Archive | Politics & Government

RSS feed for this section

TIME TO END AFFIRMATIVE ACTION

 

“Affirmative action was never meant to be permanent, and now is truly the time to move on to some other approach.”

 

— Susan Estrich, author, feminist

 

Sure to be accused of flip-flopping, John McCain says he now favors a proposed referendum in Arizona that would ban affirmative action. This reverses a position he took ten years ago.

Critics will say it is politically motivated to shore up his conservative base. But it’s also a risk. Such a position may alienate him from whatever minority support he hopes to garner.

Truth is, times change, and McCain has changed with it.

Every time a political candidate changes a position, the press has a field day while opposing candidates seize the opportunity for finger-pointing. Mitt Romney had a rough time explaining his former pro-choice views, claiming he was persuaded over the years to alter his position on pro-life. Everyone who has been a major candidate for president, including John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama, has been accused of “flip-flopping,” as though it’s a sign of unstable leadership. That’s not always the case.

Some candidates sway with the prevailing winds and change their positions for no other reason than to pander for block …

Read full story Comments { 31 }

SHIPPING PIRATES POSE A DEADLY THREAT

In May of this year, a Danish tugboat operator named Colin Darch was piloting his craft out of the Red Sea when heavily armed pirates approached in two small boats and began screaming and firing weapons. Though he made a gallant attempt to resist, the thugs boarded the tugboat and took the crew hostage for six weeks until a ransom was paid by the company’s owners, reportedly at $700,000. Interviewed later, Darch said his “heart sank” when the assault began.

In April, the French luxury yacht, Le Ponant, was seized off the coast of Somalia where thirty people were taken hostage. A reported two million dollars in ransom money was paid for their release.

According to the International Maritime Bureau, seventy-one vessels have been boarded in the first six months of 2008, 190 crew members were taken hostage, seven were killed and another seven are missing, and presumed dead. Over 2,463 acts of piracy were committed around the world between 2000 and 2006. Their goal: food and supplies targeted as foreign aid, cash, personal belongings of passengers, and ransom money. The most hazardous routes are along the Nigerian and Somali coastlines of Africa, Indonesia and the Gulf of Aden …

Read full story Comments { 23 }

CHANGE? BE WARY

There’s an old saying that warns, “Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.”

Warren Harding rose to the presidency in the wake of WWI, when an electorate was dismayed at the Democratic reign of Woodrow Wilson. America wanted change. We got it. It backfired. Historians generally consider Harding as one of the worst presidents ever.

In 1968, the nation was tired of the five-year quagmire in Viet Nam, plus many years of civil unrest and too much federal spending. Lyndon Baines Johnson would surely be a loser if he ran again, so he bowed out. Hubert Humphrey was seen as an extension of Johnson. He didn’t have a chance. The country wanted change! America got what America wanted.

We got Richard Nixon.

Six years later, it was all over. Nixon disgraced the presidency and became the first to resign from the Oval Office. Gerald Ford made a gallant effort, but his pardon of Nixon was too much to bear for a jaded electorate. The opposing party portrayed him as an extension of Nixon. America wanted change! And, it changed indeed.

We got Jimmy Carter.

The peanut farmer from Plains, Georgia, who had served only one term …

Read full story Comments { 28 }

SWIFT BOATING, DEMONIZING AND McCARTHYISM

 

Folks who cannot present a legitimate argument to counter an issue, or enter into dialogue over differing points of view, have a way of dismissing what they don’t agree with by using one-line labels. That’s the quickie, no-brainer response.

When I write about the threat of a Radical Islamic threat in the United States, I’m accused of DEMONIZING all Muslims.

When I cite specific reasons why Senator Obama may not be a fit candidate for the presidency, the best some folks can do is accuse me of SWIFT BOATING the man.

Then there’s the all-encompassing, wrap-it-up-with-one-word, McCARTHYISM, whenever I express concerns over the surreptitious infiltration of Radical Islam and their quest to destroy our country from within.

I appreciate all the responses from people, whether we agree or not, but it’s very disappointing when the best anyone can do is call names and assign labels. It sure tells me they haven’t done their homework.

Let’s talk more about each one of these inane metaphors.

Demonizing all Muslims: First, people should read, and not assume…because we all know what happens when one assumes? It makes an ass of u and me. If the metaphorians would actually read, and see what’s written, …

Read full story Comments { 27 }

SUPREME COURT RULING ON DETAINEES A MISTAKE

 

 

How soon we forget.

On September 11, 2001, our mainland was invaded for the first time in almost two hundred years, by a foreign enemy with designs on destroying our way of life. Three thousand human beings met a violent death in a matter of minutes. It was a colossal attack reminiscent of Pearl Harbor, only worse. Our enemies declared war on the United States.

Radical Islamists not only cheered throughout the mid-east, they danced in the streets of America, in New York, Detroit and Los Angeles.

This is a different enemy than the Japanese and the Nazis because they have been programmed from childhood to die as martyrs for the privilege of killing you and me. This enemy is more clandestine and deceitful. This enemy hides behind the veil of religion and moderation. This enemy has been winning wars around the globe since 632 A.D. Their goal of world dominion have never changed.

In 1941, we declared war against our enemy. It was the right thing to do.

In 2001, we waged war against a tactic and called it the “War On Terror.” That was the wrong thing to do. We cannot win a war unless we have the …

Read full story Comments { 29 }

SCOTT MCCLELLAN’S CROSS TO BEAR

 

Some may say that Scott McClellan is a traitor — not exactly a complimentary adjective — but my gut tells me he’s being truthful, traitor or not. McClellan will have to deal with his conscience and his loss of friendship. That’s his business. Sorting the truth, is our business.

McClellan is not the first Bush-insider to unload revelations in a book about White House staff manipulating intelligence data to support an invasion of Iraq. In 2004, “The Price Of Loyalty,” was penned by Ron Suskind as told by Paul O’Neill. In it, the former Secretary of Treasury unveiled a great deal about G.W. Bush’s obsession with Saddam Hussein in the first ten days of taking office, nine months before 9/11. Naturally, O’Neill was accused of being disgruntled since being fired by the prez for voting nay to the tax cuts. Yet, plans were already underway to find justification for the pre-emptive invasion. He says the evidence to support the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was “paltry” at best, as evidence to the contrary was ignored.

Perhaps O’Neill was disgruntled, but that doesn’t make him dishonest. Especially when other insiders have corroborated the same sordid attitudes.

Richard …

Read full story Comments { 28 }

Lift Ban On Gays In Miltary

Remember the name: Major Margaret Witt, United States Air Force. She will undoubtedly be remembered as a trailblazer for women in the gay rights movement.

For 19 years Major Witt served with distinction as a flight nurse, tending to the wounded and the critically ill. She received medals, was featured in a recruitment flyer, and served tours in the mid-east where — among other notable achievements – she helped evacuate wounded troops and earned a special commendation for saving the life of a Defense Department worker.

And for all this, Major Witt was honorably, but involuntarily discharged two years short of the time needed to receive retirement benefits. Her offense: A relationship with a same-sex partner for six years. Commanders had received an anonymous tip in 2004 which led to an investigation and ultimate discharge under the “don’t ask, don’t tell,” ban on gays serving in the military.

Major Witt did the right thing. She sued. This month, the 9th District Court of Appeals overturned that decision and ordered her reinstated, saying the military cannot automatically discharge people because they are gay. While this does not strike down “don’t ask, don’t tell,” it puts the military in a position …

Read full story Comments { 26 }