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Archive for September, 2013

“Support Our Troops,” displayed on bumper stickers, posted on Facebook and other social networks, for the most part is self-serving — one that essentially says, “Look at me, see how patriotic I am.” But it means nothing more than cheerleading for war.

Read article here: “Support Our Troops” Ought To Entail More Than a Feel Good Slogan on Facebook

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My wife and I care for two energetic grandsons, aged 2.5 and 4.5 years old. At one time, I found it hard to restrain from yelling at the boys, but I have successfully learned to overcome that urge.
Read article here: Overcome Yelling At Children

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“Vietnam is still with us,” said Henry Kissingerabout 30 or so years ago. “It has created doubts about American judgment, about American credibility, about American power–not only at home, but throughout the world.”

Some analysts point out that Bosnia, Kosovo, and Libya are better analogies of our Syrian predicament than Vietnam and Iraq. In respect to military action that may be true.

But, now as then, the credibility of the United States government and its President are at stake. The realities of Vietnam and Iraq have created a credibility gap that cannot be ignored. Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry’s statements regarding the need to take military action in Syria were strong but not strong enough. Obama’s decision to defer the decision to Congress, puts Congress in a box from which they cannot get out.

Read article here: Credibility Will Win the Day; a Strike on Syria Is Inevitable

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What is happening in Syria is horrific. But military action to quell the bloodshed will only end up increasing it, killing more of the innocent than Syrian military fighters. The insistence by President Obama that Syria’s President al-Assad is to blame for recent chemical weapon attacks may not be true: remember Iraq. The risk of a greater war is real. And we do not know just who we are throwing our support behind. Rebel groups include al-Qaeda fighters.

Even if al-Assad did use chemical weapons, how is that any different from being dead or maimed from napalm, blown to bits with a bomb, or riddled to death or maimed by bullets. Why are these weapons less evil than chemical weapons?

Read article here: Syrian Decision May Amount To the Propensity for Perpetual War

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Britain detained David Miranda at London’s Heathrow Airport for 9 hours under Section7 of their Terrorism Act. Miranda is a partner of Glenn Greenwald who has been posting a series of The Guardian articles regarding the Edward Snowden affair.

Unlike Britain, the United States Constitution supposedly protects freedom of the press, but our government has abused these rights repeatedly. Freedom of the press is an illusion. Under the material witness statute of the Patriot Act, U.S. law enforcement has the authority to detain anyone they believe has information concerning a terrorist investigation. And, it’s probable that in some way the U.S. was complicit with Miranda’s detention.

Because of Greenwald-Snowden, we have an expanded view of NSA’s surveillance activities. By now, everyone knows that NSA contractor Snowden provided National Security Agency (NSA) classified documents to Greenwald; Snowden believed that he had no alternative. The legal charges against Snowden are espionage, theft, and conversion of government property. But so far, Snowden has temporary asylum in Russia.

The crux of the predicament is that Britain and the U.S. have significant problems with how much concealment to enforce and their lack of whistleblower oversight, but the essential problem lies in its legality.

Read article here: NSA and the Snowden Affair: the Essential Problem Is Its Legality

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