Saturday, March 24, 2012

Five years later

I don't regret voting for Obama back in November 4 yrs ago. I also don't regret voting for someone else in the primaries. I'll do that again this year (even though it's only "Uncommitted"). I might vote for somebody else in November - depends on a lot. Not Romney of course or Santorum or anyone from the GOP. But maybe a real Socialist, or a Green, or somebody.

Because Obama and Holder are in many ways impossible to distinguish from W and Gonzales on civil liberties. Not civil rights, where they're ok. Civil liberties. Like this decision to allow the government to retain data on people with no connections to 'terrorism' for five years. Yeah. And not just "retain", but access any government database even if counterterrorism is not the purpose of that database. To quote:

prompt access to all federal information and datasets that may constitute or contain terrorism information. NCTC may access or acquire datasets that may constitute or contain terrorism information, including those identified as containing non-terrorism information, such as information pertaining exclusively to domestic terrorism and other information maintained by executive departments and agencies that has not been identified as terrorism information,
And after that access, they can hold the data for five years, instead of three months. Because, gee, maybe someday it'll be useful.

Obama 's prosecution of the Endless War is even in some ways worse than W's. The number of "extrajudicial" killings - by drones mostly so there are no American lives at risk, except when they're the targets of course - is appalling. As is Obama's asserting his administration's "right" to kill anyone, including American citizens, without trial or notice or review.

Obama 's war on whistle blowers - from Bradley Manning to Peter van Buren to Abd al-Ilah Haydar Al-Sha’i (Shaye), a reporter in Yemen who relentlessly covered the drone killings - is chilling. W set the Iraq pull-out date and Obama tried to change it. The reason he didn't is that the Iraqis (an invented "people" if ever there was one, and who have never quite gelled as a "nation") found something that united them: not letting U.S. personnel stay in Iraq and be immune no matter what they did. No, Obama didn't build that insanely huge diplomatic compound, from which a viceroy might rule an obedient client state and run wars in neighboring ones, but he clearly didn't want to let go of the dream.

And now check this Executive Order: National Defense Resources Preparedness. It certainly reads as if the government is claiming the right to confiscate any property and induct any person at any time the president wants. What the hell? If we're not readying for war, what's up with that?

Look, I think he's better than the available alternatives. But I do wish we had a 50% rule and a "none of the above" option.

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At 6:30 PM, March 24, 2012 Blogger hikingwithhammer had this to say...

or maybe a против всех like the Russians had...(still do?)

I tend to agree with you. I'm going to have a hard time voting my conscience this November, but the GOP lineup is utterly frightening. Alternatives are few, and Obama is the most palatable. Terrible that it's come to this.

At 2:44 PM, April 05, 2012 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Think of the Supreme Court, then vote against the one you wouldn't want nominating justices to it (in other words, vote for Obama).

At 3:49 PM, April 05, 2012 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

I'll vote for him, most likely. Maryland's a pretty safe deep-blue state, so I might not ... but no possible way will I cast a vote that helps whoever wins the GOP nomination.


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