One Fell Swoop

In one fell swoop, the United States government, with the co-operation of the states’ governors, damaged the country more than Mao Zedong, the Soviet Red Menace, Iran, or Muslim terrorists ever could have.

• They kicked 1/4 of the country’s work force out of their jobs, many of them losing their health insurance at the same time.

• They outlawed the freedom of assembly.

• They shut down all forms of culture: sporting events, concerts, bars, comedy clubs, outdoor music festivals, picnics, gatherings of any sort.

• They ended the freedom of religious congregations.

• Shut down all schools.

• They closed the hospitals for 3 months.

• They restricted travel to some extent.

• The entire culture has been excoriated.

And remember their reasonings, all those things that they used to say: if the communists take over we will lose our freedoms, our way of life, the things we take for granted. Our government sent off young men to Vietnam, who sacrificed their lives and limbs because if the communists won the dominoes would fall and we’d lose it all; we’d lose everything we hold dear. The freedoms that make us better than them.

And then there was the terrorists. They attacked us because they hated our freedom. We had to build up and expand our military footprint and intervene all over the Mid-East to protect our freedoms.

Well, the communists did win and we were unaffected by it. And the terrorist have not hurt us in any significant way. Now, in one fell swoop, all those things we were supposed to be fighting to protect – gone. Now, we are told we can have our freedom back, in time, if we only do what we’re told.

And we’ve been told forever that joblessness is the scourge of a society. And many statistics back up the impact of joblessness on the well-being of individuals. And all those trade deals that were so hotly debated, would they benefit American workers? Or what about the immigrants, stealing our jobs? Or the work ethic?

In one fell swoop all that is moot.

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American Psychopathy

Two Definitions –

Psychopath: a person suffering from chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behavior.

Psychopath; a person having an egocentric and antisocial personality marked by a lack of remorse for one’s actions, an absence of empathy for others, and often criminal tendencies.

It’s like after a mass killing or after a serial killer is identified, you always hear people who are interviewed saying, he seemed like such a nice guy, he was always so polite.

Psychopathy has many causes, but America (the United States) has a special version of psychopathy and its main cause is a kind of mass hypnosis. In America an incredible amount of people seem to accept so easily that it’s not really a big deal that the United States is committing atrocities all over the world. Because we are told it’s for the right reasons; and besides I have better things to do.

Occasionally you will hear people question whether the United States should be the world’s policeman. This illustrates the hypnosis. We are the world’s thug; not its police.

America is a hero based culture. The American psychopath lives with a kind of conviction that they are the heroes. They espouse and praise virtue and goodness. They admire integrity. Even though they are none of these things. They have been brainwashed or have brainwashed themselves into believing that because it is a dangerous world, what would be evil, if someone else was doing it, is necessary for them to do, to protect those values.

Somewhere in their brains there must be a mechanism (that they have cultivated to such a point that it itself has become subconscious) that kicks in and heads any introspection, any glimmer of gut human response, off at the pass.

The same goes for most mainstream journalists. These are people who kiss their kids goodbye in the morning, then go to work where their job is to manufacture consent; to lie to their audience and make sure the vast majority of the populace feel that there’s a pretty good reason why their taxes are going to kill people who never did anything to them or even threatened them in any way.

If you had magic glasses that could see the truth, and you put them on while you were looking at most mainstream journalists, you would see blood dripping from their hands.

Sanctions are more evidence of this psychopathy. Congress continually passes (usually with a vast majority) sanctions on countries, as of this writing on 39 countries, affecting 1/3 of the people of the world. Members of Congress know that the only purpose of these sanctions is to destroy the country, to devastate the people to such an extent that they revolt and bring about regime change to one that allows our plunder of their resources. At the very least, if Congressional members don’t acknowledge that, they do it to punish the country, which is just as psychopathic; seeing themselves as some kind of superior being somehow endowed with a supremacy that lets them decide how others (most who have never done anything or even threatened anything at all against the United States) should live.

Recently I had an ongoing email discussion with an old friend who I know down to my bones to be of the highest integrity and honesty. At one point I said I was disappointed with and had no respect for our 2 Oregon (blue liberal state) Senators, because they were 2 of the 75 Senators who signed a letter to Trump urging him not to pull out of Syria and essentially telling him to keep up the good work we’re doing there.

My friend wrote back saying that he’s glad they are our Senators.

I was thinking about it and in my head I was thinking how Ron Wyden (one of our Senators) is a psychopath. Then I imagined saying that to somebody and imagined their shock that I would use such a word to describe Ron Wyden, a good Democratic progressive Senator.

Here’s how I see it.

Imagine there was this man you knew of, didn’t know personally but knew about his ideas and beliefs and political stances and were of the opinion that he was basically a pretty good person.

One day you hear a knock at the door and it’s this man. You invite him in. He steps inside your house and shoots your brother dead. Thinking Ron Wyden is not a psychopath would be like saying about this man, “well, of course I’m opposed to what he did to my brother but on the whole he seems like a pretty regular guy.”

The only difference between that man and Ron Wyden is that the man who shot your brother only killed one person but it’s someone you know and care about as opposed to Ron Wyden being responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees and a country being torn apart.

Ron Wyden has no more of a good reason to support the ongoing death and destruction in Syria than the man who shot your brother has to do what he did. They are both psychopaths; people who kill and somehow have conveniently overridden the circuitry of humanity that most people have.

The actions of Ron Wyden and our Congress both fit the definition of a psychopath being people who have an egocentric personality marked by a lack of remorse for one’s actions, an absence of empathy for others, and often criminal tendencies.

I pick on Ron Wyden because he has the power to directly wield death and destruction. But it should be made clear that Americans who are willing to go along with the Empire’s running amok around the world are also responsible.

It is the infection of the American psychopathy; the belief that we can do whatever we want to do to others that we would never in a million years allow somebody else to do to us.

This psychopathy is historically viewed as and evident in the histories of Genghis Khan, Hitler, the Roman emperors, and perhaps the British empire.

But in the United States now, it is imbedded almost in our culture. Our hero oriented culture makes it easy for the most evil players in the United States government to sell the slaughter by the military or by sanctions to its citizens. It’s a dangerous world and only our heroic efforts can keep you safe and free. And fear is the icing on the cake of the lies told to make the populace compliant. The fear coupled with the message that we must act heroically facilitates the short-circuiting of the human response.

Citizens of the Untied States should find what their country is doing repugnant. Even in a scenario where a violent response is necessary, if a situation has come to the point where we have killed, it should be occasion for remorse and deep reflection. But our conquests are heroic and the victims either evil themselves or they are the unfortunate ones (collateral damage) who must pay the price as we liberate their comrades. No remorse necessary.

Congress repeatedly passes sanctions on Russia, on Venezuela, on Iran, on Syria, on Nicaragua, and many more countries. Most of the votes on these sanctions are unanimous or nearly unanimous. And, again, most of these countries never did a thing to the United States or even threatened us in any way.

Pretty much nearly every United States Congress person is a psychopath. Where is the reflection? Where is the learning? It is now pretty much agreed that the Iraq war was a mistake. But we keep doing it. Where is the humanity?

And where is the humanity in my fellow citizens who aren’t outraged at the actions of our Presidents and our Congress?

This is the hypnosis that is the American psychopathy.

In this clip, from the RT show CrossTalk, Wolf Blitzer, CNN’s “lead political anchor”, demonstrates perfectly the American psychopathy. Regarding the ongoing bombing of Yemen, causing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, he points out that peace has a substantial downside.

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Warheads to Windmills

Timmon Wallis has written an extensive report called: Warheads to Windmills, How to Pay for a Green New Deal. In the book he addresses “three emergencies that threaten our existence: Climate, Nuclear weapons, Inequality and injustice”.

I had the expertise and offered to prepare an eBook of his report. Click here to download it for free. And check out his website here where you can also download the original PDF.

From the Introduction of the Report:

Our survival as a planet depends on drastically curbing greenhouse gas emissions in the very near future. Our survival also depends on completely eliminating the danger of nuclear weapons.

By fortunate coincidence, the resources (federal funding, private funding, scientific and technical expertise, jobs and infrastructure) currently being wasted on nuclear weapons can be shifted to the production of green technologies to address the climate crisis.

Unless we take swift and decisive action to reduce global carbon emissions, the consequences of climate change will be catastrophic. This is a life-threatening emergency that can only be adequately addressed in the timeframe we have available to us through a profound change in our priorities, as in a “Green New Deal.” 

The existence of nuclear weapons is also a life-threatening emergency that threatens all life on this planet, and needs to be addressed with equal urgency. The world has now outlawed these weapons through the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (or “Nuclear Ban Treaty”). It is up to the US to lead the way to their total elimination. 

Paying for a Green New Deal is going to require money, skills, jobs, technological innovation and infrastructure on an unprecedented scale. It will also require working much more cooperatively with other countries. Eliminating nuclear weapons will release a huge amount of money, skills, jobs, technological innovation and infrastructure needed for a Green New Deal. And it will also help to transform our relationship with the rest of the world. 

And underpinning both of these global emergencies is a third emergency of equal importance: an emergency of spiraling inequality and injustice that makes both nuclear war and uncontrolled climate change both more likely and more dangerous. Unless we simultaneously address the grotesque levels of inequality, both within and between countries, we will not be able to solve the other two global emergencies we face. 

That is why the Green New Deal that has been proposed by Massachusetts Senator Markey and New York Representative Ocasio-Cortez is about creating jobs, supporting the poorest and most marginalized communities, and addressing the inequalities and injustices around us as we address climate change. 

There are many, many other issues that are also of huge importance right now – and they can be solved, as long as humanity itself survives. 

Since the climate and nuclear crises are such profoundly egregious examples of injustice and political corruption, it’s possible that solving them can offer renewed hope, strategies, and energy for solving the epidemic of gun violence; the systemic racism that is not just denying people opportunities but literally killing them; the cycle of terrorism and wars that just breed more terrorism; the injustices suffered because of sexual orientation and gender identification; and the broken systems of health care, immigration, and mass incarceration. 

Our survival is not guaranteed. This is the choice before us as we approach the 2020 national election cycle: will the people of this country rise up and demand that we address these three life-threatening emergencies as our absolute top priority? 

Nothing we have ever faced in all of human history is as important as what we do now in the face of these global life-threatening emergencies. 

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How the United States Military is Responsible for Money Being Wasted Around the World

In the United States 2/3 of our budget is spent on the military. This is an incredible waste of money. It is a waste and furthermore it is criminal because it is not spent on defense, rather it is spent on offense.

It would be bad enough if that was the whole picture but it isn’t. Because of the United States’ track record and the fact that there is no indication that our behavior is going to change, we have forced many other countries to spend lots of money on defense; in this case, really for defense.

Take Iran, for example. Bush the 2nd named Iran as part of the “axis of evil.” By the second year of his administration the United States had overthrown the government of Afghanistan, on Iran’s eastern border, and then in short order also Iraq, one of the other two countries in the “axis”, on Iran’s western border. And when John McCain was running for president in 2008 and was asked what his policy regarding Iran would be, he smiled and said, “the old Beach Boys song, Bomb Iran.” Then sang, “bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran.” It’s not surprising Iran would feel the need to build up their military capabilities. We are told to fear Iranian aggression but truth is Iran hasn’t attacked another country in over 200 years.

Take North Korea, as another example. As the third country named as part of the “axis of evil” it is not surprising that North Korea would feel the need to build up its military. Add to that the fact that the United States talked Libya into giving up its WMDs, then overthrew their government, wasting the country in the process. Then officials in the Trump administration openly suggested using the “Libya model” on North Korea. Is it any wonder they would also feel the need to build up their military and defense; again, actually defense. In fact is should be obvious to anybody paying attention that North Korea’s nuclear build-up is also for defense, as a deterrent to US aggression.

Certainly Iran and North Korea didn’t suddenly start building up their militaries when Bush declared them to be the “axis of evil.” Those countries have long before Bush been targets of the American empire. I cite the “axis” declaration only to highlight how blatant the threat is to other countries. The United States has a nightmarish track record of overthrowing governments all over the world.

So, back to the point. For every dollar that the United States wastes on military adventurism, there is some money thrown away somewhere else in the world by a country needing legitimate defense against the United States or a neighboring country that we arm. This money all represents time and labor; effort towards an end. That is energy that could be better spent.

In a sane world, while people and countries would still have differences, the issues between nations would be the struggling with the issue of how we can manage time, labor, and resources in such a way that we can all sustainably have a decent standard of living. The quest for a comfortable life would go on but unimpeded by so much counterproductive energy. Inspiration and creativity would be towards constructive ends, rather than destructive ends. The “swords into plowshares” saying would also be about turning soldiers into men and women using their talents to create life, not take it.

Instead, money and resources are squandered increasing our standard of killing instead of standard of living. At this point in history the United States is the world’s biggest and baddest belligerent. When such a country spends so much money on war and aggression, that waste is amplified throughout the world.

The snowballing effect of the waste of labor, ideas, energy, and resources leads to impoverishing the world. Not just the moral degradation of putting so much effort into weaponry, but literally sucking money out of the hands of the people of the world.

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The Empire’s Collapse and the Fall of the Dollar

The Empire’s Collapse and the Fall of the Dollar

 (This post is part of my eBook, The United States Empire and its Fall)

In spite of all of the corruption and the gutting of the standard of living and quality of life in the United States it is very probable that the empire’s final collapse will be brought on for another reason. That is the fall of the dollar as the world’s currency.

Since the American people are never supposed to get the idea that we are an empire and that our government basically will do whatever it can get away with to shape the world to its liking and profit, one doesn’t hear about the leverage offered by the dollar being the global reserve currency.

Consequently no mainstream news is going to talk about how any threat to the petrodollar is a threat to the United States’ ability to exert global influence to its advantage. But it is, in fact, a huge threat to the empire. And economically it is a threat to the stability (such as it is) of our lives and lifestyles in the US.

One can see evidence that the government of the United States recognizes that threat in actions it has taken to protect the petrodollar. Consider this: the following countries went off of the petrodollar (or in the case of Libya, were about to) and began selling oil in other currencies:

• Iran – an existential enemy since they threw off the dictator we had installed when we overthrew their democratic government, that was going to nationalize their oil, in 1953.

• Iraq – a country whose government we overthrew in 2003. They are back on the petrodollar now.

• Syria – a country we have been trying to overthrow for many years.

• Venezuela – a socialist country that nationalizes its oil and uses the money for its people; needless to say, an enemy of the empire.

• Russia – our archenemy because we can’t subject them. They are strong again and just won’t kowtow to us after we tried to plunder them after the Soviet Union collapsed.

• Libya – Gaddafi was organizing African countries to use a pan-African currency and to go off the petrodollar which we nipped in the bud when we attacked Libya and overthrew the country in 2011.

Yes, this is a shortlist of the United States’ most recent interventions and countries we demonize. Coincidence? I think not.

Barack Obama was an awful president responsible for a myriad horrible anti-life policies but he was attractive and one of the best public speakers ever, so when he championed American exceptionalism and the empire it was with a pretty face and mellifluous voice. Democrats were lulled to sleep.

Then comes Trump. Trump is an awful president and a despicable human being. Lacking the charisma of Obama he is crude, rude, and obnoxious but he has one silver lining. He is accelerating the fall of the empire. This is good for the world and ultimately good for the people of the United States.

Trump has been on a sanctions binge. The downside is that these sanctions, being a form of siege warfare, are incredibly destructive and deadly. The silver lining here is that his sanctions are so widespread that he has alienated so many countries that they are now just saying to hell with the United States, we are going to do business with each other; who needs you?

China and Russia and all of the countries we have been trying to overthrow are allied and closer than ever.

Furthermore, Trump has even threatened our European allies with sanctions if they don’t go along with our sanctions against other countries. The Europeans are really wimpy and just seem to have no spine when it comes to naysaying the United States but they are beginning to show signs of independence.

It won’t happen overnight but the Dollar is dead as far as being the global currency. This was the United States’ ace in the hole. It will be the final nail in the coffin of the US empire.

Refer to these articles for a more information about the birth of the petrodollar and a more complete picture of the rise and the fall of the petrodollar and the implications:

Petrodollar Warfare: The Common Thread Linking Venezuela and Iran by Kei Pritsker and Cale Holmes

Countries Worldwide Ready to DUMP America. Video: Holland Cooke hosts Michael Maloof and Peter Schiff

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The United States is Not a Democracy – Here’s How it’s Not

The United States is Not a Democracy – Here’s How it’s Not

 (This post is part of my eBook, The United States Empire and its Fall)

Foreword

This issues addressed below are directed primarily at the federal government, and while local governments are closer to being democratic, some of the points outlined below still play a compromising role throughout the system.

The United States of America is not a democracy. I see articles all the time that talk about threats to our democracy or how we might lose our democracy or what can we do to save our democracy. This is unfortunate because the first step in dealing with something is to acknowledge the reality. The United States of America is not a democracy.

So what is government anyway? Ideally, politics is just people getting together and deciding how best to get along and how best to address people’s needs, both physical and emotional. And government is simply a body of people appointed to take on this job.

Most people think of politics and government as this far away creature that is intangible. Although more complicated it is in reality just deciding who takes out the garbage and whose turn it is to do the dishes tonight.

And so what is democracy? John Judge, a political researcher and speaker gives an idea of what democracy should be that I think is well said:

“What a democracy would be, it seems to me, is that any particular social decision that affected people would have to be made by those people that are affected. And the fight for democracy or democratic rule is to constantly expand that definition to further include and more directly involve all those people.”

So let’s move on and look at how our system is fundamentally flawed and how now, in the 21st century, the state of our so called democracy is.

Table of Contents

  • The United States Was Not Founded as a Democracy
  • The Electoral College Has No Place in a Democracy
  • The Supreme Court
  • The Senate, the Way it is Made Up is Totally Undemocratic
  • Riders in Bills – Combining Issues in Bills
  • A Profound Lack of Transparency Makes it Impossible to Make Informed Decisions
  • The 2 Party System
  • First Past the Post, Winning Party Take All
  • A Broken and Corrupt Voting System
  • Voting for the Personality; Not the Whole Person or the Team
  • Voter Disenfranchisement
  • Gerrymandering
  • The Lack of Ranked Choice Voting
  • Money in Government
  • Money in Media
  • The Council on Foreign Relations Control of Media and Government
  • Management of Natural Resources
  • Polls Showing What the People Want vs. What the People Get
  • Corruption
  • Conclusion
  • Journalists and Websites with Integrity
  •  The United States Was Not Founded as a Democracy

That the Unites States was founded as a democracy is the first myth that is repeated and held high as an ideal that many, if not most, Americans feel proud of and believe it is an ideal that other countries should try and live up to.

When the United States was founded only a small percentage of the population had the right to vote. For the first 90 years of our country, black men could not vote. And for the first 150 years one half of the population (women) couldn’t vote. (And of course the native population never had a voice.) One can’t even begin to call that a democracy.

  • The Electoral College Has No Place in a Democracy

There are many people who think the electoral college is unfair because they believe a simple majority rule is more fair. And while true, there is much more damage done to the democratic process because of the electoral college.

The electoral college has made it so that presidential candidates only need to campaign in a very few pivotal states. The west coast will always go blue and the deep South will always go red. This means the candidates only need to address the issues of people in those few pivotal states. Issues that are important to people in deep red or deep blues states never even get mentioned during presidential races.

Thus we have a huge part of the population whose votes mean almost nothing. In fact in California 1/3 of the democratic voters could just not even bother to vote and it still wouldn’t be close; it wouldn’t matter.

  • The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is one of the 3 major branches of our government meant to bring checks and balances to that government. It is the only one of the 3 branches where the officials are not voted on directly by the people. And what’s worse is they are appointed for life. How can this even begin to be fair. When a seat opens up, a biased group of people (the party in power) select someone to carry out their agenda and there is absolutely nothing the people can do about it for decades.

Not only is it corrupt by its very nature, degrading the interpretation of issues facing society, but the importance of each judge’s appointment perverts the entire process. Witness the Republicans refusing to vote on a Democratic president’s appointee for almost a year until the Democratic president was out and they got a Republican in the White House so they could get an appointee more to their liking.

We have the same problem for federal judges; they too serve for life. All judges should be voted on by the people and should be elected to limited terms; each and every one. No person should have legal authority over the populace if they haven’t been selected by the people they legislate for or judge.

  • The Senate, the Way it is Made Up is Totally Undemocratic

The House of Representatives is made up of representatives, each one elected to represent the same amount of people (theoretically, at least; see gerrymandering below) across the entire country. The Senate is different.

Each state has exactly 2 Senators. That means in Montana, a state with 1 million people every 500,000 people get one vote in the Senate, while in California, with almost 40 million people, every 20 million people get one vote in the Senate.

In the map below states are grouped into chunks of states equaling the population of California. The Great West is made up of 15 states. California gets 2 votes in the Senate while the Great West gets 30 votes.

Imagine this scenario. There is a vote on a bill in the Senate needing 51 votes to pass. It is tied with just the Senators from Vermont, Wyoming, and California still to vote. California’s 2 Senators representing the will of 40 million people vote in favor of the bill. But the 4 Senators from Vermont and Wyoming, representing a total of just over 1 million people, vote against it. The bill fails. How can this in any way, shape, or form be considered democratic.

Senate Inequality (original)

  • Riders in Bills – Combining Issues in Bills

Another practice in the US Congress, that is incredibly non-democratic, is the practice of putting “riders” in bills. Riders in bills are additional provisions added to the original versions of bills or resolutions. These riders often have little relationship to the subject matter of the parent bill, and are usually created as a tactic to pass a controversial provision that would not pass as its own bill. Or sometimes riders are used not to actually be passed, but merely to prevent the passage of a bill.

This is a very common practice and these riders get very little press. For example, in reviewing the voting record of your congressperson you might see that they voted yes on a bill to appropriate funds for something you agree with. But it might have had a rider allowing something you totally disagree with, which doesn’t show in the title of the bill, and won’t show in a cursory look at their record.

In a democracy, in a government that was functional, you wouldn’t have this sly trickery playing a role. It is totally unfair to force the passing or failing of legislation against the interests of a congressional member supposedly acting on behalf of their constituents. In a democracy unrelated issues would have their own bills.

  • A Profound Lack of Transparency Makes it Impossible to Make Informed Decisions

It is important to be aware that the issue of the lack of transparency is not just about the lies we are told but also about omissions.

Do you remember the big TARP bailout in 2009? Because of their own failings the banks were bailed out. We were told it was necessary and to bite the bullet while taxpayers funded a $700 billion bailout. It was big news and covered extensively.

But the truth of the matter is that the TARP bailout was just a drop in the bucket. What they haven’t told you is that the bailout was much bigger. It continued for years with almost no mention. Estimates vary but many believe it was upwards of $30 Trillion. Yes, that’s trillion!

In a true democracy would the people have gone along with this? Not only was it criminal to lie through omission that this was taking place, but maybe worse is that we were made to believe that a one time, paid back $700 billion took care of the problem. Had the reality been common knowledge it might have started or furthered some kind of public discourse about how broken our capitalist system is. But we go merrily along.

How many people know that the United States has between 800 and 1000 military bases on foreign soil? Would the majority of people really support that? How many people know we invaded Syria, took over land, and currently occupy almost 1/3 of their country?

Our county’s leaders regularly demonize other countries and/or leaders to gain support for their overthrow. We are constantly lied into wars and numerous military adventures that would probably not be supported by an informed populace.

You don’t have a democracy if choices are made uninformed. And if distortions and omissions count as lies, the people are almost never informed. It goes against the self serving interests of those who are supposed to represent us to let us know what is really going on. The narrative aims public discourse away from anything that would rouse the rabble. And towards consent for their agenda.

This is how in a mock democracy a kind of totalitarian government can exist.

  • The 2 Party System

The 2 party system in the United States is a farce for many reasons. Both parties are completely corrupt. For one thing they are both bought and paid for. Members of Congress and presidents deliver what the big money interests want and not what the people want. It is a known fact that many bills are literally written by corporations and handed to congressional members to get it passed for them. Both parties make use of the revolving door that cycles people between major corporations and government.

And while the Republicans and Democrats put up a good show when they bicker at each other, they agree on the major issues that consumes most of the government’s budget and has the greatest impact on life in our country and in the world. Both parties are pro war, both are pro empire and both are pro wealthy elite.

To these ends they work together to make sure no other party can challenge their control. In fact, many people don’t know that the presidential debates is a private corporation; created in a pact between the Democrats and Republicans to ensure that no other party can participate. In a complete mockery of democracy, in 2012, when Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala, the Green Party’s presidential and vice presidential candidates, showed up at the debates, they were arrested, taken to a room and held for eight hours, handcuffed to chairs.

In these 2 party debates, both parties have an understanding that the most important topics, such as war and the military budget and climate change are never or almost never to be mentioned; like the lies and omissions mentioned earlier. There is no room for a dissenting voice.

Within the parties, challenging the mainstream narrative is also not allowed. The presidential primaries are a sham. Now that climate change is final being recognized to be a really big deal, and it gets a mention now and then, the Democratic party has shut down the possibility of their candidates having a debate about it. They have gone so far as to refuse to let any presidential candidate participate in the presidential debates if they engage in a climate debate on their own.

The primaries in a real democracy would give a fair picture of the people’s will as to who they would like to represent them. But the Democratic Party has 712 “superdelegates”, delegates who are not beholden to the results of the primaries, whose purpose is to make sure the party doesn’t stray too far from the status quo, should the primaries results indicate that the people want change.

It has become quite clear that the Democratic Party would rather run a weak candidate and risk losing to Trump than have a progressive candidate win who would challenge their interests.

It’s that bad.

The primaries and the election are a show.

  • First Past the Post, Winning Party Take All

The problem of the 2 party system is made even worse but the rules In the House and Senate. In most European parliamentary systems, the government is made up of the amount of representatives of the various parties in correlation to how many votes they received.

In the US government, the Senate and the House are controlled by the majority party. The majority party controls all committees and has a tremendous amount of power; controlling whether or not issues are voted on or even dealt with at all. This means that after every federal election, every 2 years, there is a body governing that is extremely partisan and there will be a plethora of issues of concern to the populace which, at best, may see the light of day in 2 years.

And this dysfuntionality is exacerbated by party dues. Congressional members must raise money to pay dues and more importantly, their participation in congressional committees require dues. So you think the person you voted for can now be effective in congress? Think again. If they don’t raise enough money for the party, they won’t get onto influential committees.

These Senate and House rules pervert the idea of a democracy. And of course, the lack of a viable 3rd party allows this to go on unchecked. Again, despite the bickering, the 2 parties are in agreement to never make changes to allow democratic reforms.

  • A Broken and Corrupt Voting System

Electronic voting machines are vulnerable. The person in control of elections in each state is appointed by the party in power and clearly has a biased agenda. Voters are in many states purged through such practices as crosscheck or other tactics to make it difficult to register. These tactics differ by state and are too many to go into here. The curious reader can investigate to find out just how prevalent it is. And where and why. Suffice to say that the voting system is extremely corrupt and broken.

It is a really bad idea that voting is on a work day and is not a holiday. A small step towards making voting more accessible would be to make voting days a holiday. It would be a simple thing to do. Further, that day should be in the middle of the week so that it doesn’t simply create a long weekend, which would encourage people to travel or make other plans. Clearly, if the people who make our laws were interested in making it easy to vote they would do this.

  • Voting for the Personality; Not the Whole Person or the Team

Presidential elections in particular have become a big show. The candidates are in full election mode a year and a half before the election. Packaging is everything. The influence of the media and of money play a huge role in exposure and in messaging.

But what is shown to us is only a spiffy superficial candidate with little depth of history. It is rarely revealed where their money comes from, what organizations they have belonged to, what people they have associated with. Even the voting records of candidates, if looked at at all, is never scrutinized.

And in the end, even with all of these limitations, we are just voting for the chief executive. It is a major flaw in what we expect from candidates that they never tell us who is going to make up their team. We vote for one person who has not told us who is going to manage the military, commerce, agriculture; who is going to be the Attorney General.

The Obama administration is the perfect example of this flaw in our system. Obama swept to victory with dreams of hope and change in the eyes of the voters. But how many of those voters would have had that passion if they had know that he was going to keep on Bush’s Secretary of Defense and the entire Bush defense team? Or if they had known he was going to fill the agriculture department with Monsanto lobbyists and many other Monsanto related people? Or if they had known that he would appoint Eric Holder as Attorney General who had been working for a company whose job it was, was to protect bankers from prosecution? No wonder not a single banker was jailed because of the mortgage scandal during Obama’s presidency.

And these are just the tip of an iceberg of conservative mainstream corporate appointments that he made, who were not part of the product’s packaging. An ingredients list should be required. For the process to be democratic voters must know what the team is that they are voting for. Of course, who the players are can’t be an absolute certainty ahead of time, but at least the candidates should be expected to go on record having outlined the team members they expect to appoint.

  • Voter Disenfranchisement

The system intentionally breeds apathy. All of the things mentioned above contribute to voter disenfranchisement. People don’t vote because it doesn’t make any or much difference. It is often the case in the United States that only half of the eligible voters are even registered to vote. Then only half of them vote. That would be around 25% voter turnout. So in a close race the winner’s mandate is only from around 13% of the possible voters. That is hardly a good representation of the people’s will.

Also there is the disenfranchisement of criminals and prisoners. In a culture whose legal system promotes the idea that people who commit crimes need to be punished instead of reformed, it might seem logical that felons don’t get to vote. The problem with that kind of thinking is that they are still part of our society and must also have their say. In fact it is a basic fascist technique that the people in power can decide what behavior is penalized, creating a group of people who are both penalized and not allowed to have influence to ever change the laws. Drugs are a good example of this. The horror of alcohol goes merrily on while people who take or sell other drugs are punished and separated from the process of deciding whether or not drugs should be legal.

Disagreeing with the standards that society sets (breaking a law) should not exclude people from taking part in the discussion of those standards; playing a role in the making of laws based on those standards.

  • Gerrymandering

Gerrymandering is the redrawing of the lines defining congressional districts to favor one party or the other. Ideal congressional districts would be divided so that in any particular geographical area the will of the majority of the voters would be manifested.

But what happens with gerrymandering is that districts are divided up (by the party in power) to lump all of one bloc of voters (those expected to vote for the other party) together so that although that bloc’s candidate will win in that district, they will be so diluted in all other districts that they won’t win in any of them.

And once gerrymandered by the party in power, they have a huge advantage to help them stay in power, locking in the corrupt system, empowering those in power and weakening the influence of those not in power (as mentioned about criminals and prisoners above).

See how gerrymandering works and its effect in the diagram and the chart below.

In the diagram below, representing 4 congressional districts, green outnumbers purple by 36 to 28. In the lower left corner the districts are drawn by evenly dividing it into 4 square areas and green wins all of them. In the upper left the concentration of purple gets a district they will win. In the upper right each party wins 2 districts. In the lower right, green wins only 25% of the districts although they account for 56% of the population.

In the chart below the diagram you can see, because of gerrymandering’s effect in the 2012 election, how many more voters it took to elect Democrats than Republicans to the House in a number of states.

Clearly this is not fair and has no place in a democracy.

Gerrymandering

 

Gerrymandering - Votes vs. Representaion

 

  • The Lack of Ranked Choice Voting

The lack of ranked choice voting is a major undemocratic feature of our elections. Many of the electoral issues mentioned above can be solved with a very simple system. This is called Ranked Choice Voting or sometimes Instant Runoff. It is a simple and elegant system that is never talked about because it would spell the almost instant demise of the 2 party system.

It is an absolute necessity for a democracy. It would be the biggest single simple step towards democracy we could take. What is it? How does it work?

A ranked-choice voting system is an electoral system in which voters rank candidates by preference on their ballots. If a candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, he or she is declared the winner. If no candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, the candidate with the fewest first-preference votes is eliminated. First-preference votes cast for the failed candidate are eliminated, lifting the second-preference choices indicated on those ballots. A new tally is conducted to determine whether any candidate has won a majority of the adjusted votes. The process is repeated until a candidate wins an outright majority.

This would completely eliminate the spoiler effect. It would eliminate the need to ever vote against someone rather than what your heart really desires. It would bring disenchanted voters back into the process. It would open the country up to a multiparty system. And I think it would reveal how many Americans don’t want to vote for either of the 2 major parties.

This has been adopted for some local elections but it doesn’t get much press. No wonder.

See a good 1 minute video that clearly demonstrates ranked choice voting by clicking here.

  • Money in Government

It’s hard to know where to begin to talk about the corrupting influence of money in politics. It is simply a fact that money buys access to politicians. The wealthy elite get laws that help them and keep the government from passing laws that would punish them or limit their escapades.

Executive of corporations are rarely prosecuted for crime that are far far worse than the crimes that send common citizens to jail for lengthy sentences.

When is the last time any of the members of Congress raised a stink about the subsidies handed out to huge corporations? While there are people struggling to get by billions of tax payer dollars are handed over to some of the world’s richest people.

Another problem with money in politics is how much money it takes to get elected. It takes a lot of money to get elected and a lot of money to stay in office. A byproduct of this is that Congress is made up of wealthy people, whose interests are rarely a reflection of the people they represent.

  • Money in Media

A functional, open, and questioning media is a necessary element of a democracy. The mainstream media in the United States have become stenographers for the narrative the government wants to put forth. While we have the illusion of having a myriad sources of news, in reality almost all of the mainstream media is owned by 6 giant corporations.

They share the same agenda as the 2 parties. Pro empire, pro war, and pro wealthy elite. Many of the “experts” that are brought on to give analysis about critical issues have, in fact, ties with corporations who stand to make a lot of money if they can convince you of their viewpoint. An example would be an admiral, brought on as an expert on CBS news, who urges military action against Iran who sits on the on the board of directors of Raytheon.

One of the biggest illusions that people have, I believe, is that you can turn on your TV and find out what the news is today. Skeptics may watch with questioning minds but the truth is that fake or false news is nowhere near the worst crime of corporate media.

It’s what they don’t tell you that is the biggest lie. The corporate media propagates the narrative that they want you to hear. There are many many important issues you won’t even hear about at all because they don’t even want a debate.

An example would be the forever regime change conflicts that keep appearing in the news every few years. These crises seem to just come out of nowhere; suddenly some “dictator” has gone too far. Something must be done. These things don’t come out of nowhere; you are just never told the history. And you are certainly not told, as is so often the case, about all the things that our government has been doing to cause in the first place and/or to exacerbate the situation. It’s why Americans seem to have no sense of history.

It would be bad enough for a democracy if the media was just bad. But when it is a mouthpiece for the perpetration of government lies, for the wealthy, and for the warmongers a functioning democracy is impossible.

  • Outside Control of Media and Government – The Council on Foreign Relations and Others

There are several groups that exert a tremendous amount of influence on the government of the United States and on the media. Perhaps the big 3 would be the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderberg Group. These are groups who meet and formulate political and monetary agendas that they promote; agendas beneficial to their ideas of how the world should work. And they influence the narrative by their widespread influence in government and in the media.

Focusing on the Council on Foreign Relations, it is an organization that is incredibly influential in United States politics; to the point where any notion that we have a democracy can be tossed out the window. The following paragraph is from an article on the Global Research website by Joachim Hagopian.

“Since 1940 every Secretary of State but one has been on the CFR and/or Trilateral Commission, and a majority of Secretaries of Treasury as well. Multiple CIA directors have been in the CFR. For eight decades nearly every key National Security and Foreign Policy Advisor are/were members. And of course a significant number of US presidents and VP’s have been CFR members. Regardless of what party happens to occupy the White House, an intransigent fixture operating at the highest echelons of power in Washington over the last century has been strategically assigned CFR plants. The CFR’s interlocking marriage between the private corporate sector and the public government sector is largely responsible for today’s lopsided world of harsh gross disparities.”

Further, they have tremendous influence over the media. The following paragraph is from Matt Agorist of The Free Thought Project on the Transcend Media Service website, regarding information made available through WikiLeaks.

“Top journalists and executives from all major media companies are integrated into the CFR. As the chart below illustrates, the CFR has even more control in the mainstream media than even the nefarious Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission.”

The American Empire and its Media

Click on the image to view it full size so it’s readable. Click Here to read the article, WikiLeaks Exposes How Council on Foreign Relations Controls Most All Mainstream Media

One other group that deserves attention is the Federalist Society. The Federalist Society is a right wing group with an extremely conservative philosophy that promotes federal and Supreme Court judges. They have been for several decades instrumental in having a tremendous amount of judges appointed to promote their conservative agenda. Their goal is a conservative and libertarian government with minimal impedance of corporations; not an inclusive participatory democracy. Currently 5 of the 9 Supreme Court judges are Federalist Society members.

Check out this article for more information: Inside Trump’s Judicial Takeover

  • Management of Natural Resources

We in the United States have all grown up with a system of plunder by large corporations of our natural resources for so long that it is never even questioned. When is the last time you’ve heard a topic of political debate be whether we should nationalize our natural resources?

It seems that in this huge resource rich land it should be a no brainer that the resources belong to the people. But in the United States powerful rich corporations get access to our trees, petroleum, and minerals and have exclusive rights to plunder those resources. And in doing so destroy the land because we have given them free reign and they really don’t give a shit.

Would people in a real democracy choose to hand over the management of public resources to private companies to make a fortune off of as they sell it back to us at inflated prices? In a functional democracy the industries would be managed by the government at no profit. With petroleum, for example, the workers who extract the oil and work throughout the process would get paid fairly for their hard work. And in the end there would be uniform priced gas stations. As an example, in Venezuela, where the oil is nationalized, gas costs 17¢/gallon.

  • Polls Showing What the People Want vs. What the People Get

There are many polls showing that a majority and often a vast majority of people want to have certain legislation passed or want something in society dealt with in a certain way but their wishes are never realized. In some ways that’s about all you need to know to recognize that we do not have a democracy. Even if you know nothing about how the system works, if the will of the people isn’t being served, the system has failed. If, in a representative governmental system, the will of the people and the will of the people representing them don’t align, the system is no longer democratic.

People want stricter gun laws. People want the government to do more to address climate change. But it doesn’t happen. Around 90% of Americans are in favor of net neutrality but it was taken away.

The lack of fair universally accessible public health care is maybe the best example of the people not getting what they want being evidence that the United States is not a democracy. Privatized health care would never exist in a democracy.

Think for a minute about the fire department. How would it work in a town without a public fire department. Everybody would have to own their own fire truck. Or it could be privatized and the firemen would show up and have you pay up front before they’d put the fire out. Ridiculous, right? Now think about our healthcare system. Imagine a group of people getting together with the idea of pooling their money to be made available for those who need it when medical situations arise; much like we do with the fire department, police, and sanitation. Now imagine that group of people, instead of making it a public service, deciding to make a rule that the money must be spent getting health care from private companies who will charge hugely inflated prices for their services. Crazy, but that’s what our representatives do with the money we entrust to them.

  • Corruption

The United States is the most corrupt country on the planet. I don’t think many people would consider this to be true, but certainly it is.

When most people think of corruption they think of some Middle East or 3rd world country where ostensibly public money is given to the leader’s brother or something like that.

This kind of corruption pales compared to the institutional corruption in the United States. In the United States, 2/3 of the public’s tax money goes to the military. The United States military’s chief purpose is domination of the planet; not defense. War and building up for war is good for business.

When 2/3 of the public’s money is used to further enrich the rich, this is corruption of the highest order.

Unfortunately the theft of the money is not the worst of it. The United States is in a state of constant war. The citizens, whether they like it or not, are paying for death and destruction with their taxes. Aside from the devastation on foreign soil, the worst damage of this is to the soul of America, both what we are responsible for abroad and the decay of the quality of life at home.

No country with this level of corruption can be considered to be even remotely democratic.

Conclusion

The reason for this critique is not just to complain but, as suggested in the book’s foreword, is an appeal to get past the myths that we live in a democracy. Only then can we expect it to change.

Unfortunately some of the issues such as lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court and federal courts are enshrined in our ancient holy document, the Constitution, so they would not be easy to change.

But other things, such as Ranked Choice Voting, can become a reality if enough people push for it. It’s starting to happen locally and it should be strongly promoted. But don’t expect either of our 2 parties to get behind it.

The pervasive issue of money is a tough one. It’s how it all goes on. Money gets power. Money keeps power. Money despises democracy.

One bright light in all of this negativity is that in the age of the internet there is great journalism to be had. This is one of the most hopeful things there is. Stories, issues that were never before told are now being reported on.

One must, however, first wean themselves from the mainstream media and do a little digital legwork to find journalist who resonate with your ideals.

 Journalists and Websites with Integrity

Following is a short personal list of journalists and websites with the most interesting, revealing news done honestly and with integrity. There are more; these are just my favorites I have discovered.

 Sane Journalists with Integrity (listed alphabetically)

Aaron Maté

Abby Martin

Andre Vltchek

Anya Parampal

Ben Norton

Caitlin Johnstone

Chris Hedges

Dan Cohen

Dan Kovalik

Eleanor Goldfield

Glen Ford

Glenn Greenwald

Jeremy Scahill

Jimmy Dore

Kevin Gosztola

Matt Taibbi

Max Blumenthal

Michelle Greenstein

Mike Papantonio

Naomi Klein

Patrick Henningsen

Rania Khalek

Rick Sanchez

Tony Cartalucci

 

News Outlets with Integrity

The Real News Network

Popular Resistance.org

Black Agenda Report

21st Century Wire

Consortium News

Global Research

The Grayzone

Truthdig

 

RT America Great Journalism Shows:

The News with Rick Sanchez

On Contact

Renegade Inc

America’s Lawyer

 

 

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The United States Government is the Greatest Evil on Earth

The United States Government is the Greatest Evil on Earth

(This post is part of my eBook, The United States Empire and its Fall)

US Commands Map (original)

The United States Government is the most sophisticated and most dangerous criminal organization the world has ever known. It is, by far, the most violent brutal organization on the planet; responsible for the most, by far, death, destruction, misery, and mayhem.

The United States Government is the greatest evil on Earth.

This is not hyperbole. This is not a metaphor.

The United States Government is the greatest evil on Earth.

One step further: The United States Government is the essence of pure evil.

What is evil if it’s not actively, intentionally denying people the liberty to live a decent life; to live as healthy a life and as fulfilling a life as possible.

The United States Government actively and intentionally carries out activities which negatively impact the life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and health of an incredible amount of people all over the planet.

Needless to say, the most overt evil, that is, the evil that deprives people of the liberty to live their potential, is war, which the United States Government regularly imposes for world domination and in order to plunder resources.

But aside from the horrors of war, the US carries out less overt (covert) activities that involve collusion with others with whom deals are made, meddling with the finances of peoples, both directly and applying pressure indirectly. The US foments dissent, pits people against each other, and starves people; all to destabilize countries and regions.

When people hear others taking issue with actions of the government, you often hear the words “conspiracy theory”. What’s wrong with that expression is that in most cases it’s not theory. A conspiracy doesn’t have to be some deep dark cabal whose members have delineated an intricate plan which will be carried out. While this can be true, more often than not it is simply a bunch of people who all stand to gain from the same thing and are all on board with whatever it takes to accomplish this; in this case, subverting peoples and plundering resources.

United States Government Influence

The United States Government has tremendous influence around the world and in every corner of the world.

The US has a military the size of the next 10 biggest militaries put together. (In 2018 the US increased its military budget by an amount equal to the total Russian military budget.)

The US has over 800 military bases around the world. (All the rest of the countries in the world put together have about 40 foreign military bases.)

The US sells more weapons than any other country.

The US carries out special ops military actions in around 150 countries around the world.

The US overthrows more governments than any other country. (More on this below.)

The US plays a role in installing dictators in more countries than any other country.

The US is one of only 5 permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.

The US use the dollar’s clout as the primary world currency.

The US exerts tremendous financial influence around the world.

And what does the US do with this influence? Almost nothing for the benefit of average people. There are certainly some small agencies of the government that do spend time, money and effort towards helping people.

But for the most part the US uses its military and influence to manipulate a world at the expense of most people. Whoever is killed, injured, impoverished, and left struggling is of no concern to the behemoth that is the United States Government.

For example, in order to protect the bottom line of corporations the United States Government has at the United Nations sought to remove language asserting the legal right for developing countries to override drug industry patents and license low-cost versions of otherwise expensive Tuberculosis medicines. The Obama administration repeatedly fought nongovernmental organizations over access to affordable drugs in the developing world, advocating for higher prices and pressuring poorer countries to stop creating generics.

Overthrowing Foreign Governments

Henry Kissinger said it all when speaking of an upcoming election in Chile, “This election is much too important to be left up the Chilean people.” The US would go on to overthrow the government in 1973, installing a brutal dictator.

The United States Government overthrows foreign governments on a regular basis. Just since WW2 the United States Government has attempted to overthrow over 50 foreign governments, around 40 of them being successful. That’s more than once every 2 years since WW2. And most of these overthrown governments were democracies.

In fact the United States Government has an infamous school in Georgia, the School of the Americas (now renamed), where the United States recruited men from all over Latin America to be trained to torture, trained to be dictators, trained to carry out coups, and other sundry brutality, all aimed at shaping Latin America to serve the United States’ imperial needs.

In fact, as this paper is being written, the US is involved in a coup attempt in Venezuela. After imposing brutal sanctions on the country for years and working with the wealthy elite in Venezuela to cause shortages, the United States Government decries the leader and the deplorable conditions and then declares that now we must overthrow the government for the good of the people.

It’s what the United States Government does.

Sanctions

Part of the playbook for regime change are sanctions. Sanctions are another form of warfare and another example of the evil that is the United States Government. The United States Government regularly imposes sanctions on countries in order to make the people so miserable that either the people will rise up against their government or that the United States Government can cry, “something must be done,” which is the US intervening. Furthermore, using the United States’ economic clout, other countries, including our allies, are threatened to honor our sanctions or else. Sanctions used intentionally for these reasons are, in essence, a form of siege warfare.

Madeleine Albright, who served as Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton, famously told a 60 Minutes journalist, Lesley Stahl, that killing half a million Iraqi children through punishing sanctions was, indeed, “worth it” to achieve US foreign policy goals.

Lesley Stahl (of CBS News): “We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?”

Madeleine Albright: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price—we think the price is worth it.”

Talking at Stanford with Condoleezza Rice, Rex Tillerson spoke about North Korean “ghost ships” washing ashore in Japan, most of their crews dead after desperately going fishing without enough fuel for the return trip.

Rex Tillerson: “The fishermen are being sent in the wintertime to fish because there are food shortages. And they are being sent out to fish with inadequate fuel to get back. So we are getting a lot of evidence that these sanctions are really starting to hurt.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a BBC journalist that Iranian “leadership has to make a decision that they want their people to eat,” dropping all pretense of caring about Iranians as he touted the latest harsh sanctions.

Evil Perpetrated on Home Soil

And at home it’s not much better. Probably the best example of the evil that the United States Government engages in at home, because I think it illustrates the wanton disregard for humanity to serve the wealthy corporate state, is the health care system.

The United States Government actively and intentionally keeps the health care system under the control of private companies whose intent is to make as much money as possible. People are sick. People are in pain. People are dying before they should. All because the government intentionally makes health care and access to drugs expensive and difficult. The United States Government is packed full of people who knowingly support this criminal system. This is pure evil.

As shown in the statistics in the section “Decline of an Empire” one can see how the American society is devolving; to a great extent either because of direct political action on the part of the government or by intentionally aligning almost all legislation towards the betterment of the wealthy. The rare legislation that benefits the populace is usually done just enough to keep the masses from storming the palace.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are certainly other governments that are evil; other countries’ governments who commit atrocities. There are many leaders who mistreat their populace.

But there is no other country that even comes close to the extent and reach of the brutality carried out and propagated but the United States Government.

At this time in the history of the world, we, as humans, have come a long way. Many common practices of our past are now abhorred by most people. Dungeons are no longer common. Torture is no longer common. Slavery is minimal and not as blatant as it once was. Through modern transportation and communication, people all over the world are realizing that we are all just trying to live.

This is a threat to the privileged elite. And in this context, the United States Government will not allow the world to come together. The United States’ wealthy elite will not go down without a fight.

The idea that the United States Government is the greatest evil on the planet must be looked at as much more than the isolated abuses that are carried out.

Right now on planet Earth, the United States Government is the biggest drag on the potential of humanity. It is the biggest drag on freedom. It is the biggest drag on justice. It is the biggest drag on dealing with the climate crisis.

The United States Government is the greatest evil on Earth.

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The Decline of an Empire

The Decline of an Empire

(This post is part of my eBook, The United States Empire and its Fall)

No claim is made as to the absolute accuracy of the numbers below.
The rankings were compiled around 2015, at various times and from many different sources.
If the reader is skeptical, then please do your own investigation.
In any case, whether 100% accurate or not, you get the picture.
A society out of balance and in decay.

US in World Ranking

1  Military Spending • As big as the next 10 militaries together. In 2019 the US increased its military spending by more than Russia’s entire defense budget.
1  Most Foreign Military Bases • 800 – 1000. All other countries together have about 40.
1  Greatest Threat to World Peace • 68 countries polled. The US by a huge margin.
1  Disparity Between Rich and Poor Among the 20 Richest Countries
1  Share of the Labor Force Working as Security or Guard Labor
27  Wealthiest Middle Class
1  Health Care Spending as % GDP
37  Health Care Service
50  Life Expectancy
23  Most Passenger Miles by Train (total, not per person) • Netherlanders travel twice as many miles as Americans by train. Japanese, 27 times.
10  Most Carbon Emissions per Capita­ • #2 among large countries. Over three times as much as China.
1  Gun Ownership
10  Gun Related Deaths per Population
1  Most Juveniles in Prison
1  Percent of Population in Prison • 5 times higher than Europe. The US has 5 % of the world’s population, yet 25 % of the world’s prisoners.
1  Most Prisoners in Solitary Confinement in a Democratic Nation • Estimates are 80,000 people in solitary.
142  Not Using the Death Penalty • 141 countries ban or haven’t used the death penalty in 10 years. The US is among 50+ still using it. (China, India, Muslim world)
5  Most Executions in 2011 • After China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq.
175  Having the Death Penalty for Drug-Related Crimes • The US is one of only 23 countries.
1  Child Abuse Deaths Among Industrialized Nations
2  Highest Child Poverty Among 35 Richest Countries
47  World Press Freedom Index 2012 (Reporters Without Borders)
Last  Vacation Time by Law • 0, None.
191  Paid Leave for New Mothers by Law • 0, None. Along with only 3 other countries:  Liberia, Papua New Guinea, and Swaziland.
79  Conditions for Workers • On a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the worst, the US is rated 4.
39  Maternal Mortality • The highest of any industrialized nation. The rate has gotten twice as bad in the last 20 years, the US being one of only 4 countries where it’s getting worse instead of better.
8,18  Obesity • Men rank 8, women 18. 7 of the countries with more obese women are the Polynesians.
1  Consumption of Pain Pills. • The US consumes 80% of the world’s opioid pain medications and 90% of the hydrocodone. The mg. per person use increased 400% from 74mg. to 369mg., between 1997 and 2007.
94  Women in Parliament or Congress • 17%, the average is 19.5%
Last  Public Media Funding • Last among industrialized nations. $1.43/person. The US spends more, about $2.40/person, for foreign radio.
27  College Students with Degrees in Science or Engineering • 27th out of 29 wealthy countries.
48  Quality of Math and Science Instruction • 48th out of 133 developed and developing nations. (World Economic Forum)

More Numbers

70/day  Sexual assaults in the military.
18/day  Suicides in the military. (this doesn’t count veterans)
35/day  Murders.
1 of 5  Women who will be raped in college.
5,000  Amount of Americans killed by police in the 10 years of the Iraq war; more than were killed in the war.
11,766  The number of American women who were murdered by current or ex male partners during 10 years of the Iraq war.
1,800  Stop and Frisks per day in New York City for many years.
50,000/year  Swat raids have increased since 1980 from 3,000/year to 50,000/year.

US as Outlier in the World Community: United Nations Votes

The number shown on the left is the number of countries voting yes for a UN resolution or treaty.

172  Voting to Establish a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in the Middle East • Only the US and Israel voted against it.
166  Agreeing to Not Militarize Space • Only the US and Israel voted against it.
187  Voting to End the Embargo Against Cuba • Only the US, Israel and Brazil voted against a UN resolution calling for an end to the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States against Cuba.
128  Voting to Condemn US’s Decision to Recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel • The US voted against the condemnation, joined by only Israel, Guatemala, Honduras, Micronesia, Nauru, Togo and Tonga, Palau, the Marshall Islands.
158  Voting to Implement Recommendations in the Secretary-General Report on the Causes of Conflict and the Promotion of Durable Peace and Sustainable Development in Africa • The US was the only country to vote against it.
196  Signatories to the Convention on the Rights of the Child • The US is the only country that has refused to embrace the world’s most-ratified human rights agreement. Bill Clinton signed the UN convention in 1995, but the US Congress has never ratified it.
162  Signatories of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities • Intended to protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities, the US is the only country that has signed it but not ratified it.
189  Have Ratified or Acceded to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women • 5 countries have not signed the convention and the US and Palau have signed but not ratified it.
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Socialism or Fascism: A look at the inevitable result of capitalism and how we really have a choice

The concept of Socialism has begun to become a topic of discussion in America recently as we witness the absolute failure of the current economic system to meet people’s needs.

And it seems to be so controversial. I hear over and over again how it’s such a far out idea. Or the specter of the Soviet Union is evoked. But I have noticed that the even those who are more open minded about it fail completely to elucidate the reason why it is the answer.

Before I put the simplicity of it in words let me preface it by pointing out how capitalism is wrong down to the bones. As a society we claim to have certain values that I do believe people have in their heart of hearts. And good caring thoughtful parents will try and impress these values on their children. These are values such as learning to play well with others. To share with other children. To help others in need. To be honest.

And then when we grow up, we are taught that in the “real world” all those things won’t work. Greed becomes necessary as one learns that they can’t expect help from others.

So here it is:

Socialism not only will work; it is the only system that can work. The idea that a system based on caring for each other and helping each other and looking out for the greater good can’t work – is insane. Totally insane.

The system we now have prioritizes gross national product rather than values. Leisure time, the arts, and community events are all filler in between the standard of making money and collecting things.

The system empowers an elite class (it always has and always will – it’s baked in) who decide how everything is organized and imposes their order on the vast majority of the population.

This elite class locks the system in by controlling the resources, the means of production, the media, the finances, and the government; they make all the rules.

This is fascism.

Either we all work together as equals with intent towards bettering each other’s lives (socialism) or we don’t and instead we accept a class of elites who get to make the rules (fascism).

Unfortunately the paradigm of capitalism is so pervasive that it is common that idealists, such as believers in socialism, are put down by many as not living in the “real world”, while the critics of these idealists argue for behavior that is contrary to their own ideals and works against their own interests.

The answer is simple.

How can doing the right thing possibly not work?!!

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Obama’s Pro-War, Pro-Corporate Choices

Shortly after Obama’s election I began to become disappointed with many of his policies, appointments, and approaches. While there were signs of hope early on, it soon seemed to devolve into business as usual. Early on I wrote down some of the things that disappointed me. Little did I know how far reaching my list was to become.

Click here to download this in either an eBook format or as a PDF document, both of which have a fully clickable table of contents so you can easily navigate to any section or subsection. Both are Free!

Obama’s Pro-War, Pro-Corporate Choices

A Hard-nosed Compilation

 

Foreword

In my opinion, as an overview of Barack Obama’s presidency, although he has done some good things, in most cases they were severely compromised by his lack of fighting for them, or they have been severely undermined by the fact that the structure of the government and its priorities and its support of corporate greed and destruction have not changed and remain upside down, which he has for the most part supported and promoted.

Obama and his supporters have complained that the progressives want too much too fast. That’s not it. Legitimate complications and conflicts among politicians is one thing but backroom shady deals with big money interests putting their profits ahead of the welfare of the people is something else. And he has consistently done that.

A line from a Martin Luther King speech strikes me as perfect for the Obama administration.

“True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. “

As Obama throws crumbs to us in the form of a smattering of social and environmental progress, he reinforces dramatically the “edifice” that creates the woes that compound social and economic injustice, increase hate in the world, and destroy the planet.

 Preface

The real importance of this compilation is that facts are needed to counter the phenomenon of Obama floating through his presidency while good-hearted Democrats were asleep. With his charisma and message of hope and change, the vast majority of Democrats who were not inclined to take the effort to really see what was happening, relied on the mainstream media for their information, and remained Obama supporters.

In the “liberal” media Obama was heroic, struggling against an insane Republican party. We were sold the idea that Obama did what he could, fighting against the Republican resistance. Fact of the matter is that Obama was adamantly pro-war, pro-empire, pro-corporate, and pro-American Exceptionalism.

This Democratic torpor, the Obama Denial Syndrome, was the first stage of the malady that gave rise to the next stage, Trump Denial Syndrome, which led Democrats to spend the first 3 years of Trump’s presidency focusing on Russiagate, a fantasy packaged by the Democratic Party and the Deep State, instead, again, of focusing on what is really going on, on what Trump is really doing. Also many seem to harbor the idea that if we can just get rid of Trump and replace him with a Democrat, then we can get back to the good old days of business as usual.

So, let’s look at the reality of Barack Obama’s good old days.

Table of Contents

This compilation, although extensive, does not, by any means, document all of Obama’s bad behavior.

It is not in chronological order.

It is divided into 7 main sections, some of which also have subsections:

Personnel

War, Military Industrial Complex

Afghanistan

Iraq

Libya

Syria

Yemen

Drone Warfare

Middle East

Africa

Latin America

Prisons, Black Sites

Empire

Other International Policies

Torture

Weapons

Reach of the Empire

Russia and China

Iran

Israel

Regime Change

Foreign Relationships

Miscellaneous Other International Policies

Financial

Banks

Taxes

Trade

Miscellaneous Financial

Secrecy and Free Speech

Secrecy

Miscellaneous Secrecy and Free Speech

Social and Domestic Issues

Domestic Surveillance

Civil Rights

Drugs

Health

Immigration

Guns

Budget

Miscellaneous Social and Domestic Issues

Environment

Big Oil and Other Fossil Fuels

Nuclear

Nature, Animals, Clean Air

Conclusion

The Obama Doctrine

 

Personnel

Has appointed or kept on a myriad Bush administration people in his own administration.

From the Bush administration he kept on Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense, David Petraeus, Stanley McCrystal, and others, immediately signaling a seamless continuation of the Bush war mentality.

Eric Holder as Attorney General, who had previously worked at (and would return to) a company who’s job it was, was to protect bankers from prosecution.

Larry Summers, as Director of the National Economic Council who was Clinton’s Secretary of the Treasury. Summers was part of Clinton’s team that deregulated the banks.

Timothy Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury. Geithner had worked for Kissinger Associates, Inc., an international consulting firm, founded and run by Henry Kissinger. And is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

After first being picked to lead the Office of Management and Budget, then as his Chief of Staff, in 2013 Obama nominated Jack Lew, another Wall St. insider, to replace Timothy Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury. Lew was an executive at Citigroup from 2006 to 2008 at the time of the financial crisis and bet on the housing market to collapse. He has long pushed for the deregulation of Wall Street. He is an architect of the pro Wall St. agenda and proponent of austerity for the other 99%.

Mary Jo White as chair the Securities and Exchange Commission who now works as an attorney at law firm Debevoise & Plimpton, where she defends clients such as JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank Of America, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, and UBS.

Jerome Powell to serve on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Powel served under George H. W. Bush and was a partner of The Carlyle Group, a huge private equity firm and one of the largest defense contractors in the world whose members include both Bushes and whose notable investors include the bin Laden family and the Saudi Royal Family.

Never replaced Robert Mueller, who has headed the FBI since the week before the 9/11 attack.

John Brennan as chief counterterrorism adviser who, as a Bush-era CIA official, had expressly endorsed Bush’s programs of torture and rendition and also was a vocal advocate of immunizing lawbreaking telecoms for their role in the illegal Bush NSA eavesdropping program.

John Brennan to head the CIA, a post that he had been considered for in 2008 but was at the time considered too controversial, having been director of the National Counterterrorism Center under Bush and who had expressly endorsed Bush’s programs of torture and rendition. He has also been in charge of Obama’s radical drone policies.

James Clapper as Director of National Intelligence who previously served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) under Bush.

Appointed at least 12 former lobbyists in his first 2 weeks in office. As of April 1, 2010 had appointed 50 lobbyists.

Had inner circle team members David Axelrod, once a consultant of Exelon, and Rahm Emanuel, who helped create Exelon, the U.S.’s 2nd largest electric and natural gas company with the nation’s largest fleet of nuclear power plants. Exelon has enjoyed top access to the administration and John W. Rogers Jr., a friend and a top fund-raiser, is a board member.

Bill Daley, a JPMorgan Chase executive, as Chief of Staff following Rahm Emanuel.

David Petraeus as head of the CIA. Continued his support after Petraeus, during his confirmations hearings, said he believed torture could be necessary under some circumstances.

William Lynn, a senior vice president at Raytheon, which has billions of dollars in Defense Department contracts and is the maker of the army’s Patriot Missile system and the Tomahawk missile, as Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ deputy.

Jim Kolbe on the trade commission, who has been involved with moving U.S. jobs to Mexico.

Jeffrey Immelt, General Electric’s CEO, to head the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness (GE is a leader in American manufacturing jobs outsourcing and closing factories). The 27-member council is stacked with 19 corporate chairmen and CEOs.

Owns considerable stock in major outsourcers of American jobs Apple, GE, and IBM, according to his 2011 financial disclosure, while accusing Romney of profiting from investing in outsourcing companies.

Daniel Gallagher as Securities and Exchange Commission commissioner. Gallagher is currently a partner at WilmerHale, its clients including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup.

Steven Chu as Energy Secretary, who was pro nuke, once saying he was not worried about nuclear waste because we have ways to store it for 100 years and by then they will have figured out how to deal with it.

Dana Perino, Bush Press Secretary to serve on the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

Alan Simpson, almost a year before the big deficit debate, as chair of the Deficit Commission that ultimately concluded the tax cuts for the wealthy should drop to below the Bush tax cuts level and the retirement age should be raised to 69, among other wealth favoring measures.

David Cote, Honeywell CEO, to the Deficit Commission. Honeywell who makes tons on defense contracts, stores nuclear waste in the open, refuses uranium distilling workers a health plan.

Ryan Crocker as ambassador to Afghanistan who is all in for continued full force war.

Supported the most conservative candidates in the 2010 Democratic primaries. Offered jobs to progressive candidates to get them out of races with more conservative candidates.

If not directly involved, at least supported the firing of Shirley Sherrod.

Never fought for Van Jones.

Gil Kerlikowske as Director of National Drug Control Policy, who believes and expounds all the nightmarish marijuana myths.

Michele Leonhart to head up the DEA, a Bush appointee, who has tried to block research into medicinal benefits of marijuana, and has undermined state laws regarding legal medical use.

Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg, Ford CEO Allan Mulally, Boeing CEO James McNerny Jr., all members of Obama’s Export Council.

Andrew Liveris, Dow Chemical CEO, as co-chair of Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership.

Praised his Jobs Council, who recommended expanding access to oil, gas, and coal on federal lands and called for reforms to further streamline government rules and reduce the regulatory burden on businesses. Wants to “aggressively implement” their recommendations.

Has packed the Agriculture Department with chemical and biotech concerns:

  • Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture, who, as Iowa state governor, originated a bill which blocked local communities from regulating where genetically engineered crops would be grown, and was founder and chair of the Governor’s Biotechnology Partnership, and was named Governor of the Year by the Biotechnology Industry Organization.
  • Islam Siddiqui, Monsanto lobbyist and a VP at CropLife USA, a pesticide lobby (the company who chided Michelle Obama for refusing to use pesticides on the White House garden), to the post of Chief Agricultural Negotiator, U.S. Trade Representative.
  • Roger Beachy, president of the Danforth Plant Science Center, Monsanto’s nonprofit arm, as Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
  • Rajiv Shah, former agricultural-development director for the pro-biotech Gates Foundation (a frequent Monsanto partner), as USDA Under Secretary for Research Education and Economics and Chief Scientist and is now head of USAID.
  • Ramona Romero, corporate counsel to DuPont to serve as General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • Michael Taylor, a former attorney and lobbyist for Monsanto, as Senior Advisor to the Commissioner of the FDA, then as FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods. He is responsible for running sting operations and guns-drawn raids as part of a crackdown on unpasteurized milk and cheese, destroying and confiscating huge amounts of product, as well as personal computers.

The consequences of his Agriculture Department’s decisions that adversely affect our public health (and that of the rest of the world by empowering the major corporate chemical companies) are far reaching and too many to be listed here.

Has started up a re-election campaign committee financed by undisclosed contributions.

Is sending senior White House aides and Cabinet secretaries to headline super PAC events.

Jeff Berman, as a member of his 2008 election team, who in 2010 would work as a lobbyist on behalf of the TransCanada Corp., and the Keystone XL Pipeline project.

Broderick Johnson as a senior advisor to his 2012 re-election campaign, a former lobbyist for the Keystone XL pipeline’s TransCanada Corp., Bank of America, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, JPMorgan Chase, and Shell Oil.

Ernest Moniz, as Energy Secretary, a supporter of fracking and ex-employee of BP, who has also been embraced by the Nuclear Energy Institute for his long-time support of the industry. In 2011, he wrote that it would be a “mistake” to allow Japan’s nuclear disaster to “cause governments to abandon nuclear power and its benefits.”

Anita Dunn as campaign strategist who advised corporations lobbying the government; such as TransCanada, General Electric, AT&T, military contractor Pratt & Whitney, and a business coalition seeking to reduce tax rates on around $1 trillion in offshore profits.

Susan Rice, first as the U.S. ambassador to the UN, then as national security adviser. Rice holds significant investments in more than a dozen Canadian oil companies and banks that would stand to benefit from the Keystone XL pipeline. She has a record of being extremely pro American Empire interventions.

Penny Pritzker as Secretary of Commerce, a billionaire heiress and campaign funder with a fiercely anti-labor record. She owned Superior Bank that collapsed after they expanded subprime lending. She was the wealthiest cabinet secretary in U.S. history.

Tom Wheeler as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, a campaign funder and a former lobbyist for telecom corporations that appear before the FCC. Wheeler is also a venture capitalist invested in and profiting from corporations whose requests he’ll have to decide on. Comcast has cheered for Wheeler’s nomination.

Michael Froman as trade representative, an advocate of destructive corporate trade policies in the Clinton-NAFTA days, as well as of the Obama-era corporate trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama, not to mention the NAFTA-on-steroids Trans-Pacific Partnership. Froman was managing director at Citigroup during its collapse and bailout.

James Comey to head the FBI, who was deputy attorney-general under Bush, and since leaving the Justice Department, has been working as a hedge fund manager.

Samantha Power as the Ambassador to the United Nations, who condemns the UN for its criticism of Israel and whose view is that the U.S. should feel free to intervene in world affairs unilaterally. And whose style is to be very critical and harsh.

Endorsed NYC police commissioner Ray Kelly as a worthy candidate to succeed Janet Napolitano as head of Homeland Security, saying, “Kelly has obviously done an extraordinary job in New York”, he’s “one of the best there is”, and “he’d be very well qualified for the job.”

Jeff Zients, who worked for Mitt Romney’s Bain & Company investment firm, as head of the National Economic Council after having bashed Romney during the 2012 campaign because of Bain.

Deborah Lee James as Secretary of the Air Force, who was a chief executive at SAIC, Science Applications International Corp, a Fortune 500 company, that ended up paying back $500 million in an almost decade long conspiracy to defraud the city of New York.

Rewarded campaign bundlers who collected more than $500,000, as 3 years into his first term 80 percent of them were given “key administration posts”, the same amount as Bush appointed over his entire 8 years.

Has appointed people to one-third of our 187 ambassador positions who are not career diplomats, have no experience or training but were given these plum assignments because of having been major campaign donors at an average of $1.8 million per appointment; this being not only corrupt but weakening our international relationships.

 

War, Military Industrial Complex

Afghanistan

Escalated in Afghanistan from 33,000 troops to 100,000 troops, just as it was clear there is no legitimate government there to govern.

The surge in Afghanistan cost 1000 U.S. combat deaths in 2 years after taking 8 years to reach the first 1000. And military suicide rates have now exceeded combat death rates.

Pitiful July, 2011 Afghanistan troop withdrawal plan.

After Afghan President Hamid Karzai banned U.S. special forces from Wardak Province, our military has ignored the ban.

Has made a strategic partnership agreement with Karzai, President of Afghanistan, that ensures Americans will provide military and financial support to the Afghan people for at least a decade after 2014.

Has more than tripled the use of night raids in Afghanistan. An estimated 20 to 40 night raids occur per night, resulting in thousands of detentions per year, many of whom are non-combatants, as well as many civilians being killed.

After a deal was finally signed requiring U.S. troops to get Afghan permission before carrying out night raids, said we will still carry out the raids without prior permission when necessary.

Has stalled the transfer of the Bagram prison from the United States to Afghanistan, further asserting our supremacy in their country as we portray ourselves as there to help them.

Iraq

Is pushing Iraq to extend the U.S. military presence beyond 2011.

May 18, 2011 offered a one-year extension of the 2003 Bush Iraq national emergency.

Claims he is bringing the troops home from Iraq as promised; the truth is we were kicked out against our will. Still we are leaving 16,000 personnel among which 8,000 will be armed contractors.

During a time in Iraq when 30 people are dying every day in sectarian violence, wants to send $2.7 billion in weapons to Iraq, including 681 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, 40 truck-mounted launchers, and three Hawk anti-aircraft batteries with 216 Hawk missiles.

Stepped up the operating of a small fleet of surveillance drones in Iraq after the troops withdrew in Dec. 2012 against the will of the Iraqi government.

Libya

Began military attacks on Libya without consulting Congress. Ignored the War Powers Resolution of 1973, which required Congressional approval after 60 days. Claimed we weren’t involved in “hostilities” because Americans weren’t being hurt. Months of bombing would ultimately lead to the total destruction of Libya as a functioning state.

Went against international and U.S. law, bombing Qaddafi’s compound, clearly attempting to assassinate him.

Syria

In 2012 had already secretly begun to arm and train the Syrian rebels / terrorists, authorizing the classified Timber Sycamore operation, a joint operation with Saudi Arabia and the CIA.

Decided openly to arm the rebels in Syria, using Assad’s use of chemical weapons as the red line, even though others including the UN say they lack the evidence.

Is vehemently pushing for an attack on Syria in spite of very little support from the international community or the American people; an attack that is not expected to accomplish much and has the potential for far reaching blowback.

Didn’t try very hard to defeat the terrorists in Syria, not bombing the trucks transporting oil which the terrorist were selling to Turkey; it was the first thing Russia did against the terrorists.

Yemen

Used cluster bombs in Yemen on December 17, 2009, striking al-Majala in southern Aryan province, causing more than 40 civilian casualties.

Played a major role in the Saudi-led bombing of Yemen, supplying arms, identifying targets and provided mid-air refueling of Saudi and UAE warplanes.

Provided political cover for the Yemen war, shielding Saudi Arabia from scrutiny at the United Nations and persistently proclaiming the strength of the U.S.-Saudi alliance.

Continued supporting the Yemen war as the blockade of the country created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and despite large-scale bombings that caused mass civilian casualties, including the Hajjah market killing 119 people and the Sana’a funeral killing 140.

Continued supporting the Saudis and the Yemen war even when evidence surfaced that the Saudis and Emiratis were working alongside America’s foremost enemy, al Qaeda.

Drone Warfare

Commenced drone warfare just three days after being sworn in, that kills many times more civilians than militants. Dramatically expanded drone warfare. In first 9 months he authorized as many attacks in Pakistan as Bush did in his final 3 years. Started a covert drone war in Yemen.

Is conducting the practice of “signature strikes” – drone attacks against targets whose identities aren’t known but who fit the profile or patterns of behavior of enemy combatants.

Has refused to show Congress any documents detailing the legal justification for drone strikes overseas after a number of requests have been made.

In spite of earlier agreeing to disclose the Justice Department memos explaining the legal rationale for targeted drone killings overseas after Senate complaints, continues to refuse to do so amid the confirmation hearings for CIA nominee John Brennan.

Took part in a NATO strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers which contributed to the deterioration of relations with Pakistan to the worst they have been in many many years.

In August, 2015, as if 60 drone flights a day wasn’t enough, escalated to 90 per day.

Will make a major exemption for the CIA’s campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan in the counterterrorism manual being prepared that will establish clear rules for targeted-killing operations.

November, 2012, under new Defense Department guidelines as many as 66 countries would be eligible to buy U.S. drones.

Middle East

Dropped 100,000 bombs, out-bombing Bush by 30,000 bombs. In the last year of his presidency, 2016, dropped 26,000 bombs.

Carried out ongoing bombing campaigns against 7 countries, adding Yemen, Libya and Syria to the four countries Bush was bombing.

Is responsible because of our wars for unprecedented multiple deployments to war zones.

In the middle of the 2014 Israeli slaughter in Gaza, when Israel was short of armament, authorized Israeli access to a U.S. arsenal in their country when they requested it.

Targeted and killed Hakeemullah Mehsud, the Taliban leader in Pakistan, with a drone just one week after meeting with Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s Prime Minister, who appealed to Obama to stop drone attacks in his country; this as Mehsud and Pakistani leaders had begun to talk about possible peace negotiations.

Blocked an Egyptian proposal to the United Nations to make the Middle East a nuclear free zone.

Cut funding for democracy and governance programming in Egypt from $50 million in 2008 to $20 million in 2009 and civil society programs and NGOs from $32 million to only $7 million.

Will keep Patriot missiles and F-16 jet fighters in Jordan after joint military exercises ended.

Africa

Has increased funding for AFRICOM, the Unified Combatant Command for Africa, maintaining an active military presence against the wishes of most of Africa’s leaders. This includes major increases in US arms sales through the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program and increases for the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program.

Announced plans to deploy U.S. Army teams to as many as 35 African countries early 2013 for training programs and other operations as part of an increased Pentagon role in Africa, including the capability to use drones.

Helped the French fight insurgents and the Tuareg in Mali, yet another indigenous people who want independence from artificially created countries (by the French after WW2), while the French and others want to plunder their extensive natural resources.

Is escalating assisting France in Mali, even thought U.S. law forbids foreign assistance funds to leaders that came to power through a coup. Mali’s military leaders, including some trained by U.S. troops, seized power last year by force.

Signed an agreement Monday with the West African country of Niger that clears the way for a stepped-up American military presence on the edges of the conflict in neighboring Mali.

In a significant expansion of the war on drugs, has begun training an elite unit of counternarcotics police in Ghana and is planning similar units in Nigeria and Kenya. Future plans are to implement drug-fighting units across 15 African nations.

Latin America

Has sent troops to Columbia, who is now fighting revolutionaries. Gates: We are there “to provide what they need in order to prosecute their efforts against the internal threats that they have”.

Is deploying commandos across Caribbean nations in the war on drugs.

Sent 7,000 troops, 200 helicopters, and 46 warships to Costa Rica to fight drug trafficking.

Signed a ten-year, renewable military agreement with Colombia, which gives Washington access to seven military bases in the country.

Prisons, Black Sites

Has not closed Guantanamo. Has solidified the idea of permanent detainees without being charged or having any recourse; be they in Guantanamo or anywhere else.

Signed an executive order creating a formal system to indefinitely detain prisoners without trial.

By June, 2012 has not released 87 Guantanamo prisoners who were cleared for release by his own task force findings finished 2 ½ years ago, including 40 prisoners who were cleared for release 5 years ago.

Fought against a court ordered cessation of required genital searches that prisoners must undergo in order to meet with their lawyers at Guantanamo and won, so such searches will continue.

Has presided over a threefold increase in detainees being held at Bagram Air Base; currently there are more than 1,700 detainees at Bagram, up from over 600 at the end of the Bush administration. These detainees are denied the right to legally question their detainment.

Announced August 30, 2012 that no one would be prosecuted for two particularly brutal CIA torture deaths of prisoners in Afghanistan in 2002 and Iraq in 2003, the last two cases not yet scrapped. This as the man who exposed the torture program, John Kiriakou, was imprisoned.

Maintains U.S. run black sites in spite of claiming to have stopped their use.

Renders prisoners to an underground black site prison in Somalia.

Maintains secret prisons in Afghanistan.

Will maintain control over some prisoners against the wishes of Afghanistan in the September 9, 2012 agreed upon transfer of Parwan prison at Bagram to the Afghans, claiming some prisoners are too difficult to prosecute but too dangerous to release, while the Afghans say no-trial detention is not acceptable and goes against their Constitution.

Has consistently demanded that after the 2014 withdrawal of troops, that the U.S. retain control of Afghanistan’s prisons and that U.S. Special Operations forces remain to continue carrying out night raids.

Continues to transfer detainees to Afghan prisons where they are knowingly tortured.

Has terror suspects flown to a Somali prison, where they are under the custody of Somali authorities, but we pay the guards and the CIA has unlimited access to the prisoners and to the intelligence being harvested by the Somali guards’ interrogation of the detainees.

Has used Guantanamo Bay prisoners as bargaining chips in deals with other countries.

Empire

Increased military spending by $77 billion in his first 2 years.

Increased the defense budget to the highest it has been since WW2.

Between 2012 and 2014, carried out 500 Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) missions in as many as 67 countries. In 2015, U.S. Special Operations forces deployed to a record-shattering 147 countries — 75% of the nations on the planet, a jump of 145% since Bush.

Plans a huge expansion of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) to include a wider range of espionage operations, creating a large spy network in the Pentagon at the same time that the CIA is moving to build more of an independent air force and military operational capacity.

Has ordered his senior national security and intelligence officials to draw up a list of potential overseas targets for U.S. cyber-attacks. The directive states that Offensive Cyber Effects Operations (OCEO) “can offer unique and unconventional capabilities to advance U.S. national objectives around the world with little or no warning to the adversary or target.”

Conducts a secretive unit inside the National Security Agency called Tailored Access Operations that hacks into foreign computers to conduct cyber espionage, even as he complains about the Chinese cyber hacking.

Has done nothing to reign in or fire Blackwater; has, in fact, given them new contracts. Chose not to bring criminal charges against them for breaking Sudan sanctions. There are now more contractors in Afghanistan than U.S. soldiers.

Has given a new no-bid contract worth $22 million, lasting until May 2015, to Blackwater, now called Academi, in Afghanistan. Academi owns a private 10-acre compound outside Kabul, called Camp Integrity, which will be home to U.S. Special Operations Forces.

Supported Blackwater’s deal to function as United Arab Emirates’ security force.

Has done nothing to reign in or fire the corrupt no-bid contractors in the Middle-East.

 Other International Policies

Torture

When he signed, during his first days in office, the order closing the CIA black sites, he added a footnote, and defined a CIA prison in a way that exempted a prison for short-term transitory provisions, thus allowing the CIA to fly suspects to countries that torture.

The task force on interrogation, commissioned by him, “recommended no changes” to the Army Field Manual, thereby retaining the torture loopholes, allowing abuse that does not meet the minimum standards of humane treatment mandated by the Geneva Conventions.

Has continually refused to investigate the Bush administration’s crimes.

Has said he will not investigate or prosecute torture. Says people who ordered torture cannot be held liable. Has dismissed many torture lawsuits.

Dropped criminal probes of 99 of 101 cases reviewed by federal prosecutors of alleged torture, abuse and murder of prisoners in U.S. custody.

Invoked the “state secrets” privilege to get a case throw out of court by 5 men who were renditioned and tortured.

Has been exposed by WikiLeaks to have leaned on many governments to squelch torture trials and investigations.

Leaned on Spain to kill a criminal case against Bush administration officials for torture.

Resumed assistance to Indonesia’s notorious special forces, Kopassus, which had been barred from receiving U.S. military aid for more than a decade because of gross abuses of democratic rights, including arbitrary detention, torture and murder.

Threatened to withhold intelligence from the UK if evidence of the alleged torture of a British resident held at Guantánamo Bay is made public.

Is expanding CIA activities in Somalia, including training Somalia fighters and a secret prison, where both there and in other U.S. secret prisons they almost certainly engage in torture.

Pulled strings to get CIA agent Seldon Lady returned to the U.S. from Panama instead of Italy after Italy convicted him for abducting an Egyptian cleric and rendering him to Egypt where he was allegedly tortured under the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program.

Regarding a suit by a U.S. soldier against Donald Rumsfeld for unjust imprisonment and torture, he is defending Rumsfeld and trying to get the case thrown out.

Weapons

Sold more weapons in his first 5 years than any other president since WW2 has during their entire term.

Has increased international weapon sales over the already large Bush increases. 2011 sales reached 66 billion, triple that of 2010, breaking the 2008 $38 billion record; this while Russia, the world’s number two arms dealer, nearly halved its sales to $4.8 billion in 2011.

In October 2011, announced a 60 billion dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia, the largest foreign arms sale ever. In December finalized 30 billion of it, 84 new and refurbishing of 70 fighter jets, just as Iran threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz. Says it will create jobs.

In 2010 lifted the Bush imposed sanctions against Rosoboronexport, Russia’s official weapons exporter, after two years of being sanctioned for selling arms to Iran and Syria. Then awarded the company a no-bid contract worth upwards of $1 billion.

Has begun modifying weapons export control regulations in order to increase the amount we export. Has taken first steps by tucking new language into the July 2010 Iran sanctions bill.

Is loosening controls over military exports which could increase the flow of American-made military parts to the world’s conflicts and make it harder to enforce arms sanctions; even to some countries subject to U.N. arms embargos.

Did not sign on to the August 1, 2010 Convention on Cluster Munitions banning the stockpiling, use and transfer of cluster bombs that was signed and adopted by 108 countries.

July 29, 2012, played a major role in the failure of the United Nations arms-trade treaty negotiations succeeding in coming to an agreement.

May 2012, is crafting a proposal to make it easier to export firearms and other weapons in an effort to boost sales for U.S. companies, increase trade and improve national security.

Has refused to sign the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, endorsed by 158 countries, including every other member of NATO and every other country in the Western Hemisphere except Cuba.

His 2014 budget proposal increases money for nuclear weapons, but decreases funding to secure loose nuclear material.

He has left the Bechtel Corporation, a private for profit company, put in charge by Bush, in charge of Los Alamos and Livermore.

In spite of his rhetoric about wanting to rid the world of nuclear weapons, the 2011 budget request for nuclear weapons is the largest in our history; bigger than under Bush and 40% higher than during the Cold War. Meanwhile the proposed budget for dismantling warheads retired from the stockpile is down by 40%.

In the 2016 budget request he requested $1 Trillion over the next 30 years to improve and expand our nuclear arsenal. This is approximately $4 Million per hour for the next 30 years.

Is selling $500 million worth of weapons to Indonesia, a country with an atrocious human rights record and ongoing civil unrest that is being dealt with violently.

July, 2011, has asked Congress to ok a sale of 125 new tanks and other weapons to Egypt, even as the military, which is in charge of the country now, is cracking down on civilians.

Promised support (along with British PM Cameron) for the proposed Trans-Anatolia gas pipeline from Azerbaijan across Georgia and Turkey to Europe (carrying BP gas), while Hilary Clinton, the same week, offered increased U.S. military aid to Georgia and Azerbaijan.

Reach of the Empire

Pressured European nations to refuse Bolivian President Morale’s plane access to their airspace, forcing him to land in Austria, effectively hijacking Morales.

Has been exposed by WikiLeaks in general to have bullied governments all over the world to do things they don’t want to do but are in the interest of the American empire.

Internationally, in general, he has increased tension and distrust. Among other things, the European missile shield and our increasing military presence in the Pacific has angered the Russians and the Chinese. He has made long time nuclear ally Pakistan hate us. There seems to be no problem in the world he isn’t comfortable confronting militarily.

September, 2013 told the United Nations that the US would use all of its power including military force to protect its interests, including keeping resources flowing; essentially proclaiming our imperial dominance and right to plunder.

Even as North Korea steps up war rhetoric, has been carrying out war exercises with South Korea simulating an attack on North Korea and now is sending F-22 stealth fighter jets and warships to join the exercises.

Is building a military base (more under Environment below) on Jeju Island, S. Korea, known, ironically, as the Island of Peace, just 300 miles from the Chinese mainland. The base will become a port for U.S. Navy Aegis destroyers outfitted with missile defense systems.

Sent troops to Haiti after the earthquake and has been complicit with keeping Haiti repressed.

Strongly opposed the return to Haiti of Aristide, the Haitian President who was removed by a US supported coup in 2004. Pleaded with South Africa, where he was in exile, to not allow him to leave.

Russia and China

Is blaming the Russians for returning to Cold War relations over the Snowden affair, in spite of the hypocrisy of the fact the US has avoided signing an extradition agreement with Russia and has refused the extradition of people who committed crimes in Russia.

Began the demonizing of Putin and Russia. Warned Putin against meddling in our elections.

Increased our military footprint surrounding China.

Will station 4 warships in Singapore and hopes to station ships in the Philippines.

Is expanding the U.S. military footprint in the far East by installing 2,500 troops in Australia in order to “maintain the security architecture in Asia. …. United States is a Pacific power and we are here to stay.”

Iran

Perpetuates the narrative that Iran is the aggressor and the belligerent, even as we have them surrounded by 40 military bases, fly spy drones over their country, and train the MEK, a militant cult that has attacked their pipelines and assassinated their nuclear scientists.

Imposed new sanctions on Iran the week that the new moderate President-elect Hassan Rouhani was to become Iran’s leader, starting the new relationship on the wrong foot.

Accelerated the development of the Stuxnet computer virus and carried out of a “wave” of digital attacks on Iran codenamed “Olympic Games”, thought to be the first attack of a major nature in which a cyber attack was used to effect physical destruction.

After the MEK being on the U.S. State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations since 1997, removed them from the list in 2012.

Israel

Secretly sold Israel 55 bunker buster bombs in 2009, months after taking office; the Israeli request earlier having been rebuffed by the Bush administration.

Offered Israel 20 F-35 fighter jets worth $3 billion if they would stop settlements for just 3 months.

Worked behind the scenes to coerce the UN to halt its probes into possible Israeli war crimes committed during the 2008-2009 Gaza war. Suppressed the Goldstone Report.

As Israel and Gaza exchange attacks, continues to blame only the Palestinians. Israel’s defense minister, Ehud Barak: This effort could not have been concluded without the generous and consistent support of the American administration, led by President Obama.

After the overwhelming UN vote to give the Palestinians non-member statehood, continued the narrative that international law is counterproductive compared to the US being the sole arbitrator.

Claims to be fighting for an Israel / Palestine resolution but refuses to acknowledge the disparity between the actions of the two sides. Has increased aid to Israel even as they continue to settle the West Bank.

Vetoed a UN Security Council resolution condemning Jewish settlements, sponsored by at least 130 nations and supported by all 14 other members of the Security Council. Later cast the only vote against The United Nations international investigation into Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories.

Agreed to Israel’s request to delay or block the creation of a United Nations Human Rights Council panel to investigate the issue of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Continues to pressure Palestine to not go ahead with their bid to upgrade their status at the United Nations to non-member statehood, as they plan to request late Nov, 2012.

Has warned the Audacity of Hope aid ship to not go to Gaza, said the Israelis would have the right to defend themselves, and threatened the U.S. citizens with punishment if they go ahead with their plans.

In his Middle East speech he chastised the international community and the United Nations’ expected September recognition of Palestine as “symbolic actions to isolate Israel” and has warned the UN not to do it.

Regime Change

Backed the violent coup in Ukraine that was carried out by far right rebels including Nazis. (Joe Biden’s son and a John Kerry family friend would join the board of Burisma Holdings, the largest private gas producer in Ukraine, 2 months after the coup.)

Authorized $510 million in U.S. funding for the new government in Ukraine after the coup; arming it as it fought with East Ukraine Republics.

Spread misinformation about Russia and about Crimea’s succession from Ukraine. In an interview, when asked about parallels to Kosovo’s independence, said that in Kosovo they had a referendum and in Crimea they didn’t. He lied; it was the opposite.

Complicit if not overt support of the Honduras coup that removed Zelaya from power. Did not cut off the economic and military aid to Honduras as he is required to do under the law. Since the coup, 2 new US military bases have been built there.

Foreign Relationships

In general Obama has maintained the past administrations’ policies of supporting and having close ties with many repressive governments and dictators in the world.

Personally called Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to tell him to keep the journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye in prison the day he was scheduled to be released. Shaye had been imprisoned because of his investigating war crimes including U.S. attacks on civilians, which Yemen claims to have carried out, as per a deal with the U.S.

Approved Yemen’s dictator, Ali Abdullah Saleh, coming to the US for medical treatment which may appear to Arabs as a sign of whose side the US is on in the popular uprisings. The decision shows a lack of historical perspective since Carter’s allowing the shah of Iran into the U.S. contributed to the deterioration of relations with Iran and the taking of the hostages.

After the Egyptian military massacred over 500 citizens, still won’t call the take over a coup and still won’t say outright that it will not support the Egyptian government.

Had been supportive of Mubarak and was weak in calling for democratic change in Egypt.

In 2009 coordinated Egypt’s efforts to keep Gaza sealed from the outside world directly with Egyptian Army chief Field Marshal Muhammad Tantawi – who is currently Egypt’s military ruler.

Is not acknowledging the military take over in Egypt as a coup, thereby being able to continue giving them military aid. The law forbids the US to give aid to a government who just committed a coup. Several weeks later, decided to avoid the issue of whether or not it was a coup by saying, “The law does not require us to make a formal determination as to whether a coup took place, and it is not in our national interest to make such a determination.”

March, 2012, on national security grounds, waived a new congressional requirement that directly ties military assistance to the protection of basic freedoms, allowing $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt’s brutal military government.

Has not spoken out against the abuses of the Bahrain dictatorial government who he befriends or the Saudis for aiding the fight against the rebels in Bahrain.

Met, June 7, 2011, a Bahraini prince and praised them for lifting their state of emergency, even as they continue their assault on protesters and are trying 47 doctors and nurses for attempting to overthrow the government.

Plans to sell $53 million worth of military equipment to Bahrain just months after their crackdown on protesters, claiming Bahrain is “an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.”

Has continued refusing to declassify the 28 pages of the Joint Congressional Report on the 9/11 attacks, detailing Saudi funding and other support of the plot.

Vetoed a bill passed unanimously by the House and Senate that would allow victims of the September 11 attacks or their relatives to sue the Saudi government for allegedly helping some of the 19 hijackers.

In July 2012, announced he was lifting the ban on U.S. companies investing in Burma including doing business with the state-controlled Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE). Burma is run by a military committing atrocities against ethnic minorities.

Offered a $1.2 billion deal with South Korea for the sale of four advanced surveillance drones to monitor North Korea.

Introduced a waiver allowing military sales to the Islam Karimov dictatorship in Uzbekistan, one of the most brutal and repressive regimes on the planet, which Congress had banned in 2004 because of its atrocious human-rights violations, in order to improve supply lines to the Afghan war.

Recognized the new government of the Maldives as legitimate after President Mohamed Nasheed was removed in a coup.

Is actively working to help provide financial relief for the genocidal regime in Sudan, trying to facilitate the transfer of $3 billion, encouraging China, Kuwait, Qatar, and possibly others to provide these resources, and waive U.S. sanctions affecting dollar transfers.

Sent 100 Special Forces troops to Uganda to help the Yoweri Museveni dictatorship kill leaders of the Lord’s Resistance Army. Invisible Children, the makers of “KONY 2012”, spied for the Uganda regime and worked with the US Embassy there.

Waived a cutoff of military support for Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Yemen, flaunting the Child Soldiers Prevention Act, which President George W. Bush signed into law. All four countries forcibly recruit adolescents into military service, removing them from families and homes to fight anti-government forces.

Escalated US threats against Venezuela, issuing an executive order formally declaring a “national emergency” to deal with what he termed “the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States” posed by the Venezuelan government. Began imposing sanctions on Venezuela.

Is keeping Cuba on the State Department’s states that sponsor terrorism list.

Has refused to lift the embargo against Cuba, citing that their government isn’t open enough, as we sell weapons to Saudi Arabia and do business with China, countries far more repressive. The U.S. and Israel were the only 2 countries in the UN to vote for the embargo.

Dispatched Biden to Central America and Mexico to reaffirm that drug legalization is out of the question, which Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Colombia and Mexico have all asked the US to consider.

Is asking Congress to provide money for Black Hawk helicopters and surveillance equipment that Mexico has long sought for its drug war. In 2011 increased the money already spent on the drug war.

Called for a lawsuit to be thrown out against the US for secretly exposing Guatemalans to syphilis, saying the Federal Tort Claims Act protects the US from lawsuits based on injuries suffered in a foreign country, even if the acts were planned in the United States.

Miscellaneous Other International Policies

Granted Bush, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell immunity in the Iraqi woman, Sundus Shaker Saleh’s suit against them for war crimes for planning the invasion of Iraq.

Paid $2.3 million in “blood money” to free Raymond Davis, the CIA spy charged with murder in Pakistan, to relatives of the two men he allegedly killed.

Has denied a visa to Pakistani lawyer Shahzad Akbar who has been invited to speak at an International Drone Summit in Washington DC. Akbar has traveled to the United States in the past before becoming an outspoken critic of drone attacks in Pakistan.

Staged a fake vaccination campaign (the CIA) in Pakistan to help track Osama Bin Laden using local doctors, which led to people avoiding getting polio vaccines and a new outbreak of polio.

Under his watch, while increasing Mexican border patrol agents to a record amount, innocent Mexicans are being shot to death as those agents shoot across the border.

Refused to cooperate with Poland in an investigation into alleged secret CIA prisons in Poland citing national security or national interests.

Waited months to respond to the Guantanamo prisoner’s hunger strike until after the 100 days mark brought publicity. Responded by saying in a speech that prisoners should be released. Two weeks later his first visible response is deploying 125 troops to assist the holding of prisoners in solitary confinement and the force-feeding of 39 hunger strikers.

 Financial

Appointed Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers to his financial team from the outset, as well as packing it with many of the people who were responsible for the financial crisis and deregulation as well as corporate and bank executives. William Dudley, Gary Gensler, Mark Peterson, Philip Murphy, and Diana Farrell, all from Goldman Sachs, to name a few.

Banks

Has never indicated any interest in holding financial criminals accountable. Why isn’t Wall St. in jail? Has, in fact, made the statement that the banks did nothing illegal.

Prosecuted a single banker, Kareem Serageldin, for the Mortgage Crisis, as opposed to the more than 1,000 bankers who were jailed for the Savings and Loan Crisis in the 80’s and early 90’s.

He asked for nothing in return as he bailed out the banks.

Has presided over ongoing virtually unreported trillions of dollars of bank bailouts that dwarf the well publicized $700 billion TARP bailout. Possibly up to $30 trillion.

Decided not to pursue the mortgage fraud case against Goldman Sachs who sold “shitty” (in the words of its own bankers) mortgage-backed securities, then cashed in by betting that the products it was packaging and selling off would implode in value.

Opposes a national moratorium on foreclosures.

Touted the completion of the mortgage foreclosure settlement as a great deal, which, although ultimately better than it was originally drafted, was a great deal for the banks only, some of the $26 billion actually being paid by the taxpayer.

Created the HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program) which enabled the banks in many cases to profit while offering no relief to the homeowner. Also, after 3 years, only a sliver of the allocated funds have been used.

Introduced a new program to lower monthly mortgage payments for underwater homeowners, which shifts financial liability for refinanced loans from the banks to taxpayers.

Is pressuring NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and others, who are investigating a number of banks for their role in the financial crisis and the mortgage fraud and foreclosure schemes, to submit to a deal that would insulate the banks from all criminal investigations in exchange for some modest civil fines.

Allowed HSBC bank to avoid prosecution and pay a $1.9 billion fine (about one month’s profit). No top HSBC officials will face charges for laundering billions of dollars for Mexican drug cartels and groups linked to al-Qaeda, providing a “gateway for terrorists to gain access to U.S. dollars and the U.S. financial system.”

In the 2012 State of the Union called for the creation of a new financial crimes task force, not mentioning the impotent one created 3 years ago. The new one will be staffed by many of the same people and a total of 55 agents, in comparison to the 1000 FBI agents for the much smaller 80’s savings and loan scandal.

Rejected a request under the Freedom of Information Act to review Freddie Mac board minutes and correspondence during Rahm Emanuel’s time as a director.

Was against auditing the Fed. Pushed for and succeeded in weakening financial “reform” bill.

Taxes

After the 2010 elections, caved on not giving tax cuts for the top 2%. In fact, brokered the deal with Republicans and pressured Democrats to vote for it.

Made a fiscal cliff offer that would permanently extend the Bush tax cuts for incomes of less than $400,000 instead of the $250,000 he campaigned on, includes cuts to Social Security, and would allow the payroll tax holiday to expire. Worst of all, the entire conversation completely avoided everything in the big picture that really makes a difference.

Proposed a cut in corporate taxes from 35% down to 28%.

Ultimately signed into law a new tax deal that makes permanent tax cuts for incomes up to $400,000, includes corporate tax favors, and contains elements that actually raise taxes for lower incomes, while kicking the can down the road on the sequester so in 2 months a new deadline comes up to distract DC and the media from anything meaningful. All of this when waiting until Jan. 3 would have meant dealing with a much more liberal Congress.

In State of the Union called for corporate tax cuts.

Trade

Is promoting the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement, which is being negotiated completely in secret, not counting the 600 corporate lobbyists who have been given “cleared advisor” status. A leaked document revealed a special pact was signed to keep all documents relating to the negotiations secret.

Is keeping the TPP classified for reasons of “national security”, not even allowing Senator Ron Wyden, who is the chairman of the trade committee and who is also on the Senate Intelligence Committee to see it, in spite of him having high security clearance.

Has rejected calls to release the current text of the latest negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) held behind closed doors in Lima, Peru. The TPP would allow corporations to sue governments for financial losses due to a country’s laws.

Is pushing for “Trade Promotion Authority” legislation that would allow him to fast-track trade agreements (the TPP in this case) by giving Congress a yes or no vote but taking away powers to amend which would prevent congressional ability to push for fixes to it.

Pushed for and got Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Panama, one of the biggest tax havens in the world where the deal would effectively bar the U.S. from cracking down on corporate tax avoidance, and Columbia, where union people are regularly murdered.

Miscellaneous Financial

Is pressuring Greece and Europe to not allow Greece to decide for themselves by vote whether they want to accept the austerity measures required if they accept a bailout.

Fails to call the Republicans on the fantasy that their budget assault on social programs has anything to do with economics. Maintains the deficit narrative that disguises the real issues and opportunities.

Fraudulently and ultimately ineffectively bailed out General Motors.

Has announced plans to dismantle the Small Business Administration (SBA) by combining it with the Department of Commerce, which represents the interests of the nation’s largest corporate giants. This ostensibly to save money even though the SBA budget is $985 million, a drop in the bucket compared to the $530.6 billion defense budget.

Signed and praised the JOBS Act, the brainchild of the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, which further deregulates and facilitates more fraud.

Secrecy and Free Speech

Secrecy

From 2009 to 2010, increased the amount of classified documents by 40%, then by another 20% from 2010 to 2011, (92,064,862 in 2011) the most ever, according to the Information Security Oversight Office.

Has done little to add transparency to the executive branch. In fact in his first year, denied significantly more Freedom of Information Act requests than Bush did in 2008 and has increased denials through 2012. Has also slowed response time; requests asked for expeditiously under a FOIA provision, are received, on average, in two years.

Has been more aggressive than Bush in seeking to punish unauthorized press leaks. Has been using the Espionage Act of 1917 to press criminal charges in six alleged instances of national-security leaks and whistle blowing – twice as many prosecutions as have occurred in all previous administrations combined.

Has declared Julian Assange an enemy of the state, and now military personnel who contact WikiLeaks or WikiLeaks supporters may be at risk of being charged with “communicating with the enemy”, a military crime that carries a maximum sentence of death.

Pressured Visa and MasterCard, PayPal and Western Union to cut off WikiLeaks ability to raise money through them. This without any due process.

Placed a ban on military personnel viewing the WikiLeaks website.

Personally, on camera, declared Manning guilty before any trial has taken place.

Held Bradley Manning in torturous conditions. Charged him with “aiding the enemy.” Denied a U.N. torture investigator an unmonitored visit.

Has done and said nothing about the fact that Bradley Manning will have been imprisoned for nearly 1,000 days when his scheduled court-martial begins, far longer than the legally allowed 120 days.

Charged former CIA agent, John Kiriakou, with four felony counts for having allegedly disclosed classified information to reporters about the CIA’s interrogation/torture program.

Fired Peter Van Buren, a foreign service officer who wrote a book criticizing the reconstruction effort in Iraq, based on eight charges, among which is linking on his blog to documents on WikiLeaks.

Charged Edward Snowden with espionage (the 7th person he has so charged) and is bullying countries around the world to turn him over.

Accused the Russians of providing a “propaganda platform” when Snowden called a meeting with human rights representatives in the Moscow airport.

Probably because Snowden used it, forced the shutdown of Lavabit, an email service that doesn’t share information with the government, apparently giving the owner, Ladar Levison, the choice of sharing information or shutting down. We can’t know details because he isn’t allowed to talk about it.

Refused to promise Snowden he could have a “public interest defense trial”, a promise he insists on, as a condition for him to return to the United States.

After the Snowden revelations, set up an “independent group” to review the NSA and named James Clapper, who lied under oath to Congress, to head the “high level group of outside experts”. Appointed to the group were: Michael Morell (CIA for 33 years), Richard Clarke (held high positions under Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush), Peter Swire (former Obama staffer) and Cass Sunstein (former Obama staffer who wrote a paper calling for government agents to “enter chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine percolating conspiracy theories”).

Created the Insider Threat Program which requires any government agency handling classified material to “implement an insider threat detection and prevention program.” Federal employees who blow the whistle on wrong doings or co-workers who fail to report them could face penalties, including criminal charges.

Has been harassing, detaining and confiscating equipment from journalists at the border who challenge the status quo.

Invited the Washington bureau heads of major news outlets to meet for off-the-record talks, meaning none could report on what was said.

Miscellaneous Secrecy and Free Speech

Has not shown any interest in getting rid of the Patriot Act.

Appealed the Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project case to the Supreme Court, which multiple lower courts had declared unconstitutional. The pro Holder decision extended the Patriot Act law against “material support” to terrorist organizations to include speech even if used to advocate the use of international law and other non-violent means to reduce conflict.

Did not veto the 2012 defense bill (NDAA) that enables anyone to be imprisoned without any due process whatsoever if they are deemed to be a threat to the state. Worse, he had originally threatened to veto the bill because it took the ultimate power away from the president.

After a federal judge granted an injunction to block provisions of the 2012 (NDAA) that would allow the military to indefinitely detain anyone, asked the judge to lift the injunction.

Decided in May 2009 to block the release of photos showing the mistreatment of detainees by US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Signed the 2013 defense bill (NDAA) that retains the erosion of civil liberties in the 2012 version. The law continues for one more year a ban on appropriated funds to transfer Guantanamo detainees to the mainland US, even for trial. It also continues tough conditions on the transfer of detainees (86 have been cleared for release) to other countries.

Social and Domestic Issues

Domestic Surveillance

Dramatically expanded the surveillance state.

Is presiding over the most extensive domestic surveillance ever including the NSA’s gigantic center in Bluffdale, Utah which will contain near-bottomless databases of communications including private emails, cell phone calls, Google searches and more, of innocent Americans.

Has defended and fully embraced the executive branch’s right to wiretap. Has continued efforts to dismiss a case against the government’s authority to wiretap.

Fully embraced the unchecked executive powers and secretive surveillance capabilities built into the FISA Amendment Act, while fighting against several domestic spying safeguard amendments that were put forth and ultimately defeated. Signed it into law.

Has invoked the state secrets privilege in an effort to have a suit against the FBI for surveilling several southern Californian mosques dismissed.

Continued a program called “PRISM” where the NSA and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs.

Has the NSA sharing information that they have gotten from domestic surveillance with the DEA and local law enforcement and compelling them to use parallel construction; falsifying evidence and denying people of fair trials.

Is conducting a massive domestic surveillance program by collecting telephone records of millions of Verizon customers, including all calling records on an “ongoing, daily basis,” using a controversial provision in the Patriot Act, Section 215.

Required telecommunications companies to turn over two months of phone records on some 20 lines used by Associated Press reporters, and defends it as within his right and necessary.

Approved a new list of guidelines greatly extending the time – from 180 days to 5 years – that domestic intelligence services can retain American citizens’ private information, even when “there is no suspicion that they are tied to terrorism.”

Has, through the Justice department, sidestepped questions about whether it endorses the NYPD’s tactics of infiltration and surveillance of Muslims, while the NYPD gets federal funds and CIA training.

Spied on Fox News reporter James Rosen in 2010, collecting his telephone records, tracking his movements in and out of the State Department and seizing personal emails.

Under him, the National Security Agency (NSA) has refused to tell Senators Mark Udall and Ron Wyden, both members of the Senate’s intelligence oversight committee, how many Americans it was spying on, claiming it would violate the privacy of the Americans it was spying on.

Wants the Supreme Court to dismiss an ACLU challenge to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act, an act that ACLU contends allows surveillance of Americans’ international communications without the safeguards the Constitution requires.

Civil Rights

Authorized the assassination of U.S. citizens with no oversight and no due process of any kind. Tried to get a judge to throw out a lawsuit challenging the administration’s assertion that it can assassinate U.S. citizens anywhere in the world.

Carried out the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, and Samir Khan, American citizens, superseding the Fifth Amendment, “No person shall be deprived of life without due process of law”. Days later killed Awlaki’s 16 year old son. Later, using the Nixon “when the President does it, that means that it is not illegal” logic, argued that if the president decides something is necessary, that is “due process.”

Codified the legality of the government to assassinate Americans if “an informed, high-level official of the U.S. government” determines the target is an imminent threat, when capture would be infeasible.

Has continued proxy detention; US citizens are picked up on foreign soil by local officials at the behest of the US government, where they are questioned with FBI co-ordination. Some of these US citizens are not allowed to return to the US.

Argued that the police be allowed to place a GPS tracking device on people’s vehicles without a warrant and sought to overturn an appeals court ruling that it is illegal. The Supreme Court decided against it being legal.

Has avoided questions about the extensive NYPD surveillance of American Muslims, and his top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, praised the New York Police Department’s work.

Has loosened restrictions on the FBI; allowing them more leeway to search databases, go through household trash or use surveillance teams, even when there is no evidence of wrongdoing.

Signed the July 6, 2012 executive order, “Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions,” which gives the Department of Homeland Security the power to seize all communication systems in the United States, private, public or commercial, under any terms the government deems fit.

Only the most token support of ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Challenged the court ruling that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is unconstitutional.

Won’t take a stand on constitutional protection of gays’ right to marry; says it’s a state issue. Challenged a court ruling that a ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.

Drugs

Has cracked down on medical marijuana more than any other president.

Has pressured and threatened state officials who have begun to adopt more progressive marijuana laws.

Opposed California’s 2010 marijuana legalization proposition. Said if it passed they would still prosecute Californians under federal law.

Has continued to carry out raids on medical marijuana distributors. July, 2011 announced they would start prosecuting state legal medical marijuana distributors.

October 2011, DOJ is intensifying its crackdown on medical marijuana in California, giving at least 16 dispensaries 45 days to shut down to avoid criminal prosecution.

The Fast and Furious operation, in which federal agents allowed guns to be smuggled into Mexico in order to trace them to the leaders of drug cartels, happened on his watch and he’s done nothing to investigate it.

Asserted executive privilege, refusing to turn over some documents sought by the congressional panel investigating the botched Fast and Furious gun-running sting.

DEA has been laundering Mexican drug money in order to follow the money to get the top players, but after years of doing this hasn’t made a single sting, allowing the trade to go on.

Health

During the health care debate, cut a deal with the pharmaceutical industry to put a ceiling on the amount of money the government could save by negotiating for lower drug prices. And gave them a number of promises not to compromise their profits.

Never pushed for public option in health care. In general made sure that the private health care system funneling money to major corporations remained intact. The day it passed health care industry stocks went up.

Supported the Health and Human Services blocking the FDA’s recommendation to make Plan B One-Step birth control available over-the-counter. Significantly the HHS has never before overruled the FDA on a drug recommendation.

Backed down from a proposal to protect health from Big Tobacco under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). New language will make it even easier for governments to be sued for their tobacco regulations. Corporations will have the right to directly sue governments.

Is still having people cited for marijuana use on Federal land in states where marijuana is legal.

Reversed his decision on Plan B One Step deciding to allow it to be available to women under 17, while giving Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. exclusive rights to sell it for three years, ensuring that it will be very expensive for the next three years.

Immigration

Has deported a record amount of immigrants. Sent many back to Honduras, an extremely violent country since the US backed coup in 2014. ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is totally out of control, deporting people without process and illegally. As well as deporting US citizens in some cases.

Housed immigrants in deplorable conditions, with the average daily population hovering between 30,000 and 40,000.

Guns

His only contribution to the issue of gun control has been that he signed a bill into law that allows people to carry loaded concealed guns in national parks. In 2010, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence gave the president a report card of seven F’s.

In an otherwise excellent push to make gun laws rational, called for more school resource officers. SROs are specially trained armed law enforcement officers who are assigned to school campuses and have been arresting students for dress code violations, tardiness, throwing paper airplanes and normal children rowdiness and misbehavior.

Will not seek the reinstatement of a U.S. assault weapons ban.

Budget

Became the first Democratic president in history, with his 2014 budget proposal, to target Social Security. It also cuts over $350 billion from Medicare, $19 billion from Medicaid, and tens of millions from the heating assistance program for low-income Americans.

In a big jobs speech called for cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

The 2011 budget proposed cuts from energy assistance fund for the poor, a community-service block grant program, college grants for low income students, and other social programs, while increasing military spending and requesting $54 billion in funding for construction of nuclear power plants and $60 billion for 12 new nuclear submarines.

Miscellaneous Social and Domestic Issues

Has continued the expansion of the “1033 Program”, the militarization of civil police departments started under Bush. More than $500 million of military gear went to U.S. police in 2011; up from $212 million in 2010. 2012’s orders are up 400 percent.

Has loaned police departments drones to use.

Oversaw the expansion of for-profit prisons.

Helped crush the Occupy Wall Street movement by coordinating the FBI, Homeland Security, and the banks to work together in one of the most blatant cases of using force against peaceful protesters to protect private corporate interests.

Said during the dedication of the Martin Luther King Memorial, “Progress came with the smack of billy clubs” as we now watch that in the Occupy movement and he’s been silent.

After strong words in the State of the Union about voting reform, created a commission that really just delays any action and appointed as co-head of the commission Ben Ginsberg who was the lawyer for the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and the Bush-Cheney ‘04 campaign and the lawyer for the effort to delay Al Franken’s entry to the Senate for months.

Has not stood up for internet neutrality. No criticism of Genachowski’s December 2010 corporate friendly proposal. Spun the final FCC vote as a victory for net neutrality.

Has done little or nothing progressive to get rid of Bush’s No Child Left Behind’s demands on schools and standardized school testing and the increasing movement towards privatizing schools.

Is Commander in Chief presiding over a military whose abuse and neglect of veterans is extensive, including misdiagnosis on purpose to avoid paying benefits and other neglect further distressing returning veterans.

Under his watch, since taking office through December 2012, the amount of veterans waiting more than a year to get their benefits has risen from 11,000 to 245,000.

Voted against a UN General Assembly committee resolution calling for a moratorium on executions, while a record 110 countries voted in support of it.

Is offering access to the President 4 times a year and other meetings at the White House to anybody contributing over $500,000 to Organizing for Action (OFA), the successor of his 2012 re-election campaign and of Organizing for America.

In June 2016, Congress and President signed the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (or PROMESA), which placed an unelected seven-member (non-Puerto Rican) board in total control of all important policy.

 Environment

Big Oil and Other Fossil Fuels

Pitiful response to the BP spill; caved to BP about dispersant use; never made them comply with cleanup mandates. August Gulf oil spin: “The well is capped. The oil is almost gone.”

Squelched attempts by NOAA scientists to make public the agency’s estimate of how much oil could spew from the BP well (which turned out to be accurate) while proffering very low estimates.

During the BP oil spill enacted (the US Coast Guard) strong rules that prevented the media from showing what was happening with the oil spill in the Gulf Coast.

Appointed William Reilly, of ConocoPhillips, to head up the team to investigate the BP disaster.

Ended the deep water drilling moratorium 7 weeks early.

Under Obama, following Japan’s nuclear debacle, there was a huge surge in deep water oil drilling licenses. Claims to have addressed the safety issues but the same faulty blowout preventers are still being used.

OK’ed a record number of new drilling leases in his first year.

Allowed new off-shore drilling permits after the Gulf disaster began. Is allowing BP’s Liberty drilling project in the Beaufort Sea off the coast of Alaska.

OK’ed new oil drilling leases in Alaska’s Chukchi and Beaufort Seas to Shell.

October 2011, decided to uphold nearly 500 leases issued for drilling in the Chukchi Sea, which had been tied up in court since 2008, when Bush had approved them.

Has not yet rejected the Keystone XL pipeline. 8 of Keystone XL pipeline lobbyists had worked on Obama and Clinton’s presidential campaigns.

After rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline when given a decision deadline by Congress, welcomed the construction of its southern leg, saying he would work to expedite permits.

Presided over rising oil production in each of the years he was in office. From the level of U.S. oil production in 2008, it has grown by 88% during Obama’s presidency, the largest domestic oil production increase during any presidency in U.S. history.

Said in a speech on energy at the TransCanada Stillwater Pipe Yard near Cushing, Oklahoma in 2012, “I’ve directed my administration to open up millions of acres for gas and oil exploration across 23 different states. We’re opening up more than 75 percent of our potential oil resources offshore. We’ve quadrupled the number of operating rigs to a record high. We’ve added enough new oil and gas pipeline to encircle the Earth and then some.”

Is prosecuting Tim DeChristopher for bidding on and winning oil leases he had no intention of paying for, although more than 25 previous bidders have failed to pay free of consequences. The auction itself was illegally rushed through in Bush’s final days and was invalidated by the Department of the Interior and payments were returned to the winning bidders.

Approved 42 of 48 mine projects that it had reviewed by June 2009, including some of the most controversial mountaintop removal mines.

Issued a rule that will for the first time require disclosure of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, BUT instead of the original proposal’s stating that the companies must do this 30 days before they drill, now they have until after they have completed drilling.

Nuclear

Favors nuclear plants, fracking, and “clean coal”.

Called for triple the amount of subsidies Bush instigated for new nuclear reactors. After the nightmare in Japan, he is still promoting nuclear energy.

March 2011, after Fukushima, wants to open up huge coal strip mines in Wyoming. Not a word about a surge in green energy.

Intends to establish so-called ‘centralized interim storage’ away from reactors for highly radioactive waste, which means a huge number of risky high-level radioactive waste shipments, by truck, train, and barge, all to later be shipped to a permanent site.

Nature, Animals, Clean Air

Called in a speech for less environmental government regulations.

A new proposal for National Forest management weakens Reagan’s plan now in place.

Has weakened 80% of the EPA recommended environmental, health and safety protections at the behest of industry lobbying through the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, or OIRA, a higher percentage than George Bush.

Overruled the EPA to withdraw a proposed regulation to reduce ozone in smog, using the classic Republican argument that regulations are bad for the economy. The regulations now revert to a standard worse than what Bush had proposed. This after he had convinced the American Lung Association to drop a suit against the EPA because he would improve the standards.

Signed into law H.R. 933 containing the “Monsanto Protection Act.” The provision allows agribusiness giant Monsanto to promote and plant genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and genetically engineered (GE) seeds, free from any judicial litigation that might decide the crops are unsafe.

Gave Monsanto USAID money to give to and hook Haiti on non-reproducing hybrid seeds.

His top trade official, Michael Froman, is lobbying Europe to weaken its environmental protections when it comes to accepting tar sands exports, supporting the objections of oil industry groups, who are threatening to try to push the U.S. into trade action against the EU if the climate rules are adopted.

Played a totally non-constructive, even obstructive role at the 2011 Durban Climate Conference including no support of the Kyoto Protocol. Suggested postponing any legal binding action on climate change until 2020.

Contributed to the failure of the 2012 Rio+20 Earth Summit, insisting upon deleting any mention of rights or equity or of common but differentiated responsibilities and concepts such as “unsustainable consumption and production patterns” and the proposed decoupling of economic growth from the use of natural resources.

Played an obstructive role at the 2012 Doha Climate Conference, refusing to make any commitments, rejecting the idea of equity enshrined in the principles of the Convention and refusing to be part of a future protocol on emission cuts. Pushed back on long-term finance for developing countries.

Pressured the Pacific island nation of Palau to drop its attempt to seek an Advisory Opinion from the International Court of Justice on whether countries have a legal responsibility to ensure that activities on their territory that emit greenhouse gases do not harm other States.

Filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization over China’s wind-power subsidies, while doing nothing to shift our subsidies from the nuke, oil, and coal industries to clean energy industries.

Gave Apache Alaska Corporation the green light to proceed to launch a deafening airgun assault as it explores for oil and gas in Cook Inlet, Alaska, home to 284 endangered beluga whales.

Is opening up the mid- and south Atlantic to high-intensity seismic exploration (sonic blasts that will repeat every 10 to 12 seconds and could last years) for oil and gas for the first time in 30 years; a nightmare for whales, dolphins, and other marine life.

Is building a military base (more under Other International Policies above) on Jeju Island, South Korea, home to the greatest number of UNESCO geoparks in the world. It has 6 unique biospheres, endangered species of marine life, the world’s finest lava tube cave system, and soft-coral reefs that are now being dredged to get U.S. warships into the port.

Proposed cuts to organic farming, endangered species, and conservation programs.

Opposes a case over the ability of states and groups such as the Audubon Society that want to sue large electric utilities and force power plants in 20 states to cut their emissions.

Is delaying the implementation of new regulations on smog and toxic industrial boiler emissions.

Reneging on a promise to pursue better protections of our waters from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), has withdrawn a proposed EPA rule that would have required the most basic reporting from over 20,000 highly polluting and largely unregulated factory farms; part of an industry that is the largest contributor of pollutants to our waterways.

Has awarded more than 179,000 “categorical exclusions” to stimulus projects funded by federal agencies, freeing those projects from review under the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA.

 Conclusion

In summation, Obama is totally old school. Same old corporate interests, same old lying to and manipulation of the American public, same old bloody war machine, same old blind support of Israel, same old support of brutal regimes and dictators, same old U.S. might is right imperial attitude and bullying behavior in the world, same old war on drugs, same old plundering of the earth, same old promoting of narratives that draw attention away from the real issues he has no interest in being held accountable for, same old hypocrisy, same old disdain for real democracy.

In short, he is supporting just about everything that is fucking the whole world up.

And an unfortunate corollary to what he has personally done is that he’s given rise to the phenomenon that by being Democrat and not being challenged by his own party, his presidency has solidified the horrors of the Bush administration into acceptable mainstream policy and political activity.

In addition, his use of Orwellian language has become an everyday occurrence as he finds the right language to ignore pretty much any law or any part of the constitution he chooses.

 The Obama Doctrine

Guilty by presidential decree. – Publicly declared Bradley Manning guilty before any trial.

The President can take an American citizen’s life at his choosing because if the President so decides, that is “due process.” – Eric Holder justifying Obama killing American citizens with drones.

We are not at war if no Americans are getting hurt. – Justifying bombing Libya longer than the War Powers Act allows.

The right to defend one’s countries only applies to who he wants it to. – Stating Israel has a right to defend itself against Palestinian rockets while clearly not granting the same right to the Palestinians or to any of the number of countries that we bomb regularly and relentlessly.

The job of Secretary of State is to keep the empire powerful. – Praising John Kerry, when nominating him for Secretary of State, this is Obama’s view of the job: “As we turn the page on a decade of war, he understands that we’ve got to harness all elements of American power and ensure that they’re working together.” And praised outgoing Hilary Clinton for her “tireless work to restore our global leadership.”

If, while exercising your right to free speech, it isn’t what the government thinks should be said, it is propaganda. – Blamed Russia for giving Snowden a “propaganda platform” when he spoke at the Moscow airport.

Laws have no meaning if the law itself doesn’t specifically require the language in the law to be defined. – Regarding Egypt’s military’s overthrow of Morsi and the law prohibiting military aid to a government after a coup, the White House said, “The law does not require us to make a formal determination as to whether a coup took place, and it is not in our national interest to make such a determination.”

As an imperial force the United States takes what it wants. – Addressing the United Nations he said, “Let me take this opportunity to outline what has been U.S. policy towards the Middle East and North Africa, and what will be my policy during the remainder of my presidency. The United States of America is prepared to use all elements of our power, including military force, to secure these core interests in the region. We will confront external aggression against our allies and partners, as we did in the Gulf War. We will ensure the free flow of energy from the region to the world.”

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