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When I was elected to serve on the school board of education I recall one of the first things I told the superintendent was that I don’t like SURPRISES. The superintendent responded back admitting neither did he.

I believe that is one of the basic cornerstones to our outstanding working relationship. I bring that up because we learned again Sunday night while watching 60 Minutes that President Bush surprised Retired General Colin Powell that we were going to war with Iraq. When Powell heard about it, the decision had already been made. Powell responded to Bush, “you know when you break it you own it” and asking “have you considered the consequences”.

I’m sure Powell is also surprised that Bush told Bob Woodward, a reporter who just published a book called “Plan of Attack.” Powell is only the Secretary of State and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where he was responsible for all of the military resources in the United States. None of the others who report to Bush have had war experience and this includes Bush. My wife asked me how did Woodward get Bush Jr. to admit all of these things.

I responded, whenever a person thinks they are God or have been sent by God they do what Bush did. Bush even told Woodward he could not consult with his earthly father, Bush Sr. and former president, because he (Bush Jr.) was in touch with the Heavenly Father. Now I’m sure God was surprised when Bush said “I’m going to war and kill a lot of people so bless my country as I kill them.” Now any smart thinking son who claims to have a good relationship with his earthly dad would have consulted with him.

No, not Bush Jr., “I want to show the world I can plan and execute a war. I want to demonstrate to the world I’m the king of the free world and if you are not with me you must be against me.” Should we be surprised that most of the world has not joined in and just this week Spain pulled back on their position to fight in this war. Portugal has sent signals it plans to withdraw its troops.

As Paul Harvey, the legendary news reporter says, the rest of the story is coming out. Another surprise to the public is confirmation of what we thought, the war plans were ordered by Bush back in November 2001. Congress woke up to a surprise this Monday morning and learned they were not given the full picture by Bush and Cheney about Iraq.

They are now learning that money was being spent in preparation for the war without their approval. Money was being taken from the war effort in Afghanistan to build up for the war in Iraq. Mr. President the U. S. public does not like SURPRISES.

Mr. Penman your Impact vs Intent

In Cassie Macduff’s Press-Enterprise column on April 13,2004 she states that Mr. Jim Penman S.B. City Attorney, is looking for legal help and if he can’t craft a plan he can defend he may not pursue changing of the City’s charter. She suggested in her article that he dropped the ward system charter change issue anyway.

This I agree with as well. Cassie also states Mr. Penman is not a racist because he was once married to a Latina and worked at the Home Of Neighborly Service on San Bernardino’s minority-populated Westside for many years while he went to school for his law degree.

I can agree that Penman is not a racist when it comes to the “intent” of his proposal but the adverse impact to Black and Latino voters would be as racist as using the overt system of standing in college doorways to keep Blacks out of classes, using axe handles to keep Blacks out of restaurants, or posting signs that would read “colored need not apply,” reciting the constitution before you can vote, “tell me how many bubbles are in a bar of soap,” or “if you vote you will have to move off my land.”

Those are just a few of the overt things people used to do to ensure Black voters would be adversely impacted at the ballot box. Mr. Jim Penman’s proposal could be placed in any of the outlaw tactics because the impact to Blacks and Latinos would be the same.

I want to thank Cassie for pointing out that none of the seven wards have anything to write home about when it comes to high voter participation. Citywide she states, the turnout remains below 25% during non presidential elections. Mr. Penman your intention may have been good but the impact would have an adverse impact on our community.

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