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EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP NEEDED: EXECUTIVE BRANCHES ARE MORE COMPASSIONATE THAN CONSERVATIVE

By FREEDOM WRITER
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA
May 25, 2004

Recent poll results show Pres. George W. Bush at his lowest popularity ratings ever. The same could be said for the largest state's Governor -- Alaska's Frank Murkowski. Yet both began with the highest hopes & moderate expectations. Now both have a mixed scoreboard of success & cracks are appearing at their ideological-philosophical bases.

AMERICA FRACTURED:

Many Democrats never fully accepted Bush's final outcome in the 2000 presidential race due to the complications of Florida's screwy vote tabulation (led by Democratic Party county counters) whose final victory seesawed between that state's Supreme Court & the federal Supreme Court. After 8 years of the corrupt Clinton administration, America needed new honest & effective leadership. Events would then happen to stifle any positive & productive Bush legislative agenda items.

  1. The 9-11 terrorism attacks thrust Pres. Bush into being our consensual leader, if just for a short while through the successful invasion of Afghanistan to destroy the Al-Qaeda & Taliban headquarters & terrorist training centers. While we could never officially determine if Osama bin Laden was alive, captured, or dead, the war on terrorism was spread from our initial domestic insecurity into the rest of the world. The incompetent flaws in our domestic & international intelligence networks were becoming obvious.

  2. However, Pres. Bush's domestic legislative agenda, even with a Republican Party controlled Senate & House of Representatives, somewhat suffered due to the liberal GOP members who allied themselves with the Democratic Party. Then Bush dropped the voucher concept, a must for genuine conservatives, just so he could get the increased federal control & spending for this "No Child Left Behind" education program, a must for the liberals. Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) was the real winner here, not Bush, unfortunately.

  3. Bush softened his pro-second amendment campaign stance when he encouraged renewal of the gun control legislation begun under his predecessor -- Bill Clinton.

  4. The Patriot Act -- a quickly passed & signed anti-terror legislative piece -- was never fully read by Congress. Yet Bush's Attorney General John Ashcroft -- a solid conservative when he was in the US Senate -- now had to enforce surveillance & enforcement activities that would normally make civil libertarians on both sides of the aisle cringe. That led to many communities in America voting not to enforce any unconstitutional provisions of the Patriot Act. Again, the administration pursued Patriot Act II, & again civil libertarians are asking why innocent Americans being subjected to this domestic federal policing when OUR NATIONAL BORDERS ARE STILL WIDE OPEN TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION -- THE CHIEF SOURCE OF TERRORIST ACCESS TO AMERICA.

  5. The new multi-billion dollar Homeland Security Department is also somewhat a mixed bag of effectiveness as many of the Transportation Security Administration's airport screeners tend to be recently arrived foreigners who are now federal employees with the power to delay & detain the average American citizen, instead of effectively "profiling" the demographic characteristics of those who have been terrorizing the free world for years -- those young men from the Middle East who practice Islamo-fascism.

  6. Meanwhile, the alleged conservative Congress uses this war on terror as a conduit for increasing the already bloated federal budget & start huge budget deficits that have not been seen in decades, while very few social programs are cut. Pork-barrel project spending is at an all-time high. I don't see Pres. Bush vetoing any of this.

  7. Then Pres. Bush decides to invade Iraq. This splits the international & domestic coalitions that put Bush on the pedestal of the Chief Anti-Terror Policeman. The new front of the war starts to go well as the remaining international coalition's military troops successfully take Baghdad & most of Iraq with astoundingly minimal military & civilian casualties, & even capture Saddam Hussein himself. However, the major hostility cessation announcement was premature, as guerrilla warfare & typical Middle East terrorism practices now make the American & coalition military & civilian personnel helping to rebuild a new Iraq sitting duck targets to where there are more casualties after the cessation than during the actual invasion. MR. PRESIDENT, EITHER SHIT OR GET OFF THE POT -- Let's win this war in Iraq or let's leave!

  8. Increased Democratic Party opposition to anything Bush does exacerbates these & other problems, whether they be justified or not. The liberal mainstream corporate media focuses more on a few abusive cases in the Abu Ghraib prison by immature American soldiers (whether or not there was official policy & orders from the top down) than the decapitation of American civilian Nick Berg by cowardly radical Islamo-fascist terrorists. WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE FROM THE ARAB-MUSLIM-ISLAMIC WORLD ABOUT THIS EXECUTED AMERICAN? The media --allied with the liberals in Congress -- continue their slanted biased coverage of the Bush administration's domestic & foreign policies. This now results in jeopardizing our military personnel ever more so, especially with the release of the damning photos of the Iraqi prison abuse sandal. NO MATTER WHAT SIDE OF THE IRAQI WAR DEBATE YOU ARE ON, IT IS DEFINITELY UNAMERICAN NOT TO SUPPORT OUR TROOPS WHO ARE IN HARM'S WAY, and giving "aid & comfort" to our "enemies" in this so-called "war on terrorism" is bordering on sedition, if not treason.

  9. Yet Congress NEVER OFFICIALLY DECLARED WAR ON ANYBODY, which is their CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY, not the prerogative of the Executive Branch with its Executive Orders complementing Congressional resolutions which MAY, or may not, have a similar intentional effect. No wonder the debate continues to rage about the rights of those detained at home, at Guantanano Bay Cuba, or in Iraq or elsewhere by our military personnel, AS OUR CIVILIAN LAWS MAY BE AT ODDS WITH THE MILITARY'S GENEVA & HAGUE CONVENTION PROTOCOLS. This "doublespeak" only increases job stability for government officials & trial lawyers.

  10. While June 30 is the target date for us to "relinquish" our "occupation" of Iraq to our hand-picked few Iraqis who will lead that country, with our military as security forces, until their federal elections can be held in January 2005, Pres. Bush is pushing for United Nations intervention in the new Iraq. WHAT HAPPENED TO IRAQI SOVEREIGNTY, MR. PRESIDENT? If they can't relish democratic principles & if they don't want us there anymore, then I say, let's bring our troops back home, or to another real frontline against terrorists. The Iraqis need to learn to police themselves. Sure we've done more good there than not, but we will NEVER GET GOOD PRESS FROM THE ARAB WORLD, especially as long as we meddle in their affairs, no matter how righteous or well-intentioned we are. Let's not forget how ANTI-AMERICAN the U.N. has been the past decade or more.

  11. Back to the home front for another issue near & dear to most Americans: The rising price of gasoline will be jeopardizing any new economic recovery during this administration. We don't hear from Pres. Bush as to why this is happening or what he plans to do to counteract it, which fuels the fangs of his political detractors who have complained of his, & Vice-President Cheney's, past ties with the oil industry. Yet Congress cannot pass an effective Energy Plan that includes both INCREASED DOMESTIC PRODUCTION & INCREASED ENERGY CONSERVATION STANDARDS, so America won't be held hostage to countries who care little for us or our way or life. Mr. President, you like being a compromising moderate, so why don't you introduce appropriate legislation to incorporate both philosophical viewpoints, in order to get the necessary votes to pass both houses of Congress?

  12. Let's not forget the recent attempt by Bush to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants already in this country as a means to monitor them. Whatever happened to punishing the guilty? This amnesty would be a slap in the face to those honest hard-working immigrants who "stood in line" & went through the immigration & naturalization & citizenship process the correct & legal way to become American citizens. This amnesty proposal would diminish the legitimate efforts of legal immigrants & would do little to win the war on terror, in my opinion. ISN'T THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH SUPPOSED TO ENFORCE THE LAWS, MR. PRESIDENT?

  13. Continuing the tradition his father & predecessor began with the introductions of NAFTA, GATT, WTO, & other "globaloney economics", now Pres. Bush wants to push America into the CAFTA era with the Central America Free Trade Agreement. America has already seen a loss of over 900,000 manufacturing jobs & alarming trade deficits with other countries, like China & Mexico, who are signatories to the earlier mentioned "free trade agreements", when we used to have trade surpluses with those countries. Blue collar jobs & small businesses within middle America are lost & decline, respectively, while the multi-national corporations continue their economic rape of the American consumer as they fund the election campaigns of the politicians in Congress & mainstream presidential candidates who push for this UNPATRIOTIC LEGISLATION. There is more SECURITY when an American has a decent good paying job than anything the government can do, other than protecting our borders.

These are just a few of the many disappointments of the first 4 years of the Bush administration, which delights the liberals & the Democratic Party, who are more into partisanship & control than in true bipartisanship when dealing with key issues affecting Americans & our nation. It seems Bush & his Republicans may be their own worst enemies, as "events" are now in the saddle & "ride" this administration & influence America's upcoming federal elections.

ALASKA FRACTURED:

The new gubernatorial administration of Frank Murkowski, former Commissioner of Economic Development under the first Wally Hickel governorship & former US Senator from 1980-2000, promised to be a new beginning for Alaska which had suffered under liberal Democratic Governor Tony Knowles & his anti-business, anti-development, pro-government growth, & racial divisiveness of 8 years with decreased state resource revenues & increased state government budget deficits. Events, just like on the national level, & personalities would then come into play in Alaska to stifle any positive & productive Murkowski legislative agenda items.

  1. When the first legislative session under Gov. Murkowski failed to produce the needed spending cuts in state government, Frank took the lead initially. One of the most controversial programs cut was not the usual burgeoning social welfare programs that give aid to able-bodied people who should be working but a small program that allowed senior citizens to get from $100 to $250 per month, depending upon their application dates & tenure in the dwindling program. Most of those seniors supported Murkowski when he campaigned for his US Senate seat & the governor's race, yet they had the rug pulled from under them by some misguided political advice, in my opinion, when he could have let the program run out when the last enrolled senior died or he could have phased out the Senior Longevity Bonus program over 2 years so that the impact on those seniors would not have been so bad. This alienation still lingers today & threatens his reelection bid to the extent that a recall petition, however well-intentioned but possibly constitutionally misguided, was started.

  2. The recall petition also has as one of its "raison d'etres" the fact that Murkowski appointed his own daughter to fill his vacant US Senate seat & ignored a list of other good qualified candidates. While Lisa Murkowski was know as a liberal Republican in the State House, her voting record in the US Senate has become more conservative, yet she faces conservative opposition within the GOP primary this August from former State Senator Mike Miller of North Pole, Alaska. Most of the campaign contributions will favor the incumbent, Lisa, & her leading Democratic opponent, former Gov. Tony Knowles (with minor primary opposition), both of whom will receive substantial Big Oil monies as well as the traditional conservative & liberal special interest group monies, so we know who will be facing each other in the general election, don't we?

  3. Gov. Murkowski has only paid "lip-service" to an All-Alaska Natural Gas line from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez while he has cuddled up to the Big Oil producers who want to see that untapped natural gas sent through Canada to the Mid-West markets, bypassing most of the markets in Alaska & the far western states & Asia & thereby decreasing any chance of more in-state private sector jobs & economic development through value-added products & infrastructure-building. Instead of shipping the raw product to distant markets through a pipeline through a foreign country where we may have little control of that segment in case of foreign turmoil or security concerns, we should be building that gasline in Alaska, like the Alaska voters wanted to do, no matter who builds or owns the line, as long as it remains within Alaska. British Petroleum (BP), the major co-owner of the current trans-Alaska pipeline system & oil lease holder in northern Alaska, has led the efforts to get the gasline through Canada, a British imperial crown nation. BP has been a major campaign contributor to both the Murkowski & Knowles campaigns in the past. Regardless of any economic justification in either direction, IT LOOKS LIKE THE FIX IS IN, DOESN'T IT?

  4. The second legislative session under Gov. Murkowski has also seen little legislative leadership to cut state spending but more emphasis on user fees (another name for consumer or flat sales taxes), like the first session, & more calls for spending a portion of the Permanent Fund, rather than income or sales taxes. The governor conducted a Conference of Alaskans, at considerable expense, to justify tapping into the Fund, if the voters consented, of course. Apparently he doesn't he remember the 83% advisory vote result from 1999 on the same subject: The Alaskan voters said "HELL NO" to spending the Permanent Fund on state government spending back then. While public outcry is not for more taxes or spending the PFD, it is for reducing state spending, but it seems that many in the legislature, collectively, & the governor, in particular, are deaf or have memory loss (my apologies to those in the real world who suffer those real maladies for using this analogy, but if the shoe fits...). Now Gov. Murkowski has called for an expensive ($25,000 + per day) special session of the legislature to deal with the alleged fiscal problem. They love to spend our money, don't they?

These are just a few of the disappointments of the first 2 years of the Murkowski administration, which also delights the liberals & the Alaska Democratic Party, who are more into partisanship & control than in true bipartisanship when dealing with key issues affecting Alaskans & our state. It also seems Murkowski & some of his Republicans may be their own worst enemies, as many Democrats & third parties in Alaska, like the Alaskan Independence Party, the Alaska Libertarian Party, & the Green Party, have plenty of "fodder" to use in Alaska's upcoming state elections.

TO MEND THE FRACTURE:

Although George W. Bush was a far better choice for the White House than Al Gore, he has done little to garner my support for his reelection in Nov. 2004. He has abandoned traditional conservative principles. This year he is a far better choice to occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. than Democrat John Kerry, but I may look elsewhere for someone more principled to receive my vote for the highest office in America, just as I did in 2000. Your time is almost up, Mr. President, unless you change dramatically within the next 30-45 days.

Although Frank Murkowski was a far better choice for the Governor's Mansion than Fran Ulmer, he has also stumbled & done little to garner my support for his reelection in Nov. 2006. I am uncertain how one would categorize the principles he uses. To date, he has no early opposition for the Republican primary in August 2006, & it's somewhat premature for other third party candidates to begin their campaigns, but I may also look elsewhere for someone more principled to receive my vote for the highest office in Alaska. Your time is also coming, Gov. Murkowski, unless you change dramatically within the next 30-45 days, as those who win the mid-term legislative races this August & November will determine the parameters of your support or opposition during your final 2 years of your first term.

We Americans & Alaskans have seen how the present leaders of the national & state Executive Branches practice their "Compassionate Conservatism". I believe we need more of the latter & less of the former in our political leaders to manage the government effectively. When that happens, then the people will be more compassionate to each other, as they will have more money & more freedom, & therefore more security, to effectively act accordingly.

Freedom Writer

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