Praiseworthy Republicans, MIA

Bush Administration, Iraq War, Republican Party

I brought up this topic of praiseworthy Republicans a few days ago, but fumbled the post by leaving a password lock on it [thanks again, moonbat, for correcting that], so now I’ll revive the topic and develop it a bit.

The general consensus is that the Bush/Cheney team’s unpopularity has reduced the electoral viability of the Republican Party. That is great for the short term and for a necessary pendulum swing from the Bush extremes, but is not really desirable for the long term health of a two party system. But I want to focus attention on the fact that the Bush/Cheney team has been targeting and/or sidelining and/or smearing ‘praiseworthy Republicans’ to such an extent that only Bush-aping extreme positions are considered ‘true Republican’ enough for today’s Republican party presidential candidates or congressional leaders, in particular when it comes to the issue of the Iraq War. This, I believe, signifies an unhealthy mutation of the Republican party that threatens America beyond the day when Bush and Cheney leave office.
For some perspective on how the tenor of ‘Republican’ has changed in just four years, I am repeating the words of a group of ‘praiseworthy Republicans’. Some of you may remember these words published in January of 2003 in the Wall Street Journal. They are worth a second and even third reading because, in hindsight, these ‘pre-mutation’ Republicans were remarkable for simply expressing their independence, and their common sense, wisdom, thoughtfulness and heart. Can you imagine any Republicans comfortable in speaking out like this today? The Bush team would work to destroy them.

Here are the words of the ‘Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities’, a group of 20+ Republican business folks led by Edward Hamm [he himself had donated more than a half million dollars to Republican politicians and causes, and I believe he paid the $170,000 cost of the following full page ad]:
“To President Bush, his advisors and the American People: Let’s be clear, We supported the Gulf War. We supported our intervention in Afghanistan. We accept the logic of a just war. But, Mr. President, your war on Iraq does not pass the test. It is not a just war. The candidate we supported in 2000 promised a more humble nation in our dealings with the world. We gave him our votes and our campaign contributions. That candidate was you. We feel betrayed. We want our money back. We want our country back.
War is the most extreme action a society can take. It can only be unleashed after exploring every other road. You have not explored all the roads.
How many young American lives will be lost in this dubious war? How many more innocent Iraqis will be killed and maimed and made homeless? Haven’t they suffered enough, after two decades of terrible wars and sanctions?
Among the one billion Muslims in the world there is a steady trickle of recruits going to Al Qaeda. You will turn that trickle into a torrent. A billion bitter enemies will rise out of this war.
And out of war may rise an Iraqi regime every bit as brutish as the present one. What will you do then? Our jaws drop when we read that you may decide to occupy Iraq for years, that the next ruler of Iraq may be…an American general! Is there anyone in this country who thinks that will work? Your odds of success are infinitesimal!
The world wants Saddam Hussein disarmed. But you must find a better way to do it. Why would you lead us into a situation where you are bound to fail? You cannot keep proclaiming peace while preparing for war. You are waltzing blindfolded into what may well be a catastrophe. Pride goeth before a fall. Show the humility and compassion that led us to elect you.”

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A benchmark falling below zero

Bush Administration, Iraq War

To get some backgrounding on what Bush in not saying about the surge and safety in Baghdad, do check out Juan Cole’s post today on the Green Zone. This sounds pretty dire.

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Testing, Testing

Bush Administration, Republican Party

This is a test, first of all, to see if I remember how to do a post [as I am going to try to back up moonbat in the next few days while Maha is gone]. I think when I do a more substantive post, I’d like to address the question of ‘praiseworthy Republicans’. Where and who are they nowadays? Praiseworthy Republicans seem to be, um, increasingly scarce, but perhaps there are readers who have some stories that fit this topic.

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October Surprise in June?

Bush Administration, Iraq War

I just read Thom Shanker’s NYT’s article entitled “Iraq Decides It Still Needs US-Led Military Presence.” I will do a link the only way I know how and hope it works: article.

Shanker is reporting that the coalition forces are legally in Iraq under the latest UN Security Council Resolution 1637 [dated 11-8-05] which resolution is effective only until June 15, 2006.

Shanker explains that ‘The new government of Iraq has decided to postpone any demands for negotiations to establish a more formal legal basis for the presence of American and other foreign troops….” I am not sure how to read that sentence. Who is making demands for ‘a more formal legal basis’? And why….or why not, alternatively?

What did catch my interest was this statement from, of course, an ‘anonymous’ US official: “There is a great deal of support, obviously,and enhanced by what happened yesterday, for our continued presence” –referring to the death of Zarqawi.

Kick me for my reaction…..but in light of the opinion I shared some time ago as a commenter [the ongoing turmoil in Iraq does nicely serve the [we-need-time-to pull-off-this-heist] long-range goal of those who want us to stay there some indefinite/interminable time to secure control of Iraqi oil], the juxtapositioning of the killing of Zarqawi and this June 15th legal deadline sure smells like an October surprise in June.

Hasn’t there been some recent news that Iraq might ask us to leave? If so, they might be unwilling to create a different legal basis for our continued presence, and are themselves postponing the UN resolution deadline, under which, at any time, they can ask us to leave.

Maha is returning! I myself will be off traveling tomorrow [packing, etc today] so this will be my last ‘guest’ post. Whew…..thank you all for ‘being nice’. It has been an adventure to try my hand at this. Thank you, Maha for allowing me to sit in your seat awhile; it sure makes me newly appreciate your fantastic abilities.

Note: I can’t get the link right and would like someone to cover that for me, ok?

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What the Hey

big picture stuff

What the hey, I am going to do an unusual post. The idea to do this has been tumbling around in my mind since I read justme’s response to ‘Questions’. What follows is a part of something I wrote probably a decade ago, and which was actually published [in a select-audience journal] under my pseudonym, Woman By The River. I cannot reproduce the whole of what was in print, simply because I can’t find it. But I did find an early draft of the first page of what was written.

This post is dedicated to justme.

Pondering the ABC’s of Reality
Please…..imagine yourself as a tightly knit cluster of ‘dots’ of energy which is a central focus for an ever expanding [through all of space and time] continuum of ‘dots’ in all directions. There is no difference in your essence along this continuum, there is only a difference in spacing with greater and greater ‘physical’ spaces separating your ‘dots’ the farther you move from the central cluster.
Your essence extends forever………your body is the concentrated focus of this larger self. So far, the body is the easiest part of you to recognize and palpate because of it’s density.
Utilizing the concept of space, WE are continually merging. Much more of us is merged than not merged. When we touch, we first touch in those least dense extensions of our selves. There is nothing mysterious about the interconnectedness of all things—–all is energy and our world is not limited to our dense centers.
Should you realize how your being never ends, you realize how every move you make impacts on all else at some level of interaction. AND you realize how all else is continually impacting on you. At some level, you are receiving continuous input about every love affair, every crime, every starving child, every event in the universe. There are no others, there is only the One of many faces, of infinite variety, of everchanging aspected centers of different style and density interplaying and interweaving.
What ‘you as focus’ choose to be consciously aware of is delineated by your intention, purpose, sense of protection, belief limitations and clarity/skill of fine tuning. Your body is the focus of the larger self, but the body is not of a different order or separate from the larger self; your larger self is your soul!
Life is about growth. Human conscious life is growth in scope of awareness aong these continuing extending pathways. You can palpate large views with your less dense self ‘out there’. Getting past personal ego is a matter of first understanding these density configurations.
The notion of foregoing the body senses for ‘spiritual’ knowing is an error derived from a first error which is a belief that body and soul are somehow separate or of a different essence. Every cell in your body is sacred substance. Every cubic inch of your body contains worlds. You have not begun to recognize the truth of your body. The bodily SENSES are God-given fine tuning skills for gathering data and for providing your growing awareness with continuous input. Our human species body senses don’t usually operate beyond the density level because we’ve limited them by our thoughts and beliefs. With growth, these same sensory organs are quite capable of perceiving and gathering data in finer and finer subtlety, i.e., withing larger and larger areas. We utilize a fraction of our potential because we utilize a fraction of our sensorial capacity. We become stuck by limiting our data to that of dense center phemonena.

[uh, oh, if you are reading this, that means I have gotten past a sudden ‘clunn to the heart’ that arose as I hovered over the ‘post it’ space . A ‘clunn to the heart’ = a strong shot of fear.]

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When I was ‘negotiating’ with Maha about trying myself at blogging, the timing of this unique opportunity was unfortunate. Maha was to be away in Las Vegas, and was willing to hand over to a ‘guest’ blog/neophyte at exactly the same time I myself am in the middle of doing a very big project: I am re-roofing my house, with only one other person to help [luckily, my helper has brawn and brains!]. Two other helpers who had agreed to come and help yesterday failed to show up.

The re-roofing project is awfully consuming, especially as my roof has seventeen different slopes [when one counts the dormers], two large six foot by three foot ‘sky windows’ near the peak facing south[which flood inner rooms with light] plus two chimneys and eight ‘regular’ skylights. If that doesn’t seem complicated enough, I have decided to ‘curve’ all fascia board surfaces with a view to ‘wrapping’ all eave and rake edges [hoping to achieve more of a ‘cottage look’].

Today, its ok to have a bit of a break: the big truck has come with its boom arm and delivered to the roof some big piles of materials, all places made bare by removal of the old material have been tarped, and, well, it is supposed to rain and possibly even gullywash in a few hours.

So, here I sit with time to open a blog post. Problem is that I have not been able to surf the news and commentary much. Soooo, I will ask a question which I consider relevant to an individual’s life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and therefore ultimately relevant to the world we share.

The question is, “What are some important questions to ask of oneself?”

Yes, I know that most blogging is all about thoughts and opinions which sweep widely and are probably much more fun. But, in a very real way, ‘what to do about what we all care about’ comes down to actions or inactions by ‘we’ individuals. A common lament in the blogosphere is the lament of ‘what can we do’ about this or that important issue. I personally believe that if I am right with myself, I much more likely to be in harmony with my neighbors and fellow citizens. Besides, it is basic and important work to understand how to deal successfully with one’s own goals before there can be successful dealing with shared goals. I will start this off by offering a couple of what I consider ‘important questions’.

I used to try to get more familiar with my deeper values by asking the following, “I’ll pretend I am on my death bed and am looking back at my life……..what is it I wish I had done differently? Or what is it I wish I had done that I never did do?

Probably the most relevant question I have ever asked myself is this: ” What exactly do I do ‘to live with’ what is unacceptable?” In trying to answer that question, I have encountered a number of ‘coping mechanisms’ such as going numb, going dumb, diverting my attention elsewhere, ‘explaining away’ the problem, trying to force another to change, and so forth. Funny thing is, once I got the focus on me by asking that question, I found myself much less likely to ‘just live with’ whatever was unacceptable. Plus, it’s pretty basic: I only have control over myself and my own actions. I’d be beating my head against a brick wall to demand change in others, rather than explore change in myself. Confession, I was ‘head against brick wall’ for awhile yesterday when those guys failed to show!

Well, I could go on a lot about ‘what questions’, but I want to stop here. How about it? Is this topic of interest? I would love to hear from any others who want to formulate good questions for oneself.

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Five years after 9/11

big picture stuff, blogging

Gosh, I am actually going to do a post on the Mahablog, and of course, I am using the same name I use when I do my frequent comments. I love Maha’s site, so I hope my posting a topic will be an alright addition. As far as I’m concerned, few can ever live up to Maha’s abilities, so I won’t even try that. Well, here goes, and remember what Maha said, ‘be nice.”

Shortly after 9/11, I asked the question: “How could Osama Bin Laden persuade followers to do such atrocities?”

I found an answer to that question in the book entitled ‘ War and Anti-War’ written in 1993 by Alvin and Heidi Toffler. On pages 167-168, the Tofflers discuss what they call ‘ Six Wrenches That Twist The Mind’. Here’s my brief paraphrased list of these wrenches, i.e., the tools used by smart ‘war’ propagandists:
1] feed your followers a steady diet of ‘atrocity stories’
2] inflate the stakes [‘everything you hold dear is at risk]
3] demonize and/or dehumanize the opponent
4] polarize [you are either with us or against us]
5] claim divine sanction [God is on our side]
6] meta-propagandize by discrediting anything and everything coming from the other side

Whew, I think we all know, after 9/11, just how powerful these six wrenches can be in twisting minds!

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