Sunday, April 30, 2006
America has Nothing to Fear
Franklin Delano Roosevelt lectured us on the danger of fear:
So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.A British music producer has released a Spanish language version of the National Anthem. And many on the right are fearful of the possible damage to the Nation.
As the New York Daily News opined:
President Bush got it right Friday when he said: "I think the national anthem ought to be sung in English, and I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English and they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English." This is no slight to any proud heritage; it's the American identity and the way of assimilation.Or as the Prescott Daily Courier editorialized:
"But if it's OK now to mess with countries' national anthems, how about and English language version of "Mexicanos, al grito de Guerra," the Mexican national anthem which translates "Mexicans, to the War Cry."The Christian Broadcasting Network even located Charles Key who apparently is the great-great-grandson of Francis Scott Key, who commented:
We could have some lyrics criticizing "mordida," the systemic bribery network in Mexico that suppresses workers and forces them to seek work in the United States. Let's redo "Rule Britannia," and put in a shot or two at snotty Brit music producers. Then we can do "The Marseillaise" and talk about how the French sat out the Iraq war in hopes of continuing to clean up selling Saddam Hussein technology and munitions.
“I think it's a despicable thing, for someone to come in our society, and change our national anthem,” said Key.It is ironic that we are fighting so hard to keep the National Anthem being sung only in English.
Does anyone recall the history of the Anthem?
Francis Scott Key's words commemorate precise details of a specific event during the War of 1812. The actual star-spangled banner was 30' by 42'--the largest battle flag ever flown. It had been commissioned by Major George Armistead, the commander of Fort McHenry at the entrance to Baltimore Harbor, who wanted a flag large enough to be seen by the British at a distance. Flag-maker Mary Young Pickersgill, assisted by her 13-year-old daughter Caroline, assembled the flag with fifteen stars and fifteen stripes, laying out yards of woolen bunting at night by candlelight on the spacious floor of a brewery.I just thought I would remind everyone.
British forces had burned Washington in August of 1814, and captured a beloved elderly physician named William Beanes. Francis Scott Key, a successful Washington lawyer, had permission from President James Madison to try to negotiate Beanes' release. Negotiations took place over dinner--while the British officers also planned their attack on Baltimore. Beanes was freed, but he and Key were not permitted to return to Baltimore until after the battle whose plans they had overheard. They spent the night on their own sloop under a flag of truce, listening and watching for signs of the battle's outcome.
The British fired 1500 bombshells at Fort McHenry, including specialized Congreve rockets that left red tails of flame ("the rockets' red glare") and bombs with burning fuses that were supposed to explode when they reached their target but often blew up in midair instead ("the bombs bursting in air").
Watching from eight miles downstream, Key was able to see the huge battle flag hoisted at dawn to replace the storm flag that had flown through the rainy night. An amateur poet and hymn-writer (his hymns include Before the Lord We Bow and Lord With Glowing Heart I'd Praise Thee), he began a commemorative poem, which he called The Defence of Fort M'Henry, on the back of an old letter.
How we were fighting the BRITISH in the War of 1812. And now we are fighting to preserve the National Anthem so it shoud be sung only in the language of that enemy we were fighting?
I think we all need to be speaking English as a matter of common understanding.
We don't need to become bilingual and have other reasons to fail to communicate with our fellow Americans.
But lighten up a little folks.
Each American can sing of his or her love of this country in their native tongue.
Let us support public education in America and make sure that all young people can learn English in our public schools and pursue that American dream we have come to love. But our desire to make everyone fit into a niche and suppress diversity is everything that is against the American creed of diversity, of tolerance, and of mutual respect.
Nick Gillespie says it best in the San Francisco Chronicle today:
It's embarrassing enough -- humiliating, really -- that the United States doesn't have a state religion, which would facilitate community and national identity. So we can at least have an official language, and it's a good thing everyone agrees it ought to be English, because most of us speak it already, and it's probably pretty close to what "American" would sound like if we hadn't been British colonies originally.So let us not be afraid of those who sing in languages other than our former Rulers.
All the greatest minds of the second, and probably last, American century -- Lou Dobbs, Arizona Republican Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl, Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, author Ann Coulter -- concur that becoming fluent in English should be a condition to live in these United States. (The visionary Dobbs, channeling the great American-turned-English poet T.S. Eliot, goes further still, deriding St. Patrick's Day celebrations just as Eliot rightly attacked the "apeneck" Irish for their self-evidently subhuman nature.)
It's bad enough that we have to eat foreign food, live in states with Spanish-derived names and answer that extra question about which language to use at the ATM. (Thought experiment: How much is that extra second or two of time slowing down the U.S. economy and driving down our productivity, precisely at the moment when the Chinese are breathing down our necks like a bunch of post-industrial railroad coolies?)
Thank you, Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo from the great state of Colorado, er Reddish-Colored, for having the courage to introduce a constitutional amendment that would declare English the official language of the United States. (And for being the most forceful advocate of building a wall between Mexico and the United States, though I hope you'll be more careful in checking out the government contractors than you were with your personal ones, to make sure they aren't using illegal immigrants to pour concrete.)
But let us embrace diversity. Let the music play on.
Saturday, April 29, 2006
Ellen Goodman Opposes Kerry Presidential Bid
"All of this leads me to blurt out: "Stop Him Before He Kills (the Democrats' Chances) Again."But who will stop you Ms. Goodman? Your irresponsible op-ed piece does nothing except add to the character assassination of Senator Kerry.
Ms. Goodman goes on to quote Joe Klein in "Politics Lost":
"the pollster-consultant industrial complex" of focus groups and strategists and market-tested messages for the current state of politics. But he also says, damningly, that in 2004, "Kerry proved weak, indecisive and, yes, aloof."I am sorry Ms. Goodman. But that was not the John Kerry I observed in the 2004 campaign.
I saw a Senator with a firm grasp of the facts who dominated and held his own on every Presidential debate facing a President who was stumbling and could not find the right words or the right information to speak.
Ms. Goodman continues her criticism:
"What the Democrats need this time out is not a messenger honed to squeak on the margin of undecideds, but a vision of what's gone wrong in the country and how to right it."I beg to differ. Senator Kerry speaks truth in the face of lies. Nobody else is addressing the Iraq War, providing this nation with a plan, and speaking out with the clarity of Kerry.
At Faneuil Hall, he spoke:
"Presidents and politicians may worry about losing face or losing votes or losing their legacy; it is time to think about young Americans and innocent civilians who are losing their lives," Kerry said, to a thunderous standing ovation.You may think of Senator Kerry as a failed politician. Someone who let down the Democrats. Or maybe didn't fight mean or hard enough against the smears of the Republicans.
But I view Kerry as a Statesman who tried very hard to keep to the high road in campaigning. Who faced never-ending lies and smears and kept up the fight.
Senator Kerry understands what it means to be a soldier in the midst of a failed foreign policy. He understands dissent. He understands patriotism. Nobody needs to give him lessons in anything.
There will be many among us who have formulaic ideas about what kind of candidate the Democratic Party should nominate. There are those who believe we should be looking for a Governor of a Red State. That we should avoid a Senator because he/she has too long a record of votes that can be distorted. That we need to balance a ticket and avoid another Massachusetts candidate.
It is ironic that the last great American President that we had in this nation was another Senator from Massachusetts with the initials JFK.
America needs Senator Kerry now more than at any time in the history of this Republic! If you choose to support another candidate for President Ms. Goodman, go ahead and speak kindly of her. But do not join in the mud and smears that Republicans have launched at Senator Kerry.
America can do better than that.
James Boyce says it best on the Huffington Post:
"Trust me, you might not believe that Al Gore and John Kerry know much, and you have every right to be angry at them for losing and you have every right to disagree with my premise, not to mention that the fact that I fully admit I would support and work with John Kerry first in 2008 and if he doesn't run, I'm going to try and convince Al Gore to run - but please, take it from someone who survived, barely, the 2004 election, these two men who lost everything -- they know how to win."And John Kerry will provide the leadership and experience as the Democrat's first choice. Not anyone's second choice as you have proclaimed.
We got your back John!
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Change is on the Way!
Senator Kerry is connecting with America! As reported today, Senatory John Kerry spoke at historic Faneuil Hall in Boston and expressed his vision on America and where this country has been heading in Iraq and elsewhere.
Click HERE to watch highlights from this address!
''Presidents and politicians may worry about losing face or losing votes or losing their legacy; it is time to think about young Americans and innocent civilians who are losing their lives," Kerry said, to a thunderous standing ovation."Throughout history, there have been attempts to stifle dissent and enforce conformity in America.
Standing beneath oil portraits of Samuel Adams, George Washington, and John Quincy Adams, Kerry invoked history, from Congress's attempts in 1798 to silence Thomas Jefferson to Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy's crusade against communism in the 1950s.Thank you Senator Kerry! Patriotism demands involvement in our process by every American. Our love of America requires us to keep the Ship of State on course.
''The bedrock of America's greatest advances -- the foundation of what we know today are defining values -- was formed not by cheering things on as they were, but by taking them on and demanding change," Kerry said, again to applause.
To keep America as a beacon of freedom, and not a bastion of torture. To keep America as a peacemaker and not a pre-emptive warmaker. We are the nation that leads the world in scientific exploration and not in suppression of scientific fact by religious dogma. We are a nation that protects the rights and freedom of every American regardless of their religion, national origin, sex, handicap, color, and yes even their sexual orientation. We are a nation that protects the air, water and the land we live on. We believe in the responsibility of educating our children, protecting the rights of women and minorities, working to provide healthcare for the ill, retirement security for our elderly, and hope for every American to live the American Dream.
When there are those who hold office who move our nation in directions other than these, it is incumbent upon every patriotic American to speak up, to protect this Nation for future generations.
John Kerry is up to the task.
As Senator Edward Kennedy, during his Eulogy to his slain brotherquoted Robert Kennedy who often stated
"Some men see things as they are and say why.Why not Senator Kerry in 2008?
I dream things that never were and say why not."
I see the things that could have been and think of the things that could be!
Change is on the Way!
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Thinking Hard About John Kerry!
As reported today:
"I will make that decision toward the end of the year, but I'm thinking about it hard," Kerry said in response to a question at the Latin Economic Forum at the United Nations.America needs Senator Kerry!
Think of what we have now and what could have been.
We have a President who runs an FDA which responds to religious extremists instead of scientific panels. A President who threatens the security of our Seniors with a privatized Social Security and who authors the disastrous drug benefit program called "Plan D" which is leaving millions of poor Americans without coverage. A President and a party which undermines our national financial solvency with ballooning budget deficits and loss of good-paying jobs with a trade deficit of Titanic proportions. A President who places polluters and lobbyists in regulatory positions and who endorses selling off our National Parks.
With our country bogged down in an unnecessary war.
With our very planet threatened by global warming and melting ice plates.
With our freedom challenged by usurpation of power by a President who leaks intelligence to discredit individual Americans, who abuses the Office of the Presidency, authorizing wiretaps without warrants, and who protects a system of torture and rendition that runs counter to every definition of what America means.
We need Senator John Kerry for President.
We don't need a governor of a Red State. We don't need some formulaic approach to choosing our leaders.
We need the wisdom, experience, and understanding that Senator Kerry brings with him.
Republicans fear Senator Kerry.
But the mud doesn't stick.
The lies don't hold water.
The smears don't work.
It is time for a new approach to leadership in Washington. And Senator John Kerry is the answer.
He was right in 2004 and he deserves another chance in 2008. America deserves no less. We have your back John! Give us another chance to show our support and make the decision to run in 2008. America needs you more than you need to be President!
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Kerry Providing Leadership on Iraq!
Keep on coming John!
America needs your leadership now more than ever! You have been to Vietnam and seen what happens when America stays on a path that cannot lead to victory.
You know Americans are dying now in Iraq for a war that was unnecessary; a war that facts were "fixed" and where leaks of intelligence were used to destroy critics.
This is what Senator Kerry had to say to Chris Matthews on April 6th:
"The bottom line is I think that Americans now see that Iraq is broken, our policy is broken, that the president has not changed course. And I think on that and a host other issues, from immigration to health care to their loss of jobs overseas, I think Americans are deeply concerned about the direction of the country."Senator Kerry keep on telling it like it is!
"The bottom line is, I've said it any number of times in the course of the presidential campaign and since, that they misled America about how we went to war and this is one more example, concrete example, very clear, of exactly how they misled America."Sorry about the Republicans not taking Kerry seriously. Kerry kept on going on this:
"It also says that when the president stood up in front of the American people and said, "This is against the law, and we're going to investigate and find out who do it and when I find out who did it, I'll fire them," he knew he was the one who did it. He was not telling the truth to the American people that day.Senator Kerry finished up his argument:
"I think the policy in Iraq is broken, I think the president is stubbornly proceeding down a course where our soldiers are continuing to be maimed and killed, and it's wrong, and I think there is a better course.Insofar as 2008 and the fact that polls show Senator Hillary Clinton to be the front-runner, John Kerry had this comment:
I think Americans understand, that whether it's their health care, their jobs, their schools, their communities, their commute, the traffic, the cost of energy or energy independence, I believe Americans understand we can be doing better than we're doing today."
"That's all for the future. When that starts, the people in the party will make that decision. You know, I'm an expert about front runners and I never accept whatever conventional wisdom is and I don't accept it today.Thank you Senator Kerry!
She's very strong, she's certainly the front runner, I like her, she's a great person. But I'm not even sure she's running and I'm not sure she's sure she's running. Let's wait and see where we all wind up after 2006, which is really what we ought to be focused on now."
America is at a crossing-point.
Do we recognize that we cannot solve every civil war, pre-emptively remove every dictator, export our brand of democracy to every corner of the world, and bomb countries into "friendship"....or do we recognize the errors of our ways and seek to fight terrorism without torture, rendition, illegal wire-tapping, obscene corrupt defense contracting, and lies to our own people?
There is a better way John and you are pointing it out for the American people.
This blogger is still with you.
Together we can bring America back home, back to the ideals of freedom, and liberty, and understanding that once provided the rest of the world a beacon.
America needs your brand of leadership now more than any time in the history of the Republic!
Keep on coming John!
We got your back.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Wisconsin Votes and Senator Kerry Speaks out on Iraq!
"... MILWAUKEE -- Sixteen Wisconsin communities Tuesday approved referendums calling for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, while six others voted against such measures in early returns as voters in 32 communities weighed in on the war.The majority of voters on Tuesday sent Congress a message: "It is time to start bringing the soldiers home!"Senator John Kerry knows that America has spent too many lives and injured too many young American men and women in a task which had a muddled origin, unrealistic goals, and was never related to the 9/11 attack.
Voters in the Milwaukee suburbs of Shorewood and Whitefish Bay, the western city of La Crosse and the northern city of Ladysmith were among those approving a pullout.
Those voting down the measure included the south-central city of Watertown, the northwestern city of Hayward and the Door County villages of Forestville, Sister Bay and Egg Harbor."
Senator Kerry outlined his plan for the removal of soldiers from Iraq.
"We want democracy in Iraq, but Iraqis must want it as much as we do," Kerry wrote in an op-ed article in the New York Times. "Our valiant soldiers can't bring democracy to Iraq if Iraq's leaders are unwilling themselves to make the compromises that democracy requires."Kerry's plan?
As reported in the same article:
"Kerry said the administration should set May 15 as the deadline for forming a government. If the Iraqis miss the deadline, he said, the United States should immediately begin withdrawing forces.And what about a timetable?
"If Iraqis aren't willing to build a unity government in the five months since the [December] election, they're probably not willing to build one at all. The civil war will only get worse and we will have no choice anyway but to leave," Kerry said."
The article continues:
"Even if the Iraqis succeed in putting together a new government, he said, the administration should establish a timeline for withdrawing all combat forces by the end of the year, leaving only those units needed to train an Iraqi security force capable of stabilizing the country. A Kerry adviser said the removal of combat forces would leave about 30,000 U.S. troops on the ground."Not a very radical idea at all.
Just common sense.
It is time to start bringing our soldiers home.
I do not want Americans dying to establish Sharia law in Iraq, with prosecutions of religious minorities like CHRISTIANS who are subject to the death penalty if they have converted from Islam.
I do not want to arm and train unstable regimes in the mideast that eventually turn our training and weapons right onto us.
Do not forget how Osama bin Laden was armed and trained by the United States for another good purpose.
Do not forget how Saddam Hussein was given WMD's by the United States for an equally suspect good purpose.
Let us not do the same darn thing again and again.
Thank you Senator Kerry! And thank you Wisconsin voters for casting your votes for hope and life.
There are those that think that voters shouldn't involve themselves in referendums on policy issues. I for one choose voting any day over the chaos facing citizens in France over proposed labor laws.
America deserves better than just more of the same. America deserves John Kerry in 2008! We've got your back John!