Bush Singing Sunday, Bloody Sunday + Blair Singing Should I Stay or Should I Go + Gravel Singing Power to the People (music videos)

Dandelion Salad

rx2008

Added: June 16, 2006

h/t: Lisa

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Blair Singing Should I Stay or Should I Go

Added: October 12, 2006

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Mike Gravel Singing Power to the people vs give peace a chance

Added: November 27, 2007

a dj mike gravel & rx conspiracy. the first in a series. former u.s. senator Mike Gravel (Alaska), is a democratic candidate for president. he has been banned from the democratic debates for being honest and intelligent. the best candidate of the bunch. certainly the coolest. check out his website, gravel2008.us.

The Big Brother Agenda – Britain’s Spy Cameras and ID cards by Trevor Murphy

by Trevor Murphy
Guest Writer
Dandelion Salad
December 3, 2007

It is interesting to point out at this juncture, that 3500+ laws that have been passed, causing massive reduction of civil liberties, countless examples of infringements of human rights, the placement of over 4,000,000 cameras in England (accounting for over 20% of the worlds total of CCTV), police are now all equipped with head cameras and spy drones flying over our cities watching our every move and all over the country councils are introducing spy cameras in our bins to ensure ‘the correct amount of recycling’ (it’s the stuff of pure science fiction movies depicting a world hundreds of years into a sinister future) the introduction of shameful ID card that we will all be forced to carry thereby enriching the cronies of Blair to the tune of approximately £90.00 for every man woman and child in the country (the same ID cards, no doubt, that obviously stopped the Madrid train bombers if that story can be believed).

It should be noted as well that personal details on the ID database WILL be sold to the private sector to offset the cost that has rocketed beyond previous estimated figures according to Gordon Brown

(http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=428&id=1141782006 for more on that story).

There is now constant invasion of privacy through the monitoring of our phone calls, emails, faxes and every other form of contact we use without warrant, now even local councils can monitor texts and phone calls, all permissible under the Regulation of investigatory powers act, the monitoring of our whereabouts through our oyster cards and mobile phones, Our councils have all been granted permission to share private and personal information under the freedom of information act, which of course the Mps have exempted themselves from under the guise of protection for their constituents though it is common knowledge that their expenses and fraudulent mortgage claims are the real excuses behind the measures. It is much more important to undercover real crime of public interest by passing laws that give the department of work and pensions the right to look into all bank accounts of unemployed or disabled people on benefits, so a major investigation is awaiting those of you who decide to sell your old CD collection on eBay or boot sale all your old belongings that you are actually selling at a loss despite government claims that you are somehow fiddling the system. Jack straws refusal to disclose his expenses and be the catalyst that enforced the exemption of MP’s from any obligation to do so, regardless of which party the MP represents, which might explain the lack of opposition in parliament as was also the case in the vote for MP wage rises and other incentives to uphold the solidarity of silence in the ‘good old boys club’ of the upper echelons of decent and honest society.

It has been proposed that every traveller is to be fingerprinted and I have personally had my image scanned through a world wide database and have witnessed an incentive agenda at Heathrow airport in the now standard three hour queuing regardless of destination since the Blairite cattling systems inception. In a queue that had already remained at a complete standstill for over an hour on arrival from a European flight, a restless and increasingly irritable surge of weary travellers grumbled at the inhuman treatment, and one obviously seasoned traveller asked a staff member if the Iris machine was operational (Identification through scans of the eyes) and on receipt of a positive reply quickly burst from the mob and raced forth though was rapidly chased by a number of others all too willing to throw away the last remaining embers of freedom to escape the inhumanity that is now the airport norm in England. It is only a matter of time before our DNA will be used as a standard identification means by which to travel. Presently there are X-ray machines at all of our airports which subject each and every person to illegal radiation levels for which the BMA has attempted (unsuccessfully surprisingly) to reprimand the government. They stated that it is illegal to subject anyone to the levels of radiation emitted from these machines without the proper medical authority or medical reason. i.e. when you have a medical problem which requires MEDICAL attention.

It should also be pointed out that you do have the right to refuse this inhumanity and instead opt for a body search. However whether you are willing to take the chance on upsetting someone in the midst of a power trip who also has the right to insert their hand further into your body cavities than you would allow a surgeon without anaesthesia (or indeed a partner without having first paid for dinner and a reasonable bottle of wine) is your own choice.

DNA samples being collated on children as well as adults, almost 3.5 million total (including 600,000 under 16’s) as at the end of 2005 and deliberately ignoring the fact that it is as unreliable as the evidence that put away the Birmingham 6 and Guildford4 (It’s phenomenal that you and I can shake hands and you decide to go and kill someone but my DNA is left at the scene) We have the biggest database of DNA on the planet (we seem to be holding a lot of these very ominous records of late). Even if proven innocent of a crime the DNA sample is being withheld. Mp’s have been exempted from this measure. On the 27 th August the Telegraph ran a story about 550,000 database mistakes when it transpired false or misspelt names had been entered into the database of the current estimated total 4,000,000 names. This means that 14% of the information is incorrect. To look at it another way that is reprehensive of a figure higher than that of every sample taken since the end of 2005 when the total stood at 3.5 million, or it could be represented by the total of under 16’s on file.

(http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/08/27/ndna127.xml for the full story).

There have already been cases of corrupt police officers ‘placing’ DNA samples at crime scenes and there have been television reports of innocent people being acquitted because evidence of police DNA planting has been discovered and it is not a new phenomenon. In 1999 A man convicted for 14 years on an armed robbery charge had his conviction overturned in the court of appeal. George Ellis 38 from East London was originally convicted on DNA (saliva) samples found on masks yet always maintained the evidence was planted. Lord chief Justice Rose said that the evidence had been placed and The judges ruled the conviction unsafe. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/258367.stm for the full story.

Planting DNA evidence as stated previously is not a new phenomenon nor is it restricted to Britain and many of the Police forces here may have indeed taken notes from the worldwide examples although it is becoming increasingly difficult to find information on British examples because of censorship online.

There is an ample history of police ‘placing’ forensic evidence at crime scenes so there is no reason to assume that they will abuse this facility in the same fashion and all those who would lean toward advocacy of the death penalty should be reminded of this fact. You would do well to remember that one day it just might be might be you on the stand for the convenience of a quick conviction to clear up the detection rate of a police service pushed for numbers. A single strand of hair is enough to frame somebody for murder or even the most minute sample of spittle will do the same.

In the Irish community of Britain in the seventies and eighties it was common knowledge that when in custody for any reason, ones hands were to be kept in ones pockets at all times. This was in the event police would surprise the detainee and throw something at them whilst being interrogated. The concern here was firearms at cetera and the hope was the restriction of the hands would lessen the chances of leaving prints on an items never before seen by the detainee. This was not an urban legend and was the result of plentiful examples of police framing. Presently we have a 28 day detention period which has been abused copiously and we still do not learn despite some harsh lessons in the past. Even with the detention period of the time, The Guildford four and Birmingham six and a multitude of other cases were tortured and beaten until they signed confessions and it is widely known that there is absolutely no requirement to hold a person for the 90 day proposed period other than for torture and ensuring all evidence of it can have time to be concealed. Even a broken bone can mend in that time. The current ‘softening’ of this stance to the 58 day period should not be taken with the apathetic “At least it’s not as bad as 90 days” view and should be greeted with the same suspicion.

The Police have always been known for resorting to this and also abusing each and every law that has been passed. Stop and search laws mean that every ethnic minority can be harassed without hindrance from civil rights groups. In 2005 there was a case of octogenarian Walter Wofgang who was detained under the prevention of terrorism act for heckling Jack Strawat the Labour party conference. 600 other protesters were arrested under the act and a total of 895 for the year 2005.

Under the prevention of terrorism act all protesters to any event are now experiencing this act being abused to quell any and all protests including the protests at the London arms convention which ironically began on 9/11 the year. The Heathrow airport climate protestors for which BAA secured a high court bid for an injunction to stop the activists on Monday august 6 2007 ,including a local parish priest. This led to plentiful arrests and detentions under the act and regardless of whether one agrees with the opinions or not of the protestors, It should be noted that is now solely current government taxation agenda that is the driving force behind the Climate change issue that is currently ‘guilting’ the public into submission to what is about to become the biggest financial scam perpetrated against the poor since the introduction of VAT and is increasingly turning the public against an otherwise commendable subject, because to debate it in any fashion has become tantamount to Holocaust denial.

We now have laws that allow bailiffs to break and enter into our homes to remove goods whether or not we are there, of course the fact that the government itself accounts for over 80% of all debt owed might just have some bearing on that. We now have a complete public smoking ban which was NOT on the mandate in their last election manifesto contrary to popular belief. Being myself a non smoker, (or ex-smoker of almost a decade) I am more than delighted to wake up in the morning having visited the local on the previous night without the stench on my clothes reminiscent of a bath in an ash tray, however I do not feel that smokers are second class creatures that deserve to be relegated to the unenclosed quick fix Wendy house eyesore that adorns the local pub car parks in the middle of winter. (that’s exactly why you were given the ban in July and not Christmastime folks) Interesting to note as well that noise complaints have risen in percentages as fast as the Zimbabwe inflation rate since all those smokers are now puffing in the gardens and doing such ridiculously unsocial things as …em..socialising. Now smoking may be seen as an unsocial act but in some circles so is drinking, and in others even singing and yes I have heard the ‘BAN’ brigade call for the cessation of those things too. In fact there are some cretinous hermits living obviously out of their depth amongst other human beings who will call for the banning of any and everything (who are just ripe for the picking for the story at the end of the 6 o’ clock news which leads thus… ‘some swift government action has been called for to tackle……[insert your choice of subject here…feeding of pigeons in Trafalgar square or something just as pressing]….’and we have Mr 60 year old living with mother to talk to us …’ this kind of thing panders to the rabble, who shout at statements made in Tellytubbies they might disagree with. The ‘shouldn’t be allowed’ mob The list of human rights that we are being stripped of is endless and we are being conned by the media into believing it’s a good thing mainly because of stories harping on about how “some ‘have a go hero’ is arrested while the mugger goes free because of human rights loopholes”, or the endless “look what these immigrant scum are doing to us and we can’t remove them because of European human rights issues” gutter press racist headlines to encourage the knee jerk reactionists to fill up the ‘sun says’ columns with finely chosen sound bites of ‘dump the Magna Carta’ rally calls to an ever more pliant and naive public who I have heard make such insane and ridiculous statements as …..

“We should be prepared to give up some liberties to protect our freedom”.

Legal aid has more or less been abolished, you cannot claim it if you are unemployed and you happen to own your own home, you must pay from the equity in your home, so it is for all intents and purposes an open door for unscrupulous solicitors and barristers to hang in as long as they can while the property market is still flush. One couldn’t imagine they would do such a thing of course. (If I could get my tongue any further into my cheek, I think I’d be quite capable of performing my own root canal.)

All this New World Order is in place under Teflon Tony’s watch setting out the biggest big brother society in history and bolstered by the removal of our right to protest in the capital, a measure only heard of in such societies as Burma (currently of world condemnation for precisely those types of measures), China and the now notorious Tiananmen square, and who could forget such diplomatic nuggets as Romania’s Nikolai Chauchesku in his attempts to quell the voices of the masses. All this taken into account, Wouldn’t it be funny if we found out that George Orwell’s real name was actually Blair. That really would be priceless wouldn’t it.

Benjamin Franklin once said….

“Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”

The Roots of the Matrix (video no longer available)

Dandelion Salad

1 hr 0 min 52 sec – Oct 11, 2006

This video separates The matrix trilogy and explains all the beliefs structures, religions beliefs, philosophies, etc. that are woven into the matrix movies. It uses the writers’ and directors’ own movie to show their alternate agenda. One example of how closely the movie is really based on religious beliefs is that the license plates on the cars during the highway chase scene are actually Bible books and verses that parallel what is happening in the movie. And this video clearly shows it would take much longer to fully explain the depth of which the writers wove the stories, than it did for them to write it.

see

Dennis & Elizabeth Kucinich: Students Can Change the Outcome + 2nd Life (videos)

Countdown: The NIE and Iranian Nukes + Rovisionist History (videos)

Dandelion Salad

heathr234

David Shuster gives his report on the lastest information to come out of the NIE on Iran’s lack of nuclear capabilities which they knew about but Cheney’s office kept trying to delay being released to the public. Rachel Maddow weighs in on the latest spin.

Rovisionist History

David Shuster filling in for Keith Olbermann gives his report on Karl Rove’s recent attempt to rewrite history and what actually happened in the run up to the invasion of Iraq and what others in the administration and Tom Daschle had to say about Rove’s statements.

see

Kucinich: New NIE Report Shows Bush Administration Has Once Again Tried To Falsify Grounds For A War With Iran

US: Iran Halted Nuke Work In 2003 By Ray Locker and Richard Willing

Talk: The Iran Agenda with Reese Erlich (long video)

US spies give shock verdict on Iran threat h/t: ICH

America is Going Fascist by Michael Nenonen

Dandelion Salad

by Michael Nenonen
Global Research, December 3, 2007
Republic of East Vancouver

The signs are all there for anyone to see, and time is getting short for action

Reading Naomi Wolf’s The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2007), I realized the hour is later than I thought.

Many of us have watched the Bush regime’s actions with a growing feeling of horror intertwined with a sense that somehow we’ve seen all of this before, but we aren’t sure where. We’re confused because what we’re seeing conflicts with unexamined and deeply held assumptions we have about American freedom. Wolf’s short but meticulously documented book shows that what is happening in America has indeed happened many times before, not in the United States, but rather in places like Chile, Italy, Russia, and Germany. In each case, people couldn’t understand why they didn’t recognize where they were heading before they passed the point of no return.

It’s shifting fast

Wolf argues that the United States is undergoing a “fascist shift” from an authoritarian but still relatively open society to a totalitarian society. The techniques for forcing this shift have evolved over the last century and are now studied by aspiring tyrants the world over. These methods are even part of the formal curriculum in places like the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, previously known as the School of the Americas, in Fort Benning, Georgia, where thousands of Latin Americans have been trained by the United States government in the most savage techniques of insurgency and counterinsurgency. Fascists use ten basic strategies to shut down open societies. They invoke an external and internal threat in order to convince the population to grant their rulers extraordinary powers. They establish secret prisons that practice torture, prisons that are initially few in number and only incarcerate social pariahs, but that quickly multiply and soon imprison “opposition leaders, outspoken clergy, union leaders, well-known performers, publishers, and journalists.” They develop a paramilitary force that operates without legal restraint. They set up a system of intense domestic surveillance that gathers information for the purposes of intimidating and blackmailing citizens. They infiltrate, monitor, and disorganize citizens’ groups. They arbitrarily detain and release citizens, especially at borders. They target key individuals like civil servants, academics, and artists in order to ensure their complicity or silence. They take control of the press. They publicly equate dissent with treason. Finally, they suspend the rule of law. All of these strategies are being employed in America today.

Consider the evidence

The Bush administration and its supporters have consistently portrayed the security threat posed by international terrorists as a threat to the very survival of Western civilization in order to justify permanent war and to keep the American public in a state of panic and paranoia.

The prisons at Guantanamo and God-knows how many CIA “Black Sites” torture their inmates, even though human rights organizations have demonstrated that the majority of at least Guantanamo’s inmates are innocent victims of mass arrests. The inmates are designated as “enemy combatants” who have no rights under international or American law. And there is nothing stopping American presidents from filling these prisons with American citizens. In an April 24 2007 article for the Huffington Post, Wolf writes that thanks to the Military Commissions Act of 2006, “the president has the power to call any US citizen an ‘enemy combatant’. He has the power to define what ‘enemy combatant’ means. The president can also delegate to anyone he chooses in the executive branch the right to define ‘enemy combatant’ any way he or she wants and then seize Americans accordingly. Even if you or I are American citizens, even if we turn out to be completely innocent of what he has accused us of doing, he has the power to have us seized as we are changing planes at Newark tomorrow, or have us taken with a knock on the door; ship you or me to a navy brig; and keep you or me in isolation, possibly for months, while awaiting trial.” She points out that while currently Americans in such situations will be spared any torture except psychosis-inducing isolation and can look forward to eventual trials, these rights typically evaporate in the final stages of a fascist shift.

They’re called “mercenaries”

Military contractors are the regime’s paramilitary force. Blackwater’s mercenaries, many of whom were trained by Latin America’s most horrific police states, have operated in Iraq outside of Iraqi, American, and military law, and have murdered uncounted innocent Iraqis with impunity. Domestically, Blackwater was contracted to provide hundreds of armed security guards in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and there’s evidence that they fired on civilians. Blackwater’s business plan calls for their use in future disasters and emergencies throughout the United States, and it’s supported by some of the biggest powerbrokers in America.

American intelligence agencies are now bypassing court orders to wiretap citizens’ telephones, spy on their e-mails, and monitor their financial transactions, and the USA Patriot Act forces corporations, booksellers, librarians, and doctors to turn over previously confidential information about Americans to the state.

Thousands of human rights, environmental, anti-war, and other citizens’ groups have been infiltrated by government agents, many of whom have clearly acted as agent provocateurs in order to undermine the groups’ solidarity and to legitimize police actions against them.

Political opponents listed

America’s Transportation Security Administration maintains a terrorist watch list of tens of thousands of Americans who are now subjected to security searches and arbitrary detention at airports. The list includes people like Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy and respected constitutional scholar Walter F Murphy.

US Attorneys, CIA agents, military lawyers, and other civil servants who’ve disagreed with the Bush administration have been threatened and fired. David Horowitz and his colleagues have mounted a well-funded nation-wide intimidation campaign that has university students spying on their professors and that has successfully coerced regents at State Universities to discipline or fire left-leaning professors like Ward Churchill. The regime’s supporters have organized campaigns to damage the careers of artists like the Dixie Chicks for criticism of the president and his policies.

The administration has Fox News in its pocket, it has paid journalists for positive coverage, it has disseminated misinformation through the media, and it’s ferociously attacking critical journalists. Arrests of US journalists are at an all-time high. The Bush administration’s outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame was done in retaliation against her husband, Joseph Wilson, whose New York Times op-ed piece exposed lies that the Bush administration used to lead the nation to war. Worse than this, independent journalists appear to be marked for death by American forces in Iraq. In her Huffington Post article, Wolf writes, “The Committee to Protect Journalists has documented multiple accounts of the US military in Iraq firing upon or threatening to fire upon unembedded (meaning independent) reporters and camera operators from organisations ranging from al-Jazeera to the BBC. . . . In some cases reporters have been wounded or killed, including ITN’s Terry Lloyd in 2003. Both CBS and the Associated Press in Iraq had staff members seized by the US military and taken to violent prisons; the news organisations were unable to see the evidence against their staffers.” The goal of these tactics, as she writes in The End of America, is to create “a new reality in which the truth can no longer be ascertained and no longer counts.”

Dissent = treason

In recent years, prominent Republicans like Ann Coulter, Melanie Morgan, and William Kristol have accused liberal journalists of treason and espionage for publishing leaked material damaging to the administration, and in February 2007, Republican Congressman Don Young said “Congressmen who wilfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are sabateurs, and should be hanged.” This would be amusing, were it not for the Bush administration’s revival of the draconian 1917 Espionage Act after half a century’s slumber.

And finally, the Bush administration shows contempt for the law. In The End of America, Wolf writes that Bush has used more signing statements than any previous president, and by doing so has relegated “Congress to an advisory role. This abuse lets the President choose what laws he wishes to enforce or not, overruling Congress and the people. So Americans are living under laws their representatives never passed. Signing statements put the president above the law.” He has also gutted the Posse Comitatus Act, which was created to prevent the president from maintaining a standing army for use against American citizens. Wolf writes that the 2007 Defence Authorization Bill lets the president “expand his power to declare martial law and take charge of the National Guard troops without the permission of the governor when ‘public order’ has been lost; he can send these troops out into our streets at his direction—overriding local law enforcement authorities—during a national disaster, epidemic, serious public health emergency, terrorist attack, or ‘other condition.’” On its own, this is an incredible expansion of presidential power, but when combined with the use of military contractors like Blackwater it gives the president almost dictatorial authority.

Wolf shows that fascist shifts don’t happen overnight, but rather over a course of years during which the fascists’ plans unfold at an accelerating pace. Germany in 1933 was further along this path than it was in 1931, and Germany in 1935 was farther along than it was in 1933. Similarly, America in 2007 is farther along the path than it was in 2005, or will be in 2009, provided that a massive pro-democracy movement, complete with impeachment proceedings, doesn’t reverse the shift while there’s still time. A simple Democratic victory in the 2008 presidential election won’t do the job unless the institutional and legal environment created by the Bush administration is thoroughly dismantled. Regardless of whether the next president is a Republican or a Democrat, he or she will inherit a legacy of centralized power that a democracy simply can’t tolerate.

Left behind

Unfortunately, during the shift opposition politicians and activists still tend to perceive the world through a democratic frame of reference, and this prevents them from seeing that their opponents are no longer operating within this frame. As the opposition is tying its boxing gloves, the fascists are breaking out the machetes.

Wolf’s work has its problems. She doesn’t acknowledge that Black and Indigenous Americans have long lived under quasi-fascist rule, she doesn’t examine the role that previous administrations have played in setting the stage for the Bush regime, and she doesn’t acknowledge the roles played by corporatism, widespread social dislocation and the radical Christian right in the rise of a fascist American zeitgeist. Despite this, The End of America needs to be read by as many people as possible.

Wolf writes about America, but Canadians don’t have any cause for comfort. Canadian and American military forces are already deeply enmeshed. Thanks to NAFTA, we’re tied at the hip to the American economy, while the Security and Prosperity Partnership is integrating our countries’ security forces and harmonizing our no-fly lists. The Harper government is eager to kowtow to the Americans, even to the point of refusing to advocate for Canadian citizens on American death rows. The powerful think tanks and lobbying groups that influence our provincial and federal governments, such as the Fraser Institute and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, either can’t see the shift for what it is or they don’t care. More than all of this, however, is the simple reality that once the shift is complete, the American government will act even more irrationally and belligerently than before. Canada has resources like oil and water the United States is going to need, and the Canadian border is less defensible than the French border was in 1940.

Americans and Canadians have to fight back more fiercely than ever before, to organize and lobby and fill the streets with mass protests, to raise awareness and forge alliances with anyone opposed to totalitarianism regardless of whether they’re liberals, socialists, or conservatives. We have to take all the steps that have rescued dying democracies in the past, and to take them immediately, in the desperate hope that it isn’t already too late.

Global Research Articles by Michael Nenonen

 

see

Olbermann: John Edwards + The Shock Doctrine + Worst Person (videos)

KPFK Radio Show: Dennis Kucinich, Naomi Klein & Rick Jacobs (videos; updated)

Latin America’s Shock Resistance By Naomi Klein

Real Time: Naomi Klein Interview (video)

The Shock Doctrine: Q&A From the Seattle Talk (video)

Reviewing Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine” by Stephen Lendman
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For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Michael Nenonen, Republic of East Vancouver, 2007
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7534

Cindy Sheehan Joins Activists Planning Impeachment/Pro-Peace Protest at New Year’s Rose Parade + Impeach The Dark Side (vid)

Dandelion Salad

Submitted by Chip on Mon, 2007-12-03 19:44
After Downing Street

Local and national pro-Impeachment and pro-Peace American citizens will stage non-violent protests and demonstrations throughout the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, on Tuesday, 01/01/08, New Year’s Day, with support from Cindy Sheehan and the Camp Casey Peace Institute. The convergence of activists is called the White Rose Coalition, in honor of the resistance movement in Munich in 1942. It includes members of the Los Angeles National Impeachment Center (LANIC), CODEPINK, Troops Out Now Coalition, World Can’t Wait, ANSWER, Progressive Democrats of America, the Green Party, Veterans for Peace, United for Peace and Justice, and others. The groups are calling for impeaching George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for high crimes and misdemeanors, and to end U.S. occupation of Iraq. Rep. Dennis Kucinich [OH] has sponsored two resolutions in Congress to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney: H. Res. 333 and H. Res. 799. He is drafting an extended version relating to President Bush. The patriots gathered on 01/01/08 will be sending a strong pro-Impeachment and pro-Peace message to this Administration in opposition to the continuing occupation of Iraq and the growing pressure by Cheney and others to bomb Iran.

“This administration has shredded Constitutional protections and is now apparently planning another illegal military strike, this time to bomb Iran,” says Cynthia Mather, a spokesperson for LANIC. “The consequences of such an assault on global well-being and security would be catastrophic,” she said. “Congress is obligated to act before it is too late. But the Democrats are not making any move to stop it, so impeachment is our only recourse.”

Numbers of protestors and demonstrators from the various groups could be in the hundreds or in the thousands, said Peter Thottam, Executive Director of LANIC. “We expect this to be a national day of impeachment visibility, with folks joining from all parts of the country. It is hard to gauge how many will show up, but according to the latest MSNBC poll, of 584,000 people asked if they thought Bush had committed impeachable offenses, 89 per cent said yes! There is a tremendous level of anger and frustration out there. I doubt if our politicians in Washington D.C. have any idea just how much.”

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Impeach The Dark Side – 2007 Rose Parade

hummingbird13

A message from the 118th Rose Parade: May the Force be with us!

h/t: After Downing Street

see

Democratic Presidential Hopeful Dennis Kucinich is Gaining Support on the Issue of Impeachment By Ann Lane

Impeach

Kucinich: New NIE Report Shows Bush Admin Has Once Again Tried To Falsify Grounds For A War With Iran + calls Dem candidates’ judgment into question

Dandelion Salad

by Dennis Kucinich

Washington, Dec 3, 2007

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) issued the following statement amid a new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report affirming that Iran does not have an active weapons program:

“The rhetoric coming from the Bush Administration over the last several months has publicly and systematically set the stage for war with Iran,” Kucinich said. “But this report shows that the Administration’s case for war is in direct opposition to the facts as stated in the NIE report.

The NIE report concluded that if Iran were to end the freeze of its weapons program, it would still be at least two years before they would have enough highly enriched uranium to produce a nuclear bomb and it would be “very unlikely” Iran could produce enough material by then.

Last year John Negroponte, the Director of National Intelligence, asserted that Iran was only 4-5 years away from obtaining a nuclear bomb. But the NIE report concludes it is more likely Iran wouldn’t be able to achieve this goal before 2013, because of technical and programmatic problems.

“As this new report shows, there is no threat to the international community from Iran right now, or in the near future. The report doubles the amount of estimated time until Iran would be able to build a nuclear bomb,” Kucinich said.

“The Bush Administration has falsely led the American people into believing that Iran was developing nuclear weapons, as recently as last month. Belligerence and obfuscation is the same foreign policy that brought us to war with Iraq.

The report overturns a judgment made about Iran’s nuclear capabilities in 2005. Intelligence agencies said with “high confidence” at the time that Iran is determined to have nuclear weapons. But new information led officials to conclude that international pressure, including tough economic sanctions, were successful in halting Iran’s secret program.

“This report is further evidence that Iran can be deterred from weapons development if their other national priorities are met.

“The fact that Iran — a country President Bush labeled as part of the ‘axis of evil’ — caved to international pressure and does not have an active weapons program proves the value of diplomacy as an important tool on the international stage,” Kucinich concluded.

Kucinich has repeatedly warned against going to war with Iran. He has spoken numerous times on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives about the lack of evidence for a war.

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New intelligence debunks Bush arguments on Iran threat, calls Dem candidates’ judgment into question

by Dennis Kucinich
Dec. 4, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today’s report by U.S. intelligence agencies that Iran – contrary to previous claims – ended its nuclear weapons program in 2003 “is proof positive that this pro-war administration has been manipulating intelligence and that the Presidential candidates’ all-options-are-on-the-table posture with respect to Iran reflects their inability to recognize when they’re being duped — again.”

So said Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, the only Democratic candidate who voted against the Iraq war authorization in 2002 and the only candidate who voted against every supplemental appropriation since. Kucinich is also the only candidate who has warned, for months, that the President has been setting the stage for a possible war with Iran, facilitated by the approval and acquiescence of the Democrat-controlled Congress.

“The President and Vice President have been beating the war drums, and the House and the Senate have been dancing to that beat,” Kucinich said. “Iran is a war crime in motion, and the Congress and the Presidential candidates either can’t or won’t recognize that.”

And, “whatever feeble fall-back statements that the top-polling Democratic Presidential candidates – Clinton, Obama, and Edwards – make today, all three have repeatedly said that all options are on the table with respect to Iran,” Kucinich pointed out.

“All options,” Kucinich said, “include everything from tactical nukes to air strikes to incursions and invasion by U.S. ground troops who are already over-stretched in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“We’ve already lost almost 4,000 brave men and women to a war they should never have been sent to, and now, the White House, with the collaboration of the Congress, is preparing to open a new front based on intelligence that has been proven wrong.”

“The threat to peace and the facilitation of another war rests with those who bow to the President’s personal and political agenda for an expanded war. They allowed themselves to be deceived and fooled five years ago, and they have fallen into that same foolish trap today. The people of this nation deserve better than pawns of George Bush.”

In view of the new U.S. intelligence report, Kucinich said he would demand that the other candidates explain their susceptibility to Bush’s claims of Iranian nuclear threats. “They were wrong five years ago on Iraq. They were wrong this year and Iran, and, heaven help us if they reach the Oval Office and they’re wrong again,” Kucinich said.

He said that his own intelligence analysis in 2002 clearly refuted the Administration’s claims about the threat that Iraq posed and its alleged stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Kucinich’s analysis of recent independent reports, including those from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) led him to the conclusion that Iran is no more a threat to U.S. national security than Iraq was. “Why can’t Senators Clinton, Obama, and Edwards recognize that their threatening statements and actions against Iran are not only naïve and foolhardy, they are also diplomatically and militarily provocative? Our own intelligence reports have proven them wrong.”

“Whatever those candidates say today, remember what they said before: Iran must be stopped at all cost. The fact that Iran stopped pursuing nuclear weaponry four years ago is more than an inconvenient revelation for those candidates. It’s an indictment of their judgment and their qualifications to lead this nation.”

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

US: Iran Halted Nuke Work In 2003 By Ray Locker and Richard Willing

Talk: The Iran Agenda with Reese Erlich (long video)

US spies give shock verdict on Iran threat h/t: ICH

Kucinich Weekly Update 12.03.07 (video)

Dandelion Salad

Kucinich2008

In case you missed Dennis’s marathon campaign sweep across the state of New Hampshire, or his presentation to the Democratic National Committee, or his two major Presidential forums in Iowa, we have it all here. The highlights of those and other events are featured in this week’s edition of the campaign news update. Click here to catch up on the latest news from the campaign trail and see how the momentum is building.

see

Kucinich on HR 1955 Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act

Kucinich on Kucinich health plan Brown & Black Forum (video)

On The Issues: Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul by Lo (updated)

Kucinich at the Heartland Presidential Forum (videos) + Kucinich ‘connects’ with everyday citizens at massive Iowa Presidential forum

Kucinich-Dennis

Sir, Would You Like a Scone with Your Revolution? by Mark Drolette

Dandelion Salad

by Mark Drolette
Dissident Voice
December 3rd, 2007

In a recent conversation that may or may not have occurred amongst local peaceniks who may or may not exist (since this article may or may not be perused by Homeland Insecurity), the topic was revolution. As in, might there be a second American one? None voted “Aye” but, with the oppression strangling today’s America fresh in mind, discussion did ensue about how subjecting deposed leaders of an overthrown government (pick one) to post-rebellion guillotining, machine-gunning or even (shudder) unending media coverage of yet another O.J. Simpson trial does bear a certain appeal.

This wasn’t the first time I’d heard such a brutal sentiment expressed (if, that is, I did). Having it uttered by folks long dedicated to non-violence, however, reveals an immense well of rage and hopelessness born from wearying struggle against unrelenting tyranny.

For what else but tyranny, by theft, can one call $2.4 trillion (per the Congressional Budget Office) to fund the profiteers’ wet dream wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? Do you know how much that is? It’s one billion dollars times 2400. In other words, about the same number of grammatical gaffes one can expect from a George W. Bush press conference. (OK, so 2.4 trillion’s not that high, but it’s still misincomprehensible.)

And to think a tax on tea helped foment rebellion against our first King George. (Maybe what’s needed to fire us up is a levy on venti nonfat frappacrappos.)

Or what else but tyranny, by terror, is it when our government gleefully authorizes torture while Congress, bizarrely, debates its definition? The topic is torture, for cryin’ out loud (which, by the way, waterboarding is great at preventing). Just what, exactly, is there to discuss? I sincerely doubt Patrick Henry went to his grave thinking: “Damn! ‘Give me stress positions or give me death’ would have been so much pithier.”

Occasionally, as I wax nostalgic about the good old days when we had a Constitution, I wonder how the Founding Fathers would view today’s treatment of their blood-birthed document that once came in pretty handy before the Bush administration decided it was overly bothersome because it was just, like, so legal and stuff.

The odds, though, of a second American revolution, followed by a good old-fashioned bloody purge, are practically nil, at least for the foreseeable future.

Why? (Thanks for asking.)

Because there would be a second (un)civil war first, that’s why. Lest we forget, while many lefties have long (and ill-advisedly) rejected the right-to-bear-arms clause of the Second Amendment, other types, not a few of whom can be found in the hills in camouflage and munching on tasty muskrat (don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it), have for years been a-stockpilin’ and a-shootin’ and generally a-preparin’ for that wonderfully glorious day the bullets start flyin’ for keeps.

But it wouldn’t be our current non-representational guvmint they’d go after first, no way, Billy Ray. A long-fantasized target of another kind would have manifested at long last, for it would finally be open season on all them Jesus-spurning, latte-sipping, tree-hugging, abortion-loving, sex-having America haters.

Plus, can you imagine mad-as-hell lefties taking to the streets anyway, ill-shod for the task at hand, or foot, in their Birkenstocks, wildly waving firearms with which they were wildly unfamiliar? If they didn’t fill themselves full of holes first, they’d be instant sitting ducks for those who actually know where a trigger is located, thereby providing an even easier score than a hummer in the men’s room at a GOP convention.

So, while jarring to hear devoted but fed-up peace lovers suggesting linin’ ‘em up and mowin’ ‘em down may have its place (if, um, you know, such a suggestion has actually been made), the reality is that Americans’ modern-day oppressors are probably safe from being ripped limb from limb by Grandmothers for Pieces, at least for now.

And maybe, for our own humanity’s sake, that’s a good thing. (Or, uh, not.)

(Published originally in the Sacramento News & Review.)

Mark Drolette is a writer who lives in Sacramento, California, and whose next book, Why Costa Rica? Why the hell not?, will also be his first. It will be available once it’s finished, published and then made available. Mark can be reached at mdrolette@comcast.net. Read other articles by Mark.

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.

A Manifestation of Evil or Just Plain Madness? By Alan Hart

Dandelion Salad

By Alan Hart
12/03/07 “ICH

Who said  the following: When you’re the leader “you need, um, to be able to separate yourself (pause) somewhat from the magnitude of the consequences of the decisions you are taking…”?

Was it Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Menachem Begin, Pol Pot or possibly George “Dubya” Bush?

Answer, none of the above.

Just occasionally terrestrial television comes up with a documentary that provides real and (to my way of thinking) terrifying insight into the mindest of leaders. One such documentary, actually a series of three, The Blair Years, has just ended on BBC Television.

The third and last programme, which like all three was constructed on an in-depth conversation between the former prime minister and Sunday Times columnist David (am I really a Zionist?) Aaronovitch, was titled Blair In Power.

Throughout the programme, as in power, Blair insisted that he did what he did because he truly and totally believed it was “the right thing to do.” That, said Sir Ming Campbell, the former Liberal Democratic Party leader, was “a very frustrating phrase”. Why? “Because if I say to you (David Aaronovitch) that it’s ‘the right thing to do,’ there’s no forensic skill you can exercise that can disturb that. It’s a phrase of last resort, impervious to argument.”

In discourse analysis it’s known as the false dilemma. You can’t argue with somebody, particularly a leader, who insists that he was doing what was right because, implicity, you invite yourself to be seen as arguing for what is morally wrong. And that’s why conviction politicians are so successful and can can get away with murder. Literally. (It’s analogous to the assertion that “God promised us the land.” The only sane response to that, if ones dares, is “You’re mad.”)

After a line of commentary that said, “He had become a devisive and unpopular prime minister,” Blair said: “The very moment when I was becoming less popular and less publicily acceptable was when I felt a greater confidence.” Translated that could only mean, “The more people told me I was wrong, the more  believed I was right.” (When I discussed this with a former senior BBC producer and friend, he said: “I’m different from Blair. When people tell me I’m deep in shit, I look down and see how I can get out of it!”)

Charles Clarke, a minister in one of the cabinets Blair treated with almost the same contempt he subsequently developed for public opinion, described his former leader as “almost a messianic politician in the way he saw himself.”

Eventually Blair did talk about his religious faith, but he was most uncomfortable doing so; and he explained why. “If you talk about religious faith in our political system, people think you’re a nutter. They might think you go off to sit in a corner and commune with, um, the man upstairs and say ‘right, I‘ve been told what the answer is, and that’s it!’” (One obvious implication was that if Blair had been an American, he would have said, Bush-like, “God told me to do it.”)

Commentary: “Blair says it was his religious faith that helped him to live with the consequences of his decisions.”

Blair: “To to this, this, the prime minister’s job properly, you need, um, you need to be able to separate yourself (pause) somewhat from the magnitude of the consequences of the decisions you are taking the whole time, which doesn’t mean to say, and let me emphasise this, that you’re insensitive to the magnitude of those consequences or that you don’t feel them deeply. If you don’t have that strength, it’s difficult to do the job, which is why this job is as much about character and temperament as it is about anything else. For me having faith was an important part of being able to do that; but it’s not, you know I’ve said probably more than I intended to say about it, but it’s just, you know, in the end that’s, that’s, I mean, and I think that that is also important because ultimately you’ve got to do what you think is right in this job and I learned that over time really.” (There were moments, this I thought was one of them, when Blair was nearly as incoherent as “Dubya” can be).

During the course of the last programme in the series we learned that the prime minister who read from the bible and prayed every night also swore, didn’t always delete the expletives. (No harm in that in my view). I mention this in passing because of what I want to say, write, next.

The end of the last programme provided a moment, actually moments, of television magic.

Aaronovitch’s last words were, “Tony Blair, thank you.”

This was followed, before the end titles rolled, with ten seconds of silence, a hell of a long time in television when the camera is still running. During this silence Blair looked confused, bewildered, deeply troubled and frightened, rather like a rabbit caught in the car headlghts. I think it is not unreasonable to speculate that he was thinking to himself something very like the following: “Shit! I should never have agreed to do this fucking interview!”

On the eleventh second he managed a forced, nervous smile and muttered, “Is that that, then?”

It’s not quite that (the end) because our Tony is now the Quartet’s Middle East envoy. When I was discussing the programme with the former senior BBC producer quoted above, he said to me: “Alan, don’t be surprised if somebody responds to your article by saying, ‘Perhaps Blair is the right man to try to bring peace to the Mddle East because they’re all mad, too!’”

I have long believed and often said on public platforms that it was wrong to describe Blair as “Bush’s puppet”. Blair was one of them. I mean that he was, is, something of a neo-con and not that far away from being a Christian Zionist, as his predecessor at the time of the Balfour Declaration was. (There is speculation that Blair wants to convert to Roman Catholicism, but the Vatican seems to be in no rush to look upon that prospect with favour).

As The Blair Years documented, he was, in fact, in favour of using force to topple Saddam Hussein when President “Dubya” Bush was opposed. That was before 9/11. It was only after that dreadful event, and because of it, that Bush became the puppet of Vice President Cheney and his neo-con associates, many of whom were, are, hardest core Zionists. I think they probably could not believe their luck when Prime Minister Blair first arrived in Washington.

It was also Prime Minister Blair who opened the door wider to Zionist lobby funders who were keen to purchase some of what passes for democracy in the UK. And today Prime Minister Gordon Brown is paying the price for that. If I was advising Brown, I’d tell him to come clean and ask for understanding while he cleared up Blair’s mess on this account.
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.

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Taking Liberties (video; links) 

US: Iran Halted Nuke Work In 2003 By Ray Locker and Richard Willing

Dandelion Salad

By Ray Locker and Richard Willing
ICH
12/03/07 “USA TODAY

WASHINGTON

Iran ceased its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and has not resumed work toward building nuclear weapons, a National Intelligence Estimate released Monday said.
The estimate, reflecting the collective judgment of the nation’s 16 intelligence agencies, also concludes that Tehran likely is “keeping open the option” to develop nuclear weapons in the future by continuing to build missiles and pursue a civilian nuclear power program.

The estimate reverses claims made two years ago that Iran appeared “determined to develop” a nuclear weapons program.

“Tehran’s decision to halt its nuclear weapons program suggests it is less determined to develop nuclear weapons than we have been judging since 2005,” the report said. “Our assessment that the program probably was halted primarily in response to international pressure suggests Iran may be more vulnerable to influence on the issue than we judged previously.”

President Bush was briefed on the findings Wednesday. The Bush administration, which has vigorously claimed Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, called the estimate good news, although it undercut some of the administration’s claims.

“Today’s National Intelligence Estimate offers some positive news,” national security adviser Stephen Hadley said in a prepared statement. “It confirms that we were right to be worried about Iran seeking to develop nuclear weapons. It tells us that we have made progress in trying to ensure that this does not happen.”

The estimate also concluded with “moderate-to-high confidence” that Iran has not obtained enough materials from abroad to build a nuclear weapon. Iran, the report said, has probably imported some “fissionable” material, such as uranium, to develop a weapon.

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly insisted that his nation’s nuclear program is aimed only at developing a power source for civil society.

The report also said:

— The earliest Iran could assemble enough highly enriched uranium for a bomb is late 2009, although that is “very unlikely.”

— Iran would be capable of producing enough highly enriched uranium for a bomb in the 2010-2015 time frame.

— Iran is developing the scientific capabilities to create a bomb if it chooses to do so. For example, its “civilian uranium enrichment program” is continuing.

— Iran retains the “scientific, technical and industrial capacity” to produce nuclear weapons in the future if its leaders decide to.

Silvestre Reyes, D-Tex, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, called the about face on Iran’s nuclear program a “remarkable shift.” He vowed to question intelligence officials closely about the classfied sources upon which they based their judgment.

Intelligence officials who helped prepare the estimate made no apologies for overlooking that the weapons program had been halted in the 2005 NIE. The officials said new information indicates that the Iranians halted their secret program in late 2003, less than 12 months before the 2005 estimates was prepared. New information causing the intelligence agencies to conclude that the program had been halted continued to be evaluated until a few weeks ago.

In 2007, the Iranian government allowed some journalists to visit a nuclear enrichment facility at Natanz. U.S. intelligence officials viewed photographs the journalists made and concluded that Tehran continues to face “significant technical problems” in using the facility to enrich uranium.

The estimate said officials lack sufficient intelligence to “judge confidently” whether Iran plans to re-start its weapons program.

Iran’s decision to halt the program was “guided by a cost-benefit approach” that took into account the “political, economic and military costs” of continuing in the face of world scrutiny and possible sanctions.

Continued pressure, combined with “opportunities” for Iran to obtain prestige and regional influence without a weapons program, might encourage Tehran to continue the current halt.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released about 2 1/2 pages of the NIE’s declassified “key judgments.” The full estimate is about 140 pages.
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

Talk: The Iran Agenda with Reese Erlich (long video)

US spies give shock verdict on Iran threat h/t: ICH

Putin is Stalin? Garry Kasparov and the Far-right Cuckoo’s Nest By Mike Whitney

Dandelion Salad

By Mike Whitney
12/03/07 “ICH

Garry Kasparov should give up politics and do what he does best; stand-up comedy.

Watching Kasparov traipse around Moscow with his basket of sour grapes and his entourage of western media-stooges is like watching “Mr. Bean’s Excellent Kremlin Adventure”—a particularly lame performance in a dismal B-rated burlesque. It’s painful to watch.

On Sunday, while Putin’s party “United Russia” was screeching to a landslide victory; Reuters News was busy taking mug-shots of the stony-faced Kasparov holding up Florida-style ballots claiming the voting was rigged.

“They are not just rigging the vote,” Kasparov moaned, “They are raping the whole electoral system. These elections are a reminder of Soviet elections when there was no choice…..Putin is going to have a hard time trying to rule like Stalin.”

Stalin? So now Putin is Stalin?

First of all, when did Reuters begin to take an interest in voting irregularities? It must be a recent development, since they were nowhere to be found in the 2000 presidential election. And when did they start to pay attention to “dissenting voices”? They certainly never wasted any video-footage on the antiwar rallies in the US. Are we to believe that they are more interested in democracy in Russia than in America?

And why is Reuters so eager to provide valuable column-space to a washed-up chess-jockey whose only interest is flogging the Russian President while making unsubstantiated charges of voter fraud? Is that news or just propaganda?

As for Kasparov and his silly accusations; he should be glad that he lives in Putin’s Russia rather than Stalin’s or he’d be in leg-irons right now boarding a northbound train to the Siberian outback.

What is Kasparov doing in Moscow anyway? And why is this little man–with virtually no political base–such a big part of the western media narrative? Is he only there to discredit the election and throw a little more muck on Putin or is there more to it than that? Kasparov’s party, the “Other Russia” couldn’t manage even a 2% rating in the polls. The party is a complete dud. In fact, Reuters even (reluctantly) admits as much in its article.

Here’s the clip. Reuters:

“Kasparov and his “Other Russia” dissident movement are not standing in Sunday’s parliamentary election because they could not get registered as a party. THEY ENJOY LITTLE PUBLIC SUPPORT AMONG RUSSIANS BUT HAVE A BIG FOLLOWING IN THE WEST.” (Reuters)


“Big following in the West”? Why doesn’t that surprise me?

So, in other words, Kasparov has no base of support in Russia, and yet he gets his own camera crew and media team to follow him around recording every silly he says. That’s just great. Who do they think he is; Nelson Mandela?

Kasparov is a contributing editor of Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal; so he already has a regular platform for launching his tirades on the “tyrannical” Mr. Putin. Normally, one doesn’t get a spot on the op-ed page of the WSJ unless their politics are somewhere to the right of Augusto Pinochet. That’s probably the case with Kasparov, too.

In Saturday’s edition of the WSJ, Kasparov delivered his latest absurd soliloquy- disparaging Putin and recounting his agonizing 5 day ordeal in the Moscow poky. What a travesty. It seems that Kasparov’s delicate physical make-up made it impossible for him to eat prison food so “thanks to growing pressure , they allowed me to receive food packages from home”. (WSJ)

Did you hear that, Bobby Sands?

Kasparov also added, “Some commentators even suspected I wanted to provoke my own arrest for publicity, a chess players far-sighted strategy.”

Heaven forbid! Who could possibly think that this was all a stage-managed publicity stunt orchestrated by western power-brokers? What cynicism? “Is that T-bone done to your liking, Mr. Kasparov, or should we open another ‘food package from home”‘?

Although Kasparov has garnered little public support in Russia, he appears to have a loyal following among the Washington elite. According to Wikipedia:

“In 1991, Kasparov received the Keeper of the Flame award from the Center for Security Policy (a US think tank), for anti-Communist resistance and the propagation of democracy. Kasparov was an exceptional recipient since the award is given to “individuals for devoting their public careers to the defense of the United States and American values around the world”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garry_Kasparov

Hmmmm….”For devoting their public careers to the defense of the United States and American values around the world”? Isn’t that a definition of an American agent?

Again, according to Wikipedia:

In April, 2007 it was asserted that Kasparov was a board member of the National Security Advisory Council of the Center for Security Policy, a non-profit, non-partisan national security organization that specializes in identifying policies, actions, and resource needs that are vital to American security”. Kasparov confirmed this and added that he was removed shortly after he became aware of it. He noted that HE DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE MEMBERSHIP and suggested he was included in the board by an accident because he received the 1991 Keeper of the Flame award from this organization. But Kasparov maintained his association with the neoconservative leadership by giving speeches at think tanks such as the Hoover Institute.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garry_Kasparov.

Here’s a list of some of the other fellow travelers who’ve been given the “Keeper of the Flame Award”:

2007-Senator Joe Lieberman. 2004-General Peter Pace. 2003- Paul Wolfowitz. 2002- General Richard Meyers. 1998-Donald Rumsfeld. 1996-Newt Gingrich. 1995-Ronald Reagan. 1990-Casper Weinberger.

Is Kasparov an anomaly or does he fit right in with this coven of far-right loonies?

And who are some of the prominent members of the Center for Security Policy?

Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Frank Gaffney, James Roche and Laura Ingraham.

Oh, boy. The whole front office of the neocon’s cuckoo’s nest.

Now tell me, dear reader, with friends like that; what should we really think about Kasparov’s performance in Moscow? Is he really interested in “democracy promotion” as he claims or is their acting out a script that was prepared in Washington?

In the US, Kasparov has become the focal point of the Russian elections—the primary source of “unbiased” analysis. NPR reiterates his spurious claims every half hour. The other news agencies are no better. He has become the distorted lens through which Americans view Russian democracy. This says a lot more about the choke-hold the neocons still have on the media rather than anything objective about Russia.

The Kasparov fiasco gives us a chance to see the inner-workings of the establishment media. It’s nothing more than a propaganda bullhorn for far-right organizations executing their bloody imperial strategy. Fidel Castro summed it up best just days ago when he said:

“It is the most sophisticated media ever developed by technology, employed to kill human beings and to subjugate or exterminate peoples”.

Amen to that, Fidel.
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

United Russia party celebrates victory in parliamentary vote (videos)

Vladamir Putin: “The world’s most popular leader”? By Mike Whitney

Monitors denounce Russia election + Putin cements power in Russian election

Henry Thoreau and the Patrons of Virtue By Charles Sullivan

Dandelion Salad

By Charles Sullivan
12/03/07 “ICH

The form of government we have is anything but the democratic republic it purports to be. The more access to wealth a person has the more responsive to his or her needs the government is. Justice and equality cannot follow where access is denied or restricted. Far from a government of the people, for the people and by the people, we now have a government that is the exclusive domain of the rich and powerful and has the same level of exclusivity as an expensive country club or resort. The poor and disenfranchised are barred from entry and are thus marginalized.

Capital government is the equivalent of a bank’s automatic teller machine. Corporate lobbyists put their money into it and the machine prints out the legislation they paid for. It is a system in which the creator of the machines is no longer their master. We have become, as Thoreau said, “the tools of our tools.”

The people should not, and must not lend their material support to a government that so obviously works in the private corporate interest at the expense of the public well being. To do so is an exercise in self-deception and futility.

Material wealth is only rarely attracted to virtue. Voluntary poverty and simplicity is the usual domain of virtue, as history attests. Conversely, immense wealth is attracted to vice, to the mean-spirited, the selfish, the very aggressive and the morally depraved. The best people throughout history did not possess great material wealth. To paraphrase Charles Dickens, “Humanity was their business.”

What could be more incompatible than virtue and wealth, than business and morality? What could be more opposed to beauty, to truth, justice; to art and poetry, to life—than big business and capitalism? It is telling that our cultural icons are people like Donald Trump, Bill Gates, George Steinbrenner and other business tycoons, not virtuous men like Frederick Douglas and Henry David Thoreau or women like Mary Harris—the fiercely tenacious Mother Jones.

Corporate governance and plutocracy are manifestations of capitalism that invariably appeal to the worst in human nature. Expansive economic self interest is resulting in an ever expanding private domain and a shrinking public commons. The concentration of wealth and power into fewer and fewer hands is not in the public interest; nor is the wholesale exploitation of labor and ecosystems. A system in which means always justify the ends—a values neutral system of production and waste is contrary to the needs of the people, as well as the health of the planet.

The Holy Grail of mature capitalism is the belief that markets should be the final arbiter of all things, the greatest purity that can be attained by unleashing the ravenous dogs of greed upon the world. Free market capitalism does not account for anything that cannot be commodified and traded; and so it assigns them no weight. Hence morality, honesty, virtue, self-sacrifice and public service have no worth and no place in capitalism’s economic formulations because they impose restraints that limit growth. They are as ethereal as the ruddy glow of the morning sky and as unmarketable as the mist rising from a brook.

Any belief system that is not regulated by healthy societal values and the laws of nature is destined to degenerate into a monstrosity. In reality, ecological restraints always exist but they are ignored until catastrophe results and force them upon the public conscience—as in the case of global warming.

Capitalism, with its dependence on ever expanding markets and continuous growth behaves like a planetary malignancy that if left untreated, eventually consumes the host and results in mortality. It persists by virtue of its providing obscene wealth to a few through the exploitation of the many. In this country it is the few who own the political system, not the many. Capitalism would be quickly abolished in a truly democratic society as surely as darkness retreats before the light and ignorance yields to knowledge and understanding.

By participating in capitalism we have created a culture that over emphasizes competition and conquest; a culture that defines greed and lust as the highest expressions of success and as the most desirable symbols of status. It is a culture that feeds at the public trough and gorges itself on imperial wars; a system that pays favors to the legal fiction of corporations while rejecting social justice, the needs of the people and planetary health.

Thus we witness coal companies blowing majestic Appalachian Mountain tops to smithereens: destroying world class biodiversity, polluting streams and rivers and poisoning the air in quest of profits while disregarding the social and environmental damage they cause. The cost is always passed on to the public but the profits remain private. Without massive public welfare, what some might call socialism—capitalism could not exist. Capitalism is always on the public dole.

It is beyond bizarre that corporations enjoy the legal status of persons but without the social responsibility required of real citizenship and personhood. Corporations often serve as masks to hide the faces of criminals operating behind the scenes, just as the white hoods of Klansmen conceal the cowardly faces of those who burn crosses on black people’s lawns in the night. Any force that operates out of public view is liable to criminal intent, especially government.

Corporations routinely commit crimes against earth and humanity but are rarely held accountable. When was the last time that a corporation had its corporate charter revoked for malfeasance? When has a corporation ever been executed for murder?

Under capitalism, competitive advantage is sought at any cost and it is used as a weapon against the competition and the people. The status of the individual is thus elevated above the collective good. The purpose of competition is to rise above others and to lord power over them, rather than for everyone to rise together and share the bounty equally through cooperation. Ideologies that foster equality and fair play are dismissed as unattainable Utopian fantasy or socialist propaganda. We are told there is no alternative to capitalism, so we cease to look for them and make little effort to create something better.

In purely market driven economies—virtue, character and social justice have no use unless they can generate wealth for their owners. Imagine the life of Christ valued only by the income his carpentry brought to his employer; his teachings dismissed as worthless because they did not produce money in great enough abundance.

What remains of the Jewish carpenter’s essence exists outside of the socio-economic paradigm of today’s capitalism and in clear opposition to it. Betrayed by the religious institutions of our time, the prophets of religion have given way to the profits of religion, as documented by Upton Sinclair and others.

With the corporatization of the church, the teachings of Christ were discarded and cast to the four winds in order to give religious authority to capitalism, greed and exploitation. Rather than producing men of virtue like Jesus, who called for restraint and shared wealth, it has yielded a morally depraved leadership as exemplified by Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson; men who have risen to prominence to fleece their obedient flock, rather than to enlighten and save them from the ravages of unregulated greed.

Rather than imposing the moral restraints of Jesus upon an unjust society, Pat Roberson and his kind champion the cause of aggressive exploitation, effectively turning the teachings of Christ upside down and using them to justify everything that Jesus Christ railed against and died for. How ironic that the Christian church so often turns out an army of anti-Christs rather than Christians in the image of the man they so eagerly idolize but continuously dishonor.

And so it goes. Virtue, arguably the greatest of human traits, has no presence in the market place and it is slowly sinking into the oblivion of euphemisms and the boiling cauldron of corrupted language from which nothing emerges intact.

Due in part to our unquestioned acceptance of capitalism, we are a people who pay homage to concepts such as democracy, equality, social and environmental justice and freedom, even as we continually undermine them in nearly everything we do. Thus we bear a history of genocide, chattel slavery, racism, sexism, ethnic cleansing, imperial wars and occupation and manifest destiny that have flourished despite the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

Henry Thoreau astutely observed: “There are nine hundred and ninety-nine patrons of virtue to one virtuous man.” Thoreau hit the nail squarely on the head, as he so often did. We Americans are patrons of virtue rather than virtuous people. It costs nothing to be a patron of virtue; but it requires character and effort to be a virtuous person. Apparently, we have yet to learn the distinction.

We know that Thoreau was a virtuous man rather than a patron of virtue, as demonstrated by certain events in his life. Like Christ, he found himself in formal opposition to the cultural orthodoxy; he lived apart from society—outside of the social and political mainstream, an oddity to his neighbors and often persecuted by them. Thoreau refused allegiance to money and wealth, understanding that the most important things in life could not be bought and sold. For him, property and possessions were burdens, not assets.

Thus Thoreau wisely refused to waste any more time than absolutely necessary in earning a modest living. He did not rent himself to factories and bosses or to any of the respectable professions; he worked sporadically and only when necessary—usually on his own terms. He was a man of principle who refused to pay taxes that he knew supported an unprovoked war on Mexico; a war that sought to expand the territory of slavery; and he went to jail for his beliefs. Thoreau was also a fierce abolitionist who, against the law, put many a run-away slave on board the Underground Railroad to Canada and to freedom.

Like all virtuous people, Thoreau lived by a higher law. He did what was right, not what was legal or considered respectable or expedient. Unlike today’s political leadership and contemporary Christians, he was guided by incorruptible conscience that could not be bribed.

Thoreau’s freedom from menial work also provided independence from possessions and debt. Thoreau was a minimalist. His freedom to explore Concord and vicinity gave birth to several literary masterpieces, including Walden and Civil Disobedience—works that sold poorly in his time and provided but little income; but are known worldwide today. World renowned moralists such as India’s Mohandas Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King were strongly influenced by Thoreau.

If Thoreau’s life could be summed up in three words they would be, “Simplify, simplify, simplify.” To simplify and reduce one’s wants is a paradigm in stark contrast to the ravenous consumption required by capitalism. It was a way of living that eschewed money and markets; a way of being that afforded opportunity for intellectual pursuits and life long learning. Above all, it was a spiritually enriching way of life that was in harmony with the planet; it was gentle, sustainable, and fulfilling.

In contrast to Thoreau, most of us unthinkingly support a system that is fundamentally unjust, unsustainable and superfluous. It is a system that has no room for virtue and character because these characteristics cannot be commodified and marketed; and they impose market restraints. Yet, these are the very traits that can save us from ourselves and make a better world possible. How ironic that the traits of character that are most valuable to our survival as a species are the ones appreciated the least by capitalism.

Markets unregulated by morality and governments unbounded by justice serve no useful purpose to anyone in the long run, even those who champion them. Planetary destruction is not in anyone’s interest. Sustainability is. Sustainability, unlike its economic counterpart—capitalism, requires virtuous people rather than mere patrons of virtue. Virtue requires people who not only understand what is going on but who have the courage to do something about it—a consciousness that knows the distinction between patronage to virtue and actual virtue.

Our current form of government is a spectacular failure because it is an arm of business and capitalism rather than an institution of democracy with powerful ethical moorings derived from the grass roots—a decentralized, non-hierarchal power that radiates equally from the people like the spokes of a wheel from a central hub. As such, it often attracts the worst kind of people rather than the principled and just. The interest of big business is now and always has been at odds with just causes and the public welfare. Corporate interests and the people’s interests must never be confused.

Charles Sullivan is a nature photographer, free-lance writer and community activist residing in the Ridge and Valley Province of geopolitical West Virginia. He welcomes your comments at csullivan@phreego.com .
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.

Operation Iraqi Freedom Exposed – Bush Negotiates Permanent Presence in Iraq By Marjorie Cohn

Dandelion Salad

By Marjorie Cohn
12/03/07 “ICH

The revelation that Bush will sign an agreement for a permanent U.S. military presence in Iraq before his term is up confirms the real reason he invaded Iraq and changed its regime.

It was never about weapons of mass destruction. It was never about ties between Saddam and al Qaeda. And it was never about bringing democracy to the Iraqi people. These claims were lies to cover up the real motive for Operation Iraqi Freedom: to create a permanent American presence in Iraq. With Bush’s November 26, 2007 announcement that the United States and Iraq were negotiating a permanent “security relationship,” his lies have been exposed.

Bush declared, Iraqi leaders “understand that their success will require U.S. political, economic, and security engagement that extends beyond my presidency.” His outline for the permanent U.S.-Iraqi “Economic” relationship is “to encourage the flow of foreign investments to Iraq.” Two senior Iraqi officials told the Associated Press that Bush is negotiating preferential treatment for U.S. investments.

This isn’t the first time Bush has tried to turn Iraq into an investment haven for U.S. oil companies. He used to tout the “Iraqi oil law,” which would transfer control of three-quarters of Iraq’s oil to foreign companies, as the benchmark for Iraqi progress. But in the face of opposition by the Iraqi oil unions, the parliament has refused to pass that law.

All along, Bush has been building mega-bases In Iraq. Camp Anaconda, which sits on 15 square miles of Iraqi soil, has a pool, gym, theater, beauty salon, school and six apartment buildings. Our $600 million American embassy in the Green Zone just opened. The largest embassy in the world, it is a self-contained city with no need for Iraqi electricity, food or water.

Although Bush has negotiated terms to keep U.S. troops in Iraq in perpetuity, the majority of American people oppose a permanent American occupation of Iraq.

So do many Iraqis. University of Michigan Juan Cole’s blog, “Informed Comment,” cited an Al-Hayat report in Arabic that the Sadr Movement and the Sunni Iraqi Accord Front rejected the “memorandum of understanding” between the United States and Iraq that Bush and Nuri al-Maliki signed. These groups say this agreement would be illegal unless agreed to by the legislature, and they complain about the absence of any timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

No wonder Iraqis oppose the U.S. occupation. The organization Just Foreign Policy has estimated that 1,118,846 Iraqis have been killed since Operation Iraqi Freedom began. Australian born journalist John Pilger wrote, “The scale of death caused by the British and U.S. governments may well have surpassed that of the Rwanda genocide, making it the biggest single act of mass murder of the late 20th century and the 21st century.”

Yet Congress refuses to reign in the President. When Bush announced that violence is down in Baghdad so he can withdraw 5,000 troops, the Democratic candidates cheered, diverting their criticism to the lack of political progress in Iraq. But with so many Iraqis dead, there are fewer to kill.

We the people have to keep the pressure on. As we demand the United States withdraw completely from Iraq, we must also forbid Bush to attack Iran. Our voices must be heard – by Congress, by the media, and throughout the world.

Marjorie Cohn is president of the National Lawyers Guild and a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, where she teaches criminal law and procedure, evidence, and international human rights law. She lectures throughout the world on human rights and US foreign policy. Please visit her website http://www.marjoriecohn.com/
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 Two Biggest Public Secrets, and How Bush Just Signing Statemented Iraq By David Swanson + Statement by the President

New survey: Glassbooth.org – Presidential Candidates and You

Dandelion Salad

This is a different kind of survey based on the importance of each issue to you. It’s a fun and easy survey, doesn’t take much time and it gives you a percentage of how your beliefs match up with the various candidates. ~ Lo

New survey: Glassbooth.org

h/t: The Largest Minority

For evmonk’s commentary:
Glassbooth, You, and Democracy

Lo’s results:

Dennis Kucinich shares a 96% similarity with your beliefs

Representative, (D-OH)
Dennis Kucinich was born on October 8, 1946. He is a Democrat from Ohio. He has served the 10th District of Ohio in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1996. Prior to this he was mayor of Cleveland, Ohio. Kucinich is a self-described “Wellstone Democrat.”

Crime and Punishment very similar

Iraq and Foreign Policy very similar

Trade and Economics very similar

Environment and Energy very similar

Immigration very similar

Health Care very similar

Education very similar

Gay Rights very similar

Medical Marijuana and Drug Policy very similar

Civil Liberties and Domestic Security very similar

Social Security similar

Ron Paul shares a 60% similarity with your beliefs

Representative, (R-TX)
Ron Paul was born on August 29, 1936. He is a Republican from Texas. Paul has served 10 terms as a congressman from the 14th and 22nd districts of the U.S. House of Representatives. Prior to that he was a general physician in Lake Jackson, Texas. Paul placed third in the 1988 presidential election with a 0.5% of the vote, running as the Libertarian Party nominee–while remaining a registered Republican.

Crime and Punishment very similar

Iraq and Foreign Policy very similar

Medical Marijuana and Drug Policy very similar

Civil Liberties and Domestic Security very similar

Social Security different

Gay Rights different

Environment and Energy very different

Immigration very different

Education very different

Health Care very different

Trade and Economics very different

John Edwards shares a 76% similarity with your beliefs

Iraq and Foreign Policy very similar
Immigration very similar
Taxes and Budget very similar
Education very similar
Environment and Energy very similar
Health Care very similar
Trade and Economics similar
Gun Control similar
Social Security similar
Civil Liberties and Domestic Security similar
Gay Rights very different
Crime and Punishment very different
Medical Marijuana and Drug Policy very different

updated: Mar 9, 2008

Hillary Clinton shares a 71% similarity with your beliefs 

Taxes and Budget     very similar
Iraq and Foreign Policy     very similar
Education     very similar
Gun Control     very similar
Environment and Energy     very similar
Immigration     very similar
Abortion and Birth Control     similar
Health Care     similar
Civil Liberties and Domestic Security     different
Social Security     different
Trade and Economics     different
Medical Marijuana and Drug Policy     different
Crime and Punishment     very different
Gay Rights     very different

Barack Obama shares a 70% similarity with your beliefs

Social Security     very similar
Taxes and Budget     very similar
Gun Control     very similar
Iraq and Foreign Policy     very similar
Education     similar
Abortion and Birth Control     similar
Medical Marijuana and Drug Policy     similar
Health Care     similar
Environment and Energy     similar
Immigration     similar
Civil Liberties and Domestic Security     different
Trade and Economics     different
Crime and Punishment     very different
Gay Rights     very different
see

On The Issues: Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul by Lo (updated)

Should You Be President? Take the Survey

Pick Your Candidate – Take the Survey (video no longer available)

Kucinich on Kucinich health plan Brown & Black Forum (video)

Kucinich on HR 1955 Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act