Leaking the Truth: Obama Reveals More of His True Values
Leaking the Truth: Obama Reveals More of His True Values
© Austin Cline

The real values of Barack Obama and the Obama administration have become clear: if you commit war crimes you will receive immunity and won’t even be investigated; if you tell the public about American war crimes you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. These are the explicit positions of a president whose platform while a candidate was to restore the rule of law in America and restore America's moral standing around the world.

This isn't spin or hyperbole, they are the simple facts of how the Obama administration has been behaving. Barack Obama stated unambiguously that he preferred to "look forward and not backwards" when he learned that Spanish prosecutors would be investigating Bush administration officials for sanctioning torture at Guantanamo. Bradley Manning, in contrast, won't be receiving that sort of privileged treatment and is instead facing 52 years in prison for releasing classified tapes of Americans shooting unarmed civilians.

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Squatters in the Fourth Estate
Squatters in the Fourth Estate
© Austin Cline

Every time I assume that my opinion of American “journalism” has bottomed out, some putz does something so outrageous or stupid that I’m forced to revise my opinion downward by several notches — notches so low that I didn’t even know they could exist. No matter what American journalists do, it seems that they never manage to run out of room to keep spiraling downwards…then they wonder why Americans aren’t watching or reading them as much anymore. Really? Is it that hard to figure out?

You might be assuming that I’m talking here about the incident where White House journalists thought it was a good idea to socialize personally with administration officials at a “super-soaker” picnic hosted by Vice-President Joe Biden. Well, I am, but not in the way you are probably assuming. Here, the super-soaker party is actually the old low that I assumed American journalists couldn’t possibly exceed; the new low was spectacularly achieved by David Gregory — a perennial favorite in the “just how bad can American journalists get” contests.

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BP-Oil-Rig
Clean Up the Oil Industry
© Austin Cline
The understandable focus on cleaning up the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico must not distract us from the need to also clean up the oil industry itself. Indeed, we should get used to thinking that no matter how successful the efforts to clean up the Gulf of Mexico ultimately are, it won't matter much in the long term if we ignore the terrible mess of the oil industry.

It will be difficult for this to really sink in for most of us, though, because practically everything we see about the BP oil disaster tends to reinforce the perception that it's an isolated accident. When was the last time anyone in the mainstream news media did a report trying to connect aspects of this disaster to larger problems in the oil industry? How often do we instead just see a focus on the accident and BP alone? We must actively resist this narrow focus and push back against what is essentially pro-oil propaganda.

Instead, we must learn how to see the deeper connections which link individual disasters with broader problems. We must learn to see the patterns of abuse and negligence across the industry — and we must communicate this to others so that they can see the same. This is critical because no fundamental changes will occur unless there is popular demand for it. That's why industry and even government are actively depicting the problems as existing merely with one oil platform or, at most, with BP alone.

The less of the spilled oil that sticks to the industry as a whole, the more likely the oil industry will be able to preserve the status quo — and it is precisely the status quo which we need to overturn.

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Not Allowed to Fly, But Allowed to Buy Guns & Bear Arms
Not Allowed to Fly, But Allowed to Buy Guns & Bear Arms
© Austin Cline

Isn't it just like a traitorous Democrat to want to put guns in the hands of our enemies — convicted felons who are the enemies of our community and terrorists who are the enemies of liberty, America, Western Civilization, and cute puppies? That's what we have in Jason Altmire, a Democrat who is so liberal that he wants to arm America's enemies to make it easier for us to surrender to the forces of Islamofascism.

Oh, but wait, Jason Altmire is a conservative Democrat! Since when did conservative Democrats start supporting America's enemies? And why are conservatives of all sorts, even in the Republican Party, joining Altmire in defending the constitutional right of suspected terrorists to buy and own guns? They never showed nearly this much interest in defending any other constitutional rights of suspected or accused terrorists.

According to American conservatives, if you're a suspected terrorist then you don't have a right to counsel, a right to be brought before a judge, or even a right to be told what your rights might be...but you do have a right to buy pistols, rifles, shotguns, and as much ammunition as you can carry. Yeah, that makes sense.

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Papers, Please: Asserting White Supremacy Since 1492
Papers, Please: Asserting White Supremacy Since 1492
© Austin Cline
Are your papers in order? Can you prove that you're a citizen? If you're not sure you might want to take another look at your papers, especially if you plan on visiting Arizona any time soon (then again, why would you?). At least, you might want to verify your papers if you aren't white. There's virtually no chance that white people will be asked by Arstapo (Arizonastaatspolizei) for their papers. According to white conservatives, though, it's just a coincidence that white people are responsible for the passage of the law and will be responsible for enforcing the law by requiring non-whites to show their papers, but won't themselves be expected to carry proof of citizenship.

White Republicans have also assured everyone that this won't lead to racial profiling. It's amazing that there are actually people out there who believe this. First, there's just no credible basis for singling out on sight likely illegal immigrants in Arizona except by race (really, how many illegal immigrants from Poland or Canada are there in Arizona?). Second, so many supporters of Arizona's "Papers, Please" law have in the past expressed unapologetic support for racial profiling.

I guess it's also coincidence that those who support racial profiling while insisting that their policies won't actually lead to racial profiling just happen to be whites who are guaranteed to never be subjected to racial profiling? Of course this law will lead to racial profiling — that's what it was meant to do and that's what supporters always intended for it to do.

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Today's Major Events

Spence v. Washington: Student has a Right to Put Peace Sign on U.S. Flag
St Bernard Founds Clairvaux Monastery
Rudolf Hess Declares Hitler is Beyond Criticism - He's on a Mission From God
Death of French Philosopher Michel Foucault
Engel v. Vitale: Court Rules it Unconstitutional to Make Students Recite Prayers in Public School