This Sunday post is a collection of links to elderblog stories about the issues that are important to understand in making our choices on who to vote for in the November election. You can read the original post announcing this feature here.
An Unofficial Online Election
From The Economist: What if the Whole World Could Vote for U.S. President?
The General’s Endorsement
From Mort Reichek of Octogenarian: Colin Powell: All is Forgiven
Vote Against Politics as Usual
From Guitar Grandma: Vote For America
The Price of Democracy is Vigilance
From Darlene Costner: Follow Up
Against Desperate People Talking Trash
From Garrison Keillor: Life is Hard; We Dig In and We Can Spot Deceit
Redacted Bank Bailout Contracts
From Bailout Sleuth: The End of Bailout Transparency Already?
Big Bucks For Bailed Out Bankers
From Guardian UK: Wall Street Banks in $70bn Payout
An Eloquent Endorsement
From The New York Times: Barack Obama For President
The Vice President’s Job is WHAT? [:50 seconds]
Regarding Accusations of Socialism
From Saul Friedman who writes a weekly column, Gray Matters, doesn't have a blog on which to post on whim, so here are some thoughts he sent along by email:
So what if Barack Obama is a socialist (which he isn't)? He would be in good company: Mark Twain, H.G. Wells, Albert Einstein, Charles Chaplin, Bertrand Russell, Martin Luther King, Jr., Leo Tolstoy, Jack London. G.B. Shaw, George Orwell, Nelson Mandela. Well, you get the idea.
Before socialism was perverted by the Soviet Union, it was seen by Einsten, as he wrote in 1949, an economic system the purpose of which was to "overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development...Socialism is directed toward a social-ethical end."
Noting that man is a social being, Einstein continued, he/she "can find meaning in life, short and perilous as it is, only through devoting himself to society...The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil." What does an old physicist know?
But I doubt that politicians who toss the word around like an epithet know what Socialism is. And those who decry socialism often benefit from it. Take Republican Sen. John McCain, who spent years as part of a socialist endeavor, the United States Navy, which, of course, is publicly owned (although recently much of its work has been outsourced and privatized).
As a public employee, he got free medical care; even the clothes on his back were government owned. When he returned from Vietnam, he was treated in military hospitals which are government owned. And he's gotten medical care at VA facilities; the VA, in which the doctors, nurses and other personnel work for the government is socialistic.
He denounces government-run health care, which he, his father and grandfather have gotten all their lives. And McCain also gets Medicare; but it might comfort him to know, it is not socialist since the doctors and others work for themselves.