Feb 16, 2008

Amnesty for the Real Bad Guys. Guess Who Those are...

El Supremo Presidente
[has anyone checked if there's there a "signing statement" somewhere in the constitution document?]

The Executive has grown to be the most powerful of the three branches of our governmnet, but Bush has broken the law in expanding presidential power. Another tricky Dick, Nixon, tried to do this but was caught and the rule of law restored. But, back then Congress and others within the administration had the guts and the honor to be patriots first.

Obviously, this president doesn't have much credibility left, and most Americans can't wait for him and his cohorts to leave for good. The incredible thing is that Congressional Democrats still behave like little puppies seeking to please the master. The US Senate with the help of several Dems passed a FISA/spy/limit civil liberties bill Bush had asked for. The House recessed without taking any action.

Bush has said he'd not sign just an extension of the present legislation, because he wants to protect Americans from the bad guys. Yet, he's willing to leave them ..unprotected instead of a temporary fix! Yeah, whatever. I'm sure you've heard much about this debate already, but do you know why Bush is adamant about giving retroactive amnesty to the telcos which surrender everything they had on us to the Bush administration? Why should they get amnesty? I thought the Republicans and all other patriots were against any amnesty. Or, are they only against giving amnesty to immigrants who've worked for American companies (and many other well-to-do Americans) and have lived in the US for many years as law-abiding people after their initial trespass? Do you see a double standard here?

Why is it OK to give amnesty to Blackwater? To corporations that rip off the US treasury? [check this Bill Moyers Journal on overisight and waste] This is not even touching upon the fraud perpetrated on the American public as the necessity of war... I hope the latter is resolved after the election in November, and I'd like to see some serious criminal charges leveled against the evil doers!

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Everybody knows that when the government wants a warrant it gets one. It can also get an indictment as well. But, this creates a record, it gets due process take its course. The records are very important as we can go back, re-examine, and correct our current law & policies. We know, for example, that the FBI had spied on John Lennon, not because the Beatles or Lenon were revolutionaries (actually they were businessmen) but perhaps because Lenon sang, "Imagine there's no heaven"...

There's evidence that suggests Bush had started the illegal spying even before 9-11-01, and that the lawsuits against the telcos will reveal that if no amnesty is given to them. That's why Bush wants not only the extra (and probably unconstitutional) powers but amnesty too.

As far as I know, the constitution has not been amended, so the government must obtain a warrant "by oat and affirmation" before it spies on us. Since it's an automatic procedure (they ask, they get court permission) to obtain a warrant--even days after the spying has started--then why Bush didn't bother doing so?

I'm sick and tired of being treated as a little child with impressionable mind by the Bush government. The politics of fear get me agitated instead of docile.

Feb 5, 2008

What Kind of Change are You for? Super Tuesday Shows the Choices We've got.... and, There's a Huge Difference!

I just voted--five years to the date (Feb 5th, 2003) when Collin Powell used up his credibility to tell the world (via the UN) that he knew! This is a good thing about democracy--that we can change things and our leaders too. Obviously, great care should be exercised to avoid disasters like this imperial presidency under Dubya.

This election is about change, unlike the one in 2000. Back then, the country enjoyed peace and prosperity, and most Americans that voted for Bush [actually the majority voted against him] just to preside, not to do anything specific. But, he turned into an evil doer. In 2008, it is almost a universally accepted wisdom that we need change, and all the candidates on both sides talk about change. Here's what I think of change.

  • More Americans participating in the affairs of our nation because they care. They register and vote, and they keep a close eye on their representatives.

  • The nation is inspired to achieve greatness through education, civil rights, science, and a new age of reason. We can finally put racial politics in the dust bin of history.

  • We come together as a country to show that we can take care of each other, that not everything is decided by selfishness; that a progressive culture of life means education and healthcare for all, not only for those who can afford it. It's Americans helping Americans.

  • That being a world leader today doesn't mean brute force. Many battles can be won by ideas (if you've got them) than by bullets. We must be physically strong and able to defend ourselves, but without being smart, without moral leadership, and without wisdom, we will fail. We need leaders who understand that the age of military empires has passed.

I often said that the Republicans leaders speak a language I don't care for. They are not progressives. Actually, they're not for real change. Basically, they're for staying the course only they'll be more competent than Bush, they argue. The GOP presidential candidates appeal to very conservative voters in the primaries. Today, the GOP leadership is more conservative than their greater political base that. Hopefully, after another resounding defeat in November, the GOP will become more moderate and, thus, more reasonable. If Mr. Obama is the president they'll lose their hate-everything-Clinton as their cause.

I'm keeping my eyes on the big picture here. Either Obama or Clinton will be improvements over the current regime and what the GOP has to offer. I don't want to live in a theocracy, in a country where scientific illiteracy is encouraged! Where instead of moving forward with civil rights & liberties we turn back as the result of a few people (5-6) dressed in black robes who'll make decisions fit for the Dark Ages! These life-tenured appointees will have the chance to shape our lives for many years well after the next president leaves office! I'm talking about the Supreme Court. Yes, this election is also about SCOTUS!

I had to make a choice today in the voting booth, and I picked Obama. It felt good to vote for change. But, this is only one step in exercising the rights & obligations of citizenship. I picked Obama because I believe he'll be the stronger candidate in the general election. He can help the "ticket" down the line giving us stronger majorities in the Congress. I don't know if there's "a spirit of JFK in the air" [I wasn't around then] but impressions and perceptions do matter. Obama seems to bring more Americans out to participate & vote. If he brings out the best from within us, we will indeed make a great leap forward. And, boy, do we need one great leap to get out of this bog....