Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Political Report Card - Podcasts

The Political Report Card - Podcast #1
This is a conversation between me and a friend about the Hurricane Katreina catastrophe. This conversation is about 50 min. long.

911 Tribute - Podcast #2
A collection of thoughts and recollections on the World Trade Center complex as I remember it during a working trip to New York, what I was doing on September 11, 2001, and other thoughts about that day in our history.

The Political Report Card - Podcast #3
This Podcast is just some plain talk about the state of things surrounding the New Orleans disaster. We focus on the issues from the perspective of African Americans. The ideas are really about all Americans.

The Political Report Card - Podcast #4
This is a rebroadcast of an interview with the author Jim Garrison. the interview was broadcasted September 6, 2005 on the radio program Politics and Religion with its host Dr. Ervin Baxtor.

Central to Garrison's critique is the question of whether Americans are willing to acknowledge and accept the responsibility that its unrivaled power confers. Will it wield its overarching might merely to insure its own continuing sovereignty? Or will America reach for a higher goal and become what Garrison calls a “transitional” power?

The Political Report Card - Podcast #5
In this issue of The Political Report Card - Podcast, I talk about the response of the government to the hurricane in New Orleans and how according to reports how some blacks conducted themselves during the disaster.

As an African American male, I can talk about things that other portions of the public cannot talk about. I tell it like it is in this podcast.

The Political Report Card - Podcast #6
Comments on the presidential speech given on 10-6-05. Comments on how the conservatives are not endorsing the president’s selection of Harriet Miers as Supreme Court justice. Comments on the president’s judgment.

Comments from an American Patriot.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Please Don’t Take Away our America

The July 7th attack on London’s transportation system was a shock to all of us who see ourselves in the cross hairs of Al Qaeda linked groups. Several blasts were triggered within minutes of one another for maximum psychological effect. In the days that followed, the Brits were at their defiant best. Thousands were out in force, going about their way, showing that they would not be intimidated. They rode their transportation system in mass numbers, with the sprit of those who lived through the Blitz of WWII.

Then came the events of one week later. There were several seemingly failed attempts to recreate the attacks of a week earlier. Tony Blair, British Prime Minister responded with hard line measures. Measures like (to name a few):
  • Increase the number of special judges hearing terror cases
  • Ban the Hizb ut Tahrir and Al-Muhajiroun organisations
  • Review the threshold for gaining British citizenship
  • Create a list of preachers who will be kept out of the UK
  • Use biometric visas for those from designated countries

I am sure that these and other measures are all fine and good for the UK. However, some of these measures would be looked upon with scorn if initiated in the United States. We can be grateful that we have a constitution that prevents one man from going around the protections we enjoy in this country. Oh, I forgot about the Patriot Act, a document that allows one man to go around the protections we use to enjoy under our constitution.

In my opinion, the relaxation of freedoms that is happening in Great Britain is a test, an experiment that shows how free people will take to the idea of emergency suspension of freedoms. The key is to tell the people the suspension of freedoms will only affect the enemy group, in that case people of Arab nationality (AKA extremists).

It maybe only a mater of time before we in this United States are asked to accept special judges and courts, asked to carry identity documents, asked to curtail freedom of speech, and relinquish other freedoms that will make us safe. If our response to another attack in the United States (God Forbid), is for this country to become a police state, then who has won, us or the extremists?

It is what you do, not what you think, or believe, or agree with, that makes one dangerous. Unless free thought has somehow become dangerous.

Comments from an American Patriot.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Your Papers, Please!

“Let me see your papers?” For those of us who have ever watched one of those old WWII or cold-war spy movies and books have heard these words. The context is one where a Nazi military officer or some sinister Soviet official is asking someone for his or her identity documents.

Sounds like a relic of a by gone era? Or, maybe a caricature of a totalitarian government? Or, maybe the not too distant future in the United States? Soon, you will need your identity documents to move freely within this country.

On Tuesday, May 10, 2005, our U.S. senators unanimously voted, with no discussion, and without even reading the bill, to turn our drivers licenses into national identity documents. It’s called H.R. 418 [the Real ID Act of 2005] by Rep. James Sensenbrenner, a Republican from Wisconsin.

In little more than one year, by May 2008, the movie caricature of on-demand identity documents will be reality in the United States. This legislation was allowed to slip in to being as part of a larger spending bill. It is being sold as a means of verifying the identity of Americans, but its real purpose is to control people. And control is the opposite of freedom.

Why is it a national ID? Although the individual states will administer their part of the program, the information databases will be linked nationally and states national funding will be tied to their adoption of the program. In other words it will become mandatory.

It is unbelievable that this is happening without so much as a wimpier from the people of this country. Who are we, and what have we become? Have we allowed fear, carefully manipulated by a political group to blind us so much that we have forgotten what has made this country great? This is, or was, the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave. We need to start showing some bravery if we expect to remain free. We had better start to have more conversations about what is freedom, because we are loosing more and more of it each and every day.

Is the great experiment of a Constitutional Republic coming to an end? If we allow our way of live to change, then who wins, a home grown political ideology, the terrorists, or us, the people if the United States?

Following are links to audio discussions talking about this bill:

Comments from an American Patriot.

How Should We (The People) Reward Deception

Before the president attacked the country of Iraq, there were many public conversations on why is it important to go to war with Iraq? The political pundits and talking heads on the side of the Bush administration provided many possibilities based on little more than wishful thinking. Among these, were how combat and political realities on the ground would work themselves out.

In addition to being wrong about what would happen once we got there, the reasons for going there have also (at their own admissions) been proven to false. Things like… no weapons of mass destruction; no direct or indirect threat to the United States; no collaboration with Osama; no happy Iraqi; no greeting our solders with sweets, and so on… and so on…

There is no doubt that we support those brave people fighting in Iraq. They are doing there duty as solders in the U.S. Military. These brave people are also our friends, neighbors, fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters. They are not the relatives of those who sent them. It is offensive to propose that not supporting the war and the reasons for going there is the same as not supporting the solders. We love the people fighting, but we do not love the war and the deceptions that got us there. Creating a union between an unjustifiable war and our love for the people fighting it is a further deception by those who dragged this country into war.

Now that we are in Iraq, the people who gave the false justifications for being there now ask us to get behind the people fighting this war. The question is; should we reward deception by blindly supporting the war in Iraq? Is it the duty of every American to question our elected officials? What of next attack this administration involves itself in? Do we simply click out heels and charge head long in another crusade?

To put it another way, we can love our solders and hate a war they have been asked to fight? Yes! Lastly, now that we are there, and it is clear not that the information that got us there has been exposed as fraudulent, should we simply go along or should we demand a change in our direction?

I fear that simply going along with what has occurred and not questioning these actions, will reward the manipulation of the American people and encourage further lenience to misuse power.

Comments from an American Patriot.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Mass Failures in Judgment: A short list of mistakes made by President Bush in his first term

Bush Promoted: All health workers in the United States should take a Smallpox Vaccination.
Result: Between 80 and 90 percent of the nations healthcare workers refused to take the vaccine, referring to the age of the vaccine and the known negative side effects of the vaccine.

Bush Promoted: Making up information about Uranium purchases, unmanned aerial vehicles, WMDs, etc. to the UN to in order to persuade other nations to attack Iraq.
Result: No evidence found to support a single assertion made during the UN addresses. As such, we appear as untrustworthy with little or no credibly. The next time, when there is a real crisis, who will believe the U.S.?

Bush Promoted: Being dismissive to other nations who questioned our assertions leading up to the attack on Iraq.
Result: All those nations we dismissed, we now need to help with cost and manpower, but they are not cooperating. This makes this country less safe.

Bush Promoted: Playing a totally hands-off stance for far too long when Arafat and the Israeli Prime Minister were trying to negotiate some kind of peace.
Result: Arafat home and headquarters destroyed, both sides taking harder stances. More deaths are the result. More war and more deaths are assured.

Bush Promoted: Placing the weight of the White House to the Roadmap for Peace, but not doing enough to assure its success.
Result: More confusion and violence than ever before. Clearly, the US cannot force the issues between both sides. Ending with the creation of the security wall around Israel.

Bush Promoted: Attacking Iraq in response to the 911 attacks on the World Trade Center rather than the group that actually attacked us on 911.
Result: Alienation of every major and minor country with an allegiance of the United States. The US is more on its on regarding the global war we are involved with. US Solders are being short changed from getting all that they need to be effective in the tasks they are being asked to fulfill.

Bush Promoted: Totally destroying all the cooperation the US had within the world community immediately after the 911 attacks.
Result: Little or no cooperation from nearly every country in the world. Tentative cooperation from nations given economic incentives to help the US. Less chances of gaining cooperation from other nations when we need them for a real crisis.

Bush Promoted: Backing the coup d'état (over through) of the elected government of Venezuela (Late 2001). After the over through was put down, the US had to reconcile its actions when the elected leader returned to his position.
Result: Broken relationship with a country from which we purchase a great deal of the nations oil. Now that OPIC has decided to reduce oil production (April 1, 2004), we will need the Venezuelan oil even more. But the relationship has been unnecessarily damaged. This places our economy in danger.

Bush Promoted: Naming (North Korea, Iran, and Iraq) the Axis of Evil.
Result: Iraq is invaded, but North Korea and Iran are both perusing nuclear weapons in response to the US declaring that it is targeting those nations. Insuring the spread of WMDs to nations that now feel threatened by the US and possibly creating self-defense alliances between nations against the U.S.

Bush Promoted: A banner proclaiming "mission accomplished" on the aircraft carrier where President George W. Bush declared an end to major combat in Iraq came back to haunt him as the death toll rises.

Bush's attempt to explain the banner at a press conference only heightened the controversy, with the White House attempting to dig itself out. Or, rather attempting to blame some else for its own mistake.
Result: We've lost more lives since (Bush) declared victory than we lost prior to the time he declared victory. This fabrication is yet another illustration of their (the Republican administration's) unwillingness to except reality.

Bush Promoted: The Patriot Act and the Department of Homeland Security, the largest government institution created in the last 50 years.
Result: Reduction of the basic freedoms for every American through various portions of “The Patriot Act”. We are now told that we live in what can easily be sand is a surveillance society. Tom Ridge said, “there is no expectation of privacy”. The Soviet Union use to hold that dubious distinction. Now it’s us.

Bush Promoted: No Bid contracts to a single contractor “Halliburton Corp”.
Result: Applying a profit motive for war and therefore insuring more war (because it is good for business). The appearance and substance of illegal and immoral dealings and the highest positions of the U.S government.

Conclusion: During the 2004 elections, the Republicans conveniently put away their since of right and wrong, their since of fiscal and moral responsibility, and voted for Bush anyway. In the face of numerous miscalculations and mistakes, they voted for Bush anyway.

Comments from an American Patriot.

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