The World According to Keitho

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Archive for the ‘war’ Category

State of the Union: Depressing.

Posted by keithosaunders on January 28, 2010

I defy any Republican to label Obama as a liberal.  After this long-winded, occasionally glib tribute to bi-partisanship, I was left with a sinking feeling that we, as a nation, are running on empty.  True, Obama made pains to attribute our enormous deficit to the tax cuts and war-funding by the Bush administration, but rather than cut military spending he offers a freeze on government spending.  This freeze will account for 1 of the 9 trillion of our debt.  It begs the question, what will it take to erase the entire debt.  Tax increases anyone? 

Health care reform received lip service, but it is clear that Obama’s main priority in 2010 will be job creation.  This is a noble endeavor, but offers little consolation to the hundreds of thousands that will lose their insurance in the near future.

The highlight of the evening for me was Chris Mathewspost-speech analysis.  He gleefully stated that he managed to forget that Obama was Black for one hour, and in the next breath said that the Democrats should go ‘all Clemenza’ [the hit man from The Godfather] on Mitch McConnell.  Amazing.

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No hope, and you can keep the change.

Posted by keithosaunders on January 27, 2010

This year’s State of the Union Address stands in stark contrast to last year, in which optimism reigned.  Back then we were welcoming a new president who had Democratic majority in Congress and, seemingly, a mandate from the American people to effect a new course in government. 

One year later Barack Obama has proven himself to be a corporatist in the Clintonian tradition.  Rather then ending our two [illegal] wars in the mideast, he has escalated our forces in Afghanistan, increasing our military budget while freezing spending on necessary domestic programs.  To my horror he has codified many of the civil rights abuses of the Bush-era, in particular denying prisoners their right to due process.

During the campaign Obama’s ‘hope and change’ bit felt a little contrived.  I desperately wanted to believe that real change was possible so I gave him a pass on the lack of specificity in his policies.  This SOTU is all the more depressing due to the fact the Democrats are in power.  I expected so much more.

Posted in Obama, Politics, State of the Union, war | 1 Comment »

Meet the New Boss

Posted by keithosaunders on January 22, 2010

I can appreciate that the right wing  might pine for the days when our president spoke in monosyllabic sentences, but I do not understand how they can look at Obama as an extreme left-wing ideologue.  The left wing, under Obama has gotten little or nothing of what they had hoped to achieve. I’m quoting Salon’s Glenn Greenwald here:
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“The Left wanted a single-payer system, then settled for a public option, then an opt-out public option, then Medicare expansion — only to get none of it, instead being handed a bill that forces every American to buy health insurance from the private insurance industry.  Nor was it “the Left” — but rather corporatist Democrats like Evan Bayh and Lanny Davis — who cheered for the hated Wall Street bailout; blocked drug re-importation; are stopping genuine reform of the financial industry; prevented a larger stimulus package to lower unemployment; refuse to allow programs to help Americans with foreclosures; supported escalation in Afghanistan (twice); and favor the same Bush/Cheney terrorism policies of indefinite detention, military commissions, and state secrets.”

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Combine this with the news that Obama will detain 50 terrorists without due process and I really do not think that they have much to complain about.  On the contrary, Republicans should be elated with the way events are shaping up.  Obama is literally codifying the illegalities of the Bush administration.  This will make it even easier for the next (inevitable) Republican administration to support and further these policies.

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The Obama hatred

Posted by keithosaunders on January 15, 2010

I am puzzled by vehement hatred directed towards Barak Obama by the Republicans.  This across-the-board dismissal does not add up.  Obama campaigned as a centrist, and if anything his administration has bent over backwards to work with, and accomodate the Republicans.

While it is true Obama has made tepid attempts to bring home the troops from Iraq, he has upped the ante in Afghanistan in the form of a surge which most analysts predict will fail.  We continue to pay for our folly with American,Afghani, and Iraqi lives.  In this way his foreign policy has mimicked the Bush administration.  Although Obama’s rhetoric is more elegant, his implementation of policy is the same — force before diplomacy.

We continue to deny prisoners their right to a trial and we continue to eavesdrop on our own citizenry via the NSA’s monitoring of international telephone calls coming into the U.S.   The Patriot act will soon be up for renewal and there is little to make us believe that it will be struck down.

So I ask those on the right:  How is Obama that different from Bush?  Health care will be enacted without a public option.  The taxes that will be imposed will not undue the harm to the deficit that Bush created by squandering our surplus nine years ago.

I believe that partisan politics is largely at fault for this negativity, but I can’t help but think racism is playing a part as well.  There is a large group of the population that still cannot tolerate a  Black president.  To them, a Black man is inferior. and to see Obama in the Whitehouse refutes their credo. 

It would be one thing if Obama offered a truly different vision of our country, but he hasn’t.  It is the left that has more of a reason to be disillusioned.  If I was a Republican I would breath a sigh of relief.

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All the money in the world for National Security….

Posted by keithosaunders on January 8, 2010

…but a public option is out of the question.  Where are our priorities.  The chances that any of us will die in a terrorist attack is thousands of times more remote than needing chemo therapy.  Yet we continue to shovel money into a security system that is dysfunctional at best. 

The latest over-reaction to the Nigerian terrorist attack has me very concerned.  The fact that we, as passengers will have to sit with hands in lap for the last hour of international flights — in effect infantilizing us — would be  laughable if it was not so infuriating.  A third grader could see through the flawed logic of this inane policy.

The fact that the would-be terrorist made it through several red flags — no luggage/one-way ticket/already on the watch list — leads me to believe that there is more here than meets the eye.  Is it possible that we are in a pre-totalitarianist state?  What disturbs me is the public willingness to accept these rules in the name of safety.  Time and again I have heard the phrase ‘It is a priviledge, not a right, to fly.’   It is a priviledge, in so much as it is a priviledge to buy a candy bar or a television set.  While we have the choice not to fly, there are many situations in which it is not practical to travel by any other method.  

We are sanguine about getting behind the wheel of a car, or being a passenger in that car.  How many of us take the bus or subway?   We trust that drivers and motor men will safely deliver us to our destination.  What if there was an attack on mass transit?  How many of us would accept a twenty-minute wait to enter the Times Square subway station?

Dehumanization is not the answer to attempted terror attacks.  By reacting hysterically we have given a gift to the terrorists.  In reality they do not have to blow up planes to realize their goal.  They have already bred fear and anxiety, and have contributed to the crippling of our economy.

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Is this true?!

Posted by keithosaunders on January 4, 2010

I have read in two different blogs today that Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, the Nigerian man who tried to explode his underwear on Northwest Airlines flight 253, boarded without a passport — that he was escorted to the gate by a well dressed Indian man who told the crew that the Nigerian was Sudanese and had to fly without a passport.

If this is true then all of the new security is meaningless.  Even assuming that it’s not true, we are trading basic rights for security that is only microscopically better.  The chances that any one person will die from a terrorism attack on an airplane is over 10,000,000-1 —  considerably less than the odds of being struck by lightning.

The terrorists, in order to accomplish their goal, need not bring down a plane.  They merely must keep us in a constant state of anxiety and fear.  By these standards they are easily winning the war on terror.

The new full body scanners are going to cost over 40 billion to install.  Yet we were told that the U.S. couldn’t have the public option because of the money it would have cost.  How many more people would survive through better health care?  I’m betting it’s thousands of times the amount people who will be saved by enhanced security.

Posted in health care, Politics, war | 3 Comments »

Here’s how to win the war on terror.

Posted by keithosaunders on December 30, 2009

I think we can all agree that we are sick and tired of the war against terror.  The problem is, how do we extricate ourselves from this political quagmire?  Finally there is a solution. 

First Obama must call a press conference and declare Islam the winner in the war on terror while  announcing that we are immediately pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan.  “When we first joined battle with you, the terrorists, we had no idea that you were so good at jihading.  Heck of a job out of you guys.  We’re scared.  You win.  goodbye.”

Here now, is the brilliant part.  Unbeknownst to the terrorists Obama will have sent out a mass mailing to every U.S. citizen stating  “Shhhh…. we know that we really won the war on terra — we’re just going to allow the terrorists think they won. ”  Then BOOM!  We begin subsidizing opium farming in the U.S. thus putting the Taliban out of business.   We move into Afghanistan and binc, binc, binc, there’s a direct pipeline straight to France.  Game, set, match.

Posted in Politics, war | 1 Comment »