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02.19 Florida is drowning. Condos are still being built. Can't humans see the writing on the wall? [Fear that Trump & Fox News incite makes us avoid unpleasant information we need to know]

02.18 Tesla big battery is holding its own in a burgeoning energy storage market

02.18 Trump administration condemned over delaying action on toxic drinking water

02.16 New experimental drug rapidly repairs age-related memory loss and improves mood

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02.16 My generation trashed the planet. So I salute the children striking back

02.16 US coastal businesses hit by everyday impact of climate change, study shows

02.16 What the pesticides in our urine tell us about organic food [What does inaction tell us about capitalism and our government?]

02.14 Exposure to Glyphosate-Based Herbicides and Risk for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: A Meta-Analysis and Supporting Evidence [If its killing us, make it illegal]

02.14 To avoid environmental catastrophe, everything must change [Consider why this headline is laughable or confusing to many, if not most, Americans...]02.13 Study Shows Toxic Pesticide Levels in Families Dropped by 60% After One-Week Organic Diet [2:10 video; Produce and canned vegetables laced with toxic chemicals—from fertilizers and herbicides, too—must be quickly phased out to use safe organic alternatives]

02.12 Biggest offshore windfarm to start UK supply this week

02.12 Scientists Are Totally Rethinking Animal Cognition

02.12 Politicians are complicit in the killing of our insects – we will be next

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02.21 Bezos Says Amazon Drones Ready to Deliver Mueller Report to Every American Household

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02.20 The 2020 U.S. Presidential Race: A Cheat Sheet

02.20 Why Bernie Sanders' radicalism can take out Trump

02.20 Why vote for Sanders when you can have Elizabeth Warren instead?

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02.19 The Political Revolution Is Back: Bernie Sanders Announces 2020 Run for President

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02.20 Despite the slaughter in Yemen, Britain is still chasing arms sales [and the Great-Again-America is too...Capitalism without morality is horrible]

02.16 Elliott Abrams Defends War Crimes As Happening Back In The ’80s When Everyone Was Doing It

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02.20 House report lays bare White House feud over Saudi nuclear push [Its hard to keep up with all the criminal crap going on...]

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02.18 They Used To Hold Hands Through the Wall. Now, There’s Razor Wire.

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  Congressman Wilson's Un-American Activity
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SPEAKING OUT:

Congressman Wilson's Un-American Activity

by Ward Morrow

I can forgive my misguided friends—they know not what they do. Congressman Wilson knows better.

America voted for change. Perhaps not everyone did, but in a democracy the ballot box is where we resolve our differences. If there are concerns, they can be taken to court. Many Americans believe, and not without ample evidence of election irregularities in Florida and Ohio, that George W. Bush was not legitimately elected President in 2000. The United States Supreme Court made a ruling, criticized by many, but George W. Bush then served as President. This how we do things in America.

As President of the United States, most patriotic Americans would agree that the office, if not the man or woman, is deserving of respect. When a President of the United States of America, regardless of what their party affiliation might be, wishes to address our schools to encourage education, it is difficult to understand how any rational person would oppose this. We all may recall that on September 11, 2001, George W. Bush was reading a book to school children when the tragic events occurred on that day. I recall no opposition, either before or after the horrible events of that day, to his having access to those children in his role as President . Even as angry as many Americans were that George W. Bush was serving as our President, we all came together as Americans during that time. It would have seemed Un-American to do any less.

It is the proper and Constitutional role of Congress to have oversight hearings and for the Justice Department to investigate possible wrongdoing. This is not a partisan activity. Having your performance as a law enforcement official judged in partisan terms by political actors in the White House has not been considered the American way. This type of politicized law enforcement we might have expected to see in North Korea; it has not been the American Way.

In this context, it was disconcerting to see Congressman Joe Wilson heckle the President of the United States while addressing the United States Congress. For weeks, many of us have been in receipt of blatantly false emails, similar in tone to those that had previously mis-represented the President's choice of religion. It's free speech, but it's dirty pool. I can forgive my misguided friends—they know not what they do. Congressman Wilson knows better. He can always send a press release or have a press conference, at taxpayers' expense, and retort whatever he disagrees about with the President. He can read and enter a statement into the record—again, at my and other taxpayers' expense. He has that right in our American democracy, due to his office.

As much as I might want to go into the United States Congress and shout my disagreement at Congressman Wilson while he performs his official duties, I would be properly removed. There is a time and place for free speech. No Member of Congress shouted "Liar" at George W. Bush during any of his addresses to Congress about the non-existent weapons of mass destruction. Clapping or grumbling does occur, but disruptively loud shouts of "Liar" are not part of our American tradition of respecting the Office of the President. Such a disruptive and disrespectful outburst on the floor of Congress, during a televised address by the President of the United States, is simply not part of our American tradition.

Congressman Wilson should resign. He can then be free to write a book, appear on talk shows, collect lecture fees, and yell as loud as he wants from the designated free speech zone (remember how President Bush allowed for those in areas far from wherever he appeared?)

Congressman Wilson, not Citizen Wilson, was permitted to be present during the Presidential address to Congress. If Citizen Wilson wants to heckle at his living room television, as many Americans did during the previous 8 years, he is free to do so. Congressman Wilson has apologized, but his actions were far outside the bounds of our American tradition. In an effort to preserve our American tradition of respecting the Office of the President, Congressman Wilson should also agree that he must resign. He can then be free to write a book, appear on talk shows, collect lecture fees, and yell as loud as he wants from the designated free speech zone (remember how President Bush allowed for those in areas far from wherever he appeared?). If Congressman Wilson fails to take responsibility for his actions by resigning, then we know how insincere his apology really is.

Our President has been asking for bi-partisan support to provide health care to all Americans. This could be an opportunity, again, to join together as patriotic Americans, without regard to political party, to ensure health care for all Americans, regardless of their party affiliation. If Congressman Wilson can't support his President, or fellow Americans who are in need of affordable healthcare, at least he could take real responsibility for his actions and restore proper respect to the Office of the President by resigning.


Ward Morrow, an Assistant General Counsel for the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, writes from Essex, Md. He hosts the radio show "Inside Government with Ward Morrow" every Friday on 1500AM in the Washington, DC area from 10am to 11am or on Saturdays at 7 a.m. on KTKK 630 AM.



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This story was published on September 11, 2009.
 

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