Gun's don't kill people. People with guns kill people.


"No body could have done a better job than Obama, with the economy he was handed —including me!" —Bill Clinton—

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Constitution Sucks, So Let's Ignore It

"Opponents of California's gay marriage ban
need to learn how democracy works,
Chuck Norris argues at TownHall.com.

Post-election Proposition 8 protesters are attacking churches
for backing the ban and threatening boycotts, Norris writes, when they should be accepting the majority vote of their fellow Californians.

"Like it or not, it's the law now," the actor writes.
"The people have spoken."
If democracy doesn't tip our direction, we don't swing to anarchy.

That would be like the Wild West, the resurrection of which

seems to be happening in these post-election protests.
- Chuck Norris

The utter ignorance of how the Constitution protects the minority from the tyranny of the majority is once again shown by the self righteous radical right in the persona of Chuck, "I'll Kick Your Liberal Ass," Norris. His anti Americanism is blatantly breath taking. His pronouncement leads me to ask, Has he ever read the Constitution or articles that explain that the Constitution was created to protect the rights of the individual not the rights of the majority? Apparently not!

To paraphrase Chevy Chase of SNL, "Chuck, You ignorant slut". I know your brain damage from taking all those kicks to the head have affected your ability to think, but the simple truth is that the Constitution does not allow the plurality to take away unalienable rights of the minority, which includes the right to form a legally binding union with another individual. Its none of the governments, societies, and certainly none of your F'in business. Read the "frickin" document.

Unalienable rights are god given and are not up to you or some misguided bunch of twisted christians to give or abrogate. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness includes the right to enter into a legal partnership with whomever you desire and those basic rights, are non-negoitable. Period. Your rights don't include the right to remove the rights of others except under the most dire and stringent of circumstances, such as a felon trying to buy a gun. Period. Your removal of the rights of others by a religiously motivated referendum, is not democracy in action, it is a mob action of the self-righteous, tantamount to a political lynching and will be the death of this democrat republic you profess to love, if it is allowed to stand.

That is precisely why the founders demanded that there was a separation of church and state, because, they had first hand experience with being persecuted by self righteous, over zealous religious fanatics, e.g. the Puritans who burned and drowned those they considered to be witches. They didn't want those kind of fanatics to be able to do that in this country.

It is incredible that the religious radical, far right, wraps itself in the flag and castigates others for their ignorance and lack of patriotism, while their own ignorance is so blatantly apparent. They neither know or understand the bible they are so fond of quoting nor the premise of the Constitution that embodies the rights of each individual granted by the very God they proclaim to love.

Chuck, the bible has a word for you and people like you! Hypocrite, as in:
Hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly how to remove the splinter from your brother's eye. —Matthew 7:5 "—

The Constitution of the United States is the Supreme Law of the country no State can pass a law that supersedes the Constitution, period. We fought a Civil War to establish that very point. Any law that violates an individual right is null even if the State or States in question passes a law that is direct violation of the Constitution. Marriage is a semantic devised to deprive individual rights just like the Separate But Equal laws (Jim Crowe) that were passed after the Civil War to continue to deny the rights of blacks in the South. We settled that issue in the sixties and passed the Civil Rights Act that did away with those "laws." If the law or a law deprives anyone of an Unalienable Right it's a bad law and it will be challenged eventually and it will be struck down. Like it or not.

My question to you is, What do you gain when you deny someone else a right you claim for yourself? Certainly you must realize that in America everyone is equal under the law and that is the true American ideal. Freedom and equality under law. Without that America is just another rudderless ship-of-state adrift in the world and nothing very special. That was and is the true ideal that the founders shed their blood for; not some Rambo right wing fictionalized machismo bullshit.

By the way, originally "marriage" was a a contract that conveyed the woman in the union to the man as his property, she was his chattel, there was nothing "holy" about it, it was usually arranged to strengthen political alliances or to consolidate wealth. The woman had little or no say in the affair, it was strictly a business deal and frankly it has meant different things to different people, especially women, throughout history and the word "marriage", is no excuse to deny anyone's rights.

Would you really deny someone else the ability to make a legal contract that binds their life to someone they love? I understand that you may feel squeamish about the subject based on your personal beliefs, but how can you in good conscience be so petty as to strip another's rights to protect your personal idea of right and wrong.

That's why the founders wrote the Constitution so that we are not subject to the whims of others. This is not a debate that can be won it is a moot point, Prop 8 is unconstitutional. Its right wing sophistry to argue otherwise.

© 2008 by Michael Weber

Monday, November 10, 2008

Will America Regret Electing Obama?

After the stunned realization that Obama has really won, and the pent up joy of utter relief has dissipated, there is the very real human reaction of asking, now what? Can he deliver what he promised? Will he fail?

I already hear the voices on the far right and the far left buzzing about how he will fail and ultimately disappoint because he is not liberal enough or that he is a socialist and will lead the country to ruin.

The truth is, he is neither the messianic savior of the world, some on the left have made him out to be, nor, is he the rabid uber-liberal, as, the right have portrayed him. He is just a fallible human being.

To be sure he is one of, if not the most gifted politicians I have seen in my lifetime. And that includes FDR, HST, JFK, LBJ and RWR. His campaign was a master stroke of poise, he exuded a calm deliberate reassurance, especially to white voters like myself. His demeanor made McCain look harried, confused and erratic by comparison without ever directly mentioning McCain's temperament or age. Because, if I may resurrect a phrase from my youth; He is cool man!

Given that, there is a real danger, that we have read into this man, our greatest hopes and projected our greatest fears on him and when his feet turn to clay as they must, we will turn on him and that ultimate disappointment, will turn into resentment and anger. The inevitable, "I guess he was just another politician saying anything to get elected", will follow.

But if we do, we have missed the entire point.

Because, I would argue that he has already given us everything one man or woman can give another, the ability to see the possibilities and not the impossibilities, which is, in short, the ability overcome any obstacle or shortcoming that they might encounter.

Therefore, I believe, he has delivered on every promise he has made, he has given us, the realization that no matter how insurmountable the obstacles, or how daunting the challenges we face, that together we can overcome them.

He has shown us, not only, that the founders dream, lives, and was not just some noble utopian ideal, but that it was attainable, and is, therefore, sustainable. He has shown us that; Yes we can achieve equality for everyone.

So maybe the question we should be asking ourselves is not; Can he deliver on his promises to the nation?, but rather, How will we help him deliver on his promises as a nation?

Alone, any-one-man can and will fail, but, if we rise together as a nation and focus positively, nothing can stop us, together we are an irresistible force, together we are unstoppable.

The reality is, he has given us back, the we, as in, we the people, as in, a government of the people, for the people, and most importantly, a government by the people.

He has already shown us, the we; when united and, positively focused on the possible, there is no impossible.

Can we build an electric car that goes 200 miles at 60 miles per hour?
Yes we can!

Can we achieve world peace?
Yes we can!
Can we eliminate poverty?
Yes we can!

Can we find a clean safe renewable source of energy?
Yes we can!

Can we educate every child to live up to their full potential?
Yes we can!

Can we insure every American?
Yes we can!

Can we clean up the financial crisis, restore sound fiscal policies and regulations?
Yes we can!

has taken away the excuse of, no we can't.
What more could we ask of any leader?

Stay involved, stay connected, be the change you want, at:

Republicans are licking their wounds and trying to plot a course back to power. They have not yet fully realized that their cynical political games are unmasked. That we know who the men behind the curtain are and we are not afraid of the Mighty and Terrible Oz.

For two hundred and thirty two years, since the founders wrote those magnificent letters of promise to their progeny, there have been those, who, focused on their narrow needs and interests and have obstructed the fulfillment of that promise. News flash nothing will ever be the same because on November 4th 2008 their promise was fulfilled. Game over in spite of you. Check and mate.

Word for the day.

O-bam-at-tude [O-bomb-at-tood]
1. the realization that, together, we can achieve anything through positive focus, perseverance and strength of character, even the real American dream, that has eluded us until now, freedom and equality for all. esp. of the mind: As in; The realization that, yes we can!

© 2008 by Michael Weber

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Why The Republicans Lost

I am struck by the abundance of analysis in the after math of the 2008 election. None has been more fascinating to me than the Republican Party's own suspect attempts at introspection. What is truly amazing is that their are clueless as to their own foibles. Their new website, (ideas.rebuildtheparty.com/), is asking for suggestions and ideas as to why they failed so miserably and how they can regain power. There is already a long list of reasons why they failed, and what they should do, but, none of them is remotely close to being true or accurate.

My favorites are:
we need a new logo and slogan
stop reaching across the aisle
fight appointment of liberal judges
say thanks but no thanks to AARP

Here's my list for why you lost: Your party is:
close minded
small minded
intellectually stunted
fear mongering
backward looking
an unending source of false accusations
bearing false witness
exhibits barbarous international thuggery
breeds and promotes selfishness, greed and corruption

I could go on, but I am sure none of this will register with you or make the slightest bit of difference in anyway, as to you, making positive changes in your dismal party, you have embraced some of the worst aspects of human nature and enshrined them in a misguided wrong headed ideology that looks for the worst in others while ignoring your own glaring, grotesque deficiencies. You are bankrupt morally and spiritually.

Through your malignant foreign policies you have murdered millions of innocents while weeping disingenuous, pro-life tears, for the unborn. You have squandered this nations wealth on needless wars while denying basic social needs of its citizens.

You have allowed oil conglomerates to suppress and crush green car technologies in favor their continued pollution of our planet.

You cry freedom and deny freedom to others. You sing America's praises of freedom and deliberately undermine it's Constitution and in secret take away American's freedoms.

You have brought great harm to this nation and the world and and you deserve to be thrown into the ash heap of bad political ideas, like Communism and National Socialism.

You deliberately polished a political turd like Palin and served her with smug self assurance that the American people are stupid and will buy anything.

The spontaneous joy you saw expressed on the election of Barrack Obama was the expression of pent up hope that you and your party have repressed with your exaggerated fear mongering for eight long years. People gravitate towards ideas and hope you are bereft of either.

And last but not least, you do not govern as servants of the people, as the Constitution requires, you rule as an elite class of aristocrats with a smug sense of superiority and entitlement. You have even stooped so low as to steal elections through the suppression of peoples right to vote so that you can retain power. You are despicable and un-American in the extreme sense of the word. You are fascists to be exact. A remnant of Tory seed that sees itself entitled to a life of privileged ease at the expense of others, taking everything and giving nothing back. You despise the idea of a democratic republic, and are trying to create a theocratic, oligarchy that dictates and rules by fiat, guided by your narrow views and twisted philosophies.

In short you lost because you are out of touch and you suck.

Damn you and your party.

© 2008 by Michael Weber

Monday, November 3, 2008

Republican Rule Is Dangerous

I have been reading extensively lately and have not had much time to write for my blog. I came across this article by John Dean former counsel to the president, Richard Nixon. I have recommended his book "Conservatives Without Conscience" it along with this article give a clear insight into the NeoConservatism, that has devastated this country and our Constitution. I will also post a link to his site. The following is a reprint of his article.

The Evidence Establishes, without Question, that Republican Rule Is Dangerous: Why It Is High Time to Fix This Situation, For the Good of the Nation
Friday, Oct. 31, 2008

Occasionally, during the past eight years of writing this column, I have addressed the remarkably dangerous manner in which Republican Party officials rule the nation when they control one or more of the three branches of the federal government. Over the same period, I've also made this argument, even more directly and loudly, in three books on the subject.

In this column, I will be more pointed on this subject than I have ever been, while also repeating a few key facts that I have raised earlier - because Election Day 2008 now provides the only clear remedy for the ills of Republican rule.
Click here to find out more!

The Republican Approach to Government: Authoritarian Rule

Republicans rule, rather than govern, when they are in power by imposing their authoritarian conservative philosophy on everyone, as their answer for everything. This works for them because their interest is in power, and in what it can do for those who think as they do. Ruling, of course, must be distinguished from governing, which is a more nuanced process that entails give-and-take and the kind of compromises that are often necessary to find a consensus and solutions that will best serve the interests of all Americans.

Republicans' authoritarian rule can also be characterized by its striking incivility and intolerance toward those who do not view the world as Republicans do. Their insufferable attitude is not dangerous in itself, but it is employed to accomplish what they want, which is to take care of themselves and those who work to keep them in power.

Authoritarian conservatives are primarily anti-government, except where they believe the government can be useful to impose moral or social order (for example, with respect to matters like abortion, prayer in schools, or prohibiting sexually-explicit information from public view). Similarly, Republicans' limited-government attitude does not apply regarding national security, where they feel there can never be too much government activity - nor are the rights and liberties of individuals respected when national security is involved. Authoritarian Republicans do oppose the government interfering with markets and the economy, however - and generally oppose the government's doing anything to help anyone they feel should be able to help themselves.

In my book Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Branches, I set forth the facts regarding the consequences of the Republicans' controlling government for too many years. No Republican - nor anyone else, for that matter - has refuted these facts, and for good reason: They are irrefutable.

The McCain/Palin Ticket Perfectly Fits the Authoritarian Conservative Mold

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin, the Republican candidates, have shown themselves to be unapologetic and archetypical authoritarian conservatives. Indeed, their campaign has warmed the hearts of fellow authoritarians, who applaud them for their negativity, nastiness, and dishonest ploys and only criticize them for not offering more of the same.

The McCain/Palin campaign has assumed a typical authoritarian posture: The candidates provide no true, specific proposals to address America's needs. Rather, they simply ask voters to "trust us" and suggest that their opponents - Senators Barack Obama and Joe Biden - are not "real Americans" like McCain, Palin, and the voters they are seeking to court. Accordingly, McCain and Plain have called Obama "a socialist," "a redistributionist," "a Marxist," and "a communist" - without a shred of evidence to support their name-calling, for these terms are pejorative, rather than in any manner descriptive. This is the way authoritarian leaders operate.

In my book Conservatives Without Conscience, I set forth the traits of authoritarian leaders and followers, which have been distilled from a half-century of empirical research, during which thousands of people have voluntarily been interviewed by social scientists. The touch points in these somewhat-overlapping lists of character traits provide a clear picture of the characters of both John McCain and Sarah Palin.

McCain, especially, fits perfectly as an authoritarian leader. Such leaders possess most, if not all, of these traits:

* dominating
* opposes equality
* desirous of personal power
* amoral
* intimidating and bullying
* faintly hedonistic
* vengeful
* pitiless
* exploitive
* manipulative
* dishonest
* cheats to win
* highly prejudiced (racist, sexist, homophobic
* mean-spirited
* militant
* nationalistic
* tells others what they want to hear
* takes advantage of "suckers"
* specializes in creating false images to sell self
* may or may not be religious
* usually politically and economically conservative/Republican

Incidentally, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney also can be described by these well-defined and typical traits - which is why a McCain presidency is likely to be nearly identical to a Bush presidency.

Clearly, Sarah Palin also has some qualities typical of authoritarian leaders, not to mention almost all of the traits found among authoritarian followers. Specifically, such followers can be described as follows:

* submissive to authority
* aggressive on behalf of authority
* highly conventional in their behavior
* highly religious
* possessing moderate to little education
* trusting of untrustworthy authorities
* prejudiced (particularly against homosexuals and followers of religions other than their own)
* mean-spirited
* narrow-minded
* intolerant
* bullying
* zealous
* dogmatic
* uncritical toward chosen authority
* hypocritical
* inconsistent and contradictory
* prone to panic easily
* highly self-righteous
* moralistic
* strict disciplinarians
* severely punitive
* demanding loyalty and returning it
* possessing little self-awareness
* usually politically and economically conservative/Republican

The leading authority on right-wing authoritarianism, a man who devoted his career to developing hard empirical data about these people and their beliefs, is Robert Altemeyer. Altemeyer, a social scientist based in Canada, flushed out these typical character traits in decades of testing.

Altemeyer believes about 25 percent of the adult population in the United States is solidly authoritarian (with that group mostly composed of followers, and a small percentage of potential leaders). It is in these ranks of some 70 million that we find the core of the McCain/Palin supporters. They are people who are, in Altemeyer's words, are "so self-righteous, so ill-informed, and so dogmatic that nothing you can say or do will change their minds."

The Problem with Electing Authoritarian Conservatives

What is wrong with being an authoritarian conservative? Well, if you want to take the country where they do, nothing. "They would march America into a dictatorship and probably feel that things had improved as a result," Altemeyer told me. "The problem is that these authoritarian followers are much more active than the rest of the country. They have the mentality of 'old-time religion' on a crusade, and they generously give money, time and effort to the cause. They proselytize; they lick stamps; they put pressure on loved ones; and they revel in being loyal to a cohesive group of like thinkers. And they are so submissive to their leaders that they will believe and do virtually anything they are told. They are not going to let up and they are not going to go away."

I would nominate McCain's "Joe the Plumber" as a new poster-boy of the authoritarian followers. He is a believer, and he has signed on. On November 4, 2008, we will learn how many more Americans will join the ranks of the authoritarians.

Frankly, the fact that the pre-election polls are close - after eight years of authoritarian leadership from Bush and Cheney, and given its disastrous results - shows that many Americans either do not realize where a McCain/Palin presidency might take us, or they are happy to go there. Frankly, it scares the hell out of me, for there is only one way to deal with these conservative zealots: Keep them out of power.

This election should be a slam dunk for Barack Obama, who has run a masterful campaign. It was no small undertaking winning the nomination from Hillary Clinton, and in doing so, he has shown without any doubt (in my mind anyway) that he is not only qualified to be president, but that he might be a once-in-a-lifetime leader who can forever change the nation and the world for the better.

If Obama is rejected on November 4th for another authoritarian conservative like McCain, I must ask if Americans are sufficiently intelligent to competently govern themselves. I can understand authoritarian conservatives voting for McCain, for they know no better. It is well-understood that most everyone votes with his or her heart, not his or her head. Polls show that 81 percent of Americans "feel" (in their hearts and their heads) that our country is going the wrong way. How could anyone with such thoughts and feelings vote for more authoritarian conservatism, which has done so much to take the nation in the wrong direction?

We will all find out on (or about) November 5th.

John W. Dean, a FindLaw columnist, is a former counsel to the president.