Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bravery in opposing torture

Okay, now I am happy to speak out against torture and torture-enabling policies and ideas.

But, Matthew Alexander lays it on the line. He actually was an interrogator in Iraq, did the job humanely and with better results than the "Dark Side" devotees. The Pentagon is trying to censor him and he's fighting back.

And, he says stuff like this:

My experiences have landed me in the middle of another war -- one even more important than the Iraq conflict. The war after the war is a fight about who we are as Americans. Murderers like Zarqawi can kill us, but they can't force us to change who we are. We can only do that to ourselves. One day, when my grandkids sit on my knee and ask me about the war, I'll say to them, "Which one?"

Barack Obama holds out a lot of hope that we can put this morally corrupt period behind us.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanks for everything

It's Thanksgiving Day, 2008 and I am amazed at the things to be thankful for. My family, my wife, and a rewarding life.

And, my previous kvetching posts aside, I am thankful everyday for the Obama Presidency that awaits around the corner. Obama is a man of talent we're fortunate to have as a leader.

And the dog. How couldn't I be thankful for the pooch?

(And Sarah Palin!)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Change is slow at DoD

So, now the report is that President-Elect Obama will likely re-appoint Bush Secreary of Defense Robert Gates. After what we've seen so far, this is starting to get alarming.

Sure, this is the Bush-Cheney Pentagon that Obama is taking over. It needs work. There's the whole issue of declining US power and influence and continued risk of violent terrorism. And we know the Bush-Cheney Pentagon has been involved in all manner of scandal; torture, anti-Constitutional practices at Guantanamo Bay; waste, fraud, abuse with taxpayer funds and war profiteering. Oh, and where's Osama?

So, if President Obama needs to have a short transition period at Defense with Gates while fighting the economic battles at home, I could live with it. If this is what it takes to bring the Bush-Cheney military under civilian control of a different sort, perhaps we need to do it. (Though the military does have an oath and obligation to the Constitution to follow civilian authority).

Let's consider though, if Obama is going this far to include Republicans, how far will he go to include liberals? I mean, so far we've had the Lieberman bailout he brokered, the record Citigroup bailout his new Treasury signed off on, the increasingly possible return of Clinton Triangulation, and a hawk at Secretary of State.

Here's hoping that the new politics President Elect Obama will display also include a rejection of the typical Democratic “scorn the base” approach, used by Clinton and his followers. We can have hope, at least, and perhaps the deeds.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

So much for Change we can believe in

Joe Lieberman was a terrible Chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. He held no hearings on the many abuses and corrupt acts by the Bush Administration in regards to "homeland security," Katrina, war on terror, etc.

There is a very real likelihood that he will use the seat now to stick pins and needles into Obama-Biden and cause Republican mischief. There is no mention I can find in press reports that Lieberman has changed anything in his approach. His first public statement was denial.

There's no change here, as Obama promised the American people. Instead, Obama protected Lieberman!

Then there's the question of the Democratic passion to stick it to their base to show the Villagers they are worthy of a pat on the head. Progressive Democrats must be independent of the official Dem party. That means giving contrbutions to MoveOn and DFA and not a dime for the DSCC.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Let's do that again

That was a beautiful election. People from all walks of life in our country came out to vote for Obama-Biden. And when they won, people all over the world celebrated.

We will need to maintain activism for the progressive agenda and, unfortunately, to fight back against the big business opposition. For now, this time is for celebrating.