Category Archives: Politics

politics and all that comes with it

Stem Cell Veto

For six years now president Bush has allowed every bill that has passed his desk to scoot on by with nary a hint of veto (unless you count his dubious use of the “signing statement”). It is clearly a momentous occasion then when the president gets out the veto pen after such a long dry spell. So what did Bush decide to use his check to balance? Was it out of control spending by the congress, maybe to cut some pork out of no-bid military contracts, perhaps he didn’t like the bridge to nowhere?

No president bush decided to veto federal money for stem cell research. He decided to cut funds that could lead to cures for cancer, Parkinson’s, spinal cord injuries, and many other deadly maladies. He did so over the wishes of a majority of his OWN party.

He claimed that all life was sacred and that he was unable to support this law. We could debate when life starts, and if an embryo is a life, or a human, or the potential for a life, and the potential for a human all day long. As it stands these embryos are tossed. That’s right they are just thrown away. Good bye, see you later. Bush is taking a position in which he would rather see these embryos end up in the garbage, than do any good for sick people.

The morning after pill, science on global warming, and now stem cell research. This is not the first time our president has shown a distain for science, his administration has been implicated in a series of ham fisted attempts to place political motivations over science facts. Tales are slowly leaking out about scientists being hushed up, or defunded because the facts they uncover are not to the liking of the Bush administration.

America is in danger of loosing her edge in science (if we have not already). If we wont fund vital scientific endeavors others will, and we will be forced into the unfamiliar situation of going to another country to get new high tech cures for illness.

The Constitution The Preamble

The Constitution of The United States Of America

I will be exploring the constitution starting with the preamble and moving to the end. Today a simple introduction.

The U.S. Constitution is the central instrument of government and the “supreme law of the land”. It is the oldest written Constitution in the world that is in force. It was written in 1787 in Philadelphia by the Continental Congress of the new American republic and was officially adopted in 1789. The objective of the writers was to outline the structure of a new, strong central government after the years of weakness and chaos resulting from the preexisting “Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union” which loosely bound the colonies together since 1778.

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During the day it is on display in the rotunda at the National Archives, during the night it is lowered into a nuclear bomb proof bunker for safe keeping. It sets forth the structure of our federal government, which is divided into three branches. It also sets the relationship between the federal government and the states, protects against the abuse of power, and enshrines the rights of minorities.

As great a document as it is, it is still flawed in many ways. Even some founding fathers (among them Jefferson and Paine) felt it betrayed the spirit of freedom of the American Revolution. Don’t forget that the original constitution did not address the blight of slavery.

Only after the civil war was the document amended to abolish slavery. The constitution is a living breathing document able to change and grow as our nation changes and grows.

Lets tackle the Preamble.

The Preamble.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Great stuff, but the founders apparently didn’t know about run on sentences. Basically the preamble is an intro paragraph for the constitution. It lays out in plain language what the document was written for, and what the people writing it hope to achieve with it.

The first three words, “We the People” clearly lay out the fact that this is a nation ruled by the people, and not a king, dictator, judges, members of congress, or even the president. The people run this joint, and that’s the way it was meant to be. It also implies a certain responsibility of every citizen to understand that we the PEOPLE are in charge of this whole thing. All of us together run this country.

It should be noted that the Supreme Court has ruled that the preamble is not a source of federal power or individual rights, but rather an introduction to a document that contains language for these rights and liberties elsewhere in the text.

Up Next “Article I, Section 1”

ACORE’s Annual Policy Conference

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November 29-30, 2006

ACORE’s Annual Policy Conference

Phase II of Renewable Energy In America:
Policy Assumptions and Forecasts of Renewable Energy’s Contribution to US Energy Supply 2010 to 2050

Capitol Hill
Washington, D.C.

The 2006 annual policy forum, continuing the implementation of Phase II of renewable energy in America, turns our attention to scenarios and forecasts of how much renewable energy will contribute to US energy supplies in the future – by 2010, 2020, 2030, 2040 and 2050. All major trade associations, research institutions, environmental groups, and government agencies will be invited to present their forecasts and underlying assumptions. It is time to express a new vision, set high goals, and develop a forward-thinking, stable policy for the benefit of all Americans.

Find out more at www.acore.org
American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE)
P.O. Box 33518
Washington, DC 20033-3518
Tel: 202-393-0001 x7582
Fax: 202-393-0606

Jolly Japes In Nuclear Land

(To be read in an upper class English accent)

Nuclear : Sellafield

What ho you chaps in the colonies! It’s Farquarson here, chief secretary to the Trade Ministry here in Blighty.

Thing is, we’ve found a spiffing wheeze to play on those little people we like to call “voters”. What we’ve done is tell them how terribly concerned Her Majesty’s Government is about this climate change thingy – I don’t understand all this science, that nice David King sends important notes around which we use to line the office budgerigar’s cage bottom with – so the people get all worried. That Attenborough bloke did a couple of documentaries about it, but I think we got away without letting too much out of the bag.

Anyway, lots of people have been getting quite wound up about global thingamy-wotsit, while at the same time our leader, you know, that Blair chap, decides we should have a good chat about energy. Lots of people were sending in ideas that were jolly serious, and certainly not what we wanted; so we ignored all that and wrote what we wanted. There were lovely things about banning standby switches and putting those spinny, windy things up (but not near my house in Chelsea, thank goodness – it might have dented the Bentley), so those greeny people could sleep safely in their beds. And while no-one was looking we sneaked something in about nuclear power; I think it was in the middle of chapter 5.

We know those greenies aren’t too clever, so they won’t notice that our pals in the nuclear industry have been trying to get those spinny, windy things banned, while banging on about the glorious atom. Look, you have to understand, we do really care; we want to stop those ice caps melting, because driving around Westminster would be hell if the Thames Barrier burst; but someone has to pay our wages. You don’t look a gift horse in the mouth – and the gifts that have been coming my way could buy my Susie a lovely horse – two, even.

I hope no-one finds out that those big boys in energy have been getting all the cream. They keep telling me to make sure Tony doesn’t mention energy efficiency too much, and God help me if those chaps in the CBI think we are trying to cut the amount of energy we use – it would be more than my job’s worth!

And for goodness sake don’t read this article – that Farnish bloke’s trouble. Wonder if we can extradite him…

Pinch Me

Seriously what is going on, first the pentagon decides to start following the law and has started to officially give all detainees Article 3 rights. You know you live in a crazy world when the big news of the day is that the government has started to follow the law.

The Bush administration called Tuesday for Congress to fix, rather than scrap, the system of military tribunals struck down by the Supreme Court last month, while the Pentagon pledged to treat detainees in accordance with the Geneva conventions as the court required.

But a key Republican senator warned that the administration was risking a “long, hot summer” if it pushed Congress to retain the tribunal system for the suspects now held at the detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, instead of working to adapt traditional military courts to meet the demands of the war on terror.

The new Pentagon policy, outlined in a memo released Tuesday, and the proposal for modifying military tribunals, outlined in testimony before a Senate panel, represent the administration’s most detailed response to the Supreme Court ruling, which declared that the tribunals were illegal. The court ruling contradicted President George W. Bush’s assertion that terror suspects were not entitled to protections under the Geneva conventions.

And then (pinch me) they are dropping there (no-bid) contracts with Halliburton because of suspected overcharging and fraud.

The Army is discontinuing a controversial multibillion-dollar deal with oil services giant Halliburton Co. to provide logistical support to U.S. troops worldwide.

The decision comes after several years of attacks by critics who saw the contract as a symbol of politically connected corporations profiteering on the Iraq war.

Under the deal, Halliburton had exclusive rights to provide the military with a wide range of work that included keeping troops around the globe fed, sheltered and in communication with friends and family back home.

Government audits turned up more than $1 billion in questionable costs.

Whistle-blowers said the company charged $45 a case for sodas, double-billed on meals and allowed troops to bathe in contaminated water.

Halliburton officials have strenuously denied the allegations.

Army officials Tuesday defended the company’s performance but acknowledged that reliance on a single contractor left the government vulnerable.

The Pentagon’s new plan will split the work among three companies, to be chosen this fall, and a fourth firm will monitor their performance.

Halliburton will be eligible to bid on the work.

Seriously whats going on, next you are going to tell me that the pentagon is recommending a time-line for troop withdrawal, and that the supreme court thinks George Bush broke the law with his treatment of detainees in Cuba.

Oh wait…