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Sunday, December 21, 2014

The CIA's Covert War Against Fidel Castro | BillMoyers.com

The CIA's Covert War Against Fidel Castro | BillMoyers.com



It makes sense for the US to normalize relations with Cuba before the ailing  dictator Fidel Castro dies. It's sort of a "diplomatic foot in the door" approach to being at the head of the line of mourners, wishing the survivors well.



By the way, Guantanamo is where the terrorists are living in Cuba. Fear mongers who want to stir up the human rights violations in Cuba are apparently unaware of what's going on in Guantanamo.



Creating normal international relations with Cuba will improve the US ability to protect our national interest, as per the Monroe Doctrine.



The  Monroe Doctrine was a US foreign policy regarding Latin American countries, in 1823. It stated that further efforts by European nations to colonize land or interfere with states in North or South America would be viewed as acts of aggression, requiring U.S. intervention.



President James Monroe (5th President of the US) was the first to state the doctrine during his seventh annual State of the Union Address to Congress. The term "Monroe Doctrine" itself was coined in 1850.  By the end of the nineteenth century, Monroe's declaration was seen as a defining moment in the foreign policy of the United States and one of its longest-standing tenets. It would be invoked by many U.S. statesmen and several U.S. presidents, including Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and many others.

The intent and impact of the Monroe Doctrine persisted with only minor variations for more than a century. Its primary objective was to free the newly independent colonies of Latin America from European intervention and avoid situations which could make the New World a battleground for the Old World powers, so that the United States could exert its own influence, undisturbed. 




The doctrine asserted that the New World and the Old World were to remain distinctly separate spheres of influence, for they were composed of entirely separate and independent nations.



In my opinion, one reason Senator Rubio is acting upset about President Obama's action to normalize relations with Cuba is because he's jealous. It's possible Senator Rubio was saving this surprise strategy for his own campaign, to win the Cuban/Latino vote in a national election and President Obama upstaged the entire roll out. Now, Rubio and Bush will have to defend their positions on President Obama's Cuban actions.  Cuban Americans who oppose President Obama's normalization action are literally living the the 1950s.  Obviously, Americans have normalized relations with many  previous enemy nations including Japan, Germany and Vietnam.  Surely, being on normal diplomatic turf with Cuba is long overdue.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Senator Rand Paul gets a broken clock award - supports Cuba normalization

America has been at war with Cuba for the  bulk of my lifetime, but all the while, our nation continues to pay rent for the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay.   

A majority of Americans likely have no idea about this duplicity, meaning, Cuba is an enemy nation but it does business with the US government, anyway.

Nevertheless, I'd bet a winning lottery ticket about one person who knows all about this business and that's Florida's Senator Rubio.   
 
Moreover, I'd be willing to bet again that Senator  Rubio knows how the US dollar rules in Havana Harbor, where American yachts line up along the docks.

In other words, the US is already in Cuba and Senator Rubio knows all about it. Too bad, but Senator Rubio didn't speak in support of the normalization of US - Cuban relations. As a Cuban American, Rubio could've claimed leadership with the President's executive action. I don't understand what Republican don't get about being supportive of Democratic policies, but leadership deserves recognition. Rubio missed an opportunity to claim credit with President Obama when he opposed the normalization policy.

Senator Rubio finally has a Republican challenger to his ridiculous opposition to President Obama's executive action to normalize  relations with Cuba.  Senator Paul Rand has come out on the right side of this issue and he doesn't even claim Cuban ancestry. 

The Washington Post reports that Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who backs Obama’s move to normalize relations with communist Cuba, accused Sen. Rubio of being an “isolationist” with his hard-line opposition to opening up trade and diplomatic engagement with the island Cuban nation. Rubio “wants to retreat to our borders and perhaps build a moat,” said Senator Paul.

Paul’s comments came after Rubio, who is the son of Cuban exiles, stepped forward as a leading voice of resistance to Obama’s policy. 

Rubio told the conservative Fox News that Senator Paul has no  idea what he's talking about. Senator Rubio versus Senator Paul feud is the loudest public dispute so far between potential GOP 2016 candidates.



Senator Paul’s comments were unusually personal, beginning with a series of tweets aimed at Rubio followed by a two-paragraph message on his Facebook page. 


“Senator Rubio is acting like an isolationist” and “does not speak for the majority of Cuban-Americans,” wrote Paul.  Then, Paul followed up with an op-ed on Time’s Web site Friday afternoon in which he wrote that he grew up learning to despise communism but over time concluded that “a policy of isolationism against Cuba is misplaced and hasn’t worked.”  He noted that public opinion has shifted in favor of rapprochement — especially among young people, including young Cuban Americans — and that U.S. businesses would benefit by being able to sell their goods in Cuba.



“Communism can’t survive the captivating allure of capitalism,” Senator Paul wrote. “Let’s overwhelm the Castro regime with iPhones, iPads, American cars, and American ingenuity.”

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), also supports President Obama's action to normalize relations. "After a five-decade embargo, it was time to try something different,” said Senator Flake.


In my opinion, Senator Rubio's oppositiion to President Obama's normalization policy with Cuba is, likely, about money.  Anti-Castro Cuban groups are likely donating to Senator Rubio's political campaign, so he'll obviously speak their position. Although I don't know this "kick back" for fact, I'm confident money is the root of Rubio's anti-Obama Cuban action.  

Regardless of how or why Senator Rubio opposes Obama's action towards Cuba, the reality of the political discourse gives the "broken clock" award to Senator Rand Paul.  

Unfortunately, Senator Rubio is a "looser" on the Cuban normalization position.  His opposition is simply unexplainable. 

His adversary, Senator Rand Paul, turns out to be on the right side of the issue by supporting the normalization of Cuban US relations.  

Senator Paul can be right twice a day, like a broken clock, even if his logic is difficult to  understand.

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Sony allowed censure of it's right to free speech

It's just unbelievable how Fox News Fiction Network (FNFN) hasn't leaped on Sony's kowtow to North Korea's hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment, when the corporation decided not to release the movie "The Interview".

In a year-end press conference, Obama said that he wishes Sony had spoken to him before deciding to back down on the "The Interview" release. In the movie, a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is the story.

"I would have told them 'Do not get into a pattern in which you're intimidated by these kinds of criminal attacks,'" said President Obama, at today's news conference.

"That's not who we are. That's not what America's about," he said. ..."I think they (Sony) made a mistake."

Media should be all over Sony Pictures Entertainment. Not releasing "The Interview" is a wrong minded decision by Sony to respond to censorship by the puny tyrant dictator of the despicable North Korean government. North Korea suppresses it's people and there's evidence that he starves them to death. 

Given the over reaction to a cynical movie, it's frightening to imagine what the North Korean dictator Jong-un does to his own people, without due process. 

As a matter of fact, Kim Jong-un murdered his own uncle who apparently wound up on the wrong side of a power struggle.

Obviously, Jong-un finds this cyber attack to be a real time computer game.  Un has the joy stick and now holds up control of the release of "The Interview". What's next? Will the evil despot also put his joy stick on the mark of releasing some rogue weapon of mass destruction? It's possible because,frankly, Jong-un is crazy.

Regardless of who launched the Sony cyber attack, the fact is, the corporation responded to censorship from a rogue nation. They acquiesced in a way the decision making executives would never have accepted and repelled if it came from our own government.

Sony has a lot of explaining to do and learning how to stand tall for freedom of speech  should be part of the corporation's education.

The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.

Sony violated their corporate responsibility to uphold this basic tenet of the US democracy. Sony is super sensitive to threats from weird and crazy despots like Jong-un, so maybe it's time for the company to live in a place where censorship is acceptable....like North Korea.












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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Republican jealousy - Senator Rubio and Governor Jeb Bush on immigration and Cuba

Makes no sense for US Senator Rubio, who is a Cuban American, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, to act like spoiled children about President Obama's recent executive immigration reforms.

Both men should be especially ashamed of themselves for speaking against the normalization of diplomatic relations with our Cuban neighbor. They know the normalization of diplomacy with Cuba is long over due. In fact, they're probably jealous because their own Republican party didn't leap to this conclusion and do something about it, before this week's executive action by President Obama.

Republicans clearly have no intention, whatsoever, of giving credit to President Obama for doing the right thing about immigration for people already in the US. His actions will help keep families together, without fear of deportation.  

Of course, the value added of the President's immigration reform was to capture support from Hispanic voters. Now, the President has even gone further by executive action to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba.  Republicans can't back peddle on either action, unless they  want to raise the ire of Hispanic and many pro-immigrant Roman Catholic voters for 2016, when both Senator Rubio and Governor Bush might be political contenders or even potential Republican rivals.

It's mystifying to me how two men who claim to represent pro-life policies can object to President Obama's immigration reforms or normalizing Cuban diplomatic relations. Both executive actions will improve the human conditions for immigrants living in the US, who work hard and obey the law, plus improves living conditions in Cuba for those hardest hit by our US trade embargo. 

Republicans who speak out the loudest against President Obama's recent executive actions are clearly "protesting too much", as the Bard Shakespeare might say. In fact, Rubio and Bush should applaud President Obama's reforms, because it's the right thing to do and will help retain the sympathy of Hispanic voters.  

Instead, their shocked outrage is going to backfire when they see themselves speaking, again, in the 2016 campaign commercials.....with Spanish subtitles.....

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Evil rampage in Peshawar Pakistan to demoralize entire nation and innocents suffer

Evil Taliban: We Slaughtered 100+ Kids Because Their Parents Helped America. Militants attacked an army-run school in Peshawar claiming the massacre of children is retaliation for U.S.-backed efforts to crush a group that's helped protect Al Qaeda. I suspect this diabolical slaughter is also retaliation against the effectiveness of US led drone strikes against Al Qaeda conducted throughout Pakistan and other places.  

Obviously, Pakistan has been completely ineffective dealing with security in their own nation. Theirs is a failed nation where terrorism grows like germs on a human carcass.

It's a stomach turning sequence of horrors. An evil rampage in Peshawar, Pakistan proves beyond any doubt that the Islamic terrorists must be annhilated soon. Otherwise, Al Qaeda and other radical spin off groups will execute their unbridled heinous slaughters of innocents, without any consideration for the toll their killing takes on civilization. Eventually, unless these attackers are annihilated, they'll continue to build their evil critical mass, like an astrological black hole sucks in energy, until they consume all of us, regardless of where we are.

What else are these disgusting evil doers capable of doing?  

When Islamic Taliban radicals consume innocent children to retaliate against the Pakistan military, what else is left in the evil pot they piss in, as they rampage their gruesome intentions to destroy humanity?

Some Americans have a false sense of protection from this kind of inhumanity. They may feel like our natioal borders protect us from this kind of inhumanity. Those are naive beliefs. We must never forget September 11, 2001, because it can and likely will happen again, in some other, unknown form. That's the reason the Islamic extremists must be annihilated.

Undoubtedly. the victims of terrorism have the most at stake for destroying the perpetrators of the inhuman evil. This violent evil is infecting Islamic nations faster than the Ebola virus is killing innocents in Western Africa. Surely, those who hate terrorists and the horrendous actions they inspire must outnumber those who fall into their evil extremist vortex?  For example, millions of people living in refugee camps in Syria must outnumber those who are protecting evil President Assad in his Damascus, Syrian palace? Certainly, the numbers of innocent people who live in Pakistan outnumber the terrorists. Nevertheless, the extremists are ravaging entire generations and taking their own civilization down with them.  Even the timing of the Peshawar school attacks were deliberate, to coincide with Christian Advent and Christmas. 

Evil works like that.

I don't know how to annihilate Islamic extremists, except to kill them. But, what I do know is this. If these extremist evil doers will stop at absolutely nothing to take down their own civilizations, then we don't want to know what horrors they are creating to kill all the rest of us.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Vivek Murthy approved as the United States Surgeon General - Congratulations!

Listen up blog readers....this is big!  Our national response to infectious  disease and the public health menace of gun violence, now has a voice.

America finally has a Surgeon General! Congratulations to Dr. Vivek Murthy!



Dr. Vivek Murthy was approved as the United States Surgeon General, overcoming fierce opposition from the National Rifle Association (NRA) that locked the doctor's nomination.

Obama nominated Murthy, co-founder of the pro-Obamacare group Doctors for America, in November 2013. 

At 37, he will be the country's youngest surgeon general, and the first of Indian-American descent. 

Incredibly, the NRA, has long opposed Murthy's nomination.
Obama nominated Murthy, co-founder of the pro-Obamacare group Doctors for America, in November 2013. 

At 37, he will be the country's youngest surgeon general, and the first of Indian-American descent. The NRA, however, has long opposed Murthy's nomination.

The reason? Adrianna McIntyre explains:

Murthy was one of the authors of a letter saying that "strong measures to reduce gun violence must be taken immediately." So despite a bipartisan recommendation from the Senate HELP committee in February, the NRA promised to "score" any vote on Murthy confirmation, meaning an affirmative vote would pull down a senator's annual rating from the group.

Here's what you need to know about Murthy, the fight over his nomination, and, perhaps much more basically, what a surgeon general does all day.

Who is Vivek Murthy?

Murthy is a 36-year-old hospitalist at Brigham and Women's Hospital and a faculty member at Harvard Medical School. 

His most notable accomplishment is arguably co-founding Doctors for America in May 2009, just as the fight over the Affordable Care Act was gearing up. The country's main doctor trade group, the American Medical Association, remained neutral on the Affordable Care Act. In founding Doctors for America, Murthy says he saw an opportunity to organize the doctors who very much did support Obamacare. This is what he told Hospitalist News in 2012:
 
"I was struck by how few physicians were organizing and gathering their ideas to actually make an impact on the candidates’ platforms and, ultimately, on a health reform bill. A few colleagues and I began Doctors for America with a simple belief that physicians should play a leadership role in designing and running our nation’s health care system. That started with enabling physicians to shape and inform what would become the next major health reform law."


Murthy now splits his time between practicing as a physician and other endeavors. He is the founder of Trial Networks, a technology company launched in 2007 to help large pharmaceutical companies better manage the drug testing process. And as if Murthy hasn't launched enough things, he also started Visions Worldwide, a non-profit dedicated to fighting HIV/AIDS, in India.


President Obama nominated Murthy to the surgeon general post in November 2014, 2013. His appointment was held up because of a letter Murthy signed onto, from Doctors for America, that called for "significant changes in policy" to reduce gun deaths in half by 2020. The letter calls for background checks, assault weapons bans, and other policies that the National Rifle Association opposes.

When the possibility of a vote on Murthy's confirmation came up in March, the New York Times reported that the NRA "sent a 'grass-roots alert' to millions of email subscribers, imploring them to 'contact your senators and ask them to oppose confirmation of President Obama’s radically anti-gun nominee.'"

Thankfully, several editors at the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine penned an editorial in defense of the Murthy in May. "Ten Senate Democrats are apparently prepared to vote against Murthy's confirmation because of his personal views on firearms — a demonstration of just how much political power our legislators have ceded to the NRA," they write. "By obstructing the President's nomination of Vivek Murthy as surgeon general, the NRA is taking its single-issue political blackmail to a new level."


Writing as a nurse, I strongly support Dr. Murthy's appointment as Surgeon General. Out nation needs one voice to respond to threats from deadly infectious diseases, like HIV-AIDS, and the lethal Ebola virus.  

Even more important, in response to the daily litany of America's gun violence deaths, our nation desperately needs a victory against the powerful National Rifle Associaiton.  

Dr. Murthy is a voice for prevention of gun violence, injuries and deaths. Dr. Murthy's appointment at Surgeon General is important. He has earned the nation's support for his job to protect the health and well being of our nation. 

Let's also strongly support his position against the growing public health problem of gun violence in America.

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Only one truthful statement in Dick Cheney's defense of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques - torture


Former Vice President Dick Cheney is a bionic man. In fact, he admits his life today is a gift, because he was privileged to receive a form of life support rarely used on ordinary people who pay for health insurance.  

In fact, Dick Cheney calls his cure a miracle.  

In a 60-Minutes, television interview with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Dick Cheney says his current health is "a miracle". He has lived with heart disease throughout his political career and especially when he served as the vice president. (I can't imagine right wing political nuts letting this kind of dangerous health condition pass on the current Vice President Biden....)

Nevertheless, Cheney's miraculous resuscitation, when he was plugged into a wall while an external heart kept him alive, and until a transplant was obtained, has not changed the former Vice President's stubborn refusal to admit to authorizing torture on suspected September 11, 2001 terrorists.

Although Mr. Cheney is steadfastly defending his role in authorizing water boarding on suspected September 11, 2001 terrorists, there was one - and only one- statement of truth in this discussion. Cheney told Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd, when interviewed on Sunday, December 14, 2014, that President George W. Bush (Bush 43) was, in fact, briefed on the use of water boarding, in spite of denials from the former President that he was not informed. I believe Mr. Cheney.

In fact, Mr. Cheney said that President Bush was fully informed about the use of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques or torture.  

It seems likely that President George W. Bush was fully briefed on interrogation tactics used by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, attacks. 

This statement disputes a conclusion reached by Senate Democrats in a report last week, said Cheney.

This information is contrary to the report by Democratic members of the Senate intelligence committee, that said Bush wasn’t briefed on specific CIA techniques until April 2006 -- four years after the program had begun.

“The notion that we were not notified at the White House about what was going on is not true,” Cheney said today on NBC’s Meet the Press program. 


Senator Dianne Feinstein's report, about the use of torture on September 11, 2001 suspected terrorists, should be public. It seems to me, Governor Jeb Bush, who wants to become his family's next president, must be asked to defend his brother's denial of this report. Governor Bush should tell Americans who knew what about torture, and when he knew it. This is important, because.....without the Florida election results of 2000, when President Bush's brother was the governor, the presidency of the 43rd president could never have happened. I believe someone must be held accountable for the illegal use of torture on suspected terrorists, especially in the absence of due process. Former governor Jeb Bush must be asked the tough questions about the use of torture, because he is largely responsible for the election of his brother, who probably knew and may have even authorized its use.

I can't remember ever defending former Vice President Dick Cheney, but I sincerely believe he's telling the truth when he says President George W. Bush knew about the use of torture, called "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques". 

In fact, I suspect the former president probably supported using torture, because he was desperate to retaliate against Osama bin Laden.  

Even a broken clock tells the right time twice a day. Mr. Cheney should reveal all he knows before his bionics run out on him again.

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