Friday, December 30, 2011

A Man for All Seasons: I enclose the link here to an article which is an Op Ed from the UK's "Guardian" written by Glenn Greenwald. It is entitled: "Vote Obama – if you want a centrist Republican for US president"

"Vote Obama – if you want a centrist Republican for US president.
Because Barack Obama has adopted so many core Republican beliefs, the US opposition [Republican] race is a shambles"

It gives one pause for thought and I do not mind saying a degree of regret and oodles of increasing surprise. STILL the Republican field, as Greenwald notes, has had to tack so far to the right that they fall off a cliff because there is hardly a thing, from a Republican perspective, about Obama's governing style that they can criticize. The Republican race because of that has become happily Theater of the Absurd and a laughable cirque du soleil.

One should not dismiss, I think, the accomplishments that Obama has had with respect to the Ledbetter Law, Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal, certain aspects of the health care law, middle class tax cuts, extending unemployment and inserting many other necessary regulations into law. These are, from a Democratic perspective, praiseworthy.

Most importantly the 5 to 4 fractured-down-the-middle right wing extremist Supreme Court could become sane again as Obama would have, in his second term, the ability to select more justices for this all important branch tipping the balance, happily for me, to the left. He probably will have at least two appointments in his second term and, perhaps, more. Hopefully, then, it would mean eradicating, destroying and blowing up the deadly Citizens United malodorous decision which made corporations people and placed money -- BIG BIG money - at the center of our political "choice."

For those reasons alone President Obama is, in my opinion, the only man for our electoral season!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Fundamentalist Farce -- this time in Israel: These are my quickly formulated thoughts about the Israeli woman who wanted to sit in the front of the bus and was spat upon by an Israeli ultra orthodox sect and the prospect of the ultra orthodox in Israel gaining power. I wrote Haaretz (Israeli newspaper) and know I am not alone among the secular of Israel AND most importantly many if not most Jews in the US who support the Jewish state. I stated the following:

I am a Jewish American and a strong supporter of Israel even though I am left of center. I stand alone often in my views and written opinions about Israel on that part of the political spectrum. My most important view is church/state separation and the issue I care most about is religious extremism world wide. I can tell you my support IF the ultra orthodox extremists of Israel go the way of world-wide Islamic fundamentalists the Jewish state WILL lose my support and that of many others in the US and elsewhere.

Israel for some is on difficult ground regarding what some think about its actions surrounding the Palestinian situation. So far my main love for Israel is the fact (a) it is a Jewish state for ALL Jews and (b) it is generally secular in the mainstream of its religious and political practice with a small minority of irrational religious fanatics.

If these religious fundamentalist fanatics gain power and Israel goes the way of Islamic fundamentalism and even Christian fundamentalism I will be through supporting Israel. I will withdraw my support of Israel if the religiously fanatic gain power when my main argument for Israel is that it is a secular, democratic, and an advanced state. I as a Jew am so proud of what Israel has accomplished in the face of annihilation from its enemies that surround it and because of the our unique existentially threatening history during the Holocaust.

Think twice though, my Israeli brethren, of letting backward reactionaries rule. Be smart and reject the power of ultra orthodox religious adherents and reject them en masse.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Face of Evil -- A Walk in Bradley Manning's Shoes: [A letter to the Metro West News] The photograph and the report by Time Magazine of an Afghanistan woman's mutilated face at the hands of the Taliban for the "sin" of adultery is so chilling and so mind boggling it defies my anemic ability to describe this bestial behavior perpetrated by them.

In light of this photograph, the depths of its depravity, the Islamic suicide blasts all over the world killing thousands perhaps hundreds of thousands of innocents, I say this is the way of our world in this era. This is the culture the nation must protect itself against as there are those who want to do nothing more than to take us down. This is not an illusion. How long would vocal critics of the nation, as I have been many times, survive in any Islamic country on planet earth given one's critical political views? Answer: Not long. Yes, we have been changed by 9/11. I am not happy about it but there are realities one cannot deny. It occurred period end of sentence. Assessment of good and evil nations is one of degree because man does not know perfection. There is no perfect nation on earth.

Bradley Manning revealed classified documents about this country and its allies. There were so many documents released it is with little certainty that we know if in fact damage was done despite some dubious claims that there was not. At the expense of whom would these hundreds of thousands released documents be?

From which country would those who are placing Manning in hero status wish to report? There must be something good about a country that allows a commentator to speak or write critically without being jailed. Could you or I be jailed for what we write? I suppose we could. Do I think we will be? No, I do not but I know for sure if I lived in Iran (or any Islamic nation) my life would be worthless and not only because I am a Jew. The left is at times blind to Islamic tyranny and easy to assign blame without critical analysis if it has the US and Israel's imprimatur attached to it.

Manning probably is being made an example by the US government. Bradley Manning was hoping to give the adversaries of this nation fuel to add to the rage that already runs deep in the veins of the Middle East. Where would Bradley Manning like to live given the fact that his sexuality is an issue? Would he like to live in Iran where they hang homosexuals or perhaps Saudi Arabia where life imprisonment or death would await? Would he like to live anywhere else in the Middle East where there is no place a homosexual can hide (with the exception of guess where? Right, if you guessed Israel!) He wants to help indict an adversary which would not permit him to take a breath. He must be either deranged or significantly stupid.

If Bradley Manning must be made an example to the rest of the country of what the country will do if it is betrayed then so be it. We are talking about preventing an entity Al Qaeda and friends of Al Qaeda from obtaining a nuclear device which they would run not walk through the nearest entrance and deliver to a place near you. This does not mean I support blindly everything the nation does. Clearly, I do not BUT no one forced Manning to
join the military. It was his choice. When one signs an oath -- a voluntary oath at that -- one does not betray it especially if the adversary on the field of battle is steroidal tyranny times 10.

I am not afraid to write, to phone, to blog or to say anything critical about my country and have done so numerous times. It is because of that fact that I believe our nation is worth saving and why if I walked in Bradley Manning's shoes I never ever would have betrayed it.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Palsied Paul: If anyone thinks Ron Paul is the Messiah reincarnated for the early twenty-first century, I advise you to think again. While this article from the Atlantic (link below) written by Conor Friedersdorf entitled: "Grappling with Ron Paul's Racist Newsletters" is rather lengthy and its conclusion is not exactly one to which I agree, it is a MUST read for those who are flirting with supporting this, in my opinion, dangerous Libertarian politico. All that glitters is not ... well you know the rest.

Ron Paul is, in my opinion, the fox dressed up in the sheep's clothes. Apologies for the cliches but if you read the post you will know what I mean. Even if one ignores the possible racist Paul, if elected, Paul would reduce government, if he even could, to the size of a Grover Norquist postage stamp eliminating all the ever-so-important regulatory institutions which, in fact, work well and are necessary to the nation's survival.

If you are thinking of voting for Ron Paul should he appear on the ballot, I advise re-thinking this inadvisable action which would give this mentally palsied man your vote!

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/12/grappling-with-ron-pauls-racist-newsletters/250206/

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Against All Odds: This is a stream of consciousness forgive the lack of prudent sentence construction but I am FIRED UP and ready to go!

I smell blood in the water. I am beginning to think the president will win and big. (DARE I hope)
Rachel had a clip of another Romney flip flop so EGREGIOUS that I'm beginning to let myself think an "O" win might be significantly there. I, yes, am praying for it. (Here is the clip Romney flip flop so horribly on Iraq in 2008 and 2011!) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/22/mitt-romney-iraq-war-position_n_1164384.html

Maybe there is a god. The sicko RepbuGlicRATS have boxed themselves into a corner by the rejection of the payroll tax cut their OWN mantra. It shows they are ONLY interested in unseating our first black president. I am CONVINCED beyond a shadow of a doubt they used that remnant of white racism that is part of our country's horrific inheritance to attain power and turn our country back to the late 19th century or worse. But that racism is waning as the country turns THANKFULLY less white and more mixed. The Republicans used it to get themselves elected to power maybe for the last time. That Tea Bag movement is nearly all white and I think maybe dying (maybe). The blacks who are Republicans like Cain, West, Steele, Keys, are aberrations and tokens. These Republican swine strain credulity and would NEVER ever let a black man into the presidency from the Republican Party.

What they have done to our president has been unconscionable! Republicans have been the meanest, racist pieces of humanity that ever existed in our country since before the Civil War. These are genetic malformations and Mitch McConnel spouting his insulting words that his main goal was to see the president unseated is nearly treasonous and will be played over and over again during the campaign. Yes, and if he had to see the country drown no problem he will. These humans have NO empathy, no heart and not one cell in their bodies that has some humanity -- and tan man Boehner proves it as he cannot handle his position. The guy who handed out cigarettes once on the house floor maybe is putting his own nails in his own coffin by not understanding how to wield power. He cannot contain his cats, they are running wild. Rachel Maddow showed him to be the incompetent he is. If you did not see her program last night Google it.

My fervent prayer is that those jerks lose and lose big. Forgive the passion and god forgive my hate but I loathe them more than words can say for what they have put our president through. They have been BRUTAL beyond words. He TRIED to do good, he tried but that 2010 election of those stupids of stupids tea idiots to take over the House made his life hell. He encountered an opposition rivaled only by our country in 1854.

My heart breaks for our president because I do not think in his heart he is a center right person. What could he do? They are incorrigible and obstructionist to the extreme. The fatal error was not pouncing on them in the summer of the town hall Tea Bag anarchy in 2010 with the full bully pulpit of the presidency. They ran Miller of Alaska out, they ran Christine idiot O'Donnell out and they got the NY 26 a formerly Repub district blue and don't forget Engel that no brain fool out. Wisconsin will recall that jerk Walker, and already recalled many Republicans. They put back the pro worker mural in Maine and there are more instances of Dem strength in 2011 with a renewal of unions on our side. Thank god for Harry Reed too!!

So I think they might get their rotten asses whipped but I am afraid to say it so I'm not sure BUT I know we MUST MUST work to re-elect the president with all the strength that we have and had in 2008. We need MORE strength than even then. Our country is at stake. DO NOT let the Republicans sink our country as that is what they will do. Bush was living proof of that! The Supreme Court too is at stake with conceivably THREE more justices to ultimately be nominated. Either they can swing the court back and nullify their formerly unconscionable Citizens United decision putting HUGE money into politics, making corporations people or they can get even worse than that, nullifying health care, nullifying rights for gays, nullifying right for women, other minorities and eradicating Roe v. Wade. It nearly already is. Money in our political system is its death knell. If Romney wins all the gains we have worked so hard over decades to get will be gone and our country will be lost. Even Social Security and Medicare is at stake! Utube George Carlin's "American Dream" and although a bit of pepper in his language he got it EXACTLY right.

Every one of us should be sporting Obama stickers AND do NOT FORGET ELIZABETH WARREN TOO! She will be the greatest senator in the history of the senate IF she wins. Brown, the aberration, is running scared. BRING TEDDY'S SEAT BACK to Dems where it belongs. I take shelter in the substance of what Massachusetts is and has always been. Let's keep it that way.

We have HUGE HUGE fights to win. DO NOT GIVE UP, DO NOT FALTER AND DO NOT FAIL! Forget what you may think the president compromised on and see him as a besieged person trying to do a Herculean task and the best he could with huge opposition and against all odds.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Insanity and the Death of Kim Jong Il: Kim Jong Il, the narcissistically neurotic “Dear Leader” tyrant of North Korea, died yesterday. It would be nice if N. Korea could have a N. Korean spring. I doubt very much that will happen or that things will significantly change if the tyrant Kim Jung Il "groomed" a successor son, Kim Jung Un, to be his clone. Still, one can wish a ray of hope shines through to that sadly beleaguered and hungry nation. No one will know the true metamorphosis of this event for quite some time.

It is interesting that few Communist states have survived under the so called cult of personality. When one thinks of the Soviet Union under Stalin and a line of others, or China under Mao Zedong, states which were supposedly of utmost threat to US freedom, one sees barely a remnant of those states existing in Communist form today. Castro's Cuba may ultimately, after his death, go the way of China. The Eastern Communist block exists no longer and even Vietnam, where 50,000 US dead bled on its soil, is on a capitalist track. Why? Because Communism as an economic philosophy is unworkable. It stifles competition, impedes progress and slaughters or politically imprisons its own people.

So why did the US round up so many so called "Communists" in its own witch hunts of yesteryear anyway? What was so frightening that this country had to spend billions/trillions in treasure and tens of thousands in gallons of blood fighting this "menace" which was in truth no menace at all. It was an excuse, as extremist Islam is now, to ramp up a US military/industrial Goliath that is capable of striking preemptively at will and has.

I submit the few Communist states remaining and now certain Islamic extremists states have more to fear from the US than we do from them. 9/11 never would have happened had one George W. Bush taken his Presidential Daily Briefing seriously which warned him bin Laden ready to attack the US. In true cerebral brilliance his response: “Thanks, now you've covered your posterior” and then decided to go on vacation.

How many more US soldiers will volunteer to be used to fight phony wars for trumped up rationales? Let's hope from all of this, including the utter failures in Iraq, we have learned a bitter lesson. Perilously, though, the American historical memory is exceedingly short and it people's knowledge of history sorely lacking. Some day, in the not too distant future, an American president will dupe its people again into the Bush-like six gun mentality of preemptive war shooting first, asking questions later convincing us that certain nations are an imminent threat and we must invade. The nation then will follow blindly like sheep to the slaughter and repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Albert Einstein (according to Snopes.com) is often credited with the maxim, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Friday, December 16, 2011

In Memoriam to Christopher Hitchens. I am very saddened by Hitchens's death. I LOVED this man. I loved his brilliance, his acerbic wit and his willingness to look at the issues of life without mythological beings explaining what science knew not to be true. He fought for the dissemination of truth through his writings, speeches, and appearances. He was a true intellectual, a giant academic and I will miss him VERY much!!

If you do not know who he is I suggest you Google his name, find out what he wrote and read it with an open mind. Whether you believe what he said is the truth does not matter. At least he will give you endless hours of great reading and profound thoughts to contemplate.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sum Total Deadly: I am a Glenn Greenwald fan. Occasionally, though, I differ with him by degrees not yards. I offer my opinion on his latest blog: "Exploiting the Anti-Semitism Smear now Backfiring" appearing in Salon.com (www.salon.com/2011/12/1 /exploiting_the_anti_semitic_smear_now_backfiring/singleton/#comments) in which he talks about the usurpation and even the elimination of critical Israeli policy analysis on the left by Neocon and pro Israeli factions on the right. He concludes, too, generally, that a discussion of Israeli policy is often shut down by even the most liberal news commentators. I am stunned by that accusation because these political commentators most critical of Israeli policy support nation states and political groups which are the most significantly religious, undemocratic, politically censoring and death wielding entities on planet earth.

Curiously enough the left (of which I am a part), whose philosophy has always been supportive of the oppressed and was, to its credit, vociferous during the perilous Nazi period stridently condemning the German war machine and its battle to finally eliminate the Jew not just from the land but from life itself, finds itself supportive of anti-democratic groups with fascist-like religious agendas simply because those groups are anti-Zionist or economically disadvantaged.

SOME, if not most, on the left, now are SO hypercritical of Israel and its policies that it falls, in my opinion, into the shadow of the old European Antisemitism. While some writers (including me) are critical of SOME Israeli polices most on the academic left now spawn an antisemitism (which they ardently deny) by claiming they are not anti Jew but merely anti Zionist or anti Israeli policy. That I submit is a Trojan Horse. The virulent criticism of Israel and antiZionist thought often gives those, particularly in the Arab world, the kerosene they need to flame the fires of the old Christian antiSemitism but this time it is in a new venue. The "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" a Russian phony document written in the early 20th century, which those whose brainchild for the Final Solution of Europe's Jews ULTIMATELY embraced, was an intrinsic ingredient to its plethora of rationale for death of the six million. The Protocols like the composer Wagner before it were favorites among the Nazi elite and Hitler himself. "The Protocols" can be found as a best seller in bookstores everywhere in the Middle East.

While Christian Antisemitism now seems to have become nearly fossil extinct its spawn in the Arab world flourishes. It is like a relay race where the baton of Jew hatred is passed to a new generation that exists all over the Islamic world. The old Jew cabalistic conspiratorial canards which meant death to the Jew in the Europe are now used prolifically ALL over the Middle East. It is as if today the Jew is time-machine transported to that ugly period. It is sometimes difficult to tell the difference between then and now.

If one can wrap one's mind around the SIX MILLION number NO WONDER Jews are just a little bit edgy about living through that kind of malevolent hatred yet again. The thought of living in a world then that existentially slaughtered nearly 2/3rds of the Jews of Europe makes a rational brain convulse.

Martin Luther King so eloquently in 1967 said what happens when one looks beneath an anti-Zionist one finds an Antisemite (link below). Perhaps, that is why many in the mainstream media are careful when criticizing Israel. Looming in the crevices of their most knowledgeable minds are images of Dachau and Auschwitz incapable of synaptic erasure but wanting that memory expunged. It's memory, though, is indelible and the Jew is forever sadly attached to its legacy and the Antisemitic legacy of 2000 years of historical review.

I maintain Israel is used as a punching bag for the same tired Antisemitism of old Europe except now it is in a different place. It meant existential death to the Jew then and it means existential death to the Jew now. It merely morphs into a different milieu but its equation is the same and its sum total just as deadly.

http://www.cdn-friends-icej.ca/antiholo/ml_king.html

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tyranny in America: I have written on my inability to come to a definite conclusion about the now pending National Defense Authorization Act giving the president HUGE powers to detain indefinitely ANYONE based on the president's say so alone who is suspected of terrorist activities -- that means -- you, me, my 92 year old aunt -- ANYONE can be snagged and thrown in jail indefinitely with NO ONE, NOBODY, NADA able to come to one's defense. It will soon be on the president's desk for him to veto or sign.

In view of the recent story carried by MSNBC News today "Immigration Crackdown also Snares American citizens under the Secure Citizen's Act" -- linked at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45665156/ns/us_news-the_new_york_times/ this becomes ESPECIALLY troubling. These acts have Orwellian names because they ARE Orwellian when they are used to snag INNOCENTS UNJUSTLY to protect and exacerbate power. They are ESPECIALLY egregious if they trap innocents and US citizens simply because they LOOK Mexican, Hispanic or Muslim. It is EXACTLY about which our nation is NOT supposed to be and it is exactly the case in states like Arizona, Alabama and others which have enacted some of the most stringent anti-immigrant legislation. The case for the misuse of the law targeting specific types is infinite.

It is the height of hypocrisy and injustice that the criminals who took down Wall Street, the middle class's 401Ks, pension funds and sank the world wide economy get away with a type of murder but the federal government is going after the powerless often who are innocent. Why? BECAUSE THEY CAN. It is the same reason this nation used YOUR money and mine to invade and kill hundreds of thousands (including 5,000 Americans wounding thousands of others) in Iraq, a country which did NOTHING to us. What have we become? Glenn Greenwald, a civil liberties attorney and writer, posts many opinions about these vital issues on Salon.com. He can be read at http://www.salon.com/writer/glenn_greenwald/

Those who know me understand I try to look at issues from both sides and KNOW as I have said many times this is no ordinary time because the life and death stakes are so high. BUT when the state detains for days or indefinitely the innocent based on APPEARANCE or minor infractions alone and the right hand of the federal government does not know what the left hand of the state is doing offering no Fourth and Sixth Amendment Constitutional protections even to its own citizens, it makes my head explode.

Pastor Martin Niemoller, a German theologian who experienced 1930's Germany first hand, is said to have written his famous words about that period:

First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.


I enclose the following article for you to critically view these issues. I do not know if I agree with all of it but the issues it presents are important for you, they are important for me and they are important for ALL the generations that come after us if you want a country dedicated to the Constitutional protections of the rule of law to prevail.

Legislating Tyranny in America - by Stephen Lendman.


Obama won't prosecute CIA torturers, Wall Street crooks, other corporate criminals, lawless war profiteers, or other venal high-level civilian or government officials.

Instead, expect him to sign into law (or at least tacitly approve) indefinite military detentions of US citizens allegedly associated with terrorist groups, with or without corroborating evidence.

Post-9/11, US freedoms and other democratic values dramatically eroded. Enactment of police state provisions in the FY 2012 National Defense Authorization Act comes closer to ending them entirely.

On December 5, the ACLU headlined, "Indefinite Detention, Endless Worldwide War and the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)," saying:

Enactment of this measure will authorize "the military to pick up and imprison people, including US citizens, without charging them or putting them on trial."

Secretly with no hearings, both Houses are rushing to complete a "joint version" before leaving for Christmas break. "Fundamental American values and freedoms are on the line." Given the stakes, they're perilously hanging by a thread.

On December 13, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) urged Obama to veto NDAA in its present form. Otherwise, he'll "be responsible for signing into law one of the greatest expansions of executive power in our nation's history, allowing the government to lock up citizens and non-citizens without the right to fair trials."

Indefinite detentions violate core democratic freedoms, including fundamental Bill of Rights ones already gravely eroded.

On November 27, 1941, Franklin Roosevelt issued Proclamation 2524, declaring December 15 Bill of Rights Day to commemorate its 150th 1791 ratification.

At the time, he hailed "America('s) charter of personal liberty and human dignity," including "freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and the free right to petition the Government for redress of grievances."

Although American freedom then was far less than he claimed, today it hangs by a thread and may pass entirely any time for any reason.

In response to global imperial wars, corporate favoritism, unbridled private sector criminality, and political corruption at the highest levels, causing economic crisis conditions at home, thousands began protesting nationwide for social justice.

In response, militarized police confront them violently as NDAA heads for enactment to stop anyone from challenging US hegemony and corporate power by throwing them indefinitely in military dungeons to rot.

Equity and justice are fast eroding entirely to advance America's imperium. On May 26, the House passed HR 1540, 322 - 96. Doing so took a giant step toward abolishing freedom entirely.

On December 1, the Senate's S. 1867 followed suit, 93 to 7. Both versions assure no one anywhere is now safe, including law-abiding US citizens.

Enactment means anyone anywhere, including US citizens, may be indefinitely held without charge or trial, based solely on suspicions, baseless allegations or none at all.

No reasonable proof is required, just suspicions that those detained pose threats. Under subsection (b)(1), indefinite detentions can follow mere membership (past or present) or support for suspect organizations.

Presidents will have unchecked authority to arrest, interrogate and indefinitely detain law-abiding citizens if accused of potentially posing a threat.

Constitutional, statute and international laws won't apply. Presidential diktats will replace them.

US military personnel will be authorized to arrest and indefinitely detain anyone globally, including US citizens. No one anywhere will be safe.

Due process, civil protections, and judicial fairness will be null and void. Presidents could order anyone arrested and imprisoned for life without charge or trial. Abuse of power will replace rule of law protections. It can happen in days.

Ahead of their holiday break, leaders from both Houses are meeting secretly to resolve final language differences before sending NDAA to Obama to sign.

Promising a veto, he lied. He broke every major promise made. This one's no exception at a time he can go either way, given enough congressional votes to override him.

Moreover, Senate bill sponsor Carl Levin said administration officials, in fact, lobbied against language excluding US citizens from indefinite military detentions without trials or due process. According to Levin:

"The language which precluded the application of Section 1031 to American citizens was in the bill that we originally approved....and the administration asked us to remove (it) which says that US citizens and lawful residents would not be subject to this section."

"It was the administration that asked us to remove the very language which we had in the bill which passed the committee. (W)e removed it at the request of the administration....It was the administration which asked us to remove the very language, the absence of which is now objected to."

In other words, Obama wants US citizens indefinitely detained in military prisons whether or not charged. He fully supports police state repression. Only his disingenuous rhetoric says otherwise.

Earlier by Executive Order, he authorized indefinite detentions with or without military commission trials for persons designated national security threats. Intended specifically for Guantanamo detainees, it could be stretched to include anyone.

In addition, he authorized CIA operatives and Special Forces death squads to kill targeted US citizens abroad. As a result, they may be hunted down and murdered in cold blood for any reason or none at all.

Outspoken Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a US citizen living in Yemen at the time, was killed for opposing Washington's imperium, not alleged or committed crimes. His murder comes perilously close to replicating assassinations at home, whether covertly or openly.

In fact, administration lawyers called US citizens legitimate targets if deemed national security threats, with or without corroborating evidence. As a result, indeed no one's safe, whether or not NDAA passes in its current form.

According to CIA counsel Stephen Preston and Pentagon lawyer Jeh Johnson, US citizens at war with America have no immunity. Executive branch officials, not courts, will decide guilt or innocence issues.

In other words, anyone voicing opposition to America's imperium risks being targeted for arrest, detention or assassination.

With regard to Obama's NDAA position, his White House November 17 Statement of Administration Policy said:

"The Administration supports Senate passage of (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2012."

"Section 1031 attempts to expressly codify the detention authority that exists under the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40) (the "AUMF"). The authorities granted by the AUMF, including the detention authority, are essential to our ability to protect the American people from the threat posed by al-Qaida and its associated forces...."

"Because the authorities codified in this section already exist, the Administration does not believe codification is necessary and poses some risk....While the current language minimizes many of those risks, future legislative action must ensure (against) unintended consequences that could compromise our ability to protect the American people."

Senate bill S. 1867, Section 1031, affirms the "authority of the armed forces of the United States to detain covered persons," including US citizens.

Section 1032 requires suspects held in military custody, outside constitutionally mandated civil protections, without habeas rights, due process, and other judicial procedures.

Obama may object to legislative language, not its intent. As a result perhaps, wiggle room wording changes may assuage his concerns, while leaving sweeping indefinite military detention authorization unchanged.

In other words, presidents henceforth may order anyone indefinitely detained in military prisons uncharged, including US citizens.

A Final Comment

Even before 9/11, Washington began militarizing police forces nationwide. Sophisticated weapons and training are provided, including military robots, M-16 assault rifles, helicopters, armored vehicles, grenade launchers, and other weapons previously used only by military forces.

In 1997, the so-called 1033 Program (formerly the 1208 Program) let the Defense Secretary "transfer, without charge, excess US Department of Defense (DoD) personal property (supplies and equipment) to state and local law enforcement agencies (LEAs)."

As a result, they've been supplied with land, air and sea vehicles, weapons, computer equipment, body armor, fingerprint equipment, night vision equipment, radios and televisions, first aid equipment, tents, sleeping bags, photographic equipment, and more.

In 2011 alone, about $500 million in military related hardware was supplied. Next year's amounts are expected to increase fourfold. Doing so coincides with OWS crackdowns.

More than ever, America is being militarized to quash popular social justice protests at a time equity and justice are fast disappearing. Moreover, military forces may intervene if local cops need help.

Post-9/11, police state terrorism was institutionalized. It's being hardened more than ever to crush dissent.

Constitutional, statute, and international law protections no longer apply. Planned tyranny will replace them, leaving no one safe anywhere henceforth.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dr. Jekyll, Animal Farm, and No Ordinary Time: I used the titles of the works of classical authors Robert Lewis Stevenson, George Orwell and contemporary historian Doris Kearns Goodwin because their works offer, in content, much of what I thought about the latest civil liberties elimination bill.

Glenn Greenwald embedded video within his opinion “The Real Definition of Terrorism” (See link below). Senator Carl Levin’s comments on the Senate floor offers proof that the president will sign NDAA 1031 Citizen Imprisonment Law in a few days. It also offers proof, according to Greenwald, that “Carl Levin claimed as part of the debate over the detention bill he sponsored with John McCain that it was the Obama White House that demanded removal of language that would have exempted U.S. citizens from military detention without charges”

At first glance I was overwhelmed that a president whom I ardently supported, worked for, wrote endless opinion in support of, and in whom I completely believed, may be the Mr. Hyde of the infamous Dr. Jekyll. It is hard if not impossible to accept and yet, this bill indicates our President, a Harvard Constitutional Law professor, could be just that.

The bill he is about to sign would strip ALL of us of our civil libertarian rights most especially under the Fourth and Sixth Amendments by giving the president UNLIMITED executive power to detain for an unlimited time, without trial, and now even execute a person on the president’s say so alone even IF that person is an American citizen and even IF that person is on US soil. It would eradicate The Fourth and Sixth Amendments to the US Constitution as we know it. This bill is eerily Orwellian in its conception.

Our Fourth and Sixth Constitutional Amendments in order state:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.


This soon-to-be latest grievous usurpation of power given by Congress to our president tosses to the wind our Constitutional Bill of Rights mandates. This would be in any other ordinary time a clear infringement and a destruction of the pillars upon which our form of government stands. I agree it would be – in any other ordinary time. But what if this is NO ordinary time?

With the benefit of hindsight we are able to see what our nuclear age looks like. We are able to see this since an actual nuclear bomb was exploded by the US and used on Hiroshima/Nagasaki Japan to end World War II. The US is the only nation to have ever used this device on human beings and their environment in the theater of war. We can see clearly now what the word nuclear means by its evidence.

The unparalled destruction from those nuclear blasts had, in history, never been seen by man. It reached far into the future causing not only the physical destruction of land, buildings and the death of 250,000 people but also included the perpetration of hideous birth defects and cancer for future generations of Japanese who were first exposed.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki shows the extent of damage the explosion of a nuclear device (size small by all accounts) can do. Hiroshima is a mirror for mankind to see what happens when our nuclear age moves out of the text book into reality.

May we say our enemy, the so called terrorists whoever they may be, would IF they could explode, at the very least, a dirty bomb on this nation? We know for certain as Al Qaeda has said that IF they could get their hands on such a device they would NOT hesitate to use it. Some Islamic clergy have given their religious permission slip for such an action. One could argue US egregious actions have prompted such permission but that does not matter now. What matters now is that it exists.

I suggest our Founders wrote our Constitution in quite an ORDINARY time. That is they wrote it when warfare was quite different. We as a nation could bathe in the luxury of Constitutional principle because the consequences of that age were by comparison to present time not dire. No one then, could know what the development of nuclear weaponry was or what it would mean for the survival of not only a country but for the survival of man on this planet.

Glenn and others (including me) academically argue comfortably in the security of an auditorium, classroom or home the notion that our country is stepping on its sacred document. We do not consider that this is no ordinary time. It is not the time in which our Founders lived, nor is it even the time in which our 20th century World War I president, Woodrow Wilson, lived.

What if our so called enemies whether here or abroad obtain a nuclear device with the intent of using it on us? What would YOU do? What lengths would YOU go to prevent this? Are the heretofore sacrosanct edits of our Fourth and Sixth Amendments worth the utter destruction of this nation of 300 million plus and its generations to come?

These are notions I believe we must consider as Pakistan becomes more and more an enemy and less a friend. Pakistan has nuclear weapons. This world could not be known to our Founders and not known for generations which came after them but now it is very well known to us. What are we willing to do and what are we willing to give up to protect this nation from an enemy who knows no boundaries? What are we willing to do to protect our nation from the perils of our age and MOST importantly is it really necessary to alter if not destroy our constitutional principles to do so?

http://www.salon.com/writer/glenn_greenwald/

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Why they hate us: If you ever want to know why they hate us, read this. It surely is NOT for our "freedom!"

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n24/mohammed-elgorani/diary?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=3324&hq_e=el&hq_m=1354499&hq_l=6&hq_v=e9a2fbf93a

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

OCCUPY WINTER: Michael Moore (his email below) is a precious asset. He tells us that Occupy Wall Street is here to stay in many venues. The harsh winter that the extremist, fanatical, uncaring and brutal right wing NUTS created by their stupid inattention to the FACT of science, climate change,will be a MINOR inconvenience. Do what you can as I will. Please forward this to anyone you like and please know Occupy Wall Street is on your side even IF you are part of the 1%. EVERYONE is a 99%er because this Great Recession the creation, made, bought and sold is the child of Wall Street and it affects EVERYONE even them but they are too greedy to notice it. Without a middle class a society becomes stagnant like a third world nation and without the American Dream which has slowly slipped away a brain drain here will be going to nations that have promise. DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN.

Support Occupy Wall Street as best you can by Occupying Everywhere which is what we and the Occupy movement are doing. They cannot stop us, they cannot kill an idea, and they cannot kill our spirit.

Let's look forward to winter and USE it to show how utterly we are committed to the cause.

Best,

Natalie


MIKE'S LETTER:

The Winter of Our Occupation ...a proposal from Michael Moore

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Friends,

And now it is winter. Wall Street rejoices, hoping that the change of seasons will mean a change in our spirit, our commitment to stop them.

They couldn't be more wrong. Have they not heard of Washington and the troops at Valley Forge? The Great Flint Sit-Down Strike in the winter of 1936-37? The Michigan Wolverines crushing Ohio State in the 1950 Blizzard Bowl? When it comes to winter, it is the time historically when the people persevere and the forces of evil make their retreat!

We are not even 12 weeks old, yet Occupy Wall Street has grown so fast, so big, none of us can keep up with the hundreds of towns who have joined the movement, or the thousands of actions -- some of them just simple ones in neighborhoods, schools and organizations -- that have happened. The national conversation has been irreversibly changed. Now everyone is talking about how the 1% are getting away with all the money while the 99% struggle to make ends meet. People are no longer paralyzed by despair or apathy. Most know that now is the time to reclaim our country from the bankers, the lobbyists -- and their gofers: the members of the United States Congress and the 50 state legislatures.

And they're crazy if they think that a little climate chaos (otherwise known as winter in the 21st century) that they've helped to bring about is going to stop us.

I would like to propose to my Occupying sisters and brothers that there are many ways to keep Occupy Wall Street going through the winter months. There is perhaps no better time to move the movement indoors for a few months -- and watch it grow even bigger! (For those who have the stamina to maintain the outdoor occupations, by all means, keep it up -- and the rest of us will do our best to help you and keep you warm!)

The winter gives us an amazing opportunity to expand our actions against the captains of capitalism who have occupied our homes with their fraudulent mortgage system which has tossed millions of families out onto the curb; a cruel health care system that has told 50 million Americans "if you can't afford a doctor, go F yourself"; a student loan system that sends 22-year-olds into an immediate "debtors' prison" of working lousy jobs for which they didn't go to school but now have to take because they're in hock for tens of thousands of dollars for the next two decades; and a jobs market that keeps 25 million Americans un- or under-employed -- and much of the rest of the workers forced to accept wage cuts, health care reductions and zero job security.

But we in the Occupy Movement reject this version of the "American Dream." Instead, I suggest we shift our focus for this winter to the following actions:
OCCUPY THE WINTER

A proposal to the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street from Michael Moore

1. Occupy Our Homes. Sorry, banks, a roof over one's head is a human right, and you will no longer occupy our homes through foreclosure and eviction because well, you see, they are our homes, not yours. You may hold the mortgage; you don't hold the right to throw us or our neighbors out into the cold. With almost one in three home mortgages currently in foreclosure, nearing foreclosure or "underwater," the Occupy Movement must form local "Occupy Strike Forces" to create human shields when the banks come to throw people out of their homes. If the foreclosure has already happened, then we must help families move back into their foreclosed homes -- literally (see this clip from my last film to watch how a home re-occupation is accomplished). Beginning today, Take Back the Land, plus many other citizens' organizations nationwide, are kicking off Occupy Our Homes. Numerous actions throughout the day today have already resulted in many families physically taking back their homes. This will continue every day until the banks are forced to stop their fraudulent practices, until homeowners are allowed to change their mortgage so that it reflects the true value of their homes, and until those who can no longer afford a mortgage are allowed to stay in their homes and pay rent. I beseech the news media to cover these actions -- they are happening everywhere. Evictions, though rarely covered (you need a Kardashian in your home as you're being evicted to qualify for news coverage) are not a new story (see this scene I filmed in 1988). Also, please remember the words of Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur of Toledo (in 'Capitalism: A Love Story'): Do not leave your homes if the bank forecloses on you! Let them take you to court and then YOU ask the judge to make them produce a copy of your mortgage. They can't. It was chopped up a hundred different ways, bundled with a hundred other mortgages, and sold off to the Chinese. If they can't produce the mortgage, they can't evict you.

2. Occupy Your College. In nearly every other democracy on the planet, students go to college for free or almost free. Why do those countries do that? Because they know that for their society to advance, they must have an educated population. Without that, productivity, innovation and an informed electorate is stunted and everyone suffers as a result. Here's how we do it in the U.S.A.: make education one of our lowest priorities, graduate students who know little about the world or their own government or the economy, and then force them into crushing debt before they even have their first job. That way has really worked well for us, hasn't it? It's made us the world leader in … in … well, ok, we're like 27th or 34th in everything now (except war). This has to end. Students should spend this winter doing what they are already doing on dozens of campuses -- holding sit-ins, occupying the student loan office, nonviolently disrupting the university regents meetings, and pitching their tents on the administration's lawn. Young people -- we, the '60s generation, promised to create a better world for you. We got halfway there -- now you have to complete the job. Do not stop until these wars are ended, the Pentagon budget is cut in half, and the rich are forced to pay their taxes. And demand that that money go to your education. We'll be there with you on all of this! And when we get this fixed and you graduate, instead of being $40,000 in debt, go see the friggin' world, or tinker around in your garage a la the two Steves, or start a band. Enjoy life, discover, explore, experiment, find your way. Anything but the assistant manager at Taco Bell.

3. Occupy Your Job. Let's spend the winter organizing workplaces into unions. OR, if you already have a union, demand that your leaders get off their ass and get aggressive like our grandparents did. For chrissakes, surely you know we would not have a middle class if it weren't for the strikes of the 1930s-1950s?! In three weeks we will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the workers in my hometown of Flint, Michigan taking over and occupying the General Motors factories for 44 days in the dead of winter. Their actions ignited a labor movement that lifted tens of millions out of poverty and into the middle class. It's time to do it again. (According to the Census Bureau and the New York Times, 100 million Americans either live in or near poverty. Disgraceful. Greed has destroyed the core fabric of our communities. Enough!) Here are two good unions to get your fellow workers to sign up and join: UE and SEIU. The CWA are also good. Here's how to get a quick primer in organizing your place of employment (don't forget to be careful while you do this!). If your company is threatening to close down and move the jobs elsewhere, then it's time to occupy the workplace (again, you can get a lesson in how to successfully occupy your factory from my movie).

4. Occupy Your Bank. This is an easy one. Just leave them. Move your checking and your credit card to a nonprofit credit union. It's safe and the decisions made there aren't based on greed. And if a bank tries to evict your neighbor, Occupy the local branch with 20 other people and call the press. Post it on the internet.

5. Occupy the Insurance Man. It's time to not only stand up for the 50 million without health insurance but to also issue a single, simple demand: The elimination of for-profit, privately-controlled health insurance companies. It is nothing short of barbaric to allow businesses to make a profit off people when they get sick. We don't allow anyone to make a profit when we need the fire department or the police. Until recently we would never allow a company to make a profit by operating in a public school. The same should be true for when you need to see a doctor or stay in the hospital. So I say it's long overdue for us to go and Occupy Humana, United Health, Cigna and even the supposed "nonprofit" Blue Crosses. An action on their lawns, in their lobbies, or at the for-profit hospitals -- this is what is needed.

So -- there are my ideas for the five places we can Occupy this winter. Help the foreclosed-upon to Occupy their homes. Occupy your college campus, especially the student loan office and the regents meetings. Occupy your job by getting everyone to sign a union card -- or by refusing to let the CEO ship your job overseas. Occupy your Chase or Citi or Bank of America branch by closing your account and moving it to a credit union. And Occupy the insurance company offices, the pharmaceutical companies' headquarters and the for-profit hospitals until the White House and Congress pass the true single-payer universal health care bill they failed to pass in 2010.

My friends, the rich are running scared right now. You need no further proof of this than to read this story from last week. The Republicans' top strategist met privately with them and told them that they had better change their tune or they were going to be crushed by the Occupy Wall Street movement. They didn't have to change their greedy actions, he assured them -- just the way they talk and PR the situation. He told them never to use the word "capitalism" -- it has now been made a dirty word by the Occupy movement, he said. Only say "economic freedom" from now on, he cautioned. And don't criticize the movement -- because the majority of Americans either agree with it or are feeling the same way. Just tell the Occupiers and the distressed Americans: "I get it." Seriously.

Yes, in just 12 short weeks we have killed their most sacred word -- Capitalism -- and we have them on the run, on the defensive. They should be. Millions are coming after them and our only goal is to remove them from power and replace them with a fair system that is controlled by the 99%. The 1% have been able to get both political parties to do their bidding. Why should only 1% of the population get to have two parties -- and the rest of us have none? That, too, is going to change. In my next letter, I will suggest what we can do to Occupy the Electoral Process. But first we must start with those who pull the strings of the puppets in the Congress. That's why it's called Occupy Wall Street. Always better to deal with man in charge, don't you think?

Let's Occupy the Winter! An #OWS Winter will certainly lead to a very hopeful American Spring.

Yours,

Michael Moore
MMFlint@MichaelMoore.com
@MMFlint
MichaelMoore.com


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Monday, December 05, 2011

Another Letter to my Japanese Friend--Fukishima Revisited: To My Good Friend: I just saw this on the Associated Press (on Huffington Post) (Linked below). It reiterates and reinforces all that I have written about Fukishima and the corporate controlled news which now even in the US reports nothing on it until they must and governments both here and in Japan cover-up the continuing bad news. It is my feeling the public MUST be kept informed even if it seems we can do not much. Our voices, though, have some power as Occupy Wall Street here has shown during this man-made economic Great Recession, despite the corporate controlled negative news coverage. OWS has been a force for great good.

It is so important for others to keep aware of this nuclear madness so that (1) they can take necessary precautions such as washing food well and dawning protective gear where necessary and (2) so that NO more nuclear energy plants are built..NONE, NADA, EVER. They are NOT safe especially in a climate changed world and especially at sites near faults or oceans. Nothing nuclear is fail-safe.

My sources tell me foods here on the west coast are showing signs of radiation contamination. Yet NOTHING is said by the media or the president. I personally cannot confirm that BUT one particular source called the Fukishima blast and melt down correctly exactly when it first happened. He has said it was leaking then and suffered a major China Syndrome-like meltdown. Moreover, he has said radiation has been detected here.

The TEPCO plant leaked CESIUM, one of the most toxic substances known to man. TEPCO is shameful as is our own government and media in the US for not continually focusing a revelatory light on this catastrophe.

Stay safe and well.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/05/fukushima-daiichi-nuclear-power-plant-leaks_n_1128868.html

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Razing Cain: Yes, the spelling of razing is correct as the pestilence that was Herman Cain's feeble run for the highest office in our land was RAZED ... i.e. destroyed. Praise the lord! What must others watching American "presidential" politics think of this nation? The Republican slate is a carnival of candidates that makes the word stupid seem benign. It is shameful. I am embarrassed that this is the BEST the so called loyal opposition can do. They are so disastrously moronic.

This group puts forward opinions which will appeal to the small but vociferous radical right wing religious extremist base because they know they must if they want nomination. What a system this is that puts NOT the MOST qualified up for a vote but the most UNQUALIFIED trying to seek the most powerful position in the world with his finger on a button that could obliterate all of us in a nanosecond.

It is true we have had others who were LOW on the academic scale but this slate puts even them to shame. Shame on the Republican Party for calculating the best way to get Romney elected is to put stupids around him, shame on the candidates who hold such erroneous and deadly beliefs -- those who deny the undeniable of climate change or evolution.

These issues are not up for grabs they are FACT. Simply because they go against an academically challenged segment of our illustrious country does NOT make those things any less true and NOT up for debate. The earth is NOT flat and the sun does NOT revolve around it. Just because you would like to make the earth flat or the center of our galaxy does not make it TRUE.

Wake up America these candidates are HAZARDOUS to your health!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Power Governments Cannot Suppress -- Howard Zinn Back to the Future There is no one who had a more fundamental impact on my own politics than Professor of History at Boston University, the late Howard Zinn. I perused FORATV for my own edification and came upon a 2007 lecture at Brandeis University three years before his death and one year before Barack Obama won the presidency.

His words STILL resonate with me today. His words are uncannily prophetic, infinitely humane and no less true today then they were when he uttered them. What he says sings to me and compels me as they did in 1968 to take the positions I do. I provide the link below for you to learn as the title of his popular book "A People's History of the United States." It is the history of our country looked at from a different perspective with a critical eye of government, its policies and its consequences. He was a profundity to me unlike any other. I miss him so even until this day.

Occupy Wall Street is a look back to a time that was not different from our day in 1968 and it is a look to the future of our nation as well. I am sure Howard Zinn would approve of it and reiterate what he so often did that power comes NOT by who is in the White House but who stands in front of it that counts.


http://fora.tv/2007/01/28/A_Power_Governments_Cannot_Suppress#quickreply

Thursday, December 01, 2011

The Case for Evolution: This (link below) is a brilliant lecture by the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. He is a scholar, an author and a professor at Oxford. His newest book is "The Greatest Show on Earth" and his book written in 2006 is entitled "The God Delusion." Here is his lecture at the Berkley Arts and Letters.

Evolution, he says, is FACT -- undoubted, endlessly provable FACT. It cannot be debated, he says, and is so with more surety than even the historical fact of the Holocaust.

I think this lecture is worth listening to and it will allow you, as I already have, to come to the conclusion that there is NO doubt and cannot even be debated, that evolution is fact ... not theory ... not supposition ... FACT. If you have any doubt about that I urge you to listen.

http://fora.tv/2009/10/07/Richard_Dawkins_The_Greatest_Show_on_Earth#fullprogram
Extremism in the Face of Liberty is a Great Vice: Barry Goldwater's acceptance statement during the 1964 Republican presidential nomination "Extremism in the face of liberty is no vice; Tolerance in the face of tyranny is no virtue" sank him.

Egypt voted yesterday in its first democratic election. One of the most compelling Egyptian statements was spoken in the interview of a taxi driver in Cairo about his opinion on the Muslim Brotherhood, for whom he voted, winning big. “They look to God,” the tax driver said “They must be just.”

I am dismayed by this statement but I am not shocked by it. It is what one gets when many if not most of those who vote are illiterate; so illiterate that pictures had to be drawn on ballots so they could more easily vote. The essence of those cultures easily elect those who in reality are the least democratic among us, tolerate no dissension of belief, view things in black or white and act accordingly violent when anyone transgresses or violates their prevailing belief. When the uneducated vote in our times they often vote for religious leadership. The patent absurdity of the notion “They look to God,” because “They must be just” is obvious to those of us who are critical of power, critical of religion and critical of dogma no matter who says it.

One need only look to our own country which sports some of the most religiously extreme candidates in the world from the Christian extremist right. It does not matter whether it is Islamic, Christian or Orthodox Judaic religiosity. When people from these groups win man as a whole looses. The ability to exchange a diversity of opinion even if that opinion eschews religious mythological belief becomes impossible. The essence of what it means to be a free speech democracy is severely compromised if not lost. Cultures who do this remain stuck and even regress into reactionary nationalist politics. They are uncompromising, extreme and, often, extremely violent.

There is nothing better than an educated populous that attains a balanced understanding of world history and the events that follow. A nation based on a religious litmus test is a nation which cannot and will not advance. It is only through secular leadership that man can develop his natural and genetically ordained ability to think, create, and scientifically grow using the intellectual gifts all of man is fortunate to possess.

In sum: those in the west who wish for "democracy" in the Middle East ought to be careful. You may get what you wish for and often it is not whom you want!