Saturday, June 22, 2013

Blow whistle, get indicted; blow up country, get library

It sure didn't take long, less that a month, for NSA surveillance state whistleblower Ed Snowden to get indicted for blowing a loud, huge whistle notifying all Americans that the NSA has been conducting a massive surveillance program against every American, in violation of the 4th Amendment and everything for which America stands. The warped wheels of American justice are now turning the heat on Hong Kong to arrest and extradite this American hero so he can be tossed into a hundred square foot prison cell for the next ten years.

Meanwhile, former President George W. Bush, the Decider who decided 10 years and 3 months ago to launch a criminal, pre-emptive war against Iraq resulting in hundreds of thousands dead and trillions of squandered treasure, has his choice residing in his 8,000 square foot Dallas mansion, his 1,600 acre Crawford ranch, or visiting his 207,000 square foot presidential library.

All things considered, if you have sociopathic resistance to guilt and shame, you are infinitely better off emulating Bush instead of Snowden.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Rutherford, Rauner join Dillard in trolling for homophobe votes in HOP Primary

There cannot be a more demeaning political task in the Land of Lincoln than trying to win the HOP (Homophobe Only Party) Primary slot to be Illinois' next governor. Just as social dinosaur racists fled the Democratic Party in the deep south to form a lilly white Republican Party, social dinosaur homophobes in Illinois have fled to the friendly confines of the Illinois HOP, where gays need not apply. This poses a gigantic dilemma for HOP gubernatorial aspirants. Otherwise decent and intelligent gents are forced to twist themselves into ideological pretzels to retain of semblance of credibility with the most virulent homophobes who turn out in mass in HOP primaries to insure Illinois officially remains a homophobic state.

First up is my mellifluous voiced state senator Kirk Dillard. Prior to the February 14 Senate vote that passed marriage equality in Illinois, I tried and tried to get Dillard to simply offer his position on gay marriage. After many pleadings he finally offered that marriage equality posed such a threat to our social fabric that it could only be decided by a referendum of all Illinoisans. If Dillard had any understanding of the gay community, he'd know gays would do nothing to harm fabric, social or otherwise. Twenty-six years in public service and Dillard employs a cowardly and politically self serving trick to attempt taking the issue of full citizenship to half a million Illinoisans off the legislative table. That is a world class cop out, Senator.

Next up is Dan Rutherford, who currently serves as my state treasurer. He may know a lot about money but he shows zero empathy for governing all the people. I called his campaign office inquiring if he supports marriage equality in Illinois. The nice lady who answered said Dan opposes marriage equality because "it is a religious thing". I politely reminded her that Rutherford is not running for Pope or Bishop, but governor of all the people, straight or gay, religious or otherwise. Maybe she signed on to the Rutherford campaign thinking it was more of a religious crusade than a principled political campaign. There sure is plenty of piety but a paucity of principles 

The latest entrant is mega millionaire money mogul Bruce Rauner. Marriage equality for Rauner is the issue that dare not speak its name. Mention the subject and Rauner disingenuously claims that his personal views on gay marriage are "irrevalent". When pressed he pulls a "Dillard" and claims it is up to the people, not the legislature. When further pressed by the Sun-Times interviewer "Should Illinois legalize gay marriage?" Reuner replied, "I guess we're done" and walked off the podium, taking no more questions. Mr. Rauner, I guess we're done....with you.

There is little chance that a decent human being, promising to govern all Illinoisans fairly, including the half million gays, will step forth to replace the H in HOP with the G that represents Grand. All 13 million of we Illinoisans are losers for that. Whoever does get the HOP nod for governor should apply to the national party for an exception to using the elephant as the party symbol. In honor of my legislative neighbor in DuPage County, Rep. Jeanne Ives (HOP, 48th), the HOP gubernatorial standard bearer should adopt the weasel to distinguish the HOP from all those who believe in full equality for all.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Why Kirk Dillard is wrong choice for Illinois Governor

On June 17th my state senator Kirk Dillard, HOP (Homophobe Only Party), IL 24th, announced his upcoming announcement will be July 15h to be a candidate in the HOP Primary for Governor. While Dillard is probably not a true homophobe himself, he is a typically cynical HOP gubernatorial hopeful who must triumph in the HOP Primary in which the most rabid HOP homophobes turn out.  As a result, Dillard voted against giving full equality to the roughly half million gay Illinoisans when the Senate voted to recognize that equality last February.

I checked with his office today to find out whether Dillard has had a change of heart and is willing to recognize the full humanity of Illinois gays now that he will officially seek to govern them for the next four years. Sadly, tragically really, Dillard has not come to his senses if the polite lady who spoke on his behalf represents his true views. As a result Dillard is on record both with his vote and his staff in denying 3 to 4% of Illinoisans full equality. It is unacceptable in 2013 that any person would seek to govern the Land of Lincoln with such a deplorable view of governance to a targeted minority. We certainly do not need another cynical politician who will throw half a million folks, infinitely more decent than he, under the meat grinder of intolerance simply to troll for HOP votes.

Kirk Dillard has a choice: he should publically reject the ignorance and the fear and yes, the hate that motivates the homophobes who dominate the Illinois HOP, and run in the HOP Primary on the principle of equality for all; or he should un announce his upcoming gubernatorial announcement.

We do not need a governor who only recognizes 97% of his constituents as fully human. Dillard has been in public life for 26 years now. He's had plenty of time to learn that when it comes to governance, its 100% of the people or nothing.

We're waiting for your decision, Senator. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Small arms to Syrian rebels spells big new war for Uncle Sam

President Obama's decision to send small arms to the Syrian rebels fighting President Assad's regime is a huge mistake. Just like the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, the road to a massive, ruinous war begins with a single six shooter. The American Presidency is steeped in senseless, criminal war and military adventurism. The Mexican American War of 1846, the Spanish American War of 1898, World War I, Vietnam, Panama, Grenada, Serbia, Iraq, Afghanistan are all examples of wars we needlessly fought because of either presidential stupidity or outright criminality.

The President, clearly not the bloodthirsty warmonger his predecessor George W Bush was, has largely kept the venomous war party at bay these past 5 years, with the sad exceptions of his murderous drone bombings and our stupid intervention in Libya which got many killed including 4 top diplomats in Libyan blowback.
War lovers like Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who never met a senseless war of choice they didn't love, have been beating the intervention drums for Uncle Sam to jump into the Syrian civil war for many months.   Now it appears they've goaded Obama into Syrian intervention, with the baby steps of small arms to the insurgents. This move, once implemented, can not be easily reversed. The rebels are as murderous and ruthless as the Assad forces grasping to stay in power, resulting in nearly 100,000 deaths in the past two years.  Some, if not many of the rebel forces despise America and would gladly turn any weapons given them upon us if they could get the chance, just like the Mujahedeen forces of Osama bin Laden, whom we armed to oust the pesky Russkies in Afghanistan in the 1980's. A couple of decades later and voila, the 911 attacks were their thanks.
The only time President Obama appears bummed out and totally uninspiring is when he's talking about military adventurism. That's because he knows the McCains and the Grahams of the war party are pulling his strings. We need him to cut the strings held by cowards, chicken hawks, or in the case of war hardened Sen. McCain, one who is only alive when he's battling imagined enemies, and get America to spend its treasure on rebuilding our crumbling nation and helping the tens of millions Americans in real distress.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Cheney should follow Bush's lead....and simpy disappear

Together, President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are the two men most responsible for our criminal Iraq war. Even to this day, it's causing endless bloodshed and misery in Iraq, over a year since we mercifully ended our conquest of that pitiful land, and returned a shattered Iraq back to its people. I believe President Bush has an inkling about his monstrous criminality as he dropped off the public map on Day One of his ex-presidency and has resolutely stuck to that policy.

Sadly, Vice President Cheney has not followed Bush's decent example. Every time a big national security story breaks, the media trot out a remorseless, petulant Cheney to once again spew poison into our national discourse. This Sunday we were subjected to his rant about NSA spy program whistleblower Ed Snowden. Cheney called him a traitor, a likely spy, and in the corker, offered this bit of hilarious irony:

"I think he has committed crimes in effect by violating agreements given the position he had," he continued. "I think it's one of the worst occasions in my memory of somebody with access to classified information doing enormous damage to the national security interests of the United States."

In Psychological terms, Cheney is engaging in "transference", the projecting of one's own failings and flaws onto another. No one in my 60 years of following the American Story has violated agreements of his position more than Dick Cheney. His is truly one of the worst occasions of somebody with access to classified information doing enormous damage to US national security interests. In Cheney's case, he took classified information about Iraq and then twisted it into grotesque lies in order to conquer it in a murderous war of choice. He is not only a traitor, he is arguably a war criminal.

Since, the current President has ruled out his prosecution, in the interests of "looking forward, rather than backward", in violation of the Nuremburg war crime trial edicts, the least our media should do is deny him the opportunity spread his venom on the national stage.