Embattled Democrat Pete Stark has just publicly apologized to "the president and his family."
He took the floor after his fellow Democrats successfully killed a motion to censure him in the wake of his remarks last Thursday asserting that American troops were fighting in Iraq to have their "heads blown off for the president's amusement."
"I want to apologize to my colleagues, many of whom I have offended," Stark began. He then apologized to "the president and his family" and "the troops."
"I hope that with this apology, I return to being as insignificant as I should be," he concluded though a voice cracking with emotion.
Those words aren't going anywhere, except into our collective memories. The apology is a gesture that shows him to be a far bigger person than the subject of his previous comments. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to hear more from Pete Stark, and that would be a good thing, I think!
The Italian phrase "E pur si muove" or "Eppur si muove" means And yet it moves.
Legend has it that the Italian mathematician, physicist and philosopher Galileo Galilei muttered this phrase after being forced to recant in 1633, before the Inquisition, his belief that the earth moved around the sun.
At the time of Galileo's trial, the dominant view among theologians and philosophers was that the Earth is stationary, indeed the center of the universe. Galileo's adversaries brought the charge of heresy, then punishable by death, before the Inquisition. Since Galileo recanted, he was only put under house arrest until his death, nine years after the trial.
There is no contemporary evidence that Galileo uttered this expression at his trial; it would certainly have been highly imprudent for him to have done so.
Koestler isn't quite so sure.
While I don't want to try to defend the Renaissance Vatican
(especially on this forum), the entire issue of Galileo and
the Inquisition is wildly misunderstood.
Pope Urban was a friend of Galileo and read the first draft of
"Dialog Concerning Two Systems of the World". The
pope had some very reasonable questions about how Galileo
accounted for tides. Galileo "responded" by putting
the pope's questions into the mouth of the straw man character
"Simplico" (very subtle, heh?). He then had the
final manuscript reviewed by a rural censor and printed with
the Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat of the Vatican.
The final draft demonstrated conclusively that Galileo:
1.) Did not understand Copernican astronomy, except in a very
coarse and superficial manner.
2.) Did not understand Ptolemaic astronomy any better.
3.) Had not a clue about the dynamics of tides.
4.) Was unaware of the importance of maintaining the
friendship of powerful people who protected him from the
vicious and petty operatives who dominated the Inquisition.
Dialog was a deeply embarrassing book, for Galileo. (Galileo
made a number of valuable contributions to astronomy and
physics. Dialog was not among them.) While we accept
academic freedom as a given, Galileo was in the pay of people
who owed allegiance to the Church and the Pope. Gratuitously
insulting his patrons and protectors was foolish and
characteristic of Galileo. His potential defenders were put
off by the substance of the work. What is the percentage in
defending such a wrongheaded and abrasive work?
The Jesuits (who numbered among his potential defenders) were
for the most part convinced Copernicans by this time. They
were aghast at his ham fisted, inaccurate and unnecessarily
When I called Pete Stark's office on Monday, I think, to applaud his backbone and thank him for speaking for me, when I got through, I reached a young female staffer who was very flustered. Evidently they were having a hell of a time in the office handling the phone lines. She took my point but begged off as politely as she could, saying in a semi-frantic voice - "I'm sorry, but I have to go - there's a Member of Congress calling!"
I figured it could be one of only two things: either another Dem calling to scold, or a republi-CON calling to make threats. I knew he wouldn't have much support, because there's just not a lot of backbone there on our side. And from the tone of her voice - VERY flustered and frantic - I surmised it must have been a fairly prominent member of Congress calling.
114. I couldn't have said it any better, atreides1.
Is there no left to defend America and the American People?
We have had our Caligula moment when Chimpoleon threatened Putin with World War III in his usual, subtle :puke: way.
Actually there have been more than a few "Caligula Moments" reminiecent of the day the Mad Emperor announced that he was a God or that he was appointing his horse to the Senate, and the Romasn, Senators and People alike, just took it.
157. Yes, he went a tad too far. But an apology wasn't necessary. All he needed to do...
was just come to podium and explain that he was angry (and say that, BTW, I'm angry like MOST AMERICANS are angry right now), and maybe went too far with the amusement crack, but that his sentiments remain the same, and that his heart is with those who are dying and wounded because of the President's misbegotten actions. That's sort of saying he's sorry for that one word, but not really. He's at the same time reaffirming the sentiment.
118. I think they (him+cheney+(hidden somewhere)rove) secretly...
Edited on Tue Oct-23-07 02:54 PM by Amonester
threaten they will 'order' a false-flag op. somewhere and impose martial law if they can't get their criminal plans (how many more?) going (i.e. if anyone tries to stop them and have enough power to be effective at doing so).
I truly can't see any other valid reason otherwise.
139. Newt Gingrich or Sam Rayburn would have never allow a censure motion to come to the floor
that they did not approve of. Pelosi is either totally incompetent allowing herself to be out maneuvered by the GOP minority at every turn, or she is a warmonger like Bush. In either case, she is unfit as Speaker!
The last line says it all. Man, there is something seriously wrong with our two-party system. I mean, by what he said, you know he was FORCED to apologize. What anybody said to him to force him to apologize, I have no idea, but it must've been akin to a threat. Cripes. It's like the friggin' mafia.
31. Our party is castrate again like it was before the Iraqi invasion. Something is up. War with Iran?
There's too many little signals here and there that are beginning to really add up which signal a run-up to an attack on Iran.
While many others here have been saying so for a long time, I figured that the Democrats this time would not allow , would not go along with, another Bush military excursion against still another Muslim nation in the powder box of the Middle East.
Who got to Pete Stark? What happened for the 180 degree about face?
What' going on now with Pelosi?
Lieberman / Kyle Resolution passes with Democrats (not all) support?
Are Democrats being shown secret "intelligence" about Iran fabricated by the White House to get them in line?
Something is up. And I am beginning to think it's attacking Iran.
Maybe there was a deal between Pelosi and him that he would apologize if they killed the motion. Still, our Party shouldn't have turned away from him. Repukes in power sometimes apologize, but their party hardly ever deserts them. While Bush might not be amused by the deaths (as evil as he is,) he does treat the war like a video game. That sounds like amusement to me.
If only Stark hadn't said.."to the president's(sic) amusement"..cause we know that sociopath couldn't care less about the troops and just because bushit laughs when he's talking about deaths and world war 3 I guess it was too much for Pete Stark to bear..just one of those Freudian Slips.
108. Don't know about you, but I am friggin depressed about the behavior of
the democrats. We're all set to anoint Hillary and deep in my gut I don't think she can win and even if she wins I don't think her foreign policy will be that different from Bushit's. On the domestic front she might be a little better, but not good enough.
My husband is a Canadian and we might just back there - I've had it with these late, great United States.
46. In all fairness, when the Republicans circle their wagons,
it can be pretty tough, I'm sure, to hold your ground. Those pissy little ass-wipes just love making hell for people who disagree with their politics. Even we citizens aren't exempt, after 9/11 there was a not so secret campaign by the right to make anyone who didn't support the President feel less American. They have no scruples with not only attacking a person's character, but their dignity as well. Bullies, all of 'em.
66. In general, right wingers are schoolyard bullies. We all need to stand up
Edited on Tue Oct-23-07 12:05 PM by Zorra
to them when we speak truth, and support each other in this.
It is time that we formed a united front in the face of republican aggressors. Republicans are corrupt and conscienceless, and use hate, lies, and aggressive behavior/violence in order to get their way.
These people are are generally ignorant and compassionless human beings, and they are destroying our country.
It is time to stand up and call them on their bullshit.
78. Oh my freakin' God...."insignificant as I should be"????
What on earth is wrong with this party? I cannot believe he caved and I can't believe Pelosi actually pushed for censure. Which party does she belong to again? I'm confused. I'm confused about just about all of them.
let's see - continue voting for the same crap and enable and continue the same crap time and again - or sit the next one out and get the same immediate result but send a message and mabe finally get change...
I know one thing is sure - expecting change by continually doing the same thing (voting in the same spineless dems) IS insanity...
weighing my options more critically now...
my vote is NOT automatic and guaranteed...
of this I'm certain - the DEMS will have to EARN my vote...
what do Pelosi and Reid have to do before they are unceremoniously removed from the Democratic party? What the fuck is going on with the Dem misleadership? Is there even a Democratic party left, or is it just the democratic arm of the Republican party now?
102. I believe he was coerced and that was his way of letting people know
That said, I would have resigned and said why before I apologized for A) speaking the truth and B) having some guts to do it. Instead, he bowed to these thugs and has just given more fuel for the fire for BushCo to just keep on keepin' on.
112. Pete, Pete, Pete... I'm SO disappointed in you...
But, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. You APOLOGIZED for your statement. But I note that you didn't RETRACT it. And that part about returning to insignificance (as a member of Congress) could well be taken as a brilliant little snarky dig at ALL of Congress, couldn't it?
"The fraud in the White House is an egg-sucking cowardly piece of shit," say I. "That's below the belt," says my superior. "Apologize, or else." "Okay," say I. "I'm sorry the fraud in the White House is an egg-sucking cowardly piece of shit."
I wish I knew what these assholes were doing to him behind the scenes that's so bad that he not only apologizes but offers such a pathetic, weak apology as well.
I am seething. This country desperately needs leaders right now and Nancy, you pathetic bitch, you don't even come close to cutting it. Go off and kiss that dumbass monkey in the White House's ass some more.
122. the Gleichschaltung of America continues: the few Leftists in power are berated and humiliated
into feebleness, while the Corporatists all coo how Moderate they are and tumble over each other trying to curry the favor of the current Decider and His doubtless FDR-condemning successor, telling each other how great the domestic threat is from the purged, shrinking Left and how they need to "win" by embracing reactionary positions
BUT if Dems would take a page out the repuke playbook and STAND UP TOGETHER against BUSHIT, against intimidation, against the corporate media whores, no kneecapping or horse's head shit would occur.
That's what pisses me off about our Dems. One lone soldier tries his David v Goliath best and the other Dems not only sit back and allow the truth to be turned on its head, they fucking join in with Goliath.
It's time for a Tea Party, y'all
Meanwhile with flood, fire, drought and war ... we're going to hell!
But I somehow posted a new post rather than a reply. I sent Mr. Stark this: ---------------- I just recently read an excerpt from your apology about returning to insignificance and I want to bolster you by telling you to never ever allow this to be.
I am not from your state, I am rather politically unattached as I do not follow the machinations or know the whole story on everything ,but I will say this.
Your voice is not insignificant. Perhaps what could be said is they are a powerful weapon without any fine tuning. If you fire a cannon it goes forth and barrels over everything with no regard. If you fire a rifle, it hits the target with pin point accuracy and strikes exactly where desired.
Do not cull your words nor mark them as unimportant, or allow yourself to be marked so. Rather sharpen them, focus their intent, and strike with them at the heart of the matter with elegence and grace.
Spread this if you so feel to your associates. Bucking the system and those who run it is exactly what is needed, but your words must be carefully chosen. If you must pause to calibrate them, do so. If you must take a breath to make sure the next thing you say is correct, do so.
Focus that anger at how things are and become the voice that the people so badly desire that echoes through the ears of those who need to hear it. Temper your words with wit and confidence.
I respect anyone who has the gall to stand up and say something is wrong, we need more of that. Do not back down, but do not lose focus either.
Fall back, gather your calm, and comes forward again with renewed strength. It's cool, we all have moments, but don't let them push you into the ranks of the unheard. ------- I didn't really proof read it or anything, I just read the last comment he made on insignificance and felt that this man cannot be allowed to humble himself that way. Send him reassuring words, something, if he broke like that during his comment then clearly he needs support.
134. Does Daimyo Pelosi wish Rep. Stark to perform seppuku on the house floor, next?
Edited on Tue Oct-23-07 05:59 PM by 0rganism
Hey, as long as she's having him fall on his sword, might as well go all the way with it. He has dishonored his party by displaying metaphorical guts, the only proper atonement is to spill the real ones for the Emperor's amusement.
What a bunch of fucking pussies. Someone like Anne Coulter can make any comment she likes, and there are no repercussions. Going even further, Republicans in general make the most outrageous comments with no apologies ever given.
BUT--Dems beg, apologize & cry. It's no wonder they lose every goddamned election.
147. He wasn't thrown under the bus, he crawled under it
I agree that there was a powerplay by the leadership. It didn't come from Stark's constituency or his financial backers - hell, they probably agreed with him enthusiastically. No, this came from the moneybags of the party ... DLC types.
It was a deal: apologize and we will kill the censure. But, shit, he didn't have to take the deal. He could have fought it and worn it like a badge of honor, earning even MORE accolades from all of us. Instead he figured that this was the safer route, or some other political calculation. He did it willingly. Accolades from us was secondary.
for these spineless, ball-less dems. I am ashamed of this party. repugs can say whatever the fuck they want, no matter how outrageous, and our democratic "leaders" just bend over and take it and ask for more. They are getting more insignificant by the minute.
If this is what we are lacking, how do we build them? (by we, I really mean me).
I tend to think pretty small, as I wield so little influence. I don't claim to know what would work for everyone. Hell, I'm not really sure how I would develop those traits in myself, but I'm trying.
I will admit that I am not a brave man, but I also am not a coward. If I want my leaders to be strong, it would make sense to me that I need to try to be stronger myself.
Recently, I have been trying to run as I thought it would help me become more disciplined. Tonight, I will try to run past the pain that I think I can withstand and push through my exhaustion. Hopefully courage is like a muscle that can grow stronger from use. If I do it...If I run despite being tired, hungry, and dehydrated, it will mean that I kept my word (while that may not the best definition of honor, but it is a start). I realize that it will take more to restore our party to glory but hopefully my desire for us to be better helps someone else out in the ether.
Within this blog, it is easy for me to remain undisciplined, so I will sign off for the night and run.
"I hope that with this apology, I return to being as insignificant as I should be,"
....I hope all you lefties have been paying attention?....I hope all you lefties will prosper from brother Pete's unfortunate experience and will now actively seek your own 'insignificant' place that's waiting for you in the Democratic Party....
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