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Factinista Archives, January 2006

The Poor State of the Dis-Union
January 30th, 2006

What has George Bush accomplished so far on behalf of the American people?

He expanded the size, power and scope of the Federal government to levels never before seen, and elevated the office of the Presidency above the other branches of government.

He escalated the federal debt and deficit to unprecedented levels.

He has lied the American people and Congress into a political war in Iraq, rather than a war of necessity, while at the same time failing to finish the job in Afghanistan, including the apprehension of Osama Bin Laden.

He has discarded our moral base and ethical superiority by instituting policies for our military to sink to the level of despots and tyrants, where we have used torture, kidnapping the relatives of supposed insurgents and even murder as accepted methods of “combat”.

He has eliminated the right to a trial in America for so-called “enemy combatants” under the guise of protecting Americans from danger. But he gets to say who is an “enemy combatant”.

He broke the law and began side-stepping the FISA courts by spying secretly on phone calls into and out of the country without restriction, oversight or accountability.

He has purposefully and enormously divided the nation along political lines, while at the same time using the bully pulpit to spread fear of terrorism in order to get 50.5% of the American people behind him during elections. The hell with the other 140 million Americans.

He has used American taxpayer dollars to create and disseminate pro-government propaganda in true Stalinist style. His is the most secretive administration in our history.

He has done more to blur, and even tear down the lines of separation between church and state, for political purposes, than any previous administration.

He botched the planning and execution of the Iraq war to the point where it is now on the verge of civil war, and our troops are strained to the breaking point. The war in Afghanistan was never finished, and now we are stuck in an insurgent war for who knows how long in both countries.

He has squandered thousands of lives and hundreds up billions of tax payer dollars on a war that has no purpose, and no end in sight.

He is made the Middle East far more unstable, and more prone to terrorism. He has infuriated the Muslim world and increased the recruitment of terrorists in virtually every corner of the planet.

He disclosed the identity of a covert CIA agent as political payback for criticism of the war in Iraq.

He dismantled critical federal agencies such as FEMA, and filled their ranks with political cronies, leading to one of the worst failures to respond to a major disaster in US history.

The Poor State of the Dis-Union

Tomorrow night President Bush will tell you to be very afraid of terrorists. He will use the specter of “9/11” again and again to try to make you mad and to trust him to do the right thing to fight those who hate our freedoms. But of course it is George Bush who seems to most hate our freedoms, because as Benjamin Franklin said “Those who would sacrifice liberty for security, deserve neither”. George Bush is asking all of us to go even further - to sacrifice liberty for a false sense of security.

What a great deal.

What a pitiful excuse for a president.

Dr John

Money and Politics Really Don't Mix
January 25th, 2006

The corrosive effect of money in politics in the United States must come to an end. The Jack Abramoff and Duke Cunningham scandals clearly show that money and politics don't mix, and that the admixture is both antidemocratic and corrupting.

I am sick and tired of hearing about improved disclosure rules. That is just more of the same and the public will not tolerate it. Money is not and has never been the same thing as free speech. Money is a megaphone for paid speech.

All lobbying must come to an end and all campaigns must now be publicly financed. Legislative Band-Aids will not fix this corrupted and broken system.

A small proportion of the American population doles out hundreds of millions of dollars every two years to help their preferred candidate get elected. Obviously a system structured as such is inherently corrupting, and unfair to the vast majority of the American public that does not give campaign contributions.

The right to petition the government was meant to give the citizenry access to their legislators, not to give corporations privileged access to pertinent legislators.

Dr John

A War They Can Cherish
January 24th, 2006

In 1795 James Madison lamented; "Of all the enemies of true liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. In war, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds are added to those of subduing the force of the people."

This often quoted admonition about Presidential wartime powers is a clear exposition of original intent by one of the founding fathers. Presidents must be restrained in times of war, especially in times of politically-driven wars.

Karl Rove and George Bush have made it clear in the last few days that they are going to use war rhetoric to trample our liberties, and hopefully for them keep control of the Congress in the next election. But to do so, they need our cooperation. They need a fearful, paranoid populace that can be manipulated with their fear tactics.

So expect to hear an awful lot more about “terrorism” and “terrorists”, and “they hate our (dwindling) freedom” from Bush and Co. Expect them to try as hard as possible to yank your fear chain, and then yank it again. The Bush Administration has become a one-trick pony under the deranged tutelage of Rove and Cheney - “talk up the war”, Karl chants over and over.

So you can go along with their plan to fear-i-tize you, or you can snap out of it and realize that you have far more chance of dying in a car crash than from a terrorist attack. In fact, now you probably have a better chance of being picked up as a terrorist and put in jail forever without trial, than you have of being blown up by evildoers.

So get used to all that domestic surveillance, it will only get worse with the “hate our freedom” president in charge.

Dr John

Free Them With Bombs
January 16th, 2006

The intelligence was unmistakable. Abdul the Pakistani goat herder, whose goat had been killed by neighbors the day before, told the CIA that all of the al Qaeda leaders were having tea in his neighbor’s house. “They are terrorists… they are goat killers” Abdul was quoted as saying.

The CIA hurriedly confirmed the report by speaking with Achmed, Abdul’s brother. With such actionable intelligence the CIA knew it had to act quickly - tea time only lasts so long you know. So in went the Predator drones, in went the laser guided missiles, and out came the 13 body bags, including 3 children and 5 women. No al Qaeda terrorists, just Pakistani villagers.

Pakistan erupted into nation-wide protests as US Senators went on the Sunday talk shows. "We apologize, but I can't tell you that we wouldn't do the same thing again," said Senator John McCain of Arizona. Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana said, "It's a regrettable situation, but what else are we supposed to do?"

Hmm. Good question. Let me think. Maybe, you shouldn't bomb and kill the innocent people we are proclaiming to liberate? That’s a novel idea.

I made the part about Abdul and his brother up, but to make a point. Since when has CIA or DIA or NSA intelligence overseas, or even in the US, been accurate enough to trust innocent people’s lives to? If the intelligence had said that a top al Qaeda leader was in a Pakistani hotel filled with US tourists, would the missiles have been fired anyway? No. But our government doesn’t consider Pakistani lives to be as important as American lives. That’s why it’s OK to free them with bombs and missiles slamming into their homes. Remember, “It’s a regrettable situation, but what else are we supposed to do?”

I suggest we stop treating other people around the world like acceptable collateral damage in our misguided, ill-fated, and irreparably mismanaged “war on terror”.

So hang in there all you oppressed people throughout the world. The defense department is preparing brand new bombs with your freedom in mind, and clever slogans scribbled on the side like, “For Abdul, and his goats”.

Dr John

copyright 2006,