Thursday, December 30, 2004

Freedom

Well, finally we heard from the President of the United States about the tragedy in South West Asia. 40,000 plus and rising dead. Yet it takes 4 days for our Predident to make an official comment. Sad, very sad.

I labled this post "Freedom". I want o speak about that freedom and where we are going as a nation. I keep an old ad taped to my computer at work and in my office. It too was called "Freedom":

"We expect it in America.
Freedom to choose the way we meet the challenges of life.
Freedom to compete, to risk, to fail and to succeed.
No resource is more precious than freedom.
It enriches our personal lives and the lives of those around us.
And yet it can be taken away, if we allow it,
by the same government that can assure our personal freedom".

We had that freedom taken away not long after the country was formed in 1798 with the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts. Laws that were passed to control Americans and the opposition to the government rather than provide for the safety of the country. During every major conflict we have created laws that went against both the spirit and intent of the Constitution. The most recent violation of our rights is the USA PATRIOT Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism). A law that no longer makes it manadatory that a warrent be presented before a search is conducted and property seized. The FBI can now investigate anyone it considers to be a possible threat, go through your personal records (bank, emails, associations, anything and anyone connected to you). Sec 215 ammends FISA of 1978, which was designed to allow for investigation of foreign spies, so that anyone can be brought before a court that meets in secret, never publishes finding and allows only the government to present to it. Something is wrong here, very wrong. The bill was given to congress 24 hours before the vote was to take place. Those congressmen that spoke out against this were called UNpatriotic by the administration. Now this law was passed with a 'sunset' clause allowing for parts of it to go away. The law had temporary sections. The administration wants to make the law permenent, which makes it harder to get it repealed.

We had an election in this country that was conducted in an extremely slipshod fashion. Electronic voting machine were used without having a paper trail. We were told that the technology did not exist yet by Diebold CEO. What??? They are freaking ATMS with more screen promts. ATM seem to be able to give you a printout. Venezuala had an election with those same machine last year and they had printouts that provided a paper trail. We are supposed to be the most technologically advanced contry on the planet. We sent men to the moon with less computing power than a TI-73 calculator. We can't make an electronic voting machine that gives a printout. What about security of these things. Reports of back door hacking of servers, machines booting up with votes already on them. Poor districs in states that used electronic voting have fewer machines per voter that districts with more per capita income. I guess the poor people that can't afford to kiss work can satnd in lines and the rest of us can't. What about the post election verifications that the machine were supposed to provide? Apparently they weren't that important to some state officials as they were found in the trash. This election was supposed to be totally above board, transparent so that there would not be the fiasco that we had in 2000. Well it's happened again! Look at Ohio and Florida. Both states are under investigation and members of Congress are asking for hearing. And where are the major news media in this? Why don't I hear about this on the evening news. Well they don't want to talk about it. It is not in thier corporate interest. See Blackboxvoting.org to find out more.

My friends, freedom is precious. It may be a right in this country, but rights can be taken away by government if we let it. Remember, the government is "of the people, by the people, for the people". The government works for you: Congreesmen, Senators, the President, DMV workers. You are the boss, not them. Make them accountable. They have to show you what they are doing, where they are doing it and what they are spending. Its your money! More on that later.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Opening Day

So here it is. The beginning of something good (I hope). A chance to relate to others what I see happening in the US and use a little sarcasm to help get over those areas that get me down. I chose UBS News for my blog because, like Howard Beale, I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more.

I am a political progressive. My side last the last election but I have no way of knowing if it was a legitimate lose or if it was stolen. It appears (as of today) that the Republicans did not win the Govenors race in Washington State afterall. The recount has shown that the Democrates won and if the hand count of paper ballots is allowed may win by a much bigger margin. What would happen in Ohio, or Florida or in other parts of the country? What if the election officials were impartial (and actually were)? See Blackboxvoting.org to find out what is happening in those two states.

What is going on with our war in Iraq? We were lead into a conflict under fause pretenses by our President (who can not think of any mistakes that he may have made since taking office). We continue to loses soldiers and marines who are trying to defend themselves. All of the reason for going there have proved false. Do we tell the United Nations we made a mistake? Do we say, 'Hey we were wrong about WMD but at least Sadam is out of power. Could you help us rebuild this country"? No! We say that Sadam was stealing from the Food for Oil program. We try and hold a country together with less than 150,000 soldiers. We pay American companies to not complete any work, with no bid contracts and no oversite. Tax dollars going up in smoke faster that you can say Al Qaeda.

What ever happened to those guys? What happened to the war on terror? Iraq was not the war on terror although we have made it that way. What about Bin Laden? Where is the national media. At one time they had some balls. They used to ask questions. I still have a button that my father wore during the sixties that said media against the war. Why were they against the war? Because the government would not provide the reasons for being there. The media dug at least a little. Today, the only people digging are from the small press and alternative media.

What about these talking heads? Limbaugh, O'Rielly, Hannity and Coulter to name a few. Everytime they open their mouth they say something that is a bald face lie and get disproven every day. You never hear about that stuff. FOX News never lets you hear the other side of the arguement. Fair and balanced? Sure if you are on the right and the far right. Where was the media when Vioxx went bad, or Celebrex or Advil. What about government agencies being run by the same people that they are suppoed to be regulating? Why doesn't the major media say something? Not in their interest, neither are you. We are slowly turing into a Fascist state.

There is so much more to say. So many more areas to look into, some of which I want to travel down a detailed road. Please join me as I explore the depths to which we as a nation have sunk and what we can do to get back home.