Peace, Democracy, Freedom and the 2008 Presidential Election
Most Recent Items
Dec 13 Impeach Bush Movement
Dec 4 - What it means to be an American
Dec 1 - Letter from Garry Kasparov
I have never gotten too involved in politics, but now I feel a sense of responsibility to do so. I am frightened by what I see happening in the USA, the place where I was born and lived most of my life. ()Recently I have been learning about what has been happening there to what is commonly called "freedom and democracy". When I was young I really believed in these concepts and took them for granted. When I was young, I felt free in the USA for the most part. But little by little I started feeling less free. Now I feel more free in other countries than in the USA: I am more frightened by the police and the government in the USA than I am by many other police or governments around the world.
I was recently in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. I learned a lot when I was there. I learned what it was like to be under the control of the Soviet Union, and what it was like to be a bit more free. It was the longest I had ever been in former Soviet occupied places. I learned, for example, that if you follow all the rules, fear the police, and don't ask too many questions, you don't have much to worry about. I also learned about the "lists". I learned if you get on a "list" even your children are going to have problems, like not being admitted to the university. I learned people just "disappeared." I also learned about this in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.
Recently I learned of a book called "The End of America" by Naomi Wolf, She talks about how people's whose teenagers are on lists. They have trouble in airports. This sounds frighteningly familiar. The Bush administration seems to want total control and no dissent. You are either for them or against them, in their eyes. I heard a speech by JFK about secret governments. I never heard that in highschool. But now I see the importance of open govnerments. I hope highschool teachers will teach about democracy, quickly.
Naomi Wolf is afraid Bush will declare a state of emergency and martial law before the elections. She wants to have him impeached. Ralph Nader, I think it was, said a congressman told his voters that Democrats don't want to start impeachment proceedings because if they start do, Bush is likely to invade Iran, then declare a state of emergency and declare martial law.
When I think of what just happened in Pakistan and Myanmar/Burma, I feel scared about what could happen in the USA: When I hear about the Military Commissions act, which allows the president to put someone in prison without a trial and with no access to an attorney, it frightens me.
There is more but I just want to start this page today. As I said on the home page, I would like to see the USA once again be respected and admired around the world. I would like to see it once again be a leader in democracy and freedom.
One other reason I decided to create this page is I remember back to 2004 when a lot of people were visiting my site right around the time of the election. This suggests to me I might have some amount of influence. How much, I have no way to know. But as Naomi Wolf has reminded me, for a democracy to work, we each have to do our part, be it large or small. My heart tells me this is important right now.
November 28, 2007
Emotional Honesty and Politics
I don't trust many politicians. One reason is I don't know how they really feel. Hillary Clinton was asked how she felt about the fact that Oprah Winfrey said she would support someone else. Hillary said "I think it's great...:" But I suspect if she were a) more aware of her feelings, and b) more emotionally honest she might say something like "I feel a little hurt, resentful and envious." This would earn more respect and trust from me.
Here is a quote from Gerry Spence.
"Openly revealing our feelings establishes credibility."
This makes sense to me. I suspect it is one reason a lot of politicians have lost their credibility. This is something I would look for in a presidential candidate.
See page on Emotional Honesty
Listening and American Politics
A message for the American politicians
Here is something I have learned from my traveling outside of the USA
The people in other countries like our products, but they don't like our bombs.
They like our help, but not our missiles.
So who likes our weapons? The leaders of the countries such as Pakistan, Israel. But the people who they use the weapons on hate us for selling, or giving, these weapons as we have been doing for so long.
So I agree with Ron Paul when he says it is better to invest in countries than to invade them. It is better to help the people directly than support the political leaders and hope they will do what is best for their people.
Another message is
Peacekeepers don't kill
Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.
James Madison, Political Observations, 1795
The USA is not paying its own membership dues for the United Nations.
The USA has often been the only one to veto UN resolutions, for example resolutions opposing what Israel has been doing.
I feel embarrassed and ashamed that the USA talks abot Iraq not complying with UN resolutions and uses that as part of its justification for invading Iraq, yet it allows Israel to ignore the UN resolution.
Many member states have not paid their full dues and have cut their donations to the UNs voluntary funds. As of October 31, 2006, members arrears to the Regular Budget topped $661 million, of which the United States alone owed $526 million (80% of the regular budget arrears). From the United Nations
One problem I see with American politics and American society in general is the labels. "Republican" "Democrat" "Jew" "Christian" "Terrorist" Now I just read this:
Jewish Democrats criticized U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) for saying he was considering Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) as his running mate.
So here we have a double label.