Government Gone Bad
The sorry state of the U.S. Government. From the war
with Afghanistan and Iraq to tax cuts, Israel, Iran and the FCC. What's happening to
our government? Why don't people seem to care? A look at some of the things wrong with our GOVERNMENT.
Saturday, June 28, 2003 :::
Mass Graves Do Not Justify War With Iraq
The Bush Administration is trying franticly to find a good reason for having gone to war with Iraq. The latest reason, finding mass graves, is as far-fetched as the other reasons; Iraq’s nuclear weapons program, they didn’t have one, weapons of mass destruction, we can’t find them, an Iraq Al-Qeada connection, the only evidence indicates there was no connection, liberating the Iraqi people, ask the Iraqi’s if they feel liberated, creating a democracy in Iraq, somebody please tell the Bush Administration that a democracy can’t be dictated otherwise it’s not a democracy.
This administration has told one proven lie after another. If we can’t trust the Bush Administration to tell us the truth about going to war how can we trust them to tell us the truth about anything else.
It’s not as if finding these mass graves is a surprising new revelation, these graves are from the early 1990’s when the first Bush Administration encouraged the Shias to rise up against Saddam, than failed to support the uprising. To now use these mass graves as justification for a war with Iraq, killing thousands more Iraqi’s is not only immoral but also despicable. Maybe if the Shias weren’t falsely led to believe that the US was going to help them they might not have been murdered and there would be no mass graves. The war was not instigated by the US because of any emotional or moral attachment to the suffering of the Iraqi people. If we were truly concerned with human rights in Iraq why did we wait 12 years before doing anything about it? Why wasn’t that the stated reason rather than the lies we were told?
The original first reason for this war was to find Weapons of Mass Destruction not mass graves. Remember; they were an imminent threat. I always thought we went to war for a valid reason, not to make one up or change the reason afterwards. Have most of our little wars been based on this type of fiction? We know the Vietnam War was. President Lyndon Johnson lied about American ships being attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin. This led to an undeclared war (they called it a police action) in which 58,000 American troops were eventually killed and hundreds of thousands injured and mamied because of that lie. We've gotten into another Vietnam type Guerilla War with Iraq because of lies by President Bush and his Administration. I hope it doesn't take 58,000 American troops killed in Iraq before we realize our mistake again.
This is the first time we’ve invaded another country and we’re still looking for a valid reason for the war two months after the major part of the war has been declared over, even after some in the administration insisted they knew where WMD’s were hidden.
It seems like many Americans don’t need any justifications for war. I guess they believe when might is right everyone else is wrong. Just remember those 58,000 lives wasted in Vietnam for nothing but a lie.
::: posted by Alan at 10:51 PM
Tuesday, June 24, 2003 :::
Why Must There Be War?
Why must there be war? The answer to that question can be summed up in a speech delivered in 1933 by Major General Smedley Butler. Butler was twice awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor (1914, 1917). General Douglas MacArthur described Butler as "one of the really great generals in American history."
Here is an excerpt from that speech.
“War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.
I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.
I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.
There isn't a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its "finger men" to point out enemies, its "muscle men" to destroy enemies, its "brain men" to plan war preparations, and a "Big Boss" Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.
It may seem odd for me, a military man, to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.
I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.
During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents”.
Nothing has changed since then. We are again involved in a war that will benefit the wealthy at the expense of everyone else. The war with Iraq was and still is based on lies. Some people just don’t learn from past mistakes. I take that back. I can’t blame the people for not learning from past mistakes if they don’t know about those past mistakes. We are taught in school that America goes to war to protect our country and our freedoms. We are taught that America is fair and just and always does what is right for the world. We are seldom told the real reasons behind the wars we fight.
It’s called blind patriotism. Your country is always right. Don’t question the government because they know what’s best for you and the country. If you question the government then you are un-patriotic.
The sad truth is that most Americans believe that our government won’t and never does anything wrong. That our government always tells the truth, even when there is plenty of proof to the contrary. That our government always does what is in the best interest of all Americans.
The media is full of rah rah headlines as if war is some kind of big game like the super bowl, as if the lose of innocent lives doesn’t matter. I’ve heard intelligent people say about the latest Iraq war, we kicked their ass. I’ve heard people say that Democrats were against the war because they are angry about the outcome of the last presidential election.
This isn’t a Democrat or Republican issue. This is an America issue. We the people must take back control of our government and we must do it now before it’s too late. We must demand that the truth be told and past mistakes must be brought to light so we can indeed learn from past mistakes. We cannot let our government wrap itself in the flag and demand unquestioned loyalty. Until we the people are informed about what is really going on we will continual to fight wars for all the wrong reasons.
::: posted by Alan at 9:41 AM
Wednesday, June 11, 2003 :::
An Open Letter to My Representative Bart Stupak Concerning the Flag Desecration Amendment
Dear Rep. Bart Stupak
By wrapping yourself in the flag and voting yes on the recent Flag Desecration Amendment you are trying to over-rule the Supreme Court. (Just in case you didn’t know, a Supreme Court decision in 1989 said flag-burning was a protected free speech right. In 1990, Congress passed another law protecting the flag, but the Supreme Court struck it down.)
Do you realize what you are trying to do is amend the First Amendment so that the only free speech is speech that you agree with? The First Amendment guards all speech, on the theory that none of us are all knowing enough to decide which speech should be heard. Free speech with restrictions isn’t free speech at all. Don’t you get it? If you and the 299 others who voted for this Amendment do not understand this basic fact you don’t belong in Congress and I hope you are removed as soon as possible. We need people in Congress who will up hold the Constitution of the United States, not people who are trying to destroy it.
What is the real reason for your yes vote on this Amendment? If you voted for this Amendment in honor of the flag, what about the honor of the Constitution? By voting to unravel the First Amendment you desecrate what the flag represents and what many Americans have died for. If you contend that the burning of the flag is an act and not a form of speech, what right does the government have to tell me what I can or can not do with my own personal property? Were you afraid that a vote against the Amendment would be seen as a vote in favor of flag desecration rather than a vote for free speech? Did you vote yes for this Amendment so you could point to it to show how patriotic you are? A real patriot would never try to destroy the Constitution of their country. A real patriot would be fighting others who are trying to destroy the Constitution of the United States. Were you afraid that if you voted no, the Republicans would use it against you in the next election? If so you are a spineless individual unwilling to stand up for what is right and not worthy of representing me or anyone else.
Representative Bart Stupak it seems to me you either don’t understand what America stands for, you don’t care what America stands for, or you have sinister reasons for the way you voted on the Flag Desecration Amendment. The most important right we have as Americans is the right of free speech even if the majority disagrees with that speech.
Without the right to free speech we cease to be a Free Country. Do you understand that? I repeat: Without the right to free speech we cease to be a Free Country.
::: posted by Alan at 9:20 AM
Tuesday, June 10, 2003 :::
Leave Our Constitution Alone
Ex President Bill Clinton thinks the 22nd. Amendment to the constitution of the United States should be changed. The 22nd. Amendment was ratified on February 27, 1951, six years after the death of former President Franklin D. Roosevelt who had been elected to a record four terms. Mr. Clinton says the Amendment should be modified to say two consecutive terms instead of two terms for a life time.
Stacie Rumenap, Executive director for U.S. Term Limits, said this about Clinton’s comments: “By term limiting the president of the United States, the 22nd. Amendment provides that no matter how much power a given chief executive may gather, there’s a definite limit on how long he may wield it. At a maximum, a fresh face and a fresh perspective will be brought to the White House every eight years. Rumenap also said “Voters would be surprised to learn how many politicians have never held a real job in the private sector. For example, if it weren’t for term limits, Bill Clinton most likely wouldn’t have been looking for his first ever non-governmental job at the age of 54. The fact remains that all politicians face the same potential to be corrupted by power. And only term limits ensure that no single person can ever hold a monopoly on that power. Our country fought a revolution to get rid of a king, and we certainly don’t need another king, not Clinton or anyone else.”
Representative Randy Cunningham (R-California) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) have sponsored a bill [H.J.RES.4] that would authorize the congress to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States. The House reached the two-thirds majority needed to pass the constitutional amendment by a 300 to 125 vote. The bill still must be passed by the senate by a two-thirds majority and be approved by three-fourths of state legislatures.
Supporters of the bill said burning an American flag shows disrespect for America, and the majority of the American people approve of legally protecting Old Glory. Representative Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) said “If we allow its defacement, we allow our country’s gradual decline.” Mr. Chabot is dead wrong. Our country is stronger than people like Mr. Chabot give us credit for. If a few fools burning the flag bring this country into decline, we have much bigger problems to worry about other than flag burning. Those who favor the proposed amendment say they do so in honor of the flag. But in proposing to unravel the First Amendment, they desecrate what the flag represents, and what many Americans have died for to defend.
The amendment would directly restrict the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of political expression; something no other constitutional amendment has done before. Passage of the amendment will provide a dangerous precedent for future attempts to amend the Constitution, putting the essential freedoms it upholds at risk.
The amendment seeks to protect the flag as the symbol of the United States and everything it represents. At the same time, it fails to protect other important symbols of America. The President is also a recognizable symbol of America, yet the President is not protected from being mocked, ridiculed or scorned. The presidential seal is regularly misused on late night TV and presidents are regularly impersonated and made to look like buffoons by comedians hiding behind the same First Amendment that shields flag-burners.
As New York attorney James Ostrowski sarcastically says “The drafters of the proposed amendment need to rethink the purposes of the amendment and re-draft the amendment in a way that will permanently guarantee that no person will ever challenge those ideas or symbols. It might read something like this”: “The Congress shall have the power to prohibit any and all acts, words, or omissions, which could be reasonably intended to criticize, denigrate, disparage, mock, scorn, satirize, ridicule, or attack: the flag of the United States, or any image of it, the President, Presidential seal, or any image of these, the Congress, Supreme Court, or any image of these, the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Gettysburg Address, in any form or image whatever, or the Armed Forces of the United States or any image or symbol of them whatsoever. To the extent they conflict with this amendment, the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Ninth Amendments are hereby repealed, and henceforth may be physically desecrated.”
The point is where do we stop? If burning the American flag is so detrimental to the United States of America that we need a Constitutional Amendment to prevent it, what about these other symbols of America? How long before someone decides we need another amendment to protect another symbol?
There's a reason our founding fathers made it difficult to amend the Constitution. By requiring two-thirds majority of both houses and three-fourths of state legislatures to pass a bill to amend the Constitution, shows our founding fathers knew the Constitution had to be protected from Law-Makers with half-baked ideas. The Constitution has served this country well for many years. Lets keep it that way. Leave our Constitution alone.
::: posted by Alan at 2:39 AM
Friday, June 06, 2003 :::
It’s Not a Question of Were We Misled but Why Were We Misled
A lot of people are starting to ask the question, were we misled in the Bush Administrations quest to invade Iraq? Too bad more people (especially the media and members of congress) weren’t asking, are we being misled into a war with Iraq? If there would have been more questioning and investigating of the facts as presented by President Bush and his Administration prior to the war maybe we never would have gone to war.
Time and again there were indications prior to the war that maybe facts were being stretched or fabricated. That’s one reason why I was against the rush to war with Iraq. Mr. Bush and his Administrations insistence that specially designed aluminum tubes (none of which ever reached Iraq, American officials wouldn’t say why citing sensitive intelligence) were intended for use in centrifuges to enrich uranium was discredited time and again. Former U.S. weapons inspector David Albright told 60 minutes on December 8 that “people who understood gas centrifuges almost uniformly felt that these tubes were not specific to gas centrifuge”. On January 9 and again on March 7 International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohammed el-Baradei’s insisted that there was “no evidence” that the 81 mm tubes were intended for anything other than conventional rocket production. On March 7 Mohammed el-Baradei’s told the UN Security Council that the documents supporting the alleged attempts by Iraq to buy uranium from Niger were forged. After all this expert opinion why did the Bush Administration continued to say Iraq had a nuclear program? As we see now they didn't.
In Newsweek’s March 3 edition John Barry reported that Iraqi defector Hussein Kamel, who had run Saddam’s nuclear and biological weapons program, told the CIA and UN weapons inspectors in the summer of 1995 “that after the gulf war, Iraq destroyed all its chemical and biological weapons stocks and missiles to deliver them.” Maybe that’s why we can’t find WMD’s now, there aren’t any. Why did the Bush Administration continue to insist they were sure Iraq had WMD’s?
At Camp David where George W. Bush was meeting with Tony Blair, Mr. Bush cited a “new” report from the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency that allegedly stated that Iraq was “six months away” from building a nuclear weapon. “ I don’t know what more evidence we need,” the president said. The only problem is there was no new report. On September 27, an article in the Washington Times by Joseph Curl pointed out that there was no “new report” by the IAEA saying Saddam was six months away from having a nuclear weapon and that the agency never issued a report predicting any time frame for Iraq acquiring nuclear weapons. When IAEA inspectors pulled out of Iraq in December 1998, spokesman Mark Gwozdecky told Curl, “We had concluded that we had neutralized their nuclear weapons program. We had confiscated their fissile material. We had destroyed all their key buildings and equipment.” The Bush administration was still insisting Iraq had a nuclear program.
It is clear that the Bush administration knew that Saddam Hussein didn’t have a nuclear program yet nuclear weapons was one of the reasons Mr. Bush cited to convince congress to authorize the use of our Armed Forces in Iraq. It is also clear that the Bush administration wasn’t positive that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. So the real question is not were we misled but why were we misled. What are the real reasons for invading Iraq? Somebody better start asking some serious questions and the president better start giving us some serious answers. We don’t need anymore lies. This president has already done enough damage to this great country of ours and I for one don’t like it.
::: posted by Alan at 4:09 AM
Tuesday, June 03, 2003 :::
The Lunatics are in Charge of the Asylum
Our rights are being taken away, an illegal war in Iraq, huge tax cuts for the rich, the monopolizing of the air waves, what’s next? I don’t known what’s next, but I would like to dwell on what has happened already.
The fourth amendment to the constitution of the United States says; “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
With the passing of the Patriots Act the Bill of Rights is being dismantled. The government now has the right to secretly snoop into the lives of its citizens without due cause simply by saying the citizen may be involved with terrorism, even with no proof what so ever that said citizen might be involved in terrorism. A citizen may now be arrested and held indefinitely without being allowed any legal representation. Every citizen of the United States should be extremely concerned about this assault on their civil rights, but are they? Apparently not, as witnessed by the lack of outrage by most U.S Citizens.
Why do I call it an illegal war? Joint Resolution [S.J. Res. 23] approved by congress on September 18, 2001 authorizing the use of the United States Armed Forces states; “That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.” There is nothing in the resolution authorizing the use of force to remove dictators from power. There is nothing in the resolution authorizing the use of force to eliminate Weapons of Mass Destruction. There is nothing in the resolution authorizing the use of force to Liberate people of a sovereign country. The only legal use of U.S. Military Force authorized by the Joint Resolution is against any nation, organization or persons responsible for the terrorist attacks related to 9/11. Neither the CIA, the FBI, or the President or anyone in his Administration, have offered any real evidence that Iraq had anything to do with September 11, 2001, making the war with Iraq illegal.
Why isn’t anybody in congress doing anything about this? I’ve heard it mentioned by some people that congress gave the President the power to attack any country he determines had anything to do with terrorism, but that just isn’t true, it must be related to 9/11 as plainly stated in the Joint Resolution. Maybe members of congress should go back and read the resolution they approved on September 18, 2001. I think they will indeed find the war in Iraq is illegal.
President George W. Bush has said “every working American” will benefit from this tax cut. Now we find out he lied again. The tax cut bill signed by President Bush completely leaves out the poorest working Americans, the ones making between $10,000 and $26,000 will not receive any benefits at all from this tax cut. This includes many military personnel who have been fighting in Afganhistan and Iraq. That's the thanks they get for their sacrfice for their country. This shows the coldness of the present administration. The same administration that said no child will be left behind is now failing to give tax cuts to the poorest working American families, affecting 12 million children. Some in the Republican Party say these people pay very little or no federal taxes, so they will get no tax breaks. At the same time U.S companies purposely move overseas to avoid paying income taxes, yet they get tax breaks. This only proves what many have been saying; this tax cut greatly benefits the wealthy at the expense of the poor. What about retirees? Most retirees or their surviving spouses will not receive any tax cuts unless they’re one of the 25 percent that have money invested in the stock market. What about the other 75 percent? Who cares? Not our present government that’s for sure.
The relaxing of media ownership rules by the FCC in a 3 to 2 vote along Party lines (3 Republicans and 2 Democrats) is another blow to American democracy. Media giants are now allowed to control 45 percent of a given market as compared to the 35 percent prior to the relaxation of the rules. What this means is less local news, less view points, less independently owned broadcast stations and more of a monopoly by present broadcasters. This in turn means what we see on television and hear on the radio will be determined by fewer and fewer people in the broadcast industry. This can only be bad for Democracy in the long run.
Judging by what is going on lately, I would have to agree with Representative Sherrod Brown of Ohio when he says “The Lunatics are In Charge Of the Asylum”.
::: posted by Alan at 5:14 PM