Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.

- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

That was then...

Once I was a Democrat, until being Democrat became synonymous with being - as Colbert so blatently put it - 'a pussy.' But more even than cowardice, it is the Democratic Party's closet, lobbyist connections and corruption, and especially the partisan positioning at the expense of the nation that disgusts me. Here they are in the position of power - a position where they can finally reign in Bush and Cheney, not to mention restore Habeas Corpus, close Gitmo, overturn the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act, and most importantly, file articles of impeachment for all of the crimes against our Constitution and the people of this country. Have they done any of these things? "Not on the table."

We elected them into office to restore oversight and fix the damage caused by this run amok Presidency. Waxman and Leahy get it. Pelosi does not.

Kucinich does, but the Democratic party is doing everything it can to marginalize him, even though he represents the will of the people. So how exactly are the Dems any different than the GOPs? Color. Blue vs. Red. Alas, we the people are green. And while all of our tax money is being wasted on wars of aggression and lobbyist pandering, we're quietly trying to battle Climate Change on our own.

Once I belonged to Moveon.org. It was a great, up-and-coming grassroots organization, and our best hope at having our voices heard in our suddenly citizen-deaf government.

Moveon.org was at the forefront of the internet grassroots surge. Then they moved to Washington and set up shop as an official lobbying organization. Suddenly we were getting emails telling us that we 'couldn't do this' or 'say that' at MoveOn events, because it might get the mother ship in legal trouble.

Hmm. OK. That should have tipped us off.

The came the famous email poll, shortly before the war supplemental vote (and while Pelosi was actively blocking an amendment from Rep. Barbara Lee that would limit the use of new funding to the safe withdrawal of all U.S. troops and military contractors from Iraq by December 31, 2007, to reconstruction in Iraq and to regional diplomacy efforts.) Moveon carefully crafted their email to give members no choice but to vote for Pelosi's bill - or side with the Republicans.

For the anti-war caucus in the House, the Moveon poll was a huge blow. To MoveOn.org members, it was betrayal from an organization we had thought was ours; and that we had trusted - had helped to build. The organizers even had the gall to claim that '80% of their membership supported the Pelosi bill,' when in fact, only about 1000 out of the 3 million members even voted in the confusing, email poll.

Now, Alternet has become a morass.

I used to love Alternet. It was one of the original, alternative news sources. It was also a place where progressive readers and thinkers could discuss current events. The discussions were interesting, for the most part intelligent and thoughtful.

Boy has that ever changed.

These days Alternet seems to exist only to incite argument by posting inflamatory and divisive issues (often overlooking the really interesting, informative news that I now look to Truthout.org to disseminate.)

The discussions on Alternet have sunk even lower. The comment area is now the battle ground between the right and left wingnuts: rabid Vegans, rabid gun-lovers, rabid athiests - rabid anarchists. Gone are the days of respectful discussion. I post occasionally, but my attempt at reasonable commentary is now met with nastiness and occasional insults.

I am no longer a Democrat, a member of Moveon.org, or a regular reader of Alternet. Extremes - people who scream that everything is either black or white - cowardice and manipulation... these are things I can live without.

Like most Americans these days, I am looking for honest leadership, truthful news, thoughtful commentary, and common ground. I want to see my government cleaned up and representing the will of the people. I want justice: which now translates to impeachment.

Once I could watch the television, nightly news. These days, I can't relate to the sensationalist drivel the media spews and passes off as news. Anna Nichole Smith, 24/7? I want real news - Dan Rather-style - not lies and gossipy speculation from blow-dried actors pretending to be journalists. Ah for the days of Walter Cronkite. How far television news has fallen... it slipped right down into the Fox Network sewer.

We were almost entertained yesterday while watching CNN's coverage of the Virginia Tech aftermath (scary thought) because the correspondents kept tossing their hair, raising their eyebrows and 'looking very sad' (some absolutely terrible acting) - just like the fake correspondents on the Jon Stewart show. We found ourselves giggling as we watched them, because we could see Rob Riggle arching his eyebrow, or John Oliver nodding sadly in their every insincere gesture. John Oliver is actually more convincing. Rob Riggle gives much better eyebrow. Perhaps CNN just needs to hire better actors.