Why do you think it is so hard to burst into to the ranks of elite? You may think they guard so hard the purity of their family bloodlines only out of the idea of preserving the status of their ancestors. It already became a tradition over the centuries. Does it mean people outside of their status are not considered worthy anymore? It all has much deeper reasons than you ever thought of.
"I'm not a fan of personal vendetta gotcha-style politics," said Jon Stewart on Tuesday's Daily Show. "But there can be exceptions. Take Louisiana Senator David Vitter ... who came to prominence in the 90's demanding President Clinton's impeachment for the Monica Lewinsky affair. Well, it seems the condom is on the other foot."
"Last week, Vitter became the highest profile john implicated in the DC Madam scandal-gate," Stewart explained. "Kind of reminds you of the old saying, 'The only thing I trust less than a Louisiana senator sleeping with a hooker is one that isn't.'"
Now, I of course would never stoop to mere "gotcha" blog entries either. (What, Never? Well, Hardly Ever..).
In this particular case, I think this is a remarkably apt insight into what Republican values actually are. That is to say, you can pretty much assume that whatever public stance they take will be taken purely for personal political advantage and will have little or nothing to do with personal values or conviction. It's kinda like the Catholic Church in that way. How many folks out there still think it's a good idea to leave their child alone with the parish Priest?
Well, folks, that goes for anyone who seeks a position of unquestionable moral authority and access to either your children, your vote or your wallet.
While that observation may well be true of political figures in general, Republicans in particular have been particularly active in trying to demonize, regulate and restrict YOUR libido, YOUR sexual practices, Your definition of family, and indeed, your reproductive choices, while undermining your right to privacy and your right to access information without trace or record. I don't see very many examples of Republicans living by the values they espouse - so to speak. On the contrary.
So perhaps all these protestation of high moral standing are mere pretexts and postures, not just in exceptional cases, but in general.
Any large group of people will have a few bad apples, a few "isolated incidents." But these are NOT "just a few" and they all share something similar; the overwhelming majority of these sexual crimes involve practicing the opposite of what they preached. That is to say, they violated the law purposefully and deliberately, and in the way that was most vile on the basis of their own public standards to demonstrate to themselves and to one another that they were above that law and could get away with violating it. Indeed, there seems to be the perverse drive to enact laws for the purpose of violating them!
Another disturbing theme of near equal weight is a consistent pattern of abuse - sexual abuse, domestic abuse, and the abuse of power in general - toward those who cannot fight back.
Here's a particularly odious example of such an authoritarian circle-jerk.
Don Haidl, Assistant Sheriff of Orange Country, in violation of California's rape shield law, led a smear campaign against the child his son poisoned and then violently gang-raped on videotape, adding up to 24 felony counts. He said that his son "acted accordingly" because the child was a "slut". The full gruesome story, with many newspaper articles.
And here's one that just reeks of depraved irony:
Earl Kimmerling, from Indiana, sentenced to 40 years in prison after he confessed to molesting an 8-year old girl after he attempted to stop a gay couple from adopting her. Anderson, IN, Mayor Mark Lawler and Republican State Reps. Jack Lutz of Anderson, IN, and Woody Burton of Greenwood, IN, supported him. Source
This sort of thing isn't anything new, in other words; it's actually part of long established Republican political culture. The blackmail operations detailed in the link above may well partially explain the spineless behavior of our current Congress's Democratic majority, and I'm SURE it explains the "dead-ender" behavior of a great many Republicans who can't be so politically tone-deaf as to think the President's lame-duck agendas in any way serve the cause of their own re-election to orifice office. Blackmail is about the only thing that could explain such a sudden and inexplicable altruism on the part of those who's focus has been squarely upon th main chance up to now.
What we need to do is to purge all levels of government of corruption, and we also need to send - as a nation of outraged and unforgiving Citizen-activists - a resounding message. Remember that the Republican majority came out of the so called "Republican Revolution" pledged to END corruption and cronyism - and has turned out to be more than willing to wallow in a system as corrupt and lawless as any Byzantine court and indulging in graft on a level that would embarrass Tammany Hall.
So, if you are a Republican - repent! Register as an Independent, or a Constitution party member. Get your name off their sucker list. This is especially true if you have ever been a "values voter." These are the values your votes supported. So either repudiate the party for it's lack of interest in values when it might affect a Republican in power, or consider yourself complicit in all the crimes that have been committed in the name of pure, unchecked and unaccountable power. Because that's the way ethics works - you are accountable for the choices you make and the messes you contribute to.
As for myself, I'm a registered Libertarian. I have no illusions that it's a party composed of inherently better people - but it is a party of strong essential principles that may work against the accumulation of personal power for a time. It's not a party that attracts as many authoritarians and opportunists, and it will take those folks some time to figure out how to subvert it to their own ends.
Likewise, I'm going to make a choice about where my money goes. My money is going, in terms of consumer goods, toward companies that do not support the Republican cause. Likewise, I will not enter any place of business that has a fish by the door - a device almost exclusively used by Religious Conservatives, unless I see something in the window that indicates they are opposed to the moral choices this government and this party have made.
What can you do?
You can spread this around. You can digg it up, stumble it, email it to your fundy family members. You can blog about it, create fliers to stick in your church's brochure box, you can wear a t-shirt or put a poster in your store window. You can talk to strangers at bus-stops. You can call in to talk radio. Hell, you can slip Air America a few bucks. Grab your video camera and vlog it onto YouTube and Google Video.
I'll tart this post up later with links to the most vicious and apt t-shirts, bumper stickers and any particularly useful and usable photos and graphics I can find.
Together, we can change the world. As long as enough good people refuse to stand by as evil is done, we cannot help but do so.
It appears that I am reqired by concience AND by TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 115 > § 2382 of the US Code to call attention to this question of fact:
I found the document cited and quited below to be the "final straw" convincing me that the possiblity of a Seditious Conspiracy against the constitution and people of the United Stathes may well exist in fact, not just in the rehtoric of dissent.
George Bush's signing statement regarding the Patriot Act.
"''The executive branch shall construe the provisions that call for furnishing information to entities outside the executive branch in a manner consistent with the president's constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch and to withhold information (from Congress and, of course, the public),' Bush said.
Bush says he will withhold information if he, and only he, decides disclosure would ''impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative process of the executive, or the performance of the executive's constitutional duties.'"
It seems to me that this degree of authority abuse could be considered treasonous in a literal, legal sense.
A "signing statement" may not (and certainly should not) have the force of law, but it's entire purpose is to communicate the executive's understanding and intent to enforce said law in the commission of their duties.
This statement clearly states a conception of executive power that relegates Congress to a cerimonial "advisory" body.
This seems to me to be Unconstitional by very definition. And the intent to violate the Constitution and the rights of the Citizens would seem to me a violation of the President's oath. It occured to me that it may well be seen as subversion - overthrow of the Government from within.
So I went to the relevant law. This is what the definition of treason is under US Law:
Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
It would have to be established that George Bush has meaningfully done one or intended to do or more of those things. I think it's likely a case could be made for at least conspiracy to do that; however, it would be arguable the other way, as a matter of fact to be determined by trial.
And it appears that if I believe, as a citizen, that should I be aware of such a possiblity, I must report it as soon as I am aware of it, or be sanctioned under this section.
I am a citizen. I am aware. I am reporting. This post is being emailed to various relevent authorities.
Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States and having knowledge of the commission of any treason against them, conceals and does not, as soon as may be, disclose and make known the same to the President or to some judge of the United States, or to the governor or to some judge or justice of a particular State, is guilty of misprision of treason and shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than seven years, or both.
Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 115 > § 2384 Prev | Next
If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.
I believe that the President may be found to have violated at least § 2384 - Seditious Conspiracy. Further, I believe that known supporters and contributors to the President may be found directly or indirectly responsible for violations of § 2383: Rebellion or insurrection.
Overwhelming indications of such a pattern of intent and many authoritative statements of such an intent may be found here, and in many other places, such as this particularly pointed and referenced analasis.
I am further concerned that the President himself has publicly stated many times his right to ignore any laws passed by Congress that he deems to limit his ability to prosecute his "war on terror;" a specific instance being the abovementioned "signing statement."
I believe these matters to be enough to require me to bring this to your attention as citizens, and to your official attention in whatever office you may hold that requires you to "Uphold and Defend the Constitution of these United States."
I'm Greg Pratt, the Chief of the Office of the Independent Blogger. The headline of my site reads, "Independent in the same sense that Ken Starr was which means not very Independent indeed." For almost all of the time that I've had this website, since the Spring, that has been a sarcastic joke. Now, as we approach tomorrow's elections in Iraq, I have found myself to be Bipartisan by Iraq. Check it out and, in the meantime, here's two paragraphs that I'm quite proud of:
If I were less capable of spelling, our current path on the matter of Iran would elicit just as much support as Iraq does from me but it doesn't. When you've caught fire in a chemist's lab, you don't stop drop and roll: you shower yourself in the corner of the room. It's the same with Iran. Give it a read through -- you'll never believe how ridiculous some Conservative ideas are for dealing with the Mullahs. Want a hint? "Leave the Nukes, Take Out The Mullahs." Brilliant, if only it would work.
Surprisingly, for a Liberal, I am not a huge fan of the 9/11 Commission. I think they're as out of order as they claim our current security measures are. So is the Congress, the Pentagon and the Law Schools who have a Case before the SCOTUS. I consider myself a candid guy. I'm honest. There's just no two ways about it as I call things like I see them and keep an open mind. Here, I write about a lack of candor, and end on this note: "Candor, on a last note, is increasingly hard to come by and al-Qaeda has none to spare. Bin Laden’s top Deputy to America: “bin Laden still alive and in charge.” More like, “Either hiding like a scalded dog or dead in the mountains.”
On December Seventh, Republicans Pearl Harbored Al Gore, accusing him of having given Russia permission to sell Iran nuclear weapons. For a moment, let's ignore Cheney's lobbying on behalf of an end to sanctions on Iran in the 1990s and talk about "the case against Gore," or, as I like to call it, a failed and transparent attempt to slander him and his dead father. Saddam Hussein's trial, the Right's fear of a Fight over Alito, the War on Christmas! and Rick Santorum's claim that he's helped "save Social Security" are all discussed here.
There are rumors of Chief of Staff to the President Andrew Card being fired and sent to Treasury, with Rumsfeld resigning and Lieberman taking his place. All of this would be bad for the country and wrong politically, for all parties involved, and so here is me on White House Politics. You've all heard the expression that Truth is Stranger than Fiction, correct? Well, in today's Washington Truth is Stranger Than Gingrich. That's all I'll say about that for now.
On December Third, I attended a Hillary Clinton speech in Chicago and here's my writeup. There were protesters, too, and it was an interesting day. Interesting as this post about the poisoning of our political stream. I know it's not exactly an original thought, that one, but it's still worth commenting on and I'd be mighty glad if you checked it. Finally, let me direct you here. Enjoy!
I am the Independent Blogger of the Office of the Independent Blogger.
I think it's hypocritical for someone who's pro-choice to let miscarriages induced against the future mother's will go without punishment reserved SPECIFICALLY for the miscarriage. An attacker should be charged with the loss of the future baby AS WELL AS attacking the woman. If making the woman keep an unwanted baby (thus removing her right to choose) is so bad, then why is destroying a future one (removing her right to choose) okay? Some of you may say that a fetus is not a person. True, but in MOST cases, will a woman willing to abort be as attached to the fetus as one planning to carry it to term? Preventing a potential person from suffering by aborting as a sign of attachment? But a woman planning to be a mother will have already been prepared for a new person, therefore getting attached. The bottom line: a forced abortion is as much of a violation of rights as a forced birth. Discuss.