Thursday, March 23, 2006

Right to privacy

Amendment IV. --> The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrents shall issue, but upon probably cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


Amendment IX. --> The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

In other words, if the Constitution doesn’t say it, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist, and it does specifically say that the rights that are not specifically stated are RETAINED BY THE PEOPLE.

Let me put something else on the table:

Article III, Section 3. --> Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

The Bush Administration has levied a war against the will of the people through the manipulation of intelligence and lying to the American People and Congress. They have adhered to Achmed Chalibi, a man suspected of working for Iran. They have given Aid to the Taliban and Al Qieda in the 1980’s to help them build up their arsenal in order to fight off the Soviet Union, and provided the very weapons to Iraq that we were looking for when we invaded.

Let us draw our own conclusions based on the evidence presented. My conclusion is that George W. Bush and Richard Cheney are traitors to the Constitution they swore to uphold.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The movies this summer

I saw Underworld: Evolution last night. Loved it. After all the debates about Cantwell and Wilson, it was nice to watch a movie where the enemy is identified and torn to shreds.

However, before the movie started there were about 5 different previews for the movies that will be coming out this summer. Every single one of them was a Horror movie. Not that much of a surprise, but these were over the top. And I mean completely designed to capitalize on the fear that is being pushed on us by our civil situation. And they were bad. Really bad.

Let me tell you one of the scariest movies that I remember. It was "Enemy of the State", about the exact NSA spying program that is underway in America right now. Go see it. No blood, no rising of the dead. Just ordinary people breaking the law and getting away with it from inside the US Government. And it's a fun movie to watch.

But this horror junk? I hope they all flop.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Replace or reform? I say reform.

Regardless of who is currently in charge of the infrastructure of the Democratic Party, the fact is that there exists a strong brand and a strong political infrastructure. I would be interested in reading about the collapse of the Federalist Party and the Whig party, but since the 1860 electoral victory of President Lincoln, no third party has ever entered the scene on a national scale and been successful. We came close in 1912, but it never had the long term committment necessary.

The effort to create the missing infrastructure has been started several times, and the movement is completely splintered on how to do it effectively so it has always failed. The last really successful effort in this area was the Black Panthers, under the guidence of Aaron Dixon. They got things done, but they did not engage in electoral politics. By thinking of a third party or replacement party effort, you are acknowledging that electoral politics needs our attention as much as issue-based politics. The current efforts of the Libertarians and Greens are bound to fail. They always have, and although the Libs have a national effort ongoing to get them engaged and successful in electoral challenges, I don't expect it to succeed. The Greens are divided among themselves worse than the Democrats are. And the 'Progressive Party' is made up of people who got sick of being silenced within the Dems and left to form their own party that they dream about being equal to the Vermont Progressive Party, which is current the most successful third party in existence in the US. Their main problem is that they are based in high density urban areas instead of rural areas which proved to be the successful breeding ground for the current Progs in VT and for the Farmer/Labor Party that exists in Minnesota as the leftovers of the original Farmer's Alliance, Populist movement and progressive movement of the late 1800's. I've been doing a LOT of reading about political parties and our history.

Most of the available party labels have been sequestered by others, but could be rehashed. Examples: Reform Party from '92 and '96, Independence Party is a possibility because that's what gave Jesse the Governor's mansion in Minnessota, the Eagle party is an effort on Wikicities to develop a platform that gets no attention or help. My vote for something new would be either Progressive Party or Independence Party. But then you get to the rules of the House and Senate. Unless the Democratic Party is completely wiped off the face of the map, which is not going to happen, any third party members that take a numerical majority away from the D's helps the R's keep control over the committee structure and what comes out for a vote. We are not a coalition-based pariliment. The rules of Congress are designed around a two party system, and neither of the two parties are open to changing those rules.

The local party organizations follow the same pattern. Anyone using a label other than their own is not only not welcome, but actively driven out. One of our local elected officials gets no time on our agenda because in 2000 he expressed support for Nader's right to run. The only way that we're going to be able to change that is by having progressive members of the E-board that show up to a Program Committee meeting and bring Peter up as a motion and vote down the people who want to keep him away from the microphone. The only other thing that we can do is provide him with a way to talk to the Progressive Caucus, which we have done and will continue to do.

So, the barriers to replacing the Dems from the outside have been tried and have yet to be successful. The barriers to reforming the Dems from the inside boil down to time and continuous pressure, which is ongoing.

Howard Dean looked at these choices in early 2005. And he jumped into the belly of the beast to do his best to reform from the inside. It's hurting him and those of us who followed his lead. But it's working, slowly. And the best way to prevent his corruption and the corruption of those who followed him is to continue to stand on our own principles and looking to the long term. Do we have the time available before the end to spend doing this? I don't know. But I honestly think it has a better chance of succeeding than the replacement scheme.

The problem is not Maria Cantwell. It's us.

It seems like there is not enough of an understanding of where people are getting their passion for changing things. I've said many times that I am not anti-Maria. I am upset at some of her votes, but I think she has done a great job. What I hear too often is that she has done a good enough job and should be reelected. To my mind, that's hogwash. Every election is a test of the vision of the party and the people who work towards the goal of creating a society they can live in. Every reelection is by definition an evaluation of the incumbent and a test to see of the incumbent deserves another term in office.

We hit the Hubbard Curve in December of 2005. I'm convinced of that. The glaciers are melting at an increasing rate. Pollution is killing people. Depleated Uranium is spreading around the globe from the Middle East. We are held in the grip of world wide terror by the people we call our leaders. And too many of us are lemmings headed towards the cliff. If we don't change course, the children that we are bringing into the world are going to die in the world we have created. We have to face up to that fact, and be ready for the changes it will require.

It's not enough that one out of every 10,000 people start riding their bicycles. We have to stop driving cars. It's not enough that we're planting some trees to replenish what we have cut down for profit. We have to stop clearing our forests. It's not enough that we allow the teaching of evolution in schools. Every girl needs a full understanding of all the methods of birth control available to her, and the right of a woman to make her own choices when and how to have children must not be regulated by any government. And I'm not talking about the US. I'm talking about the world. In the US, we have revolutions every two years on a national level. They're called elections. That kind of revolution is needed in every country on every continent, and it has to come with the price of a full education for all people everywhere on what our choices are and how to make those choices.

That is the kind of change that the Progressive Movement is demanding. We must stop moving towards that cliff, because it is all or nothing. We either all change course, or we all go over. It can either be a gradual change, or it can be a sudden change. But change must happen. There is no other choice if we want to survive as a country, as a society, and as a species.