"To inform the public of the facts, that they may responsibly use them to make things better."
Johnson City, NY, USA
married, 2 children
Activist, Physically disabled
What I Want to Do:
Stem Cell Research,
Equal Rights for All,
Freedom of Expression,
My Page Billboard
May God Bless You and Keep You Safe!
The remarkable juxtaposition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on 1/19/09 - a day of service to the USA - and the Inauguration are more than mere coincidence!
**************************************************************************************************W's Legacy:12/15/08:Shoes thrown at Bush on Iraq triphttp://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7782422.stmIraq rally for Bush shoe attacker http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7783608.stm
**************************************************************************************************I guess he'd know:
It's official: Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama
Retired Army Gen. Colin L. Powell, an adviser to the last three Republican presidents, said today that he is crossing party lines to support the Democratic candidate for the White House.
“I think he is a transformational figure … and for that reason, I’ll be voting for Barack Obama,” Powell said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“We need a president who will not just continue … basically the policies that we have been following in recent years,” said Powell, who once briefly considered his own run for the 1996 Republican presidential nomination. “We need a president who is a generational change.”
Powell, 71, who was President Bush’s first secretary of State and served Bush's father as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Ronald Reagan as national security advisor, said he believed that Obama had the style and substance to be successful in the role at a time when America must be better represented and involved on the world stage. He cited a need to speak to world figures “who we have not been willing to talk to before.”
“This is a time for outreach,” Powell said.
He cited the Illinois senator’s “ability to inspire” and the “inclusive nature of his campaign.” He said that Obama in recent weeks has “displayed a steadiness” and “showed intellectual vigor” in addressing issues as diverse as the economy and the selection of his running mate.
The election of Obama as president, Powell said, would “electrify the country and electrify the world.”
9/11/08: Nobody has been brought to justice for the worst attacks on US soil, and it has now been SEVEN YEARS.
We will never forget.
2007 should have been the year to begin to make real changes in America. The American electorate replaced rubber-stamp senators and congresspeople by voting many of them out of office in 2006. But the new Congress has failed to make moves that reflect the concerns of ALL of America's 300 million people -- not just the wealthy who contributed to Mr. Bush's "war-chest"!
Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rove, Rumsfeld -- and every guilty member of the administration -- should have been impeached by now.
Whether or not that ever happens, each and every one of them should be tried in front of an International War Crimes Tribunal for their unjustified, lie-based actions leading up to, and their subsequent invasion and destruction of Iraq.
The abject failure of Bush and his administration to bring to justice, or even to definitively identify, whomever was responsible for the attacks on America on 9/11/01 will live forever as the ultimate example of how to NOT do one's job.
Combined with the unneeded and unjustified tax breaks handed out like candy to the insanely wealthy, and to the same oil companies who are blithely increasing pump prices daily -- adding to the cost of everything in America -- Dubya, and his administration, have sent a very clear message to the American people, and the world, that we are just NOT his priority.
He has, with arrogant actions like his many "signing statements", and his repeated attacks upon the US Constitution, made it patently obvious that he thinks that he is above all laws. Dubya's actions have also destroyed the US economy, and the environment.
This self-proclaimed "decider" has clearly, and without question, qualified as the worst American president EVER, more out of touch with the common people than was even his father.
The question is, unfortunately, "Has he, and his cronies, done enough irreparable damage to destroy the United States, and the world?"************************************************
Happy 4th of July, 2007: Let's hear it for Keith Olbermann
http://bushwhackinginamerica.blogspot.com/It is the 4th of July here in the United States. In 1776, a group of brave visionaries declared that they'd had enough of the tyranny perpetrated by their rulers, and they signed the Declaration of Independence. This holiday commemorates their brave action.We are at a similar crossroads today. The current presidential administration has played fast and loose with the US constitution for too long. Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney and their underlings have done illegal, immoral, unspeakable things and tried to pass it off as in our best interests.Last night, on his "Countdown . . ." show, Keith Olbermann called them on it. Rather than try to say what needs to be said myself, I present Mr. Olbermann's commentary. He paints the picture beautifully, and I could not say it better. Thank you, sir!!
"SPECIAL COMMENT: IT'S TIME TO RESIGN
Finally tonight, as promised, a Special Comment on what is, in everything but name, George Bush's pardon of Scooter Libby.
"I didn't vote for him," an American once said, "But he's my president, and I hope he does a good job."
That -- on this eve of the 4th of July -- is the essence of this democracy, in seventeen words.
And that -- is what President Bush threw away yesterday in commuting the sentence of Lewis "Scooter" Libby.
The man who said those seventeen words -- improbably enough -- was the actor John Wayne.
And Wayne, an ultra-conservative, said them, when he learned of the hair's-breadth election of John F. Kennedy instead of his personal favorite, Richard Nixon in 1960.
"I didn't vote for him but he's my president, and I hope he does a good job."
The sentiment was doubtlessly expressed earlier.
But there is something especially appropriate about hearing it, now, in Wayne's voice:
The crisp matter-of-fact acknowledgement that we have survived, even though for nearly two centuries now, our Commander-in-Chief has also served, simultaneously, as the head of one political party and often the scourge of all others.
We as citizens must, at some point, ignore a president's partisanship. Not that we may prosper as a nation, not that we may achieve, not that we may lead the world -- but merely that we may function.
But just as essential to the seventeen words of John Wayne, is an implicit trust -- a sacred trust:
That the president for whom so many did not vote, can in turn suspend his political self long enough, and for matters imperative enough, to conduct himself solely for the benefit of the entire Republic.
Our generation's willingness to state "we didn't vote for him, but he's our president, and we hope he does a good job," was tested in the crucible of history, and earlier than most.
And in circumstances more tragic and threatening.
And we did.... that with which history tasked us.
We envelopped our President in 2001.
And those who did not believe he should have been elected -- indeed those who did not believe he had been elected -- willingly lowered their voices and assented to the sacred oath of non-partisanship.
And George W. Bush took our assent, and re-configured it, and honed it, and shaped it to a razor-sharp point...,and stabbed this nation in the back with it.
Were there any remaining lingering doubt otherwise, or any remaining lingering hope, it ended yesterday when Mr. Bush commuted the prison sentence of one of his own staffers.
Did so even before the appeals process was complete…
Did so without as much as a courtesy consultation with the Department of Justice…
Did so despite what James Madison -- at the Constitutional Convention -- said about impeaching any president who pardoned or sheltered those who had committed crimes "advised by" that president…
Did so without the slightest concern that even the most detached of citizens must look at the chain of events and wonder:
To what degree was Mr. Libby told: break the law however you wish -- the President will keep you out of prison?
In that moment, Mr. Bush, you broke that fundamental com-pact between yourself and the majority of this nation's citizens -- the ones who did not cast votes for you.
In that moment, Mr. Bush, you ceased to be the President of the United States.
In that moment, Mr. Bush, you became merely the President… of a rabid and irresponsible corner of the Republican Party.
And this is too important a time, Sir, to have a commander-in-chief who puts party over nation.
This has been, of course, the gathering legacy of this Administration.
Few of its decisions have escaped the stain of politics.
The extraordinary Karl Rove has spoken of "a permanent Republican majority," as if such a thing -- or a permanent Democratic majority -- is not antithetical to that upon which rests: our country, our history, our revolution, our freedoms.
Yet our Democracy has survived shrewder men than Karl Rove.
And it has survived the frequent stain of politics upon the fabric of government.
But this administration, with ever-increasing insistence and almost theo-cratic zealotry, has turned that stain… into a massive oil spill.
The protection of the environment… is turned over to those of one political party, who will financially benefit from the rape of the environment.
The protections of the Constitution… are turned over to those of one political party, who believe those protections unnecessary and extravagant and quaint.
The enforcement of the laws… is turned over to those of one political party, who will swear beforehand that they will not enforce those laws.
The choice between war and peace… is turned over to those of one political party, who stand to gain vast wealth by ensuring that there is never peace, but only war.
And now, when just one cooked book gets corrected by an honest auditor…
When just one trampling of the inherent and inviolable fairness of government is rejected by an impartial judge…
When just one wild-eyed partisan is stopped by the figure of blind justice…
This President decides that he, and not the law, must prevail.
I accuse you, Mr. Bush, of lying this country into war.
I accuse you of fabricating in the minds of your own people, a false implied link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11.
I accuse you of firing the generals who told you that the plans for Iraq were disastrously insufficient.
I accuse you of causing in Iraq the needless deaths of 3,586 of our brothers and sons, and sisters and daughters, and friends and neighbors.
I accuse you of subverting the Constitution, not in some misguided but sincerely-motivated struggle to combat terrorists, but to stifle dissent.
I accuse you of fomenting fear among your own people, of creating the very terror you claim to have fought.
I accuse you of exploiting that unreasoning fear, the natural fear of your own people who just want to live their lives in peace, as a political tool to slander your critics and libel your opponents.
I accuse you of handing part of this Republic over to a Vice President who is without conscience, and letting him run roughshod over it.
And I accuse you now, Mr. Bush, of giving, through that Vice President, carte blanche to Mr. Libby, to help defame Ambassador Joseph Wilson by any means necessary, to lie to Grand Juries and Special Counsel and before a court, in order to protect the mechanisms and particulars of that defamation, with your guarantee that Libby would never see prison, and, in so doing, as Ambassador Wilson himself phrased it here last night, of becoming an accessory… to the obstruction of justice.
When President Nixon ordered the firing of the Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox during the infamous "Saturday Night Massacre" on October 20th, 1973, Cox initially responded tersely, and ominously.
"Whether ours shall be a government of laws and not of men, is now for Congress, and ultimately, the American people."
President Nixon did not understand how he had crystallized the issue of Watergate for the American people.
It had been about the obscure meaning behind an attempt to break in to a rival party's headquarters; and the labyrinthine effort to cover-up that break-in and the related crimes.
And in one night, Nixon transformed it.
Watergate -- instantaneously -- became a simpler issue: a President overruling the inexorable march of the law… of insisting -- in a way that resonated viscerally with millions who had not previously understood - that he was the law.
Not the Constitution.
Not the Congress.
Not the Courts.
Just - Mr. Bush - as you did, yesterday.
The twists and turns of Plame-Gate, of your precise and intricate lies that sent us into this bottomless pit of Iraq; your lies upon the lies to discredit Joe Wilson; your lies upon the lies upon the lies to throw the sand at the "referee" of Prosecutor Fitzgerald's analogy… these are complex and often painful to follow, and too much, perhaps, for the average citizen.
But when other citizens render a verdict against your man, Mr. Bush -- and then you spit in the faces of those jurors and that judge and the judges who were yet to hear the appeal -- the average citizen understands that, Sir.
It's the fixed ballgame and the rigged casino and the pre-arranged lottery all rolled into one -- and it stinks.
And they know it.
Nixon's mistake, the last and most fatal of them, the firing of Archibald Cox, was enough to cost him the presidency.
And in the end, even Richard Nixon could say he could not put this nation through an impeachment.
It was far too late for it to matter then, but as the decades unfold, that single final gesture of non-partisanship, of acknowledged responsibility not to self, not to party, not to "base," but to country, echoes loudly into history.
Even Richard Nixon knew it was time to resign
Would that you could say that, Mr. Bush.
And that you could say it for Mr. Cheney.
You both crossed the Rubicon yesterday.
Which one of you chose the route, no longer matters.
Which is the ventriloquist, and which the dummy, is irrelevant.
But that you have twisted the machinery of government into nothing more than a tawdry machine of politics, is the only fact that remains relevant.
It is nearly July 4th, Mr. Bush, the commemoration of the moment we Americans decided that rather than live under a King who made up the laws, or erased them, or ignored them -- or commuted the sentences of those rightly convicted under them -- we would force our independence, and regain our sacred freedoms.
We of this time -- and our leaders in Congress, of both parties -- must now live up to those standards which echo through our history:
Pressure, negotiate, impeach -- get you, Mr. Bush, and Mr. Cheney, two men who are now perilous to our Democracy, away from its helm.
For you, Mr. Bush, and for Mr. Cheney, there is a lesser task.
You need merely achieve a very low threshold indeed.
Display just that iota of patriotism which Richard Nixon showed, on August 9th, 1974.
And give us someone -- anyone -- about whom all of us might yet be able to quote John Wayne, and say, "I didn't vote for him, but he's my president, and I hope he does a good job."
Good night, and good luck."
July 19, 2006
Mr. Bush has just vetoed the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act. By doing so, he dashed the hopes, and negatively affected the lives of at least 100 million Americans -- and their families. These Americans -- the well-known, and your neighbors, friends and family members -- are suffering from at least 70 diseases and afflictions, such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Multiple Sclerosis, cancer and diabetes.
Bush has, once again, pandered to a small minority, as have the spineless members of the House and Senate who couldn't stand up to him.
72% of Americans were in favor of this bill, as were a broad coalition of scientists, and simple majorities in both houses of Congress.
Bush's staged photo-op was with children who were the result of in-vitro fertilization -- oddly, another technological advance. After their parents are finished having kids, how likely is it that any will pay to keep their other existing fertilized eggs frozen? Or will they simply, quietly be disposed of by the clinics? Betcha Bush and his cronies won't find a photo-op there!
Such frozen balls of cells, instead, could well provide cures for many illnesses and afflictions -- without aborting fetuses.
I have MS. My disability affects me AND my wife, God bless her! I used to work 60+ hours a week. Now I'm confined to an electric wheelchair, and can't work. I don't want sympathy. I want our life back!
My aunt died horribly of Parkinson's, after caring for my other aunt who died of Alzheimers. My father and cousin died after their second bouts with cancers. They might be alive today if we had researched stem cells earlier.
*** Two weeks before Mr. Bush's action, lab rats regained use of their limbs within HOURS of being injected with embryonic stem cells. ***
Let's put this in perspective, though. Speaking from the other side of his mouth, Bush APPROVED the use of existing stem cell lines in 2001 -- but they were almost useless, since they were as corrupted as he is. And lest we forget, Bush isn't just killing and maiming people by vetoing this bill.
Every day, Bush is STILL responsible for thousands more deaths and maimings in Iraq, Afghanistan and other parts of the world. He hasn't brought to justice bin Laden - or anyone - for the horrific attack on America, over 5 years after 9/11/01. More American military personnel have now died in Bush's phony war than we lost on 9/11. Hurricane Katrina -- the death toll is still unknown. Helping the hundreds of thousands of victims of the Tsunamis and Darfur hasn't been high on his list of priorities. He sure is creating a lot of spare parts by his other actions! Save the stem cells, Dubya, so we can grow them into teens and adults -- then your policies will kill or maim them!
Even Bush's father was better at coalition building than Dubya. He would have seen 72% as a pretty damn good coalition!
By the way, did you ever wonder what the "W" stands for? I'm pretty sure it is "waste", "worthless" and "weasel". Then again, I think the best definition is, simply "wrong"!
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." ~Teddy Roosevelt
Five Years in the Twilight Zone -- We Shall Not Forget!
On the five-year anniversary of 9/11, Keith Olbermann gives another Murrow-esque soliloquy...
Full transcript courtesy of Bloggermann:
"Half a lifetime ago, I worked in this now-empty space. And for 40 days after the attacks, I worked here again, trying to make sense of what happened, and was yet to happen, as a reporter.
All the time, I knew that the very air I breathed contained the remains of thousands of people, including four of my friends, two in the planes and -- as I discovered from those "missing posters" seared still into my soul -- two more in the Towers.
And I knew too, that this was the pyre for hundreds of New York policemen and firemen, of whom my family can claim half a dozen or more, as our ancestors.
I belabor this to emphasize that, for me this was, and is, and always shall be, personal.
And anyone who claims that I and others like me are 'soft', or have 'forgotten' the lessons of what happened here is at best a grasping, opportunistic, dilettante and at worst, an idiot whether he is a commentator, or a Vice President, or a President.
However, of all the things those of us who were here five years ago could have forecast -- of all the nightmares that unfolded before our eyes, and the others that unfolded only in our minds -- none of us could have predicted this.
Five years later this space is still empty.
Five years later there is no memorial to the dead.
Five years later there is no building rising to show with proud defiance that we would not have our America wrung from us, by cowards and criminals.
Five years later this country's wound is still open.
Five years later this country's mass grave is still unmarked.
Five years later this is still just a background for a photo-op.
It is beyond shameful.
At the dedication of the Gettysburg Memorial -- barely four months after the last soldier staggered from another Pennsylvania field -- Mr. Lincoln said, "we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Lincoln used those words to immortalize their sacrifice.
Today our leaders could use those same words to rationalize their reprehensible inaction. "We cannot dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground." So we won't.
Instead they bicker and buck pass. They thwart private efforts, and jostle to claim credit for initiatives that go nowhere. They spend the money on irrelevant wars, and elaborate self-congratulations, and buying off columnists to write how good a job they're doing instead of doing any job at all.
Five years later, Mr. Bush, we are still fighting the terrorists on these streets. And look carefully, sir, on these 16 empty acres. The terrorists are clearly, still winning.
And, in a crime against every victim here and every patriotic sentiment you mouthed but did not enact, you have done nothing about it.
And there is something worse still than this vast gaping hole in this city, and in the fabric of our nation. There is its symbolism of the promise unfulfilled, the urgent oath, reduced to lazy execution.
The only positive on 9/11 and the days and weeks that so slowly and painfully followed it was the unanimous humanity, here, and throughout the country. The government, the President in particular, was given every possible measure of support.
Those who did not belong to his party -- tabled that.
Those who doubted the mechanics of his election -- ignored that.
Those who wondered of his qualifications -- forgot that.
History teaches us that nearly unanimous support of a government cannot be taken away from that government by its critics. It can only be squandered by those who use it not to heal a nation's wounds, but to take political advantage.
Terrorists did not come and steal our newly-regained sense of being American first, and political, fiftieth. Nor did the Democrats. Nor did the media. Nor did the people.
The President -- and those around him -- did that.
They promised bi-partisanship, and then showed that to them, "bi-partisanship" meant that their party would rule and the rest would have to follow, or be branded, with ever-escalating hysteria, as morally or intellectually confused, as appeasers, as those who, in the Vice President's words yesterday, "validate the strategy of the terrorists."
They promised protection, and then showed that to them "protection" meant going to war against a despot whose hand they had once shaken, a despot who we now learn from our own Senate Intelligence Committee, hated al-Qaida as much as we did.
The polite phrase for how so many of us were duped into supporting a war, on the false premise that it had 'something to do' with 9/11 is "lying by implication."
The impolite phrase is "impeachable offense."
Not once in now five years has this President ever offered to assume responsibility for the failures that led to this empty space, and to this, the current, curdled, version of our beloved country.
Still, there is a last snapping flame from a final candle of respect and fairness: even his most virulent critics have never suggested he alone bears the full brunt of the blame for 9/11.
Half the time, in fact, this President has been so gently treated, that he has seemed not even to be the man most responsible for anything in his own administration.
Yet what is happening this very night?
A mini-series, created, influenced -- possibly financed by -- the most radical and cold of domestic political Machiavellis, continues to be televised into our homes.
The documented truths of the last fifteen years are replaced by bald-faced lies; the talking points of the current regime parroted; the whole sorry story blurred, by spin, to make the party out of office seem vacillating and impotent, and the party in office, seem like the only option.
How dare you, Mr. President, after taking cynical advantage of the unanimity and love, and transmuting it into fraudulent war and needless death, after monstrously transforming it into fear and suspicion and turning that fear into the campaign slogan of three elections? How dare you -- or those around you -- ever "spin" 9/11?
Just as the terrorists have succeeded -- are still succeeding -- as long as there is no memorial and no construction here at Ground Zero.
So, too, have they succeeded, and are still succeeding as long as this government uses 9/11 as a wedge to pit Americans against Americans.
This is an odd point to cite a television program, especially one from March of 1960. But as Disney's continuing sell-out of the truth (and this country) suggests, even television programs can be powerful things.
And long ago, a series called "The Twilight Zone" broadcast a riveting episode entitled 'The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street.'
In brief: a meteor sparks rumors of an invasion by extra-terrestrials disguised as humans. The electricity goes out. A neighbor pleads for calm. Suddenly his car -- and only his car -- starts. Someone suggests he must be the alien. Then another man's lights go on. As charges and suspicion and panic overtake the street, guns are inevitably produced. An 'alien' is shot -- but he turns out to be just another neighbor, returning from going for help. The camera pulls back to a near-by hill, where two extra-terrestrials are seen manipulating a small device that can jam electricity. The veteran tells his novice that there's no need to actually attack, that you just turn off a few of the human machines and then, 'they pick the most dangerous enemy they can find, and it's themselves.'
And then, in perhaps his finest piece of writing, Rod Serling sums it up with words of remarkable prescience, given where we find ourselves tonight: "The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, to be found only in the minds of men.
'For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all its own -- for the children, and the children yet unborn.'
When those who dissent are told time and time again -- as we will be, if not tonight by the President, then tomorrow by his portable public chorus -- that he is preserving our freedom, but that if we use any of it, we are somehow un-American...When we are scolded, that if we merely question, we have 'forgotten the lessons of 9/11'... look into this empty space behind me and the bi-partisanship upon which this administration also did not build, and tell me:
Who has left this hole in the ground?
We have not forgotten, Mr. President.
May this country forgive you."
If you didn't vote, and you didn't get everyone you know to vote on 11/7/06, then you weren't paying attention, or you don't care.
If you didn't vote, and you didn't get everyone you know to vote on 11/7/06, then you are part of the problem, not the solution
--- and that is irresponsible and un-American.************************************************
- 65 Years after the attack on Pearl Harbor
- Five years after the 9/11 attacks on America,
every level of goverment has misplaced their priorities:
Identifiable body parts of victims have recently been discovered in lower Manhattan sewers. Approximately 40% of victims' families have no remains from their loved ones.
Funding has finally been set aside to clean "9/11 dust" from apartments in lower Manhattan.
Osama bin Laden, or whomever was responsible for the attacks of 9/11/01, has not been brought to justice.
The USA has attacked, and been in a losing war with, Iraq since 2003. In the only discernible link between the 9/11/01 attacks and Mr. Bush's war, the USA has now suffered more military deaths in that initiative than were innocent souls killed in the 9/11/01 attacks on America.
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
**************************************************************"Going to church doesn't make you a Christian, any more than going to a garage makes you a mechanic."
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