Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Let's Take A Lesson From General Musharaf

Pakistan's General Pervez Musharaf has this week assaulted Pakistan's judiciary, lawyers, and media, imprisoning many and shutting down or limiting access and content of TV broadcasts. He's fighting those who are fighting him. And his methods aren't that nice.

We could take a lesson from the General -- not by sending people to jail; but by firing them and bringing in a new group of players.

Throughout this campaign I've been waiting for any of the candidates to speak about corruption, temptation, campaign financing, the complacency of the Congress, the fact that Congress cares more about political gain and reelection than it does about the rule of law, the protection of our Constitution, and common-sense accountability. And the media who have complacently gone along with converting an altruistic news organization paid for by all the other venues, to the news groups becoming profit centers owned and operated by entertainment conglomerates.

Well . . . in the footsteps of a recent and very powerful speech by Salt Lake City's Mayor Ross Anderson, let's fire the bums.
You have failed us miserably and we won’t take it any more.

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 any more!
I spent three hours researching the news to see how Mayor Anderson's speech was reviewed. In America, not a single major media outlet covered it but a few online services reported it with the full text of the speech. It appeared on a few independent blogs and news feeds. Overseas however, it got more play. New Zealand and Australia particularly.

Again, from Mayor Anderson's speech:
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 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.
One of the first few acts of the new team at the AG's office would be to enforce the FCC standards that are being flagrantly violated so that the media will do what we chartered them to do: fairly report the news in return for the use of the public's airwaves, and to end torture and rendition. I can't see either happening with our newly appointed AG.

One of the first acts of a new team of legislators will be to free themselves from funding outrageously expensive campaigns that require huge amounts of time fundraising to the detriment of hours that could be better spent doing the job they were elected to do. Whether it be federally financed campaigns or some other alternative, we cannot afford for our legislators to abrogate their duties to spend time fundraising and also spend face time with big contributors with an axe to grind. Since this topic hasn't appeared too often in the debates - and when it has there's been lip service instead of serious proclamations - I don't foresee a major change in this area either.

And one of the first steps from a new President will be to perform a serious house-cleaning (de-Baath-ification-like) within the top echelon of our government's bureaucracy to rid us of those who have been tempted and those who close their eyes to it.

There are a thousand other activities that need to happen to bring us back down to earth and get the various arms of our government functioning full-time again.

What say you?

Certainly the public senses all these things. Otherwise why would Congress' approval rating be so low? People know but they don't know what to do. The answer is simple: draw a line and say "I'm not going to take it anymore" and then vote to throw the bums out. More importantly, research who's running and select only those that meet your standards. YOUR standards.

What say you?