We Speak For Earth

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Posts tagged "obama"
  • Question: I heard you say "we are worse today than we were back then."
  • Earl Grant: We were in a much better state 100 years ago. We knew more about ourselves and knew more about the world. You find Black folks now, like just the general population, just falling for this facade that they have in the white house that's got nothing to do with us. The person in there was put there by other people for their reasons. He never represented us. Fact is, you can't blame him because he never said he represented us.
  • Question: You can't be saying that because we're in the 21st Century. Obama is here for us. For those who are listening, what do you mean he's not there for us?
  • Earl Grant: The average American does not know how the presidency operates. They don't know how a person gets into the White House. They think a thing called the "popular vote" puts a person in the White House. That's not true. There's something called the electoral college, and that's who elects the President of this country; not the popular vote. The popular vote is just there to keep people confused.

fuckyeahmarxismleninism:

A UN report accuses the United States of downplaying the number of civilians killed in anti-terrorist drone operations, while failing to assist in the investigation by releasing its own figures.

With the increased use of remotely piloted aircraft in military operations in a number of countries, the nagging question of civilian “collateral damage” as a consequence of these deadly technologies is a growing concern for the United Nations and human right groups.

In Afghanistan, for example, the number of aerial drone strikes surged from 294 in 2011 to 447 during the first 11 months of 2012, according to data released by the US Air Force in November 2012, UN Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson noted in his interim report, which is due to be presented to the UN General Assembly next Friday.

Pakistan officials confirmed that out of 2,200 deaths “at least 400 civilians had been killed as a result of remotely piloted aircraft strikes and a further 200 individuals were regarded as probable non-combatants.”

descentintotyranny:


Obama Quietly Okays Military Aid to Countries That Use Child Soldiers
Overrides law banning such aid; critics charge ‘Obama becoming an expert at waiving human rights laws’
Oct. 2 2013
Amid the hoopla of the government shutdown, the White House quietly passed a bill Monday that overrides a law banning military aid to countries that use child soldiers.
The Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 prohibits the U.S. government from providing military assistance to countries that directly use, or support the use of, child soldiers. Built into the law is an option allowing the U.S. president to override the ban if he/she deems it necessary.
On Monday, President Obama issued complete waivers to Yemen, Chad, and South Sudan, opening up those countries to U.S. military aid despite their known use of child soldiers, declaring in a written memorandum it is “in the national interest of the United States” to override the ban.
Obama also granted partial waivers to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia to allow "International Military Education and Training" and "nonlethal" defense for both countries and “provision of assistance under the Peacekeeping Operations authority for logistical support and troop stipends” in Somalia. According to Think Progress writer Hayes Brown, these waivers open the door for military aid for ongoing “peacekeeping” operations in both these countries.
"Obama is becoming an expert at waiving human rights laws," writes Ken Hanly in Digital Journal. “He waived part of a law last month that banned the US from supplying lethal aid to terrorist groups so he could send aid to Syrian rebels. In the case of Egypt, Obama has refused to call the coup by the armed forces a coup and by doing so does not run afoul of a law that would ban aid to a country where there had been a military coup.”
"Human rights are to be promoted but only insofar as they do not conflict with US national interest as understood by the president," he added.
Meanwhile, the U.S. government has come under criticism for filling its own military ranks with hundreds of thousands of teenagers, including 17-year-olds who can enlist with parental consent.

descentintotyranny:

Obama Quietly Okays Military Aid to Countries That Use Child Soldiers

Overrides law banning such aid; critics charge ‘Obama becoming an expert at waiving human rights laws’

Oct. 2 2013

Amid the hoopla of the government shutdown, the White House quietly passed a bill Monday that overrides a law banning military aid to countries that use child soldiers.

The Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 prohibits the U.S. government from providing military assistance to countries that directly use, or support the use of, child soldiers. Built into the law is an option allowing the U.S. president to override the ban if he/she deems it necessary.

On Monday, President Obama issued complete waivers to Yemen, Chad, and South Sudan, opening up those countries to U.S. military aid despite their known use of child soldiers, declaring in a written memorandum it is “in the national interest of the United States” to override the ban.

Obama also granted partial waivers to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia to allow "International Military Education and Training" and "nonlethal" defense for both countries and “provision of assistance under the Peacekeeping Operations authority for logistical support and troop stipends” in Somalia. According to Think Progress writer Hayes Brown, these waivers open the door for military aid for ongoing “peacekeeping” operations in both these countries.

"Obama is becoming an expert at waiving human rights laws," writes Ken Hanly in Digital Journal. “He waived part of a law last month that banned the US from supplying lethal aid to terrorist groups so he could send aid to Syrian rebels. In the case of Egypt, Obama has refused to call the coup by the armed forces a coup and by doing so does not run afoul of a law that would ban aid to a country where there had been a military coup.”

"Human rights are to be promoted but only insofar as they do not conflict with US national interest as understood by the president," he added.

Meanwhile, the U.S. government has come under criticism for filling its own military ranks with hundreds of thousands of teenagers, including 17-year-olds who can enlist with parental consent.

(via the-wistful-collectivist)

Flying a drone, even just a Parrot, makes you realize what a radically new and deeply strange technology drones are. A drone isn’t just a tool; when you use it you see and act through it — you inhabit it. It expands the reach of your body and senses in much the same way that the Internet expands your mind. The Net extends our virtual presence; drones extend our physical presence. They are, along with smart phones and 3-D printing, one of a handful of genuinely transformative technologies to emerge in the past 10 years.

They’ve certainly transformed the U.S. military: of late the American government has gotten very good at extending its physical presence for the purpose of killing people. Ten years ago the Pentagon had about 50 drones in its fleet; currently it has some 7,500. More than a third of the aircraft in the Air Force’s fleet are now unmanned. The U.S. military reported carrying out 447 drone attacks in Afghanistan in the first 11 months of 2012, up from 294 in all of 2011. Since President Obama took office, the U.S. has executed more than 300 covert drone attacks in Pakistan, a country with which we’re not at war. Already this year there are credible reports of five covert attacks in Pakistan and as many as eight in Yemen, including one on Jan. 21, the day of Obama’s second Inauguration. The Pentagon is planning to establish a drone base in northwestern Africa.

The military logic couldn’t be clearer. Unlike, say, cruise missiles, which have to be laboriously targeted and prepped and launched over a period of hours, drones are a persistent presence over the battlefield, gathering their own intelligence and then providing an instantaneous response. They represent a revolution in the idea of what combat is: with drones the U.S. can exert force not only instantly but undeterred by the risk of incurring American casualties or massive logistical bills, and without the terrestrial baggage of geography; the only relevant geography is that of the global communications grid. In the words of Peter Singer, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the author of Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century, drones change “everything from tactics to doctrine to overall strategy to how leaders, the media and the public all conceptualize and decide upon this thing we call war.”

Having transformed war, drones are getting ready to transform peace. A year ago Obama ordered the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to expedite the process of integrating “unmanned aerial vehicles,” as drones are primly referred to within the trade, into civilian airspace. Police departments will use them to study crime scenes. Farmers will use them to watch their fields. Builders will use them to survey construction sites. Hollywood will use them to make movies. Hobbyists will use them just because they feel like it. Drones are an enormously powerful, disruptive technology that rewrites rules wherever it goes. Now the drones are coming home to roost.

Colbert Report:
AmericansElect.org CEO Elliot Ackerman believes that individuals should have the power and tools to draft and directly nominate their own presidential candidate.

This sounds awesome but I really need to look into it more. If anyone has any info or opinions about it, shoot me a message!

anarcho-queer:

January 11, 2013

On the 11th Anniversary of Guantanamo Bay, 100’s show up in DC to send a message to Barack Obama. 

Source

Creative protesting; you’re doin it right.

(via inspirement)

climateadaptation:

Bill Moyers asks Yale climate scientist Anthony Leiserowitz, “What would you say to Obama about climate change?” Leiserowitz’s response is interesting. It’s clear and friendly. Hopeful and optimistic.

It’s also pure fantasy.

Why is Obama the right guy to ask? He’s skipped the last three climate conventions. He’s eliminated climate change from his agenda, except during campaign speeches. 

From an environmentalist’s point of view, Obama has an abysmal track record on the environment. Countless enviro-poltical watchers are appalled by his anti-science, anti-environment policies. For a sampling, see HuffPo, LATimes, Minnesota Public Radio, Legal Planet,and even the Jewish Policy Center.

I commend Leiserowitz. But I fear Obama doesn’t have the guts, nor political pressure to act.

Thoughts?

Via Upworthy


At times it feels and looks like Obama’s sense of care for the environment is well.. non existent. Just check the policies if you doubt that. If you want to stay up to date with all things climate adaptation with a reasonable tone do check out climateadaptation for more.

It has been quite a lackluster 4 years in American foreign policy.  This isn’t counting the numerous foreign policy crises that have cropped up, because those are obviously events outside of this country’s control (more or less).

The famed pivot to Asia has stalled, the Middle East has gotten neither the support nor the clear denial of sympathies the region deserves, and all in all there has been a lot of administrative waffling.  

Will the next 4 years be any better?  Well, that’s entirely up to Obama…

Letting peple like Susan Rice or Chuck Hagel twist in the political wind is, well, cruel.  So I hope that in its second term, the White House cares enough about foreign policy to actually engage Congress rather than throw up their hands and say, “crazy Republicans, what can you do?”  Actually, President Obama, you could do one whole hell of a lot if you made an effort.”

anarcho-queer:

The Obama administration has established an undeniably harsh record on immigration and border enforcement, including:

  • Record-breaking deportations of more than 1.5 million individuals in his first term (more than in any other single presidential term), almost half of whom had no criminal records, leaving hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizen children without parents and in foster care
  • Unprecedented detention levels of immigrants (429,000 in the last fiscal year), using a record number of detention beds (34,000) – without individualized assessment of who requires jail-like detention – at a wasteful cost of $2 billion annually
  • Nationwide deployment of the Department of Homeland Security’s Secure Communities program, despite opposition of many state and local leaders based on damage to community policing and public safety, rising fear among victims and witnesses of crime, and racial profiling.
  • Continuation of the controversial DHS 287(g) program that deputizes state and local police to enforce federal immigration laws when immigration enforcement is a federal matter, as the litigation against Arizona’s racial profiling law SB 1070 reinforced.
  • Historically high enforcement resources along the Southwest border, leading to manifold abuses by Customs and Border Protection including a series of fatal shootings
  • Record spending on border and interior enforcement such that Rep. Hal Rogers, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, identified a “mini industrial complex” of bloated border spending

The ACLU has strongly criticized the administration’s record in this area, including our full-page New York Times ad published following the president’s re-election. As a result of the administration’s harsh enforcement policies, immigrant communities nationwide have suffered permanent deportation and family separation.

This has occurred despite these policies being unnecessary – unauthorized immigration rates and border apprehensions have plummeted to the lowest level in 40 years, and new census data released last week confirm a sustained drop in unauthorized immigration. Furthermore, as we highlighted in an earlier post, these enforcement policies are fiscally irresponsible.

It’s important that we all understand the truth about the administration’s record on immigration enforcement and call on it to end its abusive, discriminatory, and wasteful programs.

(via kenobi-wan-obi)

pieceinthepuzzlehumanity:

What Happens When Counter-Cyberterrorism Leaves Cyberspace?
These are exigent times. In order to bring into clear view the gravity of the situation in which we find ourselves in, we must first illuminate the legal framework that allows our dire circumstances to exist. Let us first go back to the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists law signed in 2001 by President George W. Bush shortly after 9/11 that, upon ratification, ushered in an era of permanent semi-global war. However, the heart of the law is the power detailed in Section 2 in which
…the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.
Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (which was upheld by a federal appeals court), under the guise of clarification, expands the persons covered under the AUMF into ambiguous territory to include
[a] person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.
It is this expansion of covered persons that is used as justification for the indefinite detention of anyone by the US military. Furthermore, in conjunction with Title VIII of the USA PATRIOT Act, not only can persons deemed to possess any ties or relations (no matter how tenuous the auxiliary relationship is) with organizations the President deems as a terrorist organization, but if a person has provided material support to or harbored a member of a terrorist organization (especially if the death of a person occurs), then they are subject to life in prison. Of course, the modus operandi of distributing “justice” pursuant to these statutes is a system of secret military courts formally established in the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which effectively extends military tribunals to the aforementioned covered persons.However, recent revelations concerning Presidential Policy Directive 20, first reported on in the Washington Post, a secret directive President Obama signed in mid-October, has sparked fears that the directive paves the way for boots on the ground on the homefront in the name of cybersecurity. While the Pentagon considers cyberspace a domain in its purview, it has yet to establish concrete rules of engagement for cyberspace– it is for this reason that PPD20 was signed in order to
finalize new rules of engagement that would guide commanders when and how the military can go outside government networks to prevent a cyberattack that could cause significant destruction or casualties.
However, the lack of concrete specifics had not hindered the Pentagon from declaring that a cyberattack can constitute as an act of war. While federal law prohibits the military from being deployed on US soil without an act of legislation beforehand, the possibility of the deployment of US military on american soil without the immediate forewarning of legislation has become a reality with section 1021 of NDAA 2012.The question that then lies before us is what happens if (perhaps more appropriately when) Anonymous or groups like or associated with it are declared a terrorist organization and how many degrees of separation will save us?
(photo: Source)

pieceinthepuzzlehumanity:

What Happens When Counter-Cyberterrorism Leaves Cyberspace?

These are exigent times. In order to bring into clear view the gravity of the situation in which we find ourselves in, we must first illuminate the legal framework that allows our dire circumstances to exist. Let us first go back to the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists law signed in 2001 by President George W. Bush shortly after 9/11 that, upon ratification, ushered in an era of permanent semi-global war. However, the heart of the law is the power detailed in Section 2 in which

…the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (which was upheld by a federal appeals court), under the guise of clarification, expands the persons covered under the AUMF into ambiguous territory to include

[a] person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.

It is this expansion of covered persons that is used as justification for the indefinite detention of anyone by the US military. Furthermore, in conjunction with Title VIII of the USA PATRIOT Act, not only can persons deemed to possess any ties or relations (no matter how tenuous the auxiliary relationship is) with organizations the President deems as a terrorist organization, but if a person has provided material support to or harbored a member of a terrorist organization (especially if the death of a person occurs), then they are subject to life in prison. Of course, the modus operandi of distributing “justice” pursuant to these statutes is a system of secret military courts formally established in the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which effectively extends military tribunals to the aforementioned covered persons.

However, recent revelations concerning Presidential Policy Directive 20, first reported on in the Washington Post, a secret directive President Obama signed in mid-October, has sparked fears that the directive paves the way for boots on the ground on the homefront in the name of cybersecurity. While the Pentagon considers cyberspace a domain in its purview, it has yet to establish concrete rules of engagement for cyberspace– it is for this reason that PPD20 was signed in order to

finalize new rules of engagement that would guide commanders when and how the military can go outside government networks to prevent a cyberattack that could cause significant destruction or casualties.

However, the lack of concrete specifics had not hindered the Pentagon from declaring that a cyberattack can constitute as an act of war. While federal law prohibits the military from being deployed on US soil without an act of legislation beforehand, the possibility of the deployment of US military on american soil without the immediate forewarning of legislation has become a reality with section 1021 of NDAA 2012.

The question that then lies before us is what happens if (perhaps more appropriately when) Anonymous or groups like or associated with it are declared a terrorist organization and how many degrees of separation will save us?

(photo: Source)

(via kenobi-wan-obi)