Wednesday, April 30, 2008

McCain/Cheney/Bush; The Desire, Determination and Drive for Power

Here's a video of McCain's view of what America should be doing for a long time; as in a million years.

For several years I thought John McCain was a decent guy with some good ideas and willing to act as a leader to bring differing views to compromise, even across the aisle.

During this past year I've seen him sacrifice his principles and thus his personal integrity by appealing to those people whom he had previously repudiated and by backing policies and programs he had previously opposed(Falwell,Hagee/Bush tax cuts are specific examples).

A shocker recently was his vote against a bill prohibiting torture, then advising the president to veto it, and he the one in public life who has most benefited politically as a patriot and hero for having personally endured torture in captivity.

A few weeks ago he said it would be OK by him if we're in Iraq for a hundred years. This video has him going over the top on that. He actually is seen and heard to say that 1000 years or one million years are OK.

McCain is a soldier, a fighter, the tough guy who gives it to you straight. Perhaps it's more accurate to say he's a militant and his view of America is to be the most militant of all countries. He equates being in Iraq for a very long time with being in South Korea, Japan, Germany, and other places where we have hardened military bases. We now have fourteen hardened military bases in Iraq, and the world's largest so-called embassy, a euphemism for the Middle East White House.

The hardened bases in the other countries he cites might have made some sense during the Cold War, by providing security to our allies against USSR Imperialism.

The hardened bases in Iraq are to protect against disruption of oil shipments to those who import or want to import Iraq's oil. Frankly that makes some sense because a disruption of oil shipments would likely precipitate a world wide depression. Some experienced, knowledgeable and reputable people have observed that such a situation would trigger not just a crisis but a catastrophe.

The Bush administration continues to do their fear mongering thing; 9/11, Iran threatening our ships in the Gulf, Iran providing arms to Iraqis in the Basra area, reports that Al Qaeda is reviving and showing signs of renewed leadership.

We, the people, who proclaimed that we seek a more perfect union, must be constantly and continuously on guard against those who seek to define that more perfect union to suit their own purposes and agendas.

President Eisenhower, fifty years ago, warned us about the danger of the power of the military/industrial complex. He, like George Washington, was a professional soldier by training and trade, yet still feared the power of the military partnering with war machine manufacturers to buy the imprimatur of powerful politicians.

Those who have manipulated our "We the People" government for their own purposes, the egregious and greedy accumulation of power, via money, are behind today's occupying force in Iraq. The King George of 1776 was loath to relinquish control of the vast resources known to exist in America.

The King George of our time is loath to relinquish control of the vast resources of the Middle East, specifically oil which made his family wealthy and which he reprehensibly, is doing his best to exploit.

Since those who are wealthy by virtue of the value oil and oil related elements of the economy have no wish to kill their black golden goose, we will continue to be dependent on oil for years to come, and thus in the ongoing need to secure its sources and methods of distribution.

It's not lost on many of us that McCain is willing and able to say and do whatever he thinks it takes to become President of the United States.

I think the same thing of Hillary.

In November I will cast my vote for the Dem nominee, as an endorsement of Barack's values, should he become the nominee, not as an endorsement of Hillary's values, should she become the nominee. I will be voting for the values of those who identify with and openly state their support for policies which address the needs of all citizens, not just the fortunate ones.

The most galling aspect of the Bush administration to me has been its arrogance, hubris and condescension toward the less fortunate of our citizens. Virtually everything they've done they set out to do once in power. That was and is the rewarding of lucrative contracts, many without competition, to their benefactors, the reduction in taxes benefiting mostly the already wealthy, passing legislation which benefits their contributors, and the like.

John McCain, the former straight talking, honest, pillar of integrity and virtue has been unmasked. The guy I used to admire as a legislator, leader, admired soldier, one who actually acted, not just said, what he believed, has succumbed to his enormous need for power, and has subjugated his principles and values to that narcissistic need for which he, like Bush, must be repudiated.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Shadow Knows

Bob Herbert, the NY Times columnist, has a piece in today's paper about the devastation which Rev. Wright is inflicting on Barack Obama's campaign. I wish Herbert were over reacting, but unfortunately I believe he's correct in his assessment.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Red Zone

Here is Bob Herbert's column on Obama's troubles which is a worriesome read, but needs to be understood.

Herbert is a fair minded columnist with the NYTimes who is giving us his straight talk about Obama's lately ineffectual campaigning. As an Obama supporter I am troubled because I think Herbert is pretty much on target.

He's justifiably critical of the Clinton's determination to so destroy Obama, that even if he is the Dem nominee he will lose the General Election. That's how nasty, yes shitty, they are.

He addresses the Rev. Wright thing, the best thing that could have happened to the GOPhers in their wildest dreams. The Bill Moyers interview reveals Wright as a decent, thoughtful man, but those who wish to destroy Obama are less not likely to watch the interview.

Herbert is challenging Obama to tell the voters what his plan is to address the economic plight of the recession and loss of jobs, saying I'm for you and this is what we're going to do. He says that most of us would respond with a blank stare if asked what that plan is today. This is just criticism.

If the super delegates are going to nominate the Dem candidate they are going to pick the one who can win in November. Right now that's not at all clear to me. And it's killing me. The country and the world need Obama in the White House.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

How Outrageous Can It Get?

Oxymoron, thy name is Compassionate Conservatism. Here is a link to Gail Collins' column in today's NYTimes.

The issue she addresses is equal pay for women, which the Compassionate Conservatives just voted against. You might say ho -hum, but please read the column. If it doesn't get under your skin, let alone make your blood boil, you are as cold hearted as the Compassionate Conservatives.

The silver lining might be that this is an issue which fair minded people can use to bludgeon McCain in the General Election campaign.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Let Them Eat Stop & Shop Day Old

Today's equivalents of the arrogant utterances from Versailles in the 18th century might be today's arrogant utterances from the White House, and the current throw back utterances from the Vatican.

Louis XIV, liked to be called the Sun King, George W. Bush informs us that God told him to invade Iraq, the Pope claims that he is the Vicar of Christ.

Each of these individuals is a mere human being whom other human beings find a need to set upon a throne. What really fascinates me and also invokes my gag reflex, is that those who need to enthrone someone, do so in spite of the reality that those whom they enthrone live lives of luxury in stark contrast to the peasant level lives of their worshipers.

The kind of governance in place doesn't seem to matter much. Louis XIV was King of France, George W. Bush is President of the US, Benedict is the Pope of Catholics. Each one was set on a throne by different means.

I've never been in the White House and I've never been in the Vatican, though I have been in both buildings vicariously through photo images.

I have been in the Palace at Versailles.

Each of these buildings is a monument to opulence and extravagance. The opulence differs only in degree.

The occupants of these buildings, whether they occupy them by virtue of their blood relationship to previous occupants, a suspect electoral process, or chimney smoke and mirrors disguised as the will of God, knew what they were getting into.

Occasionally the current occupant has high minded ideas and ideals, which don't require living in decadent opulence. Barack Obama might be such a person. The previous Pope might have been such a person. Clearly Louis XIV was not.

What fascinates me is that the public which elevates such people to a thronal position might vehemently object to any attempt by their ruler to live more like the ruled. The exceptions to that point of view have been, notably, about the attitude of the ruler. Louis XIV exhibited contempt for his subjects and paid with his life.

The Pope waves to the crowd from his Popemobile, signifying
caring, but from behind bullet proof glass. George W. Bush fractures the English language, walks with a swagger, likes to be photo-opted cutting brush on his ranch and is thought of by many as a guy one would like to have a beer with.

It's not so much the Alpha Male or Female behavior that interests me, it's the behavior of those of their subjects who exhibit the need to elevate someone to the throne, to become the authority, more in the sense of power than in the sense of knowledge and wisdom. This behavior of the submissive, the voter, the worshipper extends even to the point of overlooking factual evidence that their leader exhibits behavior, expresses ideas and values which are clearly antithetical to,
and not in the interest of, their subjects, their flock and(arrrg) those they refer to as "my friends" or "my fellow citizens".

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Monday, April 21, 2008

Far Out

I am a Trekkie. I seldom tire of watching re-runs of Star Trek. I enjoyed Captain Kirk, Captain Jean Luc Piccard and The Next Generation, and still enjoy Star Trek Voyager, with Captain Katherine Janeway and her crew. Why am I writing about this on a blog usually focused on politics, religion and science? It's because at the core of my interest in these areas of life, is my fascination with the behaviors of all species, especically the one to which scientists tell me I am assigned, homo sapien, sapien.

And it's because the spirit of Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, lives on in the lives of his disciples. Those who followed him continue to use their imagination in Space, the Final Frontier. Star Trek space is the setting for stories which appear to be merely science fiction dramas and thrillers, but which are actually important and edifying morality plays.

Star Trek space is, like our planet Earth, inhabited by all kinds of species, which upon inspection from some close encounters, exhibit all the appearances and behaviors of the vast variety of species on Earth, and not just those of the different human races. You have to experience it, check it out, to grasp, if not understand, what I'm saying.

For example, in the series Star Trek Voyager, we encounter the Borg. It is a species whose continued existence requires assimilation of all other species. Borg space ships are called hives, complete with a queen and drones. Assimilated species are turned into drones in the service of the queen.

Individual identities of assimilated species are replaced by a Borg designation consisting of a number within a collective, such as seven of nine, and can only act with the consensus of all other drones, of which they are constantly aware by virtue of a ceaseless stream of consciousness from all other drones.

This Borg theme is just one of many which, if we're looking for drama and science fiction excitement, is likely to capture our imagination. I've enjoyed that drama, and also have come to understand that they are stories with a message, a moral.

Star Trek Voyager stories take place in the 24th Century, when the people of Earth and other nearby Class M(read humanoid life support) planets formed The United Federation of Planets(read United States of America), for the purpose of exploring other worlds, meaning other species. Like the USA, the UFOP, has a self view that it's motives are good and benign, and are simply for exploration. It has a Prime Directive which states that those of its explorers must not interfere with the lives and workings of other species encountered.

Each and all of the so -far three Star Trek Space Ships has, as vessels, Captain, First Officer and Crew in the model of the US Navy. The morality plays are not just about how the ship's complement engage in encounters with new species, but how they engage within themselves in their voyages. One can wonder how that might have played out on Captain Columbus's ship in 1492.

The stories, though they take place in Outer Space, are actually morality plays. These are explorers as were the explorers of Earth. They encounter new planets(read lands) and the creature who populate them(read foreigners). The stories are about the first encounters.

I find it interesting and disturbing that in our own time, the 21st Century, the word alien is used as a label with a distinctly pejorative connotation for both creatures from Outer Space and human beings from other lands. In both cases the tacit understanding of the term is Invader.

Should you be sufficiently curious to check out Star Trek Voyager, you will find it on the Spike channel. In my area, Cape Cod, it is on at 4:00PM weekdays. It's in a repeat phase now.

My all time favorite episode is called, "One Small Step". It's much larger than you might think.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Scripted "Opinions", Retired Generals and Propaganda

The Daily Kos has as it's lead article today an in depth analysis of the Pentagon's propaganda war, using retired generals to give their "opinions" on the war. There's only one problem; it seems they are given their "opinions" by the White House, The Pentagon and the State Department.

You've seen these guys many times on News and Talk shows, and not just on Fox.

You also might have read about this in yesterday's Sunday Times.

Clinton and Obama should be shouting this from the rooftops instead of shouting at each other.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Twelve Serious Issues in Iraq

Please read here a most worthy piece by Tom Engelhardt, found today in Truthout.

He writes about twelve aspects of the Iraq occupation which are rarely treated in the main stream media.

For starters here are a few of his issues: The reason for the invasion, oil; the size of, and reason for, the so-called US Embassy, Middle East dominance; Iraqi troops will never stand up. It is a well researched and written essay.

I commend it to you.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The American Embassy for the Middle East

It's supposedly the American Embassy in Iraq, but the structure which has been built in Baghdad is, as the largest embassy in the world, designed and built to be the Washington, DC of the Middle East.

I've written recently about the Project for a New American Century. It's not really a project it's a cabal of neo-cons whose grip on the GOP has gotten us into war in Iraq, and who advocate for invading Iran. Their ultimate goal is a new American imperialism creating hegemony in the entire Middle East.

Why? Oil, of course.

Both links in this post take you to an article on this Imperial Palace.

Friday, April 18, 2008

People might be quick to anger, and thus insist on seeking change, on issues closest to home, those which affect them on a daily basis. People might be slower to anger, and so are initially more reserved about seeking change on issues which th elected others to handle.

The Founding Fathers of our country have been eulogized and credited with unusual and exceptual wisdom, truly deserved. They also deserve our thanks and appreciation for their ability and willingness to argue about how to construct and word a document which they, in their wisdom, believed was needed and essential to the survival of their grand experiment in a form of government, vastly different from and vastly geographically removed from that which they, and their ancestors came to this new -to -them land to escape.

This is such a huge subject, and it's so easy for me to become distracted by a thought which momentarily grabs my attention as an important aside, but which detracts from what I set out to observe and perhaps even suggest, if not recommend.

In my business days I enjoyed growing into and becoming the one who made decisions, the decider. I had a sense that those who worked their ass off every day wanted and needed a leader of the team, but if I were to tell them that I was the decider they would have felt controlled, not led. It's been my experience, based on a small number of, but powerfully personal, humiliations that leadership is vastly more than the just being in charge.

It has to do with the two different meanings of the word authority. Being in a position of authority vests power in the individual. True leadership implies being recognized as an authority.

George W. Bush has had to continually call himself the decider, because he can only claim to being in charge, in a position of authority. He does not have leadership qualities based on being recognized as being an authority.

Hillary Clinton yearns to be in the position of authority because she wants power. John McCain is steeped in the military way, the chain of command, top down command and control, and must be seen as wanting the position of authority, for the power the position invests in him.

Barack Obama is seen as being an authority on what's best for all the people of our country, and for that he should be elected president. He wants to be a positive influence for all Americans, and respected for his leadership qualities based on being a recognized and respected authority, both at home and abroad.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Constitution, The Ten Commandments and SCOTUS

Sorry to say, in spite of religious leaders' proclamations and assurances that the children of God as they label us, or the homo sapien, sapien species, using the scientific nomanclature, we
continue to act more as a force of Nature than a Child of God, assuming God is a loving father, not a vengeful tyrant.

The Bible, which institutionally religious people claim is the word of God, contains descriptions of both "personalities" of God. I use the term "personalities" because those who believe that the Bible is the word of God think of God as a person, who would, by definition, have a personality.

You might wonder at this point about what I'm up to. As a Voice Crying in the Wilderness I have no illusions that anyone's listening. And so this exercise is for the most part a way for me to vent my frustrations. Should anyone actually pay atttention, tune in and respond I would be at least surprised, but at the same time, grateful, regardless of the nature of the comment the reader might leave.

Let's take it again from the top.

What got me going tonight?

Today the Supreme Court of the United States, now often known and appproriately reduced to the acronym SCOTUS(which rhymes with Scrotus), ruled that the three stage PROTOCOL(don't you love it when people wrap themselves in high falutin language to disguise their intent?) injections used to kill those who have been condemned to death does not rise to the level of violation of the cruel and unusual punishment language and intent of the Eighth Amendment.

I felt better immediately upon reading that news, didn't you?

You say you didn't? Tell me why.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Euphemism Deluxe XL V8, 12.0 Liter

Here is a link to a 2001 New York Times piece on Project for a New American Century, which is the ultimate in euphemistic names. It's the Deluxe XL, V8, 12.0 Liter Model of a group of people, more accurately a cabal, if not a conspiracy, whose goal it has been for almost twenty years to take advantage of the vacuum resulting from the fall of the Soviet Union to make
American the sole super power in the world; arm it, govern it and impose it on the world as an unchallengeable force for the benefit of the members of the "Project".


Here is a link to a current essay by William Rivers Pitt on the "Project". If you have checked out my recent post, "Read it and Weep" you will already have had the chance to read it. Pitt names names, and you will recognize them all because they have been so much in the public domain for the past several years. They've been called Neo-Cons, or New Conservatives.

The word "conservative" used to enjoy the connotation of careful, responsible, moderate, make haste slowly, don't throw the baby out with the bath water. However in this age of Theocracy, not to be confused with Democracy, the word conservative has come to connote one who holds the view that we should return to those good old days of yesteryear, when men were men, and power was in the barrel of a gun, and we killed the bad guys and installed a new sheriff in town.

Problem is this group takes that model and wants to impose it on the entire globe.

I commend these two articles to you for your edification and hopeful enlightenment. It's crucial to be knowledgeable about such as this in a once in four year election opportunity.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Probable Resource Wars

Here is an essay that thoroughly summarizes the world of energy we find today. Klare is well known for his book Resource Wars of a few years back. In that work he dealt with scarcities of all kinds of resources, including water, land and food. In this piece he concentrates on the problem of energy supply and demand. It could be called Probable Resource Wars.

Find it here.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

An Active Duty Four Star Speaks Out

Read here a very good piece by Steve Coll of the New Yorker Magazine about an active duty four star general's comments on the state of our military. This general spoke out before retirement, but it was not given much press by the compliant Main Stream media.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Monday, April 14, 2008

Read it and Weep

Here is a link to a William Rivers Pitt essay found on TruthOut.

It exposes some of the greatest treachery our country has ever experienced, yet it gets almost no attention in the Main Stream Media which claims to keep the citizens apprised of important things.

And why are the three candidates not talking about it, especially the Dems?

McCain's wisecrack about a 100 year Iraq presence makes more sense now. He really means it.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Hillary the Hateful

Barack Obama said it like it is. He spoke the truth. He empathized with the frustrations of people whose livelihoods have suffered for many years.

Hillary Clinton has again demonstrated that she is willing to do anything, say anything to discredit any opponent in her drive to come out on top in whatever personal competition and confrontation she faces. Her nature is to react personally to her opposition, to deride her competitor with accusations which appear to be logical and reasonable, but which are energized by her need to get back on top.

She is a shrew and a hateful one at that.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Global Scheme, Successor to The American Dream

Obama was speaking the truth to the powerless when he used the word "bitter" in describing the mood of those who feel powerless in the face of overwhelming obstacles in their every day lives; jobs lost, health care and education of their children unaffordable, gas and food prices rising to the point, either eat or drive, when these are not mutually exclusive options.

His use of the word "bitter" was actually accurate in so far as it describes the deep seated feelings of people for whom he has empathy. Those who have jumped all over him for being condescending to the less advantaged as an "elite" are those who epitomize the ultimate in hypocrisy. In the personages of Hillary Clinton, John McCain and their groupies, they accuse Obama of the hypocrisy with which they are so poisonously laced.

Why is "bitter" not only an accurate word, but an appropriate word? Perhaps it's because it connotes, captures a mood typical of anyone who knows how it feels to be ignored, left out of what used to be called the American dream.

This is the mood of those who now get it. They are those who realize that the American Dream has morphed into what is now the Global Scheme. It is the scheme of those who have made their fortunes in the American dream, and now want to multiply those fortunes exponentially by piling on obstacles to those who did what they could within the earlier rules of the game, only to find that those in power changed the rules of the game during the game.

(In the interest of backing up the last assertion. I offer the following: A year or so ago I read a comment by a classmate of George W. Bush at Yale that W was known for trying to change the rules of the game when he was behind. I cannot document that with proper attribution, though I do know that I read it.

It's always been a truism that them what has gets. In the Cheney/Bush regime tax cuts for the richest poured gasoline on the fire that sent the American Dream for many up in smoke.

The American dream has always been understood to mean the possibility that those who worked hard, kept their noses clean, didn't chase skirts, kept their hand out of the cookie jar, and with a little bit of luck had a better than even chance to enjoy "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", which usually requires a decent job.

The word "bitter" is the emotionally charged word which describes the mood of many Americans who have become aware that others who are essentially immune to the ravages of inflation, are in power and making decisions for their own benefit, and which add to the chasm between the haves and the have nots.

Cheney/Bush tax cuts were clearly skewed to the benefit of the already wealthy, a few of whom have, to their everlasting credit, said they didn't need them. Cheney/Bush/Rove and their neo-con cabal conspired to commit American hard earned treasure and precious lives to a military exercise, invading Iraq, the goals of which were and still are the additional accumulation of wealth for those who would benefit from such an exercise; the testing of new weapons, facing down Iran for who will gain control and make big money from Iraq's oil.

Iraq, Basra, Oil, Maliki, Sadr, Bush/Cheney

Here is a pretty thorough summary of where things stand on the real reason for invading Iraq.

I've thought for some time now that there will be little if any change in Iraq after November, 2008, regardless of who is elected. It's about oil, which is about money. The world needs oil as long as there is still no viable alternative. The oil companies aren't interested in killing their golden goose by investing in alternative energy. Bush and family and Cheney made mega millions in the oil industry. Not hard to connect the dots.

Once again, if you don't understand something, follow the money.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Iraq War/Price of Oil Inseparable Issues

Click to find a message I hope many will read, take to heart and consider when voting this November.

Sometimes elections are about the economy and sometimes they are about wars. This time around it's both in one.

Cheney made a visit to his proxy Maliki and shortly thereafter Maliki took on Sadr in Basra, the small end of the funnel through which oil must pass to be shipped around the world. Oil is Iraq's patrimony, their almost sole source of revenue. Whoever controls Basra controls Iraq's purse strings.

Iraq is considered to be sitting on the third largest oil reserves on the planet, with Iran the second largest. Iran's strongest influence in Iraq is in the Basra area. If Iran controlled Iraq's oil that combination of reserves would be larger than the Saudi reserves, currently considered to be the largest on the planet controlled by the regime of any single country.

The most recent fighting has been between Shia and Shia, not Shia and Sunni. The Sunnis are being armed and paid by Cheney/Bush to cool it in their tribal wars against the Shia whom they persecuted under Saddam for the past few decades. Who knows what they've been promised in exchange?

Both Shia and Sunni are Muslim and Arabs; Iran Shia are Muslim and Persian. It's been said for ages that politics make strange bedfellows. It's also been known that greed makes strange bedfellows. Suppose you were a politician. Suppose you were greedy, "But I repeat myself" said Mark Twain when considering idiots and Congressmen.

It's really not all that difficult to connect the dots, though the resulting path will not neatly describe a straight line, much to Cheney/Bush's consternation. They seem to have overlooked the cultural differences of our Middle Eastern human brothers and sisters. Bush proudly told Joe Biden, "I don't do nuance". Cheney's response to a journalist's observation that the voters have a negative view of the war was, "So?". Good grief, oy vey!!! He's not out of touch, he believes he's untouchable. So far Pelosi and Reid have done nothing to disabuse him of that belief.

Nixon was shamed out of office by being threatened with impeachment for a breaking and entering charge, and B. Clinton was impeached because at the time he was the most recently famous, voluntary head, and thus most vulnerable of the members of the Belt and Zipper Brotherhood who did stuff because the could.

Why are Pelosi and Reid giving Cheney and Bush a stay out of court free card when the consequences of their actions have been so much more disastrous than those of Nixon and Clinton?

I have some thoughts, and I hope you will share yours by leaving a comment. Here are a few of mine.

In Nixon's case the B&E evidence would have been used to convict him of breaking a criminal law.

In B. Clinton's case the evidence was used to accuse him of violating laws of decency.

Even a correspondence course in Cultural Anthropology 101 might have given a larger man pause. But Bush is "that small dim man", and "the current occupant" of the White House, saith Garrison Keillor. Dick Cheney is today's Machiavelli; do what you have to do to get your way, and a one man gang who couldn't or wouldn't shoot straight.

Their actions and pronouncements rise to the level of arrogance and hubris equal to Stalin's retort; "And how many divisions does the Pope have?"And these are the guys who lay claim to the property of family values. Hello out there? What else do you who support them need to get it that these people are snickering you, playing you for suckers, lying to you?

Here's another site which I hope you will visit. It's a column by William Rivers Pitt. It's about lying.

But the Cheney/Bush lies are not under oath. Just spin and propaganda. As such they don't rise to the level of perjury. Not a crime however criminal it seems that they escape impeachment.

One thing is clear. Since 2000, the voters have been split almost equally. My view is pretty much offset by the opposite view. It's difficult for me to square this with the 80 some percent of the public who think the country is headed in the wrong direction, according to polls.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Friday, April 4, 2008

General Odom Advises Rapid Withdrawal From Iraq

Please read this retired General's lambasting of the administration's prosecution of the war in Iraq here.

Here's another credible person with experience, knowledge and brains who is speaking out. It's a shame they seem to have to retire before they do so. They remember what happened to General Shinseki.

They understand from recent experience what the administration does to people who challenge them.

They have lives to live after retirement, and can't be hated for trying to protect the retirement package they have worked so hard for and risked their lives for.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Thursday, April 3, 2008

You Never Really Know

Here is a link to a site which is hard to categorize and evaluate.

It reveals the thoughts of Ted Turner as he wants us to understand him today, though clearly he is a person who has gone out of his way for most of his life to be seen as non-conformist, controversial, and actually outrageous. He enjoyed being known as the Mouth of the South and Captain Outrageous.

I provide the above link for your information and reaction which I hope you will share by using the comments option at the end of the post.

Turner and I were members of two organizations in the sixties and seventies in the Atlanta, GA area: North Avenue Presbyterian Church in downtown Atlanta, and Lake Lanier Sailing Club north of Atlanta. I doubt that he was ever as aware of me as I was of him.

For starters, our revered pastor, Vernon Broyles, was one of his close friends. Vernon once told me that Ted knew more about the Bible than he did, but just didn't believe it. Ted sat next to his first wife, Jannie, in church on a morning years ago when his son Teddie was confirmed.

I was an observer as a bass voice in the choir that morning.

That being said, I am most interested in what he is now promoting. One of his talents has been a most successful sailing skipper. The least I can say is that he seems to have made a 180 degree course correction in his views on religion.

I knew him as a sailor who won most every race, no matter the conditions, and as one who, when asked to crew for his friends, never held the tiller, but inevitably instructed the one who did successfully. Any boat he was on won that race.

I am heartened at his course reversal. It isn't all that surprising, remembering his enormous philanthropic actions of recent years.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Putting the Constitution on Ignore

A memo from the so-called Justice Department has become public. The existence and intent of the memo has been known since it was written by John Yoo in 2003, under then Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Now we can read the actual text, the words which, in brief, make the claim that the president, as Commander-In-Chief, is bound by neither the Fifth Amendment, nor the Eight Amendment to the Constitution.

The Fifth Amendment guarantees what is called due process for an individual whom the government wants to deprive of life and liberty. Basically it requires said government to honor all rights of the individual, not just some of them.

The Eighth Amendment prohibits the imposition of excessive bail requirements, fines and the use of Cruel and Unusual Punishment.

I've read that this memo has since been withdrawn.

The justification to suspend the Constitution of the United States of America, according to this document, was based on the power granted to the Commander-In-Chief, embodied and assigned under the Constitution to the Executive Branch, the President, to do whatever he needs to do to protect the nation in a time of war.

That authority was provided because the framers had given Congress the power to declare war,
Congress being closer and more accountable more frequently to the people than the president. The idea was that if Congress declared war it was in the interest of the people that the president be Commander-in-Chief, one who had the nation's security at heart, and who would prosecute the war, making decisions based on the advice from the professionals in his military, the role of Advice and Consent embodied in the Congress, and his own sense of justice and values.

The grand idea was that if there were built in checks and balances the extreme swings of the pendulum between power and the people could be ameliorated, or at least dampened.

It is still a grand idea. But it's still true that there will always be individuals who will use that grand idea for their selfish and personal advantage.

The Rovian Cheney/Bush White House brow beat members of Congress. Under threat of being exposed as unpatriotic and soft on homeland security and thus frightening them into espousing militarist views to their constituents, they knuckled under and gave Bush authority to prosecute a war on terrorism, knowing full well that the authorization would be used to invade Iraq under what we now know were false pretenses.

Because there will always be those who terrorize others, from the individual level, through the tribal level, to the national level, and beyond if we actually come across others beyond earth, by definition a war on terrorism has no end. And so the president, as commander-in-chief under the Constitution, can claim that he is operating within the powers granted him by the Constitution, and can suspend parts of it as he chooses as long as he is president. It's surely clear that Bush has relished the commander-in-chief power of the presidency more than any other. It's surely clear that Cheney has been the Machiavellian advisor to this "small, dim man" as Garrison Keillor calls Bush.

The sick joke is that Cheney's brilliance is best understood by the fact that George W. Bush wakes up every morning believing he is the president of the United States.

Psychologists and anthropologists often cite statistics that the IQ level of inmates in our prison system are higher than what would be expected by chance in the general population.
A simplified and over-generalized conclusion has it that many very smart people use their smarts unlawfully.

Herein lies the criminal genius of this administration. George W. Bush and cronies are more interested in war than peace because they can grow their fortunes more quickly in war. Rather than having to justify to the people the need to spend billions on defense during peace time, if they can get the people to accept a war time view of reality they understand that they can activate the flight or fight instinct in most all species.

I've tried to make a case that the Cheney/Bush "team" is not only devious, to say the least, but very intelligent.

So far the Democrats in both houses of Congress have abdicated their responsibilities in a time of war; in other words they are AWOL, deserters, if it were up to the voters to bring charges.

I keep hearing that they were blocked at every attempt to end the war which the voters in 2006 sent them to Washington to do because they did not have veto proof numbers in their ranks. I understand that to be a logical and realistic truth. What they don't understand is that they are dealing with an adversary who uses all the pyschologically and emotionally charged tricks they know they can play, while pretending that they are still working within a Constitutionally sanctioned, and thus legal, system.

In short they were threatened with their jobs. Job security they believed was found in appearing to be patriotic, while at the same time being AWOL from their jobs. How's that for irony?

But then perhaps they really don't want to end the war either.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper n

In other words, if the president can get Congress to relinquish it's right to declare war, by authorizing him to do what he deems necessaary to protect the nation,

Cheney, Rove, Wolfowitz and their neo-con cabal, to the delight of their puppet George W. Bush, that small, dim man as Garrison Keilor labled him, jumped all over the opportunity laid in their lap by OBL and the horror of 9/11.

They hyped the same kind of panic that resulted in the round up and incarceration of Janese Americans following the horrors of Pearl Harbor.

These are the people who should be brought to justice as traitors,