Monday, September 29, 2014
If it weren't so tragic, it would be absolutely comical.
1. A President decides that he (alone, all by himself) can launch a war.
2. Problem: The Constitution says otherwise. [The NYT's editorial board agrees.]
3. Problem: ISIS is not currently a threat to the U.S. or its allies...except for Iraq, which is finally supposed to be defending itself...and is now engaged in a civil war.
4. Problem: the public is sick to death of unending wars.
5. Problem: this war has no U.N. backing either...just like Bush's war.
6. Problem: mid-term elections are approaching.
There's a new Boogie-Man, more horrible than ISIS, and he's coming to get us!
Any day now!
[Even if that were true, it's a Law Enforcement issue. Besides, History has demonstrated that a military cannot defeat a terrorist organization. Remember British Palestine and the Jewish Irgun? Remember Batista and Castro? Remember Iraq? In the longest war in our history, have we yet defeated the Taliban in Afghanistan?]
The propaganda for this new, current years-long war should be obvious to even the most die-hard Obama worshipper, Fed Gov't lover, and Oligarchy apologist. Come on, people don't really believe this load of crap, do they? It's interesting that now that the illegal war has been launched, officials and the Corporate Media have backed off concerning the immediacy of the new threat. Big surprise...not.
By the way, The Intercept website is unique in that the Fed Gov't has banned its employees from reading anything on it. That's a bit like book-burning. Be aware that if you read the article above, most likely you'll run a risk of being considered a "potential terrorist" by the largest terrorist group in the world--- the highest levels of the U.S. Fed Gov't. Of course, you'll be the wrong kind of potential terrorist. Many of us feel that we're free to read whatever the hell we want to in this country, so we go to the site daily. You may not want to take that risk... unless you really desire some independent, non-corporate news. [The Gov't hasn't banned Democracy Now! yet; you also can get non-corporate news there.]
Meanwhile, we're bombing both ISIS and Al Qaida (the Nusra Front) targets in Syria, two groups who hate each other and are rivals. Plus, Human Rights Watch (a fairly conservative rights-watch-group) is calling for an investigation into a U.S. Tomahawk missile strike that allegedly killed five children and wounded other civilians. If it happened that way, once again your tax dollars are killing children...not 500, as in Gaza, but even ONE is too many.
Lastly, the Republicans, the other branch of the Mega Transnational Corporatist Party in the U.S., are no better. The Oligarchy rules.
p.s. I love this Land, but Democrats and Republicans have subverted our Gov't to the point where it's now a soft Fascist Police State primarily serving mega, transnational CORPORATIONS at the expense of the rest of us. We can end this abomination peacefully. STEP ONE: stop drinking the Propaganda Kool Aid.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
violating the Constitution and his Oath to preserve, protect, and defend it. Finally, a Law Professor and the editorial board of the NYT have the same assessment of the Constitution as I do. At least now someone does... publicly. [See link below.]
So, why aren't the Repubs all over this? Probably because they want the same illegal power that Obama has. They, too, have ignored the Constitution... and they want to be able to do it again relative to war.As I've said more than once, at the highest levels we have an OUTLAW Fed Gov't. There's no question about that...none whatsoever. Both political parties violate the U.S. Constitution... especially in regard to war.
Let's be perfectly clear: the Executive Branch has NO Constitutional authority to put this nation at war. Legally, only the Congress can do that. The Commander-in-Chief cannot legally ignore parts of the Constitution just because he's the Head Honcho of the military. What has been done relative to war by various Administrations ever since the end of WW II is blatantly unconstitutional. In addition, the War Powers Act does not supercede the Supreme Law of the Land; Congress must declare war.
Not just my opinion. Be Well
p.s. Reason.com is a biased source, but I cited the piece because it reported the unprecedented view of the NYT's editorial board. [The NYT agrees that Obama's ISIS war violates the U.S. Constitution.] Lastly, in the interest of accuracy, the NYT's editorial board (or perhaps it's Reason.com---hard to tell the way the article is written) has the following technical error in its opinion. It refers to "Article 8" concerning the fact that the Congress declares war. It's not Article 8, but rather Article 1, SECTION 8.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Below is my Reply to a friend's email & an article he attached.
Another attempt to paint all Muslims as terrorists. Mohammed was warlike because when Islam was founded, polytheistic beliefs reigned supreme at the time in that region of Arabia, & their adherents all attacked Muslims...attempting to run them out of the region or kill them.
Yes, fanatics/extremists exist...a tiny fraction. You often ask why Moderate Muslims don't speak up. Perhaps in most cases they're afraid of being murdered by the nutcakes. Perhaps they fear they'll be attacked by "Right-Wing American Patriots" for defending Islam... a distinct possibility in this country. Some have spoken out, denouncing the fanatics...I've seen the videos. Then there are those clips cherry-picked by Fox, Beck, etc. that show the opposite.
If Muslims (of any stripe) break the law, then arrest them, try them, sentence them, & incarcerate them. It's a Law Enforcement issue, not a military one. The whole thing is Oligarchical, Boogie-Man Propaganda...and apparently, it works quite well. Sorry, but you'll never convince me otherwise. It's nothing but a huge DISTRACTION [from the ravages of Corporatism]. Yes, criminals exist; but to think that all Muslims are criminals is sheer nonsense. To quote the "Koran" (as many do), thus "proving" one's case, is ridiculous. Anyone can quote similar crap in the "Holy Bible"... one of the bloodiest tales in existence. It doesn't prove anything. Taking things out of context is such an easy gig. It boggles my mind that some Americans can be misled so easily.
This country really deserves to be ruled by Oligarchs and Propaganda...it's such an easy sell to the majority of We the People... and, the Entertainers on the Fox network so obviously are not objective, not professional news people, and not at all concerned about the Republic of the USA. They're as bad as the clowns on CBS, CNN, NBC, etc.---the ones that serve pablum in place of news---Fox is just a different extreme [of the same distraction]. They are all the networks of the super-rich... and, as Machiavelli knew, the super-rich must sell the concept of the-Boogie-Man-is-coming if they are to remain in power. "The Prince" must be very pleased with the USA today. [End of Reply]
The most important political issues for Americans today have nothing to do with Muslims or terrorism. Instead, they are: the loss of much of our manufacturing base; the crimes inherent in Financialization; Crony Capitalism and the State-Corporate Complex in general; the fraud of Globalization; the ignoring of the Constitution whenever convenient; and the ongoing conversion of the USA into a Police State. Genuine participatory democracy does not exist here. The Middle Class continues to shrink. Jobs created by the super-rich more often than not are worth a tinker's damn. Wages essentially have stagnated for thirty years, but the Oligarchs' incomes have increased by 700%. Americans now can be arrested on our soil and held incommunicado indefinitely... no warrant, no lawyer, no habeas corpus, no trial. Most other issues are nothing but distractions.
Partly just my opinion. Be Well
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Let's set aside the U.S. Constitution for the time being. Instead, let us view the current war situation from the standpoint of common sense...simple logic. Query: why would anyone believe any of the following to be true???
1. The U.S. Gov't has been training and advising the Iraqi Army and security forces for about TEN years; therefore, we now need to train and advise the Iraqi Army and security forces. [Ditto Afghanistan.]
2. One way to defeat terrorism is to invade Muslim countries and bomb the hell out of them, thus further inflaming Muslim fanatics. That is to our advantage.
3. Another way to defeat terrorism is to launch weaponized drones into countries not at war with us and kill SUSPECTS. Any collateral damage sustained will not further inflame either terrorists or non-terrorists. They simply will accept it as, "oh well, that's war". There will be no repercussions or Blowback.
4. When we attack a faction [ISIS, for example] in a civil war [for which our destabilization of Iraq was partly responsible] BEFORE they attack or even threaten the U.S., we should not expect any retaliation on their part. After all, they are "terrorists"...we are not.
5. When we utilize inhumane practices such as "extraordinary rendition" and "enhanced interrogation", we should not expect that Muslim fanatics will retaliate in any way...or that any innocent people caught up in those abominations will become extremists.
6. Because criminal extremists ignore borders, we can as well. That's perfectly reasonable.
7. "There will be no American combat ground troops in Iraq." [He's giving us his word on that... and given the man's history with keeping his word, we should believe him. Even if Obama is sincere & telling what he believes to be the truth, there is no way on Earth that he can know what may be required for that war in the future.]
8. Another way to defeat terrorism is to intervene in civil wars.
9. Another way to defeat terrorism is to kill the Head Honcho (Osama) of the extremists and then dump his body at sea. There should be no Blowback from that.
10. Another way to defeat terrorism is to maintain Army, Navy, and/or Air Force bases in Muslim countries... the very thing that Osama said was his reason for launching a terrorist campaign.
11. Moving the U.S. Headquarters for the Third Iraq War from the Pentagon to the State Department shows that we are interested in more than just a military solution.
12. ISIS was not responsible for 9-11; nevertheless, they are so similar to Al Qaida that we are justified in attacking them... and we can use the same "authorization" that we used about TEN+ years ago. [There are no separate wars anymore...it's all one big, continuous war.]
13. After we "defeat" ISIS, they won't simply fade back into the woodwork... to reappear later. The military option really is the best primary method to crush Muslim terrorists.
14. We can do it with no American combat troops on the ground. Airstrikes and supporting the "moderate" rebels in Syria will suffice. [These are the same "moderates" who recently beheaded six of their captives, and previous to that, sold a now-murdered journalist to ISIS for about $50,000. No worries that they will be our allies.]
15. All of this has absolutely nothing to do with access to oil or the estimated one trillion dollars worth of mineral resources (some of which are becoming very scarce in the world) beneath the ground in Afghanistan. Nothing at all to do with any of that. Your Gov't doesn't lie about such things.
Again, why would anyone believe any of that to be true?
Monday, September 15, 2014
1. The White House (via their Press Secretary) declared war on ISIS; this despite the fact that the Executive Branch has no Constitutional authority to do so.
2. As in the period leading up to the Second Iraq War (2003), the public essentially is presented with two choices: do nothing, or go to war. Diplomatic proposals---involving Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, even Russia and others---are almost nonexistent. Cutting off funding to ISIS (coming mostly from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait) is nowhere to be found. Sanctions...nonexistent. Kerry's efforts appear to be gauged toward military coalitions only. Perpetual War grinds on.
3. Obama now claims "authority" (to [illegally] bomb inside Syria) from two War "Resolutions": the "War on Terror" and the Iraq War Resolutions of 10+ yrs ago. Those are derived from the War Powers Resolution Act---aka, the War Powers Act---of 1973. It's a Legislative Act that contradicts the Constitution. As I've pointed out many times, laws do not supercede the United States Constitution. Oligarchs, both in and out of our Gov't, use the War Powers Act to bypass the constraints of the Constitution; that's been going on for decades. This all means that Obama's "authority", just like Bush's "authority" was, is illegal and unconstitutional. Unfortunately, apparently We the People (aided by Propaganda from the Oligarchy) have come to believe that a "good end" justifies any means.
4. James Foley's mother has decried Obama's use of her son's death as an excuse for launching yet another war in the region. Furthermore, though the murders of both Foley and Sotloff were brutal, barbaric, and tragic, they posed no threat to the United States. The FBI has gone overseas in the past to investigate the murders of American citizens, and should do so now. It's a Law Enforcement issue.
5. The Free Syrian Army, a "moderate" group opposing Assad, recently beheaded six people they had captured. This is the rebel group that Obama and Kerry claim we need to support. The point: there are atrocities on both sides. In addition, I recently pointed out that the Gov't of Saudi Arabia executed 113 criminals in the last couple months by beheading them. In that area of the world, apparently beheading is considered an acceptable means of execution.
6. The average, nonmilitary Sunni in Iraq has seen Sunnis arrested, tortured, displaced, fired from jobs for no good reason, etc., etc. by the U.S.-backed, former Gov't of al-Maliki. Though the Iraqi Sunnis may abhor the tactics of ISIS, they tend to be drawn to them because of the post-war history of Shiites and Sunnis in Iraq. Now they see the U.S. Gov't bombing more Sunnis (ISIS). The point: it's a civil and sectarian war...and none of our business. [That's not Isolationism, it's Non-Interventionism...the difference between the two is important.]
7. The pro-war pundits on cable networks such as Fox, CNN, and MSNBC are presented as former Generals, military experts, etc. (which is true). What's left out is the fact that they currently work for various Defense contractors who stand to benefit greatly from the Third Iraq War. Examples: General Jack Keene and General Anthony Zinni.
8. Common sense should tell anyone that fighting ISIS inside Syria helps the brutal Assad regime. [This is not rocket science, people...it's simple logic.]
9. It's important to recognize that Obama and the State-Corporate Complex know precisely what they are doing. They know they are violating the Constitution. They know they have no business in a civil war. They know innocent people are being and will be killed. They know that the American public mind must be molded to accept yet another stupid war. They know who will benefit---mega transnational corporations.
10. None of this is a "conspiracy". For crying out loud, it's in plain sight. War is BIG Business--- just ask General Dynamics, General Electric, the Carlyle Group, Halliburton, Exxon-Mobile, CACI, the former Blackwater (now under a new name), McDonnell-Douglas, etc., ad infinitum. Follow the money.
Partly just my opinion. Be Well
Sunday, September 14, 2014
1. Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution directs Congress to regulate the value of our money. A cabal of mega bankers managed to ram through the Federal Reserve Act in 1913. Under that Act, the Fed Board of Governors assumes the task of regulation of our money's value; essentially, the Constitution was changed without the use of an Amendment or a Constitutional Convention. This is an example of Legislative Absolutism (a term coined by Justice Harlan in, I think, 1901)--- passing laws without regard for the constraints placed upon the Feds by the Constitution. The primary result of the Fed Reserve Act has been the debasement of the dollar. Compared to 1913, the dollar is now worth three or four cents. Meanwhile, mega bankers have become super-rich... "how" is too long a story for this post.
2. President Clinton bailed out Mexico with about $20 billion without the authorization of Congress. He did so to rescue a bunch of mega bankers here in the USA, bankers who were about to lose billions because of investments south of the border. Essentially, U.S. taxpayers bailed out mega bankers. In our system of gov't, spending bills must originate in the Congress, not in the Executive Branch. Clinton didn't bother with having Congress involved at all. This is an example of Executive Absolutism.
3. Clinton also committed our Armed Forces to both Haiti and Bosnia...without the approval of Congress. That also was a violation of Article I, Section 8... the portion tasking Congress with the duty of declaring war. Ever since the end of WW II, presidents have ignored the fact that Congress must declare war before the Commander-in-Chief is allowed to send our Armed Forces into battle. Congress was not in favor of either of those military commitments in 1993 and 1994. So, one might ask, why would Clinton do such a thing? Possibly it was for humanitarian reasons. Possibly it was due to a combination of reasons. Possibly it was because War is BIG Business. After all, "Aw, shucks" Bill is a Corporatist, not a Populist... despite public opinion and propaganda to the contrary. Ditto Hillary.
4. President Dubya Bush, the failed oil entrepreneur, greatly expanded upon Clinton's usurpation of power for the Executive Branch by having his underlings come up with an unconstitutional, crazy theory supporting the idea of pre-emptive war. Forget the Constitution--- we'll just attack and invade a country because its leader is a really bad man and might attack Israel or even the USA. Iraq's oil, of course, had nothing to do with this decision. Also having nothing to do with the decision was the fact that Saddam was on the verge of accepting Euros for oil instead of dollars. That would not bode well for the continuation of the dollar as the world's reserve currency. But it had nothing to do with the decision to invade. Right. Also, once again, War is BIG Biz...especially that war.
5. I won't even get into the greatest heist in American history--- the Bush-Bernanke-Paulson-Obama "Too Big to Fail" fiasco. The total benefit to mega bankers was a bit over $13 trillion...yes, trillion with a T. Now those banks are bigger and richer than they were before the fiasco. Plus, the regulatory "reforms" put in place after the fiasco were not much more than window dressing. Amazing.
6. Finally, we come to King Barack... the greatest violator of the Constitution in our history. He's also the best friend that mega bankers ever had. Yes, it's true that he has fined mega banks billions of dollars. They didn't even blink because that surely beats being prosecuted (which should have happened) and sent to prison. Everyone, including our King, knows that super-rich people rarely ever go to prison in this land of equality. As to the BIG Business of war under Obama, every one of his military actions has been unconstitutional... and a few violate International Law. [Example: attacking inside the borders of a country not at war with us, firing Hellfire missiles from drones at SUSPECTS, with the disapproval of the invaded country (Pakistan) is not only unconstitutional, but a violation of International Law as well.] These thoughts are not original with me, but most Americans may be unaware of opinion in other parts of the world because of the molding of the public mind by the Corporate Media in the USA.
I'm an old dog, and I never thought I'd live to see the day in this land when the Executive Branch could bamboozle We the People into believing that the "Commander-in-Chief" can do pretty much whatever and whenever with American Armed Forces... or the day when Congress convinced the People that laws supercede the Constitution... or the day when the Fed Courts supported soft Fascism here. I was wrong.
Partly just my opinion. Be Well
Friday, September 12, 2014
sending war planes into Syria. Really, Mr. Obama? What exactly is that existing authority? The military cannot be used legally to avenge the murders of journalists; that's a matter for Law Enforcement. In a previous post, I've explained the Constitutionally permitted uses of our armed forces, and the current scenario definitely is NOT included. The War Powers Act does not supercede the Constitution, so that law is not applicable; no other law trumps the Supreme Law of the Land either. Being "Commander-in-Chief" does not permit you to ignore other parts of the Constitution, so that's no good as your "authority" to, as you put it, "ignore borders". [You really have some HUBRIS, eh?]
That leaves only Treaties as a source of authorization. Do we have such a Treaty with Syria? I doubt it very seriously. If we do, perhaps you could show it to We the People. Perhaps our Treaty with Iraq comes into play; but then, Syria is not attacking Iraq. Perhaps you could show us that Treaty anyway. On second thought, forget it. I've never seen you use a Treaty for any similar "authorization" or scenario. By the way, in case you've forgotten, a Treaty must be approved by a minimum of 67 Senators; any "Agreement" signed by the highest levels of our Gov't that doesn't have that approval is NOT a Treaty. So, for example, NAFTA is not a Treaty; only 64 Senators approved it. It's mere policy. It does not have the approval of the People.
You stated (paraphrased) that anyone who harms Americans will be hunted down...there will be no safe haven anywhere for them. Good for you. If, however, you were talking about the murdered journalists, you have a big problem regarding your propagandizing rhetoric. See the first paragraph above. If you were talking about the 5,000 Americans working at our Embassy in Iraq, I don't believe any of them have been harmed at this point.
You announced that we won't bother the Syrian Gov't when we [illegally] bomb their land...that we're simply going to support the "moderate" rebels who supposedly are fighting ISIS. These are the same rebels our Gov't has been covertly arming for some time now. Also, as reported on Democracy Now, these are the same rebels who sold one of the murdered journalists to ISIS for about $50,000. The poor man's parents announced that at a recent Press conference. I imagine you were hoping that not too many Americans saw that one. Ooops.
Mr. President, a studied look into your eyes while you made your latest announcement seemed to me to reveal nothing but oligarchical double-talk, Gov't-Speak, and Edward Bernays style Propaganda. I only can conclude that you apparently believe We the People are either dumb as a post, completely ignorant, or propagandized to the point where we no longer can exercise critical thinking.
What you are doing in Iraq, and proposing to do in Syria, is illegal, definitely unconstitutional, unethical, and bordering on immoral. Among other things, it violates International Law. Oh, I forgot, the Fed Gov't has exempted itself from International Law many, many times. After all, you guys are "exceptional". Yes, you should protect Americans. That doesn't mean, however, you are allowed to go beyond the bounds of the U. S. Constitution. It doesn't mean you legally can invade another country just because it's convenient. I'm aware that many other Presidents have done so in the past. You may believe so, but that's no justifiable excuse.
Like other "Peace candidates"---LBJ, Nixon, Clinton---you've turned out to be a fraud, a puppet of the mega transnational corporations...as John Pilger characterized you, "Brand Obama". As Noam Chomsky stated, "He's much worse than Bush."...he was referring to your peace v. war stance. Basically, you're a sellout. Shame on you.
Partly just my opinion... after over 50 years of keenly observing and studying American politics... and the U.S. Constitution.