Under the Cover of American Grief

* Congress loses control and nearly unanimously votes an incredible $40 billion dollar blank check for "Bush" to use as he sees fit in the "war" on terrorism. Only Representative  Barbara Lee of California remains in self control and believes wholehearted support for American interests does not translate into such hasty, unprecedented, unfettered action. This woman belongs in the Senate where supposedly cooler heads with more far reaching perspectives supposedly are to prevail. In the wake of the breakdown of all three branches of American democracy during election 2000, score another strike wherein bad politicians "bad"  people in politics can override the "built-in" foundation of the "system".[ In this instance "bad" includes both self-deceiving Republican fascist instigators, and others unqualified, either emotionally who got caught up in the natural rush for instant revenge /retribution, or those with eyes open who sought to keep dry their political butts, unwilling to fulfill their responsibilities by standing in the initial tidal wave of public hysteria.] Surely, significant expenditures are warranted in the defense against terrorism, but I fear most of that initial money will be poured down/diverted to the wasteful,totally ineffective hole of war-mongery, adding more gas to the next generation terrorist fires.

* Return to Hoover/McCarthy-ism: In the irrational period of the aftermath of the hijackings the administration has hurriedly put together a list of law revisions they supposedly need to effectively fight terrorism. Notwithstanding that those very laws protect our very civil liberties we value most and seek to protect, and have been honed over many decades of deliberate and spirited debate.It smacks of opening the desk and dusting off the "wish lists" unsuccessfully proposed to congress in the past and attempting to "push" them through once again while the thermometer of irrationality is still hot. Again, certain very specific areas probably should be revisited,but in a very deliberate and very specific manner. There is no need to hurry.If there is such a dire imminent threat things like martial law would allow short term dimunition of personal freedoms---but I do not hear anyone talking about that degree of imminent threat,rather about a prolonged effort taking years or decades,certainly no time-frame to justify a haphazard revision of such fundamental protection of civil liberties.Do you really want the government listening in on your phone conversations because x-months ago a friend of a business associate of another business associate received a telephone call from a muslim exhibiting "suspicious" activity? If you counter that the government must get a judge to invoke such surveillance,I counter that after election 2000 is there any doubt that there is little difficulty in finding judges (even supreme court judges) willing to interpret (translated bend/break) the law to support the political ideologies they  believe in, then how difficult would it be to find someone to issue questionable wiretaps they thought were in the national security interest of their country----personally? Don't make it easier for them to do so.I say,better to keep the fundamental laws we have maybe with some very specific revisions, very well thought out, and then only after a cooling off period of at least six months.If there is a followon series of attacks indicating an ongoing,catastrophic, imminent, and reasonably very much more preventable(relative to now)(all 4  qualifications must be satisfied) then I would support some hasty short term freedom infringements something like martial law---I don't currently see that situation.In my view we stand to lose more in the way of personal privacy, than we stand to gain in marginal terrorist threat reduction, by most of the law changes as proposed.Remember, we have been down most of those roads in the past,and developed current law in full recognition of that experience.The case must be strongly made for any specific revisions.

It's even worse than I feared.The House passed the so-called Anti-terrorism bill including of all things SECRET HOME Searches--that means your home or personal records could be searched without you even being notified.(My representative Mike Honda and another from Ca Barbara Lee and only a handful of others voted against this fascist bill. What did your rep do?) A senate version already passed including a similar provision.(My Ca senators Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein voted for that thing and I will never vote for them again!)(What did your senators do?)Get used to it.America is becoming a fascist country. How does that sound?


With unprecedented disregard for basic rights, the Bush administration has unilaterally assumed the authority to eavesdrop on conversations between terrorism suspects and their attorneys.

Just as I expected.  ... Judiciary Waking Up to Fascism!

* Some years ago a writer wrote a book which was interpreted as "heresy" by fundamentalist muslim clerics (sorry I forgot the name but he is probably relieved I have) and they basically made it a religious goal to "murder" him. (I apologize if my ignorance of Islam poorly characterizes this.)This seems like as close a case as I can remember of "state" supported publicly proclaimed murder intent.It seems a basic ploy of conflict leadership is to demonize the enemy,and that's easier in the personification of one man. It was Saddam Hussein by elder Bush, and now Bin Laden by "George the Bastard". (I currently get the impression that the administration would "love" to find some involvement by Saddam Hussein in these incidents as an excuse to renew that old Bush grudge match; they also present more targets to blow up on TV.I expect there is some tenuous link,and should come as no surprise,but would be a major "out" for the military.) In any case, I find it interesting that "George the Bastard" finds it acceptable to propose America publicly sponsor the political murder of Bin Laden. I have not heard of  "George the Bastard" being on a muslim religious hit list like the writer, and perhaps he would reconsider if he were.The fact that he is not indicates a civility in the mainline muslim world that does not condone a "scorched earth,anything goes" Anti-American policy even from their extremist factions.I don't find it surprising that an administration built on the willingness to pervert our fundamental democratic institutuions in order to perpetrate their agenda would propose that we as a country get down in the dirt with them, but I for one am against it ,and for keeping our current laws intact in this area. Besides the ethics, its just stupid strategy.


* To come: "Offense is the best defense" .Let's  get more toys.Or, if that does not work ,"Defense wins championships".Not exciting but effective---(what was the name of that boring team that won the last superbowl anyway?) Let's get more toys--a whopping ineffective multi-billion dollar dinosaur missile defense system would do just nicely. You can count on this elder Bush "Duck" to constantly popup during this term with various contorted reasonings including the hijackings to justify it,but I am more confident that the rest of the world and Congress will wake up by that time to let this dying duck eventually die.There are much more plausible threats and much more effective ways to spend that money in deterrent.


*To come: It's not our fault the economy went to hell when we took over. Ten years ago it seemed impossible to payoff the public debt, and when the impossible surplus came, we cannot be blamed for making implausible future projections when the rest of the world economies were undergoing hard times, and not being prudent/cautious  and using the paper projected surplus to buy our way into office.It's the American way.We had old debts to payoff.That Clinton guy set us up with all that unprecedented prosperity.And you surely can't blame us if the perceived hard line, anachronistic approach to world politics, which worked so "well" with elder Bush, probably stirred up old anti-Bush grudges, and hardened the resolve of other conflict participants in the MidEast and terrorists. So now that we have cleared up those issues, and the great job we did in managing the terrorist hijackings recovery, we can get back to the serious business of spending public money like water because its necessary to get us out of the mess we're in, and get that public debt back up there where it really belongs to be.Yeah,considering the circumstances we're doing a great job.......Confidence is a fragile thing. Once integrity goes,confidence follows,with economics and hope in arrears.


* To Come: Back to the political/judicial war on abortion issues. We demonstrated our stupidity on the stem cell issue, so let's go all the way with a Supreme Court reversal of "Roe vs Wade". That should help solidify our place in the "hall of stupid".


* To Come: Back to the asinine discussions on federally funding religious organization undertakings. If there is any more fundamental underpinning of American democracy than separation of church and state, I'd like to hear it. Besides, any idiot would have to be blind not to recognize that the major enduring world conflicts are entangled with religion.This would also seal our place us firmly in the "hall of stupid".


* Well, I think these maor issues will just about do it, but, I wonder, just how much damage can be done in 4 years? There might be more to come; I hope not.

... if anybody hears of a push to outlaw dancing,give me a ring... Bill