Saturday, September 17, 2016

Worthy apology follows shameful excuse

Former State Representative Ron Sandack (R -81) gave a straightforward apology for his abrupt resignation from the state legislature, albeit two months late and after trashing his own profession to avoid telling the real reason. Yesterday Sandack revealed:
"This past July, I was the target of an international crime ring focusing on high-profile individuals luring them to engage in inappropriate online conversations with the intent of extortion,I took their bait and fell for it hook, line and sinker.Poor decisions on my part enabled me to be a victim and, as a responsible citizen, I reported it and have been working with the police throughout their investigation. I'm human. I made a mistake for which I am remorseful and ashamed, especially because I have hurt my family, and there is no greater self-inflicted wound than that."
What a contrast to Sandack's first explanation for his inexplicable resignation July 24 when he blamed the now revealed self-inflicted wound thusly:
"I wasn't looking forward to an ugly general election as it were; this additional stuff added undue pressure. It made my family uneasy and made me re-evaluate my priorities. Politics has gotten too ugly. I don't need it, and my family doesn't deserve it."
When asked if his resignation involved compromising information, Sandack replied 'No."
Politics is a noble profession because it's our method of self governance for good or not so good. Calling politics 'ugly' to deflect attention from one's persona peccadilloes is ugly, not politics. Sandack would have been well served apologizing for that insult as well.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Pardon? Hell, give Snowden a Hero Metal.

As one who supported Edward Snowden from Day One in his Odyssey to avoid prosecution for stealing government property and violating the Espionage Act of 1917, to expose illegal governmental mass surveillance, It's grim satisfaction that many in public affairs and the media are now calling for the President to give Snowden a full pardon. It was the Bush administration that inflicted real damage on our body politic with its mass surveillance that courts simply deemed 'wrong' under Section 215 of the Patriot Act. Because of Snowden's bravery in risking life in prison, if not the death penalty, for his courageous actions, prompting his dash to safety in Russia, mass surveillance abuse has been stopped with widespread reforms. Many sensible officials, including former Attorney General Eric Holder, acknowledge Snowden's contributions to transparency and lawfulness in governmental surveillance of its citizens. Not a hint of personal gain or attempt to harm America shadows Snowden's actions.
Compare Snowden's selfless motivation to that of former general David Petraeus, the 'MacArthur' like Golden Boy the neocons used to con America into supporting our criminal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Petraeus was given a slap on the wrist for providing his biographer classified information, and is still trotted out by the war party to justify American perpetual war, as he enjoys a well paid life in business and academia. Petraeus' motivation? Enjoying a fawning biography of himself between the covers while enjoying the gorgeous biographer under the covers.
Yes, lets give Snowden that pardon, and while at it, free an even more courageous whistle blowing patriot, former Pvt. Chelsea Manning, three years into a 35 year sentence for revealing a snippet of American war crimes in Iraq. If the government really wants to bring grievous government criminals to justice, they could start with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Trump has nothing on world's greatest negotiator

The Donald loves to brag about his being the world's greatest negotiator, but I'd give that honor to the Israeli government. Let's see, they steal our nuclear technology to build about 80 nukes in contravention the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which they haven't joined; kill or maim thousands of Palestinians while stealing their land, water resources, access to food and medical care; try to sabotage the Iran detente deal as the only means to avoid all out war with Iran; and then, somehow, someway, persuades Uncle Sam to lavish them with $38 billion in defense stuff over the next ten years, while America crumbles.
World's greatest negotiator? Case closed.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Dump pledge as well as anthem at non-governmental events

We have big problems in this world, yet we waste limitless ink, pixels and talking head time agonizing over a football player refusing to stand for the Pledge at a sporting event. That's right, a sporting event. This isn't a governmental function or a military parade. It's a business enterprise in which the owners get fabulously rich, and the players risk permanent injury or early onset dementia with every play. 

On second thought, if all that ink and pixels and talking head time helps focus on the fact that 31 Republican controlled state legislators are working feverishly to disenfranchise millions of minority voters to rig the election and return America to pre-Voting Rights Act governance, than that sit down is one to stand up for. 

Private business ventures and meetings should end the practice of beginning with the Pledge of Allegiance as well as the National Anthem. When called on to say the Pledge, I comply but emphatically add the NO before the word God. When Ike and Congress put God in the Pledge back in '54, they lost my allegiance to its revision forever. At meetings of our local political organization, we proudly replace the Pledge with an inspiring quote by an inspiring person. Here's one that fits the quarterback who wouldn't stand:

   “Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.” 
― Albert Einstein

If Albert were around today, he'd flag the quarterback's critics for unsportsmanlike conduct.