Monday, August 18, 2008
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
copyright c 2007 Journal-Register Newspapers, Inc.
The U.S. invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003. According to President Bush, Vice President Cheney, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell and then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, the war was supposed to last a few weeks at most. It would uncover the still-unrevealed weapons of mass destruction that were the stated reason for the invasion, it would topple the regime of Saddam Hussein and it would establish a peaceful democracy in Iraq.
On May 2, 2003, Bush stood on the deck of the carrier USS Lincoln and declared “major combat ended” under a banner asserting “mission accomplished.”
More than four years since that speech, we are still at war and Pentagon sources acknowledge that it would “be unlikely that the U.S. could leave in the next five or even ten years.”
What’s more, the stated objectives remain unmet. There were no WMD. Although Saddam Hussein was not only deposed but executed for war crimes, democracy has not been established and an anarchic civil war based on sectarian strife between Sunni and Shia Muslims is raging out of control, fueled in part by outside agitation–the U.S., the U.K., Syria and Iran.
America has already been in Iraq longer than our nation was involved in World War II. It’s long past time for us to leave. Had the U.S. pulled out when Bush gave his “mission accomplished” speech, the chaos that has overtaken Iraq today might not have occurred.
On July 12th the President reluctantly gave a report on the status of the war. It is not, as most Americans had already deduced, going well. The question is, how much longer will it take to actually force a so-called victory in Iraq? Five years? Ten? Fifty? Forever?
The reality is, we cannot achieve victory in Iraq. Even if it had ever been possible, which is open to debate, it is certainly not possible today nor tomorrow, next year nor next decade. If the U.S. ever had a chance at turning the tide of violence in Iraq and establishing its own counterfeit democracy there, that chance was always elusive. The end game has long been upon us. We have only one option now, and that is to withdraw.
During the presidential campaign in 2000, George Bush was adamant about nation building. He was, he proclaimed, against it.
Yet Bush’s entire tenure as president has been defined by his attempts to restructure and reconfigure the Middle East to his specifications. That has been a woeful and tragic failure in Iraq as well as Afghanistan.
In February, the Democrat-led Congress proffered a bill setting a timetable for troop withdrawal. The Republicans balked at it and the President vetoed it. The Democrat-led Congress then proffered another bill, demanding an update on the war in six months. That report came July 12th.
Mere hours later, the Democrats had already passed a bill calling for total withdrawal of America troops from Iraq. The bill passed by a slim, and regrettably partisan vote–223-201–with a few Republicans defecting to the Democrats’ side.
The bill would summarily end all combat by Americans as of April 30, 2008.
The Senate is expected to pass a similar bill in the next few days, this time with bi-partisan support, as two Republican Senators, Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Gordon Smith (R-OR) have signed on as co-sponsors. Both Snowe and Smith previously rejected Democrats’ calls for troop withdrawal.
Nevertheless, President Bush, has stated unequivocally that he will veto any bill that sets a time-table for withdrawal of troops.
And so we have stalemate to go with the end-game in Iraq.
How, then, do we exit Iraq?
Among the current crop of presidential contenders, every Democrat has called for troop withdrawal as has one Republican. But the tone of the other Republican candidates, particularly front-runners Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), has been declaratively pro-war. Giuliani and McCain assert that failure in Iraq means failure in fighting the war on terror. Yet all intelligence sources worldwide have reached the same conclusion: the war on Iraq has exponentially increased terrorism worldwide.
The war on Iraq was, for example, the rationale given by the architects of the terrorist bombings in London on July 7, 2005 which killed 52 people and severely injured–mostly through amputations, third-degree burns and blindness–hundreds more.
Last week, the CIA stated that al-Qeada has renewed itself to pre-9/11 strengths. Yet for the entirety of the war on Iraq, Americans have been told by the Bush Administration that al-Qeada was being defeated.
If the American presence in Iraq has only served to inflame terrorism worldwide, and if we are unable to secure even the Green Zone in Baghdad, what is our function in Iraq?
Can any American outside the Pentagon explain exactly what American troops are doing in Iraq? I don’t mean metaphorically, I mean *literally.*
What *are* our troops doing in Iraq? Are they out on a front line somewhere killing the so-called insurgents, whoever they are? Are they capturing and securing cities and towns? Or are they just maintaining some semblance of order here and there, training Iraqi soldiers and getting killed and injured by IEDs and RPGs?
Throughout the Vietnam War, the unpopular and unwinnable civil war of my childhood, the evening news was filled with images of battle: soldiers in the jungles, helicopters flying over villages. In fact, the Vietnam War was dubbed “The Living Room War” because those images were widely viewed on the evening news.
There are no such images of this war. Americans–including, apparently, Congress–have been kept in the dark about how this war is being fought.
What we do know, we know from returning soldiers and they give very different reports based on where they have been stationed and what action they have seen.
What we do know is that 38,000 soldiers have been injured in combat and another 19,000 have sustained other injuries in Iraq. More than half of the combat injuries are permanently disabling–amputations, blindness, third-and fourth-degree burns. (It should be noted that the Pentagon does not consider amputation of fingers or toes to be amputations, even if all fingers and toes are amputated.)
In addition, the miliary has dismissed nearly 23,000 soldiers for alleged “personality disorders.” This is, sadly, a scam on the part of the military. Soldiers with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are being discharged for allegedly having pre-existing personality disorders. Yet these men and women have already served in combat and many have received commendations, including Purple Hearts and Silver and Bronze Stars. If they are discharged with a pre-existing personality disorder as opposed to PTSD, they are required to return their re-enlistment bonuses and the military is no longer obligated to pay for their treatment.
Iraq Veterans Against the War and other veterans groups are petitioning Congress to demand an end to this practice.
So: Nearly 60,000 injured, 23,000 discharged with PTSD and another 3,637 dead at press time. That’s an extraordinary number of American casualties for what was supposed to be a “surgical” war.
The military now finds it difficult to recruit while the majority of Americans are against the war. The Army has missed its recruitment goals by nearly ten percent for three months in a row. This means those already fighting the war will have to continue to fight, because there is no one to replace them. Many soldiers, Marines and reservists are now in their third, fourth and fifth rotations, exponentially increasing the probability of their being killed or maimed.
Yet as long as Bush refuses to end the war, it will continue. No one has an actual plan for withdrawal even if they are calling for it: not the Democrats, not the Pentagon and certainly not the Republicans, who took us to war in the first place.
How *do* we leave Iraq? Will Baghdad fall as Saigon did?
We cannot turn back the clock on Iraq, unfortunately.
There has been talk in left-leaning circles of impeaching Bush and Cheney for their lies to Congress and the rest of America about the reasons for the war. But with the margin so slim in Congress and the vast majority of the Republicans still standing firmly behind the President on the war, that is an unlikely scenario.
More than 50,000 Iraqis flee their homes each month in Iraq, due to the war. Nearly three million Iraqis have fled Iraq since the war began. Hundreds of thousands have been killed and injured. Thousands of others have joined in the sectarian violence.
Meanwhile, the majority of Iraqis are forced to live in a state of constant terror as the sectarian violence threatens them everywhere–mosques, marketplaces, schools, in line waiting for bread or jobs. Women and children aren’t safe. No one is safe.
This is the Bush Administration’s legacy in Iraq. It seems obvious to all but the President and his closest advisors that the U.S. is doing more harm than good in Iraq and that no goals are being met by the Iraqi government, despite the troop surge.
Baghdad will likely fall as Saigon did, but keeping American troops in Iraq will not prevent that day from coming, it just forestalls it. President Bush and his Republican cohort refuse to acknowledge the reality of defeat. All that is left, then, is for us to count the dead–ours and Iraq’s–and hope for a Democratic president who will withdraw our troops from Iraq. Otherwise, we will indeed be there forever, and the blood will continue to flow.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
The Republicans' constitutional amendment banning gay marriage got just 49 votes this morning, far short of the two-thirds majority it needed -- and was never going to get -- for passage. Along the way to the vote, Republican Sen. David Vitter defended the GOP's efforts on the election-year measure by saying: "I don't believe there's any issue that's more important than this one." June 7, 2006
From The New York Times, July 10, 2007:
: NEW ORLEANS — From the beginning of his political career 16 years ago, David Vitter was known for planting himself on the moral high ground, challenging the ethics of other Louisiana politicians, decrying gay marriage and depicting himself as a clean-as-a-whistle champion of family values.
"I'm a conservative who opposes radically redefining marriage, the most important social institution in human history," Vitter, a Republican U.S. senator, wrote in a letter to the New Orleans Times-Picayune last year.
I wrote a letter to the Times-Picayune last year, responding to Senator Vitter's stance on same-sex marriage:
I am frankly appalled but not surprised by Senator Vitter's recent letter to the editor. But I have some questions for the Senator.
Since 'because traditional marriage is such a core social institution that predates both government and organized religion', I would like to know if Senator Vitter had ever read history or his Bible? Because 'traditional marriage' once included polygamy; and as recently as a hundred years ago included the arranged marriage of thirteen year olds--and in some parts of the world, it still does.
Does Senator Vitter really mean to imply that gays and lesbians are responsible for the divorce rate in this country? Since they are not allowed to marry, I don't see how that is possible. Heterosexuals have done a pretty good job of undermining marriage without any help from the gay and lesbian community. Perhaps Senator Vitter and his conservative co-horts might be better off trying to create a federal amendment banning divorce and making adultery a capital crime...but then again, it's much easier to scapegoat an innocent group of people rather than cleaning up their own house.
As for his tired charges of 'the liberal media'--he does not dispute the fact they quoted him accurately, and I for one am glad to know that someone who is representing ME in Congress thinks not allowing gays and lesbians to marry is more important than the billions of taxpayer dollars and thousands of lives being thrown down the drain in Iraq; more important that providing all Americans with adequate health care; and more important than providing adequate levee protection for the city of New Orleans. Perhaps he should spend more time actually talking to his constituents than watching Fox News.
And perhaps he should also take some time to reread the New Testament and put the 'Christ' back into his own Christianity.
And now, here we are, a little over a year later, and Senator Vitter has issued a public apology for consorting with prostitutes. He claims his wife and God have forgiven him. (I wonder if God appeared to him in a dream....or from a burning bush.)
I find it incredibly interesting that I pointed out the fact that the 'real' threat to the sanctity of heterosexual marriage comes from adultery and divorce. And while the good Senator's marriage seems to have survived, there's still that issue of adultery.
Adultery, after all, is one of the Ten Commandments: Thou shalt not commit adultery. Once again, I got down my Bible and checked--and there's still no commandment about homosexuality.
And while adultery is not a crime; prostitution is.
So, when Senator Vitter paid for sex, he was breaking not only God's law, but the law of the land.
The question of his sin is between him and his God; saving his marriage is between him and his wife. However, the notion that he broke the law should be a matter between him and the district attorney. Of course, the good Senator won't be charged with a crime; and already on-line conservative bloggers are defending him.
A conservative posted yesterday on AOL in response to their news article on the Senator's adultery and criminality:
Hey, at least he is getting laid. His wife is probably a cold bitch like Hilary.
President Clinton may have cheated on his wife, but at least it was between two consenting adults, and no money changed hands. The only crime he committed was lying about it. Yet, that was still enough to get him impeached. But the conservatives are already circling the wagons to defend Senator Vitter. One would think that the 'law and order' and 'family values' party would be all over the good Senator, asking him to resign. Nope, that doesn't seem to be the case. Instead, they have climbed on their proverbial 'high horse' --perhaps taking their cue from the Senator's 'apology'--and already have started slurring the liberal left.
Newsflash: Hypocrisy is hypocrisy.
And I have one question for the Senator: how exactly are gays and lesbians responsible for your cheating on your wife? Did the mere suggestion that gays and lesbians want to marry their partners cause you to suddenly feel that your marriage vows meant nothing, and that you could do as you pleased?
I doubt anyone will ask him THAT.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
The questions about Republican gubernatorial candidate Congressman Piyush “Bobby” Jindal just keep piling up, with no clear answers anywhere in sight for the foreseeable future. Jindal’s supporters, have taken the standard Republican response to any questioning of the integrity of their candidate—smear and insult; because of course, in their minds, nothing says “logic” like calling honest questions “a liberal smear campaign’ while dodging facts.
Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh have done their jobs beautifully, haven’t they?
Recently, while cruising the internet looking for information on “Bobby”, I had the great pleasure of discovering the following website: www.bobbyjindalisgood.com. Purporting to be a site to help promote the Congressman’s candidacy as well as to raise awareness (and money), at first I thought, this has to be a spoof website, because surely this can’t be for real.
Take, for example, the LA Revolution campaign:
On Monday, May 7, we went on "The Jim Engster Show" and announced the commencement of a Louisiana Revolution. Join us as we usher in a new era of dynamic leadership and sweeping change in the Pelican State. Join the Revolution by supporting Bobby Jindal and ensuring that he becomes the next Governor of Louisiana. But Bobby Jindal's election is only the beginning..
On this same page are photographs of children wearing shirts that proclaim “LA Revolution;” which is obviously a play on La Revolucion, a slogan from the 1960’s. The T-shirts have the Congressman’s face superimposed on the famous old photograph of Che Guevara, which graced posters and T-shirts back in the days of opposition to the Vietnam War.
Remember Che Guevara?
From Robert Leckie’s The Wars of America:
Among the Communists who fled Guatemala was an Argentine physician named Ernesto (“Che”) Guevara, who later joined forces with a bearded young Revolutionary named Fidel Castro. In 1956, accompanied by ten other bearded rebels, they landed in Cuba’s Oriente Province and began to rally around them the forces that eventually overcame the cruel and corrupt Cuban dictator, Fulgencio Batista.
Am I the only person who finds it odd that a modern day Republican politician has allowed his supporters to plagiarize the symbol and slogan of a notorious Communist revolutionary? One who was an avowed atheist and despised religion (more on that later)?
Louisianans frequently joke that our state is a ‘banana republic,’ a ‘third world country,’ and other such jokes—but we also don’t really take that seriously.
Apparently, Jindal’s supporters do, and believe that taking on the symbols of an avowed enemy of the United States democracy will somehow help them take over our ‘banana republic.’
Of course, it is entirely possible, as I stated before, that this site is not for real; it could just be a large joke, and does not have the Congressman’s endorsement.
And if it does have the Congressman’s endorsement, one has to ask, does the Congressman have no idea who Che Guevara was? Surely, any Republican running for a public office would know better than to use the symbolism of a Communist revolutionary. Especially when one takes into consideration that the proudest achievement the Republicans claim is that their great Ronald Reagan brought down Communism.
Does Robert M. Duncan, chairman of the Republican National Committee, aware of this?
It is, in fact, no different than trying to add the hammer and sickle to the Pelican Flag.
And if, indeed, the Congressman does not know who Guevara was, this lack of knowledge of American—and world—history does not bode well for his possible gubernatorial term.
And while on the subject of religion…Congressman Jindal has stated for the record, over and over again, his deep and abiding Catholic faith. It is considered impolite to question someone’s faith; but when said person makes public statement after public statement about said faith, it becomes impolitic not to wonder, especially when said person make the following statement on a radio interview:
“Good Christians pray to God, not to saints.”
I am not a Catholic, but even I know that one of the basic doctrines of the Catholic religion, dating back over a thousand years, is praying to the saints. Perhaps the Congressman needs, not only a history book to review, but to sit down and have a long talk with his priest…I know that if I were a Catholic what my reaction to the Congressman’s statement would be. That statement basically says that the vast majority of Catholics are NOT good Christians!
But that vast majority of Catholics, I would daresay, have never participated in an ‘exorcism,’ a medieval ritual the Church now pretty much disavows.
So, there you have it. Congressman Bobby Jindal, who wants to be governor of Louisiana, does not understand his own religion, and thinks Che Guevara, apparently, is a role model for his campaign.
What a sad statement on the condition of the Louisiana public education system.
Friday, June 22, 2007
by Victoria A. Brownworth
copyright c 2007 Journal-Register Newspapers, Inc.
Why won’t George Bush save my life?
I am a hard-working American citizen. I was born in Philadelphia, the so-called birthplace of liberty, where American democracy was founded. I’ve lived and worked in some of America’s great cities–New York, New Orleans, San Francisco, Los Angeles. I pay taxes. I am civic-minded and patriotic. I have never missed an election since I was old enough to vote. I spent four years in the Peace Corps. I taught literacy programs in the inner city as well as in prisons for more than a decade. I have worked on the front-lines of several civil rights movements. I am active in my community. I go to church. I founded and run an animal rescue shelter. I have been an award-winning journalist for more than 25 years. I have published more than 20 books. I teach college. I mentor kids. I have spent my life helping other people. I have even been given awards for doing so, awards that deemed me and my work a role model for others.
So why won’t the President help me? Why won’t he save my life? I’m a model citizen in many ways. And yet Bush refuses to commute my death sentence with just a few strokes of his pen.
I could understand if it were just my life that was at stake. But it isn’t. It’s the lives of one in sixAmericans–about 55 million people. That is how many Americans are suffering from life-threatening diseases that might be cured by embryonic stem cell research–research that the President has refused to fund not once, but twice in one year.
I wasn’t really surprised when the announcement came June 20th that Bush had once again vetoed a stem-cell research bill. Bush has only vetoed three bills in his entire presidency and each time it has been to set Americans up to die. Twice he has vetoed stem-cell research and several weeks ago he vetoed the bill that would have set limits on how many more Americans have to die in Iraq.
He says it’s about morality.
So even though I wasn’t surprised, I took this veto personally. One in six Americans has a disease that could be helped by stem-cell research. Which means *every* American knows someone whose life could be saved by stem-cell research. Which means even the President knows someone whose life could be saved by stem-cell research. Which means his decision to veto the bill is even more callous than it appears to me and to those 55 million other Americans.
I have been in a wheelchair for 13 years. That’s almost a quarter of my life–a long time not to be able to go for the long walks I used to take, or ride my bike to work as I did for years, or dance the night away as I was famous for. A long time to suffer.
I have a few good hours every day. Those hours are invariably spent working. Sometimes they are spent having dinner with family and friends, or seeing a film, or going to Mass. But none of those hours are spent walking or bicycling or dancing. I miss those things. A lot. Mostly I miss being able to do everything for myself, without asking others for help.
George Bush doesn’t care that I have been in a wheelchair for 13 years. He doesn’t care that my life is incredibly limited by having a serious degenerative disease of the central nervous system for which there is no cure or even treatment. He doesn’t care that this disease restricts my breathing, my vision, my ability to sit and stand and even swallow. Or, as a writer, hold a pen.
Of course, I am still fortunate. Although I have been in a wheelchair for more than a decade, I wasn’t always in a wheelchair. I used to walk, bicycle and dance. I traveled around the world as an investigative journalist.
But a lot of those 55 million other Americans who might benefit from stem-cell research have never had the choices I had because they were disabled from birth. Always in a wheelchair. Always kept from being the full person they could have been, if the disease they suffer from hadn’t altered their bodies irreparably.
I have a good friend who is going blind. She uses the white cane blind people use when they go outside and she wears thick glasses. She suffers from a rare disease that may or may not be helped by stem-cell research.
Even going blind–she has special software on her computer that allows her to read–she reads more than anyone I know, and everyone I know reads a lot. She’s a superb editor, one of the best I have ever had. I don’t want to think about the day she is no longer able to be my editor. I would like to save her sight.
Why won’t the President help her?
I guess it’s easy for some people to dismiss the needs of 55 million people–more people than live in all of Canada and Australia combined. But I suppose if you’ve spent your life in service to others, as I have, your perspective is a little different.
I simply do not like to see people suffering and dying.
The President, however, believes that to be an emotional response, not a scientific one. Which would be a solid enough answer to my query if Bush were relying at all on science, rather than his own ideology, his own alleged morality.
When Bush vetoed the bill proposed by the Democrats, he said it was because the science was unproven, which isn’t true. He also said that we can’t take life to save lives.
Okay, I’m confused–isn’t that exactly what we are supposed to be doing in Iraq: taking lives to save lives?
But let’s pretend that what the President said is true, even though it’s not.
What life are we taking in embryonic stem-cell research?
The National Institutes of Health (NIH), a government agency, answers the question-- What stages of early embryonic development are used to generate embryonic stem cells?–with the following answer:
“Embryonic stem cells, as their name suggests, are derived from embryos. Specifically, embryonic stem cells are derived from embryos that develop from eggs that have been fertilized in vitro--in an in vitro fertilization clinic–and then donated for research purposes with informed consent of the donors. They are not derived from eggs fertilized in a woman's body. The embryos from which human embryonic stem cells are derived are typically four or five days old.”
Thus the embryos used in embryonic stem-cell research come from leftover cells that might have been used for in-vitro fertilization. These embryos will be discarded–tossed in the trash–if they are not used in stem-cell research.
President Bush thinks it’s better to toss these embryos in the trash than to use them to save the lives of 55 million Americans.
Readers of this column know I am pro-life: against war, against the death penalty, against abortion. I don’t eat animals, because I don’t believe in killing. The embryos in question are cells in petri dishes. They are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence.
Embryonic stem-cell research is not experimentation on babies, as the President has tried to present it. This research is using a series of cells ready to be put in the trash that might be used instead to save millions of lives.
If these embryonic cells were children, wouldn’t there be a mass effort by the President to preserve them and then give them a Christian burial? Of course there would–we don’t throw babies in the trash in America. And when some people do–there are a few cases of this each year of young and desperate teenagers giving birth and putting their newborns in the trash–it is a crime. So if these stem cells are indeed babies, as the President contends, why isn’t it a crime to toss them in the trash?
In point of fact it is a crime to discard these cells, because doing so deprives millions like myself of the possibility of cures for our heretofore incurable diseases. Think of the genius of Stephen Hawking, limited by his suffering from ALS, unable to speak or move for years. Think of the children trapped in bodies tortured by Muscular Dystrophy, or those who won’t live beyond their twenties due to Cystic Fibrosis. Think of the young man in China with a 33-pound tumor on his face from neurofibromatoma which has ruined his whole life, deforming his body, making him a pariah in his village and obscuring his vision, hearing and speech. He told doctors this week that he’s never had a day in his life that wasn’t full of incredible misery and pain.
Think of all the suffering that could be stopped by research on cells the size of the period at the end of this sentence. Think of all the stem cells being thrown in the trash or washed down the sink rather than being used to save lives.
More than three-quarters of Americans believe stem-cell research is vital. Americans overwhelmingly want it–perhaps because they all know someone with diabetes, MS, ALS, MD or other diseases that could be cured by this research.
By vetoing the Democrats’ bill, President Bush has once again chosen to ignore the needs and desires of the American people whom he represents. That bill would have funded life-giving research for the 55 million Americans already suffering from diseases that could be cured through embryonic stem-cell research.
But it’s not just the 55 million, myself among them, already sick or dying from these diseases. It is about all the children who will be born with these diseases. It’s about all the people who will wake up one morning in their 20s or 30s like I did, or Stephen Hawking did, to a body suddenly inexplicably and irrevocably changed, destined to spend the rest of our lives in pain and suffering, till we are killed by that disease.
White House press secretary Tony Snow, who has been battling advanced colon cancer himself, said on June 20th: “This is, certainly not an attempt to muzzle science. It is an attempt, I
think, to respect people’s conscience on such an issue.”
The President said, “Destroying human life in the hopes of saving human life is not ethical–and it is not the only option before us.”
These statements, by Snow and Bush, are lies. Three-quarters of Americans want embryonic stem-cell research. Bush is, once again, disregarding the will of the American people and putting his own ideology above the needs of all Americans, and most especially, the 55 million whose suffering could be alleviated by embryonic stem-cell research. This is muzzling science and what’s more, it is totally unethical, not to mention disingenuous of Bush to say that embryonic stem cells that are about to be–literally–flushed down the drain, are better off as trash than as succor for millions of suffering *live human beings.*
When Bush last vetoed a bill, it was for supplemental spending for Iraq and it had a timeline for bring the troops home. He once again put his own personal agenda above the needs and demands of the American people–in that instance, to end the war in Iraq and bring our troops home.
The President has shown amazing arrogance toward people worldwide, but to Americans in particular, because this is the country he is supposed to be leading. That arrogance may be why his approval rating dropped another couple of points after the stem-cell research veto. Bush’s approval rating is now the second-lowest in presidential history, having dropped lower than Jimmy Carter’s during the hostage crisis. The only president to have an approval rating lower than Bush’s current 26 percent was Richard Nixon on the eve of his resignation, when his approval rating was 23 percent.
If the President continues to ignore the will of the American people on issues of grave concern to them, like the war or stem-cell research, his approval rating is bound to drop well below Nixon’s. Because like Nixon, Bush is utterly out of touch with what America needs and wants.
The stem-cell research debate is not over. The President may have given those of us who are dying his second veto on the importance of our lives, but Congressional Democrats have pledged to continue to present Bush with the same bill again and again until they have the two-thirds majority needed to override his veto or until there is a new president in Washington.
I wish George Bush valued life as much as I do. I wish he understood what it is like to know every muscle that keeps me alive–moving, swallowing, seeing, breathing, heart pumping–is degenerating. Perhaps it is selfish of me to want to live. But I know it isn’t selfish of me to want others to be free of the suffering I have experienced.
As a Catholic, I have my own deeply entrenched ideologies, but I guess unlike the President, I remember Jesus cured the sick. Bush has the power to do the same. He just won’t. And millions will suffer and die due solely to his willful, destructive arrogance.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Same city, same school, same stage. But that’s where the similarities end.
At Sunday night’s Democratic candidate debate, all eight of the Democrats running for president agreed that the time has come to end the military’s don’t ask, don’t tell policy. Watch it here:
Every single one. And that comes after the Human Rights Campaign released its candidate questionnaire showing that all of them support federal benefits rights for gay couples.
Last night, the Republicans took a different approach. Asked whether it made sense to expel openly gay Arab language translators from our military in a time of war, every single one said "yes." No one had the courage to stand up and say this policy is wrong and it hurts our military. Watch for yourself:
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
But in a lengthy judgment, the court also examined the wider issue of profanity
on American TV and in public life, and First Amendment protection of profanity,
as it rejected the FCC's policy that the words 'f***' or 's****' always had a
sexual or excretory connotation.
Specifically it noted that both President
Bush and Vice-President Cheney were on record as having used those words in a
non-literal way, Mr Bush when he told Tony Blair that the United Nations needed
to "get Syria to stop Hezbollah to stop doing this s***' and Mr Cheney when he
told a senator, on the floor of the Senate, to "f*** yourself'.