Sunday, February 14, 2010

How’s that Hopey, Changey Stuff Doin’?

We have been outside the USA for the past month, wandering in the wilderness, as it were, and pondering the way forward.

Back home in Tennessee, Sarah Palin is saying “This was all part of that ‘hope and change and transparency,’ and now a year later I got to ask the supporters of all that, how’s that hopey, changey stuff workin’ out for ya?”

It was a valid question.

Ms. Palin had no better policies to offer, no grand vision. She could only evoke the mythic Ronald Reagan — not the real one who saddled the US with the most massive deficit in its history, torpedoed a rare opportunity to purge the world of atomic arms, trashed the ingenious energy policy and Mideast peace bequeathed by his predecessor, armed and trained Al Qaida, and subverted the Constitutional limits on Presidential war powers while enriching a small coterie of George H.W. Bush’s wealthy friends, particularly in Saudi Arabia.
Irony is, Reagan was small potatoes compared to George W. Bush, and Bush was tame compared to his immediate successor. What Palin seem to imply was that if she were President, you could just dispense with the goodie-goodie Obama charade, because she would be Reagan on steroids.

Where does that leave American voters? Wandering in the wilderness. Won’t you join us?

We are not tea partiers or right wing wackos. Obama is not a naïf, Mirandizing terrorists, closing Guantanamo, and socializing the medical system. Neither are we green apologists or starry-eyed leftists. Obama is not hamstrung by his opponents, still climbing a learning curve, gauging electoral sentiments, or bridge-the-divide moderate to a fault. He may be captive to his advisors, many of them seeded there by Dick Cheney, but he is still his own man. It is that man that troubles us. We seem to have elected King George, again.
He has protected those who trampled both the Constitution and the nation’s honor, to the point of destroying the rules of international law to effectuate that perfidy. He has expanded illegal wars of aggression. He has lent his full support to the genocide in Palestine, sending the Army Corps of Engineers to erect a Great Wall between Gaza and Egypt. His army has dithered and withheld aid while our own Palestinians, the Haitians, died in their own sad version of the SuperDome or Gaza, receiving black-Kevlar’ed jack-booted paratroopers where water and first aid was the most desparate need.

He has shrouded his true foreign and domestic policies in secrecy. While renouncing torture, he has continued it under a different name. He has resumed illegal rendition. He has re-inserted Blackwater as a covert arm of his policies. He has ordered the anthrax and 9-11 attacks and cover-ups,  the Camp No murders, Eric Prince and worse, to go uninvestigated and hidden. He has authorized the assassinations, without trial, of U.S. citizens found on foreign soil. He has imprisoned and tortured thousands of innocents abroad, including children, without charges, rights of counsel, or due process of any kind, and continues to imprison and torture more each day. He has used the full weight of his Justice Department to oppose judicial scrutiny, even in private suits where the US is not a party. 
Fresh war crimes are commited daily, at his express direction. He has expanded illegal drone attacks on neutral countries, killing numberless civilians (“bug-splat” in military parlance) despite the clear evidence of multiplying resentment and blowback towards our national security. In secret he has built new and huge military bases and future internment centers in countries such as Colombia and Pakistan — more than 800 in Afghanistan alone. In an era of diminishing oil supply he has ordered completion of fleets of oil-dependent supercarriers and the jets to bedeck them, and this despite the fact that the US now has more aircraft carriers than all other nations of the world combined, each nearly twice as large as the largest of any other country’s.
While Michelle Obama plants an organic garden in her backyard and packs PBA-laced water bottles into her children’s lunchboxes to wean them off soda pop and onto something far more deadly, her husband has put forward no plan to replace fertilizer dependency with healthy soil programs, ban terminator seeds, or wean the nation from its oil-dependent food vulnerability. With a three-day supply of groceries in most cities and world crude reserve estimates in free-fall, the US is being set up for famine. Let them eat aircraft carriers.

He has subverted the rule of international law by rejecting the UN consensus process, abandoning the Kyoto Accords and wrecking the Copenhagen summit on climate change, our last best chance to have a binding international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He has instigated a program of economic growth where economic contraction is demanded. He has installed corrupt bankers to manage the nation’s currency and evaporating reserves, and they have looted the public treasury to lavish gifts upon the guiltiest among themselves. Although greater taxes are required to restore stability, he has called for tax cuts and freezes on spending for schools, hospitals, State government services, and care for the disabled, elderly, and hungry.

In sheltering the criminal conduct of his own and his predecessors while lending aid and comfort to oppressors of human rights abroad, he has ceded the moral high ground, just as the British Raj ceded it when they clubbed and shot peaceful protestors in India. Without a moral cause, our troops and veterans are dying not from enemy bullets, but of their own internal torment and self-inflicted wounds.

Napolean said, “Never interrupt your enemy when he is in the process of destroying himself.” This is something Sarah Palin and the Republican Party would do well to take to heart.

For those of us that hold no brief for either insanity, we need neither posture nor protest. We can perform our own land redistributions, sponsor local production for local needs, and grow voluntary simplicity from seed to harvest. We can be democratic and re-instill nonviolent, cooperative society, community by community.

Barack, we thought we knew ye. Then we hoped you were playing the long game, one we could ne’r ken. We were badly wrong. You are just plain and simple evil.

We know that now. And we will stand up to be rid of you, and all you stand for.


Unknown said...

Thank you peaksurfer!!! I am so glad that the reality of what is happening is becoming all to obvious and that we are not afraid to point it out and let our complete dissatisfaction be known. The superman stereotype he has created for himself has be revealed as the coward behind the curtain in Oz.

Scott J Mollett said...

Mr Bates. i just wanted to thank you for not standing on the sidelines like almost all the other leaders of the sustainability movement.

The Archdruid keeps telling us there is no one to hold responsible, Ran Priur keeps telling us Obama knows things we don't and Sharon Astyks keeps telling us to make sure we pay her fellow chosen by god bankers no matter what.

You name names and call out the crooks.

Thanks again.

Joel said...

It's frustrating. That's for sure. I try to remind myself not to judge the man too harshly. He does have men with guns surrounding him and his family. People think I'm a nut for thinking the same people who overthrew gov's throughout central and south America would think to do it here. I think the hour is later than most of us know.

I believe you hit on the most important aspect of the whole thing. We can just continue to feed the chickens, turn the compost, and plug into our communities.

Representative gov't on a federal scale is dead. Mourning may be appropriate, but anger... may be less constructive.



Anonymous said...

I never thought he was who he said he was. He was a politician, one of the best, perhaps. And an emotional manipulator, bringing many to tears with his bs. He was not Jesus, nor anywhere near. You notice he spent millions on his "date" and hangs out in Kennebunkport and muliti-million dollar resort homes in Hawaii? He's not only not Jesus, he's not fit to tie Jerry Brown's shoes, who eschewed the governor's mansion, opting to sleep on a mattress on the floor of a one bedroom aparment, and drive an old used chevvy, refusing the limo. But Jerry also spent 7 years as a Jesuit preist. I think Obama means well, with what he knows. Definitely the lesser of the 2 evils we had to choose from.

Anonymous said...


an excellent post. I think part of Obama's problem is that he has to take enormous risks no matter what he does, and it is paralyzing him, so he lets things stay the same. everything has a down side of losing public support, losing his place in history, losing his party, (as Evan B's departure indicates)

he is like the drowning man that nobody wants to get near, because he is obviously going down and may take you, too.

Mark Jacobson

Chronicler said...

Very interesting information and perspective.

The issue of presidential deficit spending has not been reported clearly by the press. If we can accept the data from the website of the Bureau of the Debt, here is what the presidents have added to the National Debt of late:

Reagan $1.860 trillion (annual average of $232 billion)
GHW Bush $1.554 trillion (annual average of $389 billion)
Clinton $1.540 trillion (annual average of $192 billion)
GW Bush $4.899 trillion (annual average of $612 billion)
Obama $1.760 trillion

So although Reagan introduced the larger deficits of the latter years, later presidents have mostly outstripped him. At the current rate, Obama will surpass Reagan's cumulative deficits of eight years after being in office just 15 months.

Anonymous said...

I can see why your photo looks like you're out there on a ledge. Obama has his flaws as you note, but throwing the baby with the bathwater won't help us either. There is NO ONE who is in line who is an improvement over Barak. If we don't support him, then the REAL devil will get back in power and we'll have the Republicans back and then the world will only get worse. Do you really think we are worse off with Obama than GW?

Adam said...

Obama is succeeding at being more like Bush than Bush was. So, I don't see your point.

Anonymous said...

the point is that either we support him or not. He's who we elected and either we support him or find the next person to support and start planning that way. Complaining doesn't help.

Anonymous said...

I think it may be Jerry Brown's time to run for president again. If he plays by the rules this time, he could get elected.

Unknown said...

so, we're not supposed to notice that the Emperor has no clothes?

Anonymous said...

we're supposed to be in the game, not armchair quarterback. Obama is who we elected and he's doing the best he can, condidering who he is and he needs support or else all we have left is the evil republicans. O has more clothes than any or thes repub aholes. Don't toss the baby. Any fool can complain. Maybe since Albert is so astute, we can run him for office.




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