Dead in Iraq

March 20, 2003 - December 18, 2011; the war in Iraq is over, with 4,593 dead.
All U.S. combat troops out, but deaths mount, plus 32,372 wounded over the nearly nine years.

Now, in the Afghan war, 2,461 U.S. soldiers have been killed, 20,500+ wounded.

In 2006, when the Democrat-majority, 110th Congress was sworn in, election-
mandated to end the Iraqi war, the toll of U.S. soldiers, killed, stood at 2,994.

Two years later, as Barack Obama took office, with a promise to bring an end to
Bush’s special-interest, Iraqi occupation in 16 months, the toll of  U.S.  soldiers
killed there, on the say of a minority of Republicans in Congress,  rose to 4,227.
As President Obama announced,  “end of combat,”  on August 31, 2010:  4,416.

What justification or accountability for
those children of  the soldier parents,
brothers and sisters of the 4,593 dead
for whom there’ll be no homecoming?

Each casket and funeral picture represents 100 soldiers who died in Iraq, like the 100, alive, above.

Here, for every 100 deaths Bush-Cheney have brought to the families of soldiers in Iraq is a casket and a funeral.
Bush-Cheney’s failure to end the Afghan war after a quick victory makes them responsible for most deaths there.

Is it the price of freedom, visible here, or that of a Constitution, subordinated?

Direct responsibility is now shared by Republicans in Congress, without excuse or equivocation, for
more spilled blood and lives lost in an occupation harmful to the nation, unjustifiable, and unjust.

And a single image speaking for the tens upon
tens of thousands of Iraqi collateral innocents.

Roses  by Kim Taylor

A soldier, shot dead in a house used as an insurgent HQ in Falluja. — EPA Photo

The censorship of Iraq-war images by the Bush administration, beginning early on with bans against photography of flag-draped coffins, which continued until President Obama halted those restrictions, is still limited, to this day, as embedded reporters and photographers are kicked out of their units when pictures of casualties are published, and increasingly-impossible restrictions are placed upon the images that are approved for release.  The picture, above, taken by Stefan Zaklin, then with the European Pressphoto Agency, was widely published in Europe and was in a group of casualty photos subsequently, much later, published in a Web slide show by the New York Times.

Publishing of such photos is not motivated by any sort of sensationalism, but rather because there is nothing like such graphic images that can relate the bare truth, invoking thought of the consequences of war and an assessment of the worth of the costs, whatever the level of casualties, under whatever circumstances, surge or otherwise.  In Vietnam, where there were few restrictions on photographers, the graphic photos of casualties helped to arouse the massive, public outcries that eventually forced that illegitimate war to an end.

Is America, as Bush and his Republicans claimed, and as President Obama endorses, by retaining the troop presence in Iraq and adding to Afghanistan, really any more secure for the life this young soldier and his family had taken from them?  As victories in the Afghan and Pakistani provinces and on the streets of Europe and America are won by special operations, intelligence, and law enforcement, not troops who, in trying to fight a ghostly, population-embedded enemy, continue to kill civilians and grow that enemy, the answer, which daily unfolds to ring ever-more true, is... no!

From before language, from before the short-lived days of Plato and Aristotle, and the hopeful, professed, civil-enlightenment conception of Thomas Jefferson and the Founders, through the latest protestations of cloned diplomats, the search for peace on Earth has been expressed, spoken, attached to every necessary and unnecessary conflict like a torn, headless rag doll in the hand of an inimical, mischievous child.  “The search for peace on Earth?”  Is there really any such prize?  War and the greed that drives it is a feted flatulence that will return, unrelenting, until the body dies.  The chance of finding extra-terrestrials is better, and the chance of that is zero, the late, Lord of Neverland notwithstanding.  Peace on Earth exists only six feet beneath and just beyond the dark, distant horizon of mankind’s history.  The only escape from war’s constant reign over every averse generation is that rotted deep and the future void, or a blinding, insulating, self-induced apathy, contributing as much to the blight as to the relief, or more so.

Where within the Bush administration was there visible any scar of this enduring weight of loss and pain, so recklessly and casually wrought by Bush and Cheney upon a peaceful nation?   Where within Bush, as he strutted campaign stumps making jokes about West Wing movers, and drum-danced in the Rose Garden, could be found the shroud of these deaths that history has recorded so darkened the daily lives of Lincoln and Roosevelt?   Where in Iraq can Bush claim an ounce of the justification those presidents had to commit American troops to war and death?  Bush spokesmen, in late 2006, played down the postponement of the scheduled meeting between Iraqi P.M. Maliki and Bush by saying that the purpose of the meeting was mostly “social” in nature, and in so doing, Bush provided yet another example of the lackluster attitude he has toward ending the meaningless deaths of U.S. soldiers who prop up Maliki by acting as his police.  Just as is now true for President Obama, there was, for Bush, no higher priority for the nation or his administration than to stop the killing, and the pall of such on-going deaths provided no backdrop or justification whatsoever for a meeting between those two so-called leaders on a “social” basis, where the completion of such serious business was wanting.

Before Bush invaded Iraq, he said of Saddam, “I’m sick and tired of games and deception.” And that’s all Bush has shoved down the throats of Americans and the rest of the world since before he began his premeditated, callous, thoughtless, criminal trek of misery and destruction in Iraq.  If his statement wasn’t just P.R.—a line for show and for the crowd, Americans would at least have the satisfaction of knowing that he knows how it feels to be lied to and deceived.  The revelation by the New York Times, of the Bush administration’s Pentagon/media-propaganda program, established before the war, is further proof the invasion was preordained by the administration, and that it was, and remains, an illegal propagandizing of the American people and Congress to conceal and distort the truth in order to prosecute a hidden, special-interest agenda through a criminal abuse of U.S. resources and military lives and blood, for which, impeachment hardly begins to answer.

An oil field in Rumayla, subsidized with U.S. soldiers’ lives. — DoD Photo

A major goal of that special-interest agenda is near being realized, for which the families of more than 4,400 dead American soldiers and uncounted thousands of Iraqis will receive nothing, as reported on June 19, 2008, by Andrew Kramer for the the New York Times:
BAGHDAD — Four Western oil companies are in the final stages of negotiations this month on contracts that will return them to Iraq, 36 years after losing their oil concession to nationalization as Saddam Hussein rose to power.

Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP — the original partners in the Iraq Petroleum Company — along with Chevron and a number of smaller oil companies, are in talks with Iraq’s Oil Ministry for no-bid contracts to service Iraq’s largest fields, according to ministry officials, oil company officials and an American diplomat.

The deals, expected to be announced on June 30, will lay the foundation for the first commercial work for the major companies in Iraq since the American invasion, and open a new and potentially lucrative country for their operations [the playing field for resource and infrastructure exploitation of the Bush-Cheney/McCain Mid-East industrial Monopoly game].

The Times article also points to Saddam Hussein’s ultimately fatal mistake:  nationalizing the concessions held by the consortium of four American oil companies that were developing the resources there, now all poised to return under the terms of the new service contracts.

In mid-October, 2007, only weeks after the lackluster report on the surge by Gen. Petraeus, the former commander of Iraq forces, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, joined the growing list of retired generals who have condemned the Iraq war and occupation and the Bush administration for its responsibility in bringing about the disaster, and Sanchez added his voice to warn of the inevitable outcome of failure, of the surge and the entire enterprise.  This general’s statements are of no surprise whatsoever to readers here, since his remarks are a repetition of the anger over unnecessary losses, the abuse of power by Bush, and the failure of Congress to exercise its constitutional power to end that abuse that has been the driving force behind this site over the last four years.  As the new British prime minister joins with Japan, South Korea, and others, by withdrawing his support and troops from Bush’s Mid-East debacle, American lives and the future of the nation continue to be squandered by the Bush-Cheney special-interest invasion and occupation of Iraq, and history will rightly join the outcry of enraged, enlightened citizens who damn Bush as the most incompetent, most backward-dragging president to which this nation has ever been chained.

Bush and Cheney will live in denial of their crimes, or in ignorance of them, as was the case when Bush, in a speech to a private gathering, in July 2010, admitted authorizing torture and said he would do so again, or when Cheney repeatedly surfaces to claim all crimes are justified.  No matter how often and to how many crimes they admit, they consider themselves immune from justice, and apparently, at least in America, they are.  Both are in a state of arrogant, psycho-preservationist self-denial, believing and defensively claiming that history will record them as leaders of vision and determination, saving the nation, when in fact, they, and the congresses that facilitated their abuses, will forever be remembered as raising the curtain on what are among the darkest years ever to pass over three centuries of American life, the blackest of the modern era, to include disastrous events that will turn in the wake of their passing for decades more.  Instead of impeachment, a library of self-delusion will be Bush’s temple to his legacy of propaganda, abuse, death, and national dismemberment, when by all that is just, that presidential library should be denied public resources and instead be a 1 x 3-foot bookshelf on the wall of a 6 x 8-foot room, with locked door and bars on the window, where Bush and Cheney spend the rest of their days in the dark, disgraced contemplation of the light of scores of tens of thousands of lives they dimmed and extinguished under the stolen claim of America’s flag and honor.

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Thesis Statement | Academic Argument | Central Idea

The Bush-Cheney administration was a corrupt, criminal, and treasonist facilitator for the capitalist extreme that has not only used the people, from soldiers to consumers, as parts of the machinery of profit, but also the national heritage, lifeblood, and future.

What follows is not, in the strict sense, structured to comply with the norms of academia.  It is best categorized as “editorial journalism,” wherein facts are checked, fiction avoided, sources usually provided in some form, and wherein, through the Bush first term, as exposed in Spring of the Dying Roses, to the here and now, the abuse and utter waste of the Bush-Cheney Republican governance is called into question and condemnation, and to account, with apologies to McCarthy, as the greatest plague ever to shroud the light of freedom and democracy in America.

The Bush library should be built on a barge with a framework of Twin Towers steel, the smoke from which obscured the Bush-Cheney subterfuge of the Iraq invasion and occupation, towed to deep water and dumped to sink into the abyss and lie there among the ruin they desecrated, where they and their Republican Congress dedicated themselves to anchor America.

A most welcome good-bye, as Bush leaves Washington for
the last time, ending his and Cheney’s criminal enterprise.

On Christmas week, 2008, Bush announced another of his gifts to the nation:  a program for leadership!  It is to be located near his new home in Texas.  The leadership of George W. Bush was the impetus of delusional policies that destroyed the domestic integrity of a nation and squandered the greatest opportunity for the coalescing of international cooperation for the common good the world has ever known, which with justifiable purpose and sound plan, could have marked the beginning of the end, not only for Islamic terror, but also to the horrors of politically-engineered hell-holes like Darfur, Rwanda, Burma, and Bosnia, along with the vacuum of accountability and justice that allows morally corrupt and socially psychopathic men to come to power in such manipulated political systems, who are at the root of such tragedies.  On these basis, Bush representing leadership is as laughable as the associative expressions he put forth after signing the 2007 “Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007,” or as veracious as would have been a statement by ancient Rome’s Caligula, had he established a charm school for training young, wannabe Vestal Virgins, and Bush’s leadership pronouncement is a further, perfect example of the delusional thinking that has driven his presidency and will follow him into retirement and to his grave.

Cheney, on the other hand, in Christmas-week interviews, said that the categorizing of his actions in office as unconstitutional and criminal is just an opinion to which he differs.  He and Bush operate under the delusion of survivability, which prohibits them from admitting or even considering that the consequences faced by the nation at the end of their terms are those of their doing, because deluded men cannot admit culpability or failure, or in any way put a chink in the delusion that will carry them safely in their own self grandeur to their deaths.  Only impeachment could do that, another reason impeachment was so important to prosecute, or a post-term criminal prosecution, for which there is still some slim hope for justice.  The two are even blind to the tears of joy shed by citizens of the nation, and even the world, at their passing, an expression of judgement against them that is obvious enough to any rational person, and which their actions in office have demonstrated, for them, is a public verdict that remains both unrecognized and worthless.

The claim for WMD, which when challenged was unsupportable and morphed into a grand plan for Mid-East democracy, like the Bush appointments of self-interest and incompetence to federal regulatory positions, was no more than a veneer on the structure of exploitation that had at its foundation the unchecked greed of corporate expansionism and abuse of power.

The taxpayer Christmas presents Bush has caused, by his incompetent appointments and turned back to a greed-twisted economic system, to be handed out to banks, investment and mortgage firms, and manufacturers, will not be covered by the next year’s budget in time for the next season, but will be paid by generations who will have never heard the name of Bush, except in rueful history documentaries; yet it will be Bush who they can thank for the debt they will shoulder on behalf of his corrupted ideals and criminal ambitions.  At least, for them, there will be a non-public-funded Bush library (avoiding an uproar there) at Texas A&M University, ripe for graffiti and rotten eggs, in thanks for his having, as he said, the “conscience” to not burden his successor.

Be sure to watch for re-runs of the Iraq-invasion 5th-anniversary Frontline presentation of Bush’s War for the whole story of the Bush/Cheney constitutional and political abuse, which originally aired Monday, March 24 on PBS stations.  Then, contact your congressional representatives and DEMAND the ONLY recourse that can forever separate America from the criminal actions and immoral legacy of this administration:  the impeachment of Bush and Cheney.

“Bushism must be ripped out, root and branch, everywhere it has been established, or else the presidential election of 2008 is a worthless exercise in futility.”

For the first time in its 75-year history, Esquire magazine put forward a presidential endorsement... for Barack Obama.  The endorsement was embedded within a scathing editorial on the “virus” of the Bush-Reagan Republican governance and the substandard McCain ticket and campaign ethic.

Less than two weeks later and five fays after Colin Powell endorsed Obama on NBC’s Meet the Press, the New York Times formally added its endorsement of Obama.

Cheney just doesn’t want to go away.

On Wednesday, February 4, Dick Cheney crawled out of his cave of dark-moral isolation to protest President Obama’s executive order canceling his and Bush’s barbaric and illegal interrogation and incarceration policies, which not only violated U.S. and international laws and were cited by the highest-ranking military officials as dangerous to U.S. troops and ineffective, but also caused to be wrongly apprehended and falsely imprisoned, for years, many innocent “suspects,” whose lives and family relationships have been unalterably, detrimentally changed or ended.  Since Cheney only knows how to persuade through fear, it was fear that he again used, claiming that the elimination of the illegal and immoral practices he and Bush championed, which drew international disdain, would result in a nuclear device being detonated in the U.S.  If that were to ever happen, it would be due to the failure of the West to enforce non-proliferation policy in Pakistan, Iran, and North Korea, not due to America’s return to the community of enlightened, lawful and civilized nations through the trashing of the Bush-Cheney aberrations.  Cheney should learn to let go, live with his dark legacy, and maybe go hunting when he feels the urge to inflict more of his unwelcome discharges, and above all, remember that anything he says can, hopefully, be used against him in a court of law.

But there may be hope that there will be no Bush library, because finally, only a few days after former press secretary Scott McClellan’s book was released, confirming numerous Bush-administration transgressions from an insider perspective, Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s (D-OH) 35-count impeachment resolution was read into the record of the House of Representatives, by numerous clerks, over a near five-hour period, and later voted to be referred to the judiciary committee.  In the face of the facts outlined in the 35 counts, and the baseless charges under which President Clinton’s impeachment charges were voted to trial in the Senate, it is difficult to imagine that Democratic leaders, particularly House Speaker Pelosi, could continue to justify stonewalling impeachment proceedings on the basis of a fear to rock the boat and derail whatever Republican support for Democratic programs may remain after the next election, because as a metaphor for the Ship of State or a train, under Bush, Cheney, and their rubberstamp, Republican majority in Congress, the ship has already sunk and the train is already off the tracks.  Impeachment of the pair would accomplish the important and necessary task of forever separating America from sanction of their abuses and crimes.

A month later, at Friday’s July 25, 2008 House Committee on the Judiciary hearing into the Imperial Presidency of George W. Bush,a.k.a. “Executive Power and the Bush Administration,” after nearly six, non-stop hours focused on Kucinich’s resolution, administration crimes and abuses, ranging from deception in the push for war, to the power no one man has to make war, to torture and illegal wiretaps, ended as an overwhelming indictment of the Bush-Cheney administration which, at least, put the stamp of official shame upon the Bush administration and into the public record, and it laid a substantial groundwork for a further hearing to consider recommending impeachment to the full House which, even if time would not permit to be concluded, would at least force the administration, under pain of impeachment, to produce witnesses and answer questions to provide the truths, ending the continuing Bush obstruction and contempt of Congress in executing its constitutional-oversight responsibilities.  The legal and legislative experts who testified on the public-record evidence of administration-admitted transgressions made clear the failures of Congress that in large part allowed the Bush-Cheney abuses and crimes to happen, and they also crystalized the obligation of Congress to prosecute accountability, and the paths available to it to meet that obligation, so much so that if the committee fails to open hearings to consider impeachment, it could only be viewed as being as derelict in its responsibility to its governmental branch, to the Constitution, to the people, and to American democracy as the Republican-controlled, rubber-stamp Congress that preceded it and facilitated the Bush-Cheney abomination.

Republicans repeatedly tried to defend the Bush claim of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction by reading out-of-context quotes from elected officials of both parties, and other officials, some of which were made after they had already been pulled in by the Bush-Cheney deception that lead to the congressional resolution approving the invasion of Iraq.  Perhaps the most important point of the hearing was the answer to the Republican attempt to defend the deception, when it was emphasized, despite the strong interruption and objection of Republican committee member King (Iowa), who saw where the witness answer was leading, that even if Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and even if there was no deception about them, that weapons were not the issue, that the deception, much more difficult to defend, and which intelligence documents have already nullified, was the assertion that Iraq was able, prepared, and intending to act in a way posing an imminent threat to American security.  The existence of that imminent threat to American security would have been the only justifiable basis for invasion, not the mere possession of weapons of mass destruction, even if they had existed.  Neither existed or exists today, with or without an American occupation force, except the threat to global U.S. forces and its mission against America’s real enemies, fostered by the Iraqi occupation.

Also important, the questions by members of the committee foreshadowed that corrective, legislative measures to neutralize many executive, unconstitutional abuses, especially signing statements, may finally be enacted, and the repeated comments by some expert witnesses raised the hopeful specter of accountability for Bush and Cheney for the most heinous of their crimes, criminal accountability, existing to haunt them beyond their terms in office; a satisfying proposition to hear spoken in such proceedings, even if finally realized as only wishful thinking.

The panel of experts, and many of the Democratic members of the committee, made clear in their statements that they recognize the great danger of allowing the tilt of power that has resulted from the corruptive abuse of power by the Bush administration to remain unchallenged as the new administration moves in and removes the stains from the White House carpets, and it was made clear that the ceding of power by not confronting its abuse cannot remain as the legacy of the previous, Republican Congress and the Bush administration.  If this is true, the next chapter of this hearing can only be a retort of strongest measure to the most recent Bush contempt, and an equally strong slate of legislation reenforcing the constitutional separation of powers and executive limits of power that Bush has mishandled with equal contempt and unequaled ignorance.

Speaking of unequaled ignorance, or the usual Bush delusions, did anyone hear what Bush said to Bob Costas during an interview on the first day of Olympic competition?  “America doesn’t have problems.”  Someone should have replaced Costas with a mirror.  That was the day after Bush’s “good friend,” Vladimir Putin, sent Russian troops into Georgia.

But outrageous statements can only be expected to continue until America is finally rid of the Bush presence.  In a December 1, 2008 television interview, Bush categorized his presidency as a “joyous time.”

How can that be?

His presidency began with 911, of which it was fully forewarned, killing thousands, igniting a war, and his presidency only compounded that tragedy by slapping the perpetrators on the wrists while beginning and then obsessing over its own, special-interest, Iraqi war, unrelated to 911 or national security, which alone has cost the grief and pain of lost lives to more than 4,400 families over the two terms of his “joy.”

Bush’s presidency, with its vile policies and unqualified, politically-prioritized appointments, has also debilitated a city, desecrated the environment and the Constitution, darkened the prognosis for disease cures, endangered consumers, displaced workers, and it has removed the substantiative planks to the framework of a sound economic system, contributing to the recession more than anything that preceded it, with his Treasury Secretary, Paulson, handling the aftermath and TARP with the Katrina-like aplomb of a Bush appointee, adding himself to the list of those who have had committees formed to review and condemn their work.  And, the economic and military pain of Bush’s presidency will continue to darken the lives of millions of Americans and foreign nationals long after he has retired to the full-time vacation he made such a large part of his presidency, which is probably a large part of why he thinks it was so joyous.  Bush’s parting observation, of his presidency as “joyous,” demonstrates, perfectly, the eight-year long application of unenlightened, uncaring, and debased values that has resulted in the degradation of U.S. resources and standing throughout the world, and which has caused him to rightly be judged, as history will confirm, contrary to his customarily-deluded expectations, as the worst president ever to curse the American experience, a distinction which he will share, in full measure, with Cheney.

As the Bush “midnight rules” continue to flow like sewage from a broken pipe, the latest, granting exclusions to mining companies from cleaning up their strip-mine operations, his “joyous” statement merges into that black excrement as just another of many atrocities that could have been prevented if the lame Congress that has allowed the Bush administration to trample over the Constitution had given its two principals the early send off they deserve, with a pair of sorely-needed impeachments.

But a joyous time is approaching in the Bush administration, but only for most of the world outside of the White House, and only because the day marking its longingly-anticipated end is drawing ever closer to realization.

Separation of powers further cut by Bush obstruction of Homeland-Security-reporting law.

It has recently been reported that, as long ago as January, 2008, Bush blocked direct reporting to Congress of Homeland-Security actions affecting privacy.  This reporting was included in legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by Bush in 2007.  The reason Congress drafted and passed the law is obvious:  the uncovered, unconstitutional actions Bush authorized with respect to Homeland Security’s information gathering, so it is especially destructive to constitutional protections for citizens, and for its structured separation of powers of the government branches, for Bush to block the oversight the law was intended to guarantee.  Yet, most of Congress’s members continue to ignore their oaths of office and turn the other cheek.  An impeachment resolution is already before the House Judiciary Committee which charges even more direct and serious transgressions against the Constitution and unfettered congressional oversight, yet no objection has yet been entered into the record addressing this latest violation.  And the Senate, so far, through a statement by Republican Arlen Specter, only blows enough air to keep the election hot seat cool enough to remain seated.  The following letter was sent to the indicated lawmakers and to other members of the House Judiciary Committee, regarding their response and obligation to confront Bush’s lawbreaking.  The Preserve and Defend essay, below the letter, was included in the correspondence.

To:  Sen. Arlen Specter, Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee
cc:  Rep. John Conyers, Chairman, House Judiciary Committee

[Sen. Specter,] If you really don’t like Bush’s “unconstitutional,” as you categorized it, squelching of congressional oversight, of which the intent to obstruct Homeland-Security-reporting law is only the latest example, and if you really believe it is unconstitutional, why don’t you finally do the nation and your disaffected party a favor by making it your priority to pressure the House to get on with an impeachment indictment???  Being the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee imposes a special responsibility upon you, beyond your primary, constitutional responsibility to “preserve and defend” the Constitution, as you swore to do, by confronting such dangerous and directly-threatening lawbreaking directly and immediately.  If you cannot make it publicly known that you are actively seeking to have the House initiate such proceedings, your publicly-expressed objections to Bush’s continued cutting off of the head of separation of powers is just more meaningless, senatorial hot air.

Preserve and Defend

The president, vice president, every cabinet member, senator, representative, departmental-political appointee and military officer takes an oath to Preserve and Defend the Constitution of the United States—a supposedly solemn oath to do so.  Most citizens in America are aware of this, and probably, many of the illegal aliens, as well.  But it does not appear that very many citizens, particularly Nancy Pelosi and other members of the House of Representatives, know what that oath really means, which is a matter of perspectives.  The first thought of a military officer, and probably most citizens, may be that the oath means to meet and repel invasion and attack against the nation.  But then, the oath says “all enemies, foreign and domestic.”  So the FBI director, and many citizens, may think about home-grown terrorists, be they al Qaeda, survivalists, or other anarchists.  Keep them away from the National Archives!  But of all the domestic threats that may have existed when the Founders guided the stitching of the fabric of the Constitution, through much contention and diversity, nothing was more feared than the abuse of the keys to power they would craft, the great harm that could be wrought by the turn of just one man.

The union was built on the seeds and trials of contention and diversity, where factions from all sides demanded considerations and guarantees if they were to agree to accept a document that would create a centralized point of authority and power over them.  It wasn’t simply the structural legal and social genius of the Founders that finally delivered a Constitution to Philadelphia for signing; it was also the mother of invention meeting an absolute need.  And that genius and necessity created a system of safeguards, which applied to their nation-document, would be the checks and balances to insure for all the security of freedom, from fear... of losing property, identity, or rights, through any abuse of power, be it the “tyranny of the majority,” or any one or combination of the states that would be formed, or any one branch in the triad of government the new document would launch.  And the branch the Founders most feared, and to which they gave the most consideration to address that fear, was the executive and the single man who would head it.  And so it was, in 1787, with fears allayed and protections finally in place, the bold, new experiment was begun and the Constitution was signed into a structured life.  Two years later, on the balcony of Federal Hall in New York City, George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the new nation, and in him, the Founders and the new nation had a man who did not lust for power or undue attention, and who fit in with the somber, administrative, down-to-business roll of the president that was envisioned.  He had already saved the revolution and the nation.  Now, in the wake of such trial and adversity as confronted the nascent Constitution, what was needed was a trusted, steady hand to guide the new government in its first steps.  And for his devotion and skill in bringing to his office a deportment of respect, honor, and dignity, and credibility to its budding government, Washington earned immortality as the “Father of the Country.”

Now, we have George Bush and Dick Cheney, who have hijacked their offices as conveyances for their agendas, bringing with them an authoritarian lust for power and control.  And the Constitution, created through contentious diversity, is threatened to be destroyed by the blotting out of the very confrontation and adversity that assured the ultimate creation of its safeguards, to be replaced with a new (relatively) Republican conservatism, characterized by passive acceptance of imperial authority and ideology, ushered in by congressional apathy and convenience, and which left unchecked, will someday, even after Bush and Cheney are long gone, raise its head again to do more of its bloody harm.  More, because the harm of executive transgression across the bounds of constitutional limits has already been done, beyond the breach of any individual’s rights, and long before this latest, illegitimate Iraqi war, where the Blackwater army of Bush and Cheney, alone, murdered at least 17 unarmed civilians, and where, in an occupation that would provoke some of the Founders, so-inclined and so-armed, to send seconds to the White House to challenge a duel, the dead of non-combatant civilians of every age and gender is an unknown, unspeakable horror of everlasting shame, anguish, and resentment.

In a nation where the Fourth Estate has been converted to a tenement, pushed aside by culture-shift and technology, raided and diminished by the bottom-line imperatives and political priorities of monopolistic, corporate-media conglomerates that have been ushered into existence by the slack, FCC-regulatory blueprint of the Bush-Cheney brand of Republicanism, a once powerful agent of oversight against government abuse, and confrontation in the face of administration lies and propaganda, or spin, has been severely, and apparently, permanently weakened, its inks turning, in many places, from carbon black to invisible, its microphones and cameras from the sacrosanct priority of responsible fact to the ratings of pretentious, entertainment-focused sensationalism.  And in the lamented procession of responsible, multi-voiced journalism’s passage, the importance of the internal checks and balances provided by the Founders to defend the Constitution, the rights of citizens, and those of the individual branches of government, has been profoundly and pointedly increased.  Apathy and convenience are poor tools with which to defend the Constitution, poorer, still, when combined with self-interest and ignorance in the minds of a constituency that does not recognize the urgent need of their elected representatives to look after something much more important and valuable to them than the exchange rate of the dollar, the cost of gas, or the impossible blocking of every criminal conspiracy to blow something up, somewhere.

In a nation where presidential candidates are both drooled upon and spit out like pacifiers by an insecure, even fearful public, they will, to varying degree, say whatever is perceived as necessary to make the sought-after voter feel good, and float promises that can’t possibly be landed, which is a sure giveaway that the candidate is too hungry for the power of the office to be properly motivated by the public- and national-service obligation it represents.  The only promise any honest patriot seeking office need make is to faithfully fulfill the oath to Preserve and Defend the Constitution, and it is beyond critical that the members of the House of Representatives fulfill their oaths to “Preserve and Defend...” when the men in the White House have abrogated theirs.

There will be no defense of the Constitution when the tools to do so are not picked up, due to the apathy or political convenience of the Speaker of the House of Representatives and a majority of its members, because in the triad of power and authority the Founders built into the Constitution, the representatives in the House, collectively, are the sole and final safeguard that can possibly defend against the abuse of an executive run amuck.  Only they have the power to bring articles of impeachment to force either executive compliance or removal, and to do so is the first responsibility of each and every member of the House, because impeachment is the path, and the tool with which they meet the obligation of their oaths to confront Bush and Cheney, and thereby Preserve and Defend the Constitution from all threats, foreign and domestic.

The House members have already failed the Founders by not responding to the hidden factor, written between the lines, upon which they counted to inspire the defense of separation of powers, the factor based upon the Founders’ sure-and-certain knowledge of the social psychology of the defensive mind.  They counted on the nature of man to jealously guard his turf and his rights, and to offer stern opposition to any encroachment, as a built-in, genetic motivator for members of Congress, the Court, and the president, to defend the specified powers of their respective branches.  Congress has allowed its turf to be plowed under by the raging, rampant, unopposed trek through their gardens of the big-wheeled, over-powered, gas-guzzling, smoke-belching, runaway, Bush-Cheney moped.

Alan Greenspan — oracle no more, not ever.

The ignorance, incompetence, and defiance of the Bush administration has cost this nation severe losses across a wide spectrum of national endeavors, including the consequences of the unregulated economy, where in October 23, 2008 congressional-committee hearings into the economic failures, the former Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan, appointed by Reagan, testified that by supporting the Republican-Reaganism policy spurning regulation, he was depending on the self interest of the banks to protect the interests of the investors, admittedly, he testified, a mistake, as evidenced by the state of the credit and investment markets, just as the Bush administration is proof that those instincts of the Founders, with respect to preservation of separation of powers, never kicked in with Congress.  Unfortunately, there will never be a hearing where Congress asks itself if the failure to act to protect its constitutional purviews was a mistake that led to the demise of the nation over the last quarter century.  But any economics doctorate should also have a masters in psychology, because Greenspan should have known that any economic equation or model that doesn’t reflect the unavoidable factor of greed’s dominance in the human equation is invalid at inception and is a roadmap to disaster.  That should be the unavoidable, unforgettable lesson of this economic collapse, forever putting the conservative-Republican theology of economics to rest... within the electorate, because the Republicans still don’t want regulation; it’s still good for them if it’s missing.  But, Iraq demonstrated that Americans didn’t learn the blood-written lessons of Vietnam, so it is probably too much to hope that this end-game lesson of economics will fare any better after the smoke clears.

No less significant than the treasure and lives wasted by Bush, is the affront to the Constitution that has been allowed to exist and grow, from signing statements, infringing upon congressional legislative power and authority, to the direct and wanton violations of the Bill of Rights, with illegal spying and kidnapping, to the unconstitutionally expanded scope of military authority being exercised, even if not recklessly, to include raising private armies, a power, like almost all military power, that is specifically excluded by the Founding Fathers from the one-man executive, and constitutionally reserved, solely, to the collective minds and hearts of the body of Congress.  This short litany of constitutional affronts has now escalated to the point that Bush and Cheney have thumbed their noses not only at the Constitution and the consultive nature of government it is intended to provide, but they have wilfully and directly challenged and blocked both the authority and the right of Congress to carry out its constitutional mandate to preserve the separation of powers and provide the oversight required to insure that power is not abused and that laws are upheld.  No president has such authority or right to direct anyone to refuse to answer congressional subpoenas, as Bush has done.  And no president has the authority or right to turn an agency of government to its own ends, as Bush has dared to do by directing the Department of Justice not to prosecute the orders of Congress in carrying out its enforcement-oversight obligation.  And by so doing, Bush has canceled any check on power and broken the fulcrum of balance between the branches of government, effectively killing the Constitution and the framework of the Republic.

Bush’s dangerous, unconstitutional provocation — with end-game political purpose?

Bush, it now seems, as his term comes to an end, could be determined to involve America in escalating military confrontations, as he continues to violate the Constitution by usurping the authority of the Congress to attack within the borders of Syria, killing eight.  If Bush believes that the last-ditch chance to insure continued Republican control of government after he is gone is to incite another conflict, so McCain can trump his hawkish inclinations and credentials, which really are not relevant, then we shall no doubt continue to see further illegal incursions across Syria’s borders, and perhaps the sinking of a few Iranian patrol boats in the Strait of Hormuz, of course, with the false, largely unverifiable justification of defense against provocative aggression by the small craft.  Gulf of Tonkin all over again.  If Bush thinks attacking Syria is necessary for the national security, and if he is right, then he should be able to make his case by providing evidence to Congress and getting the authorization the Constitution requires he obtain.  That’s the lawful way use of military force is supposed to work, not as the willful dictate of one person.  The fact that, so far, Congress has continued to play dead, belly up, places the blame upon them for the damage, not only to Syria, but more significantly, to this nation, from unauthorized, executive adventures that have become the norm and must be ended, because if they are not, it will eventually lead to unredeemable consequences, even more regrettable, for all sides, than any of the past.  It is the ultimate responsibility of Congress to block the president from exercising powers reserved and delegated by the Constitution to Congress, and failing to do so degrades the nation’s most important safeguard of freedom:  the separation of powers.  This possibility of another Bush-engineered conflict, and the reality of the attacks against Syria, is just more powder in the impeachment keg, demonstrating why there is no justification not to impeach Bush and why there is great danger in allowing criminals to remain in office, no matter how short the remaining term.

America, if it is to be a democratic republic, cannot afford to allow this dictatorial usurping of power to go unanswered, unaccounted for, especially not because it might derail hopes for future bipartisanship, or because there are only a handful of months left in the term, or because of the distractions as attention is focused on the economy and the campaigns.  The law must be upheld, and most vigorously so when those trusted with the greatest power conspire to violate and tear at the very fabric upon which all the laws of this land draw their moral and legal legitimacy.  When pursuing or attaining meaningful convictions or enforcement bills, prosecutors and legislators are fond of repeating the legal catchphrase, “no one is above the law.”  For some time now, and at this moment, with the aid of an abdicating Congress, Bush and Cheney are not only above the law, they have made themselves superior and dominant over Congress, with which the Constitution mandates they be co-equal, and without expiating congressional action to confront their supreme arrogance, they will remain so elevated throughout history, because they will have been allowed to bury the law and then tread audaciously upon it.  There can be few, more-compelling reasons to impeach than to prevent that entry from being written into history... but that oath: [trust in me] “to Preserve and defend...” must be one, because if Congress fails to carry it out, the Constitution is left subjugated, and the rights and aspirations of the people, enumerated in the Preamble, are left open, with neither a shield or a future for Posterity.

The Republican ticket — to shop!

The Bush-McCain separation from Main Street reality is a denial in constant evidence.  When Barack Obama and Joe Biden say that McCain and his conservative Republicans “just don’t get it,” the facts of the campaign continue to reveal that truth:  as Alaska’s governor, Sarah Palin spent at least $21,000 of taxpayers money on unofficial flights for her family members, and replied that there was nothing wrong, that the expenses were covered by the rules—if so, they are corrupt rules, absent of public-service values, written by the corrupted for their advantage.  Palin doesn’t get it that it’s not about whether questionable rules are violated.  It’s about the violation of trust and values she and her Republican ticket represent, and the values that have been corrupted throughout the Republican Bush terms, where McCain was a willing, front-row participant.

The Republican National Committee spent $150,000 on Palin’s wardrobe and accessories for the campaign, $4,000 on hair styling!  McCain says it’s okay, because it’ll go to charity after the election.  His voting record brings sensibility to this justification, as time and again, McCain voted against substantiative spending for the poor and the working class that’s really needed and of real use.  He’s only too happy to give them his discards.  Obama’s campaign has spent zero on such costly frivolities, where in his value-set, substance trumps appearance.  Again, this abuse represents spending which Palin could have afforded to pay for herself.  But like her rich running mate and his obscenely wealthy wife, the shopping and the appearance is what matters most, business as usual, except that, this time, the Bush Republicans’ former, big-spending shopper, Conde Rice, wasn’t along on any of Palin’s high-end sprees.  Yet, on the stump, McCain says of Obama, “What’s really skewed are my opponent’s priorities.”  Yet, McCain has been moving closer to the truth, trying to make his 90-percent, rubber-stamp, vote record disappear by attacking Bush more often and with more antagonism as the polls show Obama’s lead widening in the stretch, which only proves McCain will eventually say night is day to get elected.  He is also lying to his wealthy base, insisting that Obama “wants to redistribute your money,” as though Obama has his hand in their pockets.

Barack Obama at October 21st Miami rally —
Photo by Armando Rodriguez

The truth is that Obama doesn’t intend to take away anything the wealthy have raked in over the last 25 years of inequality, but he does insist that the entire nation share in future prosperity.  But is it really any surprise that Republicans who have been in the top floors of the Enrons of America, and who have partnered with UBS Bank to illegally send their profits offshore, don’t want to give up a penny for fairness or need, no matter how much they have?  Just remember how stingy McCain’s wife, Cindy, has been with attempts to increase Phoenix hospital beds by collecting only a percent or two more on top of the paltry taxes her enterprise pays to Arizona.  The measures her company takes to stifle attempts at any tax increases are ruthless, and as the campaign heats up to wind down, it is becoming more apparent that the divide between Republicans and the rest of the nation is no less than full-fledged, economic class war, waged guerrilla-style by Republicans over the last two decades, unopposed, until now, where this election campaign is the first, major, public-involved battle.

The change for the future that the Republican excesses and irresponsible spending represent equals zero, none at all, but rather just more of the same, where the wealthy slither into positions to spend what isn’t theirs, with no care for those who are left behind in their dust.  The terms of the last three Republican presidents has proven that a democracy is no place for those with such misplaced, regal priorities to be in control.  The Republicans, in what they do, as opposed to what they say, continue to plainly lay out for the voters what will really transpire if they are again handed the reins of power in America.

Tri-State Republican voting record reflects special interests, not public interest.

Ohio Senator George Voinovich, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, and Ohio House Representatives Steve Chabot and John Boehner (not tri-state district) are antiquated institutions, part of the Republican party’s old-boy class, who are Bush yes men, financed by special interests and entrenched in the rhetoric and goals of the party loyalists, not American loyalists.  They sing the party song and walk the party line as their Republican party walks over the interests of America and most of its citizens.

These relics from the political-boss past favored the insurance industry over children by voting against the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007.  They sided against soldiers in favor of the Bush-capitalist plan for Iraq by voting for the failed surge and against every measure (at least eight separate bills, to date) to curb the Bush administration’s abuse of the military in Iraq.  The record, not their election rhetoric, is the truth of their public enmity.

Constitutional Rights

Voinovich and McConnell voted against the Constitution’s Bill of Rights by approving extensions of Bush’s authority to conduct warrantless wiretaps with no oversight by the courts, even after the Bush administration’s criminal conspiracy to overturn America’s civil rights was revealed through the ineptitude of Bush’s attorney-general lap dog, Alberto Gonzales.

Both Senators, Republican leaders, voted against the Senate-majority effort to bring a vote of no-confidence to the floor against Gonzales.

Voinovich and McConnell voted “yes” to confirm Bush’s Attorney General subsequent nominee, Michael B. Mukasey, who has continued to resist Justice Department investigation into administration abuses, stonewall Congress with his committee testimony, and who does not recognize standards defining and prohibiting torture.

Chabot and Boehner voted against the Responsible Electronic Surveillance Act, which would not allow absolute Bush power to continue to infringe upon American’s civil rights.

He also voted against the Intelligence Authorization Act, of 2008, which would have also verbalized the already-existing force of U.S. and international law against torture, and he voted also to uphold the Bush veto of the Act.

Voinovich later voted for the FISA Amendments Act of 2007, providing retroactive immunity for companies that violated the law by helping Bush conduct warrantless wiretapping of citizens.

Note, also, that the turncoat, so-called Independent from Connecticut, Senator Joseph Lieberman, joined with deadweights Voinovich and McConnell on all of these issues, along with Rep. Steve Chabot in the House-versions, except that the Gonzales measure did not reach the House.  Had it, though, Chabot would have probably done what he did when he turned his back on a chance to speak for accountability by not voting on the resolution to find former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with Judiciary Committee subpoenas, which passed by a vast majority, 223-32.


Even after the Katrina debacle, and the economic crisis requiring new jobs, with a waiting span of declining infrastructure, Chabot voted to uphold Bush’s veto of the Water Resources Development Act, which would provide for the conservation and development of water and related resources and construction of improvements to U.S. rivers and harbors.

Social Services

Chabot also voted twice against government funding for critical social services, funding the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and against the work of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), when he voted against the 2007 and 2008 funding Appropriations Acts.

Chabot and Boehner also voted against the most deprived workers in the nation by turning thumbs down on the Fair-Minimum-Wage Act.

Chabot and Boehner continued to block efforts to assist the needy when he voted against the Regional Economic and Infrastructure Development Act of 2007, which would establish commissions to address ways to help the most economically distressed areas in the nation, which dovetails with his “no” vote on the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund Act of 2007, which would create a National Affordable Housing Trust Fund within the United States Treasury to assist in the building of affordable housing for low-income families.

And, to make sure there can be no mistake he stands against helping those less fortunate, he voted against the HOPE VI Improvement and Reauthorization Act, which would revitalize severely distressed public housing.  Live rich or live under a bridge is the motto of Chabot’s housing record.

Worker Rights and Safety

After a terrible two years of mining tragedies, Chabot and Boehner still voted against the S-MINER Act, which would improve mine safety standards.

And, in House hearings on the Delta-NW Airlines merger, Chabot cut off union representatives when they were making the case for the airlines disdain for employee concerns and gave the floor to Douglas Moormann, the Cincinnati Regional Chamber VP for economic development, who changed the focus to the business interests, away from the labor complaints and concerns.  Now, traffic is so depleted at CVG that both employment and business prosperity are threatened.

Chabot and Boehner voted against veterans and minorities when he cast a “no” vote for the Small Business Contracting Program Improvements Act, which would address contracting program improvements for those groups.

Voinovich voted not to allow the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007 come to a vote, because it would have restored worker’s rights to litigate cases of pay discrimination.

Voinovich and McConnell also voted against the rights of the working people when they voted against the Senate’s Employee-Free-Choice Act.


Chabot and Boehner also voted “no” on the Tax Collection Responsibility Act, which would curb IRS private-debt collection abuses, and he voted to deny tax relief to citizens when he voted against the Temporary Tax Relief Act of 2007 and the Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act.  He also voted “no” on the Taxpayer Assistance and Simplification Act, because he knows that a complicated tax system benefits the wealthy, corporations, and the legal and financial professions, which also means that the complicated, burdensome tax system is a disservice and disadvantage to ordinary taxpayers that Chabot and the Republicans support.


Chabot and Boehner, who have been responsible for trade agreements hurting working Americans, continued to stand against them when they voted “no” on the Trade and Globalization Assistance Act, which covers service-sector workers employed by firms experiencing significant layoffs with a connection between the layoffs and trade, and which would bring expanded trade-adjustment assistance to more manufacturing workers who are left out when their factory moves to China or Mexico.

Chabot and Boehner stood against a bill eliminating restrictions so that all workers impacted by trade would be covered for Trade Assistance programs, regardless of where the factory relocated to or where the import competition comes from.

Chabot and Boehner, along with Voinovich and McConnell, voted for the United States-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement, despite problems not addressed with promotion of child labor, weak labor rights, factory-farming threats, mining development causing deforestation and habitat loss, and the capacity of the agreement to confront subsistence farmers to subsidized U.S. crops.  Aside from being an agreement of no conscience for the Third-World disadvantaged, which is a characteristic of the Republican view on global trade, the agreement also opens a door for Dubai Ports World to use its Peruvian subsidiary to gain rights to operate U.S. ports.

Chabot and Boehner also voted “no” on a resolution to remove fast-track priorities designed by Republicans to push the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement into quick passage.

They voted against the Patent reform Act of 2007, supported by big business and opposed by major labor organizations, which enacted many of the proposals recommended by a 2003 report by the Federal Trade Commission and a 2004 report by the National Academy of Sciences, including the banning of tax-planning patents.

Chabot and Boehner also voted against the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2007, siding with the airlines instead of the flying public, against a bill that would require airlines to change schedules when peak-hours delays worsen due to excessive flights.

Environment and Energy

Chabot is actually claiming, in his TV spots, that he voted to create energy alternatives, but the truth is that the environment was subordinated to big business when Chabot voted against the Act to Create Long-Term Energy Alternatives for the Nation, because it would repealing extraneous tax breaks and subsidies to profit-rich oil companies and reinvesting those taxpayer funds in alternative energy.

Chabot and Boehner nixed the environment again, when they voted “no” to the Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act, which would overhaul environmental standards applied to mining, finance abandoned mine site clean-up, and charge royalties for hardrock mines located on federal lands.

They also voted against the National Landscape Conservation System Act, which would give permanent statutory protection to the Department of Interior’s National Landscape Conservation System, a 26 million-acre network of monuments, scenic trails, and conservation and wildlife areas.

Voinovich contributed to the effort to hold back environmentally needed changes and energy independence when he voted “no” to the Ensign Amendment to the Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008, which would extend needed tax incentives to encourage renewable energy and energy efficiency.

And, with their no votes on the Senate’s Clean Energy Act of 2007, Chabot, Boehner, Voinovich and McConnell again favored the industrialists over the environment.

Real change for the good of the middle class, the disadvantaged and the nation only begins when the extended, painful terms of Voinovich, McConnell, Chabot and Boehner come to an end.  For once, at last, vote accordingly to remove them.

McCain’s fear-mongering, false visions, promises
and truths—seek to detach a bad end built on lies.

Trust in the Record

Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it. — Mark Twain

McCain’s new, post-convention catch-line, “We were elected to change Washington and instead let Washington change us,” is designed to do other than push the Republican record of the last eight years aside, it is, more importantly, designed to position McCain as if he is and has always been in confrontation to that record, and to create a detached-from-fact starting point to paint the picture of himself as the suddenly-materialized, Republican-right force for change.  But it is not true, that McCain didn't help push that record of reckoning upon America, or that he and his Republicans let Washington do anything to them or their agenda.  The Republican party of Bush, Cheney, and of McCain, went into Washington armed and prepared to march on the American people on behalf of the industrialists and far-right special interests, which have always paid them their millions, but which now are the elite party base, making exactly the kind of changes they intended, which have been uninformed, unenlightened, self-serving, destructive, costly, and bloody.  Where, during those eight, long years, tumbling down the chute of Bush-Cheney imperialism abroad and de-regulated, Robber-Baron resuscitation at home, was McCain’s campaign-proclaimed penchant for change as he voted the party line almost 100 percent of the time?  The truth, the whole truth, and the only truth, is spoken by the record that resulted in the name of George Bush not even passing as a mention across McCain’s lips at the Republican’s convention, and that record is the political wind of disaster which really forced Bush to be missing throughout the whole of it.

Cheney, it would be spun by Republicans, wasn’t at the convention because he was busy securing “the blessings of liberty” by visiting the invaded, former Soviet Republic of Georgia, when his real purpose there was Bush-term, last-minute oil business, to consult with BP Oil, Chevron, and other companies which exploit the critical oil pipeline there, and to arrange a billion-dollar subsidy for the Bush-Cheney, and McCain oil-company interests there, through the guise of an aide grant to the Republic.  While the legitimacy of the Georgian claim and actions toward their “breakaway” republics is as questionable as the justification of Russia to intervene by invading, that money could be used in America, where cutbacks are the call of the day, for social services, education, infrastructure, and health services, and likely would have been, if the White House of Bush-Cheney, and McCain, wasn’t really the White House of the industrial elite, headed by the segment that has profited most during the Bush terms, through inflated pump-price profits, skirted land-lease royalty payments to the government, and Iraq-war profiteering:  big oil.

The U.S. was maintaining several military-development programs in Georgia, including military advisors, before and during the time of the Russian invasion.  Why?  Georgia is hardly the example of a democracy that can be pointed to with pride, since the Saakashvili regime has been active in suppressing opposition groups and closing down the press.  And why, if not for U.S. oil firms there, the ones Cheney went there to see during the Republican convention, does Bush rush to provide post-invasion “aide,” when it is acknowledged that Georgian President Saakashvili ignored the strongest-possible warnings of U.S. diplomats not to use military force in South Ossetia, which is exactly what diplomats feared would provoke the Russian response it did?  Russia was also making a definitive point by going beyond the Ossetia region to destroy bases and seize equipment that were a part of the U.S. installed and assisted NATO scheme.  It was an attack by proxy against NATO and its further expansionism into its once-satellite, bordering nations, and the Republican-right are now testifying before Congress and in the press to push a new arms race in the Baltics, which McCain would take up and turn into a relighting of the Cold War.  Even if every aspect of the Bush involvement there were justifiable, rewarding a regime that ignores U.S. warnings, in such critical steps affecting NATO security and regional democracies, with aide, in the form of money or arms, is not good policy, simply because it dilutes the strength behind any U.S. warnings and the ability of the U.S. to influence the actions of regimes with which it partners.  Georgia is not a part of NATO and is not even able to meet readiness to apply for inclusion in the defense organization.  The U.S. actions in Georgia, despite Russia’s ambitions in the region, is not a national interest, it is a Bush interest, founded in the Bush-Cheney roots of confrontation and with with big oil, and it is a provocative interest when it is characterized by military involvement, and it seems, without the approval of Congress required by the Constitution.

But beyond the unappropriated money, again the Bush administration, in making promises and guarantees to stand behind Georgia, is continuing the failed, dangerous, and illegal policy of ignoring the Constitution, which requires any such alliances are treaties that must be ratified by the Senate before they are a reality that can be acted upon or affirmed as Cheney has done.  But Georgia is not the only priority in Putin’s “restoration” basket.  The Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Sevastopol, along with another mooring, in Odessa, are homes of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, and are also candidates.  The Black Sea is a warm-water body of historic Russian presence, shared with five other nations, including NATO’s Turkey, and it provides restricted access to the Mediterranean Sea, and the Atlantic, through the Bosporus, or Istanbul Strait.  The Ukraine port, Sevastopol, which is licensed to Russia, under current agreement, only until 2017, is an ambition for reclaimed sovereignty by Putin and old, Soviet hard-liners.  And with an eye to this and other border objectives, getting the reaction of the West to its Georgian incursion, to fill in an unknown variable in the Russian equation of risk and opportunity, was as important as the invasion’s military objectives.  And based upon that non-response, if Ukraine ever indicates a move to abandon its neutral stance for the West, Russia would have little reason for restraint in imposing its influence, forcibly.  With Bush having no other legacy, except the AIDS program in Africa, the confrontational statements of Cheney and Rice, instead of diplomatic statements addressing paths for solutions to the internal Georgian strife, give pause to wonder if Bush is intent on getting the U.S. into a conflict with Russia in hopes of restoring the pre-invasion status-quo, so that Bush can say he shares an achievement with which, commonly, Reagan is mistakenly credited, and which, with Russia’s ever-more apparent expansionist goals, is threatened to be reversed.

The TV pundants, who look nowhere, with specificity, beyond Georgia in regard to Russian expansionist intent, on the political shows flatter themselves that they can define what each candidate succeeds in doing, or fails in doing, or must succeed or not fail in doing at the conventions.  There’s nothing wrong with that brand of sports-team-management prognostication, but they do it as though the conventions are fine watches that can be adjusted to click with the pulse of the public, and as though the productions of campaigns are actually true and comprehensive reflections of the candidates or the parties, though, they could be more so.  Such “expertise,” quick to say what a candidate must do, or must no longer do, speaks as though the result will become the face of that candidate, as though he or she will be programmed by the fine-tuning that is applied in the campaign, always failing to note that no matter what changes sweep over the voices and images of the candidates, that they will remain and act, if elected, according to what their records say they really are.  These experts also fail to note that this truth of the persons running is linked to the truth of the campaigns and conventions:  they are largely entertainment and propaganda shows that play on truth, ranging from mere embellishment to deception, with platforms distilled into oversimplified labels aimed at target blocks of voters that include those who know nothing, those who have forgotten everything, and those who need to keep hearing a fabrication to believe it, or a truth to remember it.

A large part of America’s problems today is that elections are first about power, not service, then control, not cooperation, and the mantra is to do whatever must be done to win.  So, especially today, no convention can ever truly represent what any candidate or party really is.  They will only reflect what the spin doctors, public-relations and political-science advisors, and party bosses try to paint their candidates to be, using grand-sounding speeches, sound bites, videos, and staging.  And whether that portrait is true, false, or somewhere in between is never the first consideration.  In a recent, blind focus group, sponsored by AARP, conducted by political statisticians, with a panel of 25 undecided voters, this question was asked:  which of the following would have the greatest weight in the decision of the panelists to vote for a candidate—the convention speech, the debates, advertisements, or news coverage?  A point of evidence that the perceived purpose of these campaign events is to manipulate the opinion of the voter, and that the record is not in the minds of those who make it their business to shape or determine opinion, nor is it in the minds of the voters, because any of the panel could have chosen to speak “the record” as their answer and did not.  The tools of campaigns are designed, more than anything else, to make emotional connections across distance and time, on a living-room level, through the indiscriminate masses, with appearance and speech, representing the candidates as comfortable, acceptable, welcome.  “I am your trusted friend, Kemo Sabe.”  But only the record, which also reveals moral values and social ethics, can accurately represent the candidates or their parties, the record that will be avoided or pushed aside, this year in the Republican convention, which was serendipitously aided in this by a natural disaster providing a convenient excuse to keep Bush and Cheney away; or the record that will be celebrated, this year, the ancient history of the McCain military biography and the public-service rise of Obama’s; and there is the record, one of failure, that must be fabricated, spun into a fabric of plausible deniability and possible interpretation, or see the aforesaid, accountable parties blown away by a hurricane—again, McCain and the Republicans.

Politics is not a movie or a mini-series where the story of what the voter is being asked to buy can be packaged in a four-night production, and yet, like a nightmare infomercial, so it is offered, and tragically, too often, that short, frilled package trumps the long, plain record of history; although, the AARP focus group of 25 rated the convention lowest among the provided show-time options that could influence them.  There must be some degree of due-diligence on the part of the electorate with respect to the record of the candidates and the parties if more bloody disasters like the back-to-back Bush elections are to be avoided.  The final word as to whether the country has a chance to progress behind the lead of an honest, compassionate, and insightful leader who knows and respects the limits of power written into the Constitution, or is damned to be subverted and twisted under a leader who is ignorant, arrogant, and abusive of the nation’s heritage, is still that of the voters, and in the last two elections, that word has been the voice of mostly lazy, unquestioning, unreasoning minds, always too preoccupied with the unavoidable day-to-day, and perhaps too dependent upon the speech of television pundants, often disguised as journalists, whose agendas are often skewed by ambition and one-upsmanship instead of the bland investigation and retelling of objective fact, recorded history, and the devil who waits in the details.

Take the case of John McCain’s wife, Cindy McCain, who stole dope pills from her charity, plagiarized recipes from TV shows, and who acted out quite a show at the hurricane-amended opening day of the Republican convention, putting on the face of charity and concern for others, while at home, that mask of humanity turned to one of perverted-moral conscience, spite, and vindictive jealousy, as without notice or grace period, she cut off the stipend her father, Jim Hensley, had provided his first daughter and her children from a previous relationship, also paying for their schooling while he was alive, an amount Cindy McCain’s estates’ ponds and lakes would not even reflect as a ripple.  The “gracious” Mrs. McCain not only disinherited her half sister, but she disowned her when she referred to herself as Hensley’s only child in her eulogy for her father.  Even if there were cause for such behavior against her step-sister, niece and nephew, where is her spirit of compassion, forgiveness, and charity when she can actually do something about it, beyond staged RNC lip service?  In any story that can be recalled, where a wealthy overlord belittles, places obstacles before, and brushes aside those “insignificants” around her, Mrs. McCain fits that character and plays that roll in her life.  The record speaks.

Cindy McCain’s company, a monopolistic distributor of spirits, ruthlessly exerts its monied influence over elected government officials and indebted appointees, including her husband’s political endeavors and interests, just as do the drug and oil companies, to cut-off any attempts to extract a fair-share of her tax liability, to prevent labeling disclosing alcohol content, and to oppose advertising to fight under-aged drinking.  The record speaks:  profits over prevention of abuse.  And her company is moving to block any path for referendums proposing alcohol taxes for funding of worthwhile projects, including health-care related.  The spirits industry would benefit by a McCain presidency, beyond his Republican-corporate sympathies, because a hands-off imperative, by virtue of conflict due to his wife’s involvement, would amount to inaction, always preferred over possible interference.  And, as Obama and McCain stand toe to toe, with John McCain’s spring-well of wealth hanging in the balance as a prime target for Obama tax shifts to the shielded, obscenely wealthy... the record speaks.  But, in November, will the voters speak, appropriately, in response?

While there is no doubt that Obama is the white knight to McCain’s black knight, and that there never will be a doubt that, of the two, Obama-Biden is the better choice for a better future for most Americans, it’s never as simple as black and white.  Like McCain, with some of his initial promises, Obama is also slipping on some issues, like NAFTA, and not stepping out on others, like respecting limits on constitutional power, abused by Republican administrations over the last decade, abuse sure to continue with McCain.  But Obama promised more, and now he is becoming hazy, failing to take a firm stand to:

immediately remove all troops from Iraq and obtain restitution from Iraq’s multi-billion oil-surplus fund to, at least, repay amounts lost due to Iraqi fraud, corruption, and abuse,

bring down the Washington system of influence and the money-based election machine, which includes ending earmarks and political districting (since this item was listed, Obama has said he would be against earmarks, but he has yet to make the strongest affirmation, as McCain has, that he would veto any bill containing them and not use them himself.),

reaffirm that the Constitution does not allow for presidential signing statements,

reaffirm that the Constitution prohibits the executive from raising or maintaining private armies,

reaffirm that only Congress constitutionally determines where and when troops are deployed in non-defensive circumstances,

reaffirm that Congress constitutionally must ratify all international agreements relating to deployment or use of force and trade,

simplify the tax structure, now a tool of political manipulation and advantage to corporations and the wealthy,

balance the benefits and obligations of NAFTA and all trade agreements to reflect standards fair to American workers,

rein in the out-of-control, wild-west, Wall-Street investment/banking operations,

end or reverse the bailouts the Republican-controlled administration and Treasury Department are showering upon financial firms responsible for the current economic climate,

increase Department of Justice resources, now completely inadequate, to investigate and prosecute rampant corporate crime,

hold accountable executives of financial firms being bailed out, who are still on the job, making their millions, who caused the economic failure now bleeding middle- and lower-class Americans,

repeal laws shielding criminal corporate executives from civil suits, and put in place regulatory requirements for corporations to allow shareholders to approve salary packages of top executives and permit employee choice in retirement-fund investment options,

block corporations guilty of fraud and theft from participating in government-contract processes,

bring to a final, unsquirming end all credit-industry practices attacking those afflicted by poverty, including ending all interest and penalties associated with medical debts,

end all speculation in oil and food commodities and medical services/products,

reverse the flood of illegal immigration and green-card abuse costing American jobs, job standards, and community heritage, and commit to strictly enforce and actively partner with states to enforce immigration law,

and block any use of public funding and resources for any George W. Bush or Richard Cheney library, and instruct the Department of Justice to investigate grounds for possible criminal charges to be brought forward against them and other members of their staffs.

Still, even given these disappointing step-backs, or steps not promised to be taken, it is absolutely true to say that Obama will do far less harm in office than Bush yes-man John McCain (believe what McCain’s done and said before he started saying what he says to get elected).  Ralph Nader would actually be the best president to mercilessly halt abuses of the privileged and greed-motivated and restore constitutional balance, returning America to its more noble, constitutional, moral center.  But, it is unfortunate that any vote for Nader translates to a vote for McCain and another four years of Republican policies destructive to the vast majority of Americans.

Facts bouncing into fiction

Get the facts first.  You can distort them later. — Mark Twain

At the 2004 Republican convention, John McCain stood up and showered Bush with more ranch droppings than even Bush, himself, has probably stepped in.  While Bush was already breaking the law by spying on citizens, McCain stood like an unanimated puppet at the podium and said, “What out enemies sought to destroy cannot be taken from us; it can only be surrendered.”  And surrender our rights is exactly what John McCain and his Republicans did when, this year, 2008, they voted to allow Bush to continue unwarranted privacy invasions and grant immunity to those telecoms who joined with the administration in breaking the law.  Before anyone bothers to object that those telecoms were just trying to assist the government, remember that they had legal advice to the contrary, they are a part of the Bush-Republican corporate conglomerate, getting payback for millions of dollars in donations, and remember, also, that there were telecoms who did not violate the constitutional rights of their customers by helping Bush and Cheney break the law.  Where is their reward in the injustice of the amnesty thrown by Bush, McCain, and his Republicans at the guilty?

In 2004, the world had already made its decision about the Bush administration and its legacy.  Less detached and aware Americans were only just beginning to see the light by then.  But McCain was a blind, yet complicit and faithful lap dog, licking the Bush boots and wagging his tongue for the already-failed Bush record and deluded vision.  This, is what so many Americans of a near-majority, according to the polls, are still drawn to?  Education certainly has suffered in America, and that deficiency of the masses came home to roost in the November 2004 election, where the ignorant, non-elite, Bush supporters got more of what they deserve as the rest of America suffered through their unenlightened mistakes, many for a second time.  McCain counts on the public’s apathy, resistance to change traditional allegiances, and short memory.  And despite how bad it is, and how much deeper another four years of the Bush-McCain brand of leadership still threatens to bury the sane and the true patriots of America today, millions remain unseeing, guided by the vision of gilded, rainbow-colored glasses, down a yellow-brick road of delusional, destructive ambition, unknowing of, and unresponsive to the carnage Bush and Cheney have wrought, all around them, and within which McCain would finally bury them, and the nation.  McCain is a true patriot, but his past and present vision for America’s path and future is now proven, unabated insanity and assured destruction from within.

McCain, in his campaign stumps, is now on the ignore-the-record groove, his and his party's, where the strategy is to just bounce the facts critics cite about the Republican record back at them, and to keep on bouncing it until you believe it yourself, so you will eventually convince others to be believers, too.  He is actually saying, like he believes it, that Obama will raise taxes for Americans, will not pursue alternative-energy options, and that victory in Iraq “is in sight,” and that the U.S. is about “to leave Iraq as a democratic ally in the Arab heartland.”  This is, kindly put, pure FICTION!  And, “my friends,” the rue of believing McCain’s claims will be realized when the beginning of the 100 years of occupation he made clear he is prepared to accept begins, if he is elected.  He says that Obama wants to pull troops out of Iraq when “victory is in sight,” which, he says demonstrates “poor judgement.”  If that were true, and it is not, then McCain’s statements about “victory” being in sight and that Iraq is poised to be a “democratic ally,” is a campaign-rhetoric package of either outright deception on McCain’s part, or wishful thinking, wrapped with pathetic assessment of the facts, and tied with a blooded, red ribbon of Bushesque arrogance and delusion.

Lobbyist Jack Abramoff, on his way to serve a paltry, four-year jail sentence.

Presidential Candidate John McCain’s politics are intertwined with the
Abramoff scandal network.  Jack A. Abramoff was an American political lobbyist, a far-right, conservative-Republican, political activist, and a corrupt businessman, who is sitting in jail for crimes centered on a series of Washington’s highest-profile political scandals, central to Republican abuse and contempt for democratic-government process.  Key among those associated with the scandals was Ralph Reed, a former director of Pat Robertson’s religious organization, who left to take those connections into political consulting, where he was in the middle of the Abramoff money stream, using the Christian-right, and about whom, Abramoff said, “He is a bad version of us.”

Reed was once a part of the Abramoff/Tom Delay-corrupted lobbying/influence system, which, through paid-off government abuse, among many other sordid things, facilitated the largest U.S. system of sweat shops, many owned by China, shielded from U.S. labor laws by Republican conservatives, headed by Karl Rove, through contacts with Abramoff associate Grover Norquist, who facilitated a kind of money laundering for Abramoff, in return receiving donations to his non-profit organization, Americans for Tax Reform.  Along with those involved conservative Republicans who have yet to be convicted of crimes, Reed remains in politics today, despite that these conservative Republicans promoted the Northern Mariana Islands sweat-shops to American business, environments of human abuse and misery, as a sort of off-shore, labor-law shelter, making their operations a “free capitalism” conservative cause.  They remain in politics today, despite that they funneled money and influence for Russian oil oligarchs, getting bail-outs for them through the World Monetary Fund, using American taxpayer money.  And, despite all this, Ralph Reed, whose capacity for avarice raised hairs on the neck of one of America’s most notorious political felons, is today associated with John McCain’s campaign.

There is enough smoke around McCain’s actions and statements, relating to the Abramoff/Delay, Republican corruption, that there is likelihood of a fire.  At least, the history points to a McCain who shielded the crony system and money networks that have taken a stranglehold on the American election and government processes.  As chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee (Abramoff’s major source of funds were Indian-nation casino operators), McCain, under pressure from other senators whose relationships with Abramoff could come to view, said of his committee’s investigations, “It’s not our responsibility in any way to involve ourselves in the ethics process [of Senators],” which contradicts his high-sounding campaign statements on ethics, and he held back from public disclosure the vast majority of evidence obtained because of the effect it would have likely had on the Bush administration, the Republican Congress, where Tom Delay (R-TX) was king, and Republican-election outcomes, and most of those documents remain sequestered.  McCain has demonstrated that he has no claim on ethics, and that a McCain election clearly means a continuation of the Republican system of machine politics, monied influence, and bought elections, which all must end, and all of the old horses, including John McCain (R-AZ), George Voinovich (R-OH), and Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who allowed it to grow its roots into the foundation of government around them for so long, even if they never were directly involved, must also be removed from the American political system if that system is ever to be constrained within the framework of constitutional values and the people’s interests.

The similarities between Bush and McCain reflect an undeniable, unavoidable record.

“Success breeds success, and failure breeds failure.  I know how to win wars.”  This was John McCain’s invalid defense of his support of Bush and the unconstitutional war and occupation of Iraq, and his response to Barack Obama’s affirmation that failure against those who attacked America, in Afghanistan, is because of the Bush obsession in Iraq.  McCain has not been associated with any war won by American soldiers, only misguided failures, first as a victim in Vietnam, and then, as a perpetrator in Iraq.  McCain, who has supported Bush in every bloody step in Iraq, has been an admitted (“I voted for the president over 90 percent of the time”), steadfast partner in failure, and yes, his election would breed more of the same kind of deadly failure and sustain a bleak future for America that, with McCain and his Bush-Republicans in charge, would impose a 100-year presence of troops in Iraq, or anywhere else that he might seek to invade.

McCain and the remaining Bush Republicans say withdrawal must be based upon the “situation on the ground” in Iraq, which, for them, would leave America there for a generation, at least.  It should be remembered that the situation on the ground is that American troops have, behind the smokescreen of the 911 attacks, been committed to a capitalist-derived, nation-building occupation by a Republican president and his rubber-stamp Congress to serve industrial special interests, who are the only ones to have profited from the war, and not to serve America’s interests, and regardless of the “politically derived” situation of violence on the ground in Iraq, America does not belong there in the middle of it, should never have invaded there, and must withdraw from there to restore its legitimacy and its focus upon the threats to America and its enemies who attacked New York and Washington, and upon the domestic economic, infrastructure, and energy challenges, and the global environmental crisis, all of which pose greater danger for America’s prosperity than anything in Iraq.

Senator Obama and others who said the “surge” would not work were not wrong.  McCain, rather, is wrong to say it has worked.  That is a deception.  It would only be true to say that it has had an effect.  But, the truth is that, according to the New York Times, military officers credit the American-financed, insurgent-paid “Awakening” (of questionable constitutionality—executive branch raising armies, foreign-based, in this case) with the most-significant effect on reduced violence, while other disclosures credit covert actions on actionable intel to successfully target insurgent leaders, but even so, deaths of U.S. soldiers have yet to drop significantly lower than any point after the invasion (see chart below), and it has not resulted in the political and Iraq military gains that Bush, McCain, and other Republicans promised.  The insurgents and Iraqi factions are simply saving themselves in anticipation of a post-election draw-down and eventual removal of occupation troops, ending a costly, damaging travesty that should have never been permitted to happen, a crime that will only be made right by ending it, once and for all.  If American voters are ignorant enough to elect a Bush-supporting (look at the record) Republican like McCain into the White House, then the conflict in Iraq will escalate to a level of violence yet to be seen, and the death toll of U.S. soldiers will reach new and extended highs as the factions opposed to the U.S. occupation, with nothing to gain and everything to lose, will put their all into inflicting as much punishment and interference as possible, on an extended basis, and it will then, too late for America, be clear that the apparent calming effect of the surge was only a coincidence of timing, politics, and actionable intel.

The election of McCain, and the consequent flip-side of the surge, will mark the beginning of the darkest chapter in the ongoing Iraq nightmare, set upon Americans by the Bush-Cheney, McCain-Lieberman, McConnell/Voinovich/Chabot and like Republicans.  And, yes, Lieberman should be perceived as a Republican, and it would have been no surprise if Joe Lieberman, the chameleon-Republican, wound up as McCain’s running mate as the Republicans try to suck in Obama-disaffected Independent and Democratic voters.  But, after Hillary’s defeat in the Democratic race, and the wise, national-interest-prioritized decision to select Joe Biden instead of Hillary as the vice president (it is still likely Hillary will be placed in a post more important than vice president), the Republicans moved to suck in disaffected Hillary supporters instead, and appease those who don't want the White House taking on a retirement-home atmosphere, by picking both youth and a woman, with the unknown Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin.  And with Palin, Republicans turned their best criticism against Obama against themselves, but only because they realized that the choice of Joe Biden cancelled its effectiveness.  But very important to realize is that the choice of Sarah Palin for running mate represents exactly what voters can expect if McCain is elected:  decisions based in pure politics and Republican right-wing agenda over national interest.

Hey, if he’d said he’ll keep the war goin’ fer just ten years I’d love ‘im.
But even with his 100 years in Iraq, I won’t hold his hand or kiss him.

Present and future-hopeful Republican warlords rattle sabers at endorsement announcement

Nebulous warnings of impending homeland terrorist attacks are, coincidentally, increasing from various quarters of the Bush administration since Bush’s endorsement of John McCain as the candidate for the nation’s next Republican war lord and Constitution shredder.  In line with all past efforts to achieve their expansionist aims, be it expanding Republican presence in office or administration nation/empire-building goals in Iraq, Bush and the Republicans continue to stress what they allege to be the greater Republican security capability by use of fear mongering, which began the newest phase with Bush’s endorsement speech, which was loaded with more threats of violence than have been heard from Bush and Cheney’s al Qaeda opposites all year.  The sun was shining on the White House back patio for the endorsement press announcement, but the sight of the two Republicans trying to secure a grip on prospective voters was clouded by the ugliness of spewing fear and lies which have become as predictable from this gang as Old Faithful’s beautiful-but-foul sulfur discharges.

Terrorist level still at permanent ORANGE since they’re ALWAYS trying to get us (from both sides).

At least all the Bush-Cheney fear mongering over the years has made American’s near deaf to the threat of violence, which is real, but which will remain no more or less so until the Wizard of Katrina Response is finally replaced, at which point, the Department of Homeland Security can only improve from the pitiful state (for which it has been stringently criticized by the OMB and others) in which Bush and its secretary, Michael Chertoff have constructed and operated it.  The Republican departure will afford America almost immediate increased safety from that avenue alone.  But as long as the Taliban, the system of tribal authorities and drug financing that dominate that region, and as long as the U.S. maintains a military presence with goals in economic self- or special-interest rather than defense-interest, and as long as the U.S. supports oligarchies and kingdoms with the foul politics of the past, there will be the war against the radical Muslims and their criminal allies.  The consequence will, inevitably, be a successful attack initiated by some U.S. based or infiltrated group, and eventually a serious one.  No party, no president can prevent it, and the chances increase as time goes by, leaving no administration open to claim success or failure.  And the threat will remain until the conditions that have been permitted to exist and expand, facilitated by U.S. influence, ignorance, and unbalanced self-interest, are ended.  Even a total withdrawal from Iraq followed with a like focus of offensive attention on the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan will not secure a victory, unless the U.S. is willing to do the job on its own, utilizing the powerful “with us or against us” resolve to eliminate the source of mass attack on the U.S., resolve that the Bush-Cheney invasion of Iraq made into impotent, empty words and squandered.  Only that kind of resolve, to face down non-cooperative leaders in Pakistan and elsewhere, resolve to bring an end to the tribal system and the poppy fields by direct force of U.S. arms, not by deals with groups and alliances with sects that cannot be trusted and that will not form the basis of a new, more progressive order when the means and will to resist are decimated.  Without this kind of rekindled initiative, America will simply be trading two interminable wars for one, and the orange terror level will remain permanently lit, with occasional upgrades to red that will run into the streets.

Bush and Cheney have created and left for the next president and the American people as difficult a world and domestic stage to navigate as has ever confronted any new administration in America’s relatively short history, and the Bush administration and the Republicans in Congress, who to this day continue to shirk their constitutional oversight responsibilities, will remain wholly responsible for every failure and consequence of tragedy that is traced to be a repercussion of their tainted regime.  Those repercussions could domino for decades, or longer, and whomever the Democratic president is, there will be cause for the finger pointed to the past, for which the sign over the door to any Bush library should remind:

The blame stops here.

Lehman Brothers CEO Richard Fuld—the face of corporate greed

In the depths of economic downslide, wealthy executives keep on taking.

Lehman Brothers Chief Executive Officer Richard Fuld, who received as much as $500 million in compensation during the past eight years, painted himself as the victim when testifying this week before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, blaming the collapse of his company on anything but himself, including rumor, out-of-date rules, and regulators.  The Democratic-led congressional panel countered Fuld’s claims that “no one could see it coming” by producing internal documents, dated September 11, well after the disaster was upon the economy, and the taxpayers, that Lehman planned to approve special payments worth more than $18 million for two terminated executives, and $5 million for one who resigned.  Yet, Fuld dramatically said he would take to his grave questions of why the government chose not to bail out his company.  It would be more appropriate for him to wonder why he and his board are not in jail and liable for fines to strip them of their unfounded wealth in order to repay investors they deceived and from whom they profited.

Also exposed by the House committee hearing, as being ripe for jail cells and pay-backs, were AIG top executives who callously treated themselves to a company-paid, $440,000 luxury-resort weekend; this... celebration of abuse and disconnect, raped from the treasury within a week after receiving their taxpayer $85-billion bailout.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Bush, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke

911 - 777 — Crisis, again, masked a Bush-agenda grab as banks go on strike

The Bush tactic of smokescreen assault, opportunity out of disaster, is still alive and well, despite the record of abuse and failure it has scorched into the Bush-Cheney legacy and the national prosperity.

The weapons of mass destruction that aren’t there are back, again, now in the economy!  The Bush administration sent its Treasury and Fed heads to Congress, last month, with the same scare tactics and forecasts of doom and gloom about the economy as it waved for the national interest when it sent Rumsfeld and Tenet to Congress, in 2003, to scare-through a resolution authorizing military action in Iraq.  And in both cases, the attempts to gain extraordinary power and operating authorities emerged from the panic and smoke of destruction:  the Trade Center in the case of Iraq, and in the case of the so-called economic meltdown, the collapsed home-loan and credit sectors of the unherded Republican economy.

This time, examine the facts:  Main Street is not disintegrating; Wall Street, its investors and providers, good and mostly bad, is the sector with components having the greatest threat of vanishing.  The LIBOR (London InterBank Offered Rate) rate went up to a record high, not because the banks don’t have the funds to lend, but because they are not opening the doors to the safes, it seems most likely because the banks are “on strike,” as banks go on strike, withholding funds until their thirst for federal funds is met.

The housing sector has already been rescued with the taxpayer buyouts of Fanny and Freddie, with only some loose ends to tie up.  The remnant credit squeeze can be addressed without the gift to the CEOs and wealthy investors Paulson and Bernanke put before Congress, placing it on the table in abject bad faith, with no oversight, accountability, or public participation built in, and no explanation from Paulson, himself a former investment-firm CEO, on the reasons why not, just a hard push of their proposal to quickly get the power to give, give, give from the public funds, at will, to whomever the Bush administration wishes to play benefactor, just as Bush has been doing all along in the last eight years, with all the false assurances that accompanied the Iraqi case, that unless “quick action” is taken to approve the “necessary” measures, everything will be at risk.

The House was right to vote against the no-oversight bail-out that was on the docket.  Paulson and Bernanke have been wrong and wrong again for more than a year, constantly providing false assurances, so the last source of “expertise” on the economy Congress considers should be the Bush administration and its appointees.  And Reagan’s Fed Chairman appointee, Alan Greenspan testified in congressional hearings that endorsing the Reaganism economics of no regulation during his time heading the Fed was a “mistake.”  Now, with the banks squealing ever louder, and across more borders, for passage of a money bill, the Senate is poised to allow Bush policies to continue two years into the next administration by adding a measure to their “rescue” bill, extending the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations.  And, if the “rescue” bill’s provisions for limiting executive pay amounts to a 20-percent tax on golden parachutes, then that is no limit at all.  The proposed rescue will facilitate the ability of companies to maintain excessive-pay structures, and an executive getting the usual $10-million package is hardly hurting as he walks away from the ruin with $8 million!  Without the bail-out funds, that executive’s board might well parse the package severely, or even eliminate it, so in many cases, under the 20-percent proposal, it seems unavoidable that the bail-out turns into a bonus windfall for those at the top who failed, and too many of them have failed.  Further, if the companies are taken over by the government, then executives should get no bonuses, since GS employees get none, and the executives have the option to leave if they think they’re too good for GS-scale pay.  Eventually, Paulson backed off buying “toxic” assets, instead opting to buy bank preferred securities, but the economy would have been far better served if $700 billion was distributed as a taxable gift to every citizen with a Social Security account, to spend as they wish, rather than as a no-strings-attached gift to Wall Street banks.  But, instead of addressing banks, the government should address at least some of the major problems facing the economy, prioritizing targeted growth, as Obama says, from the bottom up:

Start with the mortgage-default problem, which is not easily addressed on a systemic basis because the problem is so tied to the diverse circumstances of each mortgage holder’s and homeowner’s case.  Any effective solution will require systemic measures to address decreasing housing equities and increasing foreclosures, but will be inadequate to bring about desired results unless some apparatus is put in place to address individual circumstances which can be adjusted to serve the holders, owners, and the markets.  Such an apparatus would be expensive and time consuming to create, except that the apparatus already exists:  the court system.  Any measure passed to address the underlying causes of the economic crisis would be irresponsible unless it avails upon the court system, as it scrutinizes each bankruptcy and default case to come before it, the authority to alter contract terms where the circumstances of the parties make it beneficial and proper to do so.  Legislators must be urged that in any revised version of the “rescue” bill, that a provision be included granting courts authority to act on mortgage-default cases which are reviewed.  It is a common-sense necessity.

Next, to help home buyers and builders, provide generous tax credits for any citizen who purchases a home.

And to help the auto industry step into the future and grow jobs, another generous tax credit should be provided for the purchase of any hybrid or green-technology vehicle or modification to existing vehicle, making the credit much more lucrative if that vehicle is produced in America.

Ditto for green technologies purchased for buildings.

Establish and fund a green-technology research institute, partnered with industry and university researchers and administrators, to provide direction and funding assistance for all aspects of diversified energy production and distribution, including nuclear.

Pass a roads, bridges, and water-control infrastructure bill.

Fund replacement of all temporary school structures with permanent buildings.

Then, encourage savings, which is far too weak a factor in the economy, and which increase would help banks secure capital for lending.  Provide a percentage of matched funds for savings that increases over term.  Increase the return on savings bonds.  Provide an incentive for education-savings accounts.

Increase payments to the jobless and initiate payments to expand states’ jobs programs as recognition of the importance of a flexible job market to a healthy economy.

Put an eligibility cap on Social Security entitlements (pay outs) and increase Social Security payment amounts to those who remain eligible.  Outlaw congressional raiding of SS funds from their interest-earning accounts.

Increase medicare payments, since the savings recipients realize will go into the economy while serving basic needs of lower-income and older citizens.

Reduce health-care costs and take a necessary step to end America’s drug dependence by outlawing advertising for prescription drugs.

Recognize that a healthy press and educated constituency is necessary for a healthy democracy.  Infuse infrastructure funding to provide broadband internet access across all of America, aiding citizens and provider companies, increasing jobs.  Require those companies to include all news-programming channels in their basic packages.  Provide credits for low-income families’ access to the internet, and provide grants to libraries for internet services.  Provide a subsidy or grant for newspapers to support regional investigative journalism.  Increase media jobs and diversity by reversing Republican-controlled, FCC consolidations, ending the monopolizing, debilitating influence of “corporate media.”

Hire and train as many agents as necessary to enforce immigration law, establish and fund state cooperation to locate and deport illegal aliens.

Increase pay for military and death benefits for their families.

On the income side, get the U.S. out of Iraq.

End all earmarks and require all funding, except emergency, to go through the legislative mark-up process.

Forget about returning an American to the moon; divert 25 percent of those program funds to the Mars programs, the rest back to the general fund.

Revamp government-contracting process to eliminate the old-boy structure and influence.

End expensive, ineffective criminal prosecution and incarceration of non-violent drug users; provide state grants for rehabilitation programs, curing society and increasing social-service jobs.

Those who enjoy the greatest benefits of American citizenship and security should pay the most for their costs.  Begin to address the redistribution of wealth necessary to close the unhealthy and unfair inequality gap by instituting a luxury tax on high-end categories of cars, boats, airplanes, jewelry, and homes, to include elevated tax levels on every home other than primary residences.  Eliminate income tax on incomes below $50,000 per year, applying dependant increases, and increase the tax level on incomes over $500,000 with proportionally greater increases beyond that amount.  Increase capital-gains tax on individuals with incomes over $150,000 per year, stepped to higher increases for higher returns and incomes.

Begin to address the entitlement problem by ending double-dipping, requiring holders of multiple entitlements to drop the lower-paying one(s) combining 90 percent of the dropped amounts to the remaining entitlement, and then applying a phased-in, percentage decrease of the remaining 90 percent portion of the lost entitlement(s) to lower the combined base of the single, remaining entitlement to a final, reduced level that should be 40 percent below the level of the original, dropped entitlement(s), 60 percent for any third entitlement.  Medical entitlements for ongoing treatment should be excluded, as should entitlements for lost capacity due to injury, but these should be reviewed and adjusted as required, up or down.

As the Bush weapon of mass destruction for the U.S. future flames out, with one last bomb (maybe) to drop, the economy has become the target in a last-gasp attempt to garner one final, magnificent gift for Bush’s investment friends:  a national, golden parachute.  But this time, initially, Congress had found its backbone and sent the Bush bag boys home without the unmarked money, and for many economists, and downtrodden citizens, that’s the way the story should have ended.  But even as this and other extraordinary measures failed to restore confidence, Bush continued to regularly address the nation, putting on his best imitation of Franklin Roosevelt, when in fact, there is nothing in the record of non-performance of his administration that should give anyone, except the deluded, pause to think Bush can do anything but fan the flames of destruction he and his finance-post appointees ignited.  On the morning of the Friday ending the worst week on Wall Street since 1932, the market spoke as Bush did, the DOW dropping from -84 when he began his short address to -196 by the time he walked away.

Some economists have called the record-breaking, Wall-Street slide of the first trade week of October 2008 an excess of capitalism.  What they miss, is that the problem is not an excess of capitalism in Wall Street, it is an excess of capitalism in Bush-McCain Republican governance, where government is by, of, and for the corporate, where greed, which will never be defeated, is left unchecked in a deregulated economy and speculative marketplace, and where, with John McCain, it will be just more of the same as the rich get richer and the middle class disappears, along with the jobs and factories propelled overseas by industrialist-biased trade theory turned into unfair, nation- and society-sacrificing practice.  The writing is on the wall, as it has always been, and this time, there can be no excuse for any vote giving credence to the complicitous McCain campaign of astounding neglect, lies and deceit.

Republican economics have also hurt other countries, and Icelanders get it, that their government’s embrace of Reaganomics is what brought them to their knees.  Bankrupt Iceland, sliding from the world’s fifth-richest per-capita country to the first Western nation seeking International Monetary Fund (IMF) relief since 1976, puts the blame for its confrontation with depression squarely on the small-government ideology of Reaganism, which has been the hallmark of the Bush economic and political policies, which makes economic greed a value, and which Iceland’s Prime Minister, Geir Haarde, and its bank governors put in place of that country’s traditional-values-based economy, boasting of a removal of “the shackles of political intervention.”

Haarde cut taxes, sold off state assets, and removed regulatory constraints, allowing banks to increase debt to 12 times GDP to finance offshore corporate growth.  Now, Iceland’s three largest banks have gone into receivership, the currency is near worthless, inflation threatens to exceed 75 percent, the main securities market has lost 90 percent of its value, and consumers face shortages in even the basics of food and clothing.  Just as bad, under current law, Icelanders must wait until 2011 for Haarde’s term to end, knowing that a new beginning cannot be achieved with the perpetrators of the economic demise still in power, a fact U.S. voters considering McCain should focus sharply upon, even as rescue measures are implemented in the U.S. and in Iceland, including a reinstatement of government oversight and regulatory controls.

Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin.

Sarah Palin or Tyra Banks?  Eenie meenie mynee moe...

Humor [is] something that thrives between man’s aspirations and his limitations.  There is
more logic in humor than in anything else.  Because, you see, humor is truth.
— Victor Borge

“Are you kidding me, the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska?  Yeah, that’s who you want in the White House during a time of crisis.  When she got a phone call at 3 in the morning, it was because a moose had gotten in the garbage can.” — Bill Maher

“I think this is pertinent because McCain has been running this campaign based on we’re at war, it’s a dangerous world out there.  The democrats don’t get that.  I, John McCain am the only one standing between the blood-thirsty Al Qaedas and you.  But if I die, this stewardess can handle it.” — Bill Maher

“Five kids?  Does anyone in that party understand the concept of pulling out?” — Bill Maher

“When they were vetting her for this job, like three seconds ago, she said, quote, I’m not making this up, ‘What is it exactly that the VP does every day?’  Let me field that for you, Sarah.  They start wars, they enrich their friends, they subvert the Constitution, and they shoot people in the face.  That’s what the vice president does.” — Bill Maher

“John McCain’s VP pick is the governor of Alaska , a unknown hockey mom named Sarah Palin that no one ever heard of.  The only other job she had in politics was the mayor of a small town known as Wasilla, Alaska, and now she has the opportunity to be on a ticket opposite of Barack Obama, the first black man she’s ever seen.” — Bill Maher

“This isn’t a presidential ticket, this is a sitcom:  The maverick and the MILF.” — Bill Maher

“The McCain people believe that Americans will disregard her inexperience because they will fall in love with her story:  she was a runner up in the 1984 Miss Alaska Pageant, which may sound trite, but you try walking in high-heeled snow shoes.” — Bill Maher

“And the trump card, why Americans will fall in love with her, she’s got five kids.  How can you not vote for someone who has five children, including an infant.  Some touching details about the infant:  it has Down Syndrome, she had it when she was 43 years old, and it looks a lot like John Edwards.” — Bill Maher

“There was some breaking news out of Dayton, Ohio today, where Republican presidential candidate John McCain introduced the world to his third wife.” — Jon Stewart

“She’s not bad looking.  She looks like one of those women in the Van Halen videos who takes off her glasses, shakes out her hair, and then all of a sudden, she’s in high heels and a bikini.  All of a sudden, I am FOR drilling in Alaska ." — Jimmy Kimmel

“Not only is she young, they’re saying she’s the prettiest candidate for Vice President since John Edwards." — Jimmy Kimmel

“Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is John McCain’s choice.  Here’s what we know about her:  her name is Sarah Palin." — Jay Leno

“Today President Bush called Gov. Palin and congratulated her.  Bush told Palin the job of vice president is very important because as vice president, you get to tell the president what to do.” — Jay Leno

“Actually, it was kind of a smart choice.  McCain went with a woman because he didn’t want to have to be in a position to have to get CPR from Mitt Romney.” — Jay Leno

“Palin and McCain are a good pair:  she’s pro-life and he’s clinging to life.” — Jay Leno

Sarah Palin is another conservative, carbon-pocketed copy (supports big oil over environment, corporate plunder over middle-class survival) of McCain and Bush, extremely low on experience, a predatory-corporate-power broker who is against women’s priorities of workplace equality through law, and strongly against any family-planning freedom, even in cases of rape or incest.  With her uninformed opposition, there would be no moves to end global warming, quite the contrary, because, ignoring the overwhelming consensus of the world’s best scientists and the irrefutable evidence, she doesn’t believe man-made carbon emissions contribute to it!  She stands for the most extreme, most knuckle-dragging beliefs of the Christian / conservative right, having worn a button supporting Pat Buchanan for president in 2000, and when America’s lead in science and technology innovation and production in the world is slipping, she would not oppose replacing science in schools with Creationism!  While she realizes that would not be accepted, she still would waste students’, teachers’, or anyone’s most valuable commodity, time, by having an invalid subject share the curriculum, rather than just being identified and defined for what it is.  As mayor of her small, Alaska town, Wasilla, she fished for reaction from the city librarian if she would be pushed to ban a list of books she considered objectionable to her beliefs.  Palin’s positions or beliefs on climate change, evolution, and stem-cells is a complete nullification of science in its entirety, with perhaps, the sole exception that the world is, indeed, not flat, and it is a patently irresponsible set of beliefs for anyone professing to be in a position of leadership in the civilized world.  It would be embarrassingly interesting, like witnessing the desperate, dirge-like punches in the failed performance of a stand-up, or a singer with the voice of a tone-deaf dog, to hear Palin’s explanation of why the science of life evolution, and the extracted basis of most genetic-science advances today, already providing tools to fight disease, with the promise of more, tomorrow, should be discarded; or why the irrefutable proof of man-made, global warming should be ignored as though it is an incompetent weatherman’s fairytale forecast.  Those explanations will never be heard, because she cannot provide them, not without coming off like a witch, dipping scorpions, rats’ tails, and crows’ skulls into a caldron, while she reads from her recipe book of magic spells to bring every promise McCain’s made to fruition.  With her vision of reality so regressively impaired, she has no business leading a state, a nation, or even being on a local school board.

Her claim to have stopped the infamous “bridge to nowhere” has been uncovered as being a lie, the record shows that, with the lobbying firm of Alaska’s corruption-indicted, Republican Senator, Ted Stevens, through his son, employed there, she actively raked in millions in earmarks for her town when she was mayor.  She is little more than a continuation of the cronyism and influence in government that has marked the Bush Republican terms, placing incompetents into critical appointments time and again to be removed (seen most often as resignations) for their failures or crimes.  The record speaks!

And Palin seems aptly endowed with the Republican, Bush-Cheney instincts for abuse of power, as a pair of state-ethics investigations against her abusing the power of the governors’ office seem to have traction.  And the best evidence of her lack of values and responsibility, is that she is ready, willing, and able to abandon the raising of her five children, leaving that highest responsibility of society and family to hired help and whatever attention her effective, single-parent husband would provide, in order that she can feed her ego and her own perverted self-interests.  This isn’t a double-standard, unless women are prepared to withdraw their historical claim and say that the nurturing role of the mother isn’t the most important of the two parents, and besides, there is a huge difference between having two children to raise, compared to five, and one with special needs, which is beyond the number where the demands of the office of president or vice president can be adequately addressed without significant detraction from either family obligations or those of office, or both.  The pregnancy of her under-aged, unwed daughter is proof positive of the consequences and that she hasn’t successfully managed the dual responsibilities, even as governor of the nation’s least-populous state or as mayor of a small town.  And for those who blindly say they support her because of her strong family values and because she puts family first, where were those values and priorities when she decided to feed her ambition by accepting the RNC offer, knowing that her daughter was pregnant, and knowing that by accepting she would be putting the world spotlight on her and her situation?  Please!  The record speaks, above anything Palin or the Republican machine spits out.  But Republicans at the convention are saying anything they have to say to deny the plain facts of her complete unsuitability for the nomination, and America will suffer the consequences of her misplaced, born-of-ignorance political decisions if she is ever afforded the chance to play her hand with its citizen’s families.  Just read this linked letter from a long-time neighbor of hers (identified in the linked letter), and government activist, in Wasilla, detailing how Palin hurt that small town in the short time she was its mayor.

The Palin selection, rushed into (like the Republicans in charge rushed into Iraq) after Hillary was put aside for the Biden selection, was made after only a few meetings with McCain and is no more than a Republican, resentment-based attack against everyone supporting sane policy in those issues, and she is also a premeditated choice to dump the priorities of experience and national defense, global and domestic, with which the Republicans have tried to tear the Democrats apart, all contrived to try and take advantage of and attract disaffected Democrats, Independents, and liberal Republicans who backed Hillary Clinton for president, and then for vice-president, and failed.  It is another clever, nose-cutting Republican move that serves only the ends of holding and obtaining power, designed only to scoop up votes to win an election at the expense of the best future for the nation and the vast majority of its citizens.  In his 1964 Republican convention speech, candidate Barry Goldwater spoke to the likes of Nikon, and particularly, Bush, Cheney, and John McCain, when he said, “Small men seeking great wealth or power have too often and too long turned even the highest levels of public service into mere personal opportunity.”  The selection of Sarah Palin for vice president is the latest, characteristic, low-brow step for the modern, corrupt, post-Eisenhower Republican party.  And, in the topsy-turvey flow of history, the 1968 Republican-convention speech of Richard Nixon could be substituted, with great, uncanny meaning for today’s truths, for Obama’s 2008 Democratic-convention speech, by just substituting “Iraq” for Vietnam, “five years” for four years, and, nearly, by removing the phrase, “our factories.”  And as the Republicans continue to try and flip the truth and spin the facts they don’t avoid, McCain-Palin holds the same pall for America as McCain alone, except if he goes to sleep forever in office, whatever the worth of his ideologically-tainted experience, it will be lost with Palin as his substitute.  And on any comparative basis, there is no comparison between Joe Biden and Palin.  Any attempt to do so would be laughable.  This selection could make one pause to ask if the Republican machine that spat her out might have actually given a passing computation to naming Tyra Banks.

Segments of CBS Katie Couric interview with Sarah Palin

I’m a little spun-around, confused.  Let me see if I have this straight...

* If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you’re “exotic, different?”

* Grow up in Alaska, eating moose burgers, you’re a quintessential American story.

* If your name is Barack you’re a radical, unpatriotic Muslim?

* Name your kids “Willow,” “Trig,” and “Track,” then you’re a maverick.

* Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable?

* Attend five different small colleges before graduating, you’re well grounded.

* Spend three years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter-registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a constitutional law professor, eight years as a state senator, representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state senate’s Health and Human Services Committee, spend four years in the United States Senate, representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran’s Affairs committees, you don’t have any real leadership experience?

* If your total resume is:  local weather girl, four years on the city council and six years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you’re qualified to become the country’s second-highest-ranking executive.

* If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising two beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you’re not a real Christian?

* If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife to marry that heiress the next month, you’re a Christian.

* If you teach responsible, age-appropriate, sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society?

* If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state’s school system, while your unwed, under-aged teen daughter ends up pregnant, you’re very responsible.

* If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner-city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family values don’t represent America’s?  Well, granted, certainly not Bush-McCain’s Republican-elite values.

* If your husband is nicknamed “First Dude,” with at least one DWI conviction and no college education, who didn’t register to vote until age 25, and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.

Eve Ensler’s Open Letter — Drill, Drill, Drill.
Eve Ensler is an American playwright, performer, feminist and activist, best known for The Vagina Monologues.

I am having Sarah Palin nightmares.  I dreamt last night that she was a member of a club where they rode snowmobiles and wore the claws of drowned and starved polar bears around their necks.  I have a particular thing for Polar Bears.  Maybe it’s their snowy whiteness or their bigness or the fact that they live in the arctic or that I have never seen one in person or touched one.  Maybe it is the fact that they live so comfortably on ice.  Whatever it is, I need the polar bears.

I don’t like raging at women.  I am a feminist and have spent my life trying to build community, help empower women and stop violence against them.  It is hard to write about Sarah Palin.  This is why the Sarah Palin choice was all the more insidious and cynical.  The people who made this choice count on the goodness and solidarity of feminists.

But everything Sarah Palin believes in and practices is antithetical to feminism, which for me is part of one story — connected to saving the Earth, ending racism, empowering women, giving young girls options, opening our minds, deepening tolerance, and ending violence and war.

I believe that the McCain/Palin ticket is one of the most dangerous choices of my lifetime, and should this country chose those candidates the fall-out may be so great, the destruction so vast in so many areas that America may never recover.  But what is equally disturbing is the impact that duo would have on the rest of the world.  Unfortunately, this is not a joke.  In my lifetime I have seen the clownish, the inept, the bizarre be elected to the presidency with regularity.

Sarah Palin does not believe in evolution.  I take this as a metaphor.  In her world and the world of Fundamentalists nothing changes or gets better or evolves.  She does not believe in global warming.  The melting of the arctic, the storms that are destroying our cities, the pollution and rise of cancers, are all part of God’s plan.  She is fighting to take the polar bears off the endangered species list.  The Earth, in Palin’s view, is here to be taken and plundered.  The wolves and the bears are here to be shot and plundered.  The oil is here to be taken and plundered.  Iraq is here to be taken and plundered.  As she said herself of the Iraqi war, “It was a task from God.”

Sarah Palin does not believe in abortion.  She does not believe women who are raped and incested and ripped open against their will should have a right to determine whether they have their rapist’s baby or not.

She obviously does not believe in sex education or birth control.  I imagine her daughter was practicing abstinence and we know how many babies that makes.

Sarah Palin does not much believe in thinking.  From what I gather she has tried to ban books from the library, has a tendency to dispense with people who think independently.  She cannot tolerate an environment of ambiguity and difference.  This is a woman who could and might very well be the next president of the United States.  She would govern one of the most diverse populations on the Earth.

Sarah believes in guns.  She has her own custom Austrian hunting rifle.  She has been known to kill 40 caribou at a clip.  She has shot hundreds of wolves from the air.

Sarah believes in God.  That is of course her right, her private right.  But when God and guns come together in the public sector, when war is declared in God’s name, when the rights of women are denied in his name, that is the end of separation of church and state and the undoing of everything America has ever tried to be.

I write to my sisters.  I write because I believe we hold this election in our hands.  This vote is a vote that will determine the future not just of the U.S., but of the planet.  It will determine whether we create policies to save the Earth or make it forever uninhabitable for humans.  It will determine whether we move towards dialogue and diplomacy in the world or whether we escalate violence through invasion, undermining and attack.  It will determine whether we go for oil, strip mining, coal burning or invest our money in alternatives that will free us from dependency and destruction.  It will determine if money gets spent on education and healthcare or whether we build more and more methods of killing.  It will determine whether America is a free, open, tolerant society or a closed place of fear, fundamentalism and aggression.

If the Polar Bears don’t move you to go and do everything in your power to get Obama elected then consider the chant that filled the hall after Palin spoke at the RNC, “Drill Drill Drill.”  I think of teeth when I think of drills.  I think of rape.  I think of destruction.  I think of domination.  I think of military exercises that force mindless repetition, emptying the brain of analysis, doubt, ambiguity or dissent.  I think of pain.

Do we want a future of drilling?  More holes in the ozone, in the floor of the sea, more holes in our thinking, in the trust between nations and peoples, more holes in the fabric of this precious thing we call life?

Eve Ensler
September 5, 2008

The Republican Convention—four-more years of destructive rule
delivered in a third package of false promises and accusations.

The torn voices of two Americas

The spectacle of the Republican Convention was one marked by the full horror of excessive use of police force to suppress speech, where for some, St. Paul became a police state, as they were assaulted with pepper spray, rubber bullets and concussion grenades.  There, among the journalists and demonstrators being arrested, the reporters and producers of the fully-credentialed, independent news organization, Democrats Now!, were attacked as they were filming the demonstrations outside of the St. Paul Republican-convention hall.  An Associated Press reporter was also arrested as the democratic process was trampled by the abusive excess of power employed by police at that supposed function of democracy.  The reporter and videographer were bloodied, and when questioned by the coverage host, Amy Goodman, about the arrest of her team members, police on the no-cross line, wearing riot gear and holding clubs, manhandled her during her subsequent arrest, during which time she had her press credential torn off her neck by a Secret Service agent.  All were removed from the event and jailed on a slew of trumped-up charges.

See the report and videos on the abuse and arrests, and data to contact St. Paul prosecutors.

Goodman reports that this tactic of news suppression has been combined with pre-raids, to seize information resources of reporters and activists determined by authorities to be preparing to create some sort of demonstration or disturbance.  The objective is to inhibit coverage of political confrontations by instilling a fear of injury through confrontation by authorities, and it can be effective in suppression of the press, the most important check on power American democracy has.  This kind of abuse against the press is extremely serious, because without the press, abusive government has no witnesses to restrain, prevent, confront, or hold accountable those responsible for committing high crimes against the people and their constitutional rights of speech, assemblage, and confrontation of power, and journalists are constitutionally protected in their role of eying government and its use of power.  In a police state, the first pillar of democracy to fall is a free press, and it is crumbled by the very same methods used by St. Paul police in the abuse of the journalists arrested there.

Inside the hall, sterilized from the use of excessive force being carried out beyond the walls, the third night of the Republican convention was also marked by anticipation of the “speech of Sarah Palin’s lifetime,” which was really no more than a Republican speechwriter’s bag of standard tricks and twists, and was also one that was less extreme, among the night’s extreme right-wing speeches and blatant fabrications against and belittling of the press, the Democrats, and Barack Obama.  Yet the Republicans promise that a part of the change they will bring to government is to eliminate partisanship.  George Bush was not mentioned, except indirectly by the repeated naming of all the problems he has placed before the nation as the leader of the Republican party, but that enumeration was said as though the Republican machine that put Bush into office, and still directs McCain, had nothing to do with any of those failures, blaming them all on Democrats.

The secret source of humor itself is not joy [a lie], but sorrow [truth].  There is no humor in heaven.
— Mark Twain

Mitt Romney started with an attack on “Eastern Elites,” the press, as represented by the New York Times and the Washington Post, two publications that have done more to bring accountability to abuse of power than any others in the nation.  He then asked and answered his own question, “is Washington now liberal or conservative?” After eight years of Republican-conservative control, he says it’s liberal and needs more of the same kind of government of the last eight years, this time through McCain and Palin, to have real change.  He actually calls the Bush-appointed, Roberts Supreme Court liberal, because, no doubt, it didn’t decide to entirely throw out the Constitution’s limits on executive power, an issue about which McCain is as dictatorial as Cheney.

He falsely said Democrats attribute America’s economic strength to the size of the government, and promises McCain-Palin will do all the things the Republicans blocked during the Bush years, including lower taxes, affordable health insurance, and, with Sarah Palin in the wings, he had the fortitude to add the “presence of mom and dad in the home, with lower promiscuity,” as a necessary part of the Republican, conservative ethic that would be restored!  “America cannot lead nations if it fails with the family at home,” he concluded, apparently excluding Palin, as Republicans have continuously excluded themselves from the constitutional demands placed upon all.

Romney said it’s not time for the party of big brother, without a mention of the Bush illegal wiretaps, which McCain supported, again and again.  Romney’s speech was a vulgar, Republican endorsement of the policies that have been a citizen- and world-bludgeoning failure over the previous eight years of their rule.  He said, in effect, that the right course is the one Bush has set fire to, and that McCain will continue:  rein in government spending, beat down unions, end torts windfalls, drill and radiate, and keep Al Gore on the ground to help the environment, another imminent disaster taken with the usual Republican disparagement.

After eight years of Bush-speak, Romney said, “Republicans prefer straight talk to politically-correct talk,” and he foreshadowed confrontations with Iran, N. Korea, and Russia without a single mention of diplomacy.  Expect more of the same in 2012.

The former governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, was next up.  Again, the speech began on the party line, with attacks against “the Elite media,” by his thanking the media for unifying the party with its “attacks” on Palin, when it was actually doing its job in reporting on Palin’s Alaska-sized spate of questions, shortcomings, contradictions, and lies, which is a responsibility the press failed to carry out during the first few years of the Bush presidency, instead, rolling over on its back and throwing its Fourth-Estate obligation to question truth and confront power out the window.  The Republican conservative machine, trying desperately to hold onto and extend its power, would like nothing better than if it could have the do-nothing, in fact, cooperative, unquestioning press of the past.  And since the Republicans cannot refute the facts, only distort, ignore, and lie about them, or, refuse to address them any further, as was done with questions on Palin after the second day of the convention, they simply revert to the old, Plan A, dating from their Nixon years:  attack the messenger.

In an exaggeration that demonstrates how thoughtlessly comfortable Republicans are with stretching the truth, let alone twisting and burying it, Huckabee then said, in one of many, meaningless, intended-to-be-clever, roar-invoking statements, “Palin got more votes running for mayor than Biden got running for president.”

Every speaker provided expansive rhetoric on veteran-based themes, as the Republican strong-suit of McCain’s military service demands.  But in a time when conglomerated media reduces the avenues of thought, and celebrity appeal has higher value than the day-to-day efforts of extraordinary, unrecognized parents, teachers, public servants, and the volunteer corps, it is important to put the Republican flag waving over McCain’s service into proper perspective.  He went into public life, with the help of his wife’s fortune, and so that record receives attention beyond the awarding of the medals others have received.  And those other, honored veterans aside, the plain fact is that the reward of heroism is the sum of an equation, the variables based upon courage, circumstance, and opportunity.  One determining circumstance is witnesses.  How many can be figured to have gone “above and beyond the call,” never to be recognized simply because no witnesses survived?  The fact is that, aside from the unrecognized heroes of combat, for every recognized hero, there are hundreds of thousands upon thousands of Americans who, given the same circumstance and opportunity, would, as men and women of courage, also be John McCains.  Apart from the military, consider journalists, who in confronting criminal organizations, ruthless, dictatorial regimes and police states, the abuse of power in their own countries, and wars, at risk of life and limb, where none is ever included in the same breath with any military hero; yet, they are defending freedom just as surely as any soldier, and they, too, have their memorial walls of dead and missing.  Despite that, none of them, soldiers or journalists, would make a good president based upon the outcome of that equation alone, and with McCain, as with any candidate or incumbent, the record is what matters most.  And McCain’s record has been to rubber-stamp Bush, almost all of the time, and, in a time of the nation’s greatest challenges, that record goes on to describe him as a candidate who allowed himself to be hitched with a running mate who is completely unqualified and unprepared to be president in the last-breath-likely event he cannot complete his term.  Where is the Republican’s campaign slogan, “Country First” realized in that?  Is there anyone who can really believe, even restricted to the choice of a woman, that Sarah Palin is the best choice available in the nation for a Republican vice president?  Of course not.  This is a choice of the perverted election politics of Washington, which is a big part of what must really be changed to result in meaningful improvements.  This reason, Palin’s expected ability to reach out to voting blocks the Republican-right perceives it must win to hold onto power, was stated, precisely, by the next speaker, Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle, who, by the way, is so far right that some of her critics have painted her a Nazi.

Rudy Giuliani, as the designated prosecutor of the press, Democrats, and Obama, was the keynote speaker, and, like the others, his inability to refute fact forced a created confrontation, as he said the “people of America” will decide who is the next president, “not the left-wing media.”  Forgetting the party-election machine, and whether they should have heeded his example, he went on to reduce the election process to a corporate, human-relations decision, instructing to approach the vote as an employer looking at resumes, and vote for the “hero.”  If that had been done eight years ago, Bush and Cheney would not be the stain on American history they have made themselves.

At the low mark of civility for the convention (leave it to Giuliani), the delegates actually laughed when Giuliani stated that “Obama worked as a community organizer,” and then Giuliani, at first, seeming genuinely surprised, quickly joined them.  Palin, in her speech, later, would also belittle Obama’s community-service years.  When Giuliani then, running with the ball, clearly implied that “worked” might not be the appropriate verb, he again laughed and invoked another round of laughter from the delegates.  This demeaning of a situation of real desperation and pain for a city and many of its people, and Obama’s heartfelt effort to assist them, was typical of the attitude and atmosphere that the Republican-right has used to scorn and shut out the Democratic party during the whole of their relationship with the nation and the Congress over the last eight years!  This mocking, irreverent lack of courtesy and consideration for the disadvantaged, the Democrats, and for any organization with which it is opposed, is another prime example of the change that must come to Washington and that clearly will not be provided by a continued presence of the elitist Republicans in the White House.  Giuliani then went on to say that Obama was actually working as a part of Chicago’s political machine.  If true (not), would that be the same kind of New York machine he worked for as district attorney and then as mayor?

He said, “Obama is the most inexperienced candidate for president in at least the last 100 years,” without saying that Palin, then, would be the least in all of history, and without even Obama’s sterling education in politics and law to recommend her.  “Now is no time for on-the-job training,” he said of Obama, but if McCain is incapacitated, there is no OJT or time for the person who takes his place.  The nation must prosper or suffer with what that person is, no more, no less.  Obama, knowing, for different reasons than stress acting on old age, that he, also, is not guaranteed to complete his term, not only selected Joe Biden as a step-in president of the highest caliber, but also as a trusted partner for support and guidance, as well as to be an arm of the administration prosecuting its policies.  With Biden, Obama brings trusted experience.  With Palin, McCain brings whatever he is and the worried questions of her inexperience and extremes.

“If you don’t have the facts you gotta change them.  Democrats would have you believe that you have the choice of change or more of the same,” Giuliani proclaimed.  Well, again, with Giuliani and the other speakers, this is a statement that says, if your record can’t serve you, flip it and make it your opponent’s!  This reverse accusation continued as he said the Democrats will increase taxes!  Yes, increase taxes to the lavishly rich who earn more than $200,000 a year, and who the richest of them, Warren Buffet, said should be more highly taxed.  “Democrats will send jobs elsewhere!” he went on.  Yes, from the foreign countries the Republicans sent them to, back to factories and businesses at home.

Giuliani played the double-standard card with respect to Palin’s ability to meet the commitment to her family and to the office, which the evidence has already demonstrated she could not, as mayor in her small town or as governor of her state, and which she cannot as vice president or president.  No one could.  It would be better if she and the Republican machine that selected her would admit that, and say, “Yes, either the country or her family will suffer, and she has decided to devote her all to the office at the expense of her family, as she has done in the past.”

In the final analysis, Giuliani packaged all the bitterness and resentment he feels about not being selected over McCain and directed it at the press, the Democratic party, and Obama.  Poor show.

Finally, there appeared Sarah Palin, whose service as small-town mayor and governor certainly qualifies her, not for the requirements of the vice-president, if you include step-in for president as part of the job title, but otherwise, more so than many past vice-presidential candidates for that post.  But that’s settling, and both parties have said America shouldn’t have to settle for anything short of excellence, whether it’s education or disaster response, and this is another Republican failure.  Most recently, no one would see the nation as better off if either Bush would have died in office.  Palin’s 35-minute speech started out as a living eulogy for McCain and his military record, so she really didn’t say anything revealing or unique to answer the question everyone, everyone has turning in their minds: can she really be qualified to be president?  As if any speech could, or should answer that question, for anyone.  So, for the first part, she spoke of McCain and family, of her son in the Navy and her other son going to Iraq.  But many families’ sons and daughters are serving and have served, and more than 4,400 have died with no purpose related to national security, thanks to Bush, Cheney... and McCain’s support.  That’s no qualification for the office of president or vice president.

She tried to push aside the family controversy about her unwed, under-aged daughter’s pregnancy, a controversy to which she contributed by being a mayor and governor first, a parent, second, and which she created by bowing to her ambition and ego and accepting the nomination that she knew would put the spotlight upon her and her family.  But, while her short-and-sweet answer to that controversy of reversed, yet readily accepted, religious-right morals was, “From the inside, no one family seems typical,” the truth is that, the perceived, clever retort aside, hers is hardly typical, from the inside or out, in terms of numbers or circumstance.  That, and a 20-year marriage to her steel-union member, husband, Todd, which is truly, by Hollywood standards, spectacular, are still not qualifications for office.

References were twice fit in to the key state the Republicans feel they must win, Ohio.  She also talked about her small-town experience:  hockey mom, PTA.  Again, less than no qualification for office.  Yes, she was mayor of her small town and knew its people, and she had to more-intimately confront the issues with the citizens directly, as she said in an indirect way, but it still is no qualification for federal-executive office, or a basis for knocking Obama as a comparison to that, while she was well-paid for her public-service, as she did when she callously and casually disparaged him for his community-organizational work, which was, Rudy, real work.  There would, no doubt, be a stark difference between the mood and problems confronting Obama’s South Chicago days, compared to Palin’s administering of the small-town, day-to-day challenges in her tiny, Alaskan outpost.  Few would choose the former, at any usual level of social-work pay.  But Republicans don’t flock to social-work jobs or educations in the numbers Democrats, or even Independents do.  But regardless, tiny-town challenges are not a qualification for high office.  And, as she moved back to the safety of extolling McCain’s virtues, she as much as actually made her small-town background and its people out to be better than urban citizens.

She blamed the media for its revelations of her inadequacies and lack of experience, later on than the previous speakers, but she named both the “Washington and media elite,” and created, for them, their definition of her service as “going to Washington to build a good opinion,” so she could inject her provided sound bite to answer her own preposition, that she’s “going [to Washington] to serve the people...”  While creating spin is a highly-valued skill in the Bush/Republican experience, one the Democrats have picked up on to a lesser level of use and expertise, it really is not a qualification for office.

She also stated the obvious, that she is expected to govern with integrity.  How does that segue with her using her office as governor to fire the Highway Patrol chief when he did not yield to her pressure to fire the patrol officer who is party to a messy divorce with her sister?

She touted her cost-cutting by saying she got rid of the state jet and the governor’s personal chef, and repeated the “bridge to nowhere,”lie, when in truth, she used the bridge to campaign and accepted the funds.  It is a blatant example of saying the lie because the eventual outcome is different and most people will take what’s said at face value and never hear the counter of truth.  While building ice statues of herself as a reformer to oppose earmarks, she didn’t mention the earmarks, worth millions, she arranged with Congress, using indicted, Republican, Alaska Senator Ted Stevens’ son, an executive at Stevens’ lobbying firm, as intermediary.

She stated all the obvious reasons why America needs to free itself from foreign oil, and that Alaska has plenty that should be drilled, without saying how that should be done to insure the environment doesn’t suffer from massive spills or fires as has been the history of unabated oil-company license to exploit the resource, or that even if all the oil of the Middle East were beneath Alaska’s permafrost, that the world cannot continue to burn carbon as it has, because she doesn’t believe global warming is a cause of man-made emissions, though all major scientists are convinced by the evidence.  The change she and McCain will usher in for the environment demands that your house be on high land, away from rising, coastal waters.

She said the truth when she said the Democrats would “take more of your money,” because the hall of delegates she addressed was full of the millionaires who benefit from the Republican priority on privilege, influence, and sink or swim, and which brings to mind one thing, most apparent in the crowd pictures, standing in stark contrast to the Democrats, was a throng of well-heeled people, with their pearls and diamonds and Rolex watches and designer clothes, laughing and smiling, with very little of the intensity of serious concern that was seen in Denver.

She repeated the delusion that “victory is in sight,” in Iraq, when, in fact, if McCain is elected and the occupation extended, the current surge state, referred to by the generals as “fragile and uncertain,” will escalate to a level of violence more deadly than ever seen before.  And she demonstrated the same reckless disregard for the Constitution as Bush by chiding the concern of Democrats for civil liberty, including the reading of rights to terrorist criminals, with no appreciation that when the rights of any are abrogated, it is the beginning of the loss of rights for all.  It is clear that she will be one of those who uses the excuse of terrorism to infringe upon the Constitution, as Bush, Cheney, and McCain have done for eight, long years, with the sole exception that McCain, because of his unique experience in Vietnam, has opposed Bush on torture, but even on that issue, he has since backed off his initial promises to end it at the Guantanamo prison camp.

Palin’s prepared slam-Obama line for the night was, “There are some politicians who use change to promote their careers, while there are others, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change.”  But the question is, what change?  And what great things that she says McCain has done, beyond his military opportunity?  She painted McCain as one who serves his nation, not just his party.  Again, how does the selection of a political neophyte as running mate serve the nation?  The fact is that McCain served the party by allowing the party to designate Palin instead of his real preference of Lieberman.  “The presidency is not supposed to be a journey of discovery,” she says of Obama.

The pot calls the kettle “black.”

It was a controlled environment, and Palin was captive for days, isolated, intensively rehearsed and prepared to deliver the speech, which came off as everyone expected.  Palin always was able to deliver a speech.  But there are alternatives to speeches for presidents, and speeches, in office, are not important or really necessary, unless performance is lacking and policies are questionable or failing.  Palin has remained shielded from virtually all press inquiry since the convention, with Republican spokesmen, buying time for her continued spin-and-deflect training, actually stating that they want to protect her until it seems the press is “more respectful.”  A respectful press, such as, what, the yes-nodding bobblehead doll Bush enjoyed toying with in his first years?  In office, there will be no shielding her from forces with consequences equally significant, but far-less friendly and unsympathetic to her or her handlers’ delicacies, and most important, to the nation’s interests.  She has finally been scheduled, this second week of September, for her first interview, with cream-puff, non-journalist, Charlie Gibson, who is guaranteed to place good-morning-type cheer and respect over tenacity, and courtesy over confrontation about the laundry list of her failures, deceptions, and lies, and where the likelihood of any real “confrontation” of power, also significant to the nation, where questions are not let pass to be ignored, dodged, or where spin and lies are not accepted without being countered with the light of fact, is unlikely.

In the end, the Republican machine that has played on fear-mongering during all of the Bush-Cheney years, which designated Bush’s speech writer to craft her speech, could not resist ending Palin’s far-right oratory with a little more fear, as, just before a few final sentences about POW McCain, she reminded that “death” [at terrorists’ hands] is the consequence in waiting if McCain-Palin are not chosen in November.

The unspoken truth of both conventions, but implicit in everything said, is that either candidate, if elected, will make the best decisions possible for their America, a reality reflected in entrenched partisan extreme.  Yes, it is true, as the major parties, increasingly, since Eisenhower left office, have aligned on the extremes of the growing economic-inequality gap, the lives of many Republicans are very different from those of many Democrats, and their American perspective is just as different.  As a consequence of Republican policies, the gap has grown and Americans have fewer common denominators than in the past decades.

In consideration of McCain or Obama, the difference voters must really decide upon is how they want those decisions to be filtered.  The conservative, religious-right, Republican party of today will filter decisions through the same torn paper used in the last eight years, dripping the same greed, self-interest, imperialism, and inquisitional control, with which Bush and Cheney, with the help of McCain, Ohio’s Voinovich, Chabot, and Boehner, Kentucky’s McConnell, Alabama’s Sessions, Utah’s Hatch, and others, have stained the nation.  The Democrats will, to much greater degree, use the fabric of democracy, reenforced by the parchment of the Constitution, in the common good for the majority of American citizens, and world citizens with respect to the environment and international cooperation.  And when decisions are made based upon the best interests of the People, none are belittled, invisible, and except for the power-hungry and greedy, everyone benefits, including the wealthy and the corporations.  Then, the discordant voices of a ragged, American duet can be elevated into a greater harmony of both purpose and accomplishment.

Saturn 5 / Apollo on the pad.

The desperation and frustration over the lack of solutions for the jump-start rise in oil prices to stratospheric levels has prompted many pundits, newscasters, and moderators to raise the parallel of President John Kennedy’s beyond-stratospheric, 1961 mandate, “to land a man on the moon and return him safely to earth by the end of the decade,” as the kind of commitment that would provide a like-successful result if only leaders would pick up that kind of deadline with regard to solving the energy problem.  The kink, of course, of which none who pose the question address or seem aware, is that Kennedy had a big advantage backing up his bold mandate:  he had a plan, a program, and an apparatus in place (NASA) to carry it out.  The same kind of bold mandate for energy is not possible, except as political window dressing, where there is no plan, no program, and no apparatus capable of achieving the end-game, as is the case when McCain claims he will solve the problem by simply naming the needed components, without having any way to create them.  Here, then, is the challenge for Senator Obama after he becomes president:  to set the goal, put the minds and industries together to develop the plan, design the program, and build the apparatus to take on the mission to carry out that plan to a successful conclusion.  How to do this is the only realistic campaign promise that can be made with respect to the energy crisis.

And yes, America must take control of its own energy future, as McCain says, and as Obama agrees, but not at the cost of radiated cities and counties, ruined shorelines and damaged fisheries, as Bush and McCain would have it, with the electric and oil companies quickly let loose to repeat their past disasters.  This is not a stance against nuclear power, but it is a stance against nuclear power with regulation, any part of it, in the hands or control of corporations or agencies headed by political appointees.  Nuclear power can be a large part of the solution, but only if regulation is completely independent of the industry, in no way subject to political control or oversight, and viable solutions are found and put in place to safely dispose of nuclear waste and account for and secure all nuclear materials.  Freedom from these requirements is currently the only advantage oil has over nuclear.  But when these requirements are met, then it will also be necessary to prohibit speculation in nuclear ores.

Could it be that the sudden and steep rise of oil prices, coinciding with the end of the oil-men Bush/Cheney White House term, is a manipulated backdrop to the Bush push, as a last gift to his favorite industrial constituency, for Congress to drop the offshore-drilling ban?  Could that have been the purpose of the visit Bush recently made to his hand-holding, cheek-kissing Saudi family, rather than to push for lower prices and increased production?  It is highly advantageous for the Saudis and other oil producers to have the price precipitously rise before small output increases are made, as has just been announced, since the producers can keep the new, higher prices in place no matter if America taps its reserves to drastically reduce imported demand, because the Saudis know their reserves are not endless and would prefer that the export pressure ease at the higher prices so the return on the reserves, at the higher prices, will be extended.  But, regardless, before nuclear power and domestic oil reserves can be tapped, which would not significantly impact fuel prices (eliminate speculative trading for that), there must be in place strict controls, oversight, and adequate funding and preparations to prevent and then contain and clean-up the disasters that will come, regardless of how comprehensive and broad the protections put in place, to include community reparations—a good purpose for energy windfall-profit taxes.  Obama will see to it that the table is set before the repast the energy companies crave is served, and that is what this election is all about, reining in the public-interest stomping profit-stampede of the Bush/McCain-Republican special interests and replacing it with the people’s welfare and interests first.  Only then, with the people in control, is it possible for America to be the master of its own fate.

Yes, while always carrying the sword, for this first time, among many, many times of right-on predictions and observations, this time the horn will also blow, because back when Hillary was still holding on to the lost-primary towel, and because when “Joe Biden, VP” was old news, here, after she had finally thrown in the towel and was being dubbed a part of the “dream team,” the article and picture below had already been long published, here, near three months ago, describing Sen. Obama and his designated vice-presidential candidate, Sen. Joseph Biden.  The original article, still unaltered, says all it needs to about why Hillary never had a chance at the heartbeat slot, and why Biden was always the clear choice, here, and eventually, to everyone, everywhere else, outlining reasons that are made all the more significant by this month’s provoked, Olympic, Russian-military war games in Georgia.

Now, Obama has a powerful ticket, supported by an honored, former oponent, a hard fighter, Hillary Clinton, who after working unselfishly for Democratic principles and values for 35 years, has now joined the final push in the largest, most-significant fight in the history of American-political life, where she will pour her strength into the team of which she is a part and which is likely to remain a significant part in an Obama presidency.  And Hillary’s legacy and strength, so critical, are now focused on a team reinforced by a man who is a solid, known quality of honesty and care for both the constitutional system of the Founders and the people, a man who, by accepting the appointment to be vice president, has joined with Obama to confront a known hornets nest of trouble, created by Bush and Cheney.  And Joe Biden is a true patriot to take on this struggle at this stage and place in his life.  He deserves America’s thanks and, like Obama, its support.

In Joe Biden, America has a man who will not tolerate nor remain silent in the face of any abuse or transgression, unlike Cheney, who instigates and initiates outrages.  Now, more than ever, the never-in-touch Republican candidate, John McCain, is just the afterthought he has always been described to be, here, and in the minds of those who, once, should have known better.  This August 23rd, ‘08, is a very-good-news day.

Yet, there are far too many who still don’t know better, among those who never will.

Sen. Barack Obama and Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden

It was published here first.  But would Biden take the heartbeat slot?  YES!

Delaware Sen. Joe Biden and Barack Obama would be a perfect match, with Biden filling in and rounding out the ticket with maturity, undisputed top-level foreign-relations skills and contacts, and with the wide respect of national officials on both sides of the aisle and of international leaders, he would be an impossible target for baseless Republican attacks.  He is informed on science and environmental issues, is an expert and professor on constitutional law, all of which will be important aspects of the next president’s term, and the usual duties of the vice president, from presiding over the Senate, to executive stand-in and emissary, to national ambassador, all are uniquely matched to Biden’s strengths.  Both men will compliment one another, will play well off of each other, and Biden will appeal to most Americans and all who are concerned about experience.

Cat playing Mouse.

The Russian invasion of Georgia holds a mirror to the U.S. in Iraq, and that Bush-administration, Republican-conceived occupation has bled the U.S. on moral ground and of the resources and resolve to respond effectively, cornering America to the role of the mouse in facing down Russia’s limited military moves in Eastern Europe.  While former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev’s article, Russia never wanted a war, implies a view from the other side of defense, rather than aggression, considering the other side of the Georgian-invasion argument begs some more conclusions that should seem obvious, given the Bush administration’s involvement, including that the Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili, is likely to be at fault for being sucked into some sort of Bush/Cheney-inspired sense of false security, prompting him to act in South Ossetia beyond the bounds of independent, diplomatic reserve.  And it seems especially obvious that, if Bush and Cheney have been involved, as they obviously have (captured American Humvees as evidence, for one), it has been another naive miscalculation in U.S. foreign policy, founded in Bush and Cheney’s ongoing arrogance and ignorance, and Bush’s delusional self-perception of the omnipotence of his vision, particularly with respect to looking into the eyes of his “good friend,” Putin.  Note that McCain bought into that manure, as well.

Of course, the other side of the other side is that Gorbachev’s article hardly gives enough credit to Putin, for his part, his ambition, and his willingness to take any Bush-provided opportunity to play his old, Soviet hand.  And, while Gorbachev enjoys a measure of Western respect and admiration, which may account for his restraint in paralleling the Bush invasion and occupation of Iraq, no such grace befalls him from Putin’s corner, and Gorbachev is necessarily restrained by some degree of cautious, prudent self-interest in what he says.

War cannot be the solution to dealing with Putin’s aggressive ambitions, as some say may be necessary.  A great part of the reason the Soviet Union fell apart was bankruptcy, and the new wealth that Russia now enjoys is in large part to the opening up of Western markets to its resources, not the oil it has always had.  The best method to demonstrate to Putin that aggression will not benefit his ambitions or Russia’s future is to completely isolate the Russian economy from the West.  Again, that decision is a choice to pay more for oil, over the choice of paying for oil with blood in costly conflict, because to effectively isolate and deflate Russia’s economy, Europe would be forced to turn to oil sources upon which the West depends, driving up the price for all.  A few dollars per gallon more for fuel in exchange for avoiding the cost of war in blood and treasure, and the costly aftermath, and to maintain a well-behaved Putin, whose popularity would take a nose dive along with the Russian economy, is a trade-off worth taking over war any time.

The political and economic elite in the new Russia, awash in Western-gained wealth, realize they need the West more than Putin would ever admit, more than many in the West seem to realize they need Russia.  And regrettably, the Russian hierarchy also realizes that it would take a great deal to provoke any meaningful military response from NATO, and especially, the U.S.  In a sense, and largely because of the sedative to U.S. power injected by Bush’s invasion of Iraq, Putin is playing like a kitten with a mouse for which it has no appetite to eat.

Smoglympics likely to set no records except for asthmatics, civil and press harassment.

The repressive Chinese regime is only partially responsible for what will, no doubt, be the Olympics with the fewest marathon records, if any, except for the $70 billion cost, the bullying of the free press, and the strangled breathing and expression under brown-soup skies.  The blame for the Smoglympics lies mostly with the corrupt International Olympic Committee (I.O.C.), which bowed to China and its money instead of the interests of international human-rights standards and the good of sports competition.  Human rights, and the aggression of repressive and expansionist nations must always be given the greatest consideration where any international undertaking is concerned.  The I.O.C. should have learned that after bowing to Hitler, and the foul Chinese setting, heavy in the air and on the ground before the opening ceremony, is an apt precursor for, aside from the drama of the competition and the stake of the athletes, the lackluster games which will follow, an outcome which the Chinese government, and particularly the I.O.C. richly deserve, for putting money and sport over life, by repeating the past mistake of scheduling the event to take place in yet another nation ruled by an immoral, repressive regime.

Beijing Olympiad:  a shining history dimmed by dark legacy.

While the opening ceremony at the 2008 Beijing Olympiad was an unparalleled production of imagination, choreography, and technical mastery, accomplishing the Chinese regime’s objective of demonstrating that its social order can match the hosting capabilities of any nation, it begs the question why the oppressive Chinese regime won’t rein in its lawless capitalism, and it also serves to remind every person of conscience that this source and carriage of excellence is badly misplaced, because in all of the national pursuits of social and human value, China has failed to produce anything that can stand so proudly in the world as an example of progressive quality.

The magnificent facilities will be remembered... along with the still-unilluminated shadow of Tiananmen Square;

the massive, human interaction of visual animations in the artful opening ceremony will be a standard of attainment in memory... along with the genocide in Darfur, where China holds the leveraged position to attain a halt in the killing, and does not;

the expressive dances of tribute to individuality and national identity will shine long after the last medal is placed over the head and around the neck of the last Olympian... as the yoke of repression clinching the necks and over the heads of those in Tibet and Xinjiang remain the darkened prophecy for the inner spirit of the people who are captured to be repressed under the red flag;

and the Torchbearer, elevated to soar above the heads of the people, carrying the spark to light the flame of competitive spirit and international peace and cooperation, will not be forgotten... but will not cause to be forgotten the freedom of choice to speak, to pray, and to express the voice of the soul, which remains harshly contained under the controlling thumb of a non-representative, quasi-communist regime.

The light created for the world vision, to shine upon the gold, silver, and bronze that will mark the history of the Beijing Olympics, is obliterated by the darkness shadowing the flip-side of the reflective medals and venues, the darkness of death and suffering that, for every gleaming memory, will accompany to dim the luster and represent the true legacy of the Chinese-hosted games, unerasable by any achievement of showmanship or technology.

Ex-secretaries of State Warren Christopher, James Baker

Constitutional War Powers can only be short-cut at the peril of more Vietnams / Iraqs.

Ex-secretaries of State James Baker III and Warren Christopher, who headed a bipartisan commission looking into war powers, have released the National War Powers Commission Report, which announced a determination that the War Powers Resolution (Act) of 1973, which sought to reenforce the restraints placed upon the executive by the Constitution (and as such, from a legal standpoint, was unnecessary) should be replaced.  But as a tool to reassert the authority of Congress and, after the unnecessary loss of 58,000 lives in Vietnam, to remind of the limitations placed upon the executive by the Constitution, it was a necessity, and with the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and the creation of a civilian army in Iraq by Bush (a congressional-only power), it still points to the increasing imperative that Congress assert its authority over the executive with respect to war.

Baker, speaking as a presidentialist, calls the War Powers Act “a bad law,” saying that it “undermines and damages the rule of law” because it is so questioned or ignored, and that it is not efficient or a convenient means of exercising constraint on executive authority.  But that is a continued failure of Congress, not the Act or the Constitution, and his commission’s proposed replacement would not, as he claims, preserve any constitutional balance, but would serve to loosen the restraints imposed by the 1973 resolution, which, though unconstitutional, would also be a deleterious evolution because the War Powers Commission proposal, at minimum, implies that there is a prerogative for the executive to initiate military actions independently, it would provide no requirement for congressional consent, and it would dilute the absolute authority of Congress by subjugating it to executive-veto power and by limiting its actionable authority to funding alone.  The Supreme Court spoke, indirectly, to this issue in 1983, when it ruled, six to three, in INS v. Chadha, that the procedural safeguards of the Constitution cannot be sidestepped by either house of Congress or the president.  Justice Burger delivered the ruling, excerpted below:

“The bicameral requirement, the Presentment Clauses, the President’s veto, and Congress’ power to override a veto were intended to erect enduring checks on each Branch and to protect the people from the improvident exercise of power by mandating certain prescribed steps.  To preserve those checks, and maintain the separation of powers, the carefully defined limits on the power of each Branch must not be eroded.  To accomplish what has been attempted by one House of Congress in this case requires action in conformity with the express procedures of the Constitution’s prescription for legislative action: passage by a majority of both Houses and presentment to the President.

“The veto authorized by 244(c)(2) doubtless has been in many respects a convenient shortcut; the “sharing” with the Executive by Congress of its authority... is, on its face, an appealing compromise.  In purely practical terms, it is obviously easier for action to be taken by one House without submission to the President; but it is crystal clear from the records of the Convention, contemporaneous writings and debates, that the Framers ranked other values higher than efficiency...

“The choices we discern as having been made in the Constitutional Convention impose burdens on governmental processes that often seem clumsy, inefficient, even unworkable, but those hard choices were consciously made by men who had lived under a form of government that permitted arbitrary governmental acts to go unchecked.  There is no support in the Constitution or decisions of this Court for the proposition that the cumbersomeness and delays often encountered in complying with explicit constitutional standards may be avoided, either by the Congress or by the President.  With all the obvious flaws of delay, untidiness, and potential for abuse, we have not yet found a better way to preserve freedom than by making the exercise of power subject to the carefully crafted restraints spelled out in the Constitution.”

Yet, Baker says, “...polls show this [executive-leaning replacement of the War Powers Resolution] is what Americans want to see.”  That would be a poll he has interpreted wrongly, because to the contrary, Americans, fearing power abused, like the Founding Fathers, want to see that no president has sole authority to commit troops to battle, but rather, only that authority bestowed by Congress, according to the Constitution.  The past abuses of the executive have all been grounded in an inappropriate expanding of the defining role of Commander in Chief, invoking upon that “title” powers that are totally within the constitutional context of the congressional authority to “declare war,” when, in fact, the Constitution is merely designating the executive as the facilitator of congressional intent with respect to the goals and authority it receives for engaging in military conflicts.

The proposal of the commission seeks to amend the Constitution by proxy, as opposed to the War Powers Resolution, or the recent Senate resolution to prohibit unilateral actions against Iran, which sought to reenforce the Constitution, and no law is constitutional that would alter the power of Congress to decide when and where America’s blood will be spilled.  Only an amendment to the Constitution can accomplish that end, which Baker says “isn’t going to happen,” and so, as Republican administrations have guided Japan’s government in ignoring its constitution’s Article 9, absolute prohibition against creating a military, Baker’s commission report seeks to end-run the U.S. Constitution’s delegation of war power to Congress, at what would be the loss of more soldiers’ lives in conflicts either premature to diplomacy or unrelated to America’s defense or security.  Of merit, however, is the joint House and Senate committee the commission proposes, to oversee military activities after authorizations are granted, because this committee, as proposed, would be a responsive tool for oversight of congressional authority with immediate potential to curb any expansion beyond the intent of Congress in exercising the authority it provides to the executive.  As to Baker’s justification that the proposed law would clarify who in Congress the president should consult, with respect to war, it is a shallow front for another attempt to imply or plant the seed that consultation is a sole requirement for what would then be unconstitutional, unilateral executive action without the formal authority of Congress required by the Constitution.  Any high school or college student who has studied government would know that, in any issue, the president should consult with the designated leaders of each party in each house, and the chairs of House and Senate committees affected by the issue.

In the end, only the voice of the American people, expressed through contact with their representatives, can affect an initiative for Congress to properly exercise and oversee its authority over the executive and ensure that America’s military will be a tool for defense of liberty and not that of any president’s whim, acting as a king or dictator, without regard or obligation to the will of the people, as Bush, walking over the Constitution and a prostate Congress, has endowed upon himself as “The Great Decider.”  That travesty is intended to be prevented in war matters by the Constitution’s provisions of congressional authority over the executive.  The election of a president does not bestow upon that person such power or authority, and it never has.

Aside from the discarded constitutional imperatives and historical guidance which are at the core of such a wrong move, as Iraq, and the wrong motives for invading, No End in Sight documents how, after all the basic wrongs, the wrong deed is also wrongly executed by America’s wrong choice for a Republican president.

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.  The lie can be maintained only for such time as the state can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie.  It thus becomes vitally important for the state to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the [authoritarian] state.

— Joseph Goebbels, Adolph Hitler’s Chief of Propaganda

Scott McClellan, former Bush “Propaganda Chief” stonewalling the press.

Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan’s labeling, in his new book memoir, What Happened:  Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception, of the Bush justification for invading Iraq as “propaganda and deception,” is a kindly version of a darker truth, for which there is no defense McClellan or the Bush administration (or the press) can mount, and McClellan should donate every cent he nets on his book to the immediate families of soldiers killed in Iraq, where government insurance is unconscionably inadequate.  Secretary of State Rice is nearly equally complicit with Bush and Cheney in the Iraq deception and so can do nothing except try to condemn McClellan’s attempt to rectify his contribution to the lie.  By calling the war and occupation in Iraq “necessary,” she is also defending herself against the indefensible wasting of more than 4,400 American lives and so much more death, injury, and anguish, for which the rest of her days spent in the darkened, basement-janitor’s closet of her favorite department store would not begin to atone.

Click to join the petition to end the Bush colonial occupation of Iraq.

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Meet the Bastards
The abusive Burmese military junta (above left) and its boss, Senior Gen. Than Shwe (above right).

Burma’s military “government” is committing nature-assisted genocide on its country’s people.  The military generals of that abusive regime sit in isolated splendor and refuse post-typhoon aid at what will be the cost of thousands of additional lost lives, contorting a natural disaster into a man-made affront to humanity.  No ruling structure such as theirs should be permitted to exist anywhere in the world.

If Bush had stopped, in Iraq, at the removal of Saddam, instead of pursuing his special-interest, nation-building agenda, a simple warning to the Burmese ruling criminals would likely have been sufficient to force an alteration of their pattern of greed and corrupted power toward their people.  Bush and Cheney, in throwing out the “might for right” mantle that was in America’s grasp after 9/11, by their abuse of power in Iraq, are also responsible for the lives lost at the hand of the Burmese junta, which they otherwise may have stayed.  The isolated Burmese regime’s compound should be invaded, the rulers who are not killed should be extradited for trial by the World Court to answer for the dead they have caused, and a more humanely-oriented military officer, with approval of the remaining echelon of the military command, should be designated to lead the country, with notice that if the relationship of the government to its people and the world remains unchanged, that the new leadership will also be removed.  And so would end another abomination in the life of the world.

Bush, at the 2008 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, conducting
what can only be a dirge mourning the dead masses and a tattered Constitution.

The White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, in the Bush-Cheney administration, has become a beacon upon the failure of the press to meet its obligation to democracy.  Why would the association hold a dinner and invite Bush and Cheney to attend in their final term?  A “do not attend” notice is what should have been delivered to the pair, and if that would be too blunt for the social sensibilities of a press corp that has been treated as so much sticky stuff on the soles of administration shoes, then the event should have simply been cancelled, which would have sent an even more powerful message.  It is, after all, Bush and Cheney who have used and abused the press through two terms in office, who have embarrassed the press through the sheer magnitude of propagandized dung they have dropped as they walked all over the press as though it was a carpet of straw in the Bush ranch stable.  The New York Times recognized this when they questioned attending the event in 2007 and withdrew for the final Bush-Cheney-attended trough-fest.

If the Congress refuses to impeach the pair for their multiple crimes in office, then at least, Americans (journalists and celebrities) of conscience (where the hundreds of thousands who will never be seen again are more important than a chance to be seen) should have followed the NY Times’ lead and impeached them by withdrawing their participation in the event which, with the attendance of the criminals, overlooks the torture, the illegal wiretaps, the lies, the tilt of the system against the most needy, the more than 4,400 dead soldiers in an illicit war, and which by attending, lends to the criminals an impression that what they have done to America and the dead and maimed is acceptable.  Honorees should refuse to accept presentations from the pair, coverage of the event should have been shunned, though the comedic host, Craig Ferguson (who properly managed to visit a few uncomfortable moments upon the criminals there, and the pliant press), reminds that coverage was practically shunned by TV, and those who did attend should question their priorities and the message they sent by showing up without a protest sign, the message that they send by attending any such event that appears to sanction or turn a blind eye to the devastation wrought by the two White House criminals and their accomplices.

A conscience is a terrible thing to lose, and there was no conscience in sharing a press event with the perpetrators of the most horrific and unconscionable American acts the hosts have ever been better used to effect a failure of bringing to account.

The Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.

Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Jr. is not anti-American.  He speaks for the American conscience, from the perspective of the whole of America’s history, the good and the bad of it.  His seeming repetitive remarks, “God damn America,” were not the angry and vindictive words of a violent spirit, as those who isolated those words from their context intended they be so perceived.  Rather, they were an explanation for a real part of the reasons America now faces real anger and violence, a partial answer to the question, “why?”  And it is not an answer that is easy to accept when the American myth is put behind the whole and sometimes-ugly truth of America’s history and growth.

Wright has been criticized, not only wrongly for the false images his words paint, taken out of context, but, perhaps, rightly, because of the severity with which he presents his arguments and the hard truths.  But the fact is that the issues of which he spoke, when he tagged each with the repeated phrase, “God damn America,” are severe, each and every one he cited, from the mass murder and displacement of the Native American nations, “God damn America,” to the kidnapping and enslavement of African American forebearers, “God damn America,” to the bombing of civilians in Granada, Panama, Libya, and Africa, “God damn America,” to the internment of Japanese Americans, and more, “God damn America.”  Perhaps, on the other hand, he is right to try, through his angry rhetoric, to evoke the emotional level of feeling those acts of brutality and, as he also put it, “terror” demand, so that they will be better perceived and understood, and to have Americans look at America through the eyes of the people of the rest of the world, and true history, where, spin aside, there are consequences and America is also guilty of that which it disdains.  Yet, even so, he was not calling for anyone to damn America with his words, but, instead, as was clear when the whole context of his sermon is heard, he was saying that God is supreme, not nations, which disappoint and do wrong, and he was speaking of that which God sanctions, and that which God does not, and that for those acts of fear, hatred, and violence he cited against America’s governments, God would not bless America.  And there are numerous other instances of American offense against other cultures and nations he could have cited, like the taking of the Texas territories from Mexico, Blackwater mercenary murders, the imposition of cultural mores viewed as immoral upon other societies, exploitation of foreign resources without consideration of the impacted local needs or economies, all of which are also a part of what Wright described as a metaphor for 911, where [along with illegal immigration by Mexico] “the chickens have come home to roost.”

Wright has also been criticized for supporting Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, but again, when he defines his statements, he says that he supports the good works that Farrakhan has done for the people of his church, in helping to provide relief, and that the good works on the ground are what matter more than what Farrakhan says.

Ronald Kessler, writing for NewsMax, twists a Wright background of good schools and a good home with working parents, as the basis for calling Obama’s defense of some of Wrights’s positions, based on first-hand experience of the hardships of the early years of the black-rights movement, as a lie.  By Kessler’s reasoning, because one doesn’t personally live in the gutter, one can’t be strongly moved, sympathetic, and supportive of those who do.  Where would that place Kennedy, Johnson, Kerry, or any of a host of millionaires who, in government and industry, have helped to bring about greater equality for blacks?  This false claim of an Obama lie places Kessler’s “journalism” in the gutter where it should receive no sympathy, and it also reveals Kessler to be biased and highly motivated to stain Obama in any way possible.  Perhaps a mirror would be an appropriate night-stand accessory when Kessler reads of Wright’s recounting of the wrongs of the white man?

Wright condemns the WWII dropping of the atomic bombs, weapons of mass destruction, on Japanese cities, not because he would wish, instead, to see thousands more soldiers die in the taking of the main island, but because one of the bombs could just as easily have been dropped down the crater of Mt. Fuji to demonstrate the destruction further resistance would incur, saving at least one city and its population from the terror that was inflicted.  Or, a remnant Japanese fleet could have been made to completely vanish in a single stroke.  The justification that the entire Japanese populace were soldiers just doesn’t wash, and the point is that there were other options that could have been taken instead of the outright destruction of two cities and a resultant quarter-million civilian casualties—men, women, and children.  And there is, in any case, significant opinion that the government wanted to obtain evidence of the effect of the new weapon upon a city and its population.  These were acts precipitated by white men upon what was, then, openly referred to as an inferior race, much as were the black slaves perceived, as blacks still are, in a society where such opinion is, for the most part, driven underground, not that, had there been black equality and qualified blacks in place, they, too, would not have been party to the developments and decisions made.  Just as there are monsters, hidden within each soul in every nation’s populace, they so exist and exert their will in governments, which is more to Wright’s point.  The current evidence of such monstrous motivation is written in the blood, despair, ash, and smoke of Iraq, and within the darkened homes of its victim’s families.

As to the exaggerations about Wright’s claim the U.S. infected blacks with AIDS, it is ludicrous, and it is not what Wright said.  Wright said that he believes the government... the government, which is not the American people, and which is not God, which does do wrong, which has done great wrongs, which invaded Iraq, where the killing in uncountable, that he believes that government could do anything, including introducing HIV, not that it did, and he said that based on Tuskegee, and based on the revelations of other government activities in Leonard Horowitz’s book Emerging Viruses: AIDS And Ebola : Nature, Accident or Intentional? and Harriet Washington’s Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present.  Is there really any reason to assume that there is a limit to what governments, unchecked and unbalanced will do, today vs. the past?  All protections have failed with Bush/Cheney.  The expected benefit gained for the blooded names on the Vietnam Memorial Wall, an end to unjustified wars, has vanished as a lesson never learned, with no enforcement of constitutional restraints to prevent the continued terror that is Iraq.

Rev. Wright has also been attributed with anti-Semite remarks, but how would that claim stand against his constant support of the right of Israel to exist, or what he has said is his core belief, that the prophetic tradition of the black church goes back to the Hebrews?

“I take and trace the theology of the black church back to the prophets in the Hebrew bible and to its last prophet, in my tradition, the one we call Jesus of Nazareth.  The prophetic tradition of the black church has its roots in Isaiah, the 61st chapter, where God says the prophet is to preach the gospel to the poor and to set at liberty those who are held captive.  The prophetic theology of the black church is not only a theology of liberation; it is also a theology of transformation, which is also rooted in Isaiah 61, the text from which Jesus preached in his inaugural message as recorded by Luke.  When you read the entire passage from either Isaiah 61 or Luke 4... what you see is God’s desire for a radical change in a social order that has gone sour.  God’s desire is for transformation, changed lives, changed minds, changed laws, changed social orders and changed hearts in a changed world.

“These two foci of liberation and transformation have been at the very core of the United Church of Christ [Wright’s church] since its predecessor denomination, the Congregational Church of New England came to the moral defense and paid for the legal defense of the Mende people aboard the slave ship Amistad... [and] as it has fought against racism in the United States of America ever since the union which formed the United Church of Christ in 1957.”

With a self-image of one who is historically ordained to throw off the shackles of repressive authority and reform the status quo, it is no surprise that his rhetoric is scathing, forceful, and unforgiving of past atrocities.  But look beyond the segregated media clips and the at-arms vindicta angelus persona of the pulpit, and the Rev. Wright will be found to be intelligent, soft-spoken, and motivated by the same values and aspirations as any other American religious leader, teaching the same path of peace and love that any American church aspires for its congregations and the lives of people throughout the world.  It is quite a departure from the picture of a black radical, preaching violence against white America that the media clips, pushed for political gain by Sen. Clinton (“you pick your church”), by racists, Republican neo-cons and religious-rightists, and facilitated by the corporate-establishment media, would have you believe.

Sen. Obama chose to avoid the minefield of trying to defend Wright’s isolated words within the context they were spoken, and it seems unlikely Obama would ever turn his back on such a man of teaching and peaceful intent.  Instead, Obama chose to speak through a political megaphone and simply condemn the words, as they were hurled at him, apart from their true intent, and not the man, until more misunderstood rhetoric from Wright’s self-defense made less-stringent replies impossible, because no candidate can campaign as an educator and interpreter of any faith, particularly one so aggresively flamboyant, and because an expanded condemnation would be the most immediate, and the most understood path of response to Wright for those multitudes who understand the least, yet still vote.  The media lynching of Rev. Wright, and by association, Sen. Obama, using a frayed and fragmented rope of Wright’s words, suspended from a sensationalist limb of the tree of consolidated media, is nothing more than a fabrication, spun by multiple factions in an attempt to fear-monger votes away from America’s first presidential candidate of Black heritage, and it will not stand up to the basest form of scrutiny.

Wishful remembrance vs. the ABC Presidential “tent-revival” debate (?)

Thanks to the lying, murdering, tobacco-industry executives, who feed their greed with the lives of those who matter so much to so many, as the moderators of the April 16, 2008, ABC circus (or tent revival) debate(? — one of the most abused words on TV news), there were George Stephanopoulos and Charlie Gibson, who are NOT real journalists, who do not know what it means to represent the people when confronting authority or would-be authority, and so there was little hope of anything except a vent on trivial, late-night-talk-show minutia which, combined with the ad-revenue, bottom-line priority of ABC, left only a commercial-ridden, ineptly conceived and executed waste of time and opportunity, squandered by a production in service to the glib interests of a self-interested, establishment media, which it would be safe to say caused Peter Jennings (and the Founders) to turn in their graves to another channel, and a presentation which seems to have been in line with the interests and realizations of the masses who elected George Bush, Tricky-Dick Cheney, and a gang of Republican congressional rubber-stampers to repeated terms in office.

The religious right, on the other hand, are no doubt delighted at the level to which constitutional, religious autonomy and equality were gang-raped and mutilated during the proceeding.

Thanks to the likes of Republicans (above) Sen. Mitch McConnell, Rep. Steve Chabot, and Sen. George Voinovich
Columbia astronauts’ deaths are turned into a big payday for wealthy landowners.

An Exposé report on the PBS broadcast of Bill Moyers Journal, Cash Cows and Cowboy Starter Kits exposed how well-organized agro-business lobbies have bought Congress and its agriculture-committee members with $80 million in lobbying.  The result is manipulative farm subsidies that pay from tens of thousands to ten-million dollars to each of the organized, wealthy landowners who have gross incomes, separate from subsidies, of from $125,000 to several $million, living in mansions, on farm land where no crops are grown, just because their counties have been declared a disaster area for some reason, including for recovery of destroyed space-shuttle parts, despite that they, the privileged beneficiaries of America’s widening wealthy-poor economic gap, suffered no losses.

Kentucky Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, who has towed the Bush corporate-wealthy line throughout his Senate career, who was elected by and is supposed to represent citizens in one of the nation’s poorest states, leads the placement and support for this kind of immoral abuse in a farm-subsidy system that pays wealthy land owners instead of helping poor farmers who really need the help.  And into the current farm bill, which contains further unwarranted increases, and which is now being debated for passage, this term, with no consideration by leaders on either side for reductions in wasteful abuse, McConnell has extended his taxpayer handouts to the wealthy with his subsidized steeple chase, which will benefit the owners of race horses.  The Republican government of Bush-Cheney, in concert with rubber-stamp, elected officials like McConnell, the Ohio delegation’s Republican Senator Voinovich and Republican Representative Steve Chabot, have converted the deaths of the seven Columbia astronauts into a Livestock-Compensation-Program-payment windfall of $5 million to their wealthy contributors, through their facilitation, since 2001, of more than $15 billion in abusive, unwarranted farm-subsidy payments, one-sixth of the national farm-subsidy total during that period.  And there will be no chance for honest, representative government, free of greed-based, blood-sucking influence peddling until they and their ilk are thrown out office for good.

A critical mass of Bush-Cheney “defining moments.”

The surge-shaking offensive, described by Bush as “one of many defining moments,” that has been launched against Cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mehidi militia is all about the writing on the wall.  If it is to be believed that the Bush-Cheney gang did not authorize it or know of it, then it is Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki who is reading the wall, where it is written that he will not be able to count on the presence of U.S. troops to keep him in power after the elections, and that he had best use American blood now, while he can, to ensure the elimination of his greatest adversary’s means to challenge his authority.  For al-Maliki to strike out against al-Sadr, making himself a larger target, seems a more courageous act than he has previously demonstrated the metal to initiate, and to do it without the consult or approval of his Bush-administration supporters seems even more against his grain.

Aggressive acts are, on the other hand, commonplace for the Bush administration:  aggression against other nations, aggression against the concept of co-equal branches of his own government, i.e. aggression against the Constitution, and aggression against the courts and the people.  The transgressions of the Bush-Cheney administration have left their marks upon all of these, and upon the families of more than 4,400 dead American soldiers, and rising, and untold hundreds of thousands of others.  So it is much easier to believe that Bush and Cheney are reading the writing and planned the offensive in hopes of eliminating, before elections, the greatest threat to their planted Iraqi government’s survival, thereby providing a chance that the commercial foothold established for their industrial base will have a chance to survive beyond the end of their term.  And it is far easier to believe that Bush pressured al-Maliki to begin the offensive, guaranteeing him the lives of as many American solders as it would take for him to succeed.  And according to reports, the bottom line on the strife, and on the lost American lives that will be claimed, will be to settle an Iraqi squabble over control of oil and electrical resources.

In any case, the Shia-on-Shia offensive, regardless of who started it and why, has proven that the alleged “success” of the surge is just another euphemism for an ephemeral spin device which is out of U.S. control and, from the Bush perspective on judgement, is what passes to the nation as the dire truth upon which all “defining moments” are constructed and acted upon.

The answer to southwest and western states providing college-educational assistance to mostly Mexican illegal immigrants, or for any state, or to any nationality, especially if they are exceptional academicians, is to send them back to Mexico, or to whatever nation they belong, because their countries and the futures of their countries need them more than America, which cannot afford them and has more demand from citizen students than can be addressed.  The only acceptable solution, other than deportation, is for their countries to pay for their educations, where enrollments are available without denying citizen applicants, on the assurance that after graduating in America the students will return to their countries to work and help them become better places for all of their citizens.  These outstanding illegal-immigrant students are leaders who can help improve conditions in their countries, reducing the trend to immigrate illegally, but who, if they remain, only diminish opportunity for American students and graduates, and it is both as wrong and as much a disservice to both America and their home nations for American states to fund them or to allow employers to exploit their post-education talents as it is to diminish citizen-student opportunity to educate them in competition against citizens in a climate of increasing cost and diminishing college-application acceptances.

Democratic presidential candidates overshadow Republicans
McCain’s fear-mongering, false vision, promises—more of the same, good for the few and bad for the rest.

“The American century is over,” is the phrase of a TV advertisement that recently played; its opposition:  the Obama conjecture of hope.  That ad concludes that the instrument of glorious enlightenment the Founders set upon the world when they cast off their shackles and lit the torch of freedom in the New World has been darkly turned upon itself in near-null accomplishment after more than two centuries of blood, sweat, and hope.  And, in fact, government and the election process has been bought by influence peddlers and turned against the people, not only because Republicans, acting in the interest of their greed-based, corporate/industrial and world-shaping theologies, gave away the American market, but because they also gave away the nuts and bolts holding together the engine driving that market.

Republican front-runner McCain, being confronted on his close involvement with lobbyists, defends them and refuses to further discuss his ties, saying that he will only address issues important to the nation and the people.  Among the Democrats, Clinton has also defended the system and is more entrenched into its machinery than Obama, in fact, only distancing herself in response to Obama’s continuing string of primary victories, casting doubt as to whether her words would translate into action if she were elected.  What McCain, Clinton, and all politicians who feed and are fed by the election and influence machines fail to grasp is that Americans are sick of their government being bartered and their interests residing in the darkened pockets of the powerful, through their lobbyists and contributions, and their grasp upon their elected officials.  These politicians, influence peddlers, and wealthy vote buyers, not China, N. Korea, Iran, or al Qaeda, are the greatest threat confronting democratic government and the American people.

Fearful, self-serving, herding voters, along with conspiring and rubber-stamp legislators let the politicians and influence peddlers rape them, again and again.  These Republicans, in the last seven years particularly, but also through the previous Bush and Reagan years, have, through their corrupted, special-interest-aimed goals and policies, closed the door on democratic principle because they found, with unrecognized shortsightedness, that it greased their bottom line to act with greater allegiance to the dollar and their new-world, market vision than to their nation and its heritage.  They have sewn such seed of discriminate growth that the fruit has waned for all but themselves, and yet, with callous regard for truth and need, they still spill forth lies to starving children, promises of milk, long soured, in desperate hope of grasping yet another turn at the table, their closed hands tight upon the jar of sweet, golden honey they have so stingily, wastefully harvested.

Mitt Romney’s promise of jobs in Michigan was one such case, which would only happen if the direction of revolution Republicans have set upon the world reverses its spin.  John McCain’s promise of victory in an immoral, criminal, unconstitutional war is another, that would only happen if all disaffected Muslims decided to answer their hatred and affront with resignation instead of determined confrontation and aggression.  Even if American families would give up their children in McCain’s 100-year search for the Republican Middle-East obsession, that day will not come to pass.  His most recent claim, initiated early in his campaign, is the comforting, flip-side of his and the Bush-Cheney al Qaeda fear-mongering coin, that (despite his 100-year affirmation) the occupation in Iraq is close to being over.  That is nothing more than a dreamy but ludicrous election sound byte intended to diminish the greatest obstacle he faces in attracting voters, designed and coordinated to be played in tandem with Iraqi PM al Maliki’s claim that Iraq is now stable, despite that hundreds of Iraqis continue to die every month; stable, despite that ethnic cleansing has moved major populations out of Baghdad and the country, the greatest factor in reduced capital violence, and Republicans still paint their rosy picture, tinted with blood, as the unending climb in the toll of American dead and wounded continues, unabated, and despite that al Qaeda in Iraq will remain as long as Americans are occupiers and nation builders there—a fact McCain tried to use against Obama while shrugging off responsibility for the Iraq-al Qaeda tragedy simply as a “that was then” triviality.

Both Obama and Clinton responded to a loaded hypothetical question posed by MSNBC’s Tim Russert during the 2008 Cleveland debate.  Russert asked if the candidates would send troops back into Iraq after removing them, if after troops were gone, al Qaeda set up a base there.  It was a loaded question because, for Clinton, a woman, her positive answer was necessary to show strength and willingness to use the military.  For Obama, the positive answer was necessary because of racist-based rumors and lies that have been spread regarding his political and religious background and upbringing, requiring him to demonstrate that he has no consideration for the Muslim extreme and would not hesitate to move against them.  The fact is that both Clinton and Obama gave the wrong answer to the question, and it is troubling, because the question opened the door for the candidates to address a legal issue and an abuse of power that has put America in its present quagmire.  The correct answer would have been something like this:

“Tim, if my top cabinet and military advisers and I agreed that there was such a presence, and that it posed a threat to the security of the United States, or to allies with whom we have defense treaties in place, then I would use all avenues available to convince Congress of the threat and the need to address it.  And if that threat was real, I’m sure Congress would be persuaded to also recognize it and then give the authority needed for me, as Commander in Chief, to order the military against that threat in Iraq, in conformity with the goals and limits, if any, they specify in their authorization.”

Of course, John McCain would never think to say anything like this, because he, like Bush and Cheney, believes that the president has the power of a Hitler, Stalin, or George III (who was in the minds of the Founders when they denied war power to the executive) when it comes to exercising military power, when in fact, despite McCain’s claim to the contrary, the Constitution provides the executive almost no authority at all in terms of initiating any kind of military action, reserving all war powers, save one, to Congress.  Most presidents, either party, are reluctant to concede anything that diminishes their authority or options, and the Founders understood that unfortunate inclination of those in power and determined to eliminate it in their new democratic government.  In their day, and still, by the word of the Constitution, it would not be possible for George Bush to thumb his nose at the people and Congress and declare himself to be the great decider of whether or not to end the bloodshed in Iraq.  It is only possible today because Congress allows it, with silence and 60-vote rules that dilute the Constitutional authority of the majority in Congress.

Obama’s campaign has hinged on change, and Clinton’s has picked up the word as she has been forced to run in the dust of its track through the race.  It would have been nice if either of them had given the correct answer to the question, because the abuse of war power, not only through use of the military, but also by the creation of quasi-military forces (Blackwater) to skirt Constitutional requirements for congressional funding and authority, are one of the old ways that needs most to be changed.

The military abuses of a Republican president and Republican-controlled Congress are the most severe of many that have clouded the sun from America’s future vision.  But, despite Republican promises, the sun will not begin to rise in the west, and the lion will neither starve nor lie with the lamb, except to dine upon it.  Both Republican candidates have been made irrelevant by the starkly tragic and costly era of arrogant, unenlightened, self-interested, and incompetent Republican governance they seek to extend.  Like failed Bush appointees left in the wake of resignation departures (the latest being over more Republican corruption with HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson), culpable Republicans and the thinning field of their supporters, still astray, do not see and will never acknowledge their failure.

Now Mitt Romney is where he was always headed, and where Huckabee and McCain will respectively follow:  out.  But Romney’s delusional, self-aggrandizing departure statement, that continuing his campaign would be “contributing to the surrender to terror,” is like Bill Clinton saying that his unbridled activism in his wife’s campaign can only land her in the Oval office.  Romney has revealed the character flaws of inability to admit failure or to talk straight, which he shares with McCain, and America has already endured two terms too many where those traits have dominated White House actions and inaction.  Goodbye, Mitt, and good riddance.    Next?

It’s not an easy choice, which Democratic candidate to choose.  They have grown closer and closer in their ideological divides and tone of promises as the campaign has moved from state to state.  But where will be the concrete action?  Obama does say he will not support tax breaks for companies that take jobs from Americans to give them to out-source foreigners, but that isn’t enough, and it doesn’t address illegals or green-card limits, a subject both he and Clinton wish to avoid because they pander to the Hispanic vote.  Obama says the illegals here should be allowed to stay after paying fines, learning English, and then going to the back of the line.  But, to the back of the line for what?  Citizenship?  Illegals should never have a path to citizenship and the vote.  That denial should be a part of the cost for choosing the advantage of any amnesty that allows them to remain.  Clinton’s position on illegal immigration is horrific, promoting bi-polar culture, saying “it wouldn’t be such a bad thing,” and that Americans should know two languages!  Whether they should or not, an illegally imposed culture is not an acceptable avenue for linguistic expansion, not even for those with the time to persue it.

With outsourced jobs, dictating who companies legally employ or where they produce is not the American way.  But employers must be made to confront a choice, employ citizens or pay a proportional penalty, manufacture in the States or pay duties on their imports, based not only upon value, comparative to other international products, but compounded by a factor to account for the national-citizen loss the foreign production represents.  Republicans have thrown the American worker and standard of living to the wolves by dropping all barriers that protected them.  They say it was done because the global economy is good for America.  What they mean is that it’s good for the owners, CEO’s, board members, and wealthy investors with large stakes in companies with international reach and scale.  The rest can be absorbed or die, along with the middle class and the American dream.  The Republican economics of scale favor the big, the wealthy, and the dollar above the people, the nation, and the common future.  This industrial-corporate-values base and goal set is why Republicans should not be in control of democratic government.  “Democratic” is not in the corporate manual.

The burning issues aside, Obama is at least as well suited as anyone on either side.  Experience doesn’t matter.  Washington and Eisenhower had no political roots (and make no mistake, the Republican party of Lincoln and Eisenhower was not the Republican party of Nixon-Cheney, Reagan, Bush, or Bush-Cheney), Washington, along with Jefferson and others of the critical founding presidents had no experience or history to guide them.  McCain, at least, it can be said knows neither history or the Constitution, believing the president has unbridled war power, when in fact, the Constitution affords the executive almost none.  Military experience and the 3:00 call to arms don’t matter either, except in defense against an attack in progress, because the direction of the military is supposed to be within restraints and goals authorized by Congress, trusting the advice of men who do have experience and who are professionals to apply the resources available in the most effective manner to meet those goals.  Age doesn’t matter, the constitutional requirements take that into account.  A pure heart, love of country, and the desire to make a better nation in trust of your family, neighbors, and your local and national community have no age constraints, or experience, and in this, all candidates are qualified in intent, though the means of all would not bring that outcome.  Middle school children have created trusts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to do good works for others to whom they have no tie other than nationality and for which they had no training or experience, but only the desire to help.  Obama’s career history points to motivations far more esoterically appreciated than fame and fortune because he has spent his developmental, post educational life in the muck and dirt trying to help others to whom he owed nothing and for which, until now, he received nearly the same.  Clinton did the same, though she didn’t wade quite as deeply or have nearly as far to rise.  Obama gained the trust and respect of his peers and superiors in education and law, and then in the Senate, through extended and close association, long before he was nationally known as an orator.  These sources are to be trusted or none can ever be, and Clinton has done much the same in her Senate term.

Either Democrat will be more than a match for the Republican, McCain, who attacks Obama’s rallies as “eloquent calls for change that promises nothing more than a vacation from history.”  After two terms of George Bush, a vacation from history is only scratching the surface of what’s needed to remove the memory of its stain.  And who can really believe McCain’s promises, which, the 100 years at war in Iraq aside, would amount to a Republican about-face?  A topsy-turvy realignment of Republican ideals and priorities?  None of it is believable.  Republicans call the alleged McCain plans “liberalism,” but they are really what McCain charges of Obama:  words, designed only to garner votes.  McCain’s record and the record of his Republican party speak the only truth of what can be expected if he and the Republicans are returned to office by the same gullible voters who put Bush back into the White House for another four years of social, economic, political, and human carnage.

On the face of the values and facts at hand, Obama’s relative lack of ties to influence groups, lobbyists, and the old machine ways of politics, and his promise to remove their grip on government, a stronger promise than made by any other, is a prescription that best meets what ails America after more than two decades of mostly Republican rule, and from the look of the primary record, it seems that many Americans have their glass of water rightly set to accompany the Obama script.

This DoD-sourced chart shows that Bush’s surge has only in the last months reduced
deaths below those of any previous month of the war, and that, surge regardless,
there is an up-cycle that will continue as long as the U.S. continues the occupation.

As was expected at the onset of the Bush administration’s announcement of the “surge,” as a facilitator of “clear, hold, and build,” it has unfolded to be an undeniable failure, pushing violence to new areas and inducing a selective pause by al Qaeda and insurgents that can outwait any plan, still with no end in sight at its evaluative state, at the end of August and September 2007, or at any subsequent date, and today, no victory, with casualties still level with the lowest ever before the surge, only serving to extend the nation-building plans of an insatiable president, with the sole return being that of escalated casualties, the blood of whom all will spill upon the Bush administration’s lies and demented objectives, pursued in blind and unknowing defiance of the best advice and warnings of America’s Founders.  Congress will owe the fallen and maimed patriots, the principal administration victims, unassuageable apology for its apathetic opposition to a criminal regime, for failing, despite its election to the majority, and consequently, for being as onerous in its vision and performance against the national interest as the administration it was tasked to rein in.

The sacrifice of soldiers and their families in Afghanistan is not forgotten, at least, not from this quarter, despite that the commitment of the volunteer military is more separated from that of the rest of the nation than any other global war in America’s history, a circumstance which speaks volumes between the lines.  Nonetheless, that front is the regrettable but necessary consequence of a just prosecution of America’s enemies:  those who repeatedly attacked the U.S., and those who aided and abetted the attacks, cumulating with the fall of the WTC towers.  But, even these deaths would have been reduced, had Bush put the resources and resolve into destroying the Islamic militancy that attacked the U.S., there, instead of into his special-interest war and occupation in Iraq.

This site emphasizes the unnecessary deaths of 4,555 Iraq-deployed, duty-bound soldiers, deaths no less honorable than any others, the misery of their families and families of the thousands of wounded, and the death and maiming of untold tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi, including women, children, and the elderly.  These are the sole consequence of a greed-based, premeditated, Bush-administration grab for resources and positioning to gain resources for necessary infrastructure services and provisions, worth billions upon billions of dollars, if not trillions, to the industries that hold the Bush administration’s first loyalty and interest, all the while, putting the war against the real U.S. embassy/Cole/WTC Islamic-radical perpetrators in Afghanistan, where there are no corporate-industrial riches to raid, on the back burner.

“Al Qaeda will fight us wherever we are,” was the only truth within the propaganda and speaking points Bush spread over the spring, 2007, grass of the White House lawn.  And that’s why a small part of the opposition in Iraq is al Qaeda:  because Bush is occupying Iraq to nation build.  If Congress pulls troops out of the cities in Iraq to secure, isolated, unapproachable, border staging areas, al Qaeda will then concentrate on Afghanistan and wherever else the West goes to fight against them and their supporting regimes.  Al Qaeda should not, nor should any other organization be exaggerated or fear-mongered into a cause that justifies and facilitates aggression, death, maiming, destruction, and exploitation on a grand scale, at the expense of an end to progressive social growth, in all of its many areas of need, in the most advanced nation in the world.  In addition, such abusive focus, and its cost, hampers confronting the changing climate, reduces the capability to be prepared for and recover from inevitable natural disasters, or benefit others in need of assistance, and it diverts from ending the outrages of dictatorships and oligarchical regimes that deal in death and foster crimes of genocide, rape, slavery, and terror, which, to bring to an end, are goals worthy of what, in Iraq, is an unwarranted and unwanted intrusion into violence and mayhem, which is only prolonged by the Bush policy of exploitation and control, and its inherent prerequisite for long-term occupation, with no assurance of an end.

Iraq is not, as Bush would have you believe, the lynchpin in the struggle of the 21st century, because if it were, a full commitment would have been made with wide public, legislative, military, and international concurrence, which, like the struggle against fascism in WWII, would not have diminished until, at any cost, the threat was put down.  And if Bush really had the advantage of righteous vision or support, Iraq would not now be a four-plus-year-long bloodbath.  If anything, Iraq is the latest in that long string of wars, recorded in every century of mankind’s history, that are justified, motivated, and/or prolonged by a religious argument.  The significant struggle of the 21st century, on a par with environmental preservation, is overcoming abusive and criminal administration of democratic government, not scrapping society’s resources on a tunnel-visioned, fear-mongered, false-fronted war against a drug-financed, cell-phone-and-internet-connected group of radical, religious revolutionaries who can best be dealt with using effective, cooperative law enforcement and intelligence, reserving the military to remove aiding-and-abetting governmental regimes, not to remain as police for occupation and corporate/industrial-motivated nation building.

Senator John Warner (R-VA) has proposed to attach appropriation penalties for construction funds as a consequence of a failure by the Iraqi regime to meet benchmarks, which would be attached to the war-funding bill.  This proposal, from a leader in the Senate Armed Services Committee, is a particularly harsh slap across the face of soldiers.  While Bush refuses a small pay increase for soldiers, Warner’s proposal, instead of ending or even reducing the exposure and risk of troops, places a lowly price on their lives by withholding what would be corruptly managed and ineffectual Iraqi aid dollars, for a failure that, with Bush’s lock-vision arrogance, and Warner’s proposal, would only extend their presence, the danger to which they are exposed, and their toll of dead and wounded, as increasingly more of them are deployed there, no matter what the Iraqi regime does or how it fails.

Icon FX by Silkscape Arts

The world can be what we make of it... or what we allow leaders (or otherwise) to make of it.

Bush has been allowed to define the attacks of an organized band of religious radicals into a global struggle of national life or death, where he is the knight, on horseback, in the center of the battle, with gleaming sword held high, leading the righteous nations of the world with deific blessing and unity, when, in fact, even without that charade, the same imperatives remain:  to develop and maintain comprehensive, coordinated, national and international law-enforcement and intelligence agencies, to not allow nuclear proliferation or commerce in weapons or delivery systems of mass destruction, or production and trafficking of drugs, or borders of unchecked transgress.  All of these need solutions and assured control, and in some specific, limited aspects, troops, regardless of whether there is an al Qaeda or not.

The surge, and the waste of $billions in non-military dollars continue, in a vain attempt to secure the special-interest goals of the Bush administration.  This outrage continues in defiance of the will of the people and a majority of their military professionals and elected representatives, in an occupation with no constitutional sanction, and which had no bearing on U.S. security when the invasion was deceptively justified and ordered, and which has swelled into a draining and deadly occupation which still has no such consequences, after more time than was sacrificed by solders who fought in the Second World War, and more than 4,400 deaths, with, from the objective of an opaque, congressional telescope, no end in sight until, and if, the Republicans are thrown out of office in January 2009.

A shameful, deeply-sorrowing, and increasing number of soldiers will not have to wait that long, and their passing will be on the national conscience and the heads of the administration and congressional Republicans for the life of this generation.

From the beginning, the intent of the Bush administration has been to keep the lid on as low a profile a can-of-worms, special-interest war as possible, which has meant concealing, downplaying, or distorting every adverse fact, separating the rest of the nation from the commitment of the volunteer military, using the fewest troops possible, hiding the caskets, the whole nine yards, because Bush, Cheney et al know Iraq is of monumental significance only to the industrial interests that have been the only entities to profit from the adventure, with far-more $billions to pocket if they are successful, and that is what the “surge” is all about:  the last-ditch effort to gobble up their worms now that time is running out and, for the majority of citizens and legislators, the bullet-riddled lid is finally off their dirty, I.E.D.-dented and blood-stained can.

Fragile liberty, vulnerable to apathy, fear, corruption, greed.

The invasion and occupation of Iraq, and many corporate and administration actions related to it, reported in the press, in congressional investigations and testimonies, and repeated within this site, constitute high crimes and treason against the people’s government of the United States, for which impeachment is not sufficient recourse for justice.

Army Specialist Rick Yarosh during Bush
visit to the Brooke Army Medical Center.

Several months ago, on the NBC Evening News, pictures were broadcast of Bush doing a P.R. and unavoidable-obligation-of-office visit with some of the more than 28,450 soldiers wounded in Iraq.  As Bush was seen posed with some of the terribly scarred and deformed soldiers, it was clear that he was completely unaffected, putting forth his characteristic photo face and smile, alongside damaged soldiers who can smile only through disfigurement and pain, physical and psychological.  Any person, truly moved by facing those broken but undefeated men, particularly any one with a heart who is responsible for their injuries, could not possibly have put forward the same countenance that is reserved, on cue, for pictures taken with state guests, unconstitutional signing statements, or lame press-conference punch lines.

When this much-expanded weight of waste and sorrow remains, long after Bush is gone and contemplating his $½-billion library, and when the light of hindsight or investigation does not deny the tragic, irreversible waste of his abusive administration, where will be the accountability for which responsibility has already, so shallowly, been claimed?  And where the justice if that accountability is only to be recorded in the pages of history?

Representative Dennis Kucinich

Cheney impeachment resolution means new life for American integrity.

Using the right of personal privilege, Democratic presidential candidate, Representative Dennis Kucinich, introduced a resolution into the record of the House of Representatives to initiate impeachment proceedings against Vice President Cheney, charging deception leading into the failed war with Iraq.  In a political move that backfired, Republicans defeated a motion to table the resolution, which would have killed it, but now it has a real chance of succeeding and has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.  This is a constitutional imperative for the House, as well as their electoral mandate, one which Speaker Pelosi and other Democratic leaders have avoided, which may point to one reason the new Democratic majority has amounted to a failed Congress.  But the crimes of Bush and Cheney go far beyond just the deception that launched their special-interest war in Iraq and which is again at work with intelligence estimates for Iran.

George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney are not leaders.  They are facilitators and manipulators for special interests, whose goals are traded against the national interest from behind closed doors, in secret meetings, where the ways and means of political and governmental abuse are plotted and directed, as the People and Congress are excluded and, along with truth, kept in the dark.

Consider only half of what is known of the acts of these men, of this administration, and the attendant consequences, and compare that against those of any others to hold their high offices who faced impeachment, and it is immediately apparent that impeachment for them becomes mandatory if historical precedent, the rule of law, and the principle of Democracy are to be retained as American ethics and standards.  Impeachment will challenge and charge the men who were contentiously entrusted with the power and prerogatives of the offices of President and Vice President of the United States, George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney, who, in collusion and contrary to their oaths to uphold and defend that Constitution, side-stepped it and diluted it by authorizing torture, kidnapping, political corruption of Justice, treasonous war, by support of dictators destroying other democracies (Pakistan) contrary to the national interest, by failure to fully prosecute America’s attackers, by conducting operations against the people (illegal wiretaps), programs set above the law and the constitution, by the creation of a criminal, murderous, unaccountable mercenary army, all acts of impunity and arrogance, subordinating the national interest and the welfare of the people for special-interest goals and profit, and further, diminishing and besmirching the authority of the courts, usurping the lawful bills of Congress (unconstitutional signing statements; refusing to recognize constitutional, congressional war-power directives); failing to uphold the laws of federal jurisdiction (illegal immigration/employment practices; drug trafficking; human smuggling/slavery), leaving the states open, unaided victims to an onslaught of crime; and by twisting the vesting of government authority to be incarnate, and the actions of the People’s government, administered by them, to be solely according to their will and the religious belief and vision of George Bush, regardless of and contrary to the will of the People and their collective voice, expressed through constitutional vote and their elected, legislative representatives, the consequences of which have been the unwarranted death of 4,555 U.S. soldiers and the maiming of tens of thousands more, lives not lost and damaged in the interest of national security, and compounded by the deaths and maiming of tens upon tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of innocent foreign nationals, not guilty of harm or threat against the national-security interests of the United States, further eroding national security through incitement of foreign nationals to act against the U.S., and diminishing of the military state of readiness, including the destruction of government property, and world-wide erosion of U.S. national integrity.

In the history of this nation, there have never been any to hold the offices more deserving of impeachment than Bush and Cheney, which would condemn them and their acts as wrong, not representative of America, and reinforce for future officials what they cannot do, and in so doing, impeachment will allow Americans to face the world again without shame and guilt, having made right a great, but nonetheless enduring wrong.  America’s world standing and historical legacy must be sharply delineated from that of Bush and Cheney’s, a paramount reason that impeachment is both necessary and justified.  Yet, impeachment is not sufficient recourse for justice in the face of such magnitude of crimes they have perpetrated upon the nation and the world, but impeachment can help to ensure there will never be the likes of Bush or Cheney to again darken, with their colluded, corrupting shadow, a flag that once flew proudly in the light of day and right, and which will not see that light again until their stain is finally removed from the People’s government.

Democracy For America “If the election were today” poll.

Above, is an interesting poll result, taken by Democracy for America (DFA), which ran for a few weeks, ending on November 5, garnering about 150,000 nationwide votes, and containing results not reported anywhere by any poll in the major news media.  It will be interesting to see if the early primaries reflect this poll or the mainstream versions.  The poll is unscientific, but did afford a measure of security, through cookies, against multiple votes.   The poll provided three squares for 1st - 3rd choice, and displayed pictures of all the Democratic candidates.  Voters could drag pictures to their 1st - 3rd-choice slot, designating a different candidate for each slot, or one for all three, or any combination desired.  Also note, importantly, Al Gore was NOT one of the pictures provided.  He was a write-in.  There was also a “write-in” square, which could also be dragged and dropped onto the slot/s to represent the vote, and a window would appear to allow you to enter the name of your write-in choice.  So, in light of considerations of ease of voting, and the result Al Gore attained, it could well be argued he was the winner.  Perhaps he will take note, because as it stands now, while most of the Democratic candidates are preferable to most any of the Republicans, Al Gore is certainly a legitimate, and people/nation-vs.-corporation/interest-group oriented option, who is more experienced and more than the equal in capability to anyone on either ticket.

        Blackwater USA President Gary Jackson    

Blackwater, indeed, reflecting the tug of power between occupation and government in Iraq.

In an alleged, Sunday, September 16, 2007, firefight on a Baghdad street, employees of the American private-security contractor, Blackwater USA (apropos name), fired assault weapons from diplomatic-convoy vehicles that the company claims had come under attack from small arms, contributing to the killing of at least 17 Iraqi civilians and the wounding of scores more.  Initially, Iraqi officials claimed nine deaths at the hands of Blackwater’s gunmen, and on the following Wednesday, Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki had upped the claim to 11 Iraqi civilians killed, and he said there was no bombing of the convoy.  The next week, the state minister for national security affairs, Shirwan al-Waili, said the Iraqi investigation was nearly complete and, “The shots fired on the Iraqis were unjustifiable.  It was harsh and horrible.”  The preliminary report of a tri-ministry joint investigation was severely worded, saying, “The murder of citizens in cold blood in the Nisour area by Blackwater is considered a terrorist action against civilians just like any other terrorist operation.”  The report also reiterated the statement of Interior Ministry spokesmen that those Blackwater employees charged would be “referred to the Iraqi court system.”  Iraqi officials also say they have received no information from American officials about their investigation.  These investigations did not interview several Kurdish witnesses to the slaughter with military backgrounds who later told news sources what they saw.  They are deemed credible because they are supportive of America and because they observed the incident from a rooftop out of the line of fire and its psychological, emotional effects.  They insist there was no opposing fire at all, and that the Blackwater mercenaries actually initiated a second unprovoked attack against a bus filled with women and children after the fatal firing into the crowds in the square had at first come to an end.

American officials claim they have no knowledge of Iraqi plans to prosecute Blackwater employees, and neither Blackwater nor U.S. officials conducting their own investigation have detailed exactly what happened in the Nisour incident.  Official spokespersons for Blackwater, of course, defend the actions of their mercenaries.  According to witnesses, Iraqi military personnel became involved in the firing, and more-indiscriminate fire was also coming from a pair of Blackwater helicopters shadowing the convoy, although a Blackwater spokesperson denied that the helicopters contributed to the carnage, or that anyone shot by their mercenaries were not armed, an impossible statement to believe, since the truth of who was behind all the deaths and wounded will likely not even be fully revealed by a planned forensic investigation.  An October 3, 2007 congressional hearing into this and previous incidents involving Blackwater operations, questioning Blackwater’s CEO and tight-lipped senior State Department officials, failed to shed any new light, beyond the disparate cost of private security vs. conventional military, while a Department of Justice F.B.I. investigation into possible crimes and charges continues.  Two days later, the House passed legislation, over the objection of the Bush administration that will bring all contractors in the Iraq war zone under U.S. criminal jurisdiction, with cases to be investigated by the F.B.I.  On November 14, 2007, the New York Times reported that the F.B.I.’s investigation into the September 16 shootings found that 14 of the 17 deaths Blackwater inflicted were not justifiable.  A Blackwater statement, in response, said, “If it is determined that one person was complicit (sic) in the wrongdoing, we would support accountability in that.”  This stated agreement to accept conditional accountability is an example of the arrogance by which these Republican-formed, quasi-armies operate, and it is a sign of how far-reaching corrective measures must be.  Fundamentally, the use of private armies are another Bush slap at the Constitution, to which Congress turns its cheek.  Private, military-type units, employed by the executive to carry out military objectives in America’s name are outlawed, and their use by Bush must be either halted or placed under strict congressional approval and oversight, because otherwise, they are just a loophole that the executive branch uses to avoid and sidestep the constitutional restriction that rightly places the creation and deployment of military war power solely within the authority of Congress.

The incident is continuing to increase the tension on the already strained relationship between the al-Maliki government and the Bush administration, and it is revealing more of the truth about how much governing power Iraq’s government really has under the terms of the occupation.  An Iraq Ministry of Interior spokesman said, early on, that the license for Blackwater had been canceled and that those who fired on the civilians would be prosecuted, and on the Saturday following the Nisour shootings, the spokesman added that ten murders in six previous Blackwater incidents are also under investigation.  But Iraqi prosecutions would be contrary to an immunity law that shields American contractors, issued by the U.S. governing authority in Iraq before supposed sovereignty was handed over.  And, according to State Department spokesmen, no action by Iraq on revoking the licenses had been taken by Tuesday; yet, by week’s end, American officials in Baghdad have remained restricted to the Green Zone (this century’s incarnation of Fort Apache) because the refusal of the Iraq government to permit further Blackwater operations is at least having a temporary hold while officials struggle with the issue in private.  There is undoubtedly great pressure upon the al-Maliki government to restrain from attempting to make such action permanent because of the inordinate dependence State Department and other U.S. personnel have upon the private-security contractors in order to carry out the occupation, particularly Blackwater, which is contracted to provide the security needs of the occupation’s highest-priority officials.  Because civilian authorities who would normally conduct the U.S. investigation are restricted by the halt of Blackwater operations, U.S. military units, who have their own security resources, have been reported to be conducting the investigation and carrying out interviews, which is attributed to slowing the investigation and the release of information obtained about the facts of the incident.  Blackwater is also reportedly being investigated by federal authorities for unrelated weapons-smuggling or theft charges.  Two former employees have already been convicted of federal weapons charges.

While al-Maliki and other government officials have political responsibility to act with outrage, as they have over the incident, it seems clear that the same Bush defiance, confronting all attempts by Congress to restrain his administration with respect to the occupation, will also eventually prevail over the Iraqi government’s posturing.  So much for Bush’s touted Iraqi freedom, and the integrity of the Iraqi government, and the lost American lives that have made it, and that will continue to be lost to make it as robustly independent as it so far seems it isn’t.  And so much for another handful of Iraqi innocents who, regardless of what happened, are victims of Bush’s occupation and America’s mercenaries.

It isn’t usually effective or accurate to draw simplistic, exaggerated parallels between Bush and Hitler, but the new facts on the September 16 killings reveal that Bush is leading an occupation in Iraq that is hardly less horrific in its acts (not scale) as Hitler’s in Poland during WW2.  But there can be no excuse for lack of scale to diminish the severity of the situation and its effects on the Iraqis and America’s world standing and historical legacy, which must be sharply delineated from that of Bush and Cheney’s, and which is a paramount reason that impeachment is both necessary and justified, and also because, like Hitler, there is no accounting from Bush with respect to this and the other “incidents” involving the shoot-first mercenaries profiting from the misery Bush has ignited and fans in Iraq.

Eric Prinz, Blackwater CEO and founder, tries to deflect the use of the term “mercenary,” by saying his employees are “Americans working for America,” not for a foreign power.  In fact, by the first definition of Webster, a “mercenary” is any person who is “hired into foreign service.”  Blackwater employees also meet the second definition of “one that serves merely for wages.”  So the use of the term is wholly correct and justified, and not subject to the tactic Prinz, like Bush, attempts to employ, of writing his own definitions and language to redefine the atrocities he tries to cover up on behalf of his employees and his company.

The American conscience and world view demands much more than the latest Senate effort of amendments to funding bills, creating commissions to look into contractors.  Despite rules left by departing pre-sovereign political appointees, there can be no license to kill with indiscretion inherent or implied in such political dictates, and if the military has jurisdiction over American citizens in war zones, the Department of Defense, or if not, Justice, must be compelled to bring the killers to the bench.  The Iraqis have called the killings “terrorist acts,” and America stands accused of facilitating and shielding “murder” and “massacre.”  If the Bush administration will not act, then it must surrender the shooters to the International Court.  The Bush administration cannot wash its hands of this, and it must be clearly held accountable for the deaths, since they have resulted from the same incompetent approach to the details of occupation that has cost lives in the past, and also here at home, in Katrina, and lessor incompetence and corruption that is reflected throughout the resignations (the latest being HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson) that mark Bush’s administration, each leaving some form of mayhem in its wake.  These acts of barbarism cannot be allowed to be swept under the rug and answered as “mistakes,” paid for with simple resignations or political explanations based in evasion and persuasion, as has, in fact, turned out to be the case, again, with the resignation of Ambassador Richard Griffin, who headed the operations of the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, and who was criticized in a report on those operations subsequent to the massacre.  This resignation is totally inadequate to answer for the lives lost at America’s hand in this instance and previous contractor-initiated killings.  Secretary Rice should resign, as well, since this failing, for which she and Bush are finally responsible, has caused effects inverse of the State Department’s mission, devastating effects which cannot be reversed in the remainder of her term.  America cannot afford to shield its agents from acts so brutally inhuman and unwarranted.  Under the shroud of this unanswered bloodletting, America and freedom no longer seem so synonymous.

Image FX by Silkscape Arts

Bush address reveals authoritarian resolve and intent.

A suitable preamble for Bush’s speech would be the familiar observation about lies, made by Adolph Hitler’s chief of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, which extols the virtues of the lie in the authoritarian state, and which is reprinted following the funeral scenes (above) as a standard of caution for everything put forth by the Bush-Cheney administration.

And make no mistake, if it wasn’t clear before, since Bush’s address, with a self-paralyzed Congress, and a president on delusional power pills chaining America to an Iraq occupation, it is undeniable that America is now and has been an authoritarian state.

Bush began his speech by setting a stage for guilt that holds up his most lacking trait:  character, making his own preamble to a rant of fiction, or, at best, wildly exaggerated non-fiction, that the character of the people will be less if his delusional message is not accepted.  The false and exaggerated claims that followed were nearly astounding:

General Petraeus never said anything as definitive as America is “seizing the initiative from the enemy,” or that “the surge is working,” except in very constrictive military terms, which Bush ignored.

Bush claimed Anbar province is free of al Qaeda terror, while his newest, most-important ally there, Sheikh Abdul Sattar Abu Risha, a supposedly turned Sunni insurgent, was assassinated only hours before, blown up.  In addition, the mid-August bombings of two villages in Anbar’s neighboring province to the north, Ninevah, killed hundreds and was the worst violence to strike civilians since Bush’s invasion, and since the beginning of the surge.

According to Bush, all blood aside, everything, everywhere in Iraq is getting rosy, and the insurgents, extremists, and al Qaeda are all on the run.

He put the 30,000 surge troops into Iraq only so he could quickly offer to withdraw them, as though that would be a signal of change when he would use it, as he did in his address.  Since they were really only needed there to be removed for propaganda purposes, removing them by next July means absolutely nothing, less than nothing in terms of change or reducing casualties.  To remove so few tomorrow would be meaningless.  Yet he actually tried to use that pitiful, symbolic, intended trickle as a focus for agreement and cooperation between the supporters and dissenters of his Iraq occupation.

Aside from those contentious home politics, he spoke encouragingly of Iraq’s political progress, which Ryan Crocker, his Iraq ambassador, the day before made clear is a joke delivered by a “dysfunctional” government.

Bush spoke of oil-sharing agreements, which are already falling apart, thanks, in great part to the help of his good friend and politico, the chief executive and president of Hunt Oil, Ray L. Hunt, who is also a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.  Hunt, who knows better than Bush what’s trending in Iraq, is making backroom deals with the Kurds in a money-backed statement that the Iraqi government isn’t going to be around to partner any future oil deals.

Bush’s claimed number of enemy forces captured per month, more than 1,000, are really mostly only detainees, most of whom will be released after investigation and exposure to a short indoctrination program.

He thanked the allied troops of 36 nations... where?

And he coined a new term for the basis of future troop reductions:  “Return on success.”  A corporate-based term, but with Bush, what matters about the term is not that it will not likely be seen again for lack of success, but that the definition of “success” is a mystery that only lurks in the minds of those in the Bush controlling circle, behind the scenes.

Bush said, “America does not abandon its friends.”  But do our friends abandon us and go on vacation while our soldiers are dying, supposedly in their interests?  They are using our troops and are most certainly not our friends.  He also calls Iraq an ally, but Iraq is not an ally of America, either.  They are an occupied nation, conquered by the U.S., and they are the ongoing victims of the Bush administration’s colonial initiative.  Their government is a mist over troubled water, and the majority of Iraqis in every poll wants the U.S. troops out.

He read a letter intended to evoke emotion from the well-meaning family of a soldier, one of many families and soldiers whom he uses, and uses up.

Bush couldn’t help but end his fable with the usual reasons to tell American families to go on burying their children, fathers, mothers, sisters, and brothers, beginning with the lie of national security and jumping right to the safe haven for “terrorists” that would exist, but from which, from all evidence, already exists since his invasion and the lure of occupying troops invited them in.  Yet, through this, “A stronger military” will result, he said, but from what?  From being overextended and bled?  From the appointment refusals, resignations, and early retirements of scores of good officers who’ve had enough of the abuse?  The claim of stronger military, like many others, is a known Bush non sequitur.

Beside defying reason, Bush, with the salivary agreement of candidate John McCain, also wants to defy social, economic, and geopolitical nature by trying to neutralize the influence of Iran through the occupation of Iraq, an impossible goal that, to attempt, would cost all the pools in Beverly Hills to be filled with the blood and bodies of the dead on all sides.  And, somehow, putting troop priority on the border, which is what the Democrats want to do, but what Bush and Republicans only call “withdrawing,” will somehow, Bush says, “encourage Iran to continue developing nuclear weapons.”  Bush encourages that by spinning our wheels there on matters not related to that or any other national-security threat.

Meanwhile, all of these wonderful benefits aside, Bush assures us that if we stay the course, Iraq will anchor the region and be an example to the Mid-East, while if we do not, we only embolden the enemy.  Fear, fear, fear.  Although, what he said about anchoring the region, that’s an actual goal, but not for freedom.  That’s “anchor,” like in the commercial sense of an anchor store in a chain, from which expansion and profits grow, and an “example,” like a shiny, new, regional mall, built in a decayed neighborhood, that is wagered will draw more development.  One of the only grains of truth, concealed, in his desert of mirages, and it has nothing to do with ideals worth dying for.

Bush’s new plan(?) is said to be a kind of Korea model?  What is that?  Troops forever?  A mad dictator allowed to rain ruin upon his country and perpetuate tension throughout the world for decades on end?  The analogy may be accurate, because that’s certainly how Bush is acting and what he’s doing.

Near the end of the evening’s painful rendition, Bush said, “It is never too late to strike a blow to al Qaeda, advance freedom, or support the troops when they can win.”  How can he bring freedom to Iraq when he denies it at home?  The basis of freedom for the American people is the Constitution, which nowhere gives Bush the power to stand alone to wage war, and within which is embodied the principle of popular sovereignty:  government of, by, and for the people, one of three pillars of democracy.  Bush has heard the voice of the people, directly, through polls, elections, and most important, through the weak, piddling, snivels of their fear-frozen, pleading, elected representatives in Congress, who apparently do not recognize their power or their responsibility, all to no avail or care.  The Constitution does not require Congress to pass a bill, subject to veto, to impose its war-power authority.  Any majority-approved directive accomplishes that, with Court filing or impeachment as the response to any Bush defiance.  But despite the slumber of Congress, Bush has disqualified himself, forever, from speaking of or representing freedom.

Bush did not address the strategy to confront looming threats to security in the wider region of the Middle East, to which the ignorance and wrong motives of his policies contribute.  Nor did he cast a light upon the path for a return to a safer home for the troops.  He only put the problem he created on the table to remain there, through his term, to bind the people and the next president, with no care for the dead and crippled that will, without right or reason, pass between now and then.  The Democratic reply to Bush’s robotic repetition of old claims, by Sen. Jack Reid, touched upon most of the important points that revealed the fallacy of Bush’s arguments, but it failed to take on the most egregious fact of Bush’s address:  that it is not for Bush to say there will be war and occupation when the people and the majority in Congress say there must not be.

Bush’s address was the materialization of the hidden truth, finally appearing as he approaches the unsuccessful end of his final term.  He is out of time, out of options, and is forced by his colonial-mission goal to make public what the concealed intentions of his controlling circle always were, from the day the planning to invade Iraq began:  to use the national power into which that circle, manipulated by Richard Cheney, of which Bush is just a pawn, has maneuvered itself to control, including its military lifeblood, to make over Iraq in the image of their global, corporate-industrial master plan, as the first piece (Bush’s “anchor”) of the bejeweled Lego model for a region of exploitable natural and marketable riches, in which national values and heritage do not factor on any calculator, and for which tax breaks for the wealthy, under-regulated financial and business markets, suppressed public healthcare, unenforced borders, employers with cheap, illegal labor, unregulated offshore venues for factories, inadequate import controls, unsafe, unregulated, uncontrolled Mexican trucks traveling freely on local-commerce-bypassed, split-nation, trans-continental highways, are all just a part of the mechanics for benefitting industries and corporations, making the very rich richer, and the middle class poorer, and setting the poor, everywhere, awash in a sea of inadequate opportunity and support.

The powers that direct Bush, and that directed his father, and Reagan before him, embryonic in the abusive, criminal Nixon administration, and which include kings and crown princes of Arabia, and the rarefied, elite, unseen upper crust of industrial America, and their masters of law, politics, and dangerously-merged media, have consolidated their vision, inked their plan, set it in motion, and instructed their agents holding the strings of government to stand apart from the laws and the will of the people, and to challenge the prerogatives of Congress in order to spend whatever resource, displace whatever class of people, and spill whatever blood is necessary to keep in place the multi-pronged path to riches and control they have tried to carve out from their decades of domestic, geopolitical, and trade-policy manipulation in America, and to take the Holy Grail from their greatest potential source of wealth:  the war and occupation in Iraq, which is their greatest crime—and given the means, they will not stop there.  Why should they?  What have they to lose that would not be lost anyway?  The only force that can confront to leash them is both inert and inept.  Bush and Cheney are not only criminals, they are the treasonous Benedict Arnolds of their time.

One can only hope that Gen. Petraeus is paying attention, because by virtue of Bush’s rightfully poisoned and buried credibility, Petraeus has been propelled to a place of extraordinary influence with respect to changing the posture of Bush’s occupation, and maybe, significantly more.  Now, with a vivisected, sightless Congress, his lead could be the only way out of the death sentence for America Bush has decreed through the rest of his term, and beyond.  If the General’s conscience and conviction allow him to take that lead now, injecting some nerve and resolve into the lame, jellied spine of Congress, it may be that his lead will continue into that beyond.  Bush has placed America in desperate need of a leader, strong, patriot, and true, and nowhere, on either side of the current, running throng, is seen one that is undeniably all three.

Picasso’s Guernica immortalizes the Nazi atrocity upon the Spanish town, mated w/Dale Wick’s Dreams and Nightmares.

Nightmares and dreams.

Bush’s unqualified and incompetent Attorney General appointee, Alberto Gonzales, said, of stepping down because of his Justice Department failures, “I’m not going to resign.  I’m going to stay focused on protecting our kids.  There’s a lot of work that needs to be done around the country.”  He then tendered a resignation letter to Bush, written in the same boot-licking style with which he clung to Bush to disrupt and defile his department.  The resignation was “reluctantly accept”ed.

Bush’s unqualified and would-be antithesis to the post of Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Michael Baroody, said nothing when he withdrew from the nomination he never should have received or accepted.  Bush “reluctantly” accepted his withdrawal.

Bush, again, “reluctantly” accepted yet another resignation, when his qualified but corrupt appointee to the World Bank’s post of president, Paul Wolfowitz, after fighting to remain, finally announced his untimely departure, saying, “it is in the best interests of those whom this institution serves for that mission to be carried forward under new [not self-interested/self-enriching] leadership.”  And in the following year, another “reluctantly” accepted resignation of HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson, over corruption in the exercise of the powers of his office.

Hurricane Katrina, along with the just released, scathing, report on the GAO’s investigation, revealing the Department of Homeland Security’s dismal lack of readiness for disaster and attack, speak all that is necessary to dismiss the value of anything said by Bush’s unqualified and incompetent DHS Secretary appointee, Michael Chertoff.

Bush’s unqualified and incompetent FEMA-director appointee, Michael Brown, of whom, in the midst of the mayhem, Bush said was “doing a great job,” resigned for just cause and to scape-goat for Chertoff, saying of his Katrina failures, “My greatest mistake was not recognizing, by Saturday, that Louisiana was dysfunctional.”

Pot, kettle.

Another Bush appointee, Iraq’s Ambassador Ryan Crocker, in the same end-game stage, for him, that the late-August, 2005, Saturday was for FEMA’s Brown, said that there are serious consequences for American interests if the U.S. withdraws from Iraq, and that the administration’s objectives [for public consumption] can be attained, but it will take a long time and it won’t be easy.

It has already taken a long time... a very long time, and many lives, and great resources needed elsewhere.  But time is really irrelevant, because the occupation of Iraq is a travesty.  It was wrong to invade and it is wrong to remain, and it will be made right only when troops are removed from their vulnerable, bloody, no-win, urban-policing and nation-building roles.

But, Crocker also spoke this absolute truth:  “Iraq will go on with or without the U.S.”  And it is this statement which, combined with its unspoken counterpoint, that America will go on, whether it stays or withdraws, proves the waste of allowing Bush to continue to extend his occupation and mount the already horrific toll of maimed and dead, while playing patsy with local ethnic leaders and authorities in the region of Pakistan and Afghanistan, rather than using the “with us or against us” resolve, along with the resources wasted in Iraq, to finally, once and for all, take the lead and responsibility to fully confront the enemy, rid the region of its criminal social structure, its Taliban, its drug culture and trade, and its hidden and protected al Qaeda leadership and infrastructure, all of which would answer in full for the 9/11 attacks, and help bring about a change to a stabilizing, democratic government in Pakistan, because without that change, with a dictator and an amok western border there, America risks even longer-term involvement as it is forced to either secure or eliminate that increasingly threatening nuclear arsenal.

Then, after as long a time as Crocker and Petraeus fear to speak is needed for Bush’s unjust objectives in Iraq, there will only be left the turning of the unseen, radiant hole card in Iran before the troops can finally return home, in victory and peace, to a more secure America.

Just how closely might these hand-holding, kiss-ending strolls with Saudi Arabian kings and crown princes be linked to spilled American blood in Iraq, and next... Iran?

But for Bush, ergo America, there still remains the obdurate obstacle of Saudi Arabia, homeland to Osama bin Laden, as well as many al Qaeda leaders, fighters, contributors, and suicide bombers.  The Saudis see an overshadowing Iran and Iraqi violence focusing more on their repressive regime if American troops are removed as the target of choice for everything that is extreme and anti-monarchy and festering from within and outside of Iraq, and Bush is under the greatest pressure, not from Congress or the American people, about whose opinions he could scarcely care less, but rather, from his hand-holding, cheek-kissing, Saudi-oligarchy “family,” to serve their interests by staying the course in Iraq.  So tonight, Bush, won’t bother to talk about such ignored and possibly impending nightmares as a Bush-policy-facilitated, expanded nuclear threat and new front in a destabilizing Pakistan, or such attainable dreams as a future, peaceful return of troops to a welcoming and safer home.

General David Petraeus and Iraq Ambassador Ryan Crocker.
Is Petraeus aware the ultimate constitutional source of mission authority to which he answers is Congress, not Bush?

The Petraeus report’s only certainty is that there is no end in sight.

In the winter 2008 administration attempts to cajole Congress into staying the no-end-in-sight course it proposes, Bush’s politically motivated, cherry-picked, choice for rotation into the assignment as top Iraq commander, Gen. David Petraeus, and Baghdad Ambassador Ryan Crocker confirmed that there is no end in sight for any kind of victory in Iraq, and Crocker used the influence of Iran, which he said would predominate if American forces withdrew, as the primary scare-tactic against any such move.  The fact is that Iran is and always will be deeply involved with Iraq’s security and commerce, by virtue of its vast common border, ethnic, cultural, and religious ties, common short- and long-term regional and global aspirations, and because the Iranian and Iraqi people, and the Iraqi government, as it is, want to share a relationship and have been, in fact, building those relations throughout the last several years of the Bush occupation.  To use fear of this relationship as an excuse to continue the occupation, or to, in actuality, try to block the ties, is just as unrealistic as the vision of the Bush administration when it decided to, so carelessly in regard to America’s security, inject the national blood into this nightmare.  Preventing the growth of relations between Iraq and Iran is not an achievable or worthwhile objective, and if the recent Bush-administration rhetoric is steering toward an attempt to use Iran as a justification to keep or expand the military presence in Iraq, or beyond its borders, based on any condition other than the Iranian regime’s nuclear proliferation, then he is only further entrenching U.S. troops into a more costly, more bloody, more fatal, more intractable dead end that will insure a less-stable, less-peaceful future for the Mid-East and for America, which is contrary to the national interest.  Iran and Iraq have been and are destined to continue to be closely involved with one another, and despite the angst that causes Saudi Arabia and Bush, there is nothing either can do to prevent it, except to needlessly spend lives, resources, and time in a futile effort that is akin to trying to stop lobbyists from knocking on government doors, election campaigns from eating ever-more money and calendar, or congressmen from abusing earmarks.

Gen. Petraeus recommended withdrawal, by summer, 2008, of the number of forces added by the surge, which only keeps America wrongly engaged and achieves the Bush aim of extending the occupation, bit by bit, through his term.  But the general was overly general in his report on security gains and future prospects for the military mission, when the facts, which were unspoken, are that the worst attacks on record against civilians in Iraq, along with the predicted, increased U.S. casualties, have been the markers for the U.S. occupation since the surge began.  Further, as the surge results in a reduction of violence in Baghdad, where it is concentrated, Iraq is a large country that affords many points of focus for the forces that will always oppose the Bush occupation there, and as it took time for the insurgent and outside elements to mount their aggression after Saddam’s statue fell, the resultant increase of violence from a shift in focus to softer areas the Bush surge cannot cover will continue to rise, involving new faces and sectors to the violent failure that is Bush’s Republican-backed occupation.  Occupying Iraq has been and will remain a no-win situation that will, thanks to Bush administration and Republican short-sightedness, continue to drain American lives and resources while rewarding only criminals (including al Qaeda and Islamic extremism), arms suppliers, and the industries that have already profited from security, oil production, and infrastructure contracts.

Republicans also continued to use the scare tactic of warning that America invites chaos by rapid withdrawal, when in fact, the best thought-out plans voiced by the Democratic majority do not call for a rapid withdrawal out of the country, but only out of the urban, occupation role necessitated by the Bush goal of nation building to attain a viable corporate-industrial environment.  The best and most responsible plan for troops is to move them out of this role and out of danger into remote, border-staging areas where they will have the ability to secure Iraqi border integrity and carry on with selective intelligence and operational missions against any al Qaeda elements that may remain, while removing themselves from exposure to the police-role street violence that has claimed the majority of U.S. casualties and strained the military to the point that officials, like Bush’s “War Czar,” Army Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, have called for reinstating the draft, which must never be allowed to happen until Congress reasserts its war powers to insure, as the Founders undeniably intended, that no one man will ever again launch and sustain such unjustified catastrophe upon the nation, its soldiers and citizens, as Bush has been permitted by Republicans in Congress to do in Iraq.  This posture must be imposed upon the Bush administration, not just by congressional purse-string pulling, but by the constitutional authority of Congress to decide where and when America will use deadly force of arms, not the president, and without further delays, excuses, or empty promises, all of which, day by day, costs U.S. soldiers and their families more lives, lost, as Petraeus himself did not dispute when asked directly in testimony, for no justifiable national-security reason.

It is past time for Congress to take the scepter away from the Great Decider.

It should be noted that the most significant testimony heard in 2008 on the progress of the Iraq troop surge was when Gen. Petraeus was asked, point blank, and held to answer, whether the military effort in Iraq is keeping America safe, which is a Bush and Republican scare-tactic talking point to justify continuing the occupation under any circumstances.  That Petraeus first dodged the question and then, pressed, was unable to answer in the affirmative, tells the critical truth and should be the talking point for all who oppose the occupation, because why else should American soldiers be maimed and dying?

The constitutional issue of ceded war power to the executive over the century addresses a dangerous and costly trend away from the restraints of government the Founders built into the Constitution, and it is responsible for the involvement America now faces in Nightmare Iraq, as well as unjustified conflicts of the past, and contested constitutional domestic-rights issues.  Anyone who reads the Constitution can see for themselves that virtually all powers related to armed conflict have been specifically delegated to Congress, with the sole reservation being that of immediate response to defend against an attack, which is within the authority of the president without advice and consent of Congress—a specific, restrictive exclusion.  It is not difficult to understand, even without reading the Federalist and Hamilton papers, and other related documents, that the Founders had no intention of such powers originating in and being dictated by one person in the executive, since such power within the throne of England was suffered upon them directly, before and during the process of forming the union and drafting the Constitution.

This shift of power by past practice (precedent) cannot be allowed to stand and there is no reason for it to stand.  The nature of armament and warfare is such that the Constitution’s protections are no less necessary than in the past, but rather, more necessary.  And the powers delegated to Congress by the Constitution do not, today, create any danger for America that did not exist in the past because of changes in either technology or the nature of America’s enemies.  By turning our backs on the wisdom and protections that are our legacy, embodied in the Constitution, we have invited the disasters that now plague us, and we will continue to suffer and diminish on the domestic and international fronts so long as we continue to allow that heritage and those protections to be pushed aside.

While the “Presidentialists” read much into the role of Commander in Chief, the fact is, that role is one of facilitator for the policy of Congress with respect to use of arms, and Congress is not restricted by purse strings alone in exercising its constitutional authority to rein in Bush with respect to the goals and limits upon the use of military force, and further, congressional rules (filibusters, etc.) that dilute the power of the majority in exercising directly-mandated constitutional authority are themselves unconstitutional.

This constitutional issue must be brought to the fore as the best way to end the travesty of Iraq and return the balance and stability that has been missing from defense policy since the time Congress began to silently cede its authority away to the executive.  The Constitution’s authority for the CIC to act in immediate defense is sufficient to protect America from enemies that would confront us so recklessly.  To remove the collective minds and hearts of Congress as the sole authority for use of arms outside of immediate defense is contrary to both the Constitution and protecting America, as history and current events are undeniable testament.

In a democracy, under the principles of popular sovereignty, the people are supposed to be the source and beneficiary of governmental power, and in no case, should the peoples’ decision on war be taken from them.  This will be even more pointed a consideration if ever reinstating the draft is considered, and that is the situation we have today, where reinstating the draft is being considered and the constitutional authority of the people, through their congressional representatives, to declare where and when America will employ force of arms, has been usurped to now rest, as it does with a dictator or king, in the hands of one person, the Great Decider, George Bush, and his successors.  The news, every day, echoes the tragedy of that circumstance, and the leadership and members of the Senate and House are best equipped and responsible to put the issue on the table and, if necessary, before the Court.  It is a confrontation that is both sorely needed and long overdue.

Islamic militants, mere organized-crime punks, are hauled away by police.

Last year’s arrest of three radical-Islamic terrorists by German authorities, stacked on top of previous, recent, European interdictions into the criminal activities of radical-Islamic groups, again demonstrates that the domestic war against this radical movement is effectively waged with cooperative, international intelligence and law enforcement, not armies, which are only effective to remove supporting regimes and to pursue and confront massed, organized forces.  So, when Bush or any Republican candidate lies that the Bush occupation of Iraq (which was, actually, always intended to create a corporate-safe, exploitable investment and operating environment) keeps America safe, don’t you believe it!

Media corporations serve illegal majorities at citizens’ peril.

To the various broadcast (Cincinnati Local 12) and print media that maintain Spanish-version Web sites and print, one can only ask, why, when the only non-English-speaking, Hispanic majority in their region is illegal?  There is no level of Hispanic, non-English-speaking tourism that justifies the Spanish Web-site mirrors and print by local media companies that exist in these areas, not from a profit, market, or cost perspective.  There are only such numbers of non-acclimated, Hispanic, illegal aliens who are non-English speaking, and millions of Mexicans and South Americans who are only drawn and encouraged to try and come here when they hear about or find such accommodating Web sites on the computers of their homeland internet cafes.

In exchanging these concerns, the Cincinnati local-12 station manager said their Spanish site is to help Hispanics “enter the mainstream society.”  And, their Spanish outlet is also to encourage abidance of local laws and to “create a bridge between local authorities and the Hispanic community.”  But there is no path to citizenship for the greater number of non-acclimated, non-English-speaking Hispanics who are here illegally, so there is no way for them to become “mainstream.”  The only path to legal action they have is to report to the nearest immigration office to schedule hearings or return to their homelands.  The American people have just said they do not want any bridge between local authorities and Mexican and South American illegal communities here.  They only want immigration enforcement from national and local authorities.  They do not want a Hispanic America, and they do not want bi-polar, sub-divided communities.  If the media’s concern about the law is so great in these regions where the law is discarded, where is a permanent banner on their Spanish Web sites or newspapers that says, in Español, “If you can’t read English, are you here legally?” with the address and phone number of the INS?  Where is the permanent PSA that asks the question, “If you are reading this Spanish page, are you really integrating into American culture, or bypassing it?  Overrunning it?”  These Spanish-language outlets, provided by the local-media corporations, that are licensed to serve citizens, are aiding and abetting the illegal presence, and these outlets only make it easier for Hispanics to not assimilate, including whatever few non-English-speaking Hispanics may have a legal basis for doing so.  They discourage both acclimation and abidance of the law, contrary, in the case of broadcasters, to the licenses by which the FCC grants their operations in the public good, though it may be that the media conglomerates have arm-twisted the FCC to remove “public good” from the charter.  Still, there should be no citizens who cannot speak and read English who would be served by a Spanish-language segment of the mainstream media.  In the end, it is English-speaking citizens who, again, must pay more to subsidize these outlets as they now subsidize social and health services that often are not afforded citizens.

America is under enormous pressure by a multitude of Hispanic organizations to surrender to the invasion, and not only by those interest groups, but also by the Mexican government, through political pressure, and most galling, by an unprecedented placement of a great many consulates throughout the country, with the specific mission to facilitate the ability of their illegals here to remain by providing them aid, and by forming cooperative alliances with, and persuasion of local corporations, like Bank of America and Wal Mart, to provide services to illegals, and the Republican Bush government cooperates by allowing these bastions of Mexican soil to, from coast to coast, so entrench themselves.  These deigning corporations don’t care about the unavoidable, long-term impact of their actions upon local economies, cultures, customs, or heritages.  They only care about the bottom line and their maximized growth at any cost, and it seems that the offending media corporations are in full agreement and also fully engaged.  Each of them is welcoming the invasion, and each is like a man who, confronting a killer with a knife in his hands, closes his eyes, lifts his chin, and turns his head to expose his juggler.  In so doing, it is assured that your culture and your heritage will be bled at the expense of both the past and future of your region and your descendants.  Each of these media corporations is only helping to give away your home and your nation, and theirs.

Already, Cincinnati, among other emergency services in growing Hispanic areas, restrict some employment positions to bilingual applicants only.  That is just the beginning of an ever-increasing segment of jobs that will be taken away from native sons and daughters as the number of non-acclimated illegals continues to grow, along with their needs.  The jails and courts will be next, then the schools, and then whatever local customer-service positions haven’t already been exported to India or the Philippines, in utilities, cable, transportation, and eventually down to every level of unskilled and semi-skilled commerce, spreading from the excised stronghold neighborhoods, throughout the cities, counties, and then the states.

I remember on one of my earliest trips to a Kroger grocery store, after first arriving in Cincinnati, I had passed a group of Hispanics, all mid-twenties males, who were standing on the stone-and-brick sidewalk, in front of a Laundromat, on the corner across the street.  Such tradition, on which they stood.  From where I’d come, sidewalks were just poured-concrete slabs, about four-foot square.  And when I was in the store, I remember a pair of the illegals who were in the customer-service line in front of me, filling out Western Union money grams.  This was distressing, because I’d hoped to escape the Hispanic presence that had overrun my sunbelt hometown and which was one of the three big reasons I’d finally left—the last of my family to move away.  You could tell they were illegal, not just because they were sending money out of country, but appearances aside, because they didn’t speak English, didn’t speak at all if not necessary, not even between themselves, and then, just in hushed tones.  And one could tell just because of their unfortunately out-of-place mannerisms:  keeping their heads down, avoiding eye contact, totally withdrawn and seemingly trying to disappear.

When I finished my shopping and got in line with my $35 order, I was behind a young kid, maybe 17 or 19, as tall as me, at 6-foot-one, lanky, with fair skin and a few outbreaks of pimples, short, blonde, crew-cut hair, wearing worn sneakers, blue jeans, beltless, and a plain white T-shirt.  After I’d put my order on the conveyer and placed the dividing rod down next to his loaf of bread, half-gallon of milk, and brick of cheese, he just suddenly offered to let me go ahead of him, which seemed odd, since his order was so small, and he was in the line ahead of me.  I took it to be some rare-as-polio respectfulness of elders, but thanked him and declined.  Then he told me, just looking at me in short, repetitive glances, that he was going to start a new job, as a janitor at a school or clinic.  I forget which.  But I remember that he conveyed a sense of relief, maybe with the accent of a raised eyebrow, or inflected voice, like he’d been looking and had been having difficulty landing the position, though he never went into that kind of detail before the checkout girl started ringing his order through.  But he smiled with the same brief repetition of his glances, and he seemed happy about getting this job that I could never imagine being happy about.  I most remember that I was struck by and, in hindsight, admired the pride he seemed to have, telling me about getting the job, even though he said it didn’t pay much.  I doubted that he knew that, whatever it paid, that it was less because of the illegal Hispanics, who I was beginning to see were increasingly, no doubt, filling those kinds of jobs in this northern area.

That was 22 months ago, and today, I have to wonder if he would even get the job.  The way things are going, if not now, that janitor’s job would certainly be one less option for him in the future.  And that’s the way it is, whether it’s a kid in his last year of high school, or a man, or a mother with little education and no better options, that job is going to be gone, filled by an illegal who’ll work for far less because he’s sharing an apartment with at least a half-dozen other illegals, pretty much like many live back in their homeland slums or barrios.  A lower, but for them, accustomed standard that shuts out the citizen, here, of any age and little education from work that high-paid, health-protected senators have said Americans won’t take, much less anything like a living wage, forcing those hapless, but willing Americans, like that maybe slightly impaired, but proud kid, who had to tell a stranger about his new janitor job, onto welfare, into the street, or crime, or out of the area, in either case, a social liability at the expense of benefitting an illegal alien.

Native Americans, whose leaders speak with such passion about their lands, their past, and heritage, and about the preservation of their scared grounds, are moved by the true sense of loss they have sustained:  the promised, yet forever-unfulfilled future that was to have evolved from the past of their forefathers.  Yet, they are two generations removed from that sorrowful time in their history.  Today, those of us who have seen our hometowns either fundamentally changed or taken over by the Hispanic invasion, are on the cusp of that same kind of passing, from what was into what is, for us, the here and now of the same, lost-forever future, for our generation and for our descendants.

That is the future the Spanish-language-supporting media invite, in opposition to the interests of the markets they are supposed to serve:  an Hispanic America, where jobs are eroded, English is ever-more subordinated, and your history and heritage ever more supplanted and forgotten.  This has already happened in many once-American communities.  It is not fiction.  The perspective of America from south of the border is an Hispanic America, and without decisive action to uphold the law, there is no place that is immune.  A dangerous threshold of no return lies ahead, not too far distant, and the recent defeat of the Bush immigration (amnesty) bill was tenuous and is not a permanent barrier to protect against it.  Will the threshold be crossed?  Be assured that the media-corporation, Spanish-language outlets, that serve only an illegal majority, help push us all closer to that precipice.

Bush speaks from a burning legacy that is inextinguishable.

Bush’s proclamation, late last year, barely a week after the most deadly act of violence against Iraqi civilians since his invasion, that a “free Iraq” is within reach, is as irresponsible a statement as his aircraft-carrier proclamation of a “turning of the tide,” in May 2003, and it is a statement every bit as false.  The tide that turned that year was a bad tide that has left Iraq in turmoil and America beached on a bloodied desert.  Bush’s latest proclamation, and his attempt to re-write a history he avoided, is merely his empty fire hose, rooted in that intractable desert, clogged, sucking hot air, and desperately dribbling upon the raging fire of his failed legacy, which grows ever more heated upon him as he falls nearer the end of his backward-stepping, abusive presidency.

And what of the tide now?  Can it even be seen, filtered by an administration that is determined to dispel gloom and paint rosy pictures with reddened charcoal on twisted metal?  On August 14, coincidentally, the day of the most deadly bombings of Iraqi civilians since Bush’s invasion, an Army Chinook helicopter crashes with five aboard killed, supposedly on a “routine test flight” after repairs.  Why would the army risk five soldiers to test a repaired helicopter, when only one is needed to pilot the craft?  And what part of a helicopter’s airframe or power plant can’t be ground tested, or at least, hovered at low level, just out of ground effect, where any failure would be unlikely to result in casualties?  And a week later, August 22, in conjunction with Bush’s proclamation, a Black Hawk helicopter falls out of the sky, killing 14 soldiers, this time, a military statement says, due to “mechanical failure.”  Really?  But, mechanical failure induced by what?  An RPG?  A shoulder-launched missile?  In the end, regardless, they are deaths the enemy can claim and that are on the administration’s hands, and that, along with the hundreds of Iraqis, many women and children, killed in the August 14 bombings, and Prime Minister al-Maliki’s ineptitude, and his government’s lack of resolve, except to take vacations while U.S. soldiers die, lay dead on the side against Bush’s current claims of anything good being reached in Iraq.

Where is a free Iraq that will depend upon the continued, open-ended presence and deaths of U.S. troops, and what is free in the attached, tragic cost of the intrusion upon American life for generations to come?  Where is a free Iraq that will be subjugated to the violence of both its internal hatreds and mistrusts, and the interference of outsiders who are dedicated to be a thorn in the sole of U.S. troops no matter where in the Middle East they may tread?  There is no future for a free Iraq under the hand of Bush’s invasive influence, or that of any other American politician.  This same truth confronted the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.  The best thing America can do is move away from Iraqi life and simply insure the integrity of its borders and the destruction of sectarian leaders who participate in genocide or support radical Islamists... the destruction of these criminal leaders, not the takeover of government or occupation to destroy or overcome a ruling sect, is an objective America can realize effectively, and if the various leaders of the sects that kill each other in Iraq don’t know it now, they will quickly learn it when the first of them to cross the line are obliterated to clear the way for the next would-be strong man to tempt his fate.  Meanwhile, the far-removed, border-based troops will be free to conduct opportunistic intelligence and tactical operations against whatever al Qaeda, or Syrian, or Iranian targets may present themselves, while directly threatening the Iranian regime with a permanent end if it fails to reverse its nuclear ambitions.

Nothing has changed for Bush and Cheney, or their hopeful Republican successors, who are all preaching “stay the course.”  The heads of the Bush administration have lied to America again and again in their two terms.  What is there to make anyone believe a word they say now, as they remain unchallenged by Congress for their crimes and hold themselves to be inviolate and sanctioned to act with impunity?  Their most worthwhile legacy to Americans and, particularly, to Congress, now, is that whatever they say, the reverse should be taken and acted upon.

Republican Senator John Warner steps up with tokens, too little, far too late.

Republican Senator John Warner (VA), long-time senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, would have you believe that he has finally seen the light, that Iraq is an unending funeral pyre for U.S. troops, because now, after complex investigation, after another negative N.I.E. report, and after suggesting the ineffective wrist-slap of withholding reconstruction funds from Iraq for political failure of its government, he has finally recommended that Bush initiate a troop draw-down of about 5,000.  What is significant about it, that was left unsaid, is that it means Warner has been wrong over the last five years that he has supported Bush’s war.  Yet, he continues to support with token gestures of adversity, like his recommended draw-down, which means nothing when compared against his continual resistance against any real pressure being put upon Bush to reverse his course, and nothing, again, considering Warner’s acting with Bush, against the interests of the nation and the military, for which he, more than any other, is responsible to oversee, in order to join with Bush to dictate the form of government in Iraq.  His meaningless recommendation, aside from continuing to cede congressional war powers to Bush, a constitutional travesty his strong-president philosophy does not recognize, is a self-admitted empty gesture, but more, to an image-conscious Senator who is careful to wear the colors and who keeps his distance from Bush by avoiding photo-ops, the draw-down recommendation is a symbol intended to save face, and votes for himself; in his words, “to clear my own conscience,” which, after more than 4,400 unnecessary deaths in an illegal war he has supported from day one, is beyond comprehension.  Warner, because of his special position and history, and because of what he, more than others, could have done, and still could do to stay the administration’s hand, shares the culpability for the consequences of Bush’s war equally with the administration, and with other Republican leaders, like Kentucky’s Sen. Mitch McConnell and Ohio’s Sen. Voinovich, and that state’s Representatives John Boehner and Steve Chabot, and Arizona’s Sen. John McCain, all of whom have blindly joined with Bush and his special interests to march the nation and its troops into disaster in Iraq, and all of whom should, like those many dead soldiers, finally fade away from public life.

More than 800 soldiers have died in Iraq since this 110th session of Congress began, and since it has failed to rein in the administration’s failed war programs.  Contrary to Warner’s statements late last year, it is the constitutional responsibility of CONGRESS, not the president, to determine where, when, and against whom America goes to war.  The president’s responsibility is to carry out that congressionally authorized mandate, and it is CONGRESS, not the president, that the Constitution charges to say when the war it authorized is over, or that the objectives the president is charged to achieve should be ended or altered.  The Founders recognized the danger of such power being in the hands of just one person, and that is why CONGRESS, not the president, has the SOLE, COLLECTIVE authority to make and authorize such decisions for the nation—NEVER just one person.  CONGRESS, including Warner, IS AND HAS BEEN GUILTY OF UNCONSTITUTIONAL DELEGATION OF THIS POWER, and it shares responsibility with the administration for the unjustified deaths that continue to escalate as the situation, under Bush’s unconstitutionally continuing plans, continue to worsen.  Warner has announced that the demands of his office preclude him from running to reclaim his seat in the next election.  But Warner aside, the Republicans, named above, and others who, along with Independent Sen. Lieberman, are blocking Democratic efforts to impose the authority of Congress, are aiding Bush’s usurping of the Constitution, and they should also retire or should not be re-elected.  Further, there SHOULD BE NO FILIBUSTER-TYPE PROCESS TO BLOCK THE MAJORITY WHERE CONSTITUTIONAL OVERSIGHT AND EXERCISE OF CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY BY CONGRESS IS CONCERNED, because it contradicts the intent of the Constitution, that the majority in Congress should speak for Congress in the execution of constitutional power, and the rules so applied are, thereby, inherently UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

At this point, with what Republicans have brought to the nation over the last decades, it would be justifiable for voters to simply turn their backs on any Republican candidates for any office.  Keep them in the board rooms and keep the people in the government to temper the corruptive, costly greed of unchecked capitalism, which is the force that has always been behind the invasion and occupation of Iraq, not any national-security requirement.

Earmarks remain as lobbyists simmer under the heat of new laws.

Despite the resolve of House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid to rein-in corruption, earmarks remain an out-of-control process of congressional-access influence in the Democrat-controlled Congress.  But some significant progress, focused on lobbyists, was passed and sent to the White House.  As flawed with loopholes as the new congressional rules are, prohibiting lobbyists’ influence practices, the lobbyists are, nonetheless, squealing like pig meat in the pan over the loss of their once-unchecked sway over the peoples’ representatives, and their once-unchecked access to push their clients’ interests above those of the people and the nation.  The new rules increase transparency in fund-raising and prohibit lawmakers and their staffs from accepting any meals, trips, or gifts from lobbyists, and there are teeth, in the form of fines of up to $200,000 against lobbyists who violate the rules—amen.

One powerful lobbyist, Jim Ervin, who fronts for the military-industrial complex, which has had its share of corrupted funding proposals during the Bush terms (Air Force tankers, for one), actually complained to the New York Times that he and his ilk are being punished for the transgressions of the lawmakers!  That is tantamount to the snake blaming the rat for crossing its path.  He also had the gall to complain that the new rules, protecting the interests of the people and the integrity of Congress, will ruin the social lives of innocent, underpaid staff members, to whom, being able to “entertain and have fun” was a perk of the job.  When Mr. Ervin speaks of the low pay of his staff, he reveals the greed of himself and his peers, who suck copious sums of money from their clients, all of which is paid for by taxpayers, in the cost of $200 million-plus per-copy aircraft, and by consumers at the drug and grocery store.  Ervin’s other remarks, and those of his peers, who front for every industry and interest imaginable, only serve to make it clear that the new law is sorely needed and long overdue.

But the biggest concern over the meaningful, if incomplete, changes is within the special-interest-controlled, Republican White House, where Bush has yet to sign the new measure into law.  If memory serves, Bush is fond of western-grilled sausage...

Bush’s defiance of justice with Libby’s sentence is a challenge to Speaker Pelosi

There isn’t much to say about Bush’s commuting of Scooter Libby’s sentence, or his use of executive privilege to block congressional testimony of high-administration officials with probable knowledge of the Justice Department scandal, effectively preventing Congress from exercising its oversight responsibility.  They were expected acts of arrogant defiance, one criminal protecting others and himself.  And there can be no defending the executive-privilege call on the grounds of politics detracting from the business of government, because government by Bush is a proven disaster for the nation, and the highest priority of Congress is now to insulate the nation from the Bush-Cheney governance by any means possible, preferably by impeachment, and looking into the Justice scandal is a likely path to accomplish both objectives.

What is significant, is that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who put cleaning the House of corruption as a top priority in the last election, somehow excludes cleaning the White House of the filth and rot of the Bush-Cheney administration, which is her prerogative and responsibility, since the Constitution provides that only the House of Representatives may originate impeachment proceedings.  The Founders created and advocated impeachment, because they knew serious mistakes would be made by the electorate, and this protective tool of governance has been unjustly picked up and used to deal an unjustifiable political bashing to a president, thereby, leader of Rep. Pelosi’s party, so her resistance to begin a justifiable criminal bashing by initiating the process against, first, Cheney, and then Bush, who are the most arrogant, corrupt, and criminal administration heads ever to be in office, is tantamount to negligence on her part.

Despite that lame Bush is an impotent lame duck, America needs both him and Cheney to be gone, and the standard of acceptable, and unacceptable governance that America will establish for the future, by example, demands no less than their impeachment.  The largest question raised by this latest Bush administration defiance of justice is, why does Speaker Pelosi, by her silence, sanction and condone it, along with the history of this administration’s crime and abuse?  If it is because she would be leading the charge to, if successful, elevate herself to the presidency, and probably shortcut the aspirations of Sen. Clinton, she should be reminded that the Founders were aware of the play of the former, ingrained restraint to action, and that the needs of the nation preempt both the Senator’s aspirations and the Speaker’s inclination for self-reserve and modesty.

FX by Silkscape Arts 

The machete swung at America’s throat is stayed—Congress put on notice.

Finally, Congress has handed Bush the setback he richly deserves, killing any passage of the unworkable immigration amnesty/surrender bill he hoped to make into another ornament on his black mantle of special-interest achievements.  Had the cloture motion on the second coming of Bush’s immigration bill succeeded, and the bill passed, Bush would have called it a major domestic-policy achievement, and like with his claim, that Iraq is the core of the fight against terror, he would have been wrong, celebrating a travesty and a lie.

The bill that a Democrat-led coalition twice tried to rush through the Senate would have unsheathed a scalpel to cut into the heart of America’s being, and it still remains for Americans to make clear to their elected officials that this immigration invasion, now overwhelming America, must be reversed, can be reversed, and that the law must be strengthened and enforced, to include insuring that the quality of citizenship, and the vote that comes with it, that determines the national course, is preserved, not eroded by an amnesty of any kind.  That is the only solution to the problem that does not entail surrendering the identity and future of the nation to those who have no real sense of its heritage or ideals, and nothing to contribute.  The poor and downtrodden that America must be concerned with, in the here-and-now of corporate-America’s global-economic-bled nation, are the growing number of citizens within its borders, the deteriorating middle class, and the diminishing rewards for jobs that do remain here for citizens, not aliens whose corrupt governments refuse to adopt responsible policies to lift their own peoples’ futures.  And, legislators must not be allowed to permit America to remain the relief valve for those governments, turning it into the world’s lifeboat, or it will flounder and sink, taking the free world with it.

In a last-gasp effort to resurrect the corporate-workforce, sanctioned-invasion, immigration bill, Bush lied to Americans again, claiming that America faces a workforce crisis.  Workforce crisis?  Yes, with unemployment near 5 percent, with wages and benefits stagnant and declining, with hundreds of thousands of jobs taken by illegal aliens and excessive green-card imports, and as many American jobs exported to exploit cheap labor overseas and across the Mexican border, there is a job crisis in America.  But not the one Bush claims of unfilled jobs that will unwind the economy.  That would be evident by unemployment at lower than 4 percent, and by rising wages and increasing benefits instead of disappearing ones.  Rather, it’s the decades-long program of Republican-party government in service to the corporate-industrial special interests that has created the crisis that threatens the welfare of the heart of America’s workforce, and as a side dish, the loss of America to the encouraged and aided invasion that, like the red, Martian vegetation of H. G. Wells’ War of the Worlds, creeps to cover the land and forever strangle the culture, heritage, and lifestyle that it replaces.

The threat of giving away America remains, so long as voters elect legislators who shout for amnesty instead of for enforcement of the law, who argue for maintaining the invaded status quo, rather than, with the sole exception of family-based appeals, turning back the invasion, and then, only then, looking at what level of workers should be permitted to return in a no-road-to-vote work program, tied to the unemployment rate.  The ONLY path to citizenship should be through the legal process and quotas that define a heritage-based priority for immigration by acclimation, NOT an invasion of convenience, facilitated by a wide border and a deliberate lack of enforcement for the sake of cheap labor to benefit employers, or for the sake of pandering votes to benefit any party.  That is not where the national interest lies.

Citizens who, in the face of the ongoing illegal invasion threat, continue to act with the apathy of the silent majority, will only be holding the door open to becoming the silenced minority.  The set-aside of the Senate immigration-reform bill was only a temporary success that desperately needs even more voices to keep the push going.  Do not believe the propaganda that the invasion can’t be turned back!  No new law means that the law now on the books must be enforced, which, to date, it has not been, particularly with stiff enforcement against employers and landlords, rather than chasing 12-plus million illegals.  With no welfare, jobs, or housing, they will leave or surrender for deportation, then a clean-up of holdovers can be started and quickly completed.  Public voice must also grow stronger within state and local governments for enforcement and cooperation with federal immigration services.

The Congress might as well have gone back to Tokyo Harbor, on September 2, 1945, traded places with the defeated Japanese, and convened on the deck of the battleship, U.S.S. Missouri, to pass an immigration-reform bill that would have allowed invaders to stay and become citizens with the vote, a bill which would only symbolize capitulation to the conditions of defiant illegals’ opposition that still confronts all citizens.  Only when the invasion is beaten back can a peace treaty (immigration-reform bill) be proposed that will preserve American heritage and be meaningful, workable, and respected.  Legislators who pander the Hispanic vote by supporting immigration bills that surrender national sovranty to invaders do their constituents and the nation a grave disservice, and they should not be elected.  The ongoing, illegal-immigration invasion represents a greater, more-present danger to America’s present and future than even Republican special-interest wars, and the people have told Congress that this invasion must be answered with determination for enforcement, not with surrender and amnesties.

The images of the flags, above and at the top of the article, were taken at an immigration protest, at Montebello High School, California, where Hispanic protestors raised the flags on the school’s flag pole.  The subordination of Old Glory, and its upside-down display, are often-used tactics by those who have demonstrated against immigration enforcement, of which the Montebello display was just another disrespectful expression of takeover.

The indian nations could not stop the invasion that cost them their lands, their heritage and their way of life.  America has been a nation only a fraction of the time they ruled over this land, and it is being more quickly lost.  But unlike the invasion which vanquished them to a faded history, reservations and casinos, this global-concept, illegal-immigration invasion can still be turned back.

In a White House speech, only several days before the first attempt to end Senate debate and vote on the immigration bill failed, Bush said that now is the time for legislators to show “courage” to solve the immigration problem, which can only mean courage to defy their constituents—“We the People,” because those citizens who are facing the real threats and consequences of the illegal invasion (which mixes like milk and vinegar with the Republican global-economic revolution of exported plants, jobs, and imported, cheaper workers) are definitively against the bill, against the wave of change, and against the Bush vision of a separatist, Hispanic America that the bill would all but guarantee for the future.

Bush said “the system causes people to be exploited.”  The fact is that the failure to enforce the law is what breaks the system and creates exploitation.  Bush did enter his area of expertise when he addressed opponents of the bill using “words... that frighten,” referring to “amnesty,” in an attempt to defeat the bill.  He says, in true cut-and-run form, of the millions of illegals here, that their leaving “just ain’t going to happen.”  That is only looking at one side of the coin, failing to address enforcement of laws against employers and landlords, quite doable, that would make it happen.

And he finally talked about the past welcoming of immigrants, who are now all Americans, assimilated, again ignoring the other side of the coin, that this Hispanic, largely Mexican invasion is not assimilating, that, combined with Hispanics from Central and South America, it is of another scale and kind, and that it is not enriching multi-ethnic culture, like in the past, but rather, it is taking resources and taking over, changing the face of American culture and heritage in the wrong direction, toward a bi-polar and far less-unified, less-refined civilization, where such back-civilized practices as animal blood sports, though illegal, like the rampantly ignored immigration law, are defiantly practiced as, is said, “a symbol of who we are.”  For example:  if not for the Hispanic takeover, there would be no Miami Animal Police TV show on the Animal Planet cable network.

Today is not the past, and America, today, is not the America of our fathers, in great part because of Republicans and their decades-long push for the corporate-global world and its attendant hunger for shattered boundaries and restrictions (also called less government), cheap (taxpayer subsidized) labor, and high profits at any cost, be it heritage, country, or people.  As Senator Chip Rogers (R-GA) has said, pointing out that only five percent of workers in America are illegal, this economic point of view on immigration as a labor valve is not valid and is not what concerns Americans.  The facts, the recent history of cultural and economic change in America, and the voice of citizens to kill the Bush invasion-sanctioning bill bears that out.  The point is not, as illegal-immigrant supporters say, to beat-up on illegal immigrants.  The point is to deport them and control their entry, as a primary claim, obligation, and responsibility of both national security and identity.  Only American citizens can halt the degradation, if they have the courage to stuff political correctness and see the enemy in their backyards and at the helm of their decayed, adversarial government.

When your nation’s and your community’s security, heritage, and future are threatened, whether politically, culturally, by military force, or by government sponsored (U.S. by non-enforcement; Mexico by blind eye and civil intrusion of consulates) illegal immigration, the solution is simple:  you enforce the law, by all means possible, meaning border security to prevent invasion, and strict enforcement against employers and landlords to remove incentive and opportunity.  Legal, controlled, civic- and culturally-assimilating immigration is good—illegal invasion is not.  And contrary to the contentions of the defeated bill’s supporters, allowing up to 20 million illegal aliens to stay and have a path to citizenship, not only would encourage another 12-to-20 million to cross, but would also not “fix” the problem.  It would degrade the political base and erode American heritage and culture.

If Mexico crossed the border with its army, the U.S. would spare no cost to drive every one of them back.  America has now shouted to hard-of-hearing legislators that this illegal immigration is no less threatening and no less displacing of American sovereignty, culture, and presence in its own territory, and the people have sent the message to Sen. Kennedy and the rest of the Congress that the only acceptable solution is to turn back the invasion—end it, not repeat the same mistake of 1986.  This is the brink, where illegal immigration and the retention of American culture is concerned, and the people are telling the government to not cross the line again.

Now, the U.S. government must take action against the Mexican government’s sponsorship of its citizens’ illegal crossing of our borders by forcing the closure of the consulates it has opened across the nation to serve the illegal aliens.  It must also act against corporations, like Bank of America, that openly defies the law by providing services to illegal aliens.  And the government must begin, in earnest, to find and deport illegals that do not voluntarily leave or surrender, which can easily be done with continued raids on suspected employers and on events where illegals mass, and by strictly penalizing employers and landlords who harbor illegal aliens.  Despite the lack of a national ID card, there are sufficient means for anyone to determine if a prospective renter or employee is a citizen or legal immigrant, and there is no need to be concerned about a lawsuit if the evidence provided is dubious to the employers’ or landlords’ interests in not violating the law, because illegal aliens have no standing to sue.  In those rare cases where a legal prospect is refused, the uncertainty of an employer or landlord over the validity of presented documents, or the lack of language skill an applicant demonstrates, represents sufficient cause to counter any claim of refusal by intent to discriminate.

Now that the free ticket to illegal aliens has been defeated, corporations will spend millions of dollars and lobby hard for an expansion of work-visa programs that will further cut into the number and value of American jobs.  Do not forget that the number of legal work visas provided combines with the effect of outsourced jobs and plants that the Republican Reagan and Bush administrations have allowed to become the norm, in conjunction with trade policies that favor importers, not American workers and their families.  The only way to know that the government is protecting Americans instead of serving corporate special interests is if any new work visa law ties the number to the nation’s unemployment rate, by sector, and citizens must lobby their representatives to insure that a solid reference like that is tied to the number of work visas that will be allowed.

Finally, local governments and law enforcement must now begin to enforce the law activist-affected legislators sought to overturn, but that now still stands, and for which, enforcement is long overdue.  This is what citizens have demanded, and this is the only avenue of addressing illegal aliens that will preserve America’s security, heritage, culture and future.

This second Senate success, in blocking passage of the immigration bill, leaves existing law in effect, which requires that the borders be secured and that illegal immigrants surrender to authorities or leave the country to return through legal process.  With no amnesty bill passed, the government remains responsible to do what it has so far not attempted to do:  enforce the law, curtail availability to all welfare and non-emergency medical services, police employers and landlords, and end the invasion.  Only continued pressure from citizens on their legislators, and on their local governments and law-enforcement agencies, can insure that the illegal invasion does really end, because otherwise, government will remain immobile, and alien-backed activist groups will succeed in their efforts to have the law neutralized and the border effectively, retroactively opened with little or no restrictions.

Bush (and many Democrats) want more than 12 million to stay.

The immigration system is broken because Bush believes that not enforcing the law, and rewarding those who break it, by passing the proposed immigration amnesty bill, is the “right thing to do.”  Bush also said, in a late-spring, 2007, speech, that supporting the slack bill is “patriotic,” which makes the usual accusation against the majority of citizens, opposed to the bill’s lenient measures, that they are unpatriotic.

The immigration system is also broken because it allows U.S. heritage, culture, the streets and the workplace, to be diluted with alien priorities which have no reverence for law, local culture, language, and heritage, or for the unique democratic system that establishes American rights and law.  Experience in unassimilated conclaves, like southern Florida, has proven that, when allowed to vote, the process and outcome of elections will reflect that lack of reverence, introducing characteristics of the corrupt homeland political systems which are ingrained into the culture of many illegal aliens, including election fraud and votes cast in guided self-interest, fracturing the continuity and strength of the constitutional system citizens have inherited from the Founders, rather than elections advancing the values inherent with educated community and national concern.  And there is the undeniable economic effect of reducing the number and value of citizen jobs, also impacted by excessive H1B visas, as well as driving down real estate values while driving up rents, and the social impact on health services, crime, and education.

The late May 2007, N.Y. Times/CBS national poll, which found that about 65 percent of Americans (+/- 3%) favor guest workers and fine-based amnesties (which only the drug dealers and a small percentage of more highly paid plant-and-construction-segment workers could afford), is a picture from a fish-eye lens, and did not tie the guest-worker question to the number the proposed bill would allow.  The flaw in the poll is that it is national, where the experience of Americans on the problems of the issue is more largely remote and second hand, and the numbers of those displaced and impacted by the problem is fewer.  And, if immigration is left unchecked, the poll’s favoring numbers can only decrease as the problems created spread to directly affect more and more communities.  The poll certainly does not even reflect the opinion in northern states where enclaves have been established and caused problems significant enough to push city governments to pass laws aimed at getting the illegals out.  The results would have been severely different if the poll were limited to, say, only those citizens in the sunbelt states.

Senators are also looking at the issue through the same, short-sighted lens of the poll, compounded by their isolation from the street-real effects of unenforced, over-run illegal immigration.  To citizens directly affected by the mass of illegals, it is impossible to believe that the votes coming from the Senate on the “joke” immigration bill and its amendment proposals are from a body elected by the citizens of the United States.  To them, it looks like the U.S. Senate was elected by illegal immigrants, businesses that employ them, the Latin nations south of the border that send them, and landlords who house them, ten or more to a two-bedroom apartment, and for these citizens in the breech, no immigration measure should be supported that allows the illegals to stay, carte blanche, or that does not provide harsh fees for landlords and employers, and that does not provide for meaningful strengthening of the government, history, and language requirements for citizenship (questions like, what is an immigration form number, are idiotic and irrelevant), along with stricter oversight of the citizenship testing and approval process, eliminating the corruption that now allows citizenship and voting by those who cannot even converse in English with others in the voting line!  New legislation should also remove the illegal-immigrant-birth loophole, in order to remove another incentive to invade, and no bill should increase the number allowed to come in the future.

The legislation now proposed by the Senate compromise does not fix the system, but rather does the reverse, sanctioning, again, the law-breaking and all the problems the broken system has introduced, granting blanket amnesty, again, to all who are here and can get here in time, and sending a reenforced signal that, when passed, the same cycle of building illegal presence can begin again, despite any new restrictions, to eventually be met with the same non-solution of bowing to the invasion.  Or, if the line drawn by any new law is finally upheld, as it should be now, the same violence and scars will be inflicted as would be if the current law were enforced, except that more than 12 million illegal aliens would not have already been handed the enforcement sword in surrender.  No new federal law would be better than the Bush-legacy, sell-out-compromise proposal of the Senate, because, at least, continued border strengthening, enforcement of current law against employers and landlords, and new laws and enforcement by states and cities to increase prosecution of illegals and their aiding-and-abetting supporters, will all contribute in reducing the number of illegals here as well as the incentives for more to come.

If you allow more than 12 million illegal immigrants to stay with the opportunity for citizenship...

What happens to the value of citizenship and the quality of the vote when the full rights and privileges of citizenship are given away to unfounded demands?  Bush would not have been elected without his pandered, non-assimilated Hispanic voting block, most of whom could not pass a high-school U.S. history and civics test, and many of whom hardly speak English and have been pushed through loosely managed citizenship programs by sympathetic activists.  The harm that vote has cost America will be affective for decades to come.

How do you stop the next highly encouraged and motivated 12 and 24 million from coming?  Might as well serve justice and give Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and southern California back to Mexico, or maybe to a consortium of Mexico and the other Central and South American countries—a good solution, except that it wouldn’t work, because it would create more border, and even then, the invasion still would not stop its push north and from sea to sea, not as long as there are unchallenged jobs and housing waiting.  Why not just throw the whole concept of nationalism and national identity out the window, just as many illegals have been seen to toss their garbage?  That’s what the illegal immigrants and their supporters are really demanding—no borders, no requirements, no assimilation, no planning or control, as there was with the past immigrant generations.

Increased border security will stop more illegals, but far more will be encouraged to come and will get through, knowing that if they stay and breed and protest that, eventually, the U.S. will be theirs.

Flags of Our Fathers?

Many already consider the U.S. theirs, act as though it is.  “We ARE America!” they brashly proclaim.

They protest, march, and while breaking laws, carry signs they can’t read, arguing that they are not criminals and that they are hard workers, as though that’s all that matters or all that qualifies them to be a part of the sustaining fabric of a once-great nation (Before Bush) that they don’t know, understand, or appreciate, except for the money it can provide them and their far-away families.

And when America is theirs (like Bank of America already is, aiding and abetting illegals by providing services to undocumented, which opens the door to theft-motivated fraud and other criminal/terrorist money moving), the names of those who never set foot on U.S. soil will replace those on your roads and buildings.  You will become the alien, unable to speak the language in parts of what once was your city, unable to apply for jobs, increasingly requiring bilingual skills, told that it would be wise, or worse, politically correct for you to learn Spanish.  Outlawed culture, like ignored zoning laws and cock fights,* will become the culture in your back yard, along with corrupted politics and all the rest of what already exists in the villages and city ghettos from where the illegals came—and remember, illegals have no sponsors to truthfully or responsibly recommend them.  That piece of insurance is part of the immigration law they’re beginning their time in the U.S. by breaking.

Bush and other politicians who encourage the law breaking have this line of propaganda that says you need “comprehensive” immigration reform because you just can’t get rid of the millions that are here, when, in fact, they can be induced to leave.  End the invasion and eject the illegals by coming down hard on employers and landlords—no wrist slaps, prosecute them vigorously and harshly, after due notice, with federal assistance to states and cities to work with Immigration to enforce the law.  Arrest, detain, and deport those few illegals who do not leave in the face of change.  Stiff fines obtained from employers and landlords, and revenues from seized-and-auctioned properties of repeat offenders will pay for apprehension, a time in detention, and then deportation of the most stubborn illegals.  And a $500 fine against landlords, proposed recently by one city, won’t cut it.  Many complexes give away a month to get leases signed.  $500 per illegal, per month rented, would be an effective deterrent, and seizure of property, as drug dealers’ properties are seized, would be reasonable for repeat offenders—better than having to pay to jail them, and it is justified, since these landlords are using their properties to facilitate and profit from law breaking.

That’s all it takes.  No armies.  No $billions on fences and equipment, no “it can’t be done” comprehensive amnesty and acceptance.  Just give employers and landlords notice of what they must do and then go after the U.S. law breakers with teeth bared and bite them hard.  The problem of illegal immigrants will be solved, and the guest-work problem can then be addressed.

A robbery ending in murder gets all perpetrators, not just the shooter, a murder charge.  Born of an illegal, still an illegal.  That’s how it should be.  Now, it’s sneak into America and use welfare to subsidize living and deliver a baby, and you most likely get to stay, because, how can they deport the parents and separate them from their citizen children?  End it... retroactively, if within the last three years, is how.

The illegal immigrants now here, unassimilated, and the millions more like them who will come if they are allowed to remain, are gutting the nation’s culture and heritage, more important than the lost jobs, lowered wages, social-services pressure on health care and education, and increased crime.  The law, promised by the Congress to be enforced 21 years ago, when millions of unassimilated law-breakers were then given amnesty and allowed to remain, should simply be enforced and never surrendered, especially not because the government purposely failed to do its job and allowed the problem to grow into the threat it has become, or because the business sector wants them to stay with only the holy dollar in their sights.  Harsh fines and strict enforcement against employers and landlords will force an exodus of those here, except the financed drug dealers and Islamic radicals, who will then be easier to find and prosecute, and it will remove the incentive for those illegal, undocumented workers who still intend to come.  There will be reduced gangs, crime, and drugs, and enforcement against citizen criminals will be simplified.  There will be increased security against radicals of any religion or ethnic background.  The Border Patrol will know that the vast majority of the greatly reduced number of border crossers will then be felonious criminals:  jihadists, drug dealers or mules, or sex slavers.  The market and incentive for undocumented workers will be gone, as will their traffic.

Many agencies at all levels are reported to be uneasy about the possibility of violence as, what are called, “extreme” anti-immigration groups form.  When examining how illegal-immigrant enclaves have destroyed the culture and heritage of America in their locales, degraded it, reduced jobs and pay, strained education and social services, how can any response against the defiant law breakers by displaced and threatened-to-be-displaced citizens, whose voices are being ignored by their representatives, be called extreme?  The failure of Congress to uphold the law, by properly over-seeing the administrations over the last two decades, and the performance on this special-interest immigration bill is what represents the extreme—an extreme failure to represent the voters and defend the nation against invasion!  This, already-materializing violence is the direct fault of the federal government on two counts:  1) not enforcing the law and allowing the displacement caused by more than 12 million illegal, unassimilated immigrants, and 2) by acting contrary to the demand of the people affected, and the law, and by proposing amnesty laws instead of laws that will be effective by providing stiff, meaningful fines and enforcement against landlords and employers!  Congress is provoking the public, the formation of groups, and the violence that will undoubtedly continue to grow if it does not start doing its job, see the future, and pick up the mandate of the affected citizens who elected its representatives.  Then, when they’re gone, no more days of darkness and violence, already begun, will lie ahead.

No more diluted, diverted, and throttled-back education for U.S. kids.  No more overcrowded healthcare waiting rooms.  Reduced stress and costs for overburdened local-government services, just for starters.

No homogeneous, non-acclimated, Hispanic, national-culture transformation.  No separatist, repetitive Hispanic-heritage this and that, everywhere, all the time; just like there is no Italian, Irish, Polish, German, or any other imposing ethnic program of such overt, constant, and overbearing presence, extending, now, to where Latino advocacy groups are trying to re-write history, influence insertion into media to highlight Hispanics where no other groups are emphasized.  Take the current attempts by Latino activists to pressure PBS to force documentary producer Ken Burns to include their specially prepared Hispanic segments into his film on WWII, scheduled to air in September, an attempt that has already been rebuked on the basis that the upcoming documentary makes no such emphasis on any of the groups who were part of the fighting.  But, with interference from Hispanic congressmen, he and PBS are under pressure to succumb to the Hispanic activists’ agenda, which seeks, by brow beating and unfounded claims of prejudice, to put itself into every aspect of life that is possible (where, as in this case, no other group is separated out) in order to gain political weight and acceptance for the illegals already in America, and to encourage policies that will allow the influx to continue, unabated.  Even if the Tuskegee Airmen or the Navajo code breakers are mentioned, the African Americans were discriminated against, and both groups distinguished themselves, as an ethnic class, because of overcoming the expectations of the discrimination and traits specific to their race and culture that played a special part in operations, so, again, no mention of Hispanics would be justified, and if Mr. Burns does not separate other participating ethnic groups in his documentary on the war, there remains no justification at all for any such mention of Hispanics, and none should be forced upon him or PBS.

A NO-road-to-citizenship guest-worker program can then be established that will benefit all:  the aliens who choose to apply, their countries, and the U.S., and it will return most to the documented, legal work they want, with border passage to and from.

A compassionate, responsible amnesty can be provided to those illegals who surrender and apply, and who have issues of family and cross-citizenship that should not arbitrarily be answered with deportation.  And the path to citizenship still remains, within the quotas and rules of immigration law, as determined by the people through their representatives in Congress and professionals in the State Department—no need to change it, except for cutting the birthing loophole and to strengthen language, U.S. government-and-history-educational requirements, and testing oversight.

Yes, a shirt and a bag of veggies, or a building might cost a bit more, until after the illegals are gone and a manageable guest-worker program is ramped up.  But post-crackdown results have shown that more citizens would get some of their jobs, and no one’s neighborhood would be blown up by the jihadists working illegally at the construction company, or food processing plant, or through the placement services, and no one’s culture or heritage would be sold out to the corporate global economy or taken away by governments refusing to act against illegal invaders who, armed with jobs and roofs and welfare, think they have the option to refuse to leave.  That’s what’s at stake and those are the choices.

The fact that three of the Fort-Dix Islamic radicals (apprehended as a consequence of law enforcement and intelligence, not troops) are illegally in the U.S. (working at a roofing company) is a clear indication that there are others to be ejected if the law is enforced, and don’t look to Bush to ever do it, either.  To the contrary, he will try to get illegals accepted because he has always been able to control their voting brethren, many border-region ranchers prefer cheap labor, and the look-away, deny-away industrialists and corporations profit heavily from the use of illegal workers, while their obscene wealth will always provide them with cozy insulation from the invaded middle and lower classes, leaving them both uncaring and unaffected.  Anyone else who wants to make a difference, for the future of their neighborhood, their community, their country, culture, and their heritage, and perhaps their lives, must let their elected officials know about it, in no uncertain terms—now.

Chickens and game cocks, used in the Asian- and Hispanic-popular blood sport of cock fighting, are now, overseas, transmitters of the highly mutating and deadly H5N1 (bird flu) virus to other animals, which then spreads within the newly infected species by contact, killing quickly.  And, H5N1 has, also overseas, already mutated into versions transmissible, by contact, to humans, resulting in death within five days after symptoms appear.  The virus needs only to make the mutation to a form of airborne transmission to threaten as a fast-moving and deadly pandemic, against which the World Health Organization and national health systems are not prepared to defend; though, with a small part of the funds wasted by Bush in Iraq, considerable preparations for prevention, quick detection, and response (to bio-terror, as well), could be accomplished, instead of the current situation, where inadequate vaccine-manufacturing facilities, stocks, and distribution will lead to violent demand, and profit windfalls for a few pharmaceuticals and in-the-know public-office shareholders, in the face of widespread public panic and death.  There is, also, in America, another cultural transplant of Hispanic blood sport, where dogs are pitted against one another.  This, too, is ongoing, in defiant snubbing of both American law and cultural norms.

Castro is better for America than Felipe Calderón

Bush was dead wrong, again, when he said Mexico’s business-dominated government, handed off from Vicente Fox to Felipe Calderón after a close, fraud-tainted election, is a friend to the U.S.  It is not.  With its corruption, allowing the drug trades to flourish and use its territory as a conduit to poison America’s citizens with its product and its violence, with Mexico’s refusal to curb the flow of illegal immigrants, who drain American resources and diminish the quality of American culture, while returning dollars to Mexico’s economy and relieving it of social-support responsibility for its illegal-immigrant citizens, Mexico is a greater threat to American security and America’s future than is Cuba!

The time is past when America should begin to tie its immigration problems and policies to its relations with Mexico.  They are irrevocably intertwined, and the problem on this side of the border cannot be solved without attacking the problem on the other side.  Should America cede the lands it took in the Mexican-American War for illegal-immigrant use and clamp down on enforcement only outside of those areas?  America might as well return those lands to Mexico, then, because without application of political pressure to Mexico, to cause it to do its share of deterrence and enforcement, there are no realistic cures for the problem, except to surrender by allowing the millions here illegally to remain and by failing to remove the carrots and end the incursion—to surrender means an unacculturate, Hispanic nation for the future.  Without taking these measures, there is no other future possible.  Look to the communities in California, Arizona, Texas, and South Florida, among others, to see the changes:  the failure (refusal) to integrate, the isolation, the south-border styled, corrupted local governments, streets renamed from honored local heritage to those with no ties to anything or anyone indigenous to America, and this is just where the native populations have been displaced.  There is also the use of lawns for garbage, thrown out of windows—an imported practice now seen as far north as Cincinnati; the architecture of barred windows; the freedom-is-one-way intolerance of the critical, free speech of others; loud, imposing, inconsiderate community-life manners, to name only a few that are secondary to the crime, the loss of the nature and heritage of traditional communities, and the thankless drains on local resources.  Even if a president could get all the funding needed to stem illegal crossings and eradicate the drug trade from Mexican and South- and Central-American sources that flow through Mexico in a unilateral attempt to end the influx, it couldn’t be done unless the U.S. also invaded and occupied Mexico.  The only way to eradicate the violence and deterioration of American life that stems from the Mexican drug trade and illegal-immigrant invasion, without spending Americans’ dollars and lives, is to use all means of federal, state, and local enforcement possible, in conjunction with giving the Mexican government a strong incentive to do what it can do itself and should have been doing all along.  Mexico can eliminate corruption and the drug cartels on its own, if it sees an incentive to do so, though it would, on request, continue to receive U.S. drug-enforcement assistance.  Action to seal the border and impose trade and traffic prohibitions, as has been done with Cuba, will quickly provide that incentive.

The American people will not stand for, and their government should not tolerate and support a situation wherein the F.B.I. makes the outrageous statement, as it did in the third week of May, 2006, that the only way the Mexican drug violence on U.S. streets will diminish is when one of their cartels takes control!  The F.B.I. is thus revealed to be as much in need of leadership as is the government.  The loss of Spring-break destinations, trade, and corporate expansionism that would result from Cuba-like restrictions against Mexico during the short term that it would take for the Mexican government to finally pick up the ball and play responsibly to lift the restrictions is not the most important issue.  America will survive that—it will not survive business as usual, with drugs, illegal immigration, and exporting plants and jobs as it has been over the last three decades!  New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a Republican mouthpiece for Bush, who wants to welcome the immigrant law breakers, should be aware that the solution for shrinking-workforce support of increasing social-security needs, that he alleges so concerns him, is not to bless the low-wage, unskilled, criminal-ridden, social-service- and education-draining illegal-immigrant invasion, but rather to damn the legal exportation of good jobs and plants that idles American workers and sends them overseas to compete against foreigners for U.S.-corporation-owned jobs, a relevant factor he chooses not to mention!  New York, like Washington, is in dire need of more leaders and fewer politicians.

States and cities cannot rely on the federal government, under control of the Bush administration or this Congress, to do its job with border control.  Both have already demonstrated their willingness to ignore the purpose of legal quotas and sell-out American culture and citizen-needed social services for a vote and a dollar.  Every state and city must follow the lead of pioneering officials in Arizona and Pennsylvania jurisdictions, like Hazleton, which have passed effective laws with jail time for the illegal aliens before deportation and tough, hurtful fines and/or imprisonment for employers and landlords who harbor them.  Illegal is illegal, and these cities have charged their police to enforce and trusted their prosecutors to judge intent when prosecuting those laws, and every city that is now a foothold for illegal aliens must do the same.  The illegal dollars those aliens who are ignored send home are the strongest advertisement that cities without laws and enforcement are havens to be targeted for stepped-up invasion.

In large part, to facilitate the export of illegally paid U.S. dollars, Mexico operates more consulates in the U.S. than any other nation, and unlike others, who primarily are here to aid their nationals with legal problems or to promote trade and commerce, the Mexican consulates are primarily here to end-run American-immigration law, providing a form of Mexican I.D. card that the Mexican government is strongly lobbying banks, police departments, and others to accept in lieu of legal, immigration-identity papers, facilitating illegal immigration and entrenchment in America.  The Bush administration, it is no surprise to learn, will not lift a finger to block the use of the cards by illegals, or the program to issue them by the Mexican government, speaking from deep beneath the profits-cured, corporate cement in which he is entombed to say, “flexible standards” must be provided in identification matters for businesses.  That is like saying that flexible standards for printing of currency would not harm efforts against counterfeiting!

A 31-year-old, illegal-immigrant-construction worker, from Mexico, Ramiro Givara, best expressed the loss of American identity that illegal immigration, Bush, and the Mexican government foster when he said, of the card and the consulates,  “This is so much easier for us.  It is like having part of Mexico here.”  And, that, is the essence of the problem for America.

Finally, it is important to look ahead to the time, in the not-to-distant future, when the inward migration that will be forced upon coastal states by climate-change precipitated, rising sea levels begins, where illegal immigrants and their offspring will be a significant factor in the high cost, extreme difficulties, and widespread violence that will accompany that coming era of change and displacement, and which, unrelated to the coming, forced migration, has already begun.  For that on-the-horizon reason, and for all the reasons of current and increasing negative impact upon American culture, integration, unity, and quality of life, America should not be concerned with the self-serving objections of its neighbors, or its politicians, when it comes to protecting and insuring its sovereignty.  Yes, America has a responsibility to the world community, but its first responsibility is to itself, and mark the words of Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tx.), iterated in the Senate chambers, concurrent with the F.B.I.’s defeatist conclusion on border violence, and Sen. McCain’s (R-Az.) support of a deceptive, non-temporary Guest Worker Bill, that if America does not see to its own interests first, the interests of all free and democratic nations will eventually, along with those of American citizens, pay the toll of that negligence.  In that, he is correct.

U.S. Hispanic population seven years ago. Source,
2000 census. Illegal immigrants are NOT included.

America stands at a critical crossroad of heritage and culture.

“Invade:”  1. to enter for conquest [residency, ownership, citizenship, the vote] or plunder [welfare, jobs]; 2. to intrude upon, infringe, encroach upon, violate; 3a. to spread over or into as if invading; 3b. to affect injuriously and progressively.

What do Syria and Jordan have in common with America?  How about an immigration problem, where the two Mid-East countries complain about the exodus of Iraqis through their borders, and the attendant strain upon their social services and change upon the face of their cultures and social landscapes.  What’s a difference separating Syria and Jordan from America?  America isn’t asking for aid from other nations in dealing with its overwhelming invasion of illegal Hispanic immigrants, not even from the home nations which spawn and encourage it.  It is fortunate that the Bush administration has turned the same deaf ear it has on children’s health to the Iraqi refugees, in their case, by restricting the number allowed to immigrate into the U.S., because another post-war-debacle influx of a foreign population is the last thing America needs, especially in this instance, when the immediate domestic invasion has yet to be confronted, and where, to compound America’s immigration woes, it would never be possible to identify or know the number of al Qaeda sleeper-cell members admitted by any such large admission of another separatist culture as the Muslim Iraqis.  Just look to the problems now plaguing England, France, and the Netherlands if you doubt the pitfalls.

But the Bush administration, in a reverse-psychology effort to ratchet-up Hispanic immigrant-group pressure on Congress and the states, has begun to take some immigration and enforcement measures, including a cut-off of state-matching funds for medical services that do not meet the strict definition of “emergency services,” a move that is drawing the anticipated response from not only the immigrant-support groups, but also from some states already entrenched by large numbers of the invaders, up to 500,000 or more, that are increasingly bending over to provide the services that unfailingly draw more illegals into the U.S.  Since free health services, especially pediatric, are a primary magnet for illegal immigrants, it is proper to deny funding for them, especially since growing their population into a majority is a primary objective of the illegals’ “invasion” plans, and it is working.  Without a change in immigration policy, to include removing the illegal-birth citizenship loophole, and enforcement to reverse the trend of influx, it is destined to transform all of America into an Hispanic nation.

Most articles on immigration costs and problems, and most speeches made by legislators on the senate and house floors, fail completely to address the Mexican government, whose illegals are the vast majority, and which is openly supporting the invasion through its foreign and domestic policies, and with numerous consulates spread throughout America, relieving themselves of social responsibility for millions of their citizens.  What would happen if the states and federal government billed Mexico and other nations for reimbursement of medical costs and other social costs for their citizens here illegally?  Why isn’t this on the trade-talks tables?  Why is Mexico not being told to close their multi-state, invasion-post consulates, except in Washington and, acceding to the invasion’s effects, one other, only, in Arizona, which would be more central to their population centers in California and Texas?  Though, even this is a reluctant concession, since those populations should be eliminated by deportations enforcing the law and a self-determined departure imposed by the removal of access to jobs and services.  Why isn’t anyone else asking or even trying to make Mexico and other nations accountable, let alone prevent them from assisting the invasion?

A growing trend in the nation, another “Hispanic Heritage” week, is nearly upon the Queen City, where, according to the promotions being run on Cincinnati Local 12 television, native, resident citizens are invited to take the initiative to “bridge the divide” Hispanics create when they immigrate illegally and do not try to assimilate.  Local 12 also encourages the invasion by maintaining a Spanish web site that not only serves the non-English-speaking Hispanics, but also reaches south, across the border into internet cafes to, in effect, say, “Look, here, even if you don’t speak English or belong here, Cincinnati will bend over backwards to make it easier for you to be welcome here, regardless, so come ahead, legally or otherwise.  Our schools, clinics and hospitals, welfare offices (and jails) are waiting for more of you, and our look-the-other-way employers appreciate that you do not require a living wage and will gladly defer employing our citizens to get you.  And you’ll really appreciate that our emergency services now require some employees be bilingual, so you won’t even need an incentive to speak our language to call 911.  Please, make your language our language.”

There are those who believe the invasion has already gone too far, that a Hispanic, dual-language, dual-culture, bi-polar America is inevitable.  Hillary Clinton says, “It wouldn’t be such a bad thing,” adding that it would be good for Americans to speak two languages, which indicates how fine a grip she has on the problems of households, she says she supports, making ends meet with multiple jobs, tight budgets, and all the time in the world to learn another language while competing for immigrant-displaced jobs and pushed-down wages.  If she is president, it seems the takeover would be inevitable, but otherwise, and with active public involvement, even with her in the Oval Office, this would not be the case, not if the same resolve to enforce the law, deport, and curtail services is employed as the apathy which prevailed to allow the Reagan and Bush Republican governments, and the Clinton administration, to ignore the border, the law, and encourage the invasion.  To be truly comprehensive, meaningful, effective, and acceptable, the next immigration bill must address many shortcomings.  Removing the social-benefits magnets combined with enforcement will alone quickly turn the tide.  It only takes the active resolve of citizens upon their local and federal elected officials (and TV stations) to begin, as was done with the initial, tentative step of defeating the amnesty bill presented by the 110th session of Congress.

Studies have shown that the cost of finding and deporting the illegal populations that do not leave on their own will be less than the medical, welfare, social-services, and law-enforcement costs of their growing presence, costs that fall upon the cities, counties, states, and the federal government.  It all comes from the pockets of citizens, and without enforcement, the costs citizens pay to surrender their country only increases.  The immigrant lobby used fear to forecast farm disaster if the law is enforced; yet, it has already been seen, since the amnesty bill failed and a partial, weak enforcement effort ensued, that enterprising farmers have successfully moved their seeds to fields south of the border, where they report a workable situation, with none of the labor problems that confront them here.  A simple choice, when the other side of the coin is a nation lost to illegal invaders.  Until a guest-worker program is created, one without a path to citizenship, that is tied to the jobless rate so as not to impose upon the citizen workforce for the sake of corporate interests for cheap labor, the export of farming is only a cost of preserving the face of the nation, and it is not too great a cost to pay.  The next immigration-reform bill must have limits on guest workers and green-card imports that reflect the income standards for American workers, not a corporate-interest-group-defined system that grants a boon to industry, and to aliens and their nations, at the expense of citizen workers and their families.

Citizenship requirements must be tightened.  The current citizenship test is a joke, the lines of which are simply committed to flash cards and learned by rote, without providing any real insight into America’s history, the forces that caused the Founders to frame the Constitution as they did, or each citizen’s place in preserving the rule of law and the freedom provided them under the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  Now, citizenship requirements are only another factor eroding the foundations of rights and freedom.  Simply put, the educational-citizenship program, and the test, must be such that the applicant demonstrates the same knowledge and appreciation of American history and civics as any C-student graduate from a public highschool.  Any less standard makes for a criteria that is of less value at the polls, diluting and diminishing the American character.  Popular sovereignty was still a radical idea in the mid-to-late-eighteenth-century world, and the Founders designed the new American government with built-in protections against the ignorance of the masses their Constitution made sovereign, and as the quality of education has grown and spread throughout America over the centuries, those protections have been altered and removed, leaving the nation vulnerable to any influx of immigrants that is not properly schooled to meet the current standards.  That is why any amnesty for illegal immigrants which would provide a path to citizenship, under the current, slack, citizenship standards, requirements, and testing, is an unqualified disaster in the making for the future.  It is also why oversight of the education and testing program must be tightened, to prevent the corruption that has resulted in instances where immigrant populations have grown sufficiently to take power, resulting in local, Hispanic officials and government employees, acting as sympathetic activists, allowing many of their immigrants to be granted citizenship despite that they could not even speak English, beyond a few memorized phrases, let alone having any learned appreciation for the history and responsibility that stands behind citizenship and the vote.  For them, the vote is little more than a tool of self-service in the hands of their political bosses, a mimicry of the corrupted governments of Central and South America.  George Bush would not have been elected without the Hispanic voting blocks in Florida that contain many of these kinds of voters, to whom he and his brother in Florida pandered, along with many Democrats who also pander them and are too eager to spill the national heritage for what they perceive as either easy or possibly-lost votes.

Laws against employers must be stiffened and enforced in active cooperation with states and municipalities, and those laws must be extended to landlords.

Financial programs by corporations, like Bank of America and Wal Mart, designed to service illegals must be halted.

There must be political and trade consequences for Mexico and other nations which do not do enough to control their borders and their imported crime.  Mexico must be made to remove its network of invasion-post consulates.

Finally, America must share the burden left by the failure of a string of Republicans in the White House, and the Congress, to enforce and provide properly effective and protective immigration law.  Because of their failure, and the apathy of citizens, it is now morally necessary to provide resident amnesty, but never citizenship, to the immediate parents and guardians (NOT whole families) of the citizen-children born of illegals.  But any viable immigration reform must do away with the birthing loophole, which is not only a powerful magnet for illegals, but is also a self-defeating factor for enforcement, as well as a means of garnering political power to eventually breach immigration policies and dominate the government, which will result, starting in the communities, with travesties like the retraction of laws against practices like animal blood sports, and the creation of a whole category of public-funds-exploitative, Hispanic-preservation and -recognition laws and programs.  That has been the history elsewhere where native populations have been displaced.

The future for America’s melting pot has two faces: one, based in responsible, enforced immigration law, that preserves American ideals, culture, and heritage as it has for four generations of American citizens still alive today, until the mid 1980’s; or, there is the face of the Hispanic invasion, promoted by foreign governments, irresponsible and unenforced immigration law, and local apathy, that is already changing the life of the nation and draining its resources, from schools to health care, at the expense of every citizen’s future, ranging from the burden of higher taxes for fewer-citizen/more-immigrant services, to the quality of education for citizen children being reduced to meet the educational and language deficits, and the sheer numbers of the unacclimated illegal immigrants crowding their classrooms.  Hispanic-immigrant activists, interest groups, and their supporters, including Bush, label the former as “protectionism,” and it is, and there is no wrong in it, because the American way of life being lost is worth reclaiming and protecting.  The label for the latter option is “surrender,” of the heritage and future of what has been labeled by presidents as “the greatest nation on Earth.”

Today, that phrase, “the greatest nation...” can only refer to either the past, or to the current level of America’s capacity to spend and destroy, characterized by thought surrendered to Madison-Avenue persuasion, leading to borrowed, gluttonous consumption and instant gratification, prioritized short-term investment and attention spans, quick-money bottom lines, celebrity- and entertainment-driven higher interests, all eclipsing greater values.  And most damning:  a pattern of Republican policies that place the goals of corporatism and industry above all else, fronting an American government that subsidizes the lavishly wealthy with tax cuts and symbolic contributions to Social Security, while its president turns his back on—no, worse, raises a wall in answer to the health needs of children because, while spending $200 billion in Iraq (2008 appropriation), $88 billion wasted on fraud and corruption, he says he doesn’t want to subsidize the middle class, revealing a government without a heart that starts illicit wars and shreds democracy in its own name to impose colonial occupations upon other nations and its own citizens to meet its special-interest objectives, and a growing, unregulated, mass influx of self-interested, non-acclimating, isolationist Hispanics who, determined to stake their claims and change America beyond recognition or reclamation, could care less about the twisted direction in which America is plummeting.

Which face for the future?  It seems to be an easy choice to make.  And it is a choice that only requires an eye on your politicians and a pointed letter or phone call, tied to a voting memory, when they begin to stray away from the interests of the citizens and the nation toward those of the invaders and the interest groups.

The following response to the position on Mexico was received, reply following:

"Hi, I am writing a paper on popular sovereignty and I was looking at your website.  I was agreeing to everything you were saying until I got to the Mexico part.  I am Mexican but I go to college in Florida.  I think its ridiculous that you say that Calderon is a bigger threat than Castro, that shows how you dont know anything about Mexico.  That was one of the dumbest things Ive ever heard in my life.  You should do some research before doing a website!" — Fernando R.

The writer stopped reading, where the charge was justified by specifying Mexico’s refusal to enforce its borders, provide a viable economic environment for its poor, and to stop the drug trade that both originates in Mexico and passes through it, all of which makes its leaders more dangerous than Castro, and makes it a nation doing more harm to America than Cuba, which has done nothing to poison America’s streets since the wave of invasions begun in the mid-1960’s.

Right click on the highlighted link in this sentence and choose the "save link as (or target as)" menu option to download a virus-free, single-page, MS-Word-formatted immigration flyer you can mail, e-mail, and/or print and distribute in your neighborhood grocery, malls, post offices, and government centers.

Nuclear defense moves played out on an invisible board.

George Bush’s “good friend,” Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, has rolled back democratic reforms and now heads a police state that Bush and Cheney, no doubt, envy.  But politics aside, Putin has a point in objecting to the Bush plan to set up a missile-defense system in Europe.  Why should he believe Bush, that the system would only be designed to protect Europe and America from North Korean and Iranian missiles, when Bush has already said, again and again, that outlaw regimes like those, and those specifically, would not be permitted to develop nuclear-weapons capability?  What does proposing a missile-defense system say to Putin, and more importantly, to Kim Jong-il, and to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, about the true resolve of America to block their nuclear ambitions?

The point is that a missile-defense system is not going to protect America from a nuclear attack if these regimes are permitted to create arsenals, because they won’t need missiles to have the weapons delivered.  The only way to insure the safety of the West, and Russia, is to insure that such arsenals are not permitted to be created, and so far, Bush has again donned the Shakespearian coat of much sound and no substance.  These regimes have demonstrated both of the essential ingredients to succeed:  intent and the wherewithal.  And, unlike presidential candidate, Sen. Joseph Biden, who thinks there is a five-to-ten-year lead, and who apparently would rather put the problem off until it is ever more dangerous to confront, the truth is that the threat is already upon America in North Korea, and no one in the West knows how long there really is before Iran follows suit, or until unstable Pakistan collapses into radical-Islamic hands, with its nuclear arsenal.  It is only obvious that the time has long passed to get serious about confronting the threats instead of wasting lives and resources playing renegade-capitalist monopoly games in the Middle East.  Putin also encourages Bush’s two-tongued moves by not joining with the U.S. in taking all possible measures to bring the Iranian weapons program to a peaceful end.  Neither of the politicians seems to appreciate the real threats, and neither has any credibility upon which to launch their verbal offenses and defenses.

And the inept, inert Congress, within only weeks, had to blunder into the same mindless mistake.  From a body supposedly concerned with the messages it sends, what kind of unthinking, surrendering message did the U.S. Senate send to Iran on July 12, 2007, when it passed the Sessions (R-AL) Amendment to the Defense Programs bill?  The amendment, to which an overwhelming majority of mindless senators blundered to support, makes it the policy of the United States to develop defenses against Iran’s nuclear capabilities.  Like with Bush’s European-missile-defense shield, why mandate a defense policy when the stated policy, the only policy that insures national security, is already in place (or was):  that Iran, flatly, will not be permitted to obtain a nuclear arsenal?  If that is true, no defense plans are needed, only diplomatic and offensive ones.  Both Bush’s European-missile-defense plan (combined with Putin’s Euro-Russian-defense plan) and the Senate’s nuclear-defense-policy amendment send mixed signals to Iran, that America (and Putin) has no intention of preventing that radical regime from threatening its neighbors and the world with mass destruction, that instead, America (and Russia) will spend to create a defense shield to defend against the threat when it materializes, which they really cannot do.

The only defense against Iran’s nuclear intentions is to prevent them from being realized... period.  Once the sword-rattling regime in Tehran is allowed to acquire the bombs, there will be no assurance of preventing their use, not treaties, not “any attack against whomever will be considered an attack against America” threats, nothing.  The behavior of Bush, Putin, and the U.S. Senate makes it even more clear that Iran will not be presented with sufficient posture to peacefully deter it from acquiring nuclear weapons, and that eventually, force will be required to assure the security of the region and the West.  And force is more than justified to achieve that objective, so long as the military is not tasked to remain for nation-building after the weapons, labs, and the regime that created them are gone.  This would not be like Iraq, where an illegal invasion was planned and deceptively executed to achieve the profit-driven, commercial goals of a Bush administration that is puppet to a corporate-industrial special-interest group.  But if there is ever going to be any chance for a peaceful stand-down by Iran, these messages, that they will be allowed to succeed, must be retracted, forever ended, and replaced with a non-blinking, non-moving, non-negotiable line in the sand, bluntly and repeatedly described.

Under the present circumstances and administration, it cannot be said often enough that the Constitution empowers the Congress, not the president, to say where, when, and against whom wars will be waged, and the withdrawal of forces in Iraq, from the cities (and the business of colonial nation building) to isolated, highly defensible, Iranian- and Syrian-border-staging areas, will not only insure Iraq’s (whatever government they end up with) borders, which, after the Bush-Cheney defecation there, are America’s responsibility to preserve, the areas will serve as intelligence and special-operations bases for whatever anti-al Qaeda opportunities may be presented, and they will derive a great usefulness from the administration’s criminal misadventure in Iraq, and its resultant deaths, by reinforcing America’s willingness and preparedness to cross the border into Iran, take out the weapons and the regime if, eventually, that regime so insists.  Republican Senator Jim Bunning (KY) said that, “If America loses [in Iraq] chaos will rule the day and spread throughout the middle east.”  Chaos already rules the day, is already spreading throughout the Middle East, and a withdrawal to a multi-pronged border operation will turn a mindlessly initiated, six-year, 4,555-death loss into a win.  This is, after all, the only operation that can be mounted from Iraq that supports national security by solidly backing the necessary no-nukes policy for Iran, and pressure it to peacefully halt nuclear development.  It is the only step in Iraq, even more so than a complete withdrawal, that is in the national interest, Lebanon’s interest, and the Mid East’s, not to mention, via Iranian-provided, al Qaeda-delivered devices, Europe’s and Russia’s interests.  It is the only measure that can be taken in Iraq to turn an administration-concocted disaster into a security-preserving posture of national and free-world necessity, and the sooner the better.

Sweet Bush rhetoric twists truth,
only precedes delayed inaction.

After 6½ years of special-interest abuse against, to name only a few, the sick and the environment, and with only 1½ years left in office, Bush, in summer, 2007, began to try sugar-coating the black icing on his poisoned serving of aggression in Iraq, beginning by reversing (in rhetoric) his long-standing policies, or lack thereof, on AIDS prevention and treatment, and by urging (with restrictions, only a week before the G-8 summit—as with Iraq, fools rush in) the attaining of a multi-nation goal to reduce greenhouse gases by 2008.  It seems that this thankfully-departing reaper has an interest in building something for his post-term library besides 4,555 (and counting toward 5,000 by then) unwarranted deaths he has (and will) cast over U.S. soldiers in Iraq and their families at home.  Watch for his vocal reversals to continue marching out from this mid-2007 point, wearing a loud Shakespearian suit of little substance, other than his claim to have put it on.

The Emperor demands your complete loyalty...

The graduation season of 2007 brought administration speeches, revealing both deception and manipulation, pointing to the same motivation behind Bush Justice-Department abuses.  Marking the graduation season or 2007, another gem was plucked from the Bush crown of imperial authority to bedazzle, making evident the same, perverse emphasis of the Bush administration on loyalty and service to the president, over that to Constitution and country, as was on display in the congressional testimony of the former Justice Department-White House liaison concerning the firings of U.S. attorneys.  This latest sermon of misplaced devotion and arrant, front-and-center, psychological manipulation was delivered by Vice President Cheney, in his address to the graduating class at West Point, as he promised the newly minted 2nd Lieutenants, “speaking for the President... you soldier for him, and he will soldier for you.”  The last “soldiering” work Bush did for them, just the week before, turns out to be the White House threat to veto a 3.5 percent military pay raise and a $40-per-month increase in payments to military widows.  Thank you, Your Excellency and Lord Cheney.

Bush’s plans for the soldiers were previewed in late spring, 2007, by his late-coming acquiescence to the Iraq Study Group’s recommendations, as a “Plan B,” to be employed as “a kind of long-term basis” for stabilizing Iraq.  He also said, “I believe this [Plan B] is an area where... we can find common ground with Democrats and Republicans.”  But Congress and the public should not be deceived.  Bush’s sudden embrace of the Study Group’s plan is no more than a tactic to soften opposition and, when the situation is not improved at summer’s end, and the toll of dead and wounded is ever higher, it will become the facade for the mentioned “long-term basis,” but not for stabilizing anything, rather, only for extending the violent attempt to pursue his special-interest agenda through the end of his term, which will only accomplish an increased toll of dead and wounded, unless, before that, he and Cheney are removed from office.

FX by Silkscape Arts

Extreme Contrasts — People Problems

Communist China’s population problem, and the attempt to begin strict enforcement of its one-child law, has a correlation with the U.S. immigration problem:

In China, there is a serious population problem, causing the government to impose birth-control laws, which have been ignored by the newly affluent, who can afford to pay the heavy fines for having more children, causing class conflict with the poor who cannot, and prompting the government to finally crack down and increase fines on the affluent, on a case-by-case basis, until they are eventually forced to comply.

That’s communism for you, and there is no freedom where communists rule.

In America, there is a serious problem with illegal immigration, causing the government to impose immigration-control laws, which have been ignored by aliens and corporations that can afford to pay skimpy fines in a no-enforcement environment, while out-sourcing jobs and importing or using illegal, low-cost labor, putting a double whammy on the middle class and poor, driving down wages and reducing jobs, creating class conflict, and prompting the Congress to ignore overwhelming public demand for a crackdown in favor of debate on a new Bush-administration-influenced bill that will sanction the illegals and allow even more cheap labor to enter, encouraging all never to comply with anything.

That’s capitalism for you, and American democracy, when present, provides a balance between capitalist extremes of self-interest and altruism, positioning greed somewhere in between, but there is no democracy where capitalists rule.

FX by Silkscape Arts

Liberties are fragile, vulnerable to apathy, fear, corruption, and greed.

Government is many things to different people, systems, and philosophies.  Further, the view of government changes as the leaders of government change.  There are those, in America, who view their government as an interference, a barrier that restricts freedom.  Many of these are criminals, and many own guns, stock supplies for some coming conflagration, and for vacation, or avocation, they play warrior in wilderness camps.  Some few become terrorists, striking against an alien force that has somehow morphed from what was once acceptable into a current abomination.  Many more are businessmen who object to regulation and taxes.

Then, there are those who share the view of government as a barrier, not for what it is, but for who and what controls it.  To some, the barrier is in their face, blocking their path of opportunity, draining their energy and resources as they try to navigate its restrictions.  To others, the barrier is keeping out the riffraff, providing advantage by exclusion, an asset of control and assurance of well being.  These are opposed forces and interests of a more personalized nature, rather than structural.

To systems—industrial, corporate, financial, military, religious—government is different things, but still changing with the change of hands at the helm.  The American, constitutional, democratic government is, to the military, the defining authority and the provider of tools and purpose.  To the religious sector, it is a guardian angel, protecting existence and separatism, and it is also a constitutionally locked box, containing forbidden fruit of worldly power to extend reach, expand congregations, and draw wealth, if the box can be pried open, just a bit, which, with Bush’s disregard of wise and necessary, constitutional separation of church and state, the key has been handed over to favored factions.

To industry and corporation boards, constitutional government is also a guardian, sanctifying property and setting boundaries of interference and control, making it also a tool to be used to greatest advantage in garnering market, resource, and wealth, where it also is a treasure chest to be pried open and raided, and anything else government can do, not contributing to those goals of enrichment, or that seeks to control or allow interference, is an anathema to be removed, by lawyers, elections, persuasion (spin, P.R.), payout, and, too often, when all else fails, by lies, theft, fraud, or worse.

Since the corporate-industrial system derives its protections and restrictions from government and law, lawyers are the principal players in those interactions, and with lawyers, trimmed to this segment, signed contracts are the foundation of operations, transactions, and understanding, and for them, and corporations and industries, all contracts are negotiable.  Perhaps it is this view that allows a president, George W. Bush, who is the servant of corporate-industrial interests, to say that the Constitution is just a Goddamned piece of paper.”

No less, the Bush administration has demonstrated, over six years of closet rule, that, to it, the Constitution is just that:  a piece of paper, to be ignored, contradicted, spun, defied, and cursed.  Of course, liberty’s shelf of constitutional-progenitor documents, from before the Magna Carta to beyond the English Bill of Rights, defies the simplifications and smears that define the Constitution for Bush’s administration, partly, because those earlier documents cost lives to pen and to make into living protections of human rights that are far more meaningful and enduring than just the pieces of paper upon which their aspirations and declarations were written; and, partly because the Constitution, beyond being just a piece of paper, is also beyond just being a framework of difficult, ingenious compromise, signed as a contract between states or between the elected and governed of only a long-ago generation of people.  It is also a legacy of life, and conduct, a statement of hope and aspiration, created not only for the time that belonged to the great and thoughtful men who painstakingly argued and reasoned to write it, but even more, for the times to dawn on future generations who would stand upon their shoulders to build and refine the greatest nation the world would ever know, secured by liberty and the rule of justly conceived law, in pursuit of dreams and ambitions.  That is the great historical conception of civil enlightenment to which the Founders aspired, and the Constitution, and its Bill of Rights, is the product of their best efforts to define and secure that aspiration and future hope, and make it real, as a lasting framework, a government, for the people of a new and great nation, and for their generations to come.

The Constitution was the Founders’ greatest achievement, one like no other, which has withstood the disasters, and wars, and changes in culture and technology, and politics, and lousy politicians, for over 220 years, with only a handful of amendments.  Since 1776, hundreds of thousands of soldiers and statesmen didn’t bleed and die for a so-called piece of paper.  And, while more than 4,400 who died in Iraq didn’t, either, what that “Goddamned piece of paper” stands for is what the Bush administration found useful as an excuse to send them to their deaths there, and that piece of paper is also in there, somewhere, amidst a slew of false justifications and well-spun speaking points to keep them there.  No matter how Bush uses and abuses it, the Constitution is and remains a national treasure, worth the greatest sacrifices made to protect it, and considering what America has done to benefit the rest of the world in that comparably short time, since the Declaration of Independence, it is also a world treasure.

The Bush administration perception, or conduct indicating that the Constitution is just a piece of paper—a contract, to be renegotiated by the unilateral decision of a president, or even any single branch of government, that it can be loopholed, walked on and around, propagandized, and diminished or attacked on basis of standing, relevance, or some lessor authority, or past practice, or any present or future expedience or call to fear, or to make a buck, is the naked, base perception of greedy businessmen or greedy and corrupted lawyers and politicians, like many of those who populate the Bush administration, top down.  It is good that, along with many Republican-administration supporters in Congress, they are finally being seen to be beneath even that stark reduction of respect and value they hold for the instrument of this nation’s rights and strength, particularly in light of Bush’s actions with former Attorney General Ashcroft and the reauthorization of the illegal NSA wiretaps.  Most emphatically, their perception of the Constitution is not that of a patriot, and it cannot be the perception, driving actions, that is allowed to stand alongside a sworn oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, because the oath and defense will fall, as they have, leaving the Constitution, its rights and protections, vulnerable, weakened, and eventually, destroyed.

The Bush presidency (including Bush’s Nixon-administration alumni, who include ties to the murderous, privatized army, Blackwater USA) has done more to tear down American democracy and damage the nation than the combined legacy of any of America’s three-most cherished presidents to build it, excluding, perhaps, Madison and Jefferson.  But given another 18 months of the Bush-Cheney White House, even the contributions of those Founders and presidents could be neutralized.  With Bush, the historic chain of democratic strength, and of linked, evolving heritage has been arrogantly, selfishly, and remorselessly broken.  It is safe to say that the Bush administration has no clue of the Constitution’s or the Bill of Rights’ real value, or reverence for their virtues, or respect for more than a dozen references that “piece of paper” provides for impeachment.  It is already regrettably late for Congress to pick up on the latter, but still not too late to act and return America’s government to the hands and vision of patriots.

The populist wave of change has risen.

Impeachment of Cheney and Bush is overdue, and in the case of Attorney General Gonzales, it is justified but may not be necessary.  He has clearly misled Congress, interfering with their constitutional-oversight responsibility, and he likely violated, at least, ethical standards in the discharge of his duties.  He is unqualified for the post, which by itself is sufficient to remove him by impeachment.  The Founders did not set the requirements for impeachment at the level of standards for criminal convictions (beyond a reasonable doubt) because they recognized that, as a tool for government cleansing, the loss of public and congressional confidence in any official is a serious state of affairs that requires a less-stringent route for remedy, for the sake of honest and respected government.  An administration that shows one face in a campaign and in statements, and another in office and actions, is equally sufficient cause for the exercise of a readily accessible removal process.

The Founders mention impeachment no less than a dozen times in the Constitution, advocating the process, and it is simply a tool, to correct a mistake, that does not require any weight of hard evidence—only the conviction of the Congress that the nation’s best interest will be served, coupled with their votes, in the House, to initiate the charge, and in the Senate, to hear the argument and remove.  In the case of appointed officials, whose appointments require confirmation by the Senate, it follows that the power to consent or deny, by confirmation hearing, carries beyond that to include subsequent withdrawal of confirmation for officials, like Gonzales, without any formal impeachment process.  Impeachment, for Gonzales, for Cheney, or for Bush, is not an extraordinary step.  It is, rather, the actions that these officials have taken to stain their offices and to endanger and impede the nation’s growth to a prosperous future that are extraordinary and require their removal as not only a statement of acceptable standards of governance for the future, but as a statement to the world that the actions of American government under the abusive hands of these men, to include many domestic transgressions, and the invasion of Iraq and kidnapping of foreign nationals, is not reflective of or acceptable to The People.

The mid-2007 revelation that GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) type-2 diabetes drug, Avandia, carries a 43 percent increased risk of heart attack and a 64 percent increased risk of death, increases over those published with its release in 1999, points out the unequivocal need for increased safety rules within the Food and Drug Administration (FDA—a Bush-appointed-leadership agency, subject to the political whims of the huge drug- and other industry-interest-group lobbies that the administration serves) to more tightly regulate and monitor drug company manufacture, trials, and follow-on studies.  The new risk assessments, obtained by doctors through mega-analysis of more than 40 separate studies, were rushed to publish in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), and the response by the FDA, so far, has been to do nothing, except issue an advisory to the public to discuss their use of the drug with their doctors.  GSK responded with a slew of study figures unrelated to the mega-analysis to dispute its conclusions, which is all that can be expected, since any indication of awareness could carry criminal implications.

The fact that GSK initiated a comprehensive and expensive study of Avandia in 2000, not to be completed until 2009, indicates that the private concern of the company for possible later liability was considerable, yet its higher concern for profits prohibited it from either delaying release, increasing the risk assessments, or issuing a general alarm to doctors and the public, and this brings to light a dangerous weakness in governmental regulation over the self-interest of the drug industry (democracy balancing capitalism), for which Congress is responsible, having caved in to the drug lobby in the past over drug regulation and, in early May 2007, supporting their cash-heavy-lobbying opposition to defeat a bill that would have provided lower-cost alternatives.  The lack of disclosure by GSK also echoes the crime of another drug company, Purdue Pharma L.P., recently prosecuted and detailed below, to deliberately deceive the public regarding the safety of OxyContin, its profitable and widely used pain drug.

The figures in the report below do not separate out the amount the drug companies spend on their political lobbying and contributions, but that considerable resource, obtained through artificially elevated prices and creation of consumption, will again be focused at Congress when it debates passage of a new FDA reform bill (HR 1561) in the coming weeks.  It will take a strong public-interest conscience for Congress to defy the drug lobby and leave meaningful safety measures contained within the bill’s draft intact, a conscience which history indicates members of Congress (Republicans) can only be expected to put foremost in their priorities if feeling the pressure of their constituents.  And so it is necessary for voters to exercise their political rights to express their expectations to their representatives.  Click on or paste this link https://secure.npsite.org/cu/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1513 into your Web browser to use a convenient contact form, or contact your representatives in any way best suited to you.  Below are links for contact directories in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

United States Senate Directory

United States House of Representatives Directory

The creation of consumption that generates profits to be, in these cases, illicitly protected, depends upon over-the-counter and prescription-drug advertising, targeting a range of afflictions (allergies, psoriasis, Alzheimer’s, CAD, COPD, PAD, RA, RLS, ED, etc.), and which is baseless fear mongering, inducing a nation of hypochondriacs and costing consumers billions.  The ads are also sickening to watch, again and again, diarrhetics, and “male organ” enhancers over dinner, in front of the kids, over news, movies, over the attempts to drift off to sleep or just live without some other outside source of repetitively induced worry.  And, if you include the non-prescription drug advertising, it becomes clear that the drug industry targets and promotes an affliction for nearly every man, woman, and child in the nation, and intends to make dedicated drug consumers of them all.  Why are drug companies allowed to advertise drugs that must be prescribed by doctors anyway?  Objective studies indicate that more is spent by drug makers on ads than on R&D*, and it’s spent just to promote sales and doctors’-office visits (a probable silent conspiracy), to create consumption, regardless of need, value, cost, or effect.  But it doesn’t end with the pharmaceuticals, because creating consumption is a disease that afflicts every industry and is spread by them to every segment of the population, from the old and sick to the kindergartener!  And no one cares if more than 93 percent of the costs induced are unnecessary, particularly not the suits leading the white coats or Republicans in Congress.  But the drug makers/pushers will, no doubt, defend their profit-driven motives by saying that they are attempting to inform the public of serious problems that can be alleviated if acted upon promptly, and that they are trying to save lives, and reduce suffering.  What else can they say?  But swallowing that could put you at double the risk for heart attack or stroke.

If humanitarian prioritized, why don’t the legalized drug pushers do a better job of making their AIDS cocktails more affordable here and in the third world?  Why, then, do they oppose efforts to allow lower-cost drugs to be imported from Canada, or why even sell here at a higher cost?  Part of the answer is that many are driven by the unrealistic Wall Street imperative, which dictates a constantly raising profit margin, even if the market growth is stagnant, which it isn’t, and which, along with obscene advertising costs, adds to the costs consumers must pay, contributing to the run-away cost of health care.  The pharmaceutical industry’s trade group, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), likes to blame rising costs on R&D outlays (already said to be less than the ad budget*) the figures for which, tied to their agenda, bop around like the CEO’s yacht lashed to storm-swept dockage.  Prescription-drug ads and public ownership (Wall Street) of pharmacies, whose products are necessary for public safety and to relieve suffering, should just be outlawed.  Americans cannot afford the higher costs that result, and neither, they say, can employers and providers.

But greed is another factor in high and rising costs, and even privately held companies are in the business of giving the business to get it, as amply demonstrated by the admissions of private drug maker Purdue Pharma L.P.’s president, Michael Friedman; top lawyer, Howard Udell; and chief medical officer, Paul Goldenheim, in their guilty pleas, on misdemeanor-misbranding charges, that they knowingly gave false information to Purdue’s sales net and the public about the addictive nature of its pain-killer drug, OxyContin.  That deception was tied to use of the drug that cost 146 lives in 2002, says the DEA, and was a factor in another 318 deaths; yet, no murder or manslaughter charges are pending, just a company fine of $600 milllion, a statement accepting responsibility (as with Bush and his crimes and transgressions) and promises from Purdue Pharma to implement changes (no mention of heart surgery), and fines of 11 million dollars distributed against each of the three executives, which may force them to sell their yachts or airplanes and their summer homes, downsize their vacations, and, as is likely with wealthy white-collar criminals, draw on money stashed in offshore accounts.  They deserve what the average criminal gets who is implicated in the malicious death of another:  a felony conviction and long-term jail.  They also deserve, wherever they go, what Cincinnati Tri-State restaurateur Jeff Ruby gave to O.J. Simpson when the unrepentant murderer showed up at one of his eateries on Kentucky Derby weekend:  the boot.  Or, should I have said, “the sole?”

* SEC Edgar, 10K filings report that, in 2000, when drug advertising on TV alone was nothing like it is today, Merck, Pfizer, Bristol, and Abbott drug makers averaged just above 10%, or $2.5 billion, of $25.5 billion in revenues ($4.4 billion in earnings), on R&D, compared to $6.5 billion/26.5% of average revenues on marketing, making it unlikely that media conglomerates are anxious to shine the light on the abuse of funding aimed at swelling their margins.

                                                               FX by Silkscape Arts

As capitalism overcomes democracy, restraints vanish and crime flourishes.

For all of the World Bank Wolfowitzes (middle-left in toilet), and Enron Lays and Skillings (middle, below sump and middle-right in toilet)...

For all the Purdue Pharma, drug-death-dealer Udells, Goldenheims, and Friedmans (bottom-edge in the toilet, L to R), and and ITT secrets-trafficking defense contractors...

For all the education-robbing banks, like student-loan-raider Chase, only one among many banks which, with the aid of blind “monitoring” by the Bush, hands-off Education Department, were allowed to abuse the loan mechanisms of the Higher Education Act with egregious payoffs and inducements, grabbing nearly $billion in unwarranted student-loan funds, until the 2006 election forced the White House to instruct Education Secretary Margaret Spellings to finally initiate rule making, because it was then clear that the Democratic majority would bring congressional oversight, dead for six years, back to life; and for Bank of America, which reaches from the black heart of its greed to shred the heritage of a nation by aiding and abetting criminals when it condescends to openly provide financial services for illegal immigrants...

And, then, for the royalty-skimming Gulf, Mobile, Chevron, Shell (all over the toilet), and scores more oil companies, and still more corporations and industries, far more than have just been enumerated, spanning from yesterday to before the White House of Thomas Jefferson, committing crimes against the people and the nation, ranging from, at least, manslaughter and treason to fraud and self-enrichment...

For all of these revealed leeches and roaches, there remain, still, a horde of greedy robber barons who hide behind smiling masks, within the dark dazzle of their granite and steel castles, and those for whom the mask is no longer seen or felt, all bleeding the public, like vampires, and all who remain to be exposed to the light and punished—but by an incompetent and boot-licking attorney general?  The crimes uncovered have been revealed through the dedication of responsible federal prosecutors, like the ones Bush’s appointee to oversee them, Alberto Gonzales, had removed from their offices; or, the crimes were uncovered by relentless departmental inspector generals who are unattached to the Bush administration’s marionette strings.

How could American voters ever elect an administration that rides on the beck and call of this garlanded group, where self interest is no longer connected to the altruistic component of capitalism, where creating consumption, regardless of need, value, cost, or effect, is paramount?  History teaches, with pointed and specific warnings from the Founders, and a punctuation mark on the Bush administration, that corporate-industrialists lack the necessary compassion, and too easily subjugate people beneath profit, carved stone, and their innately self-postured superiority, to ever be allowed to control a democratic government.  It is a lesson America has yet to learn, that capitalism without the balance of democracy’s control and oversight, is a self-feeding tyrant, and the people suffer—those who vote and those who do not.  These corrupted “captains” wear the same brand that is worn by the likes of Tom Delay (top-left in toilet), a son of the petroleum and natural-gas-industry culture, turned pesticide businessman who preceded his election to the House of Representatives by not paying payroll and income taxes, and before that, by being expelled from Baylor University for vandalism, and who, after spreading his poison as a representative, was finally indicted as the most corrupt and manipulative majority leader the Republican party ever crowned.  The voters only got what they asked for, what was there for them to see and what they ignored.  His brand, and that of the rest of his ilk of industry brats, is that of the centrist-and-conservative right of the Republican party, and to the vast sea of citizens they feed upon, it should be unmistakably recognized as a scarlet letter of disdain and reproach—a non-dilutable, unquestioning anticatalyst for public-office votes.

According to the inverted Bush (top-right in toilet)-Cheney (in toilet sump) brand of justice and rights, once accused, you’re guilty until proven innocent.  It is both fair and appropriate, then, to apply that brand of justice to those corporate-industrial elite from whom the Bush administration is spawned, those who are not responsible corporate-industrial leaders, those who make corporate and industrial into dirty words, and who still stand, undiscovered, wearing their golf spikes, treading upon the torn backs of others; and who, having more than they need, lust insatiably for still more; who measure the value of society by the balance of their bank accounts and how easily they can be padded by the sweat and constant worry of others with few resources and uncertain futures, be it through outright fraud or allegiance to nation-sacrificing economic ideologies and practices.  These sub-humans trade in the same currency as weapons dealers, slave traffickers, and drug dealers:  human misery, but they usually do it at arms distance, in suits, white-collared shirts, and ties, with the insulation of pressure-molded middlemen and underlings, manipulating, twisting, and breaking rules and laws, spitting on the greater society, reducing it from behind masked social superiority and, as those unmasked have shown, even faux, benevolent charity.  Until they prove otherwise, they deserve no rights or benefit of doubt, any more than has been afforded the brain-washed Islamists, and collateral innocents, who are kidnaped, caged, beaten, and dehumanized by order of the corporate raiders’ subservient administration, wallowing in their ignominious and defiant occupation of the White House.

Michael Baroody
Corporate-Manufacturer Lobbyist

It was good news for consumers when, on Wednesday, May 23, 2007, Bush’s Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) appointee, Michael Baroody, withdrew his nomination to the post of chairman.  Baroody would have failed any congressional muster because the agency Baroody would lead is, above all else, a consumer-advocacy instrument, whose charter is to protect consumers by insuring the safety of products and accountability of product manufacturers, and many senators were already aligned against him.  Mr. Baroody, on the other hand, would have had only the interests of manufacturers in mind, which is what one would expect from an appointee who served as the senior lobbyist for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), which makes him, also, a cut from the same corporate-interest-group-club cloth as the rest of the mob in the White House.

For Bush, the appointment was a step to neutralize the mission and effectiveness of the CPSC and, as is his practice, cancel accountability for those in his interest groups.

For Baroody, the appointment was an opportunity to further reduce costs to corporate owners and interests, who, through the NAM, had lined his pocket with a $150,000 sweetheart bonus, which became the point of contention that eventually, when he and the White House refused to disclose particulars about the payoff, led to his withdrawing himself from the nomination.

Opposition to Baroody’s appointment was most significant from doctors, who pointed out the past efforts of the NAM, under his leadership, to weaken the CSPC, and, according to an appointment-opposition letter submitted by American Academy of Pediatrics president, Dr. Jay Berkelhamer, was also the case when Baroody opposed many initiatives intended to protect children from unsafe products.  Baroody has also supported legislation to provide liability limits for asbestos makers and reduced regulations for tobacco companies.

Since January, the CPSC has been unable to achieve a quorum, resulting in a freeze in rule-writing and prosecuting civil penalties against manufacturers of unsafe products, which for the Bush administration, is the next best thing to putting a man made rich by fronting for manufacturers of dangerous and deadly products in charge of overseeing the business of the people’s commission on regulation over the safety aspects of those products and control of the manufacturers.  This kind of abuse has been regularly documented over the first term of the Bush administration and six years of its rubber-stamp Republican Congress, yet the voters chose to re-elect, and so, by this failed Bush appointment, were getting nothing less than more of the abuse, of which they both ignored and implicitly asked for more.  Nothing has been hidden, and no matter the crimes and abuses of the Bush administration, those who voted for him and his Republican Congress share the blame for the harm done.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Memorial to be Communist Chinese Product

Art, be it music, painting, or sculpture, is the language of the heart, the expression of the soul.   Who will ever know how the carved stone of Dr. Martin King, Jr., crafted by a foreign artist with foreign materials, so unconnected to Dr. King’s ideals and history, not a beneficiary of his struggle, will differ from that which would look out upon the crowds with eyes crafted by one so moved to express his appreciation and reverence, and one who, so connected, feels a binding obligation, not only to the art, but to the man and the citizens who are a part of his legacy?  The Statue of Liberty was a gift representing a common virtue from a country that shares that virtue, and it employs America’s icon to represent it.  Such is not the case with the proposed King memorial.  The corporate expansionism of the one-world economy has limits which are not recognized by the Bush administration or those who selected communist China to craft Dr. King’s memorial.

GM strikers are confronting a threat to America’s future.

The auto-workers’ strike against General Motors took a hard stand against the single-most growing and dangerous corporate practice facing America.  While GM proclaims its pride in preserving the American experience by sponsoring the PBS series, “The War,” and other Ken Burns films, their automotive workforce was striking against them because the company insisted upon continuing the desiccating practice of moving production out of the country, a practice which is not only a direct threat to America’s middle class, through the loss of jobs, but to the nation, through weakening of the national economy and manufacturing base.  While the UAW, through past excesses of featherbedding and corruption, had contributed to wasteful costs in the American labor market, their gains have been diminishing over the last decades, and American workers and consumers are not to blame for the competitive disadvantage by which GM or the other U.S. auto makers find themselves challenged.  They have put themselves at risk because of poor market and design decisions and inferior quality, costly mistakes that are slowly being corrected.  But GM wants a path of less grade and shorter return, because while speaking with one face to make high-sounding advertising claims, at the expense of the American worker—its workers—and the nation’s economic future and lifeblood, GM is looking with its real face farther down the path taken by them and the growing number of firms which are turning their backs on American needs and imperatives while improving the economies of foreign lands for the sake of cheap-labor-based profits.  GM calls it preserving their competitive options, but what will there be worth preserving of the American experience if this exporting of plants and jobs is allowed to continue, if corporations are permitted to do whatever they wish for the sake of their bottom lines (executive pay options and parachutes)?

Although one might think the corporations are signing their own death warrants by gutting the middle-class heart of the American workforce and consumer market, they are willing to do it because the world-consumer market is a far larger and more-valuable commodity, now in corporate sights thanks to decades of Republican trade programs and executive orders that have opened the floodgates to third-world expansionism and exploitation.  If the slow death of the American middle class is to be the real cost of the new-world, corporate, Republican vision of competition and global economics, then a little protectionism, in the form of regulation to control foreign investment and offshore manufacturing, and tariffs to offset the low-wage/benefits cost advantage of foreign and American offshore manufacturers, is definitely in order for America.  Given the past excesses of organized labor or the monster of exported plants and jobs they now confront, theirs is the lessor of two evils.  And if GM is willing to cut into the heart of America to make a buck, then they deserve to be struck, and perhaps, the most dire predictions of consequence.  In either case, their workers, having then slain the dragon, would also be losers, along with many others.  The threat has passed, for now, but it remains to be seen whether GM and other corporate giants will begin to alter their destructive tendencies, which have already cost some the lost confidence of toy consumers, those sales being replaced with the costs of recalls and rebuilding reputations, only one way in which a penny pinched has not turned into a penny saved by exporting the American employment infrastructure into the hands of cheap labor and foreign-management oversight in corrupt and unregulated environments.  There are far worse consequences possible, and without abatement, they will be certain to appear over the horizon.

Tasers kill and their use must be strictly regulated.

The taser has become the weapon of choice for university security, and in all aspects of their use, by all authorities, it is a Godsend to the violence-prone among them and has become the quick-trigger recourse, even when not needed to restrain non-lethal resistence, as was the inexcusable case of its use during campus-police intervention into a political debate, suppressing it at John Kerry’s September, 2007, Q&A at the University of Florida.

The plain fact, made undeniably evident by the results of their use, is that the tasers are NOT non-lethal weapons—a death can result with any use, and so they should be subject to the same restraints applied to firearms, and not accepted as a casual alternative to non-lethal resistence, particularly on campuses, against minors, older persons, or when other means of restraint and force numbers are available that would plainly make the use of a taser just a lazy cop’s way out, again, as was the case at the University of Florida, where at least five cops circled as the student, guilty only of ranting, was being repeatedly shocked, and in the image above, where a skateboarder is being immobilized by a lazy gorilla who didn’t want to risk mussing the starch on his shirt, even with the obviously unnecessary help of his sergeant at the ready.  Do you suppose he does all that exercise-room lifting just to exercise his finger on the street?

Legal firm’s get-a-divorce advertisement gets used-car class taste review—and new clients.

Lawyers have their teeth sunken deeply into the arteries of government, and one area’s standard of practice reflects another’s.  A partner of the all-female law firm, Fetman, Garland & Associates, Ltd., that put up the “Life is short,” sex-carrot, get-a-divorce billboard said, “Lawyers don’t cause divorces, people do.”  This firm is obviously sleaze driven to change that, making the poster a breath of fresh air for its honest revelation of the legal profession’s largely wrap-around underbelly.

Bush trade policies allow China to poison consumers, undercut domestic manufacturers

If U.S. cannot competently [Bush antonym] police content of all imports from China, none should be allowed.

Unfairly standardized China trade jeopardizes more than safety.  Making it easy for China to be an American-corporate, off-shore-manufacturing haven and importer also helps America’s biggest fuel-consumption competitor drive up fuel prices for Americans.  Since the Bush administration will not enforce safety, or end trade with the exploitive, repressive, communist state, it is up to consumers to send the message to China, through boycott, which will require the government to, at least, require labeling so consumers can know when what they’re buying is Made in China.

Test your government I.Q.

Which president is out of place?  Doesn’t belong?

Click on your choice for the answer.

In the American Idol broadcast, following the April 2007 “Idol Gives Back” special, a taped speech by Bush was aired, in which he thanked American Idol, celebrities, and donors for the monies raised, which will go to help families and children in the impoverished and Katrina-ravaged sections of the country and in Africa, where Bush has essentially turned his back on hundreds of thousands of Darfur victims.  This taped speech was an unconscionable, deplorable travesty by Bush, a blatant, beyond-contemptible attempt to gain political capital by associating himself with the generous and truly helpful cause of others, toward which his performance as president has been nothing but contrary.  Bush’s policies, actions, and inactions have done nothing but contribute to the grief, anguish, and harm done to Katrina victims, increasing, universally, the grade upon which the poor must climb to survive, while simultaneously, with his support, the extremely wealthy have been enriched at the expense of those the Idol program was most targeted to help.

A P.R. image setup by Bush, stealing political capital with a painting of Teddy Roosevelt, hung prominently behind him for a ceremony.

In yet another example of a shameless theft of political capital, during an appearance in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Bush sits, with expressive self-delusion, next to a White-House-designed backdrop picturing Allied war victors President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.  To the spoiled go the victors.

The producers of Idol erred, though without malice, acting contrary to the intent and heart behind their welcome and needed effort, when they acceded to air this disingenuous Bush propaganda, allowing Bush to associate himself with their generosity, their conscience, and the success made possible only by their efforts and the public’s contributions, many for which, undoubtedly, the giving hurt; though, the airing may have been imposed upon Idol’s producers by the ultra-conservative, news-trash, FOX network, which was the gerbil cage of spin master Tony Snow, before he took up the collar and leash of the Bush propaganda treadmill.  In either case, a short docu-clip of the results of the Bush administration’s appointments of incompetent cronies to important posts, which have time and again proven to be detrimental to the nation, and his lack of concern with the onset of Katrina, only displaying choreographed concern based in the aftermath of political consequences, would have been an appropriate offset, but contrary to the theme of the show, and so the Bush request to air the tape should have simply been denied.

Tweedledum and Tweedledee
“I have complete confidence in...”
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Homeland Secretary Michael Chertoff.

Fault of Bush confidence realized:  Tweedledum resigns—leaves Justice Department in disarray.

Bush’s expressed confidence in Chertoff, long-time friend, Gonzales, and most recently, in his ethics-tainted World-Bank-president appointee Paul Wolfowitz, is as worthy a recommendation as his incessantly repeated confidence in the outcome of the war he began in Iraq—worthless, except to incriminate.  All three appointees have proven equal to Bush’s sewer-pipe level of standards and expectations.

Though Gonzales is gone, Chertoff, like a chronic illness, still remains, and his Homeland Security Department most recently was skewered by the September 2007 General Accounting Office (GAO) report that found his department failing miserably in reaching any kind of acceptable readiness for response to attacks or disaster.  His department spokesmen responded to the report’s harsh critique with excuses, criticizing the GAO’s methodology, which only reveals the truth of the report’s findings, and the danger America faces with this incompetent at the helm of the nation’s primary domestic-defense/disaster-response apparatus, as the residents and former residents of New Orleans know only too well through bitter experience.  Thank you, again, Mr. Bush, for your confident bestowing of Tweedledee upon us all.  Now, why don’t you remove him before his non-performance goes beyond scathing reports to getting more people displaced, injured, and killed?

Bush continued to call his failed attorney general “talented,” after Gonzales announced his September 17, 2007 resignation, which, according to Bush spokesmen, was done on his own initiative.  It has turned out that his term was accented by his usurping his authority and, based on his Senate testimony, he was too dim witted to realize it.  Based on former Deputy Attorney General Corney’s testimony, the 2nd-generation, Mexican immigrant, Gonzales, also lied when he told Congress there was no Justice Department conflict over the NSA’s warrantless wiretaps, while Chertoff, who is, incredibly, rumored to be in consideration to replace Gonzales, never exercised his authority, contributed little more than criminal negligence, greatly increasing the loss and suffering in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.  Chertoff’s continued bumbling has only resulted in ineffectual solutions at monumentally wasteful prices, evidenced in part by warehouses of toiletries, acres of trailers, and truckloads of ice that would have been no better used if shipped to the global-warming ice melt in Greenland.  But that’s okay by Bush, because much of the money is going to line the pockets of the Bush-Cheney special-interest crowd anyway.

In mid-June, the Senate said things are not okay, recording a 53-majority, no-confidence vote against Gonzales, to which, Bush responded by saying, “They can take their votes, but it’s not going to determine who serves in my government.”  This statement adds to the evidence of Bush’s imperial presumption, and is the basis for his arrogant defiance of law, public outcry, and the concept of united, co-responsive-and-responsible government.  Bush will leave office in disgrace (as will Gonzales), with only a broken nation, a tattered legacy, and his delusion of greatness, never having learned that he and his cabinet were trusted to administer government belonging not to him, but to the people, both of which, the people and their government, have become victims of his multi-pronged betrayal.  Marking Bush’s day of departure as a national holiday would not be at all too extreme a measure to mark the lifting of his weight from the head and conscience of the nation, and to serve as a future reminder and warning.  As much as America remembers the likes of Washington, Jefferson, and Madison for what they contributed, Bush should be equally remembered for what he destroyed and for the danger he and his kind represent.

Does history repeat in Nixon-tied Bush administration... again?

President Clinton was hauled before an impeachment hearing because he lied about a personal transgression of adultery.  How is it that Congress allows the Bush administration to escape like accountability for its crimes of real and dangerous substance?

Congressional testimony by former deputy attorney general, James Corney, directly implicates Bush with Justice Department manipulation in order to break the law by continuing the illegal National Security Agency (NSA) domestic wiretapping program, proving that the Bush administration is equally comfortable with blackmail and disgraced justice.  Corney, as acting attorney general during Attorney General John Ashcroft’s hospitalization, refused to sign-off on Bush’s presidential order reauthorizing the program; yet, despite that Bush’s Justice Department objected to the NSA program as illegal, and despite the threatened resignations of, then, Attorney General Ashcroft, FBI Director Robert Mueller III, along with other Justice officials, Corney testified that Bush ordered the NSA program to continue, nonetheless, without approval.  This was an undeniably impeachable offense.

But even the crime of this action is palled by the classless attempt of the Bush administration to squeeze a signature for the program from the incapacitated Ashcroft, who was extremely ill when Alberto Gonzales, then White House counsel, and Bush’s former chief of staff, Andrew Card, swooped like vultures into his hospital room, against the express wishes of Ashcroft’s wife, and tried to arm-twist the weak and disorientated Ashcroft into signing an approval for the illegal program’s continuation, authorization which was due to expire the next day.  Corney, who, because of Ashcroft’s hospitalization, was acting attorney general and, in that capacity, had already refused to sign-off on the extension, found Ashcroft barely conscious when he arrived just ahead of the two to inform Ashcroft of their intent, and despite what was described as Ashcroft’s weakened state, when the two arrived, he unequivocally refused to sign the extension.  This two-bit lackey, Gonzales, is now Attorney General of the United States, refusing to resign in the face of his incompetence, admitted in congressional testimony over his dismissal of federal prosecutors, and lies, in 2006 testimony, that he had no knowledge of Justice Department conflict over the warrantless wiretaps.  If Congress can ratify an appointment, then they can certainly decertify one, and that is what should be done to rid the halls of justice of this low-life mercenary.

In the case of the later firings of prosecutors by Gonzales, after his appointment to Corney’s acting post, e-mailS, believed relevant to the firings by the Bush administration, are still missing, and a strong probability of further obstructionist tampering with the justice system is posed in this aspect of Bush’s interactions with the department, not merely the exercising of an executive right to populate its agencies, but a criminal possibility of a disgrace against justice, compounded by the record of the Bush administration, which reflects six years of skewered motives and illegalities, the cases of question brushed aside as oversight and mistakes, just as the most recent transgressions of the FBI and Gonzales have been minimized.

Monica Goodling

Political abuse confirmed, AG Gonzales’s statements
rebuked by former White House liaison’s testimony.

The House Judiciary Committee testimony of Monica Goodling, the former Justice Department liaison to the White House, concerning the firings of U.S. attorneys by Attorney General Roberto Gonzales, failed to reveal any smoking gun with respect to a decision based upon obstruction of justice, which follows her statement that, as a young, inexperienced, yet seemingly capable junior-staff member, she was not privy to many of the discussions and decisions that were made, and which are likely to be a subject of the missing e-mails and within the purview of the White House chief of staff, Carl Rove, who has yet to appear to testify.  But a warm gun may have been touched upon, when Goodling testified that, in a White House meeting at which she and other Justice and White House department staff were present, Rove did say words to the effect that a reason for the firings would have to be derived.  This implies that there was no reason of basis, in fact or performance, that would be representative of anything like an inadequate performance report or actionable misdeed.

Ms. Goodling also pointed to Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty for making misleading statements to Congress, which he later denied in a statement, and she directly contradicted Gonzales’s congressional testimony, that he never saw a list of U.S. attorneys to be fired, and that he did not receive briefings or discuss the firings of those on the list prior to the dismissals, which set off a small storm of diverting and delaying tactics by Republican Dan Lungren (CA), in an attempt to block the line of questioning being posed by Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL), which was denied, denial objected to by Lungren, with a motion next made to table the objection, which passed, allowing the questioning to be resumed.  Lungren then continued on to be repeatedly aggressive in disrupting the questioning while committee chairman, Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) was absent.

Ms. Goodling, who testified under the compulsion of immunity, apologized, in her opening statement, for “asking improper political questions and making inappropriate political considerations,” in the process of carrying out her responsibilities of interviewing prospective political appointees within the Justice Department, in her capacity as a Republican-staff employee working for Attorney General Gonzales.  The subsequent testimony did definitively reveal and confirm a troubling political priority over justice by the Bush administration, and the tack of Republicans on the committee was to stress that any president has the right to employ politics as the basis for a decision to hire or fire U.S. attorneys or any other appointees, a half-true argument that was beside the point of the committee’s inquiries.  The questions and statements of those Republicans seeking to sweep the hearings under the rug, as “an attempt to criminalize politics,” revealed a flaw in their focus and their concept of public service, when they repeatedly stressed the view that the U.S. attorneys and other appointees serve “at the pleasure of the president.”  While this is true, in terms of law and custom, it is not the principal truth, which is what has been swept under the rug, and which is a concern of those who wish to see Alberto Gonzales removed from office:  all who serve in government, whether career employees, or especially, political appointees, serve the Constitution and the American people, both of which are masters of greater priority and allegiance than political or personal loyalty to the president, loyalty which has been misplaced by those within the Bush administration, and, to the point of the Judiciary Committee’s business, particularly, factors into whether Alberto Gonzales, as attorney general, upheld the law, not White House policies.

Another gem was plucked from the Bush crown of imperial authority to bedazzle, making evident the same perverse emphasis of the Bush administration on loyalty and service to the president over that to Constitution and country, as was on display in the congressional testimony of the former Justice Department-White House liaison, when, the following weekend, Vice President Cheney, in an arrant attempt at front-and-center, psychological manipulation, delivered a sermon of misplaced devotion, within his address to the graduating class at West Point, as he promised the newly minted 2nd Lieutenants, “speaking for the President... you soldier for him, and he will soldier for you.”  The last “soldiering” work the president did for them, just the week before, turns out to be the White House’s threat to veto a 3.5 percent military pay raise and a $40-per-month increase in payments to military widows.  Thank you, Your Excellency and Lord Cheney.

Only since Katrina has there been claimed responsibility and accountability, but never, for this administration, has there been direct consequence for the failed responsibilities and accountabilities, except with the deaths of more than 4,400 soldiers and the result of the 2006 election, which also was a demand for the only other powers capable of confronting the administration to do so:  Congress and the courts must extract their measure of just consequences from this disaffected executive branch.  The Founders provided a sure path to right the most grave of mistakes that could confront to harm the people and their government, and they refer to it more than a dozen times in their Charter for America, emphasizing that impeachment is both a foreseen and necessary tool of constitutional protection.

The administration’s use of blackmail, by threatening to withdraw offers of informal interviews with high administration officials if congressional subpoenas are issued, proves, without doubt, that the interests of the administration remain turned inward and do not lie with the integrity of the justice system or the welfare of the American government or its people.  This latest, inexcusable, strong-arm tactic is not surprising, coming from this administration, but it is unacceptable, and Congress must aggressively prosecute its voter mandate and its constitutional-oversight and prosecutorial responsibilities to end the abuses of a rebellious, authoritarian executive and insure the balance of justice and power within the people’s government, without fear that a constitutional confrontation may result, because that confrontation is already engaged, and the most steadfast, binding resolution possible is required to secure the future of the free, responsive, and balanced government the Founders created.  Impeachment is not a dirty word; it can be a saving grace.

Bush, now defiant, stands alone.

While, in the semi-paralyzed, long-winded Senate, a simple majority, opposed to Bush’s war policy, was not sufficient to overcome a 60-vote Republican barrier to beginning debate on a resolution on Iraq, a timeline-linked, war-spending bill has since passed both chambers and has been vetoed by Bush.  But the record remains, that, in two days of House debate, a majority of the Republican side’s members opposed the Democratic resolution against the proven-deadly Bush escalation of the war in Iraq, using the unfounded and, in some cases, outrageous arguments below, mirrored in the Senate’s debate on the debate, all of which are debunked, with objective support, within this site:

The resolution does nothing to make any changes, does not go far enough.
It is unconstitutional to insert the will of the Congress onto the battlefield.
It encourages the jihadists (al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorists).
It cuts troop morale.
It is a disservice to the troops, cutting off their support.
It encourages Iranian nuclear development.
It will make a safe haven for al Qaeda in Iraq.
It will bring violence to U.S. streets.
The global war on terror hinges on victory in Iraq.
The Petraeus conundrum (confirm the general, block his plan).
It succumbs to the enemy’s battle plan to go after America’s will.
It surrenders to the applause meter—is government by poll.

All of these objections, many baseless fear mongering, were also put forth by the administration that deceived America into and throughout the war.  Sen. Russ Feingold, D-WI, answered many of these when he addressed the Senate on allowing a debate on Iraq.  He noted the responsibility of Congress to act on the will of the people, and he chastised those Republicans who try to defend Bush’s war and oppose the resolution with arguments that it cuts troop morale, fails to support the troops, or that it encourages the enemy, by reminding that it was the people who voted the Republican majority out of office, and that it was the people who voted against Bush’s war, and that to make such charges against members of Congress who seek to exercise their constitutional war authority and also act according to the will of the people, is, in fact, making those accusations against the American people.

The only argument of basis is the first, that the resolution does not go far enough.  It is true, because the verdict is already in on Bush’s war:  it is not supported by a broad, cross-sectional majority of the people, their representatives, and their military and civil professionals in government.  The resolution, therefore, should be binding to not only halt any escalation, but also to force a change of policy to bring the Iraq involvement to an end, because every day of delay is another needless, unjustifiable death and maiming of the troops Bush has sent there.  But the resolution does make changes.  It puts a face to a vote on the issue for constituents to consider in the next election, and it sends a strong message to Bush that he will either work with Congress to change the Iraq war direction in a unified government, or it will be changed despite him.

Rep. Peter King, R-NY, equated the attempt by the new Congress to deal with the scope of the war, to define an acceptable policy as the Constitution requires, as an attempt to micro-manage the battlefield level of operations, labeling it unconstitutional.  He further stated that the resolution is a wrongful bending to the superficial indicators of polls and applause meters, hardly a fitting definition for a sweeping election result he still chooses to ignore.

Steve King, R-IA, provided Islamic pamphlets that describe the process of Vietnam and other conflicts as the way to win a war against a stronger foe, then he asserted that the U.S. is surrendering to this strategy of defeating America’s will.  He says this without regard to the stark difference between Iraq and Vietnam that separates these conflicts from the likes of the Great Wars.  He suggests that it is wrong to oppose any war where troops are already committed, no matter that it is not justifiable to continue, was not justified to enter.  He suggests that this defeated resolve will follow to Afghanistan, and beyond.  Iraq is a war of context, as is any, and the likes of Rep. King’s objection just throws all context out the window for the sake of indefensible argument.

On the Senate side, debating whether to debate, Joe Lieberman, I-CT, said the major objective in Iraq is to provide basic security for the Iraqi people.  That comes at the cost of U.S. lives, the troops there, and victims at home who also suffer because of Iraq’s inordinate, wasteful costs.  Lieberman should try preaching his misplaced Iraq priorities to the deserted population of New Orleans, still losing its heart in the wake of Katrina and the post-storm hammering of the Bush administration’s incompetence and reticent apathy.  Or preach to any of the thousands upon thousands the State Department reports enter into the underground, underage, sex and slave trades that feed on drugs and spawn more crime to flourish here, in American cities, all of which lack the funding and organization to begin to fight the blight that insecure borders and absent enforcement invite.  The Liebermans of government should worry more about the victims and citizens suffering in the darkening underbelly of their decaying America.

Along with the courageous, defiant voices of a minority of 17 House Republicans, like North Carolina’s Walter Jones, the Democratic House passed the resolution, 246 to 182, calling it a first step to imposing upon the administration a change in Iraq policy, which was concurrently defined by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a six-part plan which answers the Republican claim that no alternative to the Bush plan is forthcoming.  The six parts are:

Change of the mission out of combat to training.
Troop redeployment to meet the needs of the war against Islamic radicalism.
Diplomatic initiatives to involve neighboring nations.
Reconstruction overhaul, to clean up and involve allies.
Increase internal political pressure, starting with promised-but-ignored amendments to the Iraqi constitution.
Refocus on the War against Islamic terror.

With the Easter season passage by both the Hopuse and Senate of an Iraq war funding bill with withdrawal deadlines attached, Bush now is standing entirely alone, against the majority opinion of the generals and their troops, against the conclusions of his own bi-partisan panel, against the desires of the Iraqi people, against the withdrawing British and others of his tricked coalition, against the majority members of the U.S. Senate, the House of Representatives, and against the vote of the people.  Only a month after the announced surge, three top-administration picks (ret. Marine General John J. "Jack" Sheehan, a former top NATO commander; ret. Army Gen. Jack Keane, former Army vice chief of staff; and retired Air Force Gen. Joseph W. Ralston, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a former special envoy to Sec. Rice) refused the appointment to a new White House post to manage the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a posting more powerful than the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs because of its proposed power to direct civilian agencies in coordination with the military effort.  And, over the Easter holiday, the largest rally of Iraqis yet came together to protest the occupation, demanding that the U.S. withdraw.  Bush has a choice, and he has a congressional plan he can choose to cooperatively adopt.  But his record (and Cheney’s influence/direction, which Gen. Sheehan cited as one reason when asked about his turning down of the White House appointment) is such that the only assumption that can be made is that he will continue to defiantly try and go his own way, and bit by bit, he will be collared until his ambitions are restrained and troop exposures to the risks of sectarian civil strife reduced, and during this process, the only assurance is that the toll in deaths and resources his administration has imposed will unnecessarily continue to rise.

Instead of Iraq:

  • Stepped up military offensive against terrorist strongholds and supporting regimes.
  • Secure borders to include transportation and shipping security.
  • Immigration enforcement/deportations of illegals.
  • Expanded domestic anti-terror law enforcement/domestic and int’l intelligence.
  • Funding to plug anti-terror drains on local crime prevention programs.
  • Improved, expanded Veterans Administration services.
  • Improved pandemic disease monitoring and response preparation.
  • Pandemic and bio-WMD vaccine stocking.
  • Relieve and rebuild New Orleans.
  • Restore war-cut medical research funds for Cancer and DNA-related and stem-cell therapies.
  • Progressive R&D to deploy a viable asteroid/comet defense.
  • Expand natural disaster preparedness and response plans, resources, and funding.
  • R&D fuel-efficiency and emmission modifications/subsidies for existing auto engines.
  • Education funding to get rid of mobile structures, increase teaching resources.
  • Increase health-service access for low-income and homeless citizens.
  • Track health and welfare services to illegal immigrants and bill their home countries.

A portion of the devastation that struck Greensboro, Kansas.
Global warming is likely to increase severe-weather damage.
Wasted Iraq resources would improve disaster preparations.

When the most powerful tornado to strike the U.S. in eight years swept over the town of Greensburg, Kansas, in May 2007, with a two-mile-wide funnel, literally wiping it out, the governor, and public officials from other states and municipalities, noted that, because of the Iraqi occupation’s drain of equipment and manpower, their national guards were unable to respond adequately to the disaster, and that recovery would also be severely hampered.  This can be corrected, and all of the needs listed above, and more, can be accomplished if resources being squandered in Iraq are redirected back to legitimate goals.

Washington stands above the Founders and delegates at the ratification of the Constitution.

The Iraq struggle:  American government by and for one person or by the people’s will?

Iraq is now a focus for reclaiming silently ceded war power—for demanding that governmental authorization for war be not through the dictate and belief of one person, but to be the determination of the will of the people, through congressional authorization and oversight, as prescribed by the Constitution.  But, congressional oversight without direction and management is not oversight; it is merely fruitless objection.  Within the Constitution, ALL authority for determining where, when, how long, and to what degree war will be waged rests only with the Congress, with the president only empowered to direct the effort Congress authorizes.  The goals, scope, authority, and determined purpose for war lies NOT with the president, as Cheney claimed, when he lied in a speech by basing his fabrication of authority on “the wisdom of the Founders.”  Their wisdom was actually to protect against any one man having such power, and Cheney’s statement is another lie in plain sight, since the words are written on parchment that all can see, and supported by numerous documents related to the Constitution’s writing and ratification.

So, why the bald-faced lie?  Because Cheney is an authoritarian, who, as a member of the criminal Nixon administration, saw the power of the president eroded as a result of the crimes committed, and his primary objective in the last six years has been to regain and exert as much presidential authority and power as possible, and nothing is more important to him than preventing Congress from reclaiming its decades-long ignored, silently ceded war-power authority in the coming showdown.  And, as with any other enterprise of this administration, Cheney will say anything to achieve his goals, just as will Bush, evidenced by his “victory” 4th-anniversary speech, mixing true with false.  He said withdrawal will increase the violence in Iraq, and while that is true, on a temporary basis, as the Shea majority takes control, it is not a factor for American security and not justifiable for military presence, past or future troop casualties.  He also said that terrorists will take over Iraq if troops leave, which is a contrivance, a sound bite, no more true than was the case under Suni Saddam, used in this speech just as anything handy has been rotated out of the bin of false justifications and excuses about Iraq, about Katrina, about every failed responsibility of this administration that has been called to account.  It is doubtful that Cheney believes his lies, though Bush might, but they both, no doubt, believe that if the lies are repeated often enough, most voters will.  On the basis of that proverb, the truth also bears repeating:

Vice President Cheney — frustrated dictator.

Mr. Cheney, the constitutional power to determine the scope and objectives for the use of force of arms by American troops rests only with the Congress.  The president’s constitutional power is limited to directing or managing the use of force within the scope authorized by Congress toward achieving the objectives Congress specifies.  The responsibility of congressional oversight is to monitor, examine, and manage the president’s direction of troops within the authority granted, and, when finding that the scope or direction of troops has gone astray, to redirect, or withdraw the president’s authority.  Such is the necessary management arm of oversight, and such is the responsibility of Congress with respect to its authority over war-making powers, which has been wrongfully ceded over the decades to the executive.  The Iraq situation, as well as previous executive actions/adventures have proved such ceding is a grave and costly mistake that must be corrected.  Senator Bernie Sanders, I-VT, said that Bush believes “he can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants,” and he, among others in the Senate and House, are so concerned that Bush is preparing the same path into war with Iran that he laid for Iraq, that Sanders introduced a resolution prohibiting the president from initiating military action against Iran without specific authority from Congress.  The basis for Sanders’ concerns were touched upon earlier, when Sen. Webb addressed the Senate, noting Bush’s previous use of another signing statement to claim authority (usurp congressional constitutional authority) for military action, contrary to that provided in the Constitution.  Unfortunately, Webb made no effort to denounce any validity of the signing statement upon the president’s constitutional limits and obligations, a necessary step with the likes of Joe Lieberman saying he opposes reasserting congressional power over the defiant president.

Specifically, the Constitution, within several of its articles and sections (see below), and its principal architect, James Madison, reserves all aspects of use of force to the Congress, with the sole exception of responding to defend against any attack upon America, such INITIAL defensive-response power delegated to the executive.  In America, under its Constitution, unlike with kings and dictators, no one person may assume to have the power to determine the scope or policy of war.  That is rightfully, and with careful consideration based in experience, reserved to the collective judgement of Congress, and it would be irresponsible to assume that the administration of powers granted to Congress under the Constitution are not subject to oversight and change as changing situations may dictate.  Such is not micro-management by a multitude of any authorized force administration by the executive, and there is no need for Congress to withdraw funding in order to redirect the policy or scope of war in Iraq or anywhere else on Earth.  And, the Constitution does not endow the executive with any additional rights once any authority for use of force is granted by Congress.  The power to shape policy and limits is within and of that body, solely.  It is for the president to apply the resources necessary, within the law, to achieve the goals authorized by Congress, and that’s it!  Any action or law contrary to that is inherently unconstitutional, because the only recourse to shifting war-making power from the Congress to the executive is by the difficult process of amendment to the Constitution, and no such amendment has been accomplished.

Congress may re-define its authorization to the president at any time.  Even if it chooses to withdraw funding, it is false-premise that such withdrawal would jeopardize troop safety.  The president and military commanders would then be responsible to safely withdraw them.  But, even without any funding withdrawal, Congress may prevent added deployments, direct the president to bring troops home, ending all presence in Iraq, or more sensibly, authorize and direct the president to redeploy troops out of Iraq’s cities to bases along the Iranian and Syrian border, where they will resume a military role, rather than the illegitimate policing role they have been forced into within Iraqi cities.  In short, when it comes to war, the president is the servant of Congress, not the other way around.  Micro-management would occur if Congress were to direct the president as to which forces to use, how to deploy or transport or resupply them, how to coordinate actions between the services, if it consulted with generals for the purpose of drawing up battle plans to be executed, or if it directed the president to appoint commanders to posts.  None of these kinds of things, which fall within the authority of the president as Commander and Chief, in his operations within the scope of Congress’s authorization, and which would create an impossible situation if Congress tried to assert itself in these areas, have anything to do with the aims, scope, or authority to employ or not employ force against other nations or territories, which is where the Constitution makes Congress the sole master.

With congressional resolutions under way, Secretary of State Rice first tried to justify administration opposition and then-pending defiance by claiming America owes a stable democracy to the Iraqis, which is, of course, completely unfounded, and in any case, not a constitutional basis for any executive initiative of any kind to deploy troops or use force.  A congressional resolution requiring only border-area presence, action against al Qaeda, and Iraqi training programs will preserve American interests while ending the Bush special-interest initiative that has already claimed more than 4,400 lives.  Though, with al Qaeda, the need for presence to counter them should be tempered by remembering that, despite claims of responsibility for violence, like the attack against lawmakers in Baghdad’s green zone, al Qaeda would claim responsibility in any case, because they want America to be tied down in Iraq and will provide any justification they can to see it continue.  Regardless, such a resolution will not only make the troops unapproachable by anything other than conventional forces, in which situation they will have the decided advantage, it will insure the integrity of Iraq’s borders, which is an American responsibility, by virtue of the Bush invasion and its interests, where such border-area deployments will also serve the important objectives of checking provincial al Qaeda involvement, reinforcing the dangers Iraq’s neighbors face if they choose to interfere with what would then truly be Iraq’s internal affairs, and in the case of Iran, the danger it will confront if it chooses to continue to ignore UN mandates and develop nuclear arms.  In that regard, such threatening border presence may be required for any chance to avoid war there.

Republicans who claim that the non-binding resolutions are defeatist and a waste of time are correct.  Such amendments are also not what the new majority was elected to accomplish.   It is long past time for Congress to accept its constitutional authority and redirect the military effort in Iraq away from Bush’s special-interest objectives and redeploy them according to the will of the people and the true interests of the United States.  Congress must direct the president to safely redeploy the troops in Iraq according to a policy of internal non-involvement and border security.  No funding cut-off is necessary.  If the president refuses, it will be on constitutional grounds, and the Congress must then bring the case to the Supreme Court in order to have its constitutional authority reasserted, and the will of the Founders, and the people, that no one person alone should ever hold such power.  Should the ruling of the Court be ignored, then swift and sure impeachment must follow, of both parties in the executive, in order that government be returned to the people.

James Madison

“The executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question,
whether there is or is not cause for declaring war.”
— James Madison

The non-binding resolution, introduced by Senator Biden, failed to assert the constitutional prerogative and responsibility of Congress, not the president, to initiate non-defensive-response military action.  To senators and congressmen deciding whether or not they would vote to support the resolution, and particularly, if the resolution is the strongest action they should invoke, the quote, above, from the Constitution’s chief architect, would be Madison’s instruction that it was not the role of Congress to sign off on Bush’s initiative in Iraq.  It is for the executive to seek and obtain the initiative for war from the Congress!  The inverse of Madison’s stated intent also leaves it to the judgment of Congress, not the president, to decide whether there is or is not cause for terminating a war, as is written in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution.  The authority to carry out war is not like a serve on the tennis court, with Congress placing the ball in the executive’s court as Rebublican conservatives would have you believe.  It is more like a handoff or pass in football, where the runner or receiver is trusted to carry the ball and advance the team, according to the play called, within the rules of the game, the ball still belonging to the team, which may choose to remove an errant runner or receiver from the game, or change the strategy and plays called as the situation demands.  The authority to determine the objectives and scope of war is never handed to the executive, only the power to direct the military within the authorized scope to achieve the objectives set by Congress is granted.  The course to war in Iraq and its unchecked run over the last four-plus years is a travesty of power as twisted as Madison would be after rolling over in his grave from witnessing it.

Countering the stance of those who argue the meaning of the Constitution’s War Powers clause from the perspective of presidential power, that declaring war is different from the undeclared use of force, the Supreme Court expressly ruled, in 1862, that the Constitution’s exclusion of executive power to “declare” war also extends to “initiate” without declaration.  The presidentialists’ stance that the role of Congress to declare does not exclude undeclared presidential force initiatives because the congressional role to declare was intended simply to be a trigger mechanism for other domestic and international war-related laws is equally invalid.  The legal basis against this view and against the president’s sole authority without congressional declaration is also supported by the Founders, especially Madison’s expressed caution against vesting too much power in one person, and there is no more affecting power than the direction of force of arms, which is assumed to follow a declaration, and which the president is then authorized, by the larger body of the minds and hearts of the elected representatives of Congress, to conduct.  Who can contrive or construe that the Founders, so fearful of the power of force they saw so ruthlessly directed against them by England’s King, would ever conceive to construct a government where that power, for domestic or international purpose, would ever again be vested within one man to threaten?  No, their words and their Constitution bars that, even in the case of an authorized use of force by the president to counter an attack (defend), where, the attack suppressed, any extended, continued use of such force to pursue the enemy would only be constitutional when authorized by Congress.  The further specificity with which the Constitution withholds related war powers from the president (Marque and Reprisal, and the Captures Clauses of Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11), vesting them, as well, only in Congress, reinforces the intent of the Founders that all powers of armed conflict, save initiating immediate defense responses, be so specifically and solely within the power of Congress and not the president.  In Iraq, there never was any element of the 911 attack forces, present or directing, against which any defensive-initiative authority could have constitutionally applied.  And look, there, at the death and mayhem, and at home, the resultant damage, grief, and sorrow one man’s abuse of such power has wrought, as the Founders knew it could!

The Biden resolution fails to address the limited circumstances and conditions under which the constitutional authority for military action in Iraq was transferred, and it fails to take the president to task for stepping beyond that authority when the circumstances put forth to secure it were found to be false and, in the case of the terms of the October 2002 Joint Resolution of Congress, which authorized the president to “enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq,” were also non-existent, because the U.N. Security Council never did authorize the use of force.  In effect, while expressing a departure of accord with the administration’s Iraq-war management, goals, and expansion of forces, the resolution, by failing to assert the lack of authority for military operations, by terms and circumstance, once proposed threats to national security were found not to be present, validates the president’s wayward actions with respect to the use of military force beyond the issue of WMD threats to American security which authorized his invasion.  Beyond the spectrum of harm caused by the war to America expressed in the resolution, the most egregious circumstance of the president’s war in Iraq, not addressed by it, is that Bush’s actions in Iraq redefine the constitutional basis for initiating and carrying out military operations, removing that authority from the collective consent of the people’s representatives, intended by the Founders, to that of one person.  The resolution, having no force of action and imposing no constitutional limit or claim of transgressed rights, thereby silently reinforces the effective ceding of that congressional power to the executive.  The consequences of allowing the power to initiate and define the scope of war to be vested within the singular “belief” of one executive, rather than the collective wisdom, experience, and conscience of the Congress, has already been made clear by the tragic losses in Iraq, which will continue to affect the nation for decades to come.

House Minority Leader John Boehner’s announced bipartisan panel proposal, offered as an alternative to Senator Biden’s resolution and as a tool of presidential oversight in Iraq, like the Democratic proposal, has little meaning without a mandate that represents the will of the people as expressed by the new configuration of Congress.  Open-ended benchmarks combined with binding statements for the panel, like, “failure is not an option,” voiced by Boehner, represent nothing more than a mouthing of Bush’s previous statements with regard to his Iraqi policy.  Boehner and other Republicans also fail by too willingly conferring to Bush the right to do whatever he wishes as Commander in Chief, specifying that particular actions cannot be dictated by 535 members of the House and Senate, that responses cannot be slowed by such requirements in the modern era.  No such attempt has been proposed.  And to the contrary, since the Constitution places no need to obtain authorization from Congress when responding to the attack of an enemy, the fast paced flow of events and facts demand that more time be given to the consideration of the use of force in those conditions where there is no overt attack to which a response must be initiated.  The failures in Iraq, Vietnam, and other presidentially initiated and carried-out military adventures reinforce this, and also reinforced is the wisdom of the Founding Fathers which has been ignored, to ill consequence, over the last half century, and now is the time to set the balance of power on the Constitution’s intent for war back to its intended point on the fulcrum.

The powers accorded to the president by the Constitution are not policy-setting powers of war, as Bush has taken them, changing the purpose from WMD, through freedom, to a democracy; they are not powers of scope and scale of conflict, allowing him to draw without end or accountability upon troops and resources; and they are not powers to define the goals of any conflict beyond that for which authorization was granted, which was to remove the threat of WMD.  The president’s powers are restricted to directing America’s military assets within the scope of operations that are determined and authorized by Congress, and for which Congress may, at its discretion, and at any time, alter or withdraw.  If the president wishes to operate with use of force beyond that authority, it is up to him to make his case to Congress to grant him further latitude and renewed authority.  The Constitution never specifies or implies that it be within the purview of any one man to commit the nation and its soldiers to war or risk of conflict by such placement of troops by any circumstance, other than as authorized by Congress.  That right is reserved solely to the collective judgement of the elected representatives of Congress, and the sooner that Congress responds to America’s demands, issued by proxy of ballots in the last election, that the scope of war be returned to its constitutional limits, the better will be the outlook for America’s future, long term and immediate.  The Constitution does not specify that the Congress must act as a full body in administering its war powers, and so it would be appropriate for constituted segments of Congress to take on designated responsibilities during any conflict for which it has authorized the president to engage—such formed directives would still represent the collective voice of a majority of legislators and not the will or “belief” of a single man.

Bush’s war in Iraq is unconstitutional.  The Constitution’s Articles cannot be altered or sidestepped with legislation or by presidential directives.  They can only be changed or removed by the purposefully difficult process of amendment.  The War Powers Act is unconstitutional, and the cost of allowing presidential discretion with war powers beyond constitutional limits has cost Americans dearly, most recently, the cost of more than 4,400 lives and fast increasing; it has set back American foreign policy, has created more hatred and more opportunity for enemies who are not confronted in Bush’s war to gather the forces to be launched against America that will cause irrevokable harm to American society and the American way of life.  It is time for Congress to put Bush on actionable notice that he has overstepped the authority he was conditionally granted.  It is time to end his adventure and its cost in lives and resources sorely needed elsewhere.  The time for political games and adventures must be ended.  The allowances they assume have for too long strayed to quash the tried-and-true guidelines and restraints, which constitute America’s heritage, contained within the Constitution and its associated wealth of documents and written history.  As has already been proven, it is foolhardy to continue to ignore them.

Bush hasn’t the cards to win against Iran’s play.

Iraq, with its late February “neighbors” meeting invitation, is joining with Iran in playing a smart game with the U.S. that, poorly engaged, is likely to hold the upper hand over Bush’s Iraq intentions, because the cards being played by the Iraqis will be acceptable to Europe, Russia, and China, who are included in the invitation, along with Great Britian, the U.S., Iran, and Syria, and the meeting has the trident’s goal of competing directly against Bush’s primary objective in Iraq:  peaceful economic and industrial exploitation, distancing the U.S. from interference in Iraqi domestic policies, and diminishing the lead role seized by Iran with its earlier reconstruction proposal.  Iran’s ambassador to Iraq, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, first played the bank-finance and reconstruction cards this in mid-February, cleverly inviting U.S. and other foreign firms to a seat at the table, and the only trump Bush can arguably use to oppose this Iranian push is to attack the Iranian’s nuclear hole card.  The problem is that the nuclear card is a black Ace that will only be taken by raiding the game, not by bluff or raising the ante on the table’s stakes.  Now, the Bush administration cannot turn down this invitation to the multi-national “neighbors” meeting, even though Iran and Syria will be included, and the crow is clearly heard clogging the throats of Secretary Rice and other State Department diplomats who are attempting to downplay the significance of the meeting and the status of Iran and Syria at the table, while Bush, in the face of increasing congressional opposition and mounting U.S. casualties, stresses that the special-interest goal of a U.S. leaning, democratic Iraq remains paramount, non-negotiable, and unalterable.

Ironically, despite the Iraqi invite to this new meeting venue, the willingness of the Iranians to take the lead, in aiding their Shia brethren’s recovery in the new, corrupt, and violent Iraq Bush delivered unto them, was a rare opportunity in great danger of being missed and, now, it continues into the new venue, where, with guarantees against genocide, it does have promise as a conscionable way out of Iraq, its streets and all its ills, for the U.S., but one that Bush won’t take without removing the lines in the sand on two of his already failed policies:  regional and diplomatic isolation of Iran to force nuclear concessions, and his determination to oppose Congress and the will of the people to create an Iraqi regime friendly to U.S. industrialists.  This opportunity, then, in our brief life, is left for Congress to define, and with respect to the purpose and authorization of use of force, the Constitution demands it only of those erstwhile authoritative members.  Bush’s constitutional role is solely to carry out their determined policy.  To date, Bush’s opposition to the Iranian proposals has been limited to raids, threats, and unsupported allegations that, after years of his lies and deception, are skeptically viewed by Americans and most of the rest of the world... and, no doubt, there is also devious counter-plotting in play, though all the clever moves have so far been made only by Iran and Iraq.

There is no justification to bar any state from doing what good it can do, even as it promulgates its evils.  Any accord entered into, with respect to Iran, Iraq, and the U.S. presence, in no way restricts the U.S. from taking any measures necessary to overcome Iran’s hole cards of nuclear terror and Hezbollah/Hamas involvement.  The truth is that, if Iran engages in a form of peaceful, beneficial growth with its eternal neighbor, it will also open new inroads and opportunities for itself, Iraq, the region, and the U.S., within a framework matched to that within which the trump card of capitalism finally overcame the hand of communism in the Soviet Union.  Although, with Iran, there is not nearly that much time, by so deploying and enjoying these benefits, Iran can only move closer to a possible fold on those dangerous hands it eventually cannot be allowed to win, even at the cost of overturning the table.  Only the illicit motives of the Bush administration in Iraq, the blooded chips already wasted, and a vacillant Congress now block the way to a hopeful closing and new start on a worthwhile gamble.

Presidency in Free Fall
When Bush gets hung-up (like in Iraq) click on him
and drag to do what Congress should do and won’t.

State of the Union - 2007

It was all 17th-century polite, as it tends to be when legislators formally congregate, unless they’re from Thailand.  Bush was accorded several rounds of applause as he entered the chamber and took the podium, but that applause came to a telling, quick end with the first historic strikes of House Speaker Pelosi’s gavel.  The historic sense of her presiding over the occasion was politely acknowledged by Bush, along with polite mentions of missing legislators, recovering from illnesses, and then he began his report, full of “We” must’s, and “Our” jobs, responsibilities, and duties, with none of the “My,” “I” and “I’ve” that are necessary to present an accurate report of the end of a failed sixth year of a failed presidency.

“The rite of custom brings us together at a defining hour...” was the opening of Bush’s address on the nation’s health.  While Bush’s unconstitutional abuse of war power has become a “rite of custom,” it still remains, as is the State of the Union report, a constitutional mandate, one he has caused to be a failing report of enduring, troubled consequence; yet, as a report of vital national status, it was wrongly, purposely devoid of any mention of the more than 4,400 lives lost in his war.  Nonetheless, sporadic rounds of very polite, often segmented standing and applause continued, throughout, as American families continue to lose more of their sons and daughters in Bush’s self-made, accelerating war.

The thrust of concern and persuasion in Bush’s address was his war in Iraq, “a decisive ideological struggle,” he said, so defined with all the old, unjustifiable justifications and none of the truths.  His headline solution was a device of diversion for Congress.  For Bush, “bipartisan” means majority suppressed, and he therefore proposed a bipartisan, congressional advisory panel on Iraq, hoping it will soften the edge on his defiance of the majority and the will of the people as he commits more soldiers to death in what will only be a waiting game the Iraqis will win, to eventually have their own majority government.

Where the real war against the Islamists responsible for 911 is concerned, he said, “We didn’t drive al Qaeda out of their safe haven in Afghanistan only to let them set up a new safe haven in a free Iraq.”  Current events and the names of soldiers on the dead-and-wounded lists will tell that Bush has not driven al Qaeda out of Afghanistan, or anywhere; quite the inverse, he has back-burnered them in favor of his Iraqi interests.  He asked those present to support the troops, in a tone as if they had in some way failed to do so at any time during his unsupported adventure with them, which has necessitated a call for an increase of 92,000 for the Army and Marines, which he so announced.

His passing mention of nuclear proliferation did not include the starkly real and immediate threat for American and European cities, but rather, only contained a word-promise for Iran and a call for diplomacy in answer to North Korea, which, with its nuclear development, unstable, unaccountable leadership, and irresponsible history of WMD proliferation and sales to outlaw regimes (but no less irresponsible than past U.S. sales to Saddam’s regime, for which current and past members of Bush’s regime share responsibility), poses the greatest strategic threat America has ever faced or, beyond Iran, is ever likely to face.

Instead, the “grievous and far reaching consequences” of “failure” in Iraq headed Bush’s geopolitical priorities, again trumping all other priorities, save the passing mention of the nuclear one, all of which pose the promise of greater suffering, more grievous and far-reaching, and more course-altering than Iraq’s worst-case outcome—dire consequences for national as well as global societies:  he had no mention for his and Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff’s failure with Katrina, or the still-desperate state of the nation’s readiness for the meteorological, pandemic, geological, environmental, and cosmic disasters which are all guaranteed to strike this and/or the next generations, and beyond, continuously; no mention of the economic effect of any one of them, alone, that will play to moot any of his goals for short-term deficit cuts, especially in the face of the enormous costs of his war and its attendant corporate/industrial programs.

Of course, there was also no mention of the disastrous, growing divide between the wealthy and the middle class, except in Senator Jim Webb’s well-composed Democratic reply.  It’s a divide Bush helps to orchestrate, a divide which squanders the economic and social power of the middle class through the diversion of inordinate wealth to the robber barons of the 21st century, through the exporting of jobs and plants, through his tilted global-trade agreements, lax green-card white-collar imports, and his internal dilution of the base of workforce potential by allowing the illegal-immigrant invasion to spread throughout the nation, compounding the resource constraints of the states through the expense of increased crime and the spectrum of illegitimate social-service demands, from language to welfare to medical and education.

The problem of entitlements that he addressed only attacked those which the wealthy do not need, yet receive:  Social Security and Medicaid, with no word for the high cost of double-dippers’ subsidies, or the liabilities of largely ignored, extremely costly and widespread waste and fraud, draining every money spigot in the government pipeline.  Or the profiteers, as they speculate on the necessities of life—drugs, oil, bread, health services, tanks and planes—their hands in the pockets of cash-strapped citizens, artificially and unnecessarily raising the costs.  His solutions for heath care fail to address non-citizen based expendatures of resources for the safety net of community clinics and other health-service programs that uninsurable citizens depend upon, all of which would be better served by eliminating the ever-increasing illegal-immigrant demands that so drain them.

The intractability of a lame-duck president, combined with the lack of will of a constitutionally raped Congress, and the almost never-ending effort and focus upon election campaigns that current election law has allowed to go far beyond any boundary of sanity, all guarantee that the next two years will be time spent on little that matters, accomplishing nothing of substance.  The social decay of non-acclimate culturalism and universe-expanding economic poles will continue, and America’s enemies will grow only stronger, more widespread, and ever closer to the point of the critical slide, a term to which scientists refer when describing thermal-fluid models and the fatal triggers of active global warming and climate change.  While Iowa’s Senator Chuck Grassley stood and reveled in Bush’s mention of alternative fuels, in the not-so-distant future, the air will ruin before the oil runs out, and the climate won’t allow corn to grow in his prairies.  All of this will be, at least in part, the legacy of Bush’s failed presidency, and so far, aside from freshman Senator Webb’s historical pointers for economic and military remedies, one thing remarkably clear is that the horde of exploratory and declared candidates for Bush’s office have, individually, put forth no viable solutions for the dark future Bush and they have helped to bring closer to the doorstep, and so, for their ambitions, they must be comfortably at home in the U.S. political ward of this world’s down-spiraling cuckoo’s nest.

The corporate-industrial-globalization theology

What’s so good about it for corporate-industrial America?

  • Everything that’s bad for America’s lower- and middle-class citizens.
  • It uses its unrivaled lobbying power and control of the White House to push through unfair trade agreements.
  • It imports, through excessive visas and unenforced immigration law, low-cost labor to replace workers in America.
  • It exports good jobs to cheap-labor markets south and overseas.
  • It exports plants to cheap-labor markets south and overseas.
  • It imports goods from those foreign plants with which true American companies, paying living wages, cannot compete.
  • It avoids taxes true American companies pay.

What’s so good about it for working Americans?

  • Nothing, except for the short-sighted, who have Wal Mart.
  • It allows unchecked foreign investment to raise select-area home and commercial values above the reach of citizens and small businesses.
  • Everything listed in the first section, above.

What’s so good about it for America?

  • Nothing.
  • It bleeds the middle class into the poor, rewards the wealthy elite, reducing the economy into a widening, bi-polar, economic divide of citizens and wealthy, foreign investors and consumers.
  • It compromises national security, increasing avenues to import dangerous Islamists, weapons, and diseases.
  • It compromises law enforcement, providing expanded opportunities for traffickers in drugs, sex, and slavery.
  • It encourages and facilitates the dilution and ultimate eradication of national identity and heritage.
  • It imports dangerous, unregulated goods from corrupt, oppressive, unfriendly countries.
  • It diminishes revenues for American local governments, reducing services.
  • It encourages and facilitates foreign ownership of American companies.
  • It diminishes America’s global, per-capita, economic standing.
  • It diminishes America’s consumer strength.
  • It diminishes America’s workforce.
  • It diminishes America.

It turned out to be correctly leaked that Bush’s troop surge would be couched in a grand-sounding emphasis on rebuilding (when contractor corruption and accountability are an aid and comfort to the enemy) and tied to a meaningless troop-level-match promise from the Iraqi P.M. Maliki, who is self-interested against Bush’s plan and who has no reliable troops to match, especially when you consider that Bush’s plan aims just to gain control of the capital, with no accounting for the far-larger surrounding country.  This will only invoke a delay and set up Maliki as the fall guy when it goes wrong, as it will, as enough military and administrative people with knowledge and experience have said it is likely to.  The chance for success, except in getting increasing numbers of U.S. troops killed (by mid April, before the surge to control Baghdad is even complete, members of the Iraqi parliament in the fortified green zone were killed, and U.S. troop casualties in Iraq increased 20 percent) is about a great as the truth behind the phrases with which Bush opened and closed his speech:  “The new strategy I outline tonight will... help us succeed in the fight against terror,” and “We go forward with trust that the Author of Liberty will guide us...”  How can there be any success in the war against terror when, thanks to the diversion in Iraq, al Qaeda and its supporting Taliban are growing in strength in their homelands, and with al Qaeda also gaining strength in the Iraqi provinces?  “The Author of Liberty [God] will guide us?”  Bush has long been claiming a communion with God, and the evidence is that God is either busy elsewhere or isn’t listening.  The fact is that the war in Iraq has no moral basis with which to call upon any Divine sanction, except that good men and women are dying carrying out the duties prescribed by the reckless, ill-motivated leader of a God-fearing nation.  Ever since Bush claimed victory on the carrier, his way in Iraq has gone from stagnant to worsening, ever more costly and more deadly.  His real plan is probably that this surge is to be a holding action until his announced increase in the troop levels of the Army and Marines (90,000) is a reality upon which he can then further draw, which, as this sentence is extended in post-script, has proved to be true, under the guise of support.

Jessica Lynch — an unwilling target of Bush propaganda.

Bush never set any consequences for Maliki if he fails to perform, and he never stepped back from the goal of victory for which he has always held fast (stay the course).  He said, “America’s commitment is not open ended.”  The problem:  that constitutes an excessively open-ended ultimatum.  The only spoken consequence of any failure to meet any benchmark or deadline was, he said, that the American people would no longer support the war, which is already the case, and which, it is equally clear, is of no consequence to Bush.  His statement does not mean he will do anything when Maliki or the surge plan fails to bear fruit.  Fearing the fall of the weakly cooperative Musharraf government (which could create possibilities for a smartly prepared U.S. to seize or destroy Pakistan’s vulnerable, therefore threatening nuclear arsenal), just as little is being done to end or prevent the resurgence of al Qaeda and Taliban networks in Pakistan, or to address the growing violence of radical Islamist terror in far-flung, traditionally moderate Muslim states, like Thailand.  Yet Bush opened his speech with his stubborn, repeatedly unfounded statement linking Iraq to the (ignored) global war on terror and safety at home.  He said, “Failure in Iraq would be a disaster for the United States,” echoing from the empty valley of words that bounced from Vietnam-era presidents to American ears.  He said, “Iran would be emboldened to pursue nuclear weapons,” which they already are, and which Bush has made worse with his lack of action against both Iran and North Korea.  Nothing America does or doesn’t do in Iraq, short of staging an Iranian offensive, will affect Iran’s nuclear ambitions.  It might have, in the beginning, at the time when Libya backed down, if after the face of Saddam’s statue hit the concrete, Bush would have directed the troops to the eastern border instead of pursuing the ambitions of his invasion.  But that window of advantage and opportunity has been long lost by Bush’s ineffective occupation.  He said, “Iraq would become a launching ground for attacks against the U.S.,” which is the same thing as saying the war keeps America safe, and just as unfounded.  He said the war is both “noble and necessary.”  Necessary for what and who is the question.  It is cash-register bell clear who are the only ones to have profited from the war.  As to noble, only the rhetoric of Bush’s Iraq-war propaganda is so cloaked.  But, that is a cloak of lies and deception, not of substance.  Look at the theater made of the rescue of Jessica Lynch, wherein she states, in congressional testimony, that she is not a hero (though she is) and that it was all propaganda, part of the “do whatever-say whatever to make the occupation look good” program of the Bush administration.  And then, what of the 22 female deaths reported (as of April 2007) in Iraq since the invasion?  Though still unverified, with specific congressional inquiries to the Army still unanswered, it seems highly unlikely that there could be 22 female soldiers deaths not related to combat in the four-plus years of the Iraqi war and occupation.  Based on risk factors alone, there should have been at least several deaths of females on U.S. aircraft carriers alone, in or out of the war zone, in the same period.  In this report, as in other exposed propaganda, there is, as has always been the case, nothing to support any of the claims Bush made, except that wherever anything went wrong, he is responsible.

But Bush is also to blame, which he did not say.  Will he ever be held accountable, beyond in the history books, if any, shelved in his or his father’s library?  Will Bush and Cheney and the rest of their pack, who turned their backs on California when Enron was sucking the blood of its citizens, ever see the path of justice finally walked by their friends Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling?  Are corrupt, criminal politicians any less deserving of the accountability and punishment these corporate CEOs and others believed was beneath them?  The crimes of the politicians have been far more costly, the broken trust far more deeply and broadly felt... and there is the blood of 4,555 dead soldiers and more collateral dead and maimed than any conscionable person can comprehend, unnecessary and unjustifiable.  Can there ever be a true step toward governance for a better world, derived through motives aimed at public service and away from greed, when punishment is not on the table for transgressors?

Congress is said to be concerned that withholding funding for this increased level of troop involvement would be viewed as not supporting the troops.  That would only be Bush-response propaganda.  Senators Clinton, Edwards, and Obama, leading 2008 Democratic presidential candidates, and Senators Reid and Durbin, along with several Republican officials, have made statements against Bush’s plans, but no one in the new Congress, except Sen. Kennedy, has yet to propose anything substantial to prevent the expansion of the war Bush is implementing.  Republican presidential candidates, Senators McCain and Lindsey Graham support Bush, Graham on the totally illogical basis that a failure in Iraq will benefit Iran.  America is going to have to go to war with Iran, and perhaps Bush’s statements, “We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria,” and “...we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training...” constitute an opening step in that direction which will expand into an air and special-operations war to begin probing and removing Iran’s defensive capabilities.  If not war, America will only be choosing to allow Iran to develop and hold and distribute a nuclear arsenal, which would be suicide for the security of America, the West, and America’s real democratic regional ally, so it only follows that Iran will not benefit by anything that happens in Iraq, except if America continues to weaken itself by remaining involved there.  Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, along with Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, and Republican Congressman Mike Pence are Pavlov-reflexed to salivate the Bush line on Iraq, ignorantly claiming enthusiastic support for all the harm Bush has imposed and will impose, and, their only defense, that the war there has prevented attacks in the U.S., when, in fact, it has not.  Only narrowly limited al Qaeda capability, combined with increased intelligence and law-enforcement initiatives and cooperation are responsible for the lack of post-9/11 attacks.  If the resources wasted in Iraq were aimed at even more expansive military action against al Qaeda sanctuaries, more intelligence and law enforcement refinements and increased scope of operations, to include drug trade, forged identification, and money laundering focused on extremist regions and interests, the likelihood of an attack would be even further reduced.  Republican Sen. John Cornyn, without knowing how the expanded war will end, nonetheless wants U.S. troops to fight and die until the Iraqi government has “a monopoly on the use of force,” and he also illogically fears the already discussed incursions of Iran if America disengages with Iraq.  Republican Sen. John Warner, who, more than any other senator, as the chairman of the Armed Services Committee during the whole of the Iraq war, owes the first priority to the troops, has somehow found Bush to be credible while at the same time contradicting himself in justifying that support.  He said the troops must not be caught up in the more than 1,000 years of traditional, violent Iraqi history, yet they have been, and with his and his Republican colleagues’ help, they are now going to be ever more so engaged and bloodied.

“The advance of freedom is the calling of our times,” Bush said, concluding his speech.  But that noble-sounding advance and calling is only Bush’s code for an expanding corporate-industrial playing field, and the playing field he is determined to go on spending lives to secure depends upon a cooperative democracy.  What Bush says is a call for freedom was begun and authorized only as removal of WMD in the interests of American security.  Now, if Congress remains paralyzed (non-binding resolutions), which is the case if Bush is allowed to expand the war, American security will best be served only by a removal of the Bush administration from the White House, and in 2008, more incumbent senators and representatives from the padded, insulated chairs of their offices.

In late winter, 2007, in a lengthly, lenient P.B.S. interview with Jim Lehrer, Bush said, “2006 was a lousy year for Iraq,” yet in the teeth of his repeated lies, in late, pre-election 2006, and before, he claimed that the fight was being won in Iraq!  How blatantly transparent do the lies and spin, which he calls “educating the American people,” and the fear-mongering false ties to a nuclear Iran, al Qaeda, and attacks in the streets of the U.S. have to be for a congressional tide to join the electorate and sweep away this man and his deadly-false, special-interest war for America in Iraq?  Only when America is disengaged from Iraq will it begin to win the war against terror, Islamic and nuclear, on the real fronts of that war.  Congress should consider what it will say to America if it allows Bush’s attrition of the military in the unjust cause of Iraq to continue further.  The mistake of their failure to prevent Bush’s headlong rush down the wrong path, in the face of their electoral mandate, on the dawning of their new day, will become apparent quickly enough, and with less than two years before the next election, the toll of increased dead will tilt heavily at the polls and remove all standing the Democrats need to oppose Bush on the policy of war they will have twice failed to check.  They will have gone along again, weak political resolve turned to weak-kneed excuses and apologies, as they were heard in the last campaign, which will hold even less cause for understanding on the part of voters who tasked Congress to change the course, not help it continue to add to the nation’s grief and liabilities.  The ball on this is in the Democratic Congress’s court, and if they allow it to sail by, or answer with a weak swing to the net, the high-stakes game they won the privilege to play will be lost, along with the lives of thousands more young Americans.

The rule of law ends when it is not present, undistorted, in the heart and mind of its principal guardian.

Graphic design/FX by Silkscape Arts
A Bush burning with no reverence or sanction.

It is widely reported that Bush, when confronted about the constitutionality of some of his policies, said “Stop throwing the Constitution in my face.  It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”

Spitting upon the mainstay of the American Charters of Freedom is, like flag burning, a right of expression those documents guarantee, no matter the office held.  You can see a search on the phrase, “It’s just a goddamned piece of paper” and draw your own conclusions.  But this is undeniable fact:  Bush’s actions, contrary to law and the will of the people, amount to worse than having said it.  Bush must be legally leashed and caged if not removed from office.  His latest violation of the Constitution’s Bill of Rights,, in the form of another “signing statement,” claiming the authority to conduct warrantless searches of mail, is especially defiant of constitutional protections, particularly in light of the objections which arose after the illegal wiretaps he secretly authorized came to light.

In his opening speech to the Senate, the new majority leader, Senator Harry Reid, said, “The foundation of [the Senate] is the committee system.”  He is wrong.  The Constitution, is the foundation of the Senate, as well as the House and the entire platform of government.  The failure to see that is partly responsible for the drastic tilt of the scale of power that has been destroying the government of the Founding Fathers.  The new House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, along with every other newly elected member of the 110th Congress, in January, 2007, took the oath to “uphold and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”  And despite much talk from the new Congress of working together, between the aisles and with the administration, there can be no “working together” when the work of one party is destructive to the life and foundation of a nation.  Bush has shown himself to be a domestic enemy of the Constitution, and the interaction between Speaker Pelosi’s and Sen. Reid’s Democratic leadership, between the Democratic Congress and the Bush administration, can only be, at best, aggressively contentious.

Bush continues to use fear as a means to reach beyond the authority of his office.  He is the incarnation of the Founding Fathers’ and the Constitution’s chief architect, James Madison’s worst fears.  “Listen” to Madison’s words and think of how they apply to today’s evolution of his government.  It begins with multiple expressions regarding the abuse of power, and then goes on to address the careless relinquishing of power in trying times, an issue hotly alive with the concerns of the Patriot Act, the continuing attempts by Bush to grab power with his legislative sign-offs, the use of fear to gain support for accumulating ever greater and farther-reaching powers, and his attacks against the judiciary, supported by other Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is also Pavlov-reflexed to salivate the Bush line on Iraq, ignorantly claiming enthusiastic support for all the harm Bush has imposed and will impose, and that the war there has prevented attacks in the U.S., when, in fact, it has not.  Only limited al Qaeda capability combined with increased intelligence and law-enforcement initiatives and cooperation are responsible for the lack of post-9/11 attacks.  At this point, Madison would be holding his sword to Bush’s breast when speaking:

“All men having power ought to be mistrusted.”

“I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”

“If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”

“Tyranny” meant the more subtle abuse of the minority by the majority—not so much a Nazi or Genghis Kahn type of violent repression and control, though that would be the possible result of an excess allowed to go too far.  Nip it in the bud would be Madison’s strong warning.  He went on:

“The loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or imagined, from abroad.”

“The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.”

“No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”

These quotes of Madison are a stern warning and all have bearing upon today’s choices for citizens, Congress, the courts, and Bush’s unfounded claims that power in his hands will keep fighting away from U.S. streets.

The time is past for these legislative sign-offs to continue.  They are unconstitutional.  The Constitution provides that the laws be made by Congress with the signing approval of the president, not that the president can or should, on his own, alter the laws Congress sends to his desk.  His options are only to sign them into law, unaltered; do nothing and, after ten days, with Congress still in session, let them pass into law without his signature, unaltered; or veto them.  This practice of declared signing statements, which Bush has taken beyond all others (who were equally wrong to exercise it) is self-legislation.  If there were any validity to signing statements at all, it would only be if the statements were returned to Congress for its approval, because the role of Congress in writing the law CANNOT be sidestepped or ceded away.  Such is the path to a dictator, and Bush’s dictates, made through the illegal signing statements, are tantamount to “the King’s word is the law!”  That is the blatant inverse of the Founders’ intent for American government!

The egregious sweeping away of the Constitution’s privacy protections, authorized by Bush’s latest signing statement, is irrefutable evidence that the dangerous practice of one-sided executive signing statements must no longer be permitted to continue unopposed, unless the route back to Congress is provided.  The process of creating law contained within the Constitution is sufficiently robust, thought out, and time-tested that no president, particularly not Bush, has any justifiable reason to discard or amend it, and no such authority in any case.  This latest affront to law makes clear that a new priority for Congress and the courts is to shore up the weakened legs of government’s separation of powers, upon which Bush’s signing statements are a decaying form of rot and rust.

Bush’s JJ Boys launch troop-surge P.R. war.

In their January 5, 2007 joint press conference, Republican Sen. John McCain (above, left) joined with quasi-Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman (right) in formally launching the public-relations fight for Bush’s troop “surge,” which was done in coordination with Bush’s sweep of changes in top military and State Department posts.  So much for Bush’s “opportunity to come together and work together on this problem,” spoken below.  In pushing Bush’s upcoming troop surge, Lieberman tried to convince with the old argument that Iraq must be viewed as a part of the total war on terror, an “axis of evil,” in a world of evil, led by Islamic militants.  He equated America’s Islamic confrontation with 1942, saying “Pearl Harbor has already happened,” not stating the obvious counterpart of 9/11.  The truth of this metaphor is not nearly as obvious as the intent.  Whether one wishes to equate Iraq to WWII or Vietnam, the facts are not the same, except that the outcome for America and its war dead will parallel Vietnam, where the same warnings Lieberman and McCain push about Islam were forcefully argued by Johnson and Nixon about communism in Asia.

Both senators say the war remains winnable, without saying how, except more troops, pinning their convictions on a few interviews with locals.  They do both reference, often, the threat Iraq faces by the interference of its neighbor, Iran, and in that, they both miss the point.  The head of the dragon is in Iran, not Iraq, and fighting and dying in Iraq will not affect the regional violence or threats to America precipitated by the regime in Iran, or diminish it.  More troops are necessary, but directed against Iran and Afghanistan, not Iraq.  And, if this new direction is a PR front to disguise troop increases to be directed in the near future against Iran, then that would be needful and sensible planning, and an apology would be due for shining a light upon it, but 30,000 is hardly enough for that.  There is no sense in pouring more lives or resources into Iraq.  Iraq is of no consequence to U.S. security and not worth the lives lost or the sacrifice for U.S. troops and their families that McCain promised would continue to grow as a result of any troop surge.

Winnable?  On the prospect of 30,000 or 50,000 additional troops for another two years?  Take that wishful vision to the Russians, because there is no victory in Iraq without a greater force, and as ruthless a force as the former Soviet Union committed, in vein, when trying to occupy and control Afghanistan in the same way Bush is trying to do now in Iraq.  McCain doesn’t go as far as Lieberman to say that a “loss” in Iraq will end life as we know it, but he does paint a picture of the Islamist radicals that makes them larger than they really are.  They watch and wait, and look for weakness because they have no great strength upon which to draw.  If the insurgency bends in the face of more troops, the Islamists from every nation in the region will infiltrate to replace it.  Though they expect to get the same result dealt to the Soviet Union (and the U.S. is as wrong in Iraq as the Soviet Union was in Afghanistan), they do not really expect to bring about a world of Islam, as Lieberman says.  That is what they want for “their” world.  But, as Lieberman also says, they do intend to go after the sheiks and monarchies of their world, which drain the wealth of their nations and rule without reverence or sanction over millions of voiceless people.  The U.S. has precipitated these regimes, and in so doing has helped to create the state of extreme Islam that exists today.  In a true sense, the decision of America for Iraq will speak for every non-democratic regime in the region.  Listening to Lieberman, so revealed was his vision of the U.S. military, occupying every nation in the world where Islamic militancy threatens or controls, until they no longer have a voice.  What a dark picture that is for American life for the next generationS.

The U.S. needs to more directly embrace its security interests, not its interests for political and economic control, which is the kind of interference and presence that drives the resolve of the extremists.  And now, the major threat to U.S. security in the entire region is only in one place:  Iran.  If America leaves Iraq to face the real threat, Iraq will likely become another Islamist state, segmented and powerless to reach out and affect America’s security or interests, and its regime always fearful that if it goes the governing way of the Taliban, in sponsoring and harboring those who act with terror against America, or the way of Saddam, in committing crimes against humanity, that they can and will be as easily removed.  The departure of American forces in no way limits the ability to quickly return and wipe out any criminal regime that may arise and be so foolish to tempt their fate.  The big difference is always going to be America’s goal, the mission, if the victory is defined as removing the threat or the crime, or as removing the threat or crime and then remaining to replace it with a system of alien design and interest.  The latter will bring about more of the likes of Iraq, every time.  And the latter is not justifiable, defensive or moral use of force, it can only be defined as aggression and occupation, even imperialism.

McCain is also concerned with the psychological consequences of a losing army that would result if they are withdrawn from Iraq.  It should be clear now that the army is not losing.  Bush is the loser causing the losses.  Bush and his reckless, thoughtless, wrongful ambitions are responsible for the beating the army has taken and will continue to take in Iraq.  He is also responsible for the lack of success against those who did precipitate Lieberman’s Pearl Harbor of 2001 against America.  Bush split the force from Afghanistan to pursue HIS interests in Iraq.  Bush put combat troops in the roll of street cops in the middle of a civil conflict where they never should have been ordered to fight and die, or more correctly, die without a chance to fight.  Bush and his instruments will bear the blame, the disgrace, the loss of Iraq, not the military.  The military, unlike Vietnam, has American support.  Signs from protesters that read, “I love my man, but I hate his war,” make it clear that Americans understand the soldiers are doing what they have to, in the interest of the nation, even if it isn’t, really.  The military and Americans are sharing the consequences of Bush’s dead-reckoned steerage, and the misguided support of McCain and Lieberman will only contribute to the tide of those consequences upon the Ship of State and the flotsam left in its wake.

“The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating.”

That is the ominous first sentence of the just-released Iraq Study Group Report on the Iraq war.

“It is an opportunity to come together and work together on this problem,” was Bush’s initial, delay-fraught, non-sequitur interpretation of and response to the Report’s opening statement and its expected, flat-out-and-direct condemnation of his Iraq policy.  Bush continues to arrogantly set himself and his self-interest-motivated agenda above the voice of the nation and the bipartisan Iraq Study Group’s ten-member panel, which was populated by what could rightly be called “the best and brightest”—men and women far better then he, including:  James A. Baker III, former Secretary of State under George Bush, Sr., and Lee H. Hamilton, a former Democratic congressman, who are the group’s leaders.  The other eight panel members, all of whom were unanimous in the report’s conclusions, and, Mr. Baker stresses, unanimous in their bipartisan support of every one of the report’s 79 recommendations, include two Democrat veterans of the Clinton administration, Leon E. Panetta and William J. Perry, and a Clinton adviser, Vernon E. Jordan Jr., Charles S. Robb, former Democratic governor of Virginia, and Alan K. Simpson, a former Republican senator from Wyoming, Sandra Day O’Connor, a former Supreme Court justice who was nominated by President Reagan, Edwin Meese III, who served as attorney general under Mr. Reagan, and Lawrence S. Eagleburger, also a former secretary of state under Bush’s father.  Mr. Eagleburger was a replacement for Robert M. Gates, Bush’s Secretary of Defense replacement for Rumsfeld.

The Report addresses remedial steps, all promised to be unpleasant, difficult, for the Iraq occupation in two areas:  external and internal.  Externally, the thrust of the Report is summarized by the following two sentences, contained within the Report’s executive summary:

“No country in the region will benefit in the long term from a chaotic Iraq.”

“Given the ability of Iran and Syria to influence events within Iraq and their interest in avoiding chaos in Iraq, the United States should try to engage them constructively.”

These statements are lynch-pinned on an assumption that Middle-Eastern countries, particularly Iran and Syria, antagonistic to the West, and particularly to the U.S., have an interest and desire to see stability evolve in Iraq during any U.S. presence there, when in fact, quite the opposite seems to be in clear evidence.  For one instance, Iran and Syria sponsor suicide squads, active in Israel, Iraq, and throughout the region and the world.  The psychology and political intent of the suicide spawned by these factions hardly speaks to support any assumption of a nation state that puts its own interests ahead of its religious/political goals against the U.S. and the West, even when those goals clearly point to the self-infliction of harm against what the West and the U.S. usually value as nation-state interests.  A simple example is Iran’s taunting and provocative leadership, which is practically daring the U.S. and Israel to attack it over its nuclear-weapons development, despite that such an attack would, carried out to completion, bring an end to the regime and its programs.  This alone invalidates any solution that calls for a continuing presence of U.S. troops in Iraq in any capacity, particularly as police occupiers.  Any such presence not only conforms to Bush’s discredited desires, but will only serve to prolong the violence and extend the number of U.S. casualties and those of the Iraqis, as well as divert attention and resources from areas where U.S. adversaries in the region would rather the U.S. not venture.  In fact, on the Report’s tie-in of an Iraqi solution with the Israeli-Palestine initiatives of 2002, recent events seem to make clear that there will be little chance of a resolution there, or for Lebanon, until the regime in Tehran is eliminated; so, the delay to pursue diplomacy and extend troop presence proposed by the Report for Iraq also amounts to an extension of the violence in Palestine and a continuation of Iran’s provoked and mounting civil pressure against the democratic government of Lebanon and the flare-ups that will continue to occur there.

If a rapid removal of troops from the populated, live areas of Iraq is to be accomplished, ending U.S. involvement in the fate of the people and the government structure that exists in the green zone, and also ending the death and depletion of U.S. forces, the Report’s concern for three major goals for the U.S., also expressed within the executive summary, must be answered:

“[If the recommendations are successfully adopted] America’s credibility, interests, and values will be protected.”

These three concerns are obviously affected, negatively, when the death toll mounts or a scandal comes to light, and over continuing time of the U.S. occupation, but would they really be adversely affected by a prompt pull-back from populated areas?  America’s credibility was protected when Saddam’s statue fell in Baghdad.  The U.S. confronted a threat, false though it was, it laid down ultimatums, and it followed through to do what it said it would if the ultimatums were not met in the specified time.  Credibility doesn’t get any more demonstrable than that.  Everything that happened after that was more lies and the ambitions of Bush, and he was wrong, and his actions were wrong, and what began as undeniable credibility has suffered because of it.  Admitting that also lends credibility, and no plan seeking to ignore this, turn day into night and make America right can succeed, because America, where Bush is concerned, was not right.  Bush miscalculated by invading Iraq, as greatly as Saddam Hussein miscalculated by invading Kuwait 13 years earlier.  Despite Bush’s outrageous 2003 claim, made in a meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Abu Mazen, “God would tell me, ‘George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq …’ And I did,” he had no business invading, no business dissolving the structure of civil authority, and no legitimate business remaining after Saddam’s regime was gone, and by getting out of the lives of Iraqis now, many of whom express a desire for that outcome, that error will be corrected, and the civil strife will eventually and more quickly find a violence-ebbing balance of stability on its own.  America still has real threats to its people, beyond the regime in the White House, brewing in the weapons labs of the regimes in Iran and North Korea, and there will be enough opportunity for America to again demonstrate its capability, resolve, and credibility there, when it really has to, and it will begin to do so again when it drops the ambitions of Bush in Iraq and turns to face its enemies.  But that will not happen, because the demands of the American electorate, Congress, military leaders, common sense, and intelligence cannot trump the marching orders from God that echo in Bush’s mind!

America’s interests?  Bush’s delusional beliefs aside, what are America’s real interests in the region?  If the answer is peace, then why?  If the answer is peace brings stability, then again, the question is, why?  Because stability promotes commerce.  And commerce, buried beneath the sands in oil, and in archaic and ruined infrastructure is where America’s interests in the region lie.  Now that the interests the Report addresses have been identified, how does America seek to influence and secure those interests?  In the case of Bush, it’s by force, to bring an economic democracy to the region, particularly the oil-rich parts of it, like Iraq, the circumstance there, which, under Saddam and with the help of a little skewed intelligence, presented an open-door invitation, with the U.S. military as host and the U.N. excluded, that his circle could not resist.  Many others within industrial America would be happy simply to gain spots as middlemen or to eliminate the middlemen, working within the framework of whatever dictator or monarch or religious zealot or council rules the land.  One thing is overriding, so far as the oil market goes:  no matter who or what rules the sands, the oil beneath will find the market.  The question is whether the interests of greed, which have no objection to using lives to gain controls over that market, or the interests of those who are willing to pay what the market demands without the influence of spilled blood will prevail.  The former are the interests of power driven by money, as evidenced by Bush sidekick Cheney’s foreign-interventionist statement, “The good Lord didn’t see fit to put oil and gas only where there are democratic regimes friendly to the United States... You’ve got to go where the oil is,” and his ties with Halliburton and Anadarko Petroleum, which has been found to be cheating the U.S. out of millions of dollars of royalties for carbon gold extracted from taxpayers’ lands.  A quick review of the New York Times report on skimmed funds recovered before oil-sticky Bush-Cheney took office in 2001, compared with post 2001, tells the undeniably stained White House special-interest story:

Auditing and compliance review had generated an average of about $176 million annually in the 1990s, with an extraordinary peak of $331 million in 2000, according to data from the Congressional Budget Office and the Interior Department.  But from 2001 through 2005 [Bush’s first term], a period when energy prices soared to new highs, enforcement revenue averaged about $46 million a year.

And, in noting the passing of Saddam, the little historical piece, which will play when the screen below is clicked, tells even more of the special-interest story surrounding Iraq, Saddam, and the play of “American interests,” going where the oil is, under the death-dealing hands of the industrialist-aligned Republican administrations:

The investigation of Anadarko Petroleum’s acquisition, Kerr-McGee, uncovered fraud through a shell-game, and high officials for the Bush government thanked the auditing by thwarting efforts to uncover and pursue the criminals by dissolving offices and firing employees.  It is clear that interests are wide-ranging when it comes to the highly competitive and sparsely seated control of oil, but in Iraq, and for the latter-referenced, non-greed-based Americans, the working ones, white and blue collar, including the oil industry’s rank and file, their interest in the region around Iraq is limited to a fair price for gas and heating oil and a few religious and historic tourist destinations where a ride in a bus doesn’t end up in an ambulance or a hearse.  These interests, none of them (except the money-powered companies working the oil and other contracts through the violence), are served by prolonged violence (prolonged U.S. presence) in Iraq.

That leaves the values, which is really the easiest goal of all to address, and which presented itself in the comparison of interests, above.  Americans also addressed it in the 2006 election, when they said what’s happened and is happening in Iraq is wrong.  If a vote to impeach Bush was on the ballot, he would have been removed from office along with the rest, because Americans, also voting against corruption, do not share his or their values and do not see the value in continuing in Iraq as he has and as he intends to go on.  The support in aid, in food, medical and building supplies, which will be unendingly available, and in the U.S. lives already given to provide Iraqis a chance after Saddam, which cannot remain available any longer, hold up America’s values as a light for the world that will not be diminished by ending the occupation and deaths in Iraq quickly.

There is another goal to address, somewhat glossed-over in the Report’s executive summary:

“Our most important recommendations call for... a change in the primary mission [suicidal training re-deployments] of U.S. forces in Iraq that will enable the United States to begin to move its combat forces out of Iraq responsibly.”

A “responsible reduction or withdrawal” of forces has been mentioned a lot, from a lot of mouths.  It has hardly been defined, but is assumed to mean, coming from those in the Bush alliance who most often use the term, a withdrawal that leaves a democratic government in place, complete with a military strong enough to insure its continued existence.  That definition, coming from Republican administration flunkies and spokespersons can be quickly expressed with three overused, worn-out words:  STAY THE COURSE.  This is also Bush’s nonnegotiable definition of “victory in Iraq,” no matter the toll, and for which there can be no substitute that does not bear the label, “defeat.”

The Report intentionally shuns the use of contentious, politically-edged terms like “victory” and “defeat,” substituting “success” and “failure,” and the avoidance of the more contentious terms is important because they represent goals in the propaganda and sound bites of administration officials and those in Congress and the media speaking from their platforms.  The problem is that the terms are not defined, inducing a fill-in-the-blanks emotional sway for the target listener to attach to the intended persuasive objective of the speaker.  Senator McCain calls the Report a recipe for defeat in Iraq, and from the Republican point of view and definition of “defeat” found in Bush’s dictionary, it is, as is any solution that calls for a pull-out without a self-sustaining government of choice in place.  The problem is, it won’t be a government of choice of the factions who hold the historical power in the country or the region.  When Bush, or anyone else from his camp speaks of victory in Iraq, they do not mean the attainment of the Report’s success-objectives of interests, credibility, values, and the others, unless those goals are harnessed to the flatbeds of industrial trucks that supply the pipelines and pumps within an economically supportive and cooperative regime.  No one from that perspective is satisfied with the attainment of a just trial for a ruthless dictator, or a nuclear/threat-free state because these were never the goals, and for them, there can be no victory in Iraq unless it is defined in terms of their initial and pervasive goals of resource and economic control and influence.  So, undefined words will continue to be a weapon of public manipulation as delay and deception continue throughout the “constructive conversations” to pepper the remainder of Bush’s term.

Does the Report have a different meaning for a “responsible reduction or withdrawal” of forces?  Indirectly, the Report’s executive summary says, “If the situation continues to deteriorate, the consequences could be severe.  A slide toward chaos [already there] could trigger the collapse of Iraq’s government [does it really belong there, then?] and a humanitarian catastrophe [again, already there].  Neighboring countries could intervene [already there, cross-border infiltration and weapons transfers and Iran’s unilateral diplomacy, and now Iran and Syria are being invited to intervene diplomatically, as a Report recommendation], Sunni-Shia clashes could spread [my, but... to where else that matters?].  Al Qaeda could win a propaganda victory [even if true, is that worth American lives to prevent?] and expand its base of operations [again, already in the smoke of simmering Afghanistan, on the back burner in Bush’s war kitchen].  The global standing of the United States could be diminished [yes, already there].  Americans could become more polarized [only with Bush in the White House and the occupation continuing in Iraq].”

There are a lot of bad things to avoid contained within that paragraph of the Report, implied to accompany any quick, irresponsible withdrawal, but which can also be called goals, many of which, as noted in brackets, are already lost and only stand to improve with an ending of the occupation.  And unless Bush was just talking through his hat, shakin’ his rattle when he said, “You’re either with us or against us,” and nations harboring terrorists are our enemies, then it will be clear, and it will be again made clear, anyway, to whatever regime rises out of the dust and blood in Iraq after the U.S. leaves, that if it harbors, supports, or engages in terrorism, genocide, or WMD production or trafficking, that it will be removed.  That’s pretty plain and simple.  Is there any reason for any cleric or dictator to believe their regime would not be so dealt with?  Libya’s el-Qaddafi believed it, and on the coattails of that early post-Saddam credibility, America enjoyed a bloodless removal of one serious security threat—the major post-benefit of toppling Saddam’s regime.  Whether el-Qaddafi or anyone else would believe it now is as questionable as a Bush adoption of or a successful outcome for the Report’s recommendations.  Yet, for Bush’s part, why not adopt them?  For him, the Report is a sanctioned delay process that leaves him in control.  Heat from the new, opposition Congress is beat, the troops get to stay, the force-protected commercial exploitation continues, and Bush gets to look like he’s adapting with change that matters, as if he’s showing the flexibility he began talking about just before the election.  But, the chances for any Qaddafi-like success in Iran and elsewhere disappear with delays and with Bush’s continuing zeal to bring his evangelistic Monopoly board to Iraq, continuing to ignore those who do so engage in the three sins (Terror, WMD, or genocide), which has been the case during the Iraq war and the subsequent, long-lasting occupation, along with increased tolls for U.S. and coalition forces against the real enemies in Afghanistan:  al Qaeda and the Taliban, which have gained steadily in strength and reach while on Bush’s back burner!  Against this backdrop, the Report’s caution of the possibility of an expanded base for al Qaeda in Iraq holds little validity.  To the contrary, al Qaeda will have more on its hands with increased U.S. resources available to direct against it, once the executive obsession and military strain of the Iraq occupation is removed.

As far as goals, the Report also speaks to “an opportunity for a better future [for Iraqis],” with no mention for American families, except to promise, correctly, that they will lose more loved ones; nor is there mention for those who struggle under an economy that is being squeezed by the occupation’s demands, not to include congressmen, like Senator Byron L. Dorgan, the North Dakota Democrat, who vent on that issue, complaining that they can’t deal in corruptive pork spending like they want to because of the drain of the occupation (though, they call it “the war”).  But “opportunity for a better [Iraqi] future”?  How much chance is any nation entitled to have at the cost of lives from another, now at 4,555 and counting, not to mention the far lower but no less significant coalition losses?  How much of America’s future is being mortgaged with the $billions daily spent there?  The report continues with, “[if the recommendations are successfully adopted] terrorism will be dealt a blow, stability will be enhanced in an important part of the world,” a part of the world that meant nothing to anyone except religious scholars and archeologists before the invention of the internal-combustion engine.  And then the Report lists the “credibility, interests, and values” already quoted.  It is already acknowledged that al Qaeda is a minor factor in the violence in Iraq, so there is little consequence for it under terms of any kind of peace.  Indeed, with the occupation gone, its minor component will have no reason to remain, and will have no invitation from a government that wants no excuse to bring U.S. regime busters back to Iraqi soil.  And, as already noted, above, in the defining of America’s interests, stability is the end of violence, no matter the reason, no matter who or what remains in control.  The only factor that matters is, the quicker the better.

All in all, the executive summary describes a report that was begun with a capitulation to Bush’s refusal to consider any troop withdrawal and, with an invalid conformity to consensus, lays out a path of continued violence bet against a change of tack in diplomacy and military objectives in a costly, life-taking gamble that will not pay off because of Bush’s tactical and diplomatic intractability, tied to his political and spiritual goals, and most important, because the antagonists don’t want it to work and do not hold the interests dear that the Report makers seem to assume they do.  All of the options are difficult because of the insane premise that America has the need or obligation to remain there, within the urban, control-vying, breathing, fighting, and objecting populations; that doing so is somehow tied to what will happen throughout the region.  In Iraq, Bush’s invasion has already harmed what is happening throughout the region.  What America does in facing the threats that neighboring Iran directs against the region, and against Americans, will determine the future, not whether America continues an occupation in Iraq, based upon the tired, politically-correct, generations-long embedded habit of past occupations, past wars, and past mistakes.  The best answer remains the same course that has been persuaded by PopularSovranty since the force-splitting, greed-motivated invasion of Iraq began:  end Bush’s terror (now considered America’s mistake) by ending the occupation while leaving open the door for conditional assistance to any government that arises.  The violence will end sooner than if the occupation remains, under any plan, and the U.S. can turn its attention to the snakes that have real fangs and venom for the U.S.  That is the only path to a victory that will immediately contribute to avoid far-greater, catastrophic defeats in the not-so-distant future.

Cleric Moqtada al-Sadr — must be appeased or removed.

The string of late 2006 meetings between Bush and Iraqi Shia factional leaders, like Prime Minister Maliki and Abdul Aziz al-Hakim were, in no small part, designed to address the consequences of an earlier blunder on Bush’s part, which increased the strife and the opposition to both the occupation and the U.S.-sanctioned coalition government.  There is an inherent discrepancy in organizing and conducting democratic elections while, at the same time, suppressing the freedom of speech of a major political segment of the occupied country’s electorate.  This is what Bush did in 2004, promoting free elections in speeches and statements to U.S. citizens, while in Iraq, U.S. forces concurrently shut down the presses of Baghdad’s Shiite cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr, who is aligned in the parliamentary coalition with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq’s most powerful Shiite cleric.  Al-Sadr is also the leader of a powerful militia group, called the Mehidi Army.  The suppression of his communications subsequently led to demonstrations and multi-city, deadly strikes against elements of the U.S. occupation, which in turn led to then U.S. administrator, Paul Bremer, issuing a criminal warrant for al-Sadr.  More important, the U.S. suppression, shutting down al-Sadr’s occupation-critical newspaper, arresting his aides, points out two facts:  that silencing free speech leads to violence, and that the Bush administration has no interest in a freely elected Iraqi democracy, but only in a so-called democracy that is controlled by chosen brokers who will not oppose U.S. policies and involvements, who, according to Iraqi reporters, because of the inability of Maliki and the parliament to end the violence between the factions are now pushing the consideration of forming new alliances outside of the government, making it even more of an empty shell than it is now.  It is also true that Bush’s attempts to gag important critics is not the path to greater understanding, tolerance, or cooperation, especially in a democracy, and as a result, the problems Bush faces with al-Sadr are, like most of his problems, self-made.  In Bush lexicon, Iraq ain’t big enough fer both of ‘em.

Unlike most Shia leaders, al-Sadr, the son of the revered Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Sadiq Sadr, who was assassinated by Sunni factions during Saddam Hussein’s rule, has little appreciation that the occupation-grown government provides and sanctions a greater segment of power for the Shiite majority, of which he is a part.  He has a more fundamental view of how government should be constituted in a nation where Islam has greater importance than, say, natural-resource development, and he shares the concern of many Islamists, radical and otherwise, about the corrupting influence of the West, and America in particular.  It is fair to say that he values free expression as much as any American when it comes to the communications between religious entities and their members, but not so much when it comes to what magazines can appear on a public news stand, or how much skin can be exposed on television, or whether Iraq is or ever will be ready for the infusion of the West’s far more liberal sexual and ethical mores, which inevitably accompany unrestricted interactions with the U.S.  These more-restrictive views also cut into the current styles of corporate marketing and advertising that prevail in America and Western Europe, and the differences also lead to conflicts in related areas of custom, commerce, and diplomacy.  Shiite leaders al-Hakim and al-Maliki, like the many gem-adorned sheiks, princes, and monarchs of the Mid-East, seem, on appearances, more fitted to the Western materialism they invite.  Hakim wears decorative, traditional robes with jeweled rings on fingers of both hands, while Maliki alternates different jeweled rings on the fingers of either hand, beneath the cuffs of expensively tailored, Western suits, an unkempt beard negating it all.  Al-Sader is a contrast in dress as well as politics to his Shia brethren, an intimidating, plainly dressed man in dark, monotone, traditional clothing, with no jewelry at all to detract from his station or his piercing stare.  This may be a cue in style to the separation that distances the men in substance.  If the coalition government can convince the likes of al-Sadr that traditional customs will not be ignored, that more traditional Muslim values will be protected, there would be a greater likelihood of cooperative participation.  There is no chance when exclusion and suppression are the policies enforced by the foreign boots on the ground, another reason for the occupation to end, allowing Hakim, Maliki, Sadr and the rest to come to terms on their own and upon the lives of their own.

Remember Pearl Harbor

December 7, 1941
The unabated nuclear intent of terrorists and their endowed supporting
states (Iran and North Korea) will dwarf it in death and economic loss.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi

The new Speaker of the House of Representatives, California Representative Nancy Pelosi, has set a difficult path for her historic term, including reclaiming congressional participation in governance and constitutionally mandated hearings for oversight... and accountability.  But her pre-election, on-target, no-holds-barred criticisms of Bush have already begun to soften in the interest of hoped-for non-partisan progress on urgent issues, while Bush shows little sign of making any real change in Iraq, or elsewhere, saying that he does not see the election result as meaning anything other than victory in Iraq.  In light of Bush’s statements, the appointment of former CIA Director Robert Gates to replace Rumsfeld (who, in his departure statement, set his elitist, infallible vision upon his circumstances for a final time and blamed his failure on the diminished capacity of Americans to see the complexities of the war he sees) appears to be no more than a facelift for his unaltered intentions in Iraq.  Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki also sees no post-election change on the horizon, saying, “America will always care for America’s interest in its foreign policy.”  He seems to be unaware that the election was a mandate against the Bush link of Iraq with terror and national security.  But the question is, how much time will Rep. Pelosi give Bush before she picks up the bat and aggressively swings at him on the actual course of the war?  The election was a mandate to push Bush’s ambitions aside on this issue, and she knows that.

Yet, only three weeks after the election, speaking at the University of Latvia prior to a summit of the NATO defense alliance, Bush said he will not withdraw forces from Iraq before the mission of building a stable democracy is complete, also noting that he believes the fight in Iraq is a fight against al Qaeda—a long discredited notion, so much discredited that Bush can only claim “his belief” as the basis of his claim, not intelligence or hard evidence.  In Bush’s statement, “I am not going to pull our troops off the battlefield before the mission is complete,” the first point of education for Bush is that Iraq is not a battlefield.  It is an urban quagmire of lawless anarchy, where U.S. soldiers, who are unbeatable on any battlefield, are wasted, dying, and unwanted by the populace, there, in their role of street police for a doomed regime.  The second point of education for Bush is more a refresher:  the mission goal of invading Iraq, which was tolerable to the Congress and the people, was the lie of removing a threat to American security in the form of nuclear WMD, and never, not ever was it the installation of a corporate-friendly government, or the broader, same-meaning, later-voiced excuse of establishing democracy in Iraq and the Mid East by force.

It is now clear that the election’s intent for a majority of the nation holds no weight for Bush and his goals for Iraq.  In his mind, the mission is the same:  a stated democracy (to achieve industrial objectives) where a democracy cannot succeed.  And now, after years of sectarian and insurgent blame for ever-increasing violence, Bush, in an effort to regain popular support for troops in Iraq, is falsely claiming that the fight and the violence in Iraq is due to al Qaeda, against which the fight in Afghanistan has been backburnered from the beginning, in favor of the corporate-industrial gold in Iraq.

What, now, is also clear, is that the only way to avoid another 4,555 unjustifiable deaths of U.S. soldiers and thousands more of Iraqi dead in the next two years, and all the other distracting and detracting effects of Bush’s occupation to seize commercial control of Iraq, is to either pull the funding rug out from Iraq or impeach both Bush and Cheney.

But corruption shared the spotlight with Iraq in voters’ sights, including the corrupted ethic of the congressional three-day work-week, and Rep. Pelosi’s most-difficult, and in many ways, most-important task over the next two years will be the “draining of the swamp,” which is her code for making the next Congress, as she laid it out, “the most honest Congress in history.”  To actually do that, she will have to eliminate shadowy earmark procedures that run rampant in the Republican Congress, reign in the wild-west interactions with lobbyists, and she will have to attack the problem of election funding, which in its current incarnation, not only encourages corruption, but also consumes far too much time of officials and the electorate, and distances government from the people.  For Pelosi, now an at-bat hitter, these internal evils are three stagnant, recalcitrant runners on bases to bring in for the grand-slam home run on honest, public-interest-prioritized government in Congress.  The voters are in the bleachers and cheering for her to be a relentless clean-up slugger.

The Offenders

Yet despite Rep. Pelosi’s seeming resolve, by only three weeks, post-election, it seemed unlikely that the new Democratic majority in Congress would have the starch to represent the will of the electorate when facing down Bush, since even when it comes to her stated priority for ethics reform and curbing systemic corruption within their own sphere, statements of Democratic members of the Congress, including, among others, Senator Robert C. Byrd, of West Virginia (the pork magician and next chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, whose seniority-conjured-spending spells cast numerous Coast Guard projects within his state, which is landlocked, increasing the cost of their operations!), Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa (next chairman of the appropriations subcommittee), Representative John P. Murtha, of Pennsylvania (the next defense subcommittee chair, who raided defense money to influence-peddle by spending earmarks on other congressmen who are now also appropriations-chair designates), Representative Alan B. Mollohan of West Virginia (the probable-next chairman of the Science, State, Justice and Commerce Committee, and a recipient of Rep. Murtha’s aforementioned influence-seeking earmarks, and the leading Democrat on the House ethics committee before he was forced to resign amidst scandal over his earmarks to a business partner and non-profit organizations he founded), Representative David R. Obey of Wisconsin (next chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, whose relatives are employed with organizations benefitting substantially from Obey’s earmarks, as were relatives of the Republican who preceded him—a common circumstance among elected officials in Congress, at best, contrary to public interest), Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, Senator Patty Murray of Washington (who threatened Senate opponents in support of the infamous, still-alive $200 million “Bridge to Nowhere,” and who is now slated to chair the Senate transportation subcommittee), and one of the greatest per-capita-amount abusers, Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii, statements and histories of all which indicate a clear intent to side with self-interest against meaningful reforms, or, with the latter, who is to take over the gavel on the Senate defense appropriations subcommittee (the major earmark portal), at the least, an inability or unwillingness to recognize the inherent harm (and give up the political power) attached to unaccountable influence spending.  Even this very partial, but significant list makes clear the difficult grade of Pelosi’s slope, and it may be that those members who seek to protect their own influence and support sources instead of the good of the nation will have to be identified (especially the various appropriations-subcommittee chairs and members) and voted out of office before any meaningful reforms to eliminate corruption can be put in place.

Progress Report

A few days into the new session, the House banned lobbyist gifts, use of their jets, and taking meals, and it increased the transparence and accountability for earmarks—a start, but not enough in this high-abuse area.  Other major problem areas are also left unattended.  Privately financed travel through affiliated foundations is still allowed, though, with disclosure and ethics-committee approval.  More important, the emphasis on money remains, with internal advancement and appointments still tied to fund raising, not policy advancement.  How money comes into the process must be the focus of reform, where funding is removed from policy making.  Independent oversight of Congress and lobbyists is also a must if corruption is to be seriously attacked.  Any oversight function would be responsible to report to the respective ethics committees of the House and Senate, leaving final judgement and enforcement in-house.  There can be no objection to that by any honest legislator.  And, finally, there is election reform, where the most must be done to remove influence, greed, and reduce the inordinate amount of time the present, corruptive system takes away from the attention of elected officials on their responsibilities to the public and the nation, and which, so far, hasn’t been given any attention in the reform measures.

While the House began the new session with some meaningful, though still inadequate ethics-rules changes, in the U.S. Senate, it seems that members are determined to act on the tendency to define their own ethical standard, where the higher you go, the more privilege (and immunity) you reserve for yourself.  That may apply where waiting in lines or getting a restaurant table is concerned, but it doesn’t apply to honesty or ethics.  Legislators are already privileged by their generous allowances, salaries, health plans, and most important, the respect accorded to their offices by their constituents, which they view as least important by constantly seeking to destroy it through their own corruptive inclinations.  Voters may have yet another round of punishment to deliver to their senators and representatives in the next election—keep the new blood flowing.

Data provided in the investigative report of New York Times journalist David D. Kirkpatrick contributes to the list of names in the paragraph above.  A link to the article would have been provided, except that the New York Times, though it already receives ad revenues, requires payment to access articles, even of this import, only a short time after they have been free-published, turning its back on its Fouth-Estate obligation and making any stable linkage to its reports futile.

Ugly war’s old face gone.

The resignation of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld is of dubious value with Bush and Cheney still in the White House.  But, Rumsfeld’s memo, submitted two days before he resigned, which contradicts the lies he so forcefully and defiantly shoveled at the podiums, is only surprising in that he bothered to write it at all.  If in so doing he seeks some kind of redemption, there is none, nor is there any excuse that can shield him or any in the Bush circle, especially not loyalty or responsibility to Bush, because the oath of office taken was to the Constitution, not to Bush.  Under that oath, while he enriched himself with stocks of a pharmaceutical company that was awarded Homeland Security contracts, he directed brave soldiers, all obligated by the same oath to follow orders and all willing to die for their country, and he shares in the derelict planning and the wasting of more than 4,400 of their lives in Iraq... soldiers lost for special-interest motives, apart from the security of the nation, and for whom, like the more than 58,000 Vietnam dead, dying in Iraq is not, has never been, and never will be definable as dying for or defending the United States of America.  These deaths are a legacy of the excess of immunity for negligent and criminal use of political power, a contributing factor being the trend away from the Founders’ intent that the responsibility for war (not subject to any definition apart from the use of force by troops abroad) lie solely within the multiple, collective minds and hearts of the legislative branch, for which Congress has also been derelict through cession and missing or inadequate investigation and oversight.  Until politicians are confronted with stern controls and accountability more severe than being voted or shuffled out of office, the sorrow and loss of such wasted deaths will continue to stain U.S. life and history.

Nasty Critters.

In answer to calls for impeachment of Bush, greater relief upon the nation may be achieved by impeaching Cheney.  Due cause may well be found within the long-lost meeting minutes of Cheney’s secret, first-term energy task force.  In any case, impeaching Bush and allowing Cheney to succeed him would be like taking the poisonous snake out of the civic pond and leaving the crocodile.

Tony Snow

The four missing words fall like Snow

“Education—if you make the most of it and you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well.  If you don’t, you [become a president who gets] get stuck in Iraq.”  The words in brackets were the obviously intended, missing-but-assumed words in Sen. Kerry’s referral to Bush’s poor academic imperative and how it likely contributes to his killing performance.  He never said “student,” as many news sources include when paraphrasing the actual quote, spreading the false meaning even further.  Kerry is a war vet who would be knocking his own presence in Vietnam if he really meant what Bush’s Republicans want you to believe he meant.  That’s it.

The incident does shine a light through the transparency of Press Secretary Snow, a former, presumedly straight-talking [FOX Republican network - which picked up and spread the false Clinton campaign-Barack Obama schooling story] so-called journalist, whose talent in media and with words, bought and paid for to shield Bush’s administration, is so obvious that his claimed belief in and criticism of Kerry’s Republican-fabricated meaning is made as laughable as the possibility of him ever being taken as a straight-shooting correspondent again.

In truth, politeness is artificial good humor, it covers the natural want of it, and ends by
rendering habitual a substitute nearly equivalent to the real virtue. — Thomas Jefferson

Bush pre-election spin and lies were never-ending... and continue.

“When I took office, no one could have anticipated that we would have been attacked by an enemy as violently as we were.”  With that October 23, 2006, CNBC-interview, pre-election statement, and with the same statements in the week before leaving office, Bush continued to reject any fault for any of the woes for which he is responsible or for which he has contributed, continuing his historic trashing of truth, in this instance, being the comprehensive report and warning of just such a possibility and intention, developed by President Clinton’s administration and left in Bush’s hands to be ignored for fully eight months.  The 9/11 Commission Report makes clear that the attacks were successfully carried out in large part because of this ignorance and the failure of Bush’s law-enforcement and intelligence agencies to cooperate and act on the evidence available to them!  All of which, combined with British successes, and despite Bush’s fear-tactic-motivated warnings and proclamations, proves that with effective intelligence and law enforcement, to include border control, and not with troops in Iraq, America is far safer from radical Islamist attack than Bush would ever have you believe.

What a president says only matters if it is backed by corresponding action, or if the political goals of baseless statements are achieved because they are taken at face value.  What do time tables for troop reductions mean when Republican leader Sen. McCain is talking about sending up to 20,000 more troops to Iraq (see the draft card and text below)?  Also, late last year, Bush said that time lines and benchmarks (his new flexibility) are being applied to the Iraqi government, while at the same time, the prime minister of the center of Baghdad (about as far as the authority of the Iraqi government goes without U.S. troops to enforce it) Nouri Maliki defies any such American limitations, saying in a speech before hundreds of Iraqis that America has no right to impose limitations, that they are only political rhetoric keyed to the election, not real, and that he doesn’t care about the American election.  Yet, more than 4,400 American troops are dead, at face value, because they did care about his elections.  Whether Maliki, based on those and future American deaths, and billions of dollars daily, should rethink his statement of rights, unchallenged by Bush, is a thought for all American voters to ponder, beyond the 2006 corrective election to the next.

Nouri al-Maliki

Who’s whose man?

Only several days after Maliki spoke in defiance over Bush’s announced [dateless, therefore meaningless] timetables, Bush said Maliki is not his man in Baghdad and announced that agreement had been reached to accelerate efforts to have Maliki’s regime take over security from the U.S. military.  This is either a pure P.R. statement to counter Maliki’s true stance on defiance of U.S. timetables, or, if Bush denies this, then it is criminal negligence, in that it is admission that the shortest road with the greatest effort has not been taken to put Iraqis in harms way for their own benefit and security in place of U.S. soldiers, who have been dying nearly every day through the duration!  The fact is that the so-called government in the green zone of Baghdad is very-much beholding to the U.S., and in so being, will insure that the Bush administration’s desires are met, to have U.S. industrialists reap the vast profits for infrastructure and resource development.  “Follow the money” applies in Iraq!  Iraq is and always has been about the money.  Profits are the priority of corporate-industrialists, evidenced again and again, most recently in March of 2007, when defense contractor ITT Industries was found to be selling secret night-vision technology to China, threatening U.S. soldiers’ lives and reducing one of their most important war-time tactical advantages.  And while Maliki is Bush’s man, the Bush administration is the servant of the powerful corporate hierarchy that has been the major influence upon government since Bush was sworn into office, with whom money comes first, not national security; money, not the lives of soldiers, any more than the lives of railroad workers and miners of past and present.  Times change, but the hearts of men, impassioned with greed and power, do not.

Bush also stays the course on why his war in Iraq must be won:  because otherwise, he says, Iraq will become a safe haven for Islamic radicals.  Bush also addressed the real threats of Korean and Iranian nuclear proliferation, rhetorically asking what the future will say about 2006 if they are allowed to succeed?  He then convolutes the answer by saying that this danger will be prevented by victory in Iraq, where there has been no such threat, where there is no such threat, and where there will never be any such threat.  This is a classic example of pure, meaningless spin, intended to substitute a false imperative for a goal of illicit and publically unsupportable motivations.  Others of Bush supporters say Iran will take over.  Kindly put, a distortion, because the fact is, there is no safe haven wherever the U.S. military can reach to topple a regime without remaining to police an occupation of ill motives, as has been proven time and again, and that same threat will remain over the head of whatever ruling power comes to exist in Iraq.  If they wish to remain in power, they will divorce themselves from any involvement with Islamic-radical international violence, genocide, or violation of nuclear-proliferation policies—aside from response to overt attack, the only three circumstances for which American military lives should be put in danger.  And by redirecting troops in Iraq toward Iran, to enforce the world’s nuclear-proliferation demands, the regime in Iran, while it still exists, would have a higher interest to protect than Iraq.  Bush would eliminate the Iranian post-occupation threat of interference and control in Iraq, the direction and support of Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Iran’s intention of nuclear proliferation and destruction all at the same time by simply meeting his national-security obligation to confront Iran with those occupation troops and supporting forces that he wastes in Iraq.

Finally, Bush said, in the same press-conference statement, that the war in Iraq is, above all else, an ideological conflict.  More than 4,400 dead soldiers and their families would disagree, since, beyond the unwarranted invasion that put them there, lead and bombs brought about their deaths, not words, which are Bush’s principle weapon of war against Americans he is sworn to lead and protect.

If one reads the statements made by Republicans on the floor of the Senate during President Clinton’s impeachment hearings, it all is made so much more trite in comparison to the allegations that could be substituted for Bush during his tenure.  This Congress will not impeach Bush, so it is up to the American voters to handcuff him with the balance of power that a Democratic House and Senate will and has always been intended to provide.  Such a vote was cast, and it does far more than just send a message; it invokes a measure of legal restraint to Bush’s remaining agenda against America.

Graphic design/FX by Silkscape Arts
What Bush’s beliefs will bring—homeland devastation, fissile or dirty.

Bush’s press conference hints the dangers he has wrought now overwhelm him.

In his October 11, 2006, press conference, after defining the post-nuclear-test “red line” for North Korea as being talks through the [ineffectual] United Nations, Bush then made clumsy small talk to the next reporter, complimenting his tailor, in a lame effort to deflect from his inability to provide a satisfactory answer to the red-line issue.  He also has taken to asking and answering his own follow-up questions, based upon the truths he can no longer disguise or deny, like tax breaks for the wealthy, or why shuck diplomacy to invade Iraq and not Iran or North Korea?  As the answer to that test, he fell back, again, on his beliefs as the reason why the same threats he issued before North Korea’s test are being repeated now.  He could not answer why the same actions—the same threats, post-test, should have any more credibility than they did pre-test.  The test is proof that there is no diplomacy for these threats; so, the real problem is that he also believes the nuclear “problems” will be solved with diplomacy (his administration still does not talk to the principals—stay the course), and he said that he believes the U.S., North Korea, and Iran share the same diplomatic goals!!  While he also said he believes the election will be decided by voters who will ask “who can best protect the country from attacks,” the question he cannot answer in the affirmative is whether he or his Republican party has protected the country from the grave threat of a North Korean and Iranian nuclear offense.

Unchecked passion brings about a bad end.  Bill Clinton, who has learned from his mistaken exercise of passion, joins millions of AIDS victims and unwed mothers in bearing witness to this, unlike Bush, who will not recognize the fault of his passion.  The passions of the moral right, the anti-abortionists, or the Islamic militants require checks, because as history shows, left to their own aims, the bad end blossoms, like the mushroom cloud now drifting over America’s future.

In a democracy, the vote of the “silent majority” is the check on political passions that lead to unwanted extremes.  The problem is, the silent majority lacks the passion of the minorities that turn out buzzing for elections to see their agendas through.  The twenties saw prohibition forced upon the majority and the rise of organized crime it made possible.  More recent history has given us Bush, a swing to the far right (being contested) across the Constitution’s boundary on separation of church and state, Iraq, and the rise of corporate dominance in government with the attendant ills of exported plants, jobs, unchecked immigration, and unprecedented growth in the divide between wealthy and middle-class-to-poor citizens.  Greed’s passion has also contributed to a system of government that is ruled by the change of money through the hands of lobbyists, special interests, corrupt, self-serving, and unethical politicians, and a government which is becoming subservient to the dictates of the campaign-to-election machines they have built, which not only enhance the influence and privilege of money, but which greatly detract from the attention of elected officials on their jobs and the interests of the people they are supposed to serve as they instead milk the cow and shop the votes.

This system, which now rules the process of government and has been immune from the self-installed-and-administered ethics panels of the abusers (most recently, again, demonstrated by the post-90-day-investigative finding of numerous “willful” failures, in the congressional page scandal, with no resultant discipline from the still-Republican-controlled ethics committee) is the chief precipitator of the decline of American democracy and the distancing of government from the people.  It is also responsible for a drastically decreased quality of attention to the problems government is required and intended to address, and the evidence is plain to see in every quarter, as the ultimate threats of this degraded stewardship draw closer and closer to the point of detonation.

The most important issue facing America is the stranglehold the insulated establishment has upon the levers of government, which, if not removed, will bring forth upon the nation an epoch of fear, panic, and collapse, which has already begun and which is beginning to be ever more apparent as the forces and problems government should be attacking grow ever stronger and bring America ever closer to the realization of the worst-case scenario.  The confirmation of successful nuclear tests in Korea is also confirmation of a dangerous arrangement of priorities that cannot be allowed to continue.  Bush has finally been forced, for the first time, to mention control of oil as his high-stakes factor in Iraq, and to soften the meaning of “stay the course” to include “being flexible,” when, in fact, there has been no flexibility, other than the use of the word, and circumstances, now, have reduced the options within which any flexibility might be applied.

Ahmadinejad salivates like a rabid dog with nuclear fever.

What is clear, what should be clear to government officials, is that America can no longer pursue Bush’s ambitions in Iraq or in any other venue that holds no danger threatening American security.  Even if the to-be-announced plan for increased troops in Iraq calls for levels considerably higher than the Soviet Union placed in Afghanistan, with a severely limited engagement-rules set, the increase will only add significantly to the number of dead recorded, increase the costs, and accelerate the depletion of the military when America finally does end the occupation after Bush is gone.  Do not be sucked in by administration PR about any temporary increase in combat forces.  When Bush is allowed to increase the troops, there will be no significant reduction until the decision is made to leave Iraq to the Iraqis.  America’s situation in two years under Bush’s tactical and diplomatic plans will just be all the more grave.  The need for forceful action, beyond Iraq, is now real, growing, and the capability to legitimately, effectively, and continually deliver it must not be further diluted.  The options available for responding to the arms-dealing, criminal dictator, Kim Jong-il and his gang who control the regime in North Korea, and partly finance their weapons, army, and crimes with high-quality, counterfeit $100 U.S. bills they manufacture, are stiflingly short on talk.  Neither Jong-il nor Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will give up nuclear-weapons capability, at least, in Iran’s case, not with Bush/McCain-type non-diplomacy.  They can only be prevented from acquiring it, and the military has some flexibility in accomplishing this necessary task, and Bush must pull his head out of the sand, stop abusing and begin to use that force as it was intended and designed to be used.  Remember that, from Jong-il’s perspective, the nuclear bomb is a commodity, and all his nuclear tests are really detonated 1,500 feet above the Capitol Dome in Washington.  And, in Iran, do not forget that Ahmadinejad salivates like a rabid dog with desire to join the pack and sink his teeth in by setting off a blast of his own.

North Korea’s Jong-il, emboldened by
    Bush’s cut-and-run response to test.

The latest threats by North Korea’s Kim Jong-il, to test again and take some sort of action if America makes any move to sanction it, reflect a case of misplaced confidence.  The apparent successful test of a nuclear device with a retreat response from Bush, combined with the strategic and tactical limitations imposed by Bush’s Iraq obsession, have emboldened Jong-il, and that, combined with the progression to that test in the face of stern warnings, is proof enough that there will be no negotiating away his intent to turn a bulky, difficult-to-deliver test device into a viable, more deliverable and saleable weapon.

Bush guilty of cut-and-run from America’s most deadly threats/enemies.

Kim Jong-il has studied WWII history and learned from Hitler’s mistakes, particularly the error of moving too soon.  Had Hitler the patience to wait longer before invading Poland, or France, and later, Russia, to allow his weapons development to continue and produce, he could have won the war.  The cleric-forced toning down of belligerent nuclear-weapons talk by Iran’s President Ahmadinejad has the same objective as Jong-il’s “first-step” agreement with the five parties.  It is nothing more than a ploy, another deception, designed to buy more time in order that development of a complete nuclear delivery system can be completed and the arsenal grown.  The proof will be in the continued testing of long-range missiles.  Bush’s declaration, made nearly a day after the late 2006 North Korean announcement of a successful nuclear test, that serious consequences would result from any transfer of nuclear material by North Korea, is not an expansion of deterrence; it is a big blink, and a step back from the line in the sand, one that in effect sanctions Jong-il’s possession of nuclear arms.  And the terms of the new agreement do the opposite of punishing Jong-il for nuclear testing, giving away more and getting less in return, and with no security gains for the threatened West.  If allowed to stand, Bush’s cut-and-run, step-back policy on North Korea’s nuclear intentions will eventually amount to a death warrant for thousands, and it also sends tacit approval to Iran.  This is not the way to protect America from its most dedicated and deadly enemies.  This is not the time for softening positions, and the time for talk is past.  No one wants a war, except, history seems to indicate, Bush, yet Americans are already dying in a war that even if winnable would not remove any threat, because, there, none is posed.  Taking the nuclear capability out of Jong-il’s hands, and at the same time demonstrating to Iran that their effort will only turn into a path of destruction and the removal of their regime is worth fighting to accomplish.  The U.S. military can still prevent development and deployment of a North Korean nuclear arsenal and terrorist inventory, and the U.S. can still halt further nuclear-development progress and seriously degrade Jong-il’s conventional forces while defending its assets in South Korea from being targeted by the oversized, overweight nuclear device Jong-il may currently be able to produce.  But diplomacy will not do it.  A comprehensive, well-planned, swiftly initiated military campaign will.

The reason diplomacy will not do it is because Bush is unwilling to take the hard steps necessary to induce China to lay the heavy hand down upon its unstable neighbor.  If Jong-il can be convinced that he will, in short term, face the military might of both China and the U.S. and its allies, then there is a chance he will dismantle and open his nuclear labs to inspectors.  Don’t count on it, though, because only China can so convince him, and unfortunately, despite that a nuclear Jong-il is as much a threat to China’s stability as it is to America’s way of life, the only way the U.S. can leverage China to take such a stance is by threatening China’s economic development, which would be realized by removing access to America’s mighty, though dwindling, consumer power by cancelling all trade agreements, prohibiting all foreign investment and development, freezing all assets, and, essentially, blocking China as a commerce partner at any level.  And, perhaps, included, should be the candy of agreeing to recognize the ceding of claims to certain North Korean territories to China if their push against Jong-il does come to shove.  That is the only peaceful path that has a hope to stay Jong-il’s hand, but decisions and commitments must be made quickly, because time to take that route is short.  But this is also the path that would hit hard at the corporate-Republican base that has long drooled over China’s market and manufacturing resources, and which has the overriding voice in Washington.  The greed for profits and to expand the corporate landscape would rather live with and see multitudes die by the nuclear threat than lose the dollars it would require to effectively leverage China to end it all peacefully.

Thanks to Bush, the U.S. is stuck between the rock of the consequences born of his wrongful motivations in Iraq and the hard place of the right thing to do to remove the Korean and Iranian nuclear threats.  Bush couldn't do both, and the only recourse he had that served his industrial base was to forget diplomacy with China (he’d already shunned it with North Korea, Syria, and Iran), stay the hateful course in Iraq, avoid the campaign against North Korea and put Iran on notice with ever-more-impotent threats.  Turning to face North Korea and Iran means a windfall for the military-industrial complex, but used rightly and wisely, or wrongly, the military is the only force that can keep America safe by ending the threat the Bush Republican government has allowed to mushroom out of control, along with defense costs, where the strain of the gouging cost-per-unit for aircraft, ships, tanks, and precision weapons has itself become a threat to national security, particularly in any protracted engagement, where services can no longer afford force levels they believe are necessary for comprehensive defense—a case for the industry that, since as goes the nation, so go they, could eventually be considered one of cutting their throats—all American’s throats—to fill their pockets.  If you think this represents a concern for adequate air forces and advanced weaponry for limited, high-cost aircraft to take and control the skies in North Korea, it does, especially in a primitive, short-range, nuclear-delivery situation where that control must be no less than absolute, against all types of vehicles, land, sea, and air, large enough to carry Jong-il’s crude nuclear devices, while also continuously suppressing and eliminating substantial offensive, defensive, and support efforts on the ground.

The latest analysis of North Korea’s test detonation indicates a possibility that they are developing a fissile detonator for a two-stage hydrogen device, which amplifies the need for swift and decisive action.  If Jong-il is not defeated, removed, or prevented from expanding further his nuclear capability and his arms-trade inventory, the threat against American lives, in and out of uniform, here and abroad, is so severe, so certain, that the only course available is military action, and, regrettably, to guarantee success and minimized loss of life of thousands upon thousands of American, Korean, and international citizens in South Korea, when action is taken, the requirement to employ tactical nuclear weapons against select mountain-embedded targets, to include known and suspected offensive emplacements and WMD research and production sites, will be just as absolute.  There are no other weapons that can effectively be employed against these decades-under-construction emplacements and facilities, and in this crisis, not to use these weapons, in this restricted manner against these critical targets, would be as irresponsible as the lack of action by the Reagan and Bush administrations which has to allowed Jong-il to steadily and defiantly proceed to this point of danger against the world, and in particular, against America.  And, the concern for America is paramount, because the undeniable truth is that the avenues of attack against America that are open to Jong-il’s would-be arsenal, if he is allowed to prevail, are too numerous to defend.

But, solutions for Jong-il’s threat cannot wait for reasonable aircraft prices or the next president, upon whom Bush so often now kindly assumes to bequeath his heritage of Iraq.  In two years, with more non-talk, U.N. diplomacy, and no action, Jong-il, who cares not for his own people, will likely be able to threaten Japan with a repeat nuclear performance, and in short order, the U.S. west coast if America or any other nation fails to abide by his smallest whim.  Bush keeps talking about the young democracy in Iraq [an illusion contained in a Baghdad compound] while real threats with teeth are poised and agape at America’s throat from all sides except Iraq.  If Bush fails to kill the nuclear threat before it can be used against assets in the Korean theater, the cost of removing that threat will escalate to a level that is painful to contemplate, and then, if ever a device is detonated, there or later in Japan or America, the deaths will be as much the direct fault of Bush and his party’s elected and appointed leaders as it will be that of those who build, transport, and detonate it.  Every day that Bush wastes more lives, time, and resources in Iraq is a day he is helping to dig the graves of future multitudes of soldiers and civilians alike, abroad and at home.  With the “stayed course” taken and held, that is the crime history will write in the name of Bush, his circle, and his party.

On October 5, 2006, in the Ohio Republican stronghold of Fairfield, these young teens braved hours in unanticipated cold weather, and with the eyes of their world upon them, participated in the national call to “Drive Out the Bush Regime,” sponsored by worldcantwait.org.  Too young to vote, they nonetheless are registering their dissent with the morally and ethically corrupt leadership that is, to them, as well as to many politically astute elders, both an embarrassment and a danger to their future.

Courts under attack.  Justices cite disturbing threats from Republican right.

Tragic effect of illegal war, countering American interests, authoritatively confirmed.

Stating that the U.S. military will break because of being engaged in the dual wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is going too far.  While the latest 16-agency National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report does substantiate the obvious—that military readiness is damaged by the Iraq war, and that the illegal war is aiding the growth of the Islamic-terrorist movement—the military will not break.  But the damage is nonetheless bled-dry serious, chiefly in that the resources of manpower, materials, and money are being spent in an effort that does not affect U.S. security, and more important, it prevents the needed application of those resources against those threats, like Iran, that do directly threaten American security and American lives, abroad and in the homeland, and the ability to effectively react to quick-response scenarios is degraded.  These disadvantages are not worth suffering for the war that creates them, and America’s activities, since precipitating that war and its liabilities, through Bush’s hand, must quickly end.

A portion of the NIE report Bush declassified (10 percent of it), which he and his party have grasped upon as a nullifying factor against the report’s overwhelming verification of the harm precipitated by the Iraq war, was the assessment that:  if the growing Islamic-terrorist recruits are unsuccessful in Iraq, they may diminish.  This possibility is hardly as concrete an outcome as the undeniable harm Bush has inflicted upon that nation and his own; nor does that speculation address the cost that will be paid to discover if such success could ever be achieved.  Finding justification for what has been done in the name of Bush’s beliefs, which even if true, is as elusive and improbable a prospect as the flip-side NIE assessment Bush revealed and to which he so desperately clings.

Iraq is not the lynchpin for success in the war against terror.  Iraq is America’s—Bush’s— incarnation of terror.  Ask the families who have had their doors broken down in the dead of night.  Ask the thousands of unfortunate, in the wrong place at the wrong time, the limbless, the orphaned, the widowed, the grieving parents of lost children of all ages, men and women, boys and girls; the thousands falsely imprisoned; the population with no security and no real hope for any kind for peace or growth in Bush’s shadow, only the false hope of a powerless regime that exists inside a walled fortress in the heart of one city.

Bush’s moral high ground in Iraq

Iraq is not the “cause célèbre” that cannot be abandoned without emboldening the Islamic radical movement, because it would be morally and legally correct to reverse the result of illegal and ill-conceived motivations that are behind the invasion and occupation.  These ills make it both clear and true that America does not and never can hold the moral high ground in Iraq, except by leaving it.  If Americans cannot or will not see that truth, it is nonetheless the view America will butt-up against, that will remain unaltered throughout the Middle East and which is dominant in Europe, as well, the only saving grace being that the ire in Europe seems to be directed at Bush rather than Americans.  Another election supporting his beliefs and his base will change that.  In leaving Iraq, America will regain the moral currency Bush threw away by invading, and the grounds for any withdrawal would be in line with the primary issue the Islamist’s use to fight there and recruit everywhere, and so cannot be claimed by either side to be a victory or a defeat.  America is not defeated when it admits to a mistake or a travesty and then rights a terrible wrong.  America is defeated when it acts as though or, like Bush, who rarely accepts responsibility and never the blame, if it believes it can do or has done no wrong.  Bush’s defense of his illegal war in Iraq has finally been reduced to the basis of his force-led belief.  He cannot and will not admit the truth behind the invasion, his stubborn, obsessive greed to occupy and control, and he can no longer defend the string of lies he has invented and fallen back upon year after year, so he can only press his back to the last wall of defense, one which cannot be called a lie and which will have no further explaination: “I believe it’s the right thing to do.”

And hang what the rest of you think or suffer for it.

Bush also said he believes, in his simple black-and-white, good-and-evil mind, that the crisis in Lebanon is just part of a larger struggle between the forces of freedom and the forces of terror... when the fist that is driven by this obdurate mind is finally lifted from Iraq... and America, the “cause célèbre” will shift to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and to Iran, when force is finally employed there to end the nuclear threat, but only if America remains there after the regime and the WMD production are destroyed.  And these fights are where America does have the moral ground, does have a tangible concern for its security and the security of its justly-reluctant allies, and these are the fights where the Islamic radicals who are incarnate in those regimes, through the Taliban, al Qaeda, and a handful of regional tribal powers, cannot be allowed to succeed or to remain a viable force to influence and threaten within any level of government or life.

FX by Silkscape Arts

As a postscript to a strained military and a draft solution, it is noted that while the ending of the draft in the wake of a past, badly chosen war has proven to be fortuitous now that another unnecessary war is being prosecuted at the cost, so far, of 4,555 lives, the lack of a draft is why the military is so restricted by its occupation/policing in Iraq.  A draft, in and of itself, is not a bad thing.  Able-bodied citizens of all economic backgrounds should be required to serve their country in some way for a two-year term, and the benefits of such service are valuable to both the nation and the individual, except when the trust for the use of force is broken by the criminal intent of a selfish regime.  And because of Bush’s abuse in Iraq, and Congress’s abuse by ceding its war power, shucking its oversight and checks against an abusive executive, the draft will and should remain a useful resource that is unavailable for legitimate and necessary needs in the future.  While occupied in Afghanistan, threats from Iran, Korea, Pakistan, China, Russia and a host of overseas criminal regimes are likely to require a strong and growing military, yet Bush and a crony Congress have made it clear that citizens still cannot trust their government with the honorable and necessary risk of their lives in military service.  In short, Bush and his Republican-controlled Congress have demonstrated that American government is not sufficiently schooled in the lessons of its history, not sufficiently responsive to the will of its people, not sufficiently civilized, or sufficiently restrained and legally restricted in the use of force to have that trust or the power of the draft, and that trust and power should continue to be denied it until such time that reliable safeguards against careless or criminal use of force are in place, and until then, for the enlistees of all stripes, let the buyer beware.  Attempting to negotiate a written exclusion clause for service in Iraq when sitting before a recruiter or career briefer would be a more-than-reasonable act of conscience and patriotism, albeit in vain.

FX by Silkscape Arts

Pork Spending

Earmarks, those anonymous, ugly, pork-spending authorizations that are attached to legitimate appropriations, are like train cars the Senate and House of Representatives ride, using the states for rails and often robbing the intended coffers of critical departments, like in the case of Senator Inouye (Democrat of Hawaii), who will have oversight of more than $400 billion in 2007 defense appropriations, after directing billions of 2006 military dollars to his state’s heath-care system.  With earmarks numbering as high as 16,000 and $64 billion per year, those congressmen who most use them reveal a preference for influence peddling and a tendency for corruption, which is the reason it is made so difficult to identify earmark sponsors.  By eliminating the earmarks and sending the money that would have been spent back to the state legislatures, the influence and scope of lobbyists would be reduced, the bartering between congressmen and state politicians that feeds the machinery of corrupted government would be curtailed, congressmen would focus more on the national needs and priorities of meaningful, timely legislation and effective oversight, where their focus belongs, and that considerable spending power would return, with greater accountability, to the states, whose lawmakers know their constituents’ needs better than the Congress (the excuse abusive congressmen use to support earmarks, setting bureaucrats as the alternative) allowing state lawmakers to focus more and, from a closer perspective to the people, better upon the needs of their cities and counties.

As reported above, early into the new session, with the Senate immobile, the House passed measures increasing transparence and accountability for special-interest-funding attachments, but loopholes remain, and the only way to eliminate earmarks is by the long-term process of only electing congressmen who pledge to vote against them, a constitutional amendment outlawing them, or a president who will resolutely veto any bill containing them; although, with the House record of defeating any attempt to remove earmarks from appropriations, the veto would not be nearly as effective as an amendment or a punitive constituent vote with a memory.

Writing the death of 20th-century New Orleans into America’s history.

Send me your young, your dedicated, your brave.  Placed within my reach, they fulfill the purposes, solidify the objectives, and they are the magnet and symbol that serves to sharpen my purpose and harden my dedicated soldiers, instilling within them the purpose upon which they can focus their hatred and fulfill their destiny... and mine, to prosecute the jihad.

Have you thought about how the war against radical Islamic terror will end?

In the name of and placed before God—no disrespect intended?  “Right” is not absolute.

The actions of Islamic clerics and fanatics who murder, who call for and threaten assassination, and who burn churches in response to the Pope’s quote of a long-dead ruler, lamenting the ties of violence to Islam, and before that, threats because of a cartoon, and before that, a book, only validate the concern the Pope was addressing, for which no apology is warranted.  The loud silence of the so-called mainstream Islamic community, in response to their blood-thirsty brethren, parallels the historic lack of aid and response to identify those among them who plan and deal in death and violence.  A burning history of multi-cultural and religious extremes aside, these distinct circumstances of Islamic violence and silent acceptance are undeniable realities that only lead to the conclusion, yes, there must be some inherent fault within Islam that has caused this sect of hate and violence to grow and which allows it to flourish with no opposition from within.

But, then, the same must be true at the core of a society that re-elected Bush as its president.


Every industrial segment Bush targets for the tilt of the federal purse is another misplaced priority.  Now, a fantasy $230 billion for the new Moon project will begin to mushroom into a reality that will be astronomically far beyond that, beginning with Lockheed Martin’s development of the Apollo-like Orion.  Meanwhile, astronomers and “anti-collision” engineering researchers, operating under a tiny trickle of the money shower primed to fall on Lockheed, have only found an estimated half of the large asteroid bodies that can wipe out or seriously reduce civilization as we know it, and they have nothing in the pipeline to deal with the threat.  And worse, suddenly perturbed, fast-moving comets can’t even be found to be tracked, long-term.  They just show up, and the means to deal with them must be at hand for a relatively quick response.  Now, and in the foreseeable future, when a comet or asteroid is found heading Earth’s way, there will be nothing that can be done to stop it, given the current funding and planning.  We are laid open and totally unprepared, with the only option to be an announcement that emergency steps are underway that may be able to, or might prevent, or should do this or that, or “the government will do all that can possibly be done, etc.”  It will be a frantic scramble with a hopeful, yet dubious outcome.  Or worse, like with those in the city targeted for detonation of a radical-Islamist’s infiltrated nuclear device, there will be no time for a scramble, except into a hole in the ground for all the good that’ll do.

Before leaving office, Bush again employed fear to argue for moon bases, this time as a means to counter anti-satellite weapons.  Bases on the moon are not the answer.  Nor is another costly moon race.  Frank Borman, several years after his moon mission, told me that “there is no reason to ever go back to the moon.”  Considering the costs and the economy, the absence of defensive objectives, the need to develop a viable satellite-defense and manned-vehicle replacement for the Space Shuttle in order to retain self reliance with respect to ISS and manned-space-exploration missions (Mars), and the fact that a return program was a vain Bush initiative, a moon mission would be a costly and unrewarding diversion, in effect, a trailing relic among failed Bush initiatives, which President Obama would be wise to scrap in favor of more realistic and productive alternatives.

While it is true that co-ed astronauts on Mars and the Moon may be an excuse as insurance against the complete eradication of the species, that is not the most cost-effective or utilitarian method to apply to an asteroid or comet which will, someday, face the world’s population.  A priority that is in the best interest of the taxpayers, and their children, would designate a major portion of the space budget toward finding and tracking all the threats, and to full-time development and deployment of a reliable system to deal with the multi-faceted danger when it arises, as it one day will.  Only after that is done should large-scale spending and effort on manned exploration beyond the ISS and/or off-world colonization be considered.  That would be sensible and responsible prioritization, and it would be the kind of level-headed, responsive leadership of which Bush was incapable.  His culpable leadership, leaving its stain of incompetance on space science, was only concerned with the targeted industrial funding recipients and the painting of himself in the glorious hue of that past Kennedy success.

With the release of the 2010 budget, President Obama rightly quashed Bush’s insane Moon-return program, instead providing a more-modest and realistic funding proposal to encourge progress and jobs in civilian space programs.

Thank you, Mr. President.

In a statement made by Bush, attempting to glean some credit for his administration in association with the U.K. law-enforcement and intelligence success in thwarting the August 2006 liquid-bomb plan for numerous aircraft destined for U.S. airports from the U.K., he referred to the Islamic terrorists as those “willing to, uh, kill innocent life to achieve, uh, political objectives.”  Several weeks later, in a speech where the policies of war and state are flip-flopped in the interest of election politics, rather than executed upon sound intelligence and motive, he claims Iraq is a pivotal fight for civilization, when in fact, his illegal invasion of Iraq and its consequences are a pivotal factor in the real threat to civilization—Iran’s nuclear intent—being pushed aside.  And Bush’s obsession with Iraq has hindered U.S. efforts to remove those who are responsible for attacks against America:  Osama bin Laden’s circle and the significant remnants of the Taliban government that supported them in Afghanistan and whose fighters continue to kill those few American soldiers who are deployed against them.  In these key elements—prosecuting the war against the guilty and addressing the real threats to America, the West, and civilization—Bush has set the nation on a path of complete failure and imminent danger that cannot be swept under the blue carpet with public-relations-prioritized, election-minded speeches.

Bush, standing before the nation in an anniversary 911 remembrance, telling a mournful people that U.S. safety hinges on success in Iraq, is just the continuation of a well-used policy of fear mongering and another lie in a long string of lies.  But, at this point, what else can a man who is incapable of admitting fault (he was only forced to accept responsibility for the Katrina non-response—never admitting fault) say?  If he can’t paint himself as the leader in an epic struggle of good against evil, as he tries to oversimplify his invention of miscalculated circumstance, then he can only admit that he really is a criminal who is responsible for the unwarranted death of Americans and Iraqi civilians, and that he is the anchor that has swamped the ship of state in a sea of domestic division, perverted and discarded justice, international disdain, mistrust, unnecessary violence, and a wasteful, misdirected depletion of resources.  And, let alone the slack prosecution of the war against the real enemies in Afghanistan, what ever happened to Bush’s tough talk on terror, “You’re either with us or against us,” where Pakistan is concerned?  Not only has that nation harbored crimes of the most dangerous nuclear proliferation ever committed, it still uses cruel and barbaric Islamic laws to further persecute women who have already been victimized by rape, and it is providing safe haven for Taliban fighters and their associates who kill U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, of which there are too few, thanks to the diversion of a criminal war in Iraq, allowing the Taliban to retreat across the Pakistan border, where politics that defy the Bush rhetoric of toughness against terrorism prohibit troops from pursuing them!  And Bush is not requiring Pakistan to either prevent the flight or take up the pursuit.

What’s the worth of a vote for Bush based on prosecuting terror?  In reality, it turns out, not much.

Another contradiction to Bush’s tough talk on terror may be tied to a top-secret military report, which came to light in September 2006, concerning al-Anbar province, in western Iraq, where intense fighting has ranged from the provincial capital, Ramadi, to Fallujah.  The report estimates that up to an additional 60,000 troops would be needed to gain control where 50,000 troops have had no success.  And, since such buildups will not happen, which alone speaks volumes on the threat to the U.S. posed there, the raised possibility of an eventual “ceding” of the province to the “enemy” begs the question:  why leave any soldiers behind anywhere in Iraq to die and be injured?”  The willingness, or even the compulsion of Bush to abandon any part of Iraq is an undeniable signal that Iraq is not and never has been a threat to U.S. security, or a factor for the, as Bush said in his 911 speech, “safety of America that will be determined in [Iraq’s] streets...”  Rather, such concession helps to illustrate that Iraq is only a source of income and potentially vast future resource for Bush-administration industrialists, who now, in the face of increasing violence there and opposition at home, are merely trying to salvage some source of continued enrichment which, to date, has been scandalously extravagant.  From a military perspective alone, the report speaks of Iraq as an obligatory political objective, not one of national survival.  If Iraq really were a threat to the U.S., there would and could be no ceding, no withdrawing, and no allowing any sector of that threat to remain unopposed and undefeated, and there would not be.

In Bush’s election-season, political, fear-mongering speeches, he talks about “havoc” in Iraq and fighting in the streets, but it is he who ignited and fans the flames of global street violence.  Order and control were replaced with violence and widespread fear by Bush when he illegally ordered troops into Iraq.  The violence and fear will never end there so long as U.S. troops remain—that will not be allowed to happen by disparate forces, separately opposed to each other and commonly opposed to the U.S.  When troops are ordered out of Iraq, those Mid-Eastern forces that will never accept American control will vie for and re-establish order and control, ending the on-going tragedy of daily violence and death.  Bush and America will likely not favor the new regime that emerges, but the same is true in Palestine, where American-backed, democratic elections produced the radical and unfriendly Hamas government.  The difference is that Palestine is not a temptation to Bush industrialists.  The new regime that arises in Iraq after U.S. troops leave, if it wishes to remain in place, will not, as Saddam did not, threaten America and will not harbor or support terrorism or the violent objectives of the Islamic radicals, because America will not withdraw unconditionally with respect to those possibilities, or genocide, and America will then be free of the yoke, callously and carelessly thrown upon it by Bush, which ever tightens to strangle its prosperity.

For those who are not a part of the benefitting and money-driven corporate base that drives the Bush administration’s intractability in Iraq, and who have been unable to see the truth behind the treason and crime of Bush’s grab for control in the oil-rich and industrial-based-infrastructure-lacking nation, this is yet another eye-opener that should make the travesty and abomination that is the Bush administration, and that is really behind more than 2,600 American deaths and tens of thousands of injuries, even more clear for them to see.

On Bush’s accusation against the Islamic terrorists, that they are willing to kill to achieve political objectives, how many Iraqi women and children, and U.S. soldiers has Bush killed and is he willing and determined to continue to kill in his illegal occupation for political and economic objectives?  The Arabs want a Middle East free of Western domination.  Bush wants a Middle East that is dominated by U.S. capitalists.  Therein is the source of the conflict, and the killings, for which Bush is as culpable as the Arab bombers trying to throw off the perpetually long-reaching influence of Western capitalism and policy (and some degree of cultural decadence) in their homelands.  This influence has persisted beyond colonization through the decades-long propping up of suppressive monarchies, oligarchies, and dictatorships throughout the region.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., the official census report, released in the same week, shows that while Bush focuses on using American lives to take over a region on the other side of the world, the nonacculturate, illegal Hispanic invasion is succeeding in overtaking and subverting American culture and resources in every state, unopposed, indeed, aided by Bush and Congress.  Any president should have a grasp and vision for the long-term consequences of misplaced priorities.

Hezbollah soldiers on parade bear a striking similarity to Nazis.

In its hard-line response to Hezbollah’s unprovoked attacks against its civilians, Israel is driving home the point that the Lebanese, and the citizens of its other neighbor states, cannot expect to live in peace or prosper in progressive, growing countries and also tolerate terrorists (Islamic-militant militia) operating in their midst.  Those who have accepted Hezbollah or other terrorist groups and done nothing are not “innocent,” have put their own children at risk (as has Hezbollah by intentionally using civilian-populated emplacements) and they cannot expect to be free of the consequences of their misplaced tolerance.

Those Arab factions that do not recognize Israel’s existence, who, through their mindless hatred, seek to remove Israel from the map with missiles and bombs, are invoking violence without purpose or effect, except the aftermath of which is disaster for themselves and those among whom they live and operate, which is the burial of the future that they condemn and destroy for themselves and their children.  They make themselves the losers in the span of life that is theirs to use or, which, by their choice, they abuse.  Despite tearful protestations of the Lebanese prime minister, they are empty, in light of the fact that he does control a military that is nowhere in sight and is not attempting to suppress Hezbollah rocket launches from within its territory.  These launches are acts of war that the government, by its lack of action, is supporting.  While Israel decimates Iran and Syria’s tentacles in Lebanon, the U.S. should be attacking the head of the monster in Tehran (instead of pursuing the corporate agenda in Iraq) which would benefit both the peace in the Mid East and immediately insure American security against the radical Islamist nuclear threat.

Children, killed in Israeli air strike in Qana, Lebanon.  The blame is not Israel’s alone.

Had Bush used the military to pursue national interests against Iran, instead of the corporate-industrialist interests he serves in Iraq, the nuclear threat from Tehran would no longer exist, and Iran would not have been able to supply the missiles to Hezbollah that provoked the conflict with Israel, causing the deaths of the children in Qana and other civilians.  But Israel also cannot expect to be free of the consequences of inadequate intelligence supporting targeting decisions.  The use, by Hezbollah, of offensive emplacements amidst civilians who ignored Israeli warnings to evacuate is not sufficient basis to attack those emplacements without determining that the weight of the harm will not befall women and children; otherwise, no matter the right of its purpose, the weight of the harm falls most severely upon Israeli interests and darken its future.

Since Hezbollah cannot defeat Israel, their rocket attacks, which do not take consideration for women and children, and the kidnapings, were obviously no more than provocations, incited by the Iranians and Syrians to deflect attention away from the real threat:  Iran’s and (by association) Syria’s nuclear ambitions, and as a means to compound the diversion by destabilizing the democratic government of Lebanon.  This suggests that Iran is buying time and that it is on a shorter time-line to actually becoming a nuclear asset to Islamic extremists than is widely believed.  It is no coincidence, either, that the violence is intensifying in Iraq, since the jihadists communicate to fan the flames and believe that the Bush administration will only become more and more recalcitrant as the cost rises, and that the probability is that Iraq will only be an effective shield against action targeting Iran’s nuclear development for the remainder of Bush’s term.

To kill or control a snake, one must attack the head.  The U.S. and its allies must keep their eyes on the ball, but they are constrained in confronting Iran, in large part because of the resources being diverted to Iraq, a diversion which far outweighs Hezbollah’s writhing in Lebanon, and one which brings no benefit to U.S. or Western security, quite the contrary, only benefitting U.S. industrialists tied to Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld (Bechtel-Halliburton), weapons purveyors on all sides, and Islamic terrorists throughout the region.  The only value of Iraq to U.S. security is as a staging and jump-off point for operations to remove the Iranian government and destroy its nuclear R&D infrastructure, operations for which Iraq provided sound tactical practice, albeit unjustified, yet which should necessarily be begun, disengaging from Iraq without further delay or distraction to move against the hate-driven radicals controlling Tehran, and Hezbollah.

The world’s current squabbling over Israel’s reaction to the tolerance of Hezbollah’s operational residency in Lebanon will be properly trivialized in the hindsight that will follow the detonation of the first Iranian or Korean supplied radioactive dirty bomb or fissile device, which could well happen without any test-blast warnings, within a few short years, in Israel, Europe, Russia, or the U.S., if Iran is allowed to continue unopposed and defiant as it is now.  Isolating these threats is not the answer.  They must be confronted—directly, promptly, and unwaveringly, with full commitment and readiness to use any force necessary to remove the threat they fully intend to pose at their first opportunity.

In testimony before the U.S. Senate Armed Services committee, on August 3, 2006, the most significant statement that was made, uncontradicted by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Pace and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, both men also at the table, in terms of threat to American security interests, was that voiced by four-star General Abiziad, the commander of American forces in the region, when he said that if the threatening forces are “left unchecked, it is possible that... chemical and nuclear weapons will be transferred to non-state militias.”  This site has long recognized that threat as being paramount, and as restated above, that America is not keeping its eye on the ball where U.S. security interests in the Mid East are concerned, and the aftermath of this testimony demonstrated that neither is the press or the Senate.

In post-hearing interviews with Armed Services committee chairman, Senator John Warner (R-VA) and Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), neither the press nor the senators addressed Gen. Abiziad’s nuclear warning or gave any indication of even hearing it, instead focusing on the “dire and ominous consequences,” said Sen. Reed, of the increasing Iraqi violence, and, in Sen. Warner’s words, the “very significant statement” made by the generals testifying on the “chance for Iraqi civil war,” which he stated “is not around the corner, yet.”  Aside from the lack of reference to terrorists (no surprise, since their presence in Iraq has never been a factor in the excuses for invasion or for U.S. security), one must wonder how bad things have to get before the senator and his colleagues will feel a need to act, or to change an ill-conceived policy, because civil war between the ethnic factions in Iraq and its predecessors has been a many-centuries fact of life Bush ignores.  By what perspective does one make a judgement of the imminence of a threat?  Yet, the day after the testimony, ex-oil executive and crisis-fashion-shopper Secretary of State Rice says there is no danger of civil war.

Secretary Rice                                          General Abiziad               General Pace  

Do you believe the generals, committed to the welfare of their troops and the country, or Rice, a corporate-industrialist, Bush spokesperson doing damage-control P.R. for an administration which has a record of deception and lies, documented in the press and on this site since before the illegal, greed-motivated invasion of Iraq?  How many times has she been cornered into answering to apparent conflicts between the administration and the military?  It is a recurring and increasing circumstance.  Where there is smoke, is there not fire?

From the perspective of the time-frame that has passed since India’s first atomic test, and then Pakistan’s, the threat in Iran is around the corner.  From what intelligence knows/doesn’t know, the threat can only, wisely, be considered imminent, or foolishly pushed aside because it isn’t yet around some distant corner of the Warner Senate’s Iraq-focused peripheral vision.  While the senators stretched the timeline for troop presence and stressed the need to risk and lose more American lives to save Shi’i and Sunni lives, the fact is that there was nothing said in testimony about Iraq, and there is nothing that can happen in Iraq, that is more significant than the nuclear threat for the region, and the U.S., finally voiced into the record by General Abiziad, and which was ignored by both the press and the senators on the committee.  Like with illegal immigration and the diluting of the American economic base by the exporting of jobs and plants, the Senate demonstrates that it is not connected to the reality of what America faces and where it must be focused if the way of life that has been in its history is to in any semblance remain in its future.

It is again reminded that Viet Nam was a civil war, where not a single American death of the more than 58,000 mattered to the outcome.  Senator Warner forgets that he owes his first allegiance to the people and the military of the U.S., not to Bush’s Iraqi policy, or his own convoluted definition of constitutional authority for Bush’s deployment of troops, to which, in Iraq, he is so blindly tied and for which he is so wrongly motivated.  It remains a policy that is more and more obviously degrading the military his committee oversees, as well as America’s capacity to deal with real threats to its security and effectively guide other nations in an effort to insure real global security.  Warner’s own generals are now testifying to that effect and to the real future threat that is continuing to be ignored on all fronts, even as Tehran, as late as late last year, again defied U.N. threats of sanctions, which it recognizes, even if the U.S. does not, are meaningless devices to deal with the threat its regime poses.

The American Founding Fathers created a thoughtful and unique system for governance that was intentionally set apart from those that shaped the leading nations of the world in their time.  Global integrations of commerce and war and culture were not a part of their plans or meant to be a factor of the system they created to build a new nation, which through vastly changing time and circumstance evolved into a greatness they never imagined, but which, since the conflict in Korea, has begun to diminish, and since Viet Nam, has entered a more rapidly accelerating decline.  They would likely view the military travesties of Vietnam and Iraq, of government-encouraged illegal immigration, of the exporting of jobs and manufacturing, and of the Bush vision of America as a tool for overseas-democratic revolution, by force (creating a corporate-economic landscape), as unadulterated insanity.  And, even if a civil war in Iraq, Abraham Lincoln could say to Bush what he said before:

“Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better.  This is a most valuable—a most sacred right—a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.”

The Founders, and Lincoln, would certainly view the control of government by the corporate-industrialist lobby Bush leads, and its manifestations (beyond Iraq), like the Bush-loaded Supreme Court’s ruling on the use of eminent domain to turn privately-owned homes over for the benefit of developers, and the Bush administration’s excesses of execution of the Patriot act, and his slap at the Constitution with close to 900 legislative-signing statements, and the idle acceptance by Congress of all of this, and more, as the incarnation of their worst fear:  minority tyranny.

Walt Handelsman’s Pirates of the Constitution

It is a terrible circumstance that at a time quickly becoming as critical as any in the past, when the confident strength and leadership of a Franklin Roosevelt , or the quiet, undaunted sacrifice and national determination of a Lincoln is needed, America’s constitutional government is threatened by and straddled with the most ill-motivated, ineffectual president in its history.  America and the world are at a new crossroad that is no less significant than the crossroad paved with the first use of atomic weapons by the U.S. and the Soviet Union at the end of World War II.  This is the time when what is or is not done to address the menace will cause the world to change forever.  Decisive, directed action for right and safety will maintain and insure long-term security.  Diversion of resources and attention away from the threat, or delay, to serve greed or ambition, will allow those who now oppose freedom and democracy to usher in a new era of unending fear and constant threat of sudden, massed, widespread death.

Where these regimes that are positioning to threaten U.S. security are concerned, in so preparing, their threat is direct and immediate, and there is scarce, little time left for more obstinate silence, unbacked and open-ended talk, diverted and wasted resources and further erosion of the military, or for more mistakes in analysis and judgement.  North Korea’s agreement, late last year, for six-party talks is a delay... a distraction, and unrestricted access for inspections will not come of it, and the compulsary participation must not be extended to allow North Korea their objective:  time for further advancement in long-range-missile systems and warhead development.  For America, the crisis to be confronted and defeated is not in Iraq, or Lebanon, where Israel can and will act to take care of itself.  The first crisis point, directly threatening all of America’s vital interests and way of life, that must be rapidly disposed of (after Bush, because he will not rightly act, and there may not be two more years to spare) is the nuclear-determined, criminal dictatorship in North Korea, and then the equally determined radical-Islamist regime in Iran.  If Americans must die fighting, North Korea and Iran is where the fight will have cause and meaning, and removing these regimes and their nuclear-weapons programs, not nation building in Iraq, is where the deaths will have value for insuring the future of the nation, the safety and security of its people, and the preservation of its civic and cultural heritage.  All of these national virtues are at risk by Jong-il’s nuclear test and by his and Iran’s proclaimed, practiced, continuing, and unswaying nuclear intentions—through even the multiple of repercussions that fall short of a detonation in the West should they be allowed to succeed with the development.  None of these virtues are threatened by anything in Iraq, except by Bush’s ambitions there.

Sen. John Cornyn, (R - TX)

Republican conservatives, like Texas Senator John Cornyn and Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who speak against the judiciary, and who attempt to justify convoluting the Supreme Court’s decision on the humane treatment of prisoners under Article 3 of the Geneva Convention, are poison in the soup of American democracy.  Their use of politically inspired phrases like, “illegal combatants,” which have no validity nor moral exclusion for treatment by any standard, is a means by which they seek to bring America’s actions down to the uncivilized levels of those factions America lawfully fights in Afghanistan, and those, like he and Bush, who seek and prefer to operate under no standards of conduct in their government and corporate practices.

An illegal invasion, ordered by one ill-elected man, does not constitute a basis for a promise from America.

Unabated fuel-price increases (except when reversed prior to Republican-incumbent elections) in the face of record oil-company profits and a $400-million-retirement package for the CEO of Exxon, speak to the knowing assurance of the corporate-industrial lobby, to which Bush panders, and of which his administration is a part, that it can rake the public with impunity and without restraint, which it continued to do until the 2006 mid-September campaign season began, which saw prices suddenly drop by one-third, for no reason related to speculation, supply or demand, only to ease the anger and the issue directed by voters against Bush and his industrialist government.  And look at where politically-dropping prices headed after the election, even as Republicans lost control of the Congress.  Way back up, while that industry is still is able to gouge over the remaining two years of Bush’s term.  Bush claims that the law of supply and demand is responsible for the runaway fuel costs, but supply has not diminished so greatly, in so short a time, to account for the spate of increases over the last several years of his administration, or increased to account for the political-campaign-season falls.  These increases and drops are provoked by a manipulating force external to market controls and sanctioned by the Bush-Republican controlled government to both increase profits and influence votes.  And the Republican leaders would love nothing better than further subsidizing the oil industry with tax dollars by dolling out rebates or setting aside tax revenues to pacify voters while leaving bloated industry pockets unscathed.  Even Democratic control of Congress has not halted this interest-group abuse while Bush sits in the White House.

“I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”

— Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson was right, and the lawless greed of industrial power centers in America marks a trail in history well-blazed from his time forward.  Bush and Cheney’s oil cronies, who benefited from Bush directives to the Department of the Interior that forced cutbacks on audits and enforcement while pushing to open up exploration and drilling in the Gulf and national refuges, are no exception.  The New York Times reported the scandal, when the big firms being prosecuted, not by Bush’s Justice Department, but under a whistle-blower law, for defrauding the government by skimming hundreds of millions in royalties due for oil and gas extractions from public lands (and more millions from private land owners) started negotiating and paying out settlements:  Mobil was the first to settle and paid more than $40 million in 1998.  Chevron paid $95 million.  Shell paid $110 million.  By 2002, 15 oil companies had paid a total of almost $440 million.  If any citizen wanted to invoke consumer’s punishment against the guilty companies, as was done to Exxon for the way they handled the Valdes disaster, the only recourse would be to sell the gasoline car and buy an electric or corn burner, because Republican administrations do not, by design, properly administer or prosecute laws affecting them.

The latest in greed-based industrial treachery, the level to which Jefferson never could have imagined, was in March, 2007, when defense contractor ITT Industries was found to be selling secret night-vision technology to China (called “sharing” by media), threatening U.S. soldiers’ lives and reducing one of their most important war-time tactical advantages.  This treason (for which, instead of hanging or prison for responsible persons, there was only a $100 million fine against the public corporation, half of which was forgiven for future business) preceded another defense contractor’s traitorous greed, detailed in the early September, 2006 NBC-investigative report on the withholding from Army troops of a viable, available-then-and-now, Israeli-produced, rocket-propelled-grenade defense system, in order to allow Rumsfeld’s DOD-in-bed partner, Raytheon, to take fives years and millions in tax dollars to develop a system from scratch, with no guarantee that it would match the 98-percent effectiveness of the Israeli system, called Trophy, and no care, whatsoever, for the number of soldiers who might be saved from death and injury in those five years at the hands of the favorite weapon of the Islamists as a direct result of delaying deployment for the sake of sweetheart Raytheon’s dollars.  Add to Jefferson’s warning that of former president and WWII allied commander, Dwight D. Eisenhower, who spoke specifically of the dangers, posed by the military-industrial complex, that began mushrooming in the years following the war during his presidential term.  It is true that defense companies, like Raytheon, are valuable assets to American security.  But that does not justify this kind of crime, for which the responsible executives and generals remain unpunished.  Not only is the process that has allowed this to happen corrupt, it is treasonous, and it could not have happened if the Bush administration was not in the service of the corporate-industrial lobby, of which, the military-industrial complex is a key component, and there are decision makers at the highest levels who deserve to be behind bars if not executed for this atrocity of greed, injury, and death.

The truth, further revealed by the ITT and Raytheon abuses, and the Enron crimes, to which Republican conservatives abscond, is that there are some critical and strategic economic sectors, like energy, food, defense, and health care, that should not be left unregulated and in the control of speculators and those motivated only by greed or profit, including an unrealistic stock-market expectation for ever-increasing gains, no matter what the condition of the other factors of interchange with which these critical industries, so speculated upon, must co-exist.  The playground of the industrial capitalists and monied investors must be cleared of those toys that can harm others, and herein lies the Utilitarian path to meaningful legislation to affect a solution.

The Republican claim, as they defend their special-interest speculators, that market demand alone is responsible for the rise in the price of oil, is as ludicrous as their constant claim that free trade and exported jobs and plants, without consideration of American worker and safety standards, is good for those workers and America, a claim they continued to make as the middle class began to die from their multi-tentacled economic suffocation.  Is anyone really surprised that the cost of fuel has dropped so precipitously in the last weeks before the election?  Bush, no doubt, has more kisses for the King.  Market demand cannot account for the amount of the increase and the spectacularly short time in which it has occurred!  Many financial analysts have said that there is an “oil bubble” that will burst, sharply dropping prices, as may have begun to happen in August.  Bubbles, be they in oil, housing, or Dot-coms, are caused by speculation driving prices beyond value, not by supply and demand.  And finally, in early summer, 2008, as the average price of a gallon of regular gas exceeded $4.00, Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) joined with other senators and spoke on the floor of the Senate in support of legislation to end speculative trading of oil contracts.  The pig-like squeal of the fatted speculators, hedge-fund managers, their markets and trading firms that make millions, and their Republican supporters, paid with lobby money taken from the pockets of struggling Americans, is becoming loud and constant in the ears of a Congress reaching for either a leash or a knife to finally confront them, and legislators must be contacted and encouraged to support measures ending greed-based oil speculation and extend them to protect food commodities, and health-care products and services, by ending speculation, moving them out of the public-ownership sector and banning prescription-drug advertising (already done in Europe), all of which artificially raise the price of these critical goods and services.

But the GREED runneth forth, as Midwest floods ran into the first days of the 2008 summer, with the more than 400 mortgage-fraud related arrests by the FBI, to include two Bear Stearns hedge-fund executives, Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin, who took more than $2 million from the fund they knew was failing, even as they continued to suck in more investors with lies and deceptions that would make Bush and Cheney proud, sinking their firm and its investors just as surely as the Bush-Cheney gang has sunk America.  Just as surely as killing, greed-based earmarks and criminal defense contractors, like MZM, continue to sink America.  MZM, whose president bribed Congressman Duke Cunningham with expensive luxuries, and contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to campaigns, received millions of dollars from Cunningham through earmarks to the company that Cunningham was able to keep secret.  The contractor, MZM, hired one-third the number of employees called for and lacked required experience, failing to meet any standards for a contract seeking to reduce troop casualties from improvised explosive devices (IEDs).  Military intelligence officers are convinced this earmarks-based corruption cost soldiers their lives, and Cunningham, the complicit MZM officers, and anyone else tied to this criminal treason should be so charged, tried, and executed.  As should those war profiteers at Houston-based KBR, which the New York Times uncovered has received untold millions in construction funding, and whose negligently-faulty electrical work throughout Iraq has caused and contributed to the deaths of soldiers there.

Add to this old story of the most wealthy, like Martha Stewart, still not having enough to keep them from cheating and stealing to get more at the expense of those far less fortunate, and there is the UBS AG, Swiss-bank case, where evidence has shown that U.S. millionaire and billionaire clients were regularly assisted by bank managers in defrauding the U.S. government of tax money (on $21 billion in funds they probably gained illegitimately) by opening haven accounts in offshore banks under fictitious names, and through the smuggling of diamonds in toothpaste tubes to facilitate billionaires’ money transfers through customs.  UBS bankers, cooperating with prosecutors, report the bank pocketed $200 million annually from such activities, for which, the Swiss bankers probably opened 1940’s tutorials on shady-services procedures, written by their WWII predecessors who processed Nazi loot, some of which still remains in Swiss vaults.

Sen. Ted Stevens, the long-time Republican, representing Alaska (if you can call it that, when he supports the Bush/Cheney-oil interests in opening up drilling in that state’s protected areas), has, according to an indictment by the Justice Department, actually been facilitating his influence in the Senate for state companies that have provided him with a quarter-million dollars in home improvements to his vacation house, selling the peoples’ vote for his own gain, the most onerous offense of trust any citizen can commit, short of treason.  Stevens has now been found quilty on all counts, forced to resign from the ranking-Republican positions he held on the several committees on which he was assigned, and through which, no doubt, an investigation would show he was an earmark and lobbying-influence leader.  And, as he joins his fellow, departed Republicans of the Bush years, also caught betraying their public trust and the law, and knowing how icebergs are, the ones that sink ships or governments, it is difficult not to believe these charges are just the tip of the iceberg of abuse and corruption that Stevens has been getting away with over much of the forty years he has been in the Senate.  America, the Senate, and the people of Alaska will be better off with him gone, and there are many other senior lawmakers who are deep in the influence-peddling recesses of government and who also need to be expelled by voters to bring the fresh breath of air of Democracy back into the halls of the people’s government, now owned by the lobbyists, full-time electioneers, and those elected officials who have turned their public trust into a ticket to the money game that has ruined the effectiveness of and trust in government.

And, add these to Enron’s crimes, those cited above, and the long list of other corporate and corporate-executive crimes and abuses, going back to before Thomas Jefferson’s loud warning as to the unscrupulous nature and national threat posed by the wealthy industrialists, and who can wonder why the elitist wealthy are so easy to loathe and their institutions and assurances so difficult to trust?  It has finally been reported that without oil speculators, the price of oil would plummet by at least 50 percent, almost immediately.  An OPEC minister said the price of oil, based on market demand, should only be $70 per barrel, and speculation in oil has reported to have increased by 40 percent over the last year.  Whenever it is reported that the price of oil rises due to “concerns” about, or the “belief” that, or the “possibility” of..." anything, the translation is “speculation,” which is the external, greed-driven force that is actually driving up the price!  And the media-propaganda battle is fully engaged, with those who speak, often covertly, for the interests of the speculators and their markets claiming that market forces are behind the increases, when in actuality, the only step that can be taken that will derive an immediate drop in the price of oil is to outlaw the speculative markets.  Congress and other Western governments cannot act quickly enough to put an end to the speculators’ markets in critical commodities, products, and services, not only in oil, but in food grains, as well, where the greed of a few causes hunger and threatens destruction of the national economy and the collapse of world economic stability, as prices react not only to speculation’s artificially-inflated, upward pressure, but also to its rumors and its embedded greed, with its innate uncertainties and fears, which drive prices up with any possible threat, from a hurricane to a facility maintenance take-down.  Enterprises that promote higher intrinsic values without producing tangible, end-product goods or services of material value should be afforded the least consideration when determining economic rules, goals, and priorities, because they contribute the least toward building, in fact, often retard meaningful, beneficial economic growth.  The evidence of history and current events shows that those who are in the business of making money without making anything else of value, such as day traders, paper multipliers, and speculators, are especially not to be trusted, because their motivation to enter such pursuits is based upon greed and the unattractive career goal of excelling only at making money, by whatever system they can exploit or invent to do so.  From that which has already been uncovered, it is clear that the FBI should hire at least another 500 agents to pursue the plague of greed-based crime that runs rampant through the American corporate landscape.

Greed, at every level, from being the hidden motive behind dead soldiers, environmental obstructionism, the mortgage collapse, most of the economic woes preceding it, the voracious cash appetites of the 24-7-365-campaign prioritized political parties, and a never-ending cascade of corporate-suite and hall-of-government crime throughout history, remains unaddressed, the price of its damage underestimated, as it stands large as America’s greatest threat, the threat from within, taken least seriously, and it is bringing a grand national dream and valiant history to a darkening end.  Only the strongest measures against the most obscene transgressions will effectively deter future crimes and adequately serve justice.  Ridding the government of greed-ridden Republicanism will be a very good start.

All good sportsmen know that you never shoot unless you can see and know your target.  The vice president obviously hunts with the same clarity, foresight, and concern for harm as was employed when shooting from the hip to send troops into Iraq.

State of the Union — 2006

Isolationism?  Bush uses the label merely to deflect and disguise the ugly truth that defines his actions in the White House.  Every statistic that you can assess, in business, foreign exchange—both cultural and educational, diplomacy, aid and volunteerism, points to America as a nation deeply involved in the world.  In Bush’s context, based on his record, isolationism can only mean refraining from the unnecessary and unwarranted use of force and from giving away American jobs.

Popular Sovranty

We the People

Popular sovereignty (also correctly spelled “sovranty”) is the birth child of the Declaration of Independence.  It means that government power and authority is vested in and derived from The People, and that government acts according to the Will of The People.  Popular sovereignty is one of the three pillars of democracy, along with political liberty and political equality, all of which are embodied within the protections and guarantees written into the amendments and articles of the Constitution of the United States of America.

This site aggressively confronts challenges to the rights and liberties of The People and to the guarantees of the U.S. Constitution, being dedicated to their preservation and the guarantees of the Bill of Rights.  Of particular concern is the threat to political equality posed by campaign contributions — bribes to legislators, where wealthy entities remove equality from the election process and create an industry around elections that consolidates their power, reduces the field of candidates, and steals much time from elected officials who are forced to serve that system and are rewarded by it.  The goal is to end all contributions, fund all federal elections with treasury funds that are distributed according to a prescribed system that is not controlled by the political parties, thereby returning elected officials to The People and the eroded component of political equality to America’s democracy.

The second, major concern is the abuse of military power by the executive, through initiatives that are not enumerated powers of the Constitution to that branch, and the abuse by Congress, through its failure to guard and use the war powers enumerated to it by the Constitution.  This silent ceding of power by Congress has resulted in hundreds of thousands of lives lost, American and foreign, which never should have been put in harm’s way, because the perceptions of threats to national security could have been confronted with other means, or those perceptions were either manufactured or just dead wrong.

You can help to bring about these necessary changes by choosing to contribute to popularsovranty.org, where your participation can make a difference.  Please click on the link in the previous sentence to read about why your help is needed, how your contribution will and will not be used, and to access the donate button.  Thank you.

And, because this site does aggressively confront challenges to the rights and liberties of The People and to the guarantees of the U.S. Constitution, being dedicated to their preservation and the guarantees of the Bill of Rights, so follows, to stand in perpetuum, this indictment:

The Indictment of George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney et al.

Charged are the men who were contentiously entrusted with the power and prerogatives of the offices of President and Vice President of the United States, George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney, who, in collusion and contrary to their oaths to uphold and defend that Constitution, side-stepped it and diluted it by authorizing torture, kidnapping, political corruption of Justice, treasonous war, by support of dictators destroying and threatening other democracies (Pakistan, Georgia) contrary to the national interest, by failure to fully prosecute America’s attackers (Al Queda in Afghanistan), by conducting operations against the people (illegal wiretaps), programs set above the law and the Constitution, by the creation of a criminal, murderous, unaccountable mercenary army (Blackwater), all unconstitutional acts of impunity and arrogance, subordinating the national interest and the welfare of the people for special-interest goals and profit, and further, diminishing and besmirching the authority of the courts, usurping the lawful bills of Congress (unconstitutional signing statements; by refusing to recognize constitutional, congressional war-power directives); by obstruction of justice to remove constitutional, congressional oversight and separation of powers by criminal and unconstitutional direction of the Department of Justice to block the execution of valid and lawful congressional-committee subpoenas; by further failing to uphold the laws of federal jurisdiction (illegal immigration/employment practices; drug trafficking; human smuggling/slavery); by negligent and improper administration of the national disaster-response resources (Katrina), leaving the states open, unaided victims to an onslaught of crime and disaster; and by twisting the vesting of government authority to be incarnate, and the actions of the People’s government, administered by them, to be solely according to their will and the religious belief and vision of George Bush, regardless of and contrary to the will of the People and their collective voice, expressed through constitutional vote and their elected, legislative representatives, the consequences of which have been the unwarranted death of more than 4,400 U.S. soldiers and the maiming of tens of thousands more, lives neither lost nor damaged in the interest of national security, and compounded by the deaths and maiming of tens upon tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of innocent foreign nationals, not guilty of harm or threat against the national-security interests of the United States, further eroding national security through incitement of foreign nationals to act against the U.S., and diminishing of the military state of readiness, including the destruction of government property, and world-wide erosion of U.S. national integrity.

In the history of this nation, there have never been any to hold the offices more deserving of impeachment than Bush and Cheney, which would have condemned them and their acts as wrong, not representative of America, and reinforce for future officials what they cannot do, and in so doing, now that impeachment is no longer viable, criminal prosecution will also serve to allow Americans to face the world again without shame and guilt, having made right a great, but nonetheless enduring and unmitigable wrong.  America’s world standing and historical legacy must be sharply delineated from that of Bush and Cheney’s, beyond what President Obama can do, a paramount reason that impeachment was both as necessary and justified as criminal indictment is now.  Yet, although impeachment was not sufficient recourse for justice in the face of such magnitude of crimes perpetrated upon the nation and the world, indictment, even without conviction, can help to ensure there will never be the likes of Bush or Cheney to again darken, with their colluded, corrupting shadow, a flag that once flew proudly in the light of day and right, and which will not fully see that light again in this generation until the memory of their stain is finally removed from the People’s government by justice done.

The rule of law ends when it is not present, undistorted, in the heart and mind of its principal guardian.

In the 2004 and the present, mid-term election year, the rights, liberties, and guarantees of the American system of government rest in the hands of the voters, temporarily suspended between President Bush and his corporate-industrialist controlled Republican party and the leaderless Democratic party, like a Mexican piñata.  Fear, inspired in part by the Bush administration’s manipulation of the terrorist-alert system, which it may have created for that purpose, was one factor overtaking just enough voters to quash Democratic hopes for a new, responsible, responsive, and ethical government in 2004.

Perennial apathy, and the inability of the Democratic party to resolve important issues with a plan and vision, communicated through the voice of a determined leader, are the greatest allies that Bush’s party (which is no longer, as he has claimed, the party of Lincoln) has in regaining its hold on the Congress.

A focus for the last election was former, alleged Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman, who after crossing the line with his support of Bush and the occupation of Iraq, was defeated in Connecticut’s primary election, only to be re-elected as an independent, and his true colors were made vivid by congressional Republicans in his state backing him instead of the official Republican candidate running for Lieberman’s seat.  Bush and Iraq are knives at the jugular of America, and if one does not oppose them, neither experience, the defeat shows, nor anything else in the domestic record really matters.  It can only be hoped that the increasing hone on the razor of reality in Iraq, and the Baker-Hamilton Report on Iraq will transform him in the second chance he was given by Connecticut, to turn away from the road of Bush ambition he embraced before his primary defeat, because that road almost daily is killing the chances for life and family for thousands of troops and for America’s better future.

The measure of Bush’s political capital — Nothing in hindsight

In 2004, the balance could have been tipped by any little one thing done, left undone, or done differently.  The election was lost to an administration alien to American precepts of popular sovereignty, because of one small error among a multitude of possibilities.  Which was to blame?  Take your pick.

Kerry’s failure to show that Iraq is apart from, not a part of the war on terror?  A platform to end Bush’s war, not win it, could have been the difference to some who voted red or not at all, eliminating the paradox of a promise to win rather than end a war that was wrong to start.

Was Kerry’s failure to recognize and take some part of Bush’s wrongly imposed religious morality as his own, in a constitutionally legitimate way, a fatal factor?  Affirmation of religious rights and individuality is fine, as is defining the impact history had on the Founding Fathers’ consideration of the separation of church and state when they drafted the Constitution, but a platform to take control of smut on the nation’s airways—all the airways—might have brought home a few hundred-thousand votes.

Is America served by slack citizenship requirements, granting automatic citizenship to the children born of illegal aliens?   Bush’s slim 2004 election victory would not have been possible without recent-immigrant voters, many of whom have no real sense of American history and cannot profit from or act on its lessons.  If the law required comprehensive courses in American history, government, and culture awareness, as well as the ability to speak conversational English before bestowing citizenship, a more-informed electorate would have defeated Bush, more than 4,400 soldiers would not be dead for nought, instead serving in a healthy military ground force not straining its resources and reserves, the quality of American life would be richer with greater resources available for social betterment, also strained by the gush of welfare to illegal immigrants, and American culture would not be as divisive and segmented as it is becoming, which will only be intensified by admission of illegal immigrants who are unappreciative of the American system or its basis in the rule of law, and who are only interested in the fast-and-easy track to money without acclimation.  Immigration without acclimation is going to be a source of great trouble in a future of competitive global economics, where governments act on corporate agendas at the expense of the self-made American advantage, American workers and consumers.

Any legislator supporting measures to grant citizenship, and the vote, to a defiant horde of illegal immigrants is pandering for self interest and is not acting in the interest of America or in preserving the quality of American culture and life, and should not be elected.  Any legislation must address citizenship requirements, to insure that all legal immigrants granted citizenship have the same depth of knowledge and understanding of American history, culture, and civics as does the average high-school graduate, though that has too often been demonstrated to be a pitifully shallow depth, but which still would also require mastering the language of the land.  Giving away the vote, like giving away jobs, is giving away America’s future.  Wanting a slice of the American dream is no entitlement to break the law to obtain it.  Being tired of living in fear of deportation is not a justifiable reason to be allowed to remain or to be granted the privilege of citizenship.  How many illegals now here, making demands in the streets, have offered to serve in the military or expended an iota of energy to take courses and learn about America and its government or learn its language?  To the minuscule few who may have done these things, there is standing for demonstration, but not even these few can make demands to have a heritage they have not earned handed to them by a system whose laws they have openly disrespected.

Right click on the highlighted link in this sentence and choose the "save link (or target) as" menu option to download a virus-free, single-page, MS-Word-formatted immigration flyer you can e-mail and/or print and distribute in your neighborhood grocery, malls, post offices, and government centers.

A different running mate?  A dozen or more possibilities, but they don’t matter now.  As the retiring dean of television news anchors, Tom Brokaw, said when he closed his broadcast the night following the elections, bitterness is pointless.  The fight for the next election has just begun.

The fight for the next election, in progress, requires a double-edged sword, because it will also be a fight to hold on to all that the 2006 mid-term election put in place against Bush and Cheney’s private-reality team, which they will attempt to destroy.  But the next election cannot end well if the Democratic Congress fails to “drain the swamp” and change the Bush course, or if the victims of Bush’s agenda remain away from the polls or return to voting against their own and the national interests, as defined by popular sovereignty, not the agenda of a powerful, controlling interest group.

The revelations within this site (click on the images below) seek to promote an understanding of the current threats to American ideals and to popular sovereignty, in clear language, putting them in a variety of perspectives, including values and ethical right and wrong.  Informed citizens with a priority for rights and right over agenda and partisan politics will better know to whom they should have delivered the candy in November 2004, and will better see the proper choices in 2008.

This site is best viewed with screen resolution set to 1024 X 768, 24- or 32-bit color, brightness at about 75 percent and contrast at about 90 percent, or high enough to give “punch” to images without flaring.

Bush’s Republican conservative right attacks the courts.
All appears as James Madison warned and most feared.

Despite second-term win, the Bush administration fails ethical-
values test... and some of the reasons why he should have lost.

It would have been glorious...

Pope George announces crusade for world freedom.

Webmasters linking to this site may use this "Pope George" picture, or others, citing

Read the true story of a raucous local government’s history, written by separatist Hispanic immigrants who lack a sense of American history, political ideals, and in some cases, sanity and civic morality.

Content Warning
The Banana Republic page contains uncensored, vulgar language, contained within direct quotes from individuals who are subjects of the article.  In addition, some segments in the integrated Worse than Miami’s Politics section report on subjects that are of a violent and disturbing nature.

Julian Edney’s insightful examination of a pervasive and destructive cultural and economic reality.

A 911 memorial.

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