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Norm's Soapbox
My musings 2000 through 2008
Read, don't just listen to what they say, because that will change. I leave items here long after they fade into the past, just so I don't have to say "I told you so!", but you can say "You said that!", be it an accurate prediction, or dead wrong.

Saved

George W. Bush seems to think that being "saved" means he can do as he damn well pleases without any consequences. This was NOT founded as a Christian nation (see Treaty of Tripoli) and he hates and wishes to kill Muslems, in conflict with Christ's Sermon on the Mount admonishing followers to love their neighbors and enemies (Matthew 5:34-44). If impeachment (without conviction) was appropriate for Clinton, what is appropriate for a man that violates the constitution and his oath to defend it, lies to the American people, congress, engages in an unnecessary war killing mostly innocent people, and eliminates a court decided penalty for a crony (in a crime his administration is implicated in)? I think he needs to get born again...

Climate Change

The Bush administration has tried to mute public fretting over "global warming" by questioning it and using the term "climate change", saying they don't think humans have effected it. Which do you find more scary? A couple degrees warmer may sound nice. Climate change tells me all those things we expect and depend on will change, that what could grow here won't, what was safe coast or river bank will flood, what had enough water will be dry, and. We want and depend on little change; we worked hard to find out what can work, so don't change it on me. Let's try to keep it the same, no matter whether we were causing some of the change or not.

The Flag

"Desecration of the Flag should be a crime!"

True to Form

Californians have proven true to form again this election. All taxes failed, as expected. Borrowing got the green light, over $1000 for every person in California, inspite of our having failed to retire the excess debit that Arnold campaigned about to get in office in the first place. The fact that it all comes out of future taxes, just like credit cards come out of future income, seems to escape us. Punishment got a green light even though we know it will not work. And we still buy the bull, given there is enough money behind it. Money won, not truth and reason.

Saddam Guilty

Saddam to be found Guilty by the government located in the Green Zone, dependent on the U.S. Military for survival, after changes in judges, killing of defense attorneys, and banning defense attorneys from the court, just before U.S. elections, is no suprise. "The court has decided to sentence Saddam Hussein al-Majid to be hanged until he is dead for crimes against humanity," Abdul Rahman said of his trial for ordering the execution of 148 men from the Shi'ite town of Dujail after an attempted assasination in 1982. After all, Rumsfeld shook his hand on Reagan's behalf and called him a friend of the U.S. after the "crimes against humanity". Why should honesty have anything to do with this? International human rights groups, which had called for the case to be heard abroad, said the killing of three defense lawyers, the resignation of a judge over political interference and flaws in evidence meant that it fell short of a fair trial. Now, remember that Regan quote "He's a bastard, but he's our bastard."
Shaking Hands: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein greets Donald Rumsfeld, then special envoy of President Ronald Reagan, in Baghdad on December 20, 1983.

Presenting the record

Arnold Schwarzenegger accused Gray of rasing vehicle taxes when he orderd collection of the full vehicle license fee instead of using the general fund to cover the counties part. Now he cuts taxes on the rich and raises fees, claiming they are not taxes. Angelides is saying cut taxes on the middle class, and remove some tax breaks added for the rich.
In both cases the message is lost.
Arnold is claiming the credit for school funding that is not his doing, and in fact he fought. Angelides position has been consistant.
Attack ads cite Tahoe many years ago, while conservation groups, like Sierra Club, have endorsed Angelides, and Arnold has had a fleet of Hummers this year. Message Lost.
Drama seems to be the only message that gets through with all the money.
Early in his political campaigning, Arnold appeared on Oprah, and in response to the question about his statements early in his U.S. career about orgies, on TV he said that he did anything to promote the sport, he said "untrue things." Is there a reason this very dramatic, pointed, and pertinent clip has not been in political ads this election in California? Arnold Schwarzenegger and the GOP are quite happy with millions of special interest dollars of attack ads, and have proven all too effective.
It just might wake some voters up.

Saddam Guilty

Will Saddam be found Guilty? Is the timing coincidental? Is the Iraqi government located in the Green Zone, dependent on the U.S. Military for survival? Enough already.

"StingRay Attack"

The headlines are that there was another deadly singray attack. Is an animal's response to a credible threat situated for the animal to use it's self defense tools, an attack, or more like hammering your thumb?

Basic Approaches

A person's basic world view tends to determine approaches used. Some believe others must pushed, forced into a path, with punishment and fear as the control, as Bush thinks must be done to Iran, North Korea, and the USSR thought of it's people. The other way is to tempt, encourage, and offer help to move them into a path. That opened up Japan, China, and is used by drug pushers. A South Korean noted "You don't back a rat into a corner" in response to punishing North Korea. Kick sand in the face of a wimp and you may see a fist or a bat. Tell a teen they HAVE to go to a colledge, and you get "Oh, YEAH???" Offer them a scholarship, and you are more likely to get "All RIGHT!!!" Carrots don't lead to wanting to return the favor with more pain. Let's try that.

Most Wanted?

A poor shmuck with a big mouth, Adam Gadahn, was named as one of the F.B.I.'s MOST WANTED, as a traitor. So far, he has run his mouth. The Whitehouse wants to use this shmuck to divert attention from Republican ethics (Foley, Hastert, Abramoff, DeLay, Cunningham, Ney, Iraq) to the "War on Terror", showing yet greater lack of ethics. The NeoCon adgenda and G.W. Bush have killed more Americans than 9/11/2001 (=2752) on a false pretext (No WMD), while this remote target has caused less harm to America (so far, speech only, "protected?") than even Geraldo Rivera (broadcasting troop positions). Remember, Bush senior was involved in taking Saddam Hussein OFF the terrorist list to fight Iran, and Ossama bin Laden OFF the terrorist list in order to give him weapons to fight the Russians. Who has harmed America more? Traitor? Or Gadahn, America'a least wanted?

Terrorist Threat?

A woman was broadcast as yelling down the street in Manhattan "Everybody call the Police!" Fear of terrorists has overcome reason, as an accidental crash of a private prop aircraft into a building (like years ago to the Empire State Building) triggered fear. While her plea would jam the phone and 911 system, it proved we have little to fear from a Cesna, for only the engine made it into the building, the rest falling to the street. I fear I am more in danger from wild gun fire at a suspected terrorist than from a real terrorist, yet more from neighbor's celebratory AK47 fire in the air on the 4th of July, and much greater danger from a drunk driver. 10/11/2006

Hate Freedom

Bush keeps saying the terrorists hate our freedom. A New York Times report (8/28/2006 p1) on the UK group arrested for planning to blow up planes headed to the US reported "'As you bomb, you will be bombed; as you kill, you will be killed,' said one of the men on a 'martyrdom' videotape" and "One of the suspects said on his martyrdom video that the 'war against Muslims' in Iraq and Afghanistan had motivated him to act." ... "The man said he was seeking revenge for the foreign policy of the United States, and 'their accomplices, the U.K. and the Jews'." It looks to me like they hate what we DO to them.

Cell Phone Driving

How many times have you seen the passenger on a cell phone? This seems significant, and I want to see a study.

Threatening Iran

Bush want us to think threatening Iran will stop it from proceeding with nuclear energy development. In truth, his support of Israel's attack on Lebanon has insured they will not change course, for when they considered the european offer of aid for not doing so, the U.S. supported Israel in attacking Lebanon. With a U.S. supported nuclear weapon wielding aggressor (Israel attacked and is occupying another country), Iran fears what the U.S and Israel may do to it. Would the U.S. decide it did not need a weapon because it was threatened?

Pluto Demoted?

We have had a slow news day with much hooha about Pluto no longer being called a planet. Consider that Pluto was the FIRST Icy Dwarf planet discovered, and as a result, once others were discovered in orbit , its longer term identity forced the international community of astronomers to actually DEFINE 'planets' for the first time. Is being identified as the First know example of an entire class of bodies a demotion? That is a comment on American science teaching, and popular approaches to knowledge. 8/24/2006

Bad Laws

We again have politicians pandering to fears with bad law proposals. Any law with a name is sure to be a bad law, for the reason for using a name is to invoke emotion to pass a law that reason can not get passed. Frequently they are cheap shots aiming for publicity while not accomplishing the stated goal, and harming others.

Sex Offenders

The Dateline of 7/1/06 should cause concern, for in claiming to protect children, a prosecutor harmed the lives of children he pretended to protect. The definition of "sex offender" is so broad as to be useless, for it can be a streaking, peeing on the back wall of a bar, beating a prostitute, sought attention ("Don't stand so close to me..."), or child rape. We do know 80% victims are relatives, and ALL offenders were not convicts at some time, and police in their zeal sometimes cross the line to the point of preventing a conviction (Florida), and make "staying clean" difficult for some. The more effective approach would be requiring effective parole, assigning parole officers a case load they can actually monitor and work with. The public needs to simply maintain vigilance, knowing that most offenders have not been identified, are family members, and need others to not pay attention and be uninvolved, and such behavior to go unreported. The bigger stick is not working, we need a carrot, too.

Impeachment

Clinton was impeached for a lie regarding personal behavior. George W. Bush lied to Congress and the American people that he KNEW Saddam had WMD to go to war. He lied saying his administration went to war against Iraq to stop terrorism by al Qaida, because of 9/11 when they had plans for this BEFORE 9/11. Al Qaida activity was not possible in Iraq UNTIL Saddam was deposed, endangering American lives. Bush sought to stop making torture illegal. He ignored the legal means to wiretap suspected terrorists, and violated the law and the constitution in warrantless wiretaps of Americans. A trial is now needed. I would settle for censure, a pardon, and be rid of it.

Overstated?

Environmentalists said decades ago that the Alaska Pipeline would result in an oil spill, while Exxon said it would never happen. 16 years after the Exxon Valdez, its environmental impact remains. "This stuff isn't changing at all. It's just the same kind of goo that got deposited there in 1989," said Jeff Short of NOAA. Who has the track record? Who lied? Who is most likely right about ANWR? 1/22/2006

Initiatives

As much as I like the idea that voters can take charge and move an issue that politicians find too hot to address, I fear it has been taken over by money. This year, I can not vote for any of them. Half are for a Governor owned by corporations. Two are directly in support of corporations. How much would you spend on advertising to lock in profits? Or prevent losses?

Prop 75

Want justice? I will support a requirement that a union must get individual annual written approval to use dues for political purposes when corporations must also get individual annual written approval to use funds for political purposes since those profits spent on politics belong to the individual stock holders. Fair is fair.

A Christian Calls for Assassination

Conservative U.S. evangelist Pat Robertson, the strong Bush supporter, founder of the Christian Coalition, and a presidential candidate in 1988, called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez during the August 22 broadcast of his religious "The 700 Club" program, calling him a "terrific danger" to the United States and intended to become "the launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism." I submit that fundamentalist Christian does not mean follower of Jesus any more than fundamentalist Muslim means a follower of Islam (peace). (Matthew 5:34-44)

RSO

Did you hear that a relative of one of Michael Jackson's jurors was a sex offender? He was the one streaker that was 18 at the time, the only one the DA could really get his teeth into.

"Any Nation that Harbors a Terrorist is a Terrorist Nation"

So the U.S. will not extradite a know terrorist, Orlando Bosch (and protects Luis Posada Carriles), who opposed Castro, someone we helped put in power? Is the Delta Force going to invade this "rouge nation" to enforce the Bush doctrine and international law? 6/13/2005

Prions

In the mood for a horror story? Read about what prions are, and how they work. Then read about asbestos in the 1950's, the impact of acid rain and industry's position, and recently FDA de-certified drugs, and decide how much we will believe the industry line about what they produce. Neither a prion or a virus is alive, but interact with life.

Mexico?

There are large numbers of people that say California belonged to Mexico, and that is very significant. In truth, Southern California belonged to Spain from the conquest to 1821, with a very thin influence. Mexico came into existence in 1821, and in 25 years faced the Bear Flag revolt, loosing California in 1848 to the U.S., and later becoming French until the revolt celebrated on May 5 again created an independent Mexico. Is Palestine British, Turkish, Roman, or Egyptian?

Thank you, Arnold

Did I tell you Arnold is a liar? Shorting education after he said only "over my dead body", taking two billion and saying he will not repay it is not something that surprises me. Saying that he would fight special interests, and taking more special interest money than any governor in history, is what I expected. Now he is proving my predictions and evaluation. Thank you, Arnold. Now get convicted of fraud.

Living Will

Schiavo failed to make a living will, and so her expressed wishes were opposed by her parents. Those claiming to value life at any expense are unwilling to fund public health, and the most extreme threaten the lives of others. Don't be a victim of this phenomenon- insure your wishes are what will be followed, be it D.N.R. or full heroic measures. Be advised, though, some will try to thwart your wishes. Any one who tries to keep my body alive after I cannot function will be haunted with my greatest vengeance to the best of my ability.

Financial Responsibility

The Republicans congress is saying they want to reduce financial irresponsibility by forcing bankrupt people to pay, saying they run up their credit cards for their own benefit. Studies have shown most bankrupt people have suffered catastrophic medical expense or lost their job, not a matter of personal choice. Credit companies have been giving unsecured [that supposedly means unsecured] credit to people already in financial difficulty, and the occasional dog or cat. I shred a least a dozen credit offers a week. I say they want protection from their OWN financial irresponsibility in giving credit. This sector is a repeat offender, with the savings and loans under Regan, and very doubtful "subprime" mortgage loans, which again will hurt far more people than just the perpetrators.

Indecency on TV

We have some, Bush's supporters, that object to seeing God's work- the human body- on TV. They seem happy with watching Jerry Springer. I thought assault and battery was criminal behavior. Is profiting from gratuitous violence moral, and should be available for children to watch, and not a health body, "created in God's image"?

Conservative

Social conservatives, be it Sen. Ted Stevens, Rep. Henry Hyde, or Rev. (Baker, Roberts, or fill in the blank) always seem to expect the worst of people. Is that because they think everyone is like them?

Social In-Security?

Bush promotes a panicked response to the anticipated economic woes of Social Security in 40 years, and refuses to look at MediCare which faces much greater fiscal shortages much sooner. His "cure" would be a windfall for Wall street, turning money once used to fund Social Security into management fees, and gives future Ken Lays a chance to defraud even more people. Mean while, drug companies are making their extra profits thanks to protectionist legislation. It does not look like he is concerned with the working stiff that needs these programs.

Disaster

La Conchita and Diamond Bar landslides are both encore performances, where governments have said all was well after previous major slides. Who should be paying for the loss of life each generation? Who is responsible and who is irresponsible?

Bush Appeal

What is the Bush appeal? I suspect the current bunch of reality and court shows provides a hint. George W. Bush is the first convict to serve as president. Both of his daughters have had to admit violating the law. He lied to congress. He maintains he is Saved and Born Again, and a moral leader. Did they vote for the man they felt was like them, not their superior, just like they watch court shows and reality shows to feel superior?

Al Qaqaa

The International Atomic Energy Commission and European Union officials warned Bush before the war that these explosives needed to be safeguarded, since the U.N. had been guarding them since 1990 and were prevented from keeping track by the U.S. war and blocked by the U.S. The Bush administration allowed 377 tons of super-powerful explosives, HMX and RDX, which can be used to detonate atomic bombs and were cited by the Bush administration as dual-use materials reasons to invade, to disappear from al-Qaqaa. Was it a gross critical failure to note what the rest of the world told Bush (before, during, and after), or a planned tactic to keep terrorism in the fore front as a political issue, and provide a pretext for attacking Iran? Does it convince you that Bush will be a better protector of the U.S.A.?

For Lying

As of October 8, 2004, Martha Stewart is in federal prison for "lying to the SEC" saying she sold stock because the price dropped, not because she was told it would drop. George W. Bush told America and the U.N. that the U.S knew Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, and was building a nuclear weapon, and sent the armed forces to invade Iraq on that claim. Who is the greater liar and criminal?

Pledge

"I pledge allegiance to the flag, the Republic for which it stands, one nation,
under Krishna, indivisible with liberty and justice for all."

Threat

Who is more likely to kill you on an airliner, a terrorist, or maintenance (deregulated)? So far, more customers have been killed by skipped, inadequate, and shortcut ted maintenance planes going down than have been threatened by terrorists, leave alone killed. Air lines pay for the planes, we pay for security.

Christianity

Isn't it ironic that the "Christian Coalition" is a major reason we can not have a president who truly follows the path of Jesus? They value vengeance too much to allow leadership by a person that believes in loving his neighbor, leave a lone his enemy, and turning the other cheek. (Matthew 5:34-44)

Freedom

The colonies objected to the motherland's control and paying for the army to protect them, so we revolted. What makes Bush believe the Iraqi peoples, subject to a map with borders created to limit resistance instead of reflecting peoples, will want to cooperate with and pay for the army that defeated and occupied them, with their oil?

In the Interest of Justice

Martha Stewart has bee convicted of having lied to the government about saving herself$40,000.00 in the stock market. Kenneth Lay has not been indicted by the Bush administration for stealing millions of dollars, and decimating employee retirement funds. Is she Guilty for not contributing enough to the Bush campaign fund?

Sacred?

Bush says he wants to preserve the sanctity of marriage. Sacred refers to a religious belief. We opposed the Taliban's preservation of what they believed was sacred. Only religion can sanctify. The marriage contract is a civil agreement, a contract, subject to the governing by the people. Why should gays be spared the joys of alimony and divorce court, as well as the rights granted joined couples to help the society at large (inheritance, medical care)? As a hint, some gay marriages have been performed by churches, and therefore are sacred, even though the government does not honor them.

Ever notice that the born-again Christian seems less tolerant of turning the other cheek?

Who Pays?

Arnold is cutting California state income by reducing the vehicle tax, while increasing expenditures for Homeland Security. Who is paying for this? Californians die from lack of health care (which he is asking to reduce), but we have not had a death from terrorism in the state.

Wildland Danger

Fourteen attacks by mountain lions in 1 1/5 centuries! They are Dangerous! How many attacks by domestic dogs in the past year? How many killed by drivers on cell phones?

Right?

George Bush seems to believe in the natural right of power, and since he is the head of state of the most powerful nation, he must be right, so all other nations must believe he is right and follow him. His argument is somewhat like that used by Adam Smith of a natural good in support of capitalism. Others maintain right makes might. While the NAZIs had the power, right made enough might to over come it.

Fire

Fire in our wild lands is inevitable. We can pick and choose when and where, or else nature will. "Not in MY backyard" in response to controlled burns eventually has a response from the real world: "Oh yea? Back yard of what?"

Threat to World Peace

Bush believed Saddam was a threat to world peace. So he decided to wage war on Saddam. Who threatened world peace?

Who is Using Who?

It seems a dire time when leaders conspire to go to war. George W. Bush has tried to link Bin Laden to Saddam. When his attempt to force other nations to support his call for war caused them to invoke a veto to maintain their own sovereignty and integrity, he accused them of the destruction of NATO. It is no secret Ossama considers Saddam a heretic. The U.S. killing many Muslims in order to get Saddam will identify the U.S. as the enemy of Muslims, and estrange it from the rest of the developed world, playing into Ossama's hands, giving credibility to his accusations that the U.S. is on a crusade against Muslims, stealing Iraq's oil. Ossama called for Muslims to fight Saddam, and attack the U.S. in support of muslim brothers in Iraq if the U.S wages war on them. Bush attempted to use this to claim they are allies, and most American news edited the translation to avoid direct contradiction of Bush, since they want to have access for reporting on the war. Get your news from multiple sources to make sure you are not being used.

Peace?

George W. keeps saying that he wants peace and security, so we must make war on Iraq. To help the economy, he proposes a huge break for gas guzzling SUVs, large tax breaks for the rich, and taking money from health care to reduce federal spending. George Bush, from oil, for oil, shall profit from this war... or so he thinks. The rest of the world does not believe the world's best interest is a profit for Bush, which makes it difficult to convince allies.

Bully?

We call someone who uses their size and strength to force others to their wishes a bully, especially when the aggression is displaced. Saddam has fit this description in the past. The U.S. has attempted to force NATO members to support it in attacking Iraq, which those nations do not see as a current threat. North Korea is a threat which the U.S. is dealing with diplomatic ally. Ossama Bin Laden is a current threat who has hurt, evaded and frustrated the U.S. Who looks like the bully now?

Privacy?

You are now on notice that you have no privacy. Pete Townsend, a British citizen, was arrested in London on the basis of information from the FBI, a U. S. law enforcement organization. J. Edgar Hoover used FBI illegally for political ends, and now it demonstrates to the world that privacy, not crime, is abhorrent to the organization. It is not Big Brother peeking in your bedroom, it is Uncle Sam.

War?

We claim war is a last resort, but whose and why? George W. Bush has much to prove. Claims of national safety are suspect when Saddam's neighbors consider him less of a threat than Bush does. The U.S. intelligence he claims proves Saddam has weapons of mass destruction, passed to the inspectors has not yielded a "smoking gun." Bush would like the nation (as well as his personal finances) to benefit from the oil, but I fear this level of greed is not the major motivation. U. S. notions of patriotism require support of the President in time war, a voting booth advantage, and in the last election, Gore got more votes.
There is a familial aspect, since his father, as Reagan's Vice President, helped put Saddam in power (including giving him "weapons of mass destruction", like anthrax), and was later targeted by Saddam's government. His father, George H. Bush, failed to finish his goal in the war on Iraq, and he wants to clean up for his father, since he seems to consider this a mark against his father and family. He wants "George Bush" to be remembered as the name of John Wayne style war heroes, not presidents during economic difficulties. Personal motives are not National Interest.

Zero Tolerance

If it is just and appropriate to extend the statute of limitations to allow prosecuting a priest after he has gone senile, wouldn't that be just and appropriate for supporting terrorists like Saddam and Ossama? What do you say to 20 years, George and Ronnie? -- Ronnie?

Bought?

Simon accused California's Gov. Davis of accepting a campaign donation in a state office, which is illegal. The source of the "incriminating photo" was C.O.P.S., the organization which made the cited contribution, and has since been offended by Davis, and received much money from the Simon campaign. Ironically, Simon's campaign ad has proved Davis can not be bought, but maybe C.O.P.S. can. As a past Federal District Attorney, he is negligent in researching his accusations of criminal activity which may be why he is now on the other end of that office for his business practices.

Protecting?

An Irish Traveler is charged with a felony for slapping her daughter on a surveillance tape, with no injury. How many people do you know that wore the mark of their father's belt on their ass for a week? Would they have benefited from their father being charged with a felony, being forced to pay a large bond fee, and loosing working days in jail and court?

George "Wayne" Bush

George Senior helped Regan fund, supply, and put Saddam and Ossama in power as terrorists against Iran and Russia, including chemical weapons. Now Junior wants to John Wayne it, with a war to clean up after Daddy, maintaining that Saddam is a threat to world peace. Starting a war is not peace, and the rest of the world has a stake in this; it needs to be a world decision, with world action. If it is wrong for Saddam to go it alone, why would it be right for us?

"The Market is Working"

George W. Bush has asserted that Enron shows that the market works. The executives were able to prevent the employees doing the work at Enron from selling their shares of Enron, thereby supporting the price of the shares sold by the executives at great profit. Those who steered the company into bankruptcy got richer, and the laborers lost most of their retirement and jobs. Now we get to see if the Bush Justice Department works as well. Like father, like son? Dad passed out, and put Saddam in power.

StarWars Revisited

Ronald Reagan increased the national debt extraordinarily to create a magical Anti Ballistic Missile system, and keep federal funds out of social programs. George W. Bush now seems intent on doing the same, in spite of proof that abrogation of the ABM treaty will not make us safer, because a missile is not needed to do damage. It is easy to destroy, and hard to build, but we must build a safer world community for all. A 757 has to power to improve many lives, and transport people to life saving medical care, or destroy buildings and lives. The tragedy is not national; it is global, for it is now a global community.

Tire Safety

Boguslouski has made an uproar for CBS about the very dangerous tire failures killing people. Congress has now gotten on the PR bandwagon with hearings in both the House and Senate. They have claimed the Firestone kept the problem a secret until August. Do they really believe that the NTSB never read the headlines last year I read about the recall in Saudi Arabia? And they are DEADLY? They are citing 80 deaths out of 6 million tires on the road now, and they are talking about a decade! We had a scandal in California a few years ago when 25% of the recapped tires were loosing their tread, and the concern was their damaging other people's cars, including a broken windshields. I have lost treads, and have had flats and blow outs in the ever so much more top heavy '71 VW van, and the lost tread was trivial, but even the flats did not result in a wreck. Now, how many of the drivers were 15 mph over the speed limit, talking on the phone at the time...

Christian Nation

For those claiming the US was created as a "Christian Nation", the fact that the Constitution prohibits a religious test (unlike the UK which did then) and the first amendment insuring the US never would have a state religion, founding documents are not clear enough. They claim the Founding Fathers (Deists) were Christians, and founded a "Christian Nation." Many corporations have been founded by religious people of all faiths, but the corporations are businesses, not Catholic, Jewish, or Christian. The Treaty of Tripoli, with negotiations started with George Washington, and the finally signed by John Adams, and ratified by Congress states: As the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

"In Defense of Marriage..."

The homophobes rant against giving others the same LEGAL status they enjoy, claiming that it is God's Law that marriage be between a man and a woman. A small problem is that it is civil law that provides for a marriage contract, and their God's law, pertains to them, their church, and their God. The state deals not in God's law, but man's law, and what is at question is the standing of a marriage contract. Whether you are an American Nazi or a priest does not change your citizenship, and trying to deny you citizenship on that basis does not protect my citizenship, or citizenship as an institution. I need not agree with your church or God, just as you need not believe in mine, but we must run the society on a civil basis. Consider: a Catholic Priest may legally marry; it is the church that objects.

Belmont

"Belmont is too dangerous a toxic site for children. The site must be abandoned." I find that very hard to swallow, since the Old Belmont High School, built for 3000 students, now has 5000, due to the delay caused by the politicking. It is on another part of the SAME oil field. 145 Los Angeles schools are built on old oil fields. Note that many of the students also live in homes built on that oil field. The land was cheap for a reason, just like land around air ports, dairies, and on land fills. The information is on the deed, available at the library, and explicitly stated by real estate agents. Would it be too much to hold buyers / voters to the bargain they made?

Getting the Point

Today's news makes it obvious that most people just don't get the point. For Martin Luther King Day, many clamored that North Carolina should not use the Confederate Battle Flag because it is a symbol of slavery. I say the symbol accentuates that slavery LOST the battle and war, and racism is LOOSING, a symbol of a failed past that we are getting ahead of now. Anybody want to wear the T-shirt "I am the Dummy"- really?

Truong Van Tran, a year after Little Saigon protested his display of the flag of North Vietnam, said that he wanted to spark debate and show the freedom of America, but they were just like the communists in suppressing his freedom of expression. The point? Ever hear the phrase "Dictatorship of the Proletariat"?

Unconscionable

Trent Lott has stated that he opposes the action taken against Iraq, and finds the timing suspect. He is unfit for office for the Republican Senator is either lacking in mental skills or lying for partisan purposes. Being privy to far more governmental intelligence, he should be at least as aware of world affairs as a blue collar worker in Baghdad, where such people were preparing for the attack that happened. I knew it was coming: in November Saddam promised the Secretary General of the U. N. to cooperate only when the planes were in the air, after an expensive build up. Clinton reluctantly called off the attack, as it would have been condemned, since Saddam had acquiesced. The response, however, was that there would be a test of his cooperation, and non-compliance would lead to a swift military response without warning. The news of the past week has been of non-cooperation, and the report was expected. Lott would have condemned Clinton for a failure to follow through on his promise, and now condemns him for following through on his promise. This is pure partisan politics on Lott's part, and he must recuse himself, for he has already lied to the American people on the subject.

"Narrow, Legalistic Definition of Sex"

Clinton has been condemned by Republicans for using a "narrow, legalistic definition of sex." This is a legal matter. Clinton is a lawyer. It is to his advantage to use the narrow legal definition. What is the surprise? He would be condemned as stupid for doing otherwise. As far as misleading, At 40, Rep. Henry Hyde had a child with a woman married to another man, and said it was in his wild youth. At 40? Youth?

Moral High Ground?

Newt has bailed, citing the fact, obliquely, that he is unable to retain his congressional office, and his continued presence would disable his successor. He would get credit for dismantling the Republican success, so he will avoid full credit for his agenda. His violation of Congressional Ethics Rules merely cost him money; his efforts to get the President hurt the nation. Isn't it remarkable that the man that violated the ethics rules of his job objects so strenuously to a superior giving in to a groupie?
The religious right has funded attackers. Fundamentalist Preachers can commit adultery while damning it from the pulpit, and retain their jobs. The Republican majority has funded the attack on the President with our money. One claim is that Clinton has undermined the justice system by perjury in a deposition in a case that never went to trial. In the last "Trial of the Century" O. J. Simpson testified under oath that he had never struck his wife, which we all now know was unprosecuted perjury. In the prior investigation involving presidential conduct, Oliver North testified under oath that both Ronald Regan and George Bush were present at the meeting in which he stated that they were trading arms for hostages. None of those three were prosecuted in spite of the fact that clearly at least one of them perjured themselves, and indeed, both George Bush's presidential campaign and Oliver North's congressional campaign were funded by the Republican Party. They claim the moral high ground, and an ideal to keep government bureaucrats out people's lives and pocketbooks, but it looks more like the partisan moral low ground, hypocritic ally supporting perjurers on their political side while attacking others.

Job Performance

As president, Clinton's job is to lead the nation; the nation is at peace, the economy good, the budget not in deficit, and the majority pleased by his job, even while the Asian economy struggles, reporters and Starr scream "sex scandal" and Regan's anti-Iran tool, Saddam, threatens the world. Special Investigator Kenneth Starr spent millions of tax dollars investigating Clinton, unable to prove anything sufficient to get an indictment.

Ethics

Illegally recording a phone conversation must be prosecuted, unless it is for profit?

Because he saw a movie...

If the boy shot his fellow students because he saw a movie with such behavior, WHERE is the guy that saw the story of Christ?

Backhanded Benefit

The child is dead, the nanny got 2/3 year in jail, but how much would it have cost to get the targeted educational message out "shaking babies kills them!" Cheaper and more effective than the anti-smoking ads?

DOJ Unfair in Restricting Microsoft?

MS signed the consent decree, so it knew. How long ago was it that car makers were banned from putting anti competition clauses in their contracts with dealers?

Make the Web More Like TV

Why? If you want TV, watch TV. For the price of the TV board, you can buy a TV with a better picture! Radio on the Net? Mine is on, and is cheaper and sounds better than this thing with a keyboard attached. More bandwidth chewers is what we need when it takes longer to load the page than read it? Why not use graphics when they are most effective (Oh yea, I talked to that guy at Faire), and text for what it does best, and loose the moving graphic of the price!

Insanity Plea

The plea "not guilty by reason of insanity" reflects the fact that some people are unable to be responsible for their actions. For the vast majority, however, the plea should be "guilty and mentally deranged" to acknowledge that most are deranged but at least partially able to respond (they tried to hide their guilt, a response to their action and environment). This would be a realistic plea that could shorten the court calendars.

Government Failed to protect citizens from ValueJet!

Government is guilty of interfering in legitimate business by over-regulating business. It told Valuejet they may not carry their own (hazardour materials) property because they had not asked for or recieved permission. They meerly transported their goods, on their plane, packed by outsourced packers (who failed to put the HazMat stickers on, and indicated the canisters were empty, so they might be carried). Private industry is more efficient because it keeps an eye on the bottom line which keeps it from taking too great a risk. Industry must balance the cost / benefit effects of all it does. Business does not need the government interference, and if it fails, it dies, like Chrysler and Valuejet and General Dynamics!

The Communications Decency Act

The Communications Decency Act came into being as Section 507 of the sweeping telecommunications reform legislation now known as the Telecommunications Act of 1996, signed by President Clinton on February 8. The Philadelphia court granted the plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction against the law in a 71-page decision delivered by Dolores Sloviter, chief judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
In the decision , Judge Sloviter stated "Internet communication, while unique, is more akin to telephone communication...than to broadcasting...because as with the telephone an Internet user must act affirmatively and deliberately to retrieve specific information online. It is highly unlikely that a very young child will be randomly 'surfing' the Web and come across indecent or patently offensive material." Where that child will find something patently offensive is reading or hearing Rep. Bob Dornan accusing the President and Cain of AZ of giving aid and comfort to the enemy. While this is quite argueably treason, this speech must be protected, if for no other reason than to insure that voters learn the positions of their representatives, and remove them from office before doing yet more harm.



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