It’s Time to Stop Killing People with Drones

Anyone who was hurt by The Atrocity on 9/11 understands why the United States bent rules to ensure that it didn’t happen again. We gave president Bush our full support in waging a war on terror, and he  did not let us down.  The world was with us.  UN resolutions  authorizing the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan passed unanimously. Even the resolution 1441 authorizing force if Iraq didn’t comply with earlier resolutions passed. Unanimously.


English: President George W. Bush and Presiden...

English: President George W. Bush and President-elect Barack Obama meet in the Oval Office of the White House Monday, November 10, 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


In the years that followed, the US  may or may not have broken rules relating to torture outlined in the Geneva convention, but it most certainly bent them.   Bending rules is a slippery slope. For the most part the world, and US citizens were complacent, with the sense that the short-term approach to discouraging organized suicide terrorism was working.


There was however, growing opposition to US terror policies , and by 2004,  President Bush was barely popular enough to be reelected. The 2004 election gave us four more years on the slippery slope.  It also gave us four more years of some very effective anti terror policies.  President Bush understood the importance of a longer term approach to the war on terror.  He made unprecedented investments to fight poverty and encourage freedom.


“There can be no human rights without human liberty.” – George W. Bush


Rule bending continued.


The United States killed the first innocent people with a drone  on June 18th, 2004.   This drone strike that killed two innocent children was also the first known US drone attack.  So the notion that we are saving lives and can be flawless in our condemning   logic crumbled immediately.


IN 2008 we elected Barack Obama, and showed the world the transformative power of democracy.  President elect Obama won the nobel peace prize.  President Obama however knew the dangers of radical change.   He retained virtually every Bush administration major anti terror policy; Guantanamo BayExtraordinary rendition, Secret military tribunals,  Wire tapping,  Controversial FBI Stings, and the deadliest of all, Predator Drone Strikes.


President Obama has already launched 6 times as many drone strikes as President Bush.  And they match them in inaccuracy when it comes to killing innocent civilians.


In the comments section of this latest drone strike report,  ChAliGhafoor  asks:  “so how US feel to kill innocent people along with taliban leader.”  Ghafoor’s question has an excellent continuation phrase.  “Along with taliban leader.”    In the story, The US killed innocent people “along with”, or in the same strike that it killed a taliban leader.   “along with” can also be interpreted as “just like”.  So the question also asks how does it feel to kill innocent people just like taliban leaders do.


It feels wrong Ghafoor.  It feels wrong.






Obama kills Thanksgiving Turkey with a Predator Drone

WASHINGTON  — Just back from Asia, President Barack Obama has ordered two predator strikes  on White House turkeys in a modern variation of an annual Thanksgiving rite.

Cobbler, the newly designated national turkey, and his alternate, Gobbler, are getting roasted.

Both are 19-week-old, 40-pound turkeys from Virginia. Their names were selected from submissions by an F.B.I. terrorism task force.

The tradition of pardoning a Thanksgiving turkey at the White House started with President John F. Kennedy in 1963.  Over the years the tradition has been altered to keep up with concerns of the time.  In 1996 President Clinton had the turkeys smoke one of his cigars. Then in 2004 President Bush had the Turkeys secretly flown to mountains in Nepal where they were moistened by submerging their heads in water for several seconds.

Why the Stock Market is Down

Yesterday the day after President Obama was re-elected stock marked declined. Immediately news articles appeared titled “Wall Street Dips on Obama Win”.  This kind of thing happens every morning.  The market moves in one direction, and articles assign a reason.  IT would be just as easy to write “NASDAQ falls from #whyRelationshipsEnd Twitter Tag Trending.” But does anyone check for causation?   As any student of Math or Science knows. “Correlation does not imply causation

NASDAQ, SP and The Dow Jones all down about 5% over the past month.

So why did the market go down yesterday?  The answer is, the market is a complex system that reacts to an almost infinite stream of data analyzed by hundred of millions of investors. Several notable things have pushed  the market down recently, and particularly caused it to dip yesterday.  It’s hard to tell what effect the re-election had, but it certainly didn’t move the market up.

1)  Missed Earnings and Expectations

Several companies have had disappointing earnings this quarter IBM, Apple  APPL, Amazon AMZN , Toyota TM.  These misses are being absorbed by the market. When major companies like these move down, they pull down their  respective indexes, and the over all market drops.

2) EU Debt Crisis

The day after the election, the EU issued a report raising concerns that IMF austerity budgets for struggling countries like Spain and Greece are deepening the recession in Europe. Many analysts felt this prompted a sell off in the markets .

3) Sandy’s  financial Impact

More than a week after the hurricane hit the New York area, analysts were still assessing Sandy’s impact, and the market is still dropping. Wall Street and the people and companies in the financial industry are still struggling from the storm.  Still not everyone can get to work, and even those who can are struggling to help friends and family with basic necessities. Those who have started to return to normalcy are still helping those who haven’t. Hard working families on Long Island are tripled up in house with power.

So we are still in a Bear market that has been going on for several months now.  As for the impact of the re-election, time will tell.

Stick with Obama

I saw this sign in Cocoa Beach, while driving down A/1A to visit my parents in Vero Beach.  The “Sorry Dad” addendum captures the generation gap of supporters of President Obama.  It also shows how important it is to have a sense of humor about our differences.   My Dad loved this picture. I’m sure the Dad mentioned in the sign loves it too.

“Not to be a socialist at twenty is proof of want of heart; to be one at thirty is proof of want of head.”  –  Georges Clemenceau

Rte A1A , Cocoa Beach, FL via Flickr


Congratulations President Romney

If the election were held today, It’s a toss-up. But Romney wins the popular vote. One state would decide the election, if held today. Ohio.

With the momentum from the Popular vote, I suspect Romney would carry Ohio.

However these polls were all taken before the last debate, which was also considered a toss-up.  It remains to be seen if  Obama has stopped the momentum Romney has built from the first debate.  But since my earlier post congratulated President Obama, I decided now was a good time to give Romney credit for quite a comeback.

Obama still has a distinct advantage.  If he sweeps the other 3 tan states in this map, Colorado, Iowa and New Hampshire, he doesn’t need Ohio.  Romney does need Ohio.   Bookies still favor Obama, and pay 2 to 1 for a Romney victory.  But it’s gonna be a close one.