President Chump, You Cannot Distract Us

June 6, 2017 at 7:59 am | Posted in Abuse of Office, Conceited, Disinformation, Enemies of Freedom | Leave a comment
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Orangutans can use objects in creative ways. Photo taken by Postdif from Wikipedia, at the Philadelphia Zoo on 8 May 2010.

Orangutans can use objects in creative ways. Photo taken by Postdif from Wikipedia, at the Philadelphia Zoo on 8 May 2010.

To President Chump –

When others point out inconvenient facts about you, one of your favorite tactics is to change the subject. You deliberately do something attention-grabbing, to distract the public’s attention away from the inconvenient facts.

When there are questions about the connections of you and your gang to Putin’s regime, you squawk instead about how those inconvenient facts became widely known. You squawk about leaks – you, who said “I love Wikileaks” during the campaign, when leaks had been crafted to harm your opponent, just like the more recent “leaks” that were crafted to harm Emmanuel Macron‘s campaign for the Presidency of France.

That doesn’t work any more. We are on to you.

Speakers and posters at the March for Truth on June 3 said so, loud and clear.

Every morning, you will wake up to us asking again about your taxes.

You will wake up to us asking again about your conflicts of interest.

You will wake up to us asking again about your loyalty.

You will wake up to us asking again about whether you are a security risk – you, the first US President ever to have been called The Leaker in Chief.  (Yes, that was one of the posters at the March for Truth.)

Perhaps Mar-a-Lago should be renamed Mar-a-Leako.

The March for Truth on June 3, 2017, in Portland, Oregon, which was one of its many cities.  Photographed by 'Another Believer'.

The March for Truth on June 3, 2017, in Portland, Oregon, which was one of its many cities. Photographed by ‘Another Believer’.

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Dishonorable Devin Nunes: What Are His Loyalties?

March 29, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Disinformation, Dysfunctional Politics, Enemies of Freedom, Presidential election | Leave a comment
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Illustration of the Devil in the Codex Gigas, folio 270 recto, early 13th century, by Herman the Recluse of the Benedictine monastery of Podlažice.

Illustration of the Devil in the Codex Gigas, folio 270 recto, early 13th century, by Herman the Recluse of the Benedictine monastery of Podlažice.

To what Is Devil Nunes loyal?

The one who is better known as Devin Nunes (R-Calif.)

Based on his stonewalling of investigations into Russia’s role, and his frantic attempts to divert the focus of the investigation away from Russia and away from Trump’s campaign, and toward the patriots who alerted the country, and his secret nightime trip to confer with the White House, it appears that Devin Nunes’ loyalties, in their order of importance to him, are

  • First, Devin Nunes himself, followed – possibly closely – by his family.
  • Second, Trump, followed – possibly closely – by the Republican Party in its present grotesquely deformed version.
  • Third, possibly the United States, possibly including the district that he supposedly represents.

Given that order of priorities, it is not fitting that Nunes should be a member of the House Intelligence Committee, much less that he should chair it.

Nunes was in Trump’s transition team. Yet he claims that there is no conflict of interest for him to lead the investigation of contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

The conflict of interest is clear. Nunes cannot be objective about this issue.

In attempting to deflect attention away from the real danger – Putin’s mafia – Devin Nunes betrayed his country.

He doesn’t belong in Congress.

For his future, his best career option is to apply to become a caddy at one of Trump’s golf courses.

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The Women’s March On Washington Has A Lesson For The March For Science

February 25, 2017 at 2:51 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Climate change, Disinformation, Enemies of Planet Earth, Global warming, Practical tips | Leave a comment
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Rikugien, a Japanese garden in Tokyo, Japan, photographed by Fg2 on March 29, 2005.

Rikugien, a Japanese garden in Tokyo, Japan, photographed by Fg2 on March 29, 2005.

Next April 22 will be Earth Day.

The March for Science will be on that day.

Scientists – and those who appreciate science – will be demonstrating to remind everyone of how indispensible science is to our understanding of how the world works, and to our ability to survive and thrive.

To survive and thrive we use tools: mental tools – concepts, knowledge (conclusions) and skills – and physical tools.

The demonstrators will be reminding us all that the relentless testing of all of our tools, using testable evidence, is the only way of arriving at conclusions and other tools that are reliable enough to build upon.

Well-tested conclusions and other tools are fruitful even when they are incomplete or approximate. Because tested tools have withstood at least some testing, they carry at least some information, so they contain clues as to improve on them.

From experience, we know that well-tested conclusions and well-tested other tools exist, and are better in the long run than unreliable conclusions and other tools.

A testable and well-tested assertion is worth of being called a fact. An unsupported assertion is not worthy of being called a fact. There is no such thing as an alternative fact. There can be alternative perceptions, but not alternative facts.

That is what the demonstrators desperately want to remind us of, because malignant people are trying to make us forget that hard-earned understanding, and if we do forget it, our future will be as was aptly described by Thomas Hobbes: nasty, brutish and short.

For the March for Science to be all that it can be, it must learn an important lesson from the Women’s March on Washington.

Photo by Mobilus In Mobili of the Women's March on Washington, 21 January 2017

Photo by Mobilus In Mobili of the Women’s March on Washington, 21 January 2017

Ellen McCarthy, Lavanya Ramanathan, Maura Judkis published in the Washington Post an informative account of that event.

But they mis-interpreted one feature of what happened there, and it is exactly that feature that the planners of the March for Science need to understand correctly.

The mis-interpretation occured in these lines in the article:

But the group gathered in Washington, which organizers said topped 500,000, wasn’t an unfettered love fest. As the program of speakers stretched into the third hour, many in the crowd, like penned race horses itching to run, began to chant: “Let us march!”
And resentment brewed as some marchers took off while speakers of color were still standing at the microphone.
“This whole thing is supposed to be about intersectional feminism, and they’re just walking out on speeches,” said Telfer Carpenter, 22, an equity studies major at the University of Toronto who had come in on an overnight bus. “I think the first people to leave were old white women. They left when a Muslim woman was speaking and when a Korean woman was speaking. A mark has been missed.”

I was there, and the crowd’s impatience had nothing to do with who was speaking or with what they were saying.

It had everything to do with it being “the third hour“.

At that point, we no longer cared or even noticed who was speaking. Most of us couldn’t see the stage, so we couldn’t see any ethnic or religious indicators of the speakers.

Most people had been standing since well before the program began: for more than three hours.

We had been happy to hear what the early speakers had said. But now we were saturated. We didn’t want to hear another thing, no matter how pertinent, no matter how interesting it would have been if we had heard it earlier.

That would have been true even if we had been seated and warm. But we were stiff and cold – and most important – the speeches had continued beyond our attention span.

Enthusiastic attendees morphed into disgruntled attendees.

Three hours was just too much. We needed to move. We wanted to march, since that would be how we would have our say. We wanted to shout at the White House, “Lock him up!”, as we so delightedly shouted once we started walking.

It is easy to see why the planners of the March made the mistake of exceeding our attention span.

The planners had wanted to enlist the participation and support of as many organizations as possible.

Each of those organizations wanted to publicize its cause and its views. It wanted time in the limelight for its spokesperson.

The error was in allotting too much time to each of so many speakers.

The organizers of the March for Science will likewise have enlisted many participating organizations.

The guiding principle for any such event should be to have at most an hour and a half of speeches, total.

If that means five minutes per speaker, that will be far better than what happened here. The need to make each statement brief will yield more memorable statements.

View of the Women's March on Washington from the roof of the Voice of America building in Washington, D.C. January 21, 2017 (B. Allen / VOA)

View of the Women’s March on Washington from the roof of the Voice of America building in Washington, D.C. January 21, 2017 (B. Allen / VOA)

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June 4 = Tianenmen Square Day

June 4, 2016 at 10:54 am | Posted in Abuse of Office, Enemies of Freedom, Fairness, Judicial Misjudgment | 2 Comments
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A Chinese Type 59 tank at the Beijing Military Museum. A Type 59 main battle tank on display at the Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution in western Beijing. On June 3, 1989, People's Liberation Army soldiers on Type 59 tanks began firing on civilian demonstrators at Muxidi near the military museum. (Wikipedia) Photo by Max Smith.

A Chinese Type 59 tank at the Beijing Military Museum. A Type 59 main battle tank on display at the Military Museum of the Chinese People’s Revolution in western Beijing. On June 3, 1989, People’s Liberation Army soldiers on Type 59 tanks began firing on civilian demonstrators at Muxidi near the military museum.
(Wikipedia) Photo by Max Smith.

Today is June 4 – Tiananmen Square Day.

It is a day to honor the love of freedom, the desire for the rule of law, the insistence on fairness, and the true patriotism of the students and others who demonstrated in Tianenmen Square in Beijing, and in other cities, throughout May and early June of 1989.

It is a day to honor the bravery and patriotism of Tank Man.

They were not a threat to China. But China’s self-appointed rulers felt the student’s ideas to be a threat to their rule. So the self-appointed rulers crushed the demonstrations, and sometimes literally crushed demonstrators, with ostentatious cruelty.

For more background, see these previous posts on this blog: here, here, and here.

The student’s chose black as the color to symbolize agreement with their goals.

To honor them and their goals, wear something black today.

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June 4: Tiananmen Square Day

June 3, 2015 at 12:29 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Disinformation, Enemies of Freedom, Fairness, Judicial Injustice | 1 Comment
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A drafting board with a T-Square and triangle. Photo by Michael Holley, October 24, 2012.

A drafting board with a T-Square and triangle. Photo by Michael Holley, October 24, 2012.

June 4 is Tiananmen Square Day: T-square Day

An emblem for Tiananmen Square Day.  Created by thepoliblog.WordPress.com

An emblem for Tiananmen Square Day. Created by thepoliblog.WordPress.com

Two previous posts (here and here) on this blog have marked the anniversaries of the massacres in Beijing and Chengdu on and after June 4, 1989. It is that time of year again.

Tiananmen Square Day honors those who believed in the rule of law.

The demonstrators in Beijing and Chengdu thought that the government of China would adhere to its own written laws. They thought that laws exist to benefit and protect the people, not just to benefit and protect the powerful – those who have appointed themselves to rule the country. The demonstrators’ concept was correct, but their prediction was wrong.

The government of China claims to observe the rule of law. But that is a sham. Laws in China are written or are re-interpreted according to the whims and interests of the powerful. In China today, the mafia is in control.

Recent items (here, here, and here) in the Washington Post underscore the arbitrary way in which the laws are invoked, and the impunity with which they are twisted.

Besides stunting Chinese society, besides the unfairness to individuals and communities, this looseness with fact and law could lead to international conflict. The unilateral reinterpretation of territorial claims in the waters around south east and eastern Asia are a recent example.

In discussing this and other government actions, it is essential to distinguish between the government of China, and China and the Chinese people. To say and write ‘the government of China’ takes more time and space than to say and to write ‘China’, but the distinction is so important that it is worth the extra time and space. Never insult an injured people by confusing them with their oppressors.

Tiananmen Square Day honors the rule of law, while demonstrating that the rule of law cannot exist without the separation of powers.

The separation of powers is the only way for the administrators, the legislators and the judiciary of any polity to be independent enough to monitor one another, and to limit each other’s abuse of power. The tendency to abuse power is inherent in human nature. Even people of good will cannot resist the temptation to abuse power. We are excellent rationalizers, so we easily trick ourselves. The trajectory of the French Revolution is a perfect example.

Black was the color chosen by the demonstrators in Beijing and in Chengdu. Wear something black on Tianenmen Square Day. If you need to be inconspicuous, wear black shoes, or a belt, or a tie, or a scarf or a purse.

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Wear Something Black on June 4 (Tiananmen Square Day)

May 29, 2014 at 8:01 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Fairness | 2 Comments
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Retouched version by Gary King of a picture taken of Natasha Bedingfield by Bobcobb22 at Six Flags over Georgia in Austell, Georgia, USA on July 13, 2008.

Retouched version by Gary King of a picture taken of Natasha Bedingfield by Bobcobb22 at Six Flags over Georgia in Austell, Georgia, USA on July 13, 2008.

On and around June 4, 1989, Chinese citizens were killed or imprisoned or beaten by the Chinese Government for peacefully demonstrating at Tianenmen Square for a more open society (see here and here). They wanted a society that functioned according to democratically chosen and publically announced laws, rather than according to unpublished but universally understood rules that are crafted for the benefit of the powerful, and are administered and revised according to their whim.

June 4 is International Tiananmen Square Day. It reminds us of the courage, heroism, and patriotic public spirit of the demonstrators. It reminds us that the Chinese Government still has not expressed regret for abusing its most public spirited citizens – those who wanted to advance their country rather than to fill their wallets at the expense of their fellow citizens.

The demonstrators in and around Tiananmen Square chose black to be the color that symbolized their adherence to their cause.

In memory of the demonstrators, and to honor their ideas, wear something black on June 4. June 4 is a Wednesday this year.

Black shoes, a black belt, a black shirt, a black hat, a black necktie, black gloves, black shirt buttons, a black band, a black ribbon, a black scrunchie, a black umbrella – anything black.

'Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Turkish President Abdullah Gül.

‘Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Turkish President Abdullah Gül.

Mens' ballroom shoes at the Eurodance (Vladimír Bábor), Czech Republic, photographed 25 February 2009 by Martin Kozák.

Mens’ ballroom shoes at the Eurodance (Vladimír Bábor), Czech Republic, photographed 25 February 2009 by Martin Kozák.

Ladies' ballroom shoes by Tango Shoes, Buenos Aires, photographed 25 February 2009 by  Martin Kozák.

Ladies’ ballroom shoes by Tango Shoes, Buenos Aires, photographed 25 February 2009 by
Martin Kozák.

292x240.S3_SafetyFootwear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kazuma Nitta performs a Kubudo Kata with a staff for the judges at the Open Karate Tournament in Japan, 2004. Photographed by Lance Cpl. Patrick J. Floto, USMC.

Kazuma Nitta performs a Kubudo Kata with a staff for the judges at the Open Karate Tournament in Japan, 2004. Photographed by Lance Cpl. Patrick J. Floto, USMC.

The first Chinese Emperor, Qin Shi Huang. Tsîn-sí-hông. 秦始皇。

The first Chinese Emperor, Qin Shi Huang.
Tsîn-sí-hông. 秦始皇。

 

Additional information:

The Massacre at Tiananmen Square was twenty five years ago tomorrow, June 4, 1989, in Beijing and in Chengdu.

Tomorrow, the 25th anniversary of the Massacre, Louisa Lim’s remarkable new book (The People’s Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0199347704) will become publically available. Selections from it at the web sites of on-line book sellers show that the book contains much new information, written beautifully and clearly, as well as remarkable interviews and color photos. The link to a Washington Post article by Louisa Lim, about the secrecy she had to deploy to write the book, was given near the beginning of this post.

Dan Southerland was the chief of the Beijing bureau of the Washington Post in 1985 through 1990. In a recent article he praises the additional information that was uncovered by Louisa Lim, and is included in her book. His article also describes what he saw before, during, and after the massacre.

The link to an astounding video, narrated by Dan Southerland, appears in the online version of an article by Michael Streissguth that has just appeared in the Washington Post Magazine. The video shiows the attacks on the students, and shows Tank Man stopping a column of tanks on a nearby street. The video also shows very shocking photos. Southerland very effectively describes the time-line of the events. The students were demonstrating protesting corruption by officials, and because they knew that China needed a more open society. The video was produced by Kate M. Tobey, assembled by Jason Adag, and used excellent graphics by Osman Malick and Julio Negron.

Streissguth’s article itself is very informative, and includes remarkable photos of bicycles that had been flattened by army tanks, and of students in Tiananmen Square listening to a young leader of the pro-democracy movement.

A good article by Ruth Marcus describes present-day attitudes in China about the massacre.

An moving article by Rowena Xiaoqing He describes the impact of the massacre on parents of the students who were killed.

William Wan’s article in the Washington Post shows astounding works of art produced by artists in China, in response to the massacre.

An article by Dana Nemcova, Jiri Gruntorad, Jan Ruml show that the ideas of the demonstrating students live on.

More additional information:

Today is the 25th Anniversary of the Massacres at Tiananmen Square and at Chengdu. Several fascinating articles have appeared in print today (2014-06-04).

Tom Malinowski’s op-ed article in the Washington Post notes how the Chinese government’s failure to come to grips with the massacres has held China back, and why it matters to the rest of the world.

An editorial by the Editors of the Washington Post stresses the fear that underlies the Chinese governments attempts to suppress information not only about the massacres, but also about its abuse of China’s brave patriots and their good ideas, as well their suppression of any non-governmental organization that becomes large. These suppressions directly violate China’s constitution. The on-line version of the editorial also includes a link to a remarkable article by Hua Ze which was published by The New York Times on August 18, 2013, about how the Chinese government misused its police powers to persecute Xu Zhiyong, for his advocacy of the rule of law and for his opposition to corruption. The editorial also mentions a book, In the Shadow of the Rising Dragon: Stories of Repression in the New China, that was edited by Xu Youyu and Hua Ze and was published last year.  I hadn’t known of the book, and am eager to read it.

An article by William Wan and Simon Denyer in the Washingtom Post describes the Chinese government’s panicky and heavy-handed repression of remembrance of the massacres. (Note: “the Chinese government’s”, not “China’s”! ) The article includes interesting interviews and photos, and a link to the video that was described above.

 

 

Involuntary Manslaughter on the George Washington Bridge

February 13, 2014 at 4:26 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Dysfunctional Politics, Enemies of Freedom | Leave a comment
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"The George Washington Bridge, connecting Fort Lee to New York City, is the world's busiest motor vehicle bridge." (Wikipedia) Photo by Jet Lowe, April 1986.

“The George Washington Bridge, connecting Fort Lee to New York City, is the world’s busiest motor vehicle bridge.” (Wikipedia) Photo by Jet Lowe, April 1986.

“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee”, said the email from Bridget Anne Kelly to David Wildstein.  Bridget Kelly was a top staff member to Govenor Chris Christie of New Jersey, and David Wildstein was one of Christie’s appointees to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls the bridge.

The goal: to punish someone who hadn’t fallen into line politically (the Mayor of Fort Lee), by punishing thousands of innocent people, namely, people who where commuting from New Jersey to New York City via the George Washington Bridge.

David Wildstein contrived to create a horrendous traffic jam for people traveling during rush hour from New Jersey to Manhattan via the George Washington Bridge.  An unneccesary ‘traffic study’ was devised, as a cover story.

A traffic jam in Delhi, India, taken by NOMAD.  It is a different traffic jam, but it gives you the flavor.

A traffic jam in Delhi, India, taken by NOMAD. It is a different traffic jam, but it gives you the flavor.

A woman died after a heart attack, because emergency personnel could not reach her.

Thousands were late for work, missed meetings, missed job interviews, missed appointments with doctors.

Thousands experienced the agony of not being able to reach a toilet.

Hourly workers lost wages.  Businesses lost sales, both to to individuals and to companies.

Those stuck in traffic, those wanting to help during a medical emergency, those waiting for delayed employees and customers, suffered worry and tension that was prolonged enough to cause subtle but real damage to the immune system, heart, and brain.

Besides Bridget Kelly and David Wildstein there may be additional culprits.  Bill Baroni – another Christie appointee to the Port Authority – appears to have been involved.  Bill Stepien, Christie’s Deputy Chief of Staff at the time, exhibited suspiciously inhuman callousness about the effects of the jam.

Chris Christie denies knowing about the scheme until he learned about it from news reports.  His denial may well be accurate.  He might have been told that a traffic study was taking place, without knowing that the traffic study was just a cover, and without knowing that his associates had instigated it only to trigger a horrendous traffic jam.

The actions of Kelly and Wildstein, and possibly of Baroni and Stepien, was goon-like behavior.  It is the behavior of gangland enforcers, of thugs, not of those who treasure an open society.  The only novel feature is that in this case the enforcers appear to have been self-appointed, rather than being directed from above.

This wasn’t a prank.  It was deliberately punitive.

Justice requires that all of those who suffered, economically and/or emotionally, from this maneuver should be compensated for their suffering and injury, and that all who can be made whole should be made whole.  There should be prison sentences for the misuse of authority by those culpable, and for the involuntary manslaughter of the woman who died.

In particular, a Grand Jury should decide whether whether Kelly, Wildstein, and possibly Baroni and Stepien, should be tried for involuntary manslaughter.

A Grand Jury should decide whether whether Kelly, Wildstein, and possibly Baroni and Stepien, should be tried for misuse of authority.

A Grand Jury should decide whether whether Kelly, Wildstein, and possibly Baroni and Stepien, should be tried for the economic and emotional damage to the thousands of affected travelers, and to those who awaited them.

Kelly, Wildstein and perhaps Baroni and Stepien should be required to monetarily compensate the woman’s family, and, indeed, all of those who were damaged by their scheme.

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The State Department and the Afghan Interpreters

November 21, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Conceited, Fairness, Judicial Misjudgment | Leave a comment
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Lithograph of the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln.  Currier & Ives, 1865.

Lithograph of the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Currier & Ives, 1865.

Afghani’s who served as interpreters for US forces in Afghanistan knowingly exposed themselves to risk by doing so.   They now face dramatically increased risk as the US presence winds down.  The Taliban have a long-established record of making examples of those who have cooperated with US forces.

After all, the Taliban have assassinated Afghanis who have cooperated with outside humanitarian groups, or even with the Afghani government.  They will surely attack those who helped US forces.

Realizing the danger to themselves and their families, some Afghan interpreters have applied for visas to the US.

The State Department has denied visas to most, even though the visas have already been allocated by the US Congress.  According to articles (here, here, here, and here) in the Washington Post, “the State Department says there is no serious threat against [the interpreters’] lives.”

This should remind you of the judges in civil courts who refuse to grant restraining orders, pooh-poohing the fears of those who are begging for protection from a spouse or ex-boyfriend.  Those judges are the enablers of the events you later read about when the newspaper reports the murder of the person who asked for the restraining order.  The judges are never the ones who suffer for their bad judgement.

In exactly the same way, the State Department employees whose magical source of infallible knowledge tells them that “there is no serious threat” are not the ones who will pay the price of being wrong.

Denying these visas is both cruel and unjust, and extremely harmful to US efforts in all future conflicts.

These brave interpreters accepted a huge risk in helping us.  Their help saved many US lives, and were essential to anything we achieved over there.  We owe them gratitude and protection.  If we do not shield them, no one will be foolish enough to help us in any similar situation.

Chuck Hagel, as the Secretary of Defense, would be well advised to urge the State Department to reverse the decisions made by its incompetent employees.

President Obama, as Commander in Chief, should issue an Executive Order establishing a policy to admit those who have exposed themselves to local hostility by helping us.

Congressional committees in both the Senate and the House should ask the State Department why it has taken actions that are completely contrary to US interests, to fairness, and to the expressed desires of Congress.

The State Department should identify the incompetent employees who are making decisions that are so unjust and so contrary to US interest, and revisit their decisions.  Those employees should be moved them to more suitable positions, where they will have no discretion over matters like these.

Decisions on this matter need to be made by people who have hearts and brains.  Those currently making the decisions have neither.

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John Boehner’s Priorities

October 15, 2013 at 8:46 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Disinformation, Dysfunctional Politics, Fairness | 1 Comment
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Official portrait of United States House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), turned upside-down.

Official portrait of United States House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), turned upside-down.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives determines which bills are brought to a vote.

The Speaker is therefore supposed to serve the entire House, not just his own party.

In that respect, the Speaker’s responsibility is like that of the President: to act in the interest of the whole country.

John Boehner does not so act.

The present crisis would have been averted if Boehner had brought to vote a bill that had substantial support, and which would have resolved the present stalemate in a prudent, pragmatic fashion.

He refused to do, and lied about his reason.  He claimed that the bill didn’t have enough votes to pass, while knowing knew full well that the Democrats together with 18 to 21 Republicans were willing to vote for the bill, and would have been enough to assure the bill’s passage.

He carefully did not state his real reasons:
(1) Despite serving the country’s interest, that manner of passage would have emphasized the Democrats constructive role, and also the fissure between the doctrinaire wing of the Republicans and the pragmatic (and more patriotic) Republicans, who wanted the government be useful,
(2) Boehner’s own vow – not sanctioned by the Constitution, nor by any principle of useful government – to not bring to a vote any bill that would not pass by Republican votes alone,
(3) bringing those bills to a vote would aggravate the pee party, which might challenge him in the next Republican primaries.

His choices reveal his priorities.

Boehner’s priorities are, starting with his highest:
1.  John Boehner’s political future.
2.  The Republican Party.
3.  The United States.

John Boehner doesn’t have a statesmanlike bone in his body.

At the next election, remember: Ohio and the United States would both be better off without him.

 

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The ‘No Sochi’ Pledge

September 5, 2013 at 8:04 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Enemies of Freedom, Fairness | Leave a comment
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Ice hockey game between the Canadian and Swedish teams during the 1928 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz.  Bundesarchiv, Bild 102-05472 / CC-BY-SA

Ice hockey game between the Canadian and Swedish teams during the 1928 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz. Bundesarchiv, Bild 102-05472 / CC-BY-SA

There is a justified uproar about the choice of Sochi as the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics.  Sochi is under Russian law, which is hysterically fearful of homosexuality, as if it were contagious.  Homosexuals are widely persecuted in Russia, and of course the police do not protect them.  See here, here, and here.

It is unlikely that any athlete who is known to be gay or lesbian will be allowed to compete, so the competition will not be free and open.  The winners will not necessarily be the best athletes.  They will  merely be the best among those who were allowed to compete.

Even if an athlete’s homosexuality were not publicaly known, if they went to Sochi they would be vulnerable to being ejected if their mental configuration were discovered while they were there, and would be likely to suffer physical abuse as well as mistreatment by any officials they encountered, for example, in the airport.

The same applies to spectators, and to the judges at the events.

Since the Sochi Olympics cannot be fair to the pool of athletes, nor to the pool of potential spectators, many urge a boycott.

Any boycotting should include the advertisers, who pay enormous sums to advertise during broadcasts of the Games, and should also include the broadcasters themselves.  Hence the following pledge:

I pledge
– to not go to Sochi to watch the Winter Olympics of 2014;
– to not watch any part of the Winter Olympics of 2014 on television or on the internet, nor to acquire videos of it;
– to avoid the products and services of any entity that advertises at the 2014 Winter Olympics, or that broadcasts the contests there.  To do so, I will consult a list of the advertisers and broadcasters that will have been compiled by human rights organizations.

If you wish to make this pledge, please leave a comment to that effect.

Since comments to this blog can be submitted only by Word Press bloggers, please encourage human rights organizations world wide to co-sponsor this pledge, and to host it on their own web sites.

Olympic Rings without "rims" (gaps between the rings), as used, eg. in the logos of the 2008 and 2016 Olympics. The colour scheme applied here pertains to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.  The original design was by Pierre de Coubertin (1863-1937). This image is due to O Alexander, 4 January 2011.

Olympic Rings without “rims” (gaps between the rings), as used, eg. in the logos of the 2008 and 2016 Olympics. The colour scheme applied here pertains to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The original design was by Pierre de Coubertin (1863-1937). This image is due to O Alexander, 4 January 2011.

 

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