Thursday, 9/5/13, Public Square


by | September 5, 2013 · 6:00 am

30 responses to “Thursday, 9/5/13, Public Square

  1. Congress would benefit greatly from a bunch of Bernie Sanders types. Around 535 seems like a good goal.

    • Where are we going to find those 535 from?

      • Not in Kansas or Oklahoma, that’s for sure!

      • Hi, humble. Great question! I agree with prairiepond’s answer too!

        Is it possible since President Obama knows republicans live to undermine him that he is hoping (just like me) the republican congress critters vote NO WAR ACTIONS AGAINST SYRIA?

        I read this op-ed this morning, among a bunch of other news articles and op-ed pieces that weren’t nearly as hopeful and uplifting. I want badly to believe this man’s opinion is valid! I really want it even more when I think about a President Paul or Cruz or … And, don’t we know there will be such a president by one of those names or some name of a person with similar lack of abilities to think critically — a similar ideologue? Yes, one of these types will be president again — look back to Reagan or Bush2 for proof. Voters aren’t smarter today. Even tho the Oligarchy didn’t get their choice last time doesn’t mean they won’t spend more next time to influence the low information voters. Anyway, back to this op-ed which tells us President Obama is smart, frequently leaves his opponents in the dust and thinks long term. The writer (father of a US Marine deployed in Bush’s miserable unjustified wars of choice) says that President Obama has, “deliberately turned back the clock on presidential military intervention prerogatives to the World War Two paradigm. Whatever happens in Congress now the president has made it much harder for future presidents to pull a George W. Bush stunt and take America into dumb wars” and then explains why. It’s a good read and it lifted my spirits!

        The Left and Right Entirely Missed the Point of Obama Deferring to Congress on Syria

  2. Bernie gets right to the point – doesn’t he?

  3. I almost forgot.

    BENGHAZI !!!

    I understand this is the current talking point (still) 🙂

  4. If you read anything today, please include this. There’s a video too, shot in April, smuggled out of Syria a few days ago. Draw your own conclusions as always but please include this information when you do.

    (from the link): Across much of Syria, where rebels with Western support live and fight, areas outside of government influence have evolved into a complex guerrilla and criminal landscape.

    That has raised the prospect that American military action could inadvertently strengthen Islamic extremists and criminals.

    Brutality of Syrian Rebels Posing Dilemma in West

  5. When a self-professed ‘liberal’ says anything about property having more value than life, the comeback default position of “conservatives” is always to bring up abortion. We can speak of Citizens United, wars, food stamps, affordable health care, a myriad of subjects and always be ridiculed and dismissed if we think women have the right to choose. Likewise, we liberals will always think of the many ways conservatives seem to hold little regard for life after birth — deaths from gun violence, war, the death penalty, violence against women, poor maternal health, poor nutrition, and lack of pre-natal care… Even fracking is linked to miscarriages so we could bring in protecting our environment as a valid reason in this discussion of “protecting life.”

    The most extreme conservatives are also against the most-effective forms of birth control. They won’t listen to scientific evidence that birth control prevents conception (when life begins according to their beliefs), thus saves ‘the life’ of half or more of the eggs that are fertilized. Yes, over half of early pregnancies result in the end of this life they say they’re protecting. Over half of pregnancies end without the woman ever knowing her egg had been fertilized — it’s actually more natural and happens more often than carrying a pregnancy to term. If that conception had been prevented that “life” would have been saved. Like every argument it goes roundandround and most people have ‘chosen’ their opinions and aren’t interested in reevaluating their conclusions.

    We can all count on the argument continuing.

    So, here we are at a discussion of war, or at least actions of war. A person like me who is a self-described pacifist but also respects every woman’s right to choose is automatically dismissed. Is there a way of getting past this divide? If we hadn’t had a Roe v Wade SCOTUS decision, or if it was overturned, would we go back to the way it was: every woman who had the money would have a safe abortion if she chose and every woman without the money would endanger her life in the back alleys because she couldn’t afford to make safe choices?

  6. I could bring thousands of stories just like this one to our blog. People are mean, people are selfish, greedy, and most of us aren’t even kind or willing to offer dignity to all others (aka human). Yep! flaws abound among us. Yet as a group we’ll tout our morals and our religion and … Who are we trying to convince? Why are we justifying our actions? More than 30 states have adopted some form of the ALEC-written ‘stand your ground’ laws. Gun owners today have arsenals, and our society doesn’t even care about doing background checks on gun owners.

    Property has more value than life. I find this heart breaking.

    “An annual rafting trip down Missouri’s Meramec River ended with a deadly shooting, after a group of several dozen family members pulled over on a gravel bank to rest. James Crocker, whose house is located up land from the gravel bank, is being charged for killing Paul Dart. In his defense, he is invoking the state’s Castle Doctrine, the law expanded in some states into what is now known as Stand Your Ground, but increasingly robust in its own right.

    Dart and his companions had been traveling down the river for several hours before the stop, and two other members of the group needed to relieve themselves. According to local reports, tens of thousands of people come to the region every year to float down the river in rafts, canoes, and kayaks, and property owners along the river become frustrated at regular visitor traffic along the banks by oftentimes rowdy, drinking “floaters.”
    According to testimony at a court hearing, Crocker approached the group of floaters accompanying Dart and asked them to leave. Crocker says he did so politely and only became angry once the family started throwing rocks; the family says Crocker initiated the confrontation by yelling and fired two shots in their direction, one of which hit Dart in the face. They disputed that the gravel bank was part of his property, and defended their right to be there.

    Crocker is contending that he was defending his property, and as an Associated Press report points out, the case will come down in part to whether the disputed section is actually part of Crocker’s property. When asked if Crocker could have called 911 instead, he said, “I guess I could have, but it’s my property and I was going to protect it.”

  7. Ginger and I are going to the park. If my bladder can hold these several cups of coffee we’re going to make it an extra-long walk!

  8. wicked

    There will never be another George Carlin.

    We Like War

    • I’ll echo 6176 — YEP!

      • wicked

        Sorry I didn’t embed. I forgot how and was in a hurry to go pickup youngest g-daughter at pre-K.

        I think my middle name should be changed to I-Forgot.

    • wicked

      LOVED the way the audience reacted in this clip!

      I watched a good GC on Netflix a week or so ago. I intend to go back and watch as many as I can. I’m eternally grateful we have the ability to do these things.

  9. Some history here about chemical weapons use.

    This is from 2003 —

    (from the link): AMMAN, Jordan— In calling for regime change in Iraq, George W. Bush has accused Saddam Hussein of being a man who gassed his own people. Bush is right, of course. The public record shows that Saddam’s regime repeatedly spread poisonous gases on Kurdish villages in 1987 and 1988 in an attempt to put down a persistent rebellion.

    The biggest such attack was against Halabja in March 1988. According to local organizations providing relief to the survivors, some 6,800 Kurds were killed, the vast majority of them civilians.

    It is a good thing that Bush has highlighted these atrocities by a regime that is more brutal than most. Yet it is cynical to use them as a justification for American plans to terminate the regime. By any measure, the American record on Halabja is shameful.

    Halabja : America didn’t seem to mind poison gas


    For more history from the Reagan years here is a current piece —

    (from the link): In 1988, during the waning days of Iraq’s war with Iran, the United States learned through satellite imagery that Iran was about to gain a major strategic advantage by exploiting a hole in Iraqi defenses. U.S. intelligence officials conveyed the location of the Iranian troops to Iraq, fully aware that Hussein’s military would attack with chemical weapons, including sarin, a lethal nerve agent.

    The intelligence included imagery and maps about Iranian troop movements, as well as the locations of Iranian logistics facilities and details about Iranian air defenses. The Iraqis used mustard gas and sarin prior to four major offensives in early 1988 that relied on U.S. satellite imagery, maps, and other intelligence. These attacks helped to tilt the war in Iraq’s favor and bring Iran to the negotiating table, and they ensured that the Reagan administration’s long-standing policy of securing an Iraqi victory would succeed. But they were also the last in a series of chemical strikes stretching back several years that the Reagan administration knew about and didn’t disclose.

    U.S. officials have long denied acquiescing to Iraqi chemical attacks, insisting that Hussein’s government never announced he was going to use the weapons. But retired Air Force Col. Rick Francona, who was a military attachĂ© in Baghdad during the 1988 strikes, paints a different picture.

    “The Iraqis never told us that they intended to use nerve gas. They didn’t have to. We already knew,” he told Foreign Policy.

    According to recently declassified CIA documents and interviews with former intelligence officials like Francona, the U.S. had firm evidence of Iraqi chemical attacks beginning in 1983. At the time, Iran was publicly alleging that illegal chemical attacks were carried out on its forces, and was building a case to present to the United Nations. But it lacked the evidence implicating Iraq, much of which was contained in top secret reports and memoranda sent to the most senior intelligence officials in the U.S. government. The CIA declined to comment for this story.

    It has been previously reported that the United States provided tactical intelligence to Iraq at the same time that officials suspected Hussein would use chemical weapons. But the CIA documents, which sat almost entirely unnoticed in a trove of declassified material at the National Archives in College Park, Md., combined with exclusive interviews with former intelligence officials, reveal new details about the depth of the United States’ knowledge of how and when Iraq employed the deadly agents. They show that senior U.S. officials were being regularly informed about the scale of the nerve gas attacks. They are tantamount to an official American admission of complicity in some of the most gruesome chemical weapons attacks ever launched.

    If you go to the link, you may want to read some of the comments too, you might read about the plans of the oligarchs and pause to consider —

    • wicked

      Well, you know our military & government. It’s okay when they say it is and it’s not okay when they say it isn’t. Makes a person want to kick and scream and cry.

  10. As you all know – I have been on that fence when it comes to using drones.

    BUT…..what difference is there if a US drone kills innocent people or if the Syrian dictator uses chemical weapons to kill innocent people?

    Dead is Dead……

    This is what I mean when I say the US has no moral grounds on which to go into Syria and stand up to Assad.

    Please, this is just another pissing contest ….IMHO

  11. Man, these guys are giving Donald Rumsfeld a run for his money.

    (from the link): “Indeed, the legal argument for attacking Syria on humanitarian grounds comes down to the claim that, by doing so, the United States will be helping to bring about a new customary norm of international law that does not yet exist. The paradoxes involved in this argument are considerable, as it requires asserting that we are violating international law to punish Syria for violating international law, but we are doing so in such a way so as to – eventually – change international law so that our violation won’t be a violation in the future.”

    Striking Syria is Completely Illegal

    • Attacking Syria without a UN mandate would violate international law, if there is any such thing. “International Law” is a veneer placed over Real Politik. From Paris in 1919 to Malta 1944 to Neuremberg 1945 to San Fransisco 1950 and beyond: great powers get to do whatever they want unless there is someone powerful enough to stop them. There is no such thing as international sovereignty, nor constitutional accountability to an electorate– therefore, there is no penalty, therefore there is no “International Law”.

      • The United States stands for DEMOCRACY. That’s why we tried to overthrow Fidel Castro, because he wasn’t democratically elected.

        But wait a minute . . . how about Mohammad Mosaddegh, the elected PM of Iran, who we ousted in favor of a hereditary monarch, the Shah? Or Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala? Or Ngo Diem Diem in Vietnam in 1963? Or our support for Indonesian occupation of East Timor? Or plans to assassinate Hugo Chavez?

        Meanwhile, our current and recent international “allies” are Israel, which doesn’t let one-third of its population (Palestinians) vote in its elections; Saudi Arabia, a theocratic feudal monarchy; Franco’s Spain; Augusto Pinochet, who escaped conviction for crimes against humanity only because he died before trial, Anastazio Somoza; Suharto of Indonesia, who became “president” after knocking off the real president, and on and on it goes.

        So . . . the US foreign policy then defines “democracy” as a compliant client state, willing to sell out national resources and access to wealth to large multi-national corporations. An un-democratic state, even if it conducts free and fair elections like Venezuela, is one which protects its economy from the ravening of foreign powers.

        These “undemocratic states” become then either “communist” or “terrorist” even if they are a real democracy. Ironically, a state proclaiming itself communist like China can be part of the democracy club because it has sold its biggest asset–labor–extremely cheaply to big money.

      • Just one more example that comes to mind: Iran is far more democratic than just about any other Mid-Eastern state one can mention (with the possible exception of Israel, which makes millions of Arab exiles stateless). Yet, it is the House of Saud who is our “ally,” and the Iranians who are the hated exporters of international terrorism.

        Translation: Iran won’t sell its oil to western companies as cheaply as Arabia does. If they took Arabia’s deal, they’d be our long-lost bosom buddies.

      • wicked

        We (the U.S. government) choose our “friends” by how best they can make us (our fat cats) richer.

      • Agree 100% with you wicked.

        KInda like the way these mega church preachers and televangelist now do business – huh?

        Show them the money….and they will be your honey…

  12. Now this is an aggressive military action I could really get behind!

    Poll: Majority Of Americans Approve Of Sending Congress To Syria,33752/

  13. I thought of something today……

    What if this is Obama’s chess playing again?

    Bear with me – if the vast majority of Americans – and the vast majority of Congress Critters are against going to war over Syria….then Obama would be foolish to go forward with this plan.

    Politically – Obama would have the justification to not proceed with these war plans and then leave McCain and his fellow old War Horses foaming at the mouth……with no support.

    We have been a deeply divided country for 5 years and that will destroy us long before any damn war would.

    Maybe Obama is playing ‘devil’s advocate’ and putting himself up there as a target for sane people on both sides of the political aisle -in an effort to bring this country together?

    And if the old war horses like McCain and others want to continue on their warpath – then in the midterm election – which party will get the majority of the blame for being pushing for war?

    Either Obama is brilliant – or he truly has joined McCain and gone off the deep end with a big plunge into Krazee Klown Town..

    All Obama would have to do is to pull back and say ….the majority of Americans do not want war – so we will not do it.

    And then we’ll see Israel and the Saudis get knocked back on their heels and what will they do?

    If these two countries want war so damn bad —– they have war planes they got from America – go use them. And leave US the hell alone.

    • wicked

      Somewhere I read that Obama can’t do nothing, because “charges” could be filed for something-or-other against him and impeachment proceedings could start. Whether that’s true or not, I don’t know, but he’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. I only know what I want (or don’t want), but I rarely get my way, so why bother?

      • CONServatives have been foaming at the mouth for any charges they can bring against Obama……why would they stop at waiting for the truth?

        Obama is in a damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t spot.

        IMHO – that has always been the case for any president..