Archive for the ‘politics’ category

Senator Bernie Sanders Takes to the Floor!

2010/12/07

This you need to see/hear for yourself! Bernie Sanders Floor speech on granting more tax relief to the rich! Keep up the fight, Senator Sanders! He’s making a call to supporters tonight through Democracy For America (DFA)… You can join in at DFA.com 8:00 EST.
http://bit.ly/dSGMDZ
I found the video on Bob West’s blog at BobWest.posterous.com His blog itself is worth a look! Thanks, Bob!

Flotilla…

2010/06/05

I actually watched the flotilla situation unfold as it happened… from a distance thru my twitter alerts (on my phone! It was set to alert me when one came in…) It was pretty amazing… people carrying on about bringing aid to Gaza. All of a sudden the activity really picked up (and I couldn’t just couldn’t watch with one eye anymore! now I have an understanding of what cellphone addicts go thru!) as the gunfire started and the Israeli’s borded the ships… anyway, here’s the link to the feed on “flotilla activity” (if you are familiar with Twitter it’ll make sense to you!)
http://twitter.com/home#search?q=%23Flotilla

And here’s another wrinkle. Really hard to tell what’s real anymore! Actually, seems that it’s always been this way…
http://maxblumenthal.com/2010/06/idf-releases-apparently-doctored-audio-press-reports-as-fact/

And one of the reasons that it’s so hard to tell what’s real, is because so many interests have gotten so good (professional if you will) at manipulating the media to report their side of the story… which this article from this morning’s NYTs shows…
From The New York Times:

OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR: An Assault, Cloaked in Peace
Many (though not all! Many or some? Who’s got the head count, anyway…) who were aboard the Gaza-bound flotilla had one goal — it was to
aid terrorists, not to help civilians.
Http://nyti.ms/bOPzRH

So, for me, the bottom line is that you have to be really careful about taking anything you read or hear at face-value! From the media to personal emails depicting pics from trips they’ve taken…nearly everything is packaged to provide a certain perspective that supports someone’s bias, for good or for bad! If you understand someone’s long-standing bias, you can more readily understand the perspective behind the message or image they are delivering.

I’ve spent most of my adult life working through this… I have had some good experiences that have really opened my eyes to a lot of this as it happened… Living in Nicaragua during and after the revolution there was one of the best! Watching the revolution crumble through the “low-intensity” and prolonged “secret” war run out of Reagan’s WH basement (remember the Iran-Contra “Affair”? Today it would be called a secret war!) and the media selling of Violeta Barrios de Chamorro (largely a US led, and funded, media effort in Nicaragua) and the gradual take-back of the country by Daniel Ortega was like bearing personal witness to an international (mostly US vs. any other country in the world!) experiment in manipulating the populations of the world by the media. Today it’s being practiced right here at home!

From there to Brazil and the rest of South America that recently went though transitions back to democracies after suffering through US installed military dictatorships since the 60s… and we wonder why there’s so much distrust of the US (and it’s staunchest allies). Cuba is another example that comes to mind… my trips there were so carefully choreographed so as to contrast my own experiences (and photos!) with the messages about Cuba coming out of the US since 1959… and mostly so that I wouldn’t notice it! Interesting to talk with my friend, Pat, who’d also gone there and basically the same take on her visit there…

That is not to say that the claim that terrorists were involved in the flotilla has no merit. As the article in the NYTs (above) says there is mounting evidence that there were terrorists embedded among the activists (just like we embed “journalists” among the “soldiers” today?) . But the people killed during the raid were more-than-likely of both varieties, making the claims against the Israelis even more concerning.

Add to this that the flotilla was in international waters when the raid occurred, and that the ferry that was raided was sailing under a Turkish flag (NATO member, which affords them certain rights, too! You know, “If you attack any NATO member, you’re attacking us all!” for starters!)

So I will be watching this as it further develops… and hopefully we can avoid more war! That ultimately is only good for the Military-Industrial Complex and the Corporations that have already all but taken over our own democracy!

Just one more point in this already too long diatribe… I don’t want to take sides on this because I’ve always looked favorably on Israel and have good Jewish friends that have very pro-Israel stances, and also have good friends who have very pro-Palestinian stances… Friends son, Josh, went to Israel last year (on some Israeli funds’ dime), and my friend, Dave, went to the West Bank numerous times (on some Palestinian fund’s dime)… Boy, talk about opinions!

I’m always reminded that Israel was established by the US after WWII on land that was inhabited primarily by Arab Bedouins who were pushed aside to make room for the new State (that just celebrated its 60 anniversary!). Why there? No country at the time would cede the Jews land to create their own country and, not inconsequently, the Old Testament laid out Jerusalem as the center of the Jewish universe. What was little understood (and otherwise ignored until recently by the West) is that the Quran also established Jerusalem as the center of the Muslim universe!

There has been mounting pressure on Arabs and Israelis alike for each of Israel and Palestine to create 2 contiguous states in which they each can live in peace. So far they have been unable and unwilling to do that. The current situation with the Palestinians living in two areas of Israel (the West Bank and Gaza) with a strip of Israel between them, which prevents the free travel, commerce and religious life between them is untenable and unsustainable, at best!

Unfortunately, there’s much more to come from this area of the world… We’d better get ready for it, starting with Americans realizing they have had a role in all of this all along! We helped make the bed and all!

My thoughts so far! Twitter’s a twittern’ again!

Ongoing Debate… Should Obama call on the Military to Stop the Spill?

2010/05/31

President Obama, Don’t do it!

I’m not worried about you, and know that our troops could help now and during the clean-up…

But I don’t trust the Conservatives who will once again abuse the Government, and blame it all on you for undermining the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 when they “support” our state and local police forces with soldiers!

The first step is to have the civilian population grow accustomed to seeing armed and dangerous soldiers walking the streets… then come the contractor mercenaries! But we’ll be “safe”!

The decision needs to consider the still ongoing debate as to whether the PCA should be repealed, moderated, or strengthened.

I am not one of those who argue that the act should be repealed because the federal government needs the full force of a flexible military to combat terrorism within the territorial United States.

Nor do I believe that the act is obsolete and should be repealed because numerous legislative exemptions have eroded the underlying policy and left the PCA a hollow shell.

I am among those who insist that although there are many exceptions, the Act is essential to bar misuse of the military by Conservative, Right-Wing civilian authorities and to prevent a military dictatorship from assuming control of the nation through use of the armed forces. We know that Darth Vader Cheney was aiming for this!

For me, the Act means only that federal military forces may not be commandeered by civilian authorities for use in active and direct law enforcement as a posse comitatus. If local authorities need military personnel for specialized operations enforcing state laws, it is argued, they may call on the state governor for the assistance of the state National Guard.

For more see: Posse Comitatus Act of 1878

Separation of Buisness and State

2010/05/31

Totally agree! The concept worked for many years regarding the population of the church and the state. If we’re able to successfully to achieve this, it’s time to revisit the separation of the the church and the state again… The Bush and Cheney administration did that one in, too!

However, I would make one friendly amendment: the reinstated separation should be broadened to include business and the state. The state must regulate the economy.

We are all too forgiving and forgetful of all the damage the mad-triad (Bush-Cheney-Rove) has done to our country. While I’m not promoting vengeance in return, I do believe it behooves all Americans to be reminded from time-to-time. It would help to put into context the dissatisfaction and extreme partisanship we’re experiencing as a nation today.

That’s another reason I’m pleased with the administration we have in Washington today. The President, while tackling all of the problems handed him by his predecessor, he has actively encouraged the constructive participation of the populace in local, state and national analysis and action.

And so, if the Coffee Party Movement becomes a place where we can do that, I’m all for it. One of the first task we should undertake as a group is how we can promote a Constitutional Amendment that will force the separation of business and the state so that buisness can no longer unduly influence the latter.

Reverse Shock Doctrine… NOW!

2010/05/31

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2kTy7glZ9s&NR=1

Uncle Milty is so wrong! Those of us who are parents know that even our children’s allowance must be regulated by us until they demonstrate they understand the value of the money they’re working with and how to protect what they have relative to what it will cost to buy what they want! It’s called parenting for living in a capitalist country. And we also know that we wouldn’t approve of them increasing their incomes by selling attractive chocolates that they knew were actually worm-ridden on the inside. So think of it in terms of our capitalist economy… regulation is necessary because Wall Streeters are behaving like children augmenting their incomes by selling what they know to be rotten and unregulated mortgages and derivatives to unsuspecting customers. We have reaped what the conservatives have sown since before Regan; by now the government has been so weakened by the Right there’s hardly anything left! And now the progressives are stuck with salvaging and reconstructing what we have Left! Milty, the Chicago School of Economics and Corporations have come perilously close to destroying our democracy and replacing it with America, Inc.!
What we need now is some Reverse Shock Doctrine! Replace “fear” with “hope” and “disaster” with “progressive alternatives” and “No Government” with “Effective Government” and we’ll be off and running!

Happy Earth Day 2010!

2010/04/22

I helped organize Earth Day on my campus in Iowa when I was a freshman in 1970. Never thought it would gather so much steam back then, nor that it would still be necessary to promote Earth awareness now! Just goes to show, Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin was right… Real change takes along time and a lot of concerted effort! Let’s be sure to keep up the good fight and help President Obama, Russ Feingold and others to see a good Climate Change Bill become law!

The Coffee Party is starting to make sense!

2010/03/29

The CP, like our democracy, is not about the *starz*. It’s about the collective *us*! We the People… in the broader sense; you know, inclusive rather than exclusive.

Watch this:

And the Party angle is just that, getting together to talk about current events over coffee at the local coffee house… no more, no less! Not trying to get anyone to adopt a specific perspective or agenda; just discuss an issue from a wide range of perspectives. And if our perspectives are compatible, great! If not, and we find they’re diametrically opposed to each other, we don’t have to have coffee with one another again!

This could evolve into a group of people who listen and share ideas and then vote to influence local, state and the national governments so that they are more responsive to us, as in We, the informed people!