Benny's World

Saturday, September 19, 2009

John Edwards Mentioned Positively in a New Poverty Book

A book called Breadline USA: The Hidden Scandal of American Hunger and How to Fix It was published in June. My institution bought a copy and I thumbed through it. Sure enough, on pages 156-7, JRE is mentioned twice.

The context is about pensions (and folks getting cheated out of them when companies declared bankruptcy) within a chapter entitled, "Elderly, Angry, and Looking for Work."

First quote:

"And while leading Democrats, such as ex-Senator John Edwards had long pushed for a reform of the bankruptcy process that better protected workers' pensions and prevented the executives of bankrupt companies from walking away with multimillion-dollar handouts, the Bush White House wasn't interested in such safeguards."

Second quote:

"During his campaign for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, John Edwards claimed that from 2005 through early 2008 nearly two-thirds of US companies had frozen their pension plans, and one in five workers had actually seen reductions in the size of their eventual retirement benefits. This trends was a startling reversal of three quarters of a century of government policy aimed to shore up and protect the nation's pension systems."

The point here is that our elderly got ripped off and had to go to Wal-Mart or some where else to earn extra money. (link to Amazon copy)

You know, I bet this nonsense is still going on and no one is paying attention to it, even with a centrist administration.

I sure miss his voice. I think Earl Ofari Hutchinson did too when he penned his piece this week, "Poverty Is Still a Dirty Word."

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

If I had a Bell, I'd be Ringing it for Mary Travers

Mary Travers, a beloved member of the trio Peter, Paul, and Mary, passed on this afternoon. She was 72.

I know many of her generation, and those who inspired her, such as Pete Seeger, will miss her. I will miss her as a true "child" of the Sixties, hearing PPM peform great songs, including "Blowing in the Wind", "Leaving on a Jet Plane" and "Puff the Magic Dragon."

Along with Burl Ives, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger, PPM's folk music became part of my fort, my interest in justice, and great harmonies of music.

The song I still remember the most, and perhaps it is because I saw them on teevee do this song, is "If I Had a Hammer." Here's the clip in honor of Mary Travers.

Mary, I hope you are in peace. May your family be well in amidst the sadness. My momma, who passed earlier this year, would be sad too if she were still alive, but she's not. She's been expecting Mary for a few weeks, if indeed there is such a "meeting" place.


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