Day: June 18, 2009

Barack Obama And The Iran Crisis

President Obama is rightfully avoiding getting more directly involved publicly in the Iran election crisis, with the view that we don’t want the Iranian government uniting its citizens by making the United States the whipping boy which is promoting disunion and chaos. This is a time to let Iran’s hard line Islamic government deal with the crisis on its own, with the hope that there might be revolutionary change, but that it must come from within.

At the same time, many Republicans in Congress are now calling for more direct intervention and statements by the President in the name of promoting freedom, but of course, they forget that when President Eisenhower was in office, and the Hungarian Revolution was in process in 1956, he decided not to intervene more directly, in the name of trying to avoid Soviet Union allegations that we were promoting chaos and revolution.  While that Hungarian revolution sadly was crushed, and with the reality that the Iranian revolution going on now might be crushed, Obama’s view is that ultimately we need to deal with whatever government emerges after this crisis, in order to promote the possibility of diplomacy to deal with the many issues that divide the US and Iran.  This was the feeling that Eisenhower had  53 years ago, that promoting relations with the Soviet Union was the ultimate goal in promoting world peace.

So if Obama is following the lead of Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower, he cannot be seen as unwise!

George W. Bush Finally Speaks Up

Former President George W. Bush, who has until now avoided commentary on his successor, last night criticized the plan of President Obama to close the Guantanomo prison in Cuba, and to end the torture method that Bush contends, like his Vice President Dick Cheney, actually helped protect America.

He also was critical of Obama’s decision to intervene heavily in the economy, and to promote extensive government regulation and intervention, with Bush declaring that leaving capitalism unimpeded is best for America.

It is quite amazing that Bush is now following the lead of Cheney, considering that he and Cheney left America in the worst condition economically and diplomatically of any President in American History.  The card that Barack Obama was dealt, in many ways, is the worst inheritance EVER, as even Franklin D. Roosevelt did not have the diplomatic problems that Obama now has.

While it is true that FDR had to, over time, deal with Fascist Italy, Imperial Japan, and Nazi Germany,  the future crisis in international affairs was not evident when he took the oath of office in 1933, so he could focus his attention on the domestic economic crisis.  Barack Obama does not have the luxury of doing that, as we are involved in two wars and have other nations, such as North Korea and Iran, which are extremely antagonistic toward this country.

The world is more complex now than ever, and Obama, therefore, has a greater burden than ANY President of the United States upon taking office, and a lot of it is due to the incompetence and mistakes of George W. Bush, who now is making money by giving speeches critical of his successor.

Michele Bachmann Is Becoming Loonier By The Day! :)

Minnesota GOP Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has a well deserved reputation for being loony and off the wall in her statements and actions, but now she has bested herself.

She now claims that she will refuse to fill out the 2010 Census Bureau forms that are required for all citizens to complete on April 1, 2010.  Federal law makes it clear that every ten years, all Americans must fill out the information forms, but Michele has said she will just fill out the part that covers how many people live in her home, but not the rest.  In so stating this intention, she is, of course,  promoting the idea that American citizens can refuse to meet the responsibilities that all of us have to help the government plan for programs and funding for the next decade, one of the key purposes of the Census, which has been conducted every ten years since 1790.

Michele seems to fear that the US government under President Obama has intentions of utilizing information gathered in the Census of 2010 to undermine the Republican party and promote the Democratic party.  She sees a conspiracy underway, something that makes one wonder about her sanity.  The question that is emerging is whether or not she is fit to serve in the Congress of the United States, and certainly, the Democrats in Minnesota are going to work very hard to defeat her in the midterm congressional elections of 2010.

The Senate Votes To Apologize For Slavery and Jim Crow Segregation Laws

The United States Senate today, by unanimous voice vote,  backed a resolution apologizing for the nation to African American descendants of slavery and Jim Crow segregation laws.

This gesture was long overdue, as African Americans suffered mightily for many generations, and were denied basic human rights by many of our state governments, particularly, although not exclusively, in the Southern and border states.  This is something that needs to be reinforced by education and government action to assure that never again will there be violations of civil liberties and civil rights as occurred over the long haul of American history.

As always, Americans of all backgrounds must be vigilant, and must resist in every possible way, any discrimination against anyone based on race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, disability, or sexual orientation.  We must resist the kind of hate that has displayed itself most recently at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D. C., and continues to be a problem in American society.

The Supreme Court , Convicts, And DNA Evidence: An Outrage!

If  there was ever evidence that the present Supreme Court needs change badly to a more balanced view of issues, the 5-4 decision today denying convicts the constitutional right to have DNA evidence utilized for the possibility to show they were wrongly convicted, provides definite proof of the tragedy of so many conservative appointments by Reagan and the two Bush Presidents. 

Justice Anthony Kennedy, the swing vote who sometimes votes with the four liberals, but more often votes with the four conservatives on the Court, sided with the right on this case, despite the fact that Chief Justice Roberts said that he understood that in some cases, this could free convicts wrongly convicted, with new DNA evidence not available when they came to trial.  The case involved the state of Alaska, which does not, along with some other states, mandate that new evidence can be used to free a wrongfully convicted prisoner.  The Court used the issue of states rights to say that it is up to each state how they deal with this matter.

This decision is wrong, tragic, outrageous, and leads us down the conservative path of promoting states rights, despite the long history of many state governments in the past discriminating against some citizens based on race, religion, ethnicity, or economic circumstance.  Apparently, the present Court does not pay attention to history, or is ignorant of history.  The majority of Chief Justice Roberts, and Associate Justices Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito should be ashamed of themselves.  Hopefully, some change will come in the next decade to correct the distortion of the Constitution that the present majority of the Court has led us into, as this disgrace needs to be reversed at some point in the future.