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Friday, May 27, 2005

Byzantium Forging the finest print

Even at the beginning, as Christianity became endorsed by the powers of the Mediterranean world, many sides of the religion had manifested themselves, each taking a conflicting facet on the overall jewel, when a large summit was held in the first gentile region fertile to the new faith, Asia Minor. The first major question to be decided was: “Is Christianity really a monotheistic religion?” Everyone worked really hard to establish their views concerning the nature of Jesus Christ, and the debate continues. All this debating really meant a lot to Christendom, and Egypt defected, but the compromise ruling was not really the root of the East-West division, Chalcedon's twenty-eighth proposed canon was the real stink that the textbook missed. The twenty-eighth proposed granting the Patriarch of Constantinople equal status with the Roman Pope, but this one never passed. The Dogma of Papal Infallibility wasn't passed until 1870, but the doctrine was very much alive from the start.

The Popes found themselves in no position to argue many times before the fall of Constantinople, but it never seemed to make a difference to them. The Schism itself is a clear example. Pope Leo XIII was in Norman captivity when he mailed the papal bull that Cardinal Humbert delivered to the Patriarch!

Catholicism by no means focused its energy on the Eastern Empire. Less than two centuries before, Rome had started a mess with the Franks and the Germans, a mess that outlived all but the most fundamental problems in the western world.

Emperor Basil I tried really hard to save Papal and Patriarchy ties, when he decided to boot Photius at the Sixth Council of Constantinople, but Papal authority was steadily becoming a power of its own, and Rome had already shopped for a new power to be the Western Empire. Charlemagne was crowned Emperor, and the Pope decided Constantinople was a flawed device. By the twelfth century, Frederick Barbarosa added “Holy” to his title, though even Papal authorities despised the guy, calling him “Antichrist,” behind his back. At the same time as the Schism, Catholic leadership moved against secular leadership in the West. The Western Emperor was selling Church property, and the Pope, ego-tripping, moved against him in what is called the Investiture Controversy. Just five years after excommunicating the East, Rome abolished the Western Emperor's traditional power of nominating new Popes. From then on, Cardinals assumed the role of an electoral collage. Germany's Henry IV tried to hold some power in electing clerics, but the church wouldn't have laymen controlling anything. Michael Cerularius, obviously, doesn't deserve blame for the split, for Papal politicking alienated just about everyone, even the Empire of their own creation, which, as Voltaire pointed out, wasn't Holy, neither was it Roman, nor an Empire.

But there was a time when Italy was subject to Byzantine whim, but that yoke was a loose fit. The Eastern Empire indeed held possessions in the South, when the Emperor ordered all icons destroyed, but by the time Empress Theodora pacified the zealous destruction once-and-for-all, the Pope had found his power base.

Today, the Roman Pope is of Eastern Europe, and many people now belong to Eastern Catholicism. The Romanian Church and the Ukrainian Eastern Orthodox both accept papal primacy, although they read the old rites. The Ukrainians, in fact, still observe the Byzantine rites, though they are in many ways now Catholic. Slobodan Milosevic, and others within the Serbian Orthodox Church, are still giving the West the religious finger, even as they try the same with the Moslem communities. Serbia stayed under the Ottoman thumb until 1868, when they pulled themselves out. Wasting no time getting even with the new Reich in town, Serbian terrorists helped thrust the former Holy Roman Empire and the Ottomans to their destruction (1914-18).

Published by Typewriter King | 12:46 PM
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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Revising Rome Forging the finest print

I forgot that Latin word of the day thing. Here it is.
-- n, drunkenness, hangover.

That little contribution comes from a Livejournal community that's been dormant since the first of the month. Not exactly daily, is it? Well, I've give you a word and a history lesson. How's that?

The weaknesses of the Empire began with Augustus. He probably realized his shrouded leadership practices would lead to intrigues for his successors, but he probably reasoned his doubts away. The Tetrarch (rule of four) would later put this water under the bridge, but in the meantime, vulnerable successors administered the secret dictatorship.

In classic Italian style, the “republic became a family business, it worked smoothly immediately after Augustus died. Tiberius lacked ambition, and he kept the status quo, then Caligula abolished the (1%) sales tax before becoming a royal nut. At least Claudius was only physically ill; they say the good die young, and so he’s murdered so the Empire can have another nut.

I think we have conflict-of-interest laws because of Nero. This guy ripped Augustus’s careful facade by tyrannically becoming a pop star and every other celebrity type. His pyrotechnic show angered Romans, and his executions of Peter and Paul angered an emerging population to look out for.

Vespasian could be likened to Clinton, if Clinton had been military. They both slashed expenses after an excessive era. Unlike Clinton, however, this Emperor had a decisive Middle East policy. Vespasian put down a massive Hebrew rebellion in his time, while Clinton let Hamas grow to unmanageable size during his eight years in office.

Domitian begins the process of strengthening the Empire’s borders. His efforts anticipate Hadrian’s, but passive defenses are a cheap quick fix; just ask China’s Han Empire.

I think Rome would have done well to research better missiles, or maybe they should have better invested in current technology. See, the Dacian infantry ‘falks’ were good blades, and only better organization made dominion over Romania possible. Really, they should have carried more standoff weapons. Rome’s military reforms are to little, to late, but our reforms began as soon as we found our tools less-than-ideal. Our answers came in remarkably similar forms, however, fast cavalry.

Finally, nearly 300 years after Julius Caesar first chronicled Rome’s new direction, Marcus Aurelius, the last of a line of good leaders, desperately fought a new threat to his north.

Rome had lost in the Tauten Forest before -and the Iceni routed them, too, around the time of Nero- but as Commodus held his games, the law of the jungle must have been drafted.

Things could have been worse. In the 180s, the Dinarii was seventy percent pure, while Nixon pulled the US off any standard in as crucial a time, but no commission existed to end the Roman drama. Taxes grabbed 10% of Rome gross national product (GNP),* and barbarian raids on grain shipments were still fairly rare. During Nixon’s presidency, the Vietnam War alone gobbled 8% GNP, and OPEC blocked all oil imports.

The mob packed the games to watch the Emperor’s antics, while in the 1970s, Americans must have watched baseball- the Big Red Machine was building into a dynasty in Ohio- but something tells me Rome was happier in the 180s.

Into it’s bi-centennial, America and the looked in the same shape the Rome Commodus re-christened ‘Colonia Commodiana,’ and things would get worse before better.

America had it’s first un-elected President, and Rome raised a puppet. The Japanese Yen gained on the dollar, and Roman inflation was equally absurd.

Persia captured an Emperor of Rome, and in a similar time, they captured the occupants of a US embassy. And OPEC embargoed us again. Just in time, Aurelian and Ronald Reagan came to power, and things looked a little brighter.

We thankfully have not cycled through the next act, and it’s important to note that John Hinckley failed his job of making my parallel perfectly square. Meanwhile, in the past, Aurelian did not survive.

* Rome’s tax rates were misleading. While it does look like American taxes were far higher than Rome’s, subject provinces absorbed still more income in the form of tribute, and slaves gave all of their bodies to handle labor and spectacle, something we phased out a little after the Battle of Fort Sumner.

Published by Typewriter King | 7:00 PM
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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

We're Greek to Me! Forging the finest print

The Midas Touch

From the pulpit every Sunday, in every city in the West, a minister instructs a crowd in a book translated from Koine, the Hellenistic World's universal language.

Identifying with Athens, the American and French revolutionaries both chose the neoclassical style for all major public works.

A neoclassical artifact, the Bradenburg Gate, played center on the Berlin Wall throughout the Cold War.

These example are striking, and influences, Hellenistic or not, can't run much deeper than this- or can they?

Physicians still take the Hippocratic Oath, and other institutions of responsibility, the presidency and the armed forces, for example, borrow language from the man most influential to Alexandrian medicine, the fifth-century doc, Hippocrates.

We Are Hellenism

Hellenism is Thomas Jefferson, designing his home, or the City of Chicago, constructing a bronze monument to Michael Jordan.

Hellenism can be these things, and even be cast members being voted off of Survivor, because Hellenism is the spread of Greek culture that started when Philip's troops united the Greeks with their standoff weapons.

The Civic Lord

Alexander's legacy is evident in his civic works, and how they reformed the West. Situated around the agora, amphitheaters, Gymnasiums, and bathhouses stayed with the people longer than the Greeks did.

Helens donated libraries into the modern Middle East and Asia Minor, a little footnote in history that kept the Byzantines and the Arabs out of the Dark Ages.

All The Wonders

Babylon's hanging gardens were probably just a memory by the time, but Alexander's empire either captured or built the other six wonders of the world; building most of them.

The contents of Alexandria's library deserved status, as did the monument collection in Athens, but Pharos is the one on the list moderns can most appreciate, because of its awesome function, and it undoubtedly played a large role in the cities growth as the major commerce hub- as important as the library and location? I don't know about that.

When Europe reached the Renaissance, or rather, when the Renaissance left the Italian states to find Europe, Europeans rediscovered many of the Greco-Roman thoughts, but one entity, the Eastern Roman Empire, or as the Arabs called them, the Greeks, were still hanging on to the legacy of Greece.

Constantinople, a treasure in a location never quite touched any of Alexander's major successors, truly was the best of the Greeks and the Romans packed into a Christian city, when the Crusaders sacked the city, and in effect, started the Renaissance in the first place.

How It Revived

By the time Byzantine disappeared from the map, Venice, Florence, and even Rome housed intellectuals who learned Latin and Greek, learned Aristotle and Euclid, and even recreated the sculptural styles of the ancients.

The authorities, the Roman Catholic Church, endorsed these thinkers to the same status as deities, and charged opponents of Greek thought with heresy, even though the classics gave rise to humanistic ideals counter to the bible.

(I grow up with a fundamentalist religious education, so forgive me if my writing looks militant on this subject. This is just the tone the subject was first taught to me.)

Anyway, Rome and all of Europe promoted the classics all over again, and the age of exploration just tapped off, so Portuguese explorer like De Gama take the teachings everywhere, and other ships land colonists with the teachings to the New World, and there you have it, a dominating church and a looted city help bring the oldies back like new, Shakespeare and Dante revive theater, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison write a few letters, and Napoleon, a Corsican, pales at emulating Alexander.

The Center Of Democracy Summarizes

Today, Washington is a city of neoclassical monuments, running a nation built on classical ideals, while centered on an acropolis called Capitol Hill.

Human history shouldn't fit in a nutshell. It's disturbing.

Published by Typewriter King | 2:18 PM
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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

History Arc Forging the finest print

Being a history major, I thought it would be a great idea to post daily about that subject. What a novel idea!

The Second Great Awakening transpired throughout our sprouting and
hurriedly evolving nation. In the comparatively disconnected South, it
manifested itself initially in large camp meetings and later in the
influential southern evangelical churches, but in the newly connected

  • North, the effects of the Second Great Awakening left a deeper
  • impression.
  • It was more than a simple renewal of interest in matters of faith. It
  • changed the way many Americans thought about spirituality, and thus
  • forged a large influence upon the way they conducted their daily lives.
  • Overall, it should be thought of as a duel crusade for universal
  • Christianity and against sin. The utopia founders fought a more
  • personal battle against sin, while many emerging organizations actively
  • fought for conversion and against sin in the entire nation.

  • As Protestant tradition would have it, the American Bible Society gave away bibles, and that makes perfect sense; to get the word out, you should get “the
  • word” out, right? Of course, that's precisely how Protestantism successfully
  • broke away from Catholicism, by passing out bibles translated into
  • the vernacular, and if the plan was to win over Catholics again, the same strategy would apply. Proliferating religious tracts in the lingua franca goes naturally with it.

  • To broaden appeal, the movement smoothed out the
  • unsavory Calvinist doctrine of predestination, eventually sweeping
  • it away in favor of the belief that individuals had control over their
  • actions, and that the decision to sin or not was up to each person.

  • Under the leadership of Charles G. Finney, the Second Great
  • Awakening moved even further from a stuffy theologically based
  • interpretation of religion and appealed more to the emotions of
  • the people. This emotional appeal to a sense of right and wrong
  • combined with the concept that each person had control of his or
  • her fate and led directly to the movement's massive effect on the
  • period's reform movements.
  • Reformers organized against a very physical evil spirit,
  • alcohol, or rather, human consumption of it. Distilled whiskey was
  • cheaper and more prevalent than ever before, and reformers
  • responded zealously to the new trend.

  • Just a few years after the formation of the American Temperance Society, use of hard liquor curbed to moderate levels. Moderation wasn't enough for the
  • extremists within the organization, and the American Temperance Society split.

  • Prime among the various social movements were the
  • abolition movement and feminism. These movements
  • declared that the 'inalienable rights' should be enforced
  • across the gamut of American society.

  • William Garrison linked the causes of Women and Slaves in
  • his splintered anti-slavery society, and influential women
  • worked tirelessly in both movements.

  • The Second Great Awakening re-energized the Christians of
  • America, and motivated them to hasten the second coming of
  • the messiah, but before the newly awakened could see Jesus,
  • they had to make sure everybody got a fair chance at
  • accepting the faith, and that meant everybody. So these
  • people, christened “reformers,” reached out to the lepers of
  • their time, untouchables to white society. These reformers
  • built institutions for the insane and the criminal.

  • They reformed the prostitute and the destitute, and they
  • counseled the alcoholic. They circulated pamphlets, and
  • organized missions. They did all these things, and they even
  • looked toward the slave.

  • This great outpouring of love spread into the personal lives
  • of men and women, and a form of courtly love rooted into the
  • relationships of middle class couples. A different kind of
  • division of labor was born, with men in the workforce, and
  • women stationed in the household. These stationed women
  • united with others to continue the crusades.

  • These women joined the American Colonization Society
  • (founded in 1817), dedicated, depending on one's point of
  • view, on cautiously moving freed blacks to the West African
  • land of Liberia, which the society founded in 1821. Into the
  • 183
  • Tomorrow, I mean this afternoon, I'll discuss the Greeks and share what the Latin word of the day is. I'm still waiting for notification from the university that I've passed American History. OU really needs to get its crap together!
    On a developer's note, I've set up a Greatest Journal account to replace the LJ one. You know my account name!
    One more gripe; my Typekey account isn't working yet. Must fix!

Published by Typewriter King | 7:07 PM
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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Watergate! Watergate! Watergate! Forging the finest print

How has Watergate contributed to change in our understanding of the president as a person? Should we separate a politicians personal and public life?

Perhaps the place to start looking for a credibility gap is not in the offices of the Government in Washington but in the studios of the networks in New York!”

-Spiro Agnew

Watergate certainly hasn't changed the authority of the Executive Branch of

government for ill, that's for sure. Under the Patriot Act, one can reason, the
federal bureau of Investigation- subject to Executive authority!- actually has the
legal power to conduct covert searches and seizers. But it shouldn't have been

It defies the common since of that era that Daniel Ellsberg wasn't found
guilty under the Espionage Act. Taking state secrets and reveling them to the otherside, after all, WAS the textbook definition of espionage. With the exception of defecting, Ellsberg did everything Kim Philby did in the UK. He didn't have to defect, by revealing his own country's secrets, he was deemed a hero.

Oh, if only Benedict and Judas had lived in this era! Nixon wasn't even all that extreme in
trying to muffle the leak, taking a more conservative route by filing injunctions
against news papers planning to publish the state secrets. The courts sided with the

The papers were full of pure military analysis relevant to a theater of war
that was still hot, the mainstream press actually distributes the secrets, the
president isn't even arresting them, and I'm supposed to accept the concept that the
president was making an “excessive abuse of power?”

Journalist Bob Woodward published an article choke full of secrets about a
CIA operation to remove a Russian Golf-class ballistic submarine from the depths
of the ocean. He played within the rules, holding the story until the government
was prepared with a response to the inevitable Russian rantings, but it was clear
the government had lost power to the unelected media elite.

It isn't paranoia when it's true. Investigative journalism was on a high, and
they were going to get their stories, even if it meant violating the Espionage Act.

It sounds less and less like Nixon was a true paranoid authoritarian. While it
did limit the freedom of employers to chose their employees, Nixon's pioneering
of affirmative action (how'd it get that name, anyway?) mandated opportunities to
minorities. In 1971, Congress repealed the Emergency Detention Act of 1950,
which meant Habeas Corpus was the law of the land again. Nixon in his day
rejected a National ID card, and even ordered destroyed some 40,000 WWII-era
Civil Defense Ids still in government archives.

Considering all his efforts to expand the cause of liberty, and the court's
refusal to enforce the law, I find it perplexing the possibility of impeachment was
taken seriously. After all, Ellsberg was obviously a criminal, and the efforts of the

plumbers” seemed focused on him and collaborators. Normally, one would get a
court order for psychiatric records, but the courts had already shown their hostility
to the administration's case.

In Nixon's shoes, I'd probably keep a close eye on what Agnew called the
hopeless, hysterical hypochondriacs of history.” By 1972, troop levels in
Vietnam dropped to twenty percent of the numbers in 1968, but what Agnew
called the “nattering nabobs of negativism” didn't seem satisfied that the war was
cooling down. Instead of be satisfied with “peace with honor,” the anti-war crowd
must have seemed every bit the “vicars of vacillation” Agnew called them out to

After Senator Mike Gravel entered the papers into the public record, it must
have seemed two branches of government were at full-scale war with the other
branch. None of Nixon's efforts were done for personal gain. The raw data from
the papers embarrassed not Nixon, but previous administrations all the way back
to Franklin Roosevelt, especially the Johnson Administration. So how was public
opinion shaped so much against Nixon? I leave this quote from Spiro Agnew as a

The American people should be made aware of the trend toward monopolization of the great public information vehicles and the concentration of more and more power over public opinion in fewer and fewer hands."


During and after Nixon's terms in office, the mainstream media (MSM) became

preoccupied with airing the dirty laundry of public officials. We've seen Nixon

resign, another candidate drop out of contention because of the publishing of a

photo, a mayor smoke crack on video, a dress stained with DNA evidence, and

DWI become public hours before an election, forged documents used in an

attempt to unseat a president, the testimony of veterans to discredit his rival, and

hourly accusations of bias.

Spiro Agnew was the first to verbally assault the press, and both he and his boss paid for it. But wasn't he right when he said the following:

"Every time I criticize what I consider to be excesses or faults in the news business, I am accused of repression, and the leaders of various media professional groups wave the First Amendment as they denounce me. That happens to be my amendment, too. It guarantees my free speech as it does their freedom of the press… There is room for all of us – and for our divergent views – under the First Amendment."

Kind of whiny, for sure, but wouldn't you expect that from a helpless victim?

Sources Cited

I've been using the wrong “cited” all this time, and I just noted it.

Spy Book, The Encyclopedia of Espionage, by Norman Polmar and Thomas B. Allen
My textbook

Published by Typewriter King | 6:46 PM
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Friday, May 06, 2005

The State as Nanny: Social Reform in the USA Forging the finest print

Social work performed by the state “shrinks the pie,” as the supply-side

economists say. Our graduated 'progressive' income tax system violates the

economic rule of incentive. High tax rates discourage people from devoting effort

into earning extra income. Because tax rates increase with income, the extra work

hours of high-income taxpayers will yield fewer rewards, until the high-income
taxpayers stop putting in extra hours. The prospect of extra work will lose its incentive.
From my viewpoint, government spending doesn’t benefit me very often. With the
one exception of student aid, I’ve never been on the receiving side of government
spending. I’ve never needed the help of police or government health programs.
For ten years, my education was private, and not funded by the taxpayer. I only
make use of roads as a passenger and jogger. I rarely use the mail. Even if
America were invaded; I doubt I would need assistance from the military, because
any invading force is likely to bypass my home. No city authority exists to take
out my trash. I buy used books from various sources, so I don’t even need the
library. As you can see, I make little use of public services, so taxes are just extra
charges to me. Even so, I’m thankful for their role in banking, and I consider their
role so important, I list Andrew Jackson at the very bottom of my president-
ranking list.

Even though government spending doesn’t benefit me very much, I recognize I’m
probably a rare case. I recognize that very few private toll roads and canals were
ever built without government aid (the text book beats that into my head), and that
these commercial arteries are very important. But consider that private canal and
road builders won’t engage in superfluous construction that serve very few, while
the government must connect everyone, and consider what that means.

When you think about an authority paving roads that make so little difference to the greater
good, doesn’t that strike you as a waste?

Governments are saddled with problems private funding doesn't contend with.
They have to take care of a load of special interests isolated by circumstance,
while private interests are allowed to leave people behind, as long as they aren’t
concerned with them.

As of May 2004, one year ago, America had a trade deficit with 123 Countries,
and a surplus with 107 Countries (source: U.S. International Trade Center). The
People’s Republic of China was and is
the largest trade deficit with. China is a

growth” market that's moving away from government regulation. In a deep
contrast, we have the largest trade surplus with The Netherlands, a highly regulated
welfare state whipped by labor. With steep taxes, the Dutch pay $52 US dollars
for a club sandwich before paying the 20% service tax. Empirical evidence
collected by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD) demonstrates that national economies with governments only taking 10%
of GDP will grow at a rate of around 6%. A government such as The Netherlands,
a government that removes 50% of the private sector's income through taxes,
crawl at 2%.

Indeed, contrary to assertions made by modern wearers of the progressive cloak, it
wasn't inaction by the government that caused tragedies like the 1892 coke fields,
but local government sanction of heavy-handed methods used by the plant managers.

They shouldn't have worried over unions. As Jesse Gordon said at askme.com,

Labor unions "solved" one of the great dilemmas that Marx saw in capitalism: Marx said that industrial bosses would pay the workers the minimum needed to keep them alive, especially as the population grew and more labor was more readily available. Hence the only way to improve the workers' situation was through revolution by the workers against the bosses.”

Left alone (but of course they weren't), Unions, as Jesse said, “were a political response and, in essence, a compromise that forestalled the introduction of either "unbridled capitalism" or the need for pure communism.”
In the past (says Jeffery Sachs, I concur), practically only aristocrats securely lived about absolute poverty (which today means about a dollar a day), but today those figures are turned on their heads. Thanks to
agreements made through NAFTA, GATT, and the WTO, only the few remaining nations outside of the fair marketplace have large populations teetering on the edge of absolute poverty. In 1940, practically all of East Asia was this way. Roosevelt embargoed Japan, one of the few markets for Southeast Asian goods.

After the war, the “Asian Miracle,” which was not hyperbole, flourished despite the lack of a Martial Plan in the East. The unique factors of Asian growth include the ability of Asian governments to score higher on the Heritage Foundation's Economic Freedom Index than anybody else.

But some instances of government help in social reform exist that demonstrate
government intervention works. After the 18th Amendment was passed, after all,
honest citizens, that 30% that stopped guzzling alcohol, had to invent or expand alternative means of entertainment. The ice cream sundae was invented during the
twenties, and the profession of soda jerk expanded(I have an interesting testimonial from Dick Tracy founder Chester Gould about that).

I blame Margaret Sanger for my poor results with the benefits calculator at Social
Security on-line. Thanks to her, I'll have fewer people paying into my account

when and if I retire, cutting my entitlement down to $5,362.00 future dollars
when the time comes. I can also blame the anti-immigration acts at the tail-
end of the progressive era. If those twelve-million didn't arrive at the
twentieth centuries turn, I'd doubtlessly grow to be a poor old man, if I were
as irresponsible as everyone else.

On the whole, deregulation gives us an appearance unlike Europe, and this is the only era I personally know. Policy of today is the polar opposite of the early thirties.
Consider the crisis of 29/30 and the similar one of 2001/02. The coupling of bank
closures and increased income taxes from 1929 to 1932 bleed the private money
supply anemic, even if raising taxes was done in the name of “social justice.”
Tariffs jumped 40% then. During the recent crisis, more of NAFTA's statutes
came on-line, as scheduled. The country has fiscally returned to its roots, one
could say (and this one does). Then there was a major test. As I recall, the
president initially offered $30 million in foreign assistance after 12/26/2004, a

sum ridiculed even by so-called “deficit hawks.” That number jumped to $950
million later, leaving every other donation group looking stingy by
comparison; except private American donations. USAID reports
receiving $1 billion dollars from private American donors (stingy people).

An amusing tendency of of American private social workers has been the peculiar
idea of the same people funding multiple organizations. Margaret Sanger alone
was the driving force behind the following agencies:

American Birth Control League
Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau
Birth Control Council of America
Birth Control Federation of America
Birth Control International Information Center
Birth Control Review/New York Women's Publishing Company
Brownsville Clinic and the Committee of 100
Committee on Maternal Health/Maternity Research Council
International Committee on Planned Parenthood
International Planned Parenthood Federation
Joint Committee of the American Birth Control League and the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau
Margaret Sanger Research Bureau
National Committee for Federal Legislation on Birth Control
New York Birth Control League
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
World Population Emergency Campaign

That's a lot of organizations dedicated to making sure fewer people exist to pay my way through social security:-)

Sources cited:

Labor Management Conflict in American History (Ohio State University project)


The Margaret Sanger Papers Project (NYU)


Temperance and Prohibition (OSU)


Social Security On-line


Immigration in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era


John Dewy


Published by Typewriter King | 12:54 PM
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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Have You Ever Heard of Wikisource? Forging the finest print

Wikisource is a great repository of open-source texts, somewhat like the Guttenburg Project or my own archives at my Freewebs site. So, seeing how I've written plenty in Livejournal, why don't I do the fair and blanced thing and post the transcipts of George W Bush and Al Gore? Mister Former Vice President, I present your rant from June 24, 2004 in an effeminate color:

When we Americans first began, our biggest danger was clearly in view: we knew from the bitter experience with King George III that the most serious threat to democracy is usually the accumulation of too much power in the hands of an Executive, whether he be a King or a president. Our ingrained American distrust of concentrated power has very little to do with the character or persona of the individual who wields that power. It is the power itself that must be constrained, checked, dispersed and carefully balanced, in order to ensure the survival of freedom. In addition, our founders taught us that public fear is the most dangerous enemy of democracy because under the right circumstances it can trigger the temptation of those who govern themselves to surrender that power to someone who promises strength and offers safety, security and freedom from fear.

It is an extraordinary blessing to live in a nation so carefully designed to protect individual liberty and safeguard self-governance and free communication. But if George Washington could see the current state of his generation's handiwork and assess the quality of our generation's stewardship at the beginning of this twenty-first century, what do you suppose he would think about the proposition that our current president claims the unilateral right to arrest and imprison American citizens indefinitely without giving them the right to see a lawyer or inform their families of their whereabouts, and without the necessity of even charging them with any crime. All that is necessary, according to our new president is that he - the president - label any citizen an "unlawful enemy combatant," and that will be sufficient to justify taking away that citizen's liberty - even for the rest of his life, if the president so chooses. And there is no appeal.

What would Thomas Jefferson think of the curious and discredited argument from our Justice Department that the president may authorize what plainly amounts to the torture of prisoners - and that any law or treaty, which attempts to constrain his treatment of prisoners in time of war is itself a violation of the constitution our founders put together.

What would Benjamin Franklin think of President Bush's assertion that he has the inherent power - even without a declaration of war by the Congress - to launch an invasion of any nation on Earth, at any time he chooses, for any reason he wishes, even if that nation poses no imminent threat to the United States.

How long would it take James Madison to dispose of our current President's recent claim, in Department of Justice legal opinions, that he is no longer subject to the rule of law so long as he is acting in his role as Commander in Chief.

I think it is safe to say that our founders would be genuinely concerned about these recent developments in American democracy and that they would feel that we are now facing a clear and present danger that has the potential to threaten the future of the American experiment.

Shouldn't we be equally concerned? And shouldn't we ask ourselves how we have come to this point?

Even though we are now attuned to orange alerts and the potential for terrorist attacks, our founders would almost certainly caution us that the biggest threat to the future of the America we love is still the endemic challenge that democracies have always faced whenever they have appeared in history - a challenge rooted in the inherent difficulty of self governance and the vulnerability to fear that is part of human nature. Again, specifically, the biggest threat to America is that we Americans will acquiesce in the slow and steady accumulation of too much power in the hands of one person.

Having painstakingly created the intricate design of America, our founders knew intimately both its strengths and weaknesses, and during their debates they not only identified the accumulation of power in the hands of the executive as the long-term threat which they considered to be the most serious, but they also worried aloud about one specific scenario in which this threat might become particularly potent - that is, when war transformed America's president into our commander in chief, they worried that his suddenly increased power might somehow spill over its normal constitutional boundaries and upset the delicate checks and balances they deemed so crucial to the maintenance of liberty.

That is precisely why they took extra care to parse the war powers in the constitution, assigning the conduct of war and command of the troops to the president, but retaining for the Congress the crucial power of deciding whether or not, and when, our nation might decide to go war.

Indeed, this limitation on the power of the executive to make war was seen as crucially important. James Madison wrote in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, "The constitution supposes, what the history of all governments demonstrates, that the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care, vested the question of war in the legislature."

In more recent decades, the emergence of new weapons that virtually eliminate the period of time between the decision to go to war and the waging of war have naturally led to a reconsideration of the exact nature of the executive's war-making power. But the practicalities of modern warfare which necessarily increase the war powers of the President at the expense of Congress do not render moot the concerns our founders had so long ago that the making of war by the president - when added to his other powers - carries with it the potential for unbalancing the careful design of our constitution, and in the process, threatening our liberty.

They were greatly influenced - far more than we can imagine - by a careful reading of the history and human dramas surrounding the democracies of ancient Greece and the Roman republic. They knew, for example, that democracy disappeared in Rome when Caesar crossed the Rubicon in violation of the Senate's long prohibition against a returning general entering the city while still in command of military forces. Though the Senate lingered in form and was humored for decades, when Caesar impoliticly combined his military commander role with his chief executive role, the Senate - and with it the Republic - withered away. And then for all intents and purposes, the great dream of democracy disappeared from the face of the Earth for seventeen centuries, until its rebirth in our land.

Symbolically, President Bush has been attempting to conflate his commander-in-chief role and his head of government role to maximize the power people are eager to give those who promise to defend them against active threats. But as he does so, we are witnessing some serious erosion of the checks and balances that have always maintained a healthy democracy in America.

In Justice Jackson's famous concurring opinion in the Youngstown Steel case in the 1950's, the single most important Supreme Court case on the subject of what powers are inherent to the commander in chief in a time of war, he wrote, "The example of such unlimited executive power that must have most impressed the forefathers was the prerogative exercised by George III, and the description of its evils in the declaration of independence leads me to doubt that they created their new Executive in their image...and if we seek instruction from our own times, we can match it only from the Executive governments we disparagingly describe as totalitarian."

I am convinced that our founders would counsel us today that the greatest challenge facing our republic is not terrorism but how we react to terrorism, and not war, but how we manage our fears and achieve security without losing our freedom. I am also convinced that they would warn us that democracy itself is in grave danger if we allow any president to use his role as commander in chief to rupture the careful balance between the executive, the legislative and the judicial branches of government. Our current president has gone to war and has come back into "the city" and declared that our nation is now in a permanent state of war, which he says justifies his reinterpretation of the Constitution in ways that increase his personal power at the expense of Congress, the courts, and every individual citizen.

We must surrender some of our traditional American freedoms, he tells us, so that he may have sufficient power to protect us against those who would do us harm. Public fear remains at an unusually high level almost three years after we were attacked on September 11th, 2001. In response to those devastating attacks, the president properly assumed his role as commander in chief and directed a military invasion of the land in which our attackers built their training camps, were harbored and planned their assault. But just as the tide of battle was shifting decisively in our favor, the commander in chief made a controversial decision to divert a major portion of our army to invade another country that, according to the best evidence compiled in a new, exhaustive, bi-partisan study, posed no imminent threat to us and had nothing to do with the attack against us.

As the main body of our troops were redeployed for the new invasion, those who organized the attacks against us escaped and many of them are still at large. Indeed, their overall numbers seem to have grown considerably because our invasion of the country that did not pose any imminent threat to us was perceived in their part of the world as a gross injustice, and the way in which we have conducted that war further fueled a sense of rage against the United States in those lands and, according to several studies, has stimulated a wave of new recruits for the terrorist group that attacked us and still wishes us harm.

A little over a year ago, when we launched the war against this second country, Iraq, President Bush repeatedly gave our people the clear impression that Iraq was an ally and partner to the terrorist group that attacked us, al Qaeda, and not only provided a geographic base for them but was also close to providing them weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear bombs. But now the extensive independent investigation by the bipartisan commission formed to study the 9/11 attacks has just reported that there was no meaningful relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda of any kind. And, of course, over the course of this past year we had previously found out that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So now, the President and the Vice President are arguing with this commission, and they are insisting that the commission is wrong and they are right, and that there actually was a working co-operation between Iraq and al Qaeda.

The problem for the President is that he doesn't have any credible evidence to support his claim, and yet, in spite of that, he persists in making that claim vigorously. So I would like to pause for a moment to address the curious question of why President Bush continues to make this claim that most people know is wrong. And I think it's particularly important because it is closely connected to the questions of constitutional power with which I began this speech, and will profoundly affect how that power is distributed among our three branches of government.

To begin with, our founders wouldn't be the least bit surprised at what the modern public opinion polls all tell us about why it's so important particularly for President Bush to keep the American people from discovering that what he told them about the linkage between Iraq and al Qaeda isn't true. Among these Americans who still believe there is a linkage, there remains very strong support for the President's decision to invade Iraq. But among those who accept the commission's detailed finding that there is no connection, support for the war in Iraq dries up pretty quickly.

And that's understandable, because if Iraq had nothing to do with the attack or the organization that attacked us, then that means the President took us to war when he didn't have to. Almost nine hundred of our soldiers have been killed, and almost five thousand have been wounded.

Thus, for all these reasons, President Bush and Vice President Cheney have decided to fight to the rhetorical death over whether or not there's a meaningful connection between Iraq and al Qaeda. They think that if they lose that argument and people see the truth, then they'll not only lose support for the controversial decision to go to war, but also lose some of the new power they've picked up from the Congress and the courts, and face harsh political consequences at the hands of the American people. As a result, President Bush is now intentionally misleading the American people by continuing to aggressively and brazenly assert a linkage between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein.

If he is not lying, if they genuinely believe that, that makes them unfit in battle with al Qaeda. If they believe these flimsy scraps, then who would want them in charge? Are they too dishonest or too gullible? Take your pick.

But the truth is gradually emerging in spite of the President's determined dissembling. Listen, for example, to this editorial from the Financial Times: "There was nothing intrinsically absurd about the WMD fears, or ignoble about the opposition to Saddam's tyranny - however late Washington developed this. The purported link between Baghdad and al Qaeda, by contrast, was never believed by anyone who knows Iraq and the region. It was and is nonsense."

Of course the first rationale presented for the war was to destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, which turned out not to exist. Then the rationale was to liberate Iraqis and the Middle East from tyranny, but our troops were not greeted with the promised flowers and are now viewed as an occupying force by 92% of Iraqis, while only 2% see them as liberators.

But right from the start, beginning very soon after the attacks of 9/11, President Bush made a decision to start mentioning Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein in the same breath in a cynical mantra designed to fuse them together as one in the public's mind. He repeatedly used this device in a highly disciplined manner to create a false impression in the minds of the American people that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11. Usually he was pretty tricky in his exact wording. Indeed, Bush's consistent and careful artifice is itself evidence that he knew full well that he was telling an artful and important lie -- visibly circumnavigating the truth over and over again as if he had practiced how to avoid encountering the truth. But as I will document in a few moments, he and Vice President Cheney also sometimes departed from their tricky wording and resorted to statements were clearly outright falsehoods. In any case, by the time he was done, public opinion polls showed that fully 70% of the American people had gotten the message he wanted them to get, and had been convinced that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

The myth that Iraq and al Qaeda were working together was no accident - the President and Vice President deliberately ignored warnings before the war from international intelligence services, the CIA, and their own Pentagon that the claim was false. Europe's top terrorism investigator said in 2002, "We have found no evidence of links between Iraq and Al Qaeda. If there were such links, we would have found them. But we have found no serious connections whatsoever." A classified October 2002 CIA report given to the White House directly undercut the Iraq-al Qaeda claim. Top officials in the Pentagon told reporters in 2002 that the rhetoric being used by President Bush and Vice President Cheney was "an exaggeration."

And at least some honest voices within the President's own party admitted as such. Senator Chuck Hagel, a decorated war hero who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee, said point blank, "Saddam is not in league with al Qaeda...I have not seen any intelligence that would lead me to connect Saddam Hussein with al Qaeda."

But those voices did not stop the deliberate campaign to mislead America. Over the course of a year, the President and Vice President used carefully crafted language to scare Americans into believing there was an imminent threat from an Iraq-armed al Qaeda.

In the fall of 2002, the President told the country "You can't distinguish between al-Qaeda and Saddam" and that the "true threat facing our country is an al Qaeda-type network trained and armed by Saddam." At the same time, Vice President Cheney was repeating his claim that "there is overwhelming evidence there was a connection between al Qaeda and the Iraqi government."

By the Spring, Secretary of State Powell was in front of the United Nations claiming a "sinister nexus between Iraq and the al-Qaeda terrorist network."

But after the invasion, no ties were found. In June of 2003, the United Nations Security Council's al Qaeda monitoring agency told reporters his extensive investigation had found no evidence linking the Iraqi regime to al Qaeda. By August, three former Bush administration national security and intelligence officials admitted that the evidence used to make the Iraq-al Qaeda claim was "tenuous, exaggerated and often at odds with the conclusion of key intelligence agencies." And earlier this year, Knight-Ridder newspapers reported "Senior U.S. officials now say there never was any evidence" of a connection.

So when the bipartisan 9/11 commission issued its report finding "no credible evidence" of an Iraq-al Qaeda connection, it should not have caught the White House off guard. Yet instead of the candor Americans need and deserve from their leaders, there have been more denials and more insistence without evidence. Vice President Cheney insisted even this week that "there clearly was a relationship" and that there is "overwhelming evidence." Even more shocking, Cheney offered this disgraceful question: "Was Iraq involved with al-Qaeda in the attack on 9/11? We don't know." He then claimed that he "probably" had more information than the commission, but has so far refused to provide anything to the commission other than more insults.

The President was even more brazen. He dismissed all questions about his statements by saying "The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and al Qaeda, because there was a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda." He provided no evidence.

Friends of the administration tried mightily to rehabilitate their cherished but shattered linkage. John Lehman, one of the Republicans on the commission, offered what sounded like new evidence that a Saddam henchman had attended an Al Qaeda meeting. But within hours, the commissions files yielded definitive evidence that it was another man with a similar name - ironically capturing the near-miss quality of Bush's entire symbolic argument.

They have such an overwhelming political interest in sustaining the belief in the minds of the American people that Hussein was in partnership with bin Laden that they dare not admit the truth lest they look like complete fools for launching our country into a reckless, discretionary war against a nation that posed no immediate threat to us whatsoever. But the damage they have done to our country is not limited to misallocation of military economic political resources. Whenever a chief executive spends prodigious amounts of energy convincing people of lies, he damages the fabric of democracy, and the belief in the fundamental integrity of our self-government.

That creates a need for control over the flood of bad news, bad policies and bad decisions also explains their striking attempts to control news coverage.

To take the most recent example, Vice President Cheney was clearly ready to do battle with the news media when he went on CNBC earlier this week to attack news coverage of the 9/11 Commission's conclusion that Iraq did not work with Al Qaeda. He lashed out at the New York Times for having the nerve to print a headline saying the 9/11 commission "finds no Qaeda-Iraq Tie" - a clear statement of the obvious - and said there is no "fundamental split here now between what the president said and what the commission said." He tried to deny that he had personally been responsible for helping to create the false impression of linkage between Al Qaeda and Iraq.

Ironically, his interview ended up being fodder for the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Stewart played Cheney's outright denial that he had ever said that representatives of Al Qaeda and Iraqi intelligence met in Prague. Then Stewart froze Cheney's image and played the exact video clip in which Cheney had indeed directly claimed linkage between the two, catching him on videotape in a lie. At that point Stewart said, addressing himself to Cheney's frozen image on the television screen, "It's my duty to inform you that your pants are on fire."

Dan Rather says that post-9/11 patriotism has stifled journalists from asking government officials "the toughest of the tough questions." Rather went so far as to compare Administration efforts to intimidate the press to "necklacing" in apartheid South Africa, while acknowledging it as "an obscene comparison." "The fear is that you will be necklaced here (in the U.S.), you will have a flaming tire of lack of patriotism put around your neck," Rather explained. It was CBS, remember, that withheld the Abu Ghraib photographs from the American people for two weeks at the request of the Bush Administration.

Donald Rumsfeld has said that criticism of the Administration's policy "makes it complicated and more difficult" to fight the war. CNN's Christiane Amanpour said on CNBC last September, "I think the press was muzzled and I think the press self-muzzled. I'm sorry to say but certainly television, and perhaps to a certain extent my station, was intimidated by the Administration."

The Administration works closely with a network of "rapid response" digital Brown Shirts who work to pressure reporters and their editors for "undermining support for our troops." Paul Krugman, the New York Times columnist, was one of the first journalists to regularly expose the President's consistent distortions of the facts. Krugman writes, "Let's not overlook the role of intimidation. After 9/11, if you were thinking of saying anything negative of the President...you had to expect right-wing pundits and publications to do all they could to ruin your reputation.

Bush and Cheney are spreading purposeful confusion while punishing reporters who stand in the way. It is understandably difficult for reporters and journalistic institutions to resist this pressure, which, in the case of individual journalists, threatens their livelihoods, and in the case of the broadcasters can lead to other forms of economic retribution. But resist they must, because without a press able to report "without fear or favor" our democracy will disappear.

Recently, the media has engaged in some healthy self-criticism of the way it allowed the White House to mislead the public into war under false pretenses. We are dependent on the media, especially the broadcast media, to never let this happen again. We must help them resist this pressure for everyone's sake, or we risk other wrong-headed decisions based upon false and misleading impressions.

We are left with an unprecedented, high-intensity conflict every single day between the ideological illusions upon which this administration's policies have been based and the reality of the world in which the American people live their lives.

When you boil it all down to precisely what went wrong with the Bush Iraq policy, it is actually fairly simple: he adopted an ideologically driven view of Iraq that was tragically at odds with reality. Everything that has gone wrong is in one way or another the result of a spectacular and violent clash between the bundle of misconceptions that he gullibly consumed and the all-too-painful reality that our troops and contractors and diplomats and taxpayers have encountered. Of course, there have been several other collisions between President Bush's ideology and America's reality. To take the most prominent example, the transformation of a $5 trillion surplus into a $4 trillion deficit is in its own way just as spectacular a miscalculation as the Iraq war.

But there has been no more bizarre or troubling manifestation of how seriously off track this President's policies have taken America than the two profound shocks to our nation's conscience during the last month. First came the extremely disturbing pictures that document strange forms of physical and sexual abuse - and even torture and murder - by some of our soldiers against people they captured as prisoners in Iraq. And then, the second shock came just last week, with strange and perverted legal memoranda from inside the administration, which actually sought to justify torture and to somehow provide a legal rationale for bizarre and sadistic activities conducted in the name of the American people, which, according to any reasonable person, would be recognized as war crimes. In making their analysis, the administration lawyers concluded that the President, whenever he is acting in his role as commander in chief, is above and immune from the "rule of law." At least we don't have to guess what our founders would have to say about this bizarre and un-American theory.

By the middle of this week, the uproar caused by the disclosure of this legal analysis had forced the administration to claim they were throwing the memo out and it was, "irrelevant and overbroad." But no one in the administration has said that the reasoning was wrong. And in fact, a DOJ spokesman says they stand by the tortured definition of torture. In addition the broad analysis regarding the commander-in-chief powers has not been disavowed. And the view of the memo - that it was within commander-in-chief power to order any interrogation techniques necessary to extract information - most certainly contributed to the atmosphere that led to the atrocities committed against the Iraqis at Abu Ghraib. We also know that President Bush rewarded the principle author of this legal monstrosity with a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals. President Bush, meanwhile, continues to place the blame for the horrific consequences of his morally obtuse policies on the young privates and corporals and sergeants who may well be culpable as individuals for their actions, but who were certainly not responsible for the policies which set up the Bush Gulag and led to America's strategic catastrophe in Iraq.

I call on the administration to disclose all its interrogation policies, including those used by the military in Iraq and Afghanistan and those employed by the CIA at its secret detention centers outside the U.S., as well as all the analyses related to the adoption of those policies.

The Bush administration's objective of establishing U.S. domination over any potential adversary led to the hubristic, tragic miscalculation of the Iraq war, a painful adventure marked by one disaster after another based on one mistaken assumption after another. But the people who paid the price have been the U.S. soldiers trapped over there and the Iraqis in prison. The top-heavy focus on dominance as a goal for the U.S. role in the world is exactly paralleled in their aspiration for the role of the president to be completely dominant in the constitutional system. Our founders understood even better than Lord Acton the inner meaning of his aphorism that power corrupts and absolutely power corrupts absolutely. The goal of dominance necessitates a focus on power. Ironically, all of their didactic messages about how democracies don't invade other nations fell on their own deaf ears. The pursuit of dominance in foreign and strategic policy led the Bush administration to ignore the United Nations, do serious damage to our most important alliances in the world, violate international law and risk the hatred of the rest of the world. The seductive exercise of unilateral power has led this president to interpret his powers under the constitution in a way that would have been the worst nightmare of our framers.

And the kind of unilateral power he imagines is fools gold in any case. Just as its pursuit in Mesopotamia has led to tragic consequences for our soldiers, the Iraqi people, our alliances, everything we think is important, in the same way the pursuit of a new interpretation of the presidency that weakens the Congress, courts and civil society is not good for either the presidency or the rest of the nation.

If the congress becomes an enfeebled enabler to the executive, and the courts become known for political calculations in their decisions, then the country suffers. The kinds of unnatural, undemocratic activities in which this administration has engaged, in order to aggrandize power, have included censorship of scientific reports, manipulation of budgetary statistics, silencing dissent, and ignoring intelligence. Although there have been other efforts by other presidents to encroach on the legitimate prerogatives of congress and courts, there has never been this kind of systematic abuse of the truth and institutionalization of dishonesty as a routine part of the policy process.

Two hundred and twenty years ago, John Adams wrote, in describing one of America's most basic founding principles, "The executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either of them...to the end it may be a government of laws and not of men."

The last time we had a president who had the idea that he was above the law was when Richard Nixon told an interviewer, "When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal... If the president, for example approves something, approves an action because of national security, or, in this case, because of a threat to internal peace and order, of significant order, then the president's decision in this instance is one that enables those who carry it out to carry it out without violating the law."

Fortunately for our country, Nixon was forced to resign as President before he could implement his outlandish interpretation of the Constitution, but not before his defiance of the Congress and the courts created a serious constitutional crisis.

The two top Justice Department officials under President Nixon, Elliot Richardson and William Ruckelshaus, turned out to be men of great integrity, and even though they were loyal Republicans, they were more loyal to the constitution and resigned on principle rather than implement what they saw as abuses of power by Nixon. Then Congress, also on a bipartisan basis, bravely resisted Nixon's abuse of power and launched impeachment proceedings.

In some ways, our current President is actually claiming significantly more extra-constitutional power, vis-à-vis Congress and the courts, than Nixon did. For example, Nixon never claimed that he could imprison American citizens indefinitely without charging them with a crime and without letting them see a lawyer or notify their families. And this time, the attorney general, John Ashcroft, is hardly the kind of man who would resign on principle to impede an abuse of power. In fact, whenever there is an opportunity to abuse power in this administration, Ashcroft seems to be leading the charge. And it is Ashcroft who picked the staff lawyers at Justice responsible for the embarrassing memos justifying and enabling torture.

Moreover, in sharp contrast to the courageous 93rd Congress that saved the country from Richard Nixon's sinister abuses, the current Congress has virtually abdicated its constitutional role to serve as an independent and coequal branch of government.

Instead, this Republican-led Congress is content, for the most part, to take orders from the President on what they vote for and what they don't vote for. The Republican leaders of the House and Senate have even started blocking Democrats from attending conference committee meetings, where legislation takes its final form, and instead, they let the President's staff come to the meetings and write key parts of the laws for them. (Come to think of it, the decline and lack of independence shown by this Congress would shock our founders more than anything else, because they believed that the power of the Congress was the most important check and balance against the unhealthy exercise of too much power by the Executive branch.)

This administration has not been content just to reduce the Congress to subservience. It has also engaged in unprecedented secrecy, denying the American people access to crucial information with which they might hold government officials accountable for their actions, and a systematic effort to manipulate and intimidate the media into presenting a more favorable image of the Administration to the American people.

Listen to what U.S. News and World Report has to say about their secrecy: "The Bush administration has quietly but efficiently dropped a shroud of secrecy across many critical operations of the federal government - cloaking its own affairs from scrutiny and removing from the public domain important information on health, safety, and environmental matters."

Here are just a few examples, and for each one, you have to ask, what are they hiding, and why are they hiding it?

More than 6000 documents have been removed by the Bush Administration from governmental Web sites. To cite only one example, a document on the EPA Web site giving citizens crucial information on how to identify chemical hazards to their families. Some have speculated that the principle threat to the Bush administration is a threat by the chemical hazards if the information remains available to American citizens.

To head off complaints from our nation's Governors over how much they receive under federal programs, the Bush Administration simply stopped printing the primary state budget report.

To muddy the clear consensus of the scientific community on global warming, the White House directed major changes and deletions to an EPA report that were so egregious that the agency said it was too embarrassed to use the language.

They've kept hidden from view Cheney's ultra-secret energy task force. They have fought a pitched battle in the courts for more than three years to continue denying the American people the ability to know which special interests and lobbyists advised with Vice President Cheney on the design of the new laws.

And when mass layoffs became too embarrassing they simply stopped publishing the regular layoff report that economists and others have been receiving for decades. For this administration, the truth hurts, when the truth is available to the American people. They find bliss in the ignorance of the people. What are they hiding, and why are they hiding it?

In the end, for this administration, it is all about power. This lie about the invented connection between al Qaeda and Iraq was and is the key to justifying the current ongoing Constitutional power grab by the President. So long as their big flamboyant lie remains an established fact in the public's mind, President Bush will be seen as justified in taking for himself the power to make war on his whim. He will be seen as justified in acting to selectively suspend civil liberties - again on his personal discretion - and he will continue to intimidate the press and thereby distort the political reality experienced by the American people during his bid for re-election.

War is lawful violence, but even in its midst we acknowledge the need for rules. We know that in our wars there have been descents from these standards, often the result of spontaneous anger arising out of the passion of battle. But we have never before, to my knowledge, had a situation in which the framework for this kind of violence has been created by the President, nor have we had a situation where these things were mandated by directives signed by the Secretary of Defense, as it is alleged, and supported by the National Security Advisor.

Always before, we could look to the Chief Executive as the point from which redress would come and law be upheld. That was one of the great prides of our country: humane leadership, faithful to the law. What we have now, however, is the result of decisions taken by a President and an administration for whom the best law is NO law, so long as law threatens to constrain their political will. And where the constraints of law cannot be prevented or eliminated, then they maneuver it to be weakened by evasion, by delay, by hair-splitting, by obstruction, and by failure to enforce on the part of those sworn to uphold the law.

In these circumstances, we need investigation of the facts under oath, and in the face of penalties for evasion and perjury. We need investigation by an aroused congress whose bipartisan members know they stand before the judgment of history. We cannot depend up on a debased department of Justice given over to the hands of zealots. "Congressional oversight" and "special prosecution" are words that should hang in the air. If our honor as a nation is to be restored, it is not by allowing the mighty to shield themselves by bringing the law to bear against their pawns: it is by bringing the law to bear against the mighty themselves. Our dignity and honor as a nation never came from our perfection as a society or as a people: it came from the belief that in the end, this was a country which would pursue justice as the compass pursues the pole: that although we might deviate, we would return and find our path. This is what we must now do."

Mister President George W Bush, I'll present your May 24th text in a masculine color.

President Bush outlines steps to help Iraq achieve democracy and freedom. Delivered to the United States Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, May 24, 2004:

Thank you all. Thank you and good evening. I'm honored to visit the Army War College. Generations of officers have come here to study the strategies and history of warfare. I've come here tonight to report to all Americans, and to the Iraqi people, on the strategy our nation is pursuing in Iraq, and the specific steps we're taking to achieve our goals.

The actions of our enemies over the last few weeks have been brutal, calculating, and instructive. We've seen a car bombing take the life of a 61-year-old Iraqi named Izzedin Saleem, who was serving as President of the Governing Council. This crime shows our enemy's intention to prevent Iraqi self-government, even if that means killing a lifelong Iraqi patriot and a faithful Muslim. Mr. Saleem was assassinated by terrorists seeking the return of tyranny and the death of democracy.

We've also seen images of a young American facing decapitation. This vile display shows a contempt for all the rules of warfare, and all the bounds of civilized behavior. It reveals a fanaticism that was not caused by any action of ours, and would not be appeased by any concession. We suspect that the man with the knife was an al Qaeda associate named Zarqawi. He and other terrorists know that Iraq is now the central front in the war on terror. And we must understand that, as well. The return of tyranny to Iraq would be an unprecedented terrorist victory, and a cause for killers to rejoice. It would also embolden the terrorists, leading to more bombings, more beheadings, and more murders of the innocent around the world.

The rise of a free and self-governing Iraq will deny terrorists a base of operation, discredit their narrow ideology, and give momentum to reformers across the region. This will be a decisive blow to terrorism at the heart of its power, and a victory for the security of America and the civilized world.

Our work in Iraq has been hard. Our coalition has faced changing conditions of war, and that has required perseverance, sacrifice, and an ability to adapt. The swirl removal of Saddam Hussein's regime last spring had an unintended effect: Instead of being killed or captured on the battlefield, some of Saddam's elite guards shed their uniforms and melted into the civilian population. These elements of Saddam's repressive regime and secret police have reorganized, rearmed, and adopted sophisticated terrorist tactics. They've linked up with foreign fighters and terrorists. In a few cities, extremists have tried to sow chaos and seize regional power for themselves. These groups and individuals have conflicting ambitions, but they share a goal: They hope to wear out the patience of Americans, our coalition, and Iraqis before the arrival of effective self-government, and before Iraqis have the capability to defend their freedom.

Iraq now faces a critical moment. As the Iraqi people move closer to governing themselves, the terrorists are likely to become more active and more brutal. There are difficult days ahead, and the way forward may sometimes appear chaotic. Yet our coalition is strong, our efforts are focused and unrelenting, and no power of the enemy will stop Iraq's progress.

Helping construct a stable democracy after decades of dictatorship is a massive undertaking. Yet we have a great advantage. Whenever people are given a choice in the matter, they prefer lives of freedom to lives of fear. Our enemies in Iraq are good at filling hospitals, but they do not build any. They can incite men to murder and suicide, but they cannot inspire men to live, and hope, and add to the progress of their country. The terrorists' only influence is violence, and their only agenda is death.

Our agenda, in contrast, is freedom and independence, security and prosperity for the Iraqi people. And by removing a source of terrorist violence and instability in the Middle East, we also make our own country more secure.

Our coalition has a clear goal, understood by all -- to see the Iraqi people in charge of Iraq for the first time in generations. America's task in Iraq is not only to defeat an enemy, it is to give strength to a friend - a free, representative government that serves its people and fights on their behalf. And the sooner this goal is achieved, the sooner our job will be done.

There are five steps in our plan to help Iraq achieve democracy and freedom. We will hand over authority to a sovereign Iraqi government, help establish security, continue rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure, encourage more international support, and move toward a national election that will bring forward new leaders empowered by the Iraqi people.

The first of these steps will occur next month, when our coalition will transfer full sovereignty to a government of Iraqi citizens who will prepare the way for national elections. On June 30th, the Coalition Provisional Authority will cease to exist, and will not be replaced. The occupation will end, and Iraqis will govern their own affairs. America's ambassador to Iraq, John Negroponte, will present his credentials to the new president of Iraq. Our embassy in Baghdad will have the same purpose as any other American embassy, to assure good relations with a sovereign nation. America and other countries will continue to provide technical experts to help Iraq's ministries of government, but these ministries will report to Iraq's new prime minister.

The United Nations Special Envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, is now consulting with a broad spectrum of Iraqis to determine the composition of this interim government. The special envoy intends to put forward the names of interim government officials this week. In addition to a president, two vice presidents, and a prime minister, 26 Iraqi ministers will oversee government departments, from health to justice to defense. This new government will be advised by a national council, which will be chosen in July by Iraqis representing their country's diversity. This interim government will exercise full sovereignty until national elections are held. America fully supports Mr. Brahimi's efforts, and I have instructed the Coalition Provisional Authority to assist him in every way possible.

In preparation for sovereignty, many functions of government have already been transferred. Twelve government ministries are currently under the direct control of Iraqis. The Ministry of Education, for example, is out of the propaganda business, and is now concerned with educating Iraqi children. Under the direction of Dr. Ala'din al-Alwan, the Ministry has trained more than 30,000 teachers and supervisors for the schools of a new Iraq.

All along, some have questioned whether the Iraqi people are ready for self-government, or even want it. And all along, the Iraqi people have given their answer. In settings where Iraqis have met to discuss their country's future, they have endorsed representative government. And they are practicing representative government. Many of Iraq's cities and towns now have elected town councils or city governments - and beyond the violence, a civil society is emerging.

The June 30th transfer of sovereignty is an essential commitment of our strategy. Iraqis are proud people who resent foreign control of their affairs, just as we would. After decades under the tyrant, they are also reluctant to trust authority. By keeping our promise on June 30th, the coalition will demonstrate that we have no interest in occupation. And full sovereignty will give Iraqis a direct interest in the success of their own government. Iraqis will know that when they build a school or repair a bridge, they're not working for the Coalition Provisional Authority, they are working for themselves. And when they patrol the streets of Baghdad, or engage radical militias, they will be fighting for their own country.

The second step in the plan for Iraqi democracy is to help establish the stability and security that democracy requires. Coalition forces and the Iraqi people have the same enemies -- the terrorists, illegal militia, and Saddam loyalists who stand between the Iraqi people and their future as a free nation. Working as allies, we will defend Iraq and defeat these enemies.

America will provide forces and support necessary for achieving these goals. Our commanders had estimated that a troop level below 115,000 would be sufficient at this point in the conflict. Given the recent increase in violence, we'll maintain our troop level at the current 138,000 as long as necessary. This has required extended duty for the 1st Armored Division and the 2nd Light Cavalry Regiment -- 20,000 men and women who were scheduled to leave Iraq in April. Our nation appreciates their hard work and sacrifice, and they can know that they will be heading home soon. General Abizaid and other commanders in Iraq are constantly assessing the level of troops they need to fulfill the mission. If they need more troops, I will send them. The mission of our forces in Iraq is demanding and dangerous. Our troops are showing exceptional skill and courage. I thank them for their sacrifices and their duty.

In the city of Fallujah, there's been considerable violence by Saddam loyalists and foreign fighters, including the murder of four American contractors. American soldiers and Marines could have used overwhelming force. Our commanders, however, consulted with Iraq's Governing Council and local officials, and determined that massive strikes against the enemy would alienate the local population, and increase support for the insurgency. So we have pursued a different approach. We're making security a shared responsibility in Fallujah. Coalition commanders have worked with local leaders to create an all-Iraqi security force, which is now patrolling the city. Our soldiers and Marines will continue to disrupt enemy attacks on our supply routes, conduct joint patrols with Iraqis to destroy bomb factories and safe houses, and kill or capture any enemy.

We want Iraqi forces to gain experience and confidence in dealing with their country's enemies. We want the Iraqi people to know that we trust their growing capabilities, even as we help build them. At the same time, Fallujah must cease to be a sanctuary for the enemy, and those responsible for terrorism will be held to account.

In the cities of Najaf and Karbala and Kufa, most of the violence has been incited by a young, radical cleric who commands an illegal militia. These enemies have been hiding behind an innocent civilian population, storing arms and ammunition in mosques, and launching attacks from holy shrines. Our soldiers have treated religious sites with respect, while systematically dismantling the illegal militia. We're also seeing Iraqis, themselves, take more responsibility for restoring order. In recent weeks, Iraqi forces have ejected elements of this militia from the governor's office in Najaf. Yesterday, an elite Iraqi unit cleared out a weapons cache from a large mosque in Kufa. Respected Shia leaders have called on the militia to withdraw from these towns. Ordinary Iraqis have marched in protest against the militants.

As challenges arise in Fallujah, Najaf, and elsewhere, the tactics of our military will be flexible. Commanders on the ground will pay close attention to local conditions. And we will do all that is necessary -- by measured force or overwhelming force -- to achieve a stable Iraq.

Iraq's military, police, and border forces have begun to take on broader responsibilities. Eventually, they must be the primary defenders of Iraqi security, as American and coalition forces are withdrawn. And we're helping them to prepare for this role. In some cases, the early performance of Iraqi forces fell short. Some refused orders to engage the enemy. We've learned from these failures, and we've taken steps to correct them. Successful fighting units need a sense of cohesion, so we've lengthened and intensified their training. Successful units need to know they are fighting for the future of their own country, not for any occupying power, so we are ensuring that Iraqi forces serve under an Iraqi chain of command. Successful fighting units need the best possible leadership, so we improved the vetting and training of Iraqi officers and senior enlisted men.

At my direction, and with the support of Iraqi authorities, we are accelerating our program to help train Iraqis to defend their country. A new team of senior military officers is now assessing every unit in Iraq's security forces. I've asked this team to oversee the training of a force of 260,000 Iraqi soldiers, police, and other security personnel. Five Iraqi army battalions are in the field now, with another eight battalions to join them by July the 1st. The eventual goal is an Iraqi army of 35,000 soldiers in 27 battalions, fully prepared to defend their country.

After June 30th, American and other forces will still have important duties. American military forces in Iraq will operate under American command as a part of a multinational force authorized by the United Nations. Iraq's new sovereign government will still face enormous security challenges, and our forces will be there to help.

The third step in the plan for Iraqi democracy is to continue rebuilding that nation's infrastructure, so that a free Iraq can quickly gain economic independence and a better quality of life. Our coalition has already helped Iraqis to rebuild schools and refurbish hospitals and health clinics, repair bridges, upgrade the electrical grid, and modernize the communications system. And now a growing private economy is taking shape. A new currency has been introduced. Iraq's Governing Council approved a new law that opens the country to foreign investment for the first time in decades. Iraq has liberalized its trade policy, and today an Iraqi observer attends meetings of the World Trade Organization. Iraqi oil production has reached more than two million barrels per day, bringing revenues of nearly $6 billion so far this year, which is being used to help the people of Iraq. And thanks in part to our efforts -- to the efforts of former Secretary of State James Baker, many of Iraq's largest creditors have pledged to forgive or substantially reduce Iraqi debt incurred by the former regime.

We're making progress. Yet there still is much work to do. Over the decades of Saddam's rule, Iraq's infrastructure was allowed to crumble, while money was diverted to palaces, and to wars, and to weapons programs. We're urging other nations to contribute to Iraqi reconstruction -- and 37 countries and the IMF and the World Bank have so far pledged $13.5 billion in aid. America has dedicated more than $20 billion to reconstruction and development projects in Iraq. To ensure our money is spent wisely and effectively, our new embassy in Iraq will have regional offices in several key cities. These offices will work closely with Iraqis at all levels of government to help make sure projects are completed on time and on budget.

A new Iraq will also need a humane, well-supervised prison system. Under the dictator, prisons like Abu Ghraib were symbols of death and torture. That same prison became a symbol of disgraceful conduct by a few American troops who dishonored our country and disregarded our values. America will fund the construction of a modern, maximum security prison. When that prison is completed, detainees at Abu Ghraib will be relocated. Then, with the approval of the Iraqi government, we will demolish the Abu Ghraib prison, as a fitting symbol of Iraq's new beginning.

The fourth step in our plan is to enlist additional international support for Iraq's transition. At every stage, the United States has gone to the United Nations -- to confront Saddam Hussein, to promise serious consequences for his actions, and to begin Iraqi reconstruction. Today, the United States and Great Britain presented a new resolution in the Security Council to help move Iraq toward self-government. I've directed Secretary Powell to work with fellow members of the Council to endorse the timetable the Iraqis have adopted, to express international support for Iraq's interim government, to reaffirm the world's security commitment to the Iraqi people, and to encourage other U.N. members to join in the effort. Despite past disagreements, most nations have indicated strong support for the success of a free Iraq. And I'm confident they will share in the responsibility of assuring that success.

Next month, at the NATO summit in Istanbul, I will thank our 15 NATO allies who together have more than 17,000 troops on the ground in Iraq Great Britain and Poland are each leading a multinational division that is securing important parts of the country And NATO, itself, is giving helpful intelligence, communications, and logistical support to the Polish-led division. At the summit, we will discuss NATO's role in helping Iraq build and secure its democracy.

The fifth and most important step is free, national elections, to be held no later than next January. A United Nations team, headed by Carina Perelli, is now in Iraq, helping form an independent election commission that will oversee an orderly, accurate national election. In that election, the Iraqi people will choose a transitional national assembly, the first freely-elected, truly representative national governing body in Iraq's history. This assembly will serve as Iraq's legislature, and it will choose a transitional government with executive powers. The transitional national assembly will also draft a new constitution, which will be presented to the Iraqi people in a referendum scheduled for the fall of 2005. Under this new constitution, Iraq will elect a permanent government by the end of next year.

In this time of war and liberation and rebuilding, American soldiers and civilians on the ground have come to know and respect the citizens of Iraq. They're a proud people who hold strong and diverse opinions. Yet Iraqis are united in a broad and deep conviction: They're determined never again to live at the mercy of a dictator. And they believe that a national election will put that dark time behind them. A representative government that protects basic rights, elected by Iraqis, is the best defense against the return of tyranny -- and that election is coming.

Completing the five steps to Iraqi elected self-government will not be easy. There's likely to be more violence before the transfer of sovereignty, and after the transfer of sovereignty. The terrorists and Saddam loyalists would rather see many Iraqis die than have any live in freedom. But terrorists will not determine the future of Iraq.

That nation is moving every week toward free elections and a permanent place among free nations. Like every nation that has made the journey to democracy, Iraqis will raise up a government that reflects their own culture and values. I sent American troops to Iraq to defend our security, not to stay as an occupying power. I sent American troops to Iraq to make its people free, not to make them American. Iraqis will write their own history, and find their own way. As they do, Iraqis can be certain, a free Iraq will always have a friend in the United States of America. (Applause.)

In the last 32 months, history has placed great demands on our country, and events have come quickly. Americans have seen the flames of September the 11th, followed battles in the mountains of Afghanistan, and learned new terms like "orange alert" and "ricin" and "dirty bomb." We've seen killers at work on trains in Madrid, in a bank in Istanbul, at a synagogue in Tunis, and at a nightclub in Bali. And now the families of our soldiers and civilian workers pray for their sons and daughters in Mosal and Karbala and Baghdad.

We did not seek this war on terror, but this is the world as we find it. We must keep our focus. We must do our duty. History is moving, and it will tend toward hope, or tend toward tragedy. Our terrorist enemies have a vision that guides and explains all their varied acts of murder. They seek to impose Taliban-like rule, country by country, across the greater Middle East. They seek the total control of every person, and mind, and soul, a harsh society in which women are voiceless and brutalized. They seek bases of operation to train more killers and export more violence. They commit dramatic acts of murder to shock, frighten and demoralize civilized nations, hoping we will retreat from the world and give them free rein. They seek weapons of mass destruction, to impose their will through blackmail and catastrophic attacks. None of this is the expression of a religion. It is a totalitarian political ideology, pursued with consuming zeal, and without conscience.

Our actions, too, are guided by a vision. We believe that freedom can advance and change lives in the greater Middle East, as it has advanced and changed lives in Asia, and Latin America, and Eastern Europe, and Africa. We believe it is a tragedy of history that in the Middle East--which gave the world great gifts of law and science and faith -- so many have been held back by lawless tyranny and fanaticism. We believe that when all Middle Eastern peoples are finally allowed to live and think and work and worship as free men and women, they will reclaim the greatness of their own heritage. And when that day comes, the bitterness and burning hatreds that feed terrorism will fade and die away. America and all the world will be safer when hope has returned to the Middle East.

These two visions -- one of tyranny and murder, the other of liberty and life -- clashed in Afghanistan. And thanks to brave U.S. and coalition forces and to Afghan patriots, the nightmare of the Taliban is over, and that nation is coming to life again. These two visions have now met in Iraq, and are contending for the future of that country. The failure of freedom would only mark the beginning of peril and violence. But, my fellow Americans, we will not fail. We will persevere, and defeat this enemy, and hold this hard-won ground for the realm of liberty.

May God bless our country.

I didn't tamper with the words or their arrangement at all. I hope everyone checks out all those greats sources of documents. Until later! I'll really busy!

Published by Typewriter King | 10:03 PM
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