In one of the most deplorable performances in his career, Senator Ted Stevens yesterday explained why he continues to support the shredding of our constitutional rights every chance he's given to vote on taking them away, as he rubber stamps George Bush's criminality.
Between addled stutters, and tripped up speech, bordering on sheer impedimentia, Stevens said, when asked about the GWOT, "Re, uh, read, uh the book, America Alone. A lot of people com, uh, complain about that book, uh, but look, uh, he's a democraee, uh, uh. Look at, uh, the demographic concepts, uh, of that book."
OK, Ted. I already did. The book to which our rapidly aging Senator-for-life refers, is America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It, by Canadian writer Mark Steyn. In the book, Steyn alleges that white people in Western Europe and North America need to have more babies, and need to attenuate, however possible, the high birth rates of browner people, especially Muslims, who want to either convert us and steal our women, or kill us. Or both.
Steyn is profoundly anti-multicultural, openly speaking about "Japs," "Chinks," "Wogs" and "Gooks" in his right-wing columns. He was one of, if not the basic originator of the Obama madrassa smear. He's not a feminist either.
Although Steyn sometimes makes some very valid points in his columns and recent book - like his criticism of way too much political correctness legislation and administration by the Canadian government - his analyses of why we're where we're at and how to move beyond it is very disturbing, and anti-democratic, to say the least. He's sort of like a Glen Beck with more than a modest amount of brains.
Kyle Hopkins caught Stevens blabbering on during a Wednesday press conference at the Anchorage Federal Building. Stevens was seated next to Governor Sarah Palin. They were together to promote possible legislation in the realm of oil.
Stevens is attempting to foist onto us the notion that he is a reformer when it comes to reigning in the rampant abuses of oil future speculators. What Stevens doesn't want you to realize is that he is one of the people responsible for this situation existing. He voted in 2000 for the so-called "Enron exception" that has allowed our oil prices to reach $140.00 per barrel. And the solution he so lamely proposes is less effective than some of the others being floated right now.
On the same day, Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, in stark contrast to Stevens' backing of draconian anti-civil liberties laws, proposed the following:
Protecting Alaskans' Right to Bear Arms
Mark strongly supports the right to bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and protected by the Alaska Constitution. He is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, owns firearms and was one of the first Anchorage citizens to obtain a concealed weapons permit when it was required. Most recently, Mark applauded the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to strike down the District of Columbia's 32-year-old ban on handguns. Mark firmly believes that responsible gun ownership is a fundamental right guaranteed by our Constitution and no government can take that right away.
Standing Up Against Government Interference
Mark Begich believes that every part of the Bill of Rights must be protected with equal dedication. The Bush administration has systematically infringed on Alaskans' constitutional rights, with warrantless wiretapping, the assault on habeas corpus, the pursuit of REAL ID cards and it even tried to extend retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies that illegally helped the federal government spy on innocent Americans. Mark Begich will fight to restore the Constitution and the government's respect for our civil liberties.
No Surveillance on Law-Abiding Americans
Mark opposes the Bush administration's most systematic effort in history to extend government snooping into the lives of American citizens. Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America, the Bush administration took advantage of public fear to systematically dismantle Constitutional checks and balances. It bypassed the courts, ignored Congress, and eavesdropped on American citizens. It even worked to pull the plug on current lawsuits by extending retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies which were sued for violating the privacy of Americans without court orders.
Mark Begich favors reform giving the government the intelligence tools it needs to keep us safe while reining in these infringements on American privacy. He opposes blanket amnesty to telephone companies for information that they provided to the government under the administration's previous warrantless surveillance program. He favors court warrants before government can wiretap the communications of American citizens abroad. He favors judicial oversight of surveillance procedures. And he favors a "sunset" and thorough congressional review of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in two years. Mark believes we need to protect America, but we also need to remember what we're fighting for. We can give America security without compromising our Constitutional values and protections.
Repealing the Patriot Act
Mark Begich will always protect Alaskans' freedom first. He believes that Alaska's Constitution enshrines the fundamental right of privacy for all Alaskans and is proud of Alaska's commitment to civil liberties. The Patriot Act granted the federal government far too many powers to pry into the private lives of Alaskans and other Americans. Fighting terrorists doesn't require that we invade the lives of innocent Americans at the expense of essential civil liberties. Mark will work to repeal the Patriot Act as a U.S. Senator and put in place national security resources built on human intelligence and Special Forces that will identify, focus on and respond to real terrorist threats – and not what books you read at the local library.
Restoring Habeas Corpus
The Military Commissions Act, passed on the eve of the 2006 elections, suspended the Great Writ of habeas corpus for millions of legal American residents. Habeas corpus permits prisoners to be brought before court to determine whether their detainment is lawful. This moment truly represented a low point in our country's response to the threat of terrorism, made out of fear with no regard for the rule of law. Habeas corpus is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and has been a foundation for individual freedom since the 1300s. Mark Begich believes that habeas corpus must be restored and he will work to do that as a U.S. Senator.
Begich proposes to expand and restore our freedoms.
Stevens wants us to give more of them up.
Not a very tough choice is it, folks.
When it comes to freedom, it appears the only people Ted wants to have freedom are big oil executives - freedom to lie, rather than being sworn in, under oath:
Dennis Zaki at Alaska Report took some great video at the press conference. More stuttering and stammering and complaining about Democrats. And yesterday, Dennis highlighted Sen. Stevens' key role in getting energy speculation legislation passed eight years ago. What a shameless friggin' liar Ted has become!
I updated this story's headline...