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From ‘audacity’ to a whimper

President Barack Obama will go down in American history something like this…

I have to agree wholeheartedly with the assessment by Michael Moore (who has been too absent from the public arena during Barack Obama’s presidency) that the American history books will mention only (or at least primarily) that Obama was the nation’s first black president. It’s sad that history will remember Obama more for the color of his skin than for the content of his character, but that’s his fault, not history’s.

In fairness, the history books also probably will mention Obamacare (for good or for ill or fairly neutrally), but what else is there to say of the Obama years?*

Allegedly with great audacity and with the dreams of his father behind him, Obama came in with a bang – “HOPE”! and “CHANGE”! “CHANGE”! and “HOPE”! – but he goes out with a whimper.

It’s ironic that Obama’s opposition to the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War – which only ever was meant for war profiteering (such as by Dick Cheney’s Halliburton) and for Big Oil to retake the oil fields of Iraq – helped him into office in 2008 and that now Obama seems poised to end his second term with another war in Iraq (and possibly in Syria).

Yes, of course this time (further) war in Iraq (and in Syria ) can be justified, I think. The Islamic Slate (a.k.a. ISIL and ISIS) – at least in its current incarnation as a rapidly metastasizing, deadly cancer – needs to be stopped. The mass murder and the oppression of those who disagree with certain fascist, religious nutjobs – be they “Christian” fascist nutjobs, “Jewish” fascist nutjobs, “Hindu” fascist nutjobs, “Muslim” fascist nutjobs, whatever – should be met with opposition.

Credible news reports are that the Sunni Islamic State has been slaughtering and oppressing Shiites and other non-Sunnis in large swaths of Syria and Iraq. (No, the Islamic State did not become a problem only when it beheaded two U.S. citizens in propagandistic snuff videos.) Any such mass slaughter and oppression anywhere in the world should be stopped if at all possible, regardless of the United States ’ many missteps and failures to act in the past. (And it should not be the United States playing World Cop all of the fucking time.)

As far to the left as I consider myself to be, I do not believe in absolute, blind pacifism. I don’t believe that in most cases force or the credible threat of force should be the first resort, but nor do I believe that force or the credible threat of force should be taken off the table altogether. It can be a useful tool, and sometimes, the only effective one. And my gut response to the Islamic State, frankly, is: Pound. Them. Into. The. Sand. (With that said, gut responses do not necessarily make for sound actual foreign policy, as we learned with the debacle that was the unelected reign of the illegitimate Bush regime.)

The problem with the unelected Bush regime’s Vietraq War, again, is that of course it never was meant to “liberate” the Iraqi people from the evil Saddam Hussein (who was a “good” dictator until he stopped taking marching orders from the American elite, which then made him a “bad” dictator) – unless you want to call the more than 100,000 Iraqis who died as a result of the Vietraq War “liberated.” No, it was meant to further enrich the cronies of the BushCheneyCorp.

Such treasonously crying wolf, of course, makes it all the harder to sell the American people on military action in the same region, even when military action actually is called for this time – as President Obama surely knows right about now.

And, of course, while the Repugnican Tea Party traitors (redundant) never met a war that they didn’t love (as long as it’s others who are doing all of the dying, of course), they’ll find ways to criticize and condemn Obama no matter how he conducts things militarily in the Middle East. Because if the president is a white Repugnican guy (even one who got into the White House without even having won the highest number of votes of the American people), then to criticize his military actions abroad at all is nothing short of terrorist-lovin’ treason, you see, whereas if the president is a Democrat, and especially not a white, male Democrat, then to criticize his every fucking move is one’s God-given patriotic duty, you see.

So, of course, Obama can’t win, no matter what he does or does not do, but he should have known this political fact from Day One, and so from Day One he should have pushed through a progressive agenda instead of having tried to persuade the Repugnican Tea Party traitors to join him in “Kumbaya” around the campfire in D.C. (You don’t even bother to try to negotiate with terrorists; they cannot be reasoned with.)

Yes, I do believe that having assertively pushed a progressive agenda in the first two years of his first term would have been a winner for Obama. Had he even tried to have delivered upon his campaign promises, he could have been something like the second coming of FDR. He entered the White House with that kind of support behind him, more or less.

Yes, reportedly a majority of Americans deem Obama’s presidency to have been a failure, but these polls that are unflattering to Obama, it seems to me, widely are interpreted, incorrectly, to mean that the majority of Americans embrace the right-wing worldview. But if a pollster were to ask me (or any other actually progressive American) if Obama’s presidency has been a success or a failure, I (or he or she) would say, without even having to think about it, a failurenot because I at all agree with the right-wing worldview and agenda, but because I believe that Obama utterly squandered his chance, especially in 2009 and 2010, to push through an actually progressive agenda, while both houses of Congress still were held by his own party.**

Whereas the unelected Bush regime spent “political capital” that it never even fucking had (I remember when the Bushies called Bush’s “re”-election by only 50.7 percent of the popular vote in 2004 to be a “mandate”), Obama was too timid or too lazy or too stupid (or some combination of these things) to even touch his actual stockpile of political capital in 2009 and 2010, and his failure to have done so will go down in history (history that is thoughtful and critical, anyway) as one of the biggest missed opportunities by a U.S. president to accomplish the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of Americans.

And I judge Obama’s presidency to be a failure because, of course, you judge a politician based upon his or her actual accomplishments in office compared to the campaign promises that he or she made in order to get elected to that office. (Yeah, as cynical as I might be, I’m still not ready to let any politician off the hook for having violated, blatantly, his or her own campaign promises.) Based upon his own relentless campaign promises of “hope” and “change,” of course Obama’s presidency – which has delivered primarily more of the same, not “hope” or “change” – has been a failure.

Of course, pretty much any Repugnican president – John McCainosaurus, Mittens Romney or any other Repugnican – would have done even worse in the Oval Office than Obama has done (except, perhaps, for the 1 percent, for the richest Americans), but that doesn’t let Obama off the hook with me; I judge Obama by actually progressive Democratic (that is, actually Democratic) standards, not by the low bar that has been set by the right wing (probably especially by George W. Bush). And speaking of the devil, of course Obama has been a better president than Gee Dubya was – for starters, Obama actually was democratically elected in the first fucking place, for fuck’s sake – but saying that President X is or was better than was “President” George W. Bush is saying exactly nothing.

And how is Obama poised to end his second and final term? At (further) war in the Middle East, with a new/old enemy this time, the Islamic State. (I write “new/old” because just as the “tea party” is comprised of the same old fascists who were around long before they started to call themselves the “tea party,” the Islamic State apparently is comprised, largely if not mostly, of the same old Islamofascists who were around before Obama ever took office. Of course, it was the Bush regime’s woefully-misguided-to-put-it-mildly Vietraq War, more than anything else, that contributed to the genesis of the Islamic State that we see today.)

I have to wonder if Barack Obama is trying to do Billary Clinton a favor right now, trying to make the Democratic Party look Tough! On! Terrorists! — just in time for the 2016 presidential election. But if more war in the Middle East (and exactly how it should be executed) is going to be the centerpiece of the 2016 presidential election, don’t the chickenhawk Repugnicans play the war card a lot better than do the Dems?

Because of that, how could the Dems expect to win the White House again in 2016 by posing as warhawks, as Billary already appears to be doing?

Didn’t someone once remark that when given the choice of voting for a Repugnican candidate or a “Democratic” candidate who acts like a Repugnican, the typical voter will vote for the genuine Repugnican?

The theofascist Islamic State needs to be checked, for sure, just as would any other insane group of murderers and fascists at home or abroad, but at the same time, potential blowback from military actions that always should be considered aside, Team Obama and Team Billary need to be careful, methinks, not to give the war-drum-beating chickenhawks of the Repugnican Tea Party political validation – and thus political victory – by also beating those tired, old war drums (only less convincingly, in the eyes of the voters, than the chickenhawks do) between now and Election Day in November 2016.

*Obama lost me, forever, after he just fucking sat on his hands while British Petroleum filled the Gulf of Mexico with millions of barrels of crude oil in 2010, and after he failed to visit the state of Wisconsin even once in early 2011, when Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott Walker successfully attacked the right of the workers of the state to collectively bargain.

Candidate Obama had promised in 2007: “Understand this: If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain, when I’m in the White House, I’ll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself. I’ll walk on that picket line with you, as president of the United States of America. Because workers deserve to know that someone’s standing in their corner.”

Again, Obama showed up in Wisconsin not once. In his first term Obama failed to lead on a huge environmental issue and he failed to lead on a huge labor-rights issue, part of a pattern of failure that his presidency has been. (As I have noted, while I [stupidly] voted for Obama in 2008, I did not vote for Obama again in November 2012, but voted for the Green Party candidate instead.)

**Indeed, I’m not the only leftist who deems Obama’s presidency a failure; the Washington Post notes of its own (with ABC News) recent nationwide poll that “Those saying Obama has been a failure include one in four Democrats (25 percent), nearly three in 10 liberals (29 percent) and the vast, vast majority of conservative Republicans (92 percent). Nearly one in five liberals (18 percent) say they feel ‘strongly’ that Obama has been a failure.

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Party hacks are giving Obama his bogus war on Syria

It was inevitable, I suppose, that the Middle Eastern nation of Syria was going to be proclaimed a “national security threat,” and the Obama regime has obliged us.

This “national security threat” is even more risible than was the “national security threat” that the members of the Bush regime claimed Iraq posed in their run-up to their Vietraq War.

At least the treasonous war criminals of the Bush regime lied to us that Iraq itself posed the “national security threat.” The war criminals and would-be war criminals of the Obama regime are lying to us that Syria is a “national security threat” by proxy — that is, if we don’t lob some missiles at Syria for no other apparent reason than to spook Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and to flex our military muscles again in the Middle East, other nations, especially Iran and North Korea (with Iraq, the other two members of the Bush regime’s “axis of evil”), might — gasp! — feel emboldened!

So, quite Orwellianly, a “national security threat” no longer means that another nation is actually poised to actually strike the United States — a “national security threat” now has been redefined to mean that it’s a “national security threat” should the U.S. maybe appear to be weak or irresolute or some other synonymous adjective in the eyes of any other “bad” nation.

Wow.

This is even worse than the Bush regime’s “pre-emptive strike” bullshit. Again, at least the Bush regime lied that the U.S. had to strike Iraq before Iraq could strike the U.S. (Iraq, of course, never had any such capability, which we all knew before the Bush regime launched its Vietraq War); we now have the Obama regime lying that we have to strike Syria so that other nations don’t strike the U.S.

What the fucking fuck?

Perhaps even more pathetic than this, though, is that very apparently whether or not the typical American supports a particular war depends upon his or her party affiliation and the party affiliation of the current occupant of the White House.

Most Democrats in D.C., if they’re not happy about the Obama regime’s plan to attack Syria just to attack Syria, don’t have the balls to stand up to the Obama regime, so they’ll keep their mouths shut. (Even my own Democratic/“Democratic” U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, I am deeply sorry to report, was one of the 10 “yes” votes on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s 10-7 vote on Wednesday to allow the Obama regime to use military force against Syria.* Et tu, Babs?)

And many (if not most) Americans who voted for Obama, primarily only because they voted for him, won’t oppose the Syria misadventure like they opposed the Iraq misadventure.

I opposed the Vietraq War because it was an unprovoked, unjust, immoral and illegal U.S.-led war upon another sovereign nation, but apparently the primary or even only reason that many if not even most so-called Democrats opposed the Vietraq War was that it was the Bush regime’s war.

To be sure, that the regime that first had stolen the White House in 2000 because enough Americans just allowed them to then went on to launch a bogus war in March 2003 (because enough Americans just allowed them to) was and remains a problem for me — the crimes of the stolen presidential election and the resultant illegitimate regime’s bogus war still have not been punished or nationally atoned for, and therefore they remain open wounds on the nation — but the Vietraq War would have been just as fucked up and wrong had it been waged by a “Democratic” president like Obama.

But progressive columnist David Sirota notes in his latest column:

… So what happened to [the anti-war] movement? The shorter answer is: It was a victim of partisanship.

That’s the conclusion that emerges from a recent study by professors at the University of Michigan and Indiana University. Evaluating surveys of more than 5,300 anti-war protestors from 2007 to 2009, the researchers discovered that the many protestors who self-identified as Democrats “withdrew from anti-war protests when the Democratic Party achieved electoral success” in the 2008 presidential election.

Had there been legitimate reason to conclude that Obama’s presidency was synonymous with the anti-war cause, this withdrawal might have been understandable. But that’s not what happened — the withdrawal occurred even as Obama was escalating the war in Afghanistan and intensifying drone wars in places like Pakistan and Yemen.

The researchers thus conclude that during the Bush years, many Democrats were not necessarily motivated to participate in the anti-war movement because they oppose militarism and war — they were instead “motivated to participate by anti-Republican sentiments.”

Not surprisingly, this hyper-partisan outlook and the lack of a more robust anti-war movement explain why political calculations rather than moral questions are at the forefront of the Washington debate over a war with Syria. …

This is red-versus-blue tribalism in its most murderous form. It suggests that the party affiliation of a particular president should determine whether or not we want that president to kill other human beings. It further suggests that we should all look at war not as a life-and-death issue, but instead as a sporting event in which we blindly root for a preferred political team. …

That’s just some fucked-up shit.

I mean, as much as I detest Repugnican U.S. senators John McCainosaurus and closet case Lindsey Graham, for instance, at least they consistently are pro-war. There isn’t a war that they wouldn’t support. (Canada? Hey, they’re too close for comfort! Sweden? Their “pacifism” is just a facade, a ruse!) McCainosaurus wants to look tough and bad-ass and so does Graham, apparently trying to overcompensate for his very apparent homosexuality by trying to create the persona of an uber-macho war hawk (it’s not working, girlfriend!).

Love them or hate them — and I hate them — but at least we know what to expect from the likes of McCainosaurus and Graham.

What can we expect from the “Democrats”? Oh, it depends upon the party affiliation of the current president!

That only a minority of Democrats in D.C. truly embody the spirit of being anti-war — which is that you don’t take the nation to war unless it really, really, really is necessary, because war is a gravely serious thing — is a testament to the extent of the moral decay of the so-called Democratic Party of today.

And don’t kid yourself; there is no fucking guarantee that lobbing missiles at Syria will remain a “limited” military operation, as the liars who comprise the Obama regime would have you believe.

The Middle East is an oil-soaked tinderbox, and you cannot drop a match anywhere there and guarantee that you’ll scorch only a “limited” patch of it.

Perhaps direct comparisons of Syria and Iraq can’t be made, but at least one disturbing similarity between the Vietraq War and what’s happening now is that over time we saw the treasonous members of the Bush regime making increasingly hysterical and hyperbolic claims about the “national security threat” that Iraq posed to the U.S. (such as the “smoking gun” coming in the form of a “mushroom cloud”), and now we are seeing the members of the Obama regime (I am regretting that I once supported John Kerry, since he now is shilling for Obama’s bogus war on Syria) making increasingly hysterical and hyperbolic claims about the “national security threat” posed to the U.S. by Syria — such as that if we don’t attack Syria, we can expect attacks from other nations, like Iran and North Korea.

The more that the war hawks ratchet up their ridiculous rhetoric, the more you know that their casus belli is for shit.

*Tellingly, of the seven U.S. senators on the committee who voted “no” on Obama’s desire to attack Syria, only two are Democrats and the rest of them are Repugnicans. Of the 1o who voted “yes,” seven are “Democrats” and three are Repugs. Newly minted Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, who should have voted “no” if he calls himself a progressive, voted “present.”

Obviously, partisanship trumps morality in D.C.

Again: This is some sick fucking shit.

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We still have no real national leader on stopping the use of killer drones

This video frame grab provided by Senate Television shows Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. speaking on the floor of the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 6, 2013. Senate Democrats pushed Wednesday for speedy confirmation of John Brennan's nomination to be CIA director but ran into a snag after a Paul began a lengthy speech over the legality of potential drone strikes on U.S. soil. But Paul stalled the chamber to start what he called a filibuster of Brennan's nomination. Paul's remarks were centered on what he said was the Obama administration's refusal to rule out the possibility of drone strikes inside the United States against American citizens.  (AP Photo/Senate Television)

Associated Press image

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has aligned himself with the Repugnican Party, the “tea party” and the libertarians, filibustered on the topic of the use of killer drones from yesterday afternoon until early this morning. Unfortunately, Paul’s concerns about the use of killer drones apparently is limited only to their use on “non-combatant” American citizens on American soil, and it seems to me that the upstart Paul’s goal is to promote and position himself as a future president at least as much as it is to tackle the problem of killer drones.

It was a breath of fresh air to see Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Sen. Rand Paul filibuster on the topic of the use of killer drones, a topic that the spineless, useless Democrats in D.C. (who are only about protecting the brand name and who have no sense of right and wrong) have refused to touch, since Papa Obama wuvs his drones, and Papa Obama must not be crossed.

The first slaughter of a human being by a U.S. drone occurred in Afghanistan in November 2001, during the reign of the unelected Bush regime. Pretty much nothing but evil came from the unelected Bush regime, yet DINO President Barack Obama decided to continue with the use of drones as remote-controlled killing machines.*

Most of the the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in D.C. want to preserve the use of human-snuffing drones for use by future Repugnican Tea Party presidents, and while many if not most of the DINOs in D.C. probably have a problem with the use of drones to kill human beings, none of them has the balls to stand up to Obama in a public and meaningful way.

So it was great to see Rand Paul buck both party establishments and speak out against at least one of the obvious problems that the use of human-killing drones poses. (I might say that that problem is their “abuse,” but since I believe that they should not be used at all, I won’t say “abuse,” because that connotes that their use at all might be OK.)

Don’t get me wrong. I could never cast a vote for Rand Paul.

Among other things, he opposes a woman’s right to an abortion even in cases of rape and incest, but would leave it to each state to determine whether or not to allow legal abortion, Roe v. Wade be damned.

At least at one time he held the view that Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits private businesses from engaging in race-based discrimination, is unconsitutional, because a private business should be allowed to discriminate by race if it so wishes.

Although Rand Paul claims to be a strict constitutionalist, he doesn’t like the fact that the 14th Amendment makes anyone who is born on American a soil a U.S. citizen, regardless of the child’s parents’ citizenship status, and so he wants so-called “birthright citizenship” to end (he supports a constitutional amendment to end “birthright citizenship” if it can’t be ended otherwise).

Rand Paul apparently wants to pick and choose among the constitutional amendments, because he vehemently supports the Second Amendment, opposing all gun control. (As I’ve noted before, no civilian needs an assault rifle, and when the so-called founding fathers crafted the Second Amendment, no such weapons 0f mass destruction existed, so to claim that of course the Second Amendment extends to them is quite a fucking stretch.)

Rand Paul personally opposes same-sex marriage but is OK with allowing each state to decide the matter. (I have a personal problem with his personal opposition to it, with his ignorance and his bigotry on the matter, his heterosexism and homophobia, and I also disagree vehemently that any state should be able to decide whether or not to honor any U.S. citizen’s constitutionally guaranteed equal human and civil rights.)

All in all, although the term “libertarian,” which Rand Paul uses to describe himself, implies a love of liberties and freedoms, with the libertarians (most of whom are right-wing white males), it is the same-old, same-old: These liberties and freedoms belong only to white, right-wing, “Christian,” heterosexual men (especially those who have power and money). They were the only ones who (regardless of what the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and other founding documents proclaimed) had liberties and freedoms at the nation’s founding, and it should be that way forever, right? Just like the rich, white founding fathers intended!

That’s where Rand Paul is coming from. Indeed, he is considered a member of the “tea party” also. (I suspect that he just jumped on to the “tea party” bandwagon because the “libertarian” bandwagon wasn’t going to get him into the U.S. Senate, but if he says that he’s a member of the so-called “tea party,” and he does, then I’m going to hold him to that.)

While there is nothing that the “tea party” traitors believe that I also believe — far from being “revolutionaries” who are fighting for “freedom,” the “tea-party” dipshits support our corporate oppressors, which makes them treasonous fascists, not revolutionaries, and their belief system, if fully implemented, would bring about the even further enslavement of the American people, not our further freedom — the so-called “libertarians” are right on a few issues.

Rand Paul’s libertarian daddy, Ron Paul, for instance, although a patriarchal, misogynist homophobe also, opposed the Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust Vietraq War, a rarity for someone aligned with the Repugnican Party.

Of course, Ron Paul’s reasoning for his opposition to the Vietraq War wasn’t the same as mine. My main problem with the Vietraq War was the carnage — thousands and thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians as well as more than 4,000 U.S. military personnel died pointlessly in the bogus war — carnage that benefitted only Big Oil and Dick Cheney’s Halliburton and the other subsidiaries of BushCheneyCorp.

From what I can discern, Ron Paul’s biggest problem with the war was not the cost in human lives, but was that the war, he argued in October 2002, was unconstitutional**; the U.S. Congress just giving the U.S. president carte blanche approval to declare war was akin to monarchism, he declared. I agree with that, but it was the foreseeable death and destruction, not the constitutional arguments, that were my biggest concern during the Bush regime’s run-up to its Vietraq War in 2002 and early 2003.

It also has been the gargantuan fiscal cost of the Vietraq War to the American taxpayers that has concerned Ron Paul and other libertarians — and that has been a huge problem, too, as the cost of the Vietraq War is a nice chunk of our federal budget deficit — but it troubles me that Ron Paul and his fellow libertarians haven’t focused on the human costs of such bogus warfare.

Still, I suppose, although we did our calculations very differently, at least Ron Paul came to the same, correct answer: The United States never should go to war unless it absolutely, absolutely is necessary, and, as the U.S. Constitution mandates, the U.S. Congress must keep the U.S. president in check when it comes to waging war, and must never abdicate its sole constitutional authority to declare war to the president, under any circumstances.

And wars of choice for war profiteering — robbing the U.S. treasury via bogus warfare — are intolerable. And they are treasonous. Knowingly taking the nation to war with another nation based upon lies cannot be anything other than treason, except, of course, also war crimes and crimes against humanity.

On the topic of the use of drones to slaughter human beings, Rand Paul, much like his daddy, at least partially comes to the right answer, but with calculations that are too cold.

In his nearly 13-hour filibuster, Rand Paul’s main or even only concern about the use of drones, I understand from the media coverage of his filibuster, is that killer drones might one day be used on “non-combatant” American citizens on American soil, in blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee that no U.S. citizen shall be deprived of his or her life or liberty as punishment for an accused crime or crimes without first having been granted a fair trial.

That’s way too narrow a problem to have with the use of killer drones.

Why should only American citizens be granted such fairness, decency and justice? Is not every human being on the planet worthy of such fairness, decency and justice, or are Americans superior to other human beings? Are only American lives valuable?

Further: Drones are a cowardly, lazy and sloppy way to kill, and their use quite foreseeably could explode to the point that innocent people all over the world (including in the U.S., of course) are being maimed and slaughtered by drones, like something out of one of the “Terminator” movies.

Therefore, the use of drones to slaughter human beings should be prohibited worldwide. Their use should not be prohibited only against American citizens, whether on American soil or whether on foreign soil, whether they are deemed “combatant” or “non-combatant,” but should be prohibited against any human being. You can’t trust the average adult with the “proper” use of a killer drone any more than you can trust the average child with the proper use of a shotgun.

Sadly, however, even Rand Paul’s public stance on killer drones is to the left of the public stance taken by the DINOs (which mostly is an eery silence).

DINO Nancy Pelosi, for instance, on the subject of the use of drones to slaughter human beings, to my knowledge only has offered a reassurance that of course Barack Obama never would use a drone to kill a “non-combatant” American citizen on American soil.

That’s not nearly good enough, Nancy.

Maybe Obama would not, but what if another election-stealing would-be war criminal like George W. Bush got into the White House? That could happen in less than four full years.

It would be wonderful if our “representatives” in Washington would actually lead, which means having an eye on the future — fuck, even the near future.

As Rand Paul stated himself during his filibuster, it’s not about Barack Obama (whose handlers constantly are asking us if we have his back when it sure would be nice if he had ours). It’s about the principle of the use of drones to slaughter human beings becoming so widespread and so out of control that we Americans or we human beings anywhere on the planet can’t fucking leave our own homes without worrying about whether or not a fucking drone might maim or kill us that day, accidentally or intentionally.

Neither Rand Paul nor any other member of U.S. Congress, to my knowledge, has stated publicly that that is the issue here.

And I’m still very leery of Rand Paul. I have no idea how much his filibuster actually was about the use of killer drones against “non-combatant” Americans on American soil and how much it was showboating because he has presidential aspirations.

It fairly clearly was such showboating when he remarked during a hearing in January to then-Secretary of State Billary Clinton on the subject of the September attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya: “Had I been president and found you did not read the cables from Benghazi and from Ambassador Stevens, I  would have relieved you of your post.”

He came off as a major prick because, well, he apparently is a major prick.

Although he’s only in his third year in the U.S. Senate, Rand Paul already was talking about his being president one day while he was attacking a woman who has been in national politics far longer than he has been. Would he have talked like that to a white male secretary of state? I doubt it. It was a sickening, nauseating display of that stupid-white-male sense of entitlement again.

While I’m glad that someone finally spoke out against the use of killer drones in some meaningful way in D.C., the patriarchal, misogynist, homophobic, xenophobic and apparently racist/white-supremacist Rand Paul would make as awful a president as his daddy would have, and, because he limited his argument against killer drones to the protection of only “non-combatant” American citizens on American soil — and, of course, whether or not someone targeted for slaughter by drone is a “combatant” or a “non-combatant” in many cases could be up for interpretation, and thus is wide open to abuse — we still have no real leadership in Washington, D.C., on the subject of drones used to slaughter human beings.

*DINO Barack Obama’s having continued the use of drones to slaughter human beings is one of the many reasons that I could not cast a second vote for him in November 2012. Obama is an immoral man, perhaps not immoral as most of the Repugnican Tea Party traitors are, but still immoral. The lesser of two evils is still an evil.

**In his October 2002 speech in which he stated his opposition to the U.S. Congress giving then-“President” Bush the power to declare war on Iraq, Ron Paul also stated, “There is no convincing evidence that Iraq is capable of threatening the security of this country, and, therefore, very little reason, if any, to pursue a war.”

That is common knowledge now, and during the build-up to the Vietraq War it was clear to me, also, as just a consumer of the news, that Iraq posed no threat to the U.S. and that the treasonous members of the unelected Bush regime were lying through their teeth (“aluminum tubes,” “yellowcake from Niger,” “mushroom clouds,” “anthrax,” etc.) and were dead-set upon invading Iraq no matter what.

In his speech Ron Paul also interestingly stated that the impending Vietraq War did not pass the “Christian” litmus test for a “just war.” He said:

First, it [the “Christian” litmus test for a just war] says that there has to be an act of aggression; and there has not been an act of aggression against the United States. We are 6,000 miles from [Iraq’s] shores.

Also, it says that all efforts at negotiations must be exhausted. I do not believe that is the case. It seems to me like the opposition, the enemy, right now is begging for more negotiations.

Also, the Christian doctrine says that the proper authority must be responsible for initiating the war. I do not believe that proper authority can be transferred to the president nor to the United Nations.

In his speech Ron Paul also, besides engaging in the usual libertarian United Nations-bashing (the U.S. should call the global shots, not the UN, you see), attacked the Bush regime’s neo-conservative concept of “pre-emptive war,” stating, “No matter what the arguments may be, this policy is new; and it will have ramifications for our future, and it will have ramifications for the future of the world because other countries will adopt this same philosophy.”

It’s too bad no one is that far-sighted when it comes to the use of human-slaughtering drones!

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WHO is demonic and mob-like?

Updated below

This is an undated image obtained from the Twitter page of Anders Behring Breivik, 32, who was arrested Friday July 22, 2011 in connection to the twin attacks on a youth camp and a government building in Oslo, Norway. Breivik is a suspect in both the shootings and the Oslo explosion Friday. (AP Photo/Twitter, Anders Behring Breivik)

Associated Press photo

The new face of terrorism? The latest political-ideologically motivated murderous rampage was committed not by some “demonic” liberal, but by yet another paranoid, bigoted, stupid white man who, among many other wingnutty things, opposes the immigration of people who aren’t just like he is, including those who aren’t “Christian.”

When is the last time that some liberal went on a political-ideologically motivated murderous rampage here in the United States of America?

According to the American right wing, acts of violence committed by left-wingers are commonplace. In her introduction* to her subtly titled book Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America, wingnutty whackjob Ann Cunter proclaims that “The demon is a mob, and the mob is demonic”; “A mob is an irrational, childlike, often violent organism that derives its energy from the group”; and “The Democratic Party is the party of the mob…. Democrats … are the mob.”

She goes on:

The Democrats’ playbook doesn’t involve heads on pikes — as yet — but uses a more insidious means to incite the mob. The twisting of truth, stirring of passions, demonizing of opponents, the relying on propagandistic images in lieu of ideas — these are the earmarks of a mob leader.

Gee, I don’t know. It seems to me that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors are much more like the mob than are the Democrats, and that Cunter’s definition of mob-like behavior describes the behavior of her and her fellow Repugnican Tea Party traitors to a “T” (that’s “T” for treason).

The Democrats just let George W. Bush treasonously steal the White House in late 2000 — meanwhile, there were actual mobs of Repugnican operatives in Florida who did their best to disrupt the ballot counting at ballot-counting sites, which to me sure the fuck amounts to treason — and then the Democrats just let Bush treasonously launch his illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust Vietraq War in March 2003. (Thousands of our troops have died for the unelected Bush regime’s repeated lies about its reasons for having launched the Vietraq War. If that isn’t treason — to launch a war that is good for the profiteering of a relative handful of corporate war profiteers but that is disastrous for the nation as a whole — then I don’t know what the fuck is.)

There were some protests against the blatant theft of the White House and the launching of the bogus Vietraq War — I attended them — but they were nonviolent and thus they were non-threatening to the powers that be. (I’d have written “the powers that were,” but these powers essentially still are, so I’ll leave it at “the powers that be.”) Thus, the protests were ineffective. (Nonviolence, as the right-wingers know, often if not usually is ineffective, which is why they often embrace the use of violence for achieving their political aims.) 

And indeed, the unelected Bush regime was able to get its bogus Vietraq War for the war profiteering of Dick Cheney’s Halliburton and the other oily subsidiaries of BushCheneyCorp in large part because of the mob-like, toxic national political atmosphere that the Repugnicans had created in the wake of 9/11, in which to disagree with the unelected Bush regime on just about anything supposedly amounted to treason and supposedly aided and abetted the “terrorists.”**

Democrats dangerous? Democrats ready to put wingnuts’ heads on pikes?

Fuck, I only wish! (Just as I only wish that corporate-ass-licking capitulator in chief Barack “Hope and Change” Obama actually were a socialist.)

Speaking of mobs, it was the “tea party” traitors who disrupted the congressional town halls to discuss the Obama administration’s (pseudo) health-care reform. It was a nationwide coordinated attempt by the right wing to disrupt the town halls that was reminiscent of the coordinated attempt by the right wing to disrupt the ballot counting in Florida in late 2000. The right-wingers hate democracy except when democracy goes their way. (And even when democracy doesn’t go their way, they’ll treasonously steal an election if they can get away with it.)

Now that’s mob activity. I only wish that the waaay-too-easily-cowed Democrats would engage in actual mob activity when it comes to things like stolen presidential elections, the launching of bogus wars for corporate war profiteering, and the Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ current plan to eliminate Social Security and Medicare and to eliminate, as much as is possible, taxes for the rich and the super-fucking-rich — because surely the remedy for our nation’s economic woes is to make the poor even poorer and the filthy rich even richer.

Another quote from Ann Cunter before I move on: In her intro to her latest collection of venom, bile and blatant lies, she also notes, “It is official Democratic policy to appeal to the least-informed, weakest-minded members of the public.” Um, isn’t that Faux “News'” mission statement? And isn’t that Cunter’s bread and fucking butter, appealing to the least-informed, weakest-minded members of the public? If millions of so-called Americans weren’t paranoid, abjectly ignorant, bigoted, self-righteous and hypocritical mouth-breathing fucktards, Cunter couldn’t keep selling her demonic books. 

It’s hard to tell whether Cunter is someone who hypocritically projects her own evil onto others like she’s on crack or if she’s an outright liar for pay (very good pay, apparently). What she at least appears to desire, however, is an Ayn-Randian “utopia” in which everyone whom she disagrees with has been eliminated. And because she apparently fears that the left wing might one day purge the nation of the right wing, that the left wing might beat the right wing to it — even though the modern American left wing has shown itself to be pathetically unable to accomplish anything big and routinely lays down and plays doormat to the Repugnican Tea Party traitors (Sure, Gee Dubya, we’ll just give you the White House; sure, Gee Dubya, we’ll just give you your Vietraq War; sure, John “Cry Me a River” Boehner, we’ll just give you your cuts to Social Security and Medicare and your tax breaks for the rich and the super-rich) — she has written a book telling her fellow wingnuts that the liberals are gearing up to put their heads on pikes. (Or, again, she’s lying and she knows it. Hard to say which…)

While I can’t think of a single instance of an actual liberal actually having gone on a murderous rampage over his or her political ideology, Norway this past week was rocked by a white-male wingnut who went on a murderous rampage over his right-wing political ideology.

Reports Reuters today:

Sundvollen, Norway — Norway mourned [today] 93 people killed in a shooting spree and car bombing by a Norwegian who saw his attacks as “atrocious, but necessary” to defeat liberal immigration policies and the spread of Islam.

In his first comment via a lawyer since his arrest, Anders Behring Breivik, 32, said he wanted to explain himself at a court hearing [tomorrow] about extending his custody.

“He has said that he believed the actions were atrocious, but that in his head they were necessary,” [lawyer] Geir Lippestad said.

The lawyer said Breivik had admitted to Friday’s shootings at a Labour party youth camp and the bombing that killed seven people in Oslo’s government district a few hours earlier.

However, “he feels that what he has done does not deserve punishment,” Lippestad told NRK public television.

“What he has said is that he wants a change in society, and in his understanding, in his head, there must be a revolution.” …

More information about terrorist Anders Behring Breivik will come out, I’m sure, but it’s interesting that Ann Cunter very apparently shares his core right-wing beliefs on such issues as “liberal immigration policies” and “the spread of Islam.” I wouldn’t be shocked at all if Breivik is familiar with Cunter’s work.

The picture of Breivik above shows him to be a young white guy. Murderous thugs or terrorists aren’t supposed to be squeaky-clean-looking conservative blond white guys. Nope. They’re supposed to be black or Arab or Muslim (or some combination thereof).

I have to wonder if Breivik’s brand of terrorism — and, because he’s a right-wing white guy, are the wingnuts here at home even going to acknowledge that Breivik is indeed a terrorist?is the new (white male) face of (domestic) terrorism. (I specify “domestic terrorism” because the white male face long has been the face of global military terrorism, although, of course, here in the United States it’s never considered to be terrorism if the U.S. military [or one of its wingnutty allies, such as Israel] commits state-sanctioned terrorism.)

Reuters notes that Friday’s “violence, Norway’s worst since World War II, has profoundly shocked the usually peaceful nation of 4.8 million.”

If a white male wingnut can slaughter 93 innocent people in the name of his political ideology in a nation that (until now, anyway…) has enjoyed the reputation of being one of the most peaceful nations on the planet, what might we expect here at home?

While Ann Cunter blathers on about Democrats seeking to put the heads of American wingnuts on pikes, it was a white-male wingnut who apparently agrees with her on the core issues who in cold blood slaughtered dozens of mostly teen-aged members of his nation’s Labour party, which is roughly equivalent to the United States’ Democratic Party. (I can only say “roughly equivalent” because the establishmentarian Democratic Party, since Bill Clinton, has been drifting further and further to the right to the point that it really can no longer be called “liberal.” Even calling it “centrist” is a stretch, since it’s more center-right than it is center-left.)

While Cunter blathers on about Democrats being violent, it was an apparently right-leaning young white man, Jared Lee Loughner, who shot Democratic U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in the head (and shot six others dead) in Tucson in January.*** Oh, and this was after Repugnican Tea Party (then-)queen Sarah Palin had posted this image on the Internet, in which Giffords had been indicated on a map with a gun-sight crosshairs:

Yes, it’s the Democrats who are mob-like, certainly not the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, whose presidential aspirants actually think it’s perfectly OK to post mob-like hit lists of political opponents on the Internet. 

I’m not advocating that we actual liberals seek out the white male wingnuts and pre-emptively put their heads on pikes because they are ticking time bombs ready to start shooting into gatherings of people whose ideology they oppose (I could list several examples of their potential targets, but I don’t want to give them any ideas) and to start bombing government buildings a la Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, who was yet another right-leaning white male terrorist (and who might have inspired Breivik; I suppose that we’ll find out).

Should the white male wingnuts start mimicking Anders Behring Breivik (and Timothy McVeigh and Jared Lee Loughner and…) here at home, however, I wouldn’t rule that out.

My general feeling is that if the treasonous wingnuts want another civil war, then we should give them one — and annihilate them this time, instead of actually help them with reconstruction, only so that they could continue to drag the nation down to this day.

In the meantime, however, it’s quite easy to lay waste to the claim that it’s the liberals who actually are “demonic” or “mob-like” when it’s the wingnuts who always actually have committed the lion’s share of the killing of innocents and other mob-like behavior.

*No, I have not and I will not read Cunter’s entire book. I’d never contribute a single fucking penny toward her poisonous and treasonous right-wing propaganda. The intro to her book, if you want to read it, is available at amazon.com.

**I use quotation marks because it’s only others who kill for political gain who are “terrorists,” even though the United States slaughters far more innocent civilians in its pursuit of its own political (well, corporate) objectives than does any other nation, hands down.

***Loughner appears to be insane and his political ideology (what we know of it, anyway) therefore is muddled, but he inarguably meets the profile of the alienated, angry, dangerous young white man whom we have come to know and love. And certainly his target, a female Democratic lawmaker, sure looks like, symbolically, at least, an assualt on the liberal and the feminine by the conservative and the masculine. With a gun, of course, because the alienated, angry, dangerous young white men sure love their guns. And aren’t they exactly the ones who should possess their own home arsenals?

Update (Sunday, July 24, 2011): I’ve done a lot of reading on Anders Behring Breivik. It’s quite interesting. Apparently we know that he was inspired by at least one American white male wingnut — Ted Kaczynski, the “Unabomber,” portions of whose manifesto Breivik reportedly simply lifted for his own lengthy manifesto.

Breivik reportedly signed his wingnutty manifesto as “Andrew Berwick,” which suggests that he identifies with the Anglo(-American) brand of winguttery, even though he is a Norwegian nationalist who apparently wants to see Norway (and indeed, all of “white” Europe) purged of people who don’t look and believe like he looks and believes, much like the Nazis of Nazi Germany wanted to purge Nazi Germany of its “undesirables” and the anti-immigrant, xenophobic, misogynist, patriarchal, homophobic, capitalist/anti-socialist, Islamophobic “Christo”fascists (and some right-wing Jews) of the United States (who, with rare exceptions, such as Repugnican Tea Party presidential aspirant Herman Cain, also are white supremacists) would love to purge the United States of its “undesirables.”

The world — its demographic make-up and its balances of power – is rapidly changing, and the stupid white men who always have been in charge of the show (at least in Europe and in the United States) — and their supporters – are coming unglued. Suddenly they are the “victims” — even though no one is victimizing them and they continue to victimize others.

Finally, you should read Glenn Greenwald’s piece on the definition of the word “terrorism.”

As Greenwald points out amply, to hypocritical Americans (and, I suppose, to some hypocritical Europeans and Israelis as well), it’s only “terrorism” when a Muslim does it. And I mean literally — to many, the very definition of “terrorism” necessitates that it is an act committed by a Muslim, because, very apparently, “Christians” (and Jews) are, by definition, incapable of committing terrorism. (When you are God’s chosen, you can do no wrong, apparently. Especially if your skin is white.)

This discussion of the definition of “terrorism” reminds me of how George W. Bush used to toss around the word “civilized.” According to Bush, the Muslim “terrorists” (oops — that’s redundant!) are not “civilized,” while the “Christian” (and Jewish) residents of the United States of America (and the United States’ partner in crime, Israel), by definition are “civilized” – even though in my lifetime the “civilized” “Christians” and Jews of the United States and Israel have slaughtered far more innocent Muslims than vice-versa.

(The tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis whom the United States of America has slaughtered since March 2003 in the Vietraq War in retaliation for the roughly 3,000 Americans killed on September 11, 2001 — even though Iraq had had nothing whatsofuckingever to do with 9/11 — is in line with the insane disproportionate amount of killing that we see in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in which the Israelis whine that they are “victims” when, in fact, every time there is an Israeli-Palestinian flare-up, only a handful of Israelis die in comparison to the large number of Palestinians who die as a result of the military aid that the United States gives Israel.

Yeah, the United States and Israel — God’s chosen nations, dontchya know — are “civilized.” Right. Just like Anders Behring Breivik is civilized.)

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My last word on the assassination of Osama bin Laden (I hope)

I had thought that the Osama bin Laden assassination would have run its course by now here in the United States of Amnesia, but, with nothing else to replace it – except, perhaps, for the “news” that Bristol Palin’s facial appearance indeed has been altered, she says, because she had jaw surgery (this is the most-viewed “news” story on Yahoo! News as I type this sentence) — it lingers still.

It’s a sign of the collapsing of the American empire that so many Americans have found comfort, I suppose the word is, in the assassination of a rather pathetic man in hiding whose last big show was almost a full decade ago.

I mean, how convenient it is to blame more than a decade of American stupidity and laxity* on one man, and how tempting it is to believe that with his death goes American stupidity and laxity. If bin Laden was the cause of all of our problems, then surely his death is the magical solution to all of our problems! Right? Right?

As I wrote right after I found out about it, bin Laden’s assassination has changed nothing except for the national “news” obsession du jour (or, in this case, de la semaine). Bin Laden had been fairly powerless for years before his assassination, and his largest achievement was in destroying the American economy.

And hell, he didn’t even have to do the work. It was the treasonous wingnuts of the unelected Bush regime, using their wet dream of 9/11 like the Reichstag Fire to fulfill their wingnutty wish list, who did the work for bin Laden, using 9/11 for years as their cover to push through a radical right-wing, treasonous agenda they otherwise never would have been able to push through.

And it was an hysterical, cowed populace that allowed them to, just as it had allowed them to steal the White House in the first place.

While President Barack Obama seems to have driven the final stake into the heart of “birtherism,” whose death was long overdue, and for at least the short term can stave off any charges that militarily he’s a pussy, sooner or later the economy is going to reassert its political gravitational pull on Planet Obama.

An NBC News poll taken late last week shows that while almost 60 percent of Americans approve of Obama’s handling of foreign policy (the bin Laden bounce, no doubt), almost 60 percent of Americans disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy.

The bin Laden bounce has put Obama slightly above a 50-percent overall approval rating in the Gallup Poll after he had languished in the 40s for more than the past year, only occassionally hitting 50 percent or 51 percent in that time period.**

Given the weak field of Repugnican Tea Party candidates, however, Obama’s re-election is likely even in an economic environment that might otherwise seriously jeopardize a second presidential term.

But what Obama’s probable re-election means is the continued rightward drift of the nation, in which the new “center” is still right of center and continues going rightward. What’s good for Barack Obama’s personal political fortune, unfortunately, is bad for the nation and for the rest of the planet.

And how you do something matters. I don’t mourn the death of mass murderer Osama bin Laden any more than I would mourn the death of mass murderer George W. Bush or mass murderer Dick Cheney (or mass murderer Condoleezza Rice*** or mass murderer Donald Rumsfeld or…), but how it was achieved was shitty, regardless of how history, which up until now, at least, always has been written by the victors, might tell the story.

George W. Bush is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent human beings, is a much bigger mass murderer than was bin Laden, yet should a military team from a justice-pursuing Iraq (which was home to most of Bush’s victims) take out Bush on American soil like a military team from the U.S. took out bin Laden on Pakistani soil, Americans would be, literally, up in arms.

Even mass murderers like George W. Bush deserve a fair trial. Summary, extrajudicial execution, no matter who its victim is, is always wrong. The perpetrators of such tactics are no better than are their victims. And that’s what the Obama administration’s assassination of Osama bin Laden proved to the world: That the majority of the inhabitants of the United States of America is no better than was bin Laden.

Finally, I hope to make this my last post on Osama bin Laden’s assassination. But before I go I want to leave you with Ted Rall’s current column on the topic. Here it is, in full:

President Obama murdered Osama bin Laden. I am surprised that the left has been so supportive — not of the end result, but of the way it was carried out.

Imagine if the killing had gone down the same exact way, but under Bush. Armed commandos invade a foreign country, storm into a suburban neighborhood, blow a hole in a house and blow away an unarmed man in front of his 12-year-old daughter. The guy is a murder suspect. Mass murder. But there’s no attempt to arrest him or bring him to justice. They spirit his bloody corpse out of the country and dump it into the ocean.

Osama bin Laden was suspected ordering of one of the most horrific crimes of the decade. He might have been taken alive. Yet Obama’s commandos killed him. A big part of the puzzle — the key to the truth, who might have led us to other people responsible for 9/11 — is gone.

Barack Obama is our Jack Ruby.

Liberals would be appalled if this had happened four years ago. They would have protested Bush’s violations of international law and basic human rights. They would have complained about killing the Al Qaeda leader before questioning him about possible terrorist plots. They would have demanded investigations.

But this happened under Obama. Which means that even liberal lawyers who ought to (and probably do) know better are going along. At a panel discussion at the Justice Institute at Pace Law School, University of Houston law professor Jordan Paust asserted: “You can [legally] use military force without consent in foreign countries.”

“At some point a sovereign state [such as Pakistan] that’s harboring an international fugitive loses the right to assert sovereignty,” added Robert Van Lierop.

Paust and Van Lierop are, respectively, a leading opponent of torture at Guantánamo and a former UN ambassador known for his activism on climate change. Both are “liberal.”

In the U.S., conservatives and “liberals” agree: Might makes right. America’s military-intelligence apparatus is so fearsome that it can deploy its soldiers and agents without fear of retribution.

Might makes right. [Emphasis mine.]

In 2007, for example, U.S. Special Forces invaded Iran from U.S.-occupied Iraq in order to kidnap Iranian border guards. It was an outrage. In practical terms, however, there was nothing the Iranians could do about it.

The United States’ 900-pound gorilla act might go over better if we weren’t a nation that constantly prattles on and on about how civilized we are, how important it is that everyone follow the rules. For example:

“We’re a nation of laws!” Obama recently exclaimed. “We don’t let individuals make their own decisions about how the laws operate.”

He wasn’t talking about himself. This was about PFC Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of supplying the big Defense Department data dump to WikiLeaks. Manning has been subjected to torture including sleep deprivation and forced nudity — treatment ordered by Obama.

Truth is, the Constitution, our treaty obligations and our stacks of legal codes are worthless paper. We’re not a nation of laws. We’re a nation of gun-toting, missile-lobbing, drone-flying goons.

U.S. officials do whatever they feel like and then dress up their brazenly illegal acts with perverse Orwellian propaganda. [Emphasis mine.]

“I authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice,” Obama claimed, as if blowing away an unarmed man in a foreign country was the moral equivalent of filing an extradition request with the Pakistani government and putting him on trial before 12 unbiased jurors in a court of law.

Justice is a legal process. It is not a military assault. [Emphasis mine.]

When considering the legality or morality of an act it helps to consider different scenarios. What, for example, if Pakistan had military power equal to ours? Last week’s lead news might have begun something like this:

“Pakistan has intercepted four U.S. helicopters over its airspace, forced them to land, and taken 79 heavily-armed commandos as prisoners. According to Pakistani military officials, the incident took place about 100 miles from the border of U.S.-occupied Afghanistan.

“‘They didn’t stray across the border accidentally. This was a deliberate act,’ said a Pakistani general. President Asif Ali Zardari has asked Pakistan’s nuclear weapons infrastructure has been placed on high alert as the parliament, the Majlis-e-Shoora, considers whether to issue a declaration of war…”

Or let’s assume a different reimagining. What if the United States really [were] a nation of laws?

Then the news might look like the following:

“Bipartisan demands for congressional investigations into the assassination of alleged terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden quickly escalated into demands for presidential impeachment after reports that U.S. forces operating under orders from President Obama invaded a sovereign nation without permission to carry out what House Speaker John Boehner called ‘a mob-style hit.’

“Standing at Boehner’s side, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi decried Obama’s ‘cowboy antics’ and said she had received numerous phone calls from the relatives of 9/11 victims furious that true justice had been denied. Meanwhile, in New York, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon moved for sanctions against the United States…”

In fact, no one knows whether Osama bin Laden was involved in 9/11.

They suspect. They feel. They don’t know.

For what it’s worth, he denied it: “Following the latest explosions in the United States, some Americans are pointing the finger at me, but I deny that because I have not done it,” bin Laden said in a statement released on 9/16/01. “The United States has always accused me of these incidents which have been caused by its enemies. Reiterating once again, I say that I have not done it, and the perpetrators have carried this out because of their own interest.”

Why should we believe him? Why not? He admitted his responsibility for the East Africa embassy bombings in 1998.

Interestingly, the FBI never mentioned 9/11 on his “wanted” poster.

There was the famous “confession video” — but it was translated into English by the CIA, hardly an objective source. Arabic language experts say the CIA manipulated bin Laden’s discussion of what he had watched on TV into an admission of guilt. For example, they changed bin Laden’s passive-voice discussion to active: “[the 19 hijackers] were required to go” became, in the CIA version, “we asked each of them to go to America.”

“The American translators who listened to the tapes and transcribed them apparently wrote a lot of things in that they wanted to hear but that cannot be heard on the tape no matter how many times you listen to it,” said Gernot Rotter, professor of Islamic and Arabic Studies at the Asia-Africa Institute at the University of Hamburg.

Other [bin Laden] communiqués appear to take credit for 9/11 — but there’s a possibility that he was trying to keep himself relevant for his Islamist audience. Anyway, a confession does not prove guilt. Police receive numerous “confessions” for high-profile crimes. They can’t just shoot everyone who confesses.

I’m not angry that Bin Laden is dead. Nor am I happy. I didn’t know the guy or care for his ideology.

I’m angry that, without a trial or a real investigation, we will never know whether he was guilty of 9/11 — or, if he was, who else was involved.

Our Jack Ruby, Barack Obama, made sure of that.

Yup. And I’ve wondered if perhaps bin Laden was assassinated by the Obama administration because he knew too much, and a trial at an international court of law would have brought what he knew to light. 

*Our problems preceded Sept. 11, 2001. Our democracy pretty much was diagnosed with terminal illness when Americans just allowed Team Bush to steal the White House in late 2000. After that, anything else that followed, such as the devasation that was just allowed to occur on 9/11 and with Hurricane Katrina four years later, couldn’t have been a surprise.

**Obama enjoyed approval ratings in the 60s during his first six months in office. He then gradually slid into the 50s and then into the 40s.

***Rice’s recent interview on MSNBC was, um, interesting. She hasn’t changed a bit. You still know when she’s lying — it’s whenever her lips are moving. (Seriously, though, she always has the quavering voice of a liar, and when she’s really lying, she moves her head rapidly from side to side.)

While I doubt Rice’s sanity, as I doubt the sanity of any mass murderer/war criminal, I don’t believe that she actually believes the lies that she spews forth. I believe that she is terrified that one day she might actually be hauled before an international criminal court, and therefore she’s sticking to the same old lies about her part in the execution of the illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust Vietraq War that she’s been telling for years now.

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The (Jessica) Lynching of Osama bin Laden

Wow. You expected this kind of shit from the unelected Bush regime, with its lies about and cover-ups regarding the Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman sagas, but you (or at least I) expected more from the Obama administration.

Until now I have held off on repeating any of the details that have been released regarding Osama bin Laden’s actual moment of death because I was skeptical of them – and for good cause, because now, they are reporting, apparently bin Laden was unarmed when he was shot dead in the head and did not use one of his wives as a “human shield.”

The “human shield” charge especially was repeated all over the corporately owned and controlled mass media, because it fit in nicely with the pre-existing jingoistic narrative of bin Laden as actually being a “coward” instead of a bad-ass — a charge that is probably more false than true and that says a lot more about Americans’ actual collective level of courage than it does about bin Laden’s. (Americans, after all, kill with high-tech weaponry and they usually kill from a distance. [Which makes American killing “civilized,” you see, while the less technologically advantaged “terrorists” often if not usually kill others more closely and personally, which makes them “terrorists,” as does the fact that they’re not Americans.])

Anyway, so now the latest word is that bin Laden was unarmed and that the woman who was shot dead along with him was not his wife, but was another woman, and that his wife was injured in the firefight, but was not used by bin Laden as a “human shield.”  

These are just basic facts of what the fuck happened. You would think that the “transparent” Obama administration would have done a much better job of getting out accurate information about such a momentous news event.

And the fact (well, the fact du jour, anyway…) that bin Laden was unarmed raises the legal, moral and ethical question of whether or not he should have been captured and brought to trial instead of executed on the spot. Does a “civilized” nation of “laws” and “order” and “human rights” execute someone who is unarmed, even someone like Osama bin Laden, on the spot?

I recognize the huge problems, including, of course, security issues, that putting bin Laden on trial would have presented. But do we have principles or not? Do we mean what we say in our Constitution about human rights — including the right to a fair trial and the right not to be summarily executed, no matter what it is believed that you have done – or don’t we?

All of this — the initial misinformation about bin Laden’s summary execution, the apparent fact that bin Laden could have been taken alive — makes Barack Obama way too much like George W. (“W” for “Wanted Dead or Alive”) Bush for my sense of right and wrong, and I have to wonder how much of bin Laden’s execution was calculated to benefit Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

I mean, fuck: In January, Team Obama did indeed roll out, as part of Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, the lame meme of “We do big things” in the State of the Union Address. Yesterday, Obama said of bin Laden’s execution, “Today we are reminded that as a nation there is nothing we can’t do.”

I mean, that looks like a link to me. It’s fairly apparent that Team Obama sat around and pondered: Hmmm… How can we fit Osama bin Laden’s death into our re-election campaign narrative?

Even in this great age of cynicism, that’s some sick shit, in my book.

Again, I’m not crying that Osama bin Laden is dead, but we cannot claim to be a “civilized” nation that respects human rights and laws and at the same time do shit like summarily execute the “bad guys.” (As far as body counts of innocents go, we Americans actually are the biggest global bad guys, but because we’re Americans, we’re fucking saints.)  

And to watch Barack Obama act as though he went over to Pakistan and got bin Laden himself – when that long, hard work was done by other people, including some who apparently put themselves at the potential risk of great injury or death – is nauseating, especially when Obama apparently plans to use bin Laden’s scalp for political gain.

But that is the history of the slimy political opportunist Obama: taking credit for others’ work, such as how he only rode, all the way to the White House, the wave that Howard Dean had created with the left-leaning “netroots.”

Now, it appears, it is the execution of Osama bin Laden that is going to keep Obama in the Oval Office for another four years.

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Assorted shit

Flub heard ’round the world

U.S. Congresswoman Bachmann, a potential Republican ...

U.S. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, a potential ...

Reuters photos

The insane ignoramus U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann shows what a true patriot she is by sacrificing herself to recite the pledge of allegiance and then holds aloft a tea bag while incorrectly identifying New Hampshire as the location where the first shot in the American Revolutionary War was fired. Utter stupidity and uber-jingoism are a dangerous mix, as we saw during the eight long, nightmarish years of rule by the unelected, fascistic Bush regime.

The larger point should not be lost in the reportage that Repugnican Tea Party whackjob Michele Bachmann yesterday told a group of Repugnican Tea Party traitors in New Hampshire that the American Revolutionary War started in their state — when, in fact, it started in Massachusetts.

Notes The Associated Press today:

Though Bachmann probably wasn’t the first to confuse Concord, N.H., with Concord, Mass., her mistake was striking given her roots in the “tea party” movement, which takes its name from the dumping of tea into Boston Harbor by angry American colonists in December 1773….

It’s not just that Bachmann, like the majority of the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, are utter dipshits who don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about — not even the basics of those things that they align themselves with, such as the American Revolutionary War (these fascistic white supremacists who want to drag us back to the Dark Ages are “revolutionaries,” you see!) and the contents of the New Testament. (Jesus said that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven, and he advised his followers not to fight against paying their taxes — which the “Christo”fascist Repugnican Tea Party traitors don’t mention when, say, they fight for more tax breaks for the rich and the super-rich. A simple oversight, I’m sure.)

The bigger picture is that the members of the Repugnican Tea Party wrap themselves in both the U.S. flag and in the Shroud of Turin — they claim the mantles of both patriotism and Christianity — when, in fact, they’re just fucking charlatans, are just aligning themselves, for personal political gain, with groups that they perceive to be large and powerful — because the stupid and the cowardly, utterly unable to stand on their own two feet, align themselves with groups that they perceive to be large and powerful.

The reason that Bachmann doesn’t know her material is that for Bachmann it’s not about the material — it’s all about Bachmann and her insatiable lust for power. The material is just the cover that she uses for herself in her fascistic quest for power.

Not to be hypocritical; while I know much, much more about U.S. history and the contents of the New Testament than does your typical tea-baggin’ traitor, it’s an awful lot of material and I certainly don’t have all of it memorized.

But then, unlike the members of the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party, I don’t go around acting as though I do.

TIME calls Wisconsin guv “Dead Man Walker”

Wisconsin State Governor Scott Walker signs the ...

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signs a bill at a ...

Reuters and Associated Press photos

Repugnican Tea Party Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, surrounded by his cabal of fellow stupid white men, signs legislation eliminating collective bargaining rights for public servants in Wisconsin. About two-thirds of Americans believe that public servants should have collective bargainging rights, according to a Bloomberg poll taken this month.

TIME.com quotes Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott Walker as having said on Friday, when he signed the union-busting legislation that the Repugnican Tea Party rammed down Wisconsinites’ throats:

“Some have asked whether this is going to set a national precedent. And I don’t know… but if along the way we help lead a movement across the state for true fiscal reform, true budgetary reform to ultimately inspire others across this country, state by state and in our federal government, inspire others to stand up and make tough decision to make a commitment to the future, so that our children across all states don’t have to face the dire consequences we face because previous leaders have failed to stand up and lead, I feel that is a good thing.”

Wow. So to destroy labor unions and to give the corporations even more power to exploit their wage slaves is for the children! This is novel!

It’s true that our leaders have failed to stand up and lead. For instance, not a single Wall Street crook who helped put us into our economic cataclysm is behind bars. The Obama administration, in fact, puts Wall Street crooks in charge of national economic policy — just as the Bush regime did.

We do have a huge failure of leadership, but that failure is to stop the runaway greed of the rich and the super-rich, for whom the word “enough” is not in their vocabulary.

Scott Walker’s “vision,” to the contrary, is to make the working class and the middle class suffer even more for the crimes of the treasonous plutocrats and corporatocrats whom he treasonously aids and abets.

Walker calls the rich getting even richer and the poor getting even poorer “true fiscal reform, true budgetary reform.” And George Orwell is spinning in his grave.

Walker admits what we already knew, which is that the Repugnican Tea Party is on a “state-by-state” jihad to destroy labor unions.

As Rachel Maddow recently pointed out, the reason that the Repugnican Tea Party did not tell voters before Election Day 2010 that they would seek to destroy labor unions is that to destroy labor unions is not what the American majority wants.

A Bloomberg nationwide poll taken this month, in fact, show that about two-thirds of Americans believe that public servants should have the right to collectively bargain — and that about two-thirds of Americans believe that corporations have more political power than do labor unions.

And according to this poll, how do Americans feel about our public-school teachers, whom the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party has tried to make into Public Enemy No. 1? A full two-thirds of Americans support public-school teachers’ right to be in a labor union.

Thing is, it’s human nature to not realize how much you value something until its continued existence is threatened.

What WalkerCorp has done is made most Americans realize how valuable labor unions and collective bargaining are and that corporations have way too fucking much power and drastically need to be reeled in.

While Americans bought a lot of Orwellian shit during the eight long, nightmarish years of the unelected Bush regime, at this point, I believe, they realize that they’ve been punk’d repeatedly, and they reject the Repugnican Tea Party “argument” that the middle class and the working class are the cause of our nation’s economic problems and that they need to sacrifice even more.

“Wisconsin’s Governor Wins But Is He Still Dead Man Walker?” TIME.com asks.

The question is not whether Walker’s political career is finished, but when. If he is not successfully recalled — and unfortunately he cannot be recalled until January 2012 — he certainly won’t be re-elected in 2014.

And recall efforts of Repugnican Tea Party Wisconsin state senators who can be recalled now already are under way, which should mean that if Walker does manage to finish his first and only four-year term, the Repugnican Tea Party won’t control both houses of Wisconsin’s Legislature for very long into his first and only term.

Is Obama lazy and/or cowardly — or politically smart?

The Associated Press reports that Barack Obama proclaimed in a speech in 2007:

“If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I’ll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself. I’ll walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States of America because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner.”

Of course, the AP also reports that

So far, however, the White House has stayed away from any trips to Madison, the [Wisconsin] state capital, or other states in the throes of union battles. The Obama administration is treading carefully on the contentious political issue that has led to a national debate over the power that public sector unions wield in negotiating wages and benefits.

Questions abound.

Is Obama too lazy and/or cowardly to have inserted himself into the historic battle for the rights of the working class and the middle class in Wisconsin? Or did he and/or his handlers calculate that such an insertion might actually harm, rather than help, the cause — and thus they wisely have kept out of the battle in Wisconsin, regardless of Obama’s 2007 promise to “walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States of America”?

If I had to put money on it, my money would be on Obama being too lazy and/or cowardly to fulfill his 2007 promise, but I surmise that it nonetheless is better that Obama continue to stay out of it, whatever the reason(s) for his peculiar absence might be.

That way, what truly is a populist upswelling against the pro-plutocratic Repugnican Tea Party — I can’t recall that thousands of Americans in any state ever sustained a three-week protest in at least the past three decades — won’t be branded as simply a Democratic Party thing when it actually is about we, the people.

Battleground Wisconsin only peripherally has been about the Democratic Party. For the most part, it has been about the majority of the people in a state who have had more than enough abuse at the hands of the Repugnican Tea Party — and who aren’t sitting around waiting for the Democratic Party to save them.*

*That said, I laud the brave 14 Democratic Wisconsin state senators who did the best that they could to stand up for their constituents by vacating the state for three weeks. I laud their courage, their solidarity and their resolve, traits that utterly are lacking in most elected officials who call themselves Democrats.

Although the traitors who comprise the Repugnican Tea Party repeatedly accused these 14 Democratic state senators of not doing their jobs, they certainly did do their jobs: they refused to go quietly to the guillotine that the Repugnican Tea Party so lovingly had set up for them and for their constituents, who aren’t corporations but who are we, the people.

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