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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Bin-Laden's Summer Place

Congratulations to the administration of "G"lobal "W"arming Bush. In another "forget about everything but Iraq" move, the African nation of Somalia, ignored for years now, has a new Islamic government. I can hear the cries of "It's all Clinton's fault" now; cries which forget that Bill Clinton hasn't been in office for almost six years.

Sharia Law will be enforced by Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. He has claimed that they (Islamic fundamentalists) have taken over all of Somalia. I guess their women should beware. Ahmed is now the former leader of the militia's executive council, which ruled southern Somalia, and in his stead is Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, another Islamic cleric who just happens to be on the US terror watch list.

Is it just me, or is this sounding too much like Iran, circa 1979 than we should like?

While agreeing to allow a UN-backed government operate just last week, Ahmed decided that he would seize power regardless of the wishes of the international community.

"We are responsible for the security of the capital, and those who say we broke the agreement did not understand what the agreement was about,"

This is an Islamic militia-led government with an Islamic cleric-led executive office (for lack of a better term) using Sharia law. It's a government that won't reach out to the US (obviously) or its allies. It is a government which won't seek the blessing or advice of the rest of the world community. It is a government that will not respect the rights of women or those who wish to worship differently from its self-proclaimed leaders.

The Bush administration is wearing Iraqi blinders. They complain that info leaked will allow the terrorist to win while their actions have led to new terrorist playgrounds in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Somalia. Somalia was a mistake in the 1990's when Bill Clinton was president and it is even moreso today. Would-be terrorist nations are looking at the US, not as a threat, but as a global giant pinned down in an unwinnable war with an invisible enemy. They look at us as an occupying force in a nation that has become a training ground for terrorists. But instead of using inanimate targets for training purposes, these terrorists get to use real, live human beings - our sons, daughters, fathers and mothers - the Children of Amerca who wear Army fatigues.

It's hard fighting with one arm tied behind your back, even if you are a global military giant with the best toys. This November needs to turn our nation's congress around so that there are real voices who can be heard from inside DC. No longer can we be ignored and laughed at by rogue nations. Places like Somalia and Afghanistan cannot be allowed to turn to terrorist regimes. Our fighting forces need to be flexible and available.


Bush's "wait and see" is not an exit strategy.

-Noah Greenberg

Getting Heated About Global Warming

With regard to Al Gore not convincing anybody about global warming: I was talking to a Colonel in the Air Force a couple of weeks ago on a cold--yes a COLD--June day. He said that he used to think that talk of global warming was just politics but he is now convinced that something is very wrong with our weather and that it may well be global warming. And I know many, many other people who are concerned about global warming.

It's been raining over here on the East Coast for I don't know how long. Everything in my apartment is damp. I can't even get papers through my fax machine without putting them in front of a heater first becaue the papers are limp from the dampness. There was black mold growing in my bathtub. The floors are slick and wet. The air is so thick it's tough to breathe. Our basement flooded twice, ruining people's stuff stored there. Tell me this is normal?! I don't THINK so....!

"Pretty soon the umbrella will evolve as part of the human being," my husband joked this morning before he left for work.

-Billie M. Spaight

In response to Pat Thompson's ďWhy then, did the exit polling show Kerry in the lead by 4 points? And why did the US make a fuss about the election in the Ukraine being stolen, due to the results not agreeing with the exit polls? Why do exit polls matter in the Ukraine, but are irrelevant here? Why have they always been predictive previously? The 04 election was hijacked," Casey Sweet writes:

Iím with you and have said the exact same thing many times. I am a researcher and know a few things about quantitative research (though not my area of specialty) and the statistical probability of the exit polls being so much off is unfathomable especially since they were consistently off in the battleground states and districts. A number of organizations and academicians with statistical expertise have supported these beliefs with calculations showing unbelievable odds. (A good source for election info is VoteTrustUSA.org.) We would quicker be struck by lightning than this happening again. I have shared the studies with a republican friend who says ďI donít believe themĒ because he has had no exposure to advance math or statistics and not knowing means it doesnít exist in his world. Iím afraid others may have the same limited thinking and just donít want to deal with the concept especially if they were voting Republican.

And Robert Chapman adds:

The longer Dems cry about the stolen election of 04, the longer the Dems are giving the GOP to organize and mobilize their voters unopposed.

Whether the election of 04 was stolen or not, Bush is President and the GOP is busy getting ready for the next election cycles.

It is past due time to bellyache.


And Robert Scardapane adds:

Elections have been manipulated before. We now know that electronic voting creates new exposures. But, if we work hard and win by a large margin, it won't be possible to steal an election. There are lots of elections coming up in 2006 across the country. Let's focus on winning them. I simply don't believe it is possible to rig every election across the country.

In response to J. Bernard (or is it Smith?) who, basically, told us to write our congressmen and then shut up, Billie M. Spaight writes:

Regarding writing to Congressmen: Is there any particular reason why people who happen to have Congresswomen shouldn't write to them? I should write only to Schumer and Weiner and forget about Clinton? Is the idea that maybe women Congress members might actually listen to environmental concerns and J Bernard (or Smith or whoever?) doesn't want that to happen.

And regarding the other Clinton: He isn't one of my favorite people any more than than his wife is (I detest both of them) but he did NOT leave the country in an economic mess. Bush is the guy who kept giving tax breaks to people who don't need them and ran the national debt right back up.

So, I say to J. Bernard (who cannot even figure out his own name)--you get a life first and then realize that people around you already have lives and want to preserve them. But they aren't selfish: They realize that the rest of humankind matters too (not just the men--the women too).

These people drive me up the walls. And blogging and writing to Congress-people and demonstrating, etc. are all proactive things to do. Insulting people is not.

And in response to, J. Bernard's (or Smith's) "It's a hard enough job, historically speaking, that Bush has had to clean up Clinton's faults," Pat Thompson adds:

We should all be so grateful that Bush has no sex drive due to his alcoholic past. Other than not having oral sex in the Oval Office, just exactly which fault of Clinton's did Bush "clean up?" The balanced budget and surplus? He sure did clean that one up; gave it to his cronies.

And even more of a response to J. Bernard's (or Smith's) "As an educated liberal speaking to you, five words for ya: Get a Freaking Life. (understood, You?)" Pat Thompson adds this:

As I have said before, the work Nationalview does is very valuable, and truly amazing. I value reading the "Madman", rely on the opinions expressed, the information provided. It provides a very useful counterbalance to the right wing media. It is well written and factual. And it is accessible, so we can all make our comments and opinions known. And we do write to our Congressmen!

Thanks Pat - I'm blushing. -NG

In response to, "The Clinton welfare reform was an atrocity. If it had been in effect while I was out of work and I had to use welfare, I would be dead today," Robert Chapman writes:

I am very sorry to hear about your misfortune.

Nevertheless, I don't think it is justifiable to call the Clinton Welfare Reform an atrocity. In NYS alone, we moved nearly 300,000 case heads from welfare to work.

Welfare is not the same as unemployment insurance. Unemployment Insurance UIB is designed to assist people through temporary patches of joblessness.

Welfare, is more typically applied to destitute people without skills or prospects.

Regardless of the state of the social safety net -and I agree that it is deplorable- employment, skills, and jobs are better than benefits or programs, no matter how worthwhile the programs or how needy the beneficiaries.

When a person has a job, he or she is a self- respecting contributor to the community, as a beneficiary, he or she is not.

The 90's welfare reform approach was two pronged, one- to provide the benefits necessary to achieve employability, second to assure the government put its full power behind assuring that low SES individuals shared fully in the economic expansion.

Only fools would believe Utopian promises; but we showed in the 90s that the government can have a decisive and positive role in expanding the economy and in assuring equity.

Given the political will, we could repeat this in the next decade.

In response to, "There are also issues concerning lack of decent child care for people with children," Robert Chapman writes:

Why does this have to be a bureaucratic, programmatic issue?

What would be wrong with providing child care subsidies sufficiently large to allow one of the parents to stay home with their own children?

Or is a solution like that too traditional to be considered?

In response to Robert Chapman's

"We Dems are currently at parity with the GOP which is why unity and energy are so important right now. If we stay home, if we split up the GOP will continue to win elections. If they keep winning, they will consolidate themselves, even if they remain only one third of the electorate.

The demography of America favors the dems: as the minority voters become a larger and larger share of the electorate, the potential for recruitment and mobilization of voters favors the Dems.

The caveat being that all the white liberal/progressives as willing to get off their pet peeves and work for racial and economic equity and justice.

Everything is in place for a vast and overpowering surge of progressive policy. We need only have a vision of a progressive future and the self-discipline to get and organize rather than blog and kvetch.


Robert Scardapane writes:

I applaud Robert Chapman for writing this. It's time for liberals to bury the hatchet. One of the odd attributes of fellow liberals is a tendency to try to "out liberal" each other. That just isn't useful. We can't expect to agree with each other 100% of the time. We may have common goals but our policy ideas may vary. I am confident we all agree that conservative philosophy is dead wrong and that the Republican party is it's torch bearer.

Let's work together to win some elections in 2006. Let's not be so darn picky about the candidates who emerge from Democratic primaries. Devoted Republicans know that winning is what counts. It's time we got to work.

Quoting Rush

"an all guy trip."
-Rush Limbaugh, regarding his recent trip, which resulted in his being "detained" at the West Palm Beach Airport

Why would Rush Limbaugh need to take Viagra on an "all guy trip?"

I think we all know the reason...

-David W.

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-Noah Greenberg