Archive for August, 2013

The Thin Red Line

As much as it pains me to say it, Obama made a mistake when he established a “red line” for taking military action against Syria.

The red line in this case was supposed to be proof that the Assad regime had used chemical weapons against its own citizens.

Obama has now said he is sure that the red line has been crossed.

But questions remain: What is his proof? What actions will he order our military forces to take? Will Obama be able to convince our European allies to participate? Will he make his case to the United Nations? Does he expect Syria’s regional allies to enter the conflict?

Moreover, he has raised questions anew about the authority of the President to initiate a military action without the concurrence of Congress? Given the Republican pattern of complete rejection of Obama’s policies and programs since his first election, it seems doubtful that they may suddenly approve an Obama initiated attack on Syria.

But suppose Congress agrees with Obama? What then?

The latest news from Great Britain reports that Parliament has voted against Britain’s involvement. And Syria’s allies in the region have stated firmly that they will support Syria. This means the possibility of a widening conflict.

At this moment, Russia has given no concrete sign of its involvement, but it is a firm ally of Syrian leader Assad. Thus, the possibility of Russia supporting him is a real danger.

And yet, in view of Obama’s red line, the United States could damage its credibility if it now failed to act.

What should Obama do?

Tread lightly. This is not a matter of our vital national security interests. Obama has acted, as he often does, from humanitarian concerns. While concerns about the population of Syria are real, we would be placing the United States in an awkward position should we go it alone.

True, the use of chemical weapons has been a violation of international law and treaties for close to 100 years, and human conscience demands action, but it doesn’t necessarily demand military action.

Obama needs to tread lightly and defuse the imminent danger of this matter. The United States can ill afford another war in the Middle East with all of its attendant dangers to our own military personnel and further hate directed to Americans overseas and at home.

Swallow your pride Mr. President and do not light the fuse of a possible world conflagration.


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Have you ever read the Constitution of the United States of America? I have. Well, not all of it but most of it, the parts I could understand. I’ve also read the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, English translation. Because it was a translated copy, I can’t be sure I was reading the actual meanings intended by the Founders of the PRC.

Actually, I am unsure if I’m reading the real words and meanings in the U.S. Constitution, since it has been interpreted, misinterpreted, and twisted from here to breakfast and back.

For example, I’ve read the part about Congress and for the life of me, I can’t find a single solitary word that gives Congress the authority to shut down the government because a small cadre of lunatics in the House of Representatives wants to cancel Obamacare, which isn’t Obama care at all but the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

I have this queasy feeling that the Founders had no intention whatsoever of creating a government of idiots. The Founders themselves seem, in retrospect, to have been a moderate group who were mainly teed off about King George telling them how to run the Colonies. Oh, and taking money from them without representation.

But, hell, isn’t that what all governments do? I mean, take money by hook or crook from the citizens and give it to their buddies?

Our government, for example, takes money from mid and low income tax payers and passes it along to pseudo-people and really, really rich people in the form of government contracts worth billions, tax breaks, and off-shore tax havens, to name a few.

When I read the U.S. Constitution, I saw none of this anywhere in that revered document. Which leads me to believe that the power holders in the U.S. do not give a squat about what the Constitution says.

Heck, a little innovative interpretation has worked wonders for white male property owners over the age of 21 who are members of the Republican Party. The rest of us–Mitt Romney’s 47 percent who sponge off of the “real” Americans–we just kind of scurry around waiting for a scrap here and there and getting our buns shot off defending the freedom of Mitt and his buddies, the 53 percent who really count.

That’s modern life in the Shining City on the Hill.

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An up and coming Canadian by the name of Ted Cruz who at this moment is a U.S. Senator from Texas may have dreams that exceed his Texan hat size. He may aspire to the Office of the President of the United States.

There is a slight kink in his plans, however. He was born in Canada of an American mother and a Cuban father.

The Constitution of the United States requires that the President be a “natural-born citizen.” Cruz’s birth certificate was issued in Canada and shows his place of birth as Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He is, therefore, a natural-born citizen of Canada and, in fact, holds Canadian citizenship.

Cruz himself claims that he is also an American citizen by virtue of his mother’s birth in America. So far, however, he hasn’t produced any documented evidence of his claimed American citizenship.

He also claimed recently that he had renounced his Canadian citizenship, but again he produced no proof.

Complicating matters, the “natural-born citizen” clause of the U.S. Constitution has never been defined by the U.S. Supreme Court, although most legal experts believe that it means “a person born within the geographic limits of the 50 United States or in a territory of the U.S.”

But even that has been questioned. John McCain was born in Panama to an American Navy officer and his American-born wife. At that time, Panama was a possession of the U.S. Still, his qualification for the Office of the Presidency was questioned by some Democrats. The matter was never taken to court and seemed to die a natural death.

But the question of whether a person born in a foreign country to one American parent is a “natural born citizen” for purposes of becoming the President of the United States has never reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

Thus, Senator Cruz may find his quest for the presidency more complicated than he bargained for.

None of this would matter a hill of beans if the Teabuggers had not carried out a campaign of personal destruction against Barack Obama, calling him among other epithets a communist, a socialist, a Nazi, a Fascist, a Kenyan anti-colonialist, and on and on overlooking the fact that most of these are mutually exclusive.

But because the Teabuggers turned their attention with such vehemence to Barack Obama, a natural-born American, we owe Cruz the same degree of disrespect.

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Power Politics


Power Politics

 By Beverly Anna Barthel
I just had the opportunity to view the rebroadcast of Chris Hayes’ “The Politics of Power.”  What a highly intelligent and common sense  documentary on the politics  of climate change.  If more people would pay attention  to the reality of how our climate is changing,  not just here in America,  but all over the planet, and start internalizing the connection between  those who persist in denying it with the industries that stand the most to lose if solar and wind  catch on, we could actually  accomplish  something. All I need to mention is the name of the Koch brothers, Exon, BP, Shell etc…  Common sense tells you why they would so vehemently oppose.  The reality is here. The amount of carbon trapped  around our planet is growing and growing . The evidence of global warming is seen in the melting of the polar ice…

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