Light is starting to shine. This is from April 29, 2008.
This past week an event took place that has not happened since the days of World War II when each of the candidates joined in a letter in 1944 stating they would end the war. Each of the presidential candidates this year signed onto a joint letter stating if they were elected they would fight the evil that is taking place in Darfur. That evil is named genocide.
The matter is one that I feel passionately about, and know that President Bush and much of the world has sadly dropped the ball on this matter. But there seems to be growing awareness that the Sudanese government must not be allowed to continue their horrible policies.
“Today, we wish to make clear to the Sudanese government that on this moral issue of tremendous importance, there is no divide between us,” declared a joint statement to be released on Wednesday by the Save Darfur Coalition on behalf of Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton, John McCain and Barack Obama. “If peace and security for the people of Sudan are not in place when one of us is inaugurated as president on Jan. 20, 2009, we pledge that the next administration will pursue these goals with unstinting resolve.”
At least 200,000 people have been killed there since the Arab-dominated government of Sudan unleashed tribal militias known as the janjaweed on non-Arab rebel groups and civilians. The Sudanese government says that the death toll in Darfur has been exaggerated and denies that the killing there amounts to genocide, as President Bush has said.
The president of the Save Darfur Coalition, Jerry Fowler, said the joint statement from the presidential candidates should serve as a warning to Mr. Bashir’s government. “The tangible piece will be on Jan. 20, 2009,” Mr. Fowler said, “when whichever one of these candidates wins the presidency and makes Darfur a Day 1 issue.”
As the nation watches the all important Democratic meeting in Washington, D.C. today regarding the delegate problem with both Florida and Michigan, it might be interesting to be reminded of who sits on the all powerful Rules Committee of the DNC.
There is endless conversations across the nation today concerning the all important Democratic National Committee meeting that will resolve the fighting over the delegates to be seated from Florida and Michigan. Much hinges for both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama today on the outcome of this meeting. The thoughts and analysis from the professional pundits is one way to better understand the path Democrats need to tread if a successful resolution can be found so the party can find unity for the general election.
Live blogging from some savvy professionals throughout the meeting can be found here.
Laurie Monroe sat alongside me in several classes decades ago at Tri-County High School in Plainfield and tried to make me see the magic of Rod Stewart. I did not see it then, but with Stewart’s big production on stage these days featuring his revamped music, along with a powerful vocal presentation, I have done a turnabout on my high school friend’s views. She was right. There is a sizzle that Rod Stewart brings to music.
I love music with chords that reach out and grab me to listen. A melody that brings a smile. “Reason To Believe” starts off with such an opening in this video that proves youth is not required to make a concert hall happy. In addition, I am of the mind that anyone can sit home and play an artist’s music on the stereo. What people want from a live performer however, is a show with lights and big production values. Stewart delivers all this in his concerts, and here is a sample with one of my favorites from his songlist. The opening piano chords will pull you in.
There are politicians ‘in the arena’ that deserve praise and recognition. New York Governor David Paterson is one such politician, if for no other reason than his announcement this week on behalf of gay couples around the nation.
Gov. David A. Paterson has directed all state agencies to begin to revise their policies and regulations to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions, like Massachusetts, California and Canada.
In a directive issued on May 14, the governor’s legal counsel, David Nocenti, instructed the agencies that gay couples married elsewhere “should be afforded the same recognition as any other legally performed union.”
The revisions are most likely to involve as many as 1,300 statutes and regulations in New York governing everything from joint filing of income tax returns to transferring fishing licenses between spouses.
In a videotaped message given to gay community leaders at a dinner on May 17, Mr. Paterson described the move as “a strong step toward marriage equality.” And people on both sides of the issue said it moved the state closer to fully legalizing same-sex unions in this state.
The fact that there will be howls from the knuckle-draggers should not in any way make us think twice about their protests. As the Tin Man argues quite concisely, there just is no argument to be made for not recognizing gay marriages.
“….the “entire meaning and purpose” of marriage has been altered many times over the years — over centuries, in fact — and that this is not because of a “single politician or court or legislature,” but because of the evolution of society. Marriage is no longer about the joining of two families for economic benefit; it’s no longer about dowries and the subsuming of a woman’s legal identity into that of a man; it’s no longer about the survival of your tribe. For some people it’s not even about having children. Marriage can be about having children, and raising a family, and it usually is. But not always. It can be about happiness and personal stability. It can be about economic benefits. People get married for all sorts of reasons today, and liberalized divorce laws attest to how much society’s definition of marriage has changed over the years.”
The fact is that those who wish to go backwards will have a rough time of it in New York.
Legal challenges to Gov. David A. Paterson’s plan to recognize same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions are likely to come thick and fast. But they face an uphill fight, legal experts said on Thursday, given New York’s unusual legal terrain.
There is a new day dawning in America; one that heralds social progress and equality in the same manner that the vast majority of citizens have long enjoyed. To try and impede that progress, or wish it away, is indefensible and runs counter to the larger themes and hopes that built our nation.
Increasing the moderate way of thinking in the Middle East hit a roadblock thanks to Israel, and the lack of American pressure on supposedly ‘our best friend’ in the Middle East.
The American State Department has withdrawn all Fulbright grants to Palestinian students in Gaza hoping to pursue advanced degrees at American institutions this fall because Israel has not granted them permission to leave.
Israel has isolated this coastal strip, which is run by the militant group Hamas. Given that policy, the United States Consulate in Jerusalem said the grant money had been “redirected” to students elsewhere out of concern that it would go to waste if the Palestinian students were forced to remain in Gaza.
A letter was sent by e-mail to the students on Thursday telling them of the cancellation. Abdulrahman Abdullah, 30, who had been hoping to study for an M.B.A. at one of several American universities on his Fulbright, was in shock when he read it.
“If we are talking about peace and mutual understanding, it means investing in people who will later contribute to Palestinian society,” he said. “I am against Hamas. Their acts and policies are wrong. Israel talks about a Palestinian state. But who will build that state if we can get no training?”
Some Israeli lawmakers, who held a hearing on the issue of student movement out of Gaza on Wednesday, expressed anger that their government was failing to promote educational and civil development in a future Palestine given the hundreds of students who had been offered grants by the United States and other Western governments.
I have held off writing anything about the new bombshell of a book “What Happened?” by Scott McClellan, former White House Press Secretary to President Bush, because I am quite angry over it. As an American who had argued vociferously against the Iraq war months before the invasion of Iraq, and who was opposed to the conservative tilt that this Administration applied to every facet of life, I still could find no reason to applaud the book. In spite of revealing much of what we had feared about this Bush White House being true, I could find no reason to run with the story here on my blog. After all, a former top Washington mover and shaker had written a book long after the facts to make a few dollars. Where was the honor? Where was his pen and angst at the time the tale was unfolding?
I guess I would like to think that our nation’s capital has men and women with spunk and principle that understand the grand role they play in our democracy. Sadly, Scott McClellan is no more than another Mr. Lubner, the silly character from Saturday Night Live, (back in the days when it was funny) who had no spine. For Scott to puff his chest and lament all that was wrong then with Bush and Company is woefully inadequate. And to make money on the lack of nerve he exhibited while in a position of power is nothing short of nauseating.
In contrast is Cyrus Vance, the Secretary of State for Jimmy Carter who had fundamental differences with the President over the Iran hostage rescue mission. Rather than bite his tongue and pretend that nothing was wrong with the policy he instead resigned. He was then free to express his opinions in the marketplace of ideas that makes this country so rich. And he was able to better define the issues at hand as they related to the hostage crisis. People might have disagreed with his decision, but he left with honor.
Too often the expedient route to moving upwards in Washington, D.C. tends to place folks on the wrong side of the fence. They often seem far too content to sit and watch as the wheels come off the bus. The time to react is when one notices that things are not right from where they sit. Pondering all this and writing it down years later to make a book deal is not honorable, but instead is greedy and wrong.
While it important to get the facts that surround this awful President and his team, McClellan should have just visited Congress under oath and told his story. No money to be gained, but he would have had his honor.
The only thing that can be said of Scott McClellan now is that he was truly a part of the Bush White House. They are all the same there.