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Full article with hyperlinks found here:

http://danbojangles.wordpress.com/...

You clicked!!  This will be quick, and painless.  Check your current political identity at the door.  Republican, Democrats, Conservatives, Libertarians, Progressives, Tea Party, Occupy, Independents…Anarchists..whatever!   Everyone is welcome here.  The purpose of this tiny article is to *try* to bring us together.

I shall do my best.

Social media has probably done more to familiarize us with the (unsolicited) opinions of others than anything since the advent of booze!  Since joining Facebook, you’ve probably learned that your cousin ALWAYS disagrees with the results of Dancing with the Stars, your former boss HATES the Yankees, and that girl/guy you met at that bar in 2009 totally loves/hates whatever..  As unique beings, we’re blessed with our own, wholly personal perspective on things as diverse as performance-enhancing drugs in sports, twerking celebs, and grumpy cats.  To varying degrees, we feel comfortable sharing our opinions via social media.  For the most part, our opinions are welcomed, or met with minimal resistance.

”Political Opinion” enters  

First, what we all already know..  Talking about politics on Facebook is dangerous!  Not “dangerous” in the sense that some faceless NSA agent is watching your every status update, waiting for you to say a buzzword which lands you on a no-fly list..  Dangerous in the sense that your opinion is guaranteed to stand at odds with a sizable chunk of your friends-list; a reality for which there are real consequences.  Sure, you can be “unfriended,” or have your opinion “blocked” from sundry “newsfeeds,” but, there’s more..  I can confidently assure you that friends/family didn’t stop acknowledging my existence (outside of Facebook) because of my impassioned Facebook opinion of Honey Boo Boo.

In sum, nothing divides friends/family/lovers/classmates/coworkers/humanity as quickly, and efficiently, as the modern-day political opinion.  For the sake of brevity, we, social media-using humans in 2013, can agree that humanity is politically polarized. As regards my “point,” which I assure you is forthcoming, it matters not whether political polarization is innately “human,” is being spurred along by some “clever” opportunists in government/media as a means of furthering a centuries-old strategy of “divide-and-conquer,” or even if it’s good or bad.  All that matters, in my humble estimation, is that a substantial chunk of humans have walked away from the “politics on Facebook” experience with the opinion that it’s not a proper medium for civil discourse — and that’s a crying shame!

As luck would have it, there’s FINALLY a political position on which an overwhelming majority of Americans currently find agreement.  Finally, a place where we can dip our heavily partisan or totally unaffiliated feet into a common water, and be refreshed by the familiar wash of civility, and solidarity..

WAR.

The (narrowly averted?) push for US military intervention in the bloody Syrian civil war effectively awoke the war-weary masses to the reality that, as tragic and gruesome as armed conflict can be, the only (non-defensive) role a nation of peace-loving, law-abiding people can play is that of a facilitator of armistice.  Unlike the overwhelmingly partisan tussle that marked our ill-fated, ill-advised intervention/occupation of Iraq.. or the (ostensibly) unending occupation of Afghanistan.. or the ongoing drone bombing campaign currently terrorizing and slaughtering civilians (including first responders), “militants,” and innocent Americans in Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen.. or our unauthorized (Congressionally) intervention in Libya —  the proposed intervention in Syria has met with a resounding “NO.”  A recent poll showed that a mere 9% of Americans supported US intervention in the Syrian civil war, despite an elaborate appeal to the emotions of the everyday American on behalf of President Obama, and a bipartisan smattering of professional Washington politicians.  The country which had numerous times before accepted the call to police the world, and offer its “humanitarian” assistance (in the form of depleted uranium munitions, and precision guided missiles), in addition to its blood and treasure, had FINALLY said “no.”

For a young, but hardened, critic of our self-perpetuating foreign policy of meddling — “no” is more than sufficient.  To play off the iconic film “Fight Club,” the first rule of Antiwar Club is: THERE ARE NO RULES.  As promised, there will be no politicizing in this article.  To me, it matters not why you count yourself among the majority in wishing to abstain from yet another foreign military entanglement.. only that you do.  Whether you feel that:

– Arming/aiding al Qaeda fighters is a bad policy, with predictable consequences

– The recent chemical weapons attack appears to be a “false flag” provocation

– America lacks the moral authority to intervene because of previous/current use of chemical/radioactive agents in battle (Agent Orange in Vietnam, white phosphorus in Iraq, depleted uranium throughout the Middle East, or its recently revealed role in aiding Iraq in using chemical weapons against Iran)

– America possesses the moral authority to intervene but would be unable to pick a “winner,” or enact a logical plan of attack that wouldn’t lead to further aggression

Maybe your objection is legal..or fiscal..or moral.  Perhaps you’re in the majority of Americans who can’t find Syria on a map, and (not being bothered to correct that) rightly have a hang up about bombing it..  To me, it’s inconsequential.  All that matters is that it’s recognized as an important topic that deserves national debate.  Social media can facilitate that debate, just as it has for American Idol, and college football.

In keeping with the theme of focusing on humanity’s similarities, I’d like to briefly explain my strongest objection to intervention in the Syrian civil war.  It emerges from another realm that has been traditionally seen as divisive — religion.  Though recently and occasionally forsaken (by supposed adherents), I would argue that it predates religion, and has been recognized as truth in all human interaction since the dawn of man.  I speak of course of The Golden Rule.

Let’s imagine for a moment that America erupted into a bloody civil war next month, October 2013.  We’ll keep it very simple; two well-armed factions vying for control over the landmass once known as the United States of America.  Suppose that you and your family are caught in the middle.  Imagine that you don’t necessarily agree with intentions of either armed faction.  Imagine that you only desire peace and stability.  Imagine that you don’t have access to weapons to defend yourself from the war that edges ever closer to your home, nor the means to flee.  In essence, you’re trapped.  NOW, imagine that the world’s “super power”..let’s say Greenland..decided that it was in YOUR best interest if it intervened in the conflict.  Its proposal is to launch cruise missiles into your country, to teach one of the factions a lesson for killing some people, while simultaneously arming the other faction.  You pause, and reflect.  You recall that for as long as you’ve been alive (~25 years), Greenland has continually asserted itself in the affairs of other nations/peoples under the pretense of “humanitarian” aid, often with consequences that speak to the opposite.  You recall that Greenland employed brutal sanctions aimed at harming the Iraqi regime that instead resulted in the death of between 500,000 and 1,000,000 children under the age of 5.  You recall that you occasionally hear reports of Greenland’s ongoing drone bombing campaign in the Middle East, and the scores of innocent men, women, and children that are decimated by errant bombs, or misguided intelligence reports.  You pause, look at your young family, and ask yourself:  “will a guided missile solve my problems?”  “Will a guided missile solve ANY of the problems for any of the millions of people caught between the brutality of two armed factions intent of killing?”  You’re suddenly struck with the realization that bombs and missiles don’t discriminate, and that innocent people will surely be killed by this proposed “humanitarian” intervention.  You huddle your young family together and ask yourself: “is more death really our best and only solution?”   “Am I willing to sacrifice my innocent family so that others might live?”

That’s PRECISELY what we’re proposing by supporting the intervention proposed by the bipartisan salespeople in our government, and their dutiful satellites in the media.  Innocent people are going to be killed by in US intervention.  Innocent people were killed by American intervention in Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, Pakistan, Afghanistan..and that’s just in last 5 years.  In addition to this being the main motivation for those we conveniently label “terrorists,” it absolutely challenges the concept of the Golden Rule.  Would you sacrifice your family to a cruise missile strike so that others might *might* live?  If your answer is “no” then you have something to Facebook about!

I suppose I could end this piece with a towering climax, dripping with feigned ascendency about exactly what to do, and how to do it.  I’ll stick to the easy path — the truth as I see it in this..the present moment.  Humans are always going to disagree, and that’s ok!  Disagreements, differing opinions, debates — these are the things which propel us forward into realms of thought we might otherwise have never entertained.  Think about a previously held position, from which you now couldn’t be further.  We all have them.  Perhaps you owe it to a colorful debate with a friend or loved one.  Perhaps it even happened on Facebook!  Which brings us back to the star of this piece — social media.

I have no idea what will happen if you update your Facebook status with a tiny little political opinion.  You could anger someone.  You could pleasantly surprise another!  It could be totally overlooked, but leave you with a satisfied feeling of having spoken your mind.  That’s for you to find out.  If my observations, as a politically-outspoken Facebooker for nearly 7 years, lend any credibility..  listen to me when I tell you that NOW is a perfect time to test the social media waters; to offer balance to your pop culture opinions with a dash of politics.  Might I suggest a topic?  Something which, at the present moment, offers the highest likelihood of making only the slightest, well-received ripple:

Why do you oppose intervening in the Syrian civil war?

Oh yeah..  “Like” me on Facebook..

Discuss
actual letter w/ hyperlinks available here:
http://danbojangles.wordpress.com/...

Dear Humanity,

I know — you’re expecting me to say, “OMG, y’all — I’m so sorry for my twerk heard ’round the world,” but..I’m not.  I’m just not.  I’m a 20 year old kid, with some singing ability, an attractive enough physique, and a care-free attitude, who’s paid to walk out onto a stage, and twerk it!  I did just that.  I twerked.  Guilty as charged.   I twerked all up on the guy in the “Beetlejuice suit.”  I twerked in the Smith family’s face.  I twerked on national television.  I twerked the world — and I liked it!  I twerked, and I’ll do it again!  I’m NOT sorry.  Well, that’s not entirely accurate.  I’m very sorry, but not for my absolutely harmless rump-shakin’.

It’s like this…  I’m a star.  As a young Hollywood celebrity, I want, need, as much publicity as possible.  It’s how I remain relevant in a business always looking for younger, prettier, sexier…wilder.  I knew, when I slid into my skin-tight, gold-colored booty shorts, with intent to twerk, that publicity was headin’ my way.  Not because “twerkin” is so shocking, but because I’m “Hannah Montana” — daughter of be-mulleted heartthrob, Billy Ray Cyrus!  I expected “publicity” because my “act” would crystallize my “Disney Girl Gone Bad (read: adult)” transformation, like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Lindsay Lohan before me!  And when I say “publicity,” I’m not talking about your TMZ, and Perez Hilton coverage…I’m talkin’ national coverage!  Well — I got it.

I’m so sorry, humanity.

I’m sorry that I allowed myself to be used as a complete, and utter, distraction from the criminality that’s passing as discourse for American foreign policy proposals.  I’m sorry that, for days on end, CNN, MSNBC, and FOX News ceaselessly shoved my fleshy tush into your faces, and convinced you it was necessary to form an opinion AT THE EXPENSE of forming an opinion about the legality/morality of US intervention in the Syrian civil war.  I’m dreadfully sorry that my desire to shake my image (and booty) has become THE MOST pressing national discussion, at a time when our President decides whether to unilaterally, and without NECESSARY Congressional approval, rain down cruise missiles upon a nation that poses ZERO risk to the safety our nation (as stipulated as a requirement in the War Powers Resolution).  You know what’s easier to talk about than whether President Obama is planning to violate the Constitution by making war with Syria?  A 20 year old Disney star who twerked before a nation that’s skillfully shuffled from distraction to distraction.  :-/

If the United States intervenes, and drops “humanitarian” bombs on Syria, innocent people will die.  They’ll be as innocent as the nearly two hundred children slaughtered in US drone strikes.  As innocent as the civilian first responders killed in “double tap” drone strikes.  As innocent as the 500 thousand to 1 million Iraqi children under 5 who died as a result of US sanctions.  As innocent as the scores of sickened, and disfigured, souls who’ve been (knowingly) exposed to radioactive depleted uranium munitions.  As innocent as the victims of the gassing attack, for which the United States is suddenly compelled to fight a war.

I’m afraid that Syria is a mess.  The poor, innocent people of Syria are trapped between two (actually myriad) well-armed factions, intent on killing.  Even if America possessed the moral authority to intervene — it couldn’t pick a “winner.”  I feel all I can do, as a conscious, peace-loving human being, is pray for peace, and urge our “leaders” to push for a ceasefire.  We simply can’t solve this problem with bombs.

I’m certain my 5 second twerk at the MTV VMA’s didn’t warrant the attention it’s received.  For that, I feel like a chump.  It reminds me of a lyric from the 2pac song, “Changes“

“I made a G today” But you made it in a sleazy way.

This whole scenario is “sleazy,” but I want to do my part to make this right.  For my role as a distraction from the actual, significant, non-twerking news of the world, I’m genuinely sorry.  To the innocent people of Syria, who will surely perish at the hands of US “humanitarian” bombs, I’m so sorry.  To the American public, who will bear the brunt of future terror attacks resulting from yet another iteration of US foreign policy meddling, I’m sorry for my role in diverting your attention away from a sorely needed national debate.  I’m sorry I didn’t speak out sooner, humanity.

There’s still time to make things right.  Share my letter, read the links, and call/tweet your Congressperson to DEMAND that they assert their authority on the issue of making war.  And.. most importantly..  it’s flapping skin — GET OVER IT!

Love,

Miley <3

Letter not actually penned by Miley Cyrus

Discuss

Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 07:15 PM PDT

BROWN PEOPLE ARE LESS THAN HUMAN

by danbojangles

In this picture taken on Dec. 10, 2010 Pakistani tribal villagers hold a rally to condemn U. S. drone attacks on their villages in border areas along the Afghanistan border. Sadaullah Wazir says he was relaxing in his front yard when the missile struck, hurling him against the wall and mangling his legs so badly that they had to be amputated. Three of his relatives died. Now the 17-year-old and his family want justice from America, which they say was behind the attack. Wazir and several other tribesman traveled to the capital recently to meet lawyers planning to sue the CIA for damages arising from the drone attacks, bringing fresh scrutiny on America&#x27;s covert war inside Pakistan at the end of a year that has seen more strikes than ever before. (AP Photo/B.K.Bangash)
full article with hyperlinks can be found here:

http://danbojangles.wordpress.com/...

Am I right, America?  I mean, they HAVE TO BE!

“Brown people“…namely those in countries like Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, Lebanon, Turkey, Tunisia, Algeria, Mali, Sudan, Egypt, and Syria have been, and continue to be, subjected to American taxpayer-supported, voter-endorsed, silence-approved slaughter, and oppression, of untold proportions.  The ONLY explanation for America’s collective indifference to the plight of a suffering, tortured mass of people is that “we” don’t actually recognize them as “people.”

I arrived at the uncomfortable truth that Americans consider “brown people” to be “less than human” through a process of deduction.  As Americans, we (unquestioningly) hold the “immortal declaration” in the highest regard:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

and so..

If all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, such as Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, THEN men cannot lawfully (or morally) bomb, shoot, oppress, gas, starve, blockade, or irradiate non-aggressing men.

Men ARE bombing, shooting, oppressing, gassing, starving, blockading, and irradiating non-aggressing men.

Thus, not all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, such as Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Why might the “immortal declaration” no longer ring true?

Racism?  Improbable.   Americans have gone to great lengths to distance themselves from accusations of racism.  We’ve instituted “anti-discrimination” reforms such as “affirmative action,” while we carefully self-police our language, and actions.  We publicly, and collectively, excoriate those, like Paula Deen and Riley Cooper, who cross the bounds we’ve settled upon as a progressive, race-conscious society.  Pay no mind to the “war on drugs,” which, without question, disproportionally targets minority communities.  It CAN’T be racism, right?

Religious intolerance?  Absurd.  Sure, most “brown people,” being persecuted as a matter of “policy,” tend to practice a religion that differs from that of a majority of Americans.  BUT, that religion, professed by three quarters of the American population, is a religion peace!  It heralds the return of the “Prince of Peace,” while promoting his message of unconditional love for all, including thine enemy.  Pay no mind to the “Golden Rule” being vigorously booed during a nationally televised political debate.  It CAN’T be religious intolerance, right?

Ignorance?  Not a chance!  Americans NEVER make uninformed decisions.  They’re continuously informed via a venerated American media machine that has never, would never, be complicit in unquestioningly, dutifully advancing unsubstantiated information that would lead to the violent deaths of hundreds of thousands of “brown people.”  Americans know what they’re voting for, endorsing, and funding.  “Those weapons of mass destruction gotta be somewhere!”  It CAN’T be ignorance, right?

Lack of compassion?  Hate?  Malice?  Impossible.  Americans have shown, and continue to display, their capacity for compassion.  One need only look to recent tragedies like the Aurora, Colorado Theater Shooting, the Sandy Hook Elementary Massacre, and the Boston Marathon Bombing for overwhelming displays of empathy, and understanding from the collective America.  We stand defiant in the face of those who would target, and slaughter INNOCENT HUMAN BEINGS.   Pay no mind to the drone bombing of an innocent, 16 year old American from Denver, who was a “brown person,” OR the Nobel laureate responsible.  It CAN’T be a lack of compassion, right?

So..  it must be that “brown people” are simply, biologically “less than human.”  How else could Americans endorse, support, and fund policies like these:

Drone bombing innocent “brown people,” and justifying it with a hollow term like “collateral damage.”  Nearly 200 innocent children, slaughtered while they played, ate, or slept soundly in their beds..dreaming “less than human” dreams.

Drone bombing innocent civilian first responders in “double tap” drone strikes, while they valiantly put care to the wind, and risked their “less than human” lives to offer first-aid to dying “less than human” beings, of questionable “guilt.”

Indefinitely detaining innocent “brown people” for over a decade who’ve never been charged with a crime, endured torturous treatment, and been cleared for released for years WHILE forcibly feeding them as they protest their “less than human” treatment with peaceful hunger strikes.

Employing “crippling sanctions” of the variety which conservative estimates hold to be responsible for the deaths of over 500,000 “brown children.”  “We think the price is worth it,” seeing as they’re “less than human” children.

Overthrowing democratically-elected governments, and installing brutal, repressive dictators to rule over the “less than human” population of numerous countries.  Violently quelling dissent with American-made weapons, purchased through a foreign-aid transfer of wealth.

Providing brutal dictators with strategic military information that aids them in ability to gas “brown people” in another country to death.

Dispersing radioactive depleted uranium munitions across an entire region, to the detriment of countless, innocent, “less than human” “brown people.”

Imprisoning whistleblowers who expose war crimes such as the unconscionable slaying of “less than human” civilian journalists, and targeting of unarmed “less than human” civilian first responders.

Preemptively invading sovereign nations based on (AT BEST) inaccurate intelligence, resulting in the deaths of hundreds and hundreds of thousands of innocent, “less than human” “brown people.”

The atrocities against “less than human” “brown people” are as innumerable as they are harrowing.  Would America tolerate even ONE of the aforementioned acts were it to be committed against its population?  Should any nation?  People?  Person?  As America lazily readies for yet..another..war.. which will surely spell death for untold INNOCENT “brown people,”  I’m struck with a thought:

What if, instead of endless, pointless banter about whether Miley Cyrus’ attempted “twerking” at last night’s MTV VMA’s was hot/not, we took a step back, and asked ourselves if ANYONE in the world should feel justified in claiming the authority to take the life of an innocent human being…whether it’s called “terrorism,” or “collateral damage.”  Then, perhaps, we can get to more personal questions about the hand we undoubtedly lend to the committal of the aforementioned atrocities.

One final thought:  What if the scores of slain, mutilated, starved, and irradiated “less than human” “brown people,” whose lives have been forever altered by American foreign policy, are actually just as human as you..or me..or Miley Cyrus?

Perhaps the revelation would inspire us to speak out, and share this information..about the misery our policies are causing humans around the world, whose hearts beat just like our own.  If you’re convinced ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL, please consider taking a moment of your time to PROVE IT.  While it’s likely too late for the innocent civilians in Syria who stand to die at the hand of US military intervention..speaking out, NOW, is hardly an act of futility.

In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr.  poignantly surmised:

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

You know, in your equally created, beating heart, that King’s words are true.  Now, get out there, and say something!!

Discuss
click link for full article w/ hyperlinks:

http://danbojangles.wordpress.com/...

I respect Bradley Manning.  I respect Manning so much that I actually felt physically ill listening to his lawyer read his passionate, well-articulated plea to President Obama for a pardon, or commuted sentence.  Veritably nauseating.  To think.. a young man, with the courage of his convictions to challenge the moral authority of the greatest purveyor of violence and misery some nations and peaceful peoples have EVER known, would be forced to seek redress for a blatantly unjust prison sentence by appealing to a man unquestionably guilty of the very crimes which he’s been condemned for exposing.  History will not treat this appalling scenario kindly.  But.. what of the present moment?  Are we who are outraged, and overwhelmed, by the hypocrisy supposed to fall in line, and grovel before our king?  Are we to fecklessly sign, and retweet, online petitions demanding a “presidential pardon”..??  Is this the best we can do?

It can’t be.

Army PFC Bradley Manning revealed that our Armed Services have engaged in actions which amount to war crimes.  These war crimes have been, and continue to be, committed with impunity, and, as evidenced by the verdict in Manning’s trial, with zero prospect of accountability.  As revelatory as Manning’s noble whistleblowing efforts were from the standpoint of exposing criminal foreign policy practices, what’s seemingly of greater significance is what its revelation has exposed about humanity.  I’ve perceived a generalized indifference to the plight of the courageous whistleblower.  Sure, a handful of the formerly outspoken mass of “antiwar” celebs have publicly voiced their opposition to the persecution/prosecution of Manning.  Certainly, the lack of coverage from our venerated media machine is partly responsible for the perception of disinterest.  The sparse coverage that was afforded to the Manning centered not on his extraordinarily long, and “torturous,” pre-trial detention, but rather his “gender identity issues,” and unsubstantiated claims that his actions had deadly real-world consequences.  Manning revealed that our human nature, our innate notions of right and wrong…morality and immorality…justice and injustice..has been utterly corrupted.  It’s been eroded to a point where a decree from one we perceive to possess authority is sufficient, conclusive..lawful.  On April 21st 2011 President Obama candidly shared his rationale for prosecuting Bradley Manning, stating:

“We are a nation of laws.  We don’t let individuals make decisions about how the law operates.  He broke the law!

Convenient!  And war crimes?  What of those?

Now, even those Americans who can grasp the full intellectual, and moral, scope of the implications of a wanton executive are nonetheless seeking remedy at his feet?  This will not do.  We can’t “vote” ourselves out of this mess.  We can’t “impeach” ourselves out of this mess.  We can’t beg, bow, or bootlick our way out of this mess.  The ONLY thing we can do is inform ourselves of the injustice that surrounds, and evolve.  There is no authority in our world who has a right to aggress against peaceful people.  Your title is insignificant.  The “peace prize” slung around your neck is irrelevant.  You cannot gun-down journalists, and first responders, with Apache Helicopters.   You cannot drone bomb weddings, funerals, and civilian first responders.  You cannot poison countries with radioactive munitions.  You have ZERO authority.

Bradley Manning deserves to be free.  He deserves to be lauded as the heroic individual that he is.  If we truly want to honor his sacrifice, we won’t settle for begging mercy from the criminals he exposed.  We will push to expose them, and their illegitimate claims to authority.  We must remember that NO ONE has the right to hurt other people.  NO ONE.  We must reclaim our humanity, so that the necessity of a “Bradley Manning” is but a dimming memory in a more peaceful world.

Continue Reading

Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 04:23 PM PDT

Green Eggs and Drones

by danbojangles

I am Uncle Sam

I am Uncle Sam
Uncle Sam I am

That Uncle Sam-I-am
That Uncle Sam-I-am!
I do not like
that Uncle Sam-I-am

Do you like
the preemptive war scam?

I do not like it,
Uncle Sam-I-am.
I do not like
the preemptive war scam.

Would you like it
here or there?

I would not like it
here or there.
I would not like it
anywhere.
I do not like
the preemptive war scam.
I do not like it,
Uncle Sam-I-am

Would you like it
in Iran?
Would you like war
with Pakistan?

I would not like it
in Iran.
I don’t want war
with Pakistan.
I do not like it
here or there.
I do not like it
anywhere.
I do not like the preemptive war scam.
I do not like it, Uncle Sam-I-am.

Would you nuke them to a boil?
Would you do it for the oil?

Not to a boil.
Not for the oil.
Not with a drone.
Not on a loan.
I would not nuke them here or there.
I would not nuke them anywhere.
I do not like the preemptive war scam.
I do not like it, Uncle Sam-I-am.

Would you? Could you?
from afar?
Nuke them! Drone them!
There they are!

I would not,
could not,
from afar.

You may hate them.
You will see.
You could bomb them from the sea!

I would not bomb them from the sea.
Not from afar.  You let me be!

I would not nuke them to a boil.
I would not do it for the oil.
I would not do it with a drone.
I would not do it on a loan.
I do not like war here or there.
I do not like it anywhere.
I do not like the preemptive war scam.
I do not like it, Uncle Sam-I-am.

A plane! A plane!
A plane! A plane!
Could you, would you
from a plane?

Not from a plane! Not from the sea!
Not from afar.  Sam!  Let me be!
I would not nuke them to a boil.
I would not do it for the oil.
I would not do it with a drone.
I would not do it on a loan.
I do not like war here or there.
I do not like it anywhere.
I do not like the preemptive war scam.
I do not like it, Uncle Sam-I-am.

Say!
A coup?
A CIA coup!
Would you, could you, with a coup?

I would not, could not,
with a coup.

Would you, could you,
in Bahrain?

I would not, could not, in Bahrain.
Not with a coup. Not from a plane.
Not from afar.  Not from the sea.
I do not hate them, Sam, you see.
Not with a drone. Not to a boil.
Not with a loan. Not for the oil.
We should not kill people here or there.
We should not kill them anywhere!

You do not like the
preemptive war scam?

I do not
like it,
Uncle Sam-I-am.

Could you, would you,
with crippling sanctions?

I would not,
could not.
with crippling sanctions!

Would you, could you,
with Navy railguns?

I could not, would not, with Navy railguns.
I will not, will not, with crippling sanctions.
I will not kill them in Bahrain.
I will not bomb them from a plane.
Not with a coup!  Not from the sea!
Not from afar!  You let me be!
I do not hate them in Iran.
I don’t want war with Pakistan.
I will not nuke them to a boil.
I do not want their precious oil.
I do not hate them here or there.
I will not kill them ANYWHERE!

I do not like
the preemptive war scam!

I do not like it,
Uncle Sam-I-am.

You do not like it.
SO you say.
Try it! Try it!
And you may.
Try it and you may I say.

Uncle Sam!
If you will let me be,
I will try it.
You will see.

Say!
I don’t mind the preemptive war scam!
I don’t!  I like it, Uncle Sam-I-am!
And I would kill them with a drone!
And I would do it with a loan…
And I would bomb them in Bahrain.
Or use a coup.. It’s all the same!
And from afar. .And from the sea.
The scam is good!  I finally see!

So we will nuke them to a boil.
And we will divvy up their oil.
And we will cripple them with sanctions.
And let the Navy test their railguns.
And we will kill them here and there.
Say!  We can kill them ANYWHERE!

I do so like
the preemptive war scam.
Thank you!
Thank you,
President Sam-I-am

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Dear President Obama and the people of America,

I’m writing to you from beyond the grave.  If you’re reading this, it means that I’ve become one of the nearly two hundred innocent children slaughtered in a US drone strike.  I’m writing to you because I want you to know that I understand why I had to die.  I understand why it was necessary for an unmanned aerial vehicle, authorized and piloted by men thousands of miles away, to fire a hellfire missile at me while I ate, or played, or lay dreaming in my bed.  While I was just as young as Trayvon Martin or Caylee Anthony…just as innocent as the children at Sandy Hook Elementary…I understand that the American media will never tell my story.  I understand, President Obama, that, while I was biologically indistinguishable from your own daughters, you had to authorize the drone strike that took my young life.  There’s more..

I’ve learned that many Americans (humans) will unquestioningly authorize people they perceive to possess authority to engage in the most atrocious, morally-contradictory behavior..in their names.  I’ve learned that many Americans (humans) who otherwise (seemingly) detest violence, as evidenced by the outpouring of support for recent victims in Sandy Hook, the theater shooting in Colorado, and the Boston Marathon bombing, will nonetheless authorize, re-authorize and endorse a mirror image of that violence if told by authority that it’s necessary.  I’ve learned that murdering an innocent child is deemed acceptable if the murderer possesses a “peace prize,” makes casual jokes about the instrument of murder, and/or calls the murder “collateral damage.”

Yes, I understand why my violent, premature death was necessary, and what made it possible:

Fear.

When my innocent family, friends, and countrymen vow to avenge my brutal slaying, you’ll have the “moral” authority to “defend” your countrymen against the people who “hate you for your freedom.”  Americans will continue to live in fear of this forthcoming, predictable and utterly avoidable retribution.  I understand, President Obama, that you need this fear, and that it’s essential you perpetuate this sense of otherness between the people of my country and/or faith, and the various peoples of your nation.  I understand that appearing to offer or provide safety is the means by which the few can reign over the many.  Finally, I also understand that, while you’re quite effectively furthering the eons-old strategy of “divide and conquer,” your efforts are doomed to fail.  Slowly, people throughout the world are waking up to what they’ve known in their hearts during their entire human experience:

We’re all one.

An innocent child in Pakistan, or Yemen, or Iraq is an innocent child in Florida, or Colorado, or Connecticut.  Violence begets violence…collateral damage is murder…and love conquers fear.  Every time an innocent child is slaughtered in the name of “freedom,” “democracy,” or “security” the light of consciousness is born.  It’s a light which, once lit, can never be extinguished.  Not by fear, or drone bomb.

Take a step back, Mr. President…people of America.  Look at your children.  Their hearts beat with the same innocent blood that you so wantonly shed.  You know this to be true.  Now, remember it.

Sincerely,

Nameless, faceless innocent victim of a US drone strike


This letter was not written by an actual, deceased drone victim.
 

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Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 07:04 PM PDT

I Am Not Bradley Manning

by danbojangles

Are you Bradley Manning?  That’s the question posed in a newly “viral” youtube video entitled “I Am Bradley Manning” that’s garnered just over half a million views in roughly 6 weeks.  The video features a smattering of A-list celebrities, musicians, and activists who proceed to detail the motivations, sacrifice, and plight of the detained 25 year old Army PFC, Bradley Manning.  Manning, who admitted to leaking hundreds of thousands of classified diplomatic/military cables to the organization called “Wikileaks” in what’s being hailed as the most substantial leak of classified information in history, is currently awaiting a verdict from a military judge in Ft. Meade, Maryland, following a pre-trial detention period of over 1000 days.  In less than 24 hours Manning is expected to receive a verdict on charges that he aided the enemy, for which he could be dealt a life sentence.  As the verdict nears, one can’t help but wonder:

Where’s the media!!?

Mere weeks ago America was certifiably captivated by the verdict-watch in the George Zimmerman trial, and before that the Jodi Arias trial.  It’s really not necessary to detail how much of a media spectacle these trials were during the weeks and months approaching the verdict because you were there!  You could probably rattle off your opinion of George Zimmerman, Jodi Arias, or Casey Anthony right now, and it’s doubtful it would be your first time.  But, what of Bradley Manning?  Do you sympathize with the courageous “whistleblower” or consider him a “mentally unstable” “traitor” with “gender identity issues”?  Perhaps the “virality” of the “I Am Bradley Manning” video can shine some light on the public consciousness regarding the Manning trial.  If we assumed that every viewer was American, viewed the video only once, AND viewed it with a friend.. that amounts to less that 1% of Americans.  I’m aware that a youtube video view-count isn’t an accurate indicator of interest in the Bradley Manning trial, but I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that the majority of my fellow Americans either aren’t really interested in the sacrifice Manning feels he made for his country, and/or the idea of transparency/freedom he believed to be worth risking a potential life sentence in prison, OR simply don’t know who he is.  I’ll proceed to speak for the masses who, like me, simply can’t be bothered to give a care about the fate of Bradley Manning.

Here’s some statements from the video that would seem to more accurately reflect American consciousness towards the Bradley Manning trial.

I’M NOT BRADLEY MANNING:

I always do what I’m told by those I perceive to have authority, regardless of whether it’s right or wrong…moral or immoral.

I believe that exposing war crimes, like the indiscriminate slaughter of innocent journalists and children, is less important than maintaining the facade that a nation that preemptively invades/occupies/drones sovereign nations possesses the moral authority to dictate what’s best for others.

I love my country, and would never want to do anything to tarnish its reputation…even if it’s the right thing to do…because I’m a patriot.

I’m not willing to risk my life or liberty to defend the ideals upon which my nation is purported to be based and founded…because I’m a patriot.

Like I just said…I’m not a traitor.

I believe the media, and what they’ve told me about that mentally-unstable, sexually-confused traitor.

Who is Bradley Manning?  I’ve never heard of him.

Oh wait..is he in Maroon 5?  Oops..no that’s Adam Levine.  BTW, did you hear he just got engaged?  It’s true, I just heard it on the news.

Bradley Manning?  Is he related to George Zimmerman?  No?  Well, did he kill anyone?  No?  You say he actually exposed murder?  Why would I care about that?

I’m so burdened with responsibility, and debt, that I honestly have little time to make the effort to learn who Bradley Manning is..

Bradley Manning?  Yeah, I’ve heard Maddow/Hannity mention him one time.  Whatever they said..that’s what I think about him.

Bradley Manning?  Yeah..quarterback for the Giants, right?

Bradley Manning?  Shut up, bro.  Jäger bombs!!!

Bradley Manning?  Stop.  I don’t want to know.  I can’t handle the truth.

If you can think of more reasons why you, and the majority of Americans, are not Bradley Manning feel free to share them!

/sarc

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Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:59 PM PDT

If George Zimmerman Had Wings…

by danbojangles

..and hellfire missiles, he’d be the current foreign policy of the United States.

I know, criticizing/debating American foreign policy is polarizing..and sooo 2008…so, in the hopes of grasping/keeping your attention, this will be brief.

Following the verdict in the Trayvon Martin / George Zimmerman trial, President Obama took to the national airwaves to give voice to the perception that our “justice” system had in fact perpetuated a racially-motivated injustice.  He spoke passionately/earnestly about his experience as a black man in America, shining light on racial profiling, and realities of which some Americans might not otherwise have been aware, such as being followed (profiled) while shopping in a store.  During the 40 minutes speech, President Obama revisited his comment a year earlier that Trayvon could have been his son, and went further by explaining that, 35 years earlier, he could have actually been Trayvon.   While it’s difficult to draw comparisons to this genuine, touching affectation by a Commander-in-chief regarding race relations, one couldn’t help but notice the glaring similarities between the racial profiling President Obama exposed/rebuked, and the racial profiling he endorses/employs.

On October 14, 2011, a drone strike authorized by President Obama killed an American teenager named Abdulrahman al-Awlaki.  The 16 year old Denver, Colorado native was killed while eating BBQ with family at an outdoor cafe in Yemen.  While print/television media in the US has been reluctant to address this extrajudicial assassination of an unarmed American teenager by the state, other have taken notice.

What follows is a series of questions that should/must be asked, and answered, if America is to continue to be a nation of laws.  For your consideration:

Are there any biological differences between Trayvon Martin and Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, American teenagers born in 1995, that afford one or the other special rights/protection under US law?

Is there a particular reason why the families of Trayvon and Abdulrahman, unarmed American teenagers killed while carrying/eating food, should be afforded different rights to seek redress under the law?

Do American teenagers born in Colorado in 1995 have different rights than American teenagers born in Florida in 1995?

Friends and family of both Trayvon and Abdulrahman attest to fact that both the slain American teenagers enjoyed sports, listened to hip-hop music, and had Facebook accounts.  What difference did these boys have that can account for the striking difference in both media attention, and legal accountability for their untimely deaths?

Could crimes/affiliations by, or accusations about, the family members of slain, unarmed American teenagers be considered in any way pertinent to, or in any way serve as legal justification for, a slaying for which there is zero accountability under US law?

Does the name of the American citizen have any bearing on whether legal accountability is forthcoming?

If the unarmed 16 year old American teenager killed in Yemen while eating BBQ at a cafe was named Trayvon, would those responsible for his death have their day in court?  Suppose the 16 year old was named John.  Or George.  Or Barack.  Would any of these names bring forth a different reaction from an informed American populace?

Barack Obama exclaimed that, as a victim of racial profiling as a black American teenager, he could have found himself in the same unfortunate situation in which Trayvon Martin found himself.  Could Barack Obama, as an American citizen, have found himself in the same unfortunate situation in which Abdulrahman al-Awlaki found himself…killed by a drone strike while eating in a cafe?

Is there a difference between killing an American teenager with a handgun, and a hellfire missile?  Four Americans have been confirmed to have been killed by US drone strikes since 2009, though not a single case has been brought before a US court.  Can American citizens be killed by unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) with impunity?

Could anything OTHER THAN race account for the disproportional interpretation/execution of legal protocol regarding justice for a slain American citizen born in 1995 named Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, and a slain American citizen born in 1995 named Trayvon Martin?

Acclaimed British philosopher Bertrand Russel once stated,

“We have in fact, two kinds of morality, side by side: one which we preach, but do not practice, and another which we practice, but seldom preach.”

In the wake of a controversial, media-spurned legal case which challenged long-established notions of citizens rights, America, as is often the case, has (seemingly) been forced to choose sides.  Informed debate should and must be welcomed if humanity is to continue evolving towards a more free society, but we, humans, must remain vigilant of/for our shortcomings.  Our inadequacies, and imperfections.  We must strive for ever-more information, and accept new data when it’s made available.  In our rush to correct that which we perceive to be an injustice, some have expressed willingness to align with those who are in fact perpetuating this injustice.  If one American citizen is denied expression of his/her inalienable rights, we’re all denied expression of those rights.

Trayvon Martin, an American citizen, was denied his rights.  He was denied his right to walk peacefully to his home with candy and a drink.  For this, his assailant was brought before a jury of his peers.  Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, an American citizen, was denied his rights.  He was denied his right to peacefully eat BBQ with family at an outdoor cafe in Yemen.  For this, his assailants have faced zero legal accountability.

Why?

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If you’re an American, you’ve no doubt heard that you’re living in the “freest nation in the world.”  You may have heard it bandied about at an American sporting event during an impromptu rendition of the “backup” national anthem, the “USA!!!” chant.  You may have heard (felt) it spit towards you while questioning the wisdom/legality/morality of our preemptive invasion of a sovereign nation.  Perhaps you were informed of it that one time you asked your 5th grade teacher why you had to pledge allegiance to your flag/govt every morning before you were permitted to watch “The Never Ending Story” (until lunch, or dodge-ball time).   For the sake of my point, it matters not where you’ve heard this affirmation, only that you have.  What’s implied by the statement is that the citizens of the United States enjoy a greater amount of freedom than the citizens of other nations.  Though this notion has been challenged/refuted by many, and is measured by numerous indices, we’ll assume it’s correct, if only to make my point!  “What’s your point,” you ask through a yawn?  My point is America IS indeed the “freest nation in the world,” BUT it probably isn’t “free” for you.

When George Zimmerman, a 28 year old insurance underwriter and college student living in Florida, took the life of an unarmed 17 yr old boy named Trayvon Martin, it triggered a maelstrom of outrage across the nation.  Inherent, and central, to our claim of residing in the “freest nation in the world” is the understanding (belief) that we’re a nation of laws.  The particular case of the death of Trayvon Martin challenged our understanding our long-established freedoms, such as the right to self-defense, the right to walk freely with candy and a drink, in addition to challenging new “freedoms,” like the right to “stand your ground.”  It’s not necessary to get in to the specifics of the trial for me to further my point.  At this point, saying that the verdict, fueled by extensive, all-encompassing media coverage, has served to polarize the nation seems like the understatement of the year.  A very large portion of the nation feels that the justice system has failed them.   For some it’s a new realization.  For others, who’ve incurred the wrath of a war of drugs that disproportionally targets minorities and the lowest socioeconomic strata, it’s old hat.  Whatever the case may be, the perception of injustice has motivated thousands of Americans to file into the streets and voice their displeasure, as is one of their (our) esteemed freedoms.  What a majority of those who feel slighted fail to recognize is that they’re pushing back against a system they actively bolster, and relentlessly perpetuate.

The perception that George Zimmerman “got away with murder” has so enlivened outcry in America, that today, July 19th 2013, our Commander-in-Chief, President Barack Obama felt compelled to make a televised address to the nation on the subject.  While he spoke passionately, and with conviction, about race relations in America (albeit while failing to address the institutionalized racism that is the War on Drugs) as they pertain to Trayvon’s case, and in particular his personal experience as a black man in America, I couldn’t help but think that perhaps he was the wrong person to deliver a message about letting cooler heads prevail with regards to justice, and slain Americans.  Though the mainstream media has been (strangely) reticent to draw much attention to this matter, it seems that most Americans are now familiar with the reality that President Obama’s hands are rather soiled with the blood of innocent victims of his drone war.   And while a number of Americans are now aware of the fact that President Obama is conducting a program of targeted assassination against people who MAY be associated with terror groups, very few are aware that his hands are soiled with the blood of 4 Americans, who, as citizens, are guaranteed the protection of the very rights that thousands feel are only (or clearly) now in jeopardy.

On October 14, 2011, a drone strike authorized by Nobel Peace prize recipient, President Barack Obama killed a 16 year old boy from Denver, Colorado named Abdulrahman al-Awlaki.  Born August 26th, 1995, six months after Trayvon Martin, Abdulrahman was described by friends as a normal American teenager.  Like Trayvon, Abdulrahman enjoyed listening to hip-hop music.  They had friends, played sports, and had Facebook.  Both Trayvon and Abdulrahman were unarmed when they were killed.  Trayvon was killed while peacefully carrying a packet of candy, and a drink, to his home.  Abdulrahman was killed while eating BBQ at a cafe.  It’s hard to imagine just how similiar Trayvon and Abdulrahman might have been.  We can assume they enjoyed pizza, and video games.   They probably listened to similiar rappers.   It’s possible Trayvon and Abdulrahman even shared a celebrity crush!  While these and other questions have been forever relegated to the realm of speculation, there are things we know.  The boys undoubtedly pondered what the future held for them, were undeserving of being killed, and, as American citizens, shared a common belief that their God-given, inalienable rights were to NOT to be infringed upon without an expectation of legal redress.

While America debates whether Trayvon Martin has received his due justice in accordance with the law following a contested verdict, no reasonable American (human) can honestly say that Abdulrahman al-Awlaki has received anything even close to resembling his.  The man who authorized Abdulrahman’s killing has not been officially charged with the crime.  The administration has continually/repeatedly avoided publicly/officially commenting on the extrajudicial slaying of Abdulrahman.  The administration initially lied about Abdulrahman’s age following the slaying, then, as a matter of policy, remained virtually silent going on nearly two years (silence was briefly broken by former Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, who concluded that the slain, innocent American “should have a far more responsible father” if he’s concerned with not being extrajudicially assassinated by the Executive branch).

So it seems that the very same public which is palpably furious with the perceived miscarriage of justice regarding Trayvon Martin’s case, has permitted the man who authorized Abdulrahman’s death to address the public, and opine on the various inequities of the criminal justice system.  It feels like at this point, this article can write itself.  Sadly, this overwhelming sense of irony never translates into reality.  In our anger and confusion, we’ve once again turned to the government for wisdom, solace, and counsel.  Why?

On March 23rd, 2012, President Obama told the nation that if he had a son “he’d look like Trayvon.”  But, “could Abdulrahman al-Awlaki have looked like President Obama’s son?”  Today, President Obama, expounded on this statement, exclaiming “Trayvon Martin could have been me,” referring to the idea that he too could have been the victim of racial profiling resulting in a violent confrontation.  But, “could President Obama have been Abdulrahman al-Awlaki?”  Could you or I, as American citizens, be Abdulrahman al-Awlaki?  Obviously!

“America is the freest nation in the world,” for the people who make up the rules as they go.

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After reading the new NYT article about the death of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki.. 16 year old killed by a US drone strike..

http://www.nytimes.com/...

..I felt compelled to put this Rolling Stone cover "scandal" into context..  

If GWBush had killed 4 Americans with missiles.. without a shred of regard for the law (due process)..we'd be shouting from the streets..(like we used to).  If we don't push back against this precedent that President Obama has set..how will we claim moral authority to do so when President Jeb Bush is bombing American civilians without charge/trial?

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..by a Nobel laureate.

Lookin’ for a scandal?  Who isn’t?  You can turn on MSNBC and catch Rachel Maddow break down the latest bridge collapse “scandal,” or head over to FOX and Friends for the latest about Michelle Obama’s most recent luxury vacay.  MSNBC’s Chris Matthews will catch you up on the most recent “racist code language” he’s been able to decipher, with the aid of the esteemed Southern Poverty Law Center (Spoiler: “antiwar” = racist).  You could flip over to CNN, and catch Piers Morgan explaining the importance of the scandalous assault rifle culture in America, and how those guns would be better suited in the hands of the rebels repelling tyranny in Syria.  Actually, I believe Piers is currently reprising his EXCLUSIVE coverage of the infamous “poop cruise” scandal, which rocked the mainstream media tv-waves for DAYS longer than the oceans waves sloshed foul water throughout the actual Carnival Fun Ship.  Oooooh!  We’ve got a new one!  Apparently, Adam Levin, of Maroon 5 super-stardom, was caught saying that he hates ‘Merica.  RABBLE RABBLE* RABBLE*  What I’m getting at is, there’s no shortage of scandals.  Scandals keep viewers glued to the tube, and..well..they don’t make the world go ’round..but certainly grease the skids for our corporate-sponsor overlords!  So, why aren’t all scandalous topics, deserving of attention, covered by our media?  Excellent question!

I’ve identified at least three (3) types of scandals.  There’s probably more, and certainly subsets within each of these three I’ve identified:

1)  The “Bread and Butter”

This is your everyday, run-of-the-mill cash-cow scandal.  The “bread and butter” is the type of scandal that you’re probably gonna see/hear the instant you click on NBC/ABC/CBS/MSNBC/FOX/CNN/HLN.  It’s the fools gold.  The shiny stuff that plays on your lower emotions, and pulls you into the trance.  If you catch yourself thinking “Why am I reading this stupid blog when I could be finding out what Bill O’Reilly has to say about that Maroon 5 guy,” you’re familiar with the “bread and butter” scandal.  The mainstream media LOVES the “bread and butter.”  It subsists off it!  Thankfully, the mainstream media is swiftly losing its credibility, and Americans are turning to alternative media in droves.  This brings us to the next type of scandal:

2)  “The Fighter”

The “Fighter” is your partisan scandal.  Your heavily politicized leak scandal which (ostensibly) negatively impacts one of the teams.  The “Fighter” requires a genuine understanding of American government.  You have two teams:  Republicans and Democrats.  They have an intense, burning rivalry.  Most of the players genuinely cannot stand the players on the opposing team.  Both teams play in the same league.  The league is owned by a relatively small number of people.  While the two teams appear to oppose each other, on closer inspection…their differences are trivial.  From administration to administration, nothing of substance ever changes.  Domestic policy, monetary policy, and foreign policy remain largely unchanged.  Both teams grow government, at the expense of the personal/economic liberty of the individual.  NOW, back to the “fighter.”  There are elements of our government (“elements” assumes that govt by nature is legitimate) that are totally corrupt.  They engage in acts which are criminal, unconstitutional, immoral, and largely unknown.  Occasionally, these acts become known, and a “fighter” is born.  Examples of some recent “fighters” are: Fast and Furious, Benghazi, IRS targeting the Tea Party, and the confiscation of Associated Press phone records by the DoJ.  It’s important to note, the media is also divided into teams.  MSNBC shills for the Democrats.  FOX is a front for the Conservatives.  CNN is the mopey, opportunistic buzzard tearin’ at the largest remaining scraps.  These “fighters” genuinely pose a risk to the government teams, indeed the entire system.  Each “fighter” effectively awakens a certain amount of people to the reality of our two-party scam.  Ultimately, the “fighter” is dealt a final blow.  The media skillfully sets the narrative, patsies take the fall, and one of the teams is seen as gaining legitimacy to set/resume the (predetermined) agenda.  The media has handled plenty of “fighters,” so, with established protocols, and an relatively low casualty rate (viewership lost forever from the newly awakened), the scandal is seen as a manageable ratings-booster.

3)  The “Untouchables”

The third scandal I’ve identified needs no explanation.  That would be how the media would describe it.  Seriously.  These are the scandals which threaten the entire “divide-conquer” two-party charade.  These are the back-breakers.  Scandals so heinous, so atrocious, that a mere mention might send someone down a Wikipedia wormhole so deep they might never resurface.  It’s on these scandals where those souls awakened by the “fighters” spend their time.  The non-partisan, delegitimizing trillion pound elephants in the room.  The “Untouchables” send media control-room operators into a tizzy.  They’re the reason the delay button was created.  It’s rumored that the actual “thrill” up Chris Matthews leg was caused by the mention of a particular “untouchable.”  Fear of “untouchables” turned Anderson Cooper’s hair white.   These are the scandals which inspired this blog, and the ones I’ll spend some time writing about.  There are MANY untouchables.. many degrees of untouch-ability.  So as not to entertain the “conspiracy theory” label, I’ll only touch those scandals which have dared to slip their way onto the airwaves for a brief moment in the disinfecting sunlight of truth.

Untouchables

-Depleted Uranium-

The United States is using / has used radioactive munitions.  These munitions are seriously affecting the health of all exposed.  Soldiers and civilians in the Middle East are experiencing the life-altering effects of this criminal, undiscriminating weapon of mass destruction.

-Extrajudicial Murder-

Did you know that our government is killing people around the world who are merely SUSPECTED of crimes?  Did I mention that at least 4 of the people killed have been American citizens?  In case you didn’t know, American citizens enjoy a right enshrined in the Constitution which WASN’T given to us by government.  I’m talking about a right to life, liberty, and property, which cannot be denied on the arbitrary whim of a government…unless that government be tyrannical.  This is called “Due Process.”  Did I mention that American citizens are being killed by the United States government without Due Process?

-Indefinite Detention-

The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) contains in it language which has been interpreted to further the United States governments claim that folks it deems as being associated with terror organizations can be held as “enemy combatants,” and subsequently denied the protections a normal citizen (human) might believe they possess.  They can be held INDEFINITELY in military custody, without facing trial.  Just like the founders intended…

-Guantanamo Bay-

A United States military prison in Cuba where our government is said to keep the baddest of the bad guys.  86 of the prisoners held there have been cleared for release…for SIX years.  Over 100 prisoners are currently on a hunger strike to protest the conditions of their incarceration, with a number being force-fed (which is recognized as torture by international agencies).  The prisoners are being held in captivity without facing trial.  Doesn’t sound very American…(or does it?)

-Wikileaks-

Everyone has heard of this scandal.  The “Untouchable” part is the truth!  The American public has been convinced that the criminal aspect of this scandal isn’t the revelation that our government/military are engaging in criminal activity..rather that a brave whistleblower DARED to expose crimes.  If you believe Army Private First Class Bradley Manning is anything other than a hero, you’ve bought the whole heap of government conditioning.  “Shooting the messenger” shouldn’t be a phrase that is tolerated in real, actual life.

-Libya Intervention-

War without the approval of Congress is scandalous, but certainly not novel.  The most recent manifestation of this egregious violation of the American system of checks and balances is President Obama’s unilateral military intervention in Libya.  Not only did the United States military intervene in Libya without Congressional approval, it bombed Libya well past the “get out of jail free” time allotment known as the War Powers Act.  When Obama’s lawyers were questioned as to what authority they believed permitted them to break the law, they explained that bombing a country didn’t qualify as “war.”  Classy little precedent…

-Kill List-

You may have heard about this scandal by its newer, fancier dress-name: “Disposition Matrix.”    The “kill list” is a triumph of executive usurpation.  Just imagine..  The President of the United States and sundry advisers meet on aptly-named “Terror Tuesday,” to compile a list of humans to be summarily executed by flying robots piloted thousands of miles away from the targets.  The President thumbs through a stack of potential targets, and, in a scene reminiscent of the Joaquin Phoenix “thumb down” in “The Gladiator,” decides the fate of a human.  In some instances, the targets are teenage girls, and American citizens.  An inordinate amount of innocent civilians are being slaughtered in the attempts to destroy the targeted humans our Executive et al. have identified as imminent threats to US national security.  Innocent civilians are also being slaughtered in “signature strikes,” which allow for people to be targeted, and remotely killed, for merely looking suspicious.  Innocent casualties are strangely “limited” in the official tally of these signature strikes because the Obama administration redefined the term “militant” to include “all military-aged males in a strike zone.”  A large amount of innocent lives are also snuffed in our next scandal..

-Double-Tap Drone Strikes-

It’s hard to imagine a more disgusting, dishonorable act than killing first responders in the midst of a rescue attempt.  You’d never imagine that your tax-money was funding it, would you?  Sure enough.  The United States has been drone bombing a target, waiting until people rush to the scene to aid ailing victims (LIKE ANY NORMAL HUMAN WOULD), and drone bombing the scene again.  Can you just imagine the horror were another bomb to have been detonated while the torrent of brave first-responders applied life-saving services to the unidentified victims of the recent Boston bombing?  No one knew the identities of the Boston bombing victims.  When life is on the line, innocence and guilt are peripheral concepts.  Assuming you’re a human being with a pulse, this scandal requires no further explanation.  It’s a pastime for cowards, and psychopaths.  We, the tax-payers, are their enablers.

..
One can only imagine how many “Untouchables” exist.  One of the culprits of at least some “Untouchables,” Former Secrety of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, explains best:

“There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know.
There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know.
But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don’t know.“

Despite the litany of tax-payer/voting-sanctioned horrors I just detailed in the “fighters” and “untouchables” break-down, there’s plenty of encouragement to be had.  The sheer volume, and caliber, of “fighters” seems to indicate that the wheels are coming off the criminal syndicate known as the American Empire.  The government-media complex is being exposed.  Faith is being lost in our governing-body at record pace.  Americans are finally peering behind the curtain, and recognizing that the new boss is the same as the old boss..and they all work for the same boss..and..  Hey!  Wait!!  Did y’all hear that Amanda Bynes was arrested after she threw her 1-foot bong out her NYC window!??  OMG!!!  Did you see her blonde wig in court!  She’s a trainwreck!!  Ok, guys.. I’m gonna catch up on this breaking national news..  BYE!!!

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Remember the old playground platitude, “Sticks and stones may break my bones,
but words will never hurt me”..?   Paula Deen, celebrity chef–butter enthusiast–and newly former Food Network show host, is probably wishing America took that old adage a little closer to heart.  Deen, a 66 year old chef from Georgia, admitted in a deposition to engaging in myriad forms of bigotry, including telling racial jokes, using racist language, and even desiring to plan a party where the help would be likened to “slaves.”  Anyone with a national audience, such as Deen, would surely know that such brazen, insensitive behavior would be met with intense backlash.  As a result of the instantaneous/resounding rejection of Deen’s brand of “humor,” the chef was compelled to make a 45-second plea for forgiveness, in the form of a, since-deleted, video.  The fact that wrongs, like racially abusive language from public figures, are generally acknowledged by American society as “wrong,” and usually necessitate an swift/earnest video-taped appeal for forgiveness, serves as a testament to a society that’s learning from its past indiscretions, and racial insensitivity.  That’s great.  What’s not so great is that American society is unwilling to hold itself to a standard where ALL public figures are called to task for their myriad indiscretions.

Hold your horses..  I’m not calling for a politically-correct hellscape where every citizen has their ear pressed to the wall, waiting for someone to say something scary or unpleasant (though if that’s what you desire, I’m sure it’s just a few NSA keystrokes from reality).  I’m merely questioning America’s ostensibly unquestioning acceptance of certain unconscionable, deplorable acts of violence, and injustice.  I’m talking about racist policies like the “war on drugs,” which blatantly targets minorities for incarceration at rates that are clearly disproportionate.  I’m talking about policies like enacting “crippling sanctions” on other nations, which was greeted with bi-partisan approval when discussed during the 2012 Presidential debates, despite them having a history of targeting the innocent civilian population of a given country.  The sanctions against Iraq left upwards of 1 million Iraqis dead.  I’m talking about policies like drone bombing half a dozen sovereign nations, resulting in the slaughtering of hundreds of innocent civilians.  Where is the outrage?  Where is the demand for an explanation?  A video apology?!!

On June 9th, about 2 weeks after his televised speech about counterterrorism, drone-policy, and gasp transparency, President Obama ordered (what appears to be) a drone strike in Yemen.  An Al Qaeda chief and other men were killed in the strike, as was the 10 year old brother of the targeted militant.  The boy, named Abdulaziz, was guilty only of being in the wrong place, at the wrong time.  Hardly a “crime.”  Do you find it outrageous that an innocent 10 year old boy could/would be justifiably killed in an American strike?  Perhaps it would help to give the act a more familiar context.  Imagine that a group of KKK activists attacked some landmarks in China.  China designated the KKK a terrorist organization, and claimed the authority to invade/occupy/police/drone various nations around the world where KKK were believed to be present.  Imagine that China identified a particular KKK member in a building in Virginia, and decided to drone bomb it.  Imagine an innocent 10 year old sibling of the KKK guy was killed in the bombing.  Imagine his name was Pete, and he had lots of little school friends.  Imagine he liked to draw, ride his bike, and one day hoped to be a doctor…or the President!  Now, imagine that he is slaughtered by China, and NOTHING is done about it.  No acknowledgement.   Little to no compensation.  No apology.  Nothing.  Now, imagine this happening HUNDREDS of times.  Nearly 200 children slaughtered by American bombs dropped by American drones…and nothing.  Imagine it being done in your name, with your funding.

The children’s adage about “sticks and stones” seems to have been turned on its head in America.  While Americans tolerance for “words” that are deemed hurtful is decreasing, its tolerance for anything the state deems “necessary” seems to be increasing.  Sticks, stones, and taxpayer-funded bombs are decimating the bodies of innocent children overseas, in addition to our moral authority as a virtuous, law-abiding nation.  The policy of targeted-killing also seems to be perpetuating the very thing it aims to quell.. “terrorism.”

I think that Deen, the quirky celebrity chef whose country-cookin’ show aired daily on Food TV, said some despicably racist things, and was rightly terminated by her employer.  We’ve learned throughout the centuries that “words” can indeed “hurt” you, and have consequences.  Now..about those “sticks and stones”…

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