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Monday, August 13, 2007

Welcome to Truman's Conscience v2.0

On Sunday, February 12, 2006 Truman's Conscience was launched. Though I wasn't happy with the blog's initial look I felt it would suffice until I could come up with a more user friendly design within the boundries of my limited HTML abilities. After quite a bit of hand wringing and a lot of blundering around I was finally able to get a design I am happy with for the relaunch. For a novice, such as myself, when it comes to HTML code it has been touch and go. Though there are still a few bugs to be ironed out (such as the formatting of archived posts) I hope this new blog will offer a more enjoyable experience for those few of you that drop by. I have taken the liberty of reposting below my orginal inaugural post that seems more relevent now than ever before. I hope you enjoy the new format and offer any suggestions you may have for improvement. All suggestions will be considered as long as it is in my power.

As of this inaugural post, it has been fifty-three years, three weeks, two days and four hours since Harry S. Truman’s official term of office expired. As each decade passes since that moment it only serves to underline the flourishing legacy he left behind that is still with us today. With the exception of Abraham Lincoln, it is doubtful a better representative of the common man with an evolving progressive mind could be found. At first, our 33rd President came out of Missouri with a parochial outlook couched in the southern prejudices of the time. With a progressive mind and a conscience that always strived for fairness one can only marvel at the evolving ideals and a sense of justice he would harness as the arc of his ascension in public life spiraled upward growing beyond his humble origins.His biographer, David McCullough, called him, "….a man of uncommon vitality and strength of character."

As the embodiment of one being faced with a world that had evolved beyond his capacity to view it with the sensibilities of a time long past he became much more than that. Our greatest President, Abraham Lincoln once profoundly observed, "The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present….we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country." Only a progressive mind such as that of Harry Truman could understand the meaning of Lincoln’s profound sense of what is needed to face a world that seemed at the time to be so fraught with unmeetable challenges and peril. His strength of character and profound sense of self-awareness eventually enabled him to reach beyond himself and those around him in order to harness the ideas and energy that would allow him to, "….think anew, and act anew," as Lincoln prescribed. Now we find ourselves being led by the conservative mind in a post cold-war world conflicted with ambiguity and contradictions about our place and where we fit in to it. As we lurch and reach backward for tired old prescriptions that did not serve us well in the past our burden is added to as they serve to only soothe the closed mind of raw emotions driven by those that are easily angered and quick to judge. Progressive ideas are marginalized and ridiculed by a conservative mindset that prefers the simple solutions of yesterday and quick fix answers serving a consumer driven public massaged by the commercial blandness of mass consumption and the low expectations of a status quo society.Now more than ever we need new voices that call for us to, "…..think anew, and act anew."

We need new voices that ring with the clarion call for change to wash away the "dogmas of the quiet past that are inadequate to the stormy present." This blog is an attempt, in a very small way, to join that chorus and harmonize with those that feel that sense of urgency before it is too late to save the progressive ideals we fought so hard for and achieved. We need new voices that are driven by the conscience of Harry Truman and the sense of justice and fairness it embodied. Welcome to Truman’s conscience. My name is Michael and I’m the custodian of this small effort to harmonize with the voices of change and the call for justice in a political climate driven by fear and moral certainty. Come in and occasionally join us and we can sing together. Truman's Conscience will be here.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Where's Our Federal Infrastructure Monies? In Iraq, Where Else?

I'm really tired of heartbreaking examples of what Bush's excellent Mid-East adventure is costing our country in lives and money. The incompetence of the man notwithstanding there is the residual effect of our federal highway maintenance funds and where they've obviously wound up. Instead of fixing and maintaining our federal infrastructure we've sent the monies overseas so THAT infrastructure can be blown up:

"The Federal Highway Administration is rescinding a total of
more than $871 million in federal aid highway funds from states. Texas is second
only to California in the amount of funds being rescinded. California is losing
about $79.2 million. The money is being diverted to other government
priorities. In its notice, the Federal Highway Administration said the funds
were being rescinded as required by the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care,
Katrina Recovery and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act,

Bush's illegal war has been rearing it's ugly head at the cost of the home front since the advent of post-Katrina incompetence and neglect. His Mid-East adventure has not only killed innocent Iraqi civilians and our troops it has been costing lives here on the home front as well. The most stunning piece of information about all of this so far lays in the fact NTS & DOT engineers knew how precarious this bridge's status was:

" Bridge 9340 [I35W bridge] was of a design known as a "non-redundant structure" by civil engineers, meaning that if a single part failed, the whole structure could collapse. It was completed
before fundamental reform of bridge safety in America in the late

As usual we have to get our news on this little tidbit from news OUTSIDE the US MSM. I can't imagine the fact this particular structure didn't get more immediate attention since it was a "non-redundant structure" as reported that would cause total collapse if it's structural integrity was compromised.

This is a travesty that can only be laid at the lap of Bush and his GOP minions. Congressional voting records simply don't lie.