Friday, June 13, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Immigration: The Battle for Manassas
I love watching this and seeing Greg Leteicq point to the bible as the reason why he's opposed to Undocumented Immigrants. I call Bullshit. His position is not supported by the bible. The bible is Greg Leteicq's smokescreen for his racism. I think there's a commandment about bearing false witness he might want to consider.
For a different perspective on what the bible actually says about "aliens" check this out:
Bible has lots to say about immigration
How many religious leaders have you heard address the topic of immigrant rights? How many sermons have you heard on immigration reform? If there were a scripture-to-sermon ratio test, one would expect to hear about 50 sermons on immigrants for every one sermon on homosexuality. That's roughly the ratio of biblical utterances on the two topics.
That may be a silly way to evaluate your pastor's sermons or your priest's homilies. Still the larger point remains: The scriptures of Christians and Jews, the Bible, have a lot to say about "resident aliens," "foreigners in your midst," "sojourners and strangers among you." How a society treats strangers, foreigners and resident aliens is arguably a major focus, even preoccupation, of the Bible.
The overall theme of the Bible's teaching is summed up in Exodus 22:21, "You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt." Reminding the people of biblical Israel that they had been slaves in Egypt, the Hebrews are enjoined to treat aliens, foreigners and sojourners in their midst fairly and with respect. Leviticus 19:34 echoes and expands upon the Exodus teaching. "The alien who resides among you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God." From the New Testament Letter to the Hebrews we hear, "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing so some have entertained angels unawares."
Why is the matter of the immigrant or the "foreigner who resides among you" such a concern of the Jewish and Christian faiths and what bearing does it have on the current immigration debate in our country? As for the first question, the answer is that God didn't want the ancient Hebrews to forget where they had come from, or how they had gotten where they were, namely, the Promised Land. They had come from slavery in Egypt. They knew what it was like to be exploited and taken advantage of. Now that they had land and wealth they shouldn't forget that hadn't always been the case. Ring any bells? It should. Most Americans are the descendents of immigrants.
A second reason that the scriptures of Judaism and Christianity press their adherents to respect and not exploit the alien in their midst is especially pertinent to the contemporary American scene. Injustice anywhere leads inexorably to injustice everywhere. If there is a class of people without rights, without voice, without legal recourse and protection, it puts not just that group at risk. It puts an entire society at risk. It becomes a cancer that eats away at the whole social body. If a certain group can be exploited, then exploitation begins to infect the whole society. Its overall standards of justice and fair play are lowered and distorted.
Another way to put this, and to bring it forward to the contemporary situation in the United States, is that we ought to want immigrants to have legal rights and to be treated fairly because it is in the best long-term interest of our own society and its health. It is bad for all of us to have a group that lacks legal protection and is vulnerable to exploitation.
This concern to avoid the development of an exploited group or class points, however, to another factor in the immigration debate, one that I have not heard mentioned or acknowledged. The United States has become a very affluent society, and the wealthy among us have become very wealthy. In the past 25 years, largely due to the taxation and social policies (or lack of same) of the Republican Party, the rich have become far richer. We have become a society of private wealth and public poverty. (If you don't believe me, check out the opulence and sheer size of new homes in Seattle and on the Eastside and the state of public school buildings in the city). Such private wealth allows and requires a servant class.
While the state of the economy in Mexico and Central America is certainly a driver, in many ways the immigration conundrum is a consequence of growing private wealth here. The question that merits serious reflection is this: Do we want to be a society of the rich and the rest, where a servant class is tolerated and required? The Scriptures of Christians and Jews argue for legal protection and respect for "resident aliens" because these faiths see the danger to the whole society in an unprotected servant class. Do we?
Do you know where YOUR Tax Dollars Go? If you said "Welfare" you're an Idiot.
American's Speak Out on "Why I'm voting Republican!"
In an interview on NBC’s Today Show, host Matt Lauer asked Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) about his support for the war in Iraq. Noting that violence has decreased in Iraq, Lauer asked if McCain has a better “estimate” of when he would withdraw troops from the country. “No, but that’s not too important,” McCain responded:
Q: A lot of people now say the surge is working.
McCAIN: Anyone who knows the facts on the ground say that.
Q: If it’s working, senator, do you now have a better estimate of when American forces can come home from Iraq?
McCAIN: No, but that’s not too important. What’s important is the casualties in Iraq. Americans are in South Korea. Americans are in Japan. American troops are in Germany. That’s all fine.
McCain’s comments reflect a deep misunderstanding of the priorities of the public. Sixty-eight percent of Americans oppose the war; 62 percent believe the next president should “try to end the Iraq war within the next year or two, no matter what.”
Q: Will your support be there for however many U.S. troops are required?
McCAIN: Yes, and the fact is we are winning in Iraq.
For McCain, there is no end in sight in Iraq, but that’s “not too important” to him.
Josh Marshall writes, "Get a good look. Within a day or so he won't have said it."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) remarks:
McCain’s statement today that withdrawing troops doesn’t matter is a crystal clear indicator that he just doesn’t get the grave national-security consequences of staying the course -- Osama bin Laden is freely plotting attacks, our efforts in Afghanistan are undermanned, and our military readiness has been dangerously diminished. We need a smart change in strategy to make America more secure, not a commitment to indefinitely keep our troops in an intractable civil war.
Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) adds: "I think many of our brave soldiers and their families would disagree that it’s ‘not too important’ when they come home."
Welcome to the John McCain Women's Health Clinic...
John McCain has a ZERO percent voting record from Planned Parenthood. Dear Hillary Supporters... Still planning on voting for this fossil?
What would Ann Do?
by Cecile Richards
It's our time to put a president in the White House who cares about women's health, take back our country, and move once again with progress and commitment to the future. That's what Hillary Clinton said when she suspended her presidential campaign and that's what my mother Ann Richards would say if she were alive today. When Mom lost her reelection bid for governor of Texas to George Bush in 1994, she didn't just get over it, she went on with it -- on to campaign with gusto for hundreds of women and other progressive candidates across the country.
Mom required only one thing of the many folks who asked for her campaign help: a 100 percent belief in women's rights. If they didn't have it, they were out of luck. But if they stood up for women as she did, she would travel to the ends of the earth for them.
That's why if she were still around she would suit up and campaign for Senator Obama in the farthest corner of the farthest state. Mom would see in him a leader with a long and consistent record for standing up for women's health care, a man raised by a single mother, a father of two daughters, and a husband who supports women's rights 100 percent.
She'd see in him what we at the Planned Parenthood Action Fund see: a leader who will improve access to quality health care for women, a partner who will support and protect a woman's right to choose, and a president who will invest in prevention programs that help prevent unintended pregnancies and reduce the need for abortion.
Elections are about choices, and Mom would have said that women voting for John McCain would be like chickens choosing to vote for the Colonel. In 25 years in Washington, John McCain has consistently voted against women's health. McCain wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, opposes basic family planning programs, and voted against insurance coverage for birth control. He has a zero percent voting record from Planned Parenthood.
As a health care provider to millions of patients every year, we take our endorsement process very seriously. In this election, the choice is very clear. Our national Action Fund board has voted unanimously to recommend an endorsement of Senator Barack Obama for president. That recommendation has been sent on for ratification to our local action organizations, who represent the interests of all 103 affiliates.
This year we have seen historic numbers of women, young people, and millions of new voters engaged for the first time in the political process. This is the kind of social change that Mom believed in and fought for her entire life. And that's the kind of work we at Planned Parenthood are all about.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund polling finds that more than half of women voters in battleground states have no idea where Senator McCain stands on women's health issues, and even worse, half of the women who support him describe themselves as pro-choice. The good news is when these women learn about his record of voting against access to family planning and sex education, as well as his opposition to Roe v. Wade, they become much less likely to support him.
That's why we are out there, engaging and educating voters on the records of both Senator Obama and Senator McCain, and turning out the key voters who will be instrumental in electing a pro-choice, pro-women's health care president.
In her famous speech at the Democratic convention twenty years ago, Mom said, "I think of all the things that never would have happened and all the people who would have been left behind if we had not reasoned, and fought, and won those battles together." Like Hillary, she would be imploring all voters to not let this moment slip away. She would agree that we have come too far and accomplished too much. Let's link arms and get on with the future, she'd say. It's time to elect Barack Obama president.
Cecile Richards, daughter of the late Ann Richards, former governor of Texas, is president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Creating a Secret Propaganda Campaign to Manufacture a False Case for War Against Iraq
Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction, to Manufacture a False Case for War
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Posed an Imminent Threat to the United States
Illegally Misspending Funds to Secretly Begin a War of Aggression
Invading Iraq in Violation of the Requirements of HJRes114
Invading Iraq Absent a Declaration of War.
Invading Iraq, A Sovereign Nation, in Violation of the UN Charter
Failing to Provide Troops With Body Armor and Vehicle Armor
Falsifying Accounts of US Troop Deaths and Injuries for Political Purposes
Establishment of Permanent U.S. Military Bases in Iraq
Initiating a War Against Iraq for Control of That Nation's Natural Resources
Creating a Secret Task Force to Develop Energy and Military Policies With Respect to Iraq and Other Countries
Misprision of a Felony, Misuse and Exposure of Classified Information And Obstruction of Justice in the Matter of Valerie Plame Wilson, Clandestine Agent of the Central Intelligence Agency
Providing Immunity from Prosecution for Criminal Contractors in Iraq
Reckless Misspending and Waste of U.S. Tax Dollars in Connection With Iraq and US Contractors
Illegal Detention: Detaining Indefinitely And Without Charge Persons Both U.S. Citizens and Foreign Captives
Torture: Secretly Authorizing, and Encouraging the Use of Torture Against Captives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Other Places, as a Matter of Official Policy
Rendition: Kidnapping People and Taking Them Against Their Will to "Black Sites" Located in Other Nations, Including Nations Known to Practice Torture
Misleading Congress and the American People About Threats from Iran, and Supporting Terrorist Organizations Within Iran, With the Goal of Overthrowing the Iranian Government
Creating Secret Laws
Violation of the Posse Comitatus Act
Spying on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered Warrant, in Violation of the Law and the Fourth Amendment
Directing Telecommunications Companies to Create an Illegal and Unconstitutional Database of the Private Telephone Numbers and Emails of American Citizens
Announcing the Intent to Violate Laws with Signing Statements
Failing to Comply with Congressional Subpoenas and Instructing Former Employees Not to Comply
Tampering with Free and Fair Elections, Corruption of the Administration of Justice
Conspiracy to Violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965
Misleading Congress and the American People in an Attempt to Destroy Medicare
Katrina: Failure to Plan for the Predicted Disaster of Hurricane Katrina, Failure to Respond to a Civil Emergency
Misleading Congress and the American People, Systematically Undermining Efforts to Address Global Climate Change
Repeatedly Ignored and Failed to Respond to High Level Intelligence Warnings of Planned Terrorist Attacks in the US, Prior to 911.
Obstruction of the Investigation into the Attacks of September 11, 2001
Endangering the Health of 911 First Responders
Monday, June 09, 2008
Bush Administration War Criminals Need to Be Investigated by a Special Prosecutor.
Lawmakers Urge Special Counsel Probe of Harsh Interrogation Tactics
By Joby Warrick / Washington Post
Nearly 60 House Democrats yesterday urged the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to examine whether top Bush administration officials may have committed crimes in authorizing the use of harsh interrogation tactics against suspected terrorists.
In a letter to Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey, the lawmakers cited what they said is "mounting evidence" that senior officials personally sanctioned the use of waterboarding and other aggressive tactics against detainees in U.S.-run prisons overseas. An independent investigation is needed to determine whether such actions violated U.S or international law, the letter stated.
"This information indicates that the Bush administration may have systematically implemented, from the top down, detainee interrogation policies that constitute torture or otherwise violate the law," it said. The letter was signed by 56 House Democrats, including House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) and House Intelligence Committee members Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y).
The request was prompted in part by new disclosures of high-level discussions within the Bush administration that reportedly focused on specific interrogation practices. Some of the new detail was contained in a report last month by the Justice Department's inspector general, which described a series of White House meetings in which the controversial tactics were vigorously debated.
Conyers, whose committee already is looking into the role played by administration lawyers in authorizing aggressive measures, said a broader probe is now needed.
"We need an impartial criminal investigation," said Conyers, who called the detainee controversy "a truly shameful episode" in U.S. history. "Because these apparent 'enhanced interrogation techniques' were used under cover of Justice Department legal opinions, the need for an outside special prosecutor is obvious."
Justice officials had not yet studied the letter and would not comment, said Peter Carr, a department spokesman. "The department reviews every letter received by Congress and responds appropriately," he said.
The House letter suggested a broad inquiry that would examine the consequences of administration decisions at U.S. detention sites in Iraq; at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and in former secret prisons operated by the CIA. The letter said interrogation policies had resulted in "abuse, sexual exploitation and torture" that may have violated the War Crimes Act of 1996 and the American Anti-Torture Act of 2007.
"Despite the seriousness of the evidence, the Justice Department has brought prosecution against only one civilian for an interrogation-related crime," the letter states. "Given that record, we believe it is necessary to appoint a special counsel in order to ensure that a thorough and impartial investigation occurs."
Numerous human rights groups have been calling for such an investigation for several years. Jennifer Daskal, senior counterterrorism counsel for Human Rights Watch, said the request by House members will be significant even if the request for a special counsel is refused.
"The fact that so many representatives have called for the investigation helps lay the groundwork for the inevitable reckoning and accounting that the next administration is going to have to do regarding this administration's practices," Daskal said.
Ouch! Porter Berry: aka "journalist" for Bill O'Reilley and Faux "News" get embarrased by real journalists when they try to Ambush Bill Moyers.
My vote for Obama's VP: Kathleen Sebelius
The Clinton Era is over. It's time for a fresh start. That's why I'm endorsing Kathleen Sebelius as Obama's VP.
Hugs and Kisses,