Monday, August 11, 2008

Those 'UNpatriotic leftists'

“no matter what happens the left will say America is worse”

That's what I read on

To me, there are always at least two sides to the story…and America does not always do that which is right. For instance, do you know of the American general back in the Huk insurrection back after we occupied the Philippines following the Spanish-American war? This general issued an order: “Kill every Filipino male over ten years old.”

Rah, rah, rah America!

DISSENT is ALSO patriotic. If the Neo-Cons want to stop Americans from pointing out America’s flaws, then here’s how to do it:

“Naturally the common people don’t want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, IT IS THE LEADERS of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is TELL THEM THEY ARE BEING ATTACKED, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. IT WORKS THE SAME IN ANY COUNTRY.”

The above was said Field Marshal Hermann Goering, at the Nuremberg trials...and, sadly, he was right.

Are African-Americans racist for supporting Obama?

The emotions of the blacks who support Obama because of his race is really NO different from the emotions of the WOMEN who wanted to vote for Hillary. Are all those women sexist, then? By your definition, they would be.

When one has been downtrodden and degraded and given less opportunity for most of his life because of his color or gender…or his religion, his family background, what part of the country he lived in, his hair color, his accent, his disability, WHATEVER IT MAY BE that makes him different from the majority, it becomes VERY difficult not to root for, support, and vote for someone like oneself.

Why did the evangelicals support the Republican candidates so strongly until recently? “He’s one of us!”
Women supported Hillary - “She’s one of us!”
Arkansas supported Bill Clinton - “He’s one of us!”
Catholics supported Kennedy - “He’s one of us!”
Austrians supported Arnold Scwarznegger - “He’s one of us!”

And it’s not just in politics -

Louisianans rooting for Green Bay - “Brett Favre’s one of us!”
Americans rooting for the Chinese Olympic basketball team against any other country but the U.S. - “Yao Ming’s one of us!”

You get my point. You may not publicly agree with me,but you DO get my point.

We are in a REPRESENTATIVE democracy, ,kctim, where ONE VOTES FOR WHOMEVER ONE FEELS WILL BEST REPRESENT ONESELF - and the desire for that representation often goes beyond frankly simplistic political beliefs.

Truly, who represents blacks in America better - McCain? Or Obama?

Finally back

Thanks to all my (thus far nonexistant) readers out there for their patience. Took some time off from maintaining this blog, and it's time I got back to work.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Time was,, only communists and dictators jailed people without charges or evidence.

But that was only for America before seven years ago. The Bush administration jailed Huzaifa Parhat, a Chinese Muslim known as a Uighur, back in 2001.

Why was he jailed? Because he was part of a Chinese separatist group that had links to Al Qaeda. He NEVER took up arms against America, and there's NO evidence he ever intended to...but the simple fact that he was part of a group that 'had links' to Al Qaeda was enough for the Bush administration to jail him without charges and without evidence...apparently for life.

I guess Bush didn't know that the reason China maintains the world's largest army is NOT because they want to take over other countries, but because they need to keep their OWN population under control. I guess Bush didn't know that Tibet is NOT the only province in China where the ethnic natives are agitating for autonomy. I guess Bush didn't know that one of the reasons we fought the Cold War was that we didn't believe in imprisoning people for years on suspicion alone.

This matter has brought shame upon America...and it is by any democratic definition a crime. Kudos to the U.S. District Court of Appeals that had the courage to stand up for the Constitution, and for a certain phrase in the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that ALL men are created equal...."

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A perspective on Guantanomo from WWII

From 'bliffle' on

The burdens of idealism are heavy indeed. But that is what we have embraced in our Constitution, Declaration Of Independence, Bill Of Rights and other re-affirmations.

In fact, we have asserted that international treaties that we sign are as binding as our own laws, not merely suggestions that we may or may not observe.

Thus, if we look back to, say, 1944 when we had some 200,000 German POWs incarcerated (in New Mexico and Arizona, primarily) we felt ourselves bound by Geneva Conventions and rules of war to treat those soldiers to the same living condition as our own soldiers and officers.

Gasp! This was a big sacrifice because USA citizens were undergoing severe rationing to make sure that our Army and Navy lads had the best food and the best support circumstances we could possibly afford. Now we were required to provide those same conditions to The Hated Enemy!

We citizens were undergoing meatless days, milkless meals, etc., while German POWs were eating high on the hog! It was so good for the POWs that only one ever tried to escape (he was easily apprehended wandering around in Alberquerque). There were plenty of well-organized protests by angry USA citizens, too.

We even had to provide movies and other entertainment facilities so that they might not even notice they were prisoners. As well as military-quality medical facilities (much better than civilian facilities in those days).

But we saw our duty and we did it.

Are we less men than the Americans of 64 years ago?

The "Worst Decision in History"?

John McCain said Friday that the Supreme Court ruling on Guantanamo Bay detainees is “one of the worst decisions in the history of this country.” Was it?

During the Cold War, we helped the world stand fast against the rise of a country that used
torture, arrested even its own citizens and imprisoned them for years without trial or even evidence, and held its highest government officials to be above the law.

That was for most of my military career. Now it's MY government, my AMERICA that does the same.

Read Bush's Executive Order 51, wherein he allows himself to take on dictatorial powers in the case of a national emergency. And then remember Bush's quote: "If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator."

It seems that it's now a crime against patriotism to think of any non-U.S. citizen as being deserving of justice in the sight of God. My heart aches for what my country is on the verge of becoming.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

That's "ALL MEN" - not 'all citizens'.

Can the Founding Fathers have been so wrong?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Judgment of Peers

A reply to Rudyard Kipling’s “White Man’s Burden”)

Angry, defiant, he answered the summons
Of great empires of antiquity;
Naught of this world was beyond his grasp
Save this verdict of history.

“You know the Burden you laid at my feet,
‘Twas never for white men alone,
But that futility borne by great empires of old
‘Make the tired, the poor as our own!’
And I stand before you triumphant!” he cried,
“O’er a century of woe and weal;
So proffer your arguments dire and prepare
To hear the strength of my appeal!”

In gilded seats of judgment sat
The peerage of empires past;
Sweet glory they’d known, and power unchallenged,
And illusion that such could last.

Many looked on from every land
Where the feet of men still tread
But three there were in positions of honor
Whose colors were gold and red
Hard and fierce, their miens reflected
The aspects their thrones had willed
Gold dragon, gold eagle, gold lions a-prowl
Crimson fields of blood they’d spilled.

The Dragon was eldest, was first to speak,
Of the temporal certainty,
“That you may learn the surest of all
The lessons of sovereignty.

“Such power you have, like none before,
But secular, not divine.
Millennia passed before I learned
The Middle Kingdom was not mine.
Kings I summoned, my Peacock Throne
Saw emperors kowtow to me.
But my wisdom provided no surety ‘gainst
The poisoned sweetness of vanity.

“I saw the danger of enemies without;
A great wall I built to defend.
The wall did not fail, but was easily breached
By corruption that festered within.

Your trust in power, in weapons of war
May give you a semblance of peace,
But the battle you fight is internal, eternal,
Your empire will falter and cease.”

The Eagle was next to speak, to decry
The folly of luxury.
“All roads led to my seven hills,
And led the barbarians to me.

“I knew well the peril of monarchy,
And trusted to tribunals.
But lawful republic fell to limitless pride,
To opulence and bacchanal.
But still we conquered, not comprehending
The end of our strength we had reached.
We perceived not the malice we had engendered
In savages we’d thought to teach.

“They turned on us, taught us that harshest of lessons:
‘Who falls farthest, falls hardest’,
And sentenced our children to perpetual dreams
Of past glories and bountiful harvests.”

The last to speak was the wisest, the Lion
On whose empire the sun never set.
“I begat you and shed blood beside you,
Our kinship ever benevolent.

“Before you were born, ‘twas I stood strong
‘Gainst the spectre of tyranny.
To contain Moor and Inquisitor I gladly paid
That price of admiralty.
I believed my Charter’d freedom and justice
Were sufficient to win the day,
And see! My children now stand on their own;
For all mankind they light the way!

“But you, my child, tho’ our hearts were one,
We desired the best for mankind.
Our paths have diverged, I will not follow
Your doomed imperial design.

“The historians now speak of Pax in past tense,
Not only of ours, but yours.
Romana, Britannica, Americana…
Is there aught that you can demur?
For yours is but a portion, a fraction
Of the centuries my peers survived;
My heart is heavy and cold with the thought
That my child may be less than I.

“You stood for the tortured, the wrongful imprisoned,
For freedoms of worship, of speech.
But now you sacrifice such liberties,
‘Pon a brass altar of security.
Empires thrive so long as they uphold
The ideals that made them great;
I fear you will not sit with my rank, the first,
But the second, the subordinate.

“’Tis your turn now to speak, my child,
Prove me wrong, I beg you, I plead.
Restore me the hope I once proudly held
That to freedom this world you would lead.”

The brash young man nodded, quietly smiled,
And stood serenely composed,
Before these three who in all history’s grand sweep
Had longest borne the mantle of hope.

“So this be the judgment of my peers,
Cold and hard-edged indeed!
We cannot deny your centuries of glory,
For which your dear sons did bleed.
But neither need we appeal your decision,
Nor should we implore your leave,
For there’s one advantage that we yet wield,
Of which never did you conceive.
“For each of you praised the aristocrat,
The patrician, the mandarin,
And forever denied and denigrated
The pedigree of the publican.
Such similarity will always bind you
In the pages of history writ:
Your power restricted to only the bloodlines,
Of Han, of Roman, of Brit.

“You each believed ‘twas but destiny
Assured your perpetual reign,
But did you remember your gods’ caveat:
The wheel turns, all things must end?

“The Han, supreme, till a thunderbolt signaled
Their Mandate of Heaven was lost;
And Rome reigned nobly till honor and duty
Were o’ercome by comfort and sloth.
And you, O Lion, your wooden walls a-sail
Were our cradle, our crucible!
As from one in his prime to his sire now diminished
Our duty is oath-bound and filial.

“Our path is not yours, ‘tis not empire we crave,
But freedom of choice, of creed,
Your tempest-tossed fluttered folk and wild
Surely become the best we breed!
For any and all can be truly a part
Of this roiling and boiling pot,
Wherein melts away (if ever so slowly)
The hatred of those who are not.

“This world is not that which we jealously covet,
No dominion is our desire,
No Ozymandian edifice of stone,
Nor generations in royal attire.
Your paths we daren’t follow, though we have stumbled,
Supplanting freedom with patriots’ zeal;
And should we fall, yea, and someday we shall!
Others will rise bearing our seal.

“For we are not an empire or a nation,
But an idea whose time has come.
Your White Man’s Burden is bleached no longer,
But a grand spectrum, egalitarian!

“Today we declare our freedom from peerage,
From comparison with empires past;
Today we declare with harmonious discord
The Peace of Liberty, Pax Libertas!”

Saturday, June 7, 2008

What did they know? Not much. And when did they know it?

Only when they decided that truth was less important than starting a war. The New York Times stated it clearly enough below

"The Senate Intelligence Committee report endorsed by Democrats and some Republicans concluded that President Bush and his aides built the public case for war against Iraq by exaggerating available intelligence and by ignoring disagreements among spy agencies about Iraq’s weapons programs and Saddam Hussein’s links to Al Qaeda.
The report shows that there was no intelligence to support the two most frightening claims Mr. Bush and his vice president used to sell the war: that Iraq was actively developing nuclear weapons and had longstanding ties to terrorist groups. It seems clear that the president and his team knew that that was not true, or should have known it — if they had not ignored dissenting views and telegraphed what answers they were looking for."

The Senate Intelligence Committee's report, then, shows at best gross negligence by the Bush administration...or at worst, outright lies used with the express intent to start a war that they thought would cement their place in history.

In the second case, Bush and Cheney were right - the Iraq war will cement their place in history: as the worst president and vice president in American history.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Why should we Democrats be thankful for George W. Bush?

Thanks for being our president, George. The Republicans stole the election for you, and with a commanding majority in both the House and the Senate, you were in the position to make all of Ronald Reagan's dreams come true.

If the votes had been counted properly in accordance with Florida state law, Gore would have been president. What would have happened with Gore in the White House? 9/11 may or may not have happened - though there's a significant chance he would have paid more attention to his daily intel briefings than you have done (and would have listened to the CIA and insisted that the facts should determine the policy, rather than your habit of demanding that policy must determine the facts).

Even if 9/11 had occurred (and we would probably gone into Afghanistan anyway), Gore would certainly not have invaded Iraq (to the ongoing tune of 12 BILLION dollars per month). Gore also would not have fired attorneys general for not (wrongly) indicting Democratic candidates and for (rightly) indicting Republicans (and thus making the Justice Department a subsection of the Republican party). Gore would have LISTENED to the attorneys general of ALL fifty states in 2003 when they sent a letter to the president to tell him that something needed to be done to regulate the housing market because of the plethora of predatory lending. Gore would NOT have sanctioned torture, and he would NOT have sanctioned the arrest and imprisonment of American citizens WITHOUT charges or even legal representation.

Sounds like America would've been a lot better off, huh? But look at the flip side.

Thanks to you, Mr. Bush, most of America - and most importantly, the YOUTH of America - can see the Neo-Cons for what they are.

Thanks to you, Mr. Bush, it is likely that the Democrats will hold the House, the Senate, and the Presidency as of January 20th, 2009...and we'll be in a position to push through legislation that Gore would never have been able to do without such congressional support.

Thanks to you, Mr. Bush, it looks like we will probably elect not just a mixed-race president, but one with a Middle-Eastern name, whose middle name he shares with the guy who you deposed in Iraq!

In other words, Mr. Bush, thanks to your bungling, you've given America the chance to show the world that even from such as you, we can rise once more to be a great nation that follows the rule of law and the tenets of morality.

Thank you, George W. Bush.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Looks like we lost the Cold War.

" If his cell were at Guantanamo Bay, the prisoner would be just one of hundreds of suspected terrorists detained offshore, where the U.S. says the Constitution does not apply.

But Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri is a U.S. resident being held in a South Carolina military brig; he is the only enemy combatant held on U.S. soil. That makes his case very different.

Al-Marri's capture six years ago might be the Bush administration's biggest domestic counterterrorism success story. Authorities say he was an al-Qaida sleeper agent living in middle America, researching poisonous gasses and plotting a cyberattack.

To justify holding him, the government claimed a broad interpretation of the president's wartime powers, one that goes beyond warrantless wiretapping or monitoring banking transactions. "Government lawyers told federal judges that the president can send the military into any U.S. neighborhood, capture a citizen and hold him in prison without charge, indefinitely.

The above is from an AP article today.

Is this America, or is this the Soviet Union that I helped hold the line against in my Navy career? Makes one wonder who really won the Cold War....

Friday, May 23, 2008

Where is the Republican outrage?

Where, indeed? The Republican party has long been the self-proclaimed bastion of "doing what's right", of support for the troops, of patriotism.

But we have a president who now admits his invasion of Iraq was due to faulty intel, but when he was told by reliable personnel in the CIA that the intel was questionable at best, he either ignored them or ruined their careers. So it was Bush's lack of judgment - and his refusal to listen to the CIA - that resulted in the Iraq war and the deaths of over 4,000 servicemembers.

Can one imagine what the Republicans would have been doing if a Democratic president had done the same thing? They'd be howling for his head nonstop until he was removed from office and prosecuted. But it's a Republican president, so what has been their reaction? What I keep hearing from conservatives almost always falls along the line of "Well, he's just corrupt and all politicians are corrupt." No outrage at 4,000 dead and tens of thousands of wounded servicemembers.

Remember when Bush claimed he'd prosecute whoever it was that leaked CIA agent Valerie Plame's name to the press? When it came out that Vice President Cheney had first-hand knowledge of it, did Bush (who also seems to have known about it all along) do anything at all? No. Was it only Mrs. Plame's career that was ended? No. It also exposed the ENTIRE CIA network of which she was a part. Dozens of CIA agents, their fronts, and their associates HAD to have been exposed. Again, WHERE is the Republican outrage?

The Republicans, instead of demanding justice for the dead and wounded military, and for the injury done to the CIA's operations that are ESSENTIAL to American security, are strangely silent.

These, surely, are among the greatest hypocrisies I know of in history. It's not the worst...but then this blog is not about religion.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Is Senator Obama an 'appeaser'?

The Cons want to call him an 'appeaser' because he says he'd have no problem meeting with the leaders of nations that desire our destruction.

Hm. Didn't the Soviet Union want to destroy us? "We will bury you!" That's what Khrushchev said...but Nixon, Reagan, and Bush I all met with them. And then there's North Korea, which we went to war with and is officially 'at war' with our close ally South Korea...yet Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush I and Bush II were willing to talk with them.

But if Obama wants to talk to Iran, that's appeasement!

I pointed this out to a conservative on, and he said the difference lay in the amount of experience the above Republicans had compared to Obama. I wonder at the value of such experience when they led to the great political scandals of our generation: Watergate, Iran-Contra, the firing of the nine Attorneys General, the Iraq War, and the unlawful imprisonment and torture of prisoners of war. There's more than that, but didja notice that Bush II has more major scandals and corruption than all the other presidents since the Korean war combined?

And the Cons' great complaint about Clinton? Monica. His extramarital sex was somehow more offensive to them than anything Bush II has done...and it is somehow a non-issue that some of the same ones who were most vitriolic in their invective against Clinton were also having a little on the side themselves.

Oh yeah, I forgot - Hillary's supposed to be the 'anti-Christ' too. So said CNN's Glenn Beck. And then Don Imus said she was 'satan'. He also called her fat, ugly, and a 'buck-toothed witch', too, which makes me wonder if he's ever looked in the mirror.

But I forget myself - this was supposed to be about Obama and his 'appeasement'. So the Cons want to label Obama an 'appeaser' like Neville Chamberlain, the most famous 'appeaser' in history. Let's take a quick look at ol' Neville: he was experienced (20-odd years in different political offices), he despised England's Labour Party (which is roughly analogous to our own Democratic Party), and he was (gasp!) a Conservative!

And Obama? He's a tall, skinny junior congressman from Illinois who happens to wield good judgment...and you know what? There was one other tall, skinny junior congressman from Illinois who happened to wield good judgment. His name was Abraham Lincoln.

That doesn't mean Obama is another Lincoln...but I feel I can safely say he'll be no Bush (or McCain (same thing)).

Monday, May 19, 2008

How Bush can still save his legacy

Two ongoing wars, one of which is an aggressive war launched on false pretenses in direct violation of the Geneva Convention and international law. An astronomical deficit (in opposition to the surplus he was handed by Bill Clinton), $12 billion per month spent in Iraq, An economy reeling under the weight of a crumbling housing market and skyrocketing gas and food prices. An administration that has legalized torture, nullified habeus corpus and used the Judiciary branch for blatantly partisan purposes.

It is not without cause that a majority of historians already call W. the worst president in American history.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bailouts for CEO's...but for homeowners? Hah!

Says it right here - "the Bush administration "strongly opposes" Democrats' housing rescue package, calling it a bailout that would expose taxpayers to excessive risk."

I suppose the billions of dollars of taxpayer dollars he authorized to bail out Bear Stearns posed no risk, hm?

And here's something else Bush doesn't like, either:
a Senate vote seeking equal pay for women. I guess it's okay with him for women getting only 77 cents for every dollar men earn for doing the same job. We are in the 21st century, right? The Civil Rights act did become law forty-four years ago, right?

And Senator John McCain decided to skip the vote last night in order to campaign for president, saying he opposed the measure because it would prompt a flood of lawsuits. I know it's a critical time for McCain - he's got to really strive hard to get that Republican nomination for president. Waitaminnit! Hasn't he already got the nomination? So...what, exactly, was so critically important in his presidential campaign that he had to skip out on this vote?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Reagan knew whereof he spoke concerning W.

I liked Ronald Reagan - I still do. Yes, he trashed our economy. Yes, he trampled on education, the media, and the environment, and he would be considered a terrible president, except for two things: he won the Cold War (remember the duck-and-cover drills in school? No? These were safety drills for nuclear attacks. Reagan ended the need for them.), and he made us proud to be Americans once more. The Cold War threatened all life on earth, people - and I credit him for ending that threat. For all that he did that was wrong, I, a liberal progressive Democrat, will always consider him as one of our best presidents.

Reagan was a smart man - and he knew a waste of time when he saw it. The below is from his memoirs:

"A moment I’ve been dreading. George brought his ne’er-do-well son around this morning and asked me to find the kid a job. Not the political one who lives in Florida; the one who hangs around here all the time looking shiftless. This so-called kid is already almost 40 and has never had a real job. Maybe I’ll call Kinsley over at The New Republic and see if they’ll hire him as a contributing editor or something. That looks like easy work."

Does anyone remember how America came together after 9/11? Of course. Most of the world stood behind us then. Jacques Chirac said, ", we are all Americans." We were on the hunt for bin Laden, and we invaded Afghanistan because they were hiding him. Such was the right and proper response by President Bush.

That and his refusal (thus far) to invade Iran are the only things he has done right.

I call myself an amateur historian, and it is sad to think that the last years of my military career were served under the worst president in American history. He has ignored laws, ignored the Constitution, violated international law and the Geneva Convention, supported torture, imprisoned hundreds for years without trial, publicly ruined the careers of those who were courageous enough to report the facts (and in doing so exposed an entire intelligence network), ignored the warnings of the attorneys general of all 50 states about the impending housing crash, invaded a country on false pretenses...ANY ONE of this incomplete list of crimes should be enough for impeachment.

What are the historians already saying?

In May of 2004, in a survey of 415 historians, 81% already deemed his presidency a failure, and 12% had already called his presidency the worst in history.

In February of 2008, in a survey of 109 historians, 98% deemed his presidency a failure, and 61% said he was the worst president in history. In fact, in the survey only four said his presidency even ranked in the top two-thirds of U.S. Presidents.

Normally I don't like to cut-and-paste, but here's what one historian said in the survey: “No individual president can compare to the second Bush,” wrote one. “Glib, contemptuous, ignorant, incurious, a dupe of anyone who humors his deluded belief in his heroic self, he has bankrupted the country with his disastrous war and his tax breaks for the rich, trampled on the Bill of Rights, appointed foxes in every henhouse, compounded the terrorist threat, turned a blind eye to torture and corruption and a looming ecological disaster, and squandered the rest of the world’s goodwill. In short, no other president’s faults have had so deleterious an effect on not only the country but the world at large.”

I must admit I am glad that Reagan never knew just how literally right he was when he called Bush a "ne'er-do-well", which term literally means

Monday, April 21, 2008

America - FORTY-FIFTH on list of life expectancy.

This is the single most shameful fact that the Conservative elite don't want America to know: on the list of life expectancy, America - which spends more on health care per capita than any other country in the world, is forty-fifth! That's lower than Jordan. That's even lower than Bosnia-Herzegovina, for Pete's sake!

And you know what? The Cons say we can't have Universal Health Care because it would 'bankrupt America'. After all, we're nearly spending 16% of our GDP on health care. Funny thing is, Germany - which has the world's oldest Universal Health Care system (since 1883), spends only 10.7% of their GDP on health care. Singapore's world-class UHC system only uses 3% of their GDP.

A majority of American doctors support UHC (even though I suspect most would stand to lose money in such a system). Nursing unions support UHC. Americans as a whole support UHC by a 2-1 margin. Even a slight majority of Republicans want UHC!

Who doesn't want UHC? It's the HMO's and the insurance companies...and the Republican candidates they bankroll. That's really, truly sad.

Welcome to the Ex-Con's blog.

Ex-Con? Ex-Convict? No, Ex-Conservative.

For it was while I was serving in my Navy career that my eyes were opened. I had been taught all my life that America was the only place where one could truly be free and happy...but the more countries I visited, the more I came to understand how isolationist many Americans are, and how such isolationism also leads to ignorance and prejudice.

The theme of this blog will be to not only address some of the larger issues of the day, but more importantly, to help raise public awareness of truly important news that is flying under the radar.