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Member since: Thu Aug 30, 2007, 11:50 PM
Number of posts: 2,886

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I've sat through it twice, and it was poorly done.

First the logic. Estimates are that more than 100,000 are dead from the Civil War. We've seen videos of Executions, and brutalities for the entire civil war. But somehow, 1,400 dead from Chemical Weapons are the only thing that matters. Now, I'm no Mathematician, but by my calculations, roughly 1 in 71 dead have died from suspected CW attacks. So 1.4 % of those dead are from suspected CW attacks. And I'm not supposed to really concern myself with the dead adults from CW attacks, but the Children, the children are what Assad must answer for.

To my friends on the left, I ask you to reconcile your belief in freedom and dignity for all people with those images of children writhing in pain and going still on a cold hospital floor, for sometimes resolutions and statements of condemnation are simply not enough.

Indeed, I'd ask every member of Congress, and those of you watching at home tonight, to view those videos of the attack, and then ask: What kind of world will we live in if the United States of America sees a dictator brazenly violate international law with poison gas and we choose to look the other way?


So I'm supposed to ignore 98,600 deaths because those were proper deaths. Death from shrapnel, and shock from explosives is fine, even it is children being bombed. Deaths from machete's in far away lands is no skin off our nose, even if children are hacked to death, that's an acceptable death. Death from starvation is just fine, because when you're starving you're too weak to writhe on the ground and nobody has videotaped that. Oh and bullets are the best way to die, because bleeding out is a perfectly acceptable way to be taken into the next life. No parent has ever held a child who was shot and beg them to live.

That was asinine, and it was childish, and it was even worse than amateur.

Look Mr. President. Let's be honest here. Syria is not in violation of international law, because they did not sign the CW treaty. You can't hold me responsible for a credit slip I didn't sign. Nobody does that. But you are claiming a violation of international law based upon a treaty that Syria hasn't signed. Will you allow yourself to be held accountable for landmines which are banned by nearly every other country but we haven't signed it? No of course not. That would be silly. But that is the standard you are trying to hold Syria to.

The even worse was the stretching of the imagination to the breaking point in trying to explain how this was a necessary action for the American National Security. I write fiction, and in creating a story you have to make it believable enough to suspend disbelief. Mr. President, you failed to get me to suspend disbelief on that one.

In 2011, 32,367 deaths occurred on our highway. Many of those people writhed as they died, it's a terrible thing to watch someone die, because only in Hollywood is it clean as they bravely stare off to space. Should I be more upset if 1.4% of those people died in Fiat's than if they had died in Ford's? Are Ford deaths any more dignified than deaths in some other kind of car?

That is what we are reduced to debating Mr. President. That the deaths by Gas that affected 1.4% of those killed in this war are somehow more offensive than the 98,600 who died by bombs, bullets, bladed weapons, gang rapes, bludgeoning.

You can't promise that no retaliation is going to happen. Russia has a Naval Base there. Unless Putin has assured you in writing that no retaliation will come from them, and even then I'd be suspicious, especially with all the Naval Deployments Russia has to the region, you can't promise no retaliations.

Three million Syrians are living in refugee camps, but that's fine too, because starvation and disease in a refugee camp is a proper death that is morally acceptable to the worlds oldest constitutional democracy. Asinine.

From amateur to ridiculous. This speech had it all. I love the Democratic Party, but I'm supporting other Democrats for this one gang.

The days of the Public Servant are long gone.

It could be argued that they never existed, and that the image of the dedicated public servant were merely fiction. There are certainly examples in history for both sides of the issue.

Today however, lets look at who takes these jobs. Cops are quite often people who were bullied in High School. It affected them deeply, and now they have a badge, and a gun, and the authority, and they aren't going to be ignored ever again. The are not the thin blue line protecting society, and I'm not sure they ever have been during my life.

Bureaucrats in every department and organization. They don't have the authority to say yes, but they do have the power to say no, and they enjoy exercising their power. Corruption runs rampant, and mistakes are either ignored, or most often, result in additional training. How often do we read stories of just blinding incompetence, and malfeasance? Oh not to worry they tell us, there is an internal investigation. Those investigations never result in charges. Want to have fun? Call the IRS helpline, and ask a question once a month. As the same question. If you donate a car to charity, do you get to deduct the bluebook value of the car at the time of the donation, or the actual sale value at auction? You will get a different answer every month, and they are the experts.

Then there are the Politicians. They vote on bills they have not read, and have no understanding of. Bills with thousands of pages, which nobody knows what is in them. The reason the IRS doesn't know what they're doing in regards to the question above, is that nobody has been clear in the thousands of pages of laws that we pass.

Douglas Adams said in the book Restaurant at the end of the Universe, that anyone who wanted the position of President of the Universe, and the power that went with it, was the person who should be the last one to have the power. In other words, you should be ineligible to hold the office if you want it. We spend billions of dollars fighting to see who can get the top office. We spend tens or even hundreds of millions to get the Senate seats. We spend all that money to get a job where you don't make much? Then how do all those Politicians leave Washington so rich?

The last Politician that I can think of to leave Washington poor was Harry Truman. How many of our representatives are similarly destitute?

I don't know what the answer is, and I don't know what the future holds. But each generation seems to have less to hold it's head up about. The sixties brought us such great advancements in science, the Apollo missions were an example of ingenuity and determination over adversity.

We used to take on the hard things, we used to dedicate ourselves as a people to that which was impossible. Curing diseases that were decimating our population. Polio, Mumps, Small Pox were all eradicated. We used to do such wonderful things.

Now, our intelligence is in making more drones, and better drones, to find and slaughter those who disagree with us. Our science has nearly turned it's back on space, and is now working on more machines to kill each other. It's a shame that our kids are dumb, but we have smart bombs, isn't that a clever thing?

So long as the Average Joe can check out Busty Bimbo's from Budapest on his computer, he doesn't care what is going on in town, what asinine things are being done by his Government. He doesn't care that his kids are dumber than a box of rocks. He doesn't care that we aren't advancing any science. He is ignorant of and apathetic about the fate of anything. All he wants to do is watch TV, and he's got a couple hundred channels, and then late at night, when the family is asleep, he'll sneak down and check out some readily available porn.

This is the world we live in, and the future isn't bright, it's so dark that pitch black would be an improvement.

Women Sterilized by California Prisons, without permission.

I almost didn't post this, under the assumption that someone else must have. But I didn't see it in the last few pages. If it is a duplicate, I apologize.

I am fairly good with words. I like to think I am above average in my ability to make a good, logical, persuasive argument on issues I care about. I often post that morals and principles not party should guide our policy discussion. Right now, I am finding it harder to write words than I have since called upon to write my Mother's obituary.

The story, a Doctor in a California Women's Prison waits and discusses Tubal Ligation, the slicing of the fallopian tubes, on the table moments before the birth of the baby.

Doctors under contract with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation sterilized nearly 150 female inmates from 2006 to 2010 without required state approvals, The Center for Investigative Reporting has found.

At least 148 women received tubal ligations in violation of prison rules during those five years – and there are perhaps 100 more dating back to the late 1990s, according to state documents and interviews.

From 1997 to 2010, the state paid doctors $147,460 to perform the procedure, according to a database of contracted medical services for state prisoners.

The Doctor in question was interviewed. His answer is enough to make me sick to my stomach.

During an interview with CIR, Heinrich said he provided an important service to poor women who faced health risks in future pregnancies because of past cesarean sections. The 69-year-old Bay Area physician denied pressuring anyone and expressed surprise that local contract doctors had charged for the surgeries. He described the $147,460 total as minimal.

Over a 10-year period, that isn’t a huge amount of money,” Heinrich said, “compared to what you save in welfare paying for these unwanted children – as they procreated more.”

I can not express my feelings well enough to even try here. I don't possess the words. I don't have the skills with the language. Any word seems too mild. Fury? Rage? Disgust? None of them come close to adequately conveying my emotional response to this barbarism.
Posted by Savannahmann | Tue Jul 9, 2013, 01:35 PM (0 replies)

Laws, and Morals

Prior to the beginning of the Civil War, it was against the law to assist an escaped slave. Yet many did so, creating the Underground Railroad. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underground_Railroad

Moral right trumped legal right in history. We celebrate those who participated, and who assisted in the escape of slaves today. It is a matter of pride to claim that your descendants assisted slaves in the escape from their captivity when it was against the law to do so. But why are we cheering that today? Why do we lionize those people today when they broke the law? The law is what is important, not the moral justification right? That is the answer we get today, that if you break the law, you must answer for your crimes. I'm glad people didn't think so then. BTW My ancestors came to this nation after this event in history, so I'm not a descendant of that particular honor.

Underground organizations existed in World War II to help hide Jews, look at Anne Frank. We demonize the Nazi's, why? They were just obeying and enforcing the laws right? There can never be a moral justification to disobey the law. If you break the law, you are morally bound to stand for your crimes. You can make whatever excuses you want while we are preparing the hangman's noose.

So history clearly shows us that the moral not only trumps the legislative right, but history most often lauds those who participate in the moral, demonizing those who obediently enforce the immoral laws. People who escape from Myanmar (Burma) are considered refugees, morally we are supposed to help, to protect them. Many here would in the interest of consistency of argument, have to demand that they return home to face justice, because they broke the law in leaving like they did.

All those undocumented workers who are in our nation now. They entered illegally, they broke the law. They left their nations without proper travel documents, they broke the law there. Obviously, our demands that the letter of the law be obeyed means we are now going to have to join the fucking Republicans in opposing any efforts to legalize the issue after the fact. But we aren't doing that are we? We're arguing that the moral is more important than the legal.

St. Augustine taught that the unjust law, was no law. Moral and just went hand in hand, and should trump the letter of the law. History is replete with examples of this, and those examples are lauded by history. From the Underground Railroad, to the hiding and escape of the Jews from Europe. From dissidents who escaped the Chinese, Soviets, North Koreans, and even the Cubans. We fight to protect those people, but when one of ours does it, then it is a violation of the law, and we demand him back and demand he stand trial. Demands we ignored from other nations, demands we were morally bound to ignore.

Think about your positions on these issues my friends, think and consider what history will write about you. I prefer to side with Morality, because that is the one that I honestly believe is the one course of action I can live with. It's the one that history teaches me is the right one, and the one that my faith in human rights says is the supreme consideration.
Posted by Savannahmann | Mon Jul 8, 2013, 10:26 AM (1 replies)

As long as you're under my roof....

Parents use that excuse when they search the room, bags, or computer of their child. As long as you're under my roof, you'll do what I say. Those words are weak excuses, but even if we say they have some validity. Children are not yet mature enough to understand the consequences of actions, and will make bad decisions for many reasons. That excuse ends when the children become adults, and leave the nest. How many of us would tolerate our parents coming into our own homes, and searching through things. The "You're my child" excuse kind of dies when you go off on your own doesn't it?

A guest in your home who uses your bathroom, and then inspects your medicine cabinet is a snoop. Can a government who intercepts the fax, or the email message tell the pharmacy to give you the medication be anything less than a snoop?

A friend riding in your car who opens your glove box and begins going through your things to see what you have in there would not be invited into your car again. Yet a Government who looks at things far more personal that that claims they are doing it for your own good, and it's perfectly legal, because someone else told them it was OK.

Besides the defenders of the faith tell us. It's really just an illusion of privacy at this point. Really? Then why can't I do it too? If I have a scanner, and a computer to decode cell phones, I am eavesdropping in every single state of the union. It is a Felony for me to do it. If I hack my neighbors WiFi and just monitor what he does, that is a crime. I am committing yet another Felony. Google was fined for doing that with their street view cars.

And not just in Germany. http://www.engadget.com/2013/03/12/google-street-view-settlement/

Friends, we will have Civil Rights as long as we shout, scream, and argue that we should. As long as we are willing to fight for our rights, we will have them. As soon as we decide that the Government, like our Parents, knows best and we should just go along, we will lose all those rights. Then eventually, someone will argue that we should have rights in practice, not just on paper. Then we'll see another Revolution, and what will the future say about us? If we are lucky, the Future will say we were just victims. That would be easier to stomach than willing accomplice of the immoral act.

I do not live in my Father's house. This is my roof, and my home. This is my country, and I will not go quietly and say all is well when I see those Civil Rights that so many fought so long and hard to get are eroded away with mumblings from authoritarian courts and abusive policies. I urge you, do not join the group that is going gentle into that good night. Either we stand for principle, or we all suffer for party.

Why the NSA scandal belongs squarely in President Obama's lap

If you hire me as a Manager, then the things that happened before I showed up to run a department are not my fault. I wasn't there, I can't be expected to fix things that happened before then. I can be and absolutely should be held responsible for things that happen from the time I show up onward.

Bush was an idiot. We said so on this board many many times. We posted polls that the majority of people said so.

We cheered President Obama's election. We called him a Genius during the campaign, and many times since. Bush shredded the Constitution, and we protested it.

So we take the two cases. An idiot who wasn't smart enough to understand the importance of the Constitution. One who was accepted to Harvard Business School based upon his family influence. Then Daddy kept him safe from the nasty old War in Vietnam. A Frat boy who never earned a thing in his life. Too stupid to even manage to own a baseball team without losing a ton of other people's money. It was too much to expect that Bush the idiot would understand the 4th Amendment. He probably used that phrase to request a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich. A moron who agreed with the Fascist bastards Rove and Cheney when they proposed this crap.

If limited mental capacity is justification for mitigation of sentence, then we must admit that Bush was certainly limited in mental capacity. That doesn't mean he should be forgiven by any stretch of the imagination. However, when assigning blame, we should recognize that he was an idiot and almost certainly didn't come up with this. Undoubtedly Cheney did, with Rove, and when they briefed Bush with hand puppets told him all was cool with it.

But President Obama has no such excuse. Unlike Bush, he was not only a Law School Grad instead of a Business School graduated by his Family name, but actually taught Constitutional Law. President Obama almost certainly lectured on the 4th Amendment during his tenure. He certainly studied it at Harvard Law. So we find that one was an idiot, and the other was a genius who taught the importance of the 4th Amendment.

President Obama had a choice. A choice to say no. A choice to defend the Constitution as he swore an oath to do. A choice that was dictated to him by his legal education. From the NY Times covering his initial inauguration.
Barack Hussein Obama became the 44th president of the United States on Tuesday before a massive crowd reveling in a moment of historical significance, and called on Americans to confront together an economic crisis that he said was caused by “our collective failure to make hard choices.”

He didn't make the right choice, he didn't make the hard choice. He took the easy way out, and for that, the blame rests squarely on his shoulders. He had the power, and he failed to take the right action, the action that was required by the Constitution, and by his oath. We can blame Congress, for they share some blame. But one man had the power to say no. That one man did not do the right thing when he absolutely knew better.

I will admit having my own issues.

I've written about some of mine before. Candidate Obama promised to end the PATRIOT ACT, and reauthorized it with a signature at the last minute. It is one of a few pet peeves of mine, that we so easily wipe out the rights protected under the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments. Do I think he will get rid of it in the second term? No. But on the other hand, neither will Robme, so its a wash there. Both seem dedicated to ignoring these flagrant violations of the Constitution. Guantanamo Bay's torture camp is another issue with me, and again I don't see Robme doing anything about it. Now, I can give him a pass on Guantanamo Bay, because the Congress refused to fund the shut down. But that bothers me too, because DEMOCRATIC Party members voted to continue torturing and indefinite detention of those accused, but who will never have a trial.

You mention the Corporate control of the Country. I was thinking about that very thing when President Obama promised to appoint a Secretary of Business. So the whore the corporate masters speak to will either be in the Oval Office, or one step below the Oval Office. Some choice there right?

What really bothers me is I grew up in Southern California and reached voting age in the 1980's. That was when we all stood for certain things. We were opposed to Reagan's radical military agenda. We were opposed to police abusing the rights of the accused. We were all united in our efforts to end the threat of Nuclear War. We were mocked, but we stood firm about our ideals. We believed in those things, and the Politicians we nominated reflected our beliefs, and voted that way. Now, we elect the Democrats because they are Democrats, even if they're to the right of Satan because we need the seat to get the majority. Of course, to get the vote from the fascist we have to keep moving right.

I'm not suggesting we not vote for Democrats, far from that. I am suggesting that after the election, win, lose, or draw. We need to have a conversation about what it means to be a Democrat. Some core principals we can all agree upon. We should have a handful, perhaps a half dozen guiding principals that we all agree upon. Womens Rights, Percentage of budget that will go toward education, Percentage of budget that should go toward the Military Industrial Complex in non war times.

In other words, guiding principals that we can use to send a message to our elected officials, that we want change, in the way they govern, and the way we support.

I saw a video were 47 cents of every dollar paid in taxes goes to the Military Industrial Complex in the form of the DHS, Military, CIA, and all the other "security" flag waving nonsense. That is insane. That is what the Nazi's did, and we did to defeat them. That was an all out no civilian car produced rationed gasoline and tires war effort.

I know this rambled a bit, and I'm sorry. Like you my support for the Democrats is absolute, but like you I have serious concerns about the direction of this party, and our nation.
Posted by Savannahmann | Sat Nov 3, 2012, 05:30 AM (0 replies)

Interesting isn't it?

The one thing nobody has noticed is this. Why haven't the defense attorneys made this argument during closing arguments. The Jury system came from history, and was codified under English Law during the Magna Carta. This was to take a power away from the King. The King, or Government could accuse you of a crime, try you for that crime. But the King could not convict you of that crime. That power was reserved for the people, the peers we all know from the Bill of Rights. However, most people don't realize that the purpose of the Jury was never intended to simply decide had the person done the action accused, but was the law JUST, or Justly applied.

St. Augustine taught civilization that an unjust law, was no law. The second purpose of a Jury was supposed to be the question of Just Law. Was the law just, and was it justly applied. There are tens of thousands of examples of unjustly applied laws. From girlfriends who had no knowledge of the actions of drug dealers and who are serving decades because someone has to pay for it, to people who didn't know the action was a crime. The second most asinine phrase is Ignorance is no excuse. If you don't know what the rules are, it is impossible to follow them.

So the jury has the ability to return Not Guilty verdicts because the law is unjust, or unjustly applied. Yet a vast majority of the people who serve on Juries don't know this right. The example I gave the Judge when I was questioned about an example was pre Civil War. It was a Federal Crime to assist an escaped slave. To the best of my knowledge nobody was ever charged with that crime. However, I'd like to think that if I had been on a jury, I'd have found the individual not guilty of assisting someone who wanted freedom.

The Jury could find these people who are guilty of nothing more than growing Medical Marijuana not guilty because the law is unjustly applied. The defense attorney could argue for the jury to do just that. After a while it would become a cause celeb, in which Juries would joyously find the defendant not guilty because the law was unjust, or unjustly applied.

We the people have a grave responsibility as Jurors, not just to decide if the person did it, but is the Government right in prosecuting them?

I'm not so sure

First, let's be honest. The Fast and Furious program was started under BushCo. It was an amazingly stupid response to the absolute lack of control on the border regarding gun smuggling to the Cartels in Mexico. As we all know, the Cartels would be reduced to sling shots in less than a decade if we would ban guns like the other civilized nations. Instead, we keep handing the guns to anyone who has the dollars.

Congressional Oversight is one of our most important checks. We learned the hard way what happens without it. We saw the Viet-Nam war, Nixon's abuses, The Glomar Explorer of Project Jennifer Fame. The CIA assassinating anyone they didn't like without so much as a nod from anyone accountable. The School of the America's training thugs to keep dictators in power in Central and South America. All of these were started, and run, because of lack of Congressional Oversight. Even when we had control of Congress. That is because of the long tradition in Washington of Voting Conservative, and the issuing statements that are liberal.

Congress has the authority to request documents, and wouldn't you like to know who in BushCo cranked this up? Wouldn't you like to know who refused to shut it down when we got the White House from those lying bastards? Why didn't one of the new appointee's take one look at this program and demand to know if someone was insane? It was a stupid idea, which we have long expected from the idiot in chief Bush. Yet we are smarter, and we not only didn't shut it down, we let it expand. WE LET IT. We claim it was to learn who the guns were going to. They weren't going to single moms who valiantly defend their families from hordes of bad guys as the NRA claims. They were going to Criminals. Of course, we already knew that when the Mexican police asked us to identify who bought the gun in the United States and tell us that six Mexican Cops were killed by baddies with that gun.

We already knew they were going to bad guys. There wasn't anything else to learn about the destination except that they were bad guys and they used guns to murder and intimidate the same as the rest of the gun toting racist assholes here in the United States.

I want to know why we didn't do the right thing. Why didn't we shut this down ten seconds after learning about it. Imagine if you will we found out that Bush had violated a treaty and put a Nuclear (Which he can't pronounce to save his life) weapon in space. Would we be angry. You bet your ass we would. Would we forgive Obama for obeying the law? No, we would celebrate that obedience to a higher ideal, the obedience of the treaty that prohibits that action. What would they be able to say if it took them years to admit it?

It was a bad plan from the Bushies, and we should have shut it down ten seconds after we learned about it. Somebody dropped the bowling ball on their foot big time. We are better than this, and we should have just given all the documents to Congress long ago, and then released them to the Press with a description of the program.

"A program started under President Bush was not shut down when we got involved. Those responsible for that program, including the people appointed by us were fired, and face prosecution for violation not only our laws, but those of a sovereign state Mexico. We are appointing a prosecutor to find out when Bush knew, and what he knew. We believe we may find a memo somewhere that shows when aides were able to brief the President on the program using hand puppets."

We had some political cover then. Now, all we have is the cry of witch hunt. But the problem is this. We didn't shut it down, who knows how many Mexican civilians died because of that. Who knows how many Mexican army, and police are dead. All we know for sure is a Border Patrol officer was killed by a gun we gave the cartels. Bush started it. We should have stopped it. We expect this kind of stupidity from them. We are better than that. We should have been better.

Somebody has to pay for this disaster. Right now, Attorney General Holder is the one in the firing line, because he won't give Congress those who are responsible. Of all the things I'm proud of with our President. This is one of those things I am not proud of, I am ashamed of. I really don't understand why we did this. I wish I did. I wish I could understand how, who, and why.

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