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Posts Tagged ‘americans’

Americans Step Up

Posted by AB on January 18, 2010

It has been nearly a week since the nation of Haiti was hit by one of the most destructive natural disasters of recent times.  The earthquake that killed thousands, injured thousands more, and left even more homeless is still fresh in the minds of people around the globe.  To anyone with a heart, there is pain to see so many human beings suffer, and the world has stepped up to help, led again by the United States.  Millions of dollars have been donated by the private citizens of the U.S., and our government has pledged $100 dollars for rescue and recovery.  Beyond that, thousands of U.S. Military members have been deployed, along with ships and planes carrying water and medical supplies.  The United States is proving, once again, why the rest of the world looks up to us.

One of the most encouraging signs is the bipartisanship.  Unless you are Pat Robertson, Rush Limbaugh, or Rep. Steve King (R-IA) you have recognized the desperate need of the Haitian people and our unique position, as Americans, to help.  Now is not a time for petty political partisanship, and that is exemplified by the coalition of former Presidents, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, have teamed-up to head the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund.  In recent times, we have been a country divided but, in hards times, we come together.  That makes me proud.

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Posted in Economics, Misc., Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Who’s Afraid of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad?

Posted by AB on November 17, 2009

Remember when Republicans acted so tough on the issue of terrorism? You know, the days and months after 9/11. Remember when we weren’t going to allow terrorism to defeat us? Most Americans bought into that then, and we came together as a nation because of that belief, but fewer and fewer believe that in the subsequent years.

After our nation was attacked by religious extremists, our president assured us that those responsible would face justice–there was reason to believe in our nation. All that we needed to do was to go shopping, for if we allowed those terrorists to change our ways of life, they will have won. Do you remember that? All of that tough-sounding cowboy talk really got the red-blooded, “real” Americans’ juices flowing.

Time and truth, however, uncover the facades of even the most strident conservatives. As we moved farther and farther away from that infamous date of 9/11, the attacks have become less of a cause to do good, while becoming an excuse to forget that we have stronger values than others.  Behind the leadership of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, conservatives used the attacks of 9/11 to justify just about anything:  wars, wiretapping of American citizens, holding prisoners without charge, torture, assassinations, the corporate rape of the American people (think Halliburton, KBR, Blackwater), etc. 

Recently, current United States Attorney General, Eric Holder announced that the mastermind behind 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, and four of his cohorts would be tried before a federal court in New York City, the site of the attacks on the World Trade Center.  Republicans, conservatives, and some Democrats seem to have forgotten that we are a nation of laws, and they are huffing and puffing about how scary it will be to try these terrorists on American soil.  They are outraged and afraid; they want you to be outraged and afraid. 

Is it that they have so little faith in our justice system that they fear that the killers might be acquitted?  Do they fear that our law enforcement system cannot protect New York civilians?  Those are a couple of the excuses that you’ll hear, all designed to make you afraid of terrorism, all designed to paralyze this nation in fear.  It should be of no surprise, however, because conservatives have been doing this for years–using the threat of terrorism to weaken domestic opponents.  This time it is to weaken the President of the United States, Barack Obama.  It is easy to see that is the case, because terrorists were successfully tried in civilian courts during the Bush Administration, including the so-called 20th hijacker, Zacharias Moussavi.  That prosecution was supported by conservatives as a triumph of the American way of life.

Well, guess what fraidy-cats.  Trying these terrorists in the courts is not only the right thing to do constitutionally, but it is quintessentially American.  In our country, even the worst of the worst get due-process under our laws.  Even admitted murders get their day in court.  Even admitted child molestors have a right to a trial.  And yes, terrorists, domestic and foreign, must be tried and convicted if they are responsible for crimes on our soil.  Why?  Because we are America, stupid.  We do things the right way, no matter the fears of partisan politics.  If we forget that we are a nation of laws, then the terrorists have won.

This is the man that makes Republicans/conservatives wet their beds.  As an American, are you afraid of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad?

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Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

“Country First?”

Posted by AB on October 9, 2009

Friday brought the announcement, by the Nobel Selection committee, that the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the President of the United States, Barack Obama.  The Nobel Prize in Peace is an enormous honor, and one in which all Americans can be proud.

Unfortunately, many Republicans and/or conservatives in politics and media were outraged that President Obama has received the award.  They were as outraged today as they were joyous one week ago, when the big news story was the announcement that the city of Chicago, and the United States, would no host the 2016 Olympics.  Last week, these same people were laughing and dancing at the President’s “failure.”  Today, they are angry and frustrated that the international community would dare recognize Barack Obama’s efforts toward nuclear disarmament, increased dialogue with hostile governments, the effort to reach out to Muslims around the world,  continued attempts at peace among Israeli’s and Palestinians, the reduction of troops in Iraq, and the demand that Guantanamo Bay prison be closed.

Yes, there is much yet to be accomplished.  The work has just begun, but President Obama is very much deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize.  He should, in no way, be embarrassed by this great honor.  And for those who celebrate his failures and detest his successes; I have some troubling news for you:  You are going to have a very bad eight years.  This man is going to succeed many more times than he will fail.

It’s too bad that the campaign slogan of Republican presidential nominee, John McCain, means nothing to many Republicans and conservatives.  “Country First.”  That’s a great slogan, but it means much more when that vow is honored.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

My Letter to Patrick McHenry (R-NC)

Posted by AB on September 1, 2009

Today, I sent a message to my US Representative, Patrick McHenry (R-NC10).  I doubt that it’s going to make any difference, but I thought that it was my responsibility to let him know how I feel.  Here it is:                    

Dear Congressman McHenry,

I am a proud resident of North Carolina’s Tenth Congressional District, which you represent.  As you are aware, the nation has been captivated by the health care debate and, unfortunately, there does seem to be quite a bit of anger on both sides of the debate.  I have read about, and watched video of the disrespectful and disruptive behavior of health care reform critics.  Frankly, it embarrasses me to see my fellow Americans acting in such a way.

I am a Democrat and proponent of health care reform, including the installation of a public insurance option.  While no bill will be perfect, one with the public option will be most effective and efficient.  I have heard many on your side of the aisle correctly assert that we have the best health care in the world—we do.  Unfortunately, all of that great technology and skill mean nothing for those who lack access. 

 This is one of those moments in the history of our nation that our children, and our children’s children, and their children will look upon as a turning point that helped to shape the next generation of American global influence.  It is a shame that there are people in the greatest nation in this world’s history who constantly fear what might happen if they happen to become sick or injured.  It is an embarrassment that there are people in this nation who must choose between feeding their children and buying medication. 

 This is the time for leadership in this country; Democrats and Republicans, conservative and liberals, blacks and whites, Christians and Jews, Southerners and Midwesterners.  I did not vote for you, but you still have a responsibility to represent me, as much as you have a responsibility to represent those who voted for you, or those who didn’t vote at all.

I understand that you envision, for yourself, a long and illustrious career in politics and public service.  If you are to establish yourself as a leader, this is the time to do so.  It is time to stop following like a sheep, which has been my perception of you short career in the US House of Representatives.  That is not meant to sound as harsh as it does, because I understand that you must pay your dues, so to speak.  But now is the time to lead.  Now is the time to calm the waters of partisan division.  Now is the time to do what is best for the Tenth District, for North Carolina, and for the United States of America.  Do not allow yourself, Congressman, to be on the wrong side of history.  Health care reform will pass.  The question that you should ask yourself each time you look into the mirror is this:  “Am I for a better America, or am I for a partisan America.”  It never hurts to do the right thing, and the right thing is to ensure that all Americans have health care coverage.

Do the right thing.

I look forward to your leadership and hard work, for not only those who voted for you, but also for those who didn’t.

Posted in Misc., Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Did You Lose Your Healthcare Today?

Posted by AB on August 3, 2009

While Republican lobbyists organize protests to shout down Democratic Congress members and Obama Administration officials during townhall meetings, thousands of Americans will lose healthcare coverage, daily. 

The US House of Representatives have recessed, and after this week, the US Senate will enter into the August recess.  Now, these lawmakers will return to his or her constituents, and one of the most critical issues they will discuss is that concerning healthcare reform.  I’m sure that many Americans are interested in having the opportunity to ask quetions of their democratically-elected representatives, and this ability retained by Americans to have this direct contact with those who actually make laws is just another reason that our country is so great.   Townhall-type forums allow for public discussion of important issues that affect all Americans.  Unfortunately, there are those who are attempting to shout-down and intimidate Representatives and voters, alike.

The healthcare industry is prepared to spend over a million dollars a day, yes, a day to kill healthcare reform.  And where is that money going?  Well, one lobbying group dedicated to “killing” healthcare reform is called FreedomWorks.  The Chairman of FreedomWorks is former Republican Majority leader Dick Armey–that is his real name.  This is the same organization that funded the so-called grassroots movement called “Tea Parties.” 

 A disturbing memo from FreedomWorks has been leaked, and it is one of the most sickening, anti-American, anti-democracy memos imaginable.  The memo calls for anti-healthcare supporters, and in some cases the group will bus-in supporters, to disrupt townhall meetings by intimidating Representatives and constituents.  This tactic is not only dispicable for the lies that are perpetrated by these people but, most of all, for the total disregard for the rights of their fellow Americans.

Meanwhile, there have been estimates as far back as February that suggest that approximately 14,000 Americans a day will lose healthcare coverage.  That is nearly 100,000 people a week that will lose healthcare.  And what is the solution provided by these opponents of healthcare reform?  Well, in their diseased minds, there is nothing wrong with our healthcare system.  Their ideal solutions is one that would cut even more taxes on insurance and pharmaceutical companies while Americans see premiums rise at over triple the rate of inflation and wages. 

So, if you find yourself at a townhall meeting to discuss the future of this country, and there are 10-20 loud assholes disrupting the discussion, don’t get angry.  First ask them to respect the speakers and those in attendence.  Then ask them if they have healthcare–they likely do.  Then find out where they are from; chances are that they are not from your congressional district, as they have been asked to disrupt any and all townhall meetings possible.  The most important thing to do is to, however, is to resist this intimidation, peacefully, and collect the information that that affects your family.  Find the truth.

Warning:  These people are thugs, and I would put nothing past them. 

*If you can stomach it, I have posted some YouTube clips of these protests, via TPM.

Posted in Economics, Misc., Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Supreme Court Confirmation

Posted by AB on July 13, 2009

Today marked the beginning of a truly important democratic process atthe United States Capitol.  Sonia Sotomayor–only the third woman, and the first Hispanic Supreme Court nominee–began her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Beyond all of the political ruminations of the Senate, which will certainly be seen, this is an opportunity for Americans and the entire world to witness the confirmation process.

The hearing began with opening statements by the members of the US Senate Judiciary Committee, consisting of twelve Democrats, including Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and seven Republicans.  Following the statements by all committee members, Judge Sotomayor was introduced with statements from her home-state Senators, (D-NY) Chuck Schumer and (D-NY) Kirsten Gillibrand.  After two compelling introductions, Sotomayor was sworn in by Chairman Leahy, and then offered her own statement, which was a brief summary of her journey to this point.  It was her first opportunity to speak publicly since her nomination.

Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor is sworn in during ...

After today’s hearing, I heard most media pundits declare that Republican committee-members were very tame and respectful.  I don’t know whichSupreme Court confirmation hearing those people were watching, but the one that I watched was one in which Republican members were setting the precursors for an attack.  This will not only be an attack upon Sotomayor, but an attack upon President Obama, most importantly.

Despite the filth of some partisan politics that will be on display for the rest of the hearing, I encourage everyone to watch as much of this process as possible.  It’s not quite Haley’s Comet, but there are only nine Supreme Court Justices, and they all have lifetime appointments. 

*This seat became available with Justice David Souter’s retirement.

Posted in Misc., Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

USA! USA! USA! (UPDATEx3)

Posted by AB on March 5, 2009

The 2008 World Baseball Classic began today, on the other side of the planet, as Japan defeated China 4-0.  A sellout crowd of over 43,000 was on hand in the Tokyo Dome to watch the defending champion take care of business.

The United States, managed by Davey Johnson, will open against Canada on Saturday, in Toronto.  After a disappointing 2006 WBC, the Americans will attempt to regain dominance over the “national past time.” 

The World Baseball Classic debuted in 2006 as a contest, held every two years, with the best baseball players in the world representing their home countries.  This event was created to better help spread the game of baseball throughout the world.  Sixteen countries will take part in the tournament that will culminate in Los Angeles on March 21-23.  The pools and locations for the first round are as follows:

Pool A (Tokyo)                                              

  • China                                                  
  • Chinese Taipei
  • Japan
  • Korea

 

Pool B (Mexico City)

  • Australia
  • Cuba
  • Mexico
  • South Africa

 

Pool C (Toronto)

  • Canada
  • Italy
  • United States
  • Venezuela

 

Pool D (San Juan)

  • Dominican Republic
  • Netherlands
  • Panama
  • Puerto Rico

I hope that more people in the US will pay more attention, and take more pride in this tournament than we saw in 2006.  It’s likely news to many Americans that there is such a thing as a World Baseball Classic.  We are going through some difficult times in this country, as is the rest of the world.  Let us get behind our national team.  Let us take national pride in our “national past time,” once again.  This is an opportunity to put our problems aside and enjoy this great competition.

 

USA!  USA!  USA!    

 

 

UPDATE:

Kevin Youkilis, Brian McCann, and Adam Dunn hit home runs in the United States’ 6-5 win over Canada in Pool A play of the World Baseball Classic.  The US is 1-0, while Canada goes to 0-1 in the double-elimination first round.

 

LeTroy Hawkins got the pitching win for the US, and JJ Putz got the save in a raucus Rogers Centre, formerly known as the Toronto Sky Dome.   

 

 

UPDATE2:

Mark DeRosa and Chris Ianetta each drove in four runs as the United States exploded, offensively, to beat Venezuela 15-6.  The US moves to 2-0 in Pool C, and will advance to the second round.

 

Chipper Jones left the game with an oblique strain, but says that he”ll be ready to play in the second round.

 

Matt Linstrom got the pitching win for the US, while the Chicago Cubs’ Carlos Zambrano was charged with the loss for Venezuela.  

 

UPDATE3:

The good guys lost to Venezuela tonight, and lost Pool C.  Winning the Pool is not very significant, because both teams will advance to the next round.  The loss will affect seeding, however.

 

The second round begins on Saturday for the Americans.  They will play Pool D winner, Puerto Rico, on Saturday in Miami. 

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