Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Upcoming War With Iran

Iran Page (Links To All Iran Posts Are Below)

As America continues its blind march towards yet another war, I am hoping that Americans will stand up and say no. This is what you get when you have extreme religious guided governments in the world, in this case, in Iran and in the United States. Both nuts believe that they are being guided and instructed by God.

The Peace Movement is basically non-existent. I'm hoping that the public will be able to stop it, but the American people have never stopped a war from taking place. Never...not one! The current President basically wrote off millions of people taking to the streets in 2002, 2003, and 2004, including in this country. The era of marching and protesting is over. It is no longer effective. In all this time (since Vietnam) the Peace movement has yet to build an infrastructure to be effective- Building major progressive T.V. and radio media to have alternative views heard, not educating the public, not building the right institutions, not making good strategy, not coordinating, not grooming & putting forth political candidates, not creating effective political parties, etc.

Here we are, very close to war once again. Americans seem to be drunk on war... bloodthirsty is a better way to describe it. Americans love war.... The entertainment value anyway. That's how Americans see it. The relationship that Americans have with war is through their televisions. Watching death and destruction via Fox & CNN, and enjoying it for the most part. The American population has been conditioned and militarized to accept war and to enjoy it. Yet, most of them are cowards, afraid to actually go to these war zones to fight or to send their children to go. It's always poor Americans who fight in these damn conflicts.

Few Americans ever stop to ask if these wars are in the country's best interest. Americans tend to lack critical thinking, and lack a healthy skepticism.

1. An attack on Iran will be a disaster, and will have unintended consequences. It could draw major powers into a war. China and Russia have extensive national interests in Iran.

2. But there are other reasons why this would be a disaster. For one, Iran is made up of 2/3 young people under the age of about 35 or so. Many appreciate American freedoms, and some aspects of American culture and they don't like their religious rulers. Attacking the country would be seen by these people as an attack against them, and we will lose the Iranian population. The U.S. did the same thing with the Iraqi people. The Iraqi people, in the 1980's and early 1990's were actually supporters of the United States. Over time, we turned the Iraqi people against us. We once had even stronger support in Iran...but in recent years we have lost some Iranians.

3. Another reason not to attack would be because international monitors who are there would be thrown out of Iran. This would take away any significant eyes and ears that we have there to keep us informed of the situation.

4. If the U.S. attacks, it must be willing to follow up with an invasion if necessary, and to occupy Iran... a country 3 times the size of Iraq, both in land and population. This is something that the U.S. & its allies are not really prepared to do, or are able to do.

5. Attacking Iran would be extremely costly and risky in too many ways. Iraq already has taxed the nations resources to the max.

6. Other allies will be unwilling to take any significant military action. The U.S. will find itself carrying most of the burden.

7. An air attack, which the U.S. is banking on, will not destroy all of Irans nuclear activities and equipment. Much of Irans nuclear program (which for the most part appears peaceful) is situated in underground facilities and Mountains. The U.S. could only knock out 50-60% of what is there. And that would only delay Iran. That means once they resume, they can build their systems faster because there will be no inspectors there. The attack would just delay an invasion that would have to come within a few years. Usually the rule is, if you can't knock out practically all of your enemies strategic sites, then you don't launch the attack, because you would be left in an even worse position later on. It's best to keep inspectors in the country and to keep up diplomatic pressure. Once you launch an attack, you lose support from Western friendly Iranians, and from other countries around the world. Again, once you launch an attack, there is no going back, and your country has to be willing to go all the way, from land invasion, up to the use of nuclear weapons.

8. Iran, has so far, not violated the NPT- the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty, despite pro-war news reports that suggest they are in violation.

Listen to a discussion on the Iranian issue.

This Public Radio discussion basically supports most of the concerns that I mention here.


Other Posts About Iran

Wing of Iranian Military Listed as Terrorist Organization by The White House, but this appears to be a setup for possible future military action. August 18th, 2007

Documentaries Provides a Glimpse Into Iranian Society, Posted July 29, 2007

Cheney Talks War May 14, 2007

U.S. & Iranian diplomats meet- March, 12, 2007

U.S. Ready To Launch Attacks On Iran - Feb, 20th, 2007.

More Information On Iran (Links From Think Progress). Even More U.S. Ships May Be Ordered To Persian Gulf (A Third Carrier Battle Group, Perhaps More).

NPR report

The U.S. Sends Navy Ships to Persian Gulf near Iran

Military options are very limited

Scott Ritter Discusses Possible U.S. Attack Against Iran

Iran Given Deadline

Earlier Report from Seymour Hersh

U.S. Moves Closer to an Attack on Iran

U.S. Seeking Confrontation

Most Democratic Presidential Candidates Also Support Possible War With Iran

White House Continues Campaign For War With Iran

Great Discussion On Iran

Commentary "War Is Coming"

Bush Administration Looking For Excuse To Attack Iran

Democrats Also Beating The War Drums

RIP Coretta Scott King

Passed away as I have been blogging this morning. Another great figure gone.

The perfect song from the King family's favorite singer

Americans Finally Starting To Understand Globalization- Too Late.

It amazes me that people seem surprised about major U.S. companies cutting thousands of U.S. jobs, mostly manufacturing jobs, and moving jobs elsewhere. Have Americans been living in a bubble for the past 10 years? They have had at least 10 years of warning.

American companies and industries in general don't know how to lead and be innovative anymore like they used to. In previous decades, America always led, whether it was in cars, computers, manufacturing, Commercial Airplane production, major engineering projects. You name it, and we usually led it.

Now, America is finding itself doing a lot more following or catching up with the rest of the world. People wonder why Ford, GM, & Chrysler are struggling? It is their business model for one thing. If American workers want to compete, such as with Ford, someone must have enough backbone to tell these autoworkers, and their Unions, that they will have to take a 20% pay cut (which would still leave them with a respectable wage btw). The average Ford worker is making in the 50's. Many are in the 60's. That represents a huge cost for a company already saddled by retirement and healthcare debt. If you go overseas, especially Asia, autoworkers are not making that kind of money and the companies overseas are not hampered by as much debt. They also make cars more efficiently. American car companies are also behind when it comes to making cars that people want to buy. First of all their products are lower quality in general. And their service stinks. That's been my experience with Chrysler (and I will never buy a Chrysler again). Taking care of the customer is nowhere in their vocabulary. The job of the service techs is strickly to save Chrysler money by avoiding fixing your vehicle.

Also, American car companies continue to build these gas guzzlers. They are trying to revive the mustle car concept when the rest of the market is going in a totally different direction. You have Hummer, The Magnum, and the list of SUV's and trucks is just too long to mention. Research in the area of alternative fuel vehicles, hybrids, hydrogen vehicles and electric cars is just not a focus for these companies, even at a time of tight gas supplies and high gas prices in the U.S. market. Meanwhile, European, and Asian car companies are innovating with new technology.
The U.S. will have to play catch up. The political reasons for this come from the big oil companies that are fighting against any vehicles that would require alternative fuels, because that would hurt their business. The more gas guzzlers are on the road, the more money they make. Members of both parties are in the pockets of the oil companies. So America will be behind for several years when it comes to vehicle innovation.

In Airplane manufacturing you have Europes Airbus running neck and neck with Boeing. If someone said 10 years ago that Boeing would be challenged by a formidable foreign airplane maker, you would have been labelled as a nut. But here we are...the U.S. is playing catch up.

Computers and other hardware and software can be made overseas more efficiently.
Steel is more expensive to make in the U.S. Clothing manufacturing is almost non-existent in the U.S. Just look at the appliances in your home & check where they were made... all made in China, Taiwan, The philippines, South Korea, Mexico, or some other foreign location.

Even in the area of engineering. We went from building the Hoover Dam, re-routing rivers, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge, massive highway and rail networks, massive airports, subway systems that were once the envy of the world, to today....not being able to build a levee system for one of our most important cities. The Dutch were able to basically save their entire country with the Delta Works Flood Control project (look it up), which includes a massive mechanical gate that blocks the monster North Sea. Yet, we can't build a levee to save a city from a gradual rise of water and a shallow lake that runs about 10 ft deep? Something has happened to our engineering capacity over the last 20 years. Delta Works Engineers from Europe are now consulting with officials in the U.S. about ideas for a flood protection program for New Orleans. I used to believe that if the Army Corps of Engineers couldn't do something, then it couldn't be done. But here we are. Most of the great modern engineers are from overseas. Most of the great mega engineering projects are taking place overseas... The Chinese Dams, the Brazilian Dam project, Delta Works, France with the largest bridge, Japan with all sorts of projects...including the island airport, and bridges of all kinds, Dubai's massive man made island project, the list goes on & on. The U.S. seems to do less and less of these big projects. In fact, we can't even maintain many of our existing roads. Just part of a larger trend of the U.S. falling behind.

One big problem that the U.S. will have in the next 10-20 years is the lack of engineers and technical people. The lack of science professionals, and the lack of inventors. There is a general lack of young Americans going into these kinds of fields. In fact, we are at or nearing dangerous levels. This is part of the current lack of development and innovation in the U.S. and will be a big problem for innovation in the future.

Here is a great Public Radio Discussion about Fords situation and American industry as a whole.

U.S. System Unsustainable

Dependence on foreign oil, high gas prices, U.S. not prepared for disasters, The country is basically broke with a record 8 trillion dollar debt that the nation won't be able to pay (soon won't be able to even pay the interest on it), an out of control foreign policy and a pro-war American public thirsting for the next U.S. attack, record trade deficits, terrorism on the rise, a weakening dollar, companies in the U.S. closing and taking jobs overseas for cheap labor, the increase in service jobs... all these things and more spell trouble for the United States.

Follow 3 audio discussions from the "On Point" & "The Connection" Public Radio programs.

Discussion 1.

Discussion 2.

Discussion 3.

RIP Gene McFadden 1949-2006

Another Soul music figure, Gene McFadden, entered Soul Heaven in the past few days.
McFadden made some great music over a 25 year period between the 1960’s and 1980’s.
Even if you are unfamiliar with the name (although McFadden & Whitehead were quite popular in Soul Music), you have probably heard the magical sound before…unless you are from planet Mars.
Here are 2, of several, great McFadden & Whitehead tracks.

Track 1.

Track 2.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Democrats to Gain In Mid-Term Elections?

I don't think so. I don't think that Democrats will gain much in the mid-term elections. The 2 party system (which is designed to create 1 party dictatorship), is just not condusive to real democracy.

The Democrats are too fractured, too weak, and have no pulpit to speak to America. They can't even take advantage of some of the biggest political corruption scandals in the country's history.
I always hear people say that the Democrats have no message. They actually do (when they can agree on something), but even then, the real problem is THEY HAVE NO WAY OF COMMUNICATING THEIR VISION TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC. Democrats can't seem to understand this. It is not whether they have a message or not... they do. It's just that they are not heard by the American people. Republicans/conservatives control much of the corporate media in this country, especially major news outlets. They also control talk radio, dominating about 80% of that industry. They have dozens of allies in the form of Republican T.V. and Radio personalities who are popular with the American people and who are able to spread the conservative message (more like slogans). Republicans have wrapped their messages into slogans and 10 second soundbites so that they can be easily understood by a public that rarely knows or understands the actual issues, and who are concerned with having someone simple who they can understand, and tend to be guided by a few social/wedge issues.

We see jobs going overseas, healthcare becoming harder to obtain because businesses are actually beginning to phase this benefit out of their employment packages, food pantries across the country are seeing an increased need, good jobs are vanishing, middle class America is beginning to feel the pinch, private property rights are being infringed, the nation is basically broke with an 8 trillion debt that it can never repay which will lead to economic crisis within the next decade or two, America is behind in science- technology- innovation- and engineering, we are dependent on foreign oil, there's a growing distrust in government with all the corruption....and more..and that's before we get to the issue of Iraq and the out of control American foreign policy which is fueling terrorism, creating more tension and more enemies around the world and bankrupting the nation....
Yet in light of all this, Americans- particularly rural and southern Americans- continue to vote against their own interests, and vote on slogans and wedge issues and so-called religious convictions...taking food from their own tables (literally). Lack of education is a bitch!!!

And Democrats are in trouble in 2008 as well. 2008 will not be much of an election. Just another ceremony that Americans participate in every few years without much substance, creating the image to the world that the U.S. is a democracy, when it is not. 2008, by all accounts, should be an easy victory for Republicans and candidates like John McCain, who is heavily favored to get the Republican nomination.

Democrats are in big trouble...have been for over a decade now. If Hillary Clinton and Mark Warner are the best candidates that Democrats can find (My God!!!)...then they should quit right now. They would be better off saving the campaign money to help fix their broken and weak political party. Democrats..here is a clue: Create some major corporate T.V. and Radio networks to get out your message. This is key.... not only for Democrats..but Progressives, the Peace Community, the Disinfranchised voters of this country, Independents, political reformers, and angry Democrats. That has to be one of the first steps. You can have the best message in the world, but if you have no pulpit (media of your own, or controlled by your allies) then you won't be able to communicate your vision to the American people. Republicans figured this out years ago. They began building their talk radio and T.V. networks several years ago and that is what led to their rise in Congress under Bill Clinton. Today, they dominate the media because their allies own it and they have 75% of the pundits, talk show hosts, and analysts who dominate the airwaves today. Until that time, Democrats won't make any significant long lasting gains.

I agree with the commentators on this panel who say that Democrats don't have much of a chance to make any significant gains in the 2006 mid term congressional elections later this year.

Is The American Dream Possible For Most People Anymore?

Or is this just a Fairy Tale?

2 good discussions about how hard it is to be a working American trying to live on today's wages, and how hard it is just to survive. Barbara Ehrenreich is included in the discussion. She discusses here experiences working undercover in low wage America and what she learned from talking to those who are struggling everyday.

Her previous book on the subject was called "Nickel & Dimed" which covered her experiences as a blue collar worker.

Her latest book is called "Bait & Switch" and talks about the struggles of White Collar America.

Discussion 1 "Nickel & Dimed" (Blue Collar America) & Discussion 2 "Bait & Switch: The Futile Pursuit of the American Dream".

Discussion About Need For Living Wages

Ed Gordon of NPR discusses the growth of poverty and need for a living wage. Interesting debate at a time when the gap between rich/poor is widening. Also, during a time of layoffs, good jobs being harder to find, jobs being taken overseas due to the pressures of globalization, lack of decent affordable healthcare & housing, etc.

And it's interesting that last year, the Congress voted against a minimum wage increase (twice) but just weeks later, they voted to give themselves a cost of living increase. AND THE AMERICAN PUBLIC (AS USUAL) DID NOTHING ABOUT IT.

(short discussions)
Discussion 1 & discussion 2

Also, check out NPR's "Hunger series" and "Low Wage America" series. Both very good.

"On Point" Discussion about poverty. Another called "Invisible America".

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Where Do I Stand On The Issues?

Where Do I Stand on the Issues? (Along with my grades for the Government in each category).

On some issues I tend to be a little more Conservative, while on others I am a little more Progressive. Sometimes it all depends on the circumstances of a particular situation. That’s the beauty of being an independent. No one (& no political Party) can tell me how to think. I tend to end up in the Middle on some issues as well…. I am usually driven by what is most logical and practical to solve a problem…. I am not driven by blind religious and political emotionalism… like many people are on the Right (Conservatives), and on the Left (Liberals). When we rely on that, we often end up with irrational thought processes which lead to irrational, useless policies that turn into failures.

Abortion -my grade for the Government: C+

-I personally don’t like it!

I would rather see people be more responsible and see prevention programs be more effective. Adoption is also an option. However, while I don’t personally like abortion (& hate discussing the ugly subject) I do not believe in anti-abortion laws. This is a matter that should not be legislated. I defer to logic & medical science on this issue (& others).

No laws should be established that would interfere with a woman’s ability and right to choose or a Doctors ability to do his/her job. Doctors must do what is necessary to protect the life of the woman & provide options in cases of rape or incest.

Then there is the issue of illegal abortions. If abortion is made illegal, it will not stop abortions from taking place. It will only stop abortions from taking place under the safety & care of properly licensed medical professionals. This would cause yet another health crisis. There would be a rash of illegal abortions under unsafe conditions (as was the case once before in this country).

Abortion is a touchy subject best left to women and their families. Government should stay out of these most private matters.

The Death Penalty -my grade for the Government: C

-While in College I constantly went back and forth on this issue. I researched the subject until exhaustion.

I generally do not believe in the death penalty as it is used today. This is due to problems with the legal system that lead to the disproportionate use of the death penalty against the poor (those who can’t afford good legal representation) and against minorities.

A. Blacks who offend non-blacks are generally more likely to receive the death penalty.

B. The poor are also more likely to receive this punishment due to poor legal representation by the public defender system. Public defender offices in States across the country are understaffed & underfunded, and attorneys are overworked & underpaid. They are more concerned with managing the workload (encouraging offenders to plead guilty….even when they want to fight charges and maintain their innocence), and are less concerned with providing proper legal defense.

C. Too many death row inmates & rape suspects have been cleared of their crimes years later. This shows that the system has serious flaws.

D. The demonization of Black Americans (Black men in particular) has worsened the problem of fairness in the legal process.

With that said, I would support the death penalty in certain circumstances- For mass killings (Oklahoma City Bombing for example), cases where both the witness information and DNA are solid, in cases involving children & in cases with other mitigating circumstances.

But one key fact that people should know about the death penalty is that one of the main reasons that it was conceived was for the purpose of deterrence. However, there has never been solid, widespread and consistent evidence that the death penalty has been an effective deterrent to murder.

Energy- my grade for the Government: D-

-The U.S. should lead the world by innovating new energy systems. The U.S. has lost much of its edge when it comes to innovation. We used to lead the world in creating and developing new technologies.

The U.S. must break its dependence on foreign energy (oil) as soon as possible. This is especially the case for oil that comes from hostile parts of the world. This could be done in 15-20 years if we start now with massive New Deal/Manhattan type energy projects.
Energy from Hydrogen, Ethanol, Methanol, Solar, electric cells are all realistic alternatives to oil based fuels. The U.S. just lacks the political will to make it happen.
As long as we have a government that is allied to/and owned & controlled by the multi-billion dollar oil industry, energy independence will never become a reality.

U.S. politicians have been rolling the dice with this national security issue, putting their personal interests ahead of the best interests of the United States.

Affirmative Action- my grade for the Government: B-

I only support certain kinds of affirmative action.

Affirmative action to help people get access to education= YES!
Affirmative action to help minority companies that are systematically locked out of certain industries due to laws that are crafted to create unfair barriers to entry= YES! There is no problem with them getting help in the form of an initial boost to gain access to the market….so they can compete.

But I don’t support quotas in terms of employment. However, I DO support outreach- making sure qualified minorities and women get interviewed and get a fair shake. I am all for that! But hiring should be based more on merit, not race or sex alone.

And in terms of education grants- it should be based more on economic need, not just on skin color IMO.

If people see us as just filling a quota then that doesn’t do us any good at all. I wouldn’t want to be looked at that way. I think most Black Americans would agree. As James Brown would say… “I don’t want nobody to give me nothing’, Just open up the door and I’ll get it myself”.

However, there are certain cases where legal/court intervention may be needed to break down clear cut, obvious racial barriers. The courts should look at these issues on a case by case basis.

If you have a company with 500+ people & there are no Black workers in management, and few (or no) Black staff, and the Black % of the population of the particular area is not being reflected in the numbers of people being interviewed and given a chance to work…. Then there is probably something shady going on. The courts should remedy these situations. But arbitrary numbers or quotas should not be set.

Military/Foreign Policy- my grade for the Government: F

- I believe in a strong defense. The U.S. must maintain a powerful military. Perhaps even stronger than what we have today. However, the U.S. should be much more responsible with how it uses its military power.

Too often the U.S. military is not really used to defend our country. It is used to fight for the economic interests of elites.

The U.S. is losing its status as a great power because it relies too heavily on its military to solve all of its problems & differences around the world.

A great power or “Superpower” needs to have 4 things (simultaneously) to maintain this status:

1. Moral legitimacy
2. Economic Power/industrial might/innovation
3. Diplomatic power & skill. It must have good relationships around the world.
4. Military Power

The U.S. has lost #1. It doesn’t use #3 effectively or sincerely (if at all). And it is quickly losing #2. This leaves the U.S. with just #4.

Other countries used to want to follow us on their own based on the U.S. being strong in all 4 areas. They wanted to be on the side of the good guys. Now they just follow us often out of fear of #4. Now the U.S. finds itself twisting arms & influencing countries at gunpoint, figuritively speaking. A “Superpower” can’t last for very long under these circumstances.

This over-reliance on projecting military power around the world is causing us great harm IMO. The U.S. should avoid playing the role of the Worlds Police Force.

I believe in having a strong military that would be ready God forbid if we need to use it if we are directly attacked.

The U.S. military should also focus more on providing disaster relief, in the U.S. and around the world. This would allow the U.S. military to provide life, rather than just facilitating death. This would turn the U.S. military into a symbol of hope for people around the world rather than a symbol of invasion, destruction, or occupation. This would also provide the U.S. military with vital training and experience with dealing with disasters…. The “good guys” should be just as famous for their ability to make emergency tents, provide emergency food, water and medicine as they are for their killing ability. This would also translate into better relations around the world.

I also believe that the U.S. should reduce & limit all of its ridiculous defense treaty obligations. We have far too many defense treaties already. In addition, the U.S. has about 700 military bases around the world in over 100 countries. The U.S. military is overstretched, and many of the defense treaties are not necessary. Also, most of these treaties are not reciprocal…they do nothing for the U.S. while providing a lot to the other party. We must move to a "U.S. (& closest allies) first strategy"…rather than a world police officer strategy. This is now a multi-polar world and we must adjust and find our place within that reality.

I also support the idea of a sharp reduction of nuclear weapons- in the U.S. and in other nations around the world.

Economy- my grade for the Government: D

I believe in more responsible spending, and more accountability regarding how tax money is spent.

The debt & yearly deficits are out of control & should be brought down as soon as possible. The U.S. has created a debt that is nearly impossible to pay down. To make matters worse, we have foreign countries (some not so friendly to the U.S.) who are managing U.S. debt…. Yet another way that the U.S. has made itself a hostage to other nations. As if that’s not bad enough, soon the interest alone on the debt will be too high to pay…. Putting the economy at risk.

Furthermore, the U.S. government should work to keep this country competitive with the rest of the world through better educational programs, encouraging more technological innovation & preparing the country for a more global economy.

The U.S. also needs to get away from the service based economy & create more jobs for Americans that can build/sustain families and support economic growth. Currently there are not enough good paying steady jobs being created to keep up with the number of college graduates entering the job market. Soon this will become a serious problem (in some parts of the country it already is).

In order to accomplish this, the U.S. needs a strategic plan that would radically change the current economic & employment situation.

Healthcare- my grade for the Government: D-

There should be a national health insurance system, especially for those who are uninsured or underinsured by their employers health plans.

With all of the outrageous wasteful spending on wars, and pork projects, America can definitely afford to invest in its people. A nation that doesn’t invest in its people (education, healthcare, safety, etc) will suffer in the long run.

The U.S. must also increase its medical capacity. Currently hospitals in most big cities operate at peak capacity under normal conditions. This means that they do not have the manpower, the facilities or the equipment to effectively deal with disasters.

Immigration- my grade for the Government: F

I believe in controlled immigration and responsible immigration. I am against illegal immigration.
I see immigration as more of a national security issue. Most politicians in Washington (especially Republicans) have used the immigration issue & the terrorism issue as a cover to express their fears of a certain race of people. They are not really concerned about terrorism at all. That’s not my angle. These politicians (mostly White Conservatives) are so horrified about the Caucasian race losing influence, that they have become totally irrational at this point. It’s really comical to see them foam at the mouth over this issue. They have become completely paranoid.

We are attacking and occupying countries overseas under the banner of fighting terrorism, yet we are leaving our back door open here at home (and in some cases, the front door as well). What do I mean by stating that the front door is open? Well, most of the 9/11 hijackers came into the U.S. through the legitimate Visa programs that were in place (and that are still in place today). We facilitated their legal entry into the U.S. They didn’t run across an open border from Mexico. Almost none of the loopholes that were exploited on 9/11 in terms of immigration policy have been corrected. This is why I believe that the immigration issue is not just about Mexicans coming over an open Southern border. The issue should also be about reforming the immigration system and policies that dictate who is allowed into the country, how long they can stay, and under what circumstances, etc. If the politicians were really concerned about national security, they would fix the policy problems of the immigration system, and not just call for a fence on the Southern border (although I do support the idea of a fence).

I do agree that the Southern border should be better secured. Would you go and prop your front door open before you go to bed tonight? Think about that for a second. Of course you wouldn’t. And you definitely wouldn’t do that if you have very serious problems with some neighbors (other countries in the world). It’s a disgrace that the borders have not been secured after all this time. We should have had troops on the border on September 12, 2001. FACT: The U.S. has more troops protecting foreign borders than it does protecting its own. Disgraceful! And that Republican ploy to put troops on the border was a public relations stunt. It flopped. Most of the American people saw right through that nonsense. Those troops cannot carry weapons, have no orders to defend the border against the violent drug gangs, cannot pursue illegal aliens and cannot defend themselves or the border patrol. They are there so that the media can take pictures of them being on the border…

Common sense says that you protect your territory. Of course you don’t go to bed at night with your front door open. What do you usually do instead? You check to make sure the doors to your home are closed and locked before you go to sleep at night (and if you have an alarm system….you set that too). Common sense!

Our intel reports have told us that extremists have either considered or tried to enter the country through Mexico.

Now my idea of border security would not be a political attack against Mexicans…. The vast majority of whom are honest, hardworking, struggling people seeking a better life. I believe in some sort of guest worker program…with participants who have been vetted, have no serious criminal histories, and have a sponsoring company or organization in the U.S.

We should not allow felons or gang members or drug traffickers into the country. Those individuals who want to work should be given the chance to do so, if they play by the rules. They must not overstay visas, must stay out of serious trouble, must pay taxes, etc.

This would allow the Border Patrol to concentrate on more serious national threats. I don’t see this as amnesty… I see this as being realistic, logical and practical. Racist conservatives want to deport all aliens that are here currently…etc. This is nonsense. It can’t happen and will not happen. First of all…that would kill the whole plan to begin with. If they are threatened with deportation, they will not come out of the shadows voluntarily (which is the whole point of immigration reform). Also, this idea of deportation is simply not practical. ICE and Homeland Security do not have enough staff to accomplish this.

We also must build a fence (even though that wouldn’t prevent illegal immigration…it would at least help).

In addition, we need more Border Agents, more funding and more troops (real troops) on the border to assist the Border Patrol.

ID requirements must also be strengthened. Currently for certain countries in Europe and the Western Hemisphere, no Visa is required at all to enter the U.S.. Most Americans are not aware of these loopholes. They are told everyday that the government is doing things to make them safe, but it’s an illusion.

The U.S. must also assist Mexico with improving their own economy, and improving working conditions in their own country so that fewer Mexicans will want to cross the border illegally.

The U.S. must also pressure the Mexican government to put forth more of an effort to prevent illegal immigration and to prevent problems at the border between officials of the two governments.

Terrorism- my grade for the Government: D-

-The pro-war U.S. approach to fighting terrorism is not working & can never work. It is actually having the opposite affect- as I predicted it would.

You cannot defeat terrorism with tanks, warplanes, aircraft carriers & thousands of troops. Armies cannot destroy an ideology.

The U.S. is so used to relying on its military to solve many of its problems around the world that it really doesn’t know how to react to terrorism.

Should the military be an option? Perhaps it should. But military power should not be the main tool for fighting terrorism (as it is today).

The U.S. must instead rely on more creative & more effective means to fight terrorism.
Such as:

1. Radically strengthening (legally) law enforcement and intelligence- both within the U.S. & overseas by improving cooperation around the world. The U.S. should also use more human intelligence.

2. Improving cultural exchange between the U.S. and the Muslim world.

3. Work harder to solve the Israel/Palestinian issue. The U.S. should be more even handed when dealing with Israel. The unconditional U.S. support for Israel has been harmful to the U.S.- killing U.S. moral legitimacy and the U.S. image around the world.

4. Improving education for people in the U.S. and for citizens in the Muslim world. This should work towards improving understanding about other cultures. These things will take away some of the fuel that drives terrorism. Young people who have been educated (fairly and impartially) about the outside world and have been exposed to people of other countries will be less likely to fall for the message from religious extremism and will be less likely to become Jihadists or terrorists themselves.

5. Fight religious radicalism around the world (of all kinds)….including within the U.S.

6. Do more to improve the economic and social conditions in the Muslim world.

7. Utilize diplomacy to strengthen ties with other nations (ending the John Wayne approach…or at least moderating it significantly).

8. Improving the U.S. image around the world. Make the U.S. the “good guys” again , inspiring other nations to want to be by our side on their own rather than at gunpoint.

9. Put real Homeland Security in place in the U.S. to make it harder for terrorists to strike. This includes fixing vulnerabilities in the U.S. immigration system.

Political Reform/Democracy- my grade for the Government: F

I don’t really consider the U.S. to be a true Democracy. I know U.S. politicians are always beating their chests, proclaiming that the U.S. is the greatest Democracy in the world…but that’s not really true at all.

I have no confidence at all in the American political system. This is basically why I don’t vote. (& probably never will). By voting I would only be going along with (& contributing to) the charade. The whole voting system itself is a sham. European observers of the 2004 U.S. Presidential election were shocked at the lack of Democracy in the U.S. They were surprised to see the lack of choice and to see that the voting process was seriously flawed & controlled by partisans. They did not expect to see that in “The Greatest Democracy”. I encourage you to read the OSCE report, which can be found online. It was one of the few times where the U.S. voting system was judged objectively by a fresh set of eyes (outsiders). They likened much of our voting system to that of third world countries and suggested that the U.S. had a lot of work to do to meet certain basic standards. Originally the UN wanted to monitor the vote, but the U.S. government refused…. Allowing the OSCE (a respected governmental body in Europe) to do it instead, hoping for a friendlier assessment from them.

The two national political parties are like the Demon and the Devil to me. Or a snake with two heads. Both Parties are in the pockets of corporate elites, Both Parties lie to you, both Parties= the pro-war Party, both Parties are out of touch with the average working American, and both Parties work against Americas best interests for their own gain.

Every two years, Americans go through this ritual that makes them believe that they are really taking part in a Democratic process. Since Americans know so little about the rest of the world and about other political systems, they have little to no frame of reference to compare their system to others. Therefore, it becomes easy for them to swallow the notion that they have a great “Democratic process”.

Election after election, Americans are left with two bad choices. They must choose the lesser of two evils. Two Parties cannot possibly represent all the views and interests of 300 million people. I recall a discussion once where I informed someone that I was an independent. I was accused of languishing “on the fence”. That comment wrongly suggests that there are only two opinions & two political philosophies. It assumes that you have to choose one side other the other…there is no third opinion or independent viewpoint. This is the sad line of thought that the wing nuts are poisoning the country with.

India has 7 major political Parties (& dozens of smaller ones)

Germany has 5 major political Parties

Britain has 3 major political Parties

France has 8 major political Parties

Canada has 3 major political Parties

Spain has at least 6 major Parties

Norway has at least 6 major Parties

Denmark has 7

In fact, most major Democracies around the world have more than 2 major political Parties. Even Iraq has over 50 different active Parties. The U.S. is one of the few “Democracies” with just two major political Parties. The U.S. consistently ranks low among Democracies in the world in terms of voter choice, voter participation, etc.

The U.S. basically has a dictatorship of sorts that has a rotating seat between these two Parties that are often seen cozying together.

The U.S. needs a 3rd and 4th political Party represented in its government. It’s time for new Parties, new leadership, and a new vision to emerge.

And consider the way that political leaders are chosen in the U.S.
Politicians are elected based primarily on 5 things today:

1. The Media- The mass media determines who the "favorite" is by telling the American public who they should vote for and who is the most Presidential and photogenic. Whoever looks the best in a cowboy hat is often considered the best person for the most important job in the World. Go figure.

2. Fear

3. Religious Emotionalism

4. Money- Who can throw the most money into a campaign.

5. Who is Controlling the Election- As mentioned above, elections are controlled by Partisan election officials and politicians, not by impartial & independent judges.

The vote of the average citizen has only a small role (if any) in determining who is elected.
Often the most qualified candidate is not the person who wins an election.

Furthermore, the corruption in government is out of control. Both parties are controlled (& owned) by lobbyists who work for large corporations. Read about the history of a place in Washington D.C. called K Street, if you are not familiar with it. The lobbyists who work for the private corporations are actually responsible for writing much of the legislation that we see today.

There should be reform that would prevent politicians from receiving corporate money or gifts of any kind.
Politicians should be required to have the same campaign budgets, funded with public money, as well as some private donations. This would establish an even playing field for candidates.

The whole idea of “lobbying” was originally about the common U.S. citizen being able to have access to their elected officials in Washington D.C., to petition them, etc. However, over the past few decades this has been hijacked by big money lobbyists who work for the richest corporations in the country. Members of Congress are basically bought off by these entities. At the same time, the Congress has completely lost touch with the needs of people, and lost touch with its original purpose. Today, the average citizen has no access to the U.S. Congress….not even to their own elected officials. The only way that you can even get a chance to get access to your member of Congress is if you go to a $2000.00 per plate dinner (fundraiser) wasting lots of your money in the process. And even then, there is still only a small chance that you would get 30 seconds with your member of Congress.

Both parties also work together to prevent other parties from competing or even emerging to threaten the status quo. One example of this is the way that both parties fight to keep third parties out of the official debates (for Senate and for President). In order to block third & fourth Parties from Presidential debates, they (both Parties) established a shadowy organization called the Commission for Presidential Debates, which lays the ground rules for debates. The real purpose seems to be to create barriers for other candidates, preventing other Parties from participating fully in this so called “Democratic” process. Third Party candidates are routinely blocked from public debates.

Americans should also be allowed to have referendum power, to vote on issues of national importance. True Democracies allow their citizens to vote on national issues. Since the U.S. Congress is not doing its job (oversight), then the people should be given the power to do it.

I also believe that there should be one standard for major elections- Senate and Presidential. Currently, there are 50 separate and unequal elections…. Each State has its own standards, own rules, and its own equipment. This does not create confidence in the system.

I also believe that the attorney general of the U.S. should be a nationally elected figure, approved and monitored by Congress….rather than selected by the executive branch. The Justice Department must be independent. The current situation allows the Party in power (Democrat or Republican) to get away with all sorts of corruption and crimes without much accountability. An independent Justice Department would bring about more honesty in government. One rule that I would suggest is that Attorney Generals should not belong to any political Party…should not accept donations, etc. They should be voted into office with a national election (the same time that the President is chosen) and they should campaign with the same budgets.

Lastly, gerrymandering should be made illegal. This has killed Democracy. This has led to a situation where only about 20% of Congressional races are competitive. The other 80% of the seats are considered “safe seats” for the incumbent Party. That’s not Democracy.

But despite my dislike of both major Parties, and dispite my dislike of the political system, I would much rather see the lesser of the two evils in power. Riding the Donkey is better than being smothered by the Elephant in my opinion. But new Parties (national Parties) are desperately needed in Washington D.C.
The U.S. won't have anything close to a true Democracy until that day comes when there are more than two Parties in Washington.

Homeland Security (to be added soon)

What Life Is Like For Troops In Iraq

Here are a couple of good documentaries and photos showing what is really happening on the ground in Iraq. These are videos and photos that you won't see in Americas sanitized corporate news. Some of the photos are disturbing, but it's important for Americans to see what is actually happening. Americans need to see what their government is doing with their tax money and in their name.
(Best to use the RealPlayer option to view the videos)
The first documentary is called "A Company of Soldiers". One part of this documentary that really caught my attention was the Sgt. from Georgia in Chapter one who indicated that he was upset about people protesting here at home. He was automatically under the belief that the war in Iraq was somehow a war fighting for his country or defending his country. Secondly, if you notice, he was under the mistaken belief that the protesters were protesting the soldiers, rather than the policy. In his mind, he did not understand the difference between support for the troops and protesting the policy. This seems to be the case for a lot of soldiers there. What is the reason for this? I can tell the reason. The reason primarily has to do with a T.V. and radio news media dominated overwhelmingly by pro-war conservatives. These pro-war conservative talk show hosts and politicians (most of whom have never served in combat) have been able to dominate the debate and have tricked Americans by saying that anyone protesting the war, or the President doesn't support the troops. That message has been able to resonate because they control so much of the media, including about 80-90% of radio talk stations. Rush Limbaugh alone is syndicated around the world on about 600 outlets. Limbaugh and several other Conservative radio shows and news writers are piped into Iraq and to the Soldiers via Armed Forced Radio. Of course this brainwashing of our soldiers is done at taxpayer expense. Any middle of the road, independent, or more liberal opinions are typically blocked from reaching U.S. soldiers or their families in far flung bases. They tend to be conservatives anyway, but there should still be alternative views available. If other opinions are allowed they are usually allowed on a small token basis.

This next video is called "A Soldiers Heart".

Recent photos:
December 2005

Video of American contractors randomly shooting at civilians, November 2005.

Photos from October 2005

See additional recent photos here, and also here.

Here are a few peaceful photos of the Iraqi people when bombs are not going off or when someone is not being shot, cut, raped or kidnapped. More here.

And here are photos from 2003 and 2004, the early portion of the conflict that the government called operation “Iraqi Freedom”, a “shock and awe” campaign that would liberate the Iraqi people. Just start at page 1 and work your way through. Photos that many Americans did not get to see.

There are several more locations on the internet where you can find real uncencored photos that the corporate T.V. news, and the American newspapers won't show. Most won't even show the flagged draped American coffins returning home, because they have been ordered not to by the government (a government concerned about keeping public opinion in favor of the war, and more wars to come). In China, the old Soviet Union, and a few other countries, Americans call that a State Run media system. Yet, we have the same thing right here in the United States.

Interesting Documentaries About Katrina Disaster

Two very insightful documentaries about the Katrina Disaster.
Also includes written interviews of key officials.
PBS makes great documentaries. This one is called “The Storm” and can be viewed online in 5 parts.
The next documentary is from the PBS Nova series and it covers the disaster more from a technical perspective. It’s broken into 6 sections. "The Storm That Drowned A City".

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

What Am I Up To

If I have not mentioned it already...

I am in the middle of a manuscript discussing my feelings about government corruption, foreign policy, the fact that the country is no democracy, and how to change it. It will cover many of the themes that I write about here. I don't expect it to be published, but I will try anyway. I already have a great title (won't release that yet). It will be a 6-7 chapter Op Ed book, with a lot of emphasis on solutions/A plan for action, etc. It started out as something to just vent, but I realized that I couldn't just complain without offering solutions. Solutions and a plan were the things that I really had in mind anyway, underneath the need to vent. So I hope it can be a functional book. I actually started it in early 2004. But because of school obligations and work, it got pushed back. Also, things are changing so rapidly that it caused me to make too many changes, and it got confusing by the time I got started again. It's interesting that many of the things occuring today and that will happen in the near future, i had predicted would happen over a year and a half ago- The oil crunch (dependence of foreign oil), Iran, Syria, Democrats continuing to slump, corruption so bad that it had to boil to the surface eventually, all about k-street, and to some extent the re-election of G.W. Bush...if you can really call it an election...more like a staged event in my opinion, which is what U.S. elections have really deteriorated to over the last few decades.

I will occasionally take themes and pages from the book to enter here and vice versa.

About Me:

I don't consider myself to be an intellectual. I'm more of a visionary. I have a long view about how things should be for the future in general. How democratic institutions, infrastructure, and general frameworks should be put in place so that in the future, ordinary people can make change. I just lay out the basic plan & framework for getting to where we need to be, and let the intellectuals among us worry about the particulars.

I came from a military family and I think that had a lot to do with shaping my view of the world. Being able to live in different places in the U.S. and overseas growing up, I have a little bit of a different perspective. When I was in Europe as a young man with just one T.V. Channel, I learned quickly how to pick up the newspapers and catch up on the issues. That was in the 1980's & it stuck with me. Could you imagine a kid in todays world being told that there would be only one T.V. channel? They would go bonkers. There is no such culture in the U.S. right now that teaches kids to read the newspaper, watch the news, learn the issues or anything of the sort. This is why American youth are in such bad shape when it comes to knowledge of the issues and having information about the world.

People who help shape my thinking:

First of all, I am an independent thinker who takes a little bit from the philosophy of a few others. But most of my ideas are my own. I don't follow any particular individual to the extent where I believe in everything that they believe in. I disagree with many of the people that I appreciate, on a variety of issues.

But as far as people who I get ideas from and appreciate their spirit:

(In no particular order)

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Cornel West

My Father

Dr. Noam Chomsky

Robert Nesta Marley

Amy Goodman

Carlton Ridenhour


W.E.B. Dubois

Ossie Davis

Stephen Bantu Biko

Fanny Lou Hammer

Adam Clayton Powell

Nelson Mandela

Michael Parenti

And there are others who I can't think of at the moment. Don't be fooled by the leftness of that list. I also appreciate some more conservative thinkers. Many of my views are more toward the conservative end of the dial. It just depends on the issue. That's the beauty of being an independent, free thinker. No one can really put me into a box and describe my thinking in just one word "liberal"... "conservative"..."democrat", etc, etc, etc... because none of that describes me. I think most of us are more complicated than that... but in this age of cliches and dumbed-down news, these labels tend to easily pop up. But i'd like to think that i'm more in the middle.

There are many independents in this country, often outnumbering Republicans or Democrats. Yet we have no representation. If independents, frustrated democrats and disinfranchised people in this country formed a political party, it would rival the size of the other two parties. We really need 4-5 major political parties in this country. Something that I also talk about in my writings. 300 million people could not possibly be represented by 2 parties and have their best interests served. Based on voting options, and the number of political parties vs. population size, the U.S. is the least democratic of all major so-called "free" nations in the world. In fact, most smaller "free" countries have many more political parties on the national level representing their populations, which are often but a small fraction of the U.S. population. Even Iraq has numerous choices- 200 voting options, (and that's 200 political parties which is even more impressive). Maybe it's just me, but I find it very ironic that our troops are dying in Iraq, fighting so that Iraqis can vote and have 200 options for their elections, yet those American soldiers who are bleeding don't have such voting options here at home. That's incredible to me. Dying for democracy overseas when they don't have it here at home.

Bush Says He Doesn't Recall Ever Meeting Abramoff

Several sources say otherwise. Looks like Bush has been caught in more lies. These guys tell so many lies that they are now having trouble keeping up.

Bush met with Abramoff on numerous occasions and Abramoff has a long, well known history with Bush and his Republican allies in Congress.

According to this May 2005 USA today report, Abramoff was well known to Bush.

The most recent reports by TIME magazine, say that Bush was pictured with Abramoff at least 5 times. Apparently the Bush administration has threatened Time Magazine not to release the photos. Sounds a lot more like China or the Soviet Union than a "Democracy" with a free press.

ABC Report on latest lie.

Friday, January 20, 2006

RIP Wilson Pickett

Another great music legend gone... Soul Heaven has been busy lately.

More Stupidity From Black Democrats

Does it ever cease?
This is why Democrats have practically lost the White American vote, particularly in the Midwest and the South. They won't be getting that back anytime soon with these antics. Even if a Democrat is the better candidate, whites don't vote for them in large numbers in these parts of the country, just for the fact that they are associated with black politicians like C. Ray Nagin. The same could be said for white Democratic politicians friendly to black people period... certainly part of it is racism...meaning that many Southern, and Midwestern whites would not vote for a Democrat at all no matter how good of a candidate they are, just because Democrats are seen as friendly to Blacks. But it doesn't help when people like Nagin run off at the mouth with their nonsense. It loses the support and the vote from those White Americans from the South, and Midwest who might be on the fence about voting for a Democrat.

"A Chocolate City"? Obviously this man doesn't know the history of his own city. I know it fairly well. New Orleans was one of Americas first true "Melting Pots". One of the most diverse cities in the history of this country. Its diversity is an inseparable part of its history. It is what made New Orleans into what it became. Does he not realize that as the Mayor of a major city he represents all of his citizens?

Attention Ray Nagin: Please Hire a Professional Spokesperson.

U.S.A.: The Religious State

Recent polls collected by Polling Report support what I already knew. The frightening poll results suggest that the U.S. is bordering on being a Theocracy. It is already run as such. I'll come out and say it- This country is in my opinion a Religious State. This helps to explain why Red State America votes against its own physical, practical, security, and economic best interests when they vote for Conservative Republicans. Most blind American voting is driven by so called religious convictions. One-issue voters. And there is no signs that this trend will wane anytime soon. The opposite seems to be the case. It's going to be a growing issue in the months and years to come.
This is why democrats cannot win, and will not win major elections anytime soon. The Nation is very much under the influence of the Religious Right and it’s allies in business, government and the media. This is why, even with Republicans in trouble with scandal after scandal, Democrats can't really take advantage.
But I want to know this, where in the hell are the great Progressive religious thinkers, preachers and teachers? I know they exist, so why have they not stepped up? I realize it is hard when the Right Wing Conservative Revolution controls most mass media in this country. But there are still a few outlets that would allow them into a debate. Give these flag waving, blind following, bible toting, pro-war people what they want- A debate in their arena- A debate based on religious principles. I beg for a time in this country where we could have such a public discourse, because I am 150% certain that Right Wing Conservatives would lose such a debate. Most of what these people do contradicts their own so called religious teachings. Or do they not read their bibles? A better question might be, can they even read at all? LOL I was once a student of the great book, and know it fairly well. It has been many years since I studied vigorously, but because of all the Right Wing religious justification for the things that they do, and for all the references to God and evil in the name of the Lord, I am getting back into this great book. Such a debate would reveal these people as the nuts and frauds that they really are.
I can't ask enough...Where are the damn Progressive Religious Politicians, Preachers, teachers, commentators, musicians, and so forth? Let's start quoting the book!!!! Tell the people to grab their bibles, turn to the chapter/verse and read along with you as you review the scriptures, and then make these Pat Robertson supporting nut jobs and crooks, look like fools when you reveal all the contradictions. So far, no Progressive politicians have the balls to do it. No reporters or commentators have the balls to do it, none of our religious scholars have the balls, and none of the preachers have the balls to do it (except for a few that I know of, but I won’t mention them here). And those that do have the balls, like those I eluded to, CNN, FOX, and all the rest in the U.S. State Run Media system seem to be absent on that day, unable and unwilling to cover them.
I say that Conservatives would lose such a fight, because the bible is actually more aligned with Progressive, Moderate values (Traditional FDR, 'New Deal' values), than it is with Right Wing Republican (Corporate America) values.

NPR has a good story about what the Right Wing political establishment is up to in terms of linking religion with their political activity. Until courageous Independents and Democrats (although I hate Democrats) match what the RepubliCONS have been doing, by using religion for political gain and manipulating Americans, then Independents and Democrats might as well stop now and leave the country. Because nothing much will change until that time when, as a group, they take that brave step. The NPR story can be heard via audio here.

Now They Want A Peek At Your Internet Searches?

Now the government wants to peek at what people are searching for over the internet. This is on top of the spying on Americans that they had to admit to a few weeks ago. Everyday seems like the Twilight Zone under this government. We are no longer in the United States of America as I once knew it. It is no longer the same country with the same principles that it had just 10 years ago. And it’s beyond the point of no return. America will never be the same. I have never recognized it as a democracy (I will expound on that in future posts), but it used to at least have some aspects of a democracy. But even that is gone now.

I am all for limited spying within the U.S., BUT ONLY TARGETING TERRORIST SUSPECTS, AND WITH A COURT ORDER AND UNDER COURT SUPERVISION. But this stuff is just something out of science fiction.

Now they are trying to strong arm Google to get your search records, which Google has no business storing in the first place. The Justice Department is trying to revive an old anti pornography law that was struck down over a decade ago. Seems to me, with the severe threat of terrorism, and with all the political corruption taking place, that Federal Prosecutors and investigators could find more important things to do. What a colossal waste of resources at a time when our national security and personal safety is under such great threat.
I say store those records for 30 days or 60 days (AT THE VERY MOST) for law enforcement purposes. After that period, they should be purged forever. But now I’m glad this came to light in a way, because it lets me know what Google and the other search engines are up to.

Here’s the Google story.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Boondocks MLK Episode

A MUST SEE... I don't usually watch the Boondocks Cartoon (although I like the comic strip) and I don't always agree with Aaron McGruder... in fact, i'm often on the opposite side of whatever he is doing. But love him or hate him, he's a f***ing genius.
Aaron McGruder, the cartoons creator, basically highlights many of the frustrations that I have with "Black America", all in one short episode. He also highlights some of the frustrations I have with America as a whole.

To view the MLK Episode that has created all the buzz over the past few days, you can view it here: http://juanpointone.com/video/boondocks9.wmv

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Messages From Dr. King

On a day that you are being bombarded with "I Have A Dream"lol...the media and the governments "official" sanitized history of King, I thought I would give something else. The U.S. governmentconveniently white-washes his history between 1965 & 1968. During this period he was fighting more for economic justice and he becameone of the greatest Anti-War advocates in the world. This wasarguably his most important period. Ironically, many of his greatestspeeches were made during this period. It's no wonderwhy "mainstream" America, corporate media and their governmenthandlers want to wipe this period clean, as if it didn't exist.
Here are some of his most important speeches.

1. The Final Speech (In the pouring rain) "I've Been To The MountainTop" In Memphis Tennessee. He Was Killed The Next Day. Still more relevant today after 4 decades, than anything said bythose who are still walking and breathing.

2. The Drum Major Instinct (One of my favorite)

3. Sticking Together

4. But If Not

5. Democracy Now Tribute (Excerpts from "Beyond Vietnam")

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

National Public Radio reflecting on Dr. King. Too bad that this is still not a true national holiday, as most whites don't really recognize it. But it is always a day of reflection for me.
NPR has several good stories reflecting on King. Here is the main page for NPR's remembrance this year.