Saturday, April 12, 2003

Northern Ireland: Peace Process Derailed

After emergency talks at Blair's London home on Thursday, Blair and Ahern refused to point the finger of blame but said time was running extremely short. Government sources said the sticking point was a lack of faith that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) would commit itself to disarming.

Friday, April 11, 2003

Nation at War: The Tired Argument

If you have been at all vocal about the war in Iraq, or you have been reading/watching people who are, you would have at one time heard this little phrase:

“What they are doing is treason…blah blah blah”

I just want to set the record straight on this. I promise I won’t use the 1st amendment argument once.

According to the U.S. Sedition Act of 1918

SECTION 3. Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully make or convey false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States, or to promote the success of its enemies, or shall willfully make or convey false reports, or false statements, . . . or incite insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or shall willfully obstruct . . . the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, or . . . shall willfully utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States, or the Constitution of the United States, or the military or naval forces of the United States . . . or shall willfully display the flag of any foreign enemy, or shall willfully . . . urge, incite, or advocate any curtailment of production . . . or advocate, teach, defend, or suggest the doing of any of the acts or things in this section enumerated and whoever shall by word or act support or favor the cause of any country with which the United States is at war or by word or act oppose the cause of the United States therein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than twenty years, or both....

This is nice and all, but the United States has not been “Officially” at war since World War II. “unofficially” we’ve been at war with someone or something ever since.

Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq again, War on poverty, War on Drugs, War on Terror, War on Hunger….

Those are all War Powers acts, not declared wars by the congress of the United States.

Thank you. Have a great day.

International Relations: Give it back.

Not sure which way to go on this one. Should I laugh, or cry?

Give it Back.

While we are giving back our “gifts” to the French, let’s also go back to being a colony of the British Empire, as it was the French who helped win our independence.

I can cite a book or four dealing with the history of the war for Independence, but I don’t think the people who make those kinds of websites read much, so..

The Patriot

Congress at work: It’s 3 a.m. Do you know where your representatives are?

While most sane people are sleeping, The Meatstack is still working. That’s why I’ve even beaten the Drudge report on this one.

The House at 3 in the morning slammed through congress a budget allowing for 550 billion in tax cuts through 2013.

Senate says 350, House says 550. We’ll see what comes out of it.

No word yet on how individuals voted. The works of Roll Call are all sleeping.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Baseball: It’s an un-American sport.

My letter to the president of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Mr. Dale Petroskey,

I am dismayed in your decision to cancel the Bull Durham celebration. A movie made 15 years ago that brought a revitalization to independent and farm teams across this country should be celebrated, despite it's stars CURRENT political beliefs.

Baseball has always been "America's Pastime", and not a sport only for those who share our like beliefs. It's baseball's job to be above political difference, and allow Americans a break from every day life.

The person bringing this to my attention? None other than Hugh Conrad, a former co-worker in Johnstown PA. You can read his story on the issue on Buzzflash.

It's the Economy: What was said vs. what is real

Daily KOS has a great piece showing the promises made by the Bush Administration in reference to economy vs. where we stand now, 10 months later.

The Meatstack: Can I have some pork with that War?

Bush’s proposed bill for the war with Iraq, 75 Billion. The Senate, feeling generous, approved a 80 billion dollar bill. But wait, Someone didn’t read the fine print:

$10 million Dollars goes to science research center at the SOUTH POLE

$5 million for new radios for a Jefferson County, KY police force.

3.3 million bucks for a dam in Vermont.

And for our PA Subscribers:

A provision that would make it easier for senators to send out postcards to constituents to notify them of town meetings. The amendment, sponsored by Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, would eliminate wording that limited the taxpayer-financed postcards to counties of fewer than 250,000 people.

"This is directly related to the war effort," said Mr. Specter, who is preparing for a tough re-election battle. "Meeting with the people of Pennsylvania is an important part of our job, including informing them of the war effort. It's really laughable to suggest this is anything but a minuscule change."

Here’s the story in the NY Times

Nation at war: The Hangover is coming...

No matter where you stood on the war issue, it was hard to watch television today and not feel some emotion.

Thousands of Iraqis took to the streets of Baghdad cheering on coalition troops, and knocking over posters and status of Saddam.

It truly was something to watch.

Emotionally, this is the high point in the war. Unfortunately, this was also the easiest.

Now, the Coalition is going to have to determine how to:

1) Keep and maintain the peace in a chaotic nation
2) rebuild the infrastructure that this war has destroyed
3) Return the essential services to the nation of Iraq, including the damage done by years of sanctions.
4) Reduce Iraq’s debts to bring the country out of bankruptcy
5) Install a government that is accepted by the people of Iraq.

This is going to be the true test of this administration, and the primary reason I was, and still am opposed to this war. After all, We did not do so good of a job in Afghanistan.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Patriot Act: Trying to make it stick.

Thanks be to The Agonist for bringing this to my attention.

Looks like the GOP is trying to attach an amendment to a bill that would negate the “sunset” provision that is currently on the Patriot Act.

Story Here

I know I say this A LOT, but you must let your elected officials know that this is something that should disappear sooner than later.

For subscribers in PA:

Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA)

Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA)

For Subscribers in Ohio:

Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH)

Senator George Voinovich (R-OH)

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

North Ireland: Good Friday II

The third item on the summit in Belfast was the Northern Ireland Peace process. London and Dublin will be releasing their proposals on Thursday.

Both Sinn Fein and the PUU seem pleased by the talks thusfar

Thursday could very well be a big day.

Blog News: Blog saves life, details at 11.

Via Calpundit

This little gem

Crazy Stalker chick hooks up with Blogger. Alert Reader knows Crazy Stalker Chick, Blogger’s life saved. Classic Love tale.

It’s a great story. Give it a read.

Post-War Iraq: Rerun

Some interesting reading about a little place East of Iraq, called Afghanistan.

At a time when the United States is promising a reconstructed democratic postwar Iraq, many Afghans are remembering hearing similar promises not long ago.

Instead, what they see is thieving warlords, murder on the roads, and a resurgence of Taliban vigilantism.

``It's like I am seeing the same movie twice and no one is trying to fix the problem,'' said Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of Afghanistan's president and his representative in southern Kandahar. ``What was promised to Afghans with the collapse of the Taliban was a new life of hope and change. But what was delivered? Nothing. Everyone is back in business.''

Is this going to be the fate of a post-war Iraq?

Monday, April 07, 2003

Nation at war: Time to move forward.

Coalition troops are in Baghdad, and this war is about over. The occupation, however, is just about to begin.

Meanwhile, in San Francisco bay area, the protests continue.

It’s time we move forward. This war cannot stop now even if the administration wanted it to. It’s time to plan ahead.

Bush and Co. is doing just that. Meeting with Blair in Belfast, Ireland, Bush is planning a post-war Iraq. We must do the same.

It’s time to put away the no-war signs. Don’t put them too deep in the closet though, we’ll probably need them again soon. It’s time to focus on the rebuild process. It’s time to help the people we have hurt over the past three weeks.

It’s time to start organizing against war verses Iran, or Syria. It’s time to start pressuring this administration to resume diplomatic talks with North Korea. It’s time to mend fences with Germany, France, Belgium, Canada, Mexico, Turkey, the “Arab street”, China, Ireland and Russia.

It’s time to start organizing for the 2004 election. Bush can do a lot of damage in the next term in office. There won’t be any reason to restrain himself after his second term. It’s time to vote him out.

This change has to start here, in the Blogosphere. The new direction must be set by the same organizations that so passionately protested this war.

It must start with us.

That said, The Meatstack will hereby reduce commentary on the war, and begin focusing on the issues that will face us post Iraq war.

I need your help though. I need to know what issues are important to you. I guess I also need to know what issues are important to me. I’ll be doing some “soul searching” in the following days, figuring out where we need to go from here.

Your comments, as always, are welcome.


Technical Difficulties: Problems with comment service

Folks, we are having some problems with our comment service. Unfortunately, because it’s a subscription, and not something I control, I do not have an estimated time until repaired at this time.

You may experience some error messages on this page, please bare with us.

War on Terror: Not on my dime.

Allow me to put some numbers forward: 9-11, 403, 0

The first number should immediately ring a bell with you. It’s the date of the worst act of terrorism the nation has ever faced.

The second number? Well, that’s the toll in lives lost by New York City and the Port Authority police, fire, and ambulance departments.

Zero is the amount Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) believes those groups should be paid for going above and beyond a forty hour work week responding to emergencies.

I really feel strongly that we ought to find some way to convince the people that there ought to be some volunteerism at home," said Stevens. "I don't know why the people working for the cities and counties ought to be paid overtime when they're responding to matters of national security."

"Sixty of the 343 firefighters who died on 9/11 were off duty, volunteering to put their lives on the line. We've already done our share," said Uniformed Firefighters Association President Steve Cassidy.

I guess that’s just not enough for Senator Stevens.

What else isn’t enough for Senator Stevens? 350 billion. Stevens is one of the Senators that voted against slashing the 726 billion in half during this time of war.

If you are so inclined, let him know how you feel. I did.

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