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Honesty in Politics

It appears that the time is correct for bringing back honesty into politics. There needs to be a renewed dialogue between our elected officials and the citizens they represent. How might we achieve this? I encourage all those that participate in this blog to engage us in this renewal. It's time to forge new alliances, it's time to engage each other in bringing about change, it's time to redirect the road we've followed for so many decades. Globally people are speaking out - including our own workers and fellow workers from around the world. We all speak the same language. Now it's time for those that make the laws listen. How might we achieve this, beyond marching in the streets? Let's hear your ideas.

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Posted by Jessica Falker on April 10, 2006 at 07:48 PM | Permalink

Comments

Hi Everybody - I wrote the first posting [even if Jessica's name appears].Thanks for your patience. I think there's real need to open up this dialogue so that we can achieve the maximum results from the next elections. Please join us, as commentators or participants in this vital task. Thanks.

Bob

Posted by: Bob | Apr 10, 2006 7:56:10 PM

OK, this is what I see happening. This is grassroots conversation. We decide how to change our country to express our beliefs. If there's no dialogue, Bush wins. If there's no push, the establishment continues. If there's no excitement, youth and ideals are wasted. If there is no honor in our discourse - we all lose, there are no winners. More of the same - now there's a thought.

Posted by: Bob | Apr 10, 2006 9:00:47 PM

Sorry Bob. Prepping for a project interview today and lost track of time last night.

Historically, the arts are a prime mechanism for stirring the masses into conversation and action. That's why it's important to support those artists willing to risk the almighty dollar for what they believe in. This is especially easy to see in the backlash that the Dixie Chicks took for their stand against the Iraq War. The inaugural DemocracyFest was used as a spring board to showcase musicians and writers that used their talent to spread the progressive word. This year will add even greater awareness/motivation through viewing The Big Buy film. Of course, often the best motivation received at DemocracyFest are the speaches given by our best politicians (for instance, Gov. Dean, Jesse Jackson Jr.)

The Backbone Campaign is taking a step towards spreading progressive arts. Their backbone puppet uses visual art to communicate a progressive agenda. They also use humor to make a point as evidenced by their Chain Gang (big headed puppets of the current administration).

Of course, our wimped out media does no good either, which is why its great to help causes like Rapid Response and to support alternative sources like Utney, Mother Jones, AlterNet.

Posted by: Charlene | Apr 11, 2006 10:04:48 AM

LOL. I was a little suprised to see my name on this post. I actually had to start reading it to make sure I hadn't posted something and forgotten :-)

Posted by: Jessica | Apr 11, 2006 10:20:57 AM

I don't know how to fix the problem, but the public definatly sees politicians as crooks and liars, and they actually excuse such behavior now because it's "normal".

I've heard that this mentality started because of Nixon, and that before that politicians were respected and trusted by the public. But somehow, the dis-trust has transfered to my generation, and it's keeping a lot of people from going to the polls on election day because they think it dosn't matter which guy wins, they're both politicians, and therefor both bad...

Posted by: Jessica | Apr 11, 2006 10:26:20 AM

Thanks Charlene - I'm wondering how alternative media can be better used to challenge the almost suffocating news coverage that we have today. It's as though somebody made a list of 5 stories - and everybody jumps on the bandwagon with just those five stories and no others - making up your mind and viewing choices. I'm reminded of CNN changing its format and Aaron Brown just disappearing into thin air - no word, no explanation of why he was replaced. Are suburban murders and the DeVinci Code all we're worried about. And though immigration is a problem - that's just a cover to take our thoughts away for the war in Iraq.

Posted by: Bob | Apr 11, 2006 12:52:43 PM

Hi Jessica - sorry about the false post.
I think there's a new generation of young adults that's beginning to see that change needs to happen. They will become more aggressive in their talk, more aggressive in their actions. They can recognize truth - mostly because they are talking amongst each other about their concerns. They will become our future politicians. In many ways they will forge a new world, leaving behind the sad double talkers of past administrations. I think MViMV can help tremendously in this task with forums of this nature.

Next Monday Tom Hughes - Democracy for America - will be our guest blogger.

Posted by: Bob | Apr 11, 2006 1:02:17 PM

(THIS IS SUCH A MATTER FOR THOSE INVOLVED THAT THEY CAN GO TO ANY EXTENT. THEY ARE ALREADY WORKING VERY HARD AND SEEM TO BE HAVING NO REST)

Dear Sir/Madam,

Through out my life i used to be quite careless about ongoing national and international politics. But past few months here in Australia have forced me to have a look into what really is going on in the political world thanks to easy access using Web to spicy stories about “terrorism” and the character of the concerned authorities here. It was not a result of my curiosity that i plunged into this deep topic but the external circumstances forced me to. It is more than clear to me now that in the lead-up to Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Sydney in September last year, the sequence of events happening to me were just in preparation to a Deadliest lie designed to open up new frontiers of politics and to give a new life to the so-called War on terror.

It came to me very clear that the War on Terror is simply a pretext for committing terrorism. After so much destruction of Iraq as a result of an Illegal War against the wishes of the United Nations, those high-profile politicians responsible for all this havoc just said,” The intelligence was wrong” Now it is believed strongly by many in the world that the intelligence was doctored to make ‘things suitable for a war’. The allegations of the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and alleged link of Saddam to Al Qaeda were the main points of justification for this war. Hundreds of thousands of innocents have been killed since Iraq war began in 2004. Who is responsible for all this? Just by saying that intelligence was wrong does not solve the problem. Was it not terrorism? Important thing is that Iraq had already become paralyzed because of the sanctions imposed. Iraqis were begging for food. Under those circumstances waging a war, killing hungry people simply on the basis of “wrong intelligence” is not something that should go unnoticed by the international community. Are not these crimes against humanity? Has there been any investigation conducted into this “mistake” of wrong intelligence that has led to so much destruction?

I used to be a very weak person who would not dare talk about any of these issues. What has made me so strong to write all this and object to the operation of these “notorious intelligence agencies”? It was my being at the centre of yet another conspiracy-a result of the “intelligence” of the same intelligence agencies who had provided all the pretexts to wage a war against a paralyzed hungry nation. It is crystal clear to me that these agencies can convert couple of pages into a whole book and a foundation into skyscrapers of their own choice and liking. Since none of those responsible for war in Iraq have been held accountable, they perhaps consider themselves to have been gifted with Divine Permit to do whatever they want, write whatever they want.

In the last week of August last year just some days before the start of APEC, a desperate effort was made to get my finger-prints on some fine metallic parts that did not seem to have something to do with the book rack, and a cable which was placed very intelligently under my notes without any reason. The authorities knew that i am an electrical engineer and they must have decided to give me a role in line with my expertise. The plot was so sophisticated that i was shocked. That event opened my eyes and i was able to see clearly the motives behind different events that happened to me earlier. When i brought my concerns to the knowledge of department administration and requested for independent judicial investigation into all this, they declared me “mentally ill” and wanted me to go on leave. I was also told not to speak to anybody. I sent an email to one prominent political figure here in Australia the very next day. People around me wanted to keep me quiet and “concentrate on studies”. I started having problems with sending and receiving emails. Not only that, since last week of August I have been continuously mentally tortured by any means possible. The concerned authorities made circumstances suitable for me to commit suicide or try to harm somebody around me. It is me who has gone through such a turmoil at the hands of authorities and only I know how agonizing all this has been. Everything was happening just the opposite of my desires.

Using the pretext of terrorism, different countries have passed laws to “counter” terrorism. In Australia, similar laws are in place to test them on “terrorists”. These laws allow authorities to place real-time surveillance devices at any premises. Surveillance device can even be a video device and premises can be a family home. In view of so many experiences of mine, i strongly believe that there must be some video surveillance device (in addition to audio devices) installed at my home. The authorities recently went totally reckless by giving me clear proof of what i believed about the presence of surveillance devices at my home. I am not an Australian citizen. Rather than testing all these techniques on me, the best option was to send me back to Pakistan. But they wanted to keep me at least till APEC after all i had been identified as a “political scapegoat”. When their plans just failed on the eve of APEC, many new strategies to hide their criminal conduct came into action and are still in action. Strong efforts have been and still are under way to prove me a delusional person so that their crimes may be turned into delusions of mine. The presence of real-time surveillance devices at home, outside home (i strongly believe) and the tracking by mobile makes it possible for authorities to perform tricks and dramas of their choice in a very real fashion. I have gone through so many experiments of the authorities that i am just shocked and helpless. What i have observed is that somebody does not even know and in the course of time different things are made to happen in a very real fashion. Different suspicions are created by the authorities themselves so as to ask ‘Why’ at some later moment. I simply can not believe to be in Australia. I now believe that authorities in a developing country like Pakistan can not go worse than this because they do not have technology for their help.

And i strongly believe that it was not that only Australian authorities were ready for “action”, all this must have been done in full-cooperation with their “international partners” because for “some important issues”, as they call it, they are united and they want to remain supportive of each others and can go beyond any extent to do what is needed just like i experienced here in Australia. Terrorism is being used as fuel for western politics. Sir, my question is that is forgery and dishonesty the only ways to pursue different aims? It is a very bad trend in politics. Politics is becoming synonym for lying and dishonesty. Such politics based on fear and lies has already cost innumerable lives and will cost even more if honesty does not return to international politics. Take Iraq for example. After sanctions Iraqis were just paralyzed and some more time with sanctions would have led them to give in to the desires of “international community”. Even then War was the option that was chosen. And it is not very difficult to see why it must have happened.

Recently President Musharraf is being portrayed as the cause of all evils in Pakistan. I have never been a fan of him but since last few months i have started to like him because of his persistence against continued pressure to step down and clear the way for “democracy”. Why my mind changed? Because the hypocrisy behind the use of word terrorism is very clear to me today. I have myself been a target of the hypocrisy of those who tout “rule of law”. Those who tout democracy must be held accountable for their own deeds first. I am now forced to think that whatever we listen to in public is not what really goes on behind the curtain. Benazir Bhutto was being portrayed as pro-west. First, is it the people of Pakistan who know what is better for their country or the west(ern governments). Benazir Bhutto (May her soul rest in eternal peace) has had her two chances of becoming Prime Minister of Pakistan and what sort of reforms did she and her government implement. She was labeled as a corrupt politician and the extremism which is becoming a threat to Pakistan now was just founded in her first government as is suggested by different media reports. Why all of a sudden she became apple of west’s eyes? She was out of office and out of country with many cases against her. Any body with such circumstances can be made ready to do whatever is needed if he/she is promised with so many rewards. She has not died for democracy but for her own ambitions and some “Great game”. We have to look for the real culprits who put her life at risk by inciting her to go back and work for “democracy”? What i have observed is that some “international partners” are responsible for mental torture and human rights violations within the borders of their countries using the pretext of National Security, and are seen responsible for so much bloodshed outside the borders using the pretext of “Democracy”.

And there are suggestions in media that the west must abandon Musharraf and support democracy. The reality that i see is that underhand conspiracies are just underway even though in public such intentions are not mentioned. Any policy of the western Governments can change but one: Use and then Shoot. The notorious intelligence agencies are working very hard to fulfill that purpose and all of a sudden they would come up with a ready-made plot (a striking example is that of a plot against me in the lead-up to the APEC), and for that purpose they are just putting different things in the course of time. In public, they will not change rhetoric till some suitable time has come. With monster of Al-Qaeda in their hands, they can relate anybody to Osama and wage a war and then, in a very legal fashion, take him to gallows. I never lived in future with such prophecies but the character of intelligence people around me has taught me in a few months period what i could not learn in years or perhaps the whole of my life. When US invaded Iraq, we, while sitting in friends, used to guess which country is to come next. Most people though it was Iran (and then Syria) which is lucky to have got some more time thanks to Russian intervention. Osama will be moving all around in the Muslim world till all “extremists” are dead.

For the very first time the Republican Party in America has conducted polls regarding Musharraf’s popularity and have come up with suggestions for Musharraf to go. Why did not they see very blunt polls regarding the American president whose approval rating was at the second lowest in American history? There was an example in American history when the incumbent president resigned in view of his bad approval rating. The American president should have resigned. Why did not he resign? Perhaps because he thought that whatever he was doing is good for USA. The same is the thinking of Musharraf. Then why is the wish of the people so important in this case? Musharraf is a dictator, no doubt about it. I am very sorry to say that the use of Vetoes against the desires of elected Congress and Senate does not seem to be less than dictatorship. I understand that i might end up in Guantanamo Bay after writing all this, but this is true as most people believe. Robert Mugabe also considers himself very necessary for his country as are many other world leaders. The answer to all this is that leaders are human beings with their own human motives and desires. The difference between them and a common helpless man is that their words carry weight while no body listens to a common man.

It is very important to mention here that i am not anti-west. And by west is meant just the western governments. No government takes approval from their people while designing underhand conspiracies. I have myself seen many people here in Australia whom i idealize because the values for which they stand are universal and we can not find any discrepancy between what they say and what they do. No body hates Americans nor I. We love Americans and respect them. We love people of other western countries. At this stage when nobody has the courage to hold accountable those who provided wrong intelligence that led to a number of wars, the American Democrats themselves have taken the responsibility. We salute to them and their wish to make this world a better place to live in with justice for everyone. If the west has to win the war on terror (where terrorists need to be clearly identified), they need to preserve their own basic values like justice, law enforcement, tolerance and a ‘fair go’ for all. Otherwise there will all be losers.

For a person born and bred in a society like ours, a western society is an extreme. And for a person born and bred in a western society, people of our society are extremists. So one calls the other an extremist. I have listened to one very responsible person among the previous Government saying that the west is fighting extremists because they hate western way of life. A very natural question to ask is that should it not the case the other way round? So it seems there is no solution for some sort of conciliation. At least one has to be wiped out so as to make the other secure. Only that with power would survive. Is it not genocide? The biggest reason behind extremism is the poverty. We can see that religion is present wherever there is poverty. If poverty is removed, their extremism would also fade away. But there may be some “Great Game” going on. The Islamic extremism is just a pretext. It seems that efforts are underway to redraw the lines to annex North Western Frontier Province of Pakistan to Afghanistan. In the course of human history, we always had and we will always be having some “leaders” who may wish to give us much more than they actually can. There was some person named Hitler. What he wanted to do to his country? What really he did?

Iran was about to be bombed with the same rhetoric used against Iraq. Different leaders saying,” Iran is not a threat to Israel. Iran is a threat to the whole world”. Luckily Iran was able to get support from another powerful country, Russia. Now that Russia had jumped into the field, the policies needed revision. All of a sudden National Intelligence Estimates (NIE) report comes into picture. Perhaps this report came into picture to save the honor of some leaders who could not go to war against Iran with Russia’s backing and therefore wanted something as a pretext to avoid War. This is exactly that must have been the case. Otherwise, how is it possible that the president of USA and the administration were unaware of such an important report?

The purpose of this email of mine is just to highlight certain very blunt hypocrisies currently working in World politics and also describe my own ordeal at the hands of Australian Authorities. I am certain that the new Government can never endorse such actions of authorities and they will be working very hard to fix all the problems in administration. All what i am facing is just designed to save those concerned people who were involved in conspiracy against me. And again as i said, in view of events of September last year, there “international partners” may jump in to “support” them. And the politics based on fear and dishonesty might gain from this conspiracy. I have requested many people here in Australia to please support me to bring this matter to the public so that it is publicly investigated. Some very important questions arise out of my case: The department management has been fully involved in all the plot against me and the subsequent mental torture of mine by different means. I was more than alert because i had identified myself as a potential main target of the authorities here, what about those students who never know what is going to and what is happening to them? If the educational institutions with highly qualified staff can get involved in such things, what to expect from general public? In my case i can not find anybody who has not been used against me, the local electricity company, Telephone Company, bank and others. It was not that they simply were making fun of me. They could have resulted in severe consequences for me because of their conduct. The authorities, in fact, have a multi-edged sword and a common man has to cut whichever side of the sword he happens to fall on it. My final request is to please do something to bring honesty back into politics and help save innocents from being tortured and killed for something they never did. This is, i strongly believe, the main international crisis (and the reason for many other crises) world is facing. Those people who mock human values by recklessly abusing the word terrorism and National Security must be held accountable.

This world does need honest politicians who believe in politics of addition and not division. Those who believe in justice for all. Those who repair this world. I, as most would, pray for such a time to come sooner rather than later.

Best regards,
Rauf Iqbal
PhD Student
Australian National University, Canberra Australia

Address:
Unit 20/26 Springvale Drive
Hawker ACT, Canberra
Australia

Phone: 0421350789

****************
I have written to many Newspapers including two mainstream Australian Newspapers since August last year. I have also written to a number of political figures here in Australia. But it seems as if my voice has been buried by taking appropriate actions. My case has been exemplary regarding criminal conduct of the authorities here. But i do not see why such an alarming and shocking revelations are unable to attract any attention. Anyways, the concerned authorities here have finished my everything and i do have my right and obligation to speak against them as long as and as far as i can because this trend is a threat to security of any nation and the world. I have not mentioned all the events in detail due to space limitations but the authorities have been ‘too extensive’ in their approach. After being caught red-handed in August last year, the strategies of the concerned authorities have changed and while they are doing everything they can in the course of time, they seem to be pretending as if they do not know if exist. Perhaps that is the only way they can try to get away with their extensively criminal conduct.

Posted by: Rauf iqbal | Jan 8, 2008 12:16:09 AM

I have several ideas to some aspects to relieve the pain on business and the people who work for a company.
First of all we have to come to realize that workers are being eliminated from capitalism. By major utilities, insurance companies, IRS, banks, and Government failer to regulate industries for the people.

1 We need to demand that CEO's are not God and they are not entitled to contracts for employment that exceeds a payoff if fired. If they fail in there job they can take everyone with them inside a company.

2 Banks need to offer better percentage rates on saved money and reduce percentages on borrowed money. The same percentages on borrowed money should not differ between 10,000 or 2 million dollars being borrowed.

3 Social security needs to be insured and not be used as a fear tactic for working families. Social security could be on the stock market exchange and could be a new opportunity!!! This would need to be watched carefully and managed wisely!!! If we are going to loose social security and it cannot be managed then why do we continue paying into a system that is not protected?

Legislation needs to be passed limiting the capitalism on utility companies, gas companies, big insurance and banks. American people are extremely limited and compete by age, gender, ethnicity, imigration, education, profession and high unemployment percentages.

Legislation needs to be passed on the regulation of insurance companies. When you tell the people or companies that they must have insurance to work or drive. The sky is the limit for insurance premiums. Keep in mind Insurance is something we pay month after month for something that might happen!!!

Let large companies use a percentage of there gains to keep in savings based on the number of employees for accidents.

4 bring back incentives for accident free enviroments by bonuses for all employees.

5 Get legislation passed for affordable health care for all Americans.

6 you might be thinking this is socialism but it is clearly not. My ideas implemented properly would give a meager percentage of capitalism for all people not just the top 5 percent. This would also stimulate the economy in a proper direction for all people. Companies need the people or there is no sales. People are not only the workers but they are the consumers of large and small purchases as well. Companies need to realize that there needs to be a plowback program for employees to help with individual growth as well.

7 The IRS needs to scale back there Taxation and legislation needs to be passed on controlling this entity for the poor. Perhaps a 10% flat tax may be the way to go and have the IRS disbanded. More incentives need to be created like interest on vehicles for all people to be deducted.

8 If we as Americans don't fight soon for all I have mentioned. We will continue to loose more rights and freedoms to know end. Remember they tried to impose prohibition and people fought back. Now we have the breathlizer that is under the law to bring back prohibition and make it law along with Jail time and huge fines. We lost welfare for America because it has been mismanaged. Big business and politicians never wanted welfare. The best way to abolish it is by mismanagement. Welfare was designed for the people by the people. for people in need facing destitution. It was never designed to be abused and miss used by American people. We lost a Tax break for people who buy vehicles and have the interest to write off.

In conclusion if more blank checks continue for big business and the siphoning of American Tax dollars. There will be no end in sight on the negative legislation that will continue to reduce our rights and our abilities to own anything. Plan on working right up until your dead with your colostomy bag in your hands. Plan on working and having no vacations to go anywhere. Plan on working when you can barely walk, Hey you can pick up the scraps on the floor that fall! Plan on working with no health care no chance to live your dream! Plan on buying your cardboard box now to live!

Posted by: Jim | Oct 22, 2008 5:09:32 PM

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Posted by: addenoDap | Jul 5, 2009 2:47:49 PM

Some times being honest hurts but in the long run it's necessary. There are so many commercials these days that advocate steeling, cheating and lying and it's detrimental to our youth. It's teaching the wrong thing just to sell something and by doing that creates a trend that affects children who some day will use it in their adult life and it will affect all they represent especailly in politics and other services that deal with citizens of the country they represent. It's loathsome and contemptable and immoral!

Posted by: Joe Kane | Sep 20, 2009 2:06:41 PM

First of all we have a very diverse people in the United States, Religion, Culture, Politics, Business and Moral issues. Then our elected officials have beliefs as well about what our government should be doing. All we can do is persuade others to our side and that can be a challenge. Then you throw competition, capitalism and human rights into the middle. We flat out have a mess and it will not be cleaned up any time soon. Right now we have war and economic issues that have hit this country hard. I ask my self first what is it that I can do to make it better, not only for my self but others around me as well. We all can point fingers! Or we can embrace each other and honestly help one another. Issues that are in nature immoral, Will always be debated. There is also a spiritual war looming over the whole world of principalities and powers. All we can do is be responsible for our own actions.

Posted by: James Moore | Aug 28, 2010 8:41:04 AM

Government needs to STOP sending our tax dollars to foreign countries and use our tax dollars for entities they have created for the people. Welfare and Social Security need our tax dollars. If people of other countries need assistance put it in the form of food or building materials. Doing this might decrease war efforts in the middle east. I believe that our own governmental agenda is opposite of the American people and the private sector of the wealthy. Progressives are only interested in progression of capitalism for themselves. Capitalism is not being trickled down in any form period. Do we need to redefine patriotism? So people in the lower class are not left behind. We pay so much for worldly knowledge and we have everything imaginable. Yet the knowledge we have cannot produce a better out come for all Americans? Knowledge by itself without action in positive directions are useless.

Posted by: James Moore | Sep 13, 2010 9:57:32 AM

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