Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Got Something to Say... "Hello Policy Maker" reference

Recently, I came across two websites that definitely belong in the library of resources I’m beginning to build up.

Where as I only dream of getting people motivated,
Keya Lea Horiuchi is actually doing something.
She's building a platform & tools for
directly speaking to our leaders...
And To Each Other.

Got something serious to say to the man,
but no connections?

Check it out ~
if you want to participate !

in Keya Lea's own words:
Ever wished you had greater political access and reach?

Together, we can extend our political reach.

Hello Policy helps you to quickly access basic political information as well as voice your political concerns. You’ll also be able to see other people's concerns. It's a place to submit and share political videos with, well, everyone really.

Hello Policy also seeks to engage and stimulate representative democracy by creating a web - based structure that encourages Americans to be creative and ask difficult questions that need to be discussed but may be systemically absent from our media.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

How does U.S. policy compare to other democratic nations?

A filmmaker traveled around the world asking people about their nations' policies and about how they view the United States. After returning, research was carried out to see if what people were saying was true. Interesting differences between the U.S. and all the other developed countries were found.

Shot in ten countries, Considering Democracy weaves together seemingly different topics into an interconnected tapestry. People from around the world act as a mirror for Americans to see a reflection of political power in the United States.

Monday, May 25, 2009

stolen from the New York Review of Books

I stumbled across the following list.
It seemed like a pretty good reference guide for, to-the-point, books regarding the Cheney/Bush Administration & Neocon thinking & recent history.
It was copied from The New York Review of Books, volume 53.

The titles are linked to reviews or descriptions of the books.
Authors names are linked to biographical information.


thank you nybooks.

The New York Review of Books
Volume 53, Number 15 · October 5, 2006
Cheney: The Fatal Touch
By Joan Didion


A Very Thin Line: The Iran-Contra Affairs
by Theodore Draper
Hill and Wang, 690 pp., $27.95

Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror
by Richard A. Clarke
Free Press, 304 pp., $27.00

Burn Before Reading: Presidents, CIA Directors, and Secret Intelligence
by Admiral Stansfield Turner
Hyperion, 308 pp., $23.95

Disarming Iraq
by Hans Blix
Pantheon, 285 pp., $24.00

The Halliburton Agenda: The Politics of Oil and Money

by Dan Briody
Wiley, 290 pp., $16.95 (paper)

My Year in Iraq: The Struggle to Build a Future of Hope
by L. Paul Bremer III, with Malcolm McConnell
Simon and Schuster,417 pp., $27.00

Now It's My Turn: A Daughter's Chronicle of Political Life
by Mary Cheney
Threshold, 239 pp., $25.00

The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America's Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11
by Ron Suskind
Simon and Schuster, 367 pp., $27.00

Plan of Attack
by Bob Woodward
Simon and Schuster, 467 pp., $28.00

The Rise and Rise of Richard B. Cheney: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Most Powerful Vice President in American History
by John Nichols
New Press, 268 pp., $14.95 (paper)

Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet
by James Mann
Penguin, 426 pp., $16.00 (paper)

Report of the Congressional Committees Investigating the Iran-Contra Affair, with Supplemental, Minority, and Additional Views
Government Printing Office, 690 pp. (1987)

31 Days: The Crisis That Gave Us the Government We Have Today

by Barry Werth
Nan A. Talese/Doubleday,398 pp., $26.00

Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror
by Mark Danner
New York Review Books, 580 pp., $19.95 (paper)

Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush
by John W. Dean
Warner, 281 pp., $14.95 (paper)

Years of Renewal
by Henry Kissinger
Touchstone, 1,151 pp., $24.00 (paper)

Then, Joan Didion's article begins:

It was in some ways predictable that the central player in the system of willed errors and reversals that is the Bush administration would turn out to be its vice-president, Richard B. Cheney....

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Regarding Dick Cheney's 5-21-9 American Enterprise Institute speech

Submitted to the Four Corners Free Press

Thanks to the wonder of the internet, one can listen to Dick Cheney’s famous May 21st speech at the American Enterprise Institute on YouTube, and I have, a few times over. Being on the internet I was also able to fact check some of Mr. Cheney’s telling along with my own memory of events.

What I found was that Cheney defended his entire case like a great novelist building and weaving his story and its substance to fit his chosen solution to his plot’s dilemma. Though that works great for writers of fiction who are welcome to use artistic license to move their story along, it’s not how to run a government, build a sustainable future, or trumpet a policy.

Mr. Cheney radiates incredible conviction and even stronger ego, but, he also showed himself incapable of admitting to any short coming or mistakes. That begs the question: what good is his judgement if he is incapable of honest introspection?

Reflecting this is a remarkable anecdote regarding the ex-Vice President. Cheney was describing the Bush Administration’s doctrine on dealing with terrorism. He is quoted saying, “If there’s a 1% chance that Pakistani scientists are helping al-Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response. It’s not about our analysis ... It’s about our response.” Cheney’s speech showed his unwavering commitment to that mindset. It makes me wonder how can this man remain so oblivious to the cost of their mistakes? (Ron Suskind’s book “The One Percent Doctrine,” documents how this world view effected Bush Administration actions.)

Trouble is, the world’s full of potential disasters and conceivable threats lurk in every direction. If one is going to put all their energy into every imaginable potential threat that comes to mind they’ll drive themselves insane... while missing actual incoming threats. There needs to be some intelligent evaluation, prioritizing and careful planning. Otherwise you’re just falling prey to one’s own paranoia and unrestrained pipe dreaming.

For instance Cheney claims,“ You can look at the facts and conclude that (our) comprehensive strategy has worked, and therefore needs to be continued.” What has worked? Where is America any better off? Where are things being constructively resolved? If there’s any comprehensive strategy to be teased from events, its a strategy of pursuing war for war’s sake. Only then do administration neocon actions fall into place and make sense. Their own New American Century documents support such an interpretation. Projecting power and exercising military options is an end in itself for ex-Vice President Cheney. Is that what America needs? Didn’t Washington and Eisenhower expressly warn against such folly?

Cheney claims success because al-Qaeda hasn’t struck our homeland since 9/11. That conceit is filled with too many flimsy assumptions. Did al-Qaeda actually try again? Did they have to? After all American’s were ,... are, doing a pretty good job of tearing itself down - from damaging our own economy, to vandalizing our world position, to damaging our own military, to how Americans are being encouraged to distrust and even despise one another.

When we get to the Abu Ghraib torture scandal Cheney is quick to throw military personnel off the cliff. Where’s the man’s honor or sense of loyalty as he lectures us? Furthermore, his words are directly contradicted by reams of official documentation and the tenor of his own words back then. Cheney championed going to extremes but now condemns the soldiers who were carrying out those orders. It’s Cheney-speak at its ugliest.

Cheney says, “(Obama) can project values, and that’s fine, but we need to project strength and that has to rule in certain situations.” True enough, but only when it makes sense! What’s the sense behind projecting strength in the form of vengeance-lust inspiring shock and awe, while leaving the heart of the real perpetrators to enjoy the successes of their labors?

So far as on the ground happenings - we have invaded & demolished a nation that was not a direct strategic threat to our nation. While Cheney/Bush’s half hearted attempts to track the true perpetrators of 9/11 have only served to train and harden al Qaida and bring in a huge fresh young generation fired-up by the atrocities they experienced at the hands of Cheney’s “projection of strength.” Yet, Cheney still doesn’t recognize that might & military strength must be handled with wisdom - and acts of wisdom require an ability to admit to mistakes and to learn from them.

I do agree with Cheney that documents relating to intercepted plots should be released. (But, here again, he lies in that it is the CIA not Obama who’s holding back those documents.) Cheney believers constantly refer to their facts, facts that upon closer examination too often turn out to be smoke, mirrors and ideologically motivated deceptions - therefore, it would be valuable to see those documents. Then Americans can decide for themselves how well they can believe Cheney’s boast of thousands, even hundred’s of thousands of lives saved.

Another dishonest aspect of Cheney claiming facts support him is that he steadfastly ignores the huge body of documented contrary facts as reported on sites like or and others.

Solutions won’t be found in ratcheting up the paranoia and encouraging yet more faith-based hostility. Seems to me, the tenor of the myopic absolutism Cheney espoused in his recent fear mongering tour displays an approach that in the cold glare of reality once again acts more as al-Qaeda’s booster than America’s protector.

One of the tragic hallmarks of faith-based reasoning - is that only the facts fitting ones ideology are acknowledged, and a blind eye to all else is considered a virtue. Sadly, such thinking will only further damage our children’s future.

Shouldn’t we, as a nation, do better?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Creeping Socialism, oh my!

Printed in the Durango Telegraph May 21st, 2009.
It was inspired by another irrational right wing letter to the editor.

right wing fear mongering - socialism, etc.

Dear Editor,
The sky is falling, the sky is falling! It’s creeping socialism, oh my!

It’s incredible hearing the right wing rant against “socialism.” If we can for a moment keep the lies of Hitler, Leninist Communism and all that misleading stuff out of it, let’s consider socialism.

Do you go to church and consider yourself a Christian? Well, what about that church community you’re proud of? Let’s see, theoretically parishioners possess a special sense of community, caring about one another, even lending a hand to help others. Don’t look now - but, that’s “socialism.” In fact, the person Christian’s put upon God’s pedestal, namely Jesus, is arguably the greatest socialist that ever lived.

Do you believe in family values? You know, real family values like the one’s exemplified by Mexican families far better than the white middle/upper class’s fractured echo of what once was? You know, where everyone cares about their brothers/sisters along with cousins and aunts/uncles including the old & sick folks. Don’t look now - but, that’s socialism.

>>> Admittedly, governments have done horrible things using “Socialism” as a propaganda shield, but that does not make a lie out of the fact that we are social creatures! We depend upon one another and the better we figure out how to cooperate ~ while recognizing differences ~ the better off everyone... everything would be.

While the right wing waves “FreeMarket” at us - what does Reaganomics actually have to show for itself? That is, beyond a few extremely powerful, wealthy folks who believe the world is their stage. Under Reaganomics the gap between rich and poor has grown to obscene levels. Even our middle class is discovering that they were only being conned by that great “Greed is Good” mantra.

Our world has been saturated with weaponry and hatred to the point that we have reverted to a planet of countless, endless wars... of course, with their accompanying profits for the masters of industry & finance.

Our planet’s “environment” which right wingers continue to hold in the utmost loud mouthed contempt ~ even though it is undeniably Earth’s life support system ~ is a tattered, and aged before her day, remnant of what the great explorers discovered barely two centuries ago.

Yet, we refuse to look at what that degradated biosphere means for our children's future, instead pretending the economy runs purely on buying, trading and financial voodoo.

All the while, the mounting, foreseeable challenges our children will be facing continue to be ignored in favor of wasting our precious time with imbecilic ideological battles, rather than rationally looking at this new world we are creating out of our own collective avarice.

Tragically, the only solution right wingers seem to offer is: buy more guns and ammo.

Like the song asked so long ago: When will they ever learn?