Petroleum and My Prayer

Bush to Visit Iowa Flood Site

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert

Dearest Mister George Walker Bush . . .

This morning as I sat in what I would wish to think of as my safe little sanctuary from danger, I watched you mount the stairs and ascend into Air Force One.  The television announcer spoke of your impending trip to the Midwest.  As one with family in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois, I was grateful for your travel.  I am certain the people in these regions will be comforted by your presence.  Most will feel they have reason to hope that you will offer help.  I truly appreciate you “swift” response to their needs.  I am gratified that you have decided to fly high above the flooded terrain, and perhaps spend a moment with an individual or two.  Perchance, you will speak to my sister or my Dad.

As I observed the day’s news break on screen, I perused the printed page and realized the American people may have another reason to thank you.  The New York Times reported Bush Calls for End to Ban on Offshore Oil Drilling.  I am confident those on dry land, still able to drive through the streets are pleased.  Your grand gesture will gratify them, belatedly if at all.  The United States House Committee on Natural Resources thinks the move will not improve circumstances.   I sigh.

There is no reason to let little details such as well-researched assessment get in the way of the glorious work you do Mister Bush.  As you well know, the public cares not what the future might bring.  The people prefer to be catered to in the immediate.  I know you understand this Mister President.  You felt the repercussions of a delayed action.  I remember your late response to Katrina, and even to the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center Towers.  

Woe, to the politician who does not take measures to calm the citizens quickly.  Mister Bush, I am consoled as I witness all you have learned.  Indeed, today, you quieted fears and felt the people’s pain.  You did as is necessary.

In this nation, an elected official who bows to the will of his or her constituency will be judged well.  After all, as you are aware Mister Bush, the people are the power.  The populace casts a ballot at the poll.  Even for those such as you, an individual who cannot hold the office of the President again, that is as long as the Constitution remains unchanged, legacies are the legends of history.  

Mister Bush, I applaud your heroism, your ability to reach out and to touch the common folk.  Yet, while I might admire the actions you took on this 19th day of June, I only wish that consolations would clean the mess you created.  

I fear each of the events of the day is the result of earlier enactments.  What occurred in the Midwest is as much that the world has seen recently.  Granted Mister President, you only preside over a portion of a North American continent; nonetheless, what is in our air travels overseas.  Water also journeys to shores far beyond our horizon.

Contaminants and toxins permissible in the United States will be found in the heavens above foreign soil.  Oceans, far from our homeland, will contain elements hurled into American waterways.

I know you might muse Mister Bush, as you did for near a decade ago, humans have little effect on the environment.  Ah, but President Bush, as you now relent, we do alter the balance of nature.  Decisions you made in our name, accelerated the cycle of unwelcome warmth on a globe too fragile to fight off the effects of a fever.

You, Mister Bush may have learned the laws of motion in your studies.  As Sir Isaac Newton discovered in an Earthly environment, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”  Perchance, as a Chief Executive and one who received a Master’s degree in Business Administration, you are more familiar with a similar premise, economic in nature, “You scrub my back, and I will cleanse yours.”  

In the financial world, the policies you endorsed illustrate that you embrace this “theoretical” truth.  I recall your first hundred days in the Oval Office.  Much to the benefit of business buds, who supported your rise, you chose to initiate practices that filled your friends’ purses.  . . . and oh, yes, these very guidelines damaged the milieu.  Ooops.

  • Bush administration marks 100 days in office (04/29/01)
  • EPA drops objections to Florida rule that undermines Clean Water Act protections (04/26/01)
  • Gale Norton nominates William G. Myers III as solicitor for Department of the Interior (04/24/01)
  • Yellowstone snowmobile ban goes into effect, but perhaps not for long (04/23/01)
  • Bush seeks to relax requirements of Endangered Species Act (04/09/01)
  • Bush administration delays hard-rock mining regulations that protect watersheds (03/21/01)
  • Bush withdraws new arsenic-in-drinking-water standard (03/20/01)
  • Bush appoints industry apologist as regulatory gatekeeper (03/06/01)
  • EPA upholds Clinton decision to clean up diesel pollution (02/28/01)
  • EPA delays, then upholds, new rule protecting wetlands (02/15/01)
  • White House announces regulatory freeze (01/20/01)

Indeed, you were a busy man Mister Bush, just as you have been today, and throughout your terms.  You entered the White House and released the latch on barn doors throughout the nation.  Domesticated animals, Americans, did not rush out, for they had long felt as though they were not in harm’s way.  Centuries of relative calm encouraged citizens, beasts of few burdens, to believe they were sheltered from storms.  However, once the portals were open, predators, or was it you Mister President, ran in.  

Marauders came though back gateways, side entries, windows, and slats in the ceiling.  Perhaps these too were but friends of the fellow we all know as George, you, Mister Bush.

Oh, Sir, you must know, corporations, intent on earnings, ignored the warnings of environmentalists.  Scientists could not be heard above the hum of oil drills.  The clang of change as it fell into deep pockets muffled the melodious mantra of the few concerned citizens.  This circumstances Mister Bush caused the globe to warm.  Now the water falls from the sky without end.  Levees poorly maintained or engineered break.

My Dad hopes his sump pump will not fail.  My sister prays that her home will remain on a hill.  My best friend fears for his roof.  A friend in Racine, Wisconsin I hope is well.  No one has been able to reach him.

Mister Bush, when you first arrived in Washington District of Columbia you changed the fabric of the land.  You did not steward the territory we each occupy.  Economic favors flourished as did environmental hazards.  The rich grew richer; the poor did not prosper.  Those who had wealth garnered dividends.  Those with few resources received less.  Now, we all suffer.

Wind and water does not discriminate.  Homes, bought and paid for wash away in a torrid tempest just as shacks do.

Oh my dear Mister Bush, you promised to be the Compassionate Conservative.  If only you had chosen to be the Consummate Conservationist.

Each day Mother Nature cries out.  She weeps and the terrain floods.  Her heart breaks, and tectonic plates move.  Cyclones are the swell of tears her eyes cannot hold.  Mother Earth pounds us with hail; she means no harm.  Her children, under the tutelage of an oil moneyed man are out of control.  She knows not what to do to get their attention.  She throws what she has at hand, and hopes, perhaps, her brood will stop the insanity.

Mister Bush, please I plead, do not pander, or patronize.  My Dad does not need cheaper fuel.  He is a patient man and willing to wait for alternatives that do not leave him soaked and sorrowful in the next five-hundred year flood, which may occur only a month from now.

My sister would be content, if she could tell he son with certainty, she will leave him a world better than the one she grew up in.  Sensitive as she is, my sibling hopes to bequeath her grandchildren with a glorious existence.  However, as you fly to her home with promises too late, and replete of a skewed reality, she fears a dependency on fossil fuels will never end.  

She too, just as Daddy, does not concern herself with what cannot be salvaged.  Each requests that we secure the future, clean the environment, and do not drill for more oil, offshore or anywhere.

Mister Bush, the time is now.  For as much as any American would wish to believe they are safe in their now dry homes, as long as we continue to rape the few resources we have left, as long as we waste, and want more and more “conveniences” no one will be secure.  

As you peruse the cities and crops destroyed by rains and runoff, you might realize climate change is evidence of what you sowed.  No promises will repair broken hearts.  No policies that allow for more petroleum usage will produce calm or clean seas.  We now reap the rewards of gluttony and gratification.  It is not a pretty picture.

Mister Bush, tomorrow does come.  Our actions today will be the cause.  The effects of your past performances are what you see today in Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri . . .  Let us no longer wash the back of a egocentric executive, at the expense of the environment.  Instead, kiss my sister, hug my Dad, and if you can find my friend, lost in the tragedy, please tell him I love him.

Resources, No More Oil . . .

New Toons Return

Andrew Wahl returned from the holidays only to discover, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”  Primaries, pundits, predictions, and pronouncements are ever evolving and unmoving.

To view the original art, please travel to New Toons Return.

copyright © 2007.  Andrew Wahl.  Off The Wahl Perspective.

I return from my holiday toon break just in time to catch the second primary contest. It’s going to be a great year for editorial cartooning, but the media’s “Marathon Coverage” is going to get old quick.

As I’ve mentioned before, expect a new cartoon every Wednesday morning in 2008.

Clinton: Spiraling Downward

© copyright 2007 Storm Bear Town Called Dobson

To view the original, travel to a Town Called Dobson. Clinton: Spiraling Downward

What a mess for the Clinton campaign. Iowa was a total disaster for Hillary and she didn’t need to expose herself in that way.

A friend of mine over at If This Be Treason laid it out like this: Hillary had nothing to gain but everything to lose in Iowa. If she didn’t campaign there and Obama or Edwards won, it could be said that it wasn’t a real win since Hillary didn’t participate. If she participated and won, it could be said she was the presumptive front-runner and it was no big deal. But if she lost, questions would arise and power would be handed to the winner. If she lost BIG TIME, the exclamation points would add up – the questions would be more painful.

And she lost BIG TIME in Iowa. Obama has the momentum, and Edwards also, going into the New Hampshire primary. Hillary does not. You do not receive upward momentum by being a political loser.

Thirty-Five Years of Hillary Experience. Do We Want Eight More?

Bill Clinton: We Need New Experience in Washington

copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert

Each and everyday we hear the drum beat, the drone of a dynamic Presidential hopeful.  Hillary Clinton howls and hollers; “I have thirty-five years of experience.  Numerous beings question that truth.  Those not in Camp Clinton retort.  Perchance, she might claim she has six decades of familiarity, for indeed, Senator Clinton was first planted on this planet some sixty years ago. 

The esteemed former First Lady wants Americans to believe that her time in the White House was invaluable.  The years she spent in “public service” make her infinitely qualified to hold the office of President of the United States.  At times, it seems the Senator believes she already held this honorable post.  She, with her husband at her side, guided the country.  Bill and Hillary brought prosperity to America.  The two, wish to do so again.  Bill Clinton [affirms] Hillary wants me to restore America’s image.  Citizens are lead to believe, the Clintons can, and will, heal all wounds globally.

Hillary Clinton persuades US, the American electorate, the job of Commander-In-Chief is a challenging one.  Amateurs need not apply.  Hillary knows.  She has been there and done that.  As the Presidential hopeful spoke to the citizens of Iowa, Clinton clamored . . .

“There is one job we can’t afford on-the-job training for – our next president.  That could be the costliest job training in history,” Clinton said.  “Every day spent learning the ropes is another day of rising costs, mounting deficits and growing anxiety for our families.  And they cannot afford to keep waiting.”

The Presidential candidate claims to be trustworthy, and above reproach.  Yet, as we assess her record we discover there is much to question, and more to criticize.  The Former First Lady has been an elected official for seven short years.  All of the other candidates on the Democratic Primary Election ballot have held public office for far longer than the ‘New York applicant has.  Yet, Clinton, the women, not playing the gender card, continues to claim she is infinitely more qualified.  She is “experienced” and can easily take the reigns.  Only she can state she lived in the White House and served, to some degree, as President of the United States.

Opponents on the Right ridicule what Democrats seem reluctant to state.  Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the Grand Old Party front-runner according to national polls, offers, “Honestly, in most respects, I don’t know Hillary’s experience.  She’s never run a city, she’s never run a state.  She’s never run a business  . . .  So I’m trying to figure out where the experience is here.” 

Multi-millionaire, Entrepreneur, and another electable, Mitt Romney, muses “She has never run anything.”  Romney notes; Clinton has not run a corner store, a state, or a city.  He inquires can the presidency be considered an internship.

Nevertheless, a haughty Hillary Clinton is certain that she can, and will do the job.  In her mind, she has done it.  Apparently, she has convinced others. 

In an Oct. 3 release announcing the American Federation of Teachers endorsement of her candidacy, she said, “Throughout my 35 years of working on education, I’ve seen the dedication that American teachers demonstrate day in and day out.”

In September, Clinton issued a release on Hispanic Heritage Month that stated, “Thirty five years ago, I traveled through South Texas, registering Latino voters ?”

Describing her healthcare plan, Clinton said that “a family is a child’s first school, and I have a long history going back 35 years as a child advocate ?”

Clinton’s proponents have echoed the figure.  When Rep. Diane Watson (D-Calif.) endorsed Clinton late last month, the congresswoman said in a statement, “Her 35-year record fighting for children and families makes her uniquely qualified to hit the ground running.”

Similarly, Nevada State Assemblyman Harry Mortenson lauded Clinton’s 35 years of experience when he backed her last month.

We have all heard of the “Big Lie” theory, repeat a tale often enough and the people will believe.  Characteristically, this reference is made in regards to Adolph Hitler or George W. Bush; however, once more, it seems applicable.

Asked for comment for this article, Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said, “The people who are most important – the voters – think Hillary’s 35 years of advocacy, strength and experience is what counts, which is why one poll after another shows her leading by wide margins on the question of who is most experienced.”

The Clinton campaign suggests that the Senator’s experience dates back to before her marriage to Bill Clinton in 1975.

Interestingly enough, years into the marriage, when William Jefferson Clinton ran for President, it was said he had little if any experience.  We may recall that when Bill Clinton first appeared on the national scene, he was considered less than qualified for the most powerful post on the planet.  His Republican rival, George H. W. Bush was among many that noted the former Governor of Arkansas was not ready or able.  He was only willing.  Granted, some learn well while in office , most merely repeat their personal history.

Hillary obfuscates on the issues, obliterates the competition; she is combative when she perceives there is an enemy.  Senator Clinton sees foes under every Bush or Barack and presumes any comment to be part of a  conspiracy. 

Senator Clinton claims to support the intent of North American Free Trade Agreement, while she is critical of the outcome. 

When asked of the “Do not ask; do not tell” decision, Clinton falters.  Later, she states, the policy, had its time and place.  Yet, today, desirous of the Gay and Lesbian vote, the former First Lady thinks now the nation is ready for a change.

On immigration, Hillary is for drivers’ licenses; she thinks these would make our streets safer.  However, when questioned further, Clinton is flustered, again.  Certainly, the Boys are ganging up on her.  [might they be part of the Right Wing Conspiracy of years gone by?]  Then, with time to consider she needs every vote the First Lady is once more firm.  Hillary Clinton offers a definitive “No” when asked if she thinks it would be wise to issue a legal form of identification for immigrants.

This is the voice of experience.  Hillary Rodham Clinton knows to her core what it takes to get elected.

Today American must ask them selves; ”Is this the type of experience we crave.”  Do we wish to recycle a family, a familiar fuddle of truth, a fantasy that led us to believe one Clinton felt our pain.’ 

As Hillary avows much of what America experienced under Clinton One did not work well, she assures us she will do better.  We must have faith.  Senator Clinton understands situation, our circumstances, and us.  She always has.  She fought for us in the 1990s and she will again, if we grant her the ultimate power.  The Former First Lady reminds us each day . . .

“We need a president who understands the magnitude and complexity of the challenges we face and has the strength and experience to address them from day one.

As President of the United States the Former First Lady intends to force those that cannot afford Health Care to buy into her program.  As a peaceful Progressive, Hillary Clinton plans to send more troops to Afghanistan.  Senator Clinton states, she may bring the troops home in her second term, depending.  Yes, “your girl” is practiced, polished, and professional.  In the past, Hillary Clinton ‘influenced’ policy, possibly.  The question is, does she have the seasoning needed to responsive to the people, to be an effective President, or will her habits hinder her efforts.  Might Hillary in the Oval Office be the best choice for America, or will she be merely a Clinton successful in her personal quest for power.

The Clinton Experience . . .

  • Clinton and Obama spar over experience, By Kay Henderson.  Reuters. November 20, 2007
  • Bill Clinton: Hillary wants me to restore image of US, By Oliver Burkeman.  The Guardian.  Friday October 5, 2007
  • Clinton Says Economy Needs Experience, By Beth Fouhy.  Associated Press.  Forbes. November 19, 2007
  • NAFTA, Farmers and Agriculture, NAFTA’s Seven Years War on Farmers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.  Public Citizen.
  • The Big Lie Technique, By Robert Scheer.  The Nation. November 16, 2005
  • Hillary: “I Have to Earn Every Vote,” By Karen Tumulty.  Time Magazine. February 1, 2007
  • Don’t ask, they’ll tell,  By Linda DouglassMSNBC August 9, 2007
  • Hillary Clinton invokes Bill in poll battle, By Alex Spillius in North Conway, New Hampshire.  Telegraph. November 12, 2007
  • Bayh, Clinton Call for More Troops in Afghanistan. U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.
  • Welfare’s Changing Face, By Dan Froomkin.  ?Washington Post. July 23, 1998
  • For ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ Split on Party Lines, By Robin Toner.  The New York Times. June 8, 2007
  • Mandatory health care won’t curb costs, By Jamie Court.  Market Place. September 18, 2007
  • Candidates Hedge Bets on Iraq Withdrawal, By Jeff Zeleny and Patrick Healy.  The New York Times. September 26, 2007
  • Seven Things We Learned From the Democratic Debate, By Dan Balz.  The Washington Post. August 8, 2007
  • Clinton, Obama ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ Eliciting Outrage, By Satta Sarmah.  Columbia Journalism Review. March 15, 2007
  • A Clinton Distancing Act, By Peter Baker.  Washington Post. November 20, 2007
  • Different Rules When a Rival Is a Woman? New York Times. November 5, 2007
  • Clinton: Vast right-wing conspiracy is back, Cites anti-voter actions, phone jamming and intimidating phone calls.  Associated Press.  MSNBC. March 13, 2007
  • Forget the Green Grass of Home

    copyright © 2007 Judith Moriarty

    In America, you are not permitted to discuss the great migration of immigrants into this country in a reasoned rational manner.  The well funded PR by corporate interests; has Americans labeled as racist, bigoted, and intolerant.  The immigration of old – is held up as a banner of ‘give me your tired and huddled masses who yearn to be free’.  Since few know history, you can tell them anything today.  Everybody can identify Ronald McDonald but only a small fraction of the population can name the Secretary of State, discuss a trade agreement with you, or give the year of the Civil War.  None that I personally know can describe our monetary system or the history of the Federal Reserve.  Few realize that these numerous trade agreements, written for the benefit of multinational companies (absent any loyalty), are the reason for this great worldwide dislocation.  Including the victims!   

    It is not the immigrant (illegal or otherwise), or the American out of work, and burdened down with taxes, who is to be fully blamed.  People (deliberately so) are being propagandized into taking their frustrations, anger, and fears out on one another.  Daily we hear the drumbeat of violence on the border, Mexican gangs, schools overrun with illegal students, hospitals going bankrupt, and small town America being overrun with thousands of immigrants.  The owners of the world want to keep the victims attacking one another.  They certainly don’t want this being identified as a ‘class’ issue!  The few – ruling the many for their own good pleasure and profit!

    The truth of the matter is – the America of old is no more.  While the immigrants of yesterday  (exploited though they were) helped build a nation (bridges, railroads, highways, steel mills, textile mills, manufacturing, farming etc).  These are all things of the past.  Yesterday’s immigrants built a nation.  Today’s immigrants are meant to labor for cheap wages, on the new corporate plantation.  Someone has to serve the rich and fight their ungodly wars for more and more gold, oil, timber, water, etc.  The immigrant of today, unlike yesteryear, is afforded all kinds of assistance, relocation funds, housing allowances, job assistance counseling, stipends, etc. 

    None of this existed for those who first immigrated.  Today, the small farm is being put out of business by the corporate farms with their genetically altered Frankenstein crops.  Mexicans are flooding across the border due to a failed NAFTA (Hillary says she just remembers graphs and lines).  The small village farms in Mexico can’t compete with the tons of corporate farm produce flooding their market.  Besides, China has underbid them in cheap labor, so now even their factories are leaving.  China also is building huge ports in Mexico thus bypassing American ports (dock workers – warehousing etc).  The Mexican trucks (who cares if they’re insured or safe) now pouring in by the thousands should end the jobs for our truckers.  Fishing is already gone (visit New Bedford).  Now we’re buying seafood from China!

    The auto plants, textile mills, manufacturing plants, steel mills, paper mills, and supporting industries in America, have all gone belly-up.  Maytag (no breaking news) laid off thousands, a few weeks back and left for foreign shores!  With the help of federal subsidies etc, (helpful politicians) these industries have all been shipped to foreign lands; that accommodate the corporate hucksters of today with a larger profit margin.  They don’t have to contend with bothersome health, safety, or environmental protections in third world countries.  Labor standards – ha, work till you drop -is the corporate mantra.  Americans meantime, cannot compete with slave labor, making 32 cents to a dollar an hour!  No matter that the junk coming in; is inferior, laced with lead, or other poisons.

    China now holds America hostage, with its funding of our perpetual war- that goes about the world, bombing -shattering – melting, and shredding.  The borrower is always slave to the lender.  It’s pretty lamentable knowing that a Tiger Woods makes more for endorsing NIKI, by wearing their logo on his cap, than all the slave labor combined making these costly shoes.  What a world.  Same with the other gladiator sports stars.

    Our prisons (our newest growing industry) are filled with millions (largest incarceration in the world).  A for profit industry, needs products (prisoners), thus many imprisoned today, are there for non-violent crimes.  Would that they were in government, they’d get a pardon for their crimes.  Corporate America, has found that producing their product with prison labor; saves them the bother of a livable wage, health insurance, or maintaining a facility.  Best of all no unions and no strikes.  Old Joe Hill (early labor activist) would be put in solitary confinement.

    While the news today is filled with announcements of the invasion of Mexicans, the truth is, thousands – upon tens – of thousands; are being imported from distant war torn lands.  Then we have the multitudes of guest workers  that Congress has voted to bring in – to keep their corporate funders happy.  These visas cover everything from help for the various tourist Mecca’s, (once a place where youth worked in the summer to earn money for college) to the professional fields (teachers, nurses, doctors, engineers, and information technology).

    Since all of this is happening incrementally and insidiously – the full scope of the problem is not seen.  News is kept localized, thus those who live in Kansas have no idea of the thousands of Somalians who’ve relocated to an old mill town in Maine, nor do folks in Oklahoma, know of the paper mills closing in New Hampshire.  Who’s talking about the closed textile mills, or Detroit, that resembles a wasteland out of a Mad Max movie?

    You’ll not hear ‘breaking news’ of American workers having to train their replacements.  If they refuse, they risk  losing any chance of severance pay.

    When building a global plantation, with the ultimate goal being a redistribution of the wealth (leveling in quality of living standards); rest assured that this redistribution is our money they’re talking about, not those raking in the profits, and banking offshore, or maintaining their money in ‘hidden trusts’.  China now imports tons of contaminated products; yet, these various trade agreements disallow any inspections – recalls – or refusals.  Least we forget, globalists (not democrats) Hillary and Bill gave us NAFTA (thus the exodus from Mexico) and Most Favored Nation trading with China.  Hillary, meantime,  promised those in Silicon Valley that she would see to it,  that more guest  visas would be given, to import thousands of more foreign workers.

    Republican or Democrat, makes no matter, we now have a corporate controlled government.  One can see that those ‘working’ (I use the word lightly) in Foggy Bottom, are; merely treading water.  They have accomplished zero in the few days that they work per week.  They are punctual in voting their yearly cost of living raises and  other perks (millions in earmarks for their corporate friends back home).  Remember, the name of the GAME, is to stay in office (get that obscene pension) not to serve the people.

    Over these past several years, our governmental agencies have been quietly decimated, with corporate appointees replacing those in key positions.  Privatization of governmental services (such as the military) is being contracted out.  Thus, the disgusting mess at Walter Reed – and having to prove (true);  that your missing face, missing arm, and brain damage, is a total disability!  It’s ‘be all you can be’ till you come home all smashed up.  Everything is broken in this country – everything!

    The  fort like department of education,  meantime,  throws out new social engineering mandates  to the states on a regular basis.  Thus, the children of today can ‘feel’ good about being failures, unable to read, write a coherent paragraph, discuss a work of  literature,  or the  history of our nation.  The workers of tomorrow (cannon fodder for war) are being conditioned to groupthink – non-think – and passive, servile, compliance.  We’re not training the next Hawkins,  Eisenstein, or Mark Twain.  A look at America’s rating with the rest of the world proves my point.  The children of the elite – well connected etc, are isolated from tomorrow’s servile masses, and are being educated in private schools, with the best of equipment, teachers, and courses.  No bathroom classrooms for them, or having to contend with gangs, drug addicts, or antiquated books.  Their schools aren’t prisons with fences, security, metal detectors, and barbed wire.  They have hundreds of acres of sports, fields, science buildings, computer labs, and libraries that would put many a town’s to shame.

    The schoolroom of today with its special needs students,  and children of various ethnic backgrounds (many not speaking English) are nothing more than holding pens.  The emphasis is on passing the TEST not understanding the subject.  I can study the driver’s manual – why I could memorize it.  To what end?  If I have never sat in a car,  let alone started it up – what does it matter that I got a passing percentage!  I am still stupid in the ways of the road.  The point is, that I can ‘feel’ good knowing that I can’t drive!  Furthermore, it is a great disservice, to mix special needs/handicapped children,  into a regular classroom.  A point for another discussion – in the end all the students are being  robbed of reaching their full potential – but then maybe that’s the objective?

    What we are seeing across the nation, from Georgia, to Oregon, to the heartland, and northeast, is an ethnic cleansing of small town America.  Various cultures, languages, religious ceremonies, dress, foods, etc, make strangers of us all.  But then strangers are less apt to be unified or untied in any solidarity should there be a crisis or grave injustice that needs addressed.  The approximate 192,000 homeless veterans (including the Iraq War),  and hundreds of thousands of other homeless; living in tents (the Gulf – Seattle) and in shelters, abandoned cars etc, many displaced from their jobs by immigrant labor, are naturally angry,  seeing immigrants afforded every kind of help with housing, jobs etc.

    Texas (Houston): “There are parts of Houston where if you didn’t know better, you’d think you were in Mexico.  In Sugarland our homeowner taxes are through the roof – our schools are rife with ESL classes.  My grandchildren are in the minority in their ‘wonderful diverse student body.  Muslim students are given special accommodations while Christmas can no longer be celebrated.”  Bud Hamilton

    Like Maine – Emporia, Kansas is preparing for an influx of Somali refugees.  Emporia is a small city near the eastern Flint Hills in the sunflower state.  Emporia has a major beef processing plant for Tyson Foods.(the Clinton’s buddies).  Thousands are needed for cheap labor – thus, aha, refugees.  Because Somalis are certified as ‘humanitarian refugees’ under out State Department rules, they are to be supported by social services provided by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (Dept of Health and Human Services).

    This agency in turn contracts via state Department of Social Services with providers such as Catholic Charities to deliver services.  U.S. Taxpayers pick up the tab (this is nationwide).  Food processors like Tyson couldn’t be happier, given the tightness of the low skilled labor pool in the area.  Emporia  (as is most of the heartland) is becoming a major destination for these foot soldiers of Islam.  Because of its size (Emporia), not unlike Lewiston, Maine, will see this influx have  a substantial and taxing impact.  Other cities that have seen this influx are Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Lincoln, Kansas  City, and Nashville, to name a few.  In New Orleans,  (Gulf) thousands of immigrants were  imported for the work of  clean up.  Meantime, the tens of thousands dislocated Katrina victims,  across the nation, remain in limbo  unable to return with no housing or jobs.

    These immigrants (from Bosnia – Somalia etc) are being recruited for the lowest of low-end jobs – butchering and meatpacking.  At Swift and Company (beef processor) in Lincoln, Nebraska, butchers and meat packers quit their jobs because of insufficient ‘prayer time’.  This was accommodated and they returned.  Imagine this happening in the coalmines, steel mills, or rail line employment of former immigrants to this country.  These low paying jobs are further subsidized with the ‘earned income tax credit’  monies.  This has low earners compensated, with thousands more per year (a subsidy really for corporate owners).  This is taxpayer money.

    And so it goes across the land.  The Democrats want the votes of these immigrants, and the Republicans want the cheap labor.  The immigrants, really our new slave labor class, are mostly unskilled and illiterate.  When my husband’s family immigrated here from Newfoundland and Ireland;  they had to have a sponsor and medical clearance.  My grandparents from Russia settled in Pennsylvania.  There were no relocation agencies or housing vouchers etc.  My grandfather worked as a skilled stonemason, saved, and bought a farm.  Also a skilled carpenter, he built his home and barn (helped neighbors with theirs).  Farming his acreage,  he was totally self sufficient, and sold the excess, which they took to market by horse and wagon.  When he dropped dead in the field at age 43 my grandma and her eight children, ran the farm.

    The language of the old country was not spoken in their home.  The one room school house my aunts and uncles attended  had no remedial language classes.  Somehow, despite the hardships of rising early to attend to  chores, and walking four miles to school, they all graduated,  and went on to various professional jobs, including a doctor, nurse, newspaper editor, engineer etc.  NO – they didn’t have the excuse of being too ‘stressed out’ to excel.  It was the same thing in the mill town where I lived as a youngster.  The population were mainly immigrants.  The number one priority of parents was education.  Disrespect in the classroom was not heard of.  There were no gangs, no graffiti, no designer clothes, no violent videos, or TV.  Teachers were allowed to teach.  Parents didn’t park their kids in a nursery school at age two and have strangers raise them.

    The politicians and special interests groups, who are championing this importation of immigrants and refugees, from all corners of the globe, are not in the work a day world,  having their jobs taken over by a guest worker, or having a job underbid by an unscrupulous contractor  who employees cheap immigrant labor.  Sometimes they get paid (immigrants) and sometimes not.  Being illegal has them rendered voiceless.  They live in wealthy, gated, or removed villages that are absent needed; social services, or they vote in zoning protections to keep out  cheap housing.  Their children are educated in private schools.  Their children won’t be competing with immigrant labor for that nursing job, IT worker, carpenter, or meatpacking job.  A man could once earn a decent living (thanks to Sinclair’s The Jungle) at a meat packing plant.  No more – these dangerous jobs now pay an approximate $8.00 an hour.

    Sociopaths (or their lap dogs) are running most of the major governments of the world, and most of the major industries and financial institutions.  Sociopaths are not much interested in mutual uplift and global benefit for the great bulk of the human race.  They are primarily interested in war, plunder, destruction, cruel domination, violent subjugation, and ruthless social control.  So much to plunder; so much to loot and so little time.  Meantime who cares about Mexico emptying its land of the poor, dispossessed, illiterate, and sick.  More for the few hogs that run that corrupt country.

    Meantime – home on the range, we have these  theatrical cartoon characters running for office (the winner has already been anointed – duh).  The corporate media has  programmed  the mindless masses  to the next Clinton regime.  True, some people are so ignorant they’d vote for someone just because of gender!  Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton – why,  in a country of some 300 million + we’ll have 28 years of the same elitist appointed dynasty.  Meantime, few are aware of the implosion of America, and the massive plantation that is being constructed.  Now for the ‘chip’ to keep track of all these ‘human resources’.  Hey, isn’t that what all this fuss is about over licenses and immigrant ID?  In days of old it was unsightly branding!  The old Hegelian Dietetic – works every time.  See article below of Iowa going global!


    Note – Times Article on Iowa Filling Up With Latinos

  • In This Small Town in Iowa the Future Speaks Spanish, By William Grimes.  The New York Times. September 14, 2005
  • pdf In This Small Town in Iowa the Future Speaks Spanish, By William Grimes.  The New York Times. September 14, 2005
  • Rural Americans Lunch With Lobbyist or Cash For Clinton

    copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert

    Once again, the Clinton Clan exceeds expectations.  It is widely known that the Senator and her spouse are inexorability linked to lobbyist money.  The public understands Hillary Clinton’s unwillingness to commit.  The American people accept that she cannot know what her friend, the son of Bill’s best bud, will leave behind.  Whether we discuss war or children, George W. Bush has abandoned all.  Thus, the stroll down the breezeway to the Oval Office will not be an easy jaunt.  There is much damage to undo, re-do, or create anew.

    Hillary holds out hope.  She does not know what she will find in White House that George built.  She will not assert that she can stop the Iraq war by 2013.  She will put more troops in Afghanistan.  Universal Health Care, well, she commands all Americans be insured.  However, she offers little to those unable to pay the premiums.  Hillary wants to help . . . those that help her, and lobbyists do.

    The former First Lady indebted to Industrialists, Insurers, and Capitalists, invites Rural Americans in Iowa to lunch with her entourage in a corrupt and corporate lap.  Luxury is on the menu as is the loot that lets her continue as she as.  With mega-millions in her purse, and she, deep in the pockets of polluters, now professional Genetic Engineering despoilers such as Monsanto Hillary Clinton howls and hollers, “Vote for me.”  I am your girl!

    Senator Clinton offers an Invitation to Rural Americans for Hillary Lunch and Briefing.  She reaches out to voters in Iowa.  The one time occupant of the White House wishes to express, those outside the beltway matter.  

    So later this month, according to THIS INVITATION, the presidential campaign of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, is holding a “Rural Americans for Hillary” lunch and campaign briefing at the end of this month . . .

    . . . but she’s holding it in Washington, DC . . .

    . . . at a lobbying firm . . .

    . . . and specifically, though it’s not mentioned in the invitation, at the lobbying firm Troutman Sanders Public Affairs . . .

    . . . which just so happens to lobby for the controversial multinational agri-biotech Monsanto.

    You read that right: Monsanto, about which there are serious questions about its culpability regarding 56 Superfund Sites, wanton and “outrageous” pollution, and the decidedly unkosher (and quite metaphoric) genetically-bred “Superpig.”

    . . . A company that the website “Ethical Investing” labels “the world’s most unethical and harmful investment.”

    Holding an agri-summit in the plush halls of the lobbyists for Monsanto doesn’t sound like the kind of “rural Americans,” a presidential candidate would necessarily want to be photographed with.

    Particularly if Clinton’s two primary opponents — former Sen. John Edwards, D-NC, and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.  –  don’t take money from lobbyists and are trying to depict the frontrunner as too much a part of the corrupt Washington system, lobbyists, corporate America, et al….

    But then again, it doesn’t say Clinton will attend this luncheon — just senior staffers and congressional endorsers!  (Is that better or worse?)

    Response from the Clinton campaign to come….

    Perhaps, Hillary will not appear at the luncheon in the posh offices of Monsanto.  A physical appearance might pollute the already murky land and sea of scandal.  At the Yearly Kos August Convention we might recall Hillary Clinton spoke of how lobbyist indeed worked for the people.  However, some question the potential President’s truth.  

    Monsanto Hid Decades Of Pollution

    PCBs Drenched Ala. Town, But No One Was Ever Told

    By Michael Grunwald

    Washington Post

    Tuesday, January 1, 2002; Page A01

    Anniston, Ala. — On the west side of Anniston, the poor side of Anniston, the people ate dirt.  They called it “Alabama clay” and cooked it for extra flavor.  They also grew berries in their gardens, raised hogs in their back yards, caught bass in the murky streams where their children swam and played and were baptized.  They didn’t know their dirt and yards and bass and kids — along with the acrid air they breathed — were all contaminated with chemicals.  They didn’t know they lived in one of the most polluted patches of America.

    Now they know.  They also know that for nearly 40 years, while producing the now-banned industrial coolants known as PCBs at a local factory, Monsanto Co. routinely discharged toxic waste into a west Anniston creek and dumped millions of pounds of PCBs into oozing open-pit landfills.  And thousands of pages of Monsanto documents — many emblazoned with warnings such as “CONFIDENTIAL: Read and Destroy” — show that for decades, the corporate giant concealed what it did and what it knew.

    In 1966, Monsanto managers discovered that fish submerged in that creek turned belly-up within 10 seconds, spurting blood and shedding skin as if dunked into boiling water.  They told no one.  In 1969, they found fish in another creek with 7,500 times the legal PCB levels.  They decided “there is little object in going to expensive extremes in limiting discharges.”  In 1975, a company study found that PCBs caused tumors in rats.  They ordered its conclusion changed from “slightly tumorigenic” to “does not appear to be carcinogenic.”

    Monsanto enjoyed a lucrative four-decade monopoly on PCB production in the United States, and battled to protect that monopoly long after PCBs were confirmed as a global pollutant.  “We can’t afford to lose one dollar of business,” one internal memo concluded.

    Perchance that is the reason Monsanto now sponsors the presumed future President of the United States, Hillary Clinton.  They say it is not what you know, but whom that helps.  It is important to associate with persons in high places if you are to ensure profits.  Monsanto illustrates the wisdom of the statement, “Follow the money,” or “Follow the leader.”  With fifty percent of the votes in her camp, Clinton can certainly secure earnings for all those companies that endorse her.  Senator Clinton, with the help of rural Americans physically and financially invested in agriculture, can give credence to the Monsanto movement towards Genetically Engineered crops.

    A Bridge Too Far.


    Rio Grande, Mexico – Mexicans are being forced to swallow Monsanto’s seeds of destruction, while back in the US, Monsanto is not allowed to grow its genetically engineered (GE) cotton for fear of GE contamination.  To expose this double standard our activists blocked a trainload of GE contaminated maize as it crossed the Rio Grande into Mexico.

    It’s not just a case of double standards – the US administration continues to ride roughshod over the rights of people around the world to say no to genetically modified organisms.

    The latest scientific analysis shows that one third of US maize entering Mexico is contaminated with GE varieties from Monsanto. Mexico is the centre of diversity of maize, one of the world’s three most important food crops and it’s at serious risk from GE contamination.

    Teosinte, for example, is the wild relative of maize. Recent scientific research from the US found that genes from GE crops could rapidly take over those in wild relatives like teosinte. When most of the wild populations of teosinte are already under threat, contamination from escaped GE maize could push them over the edge.

    Yet the US and Monsanto have no scruples in dumping their GE maize into Mexico, even though, back in the US, Monsanto is not allowed to grow its GE cotton in the South of Florida, because of concerns about contamination of related cotton species.

    Perchance, the rural Americans invited to this luncheon will be briefed on what is good for the goose or the gander.  Genetically Engineered seeds may be on the menu.  Whatever is served, we can be certain there will be more cash for candidate Clinton.  Citizens impressed by her interest will likely cast a ballot for her.  Monsanto has.

    Update . . .

    Admittedly, this treatise was an instant reaction to the ABC News Senior Correspondent, Jake Tapper’s exposé on the Hillary Clinton affair.  I focused less on personal in-depth research and more on the original story in Political Punch.

    In an online conversation with a presumed Clinton supporter, my notion of the Clinton connection to Monsanto was brought into question.  Therefore, I wish to provide further references for your perusal.  Please consider, currently, Hillary Rodham Clinton supporters refer to the earlier era as the “Clinton’s Administration.”  Please enjoy this meal . . .

    Likewise, outraged members of the British Parliament and many of the country’s environmentalists have accused U.S. President Bill Clinton of intruding in a sensitive domestic matter. “It is quite wrong for the British Prime Minister to be conspiring behind the back of the British public about American business interests,” said Norman Baker, Liberal Democrat environment spokesman. What had the British so angry is the report that Clinton personally intervened with British Prime Minister Tony Blair to stop Britain from halting the controversial production of genetically engineered foods.9

    It is no accident that Clinton should be promoting genetically modified crops. Their primary U.S. manufacturer, Monsanto, has been one of five companies spearheading Clinton’s welfare-to-work programs. Monsanto was among those donating thousands of dollars in “soft money” to the Clinton 1996 election and which the President singled out for praise during his State of the Nation address in 1997.10 In addition, currently sitting on Monsanto’s board of directors is former U.S. Secretary of Commerce, U.S. Trade Representative, and National Chairman for the 1992 Clinton-Gore Campaign -Mickey Kantor.11

    ~ Source . . . Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy

    US Government – Monsanto Collusion Reported

    (excerpts from story Dec. 27, 1998 by Bill Lambrecht Post-Dispatch

    Washington Bureau WASHINGTON)

    A $7.5 billion company with 25,000 employees needs to be well-connected, and Monsanto works to keep it that way. The company plies political parties equally and recruits people with deep ties in Washington.

    By virtue of a friendly relationship between Monsanto chief operating officer Robert B. Shapiro and Clinton, Monsanto is identified in Washington as “a Democratic company.” Monsanto and its employees spread the political contributions. In the last two years, donations to Democrats totaled about $100,000; Republicans received $140,000. The company invests much more in bringing aboard influential people. Among them:

    • Monsanto board member Mickey Kantor is a former U.S. trade representative and chairman of Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign.
    • Marcia Hale, Monsanto’s international regulatory director, was a top Clinton assistant.

    The Application of Biotechnology to Nutrition: An Overview

    Maureen Mackey, PhD, FACN

    Monsanto Company, St Louis, Missouri

    A similar project has been initiated by Monsanto Company, in cooperation with Michigan State University, USAID and the Tata Energy Research Institute in India. The project was developed in part to respond to a greater effort to enlist private sector collaboration in the Global Vitamin A partnership program, which was initiated by then First Lady Hillary Clinton. Monsanto developed the technology to insert the enzymes of the phytoene synthase pathway into Brassica napus (canola). Concentrations of 1000-1500 µg carotenoids/g fresh weight of seeds were achieved.

    Going Backwards:

    Clinton Administration Appoints A Former Monsanto Corp. Lobbyist To Represent US Consumers On Genetically Engineered Food Issues

    by Tom Abate

    Leading consumer and environmental groups are fuming because the Clinton administration has appointed a former Monsanto Corp. lobbyist to represent U.S. consumers on a transatlantic committee set up to avoid a trade war over genetically engineered foods. . . .

    What angered critics most is that during her lobbying days, Foreman helped Monsanto — the firm most closely identified with genetically engineered foods — win approval for bovine growth hormone, a chemical that stimulates milk production.

    “We think it’s a big mistake to appoint a person to represent consumers who’s been so closely tied to the biotech industry,” said Dan Seligman, the Sierra Club’s representative on trade issues.

    My hope is that we might ponder how well those who lunch in our interest serve us.

    Sources of Slop . . .

    Hillary Clinton or Her Husband; War in Iraq

    © copyright 2007 Betsy L. Angert

    Hillary is resolute even while campaigning in Iowa.  She does not apologize for her position on Iraq.  The Senator from New York spoke in favor the war in 2002.  She voted for the invasion, and she still supports the effort.  Missis Clinton prefers we adjust the strategy.  Last week she called for a troop increase into Afghanistan.  However, for the Senator, the war must be won.  She as he, George W. Bush thinks we must succeed in Iraq.  Neither proposes a swift exit from this battle.  President Bush wants a temporary surge in Iraq. Hillary believes we must extricate the troops slowly.  Bush must bear the burden and clean up his mess before he leaves office in January 2009.

    Clinton has stayed steadfastly on a centrist path, criticizing President Bush but refusing to embrace the early troop withdrawal options that are gaining rapid favor in her party. This careful balance is drawing increasing scorn from liberal activists, frustrated that one of the party’s leading lights has shown little appetite to challenge Bush’s policy more directly and embrace a plan to set a timetable for bringing U.S. forces home.

    Perhaps, Presidential candidate Clinton believes as she does because her husband Bill intimated “regime change” when he was President.  Former President Bill Clinton “hinted” that under Saddam Hussein the people of Iraq would never be able to “rejoin the family of nations as a freedom-loving and law-abiding member.”  In 1998, William Jefferson Clinton proclaimed . . .

    Statement By The President

    Today I am signing into law H.R. 4655, the “Iraq Liberation Act of 1998.”  This Act makes clear that it is the sense of the Congress that the United States should support those elements of the Iraqi opposition that advocate a very different future for Iraq than the bitter reality of internal repression and external aggression that the current regime in Baghdad now offers.

    Let me be clear on what the U.S. objectives are: The United States wants Iraq to rejoin the family of nations as a freedom-loving and law-abiding member.  This is in our interest and that of our allies within the region.

    The United States favors an Iraq that offers its people freedom at home.  I categorically reject arguments that this is unattainable due to Iraq’s history or its ethnic or sectarian make-up.  Iraqis deserve and desire freedom like everyone else.  The United States looks forward to a democratically supported regime that would permit us to enter into a dialogue leading to the reintegration of Iraq into normal international life.

    My Administration has pursued, and will continue to pursue, these objectives through active application of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.  The evidence is overwhelming that such changes will not happen under the current Iraq leadership.

    In the meantime, while the United States continues to look to the Security Council’s efforts to keep the current regime’s behavior in check, we look forward to new leadership in Iraq that has the support of the Iraqi people.  The United States is providing support to opposition groups from all sectors of the Iraqi community that could lead to a popularly supported government.

    On October 21, 1998, I signed into law the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999, which made $8 million available for assistance to the Iraqi democratic opposition. This assistance is intended to help the democratic opposition unify, work together more effectively, and articulate the aspirations of the Iraqi people for a pluralistic, participatory political system that will include all of Iraq’s diverse ethnic and religious groups.  As required by the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for FY 1998 (Public Law 105-174), the Department of State submitted a report to the Congress on plans to establish a program to support the democratic opposition.  My Administration, as required by that statute, has also begun to implement a program to compile information regarding allegations of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes by Iraq’s current leaders as a step towards bringing to justice those directly responsible for such acts.

    The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 provides additional, discretionary authorities under which my Administration can act to further the objectives I outlined above. There are, of course, other important elements of U.S. policy.  These include the maintenance of U.N. Security Council support efforts to eliminate Iraq’s weapons and missile programs and economic sanctions that continue to deny the regime the means to reconstitute those threats to international peace and security.  United States support for the Iraqi opposition will be carried out consistent with those policy objectives as well.  Similarly, U.S. support must be attuned to what the opposition can effectively make use of as it develops over time.  With those observations, I sign H.R. 4655 into law.

    William J. Clinton

    The White House

    October 31, 1998.

    President Bill Clinton acted on his beliefs and his Statement.  He ordered an attack on Iraq.  Operation Desert Fox was born.  The official intent of this mission was to “degrade” Saddam Hussein’s ability to produce weapons of mass destruction.  The targets were vast.  Facilities thought to be associated with chemical and biological weapons production were bombed.  Missiles were aimed at buildings intelligence sources claimed housed the regime’s secret police and elite Republican Guard forces.  Airfields, air defense sites, and a Basra oil refinery were all hit.

    Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz reported 62 military personnel were killed and 180 injured.  Yet, there was more.  Many deaths occurred because the United Nations with the blessing of the United Sates imposed cruel and inhumane restrictions on the people of Iraq.  These sanctions were imposed while George Herbert Walker Bush was in office.  However, Hillary’s husband Bill did nothing to lift the authorizations.  Clearly, from his statement in 1998 a reader can only conclude he endorsed such horrors.

    With “thanks” to sanctions against this Middle Eastern nation, one-half a million children perished in Iraq!  Children were slowly slaughtered, starved in mass!  Apparently, that was all right with the Clinton Administration as is evident in this article.  A Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting journalist offers . . .

    “We Think the Price Is Worth It”

    Media uncurious about Iraq policy’s effects- there or here

    By Rahul Mahajan

    Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: We have heard that a half million children have died.  I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima.  And, you know, is the price worth it?

    Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.

    –60 Minutes (5/12/96)

    Then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s quote, calmly asserting that U.S. policy objectives were worth the sacrifice of half a million Arab children, has been much quoted in the Arabic press.  It’s also been cited in the United States in alternative commentary on the September 11 attacks (e.g., Alexander Cockburn, New York Press, 9/26/01).

    Perchance, Senator Hillary Clinton agrees.  The ends justify the means.  Hence, she supports a ‘successful’ combative mission, as long as it does not continue into her [possible] watch.

    We can presuppose that Senator Clinton, who openly states her support for brutal battles, can stomach sanctions that destroy young lives.  Unlike former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and I, war and death are options this Presidential candidate endorses.  For me, Mister Clark says it all.

    Neighborhood Bully

    Ramsey Clark on American Militarism

    An interview by Derrick Jensen

    The Sun

    Clark is founder and chairperson of the International Action Center, the largest antiwar movement in the United States.  A vocal critic of U.S. military actions around the globe, he calls government officials “international outlaws,” accusing them of “killing innocent people because we don’t like their leader.”

    [Clark] He has traveled to Iraq, North Vietnam, Serbia, and other embattled regions of the world to investigate the effects of American bombing and economic sanctions there.  The sanctions, he says, are particularly inhumane: “They’re like the neutron bomb, which is the most ‘inspired’ of all weapons, because it kills the people and preserves the property, the wealth.  So you get the wealth and you don’t have the baggage of the hungry, clamoring poor.”

    After the Gulf War, in 1991, Clark initiated a war-crimes tribunal, which tried and found guilty President George Bush and Generals Colin Powell and Norman Schwarzkopf, among others.  Clark went on to write a book, The Fire This Time (Thunder’s Mouth Press), describing the crimes he says were committed by U.S. and NATO forces during the Gulf War. When asked why he focuses on the crimes of his own country, instead of those committed by Iraq, Clark says that we, as citizens, need to announce our principles and “force our government to adhere to them.  When you see your government violating those principles, you have the highest obligation to correct what your government does, not point the finger at someone else.”

    I thank you Ramsey Clark for speaking out when others do not.  I appreciate that you advocate peace and policies that do cause no undue harm.  While I might admire former President Bill Clinton, and I do, on domestic issues, I have deep reservations when assessing his policies towards Iraq.  I cannot and do not support strategies that cause death, slow and sustained.  War and sanctions hurt the innocent.  Civilians, even or especially the children suffer when sanctions are imposed.  Imagine what a surge in Iraq or Afghanistan might do.

    I, for one, think if world leaders wish to argue over their differences, let them.  They alone can sit in a room together, perhaps, play a game of chess, or chat.  One never knows what might occur when communication is the first, last, and best option.

    As for Hillary, when Senator Clinton is sincerely ready to begin a conversation, to be part of a discussion that stimulates a solution, I’ll be there.  I will be in her camp.  Until then, I will continue to talk, to chat.  I will start a dialogue about her ideas and mine.  Dear reader, if you are wondering, I believe sanctions and war cause great suffering, even death.  These are not options!  I ask for peace.  Might we give it a chance!

    I thank you Max for once again, stimulating my mind.  May I present Back To The Future, By Max Sawicky.  MaxSpeak.  January 29, 2007

    Why, for me, War is Not an option . . .