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.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Friday, June 01, 2012

Obama Heads Murder Incorporated ( By Stephen Lendman, OpEdNews, June 1, 2012 )

Obama's wars increase body counts daily. New ones planned will add more. Death squads operate in 120 or more countries. So do CIA agents licensed to kill. US citizens may be targeted at home or abroad. No one anywhere is safe. Summary judgment means no arrests. No Miranda rights. No due process. No trial. Just a bullet, bomb or slit throat. It's official Obama policy. Diktat authority affords justice to no one ordered killed.
On May 29, The New York Times upped the stakes. Its article headlined "Secret 'Kill List' Proves a Test of Obama's Principles and Will," saying:Obama "placed himself at the helm of a top secret 'nominations' process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical." In other words, he appointed himself judge, jury and executioner. Despot authority is official administration policy. Diktats decide who lives or dies.Anyone called Al Qaeda or accused of terrorist connections gets marked for death.What "moral and legal conundrum" could he face, asked The Times. None whatever.
On day one in office, he spurned rule of law principles. He adopted George Bush's ideology. His predecessor called "the Constitution....just a G-damn piece of paper."Obama feels the same. He's comfortable with "unitary executive" authority. It puts him above the law. Chalmers Johnson called it "a ball-faced assertion of presidential supremacy....dressed up in legalistic mumbo jumbo."International law is quaint and out-of-date, he believes. Diktat authority replaced it. The former constitutional law professor abandoned what he taught. He campaigned against war and torture. In office, he exceeded the worst of his predecessor.He usurped the power of life and death, including against US citizens. He's got final "kill list" authority. Policy prioritizes killing by drones, death squads, or other means. Only eliminating America's enemies matter. Whether real or imagined makes no difference. The more removed, the greater the number replacing them.
According to national security adviser Thomas Donilon:"He is determined that he will make these decisions about how far and wide these operations will go. His view is that he's responsible for the position of the United States in the world. He's determined to keep the tether pretty short." His "aggressive counterterrorism record" baffles supporters and critics alike. Secrecy obscures policies. Shadow war actions aren't publicized. Deadly force is approved "without hand-wringing." So is fork-tongued politics, torture and other lawless practices.
For Obama, killing Americans comes "easy." Waging war on Islam is policy. So is take no prisoners. Counterterrorism is cover for wholesale or retail slaughter. Collateral deaths don't matter.US Pakistan ambassador, Cameron Munter, complained about CIA drone strikes. He told colleagues "he didn't realize his main job was to kill people."Obama and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan collaborate on who lives or dies. Both match each other's bloodthirstiness. "Just war" thinking overrides rule of law principles and moral considerations."Drones have replaced Guantanamo as the recruiting tool of choice for militants." America needs enemies to justify war.
Avoiding peace and stability is policy.Former national intelligence director Dennis Blair said:"The steady refrain in the White House was (targeted killing) is the only game in town - reminded me of body counts in Vietnam." Unanswered is when will killing stop? Who'll denounce what's unconscionable? Who in government believes right over wrong matters most? No one around Obama dares. His administration doesn't tolerate justice, morality, and rule of law principles.On matters of war and peace, only imperial interests matter. Ends justify means."A phalanx of retired generals and admirals stood behind Mr. Obama on the second day of his presidency." They "provid(ed) martial cover as he signed several executive orders to make good on campaign pledges. Brutal interrogation techniques were banned, he declared. And the prison at Guantánamo Bay would be closed." Guantanamo remains open. Other torture prisons expanded. Every major promise made was broken. Wars rage without end. New ones are planned. Killing like sport continues daily.
Unlike voters who believed in him, he "was never carried away by his own rhetoric." Lying came easily. So did going rogue. Amoral realpolitik defines his thinking.Morality has no place in government. Nor do human rights and other democratic values. Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel calls it "cold-blooded (thinking) about the self-interests of your nation." Body counts don't matter, just objectives.From inception, Obama's doctrine featured human sacrifice for unchallenged dominance. Winning alone matters. Anything goes is policy. He has final say.
In 2008, campaign national security strategists advised "pragmatism over ideology." Urging it "reinforced the president's instincts."Policy rules out nothing. Rhetoric woos supporters. Major objectives aren't deterred. They include war, torture, rendition, military commissions, indefinite detentions, and targeted killings. Nothing stands in his way. He's ruthless. His public persona hides it. Those around him know better.Openly he urges sparing innocent lives. Privately he doesn't give a damn. Under Bush, Iraq and Afghanistan rules of engagement were kill every military aged man in sight. Obama changed nothing.Mostly civilians die. Policies don't distinguish militants from noncombatants.
In Libya alone, NATO killed over 100,000. Killer gangs took many more lives. No one kept count or cared. Obama's thinking reflects it. Pragmatism alone matters. Humanity is someone else's problem. Everyone targeted in strike zones is fair game. Being there means they're "up to no good," even women and children.An unnamed official said "Al Qaeda is an insular, paranoid organization - innocent neighbors don't hitchhike rides in the back of trucks headed for the border with guns and bombs." The same goes for residents where militants are targeted. Being there justifies indiscriminate killing.Official counts distort reality. Combatants alone are killed, they claim.
Independent analysts say as many as 50 civilians die for every militant. In combat theaters everywhere, ordinary people suffer most.Former intelligence and government officials admit it. According to one:"It bothers me when they say there were seven guys, so they must all be militants. They count the corpses" but don't care who they are. National security advisor Donilon says Obama "is a president who is quite comfortable with the use of force on behalf of the United States."Forgotten is candidate Obama's pledge to end America's wars. On October 27, 2007, he said:"I will promise you this, that if we have not gotten our troops out (of Afghanistan and Iraq) by the time I am president, it is the first thing I will do." "I will get our troops home. We will bring an end to (these wars). You can take that to the bank."
He also promised hope, change, a new era of peace, upholding democratic values, closing Guantanamo in one year, ending torture, no more illegal spying and detention without trial, "a new era of openness," equitable immigration reform, keeping the Internet free and open, negotiations with Syria, Iran and other countries targeted for regime change, and much more.In office, he broke every major promise made. Loyal constituents were betrayed. Imperial and corporate considerations were prioritized. Popular needs went begging. Arrogance, unaccountability, and contempt for democratic values define his presidency. Rule of law principles don't matter. Take no prisoners is prioritized. If reelected, imagine what's ahead in a second term.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Elder Green

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.
The woman apologized and explained, "We didn't have this
green thing back in my earlier days."
The young clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations."
She was right -- our generation didn't have the
green thing in its day.
Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.
But we didn't have the green thing back in our day. Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.
But too bad we didn't do the green thing back then.
We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.
But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.
Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throwaway kind. We dried
clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts --
wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got
hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new
But that young lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day.
Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana . In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power.We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.
But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then.
We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.
But we didn't have the green thing back then.
Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the
nearest burger joint.
But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?