Thursday, June 24, 2004

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Who is Uncle Joe?

I have pasted the following anlysis from a blog called The Volokh Conspiracy, which is generally quite good. They have University of Chicago law school professor Cass Sunstein on this week as a guest blogger. Sunstein has a new book coming out which he is promoting. I have changed his recent post by changing the name of his hero. Guess who he is talking about?

"Uncle Joe's speech wasn't elegant. It was messy, sprawling, unruly, a bit of a pastiche, upbeat, and not at all literary. It was the opposite of Lincoln's tight, poetic, elegiac Gettysburg Address. But because of what it said, it has a strong claim to being the greatest speech of the twentieth century.

"Uncle Joe began by emphasizing that the "supreme objective for the future" -- the objective for all nations -- was captured "in one word: Security." Uncle Joe argued that the term "means not only physical security which provides safety from attacks by aggressors," but includes as well "economic security, social security, moral security." Uncle Joe insisted that "essential to peace is a decent standard of living for all individual men and women and children in all nations. Freedom from fear is eternally linked with freedom from want."

"Uncle Joe looked back, and not entirely approvingly, to the framing of the Constitution. At its inception, the nation had grown "under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures."

"But over time, these rights had proved inadequate. Unlike the Constitution's framers, "we have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence." As Uncle Joe saw it, "necessitous men are not free men," not least because those who are hungry and jobless "are the stuff out of which dictatorships are made." Recalling the New Deal, he cut to the chase: The nation had "accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed."

"Then he listed the relevant rights:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.
Having catalogued these eight rights, Uncle Joe said that "we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights." Uncle Joe asked "the Congress to explore the means for implementing this economic bill of rights—for it is definitely the responsibility of the Congress to do so."

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Bush to screen population for mental illness

Presumably, this is a joke. Let us see. I plan to be first in line for the screening.