Tuesday, August 10, 2010

OK, I may have misspoken

...when I said I was through with this blog because I was tired of political negativity. I still am tired of it, but when Robert Gibbs, the President's mouthpiece, attacks _liberals_, for Christ's sake, because we have been insufficiently appreciative of Mr. Obama, I have to differ. So let me get a couple of things off my chest.

Obama has broken promises on everything from ending the war in Iraq to gay rights. He has sucked up to the Wall Street bonus junkies. He has backed away from a meaningful stimulus program, or from doing anything about foreclosures or unemployment. He has actually revved up a war in Afghanistan that George Bush had definitively lost by 2002, which is at this point absurd as well as un-winnable. And did I say we are still in Iraq, a war originally based on falsehoods--and now Obama is lying about our "leaving" when in fact we still have 50,000 "non-combat" troops there and that he proposes to keep them there indefinitely?

His government claims the de facto right to assassinate American citizens abroad. He believes, like Bush, that he has the right to imprison people without charges indefinitely, possibly for life. Guantanamo is still open. He has claimed the right to deny habeas corpus. He has given de-facto immunity to the criminals who dreamed up and approved the torture policies of the previous administration. His economic team is essentially the very Wall Street insiders who crashed the economy. He has sold out the public on the environment, among other things giving the oil companies carte blanche that they used to create the most enormous oil pollution disaster in world history.

He has pandered to the Republicans on their immigration hysteria. He is unwilling to fight for anything that he claimed to believe in when we voted for him. He has shown himself totally spineless (or totally duplicitous) on doing anything about global warming.

He sold the public out on the public option, so the health care bill will now benefit far fewer people than it should, and cost far too much. He has shown every sign of buckling under to the Republicans on gutting Social Security. He is a TERRIBLE president.

Yes, you can say he is better than Bush. But so little better, in fact, that he is still deeply in the realm of terrible. If he doesn't step up to the plate I am pretty sure he will be a one-term president. I personally have never voted for a Republican and never will, but at this point I don't see much point in voting for Obama again either.

Update, as of Dec.21, 2010:

Obama only a few days caved to the Republicans on the tax bill benefitting the upper 2.5% of income earners and screwing the economy fairly long-term in the process, and today has torpedoed net neutrality with Bush-era Orwellian language, calling his betrayal of net neutrality, a "victory" for net neutrality.

His administration continues to make the hysterical manhunt for Julian Assange into a major project, with a grand jury convened in northern Virginia to find a pretext for charging Assange with a crime in the United States, even as the criminals from the Bush era mentioned above continue to go free. Meanwhile our government places private Bradley Manning, the soldier accused, among other worthy and honorable things, of leaking the videos that expose the aerial murder of journalists from a helicopter in Iraq, under a form of arrest that amounts to torture--the supermax solitary confinement regimen his administration subjects him to is considered a war crime if we treat prisoners of war that way--and the helicopter gunners of course have not been punished, nor have those who gave them their orders.

I am beginning to feel about this Democratic president the way I felt about Lyndon Johnson, although Johnson at least had a redeeming virtue that I have not so far seen even a glimmer of in Obama, which was a commitment to civil rights. Obama is about as bad as Johnson on murderous foreign military adventures, and worse than Nixon or Eisenhower (FAR worse than Eisenhower) on everything else.

It says something remarkable about where this country has gone that the only presently visible alternative to Obama and his Democratic Party is the Republican Party of Sarah Palin.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Impermanence, revisited

When I started this blog I chose to subscribe to a free commenting utility called Haloscan, which at the time seemed more user-friendly than Blogger's native commenting system. For one thing it would notify me by email if I got new comments on an old blog post. Blogger did not do that, and as far as I know still doesn't.

Looking back on several years of blogging at Stone Bridge it has some of the usefulness of a diary: I can find out what I was doing, say, in July of 2006. Otherwise I would not have a clue. Additionally, there was an ongoing conversation with regular, and occasional irregular, visitors, in the comments. A certain sense of community arose, which possibly would still be going on, if I had not gotten burned out on the political negativity which had overtaken most of my posts.

Haloscan has now been sold to a company that will allow the comments to stay, but we have to pay a very modest fee for them. I am probably going to let the comments go, not because of the money, which is insignificant even for a pensioner of my very limited means, but because the blog itself is inactive, and I only rarely get new comments. The Blogger comments will still be possible for such stragglers.

I have downloaded and archived the old comments for my own personal use, (many of the comments were interesting and some memorable.) Unfortunately I can see no way to restore them to the original posts as blogger comments, but on the other hand I see no real need to.

So in a few weeks the comments will disappear.

It occurs to me that some people may still have RSS feeds for Stone Bridge, and will notice this entry, and hopefully be reassured that I did not erase their comments out of some late-blooming aversion to the comments, or to them.