From Pine View Farm

America the Beautiful 0

Oh, beautiful for spacious skies,

The American consumer economy is operating on two tiers. On top are the relative handful of CEOs and investment people, immune from assault. The Republicans’ gratuitous tax cuts on investment income have significantly lowered the tax burden on the richest Americans _ earning more than $10 million _ by an average of about $500,000. Mr. Bush continues to press Congress to make permanent cuts for the privileged while the national deficit goes through the roof.

for amber waves of grain,

The rest of us are in a squeeze as inflation is driven by energy costs, medical care, and prescription drugs. Home-foreclosure rates are growing; they jumped an average 13 percent a month nationally at the end of 2005, with highs of 30 percent in Massachusetts, 61 percent in Texas, 70 percent in Arkansas, 145 percent in New Mexico, and 210 percent in West Virginia.

for purple mountain majesties,

As for America’s standing in the world, the fog of the endless Iraq war has cost us friends that it took two world wars to win. Americans who felt pride in our triumphs see the leverage and reputation of this nation squandered.

above the fruited plain.

We are reduced from a beacon of hope to a saber-rattling thug. The Bush foreign policy is nonexistent. The radical right exploits the formless “war on terror” _ which can’t be won _ to retain power by keeping us afraid.

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years


Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!


America! America!
God shed his grace on thee

Concentration camps

And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

With apologies to Capitol Hill Blue.


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