Where the hell is our outrage?Sun Apr 29, 2007 20:13From: "veteransforjustice1"
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Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2007 21:59:06 -0000
Subject: [johnlaesch4congress] please forward this to all your online political activists!
When will Bush and Cheny be removed from office??
call 866 220 0440 Demand Pelosi put Impeachment on the table!
"ICH" -- -- -Had Enough? Am I the only guy in this country who's fed
up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be
screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering
our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters
stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much
less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits
around and nods their heads when the politicians say, "Stay the
course." Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America,
not the damned Titanic. I'll give you a sound bite: Throw the bums
out! You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my
rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly
recognize this country anymore. The President of the United States is
given a free pass to ignore the Constitution, tap our phones, and
lead us to war on a pack of lies.Congress responds to record deficits
by passing a huge tax cut for the wealthy (thanks, but I don't need
it). The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the
guys in handcuffs. While we're fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is
burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving
pom-poms instead of asking hard questions. That's not the promise of
America my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for.
I've had enough. How about you? I'll go a step further. You can't
call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged. This is a fight I'm
ready and willing to have. My friends tell me to calm down. They
say, "Lee, you're eighty-two years old. Leave the rage to the young
people." I'd love to, as soon as I can pry them away from their iPods
for five seconds and get them to pay attention. I'm going to speak up
because it's my patriotic duty. I think people will listen to me.
They say I have a reputation as a straight shooter. So I'll tell you
how I see it, and it's not pretty, but at least it's real. I'm hoping
to strike a nerve in those young folks who say they don't vote
because they don't trust politicians to represent their interests.
Hey, America, wake up. These guys work for us. Who Are These Guys,
Anyway? Why are we in this mess? How did we end up with this crowd in
Washington? Well, we voted for them, or at least some of us did. But
I'll tell you what we didn't do. We didn't agree to suspend the
Constitution. We didn't agree to stop asking questions or demanding
answers. Some of us are sick and tired of people who call free speech
treason. Where I come from that's a dictatorship, not a democracy.
And don't tell me it's all the fault of right-wing Republicans or
liberal Democrats. That's an intellectually lazy argument, and it's
part of the reason we're in this stew. We're not just a nation of
factions. We're a people. We share common principles and ideals. And
we rise and fall together.
Where are the voices of leaders who can inspire us to action and make
us stand taller? What happened to the strong and resolute party of
Lincoln? What happened to the courageous, populist party of FDR and
Truman? There was a time in this country when the voices of great
leaders lifted us up and made us want to do better. Where have all
the leaders gone?
The Test of a Leader
I've never been Commander in Chief. Bush does not have a clue about
being Commander in Chief. Never has a War been more mismanaged. I
understand a few things about leadership at the top. I've figured out
nine points, not ten (I don't want people accusing me of thinking I'm
Moses). I call them the "Nine Cs of Leadership." They're not fancy or
complicated. Just clear, obvious qualities that every true leader
should have. We should look at how the current administration stacks
up. Like it or not, this crew is going to be around until January
2009. Maybe we can learn something before we go to the polls in 2008.
Then let's be sure we use the leadership test to screen the
candidates who say they want to run the country. It's up to us to
A leader has to show CURIOSITY. He has to listen to people outside of
the "Yes, sir" crowd in his inner circle. He has to read voraciously,
because the world is a big, complicated place. George W. Bush brags
about never reading a newspaper. "I just scan the headlines," he
says. Am I hearing this right? He's the President of the United
States and he never reads a newspaper? Thomas Jefferson once
said, "Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a
government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I
should not hesitate for a moment to prefer the latter." Bush
disagrees. As long as he gets his daily hour in the gym, with Fox
News piped through the sound system, he's ready to go.
If a leader never steps outside his comfort zone to hear different
ideas, he grows stale. If he doesn't put his beliefs to the test, how
does he know he's right? The inability to listen is a form of
arrogance. It means either you think you already know it all, or you
just don't care. Before the 2006 election, George Bush made a big
point of saying he didn't listen to the polls. Yeah, that's what they
all say when the polls stink. But maybe he should have listened,
because 70 percent of the people were saying he was on the wrong
track. It took a "thumping" on election day to wake him up, but even
then you got the feeling he wasn't listening so much as he was
calculating how to do a better job of convincing everyone he was
A leader has to be CREATIVE, go out on a limb, be willing to try
something different. You know, think outside the box. George Bush
prides himself on never changing, even as the world around him is
spinning out of control. God forbid someone should accuse him of flip-
flopping. There's a disturbingly messianic fervor to his certainty.
Senator Joe Biden recalled a conversation he had with Bush a few
months after our troops marched into Baghdad. Joe was in the Oval
Office outlining his concerns to the President, the explosive mix of
Shiite and Sunni, the disbanded Iraqi army, the problems securing the
oil fields. "The President was serene," Joe recalled. "He told me he
was sure that we were on the right course and that all would be
well. 'Mr. President,' I finally said, 'how can you be so sure when
you don't yet know all the facts?'" Bush then reached over and put a
steadying hand on Joe's shoulder. "My instincts," he said. "My
instincts." Joe was flabbergasted. He told Bush,"Mr. President, your
instincts aren't good enough." Joe Biden sure didn't think the matter
was settled. And, as we all know now, it wasn't. Leadership is all
about managing change, whether you're leading a company or leading a
country. Things change, and you get creative. You adapt. Maybe Bush
was absent the day they covered that at Harvard Business School.
A leader has to COMMUNICATE. I'm not talking about running off at the
mouth or spouting sound bites. I'm talking about facing reality and
telling the truth. Nobody in the current administration seems to know
how to talk straight anymore. Instead, they spend most of their time
trying to convince us that things are not really as bad as they seem.
I don't know if it's denial or dishonesty, but it can start to drive
you crazy after a while. Communication has to start with telling the
truth, even when it's painful. The war in Iraq has been, among other
things, a grand failure of communication. Bush is like the boy who
didn't cry wolf when the wolf was at the door. After years of being
told that all is well, even as the casualties and chaos mount, we've
stopped listening to him.
A leader has to be a person of CHARACTER. That means knowing the
difference between right and wrong and having the guts to do the
right thing. Abraham Lincoln once said, "If you want to test a man's
character, give him power." George Bush has a lot of power. What does
it say about his character? Bush has shown a willingness to take bold
action on the world stage because he has the power, but he shows
little regard for the grievous consequences. He has sent our troops
(not to mention hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens) to
their deaths. For what? To build our oil reserves? To avenge his
daddy because Saddam Hussein once tried to have him killed? To show
his daddy he's tougher? The motivations behind the war in Iraq are
questionable, and the execution of the war has been a disaster. A man
of character does not ask a single soldier to die for a failed
A leader must have COURAGE. I'm talking about balls. (That even goes
for female leaders.) Swagger isn't courage. Tough talk isn't courage.
George Bush comes from a blue-blooded Connecticut family, but he
likes to talk like a cowboy. You know, My gun is bigger than your
gun. Courage in the twenty-first century doesn't mean posturing and
bravado. Courage is a commitment to sit down at the negotiating table
If you're a politician, courage means taking a position even when you
know it will cost you votes. Bush can't even make a public appearance
unless the audience has been handpicked and sanitized. He did a
series of so-called town hall meetings last year, in auditoriums
packed with his most devoted fans. The questions were all softballs.
To be a leader you've got to have CONVICTION, a fire in your belly.
You've got to have passion. You've got to really want to get
something done. How do you measure fire in the belly? Bush has set
the all-time record for number of vacation days taken by a U.S.
President, four hundred and counting. He'd rather clear brush on his
ranch than immerse himself in the business of governing. He even told
an interviewer that the high point of his presidency so far was
catching a seven-and-a- half-pound perch in his hand-stocked lake.
It's no better on Capitol Hill. Congress was in session only ninety-
seven days in 2006. That's eleven days less than the record set in
1948, when President Harry Truman coined the term do-nothing
Congress. Most people would expect to be fired if they worked so
little and had nothing to show for it. But Congress managed to find
the time to vote itself a raise. Now, that's not leadership.
A leader should have CHARISMA. I'm not talking about being flashy.
Charisma is the quality that makes people want to follow you. It's
the ability to inspire. People follow a leader because they trust
him. That's my definition of charisma. Maybe George Bush is a great
guy to hang out with at a barbecue or a ball game. But put him at a
global summit where the future of our planet is at stake, and he
doesn't look very presidential. Those frat-boy pranks and the kidding
around he enjoys so much don't go over that well with world leaders.
Just ask German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who received an unwelcome
shoulder massage from our President at a G-8 Summit. When he came up
behind her and started squeezing, I thought she was going to go right
through the roof.
A leader has to be COMPETENT. That seems obvious, doesn't it? You've
got to know what you're doing. More important than that, you've got
to surround yourself with people who know what they're doing. Bush
brags about being our first MBA President. Does that make him
competent? Well, let's see. Thanks to our first MBA President, we've
got the largest deficit in history, Social Security is on life
support, and we've run up a half-a-trillion- dollar price tag (so
far) in Iraq. And that's just for starters. A leader has to be a
problem solver, and the biggest problems we face as a nation seem to
be on the back burner.
You can't be a leader if you don't have COMMON SENSE. I call this
Charlie Beacham's rule. When I was a young guy just starting out in
the car business, one of my first jobs was as Ford's zone manager in
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. My boss was a guy named Charlie Beacham,
who was the East Coast regional manager. Charlie was a big
Southerner, with a warm drawl, a huge smile, and a core of steel.
Charlie used to tell me, "Remember, Lee, the only thing you've got
going for you as a human being is your ability to reason and your
common sense. If you don't know a dip of horseshit from a dip of
vanilla ice cream, you'll never make it." George Bush doesn't have
common sense. He just has a lot of sound bites. You know, Mr.they'll-
welcome-us-as- liberators- no-child- left-behind- heck-of-a- job-Brownie-
mission-accomplishe d Bush. Former President Bill Clinton once
said, "I grew up in an alcoholic home. I spent half my childhood
trying to get into the reality-based world, and I like it here." I
think our current President should visit the real world once in a
The Biggest C is Crisis Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is
forged in times of crisis. It's easy to sit there with your feet up
on the desk and talk theory. Or send someone else's kids off to war
when you've never seen a battlefield yourself. It's another thing to
lead when your world comes tumbling down. On September 11, 2001, we
needed a strong leader more than any other time in our history. We
needed a steady hand to guide us out of the ashes. Where was George
Bush? He was reading a story about a pet goat to kids in Florida when
he heard about the attacks. He kept sitting there for twenty minutes
with a baffled look on his face. It's all on tape. You can see it for
yourself. Then, instead of taking the quickest route back to
Washington and immediately going on the air to reassure the panicked
people of this country, he decided it wasn't safe to return to the
White House. He basically went into hiding for the day, and he told
Vice President Dick Cheney to stay put in his bunker. We were all
frozen in front of our TVs, scared out of our wits, waiting for our
leaders to tell us that we were going to be okay, and there was
nobody home. It took Bush a couple of days to get his bearings and
devise the right photo op at Ground Zero. That was George Bush's
moment of truth, and he was paralyzed. And what did he do when he'd
regained his composure? He led us down the road to Iraq, a road his
own father had considered disastrous when he was President. But Bush
didn't listen to Daddy. He listened to a higher father. He prides
himself on being faith based, not reality based. If that doesn't
scare the crap out of you,I don't know what will.
A Hell of a Mess.
So here's where we stand. We're immersed in a bloody war with no plan
for winning and no plan for leaving. We're running the biggest
deficit in the history of the country. We're losing the manufacturing
edge to Asia, while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered
by health care costs. Gas prices are skyrocketing, and nobody in
power has a coherent energy policy. Our schools are in trouble. Our
borders are like sieves. The middle class is being squeezed every
which way. These are times that cry out for leadership.
But when you look around, you've got to ask: "Where have all the
leaders gone?" Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where
are the people of character, courage, conviction, competence, and
common sense? I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I think you get
Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than
making us take off our shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo?
We've spent billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and
all we know how to do is react to things that have already happened.
Name me one leader who emerged from the crisis of Hurricane Katrina.
Congress has yet to spend a single day evaluating the response to the
hurricane, or demanding accountab
- Open Letter to Presidential Candidate Senator Mike Gravel John Doraemi, Sun Apr 29 17:07
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