Sunday, November 23, 2008

Liars and Promises

Liars and Promises

I spent some time with my eighty year old father yesterday. He is retired and spends much of his time watching the cable news channels. I never watch these channels or listen to the talking pinheads on them or conservative talk radio. He made me aware of their new chosen tactic of undermining Obama's presidency even before he takes the oath of office. They are doing this by posing the following question: What promises will Obama try to keep?

Some may think this is an appropriate thing to ask of any president elect. That thought should last for nanoseconds when one considers the source of this question and their agenda. This is the same group of lying jackals that declared Bill Clinton a failure before he was sworn in. They are masters of framing the arguments to suit their intended outcome without discussing anything approaching reality. Their unstated insidious assumption is that Obama will never keep all his promises because they have deemed it impossible or worse yet, they have decided or hope that Obama is just another lying politician. They are at the end of a twenty-eight year period where lying and/or stupidity or both have become the fashionable norm for our president.

The real answer to this question would astound these liars in its simplicity: All of them. Nearly 68 million voters cast their vote for Obama making this assumption, close to 9 million more than his opponent. To put this in historical context, no presidential candidate received 9 million votes in total until Woodrow Wilson was reelected in 1916. Many of those 68 million voters, I among them, felt the promises did not go far enough. We all voted for change including the assumption that the lying and the just plain criminality of the last eight years needed to end.

Our country is deeply divided. The last time we were this deeply divided was during the election cycle of 1860. That resulted in the Civil War, the single seminal event of our country's history. Before that war the United States was referred to with plural references such as "the United States are," since the references are in the singular such as "the United States is." Obama has so far done some astounding things but the one of the most astounding is the idea of appointing Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. I admit that initially I was against this action but after further thought, I have come to believe this is very Lincoln-like. When Lincoln took office, he formed a cabinet that included many political rivals. This type of action goes back to Obama's choice of Biden as running mate, a former opponent in the primaries.

Our country is in deep economic trouble. The last time we were this deeply in economic trouble was the election cycle of 1932. Many of the programs and regulations that helped dig us out of that crisis have been systematically dismantled over the last twenty-eight years. It is not mere coincidence that we are again on the brink of another Great Depression. My father remembers living through the Great Depression. To quote him, "The bastards have done it again."

Most are suffering because of this division and hardship. Very few are prospering as result of this suffering. Among those that prosper are the liars that are promoting the idea Obama can't possibly succeed. Their vested interested is in seeing Obama fail. They are not the loyal opposition, they are just the opposition. Their loyalties are to their bank accounts and those that fill them. They have convinced far too many to vote against their own best interests with their lies. It is past time to tell them if they can't be loyal to the country, to shut up and go away. The Big Lie has been "Government is the Problem." This must be vanquished to rhetoric Hell, for "a Government of the People, for the People, and by the People," is our singular hope.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Keeping the Glimmer of Hope

Keeping the Glimmer of Hope

Barack Obama is the president-elect. We now have a glimmer of hope. We might even become optimistic if given a chance. If the last twenty-eight years have shown us anything, it is how fragile hope is. We are at the bottom of a long steep tunnel. The cynical and pessimistic side of us fears that glimmer of light at the end of tunnel is the headlight from the NeoCon freight train ready run us further into the ground. Make no mistake, they have been in power for a long time and the only way to assure they won't steal it back is to succeed with all our vigor and will. Here in no special order are some thoughts on how president-elect Obama can fulfill the promises of his campaign and right the ship of state.

Stop running for office. The election is over and you won. This point in history demands a leader who governs. The first term of the War Chimp is a prefect example of what goes wrong when your priority and main concern is maintaining power. Governing goes by the wayside and only cronies and rich donors prosper. Nothing succeeds like success; if you govern well, reelection is assured.

Ignore the labels. At the end of campaign you were accused in a conflated manner of being liberal/socialist/Marxist/Communist. Now in an effort to salvage their flawed ideology, some right wing gasbags are attempting to say you were elected because you embraced the ideas of Ronnie Raygun. You survived being labeled, "Tax and Spend." It remains to be seen whether we as a country can recover from the "Borrow and Spend" policies of the eight years of the War Chimp's administration. You have a firm majority in Congress, insist it isn't squandered. Ask the American public to judge you on your results, not some nebulous political labels. If your proposal(s) are labeled "Liberal" or "Progressive" or "Conservative" it matters little. What matters is if they succeed. I can tell you as a Proud Liberal despite being labeled liberal; Bill Clinton was a truer conservative than the War Chimp in many respects. Until both sides can rationally look at the other all that will be accomplished is finger pointing while the country goes to Hell in a basket.

Use control of the Congressional majorities. There is nothing in the Constitution that defines a majority in the Senate as sixty percent. When the opposition threatens filibuster, threaten the nuclear option that the Republicans did in the 1990's. Make them physically filibuster, forcing them to appear on camera as the obstructionists they are when filibustering. We can longer come to a street fight and fight like a gentlemen's debate club.

Don't knowingly lie to the American public. This practice by presidents from both sides of the aisle has done more harm to our country than any other single factor. Americans can fact check better than anytime in history. You have a good start at gaining the trust of the public. Do nothing that could jeopardize this process. This includes promptly and openly admitting mistakes. Nixon could have finished his second term had he understood the capacity of the American populace to understand and forgive.

Get us out of the occupation business. The use of military force should be the means of last resort for the United States. The deaths and displacement in both Iraq and Afghanistan is on the collective conscience of our entire nation. Might does not make right. The restoration of our national honor is a must. A side effect to getting out of this morass is the cessation of squandering of resources and then they can be used for the needs of humanity both at home and abroad.

Bring back respect for competence and intelligence. We have come to expect so little from our leaders, that Sarah Palin was taken as a serious candidate. We have gone from a nation of innovators to a country of consumers. Solutions to the catastrophic environmental crisis will require innovation. Once we were the leaders of science and engineering, entertaining the notions of right wing wackos has possibly put us over an edge from which we may never recover. To be plain: the two sides of the same wooden nickel, Creationism and Intelligent Design, masquerading as science has put the average high school and college student at a severe and possibly non-recoverable position in the twin worlds of science and engineering. It is time to relegate these ideas to the Philosophy and Religion classrooms. Science advances via the scientific method not superstition.

Reward real results and stop rewarding smoke and mirror results. Executives of all types have been rewarded for far too long, far too much, for things not real. One of the results of this is the current recession. Nothing any of these executives do is worth the thousands of dollars per hour they receive. In many cases they are rewarded despite being abject failures. The days of the platinum parachute should be over. Lincoln stated correctly that the capital of America starts with the labors of the American worker not the bankers. There is a systemic problem when a company's stock rises on news of layoffs. If the system wasn't skewed, stocks should tank on layoff news.

So, there's my two cents worth. Expect my support but not blind support; I will keep your feet to the fire as I hope the newly energized electoral will. Politics in a modern world has become a matter of life and death on an everyday basis, not once every four years as in the past. One way to "Keep the Glimmer of Hope" is to continue the involvement of the non-traditional voter long past the election.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Scorched Earth Politics Must End

Scorched Earth Politics Must End

It is now two weeks to the election. The Republican campaign has shifted into high gear. For them this means using any innuendo or out right lie in an effort to win. That's their best result. Their second best would be to make the vote close enough they could perform election theft again ala 2000 and 2004. (Make no mistake about it, those two elections were stolen; there is no such thing as stealing them fair and square.) The third outcome, which now seems most likely, is for Obama to win the presidency. Their fall back plan is to guarantee that if elected Obama will be so weakened by the "Scorched Earth" effect that he will be unable to lead effectively.

When the War Chimp took the oath of office in 2001 and 2005, he claimed false mandates based on razor thin margins. His idea of compromise has been, "My way or the highway." With a compliant Congress, he has done as he damned well pleased for nearly eight years. McWar and Caribou Barbie want to extend this devastating practice. I am not sure we haven't gone past the point of no return but I am convinced that if they were to gain office, our chances would assuredly be zero.

This Scorched Earth campaign being waged pits white against black, rich against poor, liberal against conservative, young against old, and finally, worst of all, patriotic American against patriotic American. It is the politics of division and hate. Obama is being accused of being a terrorist by association. Big city dwellers are being told they don't see the real America. Obama is whispered to be a Muslim. Obama is accused of being the most liberal member of the Senate. I would like to say a few about each of these absurd accusations and assertions.

Obama is being accused of being a terrorist by association. This is ridiculous on its face but the Repugs are still making robo-calls with this accusation. Joseph McCarthy asked, "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?" This accusation asks, "Do you now or have you ever associated with domestic terrorists?" A witch-hunt even worse than McCarthy! I try to live true to my liberal philosophy and have over the course of time volunteered for organizations at many different levels. While the organizations did some background checks on me, I would never consider it my role to check on those volunteering with me. This just goes beyond the pale.

Big city dwellers are being told they don't see the real America. This is a not so veiled reference to racial prejudices. This insidious ploy says people of color can't be real Americans because they are incapable seeing the real America. It is designed to destroy unity and promote divisiveness. The U in USA stands for United; any attempt at driving us apart is at its core, unpatriotic.

Obama is whispered to be a Muslim. When Colin Powell endorsed Obama, he said the correct response to this should be, "So what?" While the Constitution includes several qualifications for President, there is only one thing that it specifically excludes, a religious test. The Repugs claim to be strict Constitutionalists, but it now appears to be only when it will let gain and maintain power. For me, the most enlightening thing is that Obama is head and shoulders a better Christian than either McWar or Caribou Barbie. McWar came to Obama defense when a woman from the crowd said she couldn't vote for Obama because he was an Arab. McWar said Obama was a good family man, implying an Arab couldn't be a good family man, revealing a deep-seated bigotry that may or may not even be conscious. The other is this conflating of Arab and Muslim. Not all Arabs are Muslim. Not all Muslims are Arab. But, most of all, very few Arabs, Muslims, Christians or Jews are radical extremists willing to die or kill for their cause.

Obama is accused of being the most liberal member of the Senate. I would be extremely pleased if only this were true. Obama is far from being the traditional liberal. The NeoCons have turned this term into such a pejorative, they believe just applying the label is the kiss of death. It is for the sheeple that believe Fox News. For the true liberal, we know the names of Kennedy and Sanders are better representations of the liberal philosophy.

Stop this Scorched Earth policy. United we stand, divided we fall. Embrace the differences and roll up your sleeves and let's try to right this ship of state.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

How Big a Clothespin?

How Big a Clothespin?

It has been several months since I have posted in this blog. One reason has been the work that has been required getting the over 58,000 names posted in my Namnesia Antidote blog. The names on the Vietnam War Memorial Wall have been posted at least in triplicate there. Work continues and those postings and indices will continue to expand.

While the other blog has taken the majority of my time, I studiously avoided making any posting about the Democratic Party's nomination process. This is because as the nominating process progressed, I became increasingly apathetic about the candidates. In my mini-profile posted in the sidebar of all my blogs, I mention my first eligible presidential election was when George McGovern ran against Tricky Dick. My vote that year was an exception to the majority of presidential votes I would cast over the years. It was an unabashed vote FOR the Democratic nominee. Many of my votes in later elections were votes for the lesser of two evils or AGAINST the Republican candidate. Dukakis and Gore were the exception to this pattern.

I have had a procession of candidates I supported actively during this primary season. My first choice was to draft Al Gore, giving him a chance to regain what stolen from him in November 2000. His focus and energies are spent on the most critical challenges the WORLD faces today, I wish him success in his efforts; he must be successful if my children are to have any type of future. My next choice was Dennis Kucinich. Dennis is man of peace, courage and integrity. His candidacy was trivialized by his opponents and the media. Opportunistic Democrats in Cleveland tried to unseat him in the Congressional primaries, so he was forced to leave the race. He recently presented 35 Articles of Impeachment against the War Chimp, thus continuing to establish his bona-fides as true supporter of the Constitution and the whole country.

The next candidate to receive my support was Edwards. Edwards made his chops taking on corporations as a trial lawyer before he entered the Senate. Since the stolen 2004 election, he has concentrated on fighting poverty. These characteristics doomed his candidacy. This left Mike Gravel as the only true peace candidate. (I know many Ron Paul supporters that feel differently. I could never support a candidate whose main objection to the war was that it cost too much not that it was a crime against humanity. Additionally, his Conservative Libertarian history, that allows economic and racial injustices, was a disqualification.) Gravel not being an office holder meant he was able to carrying on his efforts longer but no more effectively than Kucinich or Edwards.

This left Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Neither are Progressive candidates of the FDR/JFK Democratic Party. Hillary's association with the Democratic Leadership Conference (Bill's DLC association made him the best Republican president of the twentieth century.) and vote for the Iraq War made her a possible nominee that was the greater of two evils. Obama was a wild card. Since he has secured the nomination, he has gone and groveled to AIPAC and supported amnesty for the telecom companies in the War Chimp's blatantly illegal and unconstitutional eavesdropping program. Things both he and his presumptive Republican opponent are guilty of doing.

That being said about Obama, I must state unequivocally that John McWarSameBush would be an unmitigated disaster for the country. This would result in a third War Chimp term but with a vengeance. This brings me to the title of this entry: How Big a Clothespin? The answer: However big it needs to be to allow me to vote for Obama. This is not a vote for Obama because I believe him to be a JFK/RFK. It is a vote of preservation of the country and me & mine, against John McWarSameBush. I can only hope that enough voters across the country can overcome whatever election theft methodologies the Republicans have planned for 2008.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

New Blog by A Proud Liberal—Namnesia Antidote

What is Namnesia Antidote?

When a fellow poster, anniefey, made a post at the TV News Lies Board about these two syndromes I was struck by the pervasiveness of this type of thinking when it comes to the occupation of Iraq. The warmongers in the administration and Congress not only suffer from Namnesia but have gone out of their way to spread the infection. When George "War Criminal" Bush talks about not repeating the mistakes of Vietnam, he is stating our error was withdrawing prematurely and leaving only 58,168 known dead Americans. He is determined to "stay the course" indefinitely in Iraq, no matter the cost in human lives and resources. When anniefey made her post it was with two unhappy coincidences; the five-year anniversary of the Iraq invasion and the occasion of the 4,000th American causality. We had once again failed to learn from history and were doomed to repeating the same errors.

Posts on this blog begin on March 23rd. In 2008, this was both Easter and the date of the aforementioned 4,000th causality. The names posted on this blog are from the Vietnam War Memorial Wall as extracted from the No Quarter organization website. Any errors in the extraction are mine and I apologize in advance for them. While a laudable goal would be to have a posting for everyone whose name appears on The Wall, it is just not feasible for a one-man operation. What I will attempt here is to have posted for each day of the year two lists of these names; the first commemorating the date of death and the second celebrating the birth of those who gave their lives. I encourage anyone to post comments on these individuals, when such a comment is posted, I will attempt to create an individual post with more detailed information for that person. This will give family, friends and supporters the chance to collectively honor and remember these fallen service men. I will post these individual posts by birthdates.

The information on this blog will also appear in my This Day in History blog daily posts. I hope this double posting will give some additional exposure to these men and women while aiding in combating Namnesia.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Thank and Support Montel Williams

Thank and Support Montel Williams

Recently when Fox News invited Montel Williams to come on the air to discuss the death of movie star Heath Ledger, he refused to discuss it in depth saying that while he felt for the star's family the deaths in Iraq deserved discussion. At the end of this post, there is a YouTube link where one can view the entire segment. It is not long since this is only the part where Williams appeared. The talking heads of Faux went to commercial when they were unable to turn Williams away from the subject of Iraq. He was not with the panel after the return from commercial break.

This was not the end of the matter however, over the next three days, Fox affiliates that carried the "Montel Williams Show" all declined to sign renewal contracts for 2008-2009. The syndicators of the show then announced that the show was being cancelled. This means Montel was essentially fired for having the audacity to talk about troop deaths on Fox. The power of a monolithic Main Stream Media has reached a new obscene level. They have proven to be coconspirators with the warmongers of the Bush regime. Ignoring the death and destruction in Iraq has allowed almost 4,000 American military deaths and over 1 million civilian Iraqi deaths. This is head in the sand, what they don't know won't hurt them attitude, is a war crime in and of itself.

I have spent the last few days looking for place to support Montel. While I did find several bloggers that supported him, one even linking to a Fox complaint site, I did not find any with the sole purpose of saying thank you. I have decided to start an online petition to do just that.

Petition to Thank and Support Montel Williams

The petition states:

To Montel Williams:
We the undersigned would like to say thank you. We applaud your efforts to try to discuss the human costs of the Iraq invasion and occupation. We deplore the fact that your efforts have cost you your job. We send our best wishes and hopes for success in your future endeavors. Please keep thinking free and do not let the country forget the killing and dying—it will only let the Iraqi situation continue with no end in sight.

Video of Montel Williams' Apperance on Fox

This blog is posted at the following two places. Place feel free to spread it far and wide being sure to include at a minimum the link to the petition.

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