Let it be borne on the flag under which we rally in every exigency, that we have one country, one constitution, one destiny. -- Daniel Webster

Friday, June 27, 2008

Senator Feingold Statement on FISA Delay

You may click on the title above or the link below to see the statement of the Honorable Senator from Wisconsin, Russ Feingold, on the successful effort to delay a Senate vote on the proposed new FISA bill.

Numerous Democrats in the House reversed their earlier opposition to telecom immunity and supported a bill championed by the Bush White House.

The efforts of Sen. Feingold have paid off in at least a temporary victory. We, the people, must use this time to respectfully work to persuade our Senators to vote against this heinous bill.

For further information on this bill, see elsewhere on this web log.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

"Revolution" Song and Video

Watch this video for an informative and entertaining look at a growing movement within the United States*. There are currently reportedly some eighty groups organized around the general premise that Sen. Hillary Clinton was treated poorly and unjustly in the primaries, and thus her main opponent, Barack Obama, does not deserve support in November.

Although I am still gathering information about this movement, I do have my own views on the situation. John McCain, with his strong (though hidden) authoritarian propensities, would try to continue and expand the "security state" in the U.S., keep us mired in Iraq, and make sure his administration did nothing to seriously challenge corporate control of the government and our society. The only answer is to demand an open convention in Denver in August. By opening the convention, it would also challenge the corporate and media control of this near-farcical nomination process in 2008.

As I say, much more can be said. Come back here soon for further news and views.
*Note: video contains one instance of mildly-offensive language.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sen. Bernie Sanders Speaks Passionately

The Honorable Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont, has just finished speaking passionately about the illegalities of the Bush administration. He also spoke about the importance of protecting America from terrorism, yes, but within the law.

What can also be said is that if America ceases to be a nation of laws and not of men, then the terrorists have truly won, because the United States as we have known her and loved her will cease to be.

The Alleged Senator Saxby Chambliss Speaks

The illegitimate Senator from George, Mr. Saxby Chambliss spoke after Sen. Feinstein. Because of the vicious campaign in Georgia in 2002, I did not watch Sen. Chambliss.

Sen. Feinstein on FISA bill

A short time ago, Sen Dianne Feinstein of California spoke in favor of the new FISA bill. She pointed to several improvements in the new FISA bill compared with the 1978 law. She also says the new bill claims "exclusivity": that only this bill authorizes any wire-tapping. She claims this will stop any future President from trying to do what G. W. Bush has done.

Blogging the FISA Debate

This afternoon, it is my privilege and pleasure to blog the Senate debate on the new FISA bill. Watch here for the first post shortly.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Former White House Officials Accused of Committing Crimes

In the video below you will see an interview with reporter and author Greg Palast by Amy Goodman of the Democracy Now program. The subject is participation in a program of illegal voter suppression by two members of the White House staff, Tim Griffin and Karl Rove.

I was one of the first people in America to raise the alarm about the 2004 election hijinks of Republican operatives. Through e-mails and phone calls I tried to spread the word that all was not as it seemed. My concern was based on my own research amounting to about forty-five hours. Similar concerns prompted a rare contest of the election in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The major media of the U.S., of course, have mostly ignored this issue. What does this say about their respect or lack of for the average voter?

It should be obvious that major reform is needed. We need free air time for qualified candidates for office. We need to return the airwaves to the people. And we must bring all the miscreants of this errant administration to the bar of justice to answer their accusers.

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Swirl of Events

Events in the U.S. and beyond have been in a swirl of late. Over the last several days, besides being busy with work, I have been reading and trying to sort through the latest news. There is much to write about. Instead of focusing on one thing in depth I will mention a few items I am working on.

But first, regarding media criticism: We have been "treated" these last few days to a level of coverage over the death of one of the media's own which rivals the coverage given to the death of Ronald Reagan. While Tim Russert was undoubtedly a commendable person in many ways, with a fairly keen mind, it does seem that had he not been a member of the media but had remained a Congressional aide he would not have warranted such a quantity of air time. Nevertheless, with all due respect, God rest his soul.

My research in Armed Madhouse by Greg Palast indicates almost no one is telling the truth about the oil and gas situation. And unfortunately I do not have the time to go into it all here, but must refer persons to the book. However, Palast makes clear that the purpose of the oil companies has been to keep Americans away from Iraq's oil. (Again, the details can be found in the book.) Thus, although much more oil could be put on the market, it will not as long as someone like G. W. Bush, John McCain, or (sad to say) Barack Obama is in power. (Of course one can hope that a President Obama would have a change of heart. But his comments now are not indicating anything other than an acceptance of high gas prices for a long time to come!) This unconscionable situation is also unnecessary. In the long run any politician who accepts it is asking for political trouble.

This leads to a discussion of Sen. Hillary Clinton. I am going to make some brief comments here and plan to follow up soon. Although the attempt is being made to quash the feelings of people, there is considerable anger among Hillary Clinton's supporters. This is made evident by the web site by some rather desperate individuals who have put up a web site of Hillary supporters for McCain (not the way to go!). The last anyone heard, Sen. Clinton was claiming to have bested Sen. Obama in the popular vote. In fact, she was claiming to have received more votes than any Presidential candidate in history. If this is the case, why, then, is she not the expected nominee? We have a situation in which -- as feared -- the superdelegates are making a decision which runs counter to the will of the people. Down the line this spells trouble. As my research continues I hope to say more about this matter.


The Musical Patriot

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Articles of Impeachment Against G. W. Bush Introduced

In a speech on the House floor, the Hon. Dennis Kucinich introduced thirty-five articles of impeachment against George W. Bush. The long-overdue action sends impeachment of Bush to the House Judiciary Committee which already has received proposed articles of impeachment against Richard Cheney.

The link below will take you to a YouTube video of the first part of Rep. Kucinich's speech. (As with any such link I cannot vouch for all material on the page.)

A huge debt of gratitude is owed Dennis Kucinich and Robert Wexler for working so hard to achieve the Constitutional remedy for an executive out of control. Every patriotic American should get behind this impeachment drive just as we did in the case of Richard Nixon. The fate of our country may very well depend on it.


Sunday, June 08, 2008

Beginning to Tell the Truth About John McCain

In the face of a media white-wash of John McCain, tonight I begin presenting the truth about this authoritarian Presidential candidate. The following is taken from a web site called MyDD or My Direct Democracy. In coming months I will present information about John McCain so prudent voters may have the best possible information about this conflicted and confusing candidate.

In a recent tour across America, [w]hile ostensibly reaching out to people in "forgotten places," McCain was also trying to solidify the Republican base. His speech on Supreme Court judges, in particular, was a dangerous bit of pandering. Many on the left and in the media missed the significance of that speech and the cases McCain referenced, but Jeffrey Toobin of the New Yorker caught it:

The giveaway here was that McCain did not reveal the subject matter of this supposed judicial outrage. The case was Roper v. Simmons, in which a seventeen-year-old boy murdered a woman after breaking into her home, and was sentenced to death. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy's opinion overturned the sentence and held that the Constitution forbids the death penalty for juvenile offenders. McCain's reference to the Court's "discourse" on the law of "other nations" refers to Kennedy's observation of the "stark reality that the United States is the only country in the world that continues to give official sanction to the juvenile death penalty." Likewise, Kennedy noted that the only other countries to execute juvenile offenders since 1990 have been China, Congo, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. According to McCain, the United States apparently belongs on this dismal list.

Nor were his references to penumbras and emanations accidental. Those words come from Justice William O. Douglas's 1965 opinion for the Court in Griswold v. Connecticut, in which the Justices recognized for the first time a constitutional right to privacy, and ruled that a state could not deny married couples access to birth control. The "meaning of life" was a specific reference, too. It comes from the Court's 1992 opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which reaffirmed the central holding of Roe v. Wade, and forbade the states from banning abortion. In short, this one passage in McCain's speech amounted to a dog whistle for the right--an implicit promise that he will appoint Justices who will eliminate the right to privacy, permit states to ban abortion, and allow the execution of teen-agers.

Bill Moyers' Powerful Address on June 7

Below, you can watch a powerful speech which Bill Moyers gave yesterday at the Media Reform Conference of Free Press. This address, part sermon, part political speech, part call to action is a ringing endorsement of democracy and a strong denunciation of the greed-mongers of today's corporate media world.

It gives evidence for what I and a few others have been saying for years: without reform of the media, there will be no political reform. May we heed Bill Moyers' call to involvement. May we all work for the kind of press and media we need to secure a more just and more prosperous United States of America.

Friday, June 06, 2008

This Is Not America

This is not America -- and we know it. In America, the President does not order spying on every-day Americans. In America, we don't lock people up and throw away the key. In America, we don't invade and occupy countries for no reason, then sign secret deals to remain forever. In America, the White House doesn't arrange for PR firms to carry the water for the Administration, selling programs hurtful to the citizens. In America, the government doesn't operate in secret refusing to let the people who pay their salaries understand and know what it is doing.

Yet, this is what our government is doing today -- in our name. We now have a candidate McCain who says he would also spy on average Americans. This is what we are reaping by failing to impeach R. Cheney and G. W. Bush.

Related to all this: in Minnesota this week-end persons concerned about the state of the media in America are meeting to learn and plan for a media -- if not owned by -- then more responsive to the people. Citizens are seeing that unless we have a media which is not driven by a narrow profit motive, we cannot have a democratic, and open government.

Let America be America! Let a free and responsible and informed citizenry run this country and this government!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Just the Facts, Ma'am

On a day of swirling rumors and reports of Hillary Clinton's supposed imminent withdrawal from the Democratic race for President, I thought it would be a good idea to begin presenting a few facts. I will preface this by saying there are many reasons why Hillary Clinton should stay in the race:

1. An argument can be made that Hillary Clinton has won the popular vote so far.

2. A recent Gallup study shows Sen. Clinton has done better in the so-called swing states.

3. A delegate dispute has not been resolved.

4. Any so-called superdelegate is completely free to change his or her mind right up to the convention vote.

5. There is much to be said for a meaningful convention, one in which the issues of the day are discussed before the best candidate is selected.

Below is a link to the Gallup study. (If full URL is not visible, trying minimizing your text size.)

My research is beginning to uncover allegations of nefarious back-room dealings in past days. Unfortunately, I have not been able to confirm or disprove these allegations. But the rush to force Sen. Clinton, former First Lady, from the race even before all votes have been counted, is highly inappropriate, undemocratic, and unsportsmanlike!


Sunday, June 01, 2008

Fears About Obama Candidacy Grow

As Hillary Clinton wins yet another primary, that held today in Puerto Rico, concerns about the Obama candidacy have continued to grow. For reasons which have been given elsewhere, Sen. Obama has failed to inspire confidence among a large segment of working Americans. I believe Senator Obama cares a great deal about the American worker. However, he is smart enough to know that an out-and-out campaign on their behalf does not elicit the support of national and international elites. It may be mentioned here, parenthetically, that Sen. Obama has been quoted as saying there needs to be a new relationship with Britain in which at least sometimes Britain would take the lead and America would follow. I have not had the opportunity to review this comment or its context. However, such a comment, if true, would seem to point up Sen. Obama's relative inexperience, and in this case, his rather dire lack of historical perspective. It was Britain, after all, which the young colonies fought against not once but formally again in 1812, and less formally in the Civil War. And it is a fact that the financial arm of the British Empire still exists today. Its motives remain as evil as they were in the days of British world domination.

So with this backdrop the press has had another field day with another minister associated with Barack Obama. And here the unfairness of the press is nearly nauseating. We have the spectacle of the American media virtually forcing a major Presidential candidate to give up his church membership. Surely, this is unprecedented in American history. The injustice of the American press in this campaign is a fit subject for another post.

For now, it should be clear to a fair-minded person that the Clinton candidacy is far from finished. And those in the press who continue to declare her dead in the water, in spite of continuing wins and in spite of a huge number of delegates pledged to her, delegates from two major states -- Michigan and Florida -- still to be decided, plus the inability of Obama to actually "clinch" the nomination: all this adds up to a viable Clinton candidacy.

It is to our regret and shame as a nation that the press and media, far from being disinterested reporters, are part of the process. How else to describe the situation in which the host of Meet the Press fairly orders Sen. Clinton out of the race?

I respect and like Sen. Obama very much. My comments reflect the concerns others are expressing about who will be the strongest and most experienced Democratic opponent to John McBush, otherwise known as Sen. McCain.

There is so much more to be said about all this. But that is what the future is for. Please return here for more news and views in coming days.

More on the Democratic Party situation:

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Bill Clinton Warns on Rising Nationalism

Rush Link -- Bill Clinton on Rise of Nationalism