Thomm Quackenbush, author

State of the Union Address

Okay, so this is my first attempt at writing my column for Xenex.org, which will be about current events. My first task is to pick apart President Bush's State of the Union Speech. There are many strong opinions in this little editorial and I am aware some people will vehemently oppose what I have to say, but keep in mind it is what I have to say. All the figures included in my editorial have been researched and are factual.

Anything that follows that is red is a direct quote from the speech and anything in black italics is information provided to me by Evan that he has researched and verified.

Bush moved onto the subject Terrorism very early in his speech and we see the first of numerous mentions of September 11th within the first minute of the speech. Don't get me wrong, 9/11 was a huge tragedy but I have a few moral issues with trying to get re-elected on the coat tails of September 11th.

Inside the United States, where the war began, we must continue to give our homeland security and law enforcement personnel every tool they need to defend us. And one of those essential tools is the Patriot Act, which allows federal law enforcement to better share information, to track terrorists, to disrupt their cells, and to seize their assets.

The Patriot Act is the chief threat to our country and constitution. This Act takes away every right and liberty that our country was founded on. I think Bush must have asked Saddam Hussein for some guidance in designing this Act in order to ensure that it takes away as much freedom as possible. The fact that Democratic candidate Dennis Kucinich has stepped forward and stated that he will immediately repeal this act, if he is elected, is the main reason that he will receive my vote in the Democratic primary. I know he won't win but I am going to stand by my ideals (VOTE DEMOCRAT IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION REGARDLESS OF THE CANDIATE).

There was a silver lining to the Patriot Act in Bush's speech:

Key provisions of the Patriot Act are set to expire next year.

Please Dear Lord let them expire! I would also like to note that this statement did receive applause from Congress, which is a good sign.

Then Bush blathers on about past successes in order to distract us from current failures. He discusses Afghanistan and how fantastic it is doing now. I did agree that it was a great thing that Afghanistan was liberated from the Taliban but I would like to add that we had a great deal of support of the military action in Afghanistan, including the unwavering support of the United Nations but I have learned some interesting information about the Afghanistan situation provided to me by Evan: "we gave them something like 43 million $$$ a few years ago as an award for being such humanitarians, I think the new group we put in power represents a minority and is no better, a few years ago a report came out saying the world's largest undiscovered oil reserves may be in the former soviet republics north of Afghanistan... so after we 'liberated them' we tried to build an oil pipeline but when it turned out that there was much less oil than expected almost immediately the Iraq war bullshit started". I think Bush was trying to show that since it was good that Afghanistan was liberated then it will be good that Iraq is liberated. Does he think we are all as stupid as he (my spell check has been having a hell of a time trying correct the grammatical errors in his speech but I have left them intact in all there glory)? Does he really believe that he can blind us to what happened and is happening in Iraq by making us look back at events in Afghanistan?

Men who ran away from our troops in battle are now dispersed and attack from the shadows.

DEATH TOLL IN IRAQ SINCE US INVASION:

United States Military: 519 (7% of US soldier deaths in Iraq are suicides and there's many thousands of us soldier debilitating injuries that haven't been reported)

Iraqi CIVILIANS: Between 8,059 and 9,896

UK Soldiers: 57

Other Coalition Troops: 40

Total: Between 8,675 and 10,512

Those dispersed men attacking from the shadows seem to be doing quite well for themselves. Oh, but please consider that the United States killed most of the Iraqi civilians. We lost 3,030 civilians on September 11th and we inflicted more than double that amount on the innocent Iraqi citizens. Are we supposed to be happy about this? I know the Conservative, Right Wing argument to these points: "But Saddam killed so many of his own people". Yes, I am aware, and the UN was handling this issue and maybe if that had been our motivation for invading Iraq, I would have supported it, but it wasn't. Our "motivation" was Weapons of Mass Destruction (There were none) and links to al-Qaida (Osama Bin Laden has spoken out against Saddam Hussein and Iraq many times. As a matter of fact, al-Qaida did not voice ANY support of Iraq until we invaded). President Bush assumed that if he threw in the words "September 11th", we would support whatever he did. Unfortunately, most of us did. So what was the REAL motivation? It could be oil, it could be finishing Daddy's business; whatever it was, and I personally don't feel it was worth 10,512 lives.

Had we failed to act, the dictatator's weapons of mass destruction programs would continue to this day.

What programs? Does bush not realize that we all have access to CNN and know full well that proof of Weapons of Mass Destruction have not been found?

Yet it is mistaken, and condescending, to assume that whole cultures and great religions are incompatible with liberty and self-government. I believe that God has planted in every human heart the desire to live in freedom.

I think it is mistaken and condescending to think that we can make decisions for other countries and force them to live in a way that we see as "right and normal" and maybe, just maybe, they have a different God than our government (We can forget all about separation of Church and State as long as Bush remains in office) and different ideals have been planted in them. This statement by our president is a wonderful example of American Imperialism. It's also funny because Bush wasn't legally elected, he stole the Presidency which took away our right to self govern and then passed the Patriot Act which is a mockery of any Liberty we may have had. Hmm, that sounds almost like a dictator.

Our aim is a democratic peace -- a peace founded upon the dignity and rights of every man and woman.

"You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war" -Albert Einstein

Overall I feel that Bush's speech was just a bid for re-election. He kept talking about tax breaks for all (too bad they're mostly for the rich) and how he is going to spend more money on this, that, and the other. I may be no mathematical genius but that just doesn't add up. He spoke about supporting our troops and neglected to mention that he has cut Veterans Health Benefits by more than doubling the cost of prescription medications and cut $1.5 Billion from military housing. Also it wasn't mentioned why Bush hasn't attended a single funeral of the brave men and women who died for his cause in Iraq or why our "free" media has been banned from showing footage of our Troops coming home in body bags. It is our right to see this so we can better understand the magnitude of what is happening in Iraq.

Bush also discussed his No Child Left Behind Bill that he himself cut funding to. Sorry kids, now it's Some Children Not Left Behind. He also asks that more money go to aggressive programs to reduce drug use. Gee, I hope its more commercials that lie and tell us that buying weed supports terrorism. He goes on to point out that having across the board medical care for all Americans, like the program in Canada, is not a viable solution and undermines Capitalism in our country. Okay Mr. President tell that to the kid living in the ghetto that has pneumonia. Tell him that giving him guaranteed medical care is a threat to capitalism. I am sure he will understand as he lies in his room hacking. Of course Bush had to mention the Gay marriage issue but managed to do this with out once using the word "Gay".


A strong America must also value the institution of marriage. I believe we should respect individuals as we take a principled stand for one of the most fundamental, enduring institutions of our civilization. Congress has already taken a stand on this issue by passing the Defense of Marriage Act, signed in 1996 by President Clinton. That statute protects marriage under federal law as a union of a man and a woman, and declares that one state may not redefine marriage for other states.

Activist judges, however, have begun redefining marriage by court order, without regard for the will of the people and their elected representatives. On an issue of such great consequence, the people's voice must be heard. If judges insist on forcing their arbitrary will upon the people, the only alternative left to the people would be the constitutional process. Our nation must defend the sanctity of marriage.

So now, based on Bush's religious convictions, he is going to try and add an amendment to the Constitution that would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The divorce rate is over 50%, men and women don't seem to be doing such a great job of respecting the sanctity of marriage so I don't buy that allowing gays to marry would destroy that sanctity. I cannot fathom why a human being would be so arrogant to assume that he can deny people the basic human right of having their love recognized by their government. People who have been together for 30+ years still have no way of ensuring that they can make decisions for their partner in times of medical emergency, maintaining health benefits under their partners' insurance, or receiving death benefits at the time of the unfortunate passing of their partner. It is 2004 and our government is operating as though it were 1804. We are sitting by and letting our government pass bills that are prejudiced and wrong. This amendment is on the same level of Bush banning inter-racial marriages. If this amendment passes I feel it will open the door to things along those lines just as Bush and his Conservative party state that allowing gays to marry would open the door for allowing family members to form incestuous unions and people marrying animals. How gays are on the same level as animals, I understand not.

So in conclusion I feel that as an American, it is my duty to do everything in my power to ensure that Bush is not re-elected. If you agree some what with what I had to say, visit Moveon.org and get involved. Please get out and vote in the primary and the General Election. I am terrified of what Bush may do if he is given another term in office. He has so much blood on his hands as it is.

P.S. Three more US troops and 9 Iraqis were killed in Iraq since I started writing this last night.



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Find What You Love and Let It Kill You by Thomm Quackenbush
Pagan Standard Times: Essays on the Craft by Thomm Quackenbush
A Creature Was Stirring: A Twisted Christmas Anthology by Thomm Quackenbush
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