Gun's don't kill people. People with guns kill people.


"No body could have done a better job than Obama, with the economy he was handed —including me!" —Bill Clinton—

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Providing Aid And Comfort To The Enemy.

"To render assistance or counsel. Any act that deliberately strengthens or tends to strengthen enemies of the United States, or that weakens or tends to weaken the power of the United States to resist and attack such enemies is characterized as aid and comfort."

"Article 3, section 3, clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution specifies that the giving of aid and comfort to the enemy is an element in the crime of Treason. Aid and comfort may consist of substantial assistance or the mere attempt to provide some support; actual help or the success of the enterprise is not relevant.

In the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, there was a great deal of concern expressed about terrorist "sleeper cells" in the United States. Sleeper cells can be individual terrorists or groups of terrorists who blend in with society at large; they remain inactive, even for years, until they receive orders to carry out their mission. Some of the perpetrators of the september 11 attacks belonged to such sleeper cells.

Widespread concern over terrorist sleeper cells fueled suspicion that some U.S. citizens were knowingly providing aid and comfort to terrorist cells located in the United States. Aid and comfort was allegedly provided by shielding the identities of terrorists from U.S. authorities, and providing funds, transportation, and other forms of assistance to terrorists who plotted against U. S. interests.

In the subsequent U.S. military action against the Taliban government in Afghanistan and members of the al Qaeda terrorist organization located there, which started in October 2001,U.S. forces captured John Walker Lindh, a 20-year-old American citizen who was trained by and was fighting for the Taliban against the U.S. government. The Walker Lindh case garnered enormous coverage in the press, with many claiming that Walker Lindh's role as a combatant for the Taliban was tantamount to treason as it gave aid and comfort to enemies of the United States." —http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/

"to strengthen enemies of the United States, or that weakens or tends to weaken the power of the United States…"

Of course the obvious answer is to, spread terror among the enemy population with savage acts that are so barbaric that they elicit a response of abject fear. That is their aim.

But, what if inside the borders of the United States you had political elements that were deliberately spreading that fear, undermining military policies and thus weakening the government charged with protecting it's citizens? That combined with deliberate intent, aided the enemy by unfounded vicious attacks on the POTUS, his strategy for fighting ISIS and by stoking American's fear with inflammatory political rhetoric.

The untended consequence would of course build the morale of the enemy and encourage further attacks. What candidates say and do are not done in isolation they are heard far and wide by those that would do us harm. That would in effect PROVIDE AID AND COMFORT TO THE ENEMY, and be a treasonous act.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Clowns O' Congress

Darrell —"I don't care what it costs, nothing is too trivial or inane if I can nail Obama for it."—Issa 

In the spotlight this week is Darrell Issa—who has embarassed himself with a series of self-implosive dead-end investigations that have cost the taxpayers millions of dollars and gone nowhere; e.g.: That the IRS is a secret cabal of liberals, and Fast and Furious -- was a gunrunning scheme headed up by Eric Holder. But wait there's more... Issa is not done with Benghazi.

Darrell Issa just found out that the United States is a target of terrorist attacks and security failed miserably. 

Imagine that. 

And according to the him and a growing number of Republicans—Benghazi was the worst FAILURE of embassy security that it's ever been in American history. 

My question is: What turnip truck did he fall off?—Or more to the point: What turnip truck does he think the rest of us fell off?

The truth is —that attacks like this have been the fact of life under nearly every administration—Republican and Democratic. To single out Benghazi as the nadir of these attacks is a manifestation of the current irrational politics of the absurd.

This is only a partial list of attacks on US Embassies and Consulates and includes only those that resulted in death. 

26 September 1971  Phnom Penh, Cambodia 
Attack on embassy softball game[2]  TOTAL 1

19 August 1974 Nicosia, Cyprus
Riot outside Embassy; Ambassador and assistant shot by sniper TOTAL 2

21 November 1979 Islamabad, Pakistan
Islamist riots destroy Embassy (see 1979 U.S. Embassy Burning in Islamabad) TOTAL 2

18 April 1983 Beirut, Lebanon
Islamic Jihad car bomb destroys Embassy (see April 1983 U.S. Embassy bombing)
12 December 1983 Kuwait City, Kuwait
al-Dawa truck bomb outside Embassy
20 September 1984 Beirut, Lebanon
Hezbollah truck bomb outside Embassy
November 1984 Bogota, Colombia
Car bomb outside Embassy planted by drug cartel 1—TOTAL 94 ± 241*

al-Qaeda simultaneously attacks both Embassies with truck bombs  TOTAL 224 ±  6**

22 January 2000 Calcutta, India
Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami gunmen attack Consulate 5
14 June 2002 Karachi, Pakistan
al-Qaeda truck bomb detonates outside Consulate  12
28 February 2003 Islamabad, Pakistan
Unknown gunmen attack Embassy 2
30 June 2004 Tashkent, Uzbekistan
6 December 2004 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
al-Qaeda gunmen raid diplomatic compound 9
2 March 2006 Karachi, Pakistan
Car bomb explodes outside Consulate 2
12 September 2006 Damascus, Syria
Gunmen raid US Embassy 4
18 March 2008 Sana'a, Yemen
Mortar attack against US Embassy 2
18 March 2008 Sana'a, Yemen
Mortar attack against US Embassy 2
17 September 2008 Sana'a, Yemen
Two car bombs outside US embassy in Yemeni capital 16  —TOTAL 56 ±17***± 2996****

11 September 2012 Cairo, Egypt, Benghazi, Libya, Sana'a
A group of terrorists storm the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya -- killing the U.S. Ambassador, one staff member, and two security contractors.  TOTAL 4

This list does not include such attacks as the the *Marine barracks Oct. 21, 1983, Beirut—241 killed on Reagan's watch, **Trade Towers bombing, February 26, 1993—6 killed, on Clinton's watch, and the ***USS Cole October 12, 2000—17 killed and the mother of all attacks, ****9/11 when 2996—people were vaporized on Bush's watch, so please stop with the BS about BEN_EFFIN_GHAZI. 

The fact is that we pay billions upon billions of dollars every year into the "black budget" for National Security and the big news is: we are VERY VERY VERY GOOD AT tapping the phones of our allies—REALLY? 

I'd say our spy efforts—to keep us safe at "home and abroad" has been a monumental rip-off. 

How about we investigate that and how to fix it.

But I am sure he'll find a less politically motivated target like the "FAILURE OF THE OBAMACARE WEBSITE"

Which begs the question didn't he and every born again son of a Republican want Obamacare to fail?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Good Old Days That Never Were

Suppression of another kind Birmingham, AL-1963

I had always held a highly romantic vision of the latter half of the 18th Century. Partly because my maternal Grandmother told me stories from her youth. She was born in 1886 in Cold Spring MN near present day St Cloud MN. Her stories often aroused in me a lively and rich fantasy of those times.  

One day after one of her stories, enraptured me in a vicarious state of nostalgia—I innocently asked, Grandma don't you miss those days. She looked at me with a quizzical look on her face and after a long pause, said, NO "they were terrible." 

From her answer I surmised that just surviving was brutal and harsh, that  people were cold and often cruel, hardened by living in that environment and in those conditions. 

Such is the naiveté of youth and the steep learning curve of each new generation. 

She had survived the deprivations and her life had improved with each year she attained. She was 93 when she died.

At times we all, long after some romanticized idea of our past as a Nation. When men were noble, ignoring the fact that magically thinking we are noble and striving to attain nobility are two different things. 

We delude ourselves and picture a kinder gentler time of grace and beauty and that in our present modern times we long for the "myth of America" when fact we are still striving to attain "a MORE perfect Union"—which we have not yet attained. 

We have created for ourselves, just as I had created for myself, as a youth, a mythic time and place, when everyone got along and behaved with dignified respect for the rights of others, a time and place that never existed.

We are NOT a Christian Nation when we do not fed the poor, house the homeless and clothe the naked. We are NOT champions of Liberty when we suppress voting rights under the pretext of voting fraud. We are NOT a nation of EQUALITY when we treat ANYONE in our society as UNEQUAL.

We believe the myth and miss the reality, and in doing so we fool ourselves into believing the times before ours were better, when they never were. 

We believe we were virtuous when we were NOT.  And in the process we gloss over the near eradication of Native Americans, the genocidal nature of slavery, the shameful 100 years of "Jim Crowe"—that kept Africans-Americans in economic and social bondage until 1965. That INEQUALITY is still reverberating today. In believing the myth, we obliterate the hard lessons that instruct us and makes us wise—preventing us from finally attaining "that perfected vision our founders saw.

Todays "conservatives are preoccupied with taking us back to the beginning of the eighteenth century thereby: nullifying the Federal Government, re-litigating states rights, eradicate voting rights, rolling back women's rights, closing down the democratic process, threatening secession—and threatening to dissolve this Union, by economic terrorism, if necessary and in the process destroy this UNION that was won in bloody conflict 150 years ago. The dishonor they heap upon the dead who fought for the vision of a perfected UNION will not be born without the shame of dishonoring their sacrifice.

Commentary: I was alive and witnessed the visually jarring ugliness of the Jim Crowe South. I graduated high school the year that photo was taken. I lived in the South in the final days of that shamefully tumultuous era.  It still shocks me that my beloved America ever allowed that kind of legalized brutally to exist. Yet here we are today fifty years later and we are creating Voter Suppression laws under the pretext of rooting out non existent, "voter fraud". The Southern Strategy embraced by the Conservative movement has unleashed a new breed of hoodless clansmen, they no longer hurl racial epithets, now, they speak in thinly coded phraseology that makes other Americans—"separate BUT NOT EQUAL".  Some times I need to remind myself what my grandmother taught me: "the good old days never were that good'. The things I remember from my childhood—that were good and still fill me with  pride were the struggles of ordinary Americans who fought  and even died to—"perfect this Union". 

In memory of my grandma Nellie Fitzgerald

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Subversion: The Undermining of Democracy

subvert |səbˈvərt|
verb [ trans. ]
undermine the power and authority of (an established system or institution) : an attempt to subvert democratic government.

subversion |-ˈvər zh ən; - sh ən| noun
subverter noun
ORIGIN late Middle English : from Old French subvertir or Latin subvertere, from sub- ‘from below’ + vertere ‘to turn.’

perversion |pərˈvər zh ən|
the alteration of something from its original course, meaning, or state to a distortion or corruption of what was first intended : the perversion of Marxist theory to justify Soviet policymaking | a scandalous perversion of the law.

ORIGIN late Middle English : from Latin perversio(n-), from the verb pervertere ‘turn around’ 

1 a twisted perversion of the truth distortion, misrepresentation, falsification, travesty, misinterpretation, misconstruction, twisting, corruption, subversion, misuse, misapplication, debasement.

The raging radical, ideological libertarian anarchists, known as the Tea Party have taken over a small part of the American Government in an attempt to subvert democracy and the underlying principle by which we govern ourselves—majority rule. They claim they are the majority even though they represent a tiny fraction of Americans. 

Their flawed and incomprehensible logic is: that they represent a majority of people in their state district and have conflated that to mean that they and they alone represent all of America and are they arbiters of what is and is not Constitutional. That is troubling because many of them have done so by attaining their high office by gerrymandering the district they represent, a manipulation of boundaries used to selectively exclude anyone from a district that does not share their views. 

What follows from that is they have perverted the meanings and application of the rule of law and then with the incomprehensible zeal, and the cynical audacity of irrational fanatics lecture us on they own perceived righteousness and the evil nature of all that hold an opposing idea. They have twisted everything to their own predetermined ideology at the expense of truth, logic, and facts.

The real threat in capitulating to their outrageous extortion is nothing less than the loss of  the Democratic principle which is the very foundation of this Republic—the majority rules not the defeated minority within the minority. Their current attempt to subvert the law and extort America to exceed to their unconscionable demands borders on insurrection. And they should be called what they are treasonous. 

Consider that if an outside terrorist organization attempted to shut down our government the swift punishment and unanimous condemnation they would face. Does the fact that these are "US citizens" and self identified "American patriots" lessen their culpability? 

I would submit to you that their betrayal of democracy is even more egregious than any attempt by outsiders at a subversion of democracy—and offer as an example Benedict Arnold who was a "patriot" until the very moment he betrayed his nation. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

State of a United UNION

Americans reverence the idea of unity in every aspect of our lives. From the sports metaphors we all grew up with—such as—"there is no "I" in teamwork", to their devotion to the ideal of the family as a cohesive unit, to the foundations of the American economy—corporations—that function as a tight-knit team with a single goal and purpose, to our military that functions at every level as a unit, with every man knowing his life depends on the man next to him doing his job with precision and excellence, to the unity of a triune God, even our marriage symbols revere the idea that two people join as one in "the woven marriage candle".

So, begs, the question—When did disunity of government become the norm? When did the unity of government become the problem—and for whom was it a problem? 

The words "united", "unity" and "union" derive from the same Latin word "unus" meaning "one"—and suggests separate entities that merge into each other—becoming as one and are more powerful than individuals. 

The idea of America's—unity of purpose—was so strong in the minds of the founders—that the words—"e pluibus unnum"—out of many one—our new Nation's motto—were suggested on, July 4th 1776 the very day of America's birth. 

And that truth was enshrined in the Constitution as "WE the people."

They knew—what we forget at our peril— "we" are stronger as a cord woven from many strands—woven out of many nationalities—out of many people—out of many ethnicities—out of many States—than a Nation of selfish individuals only interested in our individual wants fulfilling our individual needs.

Our best leaders from Washington through Lincoln, Franklin, and Kennedy, have always spoken to that truth. 

A truth in which—"we the nation" and "we the people"—have lost confidence.

At no time in American history—with the exception of the Civil War—has the state of the American UNION been more frayed and contentious. Our "common destiny" unclear our sense of unity of purpose so bewildering and confused. 

But—that confusion has been deliberately cultivated, nurtured, and widely disseminated with malicious intent. 

The forces that bind us have been deliberately gnawed at by forces that profit more from our disunion that our unity. In the words of Scott Walker they use the age old strategy. They divide "us" to conquer the individual. 

Those forces of evil intent have with consistent messaging exaggerating our differences and have sewn the seeds of manufactured discontent. 

Their shrill voices pour out venomous hate filled rhetoric day after day—creating "wedge issues" that in the context of our common history—and the truth of "unity" are petty and mean—with the "intentional purpose of dividing us so that "we" can be enslaved to their economic system of extraction individual by individual.  

They appeal to the same false sense of "rugged individualism" cloaked in the guise of "personal responsibility" dating back to Herbert Hoover—who's Republican ideas led this Nation into the Great Depression of the Thirties.

They have become a loud depressing monotonous drone of mean spirited pettiness and anti-American Unionist sentiment—meant to cast into doubt once again on that truth—that—"we" are "one" nation. 

Those forces though few in number—are the proverbial constant drip of water that dissolves stone or a grain of sand that can wear away flesh over time. 

They are small in number but set in determined lock step of purpose. They account for less than one percent of population and yet they have extracted and control 80 percent of the real wealth of this country. Their greed is never satiated.  

Our strength has always been our single mindedness as Americans—that as a Nation—of individuals—bound by common purpose WE could do anything that need be done.

Washington appealed—to that truth of a singular "we"—to his men at Valley Forge and as a country and against all odds—"we" prevailed at Yorktown and became America.

Inspired by that truth—Lincoln lead the Nation through a Civil war that defined the idea of a perfected Perpetual Union and "we" became the "UNITED" States of America.

Understanding that truth FDR led these "UNITED" States through a depression saying the only thing "we"  have to fear is fear itself and through a world War by invoking that sense of "we" to overcome those that had attacked "US". Knowing that "we" can only be overcome collectively by fear and our by abandonment of that time honored American truth "e pluribus unnum" out of MANY—ONE.

When we abandon our civic responsibilities to the greedy self serving lobbyists of corporate America we become their easy prey and relinquish our liberty. TOGETHER WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT of by and for the people. 

Nothing struck me more intensly than that simple truth when Obama said, "health care?—you did that". It was the summation of the essence of the Nation's founding ideal—that an elected leader kept his word and believed in the America dream, we all cherish. In that moment my trust in the American dream of a self governed people was restored. 

Today as we celebrate another inauguration, I hope we are reminded that the government of by and for the people—IS NOT THE PROBLEM—and may very well be the solution when it is administered by honorable men. God bless President Obama and this UNITED States of America

united; adjective
1 unified, integrated, amalgamated, joined, merged; federal, confederate.
2 common, shared, joint, combined, communal, cooperative, collective, collaborative, concerted; Brit. informal joined-up.
3 unanimous, in agreement, agreed, in unison, of the same opinion, like-minded, as one, in accord, in harmony, in unity.

unity; noun
1 union, unification, integration, amalgamation; coalition, federation, confederation. antonym division.
2 harmony, accord, cooperation, collaboration, agreement, consensus, solidarity; formal concord, concordance. antonym strife, discord.
3 oneness, singleness, wholeness, uniformity, homogeneity.

union; noun
1 unification, uniting, joining, merging, merger, fusion, fusing, amalgamation, coalition, combination, synthesis, blend, blending, mingling; marriage, wedding, alliance; coupling. antonym separation, parting.
2 association, labor union, trade union, league, guild, confederation, federation, brotherhood, organization.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Letters From The Left To The Right: Dear Richard

The first Presidential debate has been touted by everyone as a "win" for Romney and a "loss" for Obama.

Richard said: I can't stand sore losers! You're candidate was unprepared, just as he's been for every single important issue that has come his way. Just admit that he lost the debate. You talk about lies? Isn't he still campaigning for the almost the same things he promised he'd fix almost four years ago and hasn't? Talk about lies!

I have  a slightly different take.

Dear Richard,—I guess you like being lied to—and you even admire the liar who in the space of: 2280 seconds lied to you every 84.4 seconds. That's 27 lies in 38 minutes.

Tell me one thing you learned in that 38 minutes. Tell me about how Romney will make America better. Tell me how he will make a 20% across the board tax cut revenue neutral. The last time a Republican did give a huge tax cut without paying for it the American economy tanked. Tell me how he will voucherize Social Security without forcing seniors onto the private market and into poverty. Tell me how he will cover pre existing conditions. His own campaign said that was not true the very next day. His tax Plan has been scored and it DOES add 5.2 trillion dollars to the deficit over ten years. Tax cuts for millionaires that don't need it. Paid for by YOU and me. 

Because everything he said was a lie—you learned nothing about his policies. Are you more informed about how he plans to raise your taxes while he gives tax cuts to millionaires? How he will create generations of poverty stricken seniors? How he will repeal Obama Care and force the poor back into emergency rooms for their primary care. That's part of the system Obama Care fixed! How he wants to start another war i the middle east with Iran. All of his foreign policy advisors are the same neo-cons from the GW Bush administration who got us into Iraq. If you were paying attention to his campaign during the primary—you would have known all those things. 

So how did YOU benefit from being lied to?  You didn't benefit because no one benefits from being lied to—especially in a Democracy? 

What I can tell you about Obama is he said he would end the war in Iraq. He did. He said he would bailout the auto industry and save American jobs. He did. He said he would find and kill Bin Laden. He did. He said he'd bring down unemployment to under eight percent. He did. He said he would pass HealthCare Reform—something many Presidential candidates have talked about doing since Teddy Roosevelt. He did. He said he would end the use of torture. He did. He said he would strengthen anti trust enforcement. He did. He said he would provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented workers. He did

THE POINT: Romney is a liar. Obama is not. The four years of unkept promises you allude to is also a lie. After four years—I know 5.2 million more Americans are back at work. The stock market has gone from 6,500 to over 13,000. The Housing market is coming back. Osama Bin Laden is dead and GMC is alive. And while the recovery has been slower than anyone would like if it weren't for Obama and his policies we'd still be in a deep recession. 

The loser in that "debate wasn't OBAMA—the losers were TRUTH and the American people like you—who believed the lies and even admire the LIAR.  

Richard the bottom line is every one of the economic problems America faces was created under the Bush administration and FAILED Republican policies OF unwarranted TAX CUTS and DEREGULATION. So I can see how that you'd like to go back to that time in America where we were losing 850,000 jobs a month, the banks were collapsing and the world economy nearly tanked. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

WORD FOR THE DAY: Obstructionism

the practice of deliberately impeding or delaying the course of legal, legislative, or other procedures.

Commentary: The new jobs report—of 7.8 percent—and the fact that Obama has now  put 5.2 million people back to work—since his administration inherited the worst recession since the great depression—put wind in the sails of Obama and his supporters. 

And conversely once again confounded and deflated his enemies and nay sayers. 

This morning they became a collective mob of—muttering bah-humbuggers and "he must be rigging the numbers," conspiracy theorists. 

Which brings me to this nagging truth: Obama's obstructionist enemies have become enemies of this nation. 

By their own admission—they have been plotting his downfall from the day he was elected. 

Their only job has been to get the American people to fire Obama from his job—and in doing so they have been betting against America itself, hoping that the American recovery would fail just so they could put the blame on Obama. Every delay in helping America recover economically, has been a punishment, the obstructionist congress has inflicted on the American people, for electing a black man to sit in the oval office and occupy the white house.  

They have blocked bill after bill that would have made the recovery much faster and stronger. They have the lowest approval rating of any congress in American history and yet they have ignored the American people and continue their attacks on Obama even refusing to entertain bills that contain many conservative ideas—simply because Obama has endorsed them. The Health Care Act is a primary example—it originally came from an ultra right conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation.

But, in spite of their every effort to prolong this recession—that they and their failed policies created—Obama has proven to be a far better President  than they suspected and he has done a remarkable job WITHOUT THEIR HELP— in fact—IN SPITE OF THEIR CONTINUED OBSTRUCTIONIST TACTICS—he is prevailing. Their unrelenting hatred of Obama has blinded them to the real damage they haver done and are continuing to do to this nation. His singular focus on the welfare—of the 100% percent—of the American people is awe inspiring. And makes him worthy of another term in office so he can complete the recovery which began under his first term in office

The Republican led congresses only interest seems to be protecting the wealth and welfare of the 1%—for which they are willing sacrifice the other 99%.—to the point of sacrificing America's credit rating. *Maybe its time to fire them for the reprehensible job they have done and continue to do.

*  That the ELECTED might never form to themselves an interest separate from the ELECTORS, prudence will point out the propriety of having elections often.”       — Thomas Paine—