Random Observations At the Beginning of a New Year

Obama and Panetta’s big news of defense department cuts doesn’t impress me a bit. It’s easy to cut troop numbers when pilotless drones are the new weapon of choice. Just move the joy stick and press some buttons and you kill the enemy (and sometimes a few innocent civilians). It’s cheap and easy (too easy). But not to worry, we’re still spending and wasting more on our military than the rest of the world combined. While Main Street struggles to stay afloat, the Military-Industrial Complex lives on.

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Looks like Barack Obama is moving into full-campaign mode. His campaign staff has apparently convinced him that his support is so thin among his base, he needs to project a more partisan stance. After three years of being dissed and trampled on by Republicans, the President has decided to be a Democrat.  After three years of buckling under to the GOP, he is taking baby steps to reassert himself. An excellent example was Thursday’s recess appointment of Consumer Bureau head Richard Cordray, and his criticism by name of Republicans, something he had long avoided (preferring instead to criticize the generic “Congress”).  

Maybe he can stir up the passion of his dedicated electoral troops who were key to his  2008 victory. Whether he can reverse the damage to this nation that he allowed in his first three years of office is a different question

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It amazes me how quickly the government moved to crack down on dissent since the advent of the Occupy Wall Street movement last September. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which could allow U.S. Citizens on American soil to be locked up indefinitely by the military without trial, and The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which allows the government to restrict internet content, are two of the most egregious recent attempts to restrict civil liberties. 

The pace of placing limits on our constitutional rights, rapid enough since 2001, appeared to accelerate when U.S. citizens took to the streets to occupy public places and protest the inequities of our failing political and economic system. Maybe it’s just my imagination, or just a coincidence…. or maybe not.

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I’m not a Ron Paul fan.  He’s good on many issues, better than most Democrats on some. But his unyielding anti-government positions would be a disaster for this country were he to be elected. As bad off as many people are in America today, they would be that much worse off if Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public education, minimum wages, etc. were eliminated or restricted. And allowing the free market to regulate safety, health, predatory practices, etc. is a sure recipe for descent into third world status.

Still, I am happy that Ron Paul is in the Republican presidential race and participating in televised debates. Because only Dr. Paul is raising the only sane voice when it comes to U.S. foreign policy. Only Ron Paul is saying we don’t need to be meddling in countries all over the world, and don’t need to be in perpetual wars, and don’t need to be rattling sabers at Iran every day or two.

Without Dr. Paul, these idiotic debates would degenerate into a free-for-all among right-wing chickenhawks competing to become the one candidate most likely to start a war, or most anxious to attack Iran and any other nation that fails to do our bidding. That would be tragic for our political discourse because even Barack Obama wouldn’t dare to counter the hawkish posturing in an election year.

Hang in there, Ron.

PUBLISHED IN OPEDNEWS.COM (Diary Section,   01/08/2012)

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This entry was posted in Barack Obama, civil liberties, Democratic Party, elections, foreign policy, government, Iran, military, Occupy Wall Street, politics, Republican Party, Terrorism, war and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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