Senator Paul Wellstone Died Two Years Ago...Today

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Senator Paul Wellstone Died Two Years Ago Today...

When I was a young to know everything, a little green bus came rolling into my town. I saw it run down School Street as I walked home from High School. The sides of that bus were emblazoned with the word "Wellstone!" Inside the bus was a set of ideals I never knew existed.

My mother, who had been working for sometime at his campiagn, brought me to see Mr. Wellstone speak. We arrived at a church parking lot and a small men exited the back of the bus to stand on a little platform. He was kinda funny looking and hunched but my mom said he was a wrestler so I thought that was cool.

The things he said, changed my life and the great thing about him is that the message remained the same...Below is one of my favorite speeches of his.

By Paul Wellstone

America is good. Ours is a land of bounty and beauty, blessed by Providence. By most measures of quality, life in America at the dawn of the 21st Century surpasses that of nearly any other place or time.

America is good. Ours is a people virtuous and benevolent, conscious of Providence. Part of what makes America good is that most Americans firmly believe in progress: Even in good times, we want a better America.

It is distinctly American to contemplate what makes a nation good. And it is entirely American to want our Nation to be best. We are an aspiring people.

Americans believe in practical good. We cherish life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness 1/ and share the philosophers creed that [t]hat action is best which procures the greatest happiness for the greatest numbers. 2/ Americans are a utilitarian people.

Most fundamentally, in a good country, life must be safe. In a good country, food must be available, the air and water must be pure, shelter must be within reach, people must be able to get health care, they must be safe from criminal harm, they must be defended from war, and they must be able to find rewarding work.

Our good land, in the hands of the American farmer, has yielded most productively. America ranks behind only Denmark and Portugal in food available per person, while more than 800 million people in the developing world suffer from chronic undernourishment and fully two billion people do not get enough vitamin A, iron, and iodine. 3/ Globally there is enough food to feed the world, explained a UN official, but it is not equally distributed and many people do not have the means to buy it. 4/ Life is not good in countries like Mozambique, Burundi, Afghanistan, Eritrea, and Somalia, where people have less than half the food we do. 5/ And when a government like North Koreas funnels its wealth into weapons while its children suffer devastating malnutrition, it must be called evil. 6/

Yet, as rich in food as America is, too many here still feel the pangs of hunger. Fully 35 million Americans are hungry or at risk of hunger. 7/ Every year, 26 million Americans have to go to food banks for sustenance. 8/ Even with a strong economy, requests for emergency food assistance rose 16 percent in 1997, and an estimated 19 percent of those pleas went unanswered. 9/

A Minnesota teacher asked his class:


How many of you ate breakfast this morning? As he expected, only a few children raised their hands. So he continued, How many of you skipped breakfast this morning because you dont like breakfast? Lots of hands went up. And how many of you skipped breakfast because you didnt have time for it? Many other hands went up. He was pretty sure by then why the remaining children hadnt eaten, but he didnt want to ask them about being poor, so he asked, How many of you skipped breakfast because your family doesnt usually eat breakfast? A few more hands were raised. Finally he noticed a small boy in the middle of the classroom, whose hand had not gone up. Thinking the boy hadnt understood, he asked, And why didnt you eat breakfast this morning? The boy replied, his face serious: It wasnt my turn. 10/


We can do better.

We are blessed to live in a time and place where clean running water flows abundantly. And thanks to concerted national efforts, the clarity of our air has improved for nearly 30 years. 11/

Even so, microbiological contaminants that threaten gastrointestinal illness or even death endanger too many communities. Americas community water systems must invest at least $12 billion now and $138 billion over the next 20 years simply to keep our water safe and clean. 12/ Needs are particularly acute among Native American and Alaskan Native communities. Fully 113 million Americans live in communities where air pollution persistently exceeds air quality standards. 13/ We can do better.

On our good land, more and more Americans are making a home that is their castle. Two-thirds of Americans own their own homes, a greater share than any recorded since surveys began in 1956. 14/

Even in this time of prosperity, however, nearly 7 million Americans experienced homelessness between 1989 and 1994. 15/ Even in America, homelessness particularly among children has increased dramatically over the past 10 to 15 years, and shelters do not have the resources to meet the demand. 16/

The New York Times told the story of Ana Nunez, and of hundreds of thousands like her:


p a narrow stairway between a pawnshop and a Dominican restaurant, Ana Nunez and her three children live in a single, illegal room that suffocates their dreams of a future.

It is a $350-a-month rectangle, with no sink and no toilet, that throbs at night with the restaurants merengue music. Ms. Nunezs teenagers, Kenny and Wanda, split a bunk bed, while she squeezes onto a single bed with little Katarin, a pudgy 4-year-old with tight braids. Out the door and down the linoleum-lined hallway is the tiny bathroom they share with five strangers.

. . . Last winter, tuberculosis traveled from Kenny to his mother and younger sisters in a chain of infection as inevitable as their bickering. Inevitable, too, is their fear of fire: life in 120 square feet means the gas stove must stand perilously close to their beds.

. . . Kenny . . . at 18, is a restless young man in a female household. Ask him what bothers him most and he flatly states that he has only one way to get some privacy: I close my eyes.. . .

At night, [Ana] said, when the mice crawl over us in bed, it feels even more crowded. 17/


We can do better.

Almost daily, modern medicine advances on the scourges of disease and infirmity. Thousands come to our Nation every year so that American doctors and nurses and hospitals may attend to their needs.

In 1990, fewer than 14 percent of Americans went without health insurance. Today, more than 16 percent are uninsured. Every year, about a million more Americans are dropped from coverage. Even assuming good economic times, close to 48 million Americans will have no health insurance coverage by the year 2005. How can other industrialized nations provide wider health coverage with less health care inflation?

A Midwestern wife told of her husband, 40 at most, a railroad worker struggling with cancer:


Paul, I want you to come over and meet my husband again. Hes a real fighter. The doctor said he only had 3 months to live, but its a year later, and hes still struggling. But then, so he could not hear, she whispered, Every day is a living hell. Every day Im battling with insurance companies over what theyre going to cover.


In a good country, no citizen with a loved one who is struggling with an illness should have to worry about whether or not she will be able to afford health care. We can do better.

The citizens of a good country are physically secure. As the baby boom generation ages beyond crime-prone years, the violent crime rate in America has declined steadily since 1994 and violent crimes occur less frequently now than at any time since the beginning of surveys in 1973. 18/ Murders occur less frequently now than at any time in 30 years. 19/ Total crime in America is at a ten-year low. 20/

Americans hardly feel safe from violence, however, and any number of murders is too many. Our murder rate is:

6 times that of England and Wales;
5 times that of Japan, South Korea, or Spain;
4 times that of Australia;
3 times that of Israel;
22 times that of Austria or Chile;
half again more than that of Denmark or Germany;
a quarter more than that of Canada or Peru;
one-fifth more than that of the Ukraine; and
roughly equal that of Ethiopia, Armenia, and India. 21/

A violent crime occurs in America every 19 seconds, a murder every 29 minutes, a rape every 5 minutes, a robbery every minute, an aggravated assault every 31 seconds, 22/ and a woman is battered every 15 seconds. 23/ Nearly one third of American women experience at least one physical assault by a partner during their adult lives. 24/ Americans are four times more likely to be incarcerated than Englishmen or Welshmen, and African Americans are six times more likely to be incarcerated than white Americans. 25/ For every 100 residents, law enforcement officials in the United States have to make nearly six arrests a year. 26/ We can do better.

America lives at peace, thank God. The end of the Cold War has dispelled the largest single threat to American security in the last half century. A generation has passed without the Government impressing a single American youth into military service against his will. Around the world, America shines a beacon of freedom whose brilliance reaches into the darkest prison cell of the most repressive dictatorship.

But the world remains far from safe. Threats to American security come from quarters less foreseeable than before. Today we must guard against the menace of global terrorism and the risk of biological or nuclear horror that can travel in suitcases as well as missiles. And at home, we must ensure that we do not repay the many sacrifices of our men and women in uniform with poverty merely so that Pentagon bureaucrats can stockpile unproven weapons from wealthy defense contractors. Our Nations leadership must always place American security foremost. We can do better.

Many of our blessings so far recounted flow from the strong American economy. Its genius lies in safeguarding the maximum degree of market freedom consistent with the maintenance of economic justice. Americans sensibly eschewed the state ownership with which Europe so inauspiciously experimented, favoring instead the lighter hand of regulation. But America also sensibly tempers the excesses of unchecked laissez faire capitalism, intervening to bust monopolies and ensure fairness. The combination of vast market freedom 27/ with judicious social oversight has yielded an economic juggernaut unrivaled in world history. Based on purchasing power, our economy produces more per person than nearly any industrialized nation. 28/

Let us remember, however, what Robert Kennedy said of the Nations economic output:


Our gross national product . . . if we should judge America by that counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for those who break them. It counts the destruction of our redwoods and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and the cost of a nuclear warhead, and armored cars for police who fight riots in our streets. It counts Whitmans rifle and Specks knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.

Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans. 29/


Bobby Kennedy would say, We can do better.

Thus, in a good country, even if life is safe even if people have food, pure air and water, shelter, health, security, peace, and rewarding work we seek more to lend life quality. We do seek learning, joy, poetry of beauty, and marriages of strength. We do seek intelligent public debate and honest officials. We do seek wit, courage, wisdom, and devotion. We do seek that which makes life worthwhile. And we do seek that which makes us proud to be Americans.

America is a good country when its people seek to be a good people. What makes a people good depends in turn largely on what makes a person good. As John Stuart Mill wrote, The worth of a state, in the long run, is the worth of the individuals composing it. 30/

Americans believe we are good. 31/ We admire people who do good people like Mother Theresa and Billy Graham, Jimmy Carter and the Pope. 32/ We would like to be more like them. We want to be better than we are.

Americans can be a considerate people. Stephen Carter tells of civility and concern for others in the early days of the railroad:


In the middle of the unruly nineteenth century . . . America was agog over railroads. . . . Everyone wanted to ride. Everybody suddenly had someplace to go. . . .

Travel in those days was necessarily in groups. Nobody but the very rich could afford to travel alone. One bought a ticket and sat down in a train car full of strangers. . . . [T]his remarkable new technology worked as well as it did, moving its citizenry from city to city, because the travelers understood their obligation to treat each other well. They purchased guides to proper behavior, like Politeness on Railroads by Isaac Peebles, and tried to follow its rules . . . .

. . . Everyone followed the rules for the sake of their fellow passengers, and they did so . . . out of a spirit of self-denial and the self-sacrifice of ones own comfort for anothers. Alone of Gods creation, human beings can make those choices, setting aside their own needs and desires for the sake of living with others. 33/


We as a people need to renew that sense of a common American journey, that sense that each of us can give just a little of ourselves to help all of us get where we want to go. We can do better.

Americans are devoted family people. 34/ We want the best for our families, without reservation. We treasure the values of caring, nurturing, concern, and responsibility that family bonds bring. Our families keep us together, support us, and help us along the way.

Americans are a religious people. 35/ Nearly all Americans believe in God. 36/ Yet ours is a practical faith. Americans believe that our houses of worship should spend more time teaching charity here on Earth than preparing for life after we leave it. 37/ Many Americans seek the ideal of the Beloved Community to build just a corner of the kingdom of Gods love right here on Earth. 38/ Americans believe that we find the word of God in the Bible, 39/ where it teaches that a parents compassion and mercy, graciousness, slowness to anger, abounding kindness, faithfulness, steadfast love, and forgiveness are the attributes that describe God. 40/

If in our families and our souls we highly treasure qualities like these, we should also value them as a community and a Nation. The values that are good for the family are good for the Nation, as well. Our personal values and our social values should agree. Values are not just how we act when no one else is around; values are also how we act when everyone is together.

As we learned in kindergarten, to be good we must look out for other people, as well. We must remember our responsibility to all our brothers and sisters, for they were all created in Gods image. Since the days of Eden, we have always been our brothers keeper.

It is an almost universal article of faith in all creeds that we as humans avow. As recorded in Leviticus 41/ and espoused by Aristotle, 42/ Hillel, 43/ Jesus, 44/ Paul, 45/ James, 46/ Confucius, 47/ and Kant, 48/ we are commanded: Love your neighbor as yourself.

John Donne said it:


No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were: any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee. 49/


At their best, our national values acknowledge our interdependence with our community, with our region, with all Americans. Our political values should recognize that we are each involved in humankind, and that the quality of practical charity toward our larger family of Americas children is the most important family value of all.

The better part of America has long believed that there is more to life than just looking out for number one, numb to those around us. For America at its best, narrow self interest has never been the key. Self interest does not inspire the soul. Americas by the millions have been continually moved by the desire to do that which makes us proud that we did it.

Our moral judgments are what bind us and lead us to be a better America. What will keep America a great nation is not that more of the worlds rich can call this Land home, but that we can call this Land the home of a rich moral vision of freedom and equity, of liberty and compassion.

Hubert Humphrey said it: [T]he moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life the sick, the needy, and the handicapped. 50/

We should seek to ensure for others as well as ourselves the blessings of good food, warm shelter, clean environment, adequate health care, safe homes, peace, and good jobs. Americans are a good people when we seek a better America for all.

As a Nation, we need to demonstrate the caring, nurturing, and concern for Americas children that a family has for its children. We should show sensitivity, commitment, and fairness along the way. Our society should exhibit compassion, mercy, kindness, faithfulness, steadfast love, and forgiveness toward its children, so that we may construct a part of that Beloved Community.

We need to restore the family values that put our children first. For if we do not advance the interests of those who will inherit the future of our society, then we have no vision. And if we do not protect the most helpless of our society, then we have no heart. And if we do not support the most innocent of our society, then we have no soul.

With the birth of our children, each of us knows what we believe in for our country. You hold a child in your hands and you say to yourself, I know what I believe in for the future.

Every infant, every child that we hold in our hands no matter what color of skin, no matter boy or girl, no matter rich or poor, no matter rural or urban, and no matter what religion is one of Gods children. Every child, every infant should have the same chance to reach his or her potential. That is the goodness of this country, that is the American dream, and that is what will make us a better America.

Think of those children, and you can believe in a new American Century of Justice. Think of those children, and you can believe in a New Fellowship among all Americans. Think of those children, and you can believe we can all board that train, that common American journey, and get to that good country where we need to go.


Notes:

1. Declaration of Independence (1776). Adams wrote, The happiness of society is the end of government. John Adams, Thoughts on Government (1776). George Mason had written: That all men . . . have certain inherent rights . . . ; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety. Virginia Declaration of Rights, 禮 1 (1776).

2. Francis Hutcheson, Inquiry Concerning Moral Good and Evil 禮 3 (1720). Benthem echoed: The greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation. Jeremy Benthem, 10 Works 142 (1789). Mill followed: The creed which accepts as the foundation of morals Utility, or the Greatest Happiness Principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism ch. 2 (1863).

3. UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Large Gap in Food Availability Between Rich and Poor Countries New Map on Nutrition Released (Dec. 9, 1998) (comparing average daily dietary energy supply in kilocalories availability per person per day, Denmark has 3,780, Portugal has 3,650, and Ireland and the United States have 3,620) .

4. Id. (quoting Hartwig de Haen, FAO Assistant Director-General and head of its Economic and Social Department).

5. Id. (average daily dietary energy supplies in kilocalories of 1,720 in Mozambique, 1,710 in Burundi and Afghanistan, 1,640 in Eritrea, and 1,580 in Somalia).

6. John Pomfret, Portrait of a Famine, Wash. Post, Feb. 12, 1999, at A1; Elisabeth Rosenthal, In North Korean Hunger, Legacy Is Stunted Children, N.Y. Times, Dec. 10, 1998, at A1; Bradley Graham, Weeks of Give-and-Take Led to Defense Spending Boost, Wash. Post, Jan. 14, 1999, at A12 (North Korea devotes more than 27 percent of its economic output to defense spending, compared with 3.6 percent in the U.S.).

7. U.S. Department of Agriculture (1997) .

8. See Second Harvest, Hunger 1997: The Faces & Facts (those who in 1997 received food from Second Harvests network of food banks alone) .

9. U.S. Conference of Mayors, A Status Report on Hunger and Homelessness in Americas Cities: 1997 (29-city survey) . In New York, grocery handouts and soup kitchen meals rose from 13.5 million to more than 21 million between 1987 and 1995, and officials believe the growth has continued, while in Arizona, after holding fairly steady from 1990 to 1993, the number of meals distributed through the statewide food-charity network has since risen 50 percent. Andrew C. Revkin, Welfare Policies Altering Face of Lines at Charities Offering Food, N.Y. Times, Feb. 26, 1999, at A1.

10. MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger .

11. See U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air Quality Planning and Statistics, National Air Pollutant Emission Trends Report, 1900 -1996, at ES-1 (1998) (EPA-454/R-97-011) (air quality has improved since enactment of the Clean Air Act in 1970) .

12. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey ix (Jan. 1997) .

13. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air Quality Planning and Statistics, USA Air Quality Nonattainment Areas (Oct. 19, 1998) .

14. U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Housing Vacancies and Homeownership: Third Quarter 1998 (Oct. 22, 1998) (press release CB98-190) .

15. Bruce Link, et al, Life-time and Five-Year Prevalence of Homelessness in the United States: New Evidence on an Old Debate, 63 American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 347-354 (July 1995) .

16. National Coalition for the Homeless, Homelessness in America: Unabated and Increasing (1997) .

17. See Deborah Sontag, For Poor, Life Trapped in a Cage, N.Y. Times, Oct. 6, 1996, 禮 1, at 1.

18. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Criminal Victimization, 1996: Changes 1995-96 with Trends 1993-96, at 8 (after statistical adjustments for change in survey design in 1992); see also U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reports for the United States: 1997 .

19. Associated Press, Serious Crime Continues Six-Year Decline, FBI Data Show: Violence in U.S. Wanes, Report Says, Wash. Post, Dec. 14, 1998, at A8; U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reports for the United States: 1997, at 16 ; see also Michael Cooper, Homicides Decline Below 1964 Level in New York City, N.Y. Times, Dec. 24, 1998, at A1; Philip P. Pan, D.C. Murders Down; Suburban Killings Up, Wash. Post, Jan. 1, 1999, at A1.; E. J. Dionne Jr., Good News For Real, Wash. Post, Jan. 1, 1999, at A25; Associated Press, Murder Rate in 1997 Reached 30-Year Low, Says Justice Dept., Wash. Post, Jan. 3, 1999, at A18..

20. U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reports for the United States: 1997, at 12 .

21. The murder rate in the United States was 74 per 100,000 inhabitants in 1976. Patrick A. Langan & David P. Farrington, U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Crime and Justice in the United States and England and Wales, 1981-96, at 5 (Oct. 1998) (NCJ 169284) . In 1990, it was for England and Wales 13, Japan 15, South Korea 15, Spain 16, Australia 19, Israel 25, Austria 31, Chile 30, Denmark 47, Germany 47, Canada 59, Peru 60, Ukraine 62, Ethiopia 70, Armenia 72, and India 80. See United Nations Crime and Justice Information Network, Fourth United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (murders) (population).

22. U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reports for the United States: 1997 (chart 2.1) .

23. American Judges Foundation, Domestic Violence & The Court Room: Understanding the Problem . . . Knowing the Victim .

24. American Psychological ***n, Violence and the Family: Report of the American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family 10 (1996) . Even by the most conservative estimate, a million American women suffer nonfatal violence by an intimate every year. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Special Report: Violence Against Women: Estimates from the Redesigned Survey 3 (Aug. 1995) (NCJ-154348). Others have estimated that as many as 4 million American women experience a serious assault by an intimate partner every year. American Psychological ***n, Violence and the Family: Report of the American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family 10 (1996).

25. Patrick A. Langan & David P. Farrington, U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Crime and Justice in the United States and England and Wales, 1981-96, at 44 (Oct. 1998) (NCJ 169284) (1991 data) . Nearly one in every 150 Americans are incarcerated. Timothy Egan, Less Crime More Criminals, N.Y. Times, Mar. 7, 1999, 禮 4 (Week in Review), at 1; Edward Walsh, Prison Population Still Rising, but More Slowly: 1.8 Million People Incarcerated in Federal, State or Local Facilities, Wash. Post, Mar. 15, 1999, A2.

26. U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reports for the United States: 1997, at 221 .

27. Even the conservative Heritage Foundation grades America among the nations with the most economic freedom, ranking the United States sixth out of 160, behind only Hong Kong, Singapore, Bahrain, and New Zealand, and ahead of any other major industrialized nation. Bryan T. Johnson, Kim R. Holmes, and Melanie Kirkpatrick, Heritage Foundation, 1999 Index of Economic Freedom

28. Based on purchasing power parities in 1996, United States gross domestic product per capita exceeds that of all 28 member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) except Luxembourg. See Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Purchasing Power Parities and International Comparisons of Real GDP: 28 OECD Member Countries and Four Non Members: GDP 1996 (release no. SG/COM/NEWS(98)86) .

29. Maxwell Taylor Kennedy, Make Gentle the Life of This World: The Vision of Robert F. Kennedy 21 (1998).

30. John Stuart Mill, On Liberty ch. 5.

31. See The Harris Poll, July 17-21, 1998 (The pollster asked those (84 percent) who said they believe in the survival of the soul after death: When you die, where do you think you will go: heaven, hell, purgatory, or somewhere else? 76 percent replied heaven.) . We do, however, have some doubts about the other guy: Seven in ten do not think that people in general today lead as good lives honest and moral as they used to, up from only half 30 years ago. David S. Broder & Richard Morin, Struggle Over New Standards: American Values 1968-1998, Wash. Post, Dec. 27, 1998, at A1.

32. See Lydia Saad, Most Admired Poll Finds Americans Lack Major Heroes: Mother Teresas Death Leaves a Void on List of Most Admired Women, Gallup Poll Archives (Jan. 1, 1998) ;Leslie McAneny, A Fourth of All Americans Most Admire Mother Teresa: Clinton Notches Fourth Straight Win, Gallup Poll Archives (Dec. 27, 1996) (Pollsters asked: What man/woman that you have heard or read about, living today in any part of the world, do you admire most? And who is your second choice? Gallup based rankings on a combination of the first and second choices.) ; Associated Press, Clintons Are Most Admired Man, Woman in Annual Poll, Wash. Post, Jan. 2, 1999, at A2. In 1996, the last poll before her death, nearly a quarter of respondents well more than for any other woman named Mother Theresa, and she had been among the top contenders and often first since entering the list in 1979. Billy Graham ranked among the top ten 41 times and 35 years in a row. In contrast, only two entertainers Bob Hope and Bill Cosby ever cracked the mens top ten. One in ten Americans names someone they know a friend or relative as the man or woman they most admire. The sitting President and First Lady usually top their respective lists.

33. Stephen L. Carter, Civility: Manners, Morals, and the Etiquette of Democracy 3-4 (1998) (footnotes omitted).

34. Even young adults put family as their top priority, and nearly three-quarters are closer to family than friends. Julie Hinds, Gen Xers Have Family Values after All, National Poll Says, Detroit News (Apr. 12, 1996) .

35. Two-thirds maintain an affiliation with a church or synagogue and six in ten consider religion highly important in their lives. Frank Newport & Lydia Saad, Religious Faith Is Widespread but Many Skip Church: Little Change in Recent Years, Gallup Poll Archives (Mar. 29, 1997) . Almost two-thirds of parents of families with children under 18 give thanks to God aloud before meals, up from 43 percent 50 years ago. Frank Newport, Americans Relationship with Their Children: Much Remains the Same: Parents Claim To Spend More Time with Them; Give Themselves Good Grades, Gallup Poll Archives (Mar. 15, 1997) . Fully 82 grew up in a family that was active in a church, synagogue, or other place of religious worship; six in ten consider religion very important in their own lives (and another 26 percent call it fairly important); six in ten say grace, or give thanks to God aloud, before meals; and most attend church or synagogue at least once or twice a month. Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, The Diminishing Divide . . . American Churches, American Politics (June 25, 1996) . These days, teens rebel by going to church and synagogue. Lisa Miller, Rebels With a Cause, Wall St. J., Dec. 18, 1998, at W1.

36. Nineteen out of twenty believe in God, and more than seven in ten are absolutely certain of that belief. Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, The Diminishing Divide . . . American Churches, American Politics (June 25, 1996) ; see also The Harris Poll, July 17-21, 1998 (94 percent ). Even nine out of ten young adults believe in God. Julie Hinds, Gen Xers Have Family Values after All, National Poll Says, Detroit News (Apr. 12, 1996) .

37. Three out of four believe that it is more important for the church to teach people how to live better every day with all other people than to convert people to a spiritual belief so that they can earn a happy life after death (and one in ten volunteered that they ought to do both). Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, The Diminishing Divide . . . American Churches, American Politics (June 25, 1996) .

38. The idea of the Beloved Community has inspired cultural critics since the turn of the Century and played a central role in the Civil Rights Movement and its successors. See, e.g., Casey Nelson Blake, Beloved Community: The Cultural Criticism of Randolph Bourne, Van Wyck Brooks, Waldo Frank, and Lewis Mumford (1990); Kenneth L. Smith & Ira G. Zepp, Search for the Beloved Community: The Thinking of Martin Luther King Jr. (1998); John Lewis & Michael DOrso, Walking with the Wind 87 (1998); Donald M. Chinula, Building Kings Beloved Community: Foundations for Pastoral Care and Counseling With the Oppressed (1997); Lewis V. Baldwin, Toward the Beloved Community: Martin Luther King, Jr., and South Africa (1995).

39. Fully 82 percent believe that the Bible is the word of God, and fully 35 percent believe it is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word. Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, The Diminishing Divide . . . American Churches, American Politics (June 25, 1996) .

40. See Exodus 34:6-7; Walter Brueggemann, The Book of Exodus in 1 The New Interpreters Bible 946 (1994); W. Gunther Plaut, The Torah: A Modern Commentary 663-64 (1981).

41. [Y]ou shall love your neighbor as yourself : I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:18 (New Revised Standard Version).

42. We should behave to our friends as we would wish our friends to behave to us. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, vol. 5, 21.

43. What is hateful to you do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah. The rest is commentary. Talmud Shabbat.

44. In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:12 (New Revised Standard Version). You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Id. 19:19 (quoting the commandments). And a second [commandment] is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Id. 22:39-40. The second is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:31. Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31.

45. Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, Love your neighbor as yourself. Romans 13:8-9. [T]he whole law is summed up in a single commandment, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Galatians 5:14.

46. You do well if you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. James 2:8.

47. What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others. Confucius, The Analects 15:23.

48. There is . . . only a single categorical imperative and it is this: Act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law. Immanuel Kant, The Metaphysic of Morals ch. 11 (1797).

49. John Donne, Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions no. 17 (1624) .

50. 123 Cong. Rec. 37,287 (Nov. 4, 1977) (remarks on the dedication of the Hubert H. Humphrey Building, Nov. 1, 1977).


On that day, long ago, there were tears in my eyes when he was done speaking. My mother was talking to some of her friends and Mr. Wellstone got into the crowd. Somehow he met and he shook my hand.

"I don't feel like America is such a great place, mister," I said thinking of how often my brothers and I went hungry and how my mom was never home because she had to work so much and yet we never seemed to be able to pay the bills. I thought about how many times we had to move. I thought about how I had to scrounge aluminum cans in ditches after school in order to buy clothes...I was crying again.

"Then work to make it different," Paul said to me and wiped my tears, "you can do something about it." And so I have...

Good bye, my friend, good bye...

upnorthkyosa
 

michaeledward

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Thank you.

Two years ago today, I was driving from New Jersey back to New Hampshire. When the first reports were given on the radio, I hoped that it was just a lost aircraft. By the time I was in Connecticut, they were pretty sure the plane had crashed.

I felt it was a very sad day indeed. The compassion and optimism in his voice always represented the best this country had to offer. I believe the Senator always felt that Politics was all about helping people. I believe he was very successful at Politics, by that definition.

He remains a role model to me.

With regards and rememberances.

Michael Atkinson
 
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Makalakumu

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I feel that progressive politics took a big hit when Paul died. I'm not seeing it recover. He was one voice in the senate for a movement that would make America great for all of its citizens...
 
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The worst aspect of the death of the senator was the mud his name had been dragged through before and after his death. He was in the middle of a heinously brutal campaign with Norm Coleman (who went on to be elected, and became Bush's lapdog). Then, immediately after, some republicans and Ventura called his ceremony "a political fundraiser" and accused the DFL (that's what Democrats are called in MN.) of politicizing the ordeal. It was ugly indeed.
 

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Al Franken's book 'Lies, and the Lying Liars who tell them. A fair and balanced look at the right' has a very poignant chapter on the event of the Wellstone Memorial and media response following. The stories that came out of the right wing echo chamber were disgraceful.

Too many will not ever see this wonderful tribute, because they can't get past the splotchy Bill O'Reilly on the cover.
 
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Makalakumu

Makalakumu

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michaeledward said:
Another year.


.

"Paul, why are you so fire!"
"Because I've got mountains of ice in front of me!"
 

michaeledward

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While the last four years would have been difficult for Senator Wellstone, I think he would be approaching this election with a hopeful attitude.

Four years ago today.

:asian:
 

Carol

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Thanks for remembering Mike.


:asian:
 
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Makalakumu

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While the last four years would have been difficult for Senator Wellstone, I think he would be approaching this election with a hopeful attitude.

Four years ago today.

:asian:

I really hope so...

:banghead:

:asian:
 

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"and why didn't you eat breakfast this morning"? The boy replied "it wasn't my turn".

That one really got me. Sometimes I forget how good I have it.
 

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I remember being in High School when I first met him. I was very impressed with the fact they he came and spoke to a bunch of 10th and 11th graders. He knew that none of us could vote, but he still wanted to chat with us and answer our questions.

He is still missed...
 

michaeledward

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How time flies.

We are only one year away from Al Franken taking Mr. Wellstone's seat away from Mr. Coleman. That is, perhaps, one year too long to wait.

R.I.P. Mr. Wellstone, family and friends.
 
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Makalakumu

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Five years ago today, the person who is perhaps the largest political influence on my life died. I refuse to speculate on his death like so many others have done where I live. I can only think about the man that I met as a teenager. He shaped my life and really made me understand that politics truly are important to my life and to the future. I think about Norm Coleman and I feel enraged that this person took Wellstone's position. Coleman is a plutocratic shill tried and true, he is kleptocran, not a republican. Steal from the poor and give to the rich. That is really what the new senator of MN represents.
 
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