Archive for August 13th, 2007

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John Holmgren of Shafer MN has painted his truck with the names of all those who lost their lives on 9/11. He’s been pulled over numerous times – so the troopers can have their pictures taken with him and the truck.

Blessings John!

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PARIS, France (Reuters) — Capricious, mercurial or just unlucky? The failure of France’s first lady to show up to lunch with U.S. President George W. Bush has once again raised questions about Cecilia Sarkozy’s character.

President Nicolas Sarkozy unexpectedly arrived alone for the informal gathering at a Bush family compound in Maine on Saturday, near the luxury lakeside residence where the French leader and his wife are spending their holidays.

Sarkozy said his wife was suffering from a severe sore throat and could not make the journey, but the fact Cecilia was spotted shopping with friends on both Friday and Sunday raised eyebrows back home.

“Cecilia has set a new record for making a swift recovery,” a news reader said dryly on France Inter radio on Monday.

The no-show came just weeks after Cecilia made a spectacular foray into international politics by apparently helping to broker the release of Bulgarian medics imprisoned in Libya, and left commentators puzzling over her motives.

“With every day that passes, the mystery deepens: Who is Cecilia Sarkozy?” French regional newspaper Le Telegramme wrote in its Monday edition.

“What does the wife of the president of the republic want? To live her life as she likes, without constraint? In which case, why does she accept invitations, like that made personally by Laura Bush?” it added, saying that U.S. first lady Laura had personally organized the lunch with Cecilia.

French papers quoted doctors as saying sore throats could flare like a summer storm, but it was not the first time that Cecilia had failed to stand by her man at an important moment.

After playing virtually no part in her husband’s election campaign earlier this year, she famously failed to turn out to vote for him in the second round ballot on May 6.

This snub provoked widespread speculation that the couple, who briefly separated in 2005, were set to divorce, but Cecilia proved the gossip-mongers wrong by turning up at her husband’s inauguration ceremony and stealing the show in a stylish dress.

However, the whispering resumed weeks later when she stayed barely 24 hours at the three-day G8 summit of world power leaders in Germany, and then when she snubbed a concert on the July 14 national Bastille day holiday.

“People will no doubt accuse us of making too much of these absences,” regional daily Charente Libre wrote on Monday, suggesting that her absence on Saturday came close to causing a diplomatic incident between the United States and France.

“But, without doubt, we would have paid less attention to this American episode if it hadn’t been for the fact that Cecilia was so obviously prominent in Tripoli, at the request of her husband the president.”

Her intervention on behalf of the Bulgarian nurses suggested she was seeking an unprecedented role in a country where first ladies are expected to be seen, not heard in politics.

Sarkozy has said Cecilia will announce in September what she plans to do during his presidency, but she has already made clear that whatever she does, it will be unconventional.

“I don’t see myself as a first lady. It bores me. I’m not politically correct,” she told an interviewer two years ago.

TOP White House political adviser Karl Rove, the mastermind behind President George W.Bush’s political campaigns in 2000 and 2004 and the man known as “Bush’s brain”, will resign at the end of the month.

Read the rest of the story – it’s “for [his] family.”

By Stanley Kober – Cato Institute

The Bush administration’s doctrine of preemption is based on the assumption that American power is irresistible. That assumption is now being challenged, just as it has been challenged when it was asserted by other great powers throughout history. Like Napoleon, the Bush administration launched a preventive war and now finds itself confronting a hostile population resisting occupation. Allies are defecting as casualties mount. Victory appears increasingly uncertain.

Yet even if the U.S. ultimately prevails in Iraq, the aura of invincible American power has been shattered. The unexpected difficulties encountered in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the stress on American military forces, undermines the threat to use those forces again, which is the very basis of our superpower status. “U.S. rulers are often liable to overestimate their own strength, and underestimate the challenges and problems they face,” China’s People’s Daily noted last May. “They can be described as `the higher they climb, the harder they fall.'”

Ironically, a war that was supposed to cement America’s military superiority is now being viewed as an example of American weakness. It is an outcome the proponents of preemption never envisioned. They wagered the cards of Providence, but Providence is not being as obliging as they had hoped.

It rarely is.

Read the entire article at Cato.org

“Preventive war is like committing suicide out of fear of death.” ~Otto von Bismarck

From Telling the History of the Twenty-First Century as it Really Is

The label ‘Al Qaeda’ has been used, or rather abused, ever since 11 September 2001 when the finger of blame for that terrifying day was pointed at bin Laden and his ‘al Qaeda’ organisation. Indeed, according to George Tenet in his book, At the center of the storm: My years at the CIA, bin Laden was blamed for the attacks by at least three-thirty in the afternoon of 11 September 2001.

Read the entire post at the link above.

Jim Kirwan – August 12, 2007

Our national silence confirms it -­ after only a few hundred years of a supposedly Democratic Republic, we have now chosen to become a Monarchy. However because of our reluctance to get-involved: most Americans have yet to concede that the presidency, presently, only exists as a fictional and strictly ceremonial image because that office was only one of the three parts that once jointly governed the United States…Congress has gagged itself and the courts remain mute, while this executive runs wild.

This new Monarchy is a reflection of the times in which we live, because he isn’t a single figure but a Frankenstein creature with two heads. Cheney-Bush the First is the title of this new Orwellian creation, which has just finished taking all power unto itself.

If you think that this goes too far; perhaps you might want to review some of what we have allowed to happen under Cheney-Bush the First. Spend five minutes and fourteen seconds on this video and think about what this means to your freedoms. (1)

There are some additional outrages that the clip doesn’t mention. The fact that Cheney-Bush the First has added well over a thousand signing statements to legislation passed by the congress: unilaterally nullifying the limitations set by the constitution on that office. His only choices were to sign or veto: but C-B-1 created a third path: he signs the laws but then declares that they do not apply to him.

He has also arrogated immunity to himself and his underlings, bear in mind that the White House has over 5,000 employees ­ who are now apparently also immune from either oversight or prosecution. Only a King could do this. Then there is the Office of the Attorney General of the United States: again someone who took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution: except that the last two occupants have chosen loyalty to their leader over their duty to protect the people of the United States from a corrupt president and his gang of thugs that have claimed all power for themselves.

I had a dream about a massive national celebration. It was the Coronation of the King of America. The parade resembled Carnival and it was led through the cordoned-off streets of Washington D.C. by tanks escorted by a thousand motor-cycle cops in riot gear ­ there were no protestors within the camera’s view. Everything was draped in red-white and blue ­ flags were everywhere and the air was filled with balloons, and then a marching band appeared with AK-47’s strapped to their backs, proudly playing “Hail to the Chief.”

Immediately behind them a circus elephant, apparently drugged, was weaving up the boulevard amid an artificial fog that seemed to make everything surreal. Atop the elephant was a platform with oversize Tomahawk missiles supporting a huge crown of brilliant gold, and the whole platform swayed under the weight of the crown, with every drunken step of the beast.

Aboard the platform was an overweight Dick Cheney wearing only a necktie. There were numerous IV bottles ranged around him that swayed in the stagnant Washington air. Cheney wore a mask of himself, perhaps six feet high, that featured his trademarked sneer, and in his upraised pudgy fist he held the strings of his puppet The Decider: whose giant mask looked eerily like Alfred E. Newman, the comic-book version of “What me Worry.”

Bush was wearing his pilot’s uniform, but it was the banner above the crown that read “Mission Accomplished,” which seemed to rule the moment.

It was only then I noticed that Nancy Pelosi was attempting to lead the elephant in her scanty cheerleading costume with “08” upon her sweater. She was cheered by a number of other characters that all seemed eager to help. Rummy was there dressed as a US military version of Darth Vader, with Wolfowitz as Scissor-hands, and there were perhaps two hundred hooded prisoner’s that surrounded the elephant to protect it from any unexpected attacks by the crowd. These figures were chained together and controlled by some hidden weapon that shocked them, whenever they began to falter.

As the procession came abreast of my position, I noticed that behind the two-headed King was Condi Rice, in a gold lame full-length sheath, sitting on a handcuffed and gagged Colin Powell while she ate some grapes and waved to where she obviously thought the crowds might be ­ but the fog machine obscured her view.

The nightmare dissolved, but the thoughts about what all that might portend did not. Then I remembered that recent Bill Moyers’ Journal article that had explored a Monarchy and contrasted the current administration with others where Impeachment was raised.

“JOHN NICHOLS: I think that the war on terror, as defined by our president, is perpetual war. And I think that he has acted precisely as Madison feared. He has taken powers unto himself that were never intended to be in the executive. And, frankly, that when an executive uses them, in the way that this president has, you actually undermine the process of uniting the country and really focusing the country on the issues that need to be dealt with. Let’s be clear. If we had a president who was seeking to inspire us to take seriously the issues that are in play and to bring all the government together, he’d be consulting with Congress. He’d be working with Congress. And, frankly, Congress, through the system of checks and balances, would be preventing him from doing insane things like invading Iraq.

JOHN NICHOLS: People don’t want to let this go. They do not accept Nancy Pelosi’s argument that impeachment is, quote/unquote, off the table. Because I guess maybe they’re glad she didn’t take some other part of the Constitution off the table like freedom of speech. But they also don’t accept the argument that, oh, well, there’s a presidential campaign going on. So let’s just hold our breath till Bush and Cheney get done.

When I go out across America, what I hear is something that’s really very refreshing and very hopeful about this country. An awfully lot of Americans understand what Thomas Jefferson understood. And that is that the election of a president does not make him a king for four years. That if a president sins against the Constitution– and does damage to the republic, the people have a right in an organic process to demand of their House of Representatives, the branch of government closest to the people, that it act to remove that president. And I think that sentiment is afoot in the land.

BILL MOYERS: Bruce, you talk about overreaching. What, in practical terms, do you mean by that?

BRUCE FEIN: It means asserting powers and claiming that there are no other branches that have the authority to question it. Take, for instance, the assertion that he’s made that when he is out to collect foreign intelligence, no other branch can tell him what to do. That means he can intercept your e-mails, your phone calls, open your regular mail, he can break and enter your home. He can even kidnap you, claiming I am seeking foreign intelligence and there’s no other branch Congress can’t say it’s illegal–judges can’t say this is illegal. I can do anything I want. That is overreaching. When he says that all of the world, all of the United States is a military battlefield because Osama bin Laden says he wants to kill us there, and I can then use the military to go into your homes and kill anyone there who I think is al-Qaeda or drop a rocket, that is overreaching. That is a claim even King George III didn’t make–

JOHN NICHOLS: Let me keep us on Cheney for a second here, because that is–

BILL MOYERS: You think Cheney should be subject to impeachment hearings?

JOHN NICHOLS: Without a doubt. Cheney is, for all practical purposes, the foreign policy president of the United States. There are many domestic policies in which George Bush really is the dominant player. But on foreign policy Dick Cheney has been calling the shots for six years and he continues to call the shots. Remember back in 2000, in the presidential debates, George Bush said America should be a humble country in the world, shouldn’t go about nation building. And Dick Cheney, in the vice-presidential debate, spent eight minutes talking about Iraq.

Now the fact of the matter is that on foreign policy, Dick Cheney believes that the executive branch should be supreme. He said this back to the days when he was in the House during Iran-Contra. He wrote the minority report saying Congress shouldn’t sanction the president in any way, President Reagan.

JOHN NICHOLS: And put these pieces together. If Cheney believes in this expansive power. You’ve got a– unique crisis, a unique problem because the vice-president of the United States believes that Congress shouldn’t even be a part of the foreign policy debate. And he is setting the foreign policy. I mean–

BILL MOYERS: The power of the purse-

BRUCE FEIN: –the power of the purse. That is an absolute power. And yet Congress shies from it. It was utilized during the Vietnam War, you may recall, in 1973. Congress said there’s no money to go and extend the war into Laos and Cambodia. And even President Nixon said okay. This was a president who at one time said, “If I do it, it’s legal.” So that it we do find Congress yielding the power to the executive branch. It’s the very puzzle that the founding fathers would have been stunned at. They worried most over the legislative branch in, you know, usurping powers of the other branches. And–

BILL MOYERS: Well, what you just said indicts the Congress more than you’re indicting George Bush and Dick Cheney.

BRUCE FEIN: In some sense, yes, because the founding fathers expected an executive to try to overreach and expected the executive would be hampered and curtailed by the legislative branch. And you’re right. They have basically renounced– walked away from their responsibility to oversee and check. It’s not an option. It’s an obligation when they take that oath to faithfully uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. And I think the reason why this is. They do not have convictions about the importance of the Constitution. It’s what in politics you would call the scientific method of discovering political truths and of preventing excesses because you require through the processes of review and vetting one individual’s perception to be checked and– counterbalanced by another’s. And when you abandon that process, you abandon the ship of state basically and it’s going to capsize.” (2)

If we have a Republic, then we have constitutional methods to deal with illegality by the president and the vice-president. If we do not use those powers then the nation will lose them and we shall have a king instead of a president. The question asked by the video is still outstanding:

“When Will Americans Have Had Enough”!

kirwanstudios@sbcglobal.net

1) When Will Americans Have Had Enough

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P682rGIhZwI&mode=related&search  

2) Impeachment the Conversation Continues

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/07132007/transcript4.html