Thursday, November 27, 2008

Be thankful, for what?


Well, one thing I'm not thankful for is having a good football game to watch, today. Detroit hasn't won any games and my own locally supported team in Seattle, has only won two. We can only hope.

In fact, if you're a liberal/progressive type, hope is what we all have to be thankful for. People worked hard, all across the country, in order to usher in the Democratic presidency of Barack Obama and much stronger donkeys in Congress. We all had our reasons and issues of importance. As a result of November 4, we've been able to embrace unbridled hope for our causes.

It's that word, 'unbridled', that worries me a bit. I'm concerned that we all are being tempted to agree that, "alright the economy must be dealt with, but, I have this issue of great importance that must be dealt with first". I'm guilty because I believe torture should be dealt with the very first day. I think I'm right.

It's important to remember that Cheney/Bush and their Neoconservative cohorts along with the theocratic right have done an immense amount of damage to our countries constitution, laws, economy, military and reputation. It's going to take a long time to untangle this mess. We've spent eight years being pissed on while their smiling faces contrived to make us believe it was raining.

His appointments are making many in the liberal community uncomfortable. I think he deserves a honeymoon period that, at least, lasts until Inauguration Day.

President-elect Barack Obama on this Thanksgiving Day...

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you and yours!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Torture is a dark sinister turn that must be halted

an Amnesty International USA petition...


There are reports that Barack Obama will have a 9-11 type panel on torture. It's good to get all the facts out there, but, without punishment for war crimes justice will not be fully achieved.

If our nation is un-fortunate enough to have little or no movement on justice during this election cycle we must keep prosecution in our human rights agenda. There are no statute of limitations on war crimes. This must be an election issue from now until their demise, in which case we failed ; then it must be an election issue on why they were allowed to escape justice.

Never give up. Always have this issue in the forefront of progressive politics until some measure of justice is achieved.

I would prefer to see that justice achieved while the crimes are still in the forefront of our collective consciences.

Hearing on Torture with Addington & Yoo: Nadler's Questions

Bush cronies squirm over issues of torture!!!

When we became a nation that tortures we became less. It's a dark sinister turn that must be halted and made right. Great shame has been brought on our nation because of this hideous practice. Torture is and always has been evil. This is highly unconstitutional, immoral and again it must be stressed a completely un-American exercise in shame with much more in likeness to the old Soviet Union, China, or any other authoritarian government. Confessions as the result of torture and ill-treatment make them completely invalid.

Information gained is unreliable and dangerous to the well-being of our troops. We hanged people in Nuremberg for the practices we carry out today. Once we believe that torture is okay, that we're still pure and clean and good for having accepted it, we open ourselves up to many evil embraced horrors of our own making. We already believe in pre-emptive war and collateral damage without a conscience thought, of the results of our actions.

Bush likes to make bellicose speeches about evil all over the world. Well torture is evil here and everywhere it's practiced and it must never be used for information or punishment or intimidation or for any of the other screwy reasons governments or 'freedom fighters' deploy it. Torture is a cowardly act of weakness.

You people who have welcomed this filthy practice of torture have disgraced our flag, our ancestors' sacrifices and the dust of their bones. This is a war crime and all those involved should be prosecuted all the way up to the head torturer in chief, George W. Bush, a traitor to ‘mom apple pie and the American way’.

Once again life is disturbed by those who chose violence to make a political point or to bring about some change important to them. I suppose you could make a statement that killing the innocent requires some form of bravery in their minds. But it's a far cry than the real bravery of those who stand against injustice, by putting their lives and freedom on the line by using the law and non-violent protest or civil disobedience.

Those who attacked the World Trade Center during the Clinton era are serving life sentences as are those who attacked our embassies in Africa, as will those, under an Obama administration, who may have just attacked our people, under Bush's watch, in India. If this is an attack on Americans and Britains it occurred during Bush's weakened and inattentive administration. Because, they took their eyes off the ball and allowed Al Qeada to grow strong, throughout the world, while they wore our military readiness down.

I wish the Obama administration was in charge right now. Instead, we are left with the ole unreliable Cheney/Bush Neoconservative dominated administration. What will they do? We can only hope they seek the advice of the incoming administration rather than rely on their own, often flawed agenda.

I worry about their propensity to embrace violent solutions, rather than well thought out and negotiated diplomatic consensus.

Radical fundamentalism of all types, whether religious, political or environmental, is a disaster for all involved.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What FDR did

The Great Depression

Fireside Chat 1

Fireside Chat 2

The New Deal-FDIC & SEC

Obama second weekly address

Obama Proposes New Economic Stimulus Plan
The right-wing still love to cling to there policy of 'it's Clinton's fault'.
Discriminating against a white or minority business owner or homeowner because of their zip code was wrong. It kept growth from occurring in these neighborhoods. This was the problem Clinton sought to fix. It had nothing to do with easy irresponsible loans for those on the bottom. Bush and his Republican controlled Congress did that. If you doubt me here are the words from the horse's mouth...

The Irresponsible and Crooked of the GOP--updates

McCain/Bush & the GOP caused economic crisis


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

President-elect Obama please !?!?!!...

Torture is Unacceptable! When we became a nation that tolerates torture among those whom we so casually call our allies we became less. To wash our hands in Pilot’s water bowl was horrific enough but we began to go much farther into depravity and become direct participants in the evil called torture. We dishonered the dust of the bones of those who fought for the founding of this great nation. It’s a dark sinister turn that must be halted and made right.

Great disgrace has been brought on our country because of this hideous practice.

This isn’t American.

This isn’t who we are or what we’re about.

This is; something unholy; a cancer.

Torture is evil here and everywhere it's practiced

and it must never be used for information

or punishment

or intimidation

or for any of the other screwy reasons governments

or 'freedom fighters' deploy it.

Torture needs to be the first vile habit of the Neocon legacy to be thrown on the ash heap of history.

I keep hearing a wishful list coming from many. Let's not forget those who have been among the worst damaged by the Bushies.

An executive order can be enacted on the first day. This would be an act immediately restoring much of our prestige in the world.

Please, everyone remember the plight of those who we've,

under the Neocon-led Bush administration, have chosen to torture.

Please, everyone let's make torture,

disappearances and cruel inhuman treatment of those who we call prisoners - first.

Obama Plans Probe Of Bush Torture Whether Or Not Officials Are Pardoned

Obama's plans for probing Bush torture


"Freedom from torture is an inalienable human right, and we are committed to building a world where human rights are respected and protected by the rule of law…Throughout the world, there are many who have been seeking to have their voices heard, to stand up for their right to freedom, and to break the chains of tyranny. Too many of those courageous women and men are paying a terrible price for their brave acts of dissent. Many have been detained, arrested, thrown in prison, and subjected to torture by regimes that fail to understand that their habits of control will not serve them well in the long-term."
George W. Bush

Situational ethics was a much beloved catch phrase of the Moral Majority. I haven't heard it mentioned for a long time now. That's because the conservative right has embraced 'the end justifies the means' thinking, which is truly worse. Anything they think would advance God's will, as they see it, is the morally responsible thing to do. This has led to an embrace of evil, such as torture.

Poll: 44% of Americans favor torture for terrorist suspects

To torture a mother's innocent children in front of her in an effort to solicite information is evil. To not even be able to say that burying somebody alive is something no human being can order is evil. This isn’t American. This isn’t who we are or what we’re about. This is something unholy; a cancer.

Hearing on Torture with Addington & Yoo: Nadler's Questions

Hearing on Torture with Addington & Yoo: Conyers' Questions

Senate Conservatives Uses Rare Maneuver To Try To Close Down A Hearing On Torture»

General who probed Abu Ghraib says Bush officials committed war crimes

FBI General Counsel: Waterboarding Is ‘Clearly Not Permissible In The United States’»

Ex-State Dept. official: Hundreds of detainees died in U.S. custody, at least 25 murdered.»

Torture and the nation's soul

and Other Cruel, Inhuman or DegradingTreatment or Punishment

McCain Denounces Detainee Ruling
View Aligns Him With President

Bush Neocons put Human Rights LAST!

Number of juveniles held at Guantanamo almost twice official Pentagon figure

an Amnesty International USA petion...



Thursday, November 13, 2008

Human trafficking - revisited

This is a post I made back in September which probably got lost in all the election struggles. In fairness if we hoped to get anything done on this subject or many more pressing issues we needed Democrats in office. Now we have to lobby and fight to make sure human rights regain and retain a high priority in America.

Pacific Islands Radio

I haven't done anything on human trafficking, more correctly called slavery and it's close cousin, sweat shops along with abuses to farm workers. Iraq occupation, torture, illegal detentions, constitutional order and the election occupy a good portion of what I've spent my time on.

I don't hear much about it on progressive radio. When Al Franken was on Air America he used to bring up the subject of Saipan frequently. Impoverished women looking for a better way, conservatives would say trying to pick themselves up by their bootstraps, are lured to this US Commonwealth island, believing they'll have American freedom, only to find themselves in bondage to the sweat shop industry, forced abortions and lives imprisoned as sex slaves.

an excellent article from MS Magazine (a good must read)...

"When one of my closest and dearest friends, Jack Abramoff, your most able representative in Washington, D.C., invited me to the islands, I wanted to see firsthand the free-market success and the progress and reform you have made.” At a New Year’s Eve dinner on Saipan, DeLay lavishly praised the governor—in a moment caught on camera and later shown by ABC’s 20/20—“You are a shining light for what is happening in the Republican Party, and you represent everything that is good about what we’re trying to do in America, in leading the world in the free-market system.” more...

Paradise Lost

If you've been listening to the radio station it's music to work your fingers to the bone by or more degrading activities.

TED Case Studies
Saipan Case Study
by Elizabeth Sobel

Slavery is a global problem that has many partners and victims.

Human Trafficking

KBR, Partner in Iraq Contract Sued in Human Trafficking Case

I know a hard-volunteering elderly gentleman from the Catholic faith who said his most important issue was freedom because without that you have nothing. I fully expected him to say abortion. My answer would be clearly pro-life, but to the consternation of those who pretend to be pro-life among the conservative religious right the whole spectrum of social justice applies.

As far as the issue of human trafficking is concerned it's not just un-ethical, cheap-skate contractors who are to blame. It's anyone who purchases sweat shop products, there's a matter of sin for those who knowingly do so, those who take sex vacations or those who view pornography performed by sex slaves, and those who intentionally hide there heads in the sand refusing to see the guilt and shame of their own politicians and government policies.

the corporation - sweatshop labor

from Amnesty International...
Human Trafficking

Franciscans International's Handbook on Human Trafficking

from Human Rights Watch...
Trafficking of Women and Girls

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day - Thankfully the Bushies Last

Barack Obama: Speech on Patriotism

All of us vets took this oath. We stood side by side with one another in a variety of times and circumstances and proudly raised our hands to this simple affirmation of duty and allegiance.

"I, { }, do solemnly swear, (or affirm), that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."

They take everything they do seriosly and always perform at their best. They should never be anyones political plaything or have their lives used callausly for corporate profit. Their lives; their love for; their duty to; and their sacrifices for God and country should be cherished as a miser would gold.

A man owns this wonderful tool that does all sorts of things and is much cherished. A neighbor asks to borrow it promising the proper care. The man catches this neighbor seriously abusing this favorite tool of his. He’s understandably furious at this person. However, he doesn’t suddenly hate his tool because he’s upset at the way it’s being used. . Likewise, the military is a very precious tool of our government owned by us. The Bush administration is the bad neighbor that is doing the misusing and abusing. We still love the troops but we all have a right and responsibility to let our displeasure known when they are being treated badly by this or any administration that only has temporary custody of them.

Our great military all the way down to, the National Guard, has been run-down, depleted and abused for the benefit of their dirty little oil war. Neocon loyalists, such as Representative Duncan Hunter, love to claim there are plenty of extra troops within the Navy and Air Force to bolster troop levels for any military adventurism in Iran. While I can't speak to the Navy I suspect it would be a similarly disastrous affect on them as it would be for the Air Force. I wonder just how many non-combat trained technicians can be removed before readiness is seriously hampered. How long before the planes won't fly, communications is disrupted and weapons systems become inoperable?

They have shown a great disregard for our professional all volunteer force through stop loss, extended Iraq stays, frequent deployments with little down time between, lack of respect for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, substandard care for the injured and permanently disabled, engaging in the immoral act of torture and illegal mistreatment during confinement of those labeled enemy combatants which endangers the well being of all in uniform.

Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
Barack Obama: Speech on the Cost of War

His custody of the military is about to end. The Obama era is about to start. There's so much to fix after eight long years of neglect and exploitation, from the VA to ending the Iraq occupation to adjusting the rules of conflict in order to make a real significant difference in civilian casualties.

I agree that for the sake of justice, for the 9-11 victims, bin Laden must be dealt with but I would hope the duty abandoned by Bush in Afghanistan will not become an Obama quagmire.


Veteran Resources

Department of Veteran Affairs

Sen. Patty Murray is a champion for vets

Barack Obama & Tammy Duckworth lay wreath

Monday, November 10, 2008

Radical conservativism isn't dead.

It's just slithering into the dark places where it belongs.

Savage Insists President-Elect Obama Marxist.
(you don't have to listen to the whole thing-he makes me cringe)

Many thought that Reagan was the death of liberalism. But it wasn't, because progressives kept fighting for all the causes that were important to it. We made a resurgence towards the end of Bush41 and struggled to stay alive throughout the Clinton administration. The vile language of the 'hate everyone who is not like us' conservatives brought them back to life leading to the incredibly destructive Neoconservative dominated Bush43 crowd. It's nice to enjoy our victory while watching 'Republicans eating their own' but the far-right fascist-leaning Neocon embracing conservatives will not let up. They will constantly attack a Democratic government as being the enemy.

Focus on the Family compares Obama victory to Nazi bombing
Savage: "I fear that Obama will stir up a race war ... in order to seize absolute power"

On Grant's radio show, Coulter suggests Obama's "civilian national security force" will lead to "a lot more Waco raids"

To, what level are they driving up feelings of hate among people in cities, towns and neighborhoods not to mention little kids in playgrounds.

Cross burned on lawn of Obama supporters in Hardwick

Racism still alive in North Idaho

Cancer lives by change
They're doing it everywhere. I wrote the idea for this post yesterday then settled down to watch all four of my teams go down in flames. Rams, Saints, Bears and Seahawks are all struggling this year. Nice to have a time of escape. I just wanted to point out that these fiends aren't going away......... Well, this is what Randi Rhodes is talking about today. She has so many more examples of what these guys are saying. I wouldn't be honest if I didn't say all this is more than a little bit frightening. I've been convinced that at the most minumum these guys are playing with fascism. I'm even more convinced, since they are intentionally raising the level of hatred by equating President-elect Obama as the enemy of the United States, that America is dead and other incredibly dangerous talk, that I feel, has crossed the line into sedition, if not treason, at least for all those who suggest the death of the president-elect. I wrote this a year and a half ago. It still applies.

It has already been well established that the Neoconservative dominated Cheney/Bush administration are fascist wanna-bees. All totalitarian oriented societies or political parties whether they've achieved complete power or not, need, no must have, a propaganda arm. Fox and reactionary radio are that arm. Their job is to take a spin on the truth, a distortion of it or an outright lie and paint it as the most pro-American or pro-Christian point of view for anyone who loves America to hold. Their very good at playing on peoples prejudices and weaknesses. In other words they are very gifted at getting people to believe what isn't true with gusto. The sad thing is they have no idea it's all being used against them and that the propagandists have no love or respect for those who they fool. It's absolutely amazing for those of us who have been fortunately immune from this vileness to watch their effect on their mesmerized adherents. The word or phrase of the moment that encapsulates Neocon ideas or concepts are universally parroted by the blind sheep. There's no amount of facts, proof or evidence that can deter them from their hypnotic trance. This same group screams about the liberal press but that same press much of which is corporate controlled does little to expose the distortions and lies of the Conservative right. Too often, truth is treated as opinion. To their credit they do the right thing now and then but, they play ball far too often with administration and corporate goons. The propagandists have a back-up for when the press and they actually do their jobs; it's called 'distrust'. They have all made it very clear to their hypnotic audience that the truth comes only from them. No one else is to be believed. We hold the true truth. It's dangerous to listen to them. We are the truth. LISTEN!

It's not just Limbaugh and Hannity

Right-wing media feeds its post-election anger
Fox contributor mocks black reporter's tears during Obama win

Friday, November 07, 2008

Yes We Did!!! & the President-elect wants our opinion.

The Obama/Biden transition team has released a web site covering their actions but also asking for our input on the future direction of America and campaign or election day experiences.


This is what I wrote. I know everyone will have a different order of the importance on all the issues, but I would hope that torture would be at the top or nearly so for all Dems.

My wife and I are both vets and disabled with MS. As a result, we live on a fixed income which is becoming much more difficult. However, that and health care are not my main issues of importance.

Torture is number one. The Bushies have changed us into a nation of torturers, gulag runners and disappearers. I would love to see this on the agenda starting within the first week.

Another issue would be undoing all the harm that has been done to our constitution, over the last eight years, through the Patriot act, Fisa updates, signing statements, and whatever else is hiding in the dark coners of the last administration.

Iraq, the economy and health care would follow closely.

I have a lot of hope in what an Obama administration can accomplish for our nation and prestige through the world.

Stephanie Miller: Yes We DID!!! President Obama!!!

Randi Rhodes: We just elected President Obama


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama's victory speech

My wife and I knocked on doors Saturday. We were nervous about the outcome. We didn't need to be. America, I'm proud of you and very hopeful for the future. I'm physically and emotionally drained. Oh! the world is proud of us, too. Job well done to everyone involved in the campaign.

Obama Is Elected President as Racial Barrier Falls

Message from Barack: "How this happened"

World leaders hail Obama triumph

Obama Wins: How He Did It

Iowa caucus victory speech


Tuesday, November 04, 2008