I like Ike: or Where are the Eisenhower Republicans?

Ever wonder why Republicans don’t raise the specter of Dwight David Eisenhower the way they are constantly going back and reanimating Ronald Reagan? How about this quote from the 34th President of the United States (and the last good Republican in my opinion):

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”

This quote is from his April 1953 “Chance for Peace” speech regarding (among other things) the death of Lenin.

Eisenhower in the Oval Office

He also

  • Ended the Korean War (which wasn’t really a war but a policing action – Presidential Proclamation No. 2914, 3 C.F.R. 99 (1953), which remained in force until 14 September 1978);
  • Authorized with Canada a joint construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway;
  • Did not bomb the hell out of Puerto Rico when  five representatives were wounded in House of Representatives by shots fired by Puerto Rican nationalists;
  • Extended Social Security coverage to farmers (make something bad out of that, Michelle Bachman!);
  • Signed the The Interstate Highway System into being;
  • Signed the 1957 Civil Rights Act which seeks to protect voting rights (which btw many of our Repubican Governors are working dilligently to infringe);
  • During his administration Explorer I, the first American satellite launched;
  • Signed the bill establishing National Aeronautics and Space Administration (and now we can wave byebye to NASA and NASA engineer’s jobs);
  • Signed the National Defense Education Act, providing loans for college students and funds to encourage young people to enter teaching careers (raise your hand if you went to school with an NDSL loan?  I did);
  • Signed the act admitting Hawaii as the 50th state;
  • With Queen Elizabeth II he opened the St. Lawrence Seaway (built in an astonishing 5 years! US & Canada workers work quickly — It has been 10 years since the WTC crashed to the ground and they’re still not finished with the new WTC building… maybe they should have hired some Canadians); and
  • Last but not least, he warned us about the Military-Industrial Complex.

He had good reason to because….

The above is a list of good things…

here’s the bad news – the Military Industrial Complex news:

  • Replaced the government of Premier Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran with regime loyal to Shah Pahlevi;
  • Did nothing to stop Joe McCarthy and his commie witch hunt;
  • Signed the Communist Control Act outlawing Communist Party (was this the beginning of infringing on free speech??? Maybe);
  • Signed Southeast Asia Defense Treaty (SEATO) (NB: don’t believe it when anyone tells you that Viet Nam was Johnson’s fault… the US was obligated by this treaty to be in Viet Nam);
  • Sent U.S. forces to defend Formosa against Communist aggression;
  • Eisenhower Doctrine bill signed, authorizing use of U.S. forces to assist Middle East nations threatened by Communist aggression (I guess we’re still fightin’ commies in the Middle East, huh?);
  • Sent U.S. Marines into Lebanon at the request of President Camille Chamoun; and
  • Permitted U-2 flights in to the USSR (Remember Gary Powers????)

Not everyone is perfect – just as Obama is not the Perfect Democrat, Eisenhower was not the Perfect Republican… BUT there was a balance to the guy.  It is hard to see “balance” in any of the current contenders for the job.  I’d just like to find a Republican like Ike… one that isn’t “all” bad.

©2011

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More Civility Please…

Well, I have to chime in here.  I was just watching a brief, channel-surfed moment of CNN and find some raging right talking head screaming about how the MSM may want to paint all the right with the same brush but none of them (the MSM) are going to respond so the people who are on his website screaming (in comments I presume because he showed a computer screen with giant type) for Sarah Palin’s head – literally.

Honestly, I don’t know of too many websites that allow a comment like that go through much less blow it up in type size and advertise it on TV.  Basically, most people will either just delete a maniac’s comment or, if they find it credible, turn it over to law enforcement.

As a “left leaning blogger” I want to stand up and say:  “No threat of violence against another human being is justified.”  I do not care if you don’t like someone else’s politics…I certainly do not like Sarah Palin’s politics.  I continue to think that she is unqualified for most jobs, but especially World Leader… whether that world leadership is as President of the US or just a talk show host.  She has a right to her opinion just as I have a right to mine.  She even has a right to be irresponsible in her choice of graphics on her website – I do not believe that the use of cross-hairs is a credible threat, I simply believe it is irresponsible of the un-coronated queen of the National Rifle Association to to put cross-hairs on a map of “targeted” seats.  For anyone to blithely suggest that those cross-hairs were symbolic of a surveyor’s sight is disingenuous at best.  We all know what the symbol meant and it was not that Palin, et. al. were surveying those seats.  They were targeting the seats – the irresponsible part – because obviously they do not know how to evaluate responsibility – was that a maniac could look at that and think “kill”.  I do not for one minute believe that Sarah Palin et. al. were advocating murder.  Nor do I believe that the Maniac of Tuscon saw the cross-hairs and took it as a message – since his politics were decidedly leftist, he came to that conclusion without Sarah Palin or any other right-leaning talking head’s urgings.

What I want today almost three years after starting this blog is the same thing I wanted then:  civility in politics, responsibility of action by our politicians, and for those politicians of both sides – or now – all sides of the aisle to remember who they work for… WE the People!

© 2011

The Top o’ the Ticket in 2012

I’m having fun this afternoon.  I just clicked into the Huffington Post’s Election 2012 page and came up with a whole bunch of articles about who what when and how (sorry about the lack of a “w” there!) President Obama will be challenged in a bid for reelection in 2012.

One of the articles presented this very interesting portrait of Sarah Palin looking (to some I guess) “presidential”.  Frankly, I think she looks worried.  It’s a great suit by the way – but the flag pin is a bit big – not so much for the actual collar of the suit, but just IMHO because I think the size of the flag pin signifies the size of one’s (Republican) intention to take over the US – but that is just me – so put me and not all 8 of my readers on a watch list somewhere.

There is another article that says that one Republican strategist doesn’t think she’s electable.  Eh – maybe – personally, I hope not for all the reasons I wasn’t wild about her in the first place – she isn’t qualified – ‘course when did that ever stop anyone from running for anything – I would add to that the simple fact that for some reason, she just couldn’t fulfill her obligation of being Governor of Alaska.  What does that say to you that you spend lots of money (presumably not only yours but OPM as well) and then, once you have achieved what for many has been the pinnacle of their political careers, you bail? Call me crazy but what if she does become POTUS and decides she doesn’t like it and that the offer of a reality TV show – let’s call it Ex-POTUS – seduces her away from the job.  Hey, maybe it would turn out to be a favor, especially if she had a compromise-but-great VP choice – say Mike Huckabee or Bobby Jindal, but does anyone really want to go down that road – as Nixon showed us, “abdications” are so messy?  So, here I am an avowed Liberal Libertarian agreeing with the likes of Sig Rogich and Karl Rove – as for Christie Todd Whitman – she’s right – Palin might energize the base but the base doesn’t get anyone on either side elected. 

“Bases” are just about 30% of the voters on either side of the middle line – the other 40% are the ones that swing the election right or left. 

I am going out on a limb here, albeit not a very dangerous one, and saying that there’s no way to call the 2012 election from here at the end of 2010.  Why? Well, because the 2010 election is just over and the newly-elected haven’t even had their chance to fail – and they will.  We are in a wholly new place with TPTB.  We the people are giving them (TPTB) about 10 minutes to do it right (figuratively of course) and then we are moving on.  Our tolerance for inaction, inability and failure to follow through is becoming very short lived and, should the newly-elected not do what they came to do in, say approximately 270 days from taking office, We the People will be back on a “fire the bastards” band wagon.

Gone are the days of the 1990s when We the People allowed the opposition an entire presidential cycle to screw up. 

© 2010

She’s Baaak! And with more Scary Stuff about your First Amendment Rights

Hey and Long time no Type, eh?

I cannot and won’t begin to tell you why I’ve been off my blog for so long.  Just suffice to say, I’ve been busy.  But today.  Yes, today,  I hooked into the You-Tube front page and there, first vid on the list, was this:

I had to get out my soap box and dust it off once more.  I have, for a while now, become more and more dissatisfied with the man I backed so staunchly for President.  I was, during the previous administration and election cycle scared by Naomi Wolf.  This time, I am scared by Anderson Cooper (and yes I do know what can of worms that opens up on comments!).

Let us not forget on this Independence Day eve, that freedom isn’t free, it isn’t a gift and it isn’t always going to be there.  Freedom is something we have to fight for, protect and be ever vigilant on behalf of.

To paraphrase Ben Franklin, freedom is ours “if we can keep it”.  Right now we aren’t doing such a good job.

© 2010

Part I Habeas Corpus, Separation of Powers & The Supreme Court

I know that here in the last several days, I have become enormously paranoid about the state of the Union we find ourselves.  Specifically, that the government can be hijacked by the President.  I am not speaking specifically of the current President, but any President.  It just so happens that the current President has put into place the most draconian of abilities of any president in memory.  The two actions referred to in Blogs  4 Common Sense are the subject of this charge. First, I do suggest everyone who hasn’t read Arn’s Blog regarding NSPD51 & HR1955 do so for a discussion of the breadth of the powers allocated by these actions.

Yesterday, in a discussion on Mudflats Forum one member commented that s/he didn’t think such actions would be taken by the current President, even though he took the specific action of placing these weapons in his arsenal. I do believe that everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I am happy to entertain the two reasons this member gave:

Argument 1: I don’t think it will happen
Argument 2: Lincoln did it.

To refute these arguments, I am dividing this subject up into multiple parts… it is huge and deserves consideration on a number of levels…

Argument 1: I don’t think it will happen.

I don’t think I will have a fire at my home either, but I have insurance. What insurance have we? Well, we have the Supreme Court.  It is one of the most conservative courts in its history, so maybe, in this case, they’ll be on the side of the US Citizens… that is what they are supposed to be… on the side of We the People.  So are they?

In June of 2006, the Supremes decided in the case of Hamdan v Rumsfeld, that tribunals held at Guantanamo violated the Geneva Convention and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.  The decision argued that the President  lacked the authority to create military commissions without the approval of Congress.  Oh! Look! the conservative court thinks the Separation of Powers a good thing… or does it?

For those who have forgotten the lessons of high school Civics, the notion of Separation of Powers embodies “Checks and Balances” .  The Supreme Court is interested in maintaining this ideal because it is where their powers lie.  The Supreme Court is appointed by the Executive Branch and confirmed by the Congress… so both branches of elected officials have a “say” in the members of the Supreme Court. The power of the Supreme Court is not specifically granted to it in the Constitution.  The Constitution says of the Supreme Court in Article III that “…judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court…”, it awards primary jurisdiction to the Supreme Court in cases involving “…ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be party…”.

Marbury v Madison  (1803) (remember that from high school Civics? History? No? Nothin’? Don’t remember it huh?) is the case that established the idea of judicial review and the right of the Supreme Court to review laws for their Constitutionality, although the idea is not a new one.  One of the most pertinent references is from Alexander Hamilton (aka Publius, one of the first “anonymous bloggers”) in The Federalist Papers No. 78. Hamilton wrote “…the courts were designed to be an intermediate body between the people and the legislature, in order, among other things, to keep the latter within the limits assigned to their authority.”  Here Hamilton puts forth that idea of separation of powers, specifically that the Courts have oversight of the Legislature.  He further states that the Constitution is “fundamental law” and if there “should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between the two…the Constitution ought to be preferred to the statute…”

In June 2008 the Supreme Court did rule that enemy combatants held at Guantanamo had the right to appeal their detention in US courts.  This decision applied to non-citizens under the Military Commissions Act, the brain-child of none other than John McCain and opposed in the Senate by Barack Obama… Obama even tried to limit the powers of the Military Commissions Act by putting a 5 year time limit on it.  No such amendment was approved, however, making the Military Commissions Act the law of our land for ever or until the Congress comes to its senses and repeals it.  Something I feel sure will happen during an Obama/Biden administration and, I am equally sure that it will not be repealed during a McCain/Palin administration.

But what is Habeas Corpus and why should we care (using the most specious of arguments) if we haven’t done anything wrong?

Habeas Corpus literally means “We command that you have the body.” It is a demand to present a prisioner, prove that there is some legitimate reason for holding the prisoner or release the prisoner if no such reason can be presented.  This prevents someone from taking you to jail (without proving lawful authority over you) and holding you there indefinitely.  Habeas Corpus has been suspended in the United States in the past.  Lincoln did it in the Civil War, in Hawaii from 1942 (just after Pearl Harbor) to 1944, and in 2001 after the 9/11 events.  In 1996, a statute of limitations was placed on Habeas Corpus of one year after conviction, thus limiting the power of all but Supreme court judges to provide relief and generally prevents appeal.  In 2007, Attorney General Gonzales called Habeas Corpus one of our most cherished rights and then went on to say that United States citizens were not guaranteed Habeas Corpus by the Constitution (NB: remember that the Attorney General is a member of the Executive Branch and as such interprets the Constitution and laws for the President of the United States.)  An attempt was made by both the Senate and House to restore Habeas Corpus for enemy combatants, but not US citizens, however the bills appear to be dead in committees.  Which brings us to where we are today, Habeas Corpus seems to be severely hampered for US citizens, but not enemy combatants.  Odd,don’t you think, that enemy combatants have more rights than US citizens?

Now, the big question is who’s side will the Supreme Court take if a US Citizen is involved?  Will they side with the guy who placed them in their position or the People, whom they are sworn to protect via the Constitution. Well, in the 2008 case, the dissenting Justices Alito, Scalia, Roberts, and Thomas have no plans for retirement and will be around long into the next Administration, while three of the five majority opinion Justices Ginsberg,Stevens & Souter may retire in the next administration. So what does that mean for Habeas Corpus for the rest of us (since we’re not covered under the Military Commissions Act)? Most likely, a Habeas Corpus case would not show up in the Supreme Court until well in to the next administration. If the next administration is Obama/Biden, then Habeas Corpus may be safe.  If the next administration is McCain/Palin, we could well return to the legal dark ages prior to the right of Habeas Corpus.

Update 9/24/08 12:45 p.m.:  In the above review of the laws in place, you will note that there is no mention of HR1955 or S1959, this is because while HR1955 was overwhelmingly passed by the House in a Roll Call Vote 404 Ayes, 6 Nays, 22 Present/Not Voting, S1959 is still wandering around the halls of the Senate.  I do want to list here the Patriots who voted against this bill in the House:  Jeff Flake, R-AZ (6th District), Dana Rohrabacher, R-CA (46th District), Neil Abercrombie, D-HI (1st District), Jerry Cotello, D-IL (12th District), Dennis Kucinich, D-OH (10th District), John Duncan R-TN (2nd District).  I am puzzled by the 22 Present but Not Voting and why would they not vote… I am sure they had their reasons, particularly Ron Paul R-TX (14th District), who was so outspoken against this bill.  I’ll have to look into it and see what his reasoning was.  Now usually when a bill hasn’t been acted upon after such a length of time, it means it is “dead”.  We can only hope this is true of HR1955/S1959.  So why do I feel like I am waiting for the other shoe to drop?

Next up:  Part II Habeas Corpus and Executive Orders

© 2008
Vote Obama/Biden 2008
Vote for Change we CAN Believe in!

Naomi Wolf Scared Me.

For that matter, so did Cartoon Pig Dog.  Now how would these two nice people scare someone they’ve never met?

Words, my friends, words… and you should be scared too… If you aren’t I hope that by the end of this article, you’ll write your own blog entry titled “SwinePrincess Scared Me”.

I beg you to please take the time to read Naomi Wolf’s two articles in Huffington Post: The Plan Part I and The Plan Part II: Sarah “Evita” Palin, the Muse of the Coming Police State.

In my opinion, we (the people of the United States of America) may well have suffered what amounts to a catastrophic failure.  Alarmist language, you say?  I hope so.  We have been asleep.  Snoozing for 8 years. Lulled into a false sense of security by the person who seized the opportunity presented or (according to theorists — some with tinfoil hats, some without) created the opportunity, we have failed to recognize some very important signs along the way. Wolf outlines ten steps to a totalitarian, fascist government: they are (from Daily Paul):

The ten steps:

1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy

2. Create a gulag

3. Develop a thug caste (Blackwater USA)

4. Set up an internal surveillance system

5. Harass citizens’ groups

6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release

7. Target key individuals

8. Control the press

9. Dissent equals treason

10. Suspend the rule of law

I implore you to take 43 minutes out of your life and listen to Naomi Wolf’s brilliant discussion of the subject on YouTube.  Wolf is even more compelling in the video than in writing.  She is a reasonable, non-threatening (as she calls herself) short Jewish woman who is the mom of a teenager…and when she speaks she could be giving a history lesson and is… she discusses the actions taken by Hitler and Germany leading up to Hitler’s totalitarian regime in a calm, reasonable, non-hysterical way that almost, not quite, but almost, makes you want to say… well it can’t be THAT bad.  But that calmness makes you realize that it is that bad.

Listening to her, I was reminded of a close friend of my mom’s who, at the age of 5 with her mother, father and 2 year old brother and infant sister, escaped from Germany into France, made their way across France, got on a boat and came to the US in 1940.  “Paula” (we’ll call her) was told by her mother (I am weeping as I type this so please excuse any typos) “I can’t carry you because I have to carry your sister.  Your father has to carry your brother, so you have to run from tree to tree.  Hide from anyone who might see you because those people want to hurt you.  Stay close to me Paula, but hide if you see anyone.”

Sounds like movie dialog right?  But it isn’t.  I have heard her tell the story. Put yourself in Paula’s mother’s shoes for a moment… Three children, two adults, what do you do? Can you imagine having to tell your 5 year old to hide from the bad people who were coming to kill her? I have a five year old niece.  She is smart enough to take care of her self if she were told this.  She would take it seriously.  I can’t accept that it would come to this, but then, there’s Paula.

If I am paranoid, it is with good reason.  See I also knew people Paula’s age who had numbers tattooed on their forearms.  Paula didn’t because her parents woke up before it was too late.

We have to wake up earlier than Paula’s parents.  We have to wake up now and stop this before it gets to the point where we have to figure out how we are going to cross a border into Canada or Mexico.

.

© 2008

Fear Factor: The Religious Right, Republicans and Why You Should Care

I woke up this morning thinking I should write something on the religious fervor in the Republican party and this election.  Then I went over to our friends at Mudflatland and found that others were thinking about the subject themselves.

The more I think about this subject the more I see I cannot cover it well in one small post… so here’s the plan, taking a page from Arkangel3 and Arn, aka Cartoon Pig Dog, I am going to do this in three or four installments.  The first “real” post will come later today probably more like Monday now! Sorry, the opening of the new Mudflats Forum has delayed my writing tasks!.

The beginnings of all this has to do with three posters @Mudflats (thanks to Jade, White Agate and Proud2B) who mentioned that Sarah has been compared recently to the biblical character Esther.  Now, this is interesting, because there are a lot of holes in that theory and I will attempt to shoot straws through as many as I can find.  More interesting though is the notion that people like Hal Lindsey are thinking that the nomination of Obama is just another road sign on the way to Armageddon, and there are places where is is almost gleeful about it — almost as though he’d like to see an Obama presidency just because it would bring us that much closer to the end of days — almost but not quite.  He really cannot bring himself to say this and that at least speaks to what is left of his ethics.

September 24, 2008 4:00 p.m.

Hi, folks.  Just wanted to apologize for the tease… I really do intend to write about this subject soon, but looks like I am sort of “other directed” right now with different concerns… today I see the threat level as coming from vastly different sources… please read some of my other pieces… you’ll see. Until then, let me just say that I’ll get back to you on this… thanks for stopping by!

© 2008
Vote Obama/Biden 2008
Vote for Change we CAN Believe in!