UpInArms's Journal - Archives
here is what I wrote when this happened:
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Ben Franklin
Midnight Express Revisited
By: Bridget Gibson - 11/17/01
In a foreign country, a young man breaks a minor law. The rules of this country are harsh and inscrutable. At a trial in which he is allowed no representation, he is sentenced to a three year prison term. Under difficult prison conditions, he later learns that his sentence has been changed to one of thirty years. There have been no communications with others regarding his guilt or innocence. Secrecy reigns and terror is the by-product.
You may say that this scenario is not the United States and you would be correct. This happened in Turkey in 1970. We have laws that prevent that type of thing, you say. You are partially correct. We DID have laws that prevented that type of thing. No longer. Our president has issued an Executive Order regarding the rights of non-citizens in this country. He has stated that there will be military trials, guilt being assessed by a two-thirds majority, without any evidence being offered (due to national security), and that, if found guilty, this foreign person may be executed.
At this time, our justice department has detained, without releasing their names, without disclosing where they are being held, over 1100 persons. We do not know if they are allowed to have an attorney. We do not know in what conditions they are being held. They have not been charged with any crime. At this time, it is believed that they are of Middle Eastern descent. Their "crimes" may be only that of minor visa infractions.
If these are to become the laws of this country, I wonder how many of America's friends to the south will be rounded up and incarcerated? I wonder how many people have entered this land of the free and home of the brave without going through "all of the proper authorities"? I recall that the Statue of Liberty says "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door". Are we not a nation of immigrants? Did not most of us descend from those who were seeking a better life in a country that was ruled democratically?
What is happening in our nation's Capitol? Our country is now being ruled by fiat, or decree. Laws are being made without discussion or debate. With the stroke of a pen, George W. Bush signed an Executive Order nullifying the judicial branch and an independent jury, which have long been our protections. Under this order, this is no longer true. There are no more checks and balances. All non-citizens face an executive that is now investigator, prosecutor, judge, jury and jailer or executioner.
There have been times that Congress has passed legislation to negate or modify a specific executive order. However, when it has, the President has often vetoed the new law and Congress has not always had the votes to override this veto. All citizens of this country must demand that their representatives speak and vote against this tyranny. The nullification of this Order is imperative to retain our system of checks and balances.
First Iraq, Then the World
February 28, 2003
By Bridget Gibson
The war on Iraq is but the first step in the plan. The global hegemony that is sought by the Bush administration is being laid out in steps broad and intricate. Small pieces of news float out at odd moments, laying the groundwork for the desensitization of the American population.
Was it just over a year ago that we were allowed to peek at Donald Rumsfeld's Nuclear Review Policy (NPR) that disclosed the targets of our future nuclear warheads? For those with a short memory, the list is as follows: Russia, China, North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Syria and Libya.
As we are now witnessing, they are not necessarily targeted in that order, but here we go first to Iraq.
John Bolton, Undersecretary of State met with officials in Israel on Monday, February 17, 2003. He said that he had no doubt that the United States would attack Iraq and that afterwards it would be necessary to deal with the threats from Syria, Iran and North Korea.
Also on Monday, February 17, 2003, North Korea stated that it would possibly withdraw from the Armistice Agreement of 1953 - the one that ended the conflict that so many of our United States servicemen fought and died in - because of the bellicosity of the Bush administration.
George Bush and his administration have made this world a much more dangerous place in which to live by their continual saber-rattling, name calling and treaty destroying ways.
In just over two short years, George Bush has failed to behave in a responsible manner that kept the population of this country secure in the knowledge that diplomats and level heads were occupying the highest offices of our nation.
We were told that the "adults were in charge" and that a "seasoned team of experts" would comprise his cabinet. What we have been offered in actuality are Ronald Reagan Iran-Contra retreads and neo-conservative ideologues that lust for the end of the world.
If we do not wake up soon, my fellow citizens, we will have nothing. We will have no Constitutional rights, no safety behind our windows covered with duct tape and visqueen and no security in the knowledge of a planet on which to live.
The Bush administration is now planning on how to reduce the amount of warning the test sites in the western US desert would need to be reactivated to produce an entirely new nuclear arsenal.
When Bush unleashes his terror upon the world, there will be no safe hiding place. The color coded terror alerts and the Department of Homeland Security will offer no refuge. There will be nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. If you want answers, ask the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
This is not a discussion about what political party you should be aligned with. This is a warning shot across the bow.
If you do not understand death and destruction today, you will be understanding it very soon.
The Case for Sedition
A case for sedition can be made against the Bush Cabal, including George Herbert Walker Bush, James Baker, Cappy Weinberger, and the late Bill Casey et al. They perpetrated a series of frauds against the public purse under the thinly disguised veil of political policies, to wit, the tremendous increase in military and defense expenditures, in order to try to defeat the "Evil Empire" of the Soviet Union, which in itself was a ruse.
This enormous multi-trillion dollar increase in defense spending was used by the Bush Cabal to suck money out of the public purse by the commission of a variety of schemes and to bleed money out of defense appropriations by incessant payments from defense contractors to a shadowy network of Republican-controlled arms companies, security research consultant companies, and offshore research institutes.
This can be ascertained when you look at the big Research and Development (R & D) expenditures that were done on the so-called Star Wars missile defense program. You can see the endless list of "security consultants" that were put on as subcontractors, most of whom had absolutely nothing to do with the development of the weapons.
These security consultant firms would put together proposals for estimated usage of weapons, etc, but since they knew the weapons were never going to work, they knew it was really meaningless anyway.
In addition, there was the "spare parts industry" that goes along with the Bush Cabal, which increases the cost of spare parts (which don't work) by ten or twenty times.
These actions of the Bush Cabal then constitute gross economic malfeasance, which, in my view, could rise to the level of sedition. The definition of sedition is four pages long, and it can be found in Statute 792 of US Title Code 18.
In other words, the Bush Cabal knew that what they were doing would severely weaken the United States, both militarily and economically. The country is weakened militarily by loading US military inventories with a lot of high tech weapons systems that don't work. The country is weakened economically by many years of purported multi-hundred billion dollar deficits, claimed to be $350 or $400 hundred billion dollar deficits, but which were actually (as we have pointed out before) twice as high as claimed at any given time.
and this was from Poppy's term
George, John and Osama
by Bridget Gibson December 8, 2001
It's getting harder for me to determine exactly whose side George Bush and John Ashcroft are on. That is such a strange statement. But bear with me for a minute. Supposedly Osama bin Laden planned and executed the September 11 attack on America precisely because of our freedoms. That is what George Bush said on September 20, 2001. So following that logic, would it not be the proper thing to protect exactly those freedoms if we are to fight terrorism? To continue to live normally, to go on with our lives, to show the terrorists that they did not win, that the only way to prove that terrorism lost is to defeat its goal. Terrorism's goal is to change the victim of such in a profound way. The perpetrator wants to alter how each and every person affected by terrorism views his/her world and force a change to the ways of the terrorist.
Well, our feckless leaders have chosen not to defend our freedoms. They have chosen to forsake all that is wonderful and unique about the United States because of what? My logic tells me that Mr. Bush and Mr. Ashcroft must be on the same side as the terrorists, and that our way of life, our way of country and our way of being American is wrong.
We are wrong to follow the Constitution that was printed with the blood and beliefs of our forefathers. We are wrong to follow and have faith in the Bill of Rights that were negotiated to make ours a "more perfect union." We were so wrong that Mr. Bush and Mr. Ashcroft have taken it upon themselves to destroy as much of both of those documents as possible in as short a time as physically possible.
We are to disavow our faith in our judicial system and allow secret military tribunals to decide the fate of anyone they choose. What about those three young Americans that were following their faith in fighting with the Taliban? They were fighting with the Taliban before September 11, when the United States (through its policies proscribed by Bush) was financially aiding the Taliban in its fight against poppy fields. Never mind that on May 19, 2001, we (the United States) gave the Taliban $43 million (in dollars - not aid) to cease its drug production. Never mind that we had been notified of the Taliban's horrendous treatment of women for many years. Never mind that we watched (via television) the Taliban destroy thousand year old Buddhas that had been created by what they determined were a faithless people. These three young Americans can be stripped of their citizenship, can be called "terrorists" for aiding the Taliban, can be tried in secret military tribunals and executed. That was a Military Order signed on November 13, 2001, by George Walker Bush.
We have the USA Patriot Act, drawn and enlarged upon by Mr. Ashcroft, that is in violation of the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and Thirteenth Amendments of the Bill of Rights. In the eyes of Bush and Ashcroft our Constitutional freedoms and the Bill of Rights mean nothing. This is what the actions of Mr. Bush and Mr. Ashcroft are telling us. If you agree, nothing need be done. That's the path that we (the United States) are taking. Congress and its lawmakers have no voice in these decisions and thus, you the represented public are allowed no voice either.
Mr. Bush and Mr. Ashcroft have decided that those freedoms that have made us a unique and special country are the very things that we Americans must relinquish in order to protect them. Somehow their logic escapes me. How can we be "free" if we give up our freedoms? How can one lose the very rights that set their country apart from all others and still remain the same?
The United States of America was a country of law. Our forefathers were disillusioned by the elite rule of the English King. They decided that a country of law would be best served by those laws and not in the trusting of men. We have been told to "trust" George Bush and John Ashcroft. They will make those decisions for us. They want additional powers not allowed by the Constitution and are insisting that our representatives give it to them. Somehow I do not think that was what Madison, Jefferson, Franklin and the other founding fathers had in mind.
You had better speak up soon or you should forget that First Amendment, too. You know the one. The one with the part that says "freedom of speech."
Look Who's Talking
by Bridget Gibson January 7, 2002
"In the last nine years, the Church poured eight hundred million dollars in cold cash into The Washington Times. 800 million. You have no idea how much money that is. If you deposited that money into a bank, the interest alone, at 10% a year, would be eight million dollars per month. At 12%, it would be even more. That is one hundred million dollars a year. This is just the money that the Church has invested in the American media. With all the other money put together, Father has invested two billion dollars in the providence in America. This is a fact." - Sun Myung Moon June 16, 1997
In the 1980s, armed with new satellite and digital technologies, the IMF, World Bank and U.S. government forced the deregulation and privatization of the communication industry. The result was the rise of transnational media giants. With only a handful of media "sources" as the conduits of "news", political influence over the content of the news had become common place. Certain key players were becoming proficient at manipulating these media conglomerates to pass on the news - even if it wasn't true. You need to look at the source carefully and one of those sources is the Washington Times.
The Washington Times began in 1982. It did not exist before that time. This was not an "old city newspaper" that was taken over or acquired by new management. This was a paper created for a "purpose." In the first fourteen years of its publication, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon invested over one billion dollars to do so. His designated spokesman, Dr. Bo Hi Pak, explained this as "a most precious investment for freedom," saying that it was now "a must-read for all opinion-makers not only in Washington but all over the United States, and indeed ranks among the great newspapers of the world!"
So, with all of the fanfare and hoopla, it became imperative to find the reasons for the existence of this newspaper. What I have found is highly disturbing. I have found a person with ideas and ideals so contrary to the American society that amazement and concern are constantly competing emotions.
If you are not familiar with Reverend Moon, allow me to show you a few of the more obvious problems with his religious beliefs. Note: When Sun Myung Moon speaks, he refers to himself in an extremely strange way. He does not say "I", he says "Father". I can only suppose that he wishes to make his speeches sound as though they have been delivered by someone else, because no one would give the credence and weight to these words if spoken in the first person. His megalomania would be exposed as the shameful garbage it actually is.
Sun Myung Moon claims to be free of sin. He claims to have more wisdom than Jesus, and he has often said that he is greater than Jesus. Sun Myung Moon teaches that:
"Abraham was the father of faith, Moses was a man of faith, Jesus was the son of man, trying to carry out his mission at the cost of his life. But they are, in a way, failures." (Sun Myung Moon, "Victory or Defeat," from Master Speaks, March 31, 1973, p.1.) He also teaches: "This means that the failures of Adam and of Jesus Christ have been restored by the appearance of True Parents." (Rev. Moon, Today's World, January, 1995, p.8)
I don't know about you, but I was never taught that Jesus was a failure and that there would be a better version, not the return of the messiah, but the replacement of him. Sun Myung Moon believes that he is better than Jesus and he has come to unite the world with the Unification Church and his teachings. The following quote comes from the Unification Church book, and is purportedly a message from Jesus. (pp 61-66) If Moon is to be believed, we need to rewrite the Bible to suit his purpose. I don't think I'm quite ready to do that, are you?
"Bring in the flocks. Bring in the sheep and bring them to the throne of your True Parents. Bring them to the throne of our True Parents, the mighty throne of heaven. And I will place the Crown of Glory on our True Parents' head. I will lead them. I will show them that the Lord of Lords and the Kings of Kings and the King of Glory is our precious Lord Sun Myung Moon and his beloved bride Hak Ja Han. They reign as king and queen of the entire universe. And that I, Jesus of Nazareth, known as the Christ, bow in humility before them. I bow before them. Any who will follow me must do the same. I bow before the name of True Parents. I bow before our precious Lords, our True Parents, Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han." (Purportedly by the spirit of Heung Jin Nim Moon, The Victory of Love, NY, NY: The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, 1992, pp. 65-66).
It would be quite easy for me, at this point, to completely write Mr. Moon off as complete quackery and for being a devious cult with questionable motives. The reason that I cannot do that is for the love of God. I refuse to yield to such chicanery. But many people do not understand who is talking when they are reading the news. They do not understand the manipulation of facts and stories and the twisting of truths to suit their purposes. The following are other quotes by Mr. Moon:
Father's job is the unification of left and right, but on different levels, the family level, the tribe level, the nation level, world wide level, universal level, cosmic level and God and human beings level. On every level Father is bringing unity. Father united Christian morality and the leadership of this nation. Ever since Father came, since the time of Ronald Reagan, Father has had influence over choosing the right president and Christianity has come to stand more and more on Father's side. This is very important for this country.
On January 13, 2001, there will take place the "Coronation Ceremony of the Royal Parents of Heaven and Earth." In the Garden of Eden, the archangel, Eve and Adam united and lost their position. This means God even lost His position. We need the Messiah in order to restore God's position. That is why the True Parents came, and based on the True Parents' foundation Heavenly Father can be the real king of all creation.
After reading many of Mr. Moon's quotes and beliefs, his use of the term "Christianity" appears somehow misleading. Because Mr. Moon does not believe in Christ. He believes himself to be superior to Christ and has attempted to usurp that role for himself.
So now you are asking, what in the world does this have to do with today? What does this have to do with politics? What could I possibly tell you about Mr. Moon and politics today?
Mr. Moon claims to have written the Reagan Doctrine for SDI, or Star Wars Program. He claims to have sponsored and promoted it to the Whitehouse and defense department in 1984. And that three weeks after this promotion, Reagan announced (in the State of the Union) that SDI would become a part of our national defense program. Now we know from whence that failed idea came. Do you feel sure that the current expansion of that program does not have the same origination?
When Mr. Moon was attempting to expand his media into Argentina, he called upon a long-time friend of his to come and be the keynote speaker. This friend was George Herbert Walker Bush and the following is an excerpt from his speech:
"I want to salute Reverend Moon, who is the founder of The Washington Times and also of Tiempos del Mundo," Bush declared. "A lot of my friends in South America don't know about The Washington Times, but it is an independent voice. The editors of The Washington Times tell me that never once has the man with the vision interfered with the running of the paper, a paper that in my view brings sanity to Washington, D.C. I am convinced that Tiempos del Mundo is going to do the same thing" in Latin America.
What George H. W. Bush said was untrue, in that the first editor of the Washington Times, James Whelan, resigned in 1984, confessing that he had "blood on his hands" for helping the church achieve greater legitimacy.
Mr. Moon was quite excited at this glowing recommendation and felt that Mr. Bush's presence as keynote speaker gave the event invaluable prestige. George Herbert Walker Bush also appeared in promotional videos for the Unification Church. In 1995, he and Barbara, his wife, gave six speeches in Asia for the Women's Federation for World Peace, a group led by Moon's wife. In 1996, Bush addressed the Moon-connected Family Federation for World Peace in Washington. The estimates of Bush's fee for the Buenos Aires appearance alone ran between $100,000 and $500,000, and some have said that the speaking fees that Bush has garnered for his appearances may be in excess of ten million dollars.
By speaking on behalf of Mr. Moon and his organizations, our former president (father of our current president) has lent credence and prestige and an air of respectability to what many might deem as someone downright sinister.
On January 19, 2001, Mr. Moon's Unification Church sponsored an "Inaugural Prayer Luncheon for Unity and Renewal" for George Walker Bush. Two Bush administration nominees were in attendance: Stephen Goldsmith, the former Indianapolis mayor who will promote "charitable choice" initiatives, and Attorney General John Ashcroft. Mr. Goldsmith promoted the Bush plan to give churches federal funds to offer social services, later called the "Faith Based Initiatives". Mr. Ashcroft was the keynote speaker. Another attendee was Jerry Falwell, who has "allowed" Mr. Moon to generously restructure a three million dollar debt for his Liberty University through the Women's Federation for World Peace, which promptly "forgave" the debt.
A Unification Church report describing the luncheon said that these events show Moon's ability to draw a broad cross-section of religious leaders to his events, asserting that the gathering "united Christian leaders black and while, including Robert Schuller, Jerry Falwell, the leader of the Southern Baptist Convention, a representative of the Bill Graham organization, and many others."
The Washington Times is wielding much power. Mr. Moon and his organizations now own many other media outlets, not the least of which is the United Press International (UPI), a newswire service, Insight Magazine, Radio Free Europe (receives 100% of its news from the Washington Times), Atlantic Video, Belleville Press, CARP Monthly, Global Affairs, Global Insight, Harlem Weekly, HeartWing, Heaven & Earth, International Exchange Press, Manhattan Magazine, Manhattan Television Center, New Era Books, New Future Films, News World Communications, Noticias Del Mundos, Paragon House Publishers, Principle Life, Queens Magazine, Rising Tide, D.C., Rose of Sharon Press, Sae Gae Times, Segye Times, Sekai Nippo, Spring of Life, Sunrise, The Pacific Student Times, The Weekly Religion, Ultimas Noticias, Unification News, Unification Thought Quarterly, Visual Arts Society, Washington Golf Monthly, Washington Television Center, Way of the World, World & I Magazine, World Media Association, World Media Conference and World University Times.
It behooves us as citizens of these United States to know the source and who is writing and selling their version of the news. To unwittingly ignore the source only continues to lend the false credibility to those that take advantage of the consolidation of corporate ownership of the media and communications system.
Scaife did get involved in numerous anti-Clinton activities. He gave $2.3 million to the American Spectator magazine to dig up dirt on Clinton and supported other conservative groups that harassed the president and his administration. The White House and its allies responded by fingering Scaife as the central figure in "a vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president," as Hillary Rodham Clinton described it. James Carville, Clinton's former campaign aide and rabid defender, called Scaife "the archconservative godfather in heavily funded war against the president.">
lots more background
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was created in 1972 to protect consumers against faulty products and laboratories were set up to test products prior to their reaching the shelves to prevent the citizens (and consumers) from unsafe products. We now have a rear-window approach in this department – that of products being recalled long after they have reached the marketplace and many times after complete consumption (in the case of foodstuffs). Under the current administration, the CPSC has had drastic budget reductions and staffing cuts, which together with its outdated and obsolete laboratories, rarely even oversee the complete removal of dangerous items from the shelves of the nation’s retailers.
I don’t know of a centralized database for all of the toys and products that have been recalled for safety issues in the past three years, but if one does exist, it will certainly show a trend – that of Chinese manufacturing deadly toys and the importation of these toys into our country and more unsafe consumer goods and products lining the shelves. In 1997, only 5 percent of all toys manufactured came from China, by 2007 that number had swelled to nearly 20 percent.
The laws that regulate the CPSC state that they can only mandate safety standards after voluntary measures have failed, but Chinese officials and their factory owners have said that they do not feel compelled to meet the voluntary standards set by our nation. They have been paraphrased as saying “voluntary means you do not have to follow” the standards.
This leaves the American consumer with hard choices. Trust in our governmental agencies has yielded a toxic mess upon the shelves of storekeepers, a trust that has been violated and is now nonexistent. The burden has fallen to the states’ Attorneys General to pursue violations, which makes this nation a patchwork of knowledge – leaving many with large gaps of information with which to make decisions.
We, as consumers and citizens, need to have our trust restored by our elected representatives taking the initiative to actually do their jobs – to serve their constituents and to cease to reward the corporate lobbyists.
\ˌin-tər-ˈne-ˌsēn, -ˈnē-sən, -ˈnē-ˌsīn, -nə-ˈsēn; in-ˈtər-nə-ˌsēn\
Latin internecinus, from internecare to destroy, kill, from inter- + necare to kill, from nec-, nex violent death — more at noxious
1: marked by slaughter : deadly; especially : mutually destructive
2: of, relating to, or involving conflict within a group <bitter internecine feuds>
Please understand that each of us are responsible for maintaining a civil discussion - please - let us not destroy our DU family
so get over your cheap self
No Value for Their Money
by Bridget Gibson & James G. Wilson February 1, 2002
"All families have their problems," is becoming a familiar refrain. Privacy for these families should be afforded so that they can "work out" their problems, we are told. The media spends too much time focusing on these problems when they are reporting on certain people's children, we hear. Although such courtesies were never afforded to the previous first family and their relatives, America's conservatives seem to have recently had a change of heart.
Public opinion of Bill Clinton and his extended family was shaped largely by tales of their private lives. The conservative media hammered away mercilessly at them with every rumor, innuendo and outright lie imaginable. Now we are supposed to turn the other cheek and let George W. Bush and his family rule in peace? We don't think so.
If these questions were appropriate regarding the Clinton family, there is no reason to believe that they are now "inappropriate" regarding the Bush family. To ignore reality will make one delusional and ill-informed. It is important that the behaviors of our nation's leaders be examined closely so that we can be certain that our country is being led by one that is capable of leading.
Much about this family has been draped in secrecy and we wish to draw back the curtains and let the light of day shine in. Let's turn a few stones and see what's revealed to us:
On January 29, the eve of the State of the Union address by George W. Bush, a girl was arrested for fraud. In this particular instance, she impersonated a physician to prescribe herself narcotics. This "girl" was twenty-four year old Noelle Bush, one of three children of Governor Jeb Bush of Florida. We thought that it might have been an isolated incident, but it would appear that the Florida Bushes have a number of issues with law enforcement.
It would seem that Noelle was also arrested in Flagstaff, Arizona for shoplifting in 1995. Her brother, George P. Bush, was busted for burglary and criminal mischief in 1994, and her other brother, Jeb Jr., was cited for sexual misconduct on October 2, 2000, in a shopping center parking lot. Knowing that the apples don't fall far from the tree, we must look to the parents of these wayward children.
Their mother, Columba Gallo Bush, was fined for smuggling clothing and jewelry into the United States after a $19,000 Parisian shopping spree. A cursory search on Jeb Bush showed that marital fidelity was not his strong suit. Seems that he really really liked a lady named Cynthia Henderson. They were the talk of the town after several of Florida's major newspapers broke the story.
A lack of "family values" is not, however, limited to the Bush clan in Florida. Last year, there were twin troubles in Texas. Jenna Bush had her day in court on May 16 for underage possession of alcohol. Experimentation with alcohol netted her eight hours of community service and 6 hours of anti-drinking lectures. Being lightly tapped on the shoulder did not appear to deter Jenna. On May 29 (a mere eight days later), Jenna and her twin sister, Barbara, were arrested for attempting to purchase alcohol and possession of fraudulent identification.
Looking up the tree a little higher, one finds George W. Bush. Knowing that he has admitted to frittering his "youth" away and becoming "responsible" at the age of 40, we looked to see what that entailed. In 1968, G. W. Bush was arrested for what he calls a "college prank." It turned out to be a vandalism charge. Not a respecter of other people's property, our George.
While the draft was scooping up the sons of less fortunate Americans, George managed to become a part of the Texas Air National Guard, learning how to fly a plane that had been discontinued in combat, and generously agreeing to spend a few weekends, plus two weeks of every year in service to the war effort.
On August 1, 1972, George was suspended from flying for failure to comply with a physical examination. He apparently refused to take the exam. Why would a healthy young man in his 20s refuse to take a physical examination? Also, he did not attend any drills or perform any service for nearly a year, from May 1972 until May 1973. Did George forget about the obligation to serve and just not show up as required to complete his tour of duty?
Perhaps some other civic duty called to his conscience. In 1972, George uncharacteristically had a sudden desire to perform community service at Project P.U.L.L., an inner-city youth center. There have been some rumors that this desire was linked to a court order stemming from a cocaine arrest and that the record was "fixed" by his father in Houston, Texas.
In 1976, at the tender age of 30, Maine police arrested George for driving under the influence of alcohol. George plead guilty to this charge, paid a $150 fine and had his driving privileges revoked in the State of Maine. In 1986, being the dutiful son of former president, George H. W. Bush, he defended him in a drunken rage in a restaurant in Dallas, Texas.
After studying George's behaviors, it was almost refreshing to find that the only baggage his wife, Laura, brings to the table consists of a poor driving record. It was unfortunate that when her abilities were outstripped by reality, the "friend" that she inadvertently killed was her fiancé. Could it be that the smile that appears on her face at all times has been firmly placed there to disguise the horror that must live daily in her soul?
Even further up the tree of Bush "family values" is George HW Bush. He, like his son Jeb, had a real problem with fidelity. While Vice-President, he apparently had an affair with a staffer named Jennifer Fitzgerald. They met back in the days when Bush was the Ambassador to China and the relationship continued into his presidency. It is said that when Barbara Bush found out about it, she went back to D.C. in a state of depression. The press eventually found out about it, and CNN's Mary Tillotson asked Bush if he was having an adulterous affair. Bush was humiliated and refused to answer. The term "believable deniability" may have begun with George H. W. Bush. He later sent someone out to tell the press, 'The answer to the 'A' question is a big NO.' That person was none other than George W. Bush. Was this the father teaching the son that it's okay to lie to the public when you hold office?
Let's come back to George W. for minute here. His record at the age of 40 shows him to be an unemployed alcoholic, an aging ne'er-do-well with a predilection for avoiding the truth. We know that everyone lies on occasion- it's human nature. Many lies are harmless, as in "Oh, yes, that dress (or suit) looks quite becoming." However, George W. may have stretched that loose acceptance to a breaking point this past December.
In a "Town Hall Meeting," he was asked to recount his experiences on the morning of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11th. Here's just some of what he said, "I was sitting outside the classroom waiting to go in, and I saw an airplane hit the first tower -- the TV was obviously on." Now, we all know that none of the networks had footage of the first plane hitting the tower until much later in the day. So, how could he have seen "an airplane hit the tower" before it was aired? This is the kind of fabrication that would cost most presidents their credibility.
The truth of that moment, was that he was reading in a classroom of students in the state of Florida and was notified (we were shown the moment on television) by Andrew Card, Chief of Staff, whispering in his ear. The four words that were spoken by Card were "America is under attack." At that time, George W. continued to read to the children for an additional thirty minutes. Obviously, he didn't think it was such a big deal. He later boarded Air Force One and flew about the country while we were told that Air Force One was a target. This, too, proved to be a lie fabricated to justify his unwillingness to deal with the magnitude of the disaster that had stricken all Americans on September 11, 2001.
Given all that we've come to know about the Bush family dynasty's clashes with the law and the truth, they should have been discredited as politicians and legitimate business people long ago. How is it that these people of questionable character (to put it mildly) have risen to some of the highest offices in the land? They do not have a leg on which to stand when it comes to preaching their self-righteous rhetoric. The next time you hear a Bush pontificate on the virtues of morality, integrity and family values, just remember that they don't even know what these words mean.
Posted by UpInArms in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Sat Feb 02nd 2008, 08:22 AM
i assume you mean his bipartisanship which i actually see as a strength
I think you need to understand what a deadly deal that will be.
Bi-PartisanSHIP of Fools
by Bridget Gibson May 10, 2002
"Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end" .- Lord Acton
Every craft must be guided by one who can master the waves and the storms of all seasons. Our national agenda is eroding the fields planted and sown for the past two centuries. The Republican Party has long been known for its dirty tricks and smear campaigns so characterized by Richard Nixon and George H. W. Bush. Now, George W. Bush follows bravely in their wake. The Democratic Party has been tarred with the brush of the "tax and spend" painters for so long that the phrase falls readily from our lips. Is it not obvious that the cycle of Republican waste and their propensity for giving the nation's wealthiest the largest tax cuts and rewarding the corporate thieves with the keys to the castle has generally forced the next cycle of Democratic taxation to make up for the losses?
Perhaps my dictionary has become outmoded or I have 'misunderestimated' Mr. Bush, but it states that 'compassion' is a noun, a feeling of sorrow or pity for the sufferings or misfortunes of another; sympathy. Thus, in this concept of being a 'compassionate conservative', is Mr. Bush saying that, as he alters the course of American history back to the dark ages, he "feels sorry" for the lives and the people he is destroying and killing? I do not want his pity. I do not want his sympathy. If anything, I am left feeling sorry for him. He has allowed himself to be molded into a specimen of the nastiest sort -- a person so disconnected from reality that his only reality is where to move the money that his family has drained from the coffers of the American taxpayer for the best economic return.
Who is guarding our liberties while Mr. Bush and his minions are busily dismantling them? While John Ashcroft states "To those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty; my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists - for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve," who defies him? No one. Only one could stand and say that they had not signed the USA Patriot Act destroying the liberties expressly provided in the Bill of Rights. Not one solitary soul had the courage of their convictions to say to these thieves and robber barons that this country was built upon a foundation that abhorred the ruling class of England and the first King George. The writers of our Constitution felt so strongly in this regard that Section 9, Clause 8 reads: No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.
No, in Washington, D.C., it is politics as usual. It is a race to see who can loot the treasury in the most outlandish manner, giving the most pork to the biggest campaign contributors. It is a comedic farce of the worst sort to see who can support the largest gifts to corporations, to continually ignore the results of the disastrous "free market" mentality that has handed our jobs to cheaper foreign labor, while attempting to assuage a minority interest by giving them a part of the purse for their jobless troubles.
In 1994, when Congress failed to give Bill Clinton Fast Track Trade Authority, I had believed that there were those in elected positions that finally realized their responsibilities to the citizens. But no, I was wrong again. It was a partisan play now resulting in the loss of oversight for the entire country. Now those jobs can leave more quickly, those foreign products can be dumped more efficiently and the taxpayers can pay and pay and pay. This is disgusting.
When will someone, anyone, rise to the challenge to actually uphold the rights of the ordinary American citizen? When will the citizenry realize that to fail to become involved every day in every way only allows this gross misconduct to continue?
When will we all realize that 'politics as usual' is the mantra for the fools? Will it be when we all realize that to be on some "bipartisan" sell-off of America is what we are having for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
Eventually, I believe that my fellow Americans will wake up. When they will wake up is much in doubt. Will it be after the final gavel has come down declaring the insolvency of our country? Will it be when all the body bags from all of our best and brightest have been delivered after they have died protecting the oil pipelines laid by the American corporations through all of the mountains of Afghanistan, Colombia, Nicaragua, Argentina and anywhere else the oiligarchs choose to rule?
Wake up soon, my slumbering friends. The alarms are sounding and the bells are ringing. Your continued disregard of the choices that are being made in your name will surely doom us all.
that says it all - 2 states - and it's way too soon to write Edwards off into the dustbin of history.
He is the most sincere without any corporate money backing him.
I say - go John go!
The era of corporate accumulation has been an unmitigated disaster for American journalism. Money has flowed like a fiscal Mississippi into the pockets of investors and fund managers, draining one newspaper and TV station after another of the resources necessary to serve their communities' common good. Nearly every American newspaper and local television station sucked into one of the chains -- from the largest to the smallest -- during that period is today a lesser journalistic entity of less real service to its audience than when it was acquired.
That's what makes Sam Zell's daring purchase of Tribune not only a great financial opportunity but also a historic opportunity for American journalism -- a chance to demonstrate that private ownership can reestablish the link between good business and good journalism that initially was forged by familial proprietors.
I can only hope that the tide starts to turn.
When top lawyers for the accounting firm KPMG sat down in secret with federal prosecutors to plead with them not to indict the firm in connection with its work on questionable tax shelters, they faced a life-or-death battle.
“Enron was only $1 billion; this fraud is much bigger,” one of the prosecutors, Justin Weddle, told a senior lawyer for KPMG during a meeting in Manhattan in March 2005, according to recently released notes taken by one of the KPMG lawyers, Joseph Barloon of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
The stakes could not have been higher. An indictment would most likely have meant the firm’s demise, as it did with Enron’s accounting firm, Arthur Andersen, in 2002. KPMG in fact narrowly averted indictment after agreeing to pay a $456 million fine, admit wrongdoing and cooperate with a Justice Department investigation into its former employees, a case that continues to be closely watched by the legal community.
Now Mr. Barloon’s notes of meetings from March through June 2005, which were made public in June in connection with the related criminal trial of 16 former KPMG tax employees, provide a rare and detailed look inside the closed-door process of those dealings.
When another federal prosecutor, Shirah Neiman, asked Eugene O’Kelly, the KPMG chairman at the time, how much the firm was prepared to pay as a fine, Mr. O’Kelly said KPMG had set aside $100 million, or $40,000 of each partner’s average $570,000 annual salary. Mr. O’Kelly then outlined a proposal, short on details, in which KPMG would “acknowledge wrongdoing by former partners,” pay an unspecified fine, restrict its tax practice and cooperate with investigators.
and then... they slapped their peepees and told them not to do that ever ever ever again :noappropriateiconformydisgust:
(edited for tpyo)
Justice Derailed by Politics
June 9 – On December 16, 2004, a brutal murder took place in the small community of Skidmore, Missouri. Bobbi Jo Stinnett, eight months pregnant, a breeder of rat terrier dogs, was strangled to death and her female fetus was cut from her body.
On December 17th in the United States District Court Western District of Missouri, a Criminal Complaint, Case Number 04-00210-01-JTM, United States of America v. Lisa M. Montgomery was filed. Attached to the criminal complaint was a sworn affidavit, subsection (g) therein states as follows: After being advised of her constitutional rights and having waived those rights, Lisa Montgomery thereafter confessed to having strangled Stinnett and removing the fetus. Lisa Montgomery further admitted the baby she had was Stinnett’s baby and that she had lied to her husband about given (sic) birth to a child.”
Todd Graves, the Attorney General for the Western District of Missouri had served as the prosecuting attorney for the 6th District of Platte County from 1994 until he was nominated to be the Attorney General for the Western District in October 2001. He had tried one death penalty case for the United States and understood the prosecution’s role in such a case. Todd Graves understood public service and is concerned that the reputation of the Justice Department has been compromised by the actions of the current administration. Mr. Graves is also the brother of Sam Graves, Republican congressional representative for the 6th District of Missouri.
In January of 2006, Todd Graves, US Attorney for the United States District Court was asked to resign his position “to give another person a chance to serve” in the Western District of Missouri, he accepted that decision without complaint. His only request to continue to serve was to complete the prosecution of a single case. In fact, on January 10, 2006, he had filed a motion in opposition to the defense request to continue the trial for Lisa Montgomery to February 2007. At that time, he probably knew that his tenure was about to end and this would be his last opportunity to press the prosecution of the case in The USA vs. Lisa Montgomery. The clock was ticking on his removal from office.
Mr. Graves testified before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on June 5, 2007, that, in retrospect, he knew that his tenure with the Justice Department had gotten off on the wrong foot because of one of his answers when he first interviewed to become a US Attorney. He stated that “When I first interviewed with the department I was asked to give the panel one attribute that describes me. I said, ‘independence.’ Apparently, that was the wrong attitude.”
Looking at the record of his subsequent replacement, it appears that he was correct in his initial assessment. As a mandate from the Bush administration, the Justice Department was looking to replace the Attorney Generals in at least eight districts with handpicked political party loyalists; people who would disregard the needs of the citizens in the districts so that the priorities of the politicians would take precedence over the prosecution of crimes that have affected the communities and the citizens thereof.
Under the rules of the revised USA PATRIOT Act, the United States Attorney Generals no longer had to go through the rigorous examination and confirmation by the United States Senate. The new method required only that the Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, recommend their placement in the various districts of the country. Thus, in March 2006, Bradley Schlozman replaced Todd Graves. Mr. Schlozman had no prior prosecutorial experience and had never appeared in any District Court to prosecute a criminal case. His legal experience was as a clerk for three years and a lawyer for 2 more. In November 2001, he became an aide in the office of the deputy attorney general.
Mr. Schlozman was eventually promoted to acting head of the Civil Rights Division. As such he recommended a Texas redistricting map and a Georgia photo ID voting law.
After he became the Attorney General for the Western District of Missouri, he pursued, in spite of clear rules to the contrary, questionable charges against Democratic leaning groups near the time of the 2006 elections. While real issues, like justice for Victoria Stinnett, were sidelined. It is a very clear policy of the Justice Department that no Attorney General file any charges could disrupt any election based on politics.
Mr. Schlozman also testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 5 and his testimony was rather difficult to understand, as most of his answers to any questions of substance were a fairly repetitive, “I don’t recall.” As of June 8, it appears that Mr. Schlozman plans to reappear before the Committee to “revise” his testimony.
It should be noted that Mr. Schlozman resigned his position of Attorney General for the Western District in April 2007 after the firings of several Attorney Generals had become questionable and the political scandal had been exposed.
The Senate is planning a vote of “no confidence” in Alberto Gonzales as the
Attorney General of the United States of America on Monday, June 10. There have been many violations of the public trust by the Justice Department under his guidance; the NSA spying controversy, approval of torture at the Abu Ghraib prison and now the politicization of the Attorney Generals.
At this time, Bush has nominated John Wood, former chief of staff to Michael Chertoff, secretary of homeland security, a cousin to Kit Bond, Senator (R-Mo) and he has subsequently been confirmed by the Senate to fill the position of Attorney General for the Western District of Missouri. He was sworn in on June the 8th and hopefully he will see that the needs of the citizens are the primary responsibility of the Attorney General, not the political expediency of making sure that any opposing political voices are silenced.
Here in Worth County and the Western District of Missouri, we are just hoping that Victoria Stinnett will not celebrate another birthday without seeing justice done and a trial that is not derailed by politics under this administration.
or There Was A Crooked Man Who Walked a Crooked Mile
(April 30, 2007)
When we were young, we learned little rhymes that seemed to mean nothing. It was during that period of time that we also learned that our country meant everything. The United States was a beacon of freedom and justice in a world that needed a leader. The USofA was everything that the world wanted, people wanted to live here, work here, raise their children here and make their fortunes here.
Jack Abramoff made a fortune in this country and it appears that much of Mr. Abramoff’s money was not very legitimate. Jack was born on February 28, 1958, was a political lobbyist, a Republican political activist and a central figure in a series of high-profile political scandals. Jack founded, with Tom DeLay, the K Street Project and had a group of followers that were called “Team Abramoff.”
The House Committee on Governmental Reform released a report on September 29, 2006, detailing contacts between the White House and Jack Abramoff and his lobbyists, as well as exchanges with Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed.
This report also named Susan Ralston, Special Assistant to Karl Rove, as having requested and received events tickets from Abramoff on several occasions. She resigned on October 6, 2006.
In order to understand, we have to start with one of Jack Abramoff’s business associates, Michael Scanlon. On November 21, 2005, in Federal Court, Mr. Scanlon pleaded guilty to conspiring to corrupt public officials and defraud clients; clearing the way for his cooperation in an investigation of Jack Abramoff. Also, under the plea agreement, Scanlon was to repay $19.6 million to his former Indian tribe lobbying clients.
Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty on January 3, 2006, in a Washington, D.C. Federal Court to three criminal felony counts related to the defrauding of American Indian tribes and corruption of public officials. The next day, January 4, 2006, he pleaded guilty to two additional criminal felony counts in a separate Federal Court in Miami, related to his fraudulent dealings with SunCruz Casinos.
On March 29, 2006, Abramoff was sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of more than $21 million to his former Indian tribe lobbying clients.
On March 31, 2006, Team Abramoff lobbyist and Tom DeLay staffer, Tony Rudy pleaded guilty to conspiracy related to bribery involving Ohio Congressman Bob Ney and Texas Congressman Tom DeLay, who was at that time the Republican House Majority Speaker.
Four days later, on April 4, 2006, Tom DeLay announced his resignation from Congress.
Jack’s family ties extended to a few really shady characters. On May 1, 2006, Jack’s partner and co-owner of the SunCruz Casinos, Adam Kidan told authorities that John Gurino killed Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis (the former SunCruz owner who Jack and Adam still owed $23 million). The John Gotti mob-connected Gurino was said to have been shot to death by a business partner. Gurino wasn't part of the investigation before Kidan gave authorities the name.
By May 8, 2006, Ney's former Chief of Staff, Neil Volz pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, including wire fraud and violating House rules, It appears that he was conspiring to corruptly influence Ney’s official actions by showering him with gifts and trips.
One of the trips that really caught the attention of prosecutors was in the summer of 2002. Abramoff arranged and paid for a golfing trip to Scotland for Ney; David H. Safavian, then chief of staff at the General Services Administration; and former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed. Mr. Ney said that he had gone so that he could observe the Scottish parliament in action. It’s a shame he did not check to see if they were in session, as the Scottish parliament was taking a break while he was there.
A federal jury found former White House aide David H. Safavian guilty on June 20, 2006, of lying and obstructing justice, making him the highest-ranking government official to be convicted in the ever-expanding scandal involving convicted former lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Mr. Safavian was convicted of covering up his many efforts to assist Abramoff in acquiring two properties controlled by the GSA, and also of concealing facts about that lavish Scottish weeklong golfing trip.
Roger Stillwell, who worked for the Office of Insular Affairs, part of the US Department of Interior, was the desk officer in charge of the Northern Mariana Islands. Stillwell was charged with "falsely certifying that he did not receive reportable gifts" from Jack Abramoff and on August 11, 2006, pled guilty to a misdemeanor charges.
After proclaiming his innocence for months, on September 22, 2006, Bob Ney pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy and making false statements. In his appearance before Judge Ellen S. Huvelle, he calmly acknowledged his guilt as Huvelle read a long list of favors Ney and Abramoff had done for each other. "That's accurate, Your Honor," Ney repeated again and again.
One could hope that with the New Year of 2007 there would be no more to this saga, but alas, it continues.
On February 26, 2007, William Heaton, the former Chief of Staff to Ohio Congressman Bob Ney, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud, admitting to "conspiring with Ney, Abramoff and others to accept pricey vacations, meals, drinks, golf outings, tickets to entertainment events and contributions to Ney's campaign in exchange for actions by the congressman that benefitted Abramoff's clients," none of whom lived in Ohio, the congressman's state.
On March 23, 2007, J. Steven Griles, formerly the interior department's number two official, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in the Senate investigation of the Abramoff scandal, the top Bush administration official to do so. Griles was also asked to testify before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee in the 2005 investigation of the Abramoff scandal. Abramoff's private emails indicated that Griles had pledged to use his authority to block a casino which Abramoff was lobbying against.
It also appears that Griles was involved with donations made to Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, run by his friend Italia Federici.
The latest domino in this long chain was Mark Zachares. He is a former Congressional aide to Alaska Representative Don Young and a lobbyist who, on April 24, 2007, pleaded guilty to accepting tens of thousands of dollars in gifts from lobbyist Jack Abramoff in return for using his position in Congress to advance Abramoff's interests.
The walls of this house have crumbled beneath the weight of corruption and it appears that we may not even be seeing light at the end of the tunnel. How many more government officials, elected or appointed, have been putting their own criminal self-enrichment before the best interests of their country and their constituents?
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