Sunday, February 24, 2008

Tough shit, Dubya (why there might be hope after all)

"Congress' failure to pass this legislation was irresponsible. ... It will leave our nation increasingly vulnerable to attack. ... It is unfair and unjust to threaten [telecommunications] companies with financial ruin only because they are believed to have done the right thing and helped their country". - President Bush in his weekly radio address, 23-February-08

In a rare display of spine, Democrats in the House Of Representatives let the dishonestly-named “Protect America Act” expire rather than permanently sanction the lawless practice of warrantless wiretapping and grant legal immunity to the telecommunications companies which made it happen. President Bush practically accused the Democrats of handing the country over to our enemies on a silver platter.

Dubya, I've got a newsflash for you. America has always had enemies. And you know what? We've dealt with them. And we did it without turning America into a Stalinistic surveillance state.

For instance, ever hear of Adolf Hitler? He was one of the worst criminal sociopaths ever to hold high office. He had a powerful army at his disposal. He was bent on conquering the world, and he almost did it. He declared war on America while his buddy, Japanese Emperor Hirohito was using his air force to bomb the hell out of our naval base at Pearl harbor. It was the most destructive war in human history, but we won it. Did we have wartime security? We sure did. But our government basically left the Constitution intact. When authorities caught a gang of Nazi spies in the New York area, they followed standard criminal law proceedings. The spies were arrested, tried, convicted of espionage, and then executed on New York State's electric chair. No USA PATRIOT Act, no warrantless wiretapping.

How about the Soviet Union? Talk about an enemy. Their leaders once vowed “We will bury you!” No mere ramshackle gang of terrorists with box cutters, they had the world's largest army. They had enough nuclear weapons to reduce not just our country but the entire planet to a fine, radioactive mist. Some were on military bases, some were being moved constantly on railroads and still others traveled unseen on submarines, each of which could carry enough nuclear missiles to wipe out several major U.S. cities in one go. We eventually defeated the Soviet Union, without turning our society into a mirror of their failed totalitarian state.

Pardoning telecom companies for being accomplices in your unwarranted, wrongful surveillance of thousands of law-abiding American citizens would mean the final triumph of official lawlessness. You claim that it was vital for national security. I say to you that gathering dirt on citizens is nothing but a classic instrument of tyranny.

It would be tempting to call you a tyrant, Mister Bush, but that would be unnecessarily glorifying you. All I see in you is a pitiful man who has had everything handed to him all his life by his rich and well-connected daddy, who has never had to do any real work in his life, let alone fight alongside other members of his generation in the Vietnam war. Your drug and alcohol abuse has led you to embrace a twisted, perverted version of religion and given you the paranoiac notion that you are doing God's will. I'm glad that the House of Representatives has finally lived up to its name and, at least this time, delivered you the defeat that you deserve.

Monday, February 18, 2008

More than a jittery feeling

"I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God, and that's what we need to do is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards." - Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Michigan campaign stop, January 18, 2008

Under the heading of “Stranger than Fiction”:

Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is jazzing up his campaign by playing bass guitar in a band he calls “Capitol Offense” (yuk, yuk, yuk!!). Joining him for part of his campaign tour is Barry Godreau, a former member of the 1970's arena-rock band, Boston. One of the tunes Capitol Offense has featured is the 1976 hit single, “More Than A Feeling”, which has also been used as background music in a Huckabee campaign ad. Trouble is ,Tom Scholz, lead singer-songwriter of Boston and the guy who wrote that song didn't give his permission for it to be performed in public, let alone by a band fronted by a man who if elected would probably do whatever it took to get rock music (and “liberal media” news) off of every radio station in America.

Mr. Scholz has publicly expressed his disapproval for Mr. Huckabee's philosophy in general and Mr. Godreau's actions in particular. Mr. Godreau has pretty much chosen to ignore Mr. Scholz's admonishments. Fred Bramante, who was chairman of Huckabee's New Hampshire campaign chimed in: "Gov. Huckabee plays 'Sweet Home Alabama.' Does that mean Lynyrd Skynyrd is endorsing him? He plays 'Louie Louie.' Does that mean the Kingsmen are endorsing him?"

Regardless of whoever does or doesn't endorse Governor Huckabee (who by the way, stands a good chance of becoming John McCain's running mate since McCain has to somehow appease the religious right), what bothers me the most is the image of a virulent, avowed religious extremist trying to make himself look like a regular guy by playing in a band that covers classic rock tunes.