This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

 

Please view an enclosed history of the ACLU at the bottom of this newsletter. It is printed in its entirety and has not been at all. -NG


 

A Quote in the Lead

"Well, I really think he has shattered the myth of white supremacy once and for all."
-Rep. Charles Rangel (D. N.Y.). who is black, responding to a question on Public TV as to what he thought about George W. Bush.

-Victoria Brownworth



Party Priorities

Isn't it funny (funny as in ironic, not funny as in ha-ha) that when the Democrats were in the majority they wanted to create better schools, a better environment with more equality and they even took a run at health care for all.

When the Republicans took over, they gave their rich friends a tax refund.

Any questions?

-Noah Greenberg



The Big Uneasy

"Congress has committed $85 billion to date and we have just asked for an additional $18 billion. The President has consistently said that the vision for rebuilding should work from the bottom up – meaning the local and state officials, who best understand the needs of the region, should determine the best solutions, not Washington."
-Donald Powell, Federal Coordinator of Gulf Coast Rebuilding in response to a question on http://www.whitehouse.gov/ask/20060206.html

$5.3 billion per month. That is the approximate cost of the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq combined. Although $85 billion sounds like a lot of money (not in Bush-terms, of course), it hardly will make up for what is necessary to rebuild New Orleans and the rest of the gulf coast to anywhere near what it was before.

''The harsh reality is that for many people in Washington, Katrina is yesterday's problem and Rita never happened,''
-Governor Kathleen Blanco (D-LA)

Governor Blanco was referring to a mere passing reference to the greatest natural disaster ever in US history made by President Bush at the state of the union address last week. With the funds actually needed to: (A) Repair the city of New Orleans, especially the economically disadvantaged and predominately African-American occupied ninth ward; (B) Make the levee system able to withstand a category five hurricane; (C) Replace some of the silt that has been lost due to economic development of the barrier islands, does anyone think that $85 billion will do it? Does anyone think that another $18 billion will make a dent? Only the people in the Bush White House do, and either they are fooling themselves or they are trying to fool us.

"Please tell me that you are going to repair the levee system and rebuild the gulf coast."
-Julie, from Tampa, Florida, from the same web page

"I could not agree more, Julie. The President is, first and foremost, committed to the safety and security of the people in the Gulf Coast. We understand that any hope of rebuilding can only be realized when people feel safe. We will continue to work to bring the best solutions to the table while ensuring a wise investment of taxpayers’ money. Congress has allotted $85 billion and we’ve asked for an additional $18 billion just last week. We recognize this as a top priority which is why we asked Congress to double funds for levee reconstruction and edifications. The Army Corp of Engineers is on track to repair the breaches and correct design flaws by the start of the next hurricane season and further enhancements will continue to be made. If we believe further investments are needed, we stand ready to do what is necessary to fulfill our commitment. So, there is no doubt in my mind that we will not lose this treasure – but restore it to its full luster and shine."
-Powell's complete answer

In other words, "NO". The Bushies appear to have no plans, Julie, to repair the levees to make them withstand another Katrina-like jolt, and it appears they never had such plans. Remember, it was the Army Corp of Engineers who recommended spending a few billion dollars on making the levee system category five resistant just a few short years ago, and it was the Bush administration who said "NO" then. What makes you think the answer has changed any now? We all know Bush's desire to sit on Trent Lott's porch and sip mint juleps with the Senator from Mississippi. It appears that the porch will be done well before any debris is cleared from the streets of the ninth ward.

"State and local leaders must take action to develop integrated, state-wide plans..."
-Powell, in his opening statement

No matter what the local and state governments do, the burden is placed upon them by the Bush administration. Although Gov. Blanco has developed "state-wide plans", they are either rejected or ignored by the Bushies. It's like the guy who keeps his eyes closed while covering his ears while saying "I don't see or hear anything."

''At least she gave us a basic plan for how the money is going to be spent,''
-Rep. Jim Tucker (R-LA)

"I am confident that the Gulf Coast Region will fully recover and will see a better and brighter tomorrow."
-Powell

It will take hundreds of billions of dollars to get New Orleans and the rest of the affected areas of the gulf coast to "see a better and brighter tomorrow." It will take a commitment on the part of the Bush administration to bring the people of New Orleans back home. It is obvious that they don't want to make that commitment. It is probable that they would rather have a less "chocolate", as Mayor Ray Nagin put it, New Orleans.

The thing to ask is this: Does "a better and brighter tomorrow" in New Orleans mean a New Orleans without African Americans?

-Noah Greenberg



The Nerve of Bill Frist

Senator Bill Frist (R-TN) has the nerve to talk about his respect for Mrs. King. Funny, that respect wasn't very obvious when Frist tried to kill a Senate resolution against lynching early this year.

Present Day:
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist statement said, "While we say goodbye to Mrs. King today, we must honor her life by working toward the shared vision of an American society that values individual freedom, equality and content of character above all else."

Last June:
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN.) refused repeated requests for a roll call vote that would have put senators on the record on a resolution apologizing for past failures to pass anti-lynching laws, officials involved in the negotiations said Tuesday.

Yeah, sounds like some real "equality and content of character," don't you think?

-David W.



George Washington and Electronic Surveillance

While defending the Bush Administration's use of National Security Agency wiretaps without judicial oversight, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told the Senate that President's going back to George Washington used electronic surveillance.

REALLY? They had electronic surveillance in the 1700s?

Wow, you really do learn something every day!

-Eddie Konczal



ExxonMobil, The Profit-Taker

Exxon Mobil recorded the highest quarterly profit ever for a publicly traded U.S. company, raking in $10.71 billion in the fourth quarter of 2005. The previous record was $9.92 billion, set by Exxon in the third quarter of 2005.

Apparently, that’s not enough. Exxon wants the money it had to pay as punishment for the 1989 Valdez oil spill back:

Exxon Mobil Corp. urged a federal appeals court Friday to erase the $5 billion in damages an Alaska jury ordered the oil giant to pay for the 1989 Valdez oil spill.

Exxon attorney Walter Dellinger told a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the company should be liable for no more than $25 million in punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to deter and punish misconduct.

If a company pulls in $10 billion in profits a quarter, a $25 million penalty won’t deter anything.

-Victoria Brownworth

(Victoria recommends this site for more info: http://www.exxposeexxon.com.  -NG)



"Lie's" was a piece written by an angry Right-Winger. Let's just say he's not a fan of Madman

In response to "Lie's - You people are so stupid (not ignorant)---STUPID!!!!!!! ", Victoria Brownworth writes
 

...and yet he's the person who adds an apostrophe where none should be.

Noah: Did you know the average Bush voter has only an 8th grade education? It really shows, too, don't it? Keepin' 'em barefoot and pregnant on the farm for the home team....

How many times did Bush say NUCULAR in the state of the union speech?



And Rhian writes:

Huh? roflmao (Rolling on the Floor. Laughing my A-- Off, for those of you who might not know)

Actually, about that nuke-in-the-ass thing. I recently received confirmation from inside sources that there is indeed a black op underway. Houston and Texas City are both under consideration for the detonation of a dirty bomb in June of 2006. (Black ops are not Arab terrorists although black ops do use Arab terrorists for their dirty work because they don't mind dying and are therefore the cheapest labor in the killing business.)

There are articles about it on APFN but that is not my source and this information is too important to play with. Tens of thousands of American lives are about to be snuffed. A swath of the south to the east of Houston/Texas City will be poison for the rest of our lifetimes, both soil and atmosphere.

The populace is just not cowed enough. More fear is needed. More destruction, more destabilization.

If this strike can be accomplished, Bush will have the permanent status of war he wants, the military will have permanent first priority budgets (they have made demands on Congress for another 200 billion today, for more war) and the population of the US will be that much closer to the long dreamed of, controllable number of people.

Negroponte is already involved in a media propaganda blitz to convince the people in the US that Iran will nuke the US as soon as it has fissionable materials, and reportedly does have the ballistic capability.

Nevermind that Iran has threatened Israel and is fed from the foodstuffs off American tables so would never nuke us.

When are the people gonna get it? Bin Laden is free and our borders are not secure. Those two facts alone are absolute proof that Bush's 'war' is bogus. There is ample other proof that the intentions of the Bush administration, wielded by whatever heavy global hand, is determined to establish the one world government of which his father was a proponent.

When are the people gonna get it? When the global government is established there will be no more Constitutional rights. When are the mainstream 'Christians' the fundamentalists who support the Bush regime, gonna understand that when/if the Constitution falls, they will no longer have the right to worship?

Bush state of the Union address: We cannot afford isolationism (sovereignty) and so will maintain status as the leader (dictator) of the world. . .blah blah blah. Can anyone connect the dots?

Can anyone spell F-A-C-I-S-T. Hello? Americans? Are you awake yet?

(Although Note from a Madman has no proof to accompany what was written above, I felt it necessary to print this in its entirety. -NG)



A History of the ACLU

The following was in response to a newsgroup post from Bill Wood that read "the aclu will do anything for satan and do everything against the one and true God,"

This is long, but hang in there --

Here's some correct history of the ACLU and its founders and a little information about what and whom it has defended from one end of the political spectrum to the other in reply to Bill Wood's rather ignorant message about the organization. If I were not polite, I would write that Wood is full of horseshit. But since I am just an old Kentucky country boy who tries to be polite and wishes to carry on a civil, polite, and informed debate, I won't.

During and after World War One the federal government prosecuted antiwar protesters and aliens thought to be subversive. Responding to Attorney General Mitchell Palmer's attack on civil liberties during the red (that's communist) scare of those years, the ACLU was formed in 1920 by a group that included Clarence Darrow, Felix Frankfurter, Jane Addams, Helen Keller, Norman Thomas, and John Dewey. Roger Baldwin, the first director, served from 1920 to almost 1950.
The early ACLU was involved in a number of well-known legal cases including the Scopes "monkey" trial in 1925, the defense of the Scottsboro Boys in 1931, and the right of children of Jehovah's Witnesses to refuse to salute the flag because of religious beliefs in 1936, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, as well as many revolving around free-speech issues.

Although the ACLU was usually aligned with the Left, Baldwin had communists, including Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, a personal friend, expelled from the national board in 1940. In another controversial act the ACLU defended the right of skinhead neo-Nazis to march in Skokie, Illinois, during the 1970s.

The ACLU has historically defended for all Americans (from those on the left, although the right hates it, to those on the right, even the far, far right) three major areas of civil liberties: inquiry and expression, including freedom of speech, press, assembly, and religion; equality before the law for everyone, regardless of race, nationality, sex, political opinion, or religious belief; and due process of law for all -- in other words, Constitutional guarantees which apply to all Americans, although the right hates it.

Roger Baldwin's early political were distinctly leftist, but he became less happy with the Popular Front approach (look it up) and concerned about the existence of the ACLU after the signing of the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact in 1939. In 1940, in an effort to stave off criticisms of the organization and its cause, Baldwin started a campaign to revise the ACLU charter. The revisions required that individuals who were affiliated with totalitarian organizations (left, communist -- right, fascists) would not be allowed to serve on the ACLU board. That's when Communist Party member Flynn was removed.

What followed was anti-communist policies and programs that continued throughout the Cold War. Not long afterward, Baldwin and the ACLU wrestled with the issue of internment of Japanese-Americans and Japanese aliens, which had been demanded by the U.S. military. In contrast to many of his longtime colleagues at the ACLU, Baldwin continued to challenge such violations of civil liberties, but he also sought to maintain good relations with the federal government. He opposed the prosecution of native fascists (on the far right) and Trotskyites (on the far left) alike, just as he later challenged the moves by government officials to abridge the rights of communists.

After World War Two Baldwin's respectability and celebrity status increased. In 1947 General Douglas MacArthur arranged for Baldwin to serve as a civil liberties consultant in Japan. (Everyone knows what a big Commie MacArthur was.)

In the 1950s-1960s the ACLU handled cases questioning the constitutionality of loyalty oaths and the blacklisting of supposed left-wing "subversives." (Of course, the McCarthy apologists and followers considered the ACLU to be communist because of that activity designed to protect the rights of AMERICAN CITIZENS.) It also played a role in Supreme Court decisions banning school-sponsored prayer (not individual prayer nor unofficial prayer groups organized by students or faculty) as a violation of the constitutional principle of the separation of church and state. In the 1960s the ACLU participated in cases that established the right of poor defendants to legal counsel in criminal prosecutions, and was involved in decisions barring the use in court of evidence that was obtained through illegal searches or seizures by the police.

How about those other "commie founders"?

Ah, yes, that famous socialist (same as commie to the far right) Helen Keller, a terrible threat to national security. She was a world-famous speaker and author -- an advocate for the blind, deaf, and dumb -- a suffragist (horrors, that means she was in favor of women voting) -- a pacifist -- and an early supporter of birth control back when women often were worn out bearing children and/or died a result -- founded the Helen Keller Foundation for the prevention of blindness and raised money for the American Federation for the Blind -- worked and campaigned for and wrote in support of the working classes (that's the common working folks who were taken advantage of before the advent of labor unions) -- and supported progressive causes. In the mid-1960s President Lyndon Johnson awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, our country's highest civilian honor, and her home state of Alabama included her in its design of the Alabama state quarter. Yep, Keller was a definite liability to the U.S.

Yipes, that socialist-cum-liberal agnostic (same as commie to the far right) Clarence Darrow, a terrible threat to capitalism. He was a nationally famous defense attorney who made a career out of defending labor unions and the little guy, usually some little guy who was perceived to be on the left -- supported U.S. involvement in World War One but defended people charged with anti-war activities -- was critical of and worked against the Espionage Act (anti-freedom of speech and anticonstitutional) -- was defense attorney in the Scopes trail -- defended rich juvenile-murderer clients Leopold and Loeb -- defended a poor black family arrested for fighting off a mob seeking to drive blacks from a white Detroit neighborhood.-- worked for free for countless worker, labor union, poor clients -- known even by his enemies on the right to be exceedingly kind and generous -- lionized and emulated by many in the legal profession today as a helluva defense lawyer. Yep, the U.S. barely survived Darrow.

Heavens to Oliver Wendell Holmes, that foreign-born Jew (same as a commie to the far right) Felix Frankfurter. He was and remains the only foreign-born, naturalized-citizen Supreme Court justice -- investigated labor disputes and controversies for Woodrow Wilson during World War One -- was a legal adviser to Wilson at the Paris Peace Conference following World War One -- was a member of the Harvard Law School faculty for more than two decades -- argued cases for the National Consumers League -- was involved in Zionist causes -- practiced progressive idealism, especially where defendants' constitutional rights are concerned -- New Deal advisor to Franklin Roosevelt -- is considered a model practitioner of Supreme Court judicial restraint (wrote many conservative to moderate dissents, refused to protect some blacklisted radicals during the McCarthy era) -- a foe of racial segregation -- received Presidential Medal of Freedom from John Kennedy. Definitely a bad guy.

Heavens to heavens, that ordained Presbyterian minister and socialist (a commie to the far right, especially because of the Presbyterian part) Norman Thomas. He was an idealist and pacifist and devoutly Christian -- was Socialist Party candidate for president (my god, you mean them commies can get on the ballot?) in every election from 1928 to 1948 -- was widely admired for being highly ethical, even by conservatives -- often spoke on the wide differences between socialism and revolutionary Marxism -- was strongly anti-communist and disliked by the Trotskyites -- opposed World War One and World War Two -- bravely and virulently opposed the Internment of Japanese Americans following the attack on Pearl Harbor -- campaigned against racial segregation -- worked to open up U.S. to Jewish victims of Nazi persecution in the 1930s -- was an early environmentalist -- promoted better conditions for working stiffs. Probably helped Saddam Hussein hide his WMDs.

Oh, my, that world-famous social (see, the first part of socialist, which really means commie) worker and international pacifist Jane Addams. She founded the world-famous social settlement Hull-House in Chicago in the late 1880s -- helped to establish the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers 20 years later -- was a leader in the Consumers League and served as the first woman president of the National Conference of Charities and Corrections (later the National Conference of Social Work) -- was chairman of the labor committee of the General Federation of Women's Clubs -- was vice-president of the Campfire Girls -- served on the executive boards of the National Playground Association, the National Child Labor Committee (that's the organization against 8-year-old kids working in sweat shops) and the NAACP (NOTE: Of course, all those organizations were or are communist fronts.) -- received the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize. Ah, yes -- a dangerous radical.

Great balls o' fire, that pragmatic, philosophic, pedagogic, agnostic-leaning (pointy-headed, ergo a commie) John Dewey. He was a democratic idealist who evolved from devout Christian beliefs to pragmatism during his 92-93 years -- was an internationally respected educational reformer -- was a social and political progressive, the latter bordering on socialism -- taught at Michigan, University of Chicago, Columbia -- became the most prominent university-based philosopher of the 20th century -- taught and wrote that orthodox communism as practiced by the Soviets was inconsistent with participatory democracy -- rejected "Social Darwinism" with its self-serving and antidemocratic belief in the survival of the fittest -- promoted equality of opportunity in education that would enrich students' lives and prepare them for the future -- argued that the development of critical thought would help protect society from the dangers of dictatorship. Now, that's really dangerous!

Such are the bonefides of the hardcore COMMUNISTS (as Wood claims) who founded the ACLU.

Reviewing the accomplishments of those folks and their generally positive national or international reputations makes me wonder -- What are your accomplishments, Wood? What is your reputation? National? International? What is it about you that qualifies you to misrepresent those people -- all of whom are dead and who cannot defend themselves against your slander, if they would even bother to pay attention to your misrepresentations from the intellectual backwoods of North Carolina?

Huh?

-Joe B.


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-Noah Greenberg