Friday, September 29, 2006

John Edward's take on Detainee Bill

Though this statement was made prior to the Senate Vote last night, I still think its worth posting to show where John Edwards Stands on the Detainee Bill.

"In its zeal to score a political victory before Congress adjourns for the midterm elections, the Bush administration and the Republican leadership are playing politics with our national security by pushing through a deeply-flawed bill that would undermine our long term ability to win the war on terror.
Congress clearly must address the issue of the interrogation and judicial review of terrorism suspects and detainees. But Congress must do so in a manner that upholds the legal ideals and moral principles that for more than two centuries have made the United States a beacon to the entire world.
President Bush is now proposing legislation which will repudiate the writ of habeas corpus and grant him the power to imprison whomever he pleases for as long as he pleases without trial, charge, or judicial review. This bill signals to the rest of the world that the United States government condones torture.
To win the war on terror, we must preserve our moral authority to lead the world. If we are to succeed in spreading democracy abroad, we must defend the fundamental principles of democracy at home.
The Senate should reject this proposed legislation, and address the issue of terrorist detainees in a manner worthy of our people, our heritage, and our values."

John Edwards
reposted from

Prohibition is alive and well.

The same flawed logic that brought about prohibition remains all too evident today. Despite the fact this is a free country, governments federal, state and local continue to pass laws to attempt to protect us from ourselves.

Alcohol Laws: Though the total ban on alcohol failed miserably they have continued to peel away on the edges. The current federally mandated drinking age of 21 has succeeded only in criminalizing activities that most 18-21 year olds will do one way or the other. I find some of the continued riot and party issues around the Ohio State Campus as a direct result of this. In the 70’s and 80’s drinking was done in the dorms, fraternities and bars. In that environment there was some supervision of Resident Advisors, Fraternity officers and alumni and bar employees. Now they all gravitate to apartments where there is no supervision, large numbers in small places and things get out of hand. The higher drinking age hasn’t stopped drinking by that age group, it just moved it.

Drunk Driving laws: Drunk driving is a dangerous activity that should be punished and punished hard. But continued lowering of the legal alcohol level once again dilutes the effectiveness of the law, making criminals out of people that are clearly not drunk. While true drunk driving violators continue to be repeat offenders and nothing seems to be done.

Smoking: Local governments have taken it upon themselves to ban smoking in businesses. It should be up to the business owner to decide what their customers want. Many businesses are now gone since the Columbus smoking ban went into effect. Remember all the Damon’s? The few that remain are in suburbs without smoking bans. I am opposed to the Smoke Free Ohio Issue and for Smoke Less Ohio's proposal.

The Scott Company in Marysville is now informing all employees that currently smoke, that they must quit before Sunday or be fired.

Smoke and lose your job, well at least you won't lose your kids,,,,errr hold up, Dispatch reports today some judges accross the country are using smoking as a factor in custody battles.

Gambling: Why is it illegal at all? In fact is it? With loopholes for charities and scratch cards and 50/50 drawings and riverboats across the border and horse racing, its not illegal its just restricted for reasons unknown to me. Like any vice some will over indulge, but they are adults it’s their problem, should all be denied a recreational activity because someone might misuse it? Issue 3 is a joke in how its being presented as being and education bill, but unfortunately that is the only way the “protect us from ourselves” crowd will ever let it happen. Dump all the charity bull reasons and just make gambling legal.

What’s next: The food police? Why as a matter of fact yes. The city of New York has banned foods prepared with trans fats, goodbye Krispy Kremes, French Fries etc. This is outrageous, what will they come after next, my soda, pizza? You feel safe as you eat your bagel do you? Don’t get too attached to that creme cheese.

Enough is enough, the government does not belong in any of these things, and I will continue to vote against any issue that tries to restrict the free choices of Americans. Prohibition didn't work then, it won't now no matter what they try to ban.

Well I must go, smoke, drink my coke, and have a little chocolate donut and a beer on the way to the Riverboat Casino.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Sherrod Brown attempts to justify his vote

Sherrod Browns web site explains his vote:

This reads exactly like the republican talking points on Faux news channel.

This vote allows George Bush to define what is and what isnt torture!

This vote defies the seperation of powers in the Constitution.

This Vote give Bush less oversite and retroactively makes legal his crimes against the state.

This vote was a betrayal to those who supported you Congressman Brown

Ohio's Senators defy Constitution

Senators Dewine and Voinovich have decided to deny their oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States by voting to give George W. Bush The Dictatorial Powers to both define, interpret and enforce the law. The President of the United States now has free hand to torture and detain anyone he perceives to be a terrorist threat.

They have also told the world that the United States has no more moral authority then any other rogue nation by allowing Torture.

The bill passed 65-34, which means even democrats have voted to allow this destruction of our country as we knew it.

In addition the retroactive aspects of this bill, make George W. Bush's crimes already committed, legal after the fact.

Our constitution has been damaged, our world credibility is damaged, and we are now the state others will have to band together to stop.

We have let this happen. May our forefathers, all those that fought and died for our nation of laws, may our children that will live in a country much different then what we saw as a child and may the world, forgive us.

Lott: Iraq War unimportant

When asked if Bush discussed the Iraq war in his private meeting with GOP Senators today, Trent Lott responded:

"No, none of that," Lott told reporters after the session when asked if the Iraq war was discussed. "You're the only ones who obsess on that. We don't and the real people out in the real world don't for the most part."

Obsess? How many millions are being spend every day on this illegal war? We are approaching 2700 young americans who have given thier lives not the mention 10's of thousands of Iraqis. More young Islamic youth join terrorist organizations every day because of this war. Yes it seems this war is something to obsess about.

Lott then made another even more amazing comment:

"It's hard for Americans, all of us, including me, to understand what's wrong with these people," he said. "Why do they kill people of other religions because of religion? Why do they hate the Israeli's and despise their right to exist? Why do they hate each other? Why do Sunnis kill Shiites? How do they tell the difference? They all look the same to me."

They all look the same to Mr. Lott. Perhaps this is the problem. The republicans in power are clueless to the motivations the reality in the rest of the world. In fact I believe they are clueless to anything outside their mansions and limosines.

We need leaders with a clue. We must take back the congress, Vote for Kilroy, Shamansky, Space or your local democratic candidate for congress.


Sherrod Brown Votes for Totrure

I am shocked an dismayed that even in an election year, Sherrod Brown voted to legalize Bush's Crimes. This attack on our constitution is more important than any other issue or campaign. For him to vote to lower our countries moral authority in the world and allow torture is unbelievable and unforgivable.

Sherrod Brown has joined with Deborah Pryce, Pat Tiberi, and Jean Schmidt among other republicans to vote for this rubber stamp on Bush's Crimes.

I have removed the link for Brown's web site from my blog and will write no further in support of his candidacy. I will watch closely how Dewine votes today.

Torturer in Chief goes to Capitol Hill

George W. Bush will go to Capitol Hill today to pressure the Senate to anoint his dictatorship by passing the bill to make his crimes against humanity legal. The Senate is expected to vote on this bill today.

Call or Fax Senators Mike Dewine and George Voinivich to express your opposition to torture and your support for the constitution.

Mike Dewine Phone: (202) 224-2315 Fax: (202) 224-6519

George Voinovich TollFree: 800-205-OHIO (OH only)Fax: 202-228-1382

Stop the destruction of our Democracy call today.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Sad Day for America

Today the United States House of Representatives voted to place the President in sole charge of determining what is and what isn’t torture. Since the "Torturer In Chief " has made that already clear that things like water boarding are in his opinion not so. We have made one-man in charge of enforcement and interpretation of law.

Our great constitution that has allowed our form of government to survive so well these 230 years, primarily due to the separation of powers that is inherent in it, has been shredded by this action. George W. Bush that took an oath to protect and defend the constitution of the United States has succeeded in destroying it. He has done so for the express purpose of allowing our government to torture real or perceived enemies and to maintain and grow his power.

In my mind the Congress is equally responsible for the end of our democracy as we knew it, and yes so are we, the Citizens of this once great republic. We have stood by watching as it happened. We have expressed no outrage, we have not marched in the streets, and only a few voices have expressed opposition to this coup de tat.

Only the Judicial branch is left to prevent the final destruction of our constitution. May the words and strength of the great history of law inspire them to stop the final step to an American Dictatorship.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Do they think we are stupid?

The fabrications, misstatements and outright lies of the Republican Candidates and office holders are beginning to amaze even me. Lets start in Ohio.

Issue 1:
For weeks we have been seeing and hearing GOP candidates including Blackwell talk about Jobs and Taxes. Do they wish us to not notice as the unemployment rate in Ohio continues to be worse then the nations over all, do they expect us to not notice all the plant closings that are happening every day. Do they expect us to actually believe we got some sort of a tax cut when we all know we pay more in gasoline taxes, property taxes and no less in income taxes. Do they expect us to forget as Ohio has continued to falter deeper and deeper economically, educationally and in job growth, that it has been the Republican party that has controlled all state offices and the State House for 16 years.

On this issue GOP office holders, we have had enough of irresponsible government, lost jobs and taxes spent on embezzlement. Its time the party that presided over all these things is tossed out of office.

Issue 2: Cherry picking cases to claim some sort of weakness on the opponent. Greg Hartman unable to discuss his qualifications, as he has none compared to the years of directly related experience on Jennifer Brunner’s resume. So he picks out of 6000 some cases in her time as a judge to find a few that she based on the facts of the case and very possibly on the prosecutors recommendation gave seemingly light sentences. Give me a break. Jennifer is highly qualified, Hartman is not. Period.

Issue 3: State Auditor Betty Montgomery who presided over the auditing of the states financial transactions through by any account the most corrupt, embezzle-ridden and criminal administration in Ohio history, now wants to be our chief law enforcement officer? Why so no further Republican’s can be convicted from this administration for things we don’t even know about yet?

Now She decides to use clients her opponent has defended as an attorney as a swipe against him. He was doing his job Ms. Montgomery, making our legal system work, providing a defense as required by law. Yes, Ms. Montgomery he actually has to work for a living unlike playing republican musical chairs like you have done for as long as we all can remember.

Issue 4: Deborah Pyrce, Joy Padgett and Mike Dewine: The three people trying to convince us they are “independent from Bush, but just like the oil companies, prescription companies and insurance companies, their hands are out to smile and take in the campaign cash George or in Padgett’s case Laura, can generate by dining with them with the big money rollers. Pryce’s record is clear, she is Big Oil, Big Deficit, Big War and Dewine, well he is following the same George Bush dance step, every inch of the way and claiming credit for tax breaks 75% of us never saw. Padgett doesn’t even try to hide it, her web site is word for word republican talking points we have heard for years without an original thought. Just say the words out loud, Congresswoman Joy Padgett? Shivers.

Issue 5: 16 intelligence agencies issue a report that has as one of its major findings, what we all knew already. The war in Iraq is creating terrorists, not eliminating them. Bush’s response, “they are naïve.” Perhaps Mr. Bush if you actually listened to the professional intelligence community around you instead of Karl Rove and Dick Cheney once in a great while things would be working out better. Lets see, they warned you of Bin Laden's desire to attack before 9/11. They told you there were no Weapons of Mass destruction in Iraq. You were warned the war would turn into sectarian violence. That’s 3, and I am not even mentioning that the entire weather, emergency and broadcast community told you Katrina was coming. Who is naïve Mr. President?

This republican Machine may have fooled the voters for a while, but the tide has changed, and everything short of stealing another election, points to a major house cleaning, in Ohio and in Congress.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Pathological Liars

I think most people have had the "pleasure" of knowing one or more pathological liars in their lives. I have known more then my share, but in doing so I have learned to recognize certain patterns that seem to be consistent between them.

1: They stick to their lies even when faced with the evidence that they are indeed lying.

2: Repeat the lie often: If the lie is gaining them something continue to do it, and in the process familiarity with the lie often leads some to think it is the truth.

3. Attack those that bear the truth: Their first response is to do everything possible to discredit the factual person. Accusing them constantly of being a liar or mistaken or not in touch with reality.

4. Divert the discussion: Rather then discussing the facts of the lie they quickly attempt to divert attention away from the task at hand and change the topic to some weakness in the fact bearer.

5.When cornered, alter the lie: When all else fails find another explanation for the lie in the first place or change the lie to get around the facts and claim that’s what has been the story all along.

6:When completely totally busted: A. Blame the lie on another, B.beg forgiveness or C.claim mental instability.

I wonder which of the choices in step 3 George W. Bush will use. My bet is on A.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I dream of a day:

I dream of a day: When we have a President that honors his oath “to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”

I dream of a day: Where our government actually works for human rights and human dignity in all it does, not just use the word “life” as a political slogan.

I dream of a day: Where our nations problems can be discussed by intelligent leaders with views of all sides rather then those in power suppressing descent with threats, lies and personal attacks.

I dream of a day: Where our government has the respect of the world because of our leadership and our morality and our consistency rather then mistrusted because of lies, “faulty Intelligence” and hypocritical behavior.

I dream of a day: Where the basis of our democracy, the election process is once again fair, untainted and unmanipulated by voter suppression and failed technology.

I dream of a day: Where Agency Heads and diplomats are hired for their qualifications and experience in the field they will work, rather then how they voted, and their loyalty to the President.

I dream of a day: Where the representatives of the people, the Congress of the United States are actually more concerned with the good of their constituents then the desires of their political contributors.

I dream of a day: Where ethics mean ethics and even the appearance of impropriety is investigated and dealt with, rather then convicted criminals remaining in congress and governorships.

I dream of a day: Where those responsible for failures are held accountable based on the facts rather then what party they belong to.

I dream of a day: then when a disaster strikes, the government actually responds efficiently effectively and quickly rather then pointing fingers and deflecting blame while the people are left to suffer.

I dream of a day: Where the press once again is the final line of protection for the citizens of the nation. That the press digs for and reports the truth. Finds corruption and lies and reports them. Shows us what is actually happening rather then serving simply as a mouthpiece for talking points or press releases.

I dream of a day: Where we actually support our troops, with proper equipment, armor, medical care and psychological care, rather then just putting little yellow ribbon stickers on our cars.

I dream of a day: Where religion is used as a basis of peace, love for our fellow man and right and justice. Rather then distorting religion for hate, intolerance and greed.

I dream of a day: Where our leaders inspire us, lead us and make us proud. Rather then anger us, lie to us, frustrate us and embarrass us.

I dream of a day: Where the citizens of our country will take responsibility for their freedom, and work to find the facts, speak out their beliefs and vote for leaders rather then familiar names.

I dream of a day: Where the country created by the framers of the constitution, the country we were taught of as a child. The country we sang about with the national anthem and the country to which we pledged to the flag, once again exists in reality not just in our memory.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Constitutional Amendment against Torture

Since the Republican Congress seems to like Constitutional Amendments perhaps this one should be proposed:

Whereas: It has become clear the President and the Congress of the United States do not find in our existing Constitution enough clarity to disallow torture. And:

Whereas: The Citizens of the United States find the act of torture to be abhorrent to everything this nation stands for including the respect for human life and dignity.

Be it Proposed: That the Constitution of the United States of America be amended with the following words: “No government entity, individual or organization shall conduct or abdicate torture for or in behalf of the United States of America against any human being of any nation for any reason within our territory or abroad.”

Torture by or in behalf of our nation does incredibly more damage to the country we all love then the burning of any cloth symbol or any marriage between anyone.

Speaking of Leaders: Tim Ryan

While Bush has rather successfully distracted the debate away from the war on Iraq, One Congressman stood up to bring our eyes back toward Baghdad. Tim Ryan from the 17th district in Ohio forcefully reminded us of all the misrepresentations of the Bush Administration that lead us into this war and have continued throughout it.

The voters of this country clearly have had it with how this war is being conducted and want change. Thus the Bush and his rubber-stamping GOP congress will do anything to distract voters from Iraq.

What have they been distracting us from? Since we moved troops to concentrate on Baghdad two months ago. 5109 Human beings have lost their lives in that city and 6000 in the country over all. That is twice as many people then died on 9/11. Many of those people died after being tortured. Just last weekend 100 bodies were found that had obviously been tortured before their deaths.

Yesterday the United Nations reported that the level of torture in Iraq is now at a level equal to or higher then, when Saddam Hussein was in power.

The only way to put a stop to this is to use our moral authority and take action against anyone who tortures citizens of Iraq, whether it be either of the religious sects, the Government, the Iraqi Army or Police.

Oh Wait.

We torture too, so much for that idea.

Bush says he brought democracy and liberty to the citizens of Iraq? Seems they haven’t seen much of a difference.

Stay the Course? I think not.

We must vote Democrat for Congress to stop these failed, murderous policies.

Thank you Congressman Ryan for keeping our eyes open towards Iraq.

Where are the true leaders?

The word I am hearing is the democratic leadership does not intend to put up a fight against Bush’s “make my crimes legal” bill.

Am I missing something here? Bush wants retroactive approval to TORTURE people!

Torture: the act of inflicting excruciating pain, as punishment or revenge, as a means of getting a confession or information, or for sheer cruelty.

The Moral implications here should be plenty to create outrage, but add to that, practically every expert on interrogation will tell you, it doesn’t work.

You would think nothing O’Reily says would surprise me anymore but yesterday he said that anyone against waterboarding was insane. Waterboarding the act of strapping somone to a board dunking them in water until they believe they are going to be drowned. Insane?

Something is definitely not right here; the country I love does not do such things, ever, for any reason.

As citizens we must stand up on this issue, our elected representatives and candidates must stand up. Is there a real belief that the majority of Americans are ok with torture? If not then standing up against the Bush “make my crimes legal” bill should be helpful in an election year, not the opposite.

This Congress has got to go.

This Republican Congress is once again up to its games. Good news is they have put in a bill a section that allows Citizens to bring in lower cost prescription drugs from Canada. Bad news is it's part of Bush’s “make my crimes legal” bill.

This gives them the opportunity to say the GOP is strong on terror, democrats are weak, and we are helping with high perscription prices and democrats are not. Their tactics are just so predictable. I hope the American voters are getting wise to this crap.

It’s time for real leaders and real solutions. Vote Democrat for Senate and Congress including Mary Jo Kilroy, Zack Space, Bob Shamansky, Bill Conner, and Sherrod Brown.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Compromise or Theatre?

Tonight the news is full of the great compromise between the Military 3, Warner, Graham and McCain on the one side and “make my crimes legal” Bush on the other. Yet not a word on what exactly they compromised on.

Bottom line is this; Bush has held prisoners in secret prison, (CRIME). Tortured them. (CRIME), wants to try them without due process (UNCONSTITUTIONAL) and in the mean time wiretaps American Citizens with no judicial oversight even after the fact as the law allows. (CRIME)

Warner, Graham and McCain say they reached a compromise that they are satisfied with, Bush says they gave him the tools he asked for. Which is it? Either they made these Un-American Crimes legal or they didn’t.

Was this simply an election year game to convince the American voters the GOP doesn’t just march in lock step? Was this political theatre to say, well “reasonable” Republicans negotiated and Democrats that are still opposed to this compromise must love terrorists. Or was this a organized distraction from the deadliest 2 months of the Iraq War.

We will not be fooled again Mr. President, Mr. McCain, Mr. Graham, Mr. Warner. There is no gray in this matter, Secret Prisons, Torture, Wiretapping, Kangaroo Trials are quite simply wrong. They are as wrong as the Joe McCarthy Hearings, and they are as wrong as internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.
If Congress moves to allow these Crimes, it will be one of the darkest days in our nations history as the soul of our nation, our moral authority in the world, will be no more.

Blackwell’s answer to everything, sell it.

Whether it is the Ohio Turnpike or Education, Blackwell’s pattern is to sell off the responsibility. He has advocated selling the turnpike which transfers operation to private interests. That for a one time cash windfall can operate it as they will and charge higher and higher tolls once again profiting on the backs of Ohio citizens.

Now he pushes charter schools. Dandy idea give millions in tax dollars to private interests to run schools that experience shows proved poorer results then public education. This by the way is a Republican scam that is most evidenced in New Orleans where the Bush administration has managed to use the Katrina disaster to replace the public schools with mostly charter schools.

What is next, Health Care? Oh wait that is already done by private interests and going soooo well. Prisons, yea we tried that in Youngstown years ago, it went well too. Law Enforcement? Elections? Judges? I know lets just transfer all the responsibilities we as citizens expect our government to perform to a private corporation. (Wasn’t there a movie about this once?)

This plan would work great for politicians like Blackwell. They can accept bribes and campaign donations from these Corporations in order to get preferred status on receiving these contracts. Then they can make huge profits on the backs of the Citizens of Ohio. Politicians like Blackwell can then blame anything that goes wrong on the private company all the while reaping personal wealth from the stock they own in the same corporations. (do I see Haliburtan waiting in the wings?)

What a deal for Ohio!

With this being said, I wonder why I’m wasting further words on Blackwell’s ridiculous proposals. Though she isn’t singing quite yet…

”la la la la, mi mi mi”

Hear that?

That’s the “fat lady” warming up.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

House Committee votes for torture

Today the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 5825 which decriminalizes the Bush administrations illegal wiretapping of United States Citizens without any Judicial oversight, even after the fact as the law currently allows. Co-Sponsors of this bill Include 2 Ohioan’s John Boehner of the 8th District and (big surprise here) Jean Schmidt of the 2nd district. No Democrats on the committee voted for the bill. The only Ohioan on the Committee is Steve Chabot. I have not been able to confirm that he voted for the bill or that he was even in attendance.

The same Committee also passed H.R. 6053 which legalizes Bush's illegal detainment in secret prisons, torture of prisoners and a military tribunal without allowing the accused to even know what the evidence is against them even up to the time they may receive the death penalty. No Co- sponsors from Ohio and I will add a comment to this post once I determine if Chabot voted and how.

Wiretapping without warrant, secret prisons, torture, trial without showing evidence. Is this the America visualized by the framers of the Constitution?

If these bills pass this will decriminalize Bush's illegal activities after the fact thus making impeachment unlikely. Worse then that, our standing in the world will be damaged perhaps forever.


Chavez doesn’t understand Americans

Regular readers of my blog may want to hold on to your seats for this one. But here I go.

I found the speech of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez insulting, disrespectful and has no place from the podium of the United Nations. Yes as an American I express my opinion freely about the current President of the United States. Yes I have a lot of issues with his administration’s actions, policies and motives. Yes I believe investigations on many of his actions should be conducted including a possible impeachment trial.

But as an American I have not only the right but also the responsibility to do so. You Sir may have the right to speak your mind but as a leader you also have the responsibility to maintain a level of respect for other nations regardless of who their leader may be at the time. Your remarks did not insult a man they insulted a nation.

Through good Presidents and lesser ones, our nation has protected your country Mr. Chavez from dangers from countries in other parts of the world. Our Nation has fed, supported, assisted in more ways and with more dollars then any other nation would ever dream of doing. Our nation has made it possible for your country to drill, transport and sell its most valuable national resource oil.

So remember Mr. Chavez when you call our President a “devil” good our bad he is our President and the citizens of this country will decide if and when to take actions. But the Presidency of the United States has stood strong for 230 years. It was there long before George W. Bush and will remain a respected position in the world long after.

You may have gotten a few laughs today, Mr. Chavez, but you have not endeared yourself to the Citizens of the United States or to most of the Citizens of the World.

Bush desperate to avoid Impeachment.

Ever since I watched the seemingly desperate rose garden press conference, I have pondered about why Bush seemed more animated, frustrated and even a bit panicked then at any other time including after 9/11 and Katrina. I watched various pun dents conservative and liberal comment on how that press conference was an unwise move. Now, by connecting the dots from news items that have come out since that press conference, the reason for Bush's desperation is clear. He is attempting to avoid being impeached.

First Bush himself tells us that 14 terrorism suspects that have been held in secret prisons by the CIA have been turned over to the Defense Department and Guantanamo Bay. The significance of this is two fold. First this administration and Bush himself have denied the very existence of these secret prisons time and time again. Secondly, these men will now have access to the International Red Cross and thus their stories of detainment and torture could leak to the world very soon.

Then yesterday the story of The Canadian computer consultant Maher Arar comes out. After a 2 and ½ year inquiry by Canadian officials they have issued a report that Mr. Arara Canadian Citizen was incorrectly identified as an extremist with ties to al-Qaeda. He was then detained on September 26, 2002 in New York City, questioned for 12 days in the United States, then flown to Jordan, then driven to Syria. Yes Syria state sponsor of terrorism and Hezbollah. In Syria he was held in a coffin-sized cell and tortured for 10 months.

Arar filed a lawsuit in U.S. federal court, but a judge citing “national security” issues dismissed the case. Yesterday Attorney General Gonzalez denied he was detained in a secret prison or was tortured. He claims he was deported. Deported to Syria? First of all Maher Arar is a Canadian citizen. Second of all if he were a suspected terrorist our government would deport him to a state that supports terrorism?

This is probably the first of many such stories that are about to come out since it is estimated that the CIA has detained 3000 such people in similar fashion. Clearly the administrations attempts to cover up these illegal detentions and tortures are falling apart.

Perhaps however for the first time in this administration’s six years they are taking a clue from History. It wasn’t the break in that sealed Nixon’s fate, it was the cover-up. Thus rather then to continue this attempt to use “national security” as a reason to keep these crimes under wraps their next step is to decriminalize their actions after the fact.

Thus the basis of all of Bush’s speeches last week, on wiretapping, detention and torture. Thus is clear why the desperation when members of his own party stood up on moral grounds to stop this attempt at legalizing some of these crimes.

This is not about being weak on terror. This is not about letting terrorists go free, this is as former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff referred to, about the moral authority of the United States of America.

That “moral authority” is what allowed our country to lead the world in World War II; it was what made NATO a success all these years. It is why the Geneva Conventions have been in place and endorsed by 195 countries for 57 years. It is why the United Nations exists. It has allowed Israel to exist. It is why the western hemisphere despite poverty and sometimes-corrupt governments has remained mostly at peace the last 50 years. It is why the Berlin Wall no longer exists. It is why when we spoke out against atrocities in the world we were listened to and supported by many nations and people around the world.

The “moral authority” we have had and the fact we as a nation have rarely misused that authority, is one of the primary reasons our nation has been great, strong and a leader in the world. Without this, our nation is weakened and this world will be in greater peril.

For now at least, I believe the United States as a nation has not lost “moral authority” in the eyes of most of the world as of yet. It is the Bush administration that has. The world looks at our citizens and our form of government as the people and the structure that can and will correct the wrongs of this administration.

We must not let ourselves down, our great nation or the world down.

Contact your current Senators and Congressmen now and support those Candidates that too believe restoring our “moral authority” is imperative.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

OH:18 Padgett’s website proves she is just another Ney.

I found Joy Padgett’s web site and never have I seen such a concise restatement of Republican talking points, without a single original idea.

On the Deficit she tells us how the tax cuts for the rich are working. And how Republicans have to be responsible stewards of taxpayer’s dollars. Yes with the record deficits federally and the Tax gimmicks she voted for in the State house, the GOP is doing a bang up job there. Speaking of responsible stewards of dollars, her bankruptcy proves she isn't responsible with her own dollars let alone the taxpayer dollars behind the SBA loan she defaulted on.

On Iraq, she says, “I believe Iraq is part of the War on Terror. By winning in Iraq, we win an important part of the overall war.” Is she the only one left that doesn’t realize Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

On terrorism, she says, “The best way to fight terrorism at home is to take the fight to the enemy in the Middle East.” Wow word for word the same Bush talking point being used now for 3 years as this policy continues to fail. Do they even use this one anymore. Perhaps she needs a new talking points memo.

Then her section on why people should elect her is hilarious. She cites her 20 years as a teacher, and though I respect teachers a great deal, I don’t think that compares to the education and experience in law and courtrooms and negotiations that her opponent has. She then cites her experience working for bi partisan legislation. Bi partisan? The Republican Party has controlled virtually all aspects of the Ohio Government for the last 16 years. When did she have to work for bi partisan legislation? Then she lists her experience as the director of the Office of Appalachia, a job convicted governor Bob Taft appointed her to.

The office of Appalachia has a very nicely written mission but the reality is the primary role of this office is to make sure Ohio gets its share of Pork from the Appalachian regional commission. Most money from which rarely goes anywhere near the most distressed counties in the region.

Thanks for your web site Joy Padgett it just confirms that you are just another cookie cutter, unoriginal rubberstamping legislator.

Unfortunately for you the voters want change, and that’s why Zack Space will be the next congressman from the 18th district.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Ohio a bellwether on Minimum wage.

Ohio voters will decide on a constitutional amendment to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $6.85 with additional increases in future years in line with the cost of living. It has been 10 years since Ohio has had an increase in the minimum wage. A time period where Congress has given themselves pay raises totaling $30,000.

Senator John Edwards joined Ohio Senate Candidate Sherrod Brown in July at the national convention for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform now, to come out in support of this constitutional amendment. It is hoped that Ohio will be a bellwether to see how the issue will play nationally and thus encourage Congress to adopt a minimum wage increase.

Ohio’s minimum wage is actually below the federal minimum wage at $5.15 an hour. That amount of money has less purchasing power then at any time in 50 years. $5.15 an hour translates to $10,712 a year with the Federal Poverty Line at $13, 200. It is estimated that 719,000 workers in Ohio make minimum wage.

For years opponents of raising minimum wage have raised issues of harm to small business and they economy. They claim it will actually result in fewer jobs. However a recent study by The Center for American Progress shows those arguments don’t hold water.

Employment in small business grew 9.4% in states with a higher minimum wage and 6.6% in states will lower ones.

Where minimum wages was higher the number of small businesses grew 5.5%, where the wage was lower, 4.2%.

Retail employment grew 12.3% in states with higher minimum wage, and only 6.4% in ones with lower like Ohio. There was similar growth in the number of restaurants, restaurants jobs and restaurants employment in states with Higher and lower.

The fact is minimum wage is good for small business, good for jobs and good for a states economy and a good step toward reducing poverty.

It is imperative that the voters in Ohio vote yes for issue 2. Which will begin the momentum needed to pass such an increase in Congress.


Cross posted to

CUFI works with GOP to bring Armageddon

Today I heard a portion of the National Public Radio Show, Fresh Air. The topic was about Christians United for Israel. A relatively new group of evangelical Ministers that work for, per their web site “in support of Israel in matters related to Biblical issues.”

This group founded by John Hagee the pastor of the Cornerstone Church and TV Ministry in San Antonio. It also includes others such as Gary Bauer, Jerry Falwell and Rod Parsley who’s church is in the southeast Columbus metro area. Parsley is a major force behind Blackwell’s campaign for governor.

John Hagee constantly preaches that the end of the world is very near. That many of the prophecies that lead to the end involve Israel. He and this group lobby for an Armageddon based foreign policy that is opposed to compromise or working out peace deals with the Palestinians, Iran or other parties in the Middle East. They state that any peace deal worked out in Israel is false. Thus they work to get the administration to take a hard line against Iran, Lebanon, and Palestine, and encourage blind support for Israel.

What is very concerning to me is that they indeed have the ear of the Republicans in the White House and on Capitol Hill. Per Max Blumenthal in his recent article in “The Nation” CUFI’s lobbyist David Brog and other leaders of the CUFI have had a series of off the record meetings with White House officials.

At their kick off banquet in July, this group of 3000, members listened to speeches by Senator Rick Santorum, Republican National Committee Chairmen Ken Mehlman and a video welcome by President George W. Bush.

Ok soapbox time:

I have nothing against support for Israel. But I happen to believe that peace in the Middle East is in the best interest of not only Israel but also the Arabs and the entire world. The hate, the violence and the war that has existed for centuries in a land that is considered holy by three of the world’s great religions is a black mark against the followers of all of those faiths.

Working against Peace? How can anyone twist Christian principles and biblical writings to say its Christian to be against peace? This ranks up there with the KKK using Christianity to spread racism.

My next question is what kind of egos do these men have to believe that they can force the hand of God, to bring about Armageddon on their schedule. The God I believe in has a plan, and he will do what he chooses, for reasons he chooses and when he chooses. These men will not force God to do anything, no matter how many people watch them preach on television, how many dollars they have to build bigger and bigger churches and how many politicians they have in their pockets.

Men like this can indeed bring about horrors this world has never seen. Fire, Death, Destruction, and they even may succeed in destroying the world as we know it. But I will tell you this, if they succeed in doing so, it will be the because of the actions of twisted, misguided and evil men.

It will have had nothing to do with the will of God.

Sources:,, National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air”

Republicans: We can’t lose, we stacked the deck.

The following quote in the Washington Times really annoyed me.

"Both the 15th and 18th district lines were changed and strengthened after the 2000 census, as was the 1st district," Ohio Republican state Chairman Bob Bennett said.

In short he is saying he isnt concerned because they gerrymandered the districts. The definiton of which from is: “To divide (a geographic area) into voting districts so as to give unfair advantage to one party in elections.”

Maybe I don’t live in the real world of politics enough, but when exactly did it become ok with the citizens of this country to manipulate elections for the benefit of one party. It clearly is so commonplace that the Chairman of the Republican State party mentions that they did this just as a matter of fact. It’s not even a backroom, sneaky deal any more.

We rant and rave about fair elections, yet they are fixing the districts to assure their party wins. How is this constitutional, how does this fall within the numerous laws that are on the books that protect equal rights for voters. How are some of these redrawn districts not against the civil rights act?

I’m not a lawyer or a scholar on such issues, but I do know when something is just plan and simple not right. I know its not new, but is that a reason to accept it?

Long term we need to take action to put an end to gerrymandering. In the mean time voters of the 1st, 15th, and 18th district should be offended and angered by Bennett’s comment and send him and the other Republican bosses a message, by voting Democrat for Congress.


Saturday, September 16, 2006

Ohio Democratic Convention part 2

The Ohio Senate Majority Leader C.J. Prentiss, took the podium to introduce Ted Strickland. In her remarks she drew rousing applause when she stated, “Ken Blackwell is our color but he is not our kind.”

Congressmen Ted Strickland brought the delegates to their feet as he began to speak. He said, “16 years of incompetent, corrupt and illegal republican government that has misused, abused and lied to us. We have had enough!”

He spoke of a Hunger so deep and thirst that is so intense and a determination among Ohioans. He said they know that the eyes of the nation are on Ohio. That “Bush, Cheney, Rove and Rumsfeld are sweating profusely.”

Congressman Strickland spoke of the GOP using Fear, Hate, and Division to try to win this election while the Democrats are the party of “Hope, Optimism and Inclusion.” He said we would see through their use of the tactics of fear and intolerance. Firmly he spoke, “Hell no they can’t divide us!”

He said that in 52 days we can right the wrongs, we can send 4 or 5 new democrats to Congress, we can send Sherrod to the Senate and we could sweep the constitutional state offices. Strickland said that as Democrats we must be true to the mission of our party. He said, that one should judge someone’s character by how they treat those in the dawn of life, the twilight of life and those that live in the shadows of life.

He closed by saying that he would work his heart out and keep his faith with us. He said, “What we are doing can change Ohio and America.”

Congressman Tim Ryan got the attention of the crowd when he reminded us that the Democratic Party is the party that actually solves problems. It was Democrats that brought Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid into being. It was the Democrats that improved civil rights in this country.

He said the one thing we as democrats can campaign on is that the Neo-Can agenda has been in place for some time now. We simply need to ask, “Do you like it?” He spoke how the Republicans in power, “don’t plan, don’t execute and steps on anyone who gets in their way.”

The delegates then heard briefly from Mayor Mark Mallory of Cincinnati, and then Stephanie Tubbs Jones who said that Democrats are “poised to take 40 congressional seats”

The Keynote speaker was Congressman Rahm Emanuel of Illinois and the Chairman of the DCCC. He noted that as Democrats were meeting today, that he understood the republicans were as well, “In the Grand Jury Room.”

He reminded us that Bush stated early in his presidency that he was against nation building. Emanuel then stated, “ Who knew it was America he was talking about.”

He reminded us that Nation Building Begins at home. The Congressman disputed the label the “do nothing congress.” He stated that it is what they do that is concerning. He reminded us that this Republican congress has given 139 million in handouts to prescription companies, 132 million to HMO’s, 15 billion to financial services industry and 12 billion to the oil and gas industry. He said, “When the gavel comes down, it is suppose to be the people’s house not the auction house.” He also reminded us of the 12.7 million cut to student aid programs while tuitions have gone up 51%

He repeated the Theme of the day, “we need a new direction” He theorized that if Congress had done their oversight duty then 12 generals would not have to have taken the unprecedented move and come out against the Secretary of Defense. He stated, “It is time for a visionary plan that begins with the firing of the Secretary of Defense.”

He stated the Democrats want a new direction; the Republicans want to stay the course. He stated we would forever be in this president’s debt. (Literally)

He closed with, “It is time for a new direction and it begins here in Ohio.”

Also addressing the Convention were Lee Fisher candidate for Lieutenant Governor Candidate, Barbara Sykes Candidate for Auditor and Jennifer Brunner Candidate for Secretary of State.

Jennifer Brunner spoke about the election process in Ohio. She said, “When you umpire a game, you can’t wear the jersey of one of the teams.” She promised a top to bottom review of all the voting machines in the state. She is determined to protect every vote.

She wants to work to help increase voter registration not limit it. That elections must be fair open and honest. She stated, “When the road to the White House comes through Ohio, I will do such a good job, that no one will know my name.”

The final speaker was William O’Neill candidate for Supreme Court.

The Convention was ended with a video message from former President Bill Clinton.

In short the conventions message was: “A New Direction,” “Democrats are winning,” and “Keep working hard to ensure the victory.”

Optimism High as Dems Convene Part 1

I attended the Ohio Democratic Party State Convention today in Parma. Clearly there is a lot of optimism in the party ranks yet still a great deal of determination to make sure the trend holds.

I will try to give you some highlights of the day, forgive me for paraphrasing more often then quoting. I took notes as fast as I could.

State Chairman and State Representative Chris Redfern called the Convention to order at approximately 3:30 pm. In his comments he stated the goal to take those that have taken advantage of us and hold them accountable.

Soon after Reverend Jeff Jemison prior to his invocation led the crowd to repeat the phrase we should tell our friends and neighbors, “You hold the key, its up to you and me.”

One of the highlights of the day was Sherrod Brown’s address to the convention. It was preceded by a video of Sherrod talking about his background and parents. Frankly I’d like to see this aired on television as I found it effective and a very positive message.

Congressman Brown spoke about 2006 being a very different year. One reason being that every time they go after us, we are going to hit them back harder and harder and harder.

He warned that there would be a big money attack on the issue of Terrorism by the GOP and allies. He made it clear that there is a serious threat from Terrorism and that we all know that, but that this Administration has failed.

Brown spoke of the 25 million in tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% of Americans. Meanwhile they cut 850 million from homeland security, voting against tighter security on the Borders, Nuclear Plants, Water and Chemical plants. He said and I quote, “They tell grandma to take her shoes off at the airport while only 6% of the cargo coming into the country is inspected."

He said “Don’t Tell me Democrats Can’t do better then that!” He continued. “Republicans say they are tough, Democrats are tough and smart.”

He asked the delegates to each go out and find 5 people and educate them. Then Sherrod Brown predicted the following headlines on November 8th. “Dems Win House and Senate” and “Ohio Turns Blue”

Richard Cordray candidate for State Treasurer followed soon after Congressman Brown. He promised Ohioans as Treasurer he would protect out money and never invest it in rare coins or collectables. Rather, her said he would, "Invest in our communities to help young people build their futures here. "

Also predicting negative GOP campaigning, Cordray said, " Republicans can't talk about their record, because their record is nothing to talk about." Cordray promised the Democrats would give us a government Ohio can be proud of.

(to be continued)

Friday, September 15, 2006

All politicians are crooks

How often do we hear that statement? The facts are that is an untrue and lazy outlook. Using this statement to justify not looking into the facts, not looking into the backgrounds and not voting the crooks out of office, assures that the crooks continue to get re-elected.

Lets look at the facts.

Resigned-Tom Delay, House Majority Leader- Abrahmoff scandal-Republican

Resigned-Scooter Libby-Cheney’s Chief of Staff- Releasing CIA officer’s identity-Republican

Plead guilty- Bob Taft-Governor-Failure to disclose gifts from Tom Noe-Republican

Found Guilty-Tom Noe-Illegal money laundering-embezzlement from State-Republican

Incompetent-Betty Montgomery-Auditor-allowed 50 million to be embezzled from BWC while taking campaign contributions from embezzler-Republican

Incompetent-Kenneth Blackwell-Secretary of State-oversaw widely disputed elections while serving as Bush Campaign Chairman and taking contributions from Diebold-Republican

Pleads guilty-Bob Ney-Congressman, Abramoff Scandal-Republican

Suspicious -Joy Padgett-State Senator-manages to get Federal Guaranteed loan for failing business then declares bankruptcy- Republican

Notice a pattern?

This is not about politics it is about ethics. Look at the facts, and then choose between more corruption and change.

She has had it!

For weeks or longer the American people have been subjected to Speeches and appearances by Bush, Cheny, Rice, Rumsfeld and others telling them to fear, telling them the administration is right, and telling them anyone who disagrees is at best, "confused" or at worst "aiding our enemy"

Well thank goodness one Senator has had enough and let them have it from the floor of the Senate.

Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana had this to say:

"In light of the rantings that went on for 30 minutes by two colleagues from the other side, I'd like to state for the record that America is not tired of fighting terrorism; America is tired of the wrongheaded and boneheaded leadership of the Republican party that has sent six and a half billion a month to Iraq while the front line was Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. That led this country to attack Saddam Hussein, when we were attacked by Osama bin Laden. Who captured a man who did not attack the country and let loose a man that did. Americans are tired of boneheaded Republican leadership that alienates our allies when we need them the most. Americans are most certainly tired of leadership that despite documenting mistake after mistake after mistake, even of their own party admitting mistakes, never admit they do anything wrong. That's the kind of leadership Americans are tired of."

"I'm not going to sit here as a Democrat and let the Republican leadership come to the floor and talk about Democrats not making us safe. They're the ones in charge and Osama bin Laden is still at loose."

Well said Senator!

Stop the insanity. Ohio you must support our candidates for Senate and Congress, Sherrod Brown, Mary Jo Gilroy, Bob Shamansky, Zack Space and Bill Conner.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The boldness of their corruption is amazing

The Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that it will be annouced that Congressmen Bob Ney will plead guilty on corruption charges in the bribery scandal.

It seems the annoucement was delayed until his hand picked successor Joy Padgett won a special run off primary today.

Just shakes his head.

Go get em, Zack!

The Bob Evan’s report Issue 1

My father has coffee at the counter at a Bob Evan’s restaurant pretty much daily. Often I join him there for lunch. One thing I have learned is the talk of the men at that counter often is a better gauge of the minds of typical voters in Ohio then any poll.

It is usually men, mostly 50 or older. Most of them are not all that active in politics, and though most read the newspaper and watch a local newscast daily, though they aren’t news hounds like most of us bloggers are. The score of last weekends high school football game often rises to equal if not more importance then anything congress did last week, or least year.

In any case I thought I would start to share some of the observations I pick up from these men. What they talk about, what they believe, what is concerning them and what they are hearing.

About a month ago, I was encouraged as I was hearing these men articulate the need to change. Now keep in mind these are the type that don’t like change, the status quo seems fine types. The ones that will reelect the same congressmen, councilmen, senators again and again. In this part of the state the vast majority of them being republican. But not this year. They were not happy.

Why? gas prices and the economy. I never heard them mention the war on terror once, the war on Iraq, corruption or many of the other issues we lefties are writing about every day. The got angry every time they filled up their tanks. They didn’t believe the statistics the bush administration kept announcing about the health of the economy. These men were leaning democrat perhaps the first time in decades.

That was a month ago.

Gas prices have lowered and are apparently no longer a topic of conversation at the coffee counter. Perhaps this is why nothing is done about oil prices. Perhaps this is why Oil companies are allowed to define our energy policy, because they know cyclical factors always bring the prices down right before November elections.

What they are talking about is “all those give away programs Strickland wants” “did you know Ohio is the 3rd highest taxed state in the country?”

I am no longer encouraged. When I pointed out those words were straight out of a Blackwell commercial and are misleading at best, my words went on deaf ears.

I have said this before and I will say it again, we as democrats must keep our message simple, we must keep our ears open as to what is important to the average voter and we must address them clearly, simply and repeatedly in our campaigning.

Despite the fact we may be speaking the truth, Truth doesn’t always win, perception does.

Bush asks Congress to make his crimes legal.

Bush went up to Capitol Hill today to lobby congress to make his crimes legal after the fact. The answer from the Senate Armed Services committee, NO!

He was on the hill lobbying for legislation that would allow his government to “reinterpret” the Geneva conventions on the torture of prisoners as well as making it legal for kangaroo courts where accused men could be found guilty and executed without ever being told the evidence against them.

Who does this man think he is? What country does he think we are? What moral human being can possibly look at the facts here and not be outraged. Thank God, 15 Senators on the Intelligence Committee have said no. Even the “rubber-stamping” republicans on this panel couldn’t let this one go buy. Apparently they too need to sleep at night.

Speaking of sleeping at night, Colin Powell who resigned from this inept and immoral administration in a letter to John McCain had this to say:

“The world is beginning to doubt our moral base of our fight on terrorism to redefine Common Article III would add to those doubts. Furthermore, it would put our own troops at risk."

I only have one disagreement with that statement, that is the word “beginning” they aren’t beginning to doubt Mr. Powell our moral authority is gone in most of the world’s eyes.

This fight isn’t over. Apparently Congress will debate both both the Intelligence Committee’s bill and the Chief Torturer’s bill.

There are no Ohioan's on the Armed Services Comittee but I will be watching how you vote on the Senate and House floor, Mike Dewine, Deborah Pryce, Pat Tiberi, and Dennis Hobson.

I assure you the voters in Ohio will know the results.

Laura Bush to be in Granville Ohio

Invitations were received days ago by Republican Supporters in the Congressional 18th District of Ohio for a $100 per person Reception with Laura Bush to Honor Joy Padgett and it says quote "Candidate for Congress OH-18"

This reception which will give people the opportunity to get their picture taken with the First Lady for $1000, will be held September 26th in Granville.

Interesting since the special primary to determine if indeed Joy Padgett is the Candidate for this District is being held today.

How do they seem to always know what the election resuts will be before they happen. Perhaps they have inside information from Diebold. That was meant as a joke but I sure hope that is indeed what it is.

Time to get our support out for Zack Space as the big republican money is on the way.

Remembering Ann Richards

Ann Richards former Governor of Texas passed away yesterday at the age of 73. In a time where this country needs leaders of passion, charisma and integrity, this great Woman was an example that many of us should look to follow.

Her leadership, her wit, her strength should never be forgotten by those in Texas and as well as those of us in the rest of the country that were lucky enough to witness some of her speeches or interviews throughout the years.

She was a great woman, a great democrat and a great American. She has left a legacy of leadership that will live on.

I can't think of a better tribute to her then to post the words of her 1988 speech to the democratic convention. Unfortunately from the text you cannot grasp her delivery, her smile and her remarkable ability to communicate an important message while making us all laugh. But the text is all I have to share thus here it is.

Keynote Address by Ann Richards
Democratic Convention July 18, 1988
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.
Buenas noches, mis amigos!
I am delighted to be here with you this evening because after listening to George Bush all these years, I figured you needed to know what a real Texas accent sounds like.
Twelve years ago, (former Rep.) Barbara (C.) Jordan, another Texas woman, made the keynote address to this convention - and two women in 160 years is about par for the course.
But, if you give us a chance, we can perform.
After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels.
I want to announce to this nation that in a little more than 100 days, the
Reagan-Meese-Deaver-Nofziger-Poindexter-North- Weinberger-Watt-Gorsuch-Lavelle-Stockman-Haig-Bork-Noriega- George Bush era will be over.
You know, tonight I feel a little like I did when I played basketball in the eighth grade. I thought I looked real cute in my uniform and then I heard a boy yell from the bleachers, "Make that basket, bird legs."
My greatest fear is that same guy is somewhere in the audience tonight and he's going to cut me down to size.
Where I grew up there really wasn't much tolerance for self- importance, people who put on airs.
I was born during the Depression in a little community just outside Waco and I grew up listening to Franklin Roosevelt on the radio.
Well, it was back then that I came to understand the small truths and hardships that bind neighbors together.
Those were real people with real problems.
And they had real dreams about getting out of the Depression.
I can remember summer nights when we'd put down what we called a Baptist pallet and we listened to the grown-ups talk.
I can still hear the sound of the dominoes clicking on the marble slab my daddy found for a tabletop.
I can still hear the laughter of the men telling jokes you weren't supposed to hear - telling about how big that old buck deer was, laughing about mama putting Clorox in the well when the frog fell in.
They talked about war and Washington and what this country needed.
They talked straight talk.
And it came from people living their lives as best they could.
We're going to tell how the cow ate the cabbage.
A Letter From Forgotten People
I got a letter last week from a young mother in Lorena, Texas, and I want to read a part of it to you.
She writes, "Our worries go from pay day to pay day . . . just like millions of others, and we have two fairly decent incomes. But I worry about how I'm going to pay the rising car insurance and food.
"I pray my kids don't have a growth spurt from August to December so I don't have to buy new jeans. We buy clothes at the budget stores and we have them fray, and fade, and stretch in the first wash.
"We ponder and try to figure out how we're going to pay for college, and braces, and tennis shoes. We don't take vacations and we don't go out to eat.
"Please don't think me ungrateful. We have jobs, and a nice place to live, and we're healthy.
"We're the people you see every day in the grocery store. We obey the laws, we pay our taxes, we fly our flags on holidays.
"And we plod along, trying to make it better for ourselves and our children and our parents. We aren't vocal anymore. I think maybe we're too tired.
"I believe that people like us are forgotten in America."
Well, of course you believe you're forgotten. Because you have been.
'Divide and Conquer' Republicans
This Republican administration treats us as if we were pieces of a puzzle that can't fit together.
They've tried to put us into compartments and separate us from each other.
Their political theory is, "divide and conquer."
They've suggested time and time again that what is of interest to one group of Americans is not of interest to anyone else. We've been isolated. We've been lumped into that sad phraseology called "special interests."
They've told farmers that they were selfish, that they would drive up food prices if they asked the government to intervene on behalf of the family farm, and we watched farms go on the auction block while we bought food from foreign countries. Well, that's wrong.
They told working mothers it's all their fault that families are falling apart - because they had to go to work to keep their kids in jeans, tennis shoes and college. And they're wrong.
They told American labor they were trying to ruin free enterprise by asking for 60 days' notice of plant closings, and they're wrong.
And they told the auto industry, and the steel industry, and the timber industry, and the oil industry, companies being threatened by foreign products flooding this country, that you're protectionist if you think the government should enforce our trade laws. And they're wrong.
When they belittle us for demanding clean air and clean water, for trying to save the oceans or the ozone layer, that's wrong.
No wonder we feel isolated. And confused. We want answers and their answer is that something is wrong with you.
Well, nothing's wrong with you. Nothing's wrong with you that you can't fix in November.
We've been told - we've been told that the interests of the South and the Southwest are not the same interests as the North and the Northeast.
They pit one group against the other. They've divided this country. And in our isolation we think government isn't going to help us, and that we're alone in our feelings. We feel forgotten.
Well, the fact is that we are not an isolated piece of their puzzle.
We are one nation. We are the United States of America!
'To Be All That We Can Be'
Now, we Democrats believe that America is still the country of fair play, that we can come out of a small town or a poor neighborhood and have the same chance as anyone else and it doesn't matter whether we are black or Hispanic or disabled or a woman.
We believe that America is a country where small business owners must succeed because they are the bedrock, backbone of our economy.
We believe that our kids deserve good day care and public schools. We believe our kids deserve public schools where students can learn, and teachers can teach.
We want to believe that our parents will have a good retirement - and that we will, too.
We Democrats believe that Social Security is a pact that cannot be broken. We want to believe that we can live out our lives without the terrible fear that an illness is going to bankrupt us and our children.
We Democrats believe that America can overcome any problem, including the dreaded disease called AIDS.
We believe that America is still a country where there is more to life than just a constant struggle for money.
And we believe that America must have leaders who show us that our struggles amount to something and contribute to something larger, leaders who want us to be all that we can be.
We want leaders like Jesse Jackson.
Jesse Jackson is a leader and a teacher who can open our hearts and open our minds and stir our very souls.
And he has taught us that we are as good as our capacity for caring. Caring about the drug problem, caring about crime, caring about education and caring about each other.
What They Do/What They Say
Now, in contrast, the greatest nation of the free world has had a leader for eight straight years that has pretended that he cannot hear our questions over the noise of the helicopter.
And we know he doesn't want to answer. But we have a lot of questions. And when we get our questions asked, or there's a leak, or an investigation, the only answer we get is, "I don't know," or "I forgot."
But you wouldn't accept that answer from your children. I wouldn't. Don't tell me "you don't know" or "you forgot."
We're not going to have the America that we want until we elect leaders who are going to tell the truth. Not most days - but every day. Leaders who don't forget what they don't want to remember.
And, for eight straight years George Bush hasn't displayed the slightest interest in anything we care about.
And now that he's after a job that he can't get appointed to, he's like Columbus discovering America. He's found child care. He's found education.
Poor George. He can't help it - he was born with a silver foot in his mouth.
Well no wonder, no wonder he can't figure it out. Because the leadership of this nation is telling us one thing on TV and doing something entirely different.
They tell us, they tell us that they're fighting a war against terrorists. And then we find that the White House is selling arms to the ayatollah (Ruhallah Khomeini, of Iran).
They tell us that they're fighting a war on drugs, then people come on TV and testify that the CIA, and the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), and the FBI knew they were flying drugs into America all along. And they're negotiating with a dictator (Panamanian strongman Manuel Antonio Noriega) who is shoveling cocaine into this country like crazy. I guess that's their Central America strategy.
Now, they tell us that employment rates are great and that they're for equal opportunity, but we know it takes two paychecks to make ends meet today, when it used to take one. And the opportunity they're so proud of is low-wage, dead-end jobs.
And there is no major city in America where you cannot see homeless men sitting in parking lots holding signs that say, "I will work for food."
Debt and Defense: 'A Bum Deal'
Now, my friends, we really are at a crucial point in American history. Under this administration, we have devoted our resources to making this country a military colossus, but we've let our economic lines of defense fall into disrepair.
The debt of this nation is greater than it has ever been in our history. We fought a world war on less debt than the Republicans have built up in the last eight years.
You know, it's kind of like that brother-in-law who drives a flashy new car but he's always borrowing money from you to make the payments.
Let's take what they are proudest of, that is their stand on defense. We Democrats are committed to a strong America. And, quite frankly, when our leaders say to us, we need a new weapons system, our inclination is to say, "Well, they must be right."
But when we pay billions for planes that won't fly, billions for tanks that won't fire, and billions for systems that won't work, that old dog won't hunt.
And you don't have to be from Waco to know that when the Pentagon makes crooks rich and doesn't make America strong, that it's a bum deal.
Straight-Talking Democrats
Now, I'm going to tell you, I'm really glad that our young people missed the Depression, and missed the great big war. But I do regret that they missed the leaders that I knew.
Leaders who told us when things were tough, and that we would have to sacrifice, and these difficulties might last awhile.
They didn't tell us things were hard for us because we were different, or isolated, or special interests. They brought us together and they gave us a sense of national purpose.
They gave us Social Security. And they told us we're setting up a system where we could pay our own money in and when the time came for our retirement, we could take the money out.
People in rural areas were told that we deserved to have electric lights, and they were going to harness the energy that was necessary to give us electricity so my grandmama didn't have to carry that old coal oil lamp around.
And they told us that they were going to guarantee that when we put our money in the bank, that the money was going to be there, and it was going to be insured.
They did not lie to us.
And I think one of the saving graces of Democrats is that we are candid. We talk straight talk. We tell people what we think.
And that tradition, and those values live today in Michael Dukakis from Massachusetts.
Michael Dukakis knows that this country is on the edge of a great new era, that we're not afraid of change, that we're for thoughtful, truthful, strong leadership.
Behind his calm there's an impatience to unify this country and get on with the future.
His instincts are deeply American, they're tough and they're generous. And personally, I have to tell you that I have never met a man who had a more remarkable sense about what is really important in life.
And then there's my friend and my teacher for many years, Sen. Lloyd Bentsen.
And I couldn't be prouder, both as a Texan and as a Democrat, because Lloyd Bentsen understands America - from the barrio to the boardroom. He knows how to bring us together, by regions - by economics - by example.
And he's already beaten George Bush once.
So, when it comes right down to it, this election is a contest between those who are satisfied with what they have - and those who know we can do better.
That's what this election is really all about.
It's about the American dream. Those who want to keep it for the few - and those of us who know it must be nurtured and passed along.
Families and the Nation
I'm a grandmother now. And I have one nearly perfect granddaughter named Lily. And when I hold that grandbaby, I feel the continuity of life that unites us, that binds generation to generation, that ties us with each other.
And sometimes I spread that Baptist pallet out on the floor and Lily and I roll a ball back and forth.
And I think of all the families like mine, like the one in Lorena, Texas, like the ones that nurture children all across America.
And as I look at Lily, I know that it is within families that we learn both the need to respect individual human dignity and to work together for our common good. Within our families, within our nation, it is the same.
As we sit there, I wonder if she'll ever grasp the changes I've seen in my life. If she'll ever believe that there was a time when blacks could not drink from public water fountains, when Hispanic children were punished for speaking Spanish in the public schools, and women couldn't vote.
I think of all the political fights I've fought, and all the compromises I've had to accept as part payment.
And I think of all the small victories that have added up to national triumphs. And all the things that never would have happened and all the people who would have been left behind if we had not reasoned, and fought, and won those battles together.
And I will tell Lily that those triumphs were Democratic Party triumphs.
I want so much to tell Lily how far we've come. You and I.
And as the ball rolls back and forth, I want to tell her how very lucky she is. That for all our difference, we're still the greatest nation on this good earth.
And our strength lies in the men and women who go to work every day, who struggle to balance their family and their jobs, and who should never, ever be forgotten.
I just hope that - like her grandparents and her great- grandparents before - that Lily goes on to raise her kids with the promise that echoes in homes all across America:
That we can do better.
And that's what this election is all about.
Thank you very much.
In Memory of Ann Richards 1933-2006

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Ohio Democratic Party State Convention

This saturday Sept 16 at Cuyahoga Community College is the Ohio Democratic Party's State Convention. It begins at 1:30 pm and call to order at 3:00 Pm. It appears that most of our state wide candidates will be there.

It is open to the public and I will be there to listen and give and recieve as much inspiration as possible for the home stretch till election day.

Look for me if your attending, old bald guy with the Draft John Edwards button on.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

More corruption or change, its your choice.

The job description of the State Auditor from Betty Montgomery's official web site:

"With nearly 1,000 employees – more than 700 of whom are auditors – the Ohio Auditor of State’s Office is one of the largest accounting offices in the nation. Our staff is dedicated to serving Ohio’s taxpayers with the highest levels of accountability, integrity, and professionalism. The Auditor of State is the constitutional officer responsible for auditing all public offices in Ohio, including cities; villages; schools; universities; counties; townships; and state agencies, boards, and commissions. The office strives to ensure that public funds are spent appropriately and lawfully, in accordance with state and local lawupon taking office, Auditor of State Betty Montgomery pledged to aggressively root out fraud and public corruption — and help prosecute those who would seek to use public funds for personal gain."

Today Tom Noe a well-known contributor to George W. Bush and Republican state office holders was sentenced to 27 months in prison, plus fines and community service for his illegal contributions. This is before he is to stand trial for defrauding the State of Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Fund for over 50 million dollars, and after the Still Governor of the State Bob Taft has been found guilty of taking undocumented gifts from this man.

Where was the auditor while this was going on? She herself was accepting campaign contributions from Tom Noe and worked to exempt the Rare Coin business, Noe's front for his fraudulent activities, from state sales taxes. Good job Ms. Auditor!

Now she wants to be the chief law enforcement officer of the state. Oh wait, she has done that job before in fact in the late 1990s, Montgomery directed contracts for University of Akron legal representation to lawyers connected to a political patron.

She takes care of the right people to keep her playing musical state offices, but unfortunately not the citizens and taxpayers of Ohio.

On the other hand we have Marc Dann, a current State Senator who filed suit against the convicted Governor Taft demanding records on the BWC investigation.

His impressive resume from his web site: "A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Senator Marc Dann is a 1984 graduate of the University of Michigan, where he earned a Bachelors degree in History. He graduated from the Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 1987 and, after devoting the initial stages of his career to public service, entered private practice in Youngstown, Ohio in 1991. Today he continues to practice law in the Mahoning Valley."

He is not new to fighting corruption in 2oo3 he introduced legislation designed to bring transparency and accountability to campaign fundraising and government contracting.

If you want more of the same ole corruption that has not only embarrassed this state but also defrauded its citizens, put Montgomery as the wolf watching the hen house. But if you want accountability, change and real action taken to bring those that steal from Ohio taxpayers to justice, Marc Dann is the choice.


Monday, September 11, 2006

Bush uses this day to justify his crimes.

On this day where our country and the world remembered that horrible day 5 years ago our President once again used this tragedy to justify his illegal acts.

Here he justifies torture of prisoners.

"We put al Qaeda on the run, and killed or captured most of those who planned the 9/11 attacks, including the man believed to be the mastermind, Khalid Sheik Mohammed. He and other suspected terrorists have been questioned by the Central Intelligence Agency, and they provided valuable information that has helped stop attacks in America and across the world."

Amazingly here not only does he attempt to justify the war on Iraq with 9/11 but implies congress and the United Nations were complicent, when in fact their votes were based on misinformation provided by the Bush adminstration.

"I'm often asked why we're in Iraq when Saddam Hussein was not responsible for the 9/11 attacks. The answer is that the regime of Saddam Hussein was a clear threat. My administration, the Congress, and the United Nations saw the threat -- and after 9/11, Saddam's regime posed a risk that the world could not afford to take."

Then he moves on the justify illegal wiretapping.

"We've created the Department of Homeland Security. We have torn down the wall that kept law enforcement and intelligence from sharing information. We've tightened security at our airports and seaports and borders, and we've created new programs to monitor enemy bank records and phone calls."

Next came the "it's Clinton's fault" part and he calls the giant steps for peace made by former administrations a "mirage" such as the Camp David Accords that brought peace between Israel and Eygpt after centuries of war, or the development of the Palastinian territorys for the first time since the refounding of Israel.

"We are now in the early hours of this struggle between tyranny and freedom. Amid the violence, some question whether the people of the Middle East want their freedom, and whether the forces of moderation can prevail. For 60 years, these doubts guided our policies in the Middle East. And then, on a bright September morning, it became clear that the calm we saw in the Middle East was only a mirage."

I hoped that on this day of rememberance that even this President would not sink so low as to politicize it, apparently I underestimated him.

"We look to the day when moms and dads throughout the Middle East see a future of hope and opportunity for their children. And when that good day comes, the clouds of war will part, the appeal of radicalism will decline, and we will leave our children with a better and safer world.

On this solemn anniversary, we rededicate ourselves to this cause."

As do we Mr President and the first step to a future of hope and opportunity is to elect a congress that will put a stop to your illegal and failed policies.

Dear God what does this mean?

We watched in confusion at the screen as smoke and flames poured out of one of the mighty structures. Wondering what, where, who and why this had just happened. Then We felt the collective gasp of the world as another plane struck.

Dear God what does this mean?

We forgot about everything our days were to be. We fixed our eyes on the images as they rushed into our living rooms slower only to the thoughts racing through our minds We stood there frozen in place, physically and mentally. How could this happen? Who would do this? Why?

Dear God what does this mean?

As we began to breath and try to pull ourselves together, moving toward the door to get to our lives, the horror of realizing it was not over, as the most powerful fortress ever conceived by man was ruptured with force and flame.

Dear God what does this mean?

Now it was fear that gripped us. How many? Where? Are we in danger? Where is my family? Where are my friends? We got on the phones or tried. We took inventory of our loved ones; we listened or watched every piece of news when we could where we could. Was this real, or something far away? I looked up to a sound to see two fighter jets fly over my city. My eyes met with the man’s eyes next to me who had also seen the jets. We said nothing with our lips but our eyes said the same thing.

Dear God what does this mean?

We became aware of the words to the loved ones of those on the plane still in the air. They expressed their love, their fear and their bravery. The words “Lets roll” as they gave their lives to save others. The sadness at the knowledge their lives ended in the field in Pennsylvania.

Dear God what does this mean?

As we watched in shock and horror as the towers fell. The fear in the eyes peering from the ash covered faces. Our own fear turned to desire to help, to pray, to find something anything we could do to help those people and their families.

Dear God what does this mean?

We felt the anger as it was clear who was responsible. This far away Man in this far away place expressing his hate for us. We don’t know him, he doesn’t know us. We as a nation were one; the vast majority of the world was one. There was resolve. There was determination. There would be justice; no one does this to us, to anyone. He will pay. They will pay.

Dear God what does this mean?

Our military with speed and power moved in response, our enemies and their supporters died were captured or fled. In such a far away place, in a far away culture our soldiers moved to seek justice. To right the wrong, to prevent it again, to ease our anger, to ease our fear. But is that possible?

Dear God what does this mean?

Five years have now passed. We watch the families grieve for the ones they lost. We hear the bell toll the times of each act of tragedy. We think of how we thought the world would change, but did it? We have heard the numbers 9-11 used for many things on almost every day since. For reasons that make sense and many that do not. The unity of the country and the world is no longer evident. Fingers point as to who is at fault and who isn’t. We see the far away men from that far away place continue to tell us of their hate and how we should fear.

Dear God what does this mean?

Today we pray for those that were lost, for their families and their friends. We pray for the children whose memory of their parent is based more on a photograph then recollection. We pray for the city that still hurts in many ways. We pray for the soldiers that still fight for us and for them.

Dear God is this what it means?

Our prayers must continue for the nations with power and wealth that they use it for right. For those in the world that feel oppressed that they may feel enabled. For the poor that they might find comfort. For the hungry that they may find nourishment. For those that hate, that they may find love. For those that believe lies that they find the truth. For those that are ignorant that they find wisdom. For those that truly seek to serve their God that they understand truly his will. And most of all for Peace for us, for the Middle East, for this entire world.

Dear God please let this be what it means.

Walk with me through this day

A speech by former Senator John R. Edwards given to the CBC group at a breakfast 2 years ago today:

Good morning.

Today, on this day of remembrance and mourning, we have the Lord's word to get us through. "The bricks have fallen, but we will build with dressed stones; the sycamores have been cut down, but we will put cedars in their place."

And let me show you how we are building and putting cedars in those three hallowed places-the footprints of the Towers, the Pentagon, and the field in Pennsylvania. Walk with me through this day and you will see that this is a season of hope.

For at this moment, just outside of New York, a mother laces up her daughter's shoes. And they are ready to start their long walk through this day. The daughter is two and a half. She can say his name, "Dad." She can point to his picture, but she does not know him.

On this day, they go to Central Park to remember with the other families. Then, they head downtown to place a flower where he died-the once tall tower where he left his first, last and only message addressed to her. And they return home still in their Sunday bests after a Saturday of sorrow.

So walk with me through this day.

Today, a town gathers in front of their church. It is a town where so many-53-were taken before their time. For a week after that September day, the Lord's doors were open. The Lord's doors were open for that hour of loneliness just before dawn. That night when the silence inside the house was too much to bear. And for that moment when just missing their wife, their husband and the love of their life was the greatest pain they'd ever known.

But today, they are there to ring a new church bell-a gift born out of their grief. They want it to ring from the bell tower to ensure that "sorrow and sighing shall flee away." That bell will toll for the souls gone home. It will toll for those who still weep. And it will toll for those who rejoice in life's great gifts.

Walk with me through this day.

And across our great river, the men and women who stood at their posts at the Pentagon; who helped rescue the wounded and carried the dying, and who still guard their post at this moment will pause in a sea of stone and valor. They will lay a wreath. They will pray onward soldier you answered your calling here but your work is not done in the Lord's house. And they will pray for those whose wounds have not healed-the burns that cause them great pain every time they reach out to hold their wife's hand until the stars rise and the night falls on this day in September.

So walk with me through this day.

To that field in Pennsylvania where-the mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, friends and neighbors of that day's warriors- will stand in the middle of all things beautiful. They will read the names of those who charged. Those who fought back. Those who never gave up so that evil never had the chance to finish its plan. They come together, as their loved ones did, to find hope in the middle of the Lord's green field.

They will sing. They will pray. And they will lay a wreath where Flight 93 fell. And in a place where smoke once rose, you and I we will see that cedar rising.

Walk with me through this day.

At this hour and all day long, strangers will follow the Lord's wish. In memory and in the hope that goodwill and grace will always triumph out of tragedy, they will give. In "a day's payment of service," New York City firefighters will give and fly to California to help rebuild homes destroyed in the fires. Businessmen from Long Island will give and take sick kids to a ball game. Men and women in Memphis will give and build wheelchair ramps for the disabled. And there are thousands standing in Afghanistan, standing in the very place where evil grew, giving their service to ensure that evil never rises again.

These Americans will give because so many were taken from us. And for them-the three strangers who came together to start this day of service-a mother who lost her son, a brother who lost a brother, and a friend who lost a friend-for them September 11th is never in the past; it is enduring. It is never just an anniversary; it is a time of renewal for each and every one of us to do God's work here on earth.

So walk with me through this day.

At this breakfast, our prayers will be heard and answered for those who still need comfort. They need a hand to hold as they try over and over again to forget the crashing windows, the fire, and the falling steel that took their coworkers but not them. They need the comfort of prayers as they sit in solitude. They have their head in their hands as they wonder like the other tens of thousands who walked out-why I lived and the others did not. And they need to know that we are with them even when it feels like we aren't as they try to rebuild their lives without.

Whether it's one year, two years, three years or until our short time on this earth comes to an end. Those who lost that day will always miss them. Those who worked night and day until the last cart was carried out of Ground Zero will always know they did their best. And those who unfurled their flags, gave blood, comforted a child who lost their Dad, and made that day the defining day for them to leave their mark on this earth-we will always remember that unity of purpose.

Walk with me through this day.

And you will see that while those bricks fell and the sycamores cut down, our people are making those cedars rise.

"And let us not grow weary in well-doing for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart."

And let us not grow weary of taking care of those families. Let us not grow weary of praying for those soldiers who defend us from that evil at this hour. Let us not grow weary for giving up a day in our lives for those who are gone. And let us not grow weary in our determination to never forget, to never grow indifferent to what occurred that dark day in September.

This season of hope does not have to end tomorrow. We do not have to wait for yet another anniversary to come and go. We know what we want in this country. We want that one America.

There have been few times when we saw the possibilities of one America more than on September 11, 2001. All Americans, black and white, young and old, rich and poor, were bound together in tragedy and resolve to ensure that once again good triumphed over evil.

Sitting here today, after so long in the desert, it may seem like a mirage. But we know it is real, and that it is possible because we have seen it. We want one America. We want that hope, that faith, and that purpose without the tears, the pain, and the sorrow.

You know, I have learned two lessons in my life. One is that there will always be heartache and struggle in our lives. We can't make it go away. And the other is that people of good will can make a difference. One lesson is sad and the other is inspiring. And walking together through this day, we choose to be inspired because we know that we can fulfill the promise.

In times like these, if we can work together, comfort together, and help communities rebuild together, then let's do that for all of the challenges that exists right now and build one America.

For that child we see every day sitting on the front step, locked out and alone, let's work together to give him a safe place to go with friends and teachers while his mom works.

For that mother who works hard all day-forty hours plus a week- and she still has to sit at the kitchen table and divide her bills into pay now and pay later, let's work together to give her a country that honors work so she can get ahead.

For that whole town that's watched their factory lock its doors, let's work together to make sure that we bring opportunity and an equal chance to their front door.

For that young boy who always sits in the back of the classroom unable to read the basic instructions, but is too scared to ask for help, let's build him a school that's a palace for learning so no child is ever afraid to ask for help.

And for that family we know on every street. The mother and father are working hard. He takes the late-bus to work and she takes the early bus. They're doing what's right, what they're supposed to do to take care of their family. And yet later tonight, they might have to put their kids to bed hungry again because they can't afford dinner on a Saturday.

So let's work together to end poverty. Now some are going to say "end poverty" you can't do that. That's something we've been fighting for centuries. We just have to live with it. Says who?

Anything is possible in this country when you and I work together. If we put a man on the moon; if we conquered diseases like polio; if we can live through a terrible day like September 11th , then we can build the Lord's house in every heart and home across this land.

Some days sorrow just storms in doesn't it. You wake up one beautiful morning and the kingdom is at hand. You're on your way to work, to school, or to fly west to see your family. You're washing down the fire truck or walking the halls in the Pentagon. You're waving good bye to your young son on his first day at his new job. You're just talking on the phone with your child. And then sorrow hits.

It never asks if it can drop by. It doesn't knock. And it never asks if you're ready. It just hits and knocks everything down. And the next day, grief washes over thousands and sorrow surrounds us.

But we know how to beat it back. In America, we always rise up. Sometimes not on the first day or the second day, but we begin to rise up and build something new.

This is who we are, and this is the eternal spirit of America.

That is why that young girl who never knew her father, will feel the comfort of millions as we walk with her through this day and her life. That is why the men and women at the Pentagon will feel the prayers of millions as they salute their fallen. That is why the families in Pennsylvania will know that we weep with them. That is why the firefighters and police officers who miss their brothers will know that we miss them too. And that is why a new bell tolls in a church on the other side of the Hudson River.

You and I, we hear it. It tolls once for the dead. It tolls a second time for the mournful. And the third time, it tolls for us. It tolls for us to seek joy in our families, comfort in our children, and hope in our neighbors.

Each time that bell tolls, it calls us to a greater purpose. It calls us to never forget. It calls us to do the Lord's work here on earth. And it calls on us to always remember that when we walk through this day together-the cedars will rise, the stones will go up, and this season of hope will endure.

Thank you and God bless you, the families and friends who mourn, and our great United States of America.