Tom's Thoughts

Location: Granite Falls, North Carolina, United States

I'm an ordained United Methodist minister no longer pastoring churches, a former media producer with skills ten years out of date, a writer trying to sell my first novel, and a sales associate keeping body and soul together working for the People's Republic of Corporate America. I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the world, who was my best friend for 17 years before we married.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

We have become our enemies

America is the shining beacon on the hill. At least it used to be.

So why have we stooped to the level of those we hold in contempt? Why have we adopted the tactics of the people we disdained for so long for using those self-same tactics?

Josef Stalin used torture, internal extralegal spying, and claims of unlimited power to "protect" his country to keep himself in power. That was anathema to the righteous United States.

Now, the Bush Adminstration is using torture, extralegal internal spying, and claims of unlimited power to "protect" America to justify an unprecedented level of corruption and evil-doing in the name of democracy.

An American soldier is famous for saying in Vietnam, "We had to destroy the village in order to save it." Bush is destroying democracy in order to save it now?

What bothers me most about this is that Bush is the first President to admit to an impeachable offense, and the supposedly "liberal" New York Times sits on it for a year after the 2004 election. The Congress is debating the legality of what is clearly illegal to anyone who reads the Constitution.

If the American people let this slide, as they have the rest of the evil the government has foisted on them over the past few decades, then they deserve to live as cowering slaves rather than free Americans. They should just relinquish the name, "American."

Monday, December 19, 2005


A thought occurred to me this morning: If we really want to do something about illegal immigration, then we pass a law requiring employers to pay undocumented workers double the minimum wage. After all, as we have learned from the "war on drugs," if the demand is there, then there will be a supply. We have to cut off the demand.

As it stands, employers can hire illegal immigrants, pay them slave labor wages, give them abominable working conditions, and the government will do nothing about it. Yes, it's illegal to hire undocumented workers, but who is enforcing that law? No one. The employers own the Republican Party, so they control the government. Therefore, George W. Bush wants to grant amnesty and institute a "guest worker" program. Right.

The reason they are hiring illegals is because they save money that way. Never mind the American citizens who are thrown out of work and therefore can't buy the products made by these employers. That's a different argument. So what I'm proposing is to make it more cost-effective to hire legal workers--Americans and legal immigrants.

Of course, that isn't all that needs to be done. I heard on Air America Radio this morning that what (else) is needed is to put pressure on the Mexican government to clean up its act and straighten out their economy. Jimmy Smits's character on "The West Wing" made the same argument. There needs to be a strong Mexican economy so that workers won't have an incentive to leave to find a decent life.

Amen to that, too.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Budget Priorities

When the Final Trumpet blows and Jesus Christ comes back in glory and divides the nations to judge them, I do not want to be standing anywhere near anyone in the current Congress.

When Jesus asks them to justify their current budget priorities, I want to be standing on the other side of the room. There is going to be some major squirming going on, and I don't want to be part of it.

I can imagine Jesus saying, "Inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these you have done it to me." When he asks them why they cut back on public health in the face of a possible bird flu pandemic; when he asks them why he cut back on funding for public school lunches, possibly causing a child who is too hungry to pay attention grows up and joins a criminal gang rather thand going to school and discovering a cure for Alzheimer's as he was intended to do; when Jesus asks them why they starved programs for the poor so they could afford tax cuts so obscenely rich people would have more money to stash in secret Cayman Island accounts while laying American workers off and sending their jobs overseas--I do not want to be anywhere near where Jesus is pouring out his wrath on such people.