Thursday, September 11, 2008
Lets give a solemn nod to number one - the victims. Those images of men and women plummeting from the trade center towers have stayed with me. There was a wonderful traveling photo show "Here is New York" that I attended in D.C. that portrayed all of the people, and first responders that really hit home. Of course the image of the towers being struck over and over again was horrific, and actually living through the evacuation in D.C. - well I saw bodies on the ground. Enough said right...okay I'm very respectful of all that.
However number two - the why - is not being discussed. I mean when we discuss John Edwards haircut or John McCain's $500.00 dollar loafers, or Britney Spears every move you would think the professional and commercial media might discuss why... as much as they genuflect to the victims - the why needs as much airplay! It isn't getting any.
Whether you subscribe to the unofficial explanations of false flag rallying as in the Gulf of Tonkin, or the official explanation of a ragged cave dwelling band of terrorist it doesn't matter. Because if you trace both ends of the spectrum back to their roots everyone is in agreement. The reason for 9-11 was Oil.
On the unofficial end of the explanation as to WHY and it's compelling evidence or lack of evidence (no actual picture of a plane hitting the Pentagon) and building seven dropping in text book controlled demolition fashion - the reason why was to create a false flag rallying point to invade - not Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia - where the alleged hijackers came from, but to go into Iraq. Why did we do that? Was Osama in Iraq? It's obvious to most of us around the world that we went into Iraq for the Oil. Why else are we there? Did we suddenly grow a conscious about Saddam gassing the Kurds - thirteen years later? Not hardly.
On the official explanation end - why are the Arab citizens of the world so pissed off at us? Does the rich kid from the Bin Laden family have nothing better to do with his time and money? What is he fighting for - let's talk about that for a second.
Imagine living in Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma or Michigan, and there were big Soviet Union Military bases in your back yard, big red stars, big red flag, men in uniform, and big Soviet Union Oil Companies pumping out your natural resources from under your home, and sending it out of your country, while giving billions of Rubles (dollars) to just a few members of your political elite. Certainly it is not hard to see how someone even the well educated and wealthy would chafe under that kind of inequity. What if you a citizen, perhaps displaced or a tax payer needed some of that money, or the oil was coming off of your great grandfathers property or that you thought you or your organization could put all that wealth to good use but you had to go stand in line and beg for it from a wealthy Saudi Prince or political elite. Think about it - foreign military bases on our soil. Our excuse - we were invited. By who? The political elite a very tiny minority of well connected super wealthy business men, royalty and/or politicians who don't share the wealth. Sound familiar?
The common denominator on this whole completely avoidable mess of a day (9/11) is oil, Exxon Mobile, and BP.
If our corporate controlled highly lobbied government had the foresight and the guts to do the math they would have known and heeded the wake up call from the oil embargo back in 1973. How could we let so much time go with out gaining our independence, our energy independence? Oh yeah THEY were making money.
Keep in mind fellow Americans that we fought a war for independence and that now we shrug our shoulders at the very thought of being energy independent. By being dependent on oil we brought those towers down ourselves. We forced those poor people to jump. Because we were lazy and did the politically expedient. We were complacent and our political representatives and the status quo led us right to that day seven years ago. We did nothing and in fact rolled back gas mileage and drove SUV's in a total fog of ignorance, short term memory and of course macho fueled arrogance.
So if you want to be humble about the families those poor people left behind and the bravery of the the first responders, and do their memory the honor of asking why then have the courage they had to work night and day advocating and voting for energy independence. Understand the facts that not only has oil caused 9-11 but it has caused the warming of the planet, the melting of the ice caps, the crippling of our economy, the resurgence of the Soviet Union, and the emergence of a hostile Venezuela.
The true path towards honoring the victims of 9-11 is a total commitment to clean energy and true energy independence. Obviously there is not enough oil in the waters and lands of our country or we wouldn't have gone to the mid east in search of more.
If you want to be macho then export our clean energy technologies to the world and put an end to the tyranny of energy politics that have plagued Georgia, Latin America and the Middle East.
Clean energy sources are abundant and do not come with strings attached:
Natural gas to power vehicles
Air powered cars
Oil is the root of all evil and greed has taken us straight to the gates of hell. The status quo sits in the way of a healthy future guarding it's profit margins and causing war. So when you remember 9-11 and you think gosh I hope that doesn't happen again, and wasn't that awful. Ask yourself why it happened. We are to blame. Now is the time to bank roll the clean economy and stand up on our own two feet!
Author - Journey Home
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
"Everyone here knows Sarah, so it is nothing special to say we are on a first-name basis. Our children have attended the same schools. Her father was my child's favorite substitute teacher. I also am on a first name basis with her parents and mother-in-law. I attended more City Council meetings during her administration than about 99% of the residents of the city."
Sarah campaigned in Wasilla as a "fiscal conservative." During her 6 years as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over 33%. During those same 6 years the amount of taxes collected by the City increased by 38%. This was during a period of low inflation (1996-2002). She reduced progressive property taxes and increased a regressive sales tax which taxed even food. The tax cuts that she promoted benefited large corporate property owners way more than they benefited residents.
What did Mayor Palin encourage the voters to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she said she supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? or a new library? No. $1m for a park. $15m-plus for construction of a multi-use sports complex which she rushed through to build on a piece of property that the City didn't even have clear title to, that was still in litigation 7 yrs later-to the delight of the lawyers involved! The sports complex itself is a nice addition to the community but a huge money pit, not the profit-generator she claimed it would be. She also supported bonds for $5.5m for road projects that could have been done in 5-7 yrs without any borrowing.
The huge increases in tax revenues during her mayoral administration weren't enough to fund everything on her wish list though and she borrowed money. She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it with indebtedness of over $22 million.
While Sarah was Mayor of Wasilla, she tried to fire our highly respected City Librarian because the Librarian refused to consider removing from the library some books that Sarah wanted removed. City residents rallied to the defense of the City Librarian and against Palin's attempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrew her termination letter. People who fought her attempt to oust the Librarian are on her enemies list to this day.
As Mayor, Sarah fired Wasilla's Police Chief because he "intimidated" her, she told the press. As Governor, her recent firing of Alaska's top cop has the ring of familiarity about it. He served at her pleasure and she had every legal right to fire him, but it's pretty clear that an important factor in her decision to fire him was because he wouldn't fire her sister's ex-husband, a State Trooper. Under investigation for abuse of power, she has had to admit that more than 2 dozen contacts were made between her staff and family to the person that she later fired, pressuring him to fire her ex-brother-in-law.
She tried to replace the man she fired with a man who she knew had been reprimanded for sexual harassment; when this caused a public furor, she withdrew her support.
She is solidly Republican: no political maverick. The State party leaders hate her because she has bit them in the back and humiliated them. Other members of the party object to her self-description as a fiscal conservative.
Around Wasilla there are people who went to high school with Sarah. They call her "Sarah Barracuda" because of her unbridled ambition and predatory ruthlessness. Before she became so powerful, very ugly stories circulated around town about shenanigans she pulled to be made point guard on the high school basketball team. When Sarah's mother-in-law, a highly respected member of the community and experienced manager, ran for Mayor, Sarah refused to endorse her.
As Governor, she gave the Legislature no direction and budget guidelines, then made a big grandstand display of line-item vetoing projects, calling them pork. Public outcry and further legislative action restored most of these projects-which had been vetoed simply because she was not aware of their importance-but with the unobservant she had gained a reputation as "anti-pork."
Her husband works a union job on the North Slope for BP and is a champion snowmobile racer. Todd Palin's kind of job is highly sought-after because of the schedule and high pay. He arranges his work schedule so he can fish for salmon in Bristol Bay for a month or so in summer, but by no stretch of the imagination is fishing their major source of income. Nor has her lifestyle ever been anything like that of native Alaskans.
Her experience is as mayor of a city with a population of about 5,000 (at the time), and less than 2 years as governor of a state with about 670,000 residents.
While Mayor, City Hall was extensively remodeled and her office redecorated more than once.
During her mayoral administration most of the actual work of running this small city was turned over to an administrator. She had been pushed to hire this administrator by party power-brokers after she had gotten herself into some trouble over precipitous firings which had given rise to a recall campaign.
As an oil producer, the high price of oil has created a budget surplus in Alaska. Rather than invest this surplus in technology that will make us energy independent and increase efficiency, as Governor she proposed distribution of this surplus to every individual in the state.
In this time of record state revenues and budget surpluses, she recommended that the state borrow/bond for road projects, even while she proposed distribution of surplus state revenues: spend today's surplus, borrow for needs.
She's not very tolerant of divergent opinions or open to outside ideas or compromise. As Mayor, she fought ideas that weren't generated by her or her staff. Ideas weren't evaluated on their merits, but on the basis of who proposed them.
Like most Alaskans, she favors drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. She has questioned if the loss of sea ice is linked to global warming. She campaigned "as a private citizen" against a state initiative that would have either a) protected salmon streams from pollution from mines, or b) tied up in the courts all mining in the state (depending on who you listen to). She has pushed the State's lawsuit against the Dept. of the Interior's decision to list polar bears as threatened species.
Here's more from the Alaskan resident of Wasilla:
CLAIM VS FACT
o "Hockey Mom": true for a few years
o "PTA Mom": true years ago when her first-born was in elementary school, not since.
o "NRA supporter": absolutely true
o Social conservative: mixed. Opposes gay marriage BUT vetoed a bill that would have denied benefits to employees in same-sex relationships (said she did this because it was unconstitutional).
o Pro-creationism: mixed. Supports it, BUT did nothing as Governor to promote it.
o "Pro-life": mixed. Knowingly gave birth to a Down's syndrome baby BUT declined to call a special legislative session on some pro-life legislation
o "Experienced": Some high schools have more students than Wasilla has residents. Many cities have more residents than the state of Alaska. No legislative experience other than City Council. Little hands-on supervisory or managerial experience; needed help of a city administrator to run town of about 5,000.
o Political maverick: not at all
o Gutsy: absolutely!
o Open & transparent: ??? Good at keeping secrets. Not good at explaining actions.
o Has a developed philosophy of public policy: no
o "A Greenie": no. Turned Wasilla into a wasteland of big box stores and disconnected parking lots. Is pro-drilling offshore and in ANWR.
o Fiscal conservative: not by my definition!
o Pro-infrastructure: No. Promoted a sports complex and park in a city without a sewage treatment plant or storm drainage system. Built streets to early 20th century standards.
o Pro-tax relief: Lowered taxes for businesses, increased tax burden on residents
o Pro-small government: No. Oversaw greatest expansion of city government in Wasilla's history.
o Pro-labor/pro-union. No. Just because her husband works union doesn't make her pro-labor. I have seen nothing to support any claim that she is pro-labor/pro-union.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Yesterday was John McCain's 72nd birthday. If elected, he'd be the oldest president ever inaugurated. And after months of slamming Barack Obama for "inexperience," here's who John McCain has chosen to be one heartbeat away from the presidency: a right-wing religious conservative with no foreign policy experience, who until recently was mayor of a town of 9,000 people.
Who is Sarah Palin? Here's some basic background:
- She was elected Alaska's governor a little over a year and a half ago. Her previous office was mayor of Wasilla, a small town outside Anchorage. She has no foreign policy experience.1
- Palin is strongly anti-choice, opposing abortion even in the case of rape or incest.2
- She supported right-wing extremist Pat Buchanan for president in 2000. 3
- Palin thinks creationism should be taught in public schools.4
- She's doesn't think humans are the cause of climate change.5
- She's solidly in line with John McCain's "Big Oil first" energy policy. She's pushed hard for more oil drilling and says renewables won't be ready for years. She also sued the Bush administration for listing polar bears as an endangered species—she was worried it would interfere with more oil drilling in Alaska.6
- How closely did John McCain vet this choice? He met Sarah Palin once at a meeting. They spoke a second time, last Sunday, when he called her about being vice-president. Then he offered her the position.7
This is information the American people need to see. Please take a moment to forward this email to your friends and family.
We also asked Alaska MoveOn members what the rest of us should know about their governor. The response was striking. Here's a sample:
She is really just a mayor from a small town outside Anchorage who has been a governor for only 1.5 years, and has ZERO national and international experience. I shudder to think that she could be the person taking that 3AM call on the White House hotline, and the one who could potentially be charged with leading the US in the volatile international scene that exists today. —Rose M., Fairbanks, AK
She is VERY, VERY conservative, and far from perfect. She's a hunter and fisherwoman, but votes against the environment again and again. She ran on ethics reform, but is currently under investigation for several charges involving hiring and firing of state officials. She has NO experience beyond Alaska. —Christine B., Denali Park, AK
As an Alaskan and a feminist, I am beyond words at this announcement. Palin is not a feminist, and she is not the reformer she claims to be. —Karen L., Anchorage, AK
Alaskans, collectively, are just as stunned as the rest of the nation. She is doing well running our State, but is totally inexperienced on the national level, and very much unequipped to run the nation, if it came to that. She is as far right as one can get, which has already been communicated on the news. In our office of thirty employees (dems, republicans, and nonpartisans), not one person feels she is ready for the V.P. position.—Sherry C., Anchorage, AK
She's vehemently anti-choice and doesn't care about protecting our natural resources, even though she has worked as a fisherman. McCain chose her to pick up the Hillary voters, but Palin is no Hillary. —Marina L., Juneau, AK
I think she's far too inexperienced to be in this position. I'm all for a woman in the White House, but not one who hasn't done anything to deserve it. There are far many other women who have worked their way up and have much more experience that would have been better choices. This is a patronizing decision on John McCain's part- and insulting to females everywhere that he would assume he'll get our vote by putting "A Woman" in that position.—Jennifer M., Anchorage, AK
So Governor Palin is a staunch anti-choice religious conservative. She's a global warming denier who shares John McCain's commitment to Big Oil. And she's dramatically inexperienced.
In picking Sarah Palin, John McCain has made the religious right very happy. And he's made a very dangerous decision for our country.
Blog reprinted from Move On Information Alert
1. "Sarah Palin," Wikipedia, Accessed August 29, 2008
2. "McCain Selects Anti-Choice Sarah Palin as Running Mate," NARAL Pro-Choice America, August 29, 2008
3. "Sarah Palin, Buchananite," The Nation, August 29, 2008
4. "'Creation science' enters the race," Anchorage Daily News, October 27, 2006
5. "Palin buys climate denial PR spin—ignores science," Huffington Post, August 29, 2008
6. "McCain VP Pick Completes Shift to Bush Energy Policy," Sierra Club, August 29, 2008
"Choice of Palin Promises Failed Energy Policies of the Past," League of Conservation Voters, August 29, 2008
"Protecting polar bears gets in way of drilling for oil, says governor," The Times of London, May 23, 2008