Letting Stevens Off the Hook

I have a couple of thoughts on this subject. Many of you will remember that former Senator Ted Stevens from Alaska was indicted on federal charges some time ago. He was convicted of seven counts of felony corruption. It was an embarrassment for the Republican Party, at a time when they certainly didn’t need any further embarrassment. It seems some things have changed in regard to his case, certainly the tone against him from Washington has changed as well. I decided that I would address this from both sides of the issue because I think doing so demonstrates the game politicians are playing with us.

ted_stevensStevens was convicted last year of lying on a Senate disclosure form in order to hide $250,000 in gifts he received from an oil company executive and friends. Stevens was accused of knowingly and repeatedly filing false financial reports with the Senate between 2000 and 2006 that understated or omitted gifts or other benefits that he got from an oil executive and others, including what the government alleges were more than $240,000 in improvements to Stevens’ residence in Alaska, an Alaskan sled dog, a $2,700 massage chair and a “sweetheart trade” in which he got a $44,000 Land Rover in exchange for a 34-year-old Mustang and $5,000.

Now I cannot tell you whether Stevens did anything wrong. I know he was able to show receipts for $160k for renovations on the house that he paid for, which he claims covered the entirety of the work done. But as for whether he did something wrong, I simply don’t know the answer to that. But I do know this:

His trial was conveniently scheduled during the campaign leading up to his reelection bid in Alaska. So while his opponent was out actively campaigning in the weeks leading up to the election, he was under federal indictment and spending all of his days in a Washington courtroom for a month long trial. He was convicted 10 days before the election. As a result he narrowly lost the election. I would say partly because he wasn’t there to campaign and partly because the allegations against him made many people choose not to vote for him. Sounds like the status quo political games that are played these days.

And whatever he did do, I have absolutely zero doubt that he was not guilty of anything that the rest of the members of Congress do. But the Democrats continued to pile on in an effort to eliminate a candidate that might keep them from having a filibuster proof Senate majority. It is in this way that the hypocrisy of the members of Congress kills me. When someone gets busted for doing something wrong, the rest of the members of Congress come out and express their outrage. They pretend that they are not just as crooked as he might be. Look at the things that we have seen come to light since then:

barney-franks-pointingBarney Franks literally in bed with Freddie Mac, Chris Dodd in bed with AIG, 4 selections by the Obama team that tried to scam their way out of paying the taxes they would prosecute us for not paying. And don’t give me any of that they made a mistake bullshit. Members of Congress, State Governors, and heads of the Federal Reserve don’t make a mistake when it comes to taxes. Maxine Waters getting bailout money for her husband’s bank… The list goes on and on. I don’t believe that there is an honest member of Congress, period. There are two types of people in the United States Congress: Criminals and people who haven’t been caught yet. 

So back to Senator Stevens. Only after the conviction did allegations of FBI misconduct come to light. The judge in the case has repeatedly delayed sentencing Stevens, and at one point he held prosecutors in contempt. Justice Department officials later replaced the trial team. Defense lawyers had throughout the trial accused the prosecution of misconduct, including withholding evidence. One of the key allegations is that prosecutors might have tried to make certain that a witness who would have been useful to the defense never testified. A whistleblower at the FBI supported the defense claim in a complaint filed in December. And there have been other explosive allegations since the trial ended, including that the lead FBI agent on the case might have a had inappropriate relationship with Allen, the government’s star witness, and that the agent was allegedly telling potential witnesses about grand jury information before trial.

govt-criminal-cartoonOdd that we would find misconduct in a trial involving government versus a government official. Again, Stevens may be crooked as can be, but it is obvious that he was not given a fair trial and was convicted in late October, just two weeks before the election. It isn’t any wonder that he didn’t win. The Democrats gained a Senate seat, and the ability to pass a monumental spending bill by convincing three Republicans to cross the line. 

And now there is this:

The U.S. Justice Department filed a motion Wednesday to drop its case against Ted Stevens. Attorney General Eric Holder decided to abandon the case due to prosecutorial misconduct — one Justice Department source called the stunning turnaround a “black eye” on the department and the FBI. Stevens sought to dismiss the case, and Wednesday’s action in effect supports his request. A hearing has been set for April 7. 

In a written statement released Wednesday morning, Stevens suggested he would have fared better in his losing November election had it not been for the “unfair” case against him. “I always knew that there would be a day when the cloud that surrounded me would be removed. That day has finally come,” Stevens said. “It is unfortunate that an election was affected by proceedings now recognized as unfair. It was my great honor to serve the state of Alaska in the United States Senate for 40 years.” 

Holder“After careful review, I have concluded that certain information should have been provided to the defense for use at trial. In light of this conclusion, and in consideration of the totality of the circumstances of this particular case, I have determined that it is in the interest of justice to dismiss the indictment and not proceed with a new trial,” Holder said in a statement released shortly after the motion was filed Wednesday. Holder reportedly decided Tuesday to dismiss the original indictment rather than proceed to more hearings that might embarrass the department.

Stevens’ attorneys claimed the government “disregarded the Constitution” by going through with the prosecution. “The misconduct of government prosecutors, and one or more FBI agents, was stunning. Not only did the government fail to disclose evidence of innocence, but instead intentionally hid that evidence and created false evidence that they provided to the defense,” said attorneys Brendan V. Sullivan Jr. and Robert M. Cary. 

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she was happy with the news, but troubled by the implication. “I was pleased with the news that the Justice Department will drop all charges against Senator Ted Stevens, but I am deeply disturbed that the government can ruin a man’s career and then say ‘never mind.’ There is nothing that will ever compensate for the loss of his reputation or leadership to the State of Alaska,” she said. 

Holder is being praised for having the integrity to step in and support the case for dismissal. I am not so kind. I think that at this point, an 85 year old Stevens will not run for election in 6 years when he is again able to challenge the Democrat that took his seat, Mark Begich. The Democrats have the seat. There is no reason to make Stevens a target any longer. If there was a reason, they wouldn’t be making the move they are. 

They will attempt to spin this as being fair and tell the public “see when we see wrong we fix things regardless of the fact that Stevens is a Republican”. I say bull, you are only willing to let him go because he is no longer a threat to your socialist agenda. 

And the bottom line is this: He shouldn’t be let go. He should be re-tried. There won’t be a retrial but there should be. If he did nothing wrong, he should have his day in court, where the government can attempt to prove their case against him without misconduct. If they can’t he goes free, if they can, then we find that there really isn’t an honest member of Congress. 

But that won’t happen. See in the end, these folks on Capital Hill protect each other. Because they are members of the same fraternity. Republicans and Democrats alike. They are both out to get you. Some of us have gotten paranoid these days, watching over our shoulders for what government will do to us next. Others have stopped looking. But as the saying goes, “Just because you aren’t paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you”

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Comments

  1. “Barney Franks literally in bed with Freddie Mac, Chris Dodd in bed with AIG”…..

    What a vision, somehow I see a rolling, slithering ball of breeding snakes. Ever seen that? A sight to behold, will right down give you the willies.

    The article is dead on. My first thought when I saw it on the news was that there is more than meets the eye, a payoff or something. Just think of what members of Congress have been caught doing over the past few years….the tip of a very big ice berg, I bet.

    “Because they are members of the same fraternity. Republicans and Democrats alike. They are both out to get you.”

    Reminds me of a law enforcement officer that said how disgusting it was to watch opposing lawyers in a court room tearing each other apart, pure animosity and disgust for each other. Then seeing them out having a drink together afterwords. Maybe that’s just the way the world works, but then again, we have lot of lawyers in Washington.

  2. Texas Tirrell says:

    It was a sham. He’s probably guilty of something as all politicians are. He was just conviently caught at the right time.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: ‘I trust a politician about like I trust a banker, a lawyer, or a used car salesman; just about as far as I can pick one of them up and throw them!’

    I personaly beleive that there is not one clean politician in Washington. They are all crooks and corrupted, they just haven’t been caught yet.

    It does seem like they are now doing their ‘works’ more in the open. It almost seems like they are saying, look at what I’m doing, you don’t like it? Too bad! What are you going to do about it? Nothing, I’m above the law!

    I can’t figure it out.

    • They have a real “up yours” attitude, don’t they?

    • I was born and raised in Alaska and watched her become the 49th state of the union. I have know Sen Ted Stevens for all my life. He has always been a “stand-up” guy and as honest as a human being can be. It is always easy to paint all politicians as “crooked” or “dishonest” , mainly because the majority are, but there are a few that honestly “try” to do the right thing. In the political machine kn own as Washington, D.C. that is not always an easy thing to do, nor expediant, as the corrupt power brokers have too much control and not enough restraints. But, I digress…..Mr. Stevens was too much a threat to the Obama admistration, so he was conveiniently removed by manipulation and lies and the libs gained another seat and a GOOD man was ruined in the process. It is my opinion that ,if we, as a nation do not wise up soon, and I mean REAL SOON, the country we all love will cease to exist as we know it.
      God Bless America!!

  3. RWBoveroux says:

    Excuse me for pissing on the parade, but how many of the people on this site have actually spent time working in DC??? Anyone saying that all politicians are corrupt are making the same statement as someone who says that African Americans all eat fried chicken and watermelon, of that all southerners are hicks and rednecks.

    THIS IS CALLED A GENERALIZATION AND IT IS USUALLY WRONG!!!

    (Oh how I wish I knew HTML code and could bold and enlarge that sentence!!)

    Now please DO NOT think that I am advocating that there is not a LOT of corruption in our political system (Local, State, and Federal). I use to live in NJ, so I am quite aware of the corruption that is possible and does happen.

    • Andrew Gabriel says:

      Thankyou, I agree Totally, In some instances not all politicians are corrupt, but as the saying goes, “An Honest cop will never become Chief.”
      Unfortunately the system of ours has been twisted and manipulated to force people into a corner where the choices seem to be: either you get bribed and you might do some of the good things you intend to but make sure whoever pays you gets his agenda pushed harder. Or be a straight arrow, and never get anything done, but you can die with a clear conscience knowing you did’t accomlish squat, but atleast you tried.
      I know I am over simplifying things but, thats how I see it.

    • Black Flag says:

      RWBoveroux

      I must respectfully, and completely, disagree with your position.

      Every politician is corrupt.

      A politician is someone who believes that inflicting violence and using force upon non-violent people can solve human problems.

      By that belief, All Politicians are evil.

      • RWBoveroux says:

        BF,

        Your definitions and mine are very different so we are going to have problems having this discussion.

      • Black Flag says:

        I’m interested to hear your definition.

        But be forewarned. I will also offer proof by demonstration and by reason of my definition.

        • USWeapon says:

          BF,

          You up for a public debate on whether ignoring the government is the right move? I was thinking of writing about it tonight since there have been several discussions around it lately.

          • Black Flag says:

            My powder is dry and at the ready! 😉

            • USWeapon says:

              You seem to do a good job of keeping your powder ready. You would have fit in nicely with Roger’s Rangers, LOL I emailed you about the idea.

    • USWeapon says:

      Took care of the bolding for you. And to answer your question, I have worked in DC.

      • RWBoveroux says:

        Thanks US. I was pretty sure that you have worked around here given what I think your former occupation was. I was/am a bit ticked off that people who have no interaction with government assume that you are a lesser citizen because you are involved in the government. As I said, yes, there is a LOT of corruption, but that does not mean that every one is corrupt.

        • Black Flag says:

          Usually I have found that individuals offering your point of view start “top down” – that is, they start at a problem and are looking for solutions.

          Again, this is generalizing.

          They feel the problem is so important to fix, that they concede that inflicting violence on non-violent people is ‘ok’ in this instance. As far as they can see, there is no other choice.

          Am I close?

          • RWBoveroux says:

            BF;

            I may be getting in over my head, but…..

            If there is a problem, yes, we should look to find a solution. That solution is one that the majority of people trying to fix the problem can agree on.

          • Black Flag says:

            Do you believe the majority is always right?

            What is more important to you –

            1) the means of organizing the solution must be moral.

            or

            2) the end justifies the means.

          • RWBoveroux says:

            The ends do not justify the means. It depends on the context if the majority is right.

            throw you one…

            I believe in absolute truth. There is a definitive source of truth that is outside of ourselves.

          • Black Flag says:

            It depends on the context if the majority is right.

            It also depends on what we define is “rights” too.

            The ends do not justify the means.

            Excellent!

            Do agree using violence on non-violent people is wrong (or as I generally put it …”evil”)??

            I believe in absolute truth. There is a definitive source of truth that is outside of ourselves.

            My Point Of View (POV):

            1) There are an infinite number of solutions to every problem. However, you can only pick one (since, by definition it solves the problem, you don’t need to use any more solutions).

            2) It is immoral to use immoral means to solve a problem.

            3) Every person has the right to determine their own core (or First) Principles from which to derive their morals.

            4) The universe is perfectly consistent. It does not accept any contradiction. The only evil the universe holds is contradictions – it crushes them ruthlessly.

            5) Acting in contradiction to your morals is evil, as this is evil against the universe.

        • USWeapon says:

          I live in the real world, at least most of the time, lol. I understand that there are a select few people in Congress that are not crooked. I knew a couple of them when I was there. We never hear their names much because they don’t get much accomplished because they aren’t playing the game the crooked way that so many others do.

          I don’t think people are a lesser person for working for government, that is for sure. And I don’t like that sentiment so I apologize if that is what came across in my post.

  4. Maybe this is just a small example of what the Dems are willing to do to get what they want. I can’t describe the anger I feel when I here a democrat politician speaking to the senate or house and continually repeat how they “inherited” this economic mess. I actually M.F. the screen because I know for a fact the whole housing mess is a democrat disaster that totally caused the mess we are in.

    Look at the last year, we have an elected official caught with high priced hooker, a bunch who do not think they should pay taxes, and on and on. Yet, the AIG mess (allowed by a democrat) causes this huge uproar. I personnally cannot believe that Barney Frank is still employed after everthing he had to do with the housing mess!! As Black Flag wrote a while back “Power = Curruption”, and it’s totally true.

    How can we, short of a bullit to the head, hold these people accountable??

    • esomhillgazette says:

      I also find myself a lot of times screaming at the TV in fury at the inept stupidity of a lot of our elected reps and even at the same from some of the public. As best I can tell, MOST (RWBov) political figures are indeed corrupt as hell and also don’t seem to care if we know it or not. Or maybe they are just counting on the insane stupidity of an increasing number of the public! Think about this also. Polls are showing an increasing amount (already well over 50%) are AGAINST the Stimulus, the Budget, Bailing out Financial Institutions, and are REALLLY against making the Deficit any bigger! Yet Congress (both sides) and Obama are just rolling along merrily doing ALL of this anyway! And there are still a lot of folks out there who don’t even seem to CARE whether it’s going on or not! As many times as I watch Fox (I WON’T watch anything else) I still am daily amazed at what we have gotten accustomed to from OUR politicians (obviously not ALL of us). There was a time not to many years ago when, if Obama and the rest said and did what they are doing now, The public would have forcibly removed their asses from Office before they could blink their freakin’ eyes! But not now. Now they are hailed as the next messiah and the savior as the world! OK. I’m done ranting. Sorry G-Man.

      • I never need an apology from someone telling truth, with that said, Congress owes alot of them.

      • Just a short comment –food for thought—How come they keep getting re-elected?? Does that not indicate just how apathetic we as a nation have become? Or is it indicitive of how corrupt the system has become? Hmmmmmmmmmm????

  5. I don’t see how anyone invoved with VECO could be totally innocent.They spread money among politicians for favors.Both VECO employees and politicians have been convicted.I’m not at all certain that the proscuters misjudgement would have helped Senator Stevens.

    One error stated by Judge Sullivan was the failure to call the VECO employee in charge of the house renovations,which,by the way,doubled the size of the house.The defense didn’t want this witness either,apparently.

    Another misstep was in expulcatory eveidence disclosure,namely not telling the defense that Bill Allen,convicted CEO of VECO,said in an FBI interview that Senator Stevens would have paid for the entire renovation project if he had known about it.

    There was also a hidden allegation of an investigating FBI officer having an inappropriate relationship with Bill Allen.Female officer.A sexual relationship?A money relationship?She used to babysit his kids?No one knows.

    Next was the bizarre incident of Bill Allen’s attorney signaling to Bill from the spectator section as Bill sat on the witness stand.Judge Sullivan hated that.

    Bill Allen has also admitted to paying Senator Ted Stevens son,Ben,an Alaskan State politician,in excess of $200,000 to further VECO’S interests in Alaska.Ben Stevens reported this money as consulting fees.He was never indicted.

    Bill Allen admits to giving his employees money to donate to one of Sarah Palin’s former failed state campaigns,claiming he didn’t know that laundering campaign donations this way was illegal.

    See what I mean that anyone dealing with VECO can hardly be innocent?

    I don’t believe Ted Stevens is innocent.The fact that his election was upset by his trial rests on his shoulders and no one elses.That the trial was conveniently scheduled is a fact.It comes under the heading of an astute political move.Suddenly all the stars and the moon and the sun was aligned and the political tide changed.All over the contry,and Ted Stevens helped that change so he could have a bigger house without paying for it.

    That’s what I despise about politicians;the stakes are so high for the rest of us and the peanuts these politicians sell out for are so few that it’s maddening.For a mere $90,000,Ted Stevens sold the rest of us down the drain.And he’s going to walk.

  6. I believe that there are some, a vast minority, that go to Washington with good intentions. When they get there they are influenced by otheres that have been there for some time and indoctrinate the “newbies” to the Washington way of doing things. This one reason for term limits among many others. Once they are part of the elite few for a while, their good intentions fall by the wayside, and corruption seeps in. The longer they get away with it, the worse it gets…Stevens being a Senator for 40 years…40 yeaars! There is bound to be some stones left unturned. Career politicians, in my opinion, are the worst. We need new blood in Congress, and continue to replace these career politicians…

  7. As guilty as Stevens may have been, there are many in Congress and the Senate who are guilty of crimes against our country for which they should be tried and convicted as well. It’s appalling that these same people are trying to muster support for their failed policies by passing the blame.

  8. This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

  9. A very good friend of mine and former employer had the full resources of the Federal Governmnet aimed at him in the early ’90’s during the Freddie Mac Follies. Many might be surprised to know that Freddie in the ’80’s was doing exactly what Freddie of the late ’90’s was doing. They are incapable of learning or the rewards are worth the risk.

    In any event, after bankrupting him and his partner for the legal fees alone and costing him his business, a three week federal trial resulted in an acquittal, in less than five minutes of jury deliberation. Having been involved in the defense at the trial, I was shocked at the sloppiness of the government case. Thank God our side had a few intelligent and knowledgeable witnesses to refute the distortions of Uncle Sam. The Government case seemed to be entirely based on “They wouldn’t be here if they weren’t guilty.”

    When the whole thing was over it became apparent that he was “supposed” to plead guilty and receive a minor sentence. That would have given the government a “win”. He, being a Cuban immigrant, refused because he had faith in the system. Rather than drop the case the US went forward. At the same time they were after him, they ignored real fraud where the theft involved hundreds of millions of dollars. I always thought they did this to save face. Just being able to point to successful convictions, no matter how insignificant, took the heat off them, they were doing “something”.

    Black Flag will not be shocked to hear that at that point in 1992, I lost any and all faith in the honor of my government. Ruby Ridge and Waco did not surprise me a bit and I was not fooled.

    Neither my former boss nor I was ever fully able to recover from the “taint” of being involved in a corruption scandal, no matter how baseless. Certain doors would always remain closed in our business.

    • Black Flag says:

      Just being able to point to successful convictions, no matter how insignificant, took the heat off them, they were doing “something”.

      Appearances is everything to government. They are so terrified that the people will not see them as legitimate, that they must never be wrong.

      Think about it. They believe if they are wrong, just once, they will be exposed to be the charlatans and thieves they believe, themselves(!) are!

      There is a case in Quebec, where a man wants his name removed from a birth certificate. From DNA, he discovered that he is not the father.

      But the court has refused, by this statement:
      “The law has determined that he is the father, and therefore he is”.

      Unfreak’n believable.

      MONTREAL – A Quebec man who has failed to have his name removed from
      the birth certificate of a young girl he found out was not his
      biological daughter wants to argue his case before the Supreme Court
      of Canada.

      The businessman has already struck out in Quebec Superior Court and in
      the Quebec Court of Appeal.

      In January 2007, a DNA test concluded with a probability of more than
      99.99 per cent that Gauthier’s client was not the biological father.

      “The theme of this is filiation has nothing to do with biology,” said
      Anne-France Goldwater.

      “Once a child has a birth certificate and the child has a possession
      of status that matches the certificate, it’s over, you cannot contest
      its filiation ever again.”

      Yep, the law even rules over facts of nature and science.

      So, think about this, then.

      If logic, reasoning, scientific fact makes no difference to law and government, what hope is there to avoid tyranny?

      The point USWep tries to make is that someone reasonable in charge of power would save the day. But that begs reason. Example after example proves that reason does not exist in government. Thus, his task is futile.

      • B.F.—This happened in Texas a few years back in a child support case.Man and woman split up,she asked for child support,DNA proved he wasn’t the father.Judge said since he was the acting father it was up to him to provide support.Case closed.
        I don’t have the names or particulars,just the memory of having read it.

  10. This post is a suggested read at, http://aresay.blogspot.com/

  11. Kristian says:

    Makes you wonder if Palin will run for Senator of the Great State of Alaska. I think that she would win, hands down. I also think that if America survives the next 4 years of this administration, we’ll have a whole new face in Washington because people will only put up with this for so long before they say enough is enough.

    • If you have noticed, The Politicians and the MSM are already gearing up for Palin if she runs for anything. They are terrified of her.

      • RWBoveroux says:
        • Kristian says:

          I read that article and I think after the campaign and the way that she and McCain were more or less abandoned by the Republican party it isn’t surprising to me that she might not want to play nice with them. I have always thought that they could have won that election if the Republicans had been a little more supportive and McCain’s handlers had done a better job. Of course, ole John really kinda screwed the pooch on that whole thing when his constituents told him they wanted him to get angry and he refused. I know that he was trying to run a clean campaign and I applaud him for it, but that obviously isn’t the way to win. Other than that I think had he been able to articulate his thoughts, we could have had a republican in the white house. That’s the only reason that Oprompter was elected, he’s an eloquent speaker.

          • Kristian

            I think part of the problem was where she had differences with McCain and “they” tried to restate her positions to be inline with his. She does not believe global warming is mostly due to mankind, McCain does. I agree, they could have won if they had used different tactics. My belief is the Fran/Fred issue could have won it for them and instead, it cost them the election. They should have called for Franks head and a special investigation every time anyone said the economy was Bush’s fault.

            • esomhillgazette says:

              LOI, The DNC had poisoned the water so badly against Republicans, using Bush as the Cyanide, that I don’t think it would have mattered what they did. You also had the “convenient” economic disaster, blamed on Bush by The DNC with Obama as Chief Slick Tongue. Add a gullible, politically ignurnt public. And whamo! We have a Democratic controlled Nation!

      • I don’t think Palin will be in a run for President.The Republicans have pretty much relegated her to the dust bin of history.

      • Black Flag says:

        If she has any smart advisors, she is a shoe-in to the Republican nomination in 4 years.

        She has in her possession the grass-roots mail-list of 25 million Republicans who already ‘voted’ for her.

        She is so far ahead of anyone else in the party, they have no hope of catch up.

        But I do not think she knows this (yet).

  12. Our govt. has no honor. We are constantly being fed outright lies. Barney Frank, just two weeks before Freddie and Fannie were put in conservativeship, was on TV saying there was nothing wrong with them. Frank either outright lied, or he is a complete idiot (both probably applies). How can we call these people out and force them to own up to their mistakes. Many will say, vote them out of office, problem is, I don’t live in Frank’s state! Any Ideas?

    • I guess you could move to Massachusetts and vote against Barmy Franks.Other than that,you can send money to people to vote against him.

    • Black Flag says:

      And what will voting do?

      The incumbent gets a pension.

      His replacement is as bad as the incumbent.

      Nothing changes.

      As soon as the people realize that nothing changes by voting, they will start thinking about other things.

      • What would be your solution to fixing the corruption problems with elected officials? For the sake of discussion, ignoring them would not be an acceptable action.

      • BF, You have a lot of good ideas and your comments are very thought provoking. But sitting on your behind and refusing to vote for anyone because it “does no good” is in my opinion, useless as tits on a boar hog! The only non-violent political action you can take just about is to vote. Our forefathers gave us the right and duty to vote for those who govern us. If you don’t vote against someone or some thing, it’s the same as a vote FOR it! I am 45 and have voted every time the polls were open since I was 18. I look at it as my duty to vote. It’s not MY fault then when a bunch of dumbasses like we have now get in office. And I reserve the right to Piss and Moan if something goes wrong with it. I know there is more wrong than right these days. But that’s still my right and duty. TO VOTE.

        • USWeapon says:

          Esom, I am hoping to have this subject open for a very public debate on and upcoming post. I want to have the debate. With everyone involved. I am currently working on an article from this perspective. I am hoping BF will have the time to give me 1000 words or so on his position. I will post them together and we can all talk through it.

        • Black Flag says:

          USWep, email me regarding that…

          Esom

          So questions that you need to answer.

          If voting ‘works’, why does nothing change in government?

          Voting confirms the system.

          1) You do not get to select your candidate. The list is presented to you.

          2) You do not get to set the issues. They, too, are provided to you.

          3) Between two candidates you did not chose you get to pick one based on their voiced opinion about issues you did not select.

          4) Even if ‘your guy’ wins, he doesn’t have to actually do what he promised – at all.

          5) If he doesn’t do what he promised, you have no recourse whatsoever.

          Therefore, what is the point of voting?

          The only point of voting is to get your agreement to be bound by the system

          • esomhillgazette says:

            BF, I have nothing to answer. You have what you believe, and I have what I believe. I can’t and won’t change your mind. You can’t and won’t change mine. We are BOTH Americans. Our differences are our right. So far anyway. And until we can’t, that won’t change

          • I ALWAYS have remembered an idiom that my father passed on to me the day I turned old enough to vote—-“If you don’t vote and express your opinion, such as it may be, then you give up the right to complain!!” (not the exact word, but you get the drift)

          • Black Flag says:

            So, agreeing to a false dichotomy, between Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dumb gives you the right to complain about either??

            So you pick an idiot, so you can complain about the idiocy…

            I find that strange

      • Black Flag says:

        Why not?

        By working with them or working against them only empowers them.

        As noted above, they constantly seek legitimacy. And that is given by our acknowledgment

        Remove that acknowledgment, and their game ends.

        • Black Flag says:

          Re: Voting … see my comments above regarding the futility.

          As far as being a part of the problem … in fact, it is the solution to the problem – do not feed the monster.

      • RWBoveroux says:

        I have a very simple statement for those people who refuse to vote….

        SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP! YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM.

        Quite simply, if we are legally able to vote, then we have an obligation to vote.

        • Black Flag says:

          Black Flag said
          April 2, 2009 at 1:29 pm

          Re: Voting … see my comments above regarding the futility.

          As far as being a part of the problem … in fact, it is the solution to the problem – do not feed the monster by giving it the legitimacy.

          Please explain to me one thing of government that has changed because you voted.

    • G-Man

      Franks was re-elected after Fran/Fred came out by 70% popular vote. I don’t know how unless its just the pork he brings home each year. One big problem is Main Stream Media, that Chris Matthews and his ilk still blame this on Bush. So between corrupt voters who have sold their vote and corrupt ” NEWS” reporters, this is likely to continue until some major event shakes thing up.

      USW

      Glad you retracted “all of them are crooks”. Glenn Beck interviewed a newly elected rep. who was buying a cot to sleep on in his office. There are a few up there worthy of our respect. Damn few. Might even be one that Flag would approve of, although he will argue, just for the sake of arguing.

      • RWBoveroux says:

        I believe the sleeping in the office bit is so that the Reps do not have to pay the exorbitant rents on what passes as an appt here in DC.

      • I saw that too, however sleeping on a cot does not make him a good representative. Doesn’t make him a bad one either.

        Seemed like more of a publicity stunt to me. Do you remember his name? Would be interesting to see what all that cot-time has done for us.

        • Dee

          I don’t remember his name, just that he impressed me in his interview with Beck, that he was taking the job to fight all the issues we here are talking about. That he had the same basic values most of of who post here share.
          Funny thought, Mr. Black Flag goes to Washington…

          You have my vote sir

          • I found him….Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.

            Back a few years, a freshman Congressman was interviewed on TV, Dateline or 60 Minutes, some show like that.

            He went to Washington with plans to pretty much “kick butt” and fix things. What he found was that he hit a brick wall, and got no where. He referred to the “good ole boys” as the Washington Mafia…you either play the game, or your are ignored. Everything you suggest is ignored, you simply have no power, as officially you do not exist…

            Hey, maybe Black Flag has a point…it seems to work in the inner depths of Congress, Ignore the ones that want to REALLY ACCOMPLISH something, and they will go away.

            • According to an interview I read a few months ago, the Utah rep said that he was not the only one sleeping in an office and showering in the gym. He did not mention who else was, however.

              • Perhaps there is an conclusion we could come to on that information.

                The straight non-corrupt Reps are the cot users…

                The ones renting expensive digs can afford it because they are on the take.

                Probably too easy, but would be interesting to start a list.

  13. Bama dad says:

    This is my first post to any site but I have been reading this one for several weeks. Have really injoyed the intelligent and thought provoking topics discussed here. I would disagree with BF that we must be involved with the voting process and try to elect the best available person out there. What else is there.

    • Black Flag says:

      By voting for a politician, you are admitting that solutions to human problems requires violence and force upon all the citizens.

      If you believe that solving human problems requires voluntary agreement, and working together non-violently, then voting for government is a contradiction.

      • Would you then prefer a dictatorship, where there is no right to vote. Working together non-violently is the reason to have government “of the people, by the people, for the people”. When government strays from this ideology, then you have the govt we have today “to the people”. Without some form of government, we would simply have anarchy, and tribal warfare. I would have to respectfully disagree that voting for govt is akin to voting for violence.

      • Black Flag,

        I understand you position, in theory. In reality, it will not work. People are going to vote. If just one person in the whole country voted, that one person would “in charge” of our destiny.

        Voting does make a difference, not always what we want. If we have two roads to choose from, Road A & Road B…we can only see what is on the road we chose. We have no idea what “would” have been on the other road, we can only imagine. So the only way we could say that “voting does not matter, does not change anything” we have to know EXACTLY what would have happened had the “other” candidate been elected, taking us down the “other” road. And we can’t do that.

        Try to imagine what would have happened after 9-11 had Gore been in office. I know, impossible, but try. No matter what complaints we may have against Bush and his associates, it is my opinion that Gore would have been an absolute disaster….remember how close that election was? VOTES. It came down to VOTES.

        • USWeapon says:

          Dee, With any luck there will be plenty of opportunity to debate this topic. I have written an article on why we need to participate. I am anticipating one from BF on the opposite side. It will be an upcoming post.

          • Sorry.

            • USWeapon says:

              Oh My Gosh, no need to apologize. These forums are here for debating and I don’t want to stop that in any way. I just wanted to let you know that it was upcoming so that you would know to look for it. You have opinions on the subject so I wouldn’t want you to miss it. I would never want to stop anyone from discussing it on their own terms here as well.

  14. Choices.

    As we go through life, no matter our occupation, we make choices.

    Some good, some bad, others absolutely horrendous.

    Enter law school and you will learn exactly how to become a professional liar.

    Some learn better than others. They become politicians.

    For the most part, our politicians were lawyers first.

    Professional liars? ALL criminals lie, but not all liars are criminals.

    Are we ultimately responsible for the choices we make?

    We elect politicians to make the hard choices for us.

    Are we responsible for the politicians we elect?

    They are the choices we have made.

    As we go through life, we make choices . . . . .

    • You all probably heard this before, but here goes:

      Those that can…..DO

      Those that can’t….TEACH

      Those that can’t teach….WORK FOR THE GOVERNMENT

      • You know, as USW pointed out, there is a distinct difference between those that WORK for the Government and those that ARE the Government by getting elected, so I really should amend that last line:

        Those that can’t teach…BECOME POLITICIANS

        • RWBoveroux says:

          Dee:

          Thank you for that change Dee. I am someone who works for the government (indirectly, I am a contractor). Yes, there are people who just show up, flap their gums, go home at the end of the day, and never get anything done for the paycheck they receive.

      • Dee,

        Ouch! I currently teach, mainly because I got worn out by the “doing.”

        • I come from a family full of teachers…and respect them all. One retired after 43 yrs of teaching…Jr. High…YIKES!

  15. The voting process isn’t the problem, it’s the choices we are given in the voting booth. If I could fix it, here’s what I would do. First, I would limit the number of lawyers that could serve in Congress at one time. Second, I would outlaw politcal parties, elected officials should be able to think without anyone’s help. Third, 2/3rds of Congress must be made up of average citizens who make less than 250,000 a year. Fourth, campaigning, of any kind, cannot start sooner than 30 days before the election. and yes, I would impose term limits. Lastly, I would limit what the MSM could report on a candidate (it’s getting to the point where they will be reporting that a candidate spanked his monkey to many times when he was 15 years old LOL).

    • Black Flag says:

      …compare your solutions to mine.

      Mine: Don’t vote.

      Yours: Utterly impossible to achieve without magic.

      😉

      Specifically, the system prevents systemic changes to the way it operates. There is a built-in negative feedback loop that naturally excludes those that want to change the system.

      Makes sense. To change the system in the manner you propose requires you, first, to joing the current system.

      To join the system, requires you to agree to the way the system works.

      You cannot both agree to the system and change the system (which means you don’t agree with the system).

      • Agreement with a system is not a requirement to join the system. If you join the system for the purpose of changing the system, it only means you must comply with the current systems rules. One must become part of the system to achieve desired change, having the desire to change the system would require one to disagree with the system.

        • Black Flag says:

          “They” are far, far more wiser than you seem to give credit.

          You cannot join a ‘gang’ without them first vetting you – they make you commit an heinous crime before you are allowed to be a member of a gang; the reasons are multi-fold 1) to have something to hold against you should you betray the gang 2) enforce that your commitment to the gang is greater than your own personal well-being or belief.

          Politics is no different. Before “they” allow access to legal violence, you have to prove yourself by committing some heinous act to prove yourself. This provides them 1) something to use against you should you get out of line 2) force your commitment to the system to be higher than your morals.

          You will not get into the system to change system because the process prevents this.

          These guys have had 10,000 years to figure this out! They didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday.

          • I think joining a gang is a bit different than changing politics. Gangs are neanderthal by nature, politicians are just ruthless. They, by virtue, think they can outsmart everyone. Tactically, that virtue can be used against them, unlike “gangs” who require physical evidence. Politicians can’t handle any evidence to surface, therefore they can be tactically beatable.

            • Personally, I disagree with your rebuttal. Gang pressure and influence is exactly like political pressure and influence. If anything, mental coercion is more dangerous than physical coercion because it rewires the basic moral code of an individual.
              While both have deeply emotional ramifications, physical is more simple, more base. A conscience that can develop from the physical to the mental has far more reach as to its influence, therefore more power, ie: animal vs. human. Or to use a current example of this blog, think about the development of the Hitler Youth. First it was physical (mandatory training in what was supposed to be volunteer), then it was mental, these kids started to believe through political persuasion that what they were doing was right and good. When you have the ability to rewire personal moral code, anything is possible, anything can be achieved.
              Politicians know full well that they do not have to “outsmart” anyone, they just have to have enough mental coercion to force those people who are not yet too tired, too scared, or too lazy, to adhere to their position. After that it is just a matter of leading the cattle.
              Hence, our current state of affairs.

      • If you think G-man’s proposal is “Utterly impossible to achieve without magic.” Try to get everyone in the US NOT TO VOTE…I do agree, that IF you could get everybody to do that, it would remove legitimacy from the government, but it would be virtually impossible.

        • Black Flag says:

          Interestingly, no one needs to try.

          It is happening naturally – as politicians become more and more tyrannical, the people withdraw.

          My point is to simply suggest that attempt to change the system by voting is futile. Equally, trying to reverse the trend of ‘not voting’ is equally futile.

          I would consider spending your energy and thoughts somewhere else.

      • Flag

        The Spiderman argument. He see’s a crook run past him. He could easily stop him, but does nothing. The crook then kills Spiderman’s
        uncle. We see crooks (and psyco’s) running for office. Do we, as good citizens not have the responsibility to do what we can to prevent that?

        • Black Flag says:

          First,

          It is NOT the job of citizens to engage in EVERY fight against immoral or evil.

          Second,

          Whether or not the crook was stopped, could still mean the uncle is still shot and killed.

          The future cannot be predicted with certainty.

          (PS: The story line in Spiderman 3 shows this – however, whether it did or not is immaterial)

          Thirdly,
          Your analogy is misapplied.

          The difference between voting and not voting is the difference between participating in the crime and refusing to participate with the crime.

          I believe it is a difficult argument to claim that joining murderers, and agreeing to murder, is the first step in stopping murder.

  16. JayDickB says:

    I think the real reason Justice dropped the case is that further proceedings would have shown much worse mistakes/corruption than what have come out so far.

    Have you ever seen a bureaucrat covering up his mistakes? I have, from the inside. They will do anything to hide mistakes, and other bureaucrats will help.

  17. Eric Holder! Of the Marc Rich pardon fame, isn’t he? You are right, “US Weapon”, these politicians do whatever fits their own agenda and to hell with propriety — and even the law. When they are found out, they just say it was a mistake, a virtual thumb to the nose.

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