Sen McCain: Mubarak needs to step down

.: United States Senator John McCain :: Press Office :.

Washington, D.C. ­– U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today released the following statement on the rapidly deteriorating situation in Egypt:

“The rapidly deteriorating situation in Egypt leads me to the conclusion that President Mubarak needs to step down and relinquish power. It is clear that the only institution in Egypt that can restore order is the army, but I fear that for it to do so on behalf of a government led by or involving President Mubarak would only escalate the violence and compromise the army’s legitimacy. I urge President Mubarak to transfer power to a caretaker administration that includes members of Egypt’s military, government, civil society, and pro-democracy opposition, which can lead the country to free, fair, and internationally credible elections this year as part of a real transition to democracy.

“All Americans should be appreciative of President Mubarak’s long record of cooperation with our government, which has helped to fight terrorism and promote peace and security in the Middle East and North Africa. I remain concerned about the role of the Muslim Brotherhood and other organizations in Egypt that espouse an extremist ideology. But Egypt must have a democratic future. It is the will of the Egyptian people. It is in the interest of the United States. And the greatest contribution that President Mubarak can make to the cause of democracy in his country is to remove himself from power.”

At least some in DC at least partially get, though as an American I will never be appreciative of a dictatorship. America can do better for allies than supporting or relying on dictators. Our standing in the world would be much improved if the nation did not support dictators. We should be fostering the principles of equality, tolerance, freedom and democracy instead.

Pelosi: Public Option Dead

Pelosi: Public Option Dead in Revived Health Care Overhaul

A baby step in the right direction. I still want the bill killed in it’s entirety. Congress should start over with more appropriately smaller and focused bills to address the problematic areas with the U.S. health care system directly instead of trying to destroy the entire system that works well for the overwhelming majority.

Dan Choi

As those who have been following the issue of the military’s misguided “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy knows that today Lt. Dan Choi lost his first DADT battle, but vowed to keep fighting. I still find it incomprehensible that the U.S. government and elements in the military somehow think our country’s best interests are served in discriminating against otherwise qualified and much needed personnell based solely on their gender preference. Should not the ability to serve our nation be solely based on one’s capabilities rather than socio-political dogma?

The Obama administration has merely sidestepped the issue (as I knew he would always do) while SecDef Gates softened his public approach (only because the WH is using him as a scape goat to cover their inactivity). Congress abets the administration’s astounding silence by intentionally ignoring the issue as well. Perhaps both pray that it will go away while our military personnel are left wallowing in a muddled policy. The administration’s excuse for this behavior is supposedly to allow time to convince old guard military top relent. President Obama forgets that he is the Commader in Chief and like President Truman when integrating the military could simply order DADT out of existence. Unfortunately Obama is too fearful of taking a stand on anything. Truman faced massive opposition to racially integrating the military but did it anyway.

As those I know in the military like to say: Mission first.

The net effect is the government has gone from always discrimnating against homosexuals in the military to just sometimes. How very progressive. /sarcasm

As usual I encourage all people to contact their Representatives and Senators to tell them what you want on all issues from DADT to the environment to taxes and beyond. Look beyond partisan politics and beyond party to what is best for all Americans within the guidelines of our Constitutional government.

Honduras

Some posts and analysis of Honduras and assorted political interpretations of the events there.

PoliGazette » Update on Honduras: Just Words, Just Speeches?

Matthew Yglesias » A Smart Take on Honduras

Roberto Lovato: Obama Has the Power and Responsibility to Help Restore Democracy in Honduras

Honduras crisis shows Latin America’s weaknesses – Americas – MiamiHerald.com

Personally I disagree with Obama’s (and other world leaders) public calls of support for Zelaya and suspect that behind the scenes many are grateful that Chavez’s ALBA faces a setback in their attempt to expand their influence through out the Americas. As for the world, foreign nations not involved (e.g. everyone) need to stay out of Honduras’ political affairs and let them sort it out. They don’t have to like how things went down but they should not support a politician that was repeatedly defying his nation’s own laws either.

The MSM also needs to start reporting the facts instead of supporting political agendas and lying about events in Honduras with wild claims of riots, military junta, and so on. Even better, maybe try something fresh like telling the entire story. (Ha! Yeah I know that’s not going to happen.)

The truth will out eventually.

Big Brother wants your veggie gardens!

Heh. Sorry. I couldn’t resist the post title. But on to some serious business.

So now we have an idiot on the Hill pushing H.R. 875, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009. Sounds harmless enough until you actually ready what this thing does in the name of improving the safety of food we eat in the United States by creating the Food Safety Administration (FSA).

H.R. 875 has some good points but is poorly worded and could easily be interpreted (by the Feds of course) in ways unintended:

  1. Single family farms and personal gardens would be regulated by the FSA even if they never share, sell, or trade their products with anyone. The way its phrased there is no, not one, single provision excluding private homes or single family farms. Way too much potential for abuse there.
  2. No judicial review for civil penalties imposed by an administrator. In otherwords those accused of violating the bill but found innocent have no recourse for damages. The closet fascists will love that part.
  3. Potentially giving free reign to GM foods to be added to the food supply without informing the citizenry in the name of reducing food borne illness. Monsato must be happy campers with this.
  4. Usurping States rights by dictating the States role in the program, including forcing the States to pay for a mandated Federal programs. If it’s Fed the Fed should pay for it.
  5. A chilling phrase in the bill: Improving State Surveillance Capacity. Especially when its another Federal mandate and not asking for the cooperation of the States.
  6. A bizarre bit about all functions, personnell, building, et al for the new agency being transfered to the newly formed FSA the day before the Act is enacted. 

Perhaps most amusing is the notion that this new agency would somehow be able to accomplish what the existing FDA has not been able to do. It won’t since the same problem for the FDA will haunt the FSA into failure: personnel and money. And like the FDA, the FSA will become a puppet of corporations that pay FSA workers/admins off instead of protect the American public.

As I undestand it De Lauro, the bill’s sponser, claims to be working to clean up the language and tighten the bill to avoid some of the more serious problems that could arise, like going after people’s gardens and small farms. Problem is the bill is so badly phrased everyone seems confused by it, even those who support it. I suspect it is an attempt by the large food manufacturers like Monsanto to destroy small and organic farmers thereby creating their own little monopolies on the food supply. It has little to nothing to do with food safety.

News Briefs 08 Jan 2009

Obama pushes stimulus, warns on recession | Reuters I’m highly skeptical of Obama’s neo-socialist attitude that only the government can solve the economic crisis, especially one that will only increase the debt left for future generations. The Federal Government can not be the cash cow for the country to turn o for money that doesn’t exist. History has shown government influence and control hinders economic recovery. Recent history even more so highlights this with the epic failure that was the so called Wall Street Bailout. Do we really want to trust a government that bankrupted the nation’s social programs and ran up massive deficits and debt over the past forty to fifty years to have greater influence in the economy as well? I, for one, do not.

Israel faces criticism as Gaza toll hits 765 | Reuters And why doesn’t anyone blame Hamas, a blantantly obvious terrorist organization, not held accountable for its attacks on civilians? Oh that’s right, only Israel does wrong. Everyone else in the ME is innocent, fluffy bunnies. /sarcasm Yes Israel has done some terrible things to Palestinians, but then so have the Palestinians done terrible things (to both themselves  and Israelis) as well by allowing the Arab world to use them as pawns to keep the corrupt Arab regimes in power for decades.

Microsoft’s Ballmer touts ‘best version of Windows ever’ – CNN.com
What’s funny is I thought Vista was the best version of Windows since the archaic 3.11. I know others had problems with Vista but I never really did. On the rare occasions I did I was always able to find a viable, easy solution. So go figure. Perhaps this means Windows 7 truly will be the ‘best version ever’. Perhaps not. I still like Unix/Linux systems (particularly Ubuntu) better even if I don’t use one at home.

I did get some amusement at the implication that they had developed a flexible screen. The Japanese came up with that nearly a decade ago. I remember seeing it on a Japanese tech news television program. I guess its good that it’s finally reached the US.