Thursday, November 15, 2007
Thursday, July 07, 2005
TERRORISTS AND LIBERATORS, ENGLAND AND IRAQ ©
Today terrorists attacked London. Four bombs blasted in parts of the city proper, simultaneously. The people were devastated and Prime Minister Tony Blair was not there. The Premier was meeting with Group of Eight leaders, and five heads of state in Gleneagles, Scotland. They were together for what is known as the G8 Summit. The talk was to be of global warming, aid to Africa, and other issues that unite us all. However, the discussion changed and Blair’s, participation would be delayed. He needed to return to London quickly.
Before his departure the host of the conference, Prime Minister of England, spoke. He addressed the press on behalf of the G8 leaders. Blair stated, “We will not allow violence to change our societies or our values; nor will we allow it to stop the work of this summit. We will continue our deliberations in the interest of a better world.” Later, from his residence at 10 Downing Street, Blair offered, "They are trying to use the slaughter of innocent people to cow us, but they should know they will not succeed."
Might those living in Iraq say the same; have they? They have. Iraqi citizens were and are trying to live a “normal” life. They too are not allowing violence to change their civilization or ethics. They continually work not to be frightened by the forces that besiege them. The people of Iraq believe that, in March 2003, they were going about their daily business when America, Britain, and the allies attacked.
Now, and for three long years, they feel that Americans and the alliance are “trying to use slaughter” and intimidation of innocents, to change their social order. Iraqi citizens huddle in their homes. They know not what the day will bring; however they can say, without hesitation, devastation and killing will occur. Iraqi’s are certain that on any given day, in any given moment, the allied armies may break down doors, enter homes, kill families, and do so in the name of justice and freedom. Innocent Iraqi’s will be maimed and murdered, just as those in London were today.
TERRORIST ATTACKS, BUSH PROTECTS US? ©
Only two days ago, a friend and I were discussing the possibility. Could, or would terrorist attack again? We were discussing the practices and policies of the Transportation Security Administration. We each shared our experiences.
We wondered and mused. Were the measures imposed merely presenting the appearance of safety? Are the procedures meant to calm fears and nothing more? Is there a façade of security or are we truly “safer”?
Is attention to detail truly a deterrent, is the minutiae being carefully considered? Are these practices active, assertive, or aggressive, reactive, too little, and too late?
Does the Department of Homeland Security invoke principled procedures; are they practical? What of the Patriot Act? Are citizens turning their lives over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to Central Intelligence, or to the President and the Project for the New American Century? Are American’s sacrificing their civil rights? What of liberty and freedom?
This man claimed that while he did not agree with the administration on every count, he supports it. He proudly proclaimed that he did vote for Mr. Bush. He stated, he believes Bush and his Battalion keep us safe, or safer. They protect us; the United States of America is secure, with thanks to George W. Bush! This acquaintance maintains that King George II is the “man.” He asserts, our dear sweet President, and his strong posture, ensure, terrorist do not dare attack America again! He cites recent history as evidence.
Yet, experts affirm, attacks are often planned for years before the “action” takes place. When we assess the President’s response to 9/11, we realize there were and are many delays. Decisiveness and determination are GW’s allies; however, at times these are his impediments. He is so certain that he is right, that he ignores what is wise. President Bush refused a 9/11 Commission for quite some time; it was the survivors that prevailed.
Though changes were made, they were few. Those that have been imposed are modified. Numerous 9/11 Commission recommendations are yet to be instituted. Ports and rails remain very vulnerable.
The make-up of the Transportation Security Administration is questionable; are these persons better qualified, better trained, or merely more acceptable to Americans. Is the authority of the TSA just? Do the screeners and officers look for what is obvious and miss what is equally dangerous? There are those that deliberate.
*All lighters are prohibited as carry-on items. Lighters without fuel are permitted in checked baggage, but lighters with fuel are prohibited.
** Up to 4 books of safety (non-strike anywhere) matches are permitted as carry-on items, but all matches are prohibited in checked baggage.
Many state consistency and rationale are not part of the process. We are not safer. Bush is not our protector. The President is not our guardian angel, though his demeanor may comfort some. His staunch stance may help to alleviate the inner fears for a few. However, we can ask, are GW, the TSA, the CIA, and the FBI effective? Do terrorists fear them or their policies? Is our time yet to come?
People throughout the globe “hate” Americans for their arrogance, now, more then ever. While some do not loathe Americans, they disdain this administration. It is often said; current American policies are the cause for anti-American and anti-ally sentiments. Globally, terrorism is on the rise; insurgencies are increasing. Why is this true? Some say America is responsible for these rebellions.
What of 3/11 and 7/7? Were these acts possible because Spain and England were less strong, less vigilant, or were these nations attacked for allying themselves with America?
I would rather belong to a poor nation that was free than to a rich nation that had ceased to be in love with liberty.
Liberty has never come from Government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it . . . The history of liberty is a history of limitations of governmental power, not the increase of it.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
BUSH BIRTHDAY. FIFTY-NINE YEARS, SO MANY FOIBLES! ©
This is an invitation to the Bush Birthday Party. You are cordially invited to attend. Please RSVP; Répondez S'il Vous Plaît, your presence and voice are welcome. Please bring a guest, a quip, a query, or your own quality.
Attendees, thus far, are Environmental Issues, the Attack on Afghanistan, and the Iraqi Invasion.
Bush on the Environment
Russell Train once served as the Second Chief for the Environmental Protection Agency. Mr. Train worked with the agency while presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford were in office. Train considers himself a Republican; he has a history of voting Republican. However, in 2004, he did not. He cited the Bush environmental record among the reasons for his change. In 2004, Train said, "It’s almost as if the motto of the administration in power today in Washington is not environmental protection, but polluter protection, I find this deeply disturbing." Train spoke these words while in the company of other Republicans. Each was declaring the current policy dismal!
Since the beginning the Bush energy policy has been under dispute. The planners were corporate chiefs. Scientists and citizens were not present. Former Chief Executive Officer of energy and construction company, Halliburton lead the committee; that man is Vice President, Dick Cheney. All that was said and done remains secret, or at least that is the preference of the administration.
➢ Bush retreats from campaign promise to reduce carbon pollution [03/13/01]
➢ EPA issues an arsenic-in-tap-water standard higher than that recommended by public health advocates [10/31/01]
➢ Guts Tough Mining Protections [10/25/01]
➢ White House plans deep cuts in environmental spending [11/28/01]
➢ Snowmobile ban unlikely to be implemented in Yellowstone and Grand Teton [12/10/01]
➢ DOE weakens standards for Yucca nuclear storage [12/14/01]
➢ Bush administration weakens federal program for cleaning up dirty waters [12/21/02]
➢ Forest Service rewriting rules to increase logging, remove wildlife safeguards [11/26/02]
➢ EPA exempts oil and gas industry from storm-water pollution rules [12/30/02]
➢ New EPA rules ignore mercury pollution from chlorine plants [08/27/03]
➢ EPA strikes deal with polluting factory farms [09/25/03]
➢ New EPA mercury rule fails to account for 'lost' emissions [12/19/03]
➢ “Another” senior EPA official resigns in protest to Bush administration policies [12/23/03]
➢ Bush cuts funding for endangered species [02/25/04]
➢ White House stifles global warming data, says NASA top official [10/27/04]
➢ National forest rules rewritten to help timber industry [12/22/04]
➢ Bush oil and gas drilling policy forces taxpayers to pay a heavy cleanup price [12/26/04]
➢ EPA extends storm-water pollution exemption for oil and gas industry [01/19/05
➢ EPA grants amnesty to polluting factory farms [01/21/05]
Bush on the Attack, Afghanistan
Donald Rumsfeld offered his assessment in December 2002, while speaking on CNN’s Larry King. His evaluation was rosy, thorns and all. “They have elected a government. The Taliban are gone. The Al Qaeda are gone. The country is not a perfectly stable place, and it needs a great deal of reconstruction funds. There are people who are throwing hand grenades and shooting off rockets and trying to kill people, but there are people who are trying to kill people in New York or San Francisco. So it’s not going to be a perfectly tidy place.”
On June 17, 2004, while standing in the Rose Garden, President George W. Bush proclaimed, "Three years ago, the Taliban had granted Osama bin Laden and his terrorist Al Qaeda organization a safe refuge. Afghanistan is no longer a terrorist factory sending thousands of killers into the world."
Yet, in July 2005, the fighting continues!
➢ July 1, 2005, Soldiers Missing in Afghanistan
➢ Bin Laden may be in Afghan south, Pakistan says
➢ June 22, 2005, Porter Goss suggests that the CIA Chief has “Excellent idea” where Bin Laden is, yet
➢ Aggressive Search' Underway in Afghanistan
➢ Bush continues to tout his success on a war that does not end
Invasion of Iraq, Bush confesses, "Our progress has been uneven."
Before George W. Bush was elected, or even anointed President of the United States in 2001, the Project for the New American Century drafted its plan for Iraq. The proposal was released in September 2000. The intent was clear; America would attack Iraq and secure “regime change!”
The authors of this outline are now known as the Bush Brigade. They are Vice President, Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, Chairman of the World Bank, former Deputy Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz, and Chief of Staff for the Vice President, Lewis Libby. The younger brother of George W. and Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush also assisted in the writing. The document is titled, Rebuilding America's Defenses. This draft reveals that President Bush and his cabinet were planning long before the neoconservatives took office in January 2001.
➢ Equating Saddam Hussein to September 11, 2001 attacks
➢ Intent of attack on Iraq, was the purpose to remove the threat of WMDs, eliminate Saddam, or oil?
➢ Late if ever considering true nation building
➢ Did not wait to find the non-existent weapons of mass destruction
➢ Did not create a broad coalition, become part of an international force, dismissed diplomacy
➢ Unilateral in words and deeds
➢ Funding for the “wars” is not included in the budget
➢ Billions of dollars are considered a “supplemental expense!”
➢ Sent in too few troops to secure the country
➢ Refused to recognize the urgency of training Iraqi security forces
➢ Destroyed the Iraqi army through de-Baathification
➢ Expected Iraqi people to welcome occupation with open arms
➢ Underestimated the likelihood and power of the insurgency
➢ Created a breeding ground for jihadists
➢ Reactive rants, encouraging greater insurgency
➢ No postwar planning, “staying the course” is our curse
➢ “Officially” more than 1,000 people, mostly Iraqis have been killed since the new Iraqi government was formed in April.
➢ The US death toll has pushed past 1,700 since the conflict began in March 2003
➢ Secrecy, stressing suspicion, promoting a climate of fear
Today, July 6, 2005, we celebrate our Commander and Chief. Please bring gifts, share your thoughts, and tell us how his birth has affected your life. On this the date of his birth, please bestow your honors on our President, George W. Bush. May you enjoy this celebration.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST COMMITTEE APPROVES GAY MARRIAGE ©
Sunday, July 3, 2005
The President of the United Sates does not approve of gay marriage. He has repeatedly requested that the Constitution be amended to ensure that gay couples cannot legally unite. We know, that God speaks through Mr. Bush, for he has mentioned this often. Therefore, we can assume that God does not approve of gay unions. The current Pope, Benedict XVI is strongly opposed to the prospect; the past Pope, John Paul II was as well. The Vice President and his family are conflicted.
In November 2004, eleven states referendums rejecting recognition of gay marriages, passed decisively.
Public polls show that people throughout this country are more in favor then opposed.
This Sunday, after much dialogue, a committee of 50 United Church of Christ representatives gave their blessings. They believe the Church must sanction gay marriages. They rejected the notion that marriage be defined as “a union between one man and one woman.” They are asking the General Synod to do the same in their Monday meeting.
Monday, July 04, 2005
A SALUTE TO THE FLAG, “MADE IN CHINA OR USA” ©
This morning as I prepared my breakfast, I listened to a commercial, televised, news broadcast. As I cut the papaya, the announcer commented; she spoke of the all the flags we see as we are out and about on this Fourth of July holiday weekend. She then asked, “Where do all these flags come from?” I answered aloud, “China.” The program went to break; the story would follow the commercials. Scooping the tender middle from the fruit, my mind wandered.
I recalled the summer of 1992. George Herbert Walker Bush was running for President of the United States, as was Bill Clinton. Clinton was not my first choice. Tom Harkin of Iowa was. However, it was clear to me, Clinton would be the Democratic nominee. I believe Senator Harkin is far more progressive than Clinton, as am I, and I was troubled by the Clinton campaign. I read that the Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton was being courted by the Orange County Republicans; they actually hosted a breakfast for the nominee.
However, I digress. Regardless of who is running, I am a lover of history. I would not wish to miss a moment of it. If an event is close to my home and I can conveniently attend, I will plan to be there. In the summer of 1992, then Vice President George H. W. Bush was scheduled to speak at Mile Square Park. At the time, I lived only blocks away. I walked.
Friday, June 03, 2005
DESECRATE THE QUÁRAN. WAS NEWSWEEK EVER IN ERROR? ©
It was late on a Friday evening. On the east coast, network nightly newscasts had already aired. The calm and stillness of the weekend was setting in. Some were readying for bed, others for a night on the town. It was time to leave the hustle and bustle of the workweek behind; it was time to enjoy the weekend.
What better time for the Whitehouse to release a story that might bring controversy? Customarily, people leave thoughts of global chaos for the weekdays. Saturdays and Sundays are considered days of rest. The media respects this time-honored tradition. Therefore, if details of a story could be damaging, if they might defeat an intended Bush plan, this administration reveals them in the quiet of a Friday night, and so it was with this story.
On Friday night, June 3, 2005, the true story of the Quáran [Koran] was made public. Newsweek did not report the story; they were beaten, battered, and badly bruised. They could take no more chances, no more criticism. The Whitehouse had won their battle with this periodical. Newsweek editors partially retracted their earlier report “GUANTANAMO, A Scandal Spreads.”
On May 9, 2005, Newsweek had published a piece stating, American interrogators had flushed a Quáran down the toilet. Unheard of, not possible, or so the Whitehouse claimed. American servicemen and women would never do such a thing. Remember Abu Ghair.
In the days immediately following the May 9th missive, Spokesman Scott McClellan berated the magazine, its reporters, editors, and their policies. Speaking on behalf of the President, Mr. McClellan questioned the use of an anonymous source. A tale such as this is “too important” and warrants more scrutiny before it is placed in print. He stated Newsweek has done “irreparable damage” to the reputation of the United States.
Later, the President and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld chimed in. Each claimed Newsweek was the cause for riots and bedlam; their carelessness caused fifteen deaths. Ultimately and sheepishly, Newsweek correspondents Michael Isikoff and John Barry affirmed, they had only one source, and that source was unwilling to speak on the record. Newsweek editors were embarrassed. Reluctantly they admitted they were in error; the statement should not have been published. It would be a while before this magazine was ready for another skirmish. Yet, the results of another investigation on the mistreatment of the Quáran were revealed on this Friday, June 3.