Sunday, June 7, 2009

Obama, Torture, Ron Paul and the DC Warmongers

A while back I started hearing about Barack Obama’s decision to maintain Bush era military tribunals. There was some speculation that some people of a certain political persuasion may have a problem with this decision. Certain people that may have supported and voted for Mr. Obama in November’s election may feel a bit let down by his actions. Personally, this decision did not surprise me at all. I really wonder what people expect of their politicians. Did anyone honestly expect this man to keep his campaign promises and actually enact any of the positive changes as he intimated he would? Politicians lie and equivocate in order to get elected. It’s just what they do. Only the very naive and those so inculcated in political dogma as to be effectively blinded to political reality should have expected any kind of change from Mr. Obama that would result in relinquishing the power of the executive branch. Mr. Bush, building on the work of many of his predecessors, effectively usurped much of the power from the legislative and judicial branches of government. Mr. Obama is not about to do anything to restore the balance of power and hence lose it for himself.

The fact is, Mr. Obama is going to continue to try to garner even more power to the executive branch. We can see this in his policies to bailout just about anyone who asks to be bailed out. In this way, the companies accepting money from the federal government have effectively handed over control of the company to the federal government. What better way to become a communist nation than to get companies to “voluntarily” become state controlled entities. Mr. Obama may promise that it is only temporary and that one day control will be turned over to a private entity, but how can we trust him when he has already broken so many promises? He, like his predecessor, wants to be dictator, or the decider, or emperor, or whatever title you want to put on the authoritarian in charge. The sad part is how little is being done to prevent this. Sadder still is how so few are speaking out against it and many who do are just as untrustworthy as Mr. Obama.

The American people had a chance to stop this downward spiral toward socialism during the last election cycle. They had a chance to elect Ron Paul. They had the chance to at least vote him in as the Republican candidate. They had a chance to see a real debate between ideologies instead of the normal high schoolish popularity contest held every four years to see who will lead the mightiest nation on earth. If the mainstream mass media had any intellectual honesty they’d have reported accurately about Ron Paul’s positions and philosophies rather than trying to portray him as “crazy,” “unelectable,” or “out of touch” with mainstream Republicans. They’d have reported accurately about his grass root supporters being average American Joes rather than portraying them as “fringe” and “extremists.” Instead they did their best to prevent the only candidate capable of providing real, meaningful change from being heard.

But enough dwelling on the past. What’s done is done and now we have Mr. Obama continuing Mr. Bush’s policies when it suits him and increasing his own power when he can. There will be no prosecutions because it would expose Mr. Obama’s complicity (and the complicity of the Democrats in general) to the crimes against humanity that were taking place. There will be no repealing of unconstitutional laws because that would result in less power for the executive branch and make it harder for them to frighten and silence dissenters and critics. The change that Mr. Obama is now proposing is a better defined decriminalization and justification of torture and a reshuffling of combat troops from one war torn country into another rather than ending our involvement in others’ conflicts and bringing our troops back home. I am not surprised. I saw it coming when he kept changing his promises and timelines while he was campaigning. I saw it coming by looking at his past voting records and listening to his ambiguous answers to difficult questions. Mr. Obama has proven himself to be nothing more than a typical politician answering to the moneyed interests and only feigning interest in the common folk.

The cheerleaders for Mr. Obama have a tendency to be the critics of Mr. Bush and the Republicans and his critics happen to be for the most part former supporters of Bush and the Republicans. This only serves to help make the phony schism between Republicans and Democrats seem real. They are, with a few exceptions, all good friends joining the same clubs and attending the same social functions. Just look at how friendly the Bushes and Clintons have become lately. They rub elbows with the rich and powerful, not the common folk. I am fairly certain that when they get together they talk about what they want, not what you or I want, and how they can best maintain and improve their strangle hold on the world economy and increase their own fortunes and economic empires. This is the reality of politics and all the name calling, accusations of racism and divisiveness are just diversions to keep the public off balance. War is what they want, for it is good for their businesses. Torture is an important component in their propaganda machine as they try to justify and spin the morality of an immoral war.

Torture is wrong. There are no excuses. As a society we have recognized this for ages and yet we allow our politicians and certain media personalities to use fear and prejudice to try to convince us otherwise. Torture does not work to get accurate information. The most likely application is to get false confessions that will be later used as justifications for actions that should have never been taken in the first place. These practices should no longer be tolerated anywhere in the world, least of all in the United States of America or anywhere that claims to adhere to civilized Western principles. Excusing its past use and continuing secrecy only proves that politicians and the government sycophants who support these programs are less than civilized. They are nothing more than control freak bullies who will eventually ply their trade on peaceful protesters and anyone else who may disagree with them or their philosophy.

The legislators in the US Congress have done nothing to try to stop the executive branch from seizing more power, nor have they done much to help end the occupations the US military has found itself involved in. The Democrat controlled congress could have stopped funding these unnecessary, empire building military adventures and could have demanded that all military personnel return home. Instead they began a program of propaganda and nationalism to try to make is seem as if there was public support for war and that anyone who was against it was “un-American” or “unpatriotic.” Nothing could be further from the truth. This country was built on the principles of independence by dissenters of a democratic system gone amuck (albeit a democratic system with a monarch leading it), dissenters who faced hostilities on many fronts, not by a bunch wimpy yes men depending on government for handouts, or to keep them safe from boogiemen, or bowing down to the dictates of a tyrannical governing body to ensure security. Nothing could be more American than dissenting. Nothing could be more American than holding public servants accountable for their actions. Nothing could be more American than pointing out and saying no to tyranny wherever it rears its ugly head, even if it is in one’s own backyard.

There are many in our modern world who realize that something is wrong but they can’t quite put their finger on what. Perhaps they see the evil being done in their name but believe nothing can be done to stop it. Perhaps, if they have put any thought into it, they understand that others now control every aspect of their lives but they simply accept their fate and refuse to stand up for their rights. Whatever the reason, a feeling of helplessness seems to pervade our society. Perhaps this is what those in power want. Perhaps in this way they believe they can maintain their control over the populace. After all, congress was sent a message in no uncertain terms that a continuation of foreign occupations, torture, bailouts, etc. were not acceptable or what the majority of people wanted, and yet they continue to allow these practices to take place. Mr. Obama was elected in part because of the hope that he would end the warmongering and illegal detentions and yet he also allows them to continue. If these powerful entities will not listen to the people and bend to their will, then what can be done?

It should by now be obvious that it is the moneyed interests of this world who wield the power. It is the moneyed interests that need to be corralled and controlled. Specifically, those who print the money need to be answerable to the people of the nation. Ron Paul has introduced a bill in the House of Representatives to audit the Federal Reserve Bank. This will help make monetary policy transparent. It is gaining popularity even with the representatives and now as I write this there are 189 cosponsors for the bill. Yet even a bill that has gained as much popularity as this one can come under fire. Senator Grassley of Iowa seeks to make Ron Paul’s simple bill impotent by introducing his own more complicated version to the senate and making sure it has no teeth. Where Ron Paul’s bill will audit all financial dealings of the Fed and provide complete transparency, Senator Grassley’s bill only allows some of the financial dealings to be audited and allows secrecy to remain in other areas of finance.

This is taxpayer money we are talking about. The taxpayers ought to know where their money is going. Political tricks and disingenuous ploys of the type Senator Grassley is trying to employ should no longer be tolerated by the American public, particularly in this age of the Internet where such slight of hand is easily exposed.

In addition to auditing the Fed, Ron Paul has introduced an honest money bill. This bill would allow competition in the area of money creation and would make it possible to allow competing forms of money to circulate in the US. This would allow individual consumers the opportunity to decide for themselves what type of money they wanted to use and accept, be it value based or debt based. This would rid America of an unholy monopoly and allow for unprecedented prosperity.

It has become obvious in a few short months that neither the Democrat controlled Congress nor Mr. Obama are going to stop the unpopular practices and foreign policies started by the Bush administration. It is obvious they are not going to curb the growth of government and reign in spending. In fact, it is obvious that the opposite is true and they plan on nationalizing businesses that should never have been considered anything other than private businesses and most definitely should never be part of the federal government. Since our elected officials have refused to act, the only way to stop this foolishness is to take away the purse strings. The people must gain back control of the power to coin money as guaranteed them in the Constitution. This is particularly true for those who want to see the end of foreign wars and excursions and torture, for if you take away the power to print money from nothing, then the expense of such ventures becomes transparent and immediate and our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will not have to pay for our adventurism. It is not so much foreign policy and its unsavory consequences that need to be challenged and changed, but fiscal and monetary policies that need to be brought under the heel of common sense. When this is done then it won’t take long before we figure out just how badly some policies are needed and whether or not they should be funded.

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