Thursday, January 31, 2008

Another Good Candidate Drops Out

Dear Jay,

Let me start by saying, "Thank you."

You have stood with Elizabeth and me throughout this campaign. Your support has sustained us as we have traveled across this country.

Earlier today, I suspended my campaign for the Democratic nomination for the presidency. I made this announcement from where our journey began just over 12 months ago: New Orleans.

I began my presidential campaign in New Orleans to remind the country that all of us -- as citizens and as a government -- have a moral responsibility to each other, and what we do together matters.

Now, it's time for me to step aside so that history can blaze its path. We do not know who will take the final steps to the White House -- but what we do know is that our Democratic Party will make history. And, along the way, all of you who have been involved in this campaign and this movement for change and this cause, I am asking you to continue speaking out for those who have no voice, just as Elizabeth and I will continue to do. We need you.

Do not turn away from the great struggles before us. Do not give up on the causes that we have fought for. Do not walk away from what's possible, because it's time for all of us -- all of us together -- to make the two Americas one. We need you.

I hope you will take a few moments to listen to the video clip of my speech in New Orleans earlier this afternoon or to read it below. In the meantime, Elizabeth and my family join me in thanking all of you for your support and for working so hard on my behalf. We are truly blessed to have such friends.

Thank you.

John Edwards

January 30, 2008


Personally I am sad to see John Edwards drop out of the race. He has done more than any other candidate to change the focus of the conversation toward social issues of poverty and inequality. If America were to focus on building a humane and sufficient social safety net, if America were to focus on eliminating poverty, on reducing inequality, then we will be able to lift our heads again. If we take care of our own we will be able to better take care of others overseas. If we are humane and just to our own citizens our foreign policy will change and we will not need to pour so many lives and resources into war and occupation.

I don't don't think we have heard the last of John Edwards. I wish him and his family good luck.

Let’s Put Our Heads Together

Tired of always being alone?
Fighting against the weight of the crowd?
Why don’t we just put our heads together?
Why can’t we sit quietly and compare,
The heart shaped hole deep within,
Beating, throbbing deep within me
And you?

Instead of shaking our fists
Instead of screaming
Instead of kicking each other
Reducing each other to meat
In an attempt to prove our might.
While in the damp darkness
Beyond the reach of any light
We become an alien watching our own lives
Forever a stranger to our own homes
Never quite fitting within our own skulls
It sometimes overwhelms me
And you?

I think so
Even if you don’t want to admit
I see the awkward inward stare
The reflexive twitch of your lips
Why don’t we put our separateness aside?
Why don’t we just put our heads together?
Why can’t we sit quietly and compare,
The heart shaped whole deep within,
Living and breathing deep within me
And you.
Let's put it all on the line
I am that I am and that that I am is You.
And you?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Times they are A Changing

I listened to the President’s Sorry State of the Union speech last night. You couldn’t tell that it was 2008 this year. That could have been his speech from 2004 or 2006 or any year after the invasion of Iraq. Either he is out of touch with current events or he thinks we are. Pretty uninspiring.

I listened to Obama’s victory speech after the South Carolina Primary. That guy knows how to deliver on the podium. He was not my first choice for president, but I am beginning to be hopeful. There is a lot to like about Obama, and as the saying goes: Democrats fall in love—Republican’s fall in line. I am definitely not in love with Hillary. We do not need to continue the imperial dynasties of the 80s and 90s—we need some real change. And I would rather have an inspiring leader than a grizzled old veteran of Washington D.C.. An Obama presidency has the possibility of really shaking up the status quo. And I really like the idea of John Edwards as Attorney General in an Obama Administration. Let’s hope that idea catches fire as well. But it might bring too many changes to the Washington Bureaucracy, so don’t hold your breath for an Obama/Edwards ticket in November. The establishment hasn’t finished flexing its old muscles yet.

The remaining Republican candidates are fighting it out to see who the conservatives will fall in line behind—they don’t care if you love them, you just have to respect them. It doesn’t really matter which one survives as long as it isn’t Rudy Giuliani. I think he is the only candidate remaining that would make a worse president than George W. Bush. But any of the remaining Republicans will keep us safely operating in the past, just the way the old white men in Washington D.C. like it.

Either way it is the unconstitutional party organizations that will decide for us. They just keep the appearances up that actual citizens voting have anything to do with the party bureaucracies and their private plans for our government.

Meanwhile the President of the Mormon Church, Gordon B. Hinckley, passed away last Sunday. Growing up in the LDS church, I know this is a big deal to the faithful. The single source of all direct communications with God on earth is gone. So the church will focus attention on how wonderful the recently departed Prophet was while the old men in Salt Lake City decide who the Lord wants next at the helm. Odds are on President Monson who has reached the safe age of 80 years old to be the next Seer and Revelator. Apparently God only talks to young people, like Joseph Smith, once every thousand years or so because is stirs up so much trouble and change. So I am sure that if the Lord does not choose Brother Monson he will pick some other suitably aged white man who just happens to have spent the last 30 to 40 years working his way up through the Church Bureaucracy. Anything else would upset the money changers in the temple too much.

But those are just my opinions. I don’t have the weight and tradition of the bible or the church or god to back me up. I don’t have alliances within the party to call on to spin and support my assertions. My opinions have to be tested against the world and sometimes the world backs me up and sometimes it doesn’t. But I think the world is more important than any Bureaucracy, and I wish others would extend their horizons to include more than just their tiny tribe, church, party or country. There was a time when expanding human horizons and self image to incorporate groups like tribe, church, party or country were evolutionary steps forward, but now our horizons need to expand again to include the world as a whole and the entire Kosmos if we are able to grow that much. Again, just my humble opinion.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Early Dropouts.

Statistically speaking very few delegates have been selected for the party conventions. Any candidate who did well in a couple of the upcoming primaries would almost instantly become the front runner. But more and more candidates are dropping out when only a tiny percentage of the American people have voted (or caucused, or pretended to vote*) so far. Mathematically the race has barely started.

So why are candidates dropping out?
Especially candidates like Dennis Kucinich who should be in the race just to broaden and deepen the dialog?

Probably Money.
Money and the lack of exposure provided by the main-stream media, which has been blocking candidates out of televised debates for an ever shifting list of reasons while allowing other poorly performing candidates like Rudy Giuliani to participate.
So I wish a sad farewell to Dennis Kucinich who has pulled out of the race. He told the truth. He was willing to fight for America. But he was not a friend of the corporations that own the networks. I am also sad to learn that Dennis' brother died recently. His voice will be missed in the presidential campaign. I wish him Good luck with his Congressional reelection campaign, because his voice is still needed in the Congress.

The end result of the current party controlled process is that a tiny number of people get to limit the choices for the rest of us. And when there are no good choices we end up using our votes to try and stop the worst choice from getting elected. Tweedle-Dumb vs. Tweedle-Dumber is not a real choice.

*I have discovered that our local Washington State Primary results will be "ignored" by the Democratic Party who will send delegates to the convention based on caucus results. So we only get to pretend to vote in the presidential primary here in the Washington. The national parties have also chosen to ignore the votes in several other states as well and will not allow delegates from states like Michigan who disobeyed the Party and set their own dates for primaries without permission. Any remaining illusions of democracy are quickly fading away in this country.

Do We Know The World In Which We Live?

[A]s I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart ... many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of my path. At the heart of their concerns this query has often loomed large and loud: Why are you speaking about war, Dr. King? Why are you joining the voices of dissent? Peace and civil rights don't mix, they say. Aren't you hurting the cause of your people, they ask? And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment or my calling. Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live.
- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in his speech, "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence."

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Some Americans Tell the Truth

Dwight Eisenhower Biography
Military Leader, President of the United States 1890-1969

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hope of its children…This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.” (Speech delivered before the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Washington, D.C. April 16, 1953)

Eisenhower’s great personal popularity, epitomized by his famous wide and winning smile, won him the Republican nomination for the presidency in 1952 and swept him into office at a time when the country was mired in the Korean War. As President, he was able to keep his campaign promise to end that conflict in 1953. He served two terms and demonstrated that he preferred consensus to confrontation. His administration promoted the Atoms for Peace program and supported the extension of civil rights. Often quoted but too seldom remembered are these words from his farewell address to the nation on January 17, 1961: “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.” -- From Americans Who Tell The Truth

Does this sound like any of our recent presidents? No. Does it sound like any of our current presidential candidates? Not the ones anointed as "safe" by the main-stream media. It sounds a lot like Dennis Kucinich, who has been banned from the television "debates", and who also happens to be an American Who Tells The Truth.

Dennis Kucinich
Mr. Speaker, we make war with such certainty, yet we are befuddled how to create peace. This paradox requires reflection if we are to survive. Making and endorsing war requires a secret love of death, and a fearful desire to embrace annihilation. Creating peace requires compassion, putting ourselves in the other person's place, and all of their suffering and all of their hopes and to act from our heart's capacity to love, not fear. -- From Americans Who Tell The Truth

It would be nice if enough people could tell the truth and stand up to those who feel the only way to prosper and to maintain power is to tell lies. But too many people worry about what the odds are. Too many people worry about how many others will go along with them. Instead of deciding what is true and what is right and standing where they find themselves and telling the truth.

Credits: the Paintings are by Robert Shetterly, the author of Americans Who Tell The Truth
The Opinions are mine.

I Wish This Was a Dead Horse

I have been accused of beating a dead horse when I remind people that their President, Vice President and their administration lied to us to get us into an illegal invasion and occupation of a country that did not attack America. I wish this was a dead horse, but people don't seem to have a historical memory in this country. And if we don't remember our history, people who do will use the same tactics against us over and over again. Gulf of Tonkin anybody? The horse is alive and kicking our ass.

Luckily, the Center for Public Integrity has built a database of all publicly available discourse about the Iraq War. Their conclusions: The administration lied to us 935 times and the main-stream media multiplied that into thousands of reports based on those lies. Read the introduction below:

Following 9/11, President Bush and seven top officials of his administration waged a carefully orchestrated campaign of misinformation about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

By Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith

President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.

On at least 532 separate occasions (in speeches, briefings, interviews, testimony, and the like), Bush and these three key officials, along with Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan, stated unequivocally that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (or was trying to produce or obtain them), links to Al Qaeda, or both. This concerted effort was the underpinning of the Bush administration's case for war.

It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to Al Qaeda. This was the conclusion of numerous bipartisan government investigations, including those by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (2004 and 2006), the 9/11 Commission, and the multinational Iraq Survey Group, whose "Duelfer Report" established that Saddam Hussein had terminated Iraq's nuclear program in 1991 and made little effort to restart it.

In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003. Not surprisingly, the officials with the most opportunities to make speeches, grant media interviews, and otherwise frame the public debate also made the most false statements, according to this first-ever analysis of the entire body of prewar rhetoric.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The V-Team

I love it when a plan comes together.

My team at work put in a ton of work and completely refurbished our office space as well as producing great software so we could impress an important customer. It was a lot of effort, but well worth it in the end.

I'm lucky to be working with these great people.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The More I Learn, The More I Like

Kudos to Jimmy Carter.

Every time I read something from Jimmy Carter I respect him more.

He is a great example of political figure with his integrity intact.

"When I became a state senator, then later governor and ultimately president, I realized that all public officials have a great responsibility and duty to analyze the needs of the people that they have been elected to serve."

"I would say that the biggest surprise for me has been to see the quality of these people's lives. Because they are poor and suffering and uneducated, we often tend to underestimate them. I found that these same people are just as intelligent, ambitious and hard working, and their family values are just as good as mine. If they're just given a chance to improve themselves, they are very enthusiastic and capable of doing it."

"In every case when I thought I was doing somebody else a favor by building a house or something like that, I found that I got a lot more out of it than I put into it."

Friday, January 11, 2008

Kill People To End Their Suffering?

Does anyone besides me think this is creepy?

No, not the President playing with matches and wearing a yarmulke. What he said:

US President George W. Bush rekindles the eternal flame commemorating the six million Jews killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust, in the Hall of Remembrance in the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, Friday, Jan. 11, 2008. President Bush had tears in his eyes during an hour-long tour of Israel's Holocaust memorial Friday and told Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the U.S. should have bombed Auschwitz to halt the killing, the memorial's chairman said. (AP Photo/Oleg Popov, Pool)

The U.S. knew prisoners were suffering in Auschwitz so "We should have bombed it," Bush said, according to Memorial Chairman Shalev.

The Press is just reporting this with a straight face. Nothing strange here, they say. If someone is suffering in the world, the President says we should bomb them. Just a normal news day.

Obviously it was the suffering of the Iraqi people that caused George to launch Shock and Awe bombing. And it was their continued suffering that forced him to invade.

I hear the President has authorized torture of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay Cuba. Last month, a UN investigator said he strongly suspected the Central Intelligence Agency of using torture on prisoners at Guantanamo, adding that many prisoners were likely not being prosecuted to keep the abuse from emerging at trial. So maybe the best way to end that suffering is to take the President’s advice and bomb Guantanamo Bay. That removes the risk of actual trials too.

Thank you Main Stream Media for reporting the President’s preferred method of relieving suffering. But talk about drowning the baby just so you can throw out the bath water. Shouldn’t the news reports at least have a hint of WHAT THE FUCK? I thought Conservative Republicans were against assisted suicide. So how is bombing a prison camp a rational way to preserve the prisoners’ right to life?

And just so this is very clear: George W. Bush, I feel fine. I am not suffering. I do not need any help. I have no misery of which I need to be put out of.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Chamber Kicks Sand In Our Face

Holy Elitist Scum, Batman!
The Chamber of Commerce, through its president, Tom Donohue, has just publically vowed to “punish anti-business candidates”. They spent over $60 million in the last presidential elections, and they promise to top that this time.
"We plan to build a grass-roots business organization so strong that when it bites you in the butt, you bleed," chamber President Tom Donohue said.

The Chamber is concerned about the “populist” tone of candidates. And Donahue and the Chamber are definitely not “populist”. They are very clear that they are “elitist”. They are here to support and defend the rights of the Corporate Elite, and sometimes they even forget to use their code words like, “pro-business” and “pro-economic growth”.

"I'm concerned about anti-corporate and populist rhetoric from candidates for the presidency, members of Congress and the media," he said. "It suggests to us that we have to demonstrate who it is in this society that creates jobs, wealth and benefits -- and who it is that eats them."

In advance of today's news conference, Donohue told The Times of his plans to be active in 140 congressional districts this year, as well as the presidential contest.

What that means is the Chamber will back GOP priorities and candidates.

This from the same group that fought to keep China from passing minimum wage and worker safety laws, because they would have been anti-business and only good for the population of China.

This from the same group that ran thousands of attack ads in elections across the country and then refused to say who had funded those ads.

The Chamber is a front group and Donahue is the attack dog for the corporate elite in this country who want to continue taking resources out of our Communities and putting them into the pockets of a handful of corporate shareholders. They want to ride on our backs, and they are willing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to do it, because the result is billions of dollars in profits for them.

I guess we should be thrilled that the Elites as sooooooo scared of the populist message of candidates like John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich. We need to take some pride in the fact that even talking about loosening the grip of the Insurance Companies and the Oil Companies and the “Defence” (War) Companies on our Community resources and what should be our government has them so pissed off. But we can’t sit back and let these Elitist Bullies run the show. Last time I checked, the People outnumber these self-proclaimed “Elitists”.

Let’s Hear It for Populists!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Media Descends on New Hampshire

The Main Stream Media Descends on New Hampshire.
Look, the little people have strange democratic processes!
Fascinating! Educational! Exciting!
Look there is the Queen Ant. They call her Hillary.
Those little people are lucky our Giant Corporate Overloads
Don't decide to crush them like the bugs they are!
That would be real change. Har, Har, Har.
How does my hair look?
We are coming back from commercial in 3, 2, 1...

Sunday, January 06, 2008


Sometimes you just want to hide under a chair until it is safe to come out...
Come on out, Biscuit. It will be okay.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Presenting the Proxy Parade

Stand Ins Are You Ready?
To Represent The Uncounted Masses?
Pundits Are You Ready?
To Tell Us What It Means?
Believers Are You Ready?
To Believe With All Your Hearts?
Or At Least To Pretend Just Enough?
To Take Us To The Next Commercial Break?
Strangers Are You Ready?
To Ignore Your Personal Experience?
When It Does Not Agree With The Experts?
Children Are You Ready?
To Forgive The Sins Of Your Fathers?
While You Watch The Proxy Parade?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

The holidays were grand.

I completely enjoyed spending time with my kids, Siona and Chani, and my wife, Evelyn.

They are the reason that I go to work in the first place.

2008 means back to work, big projects and tight deadlines.

The work is exciting.

But my family gives it all meaning.

Peace and Love for the New Year

to all my family, near and far.