Saturday, December 27, 2008
Hobe Sound, FL
If your Mother, is downing a couple quarts of Vodka and smoking three packs a day, you don't show your love only by lighting her cigarettes, and doing her liquor store shopping or even picking up some Oxycontin to mellow her out!
And if the liquor is oil, and the cigarettes are greenhouse gases and the shopping is rampant unregulated speculation and the Oxy is PROZAC & Testosterone Fueled Foreign Occupations, you don't do that either.
Liberals, aren't too busy counting her accomplishments, to see what work still needs to be done. When Liberals hear republicans preening about "Americam Exceptionalism", it often sounds to us, like the General so happy about yesterday's victories that he forgets to post today's sentries.
What Liberals love about our great human rainbow of an experiment in Liberty, is our forward looking humane perspective. We honor the hope of mankind that has made America so desirable a destination. America is beloved by Liberals among its many glories because it has redefined inclusion and has made a commitment to have no state religion. It is in our Constitution, it expresses the founders spirit of ecumenicalism, a tolerance for all religions.
America is a thought experiment in Liberty writ large. The promise of freedom to children of every color and every creed. The promise of the end of the ancient brutality of slavery and the nightmare of KINGS, and EMPERORS. Instead America embodies the enlightenment's ideal of the innate worth of every woman and man, the nobility of every child, not based in a blood line or established by the length of a line of credit.
Has America's every promise been completely realized? Can we love her, only if we say she is flawless? No, and Liberals do not as some suggest, glory in her imperfections, but instead we see her in her yet unfinished and malleable youth. She remains still capable of learning and yet a lttle rambunctious in her mere 232nd year.
BLIND UNTHINKING UNQUESTIONING LOYALTY, demanded by Kings and Emperors was not required by our founders. They didn't see it as a harbinger of a clear-eyed assessment of where the future might lead. Let us look instead, with open honest eyes when other Americans refuse loudly to be honest about our failures, and misjudgments. Whether this refusal stems from conspiratorial rascality or simple dimwitted laziness, it is beneath the true American spirit. America is made better when her sons and daughters have the clear sight to make what improvements must be made. Jefferson called revolutionary change a right, a responsibility.
Bloody rapacious capitalism at it's worst, must be tamed from time to time in this cradle of freedom, lest all the widows and children be consumed in the fires of greed. The free market untamed may be the best nursery for greed, but it often fails to honor the hopes of the humble. Should the highest price possible in the marketplace be the baseline for health care, for college education, for even basic education access.
The liberal anti-capitalistic suggestions of "POOR-RICHARD" for free libraries and free public education as well as public service fire departments were in fact not designed to track market indices, but these ideas are also part of the dream of America. Clara Barton, John Steinbeck and Margaret Sanger, Sinclair Lewis, and Susan B. Anthony, these critics addressed a audience who hoped to build a better more caring America.
America encompasses the dreams of Frick and Rockefeller to own it all, which stand side by side with Ford's desire to make sure every American could own a horseless carriage and Carnegie's generous gift of Libraries and Museums a gift not just to the children of the poor in his time, but a timeless educational resource for millions of young Americans. America has been the home of the Madoffs and the Gates the Yin and Yang of wealth and property and she is the home to millions more whose dreams lie yet aborning. Liberals love them too and when Health Care as a human right comes up for a vote, it may not be the dream of the GET-RICH-QUICK boys but access to quality healthcare is an ALL AMERICAN DREAM too!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
The founders, with all their faults were trying to do something profound, they were trying to break with MONARCHY.
It wasn't, that they didn't specifically like King George; they just didn't like "The Divine Right of Kings" as a principle. Despite history not being taught anymore, some of you nevertheless know the phrase "The Divine Right of Kings". It means, for those of you educated more recently, that GOD has obviously selected "THE KING", and if you reject the King, you reject GOD. Simultaneously, since GOD by definition cannot be wrong, the judgment of the KING is likewise infallible. The King (like GOD) exists in a sphere above human frailty and is UNDENIABLE, UNQUESTIONABLE, and from whose awful justice, there is no APPEAL.
There were people who believed that if you denied the infallibility of the King you were also denying GOD, and would be struck down. John quipped, "Luckily they had Ben Franklin on their side, so they knew how to deal with bolts from above". This was an incredibly bold and dangerous proposition. Since religion had previously been woven so tightly to political authority in most monarchies, making this clean break with state religion was part of the rejection of the "Divinity of the King". Furthermore placing the Law above the executive would also work toward reining in those who would otherwise abuse their governing authority. Thus also the theory of balance of power worked to further limit the power of any single branch of government. Each of these steps were crucial in moving toward the shared civic rule of a representative self-government.
They wanted to establish a system of government in this country that could never be monarchical again. One of the most significant points of departure, was to never again, have one man able to send his subjects to war without the support of the people, and their elected representatives. Never to allow one man to unilaterally decide, that he would spy on the people without legal oversight, or without respect of the rule of law. Never again would an executive governing authority be permitted to order torture, or detention of his people without the oversight of the courts. Never again would this country have a King who could by "Royal Fiat", vitiate or throw out the rule of law, with a signing statement and a stroke of his pen. Never again would the people of this country bow down before the whim of a king.
But in America for the last eight years everything the founders fought for and believed, has been trashed, torn apart, and spit on by a group of "rank criminals", who came to office illegally, and never stopped governing illegally.
The Constitution of the United States says you cannot go to war, without a Declaration of War, made by the Congress of the United States. The House and Senate must declare war. Iraq is an illegal war. Nichols then reminded us "I must say to Mr. Obama, the same is true for Afghanistan". The way to spell Viet Nam in the twenty-first century, is Afghanistan. The Afghan people have never been defeated. They beat Genghis Khan, they beat the British, the beat the Soviet Union, not because they're noble, but because, they know those hills and they know how to wait. And inflict terrible damage while they wait.
Addressing terrorism he then stated, "I don't live in some fantasy land. We have to fight terrorism, we have terrible threats to this republic, and we must defend ourselves, but a massive force occupying Afghanistan will not end terrorism, and it will inevitably bring tremendous harm to Barack Obama's ability to govern".
The Constitution says you cannot spy on anyone without legal oversight and a specific judicial ruling. The Fourth Amendment* goes further to state, Congress cannot even pass a law, that says you can spy on people, without these constitutional restraints, it's very strict on this. Senator Russ Feingold chair of the Senate Sub-committee on the Constitution says, every call you make on your cell phone is monitored. Every call is listened in on. If you have internet on your cell phone and send an email, it is also monitored, text messages are monitored. Twitter is monitored. Every email and every electronic conversation monitored in complete contravention of the Fourth Amendment. There is no electronic communication you can engage in today that is not monitored. And yet there is no legal authority for that monitoring. The past eight years the Constitution's Fourth Amendment has been ignored and violated by the Bush Administration which has been engaged in comprehensive, unauthorized, and illegal spying on all electronic communications.
The Eight Amendment** of the Constitution prohibits torture of persons in custody, of the U.S. Government. The language is unambiguous, it issues a prohibition against "CRUEL and UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT." Nichols' ironic comment, "Call me crazy, but I think torture's cruel!" The actions, by the Bush government in Guantanamo, Bhagram, and in the Extraordinary Rendition Centers (Where we take prisoners and drop them off for a third party to torture***) and then after the dirty work is done, collect the bloody damaged remains. These actions are strictly forbidden by The Eight Amendment, and our country has been in direct violation of it, since these activities, which were hatched like poisonous reptiles in the bosom of the Bush/Cheney White House. Under the direct orders of George Bush.
One of the most important reasons for the Revolution in 1776, was opposition to the notion that a King, could unilaterally decide what laws he would and would not obey. The founders opposed the idea that the King could by his whim, decide what laws he would observe. George Bush, has attached over 800 whims, (signing statements) to laws passed by Congress. George Bush, over 800 times, has said that he will not obey these laws, passed by Congress because he has decided he is above the law. We have had monarchical governance for the last eight years. Nichol said, if it was up to him, Congress would be called into session immediately, to IMPEACH George Bush and Dick Cheney.
Nichols made the point, that while some might complain that it's a slow and cumbersome process. He disagreed, saying the founders wanted it simple quick and easy. Like surgery a quick incision, and removal. Impeachment is mentioned six times in the Constitution. You can be impeached while in office, or while you are enjoying any of the benefits of office. George Bush and Dick Cheney after leaving office in January will receive pensions, office and security support and therefore, will be getting more benefits in retirement, than most of us receive in our full working life. Therefore they will remain IMPEACHABLE.
Some might suggest that we might await an International Law Tribunal, or some allied country to draw up charges, and well they might. Nichols very soberly suggested the Bush/Cheney Regime, is our mess and we need to stand up take responsibility and clean it up. "Maybe someone in France, might do the RIGHT THING" he proffered, ironically. "No" he said, "the American people have the power to demand Congress take it's responsibilities seriously. These men must be held to account! Unless we do, their lawless and cruel stain will remain a shadow on our great country.
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.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
*** Part of that whole Out Sourcing & Privatization Mission of the Radical Corporatists from KBR, Haliburton, Bechtel and everyone favorite mercenaries, and Clinton Library Donatees... BLACKWATER.
Additional Links & Materials
Spying on Americans
Bush Regime defends spying
Bush Regime defends Illegal Spying
Spying on Americans - New York Times Editorial
Comprehensive List of George Bush's "Signing Statements"
Bush challenges hundred of laws - The Boston Globe
Presidential Signing Statements - a report by the Congressional Research Service (PDF)
ABA President says Potential Misuse of Presidential Signing Statements poses a Threat...
Interview with Charlie Savage Pulitzer Prize Winner Reporter for his reporting on Presidential Signing Statements
The Charters of Freedom
Sunday, December 14, 2008
John Nichols, Constitutional Scholar and writer for the Nation spoke before the assembled Democrats of Palm Beach at the Kravitz Center Saturday December 13th. He had several kinds of good news.
The noted Impeachment Scholar had much positive to say about President Elect Obama, whom he'd interviewed several times over the last four years. He posed a riddle early on, what do President Elect Obama and Vice President Elect Biden have in common, besides marvelous powerful mothers?
He was pleased to find an audience member (one of the Raging Grannies whose performance opened the presentation) knew that both President Elect Obama and Vice President Elect Biden are well respected Constitutional Scholars.
He marveled at how changed were our circumstances by this past election. He said if at his last visit, in 2006, he'd suggested that a relatively unknown Junior Senator from Illinois, son of a well educated single mother, and African American, would be elected President, he'd have been laughed off the stage.
He continued his assessment of the 2008 election with a brief discussion of the incredible forces that came together to bring the American people to a place where they could select Senator Obama as our president. He said, it was a convergence of both a rejection of the policies of a know-nothing, fear first, son of privilege as well as the comprehension that in President Barack Obama we have a highly thoughtful, intelligent and gifted man. He said that here was a man who could move Americans with rhetoric. This allowed him a broader set of tools to motivate Americans, beyond the simple fear and hate repertoire of the former highly inarticulate president.
He also said, we're very fortunate to have in both the House and Senate Constitution Committees, very wise and committed Constitutionalists; Rep Jerrold Nadler and Russell D. Feingold, Wisconsin (Chairman) US Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Constitutional Subcommittee.
He mention the recent appointment of proposed Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Physicist, 1997 Nobel Prize Winner, and Lawrence Berkeley Lab Director since 2004. Imagine he said, a Cabinet official with a Nobel Prize, a man in favor of science instead of appointments that run from science. He was chosen because President-Elect Obama wants to emphasize competence and science - WOW! he said, we already have change!
Imagine selecting a cabinet secretary based on intelligence and competence rather than fantasy and B.S.? Now that's PROGRESS!
He congratulated Palm Beach County on finally having it's votes counted. Even more progress!
We are always in momentous times and one of the most momentous problems facing us right now is the auto industry bailout, or loan. Those Southern Senators are primarily opposed to UNIONS. In less that a week they voted to send 750 Billion Dollars, with no strings attached to the CORRUPT BANKERS AND TRADERS on Wall Street, but it's taken over a month and they still haven't voted a mere 14 Billion to save the jobs of tens of thousands of Auto Workers and all the businesses that depend upon them.
Its the same old story of the Corporations versus the workers. We know that one. We have to be passionate, about helping the union auto workers. We need to make sure that everyone of the autoworkers keep their jobs!
It was the UAW that literally sent Union leaders to Alabama to bail out Dr. King and other civil rights leaders. It was black and white UNION Autoworkers who advocated and agitated to get Nelson Mandela free from Robin Island Prison.
When after his release in 1990 he travelled to America and he had three stops. He spoke in Congress (where the opponents of sanctions crowded around to be photographed with him) and on Wall Street, (after all, South Africa has GOLD and DIAMONDS), his third stop was in Michigan at the Ford Rouge Plant where he wanted to personally thank the Union AutoWorkers who worked tirelessly for his release and an end to apartheid, in South Africa. Black and White UAW members in Dearborn were the first organization to oppose apartheid and demand his release. He insisted on thanking them before he went home.
John also spoke very warmly in support of the Women's International League of Peace and Freedom. He asked if people knew of it's history. WILPF's regional president Susan Moseley had spoken eloquently during the opening remarks and issued a passionate call for support and membership. WILPF founded in 1915, has worked for nearly a century to end war, reduce violence and achieve full women's rights.
He raised the subject of the open Senate seat in Illinois, and how he had advocated a special election there to fill the seat, because no one should take a seat in the Senate unless they had been placed there by the people in an election.
The only way he kept sane the last eight years, was by living in large part in the 18th century, in an indepth study of the writings of the founders. They were trying to do something that had never been done before. They were rejecting the Divine Right of Kings. Previously the main theory of government during the age of monarchy was the belief that GOD had selected the King. Thus by challenging the King, you were challenging GOD. Further, if you rejected the King, you were rejecting God.
How dangerous, how radical, that they strove to put an end to the "DIVINE RIGHT OF KINGS". The founders weren't saying, they didn't like personally like King George. They were rejecting the principle of the Divine Right of Kings. There were people who were taught and literally believed that if people rejected the King, they could be struck down from on high because rejecting the KING was exactly the same as rejecting GOD.
The founders were determined that they would never serve a KING! They would never have a man who could unilaterally send his people, his subjects, to war with out their approval and participation. The people would have a say.
[END PART 1]
Lawrence Berkeley Lab Director Steven Chu Nobel Prize Winning Physicist
FOIA DOCUMENTS OBTAINED BY ACLU ON IRAQI DETAINEE ABUSE
Limitations Under Consideration of Un-Constitutional Blanket Pardons
Center for Constitutional Rights
Thursday, December 11, 2008
$enatorial $eat Open for Bid eh?
I guess you forgot, Jebby's nefarious plan to torpedo the class size limitation?
I mean really fifty points for VOCABULARY but a political leader speaking near a microphone, characterizing his OWN PLANS as nefarious?? How about Jebby the Crusader for Vouchers, determined to undermine Public Schools? Still flogging it after two defeats. Privatize everything? Sell off and privateer the State's Water Resources? Anybody remember those $tate of Florida's Inve$tments in ENRON - that really paid off?
WOW - Now that's leadership - I can really bid against.
Blogdonovich had to go some distance to TOP that one?
I got it, I understand,
Here we have one half-baked, plutocrat, neo-con, princeling who makes no bones about subverting a public referendum. Even preens about it! Not to mention cooking the voting rolls to get his genius "BOY WONDER" brother before the tweaked Supreme Court, so they could also subvert the public vote. Anybody see a pattern here?
I see, I see, he's the smart one compared to his brother -
WOW! that's some serious smirking competition.
Jebby, widely liked, sure among all the sons and daughters of the DAR - the polo set, the golf club, membership only crowd. Sure they love him, hey his daddy ran the CIA for the Alzheimer's President. And Don't forget that!!!
So - Here's my bid, I bid one high paying not for profit job for his wife, and two columnists from the Miami Herald, quick, while they still use American writers.
Anybody else have a BID?solidarity & peace