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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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”.