Under George Bush, thousands and thousands of poor American workers have lost their jobs to foreigners. Now you call computer services and you get a voice in India, when you know it should be an American voice.
See this cartoon for a silly side of the sad truth:
Go to The Ill Will Press Vault and select "TECH SUPPORT".
In his speech to the UN today, secretary-general Kofi Annan said, in a nutshell, that the rule of law has been stomped on and ridiculed by certain national leaders who shall remain nameless. Mr. Annan was careful to avoid direct criticism in his speech, but it was clear to see his meaning as he cautioned powerful countries to restore respect for international law. I understood him to mean that the US had best 'walk the walk' if we're going to 'talk the talk' about the rule of law.
Mr. Annan strongly suggested we all get back to the code of laws promulgated by Hammurabi, and quickly, lest history becomes allowed to rampantly do all our talking for us. In Annan's words, "If the political leaders of the world cannot agree or reach agreement on the way forward, history will take the decisions for you, and the interests of your peoples may go by default."
Here is the text of Annan's speech.
After Bush's speech, many international officials refused public comment on the US presidential election--rightly calling it an internal American matter. We know what they're thinking, anyhow--don't we?
Our freedom of speech (freedom is money in this case) is under attack by politicians who'd just as soon see us lose the freedom in the interest of their job security and power over us--and we're the ones they're supposed to be representing. NPR's Alex Chadwick talks to NPR's Peter Overby about the set of campaign finance rules struck down over the weekend by a federal judge.
The ruling could have implications for the so-called 527 groups that have spent millions of dollars on advertising in this election cycle.
Karen Kollar-Kotelly is the justice who has written the current decision. In the past, she had directly rebuked those who sought to have the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance law thrown out on constitutional grounds. She is a Democratic appointee. Congressional supporters of the Campaign Finance laws, as written, have complained that the FEC's interpretation of the law has had no basis in the reality of the statute.
527s will be the next on the potential chopping block and, as stated earlier, may well be affected by this decision. Bloggers' freedoms could also be affected. From the LA Times:
FEC commissioners said they were troubled by some of the judge's findings, particularly those regulating the Internet.
FEC Chairman Bradley A. Smith, a Republican, said he thought her order could affect bloggers if the commission were forced to regulate their activity.
"What do you call unpaid political advertisements on the Internet?" he said. "I call it blogging. There's a lot at stake here."
The Bush administration has filed lawsuits about the 527s in federal court. Judge Kollar-Kotelly's decision would have no direct effect on those groups at this time.
In my opinion, these 527 'loopholes' never would have been created if the courts had tossed the entire garbage legislation out to begin with. It's nothing but American freedom-suppression. The FEC, in my opinion, has been an American champion these past few years.
FEC commissioners said this past Monday that they expected the agency to appeal the judge's order (or seek a stay), but they believed their rules would remain in place for now.
The NY Times editorial. At NYU, Kerry's critique of the Bush administration's past mistakes in Iraq was well-grounded, intellectually straightforward and powerful. Even more important, he linked his criticisms to a set of clear and alternative policies.
Juan Cole, with professional knowlege about the facts in Iraq, rips apart the great distorter Bush's latest Kerry-taunt. I find unfortunate truth in his statement that "the American public may like Bush's cynical misuse of Wilsonian idealism precisely because it covers the embarrassment of their having gone to war, killed perhaps 25,000 people, and made a perfect mess of the Persian Gulf region, all out of a kind of paranoia fed by dirty tricks and bad intelligence."
I was intrigued by Professor Cole's thoughtful return correspondence to a Reserve officer who had accused him of making comments the officer took to be "anti-military". Professor Cole, stating that he feels the need to speak out when he sees something he believes to be wrong, states there are things he doesn't like about the way the Iraq war is being prosecuted. He says he doesn't doubt that much of this is at the behest of "General Rove" and is by no means the fault of the military itself.
Professor Cole makes the astute observation that, given al-Qaeda's goal of creating more polarization between the US and the Muslim World, it is entirely possible that the al-Qaeda leadership would prefer Bush to win in November, since they want to continue "sharpening the contradictions" between the two worlds.
I realize we're busy beavers with our lynching of Dan Rather and the use of those shady documents, but I hope it won't stop the good old-fashioned investigative wheels when it comes to taking the National Guard story a step further. Serious allegations have been made about a $23 million-contract payback to Ben Barnes' client GTech as a reward for Barnes' silence about the favor he did for Bush by getting him into the guard. It's not a new story by any means. It's at least five years old. I don't expect any journalist will have guts enough to go after the smothering Goliath dictator of information the Bush administration has become. I'm beginning to believe our democracy is toast.