Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Bipartisan Challenge

Since Obama took office I've been struggling with this idea of his that he wants to restore unity in Washington. He wants Congress and the Washington bureaucracy to work in a spirit of bipartisan cooperation so that America can solve the problems that have resulted from Washington's partisan conflict. I wish Obama well and hope that he actually is able to tackle this problem that is increasingly splitting America in two. I have even had imaginings that if I were in Obama's position and this stimulus package were to come to my desk endorsed by few if any Republicans, I would veto the bill and tell Congress to come back with a bipartisan solution.
But a sneaky little voice keeps whispering in my ear saying the Republicans aren't going to let this happen. Republicans think differently than the rest of us think. To understand what I mean, here's an email that I received yesterday. It looks like it's been circulating for awhile, but still this is where the Republican Party seems to stand these days:
*************
Can't win an argument with a Republican? Here's why: their positions make no sense.
You first have to subscribe to the following system of belief:
TO BE A REPUBLICAN, YOU NEED TO BELIEVE:
1. Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.
2. Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's Daddy made war on him , a good guy when Cheney did business with him, and a bad guy when Bush needed a 'we can't find Bin Laden' diversion.
3. Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is Communist, but trade with China and Viet Nam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.
4. The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.
5. A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multinational drug corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.
6. The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches, while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.
7. If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.
8. A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our longtime allies, then demand their cooperation and money.
9. Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy, but providing health care to all Americans is socialism. HMO's and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.
10. Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.
11. A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense, but a president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.
12. Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.
13. The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades, but George Bush's driving record is none of our business.
14. Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.
15. Supporting 'Executive Privilege' for every Republican ever born, who will be born or who might be born (in perpetuity).
16. What Bill Clinton did in the 1960's is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the '80's is irrelevant.
17. Support for hunters who shoot their friends and blame them for wearing orange vests similar to those worn by the quail.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

NSA and 911

I just watched a one-hour NOVA program on PBS television titled "The Spy Factory." The program focused on the National Security Agency's role in the War on Terror including what they knew about the 9/11 terrorists prior to the attack. Most of this information has been the topic of speculation primarily among so-called conspiracy theorists but as it turns out, it is entirely real.
One thing that really bugs me after watching this show is that it is quite obvious that the NSA was monitoring bin Laden and al-Qaeda, had their phone numbers, was monitoring bin Laden's personal cell phone purchased in New York, the al-Qaeda control center in Yemen, and the terrorists themselves here in the US. There is no way that the NSA did not know what was happening. NOVA answers that by alluding to the idea that the NSA had nobody in government that it could report those facts to.
Just how gullible does NOVA think its audience is? Of course the NSA has people in government that it reports to.