Saturday, July 15, 2006 - Israel strikes militant stronghold in Beirut - Jul 15, 2006 - Israel strikes militant stronghold in Beirut - Jul 15, 2006

I support Israel’s right to defend itself from terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas, both of which refuse to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist. And it is my belief that Islamic extremists need to be stamped out lest they threaten the freedom of us all. Their brand of hatred and vitriol is on par with the Nazism over 40 million humans gave their lives to stamp out. The people of Lebanon, like the Palestinians, voted a known terrorist organization into elected office and now they must suffer the consequences of their (misguided) actions.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006 - Police bypass subpoenas to get Americans' phone records - Jun 20, 2006 - Police bypass subpoenas to get Americans' phone records - Jun 20, 2006

The fourth amendment what’s that, we don’t need that old thing! This is the War on Terror, it’s a different kind of war, on in which we must defeat ourselves before we defeat the enemy!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

They Bear The Mark of Fascism’ Creeping Shadow

I wondered as a sat in front of my computer screen reading this article, steam and anger rising from my freshly shaved head, if Congress has had enough yet! Loyalty to Party is one thing, but how far do you take it? Isn't time for the Republican majority in the House of Representatives to start doing their jobs and call for Impeachment hearings and stop being the lap dogs for our law breaking President?

From the CNN article:
AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth telephone companies began turning over records of tens of millions of their customers' phone calls to the National Security Agency program shortly after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, USA Today reported, citing anonymous sources it said had direct knowledge of the arrangement

"It is our government, it's not one party's government. It's America's government. Those entrusted with great power have a duty to answer to Americans what they are doing," said Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

I know I, and many, many, of my friends have had enough of this Administration and its secrets and its unlawful, deceitful, and un-American behavior. The Bush Administration is continually and habitually breaking the law! And what has Congress done? Nothing! Less than nothing really, since it has ceded its authority to Bush and his horde of arrogant, smirking, law-breaking neo-conservatives who would burn the constitution on the bonfire built of Fascist logs if they through they could get a way with it.

What next? Where does this lawlessness end? What else is the Bush Administration doing? What other laws are they breaking in our name? What is happening to our Republic at the hands of these diabolical unethical immoral people? I have said it more than once and it bears repeating now more tan ever: the Nazi’s did not take power by force, they were elected by the German people and corrupted the system from within. The Bush Administration is cancer eating away at the very principles that made (I said made) this country the envy of the world. Shame on those who through short-sided ignorance and self-serving arrogance, voted for this man and his court spawned from the pages of George Orwell’ prescient 1984. War is Peace! We have to take away your constitutional rights in order to preserve them! And we have to break the law I order to preserve democracy and the rule of law!

We deserve much, much, much better! Or do we? Do we now have the government we deserve? Are those who voted for this (simple minded) man proud of their handiwork? How can you defend the indefeasible? Oh Benjamin Franklin was so right: those who give up liberty for security deserve neither.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Quietly Deceitful Un-enlightened Despot

As if we needed further proof that Bush, and Rasputin's specter George Cheney are moving the Presidency closer and closer to that which we formed the country to vanquish, comes word that the Bush has taken to interpreting the Constitution, a duty heretofore left that other (Co-Equal) branch of government, the judiciary.

Boston Globe reporter Charlie Savage has reported that our august President who would be King, "has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution."

The White House in rebuttal stated that the President is doing anything former Presidents have not done, never-mind that the practice is illegal! To use the White House’s line of reasoning, if former President’s had snorted lines of cocaine in the Oval Office, Bush should be allowed to do it too. It is clear that the Bush Administration has an overly broad understanding of its own power as defined by the Constitution. And the Administration--Cheney in particular--feel as though the Office of the Presidency lost too much power as a result of the ensuing public backlash and reforms passed by Congress in the wake of Watergate.

The Constitution of the United States in its three main articles makes it quite clear that Congress has the power to craft the laws of the land, and that the President has a duty "to take care that the laws be faithfully executed."

"Bush, however, has repeatedly declared that he does not need to '"execute" a law he believes is unconstitutional." Ignorance of the law for the common citizen has never been defense against not obeying the law, and the last time I checked We The People do not have the luxury of ignoring laws we believe to be unconstitutional. We the People can not form such judgments on our own, but must present our cases before a court of law. Where then, if the President works for the American people, and ours is still a government of, for, and by the people, does the President derive the power to ignore any law duly enacted by Congressed and sign by his own hand? Most certainly this power to circumvent the law is neither implied, nor implicit in the Constitution I read.

The globe article went on the state:

Phillip Cooper, a Portland State University law professor who has studied the executive power claims Bush made during his first term, said Bush and his legal team have spent the past five years quietly working to concentrate ever more governmental power into the White House.

'There is no question that this administration has been involved in a very carefully thought-out, systematic process of expanding presidential power at the expense of the other branches of government," Cooper said. ''This is really big, very expansive, and very significant.'

Is this now a justifiable case for Impeachment? I say it is, the President has to be stopped for he in his unenlightened stupor is being manipulated into systematically destroying our Republic. The President in our system of government is not supposed to be all powerful. Just as Congress and the Courts cannot assign power to themselves not spelled out in the Constitution, neither can the President, alleged wartime or not.

It is quite clear that Bush, with his limited knowledge of constitutional doctrine and jurisprudence, governmental affairs, and the proper functioning of our Republican system, is being led down a dark and dangerous path by Cheney and like minded folk. And in the process he (Bush) is circumventing the other two branches of government and severely eroding the system of check-and-balances the Founding Fathers built into the our Republican form of governance. And it is equally as clear that Congress and the Federal Courts cannot, and should not, let this blatant illegal power grab stand.

From the Boston Globe article:

Bush is the first president in modern history who has never vetoed a bill, giving Congress no chance to override his judgments. Instead, he has signed every bill that reached his desk, often inviting the legislation's sponsors to signing ceremonies at which he lavishes praise upon their work.

Then, after the media and the lawmakers have left the White House, Bush quietly files ''signing statements" -- official documents in which a president lays out his legal interpretation of a bill for the federal bureaucracy to follow when implementing the new law. The statements are recorded in the federal register.

In his signing statements, Bush has repeatedly asserted that the Constitution gives him the right to ignore numerous sections of the bills -- sometimes including provisions that were the subject of negotiations with Congress in order to get lawmakers to pass the bill. He has appended such statements to more than one of every 10 bills he has signed.

'He agrees to a compromise with members of Congress, and all of them are there for a public bill-signing ceremony, but then he takes back those compromises -- and more often than not, without the Congress or the press or the public knowing what has happened,' said Christopher Kelley, a Miami University of Ohio political science professor who studies executive power.

Is this the kind of underhanded deceitful nonsense we want from our President? Is this kind of below the covers governance reminiscent of the worst dictatorships, really the form of Executive Branch we want going forward? Isn’t the President supposed to be the highest ranking law enforcement official in the nation? If so what kind of example is he setting by such deceitfulness? If Clinton taught a generation of children the blowjobs were no big deal, certainly Bush is teaching them that flaunting laws one does not agree with is acceptable behavior; I ask you my fellow Americans, which behavior is more detrimental the well being of Republic?

And I ask again, is the Impeachment of this President out of order? Isn’t this the kind of misconduct the Impeachment process is supposed to correct? Isn’t Impeachment the ultimate check on Presidential power? We all know the Republican led Congress will once again abdicate its responsibility to the American people, to the country and constitution that they swore to uphold, so it falls to the people to see that this Un-enlightened Despot (they) elected King is throw down from on high.

Have you had enough yet?

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Confident Democrats Lay Out Agenda

Confident Democrats Lay Out Agenda

They have my vote!

The Wrath of the Republican Right, or Bush Gets a Spanking

I wonder, I muse, and I ponder as Bush's approval ratings sink to an all time low, approaching Nixon territory, whether or not those who voted for Bush in the last election are now having gross buyer's remorse? It is so very evident, despite the less then rosy just released job numbers, and Bull market, that America is heading in the wrong direction with Bush at the helm.

The list of troubles vexing the American Republic are long and growing as the Republican led Congress and Republican led (and I use the term led very loosely--I always feel the need to qualify that pronouncement) Executive branch continue to fiddle while the all America burns as a result of their staggering and criminal incompetence. The illegal immigration issue and ever-looming energy crisis are just the latest problems the Republicans have failed to address in a meaningful and intelligent manner resulting a further mortgaging of our countries future, and a further decline in America’s standing as the lone Superpower and "can-do" nation.

And now the Conservative Right is angry at Bush (and the Congress) because he has failed time and again to deliver up the nation and its laws on a silver platter fashioned from the pages of the Holy Bible. According to the Associated Press "[A]ngry conservatives are driving the approval ratings of President Bush and the GOP-led Congress to dismal new lows, according to an AP-Ipsos poll that underscores why Republicans fear an Election Day massacre."

We the American people can only hope (and pray) for such a massacre because the country cannot take much more of this mediocrity masquerading as leadership offered up by the Republican Party. Not that the Democratic Party has much more to offer in the way of leadership, but at least the Republicans with their ill-informed allegiance to the denizens of the Holy Spirit land, will be out of control of our (supposedly) free society. And then perhaps, just perhaps common sense will return to government and the people we elect to do our business, you know We The People--can get down to it and address some of the issue that threaten our nations viability.

But until that happens I am enjoying the spanking Bush is getting in the hearts and minds of those who would see most of us relegated to Hell in order to build their fantasy based utopia here in America, or is that the other way around?

Related Articles:

Confident Democrats Lay Out Agenda

Key Senate, House and Governor Races

WP: Pfizer faulted over Nigeria drug trials - Highlights -

WP: Pfizer faulted over Nigeria drug trials - Highlights - "That finding is detailed in a lengthy Nigerian government report that has remained unreleased for five years, despite inquiries from the children's attorneys and from the media. "

Life imitates art, or is it art imitates life, ala The Constant Gardener last years breakout hit starting Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz in which an unnamed British drug company experimented on unsuspecting African patients and then killed to cover it all up.

The Washington Post reports that “A panel of Nigerian medical experts has concluded that Pfizer Inc. violated international law during a 1996 epidemic by testing an unapproved drug on children with brain infections at a field hospital.

That finding is detailed in a lengthy Nigerian government report that has remained unreleased for five years, despite inquiries from the children's attorneys and from the media.”

Friday, March 24, 2006

Illegal Immigrants Are Already Felons

I can't believe I'm saying this, but this is one issue in which the Republican's and I see eye-to-eye. The illegal immigration problem in this country has been out of control for far too long and it about time Congress stepped in and did something--anything--concrete about it.

At the very base level illegal immigrants are breaking the law, so in effect they are already felons the moment they step foot in this country without the proper documentation and with benefit of a proper Customs screening, green card, Visa, passport, etc. etc. The borders of the United States are porous, but especially the Southern border, which leaks like a washer-less faucet. I am all for building a wall to keep those who would willingly break the law from doing so on U.S. soil. Yes, Mexico and Central America are hell hole’s with corrupt governments and stagnating economy’s, but we cannot continue to absorb the downtrodden masses of people that decide its better to flee their countries, then to fight to make them better places to live and raise a family. What would happen for instance of 30,000 or more people routinely took the street of Mexico City and demanded better living conditions?

And I reject the notion that illegal immigrants are essential to the U.S. economy. And I future reject the oft-repeated notion that illegal immigrants perform jobs Americans do not want. In certain sectors like agriculture where there is a long history of immigrant migrant workers performing tasks, this may be so. But this is not the case with services industry, or construction, or warehousing, or the meat-packing industry. There are plenty of Americans who could and would fill those jobs, but those companies find it far more profitable to employee easily exploitable illegal immigrants who have little recourse but to accept the long hours and low wages, and no benefit, presented to them.

And I reject the notion that illegal immigrants give back to the U.S. revenue base in the form of income taxes. If you are working here illegally with false or no documents how are you paying anything other then the occasional sales tax? If you filed a tax return using your fake SSN, you would risk getting caught, would you not? Why would I pay income tax unless I had to; if I am off the government’s income tax radar why light myself up by paying taxes?

And no, illegal immigrants should not be allowed to get drivers licenses, or get free healthcare, or other public services including education. Only those who abide the law and play by the rules should be allowed access to services my tax dollars pay for. After all I have to play by the rules; if I do otherwise I will see jail time in my future. Why should the standard be any different for a non-citizen who is in this country illegally?

Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York is quoting as stating, "[T]his bill would literally criminalize the Good Samaritan and probably even Jesus himself." Note to Hillary Clinton: if Jesus were breaking the law, he too would have to be held accountable. And equating what Jesus did in helping the truly down trodden with the current situation is severely disingenuous and beneath the office you currently hold: stop pandering!

And I feel no pity for thos--charity or private citizens--hat would help illegal immigrants set up shop in this country; i.e. feed them, cloth them, house them, and find them jobs. Those who engage in such behavior are in fact aiding and abetting a crime(s) by harboring and or assisting illegal immigrants, and there should be consequences for breaking the law. Would we as a society look the other way while charities aided and abetted other know felons?

The evidence is mounting that illegal immigrants are costing far more in dollars then they contribute in the form of taxes across a broad spectrum of American society. From public schools to county hospital, to social services, to housing, to law enforcement, illegal immigrants are an ever increasing drain on the dwindling coffers of American cities.

And let us not forget, if illegal immigrants can gain such easy access to our country so can terrorists!

So I welcome House Resolution 4437 as a no nonsense beginning. It is by no means the only measure we as a nation have to take to finally put and end to the fragrant and continual violations of our immigration, tax, and labor laws. American business needs to be held accountable for hiring illegal immigrants and fined to such a degree that it is cost prohibitive for them to employ illegal immigrants if they are caught doing so. Remove the number one incentive--job--for illegal border crossing and they will stop coming in such large numbers.

I understand the human need to feed, house, and cloth ones family, and I know that America with its high standard of living, easy access to decent paying jobs, and social welfare safety net, is attractive to those south of the Rio Grande. But the influx of illegal immigrants has to stop. Our society does not have unlimited resources and at some point we have to put the welfare of the nation ahead of feel good politics and misplaced moral platitudes. That point is now...

See also these stories related to this issue:

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Sandra Day O’Conner Speaks Out Against the Dangers of Undermining the Judiciary

In a little covered speech last week former Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Conner opened up on the Republican Right, decrying their proclivity of late for calling the Federal courts on the carpet for doing their constitutional duty. Warning against the dangers of undermining the judicial branch, O'Conner stated that they (right wing Republicans)
challenge the independence of judges and the freedoms of all Americans.

I have long wondered what the Justices of the Supreme Court thought of the ill-informed, ignorant, and salacious attacks perpetrated by the agents of the fundamentalists’ religious right in Congress upon the federal judiciary, the third branch of government. Now I know the thoughts and feeling of at least one of the (former) members, and I share them. It's no secret that the Republican Right has little respect for the independent judiciary and would just assume see it abolished to the determent of all. Bush in his latest State of The Union address deliberately and irresponsibly snubbed the members of the Supreme Court by welcoming the members of the elected branches of government to the occasion! He didn’t even acknowledge the presence of the Supreme Court as the third branch of our federal government, and in so doing give it the respect and dignity the institution deserves.

Of course Bush failed to mention that he is the only freely elected member of the Executive Branch of government, since we do not vote for the Vice President on his or her own ticket. And of course he failed to point out that out of some 4 million plus federal workers, only 435 are directly elected by the populace and that they have a dismal record of late in representing the American people.

The Republican Right's unrelenting attack on the federal judiciary show a fundamental lack of respect and a growing distain for our system of constitutional government, and for the fundamental rights of the American people. O'Conner a moderate Republican pointed this out when she stated,
[T]he nation’s founders wrote repeatedly that without an independent judiciary to protect individual rights from the other branches of government those rights and privileges would amount to nothing. But, as the founding fathers knew statutes and constitutions don’t protect judicial independence, people do.

The court system in this country at all levels, but especially at the federal level, are seen by most (thinking) Americans as the last bulwark against the tyranny of the increasingly Republican Executive and Legislative branches of government, who if left to their own whims, would see the Bill of Rights shredded, and the Constitution (state and federal) replaced by the Holy Bible as the foundation of American governance. Perhaps I exaggerate the case, but perception is increasingly becoming reality within the hall of Congress (and increasingly state legislators) as (Republican) elected representatives in both houses openly attack the courts for doing their jobs.

Of this O'Conner stated:
[C]ourts do have the power to make presidents or the Congress or governors, really, really angry. “But, if we don’t make them mad some of the time we probably aren’t doing our jobs as judges, and our effectiveness, is premised on the notion that we won’t be subject to retaliation for our judicial acts.

I have often been drawn the ire of my readers by even hinting that there might be some similarities between fascists regimes of the past and the current Bush Administration (and it’s Republican Right champions) with its love for secrecy, open distain for the rule of law, rapid militarism, and thinly veiled adoption of religious dogma into the pages of foreign policy. But as Ms. O'Conner pointed out,
[I]t takes a lot of degeneration before a country falls into dictatorship, she said, but we should avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings.

Like it or no, my fellow Americans the Bush Administration and it Republican Right backers are those beginnings, at least in this writers mind…

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

And the Fiddles Play Dixie

And now for those who still stick stubbornly to the belief that health care in America is still top-notch comes this study. I may sound like a broken record by now, but the sky is falling, the sky is falling, the sky is falling and the American Republic is being crushed under the weight of its own love affair with Capitalism and unchecked greed.

What further evidence do the doubting Thomas’s of the rural America need to finally admit that our country is going in the wrong direction and we need a serious course correction? Where is our national pride? Where is our national self-respect? The naysayer’s who stubbornly cling to the free-market mantra when it comes to every aspect of American culture are sowing the seeds of our American dismemberment.

American Institution after American Institution is failing and yet some among us refuse to address the issues at hand. Again what will it take for those who support "W" and his ilk and their failing free-market is the answer to every ill philosophy, to finally admit that like Communism, unfettered Capitalism is a failure? We need to strike a balance and we need to do it quickly! Because. Our country is burning, slowing and inexorably towards its demise and I can hear the fiddles plying Dixie in the background.

NBC/WSJ poll: Bush ratings keep falling - Politics -

NBC/WSJ poll: Bush ratings keep falling - Politics -
I’m wondering if I should feel sorry for Bush; sorry fleeting thought. It’s hard to feel sorry for a man who never should have assumed the Office of the Presidency in the first place. So feel sorry for “W” I think not. As a matter of fact we can only hope his poll number drop even lower.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

WP: Infighting plagues intelligence panel - Highlights -

WP: Infighting plagues intelligence panel - Highlights -

The evidence is mounting that the Senate is indeed a broken Institution and we the American people are the losers. And it also further evidence that our Republican form of government is breaking down, fracturing, disintegrating at the very time when we need bi-partisan cooperation.

The terrorists need not strike us again in order to bring about the demise of our Republic we are quite capable of doing the deed all on our own with this senseless and pointless partisan bickering. And in defense of a man and administration that do not deserve such loyalty. We the American people do however…We need a viable third party!!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Would eavesdropping bill snag reporters? - U.S. Security -

Would eavesdropping bill snag reporters? - U.S. Security -

And so it continues. In the name of national security they (Republican Congressman and Women) would systematically strip Americans of their freedoms. So begins the end of the American Republic; the Islamic Extremists have won the war after only one attack. We are doing what they predicted we would: destroying our beloved principles and hence our Republic from within…

Monday, March 06, 2006 - South Dakota?law bans nearly all abortions - Mar 6, 2006 - South Dakota'law bans nearly all abortions - Mar 6, 2006

As if we needed any further proof that America is slipping back into a religiously inspired dark ages, here we go again! What does the word freedom mean to the average Republican? Nothing apparently unless of course the freedom you are trying to exercise conforms to their version of morality.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Don’t Blame Me, I Voted for Kerry!

"In the long run, he understands that extremists can be defeated by freedom and democracy and prosperity and better education"...President Bush said of Pakistan's president, General Pervez Musharraf on occasion of his visit to the dictators, yes dictators homeland. Yes, our president continues his trip down Quaalude lane while the world in its fascination and amazement laugh aloud.

Is our ever dimwitted President unaware that Musharraf is a dictator, a man who came to power October 12, 1999 after a coup d'├ętat—with the full backing of the military—and assumed the title of president of Pakistan on June 2001. Ever since then he has promised to hold elections but somehow that always falls through. Oh but he has promise to try again next year.

So Bushes claim that Musharraf “understands that extremists can be defeated by freedom and democracy and prosperity and better education,” all the things the people of Pakistan lack, is hysterical and sad bordering on the ridiculous. And it invites the question: does Bush ever, ever, ever, live in the same world as the rest of us? Is it possible to be this divorced from reality and not be on some sort of mind altering drug? And yes this is a serious question, not one designed to poke fun of our somewhat intellectually hobbled head of state.

And it begs another question: if Bush and his Neo-con infested Administration are so keen on bringing democracy to the down-trodden masses of the Asia and the Middle East, why not Pakistan a place where most able-bodied terrorists are hatched? Is it that Musharraf is seeking a small measure of legitimacy for his illegitimate regime by helping the U.S. whose power, prestige, and influence slips a little more everyday Bush is in office? Any halfwit who has been paying even the slightest attention to the world knows that Musharraf is taking only baby steps toward stamping out the terrorist assembly-line now turning out aspirant Muslim extremists at an alarming pace. But not Bush.

“Only hours before Bush's appearance, the Pakistani government cracked down on political leaders and others planning to protest the president's visit. In the city of Rawalpindi, about 10 miles from Islamabad, police arrested about 20 members of Tehrik-e-Insaaf, a small political party, as they staged a noisy but peaceful demonstration, beating some of them with bamboo sticks as foreign journalists and camera crews recorded the scene.” Sounds like democracy to me…

Whenever Bush embarrasses our country before the world—and lets face it, it’s every time he opens his mouth—I used to find solace in the fact that my votes were not cast his way in either election. But as the time wears on and our country sheds it principles one-by-one and loses its moral center, I no longer find comfort in the words: “Don’t Blame Me, I Voted for Kerry!”

WP: White House targets media leaks - Highlights -

WP: White House targets media leaks - Highlights -

Is there anyone left on the country that still thinks the Bush Administration is not a threat to our very way of life in this country? Nothing is off-limits to this man and his quest to morph American into a defacto dictatorship. Somehow knowing I didn’t vote for him brings me little solace…

Friday, March 03, 2006 - New Florida town would restrict abortion - Mar 2, 2006 - New Florida town would restrict abortion - Mar 2, 2006

Isn’t this interesting, the forces of religious fundamentalism are on the march in Florida with the blessing of the governor. And America continues down the road to fractionalization based on cultural and moral differences. We are no longer one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. The battle lines are being drawn, is a religious inspired Civil War at hand?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Much Ado Over Nothing?

Oh the trials and tribulations of the embattled Bush Administration; if it is not one thing its another; in this case the rising and rather rancorous debate over Dubai Ports World’s assumption of the terminal operations in six American ports. With visions of terrorists dancing in their wee little heads, Congressman and women took to the airwaves in strenuous opposition. I say it all much ado over nothing.

This all began when Dubai Ports World a state-owned company based United Arab Emirates (UAE) bought London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co., which current runs the terminals in the American ports in question. Peninsular and Oriental runs commercial operations at ports in Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans and Miami.

The initial reports had had internationally helmed Dubai Ports World taking over the ports in their entire, or at least gave the impression that that would transpire. Predictably the Democrats accused the Administration of compromising America’s port security. And the Republicans not wanting to be left scratching their legacies on an issue of National Security quickly and amazingly, piled on, in (very) rare bi-cameral, bi-partisan unison, bashing Bush and threatening to pass legislation to stop the deal.

Bush quickly countered that he would, gasp, veto such a bill. And later, yesterday, we all learned that Bush knew nothing about the bill until he learned about it in the news; boy that inspires confidence in his leadership, and stewardship of our government.

But the real story of the port operations is a lot less dramatic then they would have use believe; in other words my fellow Americans we are bring duped and manipulated again.

Here is the 411 on the ports: All American ports (foreign ports as well) are divided into terminals (a pier where ships tie up and off-load and or load cargo), with each terminal then being leased to a company or set of companies to manage on a daily basis. Security is still managed by the U.S. Customs Enforcement Agency, and the U.S. Coast Guard, and the employees on the docks are overwhelmingly American.

For example, the Port of New York and New Jersey, which is jointly owned and run by the two states under the guise of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The port has six terminals, which the Port Authority leases out. Two of the terminals are leased to American companies, and the rest are leased to foreign run companies. Dubai Ports World, which runs terminals in other countries, would lease one terminal in partnership with a Danish firm which is already in place. Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. currently holds the lease. In addition Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. also holds leases to terminals in six other east coast ports.

According to a report from National Public Radio (NPR), roughly 40% of the terminals on the eastern seaboard of the United States are managed by foreign companies, while 90% of the terminals on the West coast are leased to foreign companies, including a large percentage to Communist China.

So as you can see, Dubai Ports World would hardly be “running” the ports; they would in fact be running the operations of a terminal, or terminals within the port. Much ado about nothing? You decide. It would appear to me as though Congress and the majority of the American media are getting the story wrong. For the politicians the doom-and-gloom spin is probably 70% spin and 30% ignorance. As far as the media is concerned (NPR and PBS are the exceptions), there is no excuse for the gross misinformation and resulting hysteria.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Accused Holocaust denier gets 3 years - Europe -

Accused Holocaust denier gets 3 years - Europe -

Now people are being arrested and thrown in jail for their opinions? Does this sound like the principles of a free and open society, even if it is in Europe? Denying the Holocaust ever took place certainly brands David Irving and ignoramus, but a criminal, I don’t think so.

No rational learned person will deny the German atrocities of World War II, after all they are well cataloged in photos and in (German) writings; the Germans after all kept very detailed records of what they were doing and why. Their records coupled with those of the Allies as they liberated the Nazi death camps, and the eye witness accounts of the Holocaust survivors, Jewish and otherwise, will forever mark 1938 -1945 as one of the darkest, if not the darkest, periods of man’s short existence on this planet.

But cataloging the atrocities has not been a bulwark against it happening again and again and again, while the world waits and watches, reluctant to do anything except talk about it happenstance. And while the United Nations talks, and bickers, and hesitates, millions more people have died at the hands of those who practice Genocide; do Serbia, Cambodia, Rwanda, Sudan, and Croatia ring a bell?

And it is ironic that Europe, including Austria, has historically and habitually thrown their support behind the Palestinians and other Arab groups that seek to ouster Israel from its now well established home on the banks of the Mediterranean. And correct me if I am wrong but don’t some of the group supporting the Palestinians in their cause, just or no, deny the Holocaust ever took place. Can you spell Hamas?

So excuse me if I think it a might bit hypocritical and nonsensical for the Austrians to throw a man in jail for three years because he dared write a book and made two speeches calling into question the passage of the Holocaust some 17 years ago.

Whatever happened to freedom of expression and of speech? In light of the current carton debacle this sentence is laughable. Or is derision reserved for those with brown skin? Yes, the Holocaust was horrific, but denying its rightful place in the annals of human history should brand one a criminal.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Abbas warns of financial crisis

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Abbas warns of financial crisis

Ahh, the old ode “you lie down with dogs you wake up with fleas,” has never been more apt. I have heard throughout the press that the poor, average Palestinian people are going to suffer because the (cash) aid will be cut off by the West. But isn’t it the poor average Palestinian people who vote for Hamas in the first place? Should the West support an avowed terrorist group that has killed hundreds of innocent Israelis and no doubt some Americans? I don’t think I want my tax money supporting such a group of murders, do you?

I think its past time for the Arab world to step up and support their Palestinian brethren with more than just angry words and empty rhetoric designed to inflame the ignorant mind.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Greenland's glaciers losing ice at faster rate - Science -

Greenland's glaciers losing ice at faster rate - Science -

Anyone not living under a rock will attest to the fact that this winter has been a crazy, wild ride. Just today in Chicago we had thunderstorms! Thunderstorms in the middle of February! What is it going to take before the United States starts to take this growing problem seriously, when New York City is under fifty feet of water and Long Island is all but a memory? The threat is real and it isn’t going away.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Real State of Our Union as Seen Through the Eyes of an Average American

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient...US CONST, Art II, § 3

The President gave his State of The Union Address on January 31, which painted an overly optimistic and largely false picture of the true state of our Republic. He said our Republic was sound when the sane among us know that it is anything but.

My fellow Americans I believe the state of our union is weak, perhaps as weak as it has been at anytime in our history save the period preceding the Civil War in 1861. The problems vexing the nation are many and complex, but our government(s) and people seem to lack the political and moral will to resolve them. As the nation becomes more culturally diversified, we are pulling further and further apart as a society, and nothing can be agreed to without a fight; the spirit of compromise and mutual respect that are supposed to mark a great working democracy, is vanishing. And this disunity of purpose across a broad range of issues leaves the nation vulnerable to all manner of negative internal and external influences that play on emotions at the expense of intellect informed by the principles that founded this nation, and the Constitution.

The Rising Threat of the Christian Right

While we fight the unending battle with Islamic fundamentalism that threatens our way of life from without, the rise of Christian fundamentalism here at home threatens our Republican Democracy from within. The continued matrimony of religion and politics across the broad spectrum of American politics threats our very way of life.

Abortion, Pray in Schools, the Pledge of Allegiance, Gay Marriage, The Ten Commandments in the public square, Stem Cell research, Intelligent Design, Abstinence only Sex Education, Terry Schivo(sp), and the Air Force religious regulations are all part of the Fundamentalists Christian Right’s crusade to fashion an America to their liking. The Christian Right see an America where the Constitution is but a quaint document whose time has come; who needs a document fashioned by flesh and blood man who is after all fallible, when we have the Holy Bible fashioned by God—a God no one has ever seen, and no one can prove even exists I hasten to add—to guide us. Sound familiar?

The irony is that the real threat to our American way of life, our American Dream, comes not so much from without, as the Bush Administration would have us all believe, but from within, which is the way all great civilizations have fallen. Fundamentalism is born of conservative thought, and conservative thought seeks the status quo in order to keep those in power, well in power. Fundamentalist hate changes in the form of progress because it weakens their power base by spreading the wealth so-to-speak. A civilization has never prospered under the thumb of Fundamentalism, and evidence of America’s backward slide is palpable in almost every facet of society.

I believe that religions were and are formed by men seeking to subjugate others (traditionally women ad minorities), and maintain power for themselves. Christianity’s noble underpinnings and principles have long been perverted by those with less than noble intent.

And as we (America) dwell on the false issues that the Fundamentalists bring to the table, which by the way are all of matter of freedom of choice, or fall well within well establish constitutionally established doctrine, the nations real problems remain unaddressed, and are allowed to fester. The doctrine of Separation of Church and State is a sound one based on history and Constitutional underpinnings, and the wall separating the two should not be allowed to be breached further.

The Culture of Corruption and Incompetence

Our president is a liar, and hence corrupted! The political talking heads on the Sunday morning talk show dance around the word by calling Bush’s statement misleading, but the man—a professed born again Christian, an Evangelical—is a lair. He lied about the reasons we went to war with Iraq; he lied about the intelligence he used to justify his little war; he lied about the cost of the Medicare Reform Act; he lied about the governments response to Hurricane Katrina; he lied about the NSA’s domestic spying program; he lied about knowing Jack Abramoff; the man is a liar. And if that were not bad enough, Bush is incompetent and the twin maladies have pervaded the entire government.

The Senate is broken and what we witnessed this past week is further evidence of its demise. Senator John McCain

We know have a Culture of Corruption and Incompetence that seems to have pervaded the American government at all levels. If Clinton taught American teens that oral sex was no big deal, Bush has taught Republican politicians that it’s alright to lie, and be totally incompetent. But it’s alright, because apparently more then half the electorate (those with deep fundamentalist Christian roots) doesn’t seem to mind as long as you label the opposition amoral. It’s apparently more important to the Evangelicals (fundamentalists Christian) to have a candidate who opposes abortion than it is to have one who tells the truth and abides by the Constitution. Never mind that he has sinned by lying. It’s more important to talk about being moral than it is to actually exhibit the behavior yourself. It doesn’t seem to matter to more than half of the American populace that their government, on all levels, is increasingly failing them, as along as Jane Roe cannot have an abortion, and those darn Gays aren’t allowed to marry.

What was Medicare Part D? What was Katrina? What was the Energy Bill? Surely these are signs of growing government corruption and incompetence. The Senate, once widely respected as the world’s most deliberative body is dysfunctional; so too is the House of Representatives. And the federal courts are slowly declining because Congress fails to act on filling vacancies and giving the courts the funding they need; shameful!

Whatever happened to intellectual discourse guided by mutual respect and a common goal? What ever happened to shared values and the “can do” culture that used to exemplify America? What has happened to our national pride? Do our founding principles no longer matter to the vast majority of us?

What Cost Liberty?

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin

Across this great land our Fundamental (Constitutional) Rights as guaranteed under the federal constitution are being eroded both by the state and federal governments and by the people as we seek security at any cost. Once again, our society faces the greatest threat from within. It is not the terrorist who will strip or Constitution of its meaning and influence in the name of security, it’s our own government.

The USA Patriot Act (how ironically named), and the domestic spying debacle are just two examples of government morphing slowly into Big Brother. The NSA has been spying on Americans for some four years now without our knowledge; what else is the Bush White House up to without our knowledge? Are we as a nation really willing to sacrifice liberty at the alter of security at any cost. And once we achieve that security, what value will it be if we are not a free society?

Growing Leadership Vacuum

The signs of our demise are all around us, if we only care to look. And we lack the leadership to safety navigate the morass. Laura Bush recently stated that Senator Hillary Clinton should show some empathy when discussing the current occupant of the White House. Why? Its time to start calling a spade a spade; Bush is no leader; he is in fact a follower, a puppet, a face. The real power lies behind the man, and that is the problem. The President has to be his own man, he has to be a leader, and Bush is not; he is incompetent, inarticulate, and ill-suited to the job. Bush is a dullard, he lacks the vision and wisdom needed to fulfill the mission at hand, and We The People and the country are the losers. His Presidency should go down in history as the worse since the Grant Administration(s) following the Civil War.

And this lack of leadership does not confine itself the White House, it pervades the Congress, and the state government as well, with every few exceptions. Oh if we only had a leader! Bush is long on rhetoric and short on substance. What again is hybrid animal-human cloning?

In closing my fellow Americans, I state for the record, that the state of our nation is weak and decomposing by the day. From failing primary education to an ever increasing dependence on foreign oil; from incompetent and dysfunctional government to the rise of Evangelical Christianity and all that purports; from the War in Iraq, to the decreasing American influence abroad; from the growing immigration situation to the lack of leadership to resolve it; from the growing lower class, to the continued decay of our major cities; from the continued erosion of our manufacturing base to the growing health care crisis; from our ballooning national debt to our ballooning trade imbalance, we are a nation tittering on the edge of collapse; we are not sound by any measure…

Saturday, February 11, 2006 Miss Independent -- Feb. 13, 2006 Miss Independent -- Feb. 13, 2006 -- Page 1

I think Kelly Clarkson is enormously talented, but that on her second CD Breakaway that talent was somewhat eclipsed by the driving rock beats that accompanied her. The lyrics of the song themselves are worthy of mention and Ms. Clarkson shows some amazing emotional depth in their creation, but her beautiful voice was smothered loudness.

I enjoyed Thankful—Ms. Clarkson’s first release—far more than Breakaway and I only hope we get to hear more of her voice on her next release. Rock has never been to my tastes and perhaps that is part of the problem. BTW, the black jumper would work better if Kelly has a little more (well a lot more) upstairs to put in it.

Friday, February 10, 2006 - Brown says he's been made Katrina scapegoat? - Feb 10, 2006 - Brown says he's been made Katrina scapegoat! - Feb 10, 2006

Where it wine and cheese? But he is right and wrong.

The man was incredibly incompetent, and the bush Administration did make him the scapegoat for the unbelievable, stupefying, and embarrassing failures of leadership leading up to, during, and following Katrina. Who would have thought our government—at all levels—could fail so miserably!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

GOP senator calls spying reasons ?unrealistic? - U.S. Security -

GOP senator calls spying reasons ?unrealistic? - U.S. Security - "Sen. Arlen Specter"

Finally a Republican who is willing to speak out against the Bush Administration and call what the “All The Presidents’ Men” were doing—and are doing—in the name of national security.

“Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ explanations so far for the Bush administration’s failure to obtain warrants for its domestic surveillance program are ‘strained’ and ‘unrealistic,” Senator Arlen Specter, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman said on Sunday.

How right the Senator is, and Gonzales as the nation highest law enforcement officer, should know better. Can you say Impeachment?

Lebanese protesters torch Danish mission - Mideast/N. Africa -

Lebanese protesters torch Danish mission - Mideast/N. Africa -

Is this complete and utter madness or what. Is the finest example of human evolution? Muslims around the world wonder why their image suffers from the blight of negatively and is forever tainted with the stain of violence and intolerance need look no further than the events of the past week to enlighten them.

In many ways Muslims (mostly men) are still laboring in the 11th century, believing that their religion is beyond reproach and or the critical or satirical pen(s) of the world. So while thousand of Muslims take to the streets in all over the world in protest of a cartoon(?!), and acting like Jr. High School bullies walking hand-n-hand with elementary school babies throwing a tantrum, the West (and any sane person) looks on again and roundly condemns such tomfoolery.

Sunday, January 29, 2006 - Bush to propose trimming Army Reserve - Bush to propose trimming Army Reserve

And now for the ultimate insult; is Bush kidding? Cut the Army Reserve? Is he living in the same world as the rest of us? A very scathing report (two actually) just detailed how the U.S. Army is on the razors edge of desegregating because of ongoing and continuing operations, 30% (and rising) of which is made up of Army Reserve and National Guard units, how can any sane Commander-n-Chief think of cutting forces? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS ADMINISTRATION?

Try using some of that tax cut money to boaster the nation’s defense in a time-o-war! We are at war aren’t we?

Audit: Funds for Iraq rebuilding squandered - Politics -

Audit: Funds for Iraq rebuilding squandered - Politics -

Dealing with the Bush Administration and its ever growing record of ineptitude is troubling for We The People and the world. WHAT IS GOING ON? Has an administration ever been this unethical, immoral, and totally without leadership? Bush makes Nixon look like a Teletubby, the pink one. How could we have elected this simpleton a second time?

Exclusive: Direct Talks?U.S. Officials and Iraqi Insurgents - Newsweek Politics -

Exclusive: Direct Talks?U.S. Officials and Iraqi Insurgents - Newsweek Politics -

So much for the proclamations that the United States does not negotiate with terrorists, a label the Bush Administration has used to describe the Sunni insurgency. And yet another lie told to the American people and the world, and yet another betrayal of our trust. It’s a terrible thing to mistrust your government…

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Pharmacists sue Walgreen over contraceptives - Women's Health -

Pharmacists sue Walgreen over contraceptives - Women's Health -
Here’s hoping they lose! Does that sound mean? I don’t know about you but I am tired of Christians foisting their (alleged) morals on the rest of us. I steadfastly oppose the Pharmacists’ assertion that they should be able to refuse treatment to those with legitimate prescriptions from their doctors. And who are they—the Pharmacists—to interfere in the doctor/patient relationship?

They were given an out, but in their arrogance refused to take it. Why not work a shift where they were not the only Pharmacists on duty, so they could refer the patient/customer to a collogue? Or why not accept Walgreens offer to move to another Pharmacy out of state? I can hear the argument: why should they have to move, but turn it around; why should a patient be denied legitimately prescribed medication? Keep faith out of the workplace, out of government, and out of licensed professions.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - Army stretched to breaking point, report says - Jan 25, 2006 - Army stretched to breaking point, report says - Jan 25, 2006

I wondered how long it would take before a report like this hit the streets. Of course it will make few waves in the ocean of the American publics’ opinion of the war, or their attention span. There will be no public outcry, nor demonstrations on the streets of campuses of our nation; everyone is too preoccupied with themselves to care about the nations soldiers.

I have long advocated the creation and staffing of at least two new Army Corps each in Iraq and Afghanistan; an Army Corp consists of between 20,000 and 45,000 men. But what is really needed is a whole new theater Army consisting of 50,000 men plus, just in Iraq alone.

This of course would mean re-instituting the draft which no one in Congress or the Bush Administration has the courage or leadership to propose, let alone act on. Meanwhile, the U.S. Army fight for it life, and will be left ill-prepared to fight an all out war for years to come. Iran can breathe easy; the U.S. will not be invading anytime soon, thanks to Bush and his crooked little war.

The strange, sad, maddening, and increasingly puzzling thing is that the military by-and-large still support Bush (scratching head).

Friday, January 20, 2006

Rove: War on terrorism central in elections - Politics -

Rove: War on terrorism central in elections - Politics -
The groundhog has emerged from his hole—ahead of schedule I might add—but just in time to spew his lines of lies and slander for the up-coming elections. Who is this seriously troubled man anyway, that any American should give him heed?

“Republicans have a post-9/11 view of the world. And Democrats have a pre-9/11 view of the world…That doesn’t make them unpatriotic, not at all. But it does make them wrong — deeply and profoundly and consistently wrong.”

Yes, the Republicans have a post-9/11 view of the world, and in it America is no longer a Democratic Republic, for, by, and of We The People, but a country slowly turning towards dictatorship and radical Christian fundamentalism. The Republican view of America sees the Constitution discarded to be replaced by the absolute power of the Executive Branch cheered on by the Christian Right. The Republican view of America would see the populace ruled by fear; fear of terror and fear of their own government. The Republican view of America would see trust in government by the People replaced by the mistrust, deceit and the erosion of our once lauded Civil Institutions. The Republican view of America would see Common Law replaced by the God’s law with the Holy Bible at its center.

Yes, let us all hail the Republican view of America…

Thursday, January 19, 2006 - Junk-food suit targets Nickelodeon, Kellogg - Jan 18, 2006 - Junk-food suit targets Nickelodeon, Kellogg - Jan 18, 2006

“Wakefield, Massachusetts, mother Sherri Carlson said she tries her best to get her three kids to eat healthy foods…” Questions for Ms. Carlson, and the other plaintiff in this silly case: who is the parent in this situation; who buys the groceries; does your television have an on/off switch and channel changing knob or button; have you ever heard of the word NO?

I have children and they ask for sugary food, and I say NO! And guess what it works for me, Nickelodeon characters notwithstanding. Note to blubbering parents: don’t blame television and a cereal company for your lack of parenting skills! Let’s hope this one gets throw out of court… - High court dodges abortion ruling - Jan 18, 2006 - High court dodges abortion ruling - Jan 18, 2006

And so it begins; the slow piece-by-piece dismantling of Roe and the right of American women to have a legal abortion. It continues to dismay me why more women are not up in arms about their continued subjugation at the hand of White American males, God notwithstanding. Women have made tremendous strides in this country to come out from under the thumb of men, but on this pivotal issue famine America is mostly mute. What is at stake here is far more than the right to have an abortion; it is the fundamental right to privacy, and to be secure in our persons…

I can understand abhorring the practice of abortion, I do so myself, but the right to have one should be a personal decision left up the woman who has to carry the baby to term. Who is any male to tell a female that she must carry a baby to term, father or no?

It is interesting, ironic, and disturbing that the interest in sustaining human life by most Christians ends when the baby is born. This is starkly illustrated by the almost fanatical resistance by most Americans—the majority of which claim to be Christians—to socialized medicine, and support for the death penalty.

With the certain confirmation of Sam Alito, American women should prepare themselves for back alley abortion, or be prepared to go to Canada or Mexico for the procedure. It is the beginning of the end, of legalized abortion in the United States.

U.S. fights insurgents? grip on Iraqi oil city - Highlights -

U.S. fights insurgents grip on Iraqi oil city - Highlights -
This story speaks volumes about the need early on in the Iraq War for adequate numbers of troops. You cannot occupy a country—any country—with air power and smart bombs, you need boots on the group, you need presence. Because the civilian leadership in Washington lead by Bush failed the military, young men and women continue to die unnecessarily, the lesson of Vietnam all but forgotten, but the stain of that war is worn on every American uniform, a vivid reminder of failed and inept civilian leadership.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

High court upholds Oregon assisted-suicide law - The Changing Court -

High court upholds Oregon assisted-suicide law - The Changing Court -

“authority claimed by the attorney general is both beyond his expertise and incongruous with the statutory purposes and design.” --Justice Anthony Kennedy

Lets here it for states rights, and the right to determine when and where you die! Isn’t interesting and ironic that three Republicans (conservatives) on the court, who are supposed to be champions of states right’s dissented? Once again, Republicans are straying from their stated philosophy and platform?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Abramoff scandal threatens GOP ascendancy - Highlights -

Abramoff scandal threatens GOP ascendancy - Highlights -

I always wondered when Holier-the-Thou Christian foot shoulder, The Right Hand of God, Ralph Reed would fall from grace and in what form that tumble would take. I thought it would be the usual, sex, but instead it greed (one of the seven deadly sins), and lying (one of the Ten Commandments). It was never a question of if the man would fall, but when; the self-righteous always have something to hide, some darkness lurking in the basement of their lily white personas.

Should I gloat? Not now, but after he loses the Lt. Governors race; then I’ll do a little jig!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Rep. Bob Ney temporarily quits House post - Politics -

Rep. Bob Ney temporarily quits House post - Politics -

And oh the wretched wicked, crooked Republicans are falling like leaves from the New England trees in autumn, but they are not nearly as colorful or beautiful, just sad and pathetic.

Support for DeLay erodes at home, poll finds - Politics -

Support for DeLay erodes at home, poll finds - Politics -

Tom Delay’s woes only worsen as time spin inexorably towards the mod-term elections in November of this year. Will he remain in office? At one time I would have answered no, of course not, how could he? But now I am uncertain, after all a majority of my fellow citizens thought is wise to elect Bush, not once, but twice! In country filled with such misguided loyalty to Party and willful ignorance of the world anything is possible. We can only hope enough Americans have sobered up to vote for someone else. Someone not so overtly corrupt, and who might actually give a damn about their needs.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Democrat says Alito hearings may be pointless - The Changing Court -

Democrat says Alito hearings may be pointless - The Changing Court - MSNBC.comWhat a pretty impasse we’ve come to as a country, as a Republic. The acrimony is so deep, and the partisanship so thick that our system of governance is breaking down piece by fractured, dysfunctional piece, and We The People are the losers. Speaking on the Today show today Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., stated that, “The system's kind of broken.”

He was of course referring to the Senate’s Constitutional duties of advice and consent, and the current confirmation proceedings of one Samuel Alito. As I have listened to the proceedings, one thing is abundantly clear: the Democrats are asking all of the questions, and the Republicans are making all of the grand speeches and pronouncements in support of Judge Alito. The Republicans are in effect acting as character witnesses for the Judge who would be justice and as such are abrogating their responsibility as impartial Senators. It would actually be amusing the watch and listen to if it were not so sad and wholly predictable.

My respect for the Republican Party never very high to begin with is almost non-existent. Do any of them have a voice of their own? Except for John McCain, they all act like Stepford Wives, acting, speaking, and voting as one. Whatever happened to integrity and loyal to country before Party?

Biden went on to say on the Today show: “Americans should know how a nominee interprets the Constitution on key social views, but since nominees refuse to discuss their interpretations, citing the possibility they’d have to rule on them in the future, the hearings serve no real purpose…”

Sadly I couldn’t agree more with the Senator…The American government under Bush’s leadership continues to decay and fracture. Lets us hope the American people come to their senses and turn the failed Republican leadership team in Congress out at the end of this year; the country and the Constitution can’t take much “Republican leadership and moral suasion.”

Sunday, January 08, 2006

States Intervene After Drug Plan Hits Early Snags - New York Times

States Intervene After Drug Plan Hits Early Snags - New York Times
The Bush sponsored Culture of Incompetence that seem to be infecting the federal government, remains on track this year; how refreshing! I have personal experience with this nonsense; I waited over an hour for my mother-in-law to fill her prescription(s) at the local Walgreen’s. She ended up having to pay full price for the medications because the pharmacist could not verify her enrollment information; he kept getting a busy signal when he called the Medicare Help Desk.

Members of Congress should be ashamed of themselves for passing such an outwardly stupid and counter-productive law. Our senior citizens deserve better then this; the program is a national disgrace. How many of us predicted this would happen? If your Congressman voted for this abysmal law, show him, or her, your displeasure by voting them out of office! They are messing with people’s lives here; the free market should be damned!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Analysts: Bush spying rationale legally shaky - U.S. Security -

Analysts: Bush spying rationale legally shaky - U.S. Security -
“It appears unlikely that a court would hold that Congress has ... authorized the NSA electronic surveillance operations here under discussion.”

Can you say Impeachment? Not while the Republicans are in charge of both chambers of Congress, they lack the political will, moral suasion, and courage. And so too do the Democrats who remained largely silent on this issue of gross Presidential misconduct; oh if they (the Democrats) only had a backbone. My fellow Americans we are losing our Republic, can you hear the sounds of the chains clinking in the hallowed halls of Congress and on the stately benches of the Supreme Court?

While we were shopping the messy aisles of the local Wal-Mart the Republicans were stealing our freedoms, doing from within what Osama longs to do from without. What constitution is this lying on the floor with muddy boot print of Republican oppression firmly affixed to the words We The People?

While We The People cower in fear, the denizens of conservatism draw ever near with hands extended and at frightful leer, they aim to close the door to liberty all to the rousing cheer of the security mom and the NACAR dad guzzling a cold can of beer.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

As Detroit falters, Asian makers pick up speed - Road Work Ahead -

As Detroit falters, Asian makers pick up speed - Road Work Ahead - MSNBC.comWhy are American auto maker so foolishly short-sided? Way back in the later seventies and early eighties the Japanese automakers showed they had what it took to build the cars Americans wanted, and the juggernaut has not stopped since then. Any moron could predict that fuel prices were going to rise once more; oil after all cannot last forever.

With all the cash and engineering talent the Detroit Three have at their disposal, how could they not have come up with at least one decent hybrid vehicle. GM should have devoted Saturn to this cause, with every car they produce a cost conscience, fuel efficient car or truck. How hard can that have been? I mean really?

When will American industry take its eye off the quarter and adopt a five-year plan? How about some vision, some leadership, some INNOVATION! And oh yeah UAW wake and smell the future before you don’t have one! Earth to UAW, ever heard of a partnership, compromise?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Top lobbyist to plead guilty in casino cases - Politics -

Top lobbyist to plead guilty in casino cases - Politics - MSNBC.comFinally! Now maybe we’ll get some movement on the investigation into crooked members of Congress, no matter what Party they belong to. But honestly I hope this is the beginning of the end of Tom Dely’s career in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Twas The Night Before Christmas

Right before Christmas my eleven year daughter announced that it didn’t feel like Christmas, that something was off this year. It wasn’t the lack of snow and cold that usually accompany Christmas into town like a welcome friend; there were plenty of both in the air. It was something far less tangible, but nevertheless equally as vital in order for Christmas to have real meaning.

Perhaps it’s the War in Iraq that seems to drag on without end, despite the far too rosy gloss applied by the Bush administration; or perhaps the perpetual death cloud that hangs over the place and threatens to cover the entire world with its stench; or perhaps it’s the unending downward spiral of the African sub-continent as its people struggle to enter the 21st-century alive. Or perhaps it’s the lingering, festering problems here at home; the widening morass in New Orleans where everything seems to spark an argument and the leadership vacuum continues to vex; or perhaps it’s the feeling that America is heading in the wrong direction under the quasi-leadership of a man without a clue; or perhaps it was the Religious Rights’ insistence that everyone in the country celebrate Christmas their way by bring pointless lawsuitsand boycotts against those who dared declare Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas.

Or perhaps it’s a combination of all of these factors that left me and mine with a feeling that Christmas 2005 was just another day; the spirit of the day had been leached off little-by-little until there was nothing left to celebrate. The reason for the season was immaterial, lost in an ever increase deluge of violence, whining, bad behavior, and bad feelings. And let’s not forget the endless store sales and sales number that have little to do with the birth of Christ, but have supplanted him as the reason to celebrate Christmas.

When I was a child Christmas was a magical period despite the fact that we had very little, and got very little on Christmas day. The whole month of December was filled with the stuff of Christmas; finding the right tree and decorating it; watching the Christmas; watching the same Christmas cartoons year after year, hoping for the first snow to come in time for the holidays; and the excitement of Christmas Eve. These were all part of growing up in America as a child; not anymore. Trees are increasingly artificial (including mine), the cartoons are all but gone, and so are the special feelings…

It is true that few adults find magic in Christmas anymore, but up until this year, I did look forward to the holiday (somewhat). But this past year, even my wife who loves Christmas, was glad to see it come and go its un-merry way. Has America with its now incessant infighting and bickering over the smallest of topics and myopic pursuit of money and material over all other pursuits, finally succeeded in killing Christmas? Has it become just another day off, yet another excuse to shop? Will the magic ever return, will it ever be a Merry Christmas again? What would Jesus think?