Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Treaties that should be immediately reviewed for sign on

As we await the administration of President Elect Obama and Vice President Elect Biden; lets look to one area where they along with Secretary of State designee Hillary Clinton and also Secretary of Commerce designee Bill Richardson can make a great step back to rejoining the world community.

We would look to the enlarged Democratic Senate majority to seek more visionary Republican Senate votes to ratify the following Treaties.

Let's start with the Kyoto Treaty, or let's call for a renewed round for what I would call the 2009 Gore Treaty! Let's look at signing on to the World Criminal Court now that we will have a new White House that knows that the Geneva Convention, Human Rights, and a rediscovery of our own Bill of Rights is essential for the United States to reclaim our former moral standing in the world community. Two others for this blog would be the landmine treaty that we have refused to sign onto and the most recent shameful non participation of the Treaty to abolish Cluster Bombs that almost all the world ratified with the exception of our country and other war making and weapons selling nations.

That would be a noble start.

You may have asked why I listed Commerce above. The new Kyoto Treaty improvement has major international economic repercussions. So does a review of NAFTA, CAFTA, and stopping the current Columbia and other sweetheart trade agreements that neglect environmental and labor standards. We have to not allow international trade to make us again a nation that uses gunboat diplomacy in our actions with our hemispheric neighbors.

Who should be the new Car Czar

When we look to the aid offered to the Two of the Three; my Ford Company which has been much more innovative with a number of Hybrid models has not requested loan guarantees, a Presidential appointed Car Czar is often mentioned.

The best choice is simple, Lee Iaccoca! This is a man who in recent years has spoken of the irresponsibility of the current administrations policies and more to the point has decades of hands on experience in what you ask? Why, the manufacture of cars. He was the chief when the great Ford Mustang was first built. He turned around Chrysler the last time and paid back those Federal Loans early.

Lets review the Arnold debacle

Can we all agree that Governor Arnold has led this State in the same direction as the outgoing President has led this nation. Lets review just a few points for the record.

When Arnold ran to replace Governor Gray Davis, one of his main points was that he wouldn't fund raise to the extent that Gray would and when he was elected he then broke the record for funds raised. One of the most damning fundraising efforts included high ticket events in New York with the Wall Street and Finance communities. You know, the same communities that have brought us to a recession that has many features of a feared depression.

Let's look at how well the Environmental Governor has been by his flagrant inconsistencies. One glaring example is when the State Lands Commission had a meeting to consider the Australian offshore LNG terminal that would have layed two large bore pipelines through the community of Oxnard. The two NO votes came from Lt. Governor John Garamendi and State Controller John Chiang; the Yes vote from the Governor's Department of Finance. His hit and miss support for Green efforts always has a pro corporation subtext.

His failure to sign a well thought out budget proposal that addressed many issues of concern and even had painful cuts along with judicious revenue enhancements means the state of the state is totally his responsibility along with his Republican "Yacht Party" legislative members. Their refusal to look at the needs for California should put the Minority Leadership on a recall hit list.

Keep all of this in mind when you look to who should be the next Governor of California in the 2010 election. I will write more on this in a later blog.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Earthbound in the Space Age

I just finished watching a documentary titled, "When we left Earth" the NASA Missions; and was reminded of the folly that will allow the decommissioning of the Space Shuttle in 2010 while it's replacement, the Ares1 Orion, is not scheduled until at it's earliest in 2014!  How will we service the International Space Station during this lapse?  We will pay Russia to take our mission specialists, astronauts, and others in their own aged space vehicles.  Why this is a folly is that it impacts on our technological growth, and further degrades the next generation of hoped for scientists, engineers, and a home grown aerospace manufacturing industry.

Back when President Kennedy challenged this nation to reach the moon in a decade; this impetus caused the micro-miniaturization that created the home computer and all of the advances that brought us into the information age.  Funding this will promote good wage, next generation 21st century employment.  This employment and the creation of new industries that will advance
and expand the technology to end Global warming, alternative energy, and even a automobile that will end our dependence on oil!

We must support bridging with a refurbished shuttle fleet until a true new generation of launch vehicles not based on last century Apollo era hardware can be developed.  We must look to the future and fund one of our greatest native industries which will also employ new aerospace workers who can also assist in advances for Rapid Transit, and don't forget where solar energy came from!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Green is the new color for 2009

While many of us worked for a bluer United States as well as a bluer California; the new color or better yet the renewed color for 2009 should be green! Green as in GREENpeace; green as in GREEN JOBS NOW, green as in Senator Barbara Boxer's excellent work in the US Senate. Green has always been a keynote color in the environmental movement; and there is a renewed call for green interaction between environmentalists and organized labor as well as small business.

On the November 2008 ballot in California were two Faux environmental propositions that we thankfully defeated. What we need is a proactive, labor intensive, small business green initiative that we can all get behind and support. Not a T. Boone Pickens enrichment plan, nor a so called alternative energy proposal that enriches speculators and major corporations but blocks small business and the plans we already have in place as we strive to advance and enhance the provisions of AB-32. AB-32 was the California Global Warming legislation co-authored by newly elected State Senator Fran Pavley, and former Speaker Fabian Nunez. Couple this with an Obama EPA that will give California a waiver and we are on our own Green Road to an environmental OZ.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cabinet Appointments could deplete the Senate

While I have to recognize that the US Senators that are being discussed are without exception qualified; why deplete the US Senate. Now that the Democrats have a stronger majority; it is time to support the President Elect in bringing our nation to an even keel.

For example: Hillary should work in the Senate and in the future become the first woman majority floor leader after Harry Reid; John Kerry should advance to be the new Foreign Relations Chair to work hand in hand with Secretary of State Bill Richardson.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Protest Prop. 8!

Last week was one of mixed emotions 'round these parts. Going to sleep on Tuesday, November 4th with the cheers of millions still ringing, chants of "Obama!" and "Yes, We Did!" was a wondrous thing, causing my heart to grown three sizes that night at the election of the first African-American president of the United States - a man who seems as if he really will be able to lead us out of the nightmare of the Bush Administration, with a little help from all of us.

But to awaken on Wednesday morning to the news that Californians voted to pass Proposition 8? To know that the majority of citizens of my adopted state - where I've lived since I was 11 and the only state I've ever really known as home - decided it would be just fine and dandy to remove the rights of an entire group of fellow citizens and to codify hatred and bigotry into the California State Constitution?

All of my happiness and goodwill from the previous evening evaporated.

I thought we were better than that, California. We're known for being on the cutting edge of so many things, and here we've taken a step back into the dark ages of fear and bigotry, allowing out of state interests and churches to manipulate us for their own purposes, buying the lies that they told us about teaching same-sex marriage in schools and forcing churches to marry couples they don't want to marry. And for what?

To yank away existing civil rights for people who only want the same opportunities that the majority have: to marry the person that they love. Nothing more. Nothing less. If I have the right to marry a man at a quickie chapel in Las Vegas, two women or two men who have been together for a decade or more (or less) damn well better have the right to marry the person that he or she loves. And yes: MARRY. Not civil unions. Not separate but equal. Not accepting that said couples are second class citizens. We went down that road with African-Americans. Do we really want to go down that road again? I think not.

Dear readers, this ain't over. Not by a long shot.

SoCal Grassroots fully supports equality for all, which is why we've put together a page of links for actions that you can take to fight the passage of Proposition 8.

We're all in this together: gays, lesbians, straights, asexuals.


Let's work to assure basic civil rights for EVERY Californian. And EVERY American.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

"That One" dismisses inpolite & rude comments from AZ Senator

I am penning this ahead of the one I was preparing;  as I just finished watching Presidential Debate II between US Senator Barack Obama, and US Senator John McCain.  To say I was angry is an understatement.  The Senator from Arizona dismissed his opponent with an off hand, over the shoulder, reference to "That One".  Why didn't he just call him "Boy" and complete the insult and dismissive tone in his voice.  That this former patriot, and hero could be so consumed in his blind ambition that he would display the kind of triumphalism last displayed in Northern Ireland against Irish Catholic Nationalist, as well as against native South African people of color by the Apartheid Regime is hateful.  What next, a crowd scene at his next townhall with white hooded and robed supporters.

To anyone who thinks that this type of dismissive and patronizing words and tone is not bigotry should ask one of the following:  a Northern Irish Catholic, a post Apartheid South African Black, a Jew from any number of communities, or a Hispanic American in the South West, or a Black American in many of our cities.  Hate speech is full of code words, shrugs, and innuendos; Senator John McCain and his running mate have got that form of speech and body language down pat!

Do not allow your better nature to be distracted by lies about Senator Obama and his beliefs.  He is a proud, patriotic, and religious American elected official who will lead our country out of its
 " dark ages " when he becomes our next President.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Haste makes waste on display in the congress this week

I listened this afternoon to the full debate over the expanded Rescue/Bail Out "Financial Markets Bill" on the floor of the United States Senate.  This bill is a pressured ponzi scheme that will repay speculators, contains too little for the working and middle class, and may make the foreign investors happy but not your fellow citizens.  

The eloquence of a Republican, Richard Shelby from Alabama; and Bernie Sanders, Independent from Vermont, spoke to the unsoundness of this hurried and now cobbled together package with an added $150 billion to the original $700 billion.  The few opposed have stood against the wind of pack mob action to pass this bill under the threat of fear, insufficient hearings, and a "chicken little" panic that the sky is falling!

When we review the votes on Monday that led to the defeat of the initial leadership legislation; you will find not only conservative Republicans, but also Blue Dog Democrats and Progressive Democrats were also opposed.  To name a few who voted No in the interests of the taxpayer:  Adam Schiff, D-CA; Dennis Kucinich, D-OH; Shiela Jackson Lee, D-TX;  Lynn Woolsey, D-CA; and Brad Sherman, D-CA.  I am proud of each of their votes and know that a more thoughtful and long term solution can be done without approving the now $850 billion boondoggle.

Senator Harry Reid has stated that this was the only way, I disagree.  I applaud Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, Washington Senator Maria Cantwell and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for their No votes among the few.   I sadly regret that the Senate passed this legislation this evening and I hope that a majority of the House will still cast votes to defeat this on the House floor on Thursday or Friday!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

So is it George W. Little or George W. Hoover

The current incumbent of the White House spoke to the nation tonight and tried to sell us on a last imperial grab for power to grant his Secretary of Treasury unlimited control on an economic crisis that he helped start when he was an executive in the Financial trade on Wall Street.  As he spoke and urged us to empower his faulty administration to further destroy the nations' financial infrastructure; he sounded like George W. Little [the presidential equivalent of Chicken Little]
crying that the sky was falling.  He did neglect to accept blame for helping pull down the regulatory columns that held up that financial sky that is now falling.

Why would we allow this new Ponzi Scheme coming from the desk of this POTUS is beyond me.
We need to listen to the sound judgment that cries for deliberate, judicious and thoughtful reform and not a blank check.

When you listened to his dire warnings that might well cause an obvious further erosion based on his fear mongering; it may well be that he is really George W. Hoover [reminiscent of Herbert Hoover] who watched while the Great Depression unraveled the finances of this country.

We must not allow the lame duck residents of the Cabinet under this President rush us to a judgment that may will be a self fulfilling prophecy!  Time is needed to view protections that guarantee home owners, working families, and if we bail out anyone we gain shareholder status as Senator Obama has stated and we cash out any proceeds back to the US taxpayers.

So whatever George W.'s new nom de plume; let's not elect John McBush in November.

Sarah Palin and UN Speed Dating

In her first footprint on the sands of international relations; our Alaska Governor Sarah Palin exercised her one year old passport in a round of United Nations Speed dating.  Her one on ones with various National leaders not only highlighted her inexperience and lack of diplomatic sense, but also belittled her as the No. 2 on the McCain ticket.

Campbell Brown, of CNN, said it well when she had Free Palin signs as a background when she commented on the Press avoidance posture of the McCain campaign.  I can't call it the McCain-palin campaign as long as they patronize her and leave her unable to prove herself or fail on her own merits.

Dealing with others on the world stage is not a cliff notes exercise, nor a let's go out for coffee after New York UN speed dating!  

We need serious people, with a sense of the world including setting foot on foreign territory and speaking to the various citizens of the world.  Not looking across the Bering Strait and imagining the Murmansk Peninsula that cannot be seen beyond the curvature of the earth.  Honestly the world is not flat.