Archive for category Peace

A Day Late And A Dollar Short

My favorite song turned 45 yesterday:

Darn Muslims!

Look here.


Look What Tim DeChristopher’s Up To

Go to Tim’s site for more.

It was a nice event. Looked like about one hundred showed up. Here’s how things went down:

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The War Power, The Sergeant, the Senator: Treason or Heroism

The Sergeant who some years ago left his post in that unnecessary and unwinnable war in
Afghanistan is either a hero, a traitor, or just a terribly young man in the wrong war at the wrong time. He spent terrible years of torture and probably said things he didn’t really mean.

Some years ago in Vietnam, Senator McCain was shot down over Vietnam, another unconstitutional war, and equally unwinnable war, confessed repeatedly to things he later recanted, once safely in the United States, and is, quite rightly regarded, despite his confessions to American war crimes, a hero. The two cases are not quite completely on all fours, as we say in the law. But the similarity is sufficient to compare with each other and with the undergirding of law.

Presidents, from George Washington to Barack Obama, who are visited by war, either their own or, like Obama, inherited from another (in Obama’s case two other) fools who preceded them, have always had this power. While not yet president, and without this act may well not have become president, Ronald Reagan communicated with Iran, telling them, in effect, just to refuse to deal with Carter on releasing our citizens from the U. S. Embassy in Iran, and await his presidency. Their deal (which killed Jimmie Carter’s hope for a second term and by the way was treason, meriting a firing squad.)

The 30, 60, 90 day notification of Congress is also unconstitutional, but not for the reasons the Republicans and Democrats alike, trumpet. Saint Paul, as I recall, said “this trumpet has an uncertain sound.” And I know he said that some leaders have “zeal without knowledge.” This is Republican and Democratic leaders on steroids, just like my former wife.

The reason the War Powers Act is unconstitutional is not what is now said by either Republicans or Democrats, as I told Joe Biden when he was both Minority Senior member of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate and when he was chair. I testified before his committee a few times, and he called me at the law school sometimes to chat about this. The reason is simple. Due to both a few but very senior Democrats and almost all Republicans, Congress forced the Demo’s to give the president 30, 60, or 90 days to play with Congress’ army while he picked his nose. War has not been officially declared since FDR did it in WW2. George Bush (the first) and Colin Powell, in my opinion, got it right, constitutionally, by voting 50-50 in the Senate, and then the Dark Lord, Vice President Cheney, broke the tie and we went to war in Iraq the right way by law; and they had the smarts to stop when their limited mission was accomplished. And until this time, the President, as Commander in Chief, has no constitutional power to use the United States armed forces, save self-defense.

In the Framers’ mind that means only when the United States of America, not our allies, are attacked. For Utahns, the reason J. Reuben Clark, my hero and a great patriot, a rock-ribbed Republican who served under many Republican presidents, served variously as chief legal adviser to the Department of State (then, as an deputy Attorney General on loan from Justice to State,,,,,,now called Legal Adviser to the State Department; and Vice Secretary of State, and Ambassador to Mexico; and advised many presidents between world wars one and two, on all arms control treaties between those to dreadful wars) opposed NATO was because it delegated the war power to a generation not yet born and for the defense of people, and nations, not yet born. Neither the United Nations (Korean War) nor NATO (Ukraine?) can declare war for the United States of America. This is the statement of law, the War Clause, that makes this beyond debate. Remember, that it is also the sole right of Congress: not the President of the United States, nor NATO, nor the United Nations, that decides what constitutes International law, as well. So, both Constitutional Law and International Law, save an attack on the United States, inform us that Congress, not the president or these international bodies, who determines for war or peace.

So screw the people and the Congress and president now living. When the president, any president, has this army to use, that army will never return to Congress’ care. This is unconstitutional because it is an illegal attempt to delegate to the President a plenary power, given exclusively, textually, to the Congress. Like the power over interstate commerce (the road by which most civil rights legislation is constitutional), along with the equal protection and due process of law clauses of the 5th and 14th amendments. It’s as if Congress were to say to Obama, “Say, friend, we’re so damned tired of life in Washington, despite the cherry blossoms, we will do what the Supreme Court does, and reconvene when good weather returns. We’re going to go to Balboa Island, California, where it’s nice and sunny, in ocean or on the beach, and pick our nose and scratch our butts. And better yet, we have one in eight chances not to pick both with the same finger. Even though we’ve proven, time out of mind, that we in Congress cannot chew gum and pick our nose, simultaneously (a great blessing). So, pres., you now have the taxing and the spending power, and we’ll sweeten the loaf by throwing into the pot, since you do have to stick around in this shitty weather, and give you the power also to fund and provide for the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Navy. And don’t sweat it about financing things by the provision in the Constitution that spending bills begin in the House. Since you already have the taxing and spending power, do all this in the White House. P.S. please instruct the Treasury Department to deliver our checks, our salaries, and all the REALLY big bucks from the armaments industry and all those other lobbyists. We really have earned this right by selling our souls to the devil. Have a good life.

I say that both Senator and Soldier are bona fide heroes. Ed Firmage xoxox


A Confluence of Events

I was sort of hoping somebody was going to hide marijuana joints all over my apartment for me to find and smoke tomorrow, but I doubt it’s going to happen. :(


Be Sure To Set Your Clock Forward On Sunday

Unless you want to be fired for NOT showing up to your corporate job eh?

Can we start, by NOT having to set our clocks forwards or backwards

Congress decides.


First Time I’ve Seen Max Headroom Since Forever

Come on Johnny Rotten/Eminem.
Are you going to be out there in the streets?

Maybe you’d better think twice about your fans, unless you’re going to be in the streets with them.

Just sayin’


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Forget About The Coke Ad

America isn’t the only place with diversity, but we have one guy who cares about it, and makes US safer.

It doesn’t matter how many times I watch these videos, I keep seeing new people who showed up to promote joy.

In chronological order:

Try to watch these wonderful videos in the best resolution you can. If you live in America? Good luck with that. We have some of the worst internet services in the world. :(


No Skateboards!

skateboard sign

I can’t believe that skateboards are still popular after all these years. I used to have one when I was 13, (now 61). I painted it with a “Thunderball” logo, based on the James Bond movie of the same name that was around at the time.

Stay with me here skateboarders!

I found out that steel wheels weren’t a good idea on skateboards, because it you hit a pebble in the street, it would send you flying onto the pavement; pronto! The rubber wheels came later, but that didn’t – in any way – stop the surfing enthusiasts, without a surf, from riding and flipping their boards around the town in unimaginable ways.

The sidewalks are for pedestrians, bicyclists, and you. It gives me energy to see you.

If I get hit; that’s the way things go. :)

Try not to hurt yourselves!


Nancy Pelosi’s Grandchild Explains Why President Obama Can’t Order an Attack on Syria

Today I actually got involved in an e-mail debate with none other than Talking Points Memo founder Josh Marshall (who never before has answered my e-mails). He contended that President Obama has complete authority as commander-in-chief to order an attack on Syria without congressional authorization, and he lectured me for allegedly being ignorant on the subject of constitutional war powers.

“It’s a complex topic,” said Marshall. “I simply don’t think this is as simple as only Congress has the right to get us into shooting wars.” He’s wrong of course, and I gave him some detailed arguments which I could repeat here, and maybe will in comments. But tonight on Lawrence O’Donnell’s MSNBC show I learned about another debate that quickly got to the point. I could not do better.

[Note: Please ignore the AIPAC ad]

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) emerged from a meeting with President Obama and other congressional leaders earlier today and publicly declared her continued support for military intervention in Syria. But before she left the press gaggle, she shared one last story about a curious conversation she had with her five-year-old grandson over Labor Day weekend.

Before she left her home in San Francisco, Pelosi said her grandson approached her with this question: “Are you ‘yes’ war with Syria, ‘no’ war with Syria?” First of all, she wanted everyone to know that “we’re not talking about war, we’re talking about an action” in Syria, but none-the-less she continued the anecdote.

When she asked her grandson what he thought, he said, “I think no war.” She proceeded to make her case to the young man, describing how Bashar al-Assad’s regime has “killed hundreds of children there.”

“Were these children in the United States?” her grandson asked, bringing up the salient point of how the strike will affect American interests.

She told him, no, but they are “children” wherever they are. “It affects our interests because, again, it was outside of the circle of civilized behavior,” she told reporters. “Humanity drew a line decades ago that I think if we ignore, we do so to the peril of many other people who could suffer.”

From her remarks, it sounds like Pelosi may not have been able to sway her five-year-old grandson. Will she be able to convince her colleagues in the House?

Attacking Syria would be a big mistake, the biggest of the Obama administration. Everyone can see it. The only division is between those who can admit this in public, and those who cannot.
Read the rest of this entry »


I Think These Are Important Films

Originally, I was thumbing through HULU to see if there was anything I could watch for free that would interest me, and I found a very good film by Robert Greenwald about the Koch Brothers. I’ve seen many of his films, and am so glad that somebody is working so hard, trying to find a way to inform us without making billions destroying our dignity here and around the world. The film tried to be – you know – “fair and balanced”, and they made many attempts to allow the Koch bro’s to criticize the content so they could add it to the end of the film. Apparently the Koch’s didn’t see this film as a threat.

Koch Brothers Exposed:

The Koch bro’s DID see a threat, when a film called, “Citizen Koch” was broadcast on a public television station and decided they had better attach themselves onto the end, before having the film erased from any other showings across the nation. They can do that, because they donate to public television. You can see David Koch’s name in the credits to the “Nova” science series, although – as Greenwalds film reveals -, the Koch’s don’t give a flying shit about your education or democracy. Their push to destroy both are WAY beyond the scope of this post.

After watching the HULU presentation of Greenwald’s film, another documentary automatically started which is called, “Crawford (2008). What a great film! This one is truly, “fair and balanced”, and I’m positive none of the people in Crawford, Texas made a dime, by giving their opinions on camera. These are just plain folk, who were speaking their minds. It covers what happened to this town, when George W. Bush decided to move in, just before his run for president in 2000. If you thought the entire movie was going to be about Cindy Sheehan – whom I admire greatly -, you’d be wrong. She is only featured in a fraction of the document. To me, the star of the movie is a young high school student in Crawford, who completely gets what’s happening around him and articulates it perfectly. You’ll find out what happens to him towards the end.

Crawford (2008):

I have to add one comment about Robert Greenwald. I went to a screening of a political film in Salt Lake many years ago which featured a discussion afterwards. After the discussion, a young man handed me copy of what might have been Greenwald’s first documentary. I think it was called, ‘The Truth About The War In Iraq’. It was dead-on, and proven to be accurate, even though it was published years before some of the media – sort of – dipped it’s toes into the truth. But the thing that amazed me was that this 30-something man also handed me a letter that was sent to him by Greenwald’s organization. The young man had bought about 13 of the DVD’s so he could give them out, but got a letter from “Brave New Films”, telling him he could just copy them at will and give them out. Sure enough, the DVD didn’t have any copy protection. :)

Some are in it for the money, and others aren’t. Who do you support!


I’ve Seen It All

And now: so have you:

Ray Charles died in 2004. but watch Willie Nelson and Leon Russell watch Charles play Russell’s great song in stunned silence:

Hope I’m not being too dramatic.


Peace Against War: Peace Wins!

Politicians are always trying to tug at our heart strings by bringing children or handicapped people into the discussion. Today, we are supposed to believe that congresspeople have to spend their entire time in congress getting money to “win” their next term, so they can help the children and the handicapped people.

Actually, that is old stuff. Today, politicians seem to think the best way to woo us is to break unions, take away governmental programs that help children, handicapped people, seniors, and the poor.

I’m not that great a writer, but I can refer you to someone who is.

This piece reminded me of a video I saw on YouTube which proves things could possibly change VERY SLOWLY over generations:

Are we that generation?

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