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John Nichols For Kucinich 2008 Part 2 (video)

Dandelion Salad

msnoodlebrain

John Nichols in San Francisco for Kucinich Part 2.

Added: December 31, 2007

see
John Nichols For Kucinich 2008 (video)

John Nichols: Wexler’s profile rises with impeachment talk

Marjorie Cohn speaking on laws Bush has broken & Impeachment (video; Oct 07)

All I Want For New Years Is My Rights Back By Ward Reilly

It’s time to impeach our VP and Pres: http://www.wexlerwantshearings.com

Kucinich-Dennis

Impeach

US mayors’ report: Hunger & Homelessness Intensify in US Cities By Debra Watson

Dandelion Salad

By Debra Watson
ICH
12/31/07 “WSW

The number of people hungry and homeless in US cities rose dramatically again in 2007, according to the annual report on hunger and homelessness from the US Conference of Mayors. The 23-city Hunger and Homelessness Survey was released in late December.

Requests for emergency food increased in four of every five cities. Among 15 cities with quantifying data, the median increase in requests for food was 10 percent and in some cities it was much higher. Detroit and some other cities reported seeing more working poor among those seeking food.

In Detroit, emergency food requests shot up 35 percent over the 12-month period ending in October. Officials there noted that “due to a lack of resources, emergency food assistance facilities have had to reduce the number of days and/or hours of operation.”

Thirteen of 19 survey cities reported they could not meet the demand for emergency food. Los Angeles was one of the major cities reporting difficulties in serving the growing need.

An official in LA said: “Emergency food assistance facilities have to turn away people. According to the LA Regional Foodbank, over 30 percent of their food pantries have had to turn clients away and pantries that don’t turn clients away are providing less food.

“In 2002, a food pantry would provide an average of eight to ten different USDA commodities per distribution. This holiday season, food pantries are providing three USDA commodities. Food pantries are tasked to serve more clients with the same amount of resources they had six years ago. Twenty-one percent of overall demand for emergency food assistance goes unmet.”

Across all cities, an average of 15 percent of families with children looking for emergency food must be turned away. Nine in 10 of the cities sampled for details on the urban hunger crisis say they expect increases in food requests next year.

City officials said specific factors exacerbating hunger over the past year were the foreclosure crisis, the high prices of food and gasoline, and the lack of affordable housing. Decreased social benefits such as public assistance and the eroding value of food stamps were also listed as particularly acute problems. Lack of donated food and commodities and insufficient funding were listed as the most important reason for turning away the hungry.

Economic issues such as unemployment and poverty along with high housing and medical costs were most cited by responding cities as the major causes of chronic hunger. Substance abuse and mental illness were the least cited.

Homelessness

In 20 of the cities included in the survey, 193,183 people had stays in emergency shelters and/or transitional housing in the past year. The average duration was six months for families and five months for individuals, down from eight months last year.The mayors’ survey statistics capture unduplicated stays in city temporary housing facilities, meaning if shelter was provided, a stay lasting weeks or months would be counted as just one unduplicated stay.

The survey found that nearly one in four unduplicated shelter stays were by members of family groups. The ratio of family members to singles was found to be roughly equal in homeless counts compiled elsewhere that document sheltered homeless on any given individual night.

In general, cities reported actual increases in households with children in their transitional or emergency housing over the past year. Nine in 10 cities said that more permanent housing was needed to mediate the problem of homelessness.

Thousands of beds to house the homeless were added in the surveyed cities, yet half the cities reported they turn people away some or all of the time. In Phoenix, 7,000 to 10,000 are homeless on any given night and 3,000 cannot be sheltered due to lack of beds.

Individual city profiles come from the broad range of US cities that participate in the report. They have widely different average per capita incomes and are located in various parts of the country. For example, Santa Monica, California, a city of 83,000 with a per capita income of $58,000, reports 728 singles and 142 households with children were sheltered homeless in 2007. In contrast, Philadelphia, with a population of 1.4 million and a poverty rate of 23 percent, reports 8,103 individuals and 5,300 households with children in this category.

These profiles show only those individuals that find shelter. Miami, a city of 360,000, reported only 735 families and 365 individuals were in sheltered housing for some duration during the past year. Des Moines, a city half the size of Miami but in a much colder climate, reported 3,632 families and 2,436 individuals were sheltered homeless in 2007.

Limitations in reportingTwenty-three cities whose mayors are members of the US Conference of Mayors Task force on Hunger and Homelessness contributed in some form to the report for the year ending October 30.The City Profiles section of the survey includes various reports of band-aid programs undertaken by city administrations that admittedly fall far short of need. More importantly, taken together, these local reports detailing city-by-city conditions are more valuable in providing some insight into the problems of hunger and homelessness that is largely absent from political discourse in the US. The statistics on hunger and homelessness are far more current when compared to official government reports that rely on much older data.

A section in the report entitled “Limitations of this Study” points to efforts under way this year or planned for the future to gather more precise data. This is apparently in response to right-wing critics who have impugned the value of the report in previous years, claiming it was not a representative sample and overstated the extent of poverty. This response by the study’s authors ignores the real reason for these critics’ discomfort—the desire to limit any light being shed on the twin scourges of hunger and homelessness characteristic of the social landscape of US cities.

The study was first conceived by Democratic mayors as urban populations were hit by federal budget cuts under the Republican administration of Ronald Reagan in the early 1980s. The year-to-year comparison chart at the end of the report has been a veritable misery index, right through the Clinton and the Bush years, showing double-digit increases almost every year in requests for emergency food and shelter. Yet for reasons not stated, the appendix with the 16-year historical chart comparing year-to-year survey results is omitted this year.

Another glaring omission shows one way the report underestimates the seriousness of the social crisis in America. New Orleans is not included in the survey, and data from that city has been left out of the report since Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.

Copyright 1998-2007 – World Socialist Web Site – All rights reserved


FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Girlfriends, can we talk? by The Other Katherine Harris

The Other Katherine Harris

by The Other Katherine Harris

Featured writer
Dandelion Salad

The Other Katherine Harris’s blog
Dec. 31, 2007

Sure, it’s good to see a woman taken seriously as a presidential candidate and the situation is long overdue, compared to more than a few other countries. As a woman, I’d love to see someone of my gender leading the nation, but she should be the right person, at the right time, don’t you think? I believe we’re off on both counts.

Let’s first consider the timing.

Most likely we can agree, based on personal experience, that a female boss isn’t necessarily an unalloyed blessing — especially in troubled circumstances that seldom bring out the best in anyone who has to redefine a role of authority.

The potential for over-reaction is plain. Say cutbacks are in order; who’s apt to slash more ruthlessly, a good old boy secure in his job for years or the new gal out to prove herself? Say a rival is becoming a greater threat; who’ll tend to keep this in perspective, instead of being tempted or goaded into trying something extreme that could bite back?

Being extra-tough, I read yesterday, was named as her greatest regret by the late Benazir Bhutto, when reflecting on her years as PM in Pakistan. Assuming Maggie Thatcher capable of sincere self-examination and regret (quite a stretch), we’d expect her to confess the same, wouldn’t we?

Beyond that, there’s also clear potential for ducking responsibility and for sucking-up. Say current numbers look bad; who’ll probably try harder to fudge this and that? Say a grave mistake was made; who’s more likely to insist on being right, instead of admitting the error quickly, without embellishment, and going another way? Or say lots of big changes are vital; who’s more likely to placate the most powerful opponents, rather than press for the whole package?

Of course these concerns would apply equally to a man who, for whatever reasons, felt insecure at his helm. But ANY woman in a position never before held by a woman — particularly in rough times like these — is bound to trim her sails to suit the wind, to keep from seeming weak and in hope of dodging other criticisms.

Now let’s consider the person aspiring to greater power than a woman has held since Elizabeth Tudor controlled most of the known world. Liz I actually made a good job of it. She had two exceptional things going for her, though. One, the Brits knew they were stuck with her for life and got with the program. Two, she never married, which detached her from the factional favorites game (not to mention any debate about who had the final word).

It’s hardly worth repeating that the faction Hillary Clinton represents is the DLC wing of the party. So did her husband, who happily gave us NAFTA, GATT, PNTR for China, welfare “reform” and even media conglomeration. If you’re thinking of supporting her (or Obama, the other Dem reaping vast corporate largesse), you must think that’s okay. Perhaps you share their expressed hope that, this time around, the lions of commerce and reactionary politics will decide to stop eating us lambs and play nicely.

The lions are going to have to cede some ground, because they’ve robbed the rest of us far too outrageously for too long. Moreover, the present healthcare setup is harming business and they need to get employers out of the loop. So we can expect a few crumbs to be thrown, in any event, but imagine the concessions they’ll self-righteously demand in exchange for their slightest semblance of cooperation (even if the result behooves them)!

Somehow I can’t picture Hillary saying, “Universal healthcare is simple justice that should have been done long ago. You’ve been getting away with murder. So now let’s talk about putting corporate taxation back where it belongs. And bringing back American jobs. And about those silly oil subsidies. And about this insane overspending on defense.”

Not going to happen. Despite corporatists’ having had their way on everything for 30 years.

Even placing her in that scenario calls for leap-frogging the election season, during which she (or any Democratic nominee) will be mauled. She claims she can weather that assault better than anybody else and win. Do you think so? Really?

I don’t doubt that she has sufficient ambition to suffer slings and arrows (or that Obama does, and together they’re sure to be the DLC-preferred ticket) but, when the greater mission is so thin to begin with — “geez, we only want to sit down with you guys and work out something we can all live with” — what passion will be stirred on the left or among worried Independents looking for meaningful change?

Can you get revved about wanting things to be just a little better, when they’re this bloody bad? I’m afraid the zeal would rise only on the far-right, among confirmed Hillary-haters and those who simply wouldn’t vote for a woman and/or a black man.

The very existence of Bill throws another spanner into the works. For everyone who loves him, someone else loathes him — and again, like it or not, we get into murky “twofer” territory. Precisely this set people hating Hillary, to begin with! First Ladies are normally respected, regardless of their spouses’ politics and poll numbers, but it doesn’t work that way when one strides into the arena, unelected but grabbing power with both fists.

To my mind, our first female president — whatever her views and policies — should be a person who gained prominence on her own. Otherwise, what does it honestly say about what women in this country can do?

Kucinich Weekly Update 12.31.07 (video)

Dandelion Salad

Kucinich2008

Anne Marie Howard presents the latest update on the exciting activities of the Dennis Kucinich for President campaign. Join her, along with comedian Rick Overton, video blogger Davis Fleetwood, Esai Morales, Bree Walker, Frances Fisher and singer Michael Franti, of Spearhead, as we ring in the new year in New Hampshire, headed for the primaries!

Added: December 31, 2007

see

Kucinich Campaign Action Alert: Vote! Myspace Poll! Jan 1-2

Kucinich Wins Virginia Democratic Party Poll By David Swanson

Kucinich-Dennis

Dennis Kucinich Can Win by Lo

Kucinich Campaign Action Alert: Vote! Myspace Poll! Jan 1-2

Note: I just voted and had to use IE instead of Firefox.  ~ Lo

Dandelion Salad

Dennis Kucinich for President (Official)

Kucinich Campaign Action Alert–Vote! Myspace Poll!

MySpace will be holding an ONLINE PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY this Tuesday and Wednesday, January 1st and 2nd, 2008.

This Virtual Primary will take the Political Pulse of America’s Largest Online Community. We need Dennis to win this Primary! We’ve done it in the past with the PDA and DFA polls and the Independent Primary. We can do it again if we all work together!

Beginning on Tuesday, January 1 at 3:01 AM EST, MySpace will invite it’s community to participate in the first MySpace Presidential Primary at: http://impact.myspace.com. Taking place just prior to the Iowa Caucus and the New Hampshire Primaries, the largest online community will be the first to choose their candidate for the nation’s highest office. Polls will close Wednesday, January 2 at 11:59 PM EST. The MySpace community will make their voices heard by choosing their preferred candidate for President. Let’s make that candidate Dennis Kucinich! Show your support for Dennis Kucinich and help us spread this poll to as many Kucinich Supporters as possible.

WHEN
Polls open at 3:01am EST, Tuesday, January 1
Polls close at 11:59 pm EST, Wednesday, January 2
WHERE
Vote online on the MySpace Impact Channel at:
Copy and paste this:
http://impact.myspace.com
OR
CLICK HERE!

Please vote for Dennis Kucinich and tell everyone you know to do the same. Thank you.

The Results of the MySpace Presidential Primary will be available on Thursday, January 3 on the MySpace Impact Channel.

( http://impact.myspace.com).

Sincerely,

Robert Ruszkowski
National Director of Virtual Outreach
Kucinich for President 2008, Inc.
http://www.Dennis4President.com


see

Dennis Kucinich Can Win by Lo

Kucinich-Dennis

Hospital lawyer: Pakistani police stopped doctors from conducting Bhutto autopsy + Video: ‘The most conclusive evidence’ Bhutto was shot

Dandelion Salad

by John Byrne
Raw Story
Monday December 31, 2007

The police chief of the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi prevented doctors from performing an autopsy on the corpse of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, according to a lawyer on the hospital’s board.

The dramatic new revelation emerged as new videotape showed a gunman in close proximity to Bhutto in the moments before her assassination, and a surgeon said he’d felt pressure to conform to the government’s official story on Bhutto’s killing.

Pakistan’s interior minister had previously said that Bhutto’s husband, Asif Ali Zardari, had requested the autopsy not be performed.

“Even if the family of a murder victim refuses to allow the autopsy, no investigation can be completed if doctors do not perform the autopsy and conclusively find the cause of death,” Athar Minallah, a top lawyer and a member of Rawalpindi General Hospital where Bhutto was taken after the attack said in an article by Times of India. “The doctors were worried that their initial report, which did not determine the definite cause of death, is being politically twisted.”

The decision was taken despite the fact a post-mortem examination is required under Pakistani law in the cases of murder.

Doctors performed an “external” post mortem and distributed cropped images of Bhutto’s skull to reporters. Under the official story, Bhutto was killed by the sunroof of her armored LandCruiser after a bomb went off when she was standing up to wave to a crowd.

In an open letter Monday, Minallah released the doctors’ notes.

“In the letter,” according to CNN, “Minallah said the doctors ‘suggested to the officials to perform an autopsy,’ but that Rawalpindi police chief Aziz Saud “did not agree.” He noted that under the law, police investigators have ‘exclusive responsibility’ in deciding to have an autopsy.”

Minallah told CNN he was voicing his concerns because doctors didn’t feel they could speak out, saying they were “threatened.”

“They are government servants who cannot speak — I am not,” he told the network, saying the failure to perform an autopsy has fueled “a perception that there is some kind of cover-up, though I might not believe in that theory.”

The medical report of Bhutto’s death identified a wound of several centimeters above her left ear, with no foreign body felt. Pakistan’s interior ministry says they are open to exhuming the body; Bhutto’s husband opposes the move, saying he doesn’t trust the government.

The police meddling at the hospital would not mark the first time officers’ actions have come into question regarding Bhutto’s assassination. At the rally where she was killed Thursday, police abandoned their posts before the attack by a gunman and suicide bomber. The scene of the attack was also hosed down within an hour, destroying untold amounts of potential evidence.

DEVELOPING….

***

Video: ‘The most conclusive evidence’ Bhutto was shot

David Edwards and Katie Baker
Raw Story
Sunday December 30, 2007

On Sunday, UK’s Channel 4 news broadcasted a new video of the Bhutto assassination which they say “provides the most conclusive evidence yet that Benazir Bhutto was shot.”

Although the Pakistani government officially claims that Bhutto died from hitting her head on the sunroof as she ducked into her car, evidence in the video drastically contradicts that account.

The video shows a large crowd swarming around Bhutto’s car. A clean-shaven man in sunglasses is visibly watching, concealing a gun; behind him stands the suspected suicide bomber dressed in white. As the video rolls, the man in sunglasses moves closer to Bhutto’s car and fires three shots. Directly after, the suicide bomber detonates his device and chaos ensues.

continued… plus video

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

The Destabilization of Pakistan by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

BBC Censors Benazir Bhutto in Frost Interview (video)

Benazir Bhutto named her assassins almost two months ago by Rev. Richard Skaff

They Don’t Blame al-Qa’ida. They Blame Musharraf By Robert Fisk

Bhutto Aide: The coverup begins + PROOF there was a shooter (videos)

Ron Paul in 2008? Just Say No to Dr. No By Jason Miller

Dandelion Salad

reagan and ron paul

Ron and Ron: Two of capitalism’s finest

By Jason Miller
Thomas Paine’s Corner

12/30/07

“Capitalism is the legitimate racket of the ruling class.”

—Al Capone

It has taken Nuremberg-class war crimes, craven ineptitude by Congressional Democrats, foreclosures on every other home in the neighborhood, and a metaphorical gun to our heads when we fill our gas tanks, but growing numbers of us US Americans are shedding our smug insularity.

“Ron Paul in 2008” has become the mantra for untold millions who are realizing that the establishment in the United States is an abomination that needs to be torn down and replaced. Ostensibly, Dr. Paul is the populist maverick we need to shake up the system and set our nation on a path to sanity and viability. His political coffers are overflowing with cash, almost none of which came from corporate or “special” interests. He is principled and consistent. And his position on a number of important issues aligns with the interests of the masses.

When he appeared on Meet the Press on December 23rd, even Tim Russert, one of the system’s most prominent cheerleading whores, couldn’t rattle him. It would certainly have been difficult not to admire Paul’s frontal assault on a number of the “sacred cows” that Russert and his ilk in the mainstream media work so hard to defend.

Consider several of the broad-sides Paul leveled against our malignant status quo:

[MR. RUSSERT: Would you cut off all foreign aid to Israel?

REP. PAUL: Absolutely.

REP. PAUL: They don’t come here to attack us because we’re rich and we’re free. They come and they, and they attack us because we’re over there.

MR. RUSSERT: “Because we’re over there.” And then you added this on Tuesday: “But” al-qaeda has “determination. The determination comes from being provoked.”
How have we, the United States, provoked al-Qaeda?

REP. PAUL: Well, read what the lead–the ringleader says. Read what Osama bin Laden said. We had, we had a base, you know, in Saudi Arabia that was an affront to their religion, that was blasphemy as far as they were concerned. We were bombing Iraq for 10 years, we were–we’ve interfered in Iran since 1953. Our CIA’s been involved in the overthrow of their governments. We’re bought right now in the process of overthrowing that nation. We side more with Israel and Pakistan, and, and they get annoyed with this. How would we react if we were on their land–if they were on our land? We would be very annoyed, and we’d be fighting mad.

MR. RUSSERT: Do you think there’s an ideological struggle that Islamic fascists want to take over the world?

REP. PAUL: Oh, I think some, just like the West is wanting to do that all the time. Look at the way they look at us. I mean, we’re in a, we’re in a 130 countries. We have 700 bases. How do you think they proposed that to their people, saying “What does America want to do? Are they over here to be nice to us and teach us how to be good Democrats?”

REP PAUL: ….But the point is I’m not against the FBI investigation in doing a proper role, but I’m against the FBI spying on people like Martin Luther King. I’m against the CIA fighting secret wars and overthrowing government and interfering…]

Amen to ending over a hundred years of imperialistic foreign policy, breaking up the military industrial complex, cutting off our financial and military support of the genocidal squatters in Palestine, and reining in the torturers and assassins in our “intelligence” community. His pursuit of these goals is certainly an objectively sound reason to support Ron Paul.

Yet despite these highly laudable positions, Paul is potentially as treacherous as the creatures of the system most of us have come to loathe. Compared to opportunistic moneyed elites like Mitt Romney or Hillary Clinton, Paul is indeed an alluring candidate.

However, he has at least one very deep flaw which would almost certainly make his presidency an unmitigated disaster for the poor and the working class the world over:

Ron Paul ardently supports the libertarian notions of laissez faire, free markets, deregulation, and privatization. In an ironic and almost comical twist, the imperialism, corporatism, and prefigurements of fascism he has so accurately identified (and vowed to eradicate) are symptoms of monopoly capitalism, a mature form of the system that his libertarian principles would serve to buttress and amplify.

In “The Shock Doctrine” Naomi Klein amply documents the widespread murder, mayhem, and misery caused by implementing a libertarian economic doctrine (as the United States facilitated under the tutelage of Milton Friedman and his acolytes) throughout South America, Southeast Asia, Russia, and China. Savage capitalism at its finest. And for evidence that it CAN happen here (in our “enlightened” Western culture), one need only look back to the Gilded Age and Dickensonian England.

Regardless of how malformed it was due to the relentless pressure applied by the United States via the nuclear arms race we initiated to break it and our HUGE economic advantages, the Soviet Union represented a powerful counter-balance to the forces of unrestrained capitalism. Upon its collapse, the capitalists of the world united and set out to eliminate the hard fought gains the working class had made throughout the Twentieth Century. And Dr. Paul wants to hand those cynical bastards the keys to the kingdom by dismantling what is left of government restraints on the bourgeoisie.

Contrary to the agenda advanced by Ron Paul, “all government” is not inherently evil. It is true that the federal government we have now is an enemy to the masses in many respects. But Uncle Sam is not our foe because he “over-regulates” the parasitic capitalists who are raping the planet, “steals” our money through taxation, or acts as a “nanny state” by providing what has become a nominal safety net for the poor and elderly, as Paul suggests. He is our adversary because he is looking out for the wealthy elite and views people like you and me as disposable. In contrast to Lincoln’s vision—“of the people, by the people and for the people,” we have a government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich.

While Ron Paul MIGHT be able to slay the dragons of the military industrial complex and undue Zionist influence, his adherence to a “prehistoric” form of capitalism has the potential to essentially eliminate what is left of the rapidly eroding gains the working class and poor have made over the last century.

Despite his apparent opposition to the powers that be, a vote for Ron Paul is still a vote for our continued enslavement by a system predicated on greed, selfishness, and the prosperity of the few at the expense of the many. In fact, unless by some miracle a viable candidate who opposes capitalism actually emerges, the act of voting in our bourgeois democracy is little more than a validation of our servitude.

So don’t participate. Our ruling elite can’t mouth hollow platitudes about democracy if they don’t have voters.

Jason Miller is a recovering US American middle class suburbanite who strives to remain intellectually free. He is Cyrano’s Journal Online’s associate editor (http://www.bestcyrano.org/) and publishes Thomas Paine’s Corner within Cyrano’s at http://www.bestcyrano.org/THOMASPAINE/. You can reach him at JMiller@bestcyrano.com

h/t: Speaking Truth to Power

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Ron Paul on Meet The Press 12-23-07 (videos)

Interview with Naomi Klein: The Shock Doctrine (video)

Ron Paul ??? excluded from Fox debate by William Westmiller (updated)

Paul-Ron