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Linda LeTendre's Waging Peace
by Linda LeTendre

Waging Peace

A Daily Gazette community blog
Linda LeTendre fights for a peaceful world.

Choice? What choice?

Four years ago, peace was an issue that was at least mentioned in passing in the presidential campaign – now neither Obama nor Romney barely even get the word in edgewise.

I watched precious little of either the Republican or Democratic conventions figuring that life is too short as it is. When talking to an empty chair passes as political discourse (and the chair wins), it is little wonder that we have the dismal caliber of political candidates we do. We've come a long way since the Lincoln-Douglas debates and regrettably it isn't forward.

I saw photos of the outside of both the political conventions and what with all of the police dressed in riot gear and the armored personnel vehicles one would think we were in a country having a civil war. Of course the mainstream media gave this very short shrift indeed.

Obama had a major loss handed to him within the last week – section 1021 (b) (2) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) – granting the government the power to indefinitely detain (translation: kiss your habeas corpus rights, the foundation of our freedom, goodbye) any American citizen labeled a terrorist (the definition under the NDAA was intentionally left very vague) was struck down by Judge Katherine Forrest with a permanent injunction saying that the provision was unconstitutional. Finally, some sanity!

Government lawyers argued that said provision is an acceptable provision in the law of war (“normal” was the word they actually used), while Judge Forester was of the opinion that the “law of war” has no place in domestic policy.

Or polite society, I might add.

Obama, the man who listed “constitutional scholar” on his curriculum vita for president, immediately appealed her decision, despite getting thousands of signatures on a couple of petitions asking him not to – mine being one.

One of the things I've learned to pay attention to in addition to what people in power do, is what people in power do not do. Romney so far has not taken political advantage for his campaign of this loss – mostly because the people supporting him support this provision of the NDAA. As Molly Ivins used to say, “In politics, you got to dance with them what brung ya.” (Lord how I still miss her!)

Many thanks to the freedom fighters who brought the suit against the Obama administration in the first place, a group of writers, journalists, and activists including Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges, Pentagon papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg and historian Noam Chomsky. They have taken a great risk for all of us because if they lose they can be branded “terrorists” and put into the American gulag that has already been built around the country.

Speaking of Romney, here's a first-hand account of how he does business: One of my guests this summer, who is a Ph. D. Chemist, once did some consulting work for a subsidiary of Dow Chemical. While he was working for this company, it got sold to Bain Capital and yes, Romney was the CEO at the time. Presidential hopeful Romney stripped the company of its assets, laid off the employees and absconded with their pension plan – considering it an asset (most likely stashing the money in some offshore account so he would not have to pay taxes on it).

If you vote for the “lesser of two evils” you're STILL voting for evil.

I am contemplating voting for the chair.

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