Speaker Pelosi Proclaims Possible Impeachment

Speaker Nancy Pelosi on prosecuting the Bush administration

copyright © 2009 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

She said it!  I never thought this day would come.  Change has truly arrived in America, even before the Presidential Inauguration.  Today, on Fox News, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, the only person who could, the woman who for so long would not, stated, she is Open to the Prosecution of Bush Administration Officials.  Oh joy!  Oh, bliss.  Never did I imagine this moment might become a reality.  Even the idea that this could be a possibility eluded me.  Today, on January 18, 2009, finally, I have hope.  I believe in the future, as Michelle Obama expressed, “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country, or I will be when I see an actionable censure.

I, as the future First Lady, elucidated, feel “privileged.” to witness a transformation that most never thought probable, let alone a viable potential.  I am elated.  I hold my breath, and await what could be if only she authorizes Congress to act.  

Could it be true?  Indeed, an investigation into high crimes and misdemeanors might commence.  At least that is what an anxious nation heard as Nancy Pelosi spoke these words.  “I think you look at each item and see what is a violation of the law and do we even have a right to ignore it.”  The California Democrat who holds the highest office in respect to this process continued, and mused that there might be “other things that are, maybe, spent better looking to the future rather than to the past.”

The nuance causes much concern.  Conservative Constitutional, and International Affairs Attorney, Bruce Fein, who advocates for a Bush/Cheney impeachment, may not think the sentiment sufficient.  The former Associate Deputy Attorney General under Ronald Reagan, might wonder if the Speaker offered too little.  The decision is very late.  Still, the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation scholar, Bruce Fein, might feel as I do. While the statement Speaker Pelosi shared is not all I had hoped for, it is a beginning.  

Perchance the judicious John Nichols, a Journalist, might believe Nancy Pelosi’s newfound wisdom is not as poignant as it could have been.  I know not what the man who prudently penned The Genius of Impeachment thinks of this novel declaration.  However, I trust he too was touched by what he often said he waited for, a window of opportunity.

I, personally, feel blessed for the prospect of an investigation into practices that were injurious to democracy.  More importantly, I yearn for the day when the millions of displaced Iraqis and Afghanis experience a rightness.  For too long, these persons suffered from a wrong that most feared would be a precedent never corrected.  

The innocent thousand times a thousand, troops, civilians, women, and children, who lost their lives needlessly in these same two Middle Eastern countries, I believe, would want no vengeance.  I have faith, the fallen would wish to know, they did not die in vain.  Their demise might elicit a dream.  There will be a day when people realize all that is done in our name matters,  people, of any and every race, color, and creed make a difference.  A life taken without cause could be the lesson that will teach a world.  A realization for what is right, is not a shame.  It is the blessing the dearly departed deserve.

Those willing to right a wrong will not be blamed, if by their actions, no more high crimes and misdemeanors are committed.  

There is much to be considered and remedied. There are authorizations for illegal wiretaps to rescind.  The loss of habeas corpus cannot be denied.  Propaganda that passed for press reports must be addressed.  The blindfold that stands for fairness must be replaced in what has become a politicized Justice Department.  Guantánamo Bay prison and torture “legitimized” cannot stand if humane treatment of prisoners is to matter.  Geneva Convention Rules must be sustained if there is to be a modicum of honor in war.

Much must be addressed if America is ever to be acclaimed.  There is a fierce urgency to now.  Perhaps, at last, Nancy Pelosi feels it.  Fox News reported that the Speaker “hinted that the law might compel Democrats to press forth on some prosecutions, even if they are politically unpopular.”  Wow!  I await.  Until then, I will hold the words of the California Democratic Leader dear, “That’s not up to us to say that doesn’t matter anymore.  I want to see the truth come forth.”

Nancy Pelosi, so too do I.

References for a new reality . . .

Please peruse a history of thoughts on a possible of impeachment.  View videos.  Ponder the precedence set if, as Americans, we do not embark upon the trail of Constitutional Law.  Please, consider what was and will be if prosecution is not pursued.  I thank you.

Power Elite and the People; Cheney, Carville Express Contempt for Citizens

DICK Cheney “SO”

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert

In March 2008, as Americans pay homage to the thousands of soldiers and civilians lost in five years of battle we discover that the Administration and the elite allied with earlier Executive Branches are more contemptuous of the citizenry than we ever thought possible.  

In a interview with ABC News reporter, Martha Radditz, Vice President Cheney declared the Iraq war a stunning achievement,  Arguably, the most powerful Vice President in American history stated, “On the security front, I think there’s a general consensus that we’ve made major progress, that the surge has worked. That’s been a major success.”  Perhaps, somewhat startled by the assessment Journalist Radditz observed; “Two-third of Americans say it’s not worth fighting.”  The Vice President, Cheney, curtly, replied, “So?”

Martha Radditz, with a notable inflection inquired, “You don’t care what the American people think?”

Dick Cheney content with his current tour of the Middle East offered his retort, “You can’t be blown off course by polls.”  Indeed, the people they were elected to represent have never influenced this Administration.

A similar contemptuous statement for the citizens of America was heard from a prominent ally of a former President, Bill Clinton, and his aspirant wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.  Bill Richardson, a man who served as United States Ambassador to the United Nations and Energy Secretary during the Clinton administration, announced his support for Barack Obama, Democratic Presidential hopeful, and the man deemed the Former First Lady’s rival.

After New Mexico Governor, Bill Richardson, a public spokesperson, but still an individual who speaks for himself, as by law, he is allowed to do, offered his endorsement to potential President Barack Obama, James Carville criticized the statesman.  Former lead strategist for the Bill Clinton’s Presidential campaign, and animated, ardent consultant for the Hillary Clinton crusade, Carville proclaimed.

“Mr. Richardson’s endorsement came right around the anniversary of the day when Judas sold out for 30 pieces of silver, so I think the timing is appropriate, if ironic.”

The reference to the Holy Week was stark and said much about what those in high places think of people who dare to defy them.  Governor Richardson telephoned the New York Senator, and Presidential candidate Clinton the day prior to the formal announcement.  He wanted to inform her of his decision.  When asked of the tone and tenor, Richardson recalled, “It was cordial, but a little heated.”  The scorn Richardson experienced this weeks seems characteristic of what occurs when we the people exert our power.  For too long, Americans have not stood up to those who  are supposed to represent us.  Now, legislators, lawmakers, congresspersons, candidates, Presidents, and pundits think they can tell us what to think, say, and do . . . and we let them.

The Founding Fathers established that in this country, we, the people would be the power.  We, the common folk, would be free to elect government officials that we believe would best represent our interests.  Bureaucrats would work for the commonweal.  In a democracy, such as the United States, the administration represents the average citizen.   In this territory, we are  a nation of equals.  Each individual is able to choose for him or herself who they wish to endorse for President.  We, the people need not be loyal to a legacy or a dynasty.  Yet, those who serve us may be unaware of the principles they promise to uphold.  The President of the United States of America is required to recite.

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

George W. Bush has demonstrated that his skills do not save the original charter from harm.  After the President placed his signature on  statements that allow he and his cohorts to violate laws on more than 800 Bills, finally, a report called this action into question.

Bush signings called effort to expand power

Report sees broad strategy

By Charlie Savage

Boston Globe

October 5, 2006

Washington — President Bush’s frequent use of signing statements to assert that he has the power to disobey newly enacted laws is “an integral part” of his “comprehensive strategy to strengthen and expand executive power” at the expense of the legislative branch, according to a report by the non partisan Congressional Research Service.

In a 27-page report written for lawmakers, the research service said the Bush administration is using signing statements as a means to slowly condition Congress into accepting the White House’s broad conception of presidential power, which includes a presidential right to ignore laws he believes are unconstitutional.

Sadly, Americans did nothing.  We, the people accept that the President of the United States is powerful.  Perhaps, he, or she has absolute power.  Certainly, the people have given our Commander-In-Chief privileges beyond those bequeathed by the Constitution.  Without active censure and legally enforced constitutional constraints, citizens, and Congress, give the Executive Branch free reign.

We, the people have also provided the Vice President with a free pass.  The Vice President was not required to pledge a specific allegiance before he entered into his prominent position.  Richard B. Cheney needed only to avow that he would defend the Constitution, now perhaps permanently altered.  Indeed, the office of Vice President is no longer recognizable.

Dick Cheney, who has wielded extraordinary executive power as he transformed the image of the vice presidency, is asserting that his office is not actually part of the executive branch.

The President also asserts that he [Cheney] need not comply with orders intended for the officials within the Executive Branch of the United States government.

Our forefathers did not imagine that the American people would sit silently by as a President transformed his power.  The signers of the Constitution made provisions to avoid such an abuse of power.  Yet, when the American people prefer apathy, absolute power can corrupt absolutely.  Perchance, that is the paradox.  What do we do when the people forget they are the power.  Government is of, by, and for us.

Apparently, we sit idly by and watch our country crumble.  The common folk resign themselves and claim we can do nothing.  It is too late.  We are too little.  It may not be much longer.  If life goes on as it has, the people may be but a speck of dust.  In Iraq, we see what occurs when American leaders decide what is best for average people in one country or another.  What for one official is a “major success” is death and  bitter survival for millions more.

Missing persons

In the small world of a Baghdad bureau, monstrous losses

By Liz Sly

Chicago Tribune

March 16, 2008

I asked a close Iraqi colleague, Nadeem Majeed, to write down a list of the people he knows who have died in the five years since the Iraq war began. It took a long time. And as Nadeem tapped away on the computer, unknown to us, another name was being added to the list.?? A friend, Nassir Jassem Akkam, 38, was among the 68 people killed in the recent suicide bombing of a busy shopping street nearby, one of the bloodiest attacks in Baghdad in a while. Akkam had slipped back to Baghdad for a quick visit after fleeing to Syria with his wife and 1-year-old son. When he died, he had in his pocket a ticket to travel the following day.?? Akkam became No. 44 on Nadeem’s list.

Let us reflect on the number of persons we, personally know, friends and family in our lives who have passed in the last few years.  How many were brutally killed, slaughtered in the streets, innocent of any crime, yet, assassinated merely because they are citizens.  While we honored those we loved, who passed, as humans, people of worth, many of our representatives and their minions barely acknowledged a life was lost.  Is this the country you dear reader, want, or  is this what our fore fathers intended?.

Perhaps the time is now.  Americans, we, the average people must take our country back.  Censure is essential.  If we do not impeach those who “lead” us with a discernable show of disdain, if we elect elitist who disrespect our decisions, then our fate will be our failure.

Sources of Scorn and Sadness . . .

Keith Olbermann Beseeches Bush and Cheney; Resign

Keith Olbermann Special Comment *Bush and Cheney Resign Now*

Brilliance rang out on the airwaves on July 3, 2007.  MSNBC broadcast an Olbermann observation, an opinion piece.  For me, the commentary was extraordinary, eloquent, exquisite, and erudite, just as the  man delivering such a dictum is.  The words of Keith Olbermann speak for me, to me.  I hope these statements resonate within you. 

I could not, would not attempt to express such wisdom as well.  Therefore, I will not dare to dwell.  I wish to introduce Keith Olbermann and his assessment of this Administration. Recent events prompt his request, George W Bush, Dick Cheney resign.

Olbermann: Bush, Cheney should resign
I didn?t vote for him, but he?s my president, and I hope he does a good job.?
Special Comment
By Keith Olbermann
Anchor, ‘Countdown’
Updated: 8:13 p.m. ET July 3, 2007

I didn’t vote for him, an American once said, ?But he?s my president, and I hope he does a good job.?

That on this eve of the 4th of July?is the essence of this democracy, in 17 words.  And that is what President Bush threw away yesterday in commuting the sentence of Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby.

The man who said those 17 words improbably enough was the actor John Wayne.  And Wayne, an ultra-conservative, said them, when he learned of the hair?s-breadth election of John F. Kennedy instead of his personal favorite, Richard Nixon in 1960.

I didn’t vote for him but he?s my president, and I hope he does a good job.

The sentiment was doubtlessly expressed earlier, but there is something especially appropriate about hearing it, now, in Wayne’s voice: The crisp matter-of-fact acknowledgement that we have survived, even though for nearly two centuries now, our Commander-in-Chief has also served, simultaneously, as the head of one political party and often the scourge of all others.

We as citizens must, at some point, ignore a president’s partisanship. Not that we may prosper as a nation, not that we may achieve, not that we may lead the world?but merely that we may function.

But just as essential to the seventeen words of John Wayne, is an implicit trust a sacred trust: That the president for whom so many did not vote, can in turn suspend his political self long enough, and for matters imperative enough, to conduct himself solely for the benefit of the entire Republic.

Our generation’s willingness to state we didn’t vote for him, but he?s our president, and we hope he does a good job, was tested in the crucible of history, and earlier than most.

And in circumstances more tragic and threatening. And we did that with which history tasked us.

We enveloped our President in 2001.And those who did not believe he should have been elected indeed those who did not believe he had been elected willingly lowered their voices and assented to the sacred oath of non-partisanship.

And George W. Bush took our assent, and re-configured it, and honed it, and shaped it to a razor-sharp point and stabbed this nation in the back with it.

Were there any remaining lingering doubt otherwise, or any remaining lingering hope, it ended yesterday when Mr. Bush commuted the prison sentence of one of his own staffers.

Did so even before the appeals process was complete; did so without as much as a courtesy consultation with the Department of Justice; did so despite what James Madison at the Constitutional Convention?said about impeaching any president who pardoned or sheltered those who had committed crimes advised by that president; did so without the slightest concern that even the most detached of citizens must look at the chain of events and wonder: To what degree was Mr. Libby told: break the law however you wish the President will keep you out of prison?

In that moment, Mr. Bush, you broke that fundamental compact between yourself and the majority of this nation’s citizens the ones who did not cast votes for you. In that moment, Mr. Bush, you ceased to be the President of the United States. In that moment, Mr. Bush, you became merely the President of a rabid and irresponsible corner of the Republican Party. And this is too important a time, Sir, to have a commander-in-chief who puts party over nation.

This has been, of course, the gathering legacy of this Administration. Few of its decisions have escaped the stain of politics. The extraordinary Karl Rove has spoken of a permanent Republican majority,? as if such a thing or a permanent Democratic majority?is not antithetical to that upon which rests: our country, our history, our revolution, our freedoms.

Yet our Democracy has survived shrewder men than Karl Rove. And it has survived the frequent stain of politics upon the fabric of government. But this administration, with ever-increasing insistence and almost theocratic zealotry, has turned that stain into a massive oil spill.

The protection of the environment is turned over to those of one political party, who will financially benefit from the rape of the environment. The protections of the Constitution are turned over to those of one political party, who believe those protections unnecessary and extravagant and quaint.

The enforcement of the laws is turned over to those of one political party, who will swear beforehand that they will not enforce those laws. The choice between war and peace is turned over to those of one political party, who stand to gain vast wealth by ensuring that there is never peace, but only war.

And now, when just one cooked book gets corrected by an honest auditor, when just one trampling of the inherent and inviolable fairness of government is rejected by an impartial judge, when just one wild-eyed partisan is stopped by the figure of blind justice, this President decides that he, and not the law, must prevail.

I accuse you, Mr. Bush, of lying this country into war.

I accuse you of fabricating in the minds of your own people, a false implied link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11.

I accuse you of firing the generals who told you that the plans for Iraq were disastrously insufficient.

I accuse you of causing in Iraq the needless deaths of 3,586 of our brothers and sons, and sisters and daughters, and friends and neighbors.

I accuse you of subverting the Constitution, not in some misguided but sincerely-motivated struggle to combat terrorists, but to stifle dissent.

I accuse you of fomenting fear among your own people, of creating the very terror you claim to have fought.

I accuse you of exploiting that unreasoning fear, the natural fear of your own people who just want to live their lives in peace, as a political tool to slander your critics and libel your opponents.

I accuse you of handing part of this Republic over to a Vice President who is without conscience, and letting him run roughshod over it.

And I accuse you now, Mr. Bush, of giving, through that Vice President, carte blanche to Mr. Libby, to help defame Ambassador Joseph Wilson by any means necessary, to lie to Grand Juries and Special Counsel and before a court, in order to protect the mechanisms and particulars of that defamation, with your guarantee that Libby would never see prison, and, in so doing, as Ambassador Wilson himself phrased it here last night, of becoming an accessory to the obstruction of justice.

When President Nixon ordered the firing of the Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox during the infamous ?Saturday Night Massacre? on October 20th, 1973, Cox initially responded tersely, and ominously.

?Whether ours shall be a government of laws and not of men, is now for Congress, and ultimately, the American people.

President Nixon did not understand how he had crystallized the issue of Watergate for the American people.

It had been about the obscure meaning behind an attempt to break in to a rival party?s headquarters; and the labyrinthine effort to cover-up that break-in and the related crimes.
And in one night, Nixon transformed it.

Watergate?instantaneously became a simpler issue: a President overruling the inexorable march of the law of insisting?in a way that resonated viscerally with millions who had not previously understood – that he was the law.

Not the Constitution. Not the Congress. Not the Courts. Just him.

Just – Mr. Bush – as you did, yesterday.

The twists and turns of Plame-Gate, of your precise and intricate lies that sent us into this bottomless pit of Iraq; your lies upon the lies to discredit Joe Wilson; your lies upon the lies upon the lies to throw the sand at the ‘referee’ of Prosecutor Fitzgerald?s analogy. These are complex and often painful to follow, and too much, perhaps, for the average citizen.

But when other citizens render a verdict against your man, Mr. Bush?and then you spit in the faces of those jurors and that judge and the judges who were yet to hear the appeal?the average citizen understands that, Sir.

It’s the fixed ballgame and the rigged casino and the pre-arranged lottery all rolled into one?and it stinks.  And they know it.

Nixon?s mistake, the last and most fatal of them, the firing of Archibald Cox, was enough to cost him the presidency.  And in the end, even Richard Nixon could say he could not put this nation through an impeachment.

It was far too late for it to matter then, but as the decades unfold, that single final gesture of non-partisanship, of acknowledged responsibility not to self, not to party, not to base, but to country, echoes loudly into history.  Even Richard Nixon knew it was time to resign.

Would that you could say that, Mr. Bush. And that you could say it for Mr. Cheney. You both crossed the Rubicon yesterday. Which one of you chose the route, no longer matters. Which is the ventriloquist, and which the dummy, is irrelevant.

But that you have twisted the machinery of government into nothing more than a tawdry machine of politics, is the only fact that remains relevant.

It is nearly July 4th, Mr. Bush, the commemoration of the moment we Americans decided that rather than live under a King who made up the laws, or erased them, or ignored them?or commuted the sentences of those rightly convicted under them?we would force our independence, and regain our sacred freedoms.

We of this time and our leaders in Congress, of both parties must now live up to those standards which echo through our history:  Pressure, negotiate, impeach – get you, Mr. Bush, and Mr. Cheney, two men who are now perilous to our Democracy, away from its helm.

For you, Mr. Bush, and for Mr. Cheney, there is a lesser task. You need merely achieve a very low threshold indeed. Display just that iota of patriotism which Richard Nixon showed, on August 9th, 1974.

And give us someone anyone about whom all of us might yet be able to quote John Wayne, and say, I didn’t vote for him, but he’s my president, and I hope he does a good job.

I thank you Keith Olbermann.  I hope one day soon the country will applaud you.  Perhaps, your conviction, your public commentary will bring about a change many of us have long hoped for.  Mister Bush, Mister Cheney please do the honorable deed; please resign.


copyright © 2007 Possum Tales.  Sedalia Tales

The actual number is higher in total days, but our local peace group has now stood vigil on more than 200 Friday nights.  And we won’t even count the Saturday mornings and other special days when we marched or stood vigil against the war in Iraq.  The first of the Friday night vigils started even before the actual invasion.  With a single exception for dangerous travel conditions, the group has been in place every Friday night since the inception.  Some of our experiences have been described here and here.

We have grown slowly even though our numbers remain small.  A usual Friday night or Saturday morning will see 12-15 diehard souls with a variety of signs.  Even the signs have changed over time.  This week they are much more pointed in the political messages including “BUSH IS A WAR CRIMINAL.”  And such standards as “SIGN YOUR GRANDCHILDREN UP FOR THE WAR.”  Most are the ordinary peace slogans like “OUT OF IRAQ” and “NO MORE WAR” or ”WAR KILLS.”  One main banner carries the current number of American dead.  That number continues to rise with steady certainty.  Each week we change the number and some weeks we change overnight from Friday to Saturday with the rate of death being so high.

Our group is not the only set of regular protesters.  There are others near our area.  There must be many across the country.  All those folk are out trying to make any impression possible on the minds of the passing motorists.  To that end we are all putting in our little part to stop the war and to bring America to its senses.

When ever will this end?  At the start we thought maybe we’d be on that street corner at most a few months.  Now more than four years later we wonder if we will ever have a chance to rest.  Our real goal is to meet for coffee on Friday nights and reminisce about the old days on the street.  Oh, how we all long for that day.  Until then, we’ll just keep on showing up and standing on the corner enjoying the support from so many and ignoring the obscene gestures and the catcalls from the few.  So with the number over 200 and climbing we will be right back in place until we are no longer needed.

War in the Wind, Blast Buries New York City Building ©

9/11 Photograph, By Ted S. Warren, Associated Press.
WABC News. Photograph July 10, 2006.

A building in New York City is buried.  Fires are blazing.  It is highly possible people were killed or injured.  The public speculates.  Could it be a bomb blast, an act of terrorism, homegrown or international?  Might the cause be a gas leak or an electrical explosion?  Perhaps, it is a crime of vengeance.  Early on, suicide was not considered.  For me, while the cause is important, it pales in comparison to the fact.

War is in the air; it blows with the wind.  Acts of violence travel.  They cannot be isolated or contained to lands far from our shores.  If we accept war anywhere, we consent to it here.  Warfare is not a concept; it is concrete.  Combat comes easily to the minds of men or women in conflict.  Witness today, yesterday, and everyday.  We as a nation are at war.  While the struggle is far from our shores, it looms large in our collective psyche.

Our leaders reassure us, and on the surface, Americans accept the façade they present.  [Some] Americans love when Bush bellows and Cheney chants, “We will confront them overseas so we do not have to confront them here at home.”  Americans applaud this non-sequitur logic.  They surmise war can be isolated and they are insulated.  In 2004, that was the battle cry.  There were no terrorist attacks on American shores since September 11, 2001.  Therefore, the theory was proposed, President Bush and his hawkish policies protected us.  Many accepted this as true.

They then cast their ballots for this magnificent man.  They gave the Bush, Cheney team their mandate, or so that is how the Administration framed it.  Again, and again the Emperor exclaimed he had capital to spend and he spent it.  Thus, we have the cost of war.

Causalities abound; the numbers are climbing.  Iraqi civilians are raped, maimed, murdered; yet, they do not count.  They are merely collateral damage.  Citizens of the United States remain safe, sane, or so it appears.  Thus, we support our President and allow him to continue in office.

However, in our heart-of-hearts, we know; America is not out of harm’s way.  We recognize war is in the wind.  When a building explodes or implodes in New York City, we all panic with reason.  Citizens understand what they never wish to express.  As long as we accept war is an option, we are admitting that it can and will touch us, just as it affects our “enemies.”  No one is sheltered from the scars combat causes.

King George II cannot protect and defend America from farther feuds; nor can Cheney or Rumsfeld.  These lovelies created what comes closer.  With thanks to our beloved President and his Cabinet, the possibility of war within the United States is real.

For now, the prospect settles only in the recesses of our minds, and on drawing boards elsewhere.  Still, we all know the threat is valid.  Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice can rant and rage about States rights; yet, she too has no power to guard against the aggression she helped to promote.

Once the notion is placed on the table, the tremors will be felt throughout the globe.  No man is an island; nor can any of us ever be insulated or isolated.

After receiving many replies to this treatise, I realized that what might be so obvious to me, the writer, is not apparent, to many a dear reader.  Perchance I was not clear in my communication.

Possibly some are so offended by this Administration and the ample accusations; terrorists are everywhere, they missed my message.  Those persons, and admittedly, typically I am among these, distrust Bush and the Bunch so much, that they see any talk of terrorism as a means for distracting Americans from the real issues.

There are those that awoke hours after the initial blasts.  They already read and heard the theories.  These individuals knew the explosion was likely a suicide attempt.  Therefore, these bookworms thought I was telling tales.  I was stirring the National Security soup of the day.  For these persons, I was making an issue of what was nothing more than a “normal” event in the course of any day.

Numerous persons are concerned even consumed with an exit strategy.  They want us out of Iraq and Afghanistan.  An event in a single day is not their focus.  These individuals might not question the entrance into war per se.  They struggle with the constant loss this conflict brings.  They may think stuff happens; hostilities occur, related to Iraq or not.

I am repeatedly reminded, that as a whole, most people think war is an option, the one of last resort; however, the alternative is often considered acceptable.

Conceivably, that may be the challenge.  When I wrote this treatise, I was speaking of my truth.  For me, “War is not an option, not now or ever!”  I do not think terrorism is a reason for combat.  I believe slavery, genocide, homicide, rape, and racism were not the causes of wars in the past.  Economic power and the desire for supremacy are, in my mind, the rationale behind battles and bickering.

For me, the blast was a reminder of where we have been.  It is where we still are.  On this planet, war is in the wind!  It has been for centuries.

For those that rose hours after investigations began, they could again sink into the comfort of complacency.  For the many that bash-Bush, more power to you.  I was not denying the validity of your beliefs.  I share these.  My only question was and is, why is war an option, ever?  I believe that if it is in the wind in the East, it will be in the air traveling westward.

We can sit in the comfort of our cushy chairs.  We can profess how terrible the terrorist are or how awful the insurgent Bush is.  However, as long as we, Americans, allow for and accept war as an option, on our shores or on those aboard, then we can never know with certainty where the next strike will hit.  I think this is why those on the streets at the time of the blast were shaken.

When I penned this missive, I was speaking to the stress exhibited by those there, near the building in New York City.  I was also addressing my own eternal anxiety.  Why is violent behavior ever an option?  Even now, believing the cause of the blast was an attempted suicide does not ease my mind.  Why do we aggressively strike out and hurt others or ourselves?

I hope this communiqué helps to clarify my intent.  Perhaps, those that felt confused will re-visit the message.

Please Peruse the Possibilities When War is in the Wind.

Four-Story Building Collapses on East Side of Manhattan, New York Times. The Associated Press. July 10, 2006
New York building collapses, burns, CNN News. July 10, 2006
At least 11 injured in Manhattan building collapse, By Wil Cruz, Lauren Johnston and Chick Benett. Newsday.com. July 10, 2006
UPDATE 2-Building collapses in New York City, Reuters. July 10, 2006. 9:59am ET
President Bush Discusses Progress in the War on Terror July 12, 2004
Policies in Focus. National Security Strategy, The White House.
Cost of War.
Iraq Body Count.
Bush has a big agenda for 2005, By David Gregory, Chief White House correspondent. NBC News. December 30, 2004
President Holds Press Conference. “I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it.” November 4, 2004
Iraq insurgency in ‘last throes,’ Cheney says, CNN News. Monday, June 20, 2005
Iraq: Collateral damage, By Ashok Mitra. Rediff.com India Limited. March 25, 2003
Bush Began to Plan War Three Months After 9/11. Book Says President Called Secrecy Vital. By William Hamilton. Washington Post. Saturday, April 17, 2004
How Many Dead Iraqis? Guessing about collateral damage. By Fred Kaplan. Slate.Tuesday, February 25, 2003
Strictly Confidential. Likely Humanitarian Scenarios. United Nations Document.  December 10, 2002
Collateral Damage or Civilian Massacre in Haditha?, By Tim McGirk, Baghdad. Time Magazine. March 19, 2006, PDF version
The Promise of Democratic Peace, Why Promoting Freedom Is the Only Realistic Path to Security. By Condoleezza Rice. The Washington Post. Sunday, December 11, 2005
Remarks at the American University in Cairo, By Secretary Condoleezza. Rice Cairo, Egypt. June 20, 2005
“America will not impose our style of government on the unwilling. Our goal instead is to help others find their own voice, to attain their own freedom, and to make their own way.”
The Iran Plans,
Would President Bush go to war to stop Tehran from getting the bomb? By Seymour M. Hersh. The New Yorker. April 17, 2006
North Korea missles rattle European markets, El Financiero en línea. July 5, 2006

Assertion: To Defend America, We Must Attack Aggressively ©

Americans were under attack.  It was September 11, 2001.  Ultimately, this peace-loving country initiated all out war.  The United States sought a broad coalition; however, the President and others were willing to go it alone.  This nation, its leaders, and citizens concluded their safety and stability were being threatened.  Our countrymen thought enemies were everywhere and thus, the battles began.  Policies were adopted.  The idea of privacy was altered.  The Patriot Act was drawn and passed.  The National Security Strategy for the United States of America was accepted.

People throughout America were ready to protect themselves no matter what the cost.  Aggressive reactions were booming.  Americans declared loudly, “You are either with us or against us.”  If you choose to terrorize me or mine then you will be taken, “Dead or alive!”  Thus, the cycle begins again.  America believes, we must aggressively attack.

Post-September 11, 2001, America went to war.  This was not the first time; nor do I think it will be the last.  Americans seem to accept a cycle of conflicts.  Some say it is the nature of man to war.  Others offer evolution as the rationale.  After all, man is descended from beasts; therefore, we as humans fight for our survival.  When Americans felt threatened, we brawl, batter, and beat our adversaries vehemently!  Enemies might be terrorist, Tories, or any persons or groups that tempts or taunts them.  However, none is a foe unless they pressure us [the people of the USA] personally.  On balance, we are people of peace; we believe in diplomacy.  We are a democratic nation.  Our history demonstrates this or does it.

We work towards peace whenever possible.  We intentionally avoid conflict.  Confrontation must come to us before we engage.  The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 during what was the Second World War to stop all wars.  Battles had been raging for two long years in Europe; Hitler and Mussolini were on the rise for years prior to the war.  While Chamberlain tried to quell the aggressive advances of these comrades, his own passivity, policy of appeasement, gave them strength.  The drum beats of warfare heightened.  However, the United States stayed distant.  Until, this country believed itself vulnerable they thought it was none of their business.  Americans wish to wound no one, unless provoked.

We, the people of the United States loathe war, or so we say.  In truth, citizens of this nation love fighting. Repeatedly, our countrymen accept violence and reject harmony.  They claim this acceptance is reluctant; however, there is ample evidence that affirms the contrary.

Frequently, I find myself saying “War is never an option,” to those advocating the effort.  I receive in retort this reply, “Brutality is justified when it is an act of self-defense.”  From my perspective, fighting is never an act; it is what we do when we react.  Actions are loving, they are giving they demonstrate care and concern.  When we take action, we are productive.  We yield growth.  Actions are lively and full of vigor.  When we react, we destroy!  A reaction is elicited when we fear for our families, our familiars, or for ourselves.  Pain causes a fight or flight response.

Intellectually, Americans state, “War is the option of last resort”; however, this country, it leaders and citizens choose it often, more often than not.  We fight conflict after conflict.  We clash here and abroad.  We win battles; some say we win wars.  Yet, we never achieve peace.  The reasons for this are plentiful.  Among these is “Might does not make right.”

The numbers may be on our side; however, success is much more than a tangible strength.  The United States often has more servicemen and women than its enemies.  Our artillery is ample.  The tools this nation produces are quite superior.  Still, our will at times is less strong than that of our adversaries.  On these occasions, victory is not ours.  In truth, I think when aggression is involved no one triumphs.  Everyone suffers a loss when we wage war, except perhaps the businesses that produce our weaponry and supplies.

In case the citizenry ever forget that this nation was founded on war, our leaders remind us.  Their words are written into our policy.  Most recently, our glorious king, George II etched his wisdom into our doctrine.  Bush and his Bunch drafted the National Security Strategy for the United States of America in 2002.  Our Eternal Emperor, the man chosen to speak for God, and selected to serve by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, President George W. Bush is quoted throughout the document.  He offers,

“Our Nation’s cause has always been larger than our Nation’s defense.
We fight, as we always fight, for a just peace?”a peace that favors liberty.
We will defend the peace against the threats from terrorists and tyrants.”
– President Bush.  West Point, New York.  June 1, 2002

The President sounds so eloquent, so astute, and so contrary.  I wonder; how does one defend peace as they fight.  Is liberty achieved when we exert our will on others?  History proves it is not.

People may pretend to circumvent their truer desires.  They may appear to be abiding by the laws set by those deemed superior.  However, they plot, plan, and pursue their personal philosophies, no matter what or who tries to control them.  Consider Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and yes, even the early American colonists.

Nevertheless, we pursue.  We Americans conclude we must protect, defend, and preserve our safe space.  If anyone or any group threatens us, we must act aggressively.  “To achieve these goals, the United States will: Prevent our enemies from threatening our allies, our friends, and us with weapons of mass destruction.”

These weapons may be in the form of arsenal or they might be mere articulations.  No matter what their shape or appearance, any action taken against this State must be defended against.

We the people of the United States know how to form a more perfect union, a compassionate community, even if we have to do it through war; we will do it.  It is as our President postures,

“Some worry that it is somehow undiplomatic or impolite to speak the language of right and wrong.  I disagree.
Different circumstances require different methods, but not different moralities.”
– President Bush.  West Point, New York.  June 1, 2002

Thus, the President declares,

“War has been waged against us by stealth, deceit, and murder.  This nation is peaceful, but fierce when stirred to anger.  The conflict was begun on the timing and terms of others.  It will end in a way, and at an hour, of our choosing.”
– President Bush.  Washington, D.C. (The National Cathedral).  September 14, 2001

Yet, it does not.  It never has.  They start a conflict.  We commence the battle.  Each fights the war to end all wars, over, and over, and over again.

When wills this end?  It will conclude when we realize that “War is Not an Option!”  Aggression is never a solution.  We can be assertive; yet, not aggressive.  Wow, what a concept.  It might be an important one to consider before we engage in another war, or the next fight.  Yes, we have rights; however, so too do they.

Thus, I offer a discussion of aggression and assertiveness.  I hope this might broaden our perspective.  As you review the following information, I ask you to extrapolate.  Consider what we witness locally, in our daily lives.

I believe that what we do in our homes, in the workplace, and on our streets becomes our habit and our truth.  If we are snide, rude, crude, hostile, violent, or just plain aggressive with members of our family, with friends, or familiars we are likely to be so elsewhere.  If we believe belligerent behavior is justifiable in defense of ourselves, might we also be more willing to accept it as a strategy for our nation?  Sadly, I suspect we are.

Understanding Assertiveness, By Stuart Sorensen ?” RMN

What it will do is provide some information about the nature of assertiveness and how it differs from other methods of dealing with people.

Most people confuse assertiveness with aggression or “getting my own way.” True assertiveness, however, is much more than that.  Assertiveness considers the rights and needs of everybody.  It assumes that everyone is equal.  Because of this assertiveness can be thought of as a method of increasing choices for everyone.

When we are unhappy with a situation, we have at least four choices.  We can:
• Accept the situation
• Be aggressive
• Be passive
• Be Assertive

Most People Behave in Each of These Four Ways in Different Situations.
If we are happy to accept a given situation, then all is well and good.  If not then we must choose one of the other three options.  Let’s look at these more closely.

The aim of aggression is to get our own way ?” to win whatever the cost to other people.  Aggression is not interested in the rights, wants or needs of others.  Aggression is usually destructive, either physically or psychologically.  It’s true that people who behave aggressively often get what they want but aggression has other results as well.
• Aggression often breeds aggression.  This means that once people start behaving aggressively with each other it can be very hard to stop.  People start looking for new ways to hurt each other and before you know it they’re lifelong enemies.
• Aggression can make us unpopular.  Once we get a reputation for being aggressive, people start avoiding us.  This may be because they’re frightened we might turn on them or because they think we’ll embarrass them by behaving aggressively to other people.  They may also be worried that they’ll lose friends or influence as people might assume that they are just as aggressive.  In the end, the only friends aggressive people have are people who are just as aggressive they or people who are frightened of them.  They lose out on a lot of friendships because of their hostility.
• Aggression discourages people from helping us in the future.  If we force people to do what we want by using aggression, they will probably feel bad about us.  This often means they refuse to help us when we really need them.
• Some people believe that behaving aggressively makes others respect us.  It doesn’t, it simply makes them fear us.  Frightened people only do what we want for as long as we are watching.  As soon as our backs are turned, they tend to do their own thing.  This makes our aggression a waste of time.
• Aggression can make us feel good for a short while but is it worth it?

The aim of assertiveness is to find the best possible solution for all people.  It’s about finding ??win:win’ solutions.  [Here I need to assert my own belief.  I believe that if there is a win, there is also a loss!  I prefer the term “grow:grow.”]  Assertiveness sees everyone as equal with equal rights and equal responsibilities.

• Assertiveness increases the chances of our needs being met.  If we are able to tell people what we want without becoming aggressive, they will be more likely to help us.  Also, if they can’t help us and we are able to accept that without becoming aggressive they will remain friends.
• Assertiveness allows us to remain in control.  We can decide for ourselves what we want to do and then seek out opportunities to do it ?” or to do something similar.  It puts us back in the driving seat.
• Assertiveness brings greater self-confidence.  As we learn to take control and see what we can achieve our confidence increases.  This in turn increases our feelings of self worth and self esteem.  We begin to feel better ?” more effective.
• Assertiveness lets us have greater confidence in others.  This is because it also helps others to state their needs and wants.  By dealing honestly and fairly with them we encourage them to do the same with us.
• Assertive people have more friends.  As we begin to treat people more fairly they begin to trust us, to like us and to want to spend more time with us.  We make friends who truly respect us instead of walking all over us (passivity) or fearing us (aggression).
• Reduced stress.  The more in control we feel the less stressed we feel.  We don’t need to worry about doing things we’d rather not.  We don’t have to let other people control us.  Nor do we have to worry about trying to control other people.  We have the power to choose our own destiny.
Remember that there are many ways to interact with others.  We can inform, explain, discuss, or simply have a relaxed conversation.  It’s often useful to know in advance precisely, how you intend to interact.

The article continues.  I do not necessarily agree with the premises or phrasing in the latter portions of this presentation.  Therefore, I am choosing to assert myself.  I will offer one further aspect though I have chosen to alter one term.  The author speaks of “rights” and states the “right” we each have as individuals.  I might list those however, I experience that most people are very familiar with their rights.

Rarely do they acknowledge what social scientists term as “responsibilities.”  I struggle with that word for I, as many cringe when another person declares that we must be responsible.  Often the speaker of this dictum is not.  Therefore, I will replace the word responsibility with a phrase, “I can consciously choose.”

Dear reader, the choice is yours.  Please consider we will get what we give.  That we cannot control.

• I can consciously choose to treat others fairly, honestly and with respect for their dignity.
• I can consciously choose my own actions and their consequences.
• I can consciously choose to uphold the rights of others whenever I can.
• I can consciously choose my own decisions.
• I can consciously choose to be aware and acknowledge my role in my own life.
• I can consciously choose to accept, what happens to me is, generally, a result of my own decisions.
When we question the value of war, if we are honest with ourselves we will realize there is none.  Aggression need not be our habit, preference, or option, first or last.  We can assert ourselves.  We can and must acknowledge that we have rights and privileges; yet, we must remember that others have the same.  Theirs are equal to our own, no less worthy and no more.

Yes, speak up when you feel threatened; defend yourself assertively.  However, you need not do so aggressively.  Realize that if you choose conflict, you will get what you ask for.  The force with which your enemy engages will be equal and opposing.  I invite us as a nation and as individuals, to acknowledge peace is the greatest path.  When we truly pursue tranquility, we understand war is not an option, ever.  May peace be with you, everyone.

• On American Independence Day, July 4, 2006, this nation celebrates war or freedom, depending on your chosen perspective.  North Korea fires its test missiles.  Their mission is to exert their independence or to initiate war.  We choose; they will act in kind.  They have already.  We show our strength and our ability to engage in war.  They offer the same.  Assertiveness or Aggressive attacks, which cycle will be chose this time?

Please, sing it with me.  War, By Edwin Starr

Peruse if You Choose.  No Worries.  No War . . .
President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat, Office of the Press Secretary. October 7, 2002
Poll: Don’t Go It Alone On Iraq.  CBS News. September 7, 2002
The Patriot Act
National Security Strategy for the United States of America
• Casualties in Iraq, The Human Cost of Occupation, Antiwar.com
Economists say cost of war could top $2 trillion, By Bryan Bender. Boston Globe. January 8, 2006
Bush pledges to get bin Laden, dead or alive, USA Today. December 14, 2001
‘You are either with us or against us’, CNN News. November 6, 2001
  World War I and World War II By Jerrie S. Cheek. Educational Technology Center.
President Addresses the Nation. Office of the Press Secretary. September 7, 2003
The National Priorities Project
The 9/11 Commission Report, Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States
War remains the option of first resort – not last, By Simon Tisdall. The Guardian. Thursday February 27, 2003
The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler, The History Place?
Neville Chamberlain Wikipedia.
Appeasement Spartacus.
War as Self-Defense, About.
Why America Goes to War, By Richard Corliss. Time. January 16, 2006. Vol.167, Iss. 3;  pg. 127
Not Just A Last Resort?
A Global Strike Plan, With a Nuclear Option,
By William Arkin. The Washington Post.  Sunday, May 15, 2005
National Security Strategy for the United States of America
President’s Remarks at National Day of Prayer and Remembrance, The National Cathedral. Office of the Press Secretary. September 14, 2001
President Bush Delivers Graduation Speech at West Point, George W. Bush. June 1, 2002
North Korea Test-Fires Several Missiles, By Maureen Dowd. The New York Times. July 4, 2006
War, By Edwin Starr

Bush Boasts Of Battles in Memorial ©

On this day of Memorial, our Commander and Chief advocated war.  He professed his strident belief in conflict.  President Bush was speaking to the graduating class at West Point.  Mr. Bush proclaimed their futures would be filled with battle.  He should know; he started so many of these, Afghanistan and Iraq to name a few.  The Emperor is plotting and planning for more.  Many suspect that Iran and Korea are his next [possible] targets.

Rather than touch on the topic of war while promoting peace, in honor of our fallen men and women, Mr. Bush pushed his standard agenda.  Our leader spoke of terrorism, ignoring the acts he has committed.

King George II proclaimed his pride in the country’s newest leaders. With the terrorist rhetoric, post September 11, 2001, Bush was able to breed this force for the future.  This class was the first to complete their studies after the “terrorists attacks.”  Baby Bush was pleased; he beamed with delight.

Today, Saturday, May 27, 2006, the first day of this Memorial Day weekend, our leader praised wars of the past and those of his making.  The Commander and Chief spoke little of love or life.  He only honored his killing machines, men, and mechanisms.

Congratulations graduates, you have entered a world not of your making.  I salute your lives; long may you live these.

With deep regrets for the losses, I offer many missives I wrote in honor of our soldiers, fallen and injured, fighting, and surviving.  May they all rest and go in peace.  May the future be tranquil and serene.  May war never be considered an option.

The Cost of War Causalities! ©
In Memory of Our Soldiers, Bush “Mindful” Of War ©
Support Our Troops Tentatively! ©
Tillman Tale Tells Truth of Pentagon ©
Still Tentative Support; Photographs of the Fallen ©
The Silent Press © [Part Three In An Unintended Series]

References For Further Investigation . . .
Excerpts From Bush’s Address at West Point. Forbes. The Associated Press. May 27, 2006
Bush addresses West Point grads Canoe Network May 27, 2006
Bush Tells West Point Graduates Terror War Is in Early Stages Bloomberg May 27, 2006
Bush Honors West Point Class Of 2006 CBS News. May 27, 2006
Bush lauds military ahead of Memorial Day CNN News
Rules For An Unruly New War By Liz Halloran. US News. March 27, 2006
Killing Fields, By Nir Rosen. Washington Post. Sunday, May 28, 2006

Bush: Afghanistan is a victory over terrorism CNN News. Tuesday, June 15, 2004
The Coming Wars, By Seymour M. Hersh. The New Yorker. January 17, 2005
Journalist: U.S. planning for possible attack on Iran CNN News
U.S. Said to Weigh a New Approach on North Korea, By David E. Sanger. New York Times.  May 18, 2006
9/11 Commission Report
Statement by the President in His Address to the Nation George W. Bush. September 11, 2001
Killing machines prepare to do warfare’s dirty work By Tim Weiner. FairfaxDigital. February 19, 2005
Turn 9/11 rubble into a killing machine? Hello? By Martin Samuel. Times Online. May 27, 2006
DARPA, PNAC and the Perfect Killing Machine, By Maureen Farrell. BuzzFlash. June 24, 2003
• UPDATE: The Soul Of War Speaking of Faith. National Public Broadcasting. Sunday May 28, 2006

FEMA 2006, Failure Everywhere, Management Absent ©

The history of the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] is long and varied.  Now, it may end; a Renaissance is proposed.  There are formal recommendations; this agency must be abolished. Co-chairs of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Senators Susan Collins and Joseph Liebermann held a press conference this morning declaring FEMA a disaster.

Chairwoman Susan Collins told reporters today in Washington “FEMA is discredited, disorganized, demoralized and dysfunctional.”  She continued, “It is beyond repair. Just tweaking the organizational chart will not solve the problem.”

Senators Collins, Liebermann, and the Senate committee submitted a plan to ‘key senators this week, the details of which will be released publicly next week.’  In this, there are 86 recommendations.  These would undo what our current President did to change the structure of FEMA.

The 800-plus-page accounting is titled, “Hurricane Katrina: A Nation Still Unprepared.”  This text is a summation of three government studies.  Earlier House and White House evaluations are present in this report; however, they are cursory in contrast.  This final record is far more comprehensive; its assertions are less delicate.

Katrina survivors and those lost in this storm, deservedly required this attention. The 2005 hurricane killed an estimated 1,460 people.  Seven hundred and seventy thousand individuals were forced to flea their homes.  Many are still not able to return some eight months later.

In earlier hearings Congressional committees realized blame was simply being bandied about; nothing of substance was concluded.  As of today, a report has been filed.  Recommendations are pending; however, there is no certainty that things will change.

FEMA was officially established in 1979.  The idea for such an organization was developing for more than a century.  The Congressional Act of 1803 was considered ??the first piece of disaster legislation.’  This bill was enacted after a New Hampshire town experienced extensive damage in a fire.  People needed to be rescued; rebuilding was important.  However, the community was paralyzed.  They desperately required help.

For years after, haphazardly, emergency efforts throughout this land continued.  Attempts to organize a unified front for disaster relief were numerous, yet, disjointed.  Ironically, some might say the state of affairs then, is similar to the one we now have. However, I digress.

Ultimately, the nation’s governors came together and requested a centralized endeavor.  The Governors wanted to be certain that we, as a country, were prepared for a crisis.  These state and local leaders knew planning, in advance, was important.  Procedure must be set in place. Coordinating clean-ups is vital; no community could do it alone.  Thus, the National Governor’s Association sought the help of Former President Jimmy Carter.  They asked for a federalized emergency agency.

Mr. Carter created the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  The mission was and supposedly is, “to lead America to prepare for, prevent, respond to, and recover from disasters with a vision of “A Nation Prepared.”

FEMA grew and was improving.  During the Clinton years, Director, James Witt was appointed. All was going well.  Many marveled at what this man, with the support of Bill Clinton, was able to produce.  James Witt received “bi-partisan praise for his leadership.”  There was a consensus; this man has taken the agency in the right direction.

However, under the guidance of a quivering King George II, the institution has taken a fall.  It stumbled.  During Katrina, and likely years before, operations were bumbled, repeatedly.  After September 11, 2001, the agency was placed under the auspices of the Homeland Security office and that, some believe, is when troubles began.

Former Director, James Witt spoke of this in 2004 at a Congressional hearing. He said, “I am extremely concerned that the ability of our nation to prepare for and respond to disasters has been sharply eroded. I hear from emergency managers, local and state leaders, and first responders nearly every day that the FEMA they knew and worked well with has now disappeared.”  It had and would have continued to; then, there was a hurricane.  It hit New Orleans hard; the gulf coast was crippled.  As predicted many years earlier, the region, the nation, and FEMA, were unprepared.

The situation, post-Katrina was bad.  It got worse.  Though the weather had been rough, the internal departmental storms of dissent, for some seemed, rougher.  Questions were raised, people [Michael Brown specifically] were excused or resigned from their posts.  The “blame-game” was banded about.

The circumstances could not be ignored.  Congress chose to act.  Now it is done, or possibly, it has just begun.  We will not know for a time.

There are recommendations and reports, as there often are in situations such as this.  However, it is said, this time is different.  Instead of the hype and hoopla, post-Andrew, the actions now being proposed are looked upon more seriously.  Senators Collins and Liebermann are asking for the total abolishment  of the existing Emergency Management Agency.  They are requesting a new organization, one that would be “better equipped with the tools [needed] to prepare for and respond to a disaster.”

According to a draft of the proposal, the new agency will remain under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security. The organization needs to be more powerful than the older model. Additional mechanism for support must be put into place.  The committee advises that this novel organization receive a budget twice as large as the current FEMA.

The current Emergency Management Agency has a budget of $4.8 billion. There are 2,600 full-time employees.  However, after careful study it has been decided these are not enough.  The money was inadequate or misused.  Employees were over worked; the organization understaffed.  Effective systems were non-existent.  Awareness was absent and communication was just a concept.

Hurricane Katrina brought the tragedy, otherwise known as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to light.  Actually, that debacle brought more to the surface. On television and in newspapers throughout the globe, America was seen for what it is, a nation of “un-equals.”  The display was quite disturbing, even for those at home.  Worldwide people saw that “Federal Preparedness” and equal opportunities were an illusion.

Plans were not executed.  Disaster relief was nonexistent.  Operations were inefficient.  People professed empathy, and yet; they were without it.  Barbara Bush welcomed the lost and hopeless, as long as they did not stay in her neighborhood for too long.

Promises went by the wayside; proposals remained only that.  Execution of these has yet to occur.  The Gulf coast poor were homeless, helpless, and hurting. There was little regard for the impoverished. For days, the administration was absent.  Our country was righteously embarrassed.  Leadership was little; compassion short-lived.  The world wondered, was America simply being conservative in its approach? The middle class felt the pressure; however, they have no real power.  They lost theirs long ago.

Fortunately, during this calamity, the affluent were also affected and that made a difference. The wealthy were injured and offended.  They were upset. Senator Trent Lott was a casualty of the storm. His oceanfront house in Pascagoula, Mississippi, was destroyed. The Senator’s 154-year old home was completely awash.  There was nothing left to call home.  After twenty plus years of living in this graceful abode, the Lott family was left with only memories.

Democratic Representative Gene Taylor of Mississippi was also victim of this tempest.  His Bay St. Louis home was ruined.  He, as an individual, was so deeply pained by the “Emergency” process that he asked about it later during a congressional investigation.

Congressman Taylor was able to query Former FEMA Director Michael Brown.  The Representative asked, “What part of the FEMA plan envisioned that the first responders in Hancock County and in much of the Mississippi Gulf Coast would have to loot the local grocery store and loot the local Wal-mart in order to feed themselves, would have to loot the local Wal-mart in order to have a change of clothes? What part of your plan was that?”

Dissatisfied with the Directors answer, Taylor respectfully replied offering, “I hope you’ll admit your mistakes. That’s the best way to learn from them.”

The Representative spoke for many.  Hurricane Katrina, then Rita, and ultimately Wilma affected thousands.  Many pleaded forcefully; they want answers and relief for their friends, families, and themselves.  Thankfully, the voices had influence, ability, and they were able to reach the public’s eyes, and ears and that made a difference.

CNN correspondent Kathleen Koch, did an in-depth assessment of her hometown after the storm. Ms. Koch returned to the city where she was raised, Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi.  She found friends, family members, and herself devastated.  Koch realized as did residents, recovery was not forthcoming.  Promises were not kept.  Relief was little.

Nine months later, families are still waiting for trailers, a home to call their own.  Insurance companies had no compassion; they merely dismissed and denied homeowners claims, [even those of Senator Trent Lott.]  Frustration filled the hearts, souls, and minds of those effected by the storm.  An ineffective agency made all matters worse.

“”Saving My Town” The Fight for Bay Saint Louis,” aired continuously on the Turner Cable News Network. This documentary was calculated and deliberate.  Ms. Koch covered this story with heart felt and heart warming finesse.  Her personal narrative may have had an impact on today’s reported decision, Let us “abolish FEMA.”

Before Katrina, we as citizens saw the inattentiveness of the President, his Cabinet, and appointees.  We knew this was standard.  The nation long ago recognized that the Emperor of Errors could not or would not separate himself from a Crawford vacation.  His associates and subordinates would not disturb their fair leader.  These behaviors were expected.  We as a country had become complacent.  After Katrina, mercifully, all this changed.  Every storm, perhaps, does hold a silver lining.

On this occasion, after this incident, Big-Man Bush had no ground zero to stand on.  There was no war to instigate.  The invisible force truly was.  Mr. Bush could not claim Katrina was a terrorist.  The weather could not be classified as the enemy.  In fact, the foe was he, his organization, his ineptness, and his inadequacies.  When he quipped emphatically, “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.” He knew, the bell tolled for he and his idea of a Federal Emergency Management Agency.

?¢ Mark Thoma, at Economist View offers another pertinent Paul Krugman article.  This one also addresses the FEMA dilemma, the debacle of cronyism.  Please indulge yourself.  May you enjoy . . .

Paul Krugman: The Crony Fairy

References . . .
Senate Panel Urge FEMA Dismantling, By ERIC LIPTON. New York Times. April 27, 2006
Senate Report Urges Dismantling of FEMA, By Spencer S. Hsu. Washington Post.  April 27, 2006
A Short History of FEMA Public Broadcasting, Frontline
Barbara Bush on Hurricane Katrina Refugees About Thursday September 8, 2005
Sen. Lott’s home destroyed by Katrina, From Joe Johns. CNN Washington Bureau. Sunday, September 4, 2005
Cut the red tape, Lott says CNN. Monday, September 5, 2005
Trent Lott Sues State Farm over Katrina Damage ConsumerAffairs.Com. December 16, 2005
9/29/05 Senators Lott’s Katrina Airport Repair Bill Clears Senate Office of Senator Trent Lott
How Reliable Is Brown’s Resume? By Daren Fonda and Rita Healy. Time Magazine September 08, 2005
Congress Questions Brown, PBS Online News Hour. September 27, 2005
Did the Bush administration destroy FEMA’s effectiveness? A Can’t-Do Government,By Paul Krugman. New York Times Friday, September 2, 2005
The latest on Katrina’s aftermath CNN News. Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Katrina Archives CNN News
CNN Presents Classroom: Saving my town: The fight for Bay St. Louis. CNN News. Monday, April 10, 2006
President Arrives in Alabama, Briefed on Hurricane Katrina, [“Brownie, You’re doing . . .] September 2005

Bush and His Billionaires Caused It. Let Them Pay ©

All the talk of Catastrophe Funds seems silly to me; the reasoning is apt.  I think there are better sources for these subsidies than the government. In my mind, our efforts are misplaced.

It is true; we as a nation and as a world have seen an increase in the number and intensity of cataclysmic storms. Tornados, droughts, hurricanes and other recent disasters have caused great calamity.  We are mired in misfortune. However, we are working to pay for what we caused.  We are closing the barn door behind us; our prides and joys are all long gone.  We now, belatedly, prepare for what was our own ignorance.  We elected George W. Bush, twice.  Well actually,

. . . in 2000, Former Chief Justice William Rehnquist appointed or anointed this sly desperado.  It was 36 days after his first Presidential run that George W. Bush was selected as our President.

See what the true winner, by many counts, is now doing. Al Gore presents his concern.

An Inconvenient Truth
The Trailer
A Campaign Gore Can’t Lose, By Richard Cohen. Washington Post. Tuesday, April 18, 2006; Page A19
Nevertheless, four years later, we as a people essentially elected this twit. What were we thinking, or more accurately, what were those that voted for him thinking?  Many admittedly envisioned GW as the great protector.  He sheltered us [US] from terrorists.  However, no radical fanatic did more damage than he.  Bush battered this nation and our Earth.  He did so under the guise of a compassionate conservative.  I myself prefer a caring individual, one that conserves.

However, supporters of this scoundrel did not.  They knew that this unethical Emperor had worked to destroy our environment.  Immediately after his initial inauguration, King George II changed our environmental standards.  He chose to lessen the ecologically sound restrictions that had been previously placed on the books.  The Blundering Bush allowed for more arsenic in water.

Then and now, Gas Guzzling GW refuses to admit that burning coal is a problem.  He encourages it.  Bush belies the belief that cars using Chevron with Techron have served to increase temperatures worldwide.  He says that he wants to reduce this nations addiction to fossil fuels.  Why, if it does not harm?  Perhaps, he, his family, and familiars are planning to invest in renewable energy.  It is possible, though I find the theory questionable.  Actions do speak louder than words.

If we consider the emission regulations Bush supports, we know his true desires.  Sports Utility Vehicle owners receive tax breaks under Bush.  A Republican Congress and the King allow these “small trucks” to emit toxic gases.  Recent changes in the laws that govern these monstrosities do little to better our surroundings.

Baby George Bush believes or pretends to that natural causes are the reason we have had 19 of the 20 hottest years since 1980.  This man or monster takes no personal responsibility.  However, those of us that care and have watched the climate change wonder.

We Americans, those that never marked our ballots for this buffoon, note the irrefutable connections.  We acknowledge that this administration is not only friendly toward oil interests. They are these.  George W. Bush and his majestic dynasty made their money by investing in petroleum.  They still do, as do their friends.

Moguls and magnates from these flourishing fuel-pumping conglomerates were America’s energy commission.  Scientists were banned.  These industrialists and entrepreneurs created what now is policy. They have generated storms of infinite proportion.  Global warming is their legacy; yet, they are unwilling to pay for it and we, the people, do not ask them to.  We again, chose to mistakenly let this administration be.

State governments are struggling to break even.  Insurance companies are refusing to issue policies for weather-related tragedies.  >People, ah the people.  Those that are directly affected by decisions of the Bush Band are barely surviving.  Still, we speak of Catastrophe Funds.  The public is relying on its own taxes to pay for the damage that nature and we did not create.

Why are we not asking those that caused this ruin to pay?  They have Billions.  The price of their pleasure increases as the common folks suffer.  Is this the “justice” George W. speaks of?

If we are to authentically spread democracy, might we not begin at home?  Here in the USA, let us adopt laws that protect and provide for all equally.  Let us no longer supplement the suffering imposed by a self-serving administration.  If we were to pass and enforce regulations that ended global warming, if we demanded repayment for the damage caused by a corrupt Cabinet, imagine what a world this would be.

Sources of possible interest . . .
George W. Bush, et al., Petitioners v. Albert Gore, Jr., et al. Cornell Law School
Extra funds may ease woes By Beatrice E. Garcia, MiamiHerald.com Tuesday, April 18, 2006
President Bush Discusses Global Climate Change June 2001
Bush energy plan includes coal-burning power plants CNN Inside Politics. May 17, 2001
Bush-Cheney Energy Plan: Plunder, Pollute, Price-Gouge and Profiteer Public Citizen May 17, 2001
Bush’s Energy Policy Philadelphia Inquirer February 2, 2006
Bush: Global warming is just hot air By Katharine Mieszkowski. Salon. September 10, 2004
Global Warming Information Center
Bush Family Values: War, Wealth, Oil by Kevin Phillips. The Los Angeles Times.Sunday, February 8, 2004
Humans cause global warming, US admits, BBC News. Monday, 3 June, 2002
The 2004 Presidential Election: Who Won The Popular Vote? By Jonathan D. Simon, J.D. and Ron P. Baiman, Ph.D. Free Press
The crisis at hand: covering Fla. homes, By Beatrice E. Garcia, MiamiHerald.com Sunday, April 16, 2006
Katrina Clean-Up By Susanna Schrobsdorff. Newsweek. September 1, 2005
Post-Katrina Promises Unfulfilled By Spencer S. Hsu. Washington Post Saturday, January 28, 2006
Hurricane FAQs Hurricane Insurance Information Center
Coalition Seeks Catastrophe Insurance Funds in N.Y., Other States Insurance Journal. October 3, 2005

Clinton or Bush? Manipulation of Message. Phallic or Philosophical ©

Which would you condemn, a president that feels a need to manipulate his phallus while in the Oval Office or one that cannot control his conscience? Would you rather rescind the privileges of a President that knows right from wrong, and; therefore tries to hide his folly, or do you believe impeachment is a process meant for leaders that think they are above the law?

We had a President that questioned the definition of “is” and now, we have one that defines all terms for him self.

There was a President that felt our pain, one that responded to our hurts immediately.  Under Former President Bill Clinton the Federal Emergency Management Agency was changed; customer service was the primary focus.  Clinton and his appointee James Lee Witt managed FEMA well because they knew how to do this.  Witt was the first Director that actually had experience with emergency services.  For Clinton and Witt, the people were their clientele; they cared to serve them well.  Nevertheless, William Jefferson Clinton was considered immoral; some even thought him insensitive.

Now, we have a President [GWB] that cannot be bothered to change his vacation plans as Twin Towers burn.  However, people think him a savior.  Many are convinced that terrorists dare not threaten America again because Good Ole Boy Bush is at the helm.  Numerous people believe that our current King is extremely powerful and absolutely proper; they think this so true, they voted him back into office.

This President pours his heart and soul into his work.  He hires those he knows and loves to fill positions of note.  He delegates authority to family and familiars, qualified or not.  Eighty percent of his appointees have no experience in their field of supposed expertise.  Nonetheless, this leader is considered a great Chief Executive Officer.  He has a Masters degree in Business Administration, bought and paid for.  Daddy and the Bush Dynasty saw to that.  Nothing stops the Junior Bush.

This proud President enjoys his holiday as millions move out into the streets, their homes buried under water.  Yet, he is considered compassionate and moral.  He is considered a good Christian, a man that speaks to God.  Sadly, he communicates less well with “real” people.

George W. Bush does not feel the grief of a common man; nor does he understand their poverty.  He has never experienced either.  When confronted with his own shortcomings, and subversion of the law, Baby Bush justifies these as righteous.  This man is never wrong and if it is others say that he is, he will clarify.  His reasons were just.

George W. is the Commander and Chief.  He writes the commandments, numbers one through ten.  When his writings violate principle, as was recently discovered, one can only ask, will Republican compatriots violate the eleventh?

You might enjoy others views on the same.  Please indulge and read . . .
How Many More Mike Browns Are Out There? TIME inquiry finds that at top positions in some vital government agencies, the Bush Administration is putting connections before experience. By Mark Thompson, Karen Tumulty, Mike Allen
Bush’s Spin Doctor, The Village Voice, by Nat Hentoff
The Gospel According to Bush, Good Christian George?. By Charles Sullivan
Bush Criticized for Domestic Wiretaps, Democratic Leaders Claim Misuse of Presidential Power, ABC News
Bush Goes Back to Black and White, Sunday’s speech showed glimmers of frankness, then reverted to caricature. Slate By Fred Kaplan
Bush refutes ‘unchecked powers’ in wiretap debate, By Jeff ZelenyChicago Tribune
• Listen to the President Bush Defends Anti-Terror Tactics in Press Session, National Public Radio