Jan 31, 2005

Promote Freedom & Democracy? Start Closer at Home!

The US should promote freedom and democracy, but this administration is sending the wrong signals to the world. Our pompous president, at his swearing in, said something about bringing democracy & freedom to ..others. Question: how can he say that with a straight face when the US props up and supports, in many ways, countries that are ruled by dictators, autocrats, and torturers? The latter may be quite useful to the Bush government now that a district court said that the suspects at Guantanamo have rights! We'll send them to Bush's friends who don't bother with such rights. Why, you think we haven't done this already?
Of course, even in the US, the question of rights hasn't been settled yet. Gonzales can speak to that. There are judges who are not convinced that suspects captured outside the country shouldn't be imprisoned indefinitely without a trial and legal representation! This is another example on how the President, by appointing federal judges, can change the civil rights landscape in our country...
If this poll is accurate, then our young generation in addition to being ignorant of history is also indifferent to freedom! This is very disturbing, and a threat to our hard-earned freedoms. But, what do we expect when the magaphone is held by a president who not only can't speak correctly but has no interest in protecting anything that may challenge his microscopic view and/or the big corporate interests behind him. What should we expect when his friends assault science in schools? When we are raising a whole new generation that lags behind in education and other desirable skills than the rest of students in the advanced countries?...
Kudos to the ACLU which scooped the rest of the media regarding the torture cases at Abu Graib and Guantanamo by filing Freedom of Information Act requests, while the journalists were buying the "official" line...
The Iraq elections may be a good thing, but much remains to be seen. I hope true democracy does come to Iraq, but elections are not democracy. May I assume that the Americans who voted for Bush are OK with the 1,400 dead American soldiers, 12,000 injured on "our side", more than 100,000 Iraqis killed, and $300-400 billion for the war and reconstruction costs--the price for exporting democracy, and that's only one country! Gee, isn't this more expensive that the whole Marshall plan for reconstructing Europe after WWII? Now, which is next? Syria, Iran, North Korea?
God forbid we pressure the Saudis, the Jordanians, or the Egyptians! At least, we have Cuba under control, no?

Jan 25, 2005

Against All Enemies, Foreign & Domestic

"Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world" UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Those of us who still believe that America should be a beacon of hope, of human rights & liberty have no choice but to rise up and oppose all those enemies, foreign & domestic, who want to diminish these ideals or even take them away. These are, indeed, values worth fighting for.
We have to say "NO" to anyone who undermines, abets the assault, or is indifferent to human rights, justice and liberty. Especially we have to say "NO" to those who act in our name. Alberto Gonzales should not be confirmed as "our" Attorney General. He cannot be "our torturer" in the eyes of the world.
The Bush administration, especially after the re-election, is becoming ever more arrogant. There is no time for compromise on such matters as those at hand today. That's why we are also taking notes on all those Democrats in the Congress who don't have a backbone to stand with us.
As for Ms. Rice, we have another problem here. She shouldn't be confirmed as our diplomatic face to the world. Yes, I'm impugning her honesty. I question her judgment. It's about major mistakes, one of which was her failure to see AlQueda as the number one enemy of our country, despite numerous & serious warnings from multiple sources.
The facts are what they are, Ms. Rice, and if you were not ready last week at the Senate hearings answering such inquiries, you can choose any forum you like to have "that discussion" as you suggested. May I say, you were very effective in taking a question and then elaborating on issues that are largely irrelevant to the question in order to chew up the clock!
You lied to the Senate last week, saying that the U.S. "didn't go to war solely on WMD." Oh, really? This is not how I remember the war being sold to the American people. Care to read your own statements, Ms. Rice? While at it, please also read your "husband's" (she calls GW Bush as such) statements of that time. How about Rummy's? He even knew the location of the WMD! Let's not forget what Dick told us about Saddam's nuclear capability either! Impugn? You bet!
YES to human rights, YES to civil liberties, YES to truth, and NO to all of our enemies, foreign and domestic!

Jan 17, 2005

A Reminder: The U.S. Constitution Includes The Bill Of Rights!

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." Article II Section I of the US Constitution
Is this just a formality? Is it a matter of ability? Is it a matter of will? All of the above? I'd like to believe that Mr. Bush would at least understand the word "faithfully"--though they pick and choose from their religious menu to suit their purposes.
I can't wait for his second term to start! I know, I know most of you loathe this president, but every day counts towards him leaving office for good. Nevertheless, this January 20th is a mourning day for the progressive community.Time to drink liberally perhaps.
Bush has attacked most of the amendments making up the Bill of Rights--yes, those rights are part of our Constitution! His Attorneys General have been undermining the same laws they supposedly swear to uphold.

By the way, have you noticed Bush's democracy being exported to Iraq? Elections are taking place there at the end of January. The polling places, the names of the candidates, and other "details" will be announced on the day of the voting! So what if just a tiny fraction of Iraqis will vote? Well, it's a good thing that at least now they have democracy (Bizarro World's expanded to Iraq). Why, Syria should be introduced to this democracy!
[did I reveal a secret here? He has another 4 years to shape the world! My Pentagon insiders are telling me that Iraq's WMD are probably in Syria now. Another "slam dunk case".. don't you think? Wait, wait, did I hear ..Iran?]

Jan 15, 2005

A Somber Martin Luther King Day

I wonder whether all states would have ended racial discrimination today if it weren't for the federal government and the courts putting an end to this disgrace! Martin Luther King's non-violent struggle for equality and civil rights should be an inspiration to all freedom-loving people, and to all who believe human life has the same dignity and value everywhere regardless of physical characteristics.
The deep South, which also happens to be so biblically drenched, might still be arguing for the separation of the races, if not for fewer rights for the non-whites.
For example, Mississippi couldn't just have a MLK holiday, so it added Robert E Lee's birthday celebration on the same day. Alabama's voters, in this past election, wanted to keep the article in their state's constitution that racially divides the schools into blacks & whites! Oh, yes, in the 21st century the majority of people in Alabama voted to keep such a provision on their books! Any questions?

Jan 7, 2005

Welcome To Bizarro World! Sadly, It's Not In The Comics Books

Someone fails miserably, people get hurt, but in G.W. Bush's world, and "in your face" politics, the failures are rewarded. Perhaps, he's following the theory, the bigger the lie and the more it's repeated, the better chance to be believed. Condi Rice, who didn't think AlQaeda was an imminent threat and failed to take seriously the PDB's warning about Bin Laden's determination to strike in the US using airplanes, is promoted to be Secretary of State. The former CIA chief George Tenet, who told the president that Iraq's WMDs was a "slam dunk," (just now a CIA internal investigation found him and others grossly negligent) got the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The other cast includes Rummy, Franks, and Bremer (all of which screwed up in Iraq) got promotions, extensions, and medals too. The fat corporate payoffs are to follow.
Mr. "torture-is-OK" Gonzales is nominated to be our Attorney! He will be "our torturer" (read article by M. Danner in The New York Times) in the eyes of the world. I don't know if you feel safer now, and whether you care about what America stands for, but I think AlQaeda and the terrorists everywhere are winning! They're changing our country with the help of our own elected leaders. If this continues, not even Superman will be able to clean up Bizarro world. At least, our driver is holding the wheel firmly, straight, no deviations. This resolve (stubbornness?) is admired by those who re-elected him. Are we over the cliff yet?

Jan 2, 2005

Help The Tsunami Victims

With so many people affected by the recent tsunami catastrophe, it's imperative that we help in any way we can. Most of the survivors are at grave risk of starvation and disease. Time is running out for saving tens of thousands of human beings. The InterAction web site can direct you to all legitimate organizations helping the victims in South Asia. Please give. Thank you.