Saturday, February 24, 2007

Revisiting an old Project

Somewhere in the archives, I may have mentioned the Project for A New American Century. Once I got an e-mail form a journalist in Jamaica who read one of my posts. I was honored. And I have learned much since then. I also decided to re-read the report that put the Project on the map, and the thinking that is responsible for the United States' current situation in the Middle East.

So what I would like to do is, as I read this missive, post some as to what the administration has done either in blatant contradiction or support of that report.

But let me start by saying this: John Bolton was a Director of the Project for a New American Century. This same guy that was Under-Secretary at the State Department (now bleeding profusely of qualified people), and then US envoy to the United Nations. And as we look at the signatories of the Project, and see what they are aiming to achieve, we will see more clearly what the true motives are for the current administration as they proclaim their spread of freedom and march of democracy.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Flip Flopping Masters!

When you point a finger at someone, three more are pointing directly back at you. Remember when conservatives were all agog about calling Senator Kerry a flip flopper? Then over the years they dropped that because it was apparent that Bush was decidedly and easily proven to be much better at it. I think the conservatives have mastered the art of saying one thing, and doing the opposite.

In the House, there was a resolution opposing the escalation, which of course the cons like to call not supporting the troops. It's hard to take them seriously when they can't even use the English language properly. Whatever. The Center for American Progress reports that Rep. Jeff Flake, Virginia Brown-Waits, and George Voinovich, all spoke on the House floor in opposition to the escalation. Yet they all voted against the resolution, and for the escalation they verbally opposed.

Then there is presidential hopeful John McCain. He stated years ago that Jerry Falwell was an agent of intolerance. Today he coddles to him. Last month, McCain said in an interview that Bush listened too much to Cheney, when describing the mess in Iraq. But then Cheney stated on ABC's Good Morning America the next time McCain saw him, he ran over and apologized. So what can you make of these folk?

It would be hard to make this kind of stuff up. But it boils down to this. They have no regard for the truth, and their only interest is in retaining power to promote their skewed ideology. They have no problems lying in the face of the public to create one image, and then acting contrary to their words.

In other words, they have no principles.

Weren't they supposed to be the party of traditional family values? What kind of families are they living in?

Are they representing your values?

Monday, February 19, 2007

The War Drums Beat Louder

I wonder how many people realize what the possible consequences with attacking Iran are. But first, let's remember that not too long ago, the real ruler of Iran, the Ayatollah, offered in a letter to the US, to acknowledge Israel, reign in Hezbollah, and allow for more scrutiny of their nuclear program. All Bush had to do was stop the rhetoric.

We all know where that went. But have you ever wondered why it is that they always focus on the comments of Ahmadinejad, who is simply the President of Iran. The Supreme leader of Iran is the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran is not a democratic country, it is a theocracy,
and there are several ruling committees that are over the president and they govern on the basis of the Quran.

As I posted before about the Christian rights ignorance of history in this area, I mentioned that the Shah of Iran was "inserted" in 1953 with help from the CIA. In a letter from Iran's President to president Bush, this very same act of the insertion of the Shah is still seen as a grievance of the Iranian people. That's a long memory.

So let's look at some facts about Iran, as differing from Iraq, and whether or not a fight with them would be wise. First, Iran has three times the population, and there are no no-fly zones. Henceforth they have an air force and anti-aircraft defense systems. So air superiority over Iran isn't a given like it was in Iraq. Second, Iran has a better equipped and larger army than Iraq had. Iraq's army never recuperated from the fighting in 1991. So a three week romp, now entering it's fifth year, can't be expected in Iran. recall that Hezbollah pretty much had their way with Israel's army recently in Lebanon. The people who train Hezbollah are the Republican Guard of Iran. So if the students are that good, imagine what the teachers might be like. Third, Iran has allies that Iraq never had. Russia supplies them with some of their weaponry, and China is a big oil buyer. Iraq could only dream of potentially having two countries like that in their corner.

So let's imagine that Bush is stupid enough(we know he is) to attack a sovereign country. How do you suppose Iran would respond? If Israel is involved, then an immediate missile to Israel would be expected. Not nuclear, but destructive enough. Maybe several of them. Considering that Iran is predominantly Shiite, then expect the Shiite's of Iraq, and Syria, and Jordan at least, to rise up against America, American interests, and governments that support them. And if push comes to shove, Iran will target the oil fields of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait. Remember, our cushion between demand and supply is about 2%. If oil fields suddenly go down, we would be facing a shortfall of potentially 30%. So imagine the inflationary effect in this country if oil dropped to 30% shortfall in a day.

Can you begin to think that perhaps this is what these neo-fools in the White House want to establish martial law? Are really this incredibly stupid and/or care so little for the consequences on this country that they would do this anyway?

Can you begin to see why there is so much momentum in this country for the ending of the fighting in Iraq? Now is the time to make noise. The time to stop these war mongers is now.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

I Say, Off With Their Heads!

Sounds a bit rough, but I am speaking in reference to the upcoming Presidents Day. Which is basically just another day that banks and government don't have to server their public despite their high rates.

I say we do away with President's Day. After all, these guys are full of gaffes. There are whole books devoted to President Bush's gaffes. Never mind his blunders, crimes, etc. And all President's had them. Clinton couldn't keep Slick Willy in the right place. Warren Harding had the same grasp of English that George W Bush has. E.E. Cummings said of Harding after his death, "
The only man, woman or child who wrote a simple declarative sentence with seven grammatical errors is dead." President Ford on October 6, 1976 , during a televised Presidential debate in the 1976 Presidential election with rival Jimmy Carter, President Ford became confused and stated that Poland and eastern Europe were not under the domination of the Soviet Union. When challenged over his comments, he repeated "There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, and there never will be under a Ford administration." First president Bush made this comment in reference to Auschwitz: "Boy, they were big on crematoriums, weren't they?" And the venerable Abe Lincoln stated a particular date in his 1863 Gettysburg address, stated that 87 years prior, which was 1775. The declaration of Independence wouldn't come into being until the following July, and that did nothing to establish a new nation as did the Constitution which was ratified by the required ninth state in 1788.

Never mind that a distant family member of mine decided to deliver his inaugural address sans coat, hat or gloves, and died on pneumonia four months later.

I would rather see a day where all Americans celebrate the Constitution as the law of the land. The American Bar Association states that May 1 is Law Day, but that is news to me. My calendar doesn't claim that day.

You see, the Constitution doesn't gaffe. It doesn't have the foibles that our Presidents are prone to. And I think it's time that we as Americans reclaim our understanding of the great effort and thought that went into the Constitution. That we as Americans relearn the words that have given us the greatest freedoms man has known.

Because I think that there is a need to reclaim this understanding. Consider that former Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee made a statement on the Senate floor that it was the Constitutional responsibility of the Senate to provide up-or-down votes on Presidential judicial nominees. It took Senator Byrd to stand up and correct him on that same Senate floor. But how did a man sworn to protect and uphold this document not know it? An educated man at that. How shameful. And recently US Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez stated that the Constitution does not grant the right of habeus corpus. A rather interesting statement, when you consider that Section 9, Article 2 states that the writ of habeus corpus shall not be suspended. So how can a document oppose something unless it already exists? And here lies the big and perhaps fundamental difference between the liberal and conservative understanding of the Constitution, and perhaps government. The liberals understand that there are inalienable rights given to all
equally born mankind. Conservatives don't. The "Bible" of conservatism, written by Russel Kirk, is called The Conservative Mind. It follows conservatism back to Edmund Burke, a British Lord who was a loyalist to King George who opposed American independence. In The Conservative Mind it is clearly stated quite early in the book that conservatives do not believe that men are not equal, except morally. That is quite a different position than that of the founders, and explains where Gonzalez comes from. The basic conservative view then is that unless government grants you the right, you don't have it. Which of course defies the declaration of Independence, which states that governments are instituted to secure these inalienable rights. Hence the Constitution says, "...and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." The italicized "for" indicates that the Constitution was established to protect the citizens from the government. it basically restricts the government, in the belief that we the people have inalienable rights as equals that no one can deprive us of.

It is this dismal understanding of the Constitution, even among elected and appointed officials, that makes me think that we as Americans need to focus on what really matters. Instead of President's day, I say we have a Constitution Day. Maybe this could be united with July 4, as they are related. Maybe not. I remember I had to pass a Constitution test to graduate the 8th grade. Which is an idea I endorse, but think the age is too young. To me it's like requiring kids to say the altered Pledge of Allegiance, when they have no clue what a republic is, or what a solemn vow is, or what was and has been sacrificed to make our country what it is. Those kids want to play on the play ground and eat paste.

The Constitution didn't pass by a landslide in the original ratification. It was a close decision. States weren't too interested in giving up their sovereignty. I say it's time to make this great law of our land something that every American knows and embraces. That those immigrating to our land must know before they become citizens. That students be required to know it before they graduate high school and college.

That we celebrate something as a country, and which deserves our debate and energy. Otherwise the loss will be ours.

And the banks and government will take off President's day while we work.