Friday, April 28, 2006

This is a Great President

The Honorable President Bill Clinton praying with victims of Hurricane Katrina

Monday, April 24, 2006

Talk about Impeachment

For some time there has been much talk about Impeaching the G.W. Bush Administration. The prime goal would be too remove Bush and Cheney both from Office through legal or procedural means.

The pieces are beginning to come together:

1) Rep. Jon Conyers Jr. of Michigan legislation for Investigations on the Iraq War and Impeachment

2) Senator Russ Finegold of Wisconsin move for Censure

3) The Illinois State legislature is exploring the power of states to call for removing Mr. G.W. Bush

4) California State discusses Impeaching Bush and Cheney

April 22, 2006Bush Impeachment - The Illinois State Legislature is Preparing to Drop a Bombshell Utilizing a little known rule of the US House to bring Impeachment charges by Steven Leser The Illinois General Assembly is about to rock the nation. Members of state legislatures are normally not considered as having the ability to decide issues with a massive impact to the nation as a whole. Representative Karen A. Yarbrough of Illinois' 7th District is about to shatter that perception forever. Representative Yarbrough stumbled on a little known and never utlitized rule of the US House of Representatives, Section 603 of Jefferson's Manual of the Rules of the United States House of Representatives, which allows federal impeachment proceedings to be initiated by joint resolution of a state legislature. From there, Illinois House Joint Resolution 125 (hereafter to be referred to as HJR0125) was born. Detailing five specific charges against President Bush including one that is specified to be a felony, the complete text of HJR0125 is copied below at the end of this article. One of the interesting points is that one of the items, the one specified as a felony, that the NSA was directed by the President to spy on American citizens without warrant, is not in dispute. That fact should prove an interesting dilemma for a Republican controlled US House that clearly is not only loathe to initiate impeachment proceedings, but does not even want to thoroughly investigate any of the five items brought up by the Illinois Assembly as high crimes and/or misdemeanors. Should HJR0125 be passed by the Illinois General Assembly, the US House will be forced by House Rules to take up the issue of impeachment as a privileged bill, meaning it will take precedence over other House business.The Illinois General Assembly joins a growing chorus of voices calling for censure or impeachment of President Bush including Democratic state committees in Vermont, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Nevada and North Carolina as well as the residents themselves of seven towns in Vermont, seventy Vermont state legislators and Congressman John Conyers. The call for impeachment is starting to grow well beyond what could be considered a fringe movement. An ABC News/Washington Post Poll Conducted April 6-9 showed that 33% of Americans currently support Impeaching President Bush, coincidentally, only a similar amount supported impeaching Nixon at the start of the Watergate investigation. If and when Illinois HJR0125 hits the capitol and the individual charges are publicly investigated, that number is likely to grow rapidly. Combined with the very real likelihood that Rove is about to be indicted in the LeakGate investigation, and Bush is in real trouble beyond his plummeting poll numbers. His cronies in the Republican dominated congress will probably save him from the embarassment of an impeachment conviction, for now, but his Presidency will be all but finished.---------------------------------------------------------HJ0125 LRB094 20306 RLC 58347 r 1 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION2 WHEREAS, Section 603 of Jefferson's Manual of the Rules of 3 the United States House of Representatives allows federal 4 impeachment proceedings to be initiated by joint resolution of 5 a state legislature; and 6 WHEREAS, President Bush has publicly admitted to ordering 7 the National Security Agency to violate provisions of the 1978 8 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a felony, specifically 9 authorizing the Agency to spy on American citizens without 10 warrant; and 11 WHEREAS, Evidence suggests that President Bush authorized 12 violation of the Torture Convention of the Geneva Conventions, 13 a treaty regarded a supreme law by the United States 14 Constitution; and 15 WHEREAS, The Bush Administration has held American 16 citizens and citizens of other nations as prisoners of war 17 without charge or trial; and 18 WHEREAS, Evidence suggests that the Bush Administration 19 has manipulated intelligence for the purpose of initiating a 20 war against the sovereign nation of Iraq, resulting in the 21 deaths of large numbers of Iraqi civilians and causing the 22 United States to incur loss of life, diminished security and 23 billions of dollars in unnecessary expenses; and 24 WHEREAS, The Bush Administration leaked classified 25 national secrets to further a political agenda, exposing an 26 unknown number of covert U. S. intelligence agents to potential 27 harm and retribution while simultaneously refusing to 28 investigate the matter; and 29 WHEREAS, The Republican-controlled Congress has declined HJ0125 - 2 - LRB094 20306 RLC 58347 r 1 to fully investigate these charges to date; therefore, be it2 RESOLVED, BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE 3 NINETY-FOURTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, THE 4 SENATE CONCURRING HEREIN, that the General Assembly of the 5 State of Illinois has good cause to submit charges to the U. S. 6 House of Representatives under Section 603 that the President 7 of the United States has willfully violated his Oath of Office 8 to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United 9 States; and be it further 10 RESOLVED, That George W. Bush, if found guilty of the 11 charges contained herein, should be removed from office and 12 disqualified to hold any other office in the United States.
NOTE: Sec. 603. Inception of impeachment proceedings in the House.In the House there are various methods of setting an impeachment in motion: by charges made on the floor on the responsibility of a Member or Delegate (II, 1303; III, 2342, 2400, 2469; VI, 525, 526, 528, 535, 536); by charges preferred by a memorial, which is usually referred to a committee for examination (III, 2364, 2491, 2494, 2496, 2499, 2515; VI, 543); by a resolution dropped in the hopper by a Member and referred to a committee (Apr. 15, 1970, p. 11941; Oct. 23, 1973, p. 34873); by a message from the President (III, 2294, 2319; VI, 498); by charges transmitted from the legislature of a State (III, 2469) or territory (III, 2487) or from a grand jury (III, 2488); or from facts developed and reported by an investigating committee of the House (III, 2399, 2444). In the 93d Congress, the Vice President sought to initiate an investigation by the House of charges against him of possibly impeachable offenses. The Speaker and the House took no action on the request since the matter was pending in the courts and the offenses did not relate to activities during the Vice President's term of office (Sept. 25, 1973, p. 31368; III, 2510 (wherein the Committee on the Judiciary, to which the matter had been referred by privileged resolution, reported that the Vice President could not be impeached for acts or omissions committed before his term of office)). On the other hand, in 1826 the Vice President's request that the House investigate charges against his prior official conduct as Secretary of War was referred, on motion, to a select committee (III, 1736). On September 9, 1998, an independent counsel transmitted to the House under 28 U.S.C. 595© a communication containing evidence of alleged impeachable offenses by the President. The House adopted a privileged resolution reported by the Committee on Rules referring the communication to the Committee on the Judiciary, restricting Members' access to the communication, and restricting access to committee meetings and hearings on the communication (H. Res. 525, Sept. 11, 1998, p. 20020). Later, the House adopted a privileged resolution reported by the Committee on the Judiciary authorizing an impeachment inquiry by that committee (H. Res. 581, Oct. 8, 1998, p. 24679). The authority to appoint an independent counsel under 28 U.S.C. 573 expired on June 30, 1999.

The Price of Gas, Part II

In regards to current Oil Market I believe we are being ripped off.

You all are aware that other countries that have higher gas prices are 1)Socialist 2) Have better transportation infrastructure.

It will be ashamed if we in the United States will be paying $3 to $5 bucks, the same as Socialist European nations while we claim to be a capitalist country. This capitalism is supposed o keep prices fair to the consumer. How can you folk now ague that we are close to paying the same for gas as a Socialist country like Great Britain who uses these added tax revenues for government services?

Simply put, we are being cheating out of our hard earned money by the Oil Companies.

When I originally made this post gas as $2.73 then, $2.93, now it is $3.01. All of this in a span of 3 weeks. Um, did we have another Hurricane? These current prices are not a laughing matter, poor people, seniors on a fixed income, working people, business owners, contractors all are affected. Just 3 years ago gas was about $1 buck.

The rise in Gas prices is frankly, pardon my French: Bull Shit!

The President and Congress must instruct the Department of Justice and District Attorney Offices to speed up investigations of price gauging, and to make this a first priority. Congress must convene an emergency session to draft legislation to regulate the Price of Gas within the United States.

For those of you who fall for the explanations given to you by rich big mouths like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and Fox News. Let me tell you something: "Exxon is giving Lee Raymond one of the most generous retirement packages in history, nearly $400 million, including pension, stock options and other perks, such as a $1 million consulting deal, two years of home security, personal security, a car and driver, and use of a corporate jet for professional purposes."

I am educated on economics, according to the existing body of knowledge any economist that will tell you this all the markets at work, supply and demand is a fool! The Oil Companies are not struggling, supply has not tightened. India & China have not used amounts of Oil at a rate to affect supply within the United States. President G.W. Bush did authorize Oil to be released from ANWAR, what the hell happened to it? China increased added to Oil supplies by developing drilling sites.

Someone on the Radio said these gas prices aren’t that bad, and are not having a strain on the Economy when adjusted for inflation. My first reaction to such comments is WTF!!!

We the People of the U.S., need to do something about this. Being the liberal I am told I would like to the Presidents of the Oil Companies, Oil Lobbyist, every corrupt Congressperson, Dick Cheney and Mr. Bush ( Will no longer refer to him as President) dragged into the streets of Washington.

You can keep an eye on the Oil Companies by checking out this web site:

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Eliminating Abortions: Gods’ work or Politics

Is preventing abortions the will of God or simple politics? This is the crucial question in regards to overturning Roe v. Wade.

USA Today’s Susan Page reports the nation is ambiguously divided on the 1973 Supreme Court Case Roe v. Wade. The court case which established the Right to Privacy including ‘a women’s right to terminate her pregnancy’.

Page breaks the States down into 3 categories:
States likely to protect access to abortion- 16
States likely to significantly restrict access to abortion - 22
States in the middle-12

USA Today Gallup Poll states that 60% Americans oppose bans on abortion rights by State. 36% of Americans support such bans.

Christianity possessions a central tenant across denominations holding that an individual freely chooses their Faith. Why then does the Christian Right community find it difficult to transfer this same idea of personal choice to private decisions. Religious liberty is a prime example. Surely, Baptist would not accept being legally forced to worship the same way as a Catholic does simply because the Catholics may be the Faith presently holding political power.

Conservatives today seem to have the goal of micro-managing and interfering in the private matters of individuals and families. The Bible, the word of God does not clearly allude to abortion therefore the division caused by this issue has no religious merit.

Nor I do not believe it is a justifiable mission for the Church to divert resources to wage a political campaign against abortion.

What Would Jesus do? Or a more precise question, What would Jesus have us do?

When I speak of our Church I am referring to all Christian based faiths: Catholic, Orthodox, Protestants, Baptist, Methodist, Adventist, Evangelist, Episcopal, Lutheran, Jehovah Witness, Non-Denominational, and the Jewish community respective fully.

An appropriate approach for the Church would be to lessen situations where a mother must choose to abort her child.

An appropriate approach for the Church is to improve conditions of families in poor communities economically and through education.

In a utopian society there would be no situation where an unwanted child is conceived.

In a utopian society there would be no situation where a parent(s) could not care for their child.

Why not are these goals not the mission of the Church?

While religious institutions engage in divisive political goals lacking of sincere compassion for all life, where assassins of abortion doctors are breeding generations of children are being left behind. These same ‘Conservatives’ advocate cutting government funding for social services that care for these children and funding for educational and schools to develop them into becoming productive citizens.

These divisive political goals are utterly in contradiction to the teachings of the Bible, and the ‘Conservatives’ professed compassion for life.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Christianity, its Evolution in America.

Recently after watching a Christian TV Show I have been inspired to discuss matters dealing with the evolution of the Christian Faith within the United States.

This new millennium without a doubt is providing a great challenge for people of faith. The Church is growing however in my opinion not in the manner Jesus Christ would have directed. The Bible even warns that there will be many churches but only 1 will truly be serving God. I don’t believe the Bible provides such warnings and is full of words such as “heed” and “fear” for us Christians to ignore.

Many of us believe we are living in the End Times. So why are we then willing to allow for the integrity of our Church to deteriorate. When I speak of our Church I am referring to all Christian faiths: Catholic, Orthodox, Protestants, Baptist, Methodist, Adventist, Evangelist, Episcopal, Lutheran, Jehovah Witness, Non-Denominational.

I believe the church should approach all current political issues of today more liberally. At least from my observation of current affairs within the United States the church is siding with those that call themselves Conservatives.

However you see this Conservative ideology seeks to constrict personal freedom. Religious institutions exist because of the existence of such civil liberties and personal freedoms. I cannot therefore understand why especially Evangelistic Churches have sided with Republicans politically. These Churches are being used as political pawns. These Republican politicians will throw your interest aside as soon as they can gain another larger base constituency such as the Hispanic vote as we are seeing debated in Congress in the Spring of 2006.

In regards to the Iraq War I cannot understand how a true Christian cannot at least question what is happening! We pray for the sick, witness to complete strangers to attempt to bring them to Christ, and we believe in the value of life period. A Christian heart inspired by the Holy Spirit seeks peace. The Bible tells us: “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God.” Matthew 5:5

Fortunately there are many denominations that tend to consist of members that are aware that we as Christians should support political movements that seek to expand civil liberties to assure that our freedom to practice our religion however we please will never be infringed upon.

In addition to this debate in regards to civil liberties there are 4 other matters that are shaping the evolution of the Christian Faith within the United States. And let me offer a precursor to all of these matters. I personally do not support them. To help you more understand my perspective I’ll offer you this old saying” the devil is liar”. Christians believe we are waging spiritual war against evil. Evil whose power as stated in the Bile lies in deception. I believe this evil has deceived the United States Christian Church and rendered it nearly useless in this spiritual & moral war fare.

These matters are: indulgence on power and prosperity, spirits of prophecy or in other words psychic and demonic powers, a lack of humbleness and meekness leading to materialism, irrational ideas that lead to oppressive values.

1) indulgence on power and prosperity
Biblical texts are clear that the work of the Church is not to facility its members to achieving financial affluence but it is to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. From my observation persons that claim to be ministers of God whom expose success and self help could be easily replaced by an atheist motivational speaker without much notice.

2) spirits of prophecy or psychic and demonic powers
After watching a Christian TV Show and hearing a person claiming to be a minister ask for viewers to call and he would mail them a prophecy I was divinely inspired to write this post. This question, I ask you: when did the Christian Church start believing that demonic spirits such as psychics were fare game within the Church? This is not something in my opinion that is open for interpretation. Yes many faiths believe that God blesses certain individuals with specific holy gifts. Example are speaking in tongues and healing but I have always questioned the gift of prophecy. The example Christians are to follow is that of Jesus Christ. Jesus did not go around like a psychic predicting futures but he healed the sick and fed the hungry. In my opinion the gift of prophecy is either a shame or a tool of the devil to infiltrate our churches.

What use does predicting the future have in the church for our lives which is in the hands of God?

3) Irrational ideas that maybe oppressive.
Christians today speak strongly and even in a hateful tone about homosexuals. They fail however to do the same for those that commit adultery which is not only mentioned 100 times more in scripture but is also part of the 10 commandments. I make this comparison to support my belief that Churches are simply being used as pawns by politicians to win elections. Molding our opinions when this is not what God would have for us. Jesus would have our Church accept all persons. Didn't he say "come as you are." The issue of Marriage is being used to politically manipulate Christians.

4) a lack of humbleness and meekness leading to materialism
There was a time that none of us remember when a man of God was proud to be humble and meek. Now our Pastors drive Mercedes Benzes and wear the most expensive suits and demand such luxuries. The Pope wears red Armani shoes. And good lord, nothing seems to be wrong with the church. Jesus Christ the son of God labored as carpenter and walked around in a robe. And you tell me these luxuries that breed superiority is where Jesus Christ would lead our church? I don’t believe so, and I would like to see the Mercedes sold and given to charity. The pastor would look fine in a Toyota. The word of God tells us: that “the meek shall inherit the earth: and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”-Psalm 37:11

You see God knows the plans he has for you and they are outlined within the his word, the Bible. Even amongst the Wars of Biblical times to the prophecy of Revelation never does the Bible imply that Christians are to seek to force our faith onto the non-believers through political means. The foundation of our Christian faith hinges upon acceptance of our faith by sinners after receiving witness, observing a Christian, and hearing the word and no other way should Christians seek to expand our faith.

Checks & Balances Blog is primarily political. I however do post often about religion because today I am close to fearful that the line between separation of church and state ahs been crossed. Christians must be vigilant to guard against evil influences like ALL politicians whom do not have the best interest of our Faith and Religious Institution at heart. Politics is a game of winning your vote and your money. Christianity is a work of winning your soul. The two do not and will never mix.