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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Enron Quotes in the Lead

''We're looking forward to getting on the stand and getting our case out there -- the positive case,''
-"Kenny-Boy" Ken Lay at his Enron trial

I thought that Lay was pleading stupidity in his trial. With a statement like this, one no longer wonders if that is the right choice or not. (It is)


''We are anxious to get our story told,'' said lead Skilling lawyer Daniel Petrocelli, his client at his side.
-Daniel Petrocelli, Jeffrey Skilling's lead attorney

And the rest of us just can't wait to hear it, Mr. Petrocelli.

Using their own defenses as a guide, this is the self-proclaimed trial of "the Dummy and the Liar".

-Noah Greenberg



Card Bolt(on)s

It just goes to show you... You can't be a part-time thief and liar. Andrew Card offered his resignation as Chief of Staff to the president today and he found a taker in George W. Bush. Although he has been with GW since day one, after five and a half years, it would seem, Mr. Card (a card-carrying member of PNAC - Project for a New American Century - which was looking for a war to exploit long before the Bush administration exploited this war) decided he wanted to:
A) Spend a little time with my family
B) Catch up on some reading
C) Who gives a crap?

Just about anyone who follows the den of thieves (A.K.A. the Bush White House) knows that the Chief, Mr. Card and Card's deputy Karl "The Traitor" Rove didn't exactly see eye to eye a lot of the time. As a matter of fact, some people say they actually had a dislike for one another and constantly fought for the president's affections. It was probably due to conflicting ideals: Card wanted the Bush administration to be part-time thieves and try to do good on a rare occasion; where Rove saw thievery, lying and manipltaion as its full-time job.

"I have relied on Andy's wise counsel, his calm in crisis, his absolute integrity and his tireless commitment to public service,"
-"G"lobal "W"arming Bush at Card's disappearing act today

Let's remember one of those "calm in crisis" times, shall we? The date was September 11, 2001 and President Bush was in a Texas elementary school reading with some students. Just after the first plane hit the World Trade Center, Card calmly told the president of the event. Calmly, Card waited in the background while his boss kept on reading the "Little Goat" with the kiddies. Then Card calmly whisked GW away and left the fate of the nation... well... to no one in particular as they played "Where's Waldo" on Air Force One.

In Card's place will be former Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Bolton, now the budget director. Bolton comes from Wall Street, so that ought to scare us all right off the bat. His will be a dual position: Advise the President, and then agree with Rove. It's a hard job but someone has to do it.

"Josh is a creative policy thinker. He is an expert on the budget and our economy. He is a man of candor and humor and directness. No person is better prepared for this important position."
-GW regarding Bolton

I remember the last guy GW said that about. His name was Dr. N. Gregory Mankiw, the former chairman of GW's economic advisors. Most of you will remember as the "expert" who said that "Outsourcing... is a good thing."

Kind of gives you goose bumps, doesn't it?

And what did Bolton have to say as he accepted the position?

"I'm deeply honored now by the opportunity to succeed Andy Card as White House chief of staff. I said, 'Succeed Andy Card, not replace him,' because he cannot be replaced."
-Bolton

Now where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, that's what Thomas Jefferson said when he "succeeded" a popular Benjamin Franklin as the US minister to France in 1785.

"I've come to succeed him (Franklin). No one can replace him."
-Thomas Jefferson to the premier of France, Vergennes

Why bother having an original thought when stealing one is so much easier. Imagine using the words of the greatest wordsmith in our nation's history.... the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence... without the slightest hint of a footnote. It's okay because Card and Bolton are no Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, respectively.

And then GW had to go on and say this:

"These are good, hard- working, decent people. And we've dealt with a lot. We've dealt with a lot. We've dealt with war. We've dealt with recession. We've dealt with scandal. We've dealt with Katrina."
-GW

My old building's janitor is a good, hard-working person. It doesn't mean I want him to be running the nation. Maybe it's not such a good idea for President Bush to be reminding us of how they "fixed" the economy (by giving tax breaks to the rich while going to war and creating a net job loss); or how they "dealt with" the war in Iraq (which is now a multi-part civil war); or how they've "dealt with" scandal (by starting scandals, like the Plame affair or the Abramoff thing, etc); and don't even get me started on Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans (the city and the people they ignored)... Please... give us all a break will ya'?

The Rovian president is handing out titles like the queen on her death bed. Arise Sir Card, ruler of the fallen deck; Arise Sir Bolton; Pretender to the Rove; farewell to you, the American people for it matters not who runs this nation into the ground as it will still be there.

With Donald Rumsfeld still at the helm of the Defense Department, this is the "big change" that is going to show us all how serious the president is about "fixing" things?

Well, I feel safer already... don't you?

-Noah Greenberg



Immigration

So it isn't enough to keep illegal immigrants as near-slave laborers. Now, if one of their employers (like a George W. Bush "core constituent have-more") has an issue with their "lower-than-minimum-wage-and-zero-benefits" worker, they can just make the call to "Immigracion" and have their problems thrown in jail rather than just deported. You see, the new bill which GW will sign into law makes it a felony for you to be an illegal immigrant.

I wonder if that applies to illegal Canadians as well, eh?

And to show their displeasure with the possible law, 500,000 demonstrators, most of them of Mexican ancestry, crowded the streets of Los Angeles in a peaceful protest. Imagine a Real Free March without "Free Speech Zones". Who'da thunk it?

"We cannot criminalize people who are working, people who are contributing to our economy, and contributing to the nation,"
-Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the bi-lingual son of immigrants

In a funny way of doing things, the bill has a provision that would allow guest workers, while at the same time could deport or arrest others who are doing similar work.

Truth be known, we are not going to deport 11 million people who live, work and contribute to American society. They are, in fact, as integral to our nation as most of us are. But that is because they are here, now and have, mostly, proved themselves. Are they doing the work Americans won't do? I don't believe that for a second. But if we let them perform their menial duties, then retreat across the border, we will be telling them that they not only can't be a part of our society, but we are giving them the "go-ahead" to take US dollars and spend them outside of our nation. With these immigrant workers living AND working here, even if they send some money back home they will have to spend some of it here and contribute to our society.

In 1990, my brothers and I started a business in New York City's garment center. A couple of years later, we hired three Mexican workers with (what appeared to be) satisfactory I-9 immigration documents. The man who eventually became my foreman, Miguel, learned to speak English well enough to act as a go between and translator for others who needed him. He has become a pillar of his community and someone I am glad to call friend. When the Amnesty program of the 1990's took effect, he took advantage of it and gained the status of a LEGAL Alien, allowed to live and work in the US. If he chooses to work toward his US citizenship, I would be happy to be his character witness and sponsor (after all, he has more character than just about anyone else I know, but most of my acquaintances are Republicans).

People like Miguel are the norm, not the exception. Given a chance, I am sure that they will succeed, as many of our parents and grandparents had succeeded before us. I'm a second generation Eastern European Jew and, like Miguel, my grandparents came here to make a better life for themselves (as well as to escape persecution). Miguel, his wife, his children and their friends are the new Eastern Europeans and I see no reason for them to not contribute to the Society of Life here in the US. However, in this day and age, it would be better of those who wish to come here and work and live do so with a knowledge of English. There are ample ways for foreigners to learn the language of the nation they wish to live in, so why not make a rudimentary knowledge of English a requirement?

I also believe that people shouldn't just walk across the border and take what George Bush thinks are jobs that Americans won't work at. I do believe in some type of barrier as resistance, although I think a passable waterway, similar to the St. Lawrence Seaway would be better than a wall. I also think that the Mexican government has the duty to make their citizens want to stay there and not encourage their leaving for the greener-but-not-as-green-as-they-think pastures of the United States. And I believe that we need more agents to patrol the borders as well. We need to enforce our national immigration laws.

Filling our jails with illegal immigrants as felons will do nothing but fill our jails. Allowing them to scoot back across the border at night will do nothing but allow our dollars an exit from our nation's economy. We should encourage those who want to work and live here to do so legally and make sure that they are treated as we want to be treated. This isn't simply "paying one's dues". Our immigrant fathers and grandfathers didn't come here to pay dues for us. They came here to simply make a better life.

Sure, illegal immigrants do the jobs that used to be performed by High School and College Students looking to make an extra couple of bucks, but if they are here, maybe they, too, can better themselves and free up those jobs once again. Miguel did it.

If President Bush has shown us one thing its that there is enough cheap labor jobs to go around. If his plan is to keep the middle class poor and without hope, he has performed his duty. There is a balance that can be attained in immigration, but felony charges and day workers are not included in that balance.

-Noah Greenberg



Three Years and Counting

“Three years later and the nightmares of bombings and of shock and awe have evolved into another sort of nightmare. The difference between now and then was that three years ago, we were still worrying about material things- possessions, houses, cars, electricity, water, fuel… It’s difficult to define what worries us most now. Even the most cynical war critics couldn't imagine the country being this bad three years after the war... Allah yistur min il raba (God protect us from the fourth year).”

Since the Bush administration invaded Iraq three years ago, the young Iraqi blogger known as Riverbend has gained attention for her chronicle of the war's impact on daily life and ordinary people in Baghdad. The post above reflects her feelings and those of her countrypeople on the third anniversary of the war, and it is a gloomy assessment of life in Iraq.

-Excerpt from TomPaine.com

-Forwarded by Casey Sweet



Surprise! More Neo-Cons Found Out to be Liars

Tennessee Republican Rep. Zach Wamp this year is breaking a pledge he made in 1994 to seek no more than six terms, or 12 years, in the House.

Wamp also is overwhelmingly favored to win a seventh term this November — a fact that speaks volumes about how much the issue of congressional term limits has faded in recent years.

Wamp is far from alone. The advocacy organization U.S. Term Limits counts seven other members, all Republicans, whose personal term-limit pledges are coming due in this year: Barbara Cubin of Wyoming, Phil English of Pennsylvania, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Timothy V. Johnson of Illinois, Ric Keller of Florida, Frank A. LoBiondo of New Jersey and Mark Souder of Indiana.

All are seeking re-election; all are solid favorites to win.

And all are Republican.


-Victoria Brownworth



In response to "You'd think that one (GW) would have to have performed an honest day's work before one comments on it," Steve in North Carolina writes:

Yes, like his father at the scanner in the checkout line, he has no clue. He doesn't know what it's like to be an engineer at Lucent as he claims we have a shortage of engineers and he has to allow business to bring them in. A good dozen guys I know lost their jobs and maybe three are still engineers. I really can't stand the bullshit anymore coming from these politician's mouths. I just faxed Bush through NumbersUSA and edited the comments and made sure I didn't threaten him. I called him a dunce who was selling out America just as his grandfather, Prescott Bush, did with his dealings with the Nazis.

We have a NYC mayor who is a billionaire and a NJ Governor who is close to, if not, a billionaire. I'll bet they actually did do some work. But how can someone like that have any idea what it's like? We lost this country with term limits being shot down. The system is corrupt and they are virtually all corrupted. I'm sure you know of Lord Acton's "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely". And war chest and redistricting ensures that their one dead "Diving Right of Kings" remains alive for them.

I was on the phone with Michael Savage tonight. I admit to agreeing with a lot of what he says and he can be entertaining. His biggest asset, I think, is the knowledge of history he interjects into the show. But if I agreed with everything I'd be an automaton. Since his start 12 years ago, he has stated "Borders, Language, Culture" it defines a nation. People are free to have differing opinions to his on other matters, but any American, or individual in America, who argue against those are ignorant of the dust bin of history containing nations that fell and why. We are currently mimicking Rome.

My call was that I watched Specter today for 10 minutes and could only see Hirohito surrendering to Japan on the USS Missouri. I said that the Missouri should be hauled from its dock in Hawaii and Specter should be sitting on it as he just handed over America to Vincente Fox.

Without looking, as Savage pointed out to me, all the subversive groups were part of those 500,000 illegals for Amnesty march. We are being told to surrender. The American people widely do not agree and our government doesn't care. We are going to have the same issues in the near future as South Africa had. But at least the Apartheid argument was that the whites moved there and stole the land. Here, we built up America [Indian argument aside as it's a small part of the issue] and those who come in are going to, at a point, complain that whites own all the property.

We are in a mess, Noah. And I see nothing but darkness. It is time for Americans to unite. But our politicians divide us. I highly suggest you look at Jefferson's First Inaugural Speech as he talks of the need to be unified, or else.

I don't have a wide field of vision on the following, but it is consistent from about 5 people I know who have had to hire workers for periods that they suspect were illegal. They had documents but they all thought some were phony. From listening to the illegals' conversations [all have some ability to speak Spanish] they are very racist towards us and America. That would follow from a poll I just saw and an series of articles run here in Charlotte on the illegal community. If they could make the money they could in Mexico they would go back home. So there is not that big of an allegiance to American values. We are just a job to most of them. They don't particularly like white people and they truly hate black people. But the black-Hispanic thing goes back way before the immigration problem.

My father in-law told me once [he was an NYPD detective if I haven't told you] that they spoke Spanish purposely to differentiate themselves from blacks. As much as they will do the work and are glad to be making far better money than they could in Mexico, they feel like they are slaves on a plantation. Of course that is not all of them and it is admittedly a wide brush to paint with. BTW, I live in a cul de sac with three whites and two black families. The black families never came over to say hello to welcome us and barely wave back. It cuts both ways.

***

I disagree with a lot of what you say. First, Michael Savage once called America HIS America. It isn't.

Next I worked with and played soccer with Mexicans in what could be called the "Mexican Soccer League" in the Bronx, NY. As a group, I found them to be both patriotic (toward their adopted country, as well as Mexico) and adaptive to their new nation.

I found their humor and love for one another (both families and friends) refreshing, open and raw.

I never knew my grandparents (only my maternal grandmother was alive at my birth, and she only lasted only another 6 months), but I'd like to think of them as I see these people.

-Noah Greenberg


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-Noah Greenberg