Friday, September 29, 2006

My Continued Frustration with Our Leadership

Now I hope that this torture bill eventually reaches a wonderful demise in the hands of a principled Supreme Court and a reinvigorated Democratic Congress... I really do!

It's just that these DC Dems have been breaking my will, and breaking my heart, for too long.

First, no challenge to Selection 2000.

Then, the Bush Tax Scam.

Then, the PATRIOT Act.

Then, the Iraq War.

And the late-term abortion ban.

And the bankruptcy bill.

And Roberts... Oh, and let's not forget Scalito.

And now, this.

OK, so perhaps I'm whining too much right now...

Now I hope that the Supremes muster up the huevos that our lame-ass Congress couldn't, and this torture act comes to an end.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Is This White House "Devilish"?

What happened to our nation? How could we even be considering legalizing torture, for goodness sakes? How could we stoop this low?

Oh, thats right... We have those crooks in the White House!

At first I thought Hugo Chavez was off his rocker when he called Bush "the Devil"... Now I think he's onto something!

Bush & Co have to turn around and try to legalize torture! This administration is now trying to destroy the basic principles of this nation. They are trying to turn our open society into a tyrrannical police state!

I love this nation, and want to continue seeing it as a beacon of liberty and justice for all...That's why I'm sickened by this attempt to rip our Constitution to shreds.

Say No to Torture!

Here's a copy of the email I sent to my members of Congress regarding this sham "torture compromise" that will be voted on in Congress shortly. I hope this inspires you to call on your members of Congress to reject this "compormise" of our basic American values. Oh, and use this to look up your representatives in Washington:

I am extremely concerned about the proposed "torture compromise" that was made last week. Apparently, Sens. McCain, Graham, and Warner now have no problem rendering Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions unenforceable. Apparently, they no longer have a problem allowing the White House to decide for itself whether or not it "wants to" abide by the Geneva Conventions. Apparently, "a little bit of torture" isn't so bad to them now.
How dare anyone propose "compromising" our core principle of human rights! How dare we even consider rewriting our laws on torture when we have condemned numerous other nations for violating these same principles. This nation has always stood for the principle of "liberty and justice for all" for many years now. We may not be perfect, but at least we've tried. Now all of this may be lost. This may be a dangerously slippery slope. If we allow "compromise" on this, then which basic American value will be next?

Please, I urge you to reject this watered-down "compromise" on torture. We were all disgusted by Abu Ghraib. We've been disheartened by Guantanamo. We've been embarrassed by "extraordinary renditions". Now the White House has claimed that these actions "make us safer". This could not be farther from the truth! If anything, these actions inflict serious scars on our reputation among the global community. These actions do not protect us from terror, but rather encourage acts of terror. If we do not treat our detainees humanely, then what will stop our enemies from abusing our troops? Let's not allow this White House to trample upon the Constitution, and endanger our troops and citizens, any longer.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Facts About SD 34

Okay, so in case any of you don't know, I live in CA's 34th State Senate District... Basically, this will be the most competitive legislative race in the state. Now I understand that many of my Repug friends would like to say that Lynn Daucher (the R candidiate) has the upper hand in this race (To her credit, she already has a $400k war chest, while we're still catching up), I would beg to differ. Here are some plain facts about this race:

Fact: SD 34 is a minority-majority district. Lou Correa (the Democrat) is a Latino who has lived in the area his whole life, while Daucher is coming here from "lily-white" Brea.

Fact: Eminent domain can be a big issue in Central OC. While Correa has been on the record opposing eminent domain abuse, Daucher abused eminent domain herself while on the Brea City Council.

Fact: Correa has numerous volunteers walking for him every weekend, as well as calling every evening. Now Daucher... I have no clue.

Fact: The CDP (state Dems) just opened an office in Anaheim, and they're "ready to rumble". Hmmm... Does Team GOP even have an office near SD 34?

Fact: Don Perata's ready to go "all in" for Lou, while Dick Ackerman's already "all in" for Lynn.

Fact: Arnold doesn't seem to have coattails with any other GOP candidates (save possibly McPherson and Poizner... and Poizner's now in deep s*** over lying about insurance co donations)... But anyways, Loretta always seems to ahve coattails in Central OC! And Loretta wants to make sure SD 34 stays blue.

So while Lou may have to fight hard to win this seat, he probably still has the upper hand. Especially now that the CDP is going all out on this one, you better believe they won't stop fighting until they see victory on Nov 7.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Thoughts on Peace

I just watched an interesting video on YouTube about the principle of peace...
Go ahead and watch it for yourself...

jpwipf brought up an interesting point, and I'd like to add my two cents to this:

All we want is an end to this horrible war.

All the Iraqis want is an end to this horrible war.

The Israelis want to live peacefully and securely in their own land. The Palestineans want this as well.

Another world is possible. Sometimes we forget to realize that while we allow ourselves to be scared by so-called "leaders" who coerce us into supporting this perpetual cycle of violence. Sometimes we forget as our so-called "leaders" scare us with "terror alerts", visions of "mushroom clouds", and "bogeymen".

We are coerced into fearing our fellow humankind beacause they are "different", and therefore they are "dangerous".

We are convinced that we need to sacrifice our liberties for the sake of security, but in the end we have neither.

We are convinced that by fighting perpetual war, we will one day obtain peace. What type of bizarre logic is that?

Another world is possible. We just need to stop and think.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A Great American Hero(ine) Has Passed

A great American leader has left our planet earth today. Former Texas Governor Anne Richards made history, well... why dont we call it "HER STORY"?!... by being the first woman to win TX Governor in half a century, appointing more women and minorities to state posts than any of her predecessors, and let's face it... She was just amazing.

I mean, who else would say this when asked what she might have done differently as Governor:
"Oh, I would probably have raised more hell."

We'll all miss you, Ann.- Andrew : )

Oh, and read the full obit piece on Austin American-Statesman' s website: http://www.statesma content/gen/ ap/TX_Obit_ Richards. html?COXnetJSessionIDbui ld161=FISMq3j3zH s2sKF7kFTwEBhAKn t5xyWYWKAIp1jBO9 Pn4Qp1d6N8!499531734& UrAuth=`NXNUObNW UbTTUWUXUWUZTYU_ UWUcU\UZU]UZUcTYWYWZV& urcm=y

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Here I Am


I'm having another busy day at school... I just wanted to drop by and say, "Hi!"

Monday, September 11, 2006

Keith Olbermann's 9/11 Special Comment

I just caught the "Countdown" rerun on MSNBC...

When Olbermann gave his speech, it almost felt like the spirit of Edward R. Murrow was being rekindled.

Finally... something that actually SHOULD BE ON TV is on tv!

May God bless his soul.

Here's Keith Olbermann's full speech below:

Sept. 11, 2006 8:32 p.m. ET
This hole in the ground
Half a lifetime ago, I worked in this now-empty space. And for 40 days after the attacks, I worked here again, trying to make sense of what happened, and was yet to happen, as a reporter.
All the time, I knew that the very air I breathed contained the remains of thousands of people, including four of my friends, two in the planes and -- as I discovered from those "missing posters" seared still into my soul -- two more in the Towers.
And I knew too, that this was the pyre for hundreds of New York policemen and firemen, of whom my family can claim half a dozen or more, as our ancestors.
I belabor this to emphasize that, for me this was, and is, and always shall be, personal.
And anyone who claims that I and others like me are "soft,"or have "forgotten" the lessons of what happened here is at best a grasping, opportunistic, dilettante and at worst, an idiot whether he is a commentator, or a Vice President, or a President.
However, of all the things those of us who were here five years ago could have forecast -- of all the nightmares that unfolded before our eyes, and the others that unfolded only in our minds -- none of us could have predicted this.
Five years later this space is still empty.
Five years later there is no memorial to the dead.
Five years later there is no building rising to show with proud defiance that we would not have our America wrung from us, by cowards and criminals.
Five years later this country's wound is still open.
Five years later this country's mass grave is still unmarked.
Five years later this is still just a background for a photo-op.
It is beyond shameful.
At the dedication of the Gettysburg Memorial -- barely four months after the last soldier staggered from another Pennsylvania field -- Mr. Lincoln said, "we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Lincoln used those words to immortalize their sacrifice.
Today our leaders could use those same words to rationalize their reprehensible inaction. "We cannot dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground." So we won't.
Instead they bicker and buck pass. They thwart private efforts, and jostle to claim credit for initiatives that go nowhere. They spend the money on irrelevant wars, and elaborate self-congratulations, and buying off columnists to write how good a job they're doing instead of doing any job at all.
Five years later, Mr. Bush, we are still fighting the terrorists on these streets. And look carefully, sir, on these 16 empty acres. The terrorists are clearly, still winning.
And, in a crime against every victim here and every patriotic sentiment you mouthed but did not enact, you have done nothing about it.
And there is something worse still than this vast gaping hole in this city, and in the fabric of our nation. There is its symbolism of the promise unfulfilled, the urgent oath, reduced to lazy execution.
The only positive on 9/11 and the days and weeks that so slowly and painfully followed it was the unanimous humanity, here, and throughout the country. The government, the President in particular, was given every possible measure of support.
Those who did not belong to his party -- tabled that.
Those who doubted the mechanics of his election -- ignored that.
Those who wondered of his qualifications -- forgot that.
History teaches us that nearly unanimous support of a government cannot be taken away from that government by its critics. It can only be squandered by those who use it not to heal a nation's wounds, but to take political advantage.
Terrorists did not come and steal our newly-regained sense of being American first, and political, fiftieth. Nor did the Democrats. Nor did the media. Nor did the people.
The President -- and those around him -- did that.
They promised bi-partisanship, and then showed that to them, "bi-partisanship" meant that their party would rule and the rest would have to follow, or be branded, with ever-escalating hysteria, as morally or intellectually confused, as appeasers, as those who, in the Vice President's words yesterday, "validate the strategy of the terrorists."
They promised protection, and then showed that to them "protection" meant going to war against a despot whose hand they had once shaken, a despot who we now learn from our own Senate Intelligence Committee, hated al-Qaida as much as we did.
The polite phrase for how so many of us were duped into supporting a war, on the false premise that it had 'something to do' with 9/11 is "lying by implication."
The impolite phrase is "impeachable offense."
Not once in now five years has this President ever offered to assume responsibility for the failures that led to this empty space, and to this, the current, curdled, version of our beloved country.
Still, there is a last snapping flame from a final candle of respect and fairness: even his most virulent critics have never suggested he alone bears the full brunt of the blame for 9/11.
Half the time, in fact, this President has been so gently treated, that he has seemed not even to be the man most responsible for anything in his own administration.
Yet what is happening this very night?
A mini-series, created, influenced -- possibly financed by -- the most radical and cold of domestic political Machiavellis, continues to be televised into our homes.
The documented truths of the last fifteen years are replaced by bald-faced lies; the talking points of the current regime parroted; the whole sorry story blurred, by spin, to make the party out of office seem vacillating and impotent, and the party in office, seem like the only option.
How dare you, Mr. President, after taking cynical advantage of the unanimity and love, and transmuting it into fraudulent war and needless death, after monstrously transforming it into fear and suspicion and turning that fear into the campaign slogan of three elections? How dare you -- or those around you -- ever "spin" 9/11?
Just as the terrorists have succeeded -- are still succeeding -- as long as there is no memorial and no construction here at Ground Zero.
So, too, have they succeeded, and are still succeeding as long as this government uses 9/11 as a wedge to pit Americans against Americans.
This is an odd point to cite a television program, especially one from March of 1960. But as Disney's continuing sell-out of the truth (and this country) suggests, even television programs can be powerful things.
And long ago, a series called "The Twilight Zone" broadcast a riveting episode entitled "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street."
In brief: a meteor sparks rumors of an invasion by extra-terrestrials disguised as humans. The electricity goes out. A neighbor pleads for calm. Suddenly his car -- and only his car -- starts. Someone suggests he must be the alien. Then another man's lights go on. As charges and suspicion and panic overtake the street, guns are inevitably produced. An "alien" is shot -- but he turns out to be just another neighbor, returning from going for help. The camera pulls back to a near-by hill, where two extra-terrestrials are seen manipulating a small device that can jam electricity. The veteran tells his novice that there's no need to actually attack, that you just turn off a few of the human machines and then, "they pick the most dangerous enemy they can find, and it's themselves."
And then, in perhaps his finest piece of writing, Rod Serling sums it up with words of remarkable prescience, given where we find ourselves tonight: "The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, to be found only in the minds of men.
"For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all its own -- for the children, and the children yet unborn."
When those who dissent are told time and time again -- as we will be, if not tonight by the President, then tomorrow by his portable public chorus -- that he is preserving our freedom, but that if we use any of it, we are somehow un-American...When we are scolded, that if we merely question, we have "forgotten the lessons of 9/11"... look into this empty space behind me and the bi-partisanship upon which this administration also did not build, and tell me:
Who has left this hole in the ground?
We have not forgotten, Mr. President.
You have.
May this country forgive you.

Five Years Ago...

I was actually awake when the first plane struck the WTC. However, I didn't know that was happening because we didn't have the TV on. My mom then dropped me off at school, and it wasn't until my HS Geography class started that the teacher told us what was happening.

Throughout the day, all of us were talking to each other, wondering what the heck was going on. Finally when I got home, my mom had CNN on. They were continually repeating the footage. Towering infernos. People plunging to their deaths. Chaos at the airports. What the hell was going on?

During the first few days after the attack, American flags started popping up all over the neighborhood. We were all in solidarity with the victims and their families, and for once, it seemed like we were all Americans again... That is, until my mom and I started hearing all this talk of revenge. Why punish all the poor souls of Afghanistan because the government allowed the terrorist group to use the nation as "safe harbor"? Nonetheless, we were gald to see the Taliban gone by the end of the year.

But then there was the USA PATRIOT Act. If we were fighting this war to "protect freedom", then why are we giving up all our freedom? Why couldn't the FBI just investigate the bin Ladens instead of investigating our reading habits? Then there was this rumor I was hearing more... and more... and more: Saddam Hussein was the real mastermind behind 9/11. Saddam provided safe harbor for al-Qaeda. Saddam and bin Laden were together trying to destroy America. Now before I go on, let me tell you that BOTH of my parents were staunch Christian fundamentalist Bush Republicans, and I was being groomed to be another one. However, not even I could buy all that bullshit of Iraq being behind 9/11. This is what ultimately caused me to turn my life around... to the left!

Five years ago today, I never could have imagined that the whole world would come together to mourn the dead from that fateful day. However, I also couldn't have imagined that this Administration would take all this goodwill and squander it so they could pursue their lust of profit and empire. I sincerely hope that today, five years later, we remember this great loss of life... By putting an end to the cyclical pattern of terror, and creating a peaceful planet for future generations.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I'm Back at USD

Sorry that I'm going off on a tangent tonight...

But I just moved back on campus! I'm getting used to "dorm life" again, and I finally have an internet connection here. My new roommates just popped in the door less than an hour ago, and they seem to be good guys.

Hopefully, I'll have some good stuff for you to read here soon.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Support AB 523, and Save KOCE!!!!

This is the letter I wrote to the Governator this morning. I put aside my own misgivings over him, and I sincerely hope that he will do the right thing this weekend and sign AB 523 into law. KOCE is the only public television station of, by, and for Orange County. We will lose this precious resource forever if Christian fundamentalist broadcaster Daystar takes over this station. WE MUST STOP THIS NOW!!!! Read my letter to the Governor below, then write your own email to the Governor at the below link.

Now here's my email:

For many years, Orange County has enjoyed a terrific public television station that has served the community's educational needs. Now this station, KOCE, is under attack, and may be lost forever. Mr. Governor, please save local public television by signing AB 523 into law.

As you may have heard, Texas-based religious broadcaster Daystar is has been attempting a hostile takeover of KOCE for at least three years now. They actually came close to their goal in 2004, when the Coast Community College District put KOCE up for sale. However, community leaders joined forces to stop this, and the KOCE Foundation succeeded in saving the station for the people in Orange County.

Unfortunately, a state judge has recently invalidated this sale. At this point, the legal standing of KOCE is in complete limbo. All that we know now is that sooner or later, once the Coast District is forced to reassume ownership of the station, the District will likely put the station up for sale again. Under current law, the Coast District will be forced to sell the station to the highest bidder. This means that under current law, Daystar will eventually succeed in their hostile takeover of Orange County's only public television station.

Now this Daystar company is under federal investigation for using public airwaves for private business. Below is an excerpt from an OC Weekly investigation:

"...Federal Communications Commission (FCC) officials are investigating whether Dallas-based Daystar, the world’s No. 2 religious broadcaster, is violating federal law by hawking airtime and running ads on its eight non-commercial TV stations and its public-interest satellite channels. Doing so is forbidden on these portions of the broadcast spectrum, which are reserved for nonprofit educational programming."

We cannot allow these religious extremists at Daystar to misuse our public airwaves for proselytizing and personal profit. Public airwaves are meant for the public benefit. Please, Mr. Governor, ensure that something like this does not occur in Orange County, or anywhere else for that matter. Please sign AB 523 into law today!

- Andrew Davey