jeffpickering12

Archive for February, 2009|Monthly archive page

The O. Presidency

In Uncategorized on February 24, 2009 at 7:07 PM

What Obama’s Doing Right:


1) Creatively Continuing Foreign Aid to Africa

            When Obama was a candidate, his website stated many direct problems in Africa that deserve America’s attention. Those are as follows, “stopping the genocide in Darfur, passing legislation to promote stability in the Congo and to bring a war criminal to justice in Liberia, mobilizing international pressure for a just government in Zimbabwe, fighting corruption in Kenya, demanding honesty on HIV/AIDS in South Africa, developing a coherent strategy for stabilizing Somalia, and traveling across the continent raising awareness for these critical issues.” (link below)

            Also stated was the need for focus on the long term challenges of, “education, poverty reduction, disease, strengthening democratic institutions and spurring sustainable economic development”

            One more idea I loved was making diplomacy a priority in Africa. Obama and Biden will, “expand our foreign service, and develop our civilian capacity to work alongside the military.” It’s time for America’s presence overseas to be that of humanitarian civilian service, and that can change the world.

            Lofty goals, but so was JFK’s decision to go to the moon.

            Sen. Obama worked with Sen. Brownback (R-KS) to pass the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act in 2006. After former President Bush’s final State of the Union, Sen. Obama made it clear he supports what Bush has done in Africa. Gutsy move, I like it.

            As to fighting poverty, here’s another promise from his site, “Obama and Joe Biden will double our annual investment in foreign assistance from $25 billion in 2008 to $50 billion by the end of his first term and make the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs link below to learn more), which aim to cut extreme poverty in half by 2015, America’s goals. They will fully fund debt cancellation for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries in order to provide sustainable debt relief and invest at least $50 billion by 2013 for the global fight against HIV/AIDS, including our fair share of the Global Fund. (link below)”

            Today on The White House Blog we saw George Clooney, sitting with VP Biden, discussing his recent trip to Eastern Chad. The Oval Office has its eye on creatively continuing foreign aid to Africa and I’m excited.

            “When you go to places like Africa and you see this problem up close, you realize that it’s not a question of either treatment or prevention – or even what kind of prevention – it is all of the above. It is not an issue of either science or values – it is both. Yes, there must be more money spent on this disease. But there must also be a change in hearts and minds, in cultures and attitudes. Neither philanthropist nor scientist, neither government nor church, can solve this problem on their own – AIDS must be an all-hands-on-deck effort.” –Barack Obama. Prustice.

            I know this blog was made mostly of quotes, but that’s because when you see something good, you don’t mess with it.

            Now, to Africans and Americans who stand alongside each other wondering if all this is possible, we shall boldly respond to them and to ourselves, Ndio Tunaweza (Yes We Can).

 

Links:

http://origin.barackobama.com/issues/foreign_policy/#onafrica

(READ THIS) http://www.kaisernetwork.org/election2008/OBAMAFactSheetAIDSFINAL.pdf

(MDGs) http://one.org/issues/mdgs.html

(Global Fund) http://www.theglobalfund.org/en/

Advertisements

The O. Presidency

In Uncategorized on February 18, 2009 at 6:59 AM

What Obama’s Doing Wrong:

 

1) Expanding the Availability of Abortions

            With his rhetoric, he sits on the fence. With his voting and now actions as President, Mr. Obama falls on the side of supporting abortions. Yet his rhetoric continues to transcend his true stance; this is where I come in.

            I love Obama’s expertise in using rhetoric. I see rhetoric as a good thing, this blog is full of it, but what I believe to be one of the most important things in politics is aligning your rhetoric with your actions. That’s leadership, something the Obama administration isn’t doing (on the abortion issue).

            As one of his first items of business, President Obama issued the “Mexico City Policy and Assistance for Voluntary Population Planning” memorandum. The memo exemplifies the tragic position the U.S. has been in since 1961. Here’s why.

            The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 prohibits NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) from using their federal funds to pay for the motivation, coercion, and performance of abortions as a method of family planning over seas.

            President Reagan withheld funds from NGOs again if they used non-USAID funds to do anything at all regarding abortions. This has become known as the Mexico City Policy.

            President Clinton repealed that policy and consequently U.S. federal funds were used for abortions in other countries.

            President Bush reinstated “Mexico City” in 2001. And the history lesson ends, I promise. But it’s important, right? Of course.

            So, Obama has now opened up the United States to pay for the aborting of lives in other countries. The next Margaret Thatcher, Mahatma Gandhi, or a future dear friend of yours might never see daylight. The next great hope of another nation could be terminated via your taxpayer money.

            Barack Obama ran for the office of Presidency assuring us that he would seek common ground on abortion. If common ground is comprised of Obama’s ideas alone, then I don’t see hope or change.

            “I’m asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington… I’m asking you to believe in yours.” –Barack Obama. I do believe in my ability to change Washington Mr. President, even if Washington is now you. As long as Washington violates the sanctity of basic human life, I will believe it needs change. Prustice.

 

Links:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Mexico_City_Policy_and_Assistance_for_Voluntary_Population_Planning/

http://www.ontheissues.org/Social/Barack_Obama_Abortion.htm

The W. Presidency

In Uncategorized on February 10, 2009 at 9:47 PM

What Bush Did Wrong:

1) Created Guantanamo Bay Detention Center.

            November 13, 2001, President Bush led America too close to the edge of tyranny’s steep drop off.

            It was on that day the executive order authorizing the creation of military tribunals for the detention, treatment and trial of certain non-citizens in the war against terrorism was signed.

             A military tribunal works in an inquisitorial system, a legal system where the court is not only judging the case but is also actively involved in determining the facts of the case. Our American ideals tell us the court should be an adversarial system, or an impartial referee, not the judge, jury, and prosecution.

            The order denies any of the detainees the ability to, “seek any remedy or maintain any proceeding in any court of the United States or any State therof, any court of a foreign nation, or any international tribunal.” If these men are guilty of terrorism, try them in our Courts. Sentence them to justified punishment. Make sure these heinous men face justice. But I don’t see that in this order.

            I see uncertainty in Bush’s confidence that these men are terrorists. And it is on that foundation of uncertainty, that government’s power was grown. This makes me nervous.

            In November of 2001, Senator Patrick Leahy, as a part of his opening statement on the ”DOJ Oversight: Preserving Our Freedoms While Defending Against Terrorism” on the Senate Judiciary Committee, stated, “The three institutional pillars of our democratic government, standing together, are stronger guarantees of our freedoms than any one branch standing alone. America benefits when we trust our system of government – our system of checks and balances — to work as it should. Today we may get some insights into why the Administration has chosen this new approach.”

            We the people cannot enable our government to become a monster in order to stop a monster. Evil exists in the world and it is government’s responsibility to stop it. In order to bring evil to its end, we must understand that monsters don’t stop monsters; they just create more violence.

            There is no doubt in my mind that America can, if she is willing, put an end to terrorism without losing our standards for the sanctity of life. We must empower our government to make the bold choices that hold life to a high value while bringing those responsible for terrorizing the innocent to punishment.

            We cannot let those that want you and I dead free to roam the streets of this world. However, we cannot strip someone of their freedom without evidence and confidence in a court.

            I have much to learn on this subject, as you probably do too, but I have reason to pause and disagree when my government grows too aggressive, too large, and too close to the brink of tyranny. Prustice.

Links: http://www.hrcr.org/hottopics/tribunal.html

             http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200111/112801.html

The W. Presidency

In Uncategorized on February 10, 2009 at 8:04 AM

What Bush Did Right:

1) Prohibited Partial Birth Abortion

            In 2003 President George W. Bush and Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales enacted the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. With this act a procedure that the word sickening cannot adequately describe, came to an end.

            Under Section 3, the act states, “Any physician who, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, knowingly performs a partial-birth abortion and thereby kills a human fetus shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.” Prustice.

Entire Law: http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/abortion/2003s3.html

 

2) Creatively Continued Foreign Aid to Africa

            Relevant Magazine’s Cameron Strang explains this as; “one of the most significant untold stories of our generation”

            December 1st of last year, Former President Bush was awarded with the International Medal of PEACE from the Global PEACE Coalition for his incredible fight against HIV/AIDS and other diseases. “No man in history, no world leader, has done more for global health than George W. Bush,” said Rick Warren.

            Relevant Magazine reports that PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) gave more than 2 million people ARV (anti-retroviral) drugs, which has educated and prevented another 8 million people from contracting the disease. Bush teamed up with African leaders and that is why PEPFAR is effective amidst so much “foreign aid” waste. Prustice.

            “The innovation was trusting leaders at the local level… It’s the timeless management principal of aligning authority and responsibility,” Bush remarked. “If you disassociate authority and responsibility, you can’t have accountability.”

            PEPFAR, now to that I say, well done W.

Full Article: http://www.relevantmagazine.com/columns/editors-note/3861-the-untold-story

Prustification

In Uncategorized on February 2, 2009 at 9:50 PM

What do you think of when I say the word human? Do you think of biology class? Do you think of pregnancy? Do you think of different cultures around the globe? With each post, my hope is that you and I would learn to think of justice when we think of humanity.

I believe that people, all people, are living with the image of GOD. We were made in His image and we live in His image. We have dignity.

No matter your beliefs about the world, politics, and religion, hear me on this. I think you have unbelievable worth and dignity and significance in this world and in the United States. It should make no difference how young or old, location or circumstance, “We the people” must stand for human rights.

This blog will report and comment on the current politics and policies of ending abortion, continuing creative aid to bring Africa to it’s full potential, and the discontinuation of Guantanamo Bay detention center.

This is my justification.