Wednesday, February 1, 2006

State of the Lack of Union


As much as it pains me to say this, I have taken a new interest in politics since I started blogging.

I mean, they just give you so much material.

If you've been reading for a little while, you'll recall that politicians as a whole, and the state of our political system as a whole, make my stomach turn. The State of the Union address last night, and the comments surrounding it, re-emphasized that for me.

I am simply baffled by the split-party system. It amazes me to watch the miraculous coincidence that occurs when there were just two views in that chamber, either virtually half the room complely supported or did not support what the President was saying. There are exceptions (John McCain, Joe Lieberman) to the rule, but I think this is why so much money is wasted and so little gets accomplished in so much time on the Hill. We need to get someone in charge that honestly does not care about his own party and only for what he believes is right. John McCain, from what I've seen, seems to be the kind of person who does that.

Mind you, I'm not an expert in politics. I hardly followed it at all until the last election...

A great moment last night that was (unfortunately) not caught on the cameras was some psycho Cindy Sheehan being arrested for wearing an anti-war t-shirt into the chamber. C'mon, girlfriend. I've never protested anything actively, but I would imagine that the smart thing for her to have done would have been to behave and just go to the speech. She would have been caught on camera probably a million times. Everyone knows what she stands for--she would have effectively protested the war with her silence if she wasn't acting like a complete idiot.

I liked a lot of what the Pres said last night. Some of it seemed a bit unrealistic, but I missed a bit since I was competing with the monkies climbing all over me while I tried to watch. I did get a good listen to the military stuff, the most important line to me being:
"As we make progress on the ground, and Iraqi forces increasingly take the lead, we should be able to further decrease our troop levels -- but those decisions will be made by our military commanders, not by politicians in Washington, D.C."

The next couple of years are going to dramatically alter the political spectrum of this country. Although I don't think it will change (safety in numbers), the first step for our government to take to move forward is to drop the partisan politcs, and to vote for conscience and what is right, rather than for money and job security.

21 comments:

  1. Nice! I like your new blog updates!!! :)

    I hope McCain runs in 2008. If it's more of the same old/same old koolaid drinkers on both sides, it's really gonna bum me out.

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  2. Here's Cindy's description of the events, offered here for the sake of balance. Yes, she can be firey sometimes, but she's probably not stupid - or 'psycho' . . .

    My ticket was in the 5th gallery, front row, fourth seat in. The person who in a few minutes was to arrest me, helped me to my seat.

    I had just sat down and I was warm from climbing 3 flights of stairs back up from the bathroom so I unzipped my jacket. I turned to the right to take my left arm out, when the same officer saw my shirt and yelled, "Protester." He then ran over to me, hauled me out of my seat, and roughly (with my hands behind my back) shoved me up the stairs. I said something like "I'm going, do you have to be so rough?" By the way, his name is Mike Weight.

    The officer ran with me to the elevators, yelling at everyone to move out of the way. When we got to the elevators, he cuffed me and took me outside to await a squad car. On the way out, someone behind me said, "That's Cindy Sheehan." At which point the officer who arrested me said, "Take these steps slowly." I said, "You didn't care about being careful when you were dragging me up the other steps." He said, "That's because you were protesting." Wow, I got hauled out of the People's House because I was "Protesting."

    I was never told that I couldn't wear that shirt into the Congress. I was never asked to take it off or zip my jacket back up. If I had been asked to do any of those things ... I would have, and written about the suppression of my freedom of speech later. I was immediately and roughly (I have the bruises and muscle spasms to prove it) hauled off and arrested for "unlawful conduct."

    [I wonder how Mike Weight would describe the events, as opposed to the media version of them?]

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  3. Interesting....I have a Cindy Sheehan supporter that reads my blog...

    I guess "psycho" may be the wrong word. But I do believe that she has gone off the deep end as a result of the media attention she has garnered, and I do believe that anyone who displays the behavior she has, and associates with the individuals (Chaves) and groups (Code Pink, MoveOn.org) she has, exercises poor judgement and a clouded view. Incidentally, I believe that even these dangerous wacko (I think that's the right word) groups have begun to pull their support because of her actions.

    She, along with the many people, groups, and politicians who believe that their actions display even a remote support of our troops in harm's way are, in a word, stupid.

    The anti-war movement in the US and abroad is tantamount to Jane sitting on the guns in Hanoi. I am not putting everyone that disagrees with the way we are fighting this conflict or whether we should be over there at all in the same boat as these people. It baffles me that people don't see that vocally taking action against the war is damaging to troop's morale, destructive to our cause, and encouraging to the enemy.

    So...I concede that "psycho" is a wrong word, since it implies a murderous criminal. Maybe "crazy woman" or "delusional media hound" is a better description.

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  4. Oh boy.

    Hey, I support Cindy. Simply because because she is a U.S. citizen, she is protected by the First Amendment.

    I mean, the sound of Donald Rumsfeld speaking is like fingernails on a chalkboard… but again… he is protected by the Constitution just like the rest of us.

    We should never forget that. Regardless of who you are, you have the right to say what’s on your mind… and if we as a people don’t like it… we can shut it off.

    With regards to the troops… low morale is rampant among enlisted soldiers (and some officers) primarily because it SUCKS OVER THERE. MREs, dirty drinking water, days without a shower, 130 degree heat, slow mail delivery, inadequate body armor, never knowing if and when their number is going to come up and they lose a limb… or their life… and watching their fellow soldiers get blown to bits by IEDs.

    I know of one soldier who had to pick up the body parts of his driver and put them in a Hefty bag and send him home… in a casket... to his wife and two young children. This happens every day.

    And because when they come home, the Department of Veterans Affairs is so crippled by budget cuts from the Bush Administration, they can’t get proper mental health care for post-traumatic stress syndrome. And so our fine young men are left to their own devices.

    Low morale is not because the American people are protesting their deployment to Iraq. They want to come home as much as we want them home.

    Cindy isn't psycho... she is an American citizen protected by the First Amendment. Which our soldiers defend. And which the Bush administration tramples on... on a daily basis.

    P.S. I probably could have written something much more articulate... but the State of the Union is too fresh. I'm still pissed.

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  5. And yet another Cindy supporter...remind me to post about stuff that deserves such support.

    I agree with everything you've said about being over there--as you obviously know people that have gone. I also know, in addition to it "sucking over there," which it does, that the VAST majority of the US Military very strongly believes in what we are doing there, and the only time I heard people bitch is when they would see what was going on back home. I know not one (though I'm sure they exist somewhere) soldier that believes in what she is doing.

    You're right about the VA issues. I hope I have not implied a stance of overwhelming support for politicians in our government. I am limited by duty and by being an officer, however, in how much I can say on here regarding that.

    As far as attacks, go--what I can say is that they do not happen every day, though they do happen often. And the sooner we can win this thing and leave victorious, the better. Pulling our guys out now would result in a catastrophic meltdown in theater, which would start in Iraq, but would end on our own shores. And then everything those guys have died for was for nothing.

    What some people don't realize is how far we are from true peace. I fear an administration that goes to war hastily based upon a percieved threat. What I fear more is an isolationist mentality, which is what a defeatist administration would do, because that would be an open invitation to attack us at home.

    I feel for you, for your family, and for those that you know who have been in harm's way. I truly hope they will be able to recover from whatever has happened to them and consider them heroes.

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  6. Thanks for articulating, Lucky, precisely why I voted for Bush, the first republican I've EVER voted for, in 2004.

    If I were president, I might not have sent troops into Iraq quite as quickly as Bush did. On the other hand, 9/11 changed EVERYTHING for me, in terms of how we need to deal with potential threats, as a country.

    I simply didn't trust John Kerry to do the right thing by the troops we already had in Iraq in 2004. I knew what Bush would do, but I literally had no idea what Kerry might do. I was afraid he was another Clinton, someone who would govern by opinion polls, and not on the basis of his gut and his beliefs.

    As for Ms. Sheehan...there are RULES for public protest, and those rules have existed for many years.

    There are rules for CONDUCT within the capitol building. I'm sorry some of your posters are apparently unaware of those rules, but they far predate the presidency of W.

    As for Ms. Sheehan, I'm deeply sorry for her loss. Everything that I have to say about her can be found here:

    http://dubiouswonder.blogspot.com/2005/08/some-words-have-effect.html

    I think her behavior was inappropriate during the SOTU address. As for her sanity, not being a professional mental health services provider, I can't say if she's sane or not. However, she doesn't seem to grasp decorum at all.

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  7. a little more...

    The U.S. Capitol is governed by certain rules. Lobbying WITHIN the building is forbidden. Appropriate attire for visitors in the gallery section (coat and tie) is required.

    Visitors in the gallery section are NOT allowed to speak.

    When a person attends the SOTU address, bear in mind that they are attending an ACTIVE SESSION of CONGRESS...CONGRESS is at work, and the POTUS is reporting on the status of the affairs of government TO THEM.

    The Congress, when in session, follows Roberts Rules of Procedure, and even the elected representatives CANNOT speak unless formally recognized, and must be dressed appropriately according to the rules they have established governing conduct within the chamber.

    Do they not teach civics anymore in high school? Geez.

    Cindy Sheehan was there as a GUEST of Congress. It isn't a right to be there on that evening, it is a PRIVILEGE. Only so many invited guests can be accomodated.

    If she wished to protest, she should have gotten a permit and done so.

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  8. Rules governing conduct of visitors in the Capitol Gallery:

    http://www.senate.gov/galleries/radiotv/rules.htm

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  9. I think I have to agree with 'delusional media hound' that is my favorite; butit's also possible that 'enemy of the state' would be fitting as well considering some of her recent associations!

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  10. If she wished to protest, she should have gotten a permit and done so.

    Better yet, she's more than welcome to make an appearance in the blogosphere...when she's not surrounded by constant worshippers.

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  11. Good to see some discussion.

    For clarification, sources close to the case have indicated that the Capitol Police will ask the US Attorney to drop the charges against Cindy and the wife of Rep. C.W. Bill Young - Beverly Young, because there is no rule or law that they could find which was violated.

    Now that is said I would like to clarify that I dont label myself a supporter or follower of anyone (including Cindy). I did that for several years when I was much younger. Now I prefer look around and check lots of sources and try to sit with them all until some logic or clarity shines through.

    I do believe everyone has a right to express their point of view even if I dont agree with it. If Dave's blog is to be useful we need to be able to freely challenge the ideas rather than the people presenting them.

    Bring on the discussion...

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  12. I don't know who Dave is... but James sounds like a smart man.

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  13. Does anyone know why WTC 7 collapsed on Sept 11?

    I don't know why and no-one can tell me.

    Please help

    Scott

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  14. Sorry Lucky,

    I am usually "a smart man" but sometimes... :-)

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  15. Scott:

    It collapsed because Dick Cheney personally went there and planted plastic explosives on the foundation, and then detonated them from Air Force II.

    Now, hunny, here's your tinfoil hat. Go play in the traffic.

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  16. James...I don't find "sources close to the case" unnamed and unquoted to be enough given that I already linked to the rule of order that she violated.

    ciao.

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  17. I made it as far as the onramp before some dolt almost squashed me with his Lexus (that traffic advice was not safe - & I wouldn't recommend that to anyone else again:).

    I'm not sure about your answer... If Cheney bombed the WTC then why are brown people being greased all over the world by the largest military force in history? ... wait... is that -because- Cheney bombed the WTC?

    Some more questions now:

    1/ I was watching some old Fox news footage (The only news source that I trust) & couldn't see or find wreckage consistent with a jumbo crash incident either in PA or in DC. No seats, wheels, tailsections, engines, bits of dead kids, nothing. What's going on there?

    2/ If Saddam had had UN resolution veto power - would he have violated any resolutions?

    3/ Why was the hole in the Pentagon smaller than a 757?

    4/ Where are the passengers from these planes?

    5/ America has an Air Force II ?

    6/ Does living in a police state make you safer?

    7/ Why does the bible keep evolving? and why isn't America mentioned once? why does it only really mention the geographical area around the Mediterranian Sea? (this confuses the gosh heck out of me)

    8/ Why is your life getting more expensive?

    9/ Did Chris Columbus -really- discover America or did he find other humans when he got there?

    10/ Does wealth really flow upwards and not downwards?

    11/ How do service people serving in Iraq not breathe in radioactive particles from Depleted Uranium munitions? Do they get a mask or something?

    12/ What is a Military Industrial Complex?

    14/ Will Arnold become President?

    15/ Does deploying a chemical weapon become legal once you change its name? (I refer here to the Mk77 Firebomb - the one that closely resembles napalm when you drop it on civilians and other soft targets)

    16/ Do private security firms get to have their own flags?

    17/ Why do precision munitions often miss?

    18/ Why dosen't white phosporus burn clothing?


    This stuff keeps me awake at night so any answers to the above would be really great. One thing I do know: there is serious dissonance between the CIC's definitions of democracy, and what the word democracy means to the rest of the world. By world, I mean the great big ball that we are standing on. That which exists beyond your terrified borders.

    Good luck for the future,

    Scott

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  18. Scott,

    Read up, lad.

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/defense/1227842.html?page=6&c=y

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  19. I am fascinated at the human tendency (which can be overcome) which sees what it wants to see and disregards the rest.

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  20. Scott,

    What's the matter with you? Didn't mommy and daddy give you enough attention as a child?

    Obviously not, considering the fact that your next line of questions will probably sound like this:
    Why is the sky blue?
    Where does milk come from?
    Why does my head hurt all the time?

    Yeesh man, give it a break.

    Oh and Trouble, laughed out loud when I read the Dick Chenney explanation; that was classic!! :)

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