Saturday, January 28, 2006
First of all the crown. This week I would like to give the civil liberties crown to the Washington State Senate and Governor. Today thee Senate passed a Gay Civil Rights Bill which the Governor is expected to sign. I have expressed my views on this subject many times and therefore I will keep this short. This is a monumental day for Civil Liberties.
The dunce hat this week is obvious. The winner is the Bush administration for authorizing spying on the American people. This has been talked about time and time again in recent weeks so I will simply say that rights of the American people should never be outweighed by anything, ever. No matter how much you try to say that it is for the security of the United States it does not justify taking away the right to privacy and the right to protection under the 4th amendment which protects against illegal search and seizure. At least one good thing has come of this. The American people are finally waking up to the fact that their Civil Liberties are being stripped away. Hopefully the confirmation of Alito, which is almost certain, will not expedite this process.
Friday, January 27, 2006
I would like to simply give my thoughts of support to the two German engineers who have been taken captive as well as the U.S. reporter who was taken captive a little while ago. Although I have many times expressed my distaste for the war that does not go for the soldiers fighting that war and most certianly does not go for those civilians caught in the cross fire.
I hope that they all return safely to their homes and families.
Are they refusing to do so because the government has attacked Israel, or maybe because they believe that the elections were rigged in some way.
No that would be to sensible. They are doing so because as the Israeli government put it:
"The state of Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian administration if even part of it is an armed terrorist organization calling for the destruction of the state of Israel."
Now if the Hamas run government were truly calling for the destruction of Israel I could understand this to a point. But there are two things to keep in mind.
First of all this government was just elected in a free election by the people of Palestine, so obviously their views agree at least to a large point with the people. Now I can understand if this does not matter to Israel because they have been in a hostile situation with Palestine for some time and never claimed to be for spreading democracy. The U.S. on the other hand, especially the Bush admin., is supposedly all for spreading democracy and will work with any Democratic government attempting to grow. So what, will we only work with those that we agree with and not those that have ideals that are not right in line with ours. Or are we just automatically against any country that does not agree with Israel. I mean in a way there statements about Israel occupying Palestinian territory are true historically, it was not until after WW2 that they were granted the state of Israel and even then it was not the will of the people of the area but instead that of the European and U.S. governments. I mean this does not grant us the right to call them "armed terrorist" (which we did through association with Israel.) , they are an elected government. Are we going to start calling the French government "armed terrorist" when we don't agree with them. Now before you say that they are labeled that because of their attacks on Israelis including women and children should we also call the Israeli government a terrorist group, they to have attacked Palestinian women and children. I remember reading about one incident in which a Palestinian child through a rock at a soldier and so the soldier shot the kid in the head with an assault rifle. I do not justify the acts committed by Hamas, but they are no worse than those committed by Israel.
The second point is this. Israel and the U.S. claim to want peace, as Bush stated,:
"If your platform is the destruction of Israel, it means you're not a partner in peace, and we're interested in peace."
A statement that has been reverberated throughout the world and which I agree with, possibly one of the the only things that came out of Bush's mouth that was intelligent, he ought to keep this writer.
Now if the Hamas run Palestinian governments position was that they wanted to simply "destroy Israel" then I would understand not wanting to talk with them because that would be a declaration of war. But they have not said that. What they have said is that they wish to have their land back. Now obviously that is not possible and so they need to reach another agreement, but how can this happen without talking to them. Furthermore they have expressed a strong desire to continue with the peace process, it is only Israel and the U.S. who are holding back. The new government came out and stated openly today that this is what they wished saying:
"Don't be afraid"
and a more specific message by Abbas, whom the Islamic group reached out to be a partner in the new government,
Abbas said he remained committed to peace talks and suggested they be conducted through the Palestine Liberation Organization an umbrella group of Palestinian organizations that he also heads, instead of the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority. "I am committed to implementing the program on which you elected me a year ago," he said in a televised speech. "It is a program based on negotiations and peaceful settlement with Israel."
So one must wonder what is the reason that the U.S and Israel are unwilling to speak with them. They make it clear that they wish to continue peace talks, so why not do it. Would we prefer to end the cease fire and let the war continue? I hope not. The worst that can come out of continuing the talks with the new government is a return to bloodshed, and it would seem that that would be the only possible outcome of ending the talks so we obviously have nothing to lose.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
How many more hoops is Bush going to make Iran jump through before he is satisfied that once again he is wrong about a countries nuclear ambitions. Iran has made it clear time and time again that they have no intention of enriching uranium for the purpose of making WMD's and evidence from many nations seem to back this up and yet Bush and his cronies along with his whipping dog Prime Minister Blair seem intent on pushing the issue in what seems to be an attempt to force a confrontation.
When Bush first accused Iran of having a nuclear weapons program they accepted UN investigators and showed proof of the fact that they were using the nuclear program that they had in effect only for energy, not weapons.
The Bush administration was not satisfied and tried to say that they had photos showing otherwise. Those photos were then shown to be of energy plants which was then confirmed by the Russian government who has been working with the Iranian government to put together a nuclear energy program.
This still was not enough and now the Bush admin and Blair are attempting to get the issue pushed into the Security Council. Now keep in mind that the UN nuclear watchdog has already stated that the nuclear programs taking place in Iran are purely for energy, but of course the UN also said that we needed to inspect Iraq further and we saw how right they were then, oh yeah they were right and we are now fighting a senseless war.
Well two things are now happening. First of all the Iranian government has stated that if the issue is in fact taken to the Security council they will begin enriching uranium commercial with or without the UN's permission. This seems to me to be their right. They have taken every step they can to prove their intentions are peaceful, what more do we want.
Second they have agreed along with Russia to have the uranium enriched their to a level used for energy and then shipped to Iran. This would ease fears that they are using it for weapons as it could not at that point be used for weapons grade material. If this does not satisfy Bush it makes it clear that he has no interest in whether or not they are actually making weapons and only in attempting to start a confrontation between us and another Mid Eastern country which possesses a large amount of the worlds oil.
Before we go all gung hoe into this one however it is imperative that we learn our lessons from Iraq. Look at how hard it is going there and then consider that Iran has a much more powerful military and is allied with most of the rest of the Middle East has well as Russia and China. To attack there would set off a powder keg that we are not prepared to handle.
Lets just hope that the American people have gained enough sense since the last fiasco to actually stand up to our leaders and tell them NO WE WILL NOT GO TO WAR WITHOUT CAUSE, AND NO ACCUSATIONS OF WMD'S WITHOUT PROOF IS NOT CAUSE!
I am not stating good or bad about Arafat in this post so please don't waste your time or mine by telling me how bad he was. My one and only point for this post is to congratulate all Palestinians and to wish them the best of luck in the future.
Well whatever civil rights we had left we can kiss goodbye. Supreme Court nominee Joe Alito has enough supporters in Senate to guarantee his confirmation and the end of the check and balance system.
Alito is a clear pawn for the Bush administration and the conservative party and it is almost certain that he will rule against abortion, homosexual marriage, the right to privacy and many other key issues.
Throughout his career he has been on the far right on issues and does not seem to mind if that is against what the Constitution says.
What scares me most about this move however his not just his personal motives, but the fact that the court is now far right and more dangerously is controlled by people who can be very easily considered Bush cronies.
This is not a new concept as throughout history President's have nominated those that not only are qualified but that they are in some way affiliated with, but those Presidents never attacked the Constitution the way this one has.
Never before has a President so openly gone against the will of our forefathers. Never before have we had to worry about being spied on or tortured or arrested without cause. And never before has a President attempted to blur the line between the Executive and Judicial branches of the government. Bush and the Republican congress are the first to ever attempt to overrule the Supreme Court by way of a Congressional bill.
This is a very dangerous time for civil liberties. A time when those who have been nominated and confirmed by this administration to show that they truly do believe in the justice system and the Constitution or to show that they are nothing more that pawns to the conservative party and the far right Christian base.
I sincerely hope that they prove to be worthy of the great honor which has been bestowed upon them, because this is one mistake that cannot be fixed as easily as ol' brownie.