Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hannity hates America. So does everyone else on his Junior High School side of the civic fence.

"At the Unitarian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, Jim Adkisson, a fan of yours, killed two people, wounded five others, and left an entire congregation and country shaken by his actions. Actions prompted, as he testified in his own written notes, by the ideas contained in your words."
on broadcast betrayal ...
I endorse this opinion

Docudharma : Congratulations


[Excerpt]

Congratulations, Sean Hannity. Congratulations, Bill O Reilly, Ann Coulter, Michael Savage, Michelle Malkin, Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh.
.......and anyone else who supports that shit and makes it profitable.
...... YOU MADE THIS HAPPEN. THIS BLOOD IS ON YOUR HANDS.

And this via RD and Huffpo


Affidavit: Man admits church shooting, says liberals should die


Jim Adkisson said liberals should be killed because they're ruining the nation, according to an affidavit.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Criminal Minds, Law & Order and prosecution

Vincent Bugliosi is absolutely right and on target.

Let me say so right up front first and foremost!

Prosecution for murder needs to include Bush, Cheney and Rice at the bare minimum.

The Prosecution of George Bush for Murder is not a polemic against the last 8 years of betrayal politics.

Only the most naive or mindless among us refuse to believe that America tortures human beings; that such an act is a direct repudiation of the Geneva Convention Agreement of which this country was the dominant driving moral force.

The World - including any thoughtful American citizen - knows that our government lied to us to get support for [or better said avoid justifiable rejection and resistance to] what they wanted to do.

Americans are a people who by action demonstrate their belief in and support of law and order; of the bad guys getting theirs, of liars, swindlers and murderers paying the penalty.

Law & Order, CSI, Cold Case, Criminal Minds, NCIS ... the list of what we genuinely appreciate and believe goes on and on.

Impeachment should be the least of Bush worries. Prosecution of Mr. Bush and his accomplices is the very least we should be willing to do.

Do you really believe that Bush, Cheney, Rice and Rumsfeld were feeling any regrets in the moments before Bush gave the order to bomb Baghdad which would make murder victims of innocent civilians what happens when American TV heroes smack down TV villains?

When McCoy and the other enforcement heroes bring justice to TV criminals are you always be pulling for the bad guys? Of course not.

If we raise a national cry for prosecution, we send a most significant message to the rest of the world about what democracy and freedom really mean in America.

We also send a strong message to shallow, rigid and non-gifted military politicians who think they can cower America into voting for the wrong candidate for president.

Monday, July 14, 2008

When some among us seriously harm the rest of the world in our name.

... or pretend that it's not important or necessary? As I write this, extremely legitimate and quite serious people are looking for ways to set right America's recent global and social criminal history

I seriously doubt that even half the readers here could spontaneously declare who Robert Jackson was.


Two months ago on this very blog Lietta Ruger brought up the same theme. To no one's surprise, the response was essentially "ho hum" and "yea so?" Yet we bloggers really are among the most civically active members of society and I wonder how it is that we got so sophisticatedly wise about political campaign strategy and remain so inept, ignorant and apathetic about genuine civic responsibility? There are duties required by that responsibility when things go wrong or when some among us seriously harm the rest of the world in our name.


There's a notion that the most rapid path toward resolution of all America's faults and mistakes - not to mention restitution and repentence - lies merely in working to elect specific candidates. It is an empty and naive sentiment. Civic responsibility is love of country and not about looking for or appreciating merely doing the least we must.

That's like survivor Guanajuato. Some are voted out and some stay. The game will continue with a new slate of contestants next season.

It's not unlike loving to shop for our favorite foods or things while having no idea about all the processes involved that brought our delectables to market.

We seem to consider the purchase itself a more significant and needful event than the actual creation - the bringing into being of that thing which we desire to possess.


Buyers may know how to cook, use or wear something they can easily obtain repeatedly and casually by mere purchase without any knowledge of the effort and circumstances that make such a purchase possible.

We may even consider ourselves knowledgeable afficionados about that which we glorify but in reality we have no idea.

We may even pooh pooh someone else's concerns because we can persuasively justify our investment of time, energy and emotional resources in our favorite things.

Such in fact is what I'm doing right now in grinding my ax about civics, national reputation, morality and conscience and not paying attention to getting a candidate elected or another defeated.

I admit it


So what's your excuse?

How is it you can get excited or discouraged about the most recent polls, political stupidity, chicanery and deception and how that might cost someone the election without making noise about REAL social global justice?

Will an election loss make for you a disaster that many seem to emotionally equate to your favorite teams's having lost the Super Bowl?

Or perhaps your civic sense is a touch more intense than that. Perhaps losing the election will be result in a vague civic unease that in actuality is mere intellectual awareness while we go about our post-election consumption?

How can we get so lost in the heat and competition of emotional politics but never arouse a mature and wise emotion when we know we ought to?

Are we genuinely moved to care about our future - a future that will be an undeniable consequence of failure to perceive past events honestly and accurately and failure to set them right?

Can Veterans of my generation still make a difference? Hell, I don't know.

I tell my own children and older grandchildren flat out that my generation has greatly and comprehensively screwed up their future; that they absolutely must take back their country in a way they themselves see fit.

How they do that is theirs to figure out. They should not believe that they can be told honestly and truthfully by any political party or church as to who they vote for without question.

They won't take back their country by choosing more of the same thing that brought all this foolishiness to pass.

If we cannot and will not look at the future in that manner then those of us who don't care; those of us who shrug it all off are THE citizens of an imperial nation that continues raping less able societies abroad.

We are the citizens who sustain the Imperial States of America and will make of the coming blowback events an ugly reality.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Washington State Republicans and McCain Republicans know best, right?

 

 

Where not to find real family values in Washington State

When it comes down to the nitty gritty, we as attention-paying citizens or don't-give-a-damn citizens need to come out of the closet. We need to admit who or what we stand for and declare what philosophy and policies best reflect our concerns.

If we are most focused on American Idol, Nascar, the Oklahoma City Sonics and crime shows, let's just stay where we are, with asses super-glued to the couch.

If we are paying even slight attention to what is going on, listening even with half an ear to campaign slogans, television sound bytes and what passes for popular journalism in this country, let's make a real appraisal of who stands for what?

I'll start with Republicans because appraising most Democratic policies really means labeling Demo priorities as corporate Republican values moderated in a lefterly direction.

We have discredited Republicans on their last lap of driving this machine with one hand on the steering wheel and the other hanging out for lobby money.

Republicans have one foot pressing metal to the floor and the other nowhere near the brakes.

Why?

Because McCain and his party have only one single song to sing ...

America is at War!
American lives need to be lived in a wartime environment.
American citizens need to practice a total deferral to the self-defined patriotism of the elect.

Republicans continue to insist that American citizens absolutely must trust their future to those few at the top of the power pole who want to replace the current benchwarmers. Only this time there is some combat experience that boils down to John McCain's trigger-happiness and his dubious declarations that in addition to sound generalship, he is also highly informed and experienced in domestic matters.

Right.

Given the Cheney/Bush version of urgency and importance of the need for a coherent national security objective guided by wise, strong, stubborn and insensitive leadership, Republicans insist that we must accept all this in its continuing context.

State Republicans make the same insistence. If you trust the BIAW and candidate Rossi with their corporatist view of what's best for working families and the poorest among us, here is the national and state Republican Platform in a large nutshell:

(1)
We must fight the war on terror while remaining strictly stuck with the Republican Tax Cut Experiment which has not helped Mr. Bush avoid being a president who has presided over national economic failure.

If we want to vote Republican we are then left to hope for the best but continue to expect the worst and recognize that the burden of middle class taxes are going to continue paying for our prosecution of the war on terror and no-bid contracts to non-family oriented business.

(2)
We will prosecute the war on terror in a pay-off-the-national-debt circumstance created by this administration that will be an ongoing burden on our grandchildren. Trillions of dollars of debt generated by a Republican party that has always labeled Democrats as "taxers and spenders" is not something Leno and Maher can make jokes about.

Rather, the Republican Party's solution to all economic woes - as highlighted by that mental economic genius, John McCain - is for Republicans to be the "tax-cutters and spenders" party.

(3)
We will continue to prosecute a war on terror while in the Bush 3rd term John McBush and his party are baiting us with the phrase "ownership society." Ownership society to Republicans is in reality merely another means of generating - you guessed it - more profits for business.

"Owning" health care, retirement, education and homes only happens when you "buy" something from chosen lobbied corporate interests (see Medicare D plan), "invest" in something to own or by patriotically consuming what the Jones are already consuming so as to keep up civic duty.

(4)
We will prosecute the war on terror while an ungodly number of us go without access to adequate health care. That's one thing tens of millions of Americans could use ownership of.

Of course the rest of we middle classers do "own" always-increasing health care premiums. Somehow I fail to see how this helps the troops, keeps terrorists at bay, or will make it easier when we invade Iran in order to secure whatever non-attention-paying Americans (apparently the largest voting block in the state and nation) will buy into as a security blanket worth supporting.

(5)
We will prosecute the war on terror while the Republicans - under the guise of "ownership society"- preside over corporate reductions and/or eliminations of pension funds. Why is it that we must be patriotic and support a "conservative" tax-cut and spend commander-in-chief under this circumstance?

(6)
We will prosecute the war on terror while Republicans who pretend that the extreme Christian Right represents the majority of American Christian voters. The Republicans will continue to be willing to work hand in glove with the Christian Zionists to encourage Israel to widen it's borders in order to look like the Israel of prophesy. Otherwise, in the John Hagee playbook, Jesus and his Armageddon Asteroid cannot End the Times and leave all of us more liberal-minded Christians Behind.

Your Republican Party thinks more of these folks than the attention-paying voters who live and work all around us.


(7)
Republicans will continue our "war on terror" all the time camouflaging an absolute conviction on the part of failed foreign policy theorists that American might is the brave new world of the future ...

... that American might will facilitate our continued consumption of an inordinate share of energy reserves.

Why?

Because we can, that's why.

(8)
Republicans will forever deny any criminality on the part of their pseudo-religious political shill who did their bidding when they thought they would have the majority votes forever. Under Republicans we will prosecute an ongoing string of military adventures that will continue to cost the precious blood of our children. These folks will continue the patriotic hypocrisy that ignorantly and naively assumes that the poor and middle class of this country constitute a willing and unlimited supply of military manpower for decades to come.

These things are what the Republicans did not and will not tell you.

They want to prosecute the war on terrorism and do it in terms of maintaining their own discredited and - when it comes to corporate welfare - dishonest domestic economic theories.

It does not matter what you and I think so long as they are in power.

Only you and I can take this out of their hands.

They will not change things unless we intervene.

So all you self-styled economic sophisticates who have bought into Republican capitalism worship keep your heads in the sand. If you cannot see just how many corporations in this country are only showing profits primarily through government intervention, bail-outs and contracts - you go ahead. Reveal to the rest of us just how poorly you understand the less-government-more-free-enterprise ticket.

Grover Norquist may someday buy you a latte from the last standing Starbucks after the government becomes so small it goes down the bathtub drain.

Of course you may be standing behind the Starbucks counter brewing and serving the latte yourself.

Grover won't mind. He's smarter than you in a really dumb way.

So all you righteous Christians who see John McCain as led by George Bush who is led by God to export war and death to all evil-doers:

As we attempt to impose a fake American dominance on the world based on our national credit rating and economic extortion backed by big-stick-waving, go ahead and look the other way while your narrow morality authorizes a trashing of the American Dream.

Those of you who have been politically born again into the cult of a Republican Jesus, can keep insisting that Jesus would vote the same way;

would advocate for George Bush and John McCain on FOX , Limbaugh's program - even the 700 Club

- and would go along with the deaths of civilian men, women and children in Iraq or anywhere else as "acceptable collateral damage."

If you think John McCain on the national stage and Dino Rossi and his fellow BIAW-paid for philosophical automatons inside this state hold the key to wise governance, you still haven't done your homework.

The holes in your common sense and civic wisdom remain vast and empty.

It's time more veterans accepted the truth about McCain

SGM Larry A. Myers U.S. Army (Retired) has a blog, The Sergeant Major's Thoughts on That


A veteran of 27 years in the United States Army including combat tours in Vietnam, Myers has written one of the definitive veteran's  perspectives on the current legitimacy of John McCain's assertion that he is qualified to lead this country.


His diary of 9/10/08, Honor - To Have And Have Not was cross-posted to KOS and has comments nearing 300 as of this morning.


Myers says what many veterans are thinking but have not publicly acknowledged.  Honor and conscience are some of the strongest traits any soldier desires of his commanders. For years most in this country have assumed that these traits were part and parcel of what makes a military officer and a United States Senator.


There was a time in 2000 when I was seriously supportive of McCain and somewhat distrustful of Clinton and Gore. I did not know all I needed to know about McCain back then because he was BUSHwhacked out of the Republican nominating activity and became the McCain we never knew.

The McCain that brazenly stands before the electorate and lies right into our faces seems oblivious to how his image has so severely deteriorated or the vast disgust he generates daily with every public appearance.


Myers:

... once one's honor was compromised it was a permanent and oft never fading blemish. ... I believe that even the most honorable and well intentioned people with the most hard earned sense of honor can fail and that they can be guilty of being dishonorable and I believe that that has happened in the presidential race.


I would go further than Myers. We assumed much about John McCain that was apparently not true and would only be revealed - as has been the case with McCain - when he is under pressure or suspects he won't be held accountable.


If I go thru the pro-forma motion of recognizing his five years POW suffering for his country, I also have the right to declare respectfully that I reject the idea that POW suffering automatically creates excellent presidential material.


Here 40+ years after his POW crucible, McCain is self-revealed as an ordinary or perhaps even typical mediocre Naval officer who did not extinguish himself as a leader of men.


There are other veteran military officers much more capable and preferable to McCain as a CIC. If  I were God and able to appoint any veteran of my choosing to be president, John McCain would not even be on my long list, let alone my short list.


Myers seems to agree with me:


... past honorable service and dedication to duty and country does not immunize one against poor judgment, failure or even from doing the wrong thing. I believe that ones honor is not something one does once and then puts it on a shelf where it shines forever. Honor is second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour and year by year. It is only as untarnished and undiminished as ones past and ones last action.


Myers goes on to say that his previously expressed disappointment and sadness with McCain lies in a conclusion that the candidate is not an honorable man today.


In my world of definitions, an honorable man is a man of class, respectful toward women and someone who refuses to be crass. In my  world of a veteran's experience, the definition of a military officer as a class act does not include the a poorly thought-out  and hasty rashness that sometimes becomes an attribute a fighter jock needs in the middle of aerial combat. As the oft-used asset of a commander of men or the chief national statesman or leader of the free world,  poorly thought-ought and hastily rash decisions are to be feared and avoided constantly.


When McCain resorts to good ole boy fighter-jock  back bar humor, he fails to be outstanding in his chosen field. He reduces himself, his candidacy, his wife and his running mate to mere props behind which he plays with his saber and pretends that the presidency is nothing more than a game of RISK.


Myers also explains how wrong it is to use lies to get somewhere with the implied promise that once elected you will not lie anymore and return to straight talk.


The reason I say this is because I am observing and hearing reported by every major news organization in this country that he and his running mate are participating in and personally articulating blatant lies. These are not the actions of honorable people. When one is aspiring to the highest and second highest public offices in the land it is incumbent upon one to speak truth and only truth and to communicate about those issues that are vital and of importance to the citizens of the nation. It is not honorable for individuals to speak lies to the citizens and make unproven accusations against those whom they oppose. When one opposes another person in vying for public office it becomes even more important to insure that one speaks the truth and deals with issues and substantive differences and not innuendo and accusation.


Most veterans know full well which officers had class and who had no need to demand respect. They also remember which officers were not classy and who those were who could get them all killed.  


Myers continues.


The fact that John McCain is a former Naval Officer and a sitting United States Senator makes this lack of honor horribly reprehensible. But I think what makes this lack of honor so disgusting and even more vile is that he would lose himself to the point of using his own sacrifice and service as a shield to commit such petit dishonorable acts of lying. Conservative, liberal, or Independent, share his beliefs or not, it would be morally reprehensible for anyone to support someone who displays so little honor.


Honor is what has been lacking from the first day of George Bush's presidency and of his Republican dominated congressional support system.


Craven is a more apt description of the Republicans in congress who rubber-stamped the Bush/Cheney/Rove definition of the political abuse and denigration of genuine patriotic American Civic participation in government.


Honor is the last thing we are seeing and have come to expect from the flag-waving pseudo-corporate patriotism sold to American's as Republican snake oil. McCain with the advice of Republican spinners is demonstrating the worst of our society at this significant moment in American History.


Myers concludes with this about honor:


Our honor as a nation is not just blemished but in tatters and we cannot endure another four or eight years of the same. If for no other reason than the fact that John McCain and his vice presidential running mate have publicly lied and continue to lie this nation needs to insure that he does not occupy the office of the president. Our nation needs honor above all else at this crucial point in our history. With honor comes respect and from these come all else.


Enlisted American veterans like me are much more numerous than retired admirals and generals. We have always been most often the first to recognize flaws in their officers primarily because they deal with them at the level of execution rather than chain of command.


These are the truths American veterans need to recognize.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Case against George W. Bush for Murder spelled out in Bugliosi's book. Is momentum building?

Vincent Bugliosi, renowned prosecutor of Charles Manson, author of many books, most well known is probably 'Helter Skelter' has written his newest book laying out a case for 'The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder' . I ordered Vincent Bugliosi's newest book from my local library and began reading it a couple weeks ago. My husband, rather intrigued, asked if he could take it to work with him to read during breaks and I agreed. So I haven't finished reading the book -- yet. But as much as I've read has been exactly right on the mark!


Sharing the opportunity for legal minds to heed Bugliosi's Call to Heroes: The heroes in Vince's case are those who would prosecute George W. Bush for murder in an American court of law - which includes the hundreds of city and county District Attorneys, the fifty State Attorneys General and any of the ninety-three U.S. Attorneys in the ninety-three federal districts for whom Vince established jurisdiction to proceed with the case. And a bonus, Bugliosi offers his own services to assist in the prosecution.

Learned of the book, and was ready to put off reading yet another book about the lying President, but I already have respect for Vincent Bugliosi for his successful prosecution of Charles Manson, and the book he wrote about that trial 'Helter Skelter'. I took a chance that my local library branch would be able to obtain it for me and put me on the waiting list for sometime in the future. Wasn't even sure it would be in library circulation yet as the book is fairly newly released. I was surprised when the library phoned me to pick up the books I ordered and one of the books was 'The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder'. I started reading on a quiet early morning.


This past year I've been working on trying to quiet down from the intensity of the past five years of my activism as a military family speaking out. My perpetual state of anger and outrage has put me out of balance and harmony with my own internal life and well being. I was somewhat sure the Bugliosi's book would harness and regenerate all that intensity, so was reluctant to take the plunge, yet I have carried without reservation in my heart that this man who holds the office of President of the United States and ordered up on lies and deceptions this war in Iraq with all of it the devastating carnage of killing, death, dying, horrific maiming deserves to be on the receiving end of justice - and not simply an impeachment from which he can walk away pretty much unscathed, unrepentent, without remorse and without accountability for what he has unleashed.


Having George W. Bush prosecuted for murder by the legal system in this country fits for me, and having him declared guilty and spending time jailed works for me. The case laid out by Bugliosi in a call to action for such a prosecution is an effort and action I can support and get behind. I'm not sorry then that I felt compelled to seek out Bugliosi's book 'The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder'.


I was all the more compelled when I read this from article by Linda Milazzo who interviewed Bugliosi about his new book


Vince doesn't use a computer. He writes his books long hand on canary pads. He has no email address, doesn't surf the web, doesn't google, doesn't have a cell phone, and doesn't know the rest of us exist! He laughs when I tell him the blogosphere has become the mainstream. He doesn't know what a blog is, or a website. He's amused by the iPod I use to record our talk, and amazed by the iPhone I use to take his photo (above). Yet for all his lack of technology savvy, he did comprehend that without one corporate TV appearance and no major newspaper review, his book still debuted at #17 on the New York Times Best Seller list and at #30 on Amazon.com. Three weeks ago, when his book first launched to a corporate media blackout, his book signing lines at Book Expo America in Los Angeles were two hours long. When I explain to Vince that the internet drove that enthusiasm, he begins to catch on.


As I began reading the book, with the recognition that Bugliosi was not following the Iraq war using internet, but the more traditional news media, so he was not exposed to what some like to dismiss as radical, revolutionary or conspiracy theory kind of mentality. And as I was reading how Bugliosi came to arrive at his conclusion that George W. Bush should be prosecuted for murder, I felt like I was reviewing a history of the many of the postings I've placed here over the years at my own blog, Dying to Preserve the Lies.


Apparently there is a corporate or media blackout on promoting Bugliosi's book - an experience he has not encountered in his years of authoring books . Given the topic and title of his book, why am I not surprised that media won't touch his book. But that hasn't prevented his book from reaching #12 on the New York Times Best Seller List. The word is getting out, and I look forward to seeing the momentum grow as the book (case) catches on amongst those with legal minds and in a position to do something.


From Linda Milazzo's interview with Vincent Bugliosi and her article on June 23, 2008 at Huffington Post - 'A Call to Heroes'


Which brings us to Vince's CALL TO HEROES. The heroes in Vince's case are those who would prosecute George W. Bush for murder in an American court of law - which includes the hundreds of city and county District Attorneys, the fifty State Attorneys General and any of the ninety-three U.S. Attorneys in the ninety-three federal districts for whom Vince established jurisdiction to proceed with the case. Vince is certain that amongst this vast population of prosecutors, there is at least one patriot who loves this nation deeply enough to hold Bush accountable for the murders of over 4,000 service men and women whom he lied into going to war.


The good news for whomever does step forward to take George Bush to task is the promise of assistance from Bugliosi himself - who as a prosecutor is held in the highest regard. In the words of famed defense attorney F. Lee Bailey, Vince is "the quintessential prosecutor." For Harvard Law Professor, Alan Dershowitz, Vince is "as good a prosecutor as there ever was." Thus, Vince's offer to serve as consultant to whomever accepts the case should be incentive enough to take it on - especially since whomever does take it on will encounter instant fame. Vince has also offered to accept a Special Prosecutor appointment from any U.S. Attorney or District Attorney who would like him to try the case.


Ingrigued? Interest piqued?


Then read an updated article from Linda Milazzo(also at Huffington Post) on June 29, 2008 - 'Momentum Building for Bugliosi's Case Against George W. Bush for Murder' and enjoy the five videos posted there of Bugliosi speaking about his book.


It is not my intent to regurgitate Linda's articles, there is no need, so read those for yourselves. But it is my intent to do my bit in promoting Vincent Bugliosi's book and I would love to see momentum build around an effort to do exactly that - prosecute George W. Bush for Murder. He has earned and deserves the scrutiny of the justice system for how he has abused and misappropriated the powers of the Office of the President of the United States.



ed note; addition: I didn't realize there is website for the book see it here



Note: from Amazon.com where you can purchase 'The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder'

About the Author, Vincent Bugliosi


Vincent Bugliosi received his law degree in 1964. In his career at the L.A. County District Attorney's office, he successfully prosecuted 105 out of 106 felony jury trials, including 21 murder convictions without a single loss. His most famous trial, the Charles Manson case, became the basis of his classic, Helter Skelter, the biggest selling true-crime book in publishing history. Two of Bugliosi's other books--And the Sea Will Tell and Outrage--also reached #1 on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list. No other American true-crime writer has ever had more than one book that achieved this ranking. His latest book, Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, has been heralded as "epic" and "a book for the ages."


Bugliosi has uncommonly attained success in two separate and distinct fields, as an author and a lawyer. His excellence as a trial lawyer is best captured in the judgment of his peers. "Bugliosi is as good a prosecutor as there ever was," Alan Dershowitz says. F. Lee Bailey calls Bugliosi "the quintessential prosecutor." "There is only one Vince Bugliosi. He's the best," says Robert Tanenbaum, for years the top homicide prosecutor in the Manhattan D.A.'s office. Most telling is the comment by Gerry Spence, who squared off against Bugliosi in a twenty-one-hour televised, scriptless "docu-trial" of Lee Harvey Oswald, in which the original key witnesses to the Kennedy assassination testified and were cross-examined. After the Dallas jury returned a guilty verdict in Bugliosi's favor, Spence said, "No other lawyer in America could have done what Vince did in this case."


Bugliosi lives with his wife, Gail, in Los Angeles.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Response to Peak Oil, price of fuel and other significant shortages

Lietta and I have allocated enormous amounts of our spare time to a serious examination and plan for our future. We plot our response to the implications of Peak Oil, gas guzzling transportation and what to do about potential shortages of commodities, services and medical expertise that stare us in the face as we move into our 60's.


All this business causes us to miss some of the prime entertainment and diversion available via the media. Often the question arises, "do we need to prepare and participate in social revolution or should we continue mindlessly on distracted by corporate-sonsored propaganda, bread and circuses?"


(Well one bread/circus e've recently discovered is Eddie Izzard - who is sufficiently entertaining to get me to turn the TV on at night and stay subscribed to Netflix.)


This excerpt from Lietta's post July 2, about what our neighbors think about energy and other stuff

Gas Prices; Astonishingly - well to us anyway - when the question of gas prices came up, as we knew it would, and someone asked about off shore oil drilling and leased land not being used for oil drilling, Brian Baird started to discuss it and then asked the audience for a show of hands as to who was in favor of off-shore oil drilling. And almost all the hands went up. Then Brian Baird asked who was not in favor, with my husband, mine and probably 3-4 other hands going up.


I was stunned. And in somewhat confused language pointed out<span style="font-weight: bold;"> peak oil </span&gtand global warming and then gave up, saying never mind. I could not believe what I had just witnesssed. An expectation that enough information is out there now about the growing oil crisis, that I had thought more would be appreciative of our need to change our lifestyle to become less oil dependent and the urgency in finding alternative energy lifestyles



The majority of hand-raisers were approving of off-shore drilling. When asked by Baird whether or not this community - whose economy is heavily reliant on the ocean - is willing to risk oil spills and damage to marine life (economic or otherwise), the hands stayed up. In fact one of the attendee's who had "done her homework" justified her vote based on the preserved integrity of off-shore wells in Louisiana during and after Katrina.


So why not?

Peak Oil is here. Demand now outpaces supply and the number of global competitors for a diminishing supply is rising.


Regarding Peak Oil, all we need to understand is that an SUV getting less than 20-30 mpg needs to be jettisoned in favor of something smaller and now more expensive that reaches for 50 mpg. (BTW, I ran the trade-in value of a 2002 Ford Explorer Thursday. Where it normally hovered in double digit thousands, Kelly BB now says a whopping $1850.)


My thoughts on Peak Oil


Peak Oil explanations have for the most part not told it all.


Surprising observation from Certified right-winger and advocate of the Corporate American Core Values, Charles Krauthammer:

"Forbidding drilling [in the Arctic refuge] does not prevent despoliation. It merely exports it. The crude oil we're not getting from the Arctic we import instead from places like the Niger Delta, where millions live and where the resulting pollution and oil spillages poison the lives of many of the world's most abysmally poor"
So should the amount of energy input required to get the oil include the 'cost' of basic human life?


Economic statisticians love to estimate the value of things and enterprises in terms of man-hours, labor units and whatnot. This from the point of view of valuing how much we First-Worlders must pay to get our oil from Third-Worlders who probably have very little say in whether or not we move in and take away their resources, usually for less than fair market value.


When a talking head expounds knowledgeably about the high costs of finding disappearing pockets of new oil, our wallets wiggle, self-focus increases and we begin to think of our 4-cylinder 1985 diesel pickup in the back yard with weeds peeking out from behind all the wheels.


But beyond our comprehension and more than likely not even considered by the authoritative Think Tank Energy Know-It-All is what reality is to our neighbors elsewhere on the planet who are not aware that their turf is part of our god-given mandate to dominion. Do they have a right to the stuff (as Carlin put it) in their own back yard?


You know who they are; them folks who live in a society older than ours that already possesses a physical infrastructure older than ours. Theirs was built by how many millions of man-hours, labor-units, blood, sweat and tears?


I agree with the asker of the following question (all quotes in this article come from the reference link posted at the end of the article.)

" Do all the billions of hours of materialized human labor that have historically been destroyed by Westerners in the Middle East enter the equations telling us how many energy units are needed, under the current market conditions, to produce the equivalent of one BTU (British Thermal Unit) of energy?
At the Baird Town Hall questions about immigration came up (see Lietta's article) and Baird gave excellent responses to an audience that included many who have some vague resentment of all foreign poor people that is driven by broadcast rhetoric regarding the status of aliens in our midst.


As we discuss our own and other nations' population-related problems, especially since we are an electorate which has approved by ballot an aggressive corporate imperialist rape of someone else's natural resource assets by the use of force, need we remember and understand that

"any proposed 'cost analysis' that excludes historically accumulated human social labor is not an a scientific explanation. Further, such a perspective is racist since the only human life worth its consideration, implicit in its tenets, is the ethnocentric, western self.


Just the amount spent on the destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan is in the trillions of dollars. How many tens of trillions of dollars worth of human creation has this war actually destroyed? Do these destructions enter American environmentalists' calculations?"

Now this ought to remind baby boomers about sixties-era notions such as that book and movie entitled The Ugly American.

Problem is not so much the absence of lots of boomer citizens who remember the Great Depression with intense feeling.

No, our problem is the generation missing at the time of the Oil Embargo in the 1970's; today's primary consuming generation for whom all this is mere intellectual or conscious "information" buttressed by little if any real understanding or intuition as to what it all means.

"Now, we know that even in the worst locations on earth (except war zones) those fires, shootings, school fights due to hanging nooses, teachers and priests having sex with students/believers, and all the millions of miles of footage on this or that celebrity seen locally (or anywhere) were obviously not the only things happening within the local universe in the 24-hour interval between last night and tonight.

Some selection has clearly taken place, which is of course what 'news' organizations do to prepare their programs. This carefully produced selection, when repeated daily and over the decades, keeps the public on edge on two levels: envious of the rich and the famous and, more so and more importantly, scared and insecure about their own lives.

And that, not information sharing, is the rhetorical agenda of 'news organizations': Danger creeps around every corner!

Put your trust in the authorities!

State violence is your only security!


Peak Oil serves exactly the same rhetorical purpose in a more nuanced way, with regard to the 'energy crisis': it keeps people revved up and on edge about the coming doom regarding oil and 'our way of life'. And who to trust to solve the problem?

Since Peak Oilers don't say, the actually existing answer is provided happily by, who else, the western corporations, the global 'free market' and the first world governments.

Now I'm curious in a kind of conspiracy-nut way as to the reality of how short we Americans are on native oil under our control. If as claimed, 60 percent of the current price of oil is caused by the futures traders in this commodity has nothing to do with supply shortages, is there in fact "too much supply for the actually existing capacity of refineries to refine the available oil fast enough?"

Chief Seattle could have uttered these words:

"Since Peak Oilers work with capitalist vocabulary, their solutions will never have anything to do with a fundamental reconceptualization of property rights, and no form of socialization of natural resources will enter their platforms."
As we read this, what comes to mind in terms of what we really need to be thinking about?

What is suggested is "nothing short of a social revolution."

That's what drives the small plans being implemented in our own household and on our little plot of land where we're investing in new personal infrastructure such as raised bed gardens, vegetables hanging from plastic buckets and turning one of our basement rooms into a root cellar.

It seems that a social-economic revolution in our personal and societal lives would be the "politico-logical thing to do."


Let me then speak to Rep. Baird's position vis-a-vis my son-in-law's personal survival in harm's way. Baird's political justifications agree with all those who insist that the broken pottery barn will go to hell in a hand-basket if we leave now.

Any who believe that the United States of America is the global Roy Rogers wearing a white hat and spreading peace, prosperity, truth, justice and the American way to an ignorant, impoverished world are stuck knee-deep in their own personal intellectual quagmire.

We are not and have not been Roy Rogers. We are now and have been Oil Can Henry.

" ... the U.S. is a world imperialist power that historically has as often projected power through 'civil' means (corporations and financial institutions) as through state violence (coups, bilateral security agreements previously, and now open military interventions). For this type of imperialism, local or regional powers willing to and capable of acting independently and wielding power are not desirable, unless (as with Israel) such a local power is in a fundamental fashion (existentially?) dependent on Washington's patronage."


Other than quoting Lietta's post, all other quotes are from Peak Scam by Reza Fiyouzat, Online Journal Contributing Writer, Jun 30, 2008, 00:18


Hm .... The author looks to have an Arab name. According to American jingoists, we're misunderstood and probably Reza has written nothing truthful. It only appears that astride [the] Trigger sits Oil Can Henry.

For more thorough and knowledgeable biography of Oil Can Henry Google Chalmers Johnson and William Blum.


This araticle cross posted to Lietta's and my joint blog, Our Life on Willapa Bay

Friday, July 4, 2008

The war on terrorism is not that kind of conflict and does not represent that kind of danger to America.


Americans have never chosen the behavior of this president and vice president.


In this country - whose founding was authored by the finest political minds available on the North American continent at the time - our wisest thinkers never intended nor authorized any sort of executive branch managed by an elected imperial president. Not then and not now.


Nor did our wisest thinkers ever authorize in the Constitution a diminishing of citizen acccountabilty to itself for keeping everyone as honest, open and above board as possible.


Nothing in 200 years has changed ... not world wars, great depressions and certainly not terrorist attacks. None have required, let alone justified, the suspension or change of Constitutional process/procedure and checks and balances that rein in potential and real aspirations to increased power by one branch over the others.


Americans have never chosen that circumstance and do not chose it at this time.

Americans have never agreed that a pretend "war on terrorism" is the modern equal of past World Wars that required consideration of nothing more than momentary suspension of Constitutional rights in the name of security.


The war on terrorism is not that kind of conflict and does not represent that kind of danger to America.


Americans know this and have known this however many have forgotten it or believed someone else's magic promise of freedom from exaggerated and manufactured fear.


Americans have a choice to make and a choice to convey to the powers that be.


No silliness about branches and accountability


No executive privilege without open, honest and provable justification.


That razor's edge I mentioned ....

When you are involved with a military loved one's attempt to cope with the consequences after the event of that kind of "no-choice-is-a-good-choice", you're no longer dealing with "knowing" something intellectually.

You're no longer looking through a glass tainted by jingoism and false pretensions to nobility in praise of soldier sons and daughters.

It has become real. Your soldier is asking, "What have I done?

What have I become?"

When a human being gets to that point, having picked up a sword in the name of love of country, defense of family and homeland, those who prompted and encouraged his action had better offer more than the shallow platitudes of fleeting nobility and a political party's gratitude as opposed to a nation's gratitude.

When Bush speaks of gratitude to soldiers who are sacrificing in Iraq, he is in reality saying, "The party is grateful for your sacrifice, soldier!"

And that is so shameful from the one person who we all look to see echoes of Washington, Lincoln, and Roosevelt and see only restless eyes, nervous giggles and an occasional snicker.

It's the epitome of incompetent desperation.

American Choice for Americans

Impeachment for un-American choices.

The horse the McCain Gang tode in on ain't the horse of Barry and his true conservative posse

By the way, don't think this article is limited to national politics. In Washington State the BIAW and Deputty Rossi are part and parcel of this whole failed philosophy.

Finally, we have the two nominees from the major parties. Relief from the election is now less than five months away. The contrast between candidates only more fully emphasizes the contrast in parties.

Much is being written now about the potential demise of the Republican Part as consituted over the past 30 years. Republicans, for the most part rose to electoral majority and congressional power using tactics of anger, divisiveness and the most serious degradation of polical civility in the past 100 years.

Nationally, the party now faces the ironic appropriateness of a presidential candidate in his 70's who primarily touts what are now old tired lines the next generation ingnores in his campaign accurately characterized as the 3rd term of George W. Bush?

John Dean writes in Conservatives Without Conscience how the co-founder of the National Review, James Burnham, in a 1959 attempt to blend real-world politics with intellectual conservatism, distilled a 13-statement list of point-by-point comparatives to liberal positions that differentiate between the two.
Of his list, Burnham declared,
"Whether the cause of this linkage - which is not absolute, of course - is metaphysical, social or psychological, we do not need to decide in order to observe that it exists." (Dean, page 9)
Metaphysical, social or psychological?
How about 50 years later we use the words supernatural, socio-pathic, psycho-pathic or just plain Left Behind?

Here's the list as quoted in Dean's book.

(1) There is a transcendent factor vital to successful government.

(2) Human nature is corrupt, and therefore conservatives reject all utopian solutions to social problems.

(3) Tradition must be respected, and when change is unavoidable it must be undertaken cautiously

(4) Governmental power must be diffused and limited by adhering to the "separation of powers" and "checks and balances" of the Constitution.

(5) Direct democracy must be rejected because people are not well informed and are easily misled

(6) [Conservatives believe] in States Rights

(7) Each branch of government must be autonomous and must resist encroachment or usurpation by any other

(8) Public support of limited government must be encourage in order to keep government in check

(9) The Constitution's principles have permanent value

(10) Government must be decentralized and localized so that power is diffused

(11) Private enterprise should be encouraged.

(12) Morality begins with the individual

(13) Congress should be more powerful than the executive branch.

Having successfully and specifically exploited number (5) for seven years, the current Republican talking point Presidential electoral project implies that the (1) "transcendent factor vital to successful government" is FEAR.

The corruption of human nature is considerably less dim than the corruption of the corporate nature. The abuse of corporate "personhood" identity has deteriorated to volumes of legislated non-Constitutional inequality: specific partisan legislation on behalf of non-mortal corporate "persons" at the tragic expense of human citizen persons.

Our contemporary Republican self-styled "conservatives" of this generation have no notion of change undertaken cautiously and gradually. What has become unavoidable is change based upon greed.

Invoking the fear-based metaphysics of (1) against those described in (5) above, we see a Republican suppression of separation of powers, checks and balances and all that lie in the venue. This was quite aptly expressed by Naomi Wolf last year in her history article:Fascist America in Ten Easy Steps.

Included in those "Ten Easy's " are

Set up and internal surveillance system

Harass citizen's groups

Arbitrary Detention and Release

Target key individuals

Control the Press

Dissent = Treason

Suspend the rule of law.

Yeah, and so much for autonomous resistance of encroachment and usurpation.
States Rights.

State's Rights?

"No Child Left Behind" and the Abandonment of Common Sense?
Imperialist invasion and occupation supported significantly by National Guard and Reserves?

Limited Government?
Well, the Conservative Republican version was probably still alive in the 70's, when Goldwater and Dirkson told Nixon to get his ass out.

By the 1990's limited government merely an on-going talking point until the Gingrich-Delay Republican unwise governance.

Until of course the manipulated election of a manipulated candidate so short of wit, wisdom and maturity that he will be without peer the most incompetent Republican ever to sit in that office.

Permanency of Constitutional Values? Enter the pulpit-pounding hypocrisy of today's social conservatives who dominate a party that has included the not-infrequent talking point of Gay Marriage as the overriding issue facing this country.

Yeah, and so much for decentralized localized government and diffused power.

"Private enterprise" - in terms of small-business entrepreneurs is the talking point joke behind which big business sucks at all the biggest troughs. Under the current Republican Conservatism, the Depart of Labor should be renamed the Department of Corporate Welfare.

Morality begins and ends with the individual. It doesn't spill and splash from a pulpit nor self-promote itself as an artificial and manufactured construct entitled "Morale Values."

Congress more powerful than the Executive Branch? I think that means that legislation and policy are the purview of represented electorate. Execution of the law - putting into effect the will of the people - every four years that's what we hire (or rehire) the President to do.

If we "conservatively" applied this last notion, future candidate posturing during presidential elections would be mere taking point politics and implied influence sans a lot of the "when I'm President I will - " nonsense.

This is what John McCain and his party have come to and what they are asking voter permission to continue. If the majority vote him into office this people will confirm what most of us already suspect.

Aptly described by Oliver Lange in Vandenberg - The Journals, 1971

"We proved the lie, were served up with a gagging portion of our own vintage distillation of apocalyptic horseshit
-- all the narcissistic swill about indomitable spirit, invincibility, courage and nobility of purpose --

and demonstrated once and for all to those who looked on with interest a fact long suspected:

that this nation, through a self-administered indoctrination of spurious righteousness, larded with the false rewards of superfluous luxury,

had at last achieved the most tractable, malleable -- let's face it, spineless -- people to walk the face of the earth."

Thursday, July 3, 2008

On Immigration

Immigration as a serious concern impacting ...

millions of innocent American citizens.

This is primarily a propaganda effort akin to the Gingrich imagery prior to welfare reform in the 1990's that fed off citizen's imagination of welfare queens, lazy single mothers and deadbeat dads lurking on welfare rolls all over the country.

It was in fact a repuglican attempt to capitalize on the knee-jerk reaction back then when someone ahead of them in the check-out line started waving food assistance coupons (the easily discernible funny looking money) at the cashier.

No lie was bigger than the myth of massive welfare fraud that needed to be cleaned up. The reality was a reformation of a government system of handouts that enabled apathy and discouraged initiative on the part of welfare recipients.

The welfare budget impact on national GNP and budget has always been essentially less than the price of one aircraft carrier but the politicians, needing fodder on which to tread with their upwardly mobile inflammatory jack boots, taught us all to belittle and disrespect the poor single welfare mothers (or less frequent fathers.)

We were told to be indignant and the stampede was set off. ("of course MY child could never be one of those welfare addicts. How could that child ever humiliate ME? Of course I'm for Welfare Reform!)

For immigrants today we are left with the bad seed of an idea that because of the flow of illegal immigrants into this country, we are on the verge of economic and political collapse because we don't have a Berlin wall on our borders keeping the pestilance out.

We are left with a desparate President willing to deploy from 3000 to 10,000 Nation Guard troops to protect us from what he makes out to be a 21st-Century alein "Tet Offensive" from which comes his highest priority: the protection and well-being of the American people.

Yeah right!

For every Berlin wall-advocate I'd like to see an acknowledgement not of the criminality of businesses that hire illegals, but the political criminality of demonizing workers with families who pay taxes off their fake SS cards (thereby possibly benefitting some unaware American citizen who is getting credit for those tax payments) while at the same time claiming that tax revenue for self-interested Rethuglican priorities and advocating building a wall to keep the revenue source out ... they're fools and want us to join them in the fools club.

If one's political thinking never evolves to the kind of depth and complexity that the issue merits, one remains a political partisan making a fragile no-substance mountain out of a molehill of a problem.

The recent Latino protests in reality could have been proclaimed as a protest against political exaggeration and insult to an American electorate.

From my own experience in the welfare office it's mostly the laziest native born gringo/jingo Americans that whine about not being able to find a job because the Mexicans took them all.

You know, they act like certain political role models who claim one false thing to puruse another more dreadful false thing.

As a gringo myself who pays attention to demographics and the Hispanic culture in which I have family, part of me looks forward to the day when Hispanics outnumber jingoes - er, gringos.

Why?

Because for Hispanics, Asians and other American sub-cultures in which which more and more citizens are being born, there remains ample substance of CULTURE and a consistent value system that reflects cultural mores of behavior, responsibility and respect (especially respect for parents and senior citizens); a social value system that has been been rapidly fading for years from the consumption-prioritized white American citizenry that stops, looks and listens every time a nursing home advertises how easy it would be to buy your way out of taking care of your elders.

Another example of jingoism disgracing a nation is the notion that those who come here must speak English or die. In my experience, I've seen impending deaths of elderly immigrants and the children of immigratns averted only because they sought and found someone who could speak their language and listen to them talk about their child's or parent's health problem before it was too late.

That's a single example of how mass jingoistic stupidity turns the beneficiaries of the American dream into the Captain Hooks for whom the Crocodile waits.

There is nothing dumber than the statement that "My immigrant ancestors had to learn English and these are no better." Those ancestors learned English as a matter of expediency, need and genuine willingness to adapt and enter our society and not out of a need to make jingoist speeches.

They didn't do so because jingoes refused to talk to them or deal with them.

We don't have a mountain of a problem with immigration in this country. We have a mountain of a problem from the sons and daughters - both elected and unelected - who are descendants from immigrants.

Congressman Brian Baird talks on the issues at Town Hall Meeting, July 1, 2008

[Front paged: NM]

Attended U.S. Representative Brian Baird Town Hall Meeting in South Bend, Pacific County, Washington on July 1, 2008.  I had very personal reasons for wanting to talk to Congressman Baird this year based on our experience talking with him at his Town Hall meeting last summer.


You may recall that last year Congressman Baird made national news in his support of the 'Surge' (of U.S. troops deployed to Iraq. We were in great opposition and wanted him to know as his constituents living in his district our views as a military family, with 2 returning Iraq veterans.  


This year, at his Town Hall meeting, which covered a range of issues, I had opportunity to discuss the Surge one year later with him.  Read my report below the fold.


 

On Monday, June 30, I received an email from Congressman Baird's office advising he was holding a Town Hall meeting in South Bend, on July 1 (the next day).  He holds Town Hall meetings annually in towns and cities across his district. I wanted to attend, for a couple of reasons.


Some background:  Last summer, Congressman Brian Baird held a Town Hall Meeting in Raymond, and this was at the time that Congressman Brian Baird who had voted against the invasion into Iraq, decided that he wanted to come out approving President Bush's `Surge' of U.S. troops in Iraq.  Congressman Baird had made a trip to Iraq last year, to assess the situation of war in Iraq and had conversation with General Petreaus, coming home to believe in the value of proceeding with a Surge in U.S. troops deployed to Iraq.  The deaths of U.S. troops was at an increasing frequency, and violence was rampant in Iraq, IED's and suicide bombings - killing civilians, Iraqi police and soldiers, and U.S. troops.   Last year, Congressman Baird made national news in his support for President Bush's call for a `Surge' (of troops) in Iraq.


My husband and I, being a military family with 2 returning Iraq veterans (both from Washington state),  attended that Town Hall meeting in Raymond, WA last summer primarily to challenge the Congressman on his support of the `Surge' and it was a contentious exchange with the Congressman.  Please refer to the article `Baird faces his constituents in Raymond' in Daily World last September.  


The article features photo of my husband, Arthur Ruger, and the pointed question he put to  Congressman Baird man to man - "was the war worth our son's blood.", to which the Congressman responded yes, he believed it was.  That was a slap in the face to us, as we do not believe, have never believed this war was worth any son or daughter's blood.  It was important to me then, last night, a year later at the Town Hall Meeting in South Bend, for me to connect to the Congressman based on our exchange from last year.  That same year, in December 2007 our son-in-law deployed to Iraq in his second 15 month stop-loss, extended deployment, where he is now.


I wanted very much to attend Congressman Baird's Town Hall meeting last night, even though I seem to have run out of things to say about the wrongness of the Iraq war. Arthur and I attended, and after Congressman Baird gave his presentations, he opened it to audience questions. I listened through all of the questions, intending to ask my two questions at the end of the proceedings.


Issues discussed during course of the meeting:


Gas Prices; Astonishingly - well to us anyway - when the question of gas prices came up, as we knew it would, and someone asked about off shore oil drilling and leased land not being used for oil drilling, Brian Baird started to discuss it and then asked the audience for a show of hands as to who was in favor of off-shore oil drilling. And almost all the hands went up. Then Brian Baird asked who was not in favor, with my husband, mine and probably 3-4 other hands going up.


I was stunned. And in somewhat confused language pointed out peak oil and global warming and then gave up, saying never mind. I could not believe what I had just witnesssed. An expectation that enough information is out there now about the growing oil crisis, that I had thought more would be appreciative of our need to change our lifestyle to become less oil dependent and the urgency in finding alternative energy lifestyles.


Acidic Ocean; Congressman Baird acknowledged Al Gore's documentary `An Inconvenient Truth', and then explained to the audience some research he had done on acidic ocean, and his first hand visit where he witnessed disappearing coral reefs, and how as a coastal community we should be concerned about our oceans. Then he answered other questions, and while I was listening attentively, I had already recognized that once again, our views on oil dependency (my husband and mine) were indeed the minority opinions amongst the community we live in. We've encountered this before along the course of our speaking out against the Iraq war as military family with loved ones deployed in Iraq.


Funding Iraq War vs Domestic Needs; Later when a young reporter from the Aberdeen Daily World newspaper tossed out a comment about trading off the $$ being spent in Iraq against using for homeland needs, Congressman Baird explained that we were not using current funds, rather creating a deficit that would be paid in our children and grandchildren's time. As Congressman Baird explained it that were we to withdraw the troops now (which he then went on to explain was a time consuming process and needed to be done responsibly so as not to leave troops exposed and at-risk), there would still be no funds available to be used for domestic concerns. Rather that it would reduce somewhat the future deficit which would be paid for by our children and grandchildren.


Copper Roof Replacement at Pacific County Courthouse; would cost considerably more than was originally estimated with rising costs of copper.  Inquiry if the Congressman could get the county some $$ help to replace the copper roof.  It being a historic building, must comply with regulations pertinent to historic buildings.  (Read more about it at this Daily World article, `Costs of New Roof Skyrockets')


The discussions flowed covering various issues:


Historic Post Office in Raymond lacking accessibility for disabled; seems because the Raymond Post Office is considered a historic building, and it lacks accessibility for disabled, changes cannot be made to the building to be more facilitative without regard to the regulations governing historic buildings.  At this time, disabled citizens (wheelchair bound, or unable to manage the stairs) are unable to make access to the Post Office.   (Read more about it at Daily World article, `Baird Hears of Acces Woes')


Illegal Immigration:  Someone asked the Congressman about illegal immigrants, and he responded by breaking it out into three categories;

  a) illegal immigrants who are hardened criminals should be sent back to countries of origins, but how to do that - ask the country `hey will you take back so and so who is a hardened criminal?';

  b) illegal immigrants who are hired by employers knowingly as illegal and paid under the table should not be permitted to remain; and

  c) illegal immigrants who are hired by employers who have verified social security number and background and taxes are being paid out of wages - those illegal immigrants have likely been here number of years, working all of those years and some provision should be provided that permits them to remain on worker permit.  Congressman cited responsive employers like Coast Seafood who work to comply with current laws and have large number of immigrants employed.


Columbia-Pacific National Heritage Area Study:  Included was a concern expressed by owner of Rose Ranch regarding our area (Willapa region) becoming a National Heritage region. She identified probably 10 coalitions that have concerns should we become designated a National Heritage site. I have tried to blog some about this at Washblog , but am too underinformed to articulate the concerns well.


As the meeting wrapped up, I was at last able to ask my two questions;


1) Senator Cantwell obtaining $2 million towards Doppler Radar for SW Washington due to the December 07 storm (read more here) , and what was his position on that? He said fully in support. Then I pointed out that while the $2 million was great it was going to take a lot more $$ to build the Doppler, and where would that money come from, would he work towards that end. He said something about $2 million being a big drop, and likely the rest of the money might have to come from the State.


2) Last year, in your Town Hall, we talked with you about our son in Iraq because you had just gone national in your approval of the Surge, and I guess I wanted to have you inquire how he is doing. Before I could finish the sentence though, it seemed that Congressman Baird did remember and did ask how our son was doing. Which left me with a weak follow up, that really that was all I wanted was for him to inquire after our son's well being. Then the Congressman went on to explain why he took the position that he did last year on the Surge and how it seemed to be working, violence was down. I actually did find myself saying that conditions did seem to be more favorable to our son's (actually it is son-in-law) deployment this time, or at least I'm relieved that if he has to be there, it isn't the year before, and that I hope he gets through this deployment and safely home.


After the meeting concluded, Congressman Baird, did come over to where I was sitting, and had some private words with me. He wanted me to know that he cares, that what I was doing as a mother was natural and he was glad that I was doing what I was doing; that what my son was doing was patriotic and what I was doing was patriotic; that when he is in DC the  groups that hold vigils in DC showing the 4,000 killed, he looks at each and every face and feels it deeply.




Congressman Brian Baird talking with Lietta Ruger, Town Hall Meeting, South Bend, July 1, 2008.


(photo courtesy of Steven Friederich of the Daily World)


For the most part the words he chose to use with me were agreeable, but I didn't like the words about patriotic - and I wasn't altogether sure he understood that I am among those military families opposed to the war in Iraq and have been speaking out against the war in Iraq.  Personally, I wouldn't say the `Surge' (of troops) in Iraq is working, that would really be beyond my ability to discern.  But it does seem the violence is down, and whatever strategies are being used, our son-in-law who is deployed in Iraq now in his second 'stop-loss', extended 15 month deployment seems to be less at risk than had he been deployed in Iraq a year earlier.


As Congressman Baird was shaking my hand and done with his part of the conversation, and before I could correct any misperceptions, others were coming around, and reaching out to me, whereby I offered my smiles of appreciation. Right about then someone else said to us, wait, wait, I didn't get the picture, and then snap went the camera. I remember saying is this a photo op and we shouldn't be smiling then. It was a confusing moment, and then there were 2 reporters wanting me to spell my name, wanting my son (son-in-law, I corrected) name which I never give, and the moment to correct any misperceptions that the Congressman might have about my position had passed.


More details of this Town Hall Meeting reported in the Aberdeen Daily World articles here and here.

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