Friday, December 19, 2014

America's Fatal Addiction to War and Torture

Abu Ghraib: Specialists Charles Graner 
punching restrained prisoners
Credit: U.S. military or Department of Defense
Copyright: Public Domain

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were a time we could have shown the world the strength of America’s character. But the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Torture Report revealed just the opposite: America failed to live up to the principles it professes.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Defense Secretary Nominee Ashton Carter, the Right Choice for Our Continuous Wars

President Obama’s nomination of Ashton Carter for Secretary of Defense replacing Chuck Hagel is not good news for those of us who yearn for world peace and an end of war.

In light of 13 years of continuous war with no end in sight, the advent of a warmongering Republican controlled Congress, a Defense Secretary nominee described as “hawkish,” Carter’s confirmation is guaranteed.

Autopsies Confirm Michael Brown’s Killing a Homicide

The doubt concerning the guilt or innocence of Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown now seems clear; a Department of Justice’s autopsy declares it a homicide.
“The findings of the Justice Department post-mortem released on Monday echoed those of two previous autopsies carried out by St. Louis County’s medical examiner and a private examiner hired by the Brown family. It found that Brown — who was shot in Ferguson, Missouri, on Aug. 9 — suffered “severe injuries of the skull, brain and right chest” and appeared to have been shot in the hand at close range. “The manner of death is homicide,” the Justice Department’s medical examiner ruled.”
Dorian Johnson, who was walking with Brown at the time Wilson’s patrol car pulled up to them, retells the events of that day. He says, “It was definitely being shot like a animal,” it’s almost like an execution.

Supporters of Wilson’s action like to point out that Brown robbed a convenience store as if that was good enough reason to kill him. Johnson reportedly confirmed that he and Brown did steal cigars from a convenience store that day. But theft should never be good enough reason for a police officer to kill someone.

Friday, December 5, 2014

There Are Real Reasons for Anger, Not Just in Ferguson or Staten Island

Aug 14, 2014
Screen shot of YouTube video
On Saturday, August 9, Michael Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed black man and his friend was walking down the middle of a street in Ferguson, Mo. A white police officer, Darren Wilson, told them to move to the sidewalk. A confrontation followed. Wilson struggled with Brown to get out of his patrol car. Brown attempted to take Wilson’s gun, the gun fired, Brown ran. Wilson fired several shots while in pursuit. Brown stopped, turned, and walked toward Wilson. Witness’s observations differed as to whether Brown was walking toward Wilson in a threatening manner or with his hands raised in surrender. Wilson “fired a series of shots” and killed him.

Friday, November 28, 2014

World Order Wars Benefit Powerful Wealthy People, Not You and Me

Our government lies, saying and doing anything to justify their actions. Lies, purposeful misinformation, told in order to drag us into war are most egregious. They tell us, from World War I to Iraq and now Syria, that war is necessary to protect our freedom and democracy. “Freedom is not free.” Wars are necessary to achieve world peace. To do anything else other than forceful intervention is appeasement. Only the United States is capable of maintaining world order.

The facts are that U.S. intervention in World War I helped Hitler rise to power and World War II, intervention in Southeast Asian affairs led to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and intervention in the Middle East led to war and all the problems we have in Iraq and the region.

In President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, he said, “America led the world in constructing an architecture to keep the peace.” Adding, “A decade into a new century, this old architecture is buckling under the weight of new threats.”

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Tomas Young, for That I Am So Sorry

This is Tomas Young
Screenshot of YouTube Video ‘Remembering Tomas Young’ 
by Amanda Young
Following the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Tomas Young wanted to defend his country. He joined the Army expecting to fight in Afghanistan, but instead deployed to Iraq. There, on April 4, 2004, a bullet ripped through his spine and paralyzed him from the waste down. After more than 10 years of suffering, as a result of fighting in a war that should have never been, Tomas succumbed to his wounds and died on November 10, 2014. Tomas was 34 years old.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Reflection: Armistice Day, ‘The War to End All Wars,’ Now Veterans Day, A Different Intent

The Armistice/Remembrance Day Poppy
(Poppies still proliferate World War I battlefields) 
I remember when Armistice Day was dedicated to the pursuit of world peace. But today, Veterans’ Day is a very different celebration than what was then Armistice Day. Veterans Day has evolved to a day we celebrate by venerating our veterans, overwhelming idolizing our war’s combat veterans, in doing so, glorifying war.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Free-Market Capitalism Is Only Tolerant Of Those Who Are Capable Of Achieving Success

of a homeless mother with her children
In America, 3.5 million are homeless; over a third are families; over 1.6 million are children. Of the 1.6 million, close to 1.3 million are homeless students enrolled in our country’s public preschools and grades K-12.

In a country that touts family values, places values on education and equal opportunity, that should be unacceptable, yet it’s not.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Yes, We Can Have Immigration Reform; all that’s Needed Is a Change of Attitude

Immigration is not the problem that it’s drummed up to be. More than anything else, it’s an attitude problem of how we perceive immigration (documented or undocumented), in particular of those from south of our border. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Kids from Poor Neighborhoods Trick-Or-Treating In Rich Neighborhoods

A Tom Simpson Image at Flickr Creative Commons
Slate’s advice columnist Prudence responds to a letter complaining of the cost of candy he or she needs to buy for the poor kids trick-or-treating in their rich neighborhood.

Although this person is not politically identified, he or she certainly thinks like a Republican: poor people are a burden on society, they need to make their own way, resources should not be redistributed to help those in need.

It’s a stark reminder of why I am a Liberal.