Tuesday, September 28, 2004

The Most Important Message You May Ever Read

GeorgeSoros.com

Thursday, September 23, 2004

US Supreme Court Usurped by Congress

In the spirit of all things constitutional, Congress has excluded the US Supreme Court from ruling on a controversial, though unimportant, issue -- words in the Pledge of Allegiance. The more disturbing piece of this is the manuevering that Congress has done in order to keep the Supreme Court from ruling on laws enacted by Congress and signed by the president.

Two ironies about this issue are provided in this quote from the article linked below:

Rep. Todd Akin (news, bio, voting record), R-Mo., the author of the amendment on legislation before the House Thursday, said the high court is likely to rule differently if it considers the substance of the case and "if we allow activist judges to start creating law and say that it is wrong to somehow allow schoolchildren to say 'under God' in the pledge."

First of all, if the high court is likely to rule differently than Congress on this matter, it is important to note that the Supreme Court is the final governmental body that in fact rules on laws. How strange? What Akin seems to be saying is that if the Court thinks differently than us, let's prohibit the Court from adjudicating the case.

Second, when did the Supreme Court become a bunch of "activist judges?" I have heard a federal court in California described as such, but never the Supreme Court. After all, 7 of the 9 judges were appointed by Republican presidents, one by Nixon, one by Ford, none by Carter, three by Reagan, two by Bush 41, and two by Clinton.

So, what activist judges is he talking about? What a doorknob.

Read it all here.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

"The Unfeeling President" from the East Hampton Star

If you read this article, you will understand why we can do better --
East Hampton Star - In the News

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

WMD -- Weapons of Mass Deception

It's unfortunate that CBS apparently chose to use suspect documents in its story on Bush's National Guard (dis)service. I think this has turned out to be a case similar to the OJ Simpson story (no, I am NOT comparing OJ to Bush -- just the juxtaposition of it all) -- guilty as charged but framed nevertheless.

Let me explain. There's plenty of evidence that Bush didn't serve out his term with the National Guard (actually, there isn't much evidence, and that's why it's easy to prove he never showed up in the last year of his agreement). Nobody needed to make up anything. Dan Rather, I believe, is correct in his assessment of the situation -- the gist of the story stands under any and all scrutiny.

CBS showed very poor judgement in its piece on Bush. But they should stand by the story because, as they say, "Truth is stranger than fiction." The truth is that Bush was honorably discharged (so was the dude who sniped all those people in the DC area, John Mohammed), there aren't many paper artifacts that demonstrate that he reported for duty (I thought being in the military was a full-time job -- apparently, Bush's "work ethic" began at least in the TANG, where he showed up whenever it was convenient, like he has during this presidency), and he failed to show for a required physical.

If he weren't the son of a government official, he may have been dishonorably discharged. But, as the Republicans say, "that's old news." So let's talk about now.

The chain of events that has led us to now are as follows (I am sure you remember):

Bush steals presidency by 5-4 margin in US Supreme Court and acts like he won a mandate. Several campaign promises actually come to pass, like a tax cut and the passing of the "No Child Left Behind" legislation. Bush took lots of time off at his ranch in Texas, ignored daily briefings from the CIA, one especially memorable one called, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US," and pretty much took it easy, looking like he was going to be an unmemorable one-term president.

Then September 11 came to pass, (let's forget his inaction during the attacks for a moment) and he "sprang" to action. "Dead or Alive" was the battlecry for capturing Osama bin Laden. The country rallied, the world was behind us, and we had the moral and popular authority to strike back at al Qaeda. Then we waited. Two months.

Okay, a sick man with kidney failure, living in caves, meandering the Afghanistan countryside, is probably not a fast mover. We had some time to catch him before he escaped. But even a legless man without a wheelchair could cross the border, catch a plane, and leave the region in two months. So, Bush blew it. He may have meant, "Dead or alive, or not" -- who knows? The man is mostly unintelligible, even when somebody writes it out for him.

Then we bombed the hell out of Afghanistan. We took out the taliban. We installed a new government. We couldn't find bin Laden. Once it was obvious he was gone, Bush openly turned to the American public and began his crusade against Iraq and Saddam. Now, forget for a moment that Bush I had a happy relationship with Iraq before the Gulf War. Forget that Haliburton, under Dick Cheney, made millions off re-building the Iraq and Kuwait oil fields.

Forget all that. WMDs became the word of the day. Imminent threat. Images of mushroom clouds filled our senses. We had to take out Saddam because he possessed chemical, biological, and perhaps nu-ku-ler weapons. We know it, because we most likely sold them to him.

So we went to the UN. We appealed to the international community and they backed us. Until we determined that our "last resort" didn't line up with the rest of the world's. Our last resort was a line drawn in the sand that said by this date you must do such and such -- or ELSE.

Or else meant we bombed the hell out of another country in the Middle East, this time unprovoked. Somebody PLEASE tell me how Iraq provoked us into a pissing contest with the ultimate consequences -- death of truly evil people, innocent bystanders, American and a small (albeit not insignificant) coalition of soldiers -- all for what? Because Saddam was "evil."

People, people, people -- Saddam was evil 20 years ago, yet we had diplomatic relations with him. We did bidness with him. We gave him stuff. We helped him when his country was in war with Iran. We gave him weapons, supplies, and support during that war. What the hell has happened to our collective memory?

I have a stinking suspicion that he embarrassed Cheney during the Gulf War (a just war -- big bully of a country with a huge military establishment takes on a small, yet very important OIL, country -- the world's largest coalition ever established) in some way and Cheney's suspect manhood was challenged. Old Tricky Dick was pissed and when he had the chance to recommend himself as Bush's VP, he jumped at the chance, offering up himself as the only suitable choice when in fact he was supposed to be picking somebody to run on the Bush ticket and had proclaimed that he wasn't interested in the job.

But I digress.

So now that the war in Iraq was stupendously successful, we had to plan for the peace. Wha? Peace? That doesn't win elections! We gotta keep this thing going until at least November 2004. So, that's what they did. Never thought about how to rebuild the country (except for giving no-bid contracts to Haliburton to rebuild the infrastructure). Don't even think about letting the Iraqi people participate. Wouldn't want their economy to outpace our own pathetic example of a sloth economy.

So here we sit, broken hearted, tried to...well you get the picture. We had the world on our side September 11, 2001 and we blew it. We failed to capture the guy guilty of masterminding the attacks. That's really the end of the story. Except for all the lies, deception, and false claims about all the stuff that ensued shortly thereafter.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

GOP Platform

Interesting tidbit: The GOP Agenda doesn't contain the term "Economy" as one of its seven topics.

Why is that? Is it NOT the economy, stupid?

Instead, it lists

• Homeland Security (opposed by the Bush Administration initially)
• National Security (what's the difference?)
• Education (No Child Left Behind misnomer)
• Social Security (or is it Social Insecurity?)
• Health Care (Does the administration Care about Health?)
• Environment ("Clear Skies" where polluters self-regulate)
• Energy (emphasis on oil, with Bush, Cheney, Rice, and others? manning the post? You gotta be kiddin' me!)

If this weren't true, it would be the funniest damn thing on the planet. Instead, it's really scary sad.


Friday, September 10, 2004

First ketchup, now eBay

The Reagan administration determined that ketchup would be considered a vegetable in school lunches.

Now, the Bush administration is claiming that the economy is much better than the statistics show, based on the fact that "Four hundred thousand people make some money trading on eBay" (Cheney's own words).

John Edwards has a good comeback: "If we only included bake sales and how much money kids make at lemonade stands, this economy would really be cooking."

Read the article here.



Thursday, September 09, 2004

Identity Crisis

I am having an identity crisis, like many Americans, I suppose. You see, I believe in many conservative values, like:
  • A smaller federal government
  • A less intrusive federal government, one that merely presides without ruling
  • A balanced budget
  • State's rights
  • Family
  • Education
  • A strong economy
  • Lower taxes
  • A strong military

However, the conservative party (Republicans) doesn't embrace these same qualities anymore. Oh, they say they do. But for most folks, the tables have turned. On each point above, I could argue that the current administration has made things worse, not better. For example, the federal government is bigger now than 4 years ago. Spending is drastically higher, while at the same time tax revenues have declined (last year's record deficit was surpassed by this year's even bigger shortfall) -- but I sure haven't seen any reduction in my taxes (and neither have most Americans).

The economy is weaker today than it was 4 years ago. The military is concentrated in two countries, in fairly close proximity. Our military is left spread very thin every where else in the world. We have pulled troops from the border between North and South Korea, a very scary thing if you ask me.

The marriage issue has become a hotbed, if diversionary, topic. The president wants to amend the constitution, taking away another right of the states to make its own rules. Look, if Massachusetts wants to allow gays to marry one another, and you don't like it, move. Or get over it. Or fight it out. But don't let the federal government tell you and your state what to do.

These are but a few examples of how things have turned for the worse the past 4 years. I won't even talk about the nasty legislation that some artful pols passed that challenges your love of country if you don't agree with it.

Finally, on a slightly different note, when did the attacks on America happen? Who was president? Who neglected to heed all the warnings?

Do you feel safer now?

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Ownership Society

What a great idea!

Introduction

This log will be used to chronicle my meandering thoughts on just about anything. I will comment on our government, the presidency, and other news fit enough to type.