Tag Archives: US Constitution

Barack Obama, Liberal, Pragmatist, Placator?

Barack Obama ran on a platform that vigorously condemned Bush administration violation of the Constitutional rights of people. He noted the horror of Guantanamo prison and promised, if elected, to do something about it in order to restore America’s reputation in the world as a land based on respect for human rights. Last month, the president of the United States authorized the murder of an American citizen who was “suspected” of being an al-Qaeda leader. The President of the United States endorsed Bush administration laws concerning wire tapping, and the use of special techniques for “enhanced interrogation.” These decisions were made by an individual who used to be a “teacher of constitutional law.” In England, there is a Chilcot inquiry which investigates what happened in the events leading to the UK entering the war in Iraq. Evidence is now clear that Tony Blair(and, his buddy George Bush)knew there were no WMD. Every effort to have such an inquiry occur in the USA has been halted by Barack Obama.

The evidence of that past year indicates Obama is not a liberal in the traditional sense of the word. He more often than not will assume the role of one who seeks to placate conservatives in hope of somehow securing their support. In the process of placating, our president does not take a stand for human rights. There is absolutely no excuse for allowing “enhanced procedures” in questioning prisoners. Such procedures violate the Geneva Convention which this nation agreed would serve as its model in handling prisoners captured in war.

A president of the United States of America took a solemn oath to obey the Constitution, and that means if he fails to do so by placating people, he violates his solemn oath. Such behavior is not liberal or conservative, it is simply a violation of the Constitution.

Guantanamo–American’s Shame

I was recently taken to task by a writer who informed me our Founding Fathers would have been proud of the Bush administration policy toward prisoners because they wanted America to be protected against foreign attack. The writer did not cite any specific “Founding Father” nor did he quote directly anything stated by one of those men two hundred years ago that would have led to the conclusion a literal interpretation of the Constitution would conclude use of torture and denial of trial is the original intent of the Founding Fathers. Naturally, I thought it appropriate to read the Constitution in order to determine if that was their original intent.

Amendment 6

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherin the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law; and to be informed of the nature and cause of accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”

Amendment 7
“In suits of common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved; and in fact, trial by jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States than according to the rules of common law.”

Amendment 8

“Excessive bail shall not be required, no excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted.”

I believe the ORIGINAL INTENT OF THE CONSTITUTION is clear– no torture, the right to a fair trial. Somehow, I do not believe Madison or Hamilton or Franklin would have viewed depriving people of sleep, forcing them to endure cold temperatures or waterboarding as fitting in to their ideas concerning proper treatment of prisoners.

Throughout the Revolutionary War, George Washington insisted on following the rules of war as known in the 18th century. There is no record of torturing captured British soldiers on orders of George Washington. Our Founding Fathers were raised with British concepts regarding the rights of man and torture and denial of a jury trial certainly were not part of their concept of the rights of man.

It is time for President Obama to return to the original intent of the Constitution and allow fair and impartial jury trials for the accused.

What An Obama Victory Means To All Americans

I was born in 1930 at a time when people of my background–east European Jews–inhabited a world characterized by bigotry and prejudice. It was still an era when Irish people were familiar with the famous song, “No Irish Need Apply” and Italians were looked down upon. As a Jew, I could not live in many parts of America due to segregation, I could not obtain certain jobs, and I faced quotas in colleges which made clear only a few of us were welcome. The victory of Barack Obama today is of tremendous importance to all African Americans, but it also symbolizes for those of us who lived in an America which denied equal rights, that the world we knew no longer was. A “President” Obama means for the first time in American history, the old world of bigotry and prejudice is symbolically over.

A victory for Barack Obama means the forces of ignorance and hate are silenced. Imagine having a vice president who believes planet Earth is only 10,000 years old!! Imagine having a vice president who is against the right of women to control their bodies and who regards reading books to be something that “real Americans” simply do not do. Imagine having a vice president who believes there are “real Americans” and there are “the others.” Imagine having a president who is against an intelligent form of national health insurance or the right of workers to organize unions or equity in the workplace for women! Imagine a president who has sold his soul to the forces of right wing bigotry and ignorance!

Barack Obama means Americans can once again hold their heads high because this nation represents something unique in the world, a nation in which, literally, any person can become president. A Barack Obama led nation will forge peace in the Middle East beginning with ending the insanity of the Iraq war. He will reach out to Iran to initiate discussions which are necessary if that nation is to be brought into a new position of leadership for peace in the Middle East. Barack Obama will close infamous Guantanamo prison and restore our nation’s dignity by respecting the rights of people to due process. He will ensure torture is no longer associated with America and our Constitution truly follows the flag.

Barack Obama has inspired the youth of this nation to assume leadership in the fight to create a new society based on the principles of equity for all. His proposal for National Service in exchange for college tuition is revolutionary. I received the G.I. Bill of Rights which revolutionized higher education in America, a National Service Bill will do the same for modern America. He will ensure that ALL Americans have health insurance, he will fight to expand early childhood facilities and create new industries so that eventually we can end dependence on fossil fuels.

A Barack Obama victory represents the birth of a new America. So, get out there and vote, vote, vote today if you care about this nation.

Elect Obama-Take Back America

The election of Barack Obama is necessary if America is to regain those moral values which have been part of this nation for over two hundred years. Bush has done more than lie to the American people and involve the nation in the wrong war at the wrong time against the wrong enemy, his actions have sullied the very fabric of our society. Abu Graib and Guantanamo prison symbolize the essence of what has gone wrong in American society. This nation has allowed its leaders to violate every principle inherent in the Bill of Rights by detaining human beings without filing charges or allowing individuals of a fair trial.

I was born in 1930 at a time when black skinned men and women could not even share a water fountain with those whose skin was white. Negroes(that was the term liberal people used) were denied the ballot, let alone the right to run for public office in the South. The election of Barack Obama sends a message not just to Americans, but to all parts of the world that our society has accepted the principle that all men and women have the right to be part of America as equals in every aspects of our daily lives. It is a message that will allow a young Muslim boy or girl in America to recognize that one day someone of their faith will be president.

The election of Obama is also a message to young people in America who have become quiet over the past few decades and have focused on narcissistic needs rather than public ones. Obama’s promise to provide free college education for those who will devote two years to public service will awaken a new commitment to dealing with societal issues that have long been ignored. For the first time since the eloquence of John F. Kennedy’s call to “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” young people are being challenged to assume leadership roles in dealing with societal problems.

Elect Barack Obama and return this nation to its moral center. Let America once again be a beacon to the world.