Well…have to comment on the recent speech by Eric Prince (founder of Blackwater) in Holland and the coverage that the comments have been given in the Grand Rapids Press. Let’s be clear, Prince is the founder of a mercenary organization that is still under investigation for the murder of Iraqi citizens and has damaged the U.S.’s reputation in the world with it’s cowboy antics and lawless behavior. It’s sins were so egregious that Prince changed the name to XE services to try to hide in plain sight, knowing that the activities of his organization had irreparably damaged the name Blackwater.
But now to the comments that were quoted in the Press that ranged from “he’s a wonderful man” to “this country would be a better place if there were more people like Mr. Prince”. More people that were born on third base in life and was taught that he hit a triple? More people that used his daddy’s money and connections to feed at the public trough? More people that have lived the life of privilege and feel that the rules don’t apply to him? He went so far as to impose a condition for his speaking that there would be no press at the luncheon; he did relent to allow press but still would not allow any audio or video recording of his speech.
Mr. Prince is just another of the class of GW Bush and others who, without his family connections or money, would have ended up managing a McDonalds somewhere and no one would be listening to them. I’m tired of these types that have never had to work a day in their lives telling me what is best for me or the middle class. Geez…
Well…here we go again, the people who have sworn to uphold the constitution are trying to tear it apart again led by Joe Lieberman. His proposed new law that would allow the government to strip citizenship from people accused of being associated with terrorist organizations is in direct conflict with 14th amendment as defined in the Afroyim v. Rusk case that clarified the law and found that no government agency can strip a citizen of his citizenship. Long-settled law from the 1800′s.
Pure political posturing that shows either that he is ignorant of the constituition or he is willfully playing on people’s fears when he knows that no court in the land would uphold it. He needs to stop wasting the people’s time on this kind of bs and get on with solving the real problems of this country. Geez…
Well…I just can’t let this one go…you all know about the new law in Michigan that makes texting while driving a primary offense…that means that the police can stop anyone they “suspect” of sending or reading texts, or reading e-mail while driving. While this sounds like a good idea to some folks given some highly publicized accidents that have happened while the drivers were texting, let’s look at exactly what that means. What are the actions that would make you a suspect? Basically, anything that you do in the car now makes you liable to be pulled over. I have an MP-3 player that is attached to the stereo in my car that any officer can say looks like a phone if I’m looking at it to change the music. What if I’m looking at maps that I need to get where I’m going…how can they see in my car to see that it is a map and not a phone…and what about the smartphones that many people use instead of maps? What about the handheld gps systems that can be mistaken for a phone? What about ford’s Sync system that can provide e-mails to be read in the car? Which, under this law is illegal. I’d be selling my Ford right away.
That said, I do believe that when you are in the car, you should be driving; not talking on the phone, eating, reading, or putting on makeup.
Where are the Repubs who are howling that the healthcare bill is a direct attack on their freedoms when this bill is so much more of a direct attack on the fourth amendment and the guarantee of protection from unreasonable search and seizures?
And, let’s think of the primary driving force behind this bill; the insurance companies who have spent millions lobbying for it’s passage. The reason for this is, as the police write tickets for this offense, guess who gets to raise the rates of people that have been ticketed? Given the history of police departments abusing the powers granted to them by vague laws, do we expect any different here? Geez….
Hmmm…40 years ago today, 4 students were killed by the national guard that were called in to keep order on the campus of Kent State University. Being a 17 year old kid at the time (and one who generally supported the government) I didn’t know what to think about our government killing people who were not much older than I was and whose only crime was to exercise their constitutionally protected rights of assembly and protest. I think that day opened my eyes and set me on the path that has led me to where I am now…believing that government can be good or evil; it depends on the humans that are making up that government….
No citizen, or no human should have to pay that high a price for his or her beliefs…but I know that’s how change happens; and it’s cost is sometime almost unbearable. Thank you to those who have had the courage to bet it all on making this country and world a better place.
I still get chills whenever the first notes of “Ohio” by CSNY come on the radio…
“What if you knew her and found her dead on the ground?”
I’ll be filling in my thoughts tomorrow…this is kind of a placeholder until then….tune in later…
HI…I’m back, I was reading the newspaper a couple of days ago and there was a story about the increase in violence that has been occurring in many of the road rage incidents that happen across Michigan. There have been shootings, stabbings, and beatings along with the mayhem of using a two ton weapon to what? Protect your manhood? Or womanhood, since these incidents are not exclusively a male phenomenon. But, the road rage incidents are not really the topic today; it is just a symptom of what I see as a lack of reasonableness that is polluting society today. It is one of the things that the great author Robert Heinlein saw as a signpost in the decline of any civilization; the lack of manners and common courtesy that the citizens show each other on a daily basis.
I know I was going somewhere with this…..well…I guess I just want to say that most times, you can choose how you react to the things that happen in life…I know I was taught that it was a value to think and to react to life and politics in a thoughtful, measured way, and the shouters were idiots that did not deserve attention. What happened??
Well….reading all of the furor over the new immigration law that was just signed in Arizona, and the predictable stances from the left and right, I think of one question that is not being asked: Why are the illegals there? I think it’s pretty well settled that they are there for jobs. Then, that drives you to a second question: who gives them the jobs they are there to fill? I think that question is a little more complex and the explanations have run the gamut but center on the assumption that they are there to do jobs that Americans won’t do.
I can’t fault the people of Arizona for being frustrated that 6-7 percent of their population are illegals, but I think their anger is misguided; Why aren’t they mad that employers in their state are creating the problem by hiring illegals? Why aren’t these employers being held up as unpatriotic because all they can see is the increased profits that come with a workforce that is an unethical company’s dream: non-union, non-voting people who can be abused at will. But, by using the illegals, they are just passing on the costs that would come from an American workforce (higher wages and healthcare, pensions, etc.) on to Arizona’s and the U.S. society as a whole since it has been argued repeatedly by the right that illegals send their children to our schools and use our emergency rooms for their health needs. This means higher profits for the company and bigger bonuses for the managers.
I’ve always thought that business needs to be socially responsible and pay it’s employees enough for them to have the chance to do what our founding father’s codified in the founding documents; “the pursuit of happiness”.
You and I pay our fair share as members of our society. Why shouldn’t business? Geez….
Well…the latest rant from the righties is that Bush’s deficits were nowhere near as large or bad as the one’s that have come from the Obama administration. What most people of both right and left fail to realize is what I think is the core distinction between the two: The Bush deficits were done by the choice of his administration to give tax cuts when we were fighting two wars. On the other hand, the Obama deficits are, to some extent, inherited from the Bushies, but mostly are a result of the economics that anyone learns in econ 101: in the midst of a severe recession, one of the best ways to stimulate the economy and help end that recession is for the government to deficit spend. Is the problem that deficit spending will help keep the middle class working? It’s been clear for a long time that the Repubs don’t really care what happens to the middle class…and yet so many of them keep believing the lies they are being fed and keep voting for the same people that gave us Enron, Blackwater, and how many other instances of looting from our society. Geez…
Well…I don’t understand the sudden interest in personal rights by the gun toting folks at the rally that was held in Virginia earlier in the week. Where the heck were these guys when the Bushies were trampling on all of the Constitution, not just the Second amendment? Where were they when Habeas Corpus was being denied to even American Citizens? Where were they when the Fourth amendment was being gutted by the unlimited wiretaps without warrants that they foisted on the American people under the guise of fighting terrorism? Where were they when these lawbreakers were torturing in the name of the American people? I truly believe in the Second amendment but these guys should understand that the possibility of the government “coming for them” is much reduced in an administration that believes in the rule of law rather than the rule of Bush. Geez….
Well…another day another and another time where the Repubs have gone schizo…I hope you can remember that when they were in charge of both houses of congress and had ole GW in the White House, they voted (along with the Dems) to bail out the large banks to the tune of 800 billion dollars. The cause of this has widely be attributed to the almost religious fervor that the repubs normally have for deregulation in any and all parts of the economy. Don’t they learn? Over the past few days, they are back to their old tricks in stating they will filibuster any Obama plan to put reasonable regulation back on the market to try to prevent the gaming caused meltdown of the economy. Where is the outrage except mine? Why do the tea partyers support these guys when they have thoroughly screwed them over the years? Geez….
Well….have finally worked up some outrage over something I see happening in our society. but I need a couple of hours or so to crystallize it in my mind…it has to do with the responsibilities we have being members of our society, one of those is that we need to find ways to work together, that arguments are not either-or but are a way to come to consensus…but the right are like a bunch of petulant children. If they don’t get everything they want and things done the way they want…they just try to invoke revolution, take their ball and go home to mommy. Geez…more later….