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The Iraq War Resolution Revisited

Last week, faced with the economic crisis, Congress submitted to the Bush Administration's request for an $850 billion bailout bill. Six years ago this week, Congress passed another resolution at the insistence of the White House: the resolution authorizing war in Iraq.
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This is fascinating to watch after all the references to the vote during the campaign, especially the primaries.

How fitting as well to witness Sen. Robert Byrd's courage and wisdom then as steps down from his committee chairmanship now (writing Nov. 11). What a great American hero!

This story about the media and the drum beat to war in Iraq is remarkable. I think of myself as well-read - I'm pretty self-satisfied! I saw the lead up to the war as a propaganda campaign mounted by Orwellians. But listening to Phil Donoghue (corporate fear), Dan Rather (going along to get along - and Dan where did that get you), and the brave reporters at Knight Ridder (no invites to pundit shows for real reporters). And my hero, Tom Friedman, why not talk about your mistaken support of the war? I almost forgave Colin Powell last week - I cannot. We should read and demand real news stories by real reporters - not the pundit pap. And that includes the boring and false "balance" of opposing "experts" on the Jim Leher News hour. More news, less punditry.

The media coverage is always about soldiers supporting the corrupt Bush war in Iraq, where is the FAIR coverage for the soldiers who realize their idiot Commander in Chief lied and started a corrupt war? There are lots of soldiers who feel that way, I have talked to them. Where is their coverage whiny Republicans? Where is the media coverage about our military women who are getting raped by the gang-bangers who have enlisted in the military? Cheney/Bush Administration keeping that quiet and bullying the news networks, like when Dan Rather got fired for simply inquiring about the gaps in Bush's national guard records. Why are gang-bangers enlisting in the military? - who else wants to fight a corrupt war? How are gang-bangers being able to enlist? - military requirements have been dropped because new recruits and RE-enlisting numbers have plummeted. The media is bad only when it doesn't report in favor of the GOP's views.

Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld - Weapons of Mass Destruction, Weapons of Mass Destruction Well, where are the Weapons of Mass Destruction? You get ONE guess where the Weapons of Mass Destruction are NOT located. We had Weapons of Mass Destruction drilled into our heads by those idiots because of all the media coverage those idiots got. Biased liberal media coverage - You have got to be kidding!

McCain says we can't just get out of Iraq yet Bush pulled the majority of our troops out of Afghanistan-the forgotten REAL war- just like that to start his corrupt war in Iraq which he LIED about, hence, CORRUPT war. McCain doesn't care about the cost it will take to win Iraq, be it money or lives, all McCain wants is to say we won. I'd rather see our troops alive and out of Iraq than any stupid 'win' title. At what point does a CORRUPT war like Iraq become honorable? - Never, corrupt is corrupt, there will NEVER be an honorable win in Iraq. For Bush to start a war off lies and not be held accountable, furthermore then getting RE-elected after all his lies, corruption, and ever embarrassingly stupid speeches, is truly beyond comprehension and a warped sense of Patriotism. Along comes McCain who supports Bush's corrupt war and wants to become president - unbelievable. A true insult to the service of veterans especially the vets who never returned home. The audacity to have a 3rd Bush term!

McCain says we can't just get out of Iraq yet Bush pulled the majority of our troops out of Afghanistan-the forgotten REAL war- just like that to start his corrupt war in Iraq which he LIED about, hence, CORRUPT war. McCain doesn't care about the cost it will take to win Iraq, be it money or lives, all McCain wants is to say we won. I'd rather see our troops alive and out of Iraq than any stupid 'win' title. At what point does a CORRUPT war like Iraq become honorable? - Never, corrupt is corrupt, there will NEVER be an honorable win in Iraq. For Bush to start a war off lies and not be held accountable, furthermore then getting RE-elected after all his lies, corruption, and ever embarrassingly stupid speeches, is truly beyond comprehension and a warped sense of Patriotism. Along comes McCain who supports Bush's corrupt war and wants to become president - unbelievable. A true insult to the service of veterans especially the vets who never returned home. The audacity to have a 3rd Bush term!

McCain says we can't just get out of Iraq yet Bush pulled the majority of our troops out of Afghanistan-the forgotten REAL war- just like that to start his corrupt war in Iraq which he LIED about, hence, CORRUPT war. McCain doesn't care about the cost it will take to win Iraq, be it money or lives, all McCain wants is to say we won. I'd rather see our troops alive and out of Iraq than any stupid 'win' title. At what point does a CORRUPT war like Iraq become honorable? - Never, corrupt is corrupt, there will NEVER be an honorable win in Iraq. For Bush to start a war off lies and not be held accountable, furthermore then getting RE-elected after all his lies, corruption, and ever embarrassingly stupid speeches, is truly beyond comprehension and a warped sense of Patriotism. Along comes McCain who supports Bush's corrupt war and wants to become president - unbelievable. A true insult to the service of veterans especially the vets who never returned home. The audacity to have a 3rd Bush term!

McCain says we can't just get out of Iraq yet Bush pulled the majority of our troops out of Afghanistan-the forgotten REAL war- just like that to start his corrupt war in Iraq which he LIED about, hence, CORRUPT war. McCain doesn't care about the cost it will take to win Iraq, be it money or lives, all McCain wants is to say we won. I'd rather see our troops alive and out of Iraq than any stupid 'win' title. At what point does a CORRUPT war like Iraq become honorable? - Never, corrupt is corrupt, there will NEVER be an honorable win in Iraq. For Bush to start a war off lies and not be held accountable, furthermore then getting RE-elected after all his lies, corruption, and ever embarrassingly stupid speeches, is truly beyond comprehension and a warped sense of Patriotism. Along comes McCain who supports Bush's corrupt war and wants to become president - unbelievable. A true insult to the service of veterans especially the vets who never returned home. The audacity to have a 3rd Bush term!

Dear Mr. Moyers,
I too, could not locate "Torturing Democracy" on WTTW 11 Chicago. Per your reccommendation: "Check your local listings to see when "Torturing Democracy" and "P.O.V.'s Soldiers of Conscience" will be broadcast where you live." I take the time to mention this on your Blog, to point out that WTTW 11 Chicago appears to have a perscpective bias apart from PBS overall. "Soldiers of Conscience" was outstanding. I would consider it required viewing for my future grandchildren.

Wrench: This is where you differ from myself and my affiliates (including Grady).
You do understand the fractioning of a 42 gallon barrel of oil, but maybe not the peak oil concept, or where we buy our fuel. Right now most of our imported oil comes from Canada and a lesser amount from Mexico. At current prices we are almost 45% self-sufficient, and considering we use 25% of all crude pumped, this is pretty good. It is the world spot market, the global nature of price, and availability of certain grades that keeps us importing from outside this hemisphere. A good relationship with Central and South American producers is probably in our best interest at this time. It costs money and presents danger to move oil over the high seas.

Allen, I think I'm most disappointed that you don't recognize the demonstrated potential of alternative energy. Just look at wind in Germany and solar, even in China. Conservation and improved efficiency also impact on oil prices and the rate of use. I am no fan of nuclear but there may be circumstances where it extends our wasteful lifestyle. Your gloom and lack of confidence in human ingenuity, I think, are exaggerated. Are you a muscle car hobbyist or something?

New agricultural approaches might slow erosion of topsoil and lead to more wholesome food. Less nitrogen would lessen oceanic dead zones. Yep, we switched from dung and bat guano about 100 years ago to fossil fuel nitrogen capture, but fertilizer isn't everything, and people are developing new ways to make it. I mess with a compost pile almost every day, and it feeds my garden.

I think you might have a different attitude if you had worked on wind, water and solar energy projects as I have, and kept up to date with the possibilities. People could also slow down and cooperate more if income were more fairly distributed.

You exhibited a survivalist anxiety when you first posted here which you have moderated somewhat. You have been a great researcher recently and a heads-up referral provider to us Moyeristas, and I must thank you for that. I admit Governor Palin is scary and has some violent associates, but lets hope it doesn't come to that. I think we have to hope people power can be used on authorities this coming year to temper their devotion to the wealthy class. Labor is always the origin of wealth, and control of labor the key to enduring power. People may not be as ignorant and stupid as some estimate. Talking with them they seem isolated and afraid to ask questions. Wealth and celebrity worship are another handicap in our depleted universe.

I live in North Carolina, and even the conservative underclass shows promise when you get them alone. Bibles and guns are sometimes just props. We have much to fear in a society that fails to examine 9/11 and the economic dilemma openly and honestly, but we can always demand better. We're all human here and all stuck on this same rock. Allenwrench, I expect you to remain an advocate for information long after this sham election. I only think you are too worried about peak oil and not attuned enough to human potential. You are entitled to your opinion. I think the economy will soon end the wars of occupation.

War stinks.

But we are in a new era of human life.

We are entering the post crude phase of our existence and we will see much more turmoil in the near future than just the few killings that have come our of our current war effort.

You see, we will be at war over crude until the last buckets have been sucked from the earth...so get used to it.

As we would leave the Middle East...China or Russia would step in.

See:

http://www.amazon.com/Resource-Wars-Landscape-Conflict-Introduction/dp/0805055762

China has quadruple our pop and a fraction of our oil reserves within its borders.

So either we play bodyguard to the Middle East or China or Russia will.

We all like typing on the 'puter don't we?

Well, without the crude to make the diesel to power the train that brings the coal to the power plant you would not be typing on the 'puter.

But that is not all.

We are entering an era of peak natural gas, peak water, peak food, peak uranium. So many areas of new conflict are in our future.

Carving up a barrel of crude oil, we can see that barrel supplies many of our necessities of life.

Out of each barrel of crude we make the following products:

42% of each barrel of crude is used for Gasoline

21% Fuel oil - Diesel

8% Jet Fuel and Kerosene

8% Petrochemicals

Such as....

Solvents Bearing Grease Vaseline Ink Floor Wax Ball-point Pens Football Cleats Upholstery Sweaters Boats Insecticides Bicycle Tires Sports Car Bodies Nail Polish Fishing lures Dresses Tires Golf Bags Perfumes Cassettes Dishwasher Tool Boxes Shoe Polish Motorcycle Helmet Caulking Petroleum Jelly Transparent Tape CD Player Faucet Washers Antiseptics Clothesline Curtains Food Preservatives Basketballs Soap Vitamin Capsules Antihistamines Purses Shoes Dashboards Cortisone Deodorant Footballs Putty Dyes Panty Hose Refrigerant Percolators Life Jackets Rubbing Alcohol Linings Skis TV Cabinets Shag Rugs Electrician's Tape Tool Racks Car Battery Cases Epoxy Paint Mops Slacks Insect Repellent Oil Filters Umbrellas Yarn Fertilizers Hair Coloring Roofing Toilet Seats Fishing Rods Lipstick Denture Adhesive Linoleum Ice Cube Trays Synthetic Rubber Speakers Plastic Wood Electric Blankets Glycerin Tennis Rackets Rubber Cement Fishing Boots Dice Nylon Rope Candles Trash Bags House Paint Water Pipes Hand Lotion Roller Skates Surf Boards Shampoo Wheels Paint Rollers Shower Curtains Guitar Strings Luggage Aspirin Safety Glasses Antifreeze Football Helmets Awnings Eyeglasses Clothes Toothbrushes Ice Chests Footballs Combs CD's Paint Brushes Detergents Vaporizers Balloons Sun Glasses Tents Heart Valves Crayons Parachutes Telephones Enamel Pillows Dishes Cameras Anesthetics Artificial Turf Artificial limbs Bandages Dentures Model Cars Folding Doors Hair Curlers Cold cream Movie film Soft Contact lenses Drinking Cups Fan Belts Car Enamel Shaving Cream Ammonia Refrigerators Golf Balls Toothpaste

6% Propane

4% Heating Oil

3% Asphalt and Road oil

2% Petroleum coke

1% Lubricants

All these products will be history someday.

And in the big picture, we can't fix the problem, we can only postpone the inevitable. But buying a little more time would make things much more livable in the not so distant future than the current path we are headed in.

The world is in a death spiral and politicians as well as industry are pretending this problem does not exist. We can only blame ourselves, for it is just how we have built our world over the years....too many people, living outside of natures intended balance and not an infinite supply of energy to fuel all our demands.

Without energy our country is open for takeover ... no jets...no tanks...no transport on the ground or in the air. Luckily we will still have nuclear powered submarines and aircraft carriers as long as the uranium holds out. But the jets on the flattop all use jet fuel. All the supplies for those subs and carriers petroleum dependent. So long before the crude dries up the government must 'secure a supply' of crude for it own needs.

Other countries such as Russia that have a good supply of crude may not be so kind to keep on selling it to us and we need a 'local and continual' source somewhat within our borders. You see, jet fuel as well as gasoline deteriorates and cannot be stored indefinitely. So we must always be producing some of it to replace the stale stuff to supply the military. But, that's why we elect politicians to deal with these troubles

As our world changes and our drug supply dries up, things will only get worse. And the bigger the city - the bigger the hellhole it will become. And this time RIGHT NOW is the defining moment as to whether most of our population will die off or not in the crisis that awaits us in the not so distant future.

Mr. Moyers:
It saddens me to say that the PBS special, TORTURING DEMOCRACY, the one you mentioned last week, has been postponed or not picked up by most affiliates.
What's going on here?
Financial censorship of PBS?
I guess I'll have to see it online.
Keep fighting the good fight, sir.
And write me if there's a chenge here.
I appreciate it.

The pivotal moment in the destruction of Congress as an independent force may have been 9/11. On the subject of the Bush administration's ability to "create crisis" and assert executive power, see False Flag 911 by Philip Marshall.

More truth for our times from the Bible:“The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? It hath been already of old time, which was before us. There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are come with those that shall come after.”
Ecclesiastes 1:9-11

A legislature is incapable of conducting the executive function.

The legislature COULD have acted ahead of both events to verify and prevent the crises, but the ideological divide worked to prevent action and rational decision making. Neither the approval of going to war nor the bailout package had to be implemented in the way they were, but what is a legislature to set in place to verify the executive's claims and check his power when the nation and the memberships are so ideologically divided?

Our federal structure doesn't work very well any more. Members of Congress individually can't stay informed about all the goings on or subjects they are expected to. As a result, they gravitate into ideological camps which "simplify" their choices and create a distorted view of every issue.

This way of making choices for the nation no longer serves us. I've come to favor the British model over ours.

After 200 years of experience with the three power federalist model, I wonder if the time isn't right to update our government structure so that we can handle emergencies in a more pre-emptive and rational manner.

If we don't take our country back from our own government, our Congress which is worthless and from the private financial institutions, banks, and the like all of us Americans are going to wake up in the streets one of these days as Thomas Jefferson said over 200 years ago, and for what is happenning it looks like is going to be soon.

I agree with Jack and Lauren that we are just the meat of the financial gods, drugged and force-fed, fattening in the chicken house and told to spend, spend, spend and don’t think. Don’t think because they don't want us to think, and ultimately we think that we are happy to spend without limits, when we all know that we buy one thing and happiness goes away in a second and we need to buy something else to keep the supposed happiness going and we fall for it, material things won't make anyone happy. We Americans are the ones that have to change, we have to start thinking, and take action against all those that want us stripped down, peacefully but with determination, lets get rid of the APATHY we have fell into.

I live on South Main Street, Lauren. I can walk 2 blocks to the old storefronts, but they are closed and sell nothing I need. There is no sidewalk to the supermarkets and chain stores. I nearly topple in the ditch when a speeding car comes close.

An evangelical minister stopped me to ask if I was in distress. "Don't you have a car? It's unseemly for a middle-aged man to be walking along the highway like a vagabond. Come to the Foursquare Temple and we can help you back to normalcy."

Our people, I think, must embrace abnormalcy, the unaccustomed, if we are to live a happy, sustainable existence.

Maybe I should have been hoeing my fall vegetables instead of wandering to the store. Maybe the Foursquares should volunteer to build the sidewalks we all need. Maybe not every licensed driver needs to own a car.

Lauren, you're such a good patient woman, and so typical. You will even have the little 30K in personal retirement that is the average. You industrious husband is having trouble because he is not young and foolish. There are so many millions of us in just about the same fix.

I suggest we try the atypical, maybe march to Washington for the Inaugural to push the new President and Congress, maybe collectively initiate worker owned enterprises to employ good men like your husband, maybe use volunteer labor to start improving our towns. Lauren, if we can't be allowed to try different things all hope is lost, and we are just the meat of the financial gods, drugged and force-fed, fattening in the chicken house.

If we'll try our damnedest, the war and the bailouts will soon fade away, like many other loathful things.

Your friend,
Jack Martin
beretco.op@gmail.com

What can we all, really, do about this?

Pretty much nothing other than what our gut tells us.

You say you want to know what has really been going on “Main Street.”

And my answer is, “Nothing much. The same thing that has been going since I was born.”

The economy has been sliding.

“Main Street” has been sliding into ruin for more years than the present ethos can remember.

We see that, but we are encouraged to buy, buy, buy and bury our own corpses.

Spend, spend, spend and don’t think. Don’t think because you have not been encouraged to think. And you are happy to spend without limits.

But there are limits.

Those of us who keep within limits are disgusted by those of you who do not keep within limits.

When I was 13 and got my first job, my first paycheck was lacking about 1/3 of what I made according to my hours. I said, “What gives?” And I was told, “Oh, that is your retirement. When your retire 50 years from now, you will get all that money back when you are too old or too sick to work. (Biology is like that.)” And I said, “OK, sounds like a good deal.”

But that is not how it is (as my 30 something daughter says). “Social Security is not a pay-as-you-go project, Mom, it is a “you pay for your mom and dad, but I don’t pay for my mom and dad project.”

What’s wrong with that?

We, on Main Street have been feeling the pain all our lives. So, we are going back to the Mayan meets Aztec philosophy?

Sorry, my generation is still on its feet. We are not dead yet.

(Let all them guys eat bread and tuna fish sandwiches like the rest of us!)

This penultimate, short installment is on the economy itself.

I have a sneaking suspicion that there is more method behind the madness than we think.

Did GW’s advisors know that if they made the current situation out to be a crisis that the following (which has occurred) would occur?:

1) Present the American public with an (out of the ordinary) economic “crisis” in which we, the people of this country, commit to set aside a totally unprecedented 700 billion dollars to help “ailing” firms on Wall Street.

2) This scares the American public to death (although it takes about 3 weeks for it to come to fruition.)

3) It comes to fruition.

4) The fruition is that the public is scared because our gov is saying that it needs 700 billion of our taxpayer dollars, which it doesn’t currently have in hand; we all panic and pull out of the stock market and put our investments (essentially) into banks.

5) The shaky banks now become solvent again because of the preceding.

6) All is well.

7) Except that the taxpayer (via our elected representatives) have committed to fork over an outrageous (!) amount of dollars to these failing banks, etc. without any thought to real accountability on those dollars? (The vote happened so fast and was not really so well considered. How could it have been?)

To me, the 700 billion vote just looks like a shot-in-the-dark-when-no-one-is-really-looking shot-in-the-arm to decrepit Bush cronies and the like (that is, anyone who stands to benefit – likely, not you, and not me.)

Ah, but what can we really do about all of this?

My second short installment is about my financial situation over the past years, and how I’m, pretty much, like the rest of you.

I have a retirement account. It’s not much because mandatory retirement accounts pretty have much gone out the window compared to my parent’s generation. My parents’ generation is much more financially secure than my generation.

I worked for a company that mandated a retirement account which I could only access on a limited basis. I put in about 11,000 dollars about 12 years ago.

I divided my account 50% to secured investments and 50% to the stock market when the account was founded. Since my account lost 1500 dollars in the second quarter of this year (2008), I decided to take my money out of the stock market and put it into a “savings account.” I did that because I looked at my investments over those 12 years.

From 11,000 dollars it had grown to 25,000 dollars. With half in “risk” and half in “assured low interest rate,” I had only made 1,000 more in the “risk” (stock) portion of my “portfolio.”

So – what the heck – the economy was going down (my husband – a superior worker – had gone from job to job for a few years because no one wants to pay a 50 year-old what his experience is worth – they would rather have a 20 year-old take over his job for half the pay and twice the work – until that employee burns out in a year or two from overwork). So, if a solid “savings account-like” option made, over 12 years, just less than 1,000 dollars compared to a more high risk option, I might as well put all my money right now into low-risk options and be done with.

And I did it before the current “financial crisis.” So that turned out to be good for me. I am now only down 500 dollars! (Compared to 2,000+ down if I had kept my money in the stock market.)

Short story: if you didn’t get out of the market 3+ weeks ago, you might as well keep your assets in the stock market and wait for recovery.

Don’t listen to what “they” tell you to do – make your own choices.

What both situations have in common is that congress was presented with a situation characterized to be a crisis by the administration and told they had to act immediately to avert disaster. Congress in general exhibited the herd effect - not really seeming to have a clear grasp of the problem, let alone a sound solution. Both involve the commitment of tremendous sums of money with little real oversight or substantial payback for the American taxpayer in cash, prestige or any other measure of success.

Has something been put into the water and the whole world is going insane? Sometimes it seems like that to me.

I just expect people to act more rationally.

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