Watch:
Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow,
Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, Lewis Black

Listen to:
Stephanie Miller, Randi Rhodes,
Tom Hartman, Ed Schultz, Mike Molloy

No Warranty on Defective “Bush World”

June 10th, 2009

As the economy and the job market have collapsed around us, and nations around the globe are wondering “WTF!?!?”, it’s my sad conclusion that there is no warranty protection for us on the defective Bush World we bought.

Well, we didn’t exactly buy it.  It was foisted on us by a manipulated election and a jury-rigged Supreme Court scenario, aided by a confused and indecisive Democratic team under Gore/Lieberman.  And it is tempting to wonder what THAT ticket would have been like (see the New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/weekinreview/20broder.html).

Nonetheless, the American public accepted the damaged goods without examining the fine print.  And despite the fact that the FINE PRINT HAD BLOWN UP TO ABOUT 857 PT. SIZE BY 2004 and the writing about Dubya was on the wall for all to see, we bought it again.

Some might say we deserved everything we got for being that stupid.  I don’t agree.

It’s on the record that the whole march to war was rigged, intelligence manipulated, just as surely as we got railroaded into the Spanish American War (and some would say WWII as well), the White House beat us into the war in Iraq.  Beat us like a rented mule, and we scarcely even brayed in protest for the first year or two.

Then we woke up.  We were ineffective in taking action and by that point there was little anyone could do.  But at least we were awake.

Now, we need to hit the caffeine, scarf down the No-Doze and stay awake long enough to demand the kind of investigations and inquiries that will make it crystal clear who did what, with or to whom, when and why.

Truth and reconciliation commission?  We don’t need no stinkin’ truth and reconciliation.  We need the Truth about why thousands of Americans have died, tens and maybe hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghanis have died, and why hundreds of billions of dollars got flushed down the rat hole with them, into the coffers of privateers, contractors and drug lords.  Why the people who crafted this Charlie Foxtrot, promising it would be a cakewalk paid for by the Iraqi oil revenues, aren’t in jail or roasting on a spit someplace.  Waterboarding is too civilized for these people: it’s time to bring back the rack, and break them on the wheel, draw and quarter them and spread their body parts to the far corners of the realm, as they did with William Wallace.

Alas, there’s no warranty on Bush World.

We bought it.  They broke it.  But it’s up to us to fix it.

As one vulture said to the other, “Reconciliation my ass.  I’m going hunting for blood justice.”

Okay, I know I’m going overboard.  But considering the loss of blood, treasure and respect this nation has endured, I can’t understand why there isn’t a groundswell call for truth, justice and a little retribution for those who dragged us into this donnybrook.

And on that fanciful note, may the Higher Power as you know her guide you through these turbulent times with grace, certainty and equanimity.  Help is on the way, help is here, and with faith, we’ll get to the other side of this pit of despair.

The Legacy of George W. Bush?

June 6th, 2009

Even as our former President seems to be assuming the profile of his Vice President – as in, felt but nearly

A charitable view of W's legacy

A charitable view of W's legacy

invisible – Dick Cheney opens another can o’ whup-ass on his former boss.

As cited on Politico.com, during an appearance on Fox News, the Cheneygator revealed that he’d felt General Motors’ proper course was through bankruptcy, “And the president decided that he did not want to be the one who pulled the plug just before he left office.” http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0609/23283.html#ixzz0Hf4qFpYT&D

Cheney characterized the Bush Administration’s actions – bundling up the resources to tide GM over until the Obama Administration could assess the options – as an attempt to assist the incoming Democrats.  Yes, Obama’s team went along with that for obvious reasons.  But that sort of overlooks the fact that GM’s problems existed throughout the Bush Administration’s tenure – and before – and with the worsening of the conflict in Iraq, the rise of oil prices and the slowing of growth globally, storm clouds could clearly be seen on the horizon.  GM’s market share continued to decline, and the auto giant was surpassed by Toyota during the Bush Era.  Whether by distraction – dealing with the other 10,000 problems ranging from North Korean nukes to the growing economic servitude to China – or by ideological design, the Bush Administration did nothing but keep propping up the Detroit Three, adding layer upon layer to the house of cards underlying the greatest remaining bastion of manufacturing in the United States, our auto industry.

When the foundation buckled, everything was poised to come tumbling down.  Cheney said that he and Bush wanted to allow Obama’s team to “decide what they wanted to do.”  It’s a pure canard: George just didn’t want to have it happen on the eve of his leaving office.  That would be a big blot on his legacy.

A disaffected conservative, now a progressive Democrat, posted a notice on Daily Kos of the type he still gets from the right wing money machine operators.  This one was an announcement of a new book from Rev. Moon’s Washington Times: W. The Legacy of President George W. Bush. http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/6/6/739318/-Epic-Fail:-W,-The-Legacy-of-George-W-Bush-by-Washington-Times-is-coming-out-shortly

This is just the latest in an ongoing campaign by the right wing to rewrite history before it’s set in concrete, to reshape memories while we’re distracted with the economic and political debacles currently on our plate.  The Chinese government has squelched all history of the massacre of Tiananmen Square to the point that current generations, a mere 20 years later, have no knowledge of that horrendous incident.  Conservative activists, Constitutionally deprived of the tool of total suppression, are attempting to warp the picture of the Bush Years into a hazy, Reaganesque tableau of peace, happiness and prosperity.

We all know that there are natural economic cycles.  But we also know that political forces can add to the length and strength of those cycles.  Under Clinton’s moderate policies, the postwar boom extended longer than most economists predicted, and left surpluses on the table.  Under Bush and the conservative free trading policies of his cronies, that positive economy was hollowed out, preserving the facade of prosperity while sucking all the substance out, sweeping it into the hands of the privileged classes and leaving economic ruin in its place.

Write your legislators and urge them to aid in the efforts to uncover the truth of this last eight years.  We must not only preserve the true picture of these past eight years and the global meltdown that has ensued in the present, but will also demand investigation into how we got here, so those responsible can be held accountable in the courts today and in the public record for future generations.

Investigations.  Prosecutions.  Dispensation of justice.  Preservation of truth.

It’s the only course to a positive path in this New American Century, a century in which America will lead not by domination, but by example.

May the Higher Power of your choice guide us through the difficult days ahead.

Nukes Gone Wild! A Serious Breakage of the World by Bush

May 26th, 2009

In the news: North Korea “tests” a nuke.  Boom!

Real threat vs contrived threat  (Graphic: Cartoonstock.com)

Real threat vs contrived threat (Graphic: Cartoonstock.com)

In the past eight years, how many opportunities did the Bush Administration ignore to address this?  Probably too many to even consider.

But then, what would they do?  What could they do?  They’d gone all-in in another card game:

  • All US resources were committed in the Middle East
  • The Administration wouldn’t talk to the Koreans
  • Any semblance of international coalition-building capability was collapsing faster than a black hole

The end result?

Kim wags the Bush dog, says yes to talks, says no to action, no one does anything constructive and then Bush punts this issue to the Obama Administration, along with an imploding economy, a bloated bureacracy, a failing health care system.

The only good thing you can say is, thank the Higher Power they didn’t privatize Social Security: we still have a few years to do something about that.

I understand why the economy is in the spotlight.  It’s like a global pandemic that we unleashed.  But nukes are serious business, and in addition to the debacle in North Korea, there is the whole issue of nukes in the former Soviet Union, hundreds of them in questionably secure sites with unstable governments.  There was progress being made during Clinton’s tenure, but the effort was largely defunded under Bush.  Vast quantities of nuclear “stuff” out there without oversight or control.  And when people get desperate, they do desperate things.  Like sell little bits of nuclear technology or materials to people who really shouldn’t have them.

And then there was the specter of a renewed arms race with Putin’s Russia.  That’s about the only bright side to the global economic downturn and the collapse of the gas and oil markets: Putin no longer has the money to rebuild his conventional and nuclear arsenals.  But that won’t last.

As sure as the sun comes up in the East – which will probably happen whether humans are still here or not – when the global economy turns around, demand for oil will go up, prices will go up, and because we in the West didn’t launch a Manhattan Project for energy independence, we’ll be hostage again.  And if relations aren’t put back on an even keel, Putin will resume his putsch to relaunch the arms race.  And we’ll be funding his efforts.  I wasn’t reassured by Bush’s assessment of Putin at any time, and my instincts have been proven correct.  Unfortunately correct.

All I can say is I thank the Higher Power that we now have a President who really can and does read.  Thank the Higher Power that we have a President who’s willing to roll the dice if the other side of the aisle doesn’t want to play the bi-partisan game.

Because the Conservatives are still going by the Rove/DeLay/Limbaugh/Boehner play book.

Because the upcoming Supreme Court nomination battle seems to be shaping up as another partisan donnybrook, and with moderates like Arlen Specter jumping ship, it should be clear that the GOP’s strategy is simply to play spoiler at every turn.

That’s not a strategy that can be accepted or excused when the nuclear dam is about to burst.

This country and the Western World has taken its eyes off the nuclear threat for too long.  Once the economy is stabilized, nuclear dismantlement and the non-proliferation pacts need to take center stage.

This is just one more reason why the actions of the Bush Administration need to be exposed to public scrutiny, to have the drivers of policy exposed to public scrutiny, and make sure those who committed the crimes and betrayals get center stage.  Will they be punished?  Probably not.  But at least we can establish a precedent for airing the dirty laundry and punishing the ideology if not the actual perpetrators.

I’m with Vince Bugliosi: investigate and prosecute.  Bring those responsible for the crimes to justice.  I don’t care which party they’re from, how senior or junior they are.  They need to be brought down, because that’s the precedent we need to establish in the wake of the Bush crimes.

May the Higher Power restore a modicum of sanity to this nation, to the world, bring a bigger perspective to our global political arena and impart some vision to a new generation of leaders.

‘Should We Pursue Investigations?’ Why is that a question?

April 24th, 2009

Frankly, I am amazed.  We’re nearly 100 days into a new administration and this issue is still being bandied about.  My question is, why aren’t we on the path already?

Vincent Bugliosi’s book The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder has been sent out to scores of district attorneys across the nation, seeking one who’s got the cajones to file suit.

Joe Biden promised pursuit of investigations and penalties during the campaign.

President Obama has determined that there may be an opening for investigating the architects of our recently-originated and history-breaking torture policy.

And still, I have to listen to John Boehner ranting on about looking forward.

As they say in Texas: Bullshit.

The same people who don’t think twice about capital punishment or banning abortions or invading the personal privacy of ordinary citizens can’t handle an investigation into the potential wrongdoings of the Bush Administration?

Bullshit.

A stained blue dress and the definition of “is” were good enough for them to hound President Clinton, expending $40 million in that abortive pursuit.  An unlawful war, thousands of casualties and hundreds of billions of dollars flushed down a rathole aren’t sufficient reason to investigate the recently evicted president and his minions?

Bullshit.

My vote was for change.  And in order to effect change, one must learn the lessons of history.  In order to learn the lessons of history, and to understand how to not repeat the mistakes, we must seriously undertake the investigation of the tragic missteps that have led us to this point of economic, political and emotional disaster, the deepest hole this country has faced since The Great Depression.

I called this blog “The Man Who Broke The World” for a reason.  I believe that is exactly what George W. Bush and his cohorts, proxies and sponsors have done.   I don’t believe it was through negligence or incompetence.  I am certain that it was through design and a blind obedience to a bankrupt ideology.   I think it was driven by a hunger for power and greed.

Since they broke it but can’t own it, I think they should pay for it.  What they’ve done is worse than espionage, a crime that can still carry a capital sentence, if I’m not mistaken.

Should the punishment not fit the crime?

So, I’d like to take this opportunity to ask President Obama, Vice President Biden, Attorney General Eric Holder and every District Attorney and Attorney General in the United States to step up to the plate and swing for the fences.  And I’d like to ask every citizen of good conscience to get up off their asses and communicate a clear message to Washington:

Accountability, accountability, accountability.

We cannot move forward until we’ve closed the door on where we’ve been.  If we fail in that resolution, we’re doomed to repeat it.

May the Higher Power of your choice empower the pursuit and execution of justice in this fair land.

The Good News… and The Bad News

April 11th, 2009

Today’s post is a departure.  It’s the time of Easter, of Passover, of new beginnings.

We’re not talking about Bush & Co. and the disaster they’ve left behind, nor even the potential for change existing under the new Obama administration.

Today, it’s personal.

The good news for me, your humble narrator, is that there are signs of life in this moribund econo-psycho-socio crisis, and I now have time to undertake some of the projects I’ve been dying to get to: rewriting some of my literary projects, doing a crash course on Internet marketing, expanding the efforts devoted to my diet and exercise regime, plotting new courses in my life and, significantly, moving into the home we purchased 10 days ago.

The bad news is that five days ago, I became a statistic.  It may thrill some of the neo-cons and dittoheads out there, but I became disemployed from my job.  I won’t miss the job so much – working for a non-profit consulting company that should be poised to ride the green wave of environmentally-friendly technology, but is now struggling – but I will miss some of the people I worked with, and the regular paycheck.  I had come to hate my dependence on a job where my contributions, once valued, were now regularly ignored and unappreciated, though I was hardly alone.  Valuable people on all levels of the company had left,  and everyone below the executive level was polishing up their resume, making sure the exit door was within sight.  Morale was lower than a sea slug’s belly, and I saw the sharp glint of paranoia in the eyes of other co-workers, many of whom are now having to accept reduced hours to keep their jobs.  I think this transition may be harder on them: my coast is clear, my path is open.  Their future is still uncertain.

So now, I have become a victim of the crimes and neglect left in the wake of the conservative crime spree that began with Reagan and continued with brief moderations through the early part of this year.  The echoes and aftershocks of that spree are rippling their way around the world and I, at this late date, got swamped.  Greed, stupidity and a lack of leadership from the highest level down to the modest plane of my life exacted their toll.

At a time when I should be happier than a pig in sh-t, moving into a beautiful new home with my wife and child, I now have to contend with the anxiety of seeking a new job in the worst job market in my lifetime, with greater responsibility and financial obligation of my entire life.  Some will say I made a bad choice, making such a purchase in this market; but I believe I’ll get through this and we’ll enjoy that house for years to come.  In more flush times, I could never have afforded it.  In this market, with our combined income, it was a stretch, a calculated risk.  A man who is unwilling to take a chance, a calculated risk, is destined to live a life of mediocrity and failure.   I’ll love seeing my daughter grow up there.  And one way or another, we will survive this crisis.

One thing that both encourages me individually and angers me personally is that there are millions of people less fortunate than I am, living in places with little or no opportunity, with no societal and governmental safety nets, who will literally be crushed by this economic disaster.  The problems started here in the US, and the solutions will start here, too.

Thomas Franks in his book The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule, notes that conservative ideologs point to common sense rules and values of thrift and hard work in a free and unregulated market as the solution, that liberal tax and spend policies and regulation will kill the economy.   That seems to ignore the fact of the past eight years, when the free market policies and deregulation unleashed a tidal wave of greed-driven irrational exuberance that finally crashed on the shores of reality, burying millions of people around the world, while sending the architects of disaster scuttling off to their mansions with gold-plated severance plans.  They also seem to ignore the common political and economic underpinnings shared by The Great Depression and our current economic downturn in terms of deregulation, irregularities and insanity in the investment market, and the stink of greed.  To them, it was just the betrayal of the conservative leaders who were corrupted by Washington and turned their backs on true values.

What they do is make excuses why their vaunted values and systems fail again and again.  What they cannot do is to point to any civilized democracy where their values are institutionalized.  It doesn’t exist.  And it never will.

As I said in a previous post, ingesting poison or submitting oneself to violent electric shock are not things a sane person undertakes in normal circumstances.  I believe our President and his team, while they have made mistakes feeling their way through this uncharted territory, are doing the things that MUST be undertaken in order to resurrect the country, economically and spiritually.   Killing the cancers and shocking the economy back to life with extreme measures that may defy common sense are absolutely necessary.  Creating new resources, calling upon Americans of all stripes to sacrifice and to give and to do good is the order of the day.

For myself, I’m going to take the time while I can to get to things long overlooked and neglected.  I’m going to invest time and precious resources in myself.  I’m going to establish myself and my family in our new home, and I’m going to remake my life.

An attitude of gratitude is a key factor in a successful life.

I am grateful to be an American in a time of great possibility.

I’m grateful I was able to oblige myself of two degrees, through hard work – academic and professional – and with the support of scholarship, grant and loan programs that afforded me the opportunity to get a good education.

I’m grateful that I was able, through my efforts and the help of friends and family, to put aside a financial cushion that will help buoy my family through a difficult time.

I’m grateful for a wife and children who inspire me to greater efforts every day, and for friends who believe in and support me.

I’m grateful for well-wishers who lend their support in many ways.

I’m grateful to the many people who have taken to heart the message of this blog – keep your eye on the future, but don’t leave the messes of the past unresolved or the perpetrators unpunished and free to work their evil on us again.

And I’m grateful for a Higher Power of my own choice who will guide me in a path of my choosing to a positive and rewarding outcome as I move on to a new chapter in my life.

As they say in the elite British special forces, the SAS, “Who dares, wins.”

It’s a time to be daring, but with the greater good in mind.

IF YOU LIKE WHAT YOU READ HERE, send this blog link TODAY to ten people you think may agree with, benefit from or be enraged by it.

The Legacy… and The Lessons Not Learned

April 8th, 2009

According to CBS ‘Sunday Morning’, in a recent George Mason University survey, over 90 percent of

The time for accountability is now.  Photo: Edmunds.com

The time for accountability is now. Photo: Edmunds.com

historians rated George Bush as poor, and 61 percent considered him a failure.  Bush proponents point to the low ratings that other presidents like Harry Truman had leaving office, that history will reveal that his presidency will be regarded more favorably in the test of time.

I don’t concur with this point of view obviously.  In some of those polls, Bush rated slightly above a president who died weeks into office.  As a matter of fact, if a future president fails more assiduously and profoundly than George W. Bush, our nation may cease to exist, taking the rest of the world with it.

Bob Woodward said that no American president is regarded as Commander in Chief of the economy; yet Bush’s decisions as Commander in Chief of the military and as the ideological leader of the dominant party for most of his presidency led in large part to the implosion of our economy.

Billions sunk into foreign wars and expanding security demands combined with a record-breaking transfer of wealth from the middle class to the privileged class have gutted the American dream.

Endorsement of an anti-regulatory philosophy didn’t slowly infuse down from the top: it exploded, infecting the financial world, gutting our regulatory agencies, ignoring our infrastructure, undercutting the foundations of the American Dream, sometimes literally.

When you consider the hatred that hard-core conservatives have for the liberal politics and economic policies of Franklin Roosevelt and The New Deal, and the social programs supported by Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, it isn’t surprising.  It’s basically reflective of an anti-governmental bias so profound that it threatens the social compact between the government and the vast majority of its people.  Conservatives warn of the danger of a liberal elite that dominates the media and financial structure.  Maybe someone should tell Rupert Murdoch and his peers about that.  They don’t seem very worried.

What is worrisome is a conservative elite that eschews civic responsibility, fair play, a level playing field, widespread opportunity and the basic elements of a free society.  Thanks for the millions in philanthropy; we’d like our country back.

What I find so disheartening is that while many of my conservative friends accept that errors were made, they seem still to feel that they were a matter of degree, or that fate queered the course, depriving them of success.  The lie of “mission accomplished” in Iraq and the debacle of Katrina were not really Bush’s fault.  It was the failure of Iraqis to embrace us as liberators and our foreign way of life, it was the graft and corruption of Democratic politicians that prevented federal intervention.  How could our conservative leaders have been expected to foresee and prepare for a less-than-positive outcome, and react to prevent disaster?  That would have required… Leadership, accountability and responsibility.

The Decider would have to accept responsibility for his decisions.  His minions would have to be held accountable.  I’m still waiting for the mass firings of those connected with the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

I have hope that Joe Biden will be a man of his word, and pursue investigations and indictments of those responsible for misconduct and malfeasance.  And if the trail of evidence leads right to the Bush White House, I sincerely pray that our new President will remember that we have to have lessons in order to learn from them.  If the lesson is that gross misconduct in public office has no greater consequence than unfavorable opinions of historians, that high officials committing high crimes are above the law, then we know where this country is headed.  And we won’t be going there with our heads held high.  This great nation will be ushered off the world stage in disgrace and disrepute.

That would be a New American Century that every American should find unconscionable.

Will the lessons be learned?  That, like George Bush’s legacy, remains to be seen.

Decisions have consequences.  I hope that the consequences for Bush The Decider and his cronies are appropriate to the damage done.  Like, accompanied by the sound of a steel-barred door slamming shut behind them in their new residential accommodations, provided again at taxpayer expense, but on a much-less lavish level.

May the Higher Power of your choice guide you through the troubled waters of this turbulent first post-Bush year to smooth sailing and a restoration of Amerca’s dreams.

What a Mess, Dubya

March 29th, 2009

Let’s face it.  Taking poison intentionally or becoming part of a high voltage electrical circuit aren’t generally considered

Don't Fry This at Home      Photo: www.nerdapproved.com

Don't Fry This at Home Photo: www.nerdapproved.com

good ideas.  However, when you’re battling cancer or have an issue with your heart not beating, they’re good alternatives to have.

That’s where we are with our economy, folks.  It’s no time for timid measures.

George Bush & Co. left us, not with the surpluses of Bill Clinton’s administration, but a combination of deficits and job losses not seen since the 1930s.

Somehow, I don’t see going back to the days of the hometown bank in this age of global finance.  That’s one way to come in last.  And can you imagine all the fun of policing them, no matter what kind of agency (agencies) are eventually designed to perform that task?

In my mind, the threshold level is, “Can we afford for it to fail?” and can it survive a real world-based stress test.  Derivatives, swaps, all that crap… good bye.  Anything that’s small enough to evaporate without causing major ripples in the greater economy should be fine, and the fewer, the better.  If you can’t define it in three paragraphs and if it isn’t transparent, it shouldn’t be eligible to be sliced up and packaged into insurable investments.  Let the junk fiends who’ve got more money than sense invest in them: not the taxpayers.

May the Higher Power of your choice shine his light on the path through this Valley of the Shadow of Debt.

It’s Hard to Improve on Dedication…

February 21st, 2009

I recently was reminded of two really amazing sites, both of which simply prove that personal dedication

And it's not an impossible dream...

And it's not an impossible dream...

can make a difference.

I was listening to Mike Molloy’s show the other night, and I heard again the story of a web site and personal initiative, www.ProsecuteGeorgeBush.com.  It’s a web site dedicated to a simple task: disseminating Vincent Bugliosis’ book The Prosecution of George W. Bush For Murder to 2,200 District Attorneys across the country.  Bugliosi said it in very plain terms:

“I hope that at some time in the near future a courageous U.S. attorney general, U.S. attorney, state attorney general, or district attorney in America who is committed to the rule of law and who has dedicated his career to enforcing the law fairly against all who, big or small, violate it, will hear the cries for justice from the graves of the thousands upon thousands of men, women, and children who had their lives violently cut short because of the lies of a man who smiled through it all. And that, with a sense of uncompromising righteousness, he will take the ample case I have laid out in this book before an American jury to let them decide whether George W Bush is guilty or not guilty of murder, and if so, what his punishment should be.”

There’s a petition and other resources on line at www.ProsecuteGeorgeBush.com.  You should check it out and take some action.

The other one is a web site dedicated to World Peace Day, www.PeaceOneDay.org, filmmaker Jeremy Gilley’s successful attempt to try and establish the first ever Day of Peace with a fixed calendar date.  He started in 1999, and was surprisingly relatively successful in getting a global day of peace declared.  That beats a poke in the eye with a dull stick, don’t it?

Here’s an interesting video that explains the whole thing:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FmEIP46B-E

Now, I have also done my small part, with two web sites, www.PeaceTrain2006.org and www.PeaceTrain2007.org.  I fell off the wagon in 2008, but I’m planning on getting it going again in 2009.

The bottom line is that people, individuals, can make a difference.

I hope that the Higher Power of your choice empowers you to make a difference, today and every day.

In Observance of President’s Day

February 15th, 2009

In observance of President’s Day, I’m going to focus on the mission of this blog:

Overstating the Obvious

Overstating the Obvious

Documenting the impact, the legacy of the Bush presidency, and advocating in favor of the hoped-for day of accounting for former President George Walker Bush.

There are those who believe that it would be detrimental to the Nation to pursue actions against Mr. Bush, now that he’s out of office.  I’m not one of those, and here are my reasons:

  • Those opposing former President Clinton left no stone unturned in their fishing expedition to find something that would stick in an impeachment effort, and the best they could come up with was lying to a grand jury.
  • Pursuit of an investigation to reveal evidence of greed, corruption, malfeasance, ideologically-driven misconduct, and high crimes and misdemeanors of the Bush Regime may not prevent them from happening in future administrations, but it certainly will reveal the depth and breadth of the political machinations, cronyism and self-serving behavior at the public trough that we have survived, and hopefully that will live on in people’s minds as much as the Watergate and Iran Contra episodes have.

Well, we survived the Clinton impeachment proceedings and I don’t think that one American died – except Vince Foster – one private citizen’s job was lost, one house was foreclosed, or one industry was shattered because of either what Clinton admitted to doing or what he was charged with doing in those proceedings.  I was and am a Bill Clinton supporter, but I’m not an apologist: he should have acted more decisively in Afghanistan and Iraq, he should have moved more forcefully in his first 100 days and saved the triangulation for later, etc.

Since I don’t believe in reinventing the wheel and I don’t support plagiarism, I would like to point to an excellent compilation of 666 Reasons Sentient Citizens are Still Celebrating the Long Overdue Departure of George W. Bush published in Kotori Magazine.

The article details and sources reports illustrating the character and behavior of the former President from his youthful adventures abusing animals to his later underwhelming exploits as a student, draft evader and businessman to his headlong stumble into political life, reminiscent of a Chevy Chase pratfall face-down into the public trough.

Since Kotori Magazine has provided the extensive list already, I’d recommend that you spend some time dissecting and absorbing it on President’s Day:

http://kotorimagazine.com/74/236.html

Now there are discussions of a “truth and reconciliation” effort, similar to what was done in South Africa.  The reason I would advocate for Congressional and criminal investigations, followed by civil proceedings, is simple and profoundly obvious: even in a post-Obama election world, Progressive Americans don’t have the kind of overwhelming majority black Africans did in South Africa.  White dominance isn’t coming back in South Africa.

But in this country, the well-funded special interests are still securely and comfortably ensconced, the ideological zealots are still among us, and the legacy of bureaucratic and judicial stoogery grafted into the Tree of Liberty by the Bush Regime is alive and well, from the Supreme Court and the Patriot Act right on down the line.  Read Thomas Frank‘s The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule for some eye-opening insight into this process.  If such a small white minority held sway in South Africa for so many years, it is folly to believe the moneyed interests in this country couldn’t find another pathway back into power, and a willing following to stampede along with them.

I believe that serious investigations and appropriate penalties are absolutely necessary to the rejuvenation of our national morale and our image around the world.  American democracy is the most amazing political experiment in the history of modern mankind, and it has the power to transform the globe in a positive way.  We’ve seen how it can impact the world negatively, and it’s time to turn it back around.

I hope we can look forward to a much more condensed article in the future entitled Justice Delayed: Why We Need to Pursue Investigations of the Bush Administration.  Joe Biden stated during the campaign that this would be pursued, the question is being put to President Obama and to the Democratic legislators, and the American people want to know: Is this a nation of laws, or a nation of privilege?

If we as a people stood by while these things were done under our noses and in our names, and then fail to act in the aftermath, why would any nation respect, trust or want to model what we do?   Why would any poor child in Latin America, in the Middle East, in Asia, in Africa believe that we are anything but what their despotic rulers tell them we are?  The New Age of the Ugly American is upon us, and only we can compel our leaders to do what is necessary to head it off.

I believe that the Higher Power of your choice will illuminate the correct path for us to follow as a nation.  However, it is our individual responsibility as citizens to stand up and demand of our representatives that they follow that path.

Happy President’s Day.

Thanks for the Kind Words… And Those Others, Too

February 14th, 2009
The Threat of Anonymity      Photo: Facebook

The Threat of Anonymity Photo: Facebook

I just want to acknowlege the many kind words I’ve been receiving from people all over the world.  If you agree or at least see some value in what you read here, stop right now and share this blog with 10 friends.  There’s a reason why, which I’ll explain later. 

It’s nice to know when your thoughts, comments and opinions resonate with others.  Particularly when the “hate mail” wanes as well.  Makes me think the message is getting through.

Well, he beat me to it.  The “conservative” I was sparring with in the social media (see previous post) “defriended” me on Facebook.

This is a guy who works at one of the major media companies, and who works in New Media.   He has a habit of posting inflammatory, anti-liberal videos and posts on his profile page, which in turn showed up on mine.  I generally tried to ignore them; but occassionally one would rear its ugly head, and it was too tempting or too outrageous to resist disputing,

Because after all, the lie repeated often enough without dispute becomes the truth.

Apparently the straw that broke the camel’s back was his posting of a video of a home invasion – in which four heavily-armed men try to break into a Tucson, AZ house but are repelled by an armed homeowner – as a justification for gun ownership. http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/crime/2009/02/11/marino.home.invasion.KVOA

Unfortunately, I can’t retrieve the exchange between us; and maybe the homeowner is a total innocent defending himself.

But I pointed out that where I live, a visit by four young males armed with assault rifles, in mid-day, in a middle-class neighborhood, is usually associated with drug trafficking, large stashes of cash, or gang violence.  And the speed with which he repelled the attackers, as well as the ready access to a loaded weapon and extensive video surveillance of his home brings into question his “innocence”.  A little extra research yielded that the homeowner was a “known person” to police, and the likelihood of gang involvement was floated.

My Facebook “friend” insisted I was missing the point, that this happens to people like you and me.  I’ve been held up at gunpoint twice and walked away without a scratch.  I don’t know anyone, or anyone who knows anyone, or anyone who knows anyone who knows anyone who has experienced anything remotely like this. 

So much for six degrees of separation. 

When I was in college, I did once come home from a weekend away in San Diego to find my USC-adjacent apartment had been burglarized.  But that’s about it.

HIs last words to me were that I was not worth the words to write to.  (????)  And he didn’t have the stones to explain, or to mention he was defriending.  He just disappeared, like a thief in the night.  Or a home invader in the light of day.

That, in my estimation, is a serious problem.  When you can’t justify your arguments, when you don’t question your beliefs and assertions, when you can’t answer legitimate and obvious questions, you cut off the dialog.

On the other hand, when simple words and logical arguments trigger such a response, you know you’ve hit a nerve.  When they can’t respond other than to break off the debate, you have made your point.

I noted this defriending occurrence on my Facebook profile when it happened. 

One of the people who responded hit the nail on the head: “Okay so what’s the downside?”

Really, what is the downside when a reactionary zealot decides he cannot sustain a constructive dialog and cuts you off?  To me, not much.  To our society, it is going to be a BIG problem, considering the challenges facing our Nation and the polarized populace. 

And one of my dear (no kidding) conservative friends commented: “Just remember that not all conservatives are created equal.”

Thanks God for that.  Because at least with that attitude, we can still talk and find common ground.

As a Nation, we need to make this kind of behavior taboo.  The refusal to engage in dialogue, and blind obedience to an ideological set of values of ANY kind, will ruin us. 

Because the people who refuse to engage in civil discourse are represented, in our government and on the airwaves; and as we know, some of them are the representatives.  They cannot be allowed to hold sway simply by their intransigence.  There needs to be a penalty, a cost for blind and obstinate obstruction based on ideology.  In our society, that penalty should be extracted at the polls, and that only happens when we as citizens hold them accountable. 

We, the people who seek dialogue, who seek accomodation, who seek compromise are the majority, and we cannot be silent or acquiescent.

As a people, we have to rise up and say “This must stop.  The bickering and ideological foot-dragging cannot be allowed to stand in the way of constructive progress.”

And serious progress is earnestly needed to address the challenges facing us.  NOW!

Now, why should you share this with friends, right now?  Because any action truly worth taking is worth taking – and may only be worth taking – in the moment, in the now.

I’m here for one purpose, to put my opinions and beliefs out in order to spark dialogue.

If you agree or at least see some value in what you read here, share this blog with 10 friends, right now.  I don’t care if they agree with me.  Just do it now, before the rest of your life gets in the way.  It will take so little time and it makes a difference.  Help me get it out, because without the healthy exchange of ideas, there are dim days ahead for our democracy. 

Because civil discourse is the lifeblood of our democracy.

May the Higher Power of your choice light your path today.  And kiss your Valentine for me.


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