Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Truth Is Out There in U. S. Senate

Senator Kay Hutchinson Posted by Picasa
The President of the United States engaged in a pattern of conduct, performed acts of willful deception, and told and disseminated massive falsehoods, including lies told directly to the American people…, therefore, vote ``Guilty'' on Article II of the Articles of Impeachment of the President in this proceeding.

SENATOR MCCAIN Posted by Picasa

Whether the President, who swore an oath to faithfully execute his office and deliberately subverted--for whatever purpose--the rule of law.

Ordinary citizens don't enforce the laws for the rest of us. Ordinary citizens don't have the world's mightiest armed forces at their command.

Ordinary citizens do not usually have the opportunity to be figures of historical importance.

In my former profession, those who violated their
sworn oath were punished severely and considered outcasts from our society. I do not hold the President to the same standard that I hold military officers to. I hold him to a higher standard.

Presidents are not ordinary citizens. They are extraordinary, in that they are vested with so much more authority and power than the rest of us. We have a right; indeed, we have an obligation, to hold them strictly accountable to the rule of law….Just as the President is self-evidently the nation's chief law enforcement officer…It is self-evident to us all, I hope, that we cannot overlook, dismiss or diminish the obstruction of justice by the very person we charge with taking care that the laws are faithfully executed. It is self-evident to me.

SENATOR LUGAR Posted by Picasa

In times of war or national emergency it is often necessary for the President to call upon the nation to make great economic and personal sacrifices. In these occasions, our President had best be trustworthy--a truth teller whose life of principled leadership and integrity we can count upon.

Of particular concern are the implications of the President's behavior for our national security. The President of the United States is the most powerful person in the world because we are the strongest country economically and militarily, and in the appeal of our idealism for liberty and freedom of conscience.

Our President must be strong because a President personifies the rule of law that he is sworn to uphold and protect. We must believe him and trust him if we are to follow him. His influence on domestic and foreign policies comes from that trust, which a lifetime of words, deeds, and achievements has built.

Some commentators have suggested that with the President having less than two years left in his term of office, the easiest approach is to let the clock expire while hoping that he is sufficiently careful, if not contrite, to avoid reckless and indefensible conduct. But as Senators, we know that the dangers of the world constantly threaten us. Rarely do two years pass without the need for strong Presidentialleadership and the exercise of substantial moral authority from the White House.

MR ABRAHAM Posted by Picasa

The President's role and status in our system of government are
unique. The Constitution vests the executive power in the President, and in the President alone. That means he is the officer chiefly charged with carrying out our laws. Therefore, far more than any federal judge, he holds the scales of justice in his own hands.

In the wrong hands, that power can easily be transformed from the power to carry out the laws, into the power to bend them to one's own ends.

The very nature of the Presidency guarantees that its occupant will face daily temptations to twist the laws for personal gain, for party benefit or for the advantage of friends. To combat these temptations, the Constitution spells out--in no uncertain terms--that the President shall ``take care that the laws be faithfully executed,'' and the President's oath of office requires him to swear that he will do so.

MR DOMENICI Posted by Picasa
Truthfulness is the first pillar of good character in the Character
Counts program of which I have been part of establishing in New Mexico. Many of you in this chamber have joined me in declaring the annual
``Character Counts Weeks.'' This program teaches grade school youngsters throughout America about six pillars of good character. Public and private schools in every corner of my state teach children that character counts; character makes a difference; indeed, character makes all the difference.

Guess which one of these pillars comes first? Trustworthiness.

So what do I say to the children in my state when they ask, ``Didn't the President lie? Doesn't that mean he isn't trustworthy? Then, Senator, why didn't the Senate punish him?''

MR. BUNNING Posted by Picasa
There is one central, elemental ingredient that is necessary to the
success of our ability, as a nation, to govern ourselves. That is
Before a President takes office, he swears a solemn oath, to ``preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.''

We accept his word on that.

When the Vice President, United States Senators and members of the House of Representatives take office, they are required to take an oath ``to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.''
We trust that they will live up to that oath.

We administer these oaths and we accept them as binding because government, at least in this nation, is, above all else, a matter of trust. Trust is the glue that holds it all together. If that trust is destroyed or tarnished, it seriously undermines the basic foundations of our government.

When he lied and when he tried to hide his lies… He broke faith with the American people…he also violated the sacred trust of the office of the President. And in so doing, he violated his oath of office.

Senator Gorton: Posted by Picasa

If we say that some perjuries, some obstructions of justice, some clear and conscious violations of a formal oath are free from our sanction, the Republic and its institutions will be weakened. One exception or excuse will lead to another, the right of the most powerful of our leaders to act outside the law--or in violation of the law--will be established.

Our republican institutions will be seriously undermined. They have been undermined already, and the damage accrues to all equally--Republicans, Democrats, liberals, and conservatives.

Quotes were taken from the Government Printing Office Records of the Senate Trial in January, 1999.

Volume 145, pages 2380-2571

senat trial
gpo vol 145
pages 2380-2571

This was regarding the House Resolution 614, asking the Senate to impeach President Clinton.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Sunday Salmagundi

I came across this fun site. Called ‘Anagram Genius’ there’s a free download for a trial version. It offers tons of ‘smart’ options and responds with thousands of choices. You can select among types of dictionaries used, serious and funny words, and so on. Here is the site. Below are a few that I found.


My Name: Pamela A. Lach
Apache llama.

Ha! A pale clam.

Heap call AMA

Eh! A call. A map.

I couldn’t resist: George W. Bush

He grew bogus.

Whose bugger?

Where bugs go.

Ugh brews ego.

The name of this blog: Dialogues and Ideologues
Good! Use sound, agile ideal

Ole! Guide dog undoes alias.

People People People

Yesterday (Saturday) the earth’s population hit 6.5 billion. It’s a hard number to imagine.
Here’s an interesting way to try:

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According to the Population Reference Bureau, there were only 310 million people on the planet in the year 1000.

Back in the year 1900, there were 1.6 billion. The average life expectancy was 47 years.
Today we are at 6.5 billion, and the average live expectancy is about 77 years.
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Experts agree that most future population growth will take place in Asia, followed by Africa. There are 261 babies born every minute around the world. At this rate the earth will be populated with 106 billion people in forty-six years.

Back in the 1970’s the United Nations studied the issue. They asked: How many people could be supported on earth today (1970) with the standard of living of the average American? The answer? Five-hundred million.

You can find these and lots of fascinating information about population, world growth, impacts and suggestions at the:

Population Reference Bureau: http://www.prb.org/

Salaam Samarra

Imagine if you could point to the exact spot where the Messiah will appear; or where Jesus Christ disappeared and is expected to return. For Shia Muslims, that spot is in Samarra. On February 22, 2006, someone blew it up.
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One thousand one hundred and seventy years ago a city was built on the Tigris. A well-known Iraqi blogger explains its name: “The name ‘Samarra’ is actually derived from the phrase in Arabic “Sarre men ra’a,” which translates to “A joy for all who see”. http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/
For the next sixty years, magnificent artworks were created, powerful literature written, and the largest mosque ever built of bricks and mortar was constructed.

Both Shia and Sunni Muslims lived in the area. Shia’s believe(d) that leadership descended from hereditary succession. The direct line continued through twelve men, referred to as Imam (heir). Ali Hadi, was the tenth and died in 868. Hassan Askari, the eleventh, died in 874. Both were buried in a magnificent shrine in Samarra.

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Sunni’s believe(d) that four men who had been especially close to Muhammad were now the men to follow. These are often referred to as ‘Caliphs.
Four years after the eleventh heir to Muhammad died, the twelfth disappeared. Legend says that the Imam Mehdi entered the basement of the mausoleum of his predecessors and was never seen again. It is believed he will return someday, unite all factions, and bring peace.
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In 1905, a magnificent dome was added and covered with over 72,000 pieces of gold.
Think of the significance to its believers than St. Peters or St. Paul’s to many Christians. Posted by Picasa Posted by Picasa
As one Iraqi states today: “The dome was quite a landmark. It is Iraqi history. We used to see it from far away when we traveled from Baghdad to Mosul, as we pass by Samarra. I consider it one of the main structures that define Iraq.”
http://www.aviraqi.blogspot.com/  Posted by Picasa
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Within hours of the explosion, crowds in Samarra and Baghdad exploded in anger. Within a few days, over two-hundred Iraqis were dead, and one-hundred mosques attacked. Finger pointing and blame -- the Sunnis, the Jews, the CIA, the Americans--- no one knew who committed the atrocity. Unlike most terrorist operations, no group came forward to take ‘credit’. Many notable Iraqis, citizens on the street, and clergymen pleaded for calm. Asking all Iraqis to recognize that this action was purposefully carried out to try to pull the country down into Civil War.

Now under curfew, the ancient city “a joy for all to see” is seething with anger and frustration. The impact and repercussions will echo long after we are gone.

A note about the title: Salaam, pronounced “sE lam” is a courteous greeting in Arabic cultures meaning ‘peace be with you’. It is traditionally accompanied with obeisance--a low deferential bow, with the right hand on the forehead.

A note about the shrine’s name: In the world press, the name of that shrine is sometimes called the ‘Al Askariyeh’ Mosque (with lots of spelling variations) or the ‘Golden Dome Mosque’.
However, Iraqis and the Arab press do not call it a mosque, but a shrine. The “Shrine of Hasan Al Askari” is one example.