Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ahmadinejad in the U.S.

Yesterday, amid protests, the president of Iran Ahmadinejad spoke at Columbia University. For all we may think of Mr. Ahmadinejad's ideas--he was the host of the conference of holocaust deniers last December, and still holds that that the holocaust is a theory which needs to be researched. He also holds that there are no homosexuals in Iran (perhaps because they are killed if found out?). But he is the head of state of Iran and also talked about nuclear power, the Palestinian and Israeli issues.
It is for the reason,principle and practice of freedom of speech, that he should be heard--so that we may critically assess his ideas. We may throw some out, we may question the validity of some and we may take a closer look at others.
He raised the issue of the hypocrisy of some countries that have nuclear power not allowing other nations to have such power [and we must remember that nuclear power can be used for both good; nuclear power is supposed to be the cheapest energy source even though we have not the foggiest idea of how to effectively deal with its waste product; as well as for bad: nuclear bombs [of which, the U.S. is the only country that actually used said power against other peoples]. In his comments he said that "politicians who are after atomic bombs, they're backwards."

He also said that the U.S. supports terrorism. It is about perspective:
One country/person's terrorists, are another country/person's freedom fighters.

He has said before that he does not think Israel should exist. He seemingly sidestepped this issue making the point yesterday that Palestinians should be allowed to decide their own future. Which should resonate with us Americans--that is what we fought the British about, after all.

There is no freedom of speech in Iran (and in other theocracies and dictatorships); that is why allowing Ahmadinejad to speak and be questioned is so important. He made his points, and even if we do not like his answers, we still need to listen. He is seen as a very influential leader, who has stood up to the US powers.

We need to show him the real power of the US, to listen to ideas and debate them in the marketplace of ideas, to make us critically think not just to accept what someone says just because that someone has the microphone...

As for him not to be allowed to visit the WTC site while he is in NYC for the meeting at the United Nations--that is just being small minded on the part of our leaders. What was Iran's relationship to the 9/11 terrorists, I ask. As tenuous as Saddam's--who we put into power, and took out of power (see Ahmadinejad's statement of the US supporting terrorists)?

What is freedom of speech?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Gloves Off

Who cares about soldiers dying, global warming, the lack of health care, the loss of the Constitution? Definitely not the Senate...today they took up the weighty matter of Move-On.org's ad that called General Petreaus General Betray Us [For the ad's text go to: http://pol.moveon.org/petraeus.html] [ and even if you do not agree with ad, there is that concept we once held: freedom of speech and the right of dissent].

The text of the bill (from thomas.gov) and it carried by 72-25!
S.AMDT.2934 Amends: H.R.1585 , S.AMDT.2011 Sponsor: Sen Cornyn, John [TX] (submitted 9/19/2007) (proposed 9/19/2007)
AMENDMENT PURPOSE:To express the sense of the Senate that General David II. Petraeus, Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq, deserves the full support of the Senate and strongly condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces.
Amendment SA 2934 proposed by Senator Cornyn to Amendment SA 2011. (consideration: CR S11736-11739; text: CR S11737)
THOMAS Home Contact Accessibility Legal FirstGov

Is it all about being polite????Is it polite to deceive the country? Is it polite to strip the Constitutional rights from Americans and other residents of the US? Is it polite to disregard the Geneva Convention? Is it polite to invade another country?

Gloves off.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Sleeping at Night or Flip Flopping Away

I am not sure how some people sleep at night, except that I do know that there sure are a lot of commercials for sleep aids on the telly--well there are also a lot of ads for erectile dysfunction and restless leg syndrome ;there must be a crude Craig joke here somewhere :) .

I am not only writing about the presidential hopefuls who seem to change their positions depending on either who they are addressing, or who is holding the money, but sitting politicos.
The President -that lame duck who seems to be doing more harm everyday, yet the Dems who were elected to at least put a check on his unilateral power grab, and end that very expensive hunt for WMDs (oh, sorry, that was 3+ years ago reason for invading Iraq) have done NOTHING.

And when the people try to voice their opinions--they are relegated to "free speech zones." If there was a major protest in Washington, for instance would most of America even know about it? Or if some other crucial to our nation's democracy was happening, would we know about it?The news stations have a habit of becoming "All Britney/Paris/Nicole/and once again, OJ, All the time."

Here's a link to George Lakoff's latest piece on issue framing


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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sept. 11

This is the 6th anniversary of the moments in time when we were wrenched from our beliefs about the power and security of the USA.

In the ensuing years, while we have not had another terrorist attack at home (Katrina was not a terrorist attack), we have adopted a bunker-like mentality, giving away our rights so that we may feel a bit more secure (taking off our shoes before we board a plane, yet cargo is not checked out); losing our rights to the Patriot Act which has been used against radical environmentalists, but not against the threat of Al Qaeda; our media has become a tool of government propaganda; we focus on Mexican immigrants more than those who might actually do us harm; we have a Congress that has allowed an imperial presidency; we have a President who disregards the Constitution, The Geneva Convention (which he called "pesky"), who masquerades as a cowboy strutting his ignorant arrogance (Australians become Austrians in his mind). . .
And, I ask you: in the memory of all who died on 9/11 have we made the world a better place?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Women Philosophers

Dr. Kate Lindemann has done the world a great service...she has been researching all the women philosophers over the ages...and she has created a site where these women can be accessed, instead of omitted from history and philosophy. Many students taking philosophy classes never learn about women philosophers. This site will hopefully change that!
For instance, the Father of Philosophy, Pythagoras, was surrounded by his wife and daughters--the Pythagorean women who were also philosophers. But a few thousand years before them a Middle Eastern woman, En Hedu'Anna was a philosopher!


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Larry Craig's new dance

Larry Craig's newest dance is also called the Hypocrite Hop :
You put your right foot out, you put your right foot in
your put your right foot out and tap it all around.
as you wave your hand about.

Then you say that you are not,
and you say it once or thrice.
You say that you'll resign.
But you say it with the word " intend"
You say it into voicemail
to prove that you are slime.

You put your right foot out,
you put your right foot in
you put your right foot out
and tap it all around
as you wave your hand about.

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Nailing Both Parties using only One Line Award

"With the possible exception of the Republicans, is there a major political party more stupefyingly brain-dead than the Democrats?"
From Nick Gillespie's review of Matt Bai's The Argument: Billionaires, Bloggers, and the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics in Sept. 2, 2007 NYT Book Review, p.10.

One party is busy chasing tail, and the other has fallen down the rabbit hole:

Witness the political brouhaha and then the formal rush to distance over potential gay bathroom sex; other extramarital sexual activities are forgiven as long as they are heterosexual. This from the party that has given us "family values."

The other party meanwhile is still without backbone as it somersaults down the rabbit hole--passing a wiretapping bill that gave the Attorney General the legal power to authorize once illegal wiretaps which he had assumed illegally, and one of the reasons why he had been called to testify before Congress.

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