Friday, January 30, 2009

President Obama

I am very proud that you have changed our country's course on many International Policies. Especially I appreciate your prompt initiative to end TORTURE, too long a blot on our country, and your equally welcome announcement that you will follow through on your campaign promise to close Guantanamo, that horrendous insult to HUMAN RIGHTS.

I feel, I must remind you of two other important promises of your administration. One that you would not turn your back on science, as the previous administration had, one more reason why the decision to remove funding for family planning is a bad one.

The second and not unrelated promise is your administration's commitment to solving America's health care emergency.

Yes the economy has been driven into a ditch, and those BONUS BURDENED BANKERS will suffer. Americans in increasing numbers are not only unemployed and increasingly homeless, but they are without any medical care whatsoever.

President Obama, the auto industry, the farmers, manufacturers and the GOLD PLATED BONUS ENCRUSTED credit and investment community needs help lest their interior decorators go without. Sir the Americans even those few fortunate enough to still have any kind of job, are without insurance, without healthcare and the emergency rooms are already overwhelmed. The hospitals upon whom this unfunded mandate falls, on are increasingly incapable of providing even minimum timely care.

DO NOT abandon American Health care needs. Do not, push it off, it is the ultimate component of the American Economy, is the American worker. Every American, white collar, blue collar and the shirtless need access to real Healthcare. Long waits in emergency rooms are no longer common, they are epidemic.

President Obama you sat at a desk face to face with unemployed Americans when you worked as a COMMUNITY ACTIVIST. How long must they wait? America cannot afford to fund bankers, while working Americans go without National, Single Payer healthcare.

We must not be postponed, you must not abandon the sons and daughters of this great country to the bureaucrats in the Insurance Industry, who earn their daily bread by denying healthcare to Americans.

In what world does it make sense, that if you have had a previous healthcare problem, that you are automatically precluded from help with ongoing medical problems. "Pre-Existing Condition is a reason not to help?"

A dedicated Obama Campaign Worker
and lifelong democrat.

Richard W. Spisak Jr.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Response to "Interesting Commentary by Kit Lange"

Ms. Lange

I hope your service to this country was conducted with more integrity than was displayed in that inaccurate collage of exaggerations and hysterical fantasy represented in your curious rant entitled "Interesting commentary..."

I will address a few of your more outlandish attacks to illustrate your comprehensive failure to understand what liberals, main stream democrats and the majority of Americans hope to accomplish through their election of President Obama.

You might want to actually look at the facts, you might find they contrast rather dramatically with your characterizations.

Unlike you I have attended his speeches, read the literature and participated in countless discussions with ordinary Americans who elected a new cadre of Democrats to repair the damage created by the past eight years of Bush policies. America turned away from fear-mongering, and turned away from the CORPORATE-WELFARE POLICIES of the dark republican era we are finally shaking off. "Leave no Banker BEHIND" shall no longer be heard in the West Wing.

While I will concede you have memorized the talking points of the right, which had until recently mesmerized much of the electorate. When they felt they couldn't just steal the election. (As in Florida) Where PAID Republican Congressional Staffers conducted a riot in the Miami Dade County building to put a halt to vote counting. Get over it, we have, forgotten it, we will not.

Now on to some of your fear mongering.

When you talk about handouts, and freebies, let's not forget who just got a $750 Billion Dollar Bon Voyage Gift from your pal$ in the White House. So when you refer to hands out for TAX PAYER DOLLARS lets not forget the GREED-HEADS on Wall Street - they are DOING Some SERIOUS REDISTRIBUTION.

And While I'm sure you have respect for your fellow soldiers, where was the respect for the soldiers, in the REPUBLICAN ADMINISTRATION with the NO-BID, PRICE GOUGING, WAR PROFITEERS, who overcharged American Tax-payers while failing to meet even minimum safety standards for the soldiers who they were OVER-paid to serve. Those shocking electrical problems in the showers, the bad food, the tainted water served at COST PLUS rates. Where was their vaunted RESPECT FOR THE SOLDIERS when not one, not even one, of those over charging, price gouging, War Profiteers has been punished during this long terrible war?

I know, they cared so much about the soldiers, that they didn't feel compelled to provide them with armored HUMVEES or adequate body armor? That's how much they cared.

And when the Vice President decided in the comfort of the White House to abandon the Geneva Conventions that protect our soldiers and TORTURE the Definition of what constitutes Cruel and Unusual Punishment, placing all American service men and women in greater danger where was their appreciation for brave American men and women at war? They showed their real colors when the Bush Administration tried to blame Torture Policies on "a few bad apples" in the National Guard from West Virginia???? Watch what they do, not what they say!

If that's republican respect and honor for our servicemen and women, I object.

One of the rules, of actual journalism is that if you cite a web source, you provide the link. I have been a democratic activist working closely with the campaign, and I've never seen any links to GIVEAWAYS and distribution of wealth.

I'd check the WALL STREET and ENRON BOYS and the fun-kids over at MADOFFs for the REAL RE-DI$TRIBUTION of Wealth, or maybe the KINGS of PETROLEUM, who during the last 8 years of Republican PLUTOCRACY have plundered Americans earning astronomical profits, now thats some serious REDI$TRIBUTION of Wealth. Your so funny, how about a little fear-mongering, USE THE "S" word why don't you - that'll really scare them.

So HALIBURTON and BLACK WATER FLEECE AMERICANS and walk away scot free, and stash their ill gotten tax payer dollars, over seas, thats not a problem for you? Corporation that keep corporate addresses in a filing cabinet ten thousand to a drawer in the Bahamas, that's no problem, but if Americans might get subsidized health care - thats a problem. You need batteries in your calculator, if you can't see how that adds up!

Regarding Israel
You with no justifiable evidence have "I suppose with your GUTS" guessed we will stop funding Israel completely. Since we have been anything but even handed, in the Middle East, some movement toward understanding the Palestinian position might be in order. But to assume the board will be tilted 180 degrees is fantasy without foundation.

Re Iran,
You must be ignoring the long history of America tampering with Iran, the hostage crisis was in part a reaction to America's assassination of Mosadeq and the installation of Reza Pahlavi on the "PEACOCK THRONE". Or do you only count irresponsible deeds when they are committed against Americans. Do you figure that destabilizing Iraq had no impact on its long standing enemy Iran?

And since American foreign policy played both sides of the IRAN / IRAQ war, where do you figure those crows will come to roost? Our foreign policy is far from rational in the tumultuous Middle East. The Saudi's our oil-rich allies provided the largest contingent in the nine-eleven attack, if the instant analysis is to be believed. Our support of the Kuwaiti's and the Saud Family has earned us the enmity of our former jihadi operative Mr. Bin Laudin, that really worked out eh?

I'm going to skip right by your rather imaginative section on soldiers and justice, since changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice would have to be approved by Congress and they are not actually a cheering section for our new President elect. And I'm also going to ignore the rather imaginative section on the packing of the Supreme Court because, unless your suggesting that the Supreme Court is in grave personal danger, this is utter nonsense.

I'm going to conclude with the section on loss of rights. Maybe you didn't notice that the disgraced Bush Attorney General "I KNOW NOTHING, NOTHING" Alberto Gonzales, pronounced his formal legal opinion, that the Geneva Conventions were quaint. And from Bush Administrations actions clearly Habeas Corpus has been completely dispensed with. Ask the Americans held incommunicado, without lawyers, or charges indefinitely where in Bush Administrations reading of the Constitution did Habeas Corpus go? The last straw however, may be your failure to mention the Bush administration's gutting of the Fourth Amendment through is annihilation of the FISA protections, against unreasonable searches and seizures. Giving the open microphone policies of the Telcom's retroactive immunity? Didn't you get the memo - they are listening in on everyone. Can you say, "NO FLY LIST" The Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court was prevented from flying America's skies.. (His name appeared on the BUSH ADMINSTRATION'S NO FLY LIST)

So before you go casting charges at President elect Obama, have some facts - it would be a real change. You might try, if you want to write something you know, that might actually be, you know, be fact based.

Rick Spisak
democratic activist
Progressive, Liberal and Proud

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Dear Religious Zealot and friends

[A letter to the editor compared oppression of Christians unfavorably with relative respect granted Homosexuals in America] - I responded

You said: "If a homosexual is pressured to keep his/her beliefs or preferences "private," many call that persecution. But if a Christian is told to keep his/her beliefs or preferences "private," that's "freedom"?"

First, I find it curious even amusing that you equate "homosexuality with Christianity". While it would seem the electorate of this "enlightened" state [Florida] is not quite ready to provide the blessings of marriage to homosexuals, I was unaware that Christians suffer the same or similar sanctions. I hope you'll find the time to explain the sanctions suffered by Christians that in anyway approach those severe sanctions suffered by those whose preference lies beyond the strictly heterosexual.

If I misunderstand, and your reference is that somehow without government support, and the promotion of your religious symbols by the Government of all the people, your religion might wither and disappear?

While there are those whose hearts might be gladdened by such a prospect, I find Christianity not without some social and literary merit. But by the same token, might not other taxpayers want the same respect and honor for their beliefs?

Taxpayers who are Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Zoastroan, Sihk, Minoan, Wiccan, Thelemite, Mormon and others of various gods and goddesses might want equal representation in our Civic structures. Mightn't our public buildings become more like shrines, if every gods and goddesses worshiped by taxpaying Americans were present. Or maybe you would prefer just yours? I'm sure you can sense the problem there.

Careful study of the letters of the founders, show that they hoped to create a truly secular government free of religious fervor. Since the religious wars that had plagued Europeans were very much on their mind, they hoped to avoid giving any religious zealots governmental authority to require religious tests for citizens.

Governments of the past have used civic authority to enforce religious doctrine. Let me give you a specific analogy, that might be easier to digest.

Take the host, or not... Some Christians, have within their belief system that the body of Christ is imbued by a religious ceremony, into a wafer and those who have made certain religious observances and thus made themselves ready may consume the body of God and gain sanctification thereby. Other Christians eschew these practices.

There are those in diverse Christian communities who observe the Shabbat or Sabbath, on Saturday and some Sunday. Each has their arguments, each can cite scriptural text for their position.

If you were a Saturday sabbath Christian and your own government was controlled by "Sunday worshiping" Christians, would you approve of a sheriff (an Arab term) arresting you at your Saturday observance and demanding, even compelling you at pain of prosecution, that you and your grandchildren practice Sunday ceremonies?

Heresy and Apostasy laws are the fruit of such governments and our founding mothers and fathers widely chose to avoid those problems. Don't you agree?

So keep your observance, at your home, enjoy them in public at your house of worship, you need fear no civic authority will accost you as you set up your manger, flanked by it's illuminated Rudolf* and St. Nick** burdened with his bag of ***Yule-tide gifts. Your Christmas tree**** is safe. But please try to understand why our government should not be writing prayers, nor hosting religious shrines.

Your brother in Darwinism. May Deoxyribo-neucleic acid, be with us.

* Rudolf -
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer started life as a poem created by an American advertising executive called Robert May. (1949)

**St. Nick -
Saint Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra, lived in Turkey during the 4th Century AD.

*** Yule Tide - According to the Edda, gifts from the gods and goddesses were laid on Balder's bier and he, in turn, sent gifts back from the realm of darkness into which he had fallen. However, it probably is from the Roman Saturnalia that the free exchange of presents and the spirit of revelry have been derived.

**** Christmas Tree - In the 7th century a monk from Crediton, Devonshire, went to Germany to teach the Word of God. He did many good works there, and spent much time in Thuringia, an area which was to become the cradle of the Christmas Decoration Industry.

Legend has it that he used the triangular shape of the Fir Tree to describe the Holy Trinity of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The converted people began to revere the Fir tree as God's Tree, as they had previously revered the Oak. By the 12th century it was being hung, upside-down, from ceilings at Christmastime in Central Europe, as a symbol of Christianity.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

On Gaza and the policies of War - Jan. 4th

It is unfortunately true that many in the democratic party have for whatever reason failed to speak loudly and clearly in opposition to continued Israeli destruction in Palestine. There is additional cover from overt Israeli supporters and many in the Apocalyptic and Conservative Christian community as well.
The progressive Anti-War voices are largely calling for peace. War is not the Answer.

Israel has clearly timed this wholesale destruction to coincide with the lame duck's degraded crawl to the completion of it's occupation of the White House, knowing that those Israeli agents and apologists in the Cheney Bush administration can be counted on to trumpet Israel's rights, and Palestinian misdeeds.

Foolishness, intransigence and violence on both sides, is unfortunate and has produced such awful fruit as we see today. Are the rockets a legitimate issue, they are, but to stack rockets against the comprehensive strangulation policies of Israel is to compare a single shot pistol, deadly and dangerous as it is, with a row of cannon's firing rapidly.

The Palestinians have few friends and fewer effective advocates and continue to suffer Israeli atrocities. Decades of Israeli occupation, economic embargo, unabated illegal expansionism and violent brutality have empowered the worst reactionaries and war, has been produced.

What can be done, to nourish an outbreak of intelligence. Can no one, bring about an end of Israeli expansionism? Is there no stomach among the civilized nations in the European Union and among American foreign policy makers for any criticism of Israeli policies. Continued oppression of Palestinians by irresponsible Israelis can only bring about more bloodshed. No Israeli apologist can justify ongoing expansion, blockades, economic embargoes and the disenfranchisement of Palestinians.

While it is an unfortunate truism, that American policy has been tragically tilted in Israeli's favor and deaf to the sufferings of Palestinians. American foreign policy has been all too ready, for whatever reason, to write a blank check for any Israeli overreach. Those of us who believe in peaceful co-existence and support self determination must find every fingerhold on policy to turn the aircraft carrier of policy and redirect the glacier of long term strategy to try to avoid the twin holocausts that will inevitably arise from the current ill-conceived bloody path the Israelis have pursued.

Even if Israel maintains a short term stasis and continues to thwart the legitimate political aspirations of the Palestinians for the next fifty years, they ignore at their long term peril their great grandchildren's purchase on those bomb-pitted shores. Deny legitimate calls for self determination at your peril.

Emma Goldman said, "a bayonet is a weapon with a worker at both ends". There is no victory possible from this or any other war. The great crime, of denying a homeland to the Palestinians and the myriad uncounted deaths of Palestinian children, and Israeli children arenot erase-able merely because they remain UN-REPORTED.

PEACE BE ON THEM ALL, and peace to all those who work for peace.