The Open Dimension

Commentary on social issues; politics; religion and spirituality

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Location: Laguna Hills, California, United States

I am a semi-retired psychotherapist/psychiatric social worker and certified hypnotherapist. Originally a practicing attorney, I changed careers during the 1980's. My interests include history, constitutional law, Hindustani classical music, yoga, meditation and spirituality.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Let's Be Fair To Corporate-War-Industry Spokesman Obama

I am happy to note that the occasions have been infrequent; but one has to notice that a bit too often negative comments pertaining to the policies of Corporate-War -Industry Spokesman Barack H. Obama have been in evidence.

CWIS Obama has important objectives to accomplish and one would hope that further instances of recalcitrant annoyance will be promptly curtailed so that full accomplishment of his agenda may not be impeded even to a miniscule degree

Ask yourself the direct question: What does the U.S.A. have left? Yes, ask it. The steel industry is gone. The automobile industry is gone. Myriad technological manufacturing industries have been usurped by the Chinese and Japanese. The U.S.A. must import, import and import so much of all these items. And what does it export? Yes, my poor naive little crap heads, scrap paper and rags and other recyclables. And what else? Think, think, little babes in Toyland! Yes! War! It exports war. Why, my little schmutzies? Because war is very profitable. At last count the Almighty One Percent made over $1.6 trillion pursuing this noble enterprise. How else would they have amassed such a sum- stringing rosary beads? Even the metal coffins provide them with some extra cigar money. I mean get with the program. Corporate-War-Industry Spokesman Barack H. Obama did- well before his election. Why do you think his first order of business was to establish a state of permanent warfare?

And are you grateful to CWIS Obama? No, what do you do? Nag, nag, nag. I know there are only a few of you. But think what a distraction that can be to the CWIS. All this fanfare about enhanced interrogation and calling it “torture” and all that. And so much of it directed at the founders of our noble war enterprise, CWIS’s Bush and Cheney. Is that loyalty? Is that respect? Would you have directed such barbs at George Washington or Benjamin Franklin? How do you think this makes CWIS Obama feel? To have to experience these impertinences while he is working so hard to implement these changes we can believe in.

We appreciate that the constitutional right of free speech still remains on the books. But after all, as CWIS Bush remarked so aptly, the Constitution is just a piece of paper. And yes, the Corporate Media are doing their best to offset these nagging impertinences. But if the CM should begin to find it difficult to neutralize the interferences, it may become necessary for the purpose of national security to initiate enhanced modification of the pertinent constitutional provision. Certainly the end would justify the means in this matter and one would not wish to be overly judgmental of any necessary and appropriate measures which would have to be put in place in order to facilitate our moving forward.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Letter to Attorney General Holder Re: Torture Investigation

Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr.
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530

May 19, 2009

Dear General Holder:
There is more than ample probable cause to believe that war crimes of torture were committed on a widespread basis by military and civilian personnel of the United States government during the administration of former President George W. Bush.

I am sure that you are aware that The Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1984 and entered into force in June of 1987.The United States ratified the Convention in October of 1994 and the Convention entered into force in this country on November 20, 1994. Every act constituting torture under the Convention constitutes a criminal offense under the law of the United States and no exceptional circumstances may be invoked as a justification for torture.

The current equivocations which one hears in the media regarding the meaning of torture can be described as nothing more than politically motivated distractions because the meaning of torture is clear in the law: Torture is defined as any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental is intentionally inflicted on a person for the purpose of obtaining information or for punishment or intimidation. Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment are included in the definition of the crime of torture.

That being the case, I find it inexplicable that the Justice Department has not moved forward with all due speed in investigating and in initiating appropriate prosecutions in this area. I received an email from Congressman Robert Wexler the other day advising that he was in the process of petitioning your office to appoint a Special Prosecutor for war crimes. It troubled me that a petitioning process would be necessary in an area as grave as this. One would think that the Justice Department would have already initiated the necessary investigative and prosecutorial processes on its own without the necessity for outside pressure of any kind. Given the extreme gravity of the situation I presume that your office fully realizes that full-scale criminal investigation is absolutely essential and that the good-standing of the United States in the world community is at stake here.

I fully understand that there have been enormous political tensions surrounding the issue of the criminal prosecution of war crimes; but I also know that you are a man of integrity and unquestionably devoted to the rule of law. I also know from your public statements that you will not under any circumstances tolerate the politicization of the Justice Department. Therefore I am confident that you would not hesitate to resign as Attorney General if you were in any way prevented by political forces from investigating and prosecuting criminal violations as serious and as detrimental to our national persona as those alleged. I am certain that you are aware that crimes of this tremendous magnitude simply cannot be swept under the rug to serve the needs of anyone’s political agenda.

Can you advise when you expect that a Special Prosecutor will be appointed in this matter and when we can expect that the criminal investigations will be in process? My own opinion is the sooner the better. The TV debates are becoming more and more tedious and immaterial; and delays in fully engaging these issues will result in irreparable harm to the very foundations of our national sense of justice.

Very truly yours,

Alfred E. McGuire, JD, Ph.D.

( Letter sent electronically to AG Holder on 5/19/09 and published in Diary Section of oped on the same date)

A Word to Former VP Cheney

There have been many risings and settings of the sun since I practiced law; but I think I still remember enough to provide you with a few words of advice: Stay off the talk shows and keep your mouth shut really tight because you and your ex-boss Mr. Bush may well be on the way to the slammer. Your legacy is the last thing you have to worry about. That’s set in bronze forever and history will record both you and Mr. Bush as the two who invented and pursued a phony war by which you sent hundreds of thousands of human beings to their deaths for no reason other than your egomania, power-madness, greed, paranoia and stupidity. History will also record you and Mr. Bush as colossal sociopaths who for year after year failed and refused to put an end to the needless slaughter, mayhem and destruction even though you knew full well that there had been no reason whatsoever to begin the war in the first place. But don’t worry. You will have company on the bronze plaque. Among them will be the name of Barack Obama who failed to put a prompt end to it all.

And as to the torture- Oh, I’m sorry- “enhanced interrogation”- you and Mr. Bush initiated and authorized, well, what will happen in that regard will depend upon the decisions of the aforementioned Mr. Obama and the reaction of the American people to those decisions. Thus far you can breathe a little easy; but as I’ve said, keep your mouth shut because the tables may turn and everything you say may be held against you. And if the tables do turn it can get really hairy because you’ll not only have the torture charges to worry about but also any deaths that might have resulted from the torture. In that case you’ll have murder charges to fret over as well. But, as I say, breathe a little easier for the time being. Mr. Obama doesn’t believe that heinous international crimes should be prosecuted and he’s got the complicit corporate media and a host of obeisant politicians to support him. And, look, if you do finally get indicted Mr.Obama may well start a legal fund to help with your defense.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Varahi Devi

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A True Progressive Democrat Must Run Against Obama in 2012

It’s clear that the Republican party has no effective leadership today. But what about the Democratic party? Do you really want to call the course that Barack Obama has been on leadership? Here was the golden opportunity to reverse the downward course our country had been placed on by Bush and Cheney. Here was the open road to restoring our sense of self-worth as Americans and restoring our standing in the world. Here was the new horizon of restoration and renewal. And what did Barack Obama do with it all? He threw it all down the tube of mediocrity, the stagnant tank of business-as-usual. This man is definitely not the leader many of us worked so hard to get into the White House and we had better start facing that brutal fact and stop closing our eyes to what has become so obvious that it’s continuously cracking us in the face. We have no reason to feel either guilty or inept. What alternative did we have? McCain I won’t even talk about. And Hillary Clinton? The hyper well-heeled Democratic establishment candidate who thought herself a “populist” because she was willing to throw a few extra crumbs at the public. No, there was some hope of real change only with Obama. In reality he was just another variety of the Clinton corporatist with a better line of rhetoric. But we were right to take a chance on him. It didn’t work out but we have nothing to be ashamed about. We had to take the chance. And now we have to rectify the unfortunate results. The future course of the nation depends upon what we do now. If we fail to meet the demands of the task then our country will continue its downward slide and we’ll really have something to be ashamed about.

The old-time comedian Groucho Marx had a line: “I wouldn’t want to belong to any club that accepted me as a member.” There’s Obama’s attitude toward the progressive movement in a nutshell. Progressives chose Obama as their standard-bearer, worked hard and succeeded in getting him elected President. And what did Obama do for them in return? He rejected their basic principles and embarked upon a course of catering to the agenda of those who had tried to defeat him. They won by losing while progressives were left out in the cold confused and disbelieving in what had happened. Obama did not appoint even one person who could be called progressive to his cabinet or to any key position. Instead, he chose old-guard establishment figures. So who got his ear from his first day in office? If you look objectively at Obama’s course of action from the very beginning you will come to the conclusion that he has been driven to establish himself as “respectable” to the Washington plutocracy, whose agent he has been eager to become. It’s as though he had been mentored and appointed as successor by Bush. Oh, I know he throws out a few “populist” feints now and then- but basically it’s Bush all-over-again: the Bush bailouts; the Bush wars; the Bush corporate government. And worst of all the Bush relentless deadening of the American spirit to the point that people will just submit and accept it all. And Obama has consistently sought to protect his predecessor’s administration from investigation and prosecution for criminal acts- which in fact justifies and vindicates the aberrations of the Bush years. The fact is that Obama just couldn’t wait to take his place with the moneyed establishment. And it’s their agenda that he will pursue. There will be no substantial change. There will only be subterfuge.

The mistake too many of us are making is harboring the hope that Obama’s actions will finally come to reflect his campaign rhetoric. They will not. Obama has set his course and his hubris, his misguided ambition and his lack of innovative courage will keep him on that course. And unfortunately there may be no effective counterforce. Obama’s agenda will be supported by the complicit corporate media; the exhaustion, depression and denial of progressive elements; and the distraction of a population preoccupied with economic survival. The Brave New World commences- or rather- continues. That’s what I see happening unless we finally get our voice and assert our collective power. That certainly hasn’t happened yet. It had better start happening soon. And it has to be more action than talk, including most importantly choosing and putting in place the strongest possible progressive Democrat to run against Obama in 2012.