Sunday, July 20, 2008

Fun with FISA

Sewell's Point , Indian River Park, along the Treasure Coast

The Martin County democrats gathered for our annual summer rally. We heard a string of rousing speeches by candidates for a variety of local offices, including excellent speeches by Bill Ramos candidate for District 81's seat in the Florida Legislature and also we heard County Commission candidate Martha Bennett. Martin County is seeing a remarkable growth in democratic activism like never before.

US Congressman Tim Mahoney, appeared and made a wonderful speech about the damage the Bush/Cheney/Rove regime has done to our country. He then made another excellent speech about the Obama candidacy. Addressing how many of the Obama policies will result in greater opportunities and an important change for America.

We have some venomous republicans who lurk on the letters to the editor forum, and I've been called upon to defend our good democratic Congressman Mahoney several times in recent weeks.

Congressman Mahoney addressing the assembled democrats, continued explaining that Americans across the land have lost faith in this president and no longer trust him. Senator Obama will bring a new face to America overseas. He explained President Obama will work to bring the Iraq war to a rapid conclusion.

He then opened the floor to questions. He hoped, that all the questions would be consistent with good democratic unity, and would be fair and supportive. His first questioner was Mr. Learned who asked about his support of President Bush's war on Iraq. He said the world changed on 9/11. "We live", he said, "in a dangerous world", and "we must give the president the benefit of the doubt". "The War is real". His answer proved unsatisfactory, to many of his audience.

I had the chance to ask Congressman Mahoney the next question, and I used a reporter's tricks to raise two questions, but landed firmly on the second. "I won't ask you to reconcile, the vote in favor of FISA Revision and the fourth amendment to the Constitution.

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.]

He replied that the FISA amendment, was the best we could get. It does require the administration to report any surveillance within 72 hours. [That requirement was one of the constraints that the Bush Administration blew right by last time. Aren't you reassured?]

However, I settled on a second question would he explain his endorsement of legislation in support of the Administration's position on Iran. He asked what particular legislation was that, regarding Iran?
I couldn't recall the name of the legislation, so he gained some wiggle room. But I promised myself, I would research the name of the legislation. He did have an answer of sorts.

He said it was unfortunate that the President has brought himself into a position like.. he paused, reaching for a metaphor, he suggested "like crying wolf." Now, Nobody believes him. The WELL EARNED REPUTATION, so long cultivated as a liar, might do that.

Back in the studio, I did a the research.
Congressman Mahoney, was among the Congressmen that signed on as (
co sponsor ship of House Resolution 362) way back in the beginning of July. Almost two full weeks ago. So you can see how it slipped his mind.

House Resolution 362 - Urges an Iran Blockade - and authorizes further destabilization activity.
In the context of the revelations by Symour Hersch on covert US forces already in Iran. Check it out for yourself. Its typically referred to as the ATTACK IRAN or Blockade Iran Resolution click here. And check out some discussion & analysis here and here. or and Truthout here.

Our good democratic Congressman Mahoney is one of the Co-Sponsors. But he is our, good democratic congressman, who did stand up for Habeas Corpus. Imperfect, like all coalitions require, pragmatically we need each other and he will be supported.

Further regarding the hideous House Resolution 362 from a colleague (Mark Weaver)

From Mark Weaver's Blog [re Kucnich's reaction]

On July 1, Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter opposing H.Con.Res. 362. Ron Klein, Debbie Schultz and Robert Wexler were among the first 13 cosponsors and were quickly joined by Alcee Hastings, Kendrick Meek, Tim Mahoney and Allen Boyd. (I’d name the Florida Republican
co-sponsors but we already know Republicans are warmongers, right?)
thanks Mark.

So Congressman Mahoney - didn't know what I was referring to... uh huh??? more later. If we citizens, who take that honorable title to heart, do not confront mendacity in a forthright and civilized manner. What can we expect from those to whom we give our votes?

I did get in a third question, does he really think America can dictate what weapons that any country on the GLOBE can possess? [He said, yes.] I expected a discussion, not a retreat into a request for good fellowship.

Americans should debate - the role some would force upon our young people that of mercenary and enforcer of the NEW WORLD ORDER. Some of us, do disagree!

That being said:
Yes, Senator Obama is our candidate, and we support him, and Congressman Mahoney you are our democratic Congressman. (such as you both are [moderate dems] ) I will continue to defend you both from right wing attack-dogs. But I do expect honest answers. And a SERIOUS DEBATE on foreign policy.

Good people can disagree about whether America's role as arms merchant to the A.Q. Khans of this world, somehow conflicts with its' Right/Duty to collect the worlds' weapons, at the swinging door of Super Powerdom! However in 50 or a 100 years, let's ask Brazil, India or China the same question. hmmmm shall we???

Martial plan indeed, lets debate it? Can we

solidarity & peace

Friday, July 04, 2008

Donation Demands by Good Causes, the problem

MoveOn Team

I appreciate your need to request donations. Not-for-profit enterprises, like the good works of cannot proceed without funding, without solicitations, that's a given.

I must offer you a small suggestion. TOO MANY REQUEST for "$$$", for Money, over and over are worse than futile, they are counterproductive. These will not succeed with people who are crushed under the BUSH ENERGY & ECONOMIC POLICIES.

Yes, we are concerned about the walrus, the polar bear, the rain forest, the turtles, the tundra , education, and medical policy in Asia, and Africa. We are also concerned about Appalachians and Kosovars, Columbians and Tibetians. We do not foregt those afflicted by AIDS in Africa and poor of South and Central America. We have not forgotten the Chinese bloggers turned in by Google and Yahoo. We remember the brave people who stood against tanks in Tienamen square and with Yeltsin in Russia. We are also concerned about jobs, indians and immigrants, women's pay equity and religious freedom. We're concerned about the mustangs, the missing bees and frogs and the Oceans. Need I, yes I must, mention Global Warming.

Here's the problem, many of us, don't have a fat republican wallet in our debtor class jeans. Many of my most politically astute colleagues are not burdened with a check book dripping with ULTRA-HEAVY ZEROS.

Going to that well too often, will dilute your important franchise with the activist community. Activists across the progressive democratic arc from the Lieberman/Zell Miller democrats to Mondale/Gore dems, to Kucinich/Gravel, Feinegold/Wexler dems to Greens, Naderites, and Ron Paul supporters, Independents and Black-flaggers, we all care. We are also struggling to survive. Hoping to stave off the and the Mortgage Marauders and Credit Carnivores.

We get 50 campaign solicitations per day, and 100 good cause emails, each time we open our email boxes. Many that we have commitment fatigue. These are serious and dangerous time before us. We will need the good will to build the necessary coalition large enough to reduce the damage of the ECONOMIC / ENERGY / WAR Policies of the Constitutionally-Ignorant Bush Oil Regime.

Don't drive us, away with constant demands for financial support. Their children and families demands for support drown you out. And we are all in this together. Coalition building must be first!

solidarity & peace

Rick Spisak