Monday, February 15, 2016

Russians Take After U.S. and Saudis, Bomb Doctors Without Borders Hospital

Man, Médecins Sans Frontières can't catch a break. First the U.S. attacks their hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, four times in an hour, paying special attention to destroying the surgical facilities. Then the Saudis attack their facilities in Yemen, among over 70 medical sites bombarded by Saudi flying terrorists in their U.S.-supplied jets, dropping the cluster bombs and other munitions Obama gladly sells to them. (Presumably the Saudis are satisfied customers.) Actually that's not quite right. Obama has to allow U.S. "defense" manufacturers to make the sales.

And  now Russia has destroyed yet another MSF facility, in Syria, in several strikes from the air.

Russia, being no more moral or punctilious about observing international law then the U.S. or Saudi Arabia, has been helping their semi-client Bashar al-Assad cling to power (the power to terrorize, anyway) by using their air power to pummel both combatants and civilians. (Which, come to think of it, is starting to look a lot like the standard of warfare, beginning with the Nazi bombardment of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War, then the destruction of cities by aerial bombardment in World War II, which the U.S. did more than any other nation, then on through Vietnam, and the Russian razing of Grozny, Chechnya, and now the Saudis over Yemen and the autodestruction of Syria by the Syrian "government."

I think it's time for MSF to heed my previous advice, and give their enemies WRONG GPS coordinates for their locations! They're only providing them targeting information as it stands. These are no "accidents,"(or "mistakes," as the mendacious U.S. government and media claimed the obviously deliberate attack on the Kunduz hospital was). That attack deprived an entire Afghan province of a trauma center, and was followed up by a U.S. tank crashing through the gate in a blatant act of intimidation. (Obama has a pattern of such thuggery, including the murder of the teenage son and nephews of Anwar al-Awlaki, the breaking of the arm of Medea Benjamin, and the intensifying assaults I have been experiencing at the hands of U.S. "intelligence."

For more on Russian war crimes against medical facilities in Syria, see "Russia Outdoes U.S. Five-Fold In Bombing Hospitals," October 27, 2015.

For the story of the deliberate U.S. attack on the Médecins Sans Frontières hospital in Kunduz, see
Why Did the U.S. Launch a Sustained Aerial Bombardment of a Doctors Without Borders Hospital?, October 5th; "U.S. Military Changes Its Story- Again- On Bombing Doctors Without Borders Hospital," October 6th;  "WikiLeaks Invites Obama to Bomb It," October 8th; and "What Happens When One Nobel Peace Prize Winner Bombs Another Nobel Peace Prize Winner?" Oct. 9th.

Anti-Democratic Election Stealer Scalia Hailed as Great Man, Deep Thinker

The good news of the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a lifelong fanatical enemy of human rights, is tempered by the spewing of tributes to the deceased reactionary. The flood of grotesque propaganda hailing this evil creature spoils the pleasure his victims are entitled to take from his demise. [1]
Scalia, an arch-reactionary, is being lionized in death, even by the Democratic Party president Barack Obama, who inexplicably deemed him a "great thinker," based on no evidence whatsoever. Scalia's opinions were just that- the opinions of an extremist. But in the U.S., being a right-wing extremist qualifies one as a serious intellectual, it would seem. (See for example William F. Buckley, Jr, a fascist, racist, and gay-hater who had a penchant for threatening "left-wing" guests on his talk show with physical violence.) [2]

Scalia's "doctrine," in fact was mere rhetorical assertion. He presented himself as some kind of legal fundamentalist, who "interpreted" the Constitution "literally." In fact, Scalia started from his preferred outcomes, then crafted legerdemain and polemics to claim "originalist" Constitutional justification. Increasingly his "legal decisions" were heavily larded with insults directed at his colleagues on the bench.

Scalia was a fierce enemy of women, racial "minorities," and gay people, dedicating himself to relentless assaults on their attempts to at least be treated equally to relatively privileged white male heterosexuals.
Scalia also was part of the reactionary gang on the high court that greatly increased the political power of billionaire plutocrats by ruling that their wealth was “speech” that Congress had no right to put limits on. (Too bad American dissidents get no protection for their actual speech.) I refer of course to the notorious Citizens United case.

Scalia's “place in history” is assured by his notorious role in the theft of the 2000 presidential election, arguably the most consequential of his “judicial” (political) acts. As part of a cabal of five GOP agents on the high court, he and they illegally stopped the Florida vote recount, handing the election to their party's man, Bush the Younger. (2004 was stolen too, in Ohio.) The result was the destruction of the three buildings in lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001, a plot between the Saudis, Bush, Cheney, and fascist deep state operatives, using al-Qaeda as foils to take the blame for the awesomely photogenic collapsing towers (which al-Qaeda was eager to do, as the plotters correctly calculated). Then the long-planned Iraq invasion, the ramming through of overt police state legislation (“the PATRIOT Act was the law I proposed!” cried Joe Biden in vindication) and the ramping up of a global kidnapping network that was actually initiated by Bill Clinton, followed by the far-flung Houses of Horror of the U.S.' own gulag archipelago.

Oh, how much we owe Scalia. He did his part.

Scalia's carcass was barely cold before Republican Senators were threatening to refuse to allow Obama to appoint a successor, as is the president's right and duty. Instead they want to keep the seat vacant for the next 11 months on hopes of the next president being a member of their party who will appoint another arch-reactionary, instead of a conservative, as Obama will do. (One of the Big Lies of U.S. establishment discourse, which is mindlessly adopted by foreigners and domestic progressives who should know better, is that the Supreme Court is split between "conservatives" and "liberals." This is nonsense. The split is between reactionaries, who want negative change, greater repression, increased power for police and large corporations and impunity for them, and conservatives, who want to preserve the status quo. Reducing discrimination, or allowing someone a right that others already have, like the right to marry, isn't really "liberal." It's recognizing what is already mandated in theory, that everyone supposedly has equal rights. That's another Big Lie, of course.)

As the Gang Of Plunderers (GOP) currently controls the U.S. Senate, which must approve Federal judicial nominations, it would seem that they have the power to keep the Scalia seat vacant until after the November presidential election. That leaves the court with 8 members, divided between four conservatives (called “liberals”) 3 reactionaries (“conservatives” in the grossly misleading parlance) and a “swing vote,” Anthony Kennedy, who is pretty reactionary but just not as consistently as the harder core ones.

Of course Obama should nominate a replacement for Scalia. Presidents have nominated Supreme Court justices 17 times in their last year in office, including in 1988, by Bush the Elder. But starting with Clinton, the GOP (Gang Of Plunderers) has regarded Democratic presidents, and indeed the Democratic Party, as illegitimate. This has intensified with Obama. So they regard any exercise of power by a Democratic president as illegitimate. Thus the attacks on Obama's executive orders, and recess appointments, which have been routine until the GOP cabal on the Supreme Court just ruled Obama isn't allowed to make recess appointments. [3]

Or maybe it goes back to the assassination of JFK. Obviously HE was illegitimate if he needed to be removed by force. (At least in the minds of the fascists at the heart of U.S. power, in this case people like J. Edgar Hoover and Allen Dulles. And their fellow travelers like Nixon and Bush the Elder.)
Looks like if the right of women to control their own bodies and terminate pregnancies isn't to be eliminated in most of the U.S., the Democrats will have to win a third presidential election in a row. And then nominate a justice who is strong on abortion rights. (Unlike Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Scalia's “best friend” and fellow opera buff, as the establishment media never tires of reminding us, who thinks Roe v. Wade was a bad decision.)

1] A couple of examples of the fawning guff being lathered thickly onto Scalia's posthumous image, like pancake makeup on a corpse:

First words out of the mouth of David Greene, one of the hosts of U.S. government radio propaganda network NPR, on the morning “news” show, Morning Edition, starting at 5 A.M. Washington, D.C., time capital of the empire from where it originates:

“A legal titan. Ruth Bader Ginsburg calls him best buddy. Filling the very big shoes of...” blah blah. Actually should be easy to “fill his shoes.” Reactionary ideologues, polemicists, and political hitmen like Scalia are a dime a dozen in the U.S. And if you need one with a law degree, just go to the Federalist Society, a cabal of far right-wing lawyers dedicated to seizing control of the Federal judiciary through gradual infiltration.

By noon, however, NPR was saying “a partisan dispute is intensifying” over who gets to appoint Scalia's successor. (I mean, pick someone to fill those very big shoes.)

Remember, the guy only died two days ago.. That “partisan dispute” sure is intensifying rapidly.

Female hostess on Michael Bloomberg Billionaire's radio station, just before 3 P.M.:

“What do you make of Justice Scalia's legacy. Everyone [sic] says he's larger than life.”

I guess I must be nobody.

But I know one thing: Scalia is smaller than life now. Now he's nothing. Literally. It's called death.

Makes sense for one of Bloomberg's propagandists to gush over Scalia. Given Scalia's ferocious 
dedication to increasing the power of billionaires, Bloomberg has reason to be appreciative.

2] The Democratic Party habitually acts as the handmaiden of reaction, by legitimizing it and treating it as respectable. Notice that the reactionaries, including their party, the Republicans, don't return the favor. The Democrats are partners in domestic repression and external imperialism with the Republicans.

3] A recess appointment occurs when the president makes an executive branch appointment that ordinary requires Congressional approval, while Congress isn't in session. The appointments are temporary.

Comedian Andy Borowitz milks the GOP drive to emasculate Obama for a laugh at the New Yorker. “G.O.P. Warns Obama Against Doing Anything for Next Three Hundred and Forty Days,” February 15, 2016. His political humor eases the pain of U.S. politics a bit.

Turkey Bombards America's Kurds in Syria

The wars in the Middle East are looking more and more like a free-for-all. What a Pandora's Box the Bush-Cheney regime recklessly ripped open when it invaded Iraq!

The would-be Sultan of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has dreams of Ottoman Empire glory, has been attacking armed Kurds wherever he can find them. First he restarted the war of extermination against the PKK, the Kurdish guerrilla organization that arose as a reaction to the extreme repression of Kurds in Turkey. (For decades, Turkey sought to eliminate Kurdish identity completely, which is to say, the Kurds were subjected to a genocidal assault under the legal definition of genocide. There is a popular misunderstanding that genocide necessarily means physical extermination. It actually is defined as destroying a people by whatever means, or attempting to.) Then he extended his war over the border into both Syria and Iraq. The Iraqi government has feebly protested the invasion of Iraq by Turkish troops attacking Kurdish forces. Those Kurds have been the main bulwark against the advance of the hated ISIS, the self-styled Islamic State, reviled for their Saudi-style beheadings.

The latest Turkish attacks against the Kurds is the aerial and artillery attacks on Kurdish forces in Syria. The BBC, and thus we can assume by extension the British government, supports, given today's reporting, which was sympathetic to the Turkish position. For exanple, they hauled on air a woman from the reactionary U.S. Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, to say that the PKK and the other Kurds the Turks are now attacking are birds of a feather. [1] Of course, the Kurds the Turks are now trying to destroy in Syria are also the main U.S. proxy ground forces against ISIS in Syria.

So Obama gave his vice president, Joseph Biden, an errand, to ask Erdoğan to please stop bombing the U.S.' Kurds. Erdoğan, predictably, refused to comply. Which Obama probably foresaw and sought to avoid being humiliated, thus the delegation of the task to Biden.

So where do we stand? The U.S. and whoever it can get is fighting ISIS. The U.S. is also against the Assad regime, but isn't fighting him and doesn't want its proxies to fight him. ISIS is fighting Assad. The Russians are fighting "terrorists," using the Assad regime definition of that word- namely anyone opposing Assad or even living in areas not under regime control. The U.S. is fighting "terrorists," namely ISIS, the al-Nusra front, and the always-mentioned-but-never specified "associated forces." (Being vague gives the U.S. the freedom to attack anyone they suddenly decide they don't like.)

The Iranians are fighting everyone Assad and the Russians are fighting, in Syria. So they're a U.S. Enemy in Syria, even though they're fighting ISIS.

In Iraq, the Iranians are allied with the same government the U.S. is backing, and against ISIS. But they're still an Enemy.

U.S. ally and NATO member Turkey is hosting U.S. warplanes that are bombing targets in Syria and Iraq, in support of the Kurds that Turkey is bombing and shelling.

Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf oiligarchies support Sunni extremists like al-Nusra. But they're U.S. allies, and Saudi Arabia has supposedly offered to contribute "special forces" (commandos) to fight in Syria against- well, the Sunni extremist ISIS. They've even contributed a few warplanes to bombing. (Most of their forces are tied up destroying Yemen at the moment.) Britain, France, all the usual suspects, are pitching in with bombing and/or aerial surveillance, although Canada, under a new liberal regime, will no longer drop bombs, just help look for targets. (The new prime minister Trudeau is apparently a peacenik.)

Is that all clear now?

I didn't think so.

1] The Wilson center is named for a former extremely racist president of the U.S., who inaugurated the modern U.S. police state with the Espionage Act (under which people who spoke against Wilson's entry into the First World War were imprisoned, First Amendment "free speech rights" be damned), the Palmer raids, in which thousands of leftists were rounded up without any judicial involvement- carried out by one J. Edgar Hoover, heading the precursor of the FBI, which he went on to run as the top secret police chief in America- and other depredations against human rights. The actual history of Wilson's regime- which is to say, truth- has been replaced by an absurd myth of Wilson as a noble idealist and liberal who believed in self-determination for people! Thus is the power of propaganda manifested yet again.

The lady "scholar" from the Wilson Center made sure to carry out her political and ideological duties by cueing us in on which side is the Good Guys and which the Bad in the Turkish bombing of Kurds. The Kurds have been fighting "a NATO army" for a decade, she gratuitously put in. I suppose that's one (twisted) way to look at it. Or the Turkish army waged a vicious "counterinsurgency" campaign against the Kurds for a decade, "disappearing" people, torturing them, razing villages, and killing tens of thousands of people. People who would have settled for being allowed to speak their own language, publish their own newspapers, broadcast in their own tongue, and just allowed to be Kurds. But that was asking too much, various Turkish regimes decreed. The BBC forgot to mention the reality of Turkish state oppression of the Kurds. And commonly the death toll is blamed on the PKK, or on "the conflict," even though it was Turkish state forces that killed theoverwhelming majority of the now-dead.

By the way, that NATO army also invaded Cyprus and imposed its will on the Greek inhabitants there, supposedly to aid Turkish residents. Greece is in NATO too.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Woman Who Helped Murder Half a Million Children Reserves "Special Place in Hell" For Women Who Don't Vote for Clinton

"There's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other."

Thus spake Madeleine Albright, directing her comment at female supporters of Bernard Sanders, Hillary Clinton's rival for the Democratic Party nomination for president of the U.S., trying to morally blackmail women into voting for Clinton on the basis of vaginal-solidarity, I suppose.

This happens to be the same Madeleine Albright who in 1996 was asked point-blank on television if the deaths of half a million Iraqi children was "worth it."

Albright's answer: Yes. [1]

No one in the U.S. media- or any media I'm aware of- has asked the obvious rhetorical question: how did killing their children "help" the mothers of those victims? Were not those mothers women?

Is there a special place in hell for someone who helped murder them, maybe even more special than the place for women who don't vote for Hillary Clinton? (Whose husband, by the way, killed most of those children, with the help of his Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright.)

Former CIA infiltrator Gloria Steinem, Official Establishment (read: safe) Feminist, also went to bat for Hillary C., by sneering on comedian Bill Maher's show that young women who support Sanders are just looking for boys. Maher went Whoa, if I said that, but Steinem brushed off the obvious (and ironic) sexism of her comment. (Perceiving it soon after as a political goof, Steinem later "apologized," like she could just erase what she revealed about her own cynical attitude.) [2]

Of course, where does a "progressive" like Steinem get off campaigning for a right-wing imperialist warmonger, vicious class warrior, and recipient of millions of dollars in "speaking fees" from oligarchs appreciative of her servie to their class interests? (And how much did the Clinton's assault on the crumbs dribbled down to poor women "helped" those women. Some people actually resigned from Bill Clinton's regime as a result, and it takes a lot for political types to give up a government gig.)

Hopefully those with a larger audience than I will take up the nauseating cynicism of mass murderer Madeleine.

1] View the video clip of Albright on "60 Minutes" with Leslie Stahl.

2] The feminist collective Redstockings long ago documented Steinem's CIA work in India. Even the New York Times reported it one day, back in the 1970s. Later Steinem and her ally Bella Abzug got the publisher of the Redstockings' book to suppress the information in later editions. On a rare moment when she wasn't relying on establishment media to make knowledge of her CIA work go away, Steinem said “In my experience the agency was completely different from its image: it was liberal, nonviolent and honorable.”

Right. It's just a smear that the CIA has directed the torture and murder of literally millions of people around the world.

See, for example, "A Word From Our Sponsor," New York Times Sunday Book Review, January 20, 2008.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

167,000 Iowan VIP's Render Key Verdicts in U.S. Presidential Race

A select elite of Iowans, only 167,000 out of all the 3,124,000 people who live in Iowa (in other words, about 5% of the residents, one in 20), have steered the direction of the presidential race- or so the U.S. media would have it. This select group, 0.052 percent of the U.S. population of 321,419,000 (about 1/20th of 1 percent), after months of media anticipation, have finally spoken. And the media brays- the winner is Ted Cruz! With 27.7% of the caucus "vote." (In other words, 72.3% didn't vote for Cruz.) Donald "I Love Me!" Trump came in second, with 24.3% of the GOP caucus vote. [1]

But the "surprise" was Marco Rubio, third with 23.1%, declared the virtual winner by some, such as Don Gonyea of NPR (the U.S. government domestic radio propaganda network), who explained to us this morning that Rubio was a "winner" because he "exceeded expectations" [of the media, he neglected to say] and this "gives him momentum going into New Hampshire."

Ah yes, the Big Mo. I remember decades ago Hunter S. Thompson describing this "momentum" trope of election "coverage" with sly contempt. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. (The more things change, the more they stay the same.)

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton and Bernard (I refuse to call him "Bernie," he's not my uncle) Sanders were virtually tied- but the U.S. media insisted on declaring Clinton the "winner." Martin O'Malley was nipping at the duo's heels with 0.6%. Okay, he was left eating dust. (He then "suspended" his campaign for president.) At 6 of the Democrats' caucuses, coins were tossed to pick a winner. This is what "the" media wants us to take seriously! Clinton won 6 of 6 tosses, enabling her to slightly edge Sanders 49.9% to 49.6%. Thus is the Fate of the Republic determined. (The news of the coin tosses came from alternative radio/website Not on NPR, which has been "covering" the Iowa show to the exclusion of almost all else.)

Now the horses are racing towards the next post, New Hampshire, another virtually all-white state, with the "journalists" providing more breathless commentary. So much artificial excitement! As if anything fundamental is at stake. Even if Bernard Sanders were to run, nothing of the deep power structure would change in the U.S. Any deep changes Sanders attempted would simply be blocked. Even a moderate change like universal health care is seemingly impossible to achieve. Or limiting the amount of money billionaires can deploy to fix elections! A mere five reactionaries, who happen to wear the robes of Supreme Court Justices, overturned the will of Congress and something like 80% of the American people on that score.

Notice how it takes more than a year of hype to get people worked up over their election! I wonder what that is symptomatic of.

1] Population figures latest from U.S. Census, as of midyear 2015, rounded off to nearest thousand. Vote percentages from New York Times. Of course, not everyone is eligible to vote, such as people under 18, and the one out of eight black men branded "felons." So the electorate is somewhat smaller than the population. But the point doesn't change. 167,000 is a tiny number of people to be handed such outsize influence in choosing the president of the U.S.

You might want to read the report, "State-Level Estimates of Felon Disenfranchisement in the United States, 2010," by The Sentencing Project. Here's the first sentence: "The United States is one of the world’s strictest nations when it comes to denying the right to vote to citizens convicted of crimes. A remarkable 5.85 million Americans are forbidden to vote because of 'felon disenfranchisement,' or laws restricting voting rights for those convicted of felony level crimes."

Monday, February 01, 2016

Power Establishment May Be Hoist On Its Own Petard In Iowa

For decades, the U.S. media, propaganda arms of the power structure, has set two early tests for the "viability" of candidates for president. Would-be presidents of the U.S. (a role like chief executive officer of U.S. Imperialism Inc.) have to do well in two very white, rural, reactionary states, Iowa and New Hampshire. Both have small populations and are unrepresentative of the U.S.

These initial filters obviously are designed to eliminate progressives and force candidates to the right. (New Hampshire has changed some in recent years, but Iowa is if anything even more reactionary now than formerly. But New Hampshire's main newspaper is still the rabidly reactionary New Hampshire Union-Leader.)

Well, it looks like Donald Trump is set to win or at least come in second in Iowa.

The power establishment has made no secret of its disdain for Trump. This is because he is a loose cannon, with no fixed ideological positions and no commitment to making himself subservient to the U.S. national security state. This doesn't mean he's an anti-imperialist. But he isn't someone under the control of the Council on Foreign Relations, or the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on domestic policy.

Trump swings wildly between diametrically opposite sentiments (it overly dignified the verbal stream that spews from his maw to call them "positions"). One day he doesn't care about ISIS, the next day he'll smash them to pieces and bar all Muslims from the U.S. And horror of horrors, for a day he and Putin had a little mutual admiration society thing going between them.

Trump of course is a narcissistic personality who has degenerated into demagogy. He would be an "irresponsible," and unpredictable, president. Which frankly I would find entertaining. And only people who worship U.S. power should fret that he might "damage" America. Unfortunately it appears that America has to be damaged if it is ever going to be forced to reform itself.

Birds Come Home to Roost in Pakistan

Or make that, giant pterodactyls come roosting.

The recent murderous assault on a university in northwestern Pakistan by some Islamofascists comes about a year after the massacre at the school for children of army personnel, in which 130 people, mostly children, were slaughtered.

Once again we are reminded that the Pakistani military created a Frankenstein's Monster when they birthed the fanatical jihadist movement. Now it has come back to bite them. The rabid dog has slipped its leash and turned on its master.

Pakistan's feckless civilian elite also shares some blame. By refusing to provide normal schools for the poor, parents send their boys to madrassas, brainwashing centers of the most primitive, backward Islamic indoctrination, where future "martyrs" are bred. When you convince people they will live eternally in paradise if they kill themselves for your cause, the seeds are sown for terrorism.

The Pakis occasionally whine these days that they are suffering great casualties from terrorism. Well, whose fault is that?

They've been forced against their will to fight the beast they created. Good luck to them.

Here's an idea: learn to hate India less. The last time the civilian leadership of Pakistan and India reached out to one another, the Paki military sabotaged the meeting between the two heads of state by launching yet another terrorist attack in Indian Kashmir, using one of its proxy cat's paw puppet terror groups.

Too bad the government of Pakistan doesn't actually control the military of Pakistan.

Obama Proves You Can Fool Some of the People All of the Time- Again

Barack "DroneMan" Obama just announced that it's harmful to lock juvenile prisoners in solitary confinement, and therefore Federal juvenile prisoners will no longer be subjected to such mind-damaging treatment.

It only took Obama, an intelligent, well-informed man, 7 years into his presidency to figure this out, and do something about it. Which should rightly make us suspicious of his motives. Is it really that he's a humanitarian and reformer? His record of violent assaults on human rights and institutionalization of greater repression is ample grounds to reject such a possibility. [1]

This announcement was nothing more than the latest salvo in a propaganda cum "legacy"-building campaign, Obama The Merciful. Previously it was announced with great fanfare that Obama was "pardoning" (actually commuting the sentences of) 6,000 Federal prisoners. (As usual with the "Good" Obama, there was less- much less- there than met the eye, and ear. Only 1,000 prisoners were actually let out of prison, or more accurately, scheduled to be let out of prison a bit sooner then they would have been anyway. The others were in half-way houses or on probation. And many more than 6,000 Federal prisoners are released yearly as a matter of course, replaced of course by the newly-incarcerated. Obama's drop-in-the-bucket gesture barely moved the dial on the total number of Federal prisoners, around 200,000, and was imperceptible against the total U.S. prison population of over 2 million, most of whom are prisoners of the 50 individual states. And that doesn't count "illegal" immigrants imprisoned for deportation.)

This Mercy Offensive by the Kinder and Gentler Oppressor is part of Obama's "legacy-building." In the last of his eight years in power, Obama wants to be judged by "history" (bourgeois opinion-manipulators) on just his last year, so like Bill Clinton he can give a vague impression of liberalism.

Some people, but fewer and fewer as time has gone by and experience has wised up "folks," are falling for this. My impression is fewer are hailing it than hailed his "pardons." (Pardoning means erasing the conviction; commutation is shortening the prison sentence. Obama has been commuting sentences, often by only a few months.) So, pace Lincoln, there are still those being fooled by Obama- because they want to be.

1] In brief, Obama's anti-human rights record includes: signing into the law the power to declare American citizens "terrorists" and imprison them indefinitely in a military prison, without charges or appeal, so they can enjoy the same treatment non-Americans get in places like Guantanamo Bay and, formerly, Bagram and other military torture sites and the CIA's "black sites"; waging an unprecedented war on whistleblowers and journalists; overseeing the world's most massive and total surveillance system, run by the NSA and utilitized by the FBI, CIA, and DEA, which then launder the information to hide its source and bring trumped-up criminal charges against their targets; issuing orders requiring every Federal employee to be a spy and informer on their fellow employees; blowing up hospitals and using drones to wipe out wedding parties and etc.; his obvious indifference to the system of police repression of blacks and Latinos, the murders of whom are merely the most visible aspect of that repression; the FBI coordination of the repression of the Occupy Movement; and various individual acts of violence, such as the assassination of Al-Qaeda polemicist/propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki's teenage son and nephews; the murder of Obama bin Laden (yes, it was murder; even if the victim is a "scumball" who "deserved it," it's still murder); the CIA assassination of journalist Michael Hastings, who was investigating a very very sensitive state secret at the time (who planted the explosives that blew up those three buildings in lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001? Who ordered it?); allowing the FBI to cold-bloodedly execute Ibragim Todashev, and arrange the murder of Sandra Bland; having the Egyptian dictator Sisi doing him the favor of breaking Medea Benjamin's arm, for having the effrontery to interrupt one of his self-righteous speeches; and other victims unknown. [See also TODASHEV.]

Speaking of victims, a note to my non-secret police readers: I was about to embark upon a project that would have taken up my time and focus, namely digitizing video tapes of past performances by a friend of mine, a non pareil songwriter and singer. These one-of-a-kind performances represent art that was only preserved on those tapes. My secret police persecutors, monitoring my computer research on digitizing, and with the advantage of hidden camera in my home, stole the box in which those tapes were stored. This is the most malicious thing they have done to me in over four decades of persecution, which had included false arrests, scores of illegal surreptitious burglaries, a chilling death threat, acts of sabotage and vandalism, the standard warrantless wiretaps and bugs, and the theft of thousands of dollars. So going forward I will be sharing my experiences of persecution which will illustrate the methods typically used by U.S. secret police against people they don't like. I also have specific information collected over these decades of persecution on FBI activities, use of Mossad agents, CIA locations, personnel identities, photos, and etc. If my tapes don't "reappear," I will do my best to make that information publicly available, and spread around to organizations with an interest in such information. Perhaps my tormentors will prefer that to my political analyses. [Just leave them downstairs.]

What persecuted American dissidents need is greater visibility. Why is there no organization and website for the victims to share their experiences and learn from one another? There are various reasons for that, including the heterogeneous nature of the victims, and the suffocating ideological power of U.S. lies that the U.S. is "free" and there are no dissidents here. (Just as there are no homosexuals in Iran, I suppose).