Wednesday, December 28, 2005
I must speak frankly about the Progressive Movement because I believe all camps can realistically achieve their goals but only by putting aside our natural inclinations to be autonomous and form a more unified movement. Current Methods utilized by our organizations & members are unrealistically applicable to achieving our goals.
What do I mean? We have not won elections, and we are not raising enough money.
We need change, not just within our opponents the ‘Radical Republicans’ but within our very Progressive/Liberal Organizations and Approaches.
I have been involved with crazy protest to formal Democratic Party meetings and I observe that we have forgotten something that may seem fuzzy but is the Truth and strength of our cause. There is Power in numbers.
The strength of our opponents lies in there is power in money.
But we have the numbers, however too many liberal groups don’t even have the desire to form sincere coalitions with other organizations possessing the same goal. We must unify and then move our People or we will continue to loose at the ballot.
We must move Progressives to:
1) Vote, 2) Demonstrate 3) Educate 4) Raise Money
Move.On, the Democratic Party, Civil Rights/Liberties Groups, Veterans for Peace, Camp Casey, Hollywood, Religious Institutions, and Unions (just to name a few) cannot and will not win until we suck it up and work together.
I pose this question? What Tangible things are the Movement doing to push its goals?Demonstrations in themselves are a waist of resources if they are not accompanied with a barrage of other coordinated strategies.
Exhibit #1) One Official National Campaign & Petition circulated by all organizations and activist could have been distributed at the Mass Demonstration on Sept 24th - 26th 2005 collecting over 100,000 verifiable signatures. We now should develop and disseminate a Campaign & Petition adhering to legal standards so that it can be recognizable by and acted upon by the Government. This Central Petition could then be presented to the Supreme Court, the President, and Congress.
Exhibit #2) The Time Line. From personal observation, Progressive Organizations and the Democratic Party are setting Timelines for 2006, and placing greater emphasis on 2008. These plans are setting the Movement up for failure. Push the timelines and focus the present energies of these citizens Now! The People of our country are speaking up Now! We cannot wait until 2006 to gamble on Congressional Races, and 2008 to place our full hand on one Presidential race. Our strategies need to pick up Now! We need to push to End the War in Iraq Now, to Have Investigations Now, to Stop Legislation Now, to Impeach the President Now! All of these in addition to directing resources towards the elections of 2006 & 2008. We cannot simply focus on Candidates & Election Cycles but also on our issues.
Exhibit #3) The Constitution must be the foundation for our agenda. Dissenting arguments & Ideological insignificancies against the Iraq War and Bush’s initiatives as President have no merit if they are not in relation to what we believe to be illegal actions in violation of our Constitution and other laws. Furthermore, Conspiracy Theories and Ideological Views may very well be true, but not credible until they are proven. We must work within the United State’s system of Democracy to make change and push for non-partisan investigation of these credible theories & allegations.
A) Define High Crimes and Misdemeanors according to the Constitution clearly & unbiased. State these definitions along with the Movements accusations in speeches and publications.
B) Define what is meant by War Crimes and Humanitarian violations as applicable to the Constitution, Geneva Conventions, matters of Imprisonment, Due Process, and International Laws. According to the U.S. Constitution the U.S. President can be removed from office in violation of International Laws, Agreements, Obligations and possibly violations of Standards of Human Rights.
C) Finally, there is a matter that has not been addressed but I believe could lead to resignations from President Bush to Prime Ministers Tony Blair to Cabinet Secretaries to Military Generals. The United Sates and our closet ally Great Britain are Democracies, specifically the U.S. is a Republic. However boring and insipid it may seem, the Chief Executive (President G.W. Bush) knowingly not adhering to the principles of Democracy and authorities given within the Constitution is criminal. The Constitution of the United States of America the cornerstone of our society grants the People the Power of Oversight via the Congress. The Constitution grants Congress the power of investigation which approximates the power of Oversight.
Let us discuss the matter of Information provided to the Public as it relates to Congress, the United Nations, and International Organizations specifically in regards to Declaring War and its direct relationship to the Constitutionally Power of Oversight by the People. The President nor anyone in the Government has any Right, Constitutional Power, nor Authority to “fix”, alter or manipulate such information in any form specifically in relation to Declaring War. In my opinion this would not only be defined as an act greater than a “High Crime & Misdemeanors” as required by the Constitution for Impeachment but synonymous to Treason. By American Law, Treason is a capital offense, punishable by death.
Am I wrong? Such an act I assert has been committed by President G.W. Bush has and is causing unjustified American deaths in Iraq & Afghanistan? This duty in providing unadulterated information specifically in the matter of War is, and I cannot say any more strongly, a sacred duty placed at the responsibility of our President , Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces.The Progressive Movement needs bright lawyers with clear unbiased, non-partisan minds to explore this Constitutional Power of Oversight belonging only to the People via Congress. In light of recent events we certainly cannot rely on any ‘Radical Republican’ to stand up with integrity.
This Power of Oversight must also be evaluated as it relates to Government Officials, Agencies & Offices providing information and in light of Hurricane Katrina services to the Public. The duty of the President and Congress, if any and if so the appropriate punishment for this derelict and/or abuse of these offices of Public Service.
There are also other issues that have been effectively mucked up by the White House. They include but are not limited too Information provided to the Public and too Congress in relation to this Constitution Power of Oversight, clear unethical & immoral correlations between Dick Cheney his role as Vice President, his former position as Secretary of Defense, his relationships with the Oil Industry, and how this literally ties into the company of Halliburton. President Bush’s role as President as it relates to the Oil Industry and his knowledge of unethical acts involving his Vice President. And even more pressing possible illegal and Impeachment violations of the U.S. Constitution in regards to Domestic Surveillance.
What I believe is urgent and must be pushed aggressively by the Movement and other agreeing citizens are a Series of Independent Non-Partisan (not bi-partisan) Investigations to answer these questions. I speak respectively to my Republican and Conservative friends, you call many assertions stated in this letter as lies or conspiracy theory. If you are truly honorable to the flag of our great nation you cannot object and I pray you will join in this call demanding for such Investigations. Influenced by no Political Party, but only guided by American Standards of Justice.
The White House and Congress are fully aware it is their interest to prevent Independent Investigation (s). But I ask you, is this suppressment of investigation (s) in the interest of you, your family, your money and your nation?
One was the annual spending for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.
Its final passage went almost unnoticed Wednesday night, because the Senate declined to take a roll call on a measure that reduces funding for popular social programs by more than $1 billion.
Lawmakers then passed a second spending bill that lops another 1 percent from the same programs.
According to Bob Greenstein, executive director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the cuts include a $350 million reduction in child and family services programs, including Head Start, a cut of 4 percent, he says. That means there will be 25,000 fewer Head Start slots for low-income children.
A separate budget bill approved by the Senate Wednesday got somewhat more attention, after Vice President Dick Cheney cast a tie-breaking vote.
That measure would reduce spending for Medicaid, Medicare and other major health and welfare programs.
"Today what we voted on means that we're going to cut entitlement spending, slow that growth by $40 billion," said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN). "It demonstrates fiscal responsibility. It shows that we're going to eliminate wasteful Washington spending."
Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) said that Democrats were overreaching when they claimed the cuts would hurt poor people.
"What we've done here today is we've made some changes to those programs that make those programs better, more efficient and more targeted to the people in need," Santorum said. "That is not cutting benefits to those who are entitled to entitlements; it is making those programs work better and in the context of more fiscal responsibility."
But Greenstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities disagreed.
"Rhetoric saying things like 'Oh, this just slows the rate of growth' makes it sound like low-income families are getting expanded benefits and the benefit will simply expand a little less. That is flatly not true," Greenstein said.
"No knowledgeable person who follows the low-income programs would accept the view that there's no pain to needy and vulnerable people in this bill," he added.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill would, among other things, cut funding for enforcement of child support, resulting in children losing some $8 billion. Also, poor families would pay more for their health care. And seniors would have a harder time qualifying for nursing home care.
Greenstein says one of the most potentially damaging provisions would require those applying for Medicaid to present proof of citizenship -- either a birth certificate or passport.
Many low-income Americans don't have access to their birth certificates -- or don't have one at all.
For example, African Americans born in the south in the 1930s and '40s -- as many as 20 percent, according to one study -- don't have birth certificates because hospitals wouldn't accept black women in labor.
As a result, Greenstein says, "We're facing the prospect of significant numbers of elderly black Americans being thrown off of Medicaid because they can't provide a birth certificate -- because they weren't born in a hospital due to discrimination."
The budget bill that passed the Senate by one vote, however, is not yet on its way to President Bush. Senate Democrats forced a small change that requires the House to vote again. So there could be further revisions.
That prospect has given groups that oppose the measure another month to try to reverse the handful of votes that would change the outcome.
The seniors group AARP is leading the opposition.
"We're gonna give it our best shot," said AARP's David Certner, "to really educate people what is in this bill, why the choices that were made in this bill were so bad, why it was such a problem to go after poor people on Medicaid and deny people long-term care, and yet give a pass to the pharmaceutical industry and the managed care industry."
Certner was referring to the fact that negotiators for the House and Senate dropped provisions that would have cut spending at the expense of drug and managed-care companies.
For example, one jettisoned provision would have required drugmakers to offer deeper discounts on drugs sold to Medicaid. Instead, most of the reductions in federal outlays rely on boosting the amount that low-income Americans must pay for prescription drugs.
My Opinion: The Iraq War alone cost America $80 Billion Dollars a Year. The Government needs to cut from the Department of Defense and take care of its citizens. Contact your Representative and let them know you do not support how the are spending your Tax Dollars. And that thier vote for this Budget will cost them your vote.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
There is growing information bringing forth revelations of why G.W. Bush has nominated Samuel Alito.
It is becoming ever more clear why G.W. Bush first nominated Harriet Miers and now, another friend of his, Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court. These 2 different persons, of extremely different qualifications but possessing 2 similar characteristics: loyalty to Bush and possessing the same elite social affiliations.
G.W. Bush is being faced with several legal disasters that could lead to his Impeachment and/or criminal trial. In his interest Bush has nominated persons that have shown they place loyalty, political ideology, social affiliations, justice, and truth above the rule of the Constitution.
Let me be strongly clear about this situation with Domestic Surveillance, authorized by now seating President G.W. Bush and executed by the NSA. I am not outraged about such a Program, but I am outraged that the Courts were overridden in this matter. President Reagan, Bush I, or Clinton are in question but G.W. Bush is. The Office of President does not have hold judicial authority nor legislative powers which all were used in this situation authorizing ‘warrants’ to be issued upon U.S. citizens without first being heard thru the FISA Courts. Let me very clear, because all you Bush supporters fail to hear what folk like me are saying. I don’t give a damn about foreign terrorist, but when it comes to a U.S. citizen flat out, established law must be followed with ZERO deviation.
These legal disasters that G.W. Bush may soon be investigated on include matters dealing with the Iraq War, Habeus Corpus, International Law, Human Rights, War Powers Authorized by Congress specifically for the Iraq War, Domestic Surveillance & Wire Taps on U.S. citizens. The Supreme may be asked to rule of such matters.
President G.W. Bush is fully aware that Nominee Samuel Alito will vote in his favor, and that is precisely why his nomination must not pass. Judge Samuel Alito is simply a nominee to the Supreme Court, he is not yet a Justice, to serve for life.
AP Reports on Alito
WASHINGTON - Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito defended the right of government officials to order domestic wiretaps for national security when he worked at the Reagan Justice Department, an echo of President Bush's rationale for spying on U.S. residents in the war on terror.
Then an assistant to the solicitor general, Alito wrote a 1984 memo that provided insights on his views of government powers and legal recourse — seen now through the prism of Bush's actions — as well as clues to the judge's understanding of how the Supreme Court operates.
The National Archives released the memo and scores of other documents related to Alito on Friday; the Associated Press had requested the material under the Freedom of Information Act. The memo comes as Bush is under fire for secretly ordering domestic spying of suspected terrorists without a warrant.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said Monday he would ask Alito about the president's authority at confirmation hearings beginning Jan. 9. The memo's release Friday prompted committee Democrats to signal that they will press the conservative jurist about executive powers.The memo dealt with whether government officials should have blanket protection from lawsuits when authorizing wiretaps. "I do not question that the attorney general should have this immunity," Alito wrote. "But for tactical reasons, I would not raise the issue here."Despite Alito's warning that the government would lose, the Reagan administration took the fight to the Supreme Court in the case of whether Nixon's attorney general, John Mitchell, could be sued for authorizing a warrantless domestic wiretap to gather information about a suspected terrorist plot.The FBI had received information about a conspiracy to destroy utility tunnels in Washington and to kidnap Henry Kissinger, then national security adviser, to protest the Vietnam War.In its court brief, the government argued for absolute immunity for the attorney general on matters of national security."The attorney general's vital responsibilities in connection with intelligence gathering and prevention in the field of national security are at least deserving of absolute immunity as routine prosecutorial actions taken either by the attorney general or by subordinate officials."When the attorney general is called upon to take action to protect the security of the nation, he should think only of the national good and not about his pocketbook," the brief said.Signing the document was Rex E. Lee, then the solicitor general, officials from the Justice Department and Alito.Alito's analysis about the court and the need for an incremental legal strategy proved prescient. The case ultimately led to a 1985 ruling by the Supreme Court that the attorney general and other high level executive officials could be sued for violating people's rights, in the name of national security, with such actions as domestic wiretaps."The danger that high federal officials will disregard constitutional rights in their zeal to protect the national security is sufficiently real to counsel against affording such officials an absolute immunity," the court held.However, the court said Mitchell was protected from suit, because when he authorized the wiretap he did not realize his actions violated the Fourth Amendment.The decision was consistent with the Supreme Court's unanimous ruling in 1972 that it was unconstitutional for the government to conduct wiretaps without court approval despite the Nixon administration's argument that domestic anti-war groups and other radicals were a threat to national security.Alito had advised his bosses to appeal the case on narrow procedural grounds but not seek blanket immunity."There are also strong reasons to believe that our chances of success will be greater in future cases," he wrote. He noted that then-Justice William H. Rehnquist would be a key vote and would recuse himself from the Nixon-era case.The documents were among 45 released by the National Archives as the holiday weekend approached. A total of 744 pages were made public. The White House and Sen. John Cornyn (news, bio, voting record), R-Texas, a member of the Judiciary Committee, dismissed any link between the 1984 memo to Bush's authorization of electronic surveillance without a warrant to thwart terrorism. "Any connection between Judge Alito's 1984 memorandum and the current discussion of terrorist surveillance by the NSA is a real stretch," Cornyn said in a statement. But Democrats seized on the memo and vowed to press Alito on the matter at his confirmation hearings. "At a time when the nation is faced with revelations that the administration has been wiretapping American citizens, we find that we have a nominee who believes that officials who order warrantless wiretaps of Americans should be immune from legal accountability," said Sen. Edward Kennedy (news, bio, voting record), D-Mass. Bush picked Alito to take the Supreme Court seat held by Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who is retiring. Among the documents released Friday was a June 1985 memo in which Alito said abortion rights should be overturned but recommended a roadmap of dismantling them piece by piece instead of a "frontal assault on Roe v. Wade." The June abortion memo contained the same Alito statements as one dated May 30, 1985, which the National Archives released in November — but with a forward note from Reagan administration Solicitor General Charles Fried acknowledging the volatility of the issue and saying it had to be kept quiet.
"I need hardly say how sensitive this material is, and ask that it have no wider circulation," Fried wrote.
Alito, a federal appellate court judge, has been seeking to assure senators that he would put his private views aside when it came time to rule on abortion as a justice. O'Connor has been a supporter of the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling affirming a woman's constitutional right to an abortion. “
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
“The Beginning of the End to the Bush Administration”
Warrant less domestic surveillance authorized by President George W. Bush conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA) may be in violation of the U.S. Constitution. These violations such as wire taps on U.S. citizens also show a disregard for civil liberties and the Right for Privacy.
Supporters of the President state that President G.W. Bush was simply doing his duty to protect the American public. Supporters also state that there is no evidence that abuses on and subsequent action upon U.S. citizens and organizations have occurred.
In my opinion these denials of guilt do not hold water. Why not? First think on this philosophy by a former president and general the Honorable Dwight Eisenhower: “we must not trade honor, for security.” Are we going to sacrifice our strongly held American values of freedom and civil liberties in the name of security? Hell No, it is the job of the President to provide for our security within the parameters of established law without abandoning the freedoms he was elected to preserve.
Secondly, knowledge of abuses on U.S. citizens do not come forth because these activities are done in secret.
Much faith is lost in G.W. Bush as I observe him speak and he appears to be almost disgusted with leaks of information and news agencies that report on such activities. How can our President continue to do his job if he sincerely believes that he can authorize and direct U.S. Government Agencies in secret according to no law, and at the very least subject to Congressional oversight. A belief held on the premise that War Powers grant the President such authorities. This assertion is clearly false because provisions within the Courts explicitly set law during War. The President simply does not possess the authority nor legal right to circumvent establish law even during War.
It is in my opinion that he cannot contine to do his job, and in these admitted 30 different authorizations by G.W. Bush to circumvent established Law in using the Courts to administer surveillance warrants specifically against U.S. citizens. There are, in these actions, do justification to remove President G.W. Bush from the Office of President of the United States of America.
Christian Science Monitor Reports:
FOX Entertainment Reports:
New York Times Reports:
USA Today Reports:
Yahoo News Reports:
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
I'm writing once again to express deep concerns about the direction our nation is headed, and to discuss President Bush's proposed "Ownership Society". I write with all do respect to our nation's leader, President George W. Bush.
The major obstacles impeding America’s system of democracy and capitalism from leading the world is its great disparity of wealth between the poor, working families, and the rich. Policy that bridge these gaps must be applied before the United States can not only lead militarily, but also economically. In addition we must adhere to policies that can be admired international.
I ask you, to think upon those whom are part of our society that do not own anything? About those that do not have the resources to own a home, business, health insurance, stock, mutual funds, or a retirement plan. About those that are productive citizens but are not concerned with ownership, but with living, paying thier bills, and with simply surviving.
The United States of America, a great nation of wealth, has millions of people in this “society”. They are too the President's constituents rendering the presidency and its powers not simply subject to the agendas of the Republican nor Democratic Parties, but obligated to serve every citizen; rich, middle class, or poor.
President Bush and Congress should make efforts to elevate ALL Americans to a point in which they can participate in this “Ownership Society”? If this is not their collective goal, then they are neglect to their duty to the American people.
Instead of simply criticism I will offer specific examples of programs that must be improved and/or fully funded.
Programs that create Jobs that earn at the minimum a living wage. What do I mean by a ‘living wage’. No American that is a productive tax paying citizen working full time should struggle with: Healthcare, and basic utilities. Is this too much to ask of America?
Fully Funding all programs that offer financial assistance to qualified students. Politicians must posses the compassion to realize that and to not deny a bright young person that happens to come from a poor family the opportunity to gain a higher education.
Economic Development Programs that directly invest and create jobs in improvised communities.
Welfare Programs with incentives linked to education and employment achievements for those capable. And compassion for those not capable.
There are two directions our country can move: forward or backward. The nation’s economic prosperity cannot progress if a segment of the population’s economic stability is not merely stagnant, but moving backwards. The measures implemented in 2000 which will continue passed 2009 that increased the financial foundation for the rich, and corporate America are over weighted favoring the already wealthy. They also show a lack of responsibility to and planning for domestic policy.
Measures such as tax breaks during a recession, high unemployment, wars, and a sky rocketing national deficit show ignorance and an utter lack of compassion on crucial real & pressing money snatching matters affecting the majority of American citizens. Housing, Heating, Insurance, Gas, Utilities, and Consumable prices continue to snatch our money while wages remain stagnant. In light of these conditions this ‘Ownership Society’ will be impossible for millions to reach because they will be left with no disposable income.
The publics apathy and misseducation on these multiplicity of issues is expected, but it is the job of the White House and Congress to give them due attention. "Conservatives" overwhelmingly winning elections though out the nation is not a mandate endorsing a neglect to the responsibility to the pure national good.
Health Care is neither affordable, or accessible. In my opinion Health Care must be gradually converted into a public good. Only after this problem is solved do I believe the public will support efforts to re shape Social Security. How can we in good conscience allow for a corporation to gain at the expense of someone's life and livelihood? There is simply no reason that healthcare should cost what it does, prices are artificially inflated and must be readjusted and regulated. Health Care is not similar to making a bad financial decision. In most occasions health problems are matters out of our control. Yes, there should be room for profit, but also fair to the public. For Example: Most health plans are capped at $100,000. A major surgery and hospital stay can far exceed this amount. This is one of many matters that should be regulated upon insurance companies. Health Care is a right and is in the interest of all Americans. Comprehensive Health Care is a necessity which must be made accessible and attainable to all Americans. The vested interest in insurance companies to earn profit instead of saving lives, and promoting a good quality of life is borderline criminal. And the neglect of the nation’s leaders to correct this problem is pure incompetence.
There are fewer jobs. An Ownership Society CANNOT exist with this condition. The country must be 1) prospering , 2) have low unemployment, 3) and have good paying jobs available (especially if President Bush's Social Security reforms are enacted).
President Bush calls for education and hard work , but he allows for financial assistance (Pell Grants) to be decreased. This is in direct contradiction to his proclaimed goal to create an "Ownership Society". I ask you Mr. President, what society do those that own nothing belong too? I ask you Mr. President to what society do those that have no resources to own a home, business, health insurance belong too? And when you respond as you already have that the key is for them to get an education, I ask you why have Pell grants not been increased? And after these people follow your words and get an education, and at that point in time they only own a $40,000 student loan, I ask you where are the jobs?
President Bush's foreign policy has created a world turned against us, and anxious of our unjustified actions. Russia has reestablished vestiges of a dictatorship. Europe is competing and humiliated us in an economic and cultural struggle. China is unaffected by our sanctions. North Korea and Iran can be expected to make progress towards nuclear armament for only reason, our unjustified invasion and incompetent intelligence. We are criticizing and alienating the United Nations, an ally as committed as Great Britain, simply because they desired to what is procedurally correct, humanitarian, justifiable and credible. The same standards we should never negate. And do we forget this organization is housed in New York City, and that we serve on its Security Council.
We have seen ethical & moral deterioration within Congress and the White House. National policy under the Bush administration possesses an utter lack of respect for and disregard for universal human rights, military codes of ethics, and the policies of the Geneva Convention as indicative at Abu Grave & Guantanamo Bay Prisons. And also seen in Congressional leaders changing rules of ethics to suit their self-interest and neglecting their duty to preserving the pure uncorrupt essence of American Democracy.
We are seeing a decrease in funding for social services while concurrently out of pocket expenses on all levels have increased. The average American citizen has less money and fewer savings.
The Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have drained the nation of resources and divided us ideologically. Every year President Bush requests $80 Billion more to fund these wars. The justification for these wars has now been disproved and leaders from both parties allow for the White House to change its story and reasons for justification. The ends do not justify the means.
President Bush claims to be a Christian, as I have been all my life. So I must ask where is his compassion towards the poor in this country. Where is his compassion towards the workingmen, women, and families in our country? Where is his compassion to the human beings we imprison, allow to be “tortured” and assert they have no human rights in Iraq & Afghistan (some whom are American citizens). Where is his compassion to Innocent Iraqi citizens & children who are killed in their own homes because of our actions.
In Iraq the death toll of civilians is 10 times greater than that of our soldiers and civilian contractors. Terrorism is growing exponentially and the White House, Department of State, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Congress, and the military forgets that a martyr is worth more than an American paycheck towards recruiting countless sympathizers to the causes against our nation. This is simply the result of killing a true (“Fanatical Muslim”) terrorist.
But what! But what about the pure hatred created towards the United States of America because of the death of an innocent child. Do we forget that Christianity itself gets its strength from a martyr, in Jesus Christ? Where, President G.W. Bush and Dick Cheney is your compassion for the streets of Afghanistan, dripping with heroin? And where is your faith towards the dead American soldiers who may have given their lives in vain? And where is there an increase in the area of domestic programs right here in America? And in what ways has your proclaimed faith in God guided and prevailed in any of these matters?
The revelations found within the Downing Street Memo/Minutes where British Prime Minister Tony Blair, our 'closet ally' substantiated claims that President George W. Bush and his Administrators knowingly fixed intelligence to promote the War in Iraq before September 11, 2001 brings heightened importance to my concerns..
This Ownership Society of President George W. Bush would leave millions of American citizens behind. The millions that are concerned with living, paying their bills, providing basic needs for their family and whom presently are not even capable of reaching his idea of "ownership".
What will the White House and Congress do to decrease great economic disparities found in every segment of our nation? For example; clear economic disparities, cultural and structural restraints within the African American community? How can our nation’s leaders expect that the United States can prosper as whole if any segment is left behind and neglected? The working class will have no benefit from President Bush's plans for an “ownership society” and I predict these plans will further put our nation on a road to economic failures. For example: see the value of the dollar, see the trade deficit, see the national deficit, see the stock market, see the decrease in average household income, see the decline in average wages and salaries.
It is my hope that these issues will be brought to the forefront. That these plans for an "Ownership Society" will put forth aggressive programs to deal will economic disparities and enable all Americans willing and qualified to be able grasp the cornerstone to this “society“; an education. And with our nation's present economic situation I pray our nation’s leaders can assure that good paying jobs will be available, which is the foundation for this entire plan of an ownership society. However, this is only true if our President and government are sincere in their intentions and actions.
The current mentality of political leaders is that “government is not the solution, but the problem.” I beg to differ. It is the role of government to allocate tax dollars in the service and interest of its citizens. Our Constitution clearly establishes the role of government in promoting the common good of our nation. Everyman & woman for himself is not inherently an American value. This approach is a plan for failure as seen in our nation's response to Hurricane Katrina. Where was the Government, where were the non-profits, where was the private sector? It was and shall always be the role of Government to act and protect its citizens in such disasters.
In addition as seen with Corporations defaulting on agreed upon Pension Plans the private sector cannot be trusted to uphold its responsibilities to its employees.
It is also my hope that we finally see an end to excuses, diverting the blame for mistakes and a renewed focus on the true needs of All Americans. The accountability for the state of our nation lies more with no one, but our President.
-Anthony T. Brooks
Monday, December 12, 2005
Opposition to Samuel Alito is necessary to preserve the Right of Privacy. As seen with the tragic life of Teri Schaivo and the intervention of Republican politicians into this private family matter they will go to the farthest lengths to push their warped ideological agenda. As far as placing someone on the Supreme Court that will ignore this Right to Privacy in order to dismantle a women’s right to choose an abortion.In addition, Mr. Alito will render judgments that side with Corporations. In light of the state of our economic where business slash agreed upon Pension Plans, I will be damned if we need a Supreme Court Justice that is in their pocket.
Furthermore it is in my humble opinion that allegations of corruption on the part of G.W. Bush & his ‘Administrators’ leaves America to discuss not approving another Supreme Court nominee and frankly leaving this seat vacant until the next President fills it. The Senate can and must consider this option, it being a life-time appointment. President in G.W. Bush whose approval, trust, integrity, and competents is in deep question cannot appoint someone that will determine the pillar of American Justice for decades to come.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Colin Powell, the highest ranking former member of the Bush Administration who I personally believe is man of character and who intended to have the best interest of the United States in mind. That is precisely why he is no longer in our service. Frankly, he was fired for actually serving the American people well.
I know without a doubt that when compared to President Bush's telling Former FEMA Director Mike Brown that he was doing a hell of a job, but not keeping Colin Powell as Secretary of State that the President G.W. Bush and his 'Administrators' are corrupt.
Colin Powell, the soldier, the diplomat, the general, public servant was the only shining light within the Bush Administration.
(CNN) -- A former top aide to Colin Powell says his involvement in the former secretary of state's presentation to the United Nations on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was "the lowest point" in his life.
"I wish I had not been involved in it," says Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, a longtime Powell adviser who served as his chief of staff from 2002 through 2005. "I look back on it, and I still say it was the lowest point in my life."
Wilkerson is one of several insiders interviewed for the CNN Presents documentary "Dead Wrong -- Inside an Intelligence Meltdown." The program pieced together the events leading up to the mistaken WMD intelligence that was presented to the public. A presidential commission that investigated the pre-war WMD intelligence found much of it to be "dead wrong."
Powell's speech, delivered on February 5, 2003, made the case for the war by presenting U.S. intelligence that purported to prove that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Wilkerson says the information in Powell's presentation initially came from a document he described as "sort of a Chinese menu" that was provided by the White House.
"(Powell) came through the door ... and he had in his hands a sheaf of papers, and he said, 'This is what I've got to present at the United Nations according to the White House, and you need to look at it,'" Wilkerson says in the program. "It was anything but an intelligence document. It was, as some people characterized it later, sort of a Chinese menu from which you could pick and choose."
Wilkerson and Powell spent four days and nights in a CIA conference room with then-Director George Tenet and other top officials trying to ensure the accuracy of the presentation, Wilkerson says.
"There was no way the Secretary of State was going to read off a script about serious matters of intelligence that could lead to war when the script was basically un-sourced," Wilkerson says.
In one dramatic accusation in his speech, Powell showed slides alleging that Saddam had bioweapons labs mounted on trucks that would be almost impossible to find.
"In fact, Secretary Powell was not told that one of the sources he was given as a source of this information had indeed been flagged by the Defense Intelligence Agency as a liar, a fabricator," says David Kay, who served as the CIA's chief weapons inspector in Iraq after the fall of Saddam. That source, an Iraqi defector who had never been debriefed by the CIA, was known within the intelligence community as "Curveball."
After searching Iraq for several months across the summer of 2003, Kay began e-mailing Tenet to tell him the WMD evidence was falling apart. At one point, Wilkerson says, Tenet called Powell to tell him the claims about mobile bioweapons labs were apparently not true.
"George actually did call the Secretary, and said, 'I'm really sorry to have to tell you. We don't believe there were any mobile labs for making biological weapons,'" Wilkerson says in the documentary. "This was the third or fourth telephone call. And I think it's fair to say the Secretary and Mr. Tenet, at that point, ceased being close. I mean, you can be sincere and you can be honest and you can believe what you're telling the Secretary. But three or four times on substantive issues like that? It's difficult to maintain any warm feelings."
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
After Protest, after falling approval ratings, failure in Iraq, failure to respond to Hurricane Katrina, an economy on the edge I believe it is about time that Conservatives, Moderates, Liberals and Independents agree at the very least that a change within our Government is needed now!
You should be concerned. The policies, lack of action & leadership of the current Republican led Government is not benefiting you and your family. My friends our current Government in the President, the Senate and the House or Representatives are controlled by the Republican Party. It seems that a call for change today, has merit. There must be a balance of ideologies running our nation.
I suggest that American Organizations, Politicians, and Individuals to respectively demand for non-partisan practical action in regards to:
1. Victims of Hurricane Katrina
2. The Iraq War: Congress has the opportunity in December 2005 to end this quagmire & debacle! This month Congress will vote on the Budget for the Wars in Iraq & Afghanistan. Senators & Representatives whom do not vote to cut funding entirely for the Wars or at least vote for a reduction bring question if they should be reelected to serve the People of the United States of America.
3. The Economy, Job Sustainability, and Job Creation (employee pay/benefits & employer obligations)
4. Balancing the Budget and addressing the Deficit
5. Corruption in Government: we need to clean house. Politicians, Bureaucrats, and Generals need to resign, be investigated, be fired, or be removed.
6. Supreme Court Nominee Samuel Alito: allegations of corruption on the part of G.W. Bush & his ‘Administrators’ leaves America to discuss not approving another Supreme Court nominee and frankly leaving this seat vacant until the next President fills it. The Senate can and must consider this option, it being a life-time appointment. President in G.W. Bush whose approval, trust, integrity, and competents is in deep question cannot appoint someone that will determine the pillar of American Justice for decades to come.
You can make a difference. Write a letter, make a phone call, donate your money, vote, go to a protest, join a group but don’t sit back an let your country go to shit.
-Anthony T. Brooks
Checks & Balances Blog
Monday, December 05, 2005
President Bush created the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees natural dissipaters. This new Department funded by Billions in Tax Dollars did not work as seen with Hurricane Katrina. Even now months after Katrina this government has not properly served the victims of this disaster. In addition, the 9/11 Commission has reported the U.S. has failed to prepare the nation for another Terrorist attack. So I ask, what is the use for the Dept. of Homeland Security? I propose eliminating this Department and reallocating this money to local communities to improve infrastructure that will create jobs and add to security. Example: improving Transportation that will help in evacuations.
President Bush took us to War in Iraq. His justifications are false, and we are failing in the War.
GM, one of America’s largest employers is cutting 1/3 of its jobs.
Natural Disasters, Wars, maintaining the Economy. These are the things Americans put in the care & trust of their President. And I do not use the word “trust” lightly. What is Bush Doing? When the President/CEO of a company fails they are Fired.
What happens when the president of a country fails. What recourse do WE the People have? Impeachment, Forced Resignation, Protest & Civil Disobedience, a Trial for deliberately misleading & misinforming the People, a Revolt?
Your comments are welcome.
9/11 Commission Report:
Yes, Democrats and Republicans hate Saddam, but Justice is Justice. He needs a fair trial, his co-defendants and lawyers given proper protections according to American standards.
Profile of Saddam Hussein:
Monday, November 28, 2005
Recently I wrote my Congressman Senator Mel Martinez in regards to my opposition to budget cuts to Programs such as Student Financial Aid, Pell Grants, and Stanford Loans, Medicare, Medicaid, and other Social Programs such as those that fund Church -Faith Based Community Services.
Here is what he had to say:
“Dear Mr. Brooks:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the federal budget. I appreciate hearing from you and would like to respond to your concerns.
The devastation wrought by the recent hurricanes to the Gulf Coast states has left a natural and human disaster the likes of which our nation has never seen. At this point in time, the federal cost of providing assistance, aiding in the recovery, and rebuilding in the affected areas cannot be determined.
In an effort to maintain Congressâ€™s commitment to reducing the federal deficit, Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH), Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Budget, has asked each of the Senate committees to consider policies that would increase mandatory savings beyond their instructed level in the Fiscal Year 2006 Budget Reconciliation.
The budget reconciliation process is an optional procedure that operates as an adjunct to the budget resolution process. The chief purpose of the reconciliation process is to enhance Congressâ€™s ability to change current law in order to bring revenue, spending, and debt-limit levels into conformity with the policies of the annual budget resolution.
The devastating Gulf Coast hurricanes have produced an unanticipated, negative impact on the budget deficit. Each committee is now considering additional policy changes that can be used to help contain the massive federal recovery costs associated with these disasters. Congress is in the process of making tough choices to ensure that the federal response to these disasters is conducted in a responsible manner.
I understand your concerns regarding our federal deficit. Please know, in the coming weeks I will be working with my colleagues in the Senate to find fiscally responsible ways to maintain our commitment to reducing the federal deficit notwithstanding the challenges posed by recent events.
Again, thank you for sharing your views with me.
If you have any other further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me. In addition if you are interested in learning more about policy issues, please feel free to visit my website at http://martinez.senate.gov.
United States Senator”
Initially I wrote Senator Martinez about fiscal responsibility not specifically about Hurricane Katrina but that is what he focused on in his response. No because of a lack of courtesy for my concerns I am compelled to elaborate more fully on what I see has happened after Hurricane Katrina.
The current Republican led Government is a conscious participate in Structural-Institutional Injustice. My friends do you realize that these people in charge of your and my Tax Dollars in Congress have flat out failed the residents affected by Hurricane Katrina? Believe me if this were New York, Beverly Hills, or even my little City of Sarasota helicopters would have picked up victims within hours and the government would have had these folk in new homes by the end of the month. But we are now approximately 3 months past Katrina and not only are victims still in hotels, they are being kicked out.
I’ll be frank! I’m not only talking about poor people on government assistance but middle class working folk that owned their homes. Is it cause many were black? Is it cause they were from New Orleans? It is cause they were from a Democratic state?
This failure of our government to provide for its citizens is certainly is no the victim's fault. Do you, my fellow citizen realize we have supported President G.W. Bush is creating the Dept. of Homeland Security after 911 and it with the Billions of our Tax Dollars it has utterly failed when most needed! Natural disasters can strike anywhere, and next time it may be your family, and your children, stranded on a roof top for 7 days and kicked out of hotel 3 months after loosing your home.
I don’t want to hear Congress people tell me about the deficit. It is about how they prioritize the spending of our money. Money that is there, sitting in line items for the Dept. of Defense and Special Appropriations for the Iraq War. I want to see Congress and the President take care of our people.
I am no mathematician but I calculate approximately $30,000 will be spent per family victim of Katrina for hotel rooms. Correct me if I am wrong, but what idiot politician decided to waiste our money on hotels and not permanent housing for these victims. This money could have been put into reconstruction, created needed jobs. $30,000 could equal a new house, a permanent trailer, a long-term apartment.
Homeless for the Holidays:
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Bad business practices in my opinion are leading to the collapse of major American Industries.
Several major Airlines have filed for Bankruptcy. Car manufactures have decreased their prices. General Motors (GM) announced in November 2005 that it would be cutting 30,000 jobs.
All of these American trends have been occurring while the European Airline industry is booming (Airbus) and Asian Auto Makers are expanding within the United States (Toyota).
American Industries have no cope out or excuse. There are loosing in market competition because of Bad Business Practices:
1) Exorbitant Prices
2) Poor Quality of Product
3) Poor Employee Policies: Pay, Benefits, Retention, Pensions
4) Exorbitant Executive Pay
Bottom Line, these practices that are known by the Consumer leads them to giving their business and money to companies that adhere to better basic business practices. If American companies begin to take care of its employees, not cut jobs, pay Executives reasonable salaries, and produce a good product instead of cutting corners our poor economic future may adjust itself. Common sense, how can we compete with other nations in trade and product production if our capacity to do so is less? Common sense, who will purchase high-priced American products if workers are out of the job and making less money? American Businesses must take care of its workers! This idea at last was at the foundation of our economy.
In other words, the greedy self-serving American business mentality is coming to bite us in the ass.
Monday, November 21, 2005
After Rep. Murtha's call to bring our troops home, he was attacked by Republicans, led by Dick Cheney. But my friend how can anyone object to the pragmatic words of this respected war veteran, who spoke frankly with common sense.
Here is what he had to say:
The Honorable John P. Murtha
(Washington D.C.)- The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion. The American public is way ahead of us. The United States and coalition troops have done all they can in Iraq, but it is time for a change in direction. Our military is suffering. The future of our country is at risk. We can not continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interest of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf Region.
General Casey said in a September 2005 Hearing, “the perception of occupation in Iraq is a major driving force behind the insurgency.” General Abizaid said on the same date, “Reducing the size and visibility of the coalition forces in Iraq is a part of our counterinsurgency strategy.”
For 2 ½ years I have been concerned about the U.S. policy and the plan in Iraq. I have addressed my concerns with the Administration and the Pentagon and have spoken out in public about my concerns. The main reason for going to war has been discredited. A few days before the start of the war I was in Kuwait – the military drew a red line around Baghdad and said when U.S. forces cross that line they will be attacked by the Iraqis with Weapons of Mass Destruction – but the US forces said they were prepared. They had well trained forces with the appropriate protective gear.
I have been visiting our wounded troops at Bethesda and Walter Reed hospitals almost every week since the beginning of the War. And what demoralizes them is going to war with not enough troops and equipment to make the transition to peace; the devastation caused by IEDs; being deployed to Iraq when their homes have been ravaged by hurricanes; being on their second or third deployment and leaving their families behind without a network of support.
The threat posed by terrorism is real, but we have other threats that cannot be ignored. We must be prepared to face all threats. The future of our military is at risk. Our military and their families are stretched thin. Many say that the Army is broken. Some of our troops are on their third deployment. Recruitment is down, even as our military has lowered its standards. Defense budgets are being cut. Personnel costs are skyrocketing, particularly in health care. Choices will have to be made. We can not allow promises we have made to our military families in terms of service benefits, in terms of their health care, to be negotiated away. Procurement programs that ensure our military dominance cannot be negotiated away. We must be prepared. The war in Iraq has caused huge shortfalls at our bases in the U.S. Much of our ground equipment is worn out and in need of either serious overhaul or replacement. George Washington said, “To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.” We must rebuild our Army. Our deficit is growing out of control. The Director of the Congressional Budget Office recently admitted to being “terrified” about the budget deficit in the coming decades. This is the first prolonged war we have fought with three years of tax cuts, without full mobilization of American industry and without a draft. The burden of this war has not been shared equally; the military and their families are shouldering this burden.
Our military has been fighting a war in Iraq for over two and a half years. Our military has accomplished its mission and done its duty. Our military captured Saddam Hussein, and captured or killed his closest associates. But the war continues to intensify. Deaths and injuries are growing, with over 2,079 confirmed American deaths. Over 15,500 have been seriously injured and it is estimated that over 50,000 will suffer from battle fatigue. There have been reports of at least 30,000 Iraqi civilian deaths.
I just recently visited Anbar Province Iraq in order to assess the conditions on the ground. Last May 2005, as part of the Emergency Supplemental Spending Bill, the House included the Moran Amendment, which was accepted in Conference, and which required the Secretary of Defense to submit quarterly reports to Congress in order to more accurately measure stability and security in Iraq. We have now received two reports. I am disturbed by the findings in key indicator areas. Oil production and energy production are below pre-war levels. Our reconstruction efforts have been crippled by the security situation. Only $9 billion of the $18 billion appropriated for reconstruction has been spent. Unemployment remains at about 60 percent. Clean water is scarce. Only $500 million of the $2.2 billion appropriated for water projects has been spent. And most importantly, insurgent incidents have increased from about 150 per week to over 700 in the last year. Instead of attacks going down over time and with the addition of more troops, attacks have grown dramatically. Since the revelations at Abu Ghraib, American casualties have doubled. An annual State Department report in 2004 indicated a sharp increase in global terrorism.
I said over a year ago, and now the military and the Administration agrees, Iraq can not be won “militarily.” I said two years ago, the key to progress in Iraq is to Iraqitize, Internationalize and Energize. I believe the same today. But I have concluded that the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is impeding this progress.
Our troops have become the primary target of the insurgency. They are united against U.S. forces and we have become a catalyst for violence. U.S. troops are the common enemy of the Sunnis, Saddamists and foreign jihadists. I believe with a U.S. troop redeployment, the Iraqi security forces will be incentivized to take control. A poll recently conducted shows that over 80% of Iraqis are strongly opposed to the presence of coalition troops, and about 45% of the Iraqi population believe attacks against American troops are justified. I believe we need to turn Iraq over to the Iraqis. I believe before the Iraqi elections, scheduled for mid December, the Iraqi people and the emerging government must be put on notice that the United States will immediately redeploy. All of Iraq must know that Iraq is free. Free from United States occupation. I believe this will send a signal to the Sunnis to join the political process for the good of a “free” Iraq.
My plan calls:
To immediately redeploy U.S. troops consistent with the safety of U.S. forces. To create a quick reaction force in the region.To create an over- the- horizon presence of Marines. To diplomatically pursue security and stability in Iraq
This war needs to be personalized. As I said before I have visited with the severely wounded of this war. They are suffering.
Because we in Congress are charged with sending our sons and daughters into battle, it is our responsibility, our OBLIGATION to speak out for them. That’s why I am speaking out.
Our military has done everything that has been asked of them, the U.S. can not accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. IT IS TIME TO BRING THEM HOME.
The Honorable Rep. John Murtha:
The Democratic Party Supports Murtha:
Also please consider passing this pledge along to your family, friends, and co-workers.
Republicans must take voting American citizens as fools if they think we believe the way in which they are currently running our government is “fiscally responsible”.
G.W. Bush has borrowed more money than any U.S. President. Yes, more than all Democrat Presidents combined. Wars cost for much more than reasonable Social Programs that Democrats are trying to push. For example: Universal Healthcare. it’s a matter of priorities and fiscal responsibility.
Democrats are for the People. Republicans are for their Pocket.
I quote a Republican calling Muslim Fanaticism as an “evil ideology”. He said that “people of good will” are trying to eliminate such an ideology which believes that a man that kills innocent in the name of their God will have “72 virgins” waiting for him in heaven (I saw a Muslim youth say this on TV).
Now, when it comes to War must we be partisan? Honestly, as a Christian, this concept of defeating evil ideology is important. However Religion/Faith can define “people of good will” through examples such as Jesus Christ.
“And the World was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten son of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” - John 1:14
The Bible says Jesus Christ was “full of truth” As I see it, I gotta tell you the truth:
If America is truly a Christian nation this specific War we are waging on Terror & in Iraq is in itself supporting an “evil ideology”. Let me be very clear: I am not a pacifist, I believe War can be justified. Through the execution of this War in Iraq, we the United States of America are killing innocent people, women, and children. And listen, with no justification! I’m not trying to appeal to Democrats or Republicans but Americans and especially Christians whom may feel a call from the spirit of God.
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace gave himself for the World and the individual soul. It is through this example that America, which proclaims to be a Christian nation must not take for granted one individual life especially when our God tells us, his way, not that of military force is the path to Victory.
Republican leaders say Democrats want to “cut and run” and have no alternative plan for this failing War. Why don’t we contemplate trying this War on Terror God’s way? Being “full of truth”, the Christian Faith and its believers should be called & compelled to demand an immediate end to the War in Iraq. G.W. Bush and Dick Cheney have said ’ don’t loose your memories’. We, the People of the United States of America were told Iraq and Saddam Hussein were a threat to our security, possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction, and were linked to 9/11. All of these allegations told to use are false, therefore there is no truth nor justification for American soldiers to continue to occupy the sovereign nation of Iraq.
-Anthony T. Brooks
Checks & Balances Blog
Thursday, November 17, 2005
"U.S. and coalition troops have done all they can in Iraq," the senior lawmaker said. "It's time for a change in direction.
"He said he believes all the forces could be redeployed over a six-month period.
Murtha, a former Marine Corps colonel and veteran of the Vietnam war, is the first senior lawmaker to call for an immediate withdrawal. Other critics of the war have asked President Bush to set up a timetable for withdrawal. GOP lawmaker: Withdrawal 'a mistake'Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Illinois, blasted Murtha for his comments.
"I am saddened by the comments made today by Rep. Murtha," Hastert said in a statement. "It is clear that as [House Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi's top lieutenant on armed services, Rep. Murtha and Democratic leaders have adopted a policy of cut-and-run. They would prefer that the United States surrender to the terrorists who would harm innocent Americans.
"Rep. Duncan Hunter, a Republican from California and chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, described calls for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq "a mistake," arguing that leaving Iraq would make it appear that America cannot sustain prolonged military operations."I just wanted to remind our friends that now is the time for endurance," Hunter said. "Right now, in Iraq, we are changing the world. ... We're changing a very strategic part of the world in such a way that it will not be a threat to the United States and, in fact, will be an ally in the global war against terror.
"A respected voiceMurtha's call for a withdrawal, however, could have a significant impact on the debate over the future of the Iraq war, as both Democrats and Republicans seek his advice on military and veterans' issues."A man of stature of John Murtha -- that's a pretty heavy hit, I don't mind telling you," said North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter Jones, sponsor of the House resolution that calls for a timetable for withdrawal. "He ... gives a lot of weight to this debate." Jones said he thinks this will make "some Republicans think about their responsibility as relates to the war in Iraq" and that "this is a week that will help further the debate -- ignite the debate."Another Democrat who voted for the war, Rep. Harold Ford of Tennessee, said he had heard of Murtha's comments and wouldn't endorse his call for immediate withdrawal.But, Ford said, "It a powerful statement coming from arguably the most respected voice in the Congress," and it will be hard for the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney to dismiss these comments as easily as other Democratic criticisms on the war. Presence 'uniting enemy against us'Murtha, who has served in the House for over three decades, is the senior Democrat and former chairman of the Defense Appropriations Committee and voted in favor of the Iraq war. Now, he said, the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq are "uniting the enemy against us.""Our military has accomplished its mission and done its duty," he said. "Our military captured Saddam Hussein, captured or killed his closest associates, but the war continues to intensify."He said the redeployment will give Iraqis the incentive to take control of their country.The statement comes amid increasingly heated debate over the Iraq war and the intelligence leading up to the March 2003 invasion. A recent CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll also found the public increasingly dissatisfied with the Iraq war. The poll, released Monday, found that 60 percent of Americans said the war was not worth fighting, while 38 percent said it was worthwhile. (Full story) Monday's poll found that 19 percent of Americans want to see the troops come home now and 33 percent said they wanted them home within a year. Only 38 percent said they should remain "as long as needed." On Tuesday, the Senate also voted 79-19 for an amendment that called for progress reports on the Iraq war every 90 days. The amendment's purpose was "to clarify and recommend changes" to U.S. policy in Iraq. The vote was seen as a reflection of the increasing bipartisan dissatisfaction over the war's progress.On Wednesday, Vice President Dick Cheney dismissed Democratic critics, calling allegations that the administration misled the country as "one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city." (Full story)Murtha took issue with the administration's counter-criticism, specifically President Bush's Veterans Day speech in which he said it is "deeply irresponsible to rewrite how that war began."'Flawed policy'"I resent the fact that on Veterans Day, they criticized Democrats for criticizing them," Murtha said. "This [the war] is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion. The American public knows it, and lashing out at critics doesn't help a bit. You've got to change the policy. That's what's going to help the American people. You need to change direction.
"Murtha -- who recently visited Iraq's Anbar province -- said it is Congress' responsibility to speak out for the "sons and daughters" on the battlefield, and relayed several emotional stories from soldiers recovering at Bethesda's Walter Reed Medical Center.
"I tell you, these young folks are under intense activity over there, I mean much more intense than Vietnam," he said. "You never know when it's going to happen."
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
There is a myth that the United States Government spends to much money on Social Programs like Welfare, and Food Stamps. This is outright false.
Let me break this Down for You:
Spending on Defense & Security = $533 Billion Dollars
Spending on Health, Education, Labor = $141 Billion
Spending for Veterans, Housing & Urban Development = $90 Billion
And to fund efforts to rebuild regions affected by Hurricane Katrina the Republicans don’t look to cutting from Defense but plan on spending more money that we do not have. Call this fiscally responsible? Hell no! It’s Reckless.
The needs of American soldieries, American Veterans, American children & families, American workers are being neglected. Politicians are elected to serve.A specific example of their dereliction of their duty to the People: Republicans are proposing cutting $15 Billion from Education, leaving Veteran Hospitals $1 Billion in the red, and $50 Billion from Social Programs needed for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Money that should have already been in place.
The Dept. of Homeland Security which is funded Billions of your Tax Dollars was created by Bush under his watch but I failed to prepare the nation for a natural disaster.
On Labor, American jobs are being taking by illegal aliens and outsourced to India while at the same time the United States is falling behind other nations in the education & training of its work force.
On Education President Bush said we need to send more people to school and that we would “leave no child behind”. However these budgets cuts seek to do just that in decreasing financial assistance, therefore many poor but bright young people will not even have the opportunity to go to school.
Republicans are even turning their back on funding social programs for Churches which provide vital support to local communities.
I am tired of hearing those of you that blindly support President Bush. Common sense should tell even the strongest Conservative (whom claim to be fiscally responsible) that policies and priorities of the current Administration need to change.
White House Budget:
Churches Oppose Cuts:
Monday, November 14, 2005
I have spent much time on Checks & Balances condemning Republican policy and promoting Democrats. Now in November 2005 the United States finds itself at a moment where we must shed our political affiliations and have a frank discussion on certain matters.
I also ask you this: is your political interest and your side winning so crucial that Integrity, Character and Truthfulness are no longer important, and God forbid, necessary?
Issues where there is a lack of leadership within the United States:
- The economy
- Profiteering by Corporations and Politicians
- Poor approval of the Government
- An economically stretched population
- Uncommon natural disasters raising the issue of global warming
- Energy Independence, and alternative energy technologies
- The Voting System
- The Patriot Acts
- The War in Iraq
- Monetary & tax policies regarding corporations, & the wealthy versus the worker & Consumer
- Health Care
- Work Force Training
Where is the leadership on these matters?
And to fund efforts to rebuild regions affected by Hurricane Katrina they don’t look to cutting from any of the mentioned above but plan on spending more money that we do not have. Call this fiscally responsible? Hell no! It’s Reckless.
The South American President calling Bush “Mr. Danger” however is referring to his economic policies.
Is this Karma, coincidence or all Bush’s fault?In the entire Presidency’s of Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr. and Clinton did the U.S. endure so many negative occurrences? Maybe this title of “Mr. Danger” is warranted.
Friday, November 11, 2005
The Associated Press
Wednesday 09 November 2005
London - In a political blow to Prime Minister Tony Blair, British lawmakers on Wednesday rejected tough anti-terrorism legislation that would have allowed suspects to be detained for 90 days without charge.
The House of Commons vote was the first major defeat of Blair's premiership and raises serious questions about his grip on power. Blair had staked his authority on the measure and doggedly refused to compromise.
Lawmakers, including 49 members of Blair's Labour Party, opted instead for a maximum detention period for terror suspects of 28 days without charge.
Michael Howard, leader of the opposition Conservative Party, said Blair's authority had "diminished almost to vanishing point" and said he should consider resigning.
"This vote shows he is no longer able to carry his own party with him. He must now consider his position," said Howard.
But Blair was defiant. He ruled out resignation and insisted lawmakers had been wrong to put the civil liberties of a small number of terrorists ahead of the "fundamental civil liberty of this country to protection from terrorism."
"The country will think that Parliament has behaved in a deeply irresponsible way today," he added.
Lawmakers voted 322 to 291 against 90-day detentions and backed the 28-day period by 323-290 votes.
The result is a humiliating blow to Blair. For eight years, his Labour government commanded an unassailable lead in the Commons and easily swatted aside opposition to its legislation.
But Blair's popularity has slumped in the wake of the divisive Iraq war, and his party was punished in national elections earlier this year. Labour's huge 161-seat advantage in the Commons shrunk to just 66, making the government vulnerable.
In the immediate aftermath of the July attacks on London's transit system, Blair had considerable cross-party support for new anti-terror legislation.
He drafted the Terrorism Bill, which aims to tackle Muslim extremism by outlawing training in terrorist camps as well encouraging acts of violence and glorifying terrorism.
But the political consensus broke down over the plan to extend the period terror suspects can be held without change from the current 14-day maximum to three months. Authorities argued more time was needed in complex cases where suspects have multiple aliases or where the help of foreign intelligence agencies is needed. But critics countered that extending it to 90 days would erode civil rights.
Blair took a considerable political gamble in refusing to back down and had called in every supporter to shore up numbers. Treasury chief Gordon Brown was called back from an official visit to Israel only two hours after arriving there. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw cut short an official EU visit to Russia, while Labour Party chairman Ian McCartney, who is recuperating from heart surgery, volunteered to return for the vote.
The defeat comes at a difficult time for the prime minister. His party, and even his Cabinet, is split over his plans to encourage greater private sector investment in public services such as health care and education. Earlier this month, Blair's strongest ally, Work and Pensions Secretary David Blunkett, was forced to resign due to a scandal over his business dealings.
The prime minister has said he will not seek a fourth term in office. He could serve until 2010, but pressure for him to quit sooner may intensify following Wednesday's vote.
Bookmakers Ladbrokes cut the odds on Blair stepping down next year from 11 to 4, to 5 to 2 in the wake of the defeat.
"The prime minister has just fallen off the high wire," said Scottish Nationalist Party leader Alex Salmond. "He is a victim of his own arrogance. He may well be on the way out of office."
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Adolf Hitler referred to the “ethnic cleansing” resulting in the death of Jews and other “classes” of people as Regrettable Unfortunate Phenomenon. Some said the Holocaust was in the name of God. I viewed an interview from a survivor, they said a thought they focused on was to “wait a while.” “wait a while”.
As an American citizens no matter your political or religious affiliations you must be aware of the direction our nation is being led. The alarms being raised no longer equate to partisan politics. The International community, President Jimmy Carter, and President Bill Clinton are attempting to raise public awareness. When you hear these former guardians of our democracy speak, what they are saying is practical.
The comparison of specific activities of the G.W. Bush Administration to that of Adolf Hitler possesses merit.
The United States operates under a system of Checks & Balances, however under G.W. Bush’s watch this system has been corrupted threatening our very institution of Democracy. Systematic and Legal changes that are gradually chipping away at freedoms and increasing the tangible powers of the Executive Branch, Law Enforcement and the Military.
These measures were achieved by taking advantage of national disasters such as 9/11 (resulting in the Patriot Acts & Iraq War) Hurricane Katrina (policy of using the Military for Domestic/ Civilian responsibility instead of fixing FEMA), Bird Flu ( a plan to use the Military to quarantine cities instead of utilizing our Health Care Infrastructure). These plans came directly from the G.W. Bush Administration
Adolf Hitler took control of Germany in part by altering laws, usurping existing Ministries/Departments, and through ambiguous laws exactly like the Patriot Acts.
Specifically there are 3 Items that must be done dealt with:
I: Provisions of the Patriotic Act, which permit for sneak and peak searches. Our Constitution guards against unlawful searches and seizures. There should be no exceptions. Provisions which allow for law enforcement to have surveillance on citizens or seek information on a citizens without first going through judge. These provisions overrides the People’s power of Oversight.
II. Detaining Prisoners, the U.S. now under G.W. Bush’s watch has a policies that are in the “spirit of the Geneva Convention” towards detainees. In my opinion this is crime. I strongly believe we should follow the Geneva Convention and other humanitarian standards with no exceptions.
II. Voting: the situation with voting machines must be corrected immediately. There should not be any voting district that cannot be accurately audited. Furthermore citizens being given a receipt after they vote is entirely reasonable.
“Divide & Rule” was Hitler’s policy. It is to the advantage of politicians for our nation to be divided. But let me tell you, there is no reason why America cannot pursue policy that benefits all of its citizens and that adheres completely to its Constitution, with no exceptions and no ambiguous interpretations.
Also, with all do respect to President George W. Bush and advocates for the present Wars, what do you call the civilians and children dying in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunate Phenomenon? How much longer must these people live in such conditions? And how much longer will the American people continue to permit & tolerate bad leaders to take our country in the wrong direction?
President Jimmy Carter Speaks on Secret Prisons:
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democrats forced the Republican-controlled Senate into an unusual closed session Tuesday, questioning intelligence that led to the Iraq war and deriding a lack of congressional inquiry."I demand on behalf of the America people that we understand why these investigations aren't being conducted," Democratic leader Harry Reid said.Taken by surprise, Republicans derided the move as a political stunt."The United States Senate has been hijacked by the Democratic leadership," said Majority Leader Bill Frist. "They have no convictions, they have no principles, they have no ideas," the Republican leader said.Reid demanded the Senate go into closed session. The public was ordered out of the chamber, the lights were dimmed, and the doors were closed. No vote is required in such circumstances.Pre-war intelligence at issueReid's move shone a spotlight on the continuing controversy over intelligence that President Bush cited in the run-up to the war in Iraq. Despite prewar claims, no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq, and some Democrats have accused the administration of manipulating the information that was in their possession.Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was indicted last Friday in an investigation that touched on the war, the leak of the identity of a CIA official married to a critic of the administration's Iraq policy. (Full story)"The Libby indictment provides a window into what this is really all about, how this administration manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to sell the war in Iraq and attempted to destroy those who dared to challenge its actions," Reid said before invoking Senate rules that led to the closed session.Libby resigned from his White House post after being indicted on charges of obstruction of justice, making false statements and perjury.Democrats contend that the unmasking of Valerie Plame was retribution for her husband, Joseph Wilson, publicly challenging the Bush administration's contention that Iraq was seeking to purchase uranium from Africa. That claim was part of the White House's justification for going to war.A rare moveSen. Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, said Reid was making "some sort of stink about Scooter Libby and the CIA leak."A former majority leader, Lott said a closed session was appropriate for such overarching matters as impeachment and chemical weapons -- the two topics that last sent the senators into such sessions.In addition, Lott said, Reid's move violated the Senate's tradition of courtesy and consent. But there was nothing in Senate rules enabling Republicans to thwart Reid's effort.As Reid spoke, Frist met in the back of the chamber with a half-dozen senior GOP senators, including Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, who bore the brunt of Reid's criticism. Reid said Roberts reneged on a promise to fully investigate whether the administration exaggerated and manipulated intelligence leading up to the war."
Monday, October 31, 2005
We went into Iraq to find WMD’s and to protect the United State’s Homeland and there were none. We have Saddam in custody. Mission Accomplished?
I see no more reason for United States troops to be in Iraq.
What is the Mission?
How can an unjustified War have a mission? Following this premise, how can the death of these soldiers be honored?
How do we define a completed Mission in Iraq?
Last week, the United Methodist Church Board of Church and Society--the social action committee of the church that both President Bush and Vice President Cheney belong to--resoundingly passed a resolution calling for withdrawal with only two 'no' votes and one abstention.
"As people of faith, we raise our voice in protest against the tragedy of the unjust war in Iraq," the statement read. "Thousands of lives have been lost and hundreds of billions of dollars wasted in a war the United States initiated and should never have fought.... We grieve for all those whose lives have been lost or destroyed in this needless and avoidable tragedy. Military families have suffered undue hardship from prolonged troop rotations in Iraq and loss of loved ones. It is time to bring them home."
The board also issued a strong statement against torture, urging Congress to create an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate detention and interrogation practices at Guantanamo, Iraq and Afghanistan.
"It is my hope and prayer that our statement against the war in Iraq will be heard loud and clear by our fellow United Methodists, President Bush and Vice President Cheney," said Jim Winkler, General Secretary of the UMC's Board of Church and Society. "Conservative and liberal board members worked together to craft a strong statement calling for the troops to come home and for those responsible for leading us into this disastrous war to be held accountable."
With its bold stands against the Administration, the UMC is fulfilling the words of Martin Luther King Jr., who called for the church to be "not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion" but "a thermostat that transformed the mores of society."
Bush has asserted that he entered Iraq on a direct order from God. Now, he has a direct order from his own church to leave. Is he listening?
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Co-written by Sam Graham-Felsen, a freelance journalist, documentary filmmaker and blogger (www.boldprint.net) living in Brooklyn.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Recent Polls show a drop in consumer support of Oil Companies to approximately 20%. This drop in support will result in changes in behavior of energy use and spending by consumers.
U.S. Dept. of Energy:
Energy Efficient Homes:
Fuel Efficient Cars:
My Opinion: In my opinion the ultimate goal for where at least the United States should move in regards in regards to Energy must focus on energy efficiency in addition to saving money for the America Government, the Private Sector, and the Consumer. But most important the implementation of such changes and uses of available technologies should be aimed at creating energy independence for families. More specifically every family should live in a home partially powered by some form of alternative energy (Solar) and own a more gas efficient (“hybrid”) automobile. In light of current government policy neglected to take care of its citizens as seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Oil Companies attempting to rip off the average citizens through artificially inflated gasoline prices it would only be practical for America to move towards these more efficient and individually independent energy sources. It would be a great benefit if those in the Industries of Building Solar Panels and Energy Efficient Homes would make their products more affordable to the consumer. If this occurs these technologies could become the standard.