Saturday, March 23, 2013

Is Roskam's Congressional Website The Worst Ever?

The College of DuPage political science department should offer a course on fashioning a responsible Congressional website to serve the interests of Congressional constituents. They could use the website of their home IL 6th District Congressman Peter J. Roskam,, to demonstrate what not to do.

Take the issue of war and peace.... Roskam has voted for every one of the hundreds of billions of dollars in his first three terms for our senseless and failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that have claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, including 6,666 GI's. But Roskam, as a loyal member of the war party and Military Industrial Congressional Complex, scrubbed his website clean of any mention of these two catastrophic wars; Iraq, which President Obama ended in 2011, as promised, and Afghanistan, which Obama will end next year. That oversight is irresponsible and reprehensible. Not to ignore senseless war entirely, Roskam devotes several posts on his site to joining his fellow pre-emptive war promoters in ratcheting up the rhetoric and sanctions that are inexorably leading to war with Iran. Roskam's website shows him to be 100% against the measured diplomacy and dialogue that kept him and his family safe from his 1961 birth at the height of the Cold War till the collapse of Soviet Communism 40 years later. On his website you find a Congressman afraid of the Arab Spring, taunting the President about his failure to arm Syrian rebels who consist of many extremists, and using blind friendship to Israel as the only litmus test of responsible diplomacy. On foreign policy, is downright scary.

On economic growth Roskam's website ignores the 6.1 million private sector jobs created in the last 37 months, including 236,000 in February, to focus on his favorite topics: cutting public sector jobs (war jobs excepted) to offset Obama's private sector accomplishments, fending off fair taxation for the fabulously wealthy, and trashing sensible governmental financial regulations which are preventing new economic collapse. Oh yes, those 40 million folks without adequate health insurance get no re-assurance from, as it continues its three year campaign to abolish the Affordable Health Care Act which has given them the first glimmer of hope for a medically secure future. Gee, thanks, Congressman.

Could Roskam's website offer hope to minorities and the marginalized? Fagettaboudit. Mentions about the great moral issue of our time, marriage equality for gays, now supported 58% to 36% nationwide: zero. Mentions about the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA): one, and its a false one at that. Even though Roskam voted against VAWA, his website, it you dig deep enough, posts a Roskam video from May 18, 2012, which was a pitch for the much more water-downed House version which was soundly rejected by a strong bi-partisan consensus in the Senate - the one Roskam voted against. That bit of website sophistry sure takes Chutzpah. A responsible website would discuss his heartless vote against this needed legislation without resorting to tricks designed to fool his constituents.

Come to think about it, a full examination of may require a full year rather than a single semester. The real question such course study might answer is not whether it's the worst Congressional website ever, but whether Peter J. Roskam is the worst Congressman ever.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The War And The Nursery Rhyme

On the tenth anniversary of our criminal Iraq war, I'm reminded of the English nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty. Alas, just like "all the King's men" could not salvage Humpty Dumpty, all the President's men, after they smashed Iraq to smithereens, couldn't put Iraq together again either.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Iraq War Ten Years Later - Echoes of Nuremberg

On the tenth anniversary of America's unnecessary, senseless and pre-emptive war of choice against Iraq, it is appropriate to review Principle VI of the Nuremberg Principles, the set of guidelines for determining what constitutes a war crime. The document was created by the International Law Commission of the United Nations to codify the legal principles underlying the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi party members following World War II.

Principle VI
"The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:

(a) Crimes against peace:
                (i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;
    (ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under  (i).
When America wins a criminal war started by another country it puts the perpetrators on trial and hangs them. When America withdraws from a criminal war it started but which has no winners, it builds the perpetrator in chief a presidential library and provides him a fabulous pension.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Which Falls First In All Fifty? Death Penalty Or Gay Marriage?

Yesterday, Maryland became the 6th state in 6 years, 18th overall, to abolish the death penalty. Two years ago Illinois became number 16 to abolish the barbaric practice of government sanctioned murder, and is on the cusp of becoming the 10th state to legalize gay marriage. To those of us in the inexorable campaign to expand human progress and potential, these twin goals do not just benefit the condemned and the gay. They benefit all of us enjoying the freedom to live out our short but sacred lives without senseless government sponsored interference, whether it be to snuff out a life or prohibit a loving marriage.
The race is on as to which will be the first to cover all 50 states. Wouldn't it be nice if the Supreme Court could simply take up both issues simultaneously.... and make it a tie?