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

Monday, November 29, 2010

Democrats Won in 2010 (Just Not the Election)

...Democrats didn't lose the most important battle of 2010. They won it.

So says William Saletan in this important article on the accomplishments of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. While I do agree that the Democrats chose not to focus on job creation and that this was a major tragedy, their accomplishments were nevertheless important. That is the main point Saletan makes: that the Democratic loss is being blamed on non-existent causes.

Much can be said on this subject. I think Saletan's main point that the critics who say the Democrats lost because of their support for health care are themselves in error, is correct. Still, I wish he had talked more about the poor economy itself. Two thousand nine was truly an opportunity lost what with Time magazine declaring we were all socialists now. The stimulus bill was not large enough, job protection measures were not strong enough. These were two major short-comings of the Congress now quickly passing into history.

But Saletan's article makes interesting reading.

An Anniversary for the Ages

Less than two weeks from now we will mark the tenth anniversary of a tragedy important in American history. Ten years ago next month, the Supreme Court decided in the infamous case Bush v. Gore, that a man from a certain preferred political party should be maneuvered into the White House. The learned article at the site listed below uses the "shoe on the other foot" analogy to illustrate the true motives of what I called at the time the Fascist Five. These traitorous Five -- Rehnquist, O'Connor, Kennedy, Scalia, and Thomas -- used specious reasoning to come to a conclusion roundly condemned by law schools around the country. In fact the decision at the time was referred to as the Kennedy assassination of the legal world, it was so shocking. The reputation of the Supreme Court has never recovered from this ruling.

When one looks back on all that happened in the G. W. Bush years -- the neglect (willful?) which led to the attacks of September 11, '01, the gigantic budget deficits, two wars, recession, housing and financial collapses -- the importance of Bush v. Gore comes into clear view. It is important to remember great injustices and the Bush v. Gore decision certainly qualifies. Over the next two weeks I plan to have more to say about this matter so consequential for American politics.


Friday, November 26, 2010

TSA Backs Down at Least for a Day

According to We Won't Fly, the Transportation Security Administration took special pains to make the traveling public comfortable on Thanksgiving Day. The details are at the link below. The web page also contains useful links to other sites with further information.


Buy Nothing Today

Opponents of the consumerist and commercialized world are scouring their cupboards today for the best hot drinks to have in hand while curling up at home in a favorite chair far away from the madding crowd of the mall, the shopping center, and even the old-fashioned mercantile in that quaint country town. For today is "Buy Nothing Day," named to encourage thoughtfulness about Thanksgiving and deprive rather greedy merchants from exploiting the holidays.

It's a day with a good purpose and one I support, though it can be hard to know what to do for food if one is out, or medicine if some is needed. Nevertheless, I applaud efforts of the deep thinkers among us who see the evil in unfettered, rapacious corporations who seem willing to stop at nothing in order to earn a buck. So, "nothing" has different meanings. Today, let it stand for no purchases which continue a meaningless rush to acquire things, either commercial goods or an excess of money.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Poll: Majority of Americans Oppose New Airport Security Techniques

A new Zogby poll finds that a majority of respondents oppose the new invasive -- and some say obscene -- security measures recently adopted by the Transportation Security Administration. It seems there has been a turn-around in public opinion on the issue, at least if the Zogby poll is accurate.

(See yesterday's posts on this topic for further information and resources.)


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

College Student Protests TSA

This amateur video shows a novel way of protesting the security protocols of the Transportation Security Administration.

Transportation Authority Comes Under Severe Attack

The Transportation Security Administration has come under severe attack for onerous -- and some say, obscene -- security procedures in the process of putting new full-body scanners into use. The web site linked here tells more.
The very fact that such machines and their accompanying procedures could be implemented is an indication this government no longer represents the American way. Benjamin Franklin was surely right when he said that those who would give up their freedom for a little security deserve neither security nor freedom.

The "We Won't Fly" web site does a very good job of presenting the facts surrounding this issue. It is time to tell the TSA that their new procedures won't fly.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

On the Hunt

I'm on the hunt for much better explanations for the Democrats' loss of their House majority than those I have seen so far. In a way, the best explanation is the easiest one: the voters were in a sour mood. That certainly is true -- voters were indeed incensed and worried about an economy that never recovered after the shock of the housing crisis in 2007.

But why would voters turn to the Republicans, a group who wasted millions of taxpayer dollars on a fruitless effort to impeach Bill Clinton, and who gave new meaning to corruption in Congress (with corporations literally doing bill write-ups behind closed doors)? Again the pat answer is not untrue -- voters had no other choice.

Thus the answer lies in the process. We have a political culture in which voters expect the people they vote for to actually help the country. It is time for this naive and simplistic notion to go. Much more time and effort must be put in building a political infrastructure which can meet the new challenge of what amounts to a shadow political party: the Corporate Party.

Oh, what the Supreme Court has wrought in its terribly misguided (some may say devious) Citizens United decision! What we have is politicking beyond scrutiny, a horrible thing for a democracy. Indeed, a true democracy is impossible with so much money changing hands beyond the examination of the people.

But an aroused citizenry can counter such secrecy. Indeed, secrecy has no defense against an active populace. In due time, the truth will come to light.

In the meantime, the backroom dealing of Campaign 2010 will stand as a stark and dark reminder to future generations of the depths to which modern campaigning can fall when voters are overwhelmed with tainted millions from unknown sources. The Rovian Black Knights of electoral politics will stand as the Simon Legrees of our time, as the -- dare I say? -- evil jesters, sneering at the general good, while pleasing their wealthy masters.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Jim Wallis Opines on What is Wrong With Washington

The article referenced here gives a good summation on what ails Washington and national politics. It is well worth reading in light of last week's election.


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Sen. Mike Gravel Works to Place New 9/11/01 Investigation Requests on Ballots

You may click on this post title above or use the link below to see a video report of efforts by former Senator Mike Gravel to enlist the public in attempts to create a new citizens commission of inquiry regarding the 9/11/01 tragedy. Seeing such an effort nearly ten years after the event shows the importance of questions which continue to be raised. The report tells more.


Monday, November 08, 2010

Web Site Offers Educational Approach

For a web site which offers a useful educational approach I recommend the site of The Patriots, led by Dr. Bob Bowman, U.S. military retired. The group's approach is non-partisan and crosses ideological lines in an interesting and logical way. The web site may be accessed at this address: < http://www.thepatriots.us/ >.

What You Haven't Heard from the Pundits

The following is from a group called The Pen. I find the views here to be quite interesting. One may decide for oneself whether the motives and purposes attributed to the Democratic Party and to President Obama are correct. And the tone is quite casual and intimate, like many e-mails written to friends. But there is much here that agrees with my research over the years. I tend not to agree that a third party is workable at this time,as the group seems to favor and promote. Rather, I do feel that there must be much better education of the voting public. And mostly, I believe the media simply must change its shallow ways if our democracy is to survive. What went on in 2010 was ridiculous and beyond belief for a media in a democratic republic.

The excerpt from the Pen published here is heart-felt, though a bit over-wrought at times. But what it lacks in savoir faire it makes up in sincerity and justified anger.

Here is a major portion of the e-mail I recently received from The Pen. (The e-mail has been slightly edited for purposes of this blog.


Of all the commentary we have heard in the aftermath of this week's
election debacle, we have heard not one pundit yet who actually has a
clue about what is really going on. So you will have to hear it from
us. Of course, if you have been on our list any length of time you
already have, but maybe you did not believe us the first time.

We must respectfully remind you that we told you that all this is
exactly what would happen unless we took stronger action to demand a
REAL health care reform bill in particular, instead of that groaning
load of [corporate-dictated]...rubbish we ended up with....

It was March of earlier this year and the title of our alert was "The
Democratic Party's Plan To Throw The Next Couple Elections". Look it
up; the text was published on OpEdNews.com and is still there.

< http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Democratic-Party-s-Pla-by-thepen-100307-583.html >

...please take particular note we sa[y]
"The Next Couple Elections" plural. Because this is just round one of the dynamic we foretold.

As we predicted then, in round two the Republicans will use their
electoral gains to push to repeal the almost universally despised
health care bill -- despised by the right because it does anything even
cosmetically good, and despised by the left because it was
fundamentally just a total sell-out.

If the Republicans fall short on repeal this time, they will campaign
in 2012 on the platform that they need to take over the Senate and
the White House so that the bill can be repealed, and they will win
in another landslide of historic proportions.

Alternatively, if the Democrats set a new Guiness world record in the
publicly-perceived-as-wet-noodles department, they will all lose
their seats anyway so the result will be the same.

Either way, the Democratic Party as a viable political power force is
finished for at least the next election cycle. Stick a fork in it,
it's done. We see no scenario of possible recovery from this. It's
over. The only reason they did not lose...the Senate in round one
is because only a third of the seats were in play. The rest they
will lose the next time for sure.

We are skeptical that primary challenges are even a productive option
anymore. The Democratic party has so totally betrayed the people who
voted for them, who had faith in them, who believed in them, we must
confront the real possibility that nobody will believe a word coming
out of the mouth of anyone running as a Democrat ever again.

And the thing that really aggravates us the most about all this are
people still whining that the Democrats need to get a spine.
Democrats have plenty of spine when they are arresting people calling
for single-payer and dragging them out of hearing rooms. They have
plenty of spine when they are refusing to allow a vote on even the
most feeble of public options. They have plenty of spine when they
are calling us bleepity-bleep retards.

Rather, Democrats tolerate being perceived as cowards. Because if
people thought for one nanosecond that they were not cowards, then
people would have to confront the stark truth that the Democrats are
in on it.

They are in on the corporate corruption. They are nothing but
enablers, all of them, from top to bottom, front to back, especially
the so-called progressives, without exception. They are willingly and
knowingly playing the role of Judy in this Punch and Judy show, and
nothing is going to change about that for them, for ever and ever,
end of story, period.

We told you after the final health care vote what needed to be done
about it. We told you that we needed to build a massive Independent
Voters movement, with greater numbers than either the Democratic or
Republican parties. We asked you to go to a Facebook page we created
for this purpose and just become a fan...

Something shy of 7,000 of you did then. Obviously it was not enough....
Talk among yourselves. When we see 100,000 over there we will know there
is some chance for real change. Until then, we are fooling nobody but

And we close with an exact quote from an even earlier alert, from
September of 2009, which..you can still read in its entirety
on OpEdNews.com, where we warned you that the whole health care
reform debate was a total fraud and that no "public option" of any
kind would survive in the final bill.


Here is the quote from the conclusion of the alert documented on the
page above.

"And that is Obama's real plan, the one he won't talk about in a public speech, to let the weakest possible 'public option' hang
around for a little while as an illusory sop for the terminally
gullible, only to bleed it to death before it can actually go into
effect. Yes, this is Obama's new 'improved' leech therapy."

Lord, the hate mail we got about that one. People yelling at us
telling us we were full of it. Calling us racists. Read the words
again. And now ask yourself in all candor, "Ain't it the truth?"

Please take action now, so we can win all victories that are supposed
to be ours, and forward this alert as widely as possible.


Comments on this post are welcome.

Friday, November 05, 2010

The Need for Action -- and Organization

On the road --

After the drubbing of Democrats in the House of Representatives elections this week, Americans need a true organization of the willing -- an organizing effort worthy of the best in our country. To say that progressive causes took a beating is to say the obvious. What is not so obvious is what to do.

The first thing is to see what is possible. Then one must see what one can do. Third, is to decide to take action. Each of these steps must be taken in order before anything can be accomplished.

So it is a time for reflection. Then it is time for patriots to band together to stop any further strengthening of regressive forces in America, as represented by Karl Rove, Sarah Palin, crackpots among the "tea party" movement and their ilk. It is a mistake to say "it can't happen here." It could and it already has to some extent.

I have spoken of the media earlier. One fairly easy action is to boycott underwriters and advertisers of various media concerns. Sitting back and hoping solutions will drop out of the sky is not enough!

So, let us be about the business of democracy.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Election 2010: The Facts Few People Are Talking About

Much like the media coverage leading up to this year's election, post election coverage has tended strongly to the shallow. The overall lack of depth, relevance, and coherence is shocking in a major democracy. Many examples can be given. Here for the moment are a few points.

1. What was the national voter turn-out figure? Was it over 50% of registered voters, to say nothing of elegible voters? If it was not over 50% how can pundits and politicians claim that "the American people" have spoken? Clearly, if fewer than 50% of eligible voters actually voted, no matter who "won" the election, it is still a minority vote.

2. What are the final dollar figures spent on all Congressional campaigns combined? How does this figure compare with past elections? What portion of the dollar amount can be attributed to anonymous donors? How does this compare with past elections? (This question tries to get at the effect of the Citizens United decision as well as erroneous FEC decisions.)

3. At what cost to our country was this highly negative campaign carried out?

4. Why is the "tea party" movement treated with undue deference and attention? Why was there no similar coverage of the One Nation march on Washington on October 2, a rally which attracted thousands of people from all walks of life?

5. Why are so few pointing out the voters in 2010 skewed older than the average age?

In short, the "facts" being reported are often emotionally-charged judgement calls, made to conform to preconceived notions as determined by the media echo chamber.

Finally, I call for a Senate investigation of the conduct of NPR which, with some exceptions, has participated in the prejudicial media narrative of a presumed Republican win (well before it actually happened) followed by momentous-sounding hubris far-overstating the facts. Some of the early commentary about divisions in the Republican coalition hint that the Cinderella story-line of a Republican "resurgence" is inaccurate at best.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Will They Never Cease?

As astute followers of the news already know, the "tea party" movement has received major funding from big-money donors who would rather remain anonymous. (See earlier posts here for more on this subject.) Further, assiduous researchers have shown that there are direct lines from the effort to topple FDR through the John Birch Society types on through the "Reagan revolution" followers down to the Clinton impeachers and now the tea partiers of the early 21st Century. (Time precludes me from developing this line of history now, but experienced Internet users can search for Smedley Butler or "the plot against FDR" for some very interesting and revealing historical facts.)

Today comes word of some habituated racist activities long practiced in the South now being taken up by self-identified tea party "drinkers" according to Alternet today. While not surprised at this news, I remain quite horrified that such tactics are still being used in 2010. Follow the link below to the Alternet story.

In coming days I plan to say more about the mid-term voting in America this November. As usual, I plan to approach things from a unique perspective, and to offer sources of informaton both reliable and intriguing. Truth seekers are thus most welcome to return here for up-dates.

N.B. Unlike say, the John Birch Society, the tea party movement, at least in the beginning, attracted a certain number of persons who had fairly thoughtful critiques of the early Obama administration, even those identifying themselves as Democrats or liberals. (One early study showed 3 % of those attached to the movement calling themselves Democrats or left-leaning. I will try to find the source of this study soon.) Within months if not weeks, however, strident forces, and also wealthy donors, began to dominate the "tea scene", as we might call it.


Monday, November 01, 2010

No Predictions, Just Hope

Predictions in politics can be hazardous. I very well remember in the lead-up to the 2000 election when pundits predicted a close election, yet Al Gore won the popular vote comfortably (even though he was kept out of the White House by a traitorous and partisan Supreme Court majority).

The link below gives a good overview of Democratic hopes for retaining control of Congress, no matter what the pundits may be saying.


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Bill Clinton Warns on Rising Nationalism

Rush Link -- Bill Clinton on Rise of Nationalism