For The Trees

Who is our economy FOR, anyway?

About the Authors:
Dave Johnson
John Emerson
Richard Reich
Thomas Leavitt


Recent Posts:
Moved to Seeingtheforest.com
This Blog Has Moved
Democracy Arsenal
Thought Crimes
Think Progress
Bill Bradley Describes VRWC in NY Times Piece Toda...
Blog Change Coming Friday
How the Liberal Media Myth is Created
Interest Rates
Finally Leaving Blogger


BEST OF STF:

Dave's:

Articles not at STF:

The ATLA Speech on building a progressive infrastructure
Lowering the Bar
The Attack on Trial Lawyers and Tort Law
Who's Behind the Attack on Liberal Professors

On the Right and their communications infrastructure:

Why Republicans Win
Win or Lose
The "Conventional Wisdom" Machine
Some History of the Conservative Movement
HOW TO FIGHT BACK
An Amplifier Of Our Own
Don't Blame the Democrats
How They Do It 1 2 3 4
Getting Rolled

Other:

You're Gonna Get Drafted
Scalia and Self-Government
Who is Our Economy For?
Voting Machine Story Link Collection
What's Wrong with this Picture? (Voting Machines)
Like Meat in the Supermarket
Get Active
Thin Line 1 2 3
Fixing Social Security
Seeing the Forest I, II, III
"Incredibly Positive News"
The Breadth of It
The Republican Crony Club
Moon Bush
Ralph Nader is a Scab


John's Best Of:
Kerry Smear Page
Bandar Bush
9/11 Commission Report Damages Bush -- if you read it
Florida Goon Squad Intimidated the Supreme Court
The Use and Abuse of George Orwell
Zizka's Archives (John's previous identity)
Zizka Sampler


News Sources:
AlterNet
BuzzFlash
Common Dreams
Cursor
Drudge Retort
Information Clearing House
Smirking Chimp
TruthOut
What REALLY Happened

Links to Other Weblogs:




3/15/2003
 



The Wurlitzer Campaign To Intimidate Mexico

This story, Mexico fears backlash from vote on Iraq, describes fear among Mexicans about a U.S. popular backlash should Mexico vote against war with Iraq. If you look between the lines, you can see the Wurlitzer operating.

Here's the right-wingers' strategy: Whip up lots of news making it look as though Americans are angry at France, are boycotting French products and otherwise retaliating against the French for voting against Bush's war. Then make it clear to Mexico, "This could happen to YOU if you don't play ball." Even drop not-so-subtle hints that Mexican-Americans risk harm if Mexico votes against war.
Mexico's ambassador to the United States was active this week trying to head off the sort of hostility that is pestering France, featuring boycotts on cheese, mocking jokes and bitter commentary on French diplomacy and French character.
But just WHO is whipping up this anti-French stuff, putting out "bitter commentary," and just WHO is holding it out to Mexico as an example of what can happen to them? It was the Republicans in Congress who changed the name of french fries and french toast to "freedom fried" and "freedom toast." This isn't a "popular" backlash, this is Republicans. And this,
Mexico expert Robert Pastor said his recent appearance on "The O'Reilly Factor" TV show on the Fox network convinced him that there is real danger of an anti-Mexican backlash.

"He just leveled into Mexico," Pastor said of the show's host, Bill O'Reilly. "I can assure you that these things resonate out there," he said.
I'm not going to go into more examples of WHO is spreading this, but there are plenty of the usual suspects involved - listen to talk radio for an hour to see what I mean. This isn't "popular" backlash, it is ENGINEERED, MANIPULATED backlash, and we know who is sooooo good at that, don't we?

So WHO is threatening Mexico with this treatment, should they vote against war?
President Bush increased that intensity last week in statements that provoked alarm in Mexico, where they made front-page news. While Bush said he did not expect "significant retribution from the government" against Security Council member nations that didn't line up with the United States, he pointedly left open the possibility of a popular backlash.
And in case we missed his point, the Wurlitzer was out there amplifying it. But it isn't working:
Peter H. Smith, professor of political science at the University of California San Diego, said Bush's comments were widely perceived in Mexico as a threat and may have eliminated any possibility that Fox would line up with the United States at the United Nations.

"The costs to Fox of taking the U.S. side would be very high, higher than they would have been if they hadn't received those threats," Smith said. He said Fox could not afford to be perceived as submitting to pressure from an American president.
What did the bonehead-in-chief THINK the Mexicans would do in response to his Godfather-style threats? "You're with us, or you're against us." Mexico says, "Well, I guess we are just going to have to be against you, then."


 



Mystery Disease is Spreading!

I've been reading about a mystery pneumonia that started in Hong Kong. Today the UN issued a worldwide "Emergency Travel Alert." Read this story, UN Warns of Worldwide Threat from Killer Pneumonia to learn more. I'll be following this story and will post here if it continues. It appears to be in Toronto, Vancouver and New York now.
WHO issued its first global alert for 10 years earlier this week because of the speed at which the disease travels and because patients are not responding to the usual treatments for pneumonia, Thompson said.

"As reports of cases are confirmed, you will see that there is a very high attack rate. When they get sick, they get very sick," he said.

"We have been doing tests for weeks now in the world's best laboratories and we still do not know whether it is a virus or bacteria," the spokesman added.
Forget about terrorism and Iraq for a minute - this could be more serious.

The New York Times also has a story today, Rare Health Alert Is Issued by W.H.O. for Mystery Illness.
Reported cases have come from Canada and six countries in Asia — Hong Kong and elsewhere in China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, the health organization said. There have been no reports of the illness in the United States. But yesterday, an ill passenger and two companions who traveled from New York City were removed from a flight after it arrived in Frankfurt and put in isolation in a German hospital.
Later in the story:
W.H.O. and American officials urged all travelers to be aware of the main signs. In addition to the breathing problems, the illness can cause a dry cough and other flulike symptoms that are thought to develop two to seven days after exposure. They usually start with a sudden onset of high fever and go on to include muscle aches, headache, sore throat and shortness of breath.

Standard lab tests often show low numbers of white blood cells and platelets, which help blood to clot.
Sorry, Mr. President, it doesn't look like you can blame this on Iraq or Bill Clinton, so I know you'll just ignore it.

Update - The Washington Post has a story up about it now, as well.


 



A Big Deal?

Is this as potentially as big a deal as I think?
Rockefeller expressed concern that the forgeries "may be part of a larger deception campaign aimed at manipulating public opinion and foreign policy regarding Iraq."

"The implication of Senator Rockefeller's letter is that the intelligence community forged these documents to somehow bolster the case against Iraq."
FBI asked to investigate whether documents were forged in an attempt to get us into a war. Wow.




3/14/2003
 



Who Is Our Economy For? (II)

Jobs Jumping Ship:
"As painful as February's big job cuts were, what's even more painful is that many of those jobs are never coming back, as U.S. employers in a wide range of industries move more and more jobs overseas."
So who benefits from this? You think you participate in our economy because you have a job? Well, guess what? YOUR function in the economy is to help someone ELSE get richer. It's only thanks to unions that you get paid what you get paid, and get a vacation (if you do) and insurance (if you do), and have any protections at all. Now the corporations have a way around even that.

Start asking the question, Who is our economy for?


 



Character Assassination As Election Tactic

Daily Kos writes about the right-wing "Wurlitzer" that will attack all the non-Bush candidates in 2004. From the Daily Kos piece:
I've always said I will support the candidate that can best fight back against the Wurlitzer, since 2004 will be nasty. Remember that Rove hopes to amass a $250 million warchest to pummel the eventual Democrat nominee to the ground.

My jury is still out on Kerry (who may be hoping that nobody is paying attention to the early character assassination being waged by the Boston Globe). Edwards has been doing a great job rebutting the "trial lawyer" slurs.

Dean now gets his turn at bat, though the "he's a liar" meme is just a tast of what's to come. Just wait until the "Civil Unions" slurs and innuendo begin.
I think he is exactly right. My very first blog piece about "the forest" had this:
Let's see if we can see the forest. Look back to the 2000 election. Step back and look at the candidates. The Democrat's candidate was a well respected, well liked, extremely experienced, Vietnam vet, former seminary student, character beyond reproach, faithfully married family man, foreign policy expert, with many accomplishments including being the person in the Congress most responsible for advancing the Internet... The Republicans ran a foul-mouthed thoroughly inexperienced scandal-ridden (Harken oil, Rangers stadium, recipient of bribes directed at his father) failed businessman, continuously bailed out of jams by his father's connections, draft-dodger (worse, he got into the Nat. Guard through connections and then played hooky!), former drunk, probable drug-user, kids constantly in trouble, with a campaign entirely financed by large corporations obviously looking for favors.

But by election time the only issue was “character”, and the character in question was the Democratic candidate’s! That's the forest.
I'm still wondering what Gore was thinking. Clinton WON because he set up a "war room" to respond to character assasination attacks. Awareness that the right uses character assasination as a tactic to win elections was part of the strategy from day one! Did Gore somehow miss that? Then we saw 8 long years of massive, well-funded character assasination against Clinton. Did Gore somehow miss that? So in the 2000 election how did Gore respond to the character assasination directed against him? HE DIDN'T RESPOND!

Daily Kos is exactly right. The candidate that runs against Bush must be ready, willing and eager to fight back against right-wing character assasination! That is number uno on my list of qualities I want to see in a candidate.

The individual lies are just trees. See the forest: THEY LIE!


 



Jim Hightower Endorses Commonweal Institute

Jim Hightower has endorsed the Commonweal Institute.
"It's always good to put your brain in gear before you put your mouth in motion. The folks at the Commonweal Institute do the heavy mental lifting so agitators like me can arm ourselves on the front lines of the ideological battles taking place every day in America. For too long progressives have walked fearful of their shadows, whimpering and whining about what's wrong and fighting amongst themselves over crumbs. With the help of the Commonweal Institute, that time is over."
-- Jim Hightower, National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of If the Gods had Meant us to Vote They Would Have Given us Candidates
For details on how the Commonweal Institute is going to help fight back against the right, please read How To Fight Back.


 



Chna

The Agonist takes a look at what China is thinking.




3/13/2003
 



The Press Committing Suicide

Over at The Daily Brew, read The Consequences of Failure.
"I have never seen my peers as frightened as they are now" commented Mr. Hersh, who was recently described as a "terrorist" by Senior White House advisor Richard Perle. Mr. Hersh also spoke of his own frustration with the Bush administration. "There is no real standard of integrity because the White House doesn't have any," he said.

While Mr. Hersh's observation that the White House is deliberately intimidating the Washington press may be correct, it is disingenuous at best to blame President Bush for the White House's success in this effort. The catastrophic failure of our national press corps began well before Mr. Bush assumed office, at a time when American journalists were free to critique Mr. Bush with little fear of retribution.
I wrote something along these lines here and I think it's worth reading again.
The history of right-wing treatment of the press is not good. Media people - do you really think it's a good idea to be shilling for right-wingers?
Press people - it might help your careers today, but these people do not like you. That's putting it mildly. You are not earning their respect.

Remember what Ann Coulter said, "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building." She said this after you helped put Bush in office! Did you earn her respect? No, she wants you dead and thanks to you she and her buddies are in a much better position to accomplish this.

No matter how much you suck up to the right wingers, they still call you "the liberal media." You're first in line, even before the gays, even before the atheists. If you keep helping them gain more and more power you'll be the first they dispose of.


 



Standing Together

I wrote a comment after this post over at over at Electrolite. They're talking about Ralph Nader's effect on the election and whether the Greens are partly responsible for the terrible things that the right-wingers are now inflicting on us and the world. Here is my comment - of course edited and expanded as necessary to make me look better:

I used to be a union guy.

Think about how unions evolved. It was the fight of the working people against the moneyed interests. Workers learned that there IS a way to fight against the overwhelming power of money and that way is to band together, form a coalition, stand as one, etc.

These are lessons that were learned they VERY HARD way! These lessons were learned over time and through struggle. They were learned in very tough battles that eventually won minimum wages, the 40 hour work week, vacations, pensions, health care, worker safety and other worker protections that brought us a middle class and made America what it is today!

The word 'union' means everyone standing together because they are stronger standing together than if they split into small factions. 'Solidarity' is another union expression.

'Scab' is another union expression. A scab is someone who breaks ranks. A few people breaking ranks can cause EVERYONE to lose!

The Democratic Party has always been a coalition of factions banding together to fight for average people. The Naderites broke the coalition, and look what happened!!! We ALL need to learn from this!

Anyone who couldn't see what was coming if Bush was elected was only fooling themselves. The perfect is the enemy of the good. Refusing to vote for Gore because the Clinton/Gore administration was only able to accomplish SOME of what we believe in ignored that the right-wingers were going to smash EVERYTHING we believe in! It ignored the horrible violent history of Nixon and Reagan in Vietnam and Central America and the overthrowing of governments and oppression of people all over the world! It ignored the terrible damage done by Reagan to environmental and economic and worker and women's concerns! I'll repeat - anyone who claims they didn't know that Bush would be this bad was willfully ignoring the obvious!

My very first weblog post was on this topic!


 



Economic Double-Whammy

There were two really bad reports today on the economic front. Retail sales plunged in February. It was the worst month since November, 1991. And the only reason it wasn't worse was that gas stations had higher sales because of higher gas prices!
"Consumers were downbeat," said Richard Yamarone, economist with Argus Research Corp. "There was not much for the consumer to be happy about last month."
And while new jobless claims were very high, the number of people continuing unemployment was very high.
Continued claims, the number of people out of work for a week or more, rose to 3.5 million in the week ended March 1, the latest data available, from a revised 3.48 million the prior week.
All of this bad news makes it look like we're heading into a "Dubya-dip" recession. In response, the stock market had its biggest one-day increase of the year.


 



Which Corporation Owns Your Vote

I missed this last week! Which Corporation Owns Your Vote over at AlterNet.
And corporate control of America's vote has reached beyond the borders of this nation. The last week of February, New York's "Newsday" reported in a story by staff writer Mark Harrington that: "Election.com, a struggling Garden City start-up scheduled to provide online absentee ballots for U.S. military personnel in the 2004 federal election, has quietly sold controlling power to an investment group with ties to unnamed Saudi nationals, according to company correspondence."
This article also goes into the history of how corporations became "persons" with the same rights as people.


 



Boycott The War!

Here's a way to actively boycott the war-makers. The following is from ">Be The Cause:


Boycott the War!
It can be stopped

Download a Flyer • Criteria for Selecting Corporations • Members of this Coalition


Our current administration has been dismissing our vocal opposition on War. No Longer! Now, it is time to take our protests to the next level. We will hit them where it hurts the most – in their wallets.

We are beginning a global boycott of companies that make significant financial contributions to this administration. We will not purchase services or products from:
Kraft (Subsidiary of Phillip Morris)
Contact: Michael Mudd, Senior Vice President
Tel: 847-646-2868 or pr@kraft.com
Address (HQ): Three Lakes Drive, Northfield, IL 60093, USA

Some popular brands are Maxwell House, Starbucks*, Tang, Oscar Mayer, Taco Bell*, California Pizza Kitchen*, DiGiorno, Kool-Aid, Velveeta, Capri Sun*, Philadelphia, Jacobs, Post, Milka, Old English, Cheez Whiz, Bull's-Eye, Shake ‘n Bake, Oven Fry, Nabisco, Milk-Bone (Dog food), Jell-O, Oreo, 100% Bran, Breyers, Chips Ahoy!, Marshmallow Twirls, Pecanz, Honey Maid, Ritz, Planters, Toblerone, Altoids, Grey Poupon, Cream of Wheat, Triscuit, Handi-Snacks, Lunchables. For a more detailed list click on above link.

* are registered trademarks owned and licensed by their respective companies and not by Kraft.

Exxon-Mobil
Contact: Mr. Lee R. Raymond - Chairman & CEO
Tel: (800) 252 1800 or Contact Form
Address: 5959 Las Colinas Boulevard, Irving, Texas, 75039-2298, USA.

Pepsico Inc
Contact: Donald M. Kendall - Co-founder (USA)
Tel: (914) 253-3055 or (914) 253-2000
Email: Pepsico
Address:700 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY 10577, USA.

Some popular brands are A&W All-American Food, Long John Silvers, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC, Frito-Lay, Doritos, Pepsi-Cola, 7Up, Mountain Dew, Lipton Iced Tea (in partnership), Mirinda, Dole juice drinks, Frappuccino coffee beverages, Gatorade, Tropicana, Quaker. For a more detailed list click on above link

United Parcel Service
Contact: (800) PICK-UPS or Contact Form
Address: UPS Inc., 55 Glenlake Parkway, NE, Atlanta, GA 30328, USA

Wal-Mart Stores
Contact: S. Robson Walton - Chairman
Tel: (479) 273-8446 or Contact Form
Address: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Bentonville, Arkansas, USA.
Given the current situation of the economy we expect that even the slightest mention of a boycott should carry weight. It is our hope that once word on the boycott reaches the management teams of the selected corporations, they themselves will be the ones to carry our voices forward. Please feel free to voice your opinions by sending them e-mails and making phone calls to the respective companies.

Click here to download a PDF Flyer on the Boycott. Please print out the flyer and distribute everywhere! This can only work with overwhelming support.

--------------------------

I agree with this. Please forward this info to friends!

UPDATE! - Starbucks is NOT owned by Altria (Phillip Morris)! Either is Taco Bell! I'll see if I can learn why these names appear on this boycott list.

Update 2 - Taco Bell is managed by Pepsi, which is on the list. I'm still looking into what's going on here.

Update 3 - The PDF Flyer link is not working at this time. The website is still active.




3/12/2003
 



Undemocratic

With the Republicans calling the Democratic filibuster against far-right judicial nominee Estrada "undemocratic," Nathan Newman writes about the undemocratic nature of the Senate itself.




3/11/2003
 



Not In The Original German

I don't remember ever reading a column by Pat Buchanan before this and agreeing with every word in it! But I did this time!


 



Enron and Other Things

Whatever happened to Enron, anyway? Did anyone ever go to jail? Did anyone ever get their retirement money back?

Whatever happened to the investigation of Bush's insider trading at Harken Oil? He promised to release the Board meeting minutes? He promised to open up the notes of the SEC investigation.

Whatever happened to the SEC investigation of Cheney and Haliburton?


 



Media Fails Again

tendentious brings up an excellent point. A NYTimes poll (scroll to the very end) showing that 45% of us STILL believe that Saddam was personally involved in Sept. 11 is really a test score for the media. The headline should be, "Survey shows public uninformed - media gets an F."


 



Voodo Economics

As I write this, Treasury Secretary Snow is on the Jim Lehrer News Hour, saying that Bush's tax cuts will stimulate the economy, provide jobs and generate enough tax revenue to cover the deficits. This sounds like a variation on Bush's statements that "taxes take money out of the economy."

Let me tell you what "takes money out of the economy."

The tax cuts go primarily to the rich. They rich ALREADY spend all the money they want to spend - because they're rich - and aren't going to spend MORE. How do I know they aren't going to spend more if they get tax cuts? They already CAN spend more if they have ANY DESIRE to spend more. They're not going to spend more, they're going to lock up the additional money in the bank. And the bank they are going to put it in is in the Cayman Islands or somewhere else offshore, so even THAT won't help the U.S. economy. Tax cuts for the rich take money out of the economy.

The resulting deficits cause the government to cut spending or not increase spending that might have increased. GOVERNMENT SPENDING creates jobs. The government HIRES PEOPLE, or it BUYS THINGS FROM COMPANIES or it sends money to people who PURCHASE THINGS WITH THE MONEY. And before the right wingers took over, the government did all of this with policies designed to benefit Americans - higher wages, purchasing American goods from American companies, or truly helping the poor and elderly. Now they contract out the work to the lowest paying companies (who pay their execs millions), and try to cut our benefits. And now, because of the deficits, the federal government is not assisting the states with their deficits, so the states are laying off teachers, police, and thousands of other workers. Cutting government spending takes money out of the economy.

The government is supposed to be US. Our economy is supposed to be for US.

Also, see this piece, Tax Cuts Don't Raise Revenue.




3/10/2003
 



Voting Machines

I haven't seen any articles about the voting machine problem in the last week or so. More and more counties are buying voting machines that cannot be audited, and there are suspicions about the ownership of the companies that manufacture the machines. Regardless of the ownership issue - do you want to have voting machines that have no way to independently verify what the machine records. Never mind the potential for vote tampering - what happens if the machine just breaks? Do you just not count all the votes from that precinct? Neighborhoods can tend to have like-minded voters, so losing all the votes from a machine can change local election results.

I hope everyone reading this talks to others, writes to their local, state and federal representatives, as well as writing to newspapers and calling talk shows. This is an extremely important subject!!!


 



From Germany

If you read nothing else today, read this recent cover article from Der Speigel, looking into the religious underpinnings of America's fixation on Iraq. In case you don't read it, I'll put bits of it here. It begins with this:
By attacking Baghdad, US president George W. Bush wants to fulfill a divine order. In the highly religious United States, there has rarely been such a deep connection between national power interests and fundamentalist false piety. Christian fanatics are calling for a crusade against Islam.
The press in other countries is giving more coverage to the Christian vs Islam aspects of Bush's war plans. The story also goes into Bush's personal history.
The next day, he was severely hung-over and vowed to stay dry from then on. His wife Laura said that he went back and forth with this resolution for one year, but kept falling off the wagon. One day, at the end of a week-long drinking binge, he woke up and looked at his vomit-covered face in the mirror. He fell to his knees and prayed for God's help. America loves such stories of the return of a lost son.
A little further into the article:
The decision to give up alcohol was probably his first somewhat momentous and independent decision. Apparently, however, he was unable to give himself sufficient credit for having accomplished this about-face on his own, instead feeling that he had a higher power to thank. Since then, he has become one of about 60 million Americans who view themselves as "born-again Christians" and constantly profess gratitude to their God for having reformed them. Incidentally, Bush has said that he considers Jesus to be one of the most important political philosophers of all time, "because he helped me give up drinking."
After 9/11:
Heads of state only noticed this change after September 11th, when they arrived to pay their condolences and make inquiries. To them, Bush no longer seemed like an uninformed, disinterested lightweight. Although he is still not well-informed and worldly, and he continues to become grotesquely muddled in language, and he has trouble relying on his memory, his basic stance has since become clear and unwavering: Anyone who is not with us is against us.
And a little further:
Bush has confirmed his first rebirth with the fact that, in spite of a lack of talent, he has been called to do greater things. The second rebirth has launched this belief in predestination into the historic realm. Weak presidents can be dangerous, because they give free rein to their subordinates. However, religious presidents can make the world a worse place by spectacularly failing in their efforts to improve it.
It goes into America's religious nature, leading to a discussion of how this affects Europe:
Since the attacks on September 11th, the apocalypse of John, Book of Revelations, is experiencing a booming comeback in the fundamentalist churches of America. In light of the military campaign against Saddam, the simple-minded exegetes of the last book of the New Testament do not shy away from even the most uninspired attempts to connect this puzzling piece of scripture to present-day events. To them, the United Nations represents the preferred forum of the Antichrist, because Revelations 17,13 teaches that the kings of the earth "will transfer their power and strength to the animal." The pope, also an opponent of war, is chastised as a "whore of Babylon" because, according to Revelations 17,9, its throne is on "seven mountains," just as Rome lies on seven hills. The fact that the EU exists as a result of the Treaties of Rome makes all of Europe an instrument of the devil.
There's a LOT more there. So go read. If this article is typical of how Europe is talking about us, our standing and credibility in the world has certainly changed.

Thanks to Robert Hildebrand of Exposing the Right for pointing this article out to me.


 



My Computer Forgot

This morning my WinXP computer forgot all of its "cookies," so I have to enter every password and identify myself at every website. So far I have had to enter passwords for Blogger, My Yahoo, Site Meter, NY Times. Don't tell me about the patch that fixes this - this is a completely up-to-date system. Previously it forgot it's power manager settings, putting the computer on standby when I thought it was hibernating, causing the battery to run out, shut down the computer, and lose everything I was working on.

This is my laptop, necessary for work at a previous job in a Windows environment.

I have a G4 Mac at home, a little bit too large to carry around. The problem there is we are stuck on System 9. We have a Wacom tablet that uses the ADB connection. We have a USB adapter for it and it works great. But Wacom won't write a driver for OSX for the ADB tablets. They're trying to force people to pay another $350 for a new tablet.

We won't give in to that kind of extortion. Hence, System 9 and future computer purchases will be Windows machines. (If they would stop forgetting their settings.)

Please don't tell me about Linux. You have no idea how much I know about Linux. And BeOS. You have no idea. I wish BeOS had been able to develop. Then I wouldn't be having any of these problems. Different problems, but not these problems. (And I'd be rich, but that's another story.)




3/09/2003
 



God Appointed Bush

More about Bush and God in the following, from this Washington Post piece:
"It seems as if he is on an agenda from God," said Jim Cody, a Tennessee Christian broadcaster who was at a convention of religious broadcasters Bush addressed last month. "The Scriptures say God is the one who appoints leaders. If he truly knows God, that would give him a special anointing."

Cody's friend, Steve Clark of the Faith Baptist Tabernacle in Jamestown, Tenn., concurred that "Divine Providence" has a role in Bush's actions. "At certain times, at certain hours in our country, God has had a certain man to hear His testimony," he said.
I wrote about Justice Scalia's belief that God appoints leaders, in Scalia and Self-Government. Scalia feels that democracy is illegitimate and gets in the way of God's intentions. The above from the Washington Post backs up what I was writing.

Former president Jimmy Carter wrote about the religious aspect of the current Iraq situation in the New York Times today:
As a Christian and as a president who was severely provoked by international crises, I became thoroughly familiar with the principles of a just war, and it is clear that a substantially unilateral attack on Iraq does not meet these standards. This is an almost universal conviction of religious leaders, with the most notable exception of a few spokesmen of the Southern Baptist Convention who are greatly influenced by their commitment to Israel based on eschatological, or final days, theology.
I think we need to worry about whether our current leaders really do believe they are appointed by God, and desire to lead us into the end times.

In my experience, people who find themselves in situations they don't necessarily deserve come up with justifications for why they are there. For example, people who make tons of money in business decide they did so because they are brilliant. People who inherit positions have made up elaborate theories about bloodline superiority to explain why they are in the positions when others aren't. Bush certainly didn't work his way to the top, so maybe he has to justify his being there by deciding he was put there by God for a mission.

Update - I removed a line about the Southern Baptists, and will write another day about the split between the right wingers and others over the leadership of the Conference.


 



Serenity!

OH MY GOD! Go read Serenity, over at No More Mr. Nice Blog!!!


 



My Position on Iraq

I think all of the reasons for war, as started by the Bush administration, (with new reasons brought forward almost weekly,) are good goals: Disarming Iraq of what weapons of mass destruction might remain. Freeing the Iraqi people. Setting up a model democracy in the region and having a base from which to fight terrorists and project ideas of democratic and religious freedom. Protecting the oil from dictators or terrorists bent on disrupting the world's economy. Israel, the democracy in the region, would be safer.

All are good goals. All the other goals that I haven't covered are good goals.

So I'm for war: IF the world supports it and it is not a unilateral attack on a country that has done nothing to us and IF the Iraq war harms no civilians or military on either side, and IF it is over in a day or two, and IF Saddam's government is replaced by a government selected by ALL OF THE PEOPLE of Iraq, and IF the Kurds are protected and peacefully integrated into Iraqi and Turkish society, and IF it does not lead to destabilization of any other governments or regions, and IF it does not lead to increased hatred of the U.S., and IF it is not taken as an opportunity by China to seize Taiwan or North Korea to invade the South or Pakistan and India to go to war, and IF it does not lead to any terrorist acts by Islamic extremists.

And about a thousand more IFs.

And THIS support is only after we finish rebuilding Afghanistan and supervising a free and fair election there, and making sure that al-Queda is no longer an effective organization.

AND what about Kuwait? Weren't they supposed to become a free country after we went to war with Iraq to free THEM? What's up with THAT?


 



Conversions

Please read Thomas Spencer, writing about recent conversions over whether to go to war with Iraq.




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I took out the Amazon "donate button" because they are a red company, helping fund the right.

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