It's crazy that this is happening. My heart breaks for the people who lost everything and in some cases their lives and that so little progress has been made down there. I can't even begin to imagine what all the little towns along the coast must be like with even less attention paid than NO gets -- which is next to nothing in the Corporate Press. Or more correctly, nothing.
It's so sad that so many who survived have not been able to return, and may never be able to as I'm sure when places are rebuilt they will be out of reach for many whose homes had been in the family for generations.
Bless all of you who have been going down there volunteering your time and energy and love. The corrupt bunch of thugs running our government have made it abundantly clear we really are on our own.
We (our country) is being attacked on so many fronts, it's overwhelming trying to keep up or know where to focus our fight. Thank you for putting your time and energy into this majorly important factor!
What's scary is that if a candidate isn't connected to big business, their chances of having their voice heard is very very small. So that leaves us with a whole bunch of candidates who will or already do cave to their pressure. It's not a stretch to know that Corporate media backs the same candidates Big Pharma and Insurance companies favor. Ugh. How do we get out of this?
I don't believe it's too late, and I do believe he'll run. He said he has preconditions that must be met, that he's not at liberty to talk about, before he can declare on way or the other. He's not a game-player -- if he had no intention of running, he'd have told us. He also said he wants to run, thinks about it every single day and to trust him. I do.
This statement by Senator Durbin the other day gets to the root of my problem with Edwards (who was on the same committee as Durbin):
"I was a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and I would read the headlines in the paper in the morning and I'd watch the television newscast and I'd shake my head. ...[T]he information we had in the Intelligence Committee was not the same information being given to the American people. I couldn't believe it."
"You see, in the Intelligence Committee, we're sworn to secrecy. We can't walk outside the door and say, `The statement made yesterday by the White House is in direct contradiction to classified information that's being given to this Congress.'" (Sen. Dick Durbin, Floor Speech, 04/25/07)
I honestly believe Edwards co-sponsored and voted for the IWR either to advance his political future, or because he is sorely lacking in judgement regarding foreign policy. Neither scenario, in my mind, qualifies him to be the leader of this country at a point in time when foreign policy will be such a huge part of the next presidents job.
As an outsider to the Edwards vs. Obama "discussions," from what I've seen here and at kos, if anyone was going to be labeled "cultists" the award would go to JE's fans. But really, why use that term at all? It's demeaning and rude and most likely intended to get your opponents hackles up. Not really necessary. Hackles seem to be already up.
I ordered some of the FREE Stop Iran War buttons and have been distributing them here in my little village. Soon the entire town will be sporting the killer buttons which is another (excellent) way to spread the word of the petition!
So heartbreaking and sad what the politics of greed and power have brought to our country and the world.
Thanks for finding and posting this BigDog.
I feel very confident -- from everything I've heard General Clark say about running recently -- that he will once again step up to serve our country. His whole life has been dedicated to duty, honor, country and that we need him more than ever is the understatement of the decade... :(
The thing is people who won't sign because General Clark is involved should remember this he is just a part of this. He is in partnership with VoteVets.org and it has nothing to do with Clark either running for president or not.
I had already sent out the link to Stop Iran War to my email list a few weeks ago, but today signed up for this new program they've put together, and sent it out again. Now I'm hoping a lot of the people I originally sent it to didn't get around to signing yet, so I can win! LOL!!
It's pretty cool because you can customize your letter, add a photo, and the website will keep track of how many signatures you get from the emails you sent.
from the email/link at Securing America:
Visit the StopIranWar.com community center to request a password. Then just login and start sending emails to everyone in your address book, encouraging them to sign the petition. We'll keep track of every one of your friends who sign up by clicking on the special registration link in the emails you send out. We'll automatically track your progress.
And for those who want to step away from the computer to gather signatures, we've got a process for you to get your offline signers to count toward your tally as well. Visit the Challenge page to learn more...
What Wes said about ports: basically the issue is not simple. There's no easy answer, such as passing a law that all US ports should be owned and operated by US companies. Here are some excerpts from the interview:
"I think it [port security] ought to be reviewed. There's no reason why American companies can't own and operate ports. Our security doesn't depend on who owns and operates the ports... we've got to strengthen port security overall.. it's weak... port security starts abroad... it's too late once the they reach our ports...rather than labeling countries, what we need to do is take a very pragmatic look at our homeland security problems are; even if we owned every port in the US that wouldn't be adequate; security has to start over there. We have to work with Dubai, Rotterdam, Korea, Japan, China; there's no walling off America; we're in a global economy whether we like it or not....
Senator Clinton's done a good thing in terms of raising the visibility on this issue. ... We really need to take this apart. Homeland Security has not received the emphasis it needs.. in particular, port security has not. .... It hasn't been pulled together.... Issue of ownership, control, regulation, how we relate to ports overseas .. all of that has to be on the table. It's a very complicated place out there economically. Even labeling who is an American to own it... it gets pretty complicated. How the ports are regulated and how we're dealing with the ports abroad."
Clark did not say he approved this deal. He said it needs to be investigated and looked at from every angle, and of course we agree with that. Even if we already think we know the right answer to this deal, we still should agree with that need to investigate, because it is only through systematic investigation of a problematic incident that we cast a light on systematic problems.
Clark said this is a more complex issue than meets the eye and he is right on that. Some of the examples he gave take the sharp contrast out of black and white, but that is where current reality lies. Ownership of contracts does not equate with ownership of a Port, but the details shift from contract to contract in exactly what it does entail regarding security arrangements. An American firm could manage a port but subcontract to a Chinese firm to manage one or more of the terminals in that port. That happens today, but it wouldn't show up on most people's radar screens because the prime Contractor would show up as being American.
And as Clark pointed out, who is to say what is an American company anymore with multinational boards and headquarters spread around the globe, and interlocking business deals, and minority corporate stakes owned by foreign nationals that though they may not be majority share holders, they still can be the controlling share holder. Most of the politicians screaming over this deal don't want to touch with a ten foot pole any of these questions which probably would only be "fully resolved" by nationalizing our ports if that is still possible.
Who is to say that an "American Company" has fully patriotic as opposed to economic self interest motives that would lead them into cutting corners with foreign subcontractors to maximize their profits, or to win favor on some other deal with another country?
If this deal with a Dubai company was struck to further Bush and his friend's personal business interests for example, which I think is true to a large extent, that is a different line of attack than the issue of who gets to manage a port on security grounds. That is a case of corruption and abuse of power which might make the prime issue here that Bush did not weigh security interests because of economic interests, but it puts the initial onus back on Bush and not on Dubai as an unworthy security partner.
Clark stressed that most security damage is already done well before whatever company has a contract at one of our ports even comes into play. It happens at the point of origin where cargo is loaded in the first place. If efforts at screening cargo being loaded are poor or non existent, the risk at the receiving end at U.S. ports is greatly magnified. A dirty bomb could be exploded in a harbor, it doesn't even need to be unloaded from a ship first. Dubai has a much more thorough program of inspecting cargo being loaded onto ships in their harbor than virtually any other port in the world. That has been the subject of much negotiation with the leaders of the U.A.E.
Clark said in this interview that he knows there are problems with nations in that area. His focus is on problem solving the specifics, investigating the process, and keying in on the actions that should be taken both domestically and abroad that will have the greatest impact on protecting our ports. I think Clark understands being "presidential". It means Country over Party, and facts over spin.