Monthly Archives: July 2010
Second Bill of Rights?
In 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt outlined what he considered to be the nation’s next great mission, the guaranteeing of economic rights for American citizens, but then again he was a socialist, right?
“It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth—is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.
“This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.
“As our nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.
“We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. ‘Necessitous men are not free men.‘ People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.
“In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.
“Among these are:
“The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
“The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
“The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
“The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
“The right of every family to a decent home;
“The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
“The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
“The right to a good education.
“All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.
“For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world.”
What happened to this mission?
If Obama Weren’t Black He’d be a Tour Guide in Honolulu?
During his Tuesday radio program, GOPB spokesman, Rush Limbaugh decided there ain’t nothing like some good old fashioned race-baiting claiming that President Obama “wouldn’t have been voted president if he weren’t black.” Never mind the fact that the President was elected by the largest majority since Reagan. So, by this logic Reagan was only elected because he was old?
But wait, that’s not all, if the first comment weren’t bad enough Rush added, “If Obama weren’t black he’d be a tour guide in Honolulu.” Rush, don’t you mean he’d be a tour guide in Kenya?
According to Rush then, Black Americans only succeed in America because of their race. They can’t succeed because they’re qualified. What else has Limbaugh said regarding race? Well let’s have a look. On professional football Limbaugh said, “Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons,” Rush claimed.
And of course there’s the famous line that got him fired from ESPN, “I think the media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. They’re interested in black coaches and black quarterbacks doing well. I think there’s a little hope invested in McNabb and he got a lot of credit for the performance of his team that he really didn’t deserve.”
Mr. Limbaugh is a racist. He is not funny. He is not glib. He is a racist.
Sean Hannity’s Show dropped after Possible Accusations of Incivility?
It’s been reported that KSL, a radio station in Utah run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will no longer air the nationally syndicated Sean Hannity Show beginning this October, and a local ABC affiliate is reporting that people at the station had begun questioning the host’s civility recently before the programming change had been made.
ABC4 Salt Lake City reported the announcement came in light of speculation that the program was “not in line with Deseret Media Company’s mission statement that calls for civility and other ethical stances.”
While all overt signs point to it being a decision based on the desire for more local content, the Salt Lake Tribune has run a story, to which it is sticking, that Hannity’s content was a little too hot for KSL to handle: “Hannity got the ax because his mean-spirited banter was out of step with a new mission statement at LDS Church-owned media that demands its programming bring “light” and knowledge to listeners.”
Bottom line? Hannity has become so unscrupulous, and shameful, in his fact less based programming that KSL decided to drop him. You don’t drop the #1 rated show in the market simply because of a desire to run more local shows. Hannity has pushed too far to the right and too far in his incivility. The downfall of right wing radio noise won’t come from any presidential edict. It’s going to come from within.
Message to Conservative America:
You’re not the only ones who love America. You’re not the only ones who have sacrificed, or who are willing to sacrifice for its continued freedoms and liberties. The Founding Fathers, unlike today’s GOP leadership, were able to put aside their varied political interests and worked together to form this Union of States, and contrary to right wing radio, most weren’t conservatives.
I’ve had it with hearing how only conservatives love America and how Progressives, or Liberals, hate it. Take a breath and think about that. If you do, and if you really think about it you’ll see how stupid that sounds. It’s as stupid as Liberals claiming that Conservatives hate the environment. Oh, and please don’t embarrass yourselves any further by claiming you love America when you can’t stand Americans.
Afghanistan A War of Obama’s Choosing?
While speaking at a Republican Party of British Petroleum (GOBP) fundraiser in Connecticut on Thursday, RNC Chairman Michael Steele’s comments were captured on camera and posted online. In the midst of his shilling, Steele criticized President Barack Obama and his handling of the nine-year-old war begun by Republican President George W. Bush in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He suggested the war cannot be won.
Steele said Afghanistan is, “a war of Obama’s choosing” and the conflict “is not something the United States has actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.”
Well, let’s see, Bush invades Afghanistan in Oct 2001 in order to catch Bin Laden; gets side tracked by the bright shiny object Iraq, ignoring Afghanistan, thus allowing the Taliban to regroup and Bin Laden to escape, which then creates the absolute necessity of sending in a “surge” of troops in order to stabilize Afghanistan, push back the Taliban and maybe finally catch the man who “can run, but who can’t hide”.
In trying to place the war at the President’s feet, and in painting a picture of defeatism Steele said, “If he’s such a student of history, has he not understood that, you know, that’s the one thing you don’t do is engage in a land war in Afghanistan? All right? Because everyone who’s tried, over a thousand years of history, has failed,” Steele said. “And there are reasons for that. There are other ways to engage in Afghanistan.”
Steele quickly tried to dodge the fallout, and issued a statement Friday, saying, “There is no question that America must win the war on terror. … And, for the sake of the security of the free world, our country must give our troops the support necessary to win this war.”
He said, “The stakes are too high for us to accept anything but success in Afghanistan.”
Steele’s comments came as President Obama’s new chief in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus, arrived in the country Friday to take over the war. The President, last week dismissed his previous commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, after he made disparaging comments about his superiors in a Rolling Stone interview.
Steele called the dismissal “very comical” but said it shows the frustration members of the military have with Obama. This might be true except for the fact that 45% of the military vote in 2008 went to President Obama. This is one of the great myths of the conservative right in America today, that the military loathes the President.
Unhappy with Steele’s words, DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse said it was “simply unconscionable that Michael Steele would undermine the morale of our troops when what they need is our support and encouragement. Michael Steele would do well to remember that we are not in Afghanistan by our own choosing, that we were attacked and that his words have consequences.”
Weekly Standard conservative pundit Bill Kristol, has called Steele’s resignation.
“There are, of course, those who think we should pull out of Afghanistan, and they’re certainly entitled to make their case,” wrote Kristol, who has consistently supported the Afghanistan war. “But one of them shouldn’t be the chairman of the Republican Party.”
Steele has enraged congressional Republicans throughout the last year; he has predicted the GOBP won’t win House control this fall. He has also criticized fellow Republicans in a book that party leaders didn’t know he was writing until it was published. His GOBP critics were irked further when he told them to “get a life” and “shut up.”
Earlier this year, his oversight of the RNC was called into question because of lavish spending, including money to entertain donors at a lesbian bondage club in Los Angeles. That incident led to the departure of a key Steele adviser, the party’s finance chief and the top committee staffer.
Steele, has been, and ever after shall be a political joke…
Troops do not have a “right to defend themselves”?
During an appearance on Tuesday’s (29 Jun 10) Fox and Friends, God’s Self-proclaimed spokesman, Glenn Beck, suggested that the rules of engagement (ROE) in Afghanistan prevent American soldiers and marines from defending themselves, saying that American leaders (aka President Obama) should “take the shackles off our troops; they have a right to defend themselves.” Only problem with Bruder Beck’s suggestion is, well, current ROE states “that no one is ever denied the right to self-defense.”
Fox and Friends talking head Steve Doocy asked the Beckster what he wants GEN Petraeus to say, “You know, I’m going to start pulling things out in a year?”
Beck replied, “First of all — first of all, if our troops feel they’re in danger, shoot to kill. Take the shackles off our troops; they have a right to defend themselves. Enough with this little medal where — you know, it’s very interesting to me that the radicals who are now in charge from the 1960s who used to call our troops baby killers and really under George Bush did everything but call them baby killers, he was ‘General Betray-us.’ They give an award now for having restraint. That’s just a nice way of saying here’s a medal for not killing a baby. It’s the same thing. Take the handcuffs off and respect these people.”
Of course, the truth of the matter is that according to current rules, “no one is ever denied the right to self-defense”, in fact, the incoming commander, GEN David Petraeus, in a 17 Mar 10 congressional hearing (accessed via Nexis), testified that the directive emphasizing the protection of civilian lives “says that no one is ever denied the right to self-defense, nor will we ever hesitate, if someone is pinned down by fire, in responding to ensure that those troopers never feel as if they’re fighting with their hands tied behind their back.”
And in declassified portions of a revised “Tactical Directive” to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan issued in July 2009, outgoing commander, GEN Stanley McChrystal wrote: “This directive does not prevent commanders from protecting the lives of their men and women as a matter of self-defense where it is determined no other options (specific options deleted due to operational safety) are available to effectively counter the threat.” McChrystal also wrote: “I recognize that the carefully controlled and disciplined employment of force entails risks to our troops — and we must work to mitigate that risk wherever possible. But excessive use of force resulting in an alienated population will produce far greater risks.”
At the stroke of midnight, Wednesday was just another day of making stuff up for Beck; and just another day of spreading falsehoods and half truths for Fox News.
(thanks again to our friends at Media Matters)