thinking democrat
Thursday, May 05, 2005
  Clinton & Friends v. Bolton....
I might be wrong, but there could be something we're all missing about the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on President Bush's nomination of John Bolton as our ambassador at the UN. When you really think about it, the objections from Senate Democrats don't explain why they are putting up such total opposition to Bolton's appointment.

Sorry, but I don't buy the argument that we need someone who'll play nice with the other people at the UN. We need an aggressive ambassador who will take names and kick butt. This is the same UN that played a key role in the Oil-for-Food scandal. Not only is this the largest financial scandal in world history, but the UN allowed Saddam to starve and kill his own people while he and everyone involved stole the money that was supposed to pay for food, medicine and other basic needs.

And in case anyone has forgotten, all these people with the help of the media were blaming America for the deaths of Iraqis from starvation and lack of medical care. If only the big bad Americans would agree to end the sanctions, Saddam's government could meet the needs of his people. Like this maniac didn't kill hundreds of thousands of his people and wouldn't kill more if given a chance.

I don't even want to get into the probability that some of the stolen money was used to kill American men and women who volunteered to serve in our military. The point is that the UN hasn't shown any desire to reform. Forget the commissions, reports and proposals. The main activities at the UN these days seem to be hiding or shredding information, and trying to either cover-up or spin the involvement of UN officials and employees. The UN does not want to accept any responsibility.

The Democrats know all this. So, why don't they want to send someone who won't have a problem using the fact that we pay 20% of the UN's budget as leverage? Why not send someone who will demand accountability? The answer may have more to do with President Clinton than the money or the scandal.

The Oil-for-Food Scandal happened on Clinton's watch. President Clinton should be mad as hell that he was deceived, misled, and outright lied to by Koffi Annan and others at the UN. Instead, Clinton's friends from his administration and the media held a secret meeting with Koffi. When it was discovered, everyone described it as a little informal get together to advise Annan on how to handle the scandal. Recently, it came out that Clinton's attorney from his own Monica scandal had agreed to represent Koffi Annan for one single dollar. I really don't think that Clinton's attorney and friend would do this without the President's OK.

Here's the big question! Why wouldn't Clinton and his friends, and Senate Democrats want Annan and the UN thoroughly investigated and held accountable? They know Bolton would raise hell until that happened because the UN can't be reformed until all the details concerning corruption come out. My guess is that what's going on has something to do with Clinton's legacy and the image of the Democratic Party. My guess is that Sandy Berger doesn't have a pair of pants big enough to smuggle out all the UN files that Koffi Annan has concerning President Clinton and his Administration. It's possible that Clinton knew more about a lot of things than he's willing to admit.
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
  Remembering May Day....
Last Saturday, the government of Vietnam celebrated the fall of Saigon and their victory in their "war against America." Our main screen media provided us with parade video of their troops and flags and crowds. Although there was some mention of the fact that we are one of Vietnam's largest trading partners, there was almost no mention of the sad state of their economy. Thirty years have passed. And today, Vietnam is surrounded by the economies of the Asian Tigers we helped create. The truth is that communism has failed in Vietnam while capitalism and democracy has produced successful economies all around them.

The video of the Vietnamese parade brought back memories from the 1950's, memories that today most Americans don't even have. The Catholic Church dedicates the month of May to the Mother of God. In my city, parishes organized sort of a pilgrimage to War Memorial Stadium. Most of us walked miles. Others from too far away came by car. All the parishes brought a float to honor Mary.

These were not the professional floats that you see on televised parades. They were built by mostly school children with the help of parents and clergy. We would bring our floats into the stadium. Music would be played over the loud speakers. We would sing. The Bishop would speak to us. And then, we would leave after making sure we left the stadium even cleaner than when we arrived. The city let us use the stadium for free and we didn't want to abuse the favor.

I still remember one particular May Day after the Soviets had crushed the 1956 Hungarian uprising. I thought about a May Day celebration a world away from us in Moscow. Americans saw these parades on television or in the movie news clips at the local show. The Soviet leaders were always standing on some sort of precipice overlooking their people. Military units, tanks, artillery pieces, and missiles paraded by for hours. Our nuns told us they thought the Soviets choose May Day for their parade to show contempt for religion and the Mother of God. I thought about our little parade to the stadium to show our love of our faith and the Soviet parade to show their hatred of religion and freedom. As a child, the Soviets scared me because of what they would take away from us if they won the Cold War.

In 1978, the Catholic Church elected Pope John Paul II. He was a citizen of a communist nation and the first non-Italian Pope in centuries. It has been said that, at one time, Stalin was warned about the power of the Popes. Stalin reportedly responded that Popes had no divisions of military troops. Well, John Paul went to his native Poland. He brought no military divisions with him, but raised up legions of faithful among the Polish people. Communist leaders, with all their military divisions, did not defeat this Pope who had dedicated his reign to Mary the Mother of God. Although no one knew it back then, the vibrations from millions of Polish feet walking towards their Pope holding the crosses of their faith would one day crack and destroy the precipice upon which the leaders of Soviet Communism stood.

Today, in America, a political war is being waged against the beliefs of both Christians and Jews. The leaders of these attacks are called Secularists. At different times and in different places, such leaders have been called by many different names. Their objectives have always been the same. Soviet Communists, German Nazis, Chinese Communists, and others have all, in their time, tried to destroy religion in their nations. The reason is very simple. People who believe in God, the sanctity of life, and the rights of individuals will not allow their government to pursue evil policies against their beliefs and their fellow citizens. Now, as an adult, the Secularists scare me just as much as the Soviets once did because of what they will do to our nation if they win their war against religion.

tom joseph

Location: Buffalo, New York

Warning: a thinking democrat! Defined as an objective advocate of democracy. Years ago, a close friend claimed he had finally figured me out. He said I was sometimes liberal and sometimes conservative, but that he hadn't been able to discover what it was that pushed me from one to the other. His answer to his own dilemma was, "You are an objective driven idealistic pragmatist." My answer to his conclusion was and still is, "maybe, maybe not." I have a degree in Education and have worked in the following fields: Banking, Consulting, Management, Manufacturing, Real Estate, Sales, Social Work, Transportation, or best summarized as anything that's a good challenge.

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