Friday, November 30, 2007

RE The Republican Debate in St. Pete

Great to know that at least Sen. McCain understands the fact that water-boarding is IN FACT TORTURE. Something that Mitt can't or won't come to terms with.

And for those, lawyers, who are not gifted with simple humanity. It is also illegal and would be a violation of the Geneva Conventions.

And for those whom neither the moral or legal arguments work, then may you rest comfortably among the Republican Party Troglodytes, who also seem to have trouble with SCIENCE. Unless it's understood, through delicate tint of republic sensibilities.

Since at the last REPUBLIC SPITTING MATCH, where they all disavowed evolution, with the same enthusiastic vehemence, that they embraced the LITERAL TRUTH of a particular version of a re-translated, translation of a translation, written several hundred years after the fact. (WINK-WINK)

Angels, devils, the sun stopping in the sky, swallowed by big fish, raising the dead, walking on water, no they have no problem with that. It's Evolution and the fossil record they can't quite embrace.

Watching in absolute amazement, as the countries leadership, embraces the values that made the Spanish Inquisition so memorable. I must ask, can witch dunking be far behind? If the Supreme Court wasn't so useful electing republicans I'm sure it would have been abandoned in favor of Ronnie Reagan's Astrologer and the public reading of entrails.

RW Spisak

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

RE a Scott Ritter Evening

Scott Ritter told it like it is, and it's not pretty.

He gave a soldier's assessment of the Anti-War Movement and it wasn't pretty. His work as a UN Inspector, his assessment of Colin Powell, and his advise to the ANTI-WAR community.
And he was brutally honest and correct. He lauded the concept of equality, but as applied to the "movement" the result is devastating.

He asked us to consider, how successful the anti-war movement has been, with our current tactics? We've been protesting even before the invasion. Did we stop the invasion no. We've marched to oppose Abu Gharib, Guantanamo, and Extraordinary Rendition. That didn't work either. Now they are "product testing"the language that will be used to SELL the Invasion of Iran.

He reminded us that one definition of Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. That's the ANTI-WAR Movement. He described the ANTI-WAR movement as doing another grab-bag march and HOPING something nice would come from it??????????????????????????????????????????????

He said when he first spoke out against the RUSH to WAR, He was invited to speak at large rallies. But many of his comments were unwelcome. He's no longer invited.

He said, he came to this large mass action, and was confronted by signs for everything from FREE MUMIA, to PROTECT THE OWLS. STOP the War and on, and on, and on. When he reacted to this colorful, yet ineffective collage and suggested that these tactics were getting nowhere - He was told by International Answer, that "He hurt their feelings." He said we (the ANTI-WAR Movement) are laughed at by those in power.

He was told us we need to think of the Anti-War campaigns like a battle campaign. He suggested we need focus, and a message that will allow the Farmers of IOWA to buy in - as long as we're thought of as a bunch of intellectual elites, we will fail.

We need to find a message that appeals to a wide audience and martial our limited resources behind that unifying message. He recommended making the American Constitution our rallying point. He further suggested a leadership approach modeled after the firefighters logic.

"Incident Command" - no one group, no one leader is always the boss, but takes leadership at a particular action or incident. This permits leadership. There is then a point of leadership. a leadership triangle, then progress will be made.

Faced with an opponent that has essentially unlimited funding, controls congress and the media
as well as the military and law enforcement with very finite funds, resources and personnel, we can ill afford not to marshal our forces. Having been an activist in a wide range of coalitions since the 1970's, I can appreciate how difficult getting "buy-in" and the organizing an action with a coalition is not easy.

But what we oppose, the "Pre-emptive War" mentality,
Torture, the loss of the Bill of Rights, Habeas Corpus, protections against Unreasonable Search and Seizure, Privacy protections and more will become completely lost. (German leadership was prosecuted in Nuremberg for "Pre-emptive War")

We can ill afford to ignore those we would deter.

"Pick a Goal, and organize, Pick A Message and marshal our resources" then face dangers we oppose. He was asked about Powell's testimony before the UN, he was asked had he contributed, or been consulted.

He explained that most of the "evidence" Powell used had been gathered by his team of UN Inspectors. He was in Japan, when Powell made his presentation, the problem was that the data was misinterpreted. But as he watched was it was conscientiously and intentionally MISINTERPRETED. He was asked if Powell knew that he was lying about the evidence. He said, there is no way, that Powell was an unwitting dupe. He knew exactly what he was doing. Powell knew that the slam dunk was FLAT WRONG.

He challenged us, the Anti-war activists to really organize, select a Goal and undertake a Campaign, that would engage regular folks to actually do more than WHINE that the BUSH ADMINISTRATION is destroying the Constitution. Maybe he said Constitutional Literacy might be a good first step.

Read the Constitution and Act on it!

My proposed Unification SLOGANS

"I PROTECT THE CONSTITUTION for my Grandchildren" &
America Is Not a Bully"

a very sobering evening.

solidarity & peace

Rick Spisak

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Inertia or Impeachment?

The reasons for inertia

1. It's not Popular
2. There are no republicans ready to join the effort (its partisan)
3. It's a distraction from higher priorities
4. It's let's the dem's off the hook
5. Because new laws have been enacted (Military Commissions Act, USA Patriot Act, )
the UN-Constitutionality of some of the acts has been called into question.
These may have made some of these acts legal?
My rebuttal

1. It's not popular, there is no consensus.
This is a new principle of law of which I am unaware. Liberty is not a popular value. Freedom of speech is not
answerable to a popular vote.
The freedom demanded by the colonies, was not unanimously demanded.
Women's rights, and the equality of African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans is still not universally
respected even in this "enlightened" land, Should Women, or African
Americans sit down and shut up, unless their
community has a plubicite and determines that
these are popular values. That it is the law, is enough.
We turned from vigilante justice
sometime in the nineteen-fifties and even in the early nineteen sixties, African American rights
were still not popular among those in the existing power structure. POPULARITY, and General Acceptance, is not
a reason to enforce the law.
The law, is the law. Should there be laws, enforced only by it's temporary popularity?

The Simpson's case offers the perfect example. In some neighborhoods, Mr. Simpsons' guilt
or innocence was a forgone conclusion, before the jury sat. Even after the case ran it's course
through the California Courts, some communities believed it was a great miscarriage of justice.
Yet in other communities, his vindication was proof, that "justice" had prevailed.

Is justice, and it's pursuit to depend on popular whim? And powerful media advocacy?
Is is the law, in this case the Constitution the law for all whether it's enforcement is popular or not?
Were the signers of the Declaration constrained by the opinion of the haberdashers of London?
Would you hesitate to protect your house for fear, that the burglar, might not find you entirely hospitable?
Were the abolitionists. shamed by the opinion of the slave market's cashier?

2. There are no republicans ready to join the impeachment effort, therefore it will be deemed a partisan issue.
The enforcement of the law, especially the Constitution is not the province of any party. Whether legislators
will or won't join the effort, who might be comfortable later on, in this early stage of the process, has yet to be seen.
This is merely the beginning of the impeachment

Once the matter is before the House, and the evidence is
presented, then we will know whether the sustained attacks
on the constitution by this administration are as
significant a danger to the republic as Testimonies on Oral Sex,
in the White House. "What is torture?" has replaced "What is, is?"

Regardless whether republicans or democrats regard disingenuous and misleading statements about ORAL SEX,
a larger threat to the Constitution, than torture, broken international treaties the politicization of the Justice Department
and lying to start a war, it will be interesting. How many republicans, how many democrats, are concerned
enough to protect the Constitution, only time will tell.

What if some distrust the motives, should this halt the investigation? What if Impeachment is portrayed as
"tit for tat"
by the purchased press of FAUX Noose.
It is not partisan to support Constitutional Constraints on executive power.
If there are those who still are looking for a foolish reason to dismiss ACLU then let this be it.
Fear of fools is not
a sustainable guide to the Constitution's balance of powers..

3. It's a distraction from priorities
The ACLU's resources and it's supporters energy are finite. It is equally true that when the "cause is met"
new enthusiasm, new energy
and new resources will surface. Think of the millions activated by the Freedom Rides?
By the Million Man March, the millions who will be self identified as the battle is joined. There may well be resources
yet to be awakened.
Who would have guess that Dr. King or Ghandi would find an audience for their unpopular,
yet heart-felt voice for JUSTICE?

4. It lets DEMS off the hook, because they were enablers.
Part of the discussion must be that retroactive enabling of these huge unconstitutional changes passed by a recumbent
Congress cannot continue to threaten Americans. The Court and Congress
are the appropriate forum for these discussions,
but they are not the only forum for public opinion
. When Thomas Jefferson, spoke forcefully about the necessity for
continued revolution,
what would he make of Pelosi's widely reported "IMPEACHMENT it's off the table?"
What would Patrick Henry (He of - "If I have but one, life to give for my country") make of these
type of statements. Would he say, well, I'd like to take a principled stand, but it might hurt, my plan of a career in Congress?

5. Some new legislation, may have made some of these acts legal. And thus Impeachment is a NON-Starter
There are no Constitutional Laws applicable, that could make the vast array of Impeachable Acts legal.
Let's focus on just a few of them. Lying and lying by omission to Congress and the people.
There is no "new" UnConstitutional Legislation, that can allow, the Executive to break treaties,
whether it be illegal invasions, or the Geneva Conventions. The savagery of the Spanish Inquisition cannot be legal.
No one can make legal, kidnapping "extraordinary rendition" and prisoners held beyond the law.

There is no legislation that will allow the manufacturing of FAKE Evidence to trick Americans
into illegal wars. Turning the Independent Judiciary into a party organ of enforcement and attack, is indefensible.
What has been done to GUT the Justice Department alone, is worthy of articles
of impeachment.
Nothing can be written into law, to shield the partisan activity that even Ms. Gooding
with her degree from a religious
college recognized that this was "PROBABLY" Over the CONSTITUTIONAL LINE.

This is the thrust of some of the arguments I would employ to argue for Supporting Articles of Impeachment,

Friday, November 16, 2007

Florida Dems - the best solution is a lawsuit?


I did send it to both the state and the national party.

Having gotten no response, I thought I would share my question with the State Democratic Blogging Community. Because - it seems to me it's one of those "elephant in the room" questions.

I just can't believe, that the very best solution is a lawsuit?

I hope, political ego aside (if thats even thinkable) that cooler heads will prevail.

I have never thought the dem party as so money-rich, so thick with resources that we can spend months, money and resources fighting among ourselves in court.

Setting aside, Sen. Nelsons utility as a conservative democrat and his national ambition (which is obviously a hulking mass to move) Is there anyone pursuing a wiser course????

Are we so sure that this won't turn off a lot of fence sitters?

It seems to me and I suspect to many others, this a hideous FARCE of an IDEA, I understand how it plays directly to the needs of Repulsicans. And if that idea alone isn't enough to say - WHOA NELLY - WoW!

I can't stand silently by, while the idiocy or worse; guts what should be a very successful electoral year. If however, due to moles, or finks, or just stoopidity, we get co opted by Dem-publicans we can still lose this state AGAIN to the Damn Monarchist Tory Party

solidarity & peace

Rick Spisak
Progressive Democrat
"I remember when workers had rights!"

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Florida Dems - This is the PLAN?

Florida Democrats: RE Suing the National Democratic Party????

While I can see the advantage to National and State Republicans that Florida Democrats and National Democrats are suing each other and contending over disputes instead of organizing and energizing.

Since it is impossible to image that both Florida and National Democratic Goals are furthered by this FOOLHARDY action initiated because the FLORIDA REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURE moved the primary.

I would like an update - while MONEY, TIME, and RESOURCES are being expended on this (SOLUTION???)

Are there are cooler heads or any grown ups in the sandbox who might find a better solution then spending money and lawyer-time preparing for the national and state-wide elections.

TWO idiotic reactions to the Legislatures action in redoing the dates, will not produce an intelligent design. I am a life long democrat, and I want to hear that Florida Democratic Leadership has a better plan than SUING the National Party?

What is the status of the resolution? Is there arbitration underway? Are Florida Democrats actually wasting time and money, in court, instead of preparing our resources for the election?

I want to know, what the grownups have in mind? Because IF the Best Plan, Sen. Nelson, Rep. Klein, and Ms. Thurman have in mind is a lawsuit? Then we desperately need Better Leadership.

RW Spisak
Life Long Progressive democrat

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Let's see, a little knowledge of history can be.. humorous

Let's see, a little knowledge of history can be.. humorous

I got a real kick out of the Letter Writer's comment, that science has been wrong before.

The beauty of science as opposed to "revealed" knowledge is that science is self-correcting. The scientific method allows that knowledge is perfectable. Each scientist can build on the facts and research of previous scientists.

Knowledge can be built on, and leads to better lives and a fuller understanding of the world. Remember, vaccines, electric lights, medicine, surgery, antiseptics?

I find it a sad commentary on how slow the wisdom does accumulate, when some people still insist that ignorance is better for young people. Do they really believe that people unaware of the facts of human biology, are better off than those who know how babies are conceived. Do they actually believe that pregnancies are increased, because of sexual knowledge. The consequences of normal human sexuality have not not changed in hundreds of thousands of years.

Do you really think that knowledge of sexually transmitted diseases should be kept hidden from young sexually aware young people? I have as a parent made sure, my children, understood human sexual facts, and the consequences that can be wonderful, miraculous or dangerous.

STDs and Immune Difficiency diseases will not be reduced by ignorance.

One last comment about science, those who would dispense with it's self correcting progress. I assume, then that in your hut, you use, oil lamps, after a long "bright" doing subsistence hunting and gathering. I'm sure you avoid the printed word, a technology from the late fifteen hundreds.

I'm sure you also have banished TV, RADIO, CARS, COMPUTERS and Medicine. Likewise I'm sure clearly you also avoid even animal husbandry as it must certainly be another of the many mistakes of science.

That you know someone literate and computer savvy enough to draft a letter to the editor, I suppose is a tribute to your open-mindedness, or more likely, just more of the blindspots in your world view.

See you after the great bird eats the shiny-disk in the sky.

A Working Scientist
Rick Spisak

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Reject the Mukasey Nomination for AG

While I agree that America's Justice Department has been damaged, even dismantled under the leadership of the BUSH ADMINISTRATION. From the politicization of appointed offices, the casual use of inexperienced political operatives to restructure the department for political prosecutions, to the stonewalling and contrived amnesia of disgraced "Judge" Gonzalez as Attorney General.

America does need fresh leadership that understands that the President is not above the law, that signing statements do not supersede the laws passed by the legislative branch and that International Laws preclude the use of the tools of the Inquisition to protect this nations stature as leader of the free world.

There is no briefing that can change the impact and reality of torture, from water boarding to the whole panoply of heinous bloodstained techniques of Torquemada and the Spanish Inquisition.

If Judge Mukasey doesn't understand that the tools of the Spanish Inquisition and the Bush Administration are an affront to the civilized world. There is no briefing that can explain it to him.

No Justice Department would be better lead, by a man with such a blind spot. Mouthing platitudes, about the President not being above the law, in the Bushian Age of "Signing Statements" that allow, what the law explicitly forbids, is unworthy of the Nation founded by Jefferson, Mason, and the great military leader George Washington.

Who if you recall, insisted on humane treatment for captured Hessian Mercenaries, before this country had a history. He knew how the army of a civilized nation behaved.

Richard W. Spisak Jr.