This is What Democracy Looks Like
Today's Note From a Madman
Thursday, March 2, 2006
Pre- and Post-Election Planning, 2000-2004
Did you ever think that, before the 2000 elections, the Rove's, Cheney's and the smarter Bushes' got together and said "I bet we can win this thing, even with Junior at the top of the ticket. All we have to do is just keep on telling people how great everything is all the time. And even if they don't believe that bunch-o'-crap, we'll just tell them that it's getting much better every day they stick with our policies. We'll just tell them to 'trust us' and I bet they will."
I don't like to use the word "hate" or "anger" when I describe the Bush administration, but, unfortunately, they are the words that most describe my feelings toward them. I "hate" the way they skew the truth and present present fiction as fact. I get "angry" when they misrepresent the interests of the average American Citizen as their own, as if any of these "silver-spoon-in-mouth" ultra-rich elitists know what us average Americans go through each and every day just to make ends meet.
But my real "hate" and "anger" toward this administration of crooks is the total and utter destruction they are performing on the middle class. There is a war in America and it is the "have-everythings" against the "have-nothings". We are the latter. With every program like "The Clean Water Act" that does nothing but allow polluters the "right" to police themselves; and with every promise broken toward the people of new Orleans or poor and would-be college students, the Bushies breed that "hate" and "anger".
We have real problems within the borders of our nation as well as issues that extend halfway across the globe. But with every scandal, lie and traitorous act, these Bushies move us further and further away from results and solutions. A "quick war and occupation" is now perennial; Health Care costs rise to take up every fifth dollar earned; and real wages fall to where there is no disposable income for the average American.
They care about things like the stock market and the productivity of their contributors' workers while ignoring the basic needs and civil liberties of those same workers.
I wish the Bushies were merely apathetic. then I could excuse them and offer to teach them about the real world, but this isn't the case. Apathy is what happens when one doesn't care. They care but their interests are not ours. They care about their power and their control over everything that is controllable. They care about obtaining even more to control. "The truth" is a casualty of their "caring", and so are we, the average American family..
The Iraq Civil War
I think that the people in the United States really don't understand what makes a civil war. The "War Between the States", or the US Civil War that was fought between the United States of America and the seceded states of the Confederacy. From an organizational point of view, the US Civil War was clean. All participants spoke the same language; the separation was along geographical boundaries; and there was familiarity among many of the officers who led the troops due to the fact that many of them attended the West Point Military Academy together.
But Civil Wars aren't usually "civil". More often than not they are fought on the streets of their nation between people without uniforms. In today's civil wars, it's not unusual to have aggressors vs. victims; or the armed against the vulnerable; or the combatants vs. the innocents, with the latter caught up in the cross-fire. In today's civil wars, there are no civilians, just obstacles and hostages.
This is the present-day Iraq Civil War.
No matter what "G"lobal "W"arming Bush and his cronies try to push on us, there is, indeed, a civil war raging in Iraq. There are no formal declarations, just an ever-present distrust of one another built up over decades. And it's coming to a head.
This past weekend, it appears that the Shi'ites blew up a Sunni temple. In the ensuing violence, 1300 Iraqis, mostly Sunnis were killed. The Shi'ite-led Iraqi interior department has "death squads" that are roving the streets of Baghdad. There are no civilians in Iraq any longer, not even the children.
The US Armed forces can no longer police Iraq. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell's Pottery Barn rule states, "If you break it, you bought it". But there has to come a time when we look at Iraq and realize that we can't keep on paying for it.
The reason the Bushies want to stay in Iraq is simple: There are still Iraqi resources to steal and there is still American taxpayer dollars to be given to the ultra-rich friends and global corporations that own "G"lobal "W"arming Bush. As long as we let them say "Stay the course" we will be unable to leave.
As long as Bush is in charge we will be in Iraq. As ,long as we are in Iraq, we will continue to "own it". As long as we stay, Iraqi civilians and American troops will lose their lives. There already is an Iraqi Civil War. I say let them play it out.
The Health Care Option
Whose Option is it, Anyway?
Almost a year ago, the Washington Post ran a front-page item on pharmacists who are refusing to fill prescriptions when medications violate their "personal moral or religious beliefs." It caused a fuss, but the scope of the issue was not altogether clear. It was a solid article, but it was vague about how serious a problem this is nationwide. It talked about "some" pharmacists, but didn't say how many. It mentioned a new "trend" in the culture war, but didn't say how broad the trend is.
Apparently, it's a trend that's reached the big time.
More than a dozen states are considering new laws to protect health workers who do not want to provide care that conflicts with their personal beliefs, a surge of legislation that reflects the intensifying tension between asserting individual religious values and defending patients' rights.
About half of the proposals would shield pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control and "morning-after" pills because they believe the drugs cause abortions. But many are far broader measures that would shelter a doctor, nurse, aide, technician or other employee who objects to any therapy. That might include in-vitro fertilization, physician-assisted suicide, embryonic stem cells and perhaps even providing treatment to gays and lesbians.
Because many legislatures have just convened, advocates on both sides are predicting that the number debating such proposals will increase. At least 18 states are already considering 36 bills.
I just can't figure out why this is even a legitimate controversy. Pharmacists, by virtue of their professional responsibilities, agree to fill prescriptions. Doctors prescribe a remedy, a patient seeks that remedy, a pharmacist provides the remedy. It's a pretty simple system. If a pharmacist realizes that he or she may be called on to perform tasks with which they're uncomfortable, this person has a choice: do the job or find a different job in which these moral quandaries won't be an issue. In other words, if you don't like filling prescriptions, don't become a pharmacist.
The same is true throughout the health care field. John Cole summarized this nicely: "If your religious beliefs interfere with your job providing any and all desired or required care for a patient, you have several options — change your job, change your religion, or suck it up and hope yours is a forgiving God."
But that's not what many legislatures and conservative activists have in mind. Some are even worried about "cyborgs."
"This goes to the core of what it means to be an American," said David Stevens, executive director of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations. "Conscience is the most sacred of all property. Doctors, dentists, nurses and other health care workers should not be forced to violate their consciences…. "We are moving into a brave new world of cloning, cyborgs, sex selection, genetic testing of embryos."
Cyborgs? We need legislation in part because there's a fear over cyborgs?
At least it's encouraging to know we'll be addressing these issues in a reasoned, intellectually-serious way.
-With news from Carpetbagger report and comments by Victoria Brownworth
Polling the Troops
The Le Moyne College - Zogby International Poll
Opinions on how the troops feel about this war are often based on anecdotal data. John Zogby has just done an actual poll. Mr. Zogby writes:
In wars of America's century just past, we have sent our soldiers to far-off fields of battle and were left to wonder about their opinions of the life-and-death conflicts in which they were involved.
Letters home, and more recently telephone calls and emails, would give us a peek into their states of mind. Some who returned would regale friends and family with tales from the front lines.
Times have now changed. A first-ever survey of U.S. troops on the ground fighting in Iraq was released February 28, 2006. The findings are surprising, particularly the fact that an overwhelming majority of 72 percent of American troops in Iraq think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year.
-John Zogby, http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1075
"An overwhelming majority of 72% of American troops serving in Iraq think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year, and more than one in four say the troops should leave immediately,"
-The Zogby Poll
Here are some points made by the Poll:
-Just one in five troops want to heed Bush call to stay “as long as they are needed”
-While 58% say mission is clear, 42% say U.S. role is hazy
-Plurality believes Iraqi insurgents are mostly homegrown
-Almost 90% think war is retaliation for Saddam’s role in 9/11
-Most don’t blame Iraqi public for insurgent attacks
-Majority of troops oppose use of harsh prisoner interrogation
Plurality of troops pleased with their armor and equipment
-Forwarded by Robert Scardapane
A Media Madman Quote
U.S. Reviewing 2nd Dubai Firm
"The Bush administration, stung by the public outcry over the Dubai port deal, has launched a national security investigation of another Dubai-owned company set to take over plants in Georgia and Connecticut that make precision components used in engines for military aircraft and tanks,"
-Jonathan Weisman and Susan Schmidt, The Washington Post
First Bush compromises port security and now it turns out that he is also working with another Dubai company to work on components for military vehicles. This is the absolute pits below hell! Whose side is that man on anyway?
Would we EVER have turned over something like this to ANY country in the USSR during the cold war? Ever? I don't THINK so. Hey, I'm part Polish, part Ukrainian, and part Sicilian. And I would never consider it racism if people objected to this in that era.
What NEXT? If this doesn't do King George in, I don't know what will!
-Billie M. Spaight
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