Before I get to Tony Angel, there are some things I’d like to share with you:
NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg recently suggested that taxes on the rich (just ending the Bush tax breaks, not actually increasing taxes) will hurt the economy; despite hard evidence to the contrary. When New Jersey instituted a “rich tax”, the tax flight that was widely predicted never materialized (only 0.2% of the richest residents left the state, a total increase of out-migration from 1.6% to 1.8%), resulting in a net gain of over $1 billion to the state’s coffers, despite fraudulent and increasingly strident claims to the contrary by Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, The New York Daily News, et al.
Harley Davidson posted record profits on declining sales; the result of cutting 1,600 jobs. (The New York Times)
Mountaintop removal along the West Virginia/Kentucky border has residents campaigning for mountaintop wind farms.
Bob Herbert reveals that the true number (or the nearest thing to the truth that statistics will allow—(“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”) of the unemployed in The United States is 30 million, and I suspect the actual number is much, much higher.
Bob Herbert has also written extensively about the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, pointing out that the unholy alliance of business and government continually puts peoples’ lives at risk for the sake of profits for a few—profits which have yet to “trickle down” (and which never will).
Last year, Ed Koch and Robert Weiner pointed out that while some stimulus funds were directed at preventing foreclosures, the nearly one-third of Americans who rent housing have to date had no help from Washington, and that these are the Americans most likely to become homeless.
Finally, the huge egg recall is having reverberations. Not content to have caused many to become ill, and unwilling to accept a loss, some of these eggs are now showing up in dollar stores here in New York. A local dollar store has Hillandale Farms eggs on sale, 18 for $1.00. Unbelievable.
There are many more links I would like to share with you, links to brave homeless people who are beating the odds, a link to a blind man walking the Appalachian Trail, but unfortunately, I am pressed for time. The picture that emerges, however, is that the people of America are being sacrificed in order to ensure profits for large corporations—multinationals that have no allegiance to America, nor to any other country. They threaten that the economy will worsen if they do not get their way, and government typically caves to their demands.
The most valuable resource this nation has is its people, and this resource is being squandered through the standard practice of giving corporate interests and shareholder returns greater prominence than the average citizen’s well being. The time has come to put people before profits. This is the United States of America, the land of “We The People”, and it is high time each and every one of us remind our legislators of this fact.
So, what does all of this have to do with Tony Angel?
These are some of the many issues that Tony wanted (and wants) to address with his Spirit Journey.
Tony has struggled to complete his Spirit Journey, but has decided that he is unable to do so at this time, for several reasons. First and foremost is his health—Tony has a torn meniscus, and is just now recovering from a bout with pneumonia, thanks to antibiotics. Second, I had agreed to post and link for Tony, but due to unforeseen family and other emergencies, I have been unable to do so with any sort of regularity. I had hoped to get Columbia, The North Face, and other outdoors suppliers, and even the Appalachian Mountain Club to help sponsor Tony’s walk, to provide better equipment and perhaps meals, but I have not been able to do so. Despite the wonderful support and encouragement we’ve received from the Beacon Sloop Club, particularly from Pete Seeger, Victorio Roland Mousaa, Rosemary Thomas, and Alan Thomas, this lack of promotion has resulted in Tony’s being under-equipped and to his suffering undue hardship.
Tony fully realizes that he is much better off than many other homeless people. Many homeless people suffer from malnourishment and lack of medical care, and they are all ineligible for food stamps or Medicaid, as they have no residence (and how is that just?). At least Tony has a large group of people rooting for him, a bank account, support from Family of Woodstock, and many other blessings, and he and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your support. We have not succeeded as well as we would have liked in our original aim of bringing attention to the plight of the homeless, the environment, and Native American issues, but we have not failed, either, as we have gotten the attention of many, and will yet bring wider attention to these important issues.
Tony is expected to arrive in Poughkeepsie tomorrow afternoon, from Rutland, Vermont. He thanks you all, once again, as do I. —CW