Saturday, December 29, 2007

Iraq needs to be front and center on our minds in the upcoming primaries

U.S. Fatalities in Iraq are down for the 3rd consecutive month, taking Iraq out of the Presidential debate for both parties as the Iowa caucus draws near. This is a very good news for U.S. troops and the families of our soldiers.

It does however cloud the situation in terms of who will get us out of Iraq now that it is off the topic in the last remaining days of 2007 and early 2008. Let us not forget, we still have 160,000 troops in theater and we need to stop the war we have chosen in Iraq and fortify our forces in Afghanistan so that we don't lose the victory we nearly had several years ago.

IT is up to the electorate to decide whether they want Iraq to dominate our lives for the next 10 years or whether we are finally going to get out of there. Only a very few candidates will get us out. They are, for the Republicans, Ron Paul, and for the Democrats Sen. Joe Biden, Rep. Kusinich, Gov. Richardson and possibly John Edwards. You can count on Hillary keeping troops there and Barack may also given his comments in the debate. None of the other candidates on the Republican side will end our presence in Iraq.

To forget about the importance of getting out of Iraq as a major issue in the primaries, is to do so at your own peril and that of your family and friends, because the future needs to be about change!

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Pakistan at a critical moment with Bhutto assassination

Bhutto has been assassinated. "Who is to blame?" is the comment most heard after the first report of this tragedy. The real question is, "Does it matter?" I guess first of all, she is, as she didn't head the warnings that were very clear that told her not to go back to Pakistan. So in one way she is accountable. In another way, Pakistan President Musharraf and his military forces are as they are charged with the responsibility of protecting her and it is obvious from early reports that they failed to adequately secure the scene of the assassination. And I guess humanity is also accountable that we have grown into societies and a species that kills its own kind and not for food like other animals but out of rage. We have not tamed the beast within us and until we do as a species we will not evolve but may instead devolve.

Who loses the most with her death? Possibly the people of Pakistan have the biggest loss. Possibly the United States loses the most as she was seen as an ally of the U.S. Possibly Musharraf has the most to lose, as he will certainly be blamed and Bhutto's people may consider him responsible and want to payback his forces and Musharraf himself. But the real loser here is Civilization, as we have not become more civilized apparently over 2000 plus years.

UPDATE: They say after a suicide bomber blew himself up near her, that she was shot in the neck with a bullet in her car. The question I have was the shot fired from within the car or from outside the car. It is not clear amid the confusion in reports from the area.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Where is this generation? Asleep at the switch!

Today's generation hasn't faced its responsibility to truly defend the Constitution or keep this country truly free as generations past have. They have grown up assuming freedom will always be there. But many of my generation has found these freedoms are sacred and every once in a while someone tries to take them away, a little at a time, so that no one really notices until it's too late. That's what has happened since 9/11/2001. It didn't happen by the al-Qaeda but rather by our own elected President and Vice President.

I wonder what it is going to take to wake them up. So far we know only of abuses on suspected terrorists but the day will come when we learn that there was spying done on ordinary Americans whose only crime was using their Constitutionally protected freedom of speech and say something that annoyed the powers to be so they could start to look deeper into their pasts. It happened in my generation, we protested Vietnam and brought the war to an end. We now know FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and the likes of politicians like Sen. Joseph McCarthy were scaring people with power for years. They spied on Dr. Martin Luther King for many a years because he was perceived as a threat to society and the common good. Now we learn today that Hoover wanted to gather up 12,000 Americans and suspend habeas corpus over 50 years ago according to NY Times reporting today. At that time we were lucky we didn't have President Bush and Vice President Cheney as they most certainly would have gone along with Hoover and arrested the 12,000 so called threats to society.

I don't know why the history lessons weren't mandatory over how Hitler gained power in Nazi Germany while using the laws of Germany and making minor changes until they had sweeping powers. The Germans were asleep at the switch then too, just like so many here are as well. And then one day it was too late.

In the spirit of Christmas on this eve of Christmas Eve, think about all the blessings we have had as a country and remember those who have died to save our freedom and way of life in past wars and this current Iraq and Afghanistan war. It is up to us who are home to be vigilant and speak out when the loss of our freedom is threatened. That time is now so wake up America.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Tomorrow marks 400 Days of potential mischief left for the Bush/Cheney team to instigate

What's so special about the number 400? Well, it's the number of days left of President Bush and Vice President Cheney in office. On January 20th at precisely Noon, our next President will take the oath of office. The thing that is most scary is that this is still a lot of time for this president to mess things up in the world beyond repair. This Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza, let's all pray that the damage is minimal, not for our sake, but for the world's sake. And may we as a society all take responsibility for the fact that as a Nation we elected this incompetent, arrogant and dishonest leader, who condones the use of torture in our fight against terrorism, authorizes illegal wiretaps on us and keeps people in Guantanamo without rights for 6 years in some cases, to hear their crimes and be represented by an attorney to hear the evidence against them. These so called leaders do not lead by example but rather by fear and tyranny. They have done more to violate the Constitution of these United States and the Geneva Convention than any other leader of this country, including Benedict Arnold, who actually was found guilty of treason.

May history be precise and unyielding when it is written about this President and his equally dishonest Vice President for generations of students to read about in their history classes.

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Is Democracy at risk: You be the judge!

What does the future hold for the world. An article posted on The Moderate Voice this morning, by William Kern, titled "Head Winds for the Reign of the People" from an column written by Thomas Klau of Germany's Financial Times Deutschland, at the end states the following:

"A Renaissance of Puritanism, a Renaissance of authoritarianism, and perhaps the decoupling of free-market principles from the principles of democracy - these are the messages heard by people today. And to this we must add the weakening of the fundamental values of democratic humanism, such as the ban on torture and arbitrary imprisonment in the United States. The wind has changed and it’s blowing in the wrong direction."

I encourage you to read the entire article at The Moderate Voice to get the full picture.

This is the real damage President Bush, VP Cheney and this Administration has contributed to these past 7 years. While they are mostly responsible for the weakening of democracy under the pretext of spreading it, Corporate CEO's have also played a major role when they adapt hardware and software that minimizes any chance of a free press, freedom of speech and threatens the safety and security of the people using the technology in countries like China, Russia and yes, you guessed it, the United States! Wake up America! Your freedoms are being lost one drip at a time, just like in Nazi Germany with the rise of Hitler. Before you know it, it's gone.

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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Facing the real truth about us- A lesson from Huckabee vs. Romney

Main Street media is missing this one really big folks. Remember you heard this here. Everyone is focused on whether Romney is Christian enough because he is a Mormon and being a Mormon doesn't mean he is considered a Christian by the Religious right. Its like many mainland Italians don't think people from the Island of Sicily are Italian. So what's the news that everyone is missing?

So here's the news: Everyone believes Huckabee is overtaking Romney because Romney's religious beliefs aren't acceptable to the so-called "Christians". Well if that is true, and I believe it is what they unfortunately believe, then how is Barack Obama going to have a chance in the general election because many won't really vote yet for a Black man, no matter how good he sounds, how smart he is, and how accomplished he is. That's right I have said it. That is the truth about us as a country. So most likely Hillary and Barack, for differing reasons, will not gain enough votes to win in the general election unless the Republicans screw it up even bigger than they have or don't distance themselves successfully from President Bush and his Administration. Between Hillary's negatives with voters as one issue and the other fact that many won't vote for Barack because he is a Black man, the Democrats are playing right into the jaws of the Republicans once again. Do the Democrats have good candidates? Yes, but to win the general election, the Democrats are going to have to consider a candidate that won't have the already built in negatives that both Hillary and Obama have. I like Obama a lot. But based upon what I am seeing in the Republican race between Huckabee versus Romney over his Mormon religion, I am convinced we are more backwards as a Nation than I could have imagined in this new Millennium.

Democrats are going to have to quickly consider a second tier candidate like Sen. Biden or Gov. Richardson or embrace John Edwards who does have a decent chance. It's the only real chance they have, now that the truth is out about us a people. We are prejudice in so many ways. God help us. Oops, didn't mean to bring in the Big Guy on this one. But since I have you here, forgive them Father for they know not what they do!

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Friday, December 07, 2007

CIA destroys video tapes of torture- An Adminstration that has abandoned the laws of the land in a shameless way

Headline story: "The CIA destroyed videotapes it made in 2002 of two top terror suspects because it was afraid that keeping them "posed a security risk," Director Michael Hayden has told agency employees.

Hayden's revelation to the CIA employees became public Thursday and it caused a commotion on Capitol Hill where members of the Senate Intelligence Committee immediately vowed to conduct a thorough review. A leading human rights group voiced alarm about it.

In his message to agency workers, Hayden said that House and Senate intelligence committee leaders had been informed of the existence of the tapes and the CIA's intention to destroy them to protect the identities of the questioners. He also said the CIA's internal watchdog watched the tapes in 2003 and verified that the interrogation practices were legal. Hayden said the tapes were destroyed three years after the 2002 interrogations."
(To read the entire story by Pamela Hess, AP Writer click here.

Come on folks, they destroyed the tapes because they knew it would reveal violations of our laws AND the Geneva Convention! The real criminals here are their bosses all the way up to VP Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, President Bush and Alberto Gonzales. If our lawmakers had any courage and principles they would start Impeachment proceedings immediately and after they are found guilty the whole bunch should then be turned over to the World Court and stand trial there as well.

It is apparent to me these so called leaders, are traitors to our Constitution and our beloved country and have done more to destroy America and our way of life than anything Bin Laden and Al Qaeda could have accomplished on their own. Wake up America! While you are sleeping, you are losing your freedom, but maybe it doesn't matter to you?

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

President Bush deliberately misleads us again on Iran

I saw excerpts from Bush's News conference yesterday as Chris Matthews of Hardball was focusing on the National Intelligence report over Iran and that they posed no immediate threat to us. Chris had Sen. Joe Biden react to the President's news conference remarks. Most of the media was "surprised" how Bush doesn't see any change in his policy as a result of the findings in the report that Iran had stopped its Nuclear program back in 2003. This assessment was the summary of 16 Intelligence agencies of our government. Bush was in his usual State of Denial. It is him in his most familiar and comfortable role. We should not be surprised at all. Instead we should realize who we elected as President and not make that mistake again or next time we may never recover.

Senator Biden was terrific and serious as Chris asked him about his recent comments about impeachment of the President if he attacked Iran. He stood by his comments, as he said, the President's power does not extend to invading a country without authorization from Congress and that he would lead the charge for impeachment.

I don't understand why Senator Biden hasn't had better traction with voters in this Primary Season. He knows Foreign policy better than any candidate running for President. He is also a Constitutional expert, as he teaches classes on Constitutional law.

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Chavez loses Constitutional vote but gains some respect

Many have argued that the Constitutional elections in Venezuela were going to be rigged to give Chavaz his victory in the election to stand indefinitely for re-election. Well, he lost the election by a very narrow margin, 51% to 49%. For all the negativity that has gone on between him and President Bush over the past 7 years, one must respect Chavez for his respect of free elections in his country. It could have been otherwise. It could have even been violent. Thank God it wasn't. I hope we use this defeat as an opportunity to heal some differences with him but more importantly with the Venezuelan people, who are a wonderful, passionate people, who take their democracy very seriously.

You may have lost this election and madate from your people, President Chavez, but you have gained my respect and others as well.

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Sunday, December 02, 2007

U.S. Fatalities in Iraq for November 2007

For the month of November there were 37 fatalities. In Nov. of 2006 we had 70 U.S. Fatalities in Iraq. This continues to be a major story and does show that the violence is down in Iraq, at least for Americans. It is a substantial reduction from the 70 last year.

For the months of November since this war started, these are the numbers of U.S. Fatalities in theater:

Nov. 2003 82
Nov. 2004 137 (This was the highest month of fatalities for the U.S. in the entire war)
Nov. 2005 84
Nov. 2006 70
Nov. 2007 37 By far this is an incredible reduction in U.S. fatalities compared to previous years.

There are many reasons for the reduction such as the surge working, Cleric Moqtada al-Sadr calling off his Army and asking them to stand down, and U.S. forces working with Sunni's to oust the bad guys of Al Qaeda, but it really doesn't matter. The numbers have been drastically lower these past 3 months compared to the past 5 years of this war.

What I don't understand is why the media isn't making more of these numbers. Look, I'm no fan of this war either, but when there is anything that is positive about this tragedy, it should be heavily reported. Me thinks that the media doesn't want to be responsible for tipping the Presidential election. But the facts are the facts and we must not be stuck in a mentality that is rigid or we are no better than those we claim are idealogues. Let's call it a victory and bring them home.

There are now 3,882 U.S. Fatalities, as of the reporting this morning. May they rest in peace and their families healed for their loss.

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