JustJoe Over the Road

If it AIN'T about the CONSTITUTION, it AIN'T AMERICA

Archive for January, 2006

America-a government of laws not men

Posted by justjoe on January 17, 2006

A must- read speech:

A president who breaks the law is a threat to the very structure of our government. Our Founding Fathers were adamant that they had established a government of laws and not men.

http://www.algore-08.com/

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Casualties of War

Posted by justjoe on January 17, 2006

Throughout history War has always served up devastating consequences, that most of us are unfamiliar with, beyond the loss of family and friends . This is primarily due to lack of education and understanding or personal involvment with that act.

The following quote comes from Ivan Eland the Director for Center On Peace & Liberty at the Independent Institute in Oakland Ca.

http://www.independent.org/research/copal/

“Unwilling to even discuss whether the U.S.’s interventionist foreign policies (particularly in the Middle East) might be factors in causing the new security threats, Washington has unilaterally declared that the new terrorist war must be a global war without end, with no clear objectives, no clearly identifiable enemy, no specified geographical area, and no clear strategy. The enemy is not on some front, does not have invading armies, navies and air forces, and since we are now all under government surveillance, apparently it could be any of us. In the fight against such a different kind of enemy, which may pose a more challenging threat for an open society to battle, could the “best defense is a good offense” doctrine in the U.S. national security strategy be exactly the wrong policy to pursue?”

Please take the time to read the full article and enjoy the many other opportunities to become better informed and educated. Your life really does depend upon it.

Additional Info: The book “The Empire Has No Clothes” by Ivan Eland

http://www.independent.org/store/book_detail.asp?bookID=54

In The Empire Has No Clothes, Ivan Eland, a leading expert on U.S. defense policy and national security, examines American military interventions around the world from the Spanish-American War to the invasion of Iraq.

The Empire Has No Clothes offers a powerful and persuasive critique of recent U. S. foreign policy. It deserves the thoughtful attention of conservatives and liberals alike—indeed, of all Americans disturbed by the imperial pretensions evident in Washington since the end of the Cold War.”
ANDREW J. BACEVICH, Professor of International Relations, Boston University

For further study go to the Independent Institute at:

http://www.independent.org/

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Thomas Paine a new friend

Posted by justjoe on January 15, 2006

“It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime. He takes up the trade of a priest for the sake of gain, and in order to qualify himself for that trade, he begins with a perjury. Can we conceive any thing more destructive to morality than this”?

Thomas Paine

http://www.ushistory.org/paine/reason/reason1.htm

This quote from Thomas Paine, who, I fully admit, is a new friend of recent discovery, is so on the mark. As you may or may not know, I am running for the US Senate in Utah this year, and I have come to realize that I have one of two choices to make as I enter the public arena.

  1. Speak in a winning way to people’s wants, hopes and fears, and lose yourself to the lies that will be necessary.
  2. Speak honestly and be soul searchingly true to yourself and your convictions, and know that, while the office may not be attained, your soul remains yours.

I choose the latter in part for the reasons so elequently elucidated in the quote from Thomas Paine, but also as a recognized challenge and opportunity to grow in my personal pursuit of excellence, Spiritually, Emotionally, Physically and Mentally.

I also think that, just as important, each of the individuals that I meet along the way have the same challenge and opportunity in their lives. Perhaps politics is not only attaining an office or position of prominence in our communities, but is, more importantly, a greater understanding of our personal and communal responsibilities and obligations.

It occurs to me that we are at this moment in great crisis, and that crisis is a direct reflection of the personal integrity of each Human Being’s willingness to reflect honestly within themselves, and with others, how we work together for the benefit of us all.

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Was Anything Learned from Vietnam? By Carolyn Eisenberg

Posted by justjoe on January 15, 2006

Ms. Eisenberg, a professor of history at Hofstra University, is a member of Historians Against the War (HAW). She presented the following paper at a forum sponsored by HAW at the annual meting of the American Historical Association in Philadelphia this past weekend.


http://hnn.us/articles/20259.html

“For many historians of a certain age, the Vietnam War was the formative intellectual experience, which shaped our understanding of the United States and its history”.

Well, obviously, we have not learned much, and the stakes are much higher.

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“THESE ARE THE TIMES THAT TRY MEN’S SOULS”.-Thomas Paine

Posted by justjoe on January 15, 2006

Thomas Paine 1737 – 1809 ,

  1. the “Father of the American Revolution”, was the first to propose, with his publication of Common Sense,
  2. actual American Independence from a system of Aristocratic Royalty –
  3. by suggesting a Democratic Republic for the “United States of America,”
  4. a name attributed to him – with a Unicameral Congress, as adopted by Pennsylvania,
  5. he proposed the Abolition of Negro Slavery;
  6. proposed Arbitration for International Peace;
  7. advocated Justice for Women;
  8. pointed out the Reality of Human Brotherhood;
  9. suggested International Copyright;
  10. invented a suspension bridge and smokeless candle;
  11. proposed the Education of Children of the Poor at public expense;
  12. suggested a Great Republic of All Nations of the world.
  13. He proposed pension payments or Old Age Pensions.
  14. He also suggested protection for dumb animals.

We have honored him when we adopt’ these sane propositions.

You can explore more on Thomas Paine at the following links.

We are in great need for such courage and conviction in these times national crisis.

enjoy

Joe

http://www.morristown.org/tompaine.htm

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Democracy_America/TPaine_FoundingFather.html

http://www.ushistory.org/paine/

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MILITARY? FOOTBALL? AND CONGRESSMAN JOHN MURTHA

Posted by justjoe on January 4, 2006

Ed Schultz, from the Ed Schultz show on Sirius radio, sure caught my attention yesterday.

http://www.bigeddieradio.com/

He was attacking Congressman John Murtha, Pennsylvania’s top Democrat on the House of Representatives subcommittee that oversees defense spending and one of his party’s leading spokesmen on military issues, for saying “No!”

This was in response to the question in an interview taped on Friday on ABC’s “Nightline: “Would you join (the military) today?”

“And I think you’re saying the average guy out there who’s considering recruitment is justified in saying ‘I don’t want to serve’,” the interviewer continued.

“Exactly right,” said Murtha, who drew White House ire in November after becoming the first ranking Democrat to push for a pullout of U.S. forces from Iraq as soon as it could be done safely.

You can listen to Ed’s segment on this at this link:

http://audio.wegoted.com/podcasting/103006Murtha.mp3

Now, I hold “Big Ed” in the highest of regard and listen to his show regularly and am grateful for his courage to bring forward the debate into the public forum, unlike most other talk show hosts.

But on this castigation of a 37 year military veteran, you’re way wrong, Ed.

As a Vietnam Veteran from ’68 to ’72 in the Navy on the USS Lexington I would like to share why I agree with John Murtha.

When I finished my service, I was left distant from any sense of “Honor” for my service but found myself confused about my relations and my community. Why did so many of us die or come back maimed or, like myself, screwed up in the head about this thing we called the Vietnam War?

Until about a year and a half ago, I had never been thanked for my service. It took another Veteran to do that, because a nation divided and insecure about such a tragic episode in our lives hardly wishes to discuss it, either publicly or privately, for it is better to just forget and move on.

Why is that? Well several reasons come up for me:

  1. We have never declared war since World War II. Thus the nation is divided due to a lack of a clear debate and understanding of an “Imminent Danger”.
  2. When the Congress did declare war, everyone went to war, either on the battlefield, in the factories and in our day-to-day lives and made sacrifices together.
  3. Unfortunately, since World War II, we have had undeclared conflicts in which a small percentage of the population put “skin” in, while the rest of the country came up with the words “I SUPPORT MY TROOPS” without actually having to. I would add, both during and, especially, after the war.
  4. When I say “SUPPORT,” I mean making sure that what we do is legally and morally right before we perform the single most bestial act that any nation can call upon its citizens to perform. Please don’t forget this isn’t a dance social. This is organized killing.
  5. The slaughter of the indigenous populations and their environment with horrible chemicals, and biological weapons. (Oh, that’s right. That is why we went after Saddam!)
  6. The lies, deceits and profiteering that grate and shame all of us.
  7. I guess the worst part of it all is that we live in some John Wayne fantasy that consigns us to respect the military but not the human beings that make up the military or the sacrifices that will be required of them and should be required of all of us.

So, the end result is that everybody spends their time trying to just forget, and with the exception of the one or two days a year of prayers and remembrance, we would just hope the reality would go away or change, so we just block it with some platitudes and then move on.

I belong to the legions of the forgotten, discarded and disregarded, Ed. All you have to do is look in the shelters and on the streets, or behind the facade of the friendly smile of your neighbor or friend, and you will find those who served your “HONORABLE” military.

Let me share a story that brings it all home for me. This is Diane Evans who served as a nurse, one of 10,000 Women who served in Vietnam.

“I remember coming home from Vietnam in August of ’69, and my dad took me into town,” says Diane Evans, who was 21 when she was stationed at the 71st Evacuation Hospital at Pleiku.

“He said, ‘Let’s get in the truck and go to town. I’m going to take you to the feed store.’ So we went to the feed store. And the lady is adding up, you know, the feed that he’s bought. And my dad says to her, who’s a lifelong friend, ‘Diane just got home from Vietnam.'”

“And she wouldn’t look at me.”

“She would not look at me, and she wouldn’t say anything. And my dad is feeling very embarrassed, and I wanted to crawl in a hole and disappear. And we get in the truck and we drive home, and I said, “Dad, don’t ever tell anybody I was in Vietnam. Just don’t talk about it.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/07/01/60II/main561263.shtml

How about the countless homeless people?

Although accurate numbers are impossible to come by … no one keeps national records on homeless veterans … the VA estimates that nearly 200,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. And more than half a million experience homelessness over the course of a year.

http://www.nchv.org/background.cfm

And the sick and forgotten who left their hearts and souls behind and have been changed forever. Keep in mind, Ed, that there are only three ways that your children come back to you in time of conflict:

  1. Dead
  2. Maimed for life.
  3. Mentally, spiritually and emotionally changed forever.

The degree to which that affects us all depends upon “We the People” and our elected representatives. Right now, all I see is Thuggery, Thievery, Deceit and Lies serving up (once again) a politically expedient conflict that is nationally and internationally Illegal, Immoral and completely devoid of any “HONORABLE” merits.

Sounds like the Mafia have taken over and you basically are saying to our young, “Go become hit men for your country.”

When I signed on, I took the following oath:

The Oath of Enlistment, Reenlistment

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend
The Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;
that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same”

Well, the enemy is domestic, and I am a Veteran, and through my US Senate campaign in Utah, this year, I am going to work to replace at least one of these hoodlums. And quite frankly, saying “NO” puts you and every other citizen on notice that you better get your act together or a nation that has already fallen into utter disrepair will cease to exist.

Your problem is not that we question serving in the military; but whether the citizens of this country are worthy of our service.

The answer presently, as far as I am concerned, and obviously, Rep. Murtha too, is “NO”

This is not a football game where we play for points and then all go home feeling good or bad over whether we won or lost. This is not about the feel-good conversation of championing more armor, health benefits, accountability for the reasons for the war, etc. Once we have reached that stage where we have committed to the conflict, it is just too damn late.

When the people of this nation do their job and demand accountability from those who are elected and who take the same oath that I did, when “We The People” stand up to our responsibility with “HONOR,” then I would say to our young people,” go forth and serve your country.”

But as long as the corporate interests, rather than the people’s interests, are being served in our nation’s capitol, as they also were in my era, I, too, would say “NO,” and God bless John Murtha for his courage to speak truth to power.

Currying favor to the right, trying to be politically correct and pushing aside the truth, is what got us in this mess in the first place, and it must stop!

The Military is not, in and of itself, “HONORABLE,” for “HONOR” is something we consign to the mission and actions of those who serve. The Military is that terrible, deadly and fierce force that is called upon when ALL ELSE FAILS. It is that which trains to ensure the complete and crushing subjugation of any force that might oppose it. It prepares for one thing only, and that is to fight and win our Nation’s wars.

This cavalier use of our military as a first, rather than a last, resort in our foreign policy initiatives is, at best, criminal, and I am not interested in promoting criminal behavior in our youth.

I am truly grateful to you for taking a position on this issue, for it really brought forward in my mind, and, I hope, in anyone else who had an opportunity to hear you, the importance and implications of our military and service in it.

Thanks, Ed, and God Bless.

Joe LaBonte
US Senate Candidate in Utah 2006

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JACK ABRAMOFF AND THE FAILURE OF A NATION

Posted by justjoe on January 3, 2006

As we wrestle with the failures of this Presidency, Congress, Judiciary and Media we should recognize that it is a direct reflection of the failure of “We the People” to govern properly. We so walk in lock- step with our “Ideologies” and “Doctrines” that the reality of the actions of our leadership go uncontested.

Let’s use Jack Abramoff (and, sadly, many people that I talk to don’t know who he is) not as some strange aberation in time, but as a reflection of a national mind set.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/05/09/real.delay/

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A vet speaks out about Bush

Posted by justjoe on January 2, 2006

Well, I just pulled into San Antonio after a long drive from Las Cruzes NM and am filled with one bad news story after another about the corruption, deceits and thuggery from George and Company in Washington. So I got on line and pulled up my e-mail from one of my Veteran buddys and found this waiting for me. It’s an article about a Vietnam Vet named Tim Abbott from a Southwestern Virginia town of Hillsville speaking up in defense of his country.

“Bush talks a lot about freedom, courage, transparent government and the rule of law. He talks.” Abbott says. “His speeches are carefully choreographed before audiences of his faithful — often Christian fundamentalists or, to paraphrase Bush, Christian-fascists — and they must sign loyalty oaths to Bush. He speaks before audience after audience of soldiers and sailors who cannot speak except as directed by the White House.”

—follow the link to the rest of the article

http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/article_7919.shtml

Thanks, Tim. I couldn’t have said it better.

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We lost the day we chose aggression

Posted by justjoe on January 1, 2006

This is a letter I wrote to an old, new-found friend from my Navy days in response to a letter from a PFC Marine who supports George Bush with anecdotal nonsense that I will not repeat.

Hello John;

Well, we are, I see, on opposite sides of this issue. For myself, the uninvestigated “crime” of 911 was just that-a crime, not an act of war by some other nation. Unfortunately, the rule of law and convention was thrown out to facilitate the mob rule of revenge, to which the first casualty is ever and always the truth. Just as with Viet Nam, it begins with, not one, but a series of lies leaving this young man distant from a real conversation.

The truth is:

  1. 58,295 young soldiers lost their lives in Viet Nam,
  2. Around 2 million Vietnamese and 1 million Cambodians were slaughtered with Weapons of Mass Destruction (and we call Saddam Hussein a butcher.)
  3. This slaughter of Cambodian people brought about the rise of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge.
  4. This brought about the slaughter of at least 2 million Cambodians thought to support the United States.
  5. Which created greater profits for manufacturers and purveyors of those weapons.

Countless are the injured and maimed on both sides, and the beat goes on.

I could go on with the destruction of fledgling democracies since World War II by CIA coups and interventions.

  1. the first of which was Iran in 1953, followed by:
  2. Guatemala in 1954,
  3. El Salvador, with 2 billion dollars worth of weapons from the US to the ruling junta/dictatorship pointed at its population that was seeking self-determination
  4. Allende in Chile, and on and on. For what?
  5. The multinational corporation profits such as Dole fruit or GE, or Rand or Westinghouse, and now, of course, Halliburton, Brown and Root, and so on.
  6. Of course now it is even more apparent, and yet we either, through fear or blood lust, stay blind to the truth that we are being played for fools for the profits of others.

Teddy Roosevelt, a great republican, was quoted as saying:

“To announce that there should be no criticism of the president,
or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong,
is not only unpatriotic and servile,
but is morally treasonable to the American people.”

to which I say Amen!!!!

We lost the day we chose aggression, and I don’t just mean the conflict, but our Nation, its purpose, its being, its soul and its survival.

No matter how powerful you and others might feel we are, the world in which we live will not suffer our arrogance much longer.

  1. George Bush’s father told him not to do this,
  2. Gen. Norman Swartzkropf was on CBS warning of terrible consequences if he did this,
  3. Brent Scowcroft said “no,” and on the list goes,
  4. and now if you compare the reports from journalists in Iraq, they report the exact opposite of what Bush/Cheney and company will report.

Well, this is my country, and I believe in the Constitution of the United States of America and my oath “to preserve and protect it against all enemies foreign and domestic”.

Well, the enemies of my country are in Washington, and they are owned by corporate and special interest organizations.

I cannot, and will not, allow this intolerable circumstance to continue unchallenged, and so I shall run for US Senate in Utah in 2006.

My Senate race is my effort as a veteran to try and bring it back from the abyss of ignorance and blind allegiance that so many are willing to apply themselves. Democracy and secrecy are incompatible, and an unquestioning, servile citizenry is the real threat to our country.

For it is an unquestioning devotion to an individual with complete disregard for the requirements and conventions of the offices of “our” country that challenges all hope for a safe and secure country

We have followed the traditional themes of going to war:

1. Theorize

2. Demonize

3. Victimize

4. Terrorize

5. Rationalize

Which is where we are now.

  1. All of the theories have proven false, and I mean all of them.
  2. Through the demonizing process we have
  3. victimized 10’s of thousand of women and children with death and maiming to the point where we are no better than the disease that existed before we went into Iraq,
  4. leaving the Iraqis terrorized (I forgot that is what we are trying to stop.)
  5. So now we rationalize by proclaiming to be building a democracy and that we removed a terrible dictator, none of which was ever discussed or mentioned prior to this illegal and immoral conflict

What is even worse, we will now probably be there for decades, by which time Saddam would have been dead. Had we stayed our hand and applied our passion to truth, the rule of law and strict adherence to international treaties and laws that we wrote, signed and consigned to other nations, we would have lost no lives nor bankrupted our national treasury.

So now we have the top 5% of our population, the “Piggy Culture,” reaping banner profits in massive “tax breaks” (a $27,000 tax on each child born this year), billions of dollars of giveaways and subsidies to corporations and “War Profiteering,” (a most treasonous and treacherous act,) while tens of thousands of human beings are being maimed butchered and murdered.

To add insult to these massive injuries; seeds of distrust, fear and disdain for my country, its leaders and we the people are taking root all around the world and bearing a bitter fruit of anger.

Lest I forget the assault upon the very foundational principles upon which we even exist. Our Constitutional liberties so hard fought for are being assailed at every turn while chaos rules supreme.

I could go on but I tire. Please do not fall sway to this agenda to destroy our country for that is truly what is at hand

Sincerely,

Joe

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A Nation Who Knows Not Its History Has No Future

Posted by justjoe on January 1, 2006

“…you are called upon to deliberate on a new Constitution for the United States of America…”
Alexander Hamilton-Federalist Paper #1

http://snipurl.com/dwzh

Rather weighty and poetic language, but lots of great stuff from one of the founders of our nation, if you take the time. This argument to the people of New York for the adoption and ratification of a new Constitution is not only timely but prophetic. Witness one small passage.

“An over-scrupulous jealousy of danger to the rights of the people, which is more commonly the fault of the head than of the heart, will be represented as mere pretense and artifice, the stale bait for popularity at the expense of the public good.”

  1. Cindy Sheehan’s demand to know what “noble cause” her son died for.
  2. Dick Cheney’s secret meetings with oil companies.
  3. Unregulated wire tapping of the American people.
  4. Outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame by the White House.

“It will be forgotten, on the one hand, that jealousy is the usual concomitant of love, and that the noble enthusiasm of liberty is apt to be infected with a spirit of narrow and illiberal distrust.”

  • Note the word illiberal

“On the other hand, it will be equally forgotten that the vigor of government is essential to the security of liberty;”

  • In other words, a distinct and clear separation of powers that vigorously challenge one another.

“that, in the contemplation of a sound and well-informed judgment, their interest can never be separated;”

  • It is through these dissents to one another (legislative, judiciary, executive) that “their interest” the rights and liberties of “We the People” are secured.

“and that a dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people than under the forbidden appearance of zeal for the firmness and efficiency of government.”

  • Ignore the rhetoric that speaks of protecting the people while suspending the rule of law and principles of good governance through rigorous check and balance principles

“History will teach us that the former”

  • rhetoric and feel-good speeches

has been found a much more certain road to the introduction of despotism than the latter,”

  • Rigorous adherence to the rule of law and the check and balance principles in government

“and that of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people;”

  • the currying of favor of religious communities through promises and funding of faith- based initiatives
  • appealing to the purient interests of the people while, through cronyism and no-bid contracts, rewarding supporters.

“commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants.”

  • ie: George Bush

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