Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.


- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Friday, September 26, 2008

"Cash for Trash" protests break out all over U.S.

From IPS International News:

ECONOMY-US: National Protests Erupt Over Bailout Plan

Haider Rizvi

NEW YORK, Sep 25 (IPS) - The George W. Bush administration's plan to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to rescue giant Wall Street firms from their current financial meltdown has unleashed a spontaneous wave of protests across the United States.

"Cash for trash," shouted activists who gathered near Wall Street to express their outrage at Bush's proposal to buy bad debts of financial institutions at the cost of 700 billion dollars of taxpayer money.

Protesters said they want the Congress to protect millions of U.S. citizens who are on the verge of losing their homes due to bad lending practices of creditors instead of doling out public money to big investment firms responsible for ruining the economy.

"People are up in arms about this," Matt Holland of the TrueMajority.org, an advocacy group comprising 700,000 members that played a major role in organising the protests, told IPS. "Our members are livid. They're hitting the streets."

According to the group, thousands of people in more than 190 cities and towns across the country took part in demonstrations against the corporate bailout bill proposed by U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson last Friday.

The four-page draft bill, which is currently under discussion on Capitol Hill, did not initially require any legal and financial measures to protect homeowners from possible foreclosures, nor did it put any limits on the salaries of the corporate executives -- although legislators say that has since been amended.

On Thursday, Democratic and Republican lawmakers declared they were close to reaching a deal on a modified version of the bill, but still there was no indication if it would pass the Senate and the House.

"While many are focused on providing relief to the Wall Street, millions of homeowners are at risk of being left behind," said Janet Murgula, president of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the nation's largest Hispanic civil rights group.

To Murgula, "it is irresponsible public policy to ask taxpayers to foot the bill for a Wall Street rescue package while simultaneously denying them a sustainable response to the devastation the rising foreclosures rate is having throughout the country."

Independent presidential candidate and populist consumer advocate Ralph Nader agrees.

"The public outrage out there is really enormous," he said in an interview with the left-wing television programme Democracy Now!, calling the Bush proposal "a double standard between the guys at the top and the people who are going to have to pay the bills."

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