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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Today's Crazy Former-Dictator Quote of the Day

"I am the head of state,"
-Saddam Hussein, at his trial in Iraq

You know, at that moment it would have been a good idea for President Bush to have stood up and say "Well, then I guess we could all leave. See ya'."

Too bad we're playing by Colin Powell's "Pottery Barn Rules: Since we broke it, we bought it." But at $7 billion a month, I didn't think we'd be paying retail!


-Noah Greenberg

First Steps

Okay. Okay. I get it. Hamas doesn't trust the Israelis and Israel doesn't trust Hamas. The thing is, Israel does not need the Palestinian Authority, now led by Hamas, for support. They need Israel.

The time for Hamasto put-up-or-shut-up is now. They are the party of their people, having won a majority of seats in the former PLO's government, so now they must act as a responsible government of the people and take care of its "children". When one moves into new house, it is best to make peace with one's neighbors. Hamasneeds to take those "peaceful steps", and they shouldn't wait for Israel to knock on their door first.

The people of what would be Palestine elected a Hamas-led government because the old government (the remnants of Yasir Arafat's Fatah) was more interested in lining their own pockets over feeding the starving children of Gaza. Hamaswon in much the same way a mayor of New York gets re-elected: They picked up the garbage in the streets. People care about their day-to-day life more than some loftier goals set up by people living in ivory towers. (Hey, isn't our White House made up of ivory?)

Hamasnow must step up and say "We want peace with our Israeli neighbors. We need our neighbor's help to create a striving society. We recognize Israel's right to exist and look forward to making our area of the world a better place to live for both Palestinians and Israelis alike. We look forward to working with our new Israeli friends."

Talk about a statement that would shock the world!

"I do not believe you can have a million starving Palestinians and have peace,"
-Middle East envoy James D. Wolfensohn, pushing the "blueprint for peacemaking" representing The Quartet of the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations, to congress

"If you have a million Palestinian kids in the streets how can you have peace? Kids won't have schools and there will be chaos in the streets."

Wolfensohn asked for time to "determine the principles involved in dealing with the essential issue of the livelihood of the Palestinians." I disagree. Time is the one thing we don't have. The starving poor don't think of help by looking at their calendar. They think of help on a meal-to-meal basis. Promises ring hollow when they are left unfulfilled. Job one has to be to feed the Palestinian people so they don't go looking toward terrorism and Intefada as a means to their end. Hope is what breeds good will, not promises.

The time is now for Hamasto step forward and show the world that they mean business as the leaders of a nation. Looking toward the terror nations of Iran and Saudi Arabia for help is not an oasis, but merely a mirage.

Hate may be motivating, but hope is everlasting.

If Hamasrefuses to take the steps necessary, it will be their own people that they are cheating.

-Noah Greenberg

Censure Bush

I would like to see Bush censured, and if the only thing he can be censured for is violating the fourth amendment with FISA, I will be glad to see it done.

I urge all and sundry to contact their elected representatives and support the censure resolution. You can be sure the GOP is organizing a counter move. But it is really time to start getting past Bush.

His term is drawing to a close and he must not become a hate magnet deflecting the public's righteous wrath from the GOP agenda which is the real issue and the true source of our country's decline.

On FISA, there are important substantive issues at stake. For instance, we need to know who is plotting against us and if possible what they are plotting. FISA is intended to serve that purpose.

It is important that Democrats and Progressives take into account the national security dimension of this act and, in addition to demanding that Bush be censured, demand that the Senate take a bipartisan approach to fixing the FISA law so that we can take measures to keep our enemies under surveillance legally.

Bush's global war on terror has been ineffective and a bust to date.

The forces that dealt us the blow on 9/11/01 are STILL AT LARGE and are continuing to strike at targets throughout the world.

Let's get past Bush by censuring him and redesigning FISA in a way that protects us and respects American Liberties.

-Robert Chapman

In a newsgroup discussion, the following came across my email:

Dividing America

Indeed. Let us put things squarely so : Those who scream the most on imposing babies on the poor are usually (relatively) rich, white, and male. They have no problem, as if faced with the need for abortion for their daughters, wives, or mistresses, they can pay for it. What they are after is for soldiers to send to criminal adventures such as Iraq's, or for delinquents who keep the police busy, and the laws repressive, or for low-paid labour, etcetera.

Is that clear? All the rest is trash.

-Enrique Ferro

... and Speaking of Modern . . .

"The true test of a civilization," South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds said, signing a bill into law that would ban most abortions in the state, even in the case of rape or incest, "is how well people treat the most vulnerable and helpless in their society.''

That's funny. I always thought the true test of a civilization was how it treats women. That in the backward nether-regions of the world and in the dark ages of history, women were stripped of power, draped in veils and relegated to the margins. That to allow half its population to go to school, to go to work and to control their own destinies, including the decision when to have children, is the defining mark of a progressive civilization.

-David W.

Media Madman
If you Liked Iraq, You're Gonna love the Avian Flu

Maybe they really are tired.

We weren't particular impressed when we heard Donald Rumsfeld's plan for Iraq, but that was before AMERICAblog's John Aravosis tipped us off to Mike Leavitt's plan for the avian flu.

Speaking at a flu summit meeting in Wyoming Friday, the president's health and human services secretary said that Americans can't expect the federal government to take care of them if a pandemic strikes. His advice: Stockpile food in your bedroom.

"When you go to the store and buy three cans of tuna fish, buy a fourth and put it under the bed," Leavitt said. "When you go to the store to buy some milk, pick up a box of powdered milk, put it under the bed. When you do that for a period of four to six months, you are going to have a couple of weeks of food. And that's what we're talking about."

-from Salon.com's "War Room" as forwarded by Dorothy Schwartz

Am I the only one or does this sound a lot like "duct tape and plastic sheets" from the (former Secretary of Homeland Security) Tom Ride Days? Speaking of Tom Ridge, did you ever think you'd pine for him and call his days the "good old days"?

-Noah Greenberg

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-Noah Greenberg