Bending Towards Justice
A Practical Peace and Justice Blog by BLT
Name: BLT - E-mail me
Why BTJ:"I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice. Things refuse to be mismanaged long."
-- Theodore Parker
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
-- Martin Luther King Jr.
"No people is wholly civilized where a distinction is drawn between stealing an office and stealing a purse."
-- Theodore Roosevelt
"No longer do we take the sword against any nation, nor do we learn war any more, since we have become sons of peace."
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Sunday, October 17, 2004
First Jon Stewart rips Tucker Carlson's intestines out and shows them to him.
Then Tom Tomorrow provides the most succinct analysis of modern politics this side of, well, the Daily Show.
I can't wait to see what's next.
Dear Sens. Smith and Wyden and Rep. Blumenauer:
I am a pacifist and a Quaker. I was not in favor of taking action in
Iraq because I deplore the needless loss of life of both American and
Iraqi - and beyond my religious beliefs, I did not feel that it was a
constructive step even by the standards of war. But while I was
against jumping into the river, I am in favor of swimming. This does
not mean that I deplore even one loss of life any less; it simply
means that after accepting the harsh reality that there will be loss
of life, my hopes must rest with the idea that our leaders will work
to minimize that loss of life.
That is why I was so disturbed to read the following in the Los Angeles Times (registration required):
'The Bush administration will delay major assaults on rebel-held
cities in Iraq until after U.S. elections in November, say
administration officials, mindful that large-scale military offensives
could affect the U.S. presidential race.
Although American commanders in Iraq have been buoyed by recent
successes in insurgent-held towns such as Samarra and Tall Afar,
administration and Pentagon officials say they will not try to retake
cities such as Fallujah and Ramadi -- where insurgents' grip is
strongest and U.S. military casualties could be the greatest -- until
after Americans vote in what is likely to be a close election.
"When this election's over, you'll see us move very vigorously," said
one senior administration official involved in strategic planning,
speaking on condition of anonymity.
"Once you're past the election, it changes the political
ramifications" of a large-scale offensive, the official said. "We're
not on hold right now. We're just not as aggressive."'
Now, I am mindful that one cannot trust everything one reads in the
media, especially a story based on anonymous sources. But based on the
track record of the Bush Administration when it comes to deciding
policy based on political expediency, I have a strong feeling that
there is at least a kernel of truth at the bottom of this story.
At the very least, we must discover whether, in fact, American - and
Iraqi - lives are being used like chess pieces in a political game. I
expect that this possibility has already provoked outrage in you as
well. Therefore, I and all Oregonians - all Americans - encourage you
to take the floor of the Senate [or House - don't worry, I changed it depending on the recipient] and push for an investigation into
these accusations, and to emphasize to the Bush administration in the
strongest possible terms that basing military strategy on political
expediency is dangerous, counterproductive, and a betrayal of the
American people that the President is constitutionally required to
Thank you for your service and your kind attention to this issue.
Thanks to Atrios for the tip.
"The question of terrorism within the United States has been one that has worried us in the past. It is one that will continue to be a problem for years to come. We have to remember that the war that al Qaeda is waging and their allies are waging, is waged all over the world and it's waged right here in the United States. That's why we have to continue to be alert. It is also essential in being alert that we be fair; fair because by being fair we uphold the very freedoms that the terrorists would destroy. We uphold the standards of conduct which they would never follow. And, in this connection, I think that we must look to the future having in mind the fact that we fight terrorists at home not only by our laws to deal with terrorists - the few who do become terrorists and the few who do become evildoers, but we also fight terrorism at home by moving against those various injustices which exist in our society which the terrorists feed upon."
...would quite probably get my vote for President. It shows a realistic view of the way the world works, at least some understanding that without separating us from the terrorists, we will have nothing left worth fighting for. I have seen nothing - not one thing - from George W. Bush that shows that he understands this - beyond claiming that the terrorists simply hate our freedom.
It was fascinating to see George W. Bush say "I hope you don't think that" to the man who asked about the erosion of civil liberties. He seemed to be genuinely surprised that Americans are concerned that his Justice Department hates the Constitution. Just another example of his complete disconnect from the American people.
A lot of people don't like the increased divisiveness of politics; long gone are the days when the majority of Americans might conceivably say "party, schmarty; I just vote for the best candidate." I was watching the first Kennedy-Nixon debate on C-SPAN tonight (ahhh, C-SPAN on a Saturday night; fatherhood is the best) and was struck by - assuming we don't know about how Nixon ended up - how alike, reasonable, American both platforms were. Both men were pro-growth, both fairly moderate. The main difference between the two was their economic policies. But both policies represented each man's solution for the problems of the average American. None of this ridiculous "what's good for the corporation is good for Americans" policy.
Oh, and that opening quote? Substitute "communism" for "terrorism", and you'll have Richard Nixon's homeland security policy.
The Bush Administration is the aberration. It's time to get back to basics.
I wasn't sure if I bought the earpiece theory when it first came to my attention, which was long before the first debate. After seeing the 'bulge photos' I started to take it a little more seriously.
Tonight I became certain that there's something going on under that jacket. My non-conspiracy-theory-oriented wife and mother in law both gasped when Bush walked in front of the camera and I pointed at the back of his jacket. They had never heard this theory, and yet the first thing out of my wife's mouth was "he's wired!"
Really, I'm starting to think that we're running out of alternative explanations. And this being 2004, if there's an issue, there's a blog for it.
I left my skepticism in Florida in 2000...
Via Jesus' General:
Conservative students learn a hard lesson:
"[Hannity's agent] said he thought we should say that because of the short time frame involved, it didn't work out," said Hollander. "I said I didn't think that was the truth, and...I really felt we had met all of our commitments and we were going to be honest when asked."
Yes, honesty. Not a word Hannity's agent hears a lot. And the real reason for his cancellation?
Hannity, Hollander said, requested a private jet to fly him to St. Louis for the speech, but then rejected "several" different jets offered by a private donor. He told Hollander about a "bad experience" with the prominent company that had manufactured all the jets offered for his trip.
When Hollander and fellow law student Melinda Gorman failed to locate a jet manufactured by another company, they offered Hannity a first-class ticket on a commercial flight. He refused.
Who's looking out for Sean?
...but you knew that. Part of the reason I haven't been updating is it's just overwhelming. What do I talk about first? Second, I've been pretty busy on the weekends volunteering for the League of Conservation Voters. This is the first time I've done any significant volunteer work on a campaign. I wanted to donate money to various candidates, but thanks to Bush's economy (as well, to be fair, as other factors) I can't afford it. Volunteering is a good way for anyone in my position to do their part. I thought it might be a good idea to quickly run down some volunteer opportunities for anyone who lives in or near a swing state as we come into the final three weeks. These are just the few I know of, to start with. Submissions are requested. It's not too late to get started!
America Coming Together
League of Conservation Voters
Oregon Bus Project
South Carolina Progressive Network
Of the trillions of words out there about tonight's debates, let me just say this:
That's not a surprise. What is a surprise is how surprised everyone is. Especially the right-wing blogs, as a Kos diarist points out:
Winds of Change:
"Kerry did well in terms of his persona; I went in expecting a pompous windbag and he wasn't one. Bush did less well in persona; fragmented, repetitive..."
The only thing that is unexpected about that is finding out that the freepers have been believing their own spin.
Okay, now I'm starting to get really, really paranoid. I was driving today when a church sign caught my eye. Something was very odd. See for yourself:
No? It might be kind of subtle - I've pretty much lost all perspective on this whole election. Just to see if this might be just a matter of coincidence, I checked the other side.
So is it just me? Or are they just plain not getting into the spirit of the "not-endorsing-a-particular-candidate" thing?
Every once in awhile I admit I listen to Howard Stern. This morning Donald Trump is on, and, well, I'll let this exchange speak for itself. Howard and Robin have been asking the Donald about his kids' inheritance (all paraphrased from memory):
TRUMP: You know, under the Bush estate tax plan, you pay nothing for ten years - nothing in years eight, nine, and ten, but then in year eleven you pay sixty percent. You pay everything if you die in the eleventh and twelfth years, so there's going to be a lot of billionaires killed by their children at midnight -
HOWARD: The bigger problem is, if Bush is president, in twelve years there won't be a country.
TRUMP: Well, yeah, that's true.
You heard it here first: Trump Endorses Kerry.