Democrats & Liberals Archives

June 2005 Archives

June 30, 2005

1500 Hundred Reasons Not to Spin 9/11

As our own dispenser of "muscular" advice would have it: never complain, never explain. But I think it's worthwhile for this liberal to complain a little, and also explain why he's ticked off right now, in a big big way, at George Bush and Karl Rove.

» Continue reading "1500 Hundred Reasons Not to Spin 9/11"

Posted by William Cohen at 8:22 PM

Intelligent Design: A Form of Idolatry

Religious fundamentalists promote the concept of intelligent design: a supreme being, God, not evolution, must be responsible for the remarkable structures and functions of living organisms and all of nature. They have it backward. Evolution fits better with the concept of a supreme, ubiquitous, all-powerful being than does intelligent design, which I think is a form of idolatry.

» Continue reading "Intelligent Design: A Form of Idolatry"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 7:47 PM

RoveVision 'Jumps The Shark'

For fear of putting my foot through a recently purchased and vital home appliance still under warranty, I decided not to watch Bush's address to the nation on Iraq Tuesday night. And, having also read the full text of his speech released earlier in the day, like three of the four networks (including Fox), I knew there was nothing of substance to be missed.

» Continue reading "RoveVision 'Jumps The Shark'"

June 29, 2005

My Response to Bush

President Bush must drop the pretense that his main opposition desires a premature pull out or any flagging of effort. He cannot criticize us for wanting a higher concentration of forces, then claim we want to cut and run.

We do remember 9/11, and also that Saddam Hussein's government had nothing whatsover to do with it. We also remember that the Terrorists only showed up after we did. Were we to put this in terms of a Western, we could say the real villain showed up after we shot the wrong bad guy.

» Continue reading "My Response to Bush"

Bush and Cheney should resign

Even the people who supported this corrupt administration have to admit that this has gone too far. The Downing Street Memos and the shocking revelations that have come out during the Haliburton Reconstruction Hearings have gone beyond the smoking gun needed to overhaul a system that has no fail safes to protect the American peoples interests. Bush and Cheney are two of the most corrupt leaders of this or any other nation in our history.

» Continue reading "Bush and Cheney should resign"

That Was Disappointing

Despite the fact that we never should have unilaterally invaded Iraq in the first place (more than 60% of Americans thought that was a bad idea before the war), we're there now and we need to win, and most Americans understand that. What we don't understand is why - despite the handover of sovereignty, despite the elections, despite two years of training Iraqi forces, and despite all the rosy rhetoric of progress - the insurgency is getting worse.

» Continue reading "That Was Disappointing"

June 28, 2005

The Media's True Bias

Media bias this, media bias that. With the Republican party, there seem to be no mistakes- only perception problems. Perception problems do exist, but they normally have little to do with politics, and everything to do with somebody's prejudice of what will entertain and appeal to people. Efficiency, as I have asserted before, always concerns the goals one has in mind. Unfortunately, news isn't entertaining the way a movie is. What's more, it shouldn't be. Good newsgathering can be compelling even if one forgoes the flashy graphics and overwrought sensationalism, because what makes news truly compelling is how it brings us insight.

» Continue reading "The Media's True Bias"

June 27, 2005

Mr. President: Be Pro Bono

I prefer Beethoven to Bono. But when I heard Bono on Meet the Press yesterday, his words sounded to me like the music of the spheres. Bono wants you, Bush, speaking for America, to pledge more money at the upcoming G8 meeting to help the poor, the starving, the sick, the dying in poverty- and disease-ridden Africa and other unfortunate regions of the world. Bono promises you a hero's place in history. I believe such a gesture of compassion would earn you much, much more: it will bring you closer to winning the war on terror than anything you have done to date. So please, Mr. President, be pro Bono.

» Continue reading "Mr. President: Be Pro Bono"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 3:30 PM

So Why is Novak not in Trouble?

The United States Supreme Court this morning declined to hear the appeal of two reporters who are protecting their sources in the Valerie Plame case. Judith Miller of the New York Times and Matthew Cooper of Time were recipients of information in 2003 that Valerie Plame was an undercover CIA agent. Unlike Robert Novak, these reporters did not go public with the information, presumably to protect Ms. Plame's cover, but because they are refusing to reveal the identity of their informant they may face jail time.

» Continue reading "So Why is Novak not in Trouble?"

June 26, 2005

Idiocy

Dr. Rice says the dumbest things. She was in Brussels recently, insisting that "Terrorism can be defeated in Iraq, it will be defeated in Iraq. When it is defeated in Iraq, at the heart of the Middle East, it will be a death knell for terrorism as we know it."

» Continue reading "Idiocy"

June 24, 2005

The Great Divide

We are all Americans. The Democrats, Republicans, Consrvatives and Liberals. We cannot afford to be divided any longer.

» Continue reading "The Great Divide"

June 23, 2005

The Timeline Dilemma

Alright, here goes: Why is it so dangerous to create a timeline, if the insurgence is in it's last throes?

We should have the freedom to set our goals however we want to, knowing that we can deal with whatever the insurgents try. After all, they are on their way to defeat. The question is, do we have Iraq under enough control to let everybody know we're leaving, and not invite the nation's collapse? The consensus is no.

Why would that be the case if we're winning the war?

» Continue reading "The Timeline Dilemma"

Republican Math

Republicans are great at changing the language. For example, liberals are for special interests like labor and minorities while conservatives are for public interests like Halliburton and ExxonMobil. Now that they have become so good at it they are venturing into math. They propose to subtract from the Social Security surplus to fund private accounts in order to boost the solvency of Social Security. In the new Republican math 1 - 1 = 2.

» Continue reading "Republican Math"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 5:52 PM

June 22, 2005

Guantanamo, Shmantanamo - Not the Real Problem

Suddenly, it appears that everybody is concerned about Guantanamo Bay. Amnesty International says it's a gulag. Bush and his Republican buddies say it's a model prison. Some - both Democrats and Republicans are included - say tear it down. Other Americans say we must clean up the torture and then Guantanamo will be kosher. I say, Guantanamo, shmantanamo - the real problem is not physical torture but our tortured policy of militarism and the eclipse of due process.

» Continue reading "Guantanamo, Shmantanamo - Not the Real Problem"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 2:00 PM

Religion and "The Right"

What is it that the people who call themselves Conservative Republicans have that I don't have? I go to church. I believe in God. Why is it that because I'm a Democrat I am not as moral a person as they are?

» Continue reading "Religion and "The Right""

June 21, 2005

LIBERALS! LIBERALS! LIIIBEEERAAAAALS!

It astonishes me how much Republicans object to liberals and liberal way of life. I'm not that troubled by conservative bias, conservative values, conservative lifestyles, or other things conservatives. If they continue to exist, well jeez, I won't agree with them, but I won't be calling for airstrikes either.

This country is built to accommodate all kinds of view, and yes, there is competition between those views, but the most wasteful, most hurtful, and most divisive of notions, is that which calls for the destruction of another political philosophy.

» Continue reading "LIBERALS! LIBERALS! LIIIBEEERAAAAALS!"

Bush Administration coincidences

Dick Cheney and KBR are profitting from Iraq invasion. Phillip Cooney,who was caught doctoring Global Warming stats, just happens to get oil lobbying position. John Bolton,who helped G.W. doctor intellingence on Iraqi WMDs happens to be the guy G.W. wants to place in the U.N. Katherine Harris who was the Attorney General in charge of recounting votes during 2000 election is a Republican party hero who has been rewarded with a seat in Congress. George Tenet the director of the C.I.A who helped Bush push us into a war based on lies gets a medal.

» Continue reading "Bush Administration coincidences"

June 20, 2005

Growth is a False Goal

One of the goals President Bush gave his tax-reform commission is that its recommendations should "encourage growth." I think he said this to support the commission's probable recommendation of some form of tax-free investment. Investments spur "growth" and since everybody thinks "growth" is good, then tax-free investments are economic candy. I am here to claim, however, that the goal of our economy should not be "growth," which polarizes and militarizes our society, but "prosperity for all," which would unite and harmonize our society.

» Continue reading "Growth is a False Goal"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 6:32 PM

Double Standards

This little entry won't take long. It won't be one of my longer ones. I just feel the need at this point to pose a question to the folks out there, especially on the red column.

Porter Goss, CIA Chief, has told reporters that he has an "excellent idea" of where Osama Bin Laden is, but we aren't going after him because of "weak links" in the war on terror.

» Continue reading "Double Standards"

June 19, 2005

The Gears Of Knowledge Turn Strangely

What makes science so confusing for so many people is that we usually only get to see the ad copy for it's marvellous abilities, but rarely have the chance to read the fine print.

The fine print of science is that you can't prove anything for sure, but you can prove what's not the case. Not only that, but in many ways, it's more important. For ages, observers of the natural world looked for correlations between things. What modern science contributes to things, in part, is an understanding of the difference between correlation and causation.

» Continue reading "The Gears Of Knowledge Turn Strangely"

I thought the rule was "never volunteer"?

In a training exercise at Guantanamo Bay, Spc Sean Baker volunteered to wear an orange jumpsuit and portray an uncooperative detainee. The MPs, who were told that he was an unruly detainee who had assaulted an American sergeant, allegedly "inflicted a beating that resulted in a traumatic brain injury."

» Continue reading "I thought the rule was "never volunteer"?"

Posted by William Cohen at 8:04 PM

June 17, 2005

When Do We Leave Iraq?

Six out of 10 Americans say attacking Iraq was a mistake, according to recent polls. After the Iraqi elections, which caused neocon Republicans to swoon, the insurgency seems to have gotten stronger and more vicious. Over 1700 American troops - perhaps hundreds of thousands of Iraqis - were killed in the conflagration, so far. We have proof now that WMD and terrorism had nothing to do with the attack on Iraq. Many are asking the administration when will we leave Iraq? I wonder if we ever will.

» Continue reading "When Do We Leave Iraq?"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 3:50 PM

U.S Environmental Policy Killing Planet

By undermining conservation efforts the Bush administration once again has made the citizens of the U.S. look like greedy hypocritical liars(Republicans).

» Continue reading "U.S Environmental Policy Killing Planet"

June 16, 2005

Perpetuity

The alleged abuses and religious desecrations at Guantanamo are disturbing if true. However, what really upsets me about the Bush Administration's approach to the Guantanamo situation is their total disregard for American traditions of due process and Constitutional rights.

In Senate hearings on Tuesday, the Bush Administration said the inmates could be jailed there "in perpetuity."

» Continue reading "Perpetuity"

Posted by LawnBoy at 1:58 AM

June 15, 2005

Republican Rings of Corruption

IV - Republican/Energy Industry Ring

Oilman Cheney was placed in charge of the Energy Task Force early in President Bush's first term. Who attended? Secret. Who wrote the conclusions? Secret. What were the conclusions? Secret. Who benefited? No secret here. We can tell from the legislation which did not pass last year and which is being pushed this year that the winners of tax deductions, subsidies and other goodies are the petroleum, gas, nuclear, coal and electricity generation companies - all big contributors to Republican officeholders.

» Continue reading "Republican Rings of Corruption"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 5:55 PM

Schiavo Autopsy

The Terri Schiavo autopsy has been released. Her brain "weighed 615 grams, roughly half of the expected weight of a human brain. ... This damage was irreversible, and no amount of therapy or treatment would have regenerated the massive loss of neurons." No evidence was found of the abuse of which Michael Schiavo was accused.

The intense arguments and political shenanigans of a couple months ago were unnecessary. The right course of action was taken.

Posted by LawnBoy at 12:04 PM

Our Man in Geneva

Let's say you run a business, and you want to send somebody to the conference to represent the company. Who would you want to do that? You'd want somebody who understands they represent something larger than themselves alone. You'd want somebody who makes your company look good, who doesn't behave in ways that might bring embarrassment to your company. You'd choose somebody who knows their stuff, who has shown their expertise back home. You'd want somebody who hasn't caused embarassment for your company before, who won't remind people constantly of past failures. You'd want that person even more so if your intent was to bring reform.

» Continue reading "Our Man in Geneva"

Driven To Distraction

Right now, the national debt is $7.8 trillion. The federal government relies on $2 billion in foreign loans every day just to stay afloat. President Bush and the Republican Congress borrow hundreds of billions of dollars - record-setting amounts of debt - every year, each year more than the last. President Bush says he's going to cut the deficit in half in the next four years. How? By doing absolutely nothing.

» Continue reading "Driven To Distraction"

June 14, 2005

MEDICARE FOR ALL

During the recent presidential campaign, every Democratic primary candidate produced a health plan. Senator Kerry, the Democratic nominee, had a good health plan. What has happened since? We were told that "moral values" trumps health plans. So Democrats are busy demonstrating to everybody that they, too, have "moral values." They forget that getting the poor, the disabled and the unfortunate covered by a decent health plan is not only a great moral value but could be a boon to our economy and our society. It's time to propose and challenge the Republicans with a Universal Healthcare System.

» Continue reading "MEDICARE FOR ALL"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 1:42 PM

The Haliburton War

Kellog Brown and Root a subsidiary of Halliburton is the real driving force behind the war in Iraq.

» Continue reading "The Haliburton War"

June 13, 2005

Its Glory Is All Moonshine

I just picked up Colonel Thomas X. Hammes' book, "The Sling and the Stone", about what the military calls Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW); the kind of conflict we saw in Vietnam, Central America, Somalia, and now in Afghanistan and Iraq. While most of us have been quick to blame the Bush administration for the current situation in Iraq, Hammes hangs a big portion of it squarely on the Pentagon.

» Continue reading "Its Glory Is All Moonshine"

June 12, 2005

'The Impeachment Option'

Before Alberto Gonzales or Phillip A. Cooney can render entire sections of Articles I and II of the U.S. Constitution covering Impeachment either voluntary or subject to revisions, I thought I'd put together a simple blog pamphlet outlining the basic parameters, which are surprisingly easier to understand than 5 Card 'Texas Hold 'Em' Rules.

» Continue reading "'The Impeachment Option'"

June 11, 2005

Urban Renewal On Sesame Street

The Republicans are after public television again.

Haven't heard yet? It's one of those nice quiet things they do when they wish to fulfill agenda items, but don't wish to involve a public that might not be so sympathetic to their aims.

Personally, I have a bone to pick with these folks. Why don't they recognize that this is one of the liberal programs that works?

» Continue reading "Urban Renewal On Sesame Street"

June 10, 2005

Debunking Linearity

I like WatchBlog because it fosters discourse over invective, and reason over sound bites. Its three column format is also inclusive, openly inviting multiple perspectives. But the geometry of the three columns unfortunately and unintentionally reinforces a linear notion about political thought which I believe to be a major source of political paralysis in our times.

» Continue reading "Debunking Linearity"

June 9, 2005

Clear Cut Deceptions

In a normal forest fire, rather than the devastating crown fires, the first trees to burn would be those closer to the ground, closer to the fuel. It is this growth that overly simplistic fire management policies have allowed to build up, which leads to the previously mentioned crown fires.

When dealing with fire management around a populated area, one needs to take care of the trees that (almost literally) are in the neighborhood, correct? Well, the geniuses in the Bush administration have decided you're wrong.

» Continue reading "Clear Cut Deceptions"

June 8, 2005

Republican Rings of Corruption

III - Republican/Medical Industry Ring

America is blessed with a medical system that costs more than the medical systems of other highly industrialized nations. Yet its effectiveness is not as good. Though there are many reasons for our dysfunctional health system, I believe that corruption between our political leaders and the medical industry is responsible for a big portion of our healthcare problems. As with the Republican/Arms Industry Ring, both Democrats and Republicans are to blame. However, during the Bush Administration corruption reached new heights.

» Continue reading "Republican Rings of Corruption"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 6:27 PM

Hyper-Rich Getting Hyper-Richer

Since the Reagan era, the divide between rich and poor in America has increased dramatically. As it turns out, the hyper-rich, top one-tenth of one percent are also dramatically outpacing the merely rich,

» Continue reading "Hyper-Rich Getting Hyper-Richer"

June 7, 2005

Knowledge Protects, Ignorance Betrays

Looked on the CNN site to find this today:
Feds: Science paper a terrorist's road map

This attempt to pull the publication, I feel, is a mistake. We cannot go on assuming that the terrorists are too stupid to think creatively. We should use the advantages of an open society, and use papers like this to organize our efforts to defend the homeland.

» Continue reading "Knowledge Protects, Ignorance Betrays"

June 5, 2005

Get A Move On

I got my first glimpse of high definition television a handful of years ago, while I was getting started at Baylor University in the Telecommunication Department in my major.

The clarity, the color and the detail was simply incredible, especially by comparison to standard definition. At times, it was almost literally like looking through a window. Looking at that television, I knew that no standard television picture would ever look satisfactory again. At the time, it was anticipated that the changeover would already be done much earlier. At the time.

» Continue reading "Get A Move On"

Religion, practicality, and government control

Jack Mattel's recent blogging introduces two dimensions for environmental viewpoints that I find quite thought-provoking - in fact, I wonder if they can be applied to other political problems as well. For instance, abortion. Are you religious, or practical? do you believe in government control, or "free-market solutions"? And have you ever heard of the "95-10 Initiative"? » Continue reading "Religion, practicality, and government control"

Posted by William Cohen at 11:09 AM

June 4, 2005

Republican Rings of Corruption

II - Republican/Arms Industry Ring

The longest, biggest, most lucrative, most dangerous and most corrupt corruption loop is the Military Industrial Complex. For many decades, it has been an equal-opportunity source of money and power for both Democrats and Republicans. But with the advent of the Bush administration, corruption has reached such new and unbelievable heights that I must relabel it the Republican/Arms Industry Ring.

» Continue reading "Republican Rings of Corruption"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 6:01 PM

June 3, 2005

Language's Uncertain Paths

As I read the comments on J. Anthony Matel's entry Know Your Enemy, I came across a number of entries where the argument all hinged around what definition one used for the word "Liberal". It just fascinated me how much one's impression of liberal politics depended on one's notion of what that word meant.

It got me to wondering. How much of Modern America's contentious debates are the product of differences of discussion, rather than differences of opinion?

» Continue reading "Language's Uncertain Paths"

Basic Training

The new Iraqi Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari, was in Washington this week asking why the US wasn't doing enough to train Iraqi security forces. The Bush administration now claims 165,000 troops and police have been fully trained (an apparent admission that last year's claims of 210,000 trained personnel was bullshit), but independent analysts put the number closer to 20,000. Zebari is complaining that his country's security forces look good on paper, but are poorly trained, led, and equipped.

» Continue reading "Basic Training"

June 1, 2005

Republican Rings of Corruption

(One in an irregular series)

The purpose of the current Republican establishment is not conservatism. It is not interested in small government, nor fiscal discipline, nor business laissez faire, nor "moral values." The Republican purpose is power. Absolute power. They want to achieve a one-party state: Republican, of course. To do this they have converted the old influence-peddling loops between self-interest groups and the government into solid Republican Rings of Corruption. The corruption ringmaster is none other than Republican leader of the House, Representative Tom DeLay.

» Continue reading "Republican Rings of Corruption"

Posted by Paul Siegel at 2:07 PM

New Liberals

An article in today's paper had me reflecting on how much liberalism has changed over the last twenty years. Musician Bob Geldof, the guy who urged us to "feed the world" with his Live Aid concerts in 1985, is back in the limelight again. But this time, Geldof's new Live-8 concerts won't be naively shoveling money into the bottomless pit of impoverished Africa.

» Continue reading "New Liberals"