Friday, September 29, 2006

Long live King George?

With yesterday's passage of legislation that apparently gives Bush dictatorial powers to ignore the U.S. Constitution and imprison without charge anyone he deems an "enemy combatant," we appear to have come full circle.

Back in the 1790's, the Federalist party controlled Congress, the Presidency, and the federal judiciary. They used this power to enrich themselves, shut down the opposition press, rig elections, and imprison their enemies. The Federalists seemed to regard the recently ratified Constitution as just a piece of paper, much like Bush does now. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a modern edition of the Alien and Sedition Acts to appear before much longer. Of course, there was a backlash against the Federalist tyranny in 1800 that helped elect Thomas Jefferson, and the Federalist party faded away soon after. Lucky for us the Federalists didn't have access to electronic voting machines back then. One of Alexander Hamilton's descendants would probably still be king.

What I cannot fathom is the willingness of Congress to ignore the plain language of the Bill of Rights and the 6th amendment:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witness against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining Witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
The real problem is that a federal court will quickly find this legislation unconstitional on its face. Then, the drumbeat will begin about those horrible, liberal, activist judges who condone terrorism and hate America. The GOPers will use that as another stick to beat up the gutless Democrats in Congress, who are still more concerned about getting re-elected than they are about saving our country from a Bush dictatorship.

Speaking of gutless Democrats, I cannot begin to express my disgust with Colorado's own Ken Salazar, who voted for this heinous legislation. I thought he was an honorable man. I guess I was wrong. Believe me, I will never vote for him again, no matter what.

Thomas Jefferson said, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." Two hundred and thirty years ago we declared our independence from the last King George to rule America. Maybe it's time to declare independence from this one.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bob Schaffer - "Democrats are just weird"

Bob Schaffer is at it again. The September 28 issue of the Highlands Ranch Herald had this gem:
Democrats on any given day are just weird.
He criticized Democrats for bringing a bill to "make you and I criminals if we did not have suitable dog houses in our own back yards," yet according to Schaffer, "Democrats killed the bill." So, when did this happen Bob, and who sponsored the bill? Of course, you get much better sound bites if you just make stuff up. Hmm. Doesn't the Ninth Commandment come into effect here, Bob?

This isn't the first time Bob has placed his foot squarely in his mouth. I covered this item last November.

According to the Herald article, Bob is running for re-election to the Colorado Board of Education. Apparently, Bill "Woody" Owens appointed him to the board last December to replace Clair Orr of Greeley.

May God have mercy on us if he gets re-elected...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Visiting with Wes Clark

Image hosted by Webshots.comWhen Wesley Clark visited Denver last year, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend and listen to our next president speak. The photo at right was taken at that event.

I first got to know a little bit about Wes in early 2003 when I read his first book, Waging Modern War, which talked about his experiences in the Balkans in the 1990s. In September, 2003, I attended my first meetup for the Draft Wesley Clark campaign in Colorado. The draft movement quickly mushroomed into a full-fledged presidential campaign, and I got my first chance to meet Wes when he made a campaign appearance in November, 2003.

He has continued to travel around the country and is a military analyst for Fox News(!) Although no official announcement has been made, Wes gives every indication that he will make another run for the 2008 Democratic nomination for president. It's a safe bet that I will be once again actively working on his campaign!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

BBC - Is health care behind Ford's layoffs?

The BBC had this to say about Ford's announcement that thousands of employees had to go and that several plants were closing:

For years, managements at "The Big Three" have warned that the high costs of their healthcare, wage and pension packages have saddled their US operations with costs Asian and European carmakers didn't have to bear.

These so-called "legacy costs" have recently added up to $3,000 to the cost of every vehicle.

There are pensions and benefits to be paid in most advanced industrialized countries, but the USA puts the added burden on companies to fund the healthcare of their staff.

Interestingly, Ford's plants in Canada, where there's a national health service, are due to expand production, just as US plants contract or close. (Emphasis added.)

Ford seems to be sending a message, but is anybody listening? It sure doesn't seem to be getting through to Congress or to Bush. Not that I would have expected anything to get through to them anyway...

Friday, September 15, 2006

Lone Tree to annex Park Meadows - Is this legal?

The Denver Post reported on Sunday that the city of Lone Tree plans to annex the Park Meadows shopping mall, effective January 1, 2007, and I have to say that I found this news to be rather interesting.

Some years ago, while serving on the board of directors for the Highlands Ranch Community Association, I listened to Douglas County commissioner Jim Sullivan describe plans for the mall. At that time, the big worry was that Greenwood Village would try to annex the mall, so the county commissioners created an open space corridor that completely encircled it. According to Sullivan, it was supposed to be illegal to annex across such a corridor. Sullivan promised that no city could ever annex the property because of this action.

So, what gives? Did everybody forget about this? Did the open space law get changed? Did the county commissioners renege on their promise? Or is Lone Tree just ignoring the law in the hope that nobody will call attention to this minor detail?

I for one would sure like to know.