- Peace Garden: 04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009

Leahy seeking truth

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Truth commission to proceed despite Obama’s wishes
Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) plans to proceed with a special commission to investigate alleged Bush administration abuses of power, despite lacking President Barack Obama’s support, according to a report Tuesday.
Sen. Leahy called for a “Truth Commission” in February to probe Bush administration policies on torture, interrogation and surveillance and to — as he puts it — “get to the bottom of what went wrong.” Such an idea would be modeled around truth commissions established in South Africa and Chile, which offered immunity to officials who committed abuses in exchange for the truth.
Immunity? Oh alright, I'll go along with that.

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Backtrack again and again

Friday, April 24, 2009

Armenians mourn WWI mass killings
Obama, who had referred to the "Armenian genocide" during his presidential campaign, on Friday omitted the term, referring instead to the event as the "one of the greatest atrocities of the 20th century." He also refrained from using the term genocide during a recent visit to Turkey, saying only that his views were on the record.
Call it what it is - genocide!

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Backtracking again

Assault weapons ban
Campaigning before a church congregation on Chicago’s South Side one Sunday in July 2007, Barack Obama said an epidemic of big city violence was “sickening the soul of this nation.”
Among the potential cures, he said, was permanently reinstating a ban on assault weapons.
One-hundred days into his presidency, President Obama says it remains a goal. But it is one the White House has been forced to abandon.
Forced by politics. Remember that when someone is killed.

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McGovern's Words of Wisdom

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bring Our Troops Home from Mideast This Year
President Barack Obama holds my admiration with high hopes for his message of change in Washington, D.C. It is puzzling, however, that he has adopted most of the previous administration's formula for dragging out the withdrawal of our troops from the mistaken war in Iraq for nearly three more years. Very little "change" here.
Three years ago, public opinion polls indicated that a majority of Americans believed our policymakers were wrong in ordering troops into Iraq. It is widely accepted that this sentiment more than any other factor in the 2006 congressional elections resulted in Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate.
Are we now going to ignore for another three years the public mandate of 2006 against this costly, pre-emptive war based on deceit? And how can we justify putting thousands more U.S. troops into Afghanistan? We have exhausted our treasury. We are also close to exhausting our soldiers.
Can there be any doubt that the enormous war cost has contributed to the financial crisis here at home? The expense of waging two Middle East wars, plus the loss of revenue caused by the previous administration's tax cuts, have skyrocketed the national debt to a record high. Do we ever consider what the interest alone is on our $10 trillion national debt -- much of it paid to China?
Frankly, we cannot afford a two-war commitment year after year if we want to balance the federal budget and restore our economy. The huge bonuses that directors of failing corporations have awarded themselves and their chief executives have rightfully angered people, but those figures are peanuts compared with the $12 billion a month we have poured into Iraq and Afghanistan over the last six years.
...I urge President Obama to bring our troops home from the Middle East this year. A good target date for completing an orderly withdrawal from two ill-conceived and costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would be Thanksgiving 2009.
For our sake and God's sake, let's get out of there and begin healing our own bankrupted land.
Makes absolute sense to me. Why not to OBushama?

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Condoning torture

Monday, April 20, 2009

Emanuel: Obama Won’t Prosecute Officials Over Interrogations
Speaking today on ABC’s “This Week” program, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said that President Barack Obama has not only no intention of prosecuting individual interrogators for following guidance of dubious legality regarding interrogations, but that policymakers and lawyers involved in drafting the guidance in the first place won’t face prosecution either.
“It’s not a time to use our energy and our time in looking back and any sense of anger and retribution,” Emanuel insisted...
It's called justice Rahm. It's called "putting a stop to torture." It's called condemning torture. What you are doing is called SHAMEFUL.

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Conflicting emotions

Saturday, April 18, 2009

There are times my heart jumps for joy:
---Organic gardens at the White House
---Shaking hands with Chavez
---Talking with Cuba again
And then there are those times that I just shake my head...
---Continued Iraq and Afghanistan wars
---Expanding the war into Pakistan
---Threatening to invade Eritrea
---U.S. boycotts racism conference, says it 'singles out' Israel
The United States is boycotting a U.N. conference on racism next week over a document that "singles out" Israel in its criticism and conflicts with the nation's "commitment to unfettered free speech," the U.S. State Department said Saturday.
This at a time when Israel stands ready to bomb Iran's nuclear sites
The Israeli military is preparing itself to launch a massive aerial assault on Iran's nuclear facilities within days of being given the go-ahead by its new government.
Among the steps taken to ready Israeli forces for what would be a risky raid requiring pinpoint aerial strikes are the acquisition of three Airborne Warning and Control (AWAC) aircraft and regional missions to simulate the attack.
If we want others to practice diplomacy shouldn't we and our "allies" be expected to lead the way?

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And take the Dallas Cowboys with you

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Gov. Rick Perry: Texas Could Secede, Leave Union

Texas Gov. Rick Perry fired up an anti-tax "tea party" Wednesday with his stance against the federal government and for states' rights as some in his U.S. flag-waving audience shouted, "Secede!"

An animated Perry told the crowd at Austin City Hall -- one of three tea parties he was attending across the state -- that officials in Washington have abandoned the country's founding principles of limited government. He said the federal government is strangling Americans with taxation, spending and debt.

Secede? Did it ever happen before in Texas?
Texas did secede in 1861, but the North's victory in the Civil War put an end to that.
Oops.

Well Ricky Boy. Take the Cowboys with you. Leave Willie Nelson for the rest of us. Keep W there. But I want Austin to be part of the rest of the country.

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Kudos to Lynn Woolsey

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Congresswoman Blasts Obama's War-Funding Request
President Obama's new $83.4 billion supplemental war request, which brings the cost of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq to $1 trillion, drew fire Thursday from anti-war North Bay Rep. Lynn Woolsey.
Press secretary Robert Gibbs said the request is a Bush holdover that is needed to fund the wars this fiscal year, before the Obama budget kicks in.
Holdover? Couldn't it be changed?
"As proposed, this funding will do two things - it will prolong our occupation of Iraq through at least the end of 2011 and it will deepen and expand our military presence in Afghanistan indefinitely.
"I cannot support either of these scenarios. Instead of attempting to find military solutions to the problems we face in Iraq and Afghanistan, President Obama must fundamentally change the mission in both countries to focus on promoting reconciliation, economic development, humanitarian aid, and regional diplomatic efforts."
We need more in DC to make similar statements. We need more voices on the streets to call for the change that was hoped for.

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Same old - just a different day

Is Gates Channeling Cheney on Iraq with 'Last Gasp' Remark?
Midway through a week of mayhem in Iraq, Defense Secretary Robert Gates raised eyebrows when he said the recent resurgence of violence in Baghdad was "a last gasp" of Islamic extremists.
It was an echo of former Vice President Dick Cheney, who in 2005 said the insurgency was "in the last throes." The following two years were the deadliest period of the war.
Today, as in 2005, other top U.S. military and intelligence officials worry that escalating tensions could threaten the administration's plans to draw down American forces in Iraq.
Follow the money - who really is in control? Not much has changed. Sure we had a declaration of troop withdrawal if... We have calls for talks and diplomacy. But the coffins still keep coming back, the war drums keep banging...

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Neil Young - eco hero

Monday, April 06, 2009

Neil Young - Fork In The Road

Neil Young and his new album "Fork In The Road"

thematically focuses on alternative fuel.
From the above video:
There's a fork in the road ahead.
 I don't know which way I'm gonna turn.
 There's a fork in the road ahead.
Forgot this year, 
to salute the troops. 
They're all still there
 in a fucking war. It's no good.
 Whose idea was that?


I've got hope,
 but you can't eat hope. 
I'm not done. 
Not giving up. 
Not cashing in.
 Too late.
There's a bailout coming but it's not for me. 
It's for all those creeps watching tickers on TV. 
There's a bailout coming but it's not for me.

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It's getting worse

Saturday, April 04, 2009

13 Killed as US Drone Hits Pakistan Civilians

US drones launched a missile attack against a home in North Waziristan on Saturday morning, killing at least 13 and wounding at least eight others. Officials say that civilians were among the casualties caused by the two missiles. One intelligence official said that foreign militants were staying in the home at the time of the attack.
What, do we just dismiss civilian deaths because militants were nearby?

The situation is getting worse. Not only are we still stuck in Iraq and exapnding our Afghan adventure - our adventure into Pakistan is increasing in intensity. OBushama talks about everyone getting rid of nuclear weapons - how about our wars?

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Change in policy

Friday, April 03, 2009

Change in MidEast policy? A shift from Iraq to Afghanistan was not what voters had in mind.

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