Friday, January 30, 2009

What do Marxism and Reaganomics have in common ?

neither works

Terrified That Barack Obama Will Bring Socialism!

I've never read Marx and I don't intend to take time away from all the stuff I should be reading to trouble myself with another nut. Although, I've been looking through quotes. I couldn't help but get the feeling he had a fanatical religious devotion to his own idea of communism. I wonder if his disciples view him in a Roman-like deity way.

I was looking for a statement about socialism being an interim step to Marxism.

I left the Air Force in '84, after being in the Philippines for three years. It was amazing how many changes there were in the US during that time. One of those things was cable television. Among other channels there was CNN and CSPAN.

Ever since I got back I've heard, from conservatives, that Karl Marx said creeping socialism will lead a nation to communism. Now, maybe there is a direct quote, or maybe they made it up, or maybe a good reading would lead to that conclusion. What has always boggled my mind is why the right-wing can take the words of a discredited theory, one they hold in contempt, but, treat this one speculation of Marx as gospel. Could it be that they want to use their favorite weapon of fear to scare people away from accepting any social advancement, especially if it mandates corporate responsibility or interferes with exorbitant profits.

Obama socialist attack is really about welfare/race-baiting

I keep hearing that we are already socialist because we have taxes. If that were all there was to it wouldn't that, also, make feudal society socialist? I seriously doubt if the average FOX/Rush adherents have any idea what it is. They've been told it's baaaaad and that's good enough.

Socialism is when production and distribution ( conservative favorite Wallmart could be a good example of how that might be carried out) are controlled by the government or, simply, when business is owned by them. That occurred in the United States under Bush's conservative, trickle- down-Reaganomic watch, with the 'Bail-Out Bill'.

Bush speaks on bailout

Unfettered negligent free market cultists led to this economic crisis we are all facing now. The GOP are dominated by it's worshipers. Anything less than pure doctrinal loyalty is, in their paranoid selfish eyes, socialism.

Obama slams Wall Street bonuses and talks Superbowl

Capitalism works.

Wise, thoughtful regulation is necessary to protect from it's potentially dangerous excesses as is the ability for employees to organize.

Trade laws need to be geared to prevent them from carrying their more destructive and egregious errors around the globe.

Tax cuts, windfall profits and otherwise must be geared to business self-improvements and personnel.

The unpatriotic practice of devising clever ideas to avoid paying taxes to the country, they claim allegiance to, must be stopped.

We can do better.

We don't have to resign ourselves to being robbed.

Sen. Claire McCaskill - Patriot


Rush and the GOP sittin' in a tree K- I -S- S- I- N- G

A disturbing video from the ditto king courtesy of Media Matters. The link below, also from them, should be checked out. You might just want to go ahead and do that if you find him as repulsive as I do. Sorry for any upset stomachs.

Limbaugh on Obama: "I hope he fails"
I have been fed-up with Rush for a long time, along with the rest of his fascist-like cohorts and blind parroters. They are not loyal to this nation, because they are only interested in an extreme right-wing version of the GOP. These guys were the main propaganda machine for Bush. Now they are still ding it for conservative extremism.

People like the pig above have referred to Democrats as un-American traitors and the enemy within. Now that we're in power Rush and company still refer to us this way.

He is arguing for the failure of the American president resulting in the failure of the US. Limbaugh is a demonstrated racist who is more interested in the politics of fascist leaning political goals than the success of our country. He calls us enemies, including our new president, while using lie laden propaganda to foment distrust and hatred toward Obama, his executive branch and Congress.

And what is their main instrument of sedition? It' a favorite. FEAR - of ideas, cultures, that others will change what those around you believe or leave you with less than you now have, which leads to a kind of selfishness that seeks to justify the subjugation of others and causes a dehumanizing hate as its authority.The dangerous thing is that fear is a great motivating force for violence. I'm beginning to believe, for them, this would be a desired result.

Yes, Limbaugh wants evil to fall on our land. It's obvious, now, that all of the GOP leadership agree, by lock-stepping their fellow members, behind Rush and his ilk, on the road of obstructionism and blocking legislation.

The doctor needs a doctor to help him with his shrinkage problem.

After all the meetings President Obama held with GOP leadership, demonstrating a bipartisan effort, non-existent in the previous administration, and bending over backwards to address their concerns, every one of them voted 'NO'. They're claiming to do the same in the Senate regardless of the damage to America.

The Republicans, with Bush/Cheney, brought the country into horrendous times. They're trying to justify what they did by trying to force their rejected ideas on an unwilling America, even if they have to bring her to her knees to do it.

from the Daily Show

If the GOP is going to do nothing put obstruct and block, on the issues we voted for Obama to tackle, it's time to actually use the 'Nuclear Option' that the up-or-down vote crowd threatened the Dems.

Not only are they more than willing to be the party of the top one percent they're happy to be the party of torture and human rights violators.

Torture Lover John Yoo Excoriates Obama For Banning Torture

.Yoo: Bush okayed torture to outwit defense lawyers

O’Reilly and Miller announce new ‘business partnership’: ‘Waterboarding World

Fox & Friends hosts, Beck cite fictional congressional testimony by 24's "Jack Bauer" in defense of torture

Bush System


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Doing away with inhumane Neocon ideas

When we became a nation that tortures we became less. It was 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.

It 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.

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. The last administration and their supporters accepted pre-emptive war and collateral damage without a conscience thought, of the results of those actions.

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.

Obama Issues Directive to Shut Guantánamo

Guantanamo: Obama Executive Order To Close Prison Full Text

Today we have been lifted from the cancerous depths of craven inhumanity. No longer do we have to hold our heads down in shame.

The whole world and history are looking at us now.

If we are strong, if the faith we have in our nation is strong, if what we have always told ourselves what we believed about the endurance of our Constitution is strong; then we should move forward with guts.

Obama/Clinton announce special envoys

Past administration officials who 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, a traitor to ‘mom apple pie and the American way’.

Levin: I’ve Suggested To Eric Holder That He Should Appoint An Independent Investigator On Torture

Bush/Cheney and cohorts should be tried for war crimes against the people of the United States and the world. I fear, to do nothing would be an affirmation, by neglecting justice, of the former presidents’ position on all the wrong doing he and his administration have conspired against the laws and values of our nation.

and Other Cruel, Inhuman or DegradingTreatment or Punishment


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's a new dawn!!!

Martin Luther King predicted a Black President

I wrote this last July...

What are your issues of importance?

For me, despite mine and my families health and financial needs, it is; no Iran war, return to constitutional order(kill fascism), an end to the occupation in Iraq, end torture and mistreatment of prisoners, no more extra ordinary renditions(disappearances), to renew our commitments to Afghanistan, bring 9-11 perpetrators to a proper justice and to reclaim our respect and dignity in the world. Energy, economics, health, education and environmental concerns follow closely.

I know it's quite a list which most Progressives share, maybe in a little different order of importance, but similar. These are all things which have been decimated during the Bush regime and will only continue to worsen if McCain were allowed to become president. We can't let that happen!

That is why for all of us who call ourselves liberals, progressives, democrats, independents, or fed-up Republicans the single most important issue, on the top of everyones agenda must be getting Barack Obama elected president, with a Democratic Congress.

There will be plenty of time for fighting on the issues after the inauguration, especially with the conservative-district Blue Dogs compromising with the far right, so often. We're passionate Democrats who do love nuance and are willing to go through the struggles to have all these issues work best for the American people.

Now the efforts of many people across the United States is bearing good fruit.

Barack Obama is walking out now...........

I hit mute when warren was on...........

Aretha sounded wonderful........

We now have a new Vice President - one we can all be proud of.........

We now have a new President - one we can be proud of........

President Barack Obama's Inauguration and Inaugural Address
(I'll call it the 'We Speech')

History, goosebumps and ecstatic pride........

Bush just left in the helicopter and my wife is singing "na na na na hey hey hey goodbye".........

The long nightmare is over and hope has begun.
Full transcript as prepared for delivery of President Barack Obama's inaugural speech

My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land - a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.
Story continues below

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many.

They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America - they will be met. On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted - for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn. Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions - that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act - not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them - that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works - whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account - to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day - because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control - and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart - not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort - even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.

To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages.

We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment - a moment that will define a generation - it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends - hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence - the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed - why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world...that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. & a special day to follow

I have a dream

"Don't ever let anyone pull you so low as to hate them. We must use the weapon of love. We must have the compassion and understanding for those who hate us. We must realize so many people are taught to hate us that they are not totally responsible for their hate. But we stand in life at midnight; we are always on the threshold of a new dawn."

on War

"In struggling for human dignity the oppressed people of the world must not allow themselves to become bitter or indulge in hate campaigns. To retaliate with hate and bitterness would do nothing but intensify the hate in the world. Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can be done only by projecting the ethics of love to the center of our lives."
Barack Obama Speaks at Dr. King's Church
On the day before the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday Sunday, Jan 20, 2008


Jimmy Durante - GIVE A MAN A JOB (1933)

I'm going to say something a bit extreme. I thought about not saying it. In fact I am agonizing over it, even now. Here it goes. Is allowing the auto plants that retooled to make the jeeps, tanks and other equipment that was absolutely necassary to win WWII, to close down a bit like spitting in Pearl Harbor? Because of these factories and the people (Rosie the Riveter) who made them crank out all that they were asked to do we won the necessary manufacturing element of the war.

Civilian cars were not made during this period because they turned their production lines over to the war effort against fascism. In fact, this country was once awashed in a variety of factories providing every kind of thing necessary for the well being of any nation.

With only a few exceptions all manufacturing was turned over to defeating fascism in Europe. I can't help but believe that the loss of our manufacturing base is a serious threat to our national security.

People willingly, maybe sometime begrudgingly, submitted themselves to a variety of inconveniences for the good of the country. Things like rationing of gasoline, meat, rubber, even bubble gum. People did what they could and did without for the good of the US, those fighting and mom and apple pie.

We are in a similar situation, today, in America, requiring the efforts and sacrifices of us all.

I was intending, at the time I originally wrote those words, to complain about the apparent lack of a picth-in spirit, of far ,too many, of the following generations. I'm not going to do that now. Barack Obama, is taking, President John F. Kennedy's, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country", and super-charging it with good examples.
We've liked this guy since Iowa. But, today, I, was incredibly impressed by both him and his wife and the person and his wife he chose as a running mate. He did not have to do any of the things he did today. He's already won. I doubt that, in fact I believe I'm safe in assuming, that nothing like this has ever been conducted by the winning presidential team in the history of our nation.

He worked painting at a teen homeless shelter, visiting injured active-duty military and vets at Walter Reed and speaking abut the public responsibility and necessity of volunteer service at a high school, after which Barack and Michelle, shook every one's hand in the cafeteria setting..

And if all that wasn't saintly enough he's having a dinner for Senator John McCain, tonight.

The Last President-Elect Weekly Speech

Obama’s ‘Call to Service’ Includes Volunteer Projects

DO IT !!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

As Randi Rhodes says, " Don't let the door hit 'ya where the Good Lord split 'ya.

Bush's tele-prompted farewell speech to the nation was last night. I couldn't take it. I just had to turn it off. It was nothing but a delusional pat himself on-the-back speech.
I'm so glad he's going to be gone in a few days. Cheney/Bush and the Neoconservatives were a disaster for this country, it's Constitution, the rule of law, it's military, economy, international relations and the Middle East. They deserve, and it's our responsibility to the future, to try these guys for war crimes and violations to their oath of office to defend and protect the Constitution.
I'm going to put up his last wrestling match with the press and the American people. The arrogant fool is how we all new him.
Most of soon-to-be-gone President Bush's press conferences have been strange but this last one was down right bizarre. This man has no idea what's gone on for the last eight years and what he does know he lies about. His whole attitude is one of disrespect for America.

Bush final press conference 1/2

Bush final press conference 2/2

. I though Rachel Maddow did the best analysis of this sad spectacle.
Rachel Maddow Lame Duck Watch 1/3




"I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen... I know it won't be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it."
"I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace."

“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.”

”See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda”.

all from....
President George W. Bush
Bush led America into believing that we were under an imminent threat of attack from Iraq. That mushroom clouds would appear on our shores if we did not move quick enough. Of course this was all lies. Because of these lies they rushed the troops into battle without the proper equipment or personnel. This was a huge military blunder that needlessly caused our troops to spill their blood on Mesopotamian sand. Their PNAC ( desire for empire produced thousands dead, thousands more injured, billions stolen, a broken and destabilized Iraq and created themselves into the best recruiting tool the fundamentalists Islamic extremists have ever had.

The whole administration is guilty of treasonous type activity and likely war crimes for invading a country on false pretenses, intentionally using illegal and inappropriate weapons around civilian populations, torture, illegal detentions and misrepresenting our reasons for being there to the American public and the world.

Our president is very good at invoking God in connection with his wars and policies. Many on the religious right truly believe he has the ear of God and that God speaks to him and guides him. If this is true then God is a bumbling liar.
I don’t believe that He is.

22 "When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.
Deuteronomy 18:22

President Bush is a uninformed figurehead doing the bidding of others while spreading the lies they struggle to teach him to annunciate. He's a terribly horrible president and if Bush is a prophet; he's a false one.
An Administrations Legacy - Burnt Page Films



Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Oppressed people deserve compassion

Super Duper Spokane Snow Storm 12/18/08 (day 1 from a local person)
My wife and I live way up on the South Hill where we got more snow and no plows - for days

I've grown used to the particular restraints that MS has placed on my life over the years. My wife and I have both struggled to adjusted to the world we have found ourselves. The great snowstorm of this holiday season put strains on many of my coping skills. Irritability sets in. that's commonly referred to as 'cabin fever'.

The whole town has it in one form or another. But, we all endure. There was a smattering of violence, like snow plow drivers being shot at,but, mostly just everyone trying to get along in as good a nature as possible, for a stressed-out situation.

Spokane under snow seige

01-05-2009 snow update for Spokane

Somehow we all came through to the other side.No matter how bad, frustrating or down-right exhausting the barrage of storm after storm may have tired everyone, we all knew it would end. Not only did we know it would end, but we knew sunshine and warmer weather would eventually follow. In other words we were certain our situation would improve. Moments of individual and group frustration still managed to persist. In many cases only fleetingly.

I've observed, to varying degrees, the same thing happening in many natural disasters around the globe. There's the initial shock, the pulling together,
worry-fed frustration and the eventual coping with the challenges at hand. Situations such as Bush-agrivated Katrina, in the US, are a bad example to any type of responsible government-aided moving ahead.

I wrote this about Hamas...

The logic of firing missiles into Israel completely escapes me. I fail to understand what Hamas hoped to accomplish. Maybe there's some bravado driven slaps on the back that makes this all worth-while to them. Maybe it's their way of solidifying their base. The political, social, humanitarian and spiritual result of terrorism always seems to be negative outside of the few perpetrators who receive some form of self satisfaction in their horrible deeds.

I still believe, in reference to an educated leadership, that those words still ring true.

But, for the Palestinian people, feeling abandoned by the world, while lost in an oppressive field of perpetual injustice who, at the same time, are suffering from inadequate food and medical care, and are exhibiting signs of depression, frustration, anger and hostility, we must realize much understanding, patience and all forms of help are do them as a responsibility of humanity. Remember, their frustration, unlike our weather related ones, seem forever to them and so must their feelings of indignity. I really don't see how they could expect to feel differently.

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
Desmond Tutu

There are far too many skilled politicians and businessmen at the art of the manipulation of public opinion for truth to be anything but muddied while they keep the pot stirred for their own benefit.

Fear is a great motivating force for violence. Fear of ideas, cultures, that others will change what those around you believe or leave you with less than you now have.

This leads to a kind of selfishness that seeks to justify the subjugation of others and causes a dehumanizing hate as its authority.

You can't lock people up in oppression an not expect hostility directed upon you.

You can't fight violence and hate with more of the same and not expect it returned to you.

I must admit that I feel a bit like what Stephanie Miller calls 'Captain Obvious' in reference to 'only seven days left Bush' for those last few sentences.

"In struggling for human dignity the oppressed people of the world must not allow themselves to become bitter or indulge in hate campaigns. To retaliate with hate and bitterness would do nothing but intensify the hate in the world. Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can be done only by projecting the ethics of love to the center of our lives."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Guardian on Gaza

The BBC on Gaza

my past posts...
Anger and Vengeance and Intolerance in the Middle East MUST END!!!

from Pax Christi on Gaza crisis


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Hope for the Human Rights Crowd

Cheney Takes Credit for Torture

Amnesty International USA from Nov. of 2005...
Cheney provided guidance on abuse, former Powell aide says
This is a very good sign that torture, prisoner abuse, illegal detentions and disappearances will be promptly dealt with.

Obama Names 4 for Justice Jobs in Break From Bush Path

Dawn Johnsen on the role of the Office of Legal Counsel

I wrote this two years ago...

The United States was at one time the leader of the world in human rights. We liked to call ourselves the greatest nation in the world.

Oh, it's true we stumbled along the way but we always moved ahead in a positive direction. We haven’t always lived up to the fullness of what our Constitution and Bill of Rights calls us, so there were bumps and sometimes giant ruts along our shared histories path that brought great trials and sometimes costs many lives. But America grew brick by brick laid by the tough hands of our forefathers and foremothers whose lifeblood flows throughout the heart of our land. History is full of the tales of their labored lives, hardships, troubles, and accomplishments. The dust of their bones will be desecrated if we take a wrecking ball to the foundation they set.

Now, because of a desire for power, secrecy and control among those in the Bush administration our nation has embraced a cancer of cruel suppression of the dignity of humanity. A sheepish fear among their followers, has allowed them to become mesmerized by a calculating group masquerading as trustworthy, giving the neoconservatives approval to disregard, as if it didn’t exist, the law and ethics of our nation. Acting as all cancers do if not removed it will grow and bring death to our democratic republic.

The loyal dissenters believe this to be a horrible wrong. Driven more by the love we have for this country than by fear, we believe that all must speak out; that every one must shout’ STOP’. We believe it is time for all to demonstrate the courage of our ancestors and love America more than fear the unknown. And that goes especially for our new Democratically controlled Congress who have given us a new found hope for a return to constitutional order, an end to Iraqi occupation and a halt to military adventurism.

We our now facing our giant rut along the path, will we dishonor the legacy of those who stood so bravely on this land before us?

Amnesty International Guantánamo Bay Protest Slideshow
Amnesty International USAHuman Rights Agenda for the 110th U.S. Congress

ACLU Calls for Accountability from Gonzales on Torture and Surveillance

House of Representatives

U.S. Senate

What's interesting is the optimism I expressed for the beginning of the 110 Congress. That ended up being aa enormous let down.
It causes a huge amount of skepticism among the progressive members of the Dems. I still have that hope, once again, with his new appointments only enhancing them. But, I still have that stepped on feeling. I know some feel he has made some questionable appointments, however, I said he should have a honeymoon period lasting, at least, until Inauguration Day and I,m sticking to it.

Monday, January 05, 2009

from Pax Christi on Gaza crisis

Report From Gaza City: Palestinian Journalist Sameh Habeeb Democracy Now 1/5/09


I received this email from Pax Christi this morning. I think it and the information contained in it are worth seeing.

The Israeli offensive in Gaza took an ugly turn this weekend when ground forces were employed and the death toll rose. As of this morning, a Reuters article quoted a UN agency that "527 Palestinians have been killed, at least a quarter of them civilians, while four Israelis have been killed by rockets and mortar shells fired into Israel since the offensive began and an Israeli soldier was killed in fighting on Sunday."

When I sent out the email action alert last week from our friends at the US Campaign to End the Occupation I received quite a few emails back asking why we did not feature how militants in Gaza were killing Israeli civilians by rockets and the number of Israeli dead, as well as a few emails justifying the Israeli campaign (some genuinely concerned for the welfare of Israel, while others gloated that those Palestinian terrorists were getting their just desserts.)

Pax Christi USA condemns violence in all its forms and we believe that the way to peace is not blazed through use of arms, violence, and military might. Rocket attacks from Gaza on Israeli civilians are not acceptable and we mourn the loss of life on all sides of any conflict. That being the case, it is extremely difficult to see the current Israeli offensive as a proportionate response. At the start of the Israeli air campaign ten days ago, 7 Israelis had been killed by rockets from Gaza over the past 3 years. A major military campaign--which has now killed over 500 Palestinians, at least 125 civilians (including women and children), while also destroying Gaza's infrastructure and disrupting humanitarian aid--does not seem to be the answer for any long-term hopes for a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians, especially coming on the heels of a 6 month cease-fire in the region.

Johnny Zokovitch
Director of Communications, Pax Christi USA
as only the Daily Show can explain it...


Rabbi Lerner on Israel in Gaza

Resources for the current conflict in Gaza Please see the resources below on the crisis in Gaza.

  • The website for the Jewish Voice for Peace, includes a statement on Gaza
  • Rabbi Michael Lerner on the Gaza Crisis
  • Rabbi Arthur Waskow: Gaza and Beyond-What's the Alternative?
  • Churches for Middle East Peace, includes a letter to President-elect Obama, and a action alert calling for a cease-fire in Gaza
  • Talking points on the Gaza conflict from Phyllis Bennis posted on United for Peace and Justice's website
  • Action alert on the Gaza crisis from Catholic Relief Services
  • J Street is a new Jewish organization committed to Middle East peace and security, affirmed by Rabbi Arthur Waskow of the Shalom Center
  • .
    Doctors Without Borders in Gaza

    from Catholic Relief Services; a petition to Bush

    from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops...
    Catholic Campaign for Peace in the Holy Land
    Back during Israel’s incursion into Lebanon I remember a caller on CSPAN who, with a calm fatherly voice speak of, after identifying himself as a Christian, how wrong a cease fire between Israel and Lebanon would be. He told a story of how he along with his father and brother had to go into their barn and kill all the rats, big ones and little ones. How sad when a person who claims to represent reason and family values can so calmly call for bloodthirsty violence, terror from the skies and murder. The language of hostility is still present with the Gaza crisis.

    These types of words and the actions they’re meant to initiate inflame the haters. Violence whether it’s from shadowy terrorist or from terrifying smart bombs is always counterproductive except for those who want to keep hate super-charged. They believe greater violence is the only answer. Those who disagree are called un-American/Israeli traitors in league with the terrorists, bad Christians/Jews and anti Semitic. Evil can and often does exist on all sides in a war. Many are feeling comfortable cuddling up with wickedness while deceiving themselves that they are doing God’s will while calling evil good.

    There’s no shortage of people who mistakenly think terrorism is the answer to their political or economic problems. They are not a homogeneous group, they are all different with different solutions to each circumstance. I wish they would learn from such great men as Gandhi, Martin Luther King, John Paul II, Desmond Tutu and others for a better way to attack their problems. Much more can be accomplished through nonviolence.

    'An eye for an eye for an eye would make the whole world blind.'

    "As an essential part of its fight against all forms of terrorism, the international community is called to undertake new and creative political, diplomatic and economic initiatives aimed at relieving the scandalous situations of gross injustice, oppression and marginalization which continue to oppress countless members of the human family. History in fact shows that the recruitment of terrorists is more easily achieved in areas where human rights are trampled upon and where injustice is a part of daily life.”
    Pope John Paul II

    Whoever says he is in the light,
    yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness.
    Whoever loves his brother remains in the light,
    and there is nothing in him to cause a fall.
    Whoever hates his brother is in darkness;
    he walks in darkness
    and does not know where he is going
    because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
    1 Jn 2

    ‘God bless the whole world-no exceptions’.
    Gaza aid shipments

    Civilian casualties escalate in Gaza