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bigtree

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Member since: Sun Aug 17, 2003, 11:39 PM
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Collins spent an hour elevating an unrepentant sexual assailant over his victim

...this is the grotesque face of the republican party.

https://twitter.com/AhmedBaba_/status/1048297475797397504

Watching (not actually listening) to Susan Collins' hour-long lecture to sexual assault survivors and those of us who actually give a damn about the rights of women and other survivors, I remembered this de Tocqueville quote about power and assumed authority:

Rulers who destroy men's freedom commonly begin by trying to retain its forms. ... They cherish the illusion that they can combine the prerogatives of absolute power with the moral authority that comes from popular assent. - Alexis de Tocqueville


Here are republicans visibly and functionally out of step with the rest of America, yet they moralize down to us from their elevated positions of power. There's no humility, no consideration for the majority of Americans who disagree with them. Just raw, naked power manipulated for their benefit alone.

Consider this vote scheduled for tomorrow. It's a simple majority vote where it used to require a supermajority (60 votes) for advancement of a SC nominee. That's a consequence of the absolute power afforded to the republican party. Once they got the majority, they discarded Senate comity and simply changed the rules to suit their own interests. Garland was just a teaser, this republican party is on a tear.

It's a rampage through our democratic system of government complete with an opposites game that looks to be modeled after Orwell's '1984' - blatant lies presented as truth; one of the nation's most prominent religious leaders trotted out to proclaim that 'not completing the act' isn't rape, no matter that the person he's defending denied even attending such a party.

Kavanaugh went even further, proclaiming several times that, although he really "liked beer," he never drank to excess. That assertion completely at odds with a letter revealed, in his own handwriting, signed 'Bart,' saying beach house neighbors should be warned that they're "loud, obnoxious drunks with prolific pukers among us."

We're dealing with weak and vulnerable bullies and liars. There is nothing redeemable about the republican party because there's nothing that they appear to care about outside of their sweet selves. But not to despair...some Tennyson to soothe the sour palate:

“Let darkness keep her raven gloss:
Ah, sweeter to be drunk with loss”


We're Democrats, and we're on the right side, if not the winning one. We don't shift to suit the political winds, and we act on principle and conviction, not political expediency. We have an affirming election coming in a few weeks where we can get on with removing these relics of absolute power, these horridly tragic mistakes of popular assent. Lets get on with it.

So yelling and beating up on the victim rallied republicans?


...that's the narrative coming from various media sources.

Prof. Ford's testimony was passionate, intelligent, and utterly convincing.

The republican counter is that Kavanaugh aggressively fought back, in an overtly political manner. The judge berated his accuser as some kind of Democratic conspiracy, blaming the Clintons.

Yet, Prof. Ford demonstrated a natural independence and clearly showed that there was no political bias in identifying her attacker. She repeatedly affirmed her support for an FBI investigation by saying she believed they could help her help the committee reach a just conclusion.

Kavanaugh belligerently and petulantly dodged the question of whether he would support such an investigation, while at the same time, wailing and moaning about the lack of a complete evidence trail. He showed open contempt for allowing witnesses to back up either his account or Dr. Ford's.

This sitting judge's contempt for the democratic process, and for the process of law, is a damning indictment of his intention to lead this committee to the truth. He's determined to substitute this stacked committee's partisan judgment for a process of investigative law, something that I would think is an anathema for a judge. It's certainly something that would disqualify any nominee for any position in government for any Democratic nominee facing these committee republicans.

Moreover, his temperament demonstrated in this rebuttal is not one that should be expected from someone tasked to adjudicate myriad cases fraught with contradictions, omissions, and complex defenses and prosecutions. The image of this judge yelling and crying from the federal bench (and if advanced to the Supreme Court) is a terrifying image of U.S. jurisprudence. This is a sitting judge, openly scorning the process that would advance him to a higher Court, actively obstructing the search for the truth he claims to seek.

The only conclusion to be had is that this person believes he's entitled to the Court seat; that he thinks he's entitled to sidestep scrutiny or challenge to his record or reputation; that he believes he's immune from accountability for his past by virtue of membership in a privileged class of politicians currently holding the majority of votes, presumably, in his favor.

For Trump-era republicans, their ability to outvote Democrats is all of the justice or justification they need to act, consistently in the most partisan manner they can accomplish. Their morality is mired in their ability to dominate this confirmation process, in the end, and manipulate the process with selective umbrage and obstruction of even the law enforcement professionals who could clarify their decision-making with actual witness statements and evidence.

It's privilege they're asserting here, plain and simple. Something women have been struggling for decades to advantage their own needs and rights. That's what republicans are trying to accomplish here, the advancement of their male-dominated privilege, and the suppression of this women and her right to hold this man accountable for his actions against her.

Grassley's pathetic disinformation effort before Kavanaugh hearing is misogynists' last gasp

ThinkProgress:

As BuzzFeed reports, “The committee didn’t identify the men, offer details about what they said, state whether committee staff found their accounts credible, or indicate whether there would be any further follow-up.” Committee staff interviewed each of the men between Monday and Wednesday.

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s attempt to sow doubt on the eve of Thursday’s hearing seems intended to cast doubt upon Ford’s unequivocal claim that Kavanaugh assaulted her. During a Fox & Friends interview on Thursday morning, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway seized upon the revelation as evidence that Kavanaugh might have been falsely accused.

Releasing thin information about two anonymous men who claim to be the real assailants wasn’t the only misdirection pushed by Sen. Chuck Grassley’s (R-IA) committee on Wednesday.

As CNN reports, the committee also released a transcript of a conference call with Kavanaugh in which they asked him about two new uncorroborated, anonymous allegations against him...


The republicans on the committee hearing from Dr. Ford today includes 6 men who voted against the extension of the Violence Against Women Act. This is the old guard of the women-haters club trying to preserve a place in society where they are allowed to treat women as sexual conquests. They are very clear that they want fellow men to be able to act out their sexual desires against women, without their consent, with impunity.

That's the principle republicans are defending today, at the same time that they're seeking even less accountability for the tainted men they seek to advance to the highest offices of our government. Success in circumventing Dr. Ford's testimony, and moving thereafter to an immediate vote, will be one more step toward insulating men from the consequences of their misbehavior and violence toward women.

It's the cherry on top of this shit salad they're tossing today. Well in line with the ascension of an admitted sexual predator to the WH, this is another momentous moment in our nation's history where republicans will attempt to normalize their misogyny.

The deck couldn't be stacked any more in their favor. The only saving grace is the courage and persistence of Dr. Ford in standing up to this rigged committee, and forcing them to publicly face up to the cravenness of their vain pursuit of absolution for this unrepentant, sexual abuser a step away from determining the fate of women's rights and protections from a lifetime seat on the highest court in the land.

Flake starts out speech on Senate floor equalizing Kavanaugh and his accusers

...that's the end of that for me.

Portraying this sitting judge as a victim of this process is a mockery of the Court he's trying to join. Due process would affirm his reputation, not diminish it. If Kavanaugh's guilty, he has nothing to fear from an investigation.

So far, Kavanaugh has shown open contempt for the process of investigations, for due process. He doesn't deserve the shield of a legal system he's openly scorning. If he's somehow a victim of these proceedings, it's because he's trying to subjugate the judgment of criminal matters to a partisan, stacked political process, instead of insisting on an FBI investigation.

The real victims here are, of course, these sexual assault survivors who have been compelled into the public arena to bare their reputations in a effort to be believed by this committee. There's absolutely no reason for this trial-like hearing, except for the craven need and desire of republicans to discredit these accusers before the nation and advance their president's nominee to the Supreme Court.

No matter what Flake is reasoning, Kavanaugh goes into this hearing facing several weighty and consequential accusations which all carry the same devastating theme of sexual abuse and assault. Armed with little more than his questionable word, the credibility gap with these women places him firmly on the defensive.

Given that this proceeding is still about Kavanaugh's fitness for office, his lack of veracity, and his blatantly false representations of his past, it places a steep burden on him to reconcile these vile acts - acts he's been described as either witnessing or participating in - with the image he tried to portray in the interview on FOX.

Denials without anything but his word to refute them should not be accepted as a defense in the committee, by Flake or anyone else.

So the battle line republicans are drawing is a 'smear' defense against these womens' allegations

...I say, bring it on.

https://twitter.com/AP_Politics/status/1044304419624505344

I don't believe this fight is going to tolerate this panel of men (and the men shouting from the sidelines) dismissing these women's claims as some conspiracy. Beside the fact that they are mostly corroborated and come from women who are of apparently reputable character, there's been an awakening of sorts where women (of all stations) have felt more empowered to confront these excuses for abominable violence against them.

There are also many men identifying their own incidents of abuse with this movement of accountability and justice for abusers and the environments which allow them to persist and avoid prosecution.

These incidents being uncovered are about respect for and adherence to the rule of law. The person seeking approval for a lifetime seat on the Court should welcome the opportunity to clear up any questions about past behavior, but this nominee is determined to resist any entity but this weighted committee as an arbiter of the women's claims.

It's this resistance to the institutions and process of law, in favor of this rigged political process, which betrays Kavanaugh's contempt for the democratic process itself, including the one he expects to advance him to the Court. The only outcome of a committee vote weighted in his favor - a majority party membership openly declaring their intention to treat these accusations as an attack and vote to advance Kavanaugh anyway - will be a smear of these women who have been compelled beyond their intentions to appear and bear their pain before the nation.

I think these republican dinosaurs in the Senate (many, like Grassley and Hatch lording over nominees since Anita Hill) are going to find their weak protestations of some unfairness to a sitting judge seeking one of the highest positions in the land answering these women's charges without denigrating them, fully revealed as the bitter misogyny which is at the heart of their petty rule.

Week's events should draw epiphanies from those insisting the sky would fall if Dr. Ford missed Mon

...committee hearing.

So it appears Dr. Ford will be given the opportunity to appear on Thursday, instead of allowing herself to be jammed into a Monday hearing, one that would involve great difficulty in attending for the non-flying professor who was, just hours before the ultimatum, engaged in an interview with the FBI over death threats she had received as a result of her name being publicly revealed without her knowledge or consent.

https://twitter.com/GeoffRBennett/status/1043684180532645888

I don't know what got into some folks, but there were far too many posters willing to believe the bottom would fall out of the resistance to Kavanaugh if Dr. Ford refused to fold in the face of Grassley's arbitrary demand that, she not only appear before the committee Monday, but that she also hand over her testimony by Friday.

All of that bullying was met by firm rejections by Dr. Ford's lawyer, explaining in detail the unfairness and arbitrary nature of the committee chairman's demands:



That damning letter was met with a curious response from Grassley, utterly blase in its detachment from the devastating charges Dr. Ford made in her response. It seemed Grassley was having a private conversation with his close friend, Kavanaugh, not the sexual assault survivor he tried to intimidate and sabotage.

https://twitter.com/ChuckGrassley/status/1043344767684366336


Look at how far the opposition to Kavanaugh has come since that anticlimactic end to the committee hearing. He's dropping in the polls and republicans, Grassley included, are now running scared over their inability to pass their misogyny off as altruism.

They have at least one republican senate nominee insisting that the sexual assault described in detail by Dr. Ford couldn't possibly be rape because the assault didn't include actual intercourse; echoing the improbable statement of a prominent ordained minister that, “no completed rape means no crime.” That Kavanaugh "respected" his victim by not finishing the abominable act. Franklin here:

https://twitter.com/JohnnyBlkshrt/status/1042871847321325570


...and North Dakota’s republican Rep. Kevin Cramer, challenging Democratic Senator Heidi Heitcamp in November:

https://twitter.com/KamalaHarris/status/1043606612185948160


We have FOUR more days to press for Kavanaugh's withdrawal. After this impressive assertion of rights and reason by Dr. Ford to prevail and appear before the committee on her own schedule (and some of her own terms), none of us should be chagrined or resigned about any assertion from republican senators that we can't have our demands heard and responded to, even though we hold slightly less votes in that body.

We should continue to press for a real investigation of the charges; press for other witnesses, press for senators to question of Dr. Ford in the hearing, instead of an outside counsel...

We should be inspired by Dr. Ford's persistence and steadfastness to her cause to continue to press for what we believe is fair and right, even in the face of seemingly intractable odds.

Watch the republican attempt to jam Prof. Ford into hearing Monday fall apart

...and recognize how full of shit the Monday deadline Grassley set for Dr. Ford was, and how self-defeating it's been to have apparent opponents of Kavanaugh, nonetheless repeating the republican demands like they're infallible and set in stone.

Imagine the scene where a gang of pasty men are talking smack about a victim of sexual abuse, dismissing her claims and trashing her reputation, while shoving her aside in a rush to advance her alleged assailant to the highest court in the land. With the midterms just over the horizon, someone over there is going to ask their chairman just what the upside is for team Kavanaugh in abusing this woman further.

There was never a hard deadline, just bullying from Grassley, expecting some political mileage out of jostling this woman around; expecting that her story would disappear or be discredited because they and whoever listens to them spread their petty nonsense that if she doesn't appear on some arbitrary date that advantages proponents of Kavanaugh, her claims would be dismissed.

But here we are. The hearing will likely be delayed to accommodate Prof. Ford - something many folks insisted wouldn't happen, because, republicans.

My point is that, despite the republicans holding the votes to confirm, Democrats own the reputation of Kavanaugh, going forward. The very fact that the WH and their nominee have not asked the FBI to investigate the claims carries with it a strong presumption that he's hiding something.

And it hasn't gone unnoticed that Prof. Ford gains credibility with her request for the FBI to probe Kavanaugh further.

Democrats have the upper hand. Republicans cannot proceed, unaffected by the scandal. If we don't let them completely dictate the terms of this hearing and vote, and demand fairness and respect for the accuser, the ambush they've planned for Prof. Ford will fall on its face.

No, we don't have the votes, but we have the moral high ground, and a good window in which to rally opposition to this tainted nominee. Just like the confirmation vote slipped under pressure, so is this nominee's ascension vulnerable to the same political activism.

Today would be a good day for Kavanaugh to call it quits, before some other salacious scandal drops out of his past onto the national stage.


https://twitter.com/MikeDelMoro/status/1042954340577812480

https://twitter.com/brianefallon/status/1043137066287210497

Republicans don't need a hearing to 'determine the truth' behind Prof. Ford's accusations

____________________

...they already know what she's accusing Kavanaugh of, and they already know his defense.

What republicans want is the opportunity to use their weighted, partisan committee to take Prof. Ford's claims apart. They want to see if they can unnerve and rattle her as she bares the intimate details of a traumatic attack which occurred in her youth. They want to try out a few lines dismissing her claims they think will insulate them or advantage them in the upcoming elections.

How comfortable is anyone here watching Trump so sanguine about the process unfolding? There's a fix underway, likely orchestrated in those back-to-back WH practice sessions with Kavanaugh and his lawyers. How absolutely cozy to have a presumptive SC nominee conspiring with the Chief Executive to subvert justice.

Republicans are also trying to protect their brand from the wave of opposition which followed the advancement of Thomas after Anita Hill had similarly bared her private life for the committee, country, and world.

They don't really need Prof. Ford to appear, to complete their cynical process. After all, there's no guarantee that the party which tried several times to take away health care from millions; turns their backs as their president strips children from immigrant mothers -separating them permanently in many cases; no guarantee that the party (and a few of the same actors) who advanced misogynist Thomas to the Court, nonetheless, after the compelling testimony of Anita Hill, won't just ride out the storm and vote Kavanaugh in anyway.

It's no mystery why there's a full-press effort from the WH and Kavanaugh defenders to dismiss the potential impact and importance of having the FBI take a moment and question the principals and presumptive witnesses. It would put a damper on the ambush republicans have planned for their Monday hearing.

Lost in the cacophony of dismissals of a role for the FBI in helping make a determination of truth or culpability - lost among the cynicism which has greeted Prof. Ford's call for an investigation before she appears - is the absolute and clear diminution of even the strained standards set by the Anita Hill hearing.

Then-President Bush eventually agreed to a review of Anita Hill's accusations by the FBI. This republican party, and this republican president, are angling to take the country backward, apparently learning nothing less cynical than persistence prevails, in the end, when your majority party has the votes (and sometimes, if the minority helps, when you don't).

Prof. Ford is going to get her story to the public. The only question is whether the republican majority is going to actually take her accusations seriously and genuinely weigh her claims against the advancement of Kavanaugh to the Court. That judgement never hinged on them determining the truth of the claims, more than the theater they're staging in the Grassley committee. Posturing without her there, and voting regardless, has little to no additional value for them.

They need to understand that the public will still, ultimately, be able to fully judge the veracity of Prof. Ford's accusations, with or without the benefit of having Kavanaugh there to rebut the charges. It's their call.

Why wouldn't Kavanaugh want FBI to make a determination of the charges before the hearing? (Update)

.

..the only reason I can think of is he's looking to the Senate committee to muddy the waters. That's also probably why Trump's being so compliant, steering it all back to Grassley's committee.

There must be something to the charges if he's not willing to present a finding from law enforcement. If he's innocent he has everything to gain from an FBI determination. It should bolster his defense, if his story pans out.

Trump can request the FBI look into it at any time. Unusual that he's not doing that... the fix must be in with Grassley.


update:

https://twitter.com/mitchellreports/status/1042222838600613888

Eric Holder: FBI should do routine, normal inquiry concerning new Kavanaugh allegations

Republicans don't need a hearing to 'determine the truth' behind Prof. Ford's accusations

Stirring Up The Dust At Ground Zero

...an essay/article I wrote on September 10, 2006.




Stirring Up The Dust At Ground Zero

"I will show you fear in a handful of dust." -- T.S. Eliot

IS there anything more repugnant than hearing bin-Laden's taunting words so close to the anniversary of the 9-11 attacks? I don't mean the latest video he sent Bush to amp up the president's fear and smear campaign. I'm not thinking of the grainy shots of bin-Laden greeting his accomplices out in the open air of his mountain refuge.

Bush has been practicing his new protection scheme this past week with a series of speeches in which, as the explainer-in-chief, he's been methodical and zealous in his elevation of Osama bin-Laden; carefully reciting the most offensive and threatening of the terrorist's statements and dispatches. Beginning in the second in his series of speeches, Bush chose the moment right after he had remarked on the "flood of painful memories" and the "horror of watching planes fly into the World Trade Center", to amplify bin-Laden's gloating remarks that the attack was "an unparalleled and magnificent feat of valor, unmatched by any in humankind." On Sept.11 he'll travel to New York's 'Ground Zero' looking for a pile of rubble and a bullhorn to elevate himself and talk down to us from some lofty perch.

Bush is desperate to revive and re-animate the demoted specter he had called his "prime suspect" in 2001. "I want justice," Bush had said then. "There's an old poster out West… I recall, that said, 'Wanted, Dead or Alive.' Six months after the attacks, however, he simply turned away from his 'hunt' and acted as if he didn't care anymore about catching him. Our forces had Bin-Laden cornered at Tora Bora, and then, he was allowed to escape into the mountains. "I don't know where he is," Bush replied when asked why the terrorist hadn't been caught. "I-I'll repeat what I said, Bush sputtered, "I am truly not that concerned about him."

It's five years from the date of the attacks, and Bush has finally found cause for concern. His party is poised to lose their majority in the House and, possibly, in the Senate. Voter opposition to Bush's occupation in Iraq has pulled his republicans down in the polls and threatens to take away the power that enabled him commit the troops to Iraq and keep them there. The specter of Osama bin-Laden is the only wedge Bush has to rally his dwindling base and convince voters that his party should be allowed to continue to lord over the authority they squandered in the five years since the attacks.

It's strange to hear Bush bring up bin-Laden. Bush has barely mentioned the terrorist since he claimed to be unconcerned about his whereabouts. In fact, the Senate went ahead and unanimously passed a Democratic amendment this week which restored the Pentagon unit charged with finding bin-Laden that Bush just up and closed without offering an alternative strategy or effort. In Bush's updated, 'National Strategy for Combating Terrorism' that he references in his speeches, Osama bin-Laden is mentioned only once, in a reference to his 'privileged upbringing'. Dredging up all of the offensive rhetoric from bin-Laden now is designed to re-inflate those emotions that were so raw right after the horror unfolded; that uncertainty and anxiety which made Americans fold in the face of his consolidation of power.

Bush's own initial reaction to the terrorist attacks on 9-11 was a mix of paranoia and bluster as he cast the fight as a defense of 'freedom' that he said the attackers wanted to 'destroy'. "They hate our freedoms - our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other," he declared in an address to a joint session of Congress. In his statement at the signing of the "anti-terrorism," Patriot Act, in October 2001, six weeks after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, President Bush claimed that the measure would counter the threat of enemies that "recognize no barrier of morality and have no conscience." He sought to assure that the measure "upheld and respected the civil liberties guaranteed by our Constitution." He ends his statement with a pledge to enforce the law with "all of the urgency of a nation at war."

However, the President neglected to tell us which war he was referring to. The anti-terrorism measure was cobbled together in a few short months to take political advantage of the urge in Congress for a legislative response to the terrorist attacks, despite the president's claim that the bill was "carefully drafted and considered." It was a direct assault on the liberty, privacy, and free expression of all Americans.

From that document came a flood of legislative 'remedies' that would take advantage of the administration's blanket excuse of 'national security' that they and their minions in Congress draped over every stalled piece of legislation that could be remotely tied to their 'war on terror'.

But, their transparent politicking with their new anti-terror tools had nothing at all to do with catching the perpetrators they said were responsible for the 9-11 attacks. Their hunt became eclipsed by the violence their Iraq diversion had produced. Iraq became a terror magnet, just as Bush had planned. Instead of just "fighting them over there", our occupation had the effect of producing more individuals with a grudge who would do our troops, our interests, and our allies harm.

No amount of saber-rattling at Iran, showdowns with North Korea, or escalation of troops in Iraq to further prop up the crumbling Maliki regime can substitute for bringing bin-Laden to justice. Five years on the loose has made the terrorist into an inspiration for others who have been provoked by the mindless collateral killings by the U.S. in Bush's dual Mideast occupations. Yet, Bush has decided to elevate bin-Laden even more in his speeches and remembrances leading up to the 9-11 commemorations.

In Bush's radio address for Sunday, he speaks of a 'solemn occasion' and proceeds to muddy it up with more of bin-Laden's taunts. The president advances the terrorist's call for a Caliphate as he bids us to "hear the words" of the terrorist. "Osama bin Laden has called the 9/11 attacks, "A great step toward the unity of Muslims and establishing the righteous Caliphate," Bush tells us. "Al Qaeda and its allies reject any possibility of coexistence with those they call "infidels."

Hear the words of Osama bin Laden," Bush says about his partner. In their respective protection schemes, both use the extreme violent reactions of the other to justify their self-appointed roles as saviors and protectors of their followers. Both are counting on their words to elicit fear among their minions and their foes alike, but, Bush is playing bin-Laden's surrogate in this latest promotion; elevating the terrorist to a political equal, looking to give bin-Laden's words a place in our commemorations; hoping Americans will focus on the barbarity and zeal of the attacker rather than his own inability to suppress and capture him.

So, Monday, in his 9-11 commemoration tour, Bush will return to Ground Zero, looking for rubble and a bull horn to elevate his made-up role as protector-in-chief. But, the residents there have gone on with their lives, removed the debris, and paved over the hallowed ground for politicians to come and preach, and for others, to pray.

All that is left in that city of the tragedy of September 11 are survivors and memories; and dust; the scattered remains from those pernicious, poisonous mountains of dust that exploded from the towers as they fell. The dust of the humanity of innocents and terrorists alike co-mingled with the debris, hovering for an eternity before it fell down upon the city; memories and the past inextricably mingled in the miasmic haze.

Bush can do nothing this September 11 except stir up settled dust from that hallowed ground; stirring up resentments and recriminations, deliberately soiling his immaculate cloak. He will not be there to unify our nation, as it had come together on its own right after the attacks. He's coming to Ground Zero with bin-Laden's specter on his sleeve, looking for a political lift out of his swaggering militarism.

He will be looking to widen the divide that he's been nurturing since he ascended to power between those who have resisted his imperious grab for false authority in the wake of the violence, and those who still believe that he's protecting them with his blustering militarism and assaults on our own civil liberties.

However, there is no pile of rubble and humanity left in New York, or anywhere else, that Bush can stand on and bullhorn his way back into the nation's confidence. Some of the disturbed dust has revealed a shameful, reckless indifference to catching bin-Laden, as those individuals in the top echelons of our government who were responsible for directing our nation's defenses ignored the myriad of reports coming from the agents in the field. His 'War on Terrorism' has been nothing more than a scam unleashed against the liberties of blameless Americans, and his collateral military campaigns have had a unifying effect among those combatants in Iraq and Afghanistan who would resist his swaggering imperialism and consolidation of power.

Bush spoke of "vigilance" at the end of his radio address. "With vigilance, determination and courage, we will defeat the enemies of freedom," he says, "and we will leave behind a more peaceful world for our children and our grandchildren. That's an amazing contradiction to his own strident use of our nation's military to overthrow and occupy two sovereign nations in his term. It's a load of hubris from Bush, who has pledged to continue the occupation of Iraq "as long as he's president", and has bequeathed the disaster to "future presidents.'"

Abraham Lincoln spoke of our responsibility to vigilance at a debate in Edwardsville, Illinois, on September 11, 1858:

"While the people retain their virtue and vigilance," he said, "no administration, by any extreme of wickedness or folly, can very seriously injure the government in the short space of four years."

"What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence is not our frowning battlements, our bristling seacoast, the guns of our war steamers, or the strength of our gallant and disciplined army. These are not the reliance against the resumption of tyranny in our fair land. All of them may be turned against our liberties without making us stronger or weaker for the struggle."

"Our reliance is in the love of liberty, which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is the preservation of the spirit, which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands everywhere." Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism at your down doors."

"Familiarize yourselves with the chains of bondage," Lincoln warned, "and you prepare your own limbs to wear them. Accustomed to trample on the rights of others, you have lost the genius of your own independence and become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises among you."


We must resolve ourselves to vigilance against Bush's campaign to divide Americans into those who support his terror policies that he regards as patriots; and those who resist his imperious assaults on our civil liberties, diversion of forces and resources to Iraq, and his failure to catch the perpetrators defined in the very authorization that he claims gives him the power to ignore our nation's laws and our Constitution, that he portrays as traitors.

"By the frame of the government under which we live," Lincoln said, "these same people have wisely given their public servants but little power for mischief; and have, with equal wisdom, provided for the return of that little to their own hands at very short intervals."

Come, November we must hasten the return of our democracy to our hands. No amount of fear-mongering from Bush and his murderous specter should be allowed to stand in the way. Bush should not be allowed to dictate our future to us, using the voice of this terrorist's violence.




http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_ron_full_060911_stirring_up_the_dust.htm
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