- The United States is 49th in the world in literacy (the New York Times, Dec. 12, 2004).
- The United States ranked 28th out of 40 countries in mathematical literacy (NYT, Dec. 12, 2004).
- Twenty percent of Americans think the sun orbits the earth. Seventeen percent believe the earth revolves around the sun once a day (The Week, Jan. 7, 2005).
- "The International Adult Literacy Survey...found that Americans with less than nine years of education 'score worse than virtually all of the other countries'" (Jeremy Rifkin's superbly documented book The European Dream: How Europe's Vision of the Future Is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream, p.78).
- Our workers are so ignorant and lack so many basic skills that American businesses spend $30 billion a year on remedial training (NYT, Dec. 12, 2004). No wonder they relocate elsewhere!
- "The European Union leads the U.S. in...the number of science and engineering graduates; public research and development (R&D) expenditures; and new capital raised" (The European Dream, p.70).
- "Europe surpassed the United States in the mid-1990s as the largest producer of scientific literature" (The European Dream, p.70).
- Nevertheless, Congress cut funds to the National Science Foundation. The agency will issue 1,000 fewer research grants this year (NYT, Dec. 21, 2004).
- Foreign applications to U.S. grad schools declined 28 percent last year. Foreign student enrollment on all levels fell for the first time in three decades, but increased greatly in Europe and China. Last year Chinese grad-school graduates in the U.S. dropped 56 percent, Indians 51 percent, South Koreans 28 percent (NYT, Dec. 21, 2004). We're not the place to be anymore.
- The World Health Organization "ranked the countries of the world in terms of overall health performance, and the U.S. [was]...37th." In the fairness of health care, we're 54th. "The irony is that the United States spends more per capita for health care than any other nation in the world" (The European Dream, pp.79-80). Pay more, get lots, lots less.
- "The U.S. and South Africa are the only two developed countries in the world that do not provide health care for all their citizens" (The European Dream, p.80). Excuse me, but since when is South Africa a "developed" country? Anyway, that's the company we're keeping.
- There is a palpable sense of despair throughout the "land of the free" as it becomes increasingly clear that Bush still insists upon imposing a dictatorship.
"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator."George W. Bush uttered those very unfunny words on December 18, 2000. On that day the president-elect went to capitol hill to meet with Congressional leaders and emerged from the meeting flipping them and the American people this rhetorical bird.The president is making good on those words and there hasn't been a peep out of Congress or the press. In a document released on May 9, 2007 entitled "National Continuity Policy," Bush makes good on his sick fantasy. In case of “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government function” Bush will control the entire U.S. government, not just the federal branch.It isn't really surprising. Bush decides who is an enemy combatant, a person without legal rights, and who should be spied upon.If ever there was a moment for conspiracy theories, this is it. Will there be a phony terror attack, or a declaration of war against Iran? We don't know what the trigger will be but it is time to be afraid.Actually it is time for impeachment. Bush's unpopularity makes him particularly dangerous. So does the acquiescence of the media and the silence of the Democrats. State legislatures have the right to begin the impeachment process but they have been smacked down by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.We are screwed. The phrase may be inelegant, but it says it all. Maybe we will all end up in Guantanamo. Who knows? The National Continuity Policy contains "classified continuity annexes." WTF!? As I said, we are screwed! Indeed, Bush has arrogated unto himself now the power to interpret the Constitution. I suppose he can now just dismiss the Supreme Court.
It defines a “catastrophic emergency” as “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government function.”Bush Anoints Himself as the Insurer of Constitutional Government in EmergencyIt's a sorry state of affairs. The American people must wake the f**k up and throw the bums out! The people should then follow up with adamant demands that the harm Bush has done be undone. There is otherwise no hope for America. Congressman Ron Paul, whom I have called the last honest Republican, sounds the same theme.I am not endorsing Paul's candidacy for President. Not yet anyway. I merely present his video because he deserves to be heard. Certainly, Paul understands the many evils to be undone in what has been misnamed the "Patriot" Act. It should be re-named: The Bush Act of Treason Against America! America must make a decision about what kind of nation it is to become. As Dizzy Dean would have put it: When you come to a fork in the road, you have to take it.