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

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Oh Louisiana... Louisiana...

They're tryin to wash you away,
they're tryin to wash you away.

Three years later and there are still residents of New Orleans who can't afford to leave?

Now wait a minute: I keep hearing that this time, there are 'buses for everybody.' Can everyone that needs transportation get to the buses and trains? Do they even know about them?

I thought I heard promises that there were finally provisions made to help all residents without cars to evacuate the city with their pets. (Those of us who were involved in the massive pet rescue operation after Katrina -- along with many outraged Americans -- have been working tirelessly for three years to keep another 10,000 pets from dying in the next major hurricane.)

Well that 'next major hurricane' is here. Why am I reading about a woman staying behind because of her Rottweilers?

From CNN:

Across town in the 9th Ward, a neighborhood decimated by Katrina, Sidney William climbs slowly out of his truck. He's 49 but moves like he's 20 years older.

"My legs hurt; my feet hurt a lot," he said. "It's not easy."

William wants desperately to leave his native New Orleans to avoid Gustav. He didn't leave for Katrina because he didn't have the money. He won't talk about what happened to him during that storm.

"I wish I had the money to go." Rejected for disability subsidies, he depends on his 23-year-old daughter, Gloria, to support the family.

"Lot of folks around here are gonna make do with what they have, and you won't hear a terrible amount of complaining," he said. "You can't just come in here and expect to hear people fussing about how they don't have nothing. People just be used to not having much, and so you don't even think too hard about it until someone starts asking you questions."

A neighbor, Victoria, says she has two Rottweilers who she's not willing to leave behind.

Three years after Katrina, and there are still people and animals trapped in New Orleans, unable to escape the second 'storm of the century?' What is the point of a mandatory evacuation if there are still people who literally can't get out?

Did you forget... the invisible people again?

Also from CNN

He (NOLA Mayor Nagin) said that between 14,000 and 15,000 people had left New Orleans on buses and trains the city had provided -- much lower than the initial estimate of 30,000.

"We're just not seeing those kind of numbers in terms of people needing city-assisted services," Nagin said. "The 30,000 number may have been high."

The last of the buses carrying people out of New Orleans would leave around 2 or 3 p.m., he said.

OK, I'm not coordinating this massive operation- and it is obvious that you are trying. But if the buses and trains aren't as full as you expected -- and there are still people who can't afford to leave -- something ain't working.

And to those of you who can leave but choose not to... good grief. People like you died in Katrina. Is whatever you're staying there to guard, more important than your life?

Would you at least - please - evacuate your pets? Many people risked their lives -- and would happily do it again -- to rescue trapped animals after Katrina. You have a choice. Your pet - who undoubtedly would have the sense to escape ahead of a hurricane - can't drive.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Never forget

Hurricane Katrina Tribute

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Friday, August 29, 2008

John Oliver does the DNC

The Very Heart of Hopeness

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Interesting tidbit in the Washington Post

I found this story in the Washington Post quite interesting; especially in light of rumors that Bush Administration officials were in Georgia immediately prior to the conflict.

The Bush Administration has proven time again that it will start any conflict - any war, no matter how lengthy and bloody - that will benefit their political and financial interests.

After two stolen elections, 9/11, the war in Iraq (and the lies that led to it,) the lack of interest in hunting the very useful and scary bogyman Osama Bin Laden, the tapping of American phones, the trashing of the environment in the face of rapidly advancing climate change, the Valery Plame scandal, a year's worth of 'lost and unrecoverable' Bush administration emails (blatant violation of The Hatch Act,) the continual attacks on our Constitutional rights as Americans - and considering the proximity of the election - nothing would surprise me.

Nothing should surprise you either.

From The Washington Post, AP wire:

MOSCOW, Aug. 29 -- Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Thursday that he had reason to think U.S. personnel were in the combat zone during the recent war in Georgia, adding that if confirmed, their presence suggested "someone in the United States" provoked the conflict to help one of the candidates in the American presidential race.

I'm certainly no fan of Vladimir Putin. But that doesn't mean he's crazy either. He's have to be crazy to make such a claim without some basis, some evidence to back up his assertion. And unlike our allies; so afraid of a nasty backlash from the Bush Administration that they are willing to keep our dirty little war secrets out of sight for us... Putin has no reason to keep his mouth shut.

That, and its hard to ignore the lurking presence of Randy Scheunemann; currently John McCain’s senior foreign policy adviser... formerly a paid lobbyist for the Georgian government (he ended his official lobbying duties in March.)

Something smells in Georgia.

You see, Scheunemann is known to be one of the chief architects of the Iraq Invasion.

According to Robert Scheer:

Previously, Scheunemann was best known as one of the neoconservatives who engineered the war in Iraq when he was a director of the Project for a New American Century. It was Scheunemann who, after working on the McCain 2000 presidential campaign, headed the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, which championed the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

There are telltale signs that he played a similar role in the recent Georgia flare-up. How else to explain the folly of his close friend and former employer, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, in ordering an invasion of the breakaway region of South Ossetia, an invasion that clearly was expected to produce a Russian counterreaction? It is inconceivable that Saakashvili would have triggered this dangerous escalation without some assurance from influential Americans he trusted, like Scheunemann, that the United States would have his back. Scheunemann long guided McCain in these matters, even before he was officially running foreign policy for McCain’s presidential campaign.

Why learn new tricks when the old ones keep working over, and over, and over again? Fear wins elections. Or it used to. Whether it will in 2008 - that is up to us, and unfortunately, to those who believe everything the corporate media tells them.

The GOP is once again casting their web of lies and uncertainty over the American people. McCain just needs to sow the seeds of fear and stir the misguided blood of the Fox TV-watching crowd to keep the poll numbers close.

If Obama doesn't win by a landslide, a close election will 'magically' go to McCain. Been there, done that. The ballot may be stronger than the bullet (as Lincoln once said;) but electronic ballots are also invisible, untrackable, and inherently hackable.

Thus lose the Democrats, as though replaying a scene from 'Groundhog Day.' While Pelosi was keeping a legally sound and winnable impeachment off of her shaky table (undoubtedly to placate the lobbyists,) the NeoGOP has proven time and again that they will put anything and everything on their table -- anything that will help them steal another win in November.

We've had two elections stolen from us. A third would be catastrophic, and the final end to any pretense of democracy in this country.

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Barack Obama Accepts Democratic Nomination

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The Goracle's Keynote at the DNC

Sometimes when I hear him speak... I still can't quite believe that we were denied this presidential, fiery man of integrity in 2000; and by our Supreme Court no less.

Our government 'of the people' shattered on December 12th, 2000. We can't let it happen again.

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We are all New Orleans

Three years since New Orleans drowned, while our government stood by and watched.

Three years and counting.

It is hard to imagine that anyone is still asleep and unaware post-Katrina. It is hard to imagine that Dennis Kucinich needed to yell 'wake up!' to anyone in this country after the horrors we witnessed three years ago.

New Orleans is still in pain. The difference between today and three years ago, other than rising flood waters? The pain has now spread all across the country.

Never mind Georgia. We are all New Orleans.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

OK... this is flat out hilarious

The Daily Show: He Completes Us

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dennis hits it out of the park

I was astounded to see that the DNC allowed Dennis to speak. His Democratic colleagues always seem so wary of him - he of the 'pocket Constitution,' and the willingness to speak uncomfortable truths.

The commercial media has held an almost perfect Kucinich media blackout for years. It is as though he doesn't even exist. When he does exist - when they absolutely can't avoid talking about him - they lay waste to him by calling him 'short' and reporting odd comments about UFOs (Clinton and Truman both saw UFOs, by the way; if the media likes you, its OK to see whatever you happen to see.)

But Dennis never fails us. He has always spoken truth to power, ala Stephen Colbert. If he had a weekly spot on the Daily Show, we'd probably all be the better for it.

I have often thought that Dennis is our Abraham Lincoln. Too short, too much integrity for Washington, cares too much, fiery orator, great speech writer, inspirational... and he never gives up.

In this day and age, we'll probably never see another Abraham Lincoln in the White House. The White House no longer belongs to us. This is no longer our government. It was sold to the highest bidders - the corporations.

The corporations who pay for elections won't allow a Lincoln - a Dennis Kucinich - to be president; they could never control him. He has much too much integrity.

If truth be told, the fledgling Republican Party of the 1860s couldn't control Abraham Lincoln either. They thought he would be a front man... a hick from the Midwest, country lawyer who would do as he was told. They miscalculated (thank God.)

Dennis reminds me of Lincoln - how Lincoln would react and act today, if he saw the wretched state of Washington. Lincoln never let up either. He was endlessly patient, but with a backbone and determination of steel. Dennis keeps coming back and fighting the battles no one else in either party will take on, and he won't give up any more than Lincoln gave up in the 1860s (and well before, when he was a Senator from Illinois.)

As long as Dennis is around somewhere, speaking truth to power, there is perhaps some hope for this country.

Go Dennis! Some of us are awake... although its painful as hell.

Wake Up America!

By Dennis Kucinich, given at the Democratic Convention, 2008 (blacked out by the media)

It's Election Day, 2008. We Democrats are giving America a wake up call. Wake up America. In 2001, the oil companies, the war contractors and the neo-con artists seized the economy, and have added four trillion dollars of unproductive spending to the national debt.

We now pay four times more for defense, three times more for gasoline and home heating oil, and twice what we paid for health care. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, their homes, their health care, their pensions. Trillions of dollars for an unnecessary war paid with borrowed money. Tens of billions of dollars in cash and weapons disappeared into thin air, at the cost of the lives of our troops and innocent Iraqis, while all the President's oilmen are maneuvering to grab Iraq's oil.

Borrowed money to bomb bridges in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. No money to rebuild bridges in America. Money to start a hot war with Iran. Now we have another cold war with Russia while the American economy has become a game of Russian roulette.

If there was an Olympics for misleading, mismanaging and misappropriating this Administration would take the gold. World records for violations of national and international laws. They want another four year term to continue to alienate our allies, spend our children's inheritance and hollow out our economy. We can't afford it America.

Wake up America, the insurance companies took over health care. Wake up America, the pharmaceutical companies took over drug pricing. Wake up America, the speculators took over Wall Street. Wake up America, they want to take your Social Security. Wake up America, multinational corporations took over our trade policies, factories are closing, good paying jobs lost.

Wake up, America. We went into Iraq for oil. The oil companies want more. War against Iran will mean $10 a gallon gasoline. The Oil Administration wants to drill more -- into your wallet. Wake up, America. Weapons contractors want more. An Iran war will cost five to ten trillion dollars.

This Administration can tap our phones. They can't tap our creative spirit. They can open our mail. They can't open economic opportunities. They can track our every move. They lost track of the economy while the cost of food, gasoline, and electricity skyrockets.

They skillfully played our post- 911 fears and allowed the few to profit at the expense of the many. Everyday we get the color orange, while the oil companies, the insurance companies, the speculators, the war contractors get the color green.

Wake up America. This is not a call for you to take a new direction from right to left.

This is call for you to go from down to up. Up with the rights of workers.

Up with wages.

Up with fair trade.

Up with creating millions of good paying jobs rebuilding our bridges, ports and water systems. Up with creating millions of sustainable energy jobs to lower the cost of energy, lower carbon emissions and protect the environment.

Up with health care for all.

Up with education for all.

Up with home ownership.

Up with guaranteed retirement benefits.

Up with Peace.

Up with Prosperity.

Up with the Democratic Party

Up with Obama - Biden

Wake up, America.

Wake up, America.

Wake up, America.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Whither Bin Laden?

New York Times Editorial:

According to members of Congress, Attorney General Michael Mukasey is preparing to give the F.B.I. broad new authority to investigate Americans — without any clear basis for suspicion that they are committing a crime.

Well here we go again. Enemy us.

I'm sorry, but Mr. President... if you are going to persist in attacking the American people - who have done you no harm (some of them even voted for you) - at every turn, I'm afraid it is time to pose that creepy question again: the one you keep hoping no one will ask.

Where is Bin Laden? Why aren't you chasing him down?

If Bin Laden was the guy who masterminded the September 11th attacks... then why aren't you chasing him to the furthest corners of the earth? You did a nice job of laying waste to Iraq. Bin Laden wasn't there - has apparently never been there.

Iraq didn't attack us. Bin Laden did.

What about Bin Laden?

If Bin Laden was the man who planned 9/11, why did you fly his family out of the country the very next day? (Yes, we heard about that one plane that was allowed into the air.)

If Bin Laden is the man behind the worst day in American history - and sure, I know the Bin Ladens are Bush family friends, so its a little uncomfortable for you - shouldn't he figure somewhere into your 'keeping America safe' master plan?

hy won't you hunt him down? Why do you hunt the American people instead?

Because the Bin Ladens are family friends... and we aren't? Because you are afraid we may eventually start to notice that you're never chasing Bin Laden, and start to wonder why?

Is that why you're eavesdropping on our every word?

I'm sorry, but like many people, I'm starting to really wonder about you. You're even more paranoid than Nixon. And Nixon was one wildly paranoid guy.

And like most Americans, I keep waiting.

I remember it like it was yesterday: you promised - with a bullhorn - that you would "catch the man who knocked down those walls."

I guess we'll be waiting forever.

Under surveillance.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Finally... real solar power

I have never understood why we aren't already using solar power all across the country -- especially in the Southwestern United States where it is sunny 360 days of the year.

Surely the corporations could find some way of making a profit -- they can still sell the electricity, and imagine... sunlight is free! No drilling! No messy wars either.

Imagine the climate turmoil we could have avoided if we had accepted the writing on the wall back in the 1970s when Jimmy Carter warned us that we had to become less dependent on foreign oil, and installed solar panels on the White House roof (Reagan in his wisdom had them removed when he took office.)

Would that the oil and coal lobbys didn't have such unparalleled influence in Washington... we'd already be sun-powered all across the country, instead of fighting over every last drop of polluting oil.

Good job California. Leading the way, as usual.

From the New York Times: Two Large Solar Plants Planned in California

Companies will build two solar power plants in California that together will put out more than 12 times as much electricity as the largest such plant today, the latest indication that solar energy is starting to achieve significant scale.

The plants will cover 12.5 square miles of central California with solar panels, and in the middle of a sunny day will generate about 800 megawatts of power, roughly equal to the size of a large coal-burning power plant or a small nuclear plant. A megawatt is enough power to run a large Wal-Mart store.

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Monday, August 04, 2008

I won't be watching the Olympics this summer

For as long as I can remember, I have loved the Olympics. But I won't be watching this year. At all. I am boycotting.

Until China cleans up their act and ceases their extreme repression (I almost struggle to say this, because these days we mimic them in so many ways,) I will never acknowledge Olympic games held on their soil.

For me, this will be an Olympic year that never came.

To those who now languish in Chinese prisons simply for being dissidents; and of course for the Tibetan people, continually abused and dispossessed... the Olympic committee owes an apology for their incredible lapse in ethical standards. A lesson that might have, should have been learned after Hitler's Games.

By the way, I no longer feel that our own government meets Olympic standards either. We've changed. Our border control agents are now apparently claiming the right to seize laptop computers, Ipods - anything they want - and to remove and share the data they find on a whim. This is not the US of A that I remember - and I wouldn't expect anyone to visit us from overseas in this strange, paranoid climate. Its getting just a little... Nazi around here.

So no -- we no longer deserve the Olympics either. The Olympic Games represent a higher standard of ethics, morality and respect for basic human dignity... a standard to which neither China, nor the current United States government will adhere.

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Friday, August 01, 2008

Big Oil's offshore drilling scam

I suspect that most of us 'thinking folks' (those divorced from network television drivel) have already connected the dots between the ridiculously high prices for gas that we are paying... and Bush's last ditch push to get off-short oil drilling rights out of us, and out of Congress.

And of course, Big Oil's endless quest to destroy the Alaskan Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in their never-ending grab for revenue.

The big oil companies can't stand to lose. We've been repeatedly rebuking their attempts to grab these money-making (if not oil-supplying) locations for years. Now we're being punished at the pump.

This is how bullies operate. And there are few bullies with more power - and more determination to keep hauling in the cash - than the big oil companies.

And so I suppose that it is refreshing to hear Nancy Pelosi speak out about it... finally giving some inkling that Congress 'gets it' too.

Congress has been pathetic in nearly every endeavor: their inability to stop the war in Iraq, their refusal to put impeachment on the table, and to hold Bush and Cheney - even Rove, who they have subpoenaed - accountable for breaking law after law. They refused to halt illegal wiretapping (blatantly against our Bill of Rights,) or punish those who deliberately and illegally attacked our 4th Amendment rights as Americans.

In effect; they have weakened the Congressional branch of government to the point of irrelevancy, by refusing to take any responsibility for anything.

They have been... painfully weak, crippled and inept. Or perhaps corrupt. Or perhaps blackmailed. Maybe someday we'll know what the hell was wrong with them the last 8 - especially the last 3 1/2 years when the Democrats supposedly had a majority.

But I suppose Pelosi - like the blind squirrel that occasionally stumbles over a nut - is capable of seeing and speaking out on at least a few obvious issues. Amazingly, the blackmailing of America by Big Oil has made her short list.

From The Gavel:

The president knows, as his own administration has stated, that the impact of any new drilling will be insignificant -- promising savings of only pennies per gallon many years down the road. Americans know that thanks to the two oilmen in the White House, consumers are now paying $4 a gallon for gas. But what Americans should realize is that what the president is calling for is drilling as close as three miles off of America's pristine beaches and in other protected areas.

The president has failed in his economic policy, and now he wants to say, 'but for drilling in protected areas offshore, our economy would be thriving and the price of gas would be lower.' That hoax is unworthy of the serious debate we must have to relieve the pain of consumers at the pump and to promote energy independence.

Today, the New Direction Congress will vote on legislation to bring down gas prices by taking crucial steps to curb excessive speculation in the energy futures market. The president himself could lower prices by drawing down a small portion of our government oil stockpile, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The New Direction Congress will continue to bring forth responsible proposals to increase supply, reduce prices, protect consumers, and transition America to a clean, renewable energy independent future.

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