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   Putting the 'Great' into a 'Great Nation'

Putting the 'Great' into a 'Great Nation'

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." -- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - 1963

What makes a nation 'great'?
Is it economic might?
Is it military might?
Is it glorious war victories?
Is it a nation that claims it has the right to go to war unprovoked to prevent another nation from using weapons that itself has designed while being the only nation in history to actually use these types of weapons?
Is it a nation whose largest industrial export is war-making equipment?
Is it a nation that spends fifty-six percent of its discretionary budget on its military, while spending only seven percent on educating it's citizenry?
Is it a nation that claims to be overwhelmingly Christian but has forgotten a few simple principles; "thou shalt not kill, turn the other cheek, love your enemies, and do unto others as you'd have done to yourself"?
Is it a nation that has a health care system so expensive that forty-six million of its citizens cannot afford it?
Is it a nation where twenty-five percent of it's homeless and down-trodden are people who supposedly fought in wars to keep it a great nation?
Is it a class structure that leaves the poor behind?
Is it a justice system that favors the rich and ignores the poor? (We all want justice but you've got to have the money to buy it.)
Is it a violent crime rate at least fifty times that of it's next rival?
Is it a broken home rate approaching sixty percent?
Is it a nation that consumes at least forty percent of the world's natural resources while containing only five percent of the population? (If everyone in the world consumed as much as we do, we would need six planets to sustain us.)
Is it a nation that creates a significant amount of the world's air pollution and when asked to join the rest of the world (The Kyoto Protocal) to try to curb the problem says "no, not if it affects our economy"?
Is it a nation that gives 0.1 percent of its GNP to poor nations while other wealthy nations give five percent or fifty times as much?
Is it a nation that has a one party political system disguised as a two party system, excludes all other parties from national election debates, and claims to be the last bastion of democracy?

Or could a great nation be one that values justice and equality above all and for all, both social and economic?
Or is it a nation that actively plans for the future of it's children, and their children, and their children?
Or is it a nation that realizes that without clean water, air, or soil, life is insupportable?
Or is it a nation that works toward world peace instead of using war as the first and only solution to disagreements with other nations?
Or is it a nation that provides universal health care for all of its citizenry? (When doctors become businessmen, who will the people turn to when they need a doctor?)
Or is it a nation that cares for it's down-trodden? (We are judged by how we treat the least among us.)

Or is it a nation that works toward racial and social harmony by education its citizenry on how discrimination is destructive and not constructive?


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This story was published on December 4, 2002.
  
DECEMBER 2002
LOCAL NEWS
·NEWS BRIEFS
·CALENDARS:
· Colleges & Kids Seek Ways to Bring Peace on Earth
· City Council Holds Hearing on Anti-War Resolution
· Forum at City Hall Allows Airing of Views on War vs. Iraq
· Status of Benefits District Goes to Circuit Court
· Costly Play: Ravens Stadium
· Economists Say City Faces ‘Employment Mismatch’
· SPORTS: Championship Basketball Returns to Maryland
· Baltimore City Council Passes Resolution Against War with Iraq
LETTERS
·LETTERS
· OPEN LETTER: Say It Ain’t So, Nancy
· Open letter denouncing Trent Lott
·OPEN LETTER:‘The U.S. Is Not America’
· OPEN LETTER: A Palestinian Father’s Grief
ART & ENTERTAINMENT
·Nicole Bailey-Williams Writes to Make You Think
·A Fresh Perspective on Carson McCullers
·See “The Trials of Henry Kissinger” While You Can
· Impertinent Remarks from H.L. Mencken
NEWS MEDIA CRITIQUE
·The Curse of a Monopolized Press
·Where’s ‘Democracy Now’?
·Here’s The Missing Part of the Gore Transcript from Barbara Walters’ “20/20”
SPEAKING OUT
·EDITORIALS:
·Be Careful What You Wish For
·Three-Strikes Law: Only the Poor Need Apply
·What the Democrats Need to Accept
·PERSPECTIVE: ‘May You Live in Exciting Times’
·Putting the 'Great' into a 'Great Nation'
·Phil Berrigan's Final Warning, "The Times are Ominous!"
NATION & WORLD
· Nicaraguan Lawyer Fights for Rights of Indigenous Peoples
· The Elections and the War
· National Economic Trends
· Nagging Questions About Iraq
· BAD MEAT: The Scandal of Our Food Safety System
· How a Progressive Approach Could Improve the Economy
· In The News...
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· Outstanding Analysis & Perspective

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