Category Archives: Politics

In What Respect, Charlie?

What the f@#* is this world coming to?

COURIC: You’ve cited Alaska’s proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?

PALIN: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land– boundary that we have with– Canada. It– it’s funny that a comment like that was– kind of made to– cari– I don’t know, you know? Reporters–

COURIC: Mock?

PALIN: Yeah, mocked, I guess that’s the word, yeah.

COURIC: Explain to me why that enhances your foreign policy credentials.

PALIN: Well, it certainly does because our– our next door neighbors are foreign countries. They’re in the state that I am the executive of. And there in Russia–

COURIC: Have you ever been involved with any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?

PALIN: We have trade missions back and forth. We– we do– it’s very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where– where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border. It is– from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to– to our state.

I am confident that should John McCain, whose examples of leadership almost universally appear to lie in the past, win the election, he will govern in a much more centrist fashion than he has suggested in the course of this campaign cycle.  Although I do not want John McCain to win the election, I do not fear his presidency.  But I am terrified of Sarah Palin representing our country.

Has anyone else noticed that Sarah Palin is insane?

I try to keep all of my politics off of Facebook, largely because it doesn’t make you friends, but it often costs you them.  Also, I think that few people joined to be baraged by your political opinions, but rather, because they like you.  So I try to keep it fun and apolitical.  But I so want to join the group called “Excuse me, but has anyone else noticed that Sarah Palin is insane?”  From the description:

This group is for anyone who wonders how in the hell the erstwhile governor of Alaska can simultaneously be:

A woman and anti-choice

A mother and pro-war

Anti-corruption and currently under investigation for abuse of power

A governor for 20 months and more experienced than Barack Obama

A foreign policy expert and a woman who only got her passport in July ‘07

A woman who is a “leader in climate change” and a woman who believes humans do not contribute to global warming, also a woman who shoots moose for fun and supports oil drilling in her state’s wildlife preserves.

From a family of educators and pro-creationism-in-the-classroom

The GOP’s responses to all of this?

“You get more experience to be president in a month of being governor that you do in several years of being a senator…Sarah Palin had more executive experience as the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, than Barack Obama has had in his entire life.” – Mike Huckabee

“Palin knows about foreign policy because Russia is right next door to Alaska.” – Steve Doocy

“Now, this establishes Undeniable Truth of Life Number 24, which says, ‘Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society.’ I guarantee you these messages Dawn is getting are probably pretty typical of liberal women across the country, and what it boils down to — you know it and I know it –is jealousy. They’re just jealous of her, Dawn. That’s it, pure and simple.” – Rush Limbaugh

OK. To sum up:

Being a senator doesn’t count, proximity to foreign countries constitutes foreign policy experience, and if you don’t like Sarah Palin you’re probably a whiny ugly shrew. Vote McCain-Palin! 

All of this ignores the craziness of her church.  The one that prides itself on “converting” gays and has been video taped with congregants writhing on the ground and speaking in tongues.  Is this truly someone we want shaping the world’s view of America?

When They Lie, Call Them Liars

I just have to post this, because it is exactly what I’m feeling right now.  So many – so many – people are just so uninformed.  They vote the way their parents did, or the way their church tells them to, or how their spouse does, or for whomever their party has chucked on the ballot.   I fail to see how anyone can support candidates that are anti-science, anti-choice, anti-gay, indeed anti-freedom. But this – this is the way I wish things could play out.  

Dear Barack,

Next time someone asks what you think of Sarah Palin, please don’t just call her a “skilled politician” with a “compelling biography.” Call her a liar, too. Here’s how that would work:

Reporter: What do you think of Sarah Palin?

You: She’s a skilled politician with a compelling biography who lies a great deal.

Reporter: Wow! That’s a pretty serious charge.

You: Actually, [insert name of reporter], it’s not a charge. It’s what certain people in your profession call “a fact.”

Reporter (suspiciously): So you’re calling her “a liar”?

You: Right. As in someone who lies a lot.

Reporter (gravely): With all due respect, Senator, if you’re going to make that kind of accusation, you’d better be specific.

You: Sure. Remember when she said I’d never written a major piece of legislation? That was a lie. And when she said she opposed the Bridge to Nowhere? That was also a lie. And when she said I would raise taxes on American families? Again: a lie. And you know how she talks about opposing earmarks. Given that she hired a Jack Abramhoff-affiliated lobbyist to haul in $27 million in earmarks for her beloved small town, that’s a real whopper. So she lies a lot, about my record and her own record. Just as a reminder, though, I’m not running against Sarah Palin. I’m running against John McCain, who is also a liar.

Reporter (even more gravely): Wait a second, so now you’re saying –

You: Yes, John McCain is a liar. He routinely lies about my tax plan, which will cut taxes for 95 percent of families with children. He lies about his own tax plan, which will continue the tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires he once called “irresponsible.” He lies about his support of renewable energy. He lies about his judgment on the Iraq War, a war he himself declared over five years ago, on national TV. He lies about his vetting of Sarah Palin, which was clearly reckless and inadequate. Virtually every time he opens his mouth he lies.

Reporter (frankly aghast): These are harsh words, Senator.

You: Not really. I’m just tired of listening to the Republican nominees and their surrogates lie with impunity. And the only way these liars are going to stop telling lies is for reporters like you, [insert name of reporter], to report when they lie. I urge you to show the same concern for the truth with us Democrats. Politicians shouldn’t be rewarded for lying.

What would happen if you actually said this — even some toned down version?

1. You completely dominate the news.

2. You force the media to assess your “inflammatory” claims, which, as it turns out, are true.

3. You force McCain/Palin/surrogates to stop lying, or at least risk being held accountable.

4. You reassure those who are worried you’re not tough enough to protect the homeland.

5. You show us, your loyal supporters, that you don’t plan to pull a Kerry/Gore.

6. Maybe (just maybe) the race starts to become more about real issues, where the Republicans get slaughtered.

Oh, and next time Bill O’Reilly asks you to admit you were wrong about the surge, tell him John McCain needs to admit he was wrong about the entire war, and to stop lying about his failure to support veterans. Honestly, dude, quit making John Stewart do all the heavy lifting.

More concerned than ever,

Steve

Steve Almond: Dear Barack: When They Lie, Call Them Liars

Obama ’08

This is why I am now supporting Obama. While every other knucklehead in the race rattles off more of the same status quo crap, one man can deliver something that sounds logical, not like rehearsed, poll-tested spitback. As someone who considers himself spiritual, but attaches no organized religion to his beliefs, I like reading this, especially when an increasing alternative is Mike Huckabee, who is the only candidate who actually makes another 4 years of Bush seem appetizing.

“For one, they need to understand the critical role that the separation of church and state has played in preserving not only our democracy, but the robustness of our religious practice. Folks tend to forget that during our founding, it wasn’t the atheists or the civil libertarians who were the most effective champions of the First Amendment. It was the persecuted minorities, it was Baptists like John Leland who didn’t want the established churches to impose their views on folks who were getting happy out in the fields and teaching the scripture to slaves. It was the forbearers of the evangelicals who were the most adamant about not mingling government with religious, because they did not want state-sponsored religion hindering their ability to practice their faith as they understood it.

Moreover, given the increasing diversity of America’s population, the dangers of sectarianism have never been greater. Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.

And even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools? Would we go with James Dobson’s, or Al Sharpton’s? Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is ok and that eating shellfish is abomination? How about Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount – a passage that is so radical that it’s doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application? So before we get carried away, let’s read our bibles. Folks haven’t been reading their bibles.

This brings me to my second point. Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason. I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God’s will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.”

First Lt. Ehren Watada Is a Hero

First Lieutenant Ehren Watada still refuses Iraq deployment orders, calling the war illegal. A six-year prison term could result. Preliminary hearings are set for Thursday.

To those who think that Lieutenant Watada is a traitor or a deserter, let me remind you of a time when a government scared its fearful citizens into segregating themselves. A time when disloyalty to the army was disloyalty to the nation. When opposing the government (which, by the way, is an American core value, protected by the Bill of Rights itself) made you unpatriotic. That time was Nazi Germany, and although it may *feel* like a hyperbolic analogy, I think it’s apt. And look how we remember it.

The government HAS decieved us and America is less safe today than a few years ago. BRAVO for a soldier whose allegiance is to the constitution and not a corrupt, criminal administration.

Lt. Watada is a hero. When he took his oath, he took it to uphold the American Constitution, not to blindly support a Commander in Chief. And when the Commander in Chief orders something illegal, should it be opposed? After all, wasn’t “I was just following orders” the defense used in Nuremburg? One we, as humans, found unacceptable? One that we felt was not an excuse? If Lt Watada is convinced, as about 51% of American people are, that the administration’s actions are illegal, if not plainly dispicable, and his goal is truly to fight for America, then he has greater convinction than most pathetic Americans who are committed to nothing but TV or an unquestioned political party. And if he’s willing to go to prison for his beliefs, he has more courage than most of the cowards who judge him anonymously on an online message baord.

History will vindicate this man. I remain convinced that history will remember President Bush as the worst president ever, even worse than Andrew Johnson, James Buchanan, or even Warren Harding. The “government” that exists today has done, and is doing, things so distinctly un-American than it’s easy to find quotes from our forefathers that expressly condemn their actions! Freedom of the press is at stake. Freedom of speech is at stake. Freedom to oppose your government is at stake. Your very rights are at stake – you can now be held without trial and tortured if you are suspected of being a terrorist. Your privacy is gone. And it’s all under the guide of “for your protection.” Folks, what good is safety if you have no freedom? Says Benjamin Franklin, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

I wonder what it will be like when we have some distance from this era and we look back: will we be living in a 1984-like military state? Or will our freedoms be restored and we remember this as I expect, like a period where a self-serving administration sought to control its citizens and promote its own agenda?

Time will tell.

To the People Who Think Israel is the Problem

To those who think Israel is the problem in the Middle East conflict, I dedicate the following:


1. Israel became a state in 1312 B.C.., two millennia before Islam;

2. Arab refugees from Israel began calling themselves “Palestinians” in 1967, two decades after (modern) Israeli statehood;

3. After conquering the land in 1272 B.C.., Jews ruled it for a thousand years and maintained a continuous presence there for 3,300 years;

4. The only arab rule following conquest in 633 B.C.. lasted just 22 years;

5. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem was the Jewish capital. it was never the capital of any arab or Muslim entity. even under Jordanian rule, (east) Jerusalem was not made the capital, and no arab leader came to visit it;

6. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in the bible, but not once is it mentioned in the qur’an;

7. King david founded Jerusalem; mohammed never set foot in it;

8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem; Muslims face mecca. if they are between the two cities, Muslims pray facing mecca, with their backs to Jerusalem;

9. In 1948, arab leaders urged their people to leave, promising to cleanse the land of Jewish presence. 68% of them fled without ever setting eyes on an Israeli soldier;

10. Virtually the entire Jewish population of Muslim countries had to flee as the result of violence and pogroms;

11. Some 630,000 arabs left Israel in 1948, while close to a million Jews were forced to leave the Muslim countries;

12. In spite of the vast territories at their disposal, arab refugees were deliberately prevented from assimilating into their host countries. of 100 million refugees following world war 2, they are the only group to have never integrated with their coreligionists. Most of the Jewish refugees from europe and arab lands were settled in Israel, a country no larger than new
jersey;

13. There are 22 Muslim countries, not counting Palestine. There is only one Jewish state. arabs started all five wars against Israel, and lost every one of them;

14. Fatah and Hamas constitutions still call for the destruction of Israel. Israel ceded most of the West Bank and all of Gaza to the Palestinian authority, and even provided it with arms;

15. During the Jordanian occupation, Jewish holy sites were vandalized and were off limits to Jews. under Israeli rule, all Muslim and christian holy sites are accessible to all faiths;

16. Out of 175 united nations security council resolutions up to 1990, 97 were against Israel; Out of 690 general assembly resolutions, 429 were against Israel;

17. The UN was silent when the Jordanians destroyed 58 synagogues in the old city of Jerusalem. It remained silent while Jordan systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the mount of olives, and it remained silent when Jordan enforced apartheid laws preventing Jews from accessing the Temple Mount and Western Wall.

THESE ARE TRYING TIMES. WE MUST ASK OURSELVES WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING, AND WHAT WE WILL TELL OUR GRANDCHILDREN ABOUT OUR ACTIONS DURING THIS CRISIS, WHEN WE HAD THE CHANCE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

The above text was taken from an unsigned email I received. I am not the author.