Do you support your President...or your Constitution?

Do you support your President...or your Constitution?

President Obama’s nominee to head up the CIA, John Brennan, faced off with Senators on the Intelligence Committee on Thursday, as part of his confirmation hearing. He was asked several questions about the drone warfare program, and its lethal targeting of American citizens abroad. As the architect of this program, Brennan defended the use of drones to kill Americans who are deemed “imminent threats,” and can’t be captured.

At one point in the hearing, Senator Ron Wyden asked Brennan if American citizens should be given a chance to surrender, before they are targeted for death. Brennan dismissed the question, saying that all Americans currently working for al-Qaeda can surrender any time they wish. But the killing of American citizens with drones is just one issue. Perhaps a bigger issue, is the power of the President to order military strikes in sovereign nations, that we are not at war with, like Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia.

This tactic sets a dangerous precedent for the future, as more nations and organizations acquire drones, and seek to use them in the same way the United States uses them. Let’s hope it doesn’t take the Mexican government targeting a drug trafficker in Phoenix with a drone strike, and killing a few Americans as collateral damage, for us all to wake up to how destructive this sort of drone warfare really is.

Democrats may trust President Obama at the helm in the drone war program – but he’ll only be in office four more years, and who knows who’ll take control afterward – and what the world will look like.

Comments

Green_TZM's picture
Green_TZM 1 year 29 weeks ago
#1

I pledge allegiance to the CONSTITUTION of the United States of America and to the republic AS LONG AS it stands for one nation under the LAW indivisible in PURSUING liberty and justice for all!!!

Green_TZM's picture
Green_TZM 1 year 29 weeks ago
#2

IDEA FROM JIM MUELLER

In discussions of Choice of Representation, we use the term Representative Denied Office (RDO) for those people who have run for office, received votes and have been denied the opportunity to effectively represent the people who voted for them. The RPO’s (Representatives Permitted Office) are sworn in.

Forced Representation

In our relatively free market system people obtain the goods and services of their choice that they can afford to purchase or retain. Representation (Attorney, Personal Representative, Executor, Proxy, Agent, Guardian) involves the agent being legally bound to conduct themselves in the best interest of the client. In our election system, the government designates people as representatives even though the client (voter) is certain that the “representative” will not act in his or her best interest and will use force if necessary in order to prevent the other candidates from representing the people who voted for them.

By declaring that people have the Right to Choice of Representation, we establish a principle which people can aspire to, we expand the number of people who care about the outcome of elections and we show that this is not a partisan effort.

Gerrymandering aside, great expense and effort goes into making legislative districts as close to equal in size of population as possible. The result is that many counties and municipalities are divided up into more than one, sometimes several districts. This creates more work and expense for the Election Officials in printing notices and ballots, setting up the machines, etc. The existence of districts makes campaigning more expensive by dividing up media markets into several districts or having a district span parts of several markets.

Districting is done to satisfy the "one man, one vote" concept. It makes the representatives equal but makes the citizens unequal-some have the representation of their choice and most do not. The theory is that because the population in each district is nearly equal then each person has the same proportionate share of a representative (a representative that they may have voted against and vehemetly dislike).

Personally I think that having a representative of your choice is much more important than having the same number of people in each district.

This system creates legislators who are then equal in strength to each other, they each have a vote that has one unit of power.

So all of this work goes into making them equal and what is the first thing that they do? They give up a lot of their power by electing a leader who gets to decide a myriad of details including who is on what committees, which offices legislators are assigned to and what legislation will be scheduled for a vote and which bills will die without being voted on.

Choice of Representation makes the voters equal-they all get the Representation of their Choice and makes the representatives unequal by assigning them voting power equal to the number of people who voted for them.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/152631684794770/ Equal Access Amendment Project

https://www.facebook.com/groups/195236817222399/ Choice of Representation

mathboy's picture
mathboy 1 year 29 weeks ago
#3

You may be interested to read my blog post, Green_TZM. The single-member district leaves almost half the people without a person to represent them both geographically and ideologically. There's a better way, or at least there could be; I don't know of any government that uses my idea.

Alan Lunn's picture
Alan Lunn 1 year 29 weeks ago
#4

I'm reading Noam Chomsky's newest book (interviews about, essentially, the global situation) and he said that John Kennedy was actually a hawk. His decisions got us into a senseless war. Yet we don't think of Kennedy that way. I'm a big fan of RFK, Jr. whose commentaries with Greg Palast indicate that he is a voice (like Thom) who gets it.

Obama inherited the Bush wars, and it is a convoluted mess. Our war machine is more than just our government but the apparatus of the financial and trans-national hyper-wealthy. One big factor in the nations around Afghanistan is pipelines and the coming global shift to natural gas. Chomsky says we have to have victory in Afghanistan because of its strategic location. I would expect drone escalation.

"War is a racket. The few profit, the many pay." -- Major General Smedley Butler, Medal of Honor winner

mlmarshal's picture
mlmarshal 1 year 29 weeks ago
#5

This whole drone thing reminds me of the Star Trek episode in which Kirk undertakes to subvert the interplanetary agreement that sends citizens of two worlds to their deaths as a civilized advancement of the barbarity of war. We've moved from spears and cudgels through bows, firearms, airplanes and guided missiles to stay-at-home soldiers who rain death on unsuspecting civilians half a world away. How soon will we move to death chambers, to await a future Captain Kirk who will re-educate us as to "the glories of war."

gregsain's picture
gregsain 1 year 29 weeks ago
#6

That's obviously a trick question...

Obama is not a constitutionally elected president, he's the president of THE UNITED STATES, a multinational CORPORATION for profit, no different than president of Microsoft or Sears.

To support the de facto "constitution, which is corporately colored fiction, is to support your own demise.

The original constitution was replaced hundreds of years ago.

The solution?

OPPT-IN http://OPPT-IN.com    then...OPPT-OUT.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 29 weeks ago
#7

Yes mimarshal! An excellent observation and comparison. The main theme of the plot of that episode as I remember it was that by making war easy, clean, and removing the physical element, war was also made indefinitely sustainable. If I remember correctly, the situation was bread into the current generations on these planets to such a degree that it became a part of acceptable lifestyle. People accepted their fates in exchange for living in a technologically advanced society without question. Great point you've made! If I understand your reasoning, you are suggesting we resolve this issue in our lifetimes so that future generations are not brought up thinking that this behavior is an acceptable part of life. If so, excellent reasoning!

JohnLemessurier's picture
JohnLemessurier 1 year 29 weeks ago
#8

The current intense discussions of whether drones should be used to wage war against foreign terrorists abroad, or against American terrorists abroad, or against foreign terrorists not abroad, or against American terrorists not abroad, yadda, yadda, yadda, are just another ploy to divert our attention from the real issues:

#1. WHY are we waging war against the rest of the world in the first place?
and...
#2. WHY are they waging war against us??!!??

Think about it. It is not just about drones!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 29 weeks ago
#9

JohnLemessurier: Good points. I might submit that we wage war against the the rest of the world to secure their natural resources for the profit of our corporate bosses. Why they wage war against us, I might imagine is in self defense.

You are more than right, "it is not just about drones!" I might submit this is about our founding principles of Government. Do we honor due process or do we circumnavigate our Constitution. The answer is obvious, We the People must follow the basic tenants of our Constitution. Anything else is a recipe for disaster!

SteveS's picture
SteveS 1 year 29 weeks ago
#10

The Constitution! The President is horrible on civil liberties!

historywriter's picture
historywriter 1 year 29 weeks ago
#11

It's about empire. I think it's time we became a 2nd rate state and let someone else take over for a change. Well, maybe not. It's time we stopped our bullying and grabbiness and unconstitutional acts and behaved according to our original values.

Palindromedary 1 year 29 weeks ago
#12

Secret drone base in Saudi Arabia just across the border from Yemen and from where many drone strikes into Yemen was launched. Map and lots of great pictures.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/02/secret-drone-base-2/?pid=1808

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 29 weeks ago
#13

Historywriter says "It's about empire." I agree, absolutely. But let me add that nobody should "take over"; certainly not us, as our "leaders" have demonstrated time and again. Indeed, power corrupts. Everyone worldwide has skin in the game and we all need representation as well as protection from the sort of evil this American Empire has come to represent. Too much power in too few hands is a recipe for disaster. This is perhaps the most important lesson history can teach us.

I often wonder about our so-called "original values". Look what was done to the true Natives who were here first, preceding us in some cases by tens of thousands of years... and look at slavery! What original values? At the time the Constitution was written, the indigenous natives on this land were being systematically wiped out while slavery was a booming business. America's shit stinks now as it did in the "good ole days". it's enough to make me wonder if those "good ole days" ever were. I think we've reached another point in time where more of us are compelled to take inventory. I don't like what I see, and know I'm in good company.

Obama the constitutional lawyer, deciding who lives or dies without due process?! I can't get over how obscene it is.

I don't apologize for giving Obama my vote a second time, although I deeply regret it now. It's not the first time I've felt betrayed by a president I helped put in office. I feel so duped! I regretted voting for Clinton too. Neither of these men have my respect, now that I've seen them in action. (In Clinton's case it had to do with stuff like NAAFTA; his infidelities are irrelevant.) At any rate, I've learned the lesson folks. My days of compromising are over. I'm all compromised out. From here on, my favorite candidate gets my vote... No exceptions.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 29 weeks ago
#14

Mr. Lunn, it sounds like our taste in reading material is very similar. I've read several of Noam Chomsky's books and have long since ditched any naiivete (sp?) I ever had about JFK. I've also read Smedley Butler's classic, War Is A Racket, and am a big fan of Greg Palast. Those guys rock.

Truth to power! - Alice I.W.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 29 weeks ago
#15

Green_TZM says "I pledge allegiance to the CONSTITUTION..." Yep! That's where my allegiance is too. Right on! - Alice I.W.

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 1 year 29 weeks ago
#16

Question; Why Drones?

Two part answer;
First, More and more people are voicing their disapproval for our Corporate Government's corrupt & violent actions, both here and abroad; including those in the military and their families.
The "owners" of this country know this and have found a way to replace the once "proud flag waving obedient patriot" who would line up and do the owners dirty bidding without thought or comment.

Second answer to; Why Drones?
Control.
Faceless Unconscience Control through Kink. Yep that spells F.U.C.K. Which is what we all are Fucked!

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 1 year 29 weeks ago
#17

That's always best ALICEINWONDERLAND! (Not that you need my validation).

...and not that your's and my vote for our absolute favorite candidate will matter - except on our conscience - since the "real" owners of this country don't care about you & I or our humain & educated ideology.
All the owners of this country want is "obedient workers"; those smart enough to run the machines and process the paper work, and dumb enough to passabley accept increasingly shitty jobs. Jobs that offer no future, low pay, long hours w/out overtime, and reduced benefits (if any at all).
And if any of us step out of line - individually or collectively - we will be vaporized!

Damien from San... 1 year 29 weeks ago
#18

Hey, AliceinWonderland, check out Oliver Stone's docu-film The Secret History of the United States where he actually talks about Kennedy and his foreign policy. Basically, Stone points out that both JFK and RFK knew how bad 'Nam was and were going to get out, however he was killed before he could do it. This film is in 10 1 hour episodes so you want to be sure to look for the right one. There is also a companion 800 page book written with the American University historian Peter Kuznick. It covers the period from the Spanish American War until today whereas the film begins with WWII and ends through the end of Obama's first administration. I saw most of the film and can say I thought it was definitely worth watching. It originally aired on Showtime, but maybe you can see it online after a google search. The film really sheds alot of light on what most people don't know about America's long Imperial foreign policies. It also offers some insight into how World History might have been different if Henry Wallace had been chosen as FDR's running mate instead of Truman. Big Ups to Henry Wallace! You can also see an interview about the film and book by Amy Goodman on DemocracyNow.org. Anyway, you might have a little better opinion of Kennedy after you see that part of the film, though it's okay if you don't. Okay, thanks for reading. Peace.

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 1 year 29 weeks ago
#19

Howard Zinn was once asked in an interview; "As good citizens do we have an obligation to the government to go to war?"

This was his answer; "Our obligation is not to the government; our obligation is to the "principles" that our country is suppose to stand for...The government is an artificial creation...This is what the Declaration of Independence says; Governments are set up by the people to acheive certain ends. The equal right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. When government becomes "destructive" of those ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish the government."

He then added; "Obedience to government is the first sign of a Totalitarian State."

I certainly do subscribe to this, however the Owners of this country have made it damn near impossable to do. It isn't the level of sacrafice that is discouraging...Its the lack of a nonviolent leadership as a collective. Sure the Occupy Movement was for the most part nonviolent, but lacked organization in leadership, and failed to create a declaration. Yes for several months there movement grew in numbers; from a couple hundred in Zucatti (sp?) Park, to a few hundred thousand across the country, but in the end the efforts seemed futal.
Don't get me wrong I am a 99%er, and still fully support the indictment of those companies and Captains of Industry who commited fraud. But...Without establishing and organizing a form of leadership representing the outline of grievences and certain ends the movement was dead before it hit the streets.

Bob Hearns's picture
Bob Hearns 1 year 29 weeks ago
#20

Terrorism went to new levels a couple of decades ago. Terrorists have no nation and, therefore, no boundaries. It's a new arena, one with no boundaries. It isn't possible for one nation to take them on without incurring the wrath of other nations affected. An international group with international leadership is required. In effect, a no-nation group to take on no-nation terrorists. The terrorists created the new arena and they aren't going away. It's overdue for the development of a new international force. It will be ugly and they will kill innocent people. That is the reality of our way of life.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 29 weeks ago
#21

In entry #21, Bob Hearns has described a need for international leadership. I so agree. Every nation must be represented regardless of size & population, and every nation must have a voice. Leadership should keep changing regularly like clockwork to prevent any one person or organization from gaining too much power, with too much time in which to abuse it. There's gotta be a way, and everything - everything - depends on it. When I say "everything" I mean the future of our species and of the entire planet.

I believe with all my heart that if there was justice in the world and humanity were truly civilized, this "terrorist" problem would not even exist. But at the risk of repeating myself, I'll say it again; we need to be clear on who the real terrorists are: Torturers, drone operators, Blackwater butchers & thugs... terrorism du jour, brought to you by the U.S. Empire's Power Elite! Most if not all the rest is simply retaliation.

I also believe our only hope of getting out of this mess is through means that are resourceful and creative rather than violent. We must break this relentless cycle of Tit For Tat that the emphasis on guns & weaponry only perpetuates. What comes to my mind is the idea of creating a system from within our own ranks, by which goods and services are exchanged that cancels our need for money. Divorcing ourselves from the current monetary system would get us a lot closer to having any control over our destinies and circumstances. The elites would lose their grip on us and be de-throned without any need for bloodshed, and in all likelihood, way more effectively. - Aliceinwonderland

Outback 1 year 29 weeks ago
#22

In #21 Bob Hearns Writes: "The terrorists created the new arena and they aren't going away. It's overdue for the development of a new international force. It will be ugly and they will kill innocent people. That is the reality of our way of life."

Our way of life? Isn't that kind of circular? Our way of life (if you're talking about life in the USA) is supported by the most potent terrorist organization ever conceived; the projection of US corporate and military power around the globe.

If you'll recall, the Arab Spring was organized over the internet and spread throughout the Middle East via social media and the internet. Large pubic protests resulted in carnage by the authorities and the situation devolved to what's now going on in Syria; a rag tag rebel force consisting of various factions, begging for arms, battling an entrenched regime. So be sure to support your local anti-gun movement. That'll ensure our safety for certain.

I believe that A.I.W. (#22) is describing an end, not a means. After the wheels come off, and they will, we'll be ratcheted back to an agrarian, bartering society, presuming there's any tillable soil left and anyone left to till it. Not to wax negative or anything, but the Occupy Movement is about as good an example as I can think of as to how ineffectual gatherings of riffraff are in the face of corporate might. And these days it takes tools like the internet and social media to organize such events. Watch for the day when the powers that be find the means to censure what remains of our "free speech" via blogs like this. That will be the end of it.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 29 weeks ago
#23

Outback- perhaps both the end and the means. Because depending less on corporations means depending more on ourselves and each other. And the worse things get, the more incentive we will have to find answers that actually work. It will be a process of trial & error as well as a work in progress, and no instant fix.

I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the Occupy movement. Like any such movement, it attracted a certain amount of rifraff. But it has lit some sparks and opened some eyes. Don't let mainstream media tell you what's up with that. There are some truly awesome activists in this generation of young adults who are lucid, articulate, resourceful and driven enough to command respect from anyone paying attention.

All this talk about guns is making me tired. So much of it, the same-old-same-old; just your standard macho bullshit. Sorry guys, but that's what I hear in so much of this gun talk. Enough already. I'm ready for some creative thinking and fresh new ideas.

In the fall of '99 I was with my ma in Australia, visiting a friend of hers who lived in a suburb near Sydney. One night while there, we saw a news report on TV about a school shooting somewhere in the U.S. I'll never forget that image on the TV screen, of a U.S. flag shot full of holes. I remember getting into a sarcastic little rant right then, about living in the Wild Wild West where they "shoot first and ask questions later". Now here we are in 2013, and nothing has changed. Gets kinda old. - Aliceinwonderland

P.S. By the way my friends... today at the local bookstore I ordered a copy of Howard Zinn's classic People's History Of The United States. Finally took the plunge! After all I've heard about that book, I've gotta read it.

Outback 1 year 29 weeks ago
#24

Now Alice, we've gotta have a discussion here sometime on guns VS "macho". The subject comes up often enough on Thom's blogs, usually with a negative slant, that I can never resist the urge to work the subject in, but if you knew me personally you'd know that I'm anything but macho. I think of my (modest) arsenal as the last wall of defense between me and Goliath (even David had a sling). I see the potential for crushing oppression in this country, history amply documents that "absolute power's (which you spoke of earlier) willingness to exercise it on the helpless, and I am just proud enough to want to position myself to go down swinging if it ever came to that. I don't believe that has a thing to do with "macho", just prudent.

On Howard Zinn, from what you said in an earlier post I could have sworn you had the book memorized. Good for you for ordering it! Be prepared for a downer, though, as it'll shake all that previous rote learning to the roots.

I hope you're right about a bright and proactive future. As a child of the 60's I'd love to see that dream rekindled. I'm just a bit jaded these days I'm afraid.

rs allen 1 year 29 weeks ago
#25

Most of the posters here need to get a grip on reality. Seriously.

I've been following this drone thing on this site for three or four days now. And I'll repeat, get a grip guys! I've read everything here from our own flying jumbo jets into tall buildings to detailed plans of murdering people on the streets of apple pie towns of America conspiracies. I've listened to past (and present) issues of our over reach in the world sphere toward selve interest. Ooh, the corporate stucture is taking over the world, ooh the corporation doesn't care about us, ooh the corporation is going to murder us at our desks and in our beds.........gawd. Get a grip.

The us vs them stuggle predates this generation for well over 100 years. You remember Reagan? Congrats. But what do you think the 60's were about? What do think the 30's were about? What do you think the 1890's were about? Etc,etc etc..........You want to stop the marauding behavior and overlord of the corporate stucture breathing down your neck? It's simple, don't allow any more privatisation of the public interest. Which means, YOUR sons and daughters WILL be conscripted into the national service, everyone of them. All will serve, period. No more mercenaries from this country.

Over reach of any kind will end as soon as everyone has skin in the game.

You can't logically convolute that issue with what is solid military law, that is, drone strikes. One can not make an arguement that we (meaning the world) are not at war with an opponent that not only murders us but even their very own. From health workers to young school aged children who dare ask a guestion. It doesn't matter what country one lives in, it doesn't matter what view you espouse for the after life, it's propably going to be wrong. It doesn't matter what your thoughts are about bountries in the political sphere are, and never mind countries. The end will be the same.....you're dead. Because there is only one way from the opposition, this is not a fight about politics, it is not a fight over resources, it is not a fight over influence on the world stage. Make no mistake, it is a fight over the right of people to live their live as they see fit where ever they happen to live.

Make no mistake it is a world war. One crosses to the other side? Be prepared to be shot down on sight.

War is war.

jamesannon's picture
jamesannon 1 year 29 weeks ago
#26

Who was your favorite?

Palindromedary 1 year 29 weeks ago
#27

But, rs allen, some of us "have gotten a grip".... factions in our government, our military, and our private sector..all part of a cabal that did plan and execute 9/11. It is the people who refuse to really look into the alternative to the official conspiracy theory that do not have a grip. Some people just don't want to know!

http://www.ae911truth.org/en/component/content/frontpage.html

Watch "9/11: Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out" it's free on the internet! What are you afraid of? The truth?

Top 40 reasons to doubt the official conspiracy theory:
http://911truth.org/article.php?story=20041221155307646

Nancycg's picture
Nancycg 1 year 29 weeks ago
#28

Of course I support the Constitution but I also support the President though I do not like how boxed in he is. Our system is so rigged and flawed by those who hold the power and we all know who they are; the corporate world. They are, unfortunately, leading us down a very dangerous road.

I would love it if you would do a show about how the extreme right wing of the Republican Party is actually creating the anti-christ. I am a spiritually minded person and lead my life with integrity to the best of my ability. I have just started listening to the Thom Hartman show on 91.3 radio out of Bellevue Wa. I agree with just about all I have heard you discuss so far.

I read the New Yorker Magazine and have all my adult life. I quest for knowledge and find strength and wisdom in being an adult in this world. To me an adult is one who takes care of themself and those around them. An adult finds solutions that work for everyone as much as possible.

What I see the right wing doing is creating such a culture of hatred and only looking out for number one. It is exactly the qualities that the anti-christ would have. I actually have not heard the term, "anti-christ" in a long time but back in the 1970's when I was a young woman, it was a term that was used quite often especially by the Christian church. I wonder what the church thinks of this term now. I wonder if they recognize how the Republican Party espouses the qualities of not caring about the poor and those who struggle to make ends meet on a daily level. And now that Ayn Rand is the rage of the billionaire class that controls the Republican Party it is getting even worse. I think it would be a great idea to bring this anti-christ terminology alive again.....maybe those on the right and the left who still have some humanity and integrity and who live their lives as wise adults can break through the veil of blindness or ignorance or uncaring attitudes about this wonderful earth we all live upon and we can somehow begin to set things in balance.

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 1 year 29 weeks ago
#29

How provocative - NANCYCJ...To say "Of course I support the Constitution", and then in the same breath say; "...but I also support the President." Are you talking about President Obama!?!? You know the one who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 while increasing troops in an illegal and unnecessary war, and endorses the increase of drone strikes that kill 10x's more innocent people than the supposed enemy. As well continues to chip away at our second, and fourth ammendment.
Please, if you don't mind, explain what it is about the President you support?

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 1 year 29 weeks ago
#30

ALICEINWONDERLAND, I just read you response to a post regarding my daughter Krissy...Thank you for your sincere empathy, and encouragement. Even though it has been ten years since she died the memories are near and dear, and the anger and frustration I have for this Nazi Conservative System still enrages me. Peace will only come when we stop treating life as cheap.
As you know Krissy was 8 years old, and had she received the medical treatment necessary she would have beat her illness, and we would ne celebraiting her 19th birthday.
My wife and I do struggle with the grief of not being able to afford the cost of the treatment she needed, I know it wasn't our fault, but there is nothing worse than not being able to give your child what they need. But more so, like you, we are also angry at those (Insurance Companies, lobbiest, lawyers, crooked Doctors, sue happy people) that have made Health Care beyond reach for the average working class American.
I read both the articles you wrote, excelent writing; very informative.

In one of my post I mentioned Wendle Potter the former V.P. of Communications for Cigna turned whistleblower...Are you framilar of him? He wrote "Deadly Spin; An Insurance Insider Speaks Out On How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans". If you haven't already read it I strongly encourage you - and everyone - to do so.
I understand you have just purchased Howard Zinn's "A Peoples History of The United States"...Welcome to the Truth!
For me I read it backwards...but I am weird that way! ;) I also recommend Zinn's "Passionate Declarations; Essays On War and Justice". I read both when I was in college. Four years ago my wife bought me his 2006 revised edition. And if you would like to know Howard Zinn on a more personal level watch the biographical documentary; 'You Can't Be Neutral On A Moving Train" It is an excellent indepth look at who Howard was and his Passion for Justice and Humanity, and Education, and Truth.
Enjoy the read(s)!
MMmmNachos

Palindromedary 1 year 29 weeks ago
#31

As a devout follower of the one true god, the Flying Spaghetti Monster and his beloved son, Raptor Jesus, I believe that the antipasto is the answer to the anti everything else in this world..the anti Teddy Bear and the anti lucky rabbit's feet.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 29 weeks ago
#32

Outback, I'm sorry- I never intended to direct my rant about guns at you specifically. You do not come across as macho at all. I've simply grown weary of all this gun talk, and preoccupation with guns. Those particular comments are from a more general context. Not to worry.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 29 weeks ago
#33

MMmmNACHOS says "In one of my post I mentioned Wendle Potter the former V.P. of Communications for Cigna turned whistleblower...Are you framilar of him?"

Yes I am. I learned of him and saw him speak on Democracy Now, and have tremendous respect for him. Takes such incredible courage to switch allegiances like that. He gave up a buttload of money and a comfortable life, just to do the right thing and stand up for justice, speaking truth to power from a unique position/perspective. I haven't read his book, although I'm certain it's a worthwhile read.

Who couldn't use some inspiration at times such as this?

On another note- from the historical perspective Thom enlightened me to, it seems almost as if human civilization moves up & down like a seesaw. The plutocracy gets the upper hand, then the "common" people gain leverage, than it's the plutocracy again, then the people again.... every eighty years.... And we humans think we're smarter than neanderthals?! At the rate we're going, we'll have bit the dust long before we've made it on this planet half as long. - Aliceinwonderland

Outback 1 year 29 weeks ago
#34

A.I.W. - Understood on the gun thing. I'm probably a little defensive, considering this venue - no problem. With regard to the eighty year cycle, you're going to love the parallels between today and the "robber baron" era in Zinn's "A People's History". But my suggestion would be to read it from front to back. (Nachos, you are in serious need of help <g> )

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 1 year 29 weeks ago
#35

Oh you ain't the first - OUTBACK - to comment on my charecter ;) I've always done things a little backwards; sometimes it works for me and sometimes not. With A peoples History...I wanted to travel backwards in time, and with the way Zinn wrote A Peoples History...It worked out really well.
Have you read any of Zinn's other books?
I was fortunate to attend Zinn's last lecture just before he died. He seemed very healthy and full of youthful passion; I was shocked when I heard he had died of a heart attack just a few weeks later.
Currently I am reading Raj Patel's "The Value Of Nothing; How to reshape market society and redefine democracy." Recommended by a close friend who says Patel reveals how we inflate the cost of things we can live without, while assigning absolutly no value to the resources we all need to survive.

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 1 year 29 weeks ago
#36

ALICEINWONDERLAND says; "The plutocracy gets the upper hand, then the 'common' people gain leverage, than it's the plutocracy again, then the people again...every eight years...And we humans think we are smarter than neanderthals?!

As Danniel Quinn says in his book "Ishmael";
With Man Gone,
Will There
Be Hope
For Gorilla?

With Gorilla Gone,
Will There
Be Hope
For Man?

Outback 1 year 29 weeks ago
#37

Nachos - Your current read sounds interesting. And I can see what you're saying about the reverse time travel. If I ever re-read that book I may give it a try that way. No, I've read none of Zinn's other books, though I did catch the video "Moving Train". It was a real loss when he went; there are so few like him. There are so many good books out there to read. When I retired about four years ago I dove right in, but I found myself fixated on books addressing our current social problems (Chomsky, for example) and got pretty depressed. That caused me to defocus a little and start reading stuff that might help explain the underlying causes of why we behave the way we do. Three good books addressing that are Christopher Boehm's "Heirarchy in the Forest" http://www.amazon.com/Hierarchy-Forest-Evolution-Egalitarian-Behavior/dp... and Jared Diamond's great duet "Guns, Germs and Steel" and "Collapse" http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&f.... It wouldn't surprise me if you had read them. I don't know if any of this stuff has given me cause for optimism, however. Right now I'm giving my poor, tired head a break and reading fiction;-) Anyway, I've been enjoying your comments, wit and humor here, along with that of many others. It's nice to discover a gathering of so many folks with the light on upstairs.

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 1 year 29 weeks ago
#38

Yes it can seem pretty "doom and gloom" at times - OUTBACK - especially if you don't step away, smoke a funny cigarette and smell the flowers.
Gardening is one of my favorite pass times for relaxing. My wife and I love to grow plants that are native to our area (Florida), as well as growing herbs and vegitables. Native gardening attracts and supports wildlife, uses waaaay less irragation, and does not require the use of posionous chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Absolutly...mixing in some fiction writing also helps us escape - for a moment - from all the mucky muck; it can even help us manage our own lives better. Two of my favorite fiction books were written by Hunter S. Thompson, "The Curse Of Lano", and "Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas". In my opinion both those books expose the soft under belly of societies queer social norms that keep us oppresed.

I have not read the books you are talking about...I have been looking for some insite as to why we - man, the person and not the basic animal - behaives the we do. So much destruction, So much waste...No other species on the face of the Earth past or present has been so self destructive...We certainly could learn from the smaller brain beast. The ONLY necessities any species needs in order to survive - aside from procreating - is clean water, clean air, and clean food. We have fucked all that up really fast!

Outback 1 year 29 weeks ago
#39

Nochos- I read H.S Thompson's "Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas" many years ago and still laugh out loud when I think of parts of it;-) Haven't read "The Curse Of Lano", though. Maybe I'll put it on my Kindle wish list.

You're right about that penchant our species has for fouling our own nest. If you get around to reading "Collapse", that's a central theme.

I envy your FL weather. It hasn't been above 40 here in Northern Idaho for months, and that was a heat wave. Gardens are short lived here - I tried to grow some potatoes last spring and even they didn't make it:-( Maybe if I'd watered them ....

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 1 year 29 weeks ago
#40

Maybe it's time to take a hard look at why we need these drones to begin with. We are essentially using them to fight a Fatwa passion declared by the World Islamic Front in response to their perception that we Americans are OCCUPYING their holy places. As a consequence they have vowed to fight us until there is no more tumult or oppression.

This OCCUPATION is all about the greed and power of a few and our addiction to their oil. Rid ourselves of this addiction and we rid ouselves of our unaffordable military protection for the House of Saud, Exxon Mobil, and our foolish empire....and guess what, it would end the innocent death by drones. Environmentally do we have a choice anyway?

Our support for Israel of course is also part of their outrage. It seems the Israeli people face the same problem we face here in the U.S...... the majority is in favor of policy that minority power denies. Polls show that most Israeli's support a Palestinian State. As usual the majority is right.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 29 weeks ago
#41

Damien says "Hey, AliceinWonderland, check out Oliver Stone's docu-film The Secret History of the United States where he actually talks about Kennedy and his foreign policy."

My husband googled it, and found they let you watch three episodes for free... long enough to get 'cha hooked! Anyway it seems like the sort of thing I'd like to have as well as watch, so we'll try buying a copy via Amazon. Thanks for telling me about it. - Aliceinwonderland

Outback 1 year 29 weeks ago
#42

2950 - You're right of course. The population at large, both here and in Israel, support some sort of reasonable settlement of the Palestinian situation, but Bibi and the boys, along with AIPAC and the Neocons inside the beltway won't hear of it. I think it gets back to the concept (was it you or Palendromedary that first voiced it here?) that we must maintain a level of turmoil in the Middle East to justify our obscene military expenditures.

As for drone warfare, my take on it is that the military is going to be hard pressed to get even volunteers from the rust belt after this past decade of brutality to our own troops, setting aside the civilian toll. The number of disabled and traumatized is staggering. Multiple tours in hell. And with all the bad press about the large amount of un-prosecuted sexual abuse to women in the military, I think we'll see their numbers shrinking dramatically. So drones are the wave of the future I guess. I'd bet we're working on drones the size of killer bees in some top secret lab somewhere. Won't that be fun! Drop a couple tons of them from the belly of a stealth bomber and have a real turkey shoot....

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 1 year 29 weeks ago
#43

Outback says "You're right about that penchant our species has for fouling our own nest. If you get around to reading "Collapse", that's a central theme."

I read that book. What an eye opener. And one point from it I recall noting is that in these collapsing civilizations who'd orchestrated their own demise, the only "advantage" of being rich in the end was being the last to perish... an "advantage" many would bypass if given the choice. And it certainly reinforced the anger and frustration I feel here in southwestern Oregon, over the clearcut marring such large patches of land. It is an eyesore, and for me it always brings that book to mind. - Alice I.W.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 1 year 29 weeks ago
#44

Is that guy a murderous spook from Central Casting or what? Lied repeatedly about torture and rendition and the drone strikes. Wrote the manual on drone strikes. Innocent bystanders outnumber intended targets at least 10 to 1. Trying to paint a picture opposite his true self to the public with plenty of help from Feinstein.

Disgusting mass murderous, fraudulent pigs!

Outback 1 year 29 weeks ago
#45

Mark Saulys - I couldn't agree more! John Brennan is absolutely the LAST guy that should be running the CIA, let alone advising King Obama.

megalomaniac's picture
megalomaniac 1 year 29 weeks ago
#46

This may seem far-fetched or even somewhat of a police state concept but heck America seems to be loaded with anti any amendment operations, so let’s blow the wad, as in a sizable roll of paper money. The Gaussian bunker banker canary island profiteers would love this. Or maybe not.

President Obama could put some integrity in this drones stuff. Really high tech it to that point a Drone can call an open channel. On screen (star trek type) for an observation. A communication message “Mr. Terrorist you have found surrender or be the cause of innocent deaths” Or “Mr. Terrorist there is no escape plus you will lose or be deprived the seventy five maidens promised by Allah”. Yes it is a stretch isn’t it.

All Black boxed and recorded for United Nations and American endorsement. Repeated over into the regular public channel the Bin Laden family normally watches. I choose them because they are so wicked and total friends with the Bush family they should help America right? Are you laughing yet? Not hard enough.

No kidding, it can be done and create terrific jobs in the VoIP protocol sciences. H.323 and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Protocols videoconference need a warp drive progressive evolution into the new millennium. Just think if every American was connected to the network post office security grid anyone could push a warning or alert button, a 911, infrastructure alert system via fiber optics, light speed, to send a drone right up Ben Laden lane.

Palindromedary 1 year 29 weeks ago
#47
Quote Outback:I think it gets back to the concept (was it you or Palendromedary that first voiced it here?) that we must maintain a level of turmoil in the Middle East to justify our obscene military expenditures.

Don't know if I voiced that first on this blog but I have sure heard it a number of other places from some more widely read and listened to people on RT and FSTV. I read an article once from some soldiers who served in Iraq and they just couldn't understand the logic behind what they were doing over there. To them, it was obvious that it had nothing to do with "winning hearts and minds" and everything to do with purposely creating enemies. And if you think about it...and if you have read Naomi Klein's book, and others, you realize that it's all about creating enemies to use as propaganda against the American citizens themselves for the purpose of controlling them and their bank accounts through unnecessary taxation.

By the way, you've heard the slogan "going postal" well...I think we can give the post office a break now that the LAPD and fellow officers in Torrance have acted like Blackwater flunkies in shooting up innocent newspaper delivery women and a young white man on his way to go surfing. If you have a car that looks anything like what Dorner is believed to currently be driving...look out..probably should just stay home. The cops shoot first and maybe apologize later. Looks like the LAPD is suffering from a little bit of PTSD themselves. Where will Dorner strike next? The shadow knows!!! Incidentally, Dorner's complaints may have something to them...there are so many people that see the LAPD as a corrupt organization that the LAPD is now saying they are going to reopen the investigation into Dorner's firing (they say..just to put people's minds to rest that LAPD is not crooked...yeah, right!). I just hope the LAPD doesn't get hold of drones...especially the armed ones!

The Daily Bulletin is doing a lot of stories on Dorner and the LAPD. One tells of how the ex-LAPD police chief Quan was fired after 6 months on the job back in 2002 as a Cal-Poly Pomona campus police chief. He was terminated because he objected to hiring an African American female. He sued the school in 2004 and I believe he got something like $32,000.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0210-manhunt-20130210,0,4459703....

http://www.dailybulletin.com/ci_22543822

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 29 weeks ago
#48

Damien from San Diego ~ Thank you for that tip about Oliver Stone's docu-film "The Secret History of the United States." I don't have SHOWTIME but I was able to dig up this disturbing interview from YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XO-Y8wNwbuA

I have dicussed the wisdom of dropping the ABombs on Japan at length with Palindromedary in previous posts. Most of what he said is validated in this interview. However, I never knew we fire bombed over 100 Japanese cities before using the Atomic bomb...

I must appologize to everyone. This little tidbit has sent my mind adrift on a turbulent sea of shock! It will take me a while to absorb this data... A LONG WHILE! I can't find the words to comment right now! Sorry!!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 29 weeks ago
#49

Hi Outback! If I might suggest some reading that might lift your spirits--I'd suggest the Bible. Really! No kidding! Not the whole Bible. LOL

You see I've learned at a young age the the best way to read any book is to start at the end. If you don't like the way it ends, throw it away. I'd begin my Bible reading with Revelations 19. If you make it to the end--just a couple of pages--good for you. You might want to back up to Revelations 12 -19 then. If that works out, read the book of Matthew. The red part if nothing else. Then your done. Welcome to the best part of Christianity!

I hope that light reading picks up your spirits and gives you hope. It always picked up mine. I really need it right now; so, if you'll excuse me... God Bless!~

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 1 year 29 weeks ago
#50

Palindromedary ~ ARE YOU THERE? I don't think I will be able to sleep tonight. Is this true? Did the United States fire bomb over 100 Japanese cities before dropping the ABomb?

I can't even begin to wrap my head around this. Did Oliver Stone's 'historian' exadurate? OMG!!!

From Screwed:
"Thom Hartmann’s book explains in simple language and with concrete research the details of the Neo-con’s war against the American middle class. It proves what many have intuited and serves to remind us that without a healthy, employed, and vital middle class, America is no more than the richest Third World country on the planet."
Peter Coyote, Actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Beneath the success and rise of American enterprise is an untold history that is antithetical to every value Americans hold dear. This is a seminal work, a godsend really, a clear message to every citizen about the need to reform our country, laws, and companies."
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From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
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