us love.

Thank you Bill Moyers for your speech. Thank you for applying the spirit of The Power of Myth in the context of all we face today.

With regard and respect,

Tim Monti-Wohlpart