Tag Archives: drone warfare

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)

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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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I voted for Jill Stein, fuck you very much.

Updated below

Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein delivers remarks during a press conference on July 11 in Washington, D.C.

AFP/Getty Images

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, photographed in Washington, D.C., in July

It wasn’t a difficult decision. It felt at least a bit liberating, in fact, to fill in with my black ballpoint pen the oval next to her name on my mail-in ballot, and putting my completed ballot in the U.S. Postal Service mailbox yesterday gave me the at-least-mild satisfaction of having an important task finished.

President Barack Obama is leading Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate Mittens Romney by double digits in polling here in California. California and its 55 electoral votes, the nation’s biggest prize, are so not up for grabs that neither candidate is airing any TV commercials here. No mailers, either. Nothing that I have seen, in fact, except what’s on the Internet.

The New York Times’ prognosticator Nate Silver, as I type this sentence, puts Obama’s chances of re-election at just a little below 75 percent and Mittens’ chances of winning the White House at just a little above 25 percent.

Fact is, living in a solidly blue state under the undemocratic, winner-takes-all Electoral College system, my vote for president essentially doesn’t count. I could have voted for Mittens, for fuck’s sake, and the outcome in California wouldn’t have been altered one nano-iota. That Obama would win all of California’s 55 electoral votes on November 6, 2012, was a foregone conclusion long ago.

No, of course I don’t want Mormon multi-millionaire fascist Mittens to win, and of course I recognize that the winner of the election will be Obama or Mittens (and certainly not a third-party candidate), which is why this time around I gave Obama more than $100 in campaign contributions — much less than I gave him in 2008, but, according to an e-mail that the Obama campaign put out earlier this month, only about one in 75 Americans has given Obama one single penny, so hey, even the less than $200 that I’ve given him toward his re-election bid is pretty fucking good, comparatively.

But I almost didn’t vote for Obama in November 2008. When I went to my polling place on Election Day 2008, I had it down to Obama or to independent progressive candidate Ralph Nader, and even when I’d just received my ballot I still had to ponder which candidate to vote for, and at the last minute I went ahead and gave my vote to Mr. Hopey-Changey, knowing that he would carry California whether I voted for him or not, but hoping that he would at least try to deliver the change that he’d promised.

And yes, I also felt that I wanted to take the opportunity to vote for the first non-white president of the nation’s history. It gave me at least a little bit of an uplift to know that I was part of that historical event. (Of course, any Obama-related uplift was blunted by the blow of the passage of Proposition Hate here in California, which happened in large part thanks to the big money and the efforts of Mittens’ Mormon cult and Pretty Boy Paul Ryan’s Catholick church, which, much like the Taliban, seek to shove their theofascist, ignorant, hateful bullshit down the throats of all of us.)

Four years later, it is clear to me that Barack Obama had only said what he’d figured (correctly) would get him elected. Indeed, his take of the popular vote was bigger than either Bill Clinton or George W. Bush ever got.

I could post a litany of reasons why, in good conscience, I could not cast my vote for Barack Obama again, but here are just three of them:

  • Obama for the most part just sat idly by while British Petroleum assured us that it had its crude-gushing underwater oil well perfectly well under control. Obama’s inaction was a clear signal to the planet-raping corporations: Do (or don’t do) whatever the fuck you want. The Democratic Party is addicted to your campaign contributions and therefore won’t lift a fucking finger to stop you from destroying the planet.
  • Obama had promised before his election that if the right to collectively bargain ever were under threat anywhere in the nation, he’d don a pair of comfortable walking shoes and join the fight himself. Yet when workers in Wisconsin fought for months and months for the survival of their right to collectively bargain, Obama showed his face in Wisconsin not one fucking time. Wisconsinites were on their own, with only very-last-minute support from the national Democratic Party, which was way too little way too late, and resultantly, Repugnican Tea Party Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker survived the gubernatorial recall election against him in June.*
  • The Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning-for-fuck’s-sake Obama loves his civilian-killing drones, which, if you are awake, alert and oriented, you should find spine-chilling. A recent study of drone strikes by Stanford Law School and New York University’s School of Law found that “from June 2004 through mid-September 2012, available data indicate that drone strikes killed 2,562 to 3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom 474 to 881 were civilians, including 176 children.” Um, yeah, “they” don’t hate us for “our freedom.” And what’s to stop drones from being used against American civilians here at home at some point in the future?

Even without those three things, this one thing is more than enough reason not to vote for Punker in Chief Barack Obama again: Obama’s best opportunity to push through a progressive agenda was in 2009 and 2010, when his party controlled not only the White House but also the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Instead of even fucking trying to deliver upon his promises of hope and change for his base, however, Obama in 2009 and 2010 was too busy trying to sing “Kumbaya” with the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Congress whose only mission was to make sure that the nation’s first non-white president failed. (They even openly had stated that this was their mission from Day One.)

You don’t negotiate with terrorists. You crush them. Which is what Obama should have done.

Obama’s role model, he repeatedly essentially has told us, was Ronald Fucking Reagan, who, in my book, ranks with Richard M. Nixon and George W. Bush as the worst three presidents of my lifetime (I was born in 1968).

Obama’s “signature” “achievement,” the so-called “Obamacare,” contains little to nothing that the wealth-care industry didn’t rubber stamp, and even while proclaiming his support of same-sex marriage, Obama still maintains that each state nonetheless should be allowed to decide whether or not same-sex couples’ constitutional guarantee of equality should be honored or denied.

All of this, yet Barack Obama is on our side?

After the 2008 election, Obama and his surrogates called us progressives — the Democratic Party’s (disappearing?) base — “sanctimonious” members of the “professional left.”

I, for one, don’t forget such slights — I helped put you where you are, and then you turn and shit and piss all over me? Really? — and the Obama administration’s incredibly stupid practice of base-bashing is a large reason why I voted for Jill Stein.

Again, of course I hope that Mittens Romney doesn’t win, but if he does, you can’t blame me.

Blame Barack Obama, who promised hope and change but who has delivered only sweet-sounding rhetoric and even base-bashing, and who has presided over the nation as a Ronald-Reagan-loving Repugnican Lite.

And blame the Obamabots — the blind, mindless, amoral Democratic Party hacks — who to this day have refused to hold the center-right Barack Obama accountable for anyfuckingthing only because he wears the brand-name label of “Democrat,” and who continue to actually buy the Democratic Party’s pandering bullshit that the Democratic Party of today actually gives a flying fuck about us, against the mountain of evidence to the contrary.

Update: I’d wanted to keep my bullet-pointed list of Obama’s fuck-ups to only three items, but Barack Obama has been such a fuck-up that I found it fairly impossible to list only three of his fuck-ups, so I ended up listing other fuck-ups of his elsewhere in my post, and I want to add a fourth bullet point, a point that I’m surprised that I forgot to include in my original post:

  • Early on, Obama appointed Wall Street weasels like Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers as his economic advisers, and in 2008, Obama took more money from Wall Street weasels than even John McCainosaurus did — which is probably why Obama rejected the advice of progressive economists, like the Nobel-Prize-winning Paul Krugman, who warned that Obama’s “stimulus” wasn’t nearly enough to restore the nation’s economy. All of this while Obama claims to care sooooo much about the working class and the middle class. Again: Whose side, exactly, is Barack “Talk One Way, Walk Another” Obama on?

*A judge in Wisconsin last month struck down Walker’s union-killing legislation, which was a victory for labor, but a victory that neither Obama nor the Democratic Party had a hand in. And the state is appealing the judge’s ruling, so the fight isn’t quite over quite yet.

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