Happy Independence Day

Although the American Declaration of Independence was actually signed on July 2, 1776, and the copy in the Washington D.C. museum (where it was rightfully restored after Nicholas Cage stole it) was signed in August 1776, today we celebrate Independence Day.

Some sobering developments are worth noting as we reflect on our incredible privilege as citizens of the richest, greatest country in all of history.

Instead of joining in the Chicago Fire–more of an “every weekend” sort of event, anyway–one Illinois “man” decided to desecrate the United States flag, which, as it turns out, is a “class four felony.”

Photo via 4chan

Photo via 4chan

The Urbana, IL police department confirmed to Forbes, our source, that the post was removed while the pussy who posted it instead of working to create a better world was in police custody, without access to a smartphone. This may become a DEVELOPING STORY, but probably not, because if you give these people attention, they eventually reproduce.

While burning our flag is an incredibly ignorant and shameful use of our free speech rights, these are not the only liberties that will be threatened if Trump or Hillary wins the November presidential election. Both have also pledged to continue the contemporary “drone anyone we don’t like” foreign policy of the United States, begun sometime in the midst of the George W. Bush reign and vastly accelerated under Obama.

In an orchestrated holiday-weekend-Friday-news-dump, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Obama henchman Josh Earnest announced three days ago the president’s drone warfare has taken 116 civilian lives since Obama took office, and that is acceptable.

While the actual civilian death toll from drones (developed at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics laboratories using your tax money) is estimated by human rights groups to be closer to 500 in Pakistan (“POK“-istan,” as Obama would say) alone, the White House prefers to work with their number.

“The president believes that our counterterrorism strategy is more effective and has more credibility when we’re as transparent as possible. There will be a little bit of negative press coverage in the short term, but over the long term it will build the kind of credibility that is critical to the ongoing success of these efforts.”–Earnest, in Friday’s press conference

Yahoo! News continued:

The bulk of drone strikes have fallen on remote tribal regions of Pakistan that have long sheltered extremists, but Obama has also bombed places like Yemen, Libya and Somalia. Independent estimates of civilian casualties from U.S. strikes in those theaters have ranged between 200 and 1,000.

Clapper estimates Obama has ordered 473 drone strikes outside war zones (meaning they’re illegal, but he has all the nuke codes, so would you argue?) killing between 2,372 and 2,581 combatants and 64 to 116 civilians.

Los Angeles Times had a good profile on some of the higher-caliber targets neutralized by drones and airstrikes by the greatest country in the world in recent years (below).

Yahoo!:

“As commander in chief, I must weigh these heartbreaking tragedies against the alternatives.  To do nothing in the face of terrorist networks would invite far more civilian casualties,” [Obama] said. “So doing nothing is not an option.”

Still, as Yahoo News noted in May, Obama’s very first experience with a drone strike rattled him. Four days into his presidency, the CIA was targeting al-Qaida and Taliban commanders in South Waziristan along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. But the strike went badly awry, killing an innocent tribal elder and several members of his family.

Meanwhile, the White House keeps a secret list of American citizens up for assassination, like Anwar al-Awlaki, who Obama ordered killed in 2011, along with his 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki.

Thanks to our sources:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/fernandoalfonso/2016/07/04/illinois-man-charged-with-desecrating-american-flag-after-posting-photos-on-facebook/#70bb78cf598f

https://www.yahoo.com/news/obama-air-war-kills-up-to-116-civilians-outside-war-zones-193113911.html

https://www.yahoo.com/news/obama-air-war-kills-up-to-116-civilians-outside-war-zones-193113911.html