‘I’m disillusioned too … American dream, my ass!’

by on July 16, 2010 · 36 comments

in Culture, Economy, Popular

American_Dream_Just_add_money

Editor: This rant by Sunshine is in response to Scott’s Reader Rant that was posted yesterday, “I was living the American dream…. Now I’m angry.”

I’m disillusioned too, Scott. American Dream, my ass. I owned a 3 bd/2bath house with all the room my young son & I needed and then some for 14 years. 14 years of fixing broken items, repairing near worn out parts, cutting the grass, and complying with ridiculous Homeowner Association rules and regulations. A dream?…more like a nightmare.

When, in 2000, a less-than-integral boyfriend stole $27,000 from me (off my credit cards that I had in ample supply back then), we were reduced to bankruptcy and living on a meager $700 per month until I could get back on my feet. To add insult to injury, my mom was dying of brain/breast cancer that same year and I was a bit distracted by that to focus on my finances.

Then, out of the blue, came a crippling disability that landed me in the hospital several times and rendered me unable to work. By the end of 2000 I was bankrupt financially, devastated by the death of my mom, on my own again with 7 year old son in tow, fully disabled, and recovering from a lamonectomy (low back surgery).

And the advise I got from my family? “Just pick yourself up by your bootstraps and get a job.” “Stop being so lazy.”

So, after working for 35 years, paying taxes from each check, saving a little here and there where I could, I was unable to work for the first time in my life due to health concerns. I ended up cashing in all my savings, stocks, IRA’s, and my son’s college fund to survive. Yeah, some dream.

In 2001, I returned t0 college to carve out a new career as a counselor. (again, my families cries of “get a job” echoed every conversation. Three years later with Certification in hand along with $14,000 in student loans, and several more hospital visits (with their bills ~ no insurance here) under my belt, I was once again equipped to return to the work force part-time only per doctors orders. After searching for work for more than a year, I landed a wonderful career working with the Co-Occurring population (addiction/mental illness recovery) and accepted their pay rate of $9.26 per hour (much less than the $25 per hour I used to make, but it was good solid rewarding work.)

Yet, even with a solid new career under my belt, a good j0b that provided enough for us to get by, and a fantastic network of friends, sleepless nights filled with worry were frequent. Food and toilet paper were still luxuries. Only the bills that came in color were opened and paid (ah, those lovely shut off notices). Loans from family & friends saved our mortgage from foreclosure more than once. The struggle to survive continued.

Fast forward to 2009. I visited OB once again that February. My son & I came to OB for the past 6-7 years as we could afford day trips/short overnight stays at the Point Loma Youth Hostel and always enjoyed it here. That fateful February day, I was walking along the sand, thinking of everything and nothing and trying to figure out what to do with our lives, when I noticed some writing in the sand.

“Smile, this is it” was all it said. I took that message to heart. It was all I needed to go home, put my less-than-new house on the market, and give up the American Dream of homeownership and pushing the rock uphill. Our house sold the same day I listed it, and for more than what I was asking for! 2 months later, house still in escrow, we were living in OB, renting a cottage that was more than 2x’s our mortgage payment, yet now out from under the burden of the American Nightmare.

My family still thinks me crazy for giving up a house for a rented 1 bedroom cottage that is so small you need to go outside to change your mind. Yet, we’re happy.

Fading_American_Dream_CoverWe’re happy that we live so close to the ocean. We’re happy that we can walk/bicycle/bus anywhere we need to go (and thank goodness, as our 1970 VW Van crapped out a month ago). We’re happy that there are still towns like OB in this country where those who simply want to live a peaceful, playful existence can call home.

Now, if our landlady isn’t foreclosed on, we have a place to call home. See, it never truly ends.

Hard times are upon us all ~ yes, even those in the top 2% who will never experience day to day month after month of poverty as we have. I feel fortunate to be able to provide a home for my son and myself. Food and toilet paper are still low on the priority list as medical bills now consume a good portion of our income. But, hell, it could be worse.

Now, as for those nasty little politicians…..vote em all outta office. Someone’s got to take a stand and tell the truth in Washington, D.C. Where is Mr. Smith when you need him?

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Chris Moore July 16, 2010 at 10:25 am

The American Dream is only for the top 5% or so.

The rest of us get the American Screw.

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avatar Peyton Farquhar July 16, 2010 at 10:27 am

Good for you, Sunshine. It’s called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.

R.I.P. George Carlin
http://tinyurl.com/ykrnbsn

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avatar Sunshine July 16, 2010 at 11:47 am

loved the link to George’s perspective, Peyton. Sitting here dreaming of the possibility of one day when those select few who are controlling this country into oblivion for everyone but themselves would have a moment of conscious compassion and stop their evil doings…..that’s the American Dream I’ll keep alive!

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avatar RB July 16, 2010 at 12:42 pm

There is still an American Dream. On Wednesday, Warren Buffet met with President Obama. Mr. Buffet is one of the riches men in the world and the largest shareholder in Goldman Sachs. On Thursday, the President’s SEC settled their security fraud lawsuit with Goldman Sachs and Mr Buffets stock went up 4% in one day. In order to have a good dream, you need to talk to the right people. Of course, Mr Cheney’s oil company summit is the best example of getting to the decision makers and maker your dreams come true.

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avatar Danny Morales July 16, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Thanks for the rant Sunshine! Thanks to Editordude for seeing the utility of it all! Unfortunately, like the protagonist Inman in “Cold Mountain” the home guard of the American Dream sees us as deserters worthy only of death. Fortunately our spirit rises like the eagle…Hasta La Victoria, Siempre!-Danny:>p

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avatar john July 21, 2010 at 3:57 am

Maybe “Dream” was the best term for it, we’ve been living above our means for decades- first the post WW2 Bretton Woods economic scheme, helping bring prosperity for our parents, then Kissinger’s ’73 visit to the Saudis establishing the Dollar as an international fiat currency which allowed us to print money out of worthless paper and trade it for real goods and services to other nations as fast as they could use oil.
The fact is America didn’t come to control over half the world’s wealth by the end of the 20th century because we were smarter, worked that much harder or because the world thought we were soooo charming- it was because the rich and powerful who run it were cold calculating shrewd SOB’s and often resorted to outright treachery to gain the upper hand.
I guess all this ought to lead to a relevant point, as usual when I thought to reply I hadn’t come up with that little detail yet, knowing it would come to me eventually. If we think voting in a new batch of criminals will lead to a better future than was had by the bunch of criminals we’d oust, well we’d be in denial. However if we were to elect a bunch of compassionate, honest and benevolent administrators to run our government, we’re equally up a creek without a paddle. Jimmy Carter is a fine of an example as any, one of the great humanitarians of our lifetimes, yet he ran the country down the tubes in record time. His mentality is dangerous for our purposes, he trusted Arafat at his word, he trusted the Ayatollah at his word, he disbanded the CIA’s operations in Iran because meddling in the affairs of other nations wasn’t “right”. Those we elect to lead have to be shrewd and treacherous, we just have to be able to trust that they know most of it will be to benefit us, not just themselves.
And thus I will offer that for the most part the leaders that will do us the most good in the long run are people like Dick Cheney. No, I’m being perfectly serious here. America picking a President is not unlike a corporate board picking a CEO. The shareholders are not concerned about how well he will be liked by other corporations, or how much they will complain about him, or if the employees will think he’s a nice guy,or even if he’s got a criminal past or any of that silly ****. They want to know that he is going to make the share price rise, and their portfolio grow, they are going to pay him well to do so with stock options that amount to a situation of him raping and pillaging every day for the whole lot of them. If you understand the situation between Iraq, France, Russia and China in 2002, indicative of which was Jacques Chirac’s crybaby speeches against the war before the UN, you realize Chirac was only against action involving Saddam because France was about to realize a windfall for themselves and the Euro when their oil contracts with Saddam were consumated. When Cheney (or Bushpuppet, for those who don’t realize Cheney was calling the shots) walked in and removed Saddam he probably did see his Halliburton options rise but he also prevented a dollar crash internationally and secured (relatively) cheap oil supples for us for a long time to come, keeping Russia, China and to a lesser extent France, away from strategically threatening our Persian Gulf vital interests. .
While I know the war is the wrong way to make an analogy in the polical climate of the Rag, it nonetheless has its point- just like the congressional district that elects a dead honest representative is going to get screwed out of a lot of federal contracts because their boy won’t play the game with the fat cats.
If we want prosperity again, we’ve got to accept that the only way it’s going to happen is having leaders who are raping and pillaging on the world stage, and bringing home some of it for us. Currently we do have too many in government raping and pillaging in their own backyard, that’s another thing we do have to curtail.

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avatar Sunshine July 21, 2010 at 7:37 am

shocked is perhaps too light a word for how I felt when I read your comment of “…leaders that will do the most good in the long run are people like Dick Cheney.” Are you out of your bloomin mnd? Since when did “raping & pillaging” become what everyday citizens like myself want on any level at any time?

Surely you realize that illegally invading other countries to take control and possession of their resources by force will never be “right,” don’t you? Perhaps it wasn’t enough for you when the “explorers and travelers” came to America and took the entire country from the Natives. Oh yes, all in the name of freedom under the guise of democracy no less.

Personally, I haven’t been proud of my American citizenship for a long, long tme. What the last Administration did in the name of “fighting terror” left a bad taste in my mouth and I find it all hard to swallow. If this is what it means to be an American, then perhaps I’m supporting the wrong country by living here. Last I checked stealing from others to benefit myself does not fall under rightous behavior. If I’m wrong, can you enlighten me?

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avatar john July 21, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Since it would be futile for me to take on your emotional rhetoric, I’ll challenge you on a factual point you asserted. You say “illegally invading other countries”.
Please cite the jurisdiction and specific code the war in Iraq was in violation of.

“Personally, I haven’t been proud of my American citizenship for a long, long tme.”

From your comment about “taking the entire country from the Natives” I don’t think you ever were. So what makes the Europeans coming to settle North America wrong and the so called “indigineous peoples” coming across the land bridge known now as the Bering Strait 10,000 years earlier right? The indians were warring, nomadic, hunter-gatherer societies who hunted species to regional extinction then moved on to other places to continue, and “raping and pillaging” a virtual way of life as the encountered and battled other tribes for territory.

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avatar Sunshine July 21, 2010 at 6:41 pm

john, I fail to see how your latest comments enlighten me as to how stealing from others is ever justified. Did you miss that question or simply choose to ignore it when you changed directions in the conversation.

So, once again, I ask you…. how is theft ever justified?

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avatar john July 21, 2010 at 8:15 pm

Ah, you’d rather engage in the vague pursuit of moral posturing rather than confront that the facts you base your opinions (and morals) on might clearly be in error. And that “fact”, that the invasion of Iraq was “illegal”, is clearly wrong and you were just parroting a talking point you’ve heard others say without ever thinking for yourself whether it was true or not.
It fit your ideology so that’s good enough for you. If you disagree still and insist it was illegal then you should clearly be able to cite the law being broken. Just as another person posted that Cheney and Bush should be arrested and prosecuted, for what? You will find criminals on that level are not stupid enough to commit crimes easily prosecuted, the things they did do that were violations of law such as Cheney’s abuse of executive priviledge and warrantless wiretaps are so layered in the ambiguities of legislative paperwork they would be nearly impossible to prosecute anyway.
This is highly relevant as we are not a nation of witch hunts and judgement of our peers by torch wielding midnight mobs who hold actions of others up to the shifting standard of what each person feels is “right” or “wrong”- just as you want me to explain when theft is “justified”. We are a nation of LAWS, you get it in writing or you don’t get it at all as my boss used to say.
If you don’t understand that there was no law broken in using military action on Saddam, yet casually throw around language that you think it was “illegal” it’s not likely that I could rationally figure out how to satisfy your request for justifying stealing.
Here, I’ll give it a try: It’s justified when a Democrat does it and he’s stealing from a Republican. Funny, huh?
My point toward your essay is this: Your rather noble position is afforded by the fact that you, as well as I, despite both of our places on the lower rungs of the economic totem pole in America, still are very fortunate to have been born in a nation of such relative prosperity and live within the top 2-3% of wealth of the world population. (wild guesstimate) You haven’t had to steal a loaf of bread to feed your child. You have running potable water, you have access to medical care so your child does not die from simple diseases like diahrrea or diptheria. This overall level of prosperity we all enjoy in this nation that has isolated you from the extreme poverty much of the rest of the world experiences, was not all a product of “hard work” by Americans but through the trickling down of assets by those who used treachery and greed and often the less repulsive shrewdness of the way they did business. You are posturing on the ivory tower of “I am above stealing” merely because you live in a world that is possible because of people who leveraged their interests, often unfairly, above others, and we all benefitted here at home. If you were born in Kenya, the Congo, or any one of a hundred impoverished nations worldwide, you’d certainly have a different set of values. You could still be a good person but wouldn’t be asking that question of me.
If we wish to continue a semblance of this prosperity it would be wise to grow up a little here and realize this, that demanding “honesty” of our politicians or goodness within their hearts is just plain Pollyanna silly, and often leaders like Cheney are condemned because their interests were involved in decisions they made- even though those decisions benefitted the nation in far, far greater ways, though your political ideology won’t allow you to admit that.

Finally, don’t pretend it’s my morals that are on the table of discussion here. Cheney’s foreign policy that included invading Iraq was not illegal, was not stealing, but it was shrewd and unpopular on the world stage because it benefitted us when others were poised to reap enormous gains- themselves engaged in clearly ILLEGAL activities to set themselves up for. (see Saddam’s $13 billion in Oil for food skimmings stashed in a Paris bank!). I detailed some of that above, there were many things evolving by 2002 that were going to be disasterous to our interests. Don’t you think our leaders should have that in mind, or do you think they should check to see if the French approve of what we’re doing, while they’re engaged in skull duggery themselves? ?

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avatar Bill July 23, 2010 at 5:25 pm

You seem to think that splitting a few hairs justifies these positions of yours.

You believe that by saying that, because the war in Iraq was not strictly illegal that it is the same as saying it was moral. And, that though, maybe, it was immoral, we have to do immoral things to ‘maintain our prosperity.’ That because major oil corporations wanted to be in the uppermost position to control Iraq’s vast reserves, lying to the American people was for their own good and was, unfortunately, required. What kind of American are you? Your positions are that we should set aside the foundations of our system to ‘protect’ it. This was Bush’s paradigm all along. I do not believe it. I believe it is the cheap way out. Maintaining our morals and principles is harder but makes a stronger country for both liberal and conservative points of view to live in. We don’t seem to know what America stands for anymore.

You are right that ‘criminals on that level are not stupid enough to commit crimes easily prosecuted’ but that does not absolve them of being criminals, nevertheless. Like Al Capone, remember.

The history of the Bush Administration has been to restructure the political, business and any other environment they could get their hands on for benefit of the few at the top, their friends, no doubt. We saw this over and over again. One of the first actions of the new FCC Chairman was to try to remove the restriction on a single company owning all the media in a single city. The FCC is supposed to be the guardian of the airwaves for the benefit of the people. How could this change benefit us. It wouldn’t. It could only benefit the Rupert Murdochs who want to control public opinion. We can see it today in Fox News and what the Wall Street Journal is becoming. Bush wanted to hand Social Security over to Wall Street, not because the person on Social Security would be better off but so that they could pay commissions to brokers. Who cares if the poor guy has anything left to live on? My friends have gotten their cut. We’ve seen what happened to investments in Wall Street. The prime example, though, is the financial meltdown of the last few years. Let the banks do whatever they want, let’s deregulate and let them play while the rest of the country spins down the toilet. Some people at the top made bushels of money by skimming it from people at the bottom. I almost forgot tax cuts for the rich so that they could create jobs. Didn’t happen no matter how you twist the statistics. A few extra bucks in my buddies pockets that some poor Joe the Plumber had to cough up.

It hard to ignore but, somehow, people with your ideas seems to be able to push aside ‘the facts’ when they don’t suit their arguments. We can’t really afford this lack of a moral fibre much longer.

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avatar annagrace July 23, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Bill-terrific post! To John-Moral “posturings?” Shows what you think and know about morals.

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avatar john July 24, 2010 at 5:15 pm

annagrace, I generally don’t mind a personal attack here or there but it should be accompanied by a competant attempt at a rebuttal on topical issues… :-)
In the end you can all disagree with me on the larger issue but if I’ve caused you to review something that you assumed to be factual and was actually in error, we all win. You learn something you did not know before and I have gotten you to consider my talking point.
The fact is the Iraq War was launched on the passing of a US law, that was the result of the Joint Resolution that both houses of Congress overwhelming approved. Bush fulfilled its stated requirements before the first shot was fired. The idea it was “illegal” is rather absurd. Using that talking point in an arena with mature and informed people well versed on foreign policy only reveals to them ignorance on the part of the person using it.
So now you can avoid that.

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avatar Gary Ghirardi July 21, 2010 at 7:20 pm

If I ever believe in God, John, I will pray for you….or will you prey on me?

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avatar john July 21, 2010 at 8:25 pm

I think he’s going to ask you which of the ten commandments I was in violation of with my post. Unless Moses gets his cadaver out of the ground, goes up the mountain and gets thwacked with another tablet that adds “thou shalt not post ridiculously long winded rants that tire the eyes and force one to struggle to find the point within” I think this God fellow, if he exists, won’t be listening.
Anyway read my reply to sunshine.

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avatar Sunshine July 21, 2010 at 10:23 pm

“I think this God fellow, if he exists, won’t be listening.”

She exists and She hears both of us just fine.

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avatar Sunshine July 22, 2010 at 5:10 pm

hey john,
watch this movie Tibet – Cry of the Snow Lion
then let me know if you would still like to back these leaders policies you speak so highly of.

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avatar john July 22, 2010 at 6:06 pm

“Tibet – Cry of the Snow Lion1:43:54 – 3 years ago
Ten years in the making, this award-winning documentary was filmed during a remarkable nine journeys throughout Tibet, India and Nepal. CRY OF THE SNOW LION brings audiences to the long-forbidden “rooftop of the world” with an unprecedented richness of imagery… from rarely-seen rituals in remote monasteries, to horse races with Khamba warriors; from brothels and slums in the holy city of Lhasa, to the magnificent Himalayan peaks still traveled by nomadic yak caravans. The dark secrets of Tibet’s recent past are powerfully chronicled through riveting personal stories and interviews, and a collection of undercover and archival images never before assembled in one film. A definitive exploration of a legendary subject, TIBET: CRY OF THE SNOW LION is an epic story of courage and compassion. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00064MWJW/ecored-20 Buy this movie from Amazon.com using this link and you will collaborate with the environmental campaigns of EcoRED International (http://www.ecored.net)”

I can go a lot of directions with this, all of them starting down a path of not seriously utilizing the American Democratic process to anyone’s advantage whatsoever. I mean really, when you’re discussing the selection of our leaders to form policy that affects your life and that of your son, the first thing you think of is “I’ll go watch a movie about Tibet”?
Why don’t you give me the “cliff notes” on this one and to entertain your position I’ll consider what your point is. Did you find some obscure reference in the movie that gave you the opportunity to blame all the suffering of some fuzzy little birds in the region on the Dark Lord Dick Cheney? Or maybe the death of some monks in a 3,000 year old temple on the boy idiot George W. Bush?
If my reply seems a bit contemptuous it’s actually trying very hard to be gracious as my reply which was entirely self composed and attempted to cover all the applicable issues, feels downright insulted by the rebuttal of a link to a movie about Tibet, which can only leave interpretation as being an obfuscation of issues too uncomfortable for you to address.
The most distressing thing to me is that you’ll skip off into the sunset continuing to tell everyone who will listen that our actions in Iraq in 2003 were ILLEGAL, having refused a challenge to confront your factual inaccuracy- and the veterans of that conflict are negatively impacted by such denigration of their sacrifice, just as Vietnam vets were just for the sake of politics.
Thank you for considering my opinion.

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avatar bodysurferbob July 22, 2010 at 6:57 pm

john, read my lips: the iraqi invasion was illegal both under our american laws and under international law. this has been proven and accepted by millions of global citizens, sir, so why not give it a rest. go after more current stuff. there’s so much out there. so much scandal, so many problems.

here’s one problem that is more important than aforementioned issue of the illegality of the iraq war: the approximate 750 to 800 or more military bases the us empire has around the globe. want to know why there’s no funding for schools, fire rings, lifeguards, parkbenches (oh, i forgot – there is money for cliff park benches) , fire stations, potholes, potheads, state government, city government …. the maintenance of this military empire – a direct threat to what remains of our republic.

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avatar john July 22, 2010 at 9:58 pm

“john, read my lips: the iraqi invasion was illegal both under our american laws and under international law. ”

Don’t just say so but cite the exact code of US law you’re talking about. While you’re looking that up take a passing glance at US public law 107-243.

and BTW there is no such thing as “international law” as it pertains to this issue, there are courts for dispute in maritime matters, commerce, the conduct of nations at war (Geneva) but as far as a court with the inherent jurisprudence to determine the justifications for armed conflict, no such court exists.

Then we have the UN charter, which at no point precludes the ability for nations or agents acting on their behalf to provide for their self defense against agressors and those who place them under imminent threat, and that is the most relevant line of discussion. We were acting as agents in the defense of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and had been doing so since 1990 when under UN mandate we repelled Iraq from Kuwait. Under cease fire conditions Saddam was personally signatory to, we entrusted the UN to have those conditions fulfilled in the interest of peace and security in the region, yet after 12 years of screwing around the UN had still not fulfilled those conditions and the situation was rapidly deteriorating. As agents of Kuwait and KSA we were well within our rights under UN charter to resume hostilities to permanently resolve the situation. Kofee Annon can blow all the hot air he wants about illegalities yet not one significant resolution went through the floor of the general assembly nor security council because his rhetoric was groundless.
He and the UN were just peeved that the scam which had made a lot of people in the UN rich was coming to an end. (I can provide the exact passages of the charter that contain the particulars if you like)

But again since I am sure you agree with none of that then I simply ask that you cite the specific jurisdictional authority and its exact code you believe we were in violation of and I will be perfectly happy to further discuss the matter.

Just saying “it’s illegal” does not make it so.

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avatar bodysurferbob July 23, 2010 at 7:46 am

aha! john, you keep on your talking points where you feel comfortable and totally ignore my more important second point. you did not even mention it, note it and certainly didn’t comment on it.

for you dick cheney and darrel issa are worthy politicians to keep around. however, you sure sound intelligent on other issues. i’m glad you’re out there, but knowing you’re in a minority is comforting.

why not try to tackle more current problems, john, as you seem to have a zeal for research, as i said, how about the 750 to 800 military bases that your government has around the world? you know how many personnel is needed to staff and maintain all that property? how much does your gov’t spend daily just keeping these plots of military? let’s discuss this …..

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avatar Frank Gormlie July 23, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Hi John. Regarding the illegality of Bush’s war: a war is illegal if it is started on false premises. If Congress and the American people were lied to about the reasons to go to war, then the war is based on falsehoods and illegal. US Constitution and the War Powers Act. Iraq neither had WMDs or had links to the people who bombed us on 9-11. Two huge lies. But I know how you like to debate this issue. United Nations laws and other international law prohibit attacks by one country upon another without being attacked first or threatened. Iraq neither attacked us or were threatening us. The Bush invasion was not a continuation of some earlier policy, nor was it cited as a reason to attack.

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avatar john July 24, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Frank if you’d like to review the Joint Resolution, the SOLE document the government used to officially outline its justifications for the war, here it is:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/middle_east/july-dec02/joint_resolution_10-11-02.html

You’ll not find a single lie within it nor anything proven to be false after the war.
A couple of interesting things to note:

The document is ALL about detailing continuation of earlier policies as reason to attack.

Regarding WMD, no claim is made at the time of its draft, of any amount of WMD Saddam had in his possession, nor was there any requirement for any to be found and shown anyone after the war.

this is what it said:

Whereas Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations;

“capability”. And it’s interesting to note that BEFORE the war, right after that was passed into law, one of the loudest crtitics had this to say about Saddam’s “capability”:

http://archives.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/meast/11/12/iraq.antidote/

Former chief U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter said Iraq is capable of reconstituting a chemical weapons program within a matter of weeks.

“I believe Iraq will seek to reconstitute a militarized nerve agent that will be used in a last ditch defense of Baghdad, and I think the Iraqi government’s efforts to acquire significant stockpiles of atropine are an indication that this is the direction that Saddam Hussein is heading,” Ritter said on CNN’s “Crossfire.”

This capability as Ritter mentions is confirmed both by finds our military made during the first weeks of the war- such as 16 55 gallon drums of organophosphate, both a pesticide and nerve gas precursor, found hidden in a weapons depot- and the ISG survey report which detailed many so called “dual use” commercial items Saddam had been importing that did not seem to correlate to legitimate use.

Regarding 9/11, couple things: Most people do not realize this but our policies over the previous 12 years containing Saddam, were the direct cause of 9/11. See OBL’s fatwa, or declaration of war on America. 2 of the 3 cited grievances involved Iraq- the starvation of hundreds of thousands of Muslims the sanctions caused, and the placement of our troops in KSA to patrol the no fly zone. Even his third grievance, the Palestinian Israeli situation, Saddam became the crux of and was inflaming with his suicide bomber bounites.
So after 9/11 we review those policies and find the situation was untenable.

Secondly there seems to be this concept held by some that OBL and Saddam would be “mortal enemies”. I think that is disingenuous both by past history, OBL’s fatwa being sympathetic to Iraq and him citing Iraq then attacking us, and Saddam openly praising OBL after the African embassy attacks and after 9/11.

Additionally they both shared several goals: To see America cut off from its interests in the ME, to see the Royal Family of Saud dethroned, and the destruction of Israel. Finally, it is a stretch to believe that blood is not thicker than water- they were both Arab Muslims.

Iraq’s threat to us? Saddam was bent on avenging his honor against the Saudis and was sure to soon attack them. As he was about to have the Russians, French and Chinese showering him with cash, he would have the means to do so quickly.
Secondly he was moving to defeat us similarly to the way we defeated the Soviets in the Cold War- devalue our currency.

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Iraq/Iraq_dollar_vs_euro.html

Just so you know that’s not just my theory. Personally I believe Bush and Co knew that Saddam had disarmed of his pre gulf war WMD stockpiles, but as the ISG report detailed, simply took his programs underground and as soon as the heat was off was going full steam ahead with a different type of capabilities.
Bush knew Blix wasn’t going to find anything, and that’s why we needed to attack. The means of containment was going to end and we would not be able to stop him, just clean up the mess again like we did with Kuwait, when he walked into Saudi Arabia, to “restore his honor”.
So how do you like the prosperity in America since 1973? By 2000 America controlled half the world’s wealth. Think that was an accident? Kissinger made a deal with the Saudis (detailed in that third world traveller piece) that is a fact, not a theory. We owe the Royal Family of the Kingdom of Saud, an enormous debt, for almost all of our prosperity since 1973. Really.
Watching Saddam walk in and turn their country into a bloodbath would have been renegging on that agreement. And he was going to, as late as january 2003 he was making overtures indicating a full offensive into their territory.
That is the main reason I unwaveringly support the decision to remove Saddam, tho there are others. I don’t reneg on deals when I’ve already spent the money to do the job.

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avatar Frank Gormlie July 25, 2010 at 10:01 am

John, that resolution is chock full of lies: Here is one for starters:

“Iraq had large stockpiles of chemical weapons and a large scale biological weapons program, and that Iraq had an advanced nuclear weapons development program that was much closer to producing a nuclear weapon than intelligence reporting had previously indicated”

And here is another:

“Whereas Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations”

And gee, John, here’s another:

“Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its continuing hostility toward, and willingness to attack, the United States,”

And another: “Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;”

That’s it, John, I’m not going to debate this any longer with you. Take on something else, dude.

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avatar john July 25, 2010 at 5:28 pm

1. “Here is one for starters:”

Note the preceding and following paragraphs, Frank, which frame that between 1991 and 1998. Those paragraphs are detailing the history of the matter.

2. What part of the second paragraph you provided do you disagree with? I detailed his WMD “capability”, provided Scott Ritter’s comment which described it, and I can take you to the exact pages of the ISG report to show you if you don’t believe me. His support and harboring of terrorist groups is well known:

3. You snipped off “including by attempting in 1993 to assassinate former President Bush and by firing on many thousands of occasions on United States and Coalition Armed Forces engaged in enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council”

Whihc answers the question for you.

4. Al Zarqawi.

5. “That’s it, John, I’m not going to debate this any longer with you.”

Don’t you find it kind of funny that you can assert a statement like this, in print even:
“If Congress and the American people were lied to about the reasons to go to war, then the war is based on falsehoods and illegal. ”

Yet it’s quite obvious from your statement here:

“The Bush invasion was not a continuation of some earlier policy, nor was it cited as a reason to attack.”

That you have never before seen the text of the Joint Resolution, the sole document the government furnished detailing the “reasons to go to war” until I just showed it to you now?

So how did you arrive at the conclusion you were lied to?

6. to clarify:

“United Nations laws and other international law prohibit attacks by one country upon another without being attacked first or threatened.”

Yep, and Kuwait and KSA were attacked by Iraq and he threatened them right up until the invasion. We were acting as agents in their defense.

“Iraq neither attacked us or were threatening us.”

That’s true enough, but he did to our allies, and if you would redefine our conditions for supporting their defense when they are attacked first, perhaps you’d better tell them about it. They won’t be too happy.

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avatar Michael February 13, 2015 at 3:39 pm

Excellent points.

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avatar Sunshine July 22, 2010 at 8:40 pm

john, i respect our differences of opinions and have enjoyed our banter about all this on the blog. If I’m not mistaken, based upon your comments you were simply pointing out that America is where it is today, not because of the hard work of the people, but rather due to cut-throat wheeling and dealing by those in political power. Fine. I understand your point and agree with you on that point.

Where I believe we differ is in your seeming acceptance of these actions as excusable because of who is doing them (oh so covertly and hidden in masses of paperwork, nearly impossible to prosecute I believe you said) and your belief that some of the amassed fortunes (stolen resources, imho, but lets not play word games right now) trickle down to those at the low end of the economic scale. From what I have witnessed, the middle class is slowly being drained and demoralized out of existance while the elite are richer and definitely well protected by our government lobbyist. So many people I know who are fortunate to even have jobs right now are physically exhausted every day due to longer work hours, doubled work loads for the same or less pay, benefits reduced or stopped all together, pensions gone, life savings gone all in order to survive. I see the faces every day of those drained emotionally as even though they are working full time can no longer make ends meet. And I hear the wailing cry’s of those who hurt spiritually due to the constant barrage of mass media propaganda bull shit that comes across the tele 24/7 (I don’t even own a tv anymore) and their inner conflict as they struggle to maintain a sense of who they are in this world.

I sent you the video on Tibet to let you know 2 things:
1) I understand how much worse living conditions are in other countries. Still to this day 1000s starve to death, die from diseases, and are killed for speaking their beliefs. This video reveals these very things occuring.
and
2) This particular movie shows an indigenous people wanting only to be left alone to live their peaceful, happy, content, religious lives. They want no outside influences from China or the US or anyone else. They want to practice their own religion and honor their ancestors using their own traditions. And what does China do? Genocide. And for what? So the Chinese leader can say he owns a freakin mountain? What a crock of selfish shit that is. Wars over land and resources are far removed from reverence of human rights.

I don’t care to live under a leadership/power who thinks that this kind of action against other countries (read other people) is acceptable. As previously stated, I don’t like when government ~in the name of freedom and democracy no less~ rape and pillage other countries caring not what becomes of the natives, their culture, their lifestyle, religious and/or spiritual practices in their pursuit of wealth.

Ignoring another person’s birth rights by invading their country, taking their land by force, stealing, killing, and decimating whole cultures is exactly what these power hungry, greedy thugs do. Throughout history their names reign supreme in the “He who dies with the most toys wins” attitude category. Only now it’s called “the American way.”

Personally, this is not what I want from my government leaders. I care more about human rights than riches and prosperity beyond our means. I will hold out hope till my last earthly breath for the day when our government learns a thing or two from the Tibetan ways of peace and self sustainability.

While its been a enlightening banter, john. this will most likely be my last comment on the issues at hand.

Om peace.

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avatar john July 22, 2010 at 10:28 pm

Well reading your lede summary (as edited below) finds a rather pessimistic view of the situation that doesn’t reflect reality IMO, for the sake of argument I’ll say you got the gist of it in your particular viewpoint.
And at least I can be satisfied that you are an intelligent person, enough so to have digested and absorbed the talking points, but here’s where I would offer your “Pollyanna” attitude, and I do not use that label with any derogatory intent whatsoever, is naive and dangerous.
It’s naive because you have been living in relative luxury but had the people elected your leaders 100 years ago you would have had a hard, cruel life by now. Other nations would have taken advantage of the situation, and this is why your thinking is also dangerous. You would have our leaders sit at the table of world affairs and operate with an attitude of complete benevolence and philanthropic intent. Yet it is foolish to assume that the leaders of other nations would be equally well intentioned about this all. So Pollyanna sends her brother (who thinks like her) to the UN and in time other nations are walking all over us the way Germany rolled into France at the onset of WW2. In essence you want us to send Mr. Nice guy in to the negotiating table and seem ignorant of the fact that other nations will send Mr. Shark
Bill Clinton thinks the way you do, that attitude is called Globalist-Socialist, and while Bill was accepting campaign contributions from Chinese nationals and selling seats for trade junkets Ron Brown was running to Beijing, and altering policies which allowed US corporations to close factories and transfer manufacturing to China, Bill was also fighting on the international stage for human rights for the PRC’s citizens.
The result of all that plus NAFTA was the complete decimation of US manufacturing employment and an explosion in Chinese industrialization, the result opf which has created the economic situation that guy who created the original rant was complaining about. The real estate crash didn’t cause the depression, it was a symptom of the economic problems caused when we ceased having exports anyone in the world had a reason to buy- this was caused when we taught the Chinese how to make everything we used to make. Now we’ll never be able to stop the slide and the only thing that hasn’t happened yet but may still would be a dollar crash.
You have no idea how bad that would be.

But anyway you just keep on believing that playing Mr Nice Guy is a policy philosophy we should pursue, that is your right and I’m glad those like you exist as a balance to the treachery. However I am more comfortable knowing you are in the fringe minority and the “realpolitik” majority like myself stoically accept the way things have to be, because there are far more corrupt people in this world than Dick Cheney who would exploit our weakness.

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avatar Sunshine July 22, 2010 at 8:54 pm

CORRECTION: In my first paragraph, I said “…and I agree with you on that point.” What I should have gone on to say more specifically is that I understand your position, and agree with you that those in high political positions are cut throat mongers who don’t give a rats ass about humanity as long as they get rich all the while sitting comfortably in the fact that their lobbying funds protect them from any criminal prosecution by the American legal system because they know how to clog the system with masses of red tape, double talk, all under the guise of fighting terriorism and keeping the American people safe.

Who’s keeping us safe from them?

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avatar Pollyanna July 23, 2010 at 11:48 am

thank you, john, for your reference to me in your comments. i am alive and well and lovin life for all its good qualities. If you would like to read my story…..http://www.literaturepage.com/read/pollyanna.html

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avatar Danny Morales July 23, 2010 at 5:41 pm

John I

Five hundred monkeys
Leap from the portal of your hearse
Like Banquo’s ghost
to build his house next door to you

O.B. City dreams like grapevines
Grown up from the seeds of time,
bubbling from an insane root
to betray in deepest consequence

Polly Anna
II
The spirit of our community,
from the highest ivory to the bottomless fear of every veteran
Higgedly, Piggedly the GODDESS speaks:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Khut8xbXK8

Let those who have ears, let them hear
W/ know moe quotes fr. Mr. Starbuck :>p

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avatar john July 24, 2010 at 6:12 pm

NOOOOOO! not that damn video….. can’t stand the smug voice on that kitty, I saw that clip not long after it first posted, and made a few fact filled comments on it… just to find the clip owner was one of those charming people that likes to remove comments that succesfully challenge their opinions.
I think you know I am not a conservative, Republican, nor rich, and nearly all my positions on domestic issues are most decidely left of center. It’s probably just the 4 years I spent in Uncle Sam’s canoe club years ago that steer my foreign policy views, but the war in Iraq is a funny thing with me. My political party is the truth. I thought the bombs should have started on Saddam in April 2002, when he went on Al Jazeira and (obviously in response to our declaration of war on terrorism) announced he was increasing the rewards for suicide bombers to go into Jerusalem. Allowing him to get away with that was asking for 9/11 again and again.
So I started arguing about the coming war, then the war, then the occupation all over the internet. I increasingly found that those against it wanted to use less facts and as little truth as possible to support their positions. And the more I researched about what Saddam was up to, the more reasons I found to support his removal.
(on that, figure every time anyone gets a rebuttal from me I will try to include a factual point that is little known to support my argument. So at least one of us learns something)
So while I believe Bush is the biggest idiot to hold the office ever, and his tenure was horrible against our future, if I pursue the truth I must continue to support the war.
It’s not Bush’s war, it’s America’s. I think it was so easy to hate Bush it clouded people’s judgement on the issues and made you want to hate everything the boy shrub did.

And I cannot find disagreement with that.

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avatar john July 24, 2010 at 6:21 pm

(for reference, this is the hearse of which he speaks, some of the photos taken in Dog Beach parking lot around 2000)

http://s353.photobucket.com/albums/r384/batvette/corvette%20IASCA/

I used to have some pictures of it in the lot next to Oscar Mayer’s Weinermobile, and in front of the museum of man with a casket, but they got lost when a hard drive fried. Monkeys ayte me hard drive!

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avatar Udit October 13, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Ah… The never ending disputes continue. Good luck to all.

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avatar Michael February 13, 2015 at 3:35 pm

You can argue all you want. The simple fact is America is not what it used to be. If we remain passive it will not change. Enough is enough. I have worked hard all my life…….still do. I am 60 and concerned. Who is there to look up to, to set the moral and high standards we once had. This country protects the rich and their organized. So what can we do to change things besides talking. Interesting that Obama and Hilery were voted in the top ten corrupt politicians in America. This citizen needs constructive direction…..

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