Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hey pal, got a light?

It is quite a coincidence that Abdulmutallab the self emolliating terrorist claims that he obtained his bomb materials from an al Qaida member in Yemen since it was so recently in the news that the U.S. had backed an air raid by the Yemen government against al Qaida. But you have to ask – Is this the same al Qaida that wrought 9/11 with military precision? There really is a world of difference between how the attacks of 9/11 were carried out and this sad sack Abdulmutallab who only succeeded in harming himself. That is not to say that this is a joke because it is the policy of interfering in the lives of people in other nations, the same policy expanded by Bush II and now expanded by Obama, perhaps now even into Yemen, that is at the root of terrorist attacks whether they fail or succeed. Keep in mind that Obama and crew have little to fear from a terrorist attack if these attacks continue to be aimed at civilians rather than our national leaders. So as long as they aren’t being blown to smithereens what do they care? Besides, you’re going to have that wonderful health care plan produced by the same people who produced the terrorists which should make you feel comfy.

All manner of connections are being made between Abdulmutallab and Yemen such as the Fort Hood shootings which surely are the harbingers of invasion whether the connections are true or not. Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, and now Yemen, quite a track record for the peace prez. The news is also yapping about how the “authorities” (a taxi driver, dentist, your mother’s uncle?) knew about Abdulmutallab but I note that it wasn’t because of the unconstitutional phone tapping done under the Obama administration but was from a tip from the suspect’s own father. So the important points are that Obama’s foreign policy is causing more terrorism, and that if the “authorities” knew about Abdul it wasn’t due to phone tapping, the strange disparity between 9/11 and this present incident, and finally it looks as if the commando in chief may be on the verge of invading Yemen or if not we at least don’t mind forcing them to bomb themselves rather than we kindly do it for them. Such a deal, an offer they couldn’t refuse, no doubt. Who’s a bully?

Of course I suspect most of the attention will be directed at how our magnificent home defense team is falling on their face which isn’t a huge surprise since the whole thing is a sad and unfunny joke. I mean this home defense nonsense was covered years ago with tales of expensive detection devices turned off because of too many false alarms and other such stuff. Eventually even events like 9/11 are turned into profit making events by imaginative capitalists who design and build things like detection devices so as we see 9/11 created a whole new industry with new and exciting ways to screw the public. That’s America, a beautiful place filled with beautiful people. It’s why we want to spread capitalism everywhere so everyone can be just like us. It’ll be a beautiful world I’m sure.

th' good, th' bad, n' th' ugly

via; they say this will be available through 12.31. Why this? Because politics is depressing me even more than normal right now, and I'd rather look at Eli Wallach's mug any day over, say, Joe Lieberman's or Ben Nelson's.

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas 2009

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Some Favorite Movies

Sniper’s Ridge:

Two snipers on separate missions shoot each other, go to heaven, meet and fall in love after which they return to earth as angels to help a troubled youth whose parents were killed after a tractor trailer fell on their car after being carried 200 miles by a tornado by teaching him to steal cars.


The charming saga of a lonely old recluse who finds new meaning in life when he finds a wild hamster swimming in his bathtub. The story centers about the old man’s struggles to housebreak the hamster but cannot seem to achieve the desired results, Untamed! Can the old man overcome millions of years of evolution to tame the hamsters natural and ferocious desire to run free on the western prairies? Watch and see.

The Son of Robin Hood:

Is he really the son of Robin Hood or a cheap imitation? The son of the Sheriff of Nottingham must uncover the truth before an android implanted with a nuclear bomb in its nose disguised as one of the merry men explodes causing a nuclear winter before King Richard can return from Iraq with his loot possibly delaying his colonoscopy. Very suspenseful.

White Like Me:

A highly fictionalized rendition of Barack Obama’s meteoric rise to stardom.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bob's response to comments for "In case you missed it"

My comment was too long to stick in the comments section, so here it is as a post:

I spent most of my working life in a union and so I view political parties in large part through a class analysis. What does each party, or more accurately, what does each candidate do for the working class? In the San Francisco Bay Area that has meant voting for a Democrat. (I think I might have voted for the liberal Republican Milton Marks at some point in the late 70s or early 80s. Or maybe I thought about voting for him.)

What an individual candidate stands for and how a political party functions at a national level are two different things. I suspect that, say, Barbara Boxer, will support whatever the final healthcare bill is and not agitate too loudly for a public option, not because she opposes one, but because the bill the best that the party leaders will allow. Not get, mind you, but allow.

I say that I view things through a class analysis. But that doesn't mean that I view my union as a crystaline prism. In January 2008 the national president of our union came to our branch meeting to pitch for Hillary Clinton as the Democratic candidate for President because of her position on healthcare. But knowing our national, which makes oodles of money on the healthcare plan that it offers, I more than suspect that Hillary wasn't telling our president the virtues of single-payer.

Differences between the two major parties were clearer in my youth. The drifting of both the Democratic and Republican parties to the right is not a function of what the citizenry generally feels. The drift is a reflection of the increased power that wealth has. I think a better, clearer scale than left-right is top-bottom. Ben Nelson doesn't represent his voters. He represents money. Granted, many in Nebraska believe the scary myths generated by reactionaries, but again, those myths were created and funded by the wealthy to scare people into voting their fears. (German corporatist Fritz Thyssen's money helped scare Germans about Jews and get Hitler elected as much as Rupert Murdoch's money helps Republicans through its fear propaganda.)

One might point to the DLC back in the 80s as the turning point for the Democratic Party's shift. If I stopped drinking for a few days I'm sure I could remember plenty of pro-corporate Democrats earlier than that but the DLC is a good place to start analyzing the recent historical drift in the Democratic Party.

My reason in linking to the article was to point out both the process of "regulatory capture" and how the Democratic Party has essentially used that process in the healthcare debate to elbow out Republicans as the best friends of capitalists. But more than that, I hoped to point out that all Democratic candidates, because they nominally are the party of the people, will suffer from the damage this bill may very well do to its constituency. A good equivalent would be how the Democratic Party suffered from Bill Clinton (another DLCer) and his trade deals which served corporate interests and killed manufacturing jobs for the middle class.

This is an admission by me, as Rob seems to point out, that I think that there is a difference between the two parties and that the Democrats are superior. And I do, relatively. I see the Republican Party as the equivalent to Mussolini's Fascist Party in the 1920s and 30s. I've already discussed how I see the Democratic Party and the difference between Party and individual politician.

However, I think that any analysis that only sees continuity (that is, no difference between the two parties) fails because it doesn't explicate the dilemma, even if both parties end up in the same place. And if we don't better understand how we got here, and we don't let others know, then we're doomed.

Got that? I'm an optimist.

That doesn't mean that I'm at all happy with the current political situation.

Charles, I find some of Ron Paul's positions intriguing but others completely wrong-headed. Small government is a sitting duck for corporatism. I am reminded of a quote by (I think it was) Vernon Parrington back in the 1800s or early 1900s that said the government needed to be big enough to control corporations but what power prevents the government's power from being taken over by those corporations? Thus the dilemma for small government types. Unless you can eliminate big corporations you've only given Big Money license to eat up the little folk.

As for independent movements and candidates, the US electoral system is rigged in so many ways (and that's a richer topic to be pursued)that it's hard for any group to win at a statewide or national level. I held that Matt Gonzalez would have done better running against Pelosi as San Francisco's representative for the House than tagging along with Ralph Nader on the campaign trail. San Francisco is one of the few places where Pelosi could have been defeated from the left.

I'm not saying that I'm so enamored with the Democratic Party that I would never vote for an independent. When Moscone was murdered, I voted for Jello Biafra (twice) because the alternative was Feinstein. I voted for Dr. Spock in 1980 because when I got off work in California Jimmy Carter had already conceded the election. But I would have voted for Carter because there was a difference, a BIG difference, between Carter and Reagan. I would much rather a Bernie Sanders be California's Senator than Dianne Feinstein. But when November rolls around, do you want a Feinstein or do you want a used car salesman from Orange County who believes in killing gays? Still, if Feinstein has a comfortable lead from the guy from Orange County I'll vote for whoever the Greens are running. As bad as Feinstein is, there is a difference.

But like I've said, analysis of how the Democratic Party got the way it did is more constructive than just wringing hands.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

In case you missed it

In case you missed it, I think Luke Mitchell's essay awhile back in Harper's on healthcare reform, "Understanding Obamacare", is a good explication of what just happened in front of our eyes.

In conjunction with Mitchell's essay, I find the anger on the Left at Jane Hamsher for pointing out how badly the current version of healthcare reform sucks sadly familiar. And I expect in a few years the Hamsherites will be resented even more by many Dems in the blogosphere for being right.

My only quibble with Mitchell's piece is that he sees the Democratic Party as usurping the Republican Party's role of actively representing corporations. Which it has. But my guess is that the current link of extruded sausage will be so unpalatable when served to the American working class that the Democratic Party will be left holding the bag and will suffer the consequences.

When this happens, the Dems doing the work of the corporations (see: Bill Clinton, GATT, NAFTA, etc.), you get people searching for alternatives, like teabagging, death-paneling, or Contract-With-America-ing hoaxes, which get enough resonance from reactionary media outlets to put Republicans back into power.

Not that Republicans (or Democrats) are so much in power as much as in a position to serve their corporate owners. Not that all Democrats are exactly equal to all Republicans. I find the Republican brand particularly loathsome and its mythology much too close to the mid-20th Century fascist movements. Those few Democrats on the left (you know, showing some concern to the great unwashed and uninsured), unfortunately, will get tarred for going along with Obama and will get eliminated in future elections, leaving the Ben Nelsons and Max Baucuses, thoroughly protected by corporate money, to march into the future with the Democratic brand name.

So in the name of healthcare reform the Democrats will pass a health insurance bill for insurance companies, get the blame for the predictable consequences, and the Republican obstructionism will be rewarded with yet another Reich.

So it goes.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday, 18 December 2009

John Caruso, "Why they're worse", includes another discussion of whether or not voting for the democrats matters. Read the comments too.

Glenn Greenwald in Salon, on Corporatism vs. healthcare. (by the way Salon, your new format sucks.)

at Hugo Zoom I embedded a Google Video copy of Alex Gibney's Taxi to the Dark Side.[imdb, Wiki] Yes, I know, the voice sync is terrible, but this was the only embeddable Google Video version still available.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Man Who Changed The World, parts 1 & 2

Part one (of six): The Man Who Changed The World: Iran & The West


and, part two:

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"The Man Who Changed the World" Parts 3,4,5 and 6

Parts one and two are here. Directly above is part 3 of "The Man Who Changed the World". Below are parts 4, 5 and 6, which are mainly about the American Embassy hostage crisis of '79-'81.

pt 4:

pt 5:

and finally, pt 6:

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Monday, December 14, 2009

14 December 2009

banksy 2009

Banksy's 2009 Christmas card, via[1] and[2]

Haaretz: "Golda Meir told Poland: Don't send sick or disabled Jews to Israel"

via Helena Cobban's feed:

Cotoret, "Maariv’s defense analyst: Rabbis own the IDF"

Cobban's summary:
Didi remez's excellent translation of articles by Ofer Shelah in Maariv. Shelah wrote that when Brig. Gen. Gershon Hacohen and other officers were visiting Torat Hehaim yeshiva in the Gush Katif settlement bloc, they "were assaulted by yeshiva students, their uniforms were torn and their rank insignia ripped off. Rather than insisting that the rioters be arrested, either immediately or within a short while, a humiliating pact was made with them, as part of which the security establishment was to pretend as though nothing had occurred..." And much more...

from Firedoglake,via Avedon Carol:
Data: "It turns out that a significant minority of about 25 percent of the people who opposed the plan - or about 12 of the overall sample - did so from the left; they thought the plan didn't go far enough."

Avedon's comments:
So, 15% of Americans actually know that "The Plan" for health care reform will hurt our chances of getting real health care reform. However, not all of us oppose the plan for that reason - some support it because they understand that it will pretty much kill real health care reform.

Newsweek seems to lay all the blame for no WMDs at Tommy Franks' feet. While it is difficult to regard General "We don't do body counts" as a sympathetic figure, at least he didn't promote or anoint the war before it happened. He didn't write any of Junior's or Cheney's or Rumsfeld's lines in 2003, nor sell a weekly magazine with an issue released less than two weeks before the war would start featuring a cover story* about George W. Bush's devoted Christianity with Bush praying for the cover image(which is hard to find online now).

*"Bush and God", Howard Fineman, Newsweek,March 10, 2003.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Spaghetti-O goes to Oslo

Do they give Nobel prizes for being a world class asshole? If so, they ought to give one to Obama for his performance in accepting the Nobel peace prize. Heh, you could tell that the mighty O was mighty pissed. That’s what really gets me. For many people a Nobel peace prize would be an honor but not for Mr. Spaghetti -O. The part of his speech I saw on a clip seemed to center on what a hard-bitten character Obama is with his rigid and incredibly narrow view of the world and how much more realistic it was then that of the pansy-ass peaceniks who obviously have no place in Obama-land with their foolish and time wasting Nobel peace prizes. So after spitting on the Nobel peace prize, the people who gave it to him, and the people of Norway by telling them in so many words that they and the peace prize were a waste of time and mighty Obama the Conqueror had to tend to manly tasks, the kind of tasks that real men do, the task of waging illegal wars. Obama would love to stay in lovely Norway but war calls! That’s the politest fuck you I’ve heard in a while. But the liberals will forgive Obama and when voting duty calls they will line up in the sucker’s express and give their all for Obama.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

How Would You Like Your Corpses This Morning?

I’ve been thinking about the “terror war really ought to be a police action” argument and I’m no longer so sure that even that’s a good idea at least in the context of what some people are saying which is send in the special ops goons to take out the bad guys. The problem with that idea seem manifold to me. First how do you know that the people you intend to “take out” are really who you think they are. Intelligence is infamously bad when it comes to this sort of thing. What people who advocate the James Bond approach are saying is that it’s okay to kill some people without really knowing if they are who we think they are or if they are really guilty even if they are those people. Another thing to consider is that having read some accounts of these “commando” type raids there is usually plenty of what we call “collateral damage” or as in most cases that’s all there is, collateral damage.

People keep saying al Qaida is down to less than one hundred members but since this number is based on “intelligence” it would be safe to say we really don’t know a damn thing about how many al Qaida there are. The best approach to terrorism, the only moral approach that avoids hypocrisy on a cosmic scale, is to stop doing things that fuel it. This means dismantling the empire though the first steps should be total and complete withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq and it should begin immediately. This would go much further in mitigating any terrorist threat than our military actions ever could. Then we need to stop supporting Israel and take a much more even handed approach regarding the Palestinians and Israel rather than giving Israel everything it wants. Eventually we’ll need to close our wasteful and completely unnecessary military bases in foreign lands as well as the secret torture gulags. This is just common sense and anyone who is cognizant knows this is all true.

If people are looking for some kind of justice for 9/11 they won’t find it by murdering people who are completely innocent of any involvement in 9/11 which are the same people we are murdering as I write this lousy post. So a police action you say is what you want? Okay, fine then let’s have a real police action and I say that recalling that the police are not lawyers, judges, or jury members and their job is not to judge who is guilty or who isn’t rather it is to enforce the law. So a police action should consist of a serious investigation perhaps followed by the arrest of suspects if there is sufficient evidence followed by a trial. Sending commandos in to murder people based on hearsay and highly questionable evidence such as that provided by intelligence is nothing more or less than a terrorist act itself.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

"A piece of rhetorical deception..."

Paul Jay of The Real News talks to William Engdahl, author of Full Spectrum Dominance.

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Democracy at work

this just in, like they used to say...

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Sunday, December 06, 2009

Another country

b52 and b1

Rob Payne, "The Agony and the Escalation" here, and here.

Dennis Perrin, "Obama's Brand New Bag"


The arithmetically-challenged Thomas Friedman: "we did some stupid and bad things. But for every Abu Ghraib, our soldiers and diplomats perpetrated a million acts of kindness..."


As first lady Laura Bush looks on, President Bush hugs Candace Pierson of Auburndale, Fla., after her son, Marine Cpl. Jordan S. Pierson, was presented the Purple Heart for injuries suffered while serving in Iraq. The ceremony took place Dec. 21, 2005, at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Also in the room are Cpl. Pierson's fiancee, Kirstin Martin (right), and sister Rachel Pierson. White House photo by Paul Morse

phan vu and afghan boy

Phan Van Tu was born in October 1989; his injuries, from contact with hitherto unexploded ordinance, occurred in 2003. From

Tu was born to poor farmers in the Bo Trach district of Quang Binh Province. Living conditions were difficult for his family so as he got older, Tu helped his parents out by collecting shellfish after school. Then one afternoon when he was thirteen, Tu picked up a bombie* while catching shrimp. By his account, one minute he was in the water and the next he woke up in a hospital, having lost his left arm below the elbow and the lower half of his left leg. Tu also had severe injuries to his intestine that required extensive surgery and a two month stay in the hospital. As his body healed, Tu was able to return home, yet his recollection of that time is not entirely celebratory: “I did not go out of my house because I was so anxious about what people thought about my limb loss. I was scared of their stares and glances, their words and even their sympathy.”

Addendum and correction: When I first came upon the photo of the boy on the right sitting on the sofa, all I knew about the image was that it was from and that it came up via an image search for the query "Afghan bombing victim". However he is not from Afghanistan[link]:

Twelve-year-old Mohamed Samer Elhaz Mouss, photographed in October 2006, was injured by Israeli cluster bomblets delivered by Israeli warplanes during the recent Israeli aggression on Lebanon. On 9 August 2006, in the Rashidieh Camp outside of Sour, Mohamed was running from attacking Israeli warplanes and hid behind a tree where he came into contact with unexploded bomblets. (Sam Costanza)

In a sense Mohamed is a victim of the same larger war, that has been waged more or less continuously since 1945 or so, but that is an argument for another day. Here(and here) are images of Afghan children victimized by the Af-Pak conflict.(Some are pretty graphic. Note that the second group of images are related to one specific airstrike that took place in May of 2009.)

LBJ and McNamara

obama and gates

Dallas Morning News, "Obama's Afghanistan decision evokes LBJ's 1965 order on Vietnam buildup"

Jonathan Schwarz, "Psych!"


Ed Rollins, CNN: "Obama's bold plan makes me want to wiggle my dick"(I paraphrase.)

a new day

Arthur Silber, "A Deadly Liar and Manipulator"

additional photo credits: B-52 from, B-1B from, BHO with legless lady from AFP, GWB with soldier's family from, Iraqi Vet playing Gameboy from, LBJ and McNamara from University of Kansas History Archive(UPI), BHO and Robert Gates from Reuters, cartoon from Thoughts on the Eve of the Apocalypse. Flags of South Vietnam, etc are public domain.

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Saturday, December 05, 2009

Motivation Nation

Now there we go again. Liberals can’t stop they just can’t stop defending Obama even in the face of his latest speech informing us of his Afghan Plan. I’ve done a lot of dumb things in my life, and continue to do so, yet I can proudly say I never defended Obama. To be sure there is pressure from the generals, and pressure from Clinton and Bob Gates the cat boiler. But that’s not what drives Obama. Politicians are self-serving beyond and above anything else they might be and Obama is no different no matter what color his skin is or how big his smile may be. As I said in an earlier post it is political considerations that drive Obama’s foreign policies.

Just like the news media who reports through the lens of Obama’s presidency that is also what motivates Obama’s foreign policy. If he makes a wrong move in Afghanistan the republicans could use it to rake him over the coals in the next election. Democrats live in fear of being accused of weakness regarding foreign policies and especially regarding war and much of what Obama does is driven by his own political needs like all politicians. So foreign policy when regarded in this manner is really domestic policy in a way.

William Lind I think hits the nail (because he agrees with me) on the head regarding Obama’s motives and presents us with valuable insight.


So what lies behind President Obama’s decision? Domestic political considerations, of course. He has done what politicians always do when faced with difficult choices: he has kicked the can down the road to a specific date, July 2011. That is when the president promises we will begin a withdrawal from Afghanistan. The date is meaningless beyond its political meaning, i.e., at that point Obama will again be faced with the same decision he just punted. With a presidential election looming, he will punt again. Meanwhile, the war’s price, in money and casualties, will have risen, making it even harder to walk away from sunk costs.

The real choice Obama faced was not how many troops to send. We do not have enough troops to commit a militarily meaningful number. The real choice was to get out now or get out later. His duty as chief executive, the state of America’s treasury (empty), concern for the well-being of our troops and their families, and the hopelessness of the situation all dictated he get out now. By punting the decision, he showed America and the world what he is made of. Dec. 1, 2009, was the date the Obama presidency failed.

The two points of importance here are one, Obama didn’t decide anything rather he avoided it and two, the real choice wasn’t how many but was to pull out or not to pull out. That makes an awful lot of sense to me. Obama has made himself irrelevant yet not in the way his self-appointed defenders imagine.

Obama’s job is to keep the status quo by propping up the empire any way he can so that the elite can drain the last bitter dregs before the whole thing collapses in on itself. It’s only a matter of time. I like to think of Obama as an undertaker hammering the last nails into the lid of the coffin.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Manifest Destiny and the Jacksonian Democrats

This is a repost that I wrote two years ago but it still holds up today. Very little has changed in the past two years except for the worse. I tried to illustrate the origins of exceptionalism and predicted Obama would be not bring any change.Our nation was born out of imperialsim and the same attitudes have been handed down to the present day.

Most have heard the term “Manifest Destiny” and its usage to delineate America’s God given right to conquer the universe and beyond since there was really no other reason that could be given by reasoning people for the ruthless expansion of American territories during the nineteenth century.

The painting above (courtesy of Wikipedia) is intended as the personification of Manifest Destiny with the Indians and wild beasts scurrying out the way of a gigantic Columbia which is actually quite appropriate for the consequences of Manifest Destiny. American exceptionalism and Manifest Destiny go hand in hand with American imperialism which began with the expansion westward. It was our Manifest Destiny and it may also prove to be our undoing.

The phrase itself was coined by John L. O’Sullivan in 1845 in an essay entitled Annexation. However he was writing about America’s exceptionalism as early as 1839.

the following is an excerpt.

The American people having derived their origin from many other nations, and the Declaration of National Independence being entirely based on the great principle of human equality, these facts demonstrate at once our disconnected position as regards any other nation; that we have, in reality, but little connection with the past history of any of them, and still less with all antiquity, its glories, or its crimes. On the contrary, our national birth was the beginning of a new history, the formation and progress of an untried political system, which separates us from the past and connects us with the future only; and so far as regards the entire development of the natural rights of man, in moral, political, and national life, we may confidently assume that our country is destined to be the great nation of futurity.

It is so destined, because the principle upon which a nation is organized fixes its destiny, and that of equality is perfect, is universal. It presides in all the operations of the physical world, and it is also the conscious law of the soul -- the self-evident dictates of morality, which accurately defines the duty of man to man, and consequently man's rights as man. Besides, the truthful annals of any nation furnish abundant evidence, that its happiness, its greatness, its duration, were always proportionate to the democratic equality in its system of government. . . .

What friend of human liberty, civilization, and refinement, can cast his view over the past history of the monarchies and aristocracies of antiquity, and not deplore that they ever existed? What philanthropist can contemplate the oppressions, the cruelties, and injustice inflicted by them on the masses of mankind, and not turn with moral horror from the retrospect?

America is destined for better deeds. It is our unparalleled glory that we have no reminiscences of battle fields, but in defence of humanity, of the oppressed of all nations, of the rights of conscience, the rights of personal enfranchisement. Our annals describe no scenes of horrid carnage, where men were led on by hundreds of thousands to slay one another, dupes and victims to emperors, kings, nobles, demons in the human form called heroes. We have had patriots to defend our homes, our liberties, but no aspirants to crowns or thrones; nor have the American people ever suffered themselves to be led on by wicked ambition to depopulate the land, to spread desolation far and wide, that a human being might be placed on a seat of supremacy.

We have no interest in the scenes of antiquity, only as lessons of avoidance of nearly all their examples. The expansive future is our arena, and for our history. We are entering on its untrodden space, with the truths of God in our minds, beneficent objects in our hearts, and with a clear conscience unsullied by the past. We are the nation of human progress, and who will, what can, set limits to our onward march? Providence is with us, and no earthly power can. We point to the everlasting truth on the first page of our national declaration, and we proclaim to the millions of other lands, that "the gates of hell" -- the powers of aristocracy and monarchy -- "shall not prevail against it."

The far-reaching, the boundless future will be the era of American greatness. In its magnificent domain of space and time, the nation of many nations is destined to manifest to mankind the excellence of divine principles; to establish on earth the noblest temple ever dedicated to the worship of the Most High -- the Sacred and the True. Its floor shall be a hemisphere -- its roof the firmament of the star-studded heavens, and its congregation an Union of many Republics, comprising hundreds of happy millions, calling, owning no man master, but governed by God's natural and moral law of equality, the law of brotherhood -- of "peace and good will amongst men.". . .

Yes, we are the nation of progress, of individual freedom, of universal enfranchisement. Equality of rights is the cynosure of our union of States, the grand exemplar of the correlative equality of individuals; and while truth sheds its effulgence, we cannot retrograde, without dissolving the one and subverting the other. We must onward to the fulfilment of our mission -- to the entire development of the principle of our organization -- freedom of conscience, freedom of person, freedom of trade and business pursuits, universality of freedom and equality. This is our high destiny, and in nature's eternal, inevitable decree of cause and effect we must accomplish it. All this will be our future history, to establish on earth the moral dignity and salvation of man -- the immutable truth and beneficence of God. For this blessed mission to the nations of the world, which are shut out from the life-giving light of truth, has America been chosen; and her high example shall smite unto death the tyranny of kings, hierarchs, and oligarchs, and carry the glad tidings of peace and good will where myriads now endure an existence scarcely more enviable than that of beasts of the field. Who, then, can doubt that our country is destined to be the great nation of futurity?

And thus O’Sullivan sets America as above all other nations that exist or have existed as it was our “high destiny” where America is divine with the truth of God in our minds and all the rest of this putrid dribble whose arrogance and conceit is breathtaking. It is this philosophy that has imbedded itself in the American mind and has been passed on to this very day for most Americans would never question our superiority to all other peoples of the planet Earth. Today we see the echoes of this world view that has reverberated into ideas such as bringing democracy to the Middle East. We are superior, we are the agents of God and good, it is our destiny to spread our mindset and world view, our style of governance, our slavish obedience to the capitalist way to all other lands that inhabit this world. We must be sick in the head.

The belief in America’s Manifest Destiny was one of the cornerstones of the Jacksonian Democrat philosophy. And it was this belief in American exceptionalism that drove the imperialistic expansion of America from the Atlantic ocean to the Pacific. Manifest Destiny despite whatever O’Sullivan believed was merely the cosmetic overlay that hid the true non-idealistic motives of greed and avarice that was actually driving the disenfranchisement of the native peoples of an entire continent which included genocide on a grand and brutal scale.

One of the last Jacksonian presidents was James Polk. And like our present President Bush the Mexican American war that was provoked by Polk was done under not only the auspices of Manifest Destiny but in the guise of a defense against invasion.

Two months into the war,U.S. representative George Ashmun, from Massachusetts, rebuked the president. "It is no longer pretended that our purpose is to repel invasion," he protested, "The mask is off; the veil is lifted; and we see. . . invasion, conquest, and colonization, emblazoned upon our banners."

Ashmun and other Whigs could not reconcile Polk's course with ideals of innocence and exceptionalism. Democrats, however, replied that Polk was beyond reproach. When the war ended, Sen. Sidney Breese of Illinois argued that his country's historic commitment to peace and national honor had been maintained. "We have never, sir, since the birth of our nation, given occasion for war, not even with the barbarous tribes upon our borders," he insisted. "It is our pride. . . that our whole history may be explored, and no single act of national injustice can be found upon its page-no blot of that kind upon our national escutcheon."

Politicians, editors, soldiers, and citizens, wanted new terrirory for various reasons. In the case of Texas, the Tyler administration sought to prevent the abolition of slavery there, control a potential rival in cotton production, provide a haven for masters and their slaves, thwart Great Britain from keeping Texas independent, and comply with the wishes of most Texians to join the United States. In the Oregon dispute, Democrats hoped to dominate Asian commerce, provide land for future pioneers, and safeguard citizens already settled there. The war with Mexico and the strategy of conquest revealed a desire to secure a border at the Rio Grande, satisfy claims against Mexico, and acquire California to monopolize trade with Asia. Democrats wanted to supply abundant land to the nation's poor and to future immigrants. To attain this laudable goal, however, they relied on bribery, bullying, and warfare to wrest land from Native Americans and Mexicans. Often idealistic, they were also racist and materialistic.

Then as today many Americans are blind to the suffering, destruction, and death we have dealt the people of Iraq driving them from their homes as we drove the Native Americans from theirs, murdering them on a wholesale basis as we have been murdering the Iraqi people and indeed we hear less and less about the brutal inhuman occupation of Iraq in the papers and in liberal blogs rather it has been supplanted by the dog and pony show of a presidential election that is of little consequence since the major players are all owned and paid for by the giant corporations that run and own this nation we call the United States of America a nation that despite its pretense at holier than thou has long been bereft of any sense of decency with all of our double standards and double dealings. Our government has been lying to us and indeed to the rest of the world and it is no wonder that most people will not even discuss the atrocities that we are causing at this very minute and second and all the days and nights of our existence because it is not polite to speak of such matters. Oh no, we are good, we are of a mind with God, we are the saviors of the planet just don’t look too closely at the dead and dying, the bodies rotting in the noonday sun. It is much better to speak of more pleasant things or pass the time discussing the intricacies of our national elections and who is more suitable to be our next Murderer in Chief.

"It is our pride. . . that our whole history may be explored, and no single act of national injustice can be found upon its page-no blot of that kind upon our national escutcheon."

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Obama’s Self Defining Moment

I really don’t have much to say about Obama’s speech and people have already dissected the speech for all that it was worth which isn’t much in my opinion. The claim that we will be leaving Iraq and Afghanistan of course is nonsense and shouldn’t be taken seriously. The speech itself was rife with revised history and to be blunt a pack of lies. No surprise there.

Some are calling this a turning point in our history but I cannot agree. A turning point would have been Obama saying that he would not send more troops to Afghanistan. But that didn’t happen so this is just continuation of business as usual though I can see how one would be tempted to call it a turning point but I just don’t see it that way.

On the other hand you might say this is a turning point for Obama because for the first time in his short career he has had to define himself and he clearly wasn’t comfortable with it. Most now know what Obama is and what he stands for. And for some they will be seeing Obama in a different light but many won’t as some so-called liberals are as rabid about war as conservatives are if one of their own is leading the charge. To date Obama has been able to get away with murder both in the literal and the not so literal sense because of his chameleon ability to be all things to everybody but events are finally starting to overtake him and he is at last being forced to define who and what he is.