Posts filed under ‘government’

Ideals to light the world

“As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.”

from President Barack Obama’s inauguration speech | Reuters

January 20, 2009 at 4:38 pm Leave a comment


“If leaders exploit public fears to herd people in directions they might not otherwise choose, then fear itself can quickly become a self-perpetuating and freewheeling force that drains national will and weakens national character, diverting attention from real threats deserving of healthy and appropriate fear and sowing confusion about the essential choices the every nation must constantly make about is future.”

-Al Gore
from The Assault on Reason

July 18, 2007 at 8:01 am 2 comments

Our country

“Our country, right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right.”

-Carl Schurz

July 4, 2007 at 9:07 am 3 comments

Taxing the Internet

clipped from
The era of tax-free e-mail, Internet shopping and broadband connections could end this fall, if recent proposals in the U.S. Congress prove successful. State and local governments this week resumed a push to lobby Congress for far-reaching changes on two different fronts: gaining the ability to impose sales taxes on Net shopping, and being able to levy new monthly taxes on DSL and other Internet-service connections. One senator is even predicting taxes on e-mail.

June 12, 2007 at 7:14 am 8 comments

Monday Melee 5/07

meleesmall.jpgThe Monday Melee is a Fracas project. You’re invited to participate. Get details and see the participant list here.

The Misanthropic: Name something you absolutely hate.
Laziness and apathy. Why vote? It won’t matter. Why recycle or conserve energy? I’m only one person. Why donate? I can only spare $5. Well, I say: It matters. One person is a start. Every little bit helps. If we all get it in gear and do something, it’ll make a big difference.

The Meretricious: Expose something or someone that’s phony, fraudulent, or bogus.
“…since September of last year – when Congress wrongly, foolishly, passed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 – the president has the power to call any US citizen an ‘enemy combatant’. He has the power to define what ‘enemy combatant’ means. The president can also delegate to anyone he chooses in the executive branch the right to define ‘enemy combatant’ any way he or she wants and then seize Americans accordingly.”
Guardian Unlimited

The Malcontent: Name something you’re unhappy with.
I’m not as efficient as I’d like to be. There’s so much I want to accomplish, and I often get to the end of the day with too many items left undone.

The Meritorious: Give someone credit for something and name it if you can.
My bold and adventurous sister is embarking on a summer internship in a foreign country. I admire the way she goes after her dreams with spirit and determination.

The Mirror: See something good about yourself and name it.
I have a quick mind and a good sense of humor. I think a hearty laugh is downright good for you, and I look for opportunities to brighten someone’s day.

The Make-Believe: Name something you wish for.
I fervently wish that, one day, my kids will love reading as much as I do. It’s on my make-believe list because I’m beginning to fear it isn’t going to happen. I wouldn’t be the person I am without the insights and knowledge gained from books. I hate to see them miss out.

May 7, 2007 at 6:49 am 5 comments

Fascist America?

“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”

-James Madison

I’ve clipped a small bit of a very interesting article by Naomi Wolf. Click through via the Guardian link to read the entire article.

clipped from
Because Americans like me were born in freedom, we have a hard time even considering that it is possible for us to become as unfree – domestically – as many other nations. Because we no longer learn much about our rights or our system of government – the task of being aware of the constitution has been outsourced from citizens’ ownership to being the domain of professionals such as lawyers and professors – we scarcely recognise the checks and balances that the founders put in place, even as they are being systematically dismantled.
We still have the choice to stop going down this road; we can stand our ground and fight for our nation, and take up the banner the founders asked us to carry.
It is my argument that, beneath our very noses, George Bush and his administration are using time-tested tactics to close down an open society. It is time for us to be willing to think the unthinkable – as the author and political journalist Joe Conason, has put it, that it can happen here.

May 2, 2007 at 9:34 am 4 comments

Monday Melee 4/02

meleesmall.jpgThe Monday Melee is a Fracas project. You’re invited to participate. Get details and see the participant list here.

The Misanthropic: Name something you absolutely hate.
Cutthroat competition. Don’t get me wrong: I think competition is often beneficial, and it has certainly been at the root of quite of lot of innovation and progress. What I object to is the practice of winning by ruthless and unjust means; e.g., stepping on, defaming, using, stealing from, scheming against, and otherwise abusing others in order to come out on top. I would prefer to see people compete and achieve success in positive ways.

The Meretricious: Expose something or someone that’s phony, fraudulent, or bogus.
Once again, the President wants to put a person with clear industry allegiances in charge of a government body intended to safeguard the public interest. On March 1, 2007, Bush nominated Michael Baroody as chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Baroody is a senior executive with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), a trade group that regularly opposes product safety regulation and pollution prevention laws. NAM has gone so far as to call for weakening the CPSC, an organization that exists to keep manufacturers from selling products that put us and our families at risk. During his tenure at NAM, Baroody has led opposition to laws that protect children and the public from unsafe products and toxic health threats. source: Organic Consumers Association

The Malcontent: Name something you’re unhappy with.
Clutter. It’s annoying and hard to tame.

The Meritorious: Give someone credit for something and name it if you can.
Our local food bank distributed over 21 million pounds of food last year to needy families and individuals.

The Mirror: See something good about yourself and name it.
‘Dependable’ is my middle name. Well, not literally, although it would have demonstrated uncanny perception and a keen sense of humor on my parents’ part. I can always be counted on to follow through on commitments and to get things done in a competent and timely fashion.

The Make-Believe: Name something you wish for.
Feasible, affordable, long-term alternative energy solutions available to everyone, the world over, right now.

April 2, 2007 at 7:05 am 3 comments

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