December 31, 2008
December 22, 2008
December 21, 2008
December 18, 2008
October 31, 2008
October 30, 2008
Forget about the Presidential race!
The President only signs bills that congress writes. The President has zero power to legislate (well at least not according to the US Constitution.) Truth is, your vote for the president will affect policy in the US much less than who you end up electing (or NOT electing) to Congress.
And what seat in congress could be more important than the Speaker of the House?!
Nancy Pelosi seen here scolding the American people
for wanting accountability in government.
Unfortunately, you don't elect the speaker of the house, they are elected by congress. The Speaker of the House has HUGE power withing the congress-- with the ability to give and take away chairmanships and other positions of power, the Speaker of the House has many tools in their grasp to punish fellow party members that stray from the party line.
Currently, the Democrats hold the Congress, and the Democratic Party line seems to be:
*DON'T Impeach the President
*DON'T End the War in Iraq
*DON'T put an end to the war profiteering by companies like Haliburton
*DON'T protect the Constitution
*DON'T fight back against executive power grabs
*DON'T protect the privacy of the American people against warentless searches and seizure
SO, what is a progressive/constitutionally minded citizen to do?
You can't vote against Nancy Pelosi unless you live in California's 8th district.
But you can DONATE against Nancy Pelosi. But, it just so happens that there is an amazing candidate running against Nancy Pelosi.
Cindy Sheehan, seen here speaking Truth to Power
Cindy Sheehan is a Peace Activist, founder of Gold Star Families for Peace, defender of Liberty, and an all around testament to the Human Spirit. If you live outside the 8th district, and you support Cindy Sheehan's efforts to bring accountability to government, to end US Imperialism, and so much more, DONATE TODAY!
But you can't help her win on your own.
There are people out there that don't know that Cindy Sheehan is running against Nancy Pelsoi, or they know about it, but don't know how they can help out.
There are people all acrossed America who support Cindy Sheehan:
Get your copy of the poster here:
Thumbnail! Click the image to get an 8x11 photo. Print it off, and make copies!
If you have access to a video camera, get a friend to help you put up posters, film yourselves, and put the video up on YouTube!
Don't like the poster? Make your own! Get creative, but most importantly, GET THE WORD OUT!
Money is the only language that the Corporate MEDIA and the Corporate CANDIDATES speak.
AMERICA! let's pull together and use our money to send a message LOUD AND CLEAR to Speaker Pelosi and the Corporate Media:
"WE ARE SICK OF PEACE, LIBERTY, AND THE CONSTITUTION BEING 'OFF THE TABLE!'"
If you are reposting this, please link back to this article here:
October 18, 2008
Original Story at Telegraph.co.uk
Senior aides to Barack Obama have been meeting George W.Bush's staff to begin planning a smooth transfer of power.
By Tim Shipman in Washington
Last Updated: 9:26PM BST 18 Oct 2008
Officials from both campaigns have been asked to briefings after warnings from US intelligence that terrorists and rogue states will seek to exploit the power vacuum following November's presidential election.
For the first time in American history the FBI has begun vetting likely officials of the next administration before the election, to ensure they have security clearance to deal with crises on day one.
Intelligence chiefs expect an attempt to emulate the terrorist strikes on Britain when Gordon Brown took power and are concerned that Russia or Iran could use the 77 days of paralysis between the election and the inauguration on January 20 for acts of international brinkmanship, like the invasion of Georgia.
An official involved in the transition discussions told The Sunday Telegraph: "There has been no specific threat but the assessment is that someone will try something.
"It could be a terrorist attack on US assets overseas. It could be the leader of a rogue state chancing his arm. Putin and Ahmadinejad have form."
The transition of power in the US is a chaotic process. More than 1,100 political appointees in senior posts have to be approved by the Senate, a process that can take months.
On Wednesday the current White House chief of staff, Josh Bolten, chaired a meeting of senior White House staff and representatives of both Mr Obama and his Republican rival John McCain.
President Bush's creation of this Presidential Transition Coordinating Council, the earliest ever, is designed to avoid a repeat of the situation on September 11 2001, when only one third of his national security appointees had been approved by the Senate, nine months into his presidency.
Martha Kumar, director of the White House Transition Project, an independent group that advises the transition teams of both campaigns, told The Sunday Telegraph: "The times of changing of power are soft times, times of vulnerability. Just look at what has happened around the world, including in Great Britain.
"You had the failed bombings in London and then the attack at Glasgow airport three days after Gordon Brown took office. In Spain the Madrid bombings were three days before the presidential election."
There have been particularly intensive efforts to make sure Mr Obama has his national security team in place, not just because he is widely expected to win the election on November 4, but because intelligence analysts believe America's enemies are more likely to try to take advantage of Mr Obama's international inexperience than they would of Mr McCain.
A senior official in the Obama camp, whose name has been submitted for FBI vetting, said: "We will be ready and we will be seen to be ready."
He said that Mr Obama is close to finalising plans for his first 100 days in power - which will include major moves on the economy, healthcare and Iraq in his first week, designed to make his priorities clear to Americans.
He is planning a series of early interventions to stamp his authority on the economic crisis. This will include legislation proposing a $300bn stimulus package which would be published before President Bush has even left the White House, so that it can be passed as soon as he takes power.
Mr Obama is also planning executive orders that do not require legislation on his first day in office, which could include plans to promote renewable energy resources and create jobs.
His transition team, which is reportedly much more extensive and active than Mr McCain's, features 10 working groups in different policy areas to convert campaign promises into concrete legislation. It is chaired by John Podesta, Bill Clinton's former White House chief of staff who runs the Centre for American Progress, a think tank long seen as a Democratic administration in exile.
Mr Podesta is working closely with Michael Signer, a former foreign policy aide to John Edwards in charge of homeland security affairs. Mr Podesta and Jason Furman, one of Mr Obama's two most influential economic advisers, have already held talks with sceptical conservative Democrats to line up the votes to pass a stimulus package.
Mr Obama has also worked to cultivate a close relationship with the Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson, and personally asked him to help out during the transition, sparking speculation that he might keep Mr Paulson in post for the first year of his presidency.
Ms Kumar said: "There are things that a president can do immediately that establish his brand of leadership and help establish with the public what the priorities are.
"Reagan issued executive orders at the luncheon following the inauguration. He didn't even wait to get to the White House. He wanted to show how seriously he took the issue of the economy."
FBI vetting is also under way on 100 people from both campaigns, including Susan Rice, expected to be made the second successive black woman national security adviser after Condoleezza Rice; Greg Craig, a Washington lawyer tipped to become Mr Obama's chief White House counsel and his likely White House chief of staff; and the former senator and campaign chairman Tom Daschle. If Daschle prefers to become Health Secretary, Obama's current chief of staff Pete Rouse, nicknamed the 101st Senator for his connections on Capitol Hill, would take the job.
Other key national security officials will include Denis McDonough, chief foreign affairs adviser to the campaign and Richard Danzig, a secretary of the Navy under Clinton.
John Kerry, the Democratic candidate four years ago, and his fellow senator Chris Dodd, a failed candidate this year, are vying to become Secretary of State.
Mr Kerry, an Army veteran, is also a contender to take control of the Pentagon, but many expect that post to go to a Republican, perhaps the maverick senator Chuck Hagel. Colin Powell, a former secretary of state and chairman of the joint chiefs could return to government if he endorses Obama, as many expect. The veteran Democratic Senator Sam Nunn's name is also in the frame.
October 13, 2008
October 12, 2008
October 1, 2008
Date: 01 Oct 2008, 04:13
The time for peace and freedom in America is now.
We have established a national phone bank for Cindy Sheehan's Congressional Campaign in which anyone, anywhere can participate.
If you feel you owe it to yourself, your family, your friends and
their children to act now, then send us an email immediately:
(Jackson@cindyforcongress.org) and tell us you want to help. Or call 415-621-5027 and say "I want
to help fix this country!"
The campaign to elect peace mom Cindy Sheehan to the United States
Congress and unseat corporate warmonger Nancy Pelosi is going strong
and the rush to the finish is on.
We'll give you a list by email of a select group of voters and their
phone numbers. You call them during the free hours of your cell or
home phone service.
People all over the United States feel that Cindy Sheehan represents
their own beliefs better than candidates on the hometown ballot. Many
have elected to help the person who actually represents them.
If you feel you owe it to yourself, your family, your friends and
their children to act now, then send us an email immediately:
(Jackson@cindyforcongress.org) and tell us you want to help. Or call 415-621-5027 and say "I want
to help fix this country!"
We will provide you with a list to call, a helpful script and will
help you in any way we can.
Cindy for Sheehan Phone Banking Team
September 19, 2008
September 8, 2008
Date: 08 Sep 2008, 11:47
THIS FELLOW AMERICANS IS THE REAL NEWS AND HOW THE VETS REALLY FEEL!
Democracy Now! is an alternative media that airs on most cable companies lineups (check for your local listings on their site)...
http://www. democracynow. org/
PART 1: Iraq Veterans Protest at the Democratic National Convention
PART 2: Iraq Veterans Protest at the Democratic National Convention
September 1, 2008
August 17, 2008
Take a good, long, hard look. I want you to ask yourself this question, and really think about it-- What good does your column do for voters? And let's be intellectually honest about it.
The horse race style "coverage" is handled well enough by the corporate media already. Do you really think that your stats and pontifications-- which seem to be nothing more than a redux of 24 hour news network coverage-- adds anything of any value to the mix?
Does it benefit the voters, most of whom don't even understand what Single Payer Healthcare is, and have never even heard of HR 676, yet know the very real pain and frustration of being denied vital life-saving coverage by their health insurance corporation?
Does your "insight" help us to understand the platforms of the candidates? Does it help us to understand the root causes of the issues that we face in our daily lives?
Do you help us to stop the killing by allowing the voting populace to know the details of the exit strategies of all candidates? (Obama and McCain both want to leave troops in Iraq permanently, for instance.)
Telling us which demographics the Big Two politicians are polling well with-- does this give us the tools we need to make an informed decision about which candidate matches our own personal platforms?
Rehashing polls done by corporate-owned news media, with margins of error large enough that they are statistically insignificant, does not aid the average voter who is struggling to pay the bills and is looking for real solutions to the problems they face in their life. Most Americans really don't care that you've decided who is going to win.
So, I'll ask again, and I hope you do as well: What PURPOSE do you serve?
Your contributions are nothing more than an empty hall of mirrors. You, telling us, what we are supposedly telling you, that we're thinking. Why not give us something to think ABOUT?
The inane fluff you publish as a pundit distracts from the fact that there's a WAR going on-- with over a million innocent Iraqi's and over 4,000 US soldiers dead, that the US Gov't is trillions of dollars in debt, that we have a growing trade deficit with just about everybody, that the Federal Reserve is destroying the power of the US dollar, and that in America NINE TIMES the number of people who died on 9-11 die EVERY YEAR simply because they lack access to adequate health care, or were denied coverage by their insurance provider.
What are the candidates going to do about any of this? Regarding health care, both McCain and Obama both want to put your tax dollars directly in the pocket of health insurance corporations-- who play a middle man between you and your doctor, telling you what treatments your doctor can give you, not for your own health, but for the health of their shareholder's stock returns. But of course, you're not going to let us know about that. You're just going to tell us what we think about gaffes, petty branding disputes (Change? Hope? Puppies? Apple Pie?) and other such drama more appropriate to high school lunchrooms. Actually, I take that back. Your average high school student probably cares more about the platforms of the candidates than your average pundit.
You pundits chase after us, wondering what we are thinking and who we
are going to vote for so that you can make accurate predictions about
how we're going to vote, and you have nothing to offer but intellectual
cotton candy-- light, fluffy, no substance, no nutritious value, and
likely to cause tooth decay.
Only it's our society that is decaying.
Thank you for your contribution to the downfall of Democracy.
Or inversely, your total lack of any contribution whatsoever to a well informed voting population.
August 15, 2008
Vote this up on Current.com
WASHINGTON -- When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi set out to promote her new motivational book this month, she simultaneously touched off her national why-haven't-you-impeached-the-president tour.
As she made the coast-to-coast rounds of lectures, television interviews and radio chats the past two weeks, Ms. Pelosi found herself under siege by people unhappy that she has not been motivated to try to throw President Bush out of office – even if only a few months remain before he leaves voluntarily.
In Manhattan and Los Angeles, at stops in between, on network television and on her home turf of Northern California, Ms. Pelosi has been forced to defend her pronouncement before the 2006 mid-term elections that impeachment over the administration’s push for war in Iraq was off the table.
Pressed on ABC’s “The View” about whether she had unilaterally disarmed, the author of “Know Your Power: A Message to America’s Daughters” said she believed the proceedings would be too divisive and be a distraction from advancing the policy agenda of the new Democratic majority.
Then she added this qualifier: “If somebody had a crime that the president had committed, that would be a different story.”
That assertion only threw fuel on the impeachment fire as advocates of removing Mr. Bush cited the 35 articles of impeachment compiled by Representative Dennis Kucinich, Democrat of Ohio, as well as accusations in a new book by author Ron Suskind of White House orders to falsify intelligence, an accusation that has been denied.
“There’s an opportunity now for us to come forward and to lay all the facts out so that she can reconsider her decision not to permit the Judiciary Committee to proceed with a full impeachment hearing,” Mr. Kucinich said in an interview with the Web site Democracy Now!
Mr. Kucinich, long a proponent of starting hearings to impeach both Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, earlier this week applauded signals that the Judiciary Committee would look into the claims made by Mr. Suskind in his book.
While the Judiciary Committee might do exactly that, the chances that such an inquiry would culminate in an impeachment proceeding are, according to top Democratic officials, virtually nil.
At the moment, the House is officially scheduled to meet for less than three weeks in September before adjourning for the elections and perhaps the year – hardly enough time to mount an impeachment spectacle even if top Democratic lawmakers wanted one.
And they do not.
Despite whatever resonance pursuing the president might have in progressive Democratic circles, it is not the message Democrats want to carry into an election where they need to appeal to swing voters to increase their Congressional majorities and win the White House. They would rather devote their final weeks to pushing economic relief and health care, even if they thought Mr. Bush and the conduct of the war merited impeachment hearings.
And leading Democrats argue anyway that Mr. Bush has already been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion.
“He has been impeached by current history,” said Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. “He is going down as the worst president ever. The facts are in.”
Republicans have previously shown some appetite for luring Democrats into what they see as an impeachment trap, a set of hearings they could use to portray Democrats as bitter partisans. But Republican strategists also recognize the political danger in getting too deep in defending Mr. Bush right before the election or in justifying the buildup to the Iraq war. They might not be as eager as they once were for an impeachment fight.
Both parties know full well that the Republican push to impeach President Bill Clinton in 1998 did not work out for Republicans in the way they had hoped, giving many lawmakers pause when it comes to gaming out the political ups and downs of such an action.
The impeachment unrest among progressives dovetails with their profound disappointment that Democrats failed to cut off spending for the war in Iraq or impose a timetable for withdrawal after winning control of Congress in 2006. It is a disappointment that Ms. Pelosi has acknowledged she shares and one she attributes to the thin Democratic majority in the Senate and Republican determination to support Mr. Bush on the war, explanations that do not mollify staunch anti-war activists.
The disillusionment has crystallized in a challenger for Ms. Pelosi in the person of Cindy Sheehan, the anti-war activist whose son was killed in Iraq. Ms. Sheehan and her allies collected more than 17,000 signatures to qualify her as an independent for the November ballot in San Francisco.
While Ms. Pelosi has been navigating the impeachment issue on her book tour, House Republicans have been assailing her on the floor for refusing to allow a vote on lifting a ban on oil drilling along much of the nation’s coast. Democrats are back-tracking a bit on that stance, opening the door to a September vote on relaxing the restrictions on drilling as part of a broader energy bill that would also include Democratic initiatives to reduce subsidies for oil companies and encourage more use of natural gas.
These have not been easy weeks for Ms. Pelosi as she juggled promoting her book with defending her impeachment stance and fending off the Republicans. But party strategists say she’s in a strong enough political position to weather the attacks, while taking some of the political heat off more vulnerable Democrats. She might be under fire from the left and the right, but there is no talk of impeaching her.
July 29, 2008
July 28, 2008
July 23, 2008
I read an article in Rolling Stone about Bonnaroo that was desperately trying to make Bonnaroo look like it was something other than tens of thousands of idiots ruining the local environment by trampling down all erosion stopping plantlife, strewing the landscape with litter, getting intoxicated, and fornicating.
Rolling Stone was trying really hard, beyond the point of it being tenable to make it seem like what these people are doing was something to be emulated.
In truth, these supposedly "green" and "counter-culture" kids spent God-knows how much petrol based fuel to drive to Tennessee from all around the USA, including Colorado, New Jersey, and California, yielding God-knows how many tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.
And while they were there, they consumed copious amounts of junk yeilding 79 TONS of solid waste. And I don't mean poop, though they probably left plenty of that as well. I mean trash that was strewn about on the ground as litter. Yeah, man, every day is earth day, right?
They also poisoned their bodies and minds as they used the event as an excuse to get wasted with lots of hallucinogenic drugs (which Rolling Stone glamourized, surprise) and thus thoroughly rearranged their neural networks and making them feel "like "everything's connected."
I guess it's how they are able to convince themselves that they're doing anything more than performing a terrible Halloween Costume impression of the 1960s, or that their lifestyle is somehow sustainable or green because they wear tye-dye-- they're hallucinating.
They also acted totally irresponsibly with a large number of rapes and arrests being reported. Since when was rape a part of free love?
F**k hippies. That whole scene is just as much a mainstream culture "counter-culture" release-valve as Hot Topic.
July 22, 2008
I'm on page six.
Apparently, they were recording my calls?! Or at least one of them. I don't understand why, or how. I have AT&T and haven't ever called outside of the country that I can think of (it's really expensive).
Other friends of mine are also on the list.
I knew that Obama's vote was wrong before I knew I was illegally wiretapped.
But this morning, I called the ACLU to see what my legal rights were now, and because of Obama's vote (and others) for telecom immunity, I now have no legal recourse. I can't do anything about it. Nothing. They broke the law, my privacy was violated, and they're getting away with it.
Now that this affects me personally, and knowing that my right to recourse has been taken from me by Obama, I find it unconscionable to support Obama.
It strikes me as bizzare that friends of mine are saying to me, "Asher, I support your fight here, but I support Obama still. I totally agree with you though, his FISA vote was wrong."
From my perspective, I feel totally violated, and these shows of support for me mingled with shows of support for Obama totally baffle me.
How can people support him? It's like I was robbed, and people are saying, "yeah, it sucks that you were robbed, but you know, that guy who robbed you is cool, so I'm going to hang at his place for a party tonight."
People who are saying they support Obama but also support my fight against the FISA decision are liars. They've turned their backs on me, and everybody else who has had their privacy violated.
I have no faith in the Left-wing/progressive movement anymore. They're all so caught up in the Obama love-fest that they just don't realize what a terrible politician he really is.
The Left Wing is just as guilty of the same starry-eyed fervor that swept Bush into office. They will lie to themselves to fend off the truths that show how he is not what they think he is.
They believe whole heartedly in their candidate, they won't let facts get in the way.
There is no doubt in my mind that Obama is going to win this next election. We are going to see four more years of a Democratic George W Bush.
The Democratic Party is not an opposition party.
The Voters won't notice that they're being fed the same bull pie from both parties.
And for their lack of observation, they will get what they deserve.
July 16, 2008
Congressional panel to review Kucinich's call to impeach Bush
But the House committee won't actually consider removing the president from office.
WASHINGTON -- Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich's single article of impeachment will get a committee hearing -- but not on removing President Bush from office.
The House on Tuesday voted 238 to 180 to send his impeachment article -- for Bush's reasoning in taking the country to war in Iraq -- to the Judiciary Committee, which buried Kucinich's previous 35-article effort in June.
This time, the panel will open hearings, possibly as soon as next week. But House Democratic leaders said the proceedings would not be about Bush's impeachment, a first step in the Constitution's process of a removing a president from office.
Instead, the panel will conduct an election-year review -- possibly televised -- of anything Democrats consider to be Bush's abuse of power. Kucinich, an Ohio Democrat, is likely to testify. So will several scholars and administration critics, Democrats said.
The hearing is a modest gesture by House Democratic leaders to members like Kucinich who insist that Bush's reasons for going to war meet the standard for impeachment.
Kucinich had said that if his impeachment article was tabled he would simply propose another one. In June, he spent four hours on the House floor reading his longer resolution into the record, only to see it buried in committee.
July 15, 2008
July 12, 2008
Here's an account of the events from WMTW
The tenant, Lawrence Coy, 39, ran to police for help.
After a short chase, police caught both Mohamoud and the juvenile. Police said an assault rifle was found in the getaway car.Mohamoud is being held at the Androscoggin County Jail on $15,000 bail. He is charged with burglary and reckless conduct with a firearm. In addition to those charges, the juvenile faces a additional charge of hindering apprehension.
Police also arrested Coy on suspicion of operating a marijuana-growing operation out of his home.
Coy, the victim of the crime, has been charged with-- "aggravated cultivation of plants" (doesn't that sound like an oxymoron?) and what's worse; It's entirely possible, and in sad fact quite likely, that Lawrence Coy, victim of crime, will serve a longer sentence than his aggressors-- who broke into his home, stole from him, and discharged an assault firearm in his house. (I think it bears repeating that the guy who broke into his home were firing a fucking assault rifle in the victim's house.)
When the Lawrence Coy, who was living in that home called the police, the police searched the house, and found that Coy had been growing cannabis in his basement. We don't know if these plants were for personal use (a ), for medical use (another victimless crime) or sale, and quite frankly it doesn't matter in the eyes of the law.
I don't even use drugs and this outrages me. Not only is this case an outrage, but it raises a series of points about drug laws in general:
1) Prohibition makes no sense as a strategy to combat drug abuse. Prohibition of the 1930s has taught us that making something illegal only drives it into the shadows, makes the contraband more potent (to balance the reward of sale against the risk of being caught), gives rise to powerful criminal organizations, and counter-intuitively, it actually increases consumption. Alcohol consumption was at it's all time high in America during the Prohibition Era.
2) It's a matter of Liberty-- the State currently has no laws preventing a person from spending all their money in strip clubs, from overeating to the point of morbid obesity and death, smoking too many cigarettes to the point of lung cancer or emphysema, or from drinking alcohol to the point of damaging their organs. In fact, people indulge in lewd behaviour, eat fatty foods, smoke, and binge drink, all across the great state of Maine-- without the law interfering. We all recognize that because we live in a free society, that a person has a right to do immoral or lewd things with their own personal affairs as they see fit so long as they do not harm anyone else, and that it is the responsibility of the individual to decide what they want to do with their bodies-- not the responsibility of government.
3) Drug use is not . Just as many people use alcohol in moderation with little ill effect, many people use mind-altering drugs in moderation as well, (and if you think that alcohol isn't a mind-altering drug, tell that to a victim of drunk driving), and these people are able to maintain active lives as participating members of society. The only time that drug use becomes an issue for the government to deal with is when it leads to another crime-- and every crime that knee-jerk reactionaries fear come from drug use, be it , robbery, driving to endanger, disturbing the peace, assault, etc, you name it -- there are already laws against all of these things, and should somebody's drug use lead to such criminal behavior, they should prosecuted as criminals for their crimes, not their drug use. If their drug use has started to affect other people's lives, then what you have is drug addiction, which leads to the next point:
4) Drug addiction is a sickness of the mind, and a sickness of the body. Drug addiction is a medical problem, and should be treated as such. Sending people to jail for ruins people's lives, and doesn't get them the help and support that they need.
5) We can't afford the Drug War. The United State of America makes up only 4% of the world's population, yet we make up more than HALF of the world's prison population. Land of the free, eh? I don't know what the statistics are for Maine, but on average, a little more than a quarter of the prison population is in on drug related charges alone. This eats up taxpayer money to keep non-violent offenders behind bars, and eats up time and money sending police after non-violent offenders on the streets and in their homes when they could be protecting people from real criminals, like gun-wielding burglars.
Now back to the specific: We have a case where the victim is being punished for reporting a crime. This climate is the same one we see in inner cities where immigration laws are enforced by local police-- the populace learns to fear, hate, and mistrust the police that are supposedly there to serve and protect the peace. Why should a non-violent act, cultivating plants, be treated with a heavier hand by the law than misuse of a firearm, breaking and entering, and theft combined?
This absurdity needs to end, and it is more clear now in this case than ever that the State of Maine should Decriminalize possession, cultivation, and use of cannabis.
If you live in Maine, I urge you to get on http://maine.gov and look up your state senator and congressperson, and write them something like what I wrote above. I sent copies to both my senator and congressman.
July 11, 2008
July 9, 2008
War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits keep spinning us to death
War Made Easy reaches back into the Cultural Amnesia of the USA to expose a 50-year pattern of government deception and media spin that has dragged the United States into one war after another from Vietnam to Iraq.
Narrated by actor and activist Sean Penn, the film exhumes remarkable archival footage of official distortion and exaggeration from LBJ to George W Bush, revealing in stunning detail how the American news media have uncritically disseminated the pro-war messages of successive presidential administrations.
Also, Sen. Wayne Morse (D-OR in the 1960's) is my new favorite Senator.
This is a great film.
Be sure to watch it, and share with your friends.
Did you know...
In WWI, Civilians made up 10% of all casualties.
In WWII, civilians made up 50% of all casualties.
In Vietnam, Civilians made up 70% of all casualties.
In Iraq, Civilians make up 90% of all casualties.
Well, shucks, I wasn't using it anyways.
Yeah, they aren't voting to amend the constitution, they're just voting for an illegal law.
This bill expands executive power to the level of being a Federal Crime. Ironic?
How about this-- it's the Democrats giving it to him.
July 8, 2008
Last week, Obama supporters created a "Get FISA Right" group using the Obama campaign's web-based social networking application. The group was an unusual addition to the website -- formed as it was by Obama supporters for the purpose of protesting Obama's position on the FISA bill recently passed by the House and currently under consideration by the Senate.
The group became the largest one on the Obama website within days, growing to more than 21,000 members in less than week. The Obama campaign, in response to this unprecedented online gathering, likewise did something unprecedented -- it posted a response to the group on the Obama blog. The campaign also made three policy staffers available to answer questions (live) in the blog comments section for nearly two hours.
Responding to the comment section dialogue, Will Mitchell, a representative of the FISA activist group, today hand delivered a formal letter to Obama campaign headquarters in Chicago. The group also published their statement on a handful of blogs Monday and Tuesday.
The response asked Obama both to reconsider his decision to vote for the FISA bill and to ask him to speak on the floor of Congress:
We ask that you back up your words with action by addressing your constituents on the floor of the Senate with the same oratorical power you used in Philadelphia to lay out your vision of a 'More Perfect Union.' The American people have just as much right to know of the dangerous precedent this Congress would be setting by granting retroactive immunity to those who "may have violated the law" and allowing spying on law-abiding citizens .... We ask you to reconsider your current position on the bill as a whole and strongly oppose a bill about which you said, "I know that the FISA bill that passed the House is far from perfect. I wouldn't have drafted the legislation like this, and it does not resolve all of the concerns that we have about President Bush's abuse of executive power."
In your statement you also wrote, "In a dangerous world, government must have the authority to collect the intelligence we need to protect the American people. But in a free society, that authority cannot be unlimited." We agree.
The statement also reminded Obama that they, as strong and fervent Obama supporters, are answering the very call to action that Obama asked them to answer:
We appreciate your willingness to continue the discussion. We represent a large and vocal part of the movement you have nurtured and that has nurtured you during this campaign season, and include many of your most active and ardent supporters. As you have said time and again Senator, "we are the ones we have been waiting for," and we are here, working to bring about real change in Washington. We have grown to over 20,000 strong in the space of just a few days.
The statement itself is an example of the online social networking phenomena that the Obama campaign has fostered. The statement was created on a wiki and edited by more than thirty members of the group. It was released only when consensus was reached among the members who volunteered to draft and edit the statement.
In just one week, the group has created the largest group on the Obama website, their own GetFISAright.com website, an online discussion forum, a FISA activist wiki, a very large Facebook group, and many other online projects. The group is also already organizing to continue fighting after the Senate vote on Wednesday, and the group has plans to organize all of their disparate online organizing tools into a coordinated campaign over the long term.
This article also ignores the fact that the Democrats could simply stop voting to fund the war. Or, if the president vetoes funding budget for the war because of an attached time-table, let him veto the funding and end the war. They have him in a legislative checkmate, but they refuse to use it.
Panel calls for new war powers legislation
WASHINGTON - Former secretaries of state James Baker III and Warren Christopher say the next time the president goes to war, Congress should be required to say whether it agrees. The co-chairmen of a bipartisan study group have proposed legislation that would require the president to consult lawmakers before initiating combat lasting longer than a week, except in cases of emergencies. In turn, Congress would have to act within 30 days, either approving or disapproving of the action.
The plan, outlined by Baker and Christopher in an essay published Tuesday in The New York Times, would not necessarily prevent future debate on the so-called "war powers" issue. Instead, it would create a new consultative process between the White House and Congress to help prevent a potential constitutional showdown.
Congress' involvement in approving combat operations became a central issue in the Iraq debate last year, when Democrats tried to force President Bush to end the war.
After taking control of Congress in January 2007, Democrats tried to cap force levels and set a timetable for withdrawals. They lacked a veto-proof majority to put the restrictions into law, and the White House argued that such legislation would have violated the Constitution by infringing upon the president's role as commander in chief to protect the nation. Democrats disagreed, contending there was ample precedent.
Baker, who served as secretary of state in the first Bush administration, and Christopher, who served under President Clinton, were to discuss their findings at a news conference Tuesday morning.
The panel has been studying the issue for more than a year and consulted more than three dozen experts. Other members of the panel include former Democratic Rep. Lee Hamilton, who in 2006 led the Iraq Study Group with Baker; former Attorney General Edwin Meese III; and Strobe Talbott, former deputy secretary of state.
July 7, 2008
Casey J Porter: A Stop-Lossed Vet against War fights back with a handheld camera and a YouTube account!
Who Is Casey J Porter?
HEY WAR PROFITEERS! I WANT MY MONEY!
Day of the Mechanic:
A Story of Two Dogs:
Banner Drop at Ft Hood:
A Grandmother Speaks out:
July 6, 2008
by Rob Kall Page 1 of 1 page(s)
| || |
Kent Snyder did some amazing work on the Ron Paul Campaign and as remembered as a "libertarian gian"- by Lew Rockwell, on libertarian site, Lew Rockwell.com.
The Wall Street journal reports that Kent, more than anyone else, persuaded Ron Paul to run for president. And Kent, according the the WSJ said, "ultimately became a $35 million operation with 250 employees that helped deliver more than one million votes for the Texas congressman's bid in the Republican nominating contest."-
Ron Paul posted this message about Snyder on his website: ""Like so many in our movement, Kent sacrificed much for the cause of liberty, Kent poured every ounce of his being into our fight for freedom. He will always hold a place in my heart and in the hearts of my family."
Sadly, the Libertarian heart apparently does not include health care. The poor guy raised tens of millions of dollars and couldn't afford the $300-$600 a month that COBRA medical insurance would have cost.
Paul has some good idea-- get out of Iraq, get the US out of a lot of other countries. But his opposition to government, to universal health care""these ideas just don't work and his campaign manager's death makes a tragic example of it.
A website has been created to help raise the $400,000 to pay the medical bills.
By Tom Pelton ||Sun reporter
June 22, 2008
Mark Nagurney gets free used cooking oil from a neighborhood restaurant. Maryland requires drivers to register vegetable-oil-fueled vehicles and pay taxes; federal law prohibits the fuel.
(Sun photo by Gene Sweeney Jr. / June 18, 2008) With fuel prices soaring, Mark Nagurney thought he had figured out a clever way to drive free - and save the Earth at the same time. The 49-year-old Laurel physicist is one of thousands nationally who have converted their diesel cars and trucks to run on straight vegetable oil.
But in burning a cleaner fuel than diesel, Nagurney never imagined he'd end up on the wrong side of federal environmental laws. Or break Maryland's fuel tax regulations, which require even folks driving on grease thrown away by fast-food restaurants to get a "special fuel" license, obtain a $1,000 bond from an insurance company, file monthly forms and pay the same 24 cents per gallon tax as drivers using diesel.
Nagurney finds the tax rules misguided. "Let's get renewable energy going," he said.
After hearing about vehicle conversion from some co-workers, the strait-laced Republican defense contractor paid a mechanic $2,500 last October to convert his gray 1996 Volkswagon Passat so it can run on either vegetable oil or diesel. Nagurney gets waste oil free from a Chinese restaurant in his neighborhood and thinks it's a great way to recycle and save money at the same time.
July 2, 2008
F**K THE DNC
They take impeachment off the table when Bush and Cheney are by far the most impeachable presidents we've ever had. Nixon did less than these guys. More Republicans voted to impeach Bush and Cheney than Democrats. There is something wrong with this.
They vote to re-authorize the war and complain that they don't have the votes to stop it, when reality is, they could stop it if they either just kept sending a funding bill with a time table to Bush. If he vetoes it, there is no more funding, and the war is over. If it passes, there is a timetable, and the war is over.
They run candidates for president who say that they want universal health care, but it's really just corporate welfare for the same crooked private insurers that REAL Universal Health Care is supposed to protect us from.
They are doing nothing about re-opening the investigation into 9-11, even long after the 9-11 commission board members said that there were glaring, extensive problems with the first and only investigation, that they were blocked from doing any investigation, that evidence was destroyed, that secret meetings were held which they were not privy to, etc.
They vote for the things that the Republicans are doing that send us into a military police state, and then they whine and scapegoat the Republicans being the reason why everything is going so terribly.
AND F**K OBAMA
Now he's going back on his word about the war. Apparently he "never said" he "wanted to withdraw troops [from Iraq.]"
If you vote for Obama, don't be surprised when we get 100 more years of war, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, etc. Just like McCain!
Plus, Obama has hired the same people bush hired for economic policy. They want to privatize or partially privatize social security-- just like McCain and Bush.
YES WE CAN- stay in Iraq for a 100 years.
YES WE CAN- privatize social security.
YES WE CAN- keep the same foreign policy of arrogance and interventionism.
YES WE CAN- let war criminals get away with whatever they want to, even when they are President and Vice President of the USA.
YES WE CAN- let the biggest terrorist act in modern history in the USA go without thorough investigation.
YES WE CAN- use government subsidies and corporate welfare to prop up private health insurers who make money by denying your claims.
HEY DEMOCRATIC PARTY VOTERS!-- It's time to pony up and realize that your party sucks ass, and that YOU GOT PLAYED.
Quit using the Republicans as a punching bag and a scape goat, and start holding your own party accountable-- because guess what-- they're f**king you over just like the Republicans do-- only now you're loving it.
*To be fair there are some good people in the Democratic party, like Dennis Kucinich, Rep Wexler, Elijah Cummings, etc. And at the local level, Maine has good people too, like Chellie Pingree, Justin Alfond, and Diane Russell. However, the National Democratic Party leadership are just as corrupt, and just as pro-war as the Republicans.
July 1, 2008
For Political Courage, I look to Czechoslovakian playwright, and leader of the Velvet Revolution, Vaclav Havel
I picked this book up, a collection of letters he'd written to friends, colleagues, and political figures, only because I wanted something to read during the long slow 9 hour shift I had at work that day.
What I've found though, is a very fiery and astute observer of politics in this playwright-turned-politico.
Vaclav lived during the Soviet Occupation of Czechoslovakia, now split into Slovakia and the Czech Republic. While the ruling regime of the day was Communist, his observations of the voting public, and of the mechanics of the political system are directly applicable to our nation today.
Though he had one consolidated ruling party of wealthy elites, and a group of weak opposition parties, we have two ruling parties, with the same group of elites running both of them, and a group of weak opposition parties.
On Third Parties
If one changes the wording of Vaclav Havel's letter on the creation of a new opposition party, "On the Theme of Opposition," he very well could be talking about the USA today.
"We are frequently told that because we now have freedom of speech (which is supposedly the basis of democracy), public opinion, assisted by the media, will carry out the natural restraining function of an opposition. This notion is based on the faith that government will draw the appropriate conclusions from the public criticism. The trouble is, democracy is not a matter of faith, but of guarantees.
The essence of democracy-- the real source of those guarantees-- is something else: a public, legal contest for power. At the same time, public opinion (as represented by the press, for instance) can act as an effective check on government, and thereby improve its quality, only if it also has the power to influence government, and this can only be done if public opinion leads to a process of public choice-- through elections, for example. Ultimately, power only really listens to power, and if government is to be improved, we must be able to threaten its existence, not merely it's reputation."
I would say that the very same applies to the Republican and Democratic parties. Only when we refuse to let terrible candidates gain access to power by not voting for them, will our government be accountable.
Truley, there isn't a clash between Republicans and Democrats in this presidential race. We have two candidates that are running for the presidency of the status quo. Those that are really in power are the corporate elite. They own print media and broadcast media; they have horozontally integrated with the arms industry and the energy industry. They run the show.
In Communist Czechoslovakia, the Government took over all businesses for it's own use and pleasure.
What has happened to us today in America, is the Businesses have taken over the Government and are using it for it's own use and pleasure.
On Political Victory
Havel sees a path for victory, not for an opposition party, but for Humankind based on unifying principals:
"Make real individuals the measure of society and the system. Not in such a way as to choose an abstract idea of man as the starting point for a new phraseological ritual, but in a simple and practical manner: by taking an interest in concrete human lives, not ideological filters; by struggling for particular human rights, demands, and interests; by rehabilitating values that have until recently, been considered "metaphysical," values like conscience, love of one's neighbor, compassion, trust, understanding."
Another interesting thing to note is the groupthink that occurs in political parties. We must shed our ideological blinders and be willing to crtique and refuse our political leaders when they come to us with solutions that are not in our interest and do not fulfill our political will:
"The fact that many noncommunists saw communist error for what it was at a time when communists did not have the slightest idea they were wrong, needs to be ackowleged. [...] If this is not done, it means that communists are a special breed of superhumans who are -- on principle-- right even when they are wrong, while noncommunists are -- on principle-- wrong even when they are right."
Go ahead and change the word "communist" for either Republican or Democrat, and "noncommunist" to the opposing party. Re-read it. Either way it's true.
Democrats and Republicans both, like the Communists of the Czech republic, often refuse to see their own errors, and refuse to own them or correct them. While this may save face in the short run, reality is that it builds a culture that leads our civilization into disaster, while enacting flawed policies that do not benefit the population at large.
On "Selling Out"
A political leader, Alexander Dubcek, was forced to resign under pressure of the Communist Party leadership for being true to the Communist party values in his political action, while the Communist Party leadership was being corrupt and self-serving.
Dubcek was faced with three options, all of them bad.
Havel wrote a letter advising him to stand against the Party leadership, and call their patriotism and ideological loyalty into question, rather than submitting and letting them do the same to him.
He said to him, "They beleive you to be incapable of betrayal. [...] That is why one of their probably aims at the present moment is to induce you not only to bow to their ideology, but I have even heard that they intend to turn you into the cheif prosecutor of your own policies."
For most Americans, neither of the two candidates truely appeal to our own interests. 97% of Americans want the troops out of Iraq. Neither Obama nor McCain have plans that will do so. Both of them plan on leaving not only our troops behind, but private mercenaries like Blackwater, as well as functioning fully staffed military bases for us to project our military might onto the middle east.
A majority of Americans may not full understand the platforms of the front-runners like Obama, Hillary or Edwards, which is why they wouldn't have understood that they don't really offer universal health care. But most Americans WANT to get the private insurers out of their lives, to put an end to the pay-or-die system we have.
Conservatives want to reduce government spending and reduce government power, yet McCain wants to continue a highly costly war in Iraq, opposes Habeas Corpus, thinks it's ok to torture, and wants to continue expanding the government's power to spy on innocent civilians, and effectively destroying all constitutional limits on government power to further expand.
These choices have done to us, the voters, exactly what the Communists did to Dubcek. They party leadership expects us to defend candidates who oppose our own views. They expect us to be the "chief prosecutors against [our] own policies." They also expect that we are "incapable of betrayal" to place our political will and vote outside of their pocket.
Havel advises Dubcek to take heart in seeking truth first and foremost, even in the light that brutal punishment may follow. Dubcek faced the options of opposing the party leadership and possibly winning, possibly being tried and executed, or slipping away silently and letting his country be overtaken by criminals.
Our situation is similar, though we don't face execution for simply standing in ideological opposition to the government (at least not yet), we do face the option of either voting for what we want to see, or voting the lesser of two evils, and letting this election year slip silently into the night.
"a de facto defeat need not be a moral defeat; ... a moral victory may later become a de facto victory, but a moral defeat, never."
We must not let ourselves become morally defeated, never sell out our ideals. They are the only things that the government cannot take from us by force. They must be given up willingly.
Why it's important
Said Havel to Dubcek, "Your act will have no positive effect on the immediate situation; on the contrary, it will probably be exploited to justify further repression. But that is all negligible when set beside the immeasurable moral significance of your act for the social and political destiny of our two nations. People would realize that it is always possible to preserve one's ideals and one's backbone; that one can stand up to lies; that there are values worth fighting for; that there are still trustworthy leaders; and that no political defeat justified complete historical skepticism as long as the victims manage to bear their defeat with dignity."
Ultimately, Dubcek resigned and though he didn't vocally oppose his own past policies, he did nothing to defend them, and slipped away silently into the night, and Czechoslovakia fell further into the dark of corrupt rulers.
Let's not follow Dubcek's suit.
June 6, 2008
Obama's Iraq redeployment plan would leave 175,000 to 220,000 troops and mercenaries in Iraq, threatens to expand the war to other nations by putting combat forces in Kuwait and keeping the bombing of Iran on the table.
Obama will leave all leave all 140,000 U.S. mercenaries in Iraq.
Obama will leave between 35,000 to 80,000 troops in Iraq to protect U.S. interests, fight al Qaeda and train the Iraqi military.
Obama will move combat troops to Kuwait to serve as a strike force to attack inside Iraq.
Obama has pledged to the right-wing Israeli lobby that he will always keep the military option.
Obama wants to expand the U.S. military, already the biggest in the world, by 92,000 additional soldiers.
How about health care?
A real change in our energy policy?
Ending Corporate Personhood?
June 3, 2008
New York-- Hillary Clinton gave an enthusiastic speech to cheering fans and supporters in New York City at Baruch University today. Despite Obama sewing up the nomination, Hillary is pressing on with her campaign, much to the delight of her supporters.
"I'm as gay as the day is long, and if Hillary doesn't win the nomination, I'm voting for John McCain." said Jake. When asked why he would support either candidate noting that neither McCain nor Clinton support gay marriage, Jake stared blankly.
"Hillary Clinton is the only hope we have. The media hates her, save us Hillary, save us!" said Jake after a moment's pause.
Another Hillary Clinton supporter, Joy, shared her views as well. When asked why she supports Hillary, Joy's response was enthusiastic.
"Health care! She's the only one who wants to make sure that everybody gets universal health care! The Private Interests have had control for too long!"
Joy, like many very stupid people, has no grasp of Hillary Clinton's health care plan, which mandates by law that people purchase health insurance from a private insurance firm whether they can afford it or not.
The very stupid vote has been cornered by Hillary Clinton, which she acknowledges openly. Said Clinton, "Obama simply cannot win the White House without support from uneducated people who don't understand our platforms, or how goverment programs affect their day-to-day lives. These people are stupid and angry, they've got no grasp of policy. By pretending that I'm like them, I've managed to fool them into thinking my candidacy would benefit them in some way. Obama hasn't been able to do this, and the superdelegates need to realize we won't win in November without the support of very stupid people."
As it turns out she may be right. Very stupid people control nearly 60% of the voting population. Since they do not have any grasp of government affairs, their votes are based entirely on emotional impulse, making this demographic a wild card. Further complicating things for strategists-- many very stupid people are too apathetic, or simply lack the directional skills to find their way to the polls on election day-- making them the ultimate swing vote.
Seizing on this, Hillary Clinton has been extremely successful in getting out the very stupid vote. Her campaign has done remarkable work assigning one campaign employee to each voter to take them by the hand and lead them to the polls on election day. This of course has cost the campaign deeply, leading Hillary Clinton to be forced to donate $14 million of her own money to her campaign.
"We weighed the risk of letting Hillary donate from her own personal bank account to her campaign shattering her well groomed image of being a working class citizen, but thankfully, the very stupid voters didn't even notice." said campaign strategist Amy Horsfallon.
"They also don't notice that it's been impossible for Hillary to win the nomination for nearly a month, so luckily we've been able to keep the campaign going strong. You sometimes hear the expression in this field, 'It's like herding cats.' But it's not with this crowd. It's a lot like herding sheep," she continued.
Hillary Clinton has made no decisions as when to end her race for the white house, and may run her campaign till November of 2012.
(this is parody)