What has the president done for me:

Set up federal grants to states to provide money to help those with disabilities to work from home;

Created a fund to encourage technologies that aid those with disabilities;

Created the President’s Plan for AIDs relief, the largest contribution ever to combat a single disease;

The President’s Malaria Initiative, goal of cutting malaria in half, currently saves about 15 million lives per year;

Medicare Prescription Drug initiative, helped cut the cost of prescription drugs for seniors by 40%

Launched a global threat reduction program that removed enough fissionable material to produce 30 bombs;

Persuaded Libya to give up its WMD and advanced missile programs;

Cut in half the US stockpile of nuclear weapons;

Increased funding for National Endowment for Democracy by 150%;

Provided more than 1.5 billion for aid to Darfur;

Added preventative screening to Medicare funding, saving untold number of lives;

Provided funding to open 1200 community health centers;

Funded Supplemental Education Services which provides after school tutoring to move than half a million kids;

Pushed the US to commit more than $22 billion for climate change technologies;

Created the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, the largest in American history;

Created Project Safe Neighborhoods, helping bring crime down to a 30 year low;

Greatly increased budgets of National Science Foundation and National Institute of Health;

Greatly expanded the roles of LGBT and other minorities in his cabinet;

Signed the Great Lakes Legacy Act to begin cleaning contaminated sediment in the great lakes;

Signed Brownfields legislation to speed up the clean up of abandoned industrial sites.

These are just a few of the things that GW Bush accomplished as president.  Still we do not give him a pass on being a war criminal.  So why are we giving Obama a pass?

Anyone but Obama 2012!  Get on the train, let’s put this war criminal in Guantanamo.

A Sweaty Gambler…

That is how Bush appears to me these days. A man who went into a casino to blow off some excess cash, have a good time. With luck turning a blind eye, the man soon has gone through his paycheck, and shortly later has run up enormous credit. He knows he should quit, yet he carries doggedly on, cursing his “luck”. Hoping beyond hope, praying that the next coin will pay off. Mopping his brow, he continues feeding money into the machine….”I can’t quit now, so much is at stake.”

Asking him to leave only infuriates him. “Can’t you see” hi cries, “if I leave now, we lose so much?”

A government we can support

News out of Iraq is not good. Now the barbarians gentlemen that we installed as the government are at it again. First the fiasco that was the Saddam hanging, now another hanging–this one complete with a decapitation. Is this the 1800’s? Why did we install these people as government?

And now the escalation surge…”let’s dig that hole a little deeper Georgie, I can still see the top of your head.”

A Solemn Labor Day to You

Bush vows to keep workers competitive – Yahoo! News

I just got home from work on this Labor Day…I had to work as a favor to our customers.  They can come in without taking a day off work and traffic is virtually non-existent on holiday morns.  Since our customers pay our office bills (not to mention my rent), I had to work…and I dragged the rest of the office along.

So I get home and am greeted by the above linked headline…I didn’t even read the article, I already know Bush Jr’s views.  He seeks a leaner meaner less well paid work force to compete with sweatshops in [insert 3rd world country here].

Personally, I don’t think we can compete with [insert 3rd world country here] in the sweatshop field.  Pretty much any nation that excels in the sweatshop trade will work circles around us.  Somehow I don’t believe that Bush Jr’s leaner meaner work force is the solution.

Instead he should take a look at the competitive landscape of Europe and the Pacific Rim.  There he will find the folks that we need to compete with (unless his goal is the Argentinia-ization of the US, in which case he should continue on his present course).  The reason we are being out competed is healthcare.  We can’t continue spending such large chunks on healthcare and think we can compete.  Speaking as someone who has seen a doctor exactly once in the past 18 years, the only way to save the free market from collapse is socialized medicine.  It is the only way to avoid total melt down, spending by Government, corporations, and individuals are all spiraling out of control…it is not sustainable.

The unfortunate fact is that when we implode we drag everybody else down with us.   And you think “they” hate us now…just wait until we can no longer pay our bills and see how happy even the civilized world is with us.

Islamic Fascists?

BBC News is reporting that Bush said: “Islamic fascists… will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom”.

Fascists? Through my local library I have a subscription to Oxford Reference Online and a quick search shows many different takes on defining fascism. But every definition includes some sort of extreme nationalism.

I am of the oppinion that Al Quadi does not exist. Sure there are fundamentalist terrorists that seek to harm us. But there is no entrenched global network of terrorists working in concert. However, let’s set that aside for a moment…are the terrorist and Islamic Fundamentalists fascists? The answer can only be a resounding no. Nationalists from different nations would not plot together.  No, the opposition is something other than nationalists.

And I am quite certain that there are Islamic Fascists, but they are the governments of our allies, namely Egypt and Saudi Arabia. In distinction, the terrorists are extreme fundamentalists. An entirely different animal. But Bush  would loose his base were he to make a speech denouncing religious fundamentalists–and who else supports him?

The President of the United States of America SHOULD NOT engage in this type of self-serving and blatant fear mongering. How many more terrorists are there today than there were on 9/11? If Bush’s goal is to prevent the spread of terrorism and to eventually lessen and end it, then by all metrics, he is an abject failure.

And he still refers to the terrorists as hating the freedom that we have. On this metric, the metric of extinquishing our freedoms to prevent this hatred, he appears to be doing rather well.

Who will call off the dogs?

Ever since I was little and would watch boxing from my father’s lap, I have been taught to root for the under dog.  When I was younger, I would occasionally walk outof a bar and into a fight…I never had to ask what the fight was over, I only cared who was winning.  Then back in the 80s I watched Israeli tanks taking on crowds of rock throwing Arabs…tanks against rocks?  I knew whose side I was on.

As Israel currently dismantles Lebanon and makes threats against Syria, one can watch TV and know whose side is correct.  One side has a modern military…capable of chopping and dicing a nation like some modern convenience in an infomercial. While the other appears to have 50s tech missiles and curses.  Do I understand it?  Is it important to understand to know who is right?

As a devout athiest, I feel that I have a good grasp on whose side god would be, if She were here….the meek, the mild, the dispossessed, the frightened.  Would god take the part of a battalian commander? How about a tank commander?

While Bush and Co. are busy trying to instigate Armegedden in the mid-east, is it clear to Israel that they are but pawns in this larger game.  As Hezbollah and Lebanon are pawns of Iran, Israel is pawn to the US right…let’s call them what they are….Armegeddenists.

An Open Letter to the New York Times

Dear NYT;

So you went and published the shocking news that Bush & Co are monitoring international banking transactions to look for ties to terrorism. While I would have thought that most would not find this to be “news”, it now appears that this surprises many.

Bush: “The disclosure of this program is disgraceful”

Cheney: “I think this is a disgrace.”

Sen. Bunning: “we think has committed treasonous acts.” (R-KY)

Cheney: “The New York Times has now made it more difficult for us to prevent attacks in the future.”

Now some are even calling for prison for top NYT officials. While both the LA Times and the Wall St Journal both ran the story, I don’t see Congress passing resolutions condemning them. Bush & Co seem mostly focused on the NYT.

And of course all of this follows last years NYT uncovering of Bush & Co’s illegal wire tap program.

I know you are busy, but I hope you have time to read this. It seems that we are approaching a new dark age. The oligarchy has thrown back its vale, no longer content to rule in secret. Money talks; in fact it roars. The present regime seems bent on increasing the disparity between the haves and the have-nots. History shows us that no democracy can withstand this disparity. With the Oligarchy now public, we cannot go back. The snowball tumbling down the hill has caught a lot of weight and inertia, to stop it now would require social upheaval and would result in a mess. No, the time has passed for reform.

The only thing to do now is to keep one’s head down and prepare to pick up the pieces after this regime has passed. Ah, but you dear NYT do not have this luxury. You are too front and center for that. Allow me here to urge you to not back down on your coverage. I know your inclination will be to draw less fire, but you must resist that inclination. In the coming times, many media outlets will be forcibly closed. You can not escape your fate, only momentarily prolong it. And you must bear in mind that history will not remember who the 10th media outlet shut down was. But it will remember the first. It may even be a holiday at some point (if there is a recovery, of course).

So, I simply suggest that you retain your role as moderate—which looks more and more liberal as time goes on. Take your medicine when it comes. And know that it is the standard dose given to a free press in a darkening land.

An Open Letter to President Bush

May 28, 2006

Dear President Bush (An Open Letter):

This letter is in regards to the current war on terror. Sir, I ask that you rethink your actions.

Being born in 1965, I grew up during the seventies. Like many of my generation, television had a major impact on my world view. A few examples here may illustrate this. Firstly, when still small I was watching an old WW2 movie with my father. The film portrayed a checkpoint where German officials would demand “walking papers” from travelers. I asked my father what walking papers were. “When you don’t live in a free country” he replied, “the government will make you carry identification or walking papers.” Having previously learned on the 6:00 news that I lived in a free country, I came to understand that forcing the populace to always carry identification was a tactic of a repressive regime like Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia. This could never happen in my country, because we are free. The second point came about a few years later. There was turmoil and unrest throughout Central America; Honduras, El Salvador, Columbia, and others were awash in murder, war, and drugs. The daily news was replete with video evidence of the atrocities occurring. “Death Squads” were on the march, and there was much reportage on “The Disappeared.” Just the word gave me chills. Images of wives, mothers, children telling tales of how their loved one(s) had been pulled from bed in the dark of night and just disappeared. The unknown, the ultimate terror. Were they taken out to sea and drowned? Were they shot execution style and buried in a mass grave? Were they in some evil prison, perhaps being tortured? No one knew, they were simply The Disappeared; and it was chilling. From the daily television, I learned the value of living in a free country.

Flash forward to the turn of the century, I was 35 years old at the time. I remember being buoyed by the event, certainly there was challenge ahead, but just as surely there was hope and optimism to meet that challenge. The Cold War had ended, openness and freedom had won out over the closed and oppressive; democracy was on the march. Of course there were challenges ahead–population, global climate, debt, demilitarization, local ecosystems, income distribution, and self-governance, to name just a few. Yet we had hope of a better tomorrow, and we had trust in human ingenuity and sociability to meet those challenges.

Then came September the 11th. And, once again, television was there. Watching people cast themselves from these mighty structures, and the terror as the towers collapsed , left me numb. I understood that nothing was ever going to be the same again, and that understanding filled me with dread. Still it was an emotionally tumultuous time. Watching the vigils going on across Europe with signs reading “We Are All American” left me in tears. The out pouring of global sympathy filled me with joy, joy in the hope that a tide had turned and we would witness a regeneration of world-wide effort to set things back on course. The occupation of Afghanistan followed, and seemed reasonable. I remember thinking that Somalia and Sudan would be next. Instead we had buildup to the Iraqi invasion and occupation. There was no more emotional flip flop, the changes wrought by 9/11 were set. Hope and optimism had lost out to fear and suspicion—the die was cast. Since then it has all become a blur. A blur of sound and image snippets…corporate scandals, Guantanamo, Abu Graib, Total Information Awareness, secret prisons, torture, NSA spying, a border fence, collateral damage, congressional bribery, and…the assault continues. Our potential utopia has become a dystopia.

However, all may not yet be lost. You Sir, with your office and your determination, are in a position to help correct course. Two actions that you could accomplish with a pen stroke come immediately to mind. First, denounce the NSA wire taps and fire anyone that is involved in it. The monitoring of the citizenry is as abhorrent as the “walking papers” that I discussed above. Secondly, close Guantanamo and all secret prisons. Bring to trial in public courts or release all those that are now being held. The fear of the disappeared brings dread to us all and shame to our country.

Do not hesitate, do it today.