May 25, 2009

You call that stimulus?

So, after Texas governor Rick Perry, who has repeatedly threatened secession from the United States and rejected out-right the stimulus money, he has decided to accept at least a portion of it after all. About $11 million of it. What does he plan to spend the money on? Rebuilding the governor's mansion. Seriously?

I can not think of a more insulting gesture to the people of Texas. Perry wants to deny them the money that would be used to benefit the entire state, but he wants some of it to rebuild an ultimately unnecessary structure. The governor can perform the functions of office from the capitol building.

This is such a glaring example of the abuses of the elite. Such actions do not benefit the people of Texas in any way. Such actions place a burden upon the entire nation and benefit us not one bit. I am genuinely befuddled by the workings of this man's mind.

Memorial Day Matters Now More Than Ever

Our country is in trouble. After 8 years of right-wing foolishness, we now face the very serious matter of fixing what the Bush administration broke; the Constitution. Today we get to take a day off work in remembrance of the brave men and women who gave their lives for this country. Most of us will celebrate with cook-outs and swim parties, but we must not forget why we are enjoying ourselves today.

The lives spent for our freedoms were not spent cheaply, and this is something we must endure to remember. These lives were given for a great cause, freedom and the rule of law. The Bush administration violated those freedoms with the Patriot Acts and the torture of illegally held prisoners of war. The rights of Americans and non-Americans alike were violated and war crimes were committed in our names.

The single most important principle of our legal system is that all men are equal before the law. This includes the President and the Vice-President. When crimes are committed by these austere offices and they go unpunished, no clearer evidence do we have that the People are held in contempt by the wealthy and powerful elites.

Let us not quibble about what "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" means. It is fascist double-speak for torture. In addition to waterboarding, other acts of torture were committed, including "stress positions." For the entire history of civilization, these methods have been used to torture prisoners. They are illegal under American and international law. We convict civilians and law enforcement officers who use these methods.

Contrary to what former Vice-President Cheney wants us to believe, torture does not work. It does not provide valuable or reliable information. Torture does not protect American lives. In truth, it endangers us because the information is unreliable. The victim can and will say anything, anything at all, to make the torture stop. These are facts. There can be no debate about these facts by clear-thinking minds.

The men and women we honor today died so that these methods would not be used against people. The men and women we honor today died so that the rule of law would reign supreme over all Americans and all actions by American officials. Their sacrifice has been cheapened by the Bush administration's actions and the self-serving and lie-filled speeches of the former Vice-President. Their sacrifice continues to be dishonored by President Obama's refusal to hold accountable the perpetrators of these war crimes and his intention of indefinite detainment of terrorists from Gitmo without trial.

I understand that President Obama has been handed a raw deal. He did not create this situation and he is tasked with cleaning it up. We can only urge him to abide by the laws of this nation when fulfilling the task we have assigned him. But we must stress that the law is superior in all things. While the evidence against these monsters may be tainted by the crimes of the Bush administration, there can be little doubt that there is ample evidence of merit that exists without taint. We simple need to work harder to clean it up.

Please remember these things today while you are enjoying the freedoms we still have. We honor the lives of those whho died establishing and protecting these freedoms not by having a cook-out and swim party. We honor their lives by upholding the values and principles for which they gave their lives.