*** TIME-SENSITIVE LEGISLATIVE ACTION ALERT ***
PLEASE CALL YOUR U.S. SENATORS:
REGISTER YOUR OPPOSITION TO CHUCK HAGEL
AS OUR NEXT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE!
Tomorrow, Thursday, January 31st, the Senate Armed Services Committee is scheduled to consider the nomination of former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel as our next Secretary of Defense. If the Committee approves the nomination, the full Senate will then cast a vote on this matter.
ACT! for America opposes the nomination of Mr. Hagel to this highly important position within the U.S. Government.
We feel there are a host of reasons why his appointment would be dangerous to the security of our nation. Our level of concern led us recently to express our opposition directly to the leadership of the Senate Armed Services Committee via a formal letter.
Now, we need the voice of the American people—the Senate’s constituency—to be heard on this issue. Every U.S. Senator needs to understand the level of opposition that exists to Mr. Hagel’s nomination—and some compelling reasons for that opposition.
We offer below only some of Mr. Hagel’s actions and statements over the years that deeply concern us.
Soft on Iran – Mr. Hagel consistently has been soft on the Iranian regime, repeatedly voting against Iran sanctions, and in 2005 even proposing that Iran play a role in the shaping of the new Iraqi government. At a time when the Iranian regime is blatantly flaunting its efforts to bolster its nuclear weapon capabilities, this approach by our nation’s Secretary of Defense is not only short-sighted, but also extremely dangerous.
Favors Dialogue with Terrorist Regimes and Groups – In 2009, Mr. Hagel stated his belief that the U.S. should negotiate with the regime of Bashir Al Assad of Syria. He has said the same about our nation’s approach to Hezbollah and Hamas. Further, in 2009, Mr. Hagel sent a letter to the President stating that Israel must begin open negotiations with Hamas.
Hostile Toward Israel – There are numerous examples of Mr. Hagel’s hostility toward Israel and the Jewish-American community. He has stated that the “Jewish Lobby” is a problem on Middle East issues, and in 1999 he was the only member of the U.S. Senate not to sign a letter condemning growing anti-Semitism in Russia. As yet another example of his views on Israel, in 2006, when Hezbollah entered Israel, killed two Israeli soldiers, and fired thousands of rockets on Northern Israel, only one Senator—Chuck Hagel—publicly admonished Israel for defending itself.
Supports Abolishment of Nuclear Weapons – At a globally dangerous period, Mr. Hagel endorses Global Zero, a movement that seeks the abolition of nuclear weapons. In fact, according to a recent AP article by Robert Burns, Chuck Hagel “would be the first to enter the Pentagon as a public advocate for sharply reducing the number of U.S. nuclear weapons—possibly without equivalent cuts by Russia.”
These are but a few examples of his disconcerting approach to national security and defense-related issues, but even with these few examples—need we say more?
Our nation simply cannot afford an administration official who has this nonsensical approach to our efforts around some of the most dangerous parts of the world. The only way to have any chance of stopping it is to speak out.
** Important and Time-Sensitive Action Item **
Please take a moment today and tomorrow to call your two U.S. Senators.
Politely, but firmly, let them know that you are a constituent and that you are very much opposed to the nomination of Chuck Hagel as our next Secretary of Defense.
NOTE: If you need help locating your legislators, visit our Contact Congress page by clicking HERE. Type in your zip code where indicated to locate your U.S. Senators. Once located, click on your Senator and you can then see his/her contact information, including the phone number of the Washington, DC office.
If you know the name of your U.S. Senators, you also can call the Congressional Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be patched through to those particular offices.
Again, please make your calls NOW and forward this action request to everyone you know who shares your concern. As a constituent, your voice and opinion is tremendously powerful. You CAN make a difference.
Thank you for all that you do.
IF EACH OF US DOES JUST A LITTLE, TOGETHER WE CAN
ACCOMPLISH A LOT!
Wealth is not Created at the Top: It is Only Devoured There
The UK has left the EU and we can argue about the minutiae of Wealth until we’re blue in the face. But the overriding factors are apparent and in one of the richest countries in the world it is shocking that so many people can’t even be sure if they are going to be able to eat enough today or provide for their loved ones.
These days, politicians from the left to the right assume that most wealth is created at the top. By the visionaries, by the job creators, and by the people who have “made it”. By the go-getters oozing talent and entrepreneurial-ism that are helping to advance the whole world – Opinion by Rutger Bregman
… across the spectrum virtually all agree that wealth is created primarily at the top and so entrenched is this assumption that it’s even embedded in our language. When economists talk about “productivity”, what they really mean is the size of your paycheck. And when we use terms like “welfare state”, “redistribution” and “solidarity”, we’re implicitly subscribing to the view that there are two strata: the makers and the takers, the producers and the couch potatoes, the hardworking citizens – and everybody else.
Bankers, pharmaceutical giants, Google, Facebook … a new breed of rentiers are at the very top of the pyramid and they’re sucking the rest of us dry
In reality, it is precisely the other way around. In reality, it is the waste collectors, the nurses, and the cleaners whose shoulders are supporting the apex of the pyramid. They are the true mechanism of social solidarity. Meanwhile, a growing share of those we hail as “successful” and “innovative” are earning their wealth at the expense of others. The people getting the biggest handouts are not down around the bottom, but at the very top. Yet their perilous dependence on others goes unseen. Almost no one talks about it. Even for politicians on the left, it’s a non-issue.
To understand why, we need to recognise that there are two ways of making money. The first is what most of us do: work. That means tapping into our knowledge and know-how (our “human capital” in economic terms) to create something new, whether that’s a takeout app, a wedding cake, a stylish updo, or a perfectly poured pint. To work is to create. Ergo, to work is to create new wealth.
But there is also a second way to make money. That’s the rentier way: by leveraging control over something that already exists, such as land, knowledge, or money, to increase your wealth. You produce nothing, yet profit nonetheless. By definition, the rentier makes his living at others’ expense, using his power to claim economic benefit.
But here comes the rub. Most rentiers are not as easily identified as the greedy banker or manager. Many are disguised. On the face of it, they look like industrious folks, because for part of the time they really are doing something worthwhile. Precisely that makes us overlook their massive rent-seeking…
The problems we face are that the politicians are firmly in the hands (pockets) of the uber wealthy. We live in a corporate plutocracy and those holding all the wealth and therefore power have no intention of changing the status quo, even if it isn’t sustainable. They remind me of bacteria (or cancer) devouring the host body more and more even though eventually it will kill them too.
Donald Trump Forgets Important Lesson From Grandad:
Harper’s Magazine reprints an interesting letter from US President Donald J. Trump’s own grandfather that may get you thinking. Here is it then:
The Emigrants – By Friedrich Trump – From a letter written in 1905 by Friedrich Trump, Donald Trump’s grandfather, to Luitpold, prince regent of Bavaria. Trump had been ordered to leave Bavaria for failing to complete mandatory military service and to register his initial emigration to the United States twenty years earlier.
Prince Luitpold rejected Trump’s request for repatriation; the family later settled in New York. Translated from the German by Austen Hinkley.
Most Serene, Most Powerful Prince Regent! Most Gracious Regent and Lord!
I was born in Kallstadt on March 14, 1869. My parents were honest, plain, pious vineyard workers. They strictly held me to everything good — to diligence and piety, to regular attendance in school and church, to absolute obedience toward the high authority.
After my confirmation, in 1882, I apprenticed to become a barber. I emigrated in 1885, in my sixteenth year. In America I carried on my business with diligence, discretion, and prudence. God’s blessing was with me, and I became rich. I obtained American citizenship in 1892. In 1902 I met my current wife. Sadly, she could not tolerate the climate in New York, and I went with my dear family back to Kallstadt.
The town was glad to have received a capable and productive citizen. My old mother was happy to see her son, her dear daughter-in-law, and her granddaughter around her; she knows now that I will take care of her in her old age.
But we were confronted all at once, as if by a lightning strike from fair skies, with the news that the High Royal State Ministry had decided that we must leave our residence in the Kingdom of Bavaria. We were paralyzed with fright; our happy family life was tarnished. My wife has been overcome by anxiety, and my lovely child has become sick.
Why should we be deported? This is very, very hard for a family. What will our fellow citizens think if honest subjects are faced with such a decree — not to mention the great material losses it would incur. I would like to become a Bavarian citizen again.
In this urgent situation I have no other recourse than to turn to our adored, noble, wise, and just sovereign lord, our exalted ruler His Royal Highness, highest of all, who has already dried so many tears, who has ruled so beneficially and justly and wisely and softly and is warmly and deeply loved, with the most humble request that the highest of all will himself in mercy deign to allow the applicant to stay in the most gracious Kingdom of Bavaria.
Your most humble and obedient,
… Well then. Long ago, yes.. Still applies? You tell me.
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