Friday, October 24, 2003

Florida Theatrics Points to Future Erosion in the American Political System

How bad has the state of political discourse gotten in these United States? Look no further then the state of Florida for the answer wherein a Republican governor and Republican led Legislature have—contrary to the stated platform of the Republican Party which decries government interference in our lives—drafted and signed into a law a bill designed to effect just one person! I am referring of course to the heartbreaking case of Terri Schiavo.

It is bad enough that the Florida legislature over-stepped its authority in drafting the law, and the governor ill-used his office by signing the law, but in doing so they subverted our democratic process by sidelining the third branch of government, the judicial. And they did so not to save a life, but to garner the votes of the people from the religious right who support them in this foolishness!

Said noted and highly regarded Harvard law Professor Laurence Tribe of the goings on:
"I've never seen a case in which the state legislature treats someone's life as a political football in quite the way this is being done."

How sad a happenstance that American politicians have started to resort to Third World shenanigan and abuse of power and process in order to obtain and stay in office. Shame on the Florida Legislature and shame of governor Bush!

Monday, October 20, 2003

Shelved State Dept. Study Foresaw Trouble Now Plaguing Iraq

Further confirmation of the Pentagon’s inept handling of Iraqi peace came to light last week with the release of a comprehensive State Department study which envisaged many of the tribulations that have beleaguered the American-led occupation of the troubled country. The State Department began drafting 2000 page report in April 2002, at a reported cost of some 5 million. The Department gathered together more than 200 Iraqi lawyers, engineers, business people and other experts into 17 working groups to study topics as diverse as creating a new justice system to reorganizing the Iraqi Army after the War to overhauling the Iraqi economy.

The working group’s conclusions for instance, painted a far more dire assessment of Iraq's dilapidated electrical and water systems than many at the Pentagon were ready to admit. As a result the Pentagon (Rumsfeld & Wolfawitz), though the department denies it, shelved the report and the results of their short-sidedness and arrogance play out nightly on national television news broadcasts. Shall we renew the calls for Rumsfeld and Wolfawitz to resign? I say yes! What lessons can the Bush Administration learn from the deepening debacle, better yet what lessons can the American electorate learn from the inept leadership that brought us to this place?