Thursday, November 20, 2014

Will President Obama's Latest Executive Order Push the Republican Know Nothings Over the Edge?

Tonight, in a speech the American networks, ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX, are refusing to cover, President Obama is expected to announce an Executive Order executing some sort of action regarding the immigration issue.

This has the Republicans, also known as the Know-Nothings, in high umbrage mode, again rattling the impeachment cage.

If you listen to the Know-Nothings, and knew nothing about the reality of the American Constitution, you'd believe Rush Limbaugh when he rants that Obama is trying to dismantle the Constitution and end America as we know it.

These type poorly educated blowhards have been part of the American landscape all the way back to the start of the nation. Only in modern day America, sadly, these types can access millions with their idiocy, via having a radio show.

As you can see, via the chart above, the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, sparingly used Executive Orders. Lincoln was president during a period where he had reason to use all the power available to him. Subsequent Republican presidents made frequent use of Executive Orders, with Teddy Roosevelt using this power the most.

Barack Obama is second to Lincoln in the limited number of times he has issued an Executive Order.

Way back a couple centuries ago, in the election in which Thomas Jefferson defeated John Adams to become the first Democratic-Republican President, Adams' Federalist Party ran on a campaign of fear mongering claiming that if Jefferson were elected he would destroy the Constitution.

Instead, immediately upon taking over as president, Jefferson used an Executive Order overturning Federalist abuses of power, freeing all who were imprisoned or facing prosecution under the Adams' administration's Alien and Sedition Act, an Act which actually did endanger the Constitution and its Bill of Rights.

I fear it is not going to be pretty what the Republican Know-Nothings are about to come up with in reaction to President Obama's latest Executive Order....

Monday, November 17, 2014

ISIS & the Stupidity of Evil Can Kill Both Domestic & Foreign

Rosewater is a movie written and directed by Jon Stewart about a Canadian-Iranian journalist named Maziar Bahari who found himself jailed in Iran for 118 days due to idiotic Iranian spy accusations based on nonsense.

At some point in Rosewater Jon Stewart sums it up, saying "Some people are just idiots, and the stupidity of evil can kill you".

Which brings me to the idiotic stupidity of that entity known as ISIS, currently terrorizing large swatches of Iraq and Syria with crucifixions, mass murders and beheadings, among with other atrocities.

The world reaction to the ISIS debacle totally perplexes me.

We have had multiple beheadings of Americans, shown via video on YouTube. Along with beheadings of nationals of American allies, like the UK.

When is the United Nations Security Council going to meet to deal with ISIS?

How is it that the United States presented a case before the United Nations Security Council calling for action against Saddam Hussein, and Iraq, due to what turned out to be false claims that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction posing a threat to the peace of the world?

And so America led its allies in America's first pre-emptive war, against a foe who had beheaded no Americans.

What is the point of America spending trillions of dollars on defense when we have a situation where Americans are being beheaded with America not using the full power at its disposal, both military and diplomatic, to put an end to ISIS?

I don't get it.

All that money wasted taking down Saddam, and the chaos which followed, which pretty much led to the festering of the ISIS virus.

The United States led a coalition of around a half million soldiers to free Kuwati from Iraq. The United Nations was on board with that.

Is this ISIS problem not at least as serious as was the Iraqi takeover of Kuwait?

It is just maddening, all the resources wasted with the toppling of Saddam, who posed no threat, with that toppling resulting in the deaths of thousands of American soldiers, the wounding of thousands more, the deaths of untold thousands of Iraqis.

All in a war which never should have happened and which brought about the instability brought by ISIS.

You think ISIS would be beheading Americans if Saddam where still in control of Iraq?


Would America be better off right now if Saddam were still in control of Iraq?

Most likely yes.

Would America be better off right now if the man who actually won the 2000 election became president, rather than the man who got a couple million fewer votes than George W. Bush?

Most likely yes.

How does George W. Bush sleep at peace with himself? I have no idea. The benefit of having no conscience?

Most likely yes.....

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

For Veterans Day We Need A 21st Century Bonus Army March On Washington

Today is Veterans Day in America. The annual federal holiday where we honor Veterans, past and present.

Honoring Veterans is a fine thing to do. Expressing one sentiments honoring Veterans is a fine thing to do. Remembering the fallen is a fine thing to do.


Today something about Veterans Day is bugging me bad.

Currently, every day, on average, 26 Veterans commit suicide.

Remember the recent fuss made over one person in Dallas dying from Ebola?

I repeat, on average, 26 Veterans commit suicide every day.

We hear reports over and over again about Veterans hospitals not properly treating injured soldiers, now safely back home in America, trying to recover from the damage done to their minds and bodies.

The Veterans Administration is underfunded.

How much does one aircraft carrier cost? How much would it cost to fully fund the Veterans Administration?

How can Americans proudly salute the service of Veterans and then so drastically underserve them when the get back home?

I know of National Guard Veterans, called to serve in Iraq, leaving job and family behind, not paid enough to make the house payments, badly wounded, not able to get adequate treatment, returned home to face bankruptcy,

I have seen a Veteran living in a ramshackle cardboard shack in a wooded area behind a grocery store.

Many among America's returned Veterans are among America's Homeless People.

To me, much of this tribute paying to Veterans today rings very hollow.

But, this is not a new phenomenon in America. Read the Bonus Army article in Wikipedia if you are unaware of the long history of the American government's bad treatment of America's Veterans.

Just one snippet from the Bonus Army article should whet your curiosity.....

U.S. Attorney General William D. Mitchell ordered the veterans removed from all government property. Washington police met with resistance, shots were fired and two veterans were wounded and later died. Veterans were also shot dead at other locations during the demonstration. President Herbert Hoover then ordered the army to clear the veterans' campsite. Army Chief of Staff General Douglas MacArthur commanded the infantry and cavalry supported by six tanks. The Bonus Army marchers with their wives and children were driven out, and their shelters and belongings burned.

By next Veterans Day it is my hope that a Bonus Army of this Century marches on Washington, demanding that America do the right thing for its Veterans, as in all the medical and financial help needed to make the Veteran whole again.

And if Americans really want to celebrate Veterans Day in an actual meaningful way, they should join the Bonus Army march....

Monday, November 10, 2014

Senator Bernie Sanders' Proposed Democracy Day Elections in America

Vermont's junior Senator, Bernie Sanders, has proposed a new federal holiday, Democracy Day,  making Election Day into a national holiday, a day off work so everyone can make it to the polls.

Senator Sanders has a Democracy Day website where you can sign up, via petition, to support his Democracy Day bill.

A couple paragraphs from the Democracy Day website....

In America, we should be celebrating our democracy and doing everything possible to make it easier for people to participate in the political process. Election Day should be a national holiday so that everyone has the time and opportunity to vote. While this would not be a cure-all, it would indicate a national commitment to create a more vibrant democracy.

We should not be satisfied with a "democracy" in which more than 60 percent of our people don't vote and some 80 percent of young people and low-income Americans fail to vote. We can and must do better than that. While we must also focus on campaign finance reform and public funding of elections, establishing an Election Day holiday would be an important step forward.

I have long thought it odd that America's biggest election days, those being the every four years presidential elections and the mid-term elections, take place on a Tuesday, that being a working day for most Americans lucky enough to have a job.

Saturday would seem to be a much more logical day for an election.

I don't know if the premise behind the idea of turning election day into a national holiday would result in more  voters going to the polls.

Voting is already extremely easy to do, without going to the polls on voting day.

When I lived  in Washington, I, like most Washingtonians, voted via a permanent absentee ballot, which basically is voting by mail.

My current location, Texas, has the absentee ballot option, plus many days of early voting where one can go to a polling place and do their voting, which is what I did a week before the most recent election day.

So, I am thinking the low voter turnout is not a a function of election day taking place on a workday, I think it is more a function of way too many people thinking that voting does not matter, that voting does not effect them, that voting makes no difference in their lives.

Convincing people that voting matters, that would seem to me to more likely result in a real Democracy Day.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Sarcastically Congratulating American Voters on a Well Played Election

I saw the above on Facebook via someone named Janis Ian. The results of America's most recent election are puzzling.

Puzzling to many Americans and to many people around the world.

This Janis Ian Facebook post generated dozens upon dozens of comments, from all over the world. A sample below of three of those comments....

What I just can't grasp is that, apparently, many Americans can't understand Obama needed even móre time than he expected to clean up the mess of TWO Bush-administrations. If WE understand it in the Netherlands already, surely the Americans should tóó. Now áll Obama has achieved may be ruined again .... scares me to bits.
Only 37% of registered voters went to the polls. This is the pathetic result.
The rest of the world is correct in thinking most of the people living in the United States are stupid.

That last comment seems a bit harsh........