Sunday, July 27, 2008

Thanks! to the many visitors here and abroad

I have been posting now since 2005. I didn't realize it but I have now surpassed 28,000 visitors to my site and they have read over 46,000 pages. Thanks for coming here.

I had recently promised not to post as much, but circumstances have caused me to post more, rather than less, as you can see the past week. I will post as the moment moves m,e but I am considering starting a new Blog on investing and the stock market for those who like to trade. I once did a Nasdaq Newsletter for a 5 year stretch and sent it to a number of clients, Senior Executives, friends and family, which was before Blogging. It was in hard copy and sent via email. A blog might make my thinking more accessible to more people. We shall see.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Term Limits are needed for Senators

Want to stop the bickering in the Senate and the partisan shenanigans? I suggest we have Term Limits for Senators and maybe then we won't have the Filibustering that takes place constantly on almost any mater before the Senate. The Senate has become dysfunctional and a remedy is needed. Some of these feuds between Senators have gone on for a decade and it needs to stop because we are all losers. The Country is not as divided as the Senate is. Senators should be allowed to serve only 2 terms but of course they would never pass that legislation. And we know they would filibuster that Bill for sure.

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Finally news coverage of Impeachment issue

Today, CNN became one of the only news outlets to cover the House Judiciary Committee hearing which was held yesterday and only covered by CSPAN and radio station KPFA in Berkeley, CA. For the complete news article click here.

They closed the Comments on the article so I couldn't post one there but if I could I would have said the following:

According to testimony by Constitutional experts (both Republican and Democrat) there are 2 good reasons to file one Article of Impeachment Inquiry. First, it stops the President NOW from using Executive Privilege to stop Congress from investigating the CIA leak and who authored the use of torture. Ans secondly, it prevents President Bush, for the rest of his term, from granting immunity from prosecution, as a blanket order for those who may have committed crimes.

Those are two of the best reasons to start this process immediately!

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Resounding Bipartisan testimony on validity of Impeachment remedy for this Bush Administration given today but you won't read about it!

I watched and listened to CSPAN coverage of the House Judiciary Committee session headed by Rep. John Coyers, Committee Chairman, considering the issue of Impeachment of President Bush. Rep. John Kucinich was one of about 16 witnesses who gave sound reasoning as to why it was important to proceed with this Inquiry. It was professionally run and each person giving testimony made a compelling case to move forward with the Articles of Impeachment Inquiry. What shocked me was that there was no coverage of this event in the main media outlets or cable news. And to my surprise I looked at the NY Times with the hope they had reported something on the hearing. I was very disappointed nothing was reported as of 9:00pm this evening.

I ask you what could be more important than what this hearing and testimony shared with the American Public. Constitutional experts testified this is our last chance to save this country before it is too late. Republican law experts testified as to the importance of bringing up charges even though it is late in this Administration. But it was not covered by the media with the exception of CSPAN and KPFA. This is what headlines the NY had on their website from 7:30am this morning until tonight:

* Bush and McCain Seem to Diverge in Foreign Policy
Today, 08:21 PM

* Yankees 1, Red Sox 0: Yankees Get a Seventh Consecutive Victory
Today, 08:19 PM

* 4,000 U.S. Combat Deaths, and Just a Handful of Images
Today, 08:13 PM

* Power Rising, Taliban Besiege Pakistani Shiites
Today, 08:09 PM

* City and State Brace for Drop in Wall Street Pay
Today, 08:06 PM

* In Gas-Powered World, Ethanol Stirs Complaints
Today, 08:05 PM

* Merger of Sirius and XM Approved by F.C.C.
Today, 08:02 PM

* California Bars Restaurant Use of Trans Fats
Today, 08:01 PM

* Weight Drives the Young to Adult Pills, Data Says
Today, 08:00 PM

* Sugar Company Knew of Dangers, Report Says
Today, 07:57 PM

* Dear Parents: Please Relax, It’s Just Camp
Today, 07:44 PM

* Gas Explosion Injures 17 in a Queens Building
Today, 07:19 PM

* Mind Games Precede Tour’s Pivotal Time Trial
Today, 07:08 PM

* Your Money: Danger Lurks When Shopping for Student Loans
Today, 06:32 PM

* Rings: Swimmer Feels Betrayed by the System
Today, 06:28 PM

* Bats: The House That Her Grandpa Built
Today, 06:28 PM

* Cambodians Rally Around Leader Ahead of Vote
Today, 06:27 PM

* The Caucus: McCain Says 16 Months Is ‘Pretty Good Timetable’
Today, 06:23 PM

* City Room: Evacuation After Explosion in Queens
Today, 05:38 PM

* Johnny Griffin, Tenor Saxophonist, Dies at 80
Today, 05:30 PM

* In Paris, Obama Says Pressure on Iran Is Building
Today, 04:40 PM

* Labor Party Suffers Defeat in Scotland
Today, 03:22 PM

* The Lede: Chavez Mends Fences With the King
Today, 02:48 PM

* City Room: Spike Lee’s Father, and All That Jazz
Today, 02:48 PM

* Your Money: Danger Lurks When Shopping for Student Loans
Today, 02:21 PM

* Stocks Higher After Spate of Hopeful Economic Reports
Today, 01:46 PM

* Chrysler to Stop Leasing Cars
Today, 01:41 PM

* Flush With Cash, More Asian Tourists Flock to Japan
Today, 01:35 PM

* Saxophonist Johnny Griffin Dies at 80
Today, 01:25 PM

* Jets Have Permission to Talk to Favre
Today, 12:24 PM

* City Room: New History of Woolworth Building
Today, 12:23 PM

* Bush Widens Sanctions on Zimbabwe
Today, 12:03 PM

* Sastre Retains Lead After 19th Stage
Today, 12:00 PM

* Profile: Back to Art, Havel Meditates on Power
Today, 11:47 AM

* Well: ‘Last Lecture’ Professor Randy Pausch Dies
Today, 11:33 AM

* Hole in Fuselage Forces Jet to Land
Today, 11:14 AM

* U.S. Expands Visa Program for Iraqis
Today, 10:50 AM

* The Lede: Condoleezza Rice’s Yen for Shopping
Today, 10:48 AM

* Well: ‘Last Lecture’ Professor Randy Pausch Dies
Today, 10:48 AM

* News Analysis: Obama Heads for Paris and London
Today, 10:09 AM

* Dot Earth: A Little Oil Goes a Long Way
Today, 09:48 AM

* Well: Rethinking Diets, Weight Loss and Health
Today, 07:26 AM


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Would Barack Obama, when he becomes President, grant immunity to a departing George W. Bush?

This question is of significant importance because this is what Barack Obama would face as one of his first decision as President, just as President Gerald Ford was faced with the same issue and chose to pardon Richard Nixon. The reason this is important is because Obama has said he will be a uniter not a divider. He said he will work to bring the country together. This single act facing Obama has the potential of causing a significant rift after the election. The same is true if John McCain becomes President, but we know he will grant immunity to Bush. No matter what, if either grants immunity to George W. Bush then we are lost as a country because all due process for the alleged crimes of President Bush, VP Cheney and others will be stopped and the American people will be the losers as well as the Constitution of the United States of America.

This is very important as we are at a decision point in America and God help us if we make the wrong decisions regarding immunity.

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Why it is important for the Congress to start Impeachment hearings at this late stage of the Bush Presidency.

Many believe that while Bush deserves to be impeached for what he has done to this country in taking us into a war with Iraq based upon lies, it is too late to do anything meaningful and that they should just let his term come to an end. Well that argument can be overwhelmed with a more compelling reason to pursue impeachment.

According to many expert Constitutional lawyers, there are several compelling reasons to pursue impeachment of President Bush, even at this late stage of his Presidency. Let me cite a few reasons why many citizens have no clue as to the ramifications of Impeachment hearings at this late stage of the Bush Presidency. First, if Articles of Impeachment are brought up against President Bush, the President would lose his power to grant blanket pardons to those of his Administration who may have committed crimes. There is considerable buzz in the press that this is exactly what Bush plans to do before leaving office.

Secondly, once Articles of Impeachment have been initiated by Congress, the President loses his right of Executive Privilege. Why is this important. It is important because this President and Vice President have kept much hidden from Congress to do its job of oversight of the Executive branch. If the Articles were initiated, we might understand whether there were Crimes committed by Vice President Cheney in outing then CIA covert operative Valerie Plame. Remember that it was Special Prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, who was charged with investigating the CIA leak and found Scooter Libby guilty (and then pardoned by Bush) and said that there was a cloud around the Vice President as to whether he also committed a crime. This is important and has not been resolved. These are several good reasons why it is important to initiate the Articles of Impeachment of Bush. Thank you Rep. Dennis Kucinich for initiating this process, Rep.Robert Wexler for his support, as well as Committee Chairman Rep. John Conyers.

Raise your voice to your elected officials to support these proceedings going forward. To listen to the hearings in real time starting at about 10:30am EST or 7:30am PST on CSPAN or on the radio on KPFA, which will broadcast this Congressional meeting live.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Capitalism-Has it failed its most recent test?

The Republican party has pushed Capitalism ever since I was a kid barely old enough to read newspapers my Dad brought home each day. The idea of capitalism was to let the free market rule. It has been advocated that when in doubt, leave it alone and let it work its will. And so we expected that some would do well and others wouldn't because that was the free markets working. No bail outs if you made bad choices. There had to be some accountability and what better place for that accountability to show itself than the publicity of successes and failures by the media. Healthcare not working? Let the Free markets come up with a solution to the problem. We don't need the government. Government needs to be small and to stay out of our affairs. Sound familiar?

Well today, those same people advocating the free markets and less government involvement, are having the Congress and the President pass a bailout of Financial Institutions, such as Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and Lehman, as well as those Financial Institutions which made bad choices by Sub-Prime Mortgage lending practices.

My friends, you can't have it both ways. Either we have a Capitalistic society which doesn't interfere with success or failures or we have a society which recognizes the limits of capitalism and has the government involved to solve problems like Healthcare where we have a Healthcare system for all, where Profit is not the motive but "health" and "caring" of people. You can't have it both ways! Remember that when we have these discussions during the election between McCain and Obama.

A close friend of mine who before retiring was the CEO of a large non-profit Healthcare company, told me this, "The biggest mistake I ever made was to allow the company to become a For-Profit Healthcare company. It promoted greed by Executives instead of better healthcare!" No that is an enlightened man. God Bless his honesty.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation designed to shore up confidence in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and stem the record surge in mortgage foreclosures, sending the bill to the Senate.

House members voted 272-152 in favor of the measure, which lawmakers and administration officials expect will be passed in the Senate and signed into law by President George W. Bush. The bill gives Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson power to inject capital into Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and provides for a federal agency to insure refinanced home loans. (For the complete story from Bloomberg News click here.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

There oughtta be a law. Law #1

Yes, this first law should read as follows: Anyone who thinks water-boarding is not torture must be water-boarded 3 times and then asked if they think it is not torture. Today, John Ashcroft was the latest of the Bush Administration to claim it was not torture when he was Attorney General. So that makes Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Gonzales and now Ashcroft all covering their behinds in case of any future legal proceedings (within the U.S. or Internationally) that might be brought against them.

So which of you brave people are willing to step forward and be the first to try out water-boarding? Anyone, anyone?

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Suggestions for this Democratic Congress

Headline today reads: "Bush claims executive privilege on CIA leak" and there is a battle brewing by House Democrats and the President and his surrogate, the Attorney General Mike Mukasey, to get testimony on what happened by whom and when regarding both Vice President Cheney and President Bush. This may be of historical importance to some, but at this stage of the Bush Presidency and the general state of affairs we have on our hands, with Financial institutions on the precipice of disaster, a possible run on banks, continued difficulty in our war in Afghanistan against the Taliban with increased casualties there, it's about time the Democratic Congress wakes up and moves forward. It needs to be preparing suggestions for solutions to implement Barack Obama's strategies at home and abroad. They tire me to the point of apathy but every once in a while I get mad enough to write here to vent my frustration.

There is plenty we can do to Bush, Cheney et al when they leave office. Read the new book by Vincent Bugliosi for some ideas!

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Gitmo Interrogations

Today, video footage was released of the treatment of a Canadian young boy who was captured in Afghanistan when he was 15 facing interrogation by Canadian Security agents. Remember he is only 16 years old.

It is the first time any video has been seen of interogations.

The full article may be obtained by clicking here. You will be able to view the video as well.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Good news finally about Iraq!

Good news finally indeed. Headline reads: "U.S. and Iraqi negotiators have abandoned efforts to conclude a comprehensive agreement governing the long-term status of U.S troops in Iraq before the end of the Bush presidency."

News report today from the Washington Post give us hope that we can finally allow Iraq to be a sovereign country as the deal for a presence in Iraq will be left to the next President, hopefully Barack Obama.

To further quote the article, "Unlike the status-of-forces agreements between the United States and countries such as South Korea and Japan, where large numbers of U.S. troops have been based for decades, the document now under discussion with Iraq is likely to cover only 2009. Negotiators expect it to include a 'time horizon,' with specific goals for U.S. troop withdrawal from Baghdad and other cities and installations such as the former Saddam Hussein palace that now houses the U.S. Embassy."

Finally something to be very happy about! Bush finally loses one.

To read the full article click here.

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Restoring America's values in actions not just words

If you never read another Blog post of mine, please read this one. It is something you can do without much effort to make a difference in our Country. I have taken the suggestions offered and have gone into action. I received this email from a friend and am printing it here in its entirety:

Re: Maj. General Taguba and Bugliosi's new book and our press..(see article dated July 3, 2008, below)

by Steve Bhaerman
Swami Beyondananda

Date: Saturday, July 5, 2008, 10:28 AM

How We Can Break the Soundless Barrier and Bring Down the Irony Curtain
July 3, 2008

In case you missed it, there was a front page story two weeks ago that
most newspapers -- like our own "liberal" San Francisco Chronicle --
treated as a no-page story. While those of us in the Bay Area were
offered a front page analysis of Tiger Woods' injury and the latest
doings of penguins at the zoo, a former commanding general in Iraq
accused the Bush Administration of war crimes.

You didn't hear about it? Well, obviously you weren't supposed to. In
the preface to a report prepared by Physicians for Human Rights, Maj.
General Antonio Taguba (USA-Ret.), who led the U.S. Army's investigation
into the Abu Ghraib detainee abuse scandal, wrote: "After years of
disclosures by government investigations, media accounts, and reports
from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to
whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only
question is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to

So, let's see. An American general accuses the Commander-in-Chief of
committing war crimes, and it doesn't even make the news. The last time
an American general accused the President of committing war crimes was
... uh ... never. In other words, something truly new happens, and it's
not even "news." Our so-called "free press" is free to report freely on
any story it likes, provided it doesn't rock the ship of state. I've
said it before, but it -- sadly -- bears repeating. The main difference
between the corporate media and Pravda is that the Soviet citizens knew
they were being lied to.

We no longer have a free press. We have a brainwashing machine stuck on

So if we're wondering why impeachment and war crimes have gotten no
traction, well ... welcome to Not-See America, where the press makes it
easier and easier for Americans to "not see" what should be all too
obvious. Fortunately, as the "up -wising" continues, Americans across the
political spectrum are waking up and wising up. Unfortunately, they are
finding their voices intentionally silenced by a media monopoly that
does more than "cover" the most important stories of our day -- it
smothers them to death. I guess that's what they mean by "blanket

However, there is one way to break the story of the most dangerous and
toxic regime in American history through the "soundless barrier." It can
be done without demonstrations (one of the lessons the powers in power
learned in the Vietnam War is to pay no attention to them), petitions,
civil disobedience, fasting, etc. It is using the two weapons we the
people still have in our arsenal -- the marketplace and the meeting

Vincent Bugliosi, the former Los Angeles County prosecutor who helped
convict the Manson family and wrote a book about it, "Helter Skelter"
(touted as the # 1 True Crime Bestseller of all time) has written a new
book called "The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder".
(AMAZON: ) In it, he
lays out what the book jacket describes as "a nonpartisan argument, free
from party lines, based upon hard facts and pure objectivity." In other
words, the very book America needs right now. Needless to say, finding a
review of this book ... well, it's like finding those weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq.

Writes Suzanne O'Keeffe in the Huffington Post, "With the exception of
the valiant Democracy Now and C-Span ... there is a desert of coverage
about a meticulously researched case that surely ranks at the very top
of the scale for 'change.' Bugliosi said last night that he'd been told
it was now #12 on the NY Times Bestsellers List."

That's where we come in.

The job of the 70-100 million Americans who are hip to the neocon con is
to make sure that Vincent Bugliosi's new book replaces his old one as
the best-selling true crime book of all time, or at least our time. What
if during the ten day period between Independence Day and Bastille Day,
we the American people storm the gates of the marketplace and buy copies
of this book both on and at book stores? And then we read the
book, and discuss it on the outernet, with family, friends and
neighbors. Imagine if we were all familiar with the evidence, and the
implications. It would no longer matter what the mainstream media did or
did not report. We the people would become the story.

Here is a simple plan for the next ten days:

1. Buy or order your copy or copies of this book now. (I'm getting one
at Barnes & Nobles, and ordering another via Amazon, and I'm doing it
today.)=2 0In fact, buy two and give one to someone who promises to read

2. If you're part of an activist political organization, or even a
professional or spiritual one, consider asking your constituency to do
the same. Paul Hawken estimates there are at the very least some 100,000
such organizations. As for the objection that this book is "political,"
I would suggest it is much, much bigger than politics, and is about the
most pivotal moral issue of our time. Dare to make people uncomfortable.
(There is a sad joke from the Holocaust era where two Jews are standing
in front of a Nazi firing squad. One shouts out to the S.S. officer,
"You rotten bastard, you will burn in hell!" Whereupon, his companion
next to him says, "Shhh! Don't make trouble.") Enough said.

3. Call the news editor at your local paper -- call, don't write -- and
politely yet firmly request that he or she cover the story of Bugliosi's
book, the story of Gen. Taguba's history-making charges, or this other
story about the George Bush War Crimes Conference that will convene this
September at the Massachusetts School of law in Andover. Remind them of
the responsibility of the press, and ask them what they will tell their
grandchildren when they are asked what role they played during America's
darkest days. To get the ball rolling, for those folks in the San
Francisco area, the World and National News editor is Brad Brown, and
his direct line is (415) 777-70 74. I suggest we make these calls right
after this July 4th weekend. Again ... polite yet firm.

4. Contact your favorite radio hosts on Air America (they may already be
covering it), and NPR, who like the Democratic Party has responded to
the Bush Administration playing hard ball by playing hardly-have-balls.
Speaking of media, the one mainstream magazine that has continuously
spoken out against the Bush regime -- long before it was as safe as it
is now -- is Vanity Fair. If you need to see an example of what is
innocuously called "water boarding" (sounds like something you do in
gentle surf), here is Vanity Fair's Christopher Hitchens (who has been a
vociferous supporter of the so-called War on Terror) being
water-boarded. It may be helpful in putting torture "in the face" of
those who have the luxury of turning away from it.

5. Ultimately, the most constructive way to deal with the mainstream
media is to do an end run around them, and make ourselves the story.
First step is to declare independence from mainstream news, and "buy"our
truth elsewhere. That's why it's so important to read and discuss the
book in groups, so that a new and necessary moral courage may emerge.
This is not about showing up somewhere with a bunch of signs. This is
about empowering a field of heart-based truth so powerful that the wall
of lies shatters and crumbles from its own weight.

Two more thoughts. First, I am fully aware there ar e bad guys out there.
It's the bad guy "in here" I'm concerned about, the one who justifies
doing bad things because we are the good guys. Not to mention learning
directly from the bad guys how best to do bad.

We can no longer afford to practice terror in order to "defeat" it. As
we are learning in every area from biology to psychology to
spirituality, it is always more efficient, effective and beneficial to
build health instead of trying to destroy illness.

Second thought is in regards to the cabal of sociopathogens that has had
its death grip on America. In the documentary, Enron: The Smartest Guys
in the Room, we see the two non-heroes, Jeffrey Skilling and Ken Lay,
running their number until the very last second. They look, act and
sound like legitimate business folk until the manacles are slapped on
and they are frog-walked to the paddy wagon. We can expect Bush, Cheney,
Rumsfeld and the rest to play it legit until the very end.

But just as surely as the Iron Curtain came down, the Irony Curtain must
come down, too.

The wall of lies will topple just as the Berlin Wall did two decades
ago. Only this time, it will be we the people who topple it from the
bottom up. It is the only way it can happen

Happy Independence Day.

P.S. Finally, if you find nothing to laugh at in these serious times,
try this. It's a video clip from The Onion, called "Bush Tours America
to Survey Devastation Caused by His Presidency."

May we continue to re-grow America from the grassroots up, reconstitute
the Constitution and establish government of, by and for the people
where the government does our bidding, not the bidding of the highest

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Deja Vu all over again

I started Blogging back in May of 2005. The reason was that I was deeply concerned over the direction this country was taking and was being promoted by the Bush Administration. Today, a new story was reported by the NY Times. Here is their quote: "Red Cross investigators concluded last year in a secret report that the Central Intelligence Agency’s interrogation methods for high-level Qaeda prisoners constituted torture and could make the Bush administration officials who approved them guilty of war crimes, according to a new book on counterterrorism efforts since 2001."

The story is important to read so please click on this link and read it before you read any additional comments.

Back when I started Blogging in 2005, one of my first Blogs seemed appropriate to repost here today, given I was concerned then about violations to the Geneva Convention. If I, a person of average intelligence could deduce then, something was drastically wrong with our government, as so many others concluded, how did we slip into so much compliance and allow this degradation of our country to take place? Why weren't there protesters in the streets, as there had been in prior years? Why have the American people gone so silent and labeled someone like Dennis Kucinich "a kook," when he has shown more backbone than most of Congress and all the Senate? Here is what I wrote back in 2005:

May 2005. Where are all the street protesters?

As we approach June 4th , the anniversary of Tiananmen Square, and I reflect on our own history of student protests, it got me to wonder where are today's student protesters, as certainly there are many disturbing trends in America today, threatening the very fabric of our democracy as we search for bipartisanship in Congress and a more humble America in our rhetoric abroad and at home. But we still seem very arrogant as a nation with little understanding of the very cultures we are trying to change. I am not talking about Iraq here. I am talking about the "Divided" States of America, that's right, the good ole D.S.A., one nation, (partly) under God, very divisible, with liberty (until we can change those Senate Rules), and justice for (a few).

There was once a time of idealism, of standing up and being taken seriously by society, a conscience for all of us. This was the time of Student protests. Students protested the Vietnam war, the May 4th, 1970 Kent State shootings, Tiananmen Square and support for democracy in China, the outrage at the Chinese Government’s reaction to the protests and some recent protests of the Iraq war in selective cities.

As a nation, we have a lot to be angry about with our government. First there was the misleading “intelligence” of the lead up to the Iraq invasion and then the letters of former White House General Counsel and current Attorney General, Roberto Gonzales, regarding new interpretations of what is and what is not torture. Then the pronouncements by our President that certain prisoners would not necessarily be treated in a manner consistent with the Geneva Convention. Add to this more recent assertion about additional abuse in Guantanamo and the shameless deceit to get recruits on High School campuses to enlist, and you wonder what it takes to get Student protesters engaged again. There have been some protests of the Iraq war but they fade away quickly. What captures the focus and attention of the bulk of our students today? Could it be survival, as the job market still looks bleak? Or is it just apathy? What do you think? I don’t think they care much about what the Senate is proposing in its Nuclear Option to end the filibuster and allow judicial nominations through who by the minority see as extreme in their views. Stay tuned."

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Advice from a Democratic supporter: Don't overplay our dislike of President Bush!

Again I find myself reminding Democrat activists not to take the support we have given Democratic candidates for granted. You are correct, we haven't liked President Bush's policies these past 8 years, but you need to be honest with us and work to deserve our vote in the Fall election. Like myself, many vote for the best candidates and are not Party loyalists. So don't tell us one thing and then do another. I won't stand for it. I refer to the latest discussion about when and how we are going to get out of Iraq by Barack. It better happen or if Barack wins and it doesn't, he will be a one term President. Some things are not negotiable. So, if you want the public's support in the upcoming election, tell the truth, stick by it, win or lose.

Oh, this goes to the DNC,, Democracy for America, etc., please stop "emaulling" me with anti-Bush rhetoric to get me to contribute to your groups or the candidate. I have already and am getting tired from the constant barrage. And you will notice I spelled "emaulled" incorrectly because that's how I feel getting them! Enough is enough!

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Ann Woolner lays bare the Guantanamo ruling by the Supreme Court

This news and commentary is worth the read. I have been saying this for years. See what the Court has said about Guantanamo detaineees. It is posted on Bloomberg and written by Ann Woolner. Here it is and the link:

Don't Believe Me About Guantanamo Bay, Read This: Ann Woolner
Commentary by Ann Woolner

July 7 (Bloomberg) -- Because of the close, ideologically divided vote, you may give slim credit to last month's 5-4 Supreme Court decision slamming the U.S. handling of suspected enemy combatants.

You might write off as knee-jerk liberal, Sept. 10 naïveté the commentary (like mine) that says even in time of war it's un-American to imprison people indefinitely with no real chance to show they were mistakenly nabbed.

If you believe the U.S. military is doing a sufficiently OK job sorting enemy from friend at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, I have a court ruling for you.

The federal appeals court in Washington D.C., the first court to look into the facts behind a specific Gitmo detention, decided the military had no credible evidence to label a man an enemy combatant and keep him locked up for six and a half years.

``It is undisputed that he is not a member of al-Qaeda or the Taliban, and that he has never participated in any hostile action against the United States or its allies,'' the court said.

Made public last week, the ruling found not a shred of credible evidence to support the government's claim that Huzaifa Parhat had anything at all to do with America's enemies, whether through combat or support or association with a group that may have associated with them.

One of Many

Parhat is one of 13 Chinese Muslims held at Guantanamo who fled persecution in China, camped in Afghanistan and wound up in Pakistan, where authorities handed him over to the U.S. His case is essentially identical to the dozen other detainees who are all members of the Uighur ethnic group. (That's pronounced WEE- gur.)

Beyond those 13 cases, the Parhat decision shows how little it takes to get labeled an enemy combatant and imprisoned for years on end.

You can't slough this one off as some nutty ruling by a bunch of ACLU-loving, Democratic-appointed activist judges. The three judges on this panel, which ruled unanimously, were appointed by Presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

They include the Chief Judge of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, David Sentelle, protégé of former North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms and one of the federal judiciary's most conservative members. During his time on the bench, Sentelle has voted to set aside the Iran-Contra convictions of Oliver North and John Poindexter and, at Helms's urging, named Kenneth Starr to lead the Whitewater investigation. He has also ruled in favor of the Bush administration on another Guantanamo issue.

No Hotbed

And then there's Thomas Griffith, whom Bush appointed to the bench in 2005, when Griffith was general counsel to Brigham Young University in Utah, hardly a hotbed of liberalism.

The Clinton nominee on the panel is Merrick Garland, who clerked for the late and liberal Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, worked in the Justice Department during the Clinton years and wrote the opinion in the Parhat case.

And yet, on this matter, they all agreed.

It's not as if the judges reached their conclusions using a defense-friendly, beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt examination.

They abided by standards Congress set in 2005, which are so stacked in favor of the government that the Supreme Court ruled on June 12 that they don't afford necessary constitutional protections.

While awaiting that decision, the D.C. Court of Appeals used the standards, anyway, because Parhat's lawyers -- eager for a quick decision and confident of the outcome using any rules -- agreed to go along with them.

Flimsy, Unattributed Evidence

Sure enough, the court said the evidence against Parhat is so flimsy, so unattributed that it's impossible to assess, much less rely on.

``To affirm the tribunal's determination under such circumstances would be to place a judicial imprimatur on an act of essentially unreviewable executive discretion,'' the judges said.

``We won in their court, on their statute, before judges that are not predisposed to our side,'' says Sabin Willett, a Boston lawyer representing Parhat.

The worst the government could say about Parhat was that in 2001 he lived in an Afghan camp run by a leader of a Uighur independence group who trained him in weapons.

That group, the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, may or may not associate with al-Qaeda and the Taliban, which Parhat may or may not have realized because there's no evidence he's a member of the group, anyway, the government acknowledged.

Thinly Sourced

It's hard to pin down whether the military believes its own accusations, the court said. Even its classified information is so thinly sourced and so poorly presented that the prosecution couched allegations in terms like ``said to be'' and ``apparently.''

Parhat swore to the Combatant Status Military Tribunal that China was his only enemy, not the U.S. He denied membership in the Uighur independence group or any knowledge it might be connected to America's enemies.

He attributed at least some of the accusations against him to Chinese authorities, hardly credible informants when it comes to dissidents.

If Parhat's right, China is using the U.S. to carry out its persecution of the Uighurs. Nice, eh?

The appeals court ordered the government to either release Parhat or grant him a speedy new tribunal hearing. It also suggested he seek release through a habeas corpus petition in federal court, which Willett says he is pursuing.

``We need a remedy,'' says Willett, ``a real honest-to- goodness remedy and an end to all this appellate badminton.''

The administration says it has been looking for a place to send the Uighurs, even while insisting they are enemy combatants.

Why keep them in prison, why keep them fighting in court? Why not give them their freedom in the U.S., which robbed them of it in the first place?

At the very least, admit we did wrong, stop fighting every single issue in court and look for a real solution to the self- inflicted disaster that is Guantanamo Bay.

(Ann Woolner is a Bloomberg news columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.)

Ann did a great job not letting this story die away, as many wish she had. Bravo Ann!

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Sunday, July 06, 2008

Bush will end his term with a perfect record. He's screwed up everything!

That's right. When historians write about these past 8 years as they do after a President leaves office, they will have a field day writing about how this President and Vice President destroyed this country in 8 short years which took 200 plus years to build. The latest trophy to add to their list of trophies was the sinking of the dollar as the standard currency of the world and the safe haven during turbulent times which every nation in the world could count on to protect the real value of their assets.

This President reminds me of the movie "Manchurian Candidate," but, instead of him being found out so that the perversion of his plans were to not succeed, we elected the guy who has destroyed us from within. He has done this without a single shot being fired on our shores, but distracted us by using fear from the 9/11 attack to start a war of choice in Iraq, which will bog us down financially for decades. President Bush and his other Oil crony, Vice President Cheney, have created such a mess with our economy and the costs associated with the Iraq war, that there is talk now of commodities such as Oil, replacing the U.S, dollar as currency because the dollar has devalued so much these past 8 years and it is expected to continue to decline for years to come. This is the worst President by far in the history of the United States and he was elected by about 28% of the population, since many don't vote. I'll bet they vote this next election after what has happened to the country.

Read the financial commentary in this news article this morning to see how this is happening.
Click here for the story.

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Not much to do but wait in anticipation of the election results

That's right, I am tired of the long primary process we had and now the General election campaign. I am tired of watching the commentators trying to make news when there isn't any to make other than about the deterioration of the economy Globally and the decline of the dollar to a level as bad as when we intervened when Mexico's currency dropped half as much as our dollar has these past 7 years.

So I will not be posting much political news or comments and save you all the boring discussions. I will comment more on Global news items as they may be driving our economy more in the next 6 months than anything else. Consider comments today that Israel may be considering attacking Iran's Nuclear Plants before Bush leaves office. Gee, think that's why Oil is up over $142 a barrel?

The world can't wait for Bush and Cheney to leave office and the same is true for most Americans. It will take decades to repair the damage done by these 2 incompetents.

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