Monday, November 28, 2005

Katrina & Fiscal Responsibility

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 Congress̢۪s 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 Congress̢۪s 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


Mel Martinez
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.

-Anthony Brooks

Homeless for the Holidays:

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Bad Business

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.

CNN Reports:

MSN Reports:

Monday, November 21, 2005

Support Rep. John P. Murtha

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
War in Iraq

(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.
We spend more money on Intelligence than all the countries in the world together, and more on Intelligence than most countries GDP. But the intelligence concerning Iraq was wrong. It is not a world intelligence failure. It is a U.S. intelligence failure and the way that intelligence was misused.

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:

Iraq War Pledge

If you disagree with the Iraq War please take a moment to sign this pledge which is being conducted by a grass roots organization, Democracy for America.

Also please consider passing this pledge along to your family, friends, and co-workers.



-Anthony Brooks

G.W. Bush Put us in Debt

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.


The Iraq War, God’s Way.

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

A Call to Bring Our Troops Home

"WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Warning that other global threats "cannot be ignored," Rep. John Murtha, D-Pennsylvania, a leading adviser on defense issues, called Thursday for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

"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."

CNN Reports:

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Budget II: Damn Republicans!

Those damn Republicans instead of decreasing funding from the Department of Defense, the Wars in Iraq & Afghanistan, the pork within the Highway Bill, and incentives to Oil companies found in the Energy Bill are cutting Billions from Education.

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:

News Report:

Monday, November 14, 2005

A Lack of Leadership

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
  • Corruption
  • Poor approval of the Government
  • An economically stretched population
  • Uncommon natural disasters raising the issue of global warming
  • Energy Independence, and alternative energy technologies
  • Poverty
  • The Voting System
  • The Patriot Acts
  • The War in Iraq
  • Monetary & tax policies regarding corporations, & the wealthy versus the worker & Consumer
We are behind other Nations in:

  • Education
  • Health Care
  • Work Force Training
  • Trade
These are not Republican nor Democratic issues, they are only American. They deal with the economic power & stability, international influence, and constitutional integrity of America. As I look at recent trends it tells me that millions of children are being left behind in our schools, citizens are more indebted to bill collectors than to their families, and American workers are loosing out to illegal aliens in addition to their jobs being outsourced to India. Issues dealing with the Right to Life and the Right to Privacy which are the focus of current political energies are irrelevant while those things that truly are important to the strength of our nation and people are tumbling down.

Where is the leadership on these matters?

The Budget: Damn Republicans!

Those damn Republicans instead of cutting funding from the Department of Defense, the Wars in Iraq & Afghanistan, the pork within the Highway Bill, and incentives to Oil companies found in the Energy Bill are cutting Billions from Education.

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.

"Mr. Danger"

One world leader calls G.W. Bush “Mr. Danger”. 9/11, the War on Terror, the Iraq War, the Afghanistan War, NASA Space Shuttle Blowing Up, Asian Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, Abused Prisoners, Secret Laws, Secret Police, Secret Courts, Secret Prisons, Bird Flu, and Weapons of Mass Destruction.

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

Great Britain Rejects "Patriot Acts"

Blair Suffers Major Defeat on Terror Bill By Ed Johnson
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

“Regrettable Unfortunate Phenomenon”

Because of the extremely polarized political climate within the United States intensified by the Wars in Iraq & on Terror, liberals and conservatives have both been accusing each other of literally being Nazis. I am not Jewish but I do write out of respect to this community. I write this as an opinion, not fact and welcome discussion on my remarks.

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

Senate Debates Iraq War

Democrats force Senate into unusual closed session"

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."