The other day, I commented on how wonderful it was to see four former presidents joining President Barack Obama in celebrating the great civil rights progress that was made in the 1960’s. America was changed, the United States is a better country but the struggle for true equality regretfully is far from being over.
I was delighted to see a statement in the Austin American Statesman on the fact that the struggle needs to continue. An article was coauthored by the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus and they touched briefly on very serious issues that still must be addressed. They state that as Texans:
“We rightly demand a fair system that provides meaningful freedom and opportunity for each of us….
“Instead we see a fixed system that consistently puts well-connected millionaire donors and corporations ahead of middle class working Texans. We still a school finance system that is so unfair and inadequate that most Texas school districts are compelled to sue the state over it.”
“We see a sustained attack on health services, women and the poor, along with efforts to revise history, whitewashing the record and ignoring the plain fact that Texas leads the nation in its percentage of uninsured residents.”
“And in clear echoes of 50 years ago, we see repeated efforts to make it harder for Texans to exercise the most fundamental right of all – the right to cast their ballots.”
The senators are very correct in pointing out that so much still needs to be done. I certainly hope and pray that Texans will continue to work for a more just and equitable society.
Onward through the fog.
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Once the President of the United States leaves public office, what is he to do with himself? If the last fifty years is any indication, it seems that there is almost an unwritten law as to how he should move forward. First, comes the book and then comes the library. Bush’s book, Decision Points, is now in the bookstores and the library is on its way. The former president has worked hard at selling the book and the first press run was for 750,000 copies. He gave media interviews to Oprah Winfrey, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Jay Leno, Matt Lauer, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, FOX, CNN and CBS. He said, “I want to sell books!”
I have not read the book but I did read a review by one of my heroes, Colman McCarthy (no relation regretfully) of the National Catholic Reporter. According to that McCarthy, nowhere in the book are there expressions of sorrow or remorse for the loss of life in Iraq and Afghanistan civilians. McCarthy alleges that Bush’s lack of sensitivity of American death as well and that in his eight years in office the president never attended a funeral at Arlington Cemetery!
The Iraq war may have been the worst tragedy in American history other than possibly our own Civil War. The country is devastated, unmanageable, no one knows how many Iraqi civilians were killed but certainly far more than 100,000. More than 5,000 young Americans lost their lives and 25,000 were wounded. Virtually everyone agrees that the war was a terrible, tragic mistake. May God forgive us.
President George Bush is still a young man and may live for many years. Let us pray that he can do something to be remembered by other than the agony of Iraq and those terrible statistics.
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