Monday, November 03, 2008
Lunes 3 de noviembre, 2008
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Contacto: Ricardo de Soto (787) 996-0888
El Comité Evaluador de la Legislación Ambiental (CELA) emitió esta tarde las EcoNotas, donde como ya es tradición, se evalúa la actuación Ambiental de la legislatura.
El CELA mantiene esta gestión de escudriñar el record legislativo para informar al pueblo sobte la actuación de su legislatura. ¿Fué a favor o en detrimento de la integridad del medio ambiente.? Otorgándoles una nota (A<>F) de acuerdo a su gestión legislativa, esperamos alertar al público al respecto. “La conspiración por parte de la industria del desastrollo para corromper al gobierno de Puerto Rico hasta ahora ha sido sumamente efectiva. Ha llegado a las más altas esferas. Lo demuestra claramente el caso de Castro Font y las irregularidades en torno a la decisión del Supremo en Paseo Caribe, así como la inacción de Justicia sobre todos los otros angulos de este caso. Se pretende entre otros males, privatizar los bienes de dominio público. Los bienes que no son de nadie porque son de todos. De facto existen dos poderes en la política el dinero los votos: Vox populi… Vox Dei.” Expresó Ricardo de Soto, GuardaMar de Puerto Rico.
A Continuación Las EcoNotas:
Maria de Lourdes Santiago Negrón PIP SENADO A +
Orlando Parga,Hijo PNP SENADO A +
Victor García San Inocencio PIP Camara de Representantes A
José Luis Rivera Guerra PNP Camara de representantes A
Eudaldo Baez Galib PPD SENADO A
Cirilo Tirado,Hijo PPD SENADO B +
Carlos Vizcarrondo Irrizarry PPD Camara de Representantes B menos
Johnny Méndez Nuñez PNP Camara de Representantes B menos
Norma Burgos PNP SENADO B menos
Antonio Silva Delgado PNP Camara de Representantes B menos
Javier A. Rivera Aquino PNP Camara de Representantes B menos
Luis Vega Ramos PDP Cámara de Representantes B menos
Luz Z. Arce Ferrer PNP Senado C +
Lornna Soto PNP SENADO C +
Héctor Ferre Rios PPD Camara de Representantes C
Liza Fernández PNP Camara de Representantes C
Jorge Navarro Suárez PNP Camara de Representantes C
Nelson Del Valle PNP Camara de Representantes C
Héctor Torres PNP Camara de Representantes C
Gabriel Rodríguez Aguiló PNP Camara de Representantes C
Carlos Molina PNP Camara de Representantes C
José E. Concepción Hernández PNP Camara de Representantes C
Sergio Ortiz Quiñones PPD Camara de Representantes C
Carlos M. Hernández López PPD Camara de Representantes C
Norman Rámirez Rivera PNP Camara de Representantes C
Lydia Méndez Silva PPD Camara de Representantes C
Roberto Cruz Rodríguez PPD Camara de Representantes C
Ramón A. Reyes PPD Camara de Representante C
José L. Jiménez Negrón PNP Camara de Representante C
Carmen I González González PPD Camara de Representantes C
Pedro I. Cintrón González PNP Camara de Representantes C
Jorge L. Ramos Peña PNP Camara de Representantes C
Sylvia Rodríguez Aponte de Corujo PPD Camara de Representantes C
José M. Varela Fernández PPD Camara de Representantes C
Angel R. Peña Rosa PNP Camara de representantes C
Cristóbal Colón Ruiz PNP Camara de Representantes C
Joel Rosario Hernández PPD Camara de representantes C
Pedro Rodríguez González PPD Camara de Representantes C
Epifanio Jiménez Cruz PNP Camara de Representantes C
Migdalia Padilla Alvelo PNP SENADO C
José Emilio Gonzalez PNP SENADO C
Modesto L. Agosto Alicea PPD SENADO C
Juan Eugenio Hernández Mayoral PPD SENADO C
Rafael A. García Colón PPD Camara de Representantes C
Luis Raúl Torres Cruz PPD Camara de Representantes C menos
Angel Pérez Otero PNP Camara de Representantes C menos
Bernardo Márquez García PNP Camara de Representantes C menos
Roberto Rivera Ruiz de Porra PPD Camara de Representantes C menos
Carmelo Rios PNP SENADO C menos
Pedro Rosselló González PNP SENADO D +
Iris M. Ruiz Class PNP Camara de Representante D
Maria de Lourdes Ramos Rivera PNP Camara de Representantes D
Rolando Crespo Arroyo PNP Camara de Representantes D
Francisco González Rodríguez PNP Camara de Representantes D
Alba I. Rivera Rámirez PNP Camara de Representantes D
Luis Pérez Ortiz PNP Camara de Representantes D
Tomás Bonilla feliciano PNP Camara de Representantes D
Angel Bulerín Ramos PNP Camara de Representantes D
Hector Martinez PNP SENADO D
Luis Daniel Muñiz Cortez PNP SENADO D
Carlos Pagán PNP SENADO D
Bruno A. Ramos Olivera PNP SENADO D
Margarita Nolasco Santiago PNP SENADO D
Sixto Hernandez Serrano PPD SENADO D
José J. García Cabán PPD Camara de Representantes D
José Chico Vega PNP Camara de Representantes D menos
Jorge Colberg Toro PPD Camara de Representantes D menos
José Luis Dalmau Santiago PPD SENADO D menos
Antonio J. Faz Alzamorra PPD SENADO D menos
Jennifer Gonzalez Colón PNP Camara de Representantes F
Ferdinand Pérez Román PPD Camara de Representantes F
Roberto Arango PNP SENADO F
Sila Mari González Calderón PPD SENADO F
José Aponte Hernández PNP Cámara de Representantes F menos
Carlos Diaz PNP SENADO F menos
Jorge De Castro Font PNP SENADO F menos
José Garriga Pico PNP SENADO F menos
Kenneth McClintock Hernández PNP SENADO F menos
Enemigos del medioambiente::
€ Jorge de Castro Font
€ Carlos Diaz
€ Kenneth McClintock
€ José Aponte
€ José Garriga Pico
Paladínes del medioambiente y la eco-logía social:
* Orlando Parga*
* Maria de Lourdes Santiago Negrón *
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 06:35 PM Central Mountain Time
One of the greatest gifts of our democracy is the opportunity it offers us every four years to change course. It’s not a guarantee; it’s only an opportunity. The question facing us is, simply put, will we seize this opportunity for change? That’s why I came here tonight: to tell you why I feel so strongly that we must seize this opportunity to elect Barack Obama President of the United States.
Eight years ago, some said there was not much difference between the nominees of the two major parties and it didn’t really matter who became president. Our nation was enjoying peace and prosperity. Some assumed we would continue both, no matter the outcome. But here we all are in 2008, and I doubt anyone would argue now that election didn’t matter.
Take it from me, if it had ended differently, we would not be bogged down in Iraq, we would have pursued bin Laden until we captured him. We would not be facing a self-inflicted economic crisis; we would be fighting for middle-income families. We would not be showing contempt for the Constitution; we’d be protecting the rights of every American regardless of race, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation. And we would not be denying the climate crisis; we’d be solving it.
Today, we face essentially the same choice we faced in 2000, though it may be even more obvious now, because John McCain, a man who has earned our respect on many levels, is now openly endorsing the policies of the Bush-Cheney White House and promising to actually continue them. The same policies all over again?
Hey, I believe in recycling, but that’s ridiculous. With John McCain’s support, President Bush and Vice President Cheney have led our nation into one calamity after another because of their indifference to fact; their readiness to sacrifice the long term to the short term, subordinate the general good to the benefit of the few and short-circuit the rule of law.
If you like the Bush-Cheney approach, John McCain’s your man. If you want change, then vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
Barack Obama is telling us exactly what he will do: launch a bold new economic plan to restore America’s greatness; fight for smarter government that trusts the market, but protects us against its excesses; enact policies that are pro-choice, pro-education and pro-family, establish a foreign policy that is smart as well as strong; provide health care for all and solutions for the climate crisis.
So why is this election so close? Well, I know something about close elections, so let me offer you my opinion. I believe this election is close today mainly because the forces of the status quo are desperately afraid of the change Barack Obama represents.
There is no better example than the climate crisis. As I have said for many years throughout this land, we’re borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the future of human civilization. Every bit of that has to change. Oil company profits have soared to record levels, gasoline prices have gone through the roof and we are more dependent than ever on dirty and dangerous fossil fuels.
Many scientists predict that the entire north polar ice cap may be completely gone during summer months in the first term of the next president. Sea levels are rising, fires are raging, storms are stronger. Military experts warn us our national security is threatened by massive waves of climate refugees destabilizing countries around the world, and scientists tell us the very web of life is endangered by unprecedented extinctions.
We are facing a planetary emergency which, if not solved, would exceed anything we’ve ever experienced in the history of humankind. In spite of John McCain’s past record of open mindedness on the climate crisis, he has apparently now allowed his party to browbeat him into abandoning his support of mandatory caps on global warming pollution.
And it just so happens that the climate crisis is intertwined with the other two great challenges facing our nation: reviving our economy and strengthening our national security. The solutions to all three require us to end our dependence on carbon-based fuels.
Instead of letting lobbyists and polluters control our destiny, we need to invest in American innovation. Almost a hundred years ago, Thomas Edison said, “I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.” We already have everything we need to use the sun, the wind, geothermal power, conservation and efficiency to solve the climate crisis—everything, that is, except a president who inspires us to believe, “Yes we can.”
So how did this no-brainer become a brain-twister? Because the carbon fuels industry—big oil and coal—have a 50-year lease on the Republican Party and they are drilling it for everything it’s worth. And this same industry has spent a half a billion dollars this year alone trying to convince the public they are actually solving the problem, when they are in fact making it worse every single day.
This administration and the special interests who control it lock, stock and barrel after barrel, have performed this same sleight-of-hand on issue after issue. Some of the best marketers have the worst products; and this is certainly true of today’s Republican Party. The party itself has on its rolls men and women of great quality. But the last eight years demonstrate that the special interests who have come to control the Republican Party are so powerful that serving them and serving the national well-being are now irreconcilable choices.
So what can we do about it? We can carry Barack Obama’s message of hope and change to every family in America. And pledge that we will be there for Barack Obama—not only in the heat of this election, but in the aftermath as we put his agenda to work for our country.
We can tell Republicans and Independents, as well as Democrats, why our nation needs a change from the approach of Bush, Cheney and McCain. After they wrecked our economy, it is time for a change. After they abandoned the search for the terrorists who attacked us and redeployed the troops to invade a nation that did not attack us, it’s time for a change. After they abandoned the American principle first laid down by General George Washington, when he prohibited the torture of captives because it would bring, in his words, “shame, disgrace and ruin” to our nation, it’s time for a change.
When as many as three Supreme Court justices could be appointed in the first term of the next president, and John McCain promises to appoint more Scalias and Thomases and end a woman’s right to choose, it’s time for a change.
Many people have been waiting for some sign that our country is ready for such change. How will we know when it’s beginning to take hold? I think we might recognize it as a sign of such change, if we saw millions of young people getting involved for the first time in the political process. This election is actually not close at all among younger voters – you are responding in unprecedented numbers to Barack Obama’s message of change and hope.
You recognize that he represents a clean break from the politics of partisanship and bitter division. You understand that the politics of the past are exhausted, and you’re tired of appeals based on fear. You know that America is capable of better than what you have seen in recent years. You are hungry for a new politics based on bipartisan respect for the ageless principles embodied in the United States Constitution.
There are times in the history of our nation when our very way of life depends upon awakening to the challenge of a present danger, shaking off complacency to rise, clear-eyed and alert, to the necessity of embracing change.
A century and a half ago, when America faced our greatest trial, the end of one era gave way to the birth of another. The candidate who emerged victorious in that election is now regarded by most historians as our greatest president. Before he entered the White House, Abraham Lincoln’s experience in elective office consisted of eight years in his state legislature in Springfield, Illinois, and one term in Congress – during which he showed the courage and wisdom to oppose the invasion of another country that was popular when it started but later condemned by history.
The experience Lincoln’s supporters valued most in that race was his powerful ability to inspire hope in the future at a time of impasse. He was known chiefly as a clear thinker and a great orator, with a passion for justice and a determination to heal the deep divisions of our land. He insisted on reaching past partisan and regional divides to exalt our common humanity. In 2008, once again, we find ourselves at the end of an era with a mandate from history to launch another new beginning. And once again, we have a candidate whose experience perfectly matches an extraordinary moment of transition.
Barack Obama had the experience and wisdom to oppose a popular war based on faulty premises. His leadership experience has given him a unique capacity to inspire hope, in the promise of the American dream of a boundless future. His experience has also given him genuine respect for different views and humility, in the face of complex realities that cannot be squeezed into the narrow compartments of ideology. His experience has taught him something that career politicians often overlook: that inconvenient truths must be acknowledged if we are to have wise governance.
The extraordinary strength of his personal character – and that of his wonderful wife, Michelle – is grounded in the strengths of the American community. His vision and his voice represent the best of America. His life experience embodies the essence of our motto – e pluribus unum – out of many, one. That is the linking identity at the other end of all the hyphens that pervade our modern political culture. It is that common American identity – which Barack Obama exemplifies, heart and soul – that enables us as Americans to speak with moral authority to all of the peoples of the world, to inspire hope that we as human beings can transcend our limitations and to redeem the promise of human freedom.
Late this evening, our convention will end with a benediction. As we bow in reverence, remember the words of the old proverb: “when you pray, move your feet.” Then let us leave here tonight and take the message of hope from Denver to every corner of our land, and do everything we can to serve our nation, our world—and most importantly, our children and their future—by electing Barack Obama President of the United States.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
A push to increase home ownership along with Wall Street's desire for new securities to trade and a lack of oversight led to a crisis Christopher Whalen says will be the worst since the
Posted on Mon, May. 19, 2008
Current job: Newsletter publisher, investment banker, financial analyst
Education: Bachelor's in history from Villanova University
A past you would never guess: Advisor to Mexican presidential candidate Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas
Most recent book read:Fifty Billion Dollars (Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal era), by
Jesse H. Jones
Where you have seen or read about him: Interviews on Bloomberg Television and writings in
Barrons, Insight on the News and The Financial Times
Investment banker, financial analyst and newsletter publisher Christopher Whalen has explored the ins and outs of Washington, Wall Street and Latin America for more than two decades.
Following stints on Capitol Hill, the Federal Reserve of New York and Bear, Stearns & Co., Whalen founded the newsletters The Mexico Report and Washington & Wall Street.
In 2003, he co-founded Institutional Risk Analytics, which offers risk analysis and consulting.
Besides editing the firm's newsletter, The Institutional Risk Analyst, he writes articles,
testifies in Washington and speaks frequently to financial groups.
Whalen, who has worked in New York, London and Washington, frequently looks to economic history to put the present in perspective. He points out that when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office on March 4, 1933, banks in 32 of the 50 states were closed because of panic.
Whalen spoke with The Miami Herald during a visit to South Florida to address the Insurer
Investment Forum, ''The Times They Are A-Changin,'' at the Diplomat Country Club & Spa in
Q: The U.S. economic picture was much rosier when you founded Institutional Risk Analytics. Are you surprised about the turn of events?
A: We saw that our colleagues had so badly skewed their thinking on risks that we knew eventually there would be a swing back the other way. This one was so severe and everyone was so impetuous; whether you are talking about home buyers -- borrowing 100 percent of their mortgages -- or banks -- people packaging securities up and selling them. It evidenced the mania. We said: ``Wow! Why don't we set up our lemonade stand here and people will come?''
Q: How serious is this financial crisis?
A: We are in the worst financial crisis in this country in 100 years. This is going to make the
savings and loan crisis look like a party.
It won't be as bad as 1930 and 1931 when you had a 30 percent unemployment rate. But it is going to get bad. A lot of value is going to be destroyed.
If you think of the way your parents lived and think of today, we've gone from people buying a
house and staying there, to people buying houses like baseball cards. People are using credit
cards and their home equity financing and pretending things are going to be OK. But we are
running out of gas.
Q: How did we get in this trouble both in the housing market and with subprime mortgages?
A: Right after the realestate crunch in the early 1990s, the government-sponsored enterprises --
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Housing and Urban Development department, the Federal Housing Authority, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, the Federal Home Loan Banks, the whole cast of characters, they put together this public/private partnership to push for home ownership. The Realtors, mortgage brokers and regulators picked up this theme. Then the banks picked up the theme.
The United States had the highest home ownership rates in the world, 65 percent. They pushed that to 70 percent. Unfortunately, many of these were marginal buyers and they are walking away. If you got into one of the adjustable-rate mortgages and you have no equity in it, there's not a whole lot of incentive to stay.
The Street was looking for something to trade. The banks were looking to securitize stuff. They
all got a fee. But no one took responsibility for the overall outcomes.
The banks are now being forced to write this down. All these loans and securities derived from
the loans have become illiquid.
It's amazing. We have to ask how did we do this? Foreign friends ask me, ``How did we screw up so badly?''
Q: Was no one looking at what was happening?
A: They were actively ignoring it. They were beating up on Brooksley Born [former chairwoman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission] and saying: ''No, no, you are not going to regulate over-the-counter securities.'' They argued competitiveness. But these are not innovation. These are opaque securities that no one can value.
It's also how the dealers could make money. Over-the-counter is 10 times as profitable as the
exchange trade model.
Q: What is your assessment of the government's actions so far and what should be done?
A: The Bush administration has been totally asleep. But there were a lot of people responsible,
including former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. Everybody focuses on his interest-rate policy, holding interest rates down for so long. But the real fault of Greenspan was allowing the banks to get more and more into securities, like mortgage-backed securities, and allowing them to move off balance sheet.
None of this over-the-counter paper was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
That's why you have about $7 trillion in government-sponsored-enterpris
By election time, I think that the economy will be the only issue. We could be contracting
economically for the next couple of years. That will shock America because Americans are not used to this kind of environment. Whoever wins the White House will be in crisis mode from day one.
We have to have a discussion about market structure; what has to be registered with the
Securities and Exchange Commission and what doesn't. Anything a bank buys and sells or a pension fund buys and sells need to be registered.
We have to remake this marketplace in a much more transparent fashion.
The USA faces a crisis that imperils the nation's economy and the planet's ecology. We have
forgotten about efficiency and durability. We have a pervasive irresponsible throw away mentality which ignores the precepts of quality and conservation and a woefully misguided administration.
There must be a change towards efficient and durable products offering quality and longevity.
Prime example. Detroit builds shoddy monstrous plastic gas guzzlers that are, by design and
marketing plan, throw away junk by the last coupon in the payment book. The USA has never
developed a viable diesel automobile. Incredibly, five states prohibit the registration of diesel
automobiles thus politically discouraging diesel imports.
If only one third of the cars on American highways were diesel we would not have to import one
drop of petroleum. That's efficiency. Diesels have service lives measured in millions of miles.
Appliances built to price are short lived energy hogs doomed to an early death from mechanical
failure or rust.
New buildings, both commercial and residential, have design service lives shorter than their
mortgages and are dependant on artificial ventilation and illumination.
Our reliance upon the automobile, truck and airplane is woefully inefficient and wasteful. Fast
and convenient mass transit systems are all but absent in north America. We have no bullet trains let alone passenger trains. We depend upon air and highway transport networks with prohibitively high fuel consumption per seat or ton mile. Why the 3 ton SUV with driver only?
Railroads can lug a ton of freight over 400 miles on a gallon of diesel oil, ships and barges are
even more efficient yet The US killed the railroads and merchant marine with government and
unions after WW2.
Intelligently deployed nuclear power is the only viable technology for present power demands.
The severely limited energy densities for solar, wind, wave, and thermal differential energy
technologies preclude practical nationwide application, particularly for urban areas. For an
isolated dwelling, they are feasible but costly to build and maintain. They simply cannot be
scaled upwards to accommodate cities or a power grid.
Of the future energy technologies oil from algae is the most promising. The feedstock is waste,
no arable land is required, the growth rate is explosive, days compared to months, and the yield
per acre potentially 100 times that of any other bio source, the extraction of diesel oil
requires only pressing, and the pulp remaining is fodder, fuel pellets or fertilizer. The Salton
Sea area could supply the nation.
Mature technology exists to address all these issues. Buildings cars and appliances should be a
once in lifetime purchases designed for maximum efficiency and durability rather than throw away life cycles.
Inefficiency, lack of durability, and the throw away mentality exacerbate pollution.
The smallest and most basic measures which could be implemented instantly are overlooked in our aura of waste. In Europe the supermarkets sell shopping bags and they are not inexpensive so most folks carry reusable fabric mesh bags. In the USA plastic bags which are made from petroleum, are, despite $130.00 per barrel oil, still cheaper than biodegradable paper bags, and both are given away. Waste.
Many items are sold in plastic or foil packaging that exceeds the cost of the product within. It
would seem that in such cases regulation requiring the product to equal or exceed the value of
the package would have practical results. The fast food ketchup pouch would fatten to the point
where one pack would take the place of the three or four required to drench an order of fries.
The aptly named clear plastic "clamshell" packs so much a part of retail marketing for their
pegboard product display and theft-reducing bulk could just as easily be paper packed to the joy
of anyone who has fought to open one using scissors or knives.
The empty pack will be with us for eternity.
Recycling of plastics, including synthetic fibers, is mostly energy negative due to the variety
of materials leading to cross contamination. Even the familiar clear beverage containers must
have the cap retainer rings, the label film sleeve or the ink removed prior to shredding.
Plastics are a particular nuisance and curse in this regard as they are very long lived. Landfills of disposable diapers will take centuries, if ever, to degrade.
Fortunately glass, metals, nuclear fuel rods, and paper are energy positive or neutral to
Products with combinations of many materials, such as motor vehicles, are hardly worth recycling as the costs to separate the various materials either manually pre-processing or mechanically after shredding tend to be prohibitive. Magnetic separation can pluck out the ferritic alloys but the other metals such as copper and aluminum are more difficult to select and the remaining amalgam of shredded plastics, glass, paint and fiber is valueless bulk.
Dump the politicians and the fruitcake "scientists" with their past failures and future dreams.
Bring on the engineers for real and immediate solutions..
That covers the practical, now to the political.
The oil market is worldwide and highly competitive, fully subject to supply and demand. Big
numbers, certainly. Conspiracies and cartels, no. So who’s making the big money? The countries
that produce crude oil. Crude represents more than half of the cost of each gallon of gasoline
sold. Federal, state and local taxes represent another fifth.
In 1998, a recession in Asia created an oil glut. Prices plunged to historic lows (near $10 a
barrel), and American drivers reaped the benefits, with gas dipping below $1 per gallon. Within
ten years we are facing a tenfold increase in cost, or, conversely and far more accurately a
tenfold devaluation of our currency.
We are bankrupting the nation with terrifying rapidity.
Given an intelligent balance of eco-priorities global warming issues could be ameliorated with
the funds saved by common sense energy policies.
Engineering cannot resolve political problems, revolution could. The blame lies 100% in
MAYOR OF SALT LAKE CITY TO BUSH, CONGRESS AND MEDIA 'WE WON'T TAKE IT ANYMORE'
Address by Mayor Ross C. 'Rocky' Anderson
Today, as we come together once again in this great city, we raise our voices in unison to say to
President Bush, to Vice President Cheney, to other members of the Bush Administration (past and present), to a majority of Congress, including Utah's entire congressional delegation, and to
much of the mainstream media: 'You have failed us miserably and we won't take it anymore.'
While we had every reason to expect far more of you, you have been pompous, greedy, cruel, and incompetent as you have led this great nation to a moral, military, and national security abyss.' 'You have breached trust with the American people in the most egregious ways. You have utterly failed in the performance of your jobs. You have undermined our Constitution, permitted the violation of the most fundamental treaty obligations, and betrayed the rule of law.
You have engaged in, or permitted, heinous human rights abuses of the sort never before
countenanced in our nation's history as a matter of official policy. You have sent American men
and women to kill and be killed on the basis of lies, on the basis of shifting justifications,
without competent leadership, and without even a coherent plan for this monumental blunder.
We are here to tell you: We won't take it anymore! You have acted in direct contravention of
values that we, as Americans who love our country, hold dear. You have deceived us in the most
cynical, outrageous ways. You have undermined, or allowed the undermining of, our constitutional system of checks and balances among the three presumed co-equal branches of government. You have helped lead our nation to the brink of fascism, of a dictatorship contemptuous of our nation's treaty obligations, federal statutory law, our Constitution, and the rule of law.
Because of you, and because of your jingoistic false 'patriotism,' our world is far more
dangerous, our nation is far more despised, and the threat of terrorism is far greater than ever
before. It has been absolutely astounding how you have committed the most horrendous acts,
causing such needless tragedy in the lives of millions of people, yet you wear your so-called
religion on your sleeves, asserting your God-is-on-my-side nonsense when what you have done flies in the face of any religious or humanitarian tradition. Your hypocrisy is mind-boggling - and
disgraceful. What part of 'Thou shalt not kill' do you not understand? What part of the 'Golden
rule' do you not understand? What part of 'be honest,' 'be responsible,' and 'be accountable'
don't you understand? What part of 'Blessed are the peacekeepers' do you not understand?
Because of you, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, many thousands of people have suffered horrendous lifetime injuries, and millions have been run off from their homes. For the sake of our nation, for the sake of our children, and for the sake of our brothers and sisters
around the world, we are morally compelled to say, as loudly as we can, 'We won't take it
anymore!' As United States agents kidnap, disappear, and torture human beings around the world, you justify, you deceive, and you cover up. We find what you have done to men, women and children, and to the good name and reputation of the United States, so appalling, so
unconscionable, and so outrageous as to compel us to call upon you to step aside and allow other
men and women who are competent, true to our nation's values, and with high moral principles to stand in your places for the good of our nation, for the good of our children, and for the good
of our world.
In the case of the President and Vice President, this means impeachment and removal from office, without any further delay from a complacent, complicit Congress, the Democratic majority of which cares more about political gain in 2008 than it does about the vindication of our Constitution, the rule of law, and democratic accountability. It means the election of people as President and Vice President who, unlike most of the presidential candidates from both major parties, have not aided and abetted in the perpetration of the illegal, tragic, devastating invasion and occupation of Iraq. And it means the election of people as President and Vice President who will commit to return our nation to the moral and strategic imperative of refraining from torturing human beings. In the case of the majority of Congress, it means electing people who are diligent enough to learn the facts, including reading available National Intelligence Estimates, before voting to go to war. It means electing to Congress men and women who will jealously guard Congress's sole prerogative to declare war. It means electing to Congress men and women who will not submit like vapid lap dogs to presidential requests for blank checks to engage in so-called preemptive wars, for legislation permitting warrant-less wiretapping of communications involving US citizens, and for dangerous, irresponsible, saber-rattling legislation like the recent Kyl- Lieberman amendment.
We must avoid the trap of focusing the blame solely upon President Bush and Vice-President
Cheney. This is not just about a few people who have wronged our country - and the world. They
were enabled by members of both parties in Congress, they were enabled by the pathetic mainstream news media, and, ultimately, they have been enabled by the American people--40% of whom are so ill-informed they still think Iraq was behind the 9/11 attacks a people who know and care more about baseball statistics and which drunken starlets are not wearing underwear than they know and care about the atrocities being committed every single day in our name by a government for which we need to take responsibility.
As loyal Americans, without regard to political partisanship as veterans, as teachers, as
religious leaders, as working men and women, as students, as professionals, as businesspeople, as
public servants, as retirees, as people of all ages, races, ethnic origins, sexual orientations,
and faiths we are here to say to the Bush administration, to the majority of Congress, and to the
mainstream media: 'You have violated your solemn responsibilities. You have undermined our
democracy, spat upon our Constitution, and engaged in outrageous, despicable acts. You have
brought our nation to a point of immorality, inhumanity, and illegality of immense, tragic,
But we will live up to our responsibilities as citizens, as brothers and sisters of those who
have suffered as a result of the imperial bullying of the United States government, and as moral
actors who must take a stand: And we will, and must, mean it when we say 'We won't take it
anymore.' If we want principled, courageous elected officials, we need to be principled,
courageous, and tenacious ourselves. History has demonstrated that our elected officials are not
the leaders the leadership has to come from us. If we don't insist, if we don't persist, then we
are not living up to our responsibilities as citizens in a democracy and our responsibilities as
moral human beings. If we remain silent, we signal to Congress and the Bush administration and to candidates running for office and to the world that we support the status quo.
Silence is complicity. Only by standing up for what's right and never letting down can we say we
are doing our part. Our government, on the basis of a campaign we now know was entirely
fraudulent, attacked and militarily occupied a nation that posed no danger to the United States.
Our government, acting in our name, has caused immense, unjustified death and destruction. It all started five years ago, yet where have we, the American people, been? At this point, we are
responsible. We get together once in a while at demonstrations and complain about Bush and
Cheney, about Congress, and about the pathetic news media. We point fingers and yell a lot. Then most people politely go away until another demonstration a few months later.
How many people can honestly say they have spent as much time learning about and opposing the outrages of the Bush administration as they have spent watching sports or mindless television programs during the past five years? Escapist, time-sapping sports and insipid entertainment have indeed become the opiate of the masses. Why is this country so sound-asleep? Why do we abide what is happening to our nation, to our Constitution, to the cause of peace and international law and order? Why are we not doing all in our power to put an end to this madness? We should be in the streets regularly and students should be raising hell on our campuses. We should be making it clear in every way possible that apologies or convoluted, disingenuous explanations just don't cut it when presidential candidates and so many others voted to authorize George Bush and his neo-con buddies to send American men and women to attack and occupy Iraq.
Let's awaken, and wake up the country by committing here and now to do all each of us can to take our nation back. Let them hear us across the country, as we ask others to join us: 'We won't take it anymore!' I implore you: Draw a line. Figure out exactly where your own moral breaking point is. How much will you put up with before you say 'No more' and mean it?
I have drawn my line as a matter of simple personal morality: I cannot, and will not, support any
candidate who has voted to fund the atrocities in Iraq. I cannot, and will not, support any
candidate who will not commit to remove all US troops, as soon as possible, from Iraq. I cannot,
and will not, support any candidate who has supported legislation that takes us one step closer
to attacking Iran. I cannot, and will not, support any candidate who has not fought to stop the
kidnapping, disappearances, and torture being carried on in our name.
If we expect our nation's elected officials to take us seriously, let us send a powerful message
they cannot misunderstand. Let them know we really do have our moral breaking point. Let them know we have drawn a bright line. Let them know they cannot take our support for granted that, regardless of their party and regardless of other political considerations, they will not have our support if they cannot provide, and have not provided, principled leadership.
The people of this nation may have been far too quiet for five years, but let us pledge that we
won't let it go on one more day that we will do all we can to put an end to the illegalities, the
moral degradation, and the disintegration of our nation's reputation in the world.
Let us be unified in drawing the line in declaring that we do have a moral breaking point. Let us
insist, together, in supporting our troops and in gratitude for the freedoms for which our
veterans gave so much that we bring our troops home from Iraq , that we return our government to a constitutional democracy, and that we commit to honoring the fundamental principles of human rights.
In defense of our country, in defense of our Constitution, in defense of our shared values as
Americans and as moral human beings we declare today that we will fight in every way possible to stop the insanity, stop the continued military occupation of Iraq, and stop the moral depravity
reflected by the kidnapping, disappearing, and torture of people around the world.