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Posts Tagged ‘Repeal the Patriot Act’

[The following quotes are from the episode titled: “The Drumhead” from the TV series: StarTrek: The Next Generation]
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Sir, the Federation does have enemies! We must seek them out!
Oh, yes. That’s how it starts.  But the road from legitimate suspicion to rampant paranoia is very much shorter than we think.  Something is wrong here, Mr. Worf; I don’t like what we have become!
[Worf (in italics) and Picard (in bold)]
[Later…]
You know, there are some words I’ve known since I was a schoolboy: ‘With the first link, the chain is forged.  The first speech censured…  the first thought forbidden…  the first freedom denied  —  chains us all irrevocably.’  Those words were uttered by Judge Aaron Satie, as wisdom…  and warning.  The first time any man’s freedom is trodden on, we’re all damaged.  I fear that today–
How dare you!  You who consort with Romulans, invoke my father’s name to support your traitorous arguments?  It is an offense to everything I hold dear!  And to hear those words used to subvert the United Federation of Planets!  My father was a great man!  His name stands for integrity and principle!  You DIRTY his name when you speak it!  He loved the Federation!  But you, Captain, corrupt it!  You undermine our very way of life!  I will expose you for what you are!  I’ve brought down bigger men than you, Picard!!
[Picard (in bold), quoting Judge Aaron Satie, and Admiral Satie (in italics), angrily chastising him for it]
[Later…]
Am I bothering you, Captain?
No, please come in, Mr. Worf.
It is over.  Admiral Henry has called an end to any more hearings on this matter.
That’s good.
Admiral Satie has left the Enterprise.
We think we’ve come so far.  Torture of heretics, burning of witches, it’s all ancient history.  And then, before you can blink an eye, suddenly it threatens to start all over again.
I believed her.  I – I HELPED her!  I did not see what she was.
Mr. Worf, villains who twirl their mustaches are easy to spot.  Those who clothe themselves in good deeds are well camouflaged.
I think, after yesterday, people will not be so ready to trust her.
Maybe.  But she or someone like her will always be with us, waiting for the right climate in which to flourish  —  spreading fear in the name of righteousness.  Vigilance, Mr. Worf.  That is the price we have to continually pay.
[Worf (in italics) and Picard (in bold), discussing both the investigations and the misguidedness of Admiral Satie]
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[How “SAFE” are we when the government has suspended the right to Habeas Corpus and is tapping every single phone and email in the country without a warrant?  What are we sacrificing in the name of security from terrorism?   —   KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2012 Miracles
2011 “W” Finds A Nut!
2010 No Strain At All, But I’m Not Sure About Stress…
An Evening at the Pavilion…

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Yes.
There.  I’ve said it!
I didn’t think I ever could (or would) admit it, but it’s time to own up to the fact that as much hope as we placed in the election of President Barack Obama, so far his administration has been a disappointment.
Now, before anyone (and there aren’t many of you) reading this starts flaming me (or praising me), hear me out.
Do I have any regrets in voting for Obama over McCain?  Of course not!  John McCain has devolved from a principled statesman to a shrill mouthpiece for repressive and reactionary conservatism.  His choice of Palin as his running mate demonstrated his inability to make decisions for the good of the country.  Can ANYONE seriously look themselves in the mirror and imagine HER one heartbeat from the Presidency (without having to forcibly restrain themselves from gagging)?
But is it enough to no longer have a criminal (Bush/Cheney) administration in the White House??
I argue that it is not enough.
So what have the Democrat’s done?
Saved the economy by bailing out the big banks.  That’s a qualified “maybe” in my books.
I score that:
Big Banks +1 — little banks -2
Rich Investors +1 — working class folks (and the capitalist economy) -2
“Passed” Health Insurance?
I score that:
Insurance Industry +30,000,000 — working class folks +0.5 (for hope)
Now, I know some of you are saying HOPE?!?
Well, consider – single payer?  Nope.  Public option?  Nope.  Cost effective? Nope.  Cost containing??  Nope.  Universal coverage?  Nope.  (Universal charging, but not universal coverage.)  Well, at least it covers dental and vision as part of HEALTH insurance?  Nope.  It doesn’t do that either.
At the moment, HOPE seems to be the insurance company can’t kick me off their policy if I get a major (“expensive”) illness.  Oh yeah, and my kids are covered for a few more years (26) under MY policy because they can’t get jobs or when they can, their employer doesn’t offer health insurance.  Did I forget to mention that most small companies are only “encouraged” to provide health coverage.  That’s political double-speak for “not required”.
“War” on Terrorism?
Bin Laden? Still goin’
Iraq?  Still occupied (but we’ll be out in a couple of years.  Maybe.  If things work out…)
Afghanistan?  Still occupied (and increasing troops).  Well, at least we’ve stopped firing our generals for telling the public their opinions.  No, wait.  We haven’t stopped doing that either…  At least McChrystal was honest and half right.  Yes, we don’t know what we are doing there.  But he was also half wrong – IMHO – there is no “solution” to Afghanistan, except to leave.
I’m real sorry Bush/Cheney screwed up those two countries!!  Next problem, please!
Pro-Choice?  What good is a Supreme Court decision when so many states have no (that’s zero,”0″, zip, nada) doctors who will perform “legal” abortions.
Pro-life?  Then why do you keep murdering people?  And why are people allowed to keep encouraging you to kill people?
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?  You can bleed and die for us, but please don’t force us to ask you…  And lie to us if you do force us.  (If you want to continue to risk your life defending us.)
Energy Independence?  Please google: “Gulf Coast”, “BP”, or the death of the Gulf of Mexico.  (Ok, I made that last one up.)
So, yeah.  I’d say so far the Obama Administration has done a failing job of running the country.
Where do we go from here??
First – we’re in the majority!  Act!!  Let the Republicans filibuster.  And when they run out of steam, vote!
Second – propose and pass an immediate jobs / energy bill to get us off of oil within ten years.  Blanket the whole of the south-west with solar panels if we have to.  Jobs for everyone and cheaper energy too!!
Third – get out of Iraq and Afghanistan!  Six months, tops!  It took less time to invade them and conquer them.  It’s time to bring our people home.  And if anyone is worried about them getting attacked on the way out – make it CRYSTAL CLEAR what happens.  And tell everyone at the same time as we say we are leaving, so it’s clear up front – DON’T MESS WITH US WHILE WE’RE GOING HOME!!
Fourth – Give me a break!!  The President issues a direct order killing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”  If the military object, ask for resignations!  Their job is to follow orders and lead soldiers who are “willing” to fight for this country.  If they can’t follow this order, how good will they be in a real war.
Fifth – close Gitmo!
Sixth – repeal the Patriot Act!
Seventh – repeal the Bush tax cuts on anyone making over one million dollars and any family making over 1.5 million.  The time to save our children’s future is NOW!
Eighth –  Fully fund education with a commitment to public service.  Period.  Set up a government agency to issue loans to folks who choose not to serve.  They still get loans, just at a higher rate.  Make schools 10 hour days, and everyone takes arts (of some type) and physical education.  Make schools year-round with a couple of one week breaks.  Get rid of summer vacation.
IF we do ANY of these things, will we still avoid disaster this November?  Probably not.  Will Obama be able to get re-elected and pull back a few of the losses – maybe.
But if we don’t even TRY?  What then for hope?
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