To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards out of men.
The endorsements for the offices of our U.S. Congressman and our Illinois State Senator are the most important endorsements we can make and the most import votes you, as reader and citizen, can cast.
The reason being, this election is, more so than any in recent history, a referendum on the quality of our lives as it is affected by the national administration of our country and the effect our state legislature has on us here in northern Illinois.
For Congress, we have the choice between Gen. John Borling as a write-in and Independent candidate; Dick Auman, the Democratic candidate; and Don Manzullo, the incumbent and Republican candidate.
Republican rule has to end. Looking at us from without, never, in the history of this great nation, has the world been so anti-American. In the 1950s, the phrase The Ugly American began to enter the lexicon. Why? Because we had won World War II, and we were loved almost unconditionally by much of the world. We were the leader of the Free World.
The Greek word hubris means excessive pride, and Shakespeare expounded, Pride goeth before the fall. We were proud of ourselves, as we should have been for our sacrifices and our achievement in defeating the Axis powers. However, many Americans traveling abroad looked down on the indigenous populations as not being on a par with our achievement, and their condescension amplified to rudeness, which rejected local cultural customs, values and procedures. When the Berlin wall fell, this culture of superiority went sky high in some of the fringe cabals of the conservative movement. Hubris was too tame a word for their pathological smugness.
Our attempts at attitudinal and operational imposition of U.S. customs, values and procedures around the world are out of control through the paranoid ignorance, arrogant unilateralism, and rationalized aggression of the bumbling George W. Bush administration. The megalomaniacal meanness of Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and the neo-cons has done massive damage to our reputation and relationships around the world. It will take decades to recover, if we can.
Bush has pitted Muslims against Christians, using words like Crusades and the diplomatically ridiculous Axis of Evil. Since we dont have The Red Menace because of the fall of Communism and the rise of the corporate profit at any domestic cost philosophy with China, Bush has created a new clash of civilizationsthe War on Terror in perpetuity, ad infinitum. War all the time. Fear, fear, fear. Only the Republicans can provide security. Dont fall for it; peace is possible. These people are appealing to our basest instinctsfear of anything foreign to the extent of hate. Who is the real psychological terrorist? The silver hammer of the words Freedom and Democracy is being used to make those very concepts hated in the Muslim world, coupled with the reversion to righteous religious primitivism that is ascendent on both sides to our mutual disadvantage. Its hate-speak, reinforced by the filthy shame of torture in Abu Ghraib, secret CIA prisons and Guantanamo.
Don Manzullo points out we were attacked before 9/11 in the 1993 World Trade Center garage bombing, the two embassies being attacked in Tanzania and Kenya, the USS Cole attack by al-Qaeda, etc. However, Manzullo, and other history revisionists who continually try to make the link, fail to mention Iraq/Saddam Hussein did not plan or execute these attacks or 9/11! Even the 9/11 Commission Report stated no operational link existed between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda.
Add that fallacy, as the Bush administration constantly did, to the facade of WMD as the pretext to attack Iraq. Manzullo replies that it was the best intelligence we had. Many CIA officers resigned in protest over the administration plowing under of their analysis to the contrary. The Bush push for intelligence to back up the decision to invade Iraq caused others to resign. The decision was made to invade Iraq before Bush was even in office! Many call the WMD claim a bigger lie than Bill Clinton ever told, and cite the claim as true grounds for impeachment.
Manzullo also cites the October 2003 David Kay interim report on the Iraq Study group and the Dalfour Report, which speculate WMDs may have gone to Syria, and assert one scientist had small amounts of viral material. However, that report is filled with words like plans, capability and could be activated. Importantly, these words assertions that Iraq intended to produce chemical and a nuclear weapons after the U.N. sanctions and weapons inspections were terminated. Those programs were terminated by Operation Iraqi Freedom.
If you believe your next-door neighbor has plans, or the capability to murder you, the law still prohibits you from attacking him first. Bushs preemptive actions threaten the rule of international law and civilized behavior around the world.
Not to be confused with James Bakers Iraq Study Group (ISG) that was formed to blunt the effect of Bushs failed Stay The Course on these upcoming elections, a little humor from a Jan. 12, 2005, posting on www.talkingdog.com has very telling observations about the conclusions of Kays ISG: Just 70 days (same number as the virgins…) after achieving the purpose of the Iraq adventure (that would be the successful re-election of the Imperium), the American government very quietly announced the termination of the mission of the Iraq Survey Group.
Simply put: the great snipe hunt for Saddams weapons of mass destruction that didnt exist is now ignominiously over. Impressively, the former paper of record that continues to employ Judith Warmonger Miller, principal journalistic (so to speak) legitimizer of the Saddam is really bad and no matter how many Midwestern rubes we kill in the process of removing him is fully justified no matter how tenuous the claim he has WMDs actually is… now gives us this quiet story of the end of the Iraq Survey Groups work, fully backing up Charles Dalfours report from last fall that Saddam had nuttin. Despite the Dalfour report coming out before the election, the American people expressed their preference: preventing dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of gay couples from marrying was far more important than expressing outrage at a government whose incompetence had killed over a thousand of their countrymen on a fools errand.
Knowing that the mission has been accomplished, the ball has been spiked, and the end zone party commences in just eight days time (unsportsmanlike conduct penalty be damned!), even White House spokesman and compulsive confabulator Scotty McClellan confirmed that Saddam had nothinnot secret caches deep underground, not moved to Syria… just nothin. Doesnt mean the whole war wasnt justified (the Imperium WAS re-elected, was it not?), concluded www.talkingdog.com.
Speaking of elections, when asked about electronic voting machines, Manzullo was admirably very concerned about their dangers and cited a recent Drudgereport.com posting. I dont like those machines, Manzullo said. Unlike the Sunday fluff piece in the local daily ignoring current research, he discussed the Princeton University and Johns Hopkins University studies that show how easily and quickly (less than 1 minute alone with the machine, in one case) the voting machines could be hacked. He cited a report that the machines could be affected by someone just getting near one with the proper device, and said he may sponsor legislation to address the problem. He asked whether Illinois voting machines provided a paper trail, and seemed to agree that any computer could be hacked. He made no commitment to go back to the paper ballot.
By the way, you must read Robert F. Kennedy Jr.s Will The Next Election Be Hacked? in the Oct. 5 issue of Rolling Ston
e magazine. It covers the extreme dangers of touch screen machines, the lack of paper trails, the private companies that make all of the machines, Jack Abramoffs lobbying on behalf of Diebold, and all the problems in many states. Get ready to get scared. Read www.bradblog.com and www.blackboxvoting. org for more.
Marylands Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) asked voters to request absentee ballots because he felt the Diebold machines could not produce accurate and fair election results! Thats a Republican governor, folks.
What is really scary is Manzullos total commitment to supporting Bushs policy in Iraq; this support is the main reason why he does not receive the endorsement of this paper.
Yet, he is also willing to entertain the concept of partitioning Iraq among the Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis, which is probably the only practical solution that will bring peace to this ancient tribal land. Of course, the oil revenue of the country would have to be shared in such a federation. Gen. Borling also supports the idea on partitioning with revenue sharing to pay America back for our blood and treasure.
While both Borling and Auman think Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld should resign, Manzullo does not. Thats for the president, he said. He does the presidents bidding. Consider then, the report in the Sunday papers that all the military papers, Army Times, Navy Times, Marine Corps Times and Air Force Times are carrying an editorial, Donald Rumsfeld must go, calling for his resignation.
Manzullo doesnt feel Speaker of the House Rep. Dennis Hastert (R) should resign, either, over the Foley scandal. Both Borling and Auman do think he should resign. As Auman told this paper, Your obligation is to the minor, to report it and have an investigation, and the leaders in the House of Representatives who knew about this and didnt take appropriate action, need to step aside.
While Manzullo stands as largely a Republican Party man, he has broken ranks by reversing his vote on the Patriot Act, and seems genuinely concerned about our civil liberties. Thank you. Hopefully, he is also concerned about warrantless wiretaps and the writ of Habeas Corpus, which guarantees anyonesand in this case military detaineesright to appear before a judge. Congress has again given a weak-kneed rubberstamp to Bushs tyrannical bent in the name of Terrorism.
As I said in an editorial in our March 5-11, 2003, issue: The maxim, You become what you hate rings so true. We hope that well never become like George W. Bush because he is a disaster, and almost everything he does and believes swings the steel fist in the velvet glove at our most cherished valuesliberty and justice for all. Its time to take the gloves off. He is the most dangerous president weve ever had.
The Iraq crisis fails to meet the criteria of a just war. Bushs actions violate the body and spirit of our Constitution. The United States is in danger of becoming every evil weve ever opposed in the world.
I wrote that in 2003, and with the possible attack on Iran, North Korea and even Syria not out of the realm of possibility for the cowboy in the White House, we have to let Bush and his posse know the sheriffs of the American principals and citizens will arrest such notions and try them in the court of public opinion with our votes as the judge.
We must start recovery of our national reputation right now. We must send a message to Washington, D.C., immediately, Nov. 7. The one-party system of the Republicans in control of the White House, the Senate, the House and the Supreme Court has been a disaster. This election is a referendum on the Bush administration and the complicity of Congress.
The rubberstamp Congress has betrayed us and is in dereliction of its duty, as a check and balance of the executive branch. The investigation of 9/11 was lame. So many questions still remain; and a full, intensive investigation, no matter how painful, must occur. To add insult to injury, most of the 9/11 Commissions recommendations have not been implemented. Where is the congressional oversight?
After noting he was at the Pentagon the day after 9/11 and saw the outline of the plane in the building, Don Manzullo said of the WTC attack, All I know is that I saw two planes going in, one in each tower, and there were two guys talking on CNN, who I think were structural engineers that said there is no way these towers could take that amount of jet fuel being poured into the core and then exploding and melting the steel. But Im not a structural engineer… All I know is that we were attacked on that date [9/11]. That points out the very need for a full investigation by Congressthe 9/11 families themselves are still not satisfied, regardless of the attempted hatchet job on them by tasteless Ann Coulter, the pin-up girl of right-wingers.
Why does the right wing attack so ferociously those who point out the many holes in the mass media presentation of 9/11? Because 9/11 is the nexus of control on the slippery slope toward totalitarianism brought to us by the Bush Show. For background about that charade, read British journalist Greg Palasts book Armed Madhouse (www.gregplast.com). For a good exposé on 9/11, read Micheal C. Rupperts book Crossing The Rubicon (www.fromthewinderness.com). For a good look at the blind mindset that will continue if it is not constrained by a new Congress, read Pulitzer Prize winner Ron Suskinds The One Percent Solution: Deep Inside Americas Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11.
The blind mindset of Free Trade will also be continued by Manzullo if he stays in office. He has voted for NAFTA, GATT, CAFTA and against withdrawing from WTO. Manzullo defends NAFTA, saying it has corrected an imbalance of tariffs the U.S. was paying and fulfilled its promise to increase trade between us, Mexico and Canada. Many small manufacturers in the area have told me just to count the empty factories that have closed since NAFTA and the increase of trade with China.
In the 1990s, Manzullo voted against China trade, then he voted for the U.S.-China Relations Act of 2000. He asserts that Asia will be the largest purchaser of Boeing aircraft in the near future, which will bring Hamilton Sundstrand substantial subcontracts. Yes, the large companies prosper; the small ones close, and our economic health is held to a greater extent by Chinese hands.
Manzullo touts his hand-outs through earmarks, special funding set aside for various projects, saying money he brought in for EIGER Lab, Burpee Museum, the airport, the federal courthouse and Crusader Clinic would not have been possible without earmarks. He said either the local congressmen say where the money goes or bureaucrats in Washington decide, saying, Wheres Rockford? He also noted Auman, when he was mayor of Galena, asked Manzullo for $10 million in earmarks.
At the same time, earmarks bring us fine projects like the $223 million dollar bridge to nowhere in Alaska, which he says he voted against and which was ultimately defeated. Some earmarks are anonymous, and the pork is hard to trace.
Money from the Jack Abramoff scandal was traced to Manzullo, who said: Anything that Abramoff was involved in, we returned. I never met Abramoff. I dont know what he looks like.
An article on www.wikipedia.org said: Manzullo was one of several politicians who received money from lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Manzullo received a total of $3,500 from two Native American tribes with interests in casino gambling. In the days following the report of the Abramoff scandal, it was announced that Manzullo would return the remainder of $1,500 to the Choctaw (Kane County Chronicle, Jan. 5, 2006), and $2,000 to the Agua Caliente (Associated Press, Jan. 11, 2006).
As to the $500 donation he received from the Morongo Mis
sion Indians of California, Manzullo said they are people opposed to gambling and a small business group involved in the Skymaster airplane.
Manzullo is proud of his record on renewable energy, citing his vote for Bushs energy bill that provides billions of dollars in incentives. He also notes his funding assistance for Freedom Field at the airport, which he says have a state-of-the-art fuel cell because of Hamilton Sundstrand engineering. He also points out his assistance to a biodeisel facility going up next to the hog plant in Freeport. Manzullos efforts on behalf of renewable energy are among his finest achievements, in our view, and deserve everyones praise.
One of his worst efforts was his involvement with the effort to end federal funding to the National Endowment for the Arts. His spokesman, Rich Carter, said the federal funding for the arts was a low priority for the congressman.
Gen. Borling initially agreed that the arts were a low priority; and then decided that because arts-based curriculums in schools improve overall scholastic achievement, he would support the arts.
Dick Auman is a great supporters of the arts and National Public Radio, one of this writers favorites, in particular. Overall, especially with his opposition to the Iraq war, we view Auman as more enlightened and progressive than Manzullo. His positions posted on his Web site lay it out:
Jobs and the Economy: Stop jobs from being outsourced to China and India by instituting fair trade, not free trade. Reduce the cost of health care to all business and the self-employed, regardless of size.
Iraq: Favors the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq.
Education: Increase funding for public education. Keep Congress promise to fund Special Education. Lower class sizes. Create opportunities for more students to afford college.
Guns: Simple. Marines dont take guns away from law abiding Americans.
Eliminating our National Debt: Reinstate balanced budget resolutions. Eliminate tax cuts for incomes over $1 million. Eliminate anonymous Appropriation Earmarks. Eliminate corporate subsidies.
Energy Costs: Invest in alternative energy sources. Eliminate subsidies to high profit energy companies.
Health Care: Institute a single payer Health Care Program. Invest in stem cell research.
Immigration: Protect our borders. Enforce current law. Develop a fair process for legalization.
Environment: Prevent drilling in national treasures, including the Arctic Wildlife Refuge. Maintain tough air and water quality standards that protect the health of families. Protect our beaches, lagoons, parks and forests from pollution. Create an energy policy that encourages increased conservation and innovation.
Social Security: Adjust income level to create more revenue for social security. Oppose privatization that would cut guaranteed benefits and add trillions to the national debt.
Auman makes sense and is largely supported by individuals. According to www.opensecrets.orgs Oct. 19 report, his campaign contributions broke out as follows: PAC gave $8,050, or 9 percent; individuals gave $79,345, or 85 percent; and others gave $5,778, or 6 percent.
Manzullo makes big dollars and is largely supported by special interests. According to www.opensecrets.orgs Oct. 19 report, his campaign contributions broke out as follows: PACs gave $584,763, or 53 percent; individuals gave $504,044, or 46 percent and others gave $9,737, or 1 percent.
Since he is chairman of the Small Business Committee, special interests naturally try to gain access and influence by their contributions, and the returned Abramoff money is par for the course.
However, as former Congressman John Cox pointed out, if we want to play the game, we will want our congressman to be from the party that controls Congress. From all indications, that party will be the Democrats and Auman, because all indications are this election is a referendum on Iraq. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld have shown nothing but incompetence in Iraq, and America is finally waking up to say: No more of our young people are going to die or be maimed there. Weve had enough of the slaughter and torture of Iraqis in our name, for nothing!
Richard Auman stands as an independent thinker who wants to get us out of the hole in Iraq.
Gen. Borling, admirably true to his background, wants to go in and win in Iraq. Like Vietnam, the political landscape has passed for that concept. As in Vietnam, Communism and terror will not spread if we get out. If we stay in, and continue to lose our civil liberty with the Patriot Act and warrantless wiretaps, which Borling supports, we totally will lose our constitutional character. As admirable as Borlings rejection of Bush is, just like the military editorial that rejects Rumsfeld, he is wrong headed. His assertion that the system is broken may be too true. This is the last chance for the Democrats. Otherwise, Borling as a brave attempt as an Independent, and Rich Whitney as a third party success story, will become the norm, not an exception. Our mayor was elected as an Independent. The movement is there.
Dick Auman reflects much of the Independent and progressive movement. Hell help us get out of Iraq. Vote for Auman. Vote against Republicans across the board. Send the message loud and clearNo more war!
From the Nov. 1-7 issue