Goodbye first decade of the 2000’s

Different critics have their “best of…” lists coming out this week as we get ready to end the first decade of the 2000’s. I thought I might add what I think are the major touchstones of the decade. These are events or persons who, generations from now, will still be looked at and studied or commented on.

In no particular order:

September 11, 2001

That date will live in infamy in the history books. Over 2,000 people were murdered that day in the terror attacks that led to the destruction of the two World Trade Center towers, heavy damage to the Pentagon, and sense of numbness that took some months to work itself out.

The event also brought out the best of humankind as millions banded together in the initial days and months both to grieve and to work through the aftermath. I admit I channeled my inner cowboy wanting to get the mofos who planned it.

9/11 has also guided our country’s direction for at least this first decade and probably for many more decades to come.

Presidential election of 2000

The 2000 election was the first time that one political party, the Republicans, were able to use their control of a state government and the US Supreme Court to thwart the will of a majority of Americans and install their own guy into the White House. I hope it will be the last time. It’s very bad for democracy if one party is able to manipulate the media, state, and courts to get what they want outside of logic and reason.

George W Bush and the neocons

The installed President in 2000 was a bad influence on this country for the 8 years he held office. It wasn’t only the guy but those he had working for him, the neocons, like Vice President Dick Cheney who wanted to install their brand of “Pax Americana” on the world.

Breaking with the traditional post-world war II idea of diplomacy to solve problems in the world, Bush and his goons “shot first” and asked questions later. They believed that fighting terrorism involved imposing organized military power first rather than the usual criminal justice model of investigation and intelligence. They were mistaken that a terror group could be fought like a war between armies. Their failed policy led to a loss of prestige in the world, loss of men and women in our military, loss of scores of innocent civilian lives in areas we invaded and destroyed, and the failure to capture the major people who planned and funded the 9/11 attacks in the first place.

At home Bush and the neocons chipped away at our civil rights – always “blaming” 9/11 – by violating our privacy, detaining without charge hundreds if not thousands of Muslim aliens in this country, holding so-called enemy combatants outside the country to avoid basic constitutional protections for alleged criminals, facilitating the use of torture, and using fear mongering to keep us all in line.

Bush and the neocons, through their use of the Congress, changed laws that were meant to protect our economy and well being which helped bring about the economic crash of 2008. President Bush was alerted to the signs of collapse and basically did nothing until Wall Street started to implode on itself. Then he gave them a blank check with basically no strings attached.

Presidential election of 2008

This election was good because the system worked. The American electorate, in a stinging rebuke of the whole Bush Presidency, put the Democrats into a commanding majority in the House and Senate. It not only elected a Democrat as President but also the first African-American, Barrack Obama. The Republicans and the neocons tried their best tricks to steal another election but the public turned them away hard.


Although the jury is still out on this one, I feel a major political point of the first decade is the continued corruption of our government by the corporate lobbyist. These people give money to Congress people to buy votes that benefit their industries agenda. It was this corruption that helped bring on the economic collapse of 2008 by getting bought legislators to remove regulations installed during the Depression of the 1930’s to protect the economy from wild speculation. What happens? Wild speculation followed by collapse. *sigh*

The corruption led to Congress passing tax breaks and other laws that gave big pay days to their wealthy friends while screwing the middle class and damaging the lower income people time and time again

Corporatism has led the Democratic majority installed after the abuse of the Bush years to continue the failed economic polices and to be ineffectual in passing almost anything, like real health care reform, that challenges their masters in the board rooms around the country.

The influence of the corporation has also led to our major media outlets being held by only a few large companies and that has effected what passes for journalism today. Mainstream media protects and propagandizes for their corporate bosses, their affiliated companies, and bought legislators at the state and Federal levels.

I have a feeling, moving forward, that Corporatism will become more of an issue that could lead to a crises that an election can’t fix.

The Internet

It really came into its own during the first decade. The one area not entirely controlled by media conglomerates – yet – is the Internet. Millions of people bypassed the propaganda that passes for news on mainstream media and shared news and information directly through their computers.

The Internet has already knocked down print newspapers and severely hurt broadcast media. That is a sure sign that people want their news and information unfiltered. People also want facts and the truth not a press release that spins something according to some agenda.

Fake celebrities

The first decade of the 2000’s saw the rise of basically lazy, untalented people thinking they should be famous by participating in “reality” TV shows or for doing something stupid. When you can’t answer the question “Why should we care?” then the person is basically a fake celebrity. Historians might look on this like we do about those wacky stunts pulled in the middle 20th century like stuffing a phone booth, dance marathons, and stuffing a small car with people.

Hopefully in the coming decade, there are far more better times than bad ones.

Good luck to us all…

We need to leave Afghanistan now

With the debris of the collapsed World Trade Center towers fresh in my mind back in October 2001, I was very happy when the United States and allies helped remove the Taliban from governing Afghanistan. One reason was they refused to turn over Osama bin Laden and the others responsible for planning the attacks on the towers on 9/11. The Taliban also had been very nasty to the women of Afghanistan and I was getting tired of hearing all the other horror stories from there. But common of the bad thinking of the former Bush administration, the war in Afghanistan went left of center and needs to be ended.

The blatant jingoism of the neo-cons blinded them to the fact that Afghanistan had historically chewed up the British and Soviets, they didn’t capture bin Laden and his gang, and then thought they could impose “democracy” on the country.

Bush and company sent too few resources then cut back more as they fought a stupid war in Iraq that was only about settling past scores and for oil.

Once out of power the Taliban melted into the mountains and into Pakistan. Was there any doubt it would happen because they never fought a set piece battle back 2001. They withdrew from each city as the Northern Alliance and the US drew near.

Until recently Pakistan had been a supporter of the Taliban. That changed when it the Taliban started putting the Pakistan government in danger as it built strongholds in the Swat valley. But the support was there and didn’t help the US in capturing bin Laden in 2001.

The Karzai government, put into place by the US, is corrupt and after the last election, seen now as fraudulent, will never bring Afghanistan into a modern democracy. Once US troops leave Karzai will not be around for long. The Taliban have infiltrated the police and army and with the war lords still around, nothing really has changed.

It seems to me that Afghanistan is a lost cause and the US should leave as soon as possible.

Yes, I will gloat in the Democrat victory

I have not hidden the fact, even though I am politically independent, I dislike the GOP so much that I will not vote for a Republican. However, I did vote for one on Tuesday and that was Joe Testa who is Franklin County Auditor.

I am pleased as punch that the GOP lost BIG Tuesday. They lost most of the offices here in Ohio including Governor. They lost the majority in the US House and are on the brink of gaining control of the US Senate.

The national victory for the Democrats is a HUGE rebuke to President Bush, the GOP, and their neo-con cronies. They were the ones who squandered the budget surplus, got us into a protracted war in Iraq on fabricated evidence, and ruined our reputation in the world community.

The wingnuts can try and spin it anyway that will help them feel better but the GOP LOST and they lost big.

The Democratic victory was also a rebuke to the cable TV and radio talking flacks who had no clue what was going on, so much so that until today kept attacking Democrats on behalf of their GOP masters.

You can stick it up your asses Karl Rove and Fox News…..

After 2004, I really thought my fellow citizens were mentally challenged but after tonight they are just slow on the uptake. It took them 6 years but they finally arrived at my conclusions and turned the bums out.

The other small satisfaction I got is in two different races related to my fight to keep church and state separate.

Deborah Owens Fink, the state school board member who was leader of the movement to force Intelligent Design into Ohio public schools, lost her election to another term. She had only 28% of the vote as of 11 PM

In Indiana, Rep. James Hostettler (R-IN) who introduced the “Public Expression of Religion Act” that was passed as the “Veterans’ Memorials, Boy Scouts, Public Seals, and Other Public Expressions of Religion Protection Act of 2006”, lost his House seat tonight.

See also:
A Voter Rebuke For Bush, the War And the Right

Why the US is an 8,000 lbs Gorilla

It has been over a year since the US invaded Iraq and removed Saddam from power. The President and his inner circle continue to say that the action will make us safer from terrorism.

The Iraq war and somewhat the Afghanistan operation in October 2001 are parts of a new post 9/11 policy of preemptive strike against nations and groups that pose a threat to the US.

We were also told by President Bush recently, as detailed in Bob Woodward’s book Plan of Attack, that the US is suppose to free people and spread democracy around the world.

Actually the policy isn’t new. It was first purposed in 1992 by then Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz who is a neo-conservative, someone who believes the US should create an empire.

In 2000, a think tank, Project for the New American Century, drafted a similar proposal. That report was copied almost word for word into President Bush’s National Security Strategy report released on 9/20/2002.

It calls for increased defense spending, the placement of troops in all areas of the world, and imposing US will and keeping world peace through military and economic power without any input from our allies.

The terrorist attacks on 9/11 became the Neo-conservatives “Gulf of Tonkin” when the US Congress gave away its oversight over the use of US power allowing the President, with the influence of Neo-conservtives like Wolfowitz, I. Lewis Libby, John Bolton, and Stephen Cambone, to implement the National Security Policy. We have seen the results so far in Iraq, the naming of the “Axis of Evil”, and rushing troops to Georgia and the Philippines.

Since the Congress has given the President a blank check to piss off everyone in the world by changing the traditional operation of this country in relation to the world, the ONLY answer is to remove the President come November. Our security depends on it.

For further reading:
The president’s real goal in Iraq