Secret Prisons?

September 6, 2006

AP is reporting that Bush admitted to making secret prisons in his latest speech. Having a speech about various terrorist fighting tactics and summing it up that way is simply an attempt to define Bush’s terrorist techniques as an illegal power grab. Of course there are enough CIA employees to talk about how wonderful it is that they don’t have to worry about the program anymore. As PowerLine points out this is a misrepresentation of the speech in which he simply said that terrorists were being detained outside the US, a completely different statement. But after PlameGate blew up the media needs something, anything to talk about. Now I’d be disappointed if we didn’t have a secret prison somewhere to get a good interrogation. The worst thing is that the news ignores the other points which is that unconventional means are needed to stop these terrorists. In fact the media’s main point is that Bush is running over the Constitution for no good reason. The AP may not want to cover the fact that the terrorists are more dangerous than the CIA but its true.

Congress shall make no law to abridge the freedom of speech.

September 5, 2006

The 300 days in the year of freedom are over. Now the incumbents can’t be criticized in any ads. I like McCain mostly, but his support for this bill alone is enough to have a contempt for him. Because it claimed to reform the political process it got passed through both houses and Bush signed it. Bush tried to get cute with a signing statement about how he didn’t think it was constitutional but he would let it go. He left it to the Supreme Court because he thought he could avoid the political heat and get rid of the law. Unfortunately, Bush didn’t realize that O’Connerisn’t a realible vote for freedom of speech in this issue and so the court said it was constitutional. America is a market economy. Are greatest freedom is our freedom to spend our money as we wish and to support the candidates with this money. In fact a law like this was pretty much exactly what the freedom of speech clause was intended to stop. Why is it right for a politician to spend 1 million dollars of my money on a state park but wrong for me to spend 1 million dollars in opposition. In the meantime the media is left free to carry the interviews of the incumbent as he describes how much good he’s doing for his district and how his opponent is worthless. This law will eventually be viewed the same way we view the “Alien and Sedition” acts. Hopefully we will repeal the laws as quickly as Jefferson did.

It seems deeply disturbing to me that the other branches of government and the people have ceded their constitutional authority to the courts to decide what is constitutional. We no longer put a constitutional test on laws at the legislative level. In addition we have completely given up on our right to amend the constitution because we feel unworthy. I’m deeply disturbed by this path because the constitution isn’t perfect or unfixable. Amendments could provide an important check on the courts as well as the future majority of people. But we refuse, and we say “It’s not our place to amend the Constitution.” It doesn’t help that the most popular amendment protects an inanimate object to protect our feelings of shock and outrage. Seriously why shouldn’t we have an amendment for term limits. A bad amendment is far better than a bad court decision because a bad amendment doesn’t have the same mystique and we are willing to deal with it. So what should amendments 28-30 be?

When will the media give up on the monster storms idea.

August 25, 2006

If you hadn’t checked the news since Katrina you’d have assumed that Florida would be underwater and Mickey would have drowned due to the tremendous amount of storms. Guess what, we don’t have many storms this year, and there have been no hurricanes. Now I wouldn’t be surprised for that to get no coverage, but it seems that every day there’s another story about how we’re due for a hurricane any minute now because of global warming. I think the media has got to learn that tropical storm formation is chaotic; you can’t predict the details longterm. Now this is one of the reasons global warming looks so bad when reported on by the media. These people claim that global warming will cause something. Then after the fact they’ll blame the result on global warming. Blizzard: global warming. Heat wave: global warming. Dolphins in Tuna fish: global warming. Because the media doesn’t report on their failures the impression is that global warming is everywhere and its here now. On the other hand the internet has google which keeps very good track of predictions.

If you need any more evidence of the media’s contempt for Bush consider this. They waited and ignored Nagin’s Bidenesque comments as long as he was needed for the role of ‘city official doing his best in tough times’ while Bush and Brown could be the ‘Federal dunces’. They let Nagin get away with his choclate city comment and his countless idiocies, but finally he’s expendable and when he made a remarkably stupid comment about rebuilding New Orleans he’s been dumped.

As an example of what I mean by global warming check out this story about the ice caps.

Is the SDS now mainstream for the Democrat Party?

August 11, 2006

Tom Hayden in a Huffington Post article has a  lot to say about the ’06 elections. The Huffington Post bio of him remarkably ignores his role in the radical SDS.
We already know this: The public and the press were in the dark, but Vice President Cheney already knew British agents were arresting Muslim suspects in the trans-Atlantic bombing case when he attacked Ned Lamont and the Democratic Party for encouraging “al-Qaeda types.”
    When you make this accusation you are suggesting that  had the press and public known about this fact they would have been less inclined to believe Cheney’s statement. In fact this knowledge makes Cheney’s statement far more believable.
The US war in Iraq is a failure in the eyes of most Americans. The US-backed Israeli bombing of Lebanon has revived the discredited neo-conservative argument to carry the war to Middle Eastern terrorists.
No, the attempted bombing has revived the argument of taking the battle to the terrorists. Let’s face it, if we sit back and react to the terrorists we’ll lose this war and be killed, if we try for understanding we’ll be back atthe start except with a few thousand dead and a few more years of terrorist planning in the books. Also saying that Israel should be more careful in bombing Lebanon isn’t ridiculous, just wrong. Saying Israel shouldn’t bomb Lebanon at all is suicidal. Should Israel wait till Hezbullah sends a full scale army at them before engaging Hezbullah. Why shouldn’t Israel exploit their military advantage as Hezbullah is exploiting its advantage of a lack of morality (or rather a morality which doesn’t care about civillian casualties).
This is about the November 2006 election, Armageddon for Republicans who fear losing their monopolistic grip on the Congress, and about the 2008 election which will be a referendum on what the neo-conservatives have wrought. This is about the fate of the planet for this generation.
No, this is about terrorists who want to kill us. I think very few Republicans consider the elections Armageddon and by 2008 odds are that the Iraq war will not be the major issue. As an aside doesn’t calling the Republican control of Congress monopolistic seems a bit hyperbolic. There’s a fair market for both parties and the Republicans are winning now, hardly monopolistic.

Who has a plan?
Indeed who does have a plan for this war? It doesn’t seem that he has one besides leaving immediately.

The issue of Iraq is “ripe” for an anti-war majority at the polls. The “war on terrorism” is a different matter, which is why Republicans want to shift the public focus from the debacle in Iraq to the latest terrorist threat.Peace advocates don’t have a consensus on what to say. We need to win on the issue that is ripe, which is Iraq, while not being trumped by other issues which are still ripening. The case against Iraq must make sense to the broadest majority of Americans, and be bullet-proof against Republican and talk show fusillades.
His basic point here seems to be that the anti-war activists should lie about their ideas in general in order to get an electoral advantage. It seems to me that someone doesn’t believe in his convictions or in speaking truth to power. (Considering his view of the general populace I guess his motto would be ‘Lying to weakness’)

But what should be said on terrrorism? That we need a change from Bush policies that have not made Americans safer after 9/11? That Bush has talked about “taking the fight to the terrorists” but they already were in Britain, Canada, and almost in the air over the Atlantic while 140,000 Americans were sweating in Iraq? That Bush’s slaughterhouse in Baghdad, Bush’s arming of the Israelis with cluster bombs, and Bush’s unilateralism have incited more anti-American hatred than ever before?
     I’m taking it that by talking about the fact the terrorists are already here Mr. Hayden isn’t endorsing Michael Savage’s idea of interning all Muslims until Michael Savage decides that we can let them out. Also the fact that a terrorist plot failed  does not mean that we are not a safe place. Exactly how would Hayden prevent terrorism. Not through military action as he has made amply clear, and not through surveillance, I’m assuming, considering I haven’t heard him take a high-profile stand against the New York Times. Maybe he thinks we should buy the terrorists a Coca Cola and hope that they spend the next hundred years wiping out every Jew in Israel while we tie down their hands and feet and bring out the wheelbarrows to the sea. Then after we give them Israel and the terror doesn’t stop we can hand over the Vatican. Then we could give them Spain. Of course we’ll have to convert to Islam but that isn’t so bad really because these people are not bad, we’re bad. After all who’s great to the nth degree grand father did the Crusades, huh. Who killed the Jews in the Holacaust, who massacred the Armenians, oh never mind about that last one that was just an accident on their part.

That Bush’s budget-cutting, tax-cutting philosophy has left us stripped of resources to protect our ports, airports, nuclear plants, and other exposed facilities? That Bush’s oil policies are destablizing the planet, the economy and the atmosphere itself?
Let me tell ypu that this is one of the first times I’ve heard Bush accused seriously of being a budget-cutter. Also Hayden presents his plan for defense against terrorism. To quote an idealogical compatriot of his, Neville Chamberlain,
” Before giving a verdict upon this arrangement, we should do well to avoid describing it as a personal or a national triumph for anyone. The real triumph is that it has shown that representatives of four great Powers can find it possible to agree on a way of carrying out a difficult and delicate operation by discussion instead of by force of arms, and thereby they have averted a catastrophe which would have ended civilisation as we have known it. The relief that our escape from this great peril of war has, I think, everywhere been mingled in this country with a profound feeling of sympathy.”
We can’t as a radio caller suggested, “pull our troops out and build a 20 foot wall around the country. I agree that Bush’s economic policy has destabilized our economy. For example the European economy is tremendously stable almost exactly matching inflation while our economy is very unstable at approximately 4% instabilility a year.

Those are just suggestions. We cannot simply say “withdraw troops from Iraq”, though of course we should say that too. To the Democratic Party, I say keep the peace and justice movement in mind. Don’t sound like flip-flopping echos of the Republicans on terrorism and Lebanon. If you are going to take the fight to the Republicans, you can’t sound like Republicans lite.
So his political advice is to ignore everything but the Iraq War but to go for broke on that one issue. There is just one problem with his proposal. If by some chance things start going right in Iraq the Democratic Party has completely messed up their election chances and it could be 1972 all over again instead of 1974.