Under Seige: The Survival of the United States

mlkriversidechurch Photo credit: John C. Goodwin

Fifty years ago (on April 4, 1967), the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr gave a speech connecting the main struggles then going on in the U.S.A.  I’ve provided links to it, both as text first, and also the video. Warning, they are long.

TEXT – The link between the civil rights movement, the anti-war movement, and economic injustice

VIDEO – A Time to Break Silence (Full)

While I am a wee bit early for the anniversary of that speech, I read today that President Donald Trump is asking the US Congress to increase defense spending by 54 BILLION DOLLARS- that’s $54,000,000,000 (If you could save $100,000/year, it would take you 540,000 years to save 54 billion dollars.) MLK felt that such reckless spending would kill this country. Although I approve of Trump’s shaking things up and challenging the U.S. political establishment, I cannot approve of his recently expressed desire to increase the U.S. nuclear arsenal, and now his plea to divert even more of out tax dollars to military spending. I believe, as did MLK, that the health of my country depends on how we treat our citizens, how we teach our children, and how we plan for our future. It is not tied to building a wall, an actual literal fucking wall around ourselves, and focusing ourselves on increasing our armaments, aiming weapons at the world and daring anyone to try to breach that wall. It is a siege mentality.

Among the consequences of a siege mentality are black and white thinking, social conformity, and lack of trust. It is a false choice! Many in the United State believe that our only defense is military, that we must have overwhelming superiority in weapons of mass destruction, and other firepower in order to protect ourselves. We live in a huge world, full of other nations, other peoples, and we are not under siege by them. Many support us, many admire us even now, as we prepare to enter a new Dark Age of fear, of belligerence, and of a poverty, in both the economic and spiritual sense, that will cripple this country. WE CAN BE BETTER THAN THIS!

We do not need to retreat into a bunker bristling with weapons in order to survive. We can work with many other countries to cut off funding to terror groups, isolate them, and if necessary to eliminate them. They are misguided idiots led by fanaticism, without remorse, without concern for others. That alone isolates them. We cannot defeat them by becoming like them. If we continue down this path we will fail, and we will self destruct.

If we were to, for instance, look to a shared future with other nations and peoples around the globe, prepare for it, plan for it, or, I don’t know, even SPEND MONEY ON IT, might we not have a better chance at survival?

I cannot tell people what to do, or how to do it, but I am certain that working and planning together is our best, most viable option.

There are two ways to end a siege: utterly overwhelm and destroy, or starve the enemy out. This is what we face. By building a fortress, hiding behind it, and closing ourselves off from the world, we are making the entire world our enemy. WE BECOME THE ENEMY OF THE WORLD. One day, we may find ourselves facing a united world that either comes for us to destroy us, or worse, ignores us. Without trade, without cultural exchange, without friends, and without hope, we will starve ourselves into oblivion.

Clinton Needs to Disavow Superdelegates

Hillary Trump

According to a Washingto Post article: Leading liberals begin new push to unify Democrats around Clinton, liberal groups must rally around Clinton because Trump’s policies would take us back 100 years. California’s Gov. Jerry Brown said, “This is no time for Democrats to keep fighting each other. The general election has already begun.”

Bullshit, Brown.

I don’t believe Washington’s Hillary Democrats think for a minute that now is the time to unify. This is just part of their strategy to get Hillary Clinton into the White House. They know people are supporting Senator Sanders in huge numbers. They are afraid of losing, afraid that Sanders will somehow win the nomination. They are desperate. In fact, polls are increasingly showing that Trump and Clinton are nearly tied in support. In fact Clinton could lose the general election to Trump as things stand now. They want their candidate to win the primary by acclamation, unopposed, so as to create the illusion that she has massive support, enough to defeat Trump. She does not. How many people are going to be totally disillusioned if she takes the primary only by using superdelegates? She could take the high road now, and appeal to all the Bernie supporters by refusing to use the votes of superdelegates at all. If she does so, she will have the support she wants. If not, then all those people who have been excited to participate, to vote, some of them for the first time, are going to lose heart. If they do have a chance to see their candidate make it to the convention, where, although some my expect miracles, they will accept the will of the voters: unity achieved. This morally bankrupt attempt to dangle Trump as the ultimate evil in order to rally a rebellious electorate will backfire unless Ms. Clinton takes the high road now herself. No, Sanders should not drop out before the primary convention. Get real. Clinton should disavow internal Party politics in order to clinch the nomination.

Even Elizabeth Warren has stopped short of endorsing Hillary Clinton at this point.

//www.washingtonpost.com/video/c/embed/461deee6-2271-11e6-b944-52f7b1793dae

Power-hungry

 

Hillary Dickory Dock, #WhichHillary

Hillary I don’t usually post negative things about people, but sometimes I make an exception for politicians. There’s too much negative about Donald Trump to go into right this moment, except to say that his campaign bears an eerie similarity to the German presidential elction of 1932. However, one of his opponents, Hillary Clinton, is getting on my nerves. I never liked her hawkish stand on the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, and, although I applauded her attempt to bring about a discussion on universal health care when she was First Lady, I didn’t like her sudden dropping of the issue when she faced heavy Republican criticism for daring to intrude into male-dominated politics. There were those who felt it wasn’t her place to propose policy, both because of her sex – there was a lot of misogynist talk at the time – and because it wasn’t appropriate for a First Lady to engage in politics.

Given that beating she accepted at the time, backing away from the issue completely, many feel like her time has come, and we should elect her now. I don’t think so. Democrats want to win, and they feel she is their best chance, given her celebrity status. However, there is another woman who would be 100 times better than Hillary Clinton, and that is Elizabeth Warren. However, she has chosen not to run, so Democrats are stuck with Hillary. Well, not stuck yet, since someone similar to Senator Warren is running against Hillary to represent the Democratic Party. I like Bernie Sanders, but I think it’s delusional to think that the majority of people in the United States understand the difference between Russian socialism (a military dictatorship with state ownership of the means of production), and a U.S. version of Democratic socialism (a democratic political system alongside a somewhat socialist economic system.) Hell, people accuse President Obama of being a Socialist, when he most definitley is not. He leans slightly left of center on some issues, but really, he’s a standard Democrat, as is Hillary Clinton. Both have come down on the wrong side of the use of military power as a solution to complex problems.

Hillary 2Hillary’s ties to the prison-industrial complex are troubling as well. If she wants to end private prisons, she really shoudn’t be accepting campaign money from them. She seems to like things both ways, and appears always ready to blow with the wind.

I simply don’t trust her, and I think a majority of U.S. voters don’t either. And, just as in the case with the Bush family, it does gall people that we’re often asked to elect someone whose father, or brother, or husband was President. It smacks of royal succession, and the United States was founded on principles firmly opposed to that. Whether the succsessor is elected or appointed makes little difference to my mind. It sucks.

So, although I have been happy with much of Obama’s political views, I am unhappy that things are going to take a turn for the worse. I’m not optimisitic that Bernie Sanders can overcome decades of Cold-War hysteria. I’m not optimistic that any Republican can overcome a wildly popular opportunist like Donald Trump either. So, it’s shaping up to be a contest between a reactionary, backward-thinking populist, and a middle-of-the-road party-faithful Democrat who is not committed to democracy.

So, I’m leaning back towards ennui (a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement).

Again.

Hillary Dickory dock,
“Why scamper?” asked the clock,
“You scare me so
I have to go!
Hillary Dickory – O, fuck.

DIE PATRIOT ACT, DIE. And your little dog, Section 702 too.

Patriot Act poster 1

Several provisions of the Patriot Act — including Section 215, which had been used to conduct bulk surveillance of our phone records — expired on June 1 at midnight.
In a special session on Sunday, the Senate voted to consider a House-passed reform package, the USA Freedom Act, which then passed on Tuesday afternoon. President Obama signed the bill into law on Tuesday night.
Though USA Freedom doesn’t go as far as it should, its passage marks the first time the government has reined in NSA operations since before the 9/11 attacks. It ends unchecked surveillance of everyone’s phone records under the Patriot Act; that data will remain with phone companies, and the government will have to seek a court order to collect it for specific targets: a particular individual, device or account. The government can no longer sweep up details about everyone’s communications without some justification and some specific criteria to gather that information.

patriotactposter2
MORE: There’s a little more: CONTINUE READING

Cold WAR. Again. WWIII Probable. Again.

War 3  nato-russia-war New-Cold-War HR 758 (Russia)

US – Russia relations have deteriorated severely in the past decade and they just got worse. That is not solely due to the actions and posturing of Russian President Vladimir Putin. In fact, many in the USA and Russia are warning that the recent passage of House Resolution 758 could lead to all-out war, especially if the Senate passes a similar resolution.

Tensions between Russia and the US are being fueled every day by players who would benefit financially from a resumption of the Cold War which, from 1948 to 1991 cost US taxpayers $20 TRILLION dollars (in 2014 dollars), an amount exceeding our $18 trillion National Debt.

With fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Syria a staging ground for an ongoing proxy war between the big powers, our US treasury is being drained for military adventures, our national debt is piling up, and we are less safe.

Dennis Kucinich writes: “… HR 758 is tantamount to a ‘Declaration of Cold War’ against Russia, reciting a host of grievances, old and new, against Russia which represent complaints that Russia could well make against the US, given our nation’s most recent military actions: Violating territorial integrity, violations of international law, violations of nuclear arms agreements.
“The resolution demands Russia be isolated and “… the President, in consultation with Congress, conduct a review of the force posture, readiness and responsibilities of United States Armed Forces and the forces of other members of NATO to determine if the contributions and actions of each are sufficient to meet the obligations of collective self-defense under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, and to specify the measures needed to remedy any deficiencies….”

“In other words, let’s get ready for war with Russia.”    HR 758 (Russia)

Ron Paul, writing in The Inquisitr, believes that a “reckless” Congress has essentially declared war on Vladimir Putin and Russia based upon Resolution 758. Fears of World War 3 were stoked when Russian fighter jets faced off against NATO jets in a blitz designed to be a “show of force” by Vladimir Putin.

Russian media is already warning that the recently passed House Resolution 758 could lead to “all-out” war if the U.S. Senate were to pass similar legislation. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich claims that supplying lethal aid to Ukraine would be a direct violation of the Geneva Agreements. In addition, Russian media funded by the government has published an editorial that attempts to refute House Resolution 758, and even goes so far as to claim that the United States is provoking World War 3 by bringing the United States one step closer to an “all-out” war with Russia.

Not War

UPDATE:

The Ukraine Freedom Support Act — HR 5859 and S. 2828 — increases sanctions on Russia’s main weapons exporter, the natural gas company Gazprom, and any company that exports weapons to Syria. HR 5859 was introduced (12/11/14) and passed by voice vote late that evening. The Senate bill also passed by a voice vote.

At the Cato Institute, visiting research fellow Emma Ashford writes about the military aid that would go to Ukraine: “The bill authorizes the president to make available defensive weapons, services and training to Ukraine, including anti-tank weapons, crew weapons and ammunition, counter-artillery radar, tactical troop-operated surveillance drones, and command and communications equipment.”

Kucinich Comments on the Iraqi Occupation & Lies

The cost to the U.S. treasury: $3 Trillion.

Cost in Lives: 4477 dead U.S. troops (http://www.defense.gov/)

Over 1 million Iraqis (Based on international news reports; there is no agency that keeps track of accurate numbers of Iraqis killed.)

Cost in injuries: 33151 U.S. troops.

Other Coalition Troops – Iraq
318
US Military Deaths – Afghanistan
1,802
Other Military Deaths – Afghanistan
954
Contractor Employee Deaths Iraq
1,487
Journalists – Iraq
348
Academics Killed – Iraq
448

 

“NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW”

RE-BLOGGED FROM:

Green - Energy, the Environment and the Bottom Line

January 26, 2011, 3:29 pm

Court Reverses New Mexico Governor on Environmental Rules

By FELICITY BARRINGER

The New Mexico Supreme Court’s rebuke to Susana Martinez, the state’s new governor was blunt. “No one is above the law,” the state’s chief justice, Charles W. Daniels, said Wednesday morning as he announced the high court’s decision to reinstate two environmental regulations that the governor had unilaterally blocked upon taking office earlier this month. In a unanimous decision, the court ordered that the rules — one requiring annual 3 percent cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and another aimed at controlling waste discharges from the state’s dairies — must be published in the state’s register, which will make them effective.Gov. Susana Martinez Governor Martinez had forbidden the register from publishing the rules. Justice Daniels said that universal compliance with the law was essential, or “there will be a wasteland with no law.” The judge’s words were confirmed by two lawyers who attended the hearing. The dairy industry had opposed a rule by the New Mexico Water Quality Commission requiring that all manure lagoons incorporate a synthetic liner as a barrier separating the nitrogen-rich manure from the ground to keep contaminants from leaching into the groundwater. Officials of the state’s environment department have estimated that two-thirds of such ponds have contaminated groundwater beneath them. Beverly Idsinga, the executive director of the New Mexico Dairy Association, said in an interview that her group would be working nonetheless with the governor and the legislature to try to change some elements of the rule, particularly those dealing with groundwater monitoring and the universal requirement for synthetic liners below manure lagoons. The rule requiring annual decreases in carbon emissions was opposed by utility interests in the state, but it was not the leading regulation on the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. Originally proposed by the group New Energy Economy, it was intended to serve as a backup if the earlier regulation was taken off the books. Governor Martinez has said that she does not believe that science has clearly established a link between climate change and human activity.