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It’s an Election, Not a Coronation by Rosemarie Jackowski

Dandelion Salad

by Rosemarie Jackowski
Dissident Voice
February 26th, 2008

Democrats are once again experiencing Nader angst. In fact, many of them are suffering so much anxiety that they not only attack Nader, but also Nader supporters. The Democratic Party needs to be reminded that it is an election, not a coronation.

No one automatically deserves a vote simply because of Party affiliation. Hillary and Obama will get the votes of the Party faithful. Other voters will cast their ballots based on issues. On the issues, is any candidate better than Nader? No major party candidate even compares. That is why they have refused to allow Nader to debate.

The Democrats had their chance, and once again they blew it. They started out with Kucinich who called for the immediate withdrawal from Iraq — not only withdrawal across the Iraq border — but Kucinich called for bringing all troops home now. He also supported a Single Payer Health care system. That would save the lives of 18,000 U.S. citizens every year.

The Democrats also had Edwards who had promised to fight the wave of corporate crime — a major problem. Would there be war if the corporations did not profit from the killing?

Instead of voting for Kucinich or Edwards, the Party faithful cast their votes for candidates with a questionable history of support for peace, health care, and economic justice. This has created a vacuum of ideas. Nader is now filling that vacuum. The Democrats could have had it all — a peace candidate and an easy win against a weakened Republican candidate. Instead, they will again blame Nader, while refusing to accept the inevitable results of the votes of the Party faithful. They have ignored one of the most fundamental lessons of politics — you get what you vote for.

The Democrats have turned their backs on a large segment of the population — the anti-war groups. No self-respecting peace advocate can vote for either Democratic candidate. One candidate wants to increase the size of the military. The other stood by in silence while the Clinton administration was responsible for the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children. Both Democratic candidates have foreign policy positions that are to the far right of Republican Ron Paul.

Nader is not only correct on issues of Foreign Policy, but he is also the world’s greatest consumer advocate. His candidacy is perfect timing. We are all consumers — consumers of war and peace, consumers of public utilities, consumers of agricultural products, the list could go on and on.

How’s NAFTA working for you? Have you read the fine print on your credit card statement recently? Are you happy with your public utility company — what about your cable company, your Internet provider? What about health care insurers who try to maximize profits by denying medical care to the seriously ill? What is the salary of the CEO of your health insurance company?

Lack of vigilant consumer protection has led to a culture of distrust. We live in a red tape jungle. Only Nader can bring about the necessary changes so that consumers can develop a sense of trust and confidence in the corporations that provide essential goods and services.

Ralph Nader has been a national treasure for decades. He has worked quietly — without publicity or fanfare — helping ordinary citizens. I first met him many years ago. The public utility had a plan to build a floating nuclear power plant off the coast of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Ralph came to Cape May. He met with the citizens. Because of his help, the floating power plant was not built.

Members of the Press have shown a lack of interest in, and knowledge of, the issues. Some TV interviewers are so uninformed that they avoid the real issues. Watching them is sometimes painful. The problem is not limited to FOX. Tim, Chris, and the others make me wish for a real journalist such as Helen Thomas.

Nader is not the only candidate who has been the victim here. Ron Paul and Mike Gravel have also been marginalized and disrespected. The voters are the ultimate victims. They never get to hear the platforms of all candidates. Cynthia McKinney has a powerful message that most voters have not heard. How about a Nader/McKinney team! Race, gender, and party affiliation barriers can be broken down with support for a Nader/McKinney candidacy.

The Democrats have a history of using unethical, strong-arm legal tactics to keep Nader off the ballots and out of the debates. Is there anything that they won’t try in order to silence an opposing candidate? Nader supporters will have to come up with a nation-wide network of Pro Bono lawyers to help with any assault from the Democrats. That’s not how democracy is supposed to work. Freedom of speech should not have to be purchased in a court room. Open the debates. Allow all candidates to be heard.

Nader’s announcement as a candidate has given an opportunity to demand the truth — but in the words of Jack Nicolson, maybe the voters “can’t stand the truth.”

Rosemarie Jackowski is an advocacy journalist living in Vermont. Read other articles by Rosemarie.

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

Pariah or Prophet? By Chris Hedges

On the Issues: Ralph Nader

Road Trip for Ralph

The Audacity of Revolution VS The Hope of Chumps by Manila Ryce (video)

An Unreasonable Man (must-see videos; Nader) Parts 1-4

Ralph Nader Announces Candidacy (videos) (updated)

Ralph Nader: It’s not always about winning by Mark Silva

Nader-Ralph

www.votenader.org/

Twenty-seven Reasons to Draft Ralph Nader for President by Rosemarie Jackowski

Some of the statistics are a bit off, but the list does make a point. ~ Lo

Dandelion Salad

by Rosemarie Jackowski
Atlantic Free Press
Tuesday, 22 January 2008

The reasons are:

1. Hillary
2. John McCain
3. Seat belts
4. The abuse the Katrina victims by their insurance companies
5. 650,000+ dead Iraqi civilians
6. 3000+ dead U.S. military
7. The Black Budget
8. Torture
9. The CIA
10. Blackwater
11. Lack of access to Health care which causes the deaths of 18,000 US citizens every year.
12. CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, MSNBC
13. Factory farming and franken foods
14. Monsanto
15. The loss of family farms
16. The lack of regulations to restrict predatory practices by the banking and credit card industry
17. The mortgage crisis
18. Global warming
19. The loss of good will toward the U.S. around the world. Ralph could restore the status of the U.S.
20. He is not a Republican.
21. He is not a Democrat.
22. He is not an Empire builder.
23. He would not invade Iran, Cuba, Syria, Venezuela, Finland, Switzerland, Canada, Mexico, or New Zealand.
24. Ralph owes no favors to any corporation.
25. Ralph cannot be bought.
26. Ralph has a long history of quietly working behind the scene to help ordinary people in their struggles against the powerful – such as the time he helped a group of New Jersey citizens oppose the construction of a floating nuclear power plant off the coast of Atlantic City. Ralph quietly came to Cape May, no fan-fare, no political motives. He helped the people. The people won. The floating nuclear plant was not built.
27. Ralph is smart, incorruptible, and honest.

Ralph is not the only candidate who should be considered for the presidency. There are others who are also qualified, such as Dennis Kucinich, Angela Davis, Cynthia McKinney, Ward Churchill, William Blum, Cindy Sheehan, and many, many more.

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.

Hi-tech Torture by Rosemarie Jackowski (ADS) + Pioneering ‘heat wave’ gun may be used in Iraq

Dandelion Salad

by Rosemarie Jackowski
Dissident Voice
November 21st, 2007

…Now the US military directorate charged with developing non-lethal weapons, which has invested more than a decade developing the Active Denial System (ADS), has launched a concerted effort to convince both the public and its own bosses at the defence department of the device’s merits.

With brand new technology like this, perception is everything,” said Col Kirk Hymes, a former Marine artillery officer who heads the directorate.

He added that tests were almost complete and the first ADS, also known as the Silent Guardian, could be deployed early next year if the Pentagon allows. The decision is so sensitive that it is expected to be made personally by the defence secretary, Robert Gates, who sent senior representatives to the demonstrations…
– The Telegraph, November 19, 2007

Just when it seems that things cannot get any worse, we learn that U.S. military commanders in Iraq are seeking permission to use a new weapon system. This will be the ultimate torture weapon. Its purpose is to cause excruciating pain, but leave no evidence of wounds on the victim. Imagine this weapon at Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo. Imagine this weapon at your local precinct. The Department of Defense has named this weapon system “Active Denial”. Besides torture, this weapon can also be used for crowd control — a ray gun which could literally make blood boil. It is based on the same technology as a microwave oven. The human body is comprised mostly of water… think of the sensation of boiling blood. The purpose of this weapon system is to cause an unbearable level of pain so that the victim will submit to the will of the US military or police.

The gun produces a 95-gigahertz microwave beam that is designed to penetrate 1/64th of an inch. Hummmm, should the experts be trusted to achieve zero defects with a technology that requires so precise a tolerance?

Raytheon, with headquarters in Waltham, Mass. is listed as the prime contractor on this project. Raytheon reports sales of $20.3 billion in 2006. The development of torture devices brings high profits to the corporation. Profits before people seems to be the accepted practice in the United States.

This project brings to mind some questions. The Raytheon web site states that this weapon will be used for “civilian law enforcement”. Is this system being designed for domestic use against U.S. citizens? Will it be used for “crowd control” at sites of labor disputes and strikes? Will it be coming soon to a war protest near you? Will it be used at the borders to prevent immigration? Does International Law prohibit the use of this weapon on the battlefield? Will the government hide behind Sovereign Immunity when a citizen is injured or killed by this weapon? How will this weapon effect children? Will the NRA lobby for access to this weapon? How will it affect the performance of an implanted medical device, such as a pacemaker?

The bad news is that this weapon is now operational. The good news is that the weapon system has had some major design problems. The designers have failed to realize that a person is not a potato. Microwaving a human to the exact degree of doneness is proving to be problematic. Is there anyone out there who wants to volunteer as a subject for any further field tests that may be required? What they need is a test subject, with a pacemaker, contact lenses, a lot of amalgam dental fillings, and maybe a few metal surgical staples from an old appendectomy. Will they pay a bonus if the subject is pregnant? When the experiment is completed, if the subject is incapacitated, but still alive with no visible wounds, the field test is a success.

Fifty-one million dollars has already been spent on this weapon system. This gun has killed before the trigger was even pulled. In the U.S., 18,000 die each year because of the lack of health care. If that 51 million dollars had been used to provide health care to our fellow citizens many lives would have been saved. The real enemies of the American people are those whose priorities are so warped that they allocate money for ray guns while ignoring the humanitarian needs of the populace.

The design and production of redundant weapon systems is pushed by the lobbying efforts of the arms manufacturers who have been doing a land-office business. Somehow all of this seems to be OK with the employees of Raytheon. The argument that, “We need the jobs”, is an old one that has been used to justify the development of the most horrific weapons. It is puzzling that the psyche of so many U.S. workers allows them to be engaged in the design and manufacture of a weapon system designed to torture. As the U.S. economy disintegrates, more will be willing to sell their souls for the pay check at the end of the week.

Will those in the legal community speak out against this hi-tech torture system? Its legality under international law is questionable — but then compliance with international law is not a high priority in the US.

Will church leaders give sermons about hi-tech torture? It does not seem to be a hot topic among the clergy.

Will shareholders dump their Raytheon stock? Does Wall Street have a conscience — dumb question, I know.

Will US taxpayers object to having their money used to make weapons of torture? They don’t seem to object to cluster bombs, land mines, or nukes.

Will US citizens be duped by the spin of the Pentagon and State Department into thinking that this is just another “nice” weapon that we need to “protect our freedom”? The propaganda campaign has already begun. Col. Kirk Hymes is quoted as saying, “With brand new technology like this, perception is everything.”

Waterboarding is low-tech torture. Active Denial is hi-tech torture. Torture is torture no matter how it is done. Most people — with the exception of at least one Justice on the Supreme Court — understand that. Torture by any other name is still torture.

Rosemarie Jackowski is an advocacy journalist living in Vermont. Read other articles by Rosemarie.

***

Pioneering ‘heat wave’ gun may be used in Iraq

By Philip Sherwell in Quantico, Virginia and Jacqui Goddard
Telegraph
2:31am GMT 21/11/2007

American commanders in Iraq are urging Pentagon chiefs to authorise the deployment of newly-developed heat wave guns to disperse angry crowds or violent rioters.

But the plea for what senior army officers believe could prove a valuable alternative to traditional firepower in dangerous trouble-spots has so far gone unanswered.

Washington fears a barrage of adverse publicity in the suspicious Muslim world and is concerned that critics will claim the invisible beam weapons were being used for torture.

Now the US military directorate charged with developing non-lethal weapons, which has invested more than a decade developing the Active Denial System (ADS), has launched a concerted effort to convince both the public and its own bosses at the defence department of the device’s merits.

Continued…

see
Bio-electromagnetic Weapons: The ultimate weapon (ADS; torture)

New Weapon Coming to a Warzone or Neighborhood Near You (heat ray gun; ADS)

US military unveils new ray gun (video; propaganda; ADS)

USA Army manufactered Beam Gun! Warming Gun! (video; heat ray gun; ADS) (not in English)

US military unveils heat-ray gun