Maturin42's Blog

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Examples for our Young People

I heard a lot of talk during the Clinton presidency about what an example he set for America's young people. I won't defend Clinton's conduct. The fact that it was even a subject that the nation's youth could discuss was largely due to the vendetta conducted by the Republicans who insisted that a tawdry personal affair was a subject suitable for public discussion and to be paraded on national TV 24/7.

I then reflect on what example George W. Bush is providing to our youth.

The next time your son or daughter don't actually lie about what they have been doing, but mislead you into thinking they are doing one thing, then do another, could it be that they are following George's example in the leadup to the Iraq war?

The next time they swagger around and pretend to be something they are not, could it be because of "Mission Accomplished".

The next time they run up the credit card and try to disguise the fact, or claim that something they want costs x, when it really costs several times x, and they hide the truth from you, could they be following Dubya's example on the Medicaid bill?

The next time they spread lies and rumors that slander one of their playmates and don't set the record straight, could it be copying the Swifties, Karl Rove's surrogates in the 527 community?

The next time they steal money from the baby and give it to one of their friends to curry favor from them, could they be emulating George W's tax plan?

The next time they participate in ganging up and beating up a playmate, could they just be playing Tom Delay's game to gerrymander the Democrats out of existence in Texas?

The next time they leak a family secret that does real harm to you, could they be emulating the "senior administration official" that leaked Valerie Plame's CIA identity or exposed the only Al Qaeda operative acting as our agent.

You get the idea.

George has made a career of the following:
Evading personal responsibility
Insider trading
Capitalizing on family connections and wealth
Sneak attacks by anonymous or shadow groups on any opponent
Lying to get his way
Violence as a first resort
Wrapping himself in the flag to cover screwups
Mangling logic and the English language

Some example!

Former Texas Lt. Governor - on the record

The link < > has a short video (Quicktime format) by former Lieutenant Governor of Texas Barnes. He is the one who got George W. Bush into the Texas Air National Guard, leapfrogging hundreds of applicants to get this underqualified, over-privileged Bush scion into a safe place where he could party out the Vietnam war. He now regrets this action. In the video, he expresses his disdain for the politics that can trash the reputation of a genuine patriot while the chickenhawk sails on, basking in the admiration of an adoring but sadly misguided "base" of those who would trade their democracy for the role of imperial power.

Mr. Barnes has it right. There is no comparison between these two men in terms of their service to the country.

On the other hand, I do not expect the country to recover in my lifetime from the damage to its institutions, reputation, and economy inflicted by Mr. Bush and his gang of radicals masquerading as conservatives.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Going after the Vets

George W. Bush - distancing himself from the slime attacks on John Kerry, has stopped short of repudiating the Swift Boat Veterans for making up crap. These attacks have succeeded in their purpose - raising questions about Kerry's impressive record to allow the spinmeisters of the Republican Noise Machine to talk about Bush's military record as though it were actually comparable.

Let's look at the last three political campaigns in which George W. Bush had something at stake on a national level.

His South Carolina primary race in 2000 was characterized, some say won, by a push poll, conducted by someone allegedly outside the Bush campaign, who called South Carolinians and suggested that John McCain had fathered a black baby, his Bangledeshi adopted daughter, out of wedlock. They also attacked his daughter personally. Bush benefitted by it but would do nothing to stop it.

In Georgia, Max Cleland, a triple amputee from Vietnam, was compared to Osama Bin Laden and Sadamm Hussein by the Republicans in support of yet another draft dodger, Saxby Chambless. It had the Karl Rove attack machine fingerprints all over it.

And now it is John Kerry's turn.

How fortunate for George W. Bush that all his political opponents have the characteristic of appearing to have honorably served their country but have a very vocal and well-financed group who step forward to set the record straight. It is uncanny. In the case of John Kerry's attackers, the distance was not quite as far as they would have had you believe, since two Bush campaign figures, one of them his legal counsel, have been shown to be directly connected to the Swifties for fiction. These attacks on actual vets were done on behalf of a man who basically said his choices were to use his Dad's influence to go to the head of a very long line and learn to fly or "shoot out his eardrum with a shotgun". Never one to put himself in harms way, he chose to do what 800 others were ahead of him for, and he entered the Texas ANG about 12 days after making the decision. Wow!

Meanwhile, the following questions about Mr. Bush's character go unanswered.

1. How did he spend his time when he was said to have been in Alabama on a political campaign? People on the campaign said he only came in once or twice, contributed nothing, and was full of hot air. He wasn't at his ANG unit - nobody saw him, including his Commanding Officer. He went to the dentist once, but that hardly accounts for the three month period. He didn't get his flight physical, and was subject to being disciplined for that failure. His motive for missing it might have been his inability to pass a drug test. He was reputed to have used cocaine heavily during this time and there is strong suspicion that he was in rehab. That would make sense, but he won't talk and the Bush family has been very good at covering their tracks and sealing records while they have held the reigns of power. Also, public records that are supposed to be inviolate have gone missing with regularity when it pertains to the Shrub.

2. Why was George not prosecuted or even investigated for the obvious insider trading of Harken Oil Stock while he served on their board? Why is nobody in the supposed "liberal" press exposing his huge profits on the stock just before the financials were restated, where he was specifically warned by company counsels that he would be subject to insider trading charges if he did so. The stock tanked, George walked away with about $800k, and nobody did anything, since Dad was Prez.

3. What has George W. Bush ever done on his own that would indicate he was fit to lead a scout troop, much less the free world? Here is the real question. He is asking for four more years after accomplishing the following: Leading us into a war of choice - something we supposedly hung war criminals in Germany for, but he gets a pass and is contending for reelection. Wrecking the best economy in the world and converting massive surpluses into even more massive deficits in record time. Completing a term in which his party held all the reins of power without passing one single piece of legislation whose primary beneficiary was the ordinary American.(1) Every single one of them was for some special interest - mostly large corporations, or well-represented industries, such as HMO's or pharmaceutical companies.

Yet it looks like the Republicans stand a fair chance of prevailing in the coming elections.

Can anybody PLEASE tell me why? If you are just cynical and believe that George is just more likable or seems like a nice man, just tell me that. As it stands it does not make any sense at all. I hear people talk about him as though there were something to admire. All I see is a man who has proven himself a coward, a fraud, and a mean-spirited incompetent. In contrast to better men who have been slimed by him or his surrogates, nor have there been any demonstrations of true character or leadership. Exercise of naked power is not leadership.

(1) Congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado was challenged on the Thom Hartmann show earlier this year to name one piece of legislation sponsored and passed by Republican and signed by Bush that benefitted ordinary Americans instead of Corporations. It didn't even have to be exclusive - in other words, it could also benefit corporations. He could not think of one then. Mr. Hartmann then invited his audience to come forward. Not one could think of anything that would fit that description.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Dangers of Defaming a War Hero

In response to David Ignatius' OpEd piece in the Washington Post of 8/24/2004.

David Ignatius in his Op-Ed piece says that, at some point, the public may ask Karl Rove: "Have you no sense of decency, sir?"
Karl Rove answered that one a long time ago, when he unleashed his flying monkey brigades after John McCain and Max Cleland. The conduct of this White House in the outing of Valerie Plame and reportedly exposing the only double agent in Al Qaeda, has amply demonstrated that there is nothing they will stop at to hold onto political power. Their failure to condemn the lies coming out of the SBVT campaign is only the latest piece of evidence of an administration nearly devoid of decency, integrity, or respect for those who have amply demonstrated those qualities. I can only hope that the American public can take their eyes off "reality TV" long enough to realize that this gang has gone back to the same well too often and reject this despicable tactic at the ballot box.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Kerry's Service

Message sent to the following recipients:
Message text follows:

Shelton Lankford
28166 Pathfinder Court
Salisbury, MD 21801

August 10, 2004

If John Kerry got off the airplane in Vietnam, it puts him head and
shoulders above George W. Bush, in terms of doing his duty for his
country. Now come the so-called Vietnam Veterans for Truth to play the
flying monkey brigade to Carl Rove's Wicked Witch and attack John Kerry's
record of service. The people in this group did not serve with Kerry -
those guys are all campaigning for him - and some did not even lay eyes on
him in country, but they carry the water for this chicken-hawk regime to
smear an American hero. You should not carry thier ad, or if you must, you
should allow someone to counter it by presenting the undisputed facts of
the case. As a Vietnam veteran myself, I respect both Kerry's service and
his resistance to the war on his return.


Letter to the Salisbury Daily Times

Message sent to the following recipients:
Salisbury Daily Times
Message text follows:

Shelton Lankford
28166 Pathfinder Court
Salisbury, MD 21801

August 10, 2004

[recipient address was inserted here]

[recipient name was inserted here],

The Bush Attack Machine is at it again. I was thoroughly disgusted with
the attacks on John McCain in South Carolina in 2000. That attack by the
Bush team did more than anything else to show me his character and alert
me to the danger he would be in office. He has managed to surpass even my
worst fears. Now we see the same outfit launching a remarkably similar
attack on John Kerry. As in the McCain case, facts are on the other side
of their malicious slurs. As a Vietnam veteran, I repudiate this phony
group, joining those who really served with Kerry to support his election.
Send this phony cowboy and his Machiavellian henchmen back to Texas in


Shelton F. Lankford
410 742-2542

Monday, August 02, 2004

Letter to Post - Network Coverage of Convention

Letter to Editor, Washington Post, Published 8/3/2004

ABC News President David Weston [“Don’t Blame the Networks,” op-ed, July30] defended the failure of the networks and their cable outlets to carry the Democratic Convention on the grounds that the audience might not watch it. That rings hollow when the programming that is offered instead is a warmed-over pile of garbage. And when I did find a major network carrying the convention, I was more likely to get some idiot with a wireless microphone interviewing a spin artist from the Republicans than a straightforward account of what was happening on the floor or an interview of substance with any of the key figures.

One thing that has been forgotten is that the airwaves are a part of the commons belong to the American people. There used to be an obligation on those who use the commons to present responsible accounts of events of vital importance to the country. A compliant administration is letting the networks ignore this obligation.