America's Core Values

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Criminal Minds, Law & Order = Prosecution

Vincent Bugliosi is absolutely right and on target.

Let me say so right up front first and foremost!

Prosecution for murder needs to include Bush, Cheney and Rice at the bare minimum.

The Prosecution of George Bush for Murder is not a polemic against the last 8 years of betrayal politics.

Only the most naive or mindless among us refuse to believe that America tortures human beings; that such an act is a direct repudiation of the Geneva Convention Agreement of which this country was the dominant driving moral force.

The World - including any thoughtful American citizen - knows that our government lied to us to get support for  [or better said avoid justifiable rejection and resistance to] what they wanted to do.

Americans are a people who by action demonstrate their belief in and support of law and order; of the bad guys getting theirs, of liars, swindlers and murderers paying the penalty.

Law & Order, CSI, Cold Case, Criminal Minds, NCIS ... the list of what we  genuinely appreciate and believe goes on and on.

Impeachment should be the least of Bush worries. Prosecution of Mr. Bush and his accomplices is the very least we should be willing to do.

Do you really believe that Bush, Cheney, Rice and Rumsfeld were feeling any regrets in the moments before Bush gave the order to bomb Baghdad which would make murder victims of innocent civilians what happens when American TV heroes smack down TV villains?

When McCoy and the other enforcement heroes bring justice to TV criminals are you always be pulling for the bad guys? Of course not.

If we raise a national cry for prosecution, we send a most significant message to the rest of the world about what democracy and freedom really mean in America.

We also send a strong message to shallow, rigid and non-gifted military politicians who think they can cower America into voting for the wrong candidate for president.

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    BattleStar Democrita seeking Mythical Core Values


    The notion of "America's Core Values" haunts our society in a manner not unlike the frantic crew of Battlestar Galactica hunting for the rumored Edenesque "Planet Earth. "

    Some of us voice the yearning but most do not register feelings until someone in prominence - this cycle it's Obama - touches that tender nerve of idealism. Obama seems to be the only candidate who has offered anything that looks like a return to that mythical blend of tough self-sustained idealism combined with Nightingale compassion and Lincoln equality that supposedly composes "America's core values."

    Yes yes ... baseball, Mom and apple pie are internally reinforced images, but they constitute merely the gate to the family homestead. The homestead itself is where the house, the property and the family members sustain themselves by mutual trusting dependence on a value system based on love, tolerance, economic equality, industry and opportunity.

    That homestead has never existed in this country.

    However, as an internal visualization, it has driven the grandest, most successful and most popular events, changes, adjustments, creations and repentances that we've seen in our history.

    That idealized homestead never included a unanimous endorsement of supposed free-market economics. It never included subordination of individual rights and freedoms to the priorities of corporate dominance and certainly did not include evolution of the government into a source of camouflaged corporate welfare.

    In that regard, a pure and successful free-market society has never existed, has never proven itself a successful nor universally beneficial system for public well-being.  

    When pondered and considered honestly; when valued for what they truly represent, our mythical core values reflect the undeniable rebuttal to politicians who declare that government should be run as a business.

    At best, that notion reflects a very narrow view of economic reality in this country and is perhaps best exemplified by the candidacy of Mitt Romney.

    Romney typifies most politicians who have come to equate their personal financial success as a blend of entrepreneurial wisdom fortified by civic understanding of the laws of economics which somehow generate a natural entrepreneurial compassion for the less successful.

    Most of these prominent megaphones want you to believe that justice for all is found on the back of a dollar bill more so than in any Constitution.

    We seem to hear this nonsense more from conservatives and/or the Republican Party who have for the last 50 years portrayed themselves as economically wise fiscal conservatives.

    In reality, once unleashed by their political successes beginning in the 1990's, with great fanfare they put on the Mitre of reform and picked up the Scepter of change to affect a "fiscally responsible makeover " that in reality represents today's most powerful contemporary economic embarrassments.

    For example we saw a welfare reform in the 1990's that has only marginally resolved even half the problems of poverty in this country. We also saw a rebuttal of the Clinton presidency's attempt to address national health care inadequacies. Resistance to the Clinton efforts was foolish, ideological, partisan and primarily greed-based. These were un-American refusals to reform or change health coverage in this country.

    We saw how the "fiscally responsible" party of change actually changed many American core value freedoms into unprotected vulnerabilities subject to the whims and greed of corporate capitalism.

    These same fiscal hypocrites continue to campaign as if they were successful self-made representatives of a mythical American Dream available to all voters.

    In this state, we have a candidate who has already commenced his sniping at the incumbent governor, implying that as an unverified business success, he somehow knows that the individual citizens in our state will be better off once he pretends to run the state like a real estate agency.

    Republicans have never satisfactorily explained at a national or state level how running the government as a business specifically benefits and protects the physical and economic well-being of the majority of citizens.

    One simple example is that any effective business will look at its bottom line and look for ways to refuse to spend money as a means of generating greater profits. They HAVE to look for ways to say No.

    What does a government do with "greater profits" created from denials and refusals to spend on the social infrastructure that supports and protects all citizens?

    Are refusals to expend funds to the needy or most vulnerable in the name of "fiscal responsibility wise and good public policy?  

    If not the citizens, then who are the shareholders to whom government business-runners owe their highest allegiance?

    What is to be done with those profits generated by an elected government run as if it were the same sociopathic "person" based on self-interest inherent in the non-human entity in this country known as a "corporation?"

    Having taken some whacks at Republicans, I'm not about to imply that even a victorious Democrat like Obama would be able or even willing to reverse many of the legislated mistakes of the past 20 years in this country.

    It is obvious to those who are not blinded by partisan advocacies that neither party's victories in the future will guarantee any movement for genuine reform unless among those victories a specific mandate is included. It must be a mandate that reflects the will of the people; a mandate opposed to bought-and-paid-for civic policies enacted at the behest of monied lobbyists.

    Voters must simultaneously have opportunity or means of formalizing a mandate to remove, severely restrict or equalize the playing field when it comes to lobbying our representatives for change.  We need to intervene and force corporate lobbyists out of our elected official's waiting rooms.

    In this regard, any pretend apologetics from Hilary or other candidates trying to justify accepting corporate donations is worthless.

    Read this blog and others like it  and you will frequently encounter an almost mindless and tragically immature assumption - rarely expressed but always the basis of attitudinal and tactical thinking - that pragmatism usurps any desire or commitment to an ideal.  

    Partisan activists who consider themselves wise and who are intimately involved in the campaigns of their most beloved candidates almost always belittle ideal thinking. They use the chestnut that you have to play the game in its forever-deteriorating manner in order to win power.

    Only then - once in power - can the victor look up the core values even he/she have probably forgotten and restore America to its mythical former glory.

    Such thinking neither proves nor wins anything but individual personal advocacy duels.  It also demonstrates and reveals a cynicism that fuels the ever-increasing loss of a civic appreciation for how things work in this country.

    That's why too many of us - and I mean this literally - are too stupid to see through political tactics generated by polls and political consultants.

    Candidates wearing real or memorized earphone prompters so as to conceal their inability to think on their feet and give genuinely honest answers are not the candidates who believe in America's Core Values.

    We're losing our trust in whatever the Mythical American Core Values ever were. Nothing is taking the place of that trust except perhaps cynicism and an ever deepening self-absorbed behavioral pattern; a pattern that only underlines what historians will eventually describe as the reason for the fall.

    A future mythology may be only a speculation about an American Dream once believed to exist.

America values humility,
anyone "to big for their britches"
gets sentenced to rebuke whenever wiser majorities assert.
Sharks are not at liberty to rip up minnows
no matter great teeth.

America values church,
places for remembering God,
not demigods nor demagogues
nor excommunication for political disagreement.

America values patriotism,
dissent and participation.
America repudiates jingoism
does not take for granted real support for troops,
demands that presidents share responsibility
repudiates slaughter and torture of innocents.

Core Value Archives

The tattered American dream - national core values slipping over the edge and into the cesspool. 07/23/07

Inconvenient Truths, Washington State and Willapa Bay (02/16/2007)

The poisoned logic of the original poisoners (07/08/06)

Don't look at us, we didn't do it. We didn't break it and we don't own it!! (06/04/06)

The Grand Old Perpetrators ...* (03/29/06)

What Does America Stand For? (08/2005)

    Americans need advocacy of genuine constitution-respecting civics.
    When confronted with the initial news out of Abu Ghraib, our President reportedly said, "That's not one of American's core values," or something like that. A restoring of America's definition of its core values needs very much to include a restoration of the understanding of civics in our society.
    I want to see a return to real civics education in this country; not the kind that generates high school grads and/or college students who tell poll takers how the government should not let people speak against the president or the government.
    Understanding one’s civic duty and responsibility is one strong way to encourage movement toward peace and justice. Without an understanding of civic involvement, war and the reasons for it are rarely understood let alone supported. Supportying war becomes only one choice to a citizen who understands civic duty and responsibility. You can practice neither and ignore human suffering and collateral damage - ANYWHERE
    Civics in its own way can even suppress the brainless jingoism that isolates American morality from global morality.
    Whether we like it or not the civic implication is that the American soldier who fights and kills in Iraq is fighting and killing on our behalf and in our name. If Iraq had it coming, then the American jingoists among us can take pride in the moment.
    All ought to be able to shout, "Good on that soldier for acting in my name!" That’s what we can ideally declare during wartime. Presumably the soldier does for us what we can't do for ourselves - defend the nation by physical presence and action.
    But we are not jingoistic. We as citizens and the electorate for a long time now have made our feelings known. The Bush aggression is an act that now a majority of citizens polled in this country have repudiated. If one considers the Iraq aggression as immoral, untenable, un-winnable and a needless drain of America's most precious blood then we can be constant in our love and loyalty to our soldiers and still lament and object to what they are forced to do there.
    Such is more than civic duty. It’s civic maturity.
    When things like this are done, those who do it initiate action that may or may not be agreed with by others. But if agreed with by others - a significantly large number of others - a shift begins. It's a shift sustained by a growing voice of dissent that can only be healthy for a democratic republic.

    The tattered American dream - national core values slipping over the edge and into the cesspool.
    The over all integrity of a nation will most immediately and powerfully be impacted by the model presented by its leadership.
    That modeling ought to be a natural attractor of attention - presenting to the people affirmation of the height of its most significant values - or the depth of its apathetic depravity.
    One of the greatest roles of national leadership is that of modeling the country’s core values as ideas worthy of a city on a hill shining outward an immense beacon of hope for better things everywhere.
    When that model fails, the beacon deteriorates into nothing more than the search light at the gate of a prison compound the encloses crooks and captives. A search light driven by fear that seeks out even the most minor dissenters hiding in the most obscure places who point out the consequences when citizens fall asleep.
    The entire notion of our American republic with representative government is that citizens can and do have a voice ...
    ... a voice its leadership must take seriously
    ... that American elected leadership is the last place the world should see lies, deception and preferential treatment.
    This current leadership crop will without a doubt be recorded and remembered as the worst administration in our history. Worse, these leaders will be regarded as absolutely the most incompetent despite posing as wise ones who act from a real understanding of how a nation is made great.
    The vice president's silly constitutional justifications for refusing to act openly and accountably on behalf of the people by attempting to justify an obscure and barely defensible constitutional point insults Americans and abuses the American dream.
    The president demonstrates the limited depth of his junior high school intellect when his ability to act for the highest good of the country is nothing more than a denigration of national integrity in the name of political and financial self interest.
    There is nothing more appropriate than the process of impeachment. There is no civic action more vital and timely that reinforcement of America's historical emphasis and trust on rule of law.
    It is because of leaders like these that the idea of checks and balances and citizen ability to override leadership irresponsibility was put in place.
    Such is not an obscure constitutional point. It is a vital constitutional principle upon which hang circumstances of much greater national well-being than the apathy that lets crooks and liars stay in place until enough indifferent and lazy Americans take action to clean house in November 2008.



"non legally" speaking I see that a new trial date has been set for Lt. Ehren Watada.

Ought we support the Lt. if "Watada's case is a losing one, legally speaking?"

"Legally speaking" is a debater's point but does little to speak to the heart of a real civic-minded patriot. .There are other points to be made. Nixon learned that in his debate with JFK, who wasn't worried about scoring debating points.

At some point we must put down our cell phones, TV clickers and fancy word-writing thesauruses and start dealing with reality. At issue here is winning an argument, a debate or even scoring a point in a courtroom.

Those who pick at Lt. Watada from a point of legality seem to believe that somehow in a courtroom, a decision could be made that would fill the streets with legitimately angry American citizens; people relentlessly pressuring the administration to end the occupation and stop a war of aggression. These acts of aggression by the Bush administration have been conducted under pretense of defending the Constitution and the nation. That’s a civic shame on their part.

Trying to camp out on the point that Watada's case is a losing one is semantics and hair-splitting.

Of course the Lieutenant isn't a conscientious objector.

And, willing to face the music, any citizen/soldier CAN pick and choose the wars he feels a genuine civic-minded American should fight. We all have that right so long as we are willing to address the consequences of attempting to pick and choose.

By taking that kind of responsibility when there’s a lot on the line, fuses to mighty civic and moral indignation will get lit.

Watada is not attempting to get the American people to demand a court decision allowing a soldier to resign a commission or conscientiously object. The ultimate goal of this event, realistic or otherwise, is a trickle-to-a-cascade of like events that might create sufficient citizen clout to cause a destructive President to pause and think twice.

Bush does not fear words unless they are threats that he realizes will be carried out. Otherwise, his biggest hesitancy is when people are prepared to act openly in opposition.

That’s clout.

Moral clout ...

emotional clout ...

indignant clout ...

Intellectual and legal hubris of anti-war activists will not create wake-up call to a majority of the citizens. Such won’t get citizens off their asses.

Outraged citizens prepared to do something about it will create the ultimate political clout. If ever moral values were important to a culture the real moral values of the Watada moment are those to which Americans must absolutely awaken.

I expect and have expected - because of Viet Nam - that the practice of picking and choosing as civic duty is part of what every recruit and subsequent soldier practices every day of his life. In real life such does not happen …. But it should.

Picking and choosing to fight is an easy discernment for a soldier and requires little time and effort for conscience and soul-searching - so long the political and military leadership is likewise civically responsible. It is not unreasonable to expect this of our military. It is absolutely unreasonable to allow a political leader to place personal considerations and priorities above civic duty.

Un-ideally, when crooks and liars instigate violence and war - tricking a nation into aggression and military disaster by flag waving - the conscience stuff and soul searching might be more time consuming.

One-line answers won't get it here.

Finding VFW or American Legion members who say "Send him to jail" and refuse to dialogue the issue is easy for our corporate media slaves. It's also disingenuous and shallow for the rest of us - especially for our children who are much closer to having or being skin in this particular invasion and occupation game that is murderous, immoral and was never necessary.

The Watada moment continues to be a time for dialogue between all Americans. It requires that grown-ups ignore junior high school jingo phrasing and one-line put-downs from pundits and citizens too lazy or distracted by Fox News and American Idol to care.

Otherwise, we run a greater risk of an immoral commander-in-chief destroying our military and making of this country the grand villain of the 21st Century - a villain eventually deserving it's own version of a post-conflict Nuremberg. If that circumstance ever arises it will be precisely because not enough Watada's stood up while too many citizens said "he can't pick and choose."

Some will say:

"He signed the bottom line. He needs to go to Iraq or go to jail."

Well of course he does. But not because macho military apologists refuse to think about the implication of blind obedience in the face of common sense and a powerful ethic.

Furthermore, a soldier who spouts off against fellow soldiers speaking against the invasion and occupation of Iraq seem to be total conformists. I don’t think it’s a failure of masculinity, bravery or courage, but it might be a failure of moral understanding of what it means to be a real civic-minded American patriot.

Who are the critics inside the military who aren't brave, courageous and patriotic enough that they are willing to discuss the ethics of America's aggression against a nation and people innocent of the 9/11 attacks.

A real patriot thinks before starting a fight, before destroying lives. He doesn’t shrug off that responsibility and declare with patriotic cowardice, “I just obey orders.”

Are there soldiers in that category, afraid to actually consider the ethical decision to inflict the horror of war on a population that had nothing to do with a liar’s reasons for starting a war?

That’s not military courage.

What Lt. Watada is doing is an outward expression of what many others in the military would do but cannot or dare not.

He's a voice for many more people than himself. He is doing what many would of us would do if we were in that situation. His protest is not just individually his alone. We don't need to be limited to applauding his courage about having the guts to speak his mind just for himself.

Whether we like it or not the civic implication is that the American soldier who fights and kills in Iraq is fighting and killing on our behalf and in our name. If Iraq had it coming, then American jingoists can take pride in the moment.

"Good on that soldier for acting in my name" is what we can ideally declare during wartime. Presumably the soldier does for us what we can't do for ourselves - defend the nation by physical presence and action.

But we as citizens and the electorate are making our feelings known. The Bush aggression is an act that now a majority of citizens polled in this country have repudiated. If one considers the Iraq aggression as immoral, untenable, un-winnable and a needless drain of America's most precious blood then we can be constant in our love and loyalty to our soldiers and still lament and object to what they are forced to do there.

If the courageous Lt. is doing what I would want to do if in a like circumstance, then he is acting for me and on my behalf. I support and appreciate him doing this for us. That's what acting morally in our roles as citizens should reflect.

These wonderful military men and women are instruments of our own patriotism. If we dare not own up to what is being done in our name, then simple dismissals of Lt. Watada are hypocrisy.

When things like this are done, those who do it initiate action that may or may not be agreed with by others. But if agreed with by others - a significantly large number of others - a shift begins. It's a shift sustained by a growing voice of dissent that can only be healthy for a democratic republic.

Arthur Ruger 2007


Arthur & Lietta Ruger 2002-2008. The American Choice is a  political internet journal based in Bay Center, Washington. The views expressed not authored by Arthur or Lietta Ruger are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of The American Choice or SwanDeer Productions. Permission of author required for reprinting original material, and only requests for reprinting a specific item are considered.