Saturday, March 21, 2015

Jill Stein supports Constitution unlike Romney and Obama!!

A democracy is supposed to be a system where the people control the government; in the case of a representative democracy we’re supposed to elect people that are held accountable by the public.
This clearly isn’t happening in the United States!!

But that can change if the public makes it change.

Despite an enormous amount of campaign rhetoric about how both the “viable” candidates care so much about the best interest of America and, in some cases, supporting the Constitution, a closer look at the record of both clearly indicates that they’re more interested in serving the corporate interests and they both have a record of either violating the Constitution or promoting policies that violate the Constitution. These violations include the foreign policy decisions that involve a history of starting wars based on lies; predator drone strikes that kill people without trial including many innocent people; failure to stop executions that have violated due process laws or even encouraging them; failure to respect the rights of immigrants; unreasonable interpretations of the first amendment that give corporations much more rights to free speech than people and many other things.

In most cases there is overwhelming evidence that Barack Obama did these things and that Mitt Romney intends to be as bad if not much worse if he gains power. Mitt Romney has also indicated with his record as governor and especially at Bain capital that he is much more interested in the best interest of corporations than the rights of people including basic freedom and human rights. He has done this by shipping jobs overseas where people have few if any rights and suppressing the wages and rights of people both in the USA and abroad by forcing them to compete with each other while corporations avoid competition; and Barack Obama has taken many donations from the same corporations including Bain.

Jill Stein, on the other hand, has indicated that she would abide by the rule of law without shrouding her activities in secrecy. She has indicated this in many articles including the following statement on Project Vote Smart; both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have refused to even reply to their questionnaires. No rational employer would ever hire someone that refused to fill out their job application and yet that is essentially what the American people are routinely asked to do when it comes to their political representatives.

Foreign Policy
U.S. interests can be best served by a demilitarized foreign policy, guided by human rights and international law. The Bush/Obama policies of unending war and military bases in over 100 countries costs us not only blood and treasure, but sacrifices America's higher calling as a beacon for peace and democracy in the world. We should go after criminals but in doing so, should maintain, not violate the law. Assassination without trial denies rule by law, and for this reason, undermines the values that we seek to protect. Jill Stein’s response to Project Vote Smart questionaire

Jill Stein isn’t the only alternate candidate available but to the best of my knowledge she is the most viable one if you consider the amount of grass roots support and the fact that she has done a much better job presenting her views. I have reviewed her record more in a previous post, a closer look at Jill Stein, and will provide a few more details before I’m done along with good reason to believe that she has much more support than the corporate media has indicated despite the fact that they have been totally ignoring her. This includes a larger grass roots effort than many people realize including more than I previously knew about; although I suspected it was there. But first a few reports from other sources that should raise doubts about the record of the USA has when it comes to human rights that it claims to protect. These reports have been brought to my attention from other people on the internet that aren’t part of the corporate press. This is a clear indication that the grass roots level and alternative media outlets are quickly becoming a much more reliable news source than the mainstream media which routinely ignore stories that don’t suit their purpose despite the fact that most of these people have much fewer resources.

A close look at the record of the United States and the agenda that the establishment politicians have been pursuing clearly indicates that they haven’t been defending national security in the most effective way possible; quite the contrary, they have been doing more to threaten it by inciting violence abroad and violating the rights of others. This has been indicated in many news stories and international reports including a recent UN report by Christof Heyns, a Human rights report from China and a list of 218 reasons not to vote for Obama by Joshua Hedlund. It would be reasonable and advisable to maintain some skepticism of this unless you have checked the facts; however these sources and others have done a very good job providing additional back up sources although in a few cases, as I will indicate they may have made a few points which I personally disagree with. I have no doubt that a closer look at many sources including these will be much more reliable than those provided by the mainstream media, as long as they’re subject to the appropriate scrutiny which the mainstream media doesn’t do.

If these reports are as disreputable as some might want to believe then they won’t stand up to scrutiny; however I suspect that for the most part with the exception of a few minor correction these will stand up to scrutiny and even if some doubt it here are even more problems with the mainstream press.

The Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, by Christof Heyns PDF has been pointed out by Judy Mandelbaum in her blog, UN official calls American drone policy "war crime." The following are a few excerpts from that report; to read the full report in context see the above link.

Despite there being much to commend about the United States of America’s record on extrajudicial killings, three areas where significant improvement remains necessary were identified in the mission report (A/HRC/11/2/Add.5). ..... (Heyns Report)

This statement in the opening should raise some doubts about whether it was watered down or not. It is hard to imagine how there could be anything to commend about “commend about the United States of America’s record on extrajudicial killings” or anyone else’s record on this tactic. In fact if the same thing was being done by anyone with less political power there might be many more people lining up to condemn their activities. The UN and many other organizations have to walk a fine line when it comes to criticizing a government as powerful as the US especially when it has a history of retaliating against those that disagree with them. Fortunately they went ahead with the report anyway and raised some legitimate issues. However there should be some reason to believe that it might be even worse than this report might indicate; especially since there have been many other reports to indicate additional problems.

A. Due process in death penalty cases

According to available figures, some 3,251 people are currently on death row in the United States. It is widely acknowledged that innocent individuals have very likely been sentenced to death and executed in the United States. The 2008 country visit focused largely on the death penalty in Alabama and Texas, both of which have extremely high rates of executions. The Special Rapporteur concluded that, in both states, there was a “shocking lack of urgency with regard to the need to reform glaring criminal justice flaws.” Information received for the present report does not indicate that reform proposals are under way. ....

Judicial independence requires justice to be rendered fairly and without improper influence or pressure. However, it is reported that in many instances the death penalty continues to be imposed arbitrarily.12 Despite a public appeal to the Government and the state of Georgia to stop the execution of Troy Davis, the Special Rapporteur deplores that his execution was carried out, although serious concerns had been raised about procedural irregularities in his case. .....

Given the heightened politicization of the death penalty in Alabama, due to the ability of judges to “override” the jury‟s opinion in sentencing, the Special Rapporteur recommended that Alabama repeal the law permitting judicial override, which enables judges to impose the death penalty, even if a jury has unanimously decided to sentence a defendant to life imprisonment. No information has been received on the intention to abrogate it. A recent study indicates that since 1976, Alabama judges have overridden 107 jury verdicts, 92 per cent of which commuted life imprisonment to the death sentence. In Alabama, 21 per cent of prisoners currently on death row have been sentenced to death through judicial override. The study highlights that a significant increase in death sentences is noted in election years, when trial and appellate court judges up for election often base their campaign on their support for the death penalty. The Special Rapporteur contends that the power to decide on the life and death of an individual should not be conferred to a single judge who may be sensitive to political pressure, as it could result in arbitrariness in decisions. Therefore, he reiterates the recommendation that Alabama abrogate the law on judicial override. ..... (Heyns Report)

The implementation of the death penalty in the United States should be considered shocking and if it was presented in the same manner about other countries that may not be on the best terms with the USA in the media it would be. Instead this is treated as an emotional and political issue that doesn’t pay nearly as much attention to the facts as it should. This is one of the most important things that the Bill of Rights was supposed to prevent.

In the case of Troy Davis and many others there has been an overwhelming amount of evidence to indicate that he is almost certainly innocent; and yet barrack Obama declined to intervene by calling for further investigation or commuting or staying his sentence. The fact that judges can override a life sentence in Alabama and replace it with a death sentence should be considered a blatant violation of the right to trial by a jury. In most other states it is; and I suspect that many people don’t even know that this isn’t the case in Alabama. I know I wasn’t aware of it until recently. Once again Barack is silent about this and so is Mitt Romney.

This is treated as a political issue where politicians routinely tout their support for the death penalty and get tough on crime stance to get votes despite an enormous amount of evidence that it doesn’t reduce or deter crime and furthermore it cost the government much more in court costs to sentence someone to death than it does to keep them in life without chance of parole. The only way to avoid this is to further reduce their rights to trial and guarantee that there will be even more wrongful convictions. Even this wouldn’t save the government money because they will not be solving their crime problems if the real killers, in some cases go free to commit more crimes and the root causes of crime continue to be ignored.

True political courage may at times involve doing what is right even when it isn’t popular. At times a true leader can and will do what he or she must to inform the public about the most important issues not cater to the lowest common denominator. The following is Jill Stein’s position on the death penalty.

America's experience shows that capital punishment does not effectively stop crimes from being committed. And our judicial system makes mistakes, killing people who are innocent. It's time to move beyond capital punishment, to abolish it, and to instead use life imprisonment as the most severe form of sentencing for those who cannot be trusted to live in common society. Jill Stein’s response to Project Vote Smart questionnaire

As the following indicates the Obama record on the care of immigrants has much to be desired.

B. Deaths in immigration detention 
At the time of the country visit in 2008, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had no complete record of the number and names of people who had died in immigration detention. The number of deaths and lack of transparency regarding the circumstances of these deaths were subjects of concern. It was recommended that all deaths in immigration detention be promptly and publicly reported and fully investigated. To remedy the causes of such deaths, reported denial of necessary medical care, inadequate or delayed care, and provision of inappropriate medication, it was recommended that the DHS promulgate regulations for the provision of medical care, consistent with international standards.

Deaths in immigration detention remain worrying. The recurrence of and lack of transparency surrounding such deaths have continually been denounced. Some reported deaths occurred in prison-like conditions where detention was neither necessary nor appropriate, and where no proper medical care was provided. The lack and/or denial of adequate health care violates the right of immigration detainees to medical care and endangers their lives. ..... (Heyns Report)

One of the most important thing many should keep in mind when it comes to considering immigration issues, especially with the current political environment, is that essentially what “illegal immigrants” are guilty of is being born in the wrong place without resources and doing the best they can to make the best they can out of the situation they’ve been put in. the United States has often claimed that anyone can get ahead and that we don’t give preferential treatment to the elites. This clearly isn’t true at all. Many of our own ancestors have come to America in similar circumstances.

If the US can’t allow scrutiny to these incidents then it should raise serious doubts about any claim that they’re the defenders of human rights and freedom as they claim. This is especially true when considering the fact that many of the US policies and the policies of the multi-national corporations that dominate the political establishment are responsible for the lack of opportunities in many of the countries these people came from.
Also Obama’s new policy of not deporting people who have been here for a long time and came here when they were too young to be the decision maker clearly seems to be timed for political reasons not because it was always his position. Previously he increased the amount of deportations and only changed his position when it seemed to be politically beneficial; while Jill Stein has been consistently in favor of fair treatment.
Like the death penalty this issue is doing more to divide American and politicians routinely take advantage of it for the best interest of their own agendas. The following is Jill Stein’s position on Immigration.

Immigrants have long given vitality to America. Today's immigrants should not be discriminated against by those of us who are descended from immigrants, many of whom similarly, were undocumented or "illegal." I will resolve the current crisis in immigration while respecting human rights and economic justice. Undocumented immigrants will be offered a path to citizenship. I will repeal NAFTA, which undermined small farmers across Latin America and the U.S., deprived millions of their livelihoods, and made them economic refugees in search of work. Replacing NAFTA with a fair trade agreement is essential to solving the ongoing immigration crisis. Jill Stein’s response to Project Vote Smart questionaire

Of course the problem with abuse of detainees and other issues associated with the “war on terror” began under the Bush administration if not earlier but Obama hasn’t done nearly as much as he could and should have to expose past activities and prevent future problems as indicated in the following excerpts.

A. Guantánamo Bay detainees

The previous mandate holder expressed concern about the reported deaths at the Guantánamo Bay detention facility, four out of five having been classified as suicides. In the case of custodial deaths there is the rebuttable presumption of State responsibility, given the State’s heightened duty to protect the right to life. In February 2011, the death of Awal Gul, followed by the death of a detainee known as Inayatullah, brought the number of deaths in custody at Guantánamo to eight; it is alleged that none of these deaths has been adequately investigated. On 22 February 2010, the Special Rapporteur sent an allegation letter to the Government, requesting clarification on the deaths of three prisoners at the Guantánamo Bay detention facility. The Government‟s response indicated that the deaths were suicides. A death reported on 19 May 2011, again prompted investigation into the circumstances surrounding these incidents. The Special Rapporteur reiterates the recommendation that complete and unedited investigations and autopsy results into the deaths of Guantánamo detainees be released to family members, if this has not yet been done. ….
C. Transparency and accountability for unlawful killings and custodial deaths

On 24 August 2009, the Attorney General announced that he had ordered a preliminary review into whether Federal laws were violated in connection with the interrogation of specific detainees at overseas locations. However, it was made clear from the outset that those who acted within the scope of the legal guidance regarding interrogation methods would not be prosecuted. Moreover, it is now clear that the DoJ does not intend to criminally investigate the high-level officials nor the lawyers who respectively commissioned and authored the legal memoranda authorizing the use of so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques”. This is so despite revelations by the former President and Vice President that they had authorized at least one of the techniques that the International Committee for the Red Cross had deemed as amounting to torture and/or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. .......

While the Special Rapporteur notes that a number of private contractors have recently been convicted for unlawful killings, he also notes that a federal judge in Washington D.C. dismissed charges against five of the six guards accused of the killings in the Nissoor Square incident. Consequently, new legislation was sought in Iraq to enable prosecution of foreign contractors in Iraqi courts. The United States Government has consistently rejected requests by the Iraqi Government that former Blackwater employees be prosecuted in Iraqi Courts. In related developments, a United States prosecutor ruled on 18 October 2010 that there was insufficient evidence to support a criminal conviction of a former Blackwater employee who had killed an Iraqi guard. In this regard, the Special Rapporteur endorses the concern expressed by the Working Group on the use of mercenaries, following its visit to Iraq in June 2009, about the lack of accountability of contractors for violations committed between 2003 and 2009, and recalls that victims of violations and their families are still waiting for justice. ......

D. Targeted killings: lack of transparency regarding legal framework and targeting choices
Since June 2004, some 300 drone strikes have been carried out in Pakistan129 and the number of resulting deaths has allegedly reached quadruple figures according to unconfirmed reports, of which about 20 per cent are believed to be civilians. According to the non-governmental Pakistan Human Rights Commission, United States drones strikes were responsible for at least 957 deaths in Pakistan in 2010. Information also indicates that the attacks increasingly fuel protests among the population. In the mission report, the Special Rapporteur recommended that the Government publish the number of civilians collaterally killed as a result of drone attacks, and the measures in place to prevent such casualties. The DoD formally confirmed that such estimates of civilian casualties are not compiled separately from estimates related to other weapons systems. The Special Rapporteur reiterates the recommendation that the Government track civilian casualties in disaggregated data so as to identify the number of casualties resulting from the use of drone attacks. .....
...... Nevertheless, casualties are much higher in the case of air and drone strikes. For instance, concern was raised about a missile strike in Abyan, South Yemen, in December 2009. According to a parliamentary inquiry, 41 residents, including 14 women and 21 children perished in the attack. Evidence of the use of United States weaponry was made public. The DoD has not commented or explained the precautions that had been taken to avoid casualties and deaths.

Like his predecessor, the Special Rapporteur is seriously concerned that the practice of targeted killing could set a dangerous precedent, in that any Government could, under the cover of counter-terrorism imperatives, decide to target and kill an individual on the territory of any State if it considers that said individual constitutes a threat. (Heyns Report)
The full details of the “War on Terror” would be too long for one blog and they go back much further than is normally acknowledged by the government or the corporate media. In fact many of our opponents are our previous allies and never would have been a threat if the US didn’t help them get started in many cases and then betray them. Backing this claim up would take much more explanation than is routinely given except for those that have already been accustomed to checking alternative media outlets already; so I’ll provide a brief summery.

The US has been involved in coups around the world that go back at least to the fifties if not much sooner including the CIA coup in Iran and Guatemala. The war in Vietnam was conclusively proven to be for reasons that clearly have nothing to do with the protection of democracy; quite the contrary it suppressed the wishes of the majority within that country. This was overwhelmingly proven by many sources including the Pentagon Papers; however the propaganda that is routinely presented to the majority ignores this instead of refuting it, which it can’t do honestly. In the late seventies Zbigniew Brzezinski claimed that he drew the Soviets into “the Afghan trap” that led to the creation of the Mujahadeen to combat them. This later helped create the Taliban and AlQaeda yet Zbigniew Brzezinski claims he has no regrets and declines to see the conection.

The current war on terror never would have been necessary if the first Bush administration hadn’t abandoned Afghanistan and acted sooner to prevent the invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Saddam Hussein was an ally of the USA at the time and had received many weapons from the USA. There was plenty of time to see the build up along the border and speak out loudly and clearly against it. Or a few air flights almost certainly would have deterred the invasion before it even began but George HW Bush waited for it to happen before conducting a second invasion to throw him out then left him in power.

If the USA didn’t have their presence in Saudi Arabia in the nineties then Osama bin Laden never would have had what he considered a justification to call for a Jihad against the USA. In fact if another country had treated the USA the way the USA treats many other countries we would be referring to them as violent aggressors and rightfully so; yet when the USA does it they provide plenty of propaganda about how we are fighting to preserve “democracy.”

Clearly the appropriate manner to preserve democracy doesn’t involve non-stop war with other countries based on lies and propaganda.

After the 9/11 attacks Iran offered to share covert information with the USA and George W Bush accepted but a few month later he turned around and declared that Iran was part of the “Axis of Evil” anyway. It wasn’t until after this that they elected Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who was much more extreme than his predecessor. Clearly the current regime was partially a result of the long history with the US that involved suppression on the part of the USA that dates back at least to when the Shah was torturing his people with the support of the USA; the supplying of both sides during the Iran Iraq war with weapons and the snubbing of a positive gesture intended to warm relations after 9/11.

To put it bluntly if you look at the news that stands up to scrutiny instead of the propaganda that the corporate media has been presenting the public the foreign policy of the USA has been a disaster for decades and many of our biggest security problems are clearly a result of incompetent policies by our leaders.

The vast majority of this took place before Barack Obama took office but he has done little or nothing to change this; although at times he has come up with rhetoric that seems more convincing than the rhetoric of the George W Bush administration.

Clearly this is not the record of anyone that could or should be justified in conducting extra-judicial killings, predator drone strikes that often kill innocent civilians or giving immunity to private contractors like Blackwater that may have been involved in crimes including murder.

Jill Stein has taken a much more rational position when it comes to foreign policy that isn’t based on secrecy and deception. In addition to the response she has provided to Project Vote Smart Jill Stein has also provided her foreign policy to The Political Guide. Jill Stein is the only one who has taken a position against the use of land mines which primarily target civilians especially children in poor countries and serve no military purpose among many other things. This may seem like a radical position to some but that is beginning to change fast after over ten years of the “War on Terror” and all of the excess that they have put the country through. It is also changing because there are much more educational efforts than many people realize at the grass roots level to overcome the corporate propaganda promoting a constant state of war based primarily on lies. Furthermore the candidates that they’re presenting to the public as “viable” do little or nothing to address many of the most important issues that the public thinks they should address including foreign policy and it is becoming increasingly obvious to many that they should consider an alternative.

The assumption that we should choose between two candidates that clearly intend to continue this policy and ignore other candidates that want to change this dramatically because the sincere candidate isn’t “viable” according to the corporate media who are attempting to ensure that it stays that way by refusing to giver her any coverage at all is absurd.

Fortunately due to the fact that the corporate media has been doing such a horrendous job covering the news and that there has been a massive grass roots effort behind her despite the fact that the mainstream press has been ignoring her many people are doubting the traditional media and she is much more viable than the corporate media would have many people believe.

Dwight Eisenhower Chance for Peace speech (April 16, 1953)

Photos provided by Jim Galt
The following is an excerpt from China’s report on the USA’s record on Human rights. This clearly has potential for bias and a close look at it will show some of that but they’re much more likely to address some of the issues that the USA and the corporate media may not be willing to address. The US media also writes plenty of criticism about the human rights abuses in China which the Chinese tend to ignore. In many cases they may both be selectively choosing their facts and it may be easiest to find out what the other is doing by checking the facts on each side and screening the spin. This does include many sources from within the USA so it should be very difficult to dismiss it out of hand without addressing the details. This was pointed out by Ariel Ky.

Human Rights Record of United States in 2011

The State Department of the United States released its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011 on May 24, 2012. As in previous years, the reports are full of over-critical remarks on the human rights situation in nearly 200 countries and regions as well as distortions and accusations concerning the human rights cause in China. However, the United States turned a blind eye to its own woeful human rights situation and kept silent about it. The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011 is hereby prepared to reveal the true human rights situation of the United States to people across the world and urge the United States to face up to its own doings.

While advocating press freedom, the United States in fact imposes fairly strict censoring and control over the press and "press freedom" is just a political tool used to beautify itself and attack other nations. …..

The US Patriot Act and Homeland Security Act both have clauses about monitoring the Internet, giving the government or law enforcement organizations power to monitor and block any Internet content "harmful to national security." Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010 stipulates that the federal government has "absolute power" to shut down the Internet under a declared national emergency. According to a report by British newspaper the Guardian dated Mar 17, 2011, the US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas, and will allow the US military to create a false consensus in online conversations, crowd out unwelcome opinions and smother commentaries or reports that do not correspond with its own objectives. …..

The United States claims to have a large population of middle class, making up 80 percent of its total population, while there is only very few impoverished and extremely rich people (The China Press, Oct 13, 2011). However, this is not the truth. …. Complete article

The Chinese report is partially right when it comes to controlling the media; and in some ways it may be even worse; but fortunately there is a growing alternative media for those that seek it out and they’re providing a lot of the coverage that the public can’t get from the corporate media. The government doesn’t actually control the media; in fact, to some degree, it may be the other way around; or perhaps it is a coalition between the corporations, the media and the government to decide what gets covered and what doesn’t. The government has increasingly been giving overwhelming control of the mass media to a small percentage of the public that holds a narrow ideology that primarily benefits the corporations and the wealthiest in the country. For better or worse they have taken it to such a bizarre extreme that the majority of the public no longer believe them anymore.

The claim that the military is developing software to infiltrate social media sites seems like an extreme conspiracy theory; however it should be clear that even if this isn’t true the political parties have been doing what they can to do so even without such software. They spend an enormous amount of money on ads and controlling the media; they’ve seeded chat rooms with people promoting products to children according to Susan Linn in “Consuming Kids” and the Obedience to Authority experiments and Philip Zimbardo’s “Stanford Prison Experiment” among other research experiments by political psychologists have clearly been used to help develop advertising and other propaganda methods to manipulate the public; it is virtually guaranteed that they wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to use political operatives in the blogosphere especially when it is much cheaper than many of the other things they do. One of the most effective thing they do is to create a band wagon impression to indicate that alternative candidates don’t have much support. If you look around the blogoshere you might find some examples of this. When this happens it is almost certain that some of the people involved are sincere but they may have fallen for those that aren’t. Ironically in many cases that I have seen when some of these posts have been made they were followed by some quick approval and after more people see them they may have been followed by more opposition. In at least one case this was followed by someone that closed the comments so that the opponents couldn’t continue presenting their views and in at least one other it was done by someone that got an Editor’s Pick on his second post at Open Salon and another one for the post praising Obama. These strike me as suspicious and there are many more that provide an overwhelming amount of support for alternative candidates including Jill Stein and these aren’t supported by big money interests with an enormous political campaign behind them.

In all fairness the China report does seem to exaggerate the claims by the government that we “have a large population of middle class, making up 80 percent of its total population” or the “best healthcare service in the world.” These reports are out there, recently Mitch McConnell said we had the “Greatest Health care system in the world;” however there are also plenty of other reports pointing out some of the problems although they’re not nearly as good as they could and should be. This is probably typical of some of the spin that many countries present to their own people about the others but people in the USA should be able to sort out a lot of the spin and recognize which things are being omitted or down played by the corporate press and which aren’t.

Ideally we would have our own sources to find out a lot of the critical information about the corporations which is why I have been putting together a long list of alternative media outlets that could help find many of the stories that the corporate press hasn’t been presenting to the public. Instead of presenting one distorted version of truth about opposing countries while they do the same it would clearly be much better to provide more coverage to alternative views and attempt to address many of the problems in our own countries before criticizing others and I believe that Jill Stein clearly does a better job at this than either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney.

It would also help if more people did more to sort through the sources that we do have and help present some of the most important stories or at least a collection of the most important stories as perceived by that person. This is what Joshua Hedlund seems to have done on at least one occasion and for the most part I think he has done a very good job at it in the following excerpts which were pointed out by Liberal Libby.

218 reasons NOT to vote for Obama 
14. Ordered a cruise missile and cluster bomb attack in Yemen that killed women and children, suppressed the civilian casualties, and then imprisoned a journalist who revealed the truth.

18. Authorized the assassination of US citizens abroad, an unprecedented declaration of executive power.

19. Says American citizens can be targeted for killing without judicial review.

69. Told the Air Force it was illegal for their families to read Wikileaks.

88. Prosecuted whistleblower Bradley Manning for disclosing video, cables, and intelligence reports.

89-96 discuss at least five lesser known whistle blowers that were prosecuted for exposing wrong doing and mentions broken promises to defend whistle blowers.

97. Used executive order to establish “Intellectual Property Enforcement Advisory Committees.”
109-218 includes the appointing of a long list of lobbyists and fundraisers clearly indicating an enormous amount of control of the government from corporate interest. They also include the fact that he made these appointments after promising to ban lobbyists.
218 reasons NOT to vote for Obama

This list includes an enormous amount of sources from traditional sites many of which show that barrack Obama has been clearly violating many international laws. His executive order to establish a committee on “Intellectual Property” should be highly suspicious since policies on this subject have been made primarily without much discussion or input from the majority of the public. Barack Obama has indicated that he supports the establishment position on this which gives an enormous amount of advantages to corporations to control the distribution of educational material and only scaled them back when there was an enormous uproar and a massive blackout of many sited including Wikipedia to indicate the widespread opposition. Jill Stein has been less supportive of these draconian laws from the beginning.

The large number of reasons attributed to appointments that were clearly given to politically connected people clearly seems to be padding his list but they do make an important point; the vast majority of people that are involved in running our government have been political fund raisers and lobbyists that are far more concerned with doing the bidding of the corporations. This should be a clear indicator of why the government is paying so little attention to the will of the people and it should be considered a good reason not to continue to accept the choices that the establishment presents as “viable.”

For what it’s worth there is one issue which I must disagree with Joshua Hedlund on and I suspect so does Jill Stein; reason 103 is his objection to the federal government suing three states on immigration issues. I think that if anything Obama should have done more to stop this anti-immigration hysteria. I would prefer not to go through the courts but if that was the last thing that could be done then it should be done; personally I think he could have done much more by speaking out much more on the subject and perhaps he could have avoided the need to go through the courts.

In fact Joshua Hedlund doesn’t appear to be a supporter of Jill Stein at all; he’s a supporter of Ron Paul who has for all practical purposes lost the presidential race. However many of his supporters haven’t given up and gone over to the Romney camp and I suspect they won’t do that at all; instead they may go to another third party candidate even if it isn’t Jill Stein. The highest profile alternate candidate that I know of besides Jill Stein is Gary Johnson running on the Libertarian party ticket; and he could conceivably attract a lot of support from the right wing. He has had the same problems that Jill Stein does with being suppressed by the mass media only it wasn’t quite as extreme, for a while at least. He received a significant amount of coverage when he was polling at a very low number although it wasn’t as much coverage as the candidates that were considered “viable” by the corporate media and after he abandoned the Republican Party and decided to run on the Libertarian ticket his coverage began to decline. Part of the reason why he received more coverage than Jill Stein was presumably because he was a former Governor of New Mexico and presumably part of the establishment.

However when he joined the Libertarian party and his poll numbers began to climb they appear to have cut back on the coverage of him even more and even stopped including his name in polls which would enable him to join the debates if he rose above 15 %, according to an article at, Latest round of polls exclude Libertarian Presidential nominee. This was partially confirmed by an interview recently on Alex Witt; however the fact that she also provided him some coverage indicates that they aren’t completely ignoring him; but the way they covered it was clearly biased. She introduced him as a person who has absolutely no chance of winning but could be a spoiler. This shouldn’t be up to the media to decide without providing a fair amount of coverage. By only providing coverage of this type they’re clearly trying to present all challengers to the two party system that collect an enormous amount of money from corporations they clearly trying to protect the duopoly of the Republican and Democratic party without addressing the best interest of the majority of the public.

Alex Witt did say that Gary Johnson was polling at 9 and 14 percent in New Hampshire and New Mexico but there was no explanation about how he was polling elsewhere or why they didn’t explain further. Jill Stein has received even less attention than Gary Johnson and she hasn’t been included in the polls at all but there is good reason to believe that she has much more support than the corporations would have us believe.
More importantly she is in favor of many of the positions that are more commonly supported by the public unlike Obama and Romney who both support the best interest of the corporations on these issues regardless of the propaganda about their differences and bickering.

Joshua Hedlund’s list was in response to a similar list, Chris Weigl’s “218 reasons to vote for Obama” plus eight that preceded his list. This is a common tactic that is being used all over the internet but most of these lists are very shallow so I’m only going to cover a couple of the basics and others can easily recognize many of the other flaws as they go through the various lists.

The first reason in the poster that is designed to look like a grass roots supporter is about the health care act; this is followed by many other reasons that are related to it. These claims are over simplified and selective reviews of the health care act. Obama’s health care act does little or nothing to address the fundamental problems with the current system; neither does the plan or lack of plan being proposed by the Republicans. The current system funnels an enormous amount of money to advertising, lobbying, campaign contributions, profits and other bureaucratic expenses that don’t go to health care and they still have to come from the consumer with both the plans from the Democrats and Republicans. Single Payer systems are used in many other countries and it works much better, although there may still be room for additional improvements on top of that. This was covered more extensively by Occupy Wall Street in We Demand Real Healthcare for the 99% Single Payer is also supported by Physicians for a national health care program and many other people although the corporate media doesn’t cover it.

The reasons listed also include his opposition to the war in Iraq and the claim that he is ending the war in Afghanistan. These claims are based on a selective examination of the facts. He has ended the war in Iraq only when the only after being told that American soldiers won’t be granted immunity then when he decided to withdraw he claimed it was because he was “keeping his promise” which he could have done much sooner. There are many other things as indicated in this post and elsewhere that could have been done much better if he was so inclined but he only did what he had to appease the public and played it up with propaganda.

There is also plenty of things that he did to support immigrants, blacks, woman, the GLTB community and other groups but in most if not all of these cases a close look indicates that it is no more than tokenism. Minorities including all these groups are still being discriminated against and what he has done was mostly after a large amount of pressure at the grass roots level. This wasn’t nearly as much as he could have done; he is mostly running on the claim that the Republicans are much worse, not that he is all that good on these issues.

Obama has also supported the privatization of schools through Charter Schools, which Jill Stein has opposed from the start. And there is an enormous problem with the environment that is being downplayed even by the Democrats. Obama hasn’t been much if any better when it comes to this although he does a better job presenting himself as being in favor of protecting the environment. He has increased the drilling off shore despite the BP spill, and he has supported expediting half the regulating process for the Keystone pipeline which won’t do any good unless the other half is there as well. This is a clear indication of whether or not he intends to approve the pipeline which he stopped due to pressure from the environmental community. The coverage from the corporate media on this subject has clearly been heavily influenced by the oil companies who are buying an enormous amount of advertising to convince the public they’re protecting the environment and they’re the most effective part of the energy problem without doing much if anything to encourage conservation or renewable energy, except fro a few token efforts. The critics of the oil companies have little or no chance to get their points of view across the mass media. In fact according to one major article Obama Is Watering Down Regulations More Than Bush, Study Shows. 
This clearly indicates that their positions on other issues including their foreign policy and human right record aren’t in the best interest of the public.

The Constitution may not be perfect but there are some important part of it that are designed to protect freedom and human rights; and the part that are flawed should be changed with the cooperation from the public after discussing it and making sure the changes are worthwhile. The truth of the matter is that the Constitution has never been ratified directly by the people and if it is discussed then perhaps it should be with any changes necessary but they shouldn’t disregard the most important parts of it in secrecy or as much secrecy as they can get away with and using propaganda to sweep what’s left under the rug.  

Recently when Dennis Kucinich was asked about why the government behaved the way they do when it comes to foreign policy and some of the atrocities that have been committed by the USA he responded by saying “That’s not who we are,” as if to indicate that the American people aren’t abusers of human rights. Barack Obama used the same phrase when it came to inequality. Unfortunately when you take a close look at the policies being enacted by the US government it seems clear that whether the public intends to behave in this manner or not these things are what our government does regardless of what the people want.
If “that’s not who we are,” then why does the government continue to conduct drone strikes or to support policies that only benefit the richest among us?

Clearly whether or not “that is not who we are” or not these are the kind of things that our government does on a regular basis; and if the public continues to accept the propaganda that they keep presenting to us and voting for the lesser of two evils when there is an alternative then our actions clearly seem to indicate that like it or not that is who we are whether or not we intend to be.

This is simply not necessary; however as Hermann Göring partially recognized, according to the following quote, it seems to be the way people interpret things. Or at least people have done so in the past.

Göring: Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country. Wikiquote

Alice Miller and other scholars provide significant evidence to indicate that the reason many people accept the propaganda and political lies being told to them by politicians is rooted in their early upbringing which has changed a lot over the last generation or two. A significant portion of her case is presented in her books including For Your Own Good” (on-line copy) as well as the folliowing quote from one of her other books.

There is a good deal else that would not exist without "poisonous pedagogy." It would be inconceivable, for example, for politicians mouthing empty clichés to attain the highest positions of power by democratic means. But since voters, who as children would normally have been capable of seeing through these clichés with the aid of their feelings, were specifically forbidden to do so in their early years, they lose this ability as adults. The capacity to experience the strong feelings of childhood and puberty (which are so often stifled by child-rearing methods, beatings, or even drugs) could provide the individual with an important means of orientation with which he or she could easily determine whether politicians are speaking from genuine experience or are merely parroting time-worn platitudes for the sake of manipulating voters. Our whole system of raising and educating children provides the power-hungry with a ready-made railway network they can use to reach the destination of their choice. They need only push the buttons that parents and educators have already installed. Alice Miller “Thou Shat Not Be Aware” p.20

The fact that many children have been raised in a more open minded manner is part of the reason that enabled them to raise a much larger opposition during the past year in the Occupy Wall Street movement as well as previous movements without as much violence as many other past protests; although the vast majority of the violence was from the police in most protests both recently and during the Vietnam war and other large protest. But even the police are less violent then they have been during past protests, as bad as they seem now they were even worse in previous decades where they opened fire and killed many people on numerous occasions.

This is part of the reason that there is a much greater chance for success in the reform movement than there has been in the past. However in order for this to work there ahs to be an effort to stop accepting their propaganda and use multiple methods to move reform forward including at the ballot box.
After almost a year of the Occupy Wall Street movement and many more years of educational efforts from the grass roots level should we just consider that our way of doing our part then turn around and vote for the lesser of two evils as the corporate media wants us too or should we at least try not to do our part to preserve this incredibly corrupt government.

Recently a coalition of peaceactivists including David Swanson, Medea Benjamin, Leah Bolger, Bruce Gagnon, Chris Hedges, George Martin and Kevin Zeese sent a letter supporting Jill Stein to help her get matching funds. A similar letter has been sent from physicians supporting single payer. Jill Stein has been interviewed on Democracy Now; she’s been covered on alternative media outlets like In these Times and many other organizations. It is becoming increasingly obvious to many more people that the corporate media isn’t as trust worthy as we’ve been led to believe.

Many of these people are currently campaigning across the country for change and even if their primary goal isn’t to elect Jill Stein it is part of what they’re doing.

There are many other organizations that are strongly opposed to the current political establishment and attempting to address the issues even if they aren’t rallying behind a single alternative candidate yet they clearly aren’t supporting either Romney or Obama who aren’t addressing the interests of the public.
A search of the internet could and has indicated much more support for alternative candidates and it is even gaining momentum on satellite TV for some people. The traditional media has provided mostly token amounts of coverage for some of these issues from stations like MSNBC but now Link TV is going farther with some sincere grass roots discussion for those that have satellite or access to the internet.

The time is long overdue to let the establishment know that we’re not dumb enough to believe the false choice between two corrupt parties anymore!!

Then there will be no doubt that that these human rights violations really aren’t who we are!!

(For more information on Blog see Blog description and table of context for most older posts.)

The following are the original replies when this was first posted on Open Salon.

you can not change a brothel by sending your virgin daughter to work there.

if you are serious about wanting change, get citizen initiative and use it to shape america. that will take time and effort, sorry.

or you can vote for a president, and get change you can believe in, if you're a fool, or american voter.

al loomis July 18, 2012 06:57 PM

I'm inclined to disagree with Al. While "voting" probably doesn't accomplish anything, the immense amount of media attention gives 3rd party candidates like Nader and Stein a gigantic audience to put their platform out to. During several of his presidential runs, Nader was filling stadiums with 10,000+ young people. I can't think of a better person to give them the inside scoop on how the political system really works.

Recently even the New York Times did a fair and pretty reasonable spread on Stein.

Ron Paul has done far worse than lose the primary race - he has endorsed Romney. Get me a sick bag, quick. I was thinking of sending Paul some money - in part because I liked the platform he was putting out on ending war, the fed, civil liberties and legalizing marijuana. Now I'm really glad I didn't.

Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall July 18, 2012 09:08 PM

[r] Zackd, I will be back to read thoroughly and comment but wanted to share this with you quickly. Stein really rocks! Wonder if you or I can manage to post it?

best, libby

libbyliberalnyc July 19, 2012 07:50 AM

Al, I agree partially, but not entirely. Clearly it won’t be good enough to send someone down there with good intentions while the rest of Washington remains corrupt but this doesn’t mean that we should give up. Instead it means that this will only be part of the solution and more needs to be done.

If you accept your conclusions then it might lead to simply falling for the same trick once more when there are additional opportunities presenting themselves due to the massive protest movements and the fact that grass roots education is taking place in a much bigger variety of ways than it has in the past.

If this is followed up with additional candidates in Congress, ballot initiatives, educational efforts, and more, then a big difference can be made.

The alternative is to abandon all hope all ye who enter.

Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall, I suspect that voting will accomplish something but as I said voting alone won’t do it. It will show support and since there is an enormous amount of grass roots effort combined with an incredibly incompetent pair of “viable” candidates throwing mud at each other this could be combined to create a surprise; I think that if there is enough effort and the supporters and others get past the “But she can’t win assumption” that she actually can win especially if the “viable” candidates self destruct, which they seem to be doing as far as I’m concerned.

Libby, thanks for the link; this is just one of many stories on her that aren’t being presented in the mainstream media, although Current is practically part of the “liberal” version of the mainstream media and they get much more coverage than most alternative media outlets. This shows that she has more coverage then most people realize.

The following a just a couple more that I found with just a quick search from equally poplar sites. Or almost equally, although Woman Spaces is new to me. There are many more where that came from; she does have much more coverage than commonly being acknowledged; combined with the fact that what the two main candidates have to offer is that they claim to be better than the other who is horrible she could and probably will do better than expected.

zacherydtaylor July 19, 2012 09:54 AM

I plan to vote for her also. You know George W. Bush was purported to have said, "The Constitution is just a goddamn piece of paper!"

Sean Fenley July 19, 2012 12:09 PM

That's the first I heard that he said that but I recall someone else saying virtually the same thing decades ago. I think it was in relation to the cold war; but that is a common attitude.

zacherydtaylor July 21, 2012 09:18 AM

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