May. 18th, 2006 @ 06:19 am
Wow, I forgot I started this. It's sad when you let a project fall by the wayside. Anyways, I'm now blogging on my own site, www.tettrabyte.com. Please check it out, I will have posts that relate directly to many of the goals that were intended by this community.
This is an effort to create and define a strong progressive platform. http://www.principlesproject.com
Preamble: e choose an America that embodies the great ideals on which it was founded: a nation where all enjoy the freedom to reach their human potential, the freedom to live according to their beliefs, and the freedom to share in the labors and fruits of our society’s progress. But today, these ideals are in danger of being eclipsed by the belief that there is nothing more to be done than struggle against one another for individual profit.
Progressives offer a better vision: we aspire to build a better world for today and for the future. We take responsibility for the well-being of our families, our neighbors, our country, and our world -- not only because it is in our self-interest, but because it is right.
The rest is yet to be determined. Looks interesting though.
Sunday there are likely to be fireworks, but not because of the first election in Iraq being a success, but because of mass violence as a result of the elections in IraqAccording to a new New York Times article (NY Times article
) Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has declared an all out war on democracy. Oh, I forget to mention that the main focus of this article is the fact that a candidate was killed and put on a videotape. Oh, yeah and there was a marine killed too and some Iraqi's( but an Iraqi life is worth like 1/10 of a american life, don't get me started on a what a soldier's life seems to be worth). It looks like the only people voting are going to be the people in the United States and other non-middle eastern countries.
I urge you to watch this piece by frontline(Al Qaeda's New Front, Frontline program
it's online and it's free). The show talks about how Al Qaeda is basically getting stronger in some senses and that we still don't understand them. Just as intent as Bush is to bring Democracy to everyone, certain Islamic elements are hellbent on doing the opposite. But we will forge through like some unwanted venereal disease, spreading an unwanted infection of freedom.
That's all I can find right now, I did read an article yesterday about the election progress. Some of the big problems being that no one knows who most of the candidate are because they are scared to show their faces. Thugs are going around distributing leaflets about election day violence ( and we thought electioneering was bad here). Oh, and I forget the the ballots are really confusing because there are like 500 different people running for office. UN and other election monitoring bodies are going to have problems doing their job because of security and also the fact that most of the election sites are held secret. Oh, well Georgie boys still thinks things are going well. Sunday is coming soon.
THINK DUMMY !!!
Dr. Cornel West is the foremost black intellectual in america. He follows in the footsteps of people like Martin Luther King Jr, W.E.B. Dubois, Frederick Douglas, and countless other influential black minds. He has held tenure positions at the three most prestigious academic institutions in the country: Harvard, Princeton and Yale. What is important about his works is that he seeks not only to speak to African-Americans, but also to all individuals from very different walks of life. His book Democracy Matters is a very important effort to counter the conservative onslaught that we been experiencing in this early decade of the 21st century.
Chapter 1: Democracy Matters are Frightening in our time
According to West ( I happen to agree with him) the state of American Democracy is in peril. He suggests there are three major causes for this.
1: Free-Market fundamentalism
The idea that the powerful member of business shape and control American policies. It's a bit more complicated than that, but that is the basic breakdown. For example: A debate about funding schools could shift to funding prisons or from healthcare to plastic surgery. The idea is that profit margins are the most important thing in the world and people don't matter as much. One of the saddest references he makes is that of the Black Community's own shift towards greed. Thus pointing out the shift from "I have a dream," to "Bling, Bling!"
2: Aggressive Militarism
Aggressive Militarism is something that can be traced back to the Revolutionary war to be truthful, although Dr. West's focuses are more modern. I must point out that our current situation progresses from the Monroe Doctrine and Manifest destiny. It was enhance and extended by both Roosevelts,Wilson, Truman and other contemporary Presidents. The new notion of unilateral intervention and pre-emptive strike underscore this idea in modern democracy. The worst part being that the individuals that tout this as the best thing for democracy here and abroad, are the same individuals who want curtail the democratic freedoms that we ourselves enjoy. It is a long range strategy born out of the American Mythology: Cowboys and the American Frontier. ( When you think of Cowboys what states do you think of and what person comes to mind). Here at home it brews into a Police-State notion; The idea that freedoms can be sacrificed for the destruction of all crime. ( has anyone seen Judge Dredd or Demolition Man) .
3: Escalating Authoritarianism
PATRIOT ACT!!!!! This one ties into paranoia of not being safe or not having control. This is very dependent on the other two dogmas effecting democracy. Ruth Bader Ginsberg, mention that in the balance of liberty and security, if the publics pays no attention then the security side will win. Now this doesn't necessarily mean that people can go out and do whatever they want in the name of freedom, but is it does mean that people need to pay attention and make sure the oligarchs and plutocrats don't go to far in trying to satisfying their greed and paranoia. To make matters worse the media is so tied into the capitalist market, that it no longer exposes all sides of important issues.
This leads to a very important question in this book: "Do we now live in a post-democratic age in which the very "democratic" rhetoric of an imperial america hides the waning of a democratic america?" 9/11 was an important turning point for our society or at least it was a point of opportunity. The american people has a chance to question why things were going the way they were and why the terrorist hated us? Instead we used it as an excuse to execute the imperialistic designs of the Hawks and xenophobes. It is very evident that after the cold war fell there were many "warriors"( when I say warriors I mean those who were fighting the battles of the cold war and not the valiant who fight for just causes) who needed a fight. Our country turned inward, attacking fellow citizens as trying to push america off the deep end. Many people bought in and Ronald Reagan, George Bush, George W. Bush and many other conservatives and neo-conservatives were elected.
This country comes from a long history of hypocrisy and denying the truth. Look at the annihilation of the American Indian, the enslavement of the African race, the mistreatment of workers, the denials of right to women, and etc. Such a list doesn't even begin to scratch the surface. We must accept these as part of our history and a reason to try to make things right. As Dr. West says the fight for democracy has always been the fight against the cruel and oppressive empire.
Dr. West ends this chapter by talking about hope and justice that stem from the three main religious traditions of the world ( judaism, Christianity and Islam). such a Tragihope extend to the traditions of Jazz and blues and many of the worlds great writers. I think West fails to mention that there is a similar tradition from country music, although I don't think it's a deliberate bias.
It is important to understand from this chapter that we cannot allow the three dogmas attacking democracy to prevail. As citizen we must follow in the tradition of socratic thought and we must be participants in our democracy. Of course there are things and Ideas that I have left out, but I suggest that you read the book to see the rest.
Current Music: Ray Charles - Anthology - One Mint Julep
It looks like a van carrying Dick Cheney, Bill Frist and Tom Ridge, picked him up and kidnapped him. Has been brainwashed, will he start making movies about how evil Clinton was and how people are ruining corporate profits by lawsuits.
Current Music: WRFL: 88.1FM Lexington, KY
|» Reserves can't take it much longer|
The chief of the Army Reserves, is pointing out the Reserves incompatibilty with foreign service of the nature that Bush is using them for. The reserves and the national guard should be used in actual wars and mostly for the defense of the country, not offense in foreign lands. Oh, well when will Bush learn. |
Courier-Journal: Chief of Army Reserve criticizes policies
By ROBERT BURNS
AP Military Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Army Reserve, whose part-time soldiers serve in combat and support roles in Iraq and Afghanistan, is so hampered by misguided Army policies and practices that it is "rapidly degenerating into a 'broken' force," the Reserve's most senior general says.
Lt. Gen. James R. Helmly, chief of the Army Reserve, wrote in an internal memorandum to the Army's top uniformed officer that the Reserve has reached the point of being unable to fulfill its missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and to regenerate its forces for future missions.
The Army Reserve has about 200,000 soldiers, nearly 52,000 of them on active duty for the war on terrorism, mainly in Iraq. They provide combat support, medical care, transportation, legal services and other support. About 50 have died so far in the Iraq war.
Helmly's Dec. 20 memo is addressed to Gen. Peter Schoomaker, the Army chief of staff, and was first reported in Wednesday's editions of the Baltimore Sun, whose Web site has a link to the eight-page document. Two officials who saw the original memo confirmed its contents to The Associated Press.
"The purpose of this memorandum is to inform you of the Army Reserve's inability under current policies, procedures and practices ... to meet mission requirements associated with Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom," Helmly wrote, using the military's names for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
"The Army Reserve is additionally in grave danger of being unable to meet other operational requirements," including those in classified contingency plans for other potential wars or national emergencies, "and is rapidly degenerating into a 'broken' force," Helmly wrote.
The Army Reserve's ability to regenerate its recently deployed forces is "eroding daily," he added, in part because Reserve troops who finish tours in Iraq and Afghanistan are required to leave substantial amounts of their equipment for other forces and for contractors.
Helmly also referred to a practice, not previously disclosed, of requiring each Reserve soldier who receives a mobilization order with less than 30 days notice to sign a "volunteer statement." From his brief description of the practice it appears that this is done to reduce the number of reported cases of short-notice, involuntary mobilizations.
He also criticized the practice of offering Reserve soldiers an extra $1,000 a month if they volunteer to be mobilized a second time. This confuses "volunteers" with "mercenaries," he said.
Helmly's blunt description of these problems is the sort of internal attack that rarely becomes public, although some private defense analysts and members of Congress have openly questioned whether the strains on the Army caused by the Iraq war would eventually threaten the all-volunteer force.
Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., said Wednesday he was disturbed by the concerns raised in Helmly's memo.
"By consistently underestimating the number of troops necessary for the successful occupation of Iraq, the administration has placed a tremendous burden on the Army Reserve and created this crisis," Reed said.
Al Schilf, a spokesman for Helmly, said the three-star general was not available Wednesday to discuss the issues raised in his memo. The Sun quoted Helmly as saying in an interview Tuesday that he stands by his memo and that it contains his best professional assessment.
Col. Joe Curtin, a spokesman at Army headquarters in the Pentagon, said the Army has a group of experts studying a wide range of problems facing not only the Army Reserve but also the Army National Guard.
"These issues are largely being addressed now," Curtin said. "General Helmly's concerns are of a serious nature, and the Army realizes it has to work very hard and diligently to resolve them, and our intent is to resolve those issues."
Since President Bush launched a global war on terrorism after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, about 65,000 Army Reserve soldiers have deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, according to Pentagon figures.
Among Helmly's other complaints:
- The Army is relying too heavily on volunteers to mobilize for duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. The most likely to volunteer are "those who often enjoy lesser responsible positions in civilian life," he said.
- The Army has failed to use its legal authority to call to active duty those members of the Reserve who have violated their service contract, by missing training or other actions. Helmly said he asked for but was not given the authority to discharge those Reserve members, who number 16,400.
|» It's time to get down to business|
My hiatus is done, it's time to get serious. President Bush is about to be inaugurated for a second term. He is going to enter it with a record deficit, botched war( killings thousands of americans and Iraqis), and an ideological bias that makes Fox news look liberal. The democrats lost an election that was there to lose, they under-estimated the Republican machine, and spent far too much time trying to out Republican the Republicans. Kerry wasn't the democratic Dream candidate, but he should have easily won the race. All of this is in the past and now it is time to prepare for the future. It is my hope that the Phoenix Project could be a conduit for organization and communication for all who are liberal but seriously frustrated with the performance of the Democratic party. The loss in the last election could take 10 to 15 years to correct. Winning seats in the House of Representatives is nearly impossible, with all the gerrymandering that goes on. The senate has a very low turnover rate as well. The 2008 presidential race could possibly be lost in the next year, that is hard to believe, but the candidates are already lining up for potentials runs for the White House. I'm not sure that this election was important as it was billed, but the next one certainly will be important. I hope that you will take a more active role in the Phoenix Project. Have a good year and keep hope alive. |
|» What a waste|
Last Friday, I watched 20/20 and saw a piece on this.|
|» Platform work|
I wonder if anybody still looks at this, it doesn't really seem like it. Anyway after watching the democratic investigation into the 2004 election, I have a few additions to the Project Phoenix/Phoenix Party platform. Elections should be on Satuardays, we are one of the few countries that conducts elections this way. In addition, it should be a national holiday, giving as many people as possible the day off, most notably all federal employees and hopefully some private companies would work half days or take the day off. |
I no longer am opposed to the electoral college( well I am but I am postponing my objections). Essentially, until technology becomes more accurate and voter irregularities are less frequent or better handled; we will need the electoral college to avoid massive nationwide recounts. However, I think that the problem might lie in the fact that we still operate in a federalist government. As much of a unifer as federalism, it is a major divider. I think the states need to be far more subordinate of the federal government. But that is a different discussion, for a different day. Anyway I think maybe 1 vote for each state would be better than 25 here and 3 there.
SO what do you think, are you out there? Am I talking to myself. Come on people.
|» Canada Rocks|
Everyone here is down on Canada, yet they seem to always get it right. The Canadian Supreme Court, not blinded by religious bias, has ruled that the government can reclassify what marriage is. And the Canadian Prime Minister is going to introduce legislation to change the laws to allow gays to marry, although he is Catholic. |